Ito Shinsui Snowy night 1923
Elon Musk explains the reasons of him buying Twitter… pic.twitter.com/WYr1rpejuY
— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2023) April 18, 2023
Referring to a possible recession, @elonmusk said “this is a DIRE situation.”
“There is a solution to mitigate the magnitude of the damage here which is for the fed to lower the rate. But they raised the rate again.”
The last time the fed raised rates going into a recession was… pic.twitter.com/PzOnnKg0TN
— Nick Sortor (@nicksortor) April 19, 2023
Geologist and former US senator, Harrison Schmitt:
"There’s no clear scientific evidence at all to link a CO2 rise to any kind of temperature rise. In fact, it correlates much more closely with solar activity than it does with anything caused by CO2".#ClimateScam #ClimateCult… pic.twitter.com/0jgr78wHfq
— Wide Awake Media (@wideawake_media) April 17, 2023
Maddow: In order to get that, you can only learn that from the slides that were crudely doctored by the pro-russia pro-putin social media network.. pic.twitter.com/Yhrb1ztFKL
— Acyn (@Acyn) April 18, 2023
China has solved problems in Yemen and Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia. And seemingly without major issues. If they succeed in the Israel-Palestine talks, they will be the new world leader.
• China Offers To Facilitate Israel-Palestinian Peace Talks (AP)
China’s foreign minister told his Israeli and Palestinian counterparts that his country is ready to help facilitate peace talks between the two sides, in its latest effort at mediation in the region. In separate phone calls to the two officials on Monday, Qin Gang expressed China’s concern over intensifying tensions between Israel and Palestinians and its support for a resumption of peace talks, the Foreign Ministry said in statements issued late Monday. Last month, Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a deal in China to restore diplomatic ties that were cut off in 2016. It was a dramatic moment of diplomacy for China that Beijing touted as evidence of its ability to be a diplomatic player in the Middle East. Qin stressed in his talks with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen that Saudi Arabia and Iran have set a good example of overcoming differences through dialogue, a statement about that phone call said.
He told Cohen that Beijing encourages Israel and the Palestinians to show political courage and take steps to resume peace talks. “China is willing to provide convenience for this,” he was quoted as saying. Israel and the Palestinians have not held substantive peace talks on ending the century-long conflict in over a decade. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is committed to expanding settlements in the occupied West Bank — which most of the international community considers illegal and an obstacle to peace — and several of his key allies are staunchly opposed to the creation of an independent Palestinian state. Cohen expressed his country’s commitment to reducing tensions, but said the problem appeared to be difficult to resolve in the short term, the Chinese Foreign Ministry statement said.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Qin and Cohen discussed “the importance of maintaining quiet at the Temple Mount, particularly in the final days of Ramadan,” the Muslim holy month, but made no mention of peace talks with the Palestinians. It said that Cohen conveyed “the threat that we see in Iran’s nuclear program” and called on China to help prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Qin also told Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad al-Maliki that China is willing to play an active role in the resumption of talks, a second statement said. On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin confirmed Qin’s outreach to the two officials. “It is never too late to do the right thing,” he said.
This month, violence in Israel and the West Bank has increased, touched off by an Israeli police raid on Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site, the compound home to the Al-Aqsa mosque. The Israeli military struck sites linked to the Palestinian group Hamas in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip after militants in the two territories fired rocket salvos at Israel. The mosque sits on a contested hilltop revered as the third-holiest site in Islam and the holiest site in Judaism.
Compared to China’s initiatives, Macron looks defunkt. His “peace plan”: “Future measures will be aimed at upgrading Kiev’s armed forces. NATO members are also working to ensure steady supplies of weapons and military equipment.”
• Macron’s Yet-to-be Drafted Peace Plan: Long-term Guarantees To Kiev (TASS)
French President Emmanuel Macron’s yet-to-be drafted peace plan, which he hopes to negotiate with China, would be based on long-term security guarantees for Ukraine, Bloomberg said, citing sources. The agency speculates that the plan would be based on long-term security guarantees to Kiev. However, as the report specifies, Western countries also plan to discuss the details of support for Ukraine at the NATO summit in Lithuania due in July. Future measures will be aimed at upgrading Kiev’s armed forces. NATO members are also working to ensure steady supplies of weapons and military equipment.
