Dec 112023
 
 December 11, 2023  Posted by at 8:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  39 Responses »


MC Escher Still life and street 1937

 

Israel Cannot Win – Jordan (RT)
Erdogan Blasts US For Blocking Gaza Peace Resolution (RT)
Israel Is Trying To Force Gazans Into Egypt – UN Official (RT)
Leadership In Kiev Has Gone ‘Totally Crazy’ – Putin (RT)
US Veteran Ridicules Claim That Russia Poses Threat to Europe (Sp.)
Zelensky’s Anti-Russian Narrative Faces Resistance in Latin America (Sp.)
German Chancellor Lying About Gas – Medvedev (RT)
Maduro’s Iron Fist: Why Would Venezuela Risk An All-Out War? (RT)
Hunter Biden Launches Attack on Elon Musk (RT)
Musk Wants Answers From Biden And Zelensky About Fate Of Gonzalo Lira (RT)
George Floyd: The Complete And Total Collapse Of Justice In America (Paul Craig Roberts)
Biden’s Clinton Defense: I Did Not Have Interactions with Those People (Turley)
Trump Not To Testify In Fraud Proceedings (TASS)
UK Tories Plotting Boris Johnson Comeback – Daily Mail (RT)
Al Gore: Access to Non-Mainstream Information ‘Threatens Democracy’ (MN)

 

 

Take your children to work. So at least you can die together.

 

 

Gaza teaches life

 

 

 

 

Biden bombs

 

 

Vivek

 

 

Tucker Trump

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The animosity created by the violence in Gaza will haunt the Middle East for generations..”

Israel Cannot Win – Jordan (RT)

Jordan’s foreign minister has claimed Israel cannot achieve military victory in Gaza and has already suffered a strategic defeat by alienating the entire region. Speaking on Sunday at the Doha Forum – an annual gathering of diplomats in the Qatari capital – Ayman Safadi said the goal of Israel’s operation against Hamas is to oust the Palestinian population, rather than to defeat the militant group. The destruction in Gaza in the past two months “is an indication of an Israeli policy that seems determined to expel the residents” of the enclave, he said, adding that top Israeli officials, including Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, have been quite candid about that intention.

Safadi brought up the Friday vote at the UN Security Council, in which the US vetoed a proposal by Arab nations urging for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. It was the only vote against, with American ally the UK being the only member of the 15-strong body to abstain. The top Jordanian diplomat noted that despite the veto, Washington was publicly calling on Israel to change its military tactics. “Simply put, Israel is defying everyone – its allies, international law, and the United Nations,” he said. “Israel has created an amount of hatred that will haunt this region and that will define future generations. It harms its people as much as it affects everyone in the region.” This is a war Israel cannot win. Israel has already suffered a strategic defeat. The minister blamed Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and systematic obstruction to the creation of a Palestinian state as the root cause of the hostilities.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who attended the event in Qatar via video link, remarked that the US has blocked several proposals for a ceasefire in Gaza at the UN. He called the unresolved status of Palestinian statehood the “single most dangerous factor igniting extremism in the Middle East.” Israel launched its military campaign in Gaza after Hamas fighters broke through the border wall on October 7 and raided several settlements and military bases in southern Israel. Israeli officials said over 1,200 people were killed as a result. The death toll in Gaza stood at more than 17,700 as of Sunday, as updated by the local health ministry. Around two-thirds of the Palestinians killed were women and children, the report noted.

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“A fair world is possible, but not with America..”

Erdogan Blasts US For Blocking Gaza Peace Resolution (RT)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Saturday, stating that it has become a “protector of Israel” due to the influence of Washington. This statement followed the US blocking a resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. “Due to a veto by the US, no decision was reached. It’s essential for the UN Security Council to be reformed,” Erdogan stressed in his address at the World Human Rights Day event in Istanbul. The Turkish leader argued that the world extends beyond the five permanent members of the UNSC with veto power: China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US. Expressing disappointment in the UNSC, Erdogan, despite Türkiye being a NATO ally of the US, said, “We have lost our hope and expectation from the UN Security Council.”

Erdogan asserted that since October 7, when the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) initiated attacks on Gaza in response to an incursion by the Palestinian armed group Hamas that killed at least 1,200 people, the UNSC, “whose mission is to establish global peace, has turned into a protector of Israel.” “The Israeli administration, which has the unwavering support of Western countries, is committing murderous atrocities and massacres in Gaza that will make all humans blush… A fair world is possible, but not with America, because America sides with Israel,” the Turkish president insisted. According to the Gaza Health Ministry, the death toll from Israeli actions in the past two months stands at 17,700 people, with 48,800 others injured. Following the breakdown of a week-long humanitarian pause with Hamas, Israel resumed its military offensive in Gaza on December 1. The US vetoed the UNSC resolution for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire on Friday, with the vote in the 15-member council being 13-1 and the UK abstaining.

US Deputy Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood justified the move, stating that a halt in fighting would allow Hamas to maintain control of Gaza and “only plant the seeds for the next war.” Wood emphasized Washington’s preference for a “durable peace” based on a two-state solution, but he argued that Hamas has “no desire” for such an outcome. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the US veto, asserting that “the correct stance [was] taken by the US.” He also criticized the UNSC members who supported the ceasefire, stating that it is impossible to both endorse the elimination of Hamas and call for an end to the war against the group. “Other countries should understand that it is impossible to both support the elimination of Hamas and call for an end to the war aimed at eliminating Hamas,” the PM said.

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“After the destruction of the north, the destruction of the south is ongoing, except this time, people have nowhere to go.”

Israel Is Trying To Force Gazans Into Egypt – UN Official (RT)

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are setting the stage for the mass expulsion of Palestinians into Egypt while creating conditions that will make it impossible for them to ever return to their destroyed homes in Gaza, the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency chief has claimed. “The United Nations and several member states, including the US, have firmly rejected forcibly displacing Gazans out of the Gaza Strip,” UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) chief Philippe Lazzarini wrote on Saturday in a Los Angeles Times op-ed. “But the developments we are witnessing point to attempts to move Palestinians into Egypt, regardless of whether they stay there or are resettled elsewhere.” An Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman denied Lazzarini’s accusation, saying West Jerusalem has never had a plan to push Gazans into Egypt.

However, two Israeli lawmakers wrote last month in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that they would like to see countries around the world welcome Gazan refugees who choose to relocate. The Israel-Hamas war has driven more than 1.8 million Gazans from their homes, the largest forced displacement of Palestinians since 1948, Lazzarini said. Nearly 18,000 people have been killed in Gaza, and an Israeli study found that 61% of the people who perished in IDF airstrikes were civilians. The war began when Hamas launched surprise attacks against southern Israeli villages on October 7, killing around 1,200 people and taking hundreds of hostages back to Gaza. The Palestinian casualties have included more than 270 people who were sheltering in UNRWA facilities at the time they were killed.

Lazzarini said many of those shelters were in areas of central and southern Gaza that were thought to be safer than the north, where Israel’s bombing campaign was primarily focused. “The sad reality is that Gazans are not safe anywhere: not at home, not in a hospital, not under the UN flag, not in the north, middle, or south,” he added. The survivors are now besieged and holed up in a “tiny area” of southern Gaza, near the Egyptian border, Lazzarini said. Many are being left with only one option: Leaving the Palestinian enclave altogether. “Judging by policy and humanitarian discussions underway, it is hard to believe that the Palestinians of Gaza who are displaced today will be allowed –or even willing– to return to their destroyed homes anytime soon,” the UN official said.

If this path continues, leading to what many are already calling a second Nakba, Gaza will not be a land for Palestinians anymore.” A UN Security Council resolution that would have brokered a ceasefire in Gaza was vetoed by the US on Friday. President Joe Biden’s administration has claimed that the US is doing more than any other nation to help civilians in Gaza, but it’s also aiding the Israeli war effort. A CBS News poll released on Sunday found that only 20% of Americans believe that Biden is making a peaceful resolution to the conflict more likely.

Lazzarini said civilians are being used as pawns in the war, with Hamas abdicating all responsibility for their well-being to the UN and Israel inflicting “collective punishment” on the more than two million people of Gaza. The “meager” humanitarian supplies that Israel has allowed to trickle into the enclave have provided little relief, he added. “Bombardment and a tight siege are again creating conditions under which nothing more than mere survival is possible,” Lazzarini said. “The deprivation of humanitarian aid is key to this plan. After the destruction of the north, the destruction of the south is ongoing, except this time, people have nowhere to go.”

