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FBI Raids Former President Donald Trump’s Home

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(Official White House photo by Tia Dufour)

Jordan DixonHamilton

Former President Donald Trump’s Florida home, Mar-A-Lago, was raided by FBI agents, Trump announced in a statement on Monday. 

“These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar- A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” Trump said. “Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before.”

 

Trump noted his previous cooperation with law enforcement and called the FBI raid of his home “prosecutorial misconduct.” Trump also said it is an example of “the weaponization of the Justice System who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024.”

Trump continued: 

After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate. It is prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024, especially based on recent polls, and who will likewise do anything to stop Republicans and Conservatives in the upcoming Midterm Elections. Such an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World Countries, Sadly, America has now become one of those Countries, corrupt at a level not seen before. They even broke into my safe! What is the difference between this and Watergate, where operatives broke into the Democrat National Committee? Here, in reverse, Democrats broke into the home of the 45th President of the United States.

The former president said that he has been politically persecuted “for years,” and pointed to the Russia collusion hoax narrative and two failed impeachments as examples of the continued persecution.

“The political persecution of President Donald J. Trump has been going on for years, with the now fully debunked Russia, Russia, Russia Scam, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, and so much more, it just never ends,” Trump said. “It is political targeting at the highest level!”

He also pointed out that “absolutely nothing has happened” to failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who deleted 33,000 emails after they were subpoenaed by Congress.

Trump added:

Hillary Clinton was allowed to delete and acid wash 33,000 E-mails AFTER they were subpoenaed by Congress. Absolutely nothing has happened to hold her accountable. She even took antique furniture, and other items from the White House. I stood up to America’s bureaucratic corruption, I restored power to the people, and truly delivered for our Country, like we have never seen before. The establishment hated it. Now, as they watch my endorsed candidates win big victories, and see my dominance in all polls, they are trying to stop me, and the Republican Party, once more. 

“The lawlessness, political persecution, and Witch Hunt must be exposed and stopped. I will continue to fight for the Great American People,” Trump concluded.

This is a developing news story.

Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at jdixonhamilton@breitbart.com or follow him on Twitter. 

Olivia Newton-John, Singer and ‘Grease’ Star, Dies at 73

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(Breitbart) Olivia Newton-John, the Australian pop singer who had five number 1 hits including “Physical” and “You’re the One That I Want,” and saw silver screen stardom starring opposite John Travolta in Grease, has died. She was 73.

Newton-John “passed away peacefully at her ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” said a statement from her husband John Easterling posted on her official social media accounts.

The entertainer, whose career spanned more than five decades, devoted much of her time and celebrity to charities after first being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992.

The British-born and Australian-raised star dedicated a number of albums and concerts to raise funds for research and early detection of the disease, including the construction of a health centre named after her in her adopted home Melbourne.

“I don’t like to say ‘battled’,” a defiant Newton-John told Australia’s Channel Seven TV in September 2018 after revealing she had been diagnosed with cancer for a third time.

“I like to say ‘win over’, because ‘battled’ sets up this anger and inflammation that you don’t want.”

‘You’re the one that I want’

Newton-John is best-known for starring in the 1978 musical “Grease” alongside John Travolta, as the-girl-next-door Sandy, who trades her ankle-length skirt and prim and proper hair for skin-tight black pants and a perm.

Australian singer and actress Olivia Newton-John and American actor John Travolta as they appear in the Paramount film ‘Grease’, 1978. (Paramount Pictures/Fotos International/Getty Images)

The high school sweetheart-turned-bad girl resonated with audiences worldwide, and continues to capture hearts decades after the movie was released.

“Making it was fun but you never know with movies if audiences are going to go with it or not, even if you love it,” she said in a Forbes interview in 2018.

“It is incredible that it is still going but it’s not even just that, it’s showing no signs of stopping. You say “Sandy and Danny” and people instantly know what you’re talking about.”

Grease remained the highest-grossing musical for three decades, with Newton-John and Travolta maintaining a close relationship long after the film was made.

“She was my favourite thing about doing Grease,” Travolta said in an interview to mark the film’s 40 anniversary in 2018.

There was no one else “in the universe” who could play Sandy, he said of Newton-John, who turned 29 during the making of Grease and later revealed she had to be convinced by Travolta to take up the role after self-doubts that she was too old to play a teenager.

“If you were a young man in the 70s…, if you remember that album cover with Olivia with that blue shirt on, with those big blue eyes staring at you,” Travolta recalled.

“Every boy’s, every man’s dream was: ‘oh I would love for that girl to be my girlfriend’.”

Olivia Newton-John Performs at The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall as part of the Celtic Connections Festival on January 24, 2017 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Ross Gilmore/Redferns)

Her career would span from singer and actor, to author and philanthropist in the coming decades, with her passion for cancer research at the forefront, championing natural therapies, including medicinal cannabis in the treatment of cancer.

She performed into her late 60s, until her latest diagnosis, including a two-year residency in Vegas, a 2015 tour with Australian music legend John Farnham and even recording a Club Dance track at 67 with her daughter Chloe Lattanzi.

“I have done everything, and the icing on the cake as well,” she said, reflecting on her career.

“So I feel grateful for anything that happens now.”

Broken MTA: Unaccountable, Borrowing Junkie, Politician Slush Fund, Killing Off Middle-Class With Congestion Pricing

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Broken MTA: Unaccountable, Borrowing Junkie, Politician Slush Fund, Killing Off Middle-Class With Congestion Pricing

 

By Gary Tilzer

The failure to control crime and homelessness on the subway continues to hurt New Yorkers and the city’s economy, but voters are powerless to vote the leaders of the public authority, the MTA out of office. The Public Authority Act of 1921 has had the effect of shielding elected officials who run the MTA from blame for poor services or increasing debt. On paper the State Authorities are independent, but in reality, elected officials pull the MTA strings thru the board members and CEOs they appoint to run the authority. As far as who the media and public blame for the broken subways, the MTA is still the only “Three-Card Monte” game of confusion left on the city’s streets. During a rough patch in 2017, of rising temperatures, delays, and a train derailed, the newspapers were filled with Cuomo and de Blasio blaming each other for the subway meltdown, at the same time Cuomo was taking credit for the 2nd Avenue subway.

NY Times 2017: When the MTA comes under fire for lousy service, Cuomo disavows responsibility, hiding behind the board structure. In 2017, amid headlines dominated by train delays and disruptions, Cuomo’s office noted that the state lacked a majority on the MTA board. The previous year, the governor happily took credit for opening the first three stations of the Second Avenue Subway on time: “You know who runs the MTA?” he asked NY1 anchor Errol Louis rhetorically. “It’s me. . . . I accept that responsibility.”

The subways are the lifeblood of the city, but few New Yorkers understand how it operates. The MTA was created to insulate elected officials, the real transportation decision-makers, from blame or accountability. Lack of political accountability led to decades of mismanagement and out-of-control spending. The media has become so clueless about the MTA, that politicians who control the authority know they can join the public in attacking the subway’s problems, to improve their public image.  In 2019 Cuomo, who eliminated thousands of hospital beds for the mentally ill, demanded that the MTA fix the homeless problem on the subways. Elected officials through the years have taken advantage of the lack of accountability, and now the city is being torn apart by a broken MTA.

After decades of mismanagement (now staff shortages), the MTA claims it needs Congestion Pricing (CP), like a junkie that needs cash (government money), to pay for their drug fix (borrowing, and debt services). The MTA’s need for CP for its latest cash fix will push out what is left of the middle-class, who since the pandemic have fled the city in increasing numbers (400,000). The same middle-class that Mayor Adams needs to battle Albany progressives to change the bail laws, to reduce the 50%  surge in crime and homelessness occupying the subways. You would not know the danger the MTA faces if you listened to NY1’s Pat Kiernan and his fellow news readers working in local media, as they read back like a court stenographer the latest MTA press release, that all the subway tunnels will have cell phone service in 10 years.

The media has not educated New Yorkers to understand that what is important to those elected officials that really control MTA is what the authority can do for them and their friends, not what they can do to run the subway and buses properly. Elected Officials and MTA decision-makers who have come and gone throughout the years, put their flashy projects and financial gimmicks ahead of the needs of the train and bus riders. Robert Moses was right when he opposed Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s creation of the MTA (to weaken him). Moses said the super authority would help the special interests, not the riders of public transit. Reporters who always have Robert Caro’s book, “The Power Broker” about Moses’ rule over NY, on their bookshelf when they are on Skype to show how smart they are, have never done a story about how the master-building was right about the MTA.

Guardian Angel Curtis Sliwa calls the MTA the “Money Taking Agency.” The MTA is more of a pinata that allows elected officials, bond sellers, and transit contractors to use its fare revenues, 75 billion capital (funded mostly by borrowing), and operating MTA operating budget for their own ends. Elected officials milk its revenue streams and allow the agency to borrow billions to promote their favorite projects or redirect MTA’s funds to other uses. The late Assemblyman Richard Brodsky who the NY Times called Albany’s Conscience, because of the abuses he uncovered of state authorities like the MTA. Brodsky said the MTA became a piggy bank for elective officials looking to use its revenue streams to fund vanity projects, like Cuomo’s $4.4 billion two-miles-long, Second Ave extension. Albany also used the MTA budget to fund other politically important projects to them, like upstate ski resorts that lost money because of a warm winter. In other words, the MTA is a slush fund for politicians, the larger the borrowing, the more influence they can buy with government money. Cuomo received hundreds of thousands in campaign donations from transit unions and contracts that did business with the MTA. Someone received campaign donations for redirecting MTA funds to bail out upstate Ski resorts. “It’s genuinely shocking how much of every dollar that goes to the M.T.A. is spent on expenses that have nothing to do with running the subway, there is no accountability,” said Seth W. Pinsky, the former head of the city’s Economic Development Corporation.

