More to ignore, Book 57........

Ten Thousan Marbles

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FSMUaB-XEAAFqKM
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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Last night, the Russian army fired a missile to destroy the Hryhorii Skovoroda Museum in the Kharkiv region. A missile. To destroy the museum. Museum of the philosopher and poet who lived in the XVIII century. Who taught people what a true Christian attitude to life is and how a person can get to know himself. Well, it seems that this is a terrible danger for modern Russia - museums, the Christian attitude to life and people's self-knowledge.

Every day of this war, the Russian army does something that is beyond words. But every next day it does something that makes you feel it in a new way.

Targeted missile strikes at museums - this is not even every terrorist can think of. But such an army is fighting against us. This is what they want to bring to other European countries.

As of May 7, the Russian army destroyed or damaged nearly 200 cultural heritage sites already.

Today, the invaders launched a missile strike at Odesa. At a city where almost every street has something memorable, something historical. But for the Russian army, it doesn't matter. They would only kill and destroy. Odesa? Kharkiv region? Donbas? They do not care......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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220508093654-01-jill-biden-ukraine-0508-exlarge-169.jpg


First lady Jill Biden spent part of Mother's Day making an unannounced trip to Uzhhorod, Ukraine, a small city in the far southwestern corner of Ukraine, a country that for the last 10 weeks has been under invasion by Russia.

At a converted school that now serves as temporary housing for displaced citizens, Biden met with Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska, who has not been seen in public since the start of the war on February 24.

"I wanted to come on Mother's Day," Biden said to her Ukrainian counterpart, the two women seated at a small table in a classroom of a former school that is now a source of temporary housing for displaced Ukrainians, including 48 children. "We thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people this war has to stop. And this war has been brutal." Biden added, "The people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine."

Zelenska, who early on in the Russian invasion sent a letter to Biden, has exchanged correspondence with her American counterpart in recent weeks, US officials tell CNN.

"First of all, I would like to thank you for a very courageous act," said Zelenska, speaking through an interpreter to Biden. "Because we understand what it takes for the US first lady to come here during a war when the military actions are taking place every day, where the air sirens are happening every day, even today. We all feel your support and we all feel the leadership of the US President but we would like to note that the Mother's Day is a very symbolic day for us because we also feel your love and support during such an important day."

The meeting of the two women included a closed-door bilateral, which lasted for about one hour and took place at what was a school before the war. The building has been transformed into a refuge, a collaboration between the government of Ukraine and the International Organization for Migration, the UN migration agency. Dozens of internally displaced persons now live in the building, on a leafy property near the city center of Uzhhorod.

Biden, who is three days into a four-day visit to Europe to spend time with refugee families in Romania and Slovakia, traveled about 15 miles into western Ukraine from the Slovak border town of Vysne Nemecke to Uzhhorod.

The first lady is the latest high-profile American and the first family member of President Joe Biden to visit the war-torn country in recent weeks. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visited Kyiv last month; Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was there last Saturday.

The first lady has spent the last two days in Europe meeting with humanitarian aid organizations and government officials in both Romania and Slovakia, as well as interacting with displaced Ukrainians in both countries, her focus primarily on the health and emotional welfare of women and children.

Biden's visit to Ukraine is the first time a United States first lady has visited a war zone since Laura Bush made a secret, 10-hour visit to Afghanistan in 2008. Bush made her first visit to that country, an active combat zone, in 2005. Both of Bush's visits centered around her interest and support of Afghan women.


As second lady in 2010, Jill Biden accompanied then-Vice President Joe Biden on a trip to Baghdad, Iraq, over the July 4 holiday.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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White House announces new sanctions by the US and its allies against Russia

US House Speaker on Ukraine supplemental: "I think we will be able to do it as quickly as possible"

G7 virtual meeting has started, White House offical says

Canadian PM Trudeau is in Ukraine and will meet with President Zelensky

Acting US ambassador and a group of US diplomats return to embassy in Kyiv for first time since war began

U2 performs inside a Ukraine train station


 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Supreme Court in disarray: New leaks reveal Roberts' own preferred Roe reversal
Hunter

There's now another big leak from The United States Supreme Court, and this one's being unapologetically linked to the court's conservative wing. The Washington Post has a new story in which multiple sources describe how Chief Justice John Roberts was planning to further carve away at Roe v. Wade by giving the court's approval to the Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks, but wanted to dodge overturning Roe completely.
............
The Supreme Court's other conservatives, however, essentially told him to pound sand. They wanted a full end to Roe, which is Justice Alito got the plum role of writing a hard-edged, theocratic-premised decision declaring federal abortion rights to be dead based squarely on the premises of his own personal religion and the rantings of an infamous 17th century misogynist and witch hunter.

