Hundreds of progressive Jews gathered outside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-Ny.) home on Tuesday to demand an end to America's alliance with Israel. 

Police made over 100 arrests at the large protest, which blocked traffic near Schumer's home in Brooklyn.

Schumer was away in Washington at the time to help pass billions in foreign aid for Israel's military.

Protesters swarm Schumer's home

The protest was labeled a "seder in the streets," referring to the Passover meal that commemorates the deliverance of the ancient Israelites from slavery. In the protesters' version of the Exodus narrative, the ones being oppressed are Palestinians in Gaza who are being killed in a Zionist "genocide."

"This will not be a Seder as usual. These are not usual times," Morgan Bassichis, a member of the progressive group Jewish Voice for Peace, told the crowd.

“This is the Passover that we take our exodus from Zionism. Not in our name. Let Gaza live.”

New York has been a hotbed of anti-Israel unrest in recent days, with protests at Columbia University and New York University grabbing national attention.

Schumer flip flops

Schumer, the most prominent Jewish politician in the country, took Washington by surprise last month with a speech on the Senate floor calling for new elections in Israel.

Despite his criticism of Israel's war in Gaza, Schumer celebrated the passage of a $95 billion foreign aid package that included billions for Israel's military, and which President Biden signed Wednesday.

Beth Miller, the political director for Jewish Voice for Peace, criticized Schumer as a hypocrite during Tuesday's protest.

“Senator Schumer just very recently spoke very harshly about prime minister Netanyahu on the Senate floor,” she said.

"For him to do that with one hand, and then on the other hand reward prime minister Netanyahu by pushing forward this military funding package, shows that he is not serious about actually shifting US policy to leverage change.”

Schumer shared a Passover message Monday that was focused on the plight of Israeli hostages being held in captivity by Hamas.

At our Seder table, we remember the story of Passover, the pain of bondage, the resilience of the Jewish people.

As we observe this Passover, our thoughts are with the hostages even now in bondage.

We will not stop working for their release and safety.

Chag Pesach Sameach!

— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) April 22, 2024

The White House received some stunning news on Monday when Israel's head of military intelligence announced his resignation. 

Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva wrote a remorseful resignation letter in which he took responsibility for not stopping the deadliest attack in Israel's history on October 7, which killed over 1,200 Israelis and resulted in over 250 being taken captive.

Over 100 Israeli hostages are still being held hostage in Gaza months later as a brutal war grinds on between Israel and Hamas.

Shakeup in Israel

Haliva is the first person in Israel's military and intelligence to step down over October 7.

He took responsibility within days of the attack for failing to stop it but waited to resign because of the war. Haliva will officially step aside when an replacement is named.

“The Intelligence Directorate under my command did not fulfill its task. I have carried that black day with me ever since, every day, every night. I will forever bear the terrible pain of the war,” Haliva wrote in a resignation letter written in Hebrew.

Haliva called for a commission to investigate the background events that allowed Hamas militants to breach Israel's borders in a surprise assault.

“Everything I did during my service in the IDF was for the sake of the people of Israel and the State of Israel,” he added.

Israel's leader of opposition Yair Lapid applauded Haliva's move and called on prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to follow.

“It would be appropriate for Prime Minister Netanyahu to do the same,” he wrote on the social media platform X.

U.S. to send military aid

In addition to facing criticism over October 7, Netanyahu has faced backlash over the devastation in Gaza, where thousands of Palestinians have died in Israel's continuing war with Hamas. The fervent nationalist has resisted pressure from U.S. leaders like Senator Chuck Schumer (D-Ny.) and some Israeli citizens to call new elections.

Netanyahu noted that 133 Israelis are still being held hostage as Jews around the world celebrate Passover, which commemorates the deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

“As we gather around the Seder table to commemorate and celebrate our journey from slavery to freedom, our hearts are heavy with the plight of the 133 Israelis who remain in captivity,” Netanyahu wrote on X. “Our resolve remains unyielding to see all hostages back with their families.”

The U.S. Senate took a step Tuesday toward passing billions in military aid for Israel. President Biden has already pledged to sign it, despite his criticism of Israel's current government.

The prosecution in Donald Trump's "hush money" trial called the first witness on Monday, former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker.

In opening statements, prosecutors for Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg painted Pecker as part of a criminal "conspiracy" to bury negative news stories about Trump ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Pecker took the stand for less than half an hour before court was adjourned.

First Trump witness testifies

He spoke briefly about the way business was run at the Enquirer, telling the jury his staff could not spend more than $10,000 on a story without his approval.

The criminal case centers on Trump's efforts to "catch and kill" a story about an alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels. Trump has long denied having the affair.

He is charged with "falsifying business records" for allegedly hiding reimbursement checks to former lawyer Michael Cohen, the star witness in Bragg's case, who paid $130,000 to Daniels. In opening statements Monday, the prosecution and the defense laid out their dueling narratives of the "hush money" payment.

Bragg's prosecutors described Trump's efforts to avoid bad publicity as a form of election interference, with Pecker as the "eyes and ears."

“This was a planned, long-running conspiracy to influence the 2016 election, to help Donald Trump get elected through illegal expenditures to silence people who had something bad to say about his behavior,” prosecutor Matthew Colangelo said.

“It was election fraud, pure and simple.”

"Not a crime"

Trump defense lawyer Todd Blanche told the jury that Trump is innocent and that he had personal reasons, unrelated to politics, to stop Daniels' "sinister" story from spreading.

“President Trump fought back, like he always does, and like he’s entitled to do, to protect his family, his reputation and his brand, and that is not a crime,” Blanche said.

Blanche also ripped the credibility of Cohen, an admitted perjurer, whom Blanche described as "obsessed" with damaging Trump. Trump, the presumptive Republican candidate for president, has dismissed the entire case as a political witch hunt that is designed to sabotage his presidential campaign.

The trial is expected to last six weeks, keeping Trump away from the campaign trail as he seeks to unseat Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Pecker is due back in court on Tuesday.

Former President Donald Trump and his allies have long argued that receiving a fair jury trial in Manhattan will be nearly impossible. 

According to Breitbart, that's more than speculation, as it was reported by the New York Times' Maggie Haberman that Trump's jurors lean more left-of-center than not.

The bombshell -- but unsurprising -- report only served as further evidence that Trump will not receive a fair shake by a jury in Manhattan, which could force him into more legal hurdles in the inevitable appeals process.

The jurors' political leanings are almost purely based on math. Manhattan is heavily blue, and President Joe Biden won the district with 86% support last election.

Shock admission

Haberman, who is also an analyst for CNN, admitted that there's not much in the way of neutrality on Trump's 12-person jury.

"One thing that’s been striking during this round of voir dire is there a lot of people who, based on their answers, are more left-of-center than not, politically," Haberman wrote.

She added, "But some seem to be trying to show they can consider alternative viewpoints, and others seem to want to show they believe in the concept of jury service as independent from personal opinions."

Former President Donald Trump said the jury selection in his upcoming New York criminal trial is "largely luck."

"It depends who you get. It’s very unfair that I’m having a trial there," he told reporters. https://t.co/LWnJHJ2BOX

— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) April 14, 2024

Legal scholar Jonathan Turley warned of one of the greatest threats to Trump's legal future -- stealth jurors.

"Only about 12 percent of the people in this area voted for Trump," Turley told Fox News. "The jurors you have to worry about are the ones who are sort of ‘Trojan horse jurors,’ who are hiding bias that doesn’t appear on social media or are involved in any formal charges like the one that was just removed today."

The jury situation

Several jurors had already been dismissed by week's end. One of them cited identity concerns, and the other juror who was let go was released for unknown reasons.

Of course, 12 jurors will be seated for the trial, and there will be a total of five alternate jurors, for a total of 18.

So far, only one alternate has been chosen, and it was reported that jury selection should be finalized by early this week.

One can bet that Trump's lawyers are watching the jurors like a hawk to make sure they're as unbiased as possible. Only time will tell if they miss anything.

Most reasonable-minded people know that Vice President Kamala Harris is not a popular president, especially based on her lack of accomplishments and overall leadership. 

According to Fox News, a recent focus group of three different types of voter group were asked about VP Harris and what they think about her leadership.

The results, according to the Los Angeles Times, were devastating, to say the least.

Fox News reported that three different voter groups were questioned, including groups consisting of "one of former Trump 2016 voters who voted for Biden in 2020, one of Black voters who are disappointed with Biden, and another of 'California Democrats.'"

What did they say?

The voter groups overall offered a dismal assessment of Harris, confirming exactly why the Democratic Party is scared to death to use her as a replacement for Biden should he not be able to run in November for whatever reason.

"Their assessments were brutal. If she is helping Biden, you don’t see it. She rubs me the wrong way. She was picked because she is a demographic. The big things she had, she failed," the L.A. Times wrote.

The groups were assembled just days after Harris spoke in Arizona. The focus group was organized by an organization called "Republican Voters Against Trump."

"Swing voters don't like her," was the view of one of the groups, according to Gunner Ramer, the political director of Republican Voters Against Trump.

"In a focus group of Black voters who were disappointed with Biden, none raised their hand in support of Harris, with one participant calling her ‘the bad news bear,’" the report added.

Even the "California Democrats" focus group was hesitant to say her name. "A focus group of California Democrats, while they liked Harris, had to be prompted to discuss her and said she needed more influence and exposure" the report noted.

Deeply unpopular

While Democrats will lie through their teeth and praise Harris for her so-called "accomplishments," even though she has none to speak of, the focus groups, which covered a massive slice of the political spectrum, proved that her polling numbers are accurate.

She polls worse than Biden in most cases, and is largely unpopular across the board.

Fox News noted:

USA Today and Suffolk University polling from last month recorded that around 52% of registered voters disapprove of her performance as vice president. Additionally, only 36% of those surveyed say she is handling the job well, with 10% undecided.

The DNC will have to find something else for Harris to do if she considers making a run for the presidency down the road, as she'll likely still poll worse than Biden and not stand even a small chance against a strong Republican opponent.

Representative Thomas Massie, a Republican from Kentucky, has made a MASSIVE allegation and Speaker of the House Mike Johnson.

Massie had better hope it's true.

That's because the allegations are SO big, that Massie is going to wind up looking like a real buffoon if they turn out to be false.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, Massie said that he had heard that "Speaker Johnson is going to leverage his dwindling power in order to change the rules of the House just to maintain his authority."

"This happens in banana republics, not Constitutional Republics," the Representative from Kentucky added.

Speaker of the House is next in line to be President after the VP.

Allegedly, Speaker Johnson is going to leverage his dwindling power in order to change the rules of the House just to maintain his authority.

This happens in banana republics, not Constitutional Republics.

— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) April 18, 2024

The shocking implication from Massie that Johnson's presidential aspirations are behind his decisions as Speaker of the House are sure to make waves in Washington.

Based on the fact that you're reading this right now, it looks like his statement is already making headlines.

Johnson acknowledged on April 18 that he "is considering including a provision in the rule on foreign aid funding that would raise the threshold on the motion to vacate. Currently, only one member can force a motion to vacate vote."

Massie is a member of the powerful Rules Committee.

He is one of three conservatives appointed by then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy who serves to check the power of the Speaker.

The three people appointed by McCarthy already blocked a Johnson border bill from leaving the committee.

Mike Johnson certainly has pressure coming from all angles, as this is completely separate from his issue with Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia threatening to have him removed.