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“Have they gone completely crazy? Are they completely – how can I put it more bluntly – nuts?”

Leadership In Kiev Has Gone ‘Totally Crazy’ – Putin (RT)

Persistent persecution of ethnic Russians in Ukraine was one of the key reasons behind Moscow’s decision to launch its special military operation in that country, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said, adding that the Ukrainian authorities have since gone completely “crazy” in their policies. The president made the remarks earlier this week when he hosted distinguished servicemen at the Kremlin to award them Hero of Russia medals. Excerpts from Putin’s speech on the sidelines of the event were published by Russian journalist Pavel Zarubin on Sunday. “We would never have done anything like [the special military operation] if they had not started to destroy Russia in our historical territories, expel people from there, declared Russians a non-indigenous ethnic group in Ukraine.

Have they gone completely crazy? Are they completely – how can I put it more bluntly – nuts?” Putin told the medal recipients. The president was apparently referring to Ukraine’s Law On Indigenous Peoples, adopted in 2021. The legislation recognized only three ethnic groups – Crimean Tatars, Crimean Karaites and Krymchaks (Crimean Jews) – as the country’s indigenous peoples. The legislation denied indigenous designations to Russians, which amounted to at least one fifth of Ukraine’s population, according to various estimates, and to other minorities, such as the ethnic Hungarians and Belarusians who reside in the country’s west and north, respectively. Moreover, all three ethnic groups recognized by the ‘indigenous peoples’ law predominantly live in Crimea, which split from Ukraine in 2014 and joined Russia after a peninsula-wide referendum.

In addition to questionable ethnic policies, the Ukrainian leadership has been openly courting and honoring Nazis, Putin said, invoking a recent scandal in Canada’s House of Commons. The legislature celebrated Ukrainian-Canadian Yaroslav Hunka, a 98-year-old Waffen SS veteran, hailing him as a “Canadian hero” who’d “fought the Russians” during World War II. The whole body, with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in attendance, engaged in a standing ovation to honor Hunka. “And who exactly fought Russians during the war? Nazis. Everyone knows that and the Ukrainian president knows that. The entire parliament stood up and applauded him. What is it, if not a manifestation of Nazism?” Putin asked, adding that a large proportion of Nazi atrocities were committed by Ukrainian nationalists who collaborated with them.

“They are not just fools, they are also neo-Nazis. It’s an obvious fact. They are ready to cooperate with just anyone to try and hurt Russia,” the president noted. The Hunka affair triggered a major international scandal, which led to the downfall of the House Speaker Anthony Rota, who accepted entire responsibility for inviting the Waffen SS veteran to the legislature. Russia has charged Hunka in absentia with genocide, claiming that archive documents serve as evidence that he and fellow SS Galicia members had killed at least 500 civilians in late February 1944, and Moscow is now seeking the extradition of the Nazi veteran.

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“..it’s ridiculous to believe that Russia wants to attack the West or re-create the USSR..”

US Veteran Ridicules Claim That Russia Poses Threat to Europe (Sp.)

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s December 2 claim that Russia poses an immediate threat to Europe is absurd, according to retired Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis, a senior fellow for defense priorities at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. “[Austin] claims that all of Western Europe and NATO would be ‘directly threatened’ – this was the term that he used – if [Vladimir Putin] wins here and that’s just nonsense. That’s just absurd,” Davis said on Stephen Gardner’s podcast. “Why would he ever do it? (…) Everything [Putin] has done, everything he has said over the past 15 years is that he wants to protect his borders. They are historically afraid of Western incursions because Russia itself has been invaded many times throughout its history from the West.” Per Davis, it’s ridiculous to believe that Russia wants to attack the West or re-create the USSR, stressing that Austin is either “disingenuous or doesn’t know what he is talking about.”

According to Austin, “Ukraine matters profoundly to America and to the entire world. And it matters for four key reasons.” “First, Putin’s war poses a stark and direct threat to security in Europe and beyond,” the Pentagon chief claimed at the Reagan National Defense Forum. The second reason, argued Austin, is that Russia’s special military operation is “a clear challenge to [US] NATO allies.” The third is that Moscow’s actions are an attack on “democratic values and decency.” And finally, Russia’s special op is a “frontal assault on the international rules-based order,” according to him. But that is not all. Earlier this week, ex-Fox News host Tucker Carlson said on his podcast that Austin allegedly threatened to send lawmakers’ “uncles, cousins and sons to fight Russia” if Ukraine aid is not approved.

Commenting on the alleged threat, Davis highlighted that under the US Constitution the Pentagon chief has zero authority to send any combat troops to Ukraine. What’s more, any direct confrontation with Russia over Ukraine is not in the US national interest, the retired lieutenant colonel emphasized. “There is nothing in that war… the war is militarily unwinnable. We’ve been saying that since the outset of this war.” The military expert said that everything that has happened on the ground since the beginning of Kiev’s summer counteroffensive has validated his assumption.

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The West has lost the Global South. But Milei wants to support Ukraine. i.e. the US. Faux pas.

Zelensky’s Anti-Russian Narrative Faces Resistance in Latin America (Sp.)

Volodymyr Zelensky will attend the inauguration of president-elect Javier Milei. The Ukrainian president is seeking to strengthen ties with the Global South, but Kiev’s rapprochement with Buenos Aires won’t help him win the hearts and minds of Latin Americans, says an Argentine newspaper. Zelensky’s presence in Buenos Aires at the inauguration of Javier Milei’s government is apparently seen by Kiev as a PR coup aimed at restoring the Ukrainian president’s tarnished image as Western support for Ukraine wanes, according to Pagina 12, a left-leaning Argentine publication. “At this time, and due to the diminished support of the governments of the Atlantic alliance, Ukraine’s priority interest is to achieve the support of the countries of the Global South,” writes Daniel Kersffeld, Pagina 12 contributor.

According to Kersffeld, Zelensky’s greatest hope is to make Milei a strategic ally in the conflict against Russia, which would accept Kiev’s unrealistic “peace formula” during a Ukraine summit proposed by Milei. The scholar notes that Kiev also expects Buenos Aires to impose sanctions on Russia. Earlier, President-elect Milei signaled his full support for Zelensky in a clear break with the policy of his predecessor, Alberto Fernández. In late November, the new Argentine leader offered the Ukrainian president to hold a conference on Ukraine in the South American country. “They are organizing a peace conference in Latin America and Ukraine, and we have offered ourselves as a venue if it is appropriate,” Milei’s foreign policy adviser Diana Mondino told reporters last month.

Still, Zelensky’s biggest bet is that the new Argentine government – with Washington’s backing – will bring the governments of the region together and persuade them to support Zelensky and turn their backs on Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kersffeld added. Alas, “the Ukrainian government’s preaching against Moscow was never able to gain footing in the Latin American context, despite various mechanisms of enticement and political and economic pressure imposed by Washington which, among other aspects, sought to provide weapons to Ukraine or, directly, the breaking of relations with Russia,” the scholar underscored.

Despite ideological differences among Latin American governments, there is a consensus in the continent that it must be a “region of peace” and not interfere in overseas conflicts, Kersffeld stressed. “It would be very risky for Argentina to get involved in a foreign conflict not so much in search of peace, but to get a positive nod from Joe Biden’s administration,” the article’s author warned. Meanwhile, Zelensky’s biggest problem is that Kiev’s summer counteroffensive has yielded zero results on the battlefield and failed to achieve any of the Zelensky regime’s goals, making the West increasingly skeptical about pouring money into Ukraine and supporting its incumbent president, according to Kersffeld.

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“..They rejected it themselves, they screwed over their own people because of the hatred for Russia..”

German Chancellor Lying About Gas – Medvedev (RT)

Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy head of the Russian Security Council and the country’s ex-president, has accused German Chancellor Olaf Scholz of “lying” after the latter shared his take on the roots of the energy crisis in Europe. Speaking at a meeting of the ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Berlin on Saturday, Scholz accused Russia and, personally, President Vladimir Putin of halting the gas supply to the EU. “It was the Russian president who stopped gas supplies through undamaged gas pipelines. Thus, 50% of Germany’s gas supply was called into question. 50 billion cubic meters of gas that went through them became inaccessible,” Scholz claimed during the event, hailing the government’s efforts to buy gas elsewhere. The remarks drew the ire of Medvedev, who took to the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, to flatly accuse the German chancellor of “lying” and trying to shift the blame for their own actions on Moscow.

