Jul 182024
 


Salvador Dali Elephants 1948

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Campaign ad

 

 

Bongino

 

 

Mike Benz

 

 

Eric Trump Vivek

 

 

 

 

Tucker

 

 

JD Vance

 

 

Brame

 

 

One hour

 

 

 

 

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

I love how much he loves his granddaughter.

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

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

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

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

Kai

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Assassination Attempt (Paul Craig Roberts)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

US Republicans Subpoena Secret Service Director (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kash Patel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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It adds up.

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

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

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

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

EU Parliament Condemns Orban’s Peace Efforts (RT)

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

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

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

MEP

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Yes it does.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lavrov

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Rays

 

 

Smart bird

 

 

Tunnel book

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 152024
 


Salvador Dali Swans reflecting elephants 1937

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Larry

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Yes.

Was Trump ‘Put in a Bullseye’? (Sp.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) went to the steps of the Supreme Court and called out Kavanaugh by name: “I want to tell you, (Justice Neil) Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”

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

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

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

Fearless (QTR)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Secret Service Failed Trump (Sp.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump Shooting Complicates Matters for Struggling Biden Campaign (Miles)

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

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

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

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Nasty senility.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zelensky ‘Increasingly Paranoid’ – Reuters (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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


Salvador Dali Meditative rose 1958

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Costas

 

 

Rogan Dore

 

 

Sidney Powell

 

 

Biden 1994

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

Trump Hit By Bullet At Pennsylvania Rally (ZH)

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

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

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

Trump Suggests Simultaneous Mental Test With Biden (RT)

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

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

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

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

Take Away the Car Keys (Hamilton)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The “Unofficial Committee to Unelect the President”.

Democratic Party Insiders Struggle to Force Biden Out (Miles)

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

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

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

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

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

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Second.

Viktor Orbán Deserves The Nobel Peace Prize (RM)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Yemen–Russia Riddle (Pepe Escobar)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Democracy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Africans Support Russia – EU’s Borrell (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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AI for profit is dangerous.

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

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

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

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

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Viv

 

 

Kate

 

 

Cora

 

 

Meonk

 

 

Mission

 

 

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

 

 

Adopt don’t shop

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 132024
 


Henri Matisse Luxury, calm and pleasure 1904

 

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

 

 

 

 

Roger Stone

 

 

Biden press

 

 

Fallon

 

 

Tucker Biden

 

 

Straight-faced no less.

 

 

PA

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lavrov

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

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

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

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

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

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About as much sense as strikes on the White House.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NATO Summit: Collectively Losing Their Mind (Lauria)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Cover Your Ass Olympics (Kunstler)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EU Offered X Secret Censorship Deal – Musk (RT)

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

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

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

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Magnetics

 

 

France fags

 

 

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

 

 

Honey

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Kitty

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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


Pablo Picasso The three dancers 1925

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Obama report

 

 

HiMARS

 

 

Tesla

 

 

Eva

 

 

Elon drones

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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No-one tells him anything apparently.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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“..transforming the fear to preparedness.”

NATO Countries Closest to Russia Up Defense Spending (ET)

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

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

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

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‘perpetrators and collaborators’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Amy Coney Barrett.

LinkedIn, Google Openly Censor Conservatives – Again (Sellers)

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

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

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

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

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

Can the West Survive Democracy? (Paul Craig Roberts)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Frens

 

 

More Frens

 

 

Baby dolphin

 

 

 

 

Batteries

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 092024
 


Pablo Picasso The old guitarist 1903-4

 

‘I’m Not Going Anywhere’ – Biden (RT)
Democrats Want Biden To Drop Out This Week – Axios (RT)
Biden’s Handlers Guiding Him With Flash Cards (RT)
Sen. Kennedy Says Biden Is Politically ‘As Dead As Fried Chicken’ (ZH)
Democrat Paymasters Discussing ‘Elegant’ Biden Withdrawal – NYT (RT)
MSNBC Host Calls For Biden Aides To Be ON STAGE With Him At Next Debate (MN)
New Right-Wing Group In European Parliament To Be Third Largest (RT)
Russia Slams Ukrainian Claim Of Attack On Civilian Targets (RT)
No Promise Ukraine Will Join NATO In A Decade – Stoltenberg (RT)
NATO’S Plan For Permanent War In Ukraine and On The Fareast Front (Helmer)
NATO Is Approaching Russia’s Borders From The Other Side (Gevorg Mirzayan)
“A Death Squad Ruling” (Turley)
In It to Spin It (Kunstler)
US Ambassador To Japan Comments On American Military Sex Crimes (RT)
Empire Of Salt And Gold: Where Did The Richest Man In The World Come From? (RT)

 

 


Mansa Musa

 

 

Orban

 

 

Ritter Hezbollah

 

 

Melenchon

 

 

Rogan Tucker

 

 

@EmeraldRobinson: The Biden regime doesn’t have an “election” problem. After all, the 2020 election was rigged. That system remains in place.

The Biden regime has an “optics” problem: nobody now believes Biden can beat Trump. It’s not enough to rig an election. They must sell the lie.

