Nuland-Pyatt Ukraine Coup Tape Removed From YouTube After 8 Years

Nuland-Pyatt Ukraine Coup Tape Removed From YouTube After 8 Years

Authored by Joe Lauria via Consortium News,

The smoking gun proving US involvement in the 2014 coup in Kiev has been removed from YouTube after eight years. It was the most complete version of the intercepted and leaked conversation between then Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt, the then US ambassador to Ukraine, in which the two discuss who will make up the new government weeks before democratically-elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown in a violent coup on Feb. 21, 2014. 

The US State Department never denied the authenticity of the video, and even issued an apology to the European Union after Nuland is heard on the tape saying, “Fuck the E.U.” Mainstream media at the time focused almost exclusively on that off-color remark, ignoring the greater significance of U.S. interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs. 

Consortium News has numerous times embedded the YouTube video in articles about the overthrow of Yanukovych. CN successfully embedded it earlier this week in an article now being written, but on Wednesday the video suddenly appeared this way in the draft article: 

This is a screenshot taken earlier from the video that has now been removed. 

Nuland in screenshot from now removed YouTube video.

Timing of Removal

The removal of a video that had existed online for eight years raises major questions as it comes during the war in Ukraine. Corporate media has studiously avoided mentioning the causes of the current conflict, including NATO eastward expansion, the rejected Moscow treaty proposals in December, the civil war in Donbass and the 2014 coup in Kiev that led to the Donbass uprising and violent repression by the coup government. 

The coup in 2014 is the starting point that led to all these events culminating in Russia’s invasion in February. Removing the video would be consistent with the suppression of any information that falls outside the enforced narrative of events in Ukraine, including whitewashing any mention of the U.S.-backed coup. 

It was the original, most complete, and widely viewed recording of the call on YouTube:

Transcript Still Online

The BBC on Feb. 7, 2014 — 14 days before Yanukovych was toppled- — published a transcript of the Nuland-Pyatt conversation. Consortium News is republishing the transcript here, lest it be removed from the internet as well:

* * *

Voice thought to be Nuland’s: What do you think?

Voice thought to be Pyatt’s: I think we’re in play. The Klitschko [Vitaly Klitschko, one of three main opposition leaders] piece is obviously the complicated electron here. Especially the announcement of him as deputy prime minister and you’ve seen some of my notes on the troubles in the marriage right now so we’re trying to get a read really fast on where he is on this stuff. But I think your argument to him, which you’ll need to make, I think that’s the next phone call you want to set up, is exactly the one you made to Yats [Arseniy Yatseniuk, another opposition leader]. And I’m glad you sort of put him on the spot on where he fits in this scenario. And I’m very glad that he said what he said in response.

Nuland: Good. I don’t think Klitsch should go into the government. I don’t think it’s necessary, I don’t think it’s a good idea.

Pyatt: Yeah. I guess… in terms of him not going into the government, just let him stay out and do his political homework and stuff. I’m just thinking in terms of sort of the process moving ahead we want to keep the moderate democrats together. The problem is going to be Tyahnybok [Oleh Tyahnybok, the other opposition leader] and his guys and I’m sure that’s part of what [President Viktor] Yanukovych is calculating on all this.

Nuland: [Breaks in] I think Yats is the guy who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience. He’s the… what he needs is Klitsch and Tyahnybok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week, you know. I just think Klitsch going in… he’s going to be at that level working for Yatseniuk, it’s just not going to work.

Pyatt: Yeah, no, I think that’s right. OK. Good. Do you want us to set up a call with him as the next step?

Nuland: My understanding from that call – but you tell me – was that the big three were going into their own meeting and that Yats was going to offer in that context a… three-plus-one conversation or three-plus-two with you. Is that not how you understood it?

Pyatt: No. I think… I mean that’s what he proposed but I think, just knowing the dynamic that’s been with them where Klitschko has been the top dog, he’s going to take a while to show up for whatever meeting they’ve got and he’s probably talking to his guys at this point, so I think you reaching out directly to him helps with the personality management among the three and it gives you also a chance to move fast on all this stuff and put us behind it before they all sit down and he explains why he doesn’t like it.

Nuland: OK, good. I’m happy. Why don’t you reach out to him and see if he wants to talk before or after.

Pyatt: OK, will do. Thanks.

Nuland: OK… one more wrinkle for you Geoff. [A click can be heard] I can’t remember if I told you this, or if I only told Washington this, that when I talked to Jeff Feltman [United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs] this morning, he had a new name for the UN guy Robert Serry did I write you that this morning?

Pyatt: Yeah I saw that.

Nuland: OK. He’s now gotten both Serry and [UN Secretary General] Ban Ki-moon to agree that Serry could come in Monday or Tuesday. So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and to have the UN help glue it and, you know, Fuck the EU.

