Sen. John Cornyn and 32 other Senate Republicans are demanding special counsel powers for the prosecutor investigating Hunter Biden, warning Attorney General Merrick Garland to take steps needed to avert political meddling on behalf of the president’s son.
“There is no way of knowing the entire scope of the investigation, but evidence seems to be mounting that Hunter Biden committed numerous federal crimes, including, but not limited to, tax fraud, money laundering, and foreign-lobbying violations,” the senators, including both Texans, wrote in a letter released Monday by Cornyn’s office.
Fox News, CNN and other major news outlets reported two months ago that the federal investigation into Hunter Biden’s business activities was at or near a “critical juncture,” with prosecutors weighing the possibility of charges.
The probe began during the Obama era as a tax inquiry, and widened in 2018 during the Trump administration.
The inquiry is led by the US attorney in Delaware, David Weiss, a Trump appointee – one of the few kept on by Biden, in part to avoid any appearance of political meddling.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:
Monday September 19, 2022. The fluff and spin continues while a pilgrimage concludes in Iraq -- Nouri took part in the pilgrimage while Moqtada hid away -- and much more.
Yesterday, Katie Halper spoke with journalists Mish Rahman and Ahmed Twaij about the realities of colonialism (Ahmed's family is from Iraq). The Windrush Scandal was mentioned in the conversation and it's a more recent example of the way the colonialism harms.
Who are the Windrush generation?
The ‘Windrush’ generation are those who arrived in the UK from Caribbean countries between 1948 and 1973. Many took up jobs in the nascent NHS and other sectors affected by Britain’s post-war labour shortage. The name ‘Windrush’ derives from the ‘HMT Empire Windrush’ ship which brought one of the first large groups of Caribbean people to the UK in 1948. As the Caribbean was, at the time, a part of the British commonwealth, those who arrived were automatically British subjects and free to permanently live and work in the UK.
What is the Windrush scandal?
The Windrush scandal began to surface in 2017 after it emerged that hundreds of Commonwealth citizens, many of whom were from the ‘Windrush’ generation, had been wrongly detained, deported and denied legal rights. Guardian journalist Amelia Gentleman investigated and began reporting their experiences. As these shocking stories hit the headlines, Caribbean leaders took the issue up with then-prime minister, Theresa May.
There was widespread shock and outrage at the fact that so many Black Britons had had their lives devastated by Britain’s deeply flawed and discriminatory immigration system.
The injustice isn't over. Join us today to hear how you can fight discriminatory and unfair immigration rules.
Commonwealth citizens were affected by the government’s ‘Hostile Environment’ legislation - a policy announced in 2012 which tasked the NHS, landlords, banks, employers and many others with enforcing immigration controls. It aimed to make the UK unlivable for undocumented migrants and ultimately push them to leave.
Because many of the Windrush generation arrived as children on their parents’ passports, and the Home Office destroyed thousands of landing cards and other records, many lacked the documentation to prove their right to remain in the UK. The Home Office also placed the burden of proof on individuals to prove their residency predated 1973. The Home Office demanded at least one official document from every year they had lived here. Attempting to find documents from decades ago created a huge, and in many cases, impossible burden on people who had done nothing wrong.
Falsely deemed as ‘illegal immigrants’ / ‘undocumented migrants’ they began to lose their access to housing, healthcare, bank accounts and driving licenses. Many were placed in immigration detention, prevented from travelling abroad and threatened with forcible removal, while others were deported to countries they hadn’t seen since they were children.
Their harmful and unjust treatment provoked widespread condemnation of government’s failings on the matter, with calls being made for radical reform of the Home Office and the UK’s immigration policy. In response to these demands, then Home Secretary, Sajid Javid announced in May 2018 that the Home Office would commission a ‘Windrush Lessons Learned Review’.
The scandal is far from over
For those who have been affected by the Windrush scandal, justice has still not been done. There is a huge backlog of cases still to be resolved. The Windrush compensation scheme is a failure - it is complex to navigate, there is a lack of free legal advice, claims take months to process and compensation offers are insultingly small.
And the policies that led to this scandal are still in place. The 'Hostile Environment' - which bars those without the right papers from the safety net we all rely on - hasn't even been suspended for the duration of the Covid-19 outbreak, in spite of repeated calls for it, from those affected by the rules.
The Government promised to find the root causes of the Windrush scandal and learn lessons from it. Wendy Williams, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of the Constabulary, was tasked with carrying out an independent review. We, along with many others including lawyers, immigration advisors, local authorities, employers and charities, submitted evidence into what had happened, and why.