An examination by The New York Times in 2017, revealed in stark terms how the needs of the aging, overburdened system have grown while city and state politicians have consistently steered money away from addressing them. Efforts to add new lines have been hampered by generous agreements with labor unions and private contractors that have inflated construction costs to five times the international average

NY1’s News Reader Kiernan and The Partnership’s Wylde Join the MTA in Destroying What’s Left of the City’s Middle-Class

NY1’s Pat Kiernan interviewed Kathryn Wylde, President, and CEO of the Partnership about her support of CP. The Partnership is a lobby group that represents the major bankers, developers, and corporate interests in NYC.  Wylde claimed the subways needed the funds from CP revenue to operate. Kiernan did not ask Wylde if she believed the one billion from CP revenue funds for the MTA, would do anything to stop the addiction to leverage borrowing (70 billion) and the mismanagement in the public authority that is hurting the city’s economy. Both Wylde and CEO of the MTA Janno Lieber claimed that CP will protect the city’s central business district. However, for months both have claimed that crime was keeping workers off the subways and from returning to their office buildings in the central business district. Kiernan never asked Wylde or Lieber if the subway’s 50% increase in crime has slowed up workers’ return to their office buildings. Kiernan has done stories about the harm lack of bees does to the environment, but has never done a story of what the elimination of NYC’s middle class is doing to the city’s government. How long does Wylde, who is against CP exemptions, think people from Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island will stay in the city if they have to pay $35 every time they visit their doctor in Manhattan? Does Wylde think fewer Broadway shows and restaurants will not close if people from the outer boroughs stop going to the theater because of the extra $35 CP fee? 90% of the businesses in the city that receive deliveries for their businesses by trucks will be subject to the CP fees on top of inflation increases for the projects they deliver. Does Wylde think prices will not go up in NYC’s restaurants and small businesses because of CP? Kiernan should have asked Wylde what is being done to help the city’s poor and minorities already hurt by 10% inflation, from paying higher food prices caused by CP. It could cost more in tolls to drive between Queens Borough Hall to City Hall in Manhattan than from our City Hall to San Francisco’s City Hall through I-80, per Tollguru.com. Kiernan should have also called out Wylde’s claim that CP would be good for the environment as a hoax, as explained by Reza Chowdlhury on Twitter:

Reza Chowdhury Twitter @RezaC1 (If CP) causes an increase in bus usage, the MTA will have to secure more buses. Cool – more buses! The city has 6K buses, a tiny portion are all electric. The rest are diesel or diesel hybrid. These diesel-burning buses increase the amount of NO2, which is significantly worse for health outcomes, dispelled into the air. This is what happened in London… Less CO2, more nitrous dioxide. It’s been estimated that CP will result in an annual decrease of 364,589 -493,277 miles driven citywide. Impressive right? This amount is less than 1% of the total miles driven in the city per year. 99% of the threat of pollution from cars will remain.

Kiernan should have asked Wylde that given that CP fails to meaningfully address climate, pollution, health, and the MTA’s financial health concerns, what’s the point of introducing another tax on an already burdened middle class by high inflation, that gets less for more each day? Kiernan should have asked Wylde, with the city’s economy weakened by COVID, businesses closing for good, and over 400.000 New Yorkers leaving the city, if this was the right time to start CP. Instead of asking how high the toll will be, Kiernan should have asked Wylde when she said CP is needed to reduce traffic congestion, if she thinks the city streets are as packed with cars as they were before the pandemic.

Reporters Like Kiernan are Now Part of the City’s Elite Political Class, Journalism Used to be a Working-Class Profession Guided by Its Values

Kiernan never asked Wylde if she thought the middle-class moderate voters pushed out of the city by CP fees from the outer boroughs would hurt her and Mayor Adams’s efforts to change the bail law in Albany. The votes of the middle-class’s representatives are needed to give judges the ability to keep dangerous repeat criminals in jail, and the mentally ill in hospitals.  Kiernan should apologize to the family and friends of Michelle Go who was pushed into an oncoming train, off a Times Square platform, by a mentally ill homeless man; for not asking Wylde if she thinks pushing moderate middle-class voters out of the city, will increase the chances of more New Yorkers put in harm’s way from sick people because the bail law does not give judges the right to hospitalize them. 

New Yorkers journalist Ken Auletta; from Coney Island, said “the goal of a journalist was to “Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable” Kiernan’s interview with Wylde and others was not about afflicting the comfortable, it was more like a sycophant trying to win favor with the powerful.  NY1 Pat Kiernan and his fellow journalists have abandoned the city’s middle class. Being a reporter used to be a middle-class trade, a low-status job. Journalists used to live in, be part of working-class neighborhoods, and were paid working-class salaries. The NY1 news reader Kiernan just bought a two-million-dollar home in a trendy Brooklyn neighborhood, which was gentrified out of the middle-class three decades ago. When a group of women reporters sued NY1 the lawyer for reporter Roma Torre claimed she is significantly underpaid relative to her comparable male peer — which is Pat Kiernan according to the NY Post. NY1 would not release Kiernan’s contract to the lawyer, but the internet reports his salary between two and four million a year. Reporters like Kiernan used to see themselves as outside of power, demanding justice for the middle-class, the little guy. Throughout the course of the 20th Century, there was a status revolution in Journalism. Journalists became an elite highly paid profession that requires more acting ability than the past generation of middle-class reporters driven to fight for the values of the working class they came from. The late Village Voice reporter, Jack Newfield, grew up in Bed Stuy in a single-family, attended CUNY’s Hunter College, and was known for his yearly investigation features which included the 10 Worst Landlords, 10 Worst Judge, and his book about corruption in the Koch administration called “City for Sale.” Jimmy Breslin grew up in Queens, Pete Hamill in the then working-class Park Slope Brooklyn. WWII veteran Gabe Pressman grew up in a tenement building in the South Bronx. Andrew W. Cooper from Brooklyn, founder of The City Sun, a weekly newspaper that covered issues of interest to African Americans. Kiernan from Canada used his position as a news reader on NY1 in failed attempts to become a game show host. News readers are now calling themselves journalists when in reality they are just reading what someone else wrote. Breslin used his journalist job to try to save NYC by running for public office on a platform of making the city into the 51st State. A bunch of rich people in charge of the NY Times, keep telling New Yorkers who have lived in the city all their lives, that their fear of crime is overblown: “Fear of Crime Transcends Data Along One New York Subway Line’s 31 Miles, Eric Adams Can’t Stop Talking About Crime. There Are Risks to That.” The problem is the paper of record which reported last month that shootings were down, did not report that in July shootings were up 13% in July 2022 to July 2021.

Reporters have abandoned the working class they used to belong to, ascending to the ranks of the elite. The elite reporters are using a liberal news narrative, to distract from how they benefit from income inequality in America. A guilt trip by a privileged generation of reporters has caused the abandonment of the city’s middle-class, and the journalistic ethics of the founder of NYC-style journalism, John Peter Zenger. Zenger, a printer, who was arrested in 1734 by the British, for writing a newspaper telling the truth to NYC residents about how King George II appointed Colonial Governor William Cosby was mistreating them. Watching Kiernan’s deadpan style is like watching MTV’s news reader, celebrity Kurt Loder. While watching another NY1 reporter Errol Louis, reminds one of the men who spun the plates on a stick on the old Ed Sullivan Show, who knew the plates would eventually fall. Both men’s styles would be fine if they informed New Yorkers as Zenger did 330 years ago, about what their government was doing to them, which they don’t. Jewish Voice: In the Scripted News Era, Journalists & Elected Officials Become Actors, NY Special Interests Pull the Strings. Kiernan is incapable of telling New Yorkers what is really going on, others won’t or don’t care to.

 

When Kiernan recently interviewed NYC Transit President Richard Davey, the boss of the city subways said public safety is the rider’s top concern. Davey told Kiernan that all the stations and 100 trains now have cameras. In 2005, the London subway system installed closed circuit TV to catch terrorists and criminals before they commit crimes, in all of its stations and now has live close circuit TV on most of its trains. The MTA tried for years to implement a similar live TV close circuit camera system on the NYC subways, spending billions, but only came up with cameras connected to tape machines that only provide evidence (if the camera is not broken) to the NYPD after a crime is committed. After starting in the 1990s the MTA was not able to install cameras in every station until early this year, 30 years after they started the project. That even beats in delay time at the moment of the decades-delayed MTA Grand Central Station Eastside LIRR access project. Kiernan did not ask Davey why the subways only have cameras on 0.1% of their 6418 subway cars. He also did not ask Davey why with new technology the MTA is still not able to build a closed-circuit TV network as London already has with less advanced Wi-Fi. For 20 years, close-circuit TV has given the London subway system the ability to stop crimes before they happen. Kiernan did not ask Davey what his plan was to remove the homeless from the subways. Kiernan did not ask Davey what the MTA can do about jumping the turnstiles, in light of a 55% increase of attacks on police officers trying to stop fare jumpers. The MTA loses $119 a year on fare evasion.  Before the widely watched video of a cop knocked down, punched, and locked in a bear hug by a 15-year-old raging for several minutes. Jewish Voice: The MTA’s Subway Mismanaged Cameras System Needs Elon Musk Skills to Stop Crimes Before They Occur.

 

The MTA and the Elected Officials Spin Public Relations While the City Suffers With Increased Subway Crime and Costs

 

Despite the hype as an MTA rescue fund, the one billion in revenue brought in by CP will have no effect on the $70 billion in debt the MTA is now carrying. The mismanagement and the increasing debt of the MTA are not the fault of powerless leaders of that authority that come and go. They are just highly paid puppets for the elected officials pulling their strings.