Macron has reportedly instructed his adviser Emmanuel Bonn to stay in touch with the head of the office of the Chinese Communist Party’s Foreign Affairs Commission, Wang Yi, in order to formulate a program that might serve as the basis for future negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. During his state visit to China, Macron told Chinese President Xi Jinping that he counted on Beijing’s mediation in settling the Ukrainian conflict. Le Monde has said that Macron’s visit to China has failed to bring about any change to Beijing’s position regarding the Ukrainian conflict and Russia.
“The Ukrainians themselves know the truth. They’re in a very terrible position right now.”
• Russia ‘Winning’ Fight Against Ukraine – Retired US Army Colonel Macgregor (RT)
Russia is defeating Ukraine and the recent leaks of US classified documents will not change the outcome on the battlefield, retired US Army colonel and former Pentagon adviser Douglas Macgregor has said. “I think the Russians are winning anyway, and the Russians know the truth,” Macgregor said in a video uploaded to his YouTube channel on Sunday. “The Ukrainians themselves know the truth. They’re in a very terrible position right now. We’ve been pushing them to launch this massive offensive in the spring,” Macgregor argued. “And, frankly, [Ukrainians] don’t have the forces, they don’t have the resources to make a difference at this point. They really need to fall back and defend against the Russians, who are ultimately going to attack in May and June.”
The documents dumped online sometime this year and recently discovered by news organizations include US intelligence dispatches and documents purported to be the Pentagon’s daily reports on the Ukraine-Russia conflict. According to a file dated February 28, Western countries have been training and equipping nine Ukrainian brigades for a counteroffensive slated for April 30. The same document said that three more brigades were to be formed “internally” in Ukraine. Ukrainian officials have said in the past that offensive operations would depend on the supply of tanks and other heavy weapons from the West. Prime Minister Denis Shmigal confirmed on Monday that the counteroffensive would begin “in the nearest future.” He rejected the idea that Kiev was being pressured from abroad regarding the timetable.
Gilbert Doctorow details something a lot of us have been hearing: The Russians hit a NATO bunker in western Ukraine in early March, using Kinzhal missiles, killing 200 high-level officers.
This has been called a conspiracy theory.
I’m not so sure.
— Gonzalo Lira (@GonzaloLira1968) April 18, 2023
Denial is useless. Who’re you gonna fool?
• Lloyd Austin: ‘We Won’t Be In A War With Russia’ (Az.)
“We are not in a war with Russia, and we won’t be in a war with Russia,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in an interview with The Washington Post. Asked what happens if Ukraine doesn’t succeed in pushing back Russian front lines and reclaiming significant territory, the Pentagon’s top official deflected.
90%, from 80% a week ago.
• Russian Forces Control Almost All Of Bakhmut – DPR Head’s Advisor (TASS)
Russian forces have taken control of almost 90% of the city of Artyomovsk (called Bakhmut in Ukraine), Yan Gagin, an advisor to the Donetsk People’s Republic’s (DPR) leader, told TASS on Tuesday. “The Wagner private military company controls about 90% of Artyomovsk and its advance is inevitable,” he said. Wagner PMC founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said on April 11 that Russian forces controlled more than 80% of Artyomovsk, including all administrative buildings. Gagin specified that Ukrainian troops were booby-trapping and blowing up major infrastructure facilities before leaving the western outskirts of Artyomovsk.
“The Ukrainian armed forces are okay with using scorched earth tactics. This is what they did in Volnovakha and Mariupol, and now, they are blowing up and booby-trapping major infrastructure facilities in Artyomovsk before retreating from the western outskirts of the city. A local community center was one of the buildings that they blew up recently,” Gagin noted. Earlier, he told TASS that Ukraine was redeploying troops to Artyomovsk but the majority of new soldiers were getting killed on their approach to the city. Artyomovsk, located in the Kiev-controlled part of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), is an important transport hub in terms of Ukrainian military supplies. Heavy fighting is raging in the area.