 

 

 

 

The US president shouted at MSNBC’s hosts when they asked if he’d suspend his campaign..

‘I’m Not Going Anywhere’ – Biden (RT)

US President Joe Biden has vowed to continue his reelection campaign, telling MSNBC that he is “not going anywhere” and that despite widespread concerns about his mental health, he is “the best candidate to beat Donald Trump.” Speaking to hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on Monday, Biden reiterated that he is “firmly committed” to winning a second term in office, and called on “Any of these guys that don’t think I should run” to challenge him at next month’s Democratic National Convention. Confronted by Brzezinski with a list of liberal news organizations and pundits who have called on him to bow out of the race, Biden claimed that all are part of an “elite” conspiracy to force him out of contention. “I don’t care what those big names think,” Biden said. “The American public is not going to move away from me as an average voter,” he declared, his voice rising to a shout.

“Remember all this talk about how I don’t have the black support, come on, give me a break! Come with me. Watch! Watch!” “I’m more than the presumptive, I’m going to be the Democratic nominee,” he asserted. While the Democratic Party stood united behind Biden during this year’s largely symbolic primary season, the president’s political future has been thrown into uncertainty following a disastrous debate performance against his Republican rival, former President Donald Trump, last month. Biden appeared visibly confused during the CNN-hosted showdown, slurring his words and struggling to finish his sentences. Democratic donors and liberal pundits have called on Biden to suspend his campaign, with some formerly friendly media outlets demanding that he resign as president. Meanwhile, senior party lawmakers are reportedly preparing to sign letters demanding that he be replaced with a more lucid candidate.

Biden’s comments to MSNBC mirror those he made in a letter to Democrats in Congress on Monday. On TV and in the letter, Biden insisted that he “wouldn’t be running again if I did not absolutely believe I was the best person to beat Donald Trump in 2024.” However, Biden rambled at times during his phone interview with Scarborough and Brzezinski, and could be heard shuffling papers at one point. Asked whether he had “been tested for any age-related illnesses” including “pre-Parkinson’s,” Biden repeated his previous assertion that he had “a cold” or “maybe an infection or something” on the night of the debate. A survey conducted by CBS News/YouGov in the wake of the debate found that 72% of registered voters do not believe that Biden has the “mental and cognitive health necessary to serve as president.” A subsequent Reuters/Ipsos poll has revealed that one in three Democrats believes that the 81-year-old should not seek reelection.

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“Every day that goes by is a disaster..”

Democrats Want Biden To Drop Out This Week – Axios (RT)

A growing number of senior Democrats want Joe Biden to withdraw from the US presidential election race by Friday, Axios has reported, citing sources. Lawmakers are said to be hoping that the entire party will “beg” the incumbent US leader to step aside. Big Democratic donors and key constituents have expressed serious concerns about Biden’s ability to win reelection against Republican rival Donald Trump in the November vote, lawmakers from all factions of the party have said, as cited by the outlet. One lawmaker in particular told Axios that every participant at a monthly forum in his state, which wasn’t named, preferred to talk about Biden’s age rather than community issues.

Dozens of House members and senators also reportedly told the outlet that it was “clear that scores are close to speaking out or signing letters telling Biden it should be over,” stressing that these calls would only intensify. “Every day that goes by is a disaster,” a top Democratic operative who is “talking nonstop” to elected officials told the media. They specified that Vice President Kamala Harris would need time to ramp up her own campaign and pick a running mate, should Biden agree to drop out and endorse her as the nominee. Grave concerns among Democrats and key party donors have been growing rapidly since Biden’s disastrous performance in the June 27 debate against Trump.

A poll by Reuters/Ipsos has revealed that one in three Democrats believes Biden should quit the race, while some major donors have reportedly demanded that the 81-year-old be replaced on the party’s ticket. The White House and the Biden campaign have offered a range of excuses for what happened at the debate. Biden blamed his weak performance on a busy period of international travel ahead of the event, saying he “nearly fell asleep on stage.” However, the administration has dismissed rumors of Biden’s potential withdrawal, with spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre insisting the president remains “clear-eyed” and that “he is staying in the race.”

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“It surprised me that a seasoned political pro like the president would need detailed verbal and visual instructions on how to enter and exit a room..”

Biden’s Handlers Guiding Him With Flash Cards (RT)

US President Joe Biden’s every movement is planned by his assistants, with photos showing the elderly leader exactly how to get to the podium at events, Axios reported on Monday. Biden has come under pressure to quit his reelection campaign after a debate with Donald Trump exposed his apparently declining cognitive ability. Before each of his public appearances, Biden’s staffers prepare a document for the president, detailing how he will enter the venue, how he will walk to the podium, and how he will face the audience, the US news site reported. Images of these documents show full-page photographs of the route Biden will walk, with simple, one-line text instructions such as “Walk to the podium.” “I staffed a simple fundraiser at a private residence, but they treated it like it was a NATO summit with his movements,” one person who arranged staffing for a Biden event this year told Axios.

