Saturday, September 23, 2023

Jared Ball Speaks at The Black Blockchain Summit 2023


Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani


Iraq's Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Friday.  The UN notes:

MOHAMMED SHIA' AL SUDANI, Prime Minister of Iraq, said that his country has always believed in the principles the UN was founded upon.  The spirit of consensus has prevailed in Iraq.  “We now have a Government that enjoys a widespread political coalition that covers all aspects of society,” he added.  It has adopted a programme with crucial priorities that reflect issues that must be implemented without delay and that benefit the people of Iraq. These priorities include employment opportunities, poverty eradication, fighting corruption and enacting economic reforms.  “Iraq has become a safe environment” for investors as well.  A pivotal State in the global oil market, Iraq is also working on a regional corridor that will make transport and trade easier.

Turning to corruption, he said, indeed, his country faced a “corruption pandemic”.  The Government is focused on eradicating “this disease”, he stressed.  It is vital to pursue those who spread corruption.  “We must return the money they have stolen because we believe there is a symbiotic relationship between corruption and terrorism,” he went on to say.  “We want Iraq part of the solution to any international and regional problem,” he added. Iraq is committed to international law and respects all United Nations resolutions.  That is why Baghdad rejects any interference in its internal affairs “regardless of the excuse”.  He stressed that “Iraq will not be a launching point of aggression against any other State.”  To its neighbours, his country extends the hand of friendship.  “We hope to achieve regional integration.”  Iraq’s place in the field of international cooperation must be bolstered.

On the holding of local elections, after a 10-year hiatus, he said the Federal Government is working with the region of Kurdistan and all other regions of Iraq on “equal footing”.  Turning to climate change, he noted that “the land of Mesopotamia” is suffering from a drought, also cautioning:  “The cradle of civilization must not be allowed to die of thirst.” Iraq is working on exerting more efforts between relevant regional States to form a negotiating bloc and to manage cross-border water resources.  He stressed the need to mobilize international efforts to ensure the sustainability of water sources.  On a national level, Iraq has taken steps to lower emissions and combat pollution.  However, institutions are needed to deal with mounting climate challenges.

Further, he underscored Iraq’s “intensifying” efforts in combating drugs and any related activities.  “It is no secret that there is a direct relationship between terrorism and drugs,” he said.  Young people constitute 60 per cent of the country’s population.  “They are the best investment,” he continued, underscoring the many programmes that aim to support students and youth so that they can find employment opportunities.  Students and young people must be empowered with skills that can allow for innovation.  He also recognized the role of women in helping Iraq achieve victory against terrorism. Pledging support to the Palestinian people, he called for an end to the suffering of the Syrian people and stressed that they must be allowed full control of their territory.  “Burning the holy Qur’an is a hate crime,” he went on to say, warning also:  “We, in Iraq, know the bitter taste of religious extremism.”

The prime minister does not plan on the trip to the US being his last tripe of 2023.  Amr Mostafa (THE NATIONAL) reports:

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani will visit Moscow in the next few weeks, according to an Iraqi foreign ministry statement.

Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein made the comments after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Friday.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed the prospects of joint co-operation and relations between the two countries.

In other news, tensions continue to run high following the Iaqi government stripping Cardinal Luis Raphael Sako of his recognition as head of the Catholic Church in Iraq.  FSSPX NEWS notes:


The Patriarch of the Chaldeans, Cardinal Louis Raphaël Sako, gave an interview to Asia News, in which he expressed his astonishment that no one in Rome wanted to defend the Church in Iraq after the head of state withdrew his official recognition as patriarch.

The patriarch sees this non-recognition as “a project that aims to silence the voice of the Church and my person. In these 10 years as patriarch, … I have tried to protect Christians and I never wanted to justify the formation of a so-called ‘Christian’ militia.”

“I rejected all of this, hence the purpose of revenge on the part of a faction [Editor's note: Rayan al-Kildani’s Babylonian Brigades] that has an ulterior motive: to push Christians to leave, to make them emigrate in order to take possession of their homes, goods, property.… A sectarian mentality prevails in the country where people fight to have more power, visibility, and earn more money. There is no will to build a state based on law and justice, but confusion and anarchy prevail.”

This confusion manifests itself in the functions and attributes of the highest institutions, explains Cardinal Sako: “The President of the Republic does not have the power to withdraw decrees issued in the past, he can issue them but he certainly cannot cancel them arbitrarily. Moreover, he  goes against a centuries-old tradition, dating back to the Abbasid Caliphate, then the Ottoman Empire, and finally the Republic.”

“In one second, the head of state wanted to erase 14 centuries of history and tradition, but I am not afraid and I have nothing to lose... maybe my life, but I am ready for that too. All this is being done to intimidate the Christians, to make them leave the country, and that is why I encourage them again, and more strongly, to stay and hope!”

And let's note this Tweet from Paul Rudnick.

The following sites updated:

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    New Issue of The Black Commentator - Sept 21, 2023 - Issue 970

     The Black Commentator Issue #970 is now Online

    Sept 21, 2023

    Read issue 970

    Our email address is

    Our voicemail number is 856.823.1739

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    Congressman Robert Garcia Introduces the VISIONS Act to Prohibit the Use of Federal Funds to Prosecute Legal Psilocybin (Magic Mushroom) Usage


    Congressman Robert Garcia Introduces the VISIONS Act to Prohibit the Use of Federal Funds to Prosecute Legal Psilocybin (Magic Mushroom) Usage

    September 21, 2023

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Robert Garcia (CA-42) introduced the Validating Independence for State Initiatives on Organic Natural Substances Act of 2023” (VISIONS Act), which protects legal psilocybin/mushroom use from federal law enforcement intervention in any state or locality where psilocybin is legally permitted. Psilocybin treatment is currently legal in Colorado and Oregon, with a bill pending in California to decriminalize personal possession statewide. 

    “Current federal law lags behind the growing body of evidence that suggests that the psychedelic treatment that psilocybin offers can provide relief for those suffering from anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. Here in the U.S. we have countless military and law enforcement veterans who have seen their lives improve thanks to these groundbreaking treatments.” said Congressman Garcia. “The potential benefits of psilocybin have been overlooked for years and my aim is to protect the areas and states that want to delve into the real progress this treatment can offer for people in their communities.”

