Jan 082024
 


Salvator Rosa Lucrezia as poetry 1640-41

 

The Defeat of the West (Sp.)
US Lawmakers Sideline Ukraine To Reach Budget Deal (RT)
Without Congress Funds Biden Must ‘Freeze’ Ukraine Conflict – Think Tank (Sp.)
Zelensky Wants West ‘To Teach’ Russia (RT)
Israel Would Not Win War With Hezbollah – US Officials (RT)
Iran Faces ‘All-Out Battle With the Enemy’ Says Military Chief (Sp.)
Joe Biden Is No George Washington, And Valley Forge Proved It (Turley)
Mayorkas Impeachment Center Stage In House Homeland Security Committee (JTN)
California To Provide Free Sex Changes For Illegal Immigrants (RT)
New York Prosecutor’s Office Seeks $370m From Trump After Fraud Trial (RT)
Secret Service Records Undercut Another Key J6 Committee Narrative (JTN)
Bill Barr: DOJ Went ‘Too Far’ In Prosecuting Jan. 6 Capitol Riot Cases (JTN)
Family of Ashli Babbitt Files $30 Million Wrongful Death Action (Turley)

 

 

 

 

Trump Biden

 

 

Dementia Hitler
https://twitter.com/i/status/1744026045722865999

 

 

 

 

Horse paste

 

 

 

 

“Americans have preferred to destroy Europe rather than save the West.”

The Defeat of the West (Sp.)

A renowned French historian and sociologist better known for predicting the Soviet Union’s dissolution well in advance now foretells the West’s overthrow in his newest book. French historian Emmanuel Todd believes that NATO is already losing the Ukrainian conflict. He likewise concluded that the defeat would eventually culminate in Russia’s reconciliation with Europe and its rapprochement with Germany, contrary to the wishes of the United States. This view was expressed to Le Point Magazine during an interview ahead the release of his new book La Defaite de L’Occident (The Defeat of the West). In the book, he denounces the Western attitude toward Russia, stating that “Avoiding the rapprochement between Germany and Russia was one of the US goals. This rapprochement would have signed the ejection of the United States from the European system of power. Americans have preferred to destroy Europe rather than save the West.”

Todd’s La Defaite de L’Occident excerpt highlights America’s waning status as a global superpower and its weak military-industrial complex. The French historian also underlined the diminished influence of Europe, once represented by a strong partnership between France and Germany, highlighting that Germany has taken a dominant role since the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Furthermore, he pointed out that in the wake of the Ukrainian conflict, the European Union has distanced itself from Russia, therefore hurting its own trade and energy interests. “We also saw Emmanuel Macron’s France vaporize on the international stage, while Poland became Washington’s main agent in the European Union, succeeding in the role of the United Kingdom that became outside the Union by the grace of Brexit…

On the mainland, overall, the Paris-Berlin axis replaced a London-Warsaw-Kiev axis piloted from Washington,” Todd opined. Todd decried the dominant narrative in the West about the conflict in Ukraine: “We are in a completely Putinophobic and Russophobic world.” He went on to argue for a pluralistic view that recognizes different perspectives. “I am fighting to keep the West pluralistic. If we look for my values, they are values of truth and pluralism,” he remarked. Addressing the question of how this year’s US election might alter the trajectory of the Ukrainian conflict, the expert highlighted Russia’s steadfast commitment to its existing course. “For the Russians, it makes no difference. For Russia is at war with America, and they ignore changes in rulers,” according to Todd.

Read more …

$1.6 trillion.

US Lawmakers Sideline Ukraine To Reach Budget Deal (RT)

Republican and Democrat leaders have reached an agreement on US government spending for 2024, sidelining negotiations to secure additional resources for Israel and Ukraine, as well as money for border control. The deal comes as lawmakers are set to return from a break this week, ahead of a two-tiered federal funding deadline. The agreement follows defense and domestic spending caps set by Congress as part of a bill to suspend the US debt ceiling until 2025. It “clears the way for Congress to act over the next few weeks in order to maintain important funding priorities for the American people and avoid a government shutdown,” Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement with top House Democrat Hakeem Jeffries on Sunday.

The first set of allocated federal finances are set to expire January 19, the second on February 2, without which the US government would be forced to shut down. Overall, the deal provides for $886 billion in defense funding, and $772 billion in domestic, non-defense spending. In a letter to Republican colleagues, House Speaker Mike Johnson said the deal would secure $16 billion in additional spending cuts compared to the previous agreement negotiated by then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden, and is around $30 billion less than what the Senate was weighing. “This represents the most favorable budget agreement Republicans have achieved in over a decade,” Johnson claimed.

Biden thanked the lawmakers for cooperating in reaching a consensus in a statement published on Sunday, but added that he expects them to work harder to unlock billions in military aid to Israel and Ukraine. “Now, congressional Republicans must do their job, stop threatening to shut down the government, and fulfill their basic responsibility to fund critical domestic and national security priorities, including my supplemental request,” he said. In October 2023, the White House released a sweeping set of proposals to support Israel and Ukraine in their respective military conflicts, among other things. The total cost of the supplemental funding request was over $100 billion, of which just over $60 billion was slated for Kiev. House Republicans have blocked iterations of this supplemental budget numerous times, on the grounds that US border security should take precedence over aid to Ukraine.

Read more …

He can’t freeze it. Only Russia can.

Without Congress Funds Biden Must ‘Freeze’ Ukraine Conflict – Think Tank (Sp.)

There is no way to help Ukraine aside from Congress approving a new package, Team Biden signaled on Friday. The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft does not rule out the possibility that US congressmen will refuse provide Joe Biden with requested aid in the near term. US aid funds for Ukraine officially ran out this week, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told the press on January 3. “We have given now Ukraine the last security assistance package that we have funds to support right before New Year’s, right after Christmas. And we’ve got to get support from Congress so we can continue to do that,” Kirby said. Shalanda Young, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, warned on Friday that Ukraine is running out of time and needs legislators to react urgently. Although the US Department of Defense still has some limited ability to help the Kiev regime, “that is not going to get big tranches of equipment into Ukraine,” Young stressed.

The Ukrainian leadership admitted on Wednesday that they have no “plan B” if US funding runs out despite previous speculations by economist Oleg Ustenko, an advisor to Volodymyr Zelensky. Meanwhile, House Speaker Mike Johnson has demanded illegal immigration issues be solved before approving new aid packages for Ukraine. On January 3, Johnson together with 60 fellow Republican lawmakers visited the Mexican border to push for stronger measures. “If President Biden wants a supplemental spending bill focused on national security, it better begin with defending America’s national security. We want to get the border closed and secured first,” Johnson underlined.According to the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, “it is no great exaggeration to say that what happens on Capitol Hill over the next few weeks could decisively shape the next phase” of the Ukrainian conflict.