 

Dozens of people have cycled through high-level jobs, including many who left to work for contractors who do business with the MTA. The CEOs of the MTA and the subways are hired for their public relations skills. The MTV CEOs hire an army of spin doctors to help them, fiddle for the media while Rome (the trains) burns. When news recently came out that subway crime has risen by 50% and some scheduled 100 years old single replacements were being delayed, the authority changed the news coverage by speeding up the CP roll-out. At the same time as the CP speed up, the media widely used another MTA press release about providing cell phone service to NY/s subway tunnels over the next 10 years. The media never blames the Oz-like Albany politicians behind the green screen, who allow the mismanagement and out-of-control borrowing to continue.

 

The Press has Not Informed New Yorkers: Exploding MTA Borrowing Will Cause Fares to Go Up, Service Cuts, After this Year’s Election

 

 

CP is clearly not enough to cover the MTA’s exploding deficit, fare hikes are coming, but an inconvenient truth to mention in a state election year. The State Comptroller is already hinting at this. Comptroller DiNapoli’s audit reports on the MTA warns of a growing debt being kicked down the road.

 

The media has not covered how and why the MTA became a financial junkie, addicted to leverage borrowing for its capital and operating costs. That became necessary because of the state agencies’ decades of systemic mismanagement and elected officials’ abusive misuse of its budget for vanity projects. Adding one billion in CP revenue to a broken agency is chump change, it does not make the authority perform better or stop politicians from using it as a piggy bank. Those supporting CP should have demanded changes in the MTA to make it more accountable to the riding public needs. The media has ignored audit reports from the Controller’s office warning for years of the dangers of MTA’s leverage borrowing addiction.

 

NYS Comptroller’s Report: “Despite unprecedented federal aid and better-than-expected state tax revenues, the MTA continues to plan to use borrowing techniques that push difficult financial decisions into the future and could leave less money to pay for services, according to NYS Comptroller DiNapoli’s annual report on the MTA’s debt. If riders do not return faster (only 60% have) than the MTA projects, or if new sources of revenue are not found, rising debt payments could force the MTA to close future budget gaps through service cuts, greater than planned fare hikes, or delays to capital projects, the report concludes.”

 

The Comptroller also warned that the end of the federal COVID bailout money in the next two years will lead to MTA service cuts. A bad year on Wall Street, a reduction in NY’s tax base caused by people and businesses leaving the city, and inflation will lead to additional MTA cuts. Blame Albany and the media for the coming MTA’s financial implosion. The amount of outstanding long-term debt issued by the MTA increased from $25.8 billion in 2010  to $40.1 billion in 2021. In the 1980s when the U.S. Senate was in GOP control; NY Republican U.S. Senator Al D’Amato spearheaded the effort to pass a bill in the senate to bring federal transit funds to the MTA. If the U.S. House is in control of the GOP in 2023, there will only be one federal member of the house elected in NYC, Staten Island, and Brooklyn Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis to fight for additional funding for the subways. If the supermajority congressional redistricting lines were not thrown out by the N.Y. Court of Appeals, there probably be none. If the late great journalist Breslin were still around, he would use the headline in his famous book about the 1962 NY Mets, “Can’t Anyone Here Play This Game Anymore.” Since today’s media is not informing New Yorkers on what a toxic mess their elected officials have made with the subway, the public will not wake up to the problem until the fares are hiked and services are cut next year, after the election.

 

In 2008 NYC’s Middle Class Was Strong Enough to Stop Congestive Pricing

 

In 2008 before the middle class started to flee the city, the late Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver and his Brooklyn and Queens delegation viewed congestion fees as a regressive tax that overwhelmingly benefited affluent Manhattanites, killed the CP bill in the Assembly. Now only Assemblyman David Weprin has been put into the role of Sancho Panza to stop CP. He says the former governor hid the state’s permission to impose CP on lower Manhattan, inside the final budget deal that had a lot of goodies (member items) for his colleagues to vote for, Weprin said it was hard for his fellow member to vote against the big ugly (final budget deal), as he did. The newly elected progressive elective officials are anti-car, über alles. pro protected bike lanes. You will not see Weprin on NY1 or in the newspapers anytime soon. Not only are the gentrification progressives not protecting the city’s middle class, they are also blocking any changes to the bail law, which will reduce subway crime and allow workers to return to their office buildings owned by Partnership members. Under Wylde’s leadership, the Partnership is pushing the middle class out of the city and replacing them with progressives who not only want to keep the liberal bail law, they increase taxes on big businesses and the rich. Some members of the Partnership are asking if Wylde has the correct or any strategy to fix the city.

 

Charles Gasparino Twitter @CGasparino: SCOOP: @NYC Mayor Adams’s request, @Partnership4NYC, its CEO members will meet Thurs to discuss the crime wave following the tragic death of @GoldmanSachs employee Daniel Enriquez. The NYC biz community wants more police on subways.

The MTA isn’t proposing any new lines to southeast Queens or Staten Island, which they have in the past for the public accepting CP. Mayor Bloomberg when he pushed for CP promised to improve connections to underserved transit deserts. Now the goal is seemingly to make up for the MTA’s own capital shortfalls. 40% of the CP revenue will pay down the bond fees. MTA bond fees will go up with inflation and the expected $2.5 deficit in 2025.

 

Unions, Transit Contractors, and Elected Officials Use the MTA as a Pay-to-Play Pinata

 

A report mandated by Albany legislators reformers compared how much the MTA spends to run trains and buses against other transit agencies across the globe, including systems in Taiwan, Paris, and London. shows New York’s sky-high costs are due in part to its transit workers being the world’s highest-paid. Governors over the decades deliver sweetheart contracts to the main MTA union Transit Workers Union (TWU)  in exchange for campaign contributions (Cuomo received $165,000 from TWU) and votes from TWU which is known for turning out its member’s in the city’s low turnout elections. All public officials, not just former Governor Cuomo have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions from MTA unions and contractors Since Mr. Cuomo took office in 2011, his campaigns have received more than $3 million from M.T.A. contractors and industry groups that represent them. Donors with ties to the M.T.A., including board members, their employers, and transit unions, have donated an additional $1.5 million. According to a NY Times 2017 story, politicians in control of the MTA have pressured the authority into signing agreements with labor groups and construction companies that obligated the authority to pay far more than it had planned.

Members of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) got a total of 19% pay raises between 2009 and 2016, compared with 12 percent for the city’s teachers union over the same period. The contract, which covers May 16, 2019, to May 15, 2023, and more than 37,000 employees compounded a 9.8 percent wage increase that will cost more than $1 billion through 2023, $129 million more than included in the MTA’s November 2020-2023 Financial Plan.  Each of three union contracts signed by the MTA from 2009 to 2017 cost more than the M.T.A. anticipated, forcing it to take money from other parts of the budget. The 2014 deal, which cost $525 million, was funded by tapping into a pay-as-you-go account that was intended to pay for capital work. Subway workers, including managers and administrative personnel, now make an average of about $155,000 annually in salary, overtime, and benefits, according to a Times analysis of data compiled by the federal Department of Transportation. That is far more than in any other American transit system; the average in cities like Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington is less than $100,000 in total compensation annually. The pay for managers alone is even more extraordinary. The nearly 2,500 people who work in the NY subway administration make, on average, $240,000 in salary, overtime, and benefits. The average elsewhere is less than $115,000. The rate at which NY transit employees are on workers’ compensation is also higher than in other cities — and the report notes the average time workers take off for injuries more than doubled from 2010 to 2019.

The Media has Completely Missed How the MTA Became Hooked on Borrowing Making Billions for Bond Sellers

Governor Pataki got the MTA hooked with debt borrowing when he engineered a deal with creditors that brought in quick cash but locked the authority into paying $5 billion in interest that it otherwise never would have had to pay. Governor Pataki allowed Bear Stearns to refinance $12 billion of MTA’s bond debt. The bankers and bond underwriters — many of whom had ties to Mr. Pataki or had donated to his campaign — earned an estimated $85 million, according to the NY Times. The amount of outstanding long-term debt issued by the MTA more than tripled between 2000 and 2020, reaching $38 billion, and is projected to approach $47 billion by 2023 (including $2.9 billion debt for operating expenses). Debt service is projected to reach $3.8 billion by 2028, $1.1 billion more than in 2020. The share of total revenue needed to pay debt service is projected to reach 23% in 2024, after averaging 16% over the past decade.  The MTA’s projections do not include debt service on $6.9 billion of bonds it now plans to issue for the 2020-2024 capital program. The MTA makes millions for bankers who handle the bond sales. Now borrowing will go up as farebox revenues fall:

“May 2022 data indicates that MTA ridership and farebox revenue have not recovered from the pandemic’s impact on mass transit ridership, which for the LIRR is below 60% of pre-pandemic ridership levels. Currently, MTA farebox revenues are 31.9% of revenues, an 8% decrease from the budgeted 40%, and 39% below the 2019 farebox revenues which were 52.8% of total revenues. The Achilles heel to the MTA budget is the historical overreliance of farebox revenues to total budgeted revenue.” Martin R. Cantor, CPA, Ed.D. Director of the LI Center for Socio-Economic Policy

 

The MTA Outrageous Costs for Building New Subway Lines, Construction Projects are Ignored by the Media

The media has paid scant attention to the MTA’s operating costs, meaning the cost of running and maintaining the subway system rather than expanding it. New York City Transit’s subway operating costs are high by both domestic and international standards—about 60 percent higher than those of the largest European systems, and 90 percent higher than in Chicago. The capital budget project costs and delays are ridiculous, and continue because nobody is ever held responsible.