“It surprised me that a seasoned political pro like the president would need detailed verbal and visual instructions on how to enter and exit a room,” the staffer added. The White House told Axios that such instructions are common, and are prepared ahead of events for both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. “High levels of detail and precision are critical to presidential advance work – regardless of who is president,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said. Biden’s mental and physical health have come under intense scrutiny since his lackluster debate performance against former President Donald Trump last month. During the CNN-hosted showdown, Biden appeared confused and struggled to finish sentences, his voice weak and his mouth hanging agape.

While the White House blamed Biden’s poor performance on a cold and his busy travel schedule earlier in the month, major Democratic Party donors have since called on the president to suspend his campaign, while senior party lawmakers are reportedly preparing to sign letters demanding that he be replaced with a less infirm candidate. With Biden floundering during subsequent media appearances – including a radio interview in which he claimed to be “a black woman” – multiple reporters have come forward to claim that the White House fed them pre-approved questions to ask the president.

Liberal pundits once considered friendly to Biden – including The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer, the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd, and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough – have all called on him to leave the race, while Axios’ Alex Thompson claimed on Saturday that his fellow reporters feel “duped” by a White House that covered up evidence of Biden’s decline before the debate. However, Biden exhibited similar gaffes and verbal slip-ups during his 2020 campaign, and countless videos have surfaced in the years since showing the president mixing up countries and their leaders, shaking hands with imaginary people, and appearing to get lost in public. Throughout this year’s campaign, Trump has repeatedly insisted that Biden “can’t string two sentences together,” and mockingly imitated his opponent attempting to find his way off stage after speeches.

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“Biden is cooked, and if he somehow stays in office, we’re all cooked.”

Sen. Kennedy Says Biden Is Politically ‘As Dead As Fried Chicken’ (ZH)

Much to the chagrin of panicked Democrats, President Joe Biden isn’t going anywhere. “I want you to know that despite all the speculation in the press and elsewhere, I am firmly committed to staying in this race, to running this race to the end, and to beating Donald Trump,” Biden ‘wrote’ in a Monday letter to congressional Democrats, undoubtedly penned by his cabal of unelected officials who can’t fathom releasing the ring of power.
“I have heard the concerns that people have … I am not blind to them,” the letter continues, adding “I wouldn’t be running again if I did not absolutely believe I was the best person to beat Donald Trump in 2024.” The letter comes as Biden reportedly canceled a meeting with Senate Democrats led by Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).

Meanwhile, five House Democrats have publicly called on Biden to drop out of the race, with several committee ranking members joining the call during a private call on Sunday, Axios reports. • Many more Democrats have privately expressed the view that Biden needs to drop out, and an even larger group has voiced concerns about his ability to take on former President Trump.• The Biden campaign’s efforts to address those concerns, largely by dismissing the president’s doubters, have stirred further discord among his fellow Democrats on Capitol Hill. Biden, or someone who sounds like Biden, then reiterated his position in a Monday telephone interview with MSNBC. Biden then took a few shots at Trump, reading all the things his team wishes he had the cognition to say in real time.

Reports indicate that numerous political representatives on both sides of the aisle are meeting out of public view to discuss what needs to happen next. At least one Republican Senator, John Kennedy from Louisiana, has not been afraid to say exactly what he thinks of Joe Biden’s condition and the predicament the US faces. Biden is cooked, and if he somehow stays in office, we’re all cooked.

The Senator is telling it like it is. Biden’s condition cannot be covered up or ignored any longer simply because the political left values “winning” over the truth. For most people the election is purely symbolic, a representation of where the country stands ideologically. We all know that there are other powerful elements at work influencing America’s path. But if the public shows they are willing to tolerate something like this, then they’re telling the powers-that-be that they’re willing to tolerate anything. For the political left the election is not symbolic, it’s an existential crisis. Any shift away from the woke ideal (even a symbolic shift) cannot be allowed. For them, losing the election would mean the country has rejected their religion, not just Biden. It’s unthinkable.

Keep in mind, the DNC, some Neo-cons and the media have been consistently lying about Biden’s health for years. They have been gaslighting the American people, suggesting that what the populace sees with their eyes is not what is really happening. The exposure of Biden’s breakdown calls into question many things beyond the election; it calls into question the very fabric of American government.

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“..Larry Fink of BlackRock, Jon Gray of Blackstone, and Peter Orszag of Lazard..”

Democrat Paymasters Discussing ‘Elegant’ Biden Withdrawal – NYT (RT)

Major donors to the US Democratic Party are discussing ways how President Joe Biden could drop out of the 2024 race without hurting the party’s chances of beating Donald Trump in November, the New York Times reported on Monday. Democrats and their supporters have been increasingly doubting Biden’s electability after his disastrous performance during the televised debate with Trump last month. Multiple reports said that Democrats and some of Biden’s own aides were “shocked” by the 81-year-old’s behavior on stage and have big concerns over his mental and physical fitness to serve as president for a second term. “Some donors have discussed ‘elegant’ ways for Biden to step aside to preserve his reputation,” while others “believe that dropping out sooner is better,” the NYT’s DealBook newsletter said.

