|Cache||Ron Johnson became Wisconsin's Senator because he didn't understand the Affordable Care Act, and hated a program offering more people access to affordable health insurance. He even said...|
And it only got worse from there. In Washington, Johnson's blathering idiocy became the talk of the town:
Johnson plays Trump as Victim, says he's "...never seen a president, administration, be sabotaged from the day after the election: Amazing. Let's remind our clueless Dumb Ron Johnson why that's not true either:
1. Here’s John Boehner offering his plans for Obama’s agenda: “We're going to do everything — and I mean everything we can do — to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can.”
So it's mind-bending to hear Dumb Ron Johnson whine about the supposed "attacks" on the grifting Trump family presidency:
Johnson: "I have never in my lifetime seen a president after being elected, not having some measure of well wishes from his opponents; I've never seen a president, administration, be sabotaged from the day after the election; I've never seen no measure of a honeymoon what-so-ever."Johnson, chairman of the Senate's Homeland Security committee, rambled from one conspiracy theory to another (just like every Trump cultist), and admitted he doesn't trust the CIA or the FBI.
Johnson: "No, I don't — absolutely not. No, and I didn't trust them back then."
So, Nothing like this ever happened under Obama? Trump Investigations plays into GOP Victim-Hood: Here's just a quick reminder below. Note: Remember Trump's own attempts to seek out Obama's birth certificate to prove he was not a U.S. citizen and a secret Muslin:
MSNBC: Republicans made aggressive use of their investigative powers ... matters involving Hillary Clinton, her use of email as secretary of state, her conduct of foreign policy and the Clinton Foundation ... House Republicans unleashed a barrage of subpoenas ... a half dozen GOP-led House committees conducted protracted investigations of the 2012 attacks on U.S. diplomats in Benghazi, Libya ... investigations of the 2009-2011 Operation Fast and Furious episode – a botched initiative against drug cartels that ended up putting guns in the hands of murderers ... investigations into the IRS's treatment of conservatives, and his administration’s loan guarantee to the failed solar-panel startup, Solyndra. And much more.
Who can forget Johnson's imagined "secret society?"
Or this Johnson gem:
Ron Johnson now has his eye on the governorship in Wisconsin. Just a little advice to anyone thinking about moving to a state who's economy is held hostage by the gerrymandered Republican Party determined to not change a thing because after 8 years of control, everything is perfect now; DON'T.
Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham lead condemnation of foreign policy move that could prove ‘disaster in the making’Donald Trump with Mark Milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, in the Cabinet Room on Monday. Lindsey Graham said abandoning the Kurds would be ‘a stain on America’s honour’. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/APDonald Trump was dangerously isolated on Monday as, in a rare rebuke, some of his most loyal allies revolted against his decision to withdraw US troops from north-eastern Syria.Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell led a chorus of Republicans who, having defended the president on almost every other issue – including over impeachment – decided to draw a line in the sand.“A precipitous withdrawal of US forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime,” McConnell said. “And it would increase the risk that Isis and other terrorist groups regroup.”He added: “As we learned the hard way during the Obama administration, American interests are best served by American leadership, not by retreat or withdrawal.”The criticism was significant because McConnell is usually at pains not to cross Trump even at his most capricious. Last week the Kentucky senator released a Facebook video promising to stop Democratic-led impeachment in its tracks.Article 1 of the United States constitution gives the House of Representatives the sole power to initiate impeachment and the Senate the sole power to try impeachments of the president. A president can be impeached if they are judged to have committed "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors" – although the constitution does not specify what “high crimes and misdemeanors” are.The process starts with the House of Representatives passing articles of impeachment. A simple majority of members need to vote in favour of impeachment for it to pass to the next stage. Democrats currently control the house, with 235 representatives.The chief justice of the US supreme court then presides over the proceedings in the Senate, where the president is tried, with senators acting as the jury. For the president to be found guilty two-thirds of senators must vote to convict. Republicans currently control the Senate, with 53 of the 100 senators.Two presidents have previously been impeached, Bill Clinton in 1998, and Andrew Johnson in 1868, though neither was removed from office as a result. Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 before there was a formal vote to impeach him.Martin BelamThe unusual fracture emerged on Sunday night when, shortly after a phone conversation between Trump and Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the White House announced removal of US troops from the Syria-Turkey border area. “Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria,” it added.Critics of all political stripes have long feared that the move could open the way for a Turkish strike on Kurdish-led fighters in the area. Kurdish groups have fought alongside a small US presence in Syria to drive Islamic State militants from the region.The Republican backlash was rapid and potentially unnerving for a president whose fate is tethered to the party and the assumption that it will acquit him in the Senate if, as widely expected, the Democratic-led House of Representatives votes for impeachment.Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate judiciary committee, who has become an outspoken defender (and frequent golf partner) of Trump, did not acquiesce this time. Abandonment of the Kurds would be “a disaster in the making”, he said, and “a stain on America’s honour”.Graham told Fox News: “I hope I’m making myself clear how short-sighted and irresponsible this decision is. I like President Trump. I’ve tried to help him. This, to me, is just unnerving to its core.”Graham wrote on Twitter that if the plan goes ahead, he will introduce a Senate resolution opposing it and seeking reversal of the decision. He added: “We will introduce bipartisan sanctions against Turkey if they invade Syria and will call for their suspension from NATO if they attack Kurdish forces who assisted the US in the destruction of the ISIS Caliphate.”Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican in the House, whose attempts to defend Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s president have provoked mockery, said: “If you make a commitment and somebody is fighting with you, America should keep their word.”Michael McCaul of Texas, the lead Republican on the House foreign affairs committee, also urged the president to reconsider. “The United States should not step aside and allow a Turkish military operation in north-east Syria,” he said. “This move will undermine our ongoing campaign to prevent an Isis resurgence and will ultimately threaten our homeland.“Additionally, the United States needs to stay engaged to prevent further destructive involvement in the region from our adversaries like the Assad regime, Putin and Iran.”Notably, senator Marco Rubio of Florida, reluctant to criticise Trump even when the president suggested that China investigate former vice president and 2020 election rival Joe Biden, was clear , describing the retreat as “a grave mistake that will have implications far beyond Syria”And Nikki Haley, Trump’s former UN ambassador, admonished Trump without mentioning his name. “We must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back,” she tweeted. “The Kurds were instrumental in our successful fight against ISIS in Syria. Leaving them to die is a big mistake. TurkeyIsNotOurFriend”Ominously for Trump, even conservative Fox News aired dissent. Host Brian Kilmeade described the pullout as “a disaster”, telling viewers of Fox & Friends: “Abandon our allies? That’s a campaign promise? Abandon the people that got the caliphate destroyed?”Republicans who have contradicted Trump before did so forcefully again. Utah senator Mitt Romney described Trump’s announcement as “a betrayal”, adding: “It says that America is an unreliable ally; it facilitates ISIS resurgence; and it presages another humanitarian disaster.”Romney and Democratic senator Chris Murphy issued a joint statement insisting Trump’s administration “explain to the American people how betraying an ally and ceding influence to terrorists and adversaries is not disastrous for our national security interests”.Democrats also piled in but there was a lone voice of support for the president on Capitol Hill. Republican senator Rand Paul, long a critic of foreign intervention, said: “So many neocons want us to stay in wars all over the Middle East forever. [Trump] is absolutely right to end those wars and bring the troops home.”Trump himself was undeterred by the blowback. Speaking at the White House on Monday, he said he has “great respect” for the prominent Republican critics. And added: “People are extremely thrilled because they say it’s time to bring our people back home. We’re not a police force. They’re policing the area. We’re not a police force. The UK was very thrilled at this decision … many people agree with it very strongly.”
