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San Francisco school board to vote on reversing school naming decision

The San Francisco school board is expected to vote Tuesday to reverse its controversial decision to rename 44 public schools with supposedly racist or sexist namesakes like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

The reversal comes after heavy backlash against the board for attempting to cancel the legacy of important historical figures in California instead of prioritizing school reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last October, San Francisco school officials on the School Names Advisory Committee created a list of 44 school building sites that were named for historical figures and proposed changing the names of those buildings. The buildings on this list were determined to be associated “with slavery, genocide, colonization, exploitation and oppression, among other factors,” and the committee was tasked with purging the buildings of those names.

In January, the school board voted to adopt the committee’s recommendations and move forward with changing the names of these buildings. The decision was made at a time when school children were not attending class in-person because of the pandemic.

However, after intense backlash from parents and even from San Francisco’s mayor, the school board in February paused the plan to rename school buildings. Mayor London Breed said the school board’s priorities were “offensive and completely unacceptable.” Others criticized the renaming committee for poor historical research, including wrongly accusing Paul Revere of attempting to colonize the Penobscot people.

With the board’s decision facing intense scrutiny, board President Gabriela Lopez announced the school renaming process would be put on hold until all students returned to school for in-person instruction.

Now, ABC News reports the board will vote on whether to rescind the order to rename schools entirely, noting that impending threats of litigation will be a factor in its decision.

The board is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a resolution to rescind its January decision and revisit the matter after all students have returned full time to in-person learning.

Since the renaming vote, the board has faced multiple lawsuits, including one from City Hall and the mayor to pressure the school district and board to reopen classrooms more quickly. Another was filed in March by San Francisco attorney Paul Scott, whose children attend public schools, alleging the school board’s renaming decision violated California’s open meeting law and did not involve the community.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ethan Schulman issued a ruling calling on the board to do what the lawsuit requests — rescind the vote and dissolve the renaming advisory committee — or show by April 16 why it shouldn’t be compelled to do so.

The resolution being considered Tuesday does not address the criticism but denounces the lawsuit, saying it “wishes to avoid the distraction and wasteful expenditure of public funds in frivolous litigation.”

The San Francisco school board has been the subject of several controversies of late. The former vice president of the board Alison Collns was ousted from her position after making racist comments about Asian Americans. Previously, Collins argued against appointing a gay man to the Parent Advisory Council because he was a white male.

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San Francisco Mayor London Breed blasts school board for having a plan to rename schools by April but not a plan to reopen

The San Francisco school Board on Tuesday followed through with a vote to rename 44 public schools apparently controversial namesakes like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

As TheBlaze previously reported, in October San Francisco school officials on the School Names Advisory Committee created a list of 44 sites that featured buildings named for historical figures, proposing to change the names of these buildings. The committee was tasked with identifying “whether the name on a school met the criteria for renaming, which includes anyone or anything associated with slavery, genocide, colonization, exploitation and oppression, among other factors.”

The criteria for a school name to be deemed “inappropriate” included: Anyone directly involved in the colonization of people; slave owners or participants in enslavement; perpetrators of genocide or slavery; those who exploit workers/people; those who directly oppressed or abused women, children, queer or transgender people; those connected to any human rights or environmental abuses; those who are known racists and/or white supremacists and/or espoused racist beliefs.

KNTV-TV reported Tuesday that the school board voted to adopt the committee’s recommendations and change the names of the 44 public school buildings on the list. The names include Lowell High, Lincoln High, Washington High, Roosevelt Middle, John Muir Elementary and Feinstein Elementary.

Schools named for Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were included because those Founding Fathers were slave owners. Abraham Lincoln High School will be renamed because the nation’s 16th president, who issued the Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery in the South, also ordered the executions of 38 Dakota tribe Native Americans involved in a violent conflict with white settlers in Minnesota.

Dianne Feinstein Elementary, a school named for California’s sitting senior Democratic senator, made the list because as mayor of San Francisco in 1986, Feinstein reportedly replaced a vandalized Confederate flag at City Hall.

In October, San Francisco Mayor London Breed criticized the school board for moving forward with the plan to rename schools during the pandemic, calling it “offensive.”

On Wednesday, the mayor issued another statement blasting schools for producing a plan to rename buildings by April but offering no plan to reopen the schools.

“I understand the significance of the name of a school, and a school’s name should instill a feeling of pride in every student that walks through its doors, regardless of their race, religion, or sexual orientation,” Breed said in a statement.

