That's CBS NEWS reporting on the health issues of Senator Dianne Feinstein who should be resigning from the Senate immediately.
As relieved as Democrats are to have her back to break the logjam on party-line judicial nominees that her absence created, they’re loath to openly discuss her condition beyond generic well wishes. Fellow senators say they aren’t hearing much from her at all.
“We need her in committee and on the floor,” Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said, alluding to the need for Feinstein to vote on judicial nominees who lack any GOP support. “We’re doing our best to be sensitive to her medical condition.”
Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) spoke for many of his colleagues when he said: “She’s been ill and she’s elderly. And I really shouldn’t be talking, actually, because it’s just a difficult situation.”
The situation grew grimmer on Thursday, after the New York Times reported, and a spokesperson later confirmed, that Feinstein’s shingles had caused a number of complications that contributed to her evident visible decline in faculties. Those complications have also necessitated the use of a wheelchair while she’s at work.
[. . .]
But the Judiciary Committee is clearly working around Feinstein, placing nominations on meeting agendas that only get taken up if she is able to appear. And Durbin has been explicit about the constraints of her limited return to work.
“If Sen. Feinstein arrives, we may be able to take up those additional nominees,” he said at the top of Feinstein’s first meeting back, which she did eventually attend and helped Democrats clear nominees along party lines.
Durbin said this week that he’s “being careful to invite her when she is ready” and that “her staff gives us indications” of when she will be able to participate. He said he and his staff talk “day to day” with her aides about scheduling.
How do you get an elderly person to retire? She won't admit that she's not fit to serve. She needs to step down. She is still holding things up -- votes are being held off because she's still not well. And she's not going to get well. Shingles has not done this to her. All shingles did was take her already fragile balance and make it more exposed. She needs to go.
California Rep. Ro Khanna was the first member of Congress to call for the resignation of Sen. Dianne Feinstein over her monthslong absence from the Senate and echoed that call a day after reporters had an encounter with Feinstein and came away with the impression she forgot she had been absent.
He's right, she needs to resign. This week, she's already claimed she was never out (she was out for months) and that she'd been in DC this whole time voting. She's that out of it, she doesn't realize that she was in a hospital back in February and only just returned to DC. And now? Read this from BBC:
Her spokesman told the BBC on Thursday: "The senator previously disclosed that she had several complications related to her shingles diagnosis."
The statement added "those complications included Ramsay Hunt syndrome and encephalitis".
It continued: "While the encephalitis resolved itself shortly after she was released from the hospital in March, she continues to have complications from Ramsay Hunt syndrome."
Her aide's statement contradicted the senator's own remarks on Thursday, according to CNN. The network quoted Ms Feinstein as denying she had encephalitis, saying "it really has never been diagnosed properly" and "it was really a bad flu".
She has no idea what's going on. She isn't fit to vote on anything. She needs to announce her retirement immediately and Governor Gavin Newsom needs to immediately appoint a replacement.
By the way, I covered Crooked Clarence last night at Ann's site with "Crooked Clarence Thomas (Betty)."
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
On 13 December 2003, in Operation Red Dawn, Saddam was captured by American forces after being found hiding in a hole in the ground near a farmhouse in ad-Dawr, near Tikrit. Following his capture, Saddam was transported to a US base near Tikrit, and later taken to the American base near Baghdad. Documents obtained and released by the National Security Archive detail FBI interviews and conversations with Saddam while he was in US custody. On 14 December, US administrator in Iraq Paul Bremer confirmed that Saddam Hussein had indeed been captured at a farmhouse in ad-Dawr near Tikrit. Bremer presented video footage of Saddam in custody.
Saddam was shown with a full beard and hair longer than his familiar appearance. He was described by US officials as being in good health. Bremer reported plans to put Saddam on trial, but claimed that the details of such a trial had not yet been determined. Iraqis and Americans who spoke with Saddam after his capture generally reported that he remained self-assured, describing himself as a "firm, but just leader."
British tabloid newspaper The Sun posted a picture of Saddam wearing white briefs on the front cover of a newspaper. Other photographs inside the paper show Saddam washing his trousers, shuffling, and sleeping. The US government stated that it considered the release of the pictures a violation of the Geneva Convention, and that it would investigate the photographs. During this period Saddam was interrogated by FBI agent George Piro.
The guards at the Baghdad detention facility called their prisoner "Vic," which stands for 'Very Important Criminal', and let him plant a small garden near his cell. The nickname and the garden are among the details about the former Iraqi leader that emerged during a March 2008 tour of the Baghdad prison and cell where Saddam slept, bathed, and kept a journal and wrote poetry in the final days before his execution; he was concerned to ensure his legacy and how the history would be told. The tour was conducted by US Marine Maj. Gen. Doug Stone, overseer of detention operations for the US military in Iraq at the time. During his imprisonment he exercised and was allowed to have his personal garden, he also smoked his cigars and wrote his diary in the courtyard of his cell.
On 30 June 2004, Saddam Hussein, held in custody by US forces at the US base "Camp Cropper," along with 11 other senior Ba'athist leaders, was handed over to the interim Iraqi government to stand trial for crimes against humanity and other offences.
A few weeks later, he was charged by the Iraqi Special Tribunal with crimes committed against residents of Dujail in 1982, following a failed assassination attempt against him. Specific charges included the murder of 148 people, torture of women and children and the illegal arrest of 399 others. Among the many challenges of the trial were:
- Saddam and his lawyers contesting the court's authority and maintaining that he was still the President of Iraq.
- The assassinations and attempted assassinations of several of Saddam's lawyers.