Vladimir Putin has climbed a mountain and picked mushrooms and berries in the Siberian wilderness to celebrate his 67th birthday, even as his ratings continue to flag. In a video and photographs published by the Kremlin, Mr Putin drove an off-road vehicle through a forest with defence minister Sergei Shoigu and flew in a helicopter over jagged peaks, sweeping forests and a dramatic river canyon. Wearing sunglasses and carrying a large wooden staff, the president hiked up a mountain overlooking the Yenisei river at an altitude of “almost 2,000 metres”. “We've climbed above the clouds,” he remarked, gazing into the distance. Mr Putin has become known for outdoor exploits to show of his health and daring Credit: Alexei Druzhinin /Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP He and Mr Shoigu gathered lingonberries and mushrooms, chuckling at one with a pine cone caught on top, and picnicked around a campfire. The head of Tuva later said the video was taken in his remote region on the Mongolian border, where the Russian leader went hiking and boating last year. Mr Putin took the trip a few days ago, his spokesman said, and plans to spend his actual birthday on Monday “in nature with relatives and friends”. Last year Mr Putin celebrated his birthday at his seaside residence in Sochi with Italy's former PM Silvio Berlusconi, and he has previously marked the occasion with vodka and sausages with Xi Jinping of China. Defence minister Sergei Shoigu is from Tyva and has taken Mr Putin there several times Credit: Alexei Druzhinin /TASS via Getty Images A host of post-Soviet leaders as well as Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Serbia president Aleksandar Vucic congratulated Mr Putin by phone, the Kremlin said. In two decades in power, Mr Putin has often shown off his vigour and adventurousness through outdoor stunts like flying a glider with cranes, firing a crossbow at a gray whale, releasing tigers into the wild and putting a tracking collar on a polar bear. On his holidays he's typically shown hunting, fishing, hiking or riding, often bare-chested. By these high standards, the latest photo op was somewhat subdued, with Mr Putin apparently limping at one point during the hike. Mr Putin and Mr Shoigu also picked lingonberries, mushrooms and pine cones Credit: KREMLIN PRESS SERVICE/HANDOUT/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images This summer was one of strife as massive protests shook Moscow, further eroding the president's ratings after an unpopular pension age hike last year. A poll published this month showed that only 43 per cent of Russians would vote for their current leader if elections were held on Sunday. This repeated his rating from August, which was his lowest since 2001. However, 60 per cent of those surveyed said they approved of his performance.
In this podcast, SIFMA president and CEO, Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr. -More-
|Cache||Rugby Australia will make a full-blown push to bring the 2027 Rugby World Cup Down Under. Rugby Australia president Tim Gavin said the magnitude of the World Cup’s power to ignite the code in the host country had hit him afresh in his first visit to...|
WASHINGTON – They may have his back on impeachment, but some of President Donald Trump’s most loyal allies are suddenly revolting against his decision to pull back U.S. troops from northern Syria.
On Monday, one chief Trump loyalist in Congress called the move “unnerving to the core.” An influential figure in conservative media condemned it as “a disaster.” And Trump’s former top NATO envoy said it was “a big mistake” that would threaten the lives of Kurdish fighters who had fought alongside American troops for years.
Trump’s surprise move, which came with no advance warning late Sunday and stunned many in his own government, threatened to undermine what has been near lockstep support among Republicans. It also came against the backdrop of a congressional impeachment inquiry in which the backing of Republicans in the Senate is the president’s bulwark against being removed from office.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who has been among Trump’s most vocal defenders, called the Syria decision “a disaster in the making” that would throw the region into chaos and embolden the Islamic State group.
“I hope I’m making myself clear how short-sighted and irresponsible this decision is,” Graham told Fox News. “I like President Trump. I’ve tried to help him. This, to me, is just unnerving to its core.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who has shrugged off the key allegation in the impeachment inquiry – that Trump pressured foreign powers to investigate a top Democratic rival – tweeted that Trump’s shift on Syria is “a grave mistake that will have implications far beyond Syria.”
And Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who has been more willing than many Republicans to condemn Trump’s calls for foreign intervention in the 2020 election, called the Syria move “a terribly unwise decision” that would “abandon our Kurdish allies, who have been our major partner in the fight against the Islamic State.”
A more frequent Republican Trump critic, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, cast Trump’s announcement as “a betrayal.”
“It says that America is an unreliable ally; it facilitates ISIS resurgence; and it presages another humanitarian disaster,” Romney tweeted.
Nikki Haley, who was Trump’s hand-picked ambassador to the United Nations, also cast the decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Iraq as a betrayal of a key ally.
“The Kurds were instrumental in our successful fight against ISIS in Syria. Leaving them to die is a big mistake,” she wrote on Twitter.
Former Rubio aide Alex Conant highlighted the risks ahead for a president whose political future depends on Republican support.
“For Trump to make a very controversial move on Syria at the exact moment when he needs Senate Republicans more than ever is risky politics,” Conant said, noting the significance for many Senate Republicans of the United States’ policy in northern Syria, where Kurds would be particularly vulnerable to a Turkish invasion.
“They’re not just going to send out a couple of tweets and move on,” Conant said. “At the same time, the White House is going to need these guys to carry a lot of water for them.”
While a number of Republicans criticized Trump’s decision, one of their most important leaders, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, was sanguine, offering little concern about Syria or impeachment during an appearance at the University of Kentucky.
“There are a few distractions, as you may have noticed,” McConnell said. “But if you sort of keep your head on straight and remember why you were sent there, there are opportunities to do important things for the country and for the states that we represent.”
After the appearance, McConnell issued a statement warning that Trump’s proposed withdrawal “would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime. And it would increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups regroup.”
“As we learned the hard way during the Obama Administration, American interests are best served by American leadership, not by retreat or withdrawal,” McConnell said.
Outside government, leaders of conservative groups backed Trump.
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., a prominent evangelical leader, said Trump was simply “keeping his promise to keep America out of endless wars.”
He suggested Trump could easily reengage in the region if the decision backfires.
“The president has got to do what’s best for the country, whether it helps him with this phony impeachment inquiry or not,” Falwell said in an interview.
Former Trump campaign aide Barry Bennett noted that the president has been talking about reducing troop levels in the Middle East since before the 2016 election.
“I understand that they don’t like the policy, but none of them should be shocked by the policy,” Bennett said. “He’s only been talking about this for four or five years now. I think he’s with the vast majority of the public.”
Still, the backlash from other Trump loyalists was intense.
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., a member of the House Armed Services and Intelligence committees, called it a “misguided and catastrophic blow to our national security interests.”
And on Fox News, a network where many rank-and-file Trump supporters get their news, host Brian Kilmeade said it was “a disaster.”
“Abandon our allies? That’s a campaign promise? Abandon the people that got the caliphate destroyed?” Kilmeade said on “Fox & Friends.”
Bulent Aliriza, director of the Turkey Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the controversy reminds him of former Defense Secretary James Mattis’ decision to resign late last year after Trump announced plans to withdraw troops from Syria.
“Ultimately, Trump reversed himself,” Aliriza said. “The question is whether he will actually reverse himself again in view of the opposition from Capitol Hill led by several of his closest allies.”
|Cache||Former Valencia president Juan Soler was sentenced to two years in prison for conspiring to kidnap a former colleague and break into his home, Spanish...|
|Cache||While Trump Congratulates Communist China on Its 70th Anniversary, Senate Republicans Condemn It|
President Donald Trump marked the 70th anniversary of the “People’s Republic” with the following congratulatory tweet: “Congratulations to President Xi and the Chinese people on the 70th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China!”
