Pro act congress – Proact Now Fri, 23 Sep 2022 09:26:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Pro act congress – Proact Now 32 32 Ashok Gehlot to run for Congress president; Speculations, beginning of lobbying for the next CM of Rajasthan Fri, 23 Sep 2022 09:26:33 +0000 Ashok Gehlot to run for Congress president; speculation, lobbying begins for next CM of Rajasthan | Photo: ANI

As Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot announced his intention to contest the election of the Congress Speaker and also hinted that he would quit the post of CM, speculation and lobbying started for the new CM of Rajasthan. ‘State.

Leaders and lawmakers close to Sachin Pilot have begun talks with congressional lawmakers from all factions. These include MPs who were once seen as staunch opponents.

The Congress party has 107 seats in the Rajasthan Assembly, including 6 MPs from the BSP, who joined the Congress in 2019.

At the time of his rebel act in July 2020, Sachin Pilot only had the support of 20 MPs, and the number has not increased so far, so most of the MPs are still with CM Ashok Gehlot.

Party sources said that although it appears Sachin has the support of the party high command, there is a buzz that Gehlot has suggested the name of Rajasthan Assembly Speaker Dr. CP Joshi as his successor.

In such a case, if a headcount situation arises at the meeting of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP), it will be difficult for Sachin to prove his strength. This is the reason why his supporters started to lobby for him, and the good news for them came from the 6 deputies of the BSP.

The leader of these deputies and minister in the government, Rajendra Gudha made a public statement to respect the decision of the high command to make anyone including Pilot the CM.

“We agree with the decision of the Congress party command. Even if he chooses Bharosi Lal Jatav (a minister), we will support him,” Gudha said.

It should be mentioned here that these 6 MPs have always been firm with Gehlot during any political crisis, but this time the case might be different.

Other MPs are expected to back Sachin, especially those who have expressed dissatisfaction with various government decisions in recent months. These include the chairman of the Scheduled Castings Commission and MPs Khiladi Lal Bairwa and Girraj Singh Malinga.

Pilot’s supporters said party MPs accepted the party high command’s decision. “We are confident that the party high command will come out in favor of Sachin Pilot and that he will be unanimously elected leader of the CLP,” said a MP loyal to Pilot.

Sachin Pilot trending on Twitter

Meanwhile, Sachin Pilot supporters also became active on social media, and the hashtag #SachinPilot continued to trend on Twitter. At the same time, pro-pilot MPs called on supporters to remain calm.

Pilot Camp MP Vedprakash Solanki tweeted – All are requested to exercise patience and restraint. The truth will prevail and our leader, Sachin Pilot will get the result of his hard work. We have full confidence in the high command, so no one should post anything unnecessary on social media.

Pilot is said to have asked MPs and leaders to steer clear of any form of political rhetoric.

The appointment will be a show of force

Ashok Gehlot’s appointment should also be a show of strength. Gehlot is expected to file his nomination on September 28, for which leaders close to Gehlot have started sending messages to supporters and lawmakers. They are asked to join Delhi on the day of his appointment, Gehlot himself asked for it during the PLC meeting held on Tuesday evening. CLP Deputy Chief Whip Mahendra Choudhary said all Congress MPs will travel to Delhi for Gehlot’s nomination, although Choudhary is still confident that Gehlot will present his final budget next year.

Big bank executives set to testify before Congress amid allegations of discrimination against conservatives Wed, 21 Sep 2022 15:17:11 +0000

Chase, Bank of America may face questions over the decision to push back Black Rifle Coffee Co.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon (Getty Images)

Collin Anderson • September 21, 2022 11:10 a.m.

Two of the largest U.S. banks are facing allegations of discrimination against conservative businesses – allegations they may be forced to address in a Senate hearing on Thursday with their top executives.

The CEOs of Chase and Bank of America are ready to bear witness before Congress on Thursday as part of the Senate Banking Committee’s “Annual Oversight of the Nation’s Largest Banks.” The hearing comes just days after these banks faced allegations that they refused to work with a conservative-aligned coffee company, Black Rifle Coffee Co., because they felt the company posed a “reputational risk”.

Emails obtained by the Free Washington Beacon support these claims. In an exchange with Black Rifle in 2018, Chase executive Mark Outlaw said the bank “would love to do business with a company affiliated with veterans” like Black Rifle, but cited name “issues” and the company’s mission. Black Rifle, for example, offers coffee blends such as AK-47 and Silencer Smooth, and its CEO Evan Hafer told the New York Times he voted for former President Donald Trump.

Now Chase and Bank of America may have to answer for their treatment of the coffee company and other unawakened entities, a development that could provide insight into how hostile major U.S. financial institutions act toward corporations.” politically incorrect”. In addition to Black Rifle, Chase has “limited” its dealings with gunsmiths, a policy that has left the bank jostling after Texas passed a law prohibiting the state from working with companies that “discriminate” against the gun industry.

