Rembrandt Old man with a beard 1630
WAPO reporter doubles down: You didn’t say that you condemn white supremacy though.
— Chris Carapezza (@Chris_Carapezza) January 3, 2024
— The Vigilant Fox 🦊 (@VigilantFox) January 3, 2024
🔥 Vivek Ramaswamy Claps Back At Reporter Accusing Steve King of Racism
"I've gotten to know a man, and I'm not going to go off of some mainstream media smear," responded @VivekGRamaswamy.
"I see how much you all have lied for years with zero accountability. We could just go… pic.twitter.com/h3oT1FIbd7
— The Vigilant Fox 🦊 (@VigilantFox) January 3, 2024
NEW: @VivekGRamaswamy Singles Out Nikki Haley as a Trojan Horse for the Deep State
• Keeps the war machine humming
• Maintains the censorship-industrial complex
• Keeps administrative state intact
"Who are these people propping up? It's not Biden, and it's… pic.twitter.com/OzkWXLw4yt
— The Vigilant Fox 🦊 (@VigilantFox) January 3, 2024
Robin Williams offers Auguste Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’ a roll of toilet paper.
Neutering the CIA
Ex-CIA analyst STUNS America after saying intel agencies to be politically active again in 2024 election:
"Significant problem!" pic.twitter.com/98FlW7CMkv
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) January 2, 2024
Putin has surrounded himself with some excellent people that he places a lot of trust in. For instance Lavrov as FM, Patrushev for security, Medvedev as the crown prince who can express things Putin may think but can’t say. And then there’s Elvira Nabiullina, who as central banker has guided the economy, and the ruble, through a decade of problems, not least of all many layers of sanctions, and came out on top.
Elvira Nabiullina’s ten-year stewardship at the forefront of the Bank of Russia, marked by fiscal mastery and trailblazing leadership, showcases a narrative of exceptional achievement against the backdrop of societal shifts and global economic challenges. Nabiullina’s journey from humble beginnings to becoming the first woman to steer the economic course of a then G8 country underscores her mettle and intellectual prowess, exemplifying the significance of equal opportunities in a landscape defined by traditional gender roles. Maintaining a low profile yet earning the accolade of Russia’s ‘leader of distinction,’ Nabiullina’s transparent and disciplined leadership style, complemented by an unparalleled work ethic, has solidified her position as a beacon of excellence, integrity, and resilience. Her impact on the financial landscape resonates not only as a testament to her adept economic stewardship but also as a pioneering force toward a more inclusive and equitable future.
Nabiullina’s tenure has been characterized by deft maneuvers, particularly during challenging times when her hawkish monetary policies stabilized the economy and garnered international acclaim, including the prestigious title of central bank governor of the year. As the West intensifies efforts to isolate Russia financially, Nabiullina stands as the linchpin, navigating the economy through unprecedented sanctions. However, despite commendable fiscal strategies, the recent IMF prediction of a 2.2 percent growth in Russia’s economy, a substantial increase from the initial 0.7 percent forecast, prompts scrutiny. Entering a new year, Nabiullina faces mounting challenges – tightening sanctions, potential brain drain, volatile commodities markets, a weakened ruble, and spiraling inflation. This critical juncture prompts the question: Will she persist as Moscow’s steadfast economic steward, ensuring the Kremlin’s financial resilience, or will internal dissent and external pressures necessitate a change in course?
In a recent interview with RBK, Nabiullina acknowledged the hurdles ahead, underscoring the need for preparedness amidst potential escalations in Western sanctions. The freeze and blockage of central bank reserves and Russian investors’ assets were deemed painful measures, with Nabiullina not ruling out the possibility of further sanctions against Moscow. Furthermore, Nabiullina revealed that the Russian central bank will require two to three months or more to ensure a steady decline in inflation before making decisions on interest rate cuts, emphasizing the importance of a comprehensive analysis of indicators characterizing sustainable inflation declines. Admitting that the central bank might have initiated monetary policy tightening earlier than July, Nabiullina stressed the uncertainty surrounding the timing of rate cuts, urging a cautious approach and considering a broad spectrum of indicators indicative of inflation stability.
In her role as a torchbearer for gender equality, Elvira Nabiullina aligns with her counterparts, Christine Lagarde and Janet Yellen. Her decade-long leadership has not only demonstrated fiscal mastery but has also championed inclusivity in the financial realm, actively addressing gender disparities in the global economic landscape. Nabiullina’s commitment to gender diversity extends beyond fairness, recognizing its indispensable role in fostering sustainable economic growth. Her leadership is a beacon of inspiration for women aspiring to excel in central banking and finance, contributing to the broader narrative of achieving gender equality in influential economic positions. As we reflect on Nabiullina’s decade-long stewardship, the upcoming year promises to be a pivotal chapter in her legacy. Will she continue to navigate economic challenges with the finesse that earned her international recognition? Only time will tell, but one thing remains certain – Elvira Nabiullina’s journey is far from over, and the world will be watching closely.