But Senate Republicans have marked the anniversary with condemnation of the regime.
Arkansas senator Tom Cotton: “To see the price of the PRC’s anniversary celebration, look no further than what’s happening in Hong Kong: a ceaseless war against those who wish to live in freedom. From the Great Leap Forward to the Cultural Revolution to the camps in Xinjiang today, it has been a ghoulish 70 years of Chinese Communist Party control.”
Nebraska senator Ben Sasse: “Today Chinese tyrants celebrated 70 years of communist oppression with their typically brutal symbolism: by sending a police officer to shoot a pro-democracy protester at point-blank range. The freedom-seekers in Hong Kong mourn this anniversary, and the American people stand with them against those who deny their God-given dignity.”Rod's Comment: I understand that the government of China is not as bad as they were during the Great Leap Forward when they caused massive starvation that killed millions as they implemented a fantasy of entering the modern industrial age by requiring farmers to smelt their farm implements.
They are not as bad as they were during the Cultural Revolution in which thousands were murdered and many more were abused and sent to reeducation camps for wearing reading glasses or owning Classical records or books.
I understand that they are not now following an orthodox Communist economic model but have adopted elements of a market economy. I understand that the Chinese people have more freedom of expression than they did when everyone wore drab Mao suits. I understand we have to work with them. I understand Trump wants a better trade policy.
While they may not be as bad as in the past, they are still evil. They are a one-party authoritarian regime, trampling liberty in Hong Kong and expanding their boundaries and turning much of Africa into client states.
It is unfortunate that Trump has a soft spot for tyrants. I long for the age of Ronald Reagan when we had a president with the courage and convictions to call a despotic regime, "the evil empire."
|Cache||I wonder if we're going to have to amend the 25th amendment. It doesn't cover what happens when the Prez and Veep are impeached at the same time. Somehow I think Nancy Pelosi taking office as the third in line may be problematic.
If Pence really is dirty, and there's already a prima facie case he is, then they could go the Watergate route and impeach Pence first and appoint a new veep broadly acceptable to Dems and Repubs, if such a thing is possible these days. It pains me to say it, but a fella like Romney may be the best we can do. To the extent a better standard-bearer might actually have a chance against the Dem nominee, Romney would be more formidable than Pence. Another plus to a Pence-first strategy is that it could easily be limited to Unkrainia-mania (not a good name, but we should look for something that doesn't end in -gate).
As to the bigger question, I don't know how limited impeachment should be, but it should err on the side of less, not more. Maybe obstruction and Ukraine-ensky. (In honor of the fact that this will be the second impeachment in a row with a key figure with an "insky" in their last name as principal players.) At least some of Trump's financial corruption could be addressed in legislation -- if Dems have 50 senators, a law requiring the disclosure of tax returns will pass in about a week. They could probably also pass a law that puts teeth in the emoluments clauses by simply outlawing a president earning an outside income while president.
One thing I remember from the aftermath of Watergate is that there was a lot of reform legislation passed after Nixon resigned, but I don't remember too many specifics. Hopefully the same thing will happen again.|
|Cache||Joann Lijek, one of the problems is that people tend to vote for their TV friends and
TV "heroes", instead of actually doing any thought or contemplation. The people, for example, who claimed that a president was born in Kenya weren't doing it because the claim made sense. They were doing it because it put them back on TV as if controversy sells (to morons).
Best of luck to you.|
Susan Collins has built a brand as a moderate senator who isn't afraid to buck her party. But the Maine Republican is now facing her toughest challenge yet as she prepares to run for a fifth term in a blue state — the potential impeachment of a president she didn't vote for, NBC News reports.
While Maine's GOP chairwoman dismissed the Ukraine scandal as "another witch hunt," Collins on Saturday called Trump's public request to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden "completely inappropriate." But Collins has said she can't take a position on impeachment because she might be asked to serve as essentially a juror during a possible trial in the Senate.
"It's inappropriate for me to reach conclusions about evidence or to comment on the proceedings in the House," she said recently.
Collins, who is one of Democrats' top targets in 2020 as they try to flip the GOP-controlled Senate, risks angering the Republican base by criticizing Trump and not defending him from the impeachment inquiry.
"She needs to not be a traitor to her own party," Jenny Foster, wearing a "Trump 2020: Make Liberals Cry Again" sweatshirt, said on Saturday outside the horse-pulling barn at a fair in Fryeburg.
Photo Credit: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
10/07 Links Pt1: Whatever Happened to the Palestinian ‘Diplomatic Tsunami’?; FM confirms initiative to sign ‘historic’ non-aggression pact with Arab states; Fatah attempts to hide its terror promotion from FacebookCache
Jonathan S. Tobin: Whatever Happened to the Palestinian ‘Diplomatic Tsunami’?
At the United Nations, where once-hardened ex-generals like Barak quaked about the prospect of the world uniting to force Israel to accept a Palestinian state, the situation for the Jewish state’s foes is particularly dismal. It’s true that many UN agencies, like its Human Rights Council, are still cesspools of antisemitism and hypocrisy, focusing almost exclusively on bogus attacks on Israel while ignoring real human-rights catastrophes in countries around the world.FM confirms initiative to sign ‘historic’ non-aggression pact with Arab states
Foreign Minister Israel Katz on Sunday confirmed that he has been advancing non-aggression treaties with several Arab countries in the Gulf, a “historic” démarche he said could end the conflict between Jerusalem and those states.PMW: Fatah attempts to hide its terror promotion from Facebook
In fact PMW's reports show that Fatah does all of that and worse on its Facebook page, and PMW has pointed this out to Facebook more than once. Yet Facebook continues to leave the platform open for Fatah's terror promotion.
PA wipes peace agreements from schoolbooks, encourages incitement and intolerance
The Palestinian Authority has removed any mention of past agreements with Israel from their school textbooks, with the exception of the Oslo Accords, which are mentioned in far less detail than in previous editions of the schoolbooks, according to a new report by Yedioth Aharonot.
Seth J. Frantzman: Trump gives green light to Turkey to take over Syria, displace U.S. partners
Turkey will soon move forward with its long-planned military operation to create what it calls a "safe zone" in northern Syria – and U.S. forces will not support or be involved in it, the White House press secretary announced early Monday morning. The move is an extraordinary reversal of US policy that leaves America's allies wondering whether they can still rely on the Trump administration.US Throws Kurdish Allies Under the Bus; Turkey "Opens the Floodgates" to Europe
Turkey's Erdogan government will be invading northern Syria to slaughter the Kurds, America's loyal allies against ISIS; release captured ISIS fighters, and doubtless seek to stay permanently in control of the area. The horror is that it will be doing all this with the tacit blessing of the US.Netanyahu says cooperation with Russia 'critical' with U.S. to leave Syria
Israel has “great challenges around us” and it's cooperation with Russia is “critical,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday, a day after US President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw troops from Syria and allow a Turkish incursion there against Kurdish forces.Lindsey Graham, Nikki Haley on Trump's Syria plan: Disaster in the making
The Trump administration's move, which opens the way for a Turkish strike on Kurdish fighters long aligned with Washington, runs counter to the positions of even some of Trump's top allies in his own party.US troops begin Syria pullout as Turkey readies offensive, alarming Kurds
US-backed Kurdish-led forces in Syria said American troops began withdrawing Monday from northeast Syria ahead of a Turkish invasion that the Kurds say will overturn five years of achievements in the battle against the Islamic State terror group.UN ‘preparing for the worst’ from Turkey’s Syria operation
The United Nations said Monday it was “preparing for the worst” in northeast Syria after the United States said it would step aside to allow for Turkish military operations in the area.
