Joe Biden, Benjamin Netanyahu have finally talked, but their visions still clash for ending Israel-Hamas war

U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finally spoke on January 19 after a glaring, nearly four-week gap in direct communication during which fundamental differences have come into focus over a possible pathway to Palestinian statehood once the fighting in Gaza ends.

Mr. Biden and his top aides have all but smothered Mr. Netanyahu with robust support, even in the face of global condemnation over the mounting civilian death toll and humanitarian suffering in Gaza as the Israelis have carried out military operations in the aftermath of the October 7 attack on Israel.

But the leaders’ relationship has increasingly shown signs of strain as Mr. Netanyahu has repeatedly rebuffed Mr. Biden’s calls for Palestinian sovereignty, gumming us what the U.S. President believes is the key to unlocking a durable peace in the Middle East — the oft-cited, elusive two-state solution. Neither side shows signs of budging.

Friday’s phone call came one day after Mr. Netanyahu said that he has told U.S. officials in plain terms that he will not support a Palestinian state as part of any post-war plan. Mr. Biden, for his part, in Friday’s call reaffirmed his commitment to work toward helping the Palestinians move toward statehood.

“As we’re talking about post-conflict Gaza … you can’t do that without also talking about the aspirations of the Palestinian people and what that needs to look like for them,” said National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.

The leaders spoke frequently in the first weeks of the war. But the regular cadence of calls between Mr. Biden and Mr. Netanyahu, who have had a hot-and-cold relationship for over three decades, has slowed considerably. Their 30- to 40-minute call on Friday was their first conversation since December 23. Both sides are hemmed in by domestic political considerations.

The chasm between Mr. Biden, a centre-left Democrat and Mr. Netanyahu, who leads the most conservative government in Israel’s history, has expanded as pressure mounts on the United States to use its considerable leverage to press Israel to wind down a war that has already killed nearly 25,000 Palestinians.

There is also growing impatience with Mr. Netanyahu in Israel over the lack of progress in freeing dozens of hostages still held by Islamic militants in Gaza.

“There is certainly a reason to be concerned,” says Eytan Gilboa, an expert on U.S.-Israeli relations at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, “The more and more we see political considerations dominating the relationship between Mr. Biden and Mr. Netanyahu, which is likely to continue because of the upcoming Presidential election and the weakness of both leaders, the more we will see them pulling apart.”

In their most recent calls, Mr. Biden’s frustration with Mr. Netanyahu has grown more evident, even though the U.S. leader has been careful to reaffirm his support for Israel at each step, according to U.S. officials who requested anonymity to discuss the leaders’ private interactions.

Yet, Mr. Biden, at least publicly, has not given up on the idea of winning over Mr. Netanyahu. Asked by a reporter on Friday if a two-state solution is impossible while Mr. Netanyahu is in office, Mr. Biden replied, “No, it’s not.”

Aides insist Mr. Biden understands the political box Mr. Netanyahu finds himself in with his hard-right coalition and as he deals with ongoing corruption charges that have left the Prime Minister fighting for his freedom, not just his political future.

Mr. Biden, meanwhile, faces American voters in November, in a likely rematch with former President Donald Trump. Netanyahu and Trump forged a close relationship during the Republican’s term in office. Mr. Biden faces criticism from some on his left who believe he hasn’t pushed the Israelis hard enough to demonstrate restraint as it carries out military operations.

Key Democratic lawmakers, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, this week warned that Mr. Netanyahu’s position on statehood could complicate negotiations in the Senate on a spending package that includes military aid for Israel.

Expect Mr. Netanyahu to “use every trick that he has to keep his coalition together and avoid elections and play out the clock,” said Michael Koplow, chief policy officer at the Israel Policy Forum. ”And I’m sure that part of it is a conviction that if he waits until November, he may end up with Donald Trump back in the Oval Office.”

In recent weeks, some of the more difficult conversations have been left to Ron Dermer, a top aide to Mr. Netanyahu and former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., and Mr. Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan. The two top aides talk almost daily — sometimes multiple times during a day, according to a U.S. official and an Israeli official, who were not authorised to comment publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Other senior Biden administration officials including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, as well as senior advisers Brett McGurk and Amos Hochstein, have been at the forefront of the administration’s push to engage the Israelis and other Middle East allies as the Biden-Netanyahu dialogue has become less constructive.

Mr. Netanyahu, who has opposed calls for a two-state solution throughout his political career, told reporters this week that he flatly told U.S. officials he remains opposed to any post-war plan that includes establishment of a Palestinian state.

The Prime Minister’s latest rejection of Mr. Biden’s push in that direction came after Mr. Blinken this week said at the World Economic Forum in Davos that Israel and its Middle East neighbours had “a profound opportunity” to solve the generational Israel-Palestinian conflict. Asked if he thought Mr. Netanyahu was up to making the most of the moment, Mr. Blinken demurred.

“Look, these are decisions for Israelis to make,” Mr. Blinken said. “This is a profound decision for the country as a whole to make: What direction does it want to take? Does it see — can it seize — the opportunity that we believe is there?”

