A band of robbers armed with guns and hammers shot it out with Philippine police inside one of the world's largest shopping malls Sunday, sending Manila shoppers scrambling for safety, police and witnesses said. Waves of police commandos in bullet-proof…
The Wall Street Journal's editorial page earlier this week ran a letter to the editor from former President Donald Trump in which he falsely claimed that Attorney General Bill Barr and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, among others, were responsible for stealing the 2020 election from him.
The editors defended their decision to run Trump's letter in a Thursday column in which they said it was important to get an unfiltered view of the former president's thinking.
"We think it's news when an ex-President who may run in 2024 wrote what he did, even if (or perhaps especially if) his claims are bananas," the editors wrote.
They then went on to debunk some of Trump's claims, even though they acknowledged that the exercise was pointless because Trump would simply come out with even more false claims.
"He insinuates that the presidential results include thousands of tardy votes, and 'none of these should have been counted.'" they write. "They weren't, per a directive by Justice Samuel Alito... Mr. Trump says that "25,000 ballots were requested from nursing homes at the exact same time." His citation for this -- no kidding -- is a Nov. 9 cable-TV hit by Sen. Lindsey Graham."
After debunking some of Trump's claims, the Journal defended its decision to run his letter.
"Mr. Trump is making these claims elsewhere, so we hardly did him a special favor by letting him respond to our editorial," they write. "We offer the same courtesy to others we criticize, even when they make allegations we think are false."
'Shame on her': Kyrsten Sinema buried by Arizona columnist for tanking most popular part of Biden agenda
Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts on Thursday wrote a scathing column attacking Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) for tanking key parts of President Joe Biden's "Build Back Better" agenda.
In particular, Roberts took Sinema to task for killing a plan that would have allowed Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs for recipients.
"Shame on her for that," wrote Roberts, who noted that the measure was "wildly popular."
Roberts then detailed why allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices is such a vitally important policy that could help tens of millions of Americans.
"The idea of unleashing the bargaining power of Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices seems like a no brainer," she wrote. Yet Republicans and a few moderate Democrats are against it, buying the pharmaceutical companies' rationale that barring them from gouging sick Americans would stifle the development of new life-saving drugs. Pharmaceutical companies get away with charging Americans close to three times what they charge, on average, in other countries, according to a 2021 analysis by the Rand Corporation."
Roberts then cited polling data showing the proposal highly popular with Arizona voters while she also noted that even Sen. Joe Manchin said he was on board with the plan.
Roberts concluded by pointing to the massive donations that Sinema has received from the pharmaceutical industry as the likely reason for being so determined to kill price negotiations.
"She snagged $120,000 from pharmaceutical companies during the 2019-2020 campaign cycle, according to Kaiser Family Foundation's pharma contribution tracker," she writes. That's double what she collected when she was actually running for the Senate. And now, in a strange twist of coincidence, the wildly popular plan to allow Medicare to bargain for a better deal on prescription drugs is going ... going ... gone."
IN OTHER NEWS: 'It's shocking': Racist rant roils Texas school as district faces pressure from right-wing group. WATCH:
‘It's shocking’: Racist rant roils Texas school as district faces pressure from right-wing group youtu.be
Judge thrashes prosecutors for going easy on Capitol attackers: 'The rioters were not mere protesters'
A federal judge unleashed on prosecutors Thursday for allowing some defendants charged in the Capitol insurrection to resolve their cases by pleading to "petty offenses."
Judge Beryl A. Howell's hour-long diatribe came during a plea hearing for Jack Jesse Griffith, who pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of parading inside the Capitol, the Washington Post reports.
"No wonder parts of the public in the U.S. are confused about whether what happened on January 6 at the Capitol was simply a petty offense of trespassing with some disorderliness, or shocking criminal conduct that represented a grave threat to our democratic norms," said Howell, who was nominated by former president Barack Obama in 2010.
"Let me make my view clear: The rioters were not mere protesters," Howell said, before asking why, when prosecutors called the insurrection an "attack on democracy . . . unparalleled in American history," some defendants are being treated the same as nonviolent protesters who routinely disrupt congressional hearings.
"It seems like a bit of a disconnect," Howell said, calling prosecutors' approach "muddled" and "almost schizophrenic."
"Is it the government's view that the members of the mob that engaged in the Capitol attack on January 6 were simply trespassers?" Howell said. "Is general deterrence going to be served by letting rioters who broke into the Capitol, overran the police . . . broke into the building through windows and doors . . . resolve their criminal liability through petty offense pleas?"
Howell also questioned why prosecutors are requiring Griffith and other defendants to pay only $500 in restitution, while taxpayers are paying $500 million for Capitol security upgrades.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Pearce responded that the $500 figure came from dividing the cost of repairs to the Captiol — $1.5 million — by the number of rioters who entered the building.
When Pearce said the goal is "to make the victims whole," Howell responded that the $1.5 million figure "doesn't even come close."
Howell ultimately sentenced Griffin to 90 days of probation, even though prosecutors requested jail time, because she said incarcerating him would be unfair given the fate of similarly situated defendants whose cases have already been resolved.
"My hands are tied," Howell said. "In all my years on the bench, I've never been in this position before, and it's all due to the government, despite calling this the crime of the century, resolving it with a . . . petty offense."
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