Jan 262024
 


Jean-Léon Gérôme Truth Coming Out of Her Well to Shame Mankind, 1896

 

What Happens In Texas Will Decide The Fate Of The Nation (Libby Emmons)
25 Republican Governors Back Texas In Standoff With Biden (RT)
China’s Defense Ministry: NATO is a ‘Walking War Machine’ Sowing Chaos (Sp.)
The Western World: RIP (Paul Craig Roberts)
Five Variables Defining Our Future (Pepe Escobar)
How Gaza Is Impacting The Great Power Standoff (Sweidan)
Netanyahu Cannot Survive 10 Minutes Without US Support – Iran FM (Cradle)
Gaza War’s Financial Reason Mainstream Media Won’t Cover – Ray McGovern (Sp.)
Iran ‘A Legitimate Target’ – Israel (RT)
Col. Macgregor Says at Least 400 Americans Died in Ukraine (Sp.)
‘Suicide Mission’: Ukrainian Troops Reveal Dire Situation on Battlefield (Sp.)
Why Did Ukraine Shoot Down An Aircraft Carrying Its Own Soldiers? (Poletaev)
West’s Anti-Russian Policy Now ‘At Its Peak’ – Peskov (TASS)
EU Not Prepared For Potential Armed Conflict With Russia – Politico (TASS)
Trump Advisor Navarro Sentenced To Four Months For Ignoring J6 Subpoena (ZH)
Adam Schiff A “Liar” Who Was “Censured” – Garvey (ZH)
RCMP Offering Police $75,000 Benefit To Change Genders (CS)

 

 

Lone Star rebellion. There are now 25 governors standing with Texas.

 

 

Tucker 22 million
https://twitter.com/i/status/1750427983448256552

 

 

Steve Harvey

 

 

Vivek Trump
https://twitter.com/i/status/1750250406242836517

 

 

Watters RFK

 

 

Vivek

 

 

Trump MbS

 

 

 

 

“..Texas, and the nation, are just open to the wolves at the door who seek to destroy the border and America..”

What Happens In Texas Will Decide The Fate Of The Nation (Libby Emmons)

Texas has been doing the work the Biden administration refused to do: securing the US-Mexico border against invasion. They erected fencing only for Biden’s border minions to tear it down. They put buoy barriers in the river to stop people from crossing, but these, too, Biden’s border guards took down at his order. They even took the case to the Supreme Court to ask them to tell Texas to back off and let the illegal immigrants flood in. In a completely absurd ruling, the Supreme Court sided with Biden and said that federal officials may cut the wire barrier put up by Texas to protect their state and, in turn, the entire nation from invasion. It was a 5-4 ruling overturning a lower court ruling that Biden could, indeed, cut the razor wire. Conservative justices, including Amy Coney Barrett, ruled against the state in allowing the appeals court ruling to stand.

Texas is appealing, arguments will be heard February 7, there will be more lawfare between Texas and Biden, and for sure, the case is not closed. It’s possible that the Supreme Court is attempting to put power back in the hands of the legislatures, and not the courts or federal agencies, as they did with the Dobbs ruling, EPA v West Virginia, or as oral arguments indicated they may rule in the challenge to Chevron deference. But until then, Texas, and the nation, are just open to the wolves at the door who seek to destroy the border and America. Literally what the hell. After the Supreme Court vacated the injunction, saying only “The application to vacate injunction presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court is granted,” Texas said no. By then, Texas National Guard had taken up a strong position at a major border crossing. They were keeping Biden’s border agents out and erecting more razor wire, which the White House said was “getting in the way,” which of course, for Texas, was the point.

Article IV, Section IV of the Constitution points out, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.” “Shall protect against invasion.” Those are the wise words used. Yet for Joe Biden and his handlers, the words mean nothing. The Supreme Court has deferred to a pending decision by a lower court. All entities but Texas abandoned their sacred duty to uphold the laws of the US. The US border is open and available for trespass.

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That authority is the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary..”

25 Republican Governors Back Texas In Standoff With Biden (RT)

A large group of Republican governors has issued a joint statement voicing “solidarity” with Texas Governor Greg Abbott and his stepped-up border protections, accusing the White House of leaving the country “completely vulnerable” amid an influx of illegal migrants. Published on Thursday, the open letter was signed by 25 GOP governors across the country, with Vermont Governor Phil Scott the sole Republican to leave his signature off the message. The state leaders were highly critical of President Joe Biden, who they said had “attacked and sued Texas for stepping up to protect American citizens from historic levels of illegal immigrants, deadly drugs like fentanyl, and terrorists entering our country.”

“We stand in solidarity with our fellow Governor, Greg Abbott, and the State of Texas in utilizing every tool and strategy, including razor wire fences, to secure the border,” the letter continued. “We do it in part because the Biden Administration is refusing to enforce immigration laws already on the books and is illegally allowing mass parole across America of migrants who entered our country illegally.” Abbott has been embroiled in a lengthy legal battle with Biden’s Justice Department over Texas’ efforts to stem the flow of illegal immigration into the US. The tensions were exacerbated by a Supreme Court ruling earlier this week which authorized federal Border Patrol agents to remove razor wire installed along the US-Mexico border by the Texas authorities. Abbott responded to the ruling by saying that Biden had “refused to enforce [immigration] laws and has even violated them.”

The Texas governor has likened the record-breaking migration numbers in recent years to an “invasion,” and invoked constitutional authorities for a state to defend itself against foreign incursions. “That authority is the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary. The Texas National Guard, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and other Texas personnel are acting on that authority, as well as state law, to secure the Texas border,” Abbott previously argued. The standoff with federal agencies came to a head earlier this month when Texas used state National Guard troops to block federal Border Patrol agents from accessing a 2.5-mile stretch along the border with Mexico. Following that incident, the case was brought before the Supreme Court, which ultimately decided in favor of the federal government.

Last month, Border Patrol reported 300,000 encounters with illegal immigrants, representing an all-time high. While House Republicans have similarly accused Biden of facilitating an “invasion,” the Democratic majority has countered that blocking entry to asylum seekers would be “cruel” and “inhumane.” As part of a border crackdown dubbed ‘Operation Lone Star’, Abbott has sought to build barriers along the border and detained around 500,000 illegal immigrants. Texas has also bused over 97,000 migrants that the federal authorities had allowed into the country to Democrat-run jurisdictions of New York City, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC.

Texas

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“..wherever it appears, it brings disorder everywhere..”

China’s Defense Ministry: NATO is a ‘Walking War Machine’ Sowing Chaos (Sp.)

NATO is a walking war machine that brings chaos wherever it appears, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said at a briefing on Thursday. “We have drawn attention to inappropriate statements by the NATO Secretary General regarding China. As a regional military organization, NATO has launched and participated in wars since the very days of its inception,” Wu Qian said. He observed that over the past few years, the alliance has been steadily shifting its focus towards the Asia-Pacific region, employing the nonexistent “China threat” as a means to provoke bloc confrontation and endangering regional security “It should be said that NATO is a walking ‘war machine,’ and wherever it appears, it brings disorder everywhere,” he pointed out.

Wu Qian has called on NATO to cease their fabrication of lies and cease engaging in dangerous actions that disrupt the Asia-Pacific region, and to treat China, along with the Chinese armed forces and its development in an unbiased and rational manner. During the World Economic Forum in Davos, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg emphasized that the US-led military bloc remains “regional” in nature and will continue to be so. Stoltenberg also engaged in classic blame game, stating that the Western bloc allegedly does not regard China as an adversary and does not wish to expand into Asia. “This is not about NATO moving into Asia, but instead about the fact that China is coming close to us,” he claimed.

South China Sea

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“And the fool responsible for this policy is running for reelection as president with the media’s and America’s elites’ support.”

The Western World: RIP (Paul Craig Roberts)

I have come to the depressing conclusion that the white ethnicities that constituted the nations of Western Civilization have degenerated into such insouciance and stupidity that they have no possibility of survival. They sit mindlessly in front of TV absorbing their brainwashing and indoctrination. They can’t pay their rent, mortgage or car payments, but they pay endlessly for care of immigrant-invaders who are overwhelming their communities with material needs. In the US, North Carolina, once a Southern state, now an immigrant staging ground, has given over its high schools to serve as immigrant-invader “resettlement areas.” To Hell with the North Carolina taxpayers. Immigrant-invaders’ rights preempt those of North Carolina taxpayers, whose majority white population, according to the narrative, consists of white supremacist racists exploiters. North Carolina has also, at taxpayers’ expense, built a campus for a “head’s start” program for children of immigrant invaders. The program takes over a former school property for NC American citizens.

Wherever you look, you see the US welcoming at citizens taxpayer expense endless burdens from immigrant-invaders permitted to walk unheeded across the border into the Tower of Babel that the US has become. According to leaks, RINO Republican Senators are preparing an immigration bill that would force America to accept 1.8 million immigrant-invaders each year. Amazing to watch white people destroy their own country. No one in America can do anything about it. Instead of stopping the invasion and over-running of the country, the US government commits endless American resources to defending the aggressively expansive borders of Israel and Ukraine, while Washington dismantles the barrier put in place to defend America’s borders. And the fool responsible for this policy is running for reelection as president with the media’s and America’s elites’ support.

In what remains of European ethnic countries, the director of the EU’s “border protection agency, Frontex,” Hans Leitjens, said that “nothing can stop immigrants.” What he means is that the EU will not stop immigrant-invaders from bringing the Camp of the Saints to all of Europe and perhaps to Russia as well, considering the weakness demonstrated by a government that could be ruling the world. The dumbshit Hans Leitjens, obviously a proponent of Western annihilation, says that opposition to being overrun by immigrant-invaders constitutes “xenophobia and prejudice.” There you have it. If white ethnicities attempt to prevent their overthrow by invaders, they are xenophobic and racist. How did so many white ethnicities get converted to a point of view that doesn’t serve them? This is what white people have learned to expect from “their” governments. Don’t you think it is strange that the world’s white ethnicities are prepared to commit lives and endless resources to protect the borders of Israel and Ukraine, but nothing to protect their own borders? How can people this totally stupid continue to exist?

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“..the garden isn’t growing “because its philosophy is not industrialization. Its philosophy is to make monopoly rents, meaning rents that you make in your sleep without producing value..”

Five Variables Defining Our Future (Pepe Escobar)

Losers Don’t Dictate Terms

1.The stalemate: That’s the new, obsessive US narrative on Ukraine – on steroids. Confronted with the upcoming, cosmic NATO humiliation in the battlefield, the White House and the State Dept. had to – literally – improvise. Moscow though is unfazed. The Kremlin has set the terms a long time ago: total surrender, and no Ukraine as part of NATO. To “negotiate”, from the Russia point of view, is to accept these terms.And if the deciding powers in Washington opt for turbo-charging the weaponization of Kiev, or to unleash “the most heinous provocations in order to change the course of events”, as asserted this week by the head of the SVR, Sergey Naryshkin, fine. The road ahead will be bloody. In case the usual suspects sideline popular Zaluzhny and install Budanov as the head of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the AFU will be under total control of the CIA – and not NATO generals, as it’s still the case.

This might prevent a military coup against the sweaty sweatshirt puppet in Kiev. Yet things will get much uglier. Ukraine will go Total Guerrilla, with only two objectives: to attack Russian civilians and civilian infrastructure. Moscow, of course, is fully aware of the dangers. Meanwhile, chatterbox overdrive in several latitudes suggest that NATO may even be getting ready for a partition of Ukraine. Whatever form that might take, losers do not dictate conditions: Russia does. As for EU politicos, predictably, they are in total panic, believing that after mopping up Ukraine, Russia will become even more of a “threat” to Europe. Nonsense. Not only Moscow couldn’t give a damn to what Europe “thinks”; the last thing Russia wants or needs is to annex Baltic or Eastern European hysteria. Moreover, even Jens Stoltenberg admitted “NATO sees no threat from Russia toward any of its territories.”

2.BRICS: Since the start of 2024, this is The Big Picture: the Russian presidency of BRICS+ – which translates as a particle accelerator towards multipolarity. The Russia-China strategic partnership will be increasing actual production, in several fields, while Europe plunges into depression, unleashed by the Perfect Storm of sanctions blowback against Russia and German de-industrialization. And it’s far from over, as Washington is also ordering Brussels to sanction China across the spectrum. As Prof. Michael Hudson frames it, we are right in the middle of “the whole split of the world and the turning towards China, Russia, Iran, BRICS”, united in “an attempt to reverse, undo, and roll back the whole colonial expansion that’s occurred over the last five centuries.” Or, as Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov defined at the UN Security Council this process of BRICS leaving Western bullies behind, the changing world order is like “a playground scuffle – which the West is losing.”

3.The Lone Emperor: The “stalemate” – actually losing a war – is directly linked to its compensation: the Empire squeezing and shrinking a vassalized Europe. But even as you exercise nearly total control over all these relatively wealthy vassals, you lose the Global South, for good: if not all their leaders, certainly the overwhelming majority of public opinion. The icing in the toxic cake is to support a genocide followed by the whole planet in real time. Bye bye, soft power.

4.De-dollarization: All across the Global South, they did the math: if the Empire and its EU vassals can just steal over $300 billion in Russian foreign reserves – from a top nuclear/military power – they can do it to anyone, and they will. The key reason Saudi Arabia, now a BRICS 10 member, is being so meek on the genocide in Gaza is because their hefty US dollar reserves are hostage to the Hegemon. And yet the caravan moving away from the US dollar will only keep growing in 2024: that will depend on crucial crossover deliberations inside the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and BRICS 10.

5.Garden and jungle: What Putin and Xi have essentially been telling the Global South – including the energy-rich Arab world – is quite simple. If you want improved trade and economic growth, who’re you gonna link to? So we’re back to the “garden and jungle” syndrome – first coined by imperial Britain orientalist Rudyard Kipling. Both the British concept of “white man’s burden” and the American concept of “Manifest Destiny” derive from the “garden and jungle” metaphor. NATOstan, and hardly all of it, is supposed to be the garden. The Global South is the jungle. Michael Hudson again: as it stands, the jungle is growing, but the garden isn’t growing “because its philosophy is not industrialization. Its philosophy is to make monopoly rents, meaning rents that you make in your sleep without producing value. You just have a privilege of a right to collect money on a monopoly technology that you have.” The difference now, compared to all those decades ago of an imperial free lunch, is “an immense shift of technological advance”, away from North America and the US, to China, Russia and selected nodes across Asia.

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“..more than eight further countries reportedly joined the coalition, but demanded anonymity, given the potential political fallout from associating with Washington and Tel Aviv.”

How Gaza Is Impacting The Great Power Standoff (Sweidan)

In response to Yemen’s Ansarallah-aligned armed forces’ Red Sea blockade of Israeli-linked vessels, the US Department of Defense announced the formation of “Operation Guardian of Prosperity … to uphold the foundational principle of freedom of navigation” in those waters, initially consisting of a coalition of ten countries, most of them insignificant partners. The coalition proved shaky from the get-go, with only the US and Britain actively involved in military strikes on Yemen. The reluctance of key European countries France, Spain, and Italy to join the naval alliance indicated a growing skepticism among the US’s traditional partners — both western and West Asian — about Washington’s commitment and capability to defend its allies in any impactful way. Interestingly, more than eight further countries reportedly joined the coalition, but demanded anonymity, given the potential political fallout from associating with Washington and Tel Aviv.

Crucially, the Pentagon’s stated purpose of securing navigation in the Red Sea does not align with the actual threat presented, revealing ulterior motives behind US actions. The Yemenis have repeatedly confirmed that they only intend to inhibit the passage of Israeli-owned or destined vessels — and that all other ships are free to pass. In short, the US/UK-led coalition is acting as a naval arm for Israeli military forces, seeking specifically to ensure unimpeded access for ships heading to Israeli ports via the Bab al-Mandab Strait. That’s not a position many other states will get behind if they want to maintain freedom of transport for their own shipping vessels. Ultimately, the American show of force in these waterways seeks to consolidate US naval dominance, which war-torn Yemen, West Asia’s poorest country, has contested. As outlined in the National Security Strategy for 2022:

“The US “will not allow foreign or regional powers to jeopardize freedom of navigation through the Middle East’s (West Asia) waterways, including the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab al Mandab, nor tolerate efforts by any country to dominate another — or the region — through military buildups, incursions, or threats.” According to media reports following massive US airstrikes against Iraqi targets on 23 January, Iraqi resistance factions will now also follow Yemen’s suit by implementing a blockade of Israeli ports in the Mediterranean Sea. Current events are spiraling out of Washington’s control as onlookers increasingly question the utility and competence of US naval leadership in the world’s important waterways. Equally, there is recognition that other formidable forces and states have emerged, challenging US control over key global straits. In the words of British politician and writer Walter Raleigh, “Who rules the seas rules the world.” Under Sanaa’s watch, the US no longer can claim rule over the Red Sea or even its adjacent waterways.

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“So the key to solving the problem is in Washington before it is in Tel Aviv..”

Netanyahu Cannot Survive 10 Minutes Without US Support – Iran FM (Cradle)

During an interview with ABC News on 23 January, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian asserted that the key to ending Israel’s genocide campaign in Gaza and averting a wider regional conflict lies in the hands of US authorities. “If the US today stops its backing — logistical and weapons, political and media support — of the genocidal war launched by Israel, then I can assure you that [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu will not survive for 10 minutes,” Iran’s top diplomat told ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz during. “So the key to solving the problem is in Washington before it is in Tel Aviv,” he said from New York on the sidelines of the UN Security Council meeting on West Asia. “The scope of the war has become wider. This means that the danger of having a wider war in the region has gone up,” Amir-Abdollahian added, blaming the US and Israel for escalating tensions across the region.

“Nobody is going to benefit from any war. We believe that the solution is never war,” the Iranian official stressed. When pressed by Raddatz about Iranian support for Yemen’s Ansarallah resistance movement, Amir-Abdollahian rejected the accusations, calling them “a TV show.” He later confirmed Iran’s full support for Hamas, saying the group is “a Palestinian liberation group that is standing against occupation.” “Of course, we never approved the killing of women and children, civilians anywhere in the world. We never support it,” he added when asked about the civilian casualties during Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on 7 October. During his visit to New York, Amir-Abdollahian met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to discuss several topics, including ways to send humanitarian aid to the north and south of Gaza.

He also held talks with his French and Malaysian counterparts. “Today was an opportunity to talk and consult with some foreign ministers. The meeting and discussion with the foreign ministers of France and Malaysia both included positive, forward-looking, and constructive discussions, especially in bilateral areas”, Amir-Abdollahian noted. The Iranian foreign minister held talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov as well, as the two reportedly agreed on the need for a swift ceasefire in Gaza and conditions for providing humanitarian assistance to civilians. “General concern was expressed about the tense situation in the Red Sea, which has sharply degraded,” a statement released by the Kremlin said.

