What Else Was Happening Lately

In all the hoopla over the thirty-four counts some other news got buried. On Friday  President Biden proposed a permanent cease-fire plan between Israel and Hamas (more here on the plan from Al-Jazeera). Very, very simply, the plan includes three phases that would begin with releasing hostages and prisoners on both sides plus allowing hundreds of food trucks into Gaza. Next would be negotiation toward a permanent end to hostilities, and last is the rebuilding of what was destroyed. I assume that somewhere in there some provision would be made for how Gaza will be governed.

President Biden initially framed the proposal as an Israeli proposal that he hoped Hamas would accept. Many have pointed out that he waited to announce the proposal until after Shabbat had started in Israel, so that Netanyahu couldn’t respond right away. By now it’s clear Netanyahu wasn’t behind the proposal and probably won’t agree to it. Juan Cole explains that if Netanyahu did accept a peace plan his hard-right coalition would collapse, costing him his position as Prime Minister. See also Fred Kaplan at Slate.

Complicating all this is that on Saturday Netanyahu was invited to address Congress. Speaker Mike Johnson has been pushing hard for this, and I take it Chuck Schumer finally caved. It’s not clear to me if Netanyahu will be speaking remotely or will show up in person. I don’t think he could set foot in the U.S. without being slammed by protests. A large part of the Democrats of both houses are already saying they will not attend.

In another surprise move, President Biden announced he is putting tighter restrictions on the number of migrants allowed to cross the border and apply for asylum. Progressives in Congress are not happy. I suspect Biden has his eye on the election with this one. There’s not much he can do about the border until he gets a Congress that will work with him.

Speaking of Congress — I couldn’t bear to watch any of the news stories about the House committees grilling Dr. Anthony Fauci and Attorney General Merrick Garland. House Republicans are just baboons throwing feces as far as I’m concerned. Some might consider that comparison an insult to baboons.

In other news — see 3 Organizers Of Trump Fake Elex Plot—Including Chesebro—Charged In Wisconsin.

Also, too — The Epoch Times is a horrible, hard-right propaganda rag. And now it may go out of business.

D’oh! Why didn’t we think of this?

Take a propagandistic news outlet and pump it full of cash from overseas criminal scams that you laundered yourself and bingo you have a supposedly growing media property. Allegedly.

The one glitch, as Epoch Times CFO Bill Guan found out, is that the law may eventually catch up to you.

Guan was indicted in the Southern District of New York on one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and two counts of bank fraud for allegedly laundering $67 million in illicit criminal proceeds for the benefit of the Falun Gong-affiliated Epoch Times.

Among the sources of the so-called “revenue” laundered into Epoch Times were fraudulently procured unemployment insurance benefits obtained using stolen identities that were then loaded onto prepaid debit cards and sold at 70-80 cents on the dollar, according to the indictment.

Falun Gong is a Chinese religious movement that also produces those Shen Yun music and dance extravaganzas you must have seen advertised on the TV. Falun Gong was horribly persecuted in China and now has its headquarters in New York state somewhere, I understand. I used to be sympathetic to them until I found out the organization is behind right-wing extremist politicians here and in Europe. So they came West for freedom and are working to destroy freedom. I appreciate why they would be anti-Communist, but neo-facsism isn’t an improvement.

Let’s just hope Epoch Times shuts down.

8 thoughts on “What Else Was Happening Lately

  1. My new favorite distraction:  Families of Uvalde shooting victims have filed lawsuits in California and Texas against Meta, Activision – the maker of the video game "Call of Duty" and Daniel Defense, the manufacturer of the AR-15.

    They are accused of scheming to target insecure adolescent boys to expand the firearm market.  These are the trials I really want to follow. Hopefully another monetary settlement will not prevent them from going to court.  

     

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  2. I don't think there will be a cease fire in Gaza until after the election. Bibi wants his bff Stump back in the white house and a cease fire would break up his coalition of racist Islamophobic fundies back in Israel. I hope I'm wrong for Gaza'a sake but I just don't see it.

    The Epoch Times, there really is no bottom as far as "news" in what the maga-teatards will consume. There really seems to be no end to their ignorance.

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  3. I had no idea Falun Gong was behind the Shen Yun extravaganzas, but it makes sense. It would be great if "Epoch Times" went under. American evangelicals eat it up. It's worth every penny they pay out for it (nothing).

    Biden's border move is brilliant political jiu-jitsu. When your opponent is reeling – from the 34 convictions – hit them again – by taking away one of their main issues.

    I'm hearing Republican screams getting louder – which is good news. A few weeks ago, my YouTube viewing was interrupted by ads featuring Don Jr and Lara Trump soliciting $. Just yesterday, the Convicted Felon Himself was pitching me to send in money. Apparently, they've scraped the bottom of the MAGA barrel for money, so now they're going after demographics they never cared about before. I almost want to record one of these desperate pitches, for posterity.

    Desperate Republicans screaming is a very good sign.

    • The GOP has been claiming that donations are thru the roof after The Verdict. I'm curious what will be officially reported when the next FEC period closes.

      Trump seems to be violating the gag order with almost every interview that he does. Attacks on witnesses who are granting interviews might be allowed but comments about the jury may push the judge into acting. 

      GOP threats against the judicial system may not be entirely about Trump's conviction. There's a laundry list of Trump cronies up to their necks in legal problems including Bannon and Navarro for Contempt of Congress. Bannon is awaiting trial in NY for fraud related to Build the Wall money embezzled. (I'm looking for news on this – it was supposed to start last week.) Rudy is bankrupt from lawsuits related to election lies and ignoring court orders on plans to liquidate to pay off creditors. Eastman lost his law license. Chesbro is facing multiple criminal charges. Ellis and Bobb are charged in AZ. Clark faces charges in DC. Lin Wood resigned his law license to prevent being disbarred. The GOP needs a party-wide get-out-of-jail-free card and much of the caterwauling about Trump is about conditioning the judicial system that they must adopt extreme bias that favors the GOP. It's not all about Trump.

      Trump has the GA case on hold while Trump tries to get Willis removed by the court in GA. Judge Cannon has the documents trial scheduled for the day after hell freezes over. Which is the day before the USSC releases a verdict on Trump immunity for the DC trial.  Bottom line: we stop Trump in November first. It's up to the voters to keep Trump from getting a "first down." If Biden wins the election, Democrats have the advantage twice over – first for winning, second for holding the levers of political power during the time Trump tries to steal the election.. Here's the harsh reality for the GOP – if Trump tries to steal the election and fails, the Biden DOJ will have four years to turn over every rock to expose any illegal attempt to interfere with the election. (Refer to the previous para.)

      The Presidential debate is in just three weeks and a day. I'm not confident Trump will show up.

  4. No Senator is the poster child for the pure right or the pure left, and you would think that a majority of them would allow consideration of a bill to give women the assurance of their right to obtain contraceptives would garner enough votes to pass cloture.  With the exception of Susan Collins, no republican was willing go that liberal.  

    I am thinking that other than the right to decide what flag gets run up the house flagpole, republicans in this country think women should not have any rights at all.  We need more votes like this.  It reveals their true colors.  Now we have a republican Senator voicing Russian talking points on the Ukraine War.  How about a vote prohibiting voicing Russian propaganda on the Senate floor.  I'd like to know how Senators from my state would vote on that.  

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  5. I've recently come to think that the old Big Money wing of the GOP has cut a deal with Trump which goes something like this:

    Trump gets:

    (1) the Presidential Nomination and a promise of no public opposition to his candidacy by [prominent] GOP officials.

    (2) a big stack of Get Out of Jail Free cards.

    (3) whatever money he can con his Mob into giving him.

     

    The GOP gets:

    (1) control of [almost] all appointments, without the endless delays caused by Trump's Loyalty Tests in his first term.  Exceptions would be Trump's personal team, whose main job would be to schedule endless Trump Rallies and collect kickbacks.

    (2) control of the legislative, executive, and judicial agenda, except for things which directly affect Trump and his money-making scams.

     

    In this scenario, Trump would be a figurehead, like GWBush, leaving him free to spend all his time making speeches, leaving the tedious job of actually governing to the GOP hacks.

    The obvious test of my theory will be the choice of Trump's VP candidate.  If it's Nikki Haley – or some other GOP insider – then I'm right.  If it's some random right-wing media star who catches Trump's eye 3 days before the GOP convention, then I'm wrong.  (Either way, I predict it will be a woman with Big Hair).

    This is a replay of the Big Money GOP's plan for Trump in 2016, but they didn't seriously believe that he'd win, so they didn't really set guardrails, and Trump actually tried to run the country.  The GOP got most of its highest priorities (more Tax Cuts for the Rich, more Federalist SC judges), but the chaos Trump caused nearly broke the GOP (and the USA), which isn't good for Business.

    The big question is whether the Old Money wing would cooperate with Trump to steal the election, either via their normal shenanigans (vote suppression, etc) or by having the (incoming) House of Representatives reject the Electors from a few States. 

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