Biden Bits: “Fighting for Democracy and Human Rights”…

Biden Tweets Logo. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

It’s Friday…

President Biden’s public schedule for 02/23/2024:

10:00 AMIn-Town Pool Call Time
In-Town Pool
10:45 AM
Met with Governors
The President, The Vice President and The First Lady welcome the nation’s governors to the White House during the National Governors Association Winter Meeting
East Room In-House Pool Spray
1:30 PM
Press Briefing
Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
1:45 PM
Presidential Daily Brief
The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing; The Vice President attends
Oval OfficeClosed Press

The Governor’s welcome has already concluded. We will cover it on Monday…

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre @1:30 p.m. D.C., time:


IVF Statement/Abortion Tweets

From Thursday…

Statement from President Joe Biden on Alabama Court Decision:

Today, in 2024 in America, women are being turned away from emergency rooms and forced to travel hundreds of miles for health care, while doctors fear prosecution for providing an abortion. And now, a court in Alabama put access to some fertility treatments at risk for families who are desperately trying to get pregnant. The disregard for women’s ability to make these decisions for themselves and their families is outrageous and unacceptable.
 
Make no mistake: this is a direct result of the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
 
I know that folks are worried about what they’re seeing happening to women all across America. I am too. I hear about it everywhere I go. My message is: The Vice President and I are fighting for your rights. We’re fighting for the freedom of women, for families, and for doctors who care for these women. And we won’t stop until we restore the protections of Roe v. Wade in federal law for all women in every state.

White House.gov. 02/22/2024.

NBC News reports that in the wake of the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that says embryos created through IVF are considered children under the “Wrongful Death of a Minor Act”, three IVF clinics have paused part of the IVF process. Specifically, they are pausing the fertilization of eggs with sperm, they will still offer women the ability to have their eggs retrieved.

IMO…

The heart of the issue is this; If a couple’s embryos are found not healthy enough to survive the implantation process, can the clinic or the parents themselves be sued for “Wrongful Death of a Minor”.

In short, in typical fashion, a ruling from the court has made it near impossible for IVF clinics in Alabama, for now, to offer their full services, while the lawyers figure it out, placing hundreds of families in Alabama in limbo, as they try and figure it out too.

It’s a nightmare ruling really.

From Friday…

The article linked is an 11 min listen.

Snips:

Kelsie Norris-De La Cruz tried not to cry as the doctor in the emergency room delivered one of the most frightening diagnoses a pregnant woman can receive.

The 25-year-old college senior was told she likely had an ectopic pregnancy, a highly dangerous condition where the embryo implants outside of the uterus. Without immediate treatment, the fallopian tube can rupture — and the patient can die.

The law that has prohibited abortions in Texas since Roe v. Wade was overturned now explicitly allows doctors to treat ectopic pregnancies. But when doctors at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital evaluated Norris-De La Cruz last week, they refused to terminate the pregnancy,saying there was some chance the pregnancy was still viable, Norris-De La Cruz recalled. Instead, they advised her and her mother to go home and wait, according to medical records reviewed by The Washington Post.

[snip]

The Post learned of Norris-De La Cruz’s case when her mother, seeking advice, called a Houston reproductive health clinic when a reporter was present. To corroborate Norris-De La Cruz’s account, The Post reviewed dozens of pages of medical records, sonogram images, photos and text messages, and conducted interviews with many of the people involved in the case.

Four OB/GYNs who reviewed Norris-De La Cruz’s medical records for The Post, with Norris-De La Cruz’s permission, said she should have been offered emergency surgery. They said they suspected Texas’s abortion ban played a role in how she was advised.

Washington Post Gift Link. 02/23/2024.

The OB/GYN’s and Norris-De La Cruz and her mother cannot say for sure it’s Texas’ abortion laws that led to her being denied the care she needed. However, the OB/GYN that ended up treating her, Jeffery Morgan said he never thought about not treating her because of the abortion ban. Saying he was baffled that she was denied care.

Morgan said he never considered delaying or withholding treatment because of the abortion ban, which he says clearly allows Texas doctors to treat ectopic pregnancies. He said he was shocked to learn that Norris-De La Cruz had been turned away.

“Honestly, it baffles me,” Morgan said. “Any kind of ectopic, anything like that is excluded.”

Washington Post Gift Link. 02/23/2024.

I’m honestly not shocked or baffled, this is what happens when laws are written too vague, with too many grey areas. I should also note, that Norris-De La Cruz was not unhappy about being pregnant. She was not seeking an abortion, she was seeking medical care, and too many medical professionals in Texas, failed her.