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“..Israel has overriding interest in protecting its ‘rights’ to the territorial waters of Gaza, where there are rich gas fields offshore. Israel claims sole ownership of those territorial waters.”

Gaza War’s Financial Reason Mainstream Media Won’t Cover – Ray McGovern (Sp.)

Israel sees “a real economic interest” in Gaza, and that explains why no matter the extent of global outrage, Tel Aviv’s military campaign in the beleaguered enclave rages on, Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, told Sputnik. “The Israelis see a real economic interest in dominating Gaza. And that’s why, of course, [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu has made it very clear: no, they have no intention of leaving Gaza. It’s going to be part of Israel unless they are faced down by people who think it important to defend the Palestinians, and will act to end that genocide that’s going on right now, and that our government, the United States, is not only enabling, but providing arms for and other political support,” McGovern said.

In late December, the Biden administration bypassed Congress and approved more weapons and munitions for Israel. The package was pushed through via an emergency determination and covered a sale worth $147.5 million, all the while amid Washington’s rhetorical calls for an end to civilian deaths. “On the economic side, which is all-important, of course, Israel has overriding interest in protecting its ‘rights’ to the territorial waters of Gaza, where there are rich gas fields offshore. Israel claims sole ownership of those territorial waters. And, there’s this design for an East Med pipeline which would permit Israel to export to Italy and elsewhere in the European Union the natural gas it has seized by military force from the Palestinians in Gaza. And that’s something that you really don’t see in the in the mainstream press here, do you?” the pundit queried.

“So genocide is genocide, and unless that stopped, Israel will not only profit from ‘additional security’ for a while, but will also profit from having a better ‘claim’ or a semi- or a quasi-legal claim to the waters off Gaza, which, as people know, are very rich in gas deposits,” McGovern stressed. [..] Looking ahead, McGovern suggested that “a lot will depend on the outcome of the genocide in Gaza, whether that’s allowed to continue or whether we [the United States] will finally say […] ‘No more arms until you stop the murder in Gaza.'”

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Cue US.

Iran ‘A Legitimate Target’ – Israel (RT)

Iran is now a “legitimate target” for Israeli attacks, Economy Minister Nir Barkat has told The Telegraph, raising fears of an armed conflict with Tehran. He also claimed that the war in Gaza is not being fought with enough aggression by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). “Iran is a legitimate target for Israel,” said Barkat. “They will not get away with it. The head of the snake is Tehran. “My recommendation is to adopt the strategy that President Kennedy used in the Cuban Missile Crisis. What he basically said then was, ‘A missile from Cuba will be answered with a missile to Moscow,’” the minister added, referring to the 1962 standoff between the US and the USSR.

Barkat’s rhetoric echoed a recent statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who blamed Iran for standing behind the militant groups in Gaza. He claimed that Israel was already carrying out direct attacks on Iran. “Iran is the head of the octopus and you see its tentacles all around from the Houthis to Hezbollah to Hamas,” said the prime minister. Israel claims that Iran was involved in plotting the October 7 attacks, when around 1,200 people were killed and more than 200 taken hostage in the surprise Hamas raid near Gaza. Israel retaliated by launching an aerial bombardment and ground operation against the Palestinian enclave, which has resulted in the deaths of around 25,000 people, according to local health officials. Iran has denied having any role in the Hamas assault on Israel, with Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani saying such accusations were “based on political reasons.”

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“..the Biden administration “won’t say this and it won’t be published by the media.”

Col. Macgregor Says at Least 400 Americans Died in Ukraine (Sp.)

Former Pentagon Adviser Col. Douglas Macgregor said Wednesday that at least 400 Americans have died in Ukraine and accused authorities of the United States of concealing this information. “Our friend [US Senator] Lindsey Graham said we should be so grateful no Americans have died in Ukraine. This is a Lie. We know that at least 400 Americans have died whether they are contractors or in uniform,” Macgregor said on X without saying where the number came from. Macgregor added that the Biden administration “won’t say this and it won’t be published by the media.” The former Pentagon official also believes that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “will end up in one of his mansions in Cyprus or Italy or possibly end up in Florida” when the Ukraine conflict is over, adding that “this whole thing is a scam and the Ukrainians have been exploited by the United States.”

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“We no longer have ammunition. We are allowed to fire only three shells a day..”

‘Suicide Mission’: Ukrainian Troops Reveal Dire Situation on Battlefield (Sp.)

Futile attempts to attack positions of Russia’s military have been likened to suicide missions by a Ukrainian soldier in an interview with Le Figaro. With Russia’s military continuing its probing offensive in the Kupyansk area in the Kharkov region, Ukraine’s troops have less and less ammunition to withstand the onslaught. It is like suicide, a senior sergeant of Ukraine’s Armed Forces by the name of Mikhail told a journalist from the French outlet. The Ukrainian Armed Forces, which have sustained tremendous casualties and hardware losses since the failed summer counteroffensive, have “nothing to fight back with,” according to the publication, and are forced to hide and run away as “Russian shells hit positions under 500 meters away from them.” “We no longer have ammunition. We are allowed to fire only three shells a day,” the Ukrainian soldier told a French journalist.

He claimed that while “rationed,” the shells might suffice to hold positions, but any attempts at attacking the Russian military are out of the question. The Ukrainian Armed Forces simply do not have the resources, he said.“If we want to go on the offensive in the spring, we will require more people, ammunition, F-16 fighters and SCALP cruise missiles. Going into an attack without air support is suicide,” the serviceman was quoted as saying. Another interviewed Ukrainian soldier, Senior Sergeant Sergey, added:“We’re running low on ammunition, but we’re holding out for now. We have at our disposal only 40% of the number of shells that we need. If the Russians launch a serious offensive here, we won’t last long.”The Ukrainian soldiers showed no enthusiasm about the prospective outcome of the battlefront clashes.“If we are asked to attack, we will attack. But it would be suicide. We don’t have enough people or ammunition,” the French outlet quotes the Ukrainian troops as saying, adding that they are “suffering colossal losses in manpower.”

Last year, in mid-December, the same expression, “suicide mission,” was used by Ukrainian Marines when describing an attempt to cross the Dnepr River, as quoted by The New York Times. Recently, Celeste Wallander, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, said that the Pentagon is aware of the Ukrainian military’s concerns that they “do not have the stocks and the stores of ammunition that they require.” Referencing the stalemate in Congress regarding further aid for Kiev, Wallander added: “Without funding, we would not be able to match the pace that we have provided Ukraine with since the start of this conflict.”

Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder also acknowledged that the US Defense Department had put on “pause” sending additional weapons to Ukraine from its inventories “given the implications for our own military readiness.” “This of course prevents us from meeting the most urgent battlefield needs, to include things like artillery rounds,” Ryder said on January 23. In the wake of the botched Ukrainian counteroffensive, the Russian Armed Forces have been routinely knocking out Kiev’s NATO-grade weaponry, shredding the myth of the superiority of Western equipment to its Russian-made counterparts. Amid waning interest in aiding the corrupt regime of Volodymyr Zelensky, its Western allies have been disposing of outdated and ill-conditioned weapons by sending them to the Ukrainian military. Thus, after dozens of much-lauded Leopard 2 main battle tanks (MBT) were decimated by Russia, due to its limitations, the West began dispatching “upgraded” Soviet-era T-72s to Kiev.

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“..Immediately afterwards, statements about the involvement of Kiev’s forces began to disappear from the Ukrainian internet..”

Why Did Ukraine Shoot Down An Aircraft Carrying Its Own Soldiers? (Poletaev)

On Wednesday, an Il-76 transport plane was downed in Russian airspace. It was reportedly carrying 65 Ukrainian POWs scheduled for a prisoner swap, escorted by three Russian military guards, as well as six crew members. All on board were killed. It seems the aircraft was destroyed by missiles launched from a US-supplied Patriot system. The incident prompts a critical question: What were the Ukrainian soldiers doing so far from their homeland that air transportation was necessary? The answer is simple: The POWs were initially held in the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, but then came a Ukrainian HIMARS attack on a prisoner camp in Olenovka near Volnovakha on July 29, 2022, killing 53 people. This seems to have been the reason for the transfer, aiming to distance the POWs from high-tech precision weapons systems provided to Kiev by NATO. Today, we can say with absolute certainty that this did not help. Ukraine has once again shown the world just how dangerous it can be for its own citizens.

What happened? Around noon on Wednesday, Moscow time (9am GMT), footage spread online depicting the crash on snow-covered fields. A distinctive church seen on video meant the location was soon identified as being near the village of Yablonovo, Korochansky District, in Belgorod Region. Almost immediately, Ukrainian Telegram channels, both anonymous and verified (such as Unian and Ukrainskaya Pravda), were inundated with posts citing sources close to the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU). These posts claimed that a) the plane was purportedly carrying missiles for Russia’s S-300 systems intended for use in attacks on Kharkov, and b) the downing was attributed to the Kiev’s actions. A short time later, the Russian Defense Ministry officially announced that 65 captured Ukrainian soldiers who were being transported to Belgorod for a prisoner exchange were on board the plane, along with six crew members and three guards.

Immediately afterwards, statements about the involvement of Kiev’s forces began to disappear from the Ukrainian internet, as well as any mention of the alleged cargo (missiles for the S-300 system). At 3pm Moscow time, the Russian Defense Ministry made an official announcement, stating that two Ukrainian missiles had been launched from the Liptsy suburb of Kharkov. The point of impact was approximately 100km away, a range well within the coverage of the AFU’s Patriot missiles of all modifications, including PAC-2 GEM-T and PAC-3 MSE. Concurrently, lists featuring the names of Ukrainian servicemen surfaced, which can be verified through the meticulous maintenance of Ukrainian POW databases by dedicated enthusiasts.

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“Countries that are permeated with Russophobic tendencies are dragging more and more military facilities, military equipment belonging to the alliance into their territory. This is, of course, a danger..”

West’s Anti-Russian Policy Now ‘At Its Peak’ – Peskov (TASS)

The West is going all out against Russia, as evidenced by the current holding of the largest-ever NATO exercise, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. “The strategy of deterring our country, of putting pressure on it, has not gone anywhere. Sometimes it escalates, sometimes it subsides. Now it is probably at its peak. Such exercises are the best proof of this,” he said on Channel One. Peskov pointed out that the West holds a very clear anti-Russian position, which is determined by NATO, while the alliance’s rhetoric “is determined across the ocean, in Washington.” The Kremlin spokesman was asked about the West’s policy in the context of today’s visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Kaliningrad Region.

Commenting on the situation in the region, Peskov noted that “Kaliningrad is an integral part of Russia,” and it is important for the authorities to keep the entire region’s life support system in a workable condition. “There are certainly dangers present, merely in strategic terms. You see what militaristic moods prevail now in Europe, in the neighboring Baltics and so on. Countries that are permeated with Russophobic tendencies are dragging more and more military facilities, military equipment belonging to the alliance into their territory. This is, of course, a danger; it requires additional measures to ensure that the security of our country is reliably ensured,” the presidential spokesman emphasized.

Todd

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“..by talking about a possible armed conflict with Russia European politicians are diverting the attention of residents of their countries from economic issues..”

EU Not Prepared For Potential Armed Conflict With Russia – Politico (TASS)

The European Union does not have the necessary defense potential to independently confront Russia without support from the United States in case of a potential armed conflict, the European version of the Politico newspaper wrote. “Europe is not only unprepared for [potential] war, it’s not preparing for war,” Banjamin Tallis from the German think tank DGAP said as quoted by the newspaper. Former US ambassador to Poland Daniel Fried shares this opinion. “The Europeans don’t have the capacity to defend,” Fried told Politico. The newspaper explains that since the end of the Cold War, the number of armed forces in EU countries has decreased by 2.5 times, from 3.4 million troops in 1989 to 1.3 million in 2022. Moreover, a number of countries have switched from the format of compulsory military service to military service under contract.

As a result, for example, the Belgian military is so short of ammunition and funding that soldiers will “have to throw stones” shortly after the start of any conflict, Politico points out, citing retired Belgian Armed Forces Lieutenant General Marc Thys. Without support from the United States, Europe is unable to resist Russia in the event of a potential armed conflict, the publication concludes. Statements by former US President Donald Trump about his intention to reduce the level of support from Washington towards European NATO allies raise alarm among officials of the community countries. Earlier, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that by talking about a possible armed conflict with Russia European politicians are diverting the attention of residents of their countries from economic issues. He noted that Europeans have always been inclined to search for an external enemy.

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When Eric Holder defies Congress: no problem.
When Peter Navarro defies Congress: jail.
When Hunter Biden defies Congress: no problem.
When Steve Bannon defies Congress: jail.

Trump Advisor Navarro Sentenced To Four Months For Ignoring J6 Subpoena (ZH)

Former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro was sentenced to four months in jail on Friday for ignoring a subpoena from the Jan. 6 committee. The DOJ had sought six months in jail and a $200,000 fine. As we noted last week, Navarro was arrested at a DC airport in June of 2022 on two misdemeanor contempt of Congress charges for doing exactly what Obama AG Eric Holder did (with zero consequences), and more recently, Hunter Biden – ignore a Congressional subpoena when he told the Jan. 6 committee to pound sand. “The Defendant chose allegiance to former President Donald Trump over the rule of law,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Aloi in a 20-page sentencing memo submitted last Thursday night, Politico reported at the time.

Navarro was held in contempt in April of 2022 after he refused to provide documents and testimony to the Jan. 6 committee. A grand jury agreed with prosecutors that Navarro knew Trump hadn’t asserted executive privilege to bar him from testifying, and that even if Trump had – it wouldn’t have barred Navarro from testifying about certain non-covered subjects demanded by the Committee. “At no time did the Defendant provide the Committee with any evidence supporting his assertion that the former President had invoked executive privilege over the information the Committee’s subpoena sought from the Defendant, or otherwise challenge the Committee’s authority or composition,” wrote Aloi. “The Court was left with only the Defendant’s fan fiction version of what the Defendant wished or hoped the former President might have wanted but left unsaid.”

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After all his lies, how is he still in Congress? I genuinely don’t see how that works.

Adam Schiff A “Liar” Who Was “Censured” – Garvey (ZH)

While the 2024 presidential race dominates headlines, there are plenty of noteworthy happenings going on in Congressional contests. Case in point, former baseball great Steve Garvey (R-CA) just called Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) a liar over allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to rig the 2016 election. “I think you’ve been censured for lying,” the former athlete said to Schiff during a Monday night debate in Los Angeles. “And this is exactly what I’m talking about: career politicians who are trying to determine who we are by race or by color or by gender,” he continued. “They never listen. They have pre-arranged words to say.”

Schiff, who presided over Trump’s first impeachment, snarked back that he “was censured for standing up to a corrupt president” and “would do it all over again.” “That president has been indicted with … 91 felony counts — that president that you won’t refuse to support,” Schiff continued. “Yeah, he’s a danger. And I will stand up to him and [former House Speaker] Kevin McCarthy, and [Ohio GOP Rep.] Jim Jordan, and any of those MAGA enablers in Congress.” “You lied to 300 million people,” Garvey shot back, adding “You can’t take that back.”

As the NY Post notes: The California Democrat, who at the time of his allegations served as chair of the House Intelligence Committee, read portions of the now-debunked Steele dossier into the congressional record and said there was “ample evidence of collusion in plain sight.” “You honor me with your enmity. You flatter me with this falsehood,” Schiff following the floor vote. “Today I wear this partisan vote as a badge of honor, knowing that I have lived my oath.” Three independent federal investigations by special counsel Robert Mueller, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz and special counsel John Durham later found no such evidence existed.

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RCMP=Royal Canadian Mounted Police, aka Mounties.

RCMP Offering Police $75,000 Benefit To Change Genders (CS)

Officers received a message from the RCMP’s Health Care Benefits team: “I am pleased to inform you that gender affirming care benefit provisions have been added to regular Member health benefits.” “Gender affirming care” is of course the term that refers to medical sex changes. It’s also used when describing giving puberty blockers to children who (perhaps temporarily) think they are in the wrong body, despite growing evidence that giving them such is harmful to their long-term health. The memo states that the substantial new benefit towards transgender-related medical intervention is part “of our ongoing commitment to creating a more modern, inclusive and representative workforce.”

“The benefit will be applicable for certain gender affirming procedures not covered by provincial/territorial health care plans to help individuals with their gender affirmation journey,” the memo states. The criteria for eligibility are specific: officers must be 18 or older, under doctor’s care for gender affirmation, have exhausted provincial coverage, and have undergone all medically necessary procedures as determined by a physician or nurse practitioner. Pre-approval is required via a gender affirmation request form. Effective retroactively to October 12, 2023, the policy aligns the RCMP with civilian members and Public Service employees who have been receiving similar benefits since July 2023.

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DDR

 

 

Pepsi

 

 

Elon predictions

 

 

 

 

Cheetah

 

 

Night Monkeys

 

 


It took Jason Stieva 15 months to make a 8 feet high, 7.5 feet long, and about 2.5 feet wide Ghost ship.

 

 


During the exceptionally cold winter of 1795, a French Hussar regiment captured the Dutch fleet on the frozen Zuiderzee, a bay to the northwest of the Netherlands. That was the only time in history when men on horseback captured a fleet of ships. Painting: Léon Morel-Fatio

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 052023
 
 September 5, 2023  Posted by at 8:57 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  28 Responses »


Claude Monet Japanese Footbridge 2 1899(?)

 

Party! Party! (Jim Kunstler)
‘Biden Has Work to Do’: US Outlets ‘Shocked’ as Trump Poll Numbers Soar (Sp.)
Rep. Adam Schiff Supports 14th Amendment Argument Over Trump’s Eligibility (Sp.)
Elon Musk Threatens To Sue Anti-Defamation League (RT)
Looming Government Shutdown Worries Among US Business Leaders (Sp.)
How Putin Rules Russia (John Helmer)
Putin: Ukraine’s Counteroffensive is Failure, Not Stalemate (Sp.)
UK Firm Offers New Theory On Kiev’s Battlefield Failures (RT)
End Of The War, End Of US Exceptionalism (Helmer)
Millions of Ukrainians Dodging Draft to ‘Avoid Certain Death’ (Sp.)
West ‘Deceived’ Russia On Grain Deal – Putin (RT)
What’s Behind Talk of a Possible Plea Deal for Assange? (Lauria)

 

 

 

 

Newt

 

 

 

 

Trump debunk

 

 

Niger exports of Uranium for 220 Millions dollars per year to France.
If it was at market price of 200 Euro per kilo instead of 0.8 Euro paid price of it would be valued at 55 Billion dollars.

