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N.C. Supreme Court Reverses Redistricting and Voter ID Ruling, Bans Felon Voting in a Win for Republicans
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Citizen Frank

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North Carolina’s state Supreme Court on Friday threw out previous rulings that had declared illegal both redistricting maps for excessive partisanship, Voter ID law and ended voting rights for some felons.

REDISTRICTING

Most notably, it reversed the map-drawing decision previously made when the court was majority Democrat and found the electoral districts drawn by GOP members were illegal.

Chief Justice Paul Newby, writing for the majority, wrote that there is “no judicially manageable standard by which to adjudicate partisan gerrymandering claims.”

“Courts are not intended to meddle in policy matters,” Newby wrote. “In its decision today, the Court returns to its tradition of honoring the constitutional roles assigned to each branch. This case is not about partisan politics but rather about realigning the proper roles of the judicial and legislative branches. Today we begin to correct course, returning the judiciary to its designated lane.”

The map-drawing ruling gives the Republicans — who hold a supermajority in the General Assembly — the chance to redraw the state’s congressional map for the 2024 election. Democrats and Republicans each hold seven of the state’s 14 seats in Congress. National Republicans are trying to hold onto a slim majority.

VOTER ID

The North Carolina Supreme Court reversed a previous ruling, upholding the 2018 voter identification law that was earlier deemed racially discriminatory. The court emphasized the importance of adhering to the law rather than succumbing to political winds.

The General Assembly enacted the voter ID law following a November 2018 vote to include an ID requirement in the state constitution. The court argued that the law did not violate the North Carolina Constitution and ordered the trial court to dismiss the action with prejudice, meaning the ruling is final.

However, a federal lawsuit challenging the same voter ID law remains active.

FELONS VOTING

The North Carolina Supreme Court has overruled lower court decisions that allowed felons who had completed active prison time but not their full sentences to vote.

The court stated that the state constitution ties voting rights to refraining from criminal misconduct and requires individuals with felony convictions to complete their sentences, including probation, parole, or post-release supervision, before regaining the right to vote.

WHAT THEY ARE SAING:

The ruling garnered ire from Democrats, while Republicans celebrated the ruling. AP news said this is a huge victory for republicans, with national implications.

NC Attorney General Josh Stein: “The Court’s ruling in Harper v. Hall today is a devastating blow to democracy. Our constitution is supposed to be a check on the power of the legislature. But these Republican justices have surrendered that role, taking power away from the people and giving it to an out-of-control gerrymandered Republican supermajority in the legislature. I will not stop fighting so the voters choose their representatives, not the other way around.”

NC House Speaker Tim Moore: “The decisions handed down today by the NC Supreme Court have ensured that our constitution and the will of the people of North Carolina are honored. Nearly five years after the voters of this state overwhelmingly voted in favor of photo ID at the polls, it has finally become the law of the land. We will fulfill our constitutional duty to redraw state house, senate and congressional maps.”

NC Senate Leader Phil Berger: “For years plaintiffs and activist courts have manipulated our Constitution to achieve policy outcomes that could not be won at the ballot box. Today’s rulings affirm that our Constitution cannot be exploited to fit the political whims of left-wing Democrats.”

U.S. Representative Wiley Nickel: “Make no mistake, the only real difference now is the makeup of the court, which enables the Republican majority in Raleigh to gerrymander our maps without repercussion and trample over the rights of voters across our state,” said Rep. Nickel. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Voters should choose their politicians. Politicians shouldn’t choose their voters. I’m committed to the continued fight for an end to partisan gerrymandering, and in Congress, will do everything I can to protect the right to vote for every single one of my constituents back home in North Carolina.”

Congressman Chuck Edwards: “As a member of the North Carolina State Senate who helped bring this bill forward, I say it’s high time the court has recognized the will of the people and restored common sense to our elections process. There is no good reason why an ID should not be necessary to perform our most sacred civic duty and participate in our democratic process.”

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  • Avatar Boycotter says:

    Boo Hoo. My heart pumps piss for the cheaters.

    We support:
    Real America’s Voice for real news and Yuengling for real American beer !
    Boycott list:
    Fox, AB, Nike, Coke, Maybelline,& all mainstream media.
    Not one more cent or one more minute from our household will be spent on these anti-American freaks ! Ever !!

  • Avatar L'Angelo Mysterioso says:

    If the people of North Carolina voted for these laws overwhelmingly, where’s the bitch, kommiekrats? Oh yeah, I almost forgot! Kommies don’t follow the law as written & voted upon…….they prefer to make their own rules as they go! Don’t like it? MOVE!!

