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Bill Taylor, Who Opposed What He Called ‘Crazy’ Ukraine Scheme, Testifies In Impeachment Inquiry

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U.S. diplomat Bill Taylor, who was against withholding foreign aid in order to apply pressure to Ukraine in order to push President Trump’s political interests arrived on Capitol Hill to testify in the impeachment inquiry against the president.

Here are the details from The Washington Examiner:

A career foreign service officer who became the top American diplomat in Ukraine after Trump’s controversial ouster of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, Taylor did not speak to reporters as he entered the closed-door deposition. But House investigators plan to question Taylor about why he believed Trump’s team was trying to orchestrate a quid pro quo would involve using security aid to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate allegations involving the Democratic Party and former Vice President Joe Biden.

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“That is important of where he got the information that this was going on, what his impression of it was,” Nevada Rep. Dina Titus, a Democratic member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, told the Washington Examiner on Friday. “I think it’ll be very interesting to see what he has to say. I think that’ll be the prime question.”

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Taylor emerged as a central figure in the Ukraine controversy after the State Department’s former point-man for Ukraine, Ambassador Kurt Volker, gave investigators a batch of text messages that show Taylor condemning any push for a quid pro quo. “As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” Taylor wrote in a Sept. 9 text message to Volker and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

Taylor may have been reacting to the media reports about delayed security assistance rather than being in possession of any inside information, according to a Democratic investigator.

“Of course we know that there was already press reports suggesting that the aid was cut off for that purpose,” New Jersey Rep. Tom Malinowski, another Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, said to the media. “We also know a very interesting fact, which is that aid to a critical country was suspended and nobody working the policy toward that country knew why, which has probably never happened in the history of America.”

Malinowski continued on saying, “It would be natural [based on those two facts alone] for our ambassador or our acting ambassador in Kiev to have that supposition.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has stated emphatically that the aid delay in question had nothing to do with any sort of quid pro quo scheme to force Ukraine into digging up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

“The conversation was always around what were the strategic implications, would that money get to the right place, or would there be corruption in Ukraine and the money wouldn’t flow to the mission that it was intended for, how did we protect that, is it appropriate for us to provide defensive weapons systems?” Pompeo said in an interview conducted on Sunday.

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Social Media Giant Permanently Banishes Pro-Life News Outlet

So much for free speech.

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1984

Our nation appears destined to fall into the clutches of a technological oligarchy, headed by the likes of Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg, and there is very little that can be done about it. These two men, who run Twitter and Facebook, respectively, have been ruling their public forums with an iron fist, hiding behind the concept that their private status is a workaround for the First Amendment.  Their gargantuan reach and influence has made it possible for them to act with impunity, steering the narrative on any number of subjects, from Donald Trump to the wonder of maternity. The latest affront to free speech comes to us from Facebook, where a pro-life news organization has been completely banished. Facebook permanently banned LifeSiteNews, a popular pro-life news outlet, for publishing “false information about COVID-19 that could contribute to physical harm.” As justification for unpublishing LifeSiteNews, Facebook cited an article posted on April 10, 2021, titled “COVID vaccines can be deadly for some.” Facebook said they erase Facebook pages that publish “vaccine discouraging information on the platform.” The site’s staff was livid. “This all comes down to another case of Big Tech silencing free speech on their platform,” said LifeSiteNews Marketing Director Rebekah Roberts. “Facebook has been silencing any voice that goes against their beliefs and agenda,” Roberts said. “Our LifeSiteNews Facebook page has been removed simply because we have shared reports of doctors, nurses, expert researchers, and even the former Pfizer VP speaking out against the COVID shots.” This is just the latest in a long line of Orwellian moves by these social media mavens, and may in fact be just another harbinger of something far more sinister to come.

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CDC Readies Cruises, Complete with Human Guinea Pigs

Fingers crossed!

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As the world prepares for its grand reopening, there are a number of high value industries that are eagerly awaiting permission from medical authorities to resume operations. First and foremost, there are the service industries:  Places like restaurants, bars, music venues, and sports arenas whose entire livelihood depends on whether or not people are being allowed to gather in public.  While many of these venues are now beginning to ramp up their capacity, there are issues bringing some of these workers back into the fold thanks to the enhanced unemployment benefits provided by the federal government. And then there’s the tourism industry, whose regulatory structure is far more susceptible to interference by government agencies. Now, after over a year of stagnation, it appears as though at least one facet of this wide-ranging corporate amalgam will be given a chance to sail on. Cruise lines can soon begin trial voyages in U.S. waters with volunteer passengers helping test whether the ships can sail safely during a pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave ship operators final technical guidelines Wednesday for the trial runs. The CDC action is a step toward resuming cruises in U.S. waters, possibly by July, for the first time since March 2020. A spokeswoman for the cruise industry’s trade group said the group was reviewing the CDC instructions. So, how will this work? Each practice cruise — they’ll run two to seven days — must have enough passengers to meet at least 10% of the ship’s capacity. Volunteers must be 18 or older and either fully vaccinated or free of medical conditions that would put them at high risk for severe COVID-19. The ship operator must tell passengers that they are simulating untested safety measures “and that sailing during a pandemic is an inherently risky activity,” the…

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