Here’s the gifted article in tweet form in case the linked gift doesn’t work…


Yulia and Dasha Navalnaya Tweet

From Thursday…

Readout of President Biden’s Meeting with Yulia Navalnaya and Dasha Navalnaya:

President Biden met with Yulia and Dasha Navalnaya today in San Francisco to express his heartfelt condolences for their terrible loss following the death of Aleksey Navalny in a Russian prison.  The President expressed his admiration for Aleksey Navalny’s extraordinary courage and his legacy of fighting against corruption and for a free and democratic Russia in which the rule of law applies equally to everyone. The President emphasized that Aleksey’s legacy will carry on through people across Russia and around the world mourning his loss and fighting for freedom, democracy, and human rights. He affirmed that his Administration will announce major new sanctions against Russia tomorrow in response to Aleksey’s death, Russia’s repression and aggression, and its brutal and illegal war in Ukraine. 

White House.gov. 02/22/2024.

As seen in the Post It Note, yesterday, the New York Times is reporting that Russia has declared Navalny’s death due to “natural causes” and will release his body to his mother, if she agrees to a “secret funeral”…

I no longer sub to the New York Times; so it’s pay walled for me as I used up all my free articles…


Semiconductor Tweet

From Thursday…

From the U.S. Department of Commerce…

02/19/2024:

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Preliminary Terms with GlobalFoundries to Strengthen Domestic Legacy Chip Supply for U.S. Auto and Defense Industries:

U.S. Department of Commerce Outlines $1.5 Billion in Potential Funding to Support Multiple Projects in New York and Vermont and Create Approximately 10,500 Construction and Manufacturing Jobs

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce and GlobalFoundries (GF) have signed a non-binding preliminary memorandum of terms (PMT) to provide approximately $1.5 billion in direct funding under the CHIPS and Science Act to strengthen U.S. domestic supply chain resilience, bolster U.S. competitiveness in current-generation and mature-node (C&M) semiconductor production, and support economic and national security capabilities. The proposed funding would support a new state-of-the-art facility, significant capacity expansion, and the modernization of GF’s U.S. manufacturing sites in New York and Vermont, which produce essential automotive, communications, and defense semiconductor technologies.  

President Biden signed the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act to strengthen U.S. supply chains, create good-paying jobs, and advance U.S. economic and national security. Today’s announcement is the third PMT announcement the Department of Commerce has made under the CHIPS and Science Act.  

GF chips are fundamental to everyday applications that impact all Americans, from blind spot detection and collision warnings in cars, to smartphones and electric vehicles that last longer between charges, to secure and reliable Wi-Fi and cellular connections. Currently, there are only four companies outside of China that provide current and mature foundry capabilities at the scale of GF – and GF is the only one of those companies that is headquartered in the United States. Shortages of some of these semiconductors caused major disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a particularly acute impact on the availability and price of a broad range of goods for Americans, as well as the shutdown of automobile manufacturing sites. Part of the proposed funding is expected to support expanding the facility that houses a dedicated capacity corridor for General Motors, with whom GF entered into a strategic long-term supply agreement last year.   

“Semiconductors are the brain of modern technology. While they are no larger than a fingernail and no thicker than a piece of paper, they are essential to every electronic device that we currently use – from computers and televisions to cars and washing machines. Thanks to our Administration’s CHIPS and Science Act, we are announcing the Department of Commerce’s preliminary agreement with GlobalFoundries, which will award approximately $1.5 billion to expand domestic production of semiconductors, strengthen U.S. supply chains, and create thousands of good paying jobs right here in America,” said Vice President Kamala Harris. “President Biden and I continue to be fully committed to growing our economy and creating opportunity in every part of America. Today’s announcement is another way in which we are delivering on that commitment in New York, Vermont, and communities throughout the country.” 

“Semiconductors are in everything from our cellphones, to refrigerators, to cars, and our most advanced weapons systems, and access to them carries important economic and national security implications. It was the shortages of semiconductors during the COVID-19 pandemic that raised prices for consumers and led to the shutdown of automobile manufacturing sites across the country,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Thanks to President Biden’s CHIPS and Science Act, we’re working to onshore these critical technologies in order to bolster the supply of domestic chips that are essential to manufacturing cars, electronics, and national defense systems in New York, Vermont, and states across the country.” 