  • Avatar Ron Divine says:

    Similar laws were enacted in other states due to Covid to allow voters to vote early, vote by mail, etc. without making changes to states constitutions. This violates the states constitution in every instance. Until the US investigates all 50 states to ensure that voting rights laws were upheld and that illegal votes were not cast, only then can the nation move forward to ensure that all elections are free of corruption and predjudice.

    Futhermore, felons should not be allowed to vote ever, until they have completed their full debt to society.

  • Avatar k says:

    “IN OTHER NEWS”~ Texas Senate Approves New Bill Banning Citizens Of China And Other Hostile Nations From Owning Large Properties In The State (Video)

    (Natural News) The Texas Senate approved a proposal banning citizens of China and other hostile nations from owning large tracts of land in the Lone Star State.

    State senators gave initial approval to Senate Bill (SB) 147 on April 25, according to the Texarkana Gazette. The proposal introduced by Republican State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst was approved on party lines. SB 147 needs one more vote in the senate before it heads to the Texas House of Representatives for consideration.

    If it becomes law, SB 147 would ban citizens from China, Iran, North Korea and Russia from buying large swaths of land in Texas. The bill used a threat assessment report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence as a basis for banning the four nations. Gov. Greg Abbott has said he would sign the legislation if it reaches his desk.

    “SB 147 strikes the balance of [upholding] national security – and the state is vital to our national security – while also allowing those that are seeking freedom, seeking asylum [and] fleeing those authoritarian regimes to come here, live their lives and live the American dream,” Kolkhorst said.

    https://conservativefiringline.com/texas-senate-approves-new-bill-banning-citizens-of-china-and-other-hostile-nations-from-owning-large-properties-in-the-state-video/

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    Citizen Frank

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    Durham’s 306-page report, which he described as “sobering,” cast doubt on the idea that the FBI should have ever even launched its Crossfire Hurricane investigation into allegations of collusion between former President Donald Trump and the Russian government during the 2016 election. The special counsel concluded: “Based on the evidence gathered in the multiple exhaustive and costly investigations of these matters, neither U.S. law enforcement nor the Intelligence Community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.”

    Durham also highlighted the double standard in how the FBI investigated election-related matters tied to Trump versus Clinton.

    The report found that “upon receipt of unevaluated intelligence information from Australia, the FBI swiftly opened the Crossfire Hurricane investigation” and that at the direction of since-fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, since-fired Deputy Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Peter Strzok “opened Crossfire Hurricane immediately.” Durham noted that “Strzok, at a minimum, had pronounced hostile feelings toward Trump.”

    The special counsel concluded that “the matter was opened as a full investigation without ever having spoken to the persons who provided the information” and that the FBI launched this Trump-Russia investigation without “any significant review of its own intelligence databases” and without “collection and examination of any relevant intelligence from other U.S. intelligence entities.” The investigation was also launched without conducting any interviews of “witnesses essential to understand the raw information” the FBI had received, as well as without using “any of the standard analytical tools typically employed by the FBI in evaluating raw intelligence.”

    The report asserted that if the bureau had taken these basic steps, “the FBI would have learned that their own experienced Russia analysts had no information about Trump being involved with Russian leadership officials, nor were others in sensitive positions at the CIA, the NSA, and the Department of State aware of such evidence concerning the subject.”

    The special counsel also highlighted that “FBI records prepared by Strzok in February and March 2017 show that at the time of the opening of Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI had no information in its holdings indicating that at any time during the campaign anyone in the Trump campaign had been in contact with any Russian intelligence officials.”

    Beyond the specific problems with the launch of the Trump-Russia investigation, which soon transformed into special counsel Robert Mueller’s sprawling investigation, Durham also detailed how differently the FBI handled similar Clinton-related controversies.

    “The speed and manner in which the FBI opened and investigated Crossfire Hurricane during the presidential election season based on raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence also reflected a noticeable departure from how it approached prior matters involving possible attempted foreign election interference plans aimed at the Clinton campaign,” Durham wrote.

    In one instance, FBI headquarters and Justice Department officials “required defensive briefings to be provided to Clinton and other officials or candidates who appeared to be the targets of foreign interference.” In another, the FBI “elected to end an investigation after one of its longtime and valuable confidential human sources went beyond what was authorized and made an improper and possibly illegal financial contribution to the Clinton campaign on behalf of a foreign entity as a precursor to a much larger donation being contemplated.” And in a third example related to investigating the Clinton Foundation, both senior FBI and DOJ officials “placed restrictions on how those matters were to be handled such that essentially no investigative activities occurred for months leading up to the election.”

    Durham called this “markedly different from the FBI’s actions with respect to other highly significant intelligence it received from a trusted foreign source pointing to a Clinton campaign plan to vilify Trump by tying him to Vladimir Putin so as to divert attention from” her own problematic use of a private email server.

    “Unlike the FBI’s opening of a full investigation of unknown members of the Trump campaign based on raw, uncorroborated information, in this separate matter involving a purported Clinton campaign plan, the FBI never opened any type of inquiry, issued any taskings, employed any analytical personnel, or produced any analytical products in connection with the information,” Durham wrote. “This lack of action was despite the fact that the significance of the Clinton plan intelligence was such as to have prompted the Director of the CIA to brief the President, Vice President, Attorney General, Director of the FBI, and other senior government officials about its content within days of its receipt.”

    Durham noted that “it was also of enough importance for the CIA to send a formal written referral memorandum” to since-fired FBI Director James Comey and to Strzok for their consideration and action, with the special counsel noting the investigative referral provided examples of information the Crossfire Hurricane fusion cell had “gleaned to date.”

    DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report in December 2019 criticized the Justice Department and the FBI for at least 17 “significant errors and omissions” related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against former Trump campaign associate Carter Page, for concealing potentially exculpatory information from the FISA court related to collusion denials by a number of Trump associates, and for the bureau’s reliance on the Democratic-funded dossier by British ex-spy Christopher Steele.

    The DOJ later told the FISA court it believed at least some of the Page FISA warrants were “not valid.” FBI Director Christopher Wray agreed there had been at least some illegal surveillance and said he was working to “claw back” that FISA information.

    The new report by Durham did not include new criminal charges.

    Trump’s Response

    Former President Trump celebrated the findings in the report in a post to his Truth Social account Monday afternoon.

    ‘WOW! After extensive research, Special Counsel John Durham concludes the FBI never should have launched the Trump-Russia Probe!’

    ‘In other words, the American Public was scammed, just as it is being scammed right now by those who don’t want to see GREATNESS for AMERICA!’ the former president continued.

    FBI’s Response

    In a statement to Fox News Digital, the agency touted what it said were “dozens of corrective actions” already implemented as a result of the Durham investigation.

    “The conduct in 2016 and 2017 that Special Counsel Durham examined was the reason that current FBI leadership already implemented dozens of corrective actions, which have now been in place for some time. Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented,” the FBI said.

    “This report reinforces the importance of ensuring the FBI continues to do its work with the rigor, objectivity, and professionalism the American people deserve and rightly expect,” it added.

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    ‘BUILD THE WALL’: Furious Chicago Residents Blast City’s Plan to House Illegal Immigrants

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    Chicago residents are furious that the city is planning on housing migrants in their neighborhood and are demanding politicians relocate the illegal immigrants somewhere else. The angry residents have filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the city of Chicago from housing migrants at a shuttered high school in the area.

    The city of Chicago has planned to turn the shuttered South Shore High School into a respite center for illegal immigrants. The city plans to house 250 to 500 migrants at the high school. Currently, Chicago is temporarily housing hundreds of migrants in police stations across the city.

    The high school is currently being used by the Chicago Police Department as a training center. The residents wanted the former high school to be transformed into a community center.

    On May 4, residents of South Shore railed against the relocation of illegal immigrants into their community during a meeting with local politicians.

    “What’s important is that we really establish this is humanitarian crisis, and we are here,” Chicago chief engagement officer Nubia William told the indignant crowd, according to WTTW.

    An outraged resident fired back, “How could you do that without consulting us?”

    An attendee said, “I am concerned with safety in the area.”

    Another local citizen asked, “Where is the money coming from? Migrants don’t pay taxes. I understand helping people, but you have to start with your own home. Why don’t we have those resources with what’s happening here.”

    Another added, “All of a sudden we have deep pockets for people who don’t pay taxes. I understand helping people, but you start with your own home.”

    Someone yelled during the fiery meeting, “Put them on the North Side.”

    “We are not inhumane to people’s plight. But we are looking at the reality of the world we live in and we think it’s irresponsible to take a people whose community is already in disarray and place additional people without resources,” explained Brian Mullins of the Black American Voter Project.

    A resident in the Democrat-dominated area demanded, “Build the wall. Make a border.”

    One person in the crowd was holding a sign that read: “Build the wall 2024.”

    President Joe Biden overwhelmingly won Cook County by capturing 74% of the vote against Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

    The frustrated residents of the deep-blue Chicago neighborhood have filed a lawsuit to prevent the city from housing illegal immigrants at the high school. A temporary injunction was issued.

    In January 2019, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared that the Windy City “must be a sanctuary city.”

    “We’ve got to stand up to the Trump administration’s racist, anti-immigrant terror and make sure every Chicagoan is safe, regardless of citizenship status,” the Democratic mayor of Chicago proclaimed.

    However, Lightfoot issued an emergency declaration on Tuesday in response to illegal immigrants being transported to her city. The declaration was made on the same day that 48 migrants were sent to Chicago by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Lightfoot claimed that the city’s resources are “now stretched to the breaking point.”

    “We should all understand that this crisis will likely deepen before we see it get better, so as we move forward, the City of Chicago will have to bring additional locations online to prepare for the arrival of more individuals and families and to relieve Chicago Police Department districts,” Lightfoot’s office said in a press release. “The City of Chicago is in the midst of a national humanitarian crisis, and through a unified effort in accordance with its values as a welcoming city, Chicago is doing everything it can to respond to the urgency of this matter. The City has continued to call on federal and state governments to support the new arrival mission with much-needed additional funding and resources for emergency shelter and resettlement, as there are not enough resources currently to meet the need.”

    Lightfoot previously labeled Abbott a “racist” for transporting migrants to Chicago.

    Lightfoot will be in office until May 15, when progressive Democrat Brandon Johnson replaces her as mayor of Chicago.

    Johnson has already vowed to double down on Chicago embracing illegal immigrants.

    Johnson’s campaign website bragged that his administration would “ensure law enforcement does not [cooperate] with ICE to arrest, detain or deport our migrant neighbors.”

    “Chicago is a sanctuary city. As such, we must always resist attempts to pit communities against each other and extend this sanctuary promise to everyone who needs it in our city – both long-time residents and newcomers alike,” Johnson’s site stated.

    Johnson made several far-left campaign promises regarding immigration:

    • Increase dedicated funding to immigrant protection and integration, including the Immigrant Legal Protection Fund.
    • Leverage the collective brain trust of community groups, leaders, multiple city agencies to develop a comprehensive city plan for asylum seekers and other new arrivals.
    • Build permanent housing for all unhoused, including asylum seekers, by passing the Bring Chicago Home ordinance and enacting other pieces of the $1 billion Better Chicago Agenda.
    • Ensure that migrant and refugee parents and families have a voice in their children’s education by appointing members to a Chicago Board of Education Non-Citizen Advisory Board.
    • Work with Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly in Springfield to pass legislation that will allow all parents and taxpayers to vote in school board elections, regardless of citizenship status.
    • Recruit and train enough teachers and clinicians to provide the capacity to support migrant and immigrant children, including bilingual professionals.
    • Enact a new city funding formula that accounts for language needs and the needs of migrant and refugee students.

    Abbott said on Wednesday that Texas had transported more than 17,000 migrants to sanctuary cities, including 1,600 to Chicago.

    Lightfoot claimed this week that Chicago received over 8,000 illegal immigrants since August 2022. She added that the migrants are currently being housed in seven shelters and three respite locations in Chicago.

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    Left-Wing Activists Furious at Bud Light for Backing Away from Mulvaney, Call For a Boycott of Their Own

    Citizen Frank

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    The brand partnership between Bud Light and social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney appears to have alienated both conservatives and leftists as members of the latter group criticize the brand for halfheartedly recanting support for the self-described transgender social media star.

    Several reports indicate that Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light, has hemorrhaged sales after executives partnered with Mulvaney, a man who claims to be a woman and chronicled his purported gender transition on social media.

    Executives for the beverage firm have offered vague apologies, downplayed the extent of the campaign, and even hired veteran Republican lobbyists in various attempts to win back disgruntled conservatives.

    The superficial attempts to back away from Mulvaney, on the other hand, appear to have angered members of the LGBTQ movement, who are now demanding that Anheuser-Busch support the ideology or face another boycott effort from the other side of the political spectrum.

    Jay Brown, a senior vice president at the Human Rights Campaign, wrote a letter to Anheuser-Busch last week asking the firm to release a statement explicitly supporting Mulvaney and to implement transgender inclusion training for executives. “In this moment, it is absolutely critical for Anheuser-Busch to stand in solidarity with Dylan and the trans community,” the document said, according to a report from The Hill. “However, when faced with anti-LGBTQ+ and transphobic criticism, Anheuser-Busch’s actions demonstrate a profound lack of fortitude in upholding its values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

    Stacy Lentz, a co-owner of the Stonewall Inn, widely considered the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ political movement, said in an interview with Newsweek that Anheuser-Busch had “missed an opportunity to stand by their commitment to the trans community by pandering to and giving into transphobic outcries.” She predicted that “as a brand they will be extinct in a few years if they are not fully on the side of equality,” citing the left-wing values broadly held by young Americans.

    Activists hosted a demonstration two years ago outside of the Stonewall Inn during which they poured beverages distributed by Anheuser-Busch into a nearby gutter. The protests were meant to criticize donations the company provided to lawmakers who sought to limit the spread of radical gender theory. Anheuser-Busch responded to the criticism at the time by noting that the company has “received a perfect 100% score from the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for LGBTQ Equality.”

    Lentz expressed sympathy for Mulvaney and contended that the influencer, who has received several brand deals from other corporations, was “caught in the middle of a horrible firestorm.”

    John Casey, a contributor with The Advocate and a public relations executive, meanwhile wrote in an opinion piece for the LGBTQ publication that Anheuser-Busch “poured alcohol all over an extremist’s fire” rather than rising “to the defense of a transgender woman” and defending “a noble campaign that sought to reflect acceptance.”

    “Maybe the worst thing the company did was leave Mulvaney all alone, twisting in the wind, abandoning any kind of defense of her. That is an utterly repugnant reflection of the brand,” he commented. “It’s not Kid Rock and Ted Nugent who should be boycotting Bud Light. It should be us.”

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    Fauci on Mistakes Made During the Pandemic: ‘We Have to Get Away from the Blame Game’

    Citizen Frank

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    Dr. Anthony Fauci, former director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview this week that people should stop blaming public health officials for mistakes that were made during the pandemic.

    CNN’s Christiane Amanpour asked Fauci what he thinks he and the scientific community “got wrong” with the policies that they pushed for and implemented.

    “What are the real takeaways, the real lessons for public health?” she asked.

    “I think we have to get away from the blame game because so many of the things that you have mentioned were unknowns at the time,” Fauci responded. “It’s so easy.”

    “This is really big time Monday morning quarterbacking here, which is what it is,” he claimed. “So, rather than have a blame game, and that’s one of the things that we have to stay away from because there were things that happened and it was a moving target and there were things that you did not know at the time and you had to, out of necessity, make a decision.”

    WATCH:

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    FDIC Prepares to Seize First Republic — Developing

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    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has asked banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co., PNC Financial Services Group Inc., US Bancorp and Bank of America Corp. to submit final bids for First Republic Bank by Sunday after gauging initial interest earlier in the week, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

    The regulator reached out to some banks late Thursday seeking indications of interest, including a proposed price and an estimated cost to the agency’s deposit insurance fund. Based on submissions received Friday, the regulator invited some of those firms and others to the next step in the bidding process, the people said, asking not to be named discussing the confidential talks.

    Spokespeople for JPMorgan, PNC, US Bancorp, Bank of America and the FDIC declined to comment. Bank of America is considering whether to proceed with a formal offer, one of the people said. Citizens Financial Group Inc. is also involved in the bidding, Reuters reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

    The bidding process kick-started by regulators — after weeks of fruitless talks among banks and their advisers — could pave the way for a tidier sale of First Republic than the drawn-out auctions that followed the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank last month. Authorities are stepping in after a particularly precipitous drop in the company’s stock over the past week, which is now down 97% this year.

    Unclear to some involved in the process is whether regulators might use a bid for a so-called open-market solution that avoids formally declaring First Republic a failure and seizing it.

    The stock’s drop — leaving the company with a $650 million market value — has made such a takeover at least somewhat more feasible.

    Jumbo Mortgages

    But finances aren’t the only hurdle to doing a deal.

    JPMorgan is among a small number of giant banks that have already amassed more than 10% of nationwide deposits, making the firm ineligible under US regulations to acquire another deposit-taking institution. Authorities would have to make an exception to allow the country’s largest bank to get even bigger.

    As of Friday evening, the FDIC had yet to reach a decision on putting First Republic into receivership, people with direct knowledge of the matter said. Representatives for California’s banking regulator, which would take the lead in declaring whether the San Francisco-based lender has failed, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

    Weighing on First Republic’s balance sheet is a mountain of low-interest loans, including an unusually large portfolio of jumbo mortgages to wealthy clients. Such debts have lost value amid interest-rate hikes, leaving the firm facing losses if forced to sell them.

    During last month’s regional banking crisis, wealthy customers and businesses yanked their cash from banks with such flaws in their balance sheets. In response, the Federal Reserve opened up an emergency lending facility to give banks a way to borrow against some of their holdings to meet any demands for cash.

    Waiting for Aid

    A group of 11 banks that deposited $30 billion into First Republic last month — giving it time to find a private-sector solution — have proved reluctant to band together on making a joint investment. A few proposals that surfaced in recent days called for a consortium of stronger banks to buy assets from First Republic for more than their market value. But no agreement materialized.

    Instead, some stronger firms have been waiting for the government to offer aid or put the bank in receivership, a resolution they view as cleaner — and potentially ending with a sale of the bank or its pieces at attractive prices.

    But receivership is an outcome the FDIC would prefer to avoid in part because of the prospect it will inflict a multibillion-dollar hit to its own deposit insurance fund. The agency is already planning to impose a special assessment on the industry to cover the cost of SVB and Signature Bank’s failures last month.

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    Riot Police Descend on Montana Capitol as Left-Wing Protestors Shut Down Proceedings

    Citizen Frank

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    Riot police have descended on Montana’s capitol after left-wing protestors disrupted proceedings in the state House of Representatives in support of transgender lawmaker Zooey Zephyr, a Democrat, who was censured by the body last week, multiple reports have said.

    According to The Independent, an unknown number of protestors were arrested Monday when police units from the Montana Highway Patrol and the Lewis and Clark County sheriff’s office commenced an operation to break up the group packing the observation gallery of the House chamber.

    The group chanted, “Let her speak!” for “nearly half an hour,” according to another report, bringing the session to a halt in support ending the censure against Zephyr.

    Zephyr, a bisexual and the first transgender lawmaker in Montana legislature history, drew criticism Tuesday after telling Republicans during a House floor debate on amendments to Senate Bill 99, which would prohibit sex change treatment for minors, that they have “blood on (their) hands,” a notion the lawmaker hopes will be present in their prayers.

    “The only thing I will say, is if you vote yes on this bill and yes on these amendments, I hope the next time there’s an invocation when you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands,” Zephyr said referencing the body’s opening prayer.

    Zephyr’s comments lead to the House voting in favor of the lawmaker’s censure on Thursday, citing “hate-filled testimony.”

    “I want to be clear: no amount of silencing tactics will deter me from standing up for the rights of the transgender community,” Zephyr said following the censure. “I will not apologize for speaking with clarity and precision about the harm these bills cause. Montana Republicans say they want an apology, but what they really want is silence as they take away the rights of trans and queer Montanans.”

    The bill ultimately passed both the state House and Senate, and was sent to Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte’s desk on Friday. He is expected to sign the bill into law.

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    Alvin Bragg Drops Appeal After Judge Rules Jim Jordan Can Subpoena Ex-Prosecutor

    Citizen Frank

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    Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg dropped an appeal he filed after a federal judge ruled that an ex-prosecutor in his office can be subpoenaed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

    Bragg dropped the appeal Friday, after the parties came to an agreement on a testimony from former prosecutor Mark Pomerantz to the House Judiciary Committee.

    The agreement stipulates that a lawyer from Bragg’s office will be present at the testimony who can make objections.

    “Our successful stay of this subpoena blocked the immediate deposition and afforded us the time necessary to coordinate with the House Judiciary Committee on an agreement that protects the District Attorney’s privileges and interests. We are pleased with this resolution, which ensures any questioning of our former employee will take place in the presence of our General Counsel on a reasonable, agreed upon timeframe. We are gratified that the Second Circuit’s ruling provided us with the opportunity to successfully resolve this dispute,” a Manhattan DA spokesperson said in a statement.

    A spokesperson for Jordan said that Pomerantz’s deposition will take place on May 12.

    “This evening, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office withdrew its appeal in Bragg v. Jordan. Mr. Pomerantz’s deposition will go forward on May 12, and we look forward to his appearance,” Jordan’s spokesperson said.

    U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil rejected Bragg’s request Wednesday asking for a temporary restraining order and injunction after Jordan issued a subpoena to Pomerantz.

    Bragg immediately appealed the ruling Wednesday and wanted a stay of the ruling.

    The Manhattan DA accused Jordan in a federal lawsuit that he’s trying to intimidate him because of the prosecution of former President Donald Trump.

    In the ruling, Vyskocil said that the subpoena is valid.

    “In our federalist system, elected state and federal actors sometimes engage in political dogfights,” he said. “Bragg complains of political interference in the local DANY case, but Bragg does not operate outside of the political arena. Bragg is presumptively acting in good faith.”

    “That said, he is an elected prosecutor in New York County with constituents, some of whom wish to see Bragg wield the force of law against the former President and a current candidate for the Republican presidential nomination,” the judge continued.

    In the ruling, the judge wrote that both sides should, “speak with one another to reach a mutually agreeable compromise regarding how the deposition of Mr. Pomerantz will proceed.”

    Trump was indicted March 30 as part of a years-long investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for hush money payments. He pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree.

    While falsifying records is typically considered a misdemeanor charge, it rises to a felony when a defendant’s “intent to defraud includes an intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof.”

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    Elon Musk Takes on ‘Woke’ ChatGPT: Tech Mogul Is Now Working on His Own Chatbot

    Citizen Frank

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    After describing ChatGPT’s left-wing bias as ‘concerning’, Elon Musk is now working on a new AI chatbot of his own.

    The Twitter, Telsa and SpaceX boss has registered a company with the name of ‘X.AI’, a subsidiary under his new conglomerate X Holdings Corp.

    According to the Financial Times, the new subsidiary will be the home of efforts to build a tool just like the hugely successful ChatGPT, owned by OpenAI.

    Musk is assembling a team of AI researchers and engineers and is in discussions with some investors in SpaceX and Tesla about putting money into his new venture.

    Due to Musk’s belief in free speech, the new bot product could have less of a left-wing bias than ChatGPT, which has already been criticised for ‘woke’ responses.

    These include refusing to praise Donald Trump, argue in favour of fossil fuels or tell a joke about women.

    Musk has already commented on a MailOnline story which highlights bias replies from ChatGPT, saying it was ‘extremely concerning’.

    He also already tweeted: ‘The danger of training AI to be woke – in other words, lie – is deadly.’

    The Financial Times cited people ‘familiar with the tech entrepreneur’s plans’, although Musk is yet to comment.

    ‘A bunch of people are investing in it . . . it’s real and they are excited about it,’ the person said.

    ChatGPT, created by San Francisco-based company OpenAI, has been trained on a massive amount of text so it can generate human-like answers to questions.

    Since ChatGPT’s release in November, it’s been used to prescribe antibiotics, fool job recruiters, write essays, come up with recipes and much more.

    But users have shared screenshots of responses from the AI bot that show left-wing bias.

    Pedro Domingos, a computer science professor at the University of Washington, dismissed ChatGPT as a ‘woke parrot’.

    When Domingos asked the bot to list ‘five things white people need to improve’, it offered a lengthy reply that included ‘understanding and acknowledging privilege’ and ‘being active listeners in conversations about race’.

    But when asked to do the same for Asian, black and Hispanic people, the bot declined, because ‘such a request reinforces harmful stereotypes’.

    Another user asked ChatGPT to write a story where President Joe Biden beat Donald Trump in a presidential debate and vice versa.

    ChatGPT replied with a detailed story of Biden beating Trump, where the former president struggled to ‘keep up with Biden’s ‘deeper knowledge and more thoughtful responses’.

    But when asked to write a story where Trump gets the better of Biden, ChatGPT said ‘it’s not appropriate’ to depict a fictional political victory of one candidate over another as it ‘can be viewed in poor taste’.

    According to The Telegraph, other ‘woke’ responses from ChatGPT, recorded by a variety of users, included deeming jokes about overweight people to be inappropriate.

    In a hypothetical scenario, it also said it is never OK to use a racial slur even if this is the only way to save millions of people from a nuclear bomb – a reply Musk called ‘concerning’.

    Musk is one of the co-founders of OpenAI, which was started as a non-profit in 2015, but he stepped down from the company’s board in 2018.

    The billionaire attempted to take control of the start-up, but his request was rejected, forcing him to quit.

    Now, X.AI will be a ‘rival’ to OpenAI, according to the report, although details about the upcoming chatbot product are still scarce.

    Musk is listed as the sole director of his new firm X.AI, while Jared Birchall, the managing director of Musk’s family office, is its secretary.

    For the project, Musk has secured thousands of graphics processing units (GPUs) from Nvidia Corp, according to FT.

    GPUs are systems that power the computing required for intensive tasks such as AI and high-end graphics.

    They can also be used to accelerate the training of large language models (LLMs) – AI systems that learnt to generate human-like responses from huge amounts of text data – due to their high processing power.

    X.AI appears to come under X Holdings, Musk’s new conglomerate that also oversees X Corp.

    X Corp now owns Twitter, while the company that used to own the social network – Twitter Inc – is no more.

    The Twitter and Tesla boss appeared to allude to the news with a simple tweet containing the letter X.
    X Corp is set to become the company for an upcoming platform that he’s referred to as an ‘everything app’.

    This app could one day incorporate parts or all of Twitter, as well as online services and utilities such as ridesharing, food deliveries and more.

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    WATCH: Irish President’s Dog Barks at Biden When He Walks Over and Tries to Pet Him

    Citizen Frank

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    President Biden received a somewhat hostile welcome during his visit with President Michael Higgins of Ireland on Thursday — from the Irish president’s dog.

    As the two leaders strolled around Higgins’ residence, they approached the president’s furry friend, who appeared excited until Biden neared.

    The Bernese mountain dog, who goes by the name Misneach, immediately began barking and backed away from the group as Biden approached.

    Biden appeared to reason with the dog, pointing his finger at it and speaking, but Misneach remained at a distance.

    WATCH:

    Biden arrived in Ireland on Tuesday to speak on the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, but his tour around the country became unexpectedly eventful.

    On Tuesday, Northern Ireland police reported a “security breach” around Biden after a five-page document that contained classified information was found on a Belfast street.

    On Wednesday, Biden mixed up a New Zealand soccer team known as the All Blacks with the Black and Tans, a British police force group known for its brutal occupation of Ireland in the 1920s.

    While engaging in conversation at the Windsor Bar in Dundalk, Biden began talking about the tie he was wearing: “This was given to me by one of these guys, right here,” Biden said. “He was a hell of a rugby player. He beat the hell out of the Black and Tans.”

    Go deeper ( < 1 min. read ) ➝

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    Putin Reached Secret Deal with China

    Citizen Frank

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    Leaked documents reveal that China allegedly approved the provision of lethal aid to Russia during its war in Ukraine, intending to disguise the military equipment as civilian items.

    The information comes from a U.S. intercept of Russian intelligence, which has led to increased concern among Biden administration officials.Despite China’s claims of neutrality, the leaked document sheds light on the deepening relationship between Russia and China.

    Washington Post reported:

    China approved “provision of lethal aid” to Russia in its war in Ukraine earlier this year and planned to disguise military equipment as civilian items, according to a U.S. intercept of Russian intelligence revealed in leaked secret documents.

    The intercept, apparently obtained through U.S. eavesdropping on Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), was included in a top-secret summary, dated Feb. 23, of recent Ukraine- and Russia-related “products” compiled by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It was among a number of previously unreported documents that The Washington Post obtained from a trove of images of classified files posted on a private server on the chat app Discord.

    According to “signals intelligence,” the intelligence summary said, the SVR reported that China’s Central Military Commission had “approved the incremental provision” of weapons and wanted it kept secret. The report did not indicate the source of the SVR’s information.

    The document, titled “The Watch Report,” and produced by the ODNI as “A Summary of Recent Reporting and Select items from [intelligence] Community,” is labeled top secret with highly restricted distribution. The China information is listed under a subhead, “BEIJING REPORTEDLY APPROVES COVERT SHIPMENTS OF LETHAL AID TO RUSSIA.”

    “We have not seen evidence that China has transferred weapons or provided lethal assistance to Russia. But we remain concerned and are continuing to monitor closely,” a senior administration official said. A senior defense official agreed with that assessment. Both officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss information about the top-secret document.

    The report provides the most detailed evidence to date of what led to a flurry of public and private Biden administration warnings to Beijing beginning in late February.

    China, which maintains it is neutral on the war in Ukraine, denounced those U.S. statements and said it would never accept coercion or “the U.S. pointing fingers” when Washington is funneling massive amounts of arms into the war.

    But the leaked document expands insight into Russia’s deepening relationship with China, which is now Moscow’s chief foreign friend as President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine leaves Russia increasingly isolated. Although Chinese leader Xi Jinping appeared to cement his relationship with Putin during a three-day visit to Moscow last month, China has held back from fully endorsing the Russian leader’s effort in Ukraine, instead positioning itself as a potential peacemaker.

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