May 092024
 
 May 9, 2024  Posted by at 9:17 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  56 Responses »


Pieter Bruegel the Elder Dulle Griet, also known as Mad Meg 1563

 

How May 9th Became The Chief National Holiday In Modern Russia (RT)
Stormy Daniels Day: Alvin Bragg Lights Dumpster Fire in Manhattan
Keeping Fani On RICO Trial Under Scrutiny By Appeals Court (ZH)
RFK Jr. Had ‘Dead Worm’ In Brain in 2010– NYT (RT)
Von der Leyen Facing Growing Discontent In EU Capitals – Media (RT)
A tale of Two Sovereigns, a Lackey and a Nanny (Pepe Escobar)
Being An US “Ally” Means Silently Watching Your Own Destruction (Dionísio)
Zuckerberg Considered Buying Associated Press (RT)
MTG Initiates Ouster of US House Speaker (RT)
Hapless President Biden Caught Between Unhappy Base, Unrepentant Israel (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Stormy
https://twitter.com/i/status/1788059772513619972

 

 

CNN Stormy
https://twitter.com/i/status/1788062188688580682

 

 

Supercharger

 

 

 

 

It’s been 79 years.

How May 9th Became The Chief National Holiday In Modern Russia (RT)

WWII Victory Day, celebrated in Russia on May 9, has become a special holiday. The war was both the greatest trial and the greatest triumph in Russia’s modern history. However, the celebrations acquired their current shape and form not so long ago, and some important traditions were established quite recently. The Act of Unconditional Surrender of the German Third Reich was signed by Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel on May 8, 1945, at 22:43 Central European Time. In Moscow, it was already the early hours of May 9th. That very morning, Russians found out that the war, which had claimed 27 million Soviet lives, was finally over and the enemy had surrendered. The first celebration of victory in WWII – or the Great Patriotic War, as it is known in Russia – took place that very day.

Army reports instantly dropped their official tone and described how the residents of Prague pulled the troops off their armored vehicles to dance and drink together. In the provinces, people ran out on the streets and congratulated each other. Indeed, some fanatical Nazis continued to put up resistance, Europe was full of mines, and reports stated that there were many losses throughout the month of May. But the big war was over, and to the sound of fireworks, people returned home. No one doubted that victory in WWII was an incredibly important event. However, people were grieving the deaths of their relatives and friends, and their pain was great. May 9 was immediately designated a national holiday. However, lavish celebrations seemed out of place as the country was in ruins, and mentally and physically crippled soldiers, concentration camp prisoners, ‘ostarbeiters’ and refugees returned home.

In Western Ukraine and the Baltic States, battles against nationalist partisans continued. In those years, the Victory Day Parade was held only once, in the summer of 1945. During this grand spectacle, Wehrmacht and SS banners seized in Germany were thrown in front of the Kremlin. But in the following years, the celebrations became more modest. Every year on May 9th there was a fireworks display, but otherwise, from 1947 it was a regular workday (even though a festive one), and veterans usually celebrated it with friends. Things changed in 1965. By that time, 20 years had passed since the end of the war. New Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, himself a WWII veteran, decided to once again make May 9 a day off. From then on, military parades were held on Victory Day jubilees, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier memorial was opened by the Kremlin wall, and the tradition of laying wreaths at the memorials was established. In short, the holiday acquired a grand scale and became quite solemn after the nation’s pain had somewhat subsided.

The country is gone, but the memory remains . The annual large-scale celebration of Victory Day, with parades held across the country and a military parade on Moscow’s Red Square, is a fairly new tradition. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, an obvious question arose – what should be done with the country’s communist legacy and symbology? For example, the Day of the 1917 Revolution was observed on November 7. It was replaced by another holiday, associated with Russian national heroes Minin and Pozharsky, who lived in the 17th century. But no one ever considered revising May 9th as Victory Day.

However, the authorities wanted to separate the holiday from socialist ideology. In the Soviet Union, ideology and victory were inseparable. But in the 90s, a new era had dawned. The USSR had collapsed. Moreover, many war heroes fell prey to new conflicts. For example, Vladimir Bochkovsky, a hero of the battles in Ukraine and Germany, became a citizen of the unrecognized Republic of Transnistria, which started a bloody uprising against the former Soviet Republic of Moldova. Meliton Kantaria – the standard-bearer who had hoisted the Soviet flag over the Reichstag – was forced to flee from Abkhazia when an ethnic conflict broke out between the Abkhazians and Georgians, even though by that time, he was a very old man. At that time, a question arose – what does Victory Day mean for the new republics?

Opinions differed. In the Baltic states, national elites believed that in the 40s their countries had been held hostage by two totalitarian regimes. Moreover, unofficially, the Nazis were preferred over the communists – for example, in Latvia, the memorial day of the Latvian SS Legion was officially celebrated for some time. In many other former USSR republics, Victory Day is celebrated in one way or another. In Russia, Victory Day has remained one of the most important national holidays, and a key moment in Russian history. However, the holiday has lost some of its political meaning. For example, Lenin’s Mausoleum is draped on May 9 in order to avoid ideological ties, and a new symbol has been added to the celebrations – the black and orange St. George ribbon, which resembles both the ribbon of the Order of St. George (the highest military decoration in Imperial Russia) and the ribbon of the Order of Glory – a WWII soldier’s award.

Russian communists and leftists didn’t like the fact that the Soviet symbols were replaced. However, for the majority of Russian people, other aspects turned out to be more important. WWII impacted almost every family in Russia, and most people consider the Soviet era as simply one period in the country’s history. Therefore, national motives are considered more important than Soviet symbology.

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“The court was told that this would happen, it happened, and now the court wants to ask the jury to pretend that it did not happen..”

Stormy Daniels Day: Alvin Bragg Lights Dumpster Fire in Manhattan

Before the start of the Manhattan prosecution of former president Donald Trump, I characterized the case of District Attorney Alvin Bragg as based on a type of obscenity standard. In a 1984 pornography case, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart wrote “I shall not today attempt further to define [obscenity]. . . . But I know it when I see it.” Bragg has refused to clearly define the crime that Trump was seeking to conceal when payments for a non-disclosure agreement were listed as a legal expense. We would just know it when we saw it at trial. We are still waiting, but this week, Bragg seems to be prosecuting an actual obscenity case. The prosecution fought with Trump’s defense counsel to not only call porn star Stormy Daniels to the stand, but to ask her for lurid details on her alleged tryst with Trump. The only assurance that they would make to Judge Juan Merchan was that they would “not go into details of genitalia.”

For Merchan, who has largely ruled against Trump on such motions, that was enough. He allowed the prosecutors to get into the details of the affair despite the immateriality of the evidence to any criminal theory. Neither the NDA nor the payment to Daniels is being contested. It is also uncontested that Trump wanted to pay to get the story (and other stories, including untrue allegations) from being published. The value of the testimony was entirely sensational and gratuitous, yet Merchan was fine with humiliating Trump. Daniels’ testimony was a dumpster fire in the courtroom. The most maddening moment for the defense came at the lunch break when Merchan stated, “I agree that it would have been better if some of these things had been left unsaid.” He then denied a motion for a mistrial based on the testimony and blamed the defense for not objecting more.