Neither Chase nor Bank of America returned requests for comment. In the case of Black Rifle, Chase’s hostility to the company appears to run counter to the bank’s financial and social missions – the company’s revenues topped $233 million last year and more than half of its employees are veterans or family members of veterans. of hunting website touts its role in “providing transformative opportunities for veterans and their families” and says its “goal is to position service members, veterans and their families to thrive in their lives after the service”. Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, meanwhile, has guaranteed reviews that he is “not awake”.

Despite his reluctance to associate himself with conservative companies, citing “risk management practices”, Chase leaned heavily on liberal social issues. In June, the company said it was “celebrating Pride” by interviewing employees to “learn more about their personal experiences, backgrounds and advice and how best to support members of the LGBTQ+ community.” The bank suite blog post, which included each employee’s “preferred pronouns”, touted Chase’s “culture of diversity and equality”. In 2018, meanwhile, a Chase Press release bragged that the company “wins[ed] a perfect score for LGBT equality, 16 years in a row.”

Thursday’s hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time. It can be streamed live here.

US Azerbaijanis Appeal to Congress Over Nancy Pelosi’s Unacceptable Statements Mon, 19 Sep 2022 13:45:00 +0000

BAKU, Azerbaijan, September 19. Board members of the Coordinating Council of Azerbaijanis in America (ACCA) appealed to US official bodies due to the visit of Congresswoman Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Armenia, the Committee said. of State for work with the Azerbaijani Diaspora at Trend.

According to the appeal, Pelosi’s visit to Armenia on September 18 was aimed at distorting realities in the South Caucasus region.

“Nancy Pelosi and the members of Congress who support her are against democratic principles that uphold human rights and justice,” the appeal reads.

Furthermore, the appeal noted that Pelosi’s baseless and unfair accusations against Azerbaijan are unacceptable.

On the night of September 12, the Armenian armed forces carried out a large-scale provocation on the border with Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani armed forces have put an end to this act of aggression against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. All responsibility for the aggravation of the situation in the region and the large-scale provocations lies with the military-political leadership of Armenia, the appeal added.

The appeal pointed out that while Azerbaijan demonstrates its interest in establishing a lasting peace with Armenia, Pelosi and people like her, instead of supporting this intention of Azerbaijan, have preferred a biased pro-Armenian policy.

Azerbaijan, which independently implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the immediate liberation of Azerbaijani lands from occupation, is now engaged in demining its territories, carrying out large-scale works to restore the lands destroyed by Armenia, the appeal says.

The Azerbaijani state is not interested in a conflict with Armenia but wants peace, and Pelosi’s statements made during his visit to Armenia are a serious blow to efforts to normalize relations between Azerbaijan and the country. ‘Armenia.

At the same time, the authors of the appeal noted with regret that Pelosi, who spoke of “justice” and “democracy”, did not say a word about Armenia’s aggressive policy towards Azerbaijan , almost 30 years of occupation of Azerbaijani territories, the destruction of Azerbaijani territories cities, villages, schools, hospitals, cemeteries, ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis and other serious crimes for which Armenia is responsible.

“Such baseless actions and statements serve not to bolster the fragile peace in the region, but to heighten tension,” the appeal said.

Council members called for immediate action in connection with Pelosi’s position, aimed at the emergence of new conflicts between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Mary Peltola is sworn in as the first Alaska Native in Congress Fri, 16 Sep 2022 16:09:00 +0000

She launched into her new life around noon Friday last week, flying from western Alaska to Anchorage, where she hopped on another plane around 3 a.m. Saturday, then rushed through Seattle airport for its connecting flight to DC, and a seat in the US House of Representatives – an exciting prospect that may, in fact, be quite temporary.

She made a hit on MSNBC on Monday, during which the host compared her to both Barack and Michelle Obama, then was sworn in around 6:41 p.m. Tuesday on the house floor while wearing the traditional lined shoes. of Yup fur. ‘ik people. In less than an hour, she cast her first three votes as a member of Congress, then drove her four children, three stepchildren, and two grandchildren to a jubilant reception hosted by Indigenous organizations across the country. Alaska and headlined by Nancy Pelosi — while running, sideways, yet another campaign: to keep the job she was just elected to (Alaska’s only seat in the House) after the Jan. 3 expiration of his new current and abbreviated mandate.

“I’m really running on adrenaline right now.”

11:33 a.m. Wednesday, her first full day as Rep. Mary Sattler Peltola (D-Alaska).

His nameplate sat outside his new office, Rayburn 2314, the expansive former haunt of his legendary predecessor, the late Don Young(R), who was as obnoxious as he was sweet. The poles near the office door were still waiting for flags. The waiting room was empty except for a box of Dunkin’ Donuts, two apples on a paper plate and a new visitor’s log already containing the names of six voters – one of whom had scribbled “YAY!!!!”, presumably in celebration of Peltola’s historic election.

“I feel all nine cloud emotions,” Peltola, 49, said in perfect posture in a green leather chair. Capitol Hill bureaucracy buttercream.

“And I know it’s not a permanent state. Nothing is. Everything is temporary.

What can you do with less than four months in Congress?

Mary Peltola is about to show us.

