Tuesday, May 18, 2021

White House News (白宮消息) | May 18, 2021

 2 - White House News in Chinese (weebly.com)

Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden leave after Biden delivered remarks on COVID-19 response and the vaccination program from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., on May 13, 2021. 
Biden and Harris Release 2020 Tax Returns

May 18 - President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris released their 2020 tax returns on May 17, disclosing the incomes for themselves and their spouses for the year prior to their inauguration.

The disclosure came on Tax Day, the individual tax filing deadline for the vast majority of Americans.

Biden and First Lady Jill Biden earned a combined income of $607,336, according to a copy (pdf) of their tax return. The president and first lady paid 25.9 percent in federal taxes on their income, for a total of $157,414. They also paid $29,237 in state taxes in Delaware and Virginia.

The Bidens donated more than $30,000 to ten charities, about 5.1 percent of their income. The largest donation went to the Beau Biden Foundation, a charity dedicated to child abuse prevention.

Harris and First Gentleman Doug Emhoff earned $1,695,225 in 2020 and paid $621,893 in federal income tax, according to a copy (pdf) of their tax return. The tax payments amounted to more than one-third of their income, 36.7 percent. The vice president and the second gentleman paid an additional $182,001 in state taxes in California and the District of Columbia.
Harris and Emhoff contributed $27,006 to charity in 2020, less than 2 percent of their income, according to the tax documents.

The White House said in a press release that Monday’s disclosure marks the 23rd year that Biden released his taxes and the 17th year that Harris has done so. Their predecessors, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, broke with years of precedent and did not disclose their tax returns during their four years in office.

The White House also released financial disclosure forms for Biden and Harris on Monday. The Bidens hold more than $1 million in assets in an array of banks and investments accounts, their disclosure form (pdf) shows. Harris and Emhoff have more than $300,000 in cash across multiple banks, according to their disclosure forms (pdf).

“Neither the President nor the Vice President [has] any conflicts of interest,” the White House said in a statement accompanying the release of the disclosure forms.     source from
Federal tax refunds going out to taxpayers who paid taxes on 2020 unemployment benefits

May 17 - Federal tax refunds have started going out to taxpayers who paid taxes on their unemployment benefits when they filed their 2020 tax return.

Typically, unemployment benefits are considered taxable income. But the stimulus plan enacted by Congress in March exempted $10,200 in benefits for taxpayers for last year with an income of up to $150,000. For married couples filing jointly, $20,400 in benefits can be exempted.

The problem is that by the time Congress acted, millions of taxpayers already had filed their tax returns for 2020, and that included claiming those benefits as income.

The Internal Revenue Service said Friday that it has identified more than 10 million affected taxpayers who filed their tax returns before the American Rescue Plan became law.

To claim a federal refund, taxpayers don't have do anything. The IRS says corrections will be made automatically and the money refunded to the bank account shown on the return. If there is no bank account listed, the IRS will send a check.

The IRS says it is reviewing those returns to determine the correct taxable amount of unemployment compensation and tax, and determining whether the taxpayer is entitled to a tax refund, a reduced balance due or no change.

The first phase is underway and includes the simplest returns. More complex corrections involving married couples who file joint returns will begin when the first phase is completed.

Simple tax returns are those, for example, that don't claim children or refundable tax credits.

Any refund comes with this caveat: It is subject to be taken by the government and used for a variety of purposes such as unpaid federal or tax income, child support and student loans.

The IRS will send taxpayers a notice explaining the corrections.
In Ohio, affected taxpayers will have to file an amended state tax return and school district tax return if they want to get their refund.

For now, the Ohio Department of Taxation is advising taxpayers not to take any action on the returns they have filed.
It says it will provide further guidance when more details are available from the IRS.     source from

Related Articles:
Tax Day 2021:Waiting until the last minute to file your 2020 tax return in Ohio? Here's what you need to know
Ohio unemployment change:Unemployed Ohioans must resume search for work to claim benefits
Extra benefit going away:Ohio will drop $300 in extra jobless benefits, Gov. Mike DeWine says
Tax break for the unemployed:Stimulus plan exempts $10,200 of unemployment benefits

May 17, 2021 | Part Of U.S. Senate
U.S. Senate
Senator Cotton on Israeli-Palestinian ConflictSenator Tom Cotton (R-AR) criticized Democrats and the Biden administration for not showing support for Israel’s military actions in its ongoing conflict with the Palestinian group Hamas.

The Biden administration has approved a $735 million arms sale to Israel amid Tel Aviv's ongoing offensive on the Gaza Strip, according to a report published on May 17.
Biden signs off on $735 mln arms sale to Israel

May 18 - The decision to approve the sale was made on May 5, about a week before the escalating violence began, the Washington Post reported. But the approval came amid then-mounting criticism of Israel's planned expulsions of Palestinian residents from an East Jerusalem neighborhood, and repeated raids on Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest in Islam.