    “For too long, the federal government has perpetuated a broken system that has denied patients access to the therapeutic potential of psilocybin,” said Congressman Blumenauer. “It is time for the federal government to get out of the way of states like Oregon who are making progress.”

    Currently, federal law contradicts with many state and local laws regarding psilocybin, which can impose federal barriers to research, usage, distribution, possession, and cultivation of these drugs, despite numerous therapeutic uses. The full text of the bill can be found here.

    As former Mayor of Long Beach, Congressman Garcia spearheaded efforts to legalize and tax cannabis while advocating for increased access to quality, affordable health care. This bill capitalizes on former efforts to bridge the gap between mental health care access, drug policy, and social equity.


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    Reps. Takano, Jacobs, and Sen. Blumenthal Reintroduce Legislation to Create Commission on LGBTQ Servicemembers, Veterans, and Members of the Uniformed Services


    Reps. Takano, Jacobs, and Sen. Blumenthal Reintroduce Legislation to Create Commission on LGBTQ Servicemembers, Veterans, and Members of the Uniformed Services

    Washington, D.C. – Today, on the 12th anniversary of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Representative Mark Takano (CA-39), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and Co-Chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus, Representative Sara Jacobs (CA-51), and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) reintroduced the Commission?on Equity and Reconciliation in the Uniformed Services Act, a bill establishing a commission to investigate the historic and ongoing impacts of discriminatory military policies on LGBTQ servicemembers and veterans.

    Approximately 114,000 servicemembers were discharged on the basis of their sexual orientation between WWII and 2011, while an estimated 870,000 LGBTQ servicemembers have been impacted by hostility, harassment, assault, and law enforcement targeting due to the military policies in place.Still today, many veterans who were discharged on discriminatory grounds are unable to access their benefits, and those still serving face inconsistent protections that make them vulnerable to harassment and put their careers at risk.

    “For decades, Americans made impossible choices of hiding their identity in order to serve our country,” said Representative Mark Takano. “We are reintroducing this legislation on the anniversary of the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ – a reminder that the wounds of our nation’s history of discrimination against LGBTQ people are still fresh and require remedy. This commission would study the impact of these bigoted rules and forge a more welcoming future in the military and at VA.”

    “No one should face discrimination, harassment, professional setbacks or violence because of their identity – but that’s been the reality for too many LGBTQ+ service members and veterans,” said Representative Sara Jacobs. “Our country has never made amends for official discriminatory policies like ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and the transgender military ban – and that failure still haunts today’s service members and veterans. That’s why I’m so proud to co-lead this bicameral legislation that will right these historic wrongs, investigate the past and present impact of anti-LGBTQ+ policies, and help us move forward to build and sustain a diverse, inclusive, strong, and welcoming military.”

    “For too long, LGBTQ+ servicemembers have been the target of discriminatory policies– resulting in harassment, involuntary discharge, and unreasonable barriers preventing them from accessing their rightly-earned benefits,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal. “This commission would be an important step to understand the full scope of the harms caused by policies like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and to ensure a more equitable future for all who serve our country in uniform.”

    There are 10 original cosponsors of the bill in the House, with Senator Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-WA)co-sponsoring in the Senate.

    There are currently 250,000 active-duty LGBTQ servicemembers and over 1.5 million LGBTQ veterans receiving healthcare from VA, but there continues to be a pervasive lack of data collection on LGBTQ servicemember and veteran populations and an absence of education on the LGBTQ community who serve in uniform. 

    It should not be so difficult for all servicemembers to abide by the uncompromising code of integrity to themselves, their families, and their units when they join the United States Uniformed Services. We must fulfill our promise to honor and respect those who have served by removing the barriers between them and the benefits they have earned through their service, regardless of who they love or how they identify. 

    This legislation is supported by the Modern Military Association of America, Equality California, Minority Veterans of America, Paralyzed Veterans of America, The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Human Rights Campaign, and San Diego Pride-Military Department. View statements from endorsing organizations here

    A one-pager on the bill can be found here. Bill text can be found here.  


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    As Bullying on Campus Remains Widespread—Particularly for LGBTQ+ Students—Murray, Baldwin, Pocan Renew Push to Pass Anti-Harassment Legislation


    As Bullying on Campus Remains Widespread—Particularly for LGBTQ+ Students—Murray, Baldwin, Pocan Renew Push to Pass Anti-Harassment Legislation

    On anniversary of Tyler Clementi’s 2010 death, lawmakers renew effort to pass the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act

    Legislation would finally require colleges and universities to establish policies to prohibit harassment and cyberbulling—including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity

    Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI-02), introduced the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act of 2023 to help prevent bullying and harassment at colleges and universities around the country. The bill would finally require colleges and universities receiving federal support to establish anti-harassment policies to prohibit harassment based on actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or religion, and it would require schools to recognize “cyberbullying” as a form of harassment.

    Today marks the anniversary of the death of Tyler Clementi, a freshman at Rutgers University, who tragically lost his life to suicide in 2010 after his roommate and another student invaded his privacy and harassed him over his sexual orientation.

    “Every student deserves a safe and supportive learning environment—but bullying and harassment on college campuses remains widespread, especially for LGBTQ+ students, and federal law doesn’t currently require schools to adopt comprehensive anti-harassment policies,” said Senator Murray. “Establishing strong anti-harassment policies will help make sure every student can pursue a higher education free from bullying and discrimination. I’m proud to honor Tyler Clementi’s life by renewing our push to pass this critical legislation.”

    “No one should live in fear of being bullied just because of who they are, especially in our schools,” said Senator Baldwin. “In the face of increased harassment and discrimination, particularly against members of the LGBTQ+ community, our legislation makes crystal clear that kind of hate has no place on our college campuses or universities. All students deserve to have the freedom to succeed in a safe and healthy place and pursue their dreams, free of discrimination.”

    “No one should be bullied or harassed because of who they are or who they love,” said Representative Pocan. “Today we honor Tyler’s life by reintroducing the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act to ensure that students can learn in peace and not have to worry about living in fear or humiliation for being themselves.”