The DC think tank suggests that the Senate “has never been the real obstacle” to passing the Ukrainian package, while the House remains the major battleground in this internal game of funds. Johnson wants H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act, which was passed by the lower chamber last May, to be signed into law. One shouldn’t underestimate the House speaker’s determination as he has made it clear that he’s going to risk a government shutdown to pass the bill. H.R. 2 would obligate all employers to verify, under penalty of prison, that all their workers were documented. It would make it far harder for immigrants to claim asylum, and also require the federal government to build at least a 900 mile-wall along the US’s roughly 2000-mile border with Mexico. The bill would also require the Department of Homeland Security to re-establish migrant family detention and fast-track deportations of unaccompanied minors. But with much of the Democrat voter base in favor of liberal immigration laws, the government faction in Congress may block the legislation. “The main takeaway is clear: Congress may well fail to pass new funding for Ukraine aid this year,” believes the DC-based think tank.

Read more …

“To fight successfully, to reclaim what is yours… ”

Zelensky Wants West ‘To Teach’ Russia (RT)

Ukraine can continue to resist Russia only if Western countries show solidarity on numerous fronts while intensifying joint arms production programs, President Vladimir Zelensky has said. Speaking via video link at the annual Society and Defense conference held in Sweden on Sunday, Zelensky claimed that Russia, which he described as “a much larger enemy… in terms of military strength,” was using “the potential that has… amassed over the lifetimes of several generations” against both Ukraine and Europe. The president said Moscow’s attacks on Ukraine, and what he described as its “hybrid” activities against the West, could be foiled only via cooperation on numerous fronts. “To fight successfully, to reclaim what is yours… and to teach the aggressor that aggression brings no benefits, is only possible if defense gets strength from solidarity,” Zelensky stated.

In this vein, he urged his European partners to “create an arsenal for the defense of freedom” by intensifying joint weapons production. “Regardless of which political moods will dominate on both sides of the Atlantic, our strength can and should be sufficient to protect our way of life,” he added. Zelensky’s comments come after Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba admitted last month that Kiev was aware of acute concerns in the West regarding Ukraine’s prospects in the conflict, as well as growing “war fatigue” following the country’s botched counteroffensive. In early November, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni acknowledged in a phone call with a pair of Russian pranksters that EU nations were getting tired of the conflict and that it would eventually have to be resolved through some kind of a compromise.

Meanwhile, the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell warned in December that the parliamentary election in the bloc scheduled for later this year could result in right-wing politicians – many of whom have been skeptical about sending arms to Ukraine – gaining more clout. On the other side of the Atlantic, US President Joe Biden has vowed to support Ukraine “as long as it takes,” but his efforts have been hampered by congressional gridlock. Republicans continue to block the White House’s supplemental funding request, which includes more than $60 billion for Ukraine, demanding that the administration do more to enhance border security. Russia has repeatedly warned the West against sending weapons to Ukraine, arguing it will only prolong the conflict and make it a direct participant in the hostilities.

Read more …

“..American officials have privately warned him against opening a second front, the Washington Post reported.”

Israel Would Not Win War With Hezbollah – US Officials (RT)

A secret assessment from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in Washington has found that Israeli forces would find it “difficult to succeed” in a two-front war against Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Washington Post reported on Sunday. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have engaged in tit-for-tat exchanges of fire with Hezbollah militants since the start of the war with Hamas in October. Initially limited in scale, Hezbollah’s pounding of an Israeli intelligence base with missiles on Saturday in response to Israel assassinating a senior Hamas leader in Beirut several days earlier, has marked a significant escalation. While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to make a “fundamental change” to the security situation along the Lebanese border, American officials have privately warned him against opening a second front, the Washington Post reported.

“If it were to do so, a new secret assessment from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) found that it will be difficult for Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to succeed because its military assets and resources would be spread too thin given the conflict in Gaza,” citing two anonymous officials and a classified report by the DIA. Israel’s military is relatively small in peacetime, relying on reservists to swell its ranks in times of conflict. The IDF called up around 360,000 reservists when the war with Hamas began, although a senior Israeli official told Reuters last week that an undisclosed number would soon be released from duty.

Amid this drawdown, Hezbollah has been open about its role in the conflict. The group’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, claimed in November that his forces had tied up around a third of Israel’s troops along the Israel-Lebanon border, preventing them from being deployed to Gaza. He added that Hezbollah’s continued skirmishes with the IDF were causing “a state of anxiety, anticipation, panic, and fear among the enemy’s political and military leadership.” Multiple US officials told the Washington Post that they fear Netanyahu may attack Hezbollah in order to save his political career. The Israeli leader faced widespread protests before the start of the war, and was criticized afterwards for failing to pre-empt Hamas’ October 7 assault, which left around 1,200 Israelis dead.

“A full-scale conflict between Israel and Lebanon would surpass the bloodshed of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war on account of Hezbollah’s substantially larger arsenal of long-range and precision weaponry,” the paper stated, citing officials who also warned that the militant group could launch missile attacks on Israeli petrochemical plants and nuclear reactors. Washington also fears that such a conflict could draw in Iran – Hezbollah’s principal backer – and eventually the US, the paper’s sources said. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Jordan on Sunday, ahead of visits to Israel, the West Bank, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. “We have an intense focus on preventing this conflict from spreading,” he said, before meeting Jordanian King Abdullah II and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi.

Read more …

“..We need to defend our national interests to wherever they extend..”

Iran Faces ‘All-Out Battle With the Enemy’ Says Military Chief (Sp.)

The commander-in-chief of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) sounded a note of defiance in a speech Saturday, warning enemy countries to “stay away from this area.” “Today we are facing an all-out battle with the enemy,” said Major General Hossein Salami in a ceremony marking the debut of a new ship and missile launchers. The remark comes as war threatens to break out in the Red Sea, where Houthi militants in Yemen have been attacking ships associated with Israel in retribution for the country’s incursion in Gaza. The death toll recently reached 22,438 in the besieged enclave according to local authorities. “We need to defend our national interests to wherever they extend,” said the general in the speech carried on Iranian television.

“It will be harmful for the enemy to be found near and at a half distant.” He added that Iran’s navy had made a “brilliant leap in its offensive and defensive powers.” The United States recently announced a coalition of countries would work together to counter the Houthis’ attacks, but the Biden administration has had difficulty securing substantial commitments. Spain was originally believed to be part of the coalition, but its defense minister clarified it would only act along with NATO or the EU. France insisted its ships would only operate under its own command. Meanwhile several shipping countries have begun taking longer routes around Africa in order to avoid the area.

Iran sent a warship to the Red Sea earlier this month to protect its own commercial interests there. Some analysts have suggested Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu desires a broader war between the United States and Israel’s arch-enemy Iran. Netanyahu frequently employs threatening rhetoric against the country. The Israeli president recently announced military operations would continue in Gaza for several more months, but international condemnation of the country’s conduct there is mounting. Recently South Africa filed charges against Israel in the International Court of Justice, accusing the country of authoring genocide. Israel is expected to answer the charges next week in The Hague.

Read more …

“In this election, voters can choose anyone they want, as long as it is Biden.”

