president joe – Draft Gore 2008 http://draftgore2008.org/ Fri, 18 Mar 2022 07:40:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://draftgore2008.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/icon-2022-01-14T222418.754.png president joe – Draft Gore 2008 http://draftgore2008.org/ 32 32 Andy Stanley says divisive politicians are ‘terrible leaders’ https://draftgore2008.org/andy-stanley-says-divisive-politicians-are-terrible-leaders/ Thu, 17 Mar 2022 19:31:00 +0000 https://draftgore2008.org/andy-stanley-says-divisive-politicians-are-terrible-leaders/ By Ryan FoleyChristian Post reporter | Thursday, March 17, 2022 Pastor Andy Stanley speaks during Catalyst Atlanta at Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth, Georgia on October 6, 2016. | (Photo: Catalyst) Megachurch pastor Andy Stanley delivered an invocation to the Georgia House of Representatives on Tuesday, urging lawmakers to reject division and polarization and follow […]]]>
Pastor Andy Stanley speaks during Catalyst Atlanta at Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth, Georgia on October 6, 2016. |

Megachurch pastor Andy Stanley delivered an invocation to the Georgia House of Representatives on Tuesday, urging lawmakers to reject division and polarization and follow the example of Jesus Christ in embracing the “messy middle.”

Stanley, who leads North Point Multi-Site Ministries and Alpharetta-based North Point Community Church, served as the legislature’s “chaplain of the day.” He spoke for over 12 minutes and ended with a prayer for the 180-member legislative body.

Stanley, the author of several books, lamented the division and polarization that he said had come to define Georgian politics. He encouraged state politicians to “walk to the middle because the middle is where problems are solved.”

“The messy middle is where problems get solved. But to walk into the messy middle, we all have to get out of our Republican and Democrat bucket and walk into the middle and that’s not popular,” he said. he declares.

Stanley identified the late civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesus Christ as leaders of the “middle”.

Stanley recalled that King “talked about standing in the middle” in his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail.

He summarized part of the letter as follows: “When you stand in the middle, you get shot from both sides.”

“Jesus understood that,” Stanley said. “He was standing in the middle. Everyone wanted Jesus in their business. Everyone always wants Jesus to be part of their thing, right? The temple conspired against him. The empire conspired against him. There is no Roman Empire and the temple has not functioned for 40 years after the crucification of Jesus.

The 63-year-old church leader described the ‘messy middle’ as ‘the way forward’ and ‘the way you change the world’. He concluded by thanking God for “sending your Son to stand in the midst between us and our sin and our perfect Heavenly Father.”

“Disagreement is inevitable, but division is always a choice,” Stanley added. “Unfortunately, in your world, there are benefits to dividing: you can collect more money when things are divided.”

Stanley, the son of longtime First Baptist Church of Atlanta pastor Charles Stanley, expressed concern about the generalizations that define politics in his state.

He pointed out how Republicans call their political opponents “corrupt Democrats” and Democrats call their opponents “racist Republicans.” He told lawmakers, “that’s not true,” while lamenting how such labeling has become advantageous to politicians.

“Politically speaking, fear of the other party is an asset. Division makes it easy to demonize and distort others. So, unfortunately, where you sit, fear, demonization, and disunity work to your advantage.

Stanley described “those of you who flatter and encourage division” as “terrible leaders”. He said “if you need an enemy to lead, you are a bad leader”.

“Jesus said… ‘Just because someone considers you their enemy doesn’t mean you have to reciprocate,'” he said.

Stanley believes the “messy middle” will allow politicians to see their opponents in a new light.

The pastor argued that under the current thinking that dominates American politics, “the actions and decisions of a political opponent have nothing to do with how they grew up, where they grew up, who he grew up with, how he was. brought up and what they have experienced in the world.

He suggested that people have been taught to believe that their political opponents “do not react to circumstances and experiences” but rather “have character problems” that make them “corrupt from within”.

“It’s hard to fundraise in the middle,” the pastor continued. “[I] It’s hard to get people angry enough to vote in the middle. It’s hard to get people to vote if you haven’t scared them of their enemy in the middle.

“In politics, the goal is always to give the impression of losing but not really losing,” he proclaimed. “What a terrible way to lead.”

Stanley encouraged lawmakers to try a different approach to political speech.

“What if, as a state, we decide ‘We’re not going to do this anymore?'” he asked. “You can decide that because unity is a decision. Disagreement is helpful and healthy, but disunity just makes a lot of things harder for everyone.

Georgia has become a hotbed of political controversy in recent years. One of the contentious issues is the 2021 Election Integrity Act, one of several measures implemented at the state level after the 2020 presidential election amid allegations of voter fraud.

Democrats, including President Joe Biden, have called the legislation an “atrocity”, criticizing the measure as “nothing but punitive” and “designed to stop people from voting”. Biden went so far as to call the bill “Jim Crow in the 21st century.”

A Washington Post fact-check disputed some of the claims by Biden and other Democrats, including their insistence that he “end voting hours early so workers can’t vote once their shift completed”.

Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post reported that “on Election Day in Georgia, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and if you line up before 7 p.m., you’re allowed to vote. Nothing in this law changes that.

Outrage over the 2021 Election Integrity Act has prompted Major League Baseball to move its annual All-Star Game out of Georgia despite the state’s election laws being comparable and, in some cases, less restrictive than those of other states.

As Republican Rep. Wes Cantrell noted during Stanley’s introduction, North Point Ministries consists of 10 campuses in the Atlanta area and has a network of more than 180 churches worldwide that serve more than 200,000 people.

“A survey of American pastors identified Andy as…one of the 10 most influential pastors in America,” Cantrell added. “He figured out how to build a church that people who had never been to church or had a bad church experience would want to attend. Many people didn’t know they wanted to go to church until Andy created the unique model that is North Point Community Church.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be contacted at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

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DC nun’s medical license restored in vax warrant lawsuit https://draftgore2008.org/dc-nuns-medical-license-restored-in-vax-warrant-lawsuit/ Tue, 15 Mar 2022 20:00:00 +0000 https://draftgore2008.org/dc-nuns-medical-license-restored-in-vax-warrant-lawsuit/ By Ryan FoleyChristian Post reporter | Tuesday, March 15, 2022 Sister Deirdre Byrne, a Catholic nun, speaks at the 2020 Republican National Convention in support of President Donald Trump’s pro-life policies. | YouTube/PBS News Time A Roman Catholic nun who sued the District of Columbia over an exemption from the city’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate for […]]]>
Sister Deirdre Byrne, a Catholic nun, speaks at the 2020 Republican National Convention in support of President Donald Trump’s pro-life policies. |

A Roman Catholic nun who sued the District of Columbia over an exemption from the city’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate for healthcare workers has had her medical license restored and can continue to practice medicine for the foreseeable future while her trial is judged.

Sister Deirdre Byrne, an outspoken pro-life activist and practicing physician who serves a ministry providing free medical services to the poor, has filed a lawsuit against District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, the city and the director of the Department of Health. health of DC LaQuandra Nesbitt last week for their refusal to grant him a religious exemption from the vaccine mandate.

Byrne first submitted a request for religious exemption from the coronavirus vaccine mandate shortly after it was rolled out as an emergency measure six months ago, citing concerns about the use of aborted fetal tissue in the development and testing of COVID-19 vaccines.

For most of the past few months, Byrne had been able to practice medicine in DC without taking a coronavirus vaccine and encountered no objections from the hospitals and clinics where she served.

Following an ongoing back-and-forth with the DC Department of Health, Byrne was told late last month that her request had been denied and told that failure to take at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine would result in a ban on renewal. medical license or its “revocation or suspension”.