Some executives told DealBook that it would be “a mistake” for Biden to quit the race without becoming the nominee first. They argued that doing so would “rob him of the power to anoint his replacement.” Democrats will meet in Chicago in late August to officially name their candidate for the 2024 election. According to the report, an open convention where delegates are not bound to any particular candidate could create an “intraparty strife that helped Donald Trump win.” DealBook cited its sources as saying that prominent financiers and investors, including Larry Fink of BlackRock, Jon Gray of Blackstone, and Peter Orszag of Lazard, and Robert Wolf, a former US executive “close to Barack Obama,” are discussing whether to “stick with Biden.” The 46th president, however, refused to quit the race, albeit admitting that he does not debate “as well as [he] used to.” Speaking to MSNBC on Monday, Biden said that he is “not going anywhere,” describing himself as “the best candidate to beat Donald Trump.”

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“A candidate should be allowed to let staff members actually answer questions for them.”

MSNBC Host Calls For Biden Aides To Be ON STAGE With Him At Next Debate (MN)

MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell has called for allowing Joe Biden to have aides with him on stage to speak for him and help him sound coherent. Yes, really. This is where we are now. O’Donnell said that it would be good to “Allow the candidates to have as many staff as they want, join them on the stage throughout the debate, and make sure that all of them have microphones.” He added that “the candidates should be allowed to turn to their staff and confer with them about anything at any time in the debate.” “And we should be able to hear everything they say. So we can hear if the candidate has competent or incompetent staff, we could hear the candidate overrule some advisers and say something else,” he continued. “We could watch the candidates actually think and process information, including including possibly information that they might not know until a staff member tells them or reminds them,” O’Donnell further suggested.

He continued, “A candidate should be allowed to let staff members actually answer questions for them.” When he says ‘candidates’ he means Biden, because Trump clearly doesn’t need people talking for him. Only the mentally deficient, incoherent, bumbling Biden needs that. What is this supposed to be? Show and tell at pre school? It’s a debate between candidates who are expected to lead the country. They shouldn’t need people to help them talk. It’s not a debate between the candidates if other people are doing the talking. O’Donnell is only putting the ludicrous suggestion out because it is clear that Biden is not running anything. His aides are doing it all. Indeed, an Axios report notes how literally everything Biden does is micromanaged and written down for him, down to where and when he walks and stands.

The report notes that “One template — a copy of which was obtained by Axios — is short and simple, with one large picture of the event space on each page, accompanied with big text such as: ‘View from podium,’ and ‘View from audience.’ In the five-page document, two pages are separate pictures of, ‘Walk to podium.’” Before a presidential event, the White House sends event staffers a document to emulate when preparing their own materials for the president,” the report further states. One staffer told Axios that “It surprised me that a seasoned political pro like the president would need detailed verbal and visual instructions on how to enter and exit a room.” This has been going on for years now.

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“It promotes conservative family values, restrictions on immigration, and increased power of national governments of EU members relative to Brussels..”

New Right-Wing Group In European Parliament To Be Third Largest (RT)

An alliance of conservative anti-immigration parties in the European parliament, launched last month by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, is set to become the third largest in the chamber, according to Politico. The Patriots for Europe will be officially established on Monday, and is expected to confirm that 30 MEPs from the French right-wing party National Rally (RN) will be in the group, the outlet said in the morning, citing insider sources. In the previous EU legislature, the RN – which was previously led by Marine Le Pen – belonged to the Identity and Democracy (ID) group. A source told Politico that she insisted on postponing the announcement until after the second round of the parliamentary election in France.

The ballot took place on Sunday and ended in disappointment for RN. In the first round, it took a strong lead – but centrist and left-wing politicians coordinated strategic dropouts of their candidates to deny the right a majority and push it into third place. The Patriots group was unveiled in late June, with Orban’s Fidesz party joining forces with Czech and Austrian nationalists. The voting bloc has continued to attract MEPs since then, and finally met the criteria for formal recognition last Saturday. A group needs at least 23 members from seven different EU states to qualify. ID had 49 MEPs in the outgoing parliament, which made it the sixth-largest group. The Patriots are projected to have 79 MEPs in total.

According to Politico, participants have differing opinions on whether the Patriots are a rebranding of ID or a new group with similar ideas. It promotes conservative family values, restrictions on immigration, and increased power of national governments of EU members relative to Brussels. RN President and MEP Jordan Bardella appeared to hint at his party’s participation in a speech on Sunday evening. He said that “at long last, starting tomorrow our MEPs will fully play their role in a large group which will influence the power balance in Europe”. Politico sources have said a French MEP will be president of the Patriots group.

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“..deliberately targeting a prominent children’s hospital..? Not Russian MO.

Also: “..Not a single ballistic missile since May 2023 reached its target in the capital..” So this was the first?

Betcha it was a Ukrainian missile.

Russia Slams Ukrainian Claim Of Attack On Civilian Targets (RT)

Claims by Ukrainian officials that Russia deliberately attacked civilian targets in Kiev on Monday are “absolutely untrue,” the Defense Ministry in Moscow has stated. The Ukrainian capital was rocked by a series of powerful explosions earlier in the day, according to numerous videos published by local media. Civilians on the ground were reportedly injured. Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky has accused Moscow of deliberately targeting a prominent children’s hospital, claiming that “it’s impossible that Russia does not know where its missiles fly and must fully answer for its crimes.” Ukrainian Interior Minister Igor Klimenko has branded Russia “a nation of terrorists and scum,” adding that at least seven people were killed in the capital.

