Raúl Ilargi Meijer

Jul 182024
 
 July 18, 2024  Posted by at 4:55 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  No Responses »


John French Sloan Spring rain 1912

 

It’s been a while since we saw Andrew Korybko here. But there he is.

 

 

Andrew Korybko:

 

In Defense Of JD Vance As Trump’s VP

Addressing The Top-Three Criticisms Head-On

Trump’s decision to pick freshman Ohio Senator JD Vance as his Vice President (VP) has riled some members of the Alt-Media Community (AMC), who claim that it represents a step backwards for the MAGA movement. They point to his history as a US Marine in Iraq, as a venture capitalist after that, and then finally as a former Never Trumper to claim that he’s a neocon, which his hawkish positions on China and Iran confirm in their minds.

The reality though is that Vance isn’t someone whose worldview can easily be pigeonholed. His history as a US Marine in Iraq taught him, in his own words, that “I had been lied to – that the promises of the foreign policy establishment were a complete joke.” As for his time as a venture capitalist, it led to close friendships with leading elites like Peter Thiel, who’ve been instrumental in turning some Silicon Valley power players against the Democrats. This could ultimately prove to be a game-changer in the election.

Likewise, the same can be said about him formerly being a Never Trumper, which can appeal to millions of on-the-fence voters who used to despise Trump until they were “red pilled” like he admits he was and are thus now seriously considering supporting him. He argued that “I said some bad things about Donald Trump 10 years ago. I can make a good case to the American people, people who may have been skeptical of the president back in 2016, who could be skeptical now, that we’ve seen the results.”

Vance’s hawkish positions on China and Iran are to be expected. The first is the US’ systemic rival while the second threatens its regional hegemony. Nevertheless, what he’s said about Russia and Ukraine proves that he’s not an ideologically driven warmonger, which suggests that he’ll pragmatically manage the US’ competition with them. He’s no doubt a hegemonist, but that comes with the territory, and he’ll never forget what he learned about the establishment during his time with the US Marines in Iraq.

Clarifying China & Russia’s Roles In The MAGA Worldview

His worldview is that the US should be selective with its engagements abroad, both militarily and in terms of foreign aid, and he’s a proponent of Trump’s reported plan for NATO. This would see the bloc become “dormant” as its European members are coerced to step up their involvement in containing Russia while the US “Pivots (back) to Asia” to contain China. Members of the AMC claim that this makes him a “sell-out”, but it’s unrealistic to expect a leading member of MAGA to not be hawkish on China.

After all, Trump was extremely tough on the People’s Republic, which he justified on the grounds of rebalancing their astronomical trade deficit that reached several hundred billion dollars a year before his election. His problem though was that he was too influenced by his son-in-law Jared Kushner during his first term and fell under the sway of neocons, but he’s since learned his lesson judging by how he reportedly took his son Don Jr’s, Steven Bannon’s, and Tucker Carlson’s advice to pick Vance as his VP.

Trump and Vance share the vision of redirecting the US’ containment focus away from Russia and towards China, with a view towards preventing the first’s potentially disproportionate dependence on the second that could turbocharge its superpower trajectory and thus seriously challenge the US. The resultant system of Sino-US bi-multipolarity would comparatively favor China since it would amount to them practically being equals on the world stage, hence why those two want to avoid this if possible.

The means to that end is to relieve some pressure upon Russia so that it can rely more on India and other Global South states, particularly those from its “Ummah Pivot”, as export markets for its natural resources instead of being forced by circumstances into funneling most of them towards China’s rise. From Russia’s perspective, any reduction of pressure would be welcome, especially if it results in some of its national security interests in Europe finally being respected through a compromise in Ukraine.

Russia’s Grand Strategic Interests

Preemptively averting potentially disproportionate dependence on China is also important, not for any politically Sinophobic reasons, but for simple pragmatism since no strategically autonomous country like Russia wants to be reliant on a single partner for the bulk of its foreign export earnings. This explains why it’s recently recalibrated its Asian balancing act from its hitherto Sino-centricity through Putin’s trips to North Korea and Vietnam as well as his hosting of Indian Prime Minister Modi.

The preceding five hyperlinked analyses explain this strategy in detail, the gist of which was just reflected in Valdai Club Program Director Timofei Bordachev’s article about how “Russia has redefined its Asia strategy”, which was released after those pieces and then republished by RT on their front page. This insight is relevant with regards to Trump’s decision to pick Vance as his VP since it strongly suggests that Russia would be receptive to those two’s envisaged endgame of swiftly resolving the Ukrainian Conflict.

Alt-Media’s Activist Problem

Despite recognizing how easily that proxy war could spiral out of control into World War III, and thus appreciating the need to bring about a diplomatic end to it as soon as possible exactly as Vance has promised that he’ll seek to do, some in the AMC are still displeased with him. A lot of these disgruntled folks are activists at heart, which makes them ideologues for the causes that they support, which in this case are world peace in general and less US pressure on China and Iran in particular.

They therefore can’t approve of Vance as VP because of his hawkish positions towards those two, hence why they’re now agitating against him by fearmongering that he’ll risk sparking World War III with them instead of with Russia like Biden and his team are dangerously flirting with by miscalculation. They’re entitled to their views, but observers should remember that they’re being shared by ideologues, no matter how well-intentioned they may be.

These people are purposely being hyperbolic for political reasons related to the causes that they passionately support. They’re also naïve if they truly thought that Trump wouldn’t pick someone who shares his worldview, which is pragmatic towards Russia but adversarial towards China and Iran. It’s possible to raise awareness of the risks that a theoretical Vance presidency could bring if something happens to Trump without going overboard by fearmongering about him and discrediting him.  

Exposing The Frauds

Some of these folks aren’t being sincere with their concerns, however, since they have ulterior motives. There are those who have a unique interpretation of what MAGA is, which is at variance with what it objectively is, and are thus very angry that Trump’s pick of Vance as VP shattered their expectations. The resultant cognitive dissonance explains some of their furious posts on social media after having previously supported the movement.

Then there are those who never truly supported MAGA, but sought to establish “alliances of convenience” on certain causes like those related to China and Iran, and are deliberately trying to discredit MAGA as revenge since it’s clear that Trump 2.0’s policies wouldn’t align with their views. This is especially true for hitherto seemingly MAGA-friendly foreigners who are now trying to manipulate voters’ perceptions about emotive issues like the ones that they support after Vance’s pick as VP.

These people can’t vote in US elections, yet they’re exploiting social media to have an outsized role in influencing those who can, with the common narrative being that they imply one way or another that this decision supposedly proves that Trump has betrayed MAGA. The truth though is that Trump is paving the way for a successor who’ll carry on what MAGA has always been about on the foreign policy front, and that’s being tough on the US’ top rivals in order to decelerate its declining unipolar hegemony.

MAGA’s Role In The Global Systemic Transition

To be sure, the way in which Trump and Vance envisage doing this is by first alleviating the risk of World War III with Russia, which is a net positive for peace and would bring humanity back from the brink if it’s successful. The global systemic transition to multipolarity has also unprecedentedly accelerated so much since the start of Russia’s special operation that restoring the 1990s-era unipolar system is now impossible, thus meaning that MAGA’s foreign policy is really about responsibly managing this moment.

The best that the US can now hope to achieve is to preserve its privileged position as long as possible through creative – and ideally peaceful – means. It’ll never enjoy the unparalleled dominance from the post-Old Cold War period, but it also won’t become a so-called “normal country” anytime soon either, let alone collapse in the near future like many in the AMC have predicted. A Trump-Vance presidency would be all about slowing the pace of its decline and regaining some ground wherever possible.  

The difference between them and Biden-Harris is that MAGA wants to improve socio-economic living standards at home while keeping World War III at bay abroad while the Democrats care less about Americans and more about their fellow liberalglobalist elite even at the expense of risking World War III. Few activists will ever be fully pleased with any presidential ticket, but comparatively speaking, the Trump-Vance one is much better for world peace as a whole than the Biden-Harris one.

 

 

 

 

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Jul 182024
 


Salvador Dali Elephants 1948

 

Assassination Attempt Changed My Father – Donald Trump Jr. (RT)
Iwo Jima 2.0: What Story Is This Picture Telling? (Pepe Escobar)
The Assassination Attempt (Paul Craig Roberts)
Secret Service Explains Why It Didn’t Secure Roof Used By Trump Sniper (RT)
Secret Service Explanations For Security Failures Not Adding Up (ZH)
US Republicans Subpoena Secret Service Director (RT)
The Near Miss Assassination Hit the Mark with Press and Pundits (Turley)
Schumer Says “Best For -Positive For COVID- Biden To Drop Out Of Race” (ZH)
Anti-Biden Dems Rush To Block DNC’s ‘Virtual Nomination’ Scheme (ZH)
Biden Losing Support in 14 Key States Ahead of November Election (Sp.)
EU Parliament Condemns Orban’s Peace Efforts (RT)
EU’s Rebuke Of Orban’s Peace Mission Speaks For Itself – Kremlin (RT)
Russia Empowered by ‘Naive and Ignorant’ Western Aggression – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Campaign ad

 

 

Bongino

 

 

Mike Benz

 

 

Eric Trump Vivek

 

 

 

 

Tucker

 

 

JD Vance

 

 

Brame

 

 

One hour

 

 

 

 

“I think there will be something. I think these are momentous occasions that change people permanently.” [..] “..a lot changes once you’ve got shot in the face.”

I love how much he loves his granddaughter.

Assassination Attempt Changed My Father – Donald Trump Jr. (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump was “changed permanently” by the attempt on his life over the weekend, and will be a more moderate figure going forward, his son, Donald Jr., has told Axios. Trump narrowly avoided death at a campaign rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, when an assassin’s bullet clipped his ear as it whizzed past his head. Firing from a rooftop around 500 feet (150 meters) from the stage, the gunman killed one spectator at the rally and wounded two others before he was shot dead by Secret Service snipers. Speaking to Axios on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Wisconsin on Tuesday, Trump Jr. said that he was fishing with his family when his fiancee told him his father had been shot. “Kim calls me [and said], ‘Your father was shot,’” Trump Jr. recalled, adding that “It was 90 minutes before I even knew he was alive.”

Trump returned to his feet almost immediately after the shooting, pumping his fist in the air and telling his supporters to “fight!” before he was ushered away by Secret Service agents. However, Trump’s defiance has apparently given way to a more conciliatory approach to politics. Speaking to the New York Post on Sunday, the Republican presidential candidate said that he had written “an extremely tough speech… all about the corrupt, horrible administration” for delivery at the RNC on Thursday, but “threw it away” and began working on a speech to “unite our country” following the assassination attempt. “You know, I think it lasts,” Trump Jr. said of his father’s apparent mellowing. “There are events that change you for a couple minutes and there’s events that change you permanently.” “Now again it’s Trump so [he’s] still going to be reactionary,” Trump Jr. added. “[Trump will] always be a fighter, that’s never gonna change, but he’s gonna do, I think, his best to moderate that where it needs to be.”

“He’s going to be tough when he has to be,” he continued. “We’ve seen that, he’s never gonna change. But I think there will be something. I think these are momentous occasions that change people permanently.” Trump Jr. told Axios that he worked with his father on the original speech, which he described as “hot.” “And by the way, I think it probably should have been at that time,” he said. “But again, a lot changes once you’ve got shot in the face.” Trump made his first public appearance after the shooting at the RNC on Monday, looking visibly emotional as he entered the event to thunderous applause. He was officially confirmed on Monday as his party’s nominee to challenge President Joe Biden in this November’s election, and is set to address the convention on Thursday.

Kai

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“..Joe Biden was expressly chosen for what he is: a crude, corrupt, easily-manipulated lackey, and head of a crime family..”

Iwo Jima 2.0: What Story Is This Picture Telling? (Pepe Escobar)

The Iwo Jima 2.0 pic, immortalizing the Trump fist surviving an assassination attempt, has taken the world by storm – generating everything from a meme tsunami on China’s Weibo to fresh anime in Japan. Not to mention the deluge of hats and T-shirts. This carefully composed pic changes everything – in more ways than one. So let’s engage in a first attempt to deconstruct it. We start with the major losers. The combo running Crash Test Dummy’s teleprompter/earpiece set up is essentially composed by Mike Donilon, Steve Richetti, Bruce Reed and Ted Kaufman. Government functionaries like Jake Sullivan and Little Blinkie, for their part, are placed at the heart of what is known in Washington as the “inter-agency” racket, better described as The Blob. The inestimable Alastair Crooke has explained how Sullivan and Little Blinkie’s deliberations are “spread through a matrix of interlocking ‘clusters’ that includes the Military Industrial Complex, Congressional leaders, Big Donors, Wall Street, the Treasury, the CIA, the FBI, a few cosmopolitan oligarchs and the princelings of the security-intelligence world.”

Yet the key – invisible – point is who (italics mine) tells Sullivan and Blinkie what to do. These are the people who really (italics mine) run the show: the Big Families, and the Big Donors – old money and especially new money (as in invisible Vanguard shareholders). They are all stunned. They never thought it would come to this debacle – even if Joe Biden was expressly chosen for what he is: a crude, corrupt, easily-manipulated lackey, and head of a crime family. Everyone in a position of real power in the Blob knew he was becoming a zombie ages ago. There’s fierce debate across the Beltway over how many factions are at war with each other inside the Dem blob. There are at least three:

1.The Biden crime family – on which tens of thousands of people with cushy jobs and fat salaries depend. 2.The down-ballot Dem machine – an “extended family” of other tens of thousands who will lose badly, in elections or re-elections, in the event of a Trump 2.0. These are the ones who want to throw Crash Test Dummy under the – retirement home – bus and replace him with a Dem they hope and pray might win (the number one candidate is the uber-incompetent Kamala Harris). Needless to add, these two factions not only are at vicious Hot War against each other but also at war with… 3.The ones who really matter: the actual Deep State – from the “intelligence community” to webs woven inside the CIA and the FBI. This is the infernal machine that actually gave the White House on a platter to Biden in 2020. Dem Chuck Schumer once famously proclaimed: if you cross this faction, they have “Six Ways from Sunday” to get to you, destroy you, or whack you. With total impunity.

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Good point: “..the official narrative might have been prepared to cover a successful assassination, not a failed one..”

The Assassination Attempt (Paul Craig Roberts)

Some say that it is too early to know what explains Trump’s near assassination. However, a good case can be made that we already know all we will ever know. The passage of time simply allows official narratives to be constructed, and they are used to muddy the waters. I support the calls for an official investigation, but government investigations are always coverups. Think the Warren Commission Report, the 9/11 Commission Report, the NISH Report. If there is an investigation, nothing will come of it, and if by chance it does the presstitutes won’t report it. We have all the information we need to form an opinion. Earlier I wrote that we have three choices of explanation for which there is evidence. But two of the explanations merge into one. The withholding by the foreign-born director of the Department of Homeland Security of adequate Secret Service resources from the Trump campaign can be merged into the incompetence explanation. So we have two choices, both supported by evidence or circumstantial evidence: Secret Service incompetence and a pose of incompetence to coverup an organized assassination.

The most certain fact we have is that despite the protective presence of the Secret Service and local police, Donald Trump was nearly killed, one person was killed, and two were seriously injured. None of the shooting was prevented by the Secret Service and local police, who went into action only after Trump was down and presumably dead. So what we have is the total failure of the Secret Service. What can explain such total failure? Some say the sacrifice of professional competence to diversity and inclusion. And there is evidence for this. The Biden regime is yet to make a single appointment based on merit and ability. All appointments have been made on a race, gender, and sexual preference basis. Secret Service professionals have complained of these non-professional appointments and pointed out that the competence of the agency has been compromised by “diversity, equity, and inclusion.” The reason aside, whether incompetence or complicity, clearly the Secret Service director failed.

She failed to protect Trump, and if it was an official assassination, she failed to eliminate the target. So, will she resign? Of course not. She will be promoted to some higher office exactly as all were who failed to prevent the 9/11 attack on the US. Let’s look at some of the indications that incompetence is a cover for a plot to assassinate Trump. The first thing that struck me was the unprotected roof tops of the buildings. As a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury from the days when the Secret Service reported to Treasury Assistant Secretaries, this struck me as inconceivable. I also found it inconceivable that a person carrying a rifle could appear in a protected area and climb upon a building with a clear shot at an allegedly protected person and not be accosted. Initially, we were told that the buildings had, somehow, escaped the protected zone. But later we learned, for what it is worth, that the building with the assassin on top was occupied by police or Secret Service forces. How is it possible that the assassin was not seen and apprehended?

We do know that the Secret Service was complicit in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, thus depriving America of an educated and aware leadership. We do know from the civil case the Martin Luther King family won that the official account of Martin Luther King’s assassination is a cover up of what seems to have been a FBI operation. So many books have been written by insiders documenting the CIA’s assassination of foreign leaders who took a different line from the line that Washington insisted on imposing that we have hard evidence that Washington uses brute force to enforce Washington’s agenda.With the Disunited States–the blue and the red–more divided than the division caused by the North’s determination to impose a tariff regime at the expense of the South, Trump’s notion that he can achieve unity is a fantasy. There is no possibility of unity. Good and evil cannot be unified.

Trump’s responsibility, assuming a second and a third assassination attempt does not succeed, is to root out the evil in Democrat hands, in liberal-left hands, in intellectual hands, that has turned the United States of America into a Sodom and Gomorrah Tower of Babel. Trump cannot raise his fist and say “fight, fight, fight,” and then compromise with his and our enemies to unite Americans with evil. The one thing that keeps me from being convinced that the attempted assassination was a deep state plot to rid themselves of Trump is the absence of a pre-prepared narrative to be repeated endlessly by the presstitutes. However, the official narrative might have been prepared to cover a successful assassination, not a failed one. Therefore, there is no ready narrative. It will be interesting to see what narrative the ruling elites construct.

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“The Secret Service director said, ‘don’t worry, we didn’t put someone on the roof because it could’ve created a dangerous situation.’ Like what? Someone getting shot in the head?”

Secret Service Explains Why It Didn’t Secure Roof Used By Trump Sniper (RT)

Kimberly Cheatle, the head of the US Secret Service, has cited safety concerns as the reason why her agents were not deployed on the roof of the building from which the would-be assassin targeted presidential candidate Donald Trump. Trump narrowly escaped death during a campaign rally in Butler, Pennsylvania on Saturday. His Secret Service detail reacted only after a bullet nicked his ear. One rallygoer was killed and two others seriously injured. “That building in particular has a sloped roof at its highest point. And so, you know, there’s a safety factor that would be considered there that we wouldn’t want to put somebody up on a sloped roof,” Cheatle told ABC News on Tuesday. “And so, you know, the decision was made to secure the building, from inside.” The shooter, identified as Thomas Matthew Crooks, was able to climb on top of the factory building and had a clear line of sight to Trump less than 120 meters away.

The roof in question was far less sloped than the one behind the rally stage, where Secret Service counter-snipers were positioned. Cheatle’s explanation was met with outrage and disbelief among experts. Joe Kent, a former Army Special Forces officer now running for Congress, wondered why the Secret Service didn’t secure access points to the building. “The Secret Service director said, ‘don’t worry, we didn’t put someone on the roof because it could’ve created a dangerous situation.’ Like what? Someone getting shot in the head?” said Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent turned-conservative talk show host. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has said Secret Service “failure” played a part in Saturday’s events, but that he has “100% confidence” in Cheatle.

The attempted assassination was “unacceptable” and “something that shouldn’t happen again,” the Secret Service director told ABC News, but added that she has no intention of resigning. Cheatle also did not address criticism that Trump’s protection detail included three women who were much smaller in stature than the Republican presidential candidate. The Secret Service chief, who was appointed by President Joe Biden, has previously said she would prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices, such as hiring more women and minorities. “DEI is one thing, competence and effectiveness is another, and I saw DEI out there,” former FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker told the New York Post after the Butler shooting. When Trump appeared at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee on Monday, his security detail was composed entirely of men close to him in height.

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“..the “Secret Service was in charge,” and that “it was their responsibility to make sure that the venue and the surrounding area was secure.”

Secret Service Explanations For Security Failures Not Adding Up (ZH)

In the wake of Saturday’s attempted assassination of Donald Trump, the #1 question is how the Secret Service could have failed to secure a rooftop a little over 400ft away – which former Army sniper Rep. Cory Mills called a “sniper’s paradise” that was so obvious he wondered aloud whether it was an “intentional” failure. And in typical government fashion, their excuses aren’t adding up. Sloped roof? According to Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle – who has rejected calls to resign, there was no agent placed on the building because it had a “sloped roof.” “That building in particular has a sloped roof at its highest point, and so there’s a safety factor that would be considered there, that we wouldn’t want to put somebody up on a sloped roof,” she said in a Tuesday interview with ABC News. “So, you know, the decision was made to secure the building from inside.” This is obviously absurd. For starters, the counter-snipers near Trump were perched on a roof with a steeper slope.

Snipers had eyes-on the shooter before Trump went onstage: Conspicuously absent from the Secret Service’s explanation are reports that a local PD sniper stationed on the second floor inside the building saw the shooter, Thomas Matthew Crooks, outside the building and looking up at the roof. He then walked away, returned, whipped out his phone, when one of the snipers took the first of two pictures of him. Crooks then took out a rangefinder – at which point the sniper radioed to a command post. Crooks then disappeared again and came back a third time with a backpack. The snipers called in once again with information that he had a backpack and that he (Crooks) was walking toward the back of the building. By the time other officers came for backup, he had climbed on top of the building and was positioned above and behind the snipers inside the building, the officer said. Two other officers who heard the sniper’s call tried to get onto the roof. State police started rushing to the scene, but by that time, a Secret Service sniper had already killed Crooks, the officer said. -CBS News.

So – law enforcement had eyes-on the shooter the entire time, took pictures of him, notified their command post – and nothing was done until Crooks shot Trump, at which point Secret Service snipers returned fire and killed him. Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi has said that local police officers radioed agents about a possible suspicious person before Mr. Trump came onstage. It’s unclear if the sniper teams were alerted. -NYT. What’s more, a Butler County Sheriff Michael Slupe told CNN that a Butler Township officer encountered Crooks on the roof of the building before the shooting, but retreated down a ladder after Crooks pointed his gun at him. According to Slupe, there was a security failure, but said “there is not just one entity responsible.” Three hours? Further complicating matters is a NYT report citing a law enforcement official who said that the local PD forces were in an adjacent building, not the one the shooter was firing from.

Nothing from the Secret Service on this report – and not one mention of it in today’s breakdown in the Washington Post – which is now suggesting that the slope could have hindered counter-snipers’ view. [..] In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, the Secret Service blamed local law enforcement for failing to secure the building, and vice-versa. “There was local police in that building – there was local police in the area that were responsible for the outer perimeter of the building,” Cheatle said during her interview with ABC News. Yet – according to Butler County DA Richard Goldlinger, the “Secret Service was in charge,” and that “it was their responsibility to make sure that the venue and the surrounding area was secure.” “For them to blame local law enforcement is them passing the blame when they hold the blame, in my opinion,” he told the Washington Post on Tuesday. One former Secret Service agent told CNN: “The Service is responsible for everything, not just the inner perimeter. They should make sure all of this is covered.”

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She has DEI written all over her. She’s the embodiment of how dangerous that is.

US Republicans Subpoena Secret Service Director (RT)

The Republican-run House Oversight Committee has issued a subpoena compelling Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle to testify on Capitol Hill about her agency’s “total failure” to prevent the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump. The committee first called Cheatle to testify on the day of the attack, and requested specific information related to the incident on Monday. While the Secret Service initially confirmed that Cheatle would sit down with the committee, House Speaker Mike Johnson claimed on Wednesday morning that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas forbade Cheatle from testifying. “The lack of transparency and failure to cooperate with the Committee on this pressing matter… further calls into question your ability to lead the Secret Service and necessitates the attached subpoena compelling your appearance,” committee chairman James Comer wrote in a letter to Cheatle on Wednesday.

Trump narrowly avoided death at a campaign rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, when a would-be assassin’s bullet clipped his ear as it whizzed past his head. Firing from a rooftop around 500 feet (150 meters) from the stage, the gunman killed one spectator at the rally and wounded two others before he was shot dead by Secret Service snipers. The FBI named the shooter as 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks, but has not released any information about his possible motive. Much about the events leading up to the shooting remains unclear, and Republican pundits have accused the Secret Service of negligence during the crucial hours and minutes before shots were fired.

Despite the building Crooks fired from having a clear line of sight to the stage, no Secret Service agents were positioned there. Local police officers stationed at the building reportedly observed Crooks circling the area, before returning and looking at the stage through a range-finder, typically used by snipers or hunters to gauge the distance to a target. However, CBS News said on Wednesday, that these officers’ reports evidently did not make it to the Secret Service.

Video footage captured by spectators at the rally purportedly showed Secret Service snipers pointing their weapons at Crooks, but hesitating to open fire until the 20-year-old fired first. While Cheatle has not testified before Congress, she has defended her agency’s actions in numerous television interviews since Saturday. In one widely-mocked appearance, she told ABC News that no agents were placed on the roof Crooks fired from as “we wouldn’t want to put somebody up on a sloped roof.” The Oversight Committee’s hearing is scheduled for next Monday. In the meantime, Cheatle has told reporters that she has no intention of resigning.

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“Can someone send me an example of a ‘Bernie Bro’ being bad?” “Republican Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana replied dryly: “I can think of an example.” Scalise was severely wounded at the 2017 shooting at a congressional baseball game practice by a Sanders supporter.”

The Near Miss Assassination Hit the Mark with Press and Pundits (Turley)

Winston Churchill once famously said that “nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.” For Donald Trump, the failed assassination attempt in Pennsylvania could prove politically exhilarating. After rising with a fist pump and a call to fight on, Trump seems to have gone from being a movement to a mythological figure with his supporters. All he needs now is a big blue ox named Babe to return to the campaign trail. This assassination attempt should also concentrate the minds of everyone on the escalating rhetoric in this campaign, particularly the media in maintaining inflammatory narratives. Yet, the hateful and unhinged language has continued unabated from academics declaring that the assassination attempt was staged to those who complain that the only problem was that Thomas Matthew Crooks missed.

For years, Democrats have repeated analogies of Trump to Hitler and his followers to brownshirted neo-Nazis. Indeed, defeating Trump has been compared to stopping Hitler in 1933. The narrative began as soon as Trump was elected when the press and pundits uniformly and falsely claimed that Trump had praised neo-Nazis and Klansmen in 2017 as “fine people” in Charlottesville. Watching Trump’s statement at the time, it was clear to most of us that Trump condemned the neo-Nazis and that the statement about “fine people on both sides” was in reference to the debate over the removal of historic statues. It took six years for Snopes to finally have the courage to do a fact check and declare the common attack to be false. It did not matter. The press and politicians have hammered away at the notion that Trump is seeking to end democracy and that everyone from gay people to reporters will be “disappeared.”

After the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on presidential immunity, Rachel Maddow went on the air with a hysterical claim that “death squads” had just been green lighted by conservatives. Democratic strategist Jame Carville insists that Trump’s reelection will bring “the end of the Constitution.” It is all what I call “rage rhetoric” in my new book, “The Indispensable Right: Free Speech in an Age of Rage.” The book explores centuries of rage politics and political violence. This is not our first age of rage but it could well be the most dangerous. Two years before the assassination attempt, I appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify on the expansion of domestic terrorism investigations. Democrats were seeking to pressure the FBI to focus on far-right groups as potential terrorist groups. The use of political views rather than conduct has been used historically to crackdown on groups from socialists to anarchists to feminists.

The narrative that the threat of violence is coming primarily from the Right is demonstrably false but consistently echoed in the media. We have seen a growing level of leftist violence in the last decade. That includes riots in cities like Portland and Seattle where billions of dollars of damage occurred, hundreds of officers injured, and many citizens killed. In 2020 alone, 25 people were killed in the protests. The Democrats often raise the Jan. 6th riot and it is important to acknowledge that the damage extended to an attack on our constitutional process. However, the preceding protest around the White House caused more injuries and more property damage. Then President Trump had to be removed to a safe location as Secret Service feared a breach of the White House.

There were a reported 150 officers injured (including at least 49 Park Police officers around the White House) in the Lafayette Park riot. Protesters caused extensive property damage including the torching of a historic structure and the attempted arson of St. John’s Church. Mass shootings by leftist gunmen have repeatedly occurred but those are treated as one offs while any conservative shooter is part of a pattern of right-wing violence. Keith Ellison, the Democratic attorney general of Minnesota, mocked the notion of liberal violence. In one tweet, he declared “I have never seen @BernieSanders supporters being unusually mean or rude. Can someone send me an example of a ‘Bernie Bro’ being bad. Also, are we holding all candidates responsible for the behavior of some of their supporters? Waiting to hear.”

Republican Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana replied dryly: “I can think of an example.” Scalise was severely wounded at the 2017 shooting at a congressional baseball game practice by a Sanders supporter.

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“Only eight days ago, Schumer had a different opinion on Biden: “I’m with Joe.”

Schumer Says “Best For -Positive For COVID- Biden To Drop Out Of Race” (ZH)

Update (1927ET): Moments ago, ABC News reported that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., advised President Biden to end his reelection for the greater good of the country and the Democratic Party. Only eight days ago, Schumer had a different opinion on Biden: “I’m with Joe.” Earlier, according to Fox News, citing multiple sources, Schumer pushed for the Democratic National Convention’s delay as questions soared about the president’s 2024 candidacy. According to Axios, the delay “signals that the congressional leaders sympathize with rank-and-file Democrats who want more time to address concerns about Biden’s ability to defeat former President Trump.” Vice President Kamala Harris’s nomination odds for the party now stand at 50, while Biden’s is at 38. Democratic lawmakers have been urging Biden to drop out since his disastrous debate with former President Trump last month.

Kash Patel

Just hours after President Biden mentioned in an interview that he would consider dropping out of the presidential race if diagnosed with a “medical condition,” the elderly president tested positive for Covid-19 this afternoon. UnidosUS president Janet Murguía informed the audience at the organization’s national conference in Vegas about Biden’s diagnosis. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Biden was delivering speeches in Las Vegas when he “experienced mild symptoms.” KJP said the president “will be returning to Delaware, where he will self-isolate and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time.” She noted, “The White House will provide regular updates on the President’s status as he continues to carry out the full duties of the office while in isolation.”

Biden’s doctor reported that the president developed a runny nose and a “non-productive cough” on Wednesday afternoon. “He felt okay for his first event of the day, but given that he was not feeling better, point of care testing for COVID-19 was conducted, and the results were positive for the COVID-19 virus,” the doctor wrote in a statement shared by the White House. The doctor said, “The President has received his first dose of Paxlovid,” adding that Biden’s symptoms “remain mild.” Biden boarded Air Force One in Vegas this evening, the White House pool reported. Where is the president’s mask??

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“It could deeply undermine the morale and unity of Democrats — from delegates, volunteers, grassroots organisers and donors to ordinary voters — at the worst possible time.”

“Great idea. I want that hole in the Titanic as soon as possible.”

Anti-Biden Dems Rush To Block DNC’s ‘Virtual Nomination’ Scheme (ZH)

Saturday’s near-assassination of Donald Trump likely boosted the former president’s chances of winning the November election — and also forced a pause in what had been a steadily-boiling controversy over President Biden’s fitness to finish the race and start a new term. While Biden’s mental deterioration was nudged out of media spotlight, his campaign was quietly scheming with the Democratic National Committee to orchestrate a “virtual nomination” held weeks before the party convention kicks off on August 19. Now, indignant anti-Biden Democrats on Capitol Hill are organizing a counter-strike. “I just think it’s a terrible idea for the DNC to do this. I just think people see right through it,” said progressive California Rep. Jared Huffman. “At a time when we have this huge enthusiasm gap with the Republicans, to do a stunt like this is just going to make it worse.” Separately, he told CNN, “If the election were held today, he would get crushed. We have got to do something about it.”

The DNC, which rigged the primary process for Biden by refusing to host debates and by rearranging the sequences of state balloting, is now working to hold a “virtual roll call” where delegates would vote online between July 29 and Aug. 5, Axios reports. However, the New York Times reported voting could start as early as Monday, July 22. Either way, the extraordinary advance vote would serve two DNC goals: icing the contest for Biden and avoiding a tumultuous, contested convention next month in Chicago. Democratic “insiders” told the Times that upwards of 80% of delegates would back Biden in a virtual vote. Congressional Democrats who see Biden as a doomed candidate — who threatens to carry down-ballot candidates with him — are now racing against the clock to keep their drive to replace him alive. At the moment, they’re channeling their energy into drafting and circulating a joint letter from House Democrats to the DNC, urging party headquarters to cancel its plan.

Here’s a passage from a draft obtained by the Financial Times: “Stifling debate and prematurely shutting down any possible change in the Democratic ticket through an unnecessary and unprecedented ‘virtual roll call’ in the days ahead is a terrible idea. It could deeply undermine the morale and unity of Democrats — from delegates, volunteers, grassroots organisers and donors to ordinary voters — at the worst possible time.” “People are back to being angry at Biden and a push to sign on to this letter is going around … the ‘replace Biden’ movement is back,” said an unnamed Democratic representative. Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett, the first congressional Democrat to urge Biden to quit the race, said the virtual-nomination scheme was inconsistent with Biden’s own comments: “Such misguided DNC action would be contrary to President Biden’s own recommendation that those seeking an alternative nominee come to the convention.”

A key milestone in the intrigue will come at 11am this Friday, when the convention’s rules committee conducts a video call. “A majority of its members have deep ties to Mr. Biden and were vetted for their loyalty to him,” reports the Times. Contrary to Axios, the Times reported that virtual nomination balloting could start as early as Monday, July 22. One House representative used creative imagery to describe dissidents’ view of the situation, telling CNN, “The disbelief that they’d expedite the nomination is as widespread as the recognition the DNC is leading Democrats into a house fire with water bottles.”

Word of the behind-the-scenes maneuvering comes as new polling by YouGov shows Trump leading in all seven battleground states. His lead is narrowest in Michigan (+2) and Pennsylvania (+3), and largest in Arizona (+7). Notably, the poll was taken after Biden’s alarmingly poor June 27 debate with Trump, but before Trump survived the assassination attempt at a rally in western Pennsylvania. Beyond the Biden camp, there’s another group that’s wildly enthusiastic about the idea of a virtual vote that locks in the failing, 81-year-old as the Democrats’ standard-bearer: Republicans. When asked what he thought of the DNC’s maneuvering, Citizens United president and Trump 2016 deputy campaign manager David Bossie said, “Great idea. I want that hole in the Titanic as soon as possible.”

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It adds up.

Biden Losing Support in 14 Key States Ahead of November Election (Sp.)

Incumbent US President Joe Biden is losing support in 14 key states, which are gradually turning to his predecessor and rival, Donald Trump, ahead of the November elections, CNN reported on Wednesday, citing poll data. The poll, conducted by the BlueLabs pollster, funded by the US Democratic Party, and obtained by CNN, found that Trump is outpacing Biden in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, which the incumbent president managed to flip in his favor in the 2020 election. Besides that, people in Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota, Maine, New Mexico, Virginia, New Hampshire, and a part of Nebraska are also losing faith in Biden. The polling also indicated that almost all other Democrats included in the questionnaire are ahead of Biden in battleground states. The four most popular ones are Arizona Senator Mark Kelly, Maryland Governor Wes Moore, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro, and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

On June 27, Biden, 81, appeared confused and incoherent throughout his first debate with Trump, 78, reinforcing rather than alleviating ongoing concerns about his cognitive abilities. His poor performance has led some Democratic politicians and donors to call for his removal as a candidate. There have been growing calls among Democrats to nominate another candidate to replace Biden after his failure in the debate. Theoretically, the party will have such an opportunity at its convention in August, but in practice, it will be difficult to remove the primaries-winning candidate from the race if he does not refuse to participate. So far, Biden is saying he intends to stay in the race. The second Biden-Trump debate is scheduled for September 10. The US presidential election will take place on November 5.

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“Lawmakers have demanded that Hungary be punished for the prime minister’s Russia trip..”

EU Parliament Condemns Orban’s Peace Efforts (RT)

The European Parliament has strongly condemned Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s recent visit to Russia and his Ukraine peace efforts, in the legislature’s first resolution since elections in June. In a press release detailing Wednesday’s resolution, the parliament described Orban’s trip to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin as “a blatant violation of the EU’s treaties and common foreign policy.” The statement went on to claim that the Hungarian leader’s “alleged peace efforts” were “irrelevant,” and that Budapest should face “repercussions” for Orban’s actions. The EU Parliament is holding its first plenary session in Strasbourg this week since elections to the law-making body were held in June.

Budapest currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Council. An adviser to Orban recently said that Hungary plans to use its six-month term to create the conditions for peace talks between Moscow and Kiev. The Hungarian prime minister traveled to Moscow earlier this month to discuss the “shortest way out” of the conflict with Russian President Putin. After the meeting, Orban admitted that there were major differences in how the warring parties viewed the potential resolution of hostilities, but pledged to continue to work to establish contact between them. On a prior visit to Kiev, the Hungarian leader proposed a “quick ceasefire” to Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky, something the latter rejected.

The EU leadership was outraged by Orban’s Moscow visit and has insisted that he did not represent the bloc. Orban, however, has claimed that he does not require a mandate from Brussels to promote peace, noting that his discussions cannot be considered official negotiations. The EU Parliament has stated that the bloc “must continue to support” Kiev “for as long as it takes until victory,” insisting that Ukraine is “on an irreversible path to NATO membership.” Legally binding guarantees that Kiev will not seek to join NATO are among Moscow’s conditions for the end of the hostilities.

MEP

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Yes it does.

EU’s Rebuke Of Orban’s Peace Mission Speaks For Itself – Kremlin (RT)

The EU’s criticism of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban over his Ukraine peace initiative indicates that Brussels’ pro-war policies will not change, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday. The Hungarian leader wants the EU leadership and fellow member states to adjust their policies from arming Kiev to seeking a negotiated resolution with Moscow. He traveled to Ukraine, Russia, China, and the US, before detailing his proposal in a letter sent to Brussels this week. Senior EU and national officials, including Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, have blasted Orban for engaging with Moscow. Brussels has reportedly rejected his proposal.

Peskov was asked during a daily press call whether Moscow received the text of Orban’s plan or the EU’s response to it. He said neither document was shared with the Russian government, but conclusions can be made based on the public condemnation of Orban. ”The Europeans have targeted Orban, have disavowed any authority he could claim regarding this issue. They have expressed resolve in supporting Ukraine militarily. I guess that is the answer,” the Kremlin spokesman said. Hungary is currently holding the rotating EU presidency. People unhappy with Orban’s diplomatic engagement with Russia have claimed that he was abusing his country’s role and undermining EU unity in backing Kiev with his action. A letter urging the EU leadership to strip Hungary’s voting rights in the EU was signed by scores of MEPs, according to media reports.

In its first legislative action on Wednesday, the newly elected parliament reaffirmed support for Ukraine and blasted Orban for going “rogue.” The prime minister did not claim that he was acting on the EU’s behalf. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told RT that the reaction of “pro-war politicians of the EU” will not dissuade Budapest. The diplomat met with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, on the sidelines of a UN ministerial meeting in New York on Tuesday. The Hungarian government has been advocating for peace talks since the beginning of the hostilities in 2022. Brussels’ response to the crisis is misguided and harmful for member states, Orban has argued, citing the economic impact of the sanctions on Russia. Meanwhile, Western military aid has failed to produce a victory on the battlefield for Kiev and has simply exacerbated the costs of the conflict, according to him. Critics claim that Orban’s position is “pro-Russian.”

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“Anti-Russia sanctions have provided Moscow the opportunity to both become more self-reliant and strengthen its alliances with other global powers.”

Russia Empowered by ‘Naive and Ignorant’ Western Aggression – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

Two years after President Joe Biden claimed US sanctions and export controls were “crushing” Moscow, Russia continues to grow at a faster rate than that of the United States and all other advanced nations. The country’s resilience was confirmed earlier this year by the International Monetary Fund, which predicted Russia’s economy would expand at a rate of 3.2% in 2024. On the diplomatic front Russia is as influential as ever as a key player in the growing BRICS economic bloc, which was recently forced to turn away new members amid strong interest from the Global South. Internally, Russia remains politically stable and unified with President Vladimir Putin enjoying an overwhelming mandate and widespread support for the country’s military operation against Ukraine.

With Russia not only surviving, but thriving against the backdrop of US-led opposition, one can only conclude that Russophobic leaders are operating from a position of deep ignorance and naivete regarding the Eurasian world power. Such is the conclusion of former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, who joined Sputnik’s The Critical Hour program Wednesday to discuss the state of relations between Moscow and the West. “The West is under the impression that it can strategically defeat Russia,” claimed Ritter, a former United States Marine Corps intelligence officer. “That means bringing about the existential end to the Russian Federation, as we now understand it. We heard the former Baltic leader turned European Union senior diplomat brag about how she envisioned breaking up Russia into tiny little component pieces,” he noted, referring to comments by Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas suggesting Russia should be split into several “small nations.”

“What they don’t understand are two things,” said Ritter. “Such a desire is literally a suicide pill because Russia’s nuclear arsenal is tied to a doctrine that says if the survival of Russia is placed under existential threat, that Russia will use nuclear weapons to ensure that that threat no longer exists.” “But fortunately we don’t have to worry about that because Russia itself has shown a proclivity not only to be able to outmaneuver the West, turning sanctions against Russia back on the West – a devastating factor – but also turning the attempt to diplomatically isolate Russia back on the West.” Anti-Russia sanctions have provided Moscow the opportunity to both become more self-reliant and strengthen its alliances with other global powers. India has become a major buyer of Russian oil, as has China, which continues to carry on a robust trade relationship with Moscow.

Lavrov

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Rays

 

 

Smart bird

 

 

Tunnel book

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 172024
 


Salvador Dali The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory 1954

 

This One Thing About Trump Shooting Is Very Suspicious (Pochuev)
Further Thoughts on the Near Assassination (Paul Craig Roberts)
Rep. Cory Mills Vows ‘J13 Committee’ To Investigate Trump Shooting (ZH)
The Surrender (Matt Taibbi)
RFK Jr. Apologizes For Trump Leak (RT)
Biden Says No To Extra Debate With Trump (RT)
Elon Musk Pledges $45 Million Monthly To Pro-Trump Super PAC (ZH)
Elon Musk Abandons California Over Trans Law (RT)
Pulte Family Takes “Activist Position” in BuzzFeed, Joins Vivek Ramaswamy (ZH)
JD Vance Promises ‘Rapid Close’ To Ukraine Conflict (RT)
‘Root Causes’ Of Ukraine Conflict Should Be Eliminated – Lavrov (RT)
‘No Mercy’ For Ukrainian neo-Nazi POW Murderers – Medvedev (RT)
MEPs Want Hungary Stripped Of Voting Rights – Politico (RT)
Orban Asks EU To Talk With Russia – Bild (RT)
“This is How Republics Collapse” (Turley)

 

 


“It blows my mind how narrowly Trump escaped death. He turned his head 0.3 seconds before impact.”


“It gets even crazier. There was a 7mph crosswind at Trump’s rally – enough to push a 5.56 round two inches to the left of its target, at 150 yards. If there hadn’t been a slight crosswind, that bullet would’ve gone straight through Trump’s skull.”

 

 

Alex jones

 

 

Landslide

 

 

 

 

Alexander Pochuev, Vice President of the Long Range Shooting Federation of Russia.

It’s not just this one thing, though. There’s tons.

This One Thing About Trump Shooting Is Very Suspicious (Pochuev)

On Saturday, 20-year-old Pennsylvanian Thomas Crooks fired three shots from a rifle and was almost immediately hit by return fire from US Secret Service snipers. The country’s former President Donald Trump suffered a minor wound to his right ear, but literally looked death in the face. Apparently, Trump was saved by turning his head to the right, in the direction of the would-be assassin. He had already made this move when Crooks pulled the trigger and the bullet flew towards him at an initial velocity of more than 1,100 meters per second. According to a ballistic calculator, the bullet took 0.14 of a second to reach Trump’s ear. There was no way the shooter could have calculated the movement of his intended victim. Trump was only millimeters away from being fatally wounded.