“The German is lying through his teeth! They rejected it themselves, they screwed over their own people because of the hatred for Russia, and now they are dodging and lying!” While Scholz did not elaborate on the matter during his speech, he was apparently referring to the troubles around Nord Stream that unfolded last summer, shortly before the pipelines ended up being destroyed in a sabotage attack on September 26. At the time, Russian energy giant Gazprom was forced to drastically reduce gas deliveries through the pipelines owing to technical issues related to the maintenance of turbines for Nord Stream 1. The difficulties with servicing the turbines stemmed from Western sanctions on Russia, which effectively prevented the maintenance and timely delivery of spare parts.

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“..Where is Guaido now? He’s a political exile who rode on a failed dream and eventually joined the scrapheap of puppets used, abused and discarded..”

Maduro’s Iron Fist: Why Would Venezuela Risk An All-Out War? (RT)

The South American nation of Venezuela has purportedly voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to affirm its territorial claim to part of the neighboring nation of Guyana. Caracas, which was recently subject to an unsuccessful American regime change attempt to topple its leader Nicholas Maduro, argues the oil reach territory known as the Essequibo region was its own historically, but had it stolen away by the British Empire. Such grievances may be found all over the world. While an invasion of the region remains unlikely at this point, given the role of regional power Brazil and obvious opposition from the nearby US, it is a telling sign about the world today that Venezuela feels it can viably affirm its claims like that. Only a few years ago, the US imposed crippling sanctions on the country and appointed Juan Guaido as an “interim president.” Where is Guaido now? He’s a political exile who rode on a failed dream and eventually joined the scrapheap of puppets used, abused and discarded as Washington’s political preferences shift – the likely looming fate of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

But more to the point, it is an affirmation that the US-led world order is fragmenting and that American power is declining. This is paving the way for other countries to reshape the international order to address what are deemed to be historic grievances or injustices. The weakening of the unipolar political order’s ability to assert its authority presents a window for overt challenges to the status quo for nations that were previously unable to do so. In 1990, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein attempted to do the same, but massively miscalculated the shift towards American unipolar hegemony at the end of the Cold War, believing Washington did not have the will to fight. Seeking to rectify the perceived partition of Iraq by the British Empire and the creation of the Sheikdom of Kuwait, Saddam Hussein invaded and attempted to annex the Gulf State.

The US and its allies hit back with a powerful response, and George H.W. Bush famously proclaimed the objective of creating a “new world order.” His message was essentially that American hegemony was here, and that the US would now reshape the world on its own terms. That message was backed by the overwhelming use of military force, which crushed Saddam’s forces, opening the way to decades of unopposed US-led regime changes and wars, including in Iraq again. However, within those passing decades the world has changed. The US is no longer the only geopolitical force in town and the distribution of power has diversified. New actors, such as a resurgent Russia, China, India, and Iran, among others, have changed the geopolitical landscape towards multipolarity and because of this, other states may now find political space to make their own moves without suffering the same fate as Saddam Hussein.

The two wars of 2022-2023 have been instrumental in changing this. First of all, the US and its allies have not been able to muster the political will to defeat Russia in Ukraine or, as they had assumed, even crush the economy of the Russian Federation. Second, America’s support of Israel and its attempts to squeeze Iran have provoked a war in Gaza, with Hamas successfully sensing an opportunity to lure Israel into a destructive conflict which will crater its credibility and global standing for generations. As the US has become distracted by the emerging crises and seemingly unable to resolve them, Venezuela thus sees an opportunity to strengthen its hand by reaffirming its territorial claims over Guyana as a nationalism-driven bargaining chip.

Venezuela is not a major military power and its geographic location means that an attempt to forcibly occupy the Essequibo would be defeated, as the US is on its doorstep and would do everything it takes to crush hostile states in the western hemisphere. However, Washington’s failed regime change, combined with its need to negotiate sanctions relief due to the impact on global oil markets, mean its own hand against Caracas has shrunk, and the US is not in a position to crush Venezuela as of present. Even without the military dynamic, an extended territorial claim gives a country diplomatic leverage that it can use to extract concessions and assert its authority, just like China in the South China Sea, over Taiwan, or Russia incorporating a number of Ukrainian oblasts into its own territory. All these are part of a long list of historic problems which the given states have been unable to address before, held back by American hegemony, but we now live in a different world and because of that, the political map as we know it is changing.

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“..the “dumbest smart person I think that the world has ever known.”

Hunter Biden Launches Attack on Elon Musk (RT)

Hunter Biden, son of US President Joe Biden, has raised doubts about Elon Musk’s intellectual acumen, claiming the billionaire lacks regard for US democracy and freedoms. Biden also accused Musk of spreading “disinformation” about his personal life and business dealings. These comments followed one day after the US Department of Justice filed nine new tax-related charges against Biden, alleging that he had led an “extravagant lifestyle” while evading taxes. In an interview with musician-turned-podcaster Moby published on Friday, Hunter Biden expressed concern that criticisms from right-wing detractors could jeopardize his safety, citing a past attack on Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul, where the assailant mentioned Biden as a potential target. According to the 53-year-old, some people have come to view him as an “embodiment of evil” over his alleged wrongdoings that have circulated in the media, especially outlets affiliated with the political right.

Biden asserted that figures like Musk are amplifying narratives damaging to his reputation. “One thing about Elon Musk that I’m certain of is there’s another very damaged human being,” the president’s son told Moby, calling the billionaire the “dumbest smart person I think that the world has ever known.” The attorney-by-profession went on to say that “Elon Musk doesn’t care about the goddamn First Amendment… Elon Musk doesn’t care about democracy; Elon Musk doesn’t care about our freedom to vote.” Responding to these remarks on X (formerly Twitter) that same day, the entrepreneur replied: “Exactly what ‘misinformation’ is he talking about?” Musk quipped, “The dude made so many videos of himself doing crime that he should get an award for cinematography!” – an apparent reference to multiple videos and photos of Hunter that have emerged over the past few years, which depict him spending time with prostitutes and smoking crack cocaine.

Meanwhile, court documents suggest that the younger Biden son was “engaged in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4 million in self-assessed federal taxes he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019.” A press release emphasized that his income would have allowed him to pay his taxes but that he had allegedly squandered the money on “drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties,” among other things. The charges include three felony and six misdemeanor tax offenses, potentially leading to a maximum sentence of 17 years if convicted on all counts. In addition to the tax case, Hunter Biden faces another legal challenge related to allegations of lying about his drug use during the purchase of a firearm. He has also dealt with previous misdemeanor tax-related charges. The combination of legal issues has put the president’s son under significant public scrutiny.

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The White House wanted Lira arrested and disappeared. Ukraine had already picked him up twice and let him walk. When Lira went after Biden and Kamala, who he called stupid, they saw a chance to get rid of him and blame it on Zelensky. An American citizen. Lived his whole life in America, as per his dad.

Musk Wants Answers From Biden And Zelensky About Fate Of Gonzalo Lira (RT)

Elon Musk has addressed US President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky about the status of US-Chilean journalist and critic of the Kiev government Gonzalo Lira, who remains under arrest in Ukraine since summer. On Saturday, US political commenter Tucker Carlson published an interview on X (formerly Twitter) with Lira’s father, who said that his son is currently awaiting trial in Ukraine “because he was exercising his right of freedom of speech.” According to Gonzalo Lira Senior, the US embassy “haven’t done a thing” for the detained American passport holder, who is being defended by a court-appointed Ukrainian lawyer with no knowledge of the English language. In his comment on the interview, Musk wondered how it was possible that “an American citizen is in prison in Ukraine after we sent over a $100 billion” to support Kiev amid its conflict with Russia.

“Is there more to this story than simply criticizing Zelensky? If that’s all it is, then we have serious problem here,” the SpaceX and Tesla CEO posted on X. Carlson responded to the message, by saying that the “crime” committed by Lira, who is an author of several novels and a filmmaker with Hollywood experience, was “saying unapproved things.” On Sunday, Musk also addressed the issue on his own account, writing: “What is the status of this American journalist, Joe Biden?” The post included a link to Lira’s last post on X before his third arrest by the Ukrainian authorities in early August. In his message, the journalist said that he was about to cross from Ukraine into Hungary in search of a political asylum. “Either I’ll cross the border and make it to safety, or I’ll be disappeared by the Kiev regime,” he warned followers.