“What I cannot understand is why the School Board is advancing a plan to have all these schools renamed by April, when there isn’t a plan to have our kids back in the classroom by then. Our students are suffering, and we should be talking about getting them in classrooms, getting them mental health support, and getting them the resources they need in this challenging time. Our families are frustrated about a lack of a plan, and they are especially frustrated with the fact that the discussion of these plans weren’t even on the agenda for last night’s School Board meeting.

“I believe our children should be a part of the conversation around the renaming of their schools, and I believe the education and discussions need to happen within our school walls. Let’s bring the same urgency and focus on getting our kids back in the classroom, and then we can have that longer conversation about the future of school names.”

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Top Senate Democrat defends Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley from demands for their resignations

After the deadly violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, numerous Democrats have called for the resignations of Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), claiming the Republican lawmakers are partly responsible for the violence because of their efforts to oppose the certification of President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.

For example, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said last Friday that she has “demanded” their resignations because, in her view, Cruz, Hawley (and other Republicans), abandoned their oath of office.

“What we saw last week was not just a violent coup attempt, but we also saw a dereliction of duty and a betrayal of our country and a betrayal of the oath that we swear,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

But one of the most senior Senate Democrats, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), has rebuffed Ocasio-Cortez’s demand in a new interview.

What did Feinstein say?

Speaking with reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday, Feinstein defended those who objected to Biden’s win, citing Senate debate being the “highest-level dialogue.”

“I think the Senate is a place of freedom,” Feinstein said, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

“And people come here to speak their piece, and they do, and they provide a kind of leadership. In some cases, it’s positive, in some cases, maybe not. A lot of that depends on who’s looking and what party they are,” she continued. “But it’s an important place to have this kind of dialogue. It’s probably the highest-level dialogue that you get in an electoral body.”

What do other Senate Democrats think?

As the Chronicle reported, some of Feinstein’s Democratic colleagues do not believe Cruz and Hawley should be let off easy.

For example, Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) said, at the very least, Cruz and Hawley should be stripped of their spots on the coveted Senate Judiciary Committee.

“The fact that both of them, both of them, wanted to subvert the will of the people, wanted to tell the whole world and the United States that we did not have an honest election — I can’t imagine any senator doing that, and then serving on Judiciary,” Leahy said Tuesday.

What say Cruz and Hawley?

Both Republican senators have said they will not resign.

“Leading a debate in the Senate on ensuring election integrity is doing our jobs, and it’s in no way responsible for the despicable terrorists who attacked the Capitol yesterday. And sorry, I ain’t going anywhere,” Cruz said on Twitter in response to Ocasio-Cortez’s demand for his resignation.

Meanwhile, Hawley told KMBC-TV on Jan. 7, “I will never apologize for giving voice to the millions of Missourians and Americans who have concerns about the integrity of our elections. That’s my job, and I will keep doing it.”

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Dianne Feinstein gives up leadership position after progressive outrage at her actions during Barrett hearings

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California stepped down from her leadership position after outraged progressives criticized her over her actions during the congressional hearings for Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Feinstein made the announcement Monday that she was stepping down as the ranking Democrat on a key committee and would not seek any other such positions.

“After serving as the lead Democrat on the Judiciary Committee for four years, I will not seek the chairmanship or ranking member position in the next Congress,” Feinstein said.

The 87-year-old Feinstein was targeted by far-left progressive groups after she was seen quickly hugging Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina after the end of the hearings in October for the Supreme Court confirmation of Barrett.

Feinstein also told Graham, “I just want to thank you. This has been one of the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in. Thank you so much for your leadership.”

“Someone like Feinstein who is so out of step with the rest of the party should not be the lead Democrat on the Judiciary Committee,” tweeted Ben Rhodes, the former national security adviser for former President Barack Obama.

A statement from Demand Justice, a progressive group headed by former Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign press secretary Brian Fallon, also cited a damaging incident where Feinstein mocked and derided children for demanding she back the far-left Green New Deal.

“If Senate Democrats are going to get their act together on the courts going forward, they cannot be led by someone who treats Sunrise activists with contempt and the Republican theft of a Supreme Court seat with kid gloves,” Fallon said in the statement.

Two months later, it appears that Feinstein bowed to their demands. She said elsewhere in the statement that she would instead focus on the issues that most affect her constituents.