Pyatt: No, exactly. And I think we’ve got to do something to make it stick together because you can be pretty sure that if it does start to gain altitude, that the Russians will be working behind the scenes to try to torpedo it. And again the fact that this is out there right now, I’m still trying to figure out in my mind why Yanukovych (garbled) that. In the meantime there’s a Party of Regions faction meeting going on right now and I’m sure there’s a lively argument going on in that group at this point. But anyway we could land jelly side up on this one if we move fast. So let me work on Klitschko and if you can just keep… we want to try to get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing. The other issue is some kind of outreach to Yanukovych but we probably regroup on that tomorrow as we see how things start to fall into place.

Nuland: So on that piece Geoff, when I wrote the note [US vice-president’s national security adviser Jake] Sullivan’s come back to me VFR [direct to me], saying you need [US Vice-President Joe] Biden and I said probably tomorrow for an atta-boy and to get the deets [details] to stick. So Biden’s willing.

Pyatt: OK. Great. Thanks.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/25/2022 – 23:00

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10,000 Truck Drivers Taken Off The Road Due To Marijuana Violations

10,000 Truck Drivers Taken Off The Road Due To Marijuana Violations

Five years ago in 2017, when the US labor shortage was in its nascent stages and when the US was years away from a wage-price spiral, the Fed’s Beige Book surveys of economic activity across the country in April, May and July all noted the inability of employers to find workers able to pass drug screenings: “It’s not just a matter of labor participation; there is also a lot of collateral economic damage,” said Alan B. Krueger, a Princeton economist who wrote a widely discussed paper on the subject last year. In other words, too many people were high 24/7 to be gainfully employed.

Well, fast forward to today when with the US in the depth of the biggest labor crisis in history, when there are almost two job openings for every unemployed worker (according to the latest JOLTs report), we learn that just marijuana violations have taken over 10,000 truck drivers off the road this year, adding more to unprecedented supply chain disruptions.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has been the catalyst for a myriad of supply-chain challenges, including delayed packages, bare grocery store shelves, and inflated prices, there are other bottlenecks also causing supply chain issues, including a lack of truck drivers to transport goods from one place to another. In late 2021, the American Trucking Associations reported that the driver shortage had risen to an all-time high of 80,000, partly due to the aging population and shrinking wages.

In response, the Biden administration vowed in December to get more truck drivers on the road by boosting recruitment efforts and expediting the issuing of commercial licenses. However, that won’t have an effect on another hurdle: disparate marijuana laws across the U.S. that are contributing to an increase in violations. According to KPLC News, in 2022, a growing number of truckers are being taken off the job, which could soon worsen the already suffering supply chain.

As more states legalize recreational marijuana—four of which did so in the past year and three more are expected to by the end of 2022—more truck drivers have tested positive for the substance. As of April 1, 2022, 10,276 commercial vehicle drivers have tested positive for marijuana use. By the same time in 2021, there had been 7,750 violations. That’s a 32.6% increase year over year.

Truck drivers who travel cross-country face inconsistent state regulations as 19 states have legalized recreational marijuana and 37 states permit it for medicinal purposes. But even if a driver used marijuana or hemp-based products like CBD while off duty in a state where those substances are legal, they could still be faced with a violation due to the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) zero-tolerance policy at the federal level.

“While states may allow medical use of marijuana, federal laws and policy do not recognize any legitimate medical use of marijuana,” a DOT handbook for commercial vehicle drivers reads. “Even if a state allows the use of marijuana, DOT regulations treat its use as the same as the use of any other illicit drug.”

Stacker looked at what’s causing thousands of truckers to be removed from their jobs, and the looming domino effect of the continued supply chain disruptions.

Under regulations set forth by the DOT, truck drivers are tested for drug use—including marijuana—prior to starting a new job. They can also be tested at random, as well as after accidents. In January 2020, the DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also upped the random drug testing rate from 25% of the average number of driver positions to 50%. Truck drivers are mainly screened for drug use via urinalysis, but there are now new saliva tests being proposed as well.

At worst, if a driver fails just one drug test, that can be grounds for termination under DOT regulations. At best, they are temporarily taken off the road and required to complete an evaluation with a substance misuse professional who determines their rehabilitation process, which can sometimes take months.

As of January 2020, employers are also required to list commercial drivers who fail a drug test in the FMCSA’s Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse. These violations remain searchable for five years. Potential employers are also required to check the Clearinghouse to see if a commercial driver had any previous violations, which would prevent them from being hired.

In recent years, more states have legalized both recreational and medical marijuana, making it more widely available and used. However, marijuana use is still prohibited for commercial truck drivers, state laws and medical prescriptions aside. According to the FMCSA, “a driver may not use marijuana even if [it] is recommended by a licensed medical practitioner.” The DOT has maintained its zero-tolerance stance for marijuana use even as it’s become legalized, saying, “Legalization of marijuana use by States and other jurisdictions also has not modified the application of U.S. Department of Transportation drug testing regulations.”