During an appearance on EWTN’s “The World Over” on Thursday, Byrne said her license was suspended and she was forced to close her clinics. She couldn’t see the patients and couldn’t help anyone.

With the help of the Thomas More Society, the nun petitioned the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for a declaratory judgment saying the vaccination mandate for healthcare workers violates her rights under the Health Care Act. restoration of religious freedom and the free exercise clause of the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

Additionally, she sought a “temporary restraining order” and a “preliminary and permanent injunction” restraining the defendants from enforcing the vaccination warrant against her, as well as an award of nominal damages, attorney and other litigation-related costs.

On Facebook on Tuesday, the Thomas More Society announced that Byrne’s medical license had been reinstated.

The religious freedom law firm noted that “Friday’s letter advising Sister Dede that her license was now active until September does not resolve all of the issues raised in her lawsuit.” The legal group said it was concerned that the letter said its exemption could be “cancelled” at a later date if the “director believes it is in the best interest of public health”.

The letter notifying Byrne that his medical license has been reinstated came just a week before the order denying Byrne’s religious exemption from the coronavirus vaccine would become final.

In an interview with The Epoch Times, Byrne’s attorney, Christopher Ferrara, described the letter as “unacceptable” but said “she’ll take it.” Ferrara said the litigation will continue because the letter was “not a solution” but rather “a band-aid on an issue that needs to be resolved.”

“So Sister Deirdre, Mother Teresa of the District of Columbia, who dedicated herself to providing free medical care to the needy, including life-saving surgery, now lives with the sword of Damocles hanging from her above her head, brandished by the defendant. Nesbitt,” he added. “She’s a woman who could have easily made a million dollars a year. Now she is a nun in habit.

Byrne burst onto the national stage for the first time with a speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention, where she described the unborn child as “the largest marginalized group in the world” and argued that the Democratic candidate for president, Joe Biden, and his running mate, Kamala Harris, were “the most anti-life presidential ticket ever.”

Byrne also spoke at a conference organized by the pro-life group Heartbeat International last spring. She condemned abortion as “the greatest inhumanity”. She urged people to pray for “the politicians who want to make the abortion pill over-the-counter so people can take it like chewing gum or Tylenol.” She warned that “their soul is in a mortal state”.

The District of Columbia has removed most of its coronavirus restrictions and mandates, mirroring other major cities and states in the United States

Last month, the nation’s capital eliminated its requirement that those seeking entry to most businesses provide proof of vaccination while dropping its mask mandate for public and private school students two weeks later.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be contacted at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

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Russia strikes near Ukrainian capital; besieged port city | National policy https://draftgore2008.org/russia-strikes-near-ukrainian-capital-besieged-port-city-national-policy/ Sat, 12 Mar 2022 19:27:25 +0000 https://draftgore2008.org/russia-strikes-near-ukrainian-capital-besieged-port-city-national-policy/ By MSTYSLAV CHERNOV and YURAS KARMANAU – Associated Press MARIUPOL, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces pounded the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on Saturday, bombarding its downtown as residents took cover at an iconic mosque and elsewhere to avoid blasts. fight also raged in the suburbs of the capitalKiev, while Russia continued its bombardment of […]]]>

By MSTYSLAV CHERNOV and YURAS KARMANAU – Associated Press

MARIUPOL, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces pounded the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on Saturday, bombarding its downtown as residents took cover at an iconic mosque and elsewhere to avoid blasts. fight also raged in the suburbs of the capitalKiev, while Russia continued its bombardment of other cities in the country.

Mariupol has endured some of Ukraine’s worst punishments since the Russian invasion. Incessant barrages have repeated failed attempts to bring food, water and medicine to the city of 430,000 people and to evacuate its trapped civilians. More than 1,500 people have died in Mariupol during the siege, according to the mayor’s office, and the shelling even halted efforts to bury the dead in mass graves.

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Talks aimed at reaching a ceasefire broke down again on Saturday, and while the United States announced its intention to provide another $200 million to Ukraine for weapons, a senior Russian diplomat warned that Moscow could attack foreign shipments of military equipment.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russia of employing “a new stage of terror” with the alleged detention of a mayor of a town west of Mariupol.

Outside Mariupol, Russian soldiers looted an aid convoy trying to reach the town and blocked another, a Ukrainian official said. The Ukrainian military said Russian forces captured the eastern outskirts of Mariupol, tightening their siege of the strategic port. Taking Mariupol and other ports on the Sea of ​​Azov could allow Russia to establish a land corridor to Crimea, which it seized from Ukraine in 2014.

“They bombard it (Mariupol) 24 hours a day, launching missiles. It’s hate. They kill children,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address. Satellite images released on Saturday by the Maxar company showed fires in parts of the city and extensive damage to apartments, houses and other infrastructure.

An Associated Press reporter in Mariupol witnessed tank fire on a nine-story building and was with a group of hospital workers who came under sniper fire on Friday. A worker shot in the hip survived, but conditions at the hospital were deteriorating: electricity was restricted to operating tables and people with nowhere to go lined the hallways.

Among them was Anastasiya Erashova, who was crying and shaking as she held a sleeping child. The shelling had just killed her other child as well as her brother’s child, Erashova said, her scalp covered in blood.

“No one could save them,” she said.

In Irpin, a suburb about 20 kilometers northwest of central Kiev, bodies lay in the open on Saturday in the streets and in a park.

“When I woke up in the morning, everything was covered in smoke, everything was black. We don’t know who is shooting and where,” resident Serhy Protsenko said as he walked through his neighborhood. Explosions rang out in the distance. “We have no radio or information.”

Some Irpin residents took shelter in a pitch-dark basement, unsure where they might go or how they would find food if they left. Others were carrying luggage on planks on a waterway where a bridge had been damaged.

Zelenskyy encouraged his people to maintain their resistance, which many analysts say prevented the quick military victory the Kremlin was likely expecting.

“The fact that the entire Ukrainian people resisted these invaders has already gone down in history, but we have no right to relax our defense, however difficult it may be,” he said. Later Saturday, Zelenskyy reported that 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers had died since the Russian invasion began on February 24.

Zelenskyy again deplored NATO’s refusal to declare a no-fly zone over Ukraine and said Ukraine had been looking for ways to procure air defenses, although it did not give details. US President Joe Biden announced an additional $200 million in aid to Ukraine, with an additional $13 billion included in a bill which was passed by the House and should be passed by the Senate within a few days. NATO has said imposing a no-fly zone could lead to a wider war with Russia.

Ukraine’s president also accused Russia of detaining the mayor of Melitopol, a town 192 kilometers (119 miles) west of Mariupol. The Ukrainian leader called on Russian forces to heed calls from protesters in the occupied city for the release of the mayor.

In several areas around Kiev, artillery barrages sent residents rushing to safety as air raid sirens sounded. The British Ministry of Defense said Russian forces which had been massed north of the capital had come within 25 kilometers (15 miles) of the city center and dispersed, likely to support an attempted attack. encirclement.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday that seven people in a convoy of people fleeing Peremoha, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) northeast of Kiev, were killed when Russian forces fired on the group.

Ukrainian military and volunteer forces are preparing for an all-out assault on the capital. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Thursday that around 2 million people, or half of the metropolitan region’s residents, had left and “every street, every house…is being fortified.” .

Zelenskyy said on Saturday that Russia would have to bomb Kiev and kill its inhabitants to take the city.

“They will only come here if they kill us all,” he said. “If that is their goal, let them come.”

French and German leaders held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday in an unsuccessful attempt to reach a ceasefire. According to the Kremlin, Putin set the conditions for ending the war. To end hostilities, Moscow demanded that Ukraine drop its NATO candidacy and adopt neutral status; recognize Russian sovereignty over Crimea, which it annexed to Ukraine in 2014; recognize the independence of the separatist regions in the east of the country; and agree to demilitarize.

During a 90-minute call with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday, Putin raised “issues related to agreements being discussed to implement Russian demands” to end the war, the Kremlin said without providing details.

Zelenskyy told Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Saturday that he would be willing to meet Putin in Jerusalem to discuss ending the war, but first there would have to be a ceasefire. Bennett recently met in Moscow with Putin, who ignored previous offers of talks from Zelenskyy.

In Mariupol, the Ukrainian government said on Saturday the Sultan Suleiman Mosque had been hit, but an unverified Instagram post from a man claiming to be the president of the mosque’s association said the building was spared when a bomb fell about 750 yards (700 yards).

The Ukrainian Embassy in Turkey said 86 Turkish nationals, including 34 children, were among those who sought refuge in the mosque, which is modeled after one of the most famous and largest mosques in Turkey. Istanbul.

With the port’s electricity, gas and water cut off, aid workers and Ukrainian authorities described an ongoing humanitarian disaster. Aid group Doctors Without Borders said Mariupol residents are dying from lack of medicine and draining heating pipes for drinking water.

Russian forces struck at least two dozen hospitals and medical facilities, according to the World Health Organization.

The Russian invaders seem to have struggled far more than expected against determined Ukrainian fighters. Yet the stronger Russian military threatens to overwhelm Ukrainian forces, despite a steady stream of weapons and other aid from the West to Ukraine’s democratically elected, west-facing government.

A senior Russian diplomat has warned that Moscow could attack foreign shipments of military equipment to Ukraine. Speaking on Saturday, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow had warned the United States “that the pumping of weapons from a number of countries which it is orchestrating is not just a dangerous move – it is an action that makes these convoys legitimate targets”.

Thousands of soldiers on both sides were reportedly killed along with scores of civilians, including at least 79 Ukrainian children, according to his government. At least 2.5 million people have fled the country, according to the UN refugee agency.

One of them is Elena Yurchuk, a nurse from the northern city of Chernihiv, which was heavily bombed. She was at a Romanian train station on Saturday with her teenage son, Nikita, unsure if their house was still standing.

“We have nowhere to go back,” said Yurchuk, 44, a widow who hopes to find work in Germany. “There was nothing left.”

Karmanau reported from Lviv, Ukraine. Associated Press reporters Felipe Dana, Andrea Rosa in Irpin, Andrew Drake in Kyiv and other reporters from around the world contributed.

Follow AP coverage of the Ukraine crisis at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Ukraine says Russia bombed mosque in besieged Mariupol | United States government and politics https://draftgore2008.org/ukraine-says-russia-bombed-mosque-in-besieged-mariupol-united-states-government-and-politics/ Sat, 12 Mar 2022 10:24:59 +0000 https://draftgore2008.org/ukraine-says-russia-bombed-mosque-in-besieged-mariupol-united-states-government-and-politics/ By Yuras Karmanau – Associated Press LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — The Ukrainian government said the Russian military shelled a mosque housing more than 80 people in the besieged city of Mariupol. A government statement released on Saturday reported no immediate casualties. The Ukrainian Embassy in Turkey reported earlier that a group of 86 Turkish nationals, […]]]>

By Yuras Karmanau – Associated Press

LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — The Ukrainian government said the Russian military shelled a mosque housing more than 80 people in the besieged city of Mariupol.

A government statement released on Saturday reported no immediate casualties. The Ukrainian Embassy in Turkey reported earlier that a group of 86 Turkish nationals, including 34 children, were among those seeking refuge from an ongoing Russian attack on the beleaguered port city.

An embassy spokeswoman cited information from the town’s mayor. She noted that it was difficult to communicate with anyone in Mariupol.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.

LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces appeared to be advancing from northeastern Ukraine in their slow fight to reach the capital, Kiev, as tanks and artillery pounded places already besieged with such heavy shelling that they prevented the inhabitants of a city from burying the growing death toll.

In past offensives in Syria and Chechnya, Russia’s strategy was to crush armed resistance with airstrikes and sustained bombardments that leveled population centers. This type of assault has cut off the port city of Mariupol in southern Ukraine, and a similar fate could await Kiev and other parts of the country if the war continues.

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In Mariupol, incessant blockades thwarted repeated attempts to bring in food and water and evacuate trapped civilians. On Friday, an Associated Press photographer captured the moment a tank appeared to fire directly at a building, wrapping one side in a puffy orange ball of fire.

The death toll in Mariupol exceeded 1,500 in 12 days of the attack, the mayor’s office said. A strike against a maternity hospital in the city of 446,000 this week that killed three people has sparked international outrage and allegations of war crimes.

The continued shelling forced crews to stop digging trenches for mass graves, so “the dead aren’t even buried”, the mayor said.

Russian forces have struck more than a dozen hospitals since invading Ukraine on February 24, according to the World Health Organization. Ukrainian officials reported Saturday that heavy artillery damaged a cancer hospital and several residential buildings in Mykolaiv, a town 489 kilometers (304 miles) west of Mariupol.

The hospital’s chief medical officer, Maksim Beznosenko, said several hundred patients were at the facility during the attack, but no one was killed.

The invading Russian forces struggled far more than expected against determined Ukrainian fighters. But the stronger Russian military threatens to overwhelm the defense forces, despite a steady stream of weapons and other aid from the West to Ukraine’s democratically elected, west-facing government.

The conflict has already caused 2.5 million people to flee the country. Thousands of soldiers on both sides were reportedly killed along with many Ukrainian civilians.

On the ground, Kremlin forces appeared to be trying to regroup and regain momentum after encountering fierce resistance and racking up heavy casualties over the past two weeks. Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Russia was trying to reset and “reposition” its troops, preparing for operations against Kiev.

“It’s ugly already, but it’s going to get worse,” said Nick Reynolds, a war analyst at the Royal United Services Institute, a British think tank.

Russian forces blockaded Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, even as efforts were made to create new humanitarian corridors around it and other urban centers so that aid could enter and residents can go out.

Ukrainian emergency services reported on Saturday that the bodies of five people – two women, a man and two children – had been removed from a building that was hit by shelling in Kharkiv,

The Russians have also stepped up their attacks on Mykolaiv, located 470 kilometers (292 miles) south of Kiev, in an attempt to encircle the city.

As part of a multipronged attack on the capital, the Russian push from the northeast appears to be making progress, a US defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to give the US assessment of the fight. Combat units were moved from the rear as forces advanced within 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) of Kiev.

New commercial satellite images have emerged capturing artillery fire on residential areas that lay between the Russians and the capital. Images from Maxar Technologies showed muzzle flashes and smoke from large guns, as well as impact craters and burning houses in the town of Moschun, 33 kilometers (20.5 miles) from Kiev, it said. the society.

Residents of a devastated village east of the capital clambered over toppled walls and swinging metal strips into the remains of a pool hall, restaurant and theater freshly destroyed by Russian bombs .

With temperatures dropping below zero, villagers quickly spread plastic wrap or nailed plywood over the blown windows of their homes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin “created this mess, thinking he will be in charge here,” said 62-year-old Ivan Merzyk. He added: “We’re not leaving.”

On the economic and political front, the United States and its allies decided to further isolate and sanction the Kremlin. President Joe Biden announced that the United States will significantly downgrade its trade status with Russia and ban imports of Russian seafood, alcohol and diamonds.