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Cause of death

 

 

 

 

Weak men

 

 

 

 

“..This fall season will be a dreadful time of testing whether the country can endure any more of this..”

Party! Party! (Jim Kunstler)

In the natural order of the American system, a Republican Party would have stepped up to check the wretched excesses of a Democratic Party bent on breaking everything that has allowed people to thrive in this land: property law, economic liberty, free speech, now even your physical health. This Labor Day Monday is the last moment in this epic political psychodrama that the Republican Party has an excuse to kick back and do nothing about the parade of insults flung in the nation’s face by persons who believe in nothing, and who will stop at nothing. These insults lately include especially the perversion of law to harass and hinder political opponents, the prosecution of a foreign war by proxy in a corner of the world where America has no explicable national interest, the deliberate failure to defend the country’s borders against hordes of invaders, the rigging of elections with ballot fraud and hackable machines, the censorship of information of all kinds, and the weaponization of public health authority against the people. These are all campaigns carried out by the Democratic Party.

This fall season will be a dreadful time of testing whether the country can endure any more of this. Congress is back in session this week. Congress is the only place in the federal government where an opposition party has the authority to direct events. Mr. Comer who chairs the House Oversight Committee has assembled enough evidence of bribery and treason for Speaker Kevin McCarthy to commence an impeachment inquiry right away into the conduct of President “Joe Biden.” I’ve used quotation marks around Mr. Biden’s name since he ascended magically to this office in 2021 because it is obvious that he is only pretending to run the executive branch, and has been since day one on January 20, 2021.

His March 5, 2020, Super Tuesday victories, after a drubbing in the Iowa Caucuses (4th place) and New Hampshire primary (5th place), had an odor of supernatural contrivance. His campaign from “the basement” was a joke, and it’s still entirely possible, despite three years of massive gaslighting, that his victory in the 2020 election was a fraud. I believe the reason “Joe Biden” was installed in the White House was to allow Barack Obama to run the executive branch and all its agencies in secret from his headquarters across town in the DC Kalorama district, and the reason he is allowed to do this is because the Democratic Party has committed so many crimes against the country that a tremendous effort had to be made to cover them up, or else scores of figures in high places could have been subject to investigation and prosecution, including Mr. Obama.

It’s also possible that an impeachment inquiry in the House will lead to evidence of Mr. Obama’s role in the Biden family’s bribery adventures abroad, including the participation in one way or another of high diplomatic officials under Mr. Obama such as US Ambassadors to Ukraine Jeffrey Pyatt and Marie Yovanovitch — as well as their nefarious roles in the first impeachment of Donald Trump. Expect former Secretary of State John Kerry to surface in that mix, too. His stepson, Christopher Heinz was in business for a time with Hunter Biden and Devon Archer during the Burisma caper.

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“After the mugshot and four criminal indictments, you would think that President Biden would have [a] significant advantage, but apparently not..”

‘Biden Has Work to Do’: US Outlets ‘Shocked’ as Trump Poll Numbers Soar (Sp.)

The fact that Donald Trump’s legal troubles are only serving to boost the former president’s poll ratings impressively has left hosts and guests of many mainstream media outlets taken aback. “It is kind of shocking in a way, that despite all of the baggage that Donald Trump carries, he’s tied with Joe Biden right now,” host Of ‘This Week’, George Stephanopoulos, told his audience, as he cited revelations of a recent survey. Released on Saturday, the poll showed that around 46 percent of voters would vote for US President Joe Biden, with the same amount of voters willing to support former US President Donald Trump if the presidential election were held today. “With every passing month, with every new indictment, Donald Trump seems to be consolidating his control over the Republican Party,” the media personality said in wonder.

As many as 8 percent of respondents stated in the survey that they were undecided as to who they would vote for. However, if a third-party candidates were added to the mix, Trump would potentially lead Biden by 1 percentage point, 40 percent against 39 percent, with the share of undecided voters growing, to stand at 17. When questioned about the indictments against Trump, more than 60 percent of Republican primary voters insisted that the criminal charges lacked merit and were politically motivated. Other media hosts appeared to be just as stunned by the survey, marveling at how Trump’s four indictments still left him tied with Biden. “After the mugshot and four criminal indictments, you would think that President Biden would have [a] significant advantage, but apparently not,” bemoaned White House correspondent Peter Baker.

The poll’s findings alarmed Former Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile. Biden is facing an uphill battle and needs to redouble efforts on the 2024 campaign trail, warned Larry Sabato, Director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. “Biden has work to do,” Sabato succinctly told a US media show. Recent polling also showed that as far as GOP primary voters were concerned, Trump faces no challenge from any of the other 2024 Republican hopefuls. POTUS 45 remains the top choice for the White House for 59 percent of GOP primary voters. This is up by 11 percentage points since April. Trump’s lead over top rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who can only boast 13 percent support, has nearly doubled since April. It now stands at 46 percentage points. Other hopefuls have yet to break out of single-digit numbers of support.

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No need to convict. Accusing is enough. What kind of theory is that?

Has anyone done more harm to the US than Schiff? How many times has he lied about having evidence? And no-one sues him? He’ll do it again then.

Rep. Adam Schiff Supports 14th Amendment Argument Over Trump’s Eligibility (Sp.)

Legal experts and lawmakers are engaged in a heated debate over whether former President Donald Trump is barred from seeking elected office again. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has thrown his weight behind this argument. In a recent interview, Schiff spoke about the ongoing debate surrounding former President Trump’s eligibility to run for elected office again. He argued that the 14th Amendment’s Section 3 disqualifies those involved in acts of insurrection or rebellion against the government and he says it doesn’t hinge on a criminal conviction. “The 14th Amendment, Section 3 is pretty clear. If you engage in acts of insurrection or rebellion… or you give aid and comfort to those who do, you are disqualified from running… It doesn’t require that you be convicted of insurrection. It just requires that you have engaged in these acts… It’s a disqualification from holding office again, and it fits Donald Trump to a T,” Schiff stated.

Schiff’s stance is grounded in his experience serving on the House select committee that investigated the January 6th events. He believes that this legal theory could soon be put to the test, potentially by a secretary of state refusing to put Trump on the ballot or by a litigant challenging Trump’s eligibility. Schiff anticipates that such a case could ultimately reach the Supreme Court, leaving the final decision in the hands of the highest judicial authority. The California representative also highlighted the support for this argument within legal circles, stating, “There are prominent constitutional scholars, as well as prominent progressive scholars who believe that he should be disqualified.” The debate over whether Trump should be barred from holding public office in the future continues amid his continued high ratings among Republican voters despite all the ongoing court cases against the former president.

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“..if he wins his lawsuit, he will insist that the ADL drop the “anti” portion of its name..”

Elon Musk Threatens To Sue Anti-Defamation League (RT)

Billionaire Elon Musk has upped the ante in his feud with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), suggesting that he may have to sue the Jewish civil rights group for trying to destroy his X (formerly Twitter) social media platform through fraudulent claims of anti-Semitism. “To clear our platform’s name on the matter of anti-Semitism, it looks like we have no choice but to file a defamation lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League,” Musk said on Monday in an X post. “Oh, the irony,” he added. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO, who bought Twitter last year for $44 billion and later renamed it X, blamed the ADL for a 60% drop in advertising revenue. He said the ADL had pressured advertisers not to use the platform by falsely associating X and its new owner with anti-Semitism. “They almost succeeded in killing X/Twitter,” he wrote.

Musk’s latest comments come two days after he suggested that he might poll X users on whether to ban the ADL from his platform. He posted the idea in response to a message from conservative Dutch activist Eva Vlaardingerbroek, who declared that people are fed up with “labeling everything we don’t like as hateful/racist/dangerous/far-right.” She added that people are no longer afraid of the ADL’s intimidation tactics. “Your labels have lost their power.” The social media campaign to ban the ADL started after the group’s leader, Jonathan Greenblatt, met last week with X CEO Linda Yaccarino to discuss “rampant hate speech” on the platform. The ADL has accused X of failing to enforce its content moderation policies since Musk took over. Musk, who has vowed to make X a bastion of free speech amid heavy censorship of conservative voices on other platforms, said he was “against anti-Semitism of any kind.”

He quipped that if he wins his lawsuit, he will insist that the ADL drop the “anti” portion of its name, meaning it would be called the Defamation League. The ADL has been sued for defaming people with false allegations in the past. In fact, a Colorado couple won a $10.5 million verdict against the group in May 2000. A year earlier, the ADL settled a suit in which it was accused of illegal spying. Cartoonist Ben Garrison sued the ADL in 2020, saying the activist group defamed him by falsely portraying him as anti-Semitic and racist. Founded more than a century ago largely to stop attacks on the Jews, the ADL now describes itself as the “leading anti-hate organization in the world.” However, the group has been criticized for promoting critical race theory and other far-left ideologies in recent years.

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Broken record.

Looming Government Shutdown Worries Among US Business Leaders (Sp.)

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo expressed her observations in an interview, highlighting the frustration among business leaders over the functioning of the government in such critical situations. Raimondo has raised concerns about US business leaders’ increasing anxiety regarding the possibility of a partial federal government shutdown if Congress fails to pass a short-term funding measure before the impending October 1st deadline. “They are, I think, in some cases, frustrated that this is how government operates,” said Raimondo. The White House has urged Congress to swiftly approve a short-term spending bill to avert a partial shutdown, with Raimondo emphasizing the need for a speedy resolution. She noted that such an event could pose a significant challenge to the economy and potentially hinder its progress.

This concern comes after earlier this summer when Republican Rep. Garret Graves of Louisiana could not rule out the possibility of a government shutdown due to ongoing struggles in reaching an agreement to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, which brought the nation perilously close to a default. The standoff played a role in Fitch Ratings recently downgrading the US credit rating, citing a loss of confidence in fiscal management caused by repeated debt-limit political standoffs. Despite the recent release of the August jobs report, which showed 187,000 jobs added to the workforce, there are growing concerns about underemployment. Raimondo acknowledged the presence of inflation and its impact but emphasized that the economy is performing remarkably well compared to predictions made three years ago.

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John Helmer has been reading books in his month off.

How Putin Rules Russia (John Helmer)

What’s the truth of how Putin rules Russia? The longest-serving foreign correspondent in Russia has followed Putin since their first meeting in St Petersburg in November 1991. This is the Putin story which has taken more than thirty years to prepare. It’s the story which the western and Russian media have missed. Based on thousands of pages of court testimony in London and Moscow; 76 days of cross-examination of witnesses, including the only Russian minister of state ever to go into the High Court witness box; and the findings of fact and law by thirteen British judges up to the UK Supreme Court, this is the only book to investigate the truth. And to reveal how it bears no resemblance to US and NATO war propaganda.

Sovcomplot is the story of Russia’s dominant shipping company, with the largest oil and gas tanker fleet in the world. It is a lifeline for Russia’s most important exports, and also of the world’s energy consumers. In the war to destroy Russia’s economy, Sovcomflot is a strategic line which must be defended at all costs. State owned since its creation in the Soviet Union, Sovcomflot has also been the target of privatisation and privateering schemes for twenty years. US banks, oligarchs, Russian government officials, oilers, traders, and mariners have all played their part in what they hoped would be a four billion-dollar payoff. The London court case was brought by Sovcomflot and chief executive Sergei Frank against two former executives and a leading Russian ship charterer who were accused of multi-million dollar fraud.

The verdicts of the courts took sixteen years, 2005-2021, and cost more than $200 million in fees and penalties. The accused were vindicated; the Sovcomflot men were condemned for dishonesty, perjury, abuse of power, vindictiveness. The plot itself is reported for shipping industry experts who have never before had the opportunity to open Russian state secrets like these. The book is also for rival oil and gas trade and tanker company executives. It’s for readers who want to watch Putin up close and personal as he’s not been seen before.

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+ grain deal.

Putin: Ukraine’s Counteroffensive is Failure, Not Stalemate (Sp.)

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi. Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a press conference after bilateral talks that Ukraine’s counteroffensive was a failure, not a stalemate. He added that he hoped Ukraine’s future counteroffensive would also be a failure. Putin said that Russia is ready to revive the Black Sea grain deal and will do so immediately when all agreements are implemented. “I want to reiterate our principled position that we will be willing to consider the possibility of reviving the grain deal. I told the President about it again today. And we will do it as soon as all the agreements stipulated in it are fully implemented,” Putin said. He added that Russia would continue to export food and fertilizers.

“While Russia clearly provided security guarantees for shipping under this [grain] deal, the other side used humanitarian corridors for terrorist attacks against Russian civilian and military facilities,” Putin told a press conference. Western countries have lied to Russia about the implementation of the grain deal obligation, Putin stressed. Russia is ready to fully meet Turkiye’s grain needs, Vladimir Putin added. “Turkiye is our great partner. Turkiye has a large flour-milling processing industry, we know this and we will fully meet the needs of the Turkish Republic,” the Russian leader said. “I would like to emphasize that Russia has always been and will continue to be a reliable, responsible supplier of gas. We intend to continue to provide the Turkish economy with this cheap, but highly efficient and environmentally friendly type of fuel.

“Moreover, we are ready to export gas in transit through Turkey to consumers in third countries, where partners are interested in this,” Putin said. He added that relations between Russia and Turkiye are developing successfully in all areas and that the meeting was successful. “The cooperation between Russia and Turkiye, which is based on the principles of good neighborliness, partnership and mutual benefit, is successfully developing in all areas. Today’s talks, as always, were held in a constructive and businesslike atmosphere,” Putin said. According to Putin, there is a tendency to use national currencies in settlements between Russia and Turkiye, and the share of euros and dollars is decreasing.

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Don’t model them after NATO. Bad example.

UK Firm Offers New Theory On Kiev’s Battlefield Failures (RT)

The Western nations training and equipping Ukrainian troops should quit trying to create NATO-style army officers and instead provide instruction more tailored to the current battlefield situation in Kiev’s foundering counteroffensive against Russian forces, a leading UK think tank has suggested. The counteroffensive has been hampered by a lack of staff officers to coordinate large-scale attacks against Russian defenses, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) said in a report released on Monday. However, the firm added, Western training of additional officers will only be helpful if the instruction is built around the “tools and structure that Ukraine employs, rather than teaching NATO methods that are designed for differently configured forces.”

RUSI, which touts itself as the world’s oldest security think tank, warned that training Ukrainian officers based on NATO norms would be futile because those tactics are not widely grasped by Kiev’s troops. “We could get that horribly wrong,” the institute’s senior research fellow Jack Watling told the Telegraph. “We could do it whereby we’re like, ‘We’re going to teach you how to be a NATO staff officer. We have courses and we have a book that tells us what that means.’ But the problem is that if you take that person who has learned all these NATO procedures and you put them back in Ukraine, where they have different tools and where none of their colleagues understand any of the NATO terminology, then they will revert to what their colleagues understand.”

The report comes amid rising frustration among Western leaders over Ukraine’s counteroffensive struggles. Media reports in recent weeks have suggested that US officials are annoyed over Kiev’s reluctance to accept their advice on how to carry out attacks against Russian positions. Washington has found fault with Ukraine’s wide dispersing of troops across the front lines, rather than concentrating its forces on high-priority targets in the south, the New York Times reported, citing six unnamed US officials. Similarly, a leaked German intelligence report in July argued that Ukraine’s troops were failing to make progress in their counteroffensive because they were not fully implementing the Western tactics on which they were trained. The Bundeswehr also complained that Ukraine’s military was promoting soldiers with combat experience, rather than those with NATO-standard training, leading to “wrong and dangerous decisions.”

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry responded to the critiques with a social media post on Thursday quipping that “everyone is now an expert on how we should fight – a gentle reminder that no one understands this war better than we do.” A video attached to the post noted that if Kiev had listened to what non-Ukrainians said in February 2022, when the Russian offensive began, “we would no longer exist.” Ukraine lost over 43,000 troops and dozens of Western-supplied tanks and infantry vehicles in just the first two months of the counteroffensive, according to an estimate by the Russian Defense Ministry. The Ukrainian operation is “not stalled; it is a failure,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

Attempts to make rapid gains against Russian defenses have resulted in an “unsustainable rate of equipment loss,” RUSI said. More deliberately planned operations have made only slow progress, taking as little as 140 meters a day and giving Russian forces time to reset, the think tank added. Training time in the West is limited because Ukraine constantly needs new troops to replenish its forces, RUSI said. Kiev’s offensive operations, launched in early June, have been hampered by thick Russian minefields and heavily fortified defensive positions, as well as the lack of sufficient artillery and air support.

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“There is no question in Matthews’s diagnosis of who is in the madhouse, and who is superior. “By the time I met [Vladimir] Zelensky in Kyiv in July [2022] he cut a profoundly impressive figure – hard-eyed, emphatic in his speech.”

End Of The War, End Of US Exceptionalism (Helmer)

Doctors in hospitals for the criminally insane have reported that the sharpest pain patients with superiority complexes suffer is the belief there are others who are more superior than they are. Unless they are stopped, they kill to cure. US exceptionalism is a disease of this type. The American exceptionalists believe that if the US isn’t conquering and victorious — great again as in MAGA — it is defeating itself because, they think, the US can never be beaten by a foreign adversary on the field — not on the battlefield, nor in the marketplace, nor in the mind and on the page. So this is where the whitecoats arrive today: the Russian General Staff and the Stavka are defeating the Americans on every front, weapon system, intelligence summary, and mind. This has never happened before. Failing to see and understand this is delusional; those who kill to cure this aren’t all hospitalised.

A book repeating the US, NATO and Ukrainian version of how and why Russia’s Ukrainian battlefield campaign began on February 23, 2022, is symptomatic, nothing new. “We have no idea of exactly how the conflict will end”, concludes Owen Matthews (aka Bibikov) in a fresh publication from the state-subsidised printing press of Rupert Murdoch. But “we already know how it will not end. There will be no complete victory for either Russia or Ukraine. NATO is too invested to allow Kyiv to fall to the Russian army… this war will eventually end — with a negotiated peace.”* Incomprehensible to Matthews is that the terms of the negotiated peace will be those of the Russian non-aggression treaties for the US and for NATO of December 17, 2021, and they will be dictated at the end of the war by the force which prevails. They will be as definitive as the German terms signed by the French in the Compiègne Wagon on June 22, 1940; and the American terms signed by the Japanese on the USS Missouri on September 2, 1945.

Instead, Matthews dismisses the treaties in two paragraphs, based on what Matthews says an anonymous British Foreign Office official told him in March 2022 was “fantastical…[they] simply did make any sense…there was nothing in it that NATO could possibly agree to.” What preceded, and also what followed those treaties, was the doing, in Matthews’s psychopathological terminology, of “fantasies about anti-Russian fascists coming to power in Kyiv”; “paranoia over Western attempts to subvert and undermine Russia”; and other “lies and eschatological fantasies”.