When addressed on the issue by Strana.ua news outlet, a spokesman for Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) confirmed that Lira had been arrested on the border with Hungary. The US journalist is currently in custody in Ukraine’s second largest city Kharkov, with the court being scheduled to consider his case on December 12 and 21, he added. According to the spokesman, Lira violated Ukrainian law as he “systematically justified” Russia’s actions in Ukraine and “disseminated pro-Russian views on his social media accounts.” In his videos he “also claimed that the Ukrainian Armed Forces were shelling their own territory, while a neo-Nazi regime reigned in Ukraine,” the spokesman stated. Lira, who had been living in Kharkov since the mid-2010s, was actively covering Russia’s military operation in the country from its very start in February 2022. He said that it was a tragedy for Ukraine and its people, whom he loved, but stressed that the conflict had been provoked by the Zelensky government and its Western backers. Among other things, the journalist argued that Ukraine had no chance of winning against Russia and predicted the failure of the sanctions against Moscow.

He also decried attempts by Western media to portray Ukraine as a democracy, speaking about corruption in the government and publishing a list of Zelensky’s opponents who, he claimed, had been “disappeared” by the Kiev authorities. Lira was first arrested by the SBU in April 2022 but released without charge a week later as the story made international headlines. The 55-year-old continued his reporting and, in May, was again taken into custody, in this instance accused of “producing and distributing materials justifying the armed aggression” by Russia against Ukraine. On August 1, the journalist briefly reemerged on social media, posting several videos in which he said that he had been released on bail and was trying to flee to neighboring Hungary in order to avoid a lengthy prison term. He hasn’t been heard from since then.

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“..Chauvin’s frame up was a product of the intimidating violence Democrats and media encouraged and justified..”

George Floyd: The Complete And Total Collapse Of Justice In America (Paul Craig Roberts)

Derek Chauvin was convicted on the basis of false evidence. His conviction rested on a video taken at an angle that produced a misleading view. As I reported at the time, up close police videos showed Chauvin’s knee was on Floyd’s shoulder, an approved restraint illustrated in the approved police practices handbook. This information was buried under constantly repeated showings by the irresponsible and witch-hunting American media of the video which from the angle it was taken made Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s shoulder look like it was on Floyd’s neck.. The three officers, Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao (a black, a white, and an Asian) convicted along with Chauvin were simply convicted for being present on the scene. As I pointed out at the time, Chauvin was indicted and convicted by the irresponsible American media with endless repetition of “Derek Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes despite Floyd’s plea ‘I can’t breathe.’”

This was a lie. Chauvin was convicted by a lie. I remember when it was a cause for moving a trial to a neutral or objective location or even for dismissal of the charges if media or public officials said a defendant was guilty prior to conviction by a jury. The reason was the media would have polluted the jury pool with the idea that the defendant was guilty. In Chauvin’s case the Minneapolis city government further polluted the jury pool by awarding Floyd’s family $27 million dollars in damages prior to the trial. I do not know whether the ban against conviction in the media has been repealed or become a dead letter requirement or whether it was just suspended in Chauvin’s case. Intimidation also played a role in the wrongful conviction of Chauvin. The Black Lives Matter riots, which the Democrats permitted, encouraged and justified, convinced prosecutors, judges, and jurors that a guilty verdict was required whatever the facts of the case or there would be more looting and burning.

It is clear that Judge Cahill withheld exculpatory evidence from being presented to the jury. He was an asset to the prosecution and enabled Chauvin’s wrongful conviction. I also reported at the time that the coroner’s report stated that Floyd’s blood contained a higher dose of fentanyl than is normally required to kill a person. This evidence played no role in the trial of Chauvin. I also reported the autopsy report’s conclusions that there were no injuries to Floyd’s neck and that Floyd had heart problems that would make his death likely under the influence of drugs. Chauvin’s frame up was a product of the intimidating violence Democrats and media encouraged and justified and of the prosecution and judge’s withholding of exculpatory evidence. It was also a product of years of media reports emphasizing gratuitous police violence against blacks. The same police violence was used against whites, but the media only reported the instances where blacks were the victims.

Some experts attributed the police violence to the Israeli firms that were hired to train US police, pointing out that in Israel police are trained to deal with terrorists, not with ordinary crimes. The years of media emphasis left a negative image of police. The misrepresentation of George Floyd’s death has even intimidated the US Supreme Court which refused to hear Chauvin’s evidence-based appeal. One consequence of Chauvin’s wrongful conviction is that media, Democrats, and Black Lives Matter have learned that they can use violence and intimidation to convict the accused, thereby decreasing the importance of evidence. Another consequence is that policing in Minneapolis is dead. Forty-four percent of the force resigned.

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“..the House has interviews, documents, photos and even audiotapes contradicting Biden’s continuing denial of having any knowledge of his son’s financial dealings.”

Biden’s Clinton Defense: I Did Not Have Interactions with Those People (Turley)

With a formal House vote on an impeachment inquiry expected next week, President Joe Biden was confronted this week about his knowledge and involvement in alleged influence peddling by his son and brothers. An irate Biden seemed to morph into Bill Clinton and — echoing his predecessor’s “I did not have sex with that woman” denial of an earlier scandal — effectively declared that he did not have relations with “those people.” As with Clinton, the denial was absurd, even insulting. Roughly 70% of voters (including 40% of Democrats) believe Biden has acted either unlawfully or unethically in the overseas business dealings of his family. More importantly, the House has interviews, documents, photos and even audiotapes contradicting Biden’s continuing denial of having any knowledge of his son’s financial dealings.

This includes testimony from Hunter Biden’s associates that Joe Biden called in as many as 20 times (and was put on speakerphone) at dinners and meetings with Hunter’s associates. It also includes sworn testimony from figures like Hunter’s ex-associate, Tony Bobulinski, that he discussed dealings directly with Joe Biden. And it includes a statement by Devon Archer, Hunter’s close friend and business partner, that the president’s denials of knowledge were “categorically false.” Yet, according to the president, it is all lies, lies, lies. When finally confronted this week about interacting with these associates, Biden barked back, “I did not and it’s just a bunch of lies. They’re lies. I did not. They’re lies.”

It may become Biden’s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” moment, a line that is likely to be repeated with the same frequency as Clinton’s denial before being impeached in 1998. In the face of a formal vote for an impeachment inquiry, Biden is sticking with the same rhetorical chest-poking done by his predecessor. Despite the photos of Clinton with Lewinsky and his long history of womanizing, Clinton expected the media and the public to ignore their lying eyes. The Starr investigation and impeachment forced his hand in eventually admitting the obvious. The Bidens have their own vices, of course, but it seems the family signature has been influence peddling. It appears to have been, as I have written previously, virtually a family business.

Like Clinton, however, Biden is in a bind. He spent the last election categorically denying any knowledge or involvement in Hunter’s business dealings. He continues those denials despite evidence that Hunter discussed these dealings with his father and used Air Force 2 as transport to work on foreign clients during official trips with his father. For years, much of the media refused to acknowledge the authenticity of the emails on Hunter’s abandoned laptop. Yet, in the last year, many have reached the limit of plausible deniability and now acknowledge that Hunter was involved in a multimillion-dollar influence-peddling scheme. The final line of defense has become that Joe Biden did not directly benefit. Even now, some are frantically joining Biden in calls for blind denials.

Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) has even doggedly maintained that the laptop may really be Russian disinformation, despite confirmation of its content by witnesses, government investigators, and several media organizations. It won’t work. Biden clearly lied when he denied knowledge of his son’s business operations, and he has continued to lie during his presidency. Moreover, besides the benefits to his family (which would legally constitute benefits in criminal cases), there are references in Hunter’s emails to giving his father income, paying bills, and using shared accounts and credit cards. Now, the National Archives is finally turning over tens of thousands of emails, including many in which Joe Biden reportedly used false names in communicating with Hunter’s associates. And various key figures, including Hunter, face testimony or contempt proceedings. Thus, Biden is caught in a trap of his own making.

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Might as well let real estate insiders do the talking.

If Engoron and Letitia really want to go with a $26 million valuation of Mar-a-Lago, by all means let them make fools of themselves.

