Category Archives: government

Do you believe that Putin may soon officially declare war on Ukraine, the US, and Western?

Russian President Vladimir Putin may declare war on Ukraine as early as May 9, allowing Russia to fully mobilize its reserve troops if invasion plans stall. However, in Russia, May 9 is celebrated as “Victory Day” for defeating the Nazis in 1945. Officials in the West have long assumed that Putin would use the day’s symbolic and propaganda importance to proclaim a military victory in Ukraine or a massive escalation of hostilities. Officials have focused on one scenario: Putin launched a war on Ukraine on May 9. Putin refers to the months-long struggle as a “special military operation,” thereby barring terms like invasion and war. According to British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, he will strive to shift from his special operation.’ “So he has been tossing the dice, preparing the groundwork for a battle against Nazis that requires more people. “More Russian artillery fodder.”” The invasion of Ukraine — a nation led by a Jewish president — has been described as “denazification” by historians and political analysts alike.

He would not be astonished if Putin said on May Day that ‘we are now at war with the world’s Nazis and need to mass organize the Russian people, Wallace continued. An official war declaration on May 9 might enhance popular support for the invasion. Officials claim Russia urgently needs conscripts due to a rising labor shortfall. Since Russia attacked a little over two months ago, authorities in the West and Ukraine believe 10,000 Russian troops have died.

Did you know that most Americans don’t support politicians punishing firms for their views, Reuters/Ipsos poll finds?

A Reuters/Ipsos survey revealed that a bipartisan majority of US voters reject governments penalizing firms for their social viewpoints, signaling a chilly response for campaigns like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ against Walt Disney Co.

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla. on Feb. 24, 2022.John Raoux / AP file

However, a two-day survey concluded on Thursday found that 62% of Americans — including 68% of Democrats and 55% of Republicans — said they were less inclined to support a politician who favors suing firms for their political beliefs. As a result, DeSantis signed a measure this week depriving Disney of self-governing power over its Orlando-area parks in punishment for the company’s objection to a new Florida legislation restricting the teaching of LGBTQ matters in schools. Though it was an effort by DeSantis, a rising star in the Republican Party, to enhance his conservative credentials as a cultural fighter in advance of a potential challenge for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

Do you believe that Republican senators kept their promise toward an African American woman after their line of questioning?