At the centre of this madness, according to Matthews, is the single figure of Vladimir Putin, advised by “Soviet-era fantasists and paranoiacs”; “on the point of paranoia about the [corona] virus”; “secluded and inaccessible in his Covid bunker”; obsessed by pseudo-historical revenge and “a kind of death cult”; surrounded by “the most deluded and most ideologically driven members of Putin’s entourage”; and speechifying “a set of unbelievably illiterate conspiracy clichés…especially when the former Marxists in the Kremlin sincerely believed that inexorable historical forces were on their side.” There is no question in Matthews’s diagnosis of who is in the madhouse, and who is superior. “By the time I met [Vladimir] Zelensky in Kyiv in July [2022] he cut a profoundly impressive figure – hard-eyed, emphatic in his speech.” With unintended irony — the reader won’t take long to detect it — the book is titled “Overreach”.

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He’s now asking EU countries to expel Ukrainians who fled the war.

Millions of Ukrainians Dodging Draft to ‘Avoid Certain Death’ (Sp.)

Ukraine’s “permanent mobilization” campaign is suffering setbacks amid the catastrophic outflow of fighting-age men from the country, with the Ukrainian Institute of the Future calculating recently that the country’s population had dropped to just 29 million people as of 2023, down from 41.1 million in 2021, and just a shadow of its 52 million peak in 1991. Amid the crisis, alternative media and even some legacy outlets have reported on the growing difficulties facing Ukrainian authorities in recruiting more conscripts for the NATO-backed proxy war against Russia, with widespread reports of draft officers grabbing men off the street, draconian restrictions on travel abroad, and demands for large-scale bribes from anyone seeking to avoid being sent to fight.

Last month, President Volodymyr Zelensky dramatically fired officials in charge of conscription in every region across the country as conscription-related corruption charges gained international attention. “The situation in Ukraine with conscription is very bad,” Viktor Litovkin, a retired Russian Army colonel and veteran military analyst, told Sputnik. “There really just aren’t enough people, because almost half of the population of Ukraine is abroad in Europe and in Russia.” At the same time, he said, hundreds of thousands of “young, healthy males ages 17-50 who could be having children, building houses, growing bread, and so on and so forth” have instead been sent to fight Russia in a conflict which even some mainstream US experts have now admitted Ukraine can’t win.

“To take just one simple example: in the two months of the counteroffensive, they lost 43,000 people killed and 3,000 armored vehicles destroyed…For comparison, just so that it’s clear what these numbers mean, during the 10 year conflict in Afghanistan [in the 1980s, ed.], the USSR lost 15,000 people killed. 15,000 in 10 years, and here 43,000 in two months. Therefore, in Ukraine, people understand that they are being called up into a meat grinder,” Litovkin said. “They are not really taught to fight, not given [the right] weapons, etc. Therefore, they understand that they are not fighting for Ukraine, for their motherland. They’re fighting for Zelensky, they’re fighting for the interests of the United States, for NATO, and so on,” the observer added, suggesting Ukrainian conscripts are eager to surrender, and would do so more often if not for the fascist militias working as blocking detachments to keep them in line.

Ultimately, Litovkin doesn’t believe that a further tightening of conscription rules will “save” Zelensky. “They’re now trying to force European countries to deport Ukrainian men from their countries…But this is unlikely to do any good, because if the Europeans begin deporting the ‘escapees’, they will run elsewhere, to the Middle East, Africa, anywhere just so they don’t have to fight.”

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“..if the US and EU fulfill their obligations and remove these restrictions, Moscow will consider reinstating the treaty..”

West ‘Deceived’ Russia On Grain Deal – Putin (RT)

The West lied to Russia when it stated that the humanitarian goal of the Black Sea initiative was to deliver Ukrainian grain to the poorest countries in the world, President Vladimir Putin claimed on Monday. Speaking at a press conference following a meeting with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, Putin stated that over 70% of the grain shipped out of Ukrainian ports as part of the agreement had ended up in the EU and other wealthy nations. “The share received by the countries most in need of food accounted for only 3%. That is less than 1 million tons,” Putin said. The president alleged that while Russia had provided security guarantees for grain shipments, “the other side” had used the humanitarian corridors to conduct terrorist attacks against Russian civilian and military facilities.

The UN- and Türkiye-brokered grain deal initially came into effect in July 2022, and Ukraine has since repeatedly conducted drone raids on various targets in the Black Sea. That includes attacks on cargo ships, Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters in the port city of Sevastopol, and the Crimean Bridge which connects the Crimean peninsula with mainland Russia. “This cannot be tolerated any longer,” Putin said on Monday. The Russian leader insisted that Moscow had effectively been “forced” to terminate its participation in the grain deal in mid-July this year, accusing the West of refusing to uphold its end of the bargain and lift sanctions on the export of Russian fertilizer and other agricultural products.

However, if the US and EU fulfill their obligations and remove these restrictions, Moscow will consider reinstating the treaty, Putin said. He added that Russia will meanwhile continue to export food and fertilizer products to improve the situation with the global agricultural industry.

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“..a plea could be taken internationally. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It’s not barred by any laws. If all parties consent to it, then the court has jurisdiction.”

What’s Behind Talk of a Possible Plea Deal for Assange? (Lauria)

The fierce Australian reaction to both Blinken and [Caroline] Kennedy’s remarks appears to have taken Washington by surprise, given how accustomed to Canberra’s supine behavior the U.S. has become. Just two weeks after Blinken’s remarks, Kennedy tried to soften the blow by muddying Blinken’s clear waters. She told The Sydney Morning Herald in a front-page interview published on Aug. 14 that the United States was now, despite Blinken’s unequivocal words, suddenly open to a plea agreement that could free Assange, allowing him to serve a shortened sentence for a lesser crime in his home country. The newspaper said there could be a “David Hicks-style plea bargain,” a so-called Alford Plea, in which Assange would continue to state his innocence while accepting a lesser charge that would allow him to serve additional time in Australia.

The four years Assange has already served on remand at London’s maximum security Belmarsh Prison could perhaps be taken into account. Kennedy said a decision on such a plea deal was up to the U.S. Justice Department. “So it’s not really a diplomatic issue, but I think that there absolutely could be a resolution,” she told the newspaper. Kennedy acknowledged Blinken’s harsh comments. “But there is a way to resolve it,” she said. “You can read the [newspapers] just like I can.” It is not quite clear what in the newspapers she was reading. Blinken is Kennedy’s boss. There is little chance she had spoken out of turn. Blinken allowed her to put out the story that the U.S. is interested in a plea bargain with Assange. But why?

First, the harsh reaction in Australia to Blinken’s words probably had something to do with it. If it was up to the U.S. Justice Department alone to handle the prosecution of Assange, as Kennedy says, why was the Secretary of State saying anything about it at all? Blinken appears to have spoken out of turn himself and sent Kennedy out to reel it back in. Given the growing opposition to the AUKUS alliance in Australia, including within the ruling Labor Party, perhaps Blinken and the rest of the U.S. security establishment is not taking Australia’s support for granted anymore. Blinken stepped in it and had Kennedy try to clean up the mess. Second, as suspected by many Assange supporters on social media, Kennedy’s words may have been intended as a kind of ploy, perhaps to lure Assange to the United States to give up his fight against extradition in exchange for leniency.

In its article based on Kennedy’s interview, The Sydney Morning Herald spoke to only one international law expert, a Don Rothwell, of Australian National University in Canberra, who said Assange would have to go to the United States to negotiate a plea. In a second interview on Australian television, Rothwell said Assange would also have to drop his extradition fight. Of course, neither is true. “Usually American courts don’t act unless a defendant is inside that district and shows up to the court,” U.S. constitutional lawyer Bruce Afran told Consortium News. “However, there’s nothing strictly prohibiting it either. And in a given instance, a plea could be taken internationally. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It’s not barred by any laws. If all parties consent to it, then the court has jurisdiction.” But would the U.S. consent to it?

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Engineering

 

 

Croc underwater

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 222023
 


Joaquin Sorolla Passeggiata sulla spiaggia (Walk on the beach) 1909

 

Ukrainian Troops Understand They Don’t Stand A Chance – Putin (TASS)
Counteroffensive Not Going Well – Zelensky (RT)
Scott Ritter: Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Loses Momentum as Logistics Falters (Sp.)
Kiev Should Sue for Peace to Avoid Further Losses (Tsukanov)
Putin: Half Of Strategic Missile Units Rearmed With Hypersonic Systems (TASS)
Putin Reveals Future Of Russian Armed Forces (RT)
Biden Walks Back On Ukraine’s NATO Accession (Bhadrakumar)
Moscow Issues Warning Over ‘Nuclear Winter’ (RT)
France Has NATO-for-Truce Plan For Ukraine – Media (RT)
Pressure on US Dollar, Debt Drove Blinken Effort to Mend Ties With China (Sp.)
The Hunter Biden ‘Controlled Demolition’ is Complete (Turley)
Economic Cutbacks Making British Kids Shorter (RT)
House Votes to Censure Rep. Adam Schiff (ET)
Durham: FBI Overlooked Intel Clinton Masterminded Plot To Smear Trump (JTN)

 

 

 

 

RFK peace
https://twitter.com/i/status/1671354212943290369

 

 

Durham
https://twitter.com/i/status/1671523338076798977

 

 

 

 

Negotiator

 

 

 

 

“.. that includes Leopards, French wheeled vehicles, US-made armored vehicles – everything,” the president said. “They burn quite well.”

Ukrainian Troops Understand They Don’t Stand A Chance – Putin (TASS)

Ukraine’s troops understand that they don’t stand a chance against heroic and courageous fighters of the Russian Armed Forces, President Vladimir Putin emphasized on Wednesday. “Thanks to the courage and heroism of our fighters, thanks to the commanders’ readiness to repel any aggressive actions against Russia, I believe, the enemy doesn’t stand a chance. They understand that and this is why they have stalled now,” Putin said at the meeting with military college graduates, answering a question from reporter Pavel Zarubin. “Ukrainian forces began [the counteroffensive] on June 4, engaging strategic reserves. Curiously, we currently observe certain lull at this moment,” the president said, adding that “this is due to the enemy suffering serious casualties in personnel and in vehicles.”


According to the president, “there are individual elements of hostilities going on: shelling, reconnaissance-in-force.” “But, I repeat, there is currently no active offensive,” Putin added. Meanwhile, he noted: “As of today, we see that the enemy’s offensive potential has not been depleted yet; the enemy has reserves and it thinks where and how to use them.” Speaking about the destroyed Western vehicles, Putin underscored that these numbers keep growing. “How much – that would require a look at the numbers. The total as of last night was 245 tanks and 678 armored vehicles of various types. Of course, that includes Leopards, French wheeled vehicles, US-made armored vehicles – everything,” the president said. “They burn quite well.”

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Give it up. Start negotiating.

Counteroffensive Not Going Well – Zelensky (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has admitted that the long-promised counteroffensive against Russian forces has not delivered the results that some Western observers expected. Amid mounting losses, Zelensky insisted that he would not discuss peace with Moscow. “Some people believe this is a Hollywood movie and expect results now. It’s not,” he told the BBC on Wednesday, admitting that advances by Ukrainian troops have been “slower than desired.” “Whatever some might want, including attempts to pressure us, with all due respect, we will advance on the battlefield the way we deem best,” he added.

Ukraine’s counteroffensive began on June 4 with a failed attack on Russian positions near Donetsk, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. Wave after wave of attacks followed along the Donetsk and Zaporozhye sectors of the front line, all of which Russian forces have managed to withstand while destroying hundreds of Western-supplied tanks and armored vehicles, and thousands of Ukrainian troops, according to the ministry. While Zelensky told the BBC that his forces have managed to capture eight villages, Ukrainian troops have yet to penetrate even the first of Russia’s multi-layered defensive lines. With a warren of trenches, minefields, and fortifications in their path and Russian artillery and air support operating freely, Ukraine has lost 7,500 men and 30% of its Western-supplied tanks and armored vehicles, the Kremlin estimated last Wednesday.

Daily reports from Moscow have since added at least another 2,000 men to the casualty count, with Ukraine said to have lost over 1,000 soldiers and 20 tanks in a single day of fighting over the weekend. Zelensky is reportedly under pressure to score some battlefield successes for his Western patrons, and he acknowledged to the BBC that “victories on the battlefield are necessary” to resolve the conflict in Kiev’s favor. However, he added that “no matter how far we advance in our counteroffensive, we will not agree to a frozen conflict because that is war, that is a prospectless development for Ukraine.”

Zelensky has repeatedly vowed to drive Russian troops out of the four formerly Ukrainian regions – Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye – that voted last year to join Russia, as well as Crimea, which joined Russia after a referendum in 2014. American, British, and other NATO officials have backed his refusal to “freeze” the conflict, but many admit that Ukrainian forces could never hope to mount an attack on Crimea. “Behind the scenes, many Western military analysts express serious doubts about the success of the Ukrainian adventure,” Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) chief Sergey Naryshkin said on Monday. “Without going into details, I’ll say that the tasks announced by the Kiev regime are assessed as unachievable” by foreign experts, he added.

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“one of the most heavily fortified defensive positions in the history of modern warfare.”

Scott Ritter: Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Loses Momentum as Logistics Falters (Sp.)

With Ukraine’s current military condition desperate and dire, the political leadership in Kiev may be planning to target Crimea with Western-supplied HIMARS and Storm Shadow missiles, Sergey Shoigu, Russia’s defense minister, said. Speaking at the Russian Defense Ministry Board Session, he warned, the “[d]eployment of these particular missiles outside the special military operation zone will be regarded as direct involvement of the US and UK in the conflict and will result in immediate retaliatory strikes on decision-making centers in Ukraine’s territory. Scott Ritter believes that the rationale for Ukraine’s move is to provoke an intervention by the West, stressing, however, “they’ve lost this war.”

Despite a seemingly impressive army on paper, Ritter explained to Sputnik that the Ukrainian forces cannot penetrate Russia’s fortified defenses, which he describes as “one of the most heavily fortified defensive positions in the history of modern warfare.” As the Ukrainian Armed Forces falter and stand at the precipice of collapse in their counter-offensive, Ritter’s view of the Russian military stands in stark contrast, as he believes they have managed to quietly amass a significant force, maintaining a notable numerical advantage and demonstrate strategic prudence in their operations. Ritter underlined the chaotic and disorganized nature of Ukraine’s defense logistics system, asserting that large quantities of military aid are being mismanaged or lost in transit.


Furthermore, he pointed out that Ukraine has a notorious reputation for corruption, which may exacerbate the issue. According to him, accountability for this military aid is being overlooked mainly by the West due to the intensity of the ongoing conflict. A recent US media report says Ukrainian government documents show that over $800 million have been spent by Ukraine since 2022 on partially or completely unfulfilled arms supply contracts. “That’s the Ukrainian defense logistics system right now. Totally haphazard, totally chaotic. And if I were, you know, an inspector general going at it, I’d have to be honest and say, guys, we’re not going to be too strict on the accounting right now because this is war.”

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“..the peace terms Russia will offer will likely be significantly worse than the peace terms it is offering Ukraine today..”

Kiev Should Sue for Peace to Avoid Further Losses (Tsukanov)

The colloquially named ‘Surovikin Defensive Line’ has thrashed Ukrainian forces, with the Russian military reporting thousands of enemy casualties and the destruction of nearly 200 tanks and over 400 armored vehicles over the past two weeks. Named after Sergei Surovikin, the Russian general who commanded the Joint Group of Forces in the Special Military Operation Zone last fall and winter, and who was charged with the task of preparing Russian defenses for a Ukrainian counteroffensive, the Surovikin Line consists of vast networks of zigzag infantry trenches, anti-tank dragon’s teeth, berms and minefields across a frontline that stretches hundreds of kilometers. Kiev’s long-awaited counteroffensive – expected since March, began in early June, and is now widely acknowledged to have bogged down, with even senior Ukrainian officials and their Western patrons admitting in recent days that Ukrainian forces have wasted significant resources and lives probing the highly-fortified Russian defensive lines.

“The Ukrainians are yet to push deeply into Russian defensive lines,” Rainer Sachs, the former head of Estonian Foreign Intelligence who until about a month ago believed that Kiev had been successful in “creating the preconditions” for an offensive, said this week. “Russia considers it very important to hold onto the southern part of the front, so more defensive lines have been built there,” the intelligence analyst said. The term ‘Surovikin Line’ is actually a product of Western tabloid media, and was originally used to mock Russia’s military preparations, and dismissed as “grandiosely senseless” and “completely insane in terms of uselessness – but wildly expensive in terms of execution cost.” The past weeks have proven otherwise, with President Putin announcing late last week that despite some local gains, Ukrainian forces failed to penetrate even the first layer of the network of defensive lines anywhere along the front, instead becoming trapped and facing horrendous casualties.


“US intelligence had predicted only modest territorial gains for the Ukrainian spring offensive because Russian defensive preparations have been so extensive,” former US Army combat arms and HQ staff officer David T. Pyne told Sputnik. Citing reports that Ukrainian troops have taken ten times more casualties and lost three times more tanks than Russian forces in the past two weeks, Pyne said that “the longer the counteroffensive continues, the heavier Ukrainian casualties will be and the more vulnerable Ukraine will be to a Russian counteroffensive that could enable Russia to take control over western Donetsk [Region] and perhaps Kharkov [Region] as well.” If that happens, Pyne said, “the peace terms Russia will offer will likely be significantly worse than the peace terms it is offering Ukraine today.” Accordingly, he said, “Western leaders must face the reality that there is no chance Ukraine can defeat Russia and therefore we must negotiate the best deal for Ukraine we can get without further delay.”

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“Russia’s nuclear triad allows for effective and guaranteed strategic deterrence and maintains the global balance of power..”

Putin: Half Of Strategic Missile Units Rearmed With Hypersonic Systems (TASS)

About half of the units of Russia’s Strategic Missile Force have been equipped with the latest Yars missile systems and are being rearmed with modern Avangard warheads, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “About half of the Strategic Missile Force units are now equipped with the latest Yars systems. Rearmament with modern missile systems carrying Avangard hypersonic warheads is in progress,” Putin said at a meeting with graduates of military academies on Wednesday. He stressed that the strengthening and development of the army and reliable security of the country had always been and remained an unconditional priority.

“In light of the new challenges and invaluable experience of the special military operation we will continue to improve the Armed Forces in every possible way,” he said, adding that the most important task here was to develop the nuclear triad as the key guarantee of Russia’s military security and global stability. Putin also announced that new Sarmat missile launchers would enter duty soon. “In the near future, the first launchers of the Sarmat complex with a new heavy missile will be put on combat duty,” he said. “The arsenals of aviation and naval components of strategic nuclear forces are being replenished in strict accordance with the timetable,” he stressed.