Joe Biden Is No George Washington, And Valley Forge Proved It (Turley)

“This is like something out of a fairy tale, a bad fairy tale.” That line, from the speech of President Joe Biden at Valley Forge this week, may have been the most accurate observation in the entire address kicking off Biden’s 2024 campaign. The speech was a masterpiece of contradiction. Biden started by denouncing how Donald Trump’s campaign is only “about him” and “obsessed with the past.” He then spent virtually all of the speech obsessing about Trump and Jan. 6, 2021. It was an early indication of the Orwellian character of the speech. Facing the lowest polling numbers of any modern president, Biden attempted a constructive substitution. “Democracy is on the ballot,” he said. So voters do not have to vote for him. When they see Biden, they should just read “democracy.”

That will require more than an act of substitution in the voting booth. It would require an act of willful blindness. Biden spoke of how Democrats are fighting to protect the “right to vote.” Democratic activists and officials across the country are seeking to remove Trump from the ballot even though he is the most popular choice for the presidency right now. In fact, dozens of Democratic officials have sought to remove 126 Republicans from Congress on the same basis. Even as Biden was telling citizens to vote Democrat to preserve democracy, a Democratic activist was seeking to remove a GOP congressman from the ballot in a nearby Pennsylvania district. Biden’s speech would be more credible if he had joined principled Democratic politicians who have denounced this nationwide effort. As usual, he has remained silent as he did on court packing in the last election.

It would also have been a tad more convincing if his party were not preventing citizens from voting for anyone other than Biden in the primary. Florida called its Democratic primary for Biden and blocked opposing candidates, despite two-thirds of Democrats wanting an alternative to Biden. Faced with such polling numbers, the party establishment is so committed to democracy that it has decided voters cannot be trusted with a choice. North Carolina’s Democrats became the latest to bar anyone but Biden from the ballot. Democratic officials are approaching democracy the way Henry Ford responded to calls for different color choices for the Model T. He pledged to provide “any color the customer wants, as long as it’s black.” In this election, voters can choose anyone they want, as long as it is Biden.

For millions of voters, democracy may be on the ballot but it is aspirational. If you vote for Biden, you might just get democracy back, but only after the election. Even more galling was Biden’s claim to be the defender of free speech. As I have previously written, Biden has been the most anti-free speech president since John Adams. His administration has been unrelenting in pushing for censorship and blacklisting of those with opposing views.The Biden censorship efforts have been described by one federal court as unprecedented in our history and a virtual “Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth.’” The Biden Administration has called for the censorship of even true statements that it deems misleading. For Biden to run on free speech is about as convincing as Bill Clinton running on abstinence.

Read more …

“The majority are single, military age men.”

Mayorkas Impeachment Center Stage In House Homeland Security Committee (JTN)

The House Homeland Security Committee will be holding a hearing this week as part of its chairman’s stated plan to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Chairman Mark E. Green, R-Tenn., said the Wednesday hearing will be held to evaluate the impacts on the country of” Mayorkas’ “failed leadership and refusal to enforce the laws passed by Congress.” The hearing is the first of three the committee has scheduled this month, Green said last month as the committee released its fifth report evaluating Mayorkas’ policies. The committee majority released five reports as part of its nearly year-long investigation into “the causes, costs, and consequences of the crisis at the Southwest border and how the reckless decision-making and legally dubious policies of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and President Joe Biden have precipitated the worst border crisis in American history.”

The first report details the laws and court orders the committee says Mayorkas “ignored, abused or failed to follow.” The second report details how Mexican cartels “have seized unprecedented control at the Southwest border to smuggle illegal aliens, criminals, suspected terrorists, and deadly fentanyl and other drugs into the United States.” The third report detailed how transnational gangs are working with cartel operatives to oversee a massive human smuggling operation; the fourth estimated border crisis costs to U.S. taxpayers of over $451 billion. The fifth report details “consistent misuse and abuse of taxpayer resources enabled by Mayorkas, specifically through his failure to detain illegal aliens and use Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention resources in accordance with their intended purpose.” It also addresses the costs of halting construction of the border wall already paid for by taxpayers.

The committee also released 65 pages of transcripts of interviews with multiple Border Patrol chiefs. The chiefs told committee members “illegal aliens spread the word the border is open” and that the policy of pulling Border Patrol agents from the field has had “detrimental consequences and the homeland isn’t safe.” Agents in California and Arizona also described the consequences of these policies on CBP sectors in their states, including closing checkpoints at ports of entry and in the field with no boots on the ground to interdict criminals, and expressing concerns about the record number of gotaways entering the country posing national security risks. “Gotaways” is the official CBP term to describe foreign nationals who illegally enter the U.S. between ports of entry, avoid capture and don’t return to Mexico or Canada.

Gotaways don’t file asylum or other immigration-related claims; intentionally illegally entering to avoid being caught. Many have criminal records and often run when they are pursued by Border Patrol agents or others in law enforcement, authorities have explained to The Center Square. The majority are single, military age men.

Read more …

New American priorities.

California To Provide Free Sex Changes For Illegal Immigrants (RT)

As of last week, California’s taxpayer-funded healthcare system now covers sex changes for illegal immigrants, thanks to legislation recently signed by Governor Gavin Newsom. The cost of the program is expected to top $3 billion. California became the first state in the US to provide health insurance to all adults regardless of immigration status on January 1, when legislation signed by Newsom last summer came into effect. Approximately 700,000 illegal immigrants will now have their healthcare covered by the state’s taxpayer-funded Medi-Cal insurance system, according to a press release from State Senator Maria Elena Durazo in May. Among the procedures covered by Medi-Cal are hormone therapy and gender transition surgery, according to a report this week by the Daily Caller, a conservative news outlet.

“Gender affirming care is a covered Medi-Cal benefit when medically necessary,” a 2022 state memo cited by the outlet states. “Requests for gender affirming care should be from specialists experienced in providing culturally competent care to transgender and gender diverse individuals and should use nationally recognized guidelines.”According to the Transgender Law Center, Medi-Cal should cover “hormone treatment, gender reassignment surgery, and other necessary procedures.”Newsom’s expansion of the Medi-Cal program will cost California taxpayers an estimated $3.1 billion, according to an Associated Press report from last year. Republican lawmakers criticized the expansion even before it emerged that it would cover transgender surgery, but their criticism turned to ridicule in recent days. “California is now paying for illegal aliens to get sex changes,” Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Friday. “There’s no punchline to this tweet. California is the punchline.”

Newsom has defended the decision to add 700,000 more patients to the program. “In California, we believe everyone deserves access to quality, affordable health care coverage – regardless of income or immigration status,” his office told ABC News. “Through this expansion, we’re making sure families and communities across California are healthier, stronger, and able to get the care they need when they need it.”Some 300,000 illegal immigrants were caught entering the US from Mexico in December 2023, the highest number on record for a single month. Under President Joe Biden’s controversial ‘Catch and Release’ policy, almost all of these migrants are released into the US with orders to show up at court hearings at a later date. Amid a backlog of more than two million cases, the average wait time for such a hearing stood at 762 days as of last January.

Read more …

“..the attorney general has woefully failed to prove her case and is not entitled to any of the relief,” including any financial penalty.”