That, of course, ignores the standing objection of the defense to Daniels even appearing, and specific objections to the broad scope allowed by the court. This is precisely what the defense said would happen when the prosecutors only agreed to avoid “genitalia.” There was no reason for Daniels to appear at all in the trial. Even if he was adamant in allowing her, Merchan could have imposed a much more limited scope for her testimony. He could also have enforced the limits that he did place on the testimony when it was being ignored by both the prosecutors and the witness. Merchan said that he is considering a limiting instruction for the jury to ignore aspects of the testimony.

But that is little comfort for the defendant. The court was told that this would happen, it happened, and now the court wants to ask the jury to pretend that it did not happen. Merchan knows that there is no way for the jury to unhear the testimony. More importantly, the prosecution knew that from the outset. Daniels appeared eager to share the stories for the same reason that she was eager to sell her story. While she said that she “hates” Trump and wants him “held accountable,” Daniels is no victim.

Read more …

“..Trump and other defendants argued that McAfee was wrong not to remove both WIllis and Wade, writing that “providing DA Willis with the option to simply remove Wade confounds logic and is contrary to Georgia law.”

Keeping Fani On RICO Trial Under Scrutiny By Appeals Court (ZH)

One day after former President Donald Trump’s classified documents trial was postponed indefinitely after we learned that the DOJ mishandled evidence in the case (with Judge Aileen M. Cannon citing a mountain of ‘outstanding’ pre-trial matters that would make a May 20 trial ‘imprudent’), another Trump case appears to have no chance of going to trial before the 2024 election. On Wednesday, a Georgia appeals court agreed to review a lower court ruling which allowed Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to remain on the Trump RICO prosecution despite being highly conflicted. To review, Atlanta Judge Scott McAfee of Fulton Superior Court, who donated to Fani Willis when she was running for office, ruled in March that the Fani simply had to kick her lover, Nathan Wade, off the case after she paid him more than $600,000. The two notoriously took several lavish vacations together on Wade’s dime (which Fani swears she repaid in cash).

According to McAfee, while he found the “appearance of impropriety,” no “disqualification of a constitutional officer necessary when a less drastic and sufficiently remedial option is available,” adding “that the prosecution of this case cannot proceed until the State selects one of two options.” And now, the Atlanta Court of Appeals has agreed to hear an appeal from the defendants over whether McAfee erred in his decision. Willis indicted Trump and 18 other defendants last August, accusing them of a wide-ranging scheme to attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state. All of the defendants were charged under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO, law. Trump and most of the other defendants have pleaded not guilty. In their appeal application, Trump and other defendants argued that McAfee was wrong not to remove both WIllis and Wade, writing that “providing DA Willis with the option to simply remove Wade confounds logic and is contrary to Georgia law.”

Most recently, Willis has defiantly refused to appear before a Georgia Senate Investigative Committee, telling reporters earlier this week (via RedState): REPORTER: Would you appear before a Georgia Senate committee without a subpoena? WILLIS: Well first of all I don’t even think they have the authority to subpoena me, but they didn’t learn the law. REPORTER: Will you appear, yes or no? WILLIS: I will not appear to anything that is unlawful. I have not broken the law in any way. I’ve said it, you know, I’ll say it amongst these leaders—I’m sorry folks get p***ed off that everybody gets treated even. FAITH LEADER STANDING NEXT TO HER: I think she answered that very well.

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Is it still there?

RFK Jr. Had ‘Dead Worm’ In Brain in 2010– NYT (RT)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. once thought he had a brain tumor but the dark spot on the scans turned out to be a dead parasitic worm, the New York Times has reported citing legal documents. President John Kennedy’s nephew, who is currently running an independent presidential campaign, has argued that he is both younger and healthier than incumbent President Joe Biden and his chief rival Donald Trump. In 2010, however, RFK Jr. was experiencing “brain fog” and memory loss so severe, he turned to top neurologists for advice about a possible tumor, according to the Times. One New York doctor gave him a different opinion, however: a dead parasite. The anomaly seen on the scans “was caused by a worm that got into my brain and ate a portion of it and then died,” Kennedy said in a 2012 deposition.

In the same legal interview, Kennedy said he “clearly” had cognitive problems, including short-term and longer-term memory loss. In a subsequent interview with the Times, however, he attributed those to mercury poisoning, caused by his fish-heavy diet at the time. Blood tests found mercury levels 10 times higher than the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers safe, Kennedy said, adding that he fully recovered after undergoing chelation therapy to remove the heavy metal from his body. According to the Times article, the cyst containing the dead worm remained in Kennedy’s brain and did not require treatment, nor did he have any aftereffects from it. He said he did not know what type of parasite it may have been or how he contracted it, though he suspected it was on a trip to South Asia.

The 2012 document was related to divorce proceedings from Mary Richardson Kennedy, RFK Jr’s second wife. Kennedy argued at the time that his earnings potential had been diminished by cognitive struggles. Kennedy has been outspoken about another obvious mental condition, a neurological disorder called spasmodic dysphonia that causes his voice to become hoarse and strained. RFK Jr. initially launched a primary challenge to Biden within the Democratic Party, but switched to an independent bid after several months of stonewalling from the party apparatus. Biden, 81, is widely believed to suffer from several cognitive impairments due to his age and prior medical conditions – though his doctors have insisted that the oldest US president ever to be inaugurated was just fine.

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Another dead worm.

Von der Leyen Facing Growing Discontent In EU Capitals – Media (RT)

EU elites are growing increasingly disenchanted with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Swiss newspaper Neue Zurcher Zeitung has claimed. Bloomberg reported last month that French President Emmanuel Macron, widely regarded as a key backer in von der Leyen’s rise, is eyeing a replacement for her. Although she is unelected, von der Leyen’s fate still indirectly depends on the outcome of the European parliamentary elections scheduled for next month. She remains the main candidate for the center-right European People’s Party (EPP), which has the most seats in the European Parliament. Despite an expected right wing surge in the upcoming votes, it is expected to reinforce its dominant position in June. Any EPP nominee would still require the backing from an absolute majority of MEPs and von der Leyen has refused to rule out a coalition with right wing groups in order to secure another five-year term.

In an article on Wednesday, Neue Zurcher Zeitung claimed that “in the capitals, many are dissatisfied with [von der Leyen’s] record, with her excessive climate policy [and] the weakening economy.” The media outlet added that “accusations of nepotism and non-transparency” have also cast a shadow on her prospects. According to the Swiss newspaper, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, along with French President Macron, are considering alternatives to von der Leyen, including former European Central Bank president Mario Draghi. Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg also claimed in April that Macron was discussing potential replacements with other EU leaders. The media outlet likewise named Draghi as a possible candidate.

