Grassley asks Secretary of State Blinken to detail conflicts of interest involving John Kerry
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Iowa GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley is asking the State Department to release additional information detailing the personal finances of President Biden’s special envoy for climate, John Kerry, and any potential conflicts of interest he has between his official duties and private investments.
Grassley sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday asking his department to specify what Kerry is barred from working on due to potential conflicts of interest.
The request follows Axios reporting Friday that Kerry disclosed millions of dollars in income from finance and energy firms.
In Grassley’s letter, the senator said it is “unclear exactly what matters Mr. Kerry has been barred from working on and whether he has received any waivers for specific matters that he would otherwise be recused from.”
Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is asking the department to hand over all emails, memorabilia and documents about all potential conflicts of interest. Grassley gave the department a deadline of May 17 to get him documents.
Among the finances Kerry disclosed were a $5 million salary from Bank of America after his stint in the Obama administration; $382,000 in speaking fees from Deutsche Bank, Waste Management and Cornell University; and $125,000 in consulting fees from The Rise Fund, an investment firm dedicated to renewable and sustainable energy.
US Senators Question Motives of AT&T For Refusing To Renew OAN Contract…Cite AT&T Board Chairman’s Ties To Dominion Voting Machines
Two U.S. Senators, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, have written an official letter to AT&T inquiring into its politically-motivated decision to cut One America News Network (OANN) from DirectTV. Cruz and Lee both press the AT&T Board of Directors for answers regarding the “personal financial” influences that may have swayed the company’s decision.
The decision to not renew its contract with OANN was announced by DirecTV in mid-January. DirecTV, which is primarily run by AT&T, has a contract with OANN that is set to expire in early April.
In response to this major decision, President Trump spoke out at an Arizona rally, saying, “This is horrible. This is a great network. These are great people. I watch it all the time and you really get the truth. And they want to cancel them now because of politics – for purely political reasons. It’s a disgrace what’s going on.”
“I don’t think that people are gonna stand for it,” added Trump.”Maybe what we should do is not use AT&T.”
On Tuesday, Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz submitted a letter to the members of the AT&T Board of Directors, expressing “grave concern for the future of journalism and political discourse in America.”
They then listed six specific facts/concerns regarding the issue:
- One American News Network (“OAN”) is being sued for alleged defamation by Dominion Voting Systems.
- Dominion Voting Systems is owned by Staple Street Capital.
- William Kennard is on the executive board of Staple Street Capital
- William Kennard is also the Chairman of AT&T’s board of directors
- AT&T owns 70% of DirecTV, and controls two seats on DirecTV’s board of directors
- DirecTV has decided not to renew its contract with OANN.
The main concern pointed out by Lee and Cruz is that William Kennard, the Chairman of AT&T’s board of directors and executive board member of Staple Street Capital, is pushing to end its contract with OANN to benefit his personal financial interests.
The Senators then request a response to the following question within 10 business days: “Did any employee or agent of AT&T at any time convey or suggest to any employee or agent of DirecTV an instruction or request not to renew OANN?”
Read the full letter below:
Who Are The Six Worst RINOs In Congress? Here’s The List…
In the latest installment, PF Whalen and Parker Beauregard of The Blue State Conservative discuss the six Congresspersons who best represent the term ‘Republican In Name Only,’ aka the dreaded RINO.
#6: Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)
Parker: This crying traitor doesn’t even deserve that “R” behind his name here. I am not even sure he deserves to be called an American for that matter. The fact he takes an oath to uphold the Constitution is beyond me.
Does anything really need to be said about him? While he has never done much for the conservative, limited-government movement, his breakthrough performance in the aftermath of the FBI-planned insurrection on January 6th put him on the national radar. It won’t easily be forgotten that he cried at the kangaroo-court hearings. Moreover, it shouldn’t be forgotten. What a fraud:
Add to the fact that Kinzinger has gone out of his way at every turn to sell out Donald Trump – serving as one of two “Republicans” on the “bipartisan” House commission – and in more recent times having denounced conservative populist Tucker Carlson and others as Putin lackeys while taking the fake moral high ground that support for Ukraine is unquestionably good, and you have the biggest loser and fakest representative alive. At least AOC and the Squad say what they believe. Kinzinger is just 100% opposed to the Republican and America-first platform and yet runs as one. The good news is he is already not running for reelection; he knows what would happen.
#5: Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
PF: One surefire sign of recognizing a RINO Vs a reliable Republican is how they vote on Supreme Court nominees. Like Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), anytime a SCOTUS vacancy comes about we can count on a vote in favor of conservatives from virtually all the senators in the Republican caucus except for Collins and Murkowski. We saw it with Donald Trump’s nominees Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, where it wasn’t clear how they would vote until shortly before their ballots were cast. And don’t be surprised if, like a good Democrat, Murkowski casts an enthusiastic aye vote for President Biden’s current nominee: Ketanji Brown Jackson.