Even if he had turned at a slightly different angle and the bullet had travelled 10-20 mm to the right, the former US president would have been seriously wounded and out of the running for power in the US for a long time, if not forever. The next two shots were automatic and missed, indicating poor shooting skills and an inability to control himself under stress. The presidential candidate himself heard the shots half a second later, apparently at the same time as he felt the pain of the wound. The speed of a bullet is three times the speed of sound. By this time, a projectile had already hit the next victim. We can assume that the shooter was able to hit several targets with one shot. But that’s not because of any ability on Crooks’ part, it’s the result of the large crowd at the rally.

What was striking, however, was the lightning response of the secret service snipers. They opened fire with at least two rifles in just over three seconds. This is an excellent result. And it would be even in a shooting competition where the target and distances are known, and the command ‘fire’ is given. So, it’s clear that Special Forces snipers had Crooks in their crosshairs by the time the shots were fired. So why didn’t they open fire sooner? And why did they let the shooter get so close and not respond to eyewitness reports of a strange man with a gun?

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“It is very unusual that an intended assassin would expect to be able to appear with a rifle in a protected area and not be accosted. In other words, it reeks of the smell of a stand down.”

“Trump has to root out the evil, to extinguish the evil. He has to find and appoint and get confirmed a government that will support him in this battle. Anything less and he is a failure.”

Further Thoughts on the Near Assassination (Paul Craig Roberts)

“The fact that [the Secret Service] allowed a rifle armed shooter within 150 yds to a preplanned event is either malice or massive incompetence.” — Security expert Erik Prince, Navy Seal and founder of Blackwater. One of the most puzzling aspects of the near assassination of Donald Trump on the Secret Service’s watch is the shooter’s expectation to find the buildings within the protected area unoccupied by Secret Service and no agents guarding the sniper positions on the buildings. It is very unusual that an intended assassin would expect to be able to appear with a rifle in a protected area and not be accosted. In other words, it reeks of the smell of a stand down. Here is the Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti’s comment:

“The assassination attempt on Donald Trump is surprising only because it happened on July 13, and not earlier — a year, three or eight years ago. The upstart, who challenged not only most of the American establishment, but also the ‘Washington swamp’ as such, has risked his head very much all these years… It is clear that now the ‘swamp denizens’ are biting their elbows because they did not think to kill Trump before November 2016: they underestimated the threat, did not believe in the reality of his victory.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the atmosphere of hatred created around Trump by the Biden regime has led to the near assassination of Donald Trump. “After numerous attempts to remove Trump from the political arena with the help of legal tools, courts, the prosecution, attempts to politically discredit and compromise the candidate, it was clear to all outside observers that his life was in danger.”

“We will FEAR NOT, but instead remain resilient in our Faith and Defiant in the face of Wickedness.” — Donald Trump. Trump understands that the real fight is against the evil that has in its grasp the Democrat Party, the media, the liberal-left intellectuals who control the educational system, and the financial system that enslaves the population to debt service. It is extraordinary that former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama along with Biden and Trump himself have issued statements thanking the Secret Service for their “swift intervention.” Swift intervention? After an assassin in plain view of the Secret Service fires a series of shots that kill one person and dangerously injures two others standing behind Trump and misses killing Trump by a quarter of an inch? Only when the assassin finishes firing does the Secret Service intervene. How does a Secret Service that totally fails in its responsibility to protect a presidential candidate get congratulations for preventing an assassination?

Trump’s assassination failed because Trump turned his head when the assassin shot, thus throwing the bullet off mark. The Secret Service did nothing to prevent Trump’s assassination. Is it the case that once the Secret Service saw Trump was down, Trump was believed to be mortally injured and it was the time to eliminate, like happened to Oswald, the shooter before he could talk? I don’t say this is the case. It is a question that needs investigation. The question of the unsecured buildings from which the intended assassin fired has produced a dispute between the Secret Service and local police. The Secret Service claims the neglected shooting positions were the responsibility of the local police. The local police say they are merely the ordered around adjuncts of the Secret Service, who are in charge. Let’s assume the local police were responsible for the security of the nearby sites. Why did not the Secret Service check if the police performed their alleged duty?

The greatest puzzle is the near assassin’s unencumbered access to perfect spots for a successful assassination. To those few Americans still capable of thought, the outpouring of former presidents clearing the Secret Service with praise of its non-performance suggests it was an establishment attack on Donald Trump’s life. Trump’s response to the attack on his life is not promising. Indeed, he is already moving off-task. He says he is going to reunite the country. This assumes that America has no internal enemies intent on destroying her, her values, and her liberties, and in her place erecting a Sodom & Gomorrah Tower of Babel.

How can Trump reunite a country when the Democrat half is dedicated to the country’s destruction via open borders and the legitimization of all forms of sexual perversion? Is Trump going to compromise with his enemies and give them, in the false name of unity, part of their agenda? What is the point of a raised fist with blood running down your face shouting “fight, fight, fight” if you are going to compromise? Trump has to root out the evil, to extinguish the evil. He has to find and appoint and get confirmed a government that will support him in this battle. Anything less and he is a failure.

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‘How could this have gone so wrong?’

Rep. Cory Mills Vows ‘J13 Committee’ To Investigate Trump Shooting (ZH)

Former sniper and defense contractor Rep. Cory Mills (R-FL) triggered a CNN host on Tuesday after suggesting that “intentional” failures may have resulted in the assassination attempt on Donald Trump on Saturday. “The amount of negligence, the amount of mistakes that was made here, I have a very difficult time not leaning myself towards this was intentional, as opposed to fecklessness,” Mills told anchor Kate Bolduan. “If I have a building 160 yards perfectly adjacent to the stage, that’s an obvious threat,” he continued. “Especially with an elevated position that has overwatch? That’s a sniper’s paradise.” Mills, an Iraq war veteran and former DynCorp security specialist, co-founded private security company Pacem Defense, and says he’s overseen security for thousands of events.

After a stunned Boulduan pressed Mills, he replied: “I sit here and scratch my head. You don’t want to be the conspiracist. That’s the issue. You walk this fine balance, but you look at it and think ‘How could this have gone so wrong?’.” Meanwhile, journalist Laura Loomer spoke with Mills outside the Republican National Convention, where he told her that he plans to create a ‘J13 committee’ that’s ‘bigger than the J6 committee,’ and that he will push to be in charge of it.

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“.. they quoted a “senior House Democrat” at the bottom, saying, “We’ve all resigned ourselves to a second Trump presidency.”

The Surrender (Matt Taibbi)

The decision was announced at a White House briefing Monday morning. “In light of this weekend’s events, the president has directed me to work with the Secret Service to provide protection to Robert Kennedy Jr.,” was the quote from Homeland Security Director Alejandro Mayorkas. It’s difficult to read the line “in light of this weekend’s events” and not see an admission on the part of the White House that Secret Service protection was previously being denied to Kennedy, Jr. for political reasons, or out of spite, if those are even two different things in this era. Whatever the original prerogative was for pushing the envelope with that denial, it seems to have been removed by series of paradigm-shattering news events, leading to a flurry of real and symbolic surrenders.

MSNBC likewise made an extraordinary decision Sunday night to pull Morning Joe, with CNN saying the network wanted to “to avoid a scenario in which one of the show’s stable of two dozen-plus guests might make an inappropriate comment on live television.” As with the Secret Service decision, MSNBC was making a major admission, essentially telling audiences its lead morning news show is either not really a news show, or that its format only holds up under something less than maximum scrutiny. I can’t recall a similar act of self-sabotage in media. Meanwhile, in a move that went mostly unnoticed, Meta announced Friday that it was lifting restrictions on Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, with CNN citing company sources saying this was done “to ensure that Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, would have equal standing with Democrat President Joe Biden.”

The next day, after the attempt on Trump’s life that left firefighter Corey Comperatore dead, Axios ran a story about Democratic reaction. Burying the lede, they quoted a “senior House Democrat” at the bottom, saying, “We’ve all resigned ourselves to a second Trump presidency.” There’s a longer story to be written about the sudden collapse of many of the core premises of the last eight years of American politics, in particular the notion that Trump is such a unique “existential” threat that the system would not bear treating him like any other politician. In conjunction with Trump’s documents case collapsing and a list of other retreats on the lawfare/prosecution front, we appear headed for a new world, though what that will look like remains very unclear. The two obvious options are retreat from the “at all costs” mindset and a double-down, the double-down being the pattern in the Trump era. Who knows yet, but it’s remarkable to watch.

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A president calls you who’s been shot just hours before. And you don’t stop the video that’s running, or find a private place to take the call?

RFK Jr. Apologizes For Trump Leak (RT)

US presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has apologized after his son posted a video recording of a recent phone call with his Republican challenger, Donald Trump. During the call, Trump sought RFK Jr.’s endorsement and said that he shared the independent’s concerns about vaccinating children. An excerpt of the call, which took place on Sunday, was posted to X on Tuesday by Bobby Kennedy III, before it was deleted shortly afterwards. According to screenshots of the post, the younger Kennedy posted the video as he felt “these sorts of conversations should be had in public.” In the video, Trump told the elder Kennedy that “clearly something’s wrong” with the US’ childhood vaccination program.

“I said I want to do small doses,” Trump told Kennedy Jr., who was listening on his phone’s speaker. Trump complained that children are given a “vaccination that’s like 38 different vaccines, and it looks like it’s meant for a horse, not a ten-pound or twenty-pound baby. And then you see the baby all of a sudden starting to change…and then you hear that doesn’t have an impact.” “You and I talked about that a long time ago,” Trump added.

Kennedy Jr. has railed against vaccinating children since before the Covid-19 pandemic, and Trump – whose administration funded the development of Covid vaccines – at one point publicly shared his views. “My theory,” he told reporters in 2007, “is the shots” are responsible for causing autism. “We’re giving these massive injections at one time, and I really think it does something to the children.” Within hours of the video being posted, Kennedy Jr apologized for the leak. “When President Trump called me I was taping with an in-house videographer,” he explained in a post on X. “I should have ordered the videographer to stop recording immediately. I am mortified that this was posted. I apologize to the president.”

Kennedy Jr. did not speak during the section of the call posted online. After laying out his views on vaccines, Trump appeared to ask for the independent candidate’s endorsement, telling him “it would be so good for you.” Trump met with Kennedy Jr. the day after the phone call to discuss his possibly suspending his bid for the White House and joining the Republican’s campaign, Politico reported on Monday. The Kennedy campaign acknowledged that the meeting took place but said that the two discussed “national unity,” and that Kennedy Jr. would remain in the race. Recent polls show Kennedy Jr. winning around 10% of the national vote in a hypothetical race that includes the Green Party’s Jill Stein and the Justice for All Party’s Cornel West. These same polls show Trump leading President Joe Biden by between one and six points.

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“I have done 22 major events, met thousands of people, overwhelming crowds.”

Let’s see the footage.

Biden Says No To Extra Debate With Trump (RT)

US President Joe Biden has turned down Donald Trump’s proposal for him to “redeem himself” after his disastrous performance in their first televised debate last month by holding another unscheduled face-off. Biden has faced increasing calls to withdraw from the presidential race after he appeared frail and confused during the June 27 debate against Trump. According to the New York Times, Democratic donors have been withholding some $90 million in donations in order to persuade the party to replace the 81-year-old president on the ticket. Biden, however, has insisted he is staying in the race. Last week, speaking at a rally in Miami, Trump offered Biden a “chance to redeem himself.”

“Let us do another debate this week so that sleepy Joe Biden can prove to everyone all over the world that he has what it takes to be president,” he said, adding that the unscheduled face-off should have no moderators and be “man-to-man.” Asked about the proposal during an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt on Tuesday, Biden said he will debate Trump only at the previously agreed time. “I’m gonna debate him when we agreed to debate. And I agreed to debate him in September,” Biden said. The second face-off between the two is scheduled to take place on September 10, with ABC News hosting. Biden snapped back when Holt suggested a snap debate in the coming weeks would be a chance for him to “get back on the horse.”

“I am on the horse. Where have you been? I have done 22 major events, met thousands of people, overwhelming crowds. A lot has been happening. I am on the horse,” he said, insisting that he does not need notes or a teleprompter. “I can go out and answer any questions at all,” he said. Multiple US news outlets have reported in recent weeks that Democratic donors and officials have been plotting to force Biden out of the race and replace him with another candidate. Axios reported last week that an “anti-Biden network” that includes veterans of the Obama and Clinton administrations are seeking to oust Biden and field a candidate they believe has a better chance of winning the November election. Biden told Holt on Tuesday that he would not repeat his poor performance at the next debate. “I don’t plan on having another performance on that level,” he said.

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To counter Zuckerberg millions?!

Elon Musk Pledges $45 Million Monthly To Pro-Trump Super PAC (ZH)

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, a source familiar with the situation has revealed Elon Musk’s latest power move: a $45 million a month commitment to a new super political-action committee to support former President Donald Trump. This new super PAC will deploy large sums of money and other resources in critical swing states to counter ‘get out the vote’ campaigns by Democrats. Called ‘America PAC,’ the group is reportedly focused on registering voters and convincing constituents to vote early and request mail-in ballots across swing states, according to the people. The group will counter get out the vote campaigns by Democrats in swing states. Besides Musk, America PAC is supported by Palantir Technologies co-founder Joe Lonsdale, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, and former US ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft and her husband, Joe, the chief executive of coal producer Alliance Resource Partners.

According to a Monday filing, America PAC received $8.75 million in contributions for the quarter ending June 30, as reported by the WSJ. Musk is rumored to begin his donations this month. A recent Bloomberg News report indicated Musk had donated to the new super PAC last week, although the donation size was not mentioned. Following the failed assassination attempt on Trump, Musk wrote on X on Saturday evening, “I fully endorse President Trump and hope for his rapid recovery,” adding, “Last time America had a candidate this tough was Theodore Roosevelt.” X user End Wokenes wrote, “Elon Musk went from being an Obama voter to pledging $180 million to elect DJT. The woke left really f*cked up. Badly.” Musk responded with a “Yeah”…

Perhaps the Democrats miscalculated their assault on Musk. Musk also praised Trump’s selection of J.D. Vance as his vice-presidential nominee, calling it an “excellent” choice. Vance has ties with Peter Thiel, the founder of Palantir Technologies. In recent weeks, David Sacks has backed Trump, even hosting a fundraiser at his San Francisco mansion. Whether it’s Thiel, Sacks, or Musk, they were all once part of a group dubbed the ‘PayPal Mafia.’

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“Have had enough of dodging gangs of violent drug addicts just to get in and out of the building..”

Elon Musk Abandons California Over Trans Law (RT)

SpaceX CEO and X owner Elon Musk has said that he will relocate the headquarters of both companies from California to Texas in response to a new law forbidding teachers in the Golden State from telling parents if their children identify as transgender. California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the SAFETY Act into law on Tuesday. Hailed by activists as a safeguard against the “forced outing” of gay or transgender kids, the law forbids school staff from informing parents if their children identify as gay in the classroom, or use names or pronouns that differ from those on their birth certificates. Critics slammed the bill as an infringement on parental rights. “This is the final straw,” Musk wrote on X. “Because of this law and the many others that preceded it, attacking both families and companies, SpaceX will now move its HQ from Hawthorne, California, to Starbase, Texas.”

Musk explained that he made it “clear to Governor Newsom about a year ago that laws of this nature would force families and companies to leave California to protect their children.” In a follow-up post, Musk said that he would relocate X’ HQ from San Francisco to Austin, Texas. “Have had enough of dodging gangs of violent drug addicts just to get in and out of the building,” he said, referring to San Francisco’s well-documented homelessness, drug abuse, and street-crime problems. Musk previously described the “once beautiful and thriving” downtown area of San Francisco as “a derelict zombie apocalypse,” blaming the decline on decades of Democrat rule. Last August, the billionaire vowed to go to “war” with a law firm that was suing city authorities for clearing vagrants from the area.

Musk already moved Tesla’s HQ from the tech hub of Palo Alto in California to Austin in 2021, and moved his personal residence from California to Texas in 2020. Aside from distancing himself from coastal liberalism – which he has described as “the woke mind-virus,” the move allowed Musk to avoid tax on his personal income. In 2023, Musk told his biographer, Walter Isaacson, that he blamed his transgender daughter’s liberal Los Angeles school for encouraging her to become “a full communist” and to sever all ties with her father the year before. “She went beyond socialism to being a full communist and thinking that anyone rich is evil,” Musk said of his now 20-year-old child. “I’ve made many overtures, but she doesn’t want to spend time with me.” Musk has also spoken out repeatedly against child sex changes, stating last year that he “will be actively lobbying to criminalize making severe, irreversible changes to children below the age of consent.”

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Buzzfeed looks dead to me.

Pulte Family Takes “Activist Position” in BuzzFeed, Joins Vivek Ramaswamy (ZH)

Shares of Buzzfeed jumped 26% moments ago after the Pulte Family revealed an “activist position” in BuzzFeed, supporting the changes Vivek Ramaswamy, a former Republican presidential candidate, has proposed for the media company. “In our opinion, the Current BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti is driving the company into the ground, and when Vivek Ramaswamy gave him a lifeboat to save his sinking ship, Peretti told him thanks anyway,” William J. Pulte, CEO of Pulte Capital and a former Director of PulteGroup, wrote in a statement released on X. Pulte said, “This is exactly the type of hubris that needs to end in corporate America; at every turn, CEO Peretti has delivered unacceptable financial and operational performance, quarter after quarter. If CEO Peretti isn’t up to modernize BuzzFeed, then he should bring in someone who is or he should buy the company back from its shareholders.”

He added, “We support the changes Vivek Ramaswamy has proposed and that which he thinks are necessary.” Axios reported on June 24 that Ramaswamy and two of his proposed directors spoke with CEO Peretti via conference call to discuss his activist campaign against the media company. In May, Ramaswamy announced his BuzzFeed stake with a letter to the company’s board, saying the media company has “lost its way.” Ramaswamy holds approximately a 7.7% stake in BuzzFeed, while the size of the Pulte Family’s stake has not been disclosed. Pulte concluded, “For the avoidance of doubt, we are not working in concert with and are not working in a group with Mr. Ramaswamy. To that end, we did not inform Mr. Ramaswamy before we purchased shares in BuzzFeed.”

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“Is there a risk of escalation into a nuclear war? Because there is, when you have a buffoon running foreign policy, and we have got a lot of them right now in Washington, DC..”

JD Vance Promises ‘Rapid Close’ To Ukraine Conflict (RT)

Donald Trump will bring about a “rapid close” to the Ukraine conflict if reelected as US president in November, the Republican’s newly announced running mate, JD Vance, has said. Vance argued that Washington should shift its focus to China, describing Beijing as the “biggest threat” to the US. Trump announced Vance as his running mate on Monday at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Ohio senator’s candidacy was approved later the same day. If Trump returns as president after the November 5 election, his policy on Ukraine will be “very simple,” Vance told Fox News shortly after being officially nominated. “Russia would not have invaded Ukraine if Donald Trump had been president. Everybody agrees with it. Even a lot of my Democratic colleagues privately agree with that,” he said.

Vance again accused the administration of US President Joe Biden of lacking a coherent policy on the conflict. “We have now spent $200 billion [on aiding Ukraine]. What is the goal? What are we trying to accomplish? Is there a risk of escalation into a nuclear war? Because there is, when you have a buffoon running foreign policy, and we have got a lot of them right now in Washington, DC,” he said. “I think what President Trump has promised to do is go in there, negotiate with the Russians and Ukrainians and bring this thing to a rapid close, so that America could focus on the real issue, which is China. That’s the biggest threat,” Vance stressed. Since the outbreak of the fighting between Moscow and Kiev in February 2022, Trump has repeatedly claimed that the conflict wouldn’t have happened if he had retained the presidency in 2020. He has also vowed to resolve the crisis within 24 hours if he returns to the White House.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier this month that Moscow takes the former US president’s comments “quite seriously.” “I certainly do not know what, exactly, his proposal would be [to end the conflict] and how he plans to achieve that. And that is the key question. But I do not doubt his sincerity and we welcome” the sentiment, Putin stated. In early June, Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky demanded that Trump reveal the details of his peace plan. “I would like to know what it would mean to finish a war fast,” Zelensky told Bloomberg. “If Trump knows how to end this war, he should tell us today, because if there are risks to Ukraine’s independence, and there are risks that we will lose our statehood, we want to be prepared for this,” he argued.

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“Russia and the West need mutual “guarantees and agreements..”

‘Root Causes’ Of Ukraine Conflict Should Be Eliminated – Lavrov (RT)

The world should address the “root causes” that led to the “crisis” in Europe and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a ministerial summit at the UN Security Council on Tuesday. Ending the standoff between Moscow and Kiev should be accompanied by the removal of the threat posed by the West to Russia’s security, he said. Conditions for a “sustainable peace” between Russia and Ukraine had already been presented by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the top diplomat noted. In June, Putin outlined Moscow’s terms for initiating a ceasefire. They involved a full withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from all Russian territories, including the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, and the regions of Kherson and Zaporozhye, as well as a legal commitment from Kiev never to join NATO. Any final deal should be recognized in Western capitals and pave the way to lift sanctions against Russia, Putin added. Both Kiev and its Western backers dismissed the offer.

Any “political and diplomatic settlement [of the Ukraine conflict] should be accompanied by specific steps aimed at removing the threats to the Russian Federation posed by the [West],” Lavrov told the UNSC as he listed the measures needed to “restore trust and stabilize the situation” on the international arena. “The root causes of the crisis that has broken out in Europe should be dealt with once and for all.” Russia and the West need mutual “guarantees and agreements,” the minister stated, adding that “new geostrategic realities on the Eurasian continent” should be taken into account as well. According to Lavrov, a new “pan continental architecture of truly equal and indivisible security” was being formed on the continent. “The global and regional balance of power should be restored as well, along with repairing injustices in the world economy,” he said. A multipolar world should not have any monopolies in the financial or currency regulation, trade or technologies, he said, calling on the World Trade Organization to be reformed to reflect the “real weight” of non-Western centers of growth and development.

Moscow has long blamed the hegemonic aspirations of Washington and its allies for various crises in recent decades. In June, Putin said the world had missed an opportunity to create a better, more just and secure international order in the 1990s. The US and other Western nations believed they had “won the Cold War and refused to respect the interests of others,” he said at that time. That approach manifested itself in NATO’s policy of resolving conflicts that came down to “accusing the party they dislike of all sins and crushing it,” Putin stated. Such an approach proved to be a disaster, according to the Russian president. He also denied that Russia was the main threat to Europe, arguing that the greatest danger to European nations comes from their massive dependence on the US.

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Fully ignored in the west.

“Fascists are fascists,” he told reporters. “We must treat them this way and they must be destroyed..”

‘No Mercy’ For Ukrainian neo-Nazi POW Murderers – Medvedev (RT)

No mercy must be shown towards Ukrainian neo-Nazis who murdered an unarmed Russian soldier, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has said. The only response that should follow is across-the-board executions, he added. Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, was commenting on a video depicting the brutal execution of a Russian serviceman that was published by the Azov Brigade on its Telegram channel on Monday. The helmet-camera video shows an unarmed soldier asking a purported Azov militant not to shoot him, before he gets shot several times in the face at point-blank range. The commander of Russia’s Akhmat Special Forces unit Apty Alaudinov said the incident violated the Geneva Conventions. Under the provisions of the 1949 treaties, “members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, or detention” should be treated humanely.

Medvedev said, however, that reference to the Geneva Conventions is pointless, as there should be “no mercy” to perpetrators of war crimes. The politician quoted the Soviet WWII-era war poet Konstantin Simonov’s verse “Kill him” and called for the expedited execution of those who murdered the captured serviceman. “There is no place for good here. Just kill! Like Simonov, to whom I have referred many times!” he wrote on his Telegram channel on Tuesday. “Only total executions. No choice. There are no words about mercy. No humanity. No pardon. They have no right to life,” Medvedev insisted. Echoing his remarks, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated on Tuesday that Ukrainian Neo-Nazis should be “destroyed.” “Fascists are fascists,” he told reporters. “We must treat them this way and they must be destroyed,” Peskov added.

Earlier this month, the New York Times revealed, citing a German battlefield medic, multiple atrocities allegedly committed by members of the so-called ‘Chosen Company,’ an international mercenary group fighting on behalf of Ukraine. In one reported incident described by the NYT, members of the Chosen Company murdered a seriously injured Russian serviceman who, it’s claimed, was surrendering and pleading for help. Russia’s Investigative Committee has said it will probe alleged war crimes committed by mercenary units fighting for Ukraine. Moscow will also demand that international organizations verify data on alleged Russian POW executions, which, if confirmed, would qualify “as a violation of key norms and principles of humanitarian law, amounting to war crimes,” according to ambassador-at-large for Ukraine’s crimes, Rodion Miroshnik.

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93 MPs who don’t want peace.

MEPs Want Hungary Stripped Of Voting Rights – Politico (RT)

Scores of European Parliament members have called on Brussels to punish Hungary after its prime minister, Viktor Orban, allegedly abused the bloc’s rotating presidency by launching his Ukraine “peace mission,” Politico reported on Tuesday. The outlet published a letter signed by 93 MEPs and addressed to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, and European Parliament chief Roberta Metsola. The signatories accused Orban of causing “significant damage by exploiting and abusing the role of the [EU] Council Presidency,” which Hungary assumed earlier this month. The focus of their ire was Orban’s “peace mission” which involved recent visits to Ukraine, Russia, China, and the US.

“Orban deliberately left the impression that he was acting on behalf of the entire European Union,” the letter claimed, despite the leader stressing that he was acting in his capacity as head of the Hungarian government before flying to Moscow earlier this month. MEPs said their assertion was “clearly evidenced” by the fact that senior EU officials had stressed that Orban did not represent the bloc “in any form” during his trips. The Hungarian leader “is actively pursuing a policy agenda which is contrary to common EU positions,” and “this cannot be allowed to continue,” the MEPs said. They have urged the EU leadership to launch so-called Article 7 proceedings against Hungary. Widely considered a “nuclear option,” the article allows suspension of voting rights of a member state. The punishment is necessary “since practice has shown that mere verbal condemnations of this situation have no effect,” the letter said.

Hungary has criticized EU policy since hostilities between Ukraine and Russia broke out in February 2022. According to Budapest, Western economic sanctions imposed against Moscow have seriously damaged European economies, while the supply of weapons to Kiev has led to the continuation of hostilities instead of their end. Orban has urged a ceasefire and a negotiated resolution of the crisis, which his critics call a pro-Russian stance. Orban has detailed his vision of resolving the conflict in a letter to Michel, the European Council president, his office confirmed on Monday. His plan reportedly includes making concessions to Russia in terms of NATO’s expansion in Europe, which Moscow has called one of the key triggers of the confrontation.

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What a crazy idea!

Orban Asks EU To Talk With Russia – Bild (RT)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has written to Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, urging him to resume dialogue with Russia and involve China in the effort to resolve the Ukraine conflict, Bild reported on Monday. The plea comes after Orban went on a “peace mission” to Ukraine, Russia, China, and the US. According to the letter cited by the German tabloid, Orban provided Michel with a summary of his talks with the Russian, Ukrainian, Chinese, and Turkish leaders, as well as Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump. It also reportedly contained “some suggestions for [Michel’s] consideration.” Warning Michel that “the intensity of the military conflict [in Ukraine] will radically intensify in the near future,” Orban urged the EU official to hold talks with China on a ‘peace conference’ as well as reestablish diplomatic relations with Russia, according to the letter.

He further called for a “political offensive” in the Global South, arguing that the region is disillusioned with the EU’s stance on the Ukraine conflict. Orban also reportedly suggested that US President Joe Biden is “not in a position to change the current [US] pro-war policy.” However, he is said to have written that if Trump is reelected, he will “immediately be ready to act as a peace mediator.” Trump also “has detailed and well-founded plans” for ending the conflict, the letter reportedly said. Trump, who survived an assassination attempt at the weekend, has promised to end the hostilities between Moscow and Kiev within 24 hours if elected.

A Politico report earlier this month suggested that the presumptive Republican candidate could strike a deal under which “NATO commits to no further eastward expansion,” specifically into Ukraine and Georgia, while holding talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin “over how much Ukrainian territory Moscow can keep.” Orban’s recent ‘peace mission’ sparked a fierce backlash in the West. Michel himself declared that the Hungarian leader “has no mandate to engage with Russia on behalf of the EU” and stressed that “no discussions about Ukraine can take place without Ukraine.” Orban urged Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky to agree to a ceasefire during their meeting, although the latter rejected the proposal, insisting that the Hungarian prime minister lacked the clout to negotiate an end to the conflict.

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“How do republics collapse? When judges are pressured or removed for ruling against favored parties.”

“This is How Republics Collapse” (Turley)

“This is how republics collapse.” Those ominous words captured the hand-wringing, hair-pulling reaction to the dismissal of the Florida case against Donald Trump by Judge Aileen Cannon. It was not just that she reached a conclusion long supported by some conservative lawyers and a Supreme Court justice. To rule in favor of Trump in such a dismissal is, once again, the end of Democracy as we know it. The 93-page order methodically goes through the governing cases and statutes for the appointment of prosecutors. There has long been a debate over how an attorney general like Merrick Garland can circumvent the constitutional process for the appointment of a U.S. Attorney and unilaterally elevate a citizen to wield even greater power. With the expiration of the Independent Counsel Act in 1999, attorneys general have long relied upon their inherent authority to appoint “inferior officers” to special counsel investigations.

The issue has never been conclusively ruled upon by the Supreme Court, even though lower courts have rejected this challenge. The Trump ruling is certainly an outlier and the odds favor prosecutor Jack Smith on appeal. Many point to a challenge in 2019 in the D.C. Circuit to the appointment of Robert Mueller. The court found that “binding precedent establishes that Congress has ‘by law’ vested authority in the Attorney General to appoint the Special Counsel as an inferior officer.” That is the view of many lawyers and judges. However, Judge Cannon disagreed and found a lack of clear authority for both the appointment and the appropriations used for Smith. Nevertheless, legal experts were incredulous and irate. Jed Shugerman, a Boston University Law professor, is quoted as expressing shock that Judge Cannon is essentially saying, “I’m not bound by the DC Circuit, and I think they misinterpret this.” He added that it showed an “astonishing level of dismissiveness.”

However, in point of fact, Judge Cannon is not bound by the D.C. Circuit. As a federal judge in Florida, she is bound by the 11th Circuit and, of course, the Supreme Court. She is allowed to reach a different conclusion on a matter of law. Laurence Tribe, a law professor at Harvard University, declared that “Judge Cannon just did the unthinkable,” He added, “This finally gives Jack Smith an opportunity to seek her removal from the case. I think the case for doing so is very strong.” (Tribe previously declared that he was certain “without any doubt, beyond a reasonable doubt, beyond any doubt” that Trump could be charged with the attempted murder of former Vice President Michael Pence). It does not matter to these critics that other lawyers and judges agree with Judge Cannon.

Justice Clarence Thomas recently expressed the same view in the Trump immunity decision in his concurrence. He did not view this as a settled question and wrote “if this unprecedented prosecution is to proceed, it must be conducted by someone duly authorized to do so by the American people. The lower courts should thus answer these essential questions concerning the special counsel’s appointment before proceeding.” Yet these experts believe that a judge without a direct controlling case on the question should be removed for reaching the same conclusion as a member of the Supreme Court and at least two former U.S. Attorneys General. Of course, these experts would be aghast at any suggestion that D.C. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan should be removed after being reversed by the Supreme Court in the recent immunity opinion. Such experts are not raising questions of bias over Chutkin’s rulings in favor of Smith or the similar pattern of Manhattan Judge Juan Merchan. Yet Cannon is viewed as not simply wrong, but partisan in ruling for Trump. How do republics collapse? When judges are pressured or removed for ruling against favored parties.

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Lion

 

 

Croc

 

 

Antelope

 

 

Flirting

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 162024
 


René Magritte The false mirror 1928

 

“I’m Supposed To Be Dead” (ZH)
Trump Makes First Public Appearance Since Assassination Attempt (RT)
Trump Picks J.D. Vance As Running Mate (ZH)
Trump’s Would-Be Assassin Did Not Act ‘on His Own’ – Ex-CIA Officer (Sp.)
I Know A Hero When I See One (David Sacks)
Shocks to the System (Kunstler)
Biden Defends His ‘Put Trump In Bullseye’ Remark (RT)
Biden Orders Security For Kennedy (RT)
Bobby Kennedy III Slams US Secret Service (RT)
Russian Reaction To The Trump Assassination Attempt Is Biblical (Helmer)
Trump Classified Docs Case Dismissed, Jack Smith Unconstitutional (ZH)
MSNBC Yanks Morning Joe On Fears Of Inappropriate Trump Shooting Comments (ZH)
There’s Another Culprit In The Trump Murder Attempt (Bridge)
Orban Delivers Ukraine Peace Proposals To EU (RT)
Ex-US NATO Ambassador Tells Ukraine To Conscript Teenagers (RT)
Elon Musk is Right: End the Online Censorship Racket (Turley)

 

 

Fight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I want to try to unite our country… but I do not know if that is possible. People are very divided.”

“I’m Supposed To Be Dead” (ZH)

Donald Trump says he’s “supposed to be dead,” and that Saturday’s attempted assassination was a “very surreal experience.” Speaking with the NY Post aboard his private plane en route to Milwaukee for the GOP National Convention, the former president said the doctor called it a ‘miracle.’ “The doctor at the hospital said he never saw anything like this, he called it a miracle,” said Trump, whose ear was covered by a loose white bandage. His staff insisted on no pictures. “I’m not supposed to be here, I’m supposed to be dead,” said Trump. “I’m supposed to be dead.” Trump said that had he not turned his head slightly to the right to read a chart on illegal immigration, it would have been a kill shot instead of having a small piece of his ear torn off, spattering blood on his forehead and cheek.


© AP Photo / Gene J. Puskar

Trump said that as Secret Service agents led him off stage, he still wanted to continue speaking to supporters, but the agents told him it wasn’t safe and they had to get him to a hospital. He marveled at how the agents came flying in like “linebackers” as soon as the shooting started, and he unbuttoned his long-sleeve white shirt to show a large bruise on his right forearm. -NY Post Trump explained that “The agents hit me so hard that my shoes fell off, and my shoes are tight.” He then commended the Secret Service for their heroic actions, and praised them for gunning down the shooter – who had fired from around 130 yards away. Trump also reacted to the iconic photo of him raising his fist as agents tried to get him off the stage. “A lot of people say it’s the most iconic photo they’ve ever seen,” he told the Post. “They’re right and I didn’t die. Usually you have to die to have an iconic picture.” “I just wanted to keep speaking, but I just got shot,” he continued.

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“He stood flanked by his new running mate JD Vance and House Speaker Mike Johnson on the left, and Florida Rep. Byron Donalds and journalist Tucker Carlson on the right.”

Trump Makes First Public Appearance Since Assassination Attempt (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump was greeted with thunderous applause on the opening night of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The four-day convention began just two days after a failed assassination attempt against Trump, who was officially nominated on Monday as the party’s presidential nominee for the November election. The crowd cheered wildly when Trump, with a white bandage on his right ear, appeared on the big screen, walking from backstage to the convention floor to a live version of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.” After greeting his supporters, who were chanting “USA! USA!” and “Fight! Fight! Fight!” Trump climbed the stairs to the VIP section. He stood flanked by his new running mate JD Vance and House Speaker Mike Johnson on the left, and Florida Rep. Byron Donalds and journalist Tucker Carlson on the right.

Trump tapped JD Vance as vice presidential candidate but did not address the convention on Monday. He is expected to deliver a speech, which he revised in the wake of the shooting, on the final day of the gathering on Thursday. A bullet grazed Trump’s right ear when a gunman fired at least five rounds from a semi-automatic rifle in his direction during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday. One spectator was killed and two others severely wounded before the shooter was fatally shot by US Secret Service officers. ”I am not supposed to be here; I am supposed to be dead,” Trump said in an interview with the New York Post on Sunday. The former president said he had prepared “an extremely tough speech… all about the corrupt, horrible administration” for the event in Milwaukee, but “threw it away” after the assassination attempt. ”I want to try to unite our country… but I do not know if that is possible. People are very divided,” he added.

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Tucker likes him a lot.

Trump Picks J.D. Vance As Running Mate (ZH)

48 hours after being shot through the ear at a campaign event, Donald Trump has announced J.D. Vance as his running mate. “After lengthy deliberation and thought, and considering the tremendous talents of many others, I have decided that the person best suited to assume the position of Vice President of the United States is Senator J.D. Vance of the Great State of Ohio,” Trump posted on Truth Social. Full statement:

After lengthy deliberation and thought, and considering the tremendous talents of many others, I have decided that the person best suited to assume the position of Vice President of the United States is Senator J.D. Vance of the Great State of Ohio. J.D. honorably served our Country in the Marine Corps, graduated from Ohio State University in two years, Summa Cum Laude, and is a Yale Law School Graduate, where he was Editor of The Yale Law Journal, and President of the Yale Law Veterans Association. J.D.’s book, “Hillbilly Elegy,” became a Major Best Seller and Movie, as it championed the hardworking men and women of our Country. J.D. has had a very successful business career in Technology and Finance, and now, during the Campaign, will be strongly focused on the people he fought so brilliantly for, the American Workers and Farmers in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota, and far beyond….

Vance, 39, had emerged as the front-runner earlier in the day after sources said that Marco Rubio and Gov. Doug Burgum had been finalists. Both were told on Monday that they were out of the running.Following Saturday’s attempted assassination Vance jumped into action – suggesting on X that President Biden bore responsibility. “The central premise of the Biden campaign is that President Donald Trump is an authoritarian fascist who must be stopped at all costs. That rhetoric led directly to President Trump’s attempted assassination,” wrote Vance, who went from harsh Trump critic to ardent supporter. Donald Trump Jr. has repeatedly advocated for Vance – who in 2016 privately texted a former Yale roommate that he feared Trump could be “America’s Hitler.” By 2018, however, Vance had softened his tone – viewing Trump as speaking to the frustrations of the very Americans he had written about in his book. Of note, the Ohio Senator is pro-crypto…

Tucker JD

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“I don’t know what the network is, I don’t know which organizations he is tied to, but he didn’t do this on his own..”

Trump’s Would-Be Assassin Did Not Act ‘on His Own’ – Ex-CIA Officer (Sp.)

On July 13 Donald Trump narrowly survived an attempt on his life when a gunman opened fire at him during a campaign event in Butler, Pennsylvania. One bystander was killed and two sustained serious injuries while Trump himself was shot in the ear. The recent attempt on Donald Trump’s life has, among other things, effectively “destroyed the ability of the Democrats going forward to demonize Donald Trump,” says retired CIA intelligence officer and State Department official Larry Johnson. As the US Democrats consistently sought to brand Trump as an “existential threat… their very language encouraged violence, encouraged killing Trump.” “Now they can’t do that without being accused of inciting violence. And, so now they have to argue on just issues. And when they are supposed to argue on issues, that means, they’re going to fail,” Johnson argued.

Currently, Trump’s political opponents can do little to curb the surge of his popularity in the wake of the assassination attempt, in no small part due to the fact that “they can’t argue the issues,” the ex-CIA officer notes. “What are the issues? Illegal immigration? Well, the Democrats have been enabling that. Inflation? Well, the economy is still plagued with inflation, but people are feeling that at the grocery store and at the gas pump,” Johnson elaborates. “So, their efforts to try to shift to issues, it’s going to be difficult for them, because they’ve been so accustomed to describing Trump as, you know, the personification of Satan.” While the FBI has already announced that the man who is suspected of trying to kill Trump, one Thomas Matthew Crooks, was acting alone, Johnson argues that it is “highly likely” that the gunman “had additional support.” “I don’t know what the network is, I don’t know which organizations he is tied to, but he didn’t do this on his own,” Johnson says.

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“There is no way to fake courage like that..”

I Know A Hero When I See One (David Sacks)

I KNOW A HERO WHEN I SEE ONE. The Washington Post names me, along with as one of several businessmen, who are using their “megaphones” to spread “narratives” about the assassination attempt on President Trump. I’m not sure what “narratives” they’re referring to, but I know what I saw, and I know what the crowd in Butler witnessed live. At it turns out, my father-in-law lives in Pennsylvania and he was at the rally on Saturday. When the shots rang out and Trump went down, he said pandemonium broke out around him. Everyone feared the worst. But then Trump rose. Covered in his own blood, resisting the secret service’s efforts to whisk him away to safety, Trump raised his fist defiantly, and the crowd could see him say: “Fight. Fight. Fight.”

Immediately the fear of the crowd dissipated, the chaotic uncertainty lifted, and it was replaced with steely resolve. The crowd responded back as one: “USA, USA, USA!” This is not a “narrative.” It is the truth. Trump stood defiant in the face of an assassin’s bullet. There is no way to fake courage like that. It was more important for Trump to let the crowd know that he was unbowed and unbroken than to be taken to safety. Donald Trump has already been in the fight of his life for months, as vindictive Democrats seek to imprison him, but on this day he came within inches of losing it. He has risked everything for this country. It is now up to us, the American people, to show him that he does not stand alone. Let us reject the lies, the hoaxes, the hate and the division that the media has spread about this brave man, and support his resounding victory in November.

Sacks

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“..if you come at the king, you better not miss.”

Shocks to the System (Kunstler)

[..] following the election of 2016, scores of government officials from Barack Obama and Joe Biden on down set out to wreck Mr. Trump’s turn in office, and ran one hoax after another to disable and dislodge him, and each hoax was a battery of lies begetting more lies. The style of thinking behind all that is called unprincipled. Many of these lies entailed crimes, some of them gigantic frauds perpetrated on the citizenry such as the ballot-stuffing operation that jammed “Joe Biden” into office — and which you were not permitted to speak of on penalty of cancellation and prosecution.

By 2020, “Joe Biden” had racked up enough bribes from foreign lands that he was susceptible to blackmail and thus to manipulation. That his mind was failing through his entire term only made that easier. Both “Joe Biden” and the Neocon gang at State and the CIA were implicated in a web of crimes in Ukraine, and war there was one way to cover all of it up, so they made sure that war happened. The lies and hoaxes continued to multiply, accompanied by huge, destructive pranks — the George Floyd riots, the drag queens in the kiddie classrooms, the wide-open border, the FBI-instigated J-6 riot — and the Democratic Party was embroidered in that whole tapestry of degenerate politics along with the Deep State blob.

In short, the Democratic Party appears to be guilty of programmatic treason against the people of the United States. They know that a reckoning awaits if Mr. Trump manages to return to office. They’ve known it for years. But two recent Supreme Court decisions really amped up their fears: 1) Trump v. the United States establishes presidential immunity from prosecution for acts involving his core constitutional duties; and 2) Loper Bright v. Raimondo establishes that the federal bureaucracy can no longer rule over citizens unchecked by the courts. Both of these would make it much easier for a President Trump to disassemble the Deep State. And of course, that may lead to the investigation and prosecution of Deep State personae who abused their positions — possibly even prison. . . a discomfiting prospect.

The Democratic Party’s cover got blown on June 27th when Joe Biden had to go live in a debate and displayed his mental incompetency for all to see. That shock to the system forced a scramble to replace “JB” pretty late in the election cycle, since now just enough voters may be indisposed to re-electing an obvious human wreck. But the switcheroo effort seems to have lost traction. And the party may have muffed its blackmail leverage over “Joe Biden.” After all, his briberies are all well-cataloged by the House Oversight Committee, including the vast bank records of the many shell companies set up to receive the bribe money.

Is it possible, though, that “Joe Biden” holds blackmail material over his party confederates? After all, he’s still President. He has access to things you’d never dream of and, demented as he is, he has plenty of help close at hand from Hunter, Dr. Jill, and the Lawfare posse for sorting it out. He probably knows a thing or two about his old pard Barack Obama, too, that would make some folks uncomfortable. So, looks like “JB” is fixing to hang in there as his party’s nominee, and whoever doesn’t like it can go suck an egg.

After the stunning events of Saturday evening, it also looks like candidate “Joe Biden” would go down in flames against Donald Trump on November 5, stuffed drop-boxes and all. Not a few Democratic Party bigshots have already made noises about leaving the country if that happens, possibly to nations lacking extradition treaties with the USA. Many others must be gobbling Xanax like Tic Tacs now that Donald Trump has survived the ultimate affront to his existence. You know the old nugget of wisdom: if you come at the king, you better not miss. Ooops.