New York Prosecutor’s Office Seeks $370m From Trump After Fraud Trial (RT)

The New York attorney general on Friday asked the judge who had overseen the civil fraud trial of Donald J. Trump to penalize the former president about $370 million, saying the trial had demonstrated that he had gained that amount through unlawful conduct, Report informs, citing The New York Times. The sum was well over the $250 million that the attorney general, Letitia James, had estimated in the fall of 2022, when she sued Mr. Trump, accusing him of inflating his net worth to obtain favorable treatment from banks and insurers. The trial began in October and proceedings ended last month, but Mr. Trump’s fate is not yet settled. The attorney general’s penalty request came in a post-trial brief filed on Friday. Mr. Trump’s lawyers, in one of their own filings, wrote that “the attorney general has woefully failed to prove her case and is not entitled to any of the relief,” including any financial penalty. In a statement, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, Christopher M. Kise, called the amount “unconscionable, unsupported by the evidence, untethered from reality and unconstitutionally excessive.”

Read more …

“All presidential trips are highly scripted because of the need for security. The Secret Service places assets at all locations where a president may go.”

Secret Service Records Undercut Another Key J6 Committee Narrative (JTN)

It has become one of the enduring messages of the House Democrats’ final report on the Jan. 6 riot: Donald Trump had a plan and an intention to go directly to the U.S. Capitol to join those disrupting the certification of the 2020 election results. “The Committee’s principal concern was that the President actually intended to participate personally in the January 6th efforts at the Capitol, leading the attempt to overturn the election either from inside the House Chamber, from a stage outside the Capitol, or otherwise,” the committee wrote in its final report on December 2022. “The Committee regarded those facts as important because they are relevant to President Trump’s intent on January 6th. There is no question from all the evidence assembled that President Trump did have that intent,” it added.

Lawmakers, pundits and journalists have all echoed that line in the months before and after the report’s release. “I imagine that he thought that he would enter like Mussolini being carried on the shoulders of his supporters and enter the Capitol,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said, comparing Trump to Italy’s fascist leader during World War II. In his speech at Valley Forge on Friday reviving his argument that Trump and MAGA supporters pose a threat to democracy, President Joe Biden pointedly avoided making the claim. In fact, he took the opposite tact and suggested a cowardly Trump declined to join his supporters storming the Capitol. “He promised he would right them — right them. Everything they did, he would be side by side with them. Then, as usual, he left the dirty work to others. He retreated to the White House,” Biden said.

Such conflicting portrayals may be confusing to voters. That confusion is also rooted in an undisputed fact: Trump never actually went to the Capitol after his speech on the Ellipse. The House Democrats claims are based on two pieces of testimony. Some Trump aides recalled to the committee the 45th president mentioning in a meeting on Jan, 4, 2021, that he might want to go to the Capitol. And then former aide Cassidy Hutchinson claimed in a disputed account based on hearsay that on the way back from his speech Trump lunged at the driver of the presidential limo to commandeer it and take it to the Capitol. The Secret Service and Trump deny that happened, and no evidence has emerged to validate Hutchinson’s claim.

That did not stop the account from making its way into mainstream media. The Democratic Party’s narrative is further undercut by internal Secret Service documents reviewed by Just the News, which show there was no plan heading into the Jan. 6 event to take Trump to the Capitol. All presidential trips are highly scripted because of the need for security. The Secret Service places assets at all locations where a president may go. That did not happen at the Capitol, according to the Secret Service records reviewed by Just the News, suggesting Trump’s alleged statements to the presidential aides two days earlier did not result in a change of plan.

Read more …

“..have been hounding people that really, you know, just walked into open doors in the Capitol and hung around..”

Bill Barr: DOJ Went ‘Too Far’ In Prosecuting Jan. 6 Capitol Riot Cases (JTN)

Former Attorney General Bill Barr said that the Justice Department went “too far” in charging more than 1,200 people in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, including those he said simply walked around the building but did not assault anyone. “Like everything else the left does, they did, I think, go too far,” Barr said Saturday, the third anniversary of the Jan. 6 riot, in an interview on Fox News. Some people, such as those who assaulted police officers and literally broke into the Capitol, should be prosecuted for Jan. 6, Barr said. “But I think they cast their net far too broadly and have been hounding people that really, you know, just walked into open doors in the Capitol and hung around,” he also said. “I think they just took it too far.”

Barr said that he does not want to “minimize” the events of Jan. 6, but he thinks it was a “shameful episode” rather than an insurrection. The Justice Department said last week that more than 1,265 defendants have been charged in connection to the riot in nearly all 50 states. More than 90% of the defendants, or about 1,186 of them, were charged with entering or remaining in a restricted federal building or grounds.

Read more …

“Under these standards, police officers should not shoot unarmed suspects or rioters without a clear threat to themselves or fellow officers.”

Family of Ashli Babbitt Files $30 Million Wrongful Death Action (Turley)

The long-awaited tort action from the family of Ashli Babbitt has now been filed in Southern California. Babbitt was shot and killed on Jan. 6th and her family is seeking $30 million in a wrongful death. Equally important, the lawsuit could force additional answers to why Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd shot and killed the unarmed protester as she attempted to climb through a window near the House Chamber. I have previously raised concerns over the shooting as conflicting with governing standards on the use of lethal force despite the Capitol police. I also noted contradictions Byrd’s own statements and the government’s conclusion that this was a justified killing. The complaint below adds some troubling facts to these prior concerns. Babbitt, 35, was an Air Force veteran and Trump supporter who participated in the riot three years ago. She was clearly committing criminal acts of trespass, property damage, and other offenses. However, the question is whether an officer is justified in shooting a protester when he admits that he did not see any weapon before discharging his weapon.

Just to recap what we previously discussed in the earlier column: When protesters rushed to the House chamber, police barricaded the chamber’s doors; Capitol Police were on both sides, with officers standing directly behind Babbitt. Babbitt and others began to force their way through, and Babbitt started to climb through a broken window. That is when Byrd killed her. At the time, some of us familiar with the rules governing police use of force raised concerns over the shooting. Those concerns were heightened by the DOJ’s bizarre review and report, which stated the governing standards but then seemed to brush them aside to clear Byrd. The DOJ report did not read like any post-shooting review I have read as a criminal defense attorney or law professor. The DOJ statement notably does not say that the shooting was clearly justified. Instead, it stressed that “prosecutors would have to prove not only that the officer used force that was constitutionally unreasonable, but that the officer did so ‘willfully.’”

It seemed simply to shrug and say that the DOJ did not believe it could prove “a bad purpose to disregard the law” and that “evidence that an officer acted out of fear, mistake, panic, misperception, negligence, or even poor judgment cannot establish the high level of intent.” While the Supreme Court, in cases such as Graham v. Connor, has said that courts must consider “the facts and circumstances of each particular case,” it has emphasized that lethal force must be used only against someone who is “an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others, and … is actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight.” Particularly with armed assailants, the standard governing “imminent harm” recognizes that these decisions must often be made in the most chaotic and brief encounters. Under these standards, police officers should not shoot unarmed suspects or rioters without a clear threat to themselves or fellow officers. That even applies to armed suspects who fail to obey orders.

Indeed, Huntsville police officer William “Ben” Darby was convicted for killing a suicidal man holding a gun to his own head. Despite being cleared by a police review board, Darby was prosecuted, found guilty and sentenced to 25 years in prison, even though Darby said he feared for the safety of himself and fellow officers. Yet law professors and experts who have praised such prosecutions in the past have been conspicuously silent over the shooting of an unarmed woman who had officers in front of and behind her on Jan. 6. Byrd went public soon after the Capitol Police declared “no further action will be taken” in the case. He proceeded to demolish the two official reviews that cleared him. Byrd described how he was “trapped” with other officers as “the chants got louder” with what “sounded like hundreds of people outside of that door.”

He said he yelled for all of the protesters to stop: “I tried to wait as long as I could. I hoped and prayed no one tried to enter through those doors. But their failure to comply required me to take the appropriate action to save the lives of members of Congress and myself and my fellow officers.” Byrd could just as well have hit the officers behind Babbitt, who was shot while struggling to squeeze through the window. Of all of the lines from Byrd, this one stands out: “I could not fully see her hands or what was in the backpack or what the intentions are.” So, Byrd admitted he did not see a weapon or an immediate threat from Babbitt beyond her trying to enter through the window. Nevertheless, Byrd boasted, “I know that day I saved countless lives.” He ignored that Babbitt was the one person killed during the riot.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smile
https://twitter.com/i/status/1744006222087422145

 

 

Being a bird
https://twitter.com/i/status/1744007471033733227

 

 

Capybara
https://twitter.com/i/status/1744034442551652694

 

 

Honey badger

 

 

Elephants

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 082023
 
 January 8, 2023  Posted by at 9:56 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  116 Responses »


Dorothea Lange On the road to Los Angeles, California 1937

 

What Have We Bargained for in Ukraine? (Dougherty)
Ukraine Running Out Of Time – Former US Officials (RT)
The WORST Political Upheaval EVER (Denninger)
The Right Played Hardball in Congress. The Left Should Take Notes. (Jacobin)
Twitter Fires More Censors (RT)
Zelensky Sanctions Over 100 Russian Public Figures (RT)
Adam Schiff and the Underbelly of American Censorship (Turley)
Trump Suggests Biden Provoked Putin Into Invading Ukraine (PM)
Donald Trump Slams Arrest Of Ashli Babbitt’s Mother (PM)
Kristi Noem Blasts Jan. 6 Committee After Social Security Numbers Leaked (CB)
Greece To Build Fence On Border With Türkiye (RT)
Every Fourth European Has Trouble Heating Their Home (RT)
Faced With A New Wave Of Covid, China Is Opening Its Borders (Zagorenko)
Switzerland Slated To Destroy Millions Of mRNA Vaccine Doses In 2023 (Eugyp)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Jan 6 – Excellent
https://twitter.com/i/status/1611972143482568704

 

 

 

 

Fauci
https://twitter.com/i/status/1611796697847308288

 

 

 

 

“They”

 

 

J6

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The dangers of the conflict are much greater than hawks would have us believe.”

What Have We Bargained for in Ukraine? (Dougherty)

‘Your money is not charity,” Volodymyr Zelensky told a joint session of the U.S. Congress a few weeks ago. “It is an investment in global security and democracy that we handle in the most responsible way.” And many conservative hawks, hoping to hold back the rising tide of skepticism among Republicans, have echoed this line. After the speech, Representative Dan Crenshaw called the idea of ending aid to Ukraine “absurd” and said America had “made a pretty good investment here.” My friend and colleague Matthew Continetti writes that “securing America’s position and freedom’s future without direct intervention and for a rounding error in the federal budget is a strategic bargain. Ukraine needs more, not less, U.S. aid, and it needs it now.” In Commentary in November, Noah Rothman wrote that “Kyiv’s victories are our victories, too, insofar as they advance a core American national interest: preserving the stable European covenant that has blessed Western powers with the longest, most durable peace on the Continent in the modern age.”

This view holds that for pennies on the dollar, the U.S. has been able to preserve a democracy threatened by an authoritarian regime, cripple a rival military, strengthen the NATO alliance, prevent Vladimir Putin from an inevitable invasion of NATO territory, and scare off Xi Jinping from ever messing with Taiwan. For these conservatives, the policy preferred by Joe Biden and the Democrats is one whose costs are greatly outweighed by its benefits. Except, none of this is quite true. Crippling a rival military is only worthwhile when you have a strategic reason for doing so, and we conspicuously lack one. The NATO alliance’s duties have been radically expanded with no radical expansion in the share of the alliance’s burdens shouldered by Europe.

Ukraine’s ultra-nationalist project is at odds with the democratic and liberal-internationalist values that are used to sell the conflict abroad. The conflict’s financial and moral costs to the U.S. have been growing for nearly a decade, and taking on Ukraine as a permanent dependent will grow them even more. The arc of the conflict is just as likely to encourage as to discourage Xi in his pursuit of Taiwan, given the ways in which our enmeshment in Europe will deplete our attention, resources, and will to be the world’s cop. And finally, no conflict in this blood-stained area of the globe is a mom-and-pop bingo game in which you can cash out your modest investments at any time; Vladimir Putin and Russia have a say in how this ends.

The advocates for continued aid to Ukraine must downplay the costs involved, because support for continued aid began to drop precipitously when the Biden administration began briefing the press on our strategy. It didn’t help the hawks’ cause when retired general David Petraeus went on Sunday morning television and claimed that if Russia used a so-called tactical nuke in Ukraine, the U.S. would enter the war as a full belligerent, annihilate Russia’s army, and launch decapitation strikes on the Kremlin. It instead made people ask themselves how Russia would respond to such drastic countermeasures, and to shudder at the possible answers.

Read more …

Gates and Rice. A veiled push for more and faster.

Ukraine Running Out Of Time – Former US Officials (RT)

Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates have admitted that Ukraine’s economy and military are almost completely reliant on bailouts from the West, and barring a dramatic turnaround, its chances of victory are slipping away. Ukraine’s “economy is in a shambles,” the ex-diplomat and former Pentagon chief wrote in the Washington Post on Saturday. The country’s “military capability and economy are now dependent almost entirely on lifelines from the West,” they continued, arguing that should Ukraine fail to mount a successful offensive in the near future, President Zelensky will be pressured by the West to negotiate a ceasefire with Russian President Vladimir Putin – something the Ukrainian leader has repeatedly refused to consider.

With the frontline relatively static since autumn, Russian forces have ground down their Ukrainian opponents in fierce fighting near Bakhmut/Artyomovsk, with an American mercenary commander recently acknowledging that Ukraine is suffering “extraordinarily high casualties” in that sector, and Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada, Vadim Pristaiko, describing his side’s casualties as “huge” and “indigestible.” Kiev has publicly proclaimed that it plans a major offensive in the spring, but Rice and Gates wrote that Ukraine may have “weeks, not months” to stay in the fight. To that end, they advocated sending the country more and heavier weapons. Although the US has already allocated more than $110 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine since February, they said that Washington won’t send heavy tanks. Germany “and other allies” should fill this need instead, they argued.