 

The LIRR extension to Grand Central Station started being built in 2007 and was planned to be open in 2009, at a total cost of $3.4 billion. The cost for the two miles of connecting tract between Queens and Manhattan is now $12 billion and the Eastside connection is still not open. The extension of the number 7 line to Hudson Yards is the most expensive mile of subway track on earth, at a cost of $2.5 billion, $1.5 billion per mile. A 24-block extension of the 2nd Avenue Subway, with three stops, costs $4.4 Billion or $2.5 Billion per mile. The MTA wasted $31 million dollars to build an extra Times Square Staircase. The MTA wasted $4 Billion on remaking the Fulton Street Station in Manhattan.  Cuomo also pressured the authority to spend tens of millions of dollars to study outfitting MTA bridges with lights capable of choreographed displays, including the still named Mario M. Cuomo bridge. Comptroller Stringer’s Audit revealed widespread mismanagement, waste, and service failures in MTA’s Access-A-Ride Program. Tens of thousands of New Yorkers were left stranded by the MTA-run Access-A-Ride; 2.5 million pick-up and drop-off times may have been manipulated to show more favorable performance; Less than 50% of Access-A-Ride car service’s trips were on-time. The MTA spent billions of dollars on Opulent Station Makeovers and other projects that did nothing to boost service or reliability; while leaving the actual movement of trains to rely on a 1930s-era signal system with fraying, cloth-covered cables. Cuomo cut signal funding to pay for vanity projects like the 2nd Ave line.

@GaryTilzerTips

 

 

 

Israel denies agreement made to release Islamic Jihad prisoners

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Bassam al Saadi, Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader in Judea and Samaria. (Twitter/Screenshot)

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

Jerusalem denied claims by Palestinian Islamic Jihad that two prisoners held by Israel would be released as part of a ceasefire.

PIJ spokesperson Daoud Shihab said in a Monday morning interview that Bassam al-Saadi, PIJ’s top leader in Judea and Samaria, and Khalil al-Awawada, a PIJ operative who is on a hunger strike, would both be freed.

“Prisoner Khalil Awawada will be released to a hospital within a few hours, and we are sure of that,” Shihab said. “Regarding the other prisoner, Bassam al-Saadi, we are also sure of his release, and even though we don’t have a time frame, it will happen as soon as possible, and within the next few hours, a UN delegation will visit the Sheik Saadi in prison.”

Saadi was arrested in Jenin by IDF forces last week, sparking PIJ threats of retaliation. As a precaution, Israel shut down roads near the Strip as well as train service between Sderot and Ashkelon. With the terror group showing no signs of backing down from threats of revenge, Israel launched air strikes against PIJ on Friday afternoon.

Saadi has already spent a combined 15 years in Israeli prison on terror-related charges.

An Egyptian-brokered truce took hold on Sunday night and Israel has been scaling back its security precautions.

Awawada is a security prisoner who has been on a hunger strike for 140 days to protest his administrative detention. Administrative detention is a controversial measure in which an individual can be detained without trial if they pose an imminent security risk, even if he or she has not yet committed a crime.

Israeli Security Minister Omer Barlev told Kan news that there was no deal for Saadi or Awawada.

Saadi will remain in jail “like any other prisoner,” said Barlev.

Of Awawada, the minister said, “This is about him and another security prisoner, an administrative detainee, and like any security prisoner who is under administrative detention … Towards the end of the period, the Shin Bet decides whether to release him or extend his detention. And many times—most times—the Shin Bet extends the detention period.”

Israeli Justice Minister Gideon Saar reiterated Barlev’s points, adding that although Egypt committed itself to seek Saadi’s and Awawada’s release, Israel has made no such commitment.

An Israeli source told the Jerusalem Post, however, that Israel may seek to leverage Saadi for the release of Israeli captives held by Hamas – Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed – and the bodies of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul.

Talks to revive Iran nuclear deal end, produce ‘final text’

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- The sun sets behind the Palais Coburg where closed-door nuclear talks take place in Vienna, Austria, Aug. 5, 2022. Talks to revive Tehran's tattered nuclear accord with world powers in Vienna ended Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, as the parties closed a final text and the Iranian negotiator prepared to return to his capital, diplomats said. (AP Photo/Florian Schroetter, File)

 (AP) — Talks to revive Tehran’s tattered nuclear accord with world powers in Vienna ended Monday as the parties closed a final text and key negotiators prepared to consult with their capitals, diplomats said.

After 16 months of torturous on-and-off indirect negotiations to restore the deal, the European Union’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell suggested there was no more room for negotiation on the draft now on the table.

A final decision on whether the most significant nonproliferation pact in the last quarter century can be restored rests with the Iranian and American governments, he signaled. The 2015 nuclear deal granted Iran sanctions relief in exchange for tight curbs on its atomic program.

“What can be negotiated has been negotiated, and it’s now in a final text,” Borrell wrote on Twitter. “However, behind every technical issue and every paragraph lies a political decision that needs to be taken in the capitals.”

Key challenges to closing the deal remain. European officials over the weekend urged Iran to drop its “unrealistic demands” outside the scope of the original agreement, including over an International Atomic Energy Agency probe into undeclared nuclear material found in the country.

Iran’s chief negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, will shortly fly back to Tehran for political consultations, Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency said. At the top of Iran’s theocracy is Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who would have the final say on any deal.

The U.S., which abandoned the original nuclear deal four years ago under former President Donald Trump, described the tabled draft as “the best and only basis on which to reach a deal.”

“For our part, our position is clear: we stand ready to quickly conclude a deal on the basis of the EU’s proposals,” the State Department said, indicating the deal’s restoration was up to Iran.

“They (Iran) repeatedly say they are prepared for a return to mutual implementation,” the spokesperson added. “Let’s see if their actions match their words.”

Iran, for its part, sounded guarded, raising skepticism about the chances for a breakthrough after a monthslong stalemate.

“Naturally the cases require comprehensive study,” IRNA quoted an anonymous senior Iranian Foreign Ministry official as saying. “We will transfer our views and supplementary points.”

But Western diplomats have warned that time is running short as Iran’s nuclear program rapidly advances under diminishing international oversight. They also worry looming midterm elections in the U.S. could empower Republicans who oppose the accord.

It was unclear how long the political consultations over the draft text would last.

But, Borrell said, “if these answers are positive, then we can sign this deal.”

___

Associated Press writers Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran and Ellen Knickmeyer in Washington contributed.

After Enduring Expulsions & Pogroms, Jews from Arab Lands Ignored by Israel & the UN

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Farhud’ pogrom in Baghdad, Iraq, 1941 (public domain)

By: Fern Sidman & David Ben Hooren

When addressing the defining moment of the 20th century in terms of man’s inhumanity to man, we often reflect on the sheer barbarism of the Holocaust and the genocide committed by the Nazis on six million Jews. Throughout the annals of the blood-stained pages of Jewish history, many other massacres of Jews have been committed.

Tragically, what is often neglected and summarily dismissed is the forced expulsion, evacuation and flight of 921,000 Jews of Sephardi and Mizrahi background from Arab countries and the Muslim world, primarily from 1948 to the early 1970s.

For over 2,500 years, Jews lived continuously in North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf region. The first Jewish population had already settled there at least 1,000 years before the advent of Islam.

Throughout the generations, Jews in the region were often subjected to various forms of discrimination — and in many cases, ranked lower on the status of society than their Muslim compatriots — but they were nevertheless loyal citizens who contributed significantly to the culture and development of their respective countries.

Yemenite immigrants in a camp near Ein Shemer in 1950. (Pinn Hans/GPO)

Despite the positive influence that Jews brought to the places where they lived, more than 850,000 Jews were forced to leave their homes in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Morocco, and several other Arab countries in the 20 years that followed the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. Another major forced migration took place from Iran in 1979–80, following the Iranian Revolution and the collapse of the shah’s regime, adding 70,000 more Jewish refugees to this number.

In 1947, the Political Committee of the Arab League (League of Arab States) drafted a law that was to govern the legal status of Jewish residents in all of its member states. This Draft Law of the Arab League provided that “…all Jews – with the exception of citizens of non-Arab countries – were to be considered members of the Jewish ‘minority state of Palestine’; that their bank accounts would be frozen and used to finance resistance to ‘Zionist ambitions in Palestine; Jews believed to be active Zionists would be interned as political prisoners and their assets confiscated; only Jews who accept active service in Arab armies or place themselves at the disposal of these armies would be considered ‘Arabs.”

In the international arena, Arab diplomats pretended to ignore the Arab League’s collusion in encouraging state-sanctioned discrimination against Jews in all its member states, seeking publicly to attribute blame to the Arab “masses” – and even the United Nations itself – for any danger facing the Jews across the region. This covert move was part of the Arab states’ attempt to divert attention from the official discriminatory practices of their governments against the Jewish citizens.

Two hundred and sixty thousand Jews from Arab countries immigrated to Israel between 1948 and 1951, accounting for 56% of the total immigration to the newly founded state. The Israeli government’s policy to accommodate 600,000 immigrants over four years, doubling the existing Jewish population, encountered mixed reactions in the Knesset as there were those within the Jewish Agency and government who opposed promoting a large-scale emigration movement among Jews from Arab lands.

Currently, it is estimated that only around 15,000 Jews remain in Arab countries. This mass expulsion and exodus is part of modern history, but inexplicably, it’s neither taught in schools nor remembered within the context of the conflicts in the Middle East. But more on that later in this editorial.