“California is a huge state confronting two existential threats — wildfire and drought — that are only getting worse with climate change,” Feinstein said. “In the next Congress, I plan to increase my attention on those two crucial issues. I also believe that defeating COVID-19, combating climate change and protecting access to health care are critical national priorities that require even more concentration.”

The move by Feinstein might have also been a concession to the far-left wing of the Democrats after public infighting broke out after a disappointing showing in the 2020 election.

Feinstein, who has been in the Senate since 1992, won re-election in 2018 to a six-year term that expires in January 2025.

Here’s video of the hug that killed Feinstein’s career:

Graham Hugs Feinstein After Barrett Hearings Wrap

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Lindsey Graham fires back after top Democrat demands no more hearings for Trump’s judicial nominees

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, fired off the perfect response after Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) asked Republicans to stop confirming President Donald Trump’s federal judiciary nominees.

What’s the background?

Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote Graham on Thursday requesting he stop conducting hearings on Trump’s judicial nominees to allow media-declared president-elect Joe Biden to fill the court vacancies instead.

“Now that the 2020 election has concluded, it is clear that the American people have overwhelmingly rejected a second term for President Trump. President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris are already implementing their transition plan,” Feinstein said.

“In light of that, it is imperative that the Judiciary Committee cease to process judicial nominations and allow President-Elect Biden the opportunity to appoint judges following his inauguration on January 20, 2021,” she added.

What was Graham’s response?

Graham responded with a resounding “no,” according to reporter Sam Brodey.

“The Senate Judiciary Committee will continue to process judges nominated by President Trump. We have confirmed over 220 and look forward to confirming even more,” Graham said.

What’s the background?

In addition to having three Supreme Court nominees confirmed, Trump has added a whopping 53 judges to U.S. federal appeals courts and 164 judges to federal district courts.

Currently, an additional 31 of Trump’s federal district nominees are awaiting confirmation, and another two of Trump’s appeals court judges are awaiting confirmation.

This is why analysts predict that as much as $1 billion could be spent on Georgia’s two runoff elections for their U.S. Senate seats, for control of the Senate hinges on those two races.

Currently, Republicans — who have held a majority in the Senate since regaining the majority after the 2014 midterms — have control of 50 seats. If they lost both runoff races, Democrats would have effective control of the Senate since media-declared vice president-elect Kamala Harris would serve as the Senate’s tie-breaking vote.

But, if Republicans win just one of the races, they would maintain control of the Senate and prevent a Biden administration from implementing its agenda — and further cement Trump’s judicial legacy.

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Feinstein urges Graham to stop processing Trump judicial nominees ‘now that the 2020 election has concluded’

Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has written a letter to Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), urging her colleague to stop processing President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees.

She says the panel should hold off on such business now that the election is over and allow Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to make his own picks.

What are the details?

“Now that the 2020 election has concluded, it is clear that the American people have overwhelmingly rejected a second term for President Trump,” Feinstein began, before noting that Biden and his running mate, Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) “are already implementing their transition plan.”

Although the presidential election is currently being contested in several lawsuits by the Trump campaign, which alleges voting irregularities and fraud, Feinstein pointed out that “the Biden-Harris ticket is on track to receive 306 electoral votes, and has already garnered the votes of more than 77 million Americans.”

“In light of that,” she wrote, “it is imperative that the Judiciary Committee cease to process judicial nominees and allow President-Elect Biden the opportunity to appoint judges following his inauguration on January 20, 2021.”

Feinstein went on to write that there was precedent behind her argument, saying that “although processing judicial nominations is one of the Committee’s principal responsibilities, the Committee’s long and established tradition in presidential election years is to halt consideration of judicial nominees after Election Day.”

California’s senior senator noted that there have only been two exceptions to that since 1984: “Once in 2004, following President George W. Bush’s reelection, and once in 2012, following the reelection of President Obama.”

“Unlike Presidents Bush and Obama,” she wrote, “President Trump has lost his reelection bid.”

Courthouse News pointed out that Graham had already scheduled a nominations hearing for next week, prior to Feinstein’s letter.

Appointing Trump’s judicial nominees has been a priority of his administration and the Republican-controlled Senate.

NBC News reported in June that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had “confirmed 53 Circuit Court judges appointed by Trump in three-and-a-half years,” noting for comparison:

“Obama confirmed 55 in all eight years of his presidency. For all judges, Trump has now confirmed 200. George W. Bush follows with 197 at this point in his presidency, and Bill Clinton with 186.”