His election alone is a major achievement in the eyes of Democrats, Native Americans, many Alaskans and even some Republicans. Peltola is the first woman to represent Alaska in the House and the first Alaskan native to represent the state in either house of Congress. She is also the first Democrat to hold the seat since the Nixon administration.

“It’s going to be impossible for me to get through this without crying,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, a member of the Pueblo de Laguna tribe, said at a Tuesday reception for Peltola in a ballroom at the Kimpton Hotel. Monaco.

“I’ve known Mary for a long time,” said Lisa Murkowski, one of two Republican senators from Alaska, as she entered the ballroom. . She has courage. I am very proud today.

“Mary looks like us,” Republican Tara Sweeney, an Alaska Native who also ran for House seat, said on the phone from Anchorage hours before Peltola was sworn in. “She understands what it is like to be in communities with no law enforcement, to have to pack water, to be mobbed in remote communities where you are invited to school or in church. She understands those challenges of growing up in rural Alaska.

Peltola was raised on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, a 70-minute flight west of Anchorage, by a Nebraska father and a Yup’ik mother, whose people have fished in the area for 12,000 years. At age 6, Peltola began catching salmon commercially with his father. In her mid-twenties, after working for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Peltola won a seat in the Juneau State House, where she established a reputation as an independent thinker and collaborator. After 10 years in the state house, Peltola has focused on the Kuskokwim, helping run a nearby gold mining project and advocating for endangered salmon migrations, which are the region’s economic arteries. .

Its congressman, after nearly 50 years in office, died in March, triggering a crowded special election with 48 candidates including Peltola, Sarah Palin and Santa Claus. Peltola did not make national headlines. But she had credentials and campaigned on the issues – “pro-jobs, pro-fish, pro-family and pro-choice” – with courtesy and grace. That sets her apart from the sniping between Palin and the other leading Republican candidate, Nick Begich III, whom Peltola will face again in the Nov. 8 general election.

Alaska is having the craziest election of 2022

“It all comes down to how she ran her campaign,” said former Young spokesman Zack Brown, who called Peltola “a really good person.” She “went a positive, upbeat, policy-focused campaign that made no personal attacks,” an “important” strategy in Alaska’s new ranked voting system, which is designed to encourage civility in the campaign and providing consensus winners. On the second and final ballot, enough Begich voters ranked Peltola second – and/or omitted Palin entirely – to push Peltola above the 50% winning margin.

Recently, rookie representatives have tried grandstanding and disruption in order to make a splash in Congress, but Peltola’s commitment is continuity and goodwill. She hired Young’s former chief of staff as her own, on an interim basis; his acting press secretary, who consulted on his campaign, also happens to be a Republican.

On Monday, when MSNBC host Joy Reid tried to enlist him in a partisan fight, Peltola refused.

“I’m very sensitive to how the people of MAGA feel disenfranchised, forgotten, left behind,” Peltola told Reid, adding, “If you’re American, I want to work with you. … I try to stay away. messages of fear and hate.

In her office Wednesday morning, Peltola was determined to avoid the deadly contagions of cynicism and hostility.

“Old habits die hard for me,” she said. “And I default to this softer way of engaging, and the subtle means of communication. I think a lot can be expressed through body language, facial expressions, and sweet words that maybe still have more impact than being more direct.

Beneath the aura of idealism lurks a sudden, heavy workload: a backlog of voter applications, a pile of unfinished legislative work from Young, and a push for the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which governs the fisheries management in federal waters, plus trips back to Alaska every weekend and the ongoing campaign to keep the siege.

Everything is temporary, as Peltola says, but how temporary will his time in Congress be? Whether voters in Alaska affirm Peltola on Nov. 8 or rank candidates to reinstate a Republican, during this week in Washington, there has been bipartisan cheer around a single election. Republican senators from Alaska hugged, smiled and stood with Peltola on the floor of the House during his swearing-in ceremony. The reception that followed at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco had the warmth of a family reunion and the electric anticipation of a New Year’s Eve party.

“We came here as natives – we predate government, predate any law, predate any congress,” said Denae Benson, 26, a junior Hill employee who approached Peltola for a photo. “Yet 2022 is the first time an Alaskan native has represented the people on the body that governs them? It’s surreal that it’s taken so long, but it gives hope that the country changes and grows.

]]> Reviews | Congress cannot legislate abortion. Both Schumer and Graham are wrong. Thu, 15 Sep 2022 21:54:00 +0000

John Yoo is a professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley, a nonresident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution.

Last spring, when the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade loomed, congressional Democrats made the mistake of attempting to impose right to abortion nationwide. Now, some Republicans want to return the favor by seeking to ban all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Abortion rights and anti-abortion proposals attack the constitutional structure, which protects the right of states to decide fundamental moral questions.

In his Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decisionthe Supreme Court struck down roe deerdiscovered a woman’s right to abortion in the 14th Amendment, which prohibits the state from depriving anyone of “life, liberty, or property, without due process.” The court concluded in June that roe deer had fundamentally erred because it nationalized a right that was neither established by the constitutional text, as originally understood, nor developed over the course of American history and tradition. When the Constitution is thus silent, the court said, the political process in the states will decide abortion, just as it decides the death penalty and euthanasia.

As Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said for the majority, “It is time to uphold the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the elected representatives of the people. Quoting the scathings of Judge Antonin Scalia CONTESTATION in Family planning c. Casey in 1992, Alito asserted how the Constitution should deal with most moral issues: “The authorization of abortion, and its limits, must be resolved as the most important questions of our democracy: by citizens who try to persuade each other and then vote. Alito and the majority bluntly concluded, “This is what the Constitution and the rule of law require.

The enterprising members of Congress were not discouraged. Immediately after the Dobbs draft notice leaked in May, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) proposed that Congress codify roe deer. He couldn’t even persuade a majority of his own Democratic-controlled Senate to support him. Now Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (RS.C.) this week introduced legislation banning abortion nationwide after 15 weeks of pregnancy, while allowing states to enact even stricter limits.

Schumer and Graham and anyone else who tries a similar ploy should be warned: the Constitution does not allow Congress to directly overrule a Supreme Court decision. In the 1997 case City of Boerne against Flores, the court confronted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, legislation that contravened a court ruling that had itself overturned previous court cases protecting religious freedoms. Congress asserted that it had authority under Section 5 of the 14th Amendment, which states that “Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions” of the 14th Amendment.

Likewise, Congress could claim that it has the right to impose its own understanding of “freedom” in the due process clause to include abortion (Schumer), or “life” to prohibit abortion. (Graham).

Borne, however, struck down the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Judge Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the court: “Legislation that alters the meaning of the free exercise clause cannot be said to enforce the clause. Congress does not enforce a constitutional right by changing what the right is. The power to determine rights under the 14th Amendment rests with the Supreme Court, not Congress. Borne condemns any effort by Congress to nullify Dobbs.

In their failed attempt to codify roe deerSenate Democrats also relied on the interstate commerce clause, which did indeed provide authority for some sweeping rights — but not enough to support regulation of the entire medical profession, especially as the court over the past few decades has decided to restrict congress’s use of the trade clause in legislation.

A 1995 ruling struck down a law that banned guns in school zones, and in 2000 the court struck down a federal law making gender-based violence illegal that crossed state lines. In both cases, the court held that the federal government could not use the trade clause to encroach on the states’ criminal law prerogatives. Graham’s bill would represent another unconstitutional invasion of state authority to regulate crime or the professions.

Congress has indirect means to influence abortion policies through its purse power. It could provide vouchers or tax credits to pregnant women who have to travel to pro-choice states. Or a pro-life Congress could cut federal health care funds for states and hospitals that perform abortions. But these measures would only marginally affect abortion rights.

As Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh wrote in an agreement that provided the crucial fifth vote to overturn roe deer“The Constitution is neutral and leaves the problem to the people and their elected representatives to resolve through the democratic process in the states or Congress – like the many other difficult questions of American social and economic policy that the Constitution does not address.”

Graham’s bill, like Schumer’s, simply seeks to avoid the hard political work of making good faith arguments in an effort to persuade Americans on the fundamental moral issue of abortion.

]]> Republicans in Congress introduce bill to restrict abortion nationwide Tue, 13 Sep 2022 21:00:56 +0000

WASHINGTON — Republican members of the House and Senate on Tuesday introduced a bill banning abortion nationwide after 15 weeks of gestation.

“Working closely with leading pro-life groups across the country, we are today introducing legislation banning abortion at a time when unborn children may be in pain,” said Senator Lindsey Graham (RS .C.), principal sponsor of the bill in the Senate, said in a press release. “Our legislation, which prohibits abortion after 15 weeks of gestation, will bring the abortion policy of the United States into line with other developed countries such as France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Spain and other European countries.”

Graham’s Bill, known as the Protection of Unborn Children Capable of Pain from Late Abortions Act, would prohibit doctors from performing abortions after 15 weeks of gestation except in situations involving rape, incest or health risks. mother’s life and physical health. The bill, also introduced in the House by Rep. Chris Smith (RN.J.), would leave in place state laws with stricter abortion bans.

“After Roe vs. Wade was reversed, Democrats in Congress rallied behind pro-choice legislation that allows abortion up until the moment of birth,” he added. “I see the Democratic proposal as radical and one that the Americans will eventually reject. Our legislation is a responsible alternative because we provide exceptions for cases of rape, incest and the life and physical health of the mother.”

Graham was referring to laws like the Women’s Health Protection Act – passed by the House in July – that would make abortion legal nationwide. The bill, which failed in the Senate by a 49-51 vote, would have created “a federal right for patients to receive and providers to provide abortion care, ensuring that every American – regardless of location residency – can make decisions about their lives and their bodies,” said Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), the bill’s lead sponsor, said in a press release when the measure was passed in the House.

This isn’t the first time Graham has introduced a bill to ban abortions; he introduced a similar measure in January 2021 that would ban abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation, noting in a press release that he had introduced abortion-banning bills in the past four congresses. But this bill comes at a critical time as midterm elections are less than 2 months away and various states have enacted their own abortion bans following the Supreme Court ruling that overturned roe deer.