In particular, he noted, the lead submarine of the Borey-A project had been commissioned and in January 2023 the frigate Admiral Gorshkov left base on a combat duty mission. Putin stressed that this ship was designed to perform tasks in the blue water zones and carried the newest hypersonic missiles Tsirkon. “Russia’s nuclear triad allows for effective and guaranteed strategic deterrence and maintains the global balance of power,” Putin concluded, adding that it was an embodiment of many years of tremendous efforts by domestic enterprises, design bureaus, workers, engineers and military and civilian specialists.

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The future is hypersonic.

Putin Reveals Future Of Russian Armed Forces (RT)

Strengthening the armed forces is one of Russia’s top priorities, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with graduates of military academies in Moscow on Wednesday. The nation’s military will evolve on the basis of the “priceless experience” provided by the ongoing military operation in Ukraine, as well as the modern challenges Russia is facing, he added. Russia’s nuclear triad will remain a focus of the military development efforts, Putin said, adding that it remains “a key guarantee of Russia’s military security and global stability.” Around half of Russia’s strategic land-based missile units have already been equipped with state-of-the-art Yars missiles – some of Russia’s most modern nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles, Putin revealed.

The troops also continue to receive the hypersonic Avangard gliders, the president said. Such systems are fitted on silo-based ICBMs. The military will also be further supplied with hypersonic anti-ship Zircon missiles, to be used by the Navy, as well as air-launched Kinzhal hypersonic missiles. New Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles are also about to enter combat duty, Putin added. The modernization will not be limited to nuclear weapons only, the president explained. Heavy armor, air defense systems, and the production of drones will all be upgraded, he said. “We have yet to do much for a quality upgrade of all parts of our Armed Forces,” Putin said, adding that Russia “is delivering on those plans to the fullest.” The Russian defense industries in particular are expected to “boost mass production” of drones and “robotized strike systems” that have “demonstrated good results in combat,” the president said. According to Putin, every Russian military unit down to a platoon should be equipped with such systems.


His words came a day after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow is potentially ready for a conflict with NATO if the military bloc decides to attack Russia. “Well, let them fight, we are ready for this,” he said. Putin has described the conflict in Ukraine as a hybrid war between Russia and “the entire Western military machine.” The statements came amid the continued Ukrainian offensive, which was launched earlier in June. The operation had been touted by Ukrainian and Western officials for several months but has so far failed to yield any major results. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Kiev’s troops have suffered heavy casualties in their attacks on Russian positions. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg also described the Russian defense as “well prepared.”

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”Don’t rule out an insurrection in Ukraine if war deaths become unsustainable for the society.”

Biden Walks Back On Ukraine’s NATO Accession (Bhadrakumar)

Biden’s remark on Saturday that the US is “not going to make it easy” for Ukraine to join the NATO can only be seen as a retrogressive journey into the past. Biden underscored that Ukraine will be required to meet the “same standards” as any other member of the bloc, implying that Ukraine must conform to the so-called Membership Action Plan or MAP, which requires a candidate nation to make military and democratic reforms, with NATO’s advice and assistance, before a determination of membership can be made. The MAP process can take years. Macedonia took 21 years. Biden’s remark is not only a signal to Kiev but comes at a time when there is a groundswell of opinion within the alliance that Europe and the US must provide Ukraine clear-cut NATO security guarantees, which is important for the future of European security.

In fact, Biden spoke only 4 days after meeting with Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary-general, at the White House last Tuesday, where, reportedly, the latter sought to simplify the accession process for Ukraine on the plea that Kiev had already made significant progress toward membership. What prompted Biden to take a hard line? Poland’s President Andrzej Duda declared, in the run-up to his talks in Paris on June 12 with France’s President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Weimar Triangle format, that Ukraine would like to have “a very concrete perspective … of joining the North Atlantic Alliance.” Duda hoped that the NATO summit in Vilnius will “send a positive message to Kiev, …that Ukraine’s future membership in NATO is clearly visible.”

Apparently, there was consensus amongst the Weimar Triangle members also that Ukraine should receive security guarantees. Scholz declared: “It is evident that we need something like this, and we need it in a very concrete form.” Macron endorsed, calling for a rapid agreement on “tangible and credible security guarantees.” Indeed, there have been threatening noises too that if there is no concretisation on Ukraine’s membership in Vilnius, some of the “hardcore” allies may take things into their own hands, and the renegade undertaking – at the national level –- could also include stationing of troops from NATO members in Ukraine. Now, Biden has ignored these demands from Old and New Europeans. He is confident he can shift the goal post. Maybe, Macron and Scholz are only playing to the gallery? We may never know.

The heart of the matter is that Biden realises that the ongoing Ukrainian offensive is heading for a train crash and the decimation of Kiev’s remaining army. It is uncertain how long Kiev will be able to recruit enough soldiers. The two figures whom Washington had groomed for precisely the sort of Plan B in Kiev that it needs now — commander of the armed forces Gen. Valeri Zaluzhny and spy chief Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov — are out of reckoning, having been put out of action summarily by recent Russian missile strikes. Don’t rule out an insurrection in Ukraine if war deaths become unsustainable for the society. Biden also sees that there is continuously shrinking approval in America for his war policy, which could possibly endanger his re-election. Biden pointed out to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky during his last visit to Kiev that the funds that Washington could provide were limited. And CIA chief William Burns separately left a message with Zelensky that continued American military assistance beyond July is problematic.

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“acute deficit of mutual trust.”

Moscow Issues Warning Over ‘Nuclear Winter’ (RT)

Global arms control is mired in an unprecedented crisis, triggered primarily by the actions of the West, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov claimed on Tuesday. Speaking at the PIR Center, a Russian think tank specializing in nuclear non-proliferation, Ryabkov argued that the issue had been building for some time, and had been exacerbated by US and Western attempts to “actively use coercion and violence in unsuccessful attempts to strengthen their global positions.” Those actions could be exemplified by the bombing campaign against the former Yugoslavia, the US invasion of Iraq, and NATO’s “destabilizing” eastward expansion, the diplomat said.

At the same time, Washington and NATO “categorically refused” Russia’s proposals to create a comprehensive security framework in Europe, Ryabkov insisted. Instead, they embraced a course seeking to “deliberately and maliciously” fan the Ukraine conflict and inflict a “strategic defeat” on Moscow – all of which affected areas of contact with the West, including regarding arms control, he added. According to the diplomat, the problem could potentially be remedied by dialogue between the US and Russia, which hold the largest nuclear arsenals on the planet. “However, that’s all in theory. In practice… Washington is clearly not ready to revise its destructive course seeking to undermine our security. And how long such a ‘frosty winter’ in this field will last is anyone’s guess. This is not fatal in itself, as long as it doesn’t spiral into a nuclear winter!”


Ryabkov said that Moscow had noted Washington’s proposal to discuss arms control separately from other issues in bilateral relations. However, by endorsing this “compartmentalization,” the US wants to push the red lines even further in a bid to undermine Russia’s national security, the diplomat claimed. Against this backdrop, arms control talks are unlikely to be productive unless the US and the West “dramatically change their aggressive anti-Russia policies,” Rybakov argued. In early June, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Washington was ready to engage in arms control discussions with Russia and China “without preconditions.” Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov welcomed the suggestion, but noted that Moscow should understand the specifics of the proposals, which he said came at a time of an “acute deficit of mutual trust.”

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You don’t know what Ukraine will look like “after the conflict is over”.

France Has NATO-for-Truce Plan For Ukraine – Media (RT)

The French government may attempt to lure Kiev to the negotiating table with Russia by offering support for Ukraine’s accession to NATO after the conflict is over, French media reports. According to Le Monde, this approach was discussed at the Elysee Palace on Monday last week by the French Defense Council. The hope is that if Ukraine joins the US-led military bloc, this would deter further hostilities, according to the report on Tuesday. A military source told the newspaper that the French position is “closer to that of Poland than that of Germany.” Russia considers NATO a hostile organization and has called attempts to include Ukraine in the bloc a ‘red line’ for national security.

Moscow launched its military operation in the neighboring country last year after NATO members refused to discuss its security concerns. The organization was quietly absorbing Ukraine without formally including it, Russian officials claimed. The deliberations in Paris come ahead of a summit of NATO leaders which will take place in Lithuania next month. Last week, US President Joe Biden poured cold water on hopes that Ukraine’s candidacy would be fast-tracked. He stated that the country would have to meet the same standards as everyone else and that “we are not going to make it easy.” The Biden administration is reportedly siding with the cautious German position rather than with Poland and other countries which want to see a swift roadmap for Ukraine to join NATO.


According to the New York Times, Kiev may instead receive an upgrade of relations with the bloc to the council level – the same that Russia once had – and a pledge of continued arms supplies. Kiev demands the full withdrawal of Russian troops from territory that Ukraine claims before any peace talks. A ‘peace plan’ promoted by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky demands this, as well as reparations and other concessions. Moscow has rejected the proposal, calling it detached from reality.

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And then Biden calls Xi a dictator…

Pressure on US Dollar, Debt Drove Blinken Effort to Mend Ties With China (Sp.)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken likely sought to stabilize relations with Beijing because Washington has begun to feel pressure from China’s withdrawal of support for the dollar and the enormous US government deficit, analysts told Sputnik. From June 18-19, Blinken visited China for talks with President Xi Jinping, Director of the CCP Central Foreign Affairs Office Wang Yi and other senior officials. During the trip, the secretary highlighted the importance of maintaining open channels of communication and made clear that the United States will responsibly manage the competition so that the relationship does not veer into conflict. “The United States is feeling itself squeezed and probably needs to make nice with China,” Krainer Analytics founder Alex Krainer told Sputnik.

“The United States has painted itself into a corner with China: they want to do their usual destabilization/regime change thing, except China is still the second largest creditor the United States has, and it has been getting rid of the US debt quite aggressively over the last two years.” Now China and Russia are increasingly shifting to national currencies in their trade and that could lead to many other nations abandoning the dollar and triggering a huge financial crisis in the United States, Krainer warned. “If they [the Chinese] continue to dump US treasuries, they could depress its price, push interest rates higher and trigger a selling stampede by other nations as well. This is one of the biggest risks that the United States is facing,” he said.


Independent Institute Center for Peace & Liberty President Ivan Eland believes that Blinken’s trip was meant to stop the relationship between Washington and Beijing from deteriorating even further. “The Biden administration was concerned that US relations with China were sinking to dangerous levels. His meeting with Xi, itself noteworthy, did not produce many tangible breakthroughs but did seem to stop the free fall in bilateral ties,” he said. A mild thaw in relations could set in, but there are still no indications of any major progress on defusing potential sources of serious hostilities, Eland cautioned. “It is likely now that US-Chinese economic relations will get better. However, [there is] still no Chinese agreement for military-to-military ties improving – including deconfliction of military operations,” he said.

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The essence:

“He will plead to a couple of misdemeanors on tax violations without addressing how he actually made this money..”

The Hunter Biden ‘Controlled Demolition’ is Complete (Turley)

The House Oversight Committee has documented potentially millions in financial transfers from foreign sources to Biden family members. The labyrinth of LLC corporations and accounts used for the transfers seems designed to evade detection. Indeed, allegations from a trusted FBI source referenced payments that were being made to the Bidens without directly involving “the big guy.” That was the name allegedly used for President Biden after associates insisted that no one should use his name. Attorney General Merrick Garland took the most important step in pulling off the controlled demolition by steadfastly refusing to appoint a special counsel. Such an appointment would allow the release of a report that would detail the alleged corrupt practices of the Biden family and the knowledge and involvement of the president. It is the essential framing used in demolition to avoid broad blast effects.

The second key is the charge. In buildings, you have to use just enough explosives to take out supports to collapse the structure in on itself. In scandals, it comes down to the criminal charges. You need an assortment of minor charges to suggest equal justice without anything large enough to cause collateral damage to others. It also has to be minor enough to get Hunter to take one for the team. The Hunter plea is the perfect charge load for the scandal. He will plead to a couple of misdemeanors on tax violations without addressing how he actually made this money. The gun charge looks like a serious threat for incarceration, but it is little more than a phantom felony count under which Hunter will be allowed to go into a diversion program and ultimately negate the violation.


The problem for those seeking to drop this scandal in a confined fashion is that the House GOP is now investigating the influence-peddling scandal. The Democrats’ loss of the House in 2022 was a huge blow to the Biden team and, when the new Congress was sworn in, it was essential to enter a plea deal before the release of more serious evidence. In May, I called it a “capstone plea” to make it more difficult for the Justice Department to be pressured into stronger action. The House will push ahead, but the media has already imposed another blackout on coverage. The challenge for the White House is that this plea could come at a tactical cost. If this is the end of the Hunter Biden investigation, the Justice Department and FBI will have a more difficult time withholding evidence on the basis of an “ongoing investigation.” That is why it is a bit suspicious to see U.S. Attorney David Weiss state that that there is an “ongoing investigation.”

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Curious.

Economic Cutbacks Making British Kids Shorter (RT)

British five-year-olds who grew up in the era of austerity are shorter than their peers in other developed nations by as much as 7cm (2.76in), according to data from the Non-Communicable Diseases Risk Factor Collaboration published by The Times on Tuesday. Since 1985, when British boys and girls both ranked 69 for average height at five years out of 200 listed countries, their ranking has plummeted dramatically – to 102 for boys and 96 for girls, putting them behind countries as diverse as Canada, Kyrgyzstan, and Cuba. Comparing the numbers to data on 19-year-olds, Professor Tim Cole of University College London’s Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health suggested to The Times that growing up in the 2010s “period of austerity” was what “clobbered the height of children in the UK.” The height of British five-year-olds peaked in 2011 at 112.8cm (44.4in) and has been falling ever since, the statistics show.

Because height is affected not just by quality and quantity of food but also stress, poverty, illness, and even sleep quality, Cole argued it is a uniquely “sensitive” indicator of living conditions. “It’s quite clear we are falling behind, relative to Europe,” he said. “In modern Britain, the way we eat is one of the clearest markers of inequality,” former UK government food adviser Henry Dimbleby told The Times, pointing out that “children in the poorest areas of England are both fatter and significantly shorter than those in the richest areas at age ten to eleven.” Family doctors in low-income areas have reported an “extraordinary” surge in the kind of nutritional-deficiency-borne diseases prevalent during Victorian times, Dimbleby explained. According to NHS data, 700 children are admitted to English hospitals every year with rickets, scurvy, or other forms of malnutrition, while nutrition charity The Food Foundation has found higher rates of type 2 diabetes and dental decay as well as obesity in poorer children.


“A diet of cheap junk food has the peculiar quality that it can make you simultaneously overweight and undernourished.” It is not just European countries like the Netherlands and Lithuania which outperform Britain. According to the study, China and North Korea both raise taller five-year-olds than the UK. Even five-year-olds in Libya – born and raised after the NATO bombing campaign that helped to overthrow their government and turn the country into a failed state – are taller (boys) or as tall (girls) compared to their British counterparts. Austerity has been linked to a host of socioeconomic problems in the UK, from soaring inequality to declining educational achievement. While supporters argue the program enacted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis was necessary to rescue a floundering economy, critics have countered that the damage done outweighs any benefits.

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Not enough.

House Votes to Censure Rep. Adam Schiff (ET)

The House of Representatives voted to censure Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on June 21, a week after an initial resolution to do so was tabled. The measure passed along party lines on a vote of 213–209. Six Republicans voted “present.” The resolution, introduced by Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.), denounces Schiff, a Democrat, for allegedly perpetuating misinformation against former President Donald Trump. With the passing of the resolution, Schiff has been referred to the House Ethics Committee for investigation. The resolution was privileged and therefore triggered a House vote. In last week’s vote, 20 Republicans joined 205 Democrats to table the initial resolution.

The revised resolution was similar to the initial one, with the notable difference being that it doesn’t include a $16 million fine for Schiff should he be held accountable by the House Ethics Committee for his alleged “falsehoods, misrepresentations, and abuses of sensitive information.” The proposed $16 million fine is half of the taxpayer cost of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. The new resolution, like the tabled one, condemns Schiff, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, for perpetuating the notion there was collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia. That was debunked by Mueller in 2019, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz later the same year, and special counsel John Durham in May. Durham testified on June 20 at a closed-door hearing before the House Intelligence Committee and also gave testimony in a public hearing on June 21 in front of the House Judiciary Committee.


Additionally, the new resolution didn’t state that “Schiff used his position and access to sensitive information to instigate a fraudulently based investigation, which he then used to amass political gain and fundraising dollars.” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) gave credence on June 15 to the 20 House Republicans that joined Democrats in tabling the initial resolution. “I think everybody knows my thoughts of Adam Schiff,” McCarthy told The Epoch Times. “That’s why I removed him from [the House Intelligence Committee]. … You have a number of members on principle that sat and argued for the last four years with President [Donald] Trump that you had to have due process and voted that way. And I think a number of them believe that they should [have] gone to [the House Ethics Committee] first.”

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Very disappointing. 5 years?!

How many of these half-assed investigations, include also Hunter Biden, can the country take?

Durham: FBI Overlooked Intel Clinton Masterminded Plot To Smear Trump (JTN)

Former special counsel John Durham testified Wednesday that the FBI overlooked intelligence that Hillary Clinton had approved a plan to smear former President Donald Trump with Russia allegations and treated the two campaigns disparately during the 2016 election. Durham confirmed that the CIA had received intelligence about Clinton approving a plan to make Russia allegations against Trump as a means of distracting from her classified email scandal. The prosecutor said the FBI did not “sufficiently scrutinize information it received” and did not “apply the same standards to allegations it received about the Clinton and Trump campaigns.” “The FBI was too willing to accept and use politically funded and uncorroborated opposition research, such as the Steele dossier,” he said during the House Judiciary Committee hearing.

“The FBI relied on the dossier and FISA applications, knowing there was likely material originating from a political campaign or political opponent.” He told the House panel that “it’s going to take time to rebuild the public’s confidence in the institution” of the FBI after the agency’s handling of the so-called Russia collusion probe. Durham, appointed as a Justice Department special counsel in 2020 to investigate the matter, has said there was no evidence of collusion between the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and Russian intelligence officials when the FBI probe was launched. “There were some individuals who clearly expressed a personal bias” against Trump, Durham told the committee, following the release in May of his final report on the now-discredited Russian collusion probe.


Under questioning from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, Durham said former FBI Director Jim Comey withheld a referral memorandum from the agents working the Crossfire Hurricane case that contained information about then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s attempts to tie Trump to Russia. The memo contained intelligence from a high-level briefing with Director of the Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan. Durham testified that then-President Obama, then-Vice President Joe Biden and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch received the same briefing from Brennan. “They kept key intelligence from the investigators. This is how bad this investigation was but here’s the scary part: I don’t think anything has changed,” Jordan said.