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He knows very well what he said. And why.

Biden Defends His ‘Put Trump In Bullseye’ Remark (RT)

US President Joe Biden has dismissed any notion that his rhetoric might incite violence, claiming that by calling for a “bullseye” on Donald Trump he was merely trying to shift the “focus” from his poor debate performance to his Republican rival’s actions and policies. The incumbent has repeatedly called his rival a threat to democracy and the nation and told donors earlier this month, “We’re done talking about the debate; it’s time to put Trump in a bullseye.” Following the attempted assassination of Donald Trump, multiple commentators argued that the violence was incited by exactly this kind of reckless remark. In an interview on Monday, Biden insisted it was a “mistake” and merely a figure of speech when NBC News anchor Lester Holt asked him about using the term “bullseye.”

“I didn’t say ‘crosshairs.’ I meant ‘bullseye,’” Biden clarified. “I meant focus on him. Focus on what he’s doing, focus on his policies, focus on the number of lies he told in the debate. Focus on… I mean there is a whole range of things that… Look, I am not the guy that said I want to be a dictator on day one. I am not the guy that refused to accept the outcome of the election.” Asked whether the shooting prompted him to do “some soul searching” and reflect on comments “that could incite people who are not balanced,” the incumbent deflected, arguing that it was Trump, not him, who has routinely used incendiary rhetoric for years.

”How do you talk about the threat to democracy, which is real, when a president says things like he says? Do you just not say something because it may incite somebody?” Biden wondered, recalling Trump’s pledge to become a “dictator” for just one day and his warning about a potential “bloodbath” if he loses. “I have not engaged in that rhetoric… My opponent has engaged in that rhetoric.” On Saturday, a gunman later identified as Thomas Matthew Crooks fired several shots at Trump while he was giving a speech on an open-air stage in Butler, Pennsylvania. A bullet grazed the former president’s right ear, but he was otherwise unharmed. One spectator was killed, and two more were wounded before the attacker was neutralized by Secret Service agents. Although the attack was widely condemned by both Republicans and Democrats, Trump supporters have argued that the Democrats and the media were guilty of inciting hatred against Trump.

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Oh puhleeze. 3 years too late?!

Biden Orders Security For Kennedy (RT)

Independent US presidential candidate Robert Francis Kennedy Jr., whose father was killed on the campaign trail, had long requested Secret Service protection to no avail, despite multiple security incidents. US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced on Monday that “in light of this weekend’s events, the president has directed me to work with the Secret Service to provide protection to Robert Kennedy Jr.” “Thank you, President Biden, for extending me Secret Service protection,” Kennedy said in a statement, also expressing gratitude to the security firm Gavin de Becker & Associates for “keeping me safe for the past 15 months of my presidential campaign.” The announcement comes shortly after Trump demanded that Kennedy receive protection. “In light of what is going on in the world today, I believe it is imperative that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. receive Secret Service protection – immediately,” the former president wrote on Truth Social. “Given the history of the Kennedy family, this is the obvious right thing to do!”

Kennedy met with Trump earlier on Monday to discuss “national unity,” and said he hoped to meet with “Democratic leaders about that as well,” dismissing rumors that he was planning to drop out of the race. Trump survived an assassination attempt during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday when a gunman fired at least five rounds from an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in his direction, with one bullet grazing his right ear. A Trump supporter was killed, and two others were severely wounded in the attack. The assailant was shot dead on site by Secret Service officers. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whose uncle, former U.S. President John F. Kennedy, and father, New York senator and presidential candidate, were both assassinated over half a century ago, filed an application for Secret Service protection last year. Despite several follow-ups, his requests were rejected by the White House.

Kennedy, who initially challenged Biden for the Democratic nomination before launching an independent bid last year, suffered multiple security incidents on his campaign trail. Last September, an armed man impersonating a federal officer was detained at his campaign event, while in October, a man was arrested for trespassing at his Los Angeles home.

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“Take your secret service and shove it up your ass.”

Bobby Kennedy III Slams US Secret Service (RT)

Bobby Kennedy III, a member of the famous American political dynasty that has experienced the ‘Kennedy curse’ of assassinations, deaths, and accidents, has slammed the US Secret Service’s failure to detect Donald Trump’s attacker before he fired shots at the former president. According to eyewitnesses who spoke to the media, the suspect was seen on the rooftop of a manufacturing plant shortly before he targeted Trump during a campaign rally in Butler, Pennsylvania on Saturday. “Unsecured rooftop 150 yards away. Multiple witnesses saying they were screaming at secret service and cops for 3-4 minutes as they watched the guy with the rifle crawl to the spot and line up his shot, Kennedy III wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday. “Take your secret service and shove it up your ass.” Kennedy III is the son of current presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. – whose uncle, former US President John F. Kennedy, and father, a New York senator and presidential candidate, were both assassinated in the 1960s.

Regarding the attempt on Trump’s life, eyewitnesses and video footage have depicted a chaotic scene as shots rang out at the event. Concerns have mounted about the level of security in the aftermath of the shooting, after multiple witnesses said police did not respond to warnings about the presence of the would-be assassin. The suspect, later identified as 20-year-old local Thomas Matthew Crooks, was killed on the spot by Secret Service snipers. One bystander told the BBC that minutes before the attack, he and other people had seen a man crawling up on the roof carrying a rifle, and had tried to alert the police. “He had a rifle, we could clearly see a rifle,” Greg Smith told the broadcaster. “We’re like, ‘Hey man, there’s a guy on the roof with a rifle’… and the police did not know what was going on.”

In another report, law enforcement officials told the AP that a local policeman had spotted the shooter on the roof moments before he tried to kill Trump. However, the officer reportedly failed to stop the gunman after he pointed his AR-style rifle at him. “The fact that we’re hearing that people knew that there was a man on this roof with a gun, and were trying to get police attention while the president was up at the podium is just incredibly cause for concern and, I think, very frustrating for everyone,” Mike Turner, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN on Sunday. Trump narrowly escaped death after his attacker fired at least five shots. The presidential candidate was grazed by one of the bullets, sustaining a wound to his right ear. At least one rallygoer was killed in the attack by stray bullets, with two others sustaining gunshot wounds.

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“After numerous attempts to eliminate the Trump candidate from the political arena using first legal tools, attempts to politically discredit and compromise the candidate, it was obvious for his life to be in danger.”

Russian Reaction To The Trump Assassination Attempt Is Biblical (Helmer)

The Russian reaction to the attempted assassination of Donald Trump is a combination – idol, whirlwind, sin, destruction, God, payoff — plus deep suspicion that either President Joseph Biden or Trump’s organization, or both of them, had a hand in fabricating what happened, plus conviction that they are now capitalizing on the outcome for all they are worth. The official line was given by the Foreign Ministry’s spokesman on sowing the whirlwind. The Kremlin spokesman followed with the calf of Samaria. “Yesterday,” wrote Maria Zakharova of the Foreign Ministry on Telegram, “one of the leaders of the Kiev regime, [Kirill] Budanov, openly admitted that Ukrainian intelligence was preparing attempts on the President of Russia. So this attempt was being prepared, again, for American money, without which there would have been no malicious activity of the GUR, the SBU and, in general, Bankova [the presidential office ].

With massive financing and uncontrolled supply of weapons, Washington has created a terrorist structure in Ukraine – the Kiev regime. It is a machine of murders, bombings, exterminations, and terrorist attacks against both political figures and civilians…TheUnited States of America should take stock of its policy of inciting hatred against political opponents, countries and people, and sponsoring terrorism. The bell is already ringing for Washington!” Dmitry Peskov for President Vladimir Putin said there is “no plan” for the latter to telephone Trump. He then implied the Biden plot by making a qualified denial. “We do not think and do not believe that the attempt to eliminate the presidential candidate Trump was organized by the current authorities, but the atmosphere that was created by this administration in the course of the political struggle, the atmosphere around the candidate Trump, it was that which provoked what today faced with America.”

Peskov then tipped the Kremlin in Trump’s direction: “After numerous attempts to eliminate the Trump candidate from the political arena using first legal tools, attempts to politically discredit and compromise the candidate, it was obvious for his life to be in danger.” The state news agency RIA-Novosti tipped even further for Trump. “The assassination attempt on Donald Trump is surprising only because it happened on July 13, and not earlier — a year, three or eight years ago. The upstart, who challenged not only most of the American establishment, but also the ‘Washington swamp’ as such, has risked his head very much all these years… It is clear that now the ‘swamp denizens’ are biting their elbows because they did not think to kill Trump before November 2016: they underestimated the threat, did not believe in the reality of his victory.”

Tsargrad, an internet platform of Russian exceptionalism and Orthodoxy, treats Trump as a Russian ally in the war against Biden. “A bullet in Trump’s head is a blow to Russia: What remains behind the scenes of the assassination attempt on the ex-president of the United States — a real assassination attempt or a staging? The question, in fact, is not idle, especially in relation to Russia. After the appearance of an increasing number of details in the case of the attempted assassination of former US President Donald Trump, a lot of interesting things come up behind the scenes of the assassination attempt… This is the true face of hegemony and the unipolar world: anyone who is against globalism, who stands in its way, is first subject to demonization (through the tools of the abolition culture), then physical elimination…Globalists don’t care about the United States, just like everyone else. They need planetary power, the absolute power of supernational capital. And all countries, including America and Europe itself, are just tools in creating a World Government. Trump is for America and against the World Government. As Putin is for Russia, Xi Jinping is for China, Modi is for India, and Orban, Fico, Marine Le Pen and AfD are for Europe,”

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Can he try again? Perhaps not as Special Counsel?

Trump Classified Docs Case Dismissed, Jack Smith Unconstitutional (ZH)

US District Court Judge Eileen Cannon has dismissed Donald Trump’s classified documents case, ruling that the appointment of Special Counsel Jack Smith was unconstitutional. “The Special Counsel’s position effectively usurps that important legislative authority, transferring it to a Head of Department, and in the process threatening the structural liberty inherent in the separation of powers,” Cannon wrote in her decision. “He can be appointed and confirmed through the default method prescribed in the Appointments Clause, as Congress has directed for United States Attorneys throughout American history.” “Dismissal of this action is the only appropriate solution for the Appointments Clause violation.” The ruling comes after Judge Cannon had indefinitely postponed the trial, and followed a May hearing in which Trump and co-defendant Walt Nauta argued that the Justice Department’s Special Counsel’s Office decision to prosecute the valet was “both selective and vindictive.”

The ruling marks another blockbuster legal victory for Trump, following the Supreme Court’s July 1 ruling that the former president has immunity from prosecution for many of his actions in office. According to Reuters, prosecutors are likely to appeal the ruling, as courts in other cases have repeatedly upheld the ability of the DOJ to appoint special counsels for politically sensitive investigations. But Cannon’s ruling throws the future of the case, which once posed serious legal peril for Trump, into doubt. Smith is also prosecuting Trump in federal court in Washington over his attempts to overturn the 2020 election, but his lawyers have not made a similar challenge to the special counsel in that case.

In the documents case, Trump was indicted on charges that he willfully retained sensitive national security documents at his Mar-a-Lago social club after leaving office and obstructed government efforts to retrieve the material. Trump’s attorneys challenged the legal authority of Biden AG Merrick Garland’s 2022 decision to appoint Smith – arguing that the appointment violated the Constitution because his office was not created by Congress, nor was Smith confirmed by the Senate.

Meanwhile, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas also boosted Trump’s challenge – directly questioning the constitutionality of Smith’s appointment. Thomas used similar arguments to those made by Trump’s legal team.

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Ha! They pull their no. 1 show just “to provide coverage via a single news feed..”

MSNBC Yanks Morning Joe On Fears Of Inappropriate Trump Shooting Comments (ZH)

MSNBC has taken its celebrated “Morning Joe” off-air on Monday reportedly on fears that their well-known leftist hosts could say the wrong thing or something deeply insensitive about the Saturday Trump assassination attempt which could leave the network in a bind. The show is missing in action on this crucial day of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee. “The progressive news network confirmed the decision to preempt its influential and top-rated morning show after a CNN inquiry Sunday evening,” CNN confirms. “The network said the show will resume airing Tuesday.” As speculation abounds, and as some try to dubiously claim that it’s ‘normal’ for Morning Joe to not air during a major political news event, NBC issued the following statement: “Given the gravity and complexity of this unfolding story, NBC News, NBC News NOW and MSNBC have remained in rolling breaking news coverage since Saturday evening,” a spokesperson said.

The press release followed with: “As we continue to cover this story into the week, the networks will continue to cross simulcast, alternating between NBC News, NBC News NOW and ‘MSNBC Reports,’ so there is one news feed covering this developing situation.” CNN then admitted the following based on one of its sources: “A person familiar with the matter told CNN that the decision was made to avoid a scenario in which one of the show’s stable of two dozen-plus guests might make an inappropriate comment on live television that could be used to assail the program and network as a whole.” Indeed there is a long history of show hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski making astounding and highly incendiary claims which leave network executives facing scrutiny and having to field difficult questions. At the very least, the decision to pull the program on Monday displays lack of trust in the long-running program and hosts by top network leadership.

Conservative pundit Laura Loomer sounded off in wake of the decision, pointing out the following: “MSNBC has pulled Morning Joe off air this week because they don’t think their leftist hosts can control themselves from celebrating the attempted assassination of President Trump. Let’s be honest. The rhetoric from MSDNC, CNN, WAPO, NY TIMES and Joe Biden is a contributing factor to why Donald Trump almost had a bullet in his skull this week. They have been inciting violence against Trump for years, calling him Hitler, saying he’s a dictator and a “threat to democracy”. The shooter was probably even a Morning Joe viewer. I’d be willing to take that bet.”

Ironically some on the Left are miffed at the display of obvious lack of trust, with Liberal journalist Jeff Jarvis questioning on X, “What the f—, MSNBC? You preempted your excellent weekend programming… and now you’ve silenced [Morning Joe] in favor of your anodyne streaming news cos-play called Now?” “This is when we need the analysis and conversation these shows bring us (yes, with controversy; that is how public discourse works through it: with discussion),” he continued. “It is shocking that NBC/Comcast do not understand their own company’s programs and raison d’etre.” But again, MSNBC has not alluded to any deeper reasons behind temporarily pulling the program other than to say it wishes to provide coverage via a single news feed.

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Media.

There’s Another Culprit In The Trump Murder Attempt (Bridge)

Americans from across the political spectrum were treated to yet more evidence that Donald Trump is an invincible force that cannot be easily reckoned with. But this perception will do little to mitigate the media hostility that poisons the US political scene. Everyone knew it was just a matter of time. Trump, who was addressing a crowd of supporters in Butler, Pennsylvania, was grazed by an assassin’s bullet during a campaign speech (how the would-be killer managed to get so close to the Republican frontrunner amid an army of Secret Service agents is a question for another day). What must concern Americans now is what exactly triggered this latest display of political violence. Several commentators pointed to reckless remarks Joe Biden made on a call with donors earlier this month, when the incumbent leader reportedly said: “I have one job, and that’s to beat Donald Trump… So, we’re done talking about the debate, it’s time to put Trump in a bullseye.”

JD Vance, the senator from Ohio and a top contender to be Trump’s running mate, said in a statement on X (formerly Twitter): “The central premise of the Biden campaign is that President Donald Trump is an authoritarian fascist who must be stopped at all costs. That rhetoric led directly to President Trump’s attempted assassination.” While that is true, it is the media that happily promulgates such dangerous messages and which must be held at least partially responsible for the atmosphere of hate that now permeates the US political scene. While we constantly hear reports about unhinged individuals being ‘politically motivated,’ how about we give more attention to those who have been ‘media motivated’?

For starters, consider last month’s issue of the New Republic, a left-leaning political journal that featured on its cover a portrait of Trump made to resemble Adolf Hitler along with the inscription, “American fascism, what it would look like.” One month later and on the day of the shooting, the journal was whistling a different tune. “As I write these words, we don’t know what motivated 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks to try to assassinate Trump,” wrote the TNR columnist Michael Tomasky, feigning ignorance and disbelief. “But whatever his motivation turns out to be, his act not isolated (sic)… I’d write that we’re about to enter a very dark period, but in fact we entered it long ago, and there’s no end in sight.”

You don’t say, Michael? As to be expected, there was no sign of Trump sporting the Hitler moustache to accompany the article. After reading literally hundreds of such hypocritical pieces that totally lack self-awareness, it becomes more obvious that the entire political field is rigged in favor of one team, namely the Democrats, over those of the Republicans. While the two factions enjoy roughly 50% support of the electorate, it’s no secret (although a great mystery) that the liberal left enjoys far greater public reach due to its overwhelming control of the national media. Thus, Democrats have much greater trust in the media since it generally reflects their own values.

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“..based on a realistic assessment of the situation” and on setting “realistic goals..”

Orban Delivers Ukraine Peace Proposals To EU (RT)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has sent proposals to EU leaders on ways to resolve the Ukrainian conflict, newspaper Magyar Nemzet reported on Monday, citing the PM’s political adviser Balazs Orban. The proposals are said to be based on the results of the premier’s controversial peace mission earlier this month, during which he visited Ukraine, Russia, and China. Orban provided EU leaders with a detailed account of his visits, and delivered Budapest’s action plan to their desks, Balazs Orban (no relation) told the newspaper. The adviser described Budapest’s proposals as being “based on a realistic assessment of the situation” and on setting “realistic goals,” without elaborating further. Balazs Orban claimed that there are “pro-war” political forces in the EU, and that the bloc is following the lead of the current US administration, which, he said, wants the conflict to continue.

”If Europe wants peace and wants to have a decisive say in the settlement of the war [in Ukraine] and the end of the bloodshed, then the change of course must be worked out and implemented now,” the adviser said. Hungary is one of the few member states to criticize the bloc’s stance on the conflict. Budapest has refused to go along with Brussels and send weapons to Kiev. It has also stalled financial aid to Ukraine. Viktor Orban’s recent visit to Moscow was condemned by senior EU figures, with Brussels seeking to distance itself from Orban’s efforts. According to the prime minister’s adviser, external mediators, such as China and Türkiye, could be vital to helping negotiate peace.

Hungary plans to use the six months of its rotating presidency of the, which began in July, to create conditions for peace talks. “If the union does not act now, it may not be able to act later,” Balazs Orban warned. During his visit to Kiev, the Hungarian leader called on Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky to agree to a ceasefire with Russia, a proposal the latter rejected. President Putin has repeatedly insisted that the hostilities can only end if Ukraine fulfills several of Russia’s demands – including legally binding guarantees that Kiev will not seek NATO membership, and the withdrawal of troops from the whole of Donbass, as well as the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. Kiev, along with its Western backers, have rejected the proposal, calling it an unacceptable ultimatum.

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They want NO FUTURE. None.

Ex-US NATO Ambassador Tells Ukraine To Conscript Teenagers (RT)

Kiev should send 18-year-olds to fight Russia to increase the likelihood of victory, former US ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder has argued. Earlier this year, Ukraine lowered the draft threshold from 27 to 25 years as part of a major overhaul of the military service system, aimed at boosting mobilization rates. “This is a war being fought by 40-year-olds,” Daalder told Euronews on the sidelines of last week’s NATO summit in the US. “No other war in history has been fought by 40-year-olds.” “You need to get 18-year-olds, and you need to get 20-year-olds, and you need to get 21-year-olds, which is what every army in the rest of the world relies on,” he added. Both Russia and Ukraine have a system of mandatory conscription of young adult males, but 18-years-olds are not deployed to the frontline by either country.

Moscow has said it fully relies on contracted volunteers rather than mobilized reservists in the conflict with its NATO-backed neighbor, with roughly 1,000 people recruited per day, according to senior Russian officials. Daalder served as the US ambassador under President Barack Obama. He currently heads the Chicago Council of Global Affairs, a prominent corporate-funded think tank known for a hawkish foreign policy. Kiev has reformed its military since suffering significant casualties during last year’s failed attempt to push back Russian forces using Western-donated weapons. Draft avoidance emerged as a major problem, with many Ukrainian men risking their lives trying to cross the western border illegally. Weeks before Vladimir Zelensky signed into law the lowering of the draft age, US Senator Lindsey Graham urged him to do so during a trip to Kiev.

He said: “I would hope that those eligible to serve in the Ukrainian military would join. I can’t believe it’s at 27. You’re in a fight for your life, so you should be serving – not at 25 or 27.” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Ukrainian citizens to embrace the new rules, after they took effect in May. “Your recent mobilization was a difficult decision, but a necessary one,” he said in a speech at a prestigious Ukrainian university. Joining the military will “allow you to harden your defenses, to build more units, to take the fight to Russian aggressors.” Ukrainian lawmaker Roman Lozinsky said last month that a further reduction of the draft age was possible “if we are still fighting for our existence.” His political party Golos is widely considered to be aligned with US interests in the country.

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“The Global Alliance for Responsible Media is too sophisticated to simply bullhorn groups into silence. Instead, it strangles them financially.”

Elon Musk is Right: End the Online Censorship Racket (Turley)

Few Americans have ever heard of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, let alone understand how it shapes what they read and hear in news and commentary. That may soon change. An alarming new report of the House Judiciary Committee details this organization’s work to censor conservative and opposing viewpoints in the media by targeting figures such as Joe Rogan and entire social media platforms such as X (formerly Twitter). It is part of a massive censorship system that a federal court recently described as “Orwellian.” The sophistication of this system makes authoritarian regimes like China’s and Iran’s look like mere amateurs in censorship and blacklisting. In my new book, “The Indispensable Right: Free Speech in the Age of Rage,” I discuss our history of speech crackdowns and how this is arguably the most dangerous anti-free speech period that we have faced as a nation. The reason is an unprecedented alliance of government, corporate, academic and media institutions supporting censorship and the targeting of largely conservative viewpoints.

As discussed in the book, there is a crushing irony to the current anti-free speech movement. During the Red Scare and the McCarthy period, it was the left that was targeted with blacklisting, censorship and arrests. It is now the left that has constructed a global censorship system that exceeds anything that Joe McCarthy even dreamt of in the control of news and commentary. Through the years, I have testified repeatedly in Congress on this system supported enthusiastically by President Biden and his administration. It has proven to be a frustrating game of whack-a-mole for civil libertarians. The Democrats in Congress have uniformly opposed any investigation or action on censorship while denying for years that there was a coordinated effort between government and corporations. When we were successful in uncovering components of this system, they were often quickly shut down as the work shifted to other components and assets.

One of the most insidious efforts has been to strangle the financial life out of conservative or libertarian sites by targeting their donors and advertisers. This is where the left has excelled beyond anything that has come before in speech crackdowns. Years ago, I wrote about the Biden administration supporting efforts like the Global Disinformation Index to discourage advertisers from supporting certain sites. All of the 10 riskiest sites targeted by the index were popular with conservatives, libertarians and independents. That included Reason.org and a group of libertarian and conservative law professors who simply write about cases and legal controversies. The Global Disinformation Index warned advertisers against “financially supporting disinformation online.” At the same time, HuffPost, a far-left media outlet, was included among the 10 sites at lowest risk of spreading disinformation.

Once that index’s work and bias was disclosed, government officials quickly disavowed the funding. It was a familiar pattern. Within a few years, we found that the work had been shifted instead to groups like the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, which is the same thing on steroids. It is the creation of a powerful and largely unknown group called the World Federation of Advertisers, which has huge sway over the advertising industry and was quickly used by liberal activists to silence opposing views and sites by cutting off their revenue streams. These censorship groups typically proclaim that they are merely trying to promote “brand safety” when they target for suppression the same sites that challenge the political and media establishment. The group states that it “unites marketers, media agencies, media platforms, industry associations, and advertising technology solutions providers to safeguard the potential of digital media by reducing the availability and monetization of harmful content online.”

That “harmful content” seems to be the very same sites long targeted by the Biden administration and its allies in business, the media and academia. The internal communications of these censorship groups demonstrate their contributors’ underlying agenda. In one conversation between Global Alliance for Responsible Media co-founder Rob Rakowitz and individuals with an associated “GroupM,” two executives explained to Rakowitz how they identified sites that they did not like and simply monitored them until they could find something that crossed the line. An example is the Daily Wire, a site hated by liberals for its conservative viewpoints and critiques of mainstream media.

In describing how they work to bag such sites, John Montgomery, executive vice president of Global Brand Safety, explained: “There is an interesting parallel here with Breitbart. Before Breitbart crossed the line and started spouting blatant misinformation, we had long discussions about whether we should include them on our exclusion lists. As much as we hated their ideology and bulls–t, we couldn’t really justify blocking them for misguided opinion. We watched them very carefully and it didn’t take long for them to cross the line.” In other words, they preselected the sites and then followed their every move like a patrol unit following a car to wait for them to go one mile per hour over the limit. This is called “deplatforming,” a favorite term from higher education, whereby liberal groups organize to shout down and block speakers with opposing views. The Global Alliance for Responsible Media is too sophisticated to simply bullhorn groups into silence. Instead, it strangles them financially.

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Pepsi

 

 

Meonk

 

 

Pigeon cat

 

 

Elephant

 

 

Orca

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 152024
 


Salvador Dali Swans reflecting elephants 1937

 

‘Eliminate Him’: A Look At The Violent Rhetoric Against Donald Trump (RT)
Was Trump ‘Put in a Bullseye’? (Sp.)
Did We Just Witness the FBI’s Attempt on Trump’s Life? (Paul Craig Roberts)
The Trump Shooting is Not Nearly as Surprising as it Should Be (Turley)
Fearless (QTR)
Massive Secret Service Failure Led To Shooting Of Donald Trump? (ZH)
US Secret Service Suspiciously Slow in Protecting Trump – Psyop Veteran (Sp.)
How Secret Service Failed Trump (Sp.)
“Joe Biden” Offers Hope For All Americans With Stage 4 Incredulity (Miller)
NATO, Like Biden, Is A Senile Danger To World Peace (SCF)
Trump Shooting Complicates Matters for Struggling Biden Campaign (Miles)
Biden Snaps In Meeting Called To Reassure House Dems (ZH)
Musk Claims Two Attempts On His Life Were Foiled (RT)
Zelensky ‘Increasingly Paranoid’ – Reuters (RT)
Is It Still Possible To Avoid A Civil War In Ukraine? (SCF)

 

 

I keep wondering: Did the shooter know beforehand that the rooftop would be unprotected? It normally would not be. Then why climb all the way up there?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loomer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1812416983201112373

 

 

Bongino
https://twitter.com/i/status/1812485847737840058

 

 

Larry

 

 

 

 

Johnny Depp wondered “when was the last time an actor assassinated a president?..”

‘Eliminate Him’: A Look At The Violent Rhetoric Against Donald Trump (RT)

While the attempted assassination of Donald Trump has been roundly condemned by his political opponents, liberal politicians and pundits have – implicitly and explicitly – called for his death before. Trump narrowly avoided death at a campaign rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, when an assassin’s bullet apparently clipped his ear as it whizzed past his head. The shooter – named by the FBI as 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks – killed one spectator at the rally and wounded two others before he was shot dead by Secret Service agents. US President Joe Biden decried the attempt on Trump’s life, declaring that “there’s no place for this kind of violence in America.” Ever since Trump won the 2016 election, however, he has faced a steady stream of threats from members of Biden’s party and their allies in the media.

Hollywood celebrities reacted with outrage to Trump’s shock defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016. 80s pop icon Madonna spoke of wanting to “blow up the White House;” actor and activist Peter Fonda called for the president’s youngest son, Barron, to be “put in a cage with pedophiles;” and comedienne Kathy Griffin grabbed headlines when she posed for a photoshoot holding a mockup of Trump’s bloodied and severed head. Addressing the audience at Britain’s Glastonbury Festival in 2018, Johnny Depp wondered “when was the last time an actor assassinated a president?,” adding “maybe it’s time.” This reference to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln was echoed by Broadway star Carole Cook several months later, when she asked a photographer “where’s John Wilkes Booth when you need him?”

Take him out
Speaking to MSNBC after Trump formally announced his presidential campaign last year, Representative Dan Goldman declared that his fellow New Yorker cannot be allowed to “see public office again.” “He is not only unfit, he is destructive to our democracy, and he has to be, he has to be eliminated,” Goldman proclaimed.

While Goldman later apologized for his choice of words, he is not the only Democrat lawmaker to apparently threaten Trump’s life. Michigan State Representative Cynthia Johnson was stripped of her committee assignments in 2020 when she warned Trump and his “trumpers” to “walk lightly,” or else her “soldiers” would “make them pay.” Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used similar rhetoric last week when she declared that the upcoming presidential election “is not a normal election,” and that Trump “must be stopped. He cannot be president.” Two weeks before the shooting, BBC reporter David Aaronovitch wrote on X that if he were President “Biden, I’d hurry up and have Trump murdered on the basis that he is a threat to America’s security.” On Sunday morning, Aaronovitch said that he had deleted the tweet, claiming that his words were “clearly satirical.”

A threat to democracy
Biden’s response to Saturday’s shooting was one of unequivocal condemnation. The US president, who will face off against Trump in this November’s election, said that he was “praying for” his political opponent, and that “we must unite as one nation to condemn” political violence. In a post on social media less than a month earlier, however, Biden’s team described Trump as “a genuine threat to this nation.” “He’s a threat to our freedom. He’s a threat to our democracy. He’s literally a threat to everything America stands for,” they posted on the president’s social media accounts. While Biden has never explicitly wished physical harm on his opponent, at least one would-be assassin has used similar words to justify his plans to kill Trump. 77-year-old Thomas Welnicki was arrested for phoning US Capitol Police in 2020 threatening to “take down” then-President Trump. His lawyer later told prosecutors in New York that Welnicki was distraught at “the threats to our democracy posed by former President Trump.”

Stripped of protection
Had Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson got his way, Trump would have had no Secret Service protection at Saturday’s rally. Earlier this year, Thompson proposed legislation that would strip this protection from former presidents convicted of felonies, as Trump was in May. The act was explicitly tailored to target Trump, Thompson’s office said, explaining that the former president’s criminal charges “have created a new exigency that Congress must address.” Immediately following Saturday’s shooting, one of Thompson’s staffers wrote on Facebook that the shooter should “get some shooting lessons so you don’t miss next time.” She deleted the post – which Mississippi Republicans called “despicable” – shortly afterwards.

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Yes.

Was Trump ‘Put in a Bullseye’? (Sp.)

“The constant comparisons of [former] President Trump to Hitler and the repeated calls over the last several years for stabbing, killing, poisoning, decapitating or shooting [former] President Trump serve as dog whistles to provoke and incite violence and very well may have fueled this assassination attempt,” GOP House Representative Paul Gosar told Sputnik. “We do know that in a widely reported call to hundreds of donors last week, Joe Biden boasted, ‘I have one job, and that’s to beat Donald Trump… it’s time to put Trump in a bullseye’,” Gosar recalled. “Let me be perfectly clear: there is absolutely no place for this sort of incendiary rhetoric and calls for violence in politics today and everyone must condemn it,” the congressman stressed.

Gosar also pointed out that congressional Democrats, led by liberal Representative Bennie Thompson, even introduced legislation that would have stripped Trump of the Secret Service protection afforded to him by his status as a former president. The multiple reports about Trump’s security detail “asking for beefed up protection and resources for weeks” but getting “rebuffed time and again by Biden’s DHS [Department of Homeland Security],” if true, hint at “criminal” disregard for Trump’s safety, he warned.

Meanwhile, former military intelligence and CIA Operations Officer Philip Giraldi argued that the less-than-stellar performance of US Secret Service agents during the assassination attempt on Donald Trump was somewhat of a surprise. “For more than twenty years I have observed the work of the Secret Service on protection details close up in embassies and during visits of congressmen and other senior officials, which has been excellent,” Giraldi explains. “So this time I am surprised that they did not have a rooftop 200 meters away from the speaker’s stand with a clear shot at it covered with someone stationed on it to close it off.” According to him, failure to do so was “either negligence in planning or in execution and someone will likely have to answer some hard questions regarding what was not done.”

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“The FBI hates Trump and has been trying to destroy Trump and his supporters for the past 8 years..”

Did We Just Witness the FBI’s Attempt on Trump’s Life? (Paul Craig Roberts)

A number of independent security experts have noted egregious failures in the Secret Service’s protection of Trump’s venue. Perhaps most notable was the failure to include the nearby buildings in the security zone. Three possible explanations have been offered: incompetence, intent, and insufficient assigned resources. Incompetence is a possibility. In all federal agencies including the military, ability and merit have been set aside in order to make race- and gender- based appointments. Intentionally leaving voids in the security arrangements is a possibility given the ruling elite’s and the Democrats hostility toward and hate for Donald Trump. The CIA director called Trump a “traitor to America.” The FBI hates Trump and has been trying to destroy Trump and his supporters for the past 8 years. The Secret Service was complicit in the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and US presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, an indication that the Secret Service could be again roped into such a plot.

The various calls for Trump’s assassination from Democrats and presstitutes such as CNN and their portrayal of Trump as a dictator could have succeeded in presenting Trump’s assassination as a good thing. Security experts point out that the FBI and CIA have long had the ability to lead an unthinking or unstable person into criminal action. If the attempted assassination actually is the result of a plot, it indicates that the ruling elite do not expect the Democrats to win the presidential election. Otherwise, why take the risk of assassination? It is an acknowledged fact that the anti-Trump Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, has repeatedly refused requests from the Trump campaign for more security against possible incidents encouraged by the amount of hatred generated against Trump by the Democrats and presstitutes. It is also clear that Mayorkas is aligned with the immigrant-invaders against Trump and Trump’s supporters who want protection for America’s border.

Possibly there are other reasons Mayorkas might be out of sympathy with Trump and his supporters. Alejandro Mayorkas was impeached by the House of Representatives for his refusal to protect the borders of the United States from illegal entry. He was protected from his impeachment by Senate Democrats. Possibly Alejandro’s history and that of his parents as underdogs fleeing oppression aligns him with immigrant-invaders against Trump. From Wikipedia: ( Alejandro Mayorkas was born in Cuba. His father is a Cuban Jew of Sephardi (from the former Ottoman Empire, present-day Turkey and Greece) and Ashkenazi (from Poland) background. . . His mother, Anita Gabor, was a Romanian Jew.

From its inception the Biden regime has redefined America as a multicultural, multi-racial, multi-gendered, multi- sexual preference Tower of Babel in which the values and opinions of traditional citizens count for no more, if not less, than the values and opinions of the latest illegal to cross the border. Entire Democrat cities and states present themselves at sanctuaries for immigrant-invaders and supply them with housing, food, medical and educational services and pre-paid debit cards for cash. Democrat taxpayers in these blue zones actually have more empathy for immigrant-invaders than they have for traditional Americans. What this means is the destruction of the country’s unity. Without unity there is no common interest, which means that power will rest on force. Given this dynamic, political assassination can become commonplace. In a very real sense, America is ceasing to exist. Perhaps that is what our elite fixated on the “Great Reset” want.

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“..we know all too well how unhinged people can find justification in the incendiary rhetoric of our politics..”

The Trump Shooting is Not Nearly as Surprising as it Should Be (Turley)

The assassination attempt of former President Donald Trump left a nation stunned. But the most shocking aspect was that it was not nearly as surprising as it should have been. For months, politicians, the press and pundits have escalated reckless rhetoric in this campaign on both sides. That includes claims that Trump was set to kill democracy, unleash “death squads” and make homosexuals and reporters “disappear.” President Biden has stoked this rage rhetoric. In 2022, Biden held his controversial speech before Independence Hall where he denounced Trump supporters as enemies of the people. Biden recently referenced the speech and has embraced the claims that this could be our last democratic election. I discuss this rage rhetoric in my new book, “The Indispensable Right: Free Speech in an Age of Rage.” We are living through an age of rage. It is not our first, but it may be the most dangerous such period in our history.

Some of us have been objecting for years that this rage rhetoric is a dangerous political pitch for the nation. While most people reject the hyperbolic claims, others take it as true. They believe that homosexuals are going to be “disappeared” as claimed on ABC’s “The View” or that the Trump “death squads” are now green lighted by a conservative Supreme Court, as claimed by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. Rage is addictive and contagious. It is also liberating. It allows people a sense of license to take actions that would ordinarily be viewed as repulsive. As soon as Trump was elected, unhinged rage became the norm as with Kathy Griffin featuring herself holding the bloody severed head of Trump. Just recently, another celebrity, actress Lea DeLaria, begged Biden to “blow [Trump] up” after the recent presidential immunity decision. DeLaria explained that “this is a **** war. This is a war now, and we are fighting for our **** country. And these a**holes are going to take it away. They’re going to take it away.”

For months, people have heard politicians and press call Trump “Hitler” and the GOP a Nazi movement. Some compared stopping Trump to stopping Hitler in 1933. Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) declared Trump “is not only unfit, he is destructive to our democracy and he has to be eliminated.” He later apologized. Others say that Trump “will destroy the world” unless he is stopped. I do not believe that the politicians or pundits engaging in what my book calls “rage rhetoric” want actual violence. But they have knowingly created conditions for extremist views and, yes, extremist actions. The media has been quick to denounce reckless rhetoric from the right while largely ignoring the same language on the left. That included threats against conservative Supreme Court justices before the assassination plot against Brett Kavanaugh.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) went to the steps of the Supreme Court and called out Kavanaugh by name: “I want to tell you, (Justice Neil) 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.”

Again, I do not believe that Schumer wanted Nicholas Roske to go to the home of Justice Kavanaugh to kill him. However, these politicians also know that some citizens will hear this rhetoric as a justification for violent conduct. Thus, when the president is claiming that the election may end democracy in the nation, it can be heard as much as a license as a warning, particularly when he adds “we’re done talking about the debate, it’s time to put Trump in a bullseye.”We still do not know about the shooter in this assassination attempt. However, we know all too well how unhinged people can find justification in the incendiary rhetoric of our politics. This moment did not occur in a vacuum; it occurred in a time when our leaders long abandoned reason for rage. We have come full circle to where we began as a Republic. In the 1800 election, Federalists and Jeffersonians engaged in similar rage rhetoric.

Federalists told citizens that, if Jefferson were elected, “Murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest will be openly taught and practiced, the air will be rent with the cries of the distressed, the soil will be soaked with blood, and the nation black with crimes.” Jeffersonians warned that, if Adams were reelected, “chains, dungeons, transportation, and perhaps the gibbet” awaited citizens and they “would instantaneously be put to death.” Both sides stoked the anger and fears of the public, and violence was seen across the nation. In our current age of rage, politicians have sought to use the same anger and fear to rally support at any cost. This is the cost.

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“We can talk about Trump’s obsession with his image or how he lies about golf scores and bullshitted his way to the top. But how can you argue the man isn’t a success?”

Fearless (QTR)

A couple of hours before the assassination attempt of President Donald Trump, I was sitting in a bar having a laugh with some new friends I had just met from Texas. Our discussion was centered around how divided the country has become and why we all felt another four years of President Biden would be an unmitigated disaster. In the spirit of honest discourse among new friends, we began to rattle off the things we liked and didn’t like about Trump, as well. We conceded to each other that Trump was vain and a narcissist, obsessed with his own image, but we also agreed his policy stances would be far better for the country than those of the Democratic party. And the self-obsessed narcissism criticism you, and everybody else, should know by now: it’s been lobbed at Trump for so many decades now he probably takes it as a compliment.

Look, I’m a realist. I understand that it’s easy to look at Trump’s personal life and career prior to being President and conclude he’s always prioritized the money and the image over substance. From Trump Airlines to Trump Steaks to Trump University to Trump’s namesake casinos in Atlantic City, combined with allegations of not paying vendors that worked for him on projects and fabricating positive press about himself in the media, I don’t fault people for taking that view of the man. We could sit here and analyze what drives Trump to engage in these patterns of behavior, which would probably take forever since it would require him to undergo a trillion hours of therapy to uncover his deepest trauma, or we could zoom out, take a 30,000-foot view and simply take note: for one reason or another, the f*cking guy is driven. And it’s this incessant, relentless, fearless drive and desire to win — no matter what is fueling it — that has allowed Trump to shake off his past business failures and eventually land on The Apprentice, which became a resounding success. It’s the same drive that empowered Trump to campaign obsessively in 2016 and then defy all odds to win the presidency.

People first joked that Trump was running in 2016 as a PR stunt. Maybe he was. But at the end of they day, he manifested himself into the White House. And, to boot, he did a decent job: he ran the country effectively, slashed regulations, cut taxes, kept us out of war, and kept the economy booming. Regardless of why he wanted to become president, once he was put in that position, he did a decent job of “getting shit done” and won the respect of many world leaders who otherwise wouldn’t have taken him, or the United States under a President Hillary Clinton, seriously. As I was saying to my new friends last night, his style is brash and he is cutthroat as a businessman. He’s the personification of the Wall Street shark who, in business, gets a reputation for screwing the little guy. But if you’re not his counterparty and he’s negotiating on your behalf (or your country’s behalf) isn’t that exactly what you want? Someone who will fight tooth and nail, to the death to win, and who refuses to be intimidated? If Trump is striking a deal that’ll benefit the country, does it matter to you that it’s his ego driving his bold nature?

Putting aside what drives him, the fact is simply that nobody needs to tell him to get out of bed in the morning. While campaigning, he often makes multiple stops in a day, and while he was president, he went to war with the press for hours at a time nearly every single day. Those are positive character traits for a President no matter what is fueling it. It’s consistency, perseverance, reliability. Trump is the gun Boris the Blade sells Tommy in Snatch: “Heavy is good, heavy is reliable. If it doesn’t work you can always hit him with it.” And last night, after surviving an assassination attempt, President Trump didn’t hurriedly rush off the stage. Even after he was surrounded by multiple Secret Service agents, and it became evident that his life was in danger, he chose to stand on the stage and raise a fist in the air to show the world that the engine that drives him to push forward still hadn’t shut down.

I said to another friend last night that Trump is such a PR genius that it’s probably just muscle memory for him to seize momentous occasions as photo opportunities. Anybody that has watched him publicly knows a lot of times he’ll “pose” in the middle of saying certain sentences or during certain meetings because he knows a photograph of that image will capture the brand that he wants to sell to the world. Think about this. When we watch the UFC, do we care about what’s going on in the personal lives of the fighters outside the octagon? Do we spend time bemoaning how some fighters, like Nate Diaz, for example, are simply just “built different” and love to fight for the hell of fighting? No, we sit back and watch them take personal pain and obsession and turn it into remarkable careers. Then, we celebrate them.

At this point in Trump’s life, he has gone far past being a caricature of himself and has simply believed and manifested himself into being a success by being “built different”. You can call it ego and narcissism if you’d like, and it probably is, but, as is the case with most all of us, Trump‘s personality disorders are the gasoline that he uses to fuel his engine. So we can talk about Stormy Daniels, or we can talk about taking on irresponsible amounts of debt to fund the Taj Mahal. We can talk about Trump’s obsession with his image or how he lies about golf scores and bullshitted his way to the top. But how can you argue the man isn’t a success? He was President of the United States and one of the most well-known individuals on the face of the earth. How can you say that he’s a terrible family man when his children routinely show up to support him and he has been a provider for them his entire life?

How can you say he’s not courageous to stand down a litany of extremely damaging, false allegations throughout his entire tenure as President? And putting aside his motivation, how can you not say that choosing to stand on stage after being shot instead of ducking, hiding and scurrying away isn’t courageous? At the end of the day, I don’t care what drives him. Trump is a guy that perseveres. And if you view the country like I do right now, as a scattered, disorganized free-for-all, badly losing its grip on both law and order and its moral compass, a little drive, direction, perseverance and courageousness could go a long way for us.

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“..The idea of Crooks being able to get that close with an elevated position on the stage is unthinkable..”

Massive Secret Service Failure Led To Shooting Of Donald Trump? (ZH)

When looking at the circumstances in favor of Thomas Matthew Crooks, the identified alleged suspect in the attempted assassination of Donald Trump in Butler, PA, it’s hard to see how the guy failed. Almost every Secret Service security protocol seems to have been ignored, allowing Crooks easy access to a perfect shooting position and plenty of time to acquire a bead on Trump’s podium. The rooftop used by Crooks was a mere 140 yards away from the event with a clear line of sight to the right of Trump. Those familiar with precision shooting know that any shot within 300 yards is considered easy for a moderately trained rifleman. With the right caliber an expert can hit a torso sized target consistently at 1000 yards or more. At 140 yards any amateur should be able to hit a pie plate-sized target with little difficulty, even without a magnified optic.

