In an interview with far-right news outlet Breitbart published on Tuesday, Jenner explained the PAC’s goals while attacking teachers and dredging up tired old rhetoric about LGBTQ+ rights posing a threat to families.
“The ultimate belief of Fairness First is that radical gender ideology infiltrating the classrooms, which has been extremely visible in sports, is an effort to break down the family unit,” she said. “The family unit is under assault and looking to be replaced by teachers — and we see this with laws like the recent ‘California secrecy’ law.”
Anti-trans conservatives more broadly have criticized school policies that allow trans and nonbinary students to socially transition without notifying parents.
Jenner, a Fox News contributor who opposes transgender women competing in women’s sports, repeated much of the same baseless, hyperbolic anti-trans talking points that have become all too common on the right in recent years.
“I think this actually comes down to parental rights. Big government left-wing liberals are all about destroying the family unit, at any cost. That means government gets to take the place of the parents and the families,” she said.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
We are grateful for sustained congressional engagement on this issue, which paved the way for DoD’s establishment of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office in July of last year. Though AARO is still a young office, the spotlight on UAP [Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena] in recent months underscores the importance of its work and the need for UAP to be taken seriously as a matter of national security. All leadership that I’ve had the pleasure of working with, whether DoD, IC, DOE, Civil, Scientific or Industrial, view Congress as a critical partner in this endeavor. AARO has accomplished much in the 9 months since it was established. The AARO team of more than three dozen experts is organized around four functional areas: operations, scientific research, integrated analysis, and strategic communications. In the nine months since AARO’s establishment, we have taken important steps to improve UAP data collection, standardize the Department’s UAP internal reporting requirements, and implement a framework for rigorous scientific and intelligence analysis, resolving cases in a systematic and prioritized manner. Meanwhile, consistent with legislative direction, AARO is also carefully reviewing and researching the U.S. Government’s UAP-related historical record. AARO is leading a focused effort to better characterize, understand, and attribute UAP, with priority given to UAP reports by DoD and IC personnel in or near areas of national security importance. DoD fully appreciates the eagerness from many quarters, including here in Congress and in the American public, to quickly resolve every UAP encountered across the globe, from the distant past through today. It is important to note, however, that AARO is the culmination of decades of DoD, Intelligence Community, and congressionally-directed efforts to successfully resolve UAP encountered first and foremost by U.S. military personnel, specifically Navy and Air Force pilots. The law establishing AARO is ambitious, and it will take time to realize the full mission. We cannot answer decades of questions about UAP all at once, but we must begin somewhere.
Baghdad, 19 April 2023 – The Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq calls on the Government of Iraq to ensure the safety and well-being of the 342 families who had to depart from the Jeddah 5 IDP camp in Ninewa Governorate following its closure.
The humanitarian community is concerned by the impact of the closure of the camp on 18 April by the Government of Iraq, without adequate notification and preparation for the IDPs and the receiving communities. The United Nations in Iraq will continue to work in close coordination with the Iraqi authorities, to ensure the sustainable reintegration of those 1,566 former camp residents, with almost two thirds are children.[i]
The United Nations reiterates its longstanding principles that call for the voluntary, informed, safe and dignified return of all IDPs. The UN also urges the relevant authorities to ensure IDPs are able to return to their homes or places of habitual residence, integrate locally or relocate voluntarily to another part of the country in a safe and dignified manner.
The UN stands ready to provide further assistance to those former camp residents and is working with the Government of Iraq to find durable solutions for all the remaining IDPs in and out of camps.
For further information, please contact:
Zainab Salih, Communications Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Iraqi Ministry of Justice announced on Saturday that the overcrowding rate in government prisons reached 300 percent.
The spokesperson of the Iraqi Ministry of Justice, Kamel Amin, said that the number of prisoners reached 60,000, while the capacity of prisons does not exceed 25.000, Al-Rafidain TV reported.
Amin also indicated that it is difficult to control this big number of prisoners.
Iraqi War Crimes Documentation Center (IWDC) revealed that Iraqi authorities detained tens of thousands of people in inhumane conditions, and placed them in overcrowded and unsanitary cells for several years, out of revenge and sectarian motives, according to a report issued by the center.
Controversy has exploded over Justice Clarence Thomas’ financial entanglements with Harlan Crow, a billionaire and major GOP donor, including his private plane and yacht travel and real estate transactions. Having administered the Ethics in Government Act in the White House as ethics counsels for presidents of both parties, we believe that Thomas was required to report his financial dealings with Crow. He failed to do so. That is why we have joined Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington in asking the U.S. Department of Justice and the chief justice of the Supreme Court to open investigations into whether, as it appears, Thomas violated the law.
