Stories Chosen For You
The man who fired blanks in a Russian Jewish synagogue and cultural center in San Francisco faces hate crime charges, reported The Daily Beast on Wednesday.
The man, who has been identified as 51-year-old Dmitri Mishin, carried out the attack last Friday. No one was hurt.
"Police believe Mishin had entered a theater only a few blocks away the day before," reported Alec Karam. "He faces two counts of threatening the right to exercise religion, six misdemeanors involving brandishing a replica firearm, as well as disturbing a religious meeting. He could face more than 10 years in prison if found guilty."
According to the original report, Jewish worshipers and community members at the center were not entirely sure what had just happened or whether it was a hate crime, and even debated over whether it was best to call the police because the shooter may simply have been suffering from mental illness rather than expressing hate. They ultimately decided not to call the police, but the matter ultimately was reported to them after news of the attack spread through the community, and Mishin was arrested soon after.
“This is another deplorable example where our Jewish community has been targeted for who they are and what they believe,” said District Attorney Brooke Jenkins. “There is no doubt that antisemitism is real and we must stand with our Jewish community against it.”
San Francisco has been rocked by hate crimes in the previous few years, many of which were against the Asian-American community. The meager pace of prosecutions of these crimes were a major reason for the recall of DA Chesa Boudin last year.
Republicans on the House Oversight Committee were hoping for a dramatic clash with Twitter executives in their hearing today — but they failed to achieve it, tech policy reporter Rebecca Kern told POLITICO on Wednesday.
The hearing, which featured former Twitter executives Vijaya Gadde, Jim Baker and Yoel Roth, centered on the company's decision to suppress a New York Post story about emails on Hunter Biden's laptop, a decision that the company has freely admitted was a mistake. But Republican officials have gone further and insinuated, without any evidence, that the FBI or Joe Biden's presidential campaign put them up to it.
"I do think maybe Republicans thought there’d be more fireworks, and that these executives would defend their actions more," said Kern. "But they really were pretty humble, and said that after reviewing the New York Post’s reporting, it didn’t seem to violate their policy, so they reinstated that. Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s former chief legal officer, said clearly in her opening statement that it was a mistake to block the Post’s Twitter account for two weeks, which is what they did."
"She said that thinking back, she would have reinstated them immediately; that was new, I hadn’t heard that," Kern added. "But, because all of the witnesses were former Twitter employees, they didn’t have access to any internal files from Twitter anymore that could have told us more."
This comes after Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the ranking member of the committee, scolded his Republican colleagues for wasting time on this issue when some of Twitter's other content-moderating mistakes have been significantly more damaging.
"The violence and the chaos ... on January 6, the attempt to topple a presidential election and install someone who had not been elected as president, was facilitated by Twitter and other social media entities and, at Twitter at least, the brass specifically rejected the pleas of employees to take seriously all of the signs and clues of coming violence and the insurrectionary action that took place," said Raskin. "That's a serious problem that we're going to have to deal with in a serious hearing."
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) was ridiculed for his response during the State of the Union Address in which he appeared aghast at the implication that he supported cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
"We're not going to be move into being threatened to default on the debt if we don't respond," Biden says, referring to GOP demands for cuts to Medicare and Social Security.
Camera pans to Mike Lee looking OUTraged for SOME reason. pic.twitter.com/23YLkgDlKp
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) February 8, 2023
It quickly sent social media to mock the senator, citing Hamlets' "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."
It led into Wednesday's cable news, showing videos of Mike Lee from a 2010 fundraiser in which he promised the audience "to phase out Social Security, to pull it up from the roots and get rid of it.”
In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, Lee crafted a statement claiming that his desire to kill Social Security is because Congress keeps taking money from the fund.
"Congress has long used Social Security as a slush fund: Congress steals from it, raids it, and otherwise ruins it. Congress's long history of poor stewardship confirms the prescience of the Constitution," Lee said in the statement. "We should not trust the federal government with sweeping power over people's livelihoods. That's the point I made in 2010 while also acknowledging that we have to honor the commitments made to those who have paid into the system for decades and have relied on the associated benefits."
He also said that at no point has he tried to cut the programs while he was in the Senate. Those bills never came up for a vote, however.
Lee went on to say that no Republican has proposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare as part of the debt ceiling debate.
It isn't true either. In Oct. 2022, Bloomberg News reported that Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA), who was up for the chairmanship of the House Budget Committee, was angling for the cuts.
“Our main focus has got to be on nondiscretionary — it’s got to be on entitlements,” Carter said.
Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX), who ultimately ended up being the chair of the House Budget Committee, explained, according to Bloomberg, “Republicans have a list of eligibility reforms, and we don’t like the tax increases." The "eligibility reforms" he's talking about is an increase for the retirement age for both programs. He called it "commonsense."