The review was finally published on 19 March 2020 - nearly two years since the scandal hit the headlines. The review makes absolutely clear that the Windrush scandal was not an accident, but the inevitable result of policies designed to make life impossible for those without the right papers.
This, coupled with decades of immigration legislation explicitly aimed at reducing non-white immigration from the Commonwealth, destroyed the lives of many black and minority ethnic British people.
An action plan that is still not delivering
In September 2020, the Home Office published an action plan, which the Home Secretary claimed would ‘deliver for the Windrush generation’ and usher in ‘people-focused policies’ at the department.
In practice, however, the plan lacks substance, is full of evasive language, and wilfully misinterprets recommendations from Wendy Williams' report. There is a failure to address the most important issues - like the hostile environment - head on, and there is a clear determination to maintain the status quo.
A report by the Home Affairs Select Committee, an influential group of MPs, in November 2021, found that only 5.8% of the people who are believed to be eligible for compensation have received a payment. And shockingly, 23 people have now died, never having seen a penny of the compensation they were owed.
And an independent report in March 2022 warns the department is running the risk of another Windrush-style scandal, if it fails to act now to make meaningful change to its culture, systems and policies.
We must continue to fight for justice for the Windrush Generation, and hold the Home Secretary to her promise to 'right the wrongs' which led to this scandal. Read more about the Windrush Lessons Learned Review
We'll come back to THE KATIE HALPER SHOW in a minute, but first, a related story on immigration -- this time dealing with Iraq:
According to a new report published on September 15 by seven humanitarian groups, up to one million displacement-affected Iraqis don't have key civil documents. The lack of such documents hinders their access to public services and increases the risk of poverty and exclusion.
The document Life in the Margins -- published by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), and the International Rescue Committee (IRC), among others -- noted that nearly five years after the declaration of the war's end, access to civil documentation remains strongly limited for displaced families in Iraq.
Internally displaced people (IDPs) who have no access to government offices, families allegedly affiliated to the Islamic State (IS) and families headed by a woman, in particular, face multiple challenges in requesting civil documentation.
Risk of exclusion from services
The organizations stressed that, though progress has been made since 2019 in the release of civil documentation since the number of paperless people has decreased, those still without crucial forms of identification are at constant risk of exclusion from key public services, including access to healthcare and education.
Out of the million internally displaced people and returnees lacking civil documentation in 2022, about half did not possess two fundamental documents and a quarter did not have at least three.
Missing documents included those proving residence, marriage, birth, death and the new Iraqi unified identity card, which is fundamental to get monthly food rations.
Bureaucratic and administrative barriers, shortcomings in the Civil Affairs Directorates (CAD) in releasing documentation and requirements for security clearance over alleged affiliations to the Islamic State are all factors contributing to a complex network of obstacles reported by agencies in preventing vulnerable people from obtaining the documents they need.
A third of the families interviewed in informal sites had members without legal identity papers.
In the informal sites of Bzebez and Kilo 7 in Anbar and in those around Mosul, more than three-fourths of unregistered students interviewed by NRC in 2022 said they were not attending school mainly because they did not have the required documents.
Appeal to provide essential documents
"These households have been relegated to the margins of society without key pieces of civil documentation, which compounds and reinforces other vulnerabilities," said James Munn, country director for NRC in Iraq. "Without your identity papers you can't access services, you can't freely move through checkpoints, and you can't move beyond five years of suffering since the declared end of the conflict."
The humanitarian groups are asking the Iraqi government, the governments of donor countries and leaders of the humanitarian response to commit to helping these people finally obtain the fundamental documents they have a right to possess.
Also noted in the conversation with Katie Halper, the idiots behind the overrated play HAMILTON -- even free on DISNEY+ during the pandemic, it couldn't attract viewers. Earlier this month, Carla Sosenko (NEWSWEEK) explained:
Fans of the Broadway megahit Hamilton love the show for a lot of reasons, including its inherently revolutionary spirit. It is, after all, about the Revolutionary War, and the United States' Founding Fathers. So people were confused yesterday when, after Queen Elizabeth II died, London's West End production of the show tweeted out a fond tribute to the monarch.
"Everyone at Hamilton is deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty The Queen and we offer our sincere condolences to the Royal Family," the verified Hamilton West End Twitter account posted on September 8. "we join together with the people of the United Kingdom and around the world in mourning her loss."
Lin-Manuel Miranda's magnum opus, which won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize and a staggering 11 Tony Awards, is based on author Ron Chernow's 2004 biography, Alexander Hamilton. Miranda's work famously critiques colonialism at every turn, perhaps most notably in its purposeful casting of BIPOC performers—including Miranda himself as Hamilton, Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Phillipa Soo and Jasmine Cephas Jones as the Schuyler sisters, and Christopher Jackson as George Washington—and its feminist themes.