Yet Murkowski is more than just an obstacle with SCOTUS nominees, we have plenty of other examples of the senator acting more like a Democrat than a Republican, and her vote in favor of convicting Donald Trump after last year’s impeachment is probably the best example. There was no evidence to support the claim that Trump had participated in an insurrection, and votes in favor of removing Trump played right in the Democrats’ hands. And we’re sure Lisa Murkowski was just fine with that outcome.
But Murkowski may be in trouble. In a couple of months, she’ll need to fend off challenger Kelly Tshibaka in the Republican primary, and she’s lost several key endorsements, including that of Republican Governor Mike Dunleavy. Murkowski will also be dealing with the full wrath of Donald Trump who has been highly vocal and visible in his support of Tshibaka. Don’t be surprised if we see Murkowski sent packing in the spring, and that would be a very good thing for Republicans.
#4: Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Parker: Lindsey Graham, like many of those on our list, is maddeningly frustrating because there are times when you think, they get it, the Democrats are evil and hate this country. I think back to the Kavanaugh hearings in 2018 and remember everyone saying that this was his red-pill moment. Even CNN gave him mad dap, running a headline mentioning that Graham “may have single-handedly saved Kavanaugh’s confirmation.” It also wrote:
“Enter Graham. Unlike his Republican colleagues before him, Graham, a former member of the Air Force’s Judge Advocate General corps, didn’t cede his five minutes of questioning to Mitchell. He seized it — and with an impassioned attack that displayed his clear anger, frustration and impatience with both the process and the Democrats sharing the dais with him, he gave Republicans from the White House on down a shock to the system — a wake-up call that fundamentally altered the remainder of the Kavanaugh hearing.
‘What you want to do is destroy this guy’s life, hold this seat open, and hope you win in 2020,” Graham angrily accused his Democratic colleagues. “To my Republican colleagues, if you vote ‘no’, you’re legitimizing the most despicable thing that I have seen in my time in politics.’”
Graham was mad. Well, he appeared mad. I like to think it was authentic, but we also watched a video of Kinzinger crying and so we know that real politicians just know and do what has to be done. We also saw this video of Graham exalting Joe Biden as the most honorable politician in Washington, so…there’s that.
America is on the cusp of a technocratic nightmare. Either we stand for freedom or we don’t. And Graham has been quite comfortable hobnobbing with evildoers and standing up for Ukrainian sovereignty well before Americans’. Does everyone get to feel pride in their nation and defend its values except us? Graham loves to still talk about his buddy John McCain, who was an utter disaster in the Senate as well. RINO losers who don’t value limited government are worse than Democrats, who at least are open and transparent about their beliefs. We vote for a guy with an R behind his name, then get sandbagged every time.
#3: Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY)
PF: Of all the names on this list, this is the most disappointing for me. I really thought Liz Cheney had a bright future. It’s easy to forget, but Liz Cheney is still new to the game when it comes to Congressional politics. She only first came to Capitol Hill five years ago, having been elected to her first term in November 2016 and taking office in January 2017. She ascended quickly, reaching the #3 spot in the GOP caucus by being named Chair of the Republican Conference only two years later. But it’s been all downhill from there.
Cheney clearly suffers from TDS, as she was one of only ten Republicans who voted to impeach President Trump in January 2021, but that’s not her only sin. As bad, if not worse, was the subsequent media campaign she pursued when she appeared on MSNBC and CNN on a seemingly nightly basis to disparage Trump and other Republicans after the impeachment. Meanwhile, Biden, Pelosi, and Schumer have been destroying the country. Also, let’s not forget her vocal support for Dr. Anthony Fauci during the COVID pandemic.
Cheney should have been set for stardom. She had the pedigree with her dad Dick having been a lifelong politician, including Vice-President. She had the connections that all politicians need. And she should have had the common sense to know better than to act as she has. Liz Cheney has been a disaster, and she’s likely to get voted out during the Wyoming primaries in a couple of months, and she undoubtedly deserves it.
#2: Any Republican that doesn’t stand up for medical freedom and the God-given rights of life, liberty, and property.
Parker: I ran out of space for names. McConnell, any of those purple Senators like Sasse, Collins, or others who live in swing districts/states, and basically you get to a point where you could look at the full list of 535 folks and pretty much say they all vote the same way. I really want to add Cheney’s replacement as chair of the House Republicans because she – the regrettable Elise Stefanik of New York – is practically indispensable from her predecessor when the opportunity was pretty obvious as to what to do next.
Short of Thomas Massie, Chip Roy, and a few others in the House, and then folks like Rand Paul, Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, and a few others in the Senate, and the pickings are slim. Let me ask this: When Republicans take back the House and Senate, what will change? Will federal vaccine mandates go away? Will a permanent limit be placed on the extraordinary powers we saw abused during Covid be restricted from happening again? Will an investigation into the illegal, unethical, and murderous practices and coverup up all-things Covid be unleashed?