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Duck

 

 

Cat

 

 

Tire dog

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 122023
 


George Bellows The Lone Tenement 1909

 

NYT Reveals Western Definition Of Success For Ukraine’s Counteroffensive (RT)
Botched Start of Counteroffensive Likely Extremely Frustrating for Biden (Sp.)
Most Countries Side With Russia in Ukraine, US Credibility Slips – Hersh (Sp.)
More Than 10 of 31 NATO States Don’t Support Ukraine’s Bid – Kiev (RT)
West Has Zero Chances To Bring Russia To Its Knees, Says Top Senator (TASS)
Losing The War – What Comes Next On The Battlefield (Helmer)
Ukraine’s Propaganda Machine Is Vital For Zelensky (Lavrenin)
The Hegemon Will Go Full Hybrid War Against BRICS+ (Pepe Escobar)
Rand Paul: My Colleagues Are ‘Beating The Drums’ For ‘War With China’ (RS)
Imran Khan Claims US Plotted Against Him After Russia Deal (RT)
One Document Americans Should ‘Demand’ That Will Topple Biden (CB)
Schiff Complains About $16 Million Fine Over Trump-Russia Collusion Claim (CB)
De-Dollarization is Remedy Against US Militarism (Michael Hudson)
Europe’s Digital Services Act Puts Free Speech at the Mercy of Eurocrats (BI)

 

 

 

 

RFK
https://twitter.com/i/status/1667826698476453889

 

 


4 U.S.Code Ch. 1, Sec. 7(e): “The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags…are grouped and displayed…”

 

 

RFK event 201
https://twitter.com/i/status/1667890309668192256

 

 

 

 

Ratcliffe

 

 

 

 

COP28

 

 

 

 

Xi Jinping: Stop blaming China. China does not help the Russian Federation, but if it decides to help, God will not help you. Almost the whole world helps Ukraine. If we see the threat of World War III, we will help the Russian Federation, but for now, relax and watch how Russia single-handedly defeats more than 50 countries of the world.

 

 

 

 

“..retake key areas lost to Moscow or deliver a “debilitating” blow to Russian forces..”

“..Kiev’s forces have been suffering far heavier casualties in those failed attacks than the “classic” three-to-one ratio..”

NYT Reveals Western Definition Of Success For Ukraine’s Counteroffensive (RT)

The West would consider Ukraine’s counteroffensive a success if Kiev were to retake key areas lost to Moscow or deliver a “debilitating” blow to Russian forces, the New York Times has reported, citing US and EU officials. “Much rides on the outcome” of the counteroffensive as it will likely impact further Western military support for Ukraine and future discussions on security guarantees for the country, the US paper said in an article on Saturday. Publicly, US and EU officials claim it’s up to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to decide what to define as a success in the long-awaited operation, the NYT noted.

Zelensky previously said he wanted his forces to win back all land lost to Moscow, which includes Russia’s newly incorporated territories – the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, and the Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions – along with Crimea, which became part of the Russian Federation in 2014 following a referendum, launched in response to a coup in Kiev. “Privately, US and European officials concede that pushing all of Russia’s forces out of occupied Ukrainian land is highly unlikely,” the NYT wrote. Two main outcomes are being discussed in the West as ideas of a success in the counteroffensive, according to the paper. The first is that “the Ukrainian army retake and hold on to key swaths of territory previously occupied by the Russians,” and the second is if Kiev’s troops deliver “a debilitating blow that forces the Kremlin to question the future of its military options in Ukraine.” On Thursday, news website Politico reported that the White House was “anxiously watching” the progress of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, as administration officials believe President Joe Biden’s reputation depends on its results.

Kiev was expected to launch a major counteroffensive at some point in spring, having been supplied with Western armor intended for the task, but the operation has been delayed on numerous occasions. On Saturday, Zelensky finally confirmed that Ukrainian “counteroffensive actions” were underway. This followed a week of intensified attacks on Russian fortified positions across the frontline by Kiev’s troops. They involved German-made Leopard 2 tanks and US-supplied Bradley fighting vehicles, some of which have already been destroyed. President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia’s military has so far prevented all attempts to advance by Ukraine. Kiev’s forces have been suffering far heavier casualties in those failed attacks than the “classic” three-to-one ratio often expected during offensive operations, Putin insisted.

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“Destruction of Leopard stopped the US from sending Abrams tanks to Kyiv. Military observer, retired colonel Viktor Litovkin told the media that the destruction of Leopard tanks in Ukraine showed Washington the pointlessness of sending its Abrams tanks to Kyiv. According to the expert, the United States knew that Leopard tanks would “burn” in Ukraine, so they did not let Abrams into the special operation zone. Washington did not want the destruction of American tanks by Russian troops to deal a blow to the image of their military equipment.”

Botched Start of Counteroffensive Likely Extremely Frustrating for Biden (Sp.)

With Russia continuing its special military operation in Ukraine, it is safe to say that Kiev’s much-hyped counteroffensive kicked off with “not really a good start,” international relations and security analyst Mark Sleboda told Sputnik. President Vladimir Putin announced earlier this week that Kiev’s use of strategic reserves during recent attacks means it can be “stated with absolute certainty” that the much-anticipated counteroffensive had begun. He stressed that thus far, Ukrainian forces have failed to achieve their objectives and that their advance-related plans had been thwarted by Russian troops.

All this “has got to be extremely frustrating” not only for the political figures of the Kiev regime, but for US President Joe Biden as well, given his murky past regarding Ukraine, Sleboda pointed out, claiming that the POTUS “has been intimately involved with Ukraine since the Obama presidency.” The analyst was apparently referring to Biden facing allegations that he was purportedly engaged in a spate of corrupt activities related to the employment of his son Hunter Biden by the Ukrainian gas company Burisma while he was the US vice president under Barack Obama. Biden has repeatedly rejected the allegations that he withheld loan guarantees to pressure Ukraine into firing a prosecutor to prevent a corruption investigation into Burisma and protect his son.

Sleboda recalled in this regard that a US news outlet recently claimed that “Biden’s reputation is on the line in Ukraine,” which, he said, is “an interesting political salvo at POTUS considering the situation.” Touching upon the counteroffensive, the analyst said that while the Ukrainian military “hasn’t committed the majority of their forces yet, everything they’ve thrown so far has failed to breach Russian lines for any significant period at any place for an entire week now.” “That has got to have him [Biden] worried if his political legacy is on the line,” Sleboda underscored. “From everything that we have seen so far, I expect them to make some headway eventually, but they’re not off to a really good start. “I expect some dirty tricks, some cunning maneuver to be pulled out of the bag,” Sleboda concluded.

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“Much more than a half of the world’s population supports Russia in the war and not the United States. This was never the way it was..”

Most Countries Side With Russia in Ukraine, US Credibility Slips – Hersh (Sp.)

Most of the world’s population supports Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, while the United States lost its credibility, Pulitzer Prize-winning US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said on Sunday. “The percentage of the [countries], particularly of the African and Central Asian and South Asian countries, that have changed from being pro-America to being pro-Russia is really quite dramatic. Much more than a half of the world’s population supports Russia in the war and not the United States. This was never the way it was,” Hersh said in an interview with talk show host George Galloway. The journalist opined that “things are not as good as they used to be in Russia” amid Western sanctions, but “the idea that they are desperate is just wrong.”


Hersh also argued that Washington “lost so much credibility around the world,” citing Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic rapprochement with Iran as an example. “It’s happened because, I think, because of Ukraine and dislike of the war. Saudi Arabia, by the way, they’re selling 25% of [their] oil to China, as I have mentioned, but the Saudis immediately cut a deal. And the Iranians immediately responded … They have a lot of control in Yemen over the Houthi tribes,” Hersh said. Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, following calls for help from the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. The world has split into those who support Moscow and accuse NATO of provoking the conflict, and those who condemn Russia’s actions and impose sanctions on the country, while also ramping up their financial and military aid to Kiev. Some countries have avoided taking sides in the conflict.

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“..another stage of preparation for the successful NATO Summit in Vilnius in July..” Huh?

More Than 10 of 31 NATO States Don’t Support Ukraine’s Bid – Kiev (RT)

More than ten NATO member states out of 31 don’t want Ukraine to join the US-led military bloc, Igor Zhovkva, the deputy head of Vladimir Zelensky’s office, has stated.Kiev already has 20 signed declarations of support for its NATO bid, Zhovkva wrote on Facebook on Saturday. This means that 11 member states have so far refused to back Kiev’s application. Zhovkva published his post hours after Zelensky and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed a document in Kiev that signaled Ottawa’s consent to Ukraine becoming a part of NATO. “The joint declaration clearly fixes backing for Ukraine’s membership of NATO from the Canadian side as soon as conditions permit this. This is the strongest wording among all G7 countries that are NATO members,” Zhovkva wrote. A similar declaration has also recently been signed with the government of Romania, Zhovkva added.


According to the deputy head of Vladimir Zelensky’s office, those developments were “another stage of preparation for the successful NATO Summit in Vilnius in July” for Ukraine. Earlier this week, US envoy to NATO Julianne Smith told Politico that “a proper invitation” into NATO for Ukraine is “unlikely” as long as Kiev remains in conflict with Moscow. However, Smith pointed out that during the upcoming gathering in the Lithuanian capital, the bloc still wanted to send a message to Kiev that it was determined to keep helping it in the long term. There’s an “array of options” for NATO to do so, she added. Russia, which sees NATO’s eastward expansion as a major security threat, had singled out Kiev’s push to join the US-led military alliance among the main reasons for launching its military operation in Ukraine more than a year ago.

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“..it must be strong in all respects, technologically, economically, socially and morally and, what is especially important today, militarily and in the security sphere..”

West Has Zero Chances To Bring Russia To Its Knees, Says Top Senator (TASS)

The months that have passed since the start of the special military operation in Ukraine have shown that the West has zero chances to crush Russia and bring it to its knees, Chairwoman of the Federation Council (the upper house of Russia’s parliament) Valentina Matviyenko said on Sunday. “If we speak about our actions inside the country, the main conclusion is perfectly clear: Russia must be strong. Moreover, it must be strong in all respects, technologically, economically, socially and morally and, what is especially important today, militarily and in the security sphere,” the top senator said on her blog on the eve of Russia Day celebrated on June 12. “Today, 15 months after the start of the special military operation, it is perfectly clear that there are zero chances to crush our country and bring it to its knees. Russia’s victory in the conflict around Ukraine is inevitable,” Matviyenko stressed.


The Russian authorities have managed within the shortest time possible to adapt the state, society and the economy to new realities, she pointed out. “They have managed to do this without deteriorating the quality of people’s life, without any flip-flopping in the public and political sphere, without even the slightest restrictions of citizens’ rights and freedoms. Without abrupt changes in economic management, although there were plenty of calls for that,” the top senator said. “Of course, we are fully aware that we will have to face new serious challenges and we need to address them fully prepared, which will, undoubtedly, require a new quality of interaction between the authorities and society. We will ensure this because over the thirty years of Russia’s newest history we have put a reliable and strong foundation under our state and public system,” Matviyenko stressed.

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“..demilitarization will be run by the Russian General Staff until there are no strategic reserves left on the territory – not east of the Dnieper River, nor west..”

Losing The War – What Comes Next On The Battlefield (Helmer)

On May 30 Putin signaled that in the outcome of the war, the Ukraine will cease to exist. “Basically, the territory that is called Ukraine”, Putin said, using the geographic term instead of the political and legal one, “was virtually controlled from the very beginning by people who, being led by the West, took the path of not just confronting Russia, but creating an “anti-Russia” on that territory… We are striking at the territory of Ukraine, but with long-range precision weapons, at military infrastructure facilities only, either at ammunition or fuel and lubricants warehouses used for combat operations. We have talked about the possibility of striking at decision-making centres. Of course, the headquarters of Ukrainian military intelligence is one of them, and a strike at this target was carried out two or three days ago. In response, the Kiev regime has chosen a different path – attempts to intimidate Russian citizens with strikes at residential buildings. This is an obvious terrorist approach.” In short, the Russian campaign is not against a state but on a territory run by terrorists.

The terrorist operations, it was implied, include the destruction of the Nord Stream gas pipelines on September 26, 2022; the Crimean Bridge bombing of October 8, 2022; the drone attacks on Russian targets, including the Kremlin, last month; and the subsequent operations against the Kakhovskaya dam and the Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline on June 5-6. Putin’s May 30 statement was followed by a second, also apparently impromptu comment on the evening of June 9. The novel elements in what follows are the references to Ukrainian “strategic reserves” and to the Russian General Staff. “First, we can safely state that the offensive has begun. We know this from the fact that the Ukrainian army tapped its strategic reserves. This is my first point. Second, the Ukrainian troops failed to achieve their goals in all combat sectors, which is clear as day…I cannot say that the offensive has got bogged down. All I can say is that the counteroffensive attempts that have been made so far failed. But the offensive potential of the Kiev’s regime is still there. I believe Russia’s military leadership is realistic in its assessments of the situation and will proceed from these realities as it continues to plan up our actions in the short term.”

Since the commander-in-chief is doing the talking, he’s saying that he is letting “Russia’s military leadership” do all the running now, and it will be the military “realities” which will dictate the politics of the outcome. This also means that the “realities” of the territory of the Ukraine will be decided by military operations which, on the Russian side, have yet to get fully under way until the Ukrainian “strategic reserves” have been fully committed and defeated on the battlefield. Putin’s reference to “strategic reserves” includes the US and NATO weapons which have been committed so far, and destroyed — and those still to come from stocks in Poland, Romania, Germany, and in the western territory around Lvov. Against them, Putin noted “the high effectiveness of Russian weapons, especially the latest weapons. Indeed, we still do not have enough of the latest weapons, but the arms industry, the country’s defence industry is making strides, and I am sure that the defence industry will, without a doubt, fulfil its goals. The production of modern types of weapons is going at a fast pace.”

What does this mean? In the first place, demilitarization will be run by the Russian General Staff until there are no strategic reserves left on the territory – not east of the Dnieper River, nor west. If the NATO summit scheduled for July 11-12 in Vilnius is planning to place the rump of the Ukraine under NATO protection – “a certain order of accession”, according to Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Gavrilov — then Putin is warning that there will be a Russian military solution to ensure that this cannot happen.

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“Today, information warfare is the core structure of any war..”

Ukraine’s Propaganda Machine Is Vital For Zelensky (Lavrenin)

In more than a year of hostilities, Kiev’s use of symbols and memes to raise or maintain morale and help control the narrative has been streamlined to a surprising extent. Google’s ranking of top Ukrainian search queries in 2022 is more proof. For example, in the “person” category, Ukrainians most often Googled “Alexey Arestovich” and showed interest in the “ghost of Kiev,” a legend of a supposed hero pilot which The Wall Street Journal admitted was fake military propaganda intended to raise morale. In the “purchase of the year” category, the postage stamp “Russian Ship” was among the most popular search queries. This was a stamp issued in honor of the soldiers on Snake Island who, as the fake story went, responded in abusive language to an offer from a Russian ship’s crew to surrender and fought to the death.

These border guards were “posthumously” awarded the Hero of Ukraine decoration but later it was revealed that all of them had voluntarily surrendered and were alive. The triumph of these symbols, which have endured long after being confirmed as fake, is a result of the information bubble in which Ukrainian society and much of the West has found itself. In the past year and a half since opposition media was blocked, government-controlled outlets are often the only source of information for Ukrainians. “Today, information warfare is the core structure of any war. It is very important to have influence over a society that is involved in combat. Moreover, it is essential to convince the world community of the rightness of our actions in order to receive further support. Not only authorized persons can take part in this information war, but also regular citizens who ‘fight’ at their own discretion,” Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Anna Maliar said in February.

Information and Psychological Operations (IPsO) are intended to brainwash people and shape public opinion, and they are among Kiev’s most important strategies in the conflict with Russia. In combat conditions, these operations are primarily aimed at demoralizing and disorganizing the enemy’s front and rear and inspiring a hopeless, doomed atmosphere. Usually, their main task is to discredit the military and political command and highlight defeat and failure.

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“..the swing state manifesto..”

The Hegemon Will Go Full Hybrid War Against BRICS+ (Pepe Escobar)

U.S. Think Tank Land – inebriated by their self-created aura of power – always telegraphs in advance what they’re up to. That was the case with Project 9/11 (“We need a new Pearl Harbor”). That was the case with the RAND report on over-extending and unbalancing Russia. And now that’s the case with the incoming. It’s always painful to suffer through the intellectually shallow Think Thank Land wet dreams masquerading as “analyses” but in this particular case key Global South players need to be firmly aware of what awaits them. Predictably, the whole “analysis” revolves around the imminent, devastating humiliation to the Hegemon and its vassals: what happens next in country 404, also known – for now – as Ukraine. Brazil, India, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia are dismissed as “four major fence-sitters” when it comes to the U.S./NATO proxy war against Russia.


It’s the same old “you’re with us or against us” trope. But then we are presented with the six major Global South culprits: Brazil, India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey. In yet another crude, parochial remix of a catch phrase referring to the American elections, these are qualified as the key swing states the Hegemon will need to seduce, cajole, intimidate and threaten to assure its dominance of the “rules-based international order”. Saudi Arabia and South Africa are added to a previous report focused on the “four major fence sitters”. The swing state manifesto notes that all of them are G-20 members and “active in both geopolitics and geoeconomics” (Oh really? Now that’s some breaking news). What it does not say is that three of them are BRICS members (Brazil, India, South Africa) and the other three are serious candidates to join BRICS+: deliberations will be turbo-charged in the upcoming BRICS summit in South Africa in August.

So it’s clear what the swing state manifesto is all about: a call to arms for the American war against the BRICS. The swing state manifesto harbors wet dreams of near-shoring and friend-shoring moving away from China. Nonsense: enhanced intra-BRICS+ trade will be the order of the day from now on, especially with the expanded practice of trade in national currencies (see Brazil-China or within ASEAN), the first step towards widespread de-dollarization. The swing states are characterized as “not a new incarnation” of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), or “other groupings dominated by the Global South, such as the G-77 and BRICS.” Talk about exponential nonsense. This is all about BRICS+ – which now has the tools (including the NDB, the BRICS bank) to do what NAM could never accomplish during the Cold War: establish the framework of a new system bypassing Bretton Woods and the interlocking coercion mechanisms of the Hegemon.