Netanyahu: Israel Needs Air Defense System Against Iranian Cruise Missiles
In a cabinet meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed a massive air defense system to defend against Iranian attacks, especially cruise missiles like those used in attacks on a Saudi Arabian oil facility last month, according to KAN.Iran unveils kit to convert artillery rockets into guided missiles
The Iranian military says it has produced a new conversion kit to upgrade artillery rockets to surface-to-surface missiles, technology that Israel has accused Tehran of attempting to deliver to the Hezbollah terror group.Congresswoman: Antisemitism, Iran threat highlight need for US-Israel ties
Growing global antisemitism and the dangers of Iran make it more important than ever that the US maintain close ties to Israel, leading Republican Representative Ann Wagner of Missouri said during a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, in which she spoke against BDS and promoted joint Palestinian-Israeli business ventures over the Green Line.'The days of the Ottoman Empire are over'
Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz has ordered his office to draw up plans to stop the Turkish government's efforts to undermine Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem and protect Jordan's special status as guardian of Muslim holy sites in the city.How to get Erdogan off the Temple Mount
This is why a new plan from Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz should be seen more as a declaration of intent and less as an operational plan. For the plan to take effect, defense and security officials who have been dealing with the issue for several years already must supply the top political echelon with evidence. Anyone who wants, for example, to limit the activity of TIKA, a well-endowed Turkish government agency, in Jerusalem will have to first prove that its activity goes beyond the bounds of civil/community service and slides into violence and incitement. Thus far, no evidence of that has been found, although attempts have been made to do so.Israel backs Cyprus as Turkey moves gas drill into its waters
Israel’s envoy to Cyprus on Monday expressed backing for the Mediterranean island state after Turkey moved a gas drilling rig into Cypriot waters last week.German Jews blast WJC's decision to give Merkel the Herzl Award
Members of Germany's Jewish community are speaking out against the World Jewish Congress's decision to honor Chancellor Angela Merkel with its prestigious Herzl Award.IDF Sets Up New Anti-Tunnel Company to Detect, Destroy Threats in Israel’s North
The Israel Defense Forces have set up a special engineering corps company to discover and prevent terror tunnels dug across Israel’s northern border from Lebanon.Arabs Hurl Firebombs, Burn Tires as Jews Pray at Joseph’s Tomb
Dozens of Palestinians rioted on Sunday night following the pilgrimage of some 1,000 Jews, under Israeli security escort, to the Tomb of Joseph in Shechem/Nablus to pray. The rioters threw firebombs and burning tires at security personnel.Palestinian Authority Continues to Pay Salaries to Terrorists
Abbas' remarks, which were less acerbic in tone than those he made in previous addresses to the General Assembly, reflected a concern over the ineffectiveness of his policies and the sidelining of the Palestinian issue from the international, regional, and Israeli agenda.Khaled Abu Toameh: Shtayyeh: We received NIS 1.5 billion from Israel
The crisis between Israel and the Palestinian Authority over Israeli deductions of payments made to security prisoners and families of Palestinians killed while carrying out attacks against Israelis remains unresolved, PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Monday.Abbas says he’ll discuss elections with Hamas, factions but provides no timeline
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday that he would discuss plans for new parliamentary elections with all factions, including longtime rivals Hamas.Khaled Abu Toameh: What Iran's Friends Are Doing in Gaza
In other words, Islamic Jihad's promise is one of unending toxicity: to go on poisoning the hearts and minds of generation after generation of Palestinians – as well as to continue investing millions of dollars in building tunnels and amassing weapons to ensure that the fight against Israel continues forever.
Lebanon arrests Syrian for making phone calls to Israel
Lebanese authorities have arrested a Syrian national accused of having made phone calls to neighboring Israel, the army said Friday.Does Iran’s Leader Leave Room for Iran’s Return to the Negotiating Table?
At the same time, over the past few weeks, there have been increasing calls from senior religious figures in Iran and the leadership of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard for the destruction of the State of Israel. This is similar to statements issued by the Supreme Leader in 2016 that Israel would cease to exist in another 25 years. It is possible that this round of criticism against Israel serves a smokescreen while negotiations are taking place between Iran and the United States to enable Iran’s return to the nuclear deal.Iran says Russian journalist held over visa issue, not Israel spy claim
Iran has confirmed the arrest last week in Tehran of a Russian journalist, saying the case was a matter of a visa violation.
10/04 Links Pt1: The EU Demonstrates a Distinct Political Bias Against Israel; Meet the Palestinian Villagers Living Out the American Dream; Arab citizens of Israel undergo quiet revolutionCache
Seth Frantzman: Israel appears strong, but there are risks ahead
BUT ISRAEL has some issues on the horizon that, if they would come together at the wrong time, would be a perfect storm. Among these is the increasing hostility of Turkey. Ankara has become more nationalist and religious-nationalist, a toxic mix. It is flexing its muscles, taking over swaths of northern Syria and seeking to keep on track to totally remove the Americans from the region. That would be a setback for the US – and setbacks for the US also impact Israel. Turkey is buying the S-400, not in itself a problem for Israel. Ostensibly, both Ankara and Jerusalem have an interesting relationship with Moscow today, borne of Russia’s increased role in the region, particularly in Syria.Jpost Editorial: No Third Election
Against that backdrop, the 22nd Knesset was sworn in on Thursday in Jerusalem. Many are wondering if, like the 21st Knesset, it will also last for less than two months and perhaps become the shortest-lived legislature in Israel’s history.
Amb. Alan Baker: The EU Demonstrates a Distinct Political Bias Against Israel
European Union Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Susanna Terstal, writing in the Jerusalem Post on Sep. 21, evidently believes that incessant repetition of the phrase "two-state solution" adds some element of legitimacy and feasibility to the idea. But the two-state solution has never been agreed-upon between Israel and the Palestinians, and does not figure in any of the agreements between them. It is nothing more than an expression of wishful thinking within the UN and the EU.
Iran displays ancient clay tablets, returned by US, from empire that freed Jews
The National Museum of Iran opened on Wednesday an exhibition of around 300 cuneiform clay tablets returned from the United States after a drawn-out legal saga.Yossi Cohen: The Mossad Spy Chief Who Stole Iran's Secret Nuclear Archives
In March 2018, Mossad Director Yossi Cohen, 58, updated then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo on what the Mossad had found inside Iran's secret nuclear archives that it had stolen from the heart of Tehran in January 2018. Sources close to Cohen told the Jerusalem Post that the information the Mossad seized is "still being used right now" to glean high-quality and valuable intelligence. A map of nuclear sites captured in the operation has yet to be made public. These revelations "even go beyond Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's revelation of the Abadeh nuclear site" earlier this month. Cohen says Pompeo praised the Mossad for redefining "daring and boldness."FDD: The Israeli–Palestinian Struggle, Continued.
There is no chance of a “peace party” returning to Jerusalem unless Israelis see that Palestinians have unequivocally denounced the past, that the celebrations of those who’ve died killing Israelis are rejected. That is impossible to envision in the near-term: neither Fatah, nor Hamas, nor the Israelis, nor Washington want the Palestinian people voting. All fear the worst—the wrong side winning. Perhaps most perversely, the Israelis are invested in a security status quo with Fatah that likely negates the chance of any Palestinian change, and surely makes Hamas more popular on the West Bank than its tyranny in Gaza has earned. But it’s possible that if there were a free vote among Palestinians the hostility towards Israelis—the fundamental rejection of the legitimacy of a Jewish state—could be the common denominator among Palestinians who otherwise loathe Fatah’s and Hamas’ dictatorships. Palestinians again voting could lead to intense violence, among Palestinians and against Israelis. Nonetheless, Palestinian popular sovereignty is likely the only way out of this cul-de-sac. We have two peoples wanting the same land with national and especially religious narratives that negate the other’s. For even non-practicing Muslims, Moses is a great prophet, trying to lead his people toward the one, true calling—Islam. A Jewish homeland wasn’t in Allah’s message. Yet the unrelenting secularism of Westerners reduces the most compelling stories we have to differences about water rights, East Jerusalem, and security checkpoints.The Missile War in Southern Arabia: Lessons for Israel
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Constitutional principles espoused by our nation’s founders dictate that a president should be impeached if he abuses his public office by soliciting campaign help from a foreign government.
