Paul Gauguin Tahitians at rest (unfinished) 1891
The bots are in for a surprise tomorrow
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 11, 2022
Dr Peter McCullough on medical censorship on twitter & autopsy reports of deaths from vax induced myocarditis where the deceased had NO initial symptoms. The overall autopsy series showed 71% of all patients found dead at home after vax within 20 days was due to the vaccine pic.twitter.com/1kuEgeyfz0
— Janey (@_Janey_J) December 9, 2022
Shellenberger’s format is hard to do in the Debt Rattle format.
On January 7, @jack emails employees saying Twitter needs to remain consistent in its policies, including the right of users to return to Twitter after a temporary suspension. After, Roth reassures an employee that “people who care about this… aren’t happy with where we are” Around 11:30 am PT, Roth DMs his colleagues with news that he is excited to share. “GUESS WHAT,” he writes. “Jack just approved repeat offender for civic integrity.” The new approach would create a system where five violations (“strikes”) would result in permanent suspension. “Progress!” exclaims a member of Roth’s Trust and Safety Team.
The exchange between Roth and his colleagues makes clear that they had been pushing @jack for greater restrictions on the speech Twitter allows around elections. The colleague wants to know if the decision means Trump can finally be banned. The person asks, “does the incitement to violence aspect change that calculus?” Roth says it doesn’t. “Trump continues to just have his one strike” (remaining). Roth’s colleague’s query about “incitement to violence” heavily foreshadows what will happen the following day.
On January 8, Twitter announces a permanent ban on Trump due to the “risk of further incitement of violence.” On J8, Twitter says its ban is based on “specifically how [Trump’s tweets] are being received & interpreted.” But in 2019, Twitter said it did “not attempt to determine all potential interpretations of the content or its intent.” The *only* serious concern we found expressed within Twitter over the implications for free speech and democracy of banning Trump came from a junior person in the organization. It was tucked away in a lower-level Slack channel known as “site-integrity-auto.”
“This might be an unpopular opinion but one off ad hoc decisions like this that don’t appear rooted in policy are imho a slippery slope… This now appears to be a fiat by an online platform CEO with a global presence that can gatekeep speech for the entire world…”
Twitter thread by Name Redacted.
“They were ALL hired since @realDonaldTrump was elected.”
1. @elonmusk , Your new company @Twitter has many ex FBI/CIA agents in high ranks. Should probably do a little housecleaning.
2. Kevin Michelena – current Twitter Sr. Corporate Security Analyst. Ex FBI Intelligence Analyst 12 years
3. Doug Hunt – current Twitter Senior Director. Ex FBI Special Agent 20 years.
4. Mark Jaroszewski – current Twitter Director Corporate Security/Risk. Ex FBI 20 years
5. Douglas Turner – current Twitter Senior Manager, Corporate and Executive Security Services. Ex FBI 14 years. Ex Secret Service 7 years.
6. Patrick G. – current Twitter Head of Corporate Security. Ex FBI Special Agent 23 years.
7. Karen Walsh – current Twitter Director – Corporate Resilience. Ex FBI Special Agent 21 years
8. Russell Handorf – current Twitter Senior Staff Technical Program Manager. Ex FBI 10 years.
9. Michael B. – current Twitter Senior Corporate Security Manager. Ex FBI 23 years.
10. Vincent Lucero – current Twitter Senior Security Manager. Ex FBI Special Agent 22 years.
11. Kevin L. – current Twitter Corporate Security Manager. Ex FBI Special Agent 25 years.
12. Matthew W. – current Twitter Senior Director of Product Trust, Revenue Policy, and Counsel Systems & Analytics. Ex FBI 15 years.
13. Claire O. – current Twitter Senior Corporate Security Analyst. Ex FBI 8 years.
14. Bruce A. – current Twitter Director, Corporate Security. Ex FBI 23 years.
15. Jeff Carlton – current Twitter Senior Manager. Ex FBI & CIA Intelligence Analyst 3 years.
16. What do all of these Twitter employees have in common? They were ALL hired since @realDonaldTrump was elected. Why, after Trump was elected, did Twitter hire over a dozen ex FBI/CIA agents and place them in Senior Management roles?