The Russian military confirmed firing a barrage of long-range missiles on Monday, but stressed that it was targeting military factories and airfields in Ukraine. “Claims by representatives of the Kiev regime alleging a purportedly deliberate Russian strike on civilian sites are absolutely not true,” the statement said. “Numerous photos and videos from Kiev irrefutably confirm destruction by a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile, which was fired by a launcher positioned inside the city,” it stated. Russia reportedly used hypersonic air-launched Kinzhal missiles in the barrage. Senior Ukrainian officials have claimed that the weapons are vulnerable to interception by Patriot missile systems. Last week, a senior air defense commander said that no Kinzhal had pierced the American-made shield so far, despite Moscow firing over 20 of them.

“All the Kinzhal missiles launched at the Ukrainian capital since the deployment of Patriot systems was announced were successfully stopped. Not a single ballistic missile since May 2023 reached its target in the capital,” Colonel Sergey Yaryomenko, commander of the 96th air defense brigade, told the Ukrinform news outlet. Moscow has previously said that Kiev exaggerates its interception rates. The Ukrainians claim to have shot down more Kinzhals than Russian forces have actually deployed, according to senior Russian military officials.

Defense Missile

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“Kiev must win in the conflict with Moscow in order to join.”

No Promise Ukraine Will Join NATO In A Decade – Stoltenberg (RT)

There is no guarantee that Ukraine will join NATO within the next decade, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said, adding that Kiev’s membership depends on whether it wins the conflict with Russia. In an interview with CBS News on Sunday, Stoltenberg, who will leave his post in October, was asked to explain why he hopes that Ukraine will join the US-led military bloc by 2034, rather than within three years. “Well, no one has said exactly 10 years but it’s obvious that it is a very serious issue to bring in Ukraine,” NATO’s top official noted, explaining that “Ukraine is now a country at war.” He stressed that the most important thing for NATO now is “to step up our support to Ukraine to ensure that Ukraine prevails. That’s a precondition for any future membership for Ukraine.”

In an interview with DPA news agency last week, Stoltenberg said that he hoped Kiev will become part of the bloc within a decade. His comments came as Kiev’s ambassador to NATO, Natalya Galibarenko, told Politico that Ukraine wanted an “irreversible” membership offer at the bloc’s summit in Washington, which is slated to be held between July 9 and 11. NATO members first agreed that Ukraine would join the bloc in 2008 but gave no specific timeline. After the Western-backed coup in Kiev in 2014, Ukraine fully committed to the goal of obtaining membership. In the fall of 2022, it formally applied to join NATO after four of its former regions voted overwhelmingly to become part of Russia.

NATO officials, however, have repeatedly said that Ukraine’s membership is out of the question while it is in conflict with Russia due to escalation concerns. Moscow views NATO’s expansion towards its borders as an existential threat; Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Ukraine’s intention to join the bloc was one of the key reasons for the conflict. Moscow has also said that Kiev’s neutrality is the key prerequisite for sustainable peace with its neighbor.

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“I don’t believe Orban is just making overtures in Hungary’s interests either. He’s an emissary for Trump’s end-the-war plan”.

NATO’S Plan For Permanent War In Ukraine and On The Fareast Front (Helmer)

American, British and Canadian troops in NATO’s forward bases in Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania are being told to prepare for deployment to the Ukraine next year. They are also being warned to expect to fight under heavy Russian artillery, missile, guided bomb, and drone strikes. This message is also intended to slip into the hands of Russian military intelligence and find its way to the Kremlin. There, Moscow sources believe, the intelligence is interpreted as provocation — part of the US and NATO scheme to escalate NATO attacks in the Black Sea and deep into Russian territory, in order to encourage Russian counter-attacks against NATO targets, triggering thereby Article Five of the NATO Treaty and collective NATO force intervention to follow. Additionally, Russian sources interpret the intelligence as confirming that the US will not allow capitulation and replacement of Vladimir Zelensky and his regime in Kiev — so no denazification, which is one of the two main objectives of the Special Military Operation.

Also, no peace terms will be countenanced short of Russian withdrawal from Crimea and the four regions of Novorossiya, and the military defeat of the Russian Army. So, no demilitarization, the second of Russia’s long-term security objectives. The immediate General Staff response has been to devise “soft” measures to combat the US, UK and other NATO airborne electronic warfare units which are providing guidance, targeting, launch timing and flight manoeuvre of Storm Shadow and ATACMS missiles, as well as coordination of Ukrainian aerial and naval drone strikes. The Russian command has also unleashed a new round of missile attacks against Ukrainian airfields – Voznesensk and Mirgorod – where the bombers launching long-range Storm Shadow cruise missiles are based, and where the NATO-supplied F-16s are planned for deployment in a few weeks’ time. Under growing domestic pressure to counter attacks as damaging to civilians as the Sevastopol beach strike of June 23, President Vladimir Putin has been making a sequence of statements of calculated ambiguity, if not of strategic deception.