    Students across the country continue to face widespread bullying and harassment on college campuses, and LGBTQ+ students are nearly twice as likely to experience harassment in higher education. A report published last year found that one-third of LGBTQ+ students at four-year colleges were bullied, harassed, or assaulted, and 19% of their non-LGBTQ+ peers were similarly mistreated. This widespread harassment has detrimental effects on student’s wellbeing and educational opportunities. The same 2022 report found that 35% of LGBTQ+ students said their mental health was not good all or most of the time they were in college, and LGBTQ+ youth continue to experience a significantly higher risk of suicide—with 45% of LGBTQ youth seriously considering attempting suicide in the last year.

    The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act would help protect students from campus bullying and harassment and address this widespread issue by:

    1. Requiring all colleges and universities receiving federal aid to prohibit the harassment of enrolled students based on their actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or religion;
    2. Requiring schools to distribute their anti-harassment policy to all students and employees, including prospective students and employees, upon request.
    3. Requiring schools to recognize “cyberbullying” as a form of harassment; and
    4. Creating a grant program to help colleges and universities start or expand programs to prevent harassment and provide counseling services to students who have experienced harassment.

    “We are grateful to all those who keep working to improve school environments by making them kinder, safer, and more inclusive than what Tyler experienced while attending an institution of higher education,” said Jane Clementi, Tyler Clementi’s mother and Co-Founder and CEO of the Tyler Clementi Foundation. “Special thanks to Congressman Pocan and Senators Murray and Baldwin for reintroducing the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act. We fully support this legislation because we believe all institutions of higher education should have policies to keep all their students safe. After all, every student deserves a positive educational experience free of harassment, bullying or humiliation in an inclusive learning environment where they can study, grow, and thrive regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or whatever else makes them special and precious; and every parent should have peace of mind that their children will be protected and free of harm while in the school’s care.”

    “College is hard enough without the added layer of harassment and cyberbullying that so many LGBTQ+ students experience,” said Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson. “The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act would set the tone that harassment on campus is not going to be tolerated, and it would provide a layer of protection for vulnerable students, including LGBTQ+ students. We thank Senators Patty Murray and Tammy Baldwin and Congressman Mark Pocan for introducing this important piece of legislation.”

    “Harassment and bullying are far too common on college campuses, which is why the National Women’s Law Center strongly supports this legislation to help ensure that all students feel safe at their college or university,” said Shiwali Patel, Director of Justice for Student Survivors & Senior Counsel at the National Women’s Law Center. “It is long past time that institutions of higher learning have the resources that they need to root out this awful discrimination, and I am grateful to Senator Murray, Senator Baldwin, and Representative Pocan for their leadership in reintroducing this important bill.”

    26 Senators joined Senators Murray and Baldwin in introducing the legislation today, including: Senators Blumenthal, Booker, Brown, Cardin, Casey, Duckworth, Feinstein, Fetterman, Gillibrand, Hassan, Hirono, Kaine, Klobuchar, Luján, Markey, Menendez, Merkley, Padilla, Sanders, Schatz, Shaheen, Smith, Van Hollen, Warren, Whitehouse, and Wyden. 

    41 Representatives joined Representative Pocan in introducing the legislation today, including: Representatives Bonamici, Brownley, Carbajal, Casten, Castor, Davids, Danny Davis, DelBene, Doggett, Espaillat, Garamendi, Keating, Khanna, Kilmer, Kuster, Summer Lee, McCollum, Meng, Moore, Morelle, Moulton, Nadler, Panetta, Pappas, Peters, Pingree, Quigley, Raskin, Sánchez, Scanlon, Schakowsky, Schiff, Sherrill, Adam Smith, Stansbury, Swalwell, Takano, Tonko, Ritchie Torres, Wasserman Schultz, and Watson Coleman. 

    The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act of 2023 is endorsed by: the Tyler Clementi Foundation, the American College Health Association, the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, GLSEN, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), and The Trevor Project.

    A one-pager on the legislation is available HERE. Legislative text is available HERE.


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    Whitehouse, Hirono, Feinstein, Warren File Amicus Brief Calling Out Koch-Backed Effort to Concentrate Power in the Hands of Right-Wing Justices


    Whitehouse, Hirono, Feinstein, Warren File Amicus Brief Calling Out Koch-Backed Effort to Concentrate Power in the Hands of Right-Wing Justices

    Loper plaintiffs and fossil-fuel-funded amici seek to tear down administrative state. Brief urges the Supreme Court to affirm D.C. Circuit and reject ‘decades-long effort by pro-corporate interests to eviscerate the federal government’s regulatory apparatus, to the detriment of the American people.’ New ProPublica report details Koch effort to bring Loper case while seeming to court Justice Thomas.

    Washington, DC – Yesterday, Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) filed an amicus curiae —or “friend of the court”—brief in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, the Supreme Court case that asks the Court to overrule decades of settled precedent to curtail federal administrative agency authority at the behest of big corporate special interests.  Counsel of record for the senators is University of California, Berkeley School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky.

    In their brief, the senators defend the Court’s long-established Chevron deference framework at stake in Loper as an important policymaking tool for the executive and legislative branches of government.  Overturning Chevron is likely to tilt the balance of power toward the unaccountable judicial branch at the expense of the democratically-chosen legislative and executive branches. 

    “Eliminating Chevron deference would not just conflict with Congress’s well-established policymaking desires; it would erode the separation of powers by shifting policymaking power from Congress and the executive to the unaccountable judiciary,” wrote the senators.  “Even if it were true that there is not adequate accountability in administrative agencies, the answer to that is hardly to remove that authority to even-less-accountable courts, or to a Congress that would be so practically overwhelmed as to render accountability meaningless.”

    In Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, the Court established a framework that requires federal courts to defer to a federal executive agency’s reasonable interpretation of broad policy statutes that are passed by Congress.  This long-running framework allows an agency’s scientists or experts, well-versed in the technical aspects of technical regulatory decisions, to implement policy guided by Congressional intent.  The senators’ brief finds that the petitioners in Loper who ask the Court to overrule the Chevron framework are participating in an industry-driven campaign to dismantle the administrative state and boost corporate profits. 

    “The American regulatory system is a massive value to the American people.  However, certain regulated industries resent the constraints these regulations place upon them,” wrote the senators.  “These industries have spent billions to undo these constraints, through massive public-relations operations, the purchasing of political capital through campaign-finance spending, and cases such as this one—seeded through years of industry spending and buoyed by flotillas of industry amici.”