“..currently each country holding the presidency of BRICS collects and stores information about the bloc’s activities, but does not transfer this data to the succeeding nation..”
Russia may establish a BRICS secretariat, Mahdi Safari, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for economic diplomacy, told Sputnik, citing Moscow’s experience in managing international organizations. “Russia – a country with vast experience in international and regional organizations – in my opinion could establish a new body in BRICS which will eventually evolve into secretariat,” Mahdi Safari says. According to the Iranian diplomat, currently each country holding the presidency of BRICS collects and stores information about the bloc’s activities, but does not transfer this data to the succeeding nation. Safari stressed that Iran wants “this secretariat to be established as soon as possible.” The deputy foreign minister also congratulated Russia on assuming the BRICS presidency in 2024 and thanked it for helping Iran to join the bloc, expressing confidence that Russia will help Tehran and other new BRICS members to achieve unity.
Iran is not seeking to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) as soon as possible because its membership in other leading regional organizations is in sum equal to WTO membership, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy also told Sputnik. “We are a [WTO] observer country, but with membership in BRICS, the SCO [Shanghai Cooperation Organization], EAEU [Eurasian Economic Union], ECO [Economic Cooperation Organization] — all of that combined equals the WTO itself! Now, we do not see the need for WTO membership … [Being a member of] these organizations, we have automatically almost become a member of the WTO at the regional level and are enjoying our benefits. This is a winning position for all parties,” Safari says.
Tehran’s membership in the aforementioned groups meets almost all the country’s needs at the regional and global levels, the diplomat noted, adding, however, that if Iran was offered membership in the WTO, it would welcome such a step and agree to join the organization. At the same time, the diplomat pointed out that free trade with the EAEU would have a great impact on Iran-Russia trade and create prospects for successful cooperation in finance, transit, energy, technologies and knowledge-intensive projects. BRICS is already effectively dealing with important energy issues and is able to play a key role in aerospace and the development of new technologies, expanding its presence to the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy Mahdi Safari told Sputnik.
“The most important problem is represented by three issues: the first is energy production, the second is energy transportation, and the third is energy consumption. I can say that these three issues are being resolved by BRICS,” Safari said, adding that thanks to the membership of India, Russia and Iran, the group could also play an important role in such areas as new technologies, aerospace, transit corridors and global trade. In addition, BRICS can contribute to the international presence in the waters of the Persian Gulf, Oman Gulf and Indian Ocean, he added. “Iran’s accession to BRICS will provide this organization with enormous opportunities. One of them is transit, the second is energy, be it oil or gas, the third is new technologies and the knowledge-intensive sector,” the diplomat said. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and BRICS are the world’s largest producers and consumers of oil and gas, Safari noted in his interview with Sputnik, adding that BRICS is an oil and gas market half the size of the world, while the SCO is a major regional market, which itself can have a great impact.
“We never liked the French,” Medvedev said in a Telegram post. “The frogs fought a war against us..”
The French Foreign Ministry has justified Russia’s historic dislike of France by declaring the Ukrainian massacre of civilians in Belgorod to be self-defense, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev claimed on Wednesday. Ukrainian artillery struck the central square of the Russian city with cluster bombs on Saturday, injuring over 100 civilians and killing 25, including children. Asked about it on Wednesday morning, a spokesman of the Foreign Ministry in Paris said that Ukraine was “acting in self-defense” while Russia was “an aggressor state” responsible for any “human tragedies that accompany” the conflict. “We never liked the French,” Medvedev said in a Telegram post. “The frogs fought a war against us,” he added, referring to Napoleon Bonaparte’s ill-fated 1812 invasion.
“Now we are convinced of this. The French Foreign Ministry said that the strike on Belgorod using cluster munitions was ‘self-defense’,” he added. “Scum. Bastards. Freaks.” The French response to the Belgorod massacre echoed the official position of the European Union, which has fully endorsed Kiev. “In general, Ukraine has the legal right to defend itself,” EU foreign policy spokesman Peter Stano said on Wednesday. “Regarding the specific incident in Belgorod, no information that comes from Russia can be considered trustworthy.” Although Kiev’s forces have struck Russia’s border regions for months, the December 30 attack on Belgorod was the worst of its kind over the course of the conflict. Moscow has accused the US and the UK of helping plan the attack, while a security source told RT that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky personally ordered the massacre.