The Biden administration announced on Friday that it would give Ukraine 50 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles – the most modern armor sent to Kiev so far – as part of a $3 billion weapons package. France also pledged a number of wheeled ‘light tanks’, and Germany promised 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles. Nevertheless, Kiev says it needs more. In an interview with The Economist last month, Ukrainian general Valery Zaluzhny said he would need 300 more tanks, up to 700 infantry fighting vehicles, and 500 howitzers to conduct offensive operations. This is more than the number of such vehicles in the entire British or German inventory. Russia, meanwhile, has repeatedly insisted that “pumping” Ukraine with weapons will ultimately have no effect on the outcome of the conflict and will only serve to prolong the hostilities and lead to more bloodshed.

Read more …

“..what’s going on now is in fact much less than we’ve come through before..”

The WORST Political Upheaval EVER (Denninger)

The polarization caused by the last three years didn’t come from a virus: It came from what so-called “leaders” did when the virus showed up and we, the people in this nation let them do every bit of it. The 2022 midterms were a clean demonstration of this and those actions were nasty in terms of their impact. Several states saw their margins of victory for either GOP or Democrat governors increase, not narrow, and yet the margin didn’t come from people shifting allegiance within the state; it came from migration either to or from said state. DeSantis and Lee both gained margin precisely because people left NY, Michigan, Illinois, California and other “Blue” states and moved to “Red” ones.

This had no value for DeSantis or Lee because once you win by one vote you have the same outcome as if you win by one million votes but that same shift meant that illogical repeat performances, such as Witmer, won as well because the GOP voters who left meant what remained was enough for her not to be fired. (While Pritzker also easily won that race was never really in doubt even if people didn’t leave Illinois, so I’m intentionally excluding it.) It didn’t help that the GOP ran candidates that were ridiculously outside of where mainstream public opinion is — for example, Michigan’s GOP ran a candidate opposed to abortion in all cases, including rape and incest. The GOP had to be out of its mind to do this, but do it they did and they lost.

At its core the problem, however, does not lie there: It lies in the destruction of norms that society has relied on. Don’t kid yourself no matter who screams about it: Without heterosexual reproduction and the resilience afforded by stable, two-parent homes as an “ordinary and normal” thing society eventually collapses because without a productive next generation you have nothing. Have we put any thought into this and how to at least move things back toward a more-stable outcome in that regard, and thus are we inevitably consigned to a hellscape and collapse? It’s easy to argue “No. Not one bit.” But I’ll take the other side of that wager simply because what’s going on now is in fact much less than we’ve come through before, and the pendulum will, with a high degree of probability, swing back the other way.

Read more …

The left, WITH the media, and WITH intel, played hardball since 2015. But that was never a problem.

The Right Played Hardball in Congress. The Left Should Take Notes. (Jacobin)

Kevin McCarthy has been at the head of the Republican’s House caucus since 2019. In any other ordinary year, the position of Speaker of the House would have been his almost automatically following the Republicans’ narrow victory in last year’s midterm election. But a small group on the party’s right wing turned a coronation into a multi-round fight. Twenty congressmembers were at the core of the right-wing rebellion; all but one are connected to the House Freedom Caucus, the ideological home of the party’s rightmost flank. These Republicans are notorious for their support of Donald Trump and the January 6 riots. They deserve every decent person’s scorn. But when it comes to tactics, one has to admit that they know how to play.

Desperate for their support, McCarthy had to give on issue after issue. McCarthy folded early on policy questions. He fought against the 2022 lame-duck spending bill, a core right-wing priority. He called for the resignation or impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, a target of the Right’s ire. McCarthy also agreed to create a new subcommittee in the House Judiciary Committee to investigate the “weaponization” of the federal government by the Biden administration and the FBI and CIA. More significant in the long term, he also agreed to rules changes and committee assignments that will dramatically strengthen the Right’s hand.

McCarthy agreed to add three members from the Freedom Caucus to the House Rules Committee. That will allow the far right to help shape the issues to be considered by the House. McCarthy’s own PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, agreed not to intervene in open primaries against far-right candidates. McCarthy agreed to bring back the Holman Rule, which allows legislators to propose defunding specific federal programs, to fire specific federal officials, and to slash officials’ pay. Most significantly, he agreed to bring back the “motion to vacate the chair,” which will allow just one Republican to call for a snap vote to remove the speaker. This is a rule that the right wing previously used to remove John Boehner. Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a leading conspiracy theorist from the Republican fringe, extracted a much sought-after seat on the House Oversight Committee from McCarthy in return for her support.

Read more …

It would appear there’s still tons of them left.

Twitter Fires More Censors (RT)

The social network has fired at least a dozen employees responsible for handling the “misinformation policy, global appeals and state media” at its Dublin and Singapore offices, Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the latest in a series of radical reforms conducted by the company’s new CEO Elon Musk. Twitter’s head of Trust and Safety, Ella Irwin, told the publication that in order to “consolidate teams,” the company only eliminated duplicate positions and cut jobs with not enough workload to justify their existence. The Friday’s cuts reportedly affected the head of site integrity for Twitter’s Asia-Pacific region, Nur Azhar Bin Ayob, and senior director of revenue policy, Analuisa Dominguez, while others asked not to be identified.

In a separate statement to Reuters, Irwin admitted some fresh cuts in her department, but said that the company still has “thousands of people” responsible for content moderation and has “not made cuts to the teams that do that work daily.” After finalizing his purchase of Twitter for $44 billion in October, Musk acknowledged that bankruptcy was a possibility for the social media giant if it does not start generating more cash. In an attempt to cut costs, he fired half of the company’s staff, including most of the top executives and ordered the remaining employees to stop working from home. All in all, an estimated two-thirds of the company’s employees and contractors globally were laid off, fired or quit.

As the site’s new owner, Musk also pushed to scale back content restrictions, vowing to make Twitter a refuge for free speech, while ushering in a range of policy changes which triggered backlash from the media establishment and its celebrity allies. He reactivated the accounts of dozens of its more controversial users and began sharing internal company communications hinting at a massive political conspiracy between the US administration, intelligence agencies and the Big Tech platforms to censor politically inconvenient stories, opinions and people. The billionaire appeared to acknowledge that not everyone supported his recent political diversions this week, polling his followers as to whether he should “stay out of politics” or “keep shooting his feet.” He later joked, that “if I dig my grave deep enough, maybe it comes out the other side of Earth.”

Read more …

Everybody just sanctions and censors.