A commercial driver could use marijuana while off-duty, not driving, and in a state where marijuana is legal, but still test positive for the substance for up to a month later and be taken off the road. The American Addiction Centers says for infrequent marijuana users—meaning those who use the substance less than two times a week—it can show up in their urine for up to three days. Someone who uses marijuana several times a week can test positive for up to three weeks, and those who use marijuana even more frequently can “test positive for a month or longer.”

Meanwhile, shortages, factory closures, and goods waiting to be unloaded at ports are just some of the current issues affecting the supply chain across America. Trucking transports 72% of products within the U.S., according to a report from the White House, but a growing number of commercial drivers are sidelined for marijuana use.

The return-to-duty process that commercial vehicle drivers must undergo once faced with a marijuana violation can keep them from returning to work at all. According to the FMCSA’s monthly report, 89,650 commercial drivers are currently in prohibited status as of April 1, 2022, but 67,368 of them have not begun the RTD process.

If violations continue at the current rate, the truck driver shortage will further disrupt the supply chain, which means higher prices not just for commodities but the cost of living at large.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/25/2022 – 22:40

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Report Shows FBI Spied On 3.3 Million Americans Without A Warrant, GOP Demands Answers

Report Shows FBI Spied On 3.3 Million Americans Without A Warrant, GOP Demands Answers

Authored by Joseph Lord via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Top House Republicans are demanding answers from the FBI after court-ordered information came to light showing that the federal agency had collected the information of over 3 million Americans without a warrant.

Republican Representative from Ohio Jim Jordan speaks during the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Policing Practices and Law Enforcement Accountability at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on June 10, 2020. (Michael Reynolds/Pool/Getty Images)

In a May 25 letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Mike Turner (R-Ohio) asked Wray to explain why his agency had wiretapped and gathered personal information on over 3.3 million Americans without a warrant (pdf).

Limited authority to gather foreign intelligence information is granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Specifically, section 702 of the bill says: “the Attorney General (AG) and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) may jointly authorize the targeting of (i) non-U.S. persons (ii) who are reasonably believed to be outside of the United States (iii) to acquire foreign intelligence information.”

However, this power can grant an expanding circle of possible searches to the FBI and other intel agencies, who can use the same power against American citizens who had any interaction with targeted foreigners.

Historically, insight into how FISA has been used against American citizens has been limited and hidden behind classified reports.

However, a November 2020 decision by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)—which serves as a watchdog for U.S. intelligence agencies—required that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) report “the number of U.S. person queries run by the FBI against Section 702-acquired information.”

In accordance with these new requirements, ODNI’s recently-released Annual Statistical Transparency Report included data on how often the FBI gathered information on American citizens using section 702 in 2021.

In total, queries against U.S. citizens came out to a jaw-dropping 3,394,053 searches. By comparison, only 1,324,057 such queries were made in 2020, representing around a 250 percent increase during President Joe Biden’s first year in office.

According to ODNI more than half of these queries—approximately 1.9 million—were part of the larger investigation of alleged Russian attempts to target or weaken U.S. critical infrastructure.

The ODNI report also admitted that on at least four occasions, the FBI failed to get FISC approval before accessing the contents of information collected under section 702.

This is not the first time the FBI has been caught red-handed overstepping its legal authority under section 702.

In November 2020, the FISC announced that “the government … reported numerous incidents” in which the FBI reviewed information gathered under section 702 without obtaining proper permission from the court.

On other occasions, the FISC noted, the FBI used section 702 for issues entirely unrelated to foreign intelligence. These included queries for criminal investigations about healthcare fraud, transnational organized crime, violent gangs, domestic terrorism involving racially motivated violent extremists, as well as investigations relating to public corruption and bribery.”

“None of these queries was related to national security, and they returned numerous Section 702-acquired products in response,” the FISC noted.

“Rigorous Congressional oversight of the FBI’s Section 702-related activities is essential given FBI’s track record utilizing its FISA authorities,” Jordan and Turner ruled in view of the FBI’s past overreach.

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, in Washington, on March 2, 2021. (Mandel Ngan-Pool/Getty Images)

In their letter to Wray, Jordan and Turner laid out a laundry list of questions about the report, demanding further transparency and explanations on the revelation that the FBI has often overstepped its legal authority to spy on American citizens.

Among other questions, they requested a full accounting of all 3,394,053 citizens who showed up in FBI queries and “[the] number of preliminary or full investigations into any U.S. citizens the FBI has initiated as a result of information obtained through any of these U.S. person queries, and the nature of the predication for each such investigation.”

They also asked for information on the 1.9 million Americans queried over alleged Russian efforts to compromise U.S. critical infrastructure. Specifically, they asked for, “The rationale for why these queries were found to be compliant with the FBI’s Section 702 querying procedures [and the] total number of U.S. citizens the FBI identified as victims of these compromises(s) pursuant to these queries.”