Russia has responded with drone and missile strikes on Ukrainian military industry facilities, repair shops and ammunition warehouses, including depots loaded with weapons donated to Kiev by the West. Medvedev currently serves as President Vladimir Putin’s deputy on the national Security Council. Since the Ukraine conflict escalated in February 2022, the former president (2008-2012) and prime minister of Russia (2012-2020) has emerged as a hard-line critic of Kiev and the West, compared to the more moderate rhetoric coming from the Kremlin.
“Calls for mass displacement of the Palestinians are contrary to official Israeli government policy and the US view..”
US President Joe Biden’s administration has rejected genocide allegations against Israel by multiple nations, including a NATO ally, insisting that Washington sees no indication that West Jerusalem’s forces are committing such acts as they pound the Gaza Strip in a campaign to destroy Hamas. South Africa’s government filed a genocide case against Israel last week in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and NATO member Türkiye announced its official support for the charge on Wednesday. US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller denounced the allegations at a press briefing later on Wednesday, saying there was no indication that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were committing genocide against the Palestinians.
“Genocide is of course a heinous atrocity, one of the most heinous atrocities that any individual can commit,” Miller said. “Those are allegations that should not be made lightly, and as it pertains to the United States, we are not seeing any acts that constitute genocide.” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby was more pointed in his response, saying the allegations against Israel were “meritless.” He added that the ICJ case filed by South Africa was “counterproductive and completely without any basis in fact whatsoever.” More than 22,000 Palestinians have been killed since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, according to Gaza health authorities. The UN warned last month that more than 500,000 Gazans were starving amid the Israeli bombardment, and 85% of the population had been displaced.
The conflict began when Hamas militants launched surprise attacks against villages in southern Israel, killing more than 1,100 people, including nearly 700 Israeli citizens, and taking hundreds of hostages back to Gaza. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has likened Israel’s military campaign in the Palestinian enclave to Nazi Germany’s Holocaust against the Jewish people. He also has blasted Western nations for supporting Israel’s tactics, and he suggested that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was just as genocidal as Germany’s Adolf Hitler. Türkiye’s foreign minister, Hakan Fidan, argued on Wednesday that by giving “unconditional support” to Israel, Western nations had lost all credibility to talk about “principles, virtue and morality.” He added, “I see that all of this is paving the way for a huge geostrategic rupture.”
Miller’s comments came one day after the US State Department rebuked “inflammatory and irresponsible” statements by two Israeli politicians calling for the removal of Palestinians from Gaza. Israeli Defense Minister Ben Gvir doubled down on his statement later on Tuesday, saying, “With all due respect, we are not another star on the American flag.” Calls for mass displacement of the Palestinians are contrary to official Israeli government policy and the US view, Miller told reporters on Wednesday. “They are in direct contradiction of his own government’s policy, and we believe those statements should stop,” he said of Gvir’s rhetoric. However, Miller added that it was appropriate for the IDF to ask Gazans to “temporarily” evacuate their homes when Israeli forces carry out “legitimate military operations” in their neighborhoods.
Russia Today DESTROYS the West over Ukraine-Gaza hypocrisy pic.twitter.com/2lM4PCsxHK
— COMBATE |🇵🇷 (@upholdreality) January 4, 2024
“You need to be in China to compete in the game, you don’t win by refusing to participate when the other side is still kicking the ball.”
For years now, the US has been strongarming the Netherlands into accepting technology restrictions on the export of advanced lithography machines to China. These machines, produced by the Dutch firm ASML, use lasers to help create circuits for microchips. Although ASML is a world-leading specialist company, its foundational patents are derived from the US, which allows Washington to coerce it into following unilateral export controls as the Americans see fit. American restrictions have come in several waves, building on the sweeping export controls introduced in 2022. One such update concerning a specific kind of lithography machine came into effect on Monday, January 1, 2024. ASML attempted to rush through the sale of several such machines to China before the deadline but canceled it at the last moment – reportedly due to pressure from the US.
The news caused ASML’s US shares to drop. The fundamental goal of US foreign policy here is to try and crush China’s semiconductor industry and hobble its high tech ambitions, which has become one of the critical strategies to try and curb China’s military and economic rise as a whole. In doing so, the US has blacklisted Chinese technology firms and has increasingly tried to stave off the exports of semiconductor equipment to China, describing it as a “small yard, high fence” approach. Despite this, there is overwhelming evidence at this stage that such sanctions are not working, not least because China is pursuing a coordinated state and industry effort to forcibly advance itself in semiconductor technology which has seen Huawei, the original US target of sanctions, effectively piece together its very own semiconductor supply chain.