First we learned that Thomas did not disclose years of gifts of luxury travel that he received from Crow in his annual financial disclosure reports—despite apparently being required to do so by the act. It requires judges and justices to file an annual financial disclosure report. The law provides that disclosures must include the “identity of the source, a brief description, and the value of all gifts,” and the Judiciary Conference Filing Instructions say that all gifts over $415 must be disclosed. Similar information is required for gifts of travel reimbursement under the act.
Then it emerged that Thomas failed to make yet another required disclosure—the $133,363 sale by the justice and his family to Crow of three properties in Savannah, Georgia. The law requires justices to report “a brief description, the date, and category of value of any purchase, sale or exchange which exceeds $1,000 … in real property.” This required Thomas to disclose the transaction in his report. He did not.
The law’s exemptions to reporting requirements do not apply here. Let’s start with the real estate transaction. A carve-out in the Ethics in Government Act exempts Thomas from having to report sale of “property used solely as a personal residence of the reporting individual or the individual’s spouse.” While Thomas’ mother has lived in one of the properties sold to Crow, Thomas and his wife did not. Moreover, nobody lived in the other two properties that Crow bought; they were empty lots, not “a personal residence.”
As for the travel, the relevant exemptions do not apply either. The so-called “personal hospitality” exemption says “any food, lodging, or entertainment received as personal hospitality of an individual need not be reported.” The act defines “personal hospitality” as “hospitality extended for a nonbusiness purpose by an individual, not a corporation or organization, at the personal residence of that individual or the individual’s family or on property or facilities owned by that individual or the individual’s family.”
But this does not include plane or yacht travel. It never did, and everyone knows that. In the White House, we told everyone that they had to report flights paid for by close personal friends.
Our reading of the exemption was recently confirmed on March 14 when the Judicial Conference clarified the contours of the “personal hospitality” exception in its filing instructions. These instructions explain the longstanding statutory language and state: “The personal hospitality gift reporting exemption applies only to food, lodging, or entertainment” and “the reporting exemption does not include … gifts other than food, lodging or entertainment, such as transportation that substitutes for commercial transportation.”
But that just reinforces what was already clear: As other ethics scholars and practitioners have also noted, there was never material ambiguity about Crow’s gifts to Thomas or the justice’s responsibility to report them. Yacht and air travel are not “food, lodging, or entertainment,” and disclosure has always been required by the act.
Thomas’ previous 1997 reporting of other private plane travel suggests that he understood this. That earlier travel was reported publicly in 2004, creating criticism. Then he stopped reporting. That pattern calls into question his defense of his failure to report; the notion that he was advised that he didn’t need to disclose the travel strains credulity.
In response to the reports, Rep. Hank Johnson said that he was "deeply disappointed and angered" by the allegations that "Justice Thomas has been using his position as a Supreme Court Justice, to live like an out of control billionaire baller, on a $263K per year salary, lining his pockets and traveling in luxury-Elon Musk style, all the while falsifying his disclosure forms to keep his opulent lifestyle a secret from the American public – a public that deserves his honest services."
Johnson called the justice "brazenly corrupted" at a press conference Wednesday.
"To protect what little is left of public trust and respect for the United States Supreme Court, Justice Thomas must resign immediately. It's not enough to amend and try to hide your corruption. It's too late for that," the Georgia congressman said.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now! For more on the calls for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to step down or be impeached in light of the recent revelations, we’re going to look at a historical reference, when, “54 Years Ago, a Supreme Court Justice Was Forced to Quit for Behavior Arguably Less Egregious Than Thomas’s.” That’s the headline of an op-ed in The New York Times by Adam Cohen, lawyer, journalist, former member of The New York Times editorial board, author of Supreme Inequality: The Supreme Court’s Fifty-Year Battle for a More Unjust America.
Adam, you write that Justice Abe Fortas’s departure from the court in 1969 is both a blueprint for how lawmakers could respond today and a benchmark of how far we have fallen. Can you lay out this history?
ADAM COHEN: Sure. It is really the most on-point parallel we have historically. And one thing that’s important to note is that what Abe Fortas did is, in many ways, much less bad than what Clarence Thomas did. The amount of money was much smaller. He took $20,000. And as you mentioned, and as Justin mentioned, you know, Clarence Thomas, the amount of island hopping and free plane rides over a 20-year period is staggering, probably well into the millions. So the dollar amount was different, but also Fortas gave the money back, which is something that Clarence Thomas has not done. So, we have a much smaller scandal in many ways.