One interpretation of this by security analysts in Moscow is that the president is avoiding the provocation trap, creating instead a record of peace terms he is offering, confident they will be dismissed in Kiev, Brussels, London, and Washington. This is to reserve Russian freedom of action for now, reverse the blame later on. On Friday, in Putin’s remarks to the press after meeting at the Kremlin with Hungary’s Prime Minister Victor Orban – currently the rotational president of the European Union Council – Putin repeated his peace terms offer and his expectation of their rejection: “We remain open for a discussion on a political and diplomatic settlement. However, the opposite side only makes clear its reluctance to resolve this issue in this manner. Ukraine’s sponsors continue using this country and its people as a ram, making it a victim in the confrontation with Russia.”

“We outlined our peace initiative quite recently at my meeting with the senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. We believe that its implementation would make it possible to end hostilities and begin negotiations. Moreover, this should not just be a truce or a temporary ceasefire, nor should it be a pause that the Kiev regime could use to recover its losses, regroup and rearm. Russia advocates a full and final end to the conflict. The conditions for that, as I have already said, are set out in my speech at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We are talking about the complete withdrawal of all Ukrainian troops from the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and from the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. There are other conditions as well.”

Putin is not alone in the war staff – the Stavka – in suspecting provocation by the Americans and British while they prepare for escalation to direct war. Too, the Stavka recognizes this was Stalin’s problem interpreting intelligence from Tokyo and Berlin, especially Richard Sorge’s cables from December 1940 through the early days of June 1941, warning of Hitler’s preparations to invade across the Soviet border. Moscow sources are sure that avoiding Stalin’s catastrophic misjudgement of Hitler’s timing is a priority of Putin’s and of the General Staff’s. Misjudging the timing of the US coup in Kiev of February 21, 2014, almost cost the loss of Sevastopol and Crimea; misjudging the readiness of Ukrainian forces at Hostemel on February 24, 2022, cost the lives of at least 300 Russian paratroopers, failed at triggering regime change in Kiev, and doomed the peace negotiations in Istanbul of March 30. “We told you so” is not a refrain the Kremlin is hearing now from the General Staff for the first time.

Putin’s reluctance to act is criticized in Moscow as the pace of the Ukrainian missile and drone raids increases. “I know for a fact that General Staff fully anticipated NATO’s involvement from the start and contingency planning has been done accordingly,” reported the US-based military analyst Andrei Martyanov on July 3. “It was clear from the first day of SMO [Special Military Operation] not now. The only issue was how Russia will approach escalation and the gradual involvement of NATO until it becomes clear that it is between combined West and Russia.” “What happened to no NATO, and de-Nazification?” a military source asks.“The Americans, Ukrainians, British have been escalating and the president has been temporizing in response,” he answers. “I don’t believe Orban is just making overtures in Hungary’s interests either. He’s an emissary for Trump’s end-the-war plan”.

The source is referring to Orban’s boostering for Trump’s election in November. “You can criticize [Trump] for many reasons,” Orban has said, “but the best foreign policy of the recent several decades belongs to him. He did not initiate any new war, he treated nicely the North Koreans, and Russia and even the Chinese … and if he would have been the president at the moment of the Russian invasion [of Ukraine], it would be not possible to do that by the Russians. Trump is the man who can save the Western world.”

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“..at any moment, the NATO general picks up the phone and, on instructions from Washington, issues a directive to certain units without the approval of their national parliaments..”

NATO Is Approaching Russia’s Borders From The Other Side (Gevorg Mirzayan)

The leadership of the North Atlantic Alliance has announced its readiness to participate more actively in East Asian affairs. This is ostensibly a response to China’s actions. Firstly, because of its cooperation with Russia. “The growing rapprochement between Russia and its authoritarian friends in Asia makes our work with friends in the Indo-Pacific region even more important,” says NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Western states are looking for the culprits in this – and find them in the person of the Chinese comrades, who, they say, have provided Russia with everything necessary to confront the “civilized world.” Secondly, because China’s actions allegedly threaten the security of Europe. “Publicly, President Xi pretends that he avoids the conflict in Ukraine in order to avoid sanctions and maintain trade relations. However, in fact, China supports the largest military conflict in Europe since World War II, while wishing to maintain good relations with the West,” continues Stoltenberg.

In China, of course, they deny all the accusations. “NATO is a product of the Cold War and the largest military force in the world. Instead of denigrating China and attacking it with all sorts of statements, NATO should realize the role that the alliance has played in the Ukrainian crisis,” said the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lin Jian. According to him, China is neither the initiator nor a party to the Ukrainian crisis. “I advise the parties concerned to stop shifting responsibility and sowing discord, to refrain from adding fuel to the fire and provoking an inter-bloc confrontation. And instead do something useful for a political solution to the crisis,” the diplomat explained. Moreover, the Chinese claim NATO has no place in East Asia, if only because the organization will bring with it only conflicts and wars. “All countries of the Asia-Pacific region are committed to promoting peace and development. Americans need to respect this commitment and also work for peace and development, and not bring block confrontation and conflict with them to the region,” the Chinese Embassy in Washington has said in a statement.