Macron has taken several thinly veiled swipes at von der Leyen in recent months. In March, he complained that while the “commission presidency is there to defend the general interest,” it has become “over-politicized.” Von der Leyen’s standing has also been shaken by several high-profile scandals. Last month, the commission president found herself in hot water after giving fellow German MEP Markus Pieper the lucrative job of “special adviser” on a reported salary of €17,000 ($18,000) a month. EU heavyweights such as the bloc’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, and Commissioner Thierry Breton have sounded the alarm over “questions about the transparency and impartiality of the nomination process.”The commission, however, insisted that the “process [to appoint Pieper] took place in full compliance with procedures.”

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“..it’s idle to dwell on what can only be described as suicidal stupidity..”

A tale of Two Sovereigns, a Lackey and a Nanny (Pepe Escobar)

Startling mirror images swirl around two major developments this week directly inbuilt in the Grand Narrative that shapes my latest book, Eurasia v. NATOstan, recently published in the U.S.: Xi Jinping’s visit to Paris and the inauguration of Vladimir Putin’s new term in Moscow. Inevitably, this is a contrasting tale of Sovereigns – the comprehensive Russia-China strategic partnership – and lackeys: the NATOstan/EU vassals. Xi, the quintessential hermetic guest, is quite sharp at reading a table – and we’re not talking about Gallic gastronomic finesse. The minute he sat at the Paris table he got the Big Picture. This was not a tete-a-tete with Le Petit Roi, Emmanuel Macron. This was a threesome because Toxic Medusa Ursula von der Leyen, more appropriately defined as Pustula von der Lugen, had inserted herself in the plot.

Nothing was lost in translation for Xi: this was graphic illustration that Le Petit Roi, the leader of a third-rate former Western colonial power, enjoys zero “strategic autonomy”. The decisions that matter come from the Kafkaesque Eurocracy of the European Commission (EC), led by his Nanny, the Medusa, and directly relayed by the Hegemon. Le Petit Roi spent the whole of Xi’s Gallic time babbling like an infant on Putin’s “destabilizations” and trying to “engage China, which objectively enjoys sufficient levers to change Moscow’s calculus in its war in Ukraine”. Obviously no pubescent adviser at the Elysee Palace – and there’s quite a crowd – dared to break the news to Le Petit Roi about the strength, depth and reach of the Russia-China strategic partnership.

So it was up to his Nanny to volunteer out loud the fine print on the “Monsieur Xi comes to France” adventure. Faithfully parroting Treasure Secretary Janet Yellen in her recent, disastrous Beijing incursion, the Nanny directly threatened the superpowered hermetic guest: you are exceeding in “over-capacity”, you are over-producing; and if you don’t stop it, we will sanction you to death. So much for European “strategic autonomy”. Moreover, it’s idle to dwell on what can only be described as suicidal stupidity.

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“..if anything is falling, it’s American hegemony, whose containment strategies have so far only resulted in even stronger and more capable opponents..”

Being An US “Ally” Means Silently Watching Your Own Destruction (Dionísio)

The Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi, once said that the formula used by the European Union to manage its relations with China is “impractical”, “it’s like driving a car to an intersection and looking at the traffic light and seeing the yellow, green and red lights on at the same time”. I would say more… In addition to the confusion with the traffic light indications, the driver — for the Chinese only — still has to watch out for nails, oil and potholes in the road, which can lead to a crash or damage to the vehicle.

And who would cause such dangers along the way? Given the desperation of the actors involved and the unidirectional nature of the actions… Consequently, the exasperated and catastrophic tone that we find in the Western press, as opposed to a more triumphalist tone that was still in force six months ago (maybe even less than that), tells us everything we need to know. It’s incredible how Western emotions run riot, going from one extreme to the other in very short periods of time. From certain victory in Ukraine against Russia, we move on to widespread panic, in which Sullivan, Biden, Borrell or Macron, who as recently as September were already bathing in the good waters of Crimea, have now moved on to the certainty that Russian troops will not stop at the Dnepr and perhaps not even at the Danube, Rhine or Elbe.

During 2023 we all watched the unstoppable succession of predictions of the fall of the Chinese economy — remember, the Russian one was already “in taters — only now to be panicked by the flood of high-quality, low-cost products that the lazy West can’t even dream of competing with. It’s happening in cars, as well as semiconductors and agricultural machinery, and we’re gradually discovering, from the hysterical tone of Janet Yellen and Blinken, that if anything is falling, it’s American hegemony, whose containment strategies have so far only resulted in even stronger and more capable opponents. After all, it’s hard work that shapes character. The rentier capitalist elite of the West is too used to the easy money of royalties to be able to compete with those who have never abandoned industry, agriculture and truly productive activities.

The fact is that, in the Washington Post, David Ignatius, a researcher linked to the U.S.’s largest think thank, based on work by the Rand Corporation itself, says that analysts say the U.S. is entering a decline from which few powers have recovered; it is also RAND that provides us with an article entitled “U.S.-China rivalry in a new middle age”, pointing to the need for decision-makers to develop a neo-medieval mentality, namely by having to wage war in the knowledge that the “public” doesn’t want it; Borrell says that the U.S. is no longer hegemonic and that China has already become a superpower, something that Brzezinski had promised would never happen again; or the statistics on the U.S. economy, which say that it grew by only 1.6% in the first quarter of 2024, which shows a slowdown compared to the forecast. A big slowdown, considering the 2.7% predicted by U.S. broadcasting networks such as the IMF.

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To speed up its demise?!

Zuckerberg Considered Buying Associated Press (RT)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg considered acquiring or taking a major stake in the Associated Press news agency, Business Insider reported on Tuesday, citing sources. The potential deal was mooted after the social media giant faced accusations of influencing the 2016 US presidential election. Now known as Meta, the company’s role in the election, in which Donald Trump was voted into power, faced intense scrutiny from Washington amid claims that the platform had helped spread fake news. The moral panic worsened after Facebook disclosed that a Russian agency had spent $100,000 on social network ads that allegedly attempted to incite divisions during the presidential campaign.

Moscow has denied any attempt to interfere in the US election, while Facebook’s vice president for advertising, Rob Goldman, later revealed that the Russian spending had in fact come after the election. Zuckerberg, however, was still forced to make significant changes to Facebook’s services and privacy policies, and even officially apologized to the US Congress in 2018 for his management of the platform. According to Business Insider, the CEO had the idea of acquiring a news outlet around the same time. Sources said Zuckerberg had planned to use it as a reliable source of information to create high-quality news posts and tackle controversy over the platform’s content. The billionaire reportedly discussed the idea extensively within Facebook. While Zuckerberg is said to have considered several media outlets for acquisition, he eventually focused on the Associated Press (AP), the major international news agency based in New York.

