Fearing a repeat of the images that spread around the world on July 11, when thousands of Cubans unexpectedly took to the streets to call for political change in the communist island, the Cuban government unleashed a wave of arrests and intimidation to frustrate a march called for Monday to protest against state violence and advocate for the release of political prisoners. To keep Cubans indoors, the government mobilized the military, the police and special units known as Black Berets to patrol the streets. Trucks and police cars were parked along main avenues, along the famed Malecón seawall ...
Jussie Smollett trial goes off the rails after attorney accuses judge of 'lunging' and 'snarling' at her: report
On Thursday, The Daily Beast reported that the hate crime hoax trial of "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett took a bizarre turn after his defense counsel accused the presiding judge of "lunging" and "snarling" at her.
"The confrontation kicked off as defense attorney Tamara Walker attempted to question star prosecution witness Olabinjo Osundairo, who testified earlier on Thursday that Smollett had paid him to 'fake beat him up,'" reported A. J. MacDougall. "As Walker pressed Osundairo on homophobic language in his past tweets, Judge James Linn tried to expedite the line of inquiry, calling the subject 'collateral.' Walker then asked for a sidebar. After the jury had been sent out of the room, Walker requested a mistrial, in part over the word of the word 'collateral' since, she said, demonstrating Ola's homophobia is central to their defense. She then remarked to the judge: 'You did physically lunge at me.'"
She also accused Judge Linn of making "snarling faces."
According to the report, Judge Linn denied all of these accusations and said, "There’s no mistrial here… Frankly, I’m stunned."
Smollett is on trial for over a dozen felony charges stemming from an incident that occurred in 2019. Smollett, who is Black and openly gay, claimed to have been the victim of a hate crime at the hands of two Trump supporters, who beat him, put a noose around his neck, and doused him in a chemical substance.
Inconsistencies in his story immediately emerged, and the Chicago Police assert the entire incident was orchestrated by Smollett, who hired his supposed attackers.
I hope it’s clear by now Roe is doomed, though I don’t mean it will be overturned. That would be too obvious. I mean the Supreme Court’s six conservatives will instead find ways to sabotage it without striking it down. That way the anti-abortionists will get what they want. That way “moderate” Republicans will be able to say Roe is still the law of the land. (I presume this is a preferred outcome for Susan Collins.)
That’s where we’re headed. That doesn’t mean, however, the fighting will end. Far from it. The Christian Science Monitor’s Henry Gass reported Tuesday on how conflict over reproduction will continue post-Roe. Some states will amend their constitutions prohibiting abortion. Some states will do the same protecting it. (My state of Connecticut enshrined Roe in statute years ago.) The site of conflict had been national for over a half-century. Future sites will be local.
That conflict will be local, not national, means America over time will become a crazy-quilt of abortion laws in which some have rights and some don’t, depending on which part of the country they live in. That reality reflects the notion that America isn’t really one country. (It’s instead a federation of regions with distinct personalities animating opposing political cultures.) And it reflects another thing: American women in their child-bearing years will not be treated equally under law on account of being American women in their child-bearing years.
Put another way, it will be a two-tiered system of law. In some parts of the country, women of child-bearing years will be first-class citizens. In other parts, second-class. (I mean this in formal terms; women of means, especially white women, will have abortions though their states outlaw them.) Two-tiered law might otherwise be repugnant, but among those who believe a fetus is a person, perhaps not so much. For them, abortion is a moral or religious issue. The rights of one class must be weighed against the rights of another, even if it’s not yet born. If some inequality is the price for the “sanctity of life,” then so be it.
That abortion is a moral issue is almost universally accepted, even among those who otherwise stand firmly for reproductive rights. To the extent that it is a moral issue, however, its parameters are exceedingly pinched. If we accept that a fetus is a person, we must also accept that those who are making that argument are not taking into consideration the vast moral implications of one person using another person’s body to live. They are not taking into consideration the ethical conundrum of the state stepping into what would otherwise be a private matter and forcing one person to permit another person to use her body to live. If we accept “pro-life” as a “moral crusade,” as we’re so often told, then we must also accept it’s not nearly moral enough.