The post The Founders Would Have Impeached Trump for His Ukraine-Related Misconduct appeared first on Center for American Progress.
Kes ei tahaks Venemaaga vastastikku lugupidavaid ja kasutoovaid suhteid? Kes ei sooviks näha Venemaad vastutustundliku ja oma kohuseid täitva jõuna globaalsete probleemide lahendamisel. Eesti on siin kindlasti esimeste seas. Kuid millisest Venemaast me ikkagi räägime ja kas dialoog on ainus tee soovitu suunas?
Lääneriikide liidrid on viimasel ajal seoses Venemaaga võtnud taas korduvkasutusse mõiste “dialoog”. Isegi Eesti president Kersti Kaljulaid põhjendas oma kevadist kohtumist Moskvas Venemaa presidendi Vladimir Putiniga kui loomulikku dialoogi kahe naaberriigi juhtide vahel.
Soome president Sauli Niinistö kohtub Putiniga regulaarselt ning Prantsusmaa president Emmanuel Macron on veendunud, et Venemaa Euroopast eemale tõukamine oleks suur strateegiline viga. USA president Donald Trump tegi G7 tippkohtumisel Biarritzis juba teist aastat järjest katset kutsuda Venemaa laua taha tagasi.
Dialoogi rõhutamine on läänelikule kultuuriruumile üdini omane. See peegeldab ühe poole valmisolekut kuulata vastaspoolt ja otsida läbi vestluse kokkupuutepunkte. Dialoog diplomaatias on vastand ultimaatumite keelele. Dialoogi tulemus peaks olema lepe või kompromiss, kuidas jõuda punktist A punkti B nii, et mõlemad pooled näevad selles võitu. Dialoog on tee võit-võit lahenduseni, mis on omane sellistele diplomaatilistele suhetele, kus peale peaks jääma eeskätt sõna, mitte jõud.
Siit algavadki esimesed probleemid, kui tõstatub küsimus dialoogist Venemaaga. Kompromisse ehk mõlema poole järeleandmisi eeldav dialoog on nullsumma mängu harrastavale Vene diplomaatiale täielik tabu või üksnes ajutine sundolukord. Näiteks oli Tartu rahu sarnaselt Brest-Litovski leppega Nõukogude Venemaale üksnes hädavajalik sundseis, millest taanduti esimesel võimalusel ja mida keeldutakse siiamaani hindamast Eesti-Vene suhete ühe nurgakivina. Siia võib tuua veel kümneid näiteid viimasest sajast aastast, kus Venemaa on sõlmitud leppeid rikkunud. 1987. aastal sõlmitud lühi- ja keskmaarakettide keelustamise leppe (INF) rikkumine on siin üks viimastest näidetest. Isegi Venemaa enda põhiseadus on võimudele pettemanöövriks või infooperatsiooniks, millega luuakse nii kodus kui välismaal manipulatsiooniks mugavat paralleelreaalsust.
Ma ei hakka näiteid kaugelt otsima. Eesti-Vene suhetes on viimasel paaril aastakümnel mänginud arvestatavat rolli parlamentide vaheline suhtlus. Kogu selle aja on keskseks küsimuseks olnud piirilepingutega seonduv, mis on kahe riigi suhetes suurim lahendamata küsimus alates Vene vägede lahkumisest Eestist 1994. aastal. Iga kord, kui oleme liikunud dialoogile rõhudes lahenduste suunas, on see takerdunud Vene poole tegude või tahtmatuse tõttu. Viimane kord, kui Riigikogu väliskomisjon pidas Vene kolleegidega kõnelusi, oli 2014. aasta veebruaris vahetult enne agressiooni algust Ukraina vastu.
Just Ukraina territooriumi osaline okupeerimine, Krimmi annekteerimine ja tuhandete inimeste hukkumine on olnud peamiseks takistavaks teguriks, miks rahvusvahelise õiguse põhimõtteid ja suveräänsete riikide territoriaalset terviklikkust austavad lääneriigid on sanktsioneerinud Venemaa tegevuse ning vältinud tavapäraste (business as usual) suhete taastamist. 2015. aastal otsustasid Euroopa Liidu liikmesriigid, et Venemaaga ei pöörduta suhete normaliseerimise juurde enne tagasi, kui Moskva pole lõpetanud agressiooni Ukraina vastu ega asunud Minski lepete täitmisele. Gruusia kogemus oli kõigil värskelt meeles.
Viis aastat on pikk aeg. Demokraatlike riikide poliitikas on see terve igavik. Valimiste võitmiseks on vaja tulemusi. Prantsusmaal on Venemaaga läbi aegade olnud pigem teineteist sümpatiseerivad hoiakud. Suhted Venemaaga omavad Pariisi debattides sisepoliitilist kaalu. Võib-olla isegi rohkem kui Saksamaal. Macron ilmselt tunnetab, et 2022. aasta presidendivalimiste eel tuleb tal Marine Le Peni võitmiseks näidata liidriomadusi tõstes Prantsusmaa vähemalt Euroopa juhtivaks jõuks.
Eelmiste presidendivalimiste ajal ilmunud raamatus “Revolutsioon” kirjutas Macron, et “Prantsusmaa peab taastama erilise ja iseseisva positsiooni , mis võimaldaks tal teistega astuda konstruktiivsesse dialoogi”. Rõhutades kõige olulisemana suhteid Saksamaaga ei jäta Macron ka Venemaad kõrvale. “Milliseid suhteid tahame venelastega, meie kaaseurooplastega? Kas me tahame minna tagasi seitsekümmend aastat väldanud konfliktide režiimi juurde, nagu meil oli Külma sõja ajal,” küsis Macron ja vastas, et “töötab intensiivse ja ausa dialoogi nimel Venemaaga”. Macroni meelest on Venemaad eeskätt vaja võitluses terrorismiga ning energiavaldkonnas.
Macron käib oma sõnade järgi. Brexit ja Merkeli lahkumine annavad talle hea võimaluse Euroopa lipp kõige kõrgemale tõsta. Venemaa suunal on ta viimased kuud järjekindlalt töötanud pingelõdvenduse nimel. Esimene samm oli küll edukas, kuid tekitas palju küsimusi. Macroni peetakse peamiseks tagant tõukajaks Venemaa õiguste täielikul taastamisel Euroopa Nõukogu Parlamentaarses Assamblees (ENPA) läinud suvel. Seda tehti ilma ühegi eeltingimuseta ajal, kui Venemaa jätkab sõjategevust Ukraina vastu.
Huvitav oleks teada, kui palju mõjutab Macroni nõunike tegevust näiteks mälestus Nõukogude Liidu kunagise liidri Mihhail Gorbatšovi kõnest 6. juulist 1989, mille ta pidas sealsamas Strasbourgis ENPA istungil. Gorbatšov rääkis siis lääneeurooplastele mekk moka peale määrides ühtsest piirideta Euroopa kodust, mõeldes taustal, et NATO kaob peagi unustusse ja Nõukogude Liit säilitab mõju Kesk- ja Ida-Euroopa üle. Gorbatšov rääkis toona neljast elemendist, millele ühtne Euroopa kodu peaks põhinema: heidutuse asemel vaoshoitusel põhinev kollektiivne julgeolek (OSCE baasil), täielik majanduslik integratsioon, keskkonnakaitse ja inimõiguste kaitse. Loomulikult oli Gorbatšovi eesmärgiks luua eeltingimusi Moskva mõju säilitamiseks ja hoopiski tugevdamiseks Ida-Euroopa revolutsioonide eelõhtul.