In addition, they demanded “A detailed statement about the FBI’s investigation, including the status of the investigation and any information uncovered about the identity of the Russian actors and their involvement with or connection to the Russian government, if any.”

Additionally, they asked for information gathered under FISA rules in the years between 2015 and 2020, as well as for an explanation of the FBI’s overreach of authority on various occasions.

The letter demands that Wray provide a written response by no later than 5 p.m. on June 7.

FISA Section 702 was last authorized by Congress for a six-year period in 2018 and will be up for reauthorization in 2024.

The FBI could not be immediately reached for comment.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/25/2022 – 22:20

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Elon Musk’s Starlink Satellite Internet Hits 400,000 Users 

Elon Musk’s Starlink Satellite Internet Hits 400,000 Users 

SpaceX’s Starlink has exponentially grown its subscriber base worldwide this year. The network of thousands of satellites in low Earth orbit, providing high-speed internet anywhere globally, has seen a 275% increase in subs since January. 

CNBC noted that the Elon Musk-owned company presented the new figures to the Federal Communications Commission in a presentation on May 19. Starlink had 145k subscribers at the beginning of the year. By March, it was 250k, and as of this month, it had 400k. 

Last week, SpaceX launched a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket with 53 more Starlink internet satellites into orbit. The satellites will expand the company’s constellation of more than 2.5k, which provides high-speed internet worldwide. Coverage is set to expand across North America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East by the end of the year, opening the doors for the company to add even more subs. 

The 400k subs are spread across 48 U.S. states and dozens of countries (36 in total). Starlink’s website shows much of the U.S. and Europe have service, but plenty of places worldwide are on a “waitlist.” 

Starlink has also inked deals with two carriers to provide inflight Wi-Fi, which could dramatically increase internet speeds on planes from the dial-up-like speeds that make remote work near impossible. 

High-speed internet from space is great, but is it a profitable business? Not yet… 

Meanwhile, Russia has been trying to jam the internet service as it’s being used across Ukraine. Also, Chinese scientists are developing ways to destroy the global network. 

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/25/2022 – 22:00

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Russia To Open Sea Corridors From Ukraine Ports Amid Wheat Crisis, But Warns Of Ukrainian Mines

Russia To Open Sea Corridors From Ukraine Ports Amid Wheat Crisis, But Warns Of Ukrainian Mines

After being accused of using the food supply as blackmail and a bargaining chip, Russia said Wednesday its military will open up protected sea corridors for international shipping to pass through from seven Ukrainian ports that have thus far been blockaded.

According to a defense ministry statement reported by Bloomberg late in the day, “Humanitarian maritime corridors from ports on the Black Sea and Azov Sea, including Odesa, will operate from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.”

Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania recently had a drifting mine nearby. Image: Alamy

The announcement comes two days after the head of the United Nations World Food Program David Beasley ripped Moscow for what he dubbed a “declaration of war” on global food security. He’s been urging “political solution” to the crisis of blocked Black Sea ports, saying the war in ‘the world’s breadbasket’ threatens to unleash “famine, the destabilization of nations as well as mass migration by necessity.” Millions of people in 43 countries dependent on grain from the war-torn region are “knocking on famine’s door,” he said.

However, Russia has stressed that its military is engaged in extensive and complex demining operations due thousands of mines dotting Ukraine’s coast placed by Ukrainian forces, making international shipping dangerous and impossible. As reported in the independent Moscow Times:

The port of Mariupol has resumed normal operations, Russia’s Defense Ministry  announced Wednesday.

The Defense Ministry said Black Sea Fleet specialists cleared more than 12,000 mines from the seaport and its surrounding areas.

Some one-third of global wheat supplies originate from Ukraine and Russia, with the bulk of it passing through the Black Sea.

On Wednesday Russia said it remains ready and willing to work with the West to reach a solution, but that easing sanctions is a necessity:

“We have repeatedly stated on this point that a solution to the food problem requires a comprehensive approach, including the lifting of sanctions that have been imposed on Russian exports and financial transactions,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko was quoted as saying by Interfax.

But the statement called on Ukraine to cease deployment of sea mines, and to engage in immediate demining operations: “And it also requires the demining by the Ukrainian side of all ports where ships are anchored. Russia is ready to provide the necessary humanitarian passage, which it does every day,” Rudenko added.

He further warned against such plans that have been floated lately by Lithuania and the UK which involve foreign military naval escorts accompanying cargo ships. Interfax quoted him as saying such a scenarios would “seriously exacerbate the situation in the Black Sea.”

Also, addressing ongoing accusations that Russia is stealing Ukrainian grain and other food sources, he stressed to reporters: “We completely reject this. We don’t steal anything from anyone.”

Regarding mines, NATO in a message this month warned all commercial traffic in the Black Sea of the growing danger of drifting mines as spillover from the Russia-Ukraine war. “The latest statement of regional authorities, confirming another sighting of a mine, shows the threat of drifting mines in the Southwest part of the Black Sea still exists,” a May 13 NATO shipping advisory said.

“An additional stray mine was detected and deactivated on 06 of April 2022 in the Southwestern part of the Black Sea. National authorities stated that the searches for mine-like objects are ongoing. The threat of more drifting mines cannot be ruled out,” it warned.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/25/2022 – 21:20

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“Very Dangerous”: Pelosi Responds For The First Time Since Being Banned From Communion

“Very Dangerous”: Pelosi Responds For The First Time Since Being Banned From Communion

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on May 24 reacted for the first time to being banned from communion in San Francisco, where she lives.

The decision “is very dangerous,” Pelosi said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks in Washington on May 17, 2022. (Julia Nikhinson/Reuters)

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Joseph Cordileone recently announced that he was banning Pelosi because of her continued support for abortion despite “numerous attempts” to convince her of “the grave evil she is perpetrating.”

Cordileone said he held off on the move for years while speaking with Pelosi but was compelled to act after the lawmaker’s position on abortion became “more extreme.” He also noted she has said that her Catholic faith motivates her support for abortion, which directly opposes Pope Francis and the Catholic teachings.

Since the first century the church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable,” the Vatican said in a communication to questioners in 2009, citing the Catechism of the Catholic Church. “Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.”

Pelosi will not receive communion in San Francisco until she “publicly repudiate[s] her support for abortion ‘rights’ and confess[es] and receive[s] absolution for her cooperation in this evil in the sacrament of penance,” Cordileone said.

Pelosi, speaking on Tuesday, attacked Cordileone directly by describing him as being “against LGBTQ rights” and questioning why he has not barred people who support the death penalty from taking communion.

I wonder about death penalty, which I am opposed to. So is the church, but they take no action against people who may not share their view,” she said.

Pelosi reportedly received communion at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown over the weekend following Cordileone’s announcement.

The Archdiocese of Washington did not respond to a request for comment.

A spokesperson told the Washington Examiner that Archbishop Wilton Gregory will not ban Pelosi from communion.

“The actions of Archbishop Cordileone are his decision to make in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Cardinal Gregory has not instructed the priests of The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington to refuse communion to anyone,” the spokesperson said.

Other bishops, including Bishop Robert Vasa of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, have said they support Cordileone’s decision.

“All politicians who promote abortion should not receive holy communion until they have repented, repaired scandal, and been reconciled to Christ and the church,” Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, said in a statement.

Pelosi on Tuesday also was asked about the Women’s Health Protection Act, which she helped pass the House of Representatives before a bipartisan majority of senators blocked it.

Pelosi falsely said the bill did not expand access to abortion, alleging it would just “enshrine Roe v. Wade into the law.”

I think it’s very insulting to women to have their ability to make their own decision hampered by politics,” she said. “This should never have been politicized.”

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/25/2022 – 21:00

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Obamacare ‘Time Bomb’ To Hit Right Before Midterms

Obamacare ‘Time Bomb’ To Hit Right Before Midterms

Congressional Democrats have yet another thing to worry about going into this year’s midterm elections.

A temporary pandemic relief program aimed at lowering healthcare premiums under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, is set to expire unless Democrats can revive a reconciliation bill that extends the financial assistance past the end of the year. And that means striking a deal with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).

If they can’t, roughly 13 million Americans will be hit with steep price hikes amid crippling inflation, in what Insider describes as a “time-bomb.”

“There’s no denying that if they are not extended, then there could definitely be a political impact,” said healthcare policy analyst Charles Gaba.

Voters are set to receive notices about premium increases in late October, as they head to the ballot box for the November midterms. Others would find out during the ACA open enrollment period, which begins on November 1.

“If Congress lets the ACA premium help in the American Rescue Plan expire at the end of this year, middle-class people buying their own insurance would be hit hardest,” tweeted Larry Levitt, vice president for health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Levitt noted that “a middle-class couple of 50 year-olds making $75,000 would see their premium go up by $8,304 on average,” adding “And, if the insurer hikes the unsubsidized premium by 10% for inflation, that’s another $1,468.

Gaba, the healthcare analyst, calculated potential premium hikes using different scenarios based on age, income, marital status and family size, and created two maps to illustrate how letting the ACA assistance lap would affect Americans by state:

In this scenario, a couple nearing retirement age in West Virginia would see their monthly premium soar $2,704 if  enhanced Obamacare subsidies expire, the sharpest increase in the US. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has been open to reviving pieces of Biden’s agenda without committing to any specific plans and Democrats can’t revive a bill without his support. He has been publicly noncommittal on renewing the program in a smaller package. -Insider

Americans who make just enough to lose access to government help would feel the brunt of the increases. “If you’re in that situation, you’d see all financial aid removed and your net cost would increase pretty dramatically,” said Gaba.

Those who make under 150% of the federal poverty level – $19,320 for singles and $39,750 for a family of four – would also end up paying more if the ACA assistance lapses.