“Zelensky “sprung the event” on Guterres, the newspaper said. The president’s aides later spun it to imply that the UN chief was “congratulating military personnel on one side of the Russia-Ukraine war.”
• Kiev ‘Pissed Off’ UN Chief – WaPo (RT)
President Vladimir Zelensky ambushed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres with a surprise ceremony in Kiev during which the Ukrainian leader awarded medals to female soldiers, the Washington Post has reported, citing alleged US eavesdropping on the UN chief. Guterres’ reaction to the incident, which took place during his visit to the Ukrainian capital on March 8, was described in one of the slides purportedly leaked by a US National Guardsman who had access to classified US intelligence. The secretary general apparently discussed his experience privately with his spokesman Stephane Dujarric. Zelensky “sprung the event” on Guterres, the newspaper said. The president’s aides later spun it to imply that the UN chief was “congratulating military personnel on one side of the Russia-Ukraine war.”
Guterres “emphasized that he made a point of not smiling the entire time,” according to the US document purporting to describe the conversation. Footage of the ceremony, which took place on International Women’s Day, indeed shows Guterres maintaining an expressionless face as Zelensky awarded decorations to uniformed female troops. He offered a small nod and a brief smile to the ladies as he shook their hands while standing on the stage alongside the Ukrainian leader. Dujarric confirmed to the Post that his boss was “unpleasantly surprised” by the event, to which he did not consent in advance. Washington’s apparent snooping on the UN leader fits a long record of clandestine activities by the US and other Western powers, the Post noted.
Last week, a BBC report based on another slide from the same trove described the US’ displeasure with efforts undertaken by Guterres to deliver on his promise to Russia to facilitate exports of its food and fertilizers. The pledge was part of the so-called Black Sea Initiative, which allowed Ukrainian grain to be shipped out by sea. The UN chief’s attempts to deliver on the promise were “undermining broader efforts to hold Moscow accountable for its actions in Ukraine,” the slide said. Dujarric commented on the BBC report, stating that Guterres was “not surprised by the fact that people are spying on him and listening in on his private conversations.” “What is surprising is the malfeasance or incompetence that allows for such private conversations to be distorted and become public,” he added.
“Washington’s apparent snooping on the UN leader fits a long record of clandestine activities by the US and other Western powers, the Post noted.”
• Leaked Document Reveals the US Spying on the UN Secretary-General (Antiwar)
Classified documents allegedly leaked by Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira have revealed that the US is closely spying on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and is not happy with his engagement with Moscow. Several documents detail Guterres’ communications, including one that accuses him of “undermining” efforts to take action against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. The document addresses his communications with Moscow regarding the grain deal that unlocked Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. To broker the deal between Moscow and Kyiv, the UN agreed to help facilitate the export of Russian fertilizer and grain, which has been hindered by Western sanctions despite exemptions for agricultural goods.
The document reads: “UN Secretary-General Guterres is taking steps to accommodate Russia in an effort to protect the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI), which he considers a pivotal UN success and key to addressing global food insecurity, and his actions are undermining broader efforts to hold Moscow accountable for its actions in Ukraine.” The document was likely written either in late February or early March before Russia and Ukraine agreed to extend the grain deal on March 18. It says in early February, Guterres “urged Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in a letter to renew the BSGI before its term expires on March 18 and Guterres emphasized his efforts to improve Russia’s ability to export, even if that involves sanctioned Russian entities or individuals, according to FISA-derived signal intelligence.”
Signal intelligence refers to information obtained by intercepting communications. In response to the revelation that the US was spying on Guterres, his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, told Al Jazeera that he is “not surprised by the fact that people are spying on him and listening in on his private conversations.” “What is surprising is the malfeasance or incompetence that allows for such private conversations to be distorted and become public,” Dujarric said. Other documents detailed private communications between Guterres and his deputy.
Solution: more debt?!
• White House: China Wants To See Dollar Weaken As Reserve Currency (Az.)