While doing this, China has also found increasingly creative ways around restrictions, secured loopholes for US equipment, and has continued to make progress on new chip nodes while also making older designs more efficient and effectively shrugging off America’s coercive campaign. If it wasn’t obvious already, the US is doubling down on failure and is forcing China towards self-sufficiency, which, of course, most ironically, will hurt US companies and exports above all. How exactly can the US feasibly maintain strict export controls over the world’s second-largest economy and largest trading nation? However, moves targeted at companies such as ASML show that the US continues to represent an obvious threat and challenge to European economic competitiveness and prosperity. Why? Because EU firms are being forced, by command of a third party, to sever ties with their most lucrative market, in order to meet American goals.
The US likes to claim that it supports free and fair trade in a market governed by the rule of law, but what kind of “rule of law” is there in a system where a firm you operate has secured a large number of sales in anticipation of a restriction deadline imposed by a third party outside of your legal system and then has to cancel those sales anyway because the same third party doesn’t want to wait for the deadline? China is the world’s largest semiconductor market, whose high-tech development fuels a greater demand for microchips than anywhere else in the world. The US believes it can hamstring China’s long-term prospects by blocking this ascension as the country moves away from low-end manufacturing. Washington’s plan to stop China’s development and induce stagnation is based on faulty logic that China is incapable of innovating or moving forward without Western technology, which goes against all evidence to the contrary.
Instead, in the long-term, this approach will effectively cut off Western firms from the critical and lucrative Chinese market, as the US aims to create a new global supply chain in technology which it dominates, and therefore make the EU dependent upon it. This reminds us that the EU is the biggest loser of America’s war on China as it seeks to break a lucrative trading relationship but also, more critically, undermine European competitiveness, as it has done by depriving it of Russian energy over the war in Ukraine, and therefore absorb the market space for itself. To follow American wishes on China is to sacrifice sovereignty, geopolitical autonomy, and prosperity to serve the goals of the United States. It is a lose-lose situation. What happens to ASML when the time comes that China is capable of creating its own high-end chips and lithography equipment? And no longer has need of it for its domestic market, and offers the same solutions to other countries? You need to be in China to compete in the game, you don’t win by refusing to participate when the other side is still kicking the ball.
What a surprise…
Very few of the Leopard 2A6 tanks delivered by Berlin to Ukraine are still in service, according to Green Party member Sebastian Schafer. The majority of the machines were damaged in battle and spare parts are scarce, he stressed. “Unfortunately, we must admit that Ukraine can now use only small number of tanks delivered,” Schafer wrote to Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann arms manufacturers, which was reported on by German media. The politician noted that some of the Leopard tanks were further damaged by Ukrainian servicemen who tried to repair them. He stresses that there is a shortage of spare parts in the Lithuanian repair center. According to the politician, who recently visited the repair center in Lithuania with Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, there are not enough spare parts for these tanks in the workshops to keep the vessels in working condition.
In his speech, Schaefer, a member of the parliamentary budget committee, called for measures to speed up the repair work. Western donors had earlier announced the delivery of Leopard tanks to Kiev, hailing them as a miracle weapon that would turn the tide for Ukraine. In total, the German government has transferred 18 Leopard 2 tanks from the Bundeswehr arsenal to Ukraine. Within weeks of the Leopards’ arrival on the battlefield, Russian forces began hunting them down with missiles and kamikaze drones. In November 2023, Forbes magazine reported that Ukraine was in danger of losing its entire Leopard fleet due to the incompetence of its soldiers.
“..he does not currently see a way to force Scholz to step down, as it is not in the interests of his coalition partners, as they are even more unpopular..”
Support for Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party has dropped from 20% to 15% according to a December survey by the country’s Institute for New Social Answers (INSA). The drop is reportedly causing deep concern among party officials. Furthermore, the gap between it and its main rivals, the opposition conservative block CDU/CSU, has nearly tripled, reaching 17 percentage points. Scholz’s approval rating as the head of the government has also plummeted, with only one in five Germans expressing approval of his performance, as reported by Bild. Likewise, a December article from the Italian newspaper La Repubblica hinted at “bad rumors” circulating in the Bundestag, without disclosing sources. The potential successor to Scholz, according to the Italian publication, is also under consideration, with Pistorius being a prominent candidate.
The Wirecard scandal of 2020, involving a fraudulent scheme amounting to $2 billion, may also influence Scholz’s fate. At that time, Scholz served as the Minister of Finance in Angela Merkel’s government. Wirecard, once considered a promising fintech company specializing in cryptocurrency cards, went bankrupt in June 2020, revealing the disappearance of €1.9 billion from its accounts. Markus Braun, the head of the company, was arrested, and Jan Marsalek, the company’s executive, went missing. Scholz was responsible for financial supervision, as Wirecard was a partner of the federal government. The chancellor has consistently denied any involvement in the scandal and personal responsibility for what transpired. Addressing the chancellor’s policies, Gunnar Beck, a member of the European Parliament from the hard-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, stated in an interview with the Russian newspaper Izvestia on January 3 that Scholz should resign.
“I think it would be very good if he (Scholz) resigned because his government is a disaster, diplomatically, economically, and in all other respects. But I don’t think he will resign for this reason. If he resigns now, it will not lead to the restoration of his own political career or to the electoral success of his own party in the next elections. It would be good for the country if he resigned, but I don’t think he will do that,” he said. As the politician noted, he does not currently see a way to force Scholz to step down, as it is not in the interests of his coalition partners, as they are even more unpopular. The opposition party will also not push him to resign because it is in the interest of the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Friedrich Merz, for Scholz to cause a real catastrophe in the remaining 18 months.
“There is nothing Congress can do to force Thomas off the appeal. The concern is that Raskin is encouraging new targeting of justices at their homes by protesters..”
Rep. Jamie Raskin raised eyebrows on Sunday with a CNN interview where he said that there may have to be action taken if Justice Clarence Thomas does not recuse himself from pending appeals over the disqualification of Donald Trump from the Colorado and Maine ballots. Not only is there a weak basis for demanding such recusal, the suggestion of some type of response or retaliation raises ongoing concerns over efforts to influence or intimidate justices. CNN host Dana Bash asked Raskin, a former law professor, whether Thomas or any of the judges appointed by the former president should recuse themselves. Raskin responded that “anybody looking at this in any kind of dispassionate, reasonable way would say, if your wife was involved in the ‘Big Lie’ and claiming that Donald Trump had actually won the presidential election and been agitating for that and participating in the events leading up to January 6, that you shouldn’t be participating in (the rulings).”
I, for one, disagree. Under this theory, Thomas would have to recuse himself from any election or Trump related case because of his wife’s advocacy. Justices on both the left and right have long applied a far more narrow view of recusal. However, Raskin then stated: “He absolutely should recuse himself. The question is, what do we do if he doesn’t recuse himself?” The reference to some response from Congress or the public was left unexplained. In the past, Democrats have been criticized for fueling the attacks or targeting of conservative justices. In fairness to Raskin, I do not believe that he is an advocate for violence. He could be referring to the public voting against Trump. I wish, however, that his fealty to the constitution would extend to opposing this pernicious and dangerous theory. Other leading Democrats in Congress have done so.
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer was widely criticized (including by Chief Justice John Roberts) when he went in front of the Supreme Court to publicly declare “I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price! You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.” There is nothing Congress can do to force Thomas off the appeal. The concern is that Raskin is encouraging new targeting of justices at their homes by protesters. The interview had other curious elements. Raskin made a rather anemic effort to portray the removal of someone from the ballot as weirdly democratic under the theory that Trump picked himself for disqualification: “If you think about it, of all of the forms of disqualification that we have, the one that disqualifies people for engaging in insurrection is the most democratic because it’s the one where people choose themselves to be disqualified.”
That is akin to treating every criminal charge as an act of self-selection and consent by the accused. Raskin also stated that all of the justices on the left and right “call themselves textualist and originalists.” That is not true in the sense of originalism as a school of constitutional interpretation. Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, and Jackson do not follow an originalist approach but rather a more flexible living constitutional approach. Moreover, many of us do not believe that the text or original intent of the 14th Amendment support this anti-democratic theory.
“.. the two states’ decisions — and the risk of others joining them — underscores the imperative need for the nation’s high court to decide the issue once and for all.”
It is “a sad day for America and the Constitution when a court decides the outcome of an election.” Those words, condemning a4-3 decision by state supreme court justices regarding a presidential election, undoubtedly spoke for millions of Americans. However, it wasn’t a reference to the Colorado Supreme Court’s recent 4-3 decision to disqualify Donald Trump from running in the 2024 election. Instead, it was a statement by James Baker, then a spokesman for Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush, criticizing the Florida Supreme Court’s decision during the 2000 election. Of course, the condemnations in 2000 would shift to the U.S. Supreme Court, when it stopped the recount ordered by the four Florida justices and effectively called the election for Bush.
Then, it was the left condemning the U.S. justices as being, in the words of law professor Cass Sunstein, “illegitimate, undemocratic, and unprincipled.” Even the justices appeared to lose some of their customary collegiality and civility in the moment. Then-Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg famously omitted the customary word “respectfully” before the phrase “I dissent” at the end of her opinion. Now, the Supreme Court is being pulled into another election vortex by the Colorado decision and, potentially, by some of the cases in at least 15 other states. (Appeals of ballot decisions are pending in Arizona; ballot challenges are in process in Alaska, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming. A Wisconsin challenge has been denied twice.)