17. @elonmusk – how many “Jim Bakers” are imbedded in Twitter, possibly working against you? or…..”watching” you. I’d advise you to do some investigating and clean house.
“Twitter executives were praised for their speed to impose “visibility filters” so the tweet could not be “replied to, shared, or liked..”
What these files suggest is an utter license to control political speech on social media platforms. Twitter executives often sound like overlords determining what the public should be allowed to read or say. This is hardly surprising, given the constant stroking by many politicians and pundits who say they are saving democracy by limiting free speech. In speaking to media figures in April, former President Barack Obama called upon “our better angels” to shape voters’ opinions. Similarly, President Joe Biden has said social media editors are vital to protecting citizens from their own misguided values or assumptions. Without enlightened editors, he asked, “How do people know the truth?” Such comments show total contempt for the ability of people to make up their own minds on subjects ranging from elections to vaccinations.
Yet social media executives readily embraced their role in framing “the truth.” Former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal pledged to “focus less on thinking about free speech” and more on “who can be heard.” While some of us denounced his anti-free-speech agenda, others rose in defense of Twitter maintaining one of the largest censorship systems in history. Now, these Twitter files show precisely what it means to manipulate “who can be heard” — a process that went beyond controversial suspensions of users to include a broader, secret effort to suppress disfavored viewpoints. The new documents show Twitter using blacklists and “visibility filters” to interfere with user searches or to shadow-ban individuals and prevent their tweets from trending.
The new material also indicates that “visibility filtering” was directed at various Republican campaigns, throttling or reducing candidates’ visibility before the 2020 election. Most striking in the latest documents is how Twitter censors knowingly discarded even their own policies to hamper then-President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. In one tweet, Trump referenced a mail-in voting problem in Ohio that was found to be true. Nevertheless, Twitter executives were praised for their speed to impose “visibility filters” so the tweet could not be “replied to, shared, or liked,” and the staff received a censorship “attaboy”: “VERY WELL DONE ON SPEED.”
“This is an investigation of Joe Biden, and that’s where the committee will focus in this next Congress.”
US Republicans want Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk to testify before the House Oversight Committee next year. By revealing how his predecessors censored stories damaging to the Biden family, Musk has already done “a great service” to the committee, incoming chairman Rep. James Comer told the New York Post. “I have reached out to Elon Musk through backchannels to tell him that we would love for him to come before the committee,” Comer told the newspaper. “I’m pretty confident he’s going to provide more information, but he is welcome to come before our committee. We will roll out the red carpet for Elon Musk.” In the final weeks before the 2020 presidential election, Twitter banned the sharing of links to a New York Post story sourced from a laptop belonging to then-candidate Biden’s son, Hunter.
The story, and later articles that followed, alleged that Hunter Biden potentially earned tens of millions of dollars introducing foreign contacts – among them Mexican, Chinese and Ukrainian businessmen – to his father. Documents released by Musk last week showed that some of Twitter’s former senior executives – including legal head Vijaya Gadde, safety chief Yoel Roth, and General Counsel Jim Baker – deliberately suppressed the story and removed election-related tweets on behalf of the FBI and other government agencies. Musk’s disclosures also revealed that Twitter moderators regularly deleted content at the request of “the Biden team,” and planned the suspension of Donald Trump’s account months in advance.
“[Musk is] doing a great service to the Oversight Committee and America by disclosing all of the emails and correspondence between the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee and Twitter,” Comer continued. He added that Gadde, Roth and Baker have all been summoned to testify about their role in the censorship operation. Comer and incoming House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan announced last month that they will lead a twin-track investigation into the Biden family’s foreign business dealings and the alleged politicization of the Justice Department by President Biden, when Republicans hold the balance of power in the House of Representatives in January. “I want to be clear,” Comer stated at the time. “This is an investigation of Joe Biden, and that’s where the committee will focus in this next Congress.”
“Von der Leyen rhetorically dive bombed into the region this week, pointing out that the world is divided between autocracies and democracies and that the Balkans needed to pick a side.”
The Russia-Ukraine conflict reflects on the Balkans as a struggle between “autocracies and the law of the strongest” and “democracy and the rule of law”, European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen said during an EU-Western Balkans partnership summit in the Albanian capital Tirana this week. The last Balkan country to actually ascend to European Union membership was Croatia, in 2013. And this year, the Balkans have had to contend with the spectacle of Brussels gushing over Ukraine and rushing to grant Kiev candidate status. For context, it took Albania five years to receive candidate status (which it did in 2014). It took Serbia three years (a candidate since 2012) and Montenegro two years (a candidate since 2010).
Just imagine: You’ve been waiting years for Brussels to make a commitment, or to even show signs that it’s serious about the relationship, and suddenly it only has eyes for Kiev and seems to have forgotten about your existence.So it’s not exactly surprising that the citizens of these countries would start feeling like maybe the bloc simply isn’t marriage material. At the moment, 55% of North Macedonians have a negative view of the EU, while just 21% of Serbs see the EU positively and a majority of them are now against joining the bloc. Even in Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, confidence in European institutions has recently dipped. So it makes sense that the EU is running over there now for a big summit, worried about someone else stealing their loyalty – specifically Russia or China.
Serbia is a big friend of Russia, and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said recently that Belgrade’s ties with Albania and North Macedonia in particular have never been better – even though Albania has been viewed over the past couple of decades by the West as one of its staunchest allies, including militarily, by committing troops to its efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Serbia isn’t onboard with the EU and its anti-Russian sanctions and agenda, refusing to march in lockstep with Brussels on its foreign policy towards Russia. Vucic refused to sign the summit’s Tirana Declaration, whose top clause referred to Russia’s “escalating war in Ukraine,” and reiterated his disagreement with the bloc’s sanctions policy.
It’s not a stretch to imagine that Brussels could see a threat to its anti-Russia agenda in all of this, or be concerned that other Balkan countries that followed the Western sanctions lead could feasibly start comparing their economic and energy challenges to Serbia’s situation, which still enjoys the benefits of cheap Russian gas, comprising about 85% of its gas imports. So how does the EU handle this powder keg? With all the subtlety of a hand grenade. Von der Leyen rhetorically dive bombed into the region this week, pointing out that the world is divided between autocracies and democracies and that the Balkans needed to pick a side. “We notice very clearly that the Ukraine war is not only Russia’s cruel war against Ukraine, but also a question of whether autocracies and the law of the strongest will prevail. Or whether democracy and the rule of law will prevail. And this struggle is also noticeable in the Western Balkans,” Von der Leyen said.
“..Putin said he was disappointed and shocked when he heard Merkel’s statement, adding that this was further proof that Moscow made the correct decision when it started its military operation in Ukraine..”
Berlin and Paris should pay reparations to the Donbass civilians who have been suffering Ukrainian attacks since 2014, according to Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the State Duma – Russia’s lower house of parliament. His comments came after former German chancellor Angela Merkel admitted that the Minsk peace agreements had been just a ploy to provide Kiev with enough time to build up its military. Merkel’s confession means that Berlin and Paris – who brokered the deal – “bear moral and material responsibility for what is happening in Ukraine,” Volodin wrote on Telegram on Saturday.
The premeditated failure to fulfill obligations under the accords constitutes “not only a loss of trust, but also a crime for which the signatories of the Minsk agreements – Merkel, [former French president Francois] Hollande, and [former Ukrainian president Pyotr] Poroshenko – must answer,” he stated. “They will have to pay compensation to the residents of Donbass for eight years of genocide and damages,” Volodin added. According to the MP, the ongoing Ukraine crisis has been brought about by “the deceitful policies” pursued by the French and German leaders. Volodin recalled that in 2014, Berlin and Paris also brokered a deal between the government of the democratically elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and the nation’s opposition to stop violent riots in Kiev. The unrest erupted in Ukraine’s capital after Yanukovich refused to sign an association agreement with the EU.
“It all ended with a coup d’etat in Kiev,” he stated, and “the genocide” of people in the Donbass. When the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics broke away from Kiev, Germany and France took part in signing the now-defunct Minsk agreements, which were supposed to pave the way for peace by giving the two territories a special status within the Ukrainian state. However, Russia has repeatedly accused Kiev of failing to implement the terms of the accords. Volodin’s comments came after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was disappointed and shocked when he heard Merkel’s statement, adding that this was further proof that Moscow made the correct decision when it started its military operation in Ukraine.