Igatahes räägib Macron täna tõsimeeli ühtsest ruumist Lissabonist Vladivostokini. Esinedes augusti lõpul Prantsusmaa suursaadikutele ütles ta, et Venemaa sundimine isolatsiooni või liitu Hiinaga ei oleks meie huvides ja jätkas, et “Euroopa kontinent ei saa kunagi stabiilseks, ei ole kunagi turvaline, kui me ei rahusta ja ei klaari oma suhteid Venemaaga.”
Huvitav loogika – Venemaa ründab, tapab, okupeerib ja annekteerib Euroopa riigi teeritooriumi, aga Venemaa eemaletõukamises on süüdi ikka Euroopa. Macron ei taha uut Külma sõda, kuid see ju käib ilma tema tahtmiseta. Lääneriikide ja Putini Venemaa strateegilised eesmärgid on kahjuks praegu ühildamatud. Kui Lääs elab NATO-Vene alusleppe vaimus, kus kinnitatakse vastastikkust austust ja lugupidamist, siis Venemaa eesmärk on NATO lammutada ja luua Euroopas uus julgeolekuarhitektuur. Umbes samal alusel, nagu seda pakkus kunagi KGB analüütikute ettekirjutuse alusel Gorbatšov.
Millise Venemaaga Macron ikkagi soovib rahu ja klaaritud suhteid? Kas Venemaaga, kes soovib kogu Euroopat oma mõju alla saada, kes vilistab rahvusvahelisele õigusele ja oma enda põhiseadusele, kes tahab endise impeeriumi alasid tagasi vallutada või nukuvalitsusi ametisse sokutada? Või ikka Venemaaga, kes ei pea sõda naabrite vastu ega korralda füüsilist ja mentaalset terrorit oma enda inimeste vastu, kes hoolib oma rahvusvahelistest kohustustes ja rakendab oma riigi rikkusi kodanike heaolu kasvatamiseks.
Praegune Venemaa elab kahjuks endiselt enamlaste riigipöörde kammitsais. Käsitlus Euroopast ja läänemaailmast ei ole saja aasta jooksul muutunud. Nii nagu demokraatlik Lääs oli peavaenlane Nõukogude Liidule, nii on Lääs seda ka praeguse Venemaa juhtkonna silmis. Täpselt nagu 1924. aastal taheti üle joosta Eesti valitsust, nii taheti 2016. aastal NATO laienemise peatamiseks teha Montenegros. Nii nagu 1940. aastal tapeti Mehhikos Lev Trotski, nii tapeti 2006. aastal Londonis Aleksander Litvinenko. Nii nagu 1983. aastal lasti Kaug-Idas alla Lõuna-Korea reisilennuk, nii lasti 2014. aastal Ida-Ukraina kohal alla Malaisia reisilennuk. Nii nagu 1940. aastal okupeeriti ja annekteeriti Balti riigid, nii tehti sama Ukrainale kuuluva Krimmiga 2014. aastal. Nii nagu hävitati oma enda kodanikke 1918. aastast vallandunud erinevates terrorilainetes, nii on neid tapetud Tšetšeenia sõdades ja terroritõrje hoolimatutes operatsioonides. Nii nagu Nõukogude ajal pioneere, nii kasvatatakse täna Venemaal Noorsoo Armee liikmeid (hetkel üle poole miljoni liikme vanuses 8-18 aastat) Lääne liberaalset demokraatiat vihkava pseudopatriotismi vaimus. Nii nagu Stalini ajal, nii ka nüüd väänatakse ajalugu oma kuritegude õigustamiseks. Nii nagu Nõukogude ajal, nii ka nüüd puudub rahval demokraatlik otsustusvabadus. Seda võrdlevat loetelu võib veel pikalt jätkata.
Lääneriikides kipub levima ohtlik arvamus, et Venemaa agressiooni jätkumises Ukraina vastu on olnud süüdi endise Ukraina presidendi jäikus. Eeldatakse, et Zelenskõiga on nüüd võimalik edasi liikuda. Vangide vahetus on sammuks Venemaa poolt hoolikalt kontrollitud Normandia formaadi uueks rahukohtumiseks. Isegi kui Kiiev otsustaks mingil ime kombel rahulduda Donbassi autonoomiaga (loe Moskva kontrolli alla andmisega), on see üksnes Venemaa agressiivse välispoliitika järjekordseks võiduks ning sobiv hingetõmbepaus uute vallutuste ettevalmistamiseks. Ukrainale tähendaks see aga ukse sulgumist teel NATOsse ja Euroopa Liitu. Loodetavasti ei oma Macron tagataskus just sellist pakkumist Putinile.
Soov üksteise võidu Moskvat väisata ja dialoogi pidada on Venemaale kinnitanud, et Läänel puudub selgroog ning võitja on see, kes oskab mitte sõna, vaid jõudu paremini kasutada. Rahvusvaheliselt on Eestile ja teistele Balti riikidele kujunemas keeruline ajalõik, kus peame olema diplomaatilises käitumises võimalikult targad, et mitte ennast ühel hetkel avastada väga ohtlikus isolatsioonis. Töötada tuleb kõigi liitlastega, et vältida Jalta lepete vaimu tagasitulekut tänasesse Euroopasse. Dialoog Putini Venemaaga on väga keeruline, kuid mitte täiesti võimatu. Selle eelduseks on aga Lääne usutav heidutus ja oma väärtusruumi kaitsmine. Ukrainale Euroopa Liidu perspektiivi lubamine oleks üks samm paljudest.
Arvamus ilmus kuukirjas Keskus, september 2019.
“A president of the United States encouraging a foreign nation to interfere again to help his campaign by investigating a rival is a fundamental breach of the presidential oath.”
Bekas Presiden Transparency International, Datuk Seri Akhbar Satar, berkata dianggarkan lebih RM60billion wang negara atau kekayaan negara telah disapu dan hilang hanya kerana rasuah pada tahun 2018.
Manakala, Datin Seri Wan Azizah berkata Malaysia kehilangan hampir RM47billion pada tahun 2017 (anggaran)
Jumlah ini adalah jumlah yg sangat besar. Jumlah yg menyebabkan negara Malaysia menuju kemiskininan. Jumlah yang menghambat Malaysia dari menjadi sebuah negara maju dan berdaya saing.
Negara2 yg maju semuanya amat peka dengan rasuah dan salah guna wang. Walaupun negara2 maju tiada sumber asli tapi oleh kerana mereka peka dgn rasuah, mereka mampu menjana ekonomi mereka seterusnya menjadi negara maju dan dihormati
APA AKAN JADI PADA ANAK CUCU KITA?
Kekayaan yg hilang melalui rasuah sebenarnya memiskinkan bukan setakat kita tapi juga anak cucu kita. Pelbagai peluang ekonomi yg boleh diwujudkan sekarang terhalang hanya kerana rasuah.
Apabila berlaku rasuah anak cucu kita nanti yang akan merana dan dinafikan peluang mereka utk hidup selesa dan dihormati.