Anything else?

Also on Thursday, Graham — a fervent Trump ally — told CNN that Biden should now begin receiving classified intelligence briefings, despite the fact that Trump has not yet conceded.

The outlet reported that “Graham said he has not expressed his thoughts with the White House but said, ‘I hope so,’ when asked if he expects Biden to get the briefings soon.”

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Abortion rights group joins calls for Sen. Feinstein to be replaced as Judiciary ranking member

Abortion rights group NARAL has released a scathing statement calling for longtime Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) to be ousted from her position as ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, criticizing her for giving “credibility” to the hearings considering U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

What are the details?

Several Democratic operatives made public cries for Feinstein, 87, to step down from her leadership position on Thursday, after the Barrett hearings ended with the Democrat from California complimenting her Republican colleague, Chairman Lindsey Graham (S.C.), for conducting what she called “the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in.”

Feinstein and Graham later embraced in a hug that was published in the media.

On Friday, NARAL jumped on the pile of progressives rallying for Feinstein to be gone, releasing a statement saying:

This nomination is illegitimate and this process is a sham. Tens of millions of Americans have already voted and majorities have said unequivocally that they want to choose the next President who should fill this seat. Amy Barrett and this power grab pose a grave threat to every freedom and right we hold dear and tears the very fabric of our democracy. Americans—whose lives hang in the balance—deserve leadership that underscores how unprecedented, shameful and wrong this process is. The Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein, failed to make this clear and in fact offered an appearance of credibility to the proceedings that is wildly out of step with the American people. As such, we believe the committee needs new leadership.”

The Washington Post noted that “the statement was all the more remarkable because Feinstein has been a longtime advocate of abortion rights. That has been recognized by NARAL — every year since 2016, Feinstein had received a 100 percent on the abortion rights group’s congressional scorecard, meaning that she sided with NARAL on its legislative priorities when it comes to reproductive rights.”

Anything else?

Freshman congresswoman and fellow California Democrat Rep. Katie Porter — whom some progressives have suggested would make a good replacement for Feinstein or Democratic vice presidential nominee California Sen. Kamala Harris —also issued a condemnation of Feinstein on Friday, but stopped short of calling outright for the 87-year-old to pulled as Judiciary ranking member.

“I disagree strongly with Sen. Feinstein that that set of hearings was one of the best or was even acceptable,” Porter told HuffPost in an interview. “I think Amy Coney Barrett did not answer basic questions about her beliefs and stonewalled repeatedly. We got many fewer direct answers than we have out of most Supreme Court hearings.”

Porter added, “I thought it was a very poor set of hearings.”

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San Francisco may change ‘inappropriate’ names of schools honoring Washington, Lincoln, and even Sen. Dianne Feinstein

Officials in San Francisco are pushing to rename several public schools in an attempt to purge school buildings of names deemed “inappropriate” like Presidents George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.

Even a school building named for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is on a list of 44 sites that parents and educators have been told must be renamed for having connections to slavery, genocide, or oppression,
the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Of the 125 schools in the San Francisco district, more than a third have been added to the list for having objectionable names, including Balboa, Lowell and Mission high schools, Roosevelt and Presidio middle schools, and Webster, Sanchez and Jose Ortega elementary schools.

The San Francisco School Names Advisory Committee is requiring each school on the list to brainstorm new names by Dec. 18. The new names will be presented to the school board in late January or early February, at which time the board will vote on any recommended name changes.

The committee was called for in a 2018 resolution requiring a blue ribbon panel to study school names and submit recommendations for changes.

“The panel includes 12 community members appointed by the superintendent and approved by the school board, as well as district staff members and board President Mark Sanchez,” the Chronicle reported. “It was formed in January and has since met 10 times, with members doing their own research, looking at newspaper articles, among other resources to identify whether the name on a school met the criteria for renaming, which includes anyone or anything associated with slavery, genocide, colonization, exploitation and oppression, among other factors.”

The committee’s specific criteria for a school name to be deemed “inappropriate” includes: Anyone directly involved in the colonization of people; slave owners or participants in enslavement; perpetrators of genocide or slavery; those who exploit workers/people; those who directly oppressed or abused women, children, queer or transgender people; those connected to any human rights or environmental abuses; those who are known racists and/or white supremacists and/or espoused racist beliefs.