- The replacement of the chief presiding judge midway through the trial.
On 5 November 2006, Saddam was found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging. Saddam's half-brother, Barzan Ibrahim, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court in 1982, were convicted of similar charges. The verdict and sentencing were both appealed, but subsequently affirmed by Iraq's Supreme Court of Appeals.
In 2011, Justice Thomas's undisclosed private jet and yacht trips from highly political Republican billionaire Harlan Crow were sent to the Judicial Conference’s Financial Disclosure Committee for a determination as to whether Thomas may have broken the law. It also came to light during that era that Justice Thomas had for years failed to disclose income his wife received from the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank with frequent business before the Court.
Recent reporting from the Washington Post revealed that in 2012, Leonard Leo, the orchestrator of right-wing influence campaigns around the Supreme Court, directed payments of at least $25,000 to a consulting firm run by Ginni Thomas and asked that her name be left off the paperwork.
In April, bombshell reporting by ProPublica exposed that Justice Thomas and his wife accepted extravagant vacations worth as much as $500,000 on the dime of Harlan Crow and did not disclose the travel. That report was later followed by an additional ProPublica story detailing Crow’s purchase of a string of properties from Justice Thomas and his family members, which was not properly disclosed. Further reporting by ProPublica indicates that Crow paid for multiple years of tuition for Justice Thomas’s grandnephew to attend private boarding schools.
Congress created the Judicial Conference through statute and with passage of the Ethics in Government Act, Congress imposed clear financial disclosure and recusal rules that apply to the Supreme Court.
One month ago, Congressman Hank Johnson and I wrote to the Judicial Conference of the United States, asking it to look at recent reports that Justice Clarence Thomas violated the Ethics in Government Act by failing to disclose gifts of travel and luxury vacations provided by a right-wing billionaire. The Judicial Conference's responsibilities under that law are quite clear. If there is 'reasonable cause to believe' that Justice Thomas willfully failed to file, then it must refer him to the Justice Department for investigation.
But US District Judge Mark Wolf, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan, said on Wednesday that the full Judicial Conference did not receive notice of the complaints sent to leaders of the conference and therefore couldn’t decide how the body should act on them.
“This concerned me because the issues raised by the letters were serious,” Wolf said in testimony to a Senate Judiciary subcommittee looking into court ethics.
“Pursuant to established conference policies and procedures, if the committee (on financial disclosures) had considered the letters, my colleagues on the Judicial Conference and I should have been informed of them in its reports to the Conference, even if the committee was not recommending any action by the Conference,” he said.
“Such information would have afforded me and the other members of the conference the opportunity to discuss and decide whether there was reasonable cause to believe Justice Thomas had willfully violated the act and, if so, to make the required referral to the attorney general,” Wolf added.
In addition to establishing the Judicial Conference, Congress hasenacted legislation addressing a number of specific ethical matters. Inparticular, Congress has directed Justices and judges to comply with bothfinancial reporting requirements and limitations on the receipt of gifts andoutside earned income. The Court has never addressed whether Congressmay impose those requirements on the Supreme Court. The Justicesnevertheless comply with those provisions.
john stauber really is disgusting. he used to be a media critic. today, the transphobe tweets:
Last week the Pulitzer Prizes were announced, and noticeable among the accolades for strong, authentic journalism was the absence of awards for individual New York Times pieces.
For more than a year, The New York Times has published irresponsible, biased coverage of transgender people, and repeatedly elevated the views and opinions of the small fringe of anti-LGBTQ activists, often without identifying their connections to anti-LGBTQ groups, amplifying inaccurate and harmful misinformation about transgender people and issues. Three months after a coalition of GLAAD and more than 100 coalition partners sent a letter to The New York Times demanding fair, accurate, and inclusive trans coverage, the Times did not receive any Pulitzer Prizes for individual articles, nor for Investigative Reporting (the prize went to the staff of The Wall Street Journal), Explanatory Reporting (awarded to Caitlin Dickerson of The Atlantic), National Reporting (awarded to Carline Kitchener of The Washington Post), Feature Writing (awarded to Eli Saslow of The Washington Post), Commentary (awarded to Kyle Whitmire of AL.com, Birmingham), or Editorial Writing (awarded to Miami Herald Editorial Board, for a series written by Amy Driscoll). The complete list of prizes is here.
The Pulitzer Prizes recognized robust, inclusive, and empathetic reporting on vulnerable communities, with winners representing topics of massive impact on diverse, marginalized, and voiceless people—indigenous and Black populations, children, immigrants, detainees, prisoners—and stories that did not trade in an artificial “both sides” dynamic that has characterized the Times’s transgender coverage. The prizes included recognition of work that featured inclusive reporting of vulnerable communities by journalists who are members of those communities, including awarding the prize for General Nonfiction to Washington Post reporters Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa for their book, His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice (Viking).
Despite what the Times’s leadership has claimed, more precise and empathetic journalism can and should include reporters whose own backgrounds and experiences reflect the people they are reporting on. Ignoring critiques as “activism” and silencing colleagues from oppressed backgrounds reflects a moral, intellectual and emotional failure across the Times’s leadership. In the three months following the coalition letter, the Times has refused to publicly acknowledge its coverage failures, respond directly to the letter, or meet with trans leaders.
GLAAD continued its protest of The New York Times on May 9, with a digital billboard at the entrance of the New York Times building in Manhattan.
Also in awards news this past week, on May 13, GLAAD announced recipients for the final 18 of this year’s 33 categories of the 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City hosted by producer, Critics Choice-nominated actor and GLAAD Award winner, Harvey Guillén.