The decision to revoke Russia’s most favored nation status was taken in coordination with the European Union and the Group of Seven countries.

“The free world is coming together to take on Putin,” Biden said.

As the invasion enters its 16th day, Putin said on Friday that there had been “some positive developments” in the ongoing talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators. He gave no details.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared on video to encourage his people to keep fighting.

“It is impossible to say how many more days we will need to liberate our land, but it is possible to say that we will,” he said from Kyiv.

Zelenskyy said authorities were working to create 12 humanitarian corridors and trying to ensure that urgently needed food, medicine and other basics reached people across the country.

He also accused Russia of kidnapping the mayor of a city, Melitopol, calling the kidnapping “a new stage of terror”. The Biden administration had warned before the invasion of Russian plans to detain and kill targeted people in Ukraine. Zelenskyy himself is likely a priority target.

US defense officials said Russian pilots flew an average of 200 sorties a day, compared to 5-10 for Ukrainian forces, which focus more on surface-to-air missiles, rocket-propelled grenades and drones to eliminate Russian planes.

The United States also said Russia launched nearly 810 missiles at Ukraine.

Until recently, Russian troops had made their greatest advances on eastern and southern cities while struggling in the north and around Kiev. They have also started targeting areas in western Ukraine, where large numbers of refugees have fled.

Russia said Friday it used high-precision long-range weapons to disable military airfields in the western cities of Lutsk and Ivano-Frankivsk. The Lutsk attack killed four Ukrainian servicemen, the mayor said.

Russian airstrikes also first targeted Dnipro, a major industrial hub in the east and Ukraine’s fourth-largest city, with around 1 million people. One person was killed, Ukrainian officials said.

In footage of the aftermath released by Ukraine’s emergency agency, firefighters extinguished a burning building and ash fell on bloody rubble. Smoke billowed from the broken concrete where the buildings once stood.

The United Nations political chief said the international organization had received credible reports that Russian forces were using cluster bombs in populated areas. International law prohibits the use of bombs, which disperse smaller explosives over a wide area, in cities and towns.

Associated Press reporters Felipe Dana and Andrew Drake in Kyiv, Ukraine, and other reporters around the world contributed.

Follow AP coverage of the Ukraine crisis at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Newsom wants tax refund, touts ‘California Way’ of governing | National Policy https://draftgore2008.org/newsom-wants-tax-refund-touts-california-way-of-governing-national-policy/ Wed, 09 Mar 2022 03:46:41 +0000 https://draftgore2008.org/newsom-wants-tax-refund-touts-california-way-of-governing-national-policy/ By ADAM BEAM and DON THOMPSON – Associated Press SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Governor Gavin Newsom has offered to send money back to taxpayers to offset record gas prices, but rejected calls for more oil drilling, saying he wanted to free the state “once and for all from the grip of petro-dictators. The average […]]]>

By ADAM BEAM and DON THOMPSON – Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Governor Gavin Newsom has offered to send money back to taxpayers to offset record gas prices, but rejected calls for more oil drilling, saying he wanted to free the state “once and for all from the grip of petro-dictators.

The average price of a gallon of gasoline in California is the highest in the country at $5.44, according to AAA — a number that is expected to rise after President Joe Biden banned Russian oil imports on Tuesday in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Newsom’s proposal, announced during his annual state of the state address, would likely take the form of a tax refund. But the governor gave no details, saying he will work with legislative leaders “to put money back in the pockets of Californians to deal with rising gas prices.”

Dee Dee Myers, Newsom’s senior adviser, told reporters the reimbursement would likely total billions of dollars and would be limited to people who have cars. People who live in the country illegally would also be eligible for the rebate, which could take place as early as this spring.

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In a high-profile speech, Newsom also warned that authoritarianism isn’t just on the rise overseas, using his election year speech to offer “a California way” as an antidote to what he called them “agents of a national anger machine”.

Newsom, a Democrat who easily fended off a midterm recall campaign last year, also touted his administration’s progress on homelessness, the economy, education and climate change in a speech. before lawmakers gathered in an auditorium near the state capitol. By contrast, last year’s speech — delivered amid the pandemic — was delivered outdoors in an empty Dodger Stadium, which was being used as a mass testing site.

This year, the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are plummeting and the country’s attention is drawn to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the accompanying spike in gasoline prices. Republicans nationwide and in California want to see the Biden administration increase drilling. Newsom rejected that appeal.

“Drilling for even more oil,” he said, “only leads to even more extreme weather, more extreme drought, more wildfires.”

“We need to fight polluters, not make them stronger,” Newsom said. “And in doing so, free us once and for all from the grip of the petro-dictators.”

As he did throughout the speech, Newsom offered “California’s leadership” as an alternative, calling clean energy “this generation’s greatest economic opportunity.”

California is one of the most oil-rich states in the country and Republicans, who are a small minority in the Legislature and hold no statewide office, consider high oil prices essence as an election year problem that they can exploit. California taxes gasoline at 51.1 cents a gallon, second only to Pennsylvania, according to the Federation of Tax Administrators.

“Gas prices are out of control. Let’s suspend the gas tax, stop using foreign oil, and focus on energy independence policies that don’t impose new burdens on working families,” MP Suzette Martinez Valladares said in the newspaper. republican. “prebut” to Newsom’s speech.

Newsom has also offered to suspend a small increase in the national gasoline tax that is expected to come into effect this summer. But Democratic leaders in the Legislative Assembly balked at the proposal, arguing that it would make it harder to maintain the state’s roads while providing barely noticeable relief at the pumps.

Republican House Leader James Gallagher said Republicans, though critical of Newsom in other areas, can work with him on the tax refund.

“If we have a surplus of almost $60 billion in the state, that means people are overtaxed and we should be giving some of their money back to the voters and the citizens of this state, especially in the difficult times that we go through when the cost of living is through the roof,” Gallagher said.

The governor has also pushed to wean California, famous for its car culture, from the internal combustion engine.

Newsom ordered the state to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035 and to stop all oil drilling in the state by 2045.

The Newsom administration issued 632 oil drilling permits in 2021 and so far this year, but about 300 of them have yet to be used, according to the governor’s office.

Several environmental groups have said Newsom should impose an immediate moratorium on oil and gas development.

Newsom fired back at Republicans blaming Democratic policies for the increase in crime. He said California was funding increased crime-fighting efforts but would “not revert to the authoritarian policies that marked past failures.”

Newsom began and ended his speech as if addressing a national audience as he decried developments elsewhere while promoting California’s efforts to “find new solutions to big problems.” Democracy is in danger, warned Newsom.

“While we may not have strong men literally waging war in our country, we are tormented by the agents of a national anger machine, fueling division, weaponizing grievances,” he said. he declares. “Mighty forces and strong voices – stoking fear and seeking to divide us, weakening the institutions of our democracy.”

He offered the California story as an alternative “to broaden the horizon of what is possible.”

“We know government can’t be the complete solution, but we also know government has always been part of the solution,” Newsom said.

He said governments’ goals should include promoting the private sector, encouraging diversity and “unifying towards a common goal”.

Polls consistently show that homelessness is one of the most pressing issues for California voters. The state has the largest homeless population in the nation and Newsom has budgeted a record $12 billion for various programs and initiatives, but encampments still proliferate.

In his speech, Newsom touted his plan unveiled last week to create new Courts of care in every county that could force people with mental health issues off the streets and into treatment.