    An array of fossil-fuel-funded amici have filed in Loper, including The Buckeye Institute, Cato Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Landmark Legal Foundation, Mountain States Legal Foundation, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, New Civil Liberties Alliance, and Pacific Legal Foundation.  Each of these filers received hundreds of thousands, and in some cases millions, of dollars of donations from far-right family foundations, right-wing dark money groups, and fossil fuel corporations who have also funded climate denial operations.  The brief cautions the Court to “be wary of these groups’ industry-driven narratives.”

    “The assault in this case on the regulatory system is not an isolated effort.  For years, regulated interests have funded a full-scale campaign to delegitimize and dismantle federal regulations,” wrote the senators.  “The Court should proceed cautiously before contributing to their sought-for degradation of our American regulatory system.”

    One of the biggest funders of this industry-funded operation is the Koch political network.  Earlier today, ProPublica reported that Justice Clarence Thomas has “served as a fundraising draw” at Koch events, including at a “top-tier” dinner for Koch donors.  ProPublica reported that these appearances were “part of a yearslong, personal relationship with the Koch brothers that has remained almost entirely out of public view.”  The senators’ brief documents multiple amici in Loper that have “received substantial funding from the Koch family foundations.”

    The senators also point out the excessive disruption of the law on agency power over the last two years has helped polluters and other regulated industries avoid accountability for harms they inflict to public health and safety.  The Court’s decision in West Virginia v. EPA established the “major questions” doctrine, which gives federal judges unprecedented leeway to overturn agency actions that the judge finds to have “vast ‘economic and political significance.’”  Whitehouse, Warren, and Chemerinsky filed an amicus brief in that case alongside Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) that pointed out a similar industry-organized campaign in that case. 

    The senators believe that if the Court rules again in favor of the big special interests aiming to overrule Chevron, the Court would further open the floodgates to corporate and judicial supremacy in our political system.

    “Reliance interests, stare decisis, and judicial moderation all counsel against further eroding bedrock principles of administrative law and the American regulatory system,” concluded the senators.  “The American regulatory system has served well to protect the public health, safety, and welfare under the scrutiny of all three branches of government. Few other than polluters would benefit from further damage.”

    Erwin Chemerinsky is counsel of record for the senators on the brief.  He is the Dean and the Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor at Berkeley Law, and the author of sixteen books, including leading casebooks and treatises about constitutional law, criminal procedure, and federal jurisdiction. 

    Full text of the brief is available here.


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    Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson’s Meeting with Prime Minister of Iraq Mohammed Shiaa al-Sudani

    The US Treasury Dept issued the following this week:

    READOUT: Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson’s Meeting with Prime Minister of Iraq Mohammed Shiaa al-Sudani

    NEW YORK – On September 18, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shiaa al-Sudani on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, NY.  The U.S. Treasury has been working closely with the Government of Iraq as they seek to implement meaningful reforms to strengthen the Iraqi financial sector against fraud, sanctions evasion, terrorist financing, and other illicit activities. Under Secretary Nelson acknowledged the significant progress Iraq has made in their efforts. Prime Minister al-Sudani and Under Secretary Nelson agreed to continue their close, regular dialogue as Iraq moves forward with its work to ensure its long-term economic growth and prosperity.  The meeting followed Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes Elizabeth Rosenberg’s trip to Iraq last week, where she also met with the Prime Minister.



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    U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, His Wife, And Three New Jersey Businessmen Charged With Bribery Offenses

    U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, His Wife, And Three New Jersey Businessmen Charged With Bribery Offenses

    For Immediate Release
    U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

    Robert Menendez Allegedly Agreed to Use His Official Position to Benefit Wael Hana, Jose Uribe, Fred Daibes, and the Government of Egypt in Exchange for Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars of Bribes to Menendez and His Wife Nadine Menendez, Which Included Gold Bars, Cash, and a Luxury Convertible  

    Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and James Smith, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced that an Indictment was unsealed this morning charging U.S. Senator ROBERT MENENDEZ, his wife NADINE MENENDEZ, a/k/a “Nadine Arslanian,” and three New Jersey businessmen, WAEL HANA, a/k/a “Will Hana,” JOSE URIBE, and FRED DAIBES, with participating in a years-long bribery scheme.  The Indictment alleges that MENENDEZ and his wife, NADINE MENENDEZ, accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes from HANA, URIBE, and DAIBES in exchange for MENENDEZ’s agreement to use his official position to protect and enrich them and to benefit the Government of Egypt.  Among other things, MENENDEZ agreed and sought to pressure a senior official at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in an effort to protect a business monopoly granted to HANA by Egypt, disrupt a criminal case undertaken by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office related to associates of URIBE, and disrupt a federal criminal prosecution brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey against DAIBES.  MENENDEZ, NADINE MENENDEZ, HANA, URIBE, and DAIBES are expected to appear in federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, at 10:30 a.m.  The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein. 

    U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As the grand jury charged, between 2018 and 2022, Senator Menendez and his wife engaged in a corrupt relationship with Wael Hana, Jose Uribe, and Fred Daibes – three New Jersey businessmen who collectively paid hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes, including cash, gold, a Mercedes Benz, and other things of value – in exchange for Senator Menendez agreeing to use his power and influence to protect and enrich those businessmen and to benefit the Government of Egypt.  My Office is firmly committed to rooting out corruption, without fear or favor, and without any regard to partisan politics.  We will continue to do so.”

    FBI Assistant Director in Charge James Smith said: “The FBI has made investigating public corruption a top priority since our founding — nothing has changed.  The alleged conduct in this conspiracy damages the public’s faith in our system of government and brings undue scorn to the honest and dedicated public servants who carry out their duties on a daily basis.  To those inclined to use the status of their public office for personal benefit, or those willing to provide bribes in an attempt to gain influence from a public official, the FBI will ensure that you face the consequences in the criminal justice system for your underhanded dealings.”