RASUAH ADALAH WARISAN UMNO DISOKONG OLEH PAS
Dgn kehilangan wang sebegitu besar sebegini, akhirnya kita lihat rakyat umum semakin miskin dan tertekan. KAdar gaji tidak berubah manakala kos makin tinggi.
Ini semua warisan dari UMNO yg gagal mentadbir negara dengan baik.
UMNO sendiri menjadi sarang rasuah dimana semua peringkat UMNO dijangkiti rasuah.
Yg kaya dan mendapat laba melalui rasuah hanyalah pemimpin2 serta anak beranak mereka. Ahli2 UMNO biasa pun hanya dpt habuk.
Rakyat biasa mendapat kurang dari habuk.
PAS juga sudah makan rasuah di mana Presiden PAS sendiri didedahkan telah menerima rasuah dari UMNO.
Maka, kalau dinaikkan kembali PAS dan UMNO, maka kadar kehilangan wang akibat rasuah akan menjadi lebih teruk dan lebih sadis.
Wajib di atas setiap rakyat Malaysia menghalang UMNO dari kembali berkuasa demi memastikan masa depan anak cucu kita terjamin.
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RM60 billion may have been lost to graft in 2018
Policemen loading a truck with items seized from Pavilion Residences in Kuala Lumpur last year. The government’s stand in taking former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to court over abuses related to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal is crucial in improving the country’s reputation. FILE PIC
By Veena Babulal - October 1, 2019 @ 12:30pm
KUALA LUMPUR: MALAYSIA could have haemorrhaged RM60 billion of last year’s gross domestic product (GDP) value due to corruption.
Criminologist Datuk Seri Akhbar Satar drew this observation based on World Bank projections that graft hacks away two to four per cent of a country’s GDP on an annual basis.
“We are losing up to RM57.88 billion based on this calculation, but I estimate that we could be losing RM60 billion or even more due to unseen social costs and indirect graft that is difficult to quantify.”
The former Transparency International Malaysia president said he took the highest rate in the range given by the World Bank due to the magnitude of graft in Malaysia.
“And these estimates are conservative. We have so many unsolved high-profile cases of corruption and fraud in Malaysia.
“This year, the GDP is expected to grow between 4.3 per cent and 4.8 per cent. What then?” he said, adding that such estimates in graft stood in the nation’s way in its Shared Prosperity Vision.
Checks with relevant ministries found that RM1 billion could build 800 to 1,000 100-bed hospitals, 40 schools or four-lane roads stretching several kilometres.
Last year, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail revealed that the nation lost RM47 billion of its GDP value to corruption in 2017.
That amount was more than what the government spent on education and double the sum allocated for healthcare in the same year.
Transparency International Malaysia also said about four per cent of the GDP had been lost to corruption annually since 2013.
Economist Dr Hoo Ke Ping, meanwhile, offered another perspective on how funds have been lost due to graft.
He said corruption in Malaysia had been institutionally endemic since the 1970s, when the number of government agencies and government-linked companies expanded from about 30 entities back then to the thousands seen today.
He said this led to people being burdened as they endured negotiation and appointment practices that were open to abuse.
“The system of direct negotiations, concession agreements labelled under the Official Secrets Act 1972, as well as political patronage, cronyism, nepotism and unregulated political financing means that in the end consumer pays more.”
He said while this did not necessarily mean that the country’s coffers bled all the time, it was about consumers being directly affected due to corrupt practices.
Hoo cited the negotiations of highway deals, where rates and the durations of concessions were open to increases at the expense of the people.
“This is a form of graft. Toll fares can be increased by a few sen or ringgit that way.”
He said previously, independent power producers were also given higher subsidies and the burden was passed to consumers via increased tariffs.
Hoo, however, credited the government for reviewing some deals.
“Solar-powered electricity is now sold to Tenaga Nasional Bhd through an open tender system, which cost as low as 28 sen or 29 sen per unit following the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry’s intervention. Previously it was 30 sen or 40 sen.
“The government has to relook its previous and current policies and practices, and carry out changes.”
Sunway University Business School economics professor Dr Yeah Kim Leng said there was no way for Malaysia to achieve its Shared Prosperity Vision goals without corruption being kept at a minimum.
He said rampant graft would lead to resources being diverted or transferred out of the country, depleting the nation’s coffers.
“Graft causes leakages, wastage and diversion of resources, as well as higher costs, and this will be passed on to consumers.
“The worst is when practices, such as the awarding of contracts and public investment, affect businesses that are clean and efficient.
“The end result will be the erosion of investor confidence, outflow of capital and reduced investments because companies are forced to offer bribes to get clearance or favours.”
Yeah said when the costs were passed on to the consumer, the products would be less competitive and it would affect their bottom-line.
He said in the past, there were instances when Malaysia’s attractiveness to investors, ranking in corruption and ease of doing business took a hit because of graft.
He said this changed when Pakatan Harapan took over the government.
“PH has demonstrated its commitment to end corruption and it is manifested in the country’s improved ranking in the anti-corruption index.”
He said the government’s stand in taking former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to court over abuses related to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal was crucial in improving the country’s reputation.
Malaysia’s attractiveness to investors was climbing as a result of this, he added.
He commended the government for coming up with the soon-to-be enforced Section 17(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.
The clause on corporate liability will see companies being fined no less than 10 times the value of the gratification, or RM1 million, whichever is higher, or be subjected to a prison term not exceeding 20 years, or both, when the law comes into effect in June 2020.
Section 17A(3) also provides that if the offence is committed by a commercial organisation, the director, controller, officer, partner and persons managing its affairs at the time of the offence is deemed to have committed the offence of failing to prevent corruption.
These individuals will then need to prove that the offence was committed without his consent or connivance and that he exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of the offence.
We're sittin' in the bunker, watching the world go by DUCK! It's that kind of world these days, and 3 Chords & the Truth is here to help you cope with it. Good music helps with everything. When you have a president who, in just one day, called on the Chinese communists to investigate the former vice president of the United States -- a potential electoral opponent of said president -- and then run a network television commercial accusing congressional Democrats of plotting a coup against him . . . well, we need all the help we can get. And that was just a couple of days after he quoted (in a tweet, of course) a right-wing preacher who said there'd be civil war to pay if the Democrats impeached him. Listen to the music, folks. Listen to the music. Listen to the good music and soak in the good cheer -- we're not that far away from killing one another. Like I said, hold on to the good music . . . and the better angels of your nature. We need all the help we can get. The Big Show is fun, yes. It's musically enlightening. It's, on its better days, informative without boring the crap out of you or sounding like a college lecture. (A not good one, that is.) But this here little music program is as serious as a heart attack, too. 3 Chords & the Truth also is, one hopes, a reminder that we're better than the worse of the headlines on the evening news. That we're better than our politics. That we're better than the dysfunctional man-child in Washington who keeps trying to drag us down into the muck -- to pit American brother against American brother, and American sister against American sister. To pit America against the rest of the world. Call the show not just "music for the people," but also "music for we the people." Love your brother and listen to the damn music. Please? 'Cause no one's listening to anything if we've all done one another in. It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.
NCAA CEO Mark Emmert isn't going anywhere, but replacing him with ESPN analyst and Duke law school graduate Jay Bilas has been floated. Bilas is intrigued.
|Cache||Public opinion may not determine the outcome of political controversies, but it affects the way elected officials react to events, especially high-profile issues such as impeaching and removing a president from office. Here are five big things we have learned from surveys about the impact of the information the American people have received during the…|
CBS Minnesota MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Ahead of a President Donald Trump rally in Minneapolis and a controversial new uniform policy, the Minneapolis police union is selling a shirt in support of the president. On Saturday, Lt. Bob Kroll, Police Officers Federation … Continue reading
The post Mpls. Police Union Selling ‘Cops For Trump’ Shirts Ahead Of Trump Rally appeared first on From the Trenches World Report.