🇩🇪🇺🇦🇷🇺Putin – about Merkel's words about cheating with the Minsk agreements:"To be honest, it was absolutely unexpected for me. It's disappointing. Trust almost dropped to 0. How to negotiate? About what? And is it possible to negotiate with them? Where are the guarantees? " pic.twitter.com/sQ8ti1xRUH
— AZ 🛰🌏🌍🌎 (@AZgeopolitics) December 9, 2022
“Disgusting” and “vile” are the words Lukashenko used to characterize Angela Merkel’s interview in which she stated that the Minsk peace agreements were used to gain extra time to arm and train Ukraine. 👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/PQcvSDpoR8
— Nina 🐙 Byzantina (@NinaByzantina) December 9, 2022
“Russia’s trade with Bulgaria and Greece reportedly soared 240% and 230% respectively..”
Three quarters of EU member states boosted their trade turnover with Russia in the first eight months of 2022, RIA Novosti is reporting on Saturday, citing data collected from the bloc’s various national statistics departments. Russia’s trade with Bulgaria and Greece reportedly soared 240% and 230% respectively, while trade turnover with Slovenia doubled during January-to-August period this year. At the same time, Austria and the Czech Republic boosted their trade with the sanctions-hit nation by 80%. Meanwhile, Russia’s trade turnover with both Hungary and Italy surged 70%. Belgium and Cyprus also registered increases, of 60%. All-in-all, 20 out of the 27 bloc members saw a year-over-year increase of 34% in mutual trade with Russia.
In monetary terms the trade turnover surged to €177.3 billion compared to €132.4 billion recorded for the same period a year ago. At the same time, Russia’s mutual trade with Malta saw a dramatic decline of 80%, while both Denmark and Sweden reduced their trade with the nation by 49%. Luxembourg’s trade turnover with Russia also declined, by 28%. Drops in Russia’s mutual trade with Finland and Lithuania totalled 7% and 6% respectively. Portugal reduced its trade turnover with the nation by 3%. Trade between these seven countries and Moscow amounted to €14.2 billion, against €17.3 billion a year earlier.
As a result, Russia-EU trade turnover saw an increase of 28% in January-August 2022 compared to the same period a year ago, and amounted to €191.5 billion. Of these, EU exports to Russia totalled €36.2 billion, while imports from Russia amounted to €155.3 billion. Thus, the EU’s trade deficit for the first eight months of the current year amounted to €119.1 billion, reaching its highest since 2008, when it amounted to €151 billion for the entire year.
“..filters out the vast majority of “crimethink.”
Supreme command is in the hands of EU governments. Even though in most EU nations, the separation of powers is enshrined in the constitution, in practice that separation is not evident. Thus, EU governments are able to use a combination of often overtly abusive police action and the judicial system (judges also being dressed in black!) to subdue the citizenry and to control public opinion and public debate. The media, or the so-called free press, both private and public (with the alleged guarantees to ensure its impartiality, like in Germany), also plays a key role in controlling public opinion. Expressed in military terms, EU governments enjoy “full-spectrum dominance” in the entire public domain.
Under these conditions, it was not difficult to ban Russian media from the EU a few days after the beginning of the Russian Special Military Operation in the Ukraine on February 24, 2022. The few voices raised in protest against this massive and unprecedented censorship were easily silenced and suppressed. It is perhaps no coincidence that EU censorship was decreed by a German, namely the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. Germany is the European nation that has enjoyed the longest continuous censorship and strict media control anywhere: ever since Hitler ended press freedom in 1933, the Germans have been living with controlled media and the curtailment of speech. Free speech has now been banned in Germany for almost a century! Today, the very policies first applied by the nazis have become the norm and standard all over the EU.
An essential tool for managing and controlling public debate is to ridicule and frame the opposition. Thus anybody who does not buy into the official narrative is branded a “hater,” “denier” or “conspiracy theorist.” On that account alone, it is suggested such people are unfit to participate in the public debate. If they do so nonetheless, sharper weapons are produced. In that case, it is stated the culprit has “dangerous ideas” or that he is a “potential terrorist.” As such he needs to be taken care of, for instance thrown in jail or subjected to psychiatric treatment. Numerous EU journalists and others saying unwelcome truths have been indicted, thrown in jail or interned in a psychiatric ward. In case someone proves particularly difficult to deal with, he is eliminated by way of a car accident, a “lone wolf” or a suicide.
Fortunately, those violent methods rather rarely need to be applied. State censorship with the help of the police and kangaroo courts takes care of most cases. And even before that, the maintaining of “community standards” on social media such as Facebook, Apple (I-phone), Google, Youtube, Instagram, Amazon (until recently, Twitter as well) and other platforms filters out the vast majority of “crimethink.”
“A unit that has 50% casualties is usually no longer able to fight and must be replaced. But the Ukrainians leave their units on the frontline until nearly nobody is left in them.”
Newsweek spoke with a ‘former’ U.S. Colonel who, together with ‘volunteers’, trains Ukrainian soldiers. Here is what he says about Ukrainian losses: “Bakhmut is like Dresden, and the countryside looks like Passchendaele,” he said, referring to the German city destroyed by allied bombing in World War II and the infamously muddy and bloody World War I battlefield. “It’s just a horrible and miserable place. Ukraine closely guards its casualty figures, but its forces are believed to be suffering badly around Bakhmut. “They’ve been taking extraordinarily high casualties,” Milburn said of the units training with Mozart. “The numbers you are reading in the media about 70 percent and above casualties being routine are not exaggerated.”
Despite their “tremendous morale,” Milburn said the defenders “have an acute ‘regeneration problem,’ which means getting new recruits into the line as quickly as possible.” This means those being thrown into the fight have little beyond basic training. “Typically about 80 percent of our intake who are coming off of the line have never even fired a weapon before,” Milburn said. “We’ve got our work cut out for us.” A unit that has 50% casualties is usually no longer able to fight and must be replaced. But the Ukrainians leave their units on the frontline until nearly nobody is left in them. So the number of 500 casualties per day on the Bakhmut front seems realistic. Over the last months the daily report of the Russian ministry of defense listed on average some 300 Ukrainian casualties per day.
But the ministry does not report the casualties from Bakhmut as the operations of the private military contractor Wagner are not included in it. So the daily total over the last month, despite little movement of the front lines, must have been some 800 dead Ukrainians. In the 30 days between the two maps at the top at least 24,000 Ukrainian soldiers have left the battle field. It is no wonder that such high numbers can not be replaced. The mix of dead or wounded will likely be 1 to 1 as medical evacuation from the frontline trenches is extremely difficult. Most wounded will just die there. It is not only the men that are lost. The equipment they used is mostly lost with them. 24,000 men are the equivalent of 6 to 7 NATO brigades. The German army has now only 8 of those.
When I was it that army it had 36 brigades plus significant reserve units. The same large downgrade happened with the general state of NATO. It is not ready for a war with Russia. The western wounder weapons have done little for Ukraine. The Russians have update their air defense systems to now detect and shoot down HIMARS missiles. They report some 10 to 20 of such kills per day. The shooting down of small and medium sized Ukrainian drones has dropped from 20-30 per day in the summer to 2-3 per day. Either the Ukrainians have run out of drones or the weather has made theirs unusable.
The Pentagon has given a tacit endorsement of Ukraine’s long-range attacks on targets inside Russia after President Putin’s multiple missile strikes against Kyiv’s critical infrastructure. Since daily assaults on civilians began in October, the Pentagon has revised its threat assessment of the war in Ukraine. Crucially, this includes new judgments about whether arms shipments to Kyiv might lead to a military confrontation between Russia and Nato. This represents a significant development in the nine-month war between Ukraine and Russia, with Washington now likelier to supply Kyiv with longer-range weapons. “We’re still using the same escalatory calculations but the fear of escalation has changed since the beginning,” a US defence source told The Times.
“It’s different now. This is because the calculus of war has changed as a result of the suffering and brutality the Ukrainians are being subjected to by the Russians.” Washington is now less concerned that new long-range strikes inside Russia could lead to a dramatic escalation. Moscow’s revenge attacks have to date all involved conventional missile strikes against civilian targets. Previously, the Pentagon was warier of Ukraine attacking Russia because it feared the Kremlin would retaliate either with tactical nuclear weapons or by targeting neighbouring Nato nations. However, Washington does not want to be seen publicly giving the green light to Kyiv attacking Russian soil.
Its position on Ukraine’s attacks inside Russia was defined this week by Antony Blinken, the secretary of state, who said: “We have neither encouraged nor enabled the Ukrainians to strike inside of Russia.” However, a US defence source said: “We’re not saying to Kyiv, ‘Don’t strike the Russians [in Russia or Crimea]’. We can’t tell them what to do. It’s up to them how they use their weapons. But when they use the weapons we have supplied, the only thing we insist on is that the Ukrainian military conform to the international laws of war and to the Geneva conventions. “They are the only limitations but that includes no targeting of Russian families and no assassinations. As far as we’re concerned, Ukraine has been in compliance.”
Within these limited constraints laid down by the Pentagon, Kyiv is now adopting a more aggressive, more persistent offensive against targets inside Russia. Ukraine has been careful to use its own drones, not US-supplied weapons, to carry out the strikes. The drones, based on Soviet Tupolev TU-141 Strizh surveillance systems developed in the 1970s, have been reprogrammed to give them longer range and a sizeable munition for launching at low altitude. The modified TU-141s were deployed this week in three raids against military bases 300 miles inside the Russian border and on fuel tanks about 80 miles across the Ukrainian border, in each case evading air defences. The drones can fly at 600mph at low altitude, like cruise missiles.
Putin counter strike
🇷🇺🚀☢️⚛️Putin about the preemptive nuclear strike:
"Our strategy has formulated a counter-strike. But if the enemy believes that it is possible to use the theory of a preemptive strike,then this makes us think about the threats that such ideas create for us." pic.twitter.com/wbMHpc3wzN
— AZ 🛰🌏🌍🌎 (@AZgeopolitics) December 9, 2022
[..] participants were presented with brief descriptions of a series of fictitious individuals and asked to imagine that these are people whom one of their close relatives intends to marry. They were shown two profiles at a time, side by side, and asked to rate each profile by saying whether they agree or disagree with statements such as, “I would be unhappy if this person married one of my close relatives,” and “I think this person is untrustworthy.” One of the six attributes describing these targeted individuals has been their COVID-19 vaccination status, randomly varying between “fully vaccinated” and “unvaccinated.” The other attributes were age, occupation, hobbies, personality, and “family background,” which distinguished between people “born and raised in [the respondent’s country]” and people who “immigrated from the Middle East.”
Across six countries—Germany, India, Indonesia, Morocco, South Africa, and the United Kingdom—selected to represent both affluent Western and developing non-Western nations, the unvaccinated were found to be disliked among vaccinated people (14 percentage points) as much as people with drug addiction (15 percentage points), and significantly more so than people who had been in prison (10 percentage points), atheists (7 percentage points), or people with mental illness (6 percentage points). In addition, the overall dislike of the unvaccinated among vaccinated people (13 percentage points) was found to be two and a half times greater than that of Middle Eastern immigrants (5 percentage points).
In fact, according to the paper, unvaccinated people face significantly more hostility than immigrants even in 10 countries that are deemed unfriendly to immigrants. Interestingly, discriminatory attitudes against unvaccinated Middle Eastern immigrants were found to be just as strong as those toward unvaccinated natives. By contrast, researchers found that the unvaccinated respondents on average showed almost no discriminatory attitudes toward the vaccinated. “The results demonstrate that prejudice is mostly one-sided,” the authors wrote. “Only in [the] United States and Germany do we find that the unvaccinated feel some antipathy towards the vaccinated. But even here we do not find statistical evidence in favor of negative stereotyping or exclusionary attitudes.”
“The observation that vaccinated individuals discriminate against those who are unvaccinated, but that there is no evidence for the reverse, is consistent with work on the psychology of cooperation,” said leading author Alexander Bor, a political psychologist at the George Soros-funded Central European University (CEU).
“..Janet Yellen may be stupid, but she’s not that stupid. She knows what this price cap she’s championed will do..”