The AP is a news cooperative, which made an outright acquisition difficult, sources claimed. Instead, Zuckerberg reportedly focused on the potential permanent subsidization of the agency. According to the report, the tech boss was set on acquiring the AP and even involved Facebook’s mergers and acquisitions team in his plans. He ultimately dropped the idea, however, supposedly fearing even more regulatory scrutiny over the move. Later, Zuckerberg reportedly mulled the idea of launching Facebook’s own news organization to produce original content, and considered luring top journalists from other outlets with financial incentives. This idea was also said to have been abandoned amid concerns about the lack of public trust in the social media giant at the time.

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Too late now.

MTG Initiates Ouster of US House Speaker (RT)

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia has filed a motion to vacate the chair of the US House of Representatives, accusing Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana of betraying his party. According to the text of the resolution, made public by fellow Republican Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Johnson “has not lived up to a single one” of the seven tenets he announced when he was elected speaker last October. Johnson’s tenure “is defined by one self-serving characteristic: When given a choice between advancing Republican priorities or allying with Democrats to preserve his own personal power, Johnson regularly chooses to ally himself with Democrats,” Greene said. The House leadership responded to Greene’s proposal with a motion to dismiss the resolution. The final vote was 359 in favor (196 Republicans and 163 Democrats) to 43 opposed, saving Johnson’s speakership.

Only 11 Republicans and 32 Democrats voted to support Greene’s resolution, indirectly proving Greene’s point that the speaker is aligned with the “uniparty” in Washington. Among the things Greene and Massie – who backed her proposal – blamed Johnson for was the expulsion of Congressman George Santos in December. His seat was taken over by a Democrat in a special election. Johnson counted on Democrats to pass the omnibus government funding bill in March and the $61 billion funding package for Ukraine in April; on both occasions, the majority of House Republicans voted against. “By passing the Democrats’ agenda and handcuffing Republicans’ ability to influence legislation, our elected Republican Speaker Mike Johnson has aided and abetted the Democrats and the Biden administration in destroying our country,” Greene added.

Bills that Johnson worked to pass funded all of President Joe Biden and the Democrats’ agenda, Greene argued, including the “deadly border invasion,” the “energy-killing Green New Deal climate agenda,” the “weaponized” FBI and the Department of Justice, the “trans agenda on kids,” continued full term abortions, and the “fueling of foreign forever wars.” Greene’s resolution called Johnson’s excuses for these actions “pathetic, weak, and unacceptable,” noting that even with a razor-thin majority in the House, the GOP still has the power of the purse. Johnson also trampled his previous record as a defender of civil liberties to vote against requiring a warrant for FISA spying on Americans, Greene said, and funded the Democrats’ “witch hunt” against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.

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They never expected the blowback.

Hapless President Biden Caught Between Unhappy Base, Unrepentant Israel (Sp.)

Six months out from November’s election, US President Joe Biden continues to flounder on a key foreign policy issue. “We’ve made clear our views about operations in Rafah that could potentially put more than a million innocent people at greater risk,” said White House spokesman John Kirby Monday. “[Biden] also made clear that we continue to believe that the hostage deal was the best way to avoid that sort of an outcome while securing the release of those hostages.” Days later, the IDF’s operation in the southern Gazan city of Rafah continues with no apparent progress on a deal to bring it to an end. The incident is characteristic of the White House’s relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, claimed analyst Hasan Unal, which leaves the US president with the impossible task of attempting to please both pro-Palestine elements in his party and Israel’s far-right leadership. The professor of political science and international relations at Bashkent University joined Sputnik’s Fault Lines program Wednesday to discuss these latest developments and their strategic and humanitarian implications.

“I think Israel would’ve wanted to see Hamas rejecting any deal on that,” said Unal after reports emerged the Palestinian group had accepted a proposal negotiated with the help of the US, Egypt and Qatar. “That would have cleared the way for Israel, particularly the Netanyahu government, to undertake that awful military operation in Rafah… It has certainly placed Israel in a very difficult corner in that sense. So Hamas has won the tactical game.” “That doesn’t mean that that is going to stop Israel,” he explained. “Don’t forget, the United States is the only country perhaps in the world that has so much leverage over Israel. On the one hand, yes, there is the Israeli lobby, which is very powerful in the United States. But at the same time the United States has enormous influence and leverage over Israel.”

Unal recounted the United States’ efforts to rein in Israel in the past, such as during 1956’s Suez Crisis in which the US, the Soviet Union, and international authorities ordered Israel to end its occupation of Egyptian territory in the Sinai Desert. The US again forced Israel into a compromise during the 1978 signing of the Camp David Accords and once again when former President Ronald Reagan ordered the country to end its bombing of Beirut in 1982. In 1991 US Secretary of State James Baker succeeded in delaying US loan guarantees to Israel until it agreed to pause illegal settlement building in Gaza and the West Bank. Baker and former President George H.W. Bush faced strident opposition for the move from AIPAC and other pro-Israel interests. Bush lost reelection the following year, and US leaders have shown little willingness to challenge Israel ever since.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

How we do
https://twitter.com/i/status/1787808759756341374

 

 

Sequoia

 

 

Big cat belly

 

 

Shark
https://twitter.com/i/status/1787935687821369683

 

 

Empires
https://twitter.com/i/status/1788209987740639713

 

 

Ghost
https://twitter.com/i/status/1787949929907851646

 

 

Pet shower

 

 

 

 

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Nov 222022
 
 November 22, 2022  Posted by at 9:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  51 Responses »


Salvador Dali Nymphs in a romantic garden 1921

 

Zelenskyy Urges West To Support Ukraine’s Accession To NATO, EU (Az.)
NATO Assembly Calls On Members To Declare Russia ‘Terrorist Regime’ (RT)
Peace Talks Would Require More Weapons For Ukraine – NATO chief (RT)
Ukraine Quietly Abolished Corruption Rule (RT)
Duma Speaker Calls for ‘Nazi’ Zelensky to Face War Crime Charges (Celente)
Associated Press Fires Journalist Who Claimed Russian Missiles Hit Poland (CTH)
EU Hoarding Russian Diesel Before Ban – Reuters (RT)
UK Bypassing Its Own Sanctions On Russian Oil – Sunday Times (RT)
EU Struggles To Seize Russian Assets – Politico (RT)
Ukrainian Attacks Risk ‘Nuclear Disaster’ – Rosatom (RT)
UN Responds To Russian Nuclear Request (RT)
The Solemn Stillness Before Winter (Jim Kunstler)
The Perils Facing Trump, Garland, and Smith in DC Legal Arms Race (Turley)
New Trump Special Prosecutor Overturned By Supreme Court (JTN)
The Non-Existent European Identity (Remix)

 

 


Daily Active Users

 

 

CBS coincidence
https://twitter.com/TheLastRefuge2/status/1594759852043157521

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balenciaga
https://twitter.com/i/status/1594869537144336384

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why doesn’t someone shut him down when he utters such nonsense? Vladimir Zel simply declared there’s no corruption, but the EU can’t afford to accept that kind of BS. Bringing in the most corrupt country in -at least- the western hemisphere would end the EU. And they all know Russia will never accept NATO on its doorstep. We’re just wasting time -and lives.