However, the Americans seem to ignore these accusations. The arrival of NATO in East Asia has already been resolved for them — it will be implemented under whatever administration comes next. And the statement about China’s partisan involvement in the Ukrainian crisis is just an excuse, as well as a rhetorical device in order to put pressure on the European countries and convince/force them to support the expansion of NATO to the Far East. “The fact is that Europe is trying to avoid genuine participation in the military confrontation with China. And it motivates this by the fact that the confrontation with Russia is already difficult enough. Europe is ready to support the United States verbally, but at the same time it is not even ready to allocate money for the fareast confrontation, not to mention sending the military to the shores of China,” Vadim Trukhachev, associate professor at the Russian State University, explains to Vzglyad.

“The Americans are really creating a global planetary player or a police organization out of NATO. And they’re not shy about talking about it – to argue that not only American bases, but also European and other bases should restrain China. All this has already been implemented in the form of small missions, and now the Americans are pushing the topic of creating NATO rapid reaction forces. Now these troops consist of 30,000 people, but they want to increase them to 300,000,” Andrei Klintsevich, head of the Center for the Study of Military and Political Conflicts, explains to Vzglyad. Such international forces, Polish, German, French and Italian, would operate outside national command and control. “That is, at any moment, the NATO general picks up the phone and, on instructions from Washington, issues a directive to certain units without the approval of their national parliaments. And the troops are flying away to carry out the multinational task,” Klintsevich continues.

Europe’s sluggish resistance to the prospects of such a deployment is the last problem on the way to the Far Eastern expansion of the alliance. Moreover, there are already enough countries in the Far East which are ready to support the arrival of NATO in the region. Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea are seen as the key partners of the alliance here. Countries that are very much afraid of China’s growth. Which are much more dependent on the United States than India, and will attend the NATO summit in Washington. According to US Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, the Indo-Pacific region is “now more connected to Europe than ever before.” Finally, the United States has already made certain preparations – for example, the AUKUS bloc (consisting of Australia, United Kingdom, and the United States), which was conceived precisely as a weapon to deter the PRC. “The AUKUS bloc is likely to expand – additional countries will be included, most likely Japan and South Korea. And then this bloc will sign some kind of unification agreement with NATO, after which the alliance will become a global one,” Klintsevich explains.

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“While some of us believe that Trump’s speech was entirely protected under the First Amendment, the justices suggested that it was also protected as a matter of immunity.”

“A Death Squad Ruling” (Turley)

The proceedings in Manhattan after the decision belie the claims that a president can now commit murder with impunity. Judge Juan Merchan is likely to find that Trump’s conduct in office in approving payments related to Stormy Daniels fall into the third, unprotected category. While some of the testimony may have intruded into protected areas, most experts anticipate that the court will reject dismissal of charges under an absolute immunity claim. Judges in the other Trump prosecutions will be performing the same inquiry, though the impact is likely to be much greater in the case of the special counsel in Washington, D.C. In fairness to critics, Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent gave credence to their hyperbolic theories. Sotomayor wrote: “The president of the United States is the most powerful person in the country, and possibly the world. When he uses his official powers in any way, under the majority’s reasoning, he now will be insulated from criminal prosecution. Orders the Navy’s SEAL Team 6 to assassinate a political rival? Immune. Organizes a military coup to hold onto power? Immune. Takes a bribe in exchange for a pardon? Immune. Immune, immune, immune.”

The dissent ignores parts of the majority opinion that expressly refute such claims. For example, the majority discussed how prosecutors could present evidence in a bribery case that a president “allegedly demanded, received, accepted, or agreed to receive or accept in return for being influenced in the performance of the act.” The prosecution can overcome the presumption of immunity with such evidence. Indeed, the majority stated that Trump’s alleged “private scheme with private actors” to create alternative slates of electors “cannot be neatly categorized as falling within a particular presidential function.” If that is established by the trial court, then Trump’s actions would not be protected by any sort of immunity.In defining official functions, the Court referenced constitutional and statutory authority. It also recognized that a president must be able to speak to the public on matters of public interest, as Trump did on Jan. 6, 2021. While some of us believe that Trump’s speech was entirely protected under the First Amendment, the justices suggested that it was also protected as a matter of immunity.

That is a far cry from a green light for death squads. The idea that Trump could not order a slate of fake electors but could order a slew of political assassinations finds little support in the actual opinion.Sotomayor is suggesting that the president could just declare that killing an opponent is in the national security interest. However, various laws contradict the claim that such acts are left to the discretion of the president. Not only would the military likely refuse such an unlawful order, but no court would consider it a core constitutional function. The opinion draws lines with ample protection for presidents. The court cited opinions and practices going back decades for such breathing space. Ironically, Biden’s hyperbolic account of the court’s opinion only serves to highlight the decision of former President Barack Obama and his vice president, Joe Biden, to kill an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, in a drone attack without a charge, let alone a conviction.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Obama administration’s “kill list” policy to a group of lawyers and judges at Northwestern University Law School and received not condemnation but applause. Under Holder, the Obama administration fought every effort of the al-Awlaki family to seek information on the killing and insisted that courts had no role to play in such cases. Yet, in the wake of the immunity decision, Holder expressed shock at the implication of the presidential power. Could Obama and Biden be charged with murder for what they did? Most say no, because they were acting in fulfillment of their national security authority. If so, could they simply declare a political opponent to be an enemy combatant? They actually did maintain, years before this Supreme Court opinion, that such a decision was left to them and figures such as Holder.