But Gallagher, the GOP leader, said Newsom had already spent billions of dollars fighting homelessness, “and the problem has gotten worse. You can’t just show up and do some cleaning with the device. photo around and another photo shoot and say, ‘Mission accomplished.’ It does not work.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Fire at Ukraine’s key nuclear power plant amid Russian attacks | National policy https://draftgore2008.org/fire-at-ukraines-key-nuclear-power-plant-amid-russian-attacks-national-policy/ Fri, 04 Mar 2022 06:38:33 +0000 https://draftgore2008.org/fire-at-ukraines-key-nuclear-power-plant-amid-russian-attacks-national-policy/ By JIM HEINTZ, YURAS KARMANAU and MSTYSLAV CHERNOV – Associated Press KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A fire at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant sparked by Russian bombing has been extinguished, Ukrainian authorities said Friday, and Russian forces have taken control of the site. Ukraine’s nuclear regulatory authority said no changes in radiation levels had been […]]]>

By JIM HEINTZ, YURAS KARMANAU and MSTYSLAV CHERNOV – Associated Press

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A fire at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant sparked by Russian bombing has been extinguished, Ukrainian authorities said Friday, and Russian forces have taken control of the site.

Ukraine’s nuclear regulatory authority said no changes in radiation levels had been recorded so far. He said staff were surveying the site to check for further damage to the No. 1 reactor compartment at the Zaporizhzhia power plant in the town of Enerhodar.

The regulator noted in a statement on Facebook the importance of maintaining the ability to cool nuclear fuel, saying the loss of such ability could lead to an even worse accident than the Chernobyl accident in 1986, the world’s worst disaster. nuclear power in the world or the 2011 Fukushima collapses in Japan. . He also noted that there is a storage facility for spent nuclear fuel at the site, although there are no signs that the facility has been hit by shelling.

The bombing of the factory came as the Russian army continued its attack on a crucial Ukrainian energy-producing city and gained ground in its bid to cut the country off from the sea. As the invasion entered its second week, another round of talks between Russia and Ukraine resulted in an agreement in principle to set up safe corridors to evacuate citizens and deliver humanitarian aid.

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Leading nuclear authorities were worried — but not panicky — about the damage to the plant. The assault, however, led to phone calls between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and US President Joe Biden and other world leaders. The US Department of Energy has activated its Nuclear Incident Response Team as a precautionary measure.

Earlier, nuclear power plant spokesman Andriy Tuz told Ukrainian television that shells fell directly on the facility and set one of its six reactors on fire. This reactor is being renovated and not working, he said.

The Zaporizhzhia regional military administration said measurements taken at 07:00 (0500 GMT) on Friday showed that radiation levels in the region “remain unchanged and do not endanger the life and health of the population”.

The mayor of Enerhodar, Dmytro Orlov, announced on his Telegram channel on Friday morning that “the fire at the (nuclear power plant) has been extinguished”. His office told The Associated Press that the information came from firefighters authorized to enter the site overnight.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in the ‘next hours’ to raise the issue of Russia’s attack on the nuclear power plant, according to a statement from his office. .

US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm tweeted that the reactors at the Zaporizhzhia plant were protected by strong containment structures and were shut down safely.

In an emotional speech in the middle of the night, Zelenskyy said he feared an explosion that would be “the end for everyone.” The end for Europe. Evacuation from Europe.

“Only urgent action from Europe can stop Russian troops,” he said. “Don’t let Europe die from a nuclear power plant disaster.”

But most experts saw nothing that indicated impending doom.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said the fire did not affect critical equipment and Ukraine’s nuclear regulator reported no change in radiation levels. The American Nuclear Society agreed, saying the latest radiation levels remained within natural background levels.

“The real threat to the lives of Ukrainians continues to be the violent invasion and bombardment of their country,” the group said in a statement.

Orlov, the mayor of Enerhodar, said Russian shelling had ceased hours before dawn and residents of the city of more than 50,000 who had spent the night in shelters could return home. The city woke up to no heat, however, as the bombardment damaged the city’s heating pipe, he said.

Prior to the bombing, the Ukrainian Atomic Energy Company reported that a Russian military column was heading towards the nuclear power plant. Heavy gunfire and rocket fire were heard Thursday night.

Later, a security camera streamed live from the Zaporizhzhia factory homepage showed what appeared to be armored vehicles entering the facility’s parking lot and shining spotlights on the building where the camera was. climb.

Then there was what appeared to be muzzle flashes from vehicles, followed by near simultaneous explosions in surrounding buildings. The smoke was rising in the frame and moving away.

Vladimir Putin’s forces have deployed their superior firepower over the past few days, launching hundreds of missiles and artillery attacks on cities and other sites across the country and making significant gains in the south .

The Russians announced the capture of the southern city of Kherson, a vital Black Sea port of 280,000 people, and local Ukrainian officials confirmed the takeover of the seat of government there, making it the first big city to fall since the invasion started a week ago.

A Russian airstrike destroyed the Okhtyrka power plant on Thursday, leaving the town without heat or electricity, the region’s chief said on Telegram. In the early days of the war, Russian troops attacked a military base in the city, located between Kharkiv and Kiev, and officials said more than 70 Ukrainian soldiers were killed.

“We are trying to find a way to get people out of the city urgently, because in one day apartment buildings will turn into a cold stone trap without water, light or electricity,” said Dmytro Zhyvytskyy .

Heavy fighting continued on the outskirts of another strategic port, Mariupol, on the Sea of ​​Azov. The fighting destroyed the city’s electricity, heating and water systems, as well as most telephone services, officials said. Food deliveries to the city have also been cut.

Associated Press video from the port city showed the assault lighting up the darkening sky over deserted streets and medical teams treating civilians, including a 16-year-old boy inside a clinic that could not be saved. The child was playing football when he was injured in the shelling, according to his father, who cradled the boy’s head on the stretcher and cried.

Cutting Ukraine’s access to the Black and Azov seas would deal a crippling blow to its economy and allow Russia to build a land corridor to Crimea, seized by Moscow in 2014.

Overall, the outnumbered and outgunned Ukrainians put up stiff resistance, preventing the quick victory that Russia seemed to expect. But a senior US defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Russia’s capture of Crimea gave it a logistical advantage in that part of the country, with shorter supply lines who facilitated the offensive there.

Ukrainian leaders called on the people to defend their homeland by cutting down trees, erecting barricades in cities and attacking enemy columns from the rear. In recent days, authorities have distributed weapons to civilians and taught them how to make Molotov cocktails.

“Total resistance. … This is our Ukrainian asset, and this is the best we can do in the world,” Oleksiy Arestovich, an aide to Zelenskyy, said in a video message, recalling guerrilla actions in occupied Ukraine by the Nazis during World War II.

The second round of talks between the Ukrainian and Russian delegations was held in neighboring Belarus. But the two sides seemed very distant at the start of the meeting, and Putin warned Ukraine that it must quickly accept the Kremlin’s request for its “demilitarization” and declare itself neutral, renouncing its candidacy for NATO.

Putin told French President Emmanuel Macron he was determined to continue his attack “all the way”, according to Macron’s office.

Both sides said they had tentatively agreed to allow ceasefires in areas designated as safe corridors and would seek to work out the necessary details quickly. An adviser to Zelenskyy also said a third round of talks will take place early next week.

Despite a wealth of evidence of civilian casualties and destruction of property by the Russian military, Putin denounced what he called an “anti-Russian disinformation campaign” and insisted that Moscow uses “only precision weapons to exclusively destroy military infrastructure”.

Putin claimed that the Russian military had already offered safe corridors for civilians to flee, but he claimed without evidence that Ukrainian “neo-Nazis” were preventing people from leaving and using them as human shields.