As Insider notes, 20 Senate Democrats urged President Biden to include an extension of Obamacare subsidies a priority in his Build Back Better plan.

In other words – extending the assistance is a no-brainer for Democrats. The only question is whether Manchin will be on board. According to Politico, “Staffers for Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have spent the last couple weeks exchanging preliminary ideas for what the framework of a bill might look like,” adding that “the discussions have boosted hopes that an agreement remains in reach, though there is little expectation of a breakthrough before Memorial Day.”

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/25/2022 – 20:40

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US Government Admits It Used Schools As Tool To Erase Culture, Seize Native American Land: Report

US Government Admits It Used Schools As Tool To Erase Culture, Seize Native American Land: Report

Authored by Beth Brelje via The Epoch Times,

Erasing culture, pulling children away from their parents, and disregarding the emotional needs of children. These tactics could be pulled from today’s headlines, but they are the tried-and-true education policies the United States has admitted to using for 150 years as a tool to force the assimilation of Native Americans, and specifically to acquire Indian territorial land.

U.S. School for Indians at Pine Ridge, South Dakota, 1891. (John C. H. Grabill collection, Library of Congress)

This month, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) released a 106-page report detailing how the U.S. federal government “applied systematic militarized and identity-alteration methodologies in the Federal Indian boarding school system to assimilate American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children through education.”

The BIA says the government used the education of children to “replace the Indian’s culture with our own.” This, the report says, was considered “the cheapest and safest way of subduing the Indians, of providing a safe habitat for the country’s white inhabitants, of helping the whites acquire desirable land, and of changing the Indian’s economy so that he would be content with less land.”

The report was requested last year by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, a member of the Pueblo of Laguna in New Mexico. She is the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary.

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland speaks during a daily press briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington on April 23, 2021. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Haaland asked for an investigation into the loss of lives and lasting consequences of the Federal Indian boarding school system.

“This report shows for the first time that between 1819 and 1969, the United States operated or supported 408 boarding schools across 37 states [or then-territories], including 21 schools in Alaska and seven schools in Hawaii,” Bryan Newland, assistant secretary of Indian Affairs, wrote in a letter introducing the report.

Another report expanding the investigation is planned.

“The Federal Indian boarding school policy was intentionally targeted … at children to assimilate them and, consequently, take their territories,” Newland said.

The report makes recommendations for new funding and the revitalization of tribal languages and cultural practices—a move necessary, Newland said, to start the healing process.

Taken from Parents

Congress ended treaty-making with Indian tribes in 1871 and started using statutes, executive orders, and agreements to regulate Indian Affairs, the report says. Around that time, Congress enacted laws to compel Indian parents to send their children to school and to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to issue regulations to secure the enrollment and regular attendance of eligible Indian children, whom the government considered wards of the government.

“Many Indian families resisted the assault of the Federal Government on their lives by refusing to send their children to school,” the 1969 Kennedy Report, quoted in the current report, said.

Under the Act of March 3, 1893, Congress authorized the Secretary of Interior to withhold rations, including those guaranteed by treaties, to Indian families whose children between ages 8-21 did not attend schools. No school meant no money or food for the family.

“There is ample evidence in federal records demonstrating that the United States coerced, induced, or compelled Indian children to enter the Federal Indian boarding school system,” the report says.

The Department of Interior moved children to off-reservation boarding schools without parental consent, often in distant states where children endured “rampant physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; disease; malnourishment; overcrowding; and lack of health care,” the report says.

Ciricahua Apaches at the Carlisle Indian School, Penn., 1885 or 1886, as they looked upon arrival at the School. (Library of Congress)

Once at boarding school, children were given English names and clothing. Their hair was cut, and they were prevented from using their native language, religion, and cultural practices. Children were sorted into units to perform military drills; performed labor and were subject to corporal punishment.

At the Kickapoo Boarding School in Kansas, when children ran away from school, officials went looking for them and brought them back to school where they faced “a whipping administered soundly and prayerfully,” in front of other students to warn them not to flee, the report says. This same school had children sleeping three to a bed. The schools were typically overcrowded, the report shows.

The intent of all this was to permanently break family ties and prevent students from returning to the reservations. The system produced intergenerational trauma, the report says.

In 1886, the Haskell Institute in Kansas intentionally mixed Indian children from 31 different tribes to disrupt tribal relations and prevent Indian language use, the report says. The Department of Interior intended school graduates from different tribes to intermarry, so they would use English for their children’s mother tongue. Affected tribes that year included the Apache, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Cherokee, Chippewa, Comanche, Caddo, Delaware, Iowa, Kiowa, Kickapoo, Kaw, Mojave, Muncie, Modoc, Miami, New York, Omaha, Ottawa, Osage, Pawnee, Pottawatomie, Ponca, Peoria, Quapaw, Seneca, Sac and Fox, Seminole, Shawnee, Sioux, and Wyandotte.

Lacking Education

Work done by children in these boarding schools would likely be a violation of child labor laws in most states, said the 1928 Meriam Report, prepared at the request of the then-Secretary of the Interior.

Focused on vocational training, the government adopted a half-time plan, with students spending half the day in academic subjects and the remaining time in work. They tended to farm animals, the report says, and worked in lumbering, on the railroad, carpentry, blacksmithing, fertilizing, irrigation system development, well-digging, making furniture including mattresses, tables and chairs, cooking, laundry, ironing services, and garment-making.

The 2022 report shows that, in 1857 at the Winnebago Manual Labor Schools in Nebraska, the girls made 550 garments for themselves and the boys attending the school, and 700 sacks for farm use. In 1903, a report from the Mescalero Boarding School in New Mexico showed the Mescalero Apache boys sawed over 70,000 feet of lumber, 40,000 shingles, and made more than 120,000 bricks.

Schools at the time said they could not afford to support operations merely on the funds provided by Congress. Students had to handle these chores to keep the places going. The report notes that this labor had a monetary value.

Paid for With Money Meant for Indians

The schools were given operation money annually, but according to the report, the federal government likely also used money held in tribal trust accounts and proceeds of the sale tribal land to run the schools.

“It is apparent that proceeds from cessions of Indian territories to the United States through treaties—which were often signed under duress—were used to fund the operation of Federal Indian boarding schools. As a result, the United States’ assimilation policy, the Federal Indian boarding school system, and the effort to acquire Indian territories are connected,” the report says.

The United States government paid missionary church groups to run the programs. It had contracts, the report says, with the American Missionary Association of the Congregational Church, the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church, the Board of Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church, the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, and the Protestant Episcopal Church.

In some cases, the missionaries were given no education or training. The government had no standards to follow or oversight over the programs, the report shows.

Schools had Grave Sites

Gravestones of American Indians at the Carlisle Indian Cemetery where children who died at the Carlisle Indian School in Carlisle, Penn., are buried. (Library of Congress)

Most schools don’t need a cemetery, but these schools did. An initial investigation of 19 schools found over 500 student deaths.

“The intentional targeting and removal of … children to achieve the goal of forced assimilation of Indian people was both traumatic and violent,” the report says. “The department found hundreds of Indian children died throughout the Federal Indian boarding school system and it believes continued investigation will reveal the approximate number of Indian children who died at these schools to be in the thousands or tens of thousands.”

The department’s research has identified at least 53 different burial sites across the school system; some marked, others unmarked or poorly maintained.

“The deaths of Indian children while under the care of the federal government, or federally-supported institutions, led to the breakup of Indian families and the erosion of tribes,” the report says.

The department has been talking with tribal leaders to address cultural concerns regarding the burial sites, including future protection of burial sites and potential repatriation or disinterment of remains. “The department will not make public the specific locations of burial sites associated with the Federal Indian boarding school system in order to protect against well-documented grave-robbing, vandalism, and other disturbances to Indian burial sites,” the report says.

Recommendations

The report makes recommendations including funding a full investigation. Congress appropriated $7 million in new funds through fiscal year 2022, through the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The report asks to expand the investigation with continued funding for fiscal year 2023.

It also suggests identifying surviving boarding school attendees, and formally documenting their historical accounts and experiences, including studying current impacts such as health status, including substance abuse and violence.

It asks to protect details of gravesites from being made public under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, by making information exempt from Freedom of Information Act.

It also recommends the advancement of native language revitalization by funding the development of programs supporting native language revitalization in both Bureau of Indian Education funded schools, and non-BIE schools.

The report calls for the promotion of Indian health research by funding scientific studies on lasting health impacts.

And the report suggests recognizing the generations of children who experienced the Federal Indian boarding school system with a federal memorial.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/25/2022 – 20:20

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/Wz3Fx57 Tyler Durden

Consumers Face Summer Of Hell As Power Bill Costs Set To Jump 

Consumers Face Summer Of Hell As Power Bill Costs Set To Jump 

The last thing consumers want to hear is an increase in power costs this summer following the news last week of rising threats of rolling blackouts across half of the US. 

Tight supplies of natural gas, crude, and coal have pushed up residential electricity rates this year. A nationwide weather outlook for this summer forecasts extreme heat — all of this will force households to crank up their air conditions, resulting in oversized power demand that could stress national grids. 

Bloomberg cites new data from Barclays Plc that says monthly power bills could be 40% more than last year’s. The US Energy Information Administration expects retail residential electricity rates to increase the most since 2008. 

Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows Miami households spent 38% more on energy in April than a year ago. Power prices in the state have jumped due to the rising cost of natgas. 

“Our continued overreliance on gas only sets us up for these burdensome and unnecessary rate increases. 

“This business model is unsustainable, and it’s hurting people,” said Natalia Brown of Catalyst Miami, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group. 

Besides Miami, parts of Hawaii, Dallas, Minneapolis, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, and San Francisco recorded the highest increases in retail electricity costs last month. 

Barclays analyst Srinjoy Banerjee said the average residential power bills averaged $122 in April. He pointed out that power bills could raise another $49 due to natgas prices soaring over $8 per million British thermal units. 

Consumers can’t escape the inflation storm that only suggests a summer of hell is ahead. Gasoline and diesel prices are at a record, food prices are screaming higher, homes and cars are unaffordable, and real wage growth is negative. 

Banerjee said the inflation burden “disproportionately falls on lower-income groups.” 

In California, higher costs for electricity and less reliable electric grids mean consumers will pay on average 25% more this summer, according to Cisco DeVries, chief executive officer of OhmConnect Inc., which helps households save money by remotely adjusting thermostats. 

The cost of everything is rising and has pushed consumers to the brink. Many have maxed out credit cards and drained critical savings to survive this terrible economic backdrop of what appears to be stagflation which could quickly morph into a Federal Reserve-induced recession due to aggressive interest rate hikes. 

Then there’s the risk of rolling blackouts across the Great Lakes to the West Coast due to tight power supplies may not be able to satisfy demand amid a megadrought

Some Americans could get a nasty dose of high inflation and power blackouts, similar to life in Venezuela. 

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/25/2022 – 20:00

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/GjlxmMJ Tyler Durden

Sussman Trial Day 8: Ex-Clinton Lawyer Told Different Stories To Congress And FBI, Jury Hears

Sussman Trial Day 8: Ex-Clinton Lawyer Told Different Stories To Congress And FBI, Jury Hears

Authored by John Haughey and Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

A lawyer representing Hillary Clinton’s campaign told members of Congress in 2017 that he took information about Donald Trump and Russia to the FBI on behalf of a client, even though he told the bureau previously that he was bringing the data on his own volition, jurors in federal court heard on May 25.

I think it’s most accurate to say it was done on behalf of my client,” Michael Sussmann, the lawyer, told the House Intelligence Committee on Dec. 18, 2017.

Michael Sussmann arrives at federal court in Washington on May 18, 2022. (Teng Chen for The Epoch Times)

Portions of the transcript were read into the record as prosecutors with special counsel John Durham’s team wrapped up their case against Sussmann, who is on trial on the charge of lying to the FBI.

Sussmann texted James Baker, a bureau lawyer, in September 2016 asking for a meeting so he could share information, but claimed he was coming forward on his own accord, not as part of his representation of any clients.

Sussmann, with Perkins Coie, at the time was representing both the Clinton campaign and Rodney Joffe, a technology executive who has said he was promised a position in the government if Clinton won the 2016 election.

The parties colluded in gathering data and claiming that it showed a secret link between Trump and Russia’s Alfa Bank, prosecutors say. They hoped to sway the election in Clinton’s favor.

About 14 months after handing over the allegations to Baker—the FBI and the CIA both deemed the claims false—Sussmann sat before the House panel and told members that he received the Trump-Russia information from a client, whom he indicated was not the Clinton campaign. He also said he did not go to the FBI and CIA on his own volition but was directed by his client to go to the agencies and hand over the information.

“We had a conversation, as lawyers do with their clients, about client needs and objectives and the best course to take for a client. And so it may have been a decision that we came to together. I don’t want to imply that I was sort of directed to do something against my better judgment, or that we were in any sort of conflict, but this was—I think it’s most accurate to say it was done on behalf of my client,” Sussmann said before the panel.

Clinton campaign officials have testified that they did not approve of Sussmann going to the FBI. They hoped that media outlets would publish stories on the Trump-Alfa Bank claims, and feared going to the bureau would delay the articles.

Defense lawyers, meanwhile, called their first witnesses—several former Department of Justice employees, including former Associate Deputy Attorney General Tashina Gauhar.

According to notes Gauhar took at a March 6, 2017, meeting that involved top officials, there was an awareness that Sussmann brought the information for a client or clients.

Then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said during the meeting that the Trump-Alfa Bank claims came from an “attorney” who “brought [them] to [the] FBI on behalf of his client,” with the last word possibly being “clients.”

Gauhar said on the stand she did not remember the meeting but said she recognized the notes as ones she took. When pointed to the part about McCabe, Gauhar said she didn’t recall that moment.

Another former DOJ official, Mary McCord, was questioned as the defense introduced her notes, which stated that an attorney brought the allegations to Baker and that the attorney did not “say who client was.”

Baker testified earlier in the trial that Sussmann told him when their meeting first started that he was not coming on behalf of any particular client, and that he was “very confident” of the recollection. He did not take notes of the meeting.

Baker also said he could only vaguely remember the 2017 meeting, for which he was listed as a participant, and did not remember anything that was said.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/25/2022 – 19:40

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/0PCkJM9 Tyler Durden