Media critic and journalist Eric Boehlert has died following a bike accident in New Jersey. He was 57. “Rest In Peace Eric Boehlert,” tweeted Jon Stewart. “Greatly admired his passion and tenacity.” Hillary Clinton tweeted that she is “devastated for his family and friends and will miss his critical work to counteract misinformation and media bias. What a loss.” The Press Run founder and editor, who lived in New Jersey, was remembered by broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien as “a fierce and fearless defender of the truth.” “Adored his kids Jane and Ben, his dogs, biking and running and basketb...
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According to a report from Rolling Stone's Jay Michaelson, Donald Trump may be gone -- for the moment --but his legacy of running roughshod over settled law and general disruption of norms will go on for generations because he managed to pack the courts with 226 judges who will sit in judgment for decades due to lifetime appointments.
As Michaelson pointed out, while the focus is most often on Trump-appointed Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, it is at the lower federal court level where he has changed the course of jurisprudence for years and years.
According to the report, a substantial percentage have a great deal in common in that they are most likely to be white and male to a highly disproportionate degree.
"For a start, they’re 84 percent white and 76 percent male, well out of proportion to the population, which is 58 percent non-Hispanic white, and 50 percent male. (At the appellate-court level, the slant is even greater: 43 of Trump’s 54 appointees are men,) he wrote before commenting, "Keep that in mind the next time a court decides something about women’s rights to control their bodies."
Worse still, he adds, is the fact that the former president's picks -- with the able assistance of far-right conservative organizations like the Federalist Society and now- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) -- are not the best of the best.
According to Michaelson, "They were, statistically speaking, remarkably less qualified than usual. In four years of Trump, the nonpartisan, nonpolitical American Bar Association rated 10 of his nominees as 'not qualified,' something they’d done only 12 times in the previous 27 years. (True to form, Republicans have attacked the American Bar Association itself,") adding that there are plenty who are qualified even if their views are outside the mainstream.
Speaking with the journalist, Lena Zwarensteyn of Fair Courts Program of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, claimed the picks were designed for maximum and enduring effectiveness.
“The plan was to put on as many folks who have an extreme ideology as possible,” she stated. "This is a very long-term project that a very narrow extreme group has had, largely in response to the civil rights movement integrating communities and schools. It is a systemic plan to roll back progress we have made on civil and human rights.”
Even more alarming, Michaelson reports, "Trump’s minions chose the youngest cohort of judges in recorded history, some of these people are in their thirties and forties. That means they could still be on the bench in 40, even 50 years."
Reflecting on reports that the Supreme Court will soon hand down a ruling that will all but eviscerate the landmark Roe v Wade protections for women seeking an abortion, Michaelson said Trump's judges will be doing their work under less scrutiny until their decisions are published and then possibly upheld by other conservative justices higher up the legal ladder.
"The thing to understand here is that while big cases like Dobbs and Roe come along once every few years, every day there are incremental cases that either bolster or erode our civil rights. Just as progress is gained one small step at a time, it is lost the same way," he wrote before warning, "The advance of Christian nationalism is a steady drip-drip-drip, eroding rights a little bit at a time, by judges we don’t hear much about until it is too late."
You can read more here including examples of Trump-appointed judges who have already handed down controversial rulings during their brief time on the bench.
Business owner in Marjorie Taylor Greene's district fears 'retaliation' for supporting her GOP primary opponent
According to a report from CNN on how things look on the ground in Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's Georgia district with the voters heading to the polls on Tuesday, there is growing discontentment with the controversial lawmaker among Republican voters and a bit of fear of the lawmaker for opposing her re-election.
As CNN's Simone Pathe reports, more than a few voters stated they like what Taylor Greene stands for before admitting they don't care for the way she has represented them or conducted herself since they sent to Congress in 2020.
With the focus of Pathe's piece on Taylor Greene's only serious opponent, Jennifer Strahan, for the Republican Patry nomination, a few conservatives stated they are already in the mood for a change after two years of the freshman lawmaker.
According to Pathe, "The controversial Greene is often mentioned in the same breath as other Donald Trump acolytes in the US House, such as North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who lost his primary earlier this week. But unlike in the Tar Heel state, where Republicans -- including the state's junior GOP senator -- mobilized against Cawthorn, Greene hasn't encountered the same level of organized opposition -- or spending -- against her."
That doesn't mean there is ant a groundswell of opposition to her re-election with one voter explaining why he has already cast his ballot for Strahan and a local business owner wishing to remain anonymous about her support for Strahan out of fear of Taylor Greene.
Kenneth Studdard of Dogwood Books said he has a view of a local cafe Taylor Greene patronizes when she is in town, and said he already voted for the challenger fully knowing her chances of an upset are slim in the highly conservative district.