“The CHIPS and Science Act set out to make the United States a leader in semiconductor R&D and manufacturing, and with this proposed CHIPS funding, GlobalFoundries could help realize this vision by modernizing and building new chip fabrication facilities to increase its capacity to make current-generation and mature-node chips in the United States while creating thousands of good jobs in New York and Vermont,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Laurie E. Locascio. “By investing in domestic manufacturing capabilities, CHIPS for America is helping secure a stable domestic supply of chips that are found in everything from home electronics to advanced aerospace systems.” 

“GF is proud to announce this proposed funding from the Department of Commerce and appreciates the collaboration of the CHIPS Office throughout this process. These proposed investments, along with the investment tax credit (ITC) for semiconductor manufacturing, are central to the next chapter of the GlobalFoundries story and our industry. They would also play an important role in making the U.S. semiconductor ecosystem more globally competitive and resilient,” said Dr. Thomas Caulfield, president and CEO of GF. “With new onshore capacity and technology on the horizon, as an industry we now need to turn our attention to increasing the demand for U.S.-made chips, and to growing our talented U.S. semiconductor workforce.” 

The proposed expansion of GF is expected to help advance U.S. economic and national security by increasing capacity, strengthening supply chain resilience, and onshoring technologies in the U.S. for the first time that are important to our defense and intelligence communities. With multiple facilities that are designated as Trusted Foundries by the Department of Defense, GF has a long history of supporting the U.S. military and this proposed funding is expected to strengthen those ties. The Department of Defense relies on GF chips for national defense uses including satellite and space communications. GF chips also support broader U.S. technological leadership and discovery, such as the James Webb Telescope and the International Space Station.  

The approximately $1.5 billion in proposed CHIPS funding would be split across three projects:  

Commerce.gov. 02/19/2024.
  • Malta, New York – New State-of-the-Art 300 mm Fab: The construction of a new, large-scale 300 mm fabrication facility that is expected to produce high value technologies not currently available in the U.S. The new facility is intended to leverage existing infrastructure to expedite the path from construction to production. 
  • Malta, New York – Capacity Expansion for Automotive: The proposed expansion of the existing Malta, New York fabrication facility, which includes a strategic agreement with General Motors, to secure a dedicated supply of essential semiconductor technologies. This project would also support America’s economic and national security by expanding domestic capacity for semiconductors that are used in the U.S. critical infrastructure base. This expansion, combined with the new 300 mm fabrication facility, is expected to triple the existing capacity of the Malta campus over the next 10+ years. These two projects are expected to increase wafer production to 1 million per year once all phases are complete. 
  • Burlington, Vermont – Fab Revitalization: The revitalization of an existing fabrication facility in Burlington, Vermont, to commercialize new 200 mm technologies, creating the first U.S. facility capable of high-volume manufacturing of next-generation Gallium Nitride on Silicon for use in electric vehicles, power grid, 5G and 6G smartphones, and other critical technologies. The site will apply industry-leading sustainability practices, including the use of 100% carbon-neutral energy and the development of an onsite solar system to supply up to 9% of the site’s annual energy. 

The proposed projects would create approximately 1,500 manufacturing jobs and approximately 9,000 construction jobs over the next 10 years. The PMT also proposes approximately $10 million in dedicated workforce development funding for GF to work with local workforce, education, training, and community-based organizations to provide GF with the facilities and construction talent they need now and in the future. GF also continues to build upon its GF Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship Program, which is the first U.S. registered semiconductor apprenticeship program and graduated its first apprentices in 2022. In recognizing the critical importance of child care for its operations, the company will not only continue to provide its $1,000 annual subsidy and child care support concierge service to its growing facility workforce but also extend these benefits to its construction workers. The company will be operating under an existing Project Labor Agreement (PLA) in New York and is in the process of establishing a PLA in Vermont for the purposes of this project.  

In addition to potential direct funding, the CHIPS Program Office would make approximately $1.6 billion in loans available to GF under the PMT. The total potential public and private investment for the combined projects would be approximately $12.5 billion.  

As explained in the Department’s first Notice of Funding Opportunity, the Department may offer applicants a PMT on a non-binding basis after satisfactory completion of the merit review of a full application. The PMT outlines key terms for a CHIPS incentives award, including the amount and form of the award. After the PMT is signed, the Department begins a comprehensive due diligence process on the proposed project and other information contained in the application. After satisfactory completion of the due diligence phase, the Department may enter into final award documents with the applicant. Terms of the final award documents are subject to negotiations with the applicant and may differ from the terms of the PMT.  

