Friday News: Trying to pass?

TRUMP APPOINTEE FOR FEDERAL BENCH DOESN'T WANT TO ADMIT HE'S BLACK: Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said during his introduction that Myers would be “the first African American on his court.” Asked if he considered himself African American, Myers said, “I consider myself human. I consider myself human. Jamaican American. For some folks, it’s a really important thing for them. For me, I would really like to be considered on my own merits every step of the way.” Democratic Rep. G.K. Butterfield, whose district covers much of Eastern North Carolina and is a former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said after President Donald Trump nominated Myers that he wished Trump had taken the opportunity to diversify the bench. “Every African American I know is proud to make that identification as African American,” Butterfield told McClatchy last month. “If he is indeed African American, I would expect that he would be proud of it and say so.”

BERNIE SANDERS' CLAIMS ON HEALTHCARE ARE MOSTLY TRUE: Sanders added: “In America, we are spending twice as much per person on healthcare as the people in Canada, Europe or any other industrialized country.” This seems on point, as, according to an analysis from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Americans spend more than twice as much on healthcare per person as their peers in developed nations. Meanwhile, Sanders said, as many as 87 million people are uninsured or underinsured. “You all know what that means?” Sanders asked the audience. “High deductibles, high co-payments, high out-of-pocket expenses.” A recent survey from The Commonwealth Fund found that this is, in fact, true. In 2018, an estimated 87 million U.S. adults were inadequately insured, the survey found. Continuing, Sanders made the claim that 30,000 Americans died last year because they could not afford to go to a doctor. According to PolitiFact, it is true that thousands of people die as a result of cost barriers to healthcare. But the specific number of deaths, while difficult to estimate, is most likely fewer than 30,000.

NOW TRUMP WANTS CHINA TO INVESTIGATE BIDEN & SON: “China should start an investigation into the Bidens,” Trump said in remarks to reporters outside the White House. Trump said he hadn’t directly asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to investigate Biden and his son Hunter but said it’s “certainly something we could start thinking about.” Trump and personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani have also tried to raise suspicions about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China, leaning on the writings of conservative author Peter Schweizer. But there is no evidence that the former vice president benefited financially from his son’s business relationships. Trump’s requests for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to dig up dirt on Biden, as well as Giuliani’s conduct, are at the center of an intelligence community whistleblower complaint that sparked the House Democratic impeachment probe last week. The president’s reference to China came unprompted in an unrelated question about the July 25 Ukraine call and moments after he was asked about trade negotiations with China to end a yearlong trade war that has been a drag on both nation’s economies. “I have a lot of options on China, but if they don’t do what we want, we have tremendous, tremendous power,” Trump said.

UKRAINE PROSECUTOR TO RE-OPEN CASES, INCLUDING COMPANY HUNTER BIDEN CONNECTED TO: The development came amid an impeachment inquiry against President Trump connected to a request he made to the Ukrainian president asking him to investigate Mr. Biden, a Democratic presidential candidate, and his son’s work in Ukraine. It raises questions of whether Ukraine was, in effect, bowing to public and private pressure from the president of the United States, on which it has depended on for millions of dollars in aid. The prosecutor general, Ruslan Ryaboshapka, said he intended to review 15 cases in all, and mentioned several high-profile investigations of wealthy Ukrainians, including the owner of the natural gas company, Burisma Holdings, where Mr. Biden’s son Hunter served on the board until earlier this year. Mr. Ryaboshapka’s comments on Friday were the first indication of how Ukrainian criminal justice officials were handling one of the two investigations that Mr. Trump raised in the call. On the call, Mr. Zelensky of Ukraine suggested that he would assist with an investigation of the firm, according to White House reconstructed notes of the phone call. The Ukrainian president said that a new prosecutor general would soon be appointed who would be “100 percent my person” and would “look into the situation.”

WOMAN WHO TALKED ABOUT "EATING BABIES" AT AOC TOWN HALL A RIGHT-WING PLANT: For most of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) Thursday town hall, the woman in a black jacket sat quietly in the third row. Then, as the event in Corona, N.Y., neared its end, the woman suddenly stood up and began yelling about climate change. “But we’re not going to be here much long because of the climate crisis,” the woman blurted. “We got to start eating babies,” she abruptly declared, taking off her jacket to display a T-shirt that read, “Save the planet. Eat the children.” The woman’s bizarre speech swiftly became the center of a heated Twitter fight Thursday night that pitted Ocasio-Cortez against President Trump, his son, Donald Trump Jr., and other conservatives, who suggested the woman was an example “climate change hysteria.” In response, Ocasio-Cortez chastised critics for trying to “mock or make a spectacle” of a woman who “may have been suffering from a mental condition.” It now seems likely that the scene was carefully planned. The woman was apparently part of an attempt by a right-wing fringe political group to embarrass the Democratic congresswoman. Late Thursday, a Twitter account belonging to the LaRouche PAC — which was founded by conspiracy theorist Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. — took credit for the stunt. A historian who has documented the organization said the woman’s outburst was “a fairly well-established tactic for them.”



I usually don't care

one way or another how people of mixed race identify. It's a personal choice, and finding your niche in society is hard enough these days without outside forces trying to "categorize" you. But racial bias does exist, especially in professional circles, and Myers' comment about "on my own merits" actually raises more questions than it answers.

Does he believe acknowledging his race would give him an unfair advantage? Or does he believe it would hinder him? How did he handle this question in the past, when applying for schools or jobs? Did those previous experiences lead him to the opinion he has now, or has he always taken this stance?

Racial identification aside, Myers appears to be well-qualified for this judgeship. While he is a Conservative, his answers to many questions by the Senate panel are moderate, and reflect a deep respect for, and knowledge of, judicial precedent. Not that I'm in a position to vote, but I would approve him.