Trump Not To Testify In Fraud Proceedings (TASS)

Ex-US President Donald Trump made the decision not to testify before a New York court in proceedings on fraud when appraising assets of the Trump Organization. The ex-President was expected to arrive in New York and speak before the court on Monday, December 11. “I have already testified to everything & have nothing more to say other than that this is a complete & total election interference (Biden campaign!) witch hunt, that will do nothing but keep businesses out of New York,” Trump wrote on his page in the Truth Social network. “I will not be testifying on Monday,” he added. The Office of the New York State Attorney General sent its action against Trump and Trump Organization to court in September 2022. The Attorney General of the State alleged that the company had overstated the asset value for more comfortable terms of loans and insurance. The defense insists that claims are ungrounded and the property value may change over time due to different reasons.

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“..an ‘Advent calendar of sh*t.’”

UK Tories Plotting Boris Johnson Comeback – Daily Mail (RT)

Tory rebels are considering a plan to “crash” UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative government and reinstall Boris Johnson as leader as concerns rise over flagging poll figures and surging support for the opposition Labour Party ahead of an expected general election next year, according to the Daily Mail. Amid the high-profile cabinet departures of former Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick, Sunak’s authority over Tory ranks is set to be further tested this week when he faces a pivotal vote over his flagship Rwanda migrant-handling plan. Citing anonymous Conservative MPs, the Daily Mail wrote on Saturday that Tory insiders are urgently attempting to address a growing revolt – with peerages being offered to possible rebels to convince them to toe party lines.

The tabloid claims that disgruntled Tories will increasingly seek to “crash” the Sunak government with a series of Commons votes and outspoken interventions, which the newspaper’s sources said is crudely referred to as an ‘Advent calendar of sh*t.’ Furthermore, the outlet cites anonymous sources as saying there is a belief within the party that Johnson – who stood down as prime minister in September 2022 – is the only person who possesses the necessary skills to pose a challenge to Labour leader Keir Starmer. The newspaper also notes that the Reform Party, the successor to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, is siphoning votes that might otherwise have gone to the Conservatives – with a so-called Johnson/Farage “dream ticket” being floated. It also notes that Farage’s appearance on a popular UK reality television series has bolstered support for the Brexit architect.

Johnson, who is a columnist for the Daily Mail, did not elaborate on his possible political ambitions when contacted by the newspaper. A spokesperson for Farage, who, like Johnson, is not currently an MP, said that any political alliance between the two would “soon end in tears.” “Reform are going to kill us,” the newspaper cites an anonymous Tory MP as saying. “We have to buy Farage off. The plan is we get him into the Lords, give him some brief like we did with [David] Cameron – maybe even home secretary – then go to the country with the ‘Dream Team.’” Another possibility for a post-Sunak scenario, per the Mail, would be for Johnson ally and former Home Secretary Priti Patel to be appointed as temporary PM while Johnson seeks a ‘safe’ seat in the election – after which he would hypothetically return to Downing Street. Recent polling has indicated that Labour holds a commanding lead over the Tories ahead of the next general election, which must take place before January 2025.

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“..Gore has a storied history of making climate change predictions that turn out to be spectacularly wrong. No wonder he wants to ban dissent.”

Al Gore: Access to Non-Mainstream Information ‘Threatens Democracy’ (MN)

Al Gore says that people having access to information outside of mainstream media sources is a threat to “democracy” and that social media algorithms “ought to be banned.” Yes, really. Gore made the comments during an appearance at the Cop28 climate change hysteria conference in Dubai. Gore whined that social media had “disrupted the balances that used to exist that made representative democracy work much better.” The former Vice President said that functioning democracy relied on a “shared base of knowledge that serves as a basis for reasoning together collectively” but that “social media that is dominated by algorithms” upsets this balance. According to Gore, people are being pulled down “rabbit holes” by algorithms that are “the digital equivalent of AR-15s – they ought to be banned, they really ought to be banned!”

Gore claimed, “It’s an abuse of the public forum” and that people were being sucked into echo chambers. “If you spend too much time in the echo chamber, what’s weaponized is another form of AI, not artificial intelligence, artificial insanity! I’m serious!” he added. Apparently, the only echo chamber that should be allowed to exist is Gore’s own rabbit hole, wherein the earth is constantly on the brink of destruction thanks to people not obeying his technocratic mandates. Perhaps Gore is unhappy at his own misinformation being fact checked by individuals who have access to information not produced by corporate media sources that are friendly to him. Gore infamously predicted that the north polar ice cap would be “ice free” within 5 to 7 years. It never happened. As Thomas Cartenacci documents, Gore has a storied history of making climate change predictions that turn out to be spectacularly wrong. No wonder he wants to ban dissent.

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To date, the inquiry has spent over £70 million

 

 

Excess deaths

 

 

 

 

Watters climate

 

 

Stringballs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1733821362341318951

 

 

Owl legs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1733641444328353883

 

 

Baby owl

 

 

Lots of memories..

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 232023
 
 January 23, 2023  Posted by at 9:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  61 Responses »


Edward Hopper Folly Beach, Charleston, South Carolina 1929

 

Zelenskyy: 50 Tanks Will Not Solve Problem (Az.)
US Lawmaker Proposes ‘Just One’ Abrams Tank For Ukraine (RT)
Macron Comments On Heavy Tanks For Ukraine (RT)
Medvedev Predicts New Anti-US Military Alliance (RT)
AOC Heckled Over Ukraine Weapons (RT)
Moldova Fails To Remain Neutral In Global Proxy War – Ex-Leader (RT)
The Nord Stream Pipeline Could Be Repaired Within A Year (OP)
Immaculate Possession: Biden Defense is Fast Becoming Unsustainable (Turley)
Biden Family: The Delaware Sopranos (Newt Gingrich)
House Members To Press Secret Service About Biden’s Classified Records (JTN)
Biden Admin Finally Admits Mistake in Canceling Keystone XL Pipeline (RCE)
‘Succession’ Has Nothing On Davos: Elite Conclave Mulls Next Leader (Pol.eu)
Al Gore Amassed a $330 Million Climate Fortune by Terrifying Everyone (RedS)
Trump and DeSantis Both Leading Biden In Hypothetical 2024 Matchup (JTN)
WSJ Shreds Vaccine Makers, Biden Admin Over “Deceptive” Booster Campaign (ZH)

 

 

 

 

McCullough

 

 

 

 

Safety signal

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jourova

 

 

 

 

Why get them then?

“..they motivate our fighters to fight for their values. Because they see that the whole world is on your side..”

Zelenskyy: 50 Tanks Will Not Solve Problem (Az.)

Western tanks will not be able to solve the issue of Russian aggression completely, but will give additional motivation to the Ukrainian defenders, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, Report informs. “When the Russian army with a thousand tanks is against us, 10, 20, or 50 tanks provided by the countries will not solve the problem. They do a very important job – they motivate our fighters to fight for their values. Because they see that the whole world is on your side,” Zelenskyy said.

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“..Even saying we’re gonna put Abrams tanks in, I think, would be enough for Germany to unleash [its Leopard tanks]”

US Lawmaker Proposes ‘Just One’ Abrams Tank For Ukraine (RT)

US Representative Michael McCaul has argued that announcing plans to provide America’s vaunted M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine – even if only one of the behemoths is actually shipped out – would leave Germany with no excuses to further delay sending its Leopard tanks to Kiev. “If we announced we were going to give Abrams tanks, just one… what I hear is that Germany is waiting for us to take the lead,” McCaul said on Sunday in an ABC News interview. “Then they would put Leopard tanks in.” The Texas Republican, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, added that such a tactic also would prompt Berlin to give its permission for other European countries that use the Leopard to give some of their tanks to Ukraine.

McCaul has been among the most hawkish Republicans in the House, vowing to continue providing weaponry for Ukraine to fight Russian forces, regardless of growing public opposition to the aid. He claimed that Kiev must be provided tanks and longer-range artillery urgently, to help repel an alleged imminent offensive by the Russians. Asked by ABC anchor Martha Raddatz whether just one Abrams tank would be sufficient to trigger Germany to provide more advanced weaponry to Ukraine, McCaul hinted that Washington could trick its ally.” Even saying we’re gonna put Abrams tanks in, I think, would be enough for Germany to unleash [its Leopard tanks]” McCaul also said Kiev needs longer-range artillery to strike targets in Crimea, dismissing the risks of enabling attacks on the peninsula, which Moscow considers to be sovereign Russian territory. Asked how Russian President Vladimir Putin might react, McCaul pointed to how Washington apparently got away with past escalations in aid, such as giving Ukraine HIMARS rocket launchers.