I doubt it. Will they try to impeach Joe Biden and waste our time with a worthless sideshow? Fine, impeach Biden. Then what? You get Harris? Is that better? All the while the same toxic stew of corruption simmers in the swamp and nothing actually changes.
At the end of the day, any Republican that doesn’t vocally condone, and then subsequently vote against, the medical tyranny and loss of freedoms in this country is a RINO as far as I am concerned. The two-party system has failed us, so either we run a third-party candidate who actually believes in the Constitution or we find people who will represent Republicans authentically. Is Trump the ticket? DeSantis? It’s a start, but we need to clean house – the literal House – of all of the either ignorant, stupid, spineless, and/or corrupt people who pretend to share our values and stab us in the back whenever they can.
#1: Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT)
PF: In my opinion, it’s not even close when considering who is the top RINO in Congress. There has been no Republican in either the House or the Senate who has acted more like a Democrat than Mitt Romney. He didn’t just vote to remove Trump from office after last January’s impeachment, he also voted to remove Trump during the farcical first impeachment. Romney is the only person in American history to vote twice to remove from office an impeached president from his own party.
But the list continues. Romney opposed a Constitutional ban on Gay Marriage in 2002. He’s opposed Pro-Life laws such as Alabama’s abortion law in 2019, and he signed strict gun control legislation when he was governor of Massachusetts. And perhaps most damning of all was when he joined in with Black Lives Matter protesters in 2020. Does that record sound like a Republican to you?
We should also look back to the 2012 election when Romney lost to Barack Obama in a race that was there for the taking. Ultimately, Romney lost in large part because Republicans were turned off by him. Romney played nice, refusing to go after Obama in a serious fashion, meanwhile, Obama and Biden went bare-knuckled after Romney. And particularly devastating was when Obama pointed out that even though Romney claimed to oppose Obamacare, Romney had implemented virtually the same plan in Massachusetts as governor. Romney lost to Obama after a catastrophic campaign in which Republican voters eventually saw little difference between the two.
‘A lot of hiding’: Senators kept from seeing Sentencing Commission records on Supreme Court nominee
The Biden administration is keeping more than 48,000 pages of records about Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson from senators reviewing her nomination, including documents about her time at the U.S. Sentencing Commission that she has made a central part of her professional story.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is “hiding” records from Jackson’s time as vice chair of the Sentencing Commission, where she championed leniency for child predators, says Michael Davis, former chief counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Monday that 16,000 pages of substantive content has been released on Jackson, compared to the 48,000 pages withheld by the White House under the Presidential Records Act and FOIA exemptions.
Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, revealed the obstruction during his opening statement at the Jackson Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
Senate Republicans are seeking records specifically from 2010 to 2014, when Jackson served on the U.S. Sentencing Commission. The government agency works to reduce disparities in sentencing while increasing transparency, and Jackson’s involvement on the commission has been touted as a qualification to be confirmed to the Supreme Court.
“Durbin has refused a request by Republican senators to look at her records on the sentencing commission,” Davis told “Just the News – Not Noise” on Monday, hours after Jackson’s first day of testimony in front of the committee weighing her nomination to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.
“Judge Jackson’s history of sentencing below guidelines, particularly in cases involving child exploitation, raises legitimate questions about her views on penalties for these crimes,” Grassley said. “This is exactly why I asked for her Sentencing Commission records — the same types of records the committee traditionally reviews when vetting a Supreme Court nominee.”
Judge Jackson has been criticized for her public defender work supporting terrorism suspects and for advocating softer sentences for child pornography offenders while on the Sentencing Commission.
On the commission, Jackson argued publicly “to lessen the sentence for people who are convicted of possession and distribution of child pornography,” according to Davis, the founder of Article III project.
“We don’t know what she did behind the scenes,” he said. “We want to see what her thought process, what her deliberations were, behind the scenes when the cameras were off when there weren’t transcripts.”
“Unfortunately, somebody somewhere doesn’t want us to see that information,” Grassley said. “How can this be a thorough review, if this information is withheld? And why aren’t Democrats interested in allowing the committee to have this information to conduct a thorough review?”
People convicted of possession and distribution of child pornography face a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years.
“Judge Jackson, for whatever reason, has been maneuvering to try to lessen the punishment for child pornographers,” Davis claimed.
The former Senate Judiciary attorney said that a “major problem” is that Jackson operates on the “empathy standard,” which he defines as “whatever the heck that judge feels that day.”
“When she goes on the Supreme Court, she can just do whatever the heck she wants, under her empathy standard,” Davis said. “She’s not bound by anything. She’s not bound by the law at all. It’s just whatever she feels.”
As a student at Harvard Law, Jackson wrote a paper criticizing what she saw as “excessiveness” in punishments for sex offenders.
“This is a 25-year pattern,” Davis said. “This proves to me that she doesn’t think that people who possess and distribute child pornography are that bad.”
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