At the start of her Supreme Court confirmation hearings last week, Republican senators made a solemn promise to Ketanji Brown Jackson: They promised that they would not treat her as harshly as Democrats had treated Brett M. Kavanaugh during his 2018 confirmation hearings—a set of circumstances that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) described as “one of the lowest moments in the history of this [Senate Judiciary] committee.”
The reviews have been received. Americans favor Jackson’s confirmation substantially more than they support other recent candidates. Still, they also believe that Republicans handled Jackson’s confirmation roughly as severely as Democrats managed Kavanaugh, if not worse than Democrats dealt with Kavanaugh.
According to a survey conducted by Quinnipiac University last week, there is reasonably significant support for Jackson’s confirmation: 51 percent of respondents backed it, while just 30 percent opposed it. It is more popular than during the verification of Trump’s past two candidates, including Kavanaugh, whose nomination was rejected by the public. According to a CNN survey, Americans are vehemently opposed to it by as much as double digits.
However, it is also essential to consider how we arrived at that position.
Even as Americans opposed Kavanaugh’s confirmation, they were primarily dissatisfied with how Democrats handled his confirmation hearings—particularly their treatment of decades-old sexual misconduct claims, according to several. According to the CNN study, 56 percent of respondents gave unfavorable feedback, while just 36 percent gave them good reviews.
However, the Republican response to Jackson’s hearings — and, it seems, her track record on child pornography cases, which was the central line of attack — has received a mixed reception. According to polling, only 27 percent of Americans approve of their strategy, compared to 52 percent who are opposed to it, according to polling. According to the CNN survey, Democrats and Kavanaugh are separated by a 25-point margin, compared to a 20-point margin for Republicans and Kavanaugh. This time around, there are also more undecideds, which may be because Jackson’s hearings were not as well-publicized as they could have been.
Independents disapproved of the other party’s actions in both instances: on Kavanaugh, they disapproved of Democrats 58-30, and on Jackson, they disliked Republicans 54-25 in both cases, according to exit polls.
It is worth noting that, apart from the public’s support for the candidate, there was a significant difference between the two confirmations. Neither side walked away from the Kavanaugh hearings with glowing recommendations. Republicans’ handling of the situation was perceived in an unfavorable light on par with Democrats’ handling of it. When it comes to Jackson, Democrats, on the other hand, earned more favorable ratings (42 percent) than they received terrible reviews (34 percent). As a result, it is not just a case of people loathing all politicians.
The crucial issue that arises from this is: why did people express dissatisfaction with how the Republican Party handled Jackson’s hearings? After all, their negative vote margin is about 2-to-1, owing to many party members’ disapproval of their actions. Republicans are divided on the issue, with 52 percent supporting it and 26 percent opposing it.
That suggests that even Republican members of Congress felt their party went a little too far in criticizing Jackson’s record as a district judge in child pornography cases (when, in fact, her record was relatively ordinary) during the 2016 election.
The connection to the Democrats’ treatment of Kavanaugh is again illuminating. In that case, too, 26 percent of the opposing party expressed dissatisfaction with the way their side handled the situation. In contrast, approval was far higher – 67 percent. As a result, intraparty assessments of the Republican Party’s treatment of Jackson are, on the whole, more unfavorable than those of the Democratic Party’s handling of Kavanaugh.
Furthermore, Republicans supported Jackson more strongly than Democrats did Kavanaugh.
While Democrats overwhelmingly opposed Kavanaugh’s confirmation by 91-7, about 1 in 5 Republicans (21 percent) believe Jackson should be approved, with a comparatively small majority of 60 percent against. If people like Jackson over Kavanaugh, it is likely that their threshold for believing she was mistreated will be lower than it is for Kavanaugh.
However, many Republicans may wish their side had opposed Jackson even more aggressively than they did.
There are many unknowns in this set of data.
Overall, though, the American people do not believe that Republicans have elevated the level of conversation in the wake of Jackson’s hearings. As long as Republicans say they are the party of Abraham Lincoln, they would keep the principles of Lincoln’s time in office. But they would fall short of what Lincoln did,
From listening to the hearings and hearing all of the questions that were not connected to the judge’s credentials, it is clear that the Republican Party has regressed significantly. Because they treated an African-American woman who was well-qualified for the job, they show that they do not know the law.

Reference

Americans strongly disapprove of GOP pushback on Ketanji Brown Jackson. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/04/01/americans-disapprove-gop-jackson/?fbclid=IwAR0R1DXxA3QB5kHfs9ROkOimrD8gbkXdJl0OT9h1_xMaWwkaW6alQJW8Pwg

Did you know that Antony Blinken often cites his family’s Holocaust history? The Russia-Ukraine war has him stuck between the personal and the political.

When Secretary of State Antony Blinken cited his family’s Holocaust-era history in explaining a matter of U.S. foreign policy on Monday, it was far from the first time he has done so.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., March 21, 2022. (Kevin LaMarque/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

“One of my responsibilities as Secretary is determining, on behalf of the United States, whether atrocities have been committed,” Blinken, who is Jewish, said Monday at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, where he announced that the Biden administration had determined that the Burmese military had committed genocide against the Rohingya. “It’s an immense responsibility that I take very seriously, particularly given my family’s history.”

That family history involves his stepfather, Samuel Pisar, the Holocaust survivor who became a renowned legal scholar and philosopher. Blinken has often described the late Pisar’s recounting of his rescue by American soldiers, saying it shaped his own idea of what the United States symbolizes worldwide.

“That’s the story that I grew up with, about what our country is and what it represents, and what it means when the United States is engaged and leading,” Blinken said.

Now America’s top diplomat contends with a conflict that puts these values to the test: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has involved mass killings of civilians.

He is also dealing with appeals from Ukraine’s Jewish president, Volodymyr Zelensky — who similarly cites the Holocaust as shaping his outlook — to do more to stop Russia’s attacks.

Zelensky has additionally made direct comparisons between the Russian onslaught and the Holocaust, while Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated his goal is to “de-Nazify” Ukraine.

Talking to American Jewish leaders, Zelensky called Putin’s actions “pure Nazism;” talking to Israelis, he likened Russian tactics to the “final solution”; and in his address to the U.S. Congress, he called the Russian invasion “the worst war since World War II.”

The Biden administration has imposed crippling sanctions on Russia. In addition, it is funneling billions of dollars in defense and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and deploying U.S. troops to NATO allies adjacent to Ukraine. But President Joe Biden will not accede to Zelensky’s top demands — including creating a no-fly zone over Ukraine to protect it — saying they could provoke a world war.’

