🇺🇸 Clarence & Crow

Plus, bees overboard!

The Flag

Good morning, and happy Friday. Laughter has been called "the best medicine" for many decades — and now there’s scientific proof. A study from the Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre in Brazil has shown that regular chuckling can reduce the risk of cardiac disease. 

Plus, police in Ontario called in several beekeepers for backup when approximately 5 million bees fell off the back of a truck.

Also, rolling over your retirement can be as easy as rolling over.


Right: Biden Now Faces an Avalanche of Incriminating Evidence Miranda Devine, New York Post

Right: Do NeverTrumpers Think Dems Won't Arrest Them? Melissa Mackenzie, The American Spectator


Proud Boy Sentenced, Trump Pleads ‘Not Guilty,’ China’s New Map

US: Proud Boys leader Joseph Biggs sentenced to 17 years for Jan. 6 riot (NPR)

US: GOP senators weigh ‘special’ meeting on their leadership after McConnell’s freeze (Politico)

US: DeSantis says 'significant damage' in Florida from Hurricane Idalia, dozens of rescues (FOX News)

US: Trump pleads not guilty in Georgia election subversion case, seeks to sever case from co-defendants who want a speedy trial (CNN)

US: Gov Kemp says special session to remove DA Willis isn't going to happen (FOX News)

World: Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia reject China's latest South China Sea map (Reuters)

World: Johannesburg building fire leaves at least 73 dead, 52 injured (FOX News)


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Clarence & Crow

On Thursday, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas reported three reimbursements for travel and meals from Dallas billionaire Harlan Crow in 2022, according to his newly released annual financial disclosure. Thomas has faced scrutiny since April following a report from ProPublica that reported ethical breaches and omissions from his past financial disclosures.

Reporting from the Right: Clarence Thomas releases first financial disclosure since facing barrage of ethics attacks (FOX News)

Reporting from the Left: Clarence Thomas officially discloses private trips on GOP donor Harlan Crow’s plane (CNN)

From The Flag: Thomas' financial disclosure form revealed that in February, May and July of last year, Thomas received reimbursements from Crow covering transportation, meals, and lodging. The report did not disclose estimated dollar figures for the reimbursements. Here’s what both sides are saying about the justice.


Thomas is Clear; Left Unjustly Attacking Him

  • Thomas reported carefully on his inherited real estate. ProPublica’s reporting was slipshod and incurious.

  • The release of this disclosure clears Thomas of the ethical improbity and attacks from the mainstream media and left-wing groups.

  • Democrats and the left have been after Thomas since his confirmation, and this was just another of their latest smears against the justice.

The Truth About Clarence Thomas’s Disclosures James Taranto, The Wall Street Journal: “ProPublica’s acknowledgment that it’s in the opinion business doesn’t excuse it from the obligation to report facts accurately, carefully and thoroughly. …the ProPublica [reporters] made a sloppy reporting error, the effect of which is to cast Justice Thomas’s disclosures in a falsely unfavorable light—to make them look shambolic or perhaps even dishonest when in fact they followed the filing instructions without fail. … The job of a journalist is similar in some ways to that of a judge. Both involve asking questions, testing arguments, and judiciously ascertaining facts and their significance. ProPublica failed to consider some obvious questions: Where is Liberty County? What is Justice Thomas’s connection to the place? If the remaining rental property was the house Mr. Crow’s company bought, what was it doing on Justice Thomas’s AO-10 for 2015, the year after the sale closed?”

Justice Thomas 2022 Financial-Disclosure Form Clears Up Past Errors, Undermines Corruption Allegations Brittany Bernstein, National Review: “...Justice Clarence Thomas’s 2022 financial disclosure form [was released]…amid heightened scrutiny over his disclosures due to several accusations of ethical impropriety from the mainstream media and left-wing groups. The disclosure form, along with a statement from Thomas’s attorney, Elliot S. Berke, refutes many of the allegations made against the justice and suggests any errors in past disclosures were inadvertent. … Much has been made over Thomas’s relationship with Harlan Crow, particularly because Thomas had not disclosed trips he took with Crow that included flights on private jets and vacation stays at the billionaire’s home. However, Thomas’s attorney notes that before a change in guidance on March 14, 2023, ‘transportation that substitutes for commercial transportation,’ as related to the personal hospitality reporting provision, was previously considered exempt from reporting. Because the new requirement took effect in March and applies to the 2022 disclosure filing, Thomas has ‘included all reportable private travel’ from 2022 in his new disclosure.”