Zelensky Sanctions Over 100 Russian Public Figures (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree on Saturday, imposing personal sanctions on some 119 Russian public figures. Kiev’s new blacklist includes prominent artists and journalists. Ukraine sanctioned Oscar-winning film director Nikita Mikhalkov, pop singer Philipp Kirkorov, as well as stand-up comedian Evgeny Petrosyan and opera star Anna Netrebko. Kiev also targeted a number of Russian journalists, including RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan and head of the Rossiya Segodnya media group Dmitry Kiselyov. The restrictions imposed for a 10-year period include freeze of assets, travel and visa bans, stripping of Ukrainian state awards, and some other measures. Kiev has repeatedly sanctioned Russian officials and public figures amid the ongoing conflict, with hundreds of them blacklisted already.


Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, 2022, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.” Shortly before the hostilities broke out, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Last September, Donetsk and Lugansk, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, were incorporated into Russia following referendums.

Read more …

“We don’t do this.”

Adam Schiff and the Underbelly of American Censorship (Turley)

“We don’t do this.” That response from Twitter to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is a singular indictment, coming at the height of Twitter’s censorship operations. Apparently, there were some things that even Twitter’s censors refused to do. One of those things was silencing critics of Schiff and his House committee. In the latest tranche of “Twitter Files,” journalist Matt Taibbi revealed that Twitter balked at Schiff’s demand that Twitter suspend an array of posters or label their content as “misinformation” and “reduce the visibility” of them. Among those who Schiff secretly tried to censor was New York Post columnist Paul Sperry. Sperry drew Schiff’s ire by writing about a conversation allegedly overheard by one of his sources.

Sperry’s article, which appeared in RealClearInvestigations, cited two sources as overhearing two White House staffers discussing how to remove newly-elected President Trump from office. The article raised the possibility of bias on the part of an alleged key player in launching the first Trump impeachment, CIA analyst Eric Ciaramella. The sources reportedly said that Ciaramella was in a conversation with Sean Misko, a holdover from the Obama administration who later joined Schiff’s staff. The conversation — in Sperry’s words — showed that “just days after [Trump] was sworn in they were already trying to get rid of him.” Rather than simply refute the allegation, Schiff wanted Sperry and other critics silenced.

His office reportedly laid out steps to cleanse Twitter of their criticism, including an instruction to “remove any and all content about Mr. Misko and other Committee staff from its service — to include quotes, retweets, and reactions to that content.” The date of Schiff’s non-public letter in November 2020 is notable: Earlier that year, I wrote a column for The Hill criticizing Schiff for pushing for censorship of misinformation in a letter that he sent to social media companies. His office promptly objected to the very suggestion that Schiff supported censorship. We now know Schiff was actively seeking to censor specific critics on social media. These likely were viewed as more than “requests” since Schiff was sending public letters threatening possible legislative action against these same companies. He wanted his critics silenced on social media. After all, criticizing his investigations or staff must, by definition, be misinformation — right?

Read more …

US was building up Ukraine under Trump presidency too.

Trump Suggests Biden Provoked Putin Into Invading Ukraine (PM)

Saturday night, speaking from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, former President Donald Trump suggested that Joe Biden influenced Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine in February 2022. Speaking of Biden, Trump said in video posted by Jack Posobiec on Instagram, “We have a man who has no mind left and his mind in prime time wasn’t any good, but he has no mind left. And this is the guy negotiating for us. We have a man that convinced Putin to go into Ukraine.” “Because if you look at the psychology that he used, it’s the exact opposite,” Trump said in reference to Biden’s January 2022 comments referring to Putin’s expansion into Ukraine as a “minor incursion.”

Biden said during a press conference before Putin invaded Ukraine, “I think what you’re gonna see is that Russia will be held accountable if it invades. And it depends on what it does. It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and we end up having to fight about what to do and not do, etc.” “Putin would have never ever gone in,” Trump said and remarked of Biden, “he knew the ramifications.” “Do you remember when Biden said, well they might take some small parts of Ukraine,” Trump said in reference to the “minor incursion” remarks. “That was what Putin wanted to hear. That there would be no problem if you take some parts of Ukraine,” Trump added.

Trump had been speaking of the war in Ukraine and the escalating conflict, including the danger of nuclear war. Trump referred to nuclear as the second “n-word” you should never say. The US has sent over $60 billion to Ukraine to aid in their ongoing war with their Russian invaders since February 2022. Congress is set to greenlight more money for Ukraine as President Volodymyr Zelensky asks the US for continued aid.

Read more …

A very dark side of America.

Donald Trump Slams Arrest Of Ashli Babbitt’s Mother (PM)

Speaking at an event at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday evening, Donald Trump slammed the Biden regime over the arrest of Ashli Babbitt’s mother. Ashli Babbitt was killed by a United States Capitol Police officer on Jan. 6. Witthoeft was arrested outside of the Capitol on Friday, the two-year anniversary of her daughter’s death. Trump brought up the arrest during a special CPAC event at Mar-a-Lago, pointing to the weaponization of law enforcement under the Biden regime. “We have a weaponized country right now with law enforcement. It’s a disgrace what’s happening to our country. Ashli Babbitt’s mother was arrested yesterday, because she was protesting the death of her daughter being shot by a lunatic who got a record of— not so good.

“And then they try and protect him and they do things— what they’ve done to that family. That they shot her, there was no reason, and then they arrested— because the mother was in a group— and they arrested yesterday the mother of Ashli Babbitt. So she loses her daughter and then on top of it, she gets arrested. “We’re not gonna let this go on. We’re not gonna let this go. on these people are horrible, horrible. And what they’ve done to protest us. I mean, these were protesters, they were protesting a dishonest election. “And whenever you mentioned that they don’t want to ever talk to you because they don’t want to have that out there. The one thing they don’t want to talk about is a dishonest election. Because they know and they’ve been caught.”

In footage circulated on social media by streamer Woke Societies, Micki Witthoeft was seen being handcuffed and taken into custody by multiple police officers while onlookers protested. “You murdered [Ashli] inside the Capitol, now you’re going to arrest her?” one onlooker said. “I did not murder her daughter,” one officer replied in front of the crowd of people. On Jan. 6, 2021, Babbitt, an unarmed Air Force veteran, was fatally shot by Lt. Michael Byrd. while attempting to make entry into the interior of the Capitol Building. According to The National Pulse’s Raheem Kassam, Witthoeft was arrested for “jaywalking.”

Read more …

That leak feels like warfare.