Reaction to the bill was swift. “This once hypothetical nightmare is now here,” Jenny Lawson, executive director of abortion rights group Planned Parenthood Votes, said in a statement. “Who we elect in November will determine our abortion rights and whether Congress can pass a national abortion ban… They just need one more vote in the Senate to control the majority and present this bill. They must be held to account.”

The National Committee for the Right to Life (NRLC), an anti-abortion rights group, welcomed the measure. “We commend pro-life Senator Lindsey Graham and pro-life Congressman Chris Smith for their tireless efforts and dedication on behalf of unborn children and their mothers,” said NRLC President Carol Tobias. said in a blog postadding that the measure would “prevent cruel and painful abortions from being performed on innocent children”.

  • Joyce Frieden oversees MedPage Today’s coverage in Washington, including stories about Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, professional health associations and federal agencies. She has 35 years of experience in health policy. Follow

Iranian terrorists will receive billions of dollars before Congress can consider new nuclear deal Fri, 09 Sep 2022 09:03:48 +0000

Iran will have immediate access to billions of dollars in cash the day a new nuclear deal is signed, money that will go to Tehran’s main terrorist organizations before Congress has a chance to review the deal. agreement, former senior US officials and experts told the Free Washington Beacon.

Sanctioned entities linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – the country’s paramilitary fighting force that attempts to assassinate US officials – will receive a massive influx of cash when the agreement is signed. OK. The Biden administration will also release some $7 billion in frozen assets tied to IRGC funding “before a single day of congressional review,” said Richard Goldberg, Iran’s former WMD director. at the White House National Security Council. Free tag.

“As Iran actively tries to assassinate former US officials and kidnap Iranian Americans, the Biden administration is offering Iran billions in IRGC sanctions relief before a single day of review by Congress,” Goldberg said. Other former US officials who worked on the Iran portfolio estimate that about 172 sanctions will be lifted before the deal goes to Congress.

As the Biden administration and its European allies move closer to securing a revamped version of the 2015 nuclear deal, former officials like Goldberg say Iran’s global terror enterprise should receive a blow an immediate boost in cash and weight as sanctions that have crippled Tehran’s militant operations are lifted before Congress has a chance to exercise its legal mandate to review and approve the deal. This day-one sanctions relief is part of a package of concessions crafted by the United States to assure Iran that it will have access to hard currency even if Congress rejects the deal and pushes for the continuation of the deal. sanctions against the extremist regime.

While the Biden administration is not allowed to lift the sanctions until Congress considers the deal, the White House is reportedly considering a workaround that will go into effect the moment the deal is signed. President Joe Biden should rescind three Trump administration executive orders that authorized sanctions against entities linked to Iran’s IRGC, according to former US officials and a recent policy analysis released by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a non-partisan think tank.

Presidential decrees have authorized sanctions against Iran’s financial institutions, its petrochemical and automotive sectors, and its manufacturing industry, as well as its mining, construction and textile sectors. If Biden reverses these sanctions, a large chunk of cash will become immediately available.

This includes $7 billion in funds parked in international accounts that “apparently will be released prior to congressional review pursuant” to the Iran Nuclear Deal Review Act, or INARA. The law passed Congress overwhelmingly in 2015 after the Obama administration signed the original agreement without consulting the legislature.

Iran’s National Oil Company and Central Bank will be ready to receive these funds once the sanctions are lifted. Both entities are under anti-terrorism sanctions for their funding of the IRGC’s Al-Quds Force, which orchestrates terrorist attacks across the Middle East. Later in the agreement, the terrorism sanctions against these two entities will be lifted.

“Since this publication is clearly linked to the negotiations on the nuclear agreement, the publication of a [sanctions] waiver before submitting the agreement to Congress would be an even more brazen circumvention of INARA”, according to the analysis of the FDD.

The Iranian sectors that stand to benefit from this sanctions relief generate around 20-25% of Tehran’s GDP and 62-73% of its non-oil exports, according to the FDD. “Reversal of these decrees could give Iran sanctions-free access to at least $30 billion in annual export revenue, or more than $13.5 billion over the 165-day period of the agreement. provisional, this figure increasing after the lifting of sanctions”, predicts the foundation. .

The initial $7 billion in cash – which will later be accompanied by around $1 trillion in sanctions relief if the deal is approved – is part of a ransom paid by the United States for the release of four American hostages. That money has been frozen in South Korean banks but will be “returned to the Central Bank of Iran”, according to Gabriel Noronha, a former senior adviser on Iran at the State Department during the Trump administration.

Noronha said that this money will certainly be used by Tehran to finance its global terrorist operations.

“We have a clear precedent for how they will use these funds,” Noronha said. “In 2016, President Obama’s $1.7 billion ransom was sent by the Central Bank of Iran to the IRGC’s budget account, which was then used to boost their terrorist activities.”