Zelenskyy Urges West To Support Ukraine’s Accession To NATO, EU (Az.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on the Western countries in a plenary meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly to support Ukraine’s applications for membership in the European Union and NATO, Report informs, citing Ukrinform. “All of you can see Ukraine’s significant contribution to the protection of our community. Everyone sees how important it is that we really united in defense after February 24. So, due to this, you also see that Ukraine should become a full member of the European Union and NATO. And I urge you to support our applications for membership in the EU and the Alliance,” Zelenskyy said in his speech at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly via video link.

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Why does NATO have a Parliamentary Assembly?

NATO Assembly Calls On Members To Declare Russia ‘Terrorist Regime’ (RT)

NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly has adopted a largely symbolic resolution calling on member nations to label Russia a “terrorist” state, claiming Moscow represents a “direct threat” to “Euro-Atlantic security” while demanding more military support to Kiev and an end to restrictions on the “forward deployment of NATO forces.” The non-binding declaration was passed by the NATO PA on Monday, with the body warning that “the Euro-Atlantic area is no longer at peace and that the global security environment has deteriorated rapidly” amid continued fighting in Eastern Europe, going on to denounce Russia’s military operation “in the strongest terms.”

The resolution made a series of requests to NATO members, asking them to “state clearly that the Russian state under the current regime is a terrorist one,” and to “increase military, intelligence, financial, training and humanitarian support to Ukraine,” including by “accelerating” arms shipments. The NATO bloc must “sustain this support for as long as it takes for Ukraine to prevail,” the resolution added, also asking that any existing restrictions on the “forward deployment” of Western forces along Russian borders be declared “null and void.” Washington alone has authorized nearly $20 billion in ‘lethal aid’ to Kiev since President Joe Biden took office in 2021, with much of that approved after Russia’s military operation kicked off in February.

NATO allies have acknowledged concerns that the arms flooding Ukraine’s chaotic battlefield have not been properly tracked, with the new resolution stressing the need to ensure the “traceability of the weapons delivered.” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky addressed lawmakers from NATO states in a video message before the latest resolution was passed, praising the alliance for its military aid and for helping his country to “defend [itself] in this war.” In addition to declaring Moscow a “terrorist” state and other symbolic measures, the Parliamentary Assembly said NATO countries should work to create an “international tribunal” to prosecute Russian officials for alleged war crimes and compel “full reparation of damage loss or injury” linked to the conflict.

The Parliamentary Assembly’s resolutions are not enforceable among NATO members and are intended to merely advise the alliance on pressing issues. The body has taken an increasingly harsh stance toward Moscow in recent months, with its newly elected president, French Senator Joelle Garriaud-Maylam, insisting on Monday that Russian leaders “must be judged as terrorists in front of international tribunals.” While Monday’s resolution was largely focused on Russia and the conflict in Ukraine, it took more than one detour to single out Beijing, urging the alliance to develop a “common allied response to the increasing assertiveness of China.” The document called for “constructive dialogue,” yet also went on to denounce Beijing’s alleged “systemic challenge to Euro-Atlantic security” and “attempts to subvert the rules-based international order.”

The NATO PA declaration came after a similar resolution was adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) last month. Russia left the European NGO in March, calling it a “convenient platform for NATO’s information and political campaigns.” While Kiev has repeatedly urged the collective West to declare Russia a “state sponsor of terror,” only a handful of countries – including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic – have heeded the call, and their actions have been limited to symbolic gestures. Those with the power to enforce anti-terror sanctions against other states, namely the US, have so far refused to take that step.

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“We need to realize that this war most likely will end at some stage at the negotiating table…” But that’s not what NATO wants. Or Raytheon.

Peace Talks Would Require More Weapons For Ukraine – NATO chief (RT)

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia will likely end in negotiations, which is why Kiev needs to be supplied with more weapons, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has claimed. “We all want this war to end,”Stoltenberg said in his speech at the 68th Annual Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Madrid on Monday, adding that it matters to the US-led military bloc how exactly the conflict concludes. “We need to realize that this war most likely will end at some stage at the negotiating table. But we must also know that the outcome of those negotiations totally depends on strength on the battlefield,” the NATO chief argued. “So, if we want an outcome, which is acceptable for Ukraine… the best way of achieving that is to provide military support for Ukraine,” he said.

NATO members “must be prepared to support Ukraine for the long haul,”Stoltenberg said, urging lawmakers to keep advocating for more aid for Kiev in their own countries. Stoltenberg acknowledged that this assistance “comes at a price” for NATO members. “In our countries, many face cost of living crisis. Energy and food bills are rising. These are tough times for many,” he pointed out. However, the NATO chief argued that Western countries will have to pay “a much harsher price” if Russia is allowed to achieve victory in Ukraine, as it would signal to other “authoritarian regimes” that they can achieve their goals by force, which would “make the world more dangerous.”

Stoltenberg also warned that “it would be a great mistake to underestimate Russia” because Moscow “retains significant military capabilities and a high number of troops.” High-ranking Russian officials have repeatedly said that Moscow is ready to negotiate a settlement with Ukraine, while accusing Kiev of being unwilling to talk, and deliberately putting forward unrealistic conditions for dialogue. Russia has described the conflict in Ukraine as a “proxy war” being waged against it by the US and NATO. Moscow has consistently criticized weapons deliveries to Ukraine by Western countries, saying they only prolong the fighting and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.

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“Ukraine had previously mandated lifetime financial monitoring of “politically exposed persons,” including government officials and lawmakers – until Zelensky signed an amendment last week limiting it to just three years.”

Ukraine Quietly Abolished Corruption Rule (RT)

President Vladimir Zelensky harmed Ukraine’s hopes of joining the EU by signing an amendment that reduced financial oversight of politicians, anti-corruption activists in Kiev said on Monday. The measure “practically kills” efforts to combat money-laundering, claimed the head of the Anti-Corruption Action Centre (AntAC). Ukraine had previously mandated lifetime financial monitoring of “politically exposed persons,” including government officials and lawmakers – until Zelensky signed an amendment last week limiting it to just three years. Officially, the law is supposed to “protect Ukraine’s financial system from Russia and Belarus,” but the AntAC says it will harm the country’s interests instead.

“With this law, politicians destroyed the system of financial monitoring of their loved ones, which means they actually blocked negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU,” AntAC head Vitaly Shabunin said on social media. The amended law “practically kills the system of preventing money-laundering by Ukrainian politicians,” he added. AntAC’s executive director Daria Kaleniuk pointed out that the law also breaks Kiev’s promise to the European Union, one of the seven commitments made by Zelensky to Brussels in June. “In order for us to be able to convince our European partners that we are serious about joining the EU and are implementing all the necessary reforms for this, we need to correct this,” she told Hromadske.