The Biden-Netanyahu relationship has seen no shortage of peaks and valleys over the years. As vice-president, Mr. Biden privately criticised Mr. Netanyahu after the the Israeli leader embarrassed President Barack Obama by approving the construction of 1,600 new apartments in disputed East Jerusalem in the middle of Biden’s 2010 visit to Israel.

Mr. Netanyahu publicly resisted, before eventually relenting to Mr. Biden’s calls on the Israelis to wind down a May 2021 military operation in Gaza. And in late 2019, during a question and answer session with voters on the campaign trail, Mr. Biden called Mr. Netanyahu an “extreme right” leader.

The path to a two-state solution — one in which Israel would co-exist with an independent Palestinian state — has eluded U.S. presidents and Middle East diplomats for decades.

But as the war grinds on, Mr. Biden and his team have pressed the notion that there is a new dynamic in the Middle East in which Israel’s Arab and Muslim neighbours stand ready to integrate Israel into the region once the war ends, but only if Israel commits to a pathway to a Palestinian state.

Mr. Biden has proposed that a “revitalised” Palestinian Authority, which is based in the West Bank, could run Gaza once combat ends. Mr. Netanyahu has roundly rejected the idea of putting the Palestinian Authority, which is beset by corruption, in charge of the territory.

Mr. Netanyahu argues that a Palestinian state would become a launchpad for attacks on Israel. So Israel “must have security control over the entire territory west of the Jordan River,” Mr. Netanyahu said. “That collides with the idea of sovereignty. What can we do?”

White House officials have sought to play down Mr. Netanyahu’s public rejection of Mr. Biden’s call for a two-state solution, noting that the Prime Minister’s rhetoric is not new.

They hold out hope Israel could eventually come around to accepting a Palestinian state that comes with strong security guarantees for Israel.

“I don’t think Mr. Biden has any illusions about Netanyahu,” said Daniel Kurtzer, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Egypt during the Bill Clinton administration and to Israel under George W. Bush. “But I don’t think he’s ready to slam the door on him. And that’s because he gets the intersection between the policy and the politics.”

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Biden issues an executive order restricting U.S. investments in Chinese technology

President Joe Biden signed an executive order on August 9 to block and regulate high-tech U.S.-based investments going toward China— a move the administration said was targeted even though it reflected an intensifying competition between the world’s two biggest powers.

The order covers advanced computer chips, micro electronics, quantum information technologies and artificial intelligence. Senior administration officials said that the effort stemmed from national security goals rather than economic interests, and that the categories it covered were intentionally narrow in scope. The order seeks to blunt China’s ability to use U.S. investments in its technology companies to upgrade its military while also preserving broader levels of trade that are vital for both nations’ economies.

The United States and China appear to be increasingly locked in a geopolitical competition with a conflicting set of values. Biden administration officials have insisted that they have no interest in “decoupling” from China, yet the U.S. also has limited the export of advanced computer chips and kept the expanded tariffs set up by President Donald Trump. China has engaged in crackdowns on foreign companies.

Mr. Biden has suggested that China’s economy is struggling and its global ambitions have been tempered as the U.S. has reenergized its alliances with Japan, South Korea, Australia and the European Union. The administration consulted with allies and industry in shaping the executive order.

“Worry about China, but don’t worry about China,” Mr. Biden told donors at a June fundraising event in California.

The officials previewing the order said that China has exploited U.S. investments to support the development of weapons and modernize its military. The new limits were tailored not to disrupt China’s economy, but they would complement the export controls on advanced computer chips from last year that led to pushback by Chinese officials. The Treasury Department, which would monitor the investments, will announce a proposed rulemaking with definitions that would conform to the presidential order and go through a public comment process.

The goals of the order would be to have investors notify the U.S. government about certain types of transactions with China as well as to place prohibitions on some investments. Officials said the order is focused on areas such as private equity, venture capital and joint partnerships in which the investments could possibly give countries of concern such as China additional knowledge and military capabilities.

J. Philip Ludvigson, a lawyer and former Treasury official, said the order was an initial framework that could be expanded over time.

“The executive order issued today really represents the start of a conversation between the U.S. government and industry regarding the details of the ultimate screening regime,” Mr. Ludvigson said. “While the executive order is limited initially to semiconductors and microelectronics, quantum information technologies, and artificial intelligence, it explicitly provides for a future broadening to other sectors.”

The issue is also a bipartisan priority. In July by a vote of 91-6, the Senate added as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act requirements to monitor and limit investments in countries of concern, including China.

Yet the reaction to Mr. Biden’s order on August 9 showed a desire to push harder on China. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., said the order was an “essential step forward,” but it “cannot be the final step.” Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said Mr. Biden should been more aggressive, saying, “We have to stop all U.S. investment in China’s critical technology and military companies — period.”

Mr. Biden has called Chinese President Xi Jinping a “dictator” in the aftermath of the U.S. shooting down a spy balloon from China that floated over the United States. Taiwan’s status has been a source of tension, with Mr. Biden saying that China had become coercive regarding its independence.