One more opinion piece from the Right: New Financial Disclosures Contradict ProPublica Smear Operation Against Clarence Thomas Tristan Justice, The Federalist


Thomas is Compromised

  • Disclosures detail flights and stays with Harlan Crow as Democrats vow to investigate scandal ‘in which this court is enmired’

  • Before the disclosures’ release, 112 former clerks attempted to defend Thomas, but none of their “defense” is grounded in anything relevant.

  • “Thomas claims his use of private jets in 2022 was partially due to the ‘increased security risk’ after the leak of the Supreme Court's draft opinion of their decision that would gut nationwide abortion rights.”

Pressure grows on Clarence Thomas after more gifts from rightwing donor Martin Pengelly, The Guardian: “The conservative supreme court justice Clarence Thomas faced further controversy on Thursday after the release of his financial disclosure form for 2022 provided evidence of more flights and stays with Harlan Crow, a Republican mega-donor. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democratic senator from Rhode Island and judiciary committee member, called the form a ‘late-come effort at ‘clean-up on aisle three’’ which would not ‘deter us from fully investigating the massive, secret, rightwing billionaire influence in which this court is enmired’. A series of bombshell reports have detailed long relationships between Thomas, rich donors and influential rightwing figures. In the case of Crow, a real-estate baron and collector of Nazi memorabilia, ProPublica has reported gifts of luxury travel and resort stays, a property purchase involving Thomas’s mother and school fees paid for his great-nephew. … From the left, calls for Thomas to resign or be impeached have proliferated. In the Senate, Democrats have advanced supreme court ethics reform.”

Even Clarence Thomas’s Law Clerks Can’t Defend His Misconduct Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine: “Now, finally, comes a defense (sort of): A total of 112 former Thomas law clerks have signed an open letter defending him against charges of impropriety. It is a revealing document. By ‘defending,’ I don’t mean detailing the charges against Thomas and explaining why they lack merit. Rather, their approach is simply to insist Thomas is a good person while pretending the exhaustive evidence of his unethical behavior does not exist at all. In lieu of any engagement with the facts of Thomas’s misconduct, the letter is padded out with biographical detail, in the style of a book report written by a sixth grader. … In conjunction with the letter’s detailed recitation of the racism he experienced in his youth (I’ve only quoted a small portion of the letter, which is heavily padded), the argument seems to be that Thomas is exempt from ordinary ethical requirements on account of his race, and that only racists would even want the public to know who’s underwriting his lifestyle.


Americans Divided on Thomas

Gallup’s last measurement of Thomas was in 2005, which were his best numbers to date. Roughly twice as many Americans viewed him favorably (44%) than unfavorably (23%).

18 years later, those numbers have significantly shifted, illustrating a clearer divide among Americans. Currently, 39% of Americans view him positively, 42% negatively, and 19% have no opinion (Gallup).

What opinion do you have of Clarence Thomas?

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Titanic Found, 20s Slang, Unbalanced Photo Op

View of the bow of the RMS Titanic photographed in June 2004 by the ROV Hercules during an expedition returning to the shipwreck of the Titanic

On This Day in 1985: Seventy-three years after it sank to the North Atlantic ocean floor, a joint US-French expedition locates the wreck of the RMS Titanic. The sunken liner was about 400 miles east of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic, some 13,000 feet below the surface.

Today I learned that during the Apollo 11 moon landing, Neil Armstrong was the only one operating the Hasselbad camera, and almost all pictures he took were of Buzz Aldrin. NASA could only find 1 picture of Armstrong taken by Aldrin (who was busy with experiments) on that fateful day.


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