Colorado and, now, Maine remain outliers after the Michigan Supreme Court rejected another disqualification effort in that state. Last Wednesday, the Colorado GOP appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to accept the case given the split among the states and the importance of the issue. Politicians on both sides of the aisle have criticized the decision by Maine’s secretary of state and urged that the courts overturn it. But the two states’ decisions — and the risk of others joining them — underscores the imperative need for the nation’s high court to decide the issue once and for all.
Attack is the best defense?
US President Joe Biden’s administration has responded to the political fallout over a record influx of illegal immigrants by trying to shift blame for the border crisis to Republican lawmakers. As House Speaker Mike Johnson led a delegation of Republicans visiting the US-Mexico border on Wednesday, the White House issued a statement accusing the opposition party of blocking Biden’s efforts to resolve the crisis. Biden spokesman Andrew Bates condemned Republicans for refusing to pass the president’s emergency-funding request and accused them of having an “anti-border-security record,” including an effort to cut funding for Border Patrol officers.
“House Republicans are once more compromising America’s national security and economic growth with shutdown threats,” Bates said in response to a report that lawmakers vowed to block funding for the whole government if Biden didn’t close the border. He added, “Today’s statements are just House Republicans’ latest admission that as President Biden and both parties in the Senate seek common ground to address the needs of the American people, their conference is instead choosing extreme politics that would subject American families to needless pain.” However, Biden bundled his request for $6.4 billion in border security funding into a $106 billion emergency spending package that also includes military aid to Ukraine and Israel.
Most House Republicans oppose continuing to send weapons to Kiev, arguing that Biden’s policies lack a strategy for ending the fighting. Lawmakers have also argued that the president’s plan doesn’t go far enough to stop the flow of illegal aliens into the US. Border Patrol officers reportedly encountered more than 300,000 illegal immigrants crossing into the US in December, an all-time high for a single month. Illegal border crossings have surged since Biden took office in January 2021 and began dismantling the immigration policies of his Republican predecessor, former President Donald Trump. Biden’s administration released nearly 1.4 million illegal aliens into the US in the last fiscal year, in many cases letting them stay in the country while awaiting court hearings for dubious asylum claims, according to the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington.
A Monmouth University poll released last month showed that Biden’s approval rating dropped to a record low of 34%. Just 26% of US adults approve of his immigration policies, a troubling statistic as he seeks reelection in 2024. Critics of Biden’s policies have argued that in addition to flooding the US with illegal aliens, the nation’s porous borders have jeopardized national security. More than 172 illegal immigrants encountered by Border Patrol agents in the last fiscal year had been flagged on the nation’s terrorist watch list. House Republicans plan to launch impeachment proceedings next week against Biden’s Homeland Security chief, Alejandro Mayorkas, citing his alleged failure to enforce immigration laws. “The border crisis is a direct result of President Biden’s policies,” Johnson said on Wednesday as he began his border trip.
The largest migrant caravan of 2023 known as the 'poverty exodus,' has recently departed from Southern Mexico, comprising approximately 15,000 individuals from 24 countries en route to the US border.
Yet Democrats are focused on cooking pictures I posted that reminded me of my… pic.twitter.com/lKIqbDiIEF
— Mayra Flores Vallejo (@MayraFlores4Tx) January 3, 2024
“Treason, I don’t know. It comes to an end soon and we’re here to make sure it happens.”
House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said on Wednesday that the crisis at the southern border is a “disaster of the president’s own design,” adding that Biden has the authority to fix the problems. A group of 64 lawmakers representing 26 states visited the southern border in Texas on Wednesday. Describing the situation there as “heartbreaking and infuriating,” Johnson called on President Biden to reinstate the “Remain in Mexico” policy that he ended as soon as he took office in 2021. He also said the Biden administration must end “catch and release,” which allows illegal immigrants apprehended at the borer to be released into U.S. communities. Johnson said those policy changes would “stem the flow” of illegal immigrants arriving at the border by 70% or more. He told reporters that a border sheriff explained to him that the policy changes made since 2021 have “dismantled” 100 years of progress on border security.
House Republicans on the border trip urged Biden to resume construction of border barriers along open areas of the border. Johnson said there have been 7 million border encounters with illegal immigrants under Biden and a record amount of 312 individuals on the terrorist watchlist caught at the border. He noted that the Biden administration has taken the state of Texas to court for taking steps to secure the border. “Madness is the only word that we can think of to describe this,” Johnson said, as another lawmaker suggested treason as another word. “Treason, I don’t know. It comes to an end soon and we’re here to make sure it happens.”