White House economist Jared Bernstein said there was “some evidence” that China wants to see the dollar weaken as the international reserve currency, and urged Congress to raise the US debt ceiling to protect the value of the dollar, Report informs referring to Reuters. Bernstein, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, told a Senate Banking Committee hearing on his nomination to head the body that US control of the world’s reserve currency offered benefits, including the ability to impose sanctions, as Washington had done on Russia over its war against Ukraine.
Nominal GDP includes a lot of unproductive work (like people sitting through meetings all day long). Once we ditch that, the situation looks much worse for the G7.
• BRICS To Pass G7 In Economic Might – Bloomberg (RT)
The BRICS group – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – is expected to increase their share of the global economy to nearly 35% by 2028, Bloomberg reported on Monday. According to the outlet’s calculations based on the latest IMF data, this year, the BRICS countries will contribute 32.1% of the world’s growth, compared to the G7’s 29.9%. The Group of Seven nations (G7), consisting of the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan, is considered the most advanced economic bloc of countries on the planet. The report indicated that in 2020, the contribution of the BRICS countries and the G7 to global economic growth was equal, and from that moment on, the performance of the Western countries has been declining. By 2028, the G7’s contribution to the world economy is predicted to decrease to 27.8%.
Bloomberg calculations show that China will be the top contributor to global growth over the next five years, with its share set to be double that of the US. China’s share of global GDP expansion is expected to represent 22.6% of total world growth by 2028, the outlet wrote. India is projected to contribute 12.9% of global GDP. “In total, 75% of global growth is expected to be concentrated in 20 countries and over half in the top four: China, India, the US and Indonesia. While Group of Seven countries will comprise a smaller share, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and France are seen among the top 10 contributors,” the outlet wrote. A recent study by a UK-based macroeconomics research firm has also found that the gap between the two groups in terms of global economic weight is expected to continue to grow.
The analysts noted that China and India have been experiencing robust economic growth, and more countries are interested in joining BRICS. Earlier this year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that “more than a dozen” nations have expressed interest in joining BRICS, including Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Egypt, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Bangladesh have acquired equity in the New Development Bank, the funding organization of BRICS. Last year, BRICS countries proposed the creation of their own currency in order to move away from the US dollar and the euro in mutual transactions.
“There may be an obsession in America about Chinese activity on the continent, but there is no such obsession here..”
• Can BRICS Weaken the Dominance of the IMF and World Bank? (Baroud)
For decades, the US’s greatest weapon has been its dollar which, with time, ceased being a normal currency per se, to become an actual commodity. Wars have been fought to ensure countries, like Iraq and Libya, remain committed to the dollar. Following the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Baghdad returned to selling its oil in US dollars. This struggle over the dominance of the dollar was also painfully felt in Venezuela which has the world’s largest oil reserve, yet was reduced to abject poverty for attempting to challenge the supremacy of Washington its currency. Though it will take time, the process of lessening the reliance on US dollars is now in full swing. On March 30, Brazil and China announced a trade agreement that would allow them to use the two countries’ national currencies, the yuan and the reais, respectively.
This step shall prove consequential, for it will encourage other South American countries to follow suit. But that move was neither the first, nor will it be the last of its kind. One of the main decisions by finance ministers and central bank governors of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) following their March 30-31 meeting in Indonesia is to reduce their reliance on the US dollar. They agree to “reinforce financial resilience … through the use of local currency to support cross-border trade and investment in the ASEAN region.” This too is a game-changer. The BRICS countries, in particular, are leading the charge and are set to serve as the facilitator of rearranging the world’s economic and financial map. While the West is busy trying to keep its own economies afloat, it remains wary of the changes underway in the Global South. Washington and other western capitals are worried. They ought to be.
Following a meeting between US President Joe Biden and 40 African leaders at the White House last December, it was clear that African countries were not interested in taking sides in the ongoing war in Ukraine. Consequently, US Vice President Kamala Harris flew to Africa on March 26 to meet African leaders, with the sole purpose of pushing them away from China and Russia. That effort is likely to fail. A perfect illustration of Africa’s refusal to abandon its neutrality is the press conference between Harris and President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, on March 28. “There may be an obsession in America about Chinese activity on the continent, but there is no such obsession here,” Akufo-Addo told reporters.