The decision to greenlight the sale, which is mainly comprised of Joint Direct Attack Munitions, has stirred opposition among some members of U.S. President Joe Biden's Democratic Party, including Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, as the death toll from Israel's Gaza offensive continues to mount.

Omar said shortly after the Post's story was published that the sale should not be completed "while crimes against humanity are being committed with our backing."

"It would be appalling for the Biden Administration to go through with $735 million in precision-guided weaponry to Netanyahu without any strings attached in the wake of escalating violence and attacks on civilians," she said in a statement, referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"If this goes through this will be seen as a green light for continued escalation and will undercut any attempts at brokering a ceasefire," added Omar.     source from

《花生漫畫》西元1953年五月/"Peanuts" on May 18, 1953

《花生漫畫》西元1953年五月/"Peanuts" on May 19, 1953

Monday, May 17, 2021

White House News (白宮消息) | May 17, 2021

 2 - White House News in Chinese (weebly.com)

WATCH AGAIN: Joe Biden's inaugural speech
Date Published on January 20, 2021

This is Joe Biden's Inaugural Speech after being sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.
After a tumultuous four years under President Trump, Joe Biden has called for unity amongst Americans. 

"My whole soul is in this, bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. I ask every American to join me in this cause.

"With unity we can do great things, important things."

Mr Biden continued in his desire for the nation to stand together.

"History, faith and reason show the way, the way of unity. Without unity there is no peace, only bitterness and fury."

"This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge and unity is the way forward. We must meet this moment as the United States of America.

"We have never, ever, ever failed in America when we have acted together."   watch video
Inaugural Address by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
JANUARY 20, 2021
The United States Capitol/11:52 AM EST