As for stating that BRICS has not “packed much punch” that only reveals U.S. Think Tank Land’s cosmic ignorance of what BRICS + is all about. The position of India is only considered in terms of being a Quad member – defined as a “U.S.-led effort to balance China”. Correction: contain China. As for the “choice” of swing states of choosing between the U.S. and China on semiconductors, AI, quantum technology, 5G and biotechnology, that’s not about “choice”, but to what level they are able to sustain Hegemon pressure to demonize Chinese technology.

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“My goodness, shouldn’t we be talking about how to avoid war with China, not making it inevitable?”

Rand Paul: My Colleagues Are ‘Beating The Drums’ For ‘War With China’ (RS)

Senator Rand Paul acknowledged Thursday that his fellow Republicans are obsessed with China — war with China, that is. The Kentucky Republican told an audience at the American Conservative’s annual foreign policy conference that he is concerned that hawks on Capitol Hill are going to march the country right into a conflict. “You come to my Republican caucus and you’ll hear the beating of drums. These are drums for war with whomever, but primarily war with China. Everything is about war with China.” Not everyone is high on the idea of conflict, he added. “I was in Hawaii recently, talking with some folks from our military out there in the Pacific. One of the higher ranking members came up to me and said, ‘take this message back to your fellow Senators: war with China is not inevitable.’”

“My goodness, shouldn’t we be talking about how to avoid war with China, not making it inevitable?” “We have had an uneasy peace with China, we’ve have an uneasy relationship between China, the U.S. and Taiwan,” Sen. Paul noted, but in the Committee on Foreign Relations, where he holds a seat, “there’s a new bill out each week on Taiwan, which usually includes harsh language on China, on how we’re going to war-plan, and what we’re going to do when China does this or that.” Paul added: “My point is that the less ambiguous you make your policy, the more you rant and rave, the more you make your policy more explicit for war,” the more dangerous and less leverage the U.S. has in the situation. “Strategic ambiguity has kept the peace for 50 years,” Paul charged.

The senator reinforced the importance of seeing foreign policy through the lens constitutional conservatism, something that his colleague Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) espoused in his own remarks at the conference. Paul said he would continue to push for the repeal of the 2001 AUMF (Authorization for the Use of Military Force), and is poised to criticize any use of a future Ukraine aid bill or emergency spending to pad the Pentagon budget. He also doubted that there has been enough effort to end the war in Ukraine (he had signed a letter to President Biden earlier this year opposing new Ukraine aid without a strategy for peace). “That country is being destroyed. Give it another year and it will be more destroyed. There ultimately must be a peace. If you think wars are going to end by the good defeating evil you are not being realistic. You need a negotiated peace.”

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Pakistan is a nuclear power. These are dangerous games.

Imran Khan Claims US Plotted Against Him After Russia Deal (RT)

Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan, who was arrested last month on corruption charges, has claimed in a wide-ranging interview with Newsweek published on Saturday that the United States exerted diplomatic pressure to remove him from office last year. Speaking to the US publication, Khan said he visited Russia on the same day that Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022 – and that while he didn’t agree with the motives behind the offensive, he refused calls to condemn the action, so as to not jeopardize a trade agreement. The US “wanted us, through the United Nations, to condemn Russia,” said Khan, who explained that his government had arranged an agreement to import “cheap oil”and wheat from Moscow. “If we condemn them right now, what about the impact it’s going to have on our population?”

Khan added that, after a meeting in early March of 2022 between Pakistani and US diplomats, he was informed that unless he was removed as prime minister, there would be “consequences.” “Next day, there’s the no-confidence motion tables in the National Assembly,” Khan said. “And before that, we see that the American Embassy is meeting our parliamentarians, our backbenchers.” He added that he was “puzzled” as to why the US would “object to a deal.” The US has said there is “no truth” to Khan’s repeated claims of a Washington-backed conspiracy against him. Khan has been accused of an array of charges, ranging from corruption to sedition, since he was ousted from power last April after losing a no-confidence vote. He denies all accusations of wrongdoing.

Khan, a former cricket star, has accused what he referred to as Pakistan’s “undemocratic” military chief as being behind his May arrest, which sparked a wave of protests among his supporters. He is accused by the authorities of exchanging political favors for cash while in office. Charges against Khan have inflamed what was already a precarious political balancing act in Islamabad, as the country of 231 million people grapples with soaring food prices, an extended economic crisis, and extremist violence. Discussions with the IMF over an economic bailout have also stagnated amid the political rancor. Earlier this week, Khan was named by Pakistani police in connection to a case against unidentified gunmen following the murder of a lawyer who was investigating sedition charges against the former premier.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1667889468672466944

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Wonder what Burisma is doing these days.

One Document Americans Should ‘Demand’ That Will Topple Biden (CB)

A former chief prosecutor from Ukraine identified a document he said Americans should “demand” that allegedly proves beyond any doubt that President Joe Biden is corrupt. The prosecutor, Victor Shokin, was targeted for dismissal by Biden when he served as Barack Obama’s vice president and was the Obama administration’s point man on Ukraine at the time. On Friday, Chanel Rion, a White House correspondent for One America News, re-posted a 2019 interview she had with Shokin where he explained the allegation. At the time, the Democrat-controlled House was preparing to impeach then-President Donald Trump for the first time, alleging he engaged in a “quid pro quo” with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Democrats charged that Trump threatened to withhold military aid unless Zelensky assisted in an investigation into alleged corrupt actions by Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, the latter of whom was serving a profitable stint on the board of a Ukrainian energy company that Shokin had once been investigating. The Senate found Trump innocent of the allegation. Biden, meanwhile, was seen in a video clip that surfaced explaining that he, as VP, actually threatened to withhold $1 billion in aid from then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko unless he fired then-Prosecutor General Shokin. Poroshenko did just that.

In his subsequent interview with OAN, Shokin told Rion that the transcript of a phone call between Biden and Poroshenko would allegedly prove he was using a quid pro quo bribe to force the Ukrainians to halt a corruption investigation into a company his son was serving on as a board member for a reported $50,000 a month. “The transcripts of Biden’s telephone conversations with Poroshenko is where the truth will show itself. Americans must demand it. And if they do, they will see, broad as day, Joe Biden was illegally influencing foreign officials in order to protect his son Hunter and shield illegal money laundering activities,” Shokin told Rion. In a tweet containing a video clip of her interview, Rion added: “Just 1 yr after this interview in Kiev, I found the recordings and reported on it. Shokin confirmed their authenticity.”

Meanwhile, on Friday, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) noted that there are two additional FBI forms containing damning information about Biden besides the one that the House Oversight Committee has under subpoena. Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) has said that the FD-1023 document, created by the FBI based on a “highly credible” source, indicates Biden’s involvement in a pay-to-play scheme during his tenure as vice president. In an exclusive interview with the Daily Caller, Greene disclosed the contents of the document that she read at a sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF). She mentioned that she and fellow members were prohibited from making copies or taking notes, but she disregarded these restrictions and managed to take “very detailed notes” anyway.

Greene told the Caller that information in the subpoenaed document “implicates Joe Biden in a pay-to-play scheme bribery scheme to get a prosecutor fired that was investigating Burisma where Hunter Biden sat on the board.” In addition, she said the FBI informant is “extremely credible” and added that the document “implicates our national security” because it puts Americans “at risk” regarding the war in Ukraine. “This is an impeachable document. President Biden should be impeached. Secondly, he should be prosecuted. This is unbelievable. It’s a pay-to-play scheme. He took a bribe from a foreign national in a foreign country that paid millions of dollars,” Greene told the outlet. “He needs to be prosecuted for this, and I would argue that he should serve jail time.”

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“Back down from what Adam? Name one Republican that won’t vote to censure you? America and I are wondering,” she wrote, adding: “It’s not up to you.”

Schiff Complains About $16 Million Fine Over Trump-Russia Collusion Claim (CB)

Former House Intelligence Committee chairman and current U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Adam Schiff was blasted by Republicans after he complained on Friday about potentially being fined $16 million for falsely claiming for years to have evidence that then-President Donald Trump “colluded” with Russia to win the 2016 election. Last week, Florida Republican Rep. Anna Paulina Luna discussed the House Oversight Committee’s ongoing efforts to hold former Schiff accountable during an interview with Fox News. “I will speak to Adam Schiff. Maria, I have a privileged resolution that I’m bringing to the floor, and we are going to fine that man 16 million dollars for using his position to lie to the American people and ultimately push something that not only destroyed our country but ripped us apart and I believe, maybe even permanently damaging foreign relations. He is a criminal, and Adam Schiff, you will be held accountable,” Paulina Luna said.

“And yet, he was privileged to information that not even I or many of my colleagues would be able to see,” Paulina Luna went on to say. “He used that position. He absolutely aided and abetted a corrupt FBI into investigating a sitting president.” That led Schiff to respond on Twitter: “Last week a GOP Representative filed a motion to expel me from the U.S. House of Representatives. Just now that same representative filed a motion to censure and fine me—to the tune of $16 million. They aren’t getting the message: It will not work. I will not back down.” His response, in turn, drew one from Luna, who roasted him for it. “Back down from what Adam? Name one Republican that won’t vote to censure you? America and I are wondering,” she wrote, adding: “It’s not up to you.”

Luna introduced her resolution in May to fine Schiff for making claims that she says triggered several pointless and unnecessary — and costly — investigations. “I just filed a privileged resolution, H. Res. 437, to censure, condemn, and fine Rep. Adam Schiff $16 million (1/2 the cost of Russia investigation) for his egregious abuse of trust. I, with my GOP colleagues, look forward to an imminent vote to hold this feckless man accountable,” she wrote on Twitter. Luna also introduced a measure to expel Schiff from the House of Representatives after Special Counsel John Durham’s report revealed he repeatedly lied about “collusion” between former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia.

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“You have to make the American labor force the poorest labor force in the West..”

De-Dollarization is Remedy Against US Militarism (Michael Hudson)

Creating an alternative to the US dollar is the only way to prevent the world from the Washington-led militarization, Prof. Michael Hudson, a US economist and former Wall Street analyst, told Sputnik’s New Rules podcast. The de-dollarization trend is gaining momentum, with American scholars warning that there is seemingly no way back. Washington’s decision to freeze Russia’s Central Bank’s foreign reserves over Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine has seemingly became the last straw for the countries of the Global South, which have increasingly started to look for an alternative to the US dollar. “For the last year and a half, America has said, ‘if other countries hold their dollars and European banks or American banks and they do something that we don’t like, we have a right to grab all of their dollars and simply take them’,” Prof. Michael Hudson told Sputnik.

“For instance, Venezuela wanted to have a socialist government. So America told England, ‘Take all of Venezuela’s gold and seize it, and we will designate somebody we think should be president of Venezuela, Mr. Grito, or Guaido’. And so Venezuela lost its gold supply. A year ago in February, America simply grabbed all of Russia’s savings in the West. Americans told China, Iran, other countries: ‘If you don’t impose the sanctions against Russia and China, if you don’t commit economic suicide by letting America colonize you financially, we will just grab all of your money. Everything’s fair play. You’re holding dollars. We get to grab it’.” So, the US showed everyone in the world that the dollar is no longer safe, that the greenback is now a political currency, the professor continued. But that’s half the story, according to him. One might ask: how are these dollars being pumped into the world economy?

“Ever since the Korean War, the major factor in the American balance of payments deficit that sent dollars abroad has been military spending,” Hudson said. “So, when other countries keep their foreign exchange reserves in dollars – Europe, Russia, China – they hold these dollars safely in Treasury securities. Buying the Treasury Security has been the way of funding America’s 800 military bases surrounding them. So, foreign countries have paid for America to surround them with military bases and to fund America’s military, because the dollars that are in the world are the monetization of American military spending. That’s what my book ‘Super Imperialism’ was all about. This was a very conscious policy by the United States, by the Defense Department.”

[..] the New Development Bank (NDB), an international financial organization established by BRICS in 2014, could become a sort of clearing center that would simplify the issue of payments for mutual deliveries of goods, the minister explained. BRICS nations have also proposed that the new common currency might be secured not just by gold, but also by other groups of products, such as rare-earth elements. “When it is finished being discussed, people will not have to deal with dollars at all anymore,” Hudson assumed. “And in fact, of their trade with the United States, they can say, well, if you want to buy something from China, you pay in our currency. We’re not going to cut back our spending on the United States.

And all of a sudden, if the United States is unable to have other people keep their savings in dollars, meaning buying Treasury securities, then how are they going to pay the international balance of payments cost of their military spending? They won’t be able to spend it militarily abroad.” “The only way they can do it is drastically cut back imports in America. And to do that, you have to cut wage rates by 20%. You have to make the American labor force the poorest labor force in the West so that all of the balance of payments, money that’s spent, is not on buying goods and services to consume, but only for military spending.

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Civil servants that smell power. “..voluntary code of practice against disinformation.”

Europe’s Digital Services Act Puts Free Speech at the Mercy of Eurocrats (BI)

The European Union’s Internal Market Commissioner, Thierry Breton, was apparently miffed that Elon Musk withdrew Twitter from the EU’s “voluntary code of practice against disinformation.” He was sufficiently put out by Twitter’s withdrawal from the “voluntary code” that he felt the need to publicly reprimand Twitter for not gratefully submitting to the European Union’s expert guidance: “You can run but you can’t hide…Beyond voluntary commitments, fighting disinformation will be legal obligation under Digital Services Act as of August 25th.” The declared aim of the new Digital Service Act is “to contribute to the proper functioning of the internal market for intermediary services by setting out harmonised rules for a safe, predictable and trusted online environment that facilitates innovation and in which fundamental rights enshrined in the Charter, including the principle of consumer protection, are effectively protected.”

Who can argue against a “safe, predictable and trusted online environment?” Who would argue against “consumer protection?” And who would argue against Mr Breton’s commitment to the fight against “disinformation?” I certainly would, because when a person or institution in a position of great power endorses values like “predictability,” rails against “disinformation,” and promises to keep us all “safe” on the internet, you can be sure that it will be “safety,” “predictability,” and “disinformation,” as viewed from their self-serving ideological and political perspective. I am just as worried as Mr Breton about “disinformation,” but my chief concern is with disinformation coming from official sources, which can do an extraordinary amount of harm due to the extraordinary reach and prestige of official organisations.

It is these same organisations that Mr Breton would like to put in charge of policing “disinformation:” organisations like national governments, that have been among the most frequent perpetrators of false and misleading information, on matters of no small moment, from the efficacy and safety of Covid vaccines, masks and lockdowns to the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the true standing of climate “science,” and the potential harms to the economy and food supply chain of aggressive climate interventions such as the expropriation of farmland. The Digital Services Act is an endless maze of complicated regulations worthy of a team of lawyers. Seeing as I don’t have a budget to hire a team of lawyers, I decided to skim through the Act for myself.

It does not make for pleasant bedtime reading, not only because it is a morass of complicated legalese, but also, because what hides behind this legalese is an attempt by EU politicians to get social media platforms under their thumb, through • the obligation on the part of social media companies to periodically submit content moderation and “risk mitigation” reports to EU bureacrats • EU supervision of social media platforms’ policing of “harmful” information, which could potentially include health misinformation as well as “illegal hate speech” • the creation of new emergency powers in the European Commission to “require” social media platforms to take actions to “prevent, eliminate or limit” any use of their services that might “contribute” to a “threat” to public security or public health …and all backed up by crippling fines of up to 6 percent of a company’s worldwide turnover for non-compliance. Yes, you heard that right: up to six percent of a company’s worldwide turnover.

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‘The 9 Rules For All Roadrunner And Wile E. Coyote Interactions’ – a fascinating & fantastic guide by animation director and creator Chuck Jones for all the animators working on the Cartoon.

 

 

Great white

 

 


The takin is a large and now rare species of ungulate of the subfamily Caprinae found in the eastern Himalayas. Largely due to overhunting and the destruction of their natural habitat, takin are considered Endangered in China and Vulnerable per the IUCN https://buff.ly/2LTaRNS

 

 

Ants

 

 


Still one of the best results of bus advertising: a giant constrictor snake squeezing Copenhagen citybus as part of a campaign for the city zoo

 

 

Transfo
https://twitter.com/i/status/1667925448511160321

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 302020
 


Pablo Picasso Girl Before A Mirror 1932

 

Rapid Home COVID19 Tests Could Help Find People While They Are Contagious (NP)
DNI Ratcliffe: Election Security Briefings Will Now Come In Written Form (JTN)
3/4 of Democratic Voters Still Believe Trump Campaign Colluded With Russia (JTN)
Will Hillary And The Dems Get The Civil War They Are Trying To Provoke? (Saker)
Michael Moore Warns That Donald Trump Is On Course To Repeat 2016 Win (G.)
Steele Associate Offered To ‘Feed’ Michael Flynn Story To WaPo Columnist (DC)
With New Monetary Policy Approach, Fed Lays Phillips Curve To Rest (R.)
Ex-Australia PM Menzies Boasted Of Delivering Large Budget Deficits (ABC.au)
Italy Evacuates Dozens From Overcrowded Banksy-Funded Migrant Rescue Boat (RT)
Airlines Warn Flying Back 100,000 Stranded Australians Will Take 6 Months (G.)

 

 

We passed 25 million global cases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Japan:
– Population: 126 Million
– COVID deaths: 1,255 (10/M)
– % Obese: 4%

USA:
– Population: 328 Million
– COVID deaths: 183,000 (558/M)
– % Obese: 40%

If the US had the same obesity as Japan, we would have only 3,280 COVID deaths. 179,720 lives would have been saved…

 

 

Anti Face Mask Issue Solved

 

 

There is so much wrong with PCR tests, yet the “experts” refuse to even discuss rapid tests. Time to change that, test people every day in 15 minutes, not let them wait for days or weeks.

Rapid Home COVID19 Tests Could Help Find People While They Are Contagious (NP)

Cheap, rapid COVID-19 tests simple enough to use anywhere — home, school, the office — could help us climb out of the pandemic disaster, says infectious diseases specialist Dr. Andrew Morris. Just spit into a tube or swab your nose, wait a few minutes for the stripes to change colour — results available within minutes. With no vaccines or “fantastic therapies” for COVID, the best we can do is keep infected people out of buildings to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus, says Morris. Which is why he finds it “absurd” that Heath Canada says the risks of home or self-testing kits outweigh the benefits and that it will reject applications for such devices “without compelling new evidence to the contrary.”

The federal health agency worries that, “without the guidance of a health-care professional,” people would use the home test kit improperly or “misinterpret the results” and that it could be impossible to collect test results — information that’s key to “important health decisions involving disease control during an outbreak,” the department said in an emailed statement. “If it’s done in a haphazard way … you might actually create more problems, confusion than the actual benefits because you might get maybe a higher risk of false negative results,” Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, said Tuesday during a COVID-19 briefing. Morris wants the government to seriously rethink its position on home testing. They’re not the solution to COVID, but they are part of it, he believes.