After signing the law on Thursday, Zelensky told the Bloomberg New Economy Forum – via video link – that he’d basically ended corruption in Ukraine. “No one will be able to forgive corruption in the future Ukraine,” he said, adding that all the corrupt officials had fled the country while those that remain will not be tempted to “interfere in business operations” because all government services had gone electronic. The old law provided for lifelong financial monitoring of the president, prime minister, ministers and their deputies, members of parliament, management of the national bank, senior security officials, key judges and prosecutors, as well as military commanders.

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The video is very clear, but of course they deny it. The claim is that the unarmed Russians fired first, and only then were executed. But executing unarmed soldiers is still as illegal as it comes.

Duma Speaker Calls for ‘Nazi’ Zelensky to Face War Crime Charges (Celente)

Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia’s lower house, called on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to face war crime charges over a video that claimed to show Ukrainian forces opening fire and killing a dozen Russian POWs. “Everyone has seen evidence of Ukrainian Nazis shooting our soldiers lying down, without weapons. This is how the Nazis behave,” Volodin said in a statement posted to Telegram, The Jerusalem Post reported. “The Kyiv regime deserves the most severe punishment for its atrocities.” Video purportedly shows Ukrainian troops executing a dozen captured Russian troops has faced some media scrutiny in the U.S., which would have been unheard of at the start of the war.


The New York Times reported that the video was first circulated by news outlets in Ukriane in an effort to “laud the military prowess” of the country’s military. The paper said the videos sparked a “fierce response” in Russia and Moscow has called for an investigation. The paper said the killings occurred in Makiivka, in the Luhansk region. “Countries cooperating with the Kyiv regime must understand that they support the Nazi state, sadists whose hands are up to the elbows in blood,” Volodin said. Russian President Putin’s critics say the Kremlin is loose with the Nazi designation and uses it to win support from the public against adversaries. In fact, in his 9 May Victory Day speech, Putin said that the purpose of the military action was to purge Ukraine of its “Nazi” nationalist leadership.

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Official retraction? Apologies?

Associated Press Fires Journalist Who Claimed Russian Missiles Hit Poland (CTH)

The Associated Press received a lot of international scorn for reporting incorrectly that Russia fired missiles into Poland. As soon as the AP attributed the missile attack to Russia almost immediately other media outlets began promoting calls for a NATO led war against Russia. Additionally, the G20 summit was taking place and various international leaders began discussing an article-5 convention against Russia. However, the single source of the AP report was wrong, a senior U.S. intelligence official, if there actually was a source. It was the Ukraine military who fired the missile into Poland, not Russia. The Daily Beast notes today that the Associated Press has fired James LaPorta, the journalist who made the claim of Russian origin.


(Via Daily Beast) – The Associated Press scared much of the world last Tuesday when it alerted readers that “a senior U.S. intelligence official” said “Russian missiles crossed into NATO member Poland, killing two people.” That report, which was widely cited across the internet and on cable news, was taken offline the following day and replaced with an editor’s note admitting the single source was wrong and that “subsequent reporting showed that the missiles were Russian-made and most likely fired by Ukraine in defense against a Russian attack.” On Monday, the AP fired James LaPorta, the investigative reporter responsible for that story, Confider has learned. The piece, which was originally co-bylined with John Leicester (who is still working at the AP), attributed the information to a single “senior U.S. intelligence official,” despite the AP’s rule that it “routinely seeks and requires more than one source when sourcing is anonymous.”

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“The EU will have to secure around 500,000 to 600,000 barrels per day of diesel to replace the Russian volumes..”

EU Hoarding Russian Diesel Before Ban – Reuters (RT)

European traders are boosting purchases of Russian diesel ahead of the EU embargo on the country’s oil products, which comes into force in February, Reuters reported on Monday, citing cargo tracker Vortexa. According to the report, Russian diesel shipments headed to the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) storage region surged to 215,000 barrels per day from November 1 to November 12. It is a 126% increase from October, according to Pamela Munger, Vortexa senior market analyst. Moreover, according to Refinitiv data, so far in November Russian diesel made up 44% of the bloc’s imports of the fuel, against 39% last month. This means that Russia remains the region’s largest diesel supplier, despite the fact that overall imports of Russian fuels to the EU dropped significantly over the past months due to Ukraine-related sanctions.


The EU embargo on Russian oil comes into force next month, while the ban on petroleum products will take effect on February 5. Analysts warn it will be difficult for the region to find alternative sources for diesel once this happens, as they are scarce and more costly, while Europe’s domestic diesel production falls short of the region’s consumption. “The EU will have to secure around 500,000 to 600,000 barrels per day of diesel to replace the Russian volumes; replacements will come from the US as well as east of Suez, primarily the Middle East and India,” Eugene Lindell, market analyst at energy consultancy FGE, told Reuters.

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“The UK has purchased at least 39 shipments of Russian oil since February, although the cargoes were registered as imports from other countries..”

UK Bypassing Its Own Sanctions On Russian Oil – Sunday Times (RT)

The UK has purchased at least 39 shipments of Russian oil since February, although the cargoes were registered as imports from other countries, the Sunday Times has reported, citing tanker traffic data and trade statistics. Russian-origin oil shipments, worth about £200 ($236) million, were reportedly delivered to UK ports after ship-to-ship transfers, a practice widely used when large tankers that are unable to dock due to their size transfer their cargo to smaller vessels. According to the Sunday Times’ findings, this practice gives the shipping companies a way to register their cargo without providing the actual origin of the shipments, stating instead the country of dispatch as the source of the cargo. In this way a shipment of Russian-made goods can be registered as originating in Germany if it is brought to a UK port by a German firm.

The news outlet was able to track dozens of shipments of Russian oil that have arrived at UK ports since March, logged as originating in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, France and other countries. At least 13 of those reportedly arrived in June and July. However, official figures on oil imports from the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the country did not receive any oil from Russia in those months. According to maritime experts, ship-to-ship transfers have become more popular since Western nations began targeting Russian oil exports this year, as part of sanctions over Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. “Ship-to-ship transfers have become a really useful method to obfuscate the destination and the origin of the cargo.

The Iranians started it, the Venezuelans perfected it, the Russians picked it up and ran with it,” Michelle Wiese Bockmann, energy and shipping analyst at the shipping journal Lloyd’s List, told the news outlet. According to Refinitiv, which monitors ship-to-ship transfers, there have been some 267 such transfers around the world involving Russian oil since March. A UK embargo on maritime Russian oil imports is scheduled to come into force on December 5. However, according to maritime experts, given the registration loophole and ship-to-ship transfer practices, it will be difficult for the UK to actually stop Russian oil from arriving in the country, even after that date.

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“Legal experts have expressed doubt it is possible to unilaterally confiscate another country’s assets under existing international law.”