Schools named for Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson made the list because they were slave owners. Abraham Lincoln High School must be renamed because the nation’s 16th president, who issued the Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery in the South, also ordered the executions of 38 Dakota tribe Native Americans involved in a violent conflict with white settlers in Minnesota.

Dianne Feinstein Elementary, a school named for California’s sitting senior senator, made the list because as mayor of San Francisco in 1986, Feinstein reportedly replaced a vandalized Confederate flag at City Hall.

According to the Chronicle, many parents and principals are not thrilled that renaming schools is a priority during a pandemic when many children are not even allowed to attend school and are tasked with virtual learning.

“Principals are devoting resources to this,” parent Jonathan Alloy said. His children attend Commodore Sloat Elementary, a school named for the Navy officer who
claimed California for the United States and one of the schools on the list. “We’re being presented with it as a fait accompli.”

The principal of Commodore Sloat told parents Wednesday that the school would need to come up with a new name because the committee said John D. Sloat was a colonizer who “claimed/stole” California from Mexico.

“We’re not actually helping disadvantaged children by changing the name of the school they can’t attend,” Alloy said, characterizing the timing as absurd.

Last week, five high school alumni associations sent a letter to the school district criticizing the committee for neglecting to consult professional historians or diverse ethnic communities.

“We need an inclusive process that will allow all communities to be heard, use professional historians applying verifiable data, issue a written report why a school name might be changed, so the community can make a considered decision,” the letter said.

The letter asked the board to “suspend the current process until everyone can safely return to school sites for the robust and thoughtful conversations you directed in the original board resolution.”

The president of the school board, Mark Sanchez, acknowledged that some will be unhappy with the changes.

“I don’t think there is ever going to be a time when people are ready for this,” he said. “Predictably people are going to be upset no matter when we do this.”

He added that it was unlikely all 44 schools would have their names changed, but noted that every school on the list “should be prepared.”

Here’s the list of proposed schools to be renamed and their namesakes, courtesy of the Chronicle:

  • Balboa High School, Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa
  • Abraham Lincoln High School, U.S. president
  • Mission High School, Mission Dolores
  • George Washington High School, first U.S. president
  • Lowell High School, poet/critic James R. Lowell
  • James Denman Middle School, founder of first S.F. school
  • Everett Middle School, Edward Everett, American statesman
  • Herbert Hoover Middle School, U.S. president
  • James Lick Middle School, land baron
  • Presidio Middle School S.F. military post
  • Roosevelt Middle School, Theodore or F.D., both U.S. presidents
  • Lawton K-8, U.S. Army officer Henry Ware Lawton
  • Claire Lilienthal (two sites), S.F. school board member
  • Paul Revere K-8, American Revolution patriot
  • Alamo Elementary, a poplar tree or the site of Texas Revolution battle
  • Alvarado Elementary, Pedro de Alvarado, conquistador
  • Bryant Elementary, author Edwin Bryant
  • Clarendon Elementary Second Community and Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program, Edward Hyde Earl of Clarendon, English politician
  • El Dorado Elementary, mythical City of Gold
  • Dianne Feinstein Elementary, U.S. senator and former S.F. mayor
  • Garfield Elementary, James Garfield, U.S. president
  • Grattan Elementary, William Henry Grattan, Irish author
  • Jefferson Elementary, Thomas Jefferson, U.S. president
  • Francis Scott Key Elementary, composer of Star-Spangled Banner
  • Frank McCoppin Elementary, S.F. mayor
  • McKinley Elementary, William McKinley, U.S. president
  • Marshall Elementary, James Wilson Marshall, sawmill worker at Sutter’s Mill
  • Monroe Elementary, James Monroe, U.S. president
  • John Muir Elementary, naturalist
  • Jose Ortega Elementary, Spanish philosopher
  • Sanchez Elementary, Jose Bernardo Sanchez, Spanish missionary
  • Junipero Serra Elementary, Spanish priest
  • Sheridan Elementary, Gen. Philip Sheridan
  • Sherman Elementary, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman
  • Commodore Sloat Elementary, John Sloat, Navy officer
  • Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary, author
  • Sutro Elementary, Adolph Sutro, S.F. mayor
  • Ulloa Elementary, Don Antonio de Ulloa, Spanish general
  • Daniel Webster Elementary, U.S. statesman
  • Noriega Early Education School, unclear
  • Presidio EES, S.F. military post
  • Stockton EES, Robert F. Stockton, Navy commodore
The Chronicle estimated that name changes will cost tens of thousands of dollars for each school that needs to replace signage.
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Democratic operatives call for Dianne Feinstein to step down as Judiciary Committee ranking member

Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein is facing calls to step down as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, after she enraged operatives from her own party with her performance on the panel — which ended with her praising Republican Chairman Lindsey Graham.