Cheap, rapid testing is the backbone of infectious disease management, says Morris, of the Sinai Health System and University Health Network in Toronto. “But if Health Canada says ‘we aren’t even interested in these tests,’ they are neither being open-minded nor strategic in understanding the potential of these tests.” It has echoes of earlier federal dismissals of face masks, when officials worried masks would lead to a “false sense of security” and more face-touching. “The current strategy is not to trust the public… and we need to change that,” Morris says. The gold standard of testing today is a workhorse called reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, or RT-PCR, which amplifies SARS-CoV-2 from nasal swabs, so that minute amounts of RNA can be detected.

Anyone who is sick or showing symptoms of COVID-19, or who thinks he or she may have been exposed, can get PCR testing. But PCR testing isn’t designed around getting our lives back to normal, Morris says. It’s expensive, testing capacity is seriously limited and it can take days to get results. Vancouver has seen traffic gridlock at testing sites as B.C. battles with a surge in cases. Ottawa has had four-hour-long waits at its COVID testing sites. “The only way we can get our society back up and running is by having some better situational awareness than what we have,” Morris says.

[..] Rapid tests aren’t perfect. They aren’t as sensitive as PCR tests. But they don’t need to be perfect, argues Harvard Medical School epidemiologist Michael Mina. Mina says the tests can detect the virus when a person is most infectious, with high viral loads. “The vast majority of PCR positive tests we currently collect in this country are actually finding people long after they have ceased to be infectious,” Mina told Harvard Magazine. Paper-strip test could cost less than one or two U.S. dollars to produce, he says. Millions could take them daily or every other day. Frequent testing, with fast results, would help break chains of transmission, Mina tweeted this week. Morris has heard talk the FDA is expected to authorize several lateral flow assay tests for COVID-19 in the coming weeks. “And nothing by Health Canada. To me, this is a massive, massive blind spot.”

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I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, because he provokes this gem from Adam Schiff (is this the 1950s?): “..the Trump administration “clearly does not want Congress or the country informed of what Russia is doing.”

DNI Ratcliffe: Election Security Briefings Will Now Come In Written Form (JTN)

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe informed senators and representatives on Friday that election security briefings, previously given to Congress in person, will between now and the November elections be delivered in written form. The letter, which was sent on Friday and declassified on Saturday afternoon, notes that the intelligence community has given Congress dozens of briefings on election security over the past two years. “While many of these engagements and products have been successful and productive, others have been less so,” Ratcliffe wrote in the document.

“In order to ensure clarity and consistency across the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s … engagements with Congress on elections,” Ratcliffe continued, “the ODNI will primary meet its obligation to keep Congress fully and currently informed leading into the Presidential election through written finished intelligence products.”

Ratcliffe said the move will help ensure that intelligence information is neither “misunderstood nor politicized,” and that the new protocol will “protect our sources and methods and most sensitive intelligence from additional unauthorized disclosures or misuse.” Democrats on Saturday evening slammed the decision. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wrote on Twitter that the move represented “a shocking abdication of [ODNI’s] responsibility to keep Congress informed.” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, meanwhile, claimed that the Trump administration “clearly does not want Congress or the country informed of what Russia is doing.”

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Schiff can also claim a large role in this. Where’s that evidence, Adam? We’re still waiting.

3/4 of Democratic Voters Still Believe Trump Campaign Colluded With Russia (JTN)

Three-quarters of Democratic voters believe that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to steal the 2016 election, according to a new Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen. Asked whether it was more likely that Trump colluded with Russia in 2016 or that the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign that year, 73% of Democrats said the Russia collusion theory was more likely to have occurred. In contrast, 67% of Republicans expressed more belief in the claim that the Obama administration spied on Trump during that election. Overall, 43% of voters put more stock in the Russia story.


The Russia collusion theory dominated headlines and politics for roughly the first three years of the Trump administration. A 22-month, special counsel probe led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller concluded without finding evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to steal the 2016 election. The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Rasmussen using a mixed-mode approach from August 20-22.

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“The Dems won’t get their civil war – but they will suffer the blowback for their attempts to destroy the United States.”

Will Hillary And The Dems Get The Civil War They Are Trying To Provoke? (Saker)

I don’t see a civil war happening in the US. But I do think that this country can, and probably will, break-up into different zones so to speak. In some regions, law and order will be maintained, by force is needed, while in others something new will appear: what the French call “des zones de non-droit“, meaning “areas of lawlessness” in which law enforcement will be absent (either because the political leaders will refuse to engage them, or because they will simply have to withdraw under fire). Typically, such zones have a parallel “black” economy which can make the gangs which control such zones very wealthy (think of Russia in the 1990s). Eventually, a lot of people will flee from such zones and seek refuge in the safer areas of the country (this process has already begun in New York).


Right now, there are a little over two months before the election, and I think that it is safe to say that the situation will deteriorate even faster and much worse. By November 2nd the country will be “ready” (so to speak) for a massive explosion of violence followed by months of chaos. Many will probably vote Trump just because they will (mistakenly) believe that he is the only politician who will stand against what the Dems promise to unleash against the majority of “deplorables” who want to keep their country and traditions. At the core, the conflict we are now witnessing is a conflict about identity, something which most people deeply care about. Sooner or later, there will be push-back against the Dems attempt to turn the USA into some kind of obese transgender liberal Wakanda run by crooks, freaks and thugs. The Dems won’t get their civil war – but they will suffer the blowback for their attempts to destroy the United States.

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Michael Moore’s winning slogan and strategy: the Democrats are terrible, but you DO have to vote for them.

Michael Moore Warns That Donald Trump Is On Course To Repeat 2016 Win (G.)

The documentary film-maker Michael Moore has warned that Donald Trump appears to have such momentum in some battleground states that liberals risk a repeat of 2016 when so many wrote off Trump only to see him grab the White House. “Sorry to have to provide the reality check again,” he said. Moore, who was one of few political observers to predict Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016, said that “enthusiasm for Trump is off the charts” in key areas compared with the Democratic party nominee, Joe Biden. “Are you ready for a Trump victory? Are you mentally prepared to be outsmarted by Trump again? Do you find comfort in your certainty that there is no way Trump can win? Are you content with the trust you’ve placed in the DNC [Democratic National Committee] to pull this off?” Moore posted on Facebook late on Friday.

Moore identified opinion polling in battleground states such as Minnesota and Michigan to make a case that the sitting president is running alongside or ahead of his rival. “The Biden campaign just announced he’ll be visiting a number of states – but not Michigan. Sound familiar?” Moore wrote, presumably indicating Hillary Clinton’s 2016 race when she made the error of avoiding some states that then swung to Trump. “I’m warning you almost 10 weeks in advance. The enthusiasm level for the 60 million in Trump’s base is OFF THE CHARTS! For Joe, not so much,” he later added. He continued to voters: “Don’t leave it to the Democrats to get rid of Trump. YOU have to get rid of Trump. WE have to wake up every day for the next 67 days and make sure each of us are going to get a hundred people out to vote. ACT NOW!”

Moore, a vocal supporter of Bernie Sanders’s leftwing candidacy, warned in October 2016 that “Trump’s election is going to be the biggest ‘f*** you’ ever recorded in human history – and it will feel good,” even as Clinton appeared to be sailing to victory. “Whether Trump means it or not is kind of irrelevant because he’s saying the things to people who are hurting, and that’s why every beaten-down, nameless, forgotten working stiff who used to be part of what was called the middle class loves Trump,” Moore warned at that time.

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A lot of people in that camp were actively working on this. There are new names just about every day.

Steele Associate Offered To ‘Feed’ Michael Flynn Story To WaPo Columnist (DC)

A former associate of Sen. John McCain served as a key conduit between journalists and dossier author Christopher Steele in early 2017, going so far as offering to “feed” stories about Trump associates to a Washington Post columnist, according to documents from a British court proceeding. David Kramer, a former State Department official who worked at the McCain Institute, kept Steele apprised of his contacts in January 2017 with journalists from BuzzFeed News, CNN, ABC News, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post regarding aspects of the dossier. Kramer relayed information he learned from reporters at ABC News and the Journal regarding the dossier’s allegation that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen visited Prague, according to text messages read at a defamation trial against Steele in London last month.

The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained a transcript of the closed-door court proceedings, which were held in London from July 20-24. Steele, a former MI6 officer, is being sued by Aleksej Gubarev, a Russian businessman who Steele’s dossier accuses of hacking Democrats’ computer systems in 2016. Kramer was already known to have met with reporters to discuss the dossier. He has acknowledged providing the dossier to a reporter for BuzzFeed News, which published the salacious document on Jan. 10, 2017. But the Steele messages suggest Kramer played a more proactive role in trying to put negative stories in the media about Trump associates. Kramer’s most eye-catching references are to David Ignatius, a Washington Post columnist who writes about national security issues.

“The Flynn calls story is picking up legs,” Kramer wrote to Steele, seemingly referring to a Jan. 12, 2017, column by Ignatius that revealed that Flynn spoke by phone weeks earlier with Sergey Kislyak. According to text messages read at the trial, Kramer suggested to Steele that he would provide dirt on Trump associates to Ignatius. “I think it’s time to get that other [Manafort] story out there,” Kramer wrote in a message to Steele, referring to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. “And Ignatius is the one I’ll feed it to,” he also wrote. Steele insisted during his testimony that Kramer was suggesting feeding a story to Ignatius about Flynn rather than Manafort. “It’s a Michael Flynn story, isn’t it?” Steele asked during the cross-examination.

He went on to say that the information regarding Flynn he discussed with Kramer was not found in the dossier. “Any story here about Michael Flynn is completely independent of anything in the dossier,” said Steele. The former spy did not describe the Flynn story, but Kramer told the House Intelligence Committee in 2017 that Steele told him that he believed that Flynn had an affair with a Russian-British researcher in the United Kingdom. The unverified allegation matches closely with stories that appeared in the media in March 2017 that alleged that Flynn had improper contacts with former Cambridge researcher Svetlana Lokhova in 2014, when Flynn visited the historic university as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

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“Decades of thought at the Fed are now being pushed aside.”

In most other jobs, if you’ve been wrong for decades, you get fired or resign. But when you’re handling trillions of dollars, there are different standards.

With New Monetary Policy Approach, Fed Lays Phillips Curve To Rest (R.)

One of the fundamental theories of modern economics may have finally been put to rest. In the several years before the coronavirus pandemic took hold of the global economy, Federal Reserve policymakers watched as the U.S. unemployment rate fell lower and lower and waited for the jump in inflation typically associated with such a tight labor market. The expectations were based on a rule that has shaped decades of monetary policy decisions: the Phillips curve, or the concept that inflation tends to rise when the unemployment rate falls, and vice versa. But the inflation that Fed officials anticipated never arrived, and in a monumental speech delivered on Thursday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell announced that the U.S. central bank’s policymakers are done waiting.

The Fed chief, speaking during the Kansas City Fed’s annual conference, unveiled the central bank’s new approach to monetary policy, which puts more emphasis on shortfalls in employment, and less weight on the fear that low unemployment could spark higher inflation. “The conditions in the economy have changed to such an extent that this upwardly sloped relationship between inflation and employment has now changed,” said Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist for RSM. “Decades of thought at the Fed are now being pushed aside.” With its landmark policy shift, the Fed is putting new weight on bolstering the labor market and less on inflation, promising to aim for 2% inflation on average over a period of time rather than using that figure as a hard annual target, as it had done since 2012.

With their new approach, Fed officials are essentially saying they are no longer worried about the unemployment rate falling too low. Now that inflation expectations are anchored at low levels, the economy has room to keep adding jobs. Policymakers can also wait a little longer for the gains to reach the workers on the margins – including Black, Hispanic and low-income workers – who are often the last to reap the benefits of a tight labor market, Powell said. “It is hard to overstate the benefits of sustaining a strong labor market, a key national goal that will require a range of policies in addition to supportive monetary policy,” Powell said on Thursday, reflecting on the strong U.S. labor market that existed before the pandemic.

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h/t Steve Keen.

Ex-Australia PM Menzies Boasted Of Delivering Large Budget Deficits (ABC.au)

There’s a lot we’ve forgotten about Robert Menzies. Take his name, for example. Younger Australians may not know it, but our country’s longest-serving prime minister, one of the founders of the Liberal Party, was nicknamed “Ming”. He was our first prime minister to have two Australian-born parents, but his paternal grandfather was Scottish and he was proud of that heritage. He preferred his surname to be pronounced the way the Scots pronounce it — Ming-iss — but his attempts to convince his countrymen to do so were in vain. He received the nickname “Ming” instead. Then there was his time as prime minister, when he boasted about delivering a bigger budget deficit than Labor would have, for the good of the country. That’s right.

The father of Australia’s Liberal Party was proud of spending whatever was necessary to ensure full employment, even when the economy wasn’t in recession. A speech Mr Menzies gave in August 1962 about his budget that year is worth reading. He’d won the federal election eight months earlier, defeating the Labor opposition led by Arthur Calwell. During the campaign, Mr Calwell promised to deliver a deficit large enough to eradicate unemployment, and he figured that meant a deficit of 100 million pounds. Here’s Mr Menzies explaining why he was spending more than Labor pledged. “Too few people realise that a cash deficit of 120 million [pounds] … will of itself have a most expansionary effect,” he said.

“We shall pay out to the citizens 120 million [pounds] more than will be collected from them. “So, far from being timorous — I think that was another of the words used by the deputy leader of the opposition — this is adventurous finance. “Add to the deficit the tax refunds now being made, and it is clear that purchasing power in Australia this financial year will be uncommonly high. “The real task of any government today, as well as of the business community and all sensible citizens, is to get that purchasing power exercised.” It was uncomplicated Keynesian logic. As John Maynard Keynes wrote in 1933: “Look after the unemployment, and the budget will look after itself.”

[..] Mr Menzies’ second stint as prime minister lasted from 1949 to 1966. For his last nine budgets he delivered deficits, and the size of his last deficit, at 3.3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), was 0.3 per cent larger than the deficit in Wayne Swan’s last budget in 2013. So why wasn’t the public angry? Because Australia’s economy, like economies in other western nations, grew strongly in the post-war period. In the 1940s, its average growth rate was 3.8 per cent. In the 1950s, it was 4.2 per cent. In the 1960s, it was 5.3 per cent. And that constant growth meant the size of Australia’s government debt relative to the size of the economy (the ratio of debt-to-GDP) shrank dramatically, too. All while the government was handing down budget deficits.

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How much extra attention because of Banksy’s involvement?

Italy Evacuates Dozens From Overcrowded Banksy-Funded Migrant Rescue Boat (RT)

Some 50 people were evacuated from the migrant rescue boat Louise Michel that got stranded off Malta’s coast after taking more than 200 people aboard. After one person died, the crew accused Europe of ignoring its pleas for help. The vessel, which reported rescuing a total of 219 people from the sea over the past few days, including “many women and children,” had become so “overcrowded” that a life raft was attached to its side, and it lost its ability to maneuver. The crew’s Twitter feed suggests they have been desperately sending distress signals and making calls to various European maritime authorities to no avail. To make the matters worse, one of the migrants died on the ship as conditions deteriorated.

“Louise Michel is unable to move … above all due to Europe ignoring our emergency calls for immediate assistance,” a tweet from the crew read. Following about a day of pleas for help, Italy’s coast guard arrived at the scene and took 49 of “the most vulnerable” migrants in. While describing the development as “great,” the Louise Michel crew said it leaves the majority “still waiting.” It added that another NGO migrant rescue ship, Sea Watch 4, arrived to “do what Europe falters to do.” Photos and videos apparently taken on board the vessel – a 31-meter motor yacht once owned by French customs authorities, now named after a French anarchist – show it is extremely crowded with people who are cooped up literally everywhere, from the foredeck to the aft and even on top of the captain’s bridge.

[..] Painted in white and bright pink and featuring a Banksy artwork of a girl in a life vest holding a heart-shaped flotation device, Louise Michel is said to have set sail in secrecy from a Spanish port of Burriana, near Valencia. The first post in its Twitter account appeared about a week after what was called its first successful mission. The ship, flying a German flag, is captained by Pia Klemp, a controversial German boat captain credited with rescuing more than 1,000 North African migrants between 2011 and 2017. The woman was charged with colluding with human smugglers by the Italian authorities in 2019 and defiantly snubbed Paris’ highest civilian award months later.

[..] Reports claim that Klemp was personally contacted by the artist as early as in September 2019 and was offered assistance with buying a new boat. She told the Guardian that she sees the effort as “part of anti-fascist fight,” while adding that Banksy’s involvement in the project is limited to financial support. “Banksy won’t pretend that he knows better than us how to run a ship, and we won’t pretend to be artists,” she said.

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And you thought your “leaders” were incompetent.

Airlines Warn Flying Back 100,000 Stranded Australians Will Take 6 Months (G.)

Frustrated airlines continuing to fly into Australia are warning it will take six months to repatriate more than 100,000 Australians stuck overseas if the country’s strict arrival caps are not eased. Pressure is also mounting within government ranks to address the growing number of Australians stranded by the caps, with Coalition MPs complaining the limits are “probably the biggest area of concern” raised with them by constituents currently, who claim airlines are repeatedly bumping them off flights to prioritise more expensive tickets and remain profitable under the caps. Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman, Penny Wong, on Friday criticised the government’s position of recommending those affected by the caps rely on early super withdrawals to fund what could be an indefinite period away from their jobs, families and secure accommodation.

“The government should be offering financial support to stranded Australians who need it. People shouldn’t be forced to raid their super or launch a GoFundMe fundraiser in order to return home,” she said, noting earlier reports that consular staff had told Australians to start crowdfunding sites to sustain living costs and business class flights. Wong said she had been contacted by a pensioner forced to sleep in a car in France because his flight had been cancelled and he couldn’t get a refund. Wong also criticised the government for recent travel exit exemptions – including allowing Tony Abbott to fly to the UK, and an entrepreneur to collect a yacht in Italy – calling it “special treatment for the privileged few” with “everyone else being left behind”.

Qatar Airways on Friday announced it had suspended sales of tickets into Australia until the caps are lifted, and said it will have to cancel the tickets of “thousands” more Australian citizens who are currently scheduled to fly home with the carrier in the coming months. The airline has acknowledged it has been forced to prioritise customers who pay more for tickets after reports its aircraft were landing in Sydney with as few as four economy passengers. The Guardian has been inundated by stories of Australians who have been forced to live in caravans for months, exhaust all their paid leave, and forgo seeing dying parents in Australia while they wait for airlines to honour their economy flights home.

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If Greece and Turkey go to war, it’s over this:

 

 

Long time favorite. Possibly the ultimate Calvin and Hobbes:

 

 

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