No TrumpsπŸ‘±‍♂️ Newsbites
Dianne Feinstein is 'open' to filibuster reform, citing GOP 'abuse' of the Senate procedure
  • Dianne Feinstein said that she would be "open" to possible changes with the legislative filibuster.
  • The position is stark turnaround for the longtime Senate instituionalist.
  • Feinstein said that she is concerned about Republican 'abuse' of the procedural tool.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California on Friday said that she would be "open" to possible changes with the legislative filibuster, a departure from the longtime senator's institutionalist leanings.

Feinstein, who was first elected to the Senate in 1992, has been leery of dramatically altering the procedural tool, instead pushing for bipartisan consensus on issues like gun control and the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

However, she said that if Senate Republicans "abuse the filibuster," her position might shift.

"Ideally the Senate can reach bipartisan agreement on those issues, as well as on a voting rights bill," she said in a statement. "But if that proves impossible and Republicans continue to abuse the filibuster by requiring cloture votes, I'm open to changing the way the Senate filibuster rules are used."

Feinstein noted that President Joe Biden, who represented Delaware in the Senate for 36 years and has defended the Senate's deliberative processes, including the filibuster, has himself come out in favor of a "talking filibuster."

"I don't think that you have to eliminate the filibuster; you have to do it, what it used to be when I first got to the Senate back in the old days," Biden said in an ABC News interview earlier this week. "You had to stand up and command the floor, and you had to keep talking."
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A Texas GOP lawmaker refused to back down on lynching comments made during hearings on anti-Asian violence
  • GOP Rep. Chip Roy is not backing down from comments about lynchings made at a hate crimes hearing.
  • "There's an old saying in Texas about find all the rope in Texas and get a tall oak tree," said Roy.
  • Critics said the comments glorified lynchings, which Asian Americans have historically been subjected to.
He said his "concern about this hearing is that it seems to want to venture into the policing of rhetoric in a free society, free speech, and away from the rule of law and taking out bad guys."

Roy went on to criticize Communist China and said the focus should not be on restricting speech but punishing criminals.

"There's an old saying in Texas about find all the rope in Texas and get a tall oak tree. You know, we take justice very seriously and we ought to do that, round up the bad guys," said Roy.

The comments drew widespread criticism, with Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat whose family were immigrants from Taiwan, calling on him to apologize.

" The largest mass lynching in American history was against Chinese immigrants. I call on Chip Roy to apologize. He shouldn't have been glorifying lynching at this hearing and he's confusing the fears of a foreign government with what this hearing is about, which is attacks on Americans who happen to be of Asian descent," Lieu told CNN"s New Day Friday.

But Roy in a statement to CBS News on Saturday doubled down on the comments.

"I meant it," Roy said. "We need more justice and less thought policing. We need to stop evildoers, such as those who carried out the attack in Atlanta this week, or cartels abusing little children. ... We should restore order by tamping out evil actors, not turn America into an authoritarian state like the Chinese communists who seek to destroy us."

"No apologies," Roy added.
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Hitler-loving Capitol insurrectionist with a history of multiple arrests and Jew-baiting had an Army award for 'exemplary behavior' and secret-level security clearance
  • Capitol rioter Timothy Hale-Cusanelli was "well-known" to his coworkers as a white supremacist.
  • An Insider investigation reveals a history of anti-Semitism and intimidating Jewish people.
  • The investigation also finds that the Hitler fanatic held a secret-level security clearance despite multiple arrests.
Timothy Hale-Cusanelli liked to impersonate Adolf Hitler. He would strut around his workplace sporting a Hitler mustache, spouting vicious anti-Semitism while his intimidated colleagues did not dare to confront him.

It's no surprise that the 30-year-old New Jersey native, a far-right fanatic, was among many extremists that stormed the Capitol.

An Insider investigation can reveal what is shocking is that Hale-Cusanelli, a Navy contractor, held a secret-level security clearance at the Naval Weapons Station Earle and had received numerous honors for his service in the Army Reserves.

Hale-Cusanelli also has a history of arrests and antagonizing his local Jewish community, the investigation finds.