Iranian officials even suggested at the time that “more hostage takings would be an excellent method of balancing their budget,” according to Noronha, who is a distinguished fellow at the Jewish National Security Institute of America. “The Central Bank of Iran has also been sanctioned by the Trump administration under terrorist designations for facilitating the transfer of billions of dollars and euros to the IRGC. taken prisoner.”

Further sanctions relief on the negotiating table would impact the Iranian government organization that funds assassination plots and puts bounties on the country’s political enemies, such as author Salman Rushdie, who was recently the victim of an attack in brutal knife.

Behnam Ben Taleblu, an Iran sanctions expert at the FDD, said the Iranian regime has made it clear that it will not spend its cash gains to improve its economy and people.

“Releasing frozen funds to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism essentially puts Tehran’s terror apparatus on steroids. It’s like trying to put out one fire while starting another,” Ben Taleblu said. “Regardless of the status of the IRGC’s terrorism designation, an agreement that is not yet ready to offer major relief to other terrorist financing entities in Iran makes little strategic sense.

Congress’s Child Online Safety Act puts children at risk with vague language Thu, 08 Sep 2022 20:33:00 +0000

from will-it-protect-or-harm-the-children? department

The Children’s Online Safety Act (KOSA) was voted out of committee with a long list of amendments. Supporters had warned of some serious unintended consequences that could arise from this bill, the most concerning of which was forcing tech companies to take LGBTQ+ minors out of their parents — potentially against their will. The changes were supposed to fix these issues and more. But did they?

The short answer is there was an honest attempt, but I think it fails, and I think it fails for some specific reason.

The context of the bill

In order to understand why this bill has significant problems, we must first cover some basics and separate the intentional and unintentional harms of the bill.

Let’s start with what the bill wants to do, which is to establish a threshold of protection for minors. It does this by creating a duty of care to act in the best interests of the minor. The bill then vaguely defines what this means and the category of harms that online platforms must protect minors from, requiring the creation of certain tools that parents can use to monitor their children, etc. It also gives platforms a lot of homework, like creating an annual report identifying the risks they think miners will encounter on their platform and what they are doing to mitigate that damage.

So why did I say that this bill intended to harm? Well, drafting a bill is hard, you have to describe what you mean when you say a business “must act in the best interests of a minor” to “take reasonable steps” to “prevent and mitigate mental health issues” or “addiction”. The more detail you get, the more confusing it gets and the more it is stated, the harder it is to apply to specific facts.

Let’s say I’m playing a game with VOIP and someone calls me a slur. Was it because the game company failed to take reasonable steps? If I want to play a game in all my free time, is it because the game is really good or because it was intentionally designed to cause “compulsive use”? What are even “reasonable measures”? Especially when many of the things described in the bill impact people differently.

KOSA’s intentional fuzzy language

The authors of KOSA essentially subcontract to the courts how to apply the vague language of the bill to the real facts. Concretely, this means that if the bill passes, all platforms will try to comply with what they think the text means. Then at least one of the platforms will almost certainly be sued for failing. These companies will then have to undergo many discoveries and the judges will only get lost.

It will be a long, painful, expensive and time-consuming process. But I think it’s intentional. Many members of Congress believe the platforms are not doing enough to protect children, even though they should have the resources to do so. They either don’t see, or they don’t care, the vast amount of resources already allocated to trust and security divisions to protect all users, including minors. They see a problem that needs to be fixed immediately and believe that a strong regulatory response will give platforms enough of a kick in the pants to figure it out. It’s the famous “nerd hard” complaint that is often leveled at Silicon Valley.

If you look at KOSA through this lens, everything makes sense. Never mind that it sets up a bunch of costly new compliance efforts that may or may not be productive. It doesn’t matter if it kills some companies or forces consolidation. It doesn’t matter that some platforms try to completely ban minors from their platform (of course, we all know that kids will figure out how to access platforms anyway). It’s a big extrinsic shock that they hope will shake things up enough that the platforms end up nerding pretty hard.

After all, the application of KOSA is limited to the FTC and state AGs. We can trust them to only present cases that will advance the welfare of children, right?

KOSA’s extremely serious unforeseen damage

In Normal Times™, here’s how the debate over whether to pass KOSA would play out: This bill is a mess and will be too painful (and expensive) to sort out — against — who cares, the platforms can afford it and we think it will at least help make the world a little better.

But these are not normal times, and advocates have warned that not only will this bill be painful to settle, but it provides an avenue of attack for ideologues using the legal system to prey on marginalized communities. This is a real threat that no lawmakers (especially Democrats) should be complicit in, especially since Roe’s overthrow has become a starting gun to use the legal system for culture wars and ends. extreme ideologies.

The primary avenue of attack built into the original KOSA was towards the LGBTQ community, and comments given at the time were that it would send children to parents who might not be tolerant and could result in things like deported minors homes or sent to conversion therapy. This is what proponents warned editors about and what the new language sought to correct.

So it was settled? Kind of. They added a provision saying that the bill should not be interpreted as requiring disclosure to parents of things like browsing behavior, search history, messages, content of communications. The tools the platforms are required to provide to parents now seem to only focus on high-level things like time used, purchases, etc. in” the large section describing the misdeeds they want to stop. Which option stops bullying? I’d like to know (maybe this will help me stop being T-bagged in multiplayer games).