On Wednesday, however, Blinken formally declared that the United States’ position is that Russian forces have committed war crimes.

“Many of the sites Russia’s forces have hit have been clearly identifiable as in-use by civilians,” he said. “This includes the Mariupol maternity hospital, as the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights expressly noted in a March 11 report. It also includes a strike that hit a Mariupol theater, clearly marked with ‘дeти’ — Russian for ‘children’ — in huge letters visible from the sky.”

Does Blinken feel the pressures of family history as he contemplates Ukraine? The State Department did not respond to multiple requests for an interview. But his speech at the Holocaust museum on Monday showed that it was on his mind.

“One of the unsettling truths of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is that there’s never a time I visit here when its lessons do not feel deeply resonant,” he said. “But I have to tell you, I can recall a few times when that history felt so urgent or the responsibility it imparts on us so pressing. As we meet, the Russian Government continues to wage its unprovoked, brutal war on Ukraine. Each day brings more brutal attacks, more innocent men, women, and children killed.”

The war’s risk to Holocaust survivors in Ukraine was especially poignant in Blinken’s telling.

“Ukraine is home to nearly 10,000 Holocaust survivors, including an 88-year-old woman, Natalia Berezhnaya of Odesa,” he said. “Here’s what she said in a recent interview, and I quote: ‘It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that in 1941, I had to hide in the basement of this building, and that I’m going to have to do that again now.'”

Blinken stopped short of accusing Putin of genocide as he did the Burmese military. Instead, he cast Russia’s predations as part of a welter of human rights disasters now proliferating.

“Even as we are working to increase international pressure on the Kremlin to end this unjustified war, we know there are many other places where horrific atrocities are being committed,” Blinken said. “Over recent weeks, as I’ve spoken with diplomats worldwide about Ukraine, I’ve also heard a constant refrain. Many of them say, ‘Yes, we stand with the people of Ukraine. But we must also stand with the people suffering atrocities in other places.'”

On Wednesday, the move to accuse Russia of war crimes is notable; noted Jewish foreign policy experts had been frustrated with Blinken’s language.

Josh Rogin, an influential foreign policy opinion columnist for The Washington Post, wrote that the hesitancy in Ukraine is reflective of a West that has allowed atrocities to be committed in China, Syria, and Burma. “The Ukraine example shows that ignoring atrocities anywhere is morally and strategically bankrupt,” he said this week before Blinken announced his war crimes designation.

Aaron David Miller, a longtime Middle East peace negotiator and a scion of one of Cleveland’s most prominent Jewish families, sounded a despairing note on Twitter.

“Never Again is Ever Ever Again,” he said. “The International Community has failed to even try to prevent any of the planet’s genocides/mass killings over past 100 years; Armenians; Holocaust; Cambodia; Rwanda; Congo; Sudan; Darfur; Myanmar; Uighurs; Syria….. Ever ask yourself why.”

Asked to expand on the tweet on CNN, Miller, now a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment, a foreign policy think tank, admitted that he understood Blinken’s predicament.

“A president of the United States weighing the consequences of humanitarian intervention in the case of Ukraine has more than just moral factors to take into account and the consequences of an intervention or not an intervention at least for American interests, that could affect millions of humans in the United States and in Ukraine, so it’s it’s a moral hazard,” Miller said. “It’s a complicated problem. And frankly, I think Ukraine will be another example of confirmation of the rule.”

Abe Foxman, the retired national director of the Anti-Defamation League and a Holocaust survivor, argued that Blinken’s approach made sense: One’s views on the Holocaust may shape policy but should not necessarily determine what the procedure is.

He was pleased to see Blinken knows, understands, is informed and instructed by his family history, by his Jewish experience, Foxman said in an interview. It does make a difference, but it cannot be determinative of action. This is a war. It’s not a holocaust or genocide. And it’s very, very important that if you know your history, you see the difference.

Reference

Antony Blinken often cites his family’s Holocaust history. The Russia-Ukraine war has him stuck between the personal and the political. https://www.jta.org/2022/03/24/politics/antony-blinken-often-cites-his-familys-holocaust-history-the-russia-ukraine-war-has-him-stuck-between-the-personal-and-the-political?fbclid=IwAR0vj-Q7Oys1vWBpQYcJm7Y0kjH_8dp7HgXidygq51dBq-SV2-rFeN_-4mw

Did you know that Ginni Thomas, Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife, exchanged texts with Mark Meadows about efforts to overturn the 2020 election?