To argue that BRICS is a purely economic group is to ignore a large part of the story. The timing of BRICS’ expansion, the stern political discourse of its members, potential members and allies, the repeated visits by top Russian and Chinese diplomats to Africa and other regions in the Global South, etc., indicate that BRICS has become the South’s new platform for geopolitics, economy and diplomacy.
It’s become normal.
• Russian Envoy Slams Die Welt Over ‘Kill Putin’ Quote (RT)
Germany’s Die Welt daily “hit rock bottom” in its anti-Russian zeal last week, the Russian ambassador to Berlin, Sergey Nechaev, said on Monday, in response to an interview with American columnist Fred Kaplan in which he said the “easiest way” to end the Ukraine conflict is for someone to “kill Putin.” Die Welt has left “this de facto call for murder” unredacted and uncommented on and even used it as a headline, Nechaev wrote in a damning post published on the embassy’s Telegram account. The envoy was apparently referring to Die Welt’s Twitter account, which used the “killing” quote to draw attention to the interview with Kaplan on its social media. “It is unfortunate that some German media keep crossing all the lines and hitting rock bottom,” the ambassador said, adding that “although this is outrageous, it is no longer surprising.”
Kaplan made the statement in response to Die Welt’s question about the “most plausible scenarios” of ending the military conflict between Moscow and Kiev, which has now been ongoing for now than a year. “The easiest way for this to end is for someone to kill Putin,” Kaplan stated, adding that a “new leader” could them come to power, who would declare Russia’s military operation in Ukraine “a folly” and gain the support of the Russian elites to end the conflict. The American journalist and political scientist said he does not believe that Moscow will prevail, adding that otherwise the conflict could last “for years” and potentially end with an agreement that would involve the US and China as “guarantors.”
The US columnist also admitted that Kiev is fully dependent on US aid and that a halt to this assistance might force the Ukrainian government to “strike a deal” with Moscow. “Without the US assistance, it [Ukraine] would not last long,” he said. Die Welt’s choice of a quote has also been met with criticism on social media. One person accused the outlet of being “no longer above … an incitement to murder.” “Is it a call for murder?” another person asked, warning that killing the Russian president could also bring “hardliners” to power in Russia, potentially putting the world on the brink of a nuclear war. The German media outlet has not commented on the criticism so far. Neither the text of the interview nor the Twitter post has been altered in any way as of the time of this writing.
“..indicates London’s clear violation of the fundamental principles of the 1962 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and runs counter to the status of the British diplomatic mission in Moscow..”
• Russia Officially Rebukes UK Envoy Over Remarks On Journalist’s Verdict (TASS)
Russia has issued a stern rebuke to British Ambassador to Moscow Deborah Bronnert over her remarks as well as statements by senior British Foreign Office officials regarding the court verdict handed down in the case against journalist Vladimir Kara-Murza (designated as a foreign agent in Russia), the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. “On April 18, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned British Ambassador to Moscow Deborah Bronnert to issue a protest to her against her unacceptable remarks as well as the provocative statements made by the highest officials of the British Foreign Office following the Moscow City Court’s verdict handed down in the case of Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian national convicted of high treason and making false reports about the Russian Army,” the statement reads.
The ministry added that London’s reference to the fact that Kara-Murza holds British citizenship was “legally null and void” under Russian jurisprudence. The Russian Foreign Ministry also pointed out that Moscow viewed foreign diplomats’ calls for revoking the verdict as blatant interference in Russia’s domestic affairs. “Such disrespectful behavior indicates London’s clear violation of the fundamental principles of the 1962 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and runs counter to the status of the British diplomatic mission in Moscow,” the statement added.
According to the ministry, Bronnert was informed that British officials’ attempts “to lecture Russia on respect for human rights” were unacceptable as the international community was well aware of London’s disregard for human rights issues. Russian Ambassador to the UK Andrey Kelin said earlier that the Russian Foreign Ministry had strongly protested to Bronnert, pointing out that “the activity staged by the British, the Americans and the Canadians yesterday morning is regarded as blatant interference” in Russia’s internal affairs.