The Pentagon set up a direct communication link with the Russian Defense Ministry earlier this week to avoid the possibility that a miscalculation could trigger a conflict between Moscow and Washington, according to a US defense official who s is expressed on condition of anonymity because the link had not been announced.

Karmanau reported from Lviv, Ukraine. Chernov reported from Mariupol, Ukraine. Sergei Grits in Odessa, Ukraine; Francesca Ebel, Josef Federman and Andrew Drake in Kyiv; and other AP reporters around the world contributed to this report.

Follow AP coverage of the Ukraine crisis at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Guests of State of the Union 2022 https://draftgore2008.org/guests-of-state-of-the-union-2022/ Tue, 01 Mar 2022 19:18:00 +0000 https://draftgore2008.org/guests-of-state-of-the-union-2022/ In recent weeks, Markarova has been a strong advocate for Ukraine in her country’s fight against the Russian invasion. On Monday, Markarova met with members of Congress to call for continued sanctions and more weapons, saying, “We’re not asking anyone to fight for us, we’re defending our country ourselves.” But we need all the support […]]]>

In recent weeks, Markarova has been a strong advocate for Ukraine in her country’s fight against the Russian invasion. On Monday, Markarova met with members of Congress to call for continued sanctions and more weapons, saying, “We’re not asking anyone to fight for us, we’re defending our country ourselves.” But we need all the support that everyone civilized can give. it is up to us to continue to fight effectively. »

In addition to Markarova, Biden announced a list of eight other people chosen to sit with her and second gentleman Douglas Emhoff to watch President Joe Biden deliver his address to the nation. A statement released by the White House said the guests were chosen based on their “resilience, innovation, service and courage,” and that they will serve as representatives of the themes Biden will address in his speech, including the pandemic, the military, infrastructure and US bailout, health care and education.

Guests include Joseph “JoJo” Burgess, an Army veteran and second-generation steelworker from Pittsburgh, who last month introduced President Biden at an event dedicated to manufacturing, infrastructure and the supply chain. American supply.

Joshua Davis, a seventh-grade student from Midlothian, Va., is a student diabetes awareness advocate who, along with his mother, also introduced President Biden at an event in February where the topic was the cost of diabetes. prescription drugs.

Refynd Duro from Galloway, Ohio, is a nurse who has been on the front line helping Covid-19 patients since the pandemic began, sometimes isolating herself from her young son in order to protect her family from the heightened dangers of her job with sick people.

Biden also included two members of the tech community, although each in a very different capacity.

Patrick “Pat” Gelsinger is the CEO of tech giant Intel, which in January announced a substantial investment in a semiconductor manufacturing facility in Ohio. Construction of the facility will be carried out by unionized workers, creating thousands of jobs.

Frances Haugen made headlines last fall when she exposed practices at her former employer Facebook that jeopardized safety and security. Haugen testified before Congress about the inner workings of the social media giant, advocating for policy changes and protections for vulnerable groups, including teenagers.

Biden has hosted several events to support Native American communities during her first year as first lady, and on Tuesday night she will have Melissa Isaac, an educator and member of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian tribe, among her guests. Isaac is a “Gizhwaasod” or “Youth Protector” under the Michigan Department of Education’s Indigenous Education Initiative. In October last year, Isaac was a member of a listening session hosted by Biden while visiting the Saginaw Chippewa community.

Another of Biden’s initiatives as first lady includes military families. Danielle Robinson of Columbus, Ohio is a military wife who lost her husband, Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson in May 2020 to a rare autoimmune disease and stage 4 lung cancer. Sergeant Robinson had served in Kosovo and Iraq. His widow is now an advocate for helping those who were exposed to environmental hazards and burning stoves while serving in the military.

Kezia Rodriguez is a full-time student at Bergen Community College in New Jersey and a mother of twin girls. Her daughters benefit from the school’s tuition-free child care program, an initiative supported by the American Rescue Plan. As the first first lady to hold a job outside the White House — she teaches English at Northern Virginia Community College, Biden has been a strong advocate for community college education. This will be the second time the first lady and Rodriguez have met; in January, Rodriguez introduced Biden at an event in Bergen.

The president’s sister, Valerie Biden Owens, will also be present in the first lady’s box this evening for the president’s address.

This story has been updated with more reporting.

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Zelenskyy’s unlikely journey from comedy to warlord | National Policy https://draftgore2008.org/zelenskyys-unlikely-journey-from-comedy-to-warlord-national-policy/ Sat, 26 Feb 2022 19:39:14 +0000 https://draftgore2008.org/zelenskyys-unlikely-journey-from-comedy-to-warlord-national-policy/ JOHN DANISZEWSKI – Associated Press WARSAW, Poland (AP) — When Volodymyr Zelenskyy was growing up in southeastern Ukraine, his Jewish family spoke Russian and his father once forbade young Zelenskyy from going to Israel to study abroad. Instead, Zelenskyy studied law at home. After graduating, he found a new home in film and comedy – […]]]>

JOHN DANISZEWSKI – Associated Press

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — When Volodymyr Zelenskyy was growing up in southeastern Ukraine, his Jewish family spoke Russian and his father once forbade young Zelenskyy from going to Israel to study abroad. Instead, Zelenskyy studied law at home. After graduating, he found a new home in film and comedy – exploding in the 2010s to become one of Ukraine’s top entertainers with the TV series ‘Servant of the People’.

In it, he portrays an adorable high school teacher who is fed up with corrupt politicians who accidentally becomes president.

A few years later, Zelenskyy is the real president of Ukraine. At times, as the Russian invasion approached, the comedian-turned-statesman had seemed incoherent, chastising the West for scaring one day and not doing enough the next. But his bravery and refusal to leave as rockets rained down on the capital also made him an unlikely hero for many around the world.

With a courage, good humor and grace under fire that has rallied his own and impressed his Western counterparts, the 44-year-old compact, dark-haired former actor has stuck around even though he says he has a target on his back from from Russian. invaders.

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After a US offer to transport him to safety, Zelenskyy fired back on Saturday: ‘I need ammunition, not a round,’ he said in Ukrainian, according to a senior US intelligence official. having direct knowledge of the conversation.

On Saturday, Russian forces surrounded Kiev on the third day of the war. The main goal, military observers say, is to reach the capital to depose Zelenskyy and his government and install someone more in line with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The boldness of Zelenskyy’s stand for Ukrainian sovereignty might not have been expected from a man whose greatest political responsibility for many years was a feeling that he was too inclined to seek a compromise with Moscow. He ran for office partly on a platform that he could broker peace with Russia, which seized Crimea from Ukraine and backed two pro-Russian breakaway regions in 2014, leading to a frozen conflict. which had killed about 15,000 people.

Although Zelenskyy succeeded in a prisoner exchange, reconciliation efforts have failed as Putin’s insistence on Ukraine departing from the West grows increasingly intense, portraying the government in Kiev as a nest extremism led by Washington.

Zelenskyy used his own story to demonstrate that his country is a land of possibilities, not the hateful politics of Putin’s imagination.

Despite Ukraine’s dark history of anti-Semitism, dating back centuries to Cossack pogroms and the collaboration of some anti-Soviet nationalists with the Nazi genocide during World War II, Ukraine after Zelenskyy’s election in 2019 has become the only country outside of Israel with both a president and prime minister who were Jewish. (Zelensky’s grandfather fought in the Soviet army against the Nazis, while another family died in the Holocaust.)