THE PRESIDENT: Chief Justice Roberts, Vice President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, Vice President Pence, distinguished guests, and my fellow Americans.
This is America’s day.
This is democracy’s day.
A day of history and hope.
Of renewal and resolve.
Through a crucible for the ages America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge.
Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate, but of a cause, the cause of democracy.
The will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded.
We have learned again that democracy is precious.
Democracy is fragile.
And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.
So now, on this hallowed ground where just days ago violence sought to shake this Capitol’s very foundation, we come together as one nation, under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries.
We look ahead in our uniquely American way – restless, bold, optimistic – and set our sights on the nation we know we can be and we must be.
I thank my predecessors of both parties for their presence here.
I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
You know the resilience of our Constitution and the strength of our nation.
As does President Carter, who I spoke to last night but who cannot be with us today, but whom we salute for his lifetime of service.
I have just taken the sacred oath each of these patriots took — an oath first sworn by George Washington.
But the American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us.
On “We the People” who seek a more perfect Union.
This is a great nation and we are a good people.
Over the centuries through storm and strife, in peace and in war, we have come so far. But we still have far to go.
We will press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and possibility.
Much to repair.
Much to restore.
Much to heal.
Much to build.
And much to gain.
Few periods in our nation’s history have been more challenging or difficult than the one we’re in now.
A once-in-a-century virus silently stalks the country.
It’s taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II.
Millions of jobs have been lost.
Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed.
A cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.
A cry for survival comes from the planet itself. A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear.
And now, a rise in political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.
To overcome these challenges – to restore the soul and to secure the future of America – requires more than words.
It requires that most elusive of things in a democracy:
In another January in Washington, on New Year’s Day 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
When he put pen to paper, the President said, “If my name ever goes down into history it will be for this act and my whole soul is in it.”
My whole soul is in it.
Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this:
Bringing America together.
Uniting our people.
And uniting our nation.
I ask every American to join me in this cause.
Uniting to fight the common foes we face:
Anger, resentment, hatred.
Extremism, lawlessness, violence.
Disease, joblessness, hopelessness.
With unity we can do great things. Important things.
We can right wrongs.
We can put people to work in good jobs.
We can teach our children in safe schools.
We can overcome this deadly virus.
We can reward work, rebuild the middle class, and make health care
secure for all.
We can deliver racial justice.
We can make America, once again, the leading force for good in the world.
I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy.
I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real.
But I also know they are not new.
Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we are all created equal and the harsh, ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, and demonization have long torn us apart.
The battle is perennial.
Victory is never assured.
Through the Civil War, the Great Depression, World War, 9/11, through struggle, sacrifice, and setbacks, our “better angels” have always prevailed.
In each of these moments, enough of us came together to carry all of us forward.
And, we can do so now.
History, faith, and reason show the way, the way of unity.
We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbors.
We can treat each other with dignity and respect.
We can join forces, stop the shouting, and lower the temperature.
For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury.
No progress, only exhausting outrage.
No nation, only a state of chaos.
This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward.
And, we must meet this moment as the United States of America.
If we do that, I guarantee you, we will not fail.
We have never, ever, ever failed in America when we have acted together.
And so today, at this time and in this place, let us start afresh.
All of us.
Let us listen to one another.
Hear one another.
See one another.
Show respect to one another.
Politics need not be a raging fire destroying everything in its path.
Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war.
And, we must reject a culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.
My fellow Americans, we have to be different than this.
America has to be better than this.
And, I believe America is better than this.
Just look around.
Here we stand, in the shadow of a Capitol dome that was completed amid the Civil War, when the Union itself hung in the balance.
Yet we endured and we prevailed.
Here we stand looking out to the great Mall where Dr. King spoke of his dream.
Here we stand, where 108 years ago at another inaugural, thousands of protestors tried to block brave women from marching for the right to vote.
Today, we mark the swearing-in of the first woman in American history elected to national office – Vice President Kamala Harris.
Don’t tell me things can’t change.
Here we stand across the Potomac from Arlington National Cemetery, where heroes who gave the last full measure of devotion rest in eternal peace.
And here we stand, just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, and to drive us from this sacred ground.
That did not happen.
It will never happen.
Not today.
Not tomorrow.
Not ever.
To all those who supported our campaign I am humbled by the faith you have placed in us.
To all those who did not support us, let me say this: Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart.
And if you still disagree, so be it.
That’s democracy. That’s America. The right to dissent peaceably, within the guardrails of our Republic, is perhaps our nation’s greatest strength.
Yet hear me clearly: Disagreement must not lead to disunion.
And I pledge this to you: I will be a President for all Americans.
I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did.
Many centuries ago, Saint Augustine, a saint of my church, wrote that a people was a multitude defined by the common objects of their love.
What are the common objects we love that define us as Americans?
I think I know.
And, yes, the truth.
Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson.
There is truth and there are lies.
Lies told for power and for profit.
And each of us has a duty and responsibility, as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders – leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation — to defend the truth and to defeat the lies.
I understand that many Americans view the future with some fear and trepidation.
I understand they worry about their jobs, about taking care of their families, about what comes next.
I get it.
But the answer is not to turn inward, to retreat into competing factions, distrusting those who don’t look like you do, or worship the way you do, or don’t get their news from the same sources you do.
We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal.
We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts.
If we show a little tolerance and humility.
If we’re willing to stand in the other person’s shoes just for a moment.
Because here is the thing about life: There is no accounting for what fate will deal you.
There are some days when we need a hand.
There are other days when we’re called on to lend one.
That is how we must be with one another.
And, if we are this way, our country will be stronger, more prosperous, more ready for the future.
My fellow Americans, in the work ahead of us, we will need each other.
We will need all our strength to persevere through this dark winter.
We are entering what may well be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus.
We must set aside the politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation.
I promise you this: as the Bible says weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning.
We will get through this, together
The world is watching today.
So here is my message to those beyond our borders: America has been tested and we have come out stronger for it.
We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again.
Not to meet yesterday’s challenges, but today’s and tomorrow’s.
We will lead not merely by the example of our power but by the power of our example.
We will be a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress, and security.
We have been through so much in this nation.
And, in my first act as President, I would like to ask you to join me in a moment of silent prayer to remember all those we lost this past year to the pandemic.
To those 400,000 fellow Americans – mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
We will honor them by becoming the people and nation we know we can and should be.
Let us say a silent prayer for those who lost their lives, for those they left behind, and for our country.
This is a time of testing.
We face an attack on democracy and on truth.
A raging virus.
Growing inequity.
The sting of systemic racism.
A climate in crisis.
America’s role in the world.
Any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways.
But the fact is we face them all at once, presenting this nation with the gravest of responsibilities.
Now we must step up.
All of us.
It is a time for boldness, for there is so much to do.
And, this is certain.
We will be judged, you and I, for how we resolve the cascading crises of our era.
Will we rise to the occasion?
Will we master this rare and difficult hour?
Will we meet our obligations and pass along a new and better world for our children?
I believe we must and I believe we will.
And when we do, we will write the next chapter in the American story.
It’s a story that might sound something like a song that means a lot to me.
It’s called “American Anthem” and there is one verse stands out for me:
“The work and prayers
of centuries have brought us to this day
What shall be our legacy?
What will our children say?…
Let me know in my heart
When my days are through
I gave my best to you.”
Let us add our own work and prayers to the unfolding story of our nation.
If we do this then when our days are through our children and our children’s children will say of us they gave their best.
They did their duty.
They healed a broken land.
My fellow Americans, I close today where I began, with a sacred oath.
Before God and all of you I give you my word.
I will always level with you.
I will defend the Constitution.
I will defend our democracy.
I will defend America.
I will give my all in your service thinking not of power, but of possibilities.
Not of personal interest, but of the public good.
And together, we shall write an American story of hope, not fear.
Of unity, not division.
Of light, not darkness.
An American story of decency and dignity.
Of love and of healing.
Of greatness and of goodness.
May this be the story that guides us.
The story that inspires us.
The story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history.
We met the moment.
That democracy and hope, truth and justice, did not die on our watch but thrived.
That our America secured liberty at home and stood once again as a beacon to the world.
That is what we owe our forebearers, one another, and generations to follow.
So, with purpose and resolve we turn to the tasks of our time.
Sustained by faith.
Driven by conviction.
And, devoted to one another and to this country we love with all our hearts.
May God bless America and may God protect our troops.
Thank you, America.