Edwin Black, the award-winning, New York Times bestselling international investigative writer of 200 editions in 20 languages in 190 countries and the author of the 2016 book, “The Farhud” wrote in December 2021,  “Today, we speak of a largely forgotten ethnic cleansing largely unparalleled in the history of humanitarian abuses. Recall the coordinated international expulsion of some 850,000 Jews from Arab and Muslim lands, where they had lived peaceably for as long as 27 centuries. As some know, in 2014, the Israeli government set aside November 30th as a commemoration of this mass atrocity. It has had no real identity or name like “Kristallnacht.” But today, from this day forward, the day will be known as Yom HaGirush: “Expulsion Day.” It has been a years-long road to identify and solidify this identity.”

On September 21, 2012, a special event was held at the United Nations to highlight the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab countries. Then Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor asked the United Nations to “establish a center of documentation and research” that would document the “850,000 untold stories” and “collect the evidence to preserve their history”, which he said was ignored for too long. In Israel alone, there are approximately 4 million descendants of these Jews from Arab lands and a few million around the world. Then Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said that “We are 64 years late, but we are not too late.” Diplomats from approximately two dozen countries and organizations, including the United States, the European Union, Germany, Canada, Spain, and Hungary attended the event. In addition, Jews from Arab countries attended and spoke at the event.

The Aleppo Codex: In Pursuit of One of the World’s Most Coveted, Sacred, and Mysterious Book. Photo Credit: Amazon.com

In 2019, Rabbi Eli Abadie, MD, formerly of the Edmond J. Safra synagogue in New York City said in his eloquent address at a day-long seminar held at the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan and entitled, “The End of Jewish Communal Life in Arab Lands” that:

“The issues surrounding the Palestinian refugees are frequently addressed at the UN, in the news media and in legal journals. Very little has been written about the Jews displaced from Arab lands. Out of almost 1120 UN resolutions on Israel and the so-called Palestinians, almost 200 resolutions deal specifically with Palestinian refugees, by contrast, not a single one deals exclusively with Jewish refugees displaced from Arab lands.

“Jews constituted a stable and historic community in these countries dating back at least 3,000 years, centuries before Muhammad. The Aleppo Syrian Community dates back to King David 3,000 years ago, the Yemenite community to King Solomon 2,900 years ago, the Iraqi and Iranian community dates back to the first Babylonian exile 2,500 years ago, and the Egyptian Community over 1,000 years ago.”

“Jews were known as believers and as such were not given the choice to either adopt Islam or death, but they were given the third choice–that of submission. Therefore, coexistence between Jews and Muslims required that the Jews be submissive to the Muslims. This coexistence dated back from the time of Caliph Omar.

People subjected to Muslim rule were given protection from death and conversion as the Dhimmis. This protection required that the Dhimmis pay a poll tax known as Jiziya or fine. The Dhimmis were forbidden from testifying against Muslims, owning a home, holding office, bearing arms or drinking wine in public, they could not build their houses higher than Muslim houses, they could not ride on saddles, they could not display their Torah except in their synagogues, neither could they raise their voice when reading or blowing the Shofar, and were required to wear a special emblem on their clothes, yellow for Jews (the yellow star was not a Nazi invention). It was their duty to recognize the superiority of the Muslim and accord him honor.”

Rabbi Abadie also offered a multi-faceted plan for concretely addressing the crimes that were committed against Jews from Arab lands.

He said: “Asserting rights and redress for Jewish refugees is a legitimate call to recognize that Jewish refugees from Arab countries, as a matter of law and equity, possess the same rights as all other refugees.

The first injustice was the mass violation of the human and civil rights of Jews in Arab countries.

Today, we must not allow a second injustice – for the international community to continue to recognize rights for one victim population – Arab refugees–without recognizing equal rights for other victims of that very same Middle East conflict – Jewish refugees from Arab countries.”

Rabbi Abadie concluded his captivating and informative address by sparking the collective conscience of all humanity: “Let there be no mistake about it. Where there is no remembrance, there is no truth; where there is no truth, there will be no justice; where there is no justice, there will be no reconciliation; and where there is no reconciliation, there will be no peace.”

In a December 4, 2021 interview with the Institute of Jewish Experience, Professor Tarek Heggy, an Egyptian thinker and  author of 35 books on the MENA politics & cultures, spoke of Egypt’s relationship with its Jewish population. “At one time, Egypt had 100,000 Jews, among other ethnic groups living all over the country. This cosmopolitan, Mediterranean Egypt started to come to an end at the same time that the Jews were forced to leave Egypt”

In a March 2020 article by Sarina Roffe, an expert genealogist, historian, and founder of Sephardic Heritage Project that appeared in Brooklyn’s Community Magazine, she speaks of students from Yeshivah of Flatbush who shared stories of what happened as their families left Syria, some of them with their passports stamped: “Never to Return.”

Joshua Zebak spoke of his father’s life in Damascus, as well as family members who tried to escape. “Mazal, Lulu, and Fara Zebak, and their cousin Eva Saad planned an escape. Unfortunately, they didn’t make it. They were brutally killed and their remains were left in a cave. They did not see Israel but Israel sees them. Mazal, Fara, Lulu, and Eva did not reach the border, but they have reached our hearts and our history forever.’’

Danielle Tawil spoke of her mother’s family, the Antebys, and their escape from Syria. It was 1980 and people who tried to revolt were killed. Jews were not allowed to keep their customs or study Torah. Arab kids threw stones at Jews. Even so, the Jewish children were still able to get an education. Born in 1971, Danielle’s mother had no birth certificate, so even to this day she is not sure of her birthday. Danielle’s grandfather was arrested and thrown into jail and was accused of being Russian spy; her grandmother was also arrested a few times.

At a certain point, half of the family was allowed to leave the country, so Danielle’s two uncles and grandmother left in 1980. Her grandfather and mother were left behind. They obtained false passports with fake Arab names. Danielle’s mother’s Arab name was Mahah Dakak. They managed to get to Paris, but they had to leave everything behind. Eventually they got visas and were able to enter the United States. Danielle says it is important to appreciate and “take advantage of religious freedom we have today.”

It has been nearly a decade since the Israeli government has accepted culpability for neglecting the nightmarish plight of Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Arab lands, yet no official curriculum has been established in Israeli schools to teach a new generation about the history of this vital segment of the population.

Even after two commissions were established which concluded  that the need exists to incorporate this history into their curriculum and most recently, the Bitton commission, nothing has been done to ensure that such an educational curriculum will become a reality.   Nor are there any official museums, seminars, memorials or media centered productions that spotlight the expulsion of Jews from Arab lands. Why is this so?

As was mentioned previously, when Jews from Arab lands began streaming into Israel after the United Nations officially declared it a Jewish state in 1948, there were those in the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency who went on record as opposing this wave of emigration to the newly founded state.

The reality is that those who comprised the leadership of Israel in its infancy were secular, left-wing Jews of European ancestry. They were buoyed by the socialist doctrine that they imbibed from the Zionist youth movements that they grew up with in Europe. Their ultimate objective was to create a socialist haven for Jews “of their own kind” that was predicated on the political theories of Ber Borochov and his ilk.

As such, these Jews from Arab lands represented a dangerous threat to their political agenda. These Ashkenazi Jews in leadership positions were totally cognizant of the fact that these Jews from Arab clung tenaciously to the dictums of their faith and were deeply religious. The notion of hundreds of thousands of them reproducing at record numbers was something that the secular leadership could not swallow.

In order to forcibly secularize these Jews from Arab lands, the Histradrut (Israel’s national trade union, which became one of the most powerful institutions in Israel) would interview newly arrived Sephardic Jews. They would ask them if they were planning to send their children to a religious school. If they responded in the affirmative, then they were told that they would not be given a job and would remain in poverty for their entire lives.

Because of the vehemently anti-religious doctrine that the leadership of Israel was wedded to, they were hell bent on ripping away the “Simanim” (signs of their commitment to Torah) of the Sephardic Jews that emigrated to Israel. And that meant their kashrut, their peyot, their manner of dress and religious observance.

During the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s, the jails in Israel were brimming over with young Sephardic Jewish boys and men. They were the tragic byproducts of an Israeli culture created by the European Jews who founded the state. These socialist-zionists crafted a nefarious scheme to destroy every last vestige of Sephardic religious life and to isolate these Jews from Arab lands. This left them with no choice but to become outcasts in a state that clearly resented their presence.

While this is the cold, hard truth, the government of Israel has made negligible contributions in terms of rectifying the misdeeds of their original leadership.

So many decades later, we are collectively raising our voices and calling for the government of Israel to broadcast the plight of Jews from Arab lands with a concrete education in the school system. And this means a curriculum that is developed by experts in Sephardic Jewish history. This also means year round seminars for members of the Israel Defense Forces and a special college and university course structure. Speakers, rabbis, teachers and the media must immerse themselves in disseminating this information about Jews from Arab lands and what they endured while living in their host countries and what they experienced upon arriving in Israel.

We urgently need to rallyl for an international effort representing all aspects of the Jewish nation for the creation of a museum that is equivalent to the Yad VaShem Holocaust memorial to teach all Israelis and foreign tourists about the brutality that was foisted upon Jews from Arab lands and their ancestors. And this global outreach should be focusing on Latin America, the United States, Canada, France, England, Australia, Italy, and many more such countries. This effort must be broad based as we solicit the talents of scholars, teachers, artists, chefs, etc

The media in Israel must focus on professionally producing television series, documentaries and books about the horrific catastrophes that befell Jews from Arab lands.

One day a year that is dedicated to remembering and memorializing the heartbreaking plight of Jews from Arab lands is certainly not sufficient in terms of making amends for devastation that was perpetrated against these people throughout the course of history.

Now, before it is too late, all of us must come together in unity to amplify this issue. We call upon each of you for your help, guidance and determination to ensure that the world never forgets the injustices meted out to Jews from Arab lands.

While history may or may not recall our deeds on this earth, it is our moral obligation to stand up for brethren and by doing so, we will have made this world a better place for future generations.

 

 

Major media outlets grossly underreport the number of Israelis under rocket fire

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HKU

 How many Israelis have had to flee Islamic Jihad rocket fire this weekend? It’s an easy question with a simple answer, and yet media giants the Associated Press and Reuters reduced one million fleeing Israelis to “tens of thousands,” while The New York Times cited just “thousands.”

Following communication from CAMERA’s Israel office today, both Reuters and AP commendably corrected their reports. As of this writing, the Times has yet to correct.

Initially, Reuters’ story grossly underreported that Islamic Jihad “rocket salvoes have sent tens of thousands Israelis to shelters.”

In fact, Islamic Jihad rockets have sent more than one million Israelis running to shelters, at locations including Ashkelon (population 140,000), Ashdod (226,000), Rishon Lezion (260,000), Holon (194,300), Bat Yam (130,000) and Sderot (28,000), in addition to the countless smaller yishuvim and kibbutzim. Among other targets were Tel Aviv (461,000), Mevaseret Zion (25,000), Abu Ghosh (8,000) and Har Adar (5,000).

(This writer was on her way to Shabbat lunch yesterday when a siren went off, forcing her to run to a neighbor’s home and crowd into their family’s protected room to wait out the Iron Dome interception. She lives in the central city of Modi’in, 67 kilometers away from Gaza. In that alone, she was one of 100,000 residents compelled to flee to safety.)

Notably, this was not the first time that Reuters made this identical error. During a 2019 round of violence very similar to this week’s, Reuters corrected after similarly misreporting that rockets were “sending thousands of people to shelters.”

In response to communication from CAMERA about today’s error, Reuters amended the text to more accurately report that “rocket salvoes have paralyzed much of southern Israel and sent residents in cities like Tel Aviv and Ashkelon to shelters.”

Yet, contrary to common journalistic practice, including Reuters’ own, the news agency did not append a clarification alerting readers to the change. In addition, it’s notable that both today and in 2019, the corrections avoid stating the actual correct figure—one million fleeing Israelis—although the original number had indeed included a specific (and wrong) figure of tens of thousands.

As for the Associated Press, it originally reported: “Islamic Jihad fired over 200 rockets and projectiles at Israeli cities and towns in the south and center, disrupting life for tens of thousands of people.”

In response to CAMERA’s follow up, AP commendably amended the text, citing rockets “disrupting life for hundreds of thousands of people.” Its correction, like Reuters’, was also stealthy, with no appended note alerting readers to the change.

The Times of Israel, which also published the AP story, commendably fixed its copy even before AP did. Its corrected copy accurately refers to rockets “disrupting life for well over a million Israelis.”

Meanwhile, The New York Times further minimized the threat to Israel’s population, erroneously reporting: “One airstrike on Friday killed a senior Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza, and prompted the group to return fire with several rocket and mortar barrages that sent thousands of Israelis into bomb shelters overnight Friday.”

By Friday night, the residents of Bat Yam, Holon, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Rishon Lezion and Sderot, plus all of the small communities in the Gaza envelope area, had already visited their bomb shelters.

Tamar Sternthal is director of CAMERA’s Israel Office

NYC Mayor Eric Adams on Illegal Immigrants Arriving in the City: ‘This Is Horrific’

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Mayor Eric Adams delivers his executive budget at City Hall, Feb. 16, 2022. Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

Hannah Bleau

New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) had a negative reaction to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) busing illegal immigrants to so-called sanctuary cities on the East Coast, calling the action “horrific” as dozens of mostly single adult males arrived in New York City from Texas over the weekend.

Exclusive footage from Breitbart News shows a bus filled with mostly single adult males arriving at Port Authority in New York City on Friday following Abbott’s decision to disperse illegal border crossers to Democrat-run, illegal-friendly sanctuary cities. 

Abbott attributed the move to President Biden’s “continued refusal to acknowledge the crisis caused by his open border policies,” prompting the Lone Star State to take “unprecedented action to keep our communities safe.”

“In addition to Washington, D.C., New York City is the ideal destination for these migrants, who can receive the abundance of city services and housing that Mayor Eric Adams has boasted about within the sanctuary city,” Abbott said in an August 5 statement. 

“I hope he follows through on his promise of welcoming all migrants with open arms so that our overrun and overwhelmed border towns can find relief,” he added. 

Adams was present Sunday morning when a second load of migrants arrived in the city, and he used the opportunity to blast Abbott for exporting the issue to the Big Apple.

“This is horrific, when you think about what the governor is doing,” Adams said, calling the move “unimaginable.”

“It is unimaginable what the governor of Texas has done, when you think about this country, a country that has always been open to those who were fleeing persecution,” Adams said.

“We’ve always welcomed them. And this governor is not doing that in Texas. But we are going to set the right tone of being here for these families,” he said, also stating that some of the families “wanted to go to other locations, and they were not allowed to do so.”

“They were forced on the bus,” Adams said. “Our goal is to immediately find out each family’s needs and give them the assistance they want.”

It remains unclear why Adams appears to be so put off by Abbott’s decision to bus illegal immigrants to the city, given his proud statement that the city will “always welcome newcomers with open arms.”

More Palestinians Died from Misfired Rockets than Israeli Strikes

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A volley of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip was intercepted by the Iron Dome system near the Israeli town of Ashdod area on Sunday morning March 11 2012. PHoto by Flash90 **MAARIV OUT**

Deboiarah Brand

More Palestinians died in the recent conflict between Israel and Gaza by botched rocket launches by Gaza terrorists than from Israel Air Force strikes, the army said on Monday.

Operation Breaking Dawn, which lasted just shy of three days, saw 35 Palestinians killed. Of those, 26 were uninvolved Palestinian civilians and the rest were terrorists from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Eleven of the 26 innocents were killed during Israeli airstrikes and included the wives of senior PIJ commanders, Commander of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit Brig.-Gen. Ran Kochav told reporters.

The other 15 were killed by rockets launched by PIJ that either misfired or fell short of their target and landed within Gaza.

He added the army would launch a probe into the eleven civilian deaths.

No damage was done to Gaza’s civilian infrastructure, Kochav said.

Rockets are launched from Gaza towards Israel, on 07 August 2022. (Sameh Rahmi/NurPhoto via Getty)

PIJ, which is funded by Iran, fired 1100 rockets into Israel over a 66-hour period. Two hundred of them landed in Gaza, killing children. The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted 380. Israel sustained some damage to private houses in the communities surrounding the border with Gaza, but there were no casualties.

Egypt mediated a ceasefire which came into effect at 11:30 p.m. on Sunday. Eight minutes later, PIJ broke the ceasefire by firing a barrage of rockets into Israel which were intercepted by the Iron Dome.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said on Sunday night that Israel had “achieved its goals” in the operation. The IDF killed several high-ranking PIJ commanders and destroyed at least three weapons warehouses in the Strip.

Lapid has previously said that the military campaign was launched over a “concrete threat” of a terror attack by PIJ.

Taxes on Fuel, Business, Medicines, and More in ‘Inflation Reduction Act

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FILE - The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building in Washington, on March 22, 2013. One of Washington's favorite punching bags, the Internal Revenue Service, may finally get the resources it's been asking Congress for if Democrats get their economic package focused on energy and health care over the finish line. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Joel B. Pollak

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) has listed several taxes in in the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” that passed the Senate on Sunday — which Democrats now hail as a “climate” bill, since the Congressional Budget Offices says it will hardly reduce inflation.

These taxes include taxes on fossil fuel, which will raise energy costs for working-class families, still struggling with high gas prices; taxes on businesses that will affect consumers and entrepreneurs; taxes on medicines; and taxes that affect pensions.

Notably, President Joe Biden promised that the bill will “bring down family energy bills by an average of $500 a year” and that he would not tax those earning less than $400,000 per year. ATR’s analysis suggests that he will violate both promises.

The full list, as published by ATR, is summarized below.

  • Taxes on fossil fuels: These include a $6.5 billion tax on natural gas production; a “16.4 cents-per-barrel tax on crude oil and imported petroleum products”; and a $1.2 billion coal tax. All of these would likely raise energy costs for typical households.
  • Taxes on corporations: The bill includes a 15% minimum tax on large corporations, which ATR argues will be passed onto consumers, and which will hit the manufacturing industry particularly hard as it is still struggling with supply chain problems.
  • Taxes on medium-sized businessesATR says the bill extends a limit on loss deductions for “passthrough” businesses — S corporations and sole proprietorships — for two years, without extending a corresponding 20% deduction on income.
  • Indirect tax on pensions through taxing stock buybacks: The bill taxes companies that buy their own stock back, ignoring the fact that doing so often raises the price of the stock. The tax therefore hurts 401(k) savings, and even union pension funds.
  • Tax on pharmaceuticals unless they accept price caps: The bill imposes a 95% excise tax on pharmaceuticals that do not accept government price controls, which could affect the ability of drug companies to develop new treatments in the future.

ATR also notes that the bill adds $80 billion, and 87,000 new staff members, to the Internal Revenue Service — and there is no guarantee that they will simply focus on wealthy tax evaders rather than auditing ordinary Americans with lower incomes.

The Congressional Budget Office has said the bill will likely have a negligible effect on inflation in the near future, despite its name. The bill passed the Senate on Sunday evening, and now heads to the Democrat-controlled House for likely passage.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET

CNN’s Stelter: Hunter Biden ‘Not Just a Right-Wing Media Story’ — ‘A Real Problem’ for Joe Biden in 2024

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Pam Key

CNN anchor Brian Stelter said Sunday on his show “Reliable Sources” that the ongoing federal investigation of President Joe Biden’s son Hunter is “not just a right-wing media story.”