Like his TV character, Zelenskyy came to power in a landslide Democratic election, defeating a billionaire businessman. He promised to break the power of the corrupt oligarchs who had haphazardly controlled Ukraine since the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

That this newcomer, campaigning mostly on social media, could come out of nowhere to claim the country’s highest office was likely troubling for Putin, who has slowly tamed and surrounded his own political opposition in Russia.

Putin’s main political rival, Alexei Navalny, also a comedian and anti-corruption campaigner, was poisoned by the Russian secret service in 2020 with a nerve agent applied to his underwear. He was fighting for his life when he was allowed, under international diplomatic pressure, to leave for Germany for medical treatment, and when doctors rescued him he chose to return to Russia despite certain risks.

Navalny, currently being held in a Russian prison, denounced Putin’s military operation in Ukraine.

Zelenskyy and Navalny seem to share a perspective that they have to face the consequences of their beliefs no matter what.

“It’s a scary experience when you come to visit the president of a neighboring country, your colleague, to support him in a difficult situation, (and) you hear from him that you may never see him again because he stay there and will defend his country until the end,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Friday.

He spent time with Zelenskyy on Wednesday just before the fighting began, one of several political leaders who have met with Ukraine’s president over the past month, including US Vice President Kamala Harris.

Zelenskyy first came to the attention of many Americans during the administration of President Donald Trump, who in a phone call with Zelenskyy in 2019 leaned on him to dig up dirt on the presidential candidate. Biden and his son Hunter who could help Trump’s re-election campaign. . This “perfect” phone call, as Trump later called it, resulted in Trump being impeached by the House of Representatives for using his office and threatening to withhold $400 million in authorized military support from Ukraine, for personal political purposes.

Zelenskyy declined to criticize Trump’s appeal, saying he did not want to get involved in another country’s politics.

Putin’s attack, which the Russian president called a “special military operation”, began early Thursday. Putin for months denied intending to invade and accused Biden of stoking war hysteria when Biden revealed the number of Russian troops and weapons. which had been deployed along Ukraine’s borders with Russia and Belarus – surrounding Ukraine on three sides.

Putin justified the attack by saying it was to defend two breakaway districts in eastern Ukraine from “genocide”.

With Russian media presenting such an image of his country, Zelenskyy recorded a message to Russians to refute the idea that Ukraine is the aggressor and that he is some kind of warmonger: “They told you that I I ordered an offensive on the Donbass, to fire, bombard, that there is no doubt about it. But there are questions, and simple ones. To fire on whom, to bombard what? Donetsk?

Recounting his many visits and his friends in the region – “I saw the faces, the eyes” – he said: “This is our land, this is our history. What are we going to fight for and with who ?”

Unshaven and in a khaki olive green shirt, he has recorded other messages to his compatriots on the Internet in recent days to boost morale and stress that he will not go anywhere, but will stay to defend Ukraine. “We are here. Honor to Ukraine,” he said.

In the run-up to the Russian invasion, Zelenskyy criticized President Joe Biden’s open and detailed warnings of Putin’s intentions, saying they were premature and could cause panic. Then, after the war began, he criticized Washington for not doing more to protect Ukraine, including defending it militarily or accelerating its NATO bid.

Zelenskyy and his wife, Olena, an architect, have a 17-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old son. He said this week that they had remained in Ukraine, not joining the exodus of refugees, mostly women and children, seeking safety abroad.

“The war transformed the former comedian from a provincial politician with delusions of grandeur into a true statesman,” Melinda Haring of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center for Foreign Affairs wrote on Friday.

While he could be faulted for not pushing through political reforms fast enough and dragging his feet on hardening Ukraine’s long border with Russia over the past year, Haring said, Zelenskyy “showed a stiff upper lip. He displayed enormous physical courage, refusing to sit in a bunker but openly traveling with soldiers, and an unwavering patriotism that few expected from a Russian-speaking Eastern Ukraineer.”

“To his great credit, he has been irremovable.”

Associated Press writer Monika Scislowska contributed to this report from Warsaw.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Biden vows to hurt Putin’s long-term ambitions https://draftgore2008.org/biden-vows-to-hurt-putins-long-term-ambitions/ Thu, 24 Feb 2022 22:35:00 +0000 https://draftgore2008.org/biden-vows-to-hurt-putins-long-term-ambitions/ By Ryan FoleyChristian Post reporter | Thursday, February 24, 2022 US President Joe Biden addresses the Russian invasion of Ukraine, from the East Room of the White House February 24, 2022, in Washington, DC – Biden on Thursday announced “devastating” Western sanctions against Russia. After a virtual meeting behind closed doors, the G7 democracies said […]]]>
US President Joe Biden addresses the Russian invasion of Ukraine, from the East Room of the White House February 24, 2022, in Washington, DC – Biden on Thursday announced “devastating” Western sanctions against Russia. After a virtual meeting behind closed doors, the G7 democracies said they stood firm against Russia’s “threat to the rules-based international order”. |

President Joe Biden addressed the nation Thursday as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine intensifies, vowing to enact additional sanctions to harm Russia’s economy and “long-term strategic ambitions.” of President Vladimir Putin. Biden assured that “freedom will prevail”.

Biden spoke at a press conference in the East Room, calling the Russian military attacks that began Thursday against Ukrainian military assets in several cities a “brutal assault on the Ukrainian people without provocation, without justification, without necessity”.

Lamenting the “premeditated attack,” Biden claimed that “Vladimir Putin had been planning this for months.”

“This is a dangerous moment for all of Europe, for freedom in the world,” he said.

While the 79-year-old president spent much of his speech discussing the peril of the situation, he remained optimistic about the future.

“In the struggle between democracy and autocracy, between sovereignty and subjugation, make no mistake. Freedom will prevail,” he said.

Biden insisted that all available diplomatic options had been exhausted before indicating that he had authorized “strong additional sanctions and new limitations on what can be exported to Russia.”

He argued that the additional sanctions “would impose significant costs on the Russian economy, both immediately and over time.”

“We deliberately designed these sanctions to maximize the long-term impact on Russia and to minimize the impact on the United States and our allies,” he said.

Biden touted a coalition of partners, including 27 members of the European Union, Britain, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and others.

Biden had spoken with leaders of the G7, a coalition of the world’s largest democracies, earlier in the day. He said they were “fully and totally in agreement” in determining that “we will limit Russia’s ability to do business in dollars, euros, pounds and yen to be part of the global economy.” .

“We are going to stop their ability to finance and develop…the Russian military,” he said. “We are going to harm their ability to compete in [a] the high-tech economy of the 21st century.

He cited the efforts of existing sanctions on the Russian economy and the strength of the Russian currency as evidence that the approach would work.

The new sanctions will extend to four additional banks in Russia, meaning “all assets they have in America will be frozen”. They will also apply to members of the “Russian elites” who have “personally benefited from Kremlin policy”.

“Between our actions and those of our allies and partners, we estimate we will cut more than half of Russia’s high-tech imports,” Biden predicted. “It will be a blow to Putin’s long-term strategic ambitions.”

Biden said NATO, a group of nations formed during the Cold War to counter the Soviet Union, will convene a summit on Friday. The summit “will bring together the leaders of 30 Allies and Close Partners to affirm our solidarity and define the next steps we will take to further strengthen all aspects of our NATO alliance”.

The president swore that “American forces are not and will not be engaged in the conflict with Russia and Ukraine” and acknowledged the presence of American troops in Europe “to defend our NATO allies and reassure those allies in the east”.

Addressing the potential impact of heightened tensions with Russia on the price of gasoline in the United States, Biden said his administration was using “every tool at its disposal to protect American families and businesses from rising prices. at the gas pump”.

Shortly after Biden’s speech, reports surfaced that Russian forces seized the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in northern Ukraine.

Biden insisted that “this aggression cannot go unaddressed” because “America stands up to bullies, we stand up for freedom.”

“It’s who we are,” he said.

Biden detailed a conversation he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The president pledged his support for the Ukrainian people and pledged to provide “humanitarian aid” to the Eastern European country.

In response to a reporter’s question, Biden said he had “no intention of speaking to Putin.”

He told another reporter that “[t]The idea that this will last for a long time is highly unlikely as long as we remain determined to impose the sanctions that we are going to impose on Russia.

Biden has pushed back against the idea that sanctions won’t change Putin’s mind about taking further action in Ukraine, as sanctions have failed to deter him so far.

He concluded that imposing sanctions rather than just threatening sanctions would “weaken” Russia so that Putin “will have to make a very, very difficult choice as to whether he should continue to become a second-rate power or , in fact, answer.”

In addition to the reaction from world political leaders, religious groups have also condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations released a statement on Thursday expressing disappointment that “the efforts to prevent the outbreak of war by many people around the world, including our Council, have not been successful.” .

“Truth and the international community are on the Ukrainian side,” the statement said. “We believe good will prevail with God’s help. We support the Armed Forces of Ukraine and all its defenders, we bless them in their defense of Ukraine against the aggressor and offer our prayers for them.

An Associated Press poll released Wednesday found that Americans do not want the United States to play a major role in the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Only 26% of respondents want the United States to play a major role in the situation between Russia and Ukraine. Most Americans (52%) want the US to play a minor role, while the remaining 22% believe the US should have no role in mediating the conflict.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be contacted at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

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The Republican Party abandons democracy. There can be no ‘politics as usual’ | Thomas Zimmer https://draftgore2008.org/the-republican-party-abandons-democracy-there-can-be-no-politics-as-usual-thomas-zimmer/ Tue, 22 Feb 2022 13:49:00 +0000 https://draftgore2008.org/the-republican-party-abandons-democracy-there-can-be-no-politics-as-usual-thomas-zimmer/ Over the past few weeks, President Joe Biden has repeatedly emphasized his friendship with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. At National Prayer Breakfast in early February, for example, he praised McConnell as “a man of his word. And you are a man of honor. Thank you for being my friend.” Biden’s publicly professed affinity is […]]]>

Over the past few weeks, President Joe Biden has repeatedly emphasized his friendship with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. At National Prayer Breakfast in early February, for example, he praised McConnell as “a man of his word. And you are a man of honor. Thank you for being my friend.”

Biden’s publicly professed affinity is oddly at odds with the political situation. Returning to the Obama era, McConnell led the Republican Party in a strategy of near total obstruction which he continued with ruthless cynicism. It is true that he has, at times, signaled his distance from Donald Trump and condemned the January 6 insurrection. But McConnell is also sabotaging any effort to counter the Republican Party’s continued authoritarian assault on the political system.

The distinct asymmetry in how the two sides treat each other extends far beyond Biden and McConnell. Republicans immediately derided Biden’s promise to appoint a black woman to the Supreme Court – while Democratic leaders hope for bipartisan support; house tenant Nancy Pelosi insists the nation needs a strong Republican Party – meanwhile, radicals like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar, who fantasizes about committing acts of violence against Democrats, are embraced by their fellow Republicans, proving that they are not just an extremist fringe that has “hijacked” the Party, as Pelosi has suggested. And when Texas Senator Ted Cruz recently hinted that Republicans would impeach Biden if they were to take over the House “whether justified or not” the White House responded by calling on Cruz to “work with us to get something done”.

Republicans couldn’t be clearer that they view Democratic governance as fundamentally illegitimate, but some establishment Democrats are acting as if politics as usual is still an option and a return to ‘normal’. imminent.

There is certainly an element of political strategy in all of this. Democrats are eager to portray themselves as a force of moderation and unity. But Biden’s desire to understand beyond party lines seems sincere. He was reluctant make the fight against the Republican Party’s assault on democracy the centerpiece of its agenda; Democratic leaders have mostly been reluctant to draw public attention to the Republican Party’s authoritarian turn.

An important explanatory factor is that many Democratic leaders are elderly. They emerged in a very different political environment, when there was indeed a lot of bipartisan cooperation in Congress. There’s no reason to be nostalgic about it – the politics of bipartisan consensus has more often than not stifled racial and social progress. But there was certainly an established norm of intra-party cooperation until quite recently. When the California senator Dianne Feinstein hugs South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham at the end of the 2020 Amy Coney Barrett hearings was a bizarre throwback to those days of cross-party friendship amid a naked Republican power grab.

Beyond institutional tradition and personal familiarity, this failure to seriously address the post-Obama reality in which Democratic politicians are almost universally viewed as members of an “un-American” faction by most Republicans has deeper ideological roots. The way some establishment Democrats have acted suggests they feel a kinship with their Republican opponents based on a worldview of white elite centrism. Their view of the prospect of a reactionary white regime is influenced by whether, consciously or not, they understand that their elite status would not necessarily be affected as much. Republican dogma — that the world works better if it’s run by prosperous white people — has some appeal to wealthy white elites, regardless of party.

From this perspective, it is rational to believe that the greatest immediate threat comes from the “left”: an agenda to transform America from a restricted white male democracy that has largely preserved existing hierarchies into a multiracial, pluralistic and functional social democracy. is indeed a losing proposition for people who have traditionally been at the top. When Biden insists that “I am not Bernie Sanders. I am not a socialist, and instead emphasizes his friendship with Mitch McConnell, he offers more than strategic rhetoric. Many establishment Democrats seem to believe it is high time to push back against the “radical” forces of leftism and “revivalism.”

The constant attempts to normalize a radicalizing Republican party also have a lot to do with two founding myths that shape the collective imagination: the myth of American exceptionalism and the myth of white innocence. We may be decades away from the height of the so-called post-war “liberal consensus,” but much of the country’s Democratic elite still subscribes to an exceptionalist understanding that America is fundamentally good and the United States inexorably on the verge of overcoming everything there might still be residual problems. This often goes hand in hand with a mythical account of America’s past, portraying democracy as exceptionally stable. Never mind that a true multiracial democracy has existed for less than 60 years in this country. What could possibly threaten America so-called “old, consolidated” democracy? Recognizing what the Republican Party has become goes against the pillars of this worldview.

Finally, American political discourse is still significantly shaped by the white innocence paradigm. Economic anxiety, anti-elite backlash, or just plain liberal malice — whatever drives white extremism, it doesn’t have to be racism, and they can’t be blamed for their actions. White innocence dogma instinctively leads to elite opinion sanitize the reasons for the rise of right-wing demagoguesa common trend in commentary surrounding the success of George Wallace in the late 1960s, David Duke in the early 1990s, or Donald Trump in 2016. The idea of ​​white innocence also blurs the perspective of Democratic elites on the Republican elites: since they cannot be driven by reactionary white nationalism, they must be driven by more benign forces, fear of the Trumpian base perhaps, or perhaps they are seduced by the dangerous demagogue.

“I actually like Mitch McConnell,” Biden said at a press conference a few weeks ago, offering a window into what he sees in Republicans: No matter what they do, underneath they’re good guys, they’ll be fine. . To promise. It is the manifestation of a specific worldview that makes it nearly impossible to recognize the depths of Republican radicalization – a perspective that severely hampers the struggle for the survival of American democracy.

  • Thomas Zimmer is a visiting professor at Georgetown University, specializing in the history of democracy and its discontents in the United States, and contributing opinion writer for the US Guardian.

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