What are the details?

As the final hearing for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett wrapped up, Feinstein told Graham, “I just want to thank you. This has been one of the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in.” She added, “Thank you so much for your leadership.”

Following the meeting, the two were seen embracing in a hug.

Feinstein, 87, was immediately attacked by high profile Democrats, many of whom declared it was time for her to pass the torch and give up her leadership position on the committee.

Former Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign press secretary Brian Fallon, who now leads the progressive group Demand Justice, issued a statement declaring, “It’s time for Sen. Feinstein to step down from her leadership position on the Senate Judiciary Committee. If she won’t, her colleagues need to intervene.”

“She has undercut Democrats’ position at every step of this process, from undermining calls for filibuster and Court reform straight through to thanking Republicans for the most egregious partisan power grab in the modern history of the Supreme Court,” he continued. “If Senate Democrats are going to get their act together on the courts going forward, they cannot be led by someone who treats Sunrise activists with contempt and the Republican theft of a Supreme Court seat with kid gloves.”

Fallon’s message was echoed by former President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, who tweeted, “Someone like Feinstein who is so out of step with the rest of the party should not be the lead Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.”

Likewise, former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett tweeted in reaction to Feinstein’s praise of Graham, “That she can say this about this ongoing travesty is another sad statement about how poorly represented we are by Dianne Feinstein.”

Feinstein joined her fellow Democrats on the committee in avoiding attacks on Barrett’s Catholic faith during this week’s hearings, after facing criticism for their treatment of the nominee during the 2017 nomination hearings for her current position on the Seventh Circuit appellate court.

Fox News reported that “California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein receive bipartisan backlash when she told Barrett that the ‘dogma lives loudly within’ her during” the 2017 hearings.

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Former Dem senator warns how gross attacks on Amy Coney Barrett’s faith may badly backfire

Former Democratic-turned-Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman is warning his former Democratic colleagues against further attacks on Amy Coney Barrett’s devout Catholic faith.

Those attacks, Lieberman warned Friday, may backfire.

What is the background?

Amy Coney Barrett rose to national prominence in 2017 after she was confirmed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. During her confirmation process, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) infamously launched a broadside against Barrett’s faith.

“When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you — and that’s of concern,” Feinstein said, referring to Barrett’s Catholic faith.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) also questioned Barrett what it meant to be an “Orthodox Catholic.” Of course, the concern of Democratic lawmakers at the time was that Barrett may be placed in a position to someday help restrict abortion rights — or perhaps even overturn Roe v. Wade.

What did Lieberman say?

Speaking on Fox News, the former Connecticut senator — who was a Democrat for the majority of his political career until he left the party in 2006 — predicted that if Democrats focus on Barrett’s faith, “it will hurt her opponents.”

Lieberman, who is an observant Jew, explained that, in his experience, religious piety deeply resonates with Americans.

“I found that the fact that I was religious and observant was actually a tie, a bond [with] people of other religions who were similarly observant,” Lieberman said.

“You can disagree with somebody based on whether they’re pro-life or pro-choice, but when you start to say that you’re against them because their religion, in this case, their Roman Catholicism determines their point of view, you’re doing something really abhorrent that I think is bigoted, is un-American, and incidentally, is unconstitutional,” he added.

In fact, “Article VI of the Constitution says that you can’t apply a religious test for any office of public trust in America. That’s how wise and fair the people who wrote the Constitution were,” Lieberman explained.

Regarding Feinstein’s comments in particular, Lieberman called them “improper” and “biased.”

“I thought Sen. Feinstein’s question in that case was really improper, and was biased really. Everybody brings to the Senate, to the Congress, to [the] Supreme Court experiences and beliefs that they have,” Lieberman said. “There’s no reason why a religiously observant person should be accused more of dogma than somebody who is particularly ideological in a secular way.”