Commerce.gov. 02/19/2024.

Won’t Mince Words Tweet

From Thursday…

Google didn’t offer a lot in the way of context to the above Tweet, meaning it didn’t appear in his remarks over the course of the war. Two hits I found, one from Vijesti and the other from Times Now News suggest the tweet is in reference to a UN resolution that the US vetoed last week. China and Palestine have accused the US of giving Israel a “license to kill” following the defeat of the immediate ceasefire Arab-backed resolution.


Tax Season Tweet

From Thursday…

I never had a Bloomberg sub, so I googled “IRS corporate jets” and found…

From IRS.gov…

02/21/2024:

IRS begins audits of corporate jet usage; part of larger effort to ensure high-income groups don’t fly under the radar on tax responsibilities:

Using Inflation Reduction Act funding and as part of ongoing efforts to improve tax compliance in high-income categories, the Internal Revenue Service announced today plans to begin dozens of audits on business aircraft involving personal use.

The audits will be focused on aircraft usage by large corporations, large partnerships and high-income taxpayers and whether for tax purposes the use of jets is being properly allocated between business and personal reasons.

The IRS will be using advanced analytics and resources from the Inflation Reduction Act to more closely examine this area, which has not been closely scrutinized during the past decade as agency resources fell sharply. The number of audits related to aircraft usage could increase in the future following initial results and as the IRS continues hiring additional examiners.

“During tax season, millions of people are doing the right thing by filing and paying their taxes, and they should have confidence that everyone is also following the law,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “Personal use of corporate jets and other aircraft by executives and others have tax implications, and it’s a complex area where IRS work has been stretched thin. With expanded resources, IRS work in this area will take off. These aircraft audits will help ensure high-income groups aren’t flying under the radar with their tax responsibilities.”

Business aircraft are often used for both business and personal reasons by officers, executives, other employees, shareholders and partners. In general, the tax code passed by Congress allows a business deduction for expenses of maintaining an asset, such as a corporate jet, if that asset is utilized for a business purpose. However, the use of a company aircraft must be allocated between business use and personal use. This is a complex area of tax law, and record-keeping can be challenging.

For someone such as an executive using the company jet for personal travel, the amount of personal usage impacts eligibility for certain business deductions. Use of the company jet for personal travel typically results in income inclusion by the individual using the jet for personal travel and could also impact the business’s eligibility to deduct costs related to the personal travel.

The examination of corporate jet usage is part of the IRS Large Business and International division’s “campaign” program. Campaigns apply different compliance streams to help address areas with a high risk of non-compliance. These efforts include issue-focused examinations, taxpayer outreach and education, tax form changes and focusing on particular issues that present a high risk of noncompliance.

The IRS will begin conducting examinations in the near future as part of the agency’s commitment to ensuring fairness in tax administration.

This is part of a larger effort the IRS is taking to ensure large corporate, large partnerships and high-income individual filers pay the taxes they owe. Prior to the Inflation Reduction Act, more than a decade of budget cuts prevented the IRS from keeping pace with the increasingly complicated set of tools that the wealthiest taxpayers use to shelter or manipulate their income to avoid taxes. The IRS is now taking swift and aggressive action to close this gap.

In addition to work on corporate jets, the IRS has a variety of efforts underway to improve tax compliance in complex, overlooked high-dollar areas where the agency did not have adequate resources prior to Inflation Reduction Act funding.

For example, the IRS is continuing to pursue millionaires that have not paid hundreds of millions of dollars in tax debt. The IRS has already collected $482 million in ongoing efforts to recoup taxes owed by 1,600 millionaires with action continuing in this area. Elsewhere, the IRS is pursuing multi-million-dollar partnership balance sheet discrepancies, ramping up audits of more than 75 of the largest partnerships using artificial intelligence (AI) as well as other areas.

“The IRS continues to increase scrutiny on high-income taxpayers as we work to reverse the historic low audit rates and limited focus that the wealthiest individuals and organizations faced in the years that predated the Inflation Reduction Act,” Werfel said. “We are adding staff and technology to ensure that the taxpayers with the highest income, including partnerships, large corporations and millionaires and billionaires, pay what is legally owed under federal law. The IRS will have more announcements to make in this important area.”

IRS.gov. 02/21/2024.

“New” from the White House…

02/22/2024:

02/23/2024:

This is an Open Thread.

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About Tiff 2550 Articles
Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.