Is Ruth Bader Ginsburg Sick Again?

by Daveda Gruber:

On Wednesday morning Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg missed oral arguments due to an illness.

Ginsberg, who is 86 years old, was not able to question attorneys during arguments because of an alleged stomach flu. She will however, be able to be involved in deciding the case.

Chief Justice John Roberts gave a statement from the bench.

Roberts said, “Justice Ginsburg is unable to be present today. She is indisposed due to illness, but she will participate in the consideration and decision of the cases on the basis of the briefs and the transcripts or recordings of the oral arguments.”

The cases before the court are Comcast Corporation v. National Association of African American-Owned Media, et al., and Ritzen Group, Inc. v. Jackson Masonry, LLC.

Ginsburg has had cancer, in fact, she had two separate issues with the disease during the past year.

The justice has recovered from lung surgery that led her to miss court sessions in January. As a justice for a quarter of a century, she had not missed arguments before that particular illness.

Ginsberg had a tumor in her pancreas and was treated with radiation in August and she stated at a National Book Festival that she was “alive” and on her “way to being very well.”

We’ll have to wait and see how long she’ll be out for with this latest illness.

Bernie Sanders: Gun Buybacks Unconstitutional?

by Daveda Gruber:

On Sunday Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who is fighting to be the 2020 presidential nominee, gave his views on gun control.

At a green jobs town hall in Charles City, Iowa, during a question and answer period, Sanders was given a question about mandatory gun buybacks, specifically AR15s and AK47s.

Sanders replied, “I don’t support ˗˗˗a mandatory buyback is essentially confiscation, which I think is unconstitutional. It means that I am going to walk into your house and take something whether you like it or not. I don’t think that stands up to constitutional scrutiny.”

Sander does have a plan of his own to control gun ownership. He plans to take a strong stance against the National Rifle Association. Sanders wants to increase background checks and he wants to see assault weapons.

Sanders went on to say, “We cannot allow the NRA to dictate policy because they’ve intimidated [President] Trump and they’ve intimidated the Republican party. I’m not going to be intimidated by them.”

Recently another 2020 Democratic candidate, Beto (Robert Francis) O’Rourke made mandatory gun buybacks or confiscation, whichever way you want to say it, a center point of his campaign.

Considering that O’Rourke dropped out of the race, that policy of buybacks, red flag laws, and a national registry, didn’t seem to be a winning policy.

Before O’Rourke withdrew from the race, he stated that police officers would have to enforce the buybacks and enter private homes to carry out the confiscation.

Really? I’m pretty much certain that our brave men in blue didn’t want to have to face this type of a law that O’Rourke would have implemented.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg took the same stance as Sanders in saying that buybacks are the same as confiscation.

Two other presidential candidates, Senator Cory Booker D-NJ., and Senator Kamala Harris D-Calif., support the buyback plan.

Folks, taking away our second amendment is never a good idea. Once citizens of any country lose a right, it’s not easy to get it back. As a matter of fact, a right is nearly impossible to get back once it is made unlawful.

Food Faux Pas?

by Daveda Gruber:

We know possible presidential candidates are under scrutiny when they are out in public, actually President Trump was closely watched as he ate steak in a New York restaurant.

It appears that Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg eats cinnamon rolls. How he eats them seems to offend some people.

Trump likes his steak cooked well done and it has been noted that he puts ketchup on his meat. There are those who find this appalling.

Lindsey Graham has been cited for eating too many pancakes in a stack and John Kasich was mocked for eating pizza with a knife and fork.

The 37 year old Buttigieg cut his cinnamon roll into small pieces and then proceeded to eat it in small cut portions like a chicken wing. Yes, he used both hands to hold his tiny potion of the roll.

Recently, at a Ruby’s Restaurant in Decorah, Iowa, Buttigieg made a food faux pas when he bit into his cinnamon roll.

Buttigieg’s way of eating food has caused the picture of him eating to go viral.

A Twitter user tweeted this:

Some of the responses were downright hysterical. Take a peek:

Okay, I’ve had my fun for the day, at least for now.

Does it bother you that people don’t always eat the same way that you eat?

I’ll tell you a little secret. It bothers me when I see someone cutting up their spaghetti. It wasn’t meant to be eaten that way. Maybe I should tweet that?

Why Did Whistleblower Attorney Appear on CNN?

by Daveda Gruber:

Attorney, Mark Zaid, who represents the whistleblower who is smack right in the middle of the Democrats’ ongoing impeachment inquiry, said that CNN will play a key role in removing President Trump from office.

Zaid, who never liked Trump, is the attorney for the whistleblower who is allegedly Eric Ciaramella, who is another person who doesn’t like Trump.

Zaid appeared as somewhat of a regular guest on CNN, and in fact, appeared at least eleven times since 2017.