This is not new news: That Roberts was not on board with the full ramifications of what the Alito wing of the court is pressing for was evident from Alito's draft opinion, which would not exist if Roberts was in the majority because Roberts would never have assigned the most controversial decision of his tenure to the archconservative crackpot Alito to begin with. Alito is known for authoring spite-riddled opinions riddled with dishonesty and omissions to get to his desired end point, which is often simply a long-winded declaration that my personal religious beliefs are supreme and your religious traditions are invalid. He is the voice of the reactionary Republicanism that justifies coup attempts and declares that laws mean different things based on whether a Republican or a non-Republican will be inconvenienced by them. An extremist, through and through.

..........
What's more interesting is that now the court is leaking again, and this time it's quite obviously an intentional leak by conservatives to either prop up Roberts' fast-eroding dignity or to further brag of the conservative wing's willingness to erase Roe outright.

"But as of last week, the five-member majority to strike Roe remains intact, according to three conservatives close to the court who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter," reports the Post. Oh, so now numerous people "close to the court" are leaking information about the court's private deliberations and politics—and we're even allowed to know that it is in fact "conservatives" close to the court who are doing the leaking.

"A person close to the court’s most conservative members said Roberts told his fellow jurists in a private conference in early December that he planned to uphold the state law and write an opinion that left Roe and Casey in place for now. But the other conservatives were more interested in an opinion that overturned the precedents, the person said."

That's a pretty huge leak! (In the before times, it would have been considered such an abhorrent breach of current deliberations that the Post would seek out a conservative crank like Michael Luttig to moan about the "historic" and "tragic" breach of the "confidential deliberative process"—which the Post does, at the end of the piece, so Luttig can say those things about the original Alito leak but not this one. Conspicuously: Not this one.)

So now we've got a whole set of conservatives privy to the court's internal deliberations who are all coming out at once to assert that Roberts wanted to again sabotage Roe by chipping away at its foundations, allowing Mississippi to enact an encompassing 15-week ban despite Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, but he was unanimously rejected by the court's other conservatives who all voted to erase Roe entirely.

The motive that comes easiest to mind, when wondering why so many people close to the court are willing to leak deliberations to the press even as John Roberts orders an investigation into the leak of the Alito draft, is legacy-polishing. Roberts may be pressing this new leak himself, in an attempt to distance himself from the extremists and signal to Republican powerbrokers in the Senate and elsewhere that no, he indeed tried to stop his fellow conservatives from doing the most election-rattling thing, and he is still committed to his own brand of judicial activism that knocks away precedents incrementally rather than all-at-once. It is an approach that has allowed Roberts to claim plausible deniability even as the extremism of the opinions themselves keep getting ratcheted up, and one that has damped public anger at his party's reactionary actions by premising each one on an assortment of caveats that muddle the true scope of the outcome.

In this scenario, it's Roberts who is pressuring his allies to leak to the press for entirely self-serving reasons. He's long been devoted to preserving the alleged independence and dignity of the court—even as Republican presidents and senators stuff his court with new members who don't give a damn about those things but instead were chosen for their willingness to embrace extremist opinions—and could be pushing this story as pushback to calls to expand the court, impose term limits, or make other reforms to bring the court into something even vaguely resembling the modern era.

But that's a pretty weak reason for once again shattering the supposed all-important prohibition against leaking internal court decision-making, and there's another possible motive for the leak, from other possible leakers. It is possible the Alito draft was leaked by some conservative close to the court, perhaps some conservative anti-abortion extremist and activist who is married to one of the most conservative justices and who has already shown a willingness to break the laws in any manner the extremists desire, or maybe even not that person, and it is possible that this new leak featuring multiple "conservative" court sources is a simple case of bragging.

The court's most extremist members won, and there's not a damn thing anyone on the court or off it can do about it, and because of that one of the defining culture wars of the last half century is about to be "won" by its devoted soldiers. It doesn't require much imagination to believe that the court's conservatives have been bragging mightily among themselves and to their allies about this outcome, and it doesn't require much imagination to believe that those they've bragged to—are even now gearing up for very gaudy victory celebrations.

So yes, perhaps those allied with the court's most reactionary justices would be quite happy to leak to the press that John Roberts tried everything in his power to keep the extremists from taking the "boldest" possible action, and not only did the reactionaries reject him, the group even assigned the ever-nasty Alito to write the nastiest majority opinion he and his clerks could muster.

We now know for a fact that multiple "conservatives" close to the court are leaking like the Moskva. Will condemnations again roll in? Will Roberts launch a second investigation to parallel the first?

Well, no. But we still know that it's court-connected "conservatives" doing the leaking because that's how they're willing to identify themselves to us. We just don't know whose boots they're trying to polish by doing it.
 

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