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein defends China, says it is ‘growing into a respectable nation’ and shouldn’t be blamed for the coronavirus

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) said Thursday that China is “growing into a respectable nation” during a speech cautioning America against holding the communist country accountable for misleading the global community at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We hold China as a potential trading partner, as a country that has pulled tens of millions of people out of poverty in a short period of time, and as a country growing into a respectable nation amongst other nations. I deeply believe that,” Feinstein said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

The senator’s comments fly in the face of numerous reports indicating that the Chinese Communist Party engaged in a cover-up of the origins and dangers of the coronavirus in the crucial early days and weeks of the outbreak, often silencing doctors and journalists attempting to get the truth out.

A study released earlier this year found that if interventions in China has been “conducted one week, two weeks, or three weeks earlier, cases could have been reduced by 66 percent, 86 percent and 95 percent respectively” and significantly limited the disease’s spread around the world.

Also, Feinstein’s comments come amid a flood of damning reports that portray human rights abuses carried out by the communist government, namely the mass detention and forced sterilization of Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic minority in China’s Xinjiang region.

Disturbing drone footage originally posted last year on YouTube showed large groups Uighurs blindfolded, bound, and with shaved heads being forced onto trains.

The Washington Free Beacon reported that Feinstein made the remarks in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing during which representatives debated a bill that would strip sovereign immunity from China.

The bill, called the “Civil Justice for Victims of COVID Act,” was sponsored by a group of Republican senators and would allow individuals to sue the Chinese government over its “reckless actions or omissions causing the COVID-19 global pandemic in the United States.”

The outlet also noted that Feinstein has “benefited from her husband’s relationship with China.”

“She pushed for expanded trade relations with China as her husband’s company was partnering with business ventures in the country,” the Free Beacon reported, adding that Feinstein has “said that a ‘firewall’ existed between her political career and her husband’s business interests.”

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Dianne Feinstein admits the feds have been questioning her, too, in probe of possible insider trading, after FBI serves warrant against Sen. Burr

A day after the Federal Bureau of Investigation served a warrant against Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and seized his phone as part of an ongoing investigation into questionable stock trades during the coronavirus crisis, Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office revealed the FBI had questioned her about stock sales, too.

Feinstein and Burr, as well as GOP Sens. Jim Inhofe (Okla.) and Kelly Loeffler (Ga.), have been under scrutiny for alleged insider trading for months. The senators reportedly sold millions of dollars with of stock between late January and mid-February, following a closed-door Senate briefing about the coming economic impact of the coronavirus.

Senate records show that Feinstein sold between $500,000 and $1 million worth of stock in Allogene Theraputics on Jan. 31, and her husband sold between $1 million to $5 million worth of Allogene shares on Feb. 18, the New York Post reported.

Feinstein’s office said that the senator had nothing to do with the trades because her assets are in a blind trust and have been since 1992, according to NBC News.

The office also said that the “transactions” in question “were made by her spouse.”

In a write-up on the insider trading investigation, HotAir’s Ed Morrissey asked Thursday, “If her spouse is managing the portfolio, how ‘blind’ can it be?”

Feinstein’s spokesman, Tom Mentzer, said, “Senator Feinstein was asked some basic questions by law enforcement about her husband’s stock transactions,” the Post said.

He added, “She was happy to voluntarily answer those questions to set the record straight and provided additional documents to show she had no involvement in her husband’s transactions.”

But as Morrissey noted, having a blind trust run by her spouse might no be enough to keep her out of hot water.

“Former Rep. Christopher Collins pled guilty to an insider-trading scheme in which he passed along inside information to family members and friends. A blind trust managed by one’s spouse doesn’t exactly provide a solid alibi,” Morrissey said.

New York Rep. Collins is serving a 26-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to providing an illegal stock tip to his son about a failed drug trial for an Australian biotech company where the congressman had served as a board member.

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Sen. Feinstein changes her tune on sexual assault victims waiting to come forward, wants to know where Biden accuser Tara Reade has been ‘all these years’

What do you do if you’re a longtime hard-core liberal Democrat who, from your perch on the Senate Judiciary Committee, led the charge against Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination by pushing a decades-old claim of sexual assault that seemingly came out of nowhere (but you knew about for two months before it “leaked”) and then your party’s presidential nominee gets hit with a decades-old sexual assault charge that seemed to come out of nowhere?

If you’re California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, you change your stance on how alleged victims of long-ago attacks should be treated.

What did Feinstein say?

CNN’s Manu Raju asked Feinstein her thoughts on Tara Reade’s allegation that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993 when she worked as an aide in Biden’s Senate office.

Feinstein said the situation surrounding Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh were “totally different” from Reade’s claims against Biden, Raju tweeted.