China has supported Russia after its 2022 invasion of Ukraine, though Mr. Biden has noted that the friendship has not extended to the shipment of weapons.

U.S. officials have long signaled the coming executive order on investing in China, but it’s unclear whether financial markets will regard it as a tapered step or a continued escalation of tensions at a fragile moment.

“The message it sends to the market may be far more decisive,” said Elaine Dezenski, a senior director at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “U.S. and multinational companies are already reexamining the risks of investing in China. Beijing’s so-called ‘national security’ and ‘anti-espionage’ laws that curb routine and necessary corporate due diligence and compliance were already having a chilling effect on U.S. foreign direct investment. That chilling now risks turning into a deep freeze.”

China ‘gravely’ concerned about US order on foreign investment

China’s Commerce Ministry said it is “gravely concerned” about the United States’ signing of an executive order that will prohibit some new U.S. investment in China in sensitive technology, and said it reserves the right to take measures.

It said it hopes the U.S. will respect the laws of the market economy and the principle of fair competition, and refrain from “artificially hindering global economic and trade exchanges and cooperation”.

China’s strong economic growth has stumbled coming out of pandemic lockdowns. On August 9 its National Bureau of Statistics reported a 0.3% decline in consumer prices in July from a year ago. That level of deflation points to a lack of consumer demand in China that could hamper growth.

Separately, foreign direct investment into China fell 89% from a year earlier in the second quarter of this year to $4.9 billion, according to data released by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.

Most foreign investment is believed to be brought in by Chinese companies and disguised as foreign money to get tax breaks and other benefits, according to Chinese researchers.

However, foreign business groups say global companies also are shifting investment plans to other economies.

Foreign companies have lost confidence in China following tighter security controls and a lack of action on reform promises. Calls by Xi and other leaders for more economic self-reliance have left investors uneasy about their future in the state-dominated economy.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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#Biden #issues #executive #order #restricting #investments #Chinese #technology

Here’s How Much Mike Pence Is Worth

Government pensions made the former vice president a millionaire in 2019, but he really cashed in after the 2020 election forced him back into the private sector.


It took Mike Pence nearly two decades of government service to become a millionaire on taxpayers’ dime through his state and federal pensions in 2019–and less than three years to quadruple his fortune as a public speaker, writer and consultant after leaving the vice presidency in January 2021. The 64-year-old darling of conservative evangelicals, who published his memoir “So Help Me God” last November, is wealthier (and more liquid) than he’s ever been, worth an estimated $4 million, according to Forbes’ estimates.

From the start of 2022 to June 2023, Pence generated $3.4 million by delivering 32 paid speeches, talking to a variety of groups, including an international peace organization, an oil and gas group and a smattering of universities. He collected another $1.4 million in advance payments for his book over the same period. His wife, Karen, received $75,000 in advance payments for her book, “When It’s Your Turn To Serve.” The Pences used some of their newfound cash to enjoy life outside of the White House, paying $1.9 million for a home in Indiana. But they saved plenty, too, buying stock in blue-chip names like Apple, Pfizer, Chevron and Lockheed Martin, before concentrating their portfolio in broad-based funds as a presidential run approached.

The son of a Korean War veteran who helped build Kiel Bros. Oil Co., an Indiana gas station and convenience store chain with more than 200 locations at its peak, Mike Pence graduated from Indiana University’s law school in 1986. He passed on a job at his family’s business, instead mounting unsuccessful campaigns for Congress in 1988 and 1990 and briefly working at a small law firm. Pence’s second congressional campaign erupted in scandal after he used political donations to cover a mortgage, credit card and grocery bills. “I’m not embarrassed that I need to make a living,” he told the press at the time. Such personal spending was legal then (though it has since been banned) but proved unpopular with voters.


Pence’s Portfolio

As vice president, Mike Pence’s fortune was almost entirely locked up in government pensions. Out of office, he has quadrupled his net worth to $4 million, scooped up a mansion in Indiana and expanded his exposure to the stock market.


Over the next decade, Pence reinvented himself as a local radio star, billed as “Rush Limbaugh on decaf,” making him a minor celebrity in the conservative Midwest and helping propel him into Congress on his third attempt in 2000. Still, the U.S. representative from Indiana remained one the Capitol’s poorer members, with few assets to his name besides stock in his family’s Kiel Bros.—worth somewhere between $200,000 and $450,000, according to a financial disclosure report he filed with the federal government in 2004. The company, which his brother Greg had taken over, filed for bankruptcy the next year.

Pence had a safety net. In 2006, he hit his fifth year of federal service, making him eligible for the especially generous retirement package afforded to members of Congress and their staffers. In 2012, Pence voted to scale back such retirement packages for future congressmen, but a grandfather clause written into the new legislation left his pension, and those of older lawmakers, untouched. “They’re almost twice as valuable as a regular federal pension,” Tim Voit, a financial analyst who runs a firm specializing in pensions told Forbes in 2019. “Congress passes laws for their own benefit, and they’ll never shortchange themselves.”

Between the 12 years Pence served in the House through 2012 and his four years as vice president beginning in 2017, he is currently eligible to collect an estimated $62,750 per year from the federal government for the rest of his life. If he were able to sell that annuity today, he could get about $620,000 for it, down only slightly from around $700,000 in 2019, with two years of additional service as vice president offset by the impact of interest rate hikes.

Then there’s Pence’s state pension, the result of his four years as governor of Indiana through 2016, which entitles him to 40% of his final salary of $112,000 for the rest of his life. That’s assuming Pence, who received a salary of $230,700 during each of his four years as vice president before really raking it in as a private citizen, waits to start drawing benefits until he turns 65 next year. The Indiana pension is worth an estimated $430,000 today–down only slightly from a half million or so in 2019. A spokesperson for Pence did not respond to requests for comment on this story.

Pence’s pensions are still worth a lot to the former vice president, accounting for nearly a quarter of his estimated $4 million fortune, or $1.1 million combined. But they’re not his only real assets anymore. The millions he earned writing, speaking and consulting after leaving the White House likely helped Pence pay off the five student loans he received to help put his three children through college, which had somewhere between $100,000 and $250,000 of principal remaining on them when he departed the White House, according to a financial disclosure he filed in January 2021.

Pence’s recent cash infusion will also make it easier to pay down the $1.5 million mortgage he took out to purchase a five-acre estate in his hometown of Columbus, Indiana shortly after leaving the vice president’s official residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory in January 2021. Forbes estimates that Pence’s new property, apparently the first he has owned since moving into the Indiana Governor’s Mansion in 2013, is now worth $1 million, after deducting the remaining balance on his 30-year mortgage.

Pence also owns shares in four mutual funds worth between $95,000 and $250,000 combined through his 401(k) plan at Hoosier Heartland LLC, the entity through which he conducts his speaking, writing and consulting. Hoosier Heartland has paid him $381,000 in salary since the beginning of 2022, according to his most recent financial disclosure. Two of his larger holdings today are a money market account and a Fidelity index fund that tracks the broader market, in which he has somewhere between $500,000 and $1 million apiece. To top things off, Pence has a life insurance policy valued somewhere between $15,000 and $50,000, and as much as $15,000 of cash in the bank.

The last two and a half years as a private citizen have been far more lucrative for Pence than his 20 years in public service. But he could make even more in the wake of a presidency, if he’s able to upset both his former boss, Donald Trump, and the man whose election he certified, Joe Biden.

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Biden’s DHS BUSTED weaponizing anti-terrorism program against conservatives (damning thread)

Nothing to see here, just the DHS targeting conservatives as terrorists. Ok, so none of us is surprised to see this happening under Biden (heck, his boss was the first to master the weaponization of agencies against those he disagreed with), but when you see it in a thread like this in black and white?

They never thought they’d get caught.

That, or they didn’t care if they got caught.

Either way, this is a huge red flag (yay, another one!)

$39.6 million tax dollars to target people politically.

Good times.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars to go after Republicans.

We paid for this, you guys.

Anti-terrorism.

Hey, they keep saying the biggest threat to the country is domestic terrorism and parents, right?

Illegal.

And getting paid by the government to do it.

Gross, right?

Keep going.

Celebrated silencing people they disagree with.

THAT is who and what our current federal government is.

Cripes.

Again, using our tax dollars to say these things.

Trump tried to kill millions, DeSantis wants another Holocaust …

Are you kidding us with this crap?

Of course not.

That violence was done in the name of love or something. Those buildings they burned down were totally racist!

The only actual authoritarian, Joe Biden.

Cute.

We’d say this is unbelievable but sadly under this disaster of a president, it’s all too believable.

***

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DAMN son! Matt Walsh takes ‘spineless, lying FRAUD’ Ben Collins to the woodshed in BRUTAL back and forth

Leave kids ALONE! Self-proclaimed super pro-choice Lefty explains why she’s considering voting Republican

BOO and YAH: Seth Dillon’s mini-thread about women being the ones to END wokeness kicks SO MUCH a*s

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#Bidens #DHS #BUSTED #weaponizing #antiterrorism #program #conservatives #damning #thread

DeSantis admin secures BIG win against Biden and Democrats are seething

Last night at midnight, Title 42, a rule put into place during the Covid era restricting illegal immigration, was set to end. The Biden administration chose to end Title 42 opening the door for a huge influx of new migrants at our southern border. The border is already in crisis, and the end of Title 42 will only exacerbate what is already a human rights disaster. Right before Title 42 was set to expire, the DeSantis administration was victorious in securing an injunction against a policy allowing migrants to be set free without a court date.

Any time the Biden administration is unhappy, something wonderful probably just happened for regular Americans.

Ashley Moody, the Attorney General of Florida sued the Biden Administration and secured this tremendous victory. Celebration broke out on Twitter upon hearing the news.

Thankfully, there are state-level legislators and attorneys willing to fight Biden’s illegal orders with the power of the courts.

The Biden administration has decided to enact rules and regulations and dare states to sue them. It’s shameful to see a presidential administration acting with lawless intent and forcing lawsuits to restrain them.

While tweeps were thankful to Ashley Moody and the DeSantis administration, many wondered why their own Republican state officials are not also fighting back against this feckless Biden administration.

Other tweeps noted this was a good first step, but we need cooperation from other countries to truly make a lasting impact on the illegal immigration issue.

Whenever there is bad news for the lawless Biden administration, corporate media seems to get a frog in their throat. It’s so very strange.

There is no doubt the border is a huge mess and this is only one battle in a war it will take all legislators of good conscience to solve.

*****

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Biden’s rebuke of a bold, reform-minded crime law makes all Americans less safe

President Joe Biden’s support for a Republican-led effort to nullify the Washington D.C. City Council’s revision of its criminal code, signed into law on Monday, plays into the fear narrative that is being increasingly advanced across the U.S.

Biden could have used his platform and clout to clarify the actual substance of the carefully crafted District of Columbia proposal — and adhere to his campaign commitment to reduce the number of incarcerated Americans.

Instead, the president ignored the glaring problems in D.C.’s existing criminal code, which the 275-page long package of revisions was designed to address. This included reforming the draconian and inflexible sentencing requirements that have swelled the District’s incarceration rate and wasted countless resources imprisoning individuals who pose no danger to public safety. By rejecting this decade-plus effort, the president decided that D.C. residents have no right to determine for themselves how to fix these problems.

There are communities across the U.S. that see virtually no violent crime, and it isn’t because they’re the most policed.

Biden’s decision is the latest backlash to U.S. justice reform coming from both sides of the political aisle.

Instead of doubling down on failed tough-on-crime tactics, Americans need to come together to articulate and invest in a new vision of public safety. We already know what that looks like because there are communities across the country which see virtually no violent crime, and it isn’t because they’re the most policed.

Safe communities are places where people (even those facing economic distress) are housed, where schools have the resources to teach all children, where the water and air are clean, where families have access to good-paying jobs and comprehensive healthcare, and where those who are struggling are given a hand, not a handcuff.

This is the kind of community every American deserves to live in, but that future is only possible if we shift resources from carceral responses to communities and shift our mindset from punishment to prevention. 

Too often it’s easier to advocate for locking people up than it is to innovate and advance a new vision for public safety. 

In the wake of particularly traumatic years, as well as growing divisiveness that has politicized criminal justice reform, it is not surprising that many people believe their communities are less safe. While public perceptions of crime have long been disconnected from actual crime rates and can be heavily influenced by media coverage, the data tells a mixed story. Homicide rates did increase in both urban and rural areas in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and record levels of gun sales.

While early available data suggests these numbers are trending down, it’s too soon to tell, especially given the nation’s poor crime data infrastructure. What is clear is that there is no evidence that criminal justice reform is to blame for rising crime, despite well-funded attempts by those resistant to change and who are intent on driving a political agenda to make such a claim stick. 

Yet fear often obscures facts; people are scared for their safety and want reassurance. Too often it’s easier to advocate for locking people up than it is to innovate and advance a new vision for public safety. 

We need leaders who can govern with both empathy and integrity – who can provide genuine compassion to those who feel scared while also following the data about how to create safer communities. And all the data points to the need for reform. 

Mass incarceration costs U.S. taxpayers an estimated $1 trillion annually.

Mass incarceration costs U.S. taxpayers an estimated $1 trillion annually, when you factor in not only the cost of confinement but also the crushing toll placed on incarcerated people and their families, children, and communities. Despite this staggering figure, there’s no real evidence that incarceration works, and in fact some evidence to suggest it actually makes people more likely to commit future crimes. Yet we keep pouring more and more taxpayer dollars into this short-sighted solution that, instead of preventing harm, only delays and compounds it. 

We have to stop pretending that reform is the real threat to public safety and recognize how our over-reliance on incarceration actually makes us less safe. 

Reform and public safety go hand in hand. Commonsense changes including reforming cash bail, revisiting extreme sentences and diverting people from the criminal legal system have all been shown to have positive effects on individuals and communities.

At a time of record-low clearance rates nationwide and staffing challenges in police departments and prosecutor’s offices, arresting and prosecuting people for low-level offenses that do not impact public safety can actually make us less safe by directing resources away from solving serious crimes and creating collateral consequences for people that make it harder to escape cycles of poverty and crime. 

Yet, tough-on-crime proponents repeatedly misrepresent justice reform by claiming that reformers are simply letting people who commit crimes off the hook. Nothing could be further from the truth. Reform does not mean a lack of accountability, but rather a more effective version of accountability for everyone involved. 

Our traditional criminal legal system has failed victims time and again. In a 2022 survey of crime survivors, just 8% said that the justice system was very helpful in navigating the legal process and being connected to services. Many said they didn’t even report the crime because of distrust of the system. 

When asked what they want, many crime survivors express a fundamental desire to ensure that the person who caused them harm doesn’t hurt them or anyone else ever again. But status quo approaches aren’t providing that. The best available data shows that 7 in 10 people released from prison in 2012 were rearrested within five years. Perhaps that’s why crime victims support alternatives to traditional prosecution and incarceration by large margins. 

For example, in New York City, Common Justice offered the first alternative-to-incarceration program in the country focused on violent felonies in adult courts. When given the option, 90% of eligible victims chose to participate in a restorative justice program through Common Justice over incarcerating the person who harmed them. Just 7% of participants have been terminated from the program for committing a new crime. 

A restorative justice program launched by former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón for youth facing serious felony charges was shown to reduce participants’ likelihood of rearrest by 44 percent within six months compared to youth who went through the traditional juvenile justice system, and the effects were still notable even four years after the initial offer to participate.

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt launched a groundbreaking program last year to allow people convicted of violent offenses to avoid prison time if they commit to behavioral health treatment. As of January, just one of 60 participants had been rearrested for a misdemeanor. 

While too many politicians give lip service to reform, those who really care about justice are doing the work, regardless of electoral consequences. We need more bold, innovative leaders willing to rethink how we achieve safety and accountability, not those who go where the wind blows and spread misinformation for political gain. 

Fear should not cause us to repeat the mistakes of the past. When politicians finally decide to care more about protecting people than protecting their own power, only then will we finally achieve the safety that all communities deserve. 

Miriam Aroni Krinsky is the executive director of Fair and Just Prosecution, a former federal prosecutor, and the author of Change from Within: Reimagining the 21st-Century Prosecutor. Alyssa Kress is the communications director of Fair and Just Prosecution.  

More: Wrongful convictions cost American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Wrongdoing prosecutors must be held accountable.

Plus: Senate votes to block D.C. crime laws, with Biden’s support

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#Bidens #rebuke #bold #reformminded #crime #law #Americans #safe

Dom Lucre takes a stroll down Biden’s RACIST AF memory lane in receipt-filled, MERCILESS thread

Dom Lucre strikes again! He’s still trolling the Left like crazy with these quite frankly epic threads … we keep thinking someone on the Left will figure out they SHOULDN’T share his threads based on the first tweet alone but they haven’t.

Then again, this is the Left we’re talking about.

This one may be our fave so far as Dom took a stroll down Biden’s RACIST AF memory lane.

Take a gander:

Biden is the best president for African Americans!

HA HA HA HA HA

This guy has never really had much hair … oh, and he’s a racist tool.

Just sayin’.

Keep going.

Byrd is the best proof that the parties did NOT magically switch places.

Sorry, Democrats.

We see you.

Eeeek.

And Biden couldn’t have that.

But we were told anyone supporting private schools for kids stuck in crappy districts with crappier union teachers is evil or something?

Awful.

High-Tech Lynching.

How can people not remember this crap?

This this this. ^

Remember Hillary calling young black men, ‘super predators’?

We do.

Shocker.

His own VP accused him of being a racist.

Heh.

But it’s ok now since he gave her a job.

The parties never switched places, folks.

And tigers never really change their stripes.

***

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#Dom #Lucre #takes #stroll #Bidens #RACIST #memory #lane #receiptfilled #MERCILESS #thread

If this thread about why America is REALLY helping Ukraine is true at ALL it’s HUGE (back to Obama?!)

Every once in a while we come across a thread that while we can neither confirm nor deny if it’s true, we feel like our readers might want to take a look and decide for themselves. This thread from user Clandestine (who has 150k followers) is one of those threads.

Again, we can’t tell you if this is what’s happened or what is happening for sure but you guys … woof.

Take a gander.

Get some popcorn.

Trust us.

Nearly 20 years ago.

Keep going.

Seems they always change their tune when it might prove Republicans were right about something.

But wait, there’s more.

In Ukraine.

Meep.

You guys remember all of this, right?

Good times.

Now, THIS we remember because Biden has bragged about it on numerous occasions.

*adjusts tinfoil hat, twice*

This just gets worse and worse.

Still there?

Sounds crazy, right? But if true? Yikes.

There’s a numbering thing here but we think this is in order.

Could this be true?

Sure.

Could parts of it be true?

Absolutely.

Could it be false? Eh … truth is usually stranger than fiction so we shall see.

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Related:

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a Chinese spy balloon and LOL there’s something written on the side

AOC brings a knife to a gun-fight with Marjorie Taylor Greene and it like goes SOOO wrong for her

Pfizer dir. who lost it when confronted by James O’Keefe admits #Pfertility issues with vaccine (watch)

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U.S. seeks to expel Russian mercenaries from Sudan, Libya

The United States has stepped up pressure on Middle East allies to expel the Wagner Group, a military contractor with close ties to Russia’s President, from chaos-stricken Libya and Sudan where it expanded in recent years, regional officials told The Associated Press.

The U.S. effort described by officials comes as the Joe Biden administration is making a broad push against the mercenaries. The U. S. has slapped new sanctions on the Wagner Group in recent months over its expanding role in Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The group is owned by Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Pentagon has described it as a surrogate for the Russian Defence Ministry. The Kremlin denies any connection.

The Joe Biden administration has been working for months with regional powers Egypt and the United Arab Emirates to pressure military leaders in Sudan and Libya to end their ties with the group, according to more than a dozen Libyan, Sudanese and Egyptian officials. They asked for anonymity to speak freely and because they were not authorised to discuss the issue with the media.

“Wagner obsesses them (American officials),” said an Egyptian senior government official with direct knowledge of the talks. “It is at the top of every meeting.”

The group doesn’t announce its operations, but its presence is known from reports on the ground and other evidence. In Sudan, it was originally associated with former strongman Omar al-Bashir and now works with the military leaders who replaced him. In Libya, it’s associated with east Libya-based military commander Khalifa Hifter.

Wagner has deployed thousands of operatives in African and Middle Eastern countries including Mali, Libya, Sudan, the Central African Republic, and Syria. Its aim in Africa, analysts say, is to support Russia’s interests amid rising global interest in the resource-rich continent. Rights experts working with the U.S. on January 31 accused the group of committing possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Mali, where it is fighting alongside government forces.

“Wagner tends to target countries with natural resources that can be used for Moscow’s objectives – gold mines in Sudan, for example, where the resulting gold can be sold in ways that circumvent Western sanctions,” said Catrina Doxsee, an expert on Wagner at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Mr. Prigozhin did not respond to a request for comment sent to the press department of the Concord Group, of which he is an owner. The group’s role in Libya and Sudan was central to recent talks between CIA director William Burns and officials in Egypt and Libya in January. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also discussed the group with President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in a late-January trip to Cairo, Egyptian officials said. Weeks after the visits, Mr. Burns acknowledged in a Thursday speech at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., that after recent travel to Africa he was concerned about the Wagner’s growing influence in the continent.

“That is a deeply unhealthy development and we’re working very hard to counter it,” Mr. Burns said. Mr. Burns and Antony Blinken called on el-Sissi’s government to help convince Sudan’s ruling generals and Libya’s Hifter to end their dealings with the Wagner, an Egyptian official briefed on the talks said.

The group and its founder have been under U.S. sanctions since 2017, and the Biden administration in December announced new export restrictions to restrict its access to technology and supplies, designating it as a “significant transnational criminal organisation.”

SUDAN

Leaders in Sudan have received repeated U.S. messages about Wagner’s growing influence in recent months, via Egypt and Gulf states, said a senior Sudanese official.

Abbas Kamel, the director of Egypt’s Intelligence Directorate Agency, conveyed Western concerns in talks in Khartoum last month with the head of Sudan’s ruling sovereign council, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the official said. Mr. Kamel urged Burhan to find a way to address Wagner’s “use of Sudan as a base” for operations in neighbouring countries such as the Central African Republic, the official said.

Wagner started operating in Sudan in 2017, providing military training to intelligence and special forces, and to the paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), according to Sudanese officials and documents shared with The Associated Press.

The RSF, which grew out of the feared Janjaweed militias, is led by powerful general Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, who has close ties with the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Mohammed Hamdan has been sending troops to fight alongside the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s long-running civil war.

Wagner mercenaries are not operating in a combat role in Sudan, officials said. The group, which has dozens of operatives in the country, provides military and intelligence training, as well as surveillance and protection of sites and top officials.

Sudanese military leaders appear to have given Wagner control of gold mines in return. The documents show that the group has received mining rights through front companies with ties to Sudan’s powerful military and the RSF. Its activities are centred in gold-rich areas controlled by the RSF in Darfur, Blue Nile and other provinces, according to officials.

Two companies have been sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Treasury for acting as fronts for Wagner’s mining activities — Meroe Gold, a Sudanese gold mining firm, and its owner, the Russian-based M Invest firm. Mr. Prigozhin owns or controls both, according to the Treasury. Despite sanctions, Meroe Gold is still operating across Sudan.

The Russian mercenaries helped the paramilitary force consolidate its influence not only in the country’s far-flung regions, but also in the capital of Khartoum, where it helps run pro-RSF social media pages.

The main camp of Wagner mercenaries is in the contested village of Am Dafok on the borders between the Central African Republic and Sudan, according to the Darfur Bar Association, a legal group that focusses on human rights. “Nobody can approach their areas,” said Gibreel Hassabu, a lawyer and member of the association.

LIBYA

In Libya, Mr. Burns held talks in Tripoli with Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, head of one of Libya’s two rival governments.

The CIA director also met with Hifter in eastern Libya, according to officials with Hifter’s forces. One official briefed on the meeting in al-Rajma military complex, the seat of Hifter’s command just outside Benghazi, said Wagner was the main issue discussed.

U.N. experts said Wagner mercenaries were deployed Libya since 2018, helping Hifter’s forces in their fight against Islamist militants in eastern Libya. The group was also involved in his failed offensive on Tripoli in April 2019.

The U.S. Africa Command, AFRICOM, estimated that some 2,000 Wagner mercenaries were in Libya between July-September 2020, before a cease-fire. The mercenaries were equipped with armoured vehicles, air-defence systems, fighter aircraft, and other equipment, which were supplied by Russia, according to the AFRICOM assessment. The report also said the Wagner group appeared to be receiving money from the UAE, a main foreign backer of Hifter.

Since the 2020 cease-fire, Wagner’s activities have centred around oil facilities in central Libya, and they have continued providing military training to Hifter forces, Libyan officials said. It is not clear how many Wagner mercenaries are still in Libya. American officials have demanded that mercenaries be pulled out of oil facilities, another Libyan official said.

Hifter did not offer any commitments, but asked for assurances that Turkey and the Libyan militias it backed in western Libya will not initiate an attack on his forces in the coastal city of Sirte and other areas in central Libya.

Egypt, which has close ties with Hifter, has demanded that Wagner not be stationed close to its borders. There is no evidence yet that the Joe Biden administration’s pressure has yielded results in either Sudan or Libya, observers said.

Catrina Doxsee, the expert, said the U.S. and allies should resist promoting narratives that “Russia is bad and what we have to offer is good” and instead focus on offering better alternatives to Wagner.”

“Ultimately, at the end of the day, Wagner is a business. If you can cut out the profit and you can reduce the business case for using Wagner, that’s what is going to make it a less appealing case,” she said.

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LOL! Even more classified documents found at Biden’s Wilmington home

This entire Biden classified documents scandal is hilarious. In typical fashion, the Left went full ‘Chicken Little, treasonous threat to the Republic’ clown show when the Trump Mar-a-Lago classified document story broke.

Now, they’re stuck trying to figure out how to excuse Biden for apparently having held onto classified documents for decades while still maintaining their ‘serious situation’ game face in the latest effort to get Trump.

The Doofus-In-Chief is not helping their efforts because they keep finding more and more classified documents in his possession. LOL.

It’s not clear how many classified documents are in the latest find, but the ‘DOJ seized an additional six items consisting of classified documents’, according to the Fox News article.

Some of these were from Biden’s time in the Senate.

Remember, team Trump has always made the argument that Trump had presidential powers to declassify documents. That legal battle has not taken place, but there is an argument to be made.

No such claim could be made of Senator Biden or Vice President Biden. As far as President Biden, his brain is probably the safest place on earth to store classified information. Even he won’t be able to share it within an hour or two, but we digress.

What is clear is that he was not supposed to be in possession of these documents. That is, it’s illegal. Maybe they’ll call them ‘undocumented documents’?

How does Joe Biden get away with stuff like this?

It’s simple really. He’ll say something like ‘My dad always used to say, Joey, if you’re gonna look at classified documents take ’em out of the SCIF and hide ’em in your garage. I’m not joking.’ Then the leftist media will dismiss it as just another ‘Crazy Uncle Joe’ moment. He’s been playing this game for years.

Cue up the media spin praising Biden for going above and beyond to work with the DOJ, unlike the Evil Orange One, to … divulge classified documents he has illegally possessed for decades.

In order to provide some clarity, this situation is probably not all that rare. It has been claimed that there is an over classification problem – that, when in doubt, documents are labeled as classified when they’re really not. There are likely hordes of such information floating around the country in file folders, on computers, and in basements where it’s technically not supposed to be.

Democrats created this mess for themselves because they had to convince the public a few months ago that Trump having classified documents in a secure location at Mar-a-Lago with constant Secret Service protection was the worst thing to happen since Watergate. They look pretty dumb now, and we love it.

We mentioned this was an utter clown show, right? Just wanted to be sure. Ha!

LOL! Remember the ‘bombshell’ photos from the DOJ of the Trump classified documents spread across the floor?

It’s almost like the DOJ nor the press has any interest in pursuing a similar narrative with a Democrat president.

Seriously, classified documents spread out on Biden’s garage floor next to an oil stain and a dirty box labeled ‘Jill’s doctor stuff’ would have made a great photo.

Bwahaha! Biden probably uses classified documents to line the cages of his dogs when they get kicked out of the White House.

‘Biden illegally possessed classified documents the good way.’ We told you.

There seems to be a different set of rules here.

Hey, that could be fun. LOL.

LOLOLOL!

We remember.

They’ll find a new excuse. It usually takes them a few hours to sync their reporting.

We love the messes they create for themselves.

If you’ve been watching Joe Biden operate at any point during his 50-year stint on the government dole, you’re not surprised in the least.

This looks bad enough for Biden that they’re likely going to have to cancel ‘the beginning of the end’ for Trump again.

It could be a lot of classified documents if the six ‘items’ are three filing cabinets, a box from a Rascal Mobility Scooter, a ’69 Camaro, and a stolen Chevy Suburban from the Secret Service.

LOL! Nice.

Hey, if Joe Biden goes missing, Nicolas Cage can just follow the trail of classified documents he leaves everywhere.

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