    According to the allegations in the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:[1]

    ROBERT MENENDEZ is the senior U.S. Senator from New Jersey and currently the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (“SFRC”).  NADINE MENENDEZ began dating MENENDEZ in February 2018, they became engaged in October 2019, and they married in October 2020.  Shortly after they began dating in 2018, NADINE MENENDEZ introduced MENENDEZ to her long-time friend WAEL HANA, who is originally from Egypt, lived in New Jersey, and maintained close connections with Egyptian officials.  HANA was also business associates with FRED DAIBES, a New Jersey real estate developer and long-time donor to MENENDEZ, and JOSE URIBE, who worked in the New Jersey insurance and trucking business.

    Between 2018 and 2022, MENENDEZ and NADINE MENENDEZ agreed to and did accept hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of bribes from HANA, DAIBES, and URIBE.  These bribes included gold, cash, a luxury convertible, payments toward NADINE MENENDEZ’s home mortgage, compensation for a low-or-no-show job for NADINE MENENDEZ, home furnishings, and other things of value.  In June 2022, the FBI executed a search warrant at the New Jersey home of MENENDEZ and NADINE MENENDEZ.  During that search, the FBI found many of the fruits of this bribery scheme, including cash, gold, the luxury convertible, and home furnishings.  Over $480,000 in cash — much of it stuffed into envelopes and hidden in clothing, closets, and a safe — was discovered in the home, as well as over $70,000 in cash in NADINE MENENDEZ’s safe deposit box, which was also searched pursuant to a separate search warrant.  Some of the envelopes contained the fingerprints and/or DNA of DAIBES or his driver.  Other of the envelopes were found inside jackets bearing MENENDEZ’s name and hanging in his closet, as depicted below.       

    Picture of jacket bearing Menendez’s name with money on top of it
    Picture of jacket bearing Menendez’s name with money on top of it

    During this same search, agents also found home furnishings provided by HANA and DAIBES, the luxury vehicle paid for by URIBE parked in the garage, as well as over one hundred thousand dollars’ worth of gold bars in the home, which were provided by either HANA or DAIBES.  Two of the gold bars DAIBES provided are depicted in the photographs below.

    Picture of gold bar
    Picture of gold bar

    In exchange for these and other things of value, MENENDEZ agreed to use his power and influence as a Senator to seek to protect HANA, URIBE, and DAIBES’s interests and to benefit the Government of Egypt.  Through this corrupt relationship, MENENDEZ agreed to take a series of official acts and breaches of his official duty.  First, MENENDEZ took actions to benefit the Government of Egypt and HANA, including by improperly pressuring an official at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) to seek to protect a business monopoly granted to HANA by Egypt.  Second, MENENDEZ took actions seeking to disrupt a criminal investigation undertaken by the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General (“NJAG”) related to URIBE and his associates.  Third, MENENDEZ recommended that the President nominate a U.S. Attorney who MENENDEZ believed he could influence with respect to DAIBES and sought to disrupt a federal criminal prosecution undertaken by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey (“USAO-DNJ”) of DAIBES.

    Promised Actions to Benefit Egypt and Pressure the USDA

    Shortly after she began dating MENENDEZ in 2018, NADINE MENENDEZ worked with HANA to introduce Egyptian intelligence and military officials to MENENDEZ.  Those introductions helped establish a corrupt agreement in which HANA, with assistance from DAIBES and URIBE, provided bribes to MENENDEZ and NADINE MENENDEZ in exchange for MENENDEZ’s actions to benefit Egypt and HANA, among others. 

    As part of the scheme, MENENDEZ provided sensitive, non-public U.S. government information to Egyptian officials and otherwise took steps to secretly aid the Government of Egypt.  For example, in or about May 2018, MENENDEZ provided Egyptian officials with non-public information regarding the number and nationality of persons serving at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt.  Although this information was not classified, it was deemed highly sensitive because it could pose significant operational security concerns if disclosed to a foreign government or made public.  Without telling his professional staff or the State Department that he was doing so, on or about May 7, 2018, MENENDEZ texted that sensitive, non-public embassy information to his then-girlfriend NADINE MENENDEZ, who forwarded the message to HANA, who forwarded it to an Egyptian government official.  Later that same month, MENENDEZ ghost-wrote a letter on behalf of Egypt to other U.S. Senators advocating for them to release a hold on $300 million in aid to Egypt.  MENENDEZ sent this ghost-written letter to NADINE MENENDEZ, who forwarded it to HANA, who sent it to Egyptian officials. 

    At various times between 2018 and 2022, MENENDEZ also conveyed to Egyptian officials, through NADINE MENENDEZ, HANA, and/or DAIBES, that he would approve or remove holds on foreign military financing and sales of military equipment to Egypt in connection with his leadership role on the SFRC.  For example, in or about July 2018, following meetings between MENENDEZ and Egyptian officials, which were arranged and attended by NADINE MENENDEZ and HANA, MENENDEZ texted NADINE MENENDEZ that she should tell HANA that MENENDEZ was going to sign off on a multimillion-dollar weapons sale to Egypt.  NADINE MENENDEZ forwarded this text to HANA, who forwarded it to two Egyptian officials, one of whom replied with a “thumbs up” emoji.  MENENDEZ made similar communications over the ensuing years.  For example, in January 2022, MENENDEZ sent NADINE MENENDEZ a link to a news article reporting on two pending foreign military sales to Egypt totaling approximately $2.5 billion.  NADINE MENENDEZ forwarded this link to HANA, writing, “Bob had to sign off on this.”

    In exchange for MENENDEZ’s agreement to take these and other actions, HANA promised NADINE MENENDEZ payments, including from IS EG Halal Certified, Inc. (“IS EG Halal”), a New Jersey company that HANA operated with financial support and backing from DAIBES.  However, IS EG Halal had little to no revenue until the spring of 2019, when the Government of Egypt granted IS EG Halal a monopoly on the certification of U.S. food exports to Egypt as compliant with halal standards, despite the fact that neither HANA nor his company had experience with halal certification.  The monopoly generated revenue for HANA, through which he paid NADINE MENENDEZ as promised.   

