By Robert A. Vella
Judicial system news
In a blow to the Trump administration, a federal trial judge said Wednesday that he believes new evidence presented in a challenge to the 2020 census citizenship question “raises a substantial issue.”
The decision could lead to reopening one of three federal trials into the citizenship question and lead to further examinations of Republican redistricting consultant Thomas Hofeller’s role in developing the question.
Earlier this month, the ACLU and a team of lawyers at Arnold & Porter said that they had obtained a trove of documents from Hofeller, a deceased Republican redistricting expert who, they allege, played a significant role in the decision to add the question. Hofeller wrote a study in 2015 concluding that using “citizen voting age” population as the redistricting population base would be “advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites.”
The administration has always denied political motivation, saying instead that the Justice Department had determined that the question was necessary to better comply with federal voting rights law.
Larry Pozner, whose 6-year-old son Noah died in the shooting that killed 26, filed a defamation lawsuit against the authors of a book titled, “Nobody Died at Sandy Hook.” A court ruled in his favor Monday.
The Associated Press reported that a Wisconsin judge issued a summary judgement against the book’s authors James Fetzer and Mike Palacek, though any settlement between the book’s publisher and Pozner will be separate and a trial is set for October to decide damages.
Another man, whose statements about the shooting have made him a thorn in the side of some Sandy Hook parents, was also reprimanded in court this week. Controversial InfoWars radio host Alex Jones was ordered by a Connecticut judge to pay some of the legal fees of a Sandy Hook relative whose lawyer he verbally attacked on his web show, the AP reported.
A judge ruled that Jones is now prohibited from filing motions to dismiss the defamation lawsuits filed against him, the AP said.
U.S. Senate news
WASHINGTON ― The Senate voted Wednesday to confirm Matthew Kacsmaryk to a lifetime federal judgeship despite his record of hostility toward LGBTQ rights and abortion rights.
The Senate voted 52-46 to put Kacsmaryk, 42, onto the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Every Democrat present voted no. Every Republican present but one, Susan Collins (Maine), voted yes.
Three more U.S. senators received a classified Pentagon briefing on Wednesday about a series of reported encounters by the Navy with unidentified aircraft, according to congressional and government officials — part of a growing number of requests from members of key oversight committees.
One of them was Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, whose office confirmed the briefing to POLITICO.
“If naval pilots are running into unexplained interference in the air, that’s a safety concern Senator Warner believes we need to get to the bottom of,” his spokesperson, Rachel Cohen, said in a statement.
My comments on UFOs
Official focus on UFOs has increased remarkably in recent years after public disclosure of the Pentagon’s secret Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) in 2017 which documented credible and unexplainable sightings by the U.S. Navy including a 2004 incident involving the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.
AATIP was headed by Luis Elizondo who subsequently has been trying to educate the public about the reality of UFOs, and he is not alone. Christopher Mellon, a former United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (and later for Security and Information Operations) and also a former Staff Director of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, stated this recently on the subject:
“We know that UFOs exist. This is no longer an issue. The NAVY itself has publicly acknowledged the fact that they exist, and NAVY pilots―active duty pilots―have gone on the record in the New York Times acknowledging the fact that they exist. So the issue now is: why are they here, where are they coming from and what is the technology behind these devices that we are observing?”
Both Elizondo and Mellon are featured in a new History Channel docuseries titled Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation. It began airing three weeks ago, but I didn’t notice it until last week. I was skeptical of watching that episode because of History Channel’s reputation with its highly speculative and cultish Ancient Aliens series. I did watch it, however, after reading the program information which sparked my interest. To my surprise, the episode was generally fact-based and revealed some startling aspects of AATIP I hadn’t known before:
- U.S. military personnel aboard the USS Nimitz carrier group observed UFOs both entering the ocean from the atmosphere around Mexico’s Guadalupe Island (250 miles southwest of Ensenada) and exiting the ocean into the atmosphere in an apparent display of technology known as “transmedium travel” which has never been developed by humans (to my knowledge).
- U.S. Navy personnel reported tracking submerged USOs (Unidentified Submerged Object) in the area moving at twice the speed of the fastest nuclear submarines.
- Elizondo asserted that the Department of Defense (DoD) is antithetical to UFO reporting and may have cancelled AATIP because there are high ranking officials who are fundamentalist Christians who see UFOs as evil spirits and that reporting such observations are doing the work of Satan.
President Trump’s nominee to serve as the next ambassador to the United Nations publicly broke with him on climate change Wednesday, stating at her Senate confirmation hearing that she believes fossil fuels and human behavior contribute to the planet’s shifting weather phenomena — but stopping short of endorsing a return to international pacts such as the Paris climate agreement.
Kelly Knight Craft, now the U.S. ambassador to Canada, stressed to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that “human behavior has contributed to the change in climate. Let there be no doubt.”
Donald Trump team threatens to lay off employees if Congress doesn’t eliminate agency [i.e. the Office of Personnel Management]