The insurrectionist's disturbing world has only now come to light because he faces several criminal counts, including obstructing a law enforcement officer and civil disorder, relating to his role in the insurrection of January 6.

... Hale-Cusanelli lives in Colts Neck, New Jersey. He was arrested, nearby, in August 2010 on charges of unlawful possession of a weapon and criminal mischief, Howell Municipal Court records show.

According to a March court filing, the incident involved Hale-Cusanelli and a friend using a "potato" gun to shoot frozen corn at houses. The crude weapon used was inscribed with the words "WHITE IS RIGHT" and a drawing of a confederate flag, the documents said.

... Since his first arrest in 2010, Hale-Cusanelli has been charged over 30 times, according to court records.

Prior to the January 6 siege of the Capitol, court records show a string of minor infractions and some more serious charges — but no felonies.

In 2011, Hale-Cusanelli was arrested for stabbing another man in the abdomen, Asbury Park Press reported.

He was accused of an aggravated assault attempt, causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon, possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes, unlawful possession of weapons, and simple assault, Freehold Municipal Court records show.

"There was an altercation between his mother and her then-boyfriend who became violent when intoxicated," Hale-Cusanell's attorney wrote in the defendant's motion for modification of bond. "Based upon information and belief, Mr. Hale-Cusanelli intervened to protect his mother and was subsequently arrested."

The case was moved to the state Superior Court but records do not show that it resulted in a conviction.

A year later, Hale-Cusanelli was charged with breach of peace, found guilty, and fined $189, according to Howell Municipal Court records.

Hale-Cusanelli was arrested again in 2013 following an investigation into scrap metal theft, Freehold Patch reported in 2013. Most of the charges were dismissed but he was found guilty of loitering and failure to have his car inspected, Manalapan Municipal Court records show.

Between 2013 and 2020, Hale-Cusanelli added Jew-baiting to his resume of petty crime and delinquency.

He was found guilty and fined for littering on state property in 2014, according to Freehold Township Municipal Court records. He also pleaded guilty to driving an unregistered motor vehicle a year later, according to Mansfield Township Municipal Court records.

But a more serious charge against him emerged in early 2020. Hale-Cusanelli was reported to the police on two occasions for engaging in anti-Semitic harassment.

Members of New Jersey's Jewish community had already felt the force of his Jew-hatred.

"Those who followed anti-Semitism in the area knew about Hale-Cusanelli," a New Jersey rabbi, who wished to remain anonymous, told Insider.

The insurrectionist was a member of the 'Rise Up Ocean County' Facebook page — a controversial page rampant with anti-Semitism that New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy eventually condemned.

... Hale-Cusanelli's story is just one of many examples of white supremacy within the ranks of the US military going undetected. This, as the US witnessed on January 6, can have dire consequences.
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Trump's Scottish golf course trashed the environment and locals fear his new one will do even more damage
  • The Trump Organization's plan to build another golf course in Scotland could wreck the local environment, environmentalists and locals fear.
  • Officials in Scotland concluded last year that Trump's existing course had "destroyed" the protected sand dune system there.
  • Trump's new course threatens to do even more damage, some experts fear.
  • "What they've done is they've just killed it as a natural environment," Bob Ward of the London School of Economics told Insider.
Before he became president, Donald Trump was best known in Scotland as the man who pushed through the construction of a hugely controversial golf course in the face of fierce opposition from locals and conservationists.

The result was Trump International Golf Links, a sprawling course set among the spectacular sand dunes at the Menie Estate along the coastline of Balmedie, Aberdeenshire.

... However, the resort has done huge damage to local habitats, which lost their protected status due to the irreversible damage the course caused.

And locals and conservationists now say the Trump Organization's latest plan to build a second 18-hole golf course — which was approved by Aberdeenshire Council last year — will cause even more environmental destruction to the area than the existing course already has.

Locals believe they have good reason to be worried.

... "Sand dunes as a habitat are rarer than rainforests," said Guy Ingerson, a Green politician who is standing in Aberdeen Central in Scotland's May elections.

"They're one of the world's fastest-disappearing habitats. So to lose such a large area of coastal sand dunes like this has been really devastating as an environmental issue up here."