EU Struggles To Seize Russian Assets – Politico (RT)

The European Commission is investigating how it might go about confiscating hundreds of billions of dollars in Russian state and private assets, according to a document seen by Politico on Monday. The initiative’s goal is reportedly “identifying ways to strengthen the tracing, identification, freezing and management of assets as preliminary steps for potential confiscation.” The bloc has its eyes on almost $300 billion in Russian central bank assets currently frozen, plus the assets of Russians on the sanctions list. The European Council last month reminded the Commission that it had been tasked with presenting “options in line with EU and international law” for using those frozen Russian funds “to support Ukraine’s reconstruction.” Legal experts have expressed doubt it is possible to unilaterally confiscate another country’s assets under existing international law.

With an eye toward changing that law, Brussels has proposed making sanctions evasion a crime in the EU, a decision which would require unanimous assent by member countries. However, even if that agreement was forthcoming, the bloc would have to litigate each individual seizure, proving a clear link between the owner of the assets in question and Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. Foreign investments are protected against confiscation without compensation under international law. In the document seen by Politico, the EC acknowledged that central bank assets were “generally considered to be covered by immunity.” While the seizing of the assets of state-owned enterprises would avoid violating such immunity “in principle,” the Commission noted that it would “need to demonstrate a sufficient connection to the Russian state” for every case.

Less invasive would be an “exit tax” targeting the assets of sanctioned individuals attempting to transfer their property out of the EU. However, University of Amsterdam professor Stephan Schill told Politico that those individuals could claim that, as a targeted group, their human right to non-discrimination had been violated, or invoke the human right to property. Under the current rules-based international order, the EC is unable to legally expropriate Russian property, according to Schill: “The EU and member states are trying to introduce new criminal law.” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen acknowledged as much in May, pointing out that confiscating Russian central bank assets was “not something that is legally permissible in the United States” or many other countries. Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltic states have nevertheless continued to push the EC to find a way to seize the frozen funds.

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Nobody’s talking about Russia doing the shelling anymore….

Ukrainian Attacks Risk ‘Nuclear Disaster’ – Rosatom (RT)

Renewed Ukrainian artillery attacks on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP) have created a risk of a nuclear disaster, Rosatom director-general Alexey Likhachev told reporters on Monday. Moscow has called on the International Atomic Energy Agency to name and shame the attacker so Kiev would stop bombing the facility. “We were in talks with the IAEA all night,” Likhachev told reporters during the Atomexpo-2022 in Sochi. After a “relatively calm” period since September, at least 30 projectiles struck the facility over the weekend, damaging the backup generators and the spent fuel storage facility, he added. Europe’s largest nuclear power plant has been under control of Russian troops since February 28.

While the reactor blocks are strong enough to withstand shelling, damaging the spent fuel containers risks a release of radioactive material into the atmosphere, with unpredictable consequences. The Ukrainian military has repeatedly targeted the facility with Western-supplied artillery, while claiming Russia was staging “false flag” incidents to make Kiev look bad. The Ukrainian general staff eventually admitted to striking the area around the ZNPP, however. The weekend attacks amounted to the first major incident since the IAEA established a permanent observation mission at the ZNPP in early September. On Sunday, IAEA Director-General Mariano Grossi called for an immediate end to the shelling, saying that the world “got lucky” that a “serious nuclear incident” did not happen this time. However, he once again did not name the culprit.

On Monday, both the Kremlin and the Foreign Ministry called on the IAEA to do its duty to the fullest and identify those responsible for the shelling. IAEA specialists completed their inspection of the facility on Monday afternoon and sent their report to headquarters, Likhachev’s top aid Renat Karchaa told Russia’s Channel 1 TV. “They were accompanied by a highly qualified ballistics specialist we provided, and once again it was convincingly shown that the origin of these artillery strikes was Marganets,” a city in the Ukrainian-held Dnepropetrovsk region, Karchaa said. Karchaa also told reporters that Rosatom was “taking steps” to fortify the spent fuel storage facility and other parts of the ZNPP, though he did not offer any details.

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…but the IAEA still claims they can’t figure out who’s doing the shelling, i.e. it could still be the Russians.

UN Responds To Russian Nuclear Request (RT)

The UN doesn’t have the capability to identify those behind the attacks on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP), a spokesman for the secretary-general said on Monday. Russia has called on the International Atomic Energy Agency to do its job properly and acknowledge that the shelling came from the Ukrainian side. Around 30 projectiles struck the ZNPP over the weekend, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The nuclear energy corporation Rosatom said the damage caused to the facility’s spent fuel storage came close to triggering a disaster. Moscow said it was clear the fire came from the Ukrainian-held town of Marganets, but the IAEA has avoided naming any names. “We have no way to determine” who carried out the attacks, Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, told reporters on Monday.

“We would like these attacks to stop,” Haq added, noting that the Secretariat “shares the concerns” of IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi and “joins him in calling on all parties to cease fire” around the ZNPP. Europe’s largest nuclear power plant has been under Russian control since February. Damage to the spent fuel containers risks a release of radioactive material into the atmosphere, with unpredictable consequences, Rosatom has warned. Both Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov and Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday that the IAEA should fully do its duty and name names. “As an authoritative and independent international body, [the IAEA] must finally move away from abstract condemnations and demands to stop the shelling of the ZNPP without addressing the culprit, and clearly and unambiguously point at those carrying out the attacks,” Zakharova said.

“This requires determination and responsibility. We really hope that they will be shown.” Zakharova also accused Western governments of giving a “blank check” to the government in Kiev for “continuing their reckless attempts to cause irreparable damage” to the ZNPP. This weekend’s attacks were the first major incident at the ZNPP since early September, when the IAEA stationed permanent observers at the site. According to Rosatom official Renat Karchaa, the IAEA inspectors surveyed the damage on Monday, accompanied by a Russian ballistics expert, and were able to see that the attack had come from the Ukrainian side. That report was transmitted to the IAEA headquarters.

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“By early 2023 the evidence of excess all-causes deaths and disabilities resulting from Pfizer and Moderna shots will be overwhelming..”

The Solemn Stillness Before Winter (Jim Kunstler)

Now Mr. Garland has activated one particular federal attorney, Jack Smith, with a long record as a partisan attack dog, as special counsel to finally get the job done against Mr. Trump, the proverbial indictment-worthy ham sandwich awaiting a DC District grand jury. Any cockamamie charge will do as long as it’s a felony. Mr. Garland’s strategy is two-fold: 1) to negate Mr. Trump’s remaining political career; and 2) set up a situation that will permit all DOJ attorneys and FBI officers to demur from questioning before Republican majority congressional committees about everything-under-the-sun on the grounds that the questions are germane to “ongoing investigations” that can’t be compromised. That’s the game.

By the time that game kicks-off, early January 2023, the country is liable to be punch-drunk and stumbling from a financial market crash that signals the start of an economic depression more consequential than the calamity of the 1930s. Meanwhile, Russia’s cleanup of the US-instigated mess in Ukraine will be nearly complete, to the ignominy of “Joe Biden,” at the same time that the putative president’s crimes of bribery and treason — should he still be among the living — get aired in Congress without any help required from Mr. Garland’s Justice Department — the evidence from Hunter’s laptop having already been well-perused and catalogued by an army of outside independent investigators. FTX will be in that mix somewhere.