Senator Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat, also called for sending battle tanks to Ukraine. “If it requires our sending some Abrams tanks in order to unlock getting the Leopard tanks from Germany, from Poland, from other allies, I would support that,” he told Raddatz. Media reports suggested that Berlin was unwilling to send its tanks unless the US made a similar commitment. Washington has so far refused to provide its Abrams tanks, arguing that they are very complex to operate and require extensive training. Key NATO nations failed to reach an agreement about sending the German-made battle tanks to Ukraine during a Friday meeting of Western military donors at the US Ramstein air base. However, on Sunday, Germany’s foreign minister Annalena Baerbock hinted that Berlin “would not stand in the way” if Poland decides to sends its own Leopards to Ukraine.

Gonzalo 2023.01.22 The Endgame—or Escalation?—of The War

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“..only “real and effective support” in the form of weaponry that Ukrainian forces can actually use on the battlefield without months or years of training..”

Macron Comments On Heavy Tanks For Ukraine (RT)

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reaffirmed their continued “unwavering support” for Ukraine for “as long as it takes” in a joint press conference on Sunday, but both said that any decision on supplying heavier arms must be reached jointly by all “friends” of Kiev. Macron said that “nothing is excluded” when asked about the possibility of sending Leclerc main battle tanks to Kiev, and confirmed he had “asked the Defense Ministry to work on it.” However, any final decision would have to be a “collective” call based on several considerations, he noted, according to AFP. France does not want the move to “weaken our own defense capabilities,” and at the same time is cautious of “escalating” the conflict.

Another concern is to provide only “real and effective support” in the form of weaponry that Ukrainian forces can actually use on the battlefield without months or years of training. Scholz dodged a similar question about Leopards, saying vaguely that Germany “will continue to act according to the concrete situation” and in close coordination with “important friends and allies.” “Germany is doing a lot, too… We have constantly expanded our deliveries with very effective weapons that are already available today,” the chancellor said. Last week, Politico reported that Paris was considering deliveries of Leclerc tanks in an effort to provide a joint framework to overcome Germany’s reluctance. Amid reports that Berlin was unwilling to send its tanks unless the US made a similar move, a US lawmaker proposed giving Ukraine a single Abrams tank to leave Berlin with no excuses for further delays.

Calls for Germany to supply Kiev with Leopards grew louder after the UK confirmed earlier this month that it would send 14 Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine. Poland also announced that it would transfer a company of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, but the re-export of these tanks must be greenlit by Germany. On Sunday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock hinted that Berlin “would not stand in the way” if Poland makes the move. Baerbock noted that Warsaw has not yet reached out to Berlin on the matter. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that the “importance of such supplies in terms of their ability to change something” on the battlefield should not be exaggerated.

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BRICS+.

Medvedev Predicts New Anti-US Military Alliance (RT)

The continuous flow of military aid to Kiev clearly shows that the collective West is seeking to “wear out or, preferably, destroy” Russia, the country’s former president, Dmitry Medvedev, remarked on Sunday. The effort, however, may ultimately backfire for the US and its allies, he believes. Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, made the comments in a social media post, days after a meeting at the US Ramstein air base in Germany at which Western powers pledged to continue supporting Kiev. “The meeting at Ramstein and the allocation of heavy weaponry to Kiev leave no doubt that our enemies will be trying to wear us out for an indefinite period of time, or, preferably, to destroy us,” the ex-president wrote.


However, the prolongation of the hostilities in Ukraine may ultimately lead to the emergence of a new military bloc that brings together nations “fed up with the Americans,” Medvedev suggested. “This has always happened in the history of mankind during long wars. And the US then will finally abandon old Europe and what remains of the unfortunate Ukrainians, and the world will return to an equilibrium once again,” the former leader said, warning, however, that it might be “too late” before this happens. Moscow has repeatedly urged the collective West to stop “pumping” Ukraine with weapons, maintaining that it would only prolong the hostilities rather than change the ultimate outcome. Top Russian officials have repeatedly characterized what is happening as a proxy war between Russia and the US-led NATO alliance rather than merely a conflict with Ukraine.

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Warmonger.

AOC Heckled Over Ukraine Weapons (RT)

US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) had an event in New York on Saturday disrupted by a group of demonstrators who rose to their feet and began singing a Latin hymn for peace. The protestors were voicing their objection to the self-professed progressive’s vote to send billions of dollars worth of weapons to Ukraine. Holding signs reading “negotiation not annihilation” and “stop sending weapons to Ukraine,” the group sang ‘Dona Nobis Pacem’, a Latin hymn used in the Catholic mass that translates as ‘Give Us Peace’. “We always support everyone’s First Amendment rights here and everyone has the complete right to political expression,” Ocasio-Cortez responded, but only after the protesters had been removed from the premises by security.


A member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Ocasio-Cortez has voted against sending military aid to Saudi Arabia and abstained from voting on funding Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. However, she voted in May to provide Ukraine with $40 billion in military and economic aid, a decision that led a left-wing activist to accuse her of “voting to start a nuclear war” during a similar town hall in October. Despite giving a green light to such a massive arms fund, Ocasio-Cortez added her name to a letter by Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Pramila Jayapal in October urging President Joe Biden to “seriously explore all possible avenues, including direct engagement with Russia, to reduce harm and support Ukraine in achieving a peaceful settlement.” The letter, which was signed by 30 House Democrats, was retracted a day later and the pro-peace progressives stated that they backed Biden’s policy of indefinite military aid to Kiev.

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“Dodon said Sandu made her statement after meeting in Davos with Alexander Soros, son of Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros, “who brought her to power.”

Moldova Fails To Remain Neutral In Global Proxy War – Ex-Leader (RT)

Moldovan President Maia Sandu has put the former Soviet republic at risk of turning into “cannon fodder” in NATO’s proxy war with Russia by failing to remain neutral over the conflict in neighboring Ukraine, her predecessor said on Saturday. “Maia Sandu continues to draw Moldova into NATO – contrary to the neutrality prescribed in the Constitution and the will of the Moldovan people, who are categorically against joining this military structure,” ex-President Igor Dodon claimed in a Telegram post. He made his comments in response to Sandu’s statement on Friday that her government was seriously considering joining a “larger alliance” amid Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. Abandoning military neutrality would be “dangerous” for Moldova, said Dodon, who served as president from 2016 until Sandu defeated him in the country’s 2020 election.

The nation of just 2.6 million people consistently ranks among the poorest countries in Europe and has maintained a delicate peace with its breakaway Transnistria region since agreeing to a 1992 ceasefire, brokered by Moscow. Dodon said Sandu made her statement after meeting in Davos with Alexander Soros, son of Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros, “who brought her to power.” He added, “Obviously, Sandu is implementing his scenario in Moldova, and joining NATO is one of his points.” Although Moldova isn’t yet a member of NATO, it has cooperated with the Western military bloc, such as when it sent peacekeeping troops to Kosovo. Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu attended a NATO summit in Bucharest last November, marking the first time that Chisinau sent a representative to a meeting of the bloc.

At the time, Popescu reportedly said that joining NATO was out of the question because of the neutrality provision in Moldova’s Constitution. By apparently changing that stance, Sandu is “acting on the orders of overseas masters, against the interests of the country and the people, against the sovereignty, territorial integrity of Moldova,” Dodon said. “Our citizens want to maintain neutrality and peace, as evidenced by the results of numerous public opinion polls, and they will never agree to become cannon fodder for NATO in the fight against Russia.” Moscow has blamed NATO’s eastward expansion – contrary to promises made after the Cold War ended in 1991 – for undermining Russia’s security interests, helping to trigger the current conflict.

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Will it be?

The Nord Stream Pipeline Could Be Repaired Within A Year (OP)

The Nord Stream pipeline can be repaired within a year, but it’s unclear whether Germany would want to receive Russian natural gas at all, said Klaus-Dieter Maubach, the outgoing CEO at German energy giant Uniper, which was Russia’s top gas customer before Moscow cut off supply via Nord Stream. “The first question that needs answering: what’s the political will on a European level and in Berlin to bring Russian gas to Germany?” Maubach said at the annual Handelsblatt Energy summit on Tuesday, as carried by Reuters. Last summer, the German government bailed out Uniper as losses at the German company continued to mount after Russia slashed gas deliveries via Nord Stream in June, before cutting off supply in early September.