    Because the monopoly resulted in increased costs for U.S. meat suppliers, in or about April and May 2019, the USDA contacted the Government of Egypt and sought reconsideration of its grant of monopoly rights to IS EG Halal.  After being briefed on the USDA’s objections to IS EG Halal’s monopoly by HANA and NADINE MENENDEZ, on May 23, 2019, MENENDEZ called a high-level USDA official (“Official-1”) and insisted that the USDA stop opposing IS EG Halal’s status as sole halal certifier.  When Official-1 attempted to explain why the monopoly was detrimental to U.S. interests, MENENDEZ reiterated his demand that the USDA stop interfering with IS EG Halal’s monopoly.  Official-1 did not accede to MENENDEZ’s demand, but IS EG Halal nevertheless kept its monopoly.

    After financially benefitting from IS EG Halal’s monopoly, HANA, at times with the assistance of DAIBES and URIBE, provided payments and other things of value in furtherance of the scheme.  For example, in or about July 2019, after the mortgage company for the residence of NADINE MENENDEZ initiated foreclosure proceedings, HANA caused IS EG Halal to pay approximately $23,000 to bring the mortgage current.  HANA did so after a series of discussions with NADINE MENENDEZ, as well as URIBE and DAIBES, about various options for bringing the mortgage current.  Later in 2019, HANA and DAIBES caused IS EG Halal to issue three $10,000 checks to NADINE MENENDEZ for a low-or-no-show job.  As the scheme continued, including through the additional actions described below, MENENDEZ and NADINE MENENDEZ received additional bribes, including gold and cash.

    Promised Actions Seeking to Disrupt the NJAG Criminal Case

    Also in 2019, HANA and URIBE offered to help buy a new Mercedes-Benz C-300 convertible worth more than $60,000 for MENENDEZ and NADINE MENENDEZ.  In exchange, MENENDEZ agreed and sought to interfere in the NJAG’s criminal insurance fraud prosecution of an associate of URIBE and a related investigation involving an employee of URIBE.  On multiple occasions in 2019, URIBE, HANA, and/or NADINE MENENDEZ briefed MENENDEZ regarding the NJAG’s insurance fraud prosecution and investigation.  Following those briefings, and in exchange for the promise of the luxury convertible, MENENDEZ contacted a senior state prosecutor at the NJAG’s Office who supervised the prosecution and investigation (“Official-2”) at least twice.  During those communications, MENENDEZ attempted to pressure Official-2 to resolve the prosecution more favorably to the defendant.  Official-2 considered MENENDEZ’s actions inappropriate and did not agree to intervene.  Nevertheless, the prosecution was ultimately resolved with a plea allowing for no jail time and the investigation never resulted in any charges against URIBE’s employee. 

    In exchange for MENENDEZ’s actions, URIBE provided NADINE MENENDEZ with $15,000 cash for the down payment on the luxury convertible in April 2019.  After the purchase was complete, NADINE MENENDEZ messaged MENENDEZ, “Congratulations mon amour de la vie, we are the proud owners of a 2019 Mercedes.❤️” and texted MENENDEZ the below photograph of the convertible:

    Picture of Mercedes-Benz convertible

    Thereafter, URIBE made monthly payments to Mercedes-Benz for the convertible between 2019 and June 2022.  URIBE only stopped making those monthly payments after the FBI approached MENENDEZ, NADINE MENENDEZ, and URIBE in connection with this investigation.

    Promised Actions Seeking to Disrupt the USAO-DNJ Criminal Case

    In October 2018, the USAO-DNJ charged DAIBES with federal criminal charges for obtaining loans under false pretenses from a New Jersey-based bank he founded.  Between December 2020 and 2022, MENENDEZ agreed to attempt to influence the pending federal prosecution of DAIBES in exchange for cash, furniture, and gold bars that DAIBES provided to MENENDEZ and NADINE MENDENDEZ.  In furtherance of this aspect of the scheme, MENENDEZ recommended that the President nominate an individual (“Official-3”) as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey who MENENDEZ believed he could influence with respect to DAIBES’s case.  MENENDEZ also had direct and indirect contact with both Official-3 and another high-ranking official at the USAO-DNJ (“Official-4”) in an attempt to influence the outcome of DAIBES’s case.

    Official-3 and Official-4 did not pass on to the USAO-DNJ prosecution team handling the DAIBES prosecution the fact that MENENDEZ had contacted them, and they did not treat the case any differently as a result of MENENDEZ’s actions.  DAIBES’s case was ultimately resolved with a plea agreement that provided for a probationary sentence.  In exchange for MENENDEZ’s participation in the bribery scheme, DAIBES provided MENENDEZ and NADINE MENENDEZ with multiple things of value, including the two one-kilogram gold bars pictured below.

    Picture of gold bars

    *                *                *

    ROBERT MENENDEZ, 69, of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and one count of conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

    NADINE MENENDEZ, 56, of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and one count of conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

    WAEL HANA, 40, formerly of Edgewater, New Jersey, and originally of Egypt, JOSE URIBE, 56, of Clifton, New Jersey, and FRED DAIBES, 66, of Edgewater, New Jersey, are all charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, and one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

    The statutory maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants would be determined by a judge.

    Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI.  Mr. Williams thanked the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation for its invaluable assistance on the investigation.

    This case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eli J. Mark, Paul Monteleoni, Lara Pomerantz, and Daniel C. Richenthal are in charge of the prosecution.

    The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

    This investigation remains ongoing.  If you have information regarding the charges or defendants in the Indictment, please contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI and reference this case.

    [1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment and the description of the Indictment set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.


    Nicholas Biase
    (212) 637-2600

    Updated September 22, 2023


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    Iraq snapshot

    Friday, September 22, 2023.  Shia al-Sudani uses his US visit to meet with many, Rupert Murdoch heads off for his coffin as the sun rises, Ronald DeSantis drops further in the polls and much more.