You might say this is silly. After all, women get pregnant all the time. No one thinks about pregnancy in terms of one person accessing and using another person’s body to live. But in a non-pregnancy setting, the gothic nature of what I’m talking about should be clear. If a fetus is a person with a “right to life,” it is a person with the right to access and use another person’s body to live. If a fetus is a person, then any person, born or unborn, could credibly claim the right to access and use any person’s body to live. “Pro-life” is so focused on the fetus, it’s overlooking the moral consequences of protecting its “right to life.”
When I’m in a charitable mood, I think this is an oversight. Lots of “pro-life” people are just not thinking it through. If they did, they might reconsider their commitments. When I’m in an uncharitable mood, I think this is no mistake at all. It’s by design. Access and use of a woman’s body isn’t a byproduct of protecting the life of the fetus. Access and use of a woman’s body is the goal. Outlawing abortion isn’t for the unborn. It’s for the born bent on restoring the right to access and use a woman’s body, a right denied when the state protects a woman’s right to control her destiny, starting with her own body.
What I’m saying but have not yet said is this. For a moral issue to be a serious moral issue, it should be considered in full. For a moral issue to be a convenient tool for achieving an end, however, a moral issue need not be considered in full, because the issue’s morality is secondary to achieving an outcome. That outcome is no accident. It’s intended -- a two-tiered system of law in which some are more equal than others.
A Capitol rioter who drove his Tesla Model 3 from Miami to Washington before participating in the Jan. 6 insurrection told FBI agents he was "in the bathroom pooping when the violence occurred."
Federal prosecutors are seeking a sentence of four months in jail for Felipe Marquez, who pleaded guilty in September to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds.
In a sentencing memo filed Thursday, prosecutors said they are seeking jail time for several reasons, including that Marquez "interfered with Capitol police officers trying to protect the building by repeatedly asking them for selfies and fist bumps," and spent 10 minutes with 20 other rioters inside the office of Democratic Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, which suffered substantial damage.
Marquez also carried a Glock firearm with him from Florida to D.C., although he told authorities he left it in his car during the insurrection.
Inside Merkley's office, Marquez used his cell phone to film the room, according to the sentencing memo.
"Marquez’s own cell phone video captured other rioters smoking and yelling and banging on the table," the memo states. "Marquez then held his vape pen up to the camera, as if to capture the arrogance of the rioters (himself included) smoking in a senator’s office during an Electoral College certification proceeding to formally elect the next President of the United States."
Marquez "evidently thought the whole experience was joyful and celebratory," according to prosecutors, and he later posted videos of himself inside the Capitol on Snapchat.
During an interview with the FBI at the time of his arrest in January, Marquez said he traveled to the Captiol to protest "communism and prostitution." According to the sentencing memo, Marquez also stated, "I was in the bathroom pooping when the violence occurred," adding that he "didn't see any violence at all."
In a subsequent interview with CBS Miami, Marquez compared Capitol rioters to heroes from the African-American civil rights movement.
"This is like a Rosa Parks, like Martin Luther King moment for me," he said.
Marquez's attorneys are seeking a sentence of probation.
More from Twitter below.
When Marquez was interviewed about his role in J6 by the FBI, he told agents...\n\n"I went there to protest communism and prostitution."\nand\n"I was in the bathroom pooping when the violence occurred." pic.twitter.com/a1Am8gtY8U— Alan Feuer (@Alan Feuer) 1638482794
Felipe Marquez\u2019s team, meanwhile, want probation.\n\n"The former president, the rally\u2019s organizers and speakers, and other nefarious, organized groups contributed to the chaos of that day, and are arguably, though not charged, greatly more culpable for what happened on January 6."— Ryan J. Reilly (@Ryan J. Reilly) 1638484515
Marquez\u2019s federal public defenders say he "did take a few drags of nicotine from a vaporized pen, but he did not participate in the smoking of marijuana.\u201d https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/21127636-felipe-marquez\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/Ml8uf2qFoB— Ryan J. Reilly (@Ryan J. Reilly) 1638484937