Stelter added Hunter’s legal jeopardy could endanger his father’s chances in his 2024 re-election run.

Stelter said, “Maureen Dowd’s column in this morning’s New York Times basically says that Joe Biden should not run for re-election. This has been a narrative for months, and it is getting louder and louder, including from some Democratic lawmakers saying Biden should basically hang it up and say he is a lame duck and not run in 2024. So where do you come down on this as a former White House aide?”

Former press secretary for First Lady Jill Biden, Michael LaRosa, said, “I hope he runs. I know he’s going to run. He’s planning to run, as he said many times.”

Stelter asked, “Biden’s age makes it different.”

LaRosa said, “I don’t see why he wouldn’t run. I haven’t heard a reason why.”

Stelter said, “What about his son, what about Hunter? Hunter under federal investigation, charges could be coming at any time. This is not just a right-wing media story. This is a real problem for the Bidens. Could he decide not to run for re-election, given his son?”

LaRosa said, “Look, they make decisions as a family, and they will make that decision when it’s time.”

Stelter asked, “Do you think they’ve talked about it yet?”

LaRosa said, “No. The president is doing his job, and he’s doing his work. He’s not focused on that. It’s 19 months! Why would he do that?”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

NYPD Releases Photo & Sketch of Man Who Viciously Attacked Jewish Man on Subway

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Edited by: TJVNews.com

The NYPD has released a photo and sketch of an alleged assailant who punched and bloodied a Jewish man on a Queens subway last month, as was reported by Hamodia on Sunday.

The man who was attacked has only identified himself to the media as a 37-year old accountant named Chaim. He declined to give his last name.

Speaking to Hamodia about the attack that was committed against him on the subway, Chaim said that on July 26th of this year, at approximately 7:30 pm, he was traveling on the E train in Queens between Roosevelt Avenue and the Queens Plaza stops. It was then that a group of four men began playing music and dancing while soliciting donations from passengers.

Chaim told Hamodia, “One of the dancers stepped on my foot — it could have been by accident, it wasn’t such a big deal. But maybe he thought I would do something against him. He then went for my phone – maybe he thought I was recording him, though I wasn’t.”

One of the men dancing demanded that Chaim hand over his phone and began grabbing at it in an attempted robbery, the Hamodia report indicated.

Chaim recalled, ““He said, ‘Give me your phone, Jew,’ and then, when he realized that he was struggling a bit, he punched me in the mouth. I started bleeding everywhere.”

When Chaim got off the E train at the Queens Plaza stop, he remembered that the man who assaulted him said, “If I had a gun, I would shoot you,” according to the Hamodia report.

Suffering a laceration to his lip, Chaim told Hamodia that he sought treatment at Cornell Medical Center’s emergency room. It was there that he received two stitches in his mouth.

On Saturday, the NYPD released an image of the suspect taken from surveillance video. As it is a grainy image, the NYPD also produced a sketch of the suspect, according to the Hamodia report.

Dov Hikind, a former Brooklyn state Assemblyman and former leader in the Jewish Defense League who founded the group Americans Against Antisemitism, had the opportunity to meet with Chaim subsequent to the attack, spoke with Hamodia on Sunday. Mr. Hikind said: “It is important that we apprehend those who are committing acts of hate — and to make sure there are consequences for acts of hate. The Police Department does a great job arresting people. The problem is little is happening to perpetrators at the end of the day. That has to change.”

 

Former NYPD Official: Bail Reform “Set Us Back a Decade” By Dropping an “Atom Bomb” on the Criminal Justice System

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Edited by: TJVNews.com

As New York City finds itself gripped by a massive crime wave, the 2019 bail reform laws continue to dominate the headlines as residents of the Big Apple become increasingly concerned about their safety as repeat criminal offenders are back on streets.

On Sunday, Ex-Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism and former television news reporter John Miller said that New York state legislators “set us back a decade” by dropping an “atom bomb” on the criminal-justice system with their vote on the bail-reform laws, as was reported by the New York Post.

Appearing on the WABC AM 770 radio talk show that is hosted by former New York City mayoral candidate and business mogul John Catsimatidis, Miller excoriated the state’s bail reform measures, the Post reported. Miller said the new laws are  “all ideology over common sense,” and that they were forged by “advocates for people who commit crimes.”

The Post reported that Miller retired from the NYPD several weeks ago after spending almost ten years in the position. As a private citizen, it is clear, based on Miller’s remarks that he feels that the bail reform laws adopted in New York are one of the major driving forces in the significant uptick in violent and non-violent crime that is plaguing the city and confounding its mayor.

Miller told the audience that was tuned into the “Cats Roundtable” that prior to the nail reform laws that were passed in Albany that violent crime was at its nadir in 2018 and 2019.

“And then you saw crime start to climb, and it really set us back a decade in terms of shootings and murders, which is shame,” Miller told host John Catsimatidis, as reported by the Post. “It’s like having a cure for a disease and then having the hospital take the vaccination away.”

The Post reported that Miller said state lawmakers “literally took every proposal that had been sitting on the shelf that they couldn’t pass because common-sense people wouldn’t let it happen, they blew the dust off them, and they passed them all at once.”

Those elected officials that oppose the new bail reform laws such as New York City Mayor Eric Adams have said that the laws allow repeat offenders back on the streets and they do not require jailing people accused of violent crimes before trial, as was reported by the Post.

Others such as New York Governor Kathy Hochul have implied that those to blame for the upsurge in crime are judges.

Legislators balled the reforms into one budget bill and then snuck them out in the middle of the night. And we’ve been suffering from it ever since,” Miller said, as was reported by the Post. “I don’t think anybody bothered to read them. I think it was all ideology over common sense.”

“And I think the criminal-justice system is a complex ecosystem where you can make changes and adjustments, and there are reforms that made sense that are in there,” he said, according to the Post report. “But you can’t do all of that at once and drop it like an atom bomb on a system that that’s complicated and not expect turmoil.

“District attorneys don’t like it. Judges don’t like it. Police officers don’t like it. And citizens don’t like it. So that leaves one universe — the advocates — who think it’s terrific. They are advocates for people who commit crimes, who get caught in the system,” he said. “And where are the advocates for everybody else?”

WINNERS AND LOSERS FROM NHL OFFSEASON PT2

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Marvin A Azrak

The robust  NHL offseason following the Colorado Avalanche dethroning the Tampa Bay Lightning in game six of the Stanley Cup final has featured a plethora of league-changing moves with superstars either getting traded or signing elsewhere boosting potential playoff stock for next season. There’s still top free agents out on the market for example star center from the Avs Nazeem Kadri, and hot trade talks surrounding all-stars JT Miller, Pierre-Luc-Dubious and Patrick Kane. However, most teams seem predominately  set for 2022-23, while others are in for a tedious campaign.

The following lists two more clubs that did well thus far during the offseason and two more that fared poorly. It’s part two of a series that will continue as the offseason progresses and you can keep track of on theJewishvoice.com.

We’ll examine their notable moves and explain how they improved or weakened their respective rosters as they prepare for the upcoming season which begins on October 7th between the Predators and Sharks in the Czech Republic, with the North American portion beginning on October 11th between the Los Angeles  Kings and Vegas Golden Knights, as well as the Rangers hosting the Lightning. The rest of the league will begin play on October 12th, which will feature the Avalanche raising their Stanley cup banner and getting the rings.

WINNER: DETROIT RED WINGS

Since becoming general manager of the Detroit Red Wings in April of 2019, Steve Yzerman has rebuilt his roster with young players through the draft or via trades otherwise known as the “Yzerplan”.

This summer,  he made several moves designed to transcend  the process and improve his club’s chances at playoff contention, and although it may not be this upcoming season, the trajectory points to 2024 being a potential breakout year for the organization and it’s fans.

Yzerman’s notable  additions  were the signings of  forwards David Perron, Andrew Copp, Dominik Kubalik and defensemen Ben Chiarot and Olli Maatta. As if that wasn’t enough, he traded for backup  goaltender Ville Husso on July 8 from the St. Louis Blues and signed him to a three-year contract with an annual salary-cap hit of $4.75 million.

Chiarot is a 6’3”, 234-pound blueliner, AKa a “Defensive defenseman” and inked  a four-year deal worth $4.75 million annually. Meanwhile, the puck-shifting  Maatta agreed to  a one-year, $2.25 million contract. Both will provide  depth on the left side of the Detroit blue line and continue to help mold  Calder  Trophy winner Moritz Seider and star youngster Filip Hronek.

Perron, 34, is a top-six winger on a prove it two-year contract worth an average annual value of $4.75 million. The 28-year-old Andrew Copp brings versatility  to their forward lines for the next five seasonsat $5.625 million annually, having just come off a career 53 point  season with the Jets and Rangers, including the playoffs where he went for 14 points in 20 games helping New York reach the Eastern Conference finals.

A former 30-goal scorer, the 26-year-old Kubalik could help if he’s able to rekindle that scoring touch and try the open market again after his two year $5 million deal pact through 2023-24 expires.

The 27-year-old Husso became the  Blues starter , outright defeating 2019 Stanley cup champion Jordan Binnington during the 2021-22 regular season, but lost the starting role outright in the playoffs.

He and Alex Nedeljkovic should form a steady tandem that gives Detroit balance in regards to their goalies unlike years past.

LOSER: PHILADELPHIA FLYERS:

Coming off a disheartening performance in the COVID-shortened 2020-21 season, Philadelphia general manager Chuck Fletcher acquired Cam Atkinson, Ryan Ellis and Rasmus Ristolanen last summer. Those moves then backfired and sent the team tumbling  towards the Metro division basement.