    Iraq's Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani came to the United States this week to address the United Nations' General Assembly.  He's also met with numerous politicians and world leaders as well as business leaders and journalists.  Late yesterday, the White House issued the following statement:


    Deputy Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk and Deputy Assistant and Senior Advisor to the President for Energy and Investment Amos Hochstein met last night with Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani of Iraq to confirm the strong U.S. partnership with Iraq as outlined in the Strategic Framework Agreement between the two countries. The United States took special note of Prime Minister Sudani’s leadership moving Iraq’s policy towards strengthening its own energy security, including with electricity grid connections to Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, as well as major energy deals with western firms to capture flared gas in southern Iraq for domestic use and future export. Hochstein and McGurk also welcomed recent agreements between the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government regarding monthly budget allocations, and emphasized the urgency of reopening the Iraq-Turkiye Pipeline as soon as possible. On regional matters, McGurk pledged full U.S. support to help finally resolve outstanding maritime boundary issues with Kuwait, particularly in relation to UNSCR 833. Sudani welcomed this support, and reaffirmed Iraq’s longstanding and clear policy recognizing Kuwait’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, all prior bilateral agreements between the two friendly countries, and adherence to international law, including UN Security Council Resolutions.


    In other news, Rupert Murdoch is returning to Bran Castle in Romania.  Paul Rudnick Tweets:

    Rupert Murdoch, the media magnate who built an unmatched global media empire over seven decades from a single newspaper he inherited in his native Australia, announced on Thursday that he would step down.

    "I have been engaged daily with news and ideas, and that will not change," Murdoch wrote in a memo to employees at Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, and the many other properties that make up his two corporations, Fox Corp. and News Corp. "The time is right for me to take on different roles."

    Murdoch's career has been marked by a singular drive for business success, an eagerness to have sway over elections and policies, and the repeated eruption of scandals. Fox News, which he founded in 1996, has played an increasingly prominent role in his profits, his influence, and his crises.

    [. . .]

    Murdoch's Sun tabloid relied on anonymous police sources to blame soccer hooligans for a deadly stampede after a stadium collapse; in fact, the police's own poor disaster response was found to be responsible. News Corp. later paid hundreds of millions of dollars after it came to light that people acting on its behalf had hacked into the mobile phones, voicemails and emails. The Murdochs closed down one of its tabloids, News of the World, and abandoned hope of taking full control of Sky, a major British satellite television outfit in which it held a significant stake.

    In the U.S., Fox News paid nine figures to resolve a growing wave of sexual harassment accusations against then-Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, among others. It later paid millions of dollars to the family of a slain Democratic National Committee staffer whom it baselessly claimed had leaked thousands of party emails that had actually been hacked during the 2016 campaign by the Russian government.

    Yet nothing matched the debacle after the 2020 presidential election.

    Murdoch's role in allowing Fox News stars to embrace discredited claims of fraud in that race came into sharp view during a defamation suit filed against the network and Fox Corp. The company settled for $787.5 million this spring, just before opening arguments in the trial were to begin. Dominion Voting Systems, the plaintiff, planned to make Murdoch one of the first witnesses to testify before the jury.

    Despite Murdoch's contempt for Trump, Fox amplified his baseless claims of having been cheated out of victory. Documents from that legal case show network leaders were desperate to win back viewers angry that Fox News journalists had projected Trump would lose Arizona on Election Night.

    Nothing matched the debacle after the 2020 presidential election? 


    I guess that's true . . . if you write a 920 word column and none of the words are: Iraq War.

    But in the real world, far away from NPR apparently, the Iraq War is the debacle of the 21st century.  As the UK's HEAD TOPICS notes:

    An MSNBC presenter, Mehdi Hasan, linked Mr Murdoch’s influence and Fox’s news agenda to different political events in the past 20 years. He said in a post on X that “some of the worst things we have had to experience in recent years – the Iraq war, the rise of Trump, the Big Election Lie – are all thanks to him and Fox”. headtopics.

    At THE NEW REPUBLIC, in a piece titled "Rupert Murdoch Made The World Worse," Alex Shephard writes:

    The worst thing that you can say about Rupert Murdoch, who resigned from the board of the Fox and News Corporations on Tuesday, is that no one has had a greater influence on the news over the last half-century. Murdoch’s influence is both incalculable and fantastically corrosive. It is impossible to look at all of the most malignant aspects of the current news environment—its pace, its callousness, its rancor—without seeing his impact. It is also a fully baked cake. Murdoch may be exiting the scene, but there is no undoing the damage he has done.

    [. . .]

    Much will be made about Fox News, Murdoch’s greatest and most destructive creation. With Roger Ailes, he turned it into a juggernaut and transformed the media. The cable news industry as we know it is, more or less, the invention of Murdoch and Ailes. News had long been packaged as entertainment, but this reached new heights at Fox News. The network itself existed as an answer to long-standing conservative complaints that the media had a “liberal” bias. It portrayed itself as a “fair and balanced” corrective. It was, instead, a new, powerful partisan machine. It worked immaculately.

    Fox News, with Murdoch and Ailes at the helm, transformed news into a massive engine of confirmation bias. It was a safe space for Americans, most of them older and white, to have their fantasies affirmed: Immigrants were pouring into the country, crime was out of control, their way of life was under threat from sources both foreign and domestic. For decades, it pushed conspiracies of every stripe and played a major role in pushing numerous disasters, from the Iraq War to the January 6 insurrection. Pushing conspiracies was and is Fox’s business plan: It exists to tell its viewers that their political opponents are not just their adversaries but represent an existential threat.

    Before Rupert Murdoch began illegally making inroads in the US media (foreign ownership was forbidden when Murdoch began his media empire building in the US and he had not yet become a US citizen -- wouldn't until 1985), his trashy ways were already well known.  COUNTERPUNCH has republished a 1976 piece by the late Alexander Cockburn

    US political races?  So ABC NEWS is the one who let Ronald DeSantis lie this week.  Is that the deal?  He does a sit down interview with you and you agree to let him lie?  From ABC NEWS' report on Linsey Davis' interview with him:

    "For example, I served in Iraq back in the day. al-Qaida didn't wear uniforms. You know, the typical Arab male would have had the man dress on. You didn't know if they had a bomb strapped to them or not. They carry around the AK-47s, normal civilians would, so you couldn't even say if they had," he said.

    You were a member of JAG.  You were a well protected attorney in Iraq.  

    At least he didn't try to lie again about being a Navy Seal.  But he was not in combat.  He was not doing deliveries and driving through hazardous roads and regions as part of his job.  He was in a comfy well protected office.  Green Zone Baby, basically.  

    "The man dress"?  How stupid and insulting is this idiot?

