February 18th, 2022: More Conflict over Ukraine, The Sandy Hook Court Settlement, and the Rising Cost of Climate Change
This week, White House Correspondent Paul Brandus shares details about the latest developments on the situation in Ukraine, a $73 million dollar court settlement between gun maker Remington and Sandy Hook Elementary parents, the recent deposition of former president Trump and his children by the New York Attorney General, and more.
President Biden’s toughest words to date — aimed directly at Vladimir Putin. And as war looms — Americans are warned about cyber attacks and energy prices. The rising cost of climate change is nailing home owners — big time.
A gun maker — forced to pay millions for its link to to a horrific crime.
I’m Paul Brandus — you’re listening to West Wing Reports— it’s Friday, February 18th
The problem with taping a podcast — like this one — is that a breaking story — could quickly render it irrelevant. We’ve been hearing from U-S officials for weeks now that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could occur at any moment.
Thankfully this has not happened — but if it does, then President Biden — as he’s been saying for weeks — will lower the boom on the Kremlin:
The Russians put out a video they claim shows units being withdraw from the Ukrainian border. But American and NATO intelligence says that’s a lie — abd that the Russias have actually SENT more troops to the border.
The tension keeps ratcheting up. Ukraine claimed at least 29 artillery shells landed on one border town — images showed a school damaged, but no casualties — the report could NOT be independently confirmed. And the Pentagon says a Russian fighter jet flew within five feet of an American plane over the Mediterranean.
President Biden told us Thursday that he has no plans to speak again — for now, anyway — with Vladimir Putin. But at the United Nations Security Council, U-S and Russian diplomats traded barbs. Here’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken:
Blinken’s right about all that — but the Security Council can’t — won’t — do anything because like the U-S — Russia and China are permanent members of the Security Council — and will veto anything that America proposes.
But the world is watching — and that makes it a good forum to let everyone know what the Russians are up to. Blinken describes the methods Russia would use to start a war:
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken at the U-N.
Meantime, here’s a question: For anyone old enough to remember the run up to the Iraq war nearly two decades ago — should Americans be skeptical of what U-S intelligence agencies are saying about THIS situation? Here’s what national security advisor Jake Sullivan told CNN’s Jake Tapper:
And with war talk growing, U-S security officials are warning about possible Russian cyberattacks here. Both the F-B-I and Department of Homeland Security telling law enforcement, military and others charged with overseeing critical U.S. infrastructure to be on heightened alert for possible attacks in conjunction with a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Trump organization lost its long-time accounting firm this week. The firm — says that it could no longer rely on past financial statements from the former president’s company.
What does this mean? Well, the attorney general of New York has alleged that Trump and his company used fraudulent and misleading financial statements to inflate asset values to secure loans from banks as well as reduce their values to lower their tax obligations. The accounting firm’s move can be seen as bolstering the attorney general’s charge.
How serious is this for Trump? Remember White House advisor KellyAnne Conway? Her husband — George — a high-powered lawyer — told CNN’s John Berman that this is worse for Trump than getting impeached twice:
Did ya get all that? Sounds like trouble. And then there is this: A New York judge has ruled that Trump, hi sson Donald Trump Jr. and daughter Ivanka MUST sit for depositions in the New York attorney general's civil investigation OF their business practices.
We’ll open up the history vault in a minute — first though, let’s 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:
1803 — arguably the most important case in Supreme Court history, one which resonates today: the landmark Marbury vs. Madison decision — it affirms a hallmark of American democracy—the principle of checks and balances. The ruling said that the Supreme Court has the authority to limit Congressional power by declaring legislation unconstitutional.
1807 — listen to this — former Vice President Aaron Burr was arrested in Alabama on charges of treason. He was accused of plotting to create a new country from the recently-purchased Louisiana Territory—with him as its leader. He was eventually acquitted.
That’s Richard Nixon in 1972 — on what was arguably the most important trip ever taken by an American president — his dramatic trip to China. The journey helped open the door for China to enter the modern world — an event of monumental consequence. Nixon called his trip “the week that changed the world” — which it did — and to this day the phrase "Nixon going to China" has become a metaphor for an unexpected or uncharacteristic action by a politician.
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. On this president’s day weekend — it’s from George Washington:
Be Americans. Let there be no sectionalism, no North, South, East or West. You are all dependent on one another and should be one in union. In one word, be a nation. Be Americans, and be true to yourselves.