12:13 pm EST

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan made a phone call to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister discusses Palestine with US Secretary of State Blinken

May 17 - RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Sunday discussed the ongoing efforts to calm tensions in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza and bring the current violence to an end, during call with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

Blinken “lamented the loss of Palestinian and Israeli lives and urged engagement to prevent a deepening of the crisis,” the State Department said, adding he also “expressed his belief that Palestinians and Israelis deserve equal measures of freedom, dignity, security, and prosperity.”

During the phone call, the two ministers reviewed the strategic relations between their two countries and ways to enhance them in all fields, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said on Sunday.

They also discussed the most prominent developments, foremost of which are developments in Palestine and the region.
The two ministers also discussed other important priorities, including bolstering Saudi defenses, achieving a comprehensive cease-fire and transition to a political process in Yemen, the State Department added. 

Blinken also conveyed his best wishes to the foreign minister and the Saudi people for Eid Al-Fitr.     source from
以总理放狠话继续打击 巴以能否停火止暴?20210516 |《今日关注》CCTV中文国际
May 17, 2021
American Muslim Groups Boycott White House Eid Over Israel Support
May 17, 2021
American Muslim organizations boycotted Sunday’s White House virtual Eid celebration marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan to protest what they see as the Biden administration’s support of Israeli violence against Palestinians.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

White House News (白宮消息) | May 15, 2021

 2 - White House News in Chinese (weebly.com)

Cecilia Rouse, Biden's top economic adviser, says jobs plan "meets the needs of a 21st century economy."
Date published on Apr 4, 2021
Cecilia Elena Rouse (/ˈraʊs/ ROWSS; born December 18, 1963) is an American economist currently serving as the 30th Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers. She is the first African American to hold this position.[2] Prior to this, she served as the dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.[3] Joe Biden nominated Rouse to be Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers in November 2020.[4] On March 2, 2021, Rouse was overwhelmingly confirmed by the Senate, 95–4.    from Wikipedia
Katherine Tai testifies before Senate Finance Committee in Washington
U.S., Mexico, Canada to hold 'robust' talks on trade deal - statement

May 15 - The United States, Mexico and Canada will next week hold their first formal talks on their continental trade deal, with particular focus on labor and environmental obligations, the U.S. government said on Friday.

Trade ministers from the three nations are set to meet virtually on Monday and Tuesday to discuss the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) deal, which took effect in July 2020.

"The ministers will receive updates about work already underway to advance cooperation ... and will hold robust discussions about USMCA's landmark labor and environmental obligations," the office of U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement.

The United States is also reviewing tariffs which may be leading to inflation in the country, economic adviser Cecilia Rouse told reporters at the White House on Friday, a move that could affect hundreds of billions of dollars in trade.

The United States, testing provisions in the new deal aimed at strengthening Mexican unions, this week asked Mexico to investigate alleged abuses at a General Motors Co factory.     source from
Neera Tanden. 
Neera Tanden appointed White House senior adviser

May 15 -The Indian-American policy expert is currently the President and CEO of the Center for American Progress (CAP)Indian-American policy expert Neera Tanden has been appointed as a senior adviser to United States (US) President Joe Biden. This comes two months after she withdrew her nomination as Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget due to stiff opposition from Republican senators.

Tanden has been entrusted with two tasks – launch a review of the US Digital Service, and plan contingencies that could result from the Supreme Court's consideration of Republican lawsuits seeking to strike down the Affordable Care Act...     more

Good news and bad news for Gaetz as associate takes plea deal (and the good news is bad)

May 15 - Rachel Maddow looks at the new details in the enduringly gross case of Joel Greenberg, associate of Donald Trump acolyte Rep. Matt Gaetz, and explains why Greenberg's new plea deal is bad news for Gaetz for what it contains, but also for how it treats Greenberg as a witness.    watch video

以军加沙地带边境集结 巴以或走向全面战争?20210514 | 《今日关注》CCTV中文国际
May 15, 2021

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White House News (白宮消息) | May 18, 2021

  2 - White House News in Chinese (weebly.com) Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden leave after Biden delivered remarks on C...