At the end of December, it was Uniper, the operator of the Wilhelmshaven import terminal, that welcomed the first tanker carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the newly opened LNG terminal, with the cargo arriving from the Calcasieu Pass export facility in the United States. Meanwhile, the investigation into the Nord Stream explosions at the end of September continues amid accusations from Russia that some Western intelligence services are “hiding something.” Sweden’s refusal to share information about the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines is “puzzling,” and withholding the results of the investigation means that “Swedish authorities are hiding something,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said last week.

Traces of explosives were found near the sites of the explosions at the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, Sweden said in November, noting that the incident is “gross sabotage.” Nord Stream 2 was never put into operation after Germany axed the certification process following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia, for its part, shut down Nord Stream 1 indefinitely in early September, claiming an inability to repair gas turbines because of the Western sanctions.

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“..if any witness or forensic evidence shows that Biden came into contact with any of these documents over the last 10 years, this dubious defense will take on a far more sinister appearance..”

Immaculate Possession: Biden Defense is Fast Becoming Unsustainable (Turley)

In 1977, as senator from Delaware, Biden torpedoed President Jimmy Carter’s nominee for CIA director over his alleged mishandling of classified documents. As with the current scandal, Ted Sorensen was accused of having the documents for work on a book. The motive did not matter. Sen. Biden expressed his signature revulsion at the very thought of the possession. There was no evidence of ill intent, but Biden insisted that was not the issue. Biden argued that Sorensen could still be prosecuted under the Espionage Act and insisted the “real issue” during Sorensen’s confirmation hearing was “whether Mr. Sorensen intentionally took advantage of ambiguities in the law, or carelessly ignored the law.” After all, Biden continued, “If he did so, can he now bring the activities of the intelligence community within the strict limits of the law? We will expect that in the future of intelligence agencies. If that is to be the case, then we must hold the director – DCI – accountable as well.”

Notably, some of the recently discovered classified documents may have been from Biden’s time as a senator — over ten years ago. I have previously noted that Biden “has always been better at expressing revulsion than responsibility.” When it came to Sorensen, Biden could not imagine a rationalization for a nominee to excuse such mishandling of classified material, but as a president, “there is no there there.” Biden has continued to make the case against himself with remarkable determination. His defense that some documents were housed in his “locked garage with my Corvette” may go down as one of the most imbecilic statements in modern political history. He then followed up with his “no regrets” comments (and his assurance of “no there there”) just before more classified documents were found “there.”

While special counsel do not mind defendants making fools of themselves, they do not want to join them in such public spectacles. In this investigation, the Biden defense is looking increasingly implausible in his claim of no knowledge or responsibility. Indeed, if any witness or forensic evidence shows that Biden came into contact with any of these documents over the last 10 years, this dubious defense will take on a far more sinister appearance. It would establish not just intent and knowledge, but an effort to deceive the public and prosecutors. Yet, even after the latest batch was found, Biden and allies like Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., are continuing to maintain that “there is no there there.” These continuing denials now border on willful blindness and the public reaction is likely to echo the president’s favorite tagline: “Come on, man.”

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“..Hunter Biden, is like the ambitious-but-dull son who wants to inherit the family business but always screws up..”

Biden Family: The Delaware Sopranos (Newt Gingrich)

Watching HBO’s “the Sopranos” can really help you understand the Biden family. Between Hunter Biden’s laptop scandal, and the Bidens’ various shady private-equity schemes with foreign fraudsters, it’s not too hard to make the analogy. President Joe Biden is clearly the head of a family. He has repeatedly exploited his public offices to make money. His son, Hunter Biden, is like the ambitious-but-dull son who wants to inherit the family business but always screws up. Some of what the Bidens have done is clearly inappropriate. Even more of what they have done is an abuse of public office. Most of what they have done is simply secret. The best example of Bidens’ manipulation of the system for profit surrounds the Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania.

The center has given the Bidens remarkable access to Chinese Communist Party money. According to reports in the New York Post, the university, “raked in a total of $54.6 million from 2014 through June 2019 in donations from China, including $23.1 million in anonymous gifts starting in 2016.” As the paper reported, about $15.8 in anonymous Chinese gifts came after the Biden Center was announced in 2017. As soon as Biden left the White House as vice president, he was tapped to lead the center and given a professorship. Shortly after the center fully opened, another $14.5 million in anonymous Chinese gifts were delivered in May 2018. In another report about this flood of money, The Free Beacon said $61 million in Chinese donations went to the university from 2017 to 2020.

The numbers vary because there is virtually no public accountability or transparency about the money trail. It’s a given that Chinese sources aren’t going to share any information. And the University of Pennsylvania is simply refusing to obey the law and report the foreign donations. I worked with the Trump administration’s Department of Education on this for several years, and we simply could not get the University of Pennsylvania to open its books and explain where all the Chinese money was coming from. Consider that now-Secretary of State Antony Blinken was the manager of the Penn Biden Center. Several other Biden team members were paid by the University of Pennsylvania in the period between Joe Biden’s vice presidency and presidency. Meanwhile, in apparent appreciation for setting him up at the center, Joe Biden appointed former University President Amy Gutmann to be U.S. Ambassador to Germany. Similarly, David Cohen, the former chairman of the university’s board of trustees, is now the U.S. Ambassador to Canada.

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Who’s seen them?

House Members To Press Secret Service About Biden’s Classified Records (JTN)

Stonewalled by the White House, House investigators are turning their attention to the Secret Service in hopes of finding records showing who had access to the five tranches of classified records found in President Joe Biden’s Delaware home and Washington think tank office. House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) said Sunday the latest discovery of documents by the FBI during a search Friday had escalated the scandal from simply a question of incompetence, especially since the home where many of the documents were found was frequented by Hunter Biden as he pursued significant business deals with communist China.

“This has all the pattern of an influence peddling scheme, and it also has the makings of a potential coverup,” Comer told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo. “… There’s a lot of connections with the CCP directly to both Hunter Biden, Hunter Biden’s Uncle Jim and Joe Biden.” The Biden administration has refused to provide any information about the classified documents, citing last week an ongoing special counsel probe into the discoveries of five tranches of classified documents at the Wilmington, Del., family home and the Penn Biden Center in Washington since Nov. 2. Comer said Sunday the distribution of the documents at multiple locations raised concerns.

“Does anyone believe that those classified documents, when they left the vice president’s office, they just took them to multiple locations all over the East Coast?” he asked. “It has the appearance that someone would have taken them and moved them around. I mean, this is very concerning.” Comer said his committee would be sending letters to the Secret Service on Monday for any records the presidential security agency has about who visited either location. “Hopefully, the Secret Service is going to work with us,” he said. “We’re requesting tomorrow formally any type of correspondence, any type of emails, any type of documentation that would help us determine who actually had access to those documents. And hopefully the Secret Service will work with us despite the fact that this White House is not.”

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“..oil’s share of energy production in the United States will only fall 8 percent in the next two decades, from 31 to 23 percent…”

Biden Admin Finally Admits Mistake in Canceling Keystone XL Pipeline (RCE)

At long last, the Biden administration is admitting what experts have always known: reckless energy policies have disastrous consequences. This time, the Department of Energy quietly released a report highlighting the positive economic benefits of developing the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, an energy project canceled by President Biden in the hours following his inauguration. But the DOE’s report is a proverbial day late and a dollar short. The cancelation of the Keystone XL pipeline has already cost the United States thousands of jobs and billions in economic growth while families suffer under the weight of record high energy prices. It’s time for lawmakers to make American energy independence a top priority.

Released without a formal announcement, the DOE’s report points out that the pipeline would have created between 16,149 and 59,000 jobs and would have had an economic benefit of between $3.4 and 9.6 billion. That’s no small impact. Yet with one stroke of his pen, Biden slashed the project and instead focused his efforts on costly “green energy” goals. As a result of his executive action, 11,000 pipeline workers were promptly laid off and told to “go to work to make solar panels” instead. But Biden’s green energy efforts are bound to backfire sooner rather than later. That’s because today, more than 70 percent of the energy produced and consumed in America comes from oil, gas and coal. That’s not likely to substantially change anytime soon.