Sorting this may or may not sweep some sensitive data and expose children. Sometimes children keep secrets to protect themselves from their parents. Makes sense to me, I had a friend growing up sent to one of the reform schools that Paris Hilton warned us about. However, I am generally less concerned about forced exits than before the amendments.

I am now more concerned about this bill which invites a broad attack on platforms allowing a child to view any pro-LGBTQ content. The Culture Wars Eye of Sauron has turned to harassment and despicable behavior towards this community, especially trans people, and they do so under the banner of child protection.

Unfortunately, the language these people use to vilify the LGBTQ community is pervasive in the bill. Being trans has been labeled a mental health disorder, and this bill says platforms are needed to protect minors from it. Seeing a drag queen, period, has also been described as sexual exploitation, grooming, and sexual abuse. Again, forbidden at KOSA. Gender-affirming care has been labeled as self-harm, which rigs must again protect against under KOSA.

The vague language of the bill, which may have been seen by drafters as an asset, is now a huge liability. And it’s not just limited to anti-LGBTQ content. For example, a minor seeking information on how to receive a safe abortion could also be described as self-harm.

The bill’s sponsors might think they are safe from using their bill in these culture wars because enforcement is limited to the FTC and state attorneys general. While I’m less worried about the FTC (now), it’s easy to imagine some state AGs coming before the right judge and succeeding in blocking minors from accessing the basic information they need to understand what they are going through and how to get help, if they need it . Just look to floridawhere Governor Desantis filed a lawsuit against a restaurant and bar that allowed children a drag brunch and said parents who allow their children to see a drag show could be targeted by the Protective Services ‘childhood.

This bill throws a hand grenade in the midst of a particularly dark moment in our justice system. I don’t think that’s wise or very smart politically when the odds are actually quite high that someone will decide to go along with this bill.

Matthew Lane is Senior Director at InSight Public Affairs.

Filed Under: congress, fuzzy language, kosa, lgbtq, tougher nerd, parents, protect children, secrecy, trust and safety

2022 Gujarat Assembly Elections | BJP and Congress clash to woo OBC voters Thu, 08 Sep 2022 05:17:00 +0000

For two weeks now, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel has been holding a daily convention of a sub-group of an OBC community with the aim of wooing smaller communities ahead of the state assembly elections.

He has so far organized the convention for more than a dozen sub-castes belonging to the OBC as the ruling party is apparently trying to create divisions within the OBC bloc which comprises more than 140 different communities belonging both to Hindus and Muslims and identified as socially and educationally. backward castes.

At the convention, community leaders congratulate the Chief Minister and pledge their support to the ruling party while the CM talked about the social welfare measures of the Modi government and how the central and state governments of the BJP have been working in tandem for the development and well-being of the different communities.

According to party insiders, the strategy is to attract smaller castes from the OBC bloc and win their support for the ruling party.

Dispersed communities

So far, such a convention has been held for communities like Darji (tailor), Mochi (shoemaker), barbers, blacksmiths, masons, carpenters and others who are not dominant in numbers but are evenly dispersed with a few thousand votes in each constituency. .

The party’s strategy is to bring them into its fold since the opposition party focuses on the dominant OBC castes like Thakors and Kolis, who are traditionally pro-Congress in Saurashtra, northern and central parts of the Gujarat.

The opposition Congress is betting on the support of Thakors since the President of the State Congress is Jagdish Thakor while several other senior Congress leaders like Bharatsinh Solanki or Baldevji Thakor are from the same community, which plays a decisive role in nearly 30 Assembly seats in the North and Central Regions of Gujarat.

On Tuesday, State Congress Speaker Jagdish Thakor held a lengthy meeting with Koli community leaders to solicit their support for the party. Like Thakors, the Kolis dominate over 20 seats in Saurashtra and a dozen seats in South Gujarat.

A decisive group

In Gujarat, OBCs make up over 50% of the population and are a politically decisive group. The OBC group in the state, made up of 146 communities belonging to both Hindus and Muslims, has become important because some communities like Chaudhary in northern Gujarat control dairy cooperatives or Ahirs and Karadia Rajputs, which have gone from agriculture to contractors, construction and transportation.

To corner the ruling party, state congress leaders demanded a caste census in the state and were very vocal about 27% quotas for OBCs in local panchayats and urban local bodies, to namely municipal corporations in large cities and municipalities in small towns.

“Why doesn’t the ruling party do justice to the OBC? Why the BJP is reluctant to conduct the caste census,” asks former Gujarat Congress Speaker Amit Chavda, also a prominent OBC leader.

In July this year, the government of Gujarat was forced to set up a commission to fix the reserves of OBC communities in elections to local bodies like municipalities and state panchayats, as per a court order. supreme.

The Commission was set up after leaders of opposition parties as well as OBC groups and even BJP OBC leaders had accused the ruling party of being negligent in enforcing the order of the Supreme Court.