Johnson emphasized that the president has the authority to “stop this madness.” He said the Biden administration has opened the border to the “entire world.” Johnson declared that any foreign aid package for Ukraine and Israel that Congress passes “better begin by defending America’s national security.” Republican leaders are pushing to incorporate border security measures into a supplemental foreign aid package. “We want to get the border closed and secured, first, and we want to make sure that we reduce non-defense discretionary spending,” he said.
I’m hesitant to pay too much attention to this. FBI and CIA have had access to it for years. The info has been thoroughly cleaned.
The Epstein Files. Today a tranche of documents were released in a case involving Jeffrey Epstein. There’s no revelations. Jeffrey Epstein’s case was covered up. I can explain why. In 2017, my lawyer Marc Randazza found a wonky freedom of the press case. There was a defamation case, and although Jeffrey Epstein wasn’t named as a defendant, the case was central to some “conspiracy theories.” Marc asked me if I wanted to file a motion to intervene. We expected it to be a simple matter. Media interest was almost zero. No one in the “free press” cared. Then Trump nominated Alexander Acosta to the Secretary of Labor. Acosta had handled the original Epstein criminal case, and said Epstein was given kid gloves treatments due to protection from the intelligence community. Epstein was an asset of the FBI. What his exact relation was remains sealed.
By 2019 the case I sought to intervene in had an ORANGE MAN BAD angle because Acosta was Trump’s Labor Secretary. Even if the motives were impure, at least we were on to the races. Hundreds-of-thousands of dollars later, a trip to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and a lot of fighting, we had a batch of documents ready to be unsealed. The weekend before the documents were made public, SDNY arrested Epstein quietly when he landed his private jet on an airport from a trip he took in France. No perp walk for Epstein. In 2019 I wrote the following after a press conference was held re: Epstein’s arrest: ” Why didn’t the SNDY charge Jeffrey Epstein under the Mann Act? Under the Mann Act, it’s unlawful to transport an underage girl through interstate travel, including on an airplane.” “In a widely-publicized press conference the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced sex trafficking charges against Jeff Epstein.”
“Epstein was charged for paying minors for massages from 2002 to 2005. Yet what was more newsworthy was the what the indictment left out.” “The indictment against Epstein does not charge anyone except Epstein, and there’s nothing to indicate that anyone who flew to Epstein’s private island has faced scrutiny.” “The SDNY’s actions have all of the telltale signs of containment. Because the Miami Herald and Cernovich won a civil lawsuit, leading to over 2,000 records being unsealed, it’s simply impossible for the same Feds who gave Epstein a pass years ago to continue to cover up.” “The SDNY could have charged Epstein in 2002, 2003, 2004, or at anytime until today. Yet they did not file charges until the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that previously sealed records involving Jeff Epstein would become public record.Thus they are charging him without implicating anyone else who assisted with his operation.”
You know what happened next. Epstein committed suicide. Because SDNY charged the lowest level offenses possible, they “lacked jurisdiction” to raid Epstein’s island in Little St James, as well as his New Mexico and Paris properties. Those houses were left unattended for a couple of weeks. During that time, a safe went missing. During the Ghislaine Maxwell trial, it was reported: Evidence from Jeffrey Epstein’s safe ‘went missing’ after FBI raid. What was in the safe? We’ll never know for certain. We do know that the FBI has Jeffrey Epstein’s blackmail files. The real Jeffrey Epstein files are the blackmail material. Very powerful forces have made sure we will never see it.
Candace Owens and I did a deep dive on the background of the Epstein files. Not sure where full interview is. Here’s a clip.
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) January 4, 2024
Epstein – Clinton – Oprah – Hanks – Andrew – Gatespic.twitter.com/A5LVbtGkLJ
— Truth Justice ™ (@SpartaJustice) January 4, 2024
“The flood came. It inundated America’s newsrooms for the next two and a half years and washed away the Republican House majority in 2018. And we’re charging Donald Trump with insurrection? Please! Pass the bananas.”
According to the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, no person shall be eligible to hold federal office who “shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion.” Although all parties know the “insurrection or rebellion” clause refers specifically to recently completed Civil War, the Department of Justice argues for a much more elastic definition, all the better to hang Donald Trump with. Yet if there were one president guilty of insurrection in recent years, that president would have to be Barack Obama. In late 2016 and early 2017, Obama knowingly conspired with others to subvert the presidency of Donald Trump. Thanks to the zealous note taking of his once and future factotum, Susan Rice, we have documentation of this flagrant act of sedition. The formal plot to unseat President Donald Trump was launched with a White House meeting on Jan. 5, 2017, 15 days before Trump’s inauguration.