And what was striking is the bipartisan response that there was in 1969. Fortas ended up resigning from the court, not because Republicans were out to get him — and he was a liberal Democrat — but because Walter Mondale, who was in the Senate, demanded that he resign. One of his biggest supporters in the Senate, Senator Tydings from Maryland, demanded that he resign. He was afraid that he would be impeached by a Democratic Congress. And what’s really striking also is that this is in a time when there was a Republican president, Nixon. So, Democrats were doing this even though they knew that they might, quote, “lose the seat,” a liberal being replaced by a conservative. But these Democrats were so concerned about the integrity of the court, and they kept saying, “What matters is that the public have faith in the court.”
We’re not seeing that at all today. Where are Republicans who are coming out in favor of Thomas stepping down or Thomas doing anything, really, because of the integrity of the court? We don’t have that kind of bipartisanship anymore.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And could you also talk, Adam, about how the media have responded to this case? Fox News has filled the void by locating, quote, “an expert” to declare that the story about Justice Thomas is politics, plain and simple.
ADAM COHEN: That’s exactly right, yes. The media has — right. The conservative media have defended Clarence Thomas. As you said, they found an expert, who doesn’t seem like much of an expert, to say that it’s not a big deal.
But also, you know, just where are the voices of Chief Justice Roberts, for example? Right? I mean, we saw last year, when there were — when there were leaks of that abortion ruling a year ago, the chief justice immediately launched an investigation: “We have to get to the bottom of this, what’s going on in the court.” Why is he not saying that now? Why is it a much bigger deal that there were leaks of an abortion ruling, which conservatives were upset about, compared to Clarence Thomas apparently ignoring ethics rules for years? Where is the chief justice in this? We’re not hearing from him at all.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And why has the Supreme Court been able to get by for so long with essentially no ethics requirements?
ADAM COHEN: That’s exactly it. It’s the least accountable part of government we have. There is a judicial code of ethics that’s quite — I wouldn’t say strong, but it’s a reasonable code. But it doesn’t apply to the Supreme Court. It applies to lower court judges. Why does it not apply to the Supreme Court? Why do we not have, as I said, investigations internally? Even the liberal justices could be talking out now. If they think that Clarence Thomas is breaking the law, I think they have a duty to say something. So, there’s really no one holding them accountable.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.
We look now at the growing calls for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to step down or be impeached. A second damning ProPublica report on his relationship with Republican megadonor Harlan Crow has revealed that in 2014 Thomas and his family sold a house and two vacant lots in Savannah, Georgia, to Crow for around $130,000 but never disclosed the sale, which appears to be a violation of the 1978 Ethics in Government Act. CNN reports Thomas’s mother lives in the home owned by Crow rent-free, but she’s reportedly responsible for paying the property taxes and insurance.
On Sunday, The Washington Post reported Thomas has for years claimed rental income from a Nebraska real estate firm that shut down in 2006. It’s also been reported previously that in 2009 Crow gave half a million dollars to a conservative lobbying group founded by Thomas’s wife, Ginni Thomas.
CNN reports Justice Clarence Thomas now intends to amend his financial disclosures in light of ProPublica’s other recent bombshell investigation detailing unreported luxury trips Harlan Crow lavished on Thomas over two decades, in apparent violation of a law requiring justices and other federal officials to disclose most gifts. Thomas frequently vacationed at Crow’s resort in the Adirondacks of New York, where a painting on the walls depicts Clarence Thomas sitting with four other men, including Harlan Crow and Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society. Thomas never reported any of the free trips as gifts.
In addition to being a major benefactor for Thomas and the GOP, Crow is also an avid collector of Nazi memorabilia. He’s got a signed copy of Mein Kampf — that’s right, signed by Hitler — paintings by Hitler, Nazi medallions, swastika-embossed linens, and a garden filled with statues of 20th century dictators.
For more, we’re joined by Justin Elliott once again, reporter for ProPublica, their new follow-up report headlined “Billionaire Harlan Crow Bought Property from Clarence Thomas. The Justice Didn’t Disclose the Deal.”
Justin, welcome back to Democracy Now! I mean, your initial report has unleashed an avalanche of reporting and investigations and calls for Clarence Thomas to be impeached or to step down. He says he’s going to amend his disclosure forms. Can you talk about the latest findings?
JUSTIN ELLIOTT: Yeah. You know, for our first story, both Thomas and Harlan Crow put out statements about the luxury travel, saying, “We’re very close friends. These were family trips.” They both used the word “hospitality.”
