The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

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N.E. Brigand
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Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

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FBI rescues more than 200 trafficking victims, including 84 children, in "Operation Cross Country" (CBS)

The Dept. of Justice news release linked in that story indicates that this wasn't the bust of one big trafficking ring but rather a series of parallel operations that took place in the first half of August:
The FBI-led nationwide initiative focused on identifying and locating victims of sex trafficking and investigating and arresting individuals and criminal enterprises involved in both child sex and human trafficking.

"Human trafficking is among the most heinous crimes the FBI encounters,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “Unfortunately, such crimes—against both adults and children—are far more common than most people realize. As we did in this operation, the FBI and our partners will continue to find and arrest traffickers, identify and help victims, and raise awareness of the exploitation our most vulnerable populations.”

In addition to the identification and location of adolescent victims, the FBI and its partners located 141 adult victims of human trafficking. Agents and investigators also identified or arrested 85 suspects of child sexual exploitation and human trafficking offenses. Those suspects identified will be subject to additional investigation for potential chargers. The average age of victims located in similar operations is approximately 15.5 years old, while the youngest victim discovered during this operation was 11 years old.

As part of Operation Cross Country XII, FBI special agents, intelligence analysts, victim specialists, and child adolescent forensic Interviewers working in conjunction with 200 state, local, and federal partners and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) conducted 391 operations over the two-week period.
Based on the "XII," I take it this is a periodically repeated exercise.

The news does make me wonder about the wisdom of recent Republican attacks on the FBI.

- - - - - - - - - -
Edited to add more news from the Dept. of Justice: a former member of Congress, "Terrance John 'TJ' Cox, 59, of Fresno, is charged with 15 counts of wire fraud, 11 counts of money laundering, one count of financial institution fraud, and one count of campaign contribution fraud." Cox is a Democrat. He represented the southern portion of the San Joaquin Valley from 2019-2021. The alleged crimes predate his Congressional term, although as noted, some of the apparent graft related to his 2018 campaign.

Another reason Republicans should want to support the FBI!
Last edited by N.E. Brigand on Tue Aug 16, 2022 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Voronwë the Faithful
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Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

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dEFuNd tHe fBi
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Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

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Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 12:06 am I meant to respond to this earlier, but most if not all of the groups cited in that article are genuine, if rather radical, progressive groups. I question their conclusion that the bill will do more harm than good, but share some of the concerns that they express.

In any event, the House passed the bill today on a straight party-line vote (four Republicans didn't show up to vote) and so it will go to President Biden for his signature. This is a big deal, but it is indication of how much a big deal the other story today is that the passing of the IRA has been so over-shadowed.
President Biden will be signing the Inflation Reduction Act today, and he's put out a video about why he thinks the climate legislation contained therein are important:

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Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

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N.E. Brigand wrote: Tue Aug 16, 2022 7:19 pm FBI rescues more than 200 trafficking victims, including 84 children, in "Operation Cross Country" (CBS)

The Dept. of Justice news release linked in that story indicates that this wasn't the bust of one big trafficking ring but rather a series of parallel operations that took place in the first half of August:
The FBI-led nationwide initiative focused on identifying and locating victims of sex trafficking and investigating and arresting individuals and criminal enterprises involved in both child sex and human trafficking.

"Human trafficking is among the most heinous crimes the FBI encounters,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “Unfortunately, such crimes—against both adults and children—are far more common than most people realize. As we did in this operation, the FBI and our partners will continue to find and arrest traffickers, identify and help victims, and raise awareness of the exploitation our most vulnerable populations.”

In addition to the identification and location of adolescent victims, the FBI and its partners located 141 adult victims of human trafficking. Agents and investigators also identified or arrested 85 suspects of child sexual exploitation and human trafficking offenses. Those suspects identified will be subject to additional investigation for potential chargers. The average age of victims located in similar operations is approximately 15.5 years old, while the youngest victim discovered during this operation was 11 years old.

As part of Operation Cross Country XII, FBI special agents, intelligence analysts, victim specialists, and child adolescent forensic Interviewers working in conjunction with 200 state, local, and federal partners and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) conducted 391 operations over the two-week period.
Based on the "XII," I take it this is a periodically repeated exercise.

The news does make me wonder about the wisdom of recent Republican attacks on the FBI.
Oh good! Maybe this will help shut up some of the ridiculous Pizzagate conspiracy theorists! :nono:
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Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

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I'll put this here to continue the theme of debunking the theme that the FBI and DOJ are corrupt shills of the evil Biden Administration.

Former Member of Congress Charged with Multiple Fraud Schemes

The former member is Terrance John “TJ” Cox, 59, of Fresno, a Democrat.
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Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

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Meant to note this yesterday. Even though someone I know personally wrote a good play about the evils of drone warfare, it's never been clear to me why it seemed to get more criticism than other kinds of U.S. military actions. But there's been almost no reporting on how the Biden administration has (nearly) ended it:

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Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

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I think there is a visceral reaction against the "video game" aspect of directlng killing machines from hundreds of miles away, even though in many cases they are the most efficient and safest method of conducting "warfare".

Other than, of course, not conducting warfare.
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Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

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In January 2021, I expected we'd soon see a picture like this. But for much of the subsequent 18 months, I thought we never would:

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Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

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Multiple Republicans today are accidentally arguing that the Biden administration is arresting too many criminals. Here's one example:



Apparently former Ambassador Haley would prefer it if these terrorists were not caught?
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Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

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I don't know how anyone can stomach Twitter.
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Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

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Wait a minute: in addition to the Inflation Reduction Act, the past week also saw Congress pass and President Biden sign legislation that will fix the longstanding budget woes of the U.S. Postal Service? Did anyone know this was even in the works?

Edit: I appear to have misunderstood some things I read yesterday and have struck most of the text above. I will follow up with a separate post.
Last edited by N.E. Brigand on Thu Aug 18, 2022 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

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Wait, what?
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Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

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You mean he got rid of DeJoy?
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Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

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Not to the best of my knowledge, even though there has been a majority of Democrats on the Postal Service Board since May.

I honestly have no idea what N.E.B. is referring to. There was a bipartisan Postal Service Reform Act passed this year, but it was signed by Biden into law on April 6, not in the past week.
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Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

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Frelga wrote: Thu Aug 18, 2022 3:51 pm You mean he got rid of DeJoy?
I almost posted this same sentence last night. :D
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Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

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N.E. Brigand wrote: Thu Aug 18, 2022 5:06 am Wait a minute: in addition to the Inflation Reduction Act, the past week also saw Congress pass and President Biden sign legislation that will fix the longstanding budget woes of the U.S. Postal Service? Did anyone know this was even in the works?

Edit: I appear to have misunderstood some things I read yesterday and have struck most of the text above. I will follow up with a separate post.
My apologies for posting without properly checking. Last night I saw (but cannot now find again) a reference by a political commentator to Congress and the President having just addressed the Postal Service's financial status. I flagged it in my mind as something to look up later and wouldn't have mentioned it here, but then I saw this item by U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, Democrat of Hawai'i included in a list of accomplishments of President Biden and this Congress, and I mistakenly took that as confirmation of what I'd read earlier:

"Like, Postal Reform was such a standing, seemingly unsolvable issue for every congress for a decade it seemed not doable. Done."

But when prompted by Voronwë's response, I went to look for the bill itself, I couldn't find it.

I have now. V is quite correct. It turns out that what Sen. Schatz is referring to is a bill that actually was signed into law four months ago. The Postal Service Reform Act of 2022 finally addressed the problems created by the misguided Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, which, per Wikipedia, "required the USPS to pre-fund benefits for future retirees, and this cost the agency about $5.5 billion annually. The PAEA required the USPS to pre-fund these pensions more than fifty years in advance. This requirement caused the USPS to accumulate billions in debt annually in recent years." The 2006 law, although it originated in a Republican-controlled Congress and its pre-funding provision specifically was requested by the George W. Bush administration, passed with bipartisan support. The Reform Act signed into law in March "finally eliminated the requirement to pre-fund retiree benefits." Previous attempts to fix this problem had failed, most recently in 2019.

Sorry for the confusion.
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Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

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No problem. And it remains true that an important accomplishment of the Biden Administration was so under-reported that none of us seemed to know about it even though it happened months ago.
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Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

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In an interview this week, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain summarized Joe Biden's accomplishments like this:

"President Biden has delivered the largest economic recovery plan since Roosevelt, the largest infrastructure plan since Eisenhower, the most judges confirmed [at this point in his term] since Kennedy, the second largest health care bill since Johnson [second largest because Obamacare was larger], and the largest climate change bill in history."

Klain also noted that this week, "the U.S. set an all time record on the number of states with unemployment rates at 3.0% or lower (there are 22 of them)," and Biden himself shared this image:

Image

Also U.S. gas prices are at their lowest level since early March.

And the price of chicken wings has finally dropped to pre-pandemic levels.

Even so, Joe Biden's approval rating remains underwater. Is that because the facts apparently don't matter to the public (if so, what could get public feelings to align with reality?), because many of these achievements are not widely known, or because some of this information is too recent to affect public opinion?
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Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

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It is still way too low, but at least Biden's approval rate is ticking upward.
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Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

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I think the answer to your last paragraph is "yes", NE. Especially the bit about some of these changes being too recent. But I've been watching the gas prices steadily decline over the past couple weeks and my grocery bill this week was lower than expected, given that I splurged on figs and cheese. I also have it on good authority that wood prices are dropping.
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