After one of Zaid’s appearances on the liberal leaning CNN, Zaid was tweeting that CNN will play a key role in Trump not finishing his term as president. He tweeted

CNN has a reputation for glorifying anti-Trump guests and the network itself as it puts out dirt on the president or distorts Trump’s comments on a regular basis.

CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker has a longstanding feud with President Trump.

Zaid defended his posts as common sentiments and that can been seen in the tweets that Zaid has put out. He contends that his tweet referring to a coup was referring to a lawful process.

Zaid tweeted this in 2017:

House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy said, “We should take [Zaid] at his word that this is a coordinated, premeditated plot to overturn the election.”

Trump tweeted about Zaid’s tweets with this:

It’s easy to determine that Zaid is not a fan of the president. It’s also quite clear in most people’s minds that CNN is definitely not pro-Trump. Putting the two ingredients together, we can see the reasoning behind what they were attempting to do. The aforementioned parties were attempting to get Trump out of office.

It is my opinion that both Zaid and CNN don’t really care how they get the president out. Will they lie and cheat to do it? You decide.


Impeachment Inquiry: No Firsthand Information?

by Daveda Gruber:

On Wednesday, Democrats released a transcript of testimony from U.S. diplomat Bill Taylor in conjunction with the Democrats releasing the transcripts of closed-door sessions.

According to the document in question, Taylor told congressional lawmakers who are conducting the impeachment inquiry that President Trump was willing to hold up aid of a military nature to Ukraine to insure investigations that could help him politically.

Taylor, a top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine said, “That was my clear understanding, security assistance money would not come until the President [of Ukraine] committed to pursue the investigation.”

Also, in the transcript Taylor says that other officials told him that the White House was willing to hold up military aid and a prospective White House meeting to obtain a public announcement from Ukraine that would solidify that probes were in progress that related to election interference and a company, Burisma, linked to former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.

Burisma Holdings is the Ukrainian natural gas company where Hunter Biden was employed in a high end role and made an exorbitant amount of money despite not having any knowledge of business practices.

Republicans contend that Taylor didn’t have first hand information and his recollection was that of what others around him were saying.

Taylor was asked by GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin  if he had any “firsthand knowledge” of Trump making it a condition that an investigation into the 2016 election and the Bidens would bear upon military aid.

Taylor made it clear that he did not speak to the president or have any communication with the president on this matter.

He did say that he was basing his testimony on what former United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, Kurt Volker, and E.U. ambassador Gordon Sondland had told him.

Taylor said, “What I know is what Ambassador Sondland was able to tell me about those investigations and Ambassador Volker. I don’t know what was in the President’s mind.”

Taylor was adamant that he didn’t have “firsthand” communication with the president or the president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

Beyond not communicating directly with President Trump or Giuliani, he testified that a July 28 conversation with National Security Council aide Tim Morrison told him of a conversation between Sondland and top Ukraine aide Andriy Yermak that security assistance money would not come until Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy committed to pursue the Burisma investigation.

Taylor said in his testimony, “I was alarmed by what Mr. Morrison told me about the Sondland-Yermak conversation. This was the first time I had heard that the security assistance not just the White House meeting — was conditioned on the investigations.”

Taylor said that Sondland asked him to call after Taylor texted a message asking if security assistance and a White House meeting “are conditioned on investigations.”

Those text messages have been released but the details of the phone call were not spelled out.

Taylor testified, “During that phone call, Ambassador Sondland told me that President Trump had told him that he wants President Zelenskyy to state publicly that Ukrain will investigate Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.”

On Tuesday, it was revealed in a released document that Sondland revised his prior testimony to say that he told a top Ukrainian official that U.S. aid would likely not resume until the country issues a corruption statement. To the Democrats that was proof of the quid pro quo they have been alleging took place.

In September Sondland had texted Taylor that there was no quid pro quo. The supplemental declaration says that “by the beginning of September 2019, and in the absence of any credible explanation for the suspension of aid, I presumed that the aid suspension had become linked to the proposed anti-corruption statement.”

Sondland agreed that he told one of Zelensky’s advisers that “resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks.”

It has been alleged that claims from Sondland are an assumption and are not based on fact.

Sondland is adamant that he did not know and still doesn’t know who or why the aid was suspended.

Open hearing will begin next week.

Do You Want to Dance?

by Daveda Gruber:

Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is enjoying his time on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.

Spicer, who is merrily dancing with a new partner after his original dance partner, Lindsay Arnold suffered the loss of a family member, her mother-in-law, and is taking time off to attend the funeral.

The former press secretary is left with a new partner, Jenna Johnson, who he’s not used to dancing with but danced to a beautiful song made famous by Styx, “Come Sail Away” after almost a week of rehearsing with Arnold.

Johnson was teamed up with Karamo Brown and they were eliminated from the contest last week, which was week seven.

Here are Spicer and Johnson dancing last night, week eight:

After the performance last night, Spicer sent love to his partner after the dance. “My heart goes to out Lindsay, her husband Sam, and their family,” Sean said after the dance, which earned him a total score of 20 out of a possible 30.

But the score didn’t stay that way for long. After the judges posted their scores, the American viewers text to vote for their favorites. And Spicer has a lot of fans.

Before the show, President Trump urged his 66.5 million Twitter followers to vote for Spicer on Monday. Now, that’s incentive!

Trump tweeted:

It appears that liberals had a meltdown. They don’t think that Spicer is the best dancer but he keeps getting enough votes to keep himself out of elimination.

Trump seems to have a lot of influence, after all, he is our president.

Anyone can look at the threads of tweets that have not been pro-Spicer or pro-Trump.

Here a sample of what is typical of Democrats following this:

I watched the show last night and quite honestly, I like to watch “Dancing with the Stars” every season. This season has intrigued me more than other years because Spicer is on.
Here’s an example of a pro-Spicer or pro-Trump tweet:

If the American people are voting for a pro-Trump former staffer because he’s got the values of the people who vote, it’s a very good indication of how the majority of people in this country are leaning.

Spicer is getting the popular vote. There is no electoral college in DWTS.

Here’s Spicer and the other couples finding out who’s not getting eliminated and who’s was going to go home last night.

See for yourself:

I have never trusted polls but DWTS is not a poll. It’s reality TV and the voting is done by real people.

Snowflakes are melting and I’m cheering Spicer on and laughing as I watch him dance on my TV.

Keep it up Spicer, you’re somewhat like a test run for the 2020 elections, if in fact, you win on DWTS. Good luck, We’re behind you!

Doolittle Won’t be Doing Much at the White House

by Daveda Gruber:

Sean Doolittle, pitcher for the World Series champions, Washington Nationals, will not be going to the White House on Monday.

The Nationals won their first time ever World Series on Wednesday, night in game 7 against the Houston Astros.

In keeping with tradition the Nationals were invited to the White House for an official meeting with President Trump.

Here’s the tweet from the White House:

Doolittle told the Washington Post on Friday that he would be declining the offer and that he “just can’t go” because of Trump’s “divisive rhetoric.”

The pitcher said that it would compromise many of his beliefs to meet with Trump.

Doolittle went on to say, “There’s a lot of things, policies that I disagree with, but at the end of the day, it has more to do with the divisive rhetoric and the enabling of conspiracy theories and widening the divide in this country. My wife and I stand for inclusion and acceptance, and we’ve done work with refugees, people that come from, you know, the ‘s***hole countries’.”

Doolittle went on to say that he feels “very strongly about his issues [with Trump] on race relations” and his relationship with the LGBTQ community, and added that he doesn’t want to “turn my back” on his in-laws.

According to the Post, Eireann Dolan, Doolittle’s wife, “has two mothers who are very involved with the LGBTQ community.”

Doolittle also mentioned that he has an autistic family member and gave that as an another reason for his declining the invitation.

He said, “I have a brother-in-law who has autism, and [Trump] is a guy that mocked a disabled reporter. How would I explain that to him that I hung out with somebody who mocked the way that he talked, or the way that he moves his hands? I can’t get past that stuff.”

Doolittle says he respects the decision of those of his teammates who are choosing to go. He believes that by sitting out, he won’t be a distraction for those who actually want to be there.

It is not known at this time if any of the other players will sit out the invitation.

So, even though Doolittle will miss out on celebrating in the White House with his fellow teammates, his convictions are apparently rather strong.

Doolittle said, “People say you should go because it’s about respecting the office of the president and I think over the course of his time in office he’s done a lot of things that maybe don’t respect the office.”

He then added, “I don’t want to hang out with somebody who talks like that.”

How do you feel about a sport star declining a White House visit?

Personally, I feel that if Doolittle has a problem with the visit, then he should stay away but it is an honor to be invited to meet any president in the White House.

I hope that the members on the Nationals who do go will enjoy their time.

I’ll be watching to see if anyone joins Doolittle in his way of thinking. In the meantime, Doolittle will not be doing much at the White House, in fact, he won’t be doing anything.

Twitter Bans Political Ads

by Daveda Gruber:

You won’t be seeing political advertisements on Twitter after late November.

Twitter has said that it would be banning all political advertising because social media companies give advertisers an unfair advantage by spreading targeted deceptive messages.

Earlier in October Facebook took some heat for disclosing that it will not fact-check ads by politicians nor will they seek facts advertised by their campaigns.

This would allow those purchasing ads to lie freely.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg had told Congress last week that politicians have the right to free speech on Facebook.

Jack Dorsey, the CEO for Twitter, on Wednesday tweeted about the change of policy.

The company is apparently recognizing that advertising on social media offers an unfair level of targeting when compared to other mediums.

Dorsey tweeted this:

The big chunk of political advertising dollars in the U.S. mostly goes to television ads. It appears that TV will still be getting the majority of the money with Twitter cutting off their need to spend on their social media.

The policy will take effect on November 22nd.

Flynn Hearing Cancelled: Attorney Claims FBI Manipulated Files

by Daveda Gruber:

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan cancelled a hearing that was scheduled for next week in regards to a case pertaining to ex-National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn.

Sullivan wrote, “In view of the parties’ comprehensive briefing concerning 109 Defendant’s Motion to Compel Production of Brady Material, the Court cancels the motion hearing previously scheduled for November 7, 2019.”

Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell filed a 161-page brief demanding the government produce all evidence related to Flynn. The brief encouraged the court to “dismiss the entire prosecution for outrageous government misconduct” and hold the prosecutors in contempt.

Powell tweeted:

The document was filed last week. It alleges that FBI agents manipulated official records of Flynn’s 2017 interview that led to him being charged with lying to investigators.

The case against Flynn began after a 2017 FBI interview, in which Flynn was asked about his conversations with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

In the end, Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements in regard to conversations that took place during his interview which was part of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Powell has alleged in the court filings that FBI officials manipulated Flynn’s FBI 302, which is a form used by agents to report or summarize interviews. It is alleged that the form was edited and by the way, ex-FBI agent Peter Strzok was involved in the original interview that took place.

In response to whether Mr. Flynn had asked Kislyak to vote in a certain manner or slow down the UN vote [on sanctions], Powell wrote, “Those changes added an unequivocal statement that ‘Flynn stated he did not.’ This is a deceptive manipulation because, as the notes of the agents show, Mr. Flynn was not even sure he had spoken to Russia/Kislyak on the issue. He had talked to dozens of countries.”

Powell also alleged that agents added the phrase, “or if Kislyak described any Russian response to a request by Flynn.”

Powell went on to write, “That question and answer does not appear in the notes, yet it was made into a criminal offense. The draft also shows that the agents moved a sentence to make it seem to be an answer to a question it was not.”

It is also alleged by Powell that on January 23, 2017, which was the day before the FBI interviewed Flynn at the White House, “the upper echelon of the FBI met to orchestrate” strategies that would have Flynn talk “in such a way as to keep from alerting him from understanding that he was being interviewed in a criminal investigation of which he was the target.”

Powell added, “In short, they planned to deceive him about the entire scenario, and keep him ‘unguarded.’”

Powell went on to mention newly discovered text messages between former FBI agent, Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page during the days following the publication of the scandalous anti-Trump dossier, along with media leaks from the FBI and Justice Department. Brought to light, as well, were details surrounding the unexpected recusal of the former judge overseeing the case, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras.

Prosecutors have adamantly denied any claim that they were or are now hiding evidence.

Flynn’s sentencing is still up in the air but the new attorneys are seeking to get the charges dropped even though it is stated by counsel that Flynn doesn’t intend on withdrawing his guilty plea.

At this time Sullivan has set a December 18th sentencing date.

We will have to wait and see if the date gets moved again.

ISIS Spokesman Killed in U.S. Airstrike

by Daveda Gruber:

The spokesman for ISIS, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, who is considered to be a successor to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead.

Al-Muhajir, who is alleged to be the “number two” to al-Baghdadi was targeted and killed, in northeast Syria in the Aleppo province, by U.S. forces.

The Islamic State spokesman was killed in an operation that closely followed the raid in which the militant group’s leader, al-Baghdadi, died.

Al-Muhajir had been considered a possible successor until he was targeted. Muhajir had married Baghdadi’s daughter.

The top Kurdish leader for the Syrian Democratic Forces, Gen. Mazloum, the main U.S. ally against ISIS tweeted this:

ISIS has yet to confirm news of Baghdadi’s death, or give any indication of who will succeed him. But some analysts and U.S. officials say the group is sure to have planned for its leader’s death.

Now that al-Muhajir is dead another possible successor is Iraqi militant Hajji Abdullah, who was added to the U.S. Treasury’s Rewards for Justice list in August.

Abdullah is known to be one of Islamic State’s most senior ideologues and the one who helped drive and justify the abduction, slaughter, and trafficking of the Yazidi religious minority in northern Iraq.

This presumed “third in line” is also believed to oversee some of the group’s global terrorist operations. That would make him a rather big catch.

A five million dollar bounty has been offered for information leading to his capture.

It’s not clear if the bounty is in effect if he is caught dead or alive.