“..push capital investment into competing energy technologies — like nuclear, hydrogen and unicorn farts.”
The EU and the US went forward with their long-debated, long-telegraphed move to put a price cap on Russian oil at $60 per barrel. By believing they can pressure suppliers into not hauling Russian oil lest they run afoul of the sanctions that support the price cap, they believe they can take only Russian oil off the market for the long run. Because of the way oil is actually traded in the real world, versus the way it trades in Janet Yellen’s head, this policy is actually much harder to implement than it actually looks. You don’t buy oil at the crude oil counter at Target or Wal-Mart. There isn’t a price tag you can look at and say yes or no too. As Tsvetana Paraskova at Oilprice points out, crude contracts are written based on a discount or premium to a benchmark price at a particular moment in time.
“Physical traders rarely trade on a fixed price,” John Driscoll, chief strategist at JTD Energy Services Pte Ltd, told Bloomberg. “It’s a much more complex space where they trade on formulas and spot differentials to a benchmark crude for the trading of actual cargoes as well as for hedging that follows,” said Driscoll, who has more than 30 years of trading oil in Singapore. To complicate things further, the EU wants to remain flexible to change the cap at its discretion. “The price cap is not set in stone – it “is fixed for now but adjustable over time,” the EU said last week. If this sounds like a recipe for complete disaster, it is. No matter what happens here, the quantity of oil to be produced under this cap, even if it isn’t successful, will go down. Period. See chart below. If you disagree with this then you might just qualify to replace Yellen as Treasury Secretary of the US.
That said, Janet Yellen may be stupid, but she’s not that stupid. She knows what this price cap she’s championed will do. So, as always, with these people the question you shouldn’t be asking isn’t, “Will this work?” or “How will Russia respond?” but rather, “Is this the point of the exercise?” [..] If everyone involved knows that price floors and price ceilings always and without fail create production shortages, then why did they do this when the world clearly need more oil? Because this is a feature of the policy, not a bug. By doing this, like every other intervention into oil delivery since the start of the war in Ukraine, the goal was to take Russia’s supply offline and hope that other producers would see the opportunity to take market share from the evil Russians while simultaneously trying to push capital investment into competing energy technologies — like nuclear, hydrogen and unicorn farts.
The Mar-a-Lago invasion.
A federal judge has declined to take action to hold former President Trump in contempt of court during a closed-door hearing on Friday, according to two sources with knowledge of the proceedings. Friday’s hearing was in relation to a federal probe into Trump’s handling of classified material at his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago. Judge Beryl Howell urged lawyers from the Department of Justice and Trump’s team to work out the matter on their own during a 90-minute meeting in a Washington, D.C., federal court. The Justice Department has become increasingly frustrated with lawyers for Trump over the past few months for allegedly failing to comply with a subpoena asking for classified documents in Trump’s possession to be returned, sources tell Fox News.
[..] Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate was the subject of a search warrant executed in August by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, where classified documents were allegedly found to have been in his possession. Steven Cheung, senior communications adviser to Trump, told Fox News Digital that the former president and his lawyers will continue to cooperate. “The President and his counsel will continue to be transparent and cooperative, even in the face of the highly weaponized and corrupt witch-hunt from the Department of Justice. Hillary Clinton was allowed to delete and acid wash 33,000 emails after they were subpoenaed by Congress, yet absolutely nothing has happened to hold her accountable. If the Department of Justice can go after President Trump, they will surely come after any American who they disagree with. President Trump is the only one who stands in the way of the un-American weaponization of law enforcement,” Cheung said.
Muhammad Ali – “I’ll show you how great I am” speech, 1974 pic.twitter.com/vJwsnO6kAh
— Historic Vids (@historyinmemes) December 9, 2022
Gonzalo – Unconditional Surrender Is Now Russia’s Goal
Judge Nap/ Macgregor
Chief John Smith, a Chippewa Native American who was reputed to be 137 years old when he died.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service @USFWS
Important announcement: We’re designating the northern cardinal as the best holiday season bird. It just makes sense and we won’t be taking any questions at this time. Thank you.
Striped Indian mackerels open their cavernous mouths as they swim, sieving zooplankton with gill rakers like a net. Photo Alex Mustard.
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