"If you're Strahan, you're trying to do two things: Hold her under 50 (percent) and come in second," he explained.
Another business owner spotted putting a Strahan sign in their shop window, didn't want to be named in the CNN report.
According to Pathe the owner "had trepidatiously put a Strahan sign in her shop window, [and] said Strahan would be more effective in Washington but requested anonymity out of fear of retaliation -- specifically the fear of receiving a threatening voicemail from the congresswoman."
"My stomach is churning just talking to you," the shop owner told CNN.
According to the executive director of VIEW PAC whose mission is to elect Republican women to Congress, Taylor Greene is a hindrance to their work.
"It's unfortunate that in 2020, we elected some really tremendous Republican women and the only one people talk about is the only one who has no business being in Congress," Julie Conway told CNN.
HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher was buried under an avalanche of criticism on Saturday after using his Friday night closing comments to ridicule trans kids and their need for gender-affirming care, saying they are only doing it because it's more "trendy" than being gay.
After suggesting the "LGBT population of America seems to be roughly doubling every generation," Maher added, " According to a recent Gallup poll, less than 1% of Americans born before 1946, that's Joe Biden's generation, identify that way, 2.6% of Boomers do, 4.2% of Gen X, 10.5% of Millennials and 20.8% of Gen Z, which means if we follow this trajectory, we will all be gay in 2054."
He then glibly joked, "If this spike in trans children is all biological, why is it regional? Either Ohio is shaming them or California is creating them," before making a few more crude comments.
Response to the HBO hosts' comments were quick -- including controversial Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) applauding his comments -- but the bulk of comments slammed the comedian for making trans kids the butt of a joke.
As former U.S. House candidate Briana Wu put it, "Reasonable people can have concerns on trans issues. Had conversation with friend yesterday who found phrase 'birthing people' dehumanizing. Reasonable. But for Bill Maher to frame trans children as 'trendy' while states are banning trans healthcare? It’s just transphobia."
Former Buzzfeed LGBT news editor Patrick Strudwick responded, "Bill Maher always set my inner warning bells off. His feeble, unfunny attacks on queer and trans people this week are exactly what happens when your 'liberal' sensibilities never venture beyond your own smug privilege. When you either don’t do the work or don’t have the heart."
You can see additional comments below:
Pretty good sign you\u2019re doing it wrong Bill Maherpic.twitter.com/ft9WFPfQG2— Molly Jong-Fast (@Molly Jong-Fast) 1653149988
Not sure what is worse:\n\nThat @billmaher actually made this laughable analogy about trans people. \n\nOr that so many people uncritically accepted and amplified it.https://twitter.com/mdaware/status/1528021829809491969\u00a0\u2026— (((Howard Forman))) (@(((Howard Forman)))) 1653151446
Yes, and contrary to Maher's rant, trans kids aren't getting genital surgery because it's not medically sanctioned for children.— Bob Cesca (@Bob Cesca) 1653146848
2/ Anyone that knows parents of trans kids knows how seriously they take medical intervention. No parent is doing this on a whim. \n\nMaher is conflating non-binary kids with children who medically transition.\n\nI\u2019ve been watching Maher since the 90s. He\u2019s always been a transphobe.— Brianna Wu (@Brianna Wu) 1653141487
Bill Maher said kids are coming out as trans because it's \u201ctrendy.\u201d Yes, what child doesn\u2019t want to feel trapped in their body, told they\u2019re mentally ill, have their parents arrested for supporting them, and possibly be killed by a bigot who Republicans then start a GoFundMe for?— The Volatile Mermaid (@The Volatile Mermaid) 1653133977
how many trans kids has bill maher spoken to? parents? pediatricians? child psychologists? did he see where medical orgs stand on affirming care? \n\ngetting pretty tired of old white dudes using their massive platforms to spout hot takes w/out doing the bare fucking minimum.— Robbie Couch (@Robbie Couch) 1653147563
As the parent of a trans kid, I have the perspective to tell you that you have no idea what the fuck you are talking about.— Bill Wendel \ud83c\udf0a (@Bill Wendel \ud83c\udf0a) 1653147963
Bill Maher always set my inner warning bells off. His feeble, unfunny attacks on queer and trans people this week a… https://t.co/5mcKi9DvH7— Patrick Strudwick (@Patrick Strudwick) 1653151114
Bill Maher is a cynical, old, white man who has no idea what it means to be trans. He is obsolete and speaks for no true progressive. He needs to stfu already. \nSigned, a proud auntie of two great trans kids.— \ud83c\udf3b Julie James Dio \ud83d\udda4\u2728 (@\ud83c\udf3b Julie James Dio \ud83d\udda4\u2728) 1653148866