    He most likely means the dishdasha.  He wants to cite his time in Iraq as experience but he can't even identify a dishdasha or a kandora.  He's an idiot.  A short, little fat man who wears that lesbian vest everywhere he goes.  For someone who hates and persecutes LGBTQ+ people, he sure does like to dress like a lesbian in the 80s -- even that awful hairstyle.  I find it hilarious that he calls out drag queens as though he thinks he's the portrait of manly.

    Jeffrey St. Clair (COUNTERPUNCH) notes Ronald's new polling problems:

    + New CNN/UNH poll shows DeSantis in freefall in New Hampshire since the last poll in July.

    Trump: 39% (+2)
    Ramaswamy: 13% (+8)
    Haley: 12% (+7)
    Christie: 11% (+5)
    DeSantis: 10% (-13)
    Scott: 5% (-3)
    Pence: 2% (+1)
    Burgum: 1% (-5)

    Several e-mailed the public account regarding the following Tweets from Glenneth Greenwald.

    One of the conceits the Dem-loyal left tells itself is that the corporate media is deeply hostile to it, because they're so threatening to establishment interests. Meanwhile, I don't think I've ever seen the NYT lavish a book with more endless praise than Naomi Klein's new one.
    The vast majority of media figures who lucratively branded as radical, disruptive, anti-establishment leftists -- by attaching to the Bernie campaign -- is now indistinguishable from MSNBC liberalism. They don't pretend any more, which I guess is good. They're all in on Biden.
    Also, one day someone will have to explain this to me: Those who cheer the same war policy Tom Cotton and Lindsey Graham support are the real left-liberals. Those who oppose the US role in that war are "far-right fascists." These labels are pointless:

    I'm dictating this and the Tweets are being pulled from e-mails by the person I'm dictating too.  Wasn't planning on addressing this or I would have embedded the Tweets before I got on the tread mill.  At any rate . ..

    1) Naomi Klein's book.  I haven't read the reviews.  I did review it here on Saturday "Naomi Klein's DOPPELGANGER" and on Sunday Ava and I did "Books (Ava and C.I.)" (which I think posted Monday at THIRD).  I do recommend the book -- Jim asked, after he read my review, besides the punctuation what did I like about it?  I don't do puff pieces.  It's a good book.  It's worth reading.  If you're a feminist, you'll be disappointed because you will grasp Anais Nin's importance to Otto Rank (as a patient, as a translator, as a practitioner, as a lover).  So if you're mentioning Rank, you really don't know what you're talking about if you're not mentioning Anais.  That's especially true if you're writing of doppelgangers, doubles, twins.  And Anais Nin's entire output in terms of novels is nothing but the twinning.  Freud really doesn't apply to what Naomi Klein's going after.  Now most readers won't be feminists and that's going to sail over them.  I write from my point of view and if I ever have anything to offer that's the only reason why.  So, again, don't do puff pieces -- noted that in Friday's snapshot because people were e-mailing asking me to review the book.  I do tear-downs all the time.  Didn't do a tear-down on Naomi Klein.  If I'd wanted to, I would have.  And I've even got a helpful parenthetical in my review referring anyone who wants to do a negative review of the book.  And, again, if I wanted to do a tear-down, I could have.  

    2) Glenneth hates Naomi.  He's hated her for some time.  This predates his leaving THE INTERCEPT.  In fairness to him, she did come down on the wrong side -- ethically and legally -- when THE INTERCEPT refused to run Glenneth's column about the Hunter Biden laptop.  She slammed him publicly and shouldn't have.  A) One writer to another, she should have stood with him against censorship.  If she couldn't do that, the kind thing to have done was to have said nothing in the immediate aftermath.   Glenneth was an idiot himself.  They violated his contract, so he quit.  He should have sued, that's why you have contracts to begin with.  (I've sometimes made more money from a project I've signed for then one I've completed.)  When I note that's he's not a very smart attorney, that's what I'm talking about.  

    3) Glenneth's bad mouthed Naomi for over a decade so factor that in to any of his Tweets.

    4) Also factor in his stupidity.  THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW is not taking orders from the editorial board of the newspaper.  It and THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE operate with a degree of independence.  NYT BOOK REVIEW is -- and always has been -- rather clannish.  NYT did not rave over Naomi Klein, THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW did.  I'd think clarity would be something an 'attorney' would strive for.

    5) When he Tweets "The vast majority of media figures who lucratively branded as radical, disruptive, anti-establishment leftists -- by attaching to the Bernie campaign -- is now indistinguishable from MSNBC liberalism."  Huh?  He's made that a part of the thread with his Naomi Tweet.  Is she one of the vast majority . . .?  I don't get what he's trying to say or smear her with.  

    Has she presented herself as a radical?  I don't believe she has but I could be wrong.  In terms of Canadian activists, she's pretty much in the mainstream.  (That's not me sneering at her.  I'm not a radical -- I lack the energy.)  Did she attach herself to Bernie's campaign?  If so, that was wrong.  I had originally dictated something on that but we're pulling it because it will be mean towards her and we've said it before so there's no reason to say it again.  There may be at another time but certainly no reason to bring it up while responding to Glenneth's nonsense. I wish she were more and I'm probably harder on her for that reason.  But, objectively, who she is is largely who she self-presents as and I don't believe she's claimed to be a radical.  She's a climate activist mainly.  She's also a mother and I found that section of the book to be the most moving.  

    In terms of her work, she's been far more consistent than Glenneth has.  She's also got consistency that he lacks as he tries to grift her and there or play the trickster when he's influencing (or trying to) an election.  Like back in 2008.  

    Glenneth doesn't like women.  He's too busy rejecting them and anything feminine so that he can look 'like a man.'  Remember, he was closeted to most in college and did everything he could to fit in with straight bullies.  He gets his attitude towards women from them.  If you went through his Tweets and just compiled statistics, you'd realize how unimportant women are to Glenneth. 

    As for the third Tweet?  Just another example of how the supposed attorney lack clarity.  I've been against the proxy war on Ukraine since it started.  When CODESTINK wasn't sure where to come down, I'd already made my position clear.  WSWS are not "far right fascists" and they're also against the proxy war.  There are many more.  But Glenneth creates straw men because he's always been afraid of getting his butt kicked by actual men.  (Which is why I do believe that flash drive contained Glenneth's browser history.)  

    The following sites: