Is Putin committing genocide in Ukraine? President Biden says:
Is there enough evidence to make a criminal charge against Donald Trump for his role in the attack on the U.S. Capitol?
And — inflation — and a new Covid variant — both picking up speed.
I’m Paul Brandus — you’re listening to West Wing Reports— it’s Friday, April 15th.
Russia’s brutal war on Ukraine — President Biden — for the first time — says Vladimir Putin is committing genocide — an upgrade of his assessment of what Putin and his troops are doing.
Who needs lawyers to decide what’s going on? There’s plenty of evidence — bodies everywhere, victims tied up and executed, stories of woman and girls raped and then killed.
Genocide is defined as — the systematic and widespread extermination or attempted extermination of a national, racial, religious, or ethnic group.
All this could get even worse — Putin, the Kremlin dictator, has appointed a new commander — one U-S official calls the Russian general the quote “worst of he worst” — known for his deliberate targeting of hospitals, schools and apartment buildings in Syria.
And another sign that Putin could be getting more desperate: There have been reports that the Russians have used chemical weapons in Ukraine — some context here — they HAVE used them in he past — in Syria, for example. But Pentagon spokesman John Kirby can NOT say for sure whether they have been used now:
Kirby chose his words quite carefully here — as he always does — again the Russians — Putin — HAVE used chemical weapons in the past.
Meanwhile, President Biden has also ordered about 800-million dollars in military aid to Ukraine — this is specific — and more lethal — stuff that Ukraine has asked for — helicopters, artillery, and switchblade drones — a particularly nasty weapon. Ukrainian President Zelensky says it’ll all be put to good use.
Meantime — a huge embarrassment for the Russians — the pride of their Navy — the warship Moskva — has sunk in the Black Sea — after being hit by a Ukrainian missile.
Here’s a tragic — in fact, dangerous — irony — most Americans support helping Ukraine defend its democracy from Putin’s brutal invasion. And yet many Americans still don’t see or accept the growing danger to our OWN democracy here at home.
The January 6th commission continues to investigate — and now says there MAY be enough evidence against then-President Trump — to charge him with a crime. Here’s Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney speaking with CNN’s Jake Tapper:
Meantime - Trump’s former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, has been accused of voter fraud in North Carolina —
Ouch — that’s a way to describe the latest inflation data, which shows prices for everything up — especially energy. In March, prices rose at an annual rate of eight-point-five percent — the highest since 1981 when Ronald Reagan was president.
But Joe Biden's president now. In Iowa, he said he’s easing rules that will allow more gas to be made with ethanol — corn is an ingredient — which should help bring prices down.
Even before that announcement — gasoline prices were heading down — AAA says average nationwide prices have fallen twenty-four cents over the past month — to four-0-seven a gallon.
The flip side of all this is that this type of gas — is usually banned in the summer to help prevent air pollution. These are the choices we currently have to make — more pollution in return for saving a little bit at the pump. Advocates for electric cars say all this makes their case for cars running on electricity — electricity generated by natural gas.
Could this inflation spark a recession?
On Fox Business, Jason Furman — who was President Obama’s economic advisor — says probably not:
In other words — the bIg worry — is that everyone’s getting a raise — but not enough of one to keep up with inflation.
Other news this week:
The pandemic just will not go away. The so-called B-A-2 strain, is now the dominant variant around the world. One major U-S city — Philadelphia — has now gone back to indoor mask mandates for public places, schools and daycare facilities — unless you can prove you’re fully vaccinated.
And mask mandates for air travel have been extended through May 3 — getting in a plane? You’ll need a mask.
All this is nothing compared with what’s been going on in China though — this has been completely overshadowed by the war in Ukraine, but China — population one-point-four billion — has shut down entire cities — this effects YOU, and causes still more inflation, by the way, because it slows down global supply chains.
And now, lets hear about ANOTHER Evergreen podcast — that I know you'll enjoy”
Time now to open up the West Wing Reports archives — and see what made history this week in the past:
1865 — Lincoln was assassinated — shot in the head while attending a play at Ford’s Theater here in Washington. He was carried across the street to a boarding house where he died hours later. Andrew Johnson — of Tennessee became the 17th president. And nt a very good one.
1945 — the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt — historians say the greatest president of the 20th century — the man who led America through the Great Depression and World War II — was only 63 when he died — elected to the presidency four times. After his death the Constitution was changed — now you can only be elected twice.
1969: A U.S. spy plane was shot down by North Korea, killing all 31 Americans in board. Richard Nixon did NOT retaliate — the U-S was up to its neck in Vietnam at the time — the prospect of a second war in Asia was too much — but Nixon DID order reconnaissance flights to resume three days later.
Want more history? Check out my books on Amazon — I’ll sign ‘em for you too — just shoot me an email: [email protected]
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I like to end each week with a quote — something you might find thoughtful: This week: it’s from Franklin D, Roosevelt:
“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”
Think about it.
That’s all for this week. Here’s my email — [email protected]
West Wing Reports is a production of Evergreen Podcasts.
Special thanks to CSPAN for the audio clips.
Our producer and sound designer and engineer: Noah Foutz
Executive producers: Michael D’Aleoia and Gerardo Orlando.