One of its most well-known and pointed numbers, "You'll Be Back," sung by an irate and offended King George III—Jonathan Groff originated the role on Broadway and was nominated for a Tony—portrays a monarch who cannot tolerate America's petulance and quest for independence, and illustrates just how far he'll go to exact revenge on his ungrateful subjects.
George sings to the American revolutionaries, "You'll be back, soon, you'll see/You'll remember you belong to me. You'll be back, time will tell/You'll remember that I served you well. Oceans rise, empires fall/We have seen each other through it all. And when push comes to shove/I will send a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love."
Revolutionary spirit? The spirit of a bunch of spaded show dogs, that's all the people behind HAMILTON are.
Bad Writing Takes Tweets:
Many people have been convinced that they should grieve over the death of a 96-year-old monarch who embodies class oppression and hereditary privilege. Such a mass phenomenon requires explanation.
In Britain above all, the ruling class has attributed extraordinary historical significance to the late queen, designating her as the representative and even “grandmother” of the nation, the embodiment of duty and personal sacrifice who supposedly shared the painful experiences of generations, beginning with World War II. The queen was “a fixed point of grace and civility in the consciousness of nation and Commonwealth,” the Observer editorialises. “The public’s remarkable reaction to the death of Elizabeth II is a corrective to the myth of British decline, to the fantasy that we are irreconcilably divided,” declares the Telegraph.
This is an appeal to confused emotions designed to rally workers behind a myth of national unity and an equally mythical version of the queen, to buttress their own fractured rule in the face of the unprecedented class divisions tearing society apart.
Likewise, the world’s media and politicians have combined to portray this event as one of major import. Elizabeth Windsor served as monarch and head of state in Britain for 70 years. But anyone watching TV or reading a newspaper could be forgiven for thinking she was honorary queen of the world.
Almost 100 presidents and heads of government will be in Westminster Abbey for the one-hour funeral ceremony, including US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden. The list of attendees betrays the imperialist character of the entire affair.
Right-wing political filth including Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe will be honoured guests, while no invite was extended to Russia, Belarus, Myanmar, Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan and other regimes targeted for hostile action by British, US and European imperialism. Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan’s attendance provoked howls of outrage at “appeasement” from within the Tory government and from Labour peers.
It is in pursuit of the shared interests of the imperialist powers that world leaders have lined up behind the British bourgeoisie in its efforts to assign world historic significance to the death of the queen. She has come to symbolise for them what the monarchy has always symbolised in the UK—the representative not of feudalism but of the existing capitalist social order, of inherited wealth and privilege amid vast social inequality, of “stability”, “order”, patriotism and every form of political backwardness.
The assembling of members of mostly long deposed “royal families” from across Europe and around the world is not merely a survival from the past, but proof that “monarchs” still play a political role for the bourgeoisie even in the 21st century.
Millions in the UK have been made a captive audience, with hagiographic media reports, delivered in the necessary solemn tones, forcing the entire country to show their respects whether they like it or not. State-orchestrated intimidation has therefore played an essential role in reinforcing the apparent “national consensus” that the queen’s passing must be mourned by all—exemplified by the arrest of several people protesting peacefully against the institution of monarchy.
There is, in addition, the assiduous manipulation of confused popular sentiment. Among most workers, nostalgia, misplaced empathy, and respect for the queen as an individual are more significant elements than patriotism, nationalism, and support for the monarchy as an institution in shaping identification with the rigamarole surrounding her death.
There is also a definite element of genuine but misdirected grief in a country that has lost over 200,000 loved ones to the pandemic, without any of the official national mourning afforded to Elizabeth Windsor, who died peacefully in her bed from old age. The hundreds of thousands queueing to see her lying in state have passed by the UK’s National COVID Memorial Wall, covered in hand-painted hearts representing lives lost needlessly to COVID-19.
Turning to Iraq . . .
Former prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki took part in the pilgrimage -- one of approximately 21 million Shi'ites who did. Moqtada didn't take part. Moqtada couldn't take part. Sometimes there are people more unpopular and more hated that Nouri. Instead, Moqtada followed the pilgrimage on Twitter.
Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Miss Moqtada Entertains" went up Saturday night. Stan's "Matteo Lane is hilarioue," Wally's "THIS JUST IN! FAT JOKES FROM AMERICA'S PRINCESS!," Betty's "Meghan McCain, you do not have the right to self-harm," Stan's "DO REVENGE, Flabby Viola, Sally Field and THE FLYING NUN" and Mike's "Russell Brand, Chris Hedges" posted earlier as did the following: