COULD USE SOME END-OF-THE-MONTH DONATIONS! THANKS!
Posted on: Feb 04, 2023
"Any person holding any office or any stock in any institution in the nature of a bank for issuing or discounting bills or notes payable to bearer or order, cannot be a member of the House whilst he holds such office or stock." -- Third Congress of the United States Senate, 23rd of December, 1793, signed by the President, George Washington
There was a feeling that the German Chancellor was going to get a Nobel Prize for peace, probably just like former US President Obama. It was 2015 then, the year where Germany accepted millions of refugees, who’d fled their parched, destroyed, burned out homelands in the Middle East.
A part of the world was in some form of stability. Another was in ruins.
Someone had to extend a hand. Someone had to take a leap of faith.
This is when Europe suddenly plunged into a mega debate. Not since the Second World War had the world witnessed such mass exodus of people. It could be said, this was the key political-meets-social- discourse of the 21st century. The question of refugees mattered. What to do with them, whether to accept them or not and if yes, then in what capacity or number?
While most countries waited for answers, often staring each other blankly German chancellor Angela Merkel came up with a pathfinder of sorts. Since 2013, the first where one heard about the massive displacement of those in the Middle East, there have been more than 1.8 million requests for asylum seekers.
Germany can take in no more migrants, the country’s president Frank-Walter Steinmeier has said. He expressed sympathy for Italy, which has been overwhelmed by a new influx of arrivals, adding that an effective EU-wide redistribution mechanism must be created to address the problem.
On Wednesday, Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper interviewed Steinmeier shortly after he arrived in the country for an official visit. Among the topics discussed was the latest uptick in immigration and its impact on relations between Berlin and Rome.
The German president began by arguing that Italy should not have to deal with the crisis alone, and praised the country for “having shown so much humanitarian responsibility towards the refugees who came from the Mediterranean in recent years.”
He added that he takes “very seriously the requests for help that come from Italian cities,” but added that German cities are no better off in this respect as both nations have “heavy loads to bear.”
Germany does not agree with Ukrainian proposals to reform the UN Security Council, which include stripping Russia of its veto power, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has said.
Addressing the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky called for the creation of a mechanism that would allow Russia’s veto power at the UN Security Council to be circumvented.
Baerbock told Germany’s ARD TV channel later the same day that “we don’t support this, and I have made it clear to my Ukrainian partners time and again.”
The diplomat noted that while Berlin sympathizes with the Ukrainian people, “it is not that we support everything that comes out of Ukraine from the government.”
Ukraine and Poland’s relationship has apparently reached the throwing toys out of the pram phase. Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly this week, President Vladimir Zelensky said it was “alarming to see how some in Europe... are helping set the stage for a Moscow actor.” Who could he have been talking about?
“I hope these words are not addressed to Poland,” replied a Polish government spokesman. If you have to ask yourself the question, you probably already know the answer. Yep, Zelensky is accusing Poland of cheating – with Russia. This is about as realistic as accusing Johnny Depp of a dalliance with Amber Heard – post-divorce and defamation trial.
It seems like just yesterday that Poland was bullying its fellow European Union member states to cough up gifts of weapons for Zelensky. Back in May, it managed to get Denmark and Finland on board with sending their German Leopard tanks to Kiev and browbeat Berlin for dragging its feet on giving permission to re-export the vehicles. “Even if, eventually, we do not get this permission, we – within this small coalition – even if Germany is not in this coalition, we will hand over our tanks, together with the others, to Ukraine,”declared Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki at the time.
A man is warning about the risks some solar panel batteries pose after one caused a fire at his mother-in-law's bungalow. The pensioner escaped from the property on Anglesey after the blaze broke out.
The 76-year-old woman breathed in smoke but was not injured. Now her son-in-law is warning people about the risks. Fire crews had been called to the scene near Benllech on Wednesday at about 1pm.
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said the cause of the blaze at the building, which was in Min-yr-Afon, Tyn-y-gongl, was an electrical fault. The Welsh Ambulance Service said it was called out but were not needed.
In the hallways of Congress, big box retailers are aggressively lobbying for a new bill that will slash consumers’ payment security protections. These retailers are looking to pocket millions by skimping on payment security, knowing that if there is fraud at their stores, it’s banks and credit unions on the hook, not them. So why not pick a cheap and less secure way to process payments?
This proposed legislation would dismantle the current payments system by implementing new credit card routing regulations. The bill gives the government broad power to control how your credit card payments are processed, replacing the current, free-market system. Big-box stores like Walmart and Target are in favor of it because it forces financial institutions to hand over technology for free, upending the current system using the power of government.
Technology advances in the last decade have been astounding. Watches that can pay for groceries, phones that can order and pay for take-out, and quick tap-and-pay checkouts. This all adds up to faster transactions and more sales for businesses big and small. This technology has thousands of men and women behind it who are developing on anti-fraud programs, payments software, hardware, and a host of other facets to making it all work behind the scenes.
Nearly two dozen Republican senators and lawmakers on Thursday came out against more funding for Ukraine, just as the country’s president arrived in Washington, DC, to urge Congress to pass an additional $24 billion in aid that would bring total U.S. support to Ukraine to at least $135 billion since its war with Russia began.
Led by Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) and Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), six senators and 23 House lawmakers wrote in a letter delivered to White House Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young:
The American people deserve to know what their money has gone to. How is the counteroffensive going? Are the Ukrainians any closer to victory than they were 6 months ago? What is our strategy, and what is the president’s exit plan? What does the administration define as victory in Ukraine? What assistance has the United States provided Ukraine under Title 10? It would be an absurd abdication of congressional responsibility to grant this request without knowing the answers to these questions. For these reasons—and certainly until we receive answers to the questions above and others forthcoming — we oppose the additional expenditure for war in Ukraine included in your request.
Wisconsin Republicans introduced 15 articles of impeachment against Meagan Wolfe, the Administrator of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, citing allegations of maladministration in office and potential violations of election laws.
The allegations include Wolfe promoting and encouraging illegal alterations of absentee ballot applications during the administration of the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin. The law makes clear that absentee voting, in contrast to in-person voting, is regarded as a privilege rather than a right.
Here is a list of the 15 Articles of Impeachment in the 23 page report:
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, fresh off his victory against a historic impeachment effort, is warning that it is impossible for him to prosecute voter fraud in the state due to a court ruling.
In an interview with Blaze Media’s Glenn Beck, Paxton said that the state’s elections are being threatened by district attorneys who will refuse to bring charges against those who commit voter fraud in 2024.
“The Court of Appeals in the State of Texas, apparently now, you cannot prosecute voter fraud in Texas. Is that true?” Beck asked.
“Yes, that is correct,” Paxton replied. “They struck down a law from 1951, and by the way, I have four things that I’m supposed to do under the Constitution. The final thing is such things as are required by law. And in 1951, the legislature directed the Attorney General — it’s the only thing I have original jurisdiction on as it relates to criminal matters, was voter fraud and the Court of Criminal Appeals.”
“All Republican, by the way,” he continued, “And by the way, nobody knows who they are. This is why I think they’ve been put there, and I’m convinced they’re not Republicans because they struck down this law, and it said, ‘I don’t have the authority to go to court as Attorney General, because I’m in the executive branch.’ That was their rationale for striking down, saying it’s ‘unconstitutional’ for the Attorney General to be in court. I’m like, is that the most insane decision ever?”
Feds probing if Dem Sen Menendez or wife accepted gold bars worth hundreds of thousands from felon: report
Federal investigators are probing whether Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez or his wife accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gold bars from a felon in a trade for help, according to a report.
NBC News 4 reported Monday that the FBI and IRS criminal investigators are attempting to determine if Menendez or his wife had taken up to $400,000 worth of gold bars from Fred Daibes, a New Jersey developer and former bank chairman, or his associates in a swap for Menendez reaching out to the Justice Department to aid the “admitted felon” accused of banking crimes.
A third IRS official confirmed that Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss faced roadblocks when attempting to bring charges against Hunter Biden, contradicting denials issued Wednesday by Attorney General Merrick Garland.
IRS Director of Field Operations Michael Batdorf told the House Ways and Means Committee in a closed-door interview on Sept. 12 that he felt “frustrated” by the refusal of the Justice Department to approve tax charges that IRS agents viewed as well-supported by evidence, according to a transcript of the interview obtained by the Washington Examiner.
He also said the IRS removed agent Gary Shapley, a whistleblower, from the Hunter Biden case at the direction of Weiss despite having done nothing wrong.
Batdorf’s testimony was the latest piece of evidence to suggest Weiss did not enjoy the unfettered authority to pursue Hunter Biden that Garland and others claimed he had.
Still, Batdorf, who was above Shapley in the IRS chain of command, stopped short of attributing the DOJ’s actions to bias in favor of President Joe Biden.
President Joe Biden’s administration has targeted Big Tech with several antitrust enforcement actions that could significantly impact consumers, but while many conservatives support the efforts, others fear they may stifle innovation.
A former Yale student who was acquitted of rape in 2018, and later kicked out of the college, can sue his accuser for defamation over statements the accuser made during a school hearing, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in June, according to the New York Post.
As Ukraine's counter-offensive grinds on - with limited gains and no decisive breakthrough - the number of amputees in the country is soaring.
There were 15,000 in the first half of this year alone, according to the Department of Health in Kyiv. The ministry won't disclose how many are soldiers. The authorities guard casualty figures closely, but the vast majority are likely to be military.
That's more amputees in six months than the UK had in the six years of World War II, when 12,000 of its servicemen and women lost limbs.
Former President Donald Trump said Wednesday that if re-elected, he would “immediately” invoke a federal law granting himself the unilateral power to detain and deport non-citizens in the United States who are older than 14 years old.
In remarks at a campaign stop, Trump pledged to use the Alien Enemies Act — part of the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 — to target suspected gang members, drug dealers and cartel members.
“I’ll...invoke immediately the Alien Enemies Act to remove all known or suspected gang members…the drug dealers, the cartel members from the United States, ending the scourge of illegal alien gang violence once and for all,” Trump said from a campaign stage in here in front of more than 1,000 supporters.
In the autumn issue of the U.S. Army War College's "Parameters," a quarterly published refereed forum that furthers the professional development of senior military officers on national security affairs, a call to action on a possible war with Russia that will kill about 50,000 Americans was presented. It pointed out that the massive loss of service members will also trigger conscription to fill the ranks.
A cargo-carrying FerroMex train was filmed bursting with migrants traveling out of Zacatecas, Mexico, and making its way northbound on the 750-mile journey toward the U.S.-Mexico border. The Fox News footage showed the locomotive with containers filled with illegals getting an easy ride as they whistled and cheered and some of them could even be seen hanging out from the sides of the train.
While the majority of American workers are not worried about being replaced by rapidly advancing technology, a poll has revealed that the number of those who fear a trend has risen to its fastest rate ever.