The Secret Service is supposed to secure all obvious “sniper perches” well before the arrival of a protectee – Meaning, nearby rooftops and buildings are supposed to have a security presence in place along with drone surveillance. In the case of Butler, PA, this was apparently not done. SS snipers were only present on the building right behind the venue stage. The lack of a security presence at the building across the field made it possible for the would-be assassin to brazenly jaunt to the location and climb to the rooftop with his rifle in broad daylight. The SS traditionally uses concentric “circles of security” going out hundreds if not thousands of yards when preparing a location for protection.

The idea of Crooks being able to get that close with an elevated position on the stage is unthinkable. Another fail was the lack of sight obstructions put in place near the stage. The Secret Service is supposed to erect barriers to block the line of sight from potential shooting locations. Again, this was not done. Finally, there’s the dismal lack of response time. Witnesses outside the event report that they saw Thomas Crooks climbing to the building rooftop with his rifle at least three minutes before he started shooting. They claim they tried to warn police and Secret Service agents to no avail. “How could you have somebody on the rooftop?” said House Majority Leader Steve Scalise – a victim of political violence, after the shooting. “There are reports that people watched him climb up the roof and even alerted authorities, and we’re going to be looking into that.”

Meanwhile, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer on Saturday night demanded immediate answers from the Secret Service as to how it failed to prevent the assassination attempt. “I have already contacted the Secret Service for a briefing and am also calling on Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle to appear for a hearing,” Comer said on X. “The Oversight Committee will send a formal invitation soon. There are many questions and Americans demand answers.”

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“Most suspicious was that in the case of Trump, the Secret Service did not respond to reports of a shooter crawling with a gun on the roof nearby as eyewitnesses have reported..”

US Secret Service Suspiciously Slow in Protecting Trump – Psyop Veteran (Sp.)

The attempted assassination of Donald Trump may lead to further clashes between the Dems and the GOP, ex-US Army psychological warfare officer and State Department counterterrorism analyst Scott Bennett told Sputnik, raising suspicions about the Secret Service’s conduct. Former President Donald Trump was injured in a shooting at a Pennsylvania rally on July 13 just days before accepting the Republican nomination. “The Secret Service were remarkably — if not suspiciously — slow in their protecting of the [former] President [Trump], similar to how they were slow in protecting President John F Kennedy when he was shot in Texas,” former US Army psychological warfare officer and State Department counterterrorism analyst Scott Bennett told Sputnik. “Most suspicious was that in the case of Trump, the Secret Service did not respond to reports of a shooter crawling with a gun on the roof nearby as eyewitnesses have reported,” the pundit continued.

Trump’s political rival President Joe Biden and other major political leaders have condemned the violence, while US media of all stripes warned against incitement and hatred amid what CNN dubbed “a wild and unpredictable election year.” According to Bennett, the incident will “make Donald Trump a kind of superhero, a man of steel”. The former psychological warfare specialist suggested the images of Trump with a raised fist, bleeding and uttering: “fight, fight” have had a powerful effect on the American public.”Trump resembled the classic statue in Washington DC of US Marines, raising the American flag on Iwo Jima in World War II,” the expert remarked. “There was even an American flag directly over his head as well.”

The shooting appears to have deepened the rift within the already polarized US society. “In the process of this assassination attempt the shooter has unified, inspired and emboldened the Republican conservative, moderate patriot voting bloc in America to stand with Trump and to villainize and demonize all those politicians and media and other groups that dislike him or vilify him,” the expert noted. US pundits on the left and right have warned that the rally shooting could trigger further political violence with Democrats and Republicans pointing fingers at each other.

While former Barack Obama official Samantha Vinograd hinted at possible “retaliatory” attacks by right-wingers against the Biden campaign, conservative pundit Ryan Saavedra wrote on X that the Democrats and their allied media are trying to depict the conservatives as “the real dangerous threat.” The Washington Examiner alleged that Trump’s death would have triggered a months-long “civil war” in the US, while the Washington Post warned the nation is not out of the woods. A flurry of theories ranging from Trump staging the shooting to Biden ordering a hit on his political rival has popped up following the incident. “What is the result of this shooting?” Bennett continued. “There will obviously be a Republican political victory… or a convenient ‘civil war’ triggered as the Trump side and the Democrats side clash.”

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“Donald Trump’s life was saved by a miracle rather than by his security.”

How Secret Service Failed Trump (Sp.)

The US Secret Service has come under intense scrutiny for failing to prevent the attempted killing of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a rally in Pennsylvania. Former President and Republican frontrunner Donald Trump was injured at a Pennsylvania rally on July 13. The suspected gunman has been identified as Thomas Matthew Crooks, a 20-year-old Bethel Park resident. “I don’t believe that he [Crooks] was a professional sniper, because for a professional sniper, 100 or 110 meters [the distance from the roof where the shot was taken to Trump] is not a [large] distance,” Sergei Goncharov, president of the Association of Veterans of the Alpha Anti-Terror Unit and member of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) advisory council, told Sputnik. “He hit Trump’s ear and is now confirmed to have killed two people. That is, at least, it seems to me that this criminal was not a professional, and he acted precisely from his own considerations, which will probably now be sorted out and discussed all over the world,” the veteran suggested.

Trump was about 135 meters from the rooftop where the culprit was found dead, NBC News found, based on an analysis of Google Earth images. The shooter reportedly used an AR-15 rifle which is mostly used in competitions and for hunting. According to open sources, the effective range of a standard AR-15 is up to 600 yards (548 m) whereas novices could demonstrate good performances and hit targets at a distance of 200 yards (182 m). A professional sniper armed with a high-precision long-range rifle typically operates at ranges between 600 and 1,200 meters. The Secret Service’s conduct has been questioned by US law enforcement and intelligence experts amid reports that an eyewitness frantically drew the attention of the police to a person crawling onto a rooftop with a rifle during the rally. Speaking to the BBC, the witness described what appeared to be indifference and a lax attitude to a potential threat both from the police and Secret Service as he and his friends were “pointing” at the alleged shooter for “two or three minutes.”

It appears that the people responsible for Trump’s safety dropped the ball, Alexey Filatov, retired lieutenant colonel of the Russian Federal Security Service and veteran counterterrorism specialist, told Sputnik, explaining that the former president’s security was provided by three groups: his bodyguards, local police and the Secret Service. According to the expert, it seems that there was no proper communication between the groups, Filatov pointed out, adding that law enforcement and security personnel for some reason also failed to secure all nearby rooftops in the vicinity.”It would be safe to say that the security performed extremely poorly,” the counterterrorism specialist said. “You could say that this terrorist act or, shall we say, assassination attempt, was successful. Donald Trump’s life was saved by a miracle rather than by his security.” He also expressed skepticism over the idea of some sort of conspiracy behind the Secret Service’s lapses, explaining that even elite US security agencies are staffed with “ordinary people”:

“There are some rather primitive people at certain positions there, who could have been negligent about their duties, not reacting after receiving a signal or not even reporting it,” Filatov remarked, adding that he used to communicate with US security services. The overarching responsibility for the attempted assassination lies with the Democratic Party leadership and the Biden administration, according to Dmitry Suslov, deputy director of the Center for European and International Studies at Russia’s Higher School of Economics and deputy director of research at the Russian Council on Foreign and Defense Policy. “The Democratic establishment… has been convincing American society over the last year and a half, at least, that Donald Trump’s return to power would mean an end to American democracy and transformation of the United States into a fascist dictatorship, and that Donald Trump constitutes the major threat to the United States at large,” Suslov told Sputnik.

“Many Trump opponents have become radicalized, more radicalized. And the [possible] result is violence and the attempted assassination,” the pundit continued. “This is dangerous because it will have long-term consequences for the United States. So this radicalization, in general, will not fade away. It might result in violence after elections in the United States, no matter how they turn out.” Suslov believes that the Secret Service’s failure to protect the Republican frontrunner stems from the US establishment’s hostility towards Trump, whose election odds are continuing to rise. He doesn’t rule out that the special services’ negligence to the emerging threat was deliberate.

“The deep state, the intelligence community, and the special services in the United States are, of course, not interested in Trump’s presidential victory,” he said. “They consider a second Trump administration… as a threat to themselves. And since Biden is definitely losing, and since the Democratic Party is disorganized, and there is an internal struggle and chaos within the Democratic camp… Trump’s electoral chances are very, very high and continue to grow.” After the assassination attempt, Trump’s electoral chances are likely to skyrocket whereas Biden’s chances will decrease even more because more Americans will think that the former president is the victim of Team Biden’s political persecution, Suslov concluded.

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“..the macabre sight of “Joe Biden” struggling to come off as “presidential,” or alive.”

“Joe Biden” Offers Hope For All Americans With Stage 4 Incredulity (Miller)

Having long kept all its eyes wide shut to “our” president’s spectacular debility – despite his triple-pratfalls, stunned expression, physical and verbal wanderings, frequent “inappropriate touching” and (pardon me for writing this) loud public farts – “our free press” is now suddenly fixated on the fact that he’s too old to stand for re-election, as if (a) this hasn’t long been obvious to anyone not crazed by Trump Derangement Syndrome, and as if (b) “Biden” was elected in the first place. Of course, the reason for this sudden, total shift from deference to contempt was that (literally) unspeakable “debate” two weeks ago (with “Biden” barely capable of speech, while Trump was barely capable of shutting up) and the swift grim verdict by the audience. That face-off between rank senility and aging juvenility was, to put it mildly, no barrel of laughs, in part because there was no audience in the room, no doubt so that no MAGA-heads would be there to pump Trump up even more, reminding everybody of his greater popularity.

That eerie absence of the usual two rival mobs—an unnatural quiet reminiscent of Biden/Harris’s locked-down inauguration—deprived us of the evening’s only possible guffaws, as it (maybe) would have been a hoot to listen to the anxious hush of all those Democrats, hand-picked for their partisan intensity (as if some able bio-engineer had cloned Joe Scarborough for the occasion), faced with the impossibility of mustering anything but gloom at the macabre sight of “Joe Biden” struggling to come off as “presidential,” or alive. In this dismal moment there was actually some cause for hope, and not just for Trump and his true believers; but before we get to that, and in preparation for it, let’s hark back to the forgotten struggles of his less-disabled, yet far more popular predecessor, Ronald Reagan—who, though capable of often rallying grandly, tough old trouper that he was, showed signs of his Alzheimer’s from the start. (Mark Lloyd, employed by CNN in 1980, told me at the time that he was shocked not just by Reagan’s addled state at the Gipper’s first encounter with the press, but, no less, by his colleagues’ blithe indifference to it.)

In August of 1984, some three months prior to Election Day, Reagan, grinning vacantly, with Nancy at his side, went blank before a scrum of journalists when asked a question about arms control. “We’re doing everything we can,” his helpmate quietly prompted him, enabling him to say, not too convincingly, “We’re doing everything we can.” Having turned a blind eye to his illness at the start of his long run, the press now underplayed it: “Nancy Reagan says she did not prompt President Reagan’s recent response to a question on arms control but was simply talking softly to herself,” UPI reported a day later (the New York Times running only that terse item), and that was the end of it for the moment.

The issue then blew up big-time after Reagan’s first debate with Walter Mondale, when the usually-hale-seeming Chief Executive, though still looking agedly boyish at 73 (eight years younger than “Joe Biden” is today), rambled, stumbled, looking lost, thereby giving rise to the “age issue,” as the ever-helpful media delicately termed it. Great actor that he was, he finally put that roadblock behind him at the next debate, when he turned the tables on his uppity young rival (a mere lad of 56) by stoutly quipping that he “would not make an issue of his opponent’s youth and inexperience.” Whoever crafted that bon mot, it brought down the house, ensuring Reagan/Bush’s landslide re-election victory in November.

Thus Reagan jigged away from his unnerving likeness to such ancient, highly perishable Soviet heads of state as Brezhnev/Andropov/Chernenko, and that was that, his Alzheimer’s staying largely out of sight until Nancy managed his sad post-presidency. Unluckily for “Joe Biden” and his true believers, Ronald Reagan’s was the last major presidential ailment that “our free press” was eager not to magnify, after having totally blacked out FDR’s polio and JFK’s Addison’s disease (along with his astounding sex life, as people never tire of pointing out). Especially now that he performed so poorly opposite the snidely jabbering Trump, and on top of all the falls upstairs and weird remarks (“God save the queen, man!”) and—here I go again—loud farts that have defined “his” presidency (along with his flagrant non-election), “our free press” has been piling on with a zest unprecedented in the history of the US president-and-media.

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“Biden is the embodiment of the living dead..”

NATO, Like Biden, Is A Senile Danger To World Peace (SCF)

How fitting that a doddering, senile American president should officiate at the NATO summit this week. At 81 years old, Joe Biden is older than the transatlantic military alliance founded 75 years ago in 1949. The 75th-anniversary gathering in Washington DC was meant to extol the NATO bloc as a guarantor of security and peace. However, all the cloying, ridiculous hype and fanfare amplified by the Western corporate media could not hide the fact that the American-led military organization has emerged as the biggest threat to world peace. The disconnect with reality was scathingly summed up by our columnist Martin Jay who surveyed the “lies, double-think and duplicity” spouted by Biden and other leaders of the 32-nation bloc. Declaring NATO to be a champion of democracy, human rights and international law is an abomination. The organization has evolved as an instrument of U.S. hegemonic imperialist violence ever since its inception.

It was never about purported defense, but rather as a seemingly plausible arm of Western warmongering against the Soviet Union and the rest of the planet to serve Western capitalist global domination. The Cold War was always a propaganda construct to give the blatant warmongering a pretense of noble purpose.To be sure, the docile Western news media, academia and think-tanks wrap up the absurd deception into a plausible narrative. That illustrates the power of propaganda. But the chasm with brutal reality has made the narrative untenable and prone to outright denigration. After more than three decades since the end of the Soviet Union and the supposed end of the Cold War, the U.S.-led NATO bloc has expanded both in member nations and also in flagrant belligerence. The so-called Cold War never ended. That’s because the need and accompanying pretexts for Western imperialist violence and lawless aggression were always present.

And so at the redundant age of 75 years of aggression, the NATO alliance is expressing more unhinged belligerence than ever before towards Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and any other nation that is deemed to stand in the way of U.S.-led global domination. This week NATO issued a joint statement that reads like a shocking manifesto of war-making laced with Orwellian bombastic language of self-virtue. American professor of international law Francis Boyle described the real agenda of NATO’s declaration as “preparing for war against Russia in the immediate future”. Another of our columnists Ron Ridenour said the NATO document was nothing but a “maniacal scream for world war”. This was in the same week that the United States announced plans to deploy cruise missiles to Germany capable of striking Moscow and other Russian cities.

[..]NATO leaders and their servile media cheerleaders cannot honestly articulate the underlying locomotive for war. To do so would leave the organization open to worldwide condemnation as heinous and criminal. The criminal warmongering must be dressed under a veil of do-good and nobility, which requires the telling of the most outrageous, even farcical lies, such as “defending democracy in Ukraine from Russian aggression”. The delusional disconnect to present such a contemptible charade could only be performed by Western political leaders who are nearly brain-dead. When the visibly failing Joe Biden addressed the NATO summit, he was more delusional and foul-mouthed than ever. Introducing the NATO-sponsored Ukrainian puppet Vladimir Zelensky, Biden misspoke with cognitive lapse, declaring: “Ladies and gentlemen, President Putin”. A senile American president, leading a senile U.S. imperialist power and its NATO military enforcer. Biden is the embodiment of the living dead, both as a person and as the entire Western system he represents.

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“..the Republican National Convention is set to start Monday in Wisconsin, where Trump will likely be greeted to a hero’s welcome by throngs of adoring supporters..”

Trump Shooting Complicates Matters for Struggling Biden Campaign (Miles)

President Biden’s reelection campaign is reconsidering the tone of its messaging after yesterday’s incident. Two weeks after his shaky performance during a televised debate raised serious questions about his age and mental acuity, yesterday’s assassination attempt on Donald Trump has complicated President Joe Biden’s plans to relaunch his campaign taking a harder line against his Republican opponent. Reporting from CNN described his campaign’s efforts to “calibrate” its political messaging amid the “delicate national moment.” “The big issue is how to campaign against him or attack him,” said one Democratic Party strategist. “Can we even do that this week?” Complicating matters further, the Republican National Convention is set to start Monday in Wisconsin, where Trump will likely be greeted to a hero’s welcome by throngs of adoring supporters.

Advisors have reportedly been formulating Democratic messaging in response to the event for “some time.” Those talking points and attack lines are now under reconsideration as renewed focus is brought to the level of political polarization in the United States. “There is absolutely no place for political violence in our democracy,” posted former President Barack Obama on the X social media platform Saturday. “Although we don’t yet know exactly what happened, we should all be relieved that former President Trump wasn’t seriously hurt, and use this moment to recommit ourselves to civility and respect in our politics. Michelle and I are wishing him a quick recovery.” Biden made similar comments in the hours after the attack. “We cannot allow for this to be happening. We cannot be like this,” the president said after attending a mass service in his home state of Delaware. Biden returned to the White House shortly after and reportedly plans to make an address from the Oval Office Sunday evening.

The president also rejected claims online suggesting the Secret Service had denied Trump additional protection, claiming the former president had ‘“already received a heightened level of security.” The federal agency has faced criticism over its perceived shortcomings amid the first attack on the life of a presidential candidate in the United States in several decades. The incident has brought renewed attention to political divisions in the country during an election year like no other. Biden has cast the former president as a unique threat to US democracy, a framing that has drawn criticism from some observers after yesterday’s shooting. Trump and several of his advisors have faced indictment on charges they conspired to overturn the results of the 2020 election over allegations of a “fake electors” plot to certify the former president’s victory in several states won by Biden.

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Nasty senility.

Biden Snaps In Meeting Called To Reassure House Dems (ZH)

Embattled President Biden opened up a meeting with a group of Democratic US representatives by challenging them to ask him “hard questions” about his candidacy and his fitness to serve — only to jump down the throat of a member who sought reassurance about the 81-year-old’s ability to serve as a strong commander-in-chief. His loss of temper and ill-preparedness for the meeting reportedly did nothing to bolster his audience’s confidence. That audience for the Saturday video conference call was the New Democrat Coalition, a group comprising some 100 centrist Democrats. While the group’s chairwoman, New Hampshire Rep. Anne McLane Kuster, politely characterized the conversation as “candid, respectful and productive,” members speaking to reporters anonymously were far less charitable about Biden’s performance. “That was a complete disaster. We saw the same Joe Biden from the debate,” one of the House reps on the roughly 30-minute, late-afternoon call told Axios.

Another said the call was “awful,” while a third said “members were not holding back.” Another source who was on the call told The Hill it was “tense.” That tension hit a crescendo when Colorado Rep. Jason Crow told Biden that, from a national security perspective, voters were uneasy about Biden being “at the helm when they go to sleep at night.” “Biden ripped him…the exchange was hard to watch,” The Hill’s source said. According to three sources who spoke to Politico, Biden raised his voice and said, “I don’t want to hear that crap!” before forcefully touting his foreign policy record, citing — as he incessantly does now — his role in expanding NATO, an undertaking that does nothing to increase US security. “He started shouting at Jason Crow for no reason,” a member said. Undaunted by Biden’s rebuke, Crow — a former Army Ranger — told Biden his accomplishments weren’t persuading voters who have doubts about his ability to serve another term.

The Hill’s source said members were “really dismayed” by overall Biden’s performance, saying he seemed unprepared to handle the questions that everyone is asking about him since his disastrous June 27 debate performance. As he is prone to do, Biden was said to have given rambling answers — offering just another confirmation of his declining mental strength. One lawmaker summed it up with this blistering report card: “He had no answer to questions about his electability. He seemed oblivious to the polling that shows him losing swing states. He didn’t want to hear it … He didn’t try to reassure anyone. He took no responsibility.” Multiple reps were queued up to ask questions, but Biden said he had to leave to attend mass near his Rehoboth Beach, Delaware home. Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley was said to be “visibly not happy that he was not going to be able to ask a question.”

Earlier in the day, Biden had a much longer and more harmonious call with progressive Democrats, who’ve emerged as his staunchest defenders. In a Saturday op-ed at the New York Times, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders called on Democrats to stop “bickering and nit-picking,” calling Biden “the most effective president in the modern history of our country and…the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump.”

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“In a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday, Musk wrote, “Dangerous times ahead,” adding that “two people (separate occasions) have already tried to kill me in the past 8 months.”

Musk Claims Two Attempts On His Life Were Foiled (RT)

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has opened up about two alleged assassination attempts against him that have occurred over the past several months. The US-based billionaire made the comment on Saturday, hours after Republican hopeful Donald Trump was shot and wounded during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania. Several shots were fired as the former president delivered a speech to a campaign rally, with one of them grazing Trump’s right ear. While the politician was whisked off stage by Secret Service agents, it emerged that the shooting had resulted in the death of one of the attendees and that two more were seriously injured. Authorities later reported that the 20-year-old suspected shooter, who had reportedly fired from a nearby rooftop, was shot and killed. In a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday, Musk wrote, “Dangerous times ahead,” adding that “two people (separate occasions) have already tried to kill me in the past 8 months.”

The tech entrepreneur revealed that “they were arrested with guns about 20 mins drive from Tesla HQ in Texas.” He made the statement in response to an X user asking the outspoken tycoon to “please triple your protection,” arguing that “if they can come for Trump they will also come for you.” Commenting on Saturday’s assassination attempt on the GOP frontrunner in a separate post on X, Musk wrote: “I fully endorse President Trump and hope for his rapid recovery.” The billionaire has repeatedly criticized the current Democratic administration, claiming back in May 2022 that the political force had “become the party of division and hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican.” Commenting on President Joe Biden’s disastrous performance during the debate against Donald Trump in late June, Musk suggested earlier this month that the US “obviously [hasn’t had a president] for a while lmao.”

In late May, the entrepreneur denounced the guilty verdict delivered to Trump by a Manhattan jury on 34 charges of “falsifying business records.” “If a former President can be criminally convicted over such a trivial matter – motivated by politics, rather than justice – then anyone is at risk of a similar fate,” the tech tycoon wrote on X at the time. Around the same time, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing anonymous sources, that the Republican frontrunner and the Tesla CEO had forged close ties in recent months, and were in secret talks over the possibility of nominating Musk as a White House adviser should Trump come out on top in the November election.

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“He is in stress mode 24 hours a day, seven days a week – it’s a never-ending marathon..”

Zelensky ‘Increasingly Paranoid’ – Reuters (RT)

Vladimir Zelensky is becoming more and more concerned for his life as the conflict between Moscow and Kiev continues, Reuters has reported, in a profile about the Ukrainian politician on Saturday. Zelensky “has grown increasingly paranoid about suspected Russian attempts to assassinate him and destabilize Ukraine’s leadership,” a senior European official told the agency. “And rightly so,” he added. Reuters said that it had spoken with eight current and former Ukrainian and foreign officials, as well as with “several friends and colleagues from [Zelensky’s] past.” According to the agency, “they paint a portrait of a leader who has become tougher and more decisive, less tolerant of mistakes and even prone to paranoia, as he copes with round-the-clock stress and fatigue.”

Zelensky is “a world away” from the TV comedian he used to be before being elected in 2019, Reuters reported. His presidential term officially expired in May and the politician refused to hold a new election, citing the martial law imposed in the country due to the conflict. He has repeatedly claimed that Moscow had attempted to kill him, without providing any details or evidence. In May, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said that two colonels tasked with protecting high-ranking officials were detained on suspicion of being recruited by Moscow to assassinate Zelensky. Russian authorities deny accusations of attempting to get rid of Zelensky. “We have no such plans,” Dmitry Polyansky, Russia’s deputy ambassador to the UN, said earlier this year. Throughout the conflict, Zelensky has become intolerant of alleged incompetence among his officials and advisers, an unnamed member of his team told Reuters. “If he sees people are not prepared or are contradicting each other, he will say ‘get out of here. I don’t have time for this’,” the source said.

Zelensky is also relentless when it comes to pressuring his foreign backers for aid, according to a senior European official. “He repeats 15 times what he needs, that we need to do more or face the consequences, and he doesn’t let it go,” the official stressed. Ukraine’s former defense minister Aleksey Reznikov, who was sacked last year amid corruption accusations against him, said that Zelensky operates in “a sleep-deprived regime.” The Ukrainian politician’s life consists of “consultations at night and addresses to parliaments, senates… regardless of the time,” he explained. According to Reznikov, Zelensky has a “grab bag” with a change of clothes and a toothbrush because he often doesn’t know where he would be spending the night. “He is in stress mode 24 hours a day, seven days a week – it’s a never-ending marathon,” he added.

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“The need to feed the propaganda machine appears to have played an even more central role in the regime’s decisions..”

Is It Still Possible To Avoid A Civil War In Ukraine? (SCF)

Undoubtedly, one of the main concerns of the Kiev Junta today is how to maintain control over the armed population. At the beginning of the special military operation, the regime distributed heavy weapons and explosives to civilian citizens with the alleged objective of fostering the conditions necessary to create “popular resistance”. Fear and propaganda mixed in the early stages of the conflict and led Ukrainian officials to commit one of the biggest strategic mistakes ever made by a state in the history of warfare. At the time, the discourse behind the distribution of weapons was simple: the Russians were arriving in the capital, having already reached positions in the suburbs of Kiev. There was no time to move troops from all regions of Ukraine to the capital, so it was necessary to deliver weapons to the people and establish a guerrilla war against the Russians, in case the Ukrainian Army’s positions in Kiev quickly collapsed.

However, the Ukrainian calculation was disastrous. The regime’s officials actually believed their own propaganda and began to act as if the Ukrainian capital was indeed under “threat.” Clearly, Russia would not enter Ukraine with around 150,000 troops if it aimed to capture Kiev. The most experienced Ukrainian military officers knew that it was all just a distraction and that as soon as the regime moved troops to the capital, Moscow would retreat from Kiev to the Donbass – where there really was Russian interest.

However, in a decision-making context during war, it is not just the opinion of the military that is taken into account. The need to feed the propaganda machine appears to have played an even more central role in the regime’s decisions, as from the beginning it seemed clear that the only Ukrainian advantage in this conflict was the ability to mobilize opinions and minds around the world – through of the two great weapons of the Western allies: mass media and anti-Russian censorship. So, instead of bringing troops to Kiev immediately, the regime opted for the most propagandistically interesting choice: distributing weapons to civilians and showing scenes in the media that corroborated “popular support” in the fight against the “Russian invasion”.

The deployment of Ukrainian troops in the capital happened too late. As soon as the Ukrainians arrived, Russian soldiers left Kiev and went to Donbass, advancing freely in a terrain with few enemy positions – a scenario that only changed when Kiev was finally able to reorganize and remove the troops that had been lately sent to Kiev. Western propaganda had its first victory: in the global media, Ukraine won the so-called “Battle for Kiev” through “popular resistance” and the Russians “failed to capture” the capital. In the real world, Russia gained time and ground in the first weeks of the conflict, advanced in Donbass and, in parallel, the Ukrainians made the serious mistake of delivering weapons to civilians who would very soon begin to cause problems in the regime’s military plans.

The romanticization of war did not last long. Not even strong propaganda efforts were enough to disguise the harsh reality of the conflict. The losses of the Kiev regime became massive in a short time, with successive total mobilization measures trying to repair the losses of hundreds of thousands of soldiers. Ukrainian families began to get indignant as soon as they realized that the “victory” promised by the media would not come at all – just as their relatives would never return from the front, at least not with all their body parts.

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King
https://twitter.com/i/status/1812270254384390307

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 142024
 
 July 14, 2024  Posted by at 9:31 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  93 Responses »


Salvador Dali Meditative rose 1958

 

Trump Hit By Bullet At Pennsylvania Rally (ZH)
Trump Suggests Simultaneous Mental Test With Biden (RT)
Take Away the Car Keys (Hamilton)
Tulsi Gabbard – The Ultimate Insurance Policy for Trump (Luongo)
Musk Enters 2024 Fight With ‘Sizable’ Gift To Trump Super PAC (ZH)
Trump’s Facebook, Instagram Restrictions Rolled Back (RT)
Democrats Plotting To Oust Biden From Race – Axios (RT)
Major Donors Blackmailing US Democrats Over Biden – NYT (RT)
Democratic Party Insiders Struggle to Force Biden Out (Miles)
Viktor Orbán Deserves The Nobel Peace Prize (RM)
Russia Initiates Call With Pentagon On Ukraine and NATO (ZH)
The Yemen–Russia Riddle (Pepe Escobar)
European Cities Prime Targets For Russian Missiles – Moscow (RT)
72% of Israelis Want Netanyahu To Resign – Poll (RT)
Israeli Newspaper Says Country ‘Collapsing’ as 46,000 Businesses Shutter (Sp.)
Africans Support Russia – EU’s Borrell (RT)
‘Borrell Views Africa As ‘Jungle Full Of Zombies’ (RT)
ChatGPT Maker Secretly Developing New Type Of AI – Reuters (RT)

 

 

So glad the man’s alive. The shooter was well over 100 yards away. Trump surviving was pure luck. Or fate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alex doesn’t see an incident, or a lone wolf

 

 

Costas

 

 

Rogan Dore

 

 

Sidney Powell

 

 

Biden 1994

 

 

T.S. Eliot from The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock:

There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;

 

 

 

 

They’ve been calling for it. Maybe that stops now. Don’t recall anyone asking for Biden to be shot.

Trump Hit By Bullet At Pennsylvania Rally (ZH)

• Shooter identified as 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks, NY Post
• Trump has responded, saying on Truth Social “I was shot with a bullet that pierced the upper part of my right ear.”
• Secret Service says one spectator was killed and two were critically injured.
• Former President Donald Trump was shot in the ear by a would-be assassin at a Butler, Pennsylvania rally on Saturday.
• Trump could be seen grabbing his ear and falling to the ground, before standing up and walking off stage.
• Approximately nine shots rang out.
• A member of the crowd, as well as the shooter, are dead following the assassination attempt.
• One Trump supporter says he alerted Secret Service before the shooting and was ignored.
• Trump’s team reportedly asked for ‘beefed up protection’ and was rebuffed over and over by Biden DHS.

According to The Federalist’s Sean Davis, “A source familiar with Trump’s security detail tells @FDRLST that the former and future president’s detail has been asking for beefed up protection and resources for weeks, but has been rebuffed time and again by Biden’s DHS. DHS, which oversees Secret Service protective detail “wasn’t responsive to those requests” for more resources, the source said.”

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“..For the first time we’ll be a team, and do it for the good of the Country..

Trump Suggests Simultaneous Mental Test With Biden (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has urged incumbent leader Joe Biden to immediately take a cognitive test to prove his fitness for office. Trump expressed his readiness to take the test together with Biden, stating the two would work for the first time as a “team.” Trump produced the call on Friday in a post on his social media platform, Truth Social. “Joe should immediately take a Cognitive Test, and I will go with him, and take one also. For the first time we’ll be a team, and do it for the good of the Country,” Trump wrote. Such tests should also be made mandatory for all presidential hopefuls in the future, he argued. “From now on, all Presidential candidates should be mandated to take a Cognitive Test and Aptitude Test, regardless of their age!!!” he added.

Concerns over Biden’s cognitive and physical capacities skyrocketed in the aftermath of the disastrous presidential debate held late last month. The subpar performance of the president has prompted growing dissent within the Democratic Party, with an increasing number of high-profile members and major donors urging him to quit the reelection race. Facing mounting criticism, Biden has repeatedly dismissed any possibility of dropping his campaign, insisting he is the only person capable of defeating Trump in November. He has also angrily reacted to speculation about his health, stating he did not need any cognitive tests, given his job.

“I have a cognitive test every single day. Every day, I have that test. Everything I do. You know, not only am I campaigning, but I’m running the world. Not – and that’s not hi – sounds like hyperbole, but we are the essential nation of the world,” Biden told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an explosive interview last week. The effort to convince the nation he was still fit for office, however, appears to have yielded little and may have had the opposite result. According to a fresh survey by CBS News/YouGov in the wake of the debate, 72% of registered voters do not believe that Biden has the “mental and cognitive health necessary to serve as president.”

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Not sure what he tries to prove, but I get the main point.

Take Away the Car Keys (Hamilton)

One of the saddest moments of my life was the day I felt compelled to tell my father that he should give up his car and stop driving. He resisted, but only briefly. It was an example of the kind of man my father was. And it is an example for us today when we consider the peril our republic faces with President Biden clinging to his reelection bid. We all know the liberating feeling we had when we got our first driver’s license. The opposite feeling comes when it is time to turn it in. In my dad’s case, the problem was diminished eyesight. A resilient man, he had learned to live with many handicaps, including loss of a leg and use of an arm. He told me of a trick he successfully used at traffic intersections to compensate for his difficulty discerning red lights from green: He waited for other cars to move. Okay, I said, how will you feel if you end up hurting someone? That was all it took. He sold his car.

Such a moment has come now to Joseph Biden. The chances of him winning in November are virtually non-existent. Yet, he continues to make statements that defy reason in order to keep the keys to the White House. The president’s performance in his recent debate with Donald Trump was a shock to anyone with eyes and ears. His handlers have limited his unscripted interactions with journalists for precisely this reason. Yet he and his staff insist he is as intellectually vigorous as ever and trot out ludicrous excuses for why he stumbled. One of the excuses, jetlag from recent trips abroad, showed the opposite of what was intended – that is, that it takes the president 11 days to recover from travel.They argue that he is the best person to beat Donald Trump in November. After all, they say, he is the only one who has bested Trump at the ballot box. On close inspection, however, the statement is nearly meaningless. Trump has only been in two election races, and the one he won was fluky, to say the least.

His opponent, Hillary Clinton, ran a poor campaign – and still won the popular vote. Several Democrats have a better chance than Biden of beating Trump this time round. It is sad to hear Biden claim he is intellectually up to the job at the same time he says the polls are not all that bad. As the RealClearPolitics Poll Average shows, Trump is decidedly ahead of Biden. Moreover, Biden probably needs around 52% of the popular vote to win, given how the Electoral College functions. It might be comforting to think that there is still time to turn things around. But anyone can see that Biden is losing voters, not gaining them. The best that can be said is that the battle lines have been fixed in Trump’s favor. Biden has been lagging for months and that shows no signs of changing.

It is understandable that the president seeks supportive advice from staff as well as his wife, Jill, and his son, Hunter Biden. We all want reassurance. But we also need to seek out those who will give us a point of view that we do not want to hear. Contrary to what Biden is claiming, the elites are not out to get him. Taking on the mantle of victimhood only makes Biden seem unhinged – and more like Trump. Polls show that nearly three-quarters of Americans think Biden is not fit to serve, mainly as a result of the impacts of aging. The issue is not Biden’s age, per se. Donald Trump, 78, is not much younger than the president. The issue is that in recent years Biden’s acuity and physical presence have shown noticeable decline. Whatever one wants to say about Trump, he is vigorous.

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“Obama thought “…I sure don’t want to get shot, who could I pick for VP that would make even an assassin think twice? Oh, I know, Joe Biden. No one wants that dumbass in charge!”

Tulsi Gabbard – The Ultimate Insurance Policy for Trump (Luongo)

Having watched/listened to hundreds of hours of Tulsi Gabbard over the years, I’ve noticed a few things. First, she’s not a natural public speaker, nor is she really comfortable in front of the camera. So, she has worked very hard on crafting a public persona which is not easy for her to slip into but which is also authentically her. Because she is uncomfortable, that face begins to slip after a while…. about an hour. I always get the sense that there is a ‘macho military’ version of Gabbard lurking just below the surface, that swears like a mafia don and prays like a priest. And every once in a while it leaks out. But it will never do so in a six-minute segment on Fox News. You’ve got to get past that fatigue barrier. The reason I bring all of this up is because Gabbard was recently on the Keep Hammering Collective podcast with Cameron Hanes for nearly two hours.

She did that podcast after spending the day with him doing his triathalon he calls Lift, Run, Shoot which I suggest you watch the video of, especially if your name is Donald Trump. Why? You know why. I’ve already made my case for why I thought Gabbard is the ‘box-ticking’ favorite to be Trump’s running mate this fall. I think, however, in retrospect, that was a little unfair to Tulsi Gabbard. I, like the Davosians who tried to groom her into their perfect barista of globalism, made the mistake of not really getting past the character she plays, the boxes she ticks. There’s a fiery person underneath that calm face she wears in front of the camera. Her book, which I’ve read, makes this point ad infinitum. And the rounds she’s making supporting the book are showing us a Tulsi Gabbard hinted at, but she hasn’t really shown us before.

What’s, uh, the VP deal? Dexter White’s recent post reminded us about why Joe Biden was selected to be Barack Obama’s VP, “the life insurance policy for the first black president…” Obama thought “…I sure don’t want to get shot, who could I pick for VP that would make even an assassin think twice? Oh, I know, Joe Biden. No one wants that dumbass in charge!” Over the years, we’ve gotten so caught up in the political game that is choosing a Vice-President we forgot what the actual job description is… to be the person to step into the role should the President not be there, physically, mentally, or otherwise. I say this to remind the ghost of Al Haig that we still don’t want him in charge. It is precisely because Kamala Harris was picked to be Biden’s veep for every other reason than the job description that the Democrats and Davos are in the bind they are in as I write this.

It was never about Harris’ competence, capability, or commitment that landed her in the Naval Observatory. It was the boxes she ticked, the perception of her moral fluidity, and her solidification of the black female vote at a time when black men were drifting into Der Trumpenfuhrer’s orbit that made her the center of their Venn Diagram. Notice how she was never a person to them… just a series of attributes. For Trump, who has held back his choice for vice-president for months, the big question has been, if he wins the election will the blob/Deep State/Davos/etc. just kill him off before the inauguration? It’s a real conundrum.

So, I say, turn about is fair play. Biden was Obama’s insurance policy, make Gabbard Trump’s. Because, if there is one person of all the people on the short list to be Trump’s VP that Davos et.al. do not want to see on the ticket it is Tulsi Gabbard. Because she really is that person who walked away from power, has a strong moral center, and is authentically motivated by service. And that motivation, coupled with their previous shots against her, like they’ve done with Trump, should scare them maybe more than he does.

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“..Liz Peek said Musk and his companies were under investigation by the Department of Justice, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”

Musk Enters 2024 Fight With ‘Sizable’ Gift To Trump Super PAC (ZH)

There’s been another major plot twist in the 2024 election saga, as Elon Musk has made a “sizable donation” to a super PAC working to return Donald Trump to the White House. Completing something of a Black Friday for Democrats, the story broke just hours after the New York Times reported that major donors had frozen $90 million pledged donations commitments to Biden’s top super PAC, having concluded that Biden is a dead man walking — politically if not otherwise. The news comes four months after Musk said he was staying on the sidelines: The world’s richest man clearly had a change of heart: Citing anonymous sources “close to the matter,” Bloomberg on Friday evening broke the potentially game-changing news that Musk had given money to America PAC, which is largely focused on “ground-game” initiatives, such as voter-canvassing and get-out-the-vote efforts. Among the constellation of Trump-backing groups, America PAC is spending the most money of any of them on direct voter outreach.

The amount of Musk’s donation wasn’t disclosed, but Bloomberg said sources “characterized the figure as a sizable amount.” Per Federal Election Commission rules, the PAC will provide its updated list of donors on Monday. While super PACs aren’t allowed to contribute directly to candidates or parties, or “coordinate” their efforts, they can collect unlimited contributions. With a Forbes-estimated net worth of $250 billion, Musk has obvious potential to fundamentally alter a fundraising war in which Democrats were already reeling from the mushrooming effects of President Biden’s disastrous performance in his June 27 debate with Trump, his poor interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and gaffe-filled NATO summit press events on Thursday. The donation seemingly completes a political metamorphosis: Musk has said he voted for Barack Obama, gave money to and voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and voted for Joe Biden in 2020.

However, Musk has displayed growing discontent with Democrats’ approach to a variety of issues. One of them is border control: Earlier this year, Musk told an audience that “unvetted immigration at large scale is a recipe for disaster.” He’s also called out Democrats’ opposition to photo-ID requirements for voting, saying the “far left” wants to make it “impossible to prove voter fraud.” Over the weekend, he expressed dismay at Biden’s commitment to veto a bill that would require proof of citizenship to vote. In 2022, Musk tweeted that he voted for a Republican for the first time, backing Texas Republican Mayra Flores in a special US House election. Last month, Musk told Tesla shareholders that he’s “had some conversations with [Trump], and he does call me, out of the blue, for no reason… I don’t know why, but he does.”

In what may be a more potent motivator than policy issues, Musk repeatedly finds himself in the crosshairs of Democrats’ weaponized government, with a federal target on his back since buying Twitter in 2022 with a goal of ridding it of its leftist, government-serving censorship regime. Within two weeks of Musk closing on the purchase, Biden told reporters that “Elon Musk’s cooperation and/or technical relationships with other countries is worthy of being looked at. Whether he is doing anything inappropriate, I’m not suggesting that. I’m suggesting they’re worth being looked at.” With an ominously whimsical tone, he concluded, “there’s a lot of ways…” Summarizing the breadth of the attacks at The Hill in December, Liz Peek said Musk and his companies were under investigation by the Department of Justice, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Musk has expressed concern over Trump’s own victimization via politically-motivated lawfare, as he did in May when the former president was convicted in New York on mindbendingly-contrived charges relating to his 2016 funding of hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels, who’d claimed the two had a one-night intimate encounter in 2006. The Trump campaign’s financial fortunes changed dramatically after that conviction, as irate sympathizers expressed their outrage with dollars, vaulting him into the lead. Musk’s entry into the game exacerbates Democrats’ dire situation, and is certain to accelerate efforts to jettison Biden from the top of the ticket…while exponentially increasing the anguish of leftists who thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse.

Biden Elon The dumbest brain in the US talks about the smartest one.

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“Restoring his access is like handing your car keys to someone you know will drive your car into a crowd and off a cliff..”

Trump’s Facebook, Instagram Restrictions Rolled Back (RT)

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, announced on Friday it would lift its restrictions on content posted by former US President Donald Trump. While the former US president’s accounts were unblocked 17 months ago, Meta had maintained limits on his ability to post. “Former President Trump, as the nominee of the Republican Party, will no longer be subject to the heightened suspension penalties”, the statement read. Meta claimed the penalties were imposed in response to “extreme and extraordinary circumstances.” Trump was booted from the platforms following the riot at the US Capitol in January 2021. Facebook’s parent company announced in January 2023 that it would reinstate Trump’s accounts but that he faced “heightened penalties for repeat offenses” as a way to “deter” a repeat of previous behavior.

“American people should be able to hear from the nominees for President on the same basis,” Meta’s president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, wrote in a blog post on Friday. Joe Biden’s reelection campaign has condemned Meta’s move. “Restoring his access is like handing your car keys to someone you know will drive your car into a crowd and off a cliff,” Biden campaign spokesperson Charles Lutvak told The Hill. “Without question, it is a direct attack on our safety and our democracy,” Lutvak slammed the decision, claiming it will allow Trump to reach Americans with “fundamentally undemocratic, un-American misinformation.”

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“..The group primarily includes veterans of the Obama and Clinton administrations..”

Democrats Plotting To Oust Biden From Race – Axios (RT)

A growing number of “very-connected” Democrats are scheming to get US President Joe Biden to withdraw from the election race, Axios reported on Friday, citing “members” of this committee. The group primarily includes veterans of the Obama and Clinton administrations, who are seeking to field a candidate they believe has a better chance of winning the November election. The two former presidents are apparently supporting the group by having kept mostly silent since they publicly offered support for Biden following his disastrous debate against Donald Trump last month. “Silence is a very loud form of speech. No one is saying ‘come hell or high water,’” said James Carville, a veteran political assistant and one of the key figures behind Bill Clinton’s campaign. The members of the clandestine group insist it has no actual leadership or benefactor behind it, describing it instead as a ‘network’ of like-minded individuals.

“No one is more than one person away from everyone else,” an unnamed member of the group described as a “central player” told Axios. So far, the public campaign to pressure Biden into dropping out, launched by prominent elected Democrats and major party donors, has flopped and apparently produced an opposite effect, making the incumbent president adamant about his desire to win reelection. “The Clinton diaspora is freaking the hell out. But all these people going on the record aren’t helping. All it seems to have done is cause the Bidens to dig in deeper,” an anonymous former official from the Clinton White House said.