Legacy of the west. Of course they will turn to China.
• EU Funds Enslavement Of African Migrants In Libya – UN (GZ)
An investigation by the United Nations has concluded that money provided by the European Union to state entities in Libya has facilitated crimes against humanity ranging from forced labor and sexual slavery to torture. Through its financial support of the Libyan Coast Guard and the Libyan Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration (DCIM), the European Union has aided and abetted crimes against humanity, according to a recent UN report. On March 27, 2023, the United Nations released the findings of a three-year investigation, confirming that “arbitrary detention, murder, rape, enslavement, sexual slavery, extrajudicial killing and enforced disappearance” has become a “widespread practice” in the once-prosperous nation of Libya, which was plunged into civil war by NATO’s regime change war over a decade ago.
While crimes against humanity were found to be widespread throughout the country, the report homed in on the plight of migrants and blamed the European Union for enabling the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity to enact abuses against Africans seeking asylum in Europe. The report stated in its introductory section: “The Mission found that crimes against humanity were committed against migrants in places of detention under the actual or nominal control of Libya’s Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration, the Libyan Coast Guard and the Stability Support Apparatus. These entities received technical, logistical and monetary support from the European Union and its member States for, inter alia, the interception and return of migrants.”
In other words, rather than directly intercepting migrants traveling by boat to Europe, the European Union has outsourced the dirty work to the Libyan Coast Guard. Once the coast guard detains the migrants, they are sent back to Libya and transferred to both official and “secret prisons” where they are often exploited for financial gain through forced labor, ransom, or sexual slavery.
• Trump Says Disney ‘Destroying’ Florida Governor DeSantis (RT)
Former President Donald Trump says Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is “being absolutely destroyed” in his months-long battle with Disney, after the governor unveiled a new bill that would give state officials more authority over the company’s massive Disney World amusement park. Trump took aim at DeSantis in a social media post on Tuesday, calling his feud with Disney unnecessary, while condemning the governor’s new legislative effort as a political stunt. “DeSanctus is being absolutely destroyed by Disney. His original PR plan fizzled, so now he’s going back with a new one in order to save face,” he said, using a disparaging nickname for the governor.
The former leader went on to predict that Disney – one of the state’s largest employers – would cut off investments in Florida “because of the governor,” suggesting the company “could even announce a slow withdrawal or sale of certain properties, or the whole thing. Watch!” While DeSantis has not announced a 2024 presidential campaign, he is expected to run for the White House and is widely considered Trump’s main Republican rival. On Monday, DeSantis announced a bill that would rescind an agreement Disney struck with state officials earlier this year, which granted Disney free rein to develop the district that hosts its Walt Disney World theme park and its related resorts. While DeSantis previously appointed officials to head up a new state board to oversee the district, the deal with Disney was completed before they began their roles, effectively circumventing the board in giving the company full developmental powers.
“They negotiated with themselves, to give themselves the ability to maintain their self-governing status. Now that’s in direct defiance of the will of the people of Florida,” the governor told reporters on Monday. “They thought that they could create some type of development agreements that would essentially render everything that we did null and void and put them in control in perpetuity for this. Well, that’s not going to work.” DeSantis’ row with Disney kicked off last year after the company publicly opposed his ‘Parental Rights in Education’ bill, which barred certain public school teachers from classroom discussion or instruction related to sexual orientation or gender identity. Dubbing the act the ‘Don’t Say Gay bill’, Disney said it “should never have been signed into law” and vowed to fight for its repeal.
The governor argued that Disney’s statement “crossed the line” and slammed the company for working to “repeal substantive protections for parents.” Since then, DeSantis has sought to strip Disney of its broad authority over the district housing its theme park, and more recently, requested an inspector general probe into Disney’s development agreement with the state for potential criminal or civil violations.
“It is illegal to give a member of Congress or a president even $100 to gain influence. However, you can literally give millions to their spouses or children..”
• Then There Were Nine (Turley)
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer has revealed that there are not three but nine members of the Biden family that may have benefitted from suspected influence peddling efforts. For those of us who have long criticized the corrupt practices of the Biden family, the identity of these other family members is intriguing after the Committee secured new bank and financial records. Democratic members again insisted that there is no need to investigate such influence peddling. The new information on the Biden family is due largely to the takeover of the House by the GOP. Previously, Democrats blocked efforts to investigate influence peddling by the Biden family for years. After assuming control of the Committee. Comer sought suspicious activity reports sent by banks to the Treasury Department alerting of potential criminal activity in transactions involving President Biden’s family.
He stated on Monday that “We’ve identified six additional members of Joe Biden’s family who may have benefited from the Biden family’s businesses that we are investigating, bringing the total number of those involved or benefiting to nine.” Those are six names are in addition to three Biden family members and two associates previously linked to payment from China in 2017. Three million was wired Biden family associate Rob Walker in March 2017, who then allegedly divided and distributed the funds later. There remains an “Unknown Biden” who received four payments in 2017 totaling $70,000. The investigation into the Bidens has made many in the Beltway uncomfortable. Influence peddling has long been the favored form of corruption in this city, but few families seem to have cashed into the extent of the Bidens.
I frankly do not understand the willingness of so many Democrats to cover for the Bidens. Democratic members have gone all in with censorship, but this is an effort to scuttle investigations into corruption that may have resulted in millions of dollars going to Biden family members. The Biden family has long been associated with influence peddling to the degree that they could add an access key to their family crest. Influence peddling has long been a cottage industry in Washington. For decades, I have written about this loophole in bribery laws. It is illegal to give a member of Congress or a president even $100 to gain influence. However, you can literally give millions to their spouses or children in the forms of windfall contracts or cozy jobs. James Biden has been remarkably (even refreshingly) open about marketing his access to his brother.
Former Americore executive Tom Pritchard and others allege that Biden openly referenced his access to his brother and his family name in his pitch for clients. James has faced a wide array of litigation over allegedly fraudulent activities as well as a personal loan acquired through Americore before it went into bankruptcy. Hunter worked with his uncle but also branched off on his own in the family business. While his father recently emphasized that his son was a hopeless addict, that defense stands in glaring contradiction to the fact that he maintained a multimillion-dollar influence-peddling scheme. The question is why foreign figures (including some associated with foreign intelligence) rushed to him international money transfers and complex deals worth millions from Moscow to Kyiv to Beijing.
[..] Many Democrats and legal experts have objected that influence peddling is not a crime. However, it is corrupt and squarely within the oversight authority of Congress. Indeed, if it is not a matter for criminal charges, such congressional action may be the only way to force accountability for corrupt efforts to sell influence and access.
Read several of those Suspicious Activity Reports at the Treasury just now.
The number of Biden family members involved (more than previously known), the amount of money involved (astronomical), the shell companies, the accusations of prostitution rings… wild… pic.twitter.com/fVTdazOi2T
— Rep. Nancy Mace (@RepNancyMace) April 17, 2023
Happy dog day
This is Walter. His day is not going as planned. Refuses to suffer in silence. 13/10 pic.twitter.com/ksLHkfIGjs
— WeRateDogs® (@dog_rates) April 18, 2023
While it may look at first glance like a composite image, this mind-bending picture by Kenichi Ohno and titled “Gap”, is a real single-exposure photo and not the result of Photoshop manipulation
There’s a mountain in southeast Turkey called mount Nemrut whose summit is famous for large sculptures erected around what is assumed to be a royal tomb from the 1st century BC.
All built under the Commagene Kingdom by King Antiochus In 62 BC pic.twitter.com/9tHI660vb2
— Science girl (@gunsnrosesgirl3) April 19, 2023
Given its transparent body, the glass octopus, Vitreledonella richardi, remains one of the most elusive creatures of the deep sea. Rare photos such as this reveal an array of opaque organs and a glimpse of its unusually shaped eyes
If you think dragons are just imaginary creatures look at this draco lizard. While it's certainly smaller than you probably expect, it's nothing short of impressive
[source, read more: https://t.co/fgfvLK7nXG]pic.twitter.com/RuqL0WEqh1
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) April 18, 2023
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