In conference with Rice and Obama were his national security team, including all the usual suspects: the FBI’s James Comey, the CIA’s John Brennan, then Vice-President Joe Biden, DNI James Clapper and Acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Following the meeting, Obama asked Yates and Comey to stick around along with Rice, his trusted scribe. Obama had a reason for singling out Comey and Yates. Unlike the others, they were staying on in their jobs. On the very day at the very moment Trump was being inaugurated, Rice sent to “self” a peculiar email memorializing this meeting. “President Obama began the conversation,” wrote Rice, “by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book.'”
The “issue” in question was the framing of Donald Trump for collusion with Russia. Obama had to know by this time that the collusion accusation was spawned by the Clinton campaign. The law firm that served as cutout for Clinton, Perkins Coie, was the same law firm that magically produced Obama’s birth certificate in 2011. There is evidence that Obama knew in early August of the provenance of the infamous Steele dossier. In 1974, Nixon campaign aide Donald Segretti made “dirty tricks” a household phrase. The nation was scandalized that Segretti would send fake letters using the letterhead of presidential candidate Edmund Muskie. For his dirty tricks, Segretti served four months in prison. For hers, the mother of all dirty tricks, Hillary Clinton walked away without even a scolding. The Steele dossier proved to be the most consequential dirty trick in American political history.
There is no “book” that justifies what Comey and pals did in the weeks immediately following this meeting while Obama was still president. The next day, Jan. 6, 2017, the conspirators released the declassified version of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA). Commissioned a month earlier by Obama, the ICA was John Brennan’s way of welcoming the president-elect to Washington. Titled “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections,” the report concluded that Putin “ordered” an influence campaign, the goal of which was “to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.”The corollary of this, of course, was that “Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”
The “Obama dossier,” as Rep. Devin Nunes called the ICA, reads like one of my college term papers, filled with sundry bits of information gathered from here and there just hours before the due date. Although Comey lobbied to have the Steele dossier included in the body of the text, wiser heads prevailed, and it was relegated to the appendices. On the same day the ICA was released, Jan. 6, Comey, Clapper, Brennan and the NSA’s Mike Rogers briefed the incoming president at Trump Tower, sort of. “[W]e were not investigating him and the stuff [in the dossier] might be totally made up but it was being said out of Russia and our job was to protect the president from efforts to coerce him,” Comey wrote in his notes to self following the meeting. At least three of the four men were investigating Trump, and it was not the Russians who were doing the coercing.
Only Comey stayed behind to brief Trump about the Steele dossier. It had not yet been published. CNN had the story, Comey knew. He also knew that by telling the president about the dossier, he would give CNN the necessary news hook to report the dossier’s allegations, at least the more plausible ones. One of the conspirators promptly leaked the news of the more intimate briefing to CNN. On Jan. 8, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe emailed his senior FBI colleagues. “CNN is close to going forward with the sensitive story,” wrote McCabe, emphasis his. “The trigger for [CNN] is they know the material was discussed in the brief and presented in an attachment.” McCabe sent this email under the heading, “The flood is coming.” The flood came. It inundated America’s newsrooms for the next two and a half years and washed away the Republican House majority in 2018. And we’re charging Donald Trump with insurrection? Please! Pass the bananas.
THIS LION HAS BETTER HAIR THAN ME 😭 pic.twitter.com/jsjBRRTzZb
— Nature is Amazing ☘️ (@AMAZlNGNATURE) January 3, 2024
Man and his dog rescue two dogs stuck in an icy reservoir..🙏❤️ pic.twitter.com/rEPZCwKaBN
— 𝕐o̴g̴ (@Yoda4ever) January 3, 2024
Donnie Dunagan was the youngest U.S. Marine drill instructor. He served three tours in Vietnam and was wounded several times, retiring as a Major in 1977. Throughout his career he managed to keep secret that he had been the voice of Bambi in the 1942 Disney film.
Close encounter with a Cassowary
— Science girl (@gunsnrosesgirl3) January 4, 2024
Raimondi Cove Plant reaches maturity only after 100 years, flowers only once in a lifetime, and can live over 1000 years. Raimondi Cove Plant (Puya raimondi) is a unique and rare plant that can grow at a high altitude of about 3800 m. It is the largest species of bromeliad, reaching up to 15 m (50 ft) in height.
The Oriental dwarf kingfisher is a small, red and yellow kingfisher, averaging 13 cm (5.1 in) in length, yellow underparts with glowing bluish-black upperparts
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