Still, it remains unclear whether the covert approach to the Biden problem will work either, given that the president has an overwhelming majority of Democratic delegates backing him for the nomination in August, a “veteran operative” member of the group admitted. They added that a decision to withdraw his candidacy can be taken only by Biden himself. “You need a psychiatrist more than a spin doctor,” he told Axios. The push to oust Biden from the race was prompted by his subpar performance during the first presidential debate in late June. The US president and his campaign have provided various excuses for the debacle, including that he had a cold, dismissing concerns over the state of his health. Over the past two weeks, Biden has repeatedly said he will not drop out of the race, insisting that he is the only person fit to beat Trump in the upcoming election.

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Blackmailing? Is that the word you’re looking for?

Major Donors Blackmailing US Democrats Over Biden – NYT (RT)

An estimated $90 million in donations to a group key to US President Joe Biden’s campaign has been put on hold until the Democrats replace him, the New York Times reported on Friday. The Times cited two unnamed sources “briefed on the conversations” between major donors and Future Forward, a political action committee (PAC) that was expected to raise $700 million for Biden’s re-election. “Multiple eight-figure commitments” are currently frozen and the PAC is “in a defensive crouch” until it is clarified whom the Democrats will actually run in November, according to the Times. The Biden campaign tapped Future Forward as its main super PAC in the 2024 race, and the group has already announced it would spend $250 million on TV and digital advertising after the Democratic National Convention next month.

Following Biden’s catastrophic performance at the June 27 debate with Republican challenger and former president Donald Trump, however, the PAC tested potential alternatives. The poll was later leaked to the media and showed Biden with “a worse overall favorability rating than all the alternatives,” which included Vice President Kamala Harris, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. The current president has doubled down on staying in the White House. “I believe I’m the best qualified to govern. And I think I’m the best qualified to win,” Biden told reporters at a press conference on Thursday. While the White House and the campaign have held up the press event as proof that Biden was doing just fine, Democrats in Washington continued to lament the present situation.

“Candidates and campaigns are supposed to make you feel something – hope, optimism, courage – but instead most of us felt nothing after that presser. And feeling nothing is how you lose elections,” a veteran Democratic operative told Politico. A Democrat member of the US House of Representatives told the same outlet that a group of “super friends” is getting together, with the intent to make their case to the White House that Biden has to step aside because “we’re going to get our asses kicked if he doesn’t.” On Thursday, several Biden campaign aides told NBC that Biden will “never recover” and that they saw no path to victory, describing his chances in November as “zero.” Multiple Democrats have raised concerns that down-ballot races might be put at risk, costing the party seats in Congress.

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The “Unofficial Committee to Unelect the President”.

Democratic Party Insiders Struggle to Force Biden Out (Miles)

As concern mounts over the president’s political viability Biden is reportedly intent on proving his critics wrong. A loose alliance of donors, campaign advisors and other party leaders are working to convince Joe Biden to abandon his campaign for reelection without bruising the US president’s ego, according to reports in US media. But the “unofficial Committee to Unelect the President” is struggling to convince the famously stubborn head of state, according to insiders familiar with the matter, with Biden only becoming more determined as Democratic Party figures intensify their efforts. “It’s hard to deny that in the two weeks since the debate, it’s the arrogant and small Joe Biden we’ve seen most – hanging on, bragging, defensive, angry, weak,” wrote former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett on X. “Who else but him? he wonders aloud. Only God could change his mind, he tells us.”

Lovett, who has disparaged the octogenarian president’s refusal to bow out on his Pod Save America podcast, has been among Biden’s most prominent liberal critics in recent days. But he is joined by several others. The editorial boards of The New York Times and the Washington Post have been unsparing in their admonishment since the president’s performance during a debate against former President Donald Trump last month sparked public concern over his mental acuity. Many media personalities have joined the chorus. “I think that Biden debated as well as Abraham Lincoln,” said late-night television host Stephen Colbert Monday. “If you dug him up right now.” Former Clinton and Obama operatives have also chimed in. “President Biden is a historic figure, and a lot of that is gonna be tainted if he persists and loses this race,” said Obama chief strategist David Axelrod. Clinton strategist James Carville said keeping Biden on as the Democratic Party’s nominee would be an “idiotic choice” that would lead to “disaster.”

“Silence is a very loud form of speech,” the political advisor added, noting that party leaders who voiced continued support for Biden immediately after last month’s debate have grown quiet in recent days. Beyond the relative few Democratic Party figures who have publicly called for Biden to drop out are dozens more who have privately voiced concerns and are working behind the scenes to convince the president, according to insiders.But Biden remains convinced he is the best candidate to defeat Trump, pointing to his victory in 2020 and the Democrats’ better-than-expected performance in the 2022 midterm elections. The president is reportedly motivated by an intense desire to prove his detractors wrong, something that has driven him since his early days in politics. “You need a psychiatrist more than a spin doctor,” one longtime campaign operative told the online outlet Axios.

Biden is one of the longest-tenured figures in national US politics, first being elected to the Senate in 1972. He is considered a conservative politician, historically taking right-wing positions on issues from segregation to drug policy and criminal justice. His previous attempts to seek the presidency flamed out after a plagiarism scandal and comments in 2007 that many people deemed racially offensive. “You got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” Biden said of then-candidate Barack Obama. He apologized for the remark and Obama later chose him as his running mate the following year, elevating him to the vice presidency when the ticket won the 2008 election.

Democratic Party leaders intervened heavily in 2020’s primary to ensure Biden won the presidential nomination after Senator Bernie Sanders’ insurgent candidacy seemed inevitable. Now those same insiders appear powerless to remove him from the pedestal they placed him on. One strategist claimed a “donor strike” is underway, with powerful financial backers of the party moving funds to congressional races and away from Biden’s presidential campaign. George Clooney, Netflix founder Reed Hastings and businessman Ari Emanuel are reportedly among the wealthy figures seeking a candidate to replace Biden. With last month’s House primary between George Latimer and Jamaal Bowman shaping up to be the most expensive in history, money is more important than ever in competitive US politics. If contributions to his campaign effort dry up, insiders say Biden’s hand could finally be forced, with billionaire donors casting the most powerful vote in America’s pay-to-play system.

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Second.

Viktor Orbán Deserves The Nobel Peace Prize (RM)

Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary, stands out for his audacity and persistence in the realm of contemporary politics. His tireless efforts in diplomacy and steadfast commitment to national and global stability merit serious consideration for the Nobel Peace Prize. His relentless pursuit of peace, even amidst widespread criticism, underscores the kind of leadership the world desperately needs today. The Nobel Peace Prize, despite its controversies, remains one of the highest accolades for contributions to global peace and reconciliation. Historical recipients, from the European Union in 2012 for turning Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace, to Henry Kissinger and Barack Obama for their diplomatic endeavors, have set a precedent for recognizing transformative efforts in international relations. While some decisions have sparked debate, the prize continues to honor those who genuinely strive for global harmony.

For over two decades Viktor Orban has been a central figure in Hungarian politics. His tenure has seen Hungary navigate through the 2008 financial crisis and emerge with strengthened national sovereignty and economic stability. Orban’s policies have focused on reducing national debt, increasing employment, and supporting families, thereby fostering a social cohesion that is essential for lasting peace. Economic stability, after all, is a cornerstone of societal tranquility. Recently, Orban’s diplomatic missions have further highlighted his unwavering commitment to peace. As the head of the rotating EU presidency, he has been at the forefront of international diplomacy, particularly concerning the Ukraine conflict. His proactive visits to key leaders—including Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev, Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Xi Jinping in Beijing, and next, Donald Trump in Florida—demonstrate his dedication to engaging with global leaders and promoting dialogue. These are not mere photo opportunities but substantive efforts to foster real change.

Orbán’s vigorous diplomatic activities have undoubtedly stirred the waters in Brussels. Critics argue that Orban’s methods sometimes breach diplomatic protocols, but his engagement with pivotal figures in the Ukraine conflict illustrates the kind of bravery and initiative that many modern politicians lack. Orban’s actions transcend superficial diplomacy; he is actively striving to move continents towards real solutions during a time of great division. Orban’s peace efforts have drawn significant criticism, especially from European and German political leaders. However, his bold and relentless pursuit of peace positions him as a modern-day Robin Hood, fighting for stability and harmony in Europe. While many leaders prefer the comfort of their offices, Orban is on the global stage, engaging with world leaders and taking decisive steps to bring about peace.

Many politicians focus on short-term gains and superficial gestures, but Orban stands out as a leader willing to take bold actions for the greater good. His approach to diplomacy—meeting with adversaries, challenging the status quo, and prioritizing long-term stability over fleeting popularity—lays the groundwork for meaningful peace talks and steps toward the de-escalation of the Ukraine conflict. These substantial contributions to peace warrant recognition. Viktor Orban embodies the spirit of a modern-day Robin Hood, daring to undertake actions that many politicians shy away from. For his relentless pursuit of peace and stability, Orban deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.

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“Ukraine has been attacked by- by Russia. So the most important thing we should do is to step up our support to Ukraine to ensure that Ukraine prevails,..

Russia Initiates Call With Pentagon On Ukraine and NATO (ZH)

In a rare positive development, the heads of the US and Russian militaries have held a rare phone call in an effort to deescalate tensions. But Moscow is livid at certain recent developments and pledges from the West. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday spoke by phone Russian Minister of Defense Andrey Belousov for the second time in less than a month. The call was initiated by Moscow just after the close of the NATO summit hosted by Biden in Washington this week. A Pentagon readout said Austin “emphasized the importance of maintaining lines of communication amid Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine,” deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh told a briefing. The two sides had been quiet since a call in March 2023, but communications have been picking up, after a June 25th call which reestablished communications.

But Russia likely registered its anger at the NATO summit committing to an “irreversible path” for Ukraine’s NATO membership. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg still admitted in will be a very long path, as much as ten years or more. He said in a CBS News interview days ago: “Well, no one has said exactly 10 years but- but- but it’s obvious that it is a very serious issue to bring in Ukraine. Because Ukraine is now a country at war.” “Ukraine has been attacked by- by Russia. So the most important thing we should do is to step up our support to Ukraine to ensure that Ukraine prevails,” he continued. “That’s a precondition for any future membership for Ukraine.” According to The Hill, another recent issue which has roiled Russia and was likely conveyed by Belousov to Austin, is seen in the following:

“What’s more, NATO has backed Ukraine’s push for more latitude in its use of Western-supplied weapons to strike inside Russia, with the United Kingdom announcing it would allow Kyiv to hit targets over Russian borders with British-provided long-range missiles.” There’s also the US decision to deploy long-range missiles to Europe in violation of the previously in place INF treaty, which the US pulled out of in 2019. The missiles are expected to be deployed to Germany soon. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has warned this could make Germany or other places in Europe a target: “There has always been a paradoxical situation: the United States has deployed a variety of missiles of different ranges in Europe, which are traditionally aimed at our country,” he said, and warned: “Accordingly, our country designated European locations as targets for our missiles.”

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“..support the Palestinian people and respond to the American and British airstrikes on Yemen.”

The Yemen–Russia Riddle (Pepe Escobar)

Yemen’s stellar strategic maneuvering in defense of Palestine from its dramatically ascendant role in West Asia’s Axis of Resistance is acquiring the contours of an epic odyssey – eagerly scrutinized by the Global Majority. As if the unprecedented humiliation of the US Navy in the Bab al-Mandab and the Red Sea was not enough, Ansarallah targeted an Israeli ship with a Hatem-2 hypersonic missile, a remarkable advancement in indigenous technological development. These prodigious strategic-military advances displayed by Ansarallah at the same time revived the always simmering, unfinished war and blockade launched against Yemen in 2015 by Saudi Arabia and the UAE with the usual US and UK backing.

Riyadh abhors the Yemeni resistance like the plague. Instead of Sanaa, Yemen’s recognized capital city, it supports an anti-Ansarallah’ government’ sitting in Aden, sort of recognized by the ‘rules-based international order.’ In truth, though, that government actually sits in a luxury Riyadh hotel. Ansarallah has tried hard to negotiate a prisoner exchange involving captured Saudi pilots traded for jailed Hamas members in Saudi Arabia. Riyadh has not only refused but threatened that bank transfers to and from Yemen would be blocked, and Sanaa’s international airport and sea ports would be shut down. Ansarallah’s response was stark: if Yemeni banking is blocked, the Saudi Arabian banking system would be destroyed. If Sanaa airport is targeted, the same would happen to Saudi airports.

So, the war that never ended is suddenly and ominously back on track. Ansarallah would have no problem targeting Saudi Arabia’s oil production as retaliation to a full blockade – considering its proven capability with brand-new missiles and naval drones. The consequences for global oil markets would be catastrophic. Yemen represents the classic case of a fierce resistance actor in the context of the emerging multipolar, multi-nodal world. So that begs the question of where multipolar/multi-nodal champion Russia stands when it comes to Yemen’s fight. Which brings us to the fascinating case of two Yemeni delegations that recently visited Moscow. One of them, led by a senior Ansarallah official, met in Moscow with the Russian President’s Special Envoy to the Middle East (West Asia) and Africa, Mikhail Bogdanov.

They discussed not only the ongoing Gaza genocide but also what Ansarallah describes as “the American–British aggression on Yemen,” a reference to ongoing western naval operations in the Red Sea that have – unsuccessfully – sought for months to thwart Yemeni ops against Israel-bound and Israel-associated shipping vessels. A retaliatory siege, if you will. The Yemenis reassured the Russians that their maritime operations “do not pose a threat to international navigation or target anyone, but rather support the Palestinian people and respond to the American and British airstrikes on Yemen.” Ansarallah praised Russia’s understanding and expressed gratitude for:

Russia’s position against the American–British aggression on Yemen and their support for the humanitarian and political process in our country. We also reviewed the outcomes of the de-escalation efforts between Yemen and the aggressor countries and highlighted the necessity of reaching a comprehensive solution that ensures Yemen’s unity and sovereignty.

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“..While Washington continues to “profit” from the escalation, the EU nations are only serving as targets in the standoff..”

European Cities Prime Targets For Russian Missiles – Moscow (RT)

Moscow has enough capabilities to counter such hostile moves by Washington as its just-announced deployment of new missiles to Europe, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. European nations, however, are only becoming victims of the standoff between the US and Russia. The spokesman made the remarks to Russian Journalist Pavel Zarubin, who published the excerpts of the interview on his social media on Saturday. “There has always been a paradoxical situation: the US deployed different types of missiles, of different ranges, but traditionally aimed at our country. Our country, accordingly, identified European locations as targets for our missiles,” Peskov stated. While Washington continues to “profit” from the escalation, the EU nations are only serving as targets in the standoff, Peskov explained.

“Our country is in the crosshairs of American missiles located in Europe. We’ve been through all this before. All this has already happened. We have enough potential to deter these missiles. But the potential victims are the capitals of these states,” he said. On Wednesday, Washington announced plans to start deploying long-range weapons in Germany in 2026, including SM-6 and Tomahawk systems, “as part of planning for enduring stationing of these capabilities in the future.” Moscow has already vowed to “calmly” prepare a military response to the hostile move, with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov describing the plans as “one of the elements of intimidation that, today, is almost the main component of the NATO and US” approach towards Russia.

In late June, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Moscow could resume the production and global deployment of ground-based intermediate- and shorter-range missiles in response to the hostile actions of the US. “We now know that the US is not only producing these missile systems but has also brought them to Europe, Denmark, to use in exercises. Not long ago, it was reported that they were in the Philippines. It is unclear whether they have taken these missiles out of the Philippines or not,” Putin said at the time. The munitions of this type were restricted by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which collapsed in 2019. However, Moscow has abstained from producing and deploying them, as long as Washington also refrained from doing so.

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Democracy.

72% of Israelis Want Netanyahu To Resign – Poll (RT)

Nearly three quarters of Israelis want Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign over his government’s failures during the October 7 Hamas attack, according to a poll published by Channel 12 on Friday. Of the 72% of respondents who said that the prime minister should step down, 44% believe he should leave office immediately, while 28% suggested he should resign after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conclude their military operation in Gaza. Israeli citizens have repeatedly organized protest rallies against Netanyahu since the war in Gaza erupted, with many calling for a ceasefire and urging the government to bring back the remaining hostages held by Hamas. On October 7 last year, Hamas and allied Palestinian militants carried out a surprise raid on Israeli military bases, villages and farming communities.

In many places, the IDF were seemingly caught off-guard and quickly overwhelmed, as civilians were forced to either defend themselves or flee. The Israeli media described the attack as a “devastating intelligence failure,” with Channel 12 reporting that the army failed to properly maintain a signal system at the border with Gaza. The York Times reported in November that Israeli intelligence and military officials obtained Hamas’s plan for the October 7 incursion more than a year before it occurred, but believed it was too unrealistic to pull off. On Thursday, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant urged the government to form a state commission that would investigate the failures in response to the October 7 raid. Netanyahu, however, has argued that such a probe can only be launched after the war ends.

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“Israel’s GDP fell by nearly 20% from October to December 2023..”

Israeli Newspaper Says Country ‘Collapsing’ as 46,000 Businesses Shutter (Sp.)

Israel’s GDP fell by nearly 20% from October to December 2023, though it rebounded with a 14% gain the next quarter, that was less than economists expected. Roughly 46,000 Israeli businesses have shut down since October 7, according to the Hebrew-language newspaper Maariv. The Israeli economy has been declining rapidly since it launched its campaign in Gaza,particularly after the Yemen Ansar Allah movement (aka Houthi) and the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon have been taking action in solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza. The Houthis have blockaded the Red Sea from ships it says are connected with Israel or the United States. Because of their actions, the southern port of Eilat –the country’s busiest port before the war– has been virtually shut down since October 2023. Exacerbating the situation further, foreign tourism has also collapsed during the war, and as of December, nearly half a million Israelis have left the country and that was before tensions inflamed significantly between Iran and Israel.

Meanwhile, the Ansar Allah movement has been attacking Israel’s north, forcing tens of thousands of Israelis to evacuate the area, virtually wiping out businesses in the area. However, businesses around all of Israel are struggling, the paper said, with construction and ancillary industries being hurt the most but it noted that nearly every industry is being affected. Yoel Amir the CEO of Coface Bdi, a services and credit risk management firm, told the paper that they estimate 60,000 Israeli businesses could shut down by the end of the year. “This is a very high number that encompasses many sectors. About 77 percent of the businesses that have been closed since the beginning of the war, which make up about 35,000 businesses, are small businesses with up to five employees, and are the most vulnerable in the economy,” Amir said.

In December, South Africa brought a case against Israel in the International Court of Justice, accusing it of genocide. Since then, a dozen countries have joined it and many more have publicly welcomed the case. More than 38,300 Palestinians have been confirmed killed and another nearly 88,300 have been seriously injured in Gaza since Israel began its campaign, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. That number is largely assumed to be a massive undercount because of a lack of health services and thousands who remain missing are presumed to be buried under the rubble. A recent study by the British medical journal The Lancet estimates that more than 186,000 Palestinians have likely died as either a direct or indirect result of the Israeli campaign.

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“..successfully delivered 200,000 tons of wheat to six low-income African nations, free of charge, making it the biggest humanitarian initiative ever conducted by Russia.”

Africans Support Russia – EU’s Borrell (RT)

The EU’s chief diplomat has expressed surprise at the high level of backing for Russian President Vladimir Putin among people in Africa. “In Africa, people support Putin. They say Putin saved Donbass,” Josep Borrell said on Thursday, speaking at the NATO Public Forum. Borrell emphasized the need for a new approach to defense, focusing on information warfare rather than traditional military tactics. “We need a different army. We need people watching the network and people explaining what is going on, reprogramming the listeners, giving them correct information, in order to prevent an intervention in electoral processes,” the EU foreign policy chief stated.

“Don’t dismiss this kind of war. It’s not just sending bombs and tanks, it’s just sending news and occupying the cyberspace. And on that the European Union has a certain important contribution to do,” he claimed. In May, in an exclusive interview with RT, Chadian envoy Mahamoud Adam Bechir stated that Putin’s reelection was beneficial not only for the Russian people, but for the entire world, including Africa. Bechir said Putin had strengthened relations with Africa, adding that Russia is led by a “great president.” Meanwhile, during a meeting with the Russian President on February 20, Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev reported that Moscow had successfully delivered 200,000 tons of wheat to six low-income African nations, free of charge, making it the biggest humanitarian initiative ever conducted by Russia.

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“..there’s no way a responsible African will abandon Russia, China or the BRICS alliance in favor of NATO or Western interests..”

‘Borrell Views Africa As ‘Jungle Full Of Zombies’ (RT)

Western powers lack moral authority when they try to impose their interests on African nations, former Nigerian presidential contender Adamu Garba II has told RT. The politician was reacting to controversial ideas expressed by EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell earlier this week. While speaking about European influence internationally, he voiced surprise at the level of pro-Russia sentiment among African people, and argued that information warfare tools should be developed to counter “disinformation.” “Don’t dismiss this kind of war. It’s not just sending bombs and tanks, it’s just sending news and occupying the cyberspace,” Borrell warned. “We need people watching the network and people explaining what is going on, reprogramming the listeners, giving them correct information.” Adamu Garba II said that judging by Borrel’s statements, he appears to view Western Europe as a guardian for other parts of the world.

“Perhaps he sees Africa as a jungle full of zombies that can be programmed to do their interests,” the politician joked, in an apparent reference to another controversial idea from Borrel. In 2022, the diplomat declared that Europeans live in a “garden,” while most of the outside world is a “jungle.” He later apologized for his words, which drew a wave of condemnation. On relations with Moscow, Adamu Garba II said: “there’s no way a responsible African will abandon Russia, China or the BRICS alliance in favor of NATO or Western interests, who do everything possible to take our resources from us.” The BRICS group of non-Western economies, founded in 2006 by Brazil, Russia, India, and China, with South Africa joining in 2011, has become an attractive alliance for African nations, with some expressing their will to join. Speaking on the sidelines of the BRICS Parliamentary Forum in St. Petersburg this week, Ethiopian parliament speaker Agegnehu Teshager told RT that “most of the African countries have an appetite to be a member of BRICS.”

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AI for profit is dangerous.

ChatGPT Maker Secretly Developing New Type Of AI – Reuters (RT)

OpenAI, the creator of virtual assistant ChatGPT, is working on a novel approach to its artificial intelligence technology, Reuters has reported. As part of the project, code-named ‘Strawberry,’ the Microsoft-backed firm is trying to drastically improve the reasoning capabilities of its models, the agency said in an article on Friday. The way Strawberry works is “a tightly kept secret” even within OpenAI itself, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters. The source said the project involves a “specialized way” of processing an AI model after it has been pre-trained on extensive datasets. Its aim is to enable artificial intelligence to not just generate answers to queries, but to plan ahead sufficiently to conduct so-called “deep research,” by navigating the internet autonomously and reliably, the source explained. Reuters said it had reviewed an internal OpenAI document, detailing a plan for how the US firm could deploy Strawberry to perform research.

However, the agency said it was not able not establish when the technology will become available to the public. The source described the project as a “work in progress.” When addressed on the issue, an OpenAI spokesperson told Reuters: “We want our AI models to see and understand the world more like we [humans] do. Continuous research into new AI capabilities is a common practice in the industry, with a shared belief that these systems will improve in reasoning over time.” The spokesperson did not address Strawberry directly in his response. Current AI large language models are capable of summarizing vast amounts of text and putting together coherent prose quicker than people do, but usually struggle with common sense solutions that are intuitive to humans. When this happens, the models often “hallucinate” by trying to represent false or misleading information as facts.

Researchers who talked to Reuters said that reasoning, which has so far eluded AI models, is key to artificial intelligence achieving human or super-human level. Last week, one of the world’s leading experts in artificial intelligence and a pioneer in deep learning, Yoshua Bengio, again warned of the “many risks,” including possible “extinction of humanity,” posed by private corporations racing to achieve AI of human-level and beyond. ”Entities that are smarter than humans and that have their own goals: are we sure they will act towards our well-being?” the Montreal University professor and scientific director of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) said in an article on his website. Bengio urged the scientific community and society as a whole to make “a massive collective effort” to figure out ways to keep advanced AI in check.

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Viv

 

 

Kate

 

 

Cora

 

 

Meonk

 

 

Mission

 

 

Mother’s love
https://twitter.com/i/status/1812075811857396034

 

 

Adopt don’t shop

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 132024
 


Henri Matisse Luxury, calm and pleasure 1904

 

Trump, Orban, Putin: Why Are All The ‘Dictators’ Hellbent On Peace? (Bridge)
Orban Meets Trump To Talk ‘Peace Mission’ (RT)
Biden Sees ‘No Reason’ To Talk To Putin (RT)
Zelensky Slams ‘Crazy’ Limits On Russia Strikes (RT)
UK Disputes Zelensky’s Long-range Strikes Claim – Telegraph (RT)
Ukrainian Strikes On Kremlin Would ‘Make No Sense’ – Biden (RT)
Scott Ritter: Ukraine an ‘Open Target for Russia to Take Apart’ (Sp.)
NATO’s Obsession Boosts Russia’s Role as Global Leader – Rasmussen (Sp.)
Why Is the West Preparing for War? (Paul Craig Roberts)
NATO Summit: Collectively Losing Their Mind (Lauria)
The Warhead Evidence, Medical And Autopsy Reports Are Missing (Helmer)
The Cover Your Ass Olympics (Kunstler)
“The First Amendment is Out of Control” (Turley)
EU Offered X Secret Censorship Deal – Musk (RT)

 

 

 

 

Roger Stone

 

 

Biden press

 

 

Fallon

 

 

Tucker Biden

 

 

Straight-faced no less.

 

 

PA

 

 

Jon Stewart fails painfully – for same reason they can’t meme

 

 

 

 

“The question remains, however, who will speak out on behalf of peace if not Trump, Putin, and Orban?”

Note: The others owe their careers to donations from the MIC.

Trump, Orban, Putin: Why Are All The ‘Dictators’ Hellbent On Peace? (Bridge)

One of the greatest farces of these modern times is that those who scream the loudest about democracy and human rights are the very same people who violate international norms at every opportunity. In the June issue of The New Republic, a left-leaning US political journal, a scowling Donald Trump was featured on the cover sporting a Hitler moustache above a caption that read: “American fascism, what it would look like.” [..]

There’s just one problem with the journal’s nervous handwringing: Trump has already served a four-year term as US leader and there was no visible sign of fascist goosestepping down Main Street during that period. In fact, just the opposite is true. While Adolf Hitler invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, thus triggering World War II, Trump went down in the history books as the first American commander-in-chief in modern times to avoid a military conflict. Now on the campaign trail for the second time, with the insatiable defense industry licking its chops for more profits, the Republican frontrunner has declared he would end the Ukraine-Russia conflict in 24 hours if reelected. When it is considered that ‘democracy’ today primarily works on behalf of the military industrial complex and other associated business interests, it is easier to understand how Trump is described in the corporate-owned media as an existential threat to the American republic. Peace is the last thing on Washington’s mind, and Russia understands that better than any country.

Back in 2008, the “dictator” Vladimir Putin delivered his now-famous speech at the Munich Security Conference where he warned his Western colleagues on the dangers of military expansion. “NATO expansion… represents a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust. And we have the right to ask: against whom is this expansion intended? And what happened to the assurances our Western partners made after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact? Where are those declarations today? No one even remembers them.” Despite Putin’s explicit warning, NATO went on to add an additional six members to the alliance, bringing the total number to 32, with Ukraine, ignoring Moscow’s major red line, scheming to be number 33. For anybody who asserts this is only a “defense alliance” would do well to consider what America’s response would be if all of Latin America and the border state of Mexico were joining a military alliance led by Moscow. Needless to say, we would be knee-deep in bloodshed by now. Yet Russia is supposed to accept an endless military incursion smack up against its border.

This was certainly not the last time Russia attempted to broker a peace deal with Washington. Almost eight years after the 2014 Maidan Revolution, and months before Moscow kicked off its special military operation in Ukraine, the Kremlin released its plan for peace on the continent. Among other things, the draft treaty called for the US and Russia to refrain from deploying troops in regions where they could be perceived as a threat to each other’s national security, as well as a ban on sending their troops and military hardware into areas where they could strike each other’s territory. The treaty was also designed to ban the deployment of intermediate-range missiles in Europe. Had the Western powers consented to the plan – it barely made headlines in the NATO countries – it’s not difficult to imagine decades of peace between east and west, the very last thing that Washington wants.Instead, the US and its European puppets placed Russia in an impossible position with regards to the ongoing militarization and Nazification of Ukraine, forcing it to respond as any other country concerned about its national security would.

This leads us to the West’s third favorite bogeyman, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has dared to declare that his country is predominantly Christian and conservative and has every right to stay that way. Orban, whose country now holds the rotating EU Council presidency, went on a peace-making tour with stops in Moscow, Kiev, Beijing, and Washington (where he ruffled more than one hawk’s feathers by visiting Trump at Mar-a-Lago instead of Biden in DC). The frustration on the part of Brussels as it watched the Hungarian “tyrant” speak out in favor of reducing weapons sales was laughable if not downright pathetic. “Hungary has presented the trips as a ‘peace mission’ to help negotiate a ceasefire for the war in Ukraine. Orban may consider himself as one of the few who can speak to both sides – but in reality he has no mandate to do so,” wrote Armida van Rij, a senior research fellow at Chatham House, a European think tank. The question remains, however, who will speak out on behalf of peace if not Trump, Putin, and Orban? The answer thus far is nobody.While there are certainly other statesmen besides Trump, Putin, and Orban on the international stage who can make the case for peace, time is running out to hear those critical voices.

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“We discussed ways to make peace. The good news of the day: he’s going to solve it!”

“Thank you Viktor. There must be PEACE, and quickly. Too many people have died in a war that should never have started!”

Orban Meets Trump To Talk ‘Peace Mission’ (RT)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has met with GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump as part of the former’s effort to settle the Ukraine conflict. The Hungarian leader, who has repeatedly criticized the West’s approach to the hostilities and called for an immediate ceasefire, traveled to Russia, Ukraine, and China last week to discuss prospects for a peaceful settlement. He later attended NATO’s annual summit in Washington, but did not hold high-level talks with US President Joe Biden. Writing on X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday, Orban said he visited Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida as part of what he called “peace mission 5.0.” “We discussed ways to make peace. The good news of the day: he’s going to solve it!” the Hungarian Prime Minister noted, posting a photo of him standing next to Trump, with both smiling.

The GOP presidential frontrunner responded to Orban, writing on the Truth Social network: “Thank you Viktor. There must be PEACE, and quickly. Too many people have died in a war that should never have started!” Orban previously hailed Trump as “a man of peace,” under whose watch the US “did not initiate a single war.” The Republican has repeatedly vowed to end the Ukraine conflict within 24 hours if elected. While the details of this plan remain sketchy, last week Politico reported, citing sources, that Trump could strike a deal under which “NATO commits to no further eastward expansion,” specifically into Ukraine and Georgia while holding talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin “over how much Ukrainian territory Moscow can keep.”

During his visit to Kiev, the Hungarian leader called on Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky to agree to a ceasefire with Russia, a proposal the latter rejected. Zelensky also suggested that Orban does not have the clout required to negotiate an end to the conflict, noting that only the US, EU, or China could fill that role. Orban also traveled to Russia and met with Putin in an attempt to find, as he put it, “the shortest way out” of the Ukraine conflict. Numerous media reports suggested that this trip outraged many Western officials. White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that Ukraine was right to be concerned by attempts to negotiate peace without its participation. “Whatever adventurism is being undertaken without Ukraine’s consent or support is not something that’s consistent with our policy, the foreign policy of the United States,” he stressed.

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“..The last phone call between Biden and Putin took place in late December 2021..”

Biden Sees ‘No Reason’ To Talk To Putin (RT)

US President Joe Biden has said he has no reason to talk with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, including about the Ukraine conflict. However, he also said he would not refuse to engage with any world leader. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Biden was asked whether he would still be able to “deal” with Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping in a few years. “I’m ready to deal with them now,” he replied, noting that he maintains contact with Xi. However, when it comes to the Russian leader, Biden said he had “no good reason to talk to Putin” at the moment. “There’s not much that he is prepared to do in terms of accommodating any change in his behavior,” he added, referring to the hostilities between Moscow and Kiev. “I’m not ready to talk to Putin unless Putin is ready to change his behavior.”

However, Biden then said he was open to engagement with “any leader who wants to talk,” including Putin. He recalled that the last time the pair had a direct conversation, they were discussing an arms control agreement relating to nuclear weapons in space. “That didn’t go very far,” he added. The last phone call between Biden and Putin took place in late December 2021, several weeks before the start of Russia’s campaign in Ukraine, which resulted in bilateral relations plummeting to their lowest point since the Cold War.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last month that Russia was ready to hold talks with the US but only if such dialogue is “comprehensive” and includes not only arms control issues but also the Ukraine conflict. “It is impossible to take out any individual segments from the general complex of accumulated problems,” he said, acknowledging that both sides need to engage to address mounting problems in the global security architecture. On Thursday, Putin’s name was again mentioned by Biden during a joint event in Washington when he confused Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky for the Russian leader, exacerbating concerns about his mental state, which have been mounting since his disastrous debate performance against GOP rival Donald Trump last month.

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“..unlimited long-range strikes inside Russia is crucial for “having Ukraine on the map” and not allowing Moscow to “attack half of the planet.”

Zelensky Slams ‘Crazy’ Limits On Russia Strikes (RT)

Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky on Thursday lashed out at Kiev’s foreign backers for their reluctance to lift the remaining limitations on the use of Western-supplied weapons for long-range strikes inside Russia. Kiev already has the greenlight from several Western states to hit “legitimate” targets inside Russia with their weapons, as well as a concession from Washington to strike beyond Russia’s border near the city of Kharkov. However, Zelensky has been pushing for the strike range to be extended – a prospect Moscow has warned would constitute an escalation of the conflict. Speaking at a press conference at the NATO summit in Washington, Zelensky claimed that allowing Kiev to launch unlimited long-range strikes inside Russia is crucial for “having Ukraine on the map” and not allowing Moscow to “attack half of the planet.”

“If we want to win, if we want to prevail, if we want to save our country and to defend it, we need to lift all the limitations,” Zelensky stated. He cited week’s tragedy at the Okhmatdet children’s hospital in Kiev, which Ukraine has claimed was hit by a Russian missile. Moscow has insisted that the facility was hit by a Ukrainian air-defense missile. “That is a crazy question why we can’t answer and attack these… military bases from where these guided bombs from jets or missiles came, targeted us and killed our children,” Zelensky argued. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that Kiev is deliberately using tragedies in its PR campaigns ahead of important international events to demand more support from the West. Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, claimed that Kiev’s Western supporters saw the hospital tragedy as a “perfect gift” to justify escalation of the conflict.

US President Joe Biden on Thursday reaffirmed the limits on how Ukraine can use American-supplied weapons, arguing that it “wouldn’t make sense” to allow Zelensky to strike deep inside Russia.“We have allowed Zelensky to use American weapons in the near border regions of Russia. If he had the opportunity to strike Moscow, strike the Kremlin, would that make sense? No, it wouldn’t,” Biden said at a press briefing in Washington. The UK, which has a ban on using its long-range Storm Shadow missiles to hit targets deep inside Russia, has also apparently distanced itself from earlier statements by Prime Minister Keir Starmer. The premier on Wednesday signaled he was loosening restrictions on how the missiles are used, saying “it is for Ukraine to decide how to deploy [them].” However, according to a report by The Telegraph citing Downing Street, UK government policy “had not changed” regarding the deployment of the long-range missiles, and the limitations remain in place.

Lavrov

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“..the Ukrainian leader announced that he had “learned about the permission to use Storm Shadow missiles against military targets in Russian territory.”

UK Disputes Zelensky’s Long-range Strikes Claim – Telegraph (RT)

Claims by Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky that the UK has cleared him to order attacks deep inside Russia with British-supplied weapons are not true, according to The Telegraph. After a meeting with Prime Minister Keir Starmer on Wednesday, the Ukrainian leader announced that he had “learned about the permission to use Storm Shadow missiles against military targets in Russian territory.” The two officials “had the opportunity to discuss the practical implementation of this decision” he added. The Telegraph reported on Thursday that the situation was “more nuanced,” according to a senior defense source. In fact, there has been no policy change regarding the weapons after the new Labour government came to power, the British newspaper explained.

The Ukrainian use of air-launched long-range cruise missiles produced jointly by the UK and France was the source of a diplomatic spat in May, when then-Foreign Secretary David Cameron expressed sympathy for Kiev’s desire to use them outside of what London recognizes as Ukrainian territory. Ukraine “has the right to defend itself,” he said at the time, which many observers as well as the Russian government interpreted as a permission to deliver such strikes. British officials later indicated that certain limitations remained in place for Storm Shadow systems. Starmer this week said it was “up for Ukraine to decide how to deploy” the missiles, prompting the Kremlin to call his remarks “irresponsible and escalatory.”

Sources told The Telegraph that Zelensky would have to “seek assurances elsewhere” before he could fire British weapons deep inside Russia. Three nations – presumably Ukraine, the UK, and France – would have to sign off on such attacks, and it was not a done deal that Kiev would get its way, the report suggested. A senior defense official told the newspaper: “It’s not going to happen.” Zelensky urged Western backers, particularly the US, to lift all limitations on how Kiev can use their arms, during this week’s NATO summit in Washington DC. US President Joe Biden indicated that there will be no policy change. “If he had the capacity to strike Moscow, strike the Kremlin, would that make sense?” Biden said of Zelensky at a joint press conference on Wednesday. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that should Western arms be used to strike targets deep inside Russia, Moscow could provide similar military capabilities to parties hostile to the US and its allies elsewhere in the world.

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About as much sense as strikes on the White House.

Ukrainian Strikes On Kremlin Would ‘Make No Sense’ – Biden (RT)

The US sees no reason to allow Ukrainian strikes deeper inside Russian territory despite pleas from Kiev for permission to launch such attacks, President Joe Biden has said. Washington approved Ukrainian cross-border attacks using US-supplied weapons against Russian targets in late May, arguing that the shift in policy would help repel Moscow’s offensive in the border Kharkov Region. Biden said at the time that the US was permitting strikes “only in proximity to the border [with Russia] when [Russian weapons] are being used on the other side of the border to attack specific targets in Ukraine.” Russia launched its offensive in Kharkov Region in a bid to establish a so-called “cordon sanitaire” to shield its border areas from recurring Ukrainian attacks targeting civilians.

According to the Washington Post, Ukraine is allowed to strike some 100km inside Russian territory as recognized by the West, with officials in Kiev complaining that they were not authorized to attack some key airfields. Pentagon officials later also confirmed that Ukraine was allowed to strike targets beyond Kharkov Region. Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky, however, has insisted that all restrictions be lifted, calling it “crazy” that Kiev was being prevented from retaliating in response to some Russian strikes. Speaking at a press conference in Washington, DC on Thursday, Biden signaled that the US had no plans to loosen restrictions further.

“We’ve allowed Zelensky to use American weapons in the near term and the near abroad into Russia… If he had the capacity to strike Moscow, strike the Kremlin, would that make sense? It wouldn’t.” He added that Kiev and the West should ask itself “What’s the best use of the weaponry [Zelensky] has and the weaponry we’re getting to him?” President Vladimir Putin has said Ukrainian attacks inside Russian territory using Western-supplied weapons are “close to aggression,” while warning of an asymmetrical response.

Meanwhile, the US has essentially given Kiev carte blanche to use American-made weapons in attacks on Russian territories claimed by Ukraine. In late June, Moscow accused Kiev of launching a strike using long-range ATACMS missiles on Crimea, which killed four civilians and injured more than 150 on a beach in Sevastopol. Russia claimed that Washington was complicit in the attack, saying it had enabled a “premeditated terrorist missile attack.” Commenting on the tragedy, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller dismissed the accusations as “ridiculous.” He said that, while the US “regret[s] any civilian loss of life in this war,” it supplies Kiev with weapons “so it can defend its sovereign territory against armed aggression.”

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“Indeed, no issue has been resolved in favor of Ukraine. That’s the reality of NATO today..”

Scott Ritter: Ukraine an ‘Open Target for Russia to Take Apart’ (Sp.)

No matter how many and what kind of air defense systems NATO plans to donate to the Kiev regime, Russia will continue to pursue its military objectives while grinding through those weapons, underscored Scott Ritter. Fueling the ongoing proxy war in Ukraine will leave the West facing depleted stocks of its own air defense systems. Russia is able to wipe out the military equipment provided to the Kiev regime, especially air defense, at a rate “far greater than the West can even replenish its own stocks,” former US marine intelligence officer Scott Ritter told Sputnik. “This is a losing equation. And without air defense, Ukraine is literally an open target for Russia to take apart as it best sees fit,” said Ritter. On the opening day of the recent NATO summit in Washington, US President Joe Biden pledged to provide Ukraine with five new strategic air defense systems and dozens of smaller, strategic anti-air batteries over the coming year.

In remarks delivered at the opening of the summit, Biden said that to donate the Patriot systems, the US would join forces with Germany, Romania, Italy, and the Netherlands. The announcement came two days after a missile strike hit a children’s hospital in Kiev, with the Zelensky-led neo-Nazi regime and its Western allies groundlessly accusing Russia of targeting the building. Indeed, the well-timed announcement from Washington comes as Ukraine seems to have “a particular desire” for the Patriot air defense system, noted Ritter, but “it’ll take whatever it can get.” According to the ex-marine intel officer, even after Ukraine gets the promised air defenses, it will face a big problem reconstructing an integrated air defense umbrella.

Back when Ukraine was initially provided with the NATO air defense systems such as the Patriots, NASAMs, IRIS-T, French (SAMP/T) Mamba – they had a Soviet era air defense umbrella that consisted primarily of the S-300 air defense system, the Buk, others, he explained. However, in the months of the proxy conflict this air defense umbrella became nonexistent, underscored Ritter, adding: “And when Ukraine brings in their air defense systems, they have to do so in a very makeshift, haphazard manner. They aren’t able to use them the way they were designed. This requires trickery, you know, turning on and off radars, firing missiles before radar lock is taking place. It’s a very inefficient way to use air defense systems. And because Russia is able to put an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance umbrella over Ukraine, anytime Ukraine uses air defense, it’s detected.”

Since Russia’s Armed Forces are able to in very short order locate and destroy the systems, Kiev is in “one of these vicious cycles where there simply isn’t enough weapon systems available to allow Ukraine to build the air defense umbrella it needs,” remarked the expert. “This is one of the detrimental consequences of the attritional warfare that’s being waged today in Ukraine… And it’s one of the issues that this NATO summit has not been able to resolve in favor of Ukraine. Indeed, no issue has been resolved in favor of Ukraine. That’s the reality of NATO today,” concluded Scott Ritter.

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“If anything Russia is acting more of a leader here and thus it may strengthen Russia’s hand..”

NATO’s Obsession Boosts Russia’s Role as Global Leader – Rasmussen (Sp.)

The latest NATO joint declaration condemning Russia appears to be backfiring and instead establishing Moscow more than ever as the leader of the global resistance against US hegemony, retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel and political consultant Earl Rasmussen, told Sputnik. “If anything Russia is acting more of a leader here and thus it may strengthen Russia’s hand,” former vice president of the Eurasia Foundation Rasmussen said. Russia was the central focus of the 32-nation Alliance declaration that was issued on Wednesday. The declaration stated that Russia remains the most significant and direct threat to the Allies’ security, and expressed profound concern over the deepening strategic partnership between Russia and China, which aims to undermine and reshape the rules-based international order. However, despite its hostile tone towards Russia and China, Rasmussen said he doubted the NATO summit had achieved any concrete results.

“I think in general the summit will accomplish very little. It will act as a cheerleader/pep-talk. Very little seems to have been accomplished thus far, with few exceptions.” he said. The declaration document itself showed a provocative mood towards Russia and China, Rasmussen observed.”It discusses expansion in Europe as well as stronger coordination in Asia and the Middle East in addition to funding contributions and weapon system modernization,” he added. NATO leaders in their declaration also displayed a clearly stated objective to increase the number of joint military exercises and to establish a security presence along their eastern borders with Russia, Rasmussen noted. The growing tensions expressed at the summit looked likely to endure, Rasmussen said, adding that China and Russia should react with patience but determination against the growing hostility they faced from the West.