Republicans would do well to get on the same track soon, as time is running out before the 2024 elections.

With all of the effort that liberals are spending on Donald Trump, Republicans should be looking to be united against these injustices.

Instead, during the time we need them most, they're all fighting with each other.

A top prosecutor working for Fani Willis got into a shouting match Wednesday with the judge overseeing the marathon gang trial of rapper Young Thug.

The dramatic blowup was the latest example of rank unprofessionalism in Willis' office, which is pursuing a controversial criminal case against Donald Trump.

Fani Willis prosecutor reprimanded

Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffrey Williams, was indicted in May 2022 along with 27 others for their involvement with the gang Young Slime Life, which is allegedly tied to the Bloods.

The rapper is facing charges under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which is the same law that Willis used to charge Trump and several others over the 2020 election.

The Young Thug trial is moving at a glacial pace, and the judge all but lost his patience Wednesday with the unnecessary delays caused by the failure of the both parties to file motions on time.

Shouting match

A shouting match erupted when the lead prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Adriane Love, began talking back to the judge for excluding evidence the state wanted to introduce.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville reprimanded the prosecutor for failing to prepare, as the trial stretches past 60 days.

"Have a seat, madam. Have a seat. You better exclude that and next time, make sure you're prepared," he said. "I'm not going to do this anymore, I'm just not. We are starting right now."

Raising her voice, Love said she reached out to the defense to discuss the issue days earlier, but the judge was unmoved.

"I'm not punishing anybody," the judge said. "But prior preparation prevents poor performance."

Willis brings the drama

The judge threatened to hold the trial on weekends to make up for lost time.

The court drama was the latest embarrassment for Willis, who gave explosive testimony in February to a different Fulton County judge during her disqualification hearing.

Willis rambled about her preference in liquor and her experiences with men as she dismissed "lies" about her conduct in the Trump case.

Despite her unprofessional behavior and what Judge Scott McAfee called an "odor of mendacity" surrounding her affair with another prosecutor, Willis was permitted to stay on the Trump case.

One way or another, it's safe to say that Willis is no longer taken seriously by the American people.

Jack Smith is increasingly unable to hide his frustration with delays in his classified documents case against Joe Biden's electoral rival, Donald Trump.

The prosecutor's sharp, exasperated tone in court filings has led many to see a rift with the judge, Aileen Cannon, who is taking her time scheduling a date in the complex trial.

Trump has accused Smith of trying to rush the case before the election. If Trump were to win the presidency, he could then dismiss the charges.

On the other hand, Smith has griped about delays in the case, while clashing with the judge over various legal issues.

Smith losing his patience

In a new filing on Monday, Smith accused Trump of trying to delay the case indefinitely by citing his packed court schedule. Trump's criminal trial in New York is starting off this week.

"They should not be allowed to use their overlapping engagements to perpetually delay trial in this case,” Smith wrote. “The Court should reject the defendants’ latest delay tactic.”

While Smith has fumed at Trump frequently, the prosecutor has also shown increasing fury toward Cannon over some of her decisions.

The judge has pushed back on Smith's aggressive demands, blasting his "unprecedented and unjust" request for a quick ruling in a dispute over jury instructions after he blasted her for considering a "fundamentally flawed" legal theory.

Cannon holds her own

Cannon has also criticized Smith for "repeatedly" ignoring basic rules on sealing documents and failing to justify his "sweeping" requests for secrecy in the trial.

"The Court finds the Special Counsel's sweeping request and generalized rationales inadequate to overcome the public's common-law interest in access to these materials," Cannon wrote.

Cannon has been a target of criticism from the media and left-wing law experts, who have characterized the Trump appointee as little more than a toady of the former president. Some of have urged Smith to seek the judge's removal, but legal experts say the move isn't likely to succeed.

"Judge Cannon has been consistently wrong on law, and Smith's increasing frustration is evident in his filings," attorney Neama Rahmani told Newsweek.