This will all occur against the background of the now-unraveled Covid-19 story. By early 2023 the evidence of excess all-causes deaths and disabilities resulting from Pfizer and Moderna shots will be overwhelming and the nation will know it got played by a scheme between the corrupt public health authorities, the pharma companies, and the corporate medical establishment, including its discredited journals. Nobody in America will ever trust a doctor again. We’ll also probably know a good deal more about the dark and dirty deeds around the 2022 midterm election as the FTX scandal spools out and the probably hundreds of millions of FTX investor’s dollars that were express-delivered into Democratic Party coffers for ballot harvesting operations are revealed, along with the exact methods used to accomplish the mega-fraud.

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“There will be ample support for both sides to fulfill their respective narratives — and no shortage of legal weapons — in this political war of attrition.”

The Perils Facing Trump, Garland, and Smith in DC Legal Arms Race (Turley)

Smith faces the unenviable task of investigating a presidential candidate less than two years before the election. Given the advanced stage of prior investigations, he could bring charges before Sept. 5, 2024 (or roughly 60 days before the election under Justice Department guidelines for election year filings). It is unlikely, however, that a charge against Trump could be tried in that time. However, Smith’s first test will be to avoid the initial mistakes of a predecessor, Mueller. Like Smith, Mueller was considered a natural choice as special counsel, given his extensive experience as a career prosecutor. However, Mueller’s investigation was undermined by his selection of a team — starting with his top aide, Andrew Weissmann, a controversial prosecutor who was accused of political bias.

The investigation was further undermined by FBI personnel, including Special Agent Peter Strzok, who was later removed from the team and fired by the Justice Department; Strzok has since filed a wrongful termination lawsuit. Smith can avoid tripping a similar explosive wire by selecting a team that is defined by its prior professional expertise, not its prior political views or associations. He also needs to be wary of creative avenues to indict Trump. Smith was part of the prosecution team that convicted former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) on federal corruption charges in 2014. The Supreme Court unanimously overturned that conviction as having stretched the law beyond its breaking point. If Smith is going to be the first prosecutor to indict a former president, he needs to do so with unimpeachable evidence of an unchallengeable crime.

Only one thing is certain in any of this: It will not end well. With both sides loading up staff and subpoenas, the start of the 2024 campaign season has all of the makings of an utter bloodletting. There will be ample support for both sides to fulfill their respective narratives — and no shortage of legal weapons — in this political war of attrition.

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Talk about a swamp…

New Trump Special Prosecutor Overturned By Supreme Court (JTN)

The special counsel named by the Biden administration to investigate Donald Trump oversaw a Justice Department unit rebuked by the Supreme Court for its prosecution of a prominent Republican and was linked by Congress to the IRS scandal that targeted conservative groups. Jack Smith, a war crimes prosecutor in The Hague and former chief of the DOJ public integrity section, was named Friday by Attorney General Merrick Garland to take over two investigations of Trump related to Jan. 6 and classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago. In 2014, the House Oversight Committee concluded that during Smith’s earlier stint at DOJ he set up a critical meeting between his department and IRS official Lois Lerner that set in motion the targeting of conservative nonprofits that became one of the signature scandals of the Obama administration.

The Oversight Committee obtained testimony from a DOJ official named Richard Pilger in 2014 that showed Smith set up a meeting with Lerner to discuss more aggressive enforcement of regulations prohibiting tax-exempt groups from engaging in politics in the aftermath of the landmark Citizens United free speech Supreme Court case. “According to Mr. Pilger, the Justice Department convened a meeting with former IRS official Lois Lerner in October 2010 to discuss how the IRS could assist in the criminal enforcement of campaign-finance laws against politically active nonprofits,” the committee wrote in a 2014 letter to DOJ. “This meeting was arranged at the direction of Public Integrity Section Chief Jack Smith.”

The letter concluded: “It is apparent that the Department’s leadership, including Public Integrity Section Chief Jack Smith, was closely involved in engaging with the IRS in wake of Citizens United and political pressure from prominent Democrats to address perceived problems with the decision.” The letter, which sought a transcribed interview with Smith, was signed by then Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who is now in line to become House Judiciary Committee chairman when the GOP takes over the House in January. The Treasury Department Inspector General ultimately concluded that the ensuing IRS pursuit of conservative nonprofits was inappropriate. “The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention,” the report concluded.

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It can only hold in times of plenty and peace.

“What did Ursula von der Leyen say about Italy? If Italy elects the wrong parties during parliamentary elections, the EU “has tools” to coerce them, as in the case of Poland and Hungary.”

The Non-Existent European Identity (Remix)

A top-down approach to forcibly create a common identity has never worked, and it never will. Despite the spasmodic efforts of the leftist media dictatorship, its dominance has up until now failed to force the public opinion of European countries into believing the old continent is united. Few in the West dare to contradict this, while the opinions of the East are ignored. This pretentious outlook — detached from the reality of the world — is presented to Europeans on a daily basis, but it instead serves as clear proof that those who are pushing the cause the most aggessively do not themselves believe in the thesis they claim is their own. What did Ursula von der Leyen say about Italy? If Italy elects the wrong parties during parliamentary elections, the EU “has tools” to coerce them, as in the case of Poland and Hungary.

This is what European unity looks like per the left-liberal authoritarian concept. We have heard many and varied answers to the question of why, but very few have tackled the question regarding the lack of European identity. Brussels, the left-liberal media, and the NGO networks that dictate EU policy are not the only ones who have tried and failed to forge a common European identity. Notably, Tito tried to forge a unified southern Slavic nation-state out of the diverse Yugoslavia, and his one-party dictatorship did its best to stifle dissent. The party leader, born a Croatian-Slovenian, even divorced his Serbian wife when she warned him that greater autonomy for the member republics — which Tito believed would quell the nationalist fervor that was smoldering everywhere — would tear Yugoslavia apart. The Serbian woman was right because Tito’s measures had inflamed rather than quelled nationalist sentiment.

The powerful leader forgot one thing. There was no real substance behind the party and state propaganda, which constantly talked about a united Yugoslavia. Indeed, Yugoslav identity had not emerged in the seven decades of the South Slav state. How did the philosopher John Lukacs put it? The most powerful builder of identity for people is belonging to a nation, and ignoring such basic truths in politics has fatal consequences. At the last census of Yugoslavia, only 20,000 people identified themselves as Yugoslavs. For a country of 23 million people, this is an extremely low number and would have a negligible social impact.

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Arizona voting

 

 

 

 

Peacock
https://twitter.com/i/status/1594925565781643265

 

 

Family Walk
https://twitter.com/i/status/1594652358658736131

 

 

 

 

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