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“European male ethnicities are so oppressed by their own governments and by immigrant-invaders favored by European governments, that the defense ministers of Europe are women. What does a white ethnic European male have to fight for?”

Why Is the West Preparing for War? (Paul Craig Roberts)

One result of the just concluded NATO Summit is Germany’s decision to host US intermediate-range missiles. Prior to 2019 when Washington cancelled the INF Treaty, the treaty prevented such deployment. The INF Treaty was signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev on December 8,1987, and the treaty was ratified on June 1, 1988. The treaty was part and parcel of ending the cold war. Reagan called the treaty a “step toward a safer world.” “The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty required the United States and the Soviet Union to eliminate and permanently forswear all of their nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. The treaty marked the first time the superpowers had agreed to reduce their nuclear arsenals, eliminate an entire category of nuclear weapons, and employ extensive on-site inspections for verification. As a result of the INF Treaty, the United States and the Soviet Union destroyed a total of 2,692 short-, medium-, and intermediate-range missiles by the treaty’s implementation deadline of June 1, 1991.”

Blaming Russia the Trump administration pulled out of the treaty. The consequence was to kill the nuclear disarmament that the INF Treaty began and to renew the arms race. If I had to bet I would say Washington’s withdrawal was a consequence of the US nuclear industry needing the source of profits that the arms race provided and the neoconservatives’ determination to revive US hegemony through the buildup of force. If Russia was truly out of compliance, Trump’s focus should have been to work to bring Russia into compliance, not terminate the treaty. The efforts of several American presidents and Soviet leaders in the 20th century to defuse tensions and to build trust were squandered by Washington in the 21st century. Regardless, what is clear is that Washington is pushing both Europe and Russia into preparing for war, and is itself preparing.

The US Senate has joined the House of Representatives in creating a draft registration system from which to field a conscripted army. The Senate’s version includes women in the draft, as equal treatment requires. Clearly, Washington sees the need for a larger army than a volunteer army can provide. Now that the Biden regime is supplying F-16s and long-range missiles to Ukraine, weapon systems that Biden said would never be given to the Ukrainians, along with targeting information, clearly Washington’s intent is to further widen the war by carrying it deep into civilian areas of Russia. Simultaneously, Washington is using its NGOs in Georgia to orchestrate a color revolution there in order to open a second front against Russia. Putin’s slow forever war in Ukraine has played directly into Washington’s hands.

China is the main focus of Washington’s strategy of isolating Russia. At the recent NATO Summit China was accused of being a “decisive enabler” of Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. By allegedly supplying armaments to Russia, China is accused of challenging “our interests, security and values.” I would have expected a different Chinese reply than was made. China should have said to Washington/NATO: “You started the conflict and your weapons systems and French troops are supporting and widening the conflict. You have blocked all efforts to end the conflict; yet you dare accuse us of responsibility for it.” Instead, the Chinese disavowed supplying Russia with any military support. This is an extremely weak response. It suggests that all the Russian-Chinese assurance of a “no-limits partnership” is just words. An appropriate response from China would have been: “We are considering sending 500,000 of our best soldiers to serve under Russian command in Ukraine and have called up another million men for military training.

A response such as this is what would end the conflict before the dumbshit hegemonic West puts us all in a war of annihilation. In recorded history one can find very few competent civilian and military leaders. Alexander the Great, Constantine, Charles Martel, Charlemagne, the Duke of Marlborough, Robert E. Lee. No such men exist today, but the weapons are far more terrible. Moreover, modern war targets civilians and civilian infrastructure, as the Israelis are doing in Gaza. The goal is less to defeat an opposing army than it is to foreclose an opponent’s ability to conduct war. In Europe a warrior class no longer exists. European male ethnicities are so oppressed by their own governments and by immigrant-invaders favored by European governments, that the defense ministers of Europe are women. What does a white ethnic European male have to fight for?

In the US the fighting force has always come from the southern states. But what have these traditional Americans, these military families, witnessed? They have seen all southern names struck from military bases. They have experienced their promotions on hold while homosexuals, black females, and transgendered people confused about their own gender are promoted. Taking orders from such people is not a southern man’s idea of the military. So recruitment has collapsed. There are so few people willing to fight for America that Congress entertains proposals to enroll immigrant-invaders, paid with citizenship for fighting for American hegemony. America has reached the point that Rome reached. Once the Roman military was German, the Germans became the emperors. The Germans did a fairly decent job compared to the decadent Romans, but the Empire was exhausted by its internal conflicts and collapsed. Perhaps it is the collapse of the West that Putin and XI are banking on. Why bother to fight people busy destroying themselves.

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“NATO’s aim is to regain control of Russian resources and finances as the West enjoyed in the 1990s, when it asset-stripped formerly state-owned industries, enriching themselves and a new class of oligarchs while impoverishing the Russian people. Putin is now standing in their way.”

NATO Summit: Collectively Losing Their Mind (Lauria)

On March 7, 2022, two weeks after Moscow entered the civil war in Ukraine, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CBS News from Moldova that the U.S. would give Poland a “green light” to send Mig-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. Within days the Pentagon shot down the idea. Then U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also supported the Polish planes scheme, but the Pentagon rejected it because it “could result in significant Russian reaction that might increase the prospects of a military escalation with NATO,” according to then Pentagon spokesman John Kirby. But yesterday Blinken told a public policy forum at the NATO summit in Washington: “As we speak the transfer of F-16 jets is underway coming from Denmark, coming from the Netherlands and those jets will be flying in the skies of Ukraine this summer to make sure that Ukraine can continue to effectively defend itself against the Russian aggression.”

It is not quite NATO declaring a no-fly zone over Ukraine, which was dismissed by President Joe Biden in March 2022 because “that’s called World War III, okay? Let’s get it straight here, guys. We will not fight the third world war in Ukraine.” “President Biden’s been clear that … if you establish a no-fly zone, certainly in order to enforce that no-fly zone, you’ll have to engage Russian aircraft. And again, that would put us at war with Russia,” added Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at the time. Though not declaring a no-fly zone, these are still NATO fighter jets leaving from NATO countries to operate with Ukrainian pilots against Russian aircraft in Ukrainian airspace. More dangerously, NATO is permitting Ukraine to fly the F-16s to attack inside Russian territory. So what changed since March 2022 to allow the U.S. and NATO to risk, in the previous words of Biden, “World War III?”

What’s changed is that back then the White House and the Pentagon still thought the strategy of economic and information warfare plus a proxy ground war would defeat Russia in Ukraine, and ultimately bring down Vladimir Putin in Moscow. But for more than a year now it’s been evident that the U.S. — and NATO — have lost the economic and information war, as well as the proxy fighting on the ground in Ukraine. One year into the war, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at a dinner in February 2023 that he had to face facts: Ukraine would lose the war and should negotiate a settlement with Moscow. The Wall Street Journal quoted Macron as telling Zelensky that “even mortal enemies like France and Germany had to make peace after World War II.” Macron told Zelensky “he had been a great war leader, but that he would eventually have to shift into political statesmanship and make difficult decisions,” the newspaper reported.

U.S.-led NATO could not launch its economic, information and proxy war against Russia without cause. That cause would be Russia invading Ukraine to defend ethnic Russians in a civil war that had raged since 2014, sparked when the U.S. helped to overthrow the democratically-elected government that year. The economic war, intended to spur Russians to overthrow their government, has failed spectacularly. The ruble did not collapse despite sanctions on the Russian central bank. Nor has the economy. Instead an alternative economic, commercial and financial system that excludes the West has arisen with China, India and Russia in the lead, and most of Asia, Africa and Latin America taking part in what appears to be the final chapter of Western colonialism. The sanctions instead backfired on the West, especially in Europe. The information war has failed across the world. Only the United States and Europe, which consider itself “the world,” believe their own “information.”

The proxy war is being lost on the ground, though more than $100 billion in U.S. aid to Ukraine has created a bloodbath. There will either be a negotiated settlement in which Ukraine loses territory; a total Russian victory; or potentially the final war. The U.S. pushed Russia to the brink to provoke its intervention. It began with a 30-year NATO expansion eastward with NATO exercises on Russia’s borders while calling for Ukraine to become a member, a call reiterated at the summit yesterday. In December 2021 the West rejected Russian treaty proposals to roll back NATO troop deployments and missile installations in Eastern Europe, creating a new security architecture in Europe. NATO’s aim is to regain control of Russian resources and finances as the West enjoyed in the 1990s, when it asset-stripped formerly state-owned industries, enriching themselves and a new class of oligarchs while impoverishing the Russian people. Putin is now standing in their way.

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“In her presentation for the UN, Bell omitted the medical evidence. Her military expert went unnamed, his evidence unexamined. This is called hearsay in a British or American court..”

The Warhead Evidence, Medical And Autopsy Reports Are Missing (Helmer)

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Maria Zakharova, the Okhmatdet hospital had been struck by a US-made, Norway-supplied NASAMS air defence missile, fired by a Ukrainian battery attempting to protect the Artyom (Artem) plant. “Many eyewitnesses and other sources have already confirmed that a Western-made NASAMS surface-to-air missile hit a building of the Okhmatdet Hospital for Children in Kiev. Officials on Bankovaya Street [Zelensky regime headquarters] immediately started blaming Russia for deliberately killing children. However, no one said that the Artyom Plant is located next to the affected clinic, and that Defense Ministry buildings and military warehouses are also located next door. Certainly, no one said that pro-Bandera supporters are deliberately deploying air defence systems in residential areas, using civilians as a human shield.

The Kiev junta has been using purely civilian enterprises for military purposes for a long time, either using them to assemble and repair military equipment or to store Western-made weapons and military equipment.” The Russian representative at the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, currently rotational president of the UN Security Council, told a special council session that the strike on the hospital had been a Ukrainian one, not a Russian one. He added: “The X-101 missile would have done a lot more damage to the building it hit [Min 6:52]…if it had been a Russian missile, there would have been nothing left of the building and the children and most of the adults would have been killed rather than wounded [Min 8:20]” Like Zakharova, Nebenzya identified military industrial targets. The two Russian officials have not identified the electric war targets.

They are not lying; they are telling less than the full truth. When that is understood from all the available evidence, there is no mens rea. No conviction in a western court of law. The prosecution’s case is dismissed. In war, especially in propaganda war, there is no such thing as independence. United Nations (UN) organizations from the UN Secretary-General and his office down the UN line, are not independent. In the current war they have taken the US-NATO side. In a briefing by Danielle Bell, a UN official in Kiev on Tuesday, the day after the air raid, she claimed “Analysis of the video footage and assessment made at the incident site indicates a high likelihood that the children’s hospital suffered a direct hit rather than receiving damages due to an intercepted weapons system. Of course, as was said earlier, this must be investigated. At the time of the attack, 670 child patients, mainly inpatients, were there together with more than a thousand medical staff.”

Bell, a Canadian national who has served beside US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, did not say what she meant by “direct hit” and did not distinguish between warhead detonation, shrapnel wounds, and blast impacts. When prompted for more evidence, Bell said: “We haven’t determined.” In a British or American courtroom, that is the end of proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The defence lawyer would then announce to judge and jury the prosecution has failed and move for summary dismissal. But the UN official announced differently, conclusively: “We’ve assessed the factors that suggest the likelihood that it was a direct hit of a KH-101 [X-101 is the Cyrillic acronym translated into English] missile launched by the Russian Federation. The factors suggesting that it was a direct hit are based on video footage, which shows the technical specification of the type of weapon that was used. It shows the weapon directly impacting the hospital rather than being intercepted in the air. And thirdly, my military, our military expert, visited the site yesterday and observed damages at the site that were consistent with a direct hit.”

To measure “consistent with a direct hit” in a homicide prosecution requires clinical and autopsy evidence of the cause of death or injury to individuals. In the Kiev hospital case, to date there is no evidence of fragmentation metal or cluster elements from the X-101 warhead causing either death or injury in the hospital. No comparison has been published openly by the Ukrainians of X-101 warhead fragmentation and NASAMS warhead fragmentation. The warhead payload of the X-101 has been reported at 400 kg of high explosive fragmentation of metal elements. The warhead of the NASAMS missile is 20 kg of explosive.

Physical wounding by flying glass or collapsing structures is consistent with blast from outside the hospital. Wounds by warhead shrapnel identified in the bodies of the casualties by X-ray or CT and MRI scans can be compared for the source of the metal to distinguish between the X-101 and the NASAMS. This has not been done by the Ukrainian side. Without such evidence – protected by chain of custody to prevent tampering, substitutions of metal, and fakery – the prosecution fails. In her presentation for the UN, Bell omitted the medical evidence. Her military expert went unnamed, his evidence unexamined. This is called hearsay in a British or American court. For proof of actus reus, the judge will direct the jury that without circumstantial corroboration and cross-examination, the expert’s testimony has next to no evidential value in a homicide prosecution.

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“..and direct a corporate looting operation of Russia’s oil and mineral riches. Ukraine was the doorway they had to go through to get that done.”

The Cover Your Ass Olympics (Kunstler)

You can’t deny that “Joe Biden” did his goodest last night facing down a half-dozen pre-selected reporters representing blob-adjacent news orgs such as Reuters and NPR at the post-NATO meetup damage-control event billed as a “news conference.” Only a week after he declared himself to be the “first black woman vice-president,” he pivoted to correct the record, telling the DC press corps that he’d “picked Vice-president Trump to be vice-president. . .” and everyone in the room saw that they were back in that mortifying scene in The Caine Mutiny when the confused and incompetent Captain Queeg reaches for the ball bearings in his pocket. At the end of the harrowing hour, he minced his way offstage, leaving his Party of Chaos evermore sore perplexed as to how they might lever this burnt-out old hack out of the nomination they foolishly secured for him months ago.

It ain’t gonna be easy, as “JB” repeatedly insisted he had no intention of stepping aside, despite the forces mustering against him in Congress, the media, and Hollywood. Even CNN is turning on him. Meanwhile, the #VeepTrump clip went viral on social media. So much for damage control. You understand, don’t you, what a fiasco the 75th Anniversary DC NATO meetup itself was? Everyone in the room, including the key prime ministers and presidents, could sense how flimsy the alliance now appears, as led by our maundering near-zombie president. Like “Joe Biden,” NATO’s raison d’être has been exposed as badly out-of-date and dangerously unhinged. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg kicked things off declaring that “Ukraine is on an ‘irreversible’ path to NATO.” This controverts what everybody in NATO knows is Mr. Putin’s clearest red line, and is therefore either a jape or a bit of recklessly provocative idiocy.

The truth of the matter is this: following its transition out of the failed Soviet experiment thirty years ago, Russia was never a threat to its European neighbors. All the talk of Vladimir Putin seeking to reassemble the old USSR empire was knowingly false, as is the chatter now about Russia looking to invade Europe. What Russia actually sought was to be regarded, once again, as a normal European nation able to conduct normal business with the rest of Europe. The USA wouldn’t allow it. Exactly why remains partially mysterious. Surely, post-1991, it was in the interest of US military contractors to maintain their Cold War revenue streams. To do that, a foreign hobgoblin had to be invoked — and perhaps China was not the best candidate, since it had begun manufacturing everything on sale in the Walmart — so Russia, with practically no export economy, was cast in that role.

And the politicians, too, surely liked creaming off their share of that military-industrial revenue stream, so they went along policy-wise, with figures like John McCain and Lindsay Graham leading the charge. But the US intel blob and State Department had darker motives, driven by an animus that has slowly revealed itself to be insane — just as the Democratic Party has turned obviously insane, adopting a playbook that could have been written by Franz Kafka. Being likewise insane, the intel blob and the neocons at State harbored an unappeasable hatred toward Russia that, since the Soviet collapse, allowed no accommodation and gelled into a naked avarice for seizing the resources of Russia with a long-term plan to subvert the Russian state, break it up the way they broke up Serbia in the 1990s, and direct a corporate looting operation of Russia’s oil and mineral riches. Ukraine was the doorway they had to go through to get that done.

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Too much free speech? What does the 1st Amendment say about that?

“The First Amendment is Out of Control” (Turley)

As I have laid out in testimony before Congress, Jen Easterly, who heads the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, extended her agency’s mandate over “critical infrastructure” to include “our cognitive infrastructure.” The resulting censorship efforts included combating “malinformation” – described as information “based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate.” So, you can cite true facts but still be censored for misleading others. The media has been running an unrelenting line of anti-free speech columns. Recently, the New York Times ran a column by former Biden official and Columbia University law professor Tim Wu describing how the First Amendment was “out of control” in protecting too much speech. Wu insists that the First Amendment is now “beginning to threaten many of the essential jobs of the state, such as protecting national security and the safety and privacy of its citizens.” He bizarrely claims that the First Amendment “now mostly protects corporate interests.”

So free speech not only threatens your life, your job, and your privacy, but serves corporate masters. Ready to sign your rights away? Wait, there is more. There is a movement afoot to rewrite the First Amendment through an amendment. George Washington University Law School Professor Mary Anne Franks believes that the First Amendment is “aggressively individualistic” and needs to be rewritten to “redo” the work of the Framers. Her new amendment suggestion replaces the clear statement in favor of a convoluted, ambiguous statement of free speech that will be “subject to responsibility for abuses.” It then adds that “all conflicts of such rights shall be resolved in accordance with the principle of equality and dignity of all persons.” Franks has also dismissed objections to the censorship on social media and insisted that “the Internet model of free speech is little more than cacophony, where the loudest, most provocative, or most unlikeable voice dominates . . . If we want to protect free speech, we should not only resist the attempt to remake college campuses in the image of the Internet but consider the benefits of remaking the Internet in the image of the university.”

Franks is certainly correct that those “unlikeable voices” are rarely heard in academia today. As discussed in my book, faculties have largely purged conservative, Republican, libertarian, and dissenting professors. The discussion on most campuses now runs from the left to far left without that pesky “cacophony” of opposing viewpoints. Experts at leading universities were fired or stripped of positions for questioning COVID claims. Conservative faculty have been hounded from schools and conservative sites have been targeted by government-funded programs. Thousands have been banned from social media. What is particularly maddening for many in the free speech community is how the left has responded to opposition to censorship and blacklisting. Some are claiming to be victims by those who criticize their work to target individuals and groups as disinformation.

Others, like comedian Jon Stewart mock those who object to the erosion of free speech by noting that conservatives are making these objections on television or online. So, according to Stewart, how can there be a problem if you are able to still object? The suggestion is that there can be no threat to free speech unless people are completely silenced. Stewart insists that “we are surrounded by and inundated with more speech than has ever existed in the history of communication.” In other words, because people can still speak, the well-documented systems of censorship and blacklisting must not be so bad. It is not clear what Stewart would accept as sufficient censorship. In universities, polls show both faculty and students afraid to speak openly. The government has funded a host of programs to pressure the source of revenue of conservative sites and to target dissenting voices.

Yet, because we are raising objections to these trends, Stewart laughs at the very notion that free speech is under fire. After all, he is doing just fine. What appears to be a punchline to Stewart is a bit more serious for others who have their livelihoods threatened by the anti-free speech movement. Stewart has the benefit of being a liberal comedian on a liberal network. Try being a conservative comedian today getting air time on most cable outlets or college campuses. Like so many academics, everything seems just fine to them. With the purging of opposition viewpoints, those who remain have little to complain about. The effort to assure citizens that “there is nothing to see here” is belied by a massive censorship system described by one federal court as “Orwellian.” Conservatives face cancel campaigns and blacklisting in academic and media forums.

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“Mike Benz, a former Trump administration official, highlighted this to suggest the EU’s real motivation is to “use the DSA to force X to restaff the censorship squad fired when Elon took over.”

EU Offered X Secret Censorship Deal – Musk (RT)

X (formerly Twitter) is facing persecution by the European Union because it rejected Brussels’ demand to secretly censor opinions on the platform, its owner Elon Musk has revealed. The EU announced on Friday that it considered X in violation of its Digital Services Act (DSA) and intended to levy massive fines against the company unless it changed its practices. “The European Commission offered X an illegal secret deal: if we quietly censored speech without telling anyone, they would not fine us,” Musk wrote in response. “The other platforms accepted that deal. X did not.” “We look forward to a very public battle in court, so that the people of Europe can know the truth,” he added. Musk bought Twitter in October 2022, after voicing displeasure over widespread censorship on the social media platform. He has since unbanned most blocked accounts, including that of former President Donald Trump.

When Musk announced “the bird is freed,” one of the responses came from Thierry Breton, the EU Commissioner for Internal Market. “In Europe, the bird will fly by our rules,” Breton said, with a reference to the DSA. On Friday, Breton explained the European Commission’s move against Musk by arguing that X violates the EU’s “transparency requirements” by denying access to “researchers,” among other things. “Back in the day, BlueChecks used to mean trustworthy sources of information. Now with X, our preliminary view is that they deceive users and infringe the DSA,” Breton said. According to the Commission, allowing anyone to obtain verification in exchange for a subscription fee “negatively affects users’ ability to make free and informed decisions about the authenticity of the accounts and the content they interact with.”

The Commission also objected that X does not maintain “a searchable and reliable advertisement repository” that would “allow for the required supervision and research into emerging risks.” What most bothered the EU body was that X does not allow scraping its public data by “researchers” or grant access to its application programming interface (API), as DSA mandates. Mike Benz, a former Trump administration official, highlighted this to suggest the EU’s real motivation is to “use the DSA to force X to restaff the censorship squad fired when Elon took over.” He further alleged that people who present themselves as researchers are actually “censorship activities & political operatives.” Musk reposted Benz’s analysis with just one word of comment: “Exactly.” X is now expected to respond to the Commission in writing. If the EU upholds Breton’s preliminary findings, X could be fined “up to 6% of the total worldwide annual turnover” and ordered to address its “breach” under “enhanced supervision,” the body said.

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Magnetics

 

 

France fags

 

 

Doggo dive
https://twitter.com/i/status/1811515980280926540

 

 

Honey

 

 

 

 

Handstand
https://twitter.com/i/status/1811744486516461940

 

 

Kitty

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 122024
 
 July 12, 2024  Posted by at 9:18 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  66 Responses »


Pablo Picasso The three dancers 1925

 

Biden Will ‘Never Recover’ And Must Drop Out – Aides to NBC (RT)
Biden Mixes Up Harris & Trump, Zelensky & Putin (Sp.)
Comer Subpoenas Top Biden Handlers To Find Out Who’s Running The Country (ZH)
NATO More Nervous About Biden Than Trump – Politico (RT)
West Sees Zelensky As Cash Cow, to Keep Him in Power ‘For Now’ – Russia (Sp.)
NATO Declaration Is Neoconservative Recommitment to US Hegemony – Sachs (Sp.)
Either NATO or Ukraine -or Both- Must Go – Medvedev (RT)
We are NATO. And We’re Comin’ To Get Ya (Pepe Escobar)
Poland Preparing Military For Full-Scale Conflict, Army Chief Says (ZH)
NATO Countries Closest to Russia Up Defense Spending (ET)
Musk Announces X To Sue Those Behind Advertising Censorship Cartel (ZH)
AOC Files Articles Of Impeachment Against Justices Alito, Thomas (Fox)
LinkedIn, Google Openly Censor Conservatives – Again (Sellers)
Can the West Survive Democracy? (Paul Craig Roberts)
‘My Life’s Work Melting Before My Eyes’ (Scott Ritter)

 

 

 

 

Joe VP
https://twitter.com/i/status/1811002365232755172

 

 

Obama report

 

 

HiMARS

 

 

Tesla

 

 

Eva

 

 

Elon drones

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..The last full cabinet meeting was on October 2 last year..”

Biden Will ‘Never Recover’ And Must Drop Out – Aides to NBC (RT)

US President Joe Biden has no way to recover from the debate disaster and needs to drop out of the race, multiple campaign aides have told NBC News. The 81-year-old Democrat has been under increasing public pressure from the media, senior party members, donors, and celebrity sympathizers to step down after a catastrophic performance in the June 27 debate with Republican challenger Donald Trump. “No one is denying that the debate was a setback,” campaign chair Jen O’Malley Dillon and campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said in a memo to staff, leaked to NBC on Thursday. “But Joe Biden and this campaign have made it through setbacks before.” Others were more blunt. “He needs to drop out,” one Biden campaign official told NBC, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“He will never recover from this.” “No one involved in the effort thinks he has a path,” said a second campaign aide. Another campaign worker described Biden’s chances of winning the November election as “zero.” Multiple aides have raised concerns that the president’s performance might spill over to down-ballot races, costing Democrats seats in Congress. Biden called into a friendly MSNBC show on Monday and insisted he was “not going anywhere” and that he would be the party’s nominee. However, NBC’s sources said that it was a “widespread” feeling in both the campaign and the party that the Democrats should nominate someone else, such as Vice President Kamala Harris. Meanwhile, CNN has revealed that Biden’s aides have been scripting and orchestrating cabinet meetings in a sort of a stage production.

The last full cabinet meeting was on October 2 last year, according to the outlet. The White House responded by providing a statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who called the way the meetings have been run “standard practice for any administration.” CNN sources, however, said that this was definitely not the case under President Barack Obama, when Biden was his vice president. Last week, it was revealed that a Parkinson’s Disease expert has visited the White House at least eight times over the past year. If anyone dares question the president’s health or fitness, however, Biden’s aides “beat the s**t out of” them and insist they “stay on message,” a top Democrat close to Biden’s inner circle told CNN.

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No-one tells him anything apparently.

Biden Mixes Up Harris & Trump, Zelensky & Putin (Sp.)

President Joe Biden said during a press conference after the NATO summit that he would take a neurological exam if his doctors recommended it but so far he has not received such suggestions from his medical team. “If they think I should have a neurological exam again, I’ll do it, [but] no one’s suggesting that to me now,” Biden said on Thursday. Earlier in the press conference, Biden referred to Vice President Kamala Harris as former US President, and his likely opponent, Donald Trump. “I wouldn’t have picked Vice President Trump to be vice president [inaudible] if I think she’s not qualified to be president,” Biden said. When asked how he would respond to the gaffe, which former President Donald Trump had already posted about on social media, Biden would only reply “listen to him [Trump].”

Earlier in the day at a NATO event, Biden similarly mixed up Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin. “And now I want to hand it over to the President of Ukraine who has as much courage as he has determination. Ladies and gentlemen, President Putin,” Biden said to the confusion of the crowd. Biden has been facing calls to end his reelection campaign, including by members of his own party, after an embarrassing performance during a televised debate with Trump. Biden has since been insistent that he will remain in the race, despite a series of high-profile gaffes and disastrous interviews in the weeks since the debate. The press conference was Biden’s first in 2024. He said he will not leave the race unless his team tells him “There’s no way you can win,” but claimed “No one’s saying that. No poll says that.”

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“Key White House staff must come before our committee so we can provide the transparency and accountability that Americans deserve..”

Comer Subpoenas Top Biden Handlers To Find Out Who’s Running The Country (ZH)

The House Oversight Committee subpoenaed three top White House aides on Wednesday, and has demanded that they sit for depositions concerning President Joe Biden’s health – and who’s actually running the country. As Axios reports, Oversight chair James Comer (R-KY) subpoenaed First Lady Jill Biden’s top aide Anthony Bernal, deputy chief of staff Annie Tomasini, and senior adviser Ashley Williams, who the outlet described as “low-profile but very influential” inside the White House. According to Wednesday letters, Comer cites Bernal and Tomasini’s access to the first family’s residence – which White House residence staff found ‘unusual,’ as ‘political staffers often don’t have such access.’

According to one former Biden aide, these three employees – Annie Tomasini, Anthony Bernal, and Ashley Williams – have created “a protective bubble around” President Biden and he is “staffed so closely that he’s lost all independence.” -House Oversight Committee Comer also writes that the committee is “concerned” that each official is “one of several White House staffers who have taken it upon themselves to run the country while the President cannot.” In his letter to Bernal — whose influence extends well beyond the first lady’s office — Comer wrote: The “Committee seeks to understand the extent of Mr. Bernal’s influence over the President and his knowledge of whether the President is personally discharging the duties of his office.” -Axios

Tomasini, a close friend of the Biden family, maintained close relations with Hunter throughout the Obama administration – sometimes referring to him as her “brother,” and often ending emails with “LY” (Love You), according to emails dating from 2010 to 2016. “The White House has shielded three key aides from testifying about President Biden’s mishandling of classified documents and now we’ve learned through reporting these same aides are also seeking to cover up President Biden’s declining cognitive state inside the White House. President Biden is clearly unfit for office, yet his staff are trying to hide the truth from the American people. Key White House staff must come before our committee so we can provide the transparency and accountability that Americans deserve,” said Comer in a statement.

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“..you’re more stressed about whether he will go off script than being excited to listen to the leader of the free world..”

NATO More Nervous About Biden Than Trump – Politico (RT)

The frail state of US President Joe Biden seems to have worried NATO officials at the key Washington summit far more than how the bloc could be drastically changed if Republican frontrunner Donald Trump retakes the White House, Politico reported on Thursday, citing sources. Long-running concerns about the 81-year-old president’s mental state were exacerbated by his shaky debate performance against Trump two weeks ago. Numerous media outlets have described Biden – who often confused words and failed to finish sentences – as “fumbling” and “incoherent.” The debate disaster reportedly left some Democrats scrambling to find a replacement for him, although Biden himself has categorically stated he had no plans to drop out of the race.

Biden is also taking part in the key NATO summit in Washington this week. According to Politico, several European nations have been “alarmed” by the president’s apparent decline and increasingly concerned by or even resigned to the fact that he could lose the November election to Trump, who harbors much more “hostile” feelings towards NATO. Some NATO officials were upset that concerns about Biden had distracted the public from what was supposed to be a celebratory summit, according to the report. “It’s a very weird feeling to be in Europe listening to the president of the United States, and you’re more stressed about whether he will go off script than being excited to listen to the leader of the free world,” one Western official told the magazine. A Politico source noted that “everyone’s focusing on Biden’s appearance” rather than on Trump’s statements about NATO, recalling that the GOP candidate is not much younger than his rival. “We would prefer a more stable situation in the US,” the official added.

While Biden has championed NATO as “the bulwark of global security,” Trump has been much more critical of the bloc. The ex-president has repeatedly blasted NATO allies for failing to pay what he considers a “fair share” of common defense spending. In February, Trump claimed to have told fellow Western leaders that, unless they invest more in defense, when he was in office he “would encourage” the Russians “to do whatever the hell they want.” This prompted rebukes from both the Biden administration and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Earlier this month, Politico also reported that Trump was considering a deal with Russia not to expand NATO to Ukraine and Georgia if he is reelected.

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“..Washington and Brussels would prefer Zelensky to remain in power, as lucrative war profiteering schemes are tied to him. Zelensky’s opponents are advised to exercise restraint “for the time being.”

West Sees Zelensky As Cash Cow, to Keep Him in Power ‘For Now’ – Russia (Sp.)

The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) has released information obtained from Russian covert operatives, shedding light on the direct involvement of the collective West in the proxy conflict in Ukraine. According to the declassified information, the US State Department and the European External Action Service are worried about the increasing distrust among Ukrainians towards the state institutions of the Kiev regime, as well as towards Volodymyr Zelensky’s rule, which they consider illegitimate. Despite this, Washington and Brussels would prefer Zelensky to remain in power, as lucrative war profiteering schemes are tied to him. Zelensky’s opponents are advised to exercise restraint “for the time being.”

The declassified information also unveils the search for an alternative to Zelensky that is currently underway, with ongoing contacts being maintained with key figures including ex-president Petro Poroshenko (leader of the European Solidarity party), Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko, former Ukrainian commander-in-chief Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, and Ukrainian aide Andriy Yermak. In a worst-case scenario, Zelensky may be made the ‘fall guy’ and replaced with one of these potential substitutes. According to the declassified information, the French Defense Ministry is worried about the increasing number of casualties among its citizens in Ukraine. This concern was highlighted by the recent incident in Kharkov on January 16 where ‘dozens’ of French nationals were killed when a temporary deployment point of foreign mercenaries was destroyed by the Russian armed forces. Despite this, a French contingent of 2,000 men is being prepared for deployment to Ukraine.

The FBI, US private military companies (PMCs), and the DEA have ramped up efforts to recruit imprisoned members of Mexican and Colombian drug cartels to fight in Ukraine in return for a full pardon. The first such group numbering several hundred people is to be dispatched to Ukraine in the summer. If the pilot project is successful, it may be extended to include other countries with a high crime rate, according to the declassified information. The declassified information indicates that the United States is attempting to steer the investigation into the May assassination attempt on Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico in a specific direction. Their objective is to present the incident as a lone wolf attack with no connections to foreign entities. This is being done to prevent it from being exposed as an act of targeting individuals with dissenting viewpoints, such as Fico and Hungary’s Prime Minister Victor Orban.

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“..Article 10 of the Washington Treaty, which claims that Russia has no input if NATO expands to surround Russia..”

NATO Declaration Is Neoconservative Recommitment to US Hegemony – Sachs (Sp.)

NATO’s latest joint declaration serves as a stark neoconservative recommitment to US hegemony, Jeffrey Sachs, a world-renowned economist and President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, told Sputnik. “The NATO Declaration is a stark neoconservative recommitment to US hegemony. It calls for NATO to back the ‘rules-based order,’ which is actually the US-based order that is often directly contrary to the UN Charter,” Sachs said. On Wednesday, NATO released a joint Washington Summit Declaration, which outlines the alliance’s efforts to further isolate Russia, bolster the alliance’s security on its eastern flank, increase security assistance for Ukraine, and claim Ukraine is on an “irreversible path” into NATO, among other initiatives. “It describes NATO as a defensive force despite the fact that NATO is repeatedly engaged in offensive regime-change operations, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Serbia, Libya, Ukraine, and others,” Sachs said.

Sachs explains that NATO’s declaration also restates Article 10 of the Washington Treaty, which claims that Russia has no input if NATO expands to surround Russia. Moreover, Sachs said NATO’s joint statement describes its commitment to advanced biotechnologies, which raises concerns of biowarfare. Sachs also pointed out that the declaration shows NATO’s intention to continue to deploy anti-ballistic missiles throughout Europe as it’s previously done in Poland, Romania, and Turkiye, which has directly destabilized the nuclear arms control architecture ever since the United States unilaterally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002. The White House announced earlier that the United States will begin episodic deployments of the long-range fires capabilities of its Multi-Domain Task Force in Germany in 2026. Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said US plans to deploy intermediate- and shorter-range missiles to Germany pose a direct threat to international security and increase the risks of a missile arms race.

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“..make sure that the ‘irreversible path of Ukraine’ towards NATO ends with either the disappearance of Ukraine, or the disappearance of NATO. Better, both..”

Either NATO or Ukraine -or Both- Must Go – Medvedev (RT)

NATO’s declaration that Ukraine’s eventual membership of the US-led military bloc is “irreversible” means that either the nation or the alliance – and preferably both – should disappear, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has said. A joint statement adopted by the leaders of NATO states during a summit in Washington, DC this week expressed support for Ukraine’s “right to choose its own security arrangements,” and declared that it is on an “irreversible path to full Euro-Atlantic integration, including NATO membership.” Russia has consistently said that Ukraine’s accession to NATO would cross a ‘red line’. It cited the expansion of the bloc in Europe as one of the key triggers of the current hostilities with Kiev. “The conclusion is obvious. We have to do everything to make sure that the ‘irreversible path of Ukraine’ towards NATO ends with either the disappearance of Ukraine, or the disappearance of NATO. Better, both,” Medvedev said on Thursday.

The wording of the joint statement, according to media reports, was intended to appease Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky, who has claimed that his nation deserves to be fast-tracked into NATO in gratitude for fighting to supposedly “defend” the West from Russia. But member states, including the US, have made it clear that Ukraine will not be able to join them as a full participant while the conflict remains unresolved. Kiev has signed numerous bilateral security agreements with Western nations in recent months in lieu of guarantees provided for under the NATO Treaty. The most recent pact was finalized with Luxembourg this week. Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, previously called for caution in the event that Kiev made a U-turn and accepted Russia’s conditions for a negotiated peace.

He argued that such a deal, which would include Kiev’s renunciation of its NATO aspirations, could lead to a new coup in Ukraine and an even more radical government eventually seizing power. In that scenario, he said, hostilities would resume and Ukraine’s statehood would be lost for good. But “the enemies of Russia will not go anywhere” and will “gather strength for a new attempt to destroy our country,” Medvedev predicted.

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“..China “cannot enable the largest war in Europe in recent history without this negatively impacting its interests and reputatio..”

We are NATO. And We’re Comin’ To Get Ya (Pepe Escobar)

We are the world. We are the people. We are NATO. And we’re comin’ to get ya – wherever you are, whether you want it or not. Call it the latest pop iteration of the “rules-based international order” – duly christened at NATO’s 75th birthday in D.C. Well, the Global Majority had already been warned – but brains under techno-feudalism tend to be reduced to mush. So a gentle reminder is in order. This had already been stated in the first paragraph of the Joint Declaration on EU-NATO Cooperation, issued on January 9, 2023: “We will further mobilize the combined set of instruments at our disposal, be they political, economic, or military, (italics mine) to pursue our common objectives to the benefit of our one billion citizens.” Correction: barely one million, part of the 0.1% plutocracy. Certainly not one billion. Cut to the 2024 NATO Summit Declaration – obviously redacted, with stellar mediocrity, by the Americans, with the other 31 assorted vassal members duly assenting. So here’s the main 2024 NATO “strategic” trifecta:

• Extra tens of billions of dollars in “assistance” to the upcoming rump Ukraine; the overwhelming majority of these funds will be slushing around the industrial-military money laundering complex.
• Forceful imposition of extra military spending on all members.
• Massive hyping up of the “China threat”.

As for the theme song of the NATO 75 show, there are actually two. Apart from “China Threat” (closing credits), the other one (opening credits) is “Free Ukraine”. The lyrics go something like this: it looks like we are at war against Russia in Ukraine, but don’t be fooled: NATO is not a participant in the war. Well, they are even setting up a NATO office in Kiev, but that is just to coordinate production for a Netflix war series. The outgoing epileptic slab of Norwegian wood posing as NATO Secretary-General – before the arrival of his Dutch Gouda replacement – put on quite a performance. Highlights include his fierce denunciation of “the growing alliance between Russia and its authoritarian friends in Asia”, as in “authoritarian leaders in Iran, North Korea and China”. These malignant entities “all want NATO to fail”. So there’s much work to do “with our friends in the Indo-Pacific”.

“Indo-Pacific” is a crude “rules-based international order” invention. No one across Asia, anywhere, has ever used it; everyone refers to Asia-Pacific. The joint declaration directly blames China for fueling Russian “aggression” in Ukraine: Beijing is described as a “decisive enabler” of the Kremlin’s “war effort”. NATO script writers even directly threaten China: China “cannot enable the largest war in Europe in recent history without this negatively impacting its interests and reputation”. To counter-act such malignity, NATO will expand its “partnerships” with “Indo-Pacific” states. Even before the summit declaration, the Global Times was already losing their cool with these inanities: “Under the hype from the U.S. and NATO, it seems that China has become the ‘key’ to the survival of Europe, controlling the fate of the Russia-Ukraine conflict like a ‘decisive power.’”

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“..it cannot end, it must not end in the victory of Russia because if it happened that way, we will have another war soon because Russia will attack again..”

Poland Preparing Military For Full-Scale Conflict, Army Chief Says (ZH)

NATO officials have announced several major moves which collectively mark a significant escalation with Russia at the annual NATO summit in Washington DC this week. First, President Biden on Tuesday unveiled that the US is sending dozens of anti-air defense systems to Ukraine forces amid stepped-up Russian aerial assaults. Next, a joint statement from Washington, the Hague and Copenhagen confirmed that an initial batch of US-made F-16 jet fighters are en route to Ukraine. This alone marks a massive escalation, given Moscow has already vowed it will target the jets. On Wednesday, yet another ultra-provocative announcement was made aimed at ‘deterring’ Moscow. Poland’s army chief of staff General Wieslaw Kukula called for his country to prepare its soldiers for all-out conflict. “Today, we need to prepare our forces for full-scale conflict, not an asymmetric-type conflict,” General Kukula told a press conference. “This forces us to find a good balance between the border mission and maintaining the intensity of training in the army,” he said.

His ‘border mission’ reference alludes to the ongoing tensions with Belarus, a close Russian ally which forms part of the ‘Union State’. Poland recently implemented its “East Shield” program, a $2.5 billion initiative to beef up defenses along the Poland-Belarus border. Going back to 2021, Belarus has been accused of intentionally flooding the Polish border with Middle East migrants as a form of hybrid warfare. The European Union has charged President Alexander Lukashenko with orchestrating a border crisis in order to bog down Polish troops and border guards. Another issue is that China’s military has kicked off exercises with Belarusian forces in Brest in recent days, which lies within miles of the Polish border. According to more of Wednesday’s Polish military announcement from Reuters,

“Speaking at the same event, deputy defense minister Pawel Bejda said that as of August, the number of troops guarding Poland’s eastern border would be increased to 8,000 from the current 6,000, with an additional rearguard of 9,000 able to step up within 48 hours notice.” Warsaw has also been on a major recruitment campaign toward rapidly increasing the size of its armed forces. This comes at a moment the NATO ‘eastern flank’ country is increasingly hitching its wagon to Ukraine’s fate. The current size of the Polish armed forces is commonly estimated at 190,000 personnel, but Warsaw wants to bolster it to 300,000 troops within a few years. On Monday, President Zelensky met with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in Warsaw where the two signed an unprecedented military agreement. Zelensky subsequently highlighted a provision which allows Poland to intercept Russian missiles over Ukraine territory, if they are deemed a threat to Poland and its population.

Poland has throughout the Ukraine war maintained a muscular, hawkish posture toward Russia and has criticized efforts at peaceful settlement at the negotiating table. Just this week Polish President Andrzej Duda reiterated that Ukraine must not cede any territory to Russia in exchange for peace. He said Tuesday, “If there is anyone who wants to give to Russia a piece of Ukrainian land and they are not Ukrainian, then let them give a piece of their land to Russia because it is easy to give away a piece of somebody else’s land.” “I would like this war to end as soon as possible. However, it cannot end, it must not end in the victory of Russia because if it happened that way, we will have another war soon because Russia will attack again,” Duda added.

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“..transforming the fear to preparedness.”

NATO Countries Closest to Russia Up Defense Spending (ET)

The nations on NATO’s easternmost flank are investing record amounts on defense in order to deter further Russian aggression against the region. Defense ministers from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania gathered on July 9 in Washington to express their dedication to the NATO alliance and encourage other allies to pull their weight when it came to defense contributions. Anything less, they warned, could encourage more violence in Eastern Europe and, possibly, the end of some nations outright. Latvian Defense Minister Andris Spruds said that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s continued targeting of civilians in Ukraine demonstrated a tolerance for “human loss.” Mr. Putin’s “absolute disregard of human life and human dignity,” he said, had to be taken into account when dealing with Russia.

“We are dealing with an aggressive country,” he said during a fireside chat hosted by Politico on the sidelines of NATO’s 75th annual summit. “Russia is an existential threat, and we should be ready for this existential threat for years.” To that end, he added, the international community should prepare to fend off Russian aggression for years to come. It was vital, he said, that NATO “not engage from positions of weakness and appeasement.”

Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were all governed by the Soviet Union until its collapse in 1991. Now, Mr. Putin has implemented a foreign policy based on uniting the so-called Russian World, including substantial Russian-speaking communities in former Soviet states, which East European leaders fear will lead to conquests beyond Ukraine. As such, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have all exceeded NATO’s guideline of spending 2 percent of their GDP on defense to ensure collective deterrence against foreign aggression. Lithuanian National Defense Minister Laurynas Kasciunas said the investments were about “transforming the fear to preparedness.”

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‘perpetrators and collaborators’

Musk Announces X To Sue Those Behind Advertising Censorship Cartel (ZH)

Elon Musk announced on Thursday that social media platform X will sue ‘perpetrators and collaborators’ who have colluded to control online speech, as revealed on Wednesday by an interim staff report released by the House Judiciary Committee. “Having seen the evidence unearthed today by Congress, X has no choice but to file suit against the perpetrators and collaborators in the advertising boycott racket,” Musk wrote on his platform, adding “Hopefully, some states will consider criminal prosecution.” The House report details a coordinated effort by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and its Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) initiative to demonetize and suppress disfavored content across the internet. As we noted on Wednesday, the WFA is a global association representing over 150 of the world’s biggest brands and over 60 national advertiser associations which created GARM in 2019.