In fact, the International Energy Agency predicts that oil’s share of energy production in the United States will only fall 8 percent in the next two decades, from 31 to 23 percent. And that’s assuming a sustained commitment to green energy policies. The forecast spells bad news for the Biden White House. At his political peril, Biden ignores the lessons of Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush, who both lost elections due to spiked oil prices and accompanying recessions. Two years into sowing its Green New Deal policies, the administration is reaping a bitter harvest. Due to Biden’s folly, oil, natural gas and electricity prices have more than doubled in just a single year. Meanwhile, more than 28 percent of Americans abstained from purchasing food or medicine to pay an energy bill in 2021. And now, the misnamed Inflation Reduction Act includes wind and solar spending that will cost Americans $369 billion.

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“Klaus Schwab will stay in office until he dies..”

‘Succession’ Has Nothing On Davos: Elite Conclave Mulls Next Leader (Pol.eu)

It’s the political race everyone is afraid to talk about. For 52 years the World Economic Forum has been synonymous with its founder and executive chair Klaus Schwab, whose humble manner belies what many who know him describe as great ambition and boundless energy, even into his mid-80s. Schwab has grown WEF’s $6,000 startup capital in 1971 into a $390 million a year business, turning a once sleepy organization into the think tank world’s FIFA. Today, WEF’s annual meeting attracts more billionaires and CEOs than any other event on earth, and more political leaders than any gathering outside the United Nations General Assembly. So what (and who) comes after Klaus Schwab?

Schwab turns 85 in March, and it’s an open question whether he will pass the torch at all. Rupert Murdoch hasn’t. Warren Buffet hasn’t. In an era of active aging, why should Schwab? POLITICO spoke to 29 WEF corporate strategic partners, current and former WEF staffers, and members of the forum’s committees and communities. They all agree: Schwab tightly controls the succession discussion. Even those who know Schwab well profess little knowledge of his plans. Forum staffers have become used to Schwab putting a high-profile political figure in the frame for succession, only to see the idea disappear before it becomes a plan. Schwab has been reluctant to talk about succession, and has consistently refused to discuss a timetable.

Five of the people POLITICO spoke to said they suspect he will stay in the job until he dies, like the monarchs and popes his critics say he styles himself after. WEF insiders are typically unwilling to talk on-the-record about the organization’s post-Schwab future. All 29 people told POLITICO they feared being barred from WEF events, while others said even speaking anonymously could get them fired. WEF is registered as a non-profit, but it’s also a multi-generation family business. Schwab’s children Nicole and Olivier hold high-ranking positions in the organization, and his wife Hilde presides over a foundation and awards ceremony in Davos. WEF’s governing statutes give family members rights to board seats. In 2017 Schwab brought in Børge Brende, a former Norwegian foreign minister, to serve as WEF’s president, while Schwab himself remained executive chair. If some outsiders expected the then 79-year-old to ease into the shadows, they were wrong: Per WEF’s website, the organization’s 800-strong staff is still “led by Founder and Executive Chairman Professor Klaus Schwab.”

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“An Inconvenient Truth” amassed $49 million at the world box office and catapulted Al into the top ranks of climate hysterics, and he’s never looked back..”

Al Gore Amassed a $330 Million Climate Fortune by Terrifying Everyone (RedS)

Former Vice President and 2000 presidential election loser Al Gore has spent his post-political career warning anyone who will listen that the earth is in its death throes due to global warming (now called climate change because somehow that’s better). His 2006 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” amassed $49 million at the world box office and catapulted Al into the top ranks of climate hysterics, and he’s never looked back, constantly jetting to meetings around the world to preach his truth. This week he’s at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, because of course he is. Is he doing this because he truly believes what he’s saying, or because he cares so very much about you? While we can’t read his mind, one thing we do know for sure: climate change has been very, very good to Al Gore.

Though he was worth approximately $1.7 million at the end of his vice presidency, he has now amassed an estimated $330 million fortune, owns houses in Virginia, California, and Tennessee, and receives a cool $2 million a month for a figurehead position at the Generation Investment Management green energy fund he founded with former Goldman Sachs Managing Director David W. Blood. There are only two conclusions I can come to upon learning this news—1) I should have been a climate activist. 2) Hunter Biden has nothing on this guy. If he’s so concerned about rising seas, why would Gore buy a huge oceanview mansion in flood-prone Montecito? One might ask the same question of former president Barack Obama, who dropped $12 million for a waterfront view on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.

Gore’s other property holdings are pretty sweet, too, according to Daily Mail:”Gore’s family has owned farming land in his native Tennessee for generations, while his mansion in Nashville is valued at $7.5 million, his waterfront villa in Montecito, where he counts Oprah as a neighbor [and don’t forget Prince Harry], is worth $13 million, his Virginia home is worth around $3 million as is his apartment in the St. Regis building in San Francisco.” Where did he get all this money? He has a stake in the aforementioned $36 billion Generation Investment Management fund, around $80 million worth of stock in companies such as Apple and Google, and a salary from Apple as a compensation committee member. He receives $200,000 a pop per public speaking engagement and also advises companies on “going green” for undisclosed (but presumably huge) fees.

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Trump still looks strong.

Trump and DeSantis Both Leading Biden In Hypothetical 2024 Matchup (JTN)

If the 2024 presidential election were held today, either of the two top presumed Republican contenders for their party’s nomination would defeat President Joe Biden, according to a new survey. Both former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would beat the current president if he chooses to run again, according to the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll, which was released Friday. The survey polled 2,050 registered voters, 65% of whom said that Biden should not run again. Of those polled, 46% said they would support Trump with 41% for Biden and 13% uncertain at this time. This was the same 5-point margin that Trump led by in the December poll results.


If the GOP candidate is Gov. DeSantis, the poll shows him defeating Biden by a margin of 42% to 39%. News of the scandal regarding Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents appears to make little difference to those surveyed, comparing the two months’ results. While Trump remains the clear favorite for the Republican nomination, leading DeSantis by a 48% to 28% margin, the co-director of the poll is not convinced the lead will hold. “Trump is ahead but already has every vote he can get,” Mark Penn told The Hill. “DeSantis is the candidate of potential.” Other potential Republican candidates all registered in single digits, with Mike Pence at 7%, Nikki Haley at 3%, and Mike Pompeo at 1%.

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WSJ only took 3 years. Underwhelming.

WSJ Shreds Vaccine Makers, Biden Admin Over “Deceptive” Booster Campaign (ZH)

Wall Street Journal editorial board member Allysia Finley has taken a flamethrower to vaccine makers over their “deceptive” campaign for bivalent Covid boosters, and slams several federal agencies for taking “the unprecedented step of ordering vaccine makers to produce them and recommending them without data supporting their safety or efficacy.” “You might have heard a radio advertisement warning that if you’ve had Covid, you could get it again and experience even worse symptoms. The message, sponsored by the Health and Human Services Department, claims that updated bivalent vaccines will improve your protection. This is deceptive advertising. But the public-health establishment’s praise for the bivalent shots shouldn’t come as a surprise. -WSJ”

The narrative behind the campaign was simple; mRNA Covid shots could simply be ‘tweaked’ to to target new variants – in this case, the jabs were claimed to confer protection against BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants, along with the original Wuhan strain. To call this wishful thinking would be extremely generous. As Finley writes, three scientific problems have arisen. 1/ The virus is mutating much faster than vaccines can be updated. 2/ Vaccines have ‘hard wired’ our immune systems to respond to the original Wuhan strain, “so we churn out fewer antibodies that neutralize variants targeted by updated vaccines.” 3/ Antibody protection wanes after just a few months. Finley has brought receipts too…

Two studies in the New England Journal of Medicine this month showed that bivalent boosters increase neutralizing antibodies against the BA.4 and BA.5 variants, but not significantly more than the original boosters. In one study, antibody levels after the bivalent boosters were 11 times as high against the Wuhan variant as BA.5. The authors posit that immune imprinting “may pose a greater challenge than is currently appreciated for inducing robust immunity against SARS-CoV-2 variants.” This isn’t unique to Covid or mRNA vaccines, though boosters may amplify the effect. Our first exposure as children to the flu—whether by infection or vaccination—affects our future response to different strains. -WSJ”

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Actual Delta ad, 1973

 

 

Drive train

 

 

Lizard
https://twitter.com/i/status/1617145802702323712

 

 

 

 

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