Kristi Noem Blasts Jan. 6 Committee After Social Security Numbers Leaked (CB)

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem blasted members of the now-disbanded House Jan. 6 Committee after her Social Security number, along those of her family members, were allegedly leaked to the public. In a tweet, the GOP governor appeared to suggest she would take legal action against members. “My lawyers have asked the @WhiteHouse, the @USNatArchives, and @BennieGThompson which of them is responsible for leaking the Social Security Numbers of me, my husband, my 3 kids, and my son-in-law,” she tweeted on Friday, in a post that included images of a letter her attorneys have sent to the aforementioned parties. “What specific measures and remedies will be taken to protect our identities?” — Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) January 6, 2023

The Washington Times reported the leak: “The recently sunsetted House Jan. 6 committee released Trump White House visitor logs from December 2020 containing nearly 2,000 unreacted Social Security numbers. At least three of the numbers, inadvertently leaked as part of the hoard of documents the committee posted online in recent weeks, belonged to members of Trump’s cabinet others. Several Republican governors and floods of other Trump allies have been caught up in the privacy breach. “House Jan. 6 Committee leaks thousands of Trump allies’ Social Security numbers: Report — The Washington Times (@WashTimes) January 7, 2023”

The document was taken down on Wednesday, according to the Washington Post, which first reported the leak, but the Government Publishing Office, which was responsible for posting the file online, does not appear to have notified the individuals whose private information was leaked. Attorneys for Noem demanded to know “how the breach of privacy occurred, who was responsible, what steps each of you has taken to remedy the breach, and what specific measures and remedies will be taken to protect Governor Noem and her family in light of the public dissemination of their private information and the heightened risk for identity theft and any other future privacy violations.” Ian Fury, a spokesman for the governor, said, “To my knowledge, we were not notified. The governor was not notified” of the leak, Slay News noted.

Former Trump Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, whose information was also leaked, told the Washington Post: “Whether it was a careless and sloppy handling of records or a deliberate disregard of decorum, either scenario is a perfunctory and callous display of government and a frightening reminder of the current state in Washington. … President Reagan was a savant indeed — the nine most frightening words to hear are ‘I am from the government and here to help.’”

Read more …

What good will it do?

Greece To Build Fence On Border With Türkiye (RT)

Greece is planning to build a new 140-km fence to cover its whole European border with neighboring Türkiye in an effort to contain the significant flows of illegal migrants, Minister of Citizen Protection Takis Theodorikakos has announced. Construction of the first 35-km span of the new fence is set to begin “immediately,” the official told the broadcaster SKAI on Saturday. “It is a final decision of the government to create a 140-kilometer fence on the Evros [River],” Theodorikakos stated. Greece and Türkiye share an approximately 200-km common border in Europe that runs primarily along the Evros River, yet there is a stretch of dry land between the two countries. Greece already has concrete and barbed wire barrier installed at over 40km of the border, namely along the span near the Turkish city of Edirne. The fence was originally erected in 2012 and was extended in 2021.


The Evros River on its own has not proven to be a sufficiently challenging obstacle for illegal migrants, Theodorikakos noted, with the eponymous province remaining a hotspot for irregular crossings. “In Evros, the Greek police, with their deployment, have prevented the illegal invasion of the country by 256,000 illegal immigrants,” the minister said without providing a time span for this “invasion.” Over the past year, the EU has seen the highest level of illegal migration since the 2015-2016 migrant crisis. According to the latest figures by Frontex, the bloc’s border agency, some 308,000 “irregular entries” were detected across the external borders of the EU during the first 11 months of 2022, constituting a sharp 68% increase from the same period in 2021. The Western Balkan and Central Mediterranean routes have seen the most illegal migrant traffic over the past year, according to Frontex.

Read more …

Just the poor parts.

Every Fourth European Has Trouble Heating Their Home (RT)

More than a quarter of Europeans are experiencing problems heating their homes and paying debts for housing and utilities, the Hungarian media reported on Friday citing a survey by the Szazadveg think tank. According to the survey, dubbed Europe Project, 26% of EU residents, or roughly 100 million people, are unable to properly heat their homes. Greeks appeared to be the worst affected, with 56% of the population facing difficulties with heating. In Portugal and France, 34% of residents described the same problems. Finland, Hungary, Austria and Denmark were the least affected, with less than 15% of residents admitting to difficulties. Every fourth respondent in the survey said they were unable to pay their heating bill at least once during the past year.


That figure was also the highest in Greece, with 51% of the population affected, followed by Cyprus with 37%, Ireland and Bulgaria, with 35% each. The respondents blamed inflation for their problems, as rising prices on everything from energy to food impact their ability to pay bills. According to the survey, heating bills have become far less affordable than in 2021. The authors noted that in 2021, based on data from Europe’s official statistics agency Eurostat, only 6.9% of European households (some 29.9 million people) were unable to adequately heat their homes, and 6.4% struggled with paying bills. The survey was conducted among 38,000 randomly selected European adults between October 13 and December 7, 2022. The research covered the EU, UK, Norway, Switzerland, Moldova, Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Read more …

No other choice?!

Faced With A New Wave Of Covid, China Is Opening Its Borders (Zagorenko)

The situation is now much less dire. The authorities can focus on protecting the elderly and improving the nation’s immunity. A new push to get more people vaccinated has already been announced, although the corresponding official document does not go into specifics about how the authorities will go about it. Besides, people are much more aware of the virus and of the methods of protection. Pedestrians still go about their days in masks, still take care with hygiene and still avoid unnecessary close contacts. And more freedom does not mean that people will go out of their way to get infected. As one local Twitter user pointed out: “So in Beijing, now that everyone is free to go anywhere, ppl are exercising that right by staying at home.”

The hardest test of the new lighter rules begins on January 8, when China reopens its borders. People will be able to enter and leave the country freely and, soon after that, the Spring Festival trips will begin in earnest. Travel to and from will not be the same as before, at least at first. A number of countries, including the US, UK, France, and Spain, now have mandatory testing of everyone arriving from China to prevent the virus from spreading further. However, even if the number of daily cases rises for a short time, the world is much less vulnerable to Covid now.

China will still need to carefully weigh each step on its path towards the pre-pandemic normal. The rules might change once again and there might be setbacks or new local lockdowns. However, the process of making life easier and more predictable for a large part of the world has begun. The protests might have brought these changes about sooner than expected, or they might have simply happened at the right time. Whatever the case, China was bound to change its policy sooner or later. After all, no emergency can last forever.

Read more …

“..nervously awaiting the delivery of a further 2 million in the coming weeks, and surely lamenting that 11.6 million more are scheduled to arrive by the end of 2023..”

Switzerland Slated To Destroy Millions Of mRNA Vaccine Doses In 2023 (Eugyp)

Switzerland, home to less than 9 million people, is one of the biggest mRNA vaccine customers in the world relative to population. The’ve already received a staggering 33 million Covid vaccine doses, only a little over half of which were ever administered. The small country is now sitting on 13.5 million doses, nervously awaiting the delivery of a further 2 million in the coming weeks, and surely lamenting that 11.6 million more are scheduled to arrive by the end of 2023. The vast majority of these will sit for some months in freezers before the Swiss Confederation destroys them. The country already binned more than eleven million doses last year, the greater part of them after a deal to supply surplus snake oil to the third world via the failed Covax initiative fell through because nobody in Africa wants this stuff either.


Vaccine credulity may still be the mainstream, politically acceptable position, but revealed preferences show that enormous majorities everywhere are done with mass vaccination. Pharmaceutical executives can sing their doubtful hymns to the miraculous safety and efficacy of their jabs, but the quiet worldwide rejection of their garbage products is a stinging rebuke, suggesting that billions across the world harbour unexpressed scepticism towards the mRNA Covid vaccines. From here, it is only downhill for the vaccinators.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schaffer

 

 

 

 

Fungi

 

 

Great White

 

 

Walnut

 

 

 

 

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