This alliance quickly amassed significant market power, representing roughly 90% of global advertising spend, which amounts to nearly one trillion dollars annually. GARM’s Steer Team reads like a who’s who of corporate America, including heavyweights such as Unilever, Mars, Diageo, Procter & Gamble (P&G), GroupM, AB InBev, L’Oreal, Nestle, IBM, Mastercard, and PepsiCo. These corporations not only wield immense economic influence but are now revealed to be leveraging this power to control online discourse under the guise of “brand safety. The Committee report details multiple instances of GARM’s coordinated efforts to influence and censor online content.

Perhaps the most notable example is the recommendation for a boycott of Twitter following Elon Musk’s acquisition. GARM members, including Danish energy company Orsted, were advised to pull their advertising from Twitter, a move that significantly impacted Twitter’s revenue. Internal emails show GARM’s satisfaction with the result, with GARM leader Rob Rakowitz boasting about the impact on Twitter’s financials. “GARM recommended that its members ‘stop all paid advertisement’ on Twitter in response to Mr. Musk’s acquisition of the company. GARM’s internal documents show that GARM was asked by a member to ‘arrange a meeting and hear more about [GARM’s] perspectives about the Twitter situation and a possible boycott from many companies.” -House Judiciary Committee. And now, Musk is going to sue. Though he may want to quit GARM first.

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Way out of her league. It’s all about the immunity verdict.

AOC Files Articles Of Impeachment Against Justices Alito, Thomas (Fox)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., filed articles of impeachment against Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas on Wednesday, alleging “unchecked corruption.” Ocasio-Cortez threatened to file the articles last week, raising arguments about undisclosed gifts Thomas has received from wealthy conservatives and recent controversies involving Alito’s home and personal politics. “The unchecked corruption crisis on the Supreme Court has now spiraled into a Constitutional crisis threatening American democracy writ large,” Cortez wrote in a statement. “Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito’s pattern of refusal to recuse from consequential matters before the court in which they hold widely documented financial and personal entanglements constitutes a grave threat to American rule of law, the integrity of our democracy, and one of the clearest cases for which the tool of impeachment was designed.”

“Justice Thomas and Alito’s repeated failure over decades to disclose that they received millions of dollars in gifts from individuals with business before the court is explicitly against the law. And their refusal to recuse from the specific matters and cases before the court in which their benefactors and spouses are implicated represents nothing less than a constitutional crisis. These failures alone would amount to a deep transgression worthy of standard removal in any lower court, and would disqualify any nominee to the highest court from confirmation in the first place,” she argued. Ocasio-Cortez’s Wednesday filing includes three articles of impeachment against Thomas and two against Alito. The charges against Thomas involve undisclosed gifts as well as his lack of recusal in cases allegedly involving his wife’s legal and financial interests. The charges against Alito also include failure to disclose gifts and his lack of recusal in cases in which he had “a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party” before the court.

Ocasio-Cortez first threatened an article of soft impeachment following the Supreme Court’s ruling in former President Trump’s immunity case. The ruling in question said a president has absolute immunity from prosecution for “actions within his conclusive and preclusive constitutional authority,” and “presumptive immunity” for official acts in general. The court said there is no immunity for unofficial acts. “The Supreme Court has become consumed by a corruption crisis beyond its control,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on X following the decision. “Today’s ruling represents an assault on American democracy. It is up to Congress to defend our nation from this authoritarian capture. I intend on filing articles of impeachment upon our return.” The lawmaker argues that Alito was biased in favor of Trump and participants in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. She and other critics base the accusation on Alito flying an “appeal to heaven” flag at his home. The flag has been a symbol associated with American independence since before the Revolutionary War.

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Amy Coney Barrett.

LinkedIn, Google Openly Censor Conservatives – Again (Sellers)

Tech companies are once again colluding with Democrats to push disinformation and censor legitimate conservative opinions, this time with the imprimatur of legitimacy conferred by the U.S. Supreme Court that allows them to do so more shamelessly and aggressively than ever. Today’s censorship is being made possible by the letters A, C and B—as in Justice Amy Coney Barrett. While the court’s two other centrists, Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts, are equally culpable (along with its leftist bloc) in allowing the atrocity that is Murthy v. Missouri, it was Barrett’s name on the majority opinion. And, indeed, her support for the wrong side in several of the court’s other recent landmark cases has raised serious red flags. Pundit Mark Levin speculated recently that Barrrett has already gone the way of Harry Blackmun and David Souter—two Republican-appointed justices who had, by the end of their terms, become some of its most unabashedly left-leaning, likely due to what is sometimes dubbed the “Greenhouse effect” in honor of a former New York Times reporter fond of haranguing the court’s conservatives.

“I’m telling you that Barrett has decided she’s a politician, not a Justice,” Levin noted on a recent podcast, according to Newsweek. By the end of her term, the 52-year-old justice “will have flipped all the way to the left,” he added. With Democrats in Congress and the media exerting immense pressure on conservative justices like Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, perhaps Barrett, the court’s youngest jurist—who replaced liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsberg—remains in survival mode, opting to pick her battles carefully. But in the process, she is throwing essential civil liberties, such as First Amendment free-speech rights, under the bus and severely undermining the safeguards that help preserve America’s democratic institutions.

Barrett’s maverick streak made no difference in the recent Fischer and Trump rulings—which sided in favor of conservatives by, respectively, tossing the Justice Department’s overreach on Jan. 6 “obstruction” cases and forcing the D.C. district court to adjudicate whether former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election challenges qualify for presidential immunity. However, the Murthy decision—which found the court’s “wet noodle” wing delivering a win for Big Tech and the Deep State by deciding that the plaintiffs lacked sufficient standing after years of alarming anti-conservative censorship and government collusion on social-media platforms—will continue to have chilling implications for free speech until the right case comes along to overturn it.It effectively gave sites like Google (and YouTube), Facebook (and Instagram), LinkedIn and countless other leftist dominated tech companies carte blanche to continue the sort of egregious suppression of views that many noted in the lead-up to the 2020 election, with Hunter Biden’s laptop becoming the most ignominious example.

In addition to the laptop, the case dealt with the aggressive suppression of COVID skepticism—much of which has borne out as valid, but which continues to be mischaracterized due to the stigma attached by government-backed propaganda that was designed to clear the paths for Big Pharma’s mRNA “vaccines” to get their emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Then there are the questions surrounding the irregularities in the 2020 election—questions that have fueled ongoing suspicions of massive vote fraud and a stolen election, since all of the major public and private institutions colluded to prevent any sort of meaningful presentation of evidence.

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“How can a democracy of morons succeed, even if once it was a world leader before intelligence and reason were schooled out of the American population?”

Can the West Survive Democracy? (Paul Craig Roberts)

As our Founding Fathers knew, Democracy has many problems. One of the larger problems is that one person one vote is a poor way to make governing decisions. One reason is that intelligence is not equally distributed. Another is that interest in the affairs of state is not equally distributed. Some people want to know what is going on and others concentrate on sports and soap operas and scrolling their cell phones in search of entertainment. Yet another reason is that some have a financial or an ideological interest in controlling the explanations that reach the public and serve as a basis for their decisions placed in the ballot box. Still others focus on putting votes in the ballot boxes that the voters themselves did not put there. There is no doubt that democracy stinks. Founding Father John Adams gave us his view:

“Democracy has never been and never can be so durable as aristocracy or monarchy; but while it lasts, it is more bloody than either. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true. Passions are the same in all men, under all forms of government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty. When clear prospects are opened before vanity, pride, avarice, or ambition, for their easy gratification, it is hard for the most considerate philosophers and the most conscientious moralists to resist the temptation.” Our Founding Fathers roped in democracy. They limited the vote to male property owners. They limited democracy to the House of Representatives and the suspect Representatives to two year terms.

The Senate was not elected by popular vote but by the vote of state legislatures who were assumed to be male property owners. Our Founding Fathers tried to protect us from democracy, which they regarded as the rule of the ignorant mob. And that is what it is. Nevertheless today it is all we have as a check on the tyranny of government. So today we are forced to defend democracy, which no Founding Father would do. Our Founding Fathers saw democracy as tyranny. But for us today democracy is the last and only check on the tyranny of the power of government institutions created by elites who are not interested in our opinions. From the standpoint of Klaus Schwab, Bill Gates, and Hillary Clinton, American citizens count for no more than Muammar Gaddafi. We are in the way of their power. They are committed to moving us out of their way. That is what the eight-year attack on Trump and his supporters is about. That is why there are 1,000 falsely convicted American patriots in prison and why President Trump faces multiple criminal and civil indictments.

The ruling American Establishment has has put a negative connotation on every explanation that is not the official narrative. Gradually, any challenge no matter how factual to an official explanation is becoming a criminal act. If the Democrats are reelected or can come close enough to being reelected to cover their theft of the election, by 2028 it will be impossible to speak a word of truth in America. The Ruling Elites will have removed Truth out of their way. It is absurd to think that Americans know this. Americans are so indoctrinated and brainwashed that they don’t know anything. A Rasmussen Poll of the American population reveals that despite the outpouring of reports from the world’s top medical scientists that the Covid-19 “vaccine” has killed far more people than the released Covid virus, only one-third of Americans believe that the Covid vaccines are killing people. In other words, Americans are so utterly stupid that they cannot tell the difference between medical science and media propaganda.

With reports coming in every day of only vaccinated athletes in the prime of life suddenly dropping dead on the playing field, with only vaccinated babies having heart attacks, with the new form of turbo-cancer appearing only among the vaccinated, with miscarriages of vaccinated women off the charts, with neurological problems of the vaccinated off the charts, with new forms of blood clots never seen before of the vaccinated, with new diseases never seen before afflicting only the vaccinated, with massive excess deaths in every Covid vaccinated population, with the admissions that the Covid “vaccines” were not protective, with the overwhelming evidence that the “vaccines” are a threat to life and health, still 69% of Americans have no regrets being jabbed. So, what we have is a population, 69% of which is too stupid to be functional in a one person one vote Democracy. These fools can outvote the 33% by two to one. How can a democracy of morons succeed, even if once it was a world leader before intelligence and reason were schooled out of the American population?

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“..official U.S. policy precludes even shaking hands with Russian diplomats..”

‘My Life’s Work Melting Before My Eyes’ (Scott Ritter)

July 16 will mark the 42nd anniversary of the famous “Walk in the Woods” conducted by Paul Nitze and Yuli Kvitsinsky, respectively the U.S. and Soviet lead negotiators for INF talks that, at the time, were stymied. Faced with a calcified recalcitrance on the part of U.S. hardliners, the two men took a walk in the woods outside Geneva, Switzerland, where they outlined possible ways to break the negotiation impasse. The ideas that Nitze and Kvitsinsky came up with never came to pass — neither the U.S. nor the Soviet Union were ready to undertake such drastic actions. But their courageous stab at diplomacy at a time when neither side was talking to the other shook free the rust that had frozen their respective sides, lubricating the machinery of diplomacy, and set in motion the processes that led to Reagan and Gorbachev signing the INF Treaty some five and a half years later.

The key take-away from the Nitze-Kvitsinsky “Walk in the Woods” was that, when it comes to meaningful arms control, success is not immediate. The process of arms control must be seen in the long term. It was also clear that fear fueled consideration of positive outcomes that eventually led to an equitable solution in the form of the INF Treaty. There is no doubt in my mind that within the ranks of the Russian and U.S. diplomatic corps today are two men possessed of the vision and courage of Paul Nitze and Yuli Kvitsinsky who can, if given the opportunity, recreate the magic of the “Walk in the Woods.” That magic helped create the conditions for negotiations that helped pull the U.S. and Soviet Union from the nuclear abyss more than four decades ago. But two hurdles must be crossed first. It is difficult to imagine a U.S. and Russian diplomat walking and talking today when, as Professor Sergey Markedonev, a fellow participant at the Vienna round table pointed out, official U.S. policy precludes even shaking hands with Russian diplomats.

To cross that bridge the U.S. government needs a signal from the American people that such behavior is not acceptable. We need a modern-day version of the June 1982 Central Park million-person rally in support of nuclear disarmament and arms control and against nuclear war. America has an election coming up in November where issues of our collective existential survival as a people and nation are on the line. There is no more existential issue than that of nuclear war. As was the case in June 1982, we, the people of the United States, need to send a collective signal to all who seek to represent us in the highest office of the land, that we will not tolerate policies that lead toward nuclear war. That we insist on policies that promote nuclear disarmament and arms control. That we demand that our diplomats begin talking with their Russian counterparts. I’m tired of watching my life’s work melt before my very eyes. It’s time to rebuild the foundations of our collective survival. To make mainstream the cause of disarmament that once saved us from nuclear Armageddon.

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Frens

 

 

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Baby dolphin

 

 

 

 

Batteries

 

 

 

 

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Jul 112024
 


Henri Matisse Window at Tangiers 1912

 

Orban Is What Zelensky Should Have Been (Amar)
Merkel Would Have Prevented Ukraine Conflict – Orban (RT)
Trump Issues Fresh Challenge To Biden (RT)
Dem Senator Says Trump Could Beat Biden In “Landslide” (ZH)
MSM Launches ‘Muh Russia’ Election Narrative (ZH)
NATO Preparing For ‘Protracted Wars’ – Pentagon (RT)
EU Members Up Defense Spending by 30% Over Last 3 Years – Borrell (Sp.)
New UK Prime Minister Pledges Sharp Rise In Military Spending (RT)
‘Russia Will Not Prevail’ – Biden to NATO (RT)
Kiev Can ‘Never’ Get Enough Weapons – Zelensky (RT)
US Bodycount 35 KIA After Russian Missile Strike (Helmer)
Ukraine Timing Tragedies To Coincide With Important Events – Kremlin (RT)
West to Supply Ukraine With ‘Squadrons’ of F-16 Fighter Jets (Sp.)
High-Tech Western Weapons ‘Useless’ In Ukraine Conflict – WSJ (RT)
We Were “Deceived & Gaslit For Years” (Alastair Crooke)
NC Democrats Vote to Block 3rd-Party Candidates from Ballots (Turley)

 

 


Anti-Trump rally in New York City, June 3, 2017 © AFP / Eduardo Munoz Alvarez

 

 

Trump Kamala

 

 

 

 

Buffett

 

 

 

 

“..Hungary’s leader does not speak for the European Union, even if his country holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU. That is true, but to be frank, uninteresting. What is intriguing instead is the compulsive need to keep saying it.”

Orban Is What Zelensky Should Have Been (Amar)

When your enfant terrible is also (almost) the only adult in the room, then something is very wrong with your room. For “the room” read the EU – and the West more broadly – and, for both the enfant terrible and the adult in the room, Viktor Orbán, prime minister of Hungary, and there you have it: the shortest possible description of what the big brouhaha about his recent trips to first Kiev, then Moscow and Beijing is really all about. The EU, in reality, has no policy worthy of the name to address the single most urgent issue in Europe at this point, namely, how to end the war in and over Ukraine. As Orbán himself has correctly pointed out in an interview with the German newspaper Die Welt, all the EU does is copy America’s “policy of war.” In other words, Brussels, like Washington, has ruled out diplomacy and compromise to end the war.

Indeed, if the US and EU had engaged in genuine diplomacy, then the war could have been prevented or ended quickly, in spring 2022. Orbán may be putting too much weight on – and too much trust in – a single Western leader, but that is his larger point when he claims that the large-scale war would not have happened if Angela Merkel had still been in office as chancellor of Germany. Against this backdrop of EU non- or, really – anti-diplomacy, Orbán has dared stand out by going on what, using social media to great effect, he has loudly announced as his “peace mission.” That appeal to public opinion has, of course, angered his detractors even more: Not only has he dared speak to “the autocrats” out there, he has also addressed the masses at home in the West. Perish the “populism”!

Yet it is a traditional and legitimate move among politicians worth their salt: Before practicing the art of – back then – radio reach-out to perfection in World War II, no lesser a leader than young Charles de Gaulle, in his ‘The Edge of the Sword’, recognized the absolute need to “dominate opinion,” since “nothing is possible” without that true “sovereign.” Yet Orbán’s “populism” is not even the main problem this time. That rather has to do with the fact that he has turned his own initiative into a foil against which the EU’s mainstream’s lack of imagination, rigidity, and, last but not least, complete subservience to the US are glaringly obvious. In the EU it is now going “rogue” to do what is not only obvious but reasonable and urgently needed: seek at least dialogue instead of stonewalling. That reflects badly on the EU.

So does the fact that the Hungarian leader has a habit of realism where the EU establishment prefers fictions maintained by – aggressively enforced – group think. Orbán has no time for the silly idea that Russia is a threat to European states inside NATO, he observes – rightly – that Russian policy is rational, and he recognizes the fact that Russia cannot be defeated in Ukraine. All of this is true, and all of it is taboo in Brussels. To complete his register of sin and heresy, the Hungarian prime minister also has the temerity to cultivate a memory and a sense of history. In a Newsweek editorial, he has just reminded NATO of two essential facts: that the alliance was founded for defensive purposes (to which it has badly failed to stick) and that the recent habit of treating a future war with “the world’s other geopolitical power centers,” that is, Russia and China, as de facto inevitable can turn into a “self-fulfilling prophecy.”

When you are thin on substance, rely instead on formalities and, if need be, legalism. Much of the EU elites’ response to Orbán’s initiatives has taken that self-revealing form. As soon as Orbán dared go to Moscow, leading EU cadres, such as Josep Borrell, Ursula von der Leyen, and Charles Michel could hardly stop falling over themselves with denunciations and reminders that Hungary’s leader does not speak for the European Union, even if his country holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU. That is true, but to be frank, uninteresting. What is intriguing instead is the compulsive need to keep saying it.

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Likely.

Merkel Would Have Prevented Ukraine Conflict – Orban (RT)

The Ukraine conflict would not have escalated into an “international war” if former German Chancellor Angela Merkel were still in power, according to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. He accused current EU leaders of lacking vision in an interview with Die Welt published on Monday. A vocal proponent of a diplomatic solution for Ukraine, Orban last week embarked on a “peace mission” to some of the countries he says are the “five main actors” to the conflict – Ukraine, Russia, China, the EU, and the US.Orban’s first stop was Germany, where he spoke to Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The Hungarian leader said “there was hardly any agreement” between the pair regarding the resolution of the conflict, noting that he “always” misses Scholz’s predecessor, Merkel, due to her practical approach. According to Orban, if Merkel were still in power, the Russia-Ukraine conflict in its current form “would never have happened.”

“She had the ability, the understanding and the skills to isolate the conflicts that are bad for Europe. We made the mistake of allowing there to be a conflict, of allowing there to be a war. And instead of isolating it, we escalated it and made it international,” he stated. Orban recalled the failed Minsk peace accords, brokered by France and Germany, which ostensibly sought to resolve the dispute in Donbass in 2014 that preceded the current conflict. The path to peace would be much easier for all parties today if similar agreements were in place, the Hungarian prime minister argued. “If you believe that a political agreement like Minsk can solve all problems, then Minsk is of course a failure. But if you see that there is a situation that is bad and needs to be resolved somehow, then the only relevant reference point is not how can it be made better, but how it can be prevented from getting even worse,” Orban stated.

“Peace does not come by itself,” he added, stating that it has to be brokered by global leaders who want it, and claiming that “unfortunately we lack those.” Orban has often criticized the West’s approach to the Ukraine conflict, calling for a diplomatic settlement through negotiations. However, his ceasefire overture to Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky earlier this month was rejected, while his EU peers criticized him for his later visit to Russia. Several diplomatic sources told Politico earlier this week that the bloc could even revoke Hungary’s rotating EU presidency, which it assumed last month.

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“Trump said he wanted to give Biden a “chance to redeem himself.”

Trump Issues Fresh Challenge To Biden (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has challenged Joe Biden to a “no-holds-barred” debate and an 18-hole game of golf so that the incumbent leader can prove he is still fit for office. The 81-year-old Biden is facing growing calls from his fellow Democrats to drop out of the 2024 presidential race over concerns about his mental health, following his disastrous performance during a debate with Trump last month. Speaking at a rally in Miami on Tuesday, Trump said he wanted to give Biden a “chance to redeem himself.” “Let’s do another debate this week so ‘Sleepy’ Joe Biden can prove to everyone all over the world that he has what it takes to be president. But this time it will be man to man, no moderators, no holds barred,” Trump said, calling on Biden to “name the place, anytime, anywhere.”

Trump also recalled that during their CNN-hosted debate, Biden had declared that he would be willing to test his skills and stamina against his rival on the golf course. “Can you believe this? Did you ever see him swing?” Trump told his supporters, announcing that he is “officially challenging ‘Crooked Joe’ to an 18-hole golf match right here.” The presumptive Republican candidate promised that if Biden won, he would donate $1 million to any charity of his opponent’s choice. However, Trump doubted that Biden would accept his challenge “because he is all talk.” Biden campaign spokesman James Singer responded to the challenge on Wednesday by claiming that the US president “doesn’t have time for Donald Trump’s weird antics – he’s busy leading America and defending the free world.” He also dismissed Trump as a “liar, a convict, and a fraud only out for himself.”

Biden himself has unequivocally stressed that he is “firmly committed” to staying in the presidential race, while White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has insisted that the incumbent is determined to serve out his full second term in office if reelected. At the same time, calls for Biden to drop out of the election have continued to grow, with many senior Democrats and party donors urging him to “do the right thing” and quit, fearing he would not be able to beat Trump. A survey conducted by CBS News/YouGov in the wake of last month’s presidential debate also found that 72% of registered voters do not believe that Biden has the “mental and cognitive health necessary to serve as president.”

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“The White House, in the time since that disastrous debate, I think, has done nothing to really demonstrate that they have a plan to win this election..”

Dem Senator Says Trump Could Beat Biden In “Landslide” (ZH)

Sen. Michael Bennett (D-CO) on Tuesday became the first Democratic senator to publicly cast doubt on President Joe Biden’s chances against Donald Trump in November. “Donald Trump is on track, I think, to win this election, and maybe win it by a landslide, and take with him the Senate and the House,” Bennett told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins on Tuesday – after telling colleagues the same in private. “So for me, this isn’t a question about polling. It’s not a question about politics. It’s a moral question about the future of our country.” “The White House, in the time since that disastrous debate, I think, has done nothing to really demonstrate that they have a plan to win this election,” he continued.

Bennet’s comments echo those of a growing number of congressional Democrats who say Biden’s reelection bid could hurt the entire party in down-ballot races this fall. As CNN reports, “Democrats, including those inside the administration, view this week as critical to Biden’s political survival, and lawmakers on Capitol Hill gathered privately for their weekly meetings on Tuesday.” “The stakes could not be higher,” said Bennett, who says his voters have “deep concerns” over whether Biden can win. Punchbowl News had a sobering take on the state of affairs for Democrats in their Wednesday AM newsletter, saying Biden has “made a mess of the Democratic party.” Senate Democrats were far from united about whether Biden is the best person to defeat Trump. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) told us that Biden needs to “continue to aggressively make his case” to his fellow Democratic senators in order to “earn full support.”

New Jersey Democratic Rep. Mikie Sherrill issued a statement Tuesday afternoon calling on Biden to step aside in favor of another Democratic candidate. “[B]ecause I know President Biden cares deeply about the future of our country, I am asking that he declare that he won’t run for reelection and will help lead us through a process toward a new nominee.” Fellow New Jersey Democratic Rep. Andy Kim — who’s running for Senate — walked right up the line of whether Biden should get out. “What steps can we actually take right now [to replace Biden.] That’s where some of the confusion is. Especially with all the talk of what are the actual deadlines. It’s hard to kind of make a decision without fully understanding that. We need to get a better grasp on it,” said Kim.

Meanwhile, House Democratic leaders met privately on Tuesday morning with some of their most vulnerable members, for a conversation that was “honest, brutal and intense,” and left some members crying, according to sources with knowledge of the meeting. ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, meanwhile, told TMZ that he doesn’t think Biden can serve another four years. The 63-year-old Stephanopoulos sat down for a closely-watched interview with Biden last week following the president’s disastrous debate performance last month against Donald Trump. “Do you think Biden should step down?” the TMZ journalist asked the “Good Morning America” co-host and moderator of “This Week.” “I don’t think he can serve four more years,” replied Stephanopoulos after a pause.

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Russiagate 3.0.

MSM Launches ‘Muh Russia’ Election Narrative (ZH)

While the Democratic party melts down over Joe Biden’s cognitive decline – an obvious risk to US national security, the 2024 election wouldn’t be complete without a Trump-Russia narrative. To that end, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Russian government has launched a ‘whole-of-government” effort to influence the US presidential election in favor of Donald Trump – who, for some reason, Russia held off on invading Ukraine while he was president (and ostensibly wouldn’t have sent $175 billion and counting in US aid to combat). Citing unnamed ‘senior US intelligence officials,’ the Journal writes: The officials didn’t mention Trump by name, but said that Russia’s current activity—described as covert social-media use and other online propaganda efforts—mirrored the 2020 and 2016 election cycles, when Moscow also favored Trump and sought to undermine Democratic candidates, according to U.S. intelligence agencies.

Of course, Russia’s 2016 ‘influence campaign’ amounted to roughly $100,000 in Facebook ads, which “didn’t reference any specific presidential candidate, or even the election itself,” largely targeting BLM members and ‘Pokemon Go’ aficionados. Insidious. That said, the officials say that the activity witnessed so far this election cycle “isn’t on the scale or scope seen in 2016, when Russia’s actions included a hack-and-leak of Democratic Party emails, rudimentary cyber-probing of some state election systems and other actions intended to undermine Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign.” Hacked emails, you say? Edit: And as ZeroHedge reader ‘The Wolverine’ notes in the comments below: ‘Remember that time Adam Schiff interviewed the President of CrowdStrike and refused to release the transcript for months and months?’

According to the new report, Russia is seeking to influence specific voting groups, including those in swing states, and promote divisive narratives while denigrating specific politicians, the anonymous US intelligence officials told reporters, without mentioning the specific voters or politicians who have been allegedly targeted. But wait, there’s more! The Kremlin “is also working to influence members of Congress and is broadly seeking to undermine U.S. support for Ukraine in its war with Russia,” according to the anonymous officials – one of whom said that Russia was the “pre-eminent threat” to the election, while Iran was a ‘lesser threat at the moment,’ and aims to be a ‘chaos agent’ by exacerbating social tensions. “We have observed actors tied to Iran’s government posing as activists online, seeking to encourage protests, and even providing financial support to protesters,” said Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence, in a separate Tuesday statement.

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Neverending. And we are all hostages.

NATO Preparing For ‘Protracted Wars’ – Pentagon (RT)

The US and its allies are planning to continue ramping up defense spending, which will ensure long-term demand for weapons, US Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks told a gathering of arms manufacturers during a NATO event on Tuesday. Speaking at the NATO Summit Defense Industry Forum, the official praised NATO members for boosting their military budgets since the initial flare-up of the Ukraine conflict in 2014, and particularly after the open hostilities between Ukraine and Russia erupted in 2022. Over the past decade, the average annual increase in spending was 72%, adjusted for inflation, she said. That reversed a period when “defense industries across the Atlantic were affected by decades of inconsistent funding and blinkered demand signals,” she said. She said the current thinking is: “Production matters. Production is deterrence.”

Western arms manufacturers have the ability “not just to compete, but to out-compete and prevail” over Russia and other nations that the US considers its rivals, including China, North Korea and Iran. “That includes ensuring we are prepared for the possibility of protracted war, which every ally must be prepared for – and not just in Europe, either,” Hicks warned. Developing the manufacturing base on both sides of the Atlantic in a way that combines “information-age ingenuity and industrial-era capacity” will benefit US allies in the Pacific, such as Australia, Japan and South Korea, the official said. She claimed that Western political systems are inherently beneficial for building “arsenals of democracy,” since they foster innovation and transnational cooperation. On the other hand, “autocracies,” according to her reasoning, can’t move beyond “just landing at each other’s airfields, or sailing ships alongside each other for a few days at a time.”

The Pentagon is looking for ways “to be a better customer,” Hicks said, by streamlining its internal processes, delivering targeted investments in the defense sector, and providing security services to weapons businesses. Russian officials have described NATO as a tool of US geopolitical ambition and a way to secure a permanent market for American weapons in Europe. Moscow has cited Washington’s pledge that Ukraine will eventually join the bloc together with NATO’s increased presence in Ukraine since 2014 as among the key triggers of the ongoing conflict. Beijing has accused the US of being stuck in a “Cold War mentality” and playing “zero-sum games” with non-Western nations, including China.

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Yay!

EU Members Up Defense Spending by 30% Over Last 3 Years – Borrell (Sp.)

EU member states have increased their joint defense spending by 30% in the last three years, while in 2024, the bloc’s defense spending is expected to reach approximately 2% of GDP, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Wednesday. “In the last three years, the total expenditure [in the defense sector] in Europe … has increased by 30% and this year we will be reaching almost an average all together of 2% [of GDP], it is not enough, but is much better and it is growing,” the high-ranked EU official said during his speech at the 75th NATO Anniversary Summit in Washington. The NATO summit kicked off in Washington on Tuesday and will run through July 11. In late June, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the European Union needed to invest 500 billion euros ($535 billion) in defense in the next 10 years.

The European Union “regrets” that people are dying in Ukraine, but it will continue to supply weapons to Kiev to counter Russia’s actions, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Wednesday. “We certainly regret that people are dying, but Ukrainian soldiers are fighting and dying because they are defending their country,” Borrell said during a speech at the fifth NATO Anniversary Summit in Washington. The EU will continue to support Ukraine, Borrell added. “I am happy to have heard [US] President Biden a moment ago to say that Russia cannot prevail, for that we have to increase our [military] industrial capacity, putting more money on the table, more technological development,” Borrell said.

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“..not prepared to fight in an armed conflict of “any scale” and would run out of ammunition rapidly..”

New UK Prime Minister Pledges Sharp Rise In Military Spending (RT)

The UK is set to boost its military capabilities and plans to gradually increase defense spending to 2.5% of its GDP, new Prime Minister Keir Starmer said on Tuesday as he departed for a NATO summit in Washington. Starmer has pledged to publish a roadmap for defense expenditure following calls from both the UK military and NATO states to clarify his policy, his office has said. “I am committed to that 2.5% [of gross domestic product] within our fiscal rules, but that strategic review needs to come first,” he told Reuters ahead of the NATO summit. His predecessor Rishi Sunak had promised earlier this year that London would reach this target by 2030. According to Starmer’s office, the government will launch a strategic review next week to “determine the future defense posture” of the UK and the military capabilities it needs. The timeline for the review or when the spending goal might be achieved has not been specified, however.

Many NATO states have for years struggled to reach an agreed threshold of 2% of GDP for defense spending, but the push has gained momentum since the start of the Ukraine crisis in 2014 and especially after the launch of Russia’s military operation in 2022. Starmer, who became the UK prime minister after his party’s landslide victory in the general election last week, reiterated that London’s commitment to Kiev remains unchanged. Britain has been one of Ukraine’s biggest backers in the conflict with Russia, pledging £12.5 billion (around $16 billion) in support for Kiev, including £7.6 billion (around $9.7 billion) in military aid, since February 2022. Meanwhile, recent military research revealed that Britain’s armed forces are in such a poor state that they are barely able to defend the country, with deficiencies spread across its various branches. Rob Johnson, director of the Oxford Changing Character of War Center, told the FT last week that the UK was not prepared to fight in an armed conflict of “any scale” and would run out of ammunition rapidly.

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“According to Reuters, Biden delivered his remarks without a teleprompter in an explicit and clear-cut manner..”

‘Russia Will Not Prevail’ – Biden to NATO (RT)

US President Joe Biden has delivered a forceful speech to NATO members in a bid to reassure them that Ukraine can still prevail in its conflict against Russia. However, several Western diplomats told Reuters that the US leader’s better-than-expected stage performance failed to make up for his disastrous debate with Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump. In the keynote speech at the opening of the NATO summit in Washington on Tuesday, Biden touted the bloc as “the bulwark of global security” and reiterated its intention to support Ukraine with military aid, including new deliveries of air defense systems. “We know [Russian President Vladimir] Putin won’t stop at Ukraine. But make no mistake, Ukraine can and will stop Putin… When this senseless war began, Ukraine was a free country. Today, it is still a free country, and the war will end with Ukraine remaining a free and independent country,” he declared. “Russia will not prevail. Ukraine will prevail.”

Russia has repeatedly condemned Western arms shipments to Ukraine, arguing they only prolong the conflict. It has also called NATO a “hostile” bloc directly involved in the conflict between Kiev and Moscow. According to Reuters, Biden delivered his remarks without a teleprompter in an explicit and clear-cut manner, in sharp contrast to his performance at the debate with Republican rival Trump last month. The 81-year-old president’s performance was described as “fumbling” and “incoherent,” with numerous media reports claiming that the debate disaster led to prominent Democrats urging him to drop out of the race. Several unnamed Western diplomats told Reuters that Biden’s NATO speech failed to erase the damage to his public image done by the recent debacle. “We don’t see how he can come back after the debate,” one European diplomat noted, adding that the president’s remarks were scripted and could not be seen as evidence of his endurance.

“I can’t imagine him being at helm of the US and NATO for four more years,” he remarked. Meanwhile, Biden has insisted he is “not going anywhere” and intends to beat Trump in the November election. On Tuesday, the GOP candidate challenged his rival to another face-off, calling it a “chance [for Biden] to redeem himself in front of the entire world,” and suggesting that the debate should be held without moderators. Biden and Trump are already scheduled to hold another debate, which will be moderated by ABC, on September 10.

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So why give him any?

Kiev Can ‘Never’ Get Enough Weapons – Zelensky (RT)

Virtually no quantity of weapons that the US and its allies supply to Kiev for its fight with Russia will be enough, Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky has said. The Ukrainian leader is visiting the US this week as the heads of NATO states hold a summit in Washington DC. Zelensky called for more arms deliveries at the Ronald Reagan Institute on Tuesday, where he participated in an event alongside US Senator Mitch McConnell. While he highlighted his determination to continue hostilities with Russia, he stressed on several occasions the disparity in military strength between the two sides in the conflict. ”It’s not enough. It’s never enough,” he said, referring to the five additional Patriot missile systems, which US President Joe Biden pledged the same day to Kiev on behalf of his nation, Germany, Romania and others.

Asked about the fate of the 31 Abrams main battle tanks supplied by the US last year, Zelensky said the number was too low to “change the situation on the battlefield.”He went on to say the number of F-16 fighter jets pledged by Western donors has been insufficient. Russia uses some 300 jets in the Ukraine conflict, while Kiev would only be able to field 10 to 20 F-16s anytime soon, he said. ”Even if we will have 50 it’s nothing. They have 300,” Zelensky said. Being on the defense, Ukraine would need a fleet of 128 F-16s for parity with Russia, he stated.

Zelensky urged the US to lift all restrictions on using American-provided weapons against targets deep inside Russia and to provide Kiev with better long-range strike capability. In late May, the Biden administration revised its policy restricting the use of American weapons inside what the US recognizes as Russian territory, but would not allow long-range strikes, according to media reports and statements by officials. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that his country may supply weapons similar to those that Ukraine gets from the West to parties hostile to the donors elsewhere in the world in case of further escalation. Moscow has described the Ukraine conflict as part of a US-led proxy war against Russia, in which NATO members take part in virtually every aspect except by sending their own troops to the battlefield.

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“Should Moscow conclude that it is now Washington policy to fight Russia, not just to the last Ukrainian, but to the last American?”

US Bodycount 35 KIA After Russian Missile Strike (Helmer)

The latest Russian Defense Ministry daily bulletin was issued on Tuesday afternoon, July 9. Since then the Pentagon and the White House have been as silent as the tomb. Make that thirty-five American tombs. “During the day [July 9],” said the Defense Ministry briefer in Moscow, “the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation carried out a group strike with high-precision weapons on American HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems prepared for strikes on the territory of Crimea, as well as the venue of an official meeting of the AFU [Armed Forces of the Ukraine] command staff. The objectives of the strike have been achieved. Four US-made HIMARS MLRS launchers were destroyed, as well as up to 35 foreign specialists who serviced them.” Several hours later, the Pentagon briefer, Major General Pat Ryder, announced “a great kickoff to NATO summit events this week.”

General Ryder wasn’t referring to the largest number of US battlefield deaths ever recorded under hostile Russian fire. He had nothing to say about the Ukraine battlefield action, and the reporters attending failed to ask him about it. At the White House briefing which followed the Pentagon, the lead announcement was President Joseph Biden’s telephone calls to officials in Texas dealing with Hurricane Beryl; his plan to meet on Thursday with Vladimir Zelensky; and an assurance that “Russia’s aggression against Ukraine poses a threat to transatlantic security. That’s what it does. And it shows how critical the NATO Alliance is and how important it is to continue to make sure that it is strong, and that’s what the president has been able to do.” Reporters did not ask about US combat deaths in the Ukraine.

The New York Times also blacked out the report of the Russian strike on the HIMARS batteries, focusing instead on the Kiev targets of the day, and on claims by anonymous US intelligence and other officials that “Russia is unlikely to make significant territorial gains in Ukraine in the coming months as its poorly trained forces struggle to break through Ukrainian defenses that are now reinforced with Western munitions.” “You’d think in an election year,” comments a NATO veteran with Afghanistan war service, “that dead American ‘specialists’ would be an issue. This tells that they [the Biden Administration] are as committed to ‘victory’, or hiding an American defeat, as their [Trump campaign] opponents are. They are also loath to get into the role they played in getting things to this point.” That said, what interpretation can President Vladimir Putin and the Russian General Staff give after the 35 US battlefield deaths have been concealed by US officials? Should Moscow conclude that it is now Washington policy to fight Russia, not just to the last Ukrainian, but to the last American?

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“..if a Russian missile had struck the hospital, there would be “nothing left of the building”

Ukraine Timing Tragedies To Coincide With Important Events – Kremlin (RT)

Kiev is deliberately using tragedies for publicity ahead of important international events, such as this week’s NATO summit in Washington, so that Vladimir Zelensky can push for more support from the West, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has claimed. In an interview with journalist Pavel Zarubin, Peskov suggested that Ukrainian authorities are effectively organizing PR campaigns “on blood,” referring to Monday’s deadly tragedy at the Okhmatdet children’s hospital in Kiev, where a missile killed two people and injured dozens more. Kiev and its backers have blamed Russia for the incident. Moscow has denied the allegations, insisting that it has never targeted civilian facilities. Instead, it claims that the hospital was struck by a Ukrainian air-defense missile. Peskov claimed that such tragedies in Ukraine often occur right before international events that are important for relations between Kiev and the West.

“I believe that there are no coincidences in this regard,” the spokesman said, suggesting that the Okhmatdet incident had been another “PR operation.” “This is truly a tragedy, but it is being deliberately used to create a backdrop that would accompany Zelensky’s participation in the NATO summit,” Peskov said, adding that Kiev’s methodology is “quite unclean, jesuitical, well-known, and has been repeated many times.” The Kremlin spokesman also noted that it was “very difficult” for Russia to get its point across to Western audiences regarding such incidents. “They do not want to hear anything,” Peskov said, adding that the “hysteria” in Western newspapers and TV channels “is likely due to the monopolistic dominance of Anglo-Saxon media there.” Nevertheless, Peskov said Russia would continue to “tell the truth about what has happened, both domestically and in countries where the audience is ready to hear us and where we have technical means to reach them.”

Meanwhile, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vasily Nebenzia, has also insisted that Moscow had no involvement in the Okmatdet incident. Speaking at the UN Security Council on Tuesday, he suggested that if a Russian missile had struck the hospital, there would be “nothing left of the building” and that “children and adults would have died rather than being injured.” Nebenzia explained that Russia had, in fact, been targeting the Artemov missile plant in Kiev, which is located approximately 2km from the Okhmatdet hospital. “There is every reason to believe that the Ukrainian air-defense missile that hit it was intended for a Russian missile that hit the plant,” he said, noting that the tragedy could have been avoided if Ukraine hadn’t deployed air defense in residential areas.

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“..Russian pilots and air defense personnel “will have new stars on their fuselages and new medals on their chests.”

West to Supply Ukraine With ‘Squadrons’ of F-16 Fighter Jets (Sp.)

Western allies intend to supply Ukraine with entire “squadrons” of modern American-made F-16 fighter jets, according to a joint statement from the leaders of the US, Netherlands, and Denmark. They announced that the transfer of the first of these aircraft has already begun, allowing Ukrainian forces to start using them this summer. “We are committed to further enhancing Ukraine’s air capabilities, which will include squadrons of modern fourth generation F-16 multi-role aircraft,” US President Joe Biden said in a joint statement with Dutch Prime Minister Dick Schoof and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen at the NATO summit in Washington. The coalition, according to the leaders, intends to assist with the maintenance, armament, and pilot training for these jets. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in turn, announced that a transfer of F-16 fighter jets was currently underway from Europe to Ukraine.

“I’m also pleased to announce that as we speak, the transfer of F-16 jets is underway, coming from Denmark, coming from the Netherlands, and those jets will be flying in the skies of Ukraine this summer to make sure that Ukraine can continue to effectively defend itself against the Russian aggression,” Blinken said at the NATO Public Forum. Commenting on the development, Andrey Kartapolov, head of the State Duma Defense Committee told Sputnik that the transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine will not affect the course of the special operation and will change nothing. “We have known for a long time that they would give them something by the end of the summer; they have nothing else left but the F-16. Now they will be giving them, perhaps a dozen or so, but it will not change anything at all. We have been expecting them for a long time, and we have been preparing. It will not affect the course of the special operation,” said Kartapolov. He noted that after the transfer of F-16s to Ukraine, Russian pilots and air defense personnel “will have new stars on their fuselages and new medals on their chests.”

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“The Russians have gotten really, really good” at interfering with guided munitions..”

High-Tech Western Weapons ‘Useless’ In Ukraine Conflict – WSJ (RT)

Russia’s electronic warfare capabilities have rendered precision-guided Western munitions “useless” in the Ukraine conflict, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. With their guidance systems scrambled, some of these weapons have reportedly been retired within weeks of hitting the battlefield. When the US announced the delivery of GPS-guided Excalibur artillery shells to Ukraine in 2022, pro-Kiev outlets predicted that the $100,000-per-shot projectiles would make “Ukrainian artillery a whole lot more accurate” and “cause Russia a world of pain.” However, the Russian military adapted within weeks, Ukrainian commanders told the Wall Street Journal. Russian signal-jamming equipment was used to feed false coordinates to the shells and interfere with their fuses, causing them to veer off course or fall to the ground as duds.

“By the middle of last year, the M982 Excalibur munitions, developed by RTX and BAE Systems, became essentially useless and are no longer employed,” the newspaper stated, paraphrasing the Ukrainian commanders. The Soviet Union invested heavily in electronic warfare (EW) during the 1980s, viewing jamming technology as a crucial bulwark against the guided missiles and shells that the US was beginning to develop at the time. While weapons such as the 1990s-era Excalibur shells were used by the US to devastating effect in Iraq and Afghanistan, officials and analysts in Washington have since concluded that they are far less effective against a peer-level opponent like Russia. “The Russians have gotten really, really good” at interfering with guided munitions, US Deputy Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment William LaPlante told the WSJ.

Retired US General Ben Hodges, who once predicted that Western weapons would help Ukraine seize Crimea by last winter, told the newspaper that “we probably made some bad assumptions because over the last 20 years we were launching precision weapons against people that could not do anything about it… and Russia and China do have these capabilities.” Some of NATO’s most advanced weapons systems have met a similar fate in Ukraine. The newly-developed Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB), a joint project of Boeing in the US and Saab in Sweden, was given to Ukraine earlier this year, with Kiev’s troops firing these GPS-guided munitions before their American counterparts. However, it has since been pulled from the battlefield after it proved completely ineffective against Russian EW.

Likewise, Russian EW has significantly blunted the accuracy of Ukraine’s Western-provided GMLRS missiles, which are fired from the HIMARS multiple-launch rocket system, Ukrainian soldiers told the WSJ. As with the Excalibur shells, GMLRS missiles were once described by pro-Kiev pundits and analysts as a “game changer” that would swing the conflict in Ukraine’s favor. Russia has long insisted that no amount of Western weapons systems will prevent it from achieving victory. Supplying these weapons is a “futile project” that will only encourage Kiev to “commit new crimes,” Moscow’s ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, warned last week.