“Kavanuagh was under the harshest inspection that we give people over a substantial period of time,” she said.

The Kavanaugh situation was, indeed, different — at least for Feinstein.

During the Kavanaugh hearings and investigation, it was revealed that Feinstein, the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, knew for months about Ford’s accusation that Kavanaugh had attacked her 36 years earlier — and the senator said nothing to her GOP counterparts on the committee. Kavanaugh’s supporters repeatedly noted the 3 1/2 decades that had passed (and were lambasted for not allegedly not caring about assault victims).

Yet, Feinstein persisted.

During the Kavanaugh hearings, she tweeted in defense of Ford: “Victims must be able to come forward only when they are ready.”

But when Raju confronted her about the Reade allegations, Feinstein had a far different take.

Dismissing Reade, Feinstein said, “And I don’t know this person at all who has made the allegations. She came out of nowhere. Where has she been all these years?”

She wasn’t done.

After touting Biden’s record and calling Reade’s attack on him “absolutely ridiculous,” Feinstein continued to want to know why Reade didn’t say something earlier.

“Why didn’t she say something — you know when he was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee or after that?” she said, Raju reported.

Something changed

Interestingly, Feinstein’s dismissive treatment of Reade doesn’t jibe with her criticism of Kavanaugh backers’ treatment of Ford.

In a Sept. 16, 2018, statement on her Senate website, Feinstein said, “For any woman, sharing an experience involving sexual assault — particularly when it involves a politically connected man with influence, authority and power — is extraordinarily difficult.”

She added that Ford’s “extremely serious” charges “come at a price for the victim” and that the situation should “be treated with the seriousness it deserves.

On Sept. 18, 2018, Feinstein said that she found “every single piece of information” from Ford to be “eminently credible, sincere and believable” — and she felt that way from the beginning, before an investigation had been done and testimony had been given.

Then on Sept. 21, 2018, Feinstein noted how terrible Republicans’ “dismissive treatment” of Ford truly was. She wrote, “The recalcitrance, stubbornness and lack of cooperation we’ve seen from Republicans is unprecedented. And candidly, the dismissive treatment of Dr. Ford is insulting to all sexual assault survivors.

In fact, the GOP’s treatment of Ford was so terrible, Feinstein tweeted, it was sending a negative message to assault survivors — who, she claimed, were making more and more calls to the National Sexual Assault Hotline while Ford was being dismissed by Republican leadership.

The senator — who, again, offered praise for Biden and called Reade’s claims an “attack” that was “absolutely ridiculous” when asked about it by Raju — once said she believed the treatment of Ford was a message to victims: Keep your assault stories to yourself. Feinstein demanded that the Senate “send a different message, a message of support.”

Message sent.

(H/T: HotAir)

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DOJ begins investigating lawmakers’ questionable stock transactions before market crash

The Department of Justice has begun investigating controversial stock transactions made by a small group of lawmakers before the American economy tumbled over coronavirus fears.

According to CNN, the investigation is still in its beginning stages and is being conducted in conjunction with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The FBI has so far reached out to only one lawmaker, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), whose transactions stirred the most controversy.

Burr dumped between $628,000 and $1.72 million worth of stock on Feb. 13, ProPublica revealed this month.

There is no evidence of wrongdoing on Burr’s behalf. However, Burr made the transactions after attending a closed-door intelligence briefing about COVID-19 in late January. He later reassured the public they should not fear the virus, but was privately warning people in late February, two weeks after he dumped his stock portfolio, about a possible economic downturn.

Burr’s lawyer, Alice Fisher, denied that Burr used insider information to make his financial decisions.

“The law is clear that any American — including a Senator — may participate in the stock market based on public information, as Senator Burr did. When this issue arose, Senator Burr immediately asked the Senate Ethics Committee to conduct a complete review, and he will cooperate with that review as well as any other appropriate inquiry,” Fisher told CNN.

Burr is not the only senator who came under fire for questionable stock transactions.

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) sold more than two dozen stocks valued between $1.275 million and $3.1 million from the end of January through mid-February. She also purchased stock in a software company that has increased in value by approximately 15%, according to CNN.

Loeffler said her team of financial advisers made the transactions, and said she only learned about the transactions after they were made.

Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) also reported major stock transactions ahead of the economic downturn, but both lawmakers deny playing a role in the financial decisions.

The FBI has not contacted Loeffler, Feinstein, or Inhofe, according to CNN.