"It's still unlikely that she will be removed from the case, however," Rahmani said.

Trump has labeled Smith "deranged" and an aggressive partisan who is working to interfere in the election on Biden influence the 2024 election.

Jack Smith is being driven out of his wits by his ongoing struggle to bring Donald Trump to trial.

The federal prosecutor could not hide his exasperation in a court filing urging Florida judge Aileen Cannon to "stop" Trump from delaying his classified documents trial any further.

Smith blasted Trump's "plainly wrong" argument that overlapping court obligations in New York prevent his legal team from making a deadline in the Florida case.

Jury selection began on Monday in Trump's hush money trial in New York.

Jack Smith loses it

Trump's legal team asked Cannon to postpone a May 9 deadline until after the New York trial is over. The trial is likely to take about six weeks.

In a blistering court filing, Smith accused Trump of taking advantage of his packed court schedule - which Trump has complained is the product of a "witch hunt" - to avoid going to trial.

“Trump elected to engage the same counsel of record in multiple serious criminal matters, and his counsel agreed to the multiple engagements. Having made such decisions, they should not be allowed to use their overlapping engagements to perpetually delay trial in this case,” Smith said.

"This must stop," Smith snapped.

Smith has regularly accused Trump of trying to avoid trial with a delay strategy. Trump, in turn, says Smith is on a mission to interfere in the 2024 election.

Libs complain about the mess they made

Trump has been charged with 34 felonies for "falsifying business records" in the hush money case. Prosecutor Alvin Bragg has been scrutinized over his unusual legal theory, which is predicated on a mysterious underlying crime that Bragg has yet to identify.

The hush money case is generally seen as the least serious of the four criminal cases Trump is facing, and it is currently the only one that is certain to reach a verdict before the presidential election.

Judge Cannon has faced furious media backlash and accusations of slow walking the complex documents case, which does not have a firm trial date.

It sounds like Smith's real problem is that Democrats got carried away with charging Trump in so many different cases.

They can hardly complain that Trump is now doing whatever he can to turn a very difficult and unfair situation to his advantage.

Australian celebrity chef Ian Parmenter has died. He was 79.

The Consuming Passions chef's death was confirmed by his former employer Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), citing close friends.

The beloved TV host was the face of Consuming Passions from 1992 to 2001, becoming one of the most popular cooks in Australia during that time.

Australian celebrity chef dies

Despite his fame as a chef, the London native was trained as a journalist on Fleet Street. He also worked in advertising before making his way to television at ABC, working in various production roles before landing his own show.

Lacking professional experience, Parmenter turned his personal passion for food into a successful media career, publishing numerous books and reaching TV audiences in nearly 20 countries. He was a natural on camera who was known for his colorful and fiercely individual personality, former ABC colleague Verity James said.

"But he could also be incredibly introspective," she told Michael Tetlow on ABC Perth. "So thoughtful and so compassionate."

"While he was very flamboyant, he was also quite strongly opinionated," James added.

"An incredible bloke"

For most of his show's run, Parmenter filmed at his cottage in Margaret River, a town in Western Australia known for its wineries that he grew to love. He preferred simple, homey recipes.

"A lot of the development of the recipes for the program came in the cottage," he told ABC local radio in 2017.

"I never got into areas of high speed food processing and complex things...If it couldn't be done in the cottage, it couldn't be done at home, basically."

In 2011, Parmenter was awarded the Order of Australia for his service to the food and tourism industries. 

He was strongly attached to Margaret River, where one resident remembered him as an "incredible bloke" and an "ambassador" for the region who brought the community together. "I think he had many sides to him. There was obviously his very public character with his beret and moustache, and his big booming voice," Susie Ormonde said.

"But he just really encouraged us all to value what we have down here, and realise the importance of community and the small, deep connections we can make in towns," Ormonde added.

"He loved connecting people, an ambassador for the region … an incredible bloke."

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