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“Unelected advisers, party hacks, scheming family members and random hangers-on make the critical daily decisions..”

We Were “Deceived & Gaslit For Years” (Alastair Crooke)

Emmanuel Todd, the French anthropological historian, examines the longer dynamics to events unfolding in the present: The prime agent of change leading to the Decline of the West (La Défaite de l’Occident), he argues, was the implosion of ‘Anglo’ Protestantism in the U.S. (and England), with its entailed habits of work, individualism and industry – a creed whose qualities were held then to reflect God’s grace through material success, and, above all, to confirm membership of the divine ‘Elect’. Whereas traditional liberalism had its mores, the decline of traditional values triggered the slide towards managerial technocracy, and to nihilism. Religion lingers on in the West, though in a ‘zombie’ state, Todd avers. Such societies, he argues, flounder – absent some guiding metaphysical sphere that provides people with non-material sustenance.

However, the incoming doctrine that only a wealthy financial élite, tech experts, leaders of multinational corporations and banks possess the required foresight and technological understanding to manipulate a complex and increasingly controlled system changed politics completely. Mores were gone – and so was empathy. Many experienced the disconnect and the disregard of cold technocracy. So when a senior WSJ editor tells us that the ‘deception and ‘gaslighting’ collapsed with the CNN Biden-Trump debate, we should surely pay attention; He is saying the scales finally fell from peoples’ eyes. What was being gaslighted was the fiction of democracy and also that of America declaring itself – in its own scripture – to be the trailblazer and pathfinder of humanity: America as the exceptional nation: the singular, the pure-of-heart, the baptizer, and redeemer of all peoples despised and downtrodden; the “last, best hope of earth”.

The reality was very different. Of course, states can ‘live a lie’ for a long period. The underlying problem – the point Todd makes so compellingly – is that you can be successful in deceiving and manipulating public perceptions, but only up to a point. The reality was, it simply was not working. The same is true of ‘Europe’. The EU’s aspiration to become a global geo-political actor too, was contingent on gaslighting the public that France, Italy and Germany et al could continue to be real national entities – even as the EU scooped up all national decision-making prerogatives, by deceit. The mutiny at the recent European elections reflected this discontent. Of course, Biden’s condition has been long known. So who then has been running affairs; making critical daily decisions about war, peace, the composition of the judiciary and the boundaries of state authority? The WSJ piece gives one answer: “Unelected advisers, party hacks, scheming family members and random hangers-on make the critical daily decisions” on these issues.

Maybe we have to reconcile to the fact that Biden is an angry, senile man who yells at his staff: “During meetings with aides who are putting together formal briefings, some senior officials have at times gone to great lengths to curate the information in an effort to avoid provoking a negative reaction”.“It’s like, ‘You can’t include that, that will set him off’ or ‘Put that in, he likes that,’” said one senior administration official. “It’s very difficult and people are scared sh*tless of him.” The official added, “He doesn’t take advice from anyone other than those few top aides, and it becomes a perfect storm because he just gets more and more isolated from their efforts to control it”. Seymour Hersh, the well-known investigative journalist reports: “Biden’s drift into blankness has been ongoing for months, as he and his foreign policy aides have been urging a ceasefire that will not happen in Gaza whilst continuing to supply the weapons that make a ceasefire less likely.

There’s a similar paradox in Ukraine, where Biden has been financing a war that cannot be won – yet refusing to participate in negotiations that could end the slaughter”. “The reality behind all of this, as I’ve been told for months, is that Biden is simply ‘no longer there’ – in terms of understanding the contradictions of the policies he and his foreign policy advisers have been carrying out”. On the one hand, Politico tells us: “Biden’s insular senior team are well acquainted with the longtime aides who continue to have the president’s ear: Mike Donilon, Steve Ricchetti and Bruce Reed, as well as Ted Kaufman and Klain on the outside”. “It’s the same people — he has not changed those people for 40 years … The number of people who have access to the president has gotten smaller and smaller and smaller. They’ve been digging deeper into the bunker for months now.” And, the strategist said, “the more you get into the bunker, the less you listen to anyone”. In Todd’s words then, decisions are made by a small ‘Washington village’.

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“Democrats are seeking to bar third-party candidates from the general election . . . all in the name of perfecting democracy.”

NC Democrats Vote to Block 3rd-Party Candidates from Ballots (Turley)

Months ago, I wrote a column about how Democrats have continued to try to block voters from being able to vote for candidates while claiming the mantle of the defenders of Democracy. This effort not only included Democratic Secretaries of State attempting to remove former president Donald Trump from the ballots, but efforts in the primary from the ballot. Many of these Democrats now calling for a “blitz primary” previously said nothing as voters were barred from having a choice in the primary. Now, in North Carolina, Democrats are seeking to bar third-party candidates from the general election . . . all in the name of perfecting democracy. The Democratically controlled North Carolina’s Board of Elections voted against giving ballot access to new parties supporting presidential candidates Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West. All three Democrats (Alan Hirsch, Jefferson Carmon, and Siobhan Millen) voted to prevent voters from being able to vote for Kennedy and West, though the decision will have to be reconsidered.

Yet, even if reversed, they are preserving uncertainty as to whether they will be viable candidates in the minds of voters. The excuses for this action are superficial and manufactured. Chairman Alan Hirsch insisted that their organizations were “problematic” in how they gathered signatures and how Republicans may be supporting their efforts to allegedly “take away votes from Joe Biden.” They also said that they were concerned that the third-party candidates were using the new party rules to gain an easier path to ballots. That is a bizarre objection. They are opting for the best approach under the existing rules. It seems openly partisan for these three Democrats to suddenly raise concerns over the existing rules when it could harm Joe Biden or the Democratic Party. Yet, Democratic commissioner Siobhan Millen worked hard to rationalize what is a raw political muscle play to prevent voters from having a choice:

“If this board keeps rubber-stamping thinly veiled so-called parties, national operatives are going to continue to come in and keep manipulating our system. Allowing unaffiliated candidates to follow the more lenient new-party rules is allowing a blind eye to partisan mischief, potentially.” If Millen wants to see partisan mischief, she does not have to look far. She and her colleagues are engaging in precisely such mischief to deny voters choices this election to try to bolster the chances of Biden in a swing state. Democrats continue to claim to defend Democracy while resisting democratic choice and abusing the legal process. This glaring disconnect was evident when President Joe Biden spoke on the top of the Point-du-Hoc in Normandy on the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Biden again used the event to suggest that democracy was in danger in the United States with the upcoming election.

Yet, Biden has overseen widespread government censorship with federal agencies targeting those with opposing views on everything from elections and climate change to COVID-19 and transgender policies. As Democratic secretaries of state sought to bar Trump from ballots, Biden refused to oppose the efforts. When liberal law professors and members demanded to pack the Supreme Court to guarantee a liberal majority, Biden refused to denounce it during the last campaign. This is why some in the country may view Biden and the Democrats as existential threats not just to Democracy, but to themselves. They see a party that is engaged in efforts to cleanse ballots (of Republicans), censor dissenting voices and prosecute political opponents. The effort in North Carolina continues this hypocritical and cynical narrative. These three Democratic board members just voted to prevent their fellow citizens from being able to cast votes for third-party candidates who are attracting increasing support among disgruntled voters.

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Dog stairs

 

 

Malinois

 

 

Whales

 

 

Dance
https://twitter.com/i/status/1810755264343106007

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 102024
 


Pablo Picasso Family of Saltimbanques 1905

 

Trump Makes Biden Election Prediction (RT)
A Second Spousal Regency Is Now Underway (Stockman)
Paul Krugman Urges Biden To Drop Out (RT)
Senile, Drooling, but Mostly Fabulous (Luongo)
The Crowning of Kamala Harris? (Les Leopold)
Orban: “China Has A Peace Plan, America Has A War Policy” (SCF)
The Big Picture behind Viktor The Mediator’s Peace Shuttle (Pepe Escobar)
EU Might ‘End’ Hungary’s Presidency – Politico (RT)
Kremlin Responds To Kiev Hospital Attack Allegations (RT)
NATO Should Not Be Party To Ukraine Conflict – Erdogan (TASS)
Netanyahu Goes for Broke (Patrick Lawrence)
Israeli Gaza Campaign May Kill 186,000 or More – 8% of Population (Juan Cole)
UK Finances Worst Since 1945 – New Chancellor (RT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaker Johnson

 

 

MEP
https://twitter.com/i/status/1810450168866635813

 

 

Rogan Dr. Phil

 

 

Orban Soros

 

 

Populists

 

 

 

 

“He has the delegates, he doesn’t have to get out. There’s nothing they can do to get him out.”

Trump Makes Biden Election Prediction (RT)

US President Joe Biden “doesn’t want to quit” and “may very well stay” in the race for the White House, Republican rival Donald Trump has said. According to Trump, the Democratic Party will find it difficult to force Biden to quit. In the two weeks since he debated a visibly frail and confused Biden last month, Trump has stayed out of the public eye. Meanwhile, liberal media outlets have run articles questioning Biden’s mental health, as Democratic donors and lawmakers reportedly weigh their options for forcing the 81-year-old to suspend his reelection campaign. In a phone interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday night, Trump predicted that Biden will withstand the pressure to step down. “It looks to me like he may very well stay in,” Trump told Hannity.

“He’s got an ego and he doesn’t want to quit. This isn’t necessarily a very positive thing for our country, but I think he might very well stay in.” Biden himself has vowed to stay in the race, telling MSNBC on Monday that he is “not going anywhere.” In a letter to Democrats in Congress earlier that day, Biden insisted that he “wouldn’t be running again if I did not absolutely believe I was the best person to beat Donald Trump in 2024.” Biden won the support of nearly 99% of Democratic delegates during the party’s largely symbolic primary elections this year. This victory gives the president “a lot of power,” Trump told Hannity, adding that removing him from office via a constitutional amendment could be the only option available to the Democrats. “Unless they use the 25th Amendment… he has all the power,” Trump explained. “He has the delegates, he doesn’t have to get out. There’s nothing they can do to get him out.”

Should this come to pass, Trump said that he would expect to face Vice President Kamala Harris in November’s presidential election. “I think that [the Democrats] are very concerned about the vote if it’s not her,” he said. “They are gun-shy, they don’t want to do it any other way. It seems that if he gets out for whatever reason – and I don’t think he wants to get out – but if he gets out then it will be her.” Trump offered a cruder assessment of Biden’s chances in the days after the debate. In leaked footage filmed at one of his golf courses in late June, Trump could be heard telling a small group of supporters that Biden would surely be “quitting the race,” calling the president an “old, broken-down pile of crap.” Turning to Harris, Trump said that while she would be a better opponent, she is “so pathetic” and “so f**king bad.”

Trump on Biden

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“..why Kamala Harris and the timorous men and woman of the Biden cabinet have not activated the 25th Amendment: They are scared to death of Jill Giacoppo!”

A Second Spousal Regency Is Now Underway (Stockman)

As it turned out, the immobilization of the presidency during the last 18 months of Wilson’s term was one of history’s great serendipity’s. Absent Wilson’s tireless promotion, the abominable League of Nations Treaty died aborning. America was thus given one more chance to return to its ways as a peaceful Republic untroubled by the petty intrigues of nations beyond the great Atlantic and Pacific Ocean moats. Needless to say, that reprieve has long since been kicked away. America is now a dangerous Empire and its president is virtually the helmsman of the planet. So the fact that Jill Biden has apparently read and copied the entirety of professor Markel’s account of America’s first Spousal Regency is troubling indeed. It was evident beyond a shadow of a doubt last Thursday night that a second Spousal Regency is now underway.

“Joe Biden” would have received his gold watch from Washington’s grateful ruling apparatchiks long ago, save for the obvious fact that Jill Biden has said that absolutely “nyet means nyet”. At this point, of course, it would be helpful if Jill did speak a bit of Russian because the minions helping her conduct this unauthorized, unlawful and constitutionally- repugnant Regency have gotten her marooned in what amounts to an helacious Moscow Winter. Alas, however, it appears that her second language lies elsewhere. That is to say, Jill Jacobs Giacoppo’s tribal ferocity did not originate from the bucolic hills of Willow Grove Pennsylvania or the classrooms of Upper Moreland High School or even the instructors at Brandywine Junior College. Her father’s family had emigrated from the Sicilian village of Gesso, losing the “Giacoppo” part within days of passing Lady Liberty, but hanging on to the blood loyalty part even unto the present fraught hour.

That is to say, Edith Wilson Biden is a clear and present danger to the American Republic. She has spent the last 47 years marinating in the self-righteous hypocrisies, follies and evil-doings of the Washington ruling class—without ever once have been called to accountability by any kind of electorate at all. Like Edith Wilson, she was apparently an able spouse and hostess – who taught classes at Northern Virginia Community College on the side and was pleased to call herself “doctor” owing to a quasi-honorary degree from the Biden family’s political sinecure at the University of Delaware. And yet and yet. Jill Giacoppo is an utterly unqualified usurper, who has even less excuse for her blatant power grab than did Edith Wilson back in the day. At least in Edith’s time there was no 25th Amendment to regularize, organize and legitimize the transfer of power to the constitutionally prescribed role of Vice President.

To be specific, section 4 of the 25th Amendment addresses the precise case of a President unable to fulfill his constitutional role but who cannot or will not step aside. In that event, it provides both a decision-maker and a procedure. The deciding group is the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet. If this group declares a President “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” the Vice President immediately becomes Acting President; and he remains so unless a two-thirds majority of both chamber reinstate the former president. So why was “Joe Biden” still in the Oval Office last Thursday night making a spectacle of his very disabled self before a global audience of 51 million?

It’s plain as day that there is one reason and one reason alone as to why Kamala Harris and the timorous men and woman of the Biden cabinet have not activated the 25th Amendment: They are scared to death of Jill Giacoppo! Then again, this election is allegedly about saving constitutional democracy from the prospect of an illegal coup. And while the DNC and its megaphones in the MSM may resolutely deny it, that’s exactly what is now dangerously underway in their own backyard.

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Paul who?

Paul Krugman Urges Biden To Drop Out (RT)

US President Joe Biden should “do the right thing” and drop out of the election race in favor of Vice President Kamala Harris, Nobel Prize winner and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has said. Democrats and key party donors are growing increasingly concerned about their prospects for the vote in November after Biden’s disastrous performance in the June 27 debate against Republican rival Donald Trump. In a column on Monday, Krugman argued that Biden has been “ludicrously mistreated” by having his “every verbal or physical stumble” analyzed. Despite this, however, Krugman, the 2008 Nobel Prize winner in economics, said Biden should stand aside as his party’s candidate for president.

Harris should “probably” be the one to take his place, he added. The televised debate last month gave Biden a “golden opportunity” to “be calm and reassuring” in the face of Trump’s “bizarre and menacing” behavior, but he “utterly failed the test,” Krugman wrote. ‘During the CNN-hosted showdown, Biden appeared visibly confused, slurring his words and struggling to finish his sentences. While the White House blamed Biden’s poor performance on a cold and his busy travel schedule earlier in the month, some Democratic donors and liberal pundits have called on the 46th president to suspend his campaign. Some formerly friendly media outlets have also demanded that Biden step aside.

The 81-year-old has refused to withdraw from the race, admitting only that he does not debate “as well as [he] used to.” Speaking to MSNBC on Monday, Biden said he is “not going anywhere” and vowed to continue his reelection campaign, insisting he is “the best candidate to beat Donald Trump.” A survey conducted by CBS News/YouGov in the wake of the presidential debate found that 72% of registered voters do not believe that Biden has the “mental and cognitive health necessary to serve as president.”

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“..Doug Emhoff, you know the ‘second gentleman’ was at a debate watch party with Rob Reiner and Jane Fonda. What did he do to deserve that? Meathead and Hanoi Jane?”

Senile, Drooling, but Mostly Fabulous (Luongo)

Well, here we are. It’s a full blown panic. It is now obvious that President Biden lacks the mental faculties to carry on the office of the presidency. And the nervous mice are starting to tiptoe out on the ice and do the ‘noticing in public’ they have avoided the last three and a half years. The Democrats are now dividing themselves between the culpable and those with culpable deniability. Who knew? Who could have known? It’s time to call a lid on the whole damn thing, Jack. Now Republicans don’t want to hear that, they want to keep Biden in the race, for obvious reasons. That’s easy to understand and if he was just running as a candidate and not for reelection, it wouldn’t be a big deal. But, there is a country to run, every single day. And we do not know who is running it. That is beyond politics. And beyond unacceptable.

Democrats are nervous about Kamala. Who cares? She is the Vice President of the United States of America and her job is to step into the vacuum at moments like this. There will be plenty of time for a post-mortem later, but there can be no pretending that Biden is capable of finishing out his term. It’s nonsense and everyone knows it. But the Democrats have never met a rule or standard that they weren’t willing to politicize, and relativize, to their own ends. They can always screw over President Harris at the convention in six weeks, and give the nomination to someone else. They can fight the ballot issues at the state level. But I bet she winds up with the Senile Ice Cream Man’s superdelegates, so maybe everyone should stop worrying and learn to love the Kam…ala. How did we get here? According to some, it was because the right wing crankosphere has been too mean.

Calling out the obvious denied the establishment press their ability to do their jobs. They had to spend all their time doing counter-narrative against internet meanies, otherwise they would have noticed the president is unfit for office. Well, we’ve been calling him the Senile Ice Cream Man™ for over three years over here, so it must be our fault. We are deeply sorry about that. Sorry about being able to perceive reality. Meanwhile, the press is still getting their heads around the possibility of consequences. Give credit to the New York Times for being able to sniff a change in the zeitgeist and move quickly towards it. Even as they deserve heaps of scorn for carrying on the farce for so long, they’ve quickly put on their big girl pants and are out doing the journalism thing. It’s been cringeworthy to watch. So the press is doing the careful lane change. But we still have to watch all the Democrats pretend they didn’t know.

“Whip smart” Joe Biden is the best he’s ever been! That’s what they said on Morning Joe! You know the show where marriages, and credibility, goes to die. But, it wasn’t a lie, exactly. In some ways, Biden hasn’t changed at all. He was always an egotistical prick who said dumb stuff. Joe has always made up thinly believable lies based on his patronizing view of the world. He’s always been awkwardly sniffing people. Even if you believe “Corn Pop was a bad dude,” do you not remember Biden was the life insurance policy for the first black president? Obama thought “…I sure don’t want to get shot, who could I pick for VP that would make even an assassin think twice? Oh, I know, Joe Biden. No one wants that dumbass in charge!” Supposedly, poor Doug Emhoff, you know the ‘second gentleman’ was at a debate watch party with Rob Reiner and Jane Fonda. What did he do to deserve that? Meathead and Hanoi Jane?

In any case, five minutes in Reiner reportedly started screaming while Jane was crying. Awkward. Not as bad as listening to Kamala practice a speech, but pretty bad. Then you have the Hollywood elites, with their fake surprise and lamentations of betrayal. I can think of a lot of off-color compound words people might use to describe Ari Emmanuel. Dumbfuck is not on that list. He was so surprised to see Biden’s performance, shocked I tell you. Bitch, please.

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Dems are trying to turn disaster into a demonstration of democracy.

The Crowning of Kamala Harris? (Les Leopold)

While we await President Biden’s talk with the Lord Almighty, the Democratic Party lords are planning the coronation of Vice President Kamala Harris. Is she the best Democratic Party nominee? Many party leaders are eager to shut down that discussion. For them, it’s game over. They say that Harris should be the nominee and anyone who opposes her will greatly offend key Democratic constituencies, starting with the Black women who have been the backbone of the party in key states. How would it look, for example, if a white woman like Governor Gretchen Whitmore, were chosen instead? After all, Harris is literally “next in line.” Picking anyone else, therefore, would be like cutting ahead of the line. Not fair and an insult to people of color. But that argument is a stretch. It’s not automatic that vice presidents get a free ride to the nomination. Sometimes they have to fight for it, as Hubert Humphrey did in 1968.

And Biden himself, of course, was pushed aside for Hillary Clinton in 2016, even after serving two terms as Obama’s VP. Party elites also point to the fact that Harris is well known and therefore has a big edge over newer candidates who have not yet been vetted through the national political grinder. But that also cuts the other way. While Harris is well known, that’s not necessarily a plus. As of July 5, 51.2 percent disapprove of the job the Veep is doing, with only 37.1 percent approving, according to ABC News’ 538 poll averages. And currently, she is trailing Trump in the latest poll, 47 to 42 percent. Her supporters will correctly point out, however, that the other, lesser-known Democratic hopefuls are currently polling even more poorly against Trump. Harris also has a stellar electoral record to be considered in California, where she served as Attorney General and then U.S. Senator. And, of course, she won the vice presidency in 2020, but that vote was largely about Biden and Trump.

As a national candidate for president in 2020, however, she did not do well. After one good debate in June 2020, her campaign faltered, as her poll numbers crashed from 15 percent to 3 percent in December. She then withdrew even before the primaries began. Some will write that off as old news that doesn’t tell us much about the current situation, but really, why exactly doesn’t that history matter? What concrete evidence do we have that she would do better now as a presidential candidate? What counts most today is who the Democratic rank-and-file really want as their presidential candidate when Biden has his come-to-Jesus moment and stands down. The party’s candidate this year needs to inspire and draw the broadest possible turnout to defeat Donald Trump in the battleground states.

The Democrat mantra is that “democracy is on the line” this fall. That same concern should guide their candidate selection process. Are they willing to open it up, so the base of the party has a say in who is nominated? If so, then the Democrats should seriously consider a reasonable process outlined by Jonathan Alter in the New York Times:

• Only those with a certain threshold of support in polls may take part in Democratic debates scheduled before the convention.
• Each qualifying candidate will be granted a half-hour address on the opening night of the convention, with the winner expanding on it in his or her acceptance speech.
• Delegates should take into consideration—though not be bound by—state and national polls showing the relative strengths of the candidates.
• The candidates should identify possible running mates.

Representative James Clyburn (D-S.C.), a Biden campaign co-chair no less, is suggesting a mini-primary before the August nominating convention. And James Carville argues for holding four regional town halls for new candidates selected by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, who also would chair the meetings. It’s possible that Kamala Harris would come out of this process as the strongest contender, igniting and mobilizing many of the key Democratic Party constituencies. But it would be a grave error to use that untested assumption to eliminate rank-and-file Democrats from having a real say in the process.

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“China has a peace plan. America has a war policy. And Europe, instead of having its own strategic approach, is simply copying the American position..”

Orban: “China Has A Peace Plan, America Has A War Policy” (SCF)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán continued his peace mission with a trip to China before moving on to the United States on Monday, July 8th. After visiting Kyiv and Moscow last week, he headed to the capitals of the two global powers, who—in the prime minister’s words—have the ability to influence the outcome of the Russo-Ukrainian war. Hungary assumed the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union on July 1st, and Orbán is using this role to promote his “peace mission,” an attempt to bring the war in Ukraine to an end. Though the prime minister made it clear that he is not mandated to hold talks on behalf of the other EU member states, he said he would like to find out how far Ukraine and Russia were willing to go—and update fellow EU member states on his findings.

Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Hungary has been the only EU member state to call for a ceasefire and peace talks instead of prolonging the war by sending weapons to Ukraine. As we recently reported, Orbán visited both Kyiv and Moscow last week in an attempt to talk to both participants in the war that has now raged for almost two-and-a-half years. He was criticised by EU leaders for talking to Russian President Vladimir Putin, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stating that “appeasement will not stop Putin.” However, Balázs Orbán, the prime minister’s political advisor (not related to Viktor Orbán) said in an interview on Sunday that Hungary’s EU presidency provides a good opportunity to open the communication channels between the parties of the war. Unveiling the agenda of the presidency in June, Hungarian EU Affairs Minister János Bóka said “the EU has to guarantee the security and peace of Europe, and every one of our priorities will be interpreted within this framework.”

In a short video uploaded to his X account after his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, the prime minister said: “Of course, the warring parties have the last word in the war, but three world powers have a decisive influence: China, the United States and the European Union. They also influence when this war will end.” In Beijing, Orbán said he had discussed with Xi the Chinese peace plan, saying “China is the only world power that has been clearly committed to peace from the beginning.” China’s and Brazil’s road map states that “dialogue and negotiation are the only viable way out of the crisis.” China did not attend a Western-backed peace summit held in Switzerland last month, saying it is meaningless to hold such a conference without the participation of one of the warring factions, Russia. According to AP reporting, Xi followed his meeting with Orbán by calling on Russia and Ukraine to stop the fighting—and on other major powers to create an environment conducive to talks.

“China has a peace plan. America has a war policy. And Europe, instead of having its own strategic approach, is simply copying the American position,” Viktor Orbán told German daily Die Welt in an interview shortly before his trip to Beijing. After visiting Beijing, Orbán flew straight to Washington, D.C., where he is set to attend the summit of NATO leaders, which begins on Tuesday. Member states plan to pledge to keep pouring arms and ammunition into Ukraine at current levels for at least another year. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance’s 32 member countries have been spending around €40 billion each year on military equipment for Ukraine since the war began and that this should be “a minimum baseline” going forward.

Before the summit, it was rumoured Orbán would meet former President Donald Trump who has claimed he could end the war within 24 hours of moving back into the White House. Orbán openly supports Trump’s presidential candidacy, and has stated that the former president would bring back peace to Ukraine. “Prime Minister Orbán, like my father, wants to see PEACE brought back to the world. Enough of the constant wars and the endless sums of money to fund them. … Peace must be the ultimate goal,” Donald Trump Jr.—Trump’s son, who recently visited Budapest—posted on X.

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“All negotiations with him, he is always in a good mood – this is the first thing. Secondly, he is more than 100% rational. When he negotiates, when he begins to explain, when he makes an offer, saying yes or no, he is super, super rational..”

“..it is a real challenge to negotiate with him and be prepared to match his intellectual and political level.”

The Big Picture behind Viktor The Mediator’s Peace Shuttle (Pepe Escobar)

Viktor Orban is on a roll. And that has set out a riotous roller coaster. Everyone has been gripped by the extraordinary spectacle of pre-historic specimens wallowing in the Western geopolitical swamp reaching the depths of Hysteriastan at the sight of the Hungarian Prime Minister’s peace shuttle moving from Ukraine and Russia to China. And to do that on the eve of the 75th anniversary of warmongering Global Robocop NATO has got to be the ultimate affront. The 3-hour long Putin-Viktor The Mediator meeting in Moscow was quite something. These are arguably Putin’s three main points: 1.Kiev cannot allow the idea of a ceasefire because that would remove the pretext for extending martial law. 2.If Kiev ends martial law, it will need to hold presidential elections. The chances of the current Ukrainian authorities winning are close to zero. 3.There should not be a truce for additional Kiev weaponizing: Moscow wants a complete and final endgame.

By comparison, these are arguably Orban’s three main points: 1.The positions of Russia and Ukraine are very far from each other, much needs to be done. 2.The war in Ukraine has begun to have an impact on the European economy and its competitiveness (as much as the EU “leadership” may deny it). 3.“I heard what Putin thinks about the existing peace initiatives, the ceasefire and negotiations, and the vision of Europe after the war.” Orban also made a point of emphasizing the airtight pre-meeting secrecy, as “means of communication are under total surveillance by the Big Boys”. He described the search for a solution in Ukraine as his “Christian duty”. And he said he asked three direct questions to Putin: whether peace talks are possible; whether a ceasefire before they begin is realistic; and what Europe’s security architecture could look like.

Putin, said Orban, answered all three. The clincher – not for the warmongers, but for the Global Majority – was Orban’s description of Putin: “All negotiations with him, he is always in a good mood – this is the first thing. Secondly, he is more than 100% rational. When he negotiates, when he begins to explain, when he makes an offer, saying yes or no, he is super, super rational. How else can you say it in Hungarian? Cool headed, reserved, careful and punctual. He has discipline. So it is a real challenge to negotiate with him and be prepared to match his intellectual and political level.” All of the above ties up with the concept of a new Eurasia security system proposed last month by Putin – and a key theme of discussion at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Astana last week. Putin has emphasized the central role of the SCO in the process, stating that a “decision was made to turn the SCO regional anti-terrorist structure into a universal center tasked with responding to the entire range of security threats.”

In a nutshell: the SCO will be arguably the key node in the new Eurasia-wide indivisibility of security arrangement. This is as huge as it gets. It all started with the concept of Greater Eurasian Partnership, proposed by Putin in 2015 and conceptualized by Sergey Karaganov in 2018. Putin took it to another level in his meeting with key Russian diplomats in June; it’s time to set up serious bilateral and multilateral guarantees for collective Eurasian security. That should be a security architecture, according to Putin, open to “all Eurasian countries that wish to participate,” including “European and NATO countries.” And it should lead to “gradually phasing out” the military presence of “external powers in Eurasia”, side by side with “establishing alternatives to Western-controlled economic mechanisms, expanding the use of national currencies in settlements, and establishing independent payment systems.” In a nutshell: a complete geopolitical and technical-military revamp, as well as geoeconomic (the importance of developing alternative international transport corridors such as the INSTC).

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“With such a meeting the presidency ends before it has really begun.”

EU Might ‘End’ Hungary’s Presidency – Politico (RT)

The European Union could revoke Hungary’s presidency of the bloc over Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s trip to Moscow, Politico EU has reported, citing diplomatic sources. Orban went to Ukraine last week, upon assuming the European Council presidency and vowing to “Make Europe great again.” He then went to Russia, triggering howls of outrage in Kiev and Brussels alike. “Member states were already irritated by the ‘MEGA’ motto. But a meeting with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin will permanently overshadow the Hungarian presidency,” Politico reported on Monday evening, citing an unnamed EU diplomat. “With such a meeting the presidency ends before it has really begun.” Politico described Orban as having gone “rogue” and suggested the EU ambassadors “could move from public condemnations alone to concrete action to restrain” Budapest at their meeting on Wednesday.

There is “a very clear political disapproval” of Orban in Brussels, another anonymous diplomat said, adding that the ambassadors are “now discussing what exactly to do on Wednesday.” The bloc “can get rid of the Hungarian presidency within weeks,” argued Daniel Hegedus, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund think-tank. He laid out a series of steps by which Brussels could move the start of Poland’s presidency to September 1, cutting Hungary’s term short, so as to “attach negative consequences to Orban’s behavior.” This would require a four-fifths majority in the European Council.

Orban has dismissed criticism that he does not have a mandate to represent the EU by saying that his peace missions are not classical negotiations and therefore do not require one. Bigger powers might be able to end the conflict, but Hungary can be “a good tool in the hands of God” to promote peace, the Hungarian leader said last Friday on national radio. Hungary has long been one of the few EU members critical of the bloc’s unqualified support for Ukraine, urging Brussels instead to push for peace. Budapest has blocked plans to finance Kiev’s weapons purchases, declined to participate in the program of training Ukrainian troops, and refused passage of weapons and equipment to Ukraine via its territory.

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“..used by the Ukrainian authorities to ensure continued funding and the continuation of the conflict.”

Kremlin Responds To Kiev Hospital Attack Allegations (RT)

Moscow has vehemently denied responsibility for the tragedy at the Okhmatdet children’s hospital in Kiev, after a missile hit the facility on Monday. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has insisted that the incident was caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Peskov stressed that Russia “does not strike civilian targets” and that all strikes carried out by the Russian military are exclusively aimed at “critical infrastructure facilities and military targets that are somehow related to the regime’s military potential.” Regarding Ukraine’s accusations that Moscow intentionally hit the hospital in Kiev, Peskov pointed to the official statement by the Russian Defense Ministry, which “absolutely rules out that there were strikes on any civilian targets. It states that we are talking about the fall of an anti-missile.”

The Russian Defense Ministry reported on Monday that it had conducted a large-scale attack using long-range high-precision weapons to strike Ukrainian military industry facilities and aviation bases. The attack was said to be in response to Kiev’s continued attempts to cause damage to Russian energy and economic facilities. The ministry stated that all the intended targets were hit and rejected Kiev’s claims of Russian missiles striking civilian facilities as “absolutely untrue.” “Numerous published photos and video footage from Kiev clearly confirm the fact of destruction due to the fall of a Ukrainian air defense missile launched from an anti-aircraft missile system within the city,” the ministry said. It also accused Kiev of attempting similar “hysterics” in the past, especially before large international summits, such as the NATO gathering in Washington that kicked off on Tuesday. The Russian Defense Ministry suggested that the incident at Okhmatdet is being used by the Ukrainian authorities to ensure continued funding and the continuation of the conflict.

Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, has also suggested that the hospital tragedy is seen by Kiev’s Western backers as a “perfect gift” to justify further escalation of the conflict and the continuation of hostilities. The Western press is “whipping up hysterics” and hiding relevant facts about the tragedy, Antonov claimed, including Moscow’s assessment that the incident was caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile. Pro-Kiev media outlets have claimed that the weapon that struck the hospital was a Russian air-launched Kh-101 cruise missile. However, others have argued that the projectile, which can apparently be seen in a video filmed from a distance by a witness, was probably an AIM120 fired by a NASAM missile system or an interceptor fired by the MIM-104 Patriot missile system. Western donors have provided Ukraine with this type of US-developed weapon.

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“They do not want to hear anything..”

West Doesn’t Want To Listen – Kremlin (RT)

Russia will continue to “speak the truth” to the world, despite Western governments and media refusing to allow their citizens to hear what Moscow has to say, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated on Tuesday. Peskov was asked by the VGTRK broadcaster about Ukraine’s claims that Russia struck a children’s hospital in Kiev. Moscow has insisted that its forces targeted a nearby missile plant and that the hospital was actually hit by a stray Ukrainian air defense missile. Ukraine’s version of events was quickly backed by its Western supporters. Moscow and Kiev further traded accusations during an emergency UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday. “It is very difficult to get our point across to the Western world right now. They do not want to hear anything,” Peskov said. “We see the hysteria in [Western] newspapers, TV channels,” the Kremlin spokesman added. “This is likely due to the monopolistic dominance of Anglo-Saxon media there.”

Nevertheless, Moscow will continue to “tell the truth about what has happened, both domestically and in countries where the audience is ready to hear us and where we have technical means to reach them,” Peskov stressed. Since 2022, the EU has banned several Russian news broadcasters, including RT, citing “systematic information manipulation and disinformation.” YouTube similarly began to crack down on Russian-linked content, removing more than 70,000 videos and 9,000 channels related to the Ukraine conflict, according to The Guardian. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has branded the sanctions “political censorship and a campaign to completely wipe out alternative viewpoints.”

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“..every day that weapons are being used [in Ukraine] confirms the rightness of Turkey’s position” on the issue..”

NATO Should Not Be Party To Ukraine Conflict – Erdogan (TASS)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that during his participation in the NATO summit in the United States he intends to bring up the issues of counterterrorism, Gaza, and Ukraine, especially the fact that the alliance should not become a party to the conflict. “We expect an outcome from this summit that takes into account our national security interests and strengthens solidarity within the alliance. During our meetings [in Washington], we will draw attention to the growing threat of terrorism in the world and emphasize the need to intensify NATO’s efforts here. We maintain a principled position on the conflict in Ukraine. We support its territorial integrity and consider it unacceptable for NATO to become a party to the war in Ukraine,” Erdogan told reporters before departing for the United States, according to his administration’s X page.

He added that “every day that weapons are being used [in Ukraine] confirms the rightness of Turkey’s position” on the issue. Erdogan also said that he intends to “put Israel’s ongoing massacre against the Palestinian people on the agenda” at the summit. “We have not been able to achieve what we wanted from NATO regarding Israel and Palestine. The efforts of the international community are not yet enough to stop Israel. We will put these issues back on the agenda of our meetings in the US and expect to obtain the results we hope for. Serious talks were held in Doha. The head of Mossad also visited Qatar. Certain steps have been taken, but they have not been finalized yet,” the Turkish leader pointed out.

He also recalled that Turkey “is among five NATO countries that make up the backbone of the organization,” which other alliance members agree with. He said he will have a meeting with new NATO Secretary General Mark Rutte during the summit. The new NATO summit, timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the organization, will be held in the US capital on July 9-11.

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Delusional.

Netanyahu Goes for Broke (Patrick Lawrence)

It is a matter of record that the Zionist project has had extensive territorial designs on the lands known as Palestine since at least the early 20th century. As others have argued, the Israelis’ openly racist assault on the Palestinians of Gaza is to be understood not as a sudden eruption of violence, a departure, but as an especially savage continuation of Zionist conduct for more than a century. When history is brought to bear in this fashion, it becomes increasingly apparent that the invasion of Gaza since the events of last Oct. 7 ought not be seen in isolation. The more pathologically disturbed members of Benjamin Netanyahu’s freak-show regime — notably, but not only, Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben–Givr, the finance and national security ministers — have never been shy on this point. They are entirely dedicated to the restoration of Eretz Yisrael, the mystical Land of Israel, which, variously interpreted through the ages, could extend at the extreme from the Red Sea all the way to the Euphrates Valley.

But the crazed ultras to whom Netanyahu owes his political survival have not yet got far enough to turn their visions into articulated policy. Is this changing? This is our question, along with another: Is the Biden regime — or at this point its successor — prepared to “stand with Israel,” as American leaders like to put it, if extremist dreams of violent conquest turn into real, live political and military plans?I have been convinced for some time, as I gather that many Palestinians are, that when the Israel Occupation Forces are done in Gaza they will next turn to the West Bank. On this point I now correct myself: In my interpretation the IOF, in close collaboration with brutish Israeli settlers, has already begun its assault in the West Bank. Of late the Israelis have also been openly threatening to launch a full-scale attack on Hezbollah, the political and military movement that controls southern Lebanon. This, too, bears interpretation.

Douglas Macgregor, the retired colonel and now an energetic commentator on politico- military affairs, has no trouble putting together the 2–and–2 of this moment. Here he is last week on “Judging Freedom,” Andrew Napolitano’s webcast program: “Whatever happened on the 7th of October, and I’m still not convinced that was not allowed to happen, … the decision then to attack had very little to do with what happened on the 7th of October and everything to do with a long-term strategic plan to begin the process of ethnically cleansing, expelling, or murdering, whatever you want to call it, the Arabs in Gaza and, ultimately, the Arabs on the West Bank.” This seems right but short of the emerging reality. A few minutes later in his exchange with Macgregor, Napolitano played a clip of Netanyahu addressing a table of officials, at least some of whom are American, last Friday:

“Iran is fighting us on a seven-front war. Obviously, Hamas and Hezbollah. The Houthis, militias in Iraq and Syria. Judea and Samaria on the West Bank. Iran itself. They’d like to topple Jordan. Their goal is to have a combined ground offensive from their various fronts, coupled with combined missile bombardments. We’ve been given the opportunity to scuttle it. And we will. The first requirement is to cut that hand [he gestures as if to cut through his right forearm], Hamas. People who do these things to us are not going to be there. We will have a long battle, I don’t think it’s that long, but we’ll get rid of them. We also have to deter the other elements of the Iran terror axis. We have to deal with the axis. The axis doesn’t threaten only us. It threatens you. It’s on the march to conquer the Middle East — conquer the Middle East — conquer. That means conquer Saudi Arabia, conquer the Arabian Peninsula, it’s just a question of time. And what’s standing in their way is a small Satan, that’s us, on the road to the middle-sized Satan, that’s the Europeans — they’re always offended when I tell them that — ‘You’re the great Satan!’ And we have to stop that.”

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“9 out of 10 children under 5 in Gaza are suffering from one or more infectious diseases. Levels of acute watery diarrhea are 20 times higher than typical.”

Israeli Gaza Campaign May Kill 186,000 or More – 8% of Population (Juan Cole)

Rasha Khatib, Martin McKee and Salim Yusuf, The Lancet calculate that 186,000 or more people may be killed* by the Israeli total war on Gaza, about 8% of the population. If you do not see this study reported on your cable “news” channel, you may conclude that the corporation that owns it is complicit in genocide. One of the paper’s authors, Martin McKee, “is a member of the editorial board of the Israel Journal of Health Policy Research and of the International Advisory Committee of the Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research.” Although McKee says he is writing solely in a personal capacity, I think we may conclude that some members of the professional Israeli public health community have their hair on fire about the prosecution of the Gaza War. The Gaza Ministry of Health now says that over 38,000 Palestinians have been killed by the Israelis. As The Lancet notes, the World Health Organization and even the Israeli intelligence services accept these figures.

Since the Israeli Air Force has dropped as many as five hundred two-thousand-pound bombs and by now has destroyed or damaged a majority of the buildings in the Gaza Strip, it is likely that at least 10,000 uncounted dead are under the rubble. The 38,000 dead are the result of what is called direct gathering of the figures. Initially the dead were identified and reported by hospitals. As Israel has reduced the ability of hospitals to function by its attacks on them, this direct reporting has continued, but hospitals began being unable in some cases to send along identification, though they could confirm the reception of the corpses. Some dishonest observers suggested that this inability to know the names of the dead somehow made the numbers less reliable, but the World Health Organization refuted this allegation. The dead are in makeshift morgues still gradually being identified.

Indirect counting of the dead attempts to calculate the missing people using statistical methods. Sometimes public health experts have attempted to interview people to collect data on dead family members and friends, and then projected totals based on these surveys. That method is not available in Gaza, where the Israeli authorities will not permit journalists and other observers, and where it is dangerous to be because there are no real safe zones, with those regions declared safe zones often having been bombed. Muhammad Jawad et al., in a survey of 118 unique armed conflicts affecting 102 countries from 1990 to 2017 found that they produced an average of 19.2 battle-related deaths per 100,000 population (54.7 for those in war as opposed to minor conflict). There were in addition an average of 311 excess deaths per 100,000 population from causes other than being immediately killed by a bomb or bullet. So, 16 civilians died of starvation, communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases and injuries, for every direct death in combat.

And this seems important, in the Jawad et al. study: “Effect estimates were disproportionately larger for children aged under 5 years, regardless of the cause of death. Gaza had some 350,000 children under 5. UNICEF reported in May, “9 out of 10 children under 5 in Gaza are suffering from one or more infectious diseases. Levels of acute watery diarrhea are 20 times higher than typical.” Already last March, 1 in 3 children under 2 were acutely malnourished, a condition that produces permanent cognitive and emotional damage. The Lancet authors used a much smaller multiplier, of four indirect deaths for each direct death. Based on the death toll known when the paper was written, they arrived at 186,000 dead for this war over the coming months. They admit that the estimate of four indirect deaths for every direct one is conservative, so the number could be substantially greater.

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“We face the legacy of 14 years of chaos and economic irresponsibility..”

UK Finances Worst Since 1945 – New Chancellor (RT)

The UK’s new Labour government has inherited the worst economy since the Second World War, the newly appointed chancellor of the exchequer, Rachel Reeves, has said. Reeves took charge of the country’s finances after Labour won 412 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons in last week’s general election, ending 14 years of Conservative Party rule. “I have repeatedly warned that whoever won the general election would inherit the worst set of circumstances since the Second World War,” Reeves said in a speech at the Treasury on Monday. “We face the legacy of 14 years of chaos and economic irresponsibility,” she added, accusing her Tory predecessors of acting out of “political self-interest” as part of a “government that put party first, country second.”

“New Treasury analysis that I requested over the weekend shows that, had the UK economy grown at the average rate of other OECD [Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development] economies this last 13 years, our economy would have been over £140 billion [$179 billion] larger,” Reeves said. She claimed that Tory policies effectively cost the UK budget £58 billion ($74 billion) in lost tax revenue in 2023 alone. “That’s money that could have revitalized our schools, our hospitals, and other public services,” the new chancellor said. “Growth requires difficult choices – choices that previous governments have shied away from.”

Reeves vowed to end “political timidity” in the UK’s “antiquated planning system,” and promised reform while staying committed not to “no increases in National Insurance, and the basic, higher, or additional rates of Income Tax, or VAT.” According to The Guardian, the UK’s deficit has reached the highest level since the 1960s under more than a decade of Conservative governments, while the country was badly affected by “shocks including Brexit, the Covid pandemic and the cost of living crisis.” The International Monetary Fund projected in early July that the UK’s GDP will grow by 0.5% this year.

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Mommy otter

 

 

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