“A federal appeals court has largely upheld a gag order on Donald Trump, concluding that Trump’s rhetoric poses ‘real-time, real-world consequences’ for witnesses that threaten the integrity of his upcoming criminal trial over his attempts to subvert the 2020 presidential election. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that Trump’s complaints about free speech and his presidential candidacy ring hollow when juxtaposed with the ‘imminent’ threats his invective has posed to witnesses and the court proceedings themselves. … The ruling reinstates restrictions, imposed in October by U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan but suspended amid the appeal, on Trump’s ability to attack key witnesses in the case against him. Trump is also barred from attacking prosecutors in the case — other than special counsel Jack Smith — and courthouse staff, if the statements are deemed to be an effort to interfere in the proceedings.” (12/08/23)
“French prosecutors on Friday ordered far-right figurehead Marine Le Pen to stand trial over claims she used EU funds to finance party activities in France. The former presidential candidate will in March be joined by 26 other members of the National Rally (RN) party in the dock, all accused of setting up a system for embezzling EU money to hire staff in France. The fake jobs inquiry began in 2015, with prosecutors alleging that starting in 2004, National Front eurodeputies including Le Pen took part in the fake jobs scheme. The accused include Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the co-founder of what became France’s most successful far-right party. The party itself, as a legal entity, is suspected of receiving illicit funds, and of complicity in fraud.” (12/08/23)
“Clovis police say a homeowner shot an intruder as they tried to break into their home earlier this week. Around 11:00 p.m. on December 4, a resident called 911 to report someone trying to break into their home. Officers responded to the home on Rosa Boulevard. While officers were responding, the homeowner called 911 again and said the person tried to force their way into the home and they shot the intruder. The suspect was taken to the hospital before being transferred to a medical facility in Lubbock.” (12/07/23)
It’s a FIREHOSE … er, FIREWATER (see below) FRIDAY at the freedom movement’s daily newspaper. Last time I checked, we had 106 news stories, opinion pieces, and audio/video links lined up for you, And there may be more by the time you read this!
On the fundraiser front, Yesterday was a “zero-dollar day,” leaving our year-end fundraiser total (as of 5:30am Eastern on Friday) at $1,805.50.
We remain $769.50 short of our goal — once we hit $2,575, support GL will “match funds” to get us to $5,150.
In fact, feel free to “get us drunk” over the weekend, to the tune of $769.50 “worth of booze.”*
Steve is fond of Tailgate Peanut Butter Milk Stout, which apparently runs about $5 for a pint or $8 for a growler (he only drinks it on draft, not from a can).
My tastes are both more expensive and cheaper. I see that Old Crow Kentucky Straight Bourbon goes for about $12 for a fifth. A little more buck, a lot more bang, if you will. But I’d certainly settle for one of those stouts Steve likes, or a nice IPA, in the same price range as his preference.
“Intense urban fighting raged in and around the Gaza Strip’s largest cities on Friday, as the death toll continues to rise. After the first phase of its ground offensive in northern Gaza, Israel’s army extended operations southwards this week, where nearly two million civilians are now trapped. … Gaza’s death toll rose to 17,177 people on Thursday, 70% of whom are women and children, according to Palestinian authorities. Early on Friday, 40 people were reported dead in strikes near Gaza City in the north, and ‘dozens’ of others in Jabaliya and Khan Younis. On Thursday evening, Israeli television broadcast videos showing Palestinians in their underwear and blindfolded, under the guard of Israeli soldiers in Gaza. The footage provoked heated controversy on social networks.” (12/08/23)
“The United States said it will carry out military flights in Guyana on Thursday in a joint operation as the South American country faces soaring tensions with neighbouring Venezuela over a contested oil-rich region. ‘In collaboration with the Guyana Defence Force, the US Southern Command will conduct flight operations within Guyana on December 7,’ the American embassy in Guyana said in a statement, noting the flights are part of ‘routine engagement’ to enhance a security partnership between the two countries. A border feud has recently spiralled over the oil-rich Essequibo region, controlled by Guyana for more than a century but which Venezuela also claims and has voiced intent to take over. The long-running dispute over Essequibo, which comprises some two-thirds of Guyanese territory, has intensified since ExxonMobil discovered oil there in 2015.” (12/07/23)
“Hunter Biden has been indicted on nine tax charges in California, becoming the second indictment against the president’s son, adding fuel to a scandal that Republicans have been seizing on in the lead-up to the 2024 election. The state charges on Thursday follow federal firearms charges in Delaware alleging Biden unlawfully [sic] obtained a revolver in October 2018 after he falsely stated he was not using narcotic drugs. The new charges include three felonies and six misdemeanor offenses, and Biden faces a possible 17-year sentence if convicted. … The state charges come as Republicans in Congress have pushed forward with a possible impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden in connection with his son’s scandals.” (12/07/23)
“Denmark’s parliament has passed a bill that makes it illegal to burn copies of the Quran in public places after protests in Muslim nations over the desecration of Islam’s holy book raised security concerns. The bill, which prohibits ‘inappropriate treatment of writings with significant religious importance for a recognised religious community,’ was passed with 94 votes in favour and 77 opposed in the 179-seat Folketing on Thursday. In practical terms, it will be forbidden to burn, tear or otherwise defile holy texts publicly or in videos intended to be disseminated widely. Those who break the law risk a fine or up to two years in prison. Before it takes effect, Queen Margrethe needs to formally sign it. That is expected to happen this month.” (12/07/23)
“Donald Trump is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that he isn’t protected by presidential immunity from criminal charges tied to his alleged interference in the 2020 election. The former president filed the appeal Thursday along with a request for a pause in his criminal proceedings while the appeals court considers his arguments. His trial in the case is currently scheduled to begin in March. … U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan rejected a series of arguments from Trump to have the case dismissed, including that he can’t be prosecuted because his alleged actions were ‘at the heart of his official responsibilities as President.’ ‘Defendant’s four-year service as Commander in Chief did not bestow on him the divine right of kings to evade the criminal accountability that governs his fellow citizens,’ Chutkan said in her Dec. 1 ruling.” (12/07/23)
“The Biden administration on Thursday opened the door to seizing the patents of certain costly medications from drugmakers in a new push to slash high drug prices and promote more pharmaceutical competition. The administration unveiled a framework outlining the factors federal agencies should consider in deciding whether to use a controversial policy, known as march-in rights, to take patents for drugs developed with taxpayer funds and share them with other pharmaceutical companies if the public cannot ‘reasonably’ access the medications. Doing so could lead to the development of lower-priced generic alternatives, which could cut into key drug companies’ profits and reduce costs for patients. For the first time, officials can now factor in a medication’s price in deciding to break a patent.” [editor’s note: Taxpayer funds shouldn’t be going to this in the first place, but if they do, the product should be unpatentable and in the public domain – TLK] (12/07/23)