Rather than construct a roster rebuild, Fletcher opted to an inexplicable retool. He hired unliked head coach John Tortorella, who while vowed to bring a change in culture to the underperforming club, has a reputation of rupturing locker rooms.

Fletcher acquired Tony DeAngelo from the Carolina Hurricanes and signed the offensive-minded defenseman to a two-year contract, as the 26-year-old enjoyed a bounce-back 51-point performance last season with the Hurricanes, but things did end awkwardly when Carolina gave him permission to seek a trade.

The Flyers had an opportunity to sign Johnny Gaudreau who were  were the high-scoring winger’s top choice as he this was his boyhood team, but they had to clear salary-cap space by trading James van Riemsdyk to do so. Gaudreau ultimately signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets and JVR is somehow still a Flyer. Absolutely pathetic.

With a roster filled with declining players like Sean Couturier, Cam Atkinson and Kevin Hayes, the Flyers GM doesn’t have much to show for his efforts to improve his roster this summer, and may be deservingly canned soon with no sense of direction in sight for this embarrassment of a franchise.

WINNER: EDMONTON OILERS

The Oilers entered this offseason stuck with limited salary-cap space, hampering their efforts to improve their roster after a deep playoff run. But regressing goalie Mike Smith and underwhelming defenseman Duncan Keith both retired, while the cap-wasting Zack Kassian was dealt to the Arizona Coyotes.

That enabled them to  bring back Evander Kane and and lure former Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell as their new starting goalie.

Kane’s 4 year $82 million deal was the result of a nice piece of work on GM Ken Holland’s part, as he  allowed the winger’s agent to speak with other clubs before free agency prior to him signing the contract. Campbell, meanwhile received a a five year $25 million deal despite a mediocre playoffs, but at least he should be a significant improvement over Smith as their guy in net, especially after his 31-9-6 regular season that featured a 2.64 GAA(14th in NHL) and a .914 save %(15th in NHL).

LOSER: TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

The Toronto Maple Leafs seeked a new goalie tandem after letting Jack Campbell depart via free agency and trading Petr Mrazek to the Chicago Blackhawks. So they welcomed  to the team, Matt Murray and two draft picks from the Ottawa Senators for “future considerations” which is basically nothing. The Senators also agreed to retain 25 percent of Murray’s $6.3 million annual salary-cap hit through 2023-24. Ottawa was looking to deal the goaltender who at the draft, vetoed a deal to the Buffalo Sabres using his no trade clause.

Landing a two-time Stanley Cup champion for free without being on the hook for his full cap hit would usually be regarded as a cop , but Murray, has been plagued by injuries in recent years which has performance and limited his playing time. During his two years with the Sens, he played in just 47/ 138 total games.

To back him up, Toronto signed unrestricted free agent Ilya Samsonov to a one-year, $1.8 million contract. The 25-year-old netminder was let go  by the Washington Capitals after struggling to establish himself as a reliable starter in the nations capital.

The Leafs’ prolific offense led by Auston Matthews(Hart trophy and Rocket Richard winner, coming off a 60 goal season) and Mitch Marner all but ensures  they’ll be a playoff contender in 2022-23. But , their new goaltending tandem suggests a plethora of question marks. An injury-prone starter,  plus an unproven backup netminder   simply doesn’t scream “Stanley Cup contender” to me. But hey, you never know!

Storms ground US air travelers as airlines cancel flights

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People wait in a TSA line at the John F. Kennedy International Airport on June 28, 2022, in New York. Tens of thousands of flyers had their travel plans upended Friday, Aug. 5, after airlines canceled more than 1,100 flights for a second straight day because of thunderstorms hitting the East Coast. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson, File)

(AP) — Tens of thousands of flyers had their travel plans upended Friday after airlines canceled about 1,400 U.S. flights as thunderstorms hit the East Coast.

Another 6,300 flights had been delayed by early evening, according to tracking service FlightAware.

It was the second straight day of major disruptions and the worst day for cancellations since mid-June.

The three major airports in the New York City area and Reagan National Airport outside Washington, D.C., recorded the most cancellations.

American Airlines scrubbed about 250 flights, or 7% of its schedule. Republic Airways, which operates smaller planes for American Eagle, Delta Connection and United Express, canceled a similar number, about 25% of its flights.

Thunderstorms were stopping or delaying early-evening flights in New York, Boston, the Washington, D.C., area, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Denver, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

About 1,200 U.S. flights were canceled Thursday, 4.6% of all those scheduled.

Travelers have been hit with widespread cancellations and delays this summer. Travel bounced back faster than expected — to about 88% of pre-pandemic levels in July — and airlines weren’t able to increase staffing fast enough. They have been cutting back on schedules in an attempt to make remaining flights more reliable.

Airlines flying in the U.S. had a bad June, canceling more than 21,000 flights or 2.7%, up from 1.8% in June 2019, before airlines pushed workers to quit during the pandemic. The airlines did better in July, however, canceling about 14,000 flights, or 1.8%.

Delays have been more persistent — above 23% in both June and July

They’re Not Gatekeepers Anymore’: Meet The DeSantis Spokeswoman Who’s Putting The Media On Defense

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Screenshot/YouTube/The Rubin Report

Laurel Duggan(Dailt Caller)

Christina Pushaw, press secretary for Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, has been putting Democrats and the corporate press on defense by refusing to play along with what she says are partisan narratives.

Pushaw has garnered national attention for her active and sometimes aggressive interactions with journalists. Her strategy may serve as a playbook for conservatives who are ready to reject the media’s framing and communicate with the public on their own terms.

The media’s interest in Pushaw is a product of their obsession with DeSantis, Pushaw told the DCNF, which began in 2020 when Florida opened schools and businesses earlier than other states and became subject to constant media criticism. DeSantis largely ignored his media detractors, and Pushaw’s strategy mirrors her boss’s: she doesn’t play along with the media’s framing of an issue if it’s misleading or overtly partisan, and she uses her platform on Twitter to cut past the spin and communicate with people directly, she explained.

 

“Legacy media is used to being gatekeepers, to setting the narrative and having everyone, including politicians, just go along with that,” she said. With the credibility of the media collapsing and more people looking to social media and other sources for news, mainstream media outlets are losing their ability to shape the narrative, she said. “That’s why this was so triggering for them. They’re not gatekeepers anymore and that’s making them very anxious. … They don’t get to dictate to us what is truth and what’s false when they have such a track record of lying.”

When Florida lawmakers were considering the Parental Rights in Education bill, which banned classroom instruction on sexuality and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, Pushaw made a point of correcting reporters who misleadingly referred to the legislation as the “Don’t Say Gay bill.” She suggested calling it the “Anti-Groomer Bill” instead, which she said was more accurate.

“Teaching kids that they can be born in the wrong body and that they can choose their own pronouns and gender when they’re in kindergarten, that is grooming,” she said.

 

“That was one thing, I think, that really set off media activists, because they are not used to us conservatives using their tactics against them,” she said. “Why should we accept their framing and defend ourselves from these completely ridiculous and absurd accusations when the main issue is that Democrats are lobbying against a bill that just protects kids from gender indoctrination in kindergarten?”

Pushaw, a California native, began working for DeSantis in May 2021 after working for several years at conservative and libertarian-leaning organizations. (RELATED: DeSantis’ Spokeswoman Shreds WaPo For 2,000-Word Article Whining About Her Tweets)

Criticisms of Pushaw generally focus on her aggressive approach to Twitter, such as the 2,000-word article complaining about her tweets published in The Washington Post July 27.

The Associated Press pushed Twitter to suspend her account in August 2021 after she tweeted criticisms of an AP article which had insinuated that Florida’s monoclonal antibody treatments were part of a corruption scheme, including tweets that read “drag them” and which told the author she would “put [him] on blast.” She said the suggestions of corruption were inaccurate despite lengthy clarifications she provided to the author, and she thought the article could have scared people away from using the treatment.

“I try to directly refute and debunk misinformation, disinformation and flat-out smears from the the media as well as from some partisan critics, and that’s how I really use my Twitter account,” she said.

Pushaw sometimes shares screenshots of her interactions with journalists on Twitter if she takes issue with the way a story is being framed or thinks statements from her office are being misrepresented. But her office receives hundreds of emails from journalists on a daily basis, and if an inquiry is in bad faith, rests on a faulty premise or is repeating partisan talking points, she first addresses the issue directly with the reporter, she said.

“With the national media, oftentimes it seems like they’ve written the story before they reach out to us and they don’t give us adequate chances to respond. Even if we do respond, they will cut up our answers,” she said. “I try to work with every reporter before they write the story. If a reporter doesn’t give anyone on my team a chance to respond but just publishes something, then I’ll call them out publicly. If they publish something that’s not true but it looks like they’re trying to get it right, I will reach out to them directly.”

This approach doesn’t apply to every writer, Pushaw explained.

“That’s with actual journalists. There are some people that I don’t consider to be journalists, like Taylor Lorenz (the Washington Post columnist), or the ladies of The View; they’re commentators. They’re pundits, and they have a track record of repeating things that aren’t true,” she said.

Jeremy Redfern, press secretary for the Florida Department of Health, said Pushaw’s strategy is precisely what DeSantis needs in the face of unrelenting and biased media coverage.

“She understands the moment, and she understand the passion that the Governor has to do what is right for Floridians,” he told the DCNF.

Throughout the interview Pushaw frequently redirected the focus back to DeSantis, particularly to his achievements and to what she believes the media has gotten wrong about his administration. Pushaw has been featured in numerous articles from national media outlets, but she insists the attention is misguided.

“They try to make me into this powerful figure when I am really a communications staffer,” she said.

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