Minnesota Daily – by Natalie Rademacher Textbooks in hand, members of the student group Students for a Democratic Society held a sit-in outside University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel’s office Friday morning. The students are calling for the University to … Continue reading
When Donald Trump is impeached—as now seems increasingly likely—the Senate will weigh whether to convict him and Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson will serve as one of the jurors. That could put Johnson in the most awkward position of any member of the chamber’s Republican Caucus. In order to retain his status as the president’s most inept defender this side of House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, Johnson will have to downplay evidence of his own concerns regarding the actions that sparked the impeachment inquiry.
Since he melted down on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday, everyone’s been talking about Johnson’s wild-eyed performance, in which he spouted so many conspiracy theories that host Chuck Todd interrupted him to say, “I have no idea why Fox News conspiracy propaganda stuff is popping up on here.”
Actually, there’s an explanation for Johnson’s meltdown. It has to do with a desperate senator’s determination to stay on the right side of his party’s president after a week in which revelations regarding Johnson’s concerns about the Ukraine imbroglio did the president no favors.
Let’s get Johnson’s story straight.
In August, a US diplomat told Johnson, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, that the Trump administration was blocking $400 million in military aid to Ukraine as part of a scheme to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch the political investigations that the US president was demanding.
“At that suggestion, I winced,” Johnson told The Wall Street Journal. “My reaction was: Oh, God. I don’t want to see those two things combined.” After he was done wincing, Johnson called Trump.
“He said, ‘Expletive deleted—No way. I would never do that. Who told you that?’” Johnson told the Journal Friday. Johnson, arguably the most credulous member of the Senate, was apparently trying to help the president by recounting their conversation. However, as the Journal report on the August 31 phone call noted, “Mr. Johnson’s account, coupled with text messages among State Department officials released Thursday, show some Trump administration officials—including [US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland] and a top U.S. diplomat in Kyiv—believed there was a link between Mr. Trump’s July decision to hold up the aid to Ukraine and his interest in Kyiv’s launching new probes.”
Back in Wisconsin, Johnson explained that he was “surprised by the president’s reaction and realized we had a sales job to do.” By “we,” the senator meant the advocates for aiding Ukraine. But Trump wasn’t buying. “I tried to convince him to give me the authority to tell President Zelensky that we were going to provide that [aid]. Now, I didn’t succeed.” As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted in its report on Johnson’s comments, “Johnson made clear that he was aware of allegations Trump was withholding aid to Ukraine for political reasons weeks before the public knew of the accusation.”
Johnson failed to speak up. But, less than a month after the senator spoke with Trump, a whistle-blower came forward with evidence that the president had, indeed, pressured Zelensky to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, a leading Democratic challenger to Trump’s 2020 reelection bid. Then, in a move that shocked even his defenders, Trump released detailed notes from a July phone conversation that confirmed the whistle-blower’s report. With each passing day, the evidence of wrongdoing has mounted against the president.
The president now faces an impeachment inquiry, and responsible Republicans are acknowledging that things don’t look good for Trump. “By all appearances, the President’s brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling,” says Utah Senator Mitt Romney, who explained (after Trump upped the ante with a call for a Chinese investigation of Biden) that “it strains credulity to suggest that it is anything other than politically motivated.”
The group Republicans for the Rule of Law announced that “Trump may have suspected Joe Biden of corruption, but when the president pressured a foreign government to investigate an American citizen and political rival, he engaged in actual corruption. Whatever Biden did or didn’t do can’t excuse that.” Michigan Representative Justin Amash, who was elected as a conservative Republican but now sits as an independent, endorsed the impeachment inquiry and said of Trump, “He’s openly challenging our system of checks and balances. In plain sight, he’s using the powers of his public office for personal gain and counting on Republicans in Congress to look the other way.”
So what does Ron Johnson have to say now?
He spent last week making excuses for the man who any reasonable person would conclude had lied to him. Johnson called Trump the nation’s “chief law enforcement officer” and told a Wisconsin radio station, “We have proper agreements with countries to investigate potential crimes so I don’t think there’s anything improper about doing that.”
When asked about his involvement in another key issue related to the scandal, Johnson became very conveniently forgetful.
Trump alleges that Biden, as the vice president, abused his position to try to get Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin fired as part of an effort to shut down an investigation of a gas company with which Biden’s son Hunter was associated. But The New Yorker reminds us that this is “a repeatedly discredited conspiracy theory.” The reality is that Shokin faced allegations of corruption that troubled a lot of Americans—Republicans and Democrats—and that there was bipartisan support for his removal.
This is where Ron Johnson back comes into the story—as something of a character witness for Biden. In 2016, Johnson joined a bipartisan group of senators in signing a letter urging “urgent reforms to the Prosecutor General’s office and Judiciary.” So the Wisconsin senator knew the real story. Yet when he was asked about the letter last week, Johnson told a reporter, “I send out all kinds of oversight letters.… I don’t know which 2016 oversight letter you’re referring to so I will look at that and then we’ll issue a press release, statement, or something—but I don’t engage in hypocrisy. I’m looking at getting the truth.”
Johnson is engaging in hypocrisy, but it’s worse than that.
As NBC’s Chuck Todd said Sunday, after trying to get the senator to answer some basic questions: “Senator Johnson, please! Can we please answer the question that I asked you, instead of trying to make Donald Trump feel better here that you’re not criticizing him?”
Johnson has a long history of trying to keep on the right side of Trump. He proposed that they team up in 2016 and run as “the Ronald and the Donald.” And Johnson doesn’t want to get on the wrong side of a president who goes ballistic when Republicans like Romney cross him. Johnson really is trying to help. He’s just really bad at it. So bad that every time Ron Johnson opens his mouth, he makes the case against Donald Trump.
District Court Judge Victor Marrero had more than one opinion to share Monday morning.Marrero, a federal judge in Manhattan, on Monday rejected President Trump's argument against handing over eight years' worth of his New York state tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors. It marks the next step in Democrats' divisive attempts to get Trump's tax returns, and in his ruling, Marrero snuck an additional divisive take of his own.As it stands, the federal Office of Legal Counsel has an opinion that blocks sitting presidents from being indicted. But that perceived mandate "has a certain degree of axiomatic acceptance," Marrero said in his ruling, writing that "DOJ memos which propagate it" have made it seem as if it's "inscribed by constitutional tablets so-etched by the Supreme Court." Marerro's court sees this false legitimacy as "not warranted," he continued, and went on to dismantle the OLC ruling further.> And the judge also argues that the DOJ memos describing the horrors of a presidential indictment were conjured out of thin air rather than out of legitimate factual concerns. pic.twitter.com/9gKDV2okXY> > -- Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) October 7, 2019In plain English, that essentially means Marrero says the OLC opinion is not as legally binding as it seems. And in case it wasn't clear where Marrero was going with this, he outlined an scenario in which a president probably should be indicted: If impeachable offenses seemingly came up against the hypothetical commander in chief, but it was toward the end of their term with no time for Congress to actually impeach them. > And the judge presents a hypothetical that would *support* the indictment a sitting president: preventing criminal associates from going free or himself from escaping justice due to a statute of limitations. pic.twitter.com/wuMumT4IwZ> > -- Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) October 7, 2019
The anonymous whistleblower who has upended Washington and seeks to bring down a president admits that he has no first-hand knowledge of the dealings between President Donald Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. He or she says that the information came from people who told other people about the supposedly damning content of the Trump-Zelensky…
The post Dick Morris: Whistleblower Heard It Through the Grapevine appeared first on The Western Journal.