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Former Obama Ethics Chief Slams Psaki Over Dismissing Questions On Hunter Biden

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Walter Shaub, the former head of the federal government’s ethics office under President Barack Obama, slammed White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday in response to her dismissal of questions about whether the identity of buyers for Hunter Biden’s art would stay anonymous.

“At least five prints of Hunter Biden’s artwork have already been sold for $75,000 each and a team of lawyers is vetting potential patrons who plan to attend his upcoming gallery show in New York City — which has now been delayed until the spring,” The New York Post reported last week. “It’s unclear who purchased the reproductions — which cost a fraction of the top price of $500,000 for an original piece by President Biden’s scandal-scarred son — or if any more were sold after the LA show opened.”

During Tuesday’s press briefing, Psaki told a reporter asking about the anonymity of the buyers of Hunter Biden’s art, “I know this is your favorite topic, but it, again — it still is the purview of the gallerist. We still do not know and will not know who purchases any paintings. And the President remains proud of his son.”

 

“These are legitimate questions,” Shaub said in response to Psaki’s comments. “It’s disappointing to hear [Psaki] send a message that the WH thinks the public has no right to ask about ethics. After the last 4 years, these questions have never been more important. I know this isn’t a popular opinion, but this stuff matters.”

“There is no ethics program in the world that can be built around the head of state’s staff working with a dealer to keep the public in the dark about the identities of individuals who pay vast sums to the leader’s family member for subjectively priced items of no intrinsic value,” Shaub tweeted Wednesday. “If this were Trump, Xi [Jinping] or [Vladimir] Putin, you’d have no doubt whatsoever that this creates a vehicle for funneling cash to the first family in exchange for access or favors. Nor would you doubt that the appearance of monetizing the presidency was outrageous.”

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Politics

POLL: Huge One Year Swing of Independent Voters Saying Government ‘Doing too Much’

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White House

What a difference a year can make. Particularly a year filled with government infringements and overreaching. In a Gallup poll released Thursday, findings show Americans have drastically shifted perspective on how much they want the government involved in their lives.

Gallup News tweeted the results along with the headline “Americans again favor a reduced government role in solving problems facing the country after supporting a more active government role last year.”

52% percent of those polled say the government is doing too much on issues that should be dealt with by businesses and individuals. Only 43% say the government needs to do more to address citizens’ problems.

The numbers have almost flopped from only one year ago when 54% said the government should be doing more, and 41% disagreed. The annual Gallup Governance survey was conducted September 1-17.

The Gallup Poll release stated “the shift toward favoring a more active government role in 2020 was seen among Democrats and independents but not Republicans — likely a response to the coronavirus pandemic and in particular to then-President Donald Trump’s approach to handling it.”

“Trump generally opposed government efforts designed to slow the spread of the virus, such as face mask requirements and business and school closures.” The poll found independent voters shifted their opinions greatly.

“The percentage of independents who said the government’s doing too many things jumped from 38% in 2020 to 57% this year. Republicans edged up from 74% to 80% and Democrats crept up from 13% to 18%.”

Gallup also highlighted the fact that 2020 was only the second time in the poll’s 29 years of asking about the role of government that at least half of Americans supported an active role for government. The first time occurred in 2001 in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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Legal

San Francisco Forced to Close 5 More Walgreens as Shoplifting is ‘De Facto Legal’ in California

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Walgreens

Crime rates in densely populated liberal cities continue to rise, all while leaders grapple with how to defund the police. Viral videos show just how easily robbers can get away with nonchalantly stealing large goods from a store knowing there will be no repercussions.

Liberal leadership has created a criminal safe haven, even backing them with legislation. California made the theft of merchandise worth $950 or less a mere misdemeanor knowing law enforcement likely won’t take the time to respond to a call or investigate. Cops know it’s a waste of their ever-shrinking resources because prosecutors will let the thieves slide.

As a result, Walgreens will be forced to close five entire stores in San Francisco in the next month due to the incessant retail crime, said a company spokesperson on Tuesday. The spokesperson said retail theft in its San Francisco stores has risen to five times the chain’s average.

Walgreens has already closed roughly a dozen stores in the bay area in the past two years. San Francisco Mayor London Breed said, “what I want people who commit these crimes to understand: your mother, your grandmother, your relatives, they depend on places like Walgreens and CVS and Targets where they have pharmacies to get their medications. So when these locations close in a community, then the entire community loses.”

Breed’s words are meaningless when her laws speak volumes. The Hoover Institution writes California laws have made shoplifting “de facto legal” writing, “Google ‘shoplifting in San Francisco’ and you will find more than 100,000 hits.”

“You will find lots of YouTube videos, where you can watch a single thief, or an entire gang, walk into an SF Walgreens or CVS and empty the shelves. Most walk in, go about their pilfering, and then walk out.”

Because of the state’s $950 misdemeanor law, “California is extending an open invitation to anyone to walk in and take. Just like that – since they know that police or prosecutors won’t bother with a misdemeanor complaint and that store personnel won’t stop them.”

“It’s not just pharmacies that are being ransacked. Recently, San Francisco’s Neiman Marcus was targeted by thieves who had a hankering for designer handbags and hit the purse department hard. The video shows one after another, after another, running out, as apparently there were 10 thieves, and they stole over the $950-per-hief misdemeanor limit.”

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