Following the 2020 presidential election, Virginia Thomas, a conservative activist married to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, urged White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in frantic text conversations during the crucial weeks following the vote to continue unrelenting efforts to reverse the result, according to copies of the texts obtained by CBS News top election and campaign reporter Robert Costa and Bob Woodward of The Washington Post.

This is what happens when individuals have a hidden agenda. Mrs. Thomas has not only gotten her husband into a pickle; she has gotten herself into one as well. Why would she jeopardize her status by doing such acts?

Reference

Ginni Thomas, Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife, exchanged texts with Mark Meadows about efforts to overturn the 2020 election. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/virginia-ginni-thomas-clarence-wife-mark-meadows-texts-2020-election/?fbclid=IwAR0WUTrGzb_8JHYuRc3lv3J4j1d9YbL7fNyMkfos-qagSeAZOaVEt5pkf3g

The United States will welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians

A senior administration official says that the United States will welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians and other people who have fled Russia’s aggression. There are now more than 3.5 million people who have fled Ukraine, says the UN refugee agency. They’ll also be able to get into the U.S. through other ways. Official’s words move will lessen the burden on the European countries already taking on so much of the responsibility. There have been more than 2 million refugees from Ukraine who have come to Poland from the west.

Reference

The United States will welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians. https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/24/politics/us-to-accept-more-ukrainian-refugees/index.html?fbclid=IwAR18cf3_SgAHx7T4D1z7gaIRQ5A-QcwShtcYYwDQeKbNkMwQB43O47ZripM

Why did Mike Braun clarify his assertion that states should decide the legality of interracial marriage?

Sen. Mike Braun, a Republican from Indiana, told reporters in his state on Tuesday that states should determine whether interracial marriage is allowed before claiming he misunderstood the questions and condemning “racism in any form.”

Mike Braun is interviewed in Bekah’s Westside Cafe in Lebanon, Ind., in April 2018.


Inquired as to whether or not he thought “interracial marriage should be left to the states, Braun said, “Yes, I believe that’s something — if you don’t want the Supreme Court to weigh in on matters like that, you’re not going to be able to have both your cake and eat it.” But, honestly, I don’t believe that’s right.” In 1967, the Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia, allowing interracial marriage in the United States.
Afterward, Braun was quizzed on his thoughts on the 1965 case Griswold v. Connecticut, which established a constitutional right to sexual privacy and made the use of contraception for married couples permissible under federal law. The states, according to Braun, should be the ones to decide.
It’s possible to mention a wide range of difficulties, Braun said. But, as far as what they’re going to be, I’m going to suggest that they aren’t going to be all going to make you happy in a particular state but that we’re better off letting forms express their points of view rather than homogenizing it throughout the nation, as Roe v. Wade did.”

“Initially limiting” Braun’s contention that the Supreme Court had seized states’ powers in 1973 with Roe v. Wade, the Times of Northwest Indiana reports. However, he maintained his position when asked about other decisions, such as the Loving v. Virginia case.
Braun afterward issued a statement indicating that he had “misunderstood” the questions asked.
“I misread a line of inquiry earlier at a virtual news conference that turned out to be about interracial marriage. To be quite clear, the Constitution forbids all forms of discrimination based on race. So the issue of racism isn’t even up for question, and I firmly oppose it at every level, from the state to the person. It was Braun’s opinion.
In a short interview on Wednesday, Braun told CNN that he doesn’t think states should decide on interracial marriage.
That’s not the case, Braun said. Even though one may be forgivable, he exposed his true identity. We learn a lot about him through his reaction. When a racist is apprehended, they immediately attempt to paint themselves as victims of their own ignorance since it would be so handy.

Reference

Mike Braun clarifies his assertion that states should decide the legality of interracial marriage. https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/23/politics/mike-braun-interracial-marriage-comments/index.html?fbclid=IwAR0jpCRaI0ml0-B9YMxOUafjGrKhdb8fxcqJcMgqxLw7BywL4207X-0bq-s

Did you know that Jackson pushes back at GOP critics, defends judicial record?

Brown, Ketanji Jackson vehemently defended her record as a judge Tuesday, rebutting Republican charges that she was soft on crime and stating that if confirmed as the first black woman on the Supreme Court, she would rule as an “independent jurist.”

Republicans aggressively questioned Jackson during a marathon hearing that lasted into the night about the sentences she handed down to sex offenders during her nine years as a federal judge, her advocacy on behalf of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, her views on critical race theory, and even her religious beliefs. In February, President Joe Biden appointed Jackson to the Supreme Court, completing a campaign commitment to nominate a black woman to the court for the first time in American history. Cruz pressed Jackson on her sentencing for child pornographers, bringing up a giant poster board and marking passages he believed were heinous. 

The White House has rejected the criticism as “toxic and weakly presented misinformation.” And sentencing expert Douglas Berman, an Ohio State law professor, noted on his blog that although Jackson’s record indicates she is suspicious of the range of prison sentences proposed in child pornography cases, “so were prosecutors in the majority of her cases and district judges nationally.” Jackson said that the notion does not arise in her job as a judge and “would not be anything I would depend on” if approved. Jackson’s answers bypassed a key point: the court weighs whether to overrule those cases that affirm a nationwide right to abortion.

Reference

Jackson pushes back at GOP critics, defends judicial record. https://apnews.com/article/ketanji-brown-jackson-hearing-day-2-live-updates-219ce62acd87ca205163781f5b6623a0?fbclid=IwAR3L5e1TdHHui49NkKb_LwHfhgscFcptsRgqGb9DmXc9Jqr7FA-BPYh1DkQ

Did you know that three Russian billionaires resigned from different boards?

Petr Aven, Mikhail Fridman, and German Kahn, three Russian billionaires, have resigned from the board of Genesis Philanthropy Group, a Jewish grantmaking charity they formed in 2007. Sanctions on the three oligarchs were imposed by the EU and UK in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

LetterOne owns the health retail chain Holland & Barrett and a swathe of energy assets across Europe. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

From French vineyards to English football teams, sanctioned billionaires are scurrying to relocate and sell Western assets to escape confiscation. According to the release, the oligarchs’ resignations would have no effect on a $10 million payment that GPG had previously agreed to make to the Ukrainian Jewish community. Mikhail Fridman, a Ukrainian-born Jew, was one of the first Russian billionaires to speak out against the conflict in Ukraine, according to a statement addressed to LetterOne staff. In a recent interview with Bloomberg, he said that sanctioned oligarchs like him had little influence on Putin and that challenging him on Ukraine would be “death.” Despite mounting criticism from Russia’s elite, which has lost billions since the conflict began, analysts have told Insider that Putin is likely unconcerned with the oligarchs’ pushback, with just his small inner circle having his ear.

Reference


Three more Russian billionaires resign from the LetterOne board. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/mar/07/three-more-russian-billionaires-resign-from-letterone-board

Did you know that a mysterious superyacht docked in Italy has a crew that may include Putin’s bodyguards, according to activists working with Putin opponent Alexei Navalny?

According to activists working with imprisoned Putin opponent Alexei Navalny, a mystery superyacht whose owner has not been publicly identified is manned by numerous personnel of a Russian state agency entrusted with defending Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The Scheherazade, one of the world’s biggest boats of its type, is a private superyacht, according to The New York Times. According to a personnel roster received by Pevchikh and Alburov in December 2020, all permanent crew members are Russian except for the ship’s commander. The United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union have imposed economic sanctions on Russia and confiscated several Russian billionaires’ luxury assets, including superyachts, in response to Russia’s continuing military attack on Ukraine. Navalny’s team is pleading with Italian authorities to confiscate the yacht if they discover that Putin owns it. Guy Bennett-Pearce, the superyacht’s skipper, told The Times that Italian investigators boarded the vessel early this month as part of an investigation launched by the Italian financial police. As a result, he was “forced” to turn over paperwork disclosing the owner’s name. Bennett-Pearce, a British native and the ship’s only non-Russian employee, would not rule out the possibility that the superyacht’s owner is Russian but could not comment more owing to a “watertight nondisclosure agreement” and said that the superyacht’s owner is not on any sanctions list.

Reference
Superyacht docked in Italy was outfitted by Putin’s …. https://soggros.com/index.php/2022/03/22/superyacht-docked-in-italy-was-outfitted-by-putins-protection-agency-activists-say/.

The Avalon Project: The Moscow Conference, October 1943. https://avalon.law.yale.edu/wwii/moscow.asp