We subsequently learned, then reported, that there was actually a direct business deal, a real estate deal, between the two men, so actual money flowing from Harlan Crow to Clarence Thomas. What we found is that around a decade ago, Crow bought a house and two vacant lots that were owned by Clarence Thomas and some of his relatives down in Savannah, Georgia. You know, as you mentioned, the house that Crow bought is actually the house where Thomas’s elderly mother was living, and apparently still lives, which puts Crow in the extremely unusual position of being the landlord to the mother of a sitting Supreme Court justice, although it’s actually not clear if “landlord” is the right term here, because CNN has reported that Crow is not charging her rent. So, there’s all kinds of exceedingly unusual financial entanglements between this billionaire political donor and the Supreme Court justice.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Justin, what about this claim that they’ve been longtime friends? What were you able to find out about how Thomas and Harlan Crow first met and how their friendship developed?
JUSTIN ELLIOTT: Yeah, you know, so I think they actually are friends, but it turns out that, at least according to Crow, they met back in the mid-1990s. This was after Thomas was on the court. They weren’t like college roommates or something like that. They actually, apparently, met at a conservative political conference, and Crow gave an interview to The Dallas Morning News a couple days ago in which he says that they actually first met when Crow offered Thomas, it turns out, a private jet ride on Crow’s jet from Washington, D.C., to Dallas, and apparently they hit it off on the jet. So that’s what we know about how it started.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: So, from the start, then, Thomas was accepting, in essence, undisclosed gifts from Crow.
JUSTIN ELLIOTT: Yeah. I mean, you know, I have personally never been on a private jet, but I’ve learned a lot about them and, you know, these things. I mean, Crow’s current jet, it’s a particularly nice private jet. It’s a Global 5000 Bombardier. If you were to charter one of these on the open market, you’d be paying $15,000 per hour, per flight hour. So, yes, these are extraordinarily expensive flights. And it’s obviously not exactly a normal situation to offer somebody you just met a private jet ride. But again, I mean, Clarence Thomas was a Supreme Court justice at the time, so I think that probably goes a long way to explaining why this happened.
AMY GOODMAN: And can you talk about Ginni Thomas, Clarence Thomas’s wife, the connection here and the financial connections with Harlan Crow — I mean, the getting more than a half a million dollars, her lobbying group?
JUSTIN ELLIOTT: That’s right. So, I think one of the other really intriguing financial connections here between Crow and the Thomas family is related to Ginni Thomas. So, it actually came out around a dozen years ago that Ginni Thomas was running a small tea party group, nonprofit political organization. And it came out that none other than Harlan Crow was pretty much the sole funder of that group, that was paying Ginni Thomas’s salary, which I believe was on the order of $200,000 a year. So, essentially, through this kind of pass-through organization, Crow’s money was ending up, you know, in the pocket of the Thomas household.
Following that reporting, around a dozen years ago, there was sort of another round of — a previous round of questions about this, but — and we don’t really know what has happened since then, partly, actually, thanks to the Supreme Court. As you know, the whole regime of disclosure of political spending and giving to groups has really fallen apart, and there’s anonymous dark money flowing all over the place, so it makes it very difficult as a reporter to figure out where money is flowing and from who. But, you know, we’re still reporting on all this.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And Justice Thomas has claimed that Crow has no business before the Supreme Court. But for those who do not know — of our audience who do not know Crow, who is he, and what would be his interest in being able to have this friendship with Thomas?
JUSTIN ELLIOTT: So, Crow is a real estate billionaire who was born into a very successful Dallas real estate family. And it is true that Crow has not had — he’s not been a litigant in a case at the Supreme Court. It turns out the Supreme Court doesn’t actually take that many cases every year, so there’s very few people and companies that actually have a case at the court. But the court regularly takes up matters that affect the real estate industry, that the real estate trade groups that Harlan Crow helps fund is involved in some of those cases, filing briefs and that kind of thing.
But I think the larger issue is that Crow has a whole set of ideological interests related to the court. He’s a funder of a number of groups that specifically push conservative legal theories, groups like the Federalist Society. He’s on the board of a number of think tanks, like the American Enterprise Institute, that do a range of — work on a range of issues, but, among them, issues related to the Supreme Court advancing conservative legal theories. So, it raises the question — and we don’t really know the answer at this point — of whether Crow and sort of his other friends, who he’s bringing on some of these trips with Justice Thomas, are having any influence on the justice. And, you know, even shifting a Supreme Court justice’s thinking a little bit on an issue, if that ended up in an opinion, I mean, it could have just enormous consequences for basically all of us.