Trump's second course will adjoin the existing one and will be built on a different area of sand dunes that remain part of the Site of Special Scientific Interest. There are fears that those, too, will now be destroyed, meaning the entire sand dune system will eventually be destroyed — or "stabilized."

"I think it will lead eventually to further damage to all of the sand dunes," said the LSE's Bob Ward.

"There will be nothing left of the natural dune system. At the moment if you go there, you go along the shoreline and there's a very large dune bank that protects the inland including the golf course. And once you go inland, there was this whole dune system. But part of it has already been destroyed by the golf course — and now a bigger area is going to be affected by this second golf course. The whole thing is going to be unrecognizable."

The council said the new course "will contribute towards the significant social and economic benefits expected to be delivered by the wider development proposals within the Menie estate."

But the current course has posted losses of over $1 million a year and locals say the economic benefits promised by the Trump Organisation when they built the first course have never materialized.

Guy Ingerson said: "Mr Trump and his organization promised the world: Thousands of jobs, lots of new amenities for the local community. That hasn't happened. So why are we allowing him to create a new golf course when he hasn't delivered on the existing promises made?"
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The historian who predicted every presidential race since 1984 says Trump likely won't make a political comeback in 2024
  • Professor Allan Lichtman has successfully predicted the outcome of presidential elections since 1984.
  • He thinks Trump is unlikely to run for office again in 2024 successfully.
  • The former president is too mired in legal and financial problems, Lichtman told the Miami Herald.
Allan Lichtman, a professor of US political history at the American University, has devised a series of "13 keys", or questions he uses to establish the likelihood of a candidate winning a presidential election, which he revealed in a recent book, Predicting the Next President.

He used the method the successfully project that Trump would be the winner of the 2016 election, when most pundits and bookmakers were ruling out the reality TV star's chances, and predicted Joe Biden's win last year.

... Some observers, including Sen. Mitt Romney, have said that Trump is a shoo-in to be the next GOP presidential candidate if he decides to run. But Lichtman is skeptical, telling the Herald that Trump "has too many other challenges facing him" and that he doesn't think he'll be the GOP candidate or a third party candidate.

Trump faces a slew of lawsuits after leaving office. Manhattan's district attorney, Cyrus Vance, is set to investigate allegations of tax and financial crimes at the Trump Organization, and a prosecutor in Georgia launched a criminal probe into allegations Trump illegally sought to subvert the election result.

"He's got $400 million-plus in loans coming due. His brand is failing. His businesses are failing. He has a huge IRS audit. He doesn't hold office anymore. He's lost his Twitter feed," Lichtman said.

... The historian gave Biden 9 out of 10 for his performance so far and said that despite the fact that the president will be 82 in 2024, he wouldn't rule him out to run for reelection.

"There's no precedent in American history for starting the presidency at age 78, either. But, as we know, precedents are made to be broken," said Lichtman.
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The facts in the Capitol riot investigation 'do support' sedition charges, prosecutor says
  • More than 400 people are facing criminal charges in the attack on the US Capitol on January 6.
  • The evidence also supports sedition charges, the prosecutor who was leading the investigation said.
  • He also said investigators are still looking into whether Donald Trump is criminally culpable.
The investigation into the January 6 attack on the US Capitol will most likely result in sedition charges against some of the suspects, the federal prosecutor who was leading the investigation said in an interview Sunday.

"I believe the facts do support those charges. And I think that, as we go forward, more facts will support that," Michael Sherwin said during an interview with "60 Minutes" when asked about sedition charges.

Under US law, sedition is a crime and is defined as conspiring to overthrow the US government or to "prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States" by force. Historically, sedition charges are rare.

... "It's unequivocal that Trump was the magnet that brought the people to DC on the 6th. Now the question is, is he criminally culpable for everything that happened during the siege, during the breach?" Sherwin said.
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or Trump-ism

Trumpism refers to the nontraditional political philosophy and approach espoused by Donald Trump and his supporters. The term Trumpism can also be used to directly refer to an outrageous or idiosyncratic statement made by Donald Trump.

Trump, whom many observers consider an anomaly, left the White House by saying, “We will be back in some form.” His legacy is “Trumpism” – a wave of white nationalism.

Trumpisms are Bushisms on steroids.