Among those who criticized the ruling party for the delay in setting up a panel was Alpesh Thakor, a top leader of the Thakor community who defected from Congress to the BJP in 2019.

On more than one occasion, Mr. Thakor, who also leads a statewide OBC community organization, Gujarat Kshatriya Thakor Sena, has demanded a caste census to determine the exact population of the various castes in the state. .

Recently, BJP and Congress leaders met separately with the panel called the “Dedicated Commission”, the BJP delegation urged it to give the largest possible reservation to OBCs in local polls, the opposition Congress l urged to take the quota level for 27%.

Under the Gujarat Panchayats Act, 10% of seats are reserved for OBC communities in gram panchayat elections.

“Since the reservation will be given on the basis of the population and the current social and economic situation of the OBCs, our first request was to have a census to know the population of the OBCs. According to our estimates, OBCs make up 52% ​​of the state’s population,” Congress Leader Jagdish Thakor told reporters after meeting the panel in Gandhinagar.

“In this case, we have urged the Commission to increase the current quota from 10% to 27%. Even the budget should be allocated according to this new proportion,” Thakor added.

Anita Katyal | Why Hemant stays; few takers for Tharoor as President of Congress Sat, 03 Sep 2022 19:30:00 +0000 Few are excited about Shashi Tharoor’s plan to run for party chairman

Although he puts on a brave face, Congress has yet to accept Ghulam Nabi Azad’s decision to quit the party and the explosive content of his five-page resignation letter. Party leaders were tasked with verifying whether Mr. Azad acted alone or whether there were other dissidents who gave him their support. More importantly, they have been tasked with finding out who helped him write the much-talked-about letter. Everyone in Congress is convinced that the letter’s language and writing style indicate that it was not authored by Mr. Azad. However, party “sleuths” have not yet targeted anyone in particular, although the names of Kapil Sibal and Anand Sharma are mentioned in informal conversations. In addition to finding the real author of Mr. Azad’s letter, officials from various Congress party departments were also told to keep tabs on who is filing nominations for the party’s chairmanship as well as activities. other G-23 leaders who appear to be on the warpath again.

Meanwhile, G-23 members, who came together to write to Congresswoman Sonia Gandhi two years ago demanding internal party elections and effective leadership, are not only confused about their next decision, but are not on the same wavelength either. For example, few people are excited about Shashi Tharoor’s plan to run for party chairman. Leaders like Manish Tewari and Anand Sharma believe they have better credentials having come through the ranks and spent many years organizing the Congress, while Mr Tharoor is a relative newcomer to the party. At the same time, pro-changers are obviously not confident about contesting the October 17 election for the post of party leader as they keep changing the goalposts. The group began by pushing for internal elections, preferring that a non-Gandhi be put forward for the position. Now that elections have been announced and someone outside the Gandhi family is being considered for the top job, the G-23 is insisting on releasing the list of voters for a “free and fair election.” As elders, they are well aware that the list is never published in advance and is instead made available to candidates upon request, but they hope to discredit the electoral process by insisting on this point.

It has been more than a week since the Election Commission reportedly recommended that Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren be disqualified in an illegal mining case, but Governor Ramesh Bais has yet to act on the question. It appears that the Bharatiya Janata Party has asked the governor to slow down because the decision of the electoral commission is based on rules which disqualify Mr Soren but do not prevent him from running for office. This means that even if Mr Soren is disqualified as recommended by the electoral commission, he will only be removed from office for a brief period until a new election is notified. The BJP believes this could work to Mr Soren’s advantage as it will allow him to play the victim role and accuse the Center of acting against a tribal chief minister. The governor therefore sits on the recommendation, which gives the BJP enough time to organize defections from the ruling parties in Jharkhand. Both sides are locked in an eye-to-eye showdown. Time will tell who blinks first.

As previously reported, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami faces criticism not only from the opposition but also from his own party colleagues. He is currently in the dock after reports surfaced that members of the chief minister’s staff and those who work with other ministers and local BJP leaders have been integrated into the staff of the assembly. State in recent years. What makes matters worse is that those in power do not apologize for these appointments. Uttarakhand’s Minister of Women and Child Welfare, Rekha Arya, has publicly admitted that she asked the Livestock Department to give work to four unemployed boys, saying that as as a public representative, she had every right to write such letters. The Uttarakhand Kranti Dal was quick to shoot Mr. Dhami. In a tweet, he described him as the weakest chief minister who watched silently as his ministers justified their corrupt practices. The chief minister’s hands are tied as he was imposed on Uttarakhand by New Delhi, the tweet added.

As Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot emerged as the leading contender for the post of Congress President for which elections are held on October 17, party insiders are wondering if Sachin Pilot will be chosen to replace him in the State. It’s no secret that Mr. Gehlot and Mr. Pilot have been on a collision course since the formation of this government. But the leadership of Congress faces a serious dilemma. Since Mr. Pilot is seen primarily as a Gujjar leader, he risks alienating the numerically larger and more powerful Meena community given the long-standing rivalry between the two castes. On the other hand, Congress could find itself in the grip of another crisis if it ignores Mr. Pilot’s request.

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