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The God of Christmas Past.

In It to Spin It (Kunstler)

As happens often these days, he slips off to sleep. In his dream, a red phone is ringing.
“Who’s this. . .?” he says.
“Me, God. Thought it was time you and me had a little chat. You can’t be serious ’bout this re-election thang.”
“I’m defending our democracy. Gotta stay in. Defeat Hitler.”
“Democracy my ass! You channelin’ Hitler yourself a little too much lately. How it is you laid ninety-seven indictments on my dawg DJT? You done George Floyded da man!”
“But. . . but. . . the insurrection—”
“Insurrection my ass! Why you keep sayin’ dat?”
“If you repeat stuff enough, people believe it.”
“Who told you that?”
“Andrew Weissmann.”
“Oh, really? I kicked his ass outa my house more’n four thousand years ago. He ain’t nothin’ but trouble. Who told you to listen to him?”
“Lisa Monaco and Mary McCord.”
“Oh? Them two! Just so you know, I canceled they retirement plan up here with me. They goin’ to the other place wid Weissmann. Now, I got news for you, Joey: Ima have to take yo’ ass out dis election.”
“But why? I’ve accomplished so much. Did you see me at Gettysburg, beating those insurrectionists?”
“I see everything. Didn’t see you around dat day.”
“What about when I stormed the beaches at Normandy?”
“Naw. You was in a playpen, going goo-goo-goo. Look, Joey, here’s the deal: remember you said ‘God bless America’ in all them speeches you made?”
“We all say that. Anyway. . . .”
“Maybe y’all go through the motions, but I got responsibilities, know what I’m sayin’? I been tryin’ and tryin’ to bless dis land but yo’ bunch making’ it mighty difficult for me. So, news flash: yo’ ass is out de race. Official act from yours truly. Sorry.”
“But. . .but. . . that’s. . . that’s racist!” the President stutters as his dream dissolves in a vapor.

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“..standards and protocols for the education and training of its troops were “just not working.”

US Ambassador To Japan Comments On American Military Sex Crimes (RT)

US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel has expressed regret over sex crimes committed by American military personnel stationed on Okinawa Island, saying that the training standards of the troops were “just not working,” media reported on Saturday. The southernmost prefecture hosts 70% of all US military facilities in Japan, despite comprising just 1% of the country’s territory. Last month, the media revealed that a US Air Force soldier had been arrested back in March on charges of kidnapping and raping a teenage girl in Okinawa, a crime dating back to December 2023. Another similar case involved a US Marine who was arrested in May on suspicion of attempted rape resulting in injury. The Japanese government has acknowledged that at least five such cases took place this year in Okinawa. Following the incidents, Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Masataka Okano lodged a protest with the US ambassador in late June.

Emanuel said he deeply regretted what had happened to the victims, their families, and their community, but fell short of apologizing, according to the Associated Press. “Obviously, you got to let the criminal justice process play out,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean you don’t express on a human level your sense of regret. We have to do better,” Emanuel added, admitting that the US military’s standards and protocols for the education and training of its troops were “just not working.” Okinawa police and the foreign ministry, which was also aware of a string of sex crimes involving US troops in the prefecture, chose not to disclose the information to the local government, citing privacy considerations relating to the victims. This delay in reporting the incidents may have impeded measures intended to alert residents and take preventive steps, said Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki.

“These cases caused strong fear among prefectural residents and neglected women’s human rights and dignity,” Mainichi news outlet quoted him as saying last week.According to local media reports, Okinawa has seen a spate of sex crimes committed by US military personnel since 1995, when a 12-year old girl was raped by three American service members, sparking massive protests against the US presence in the area.In 2016, a woman in the city of Uruma was reportedly assaulted and murdered by a civilian US base worker who was formerly a Marine. In Okinawa, the number of incidents in which US military personnel and civilian staff were criminally accused has been on the rise with 72 cases reported in 2023, a record high over the past 20 years, Mainichi reported, citing prefectural police.

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History lesson.

Empire Of Salt And Gold: Where Did The Richest Man In The World Come From? (RT)

The pre-colonial history of African countries deserves close attention. The African continent became a place where great trading empires were born and flourished during the Middle Ages. The Sahel zone, the African ‘sandy coast’, which is a belt of land stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, became a kind of civilizational center for the continent. It was here that some of the first African countries arose.The Mali Empire, which covered the territories of modern Mali, Guinea, Senegal, Niger, and Mauritania, existed from the 13th to the 16th centuries. Originating in the vicinity of West Africa’s main trade and logistics artery, the Niger River, the empire became known throughout the world and reached its peak of prosperity thanks to one of its rulers, Mansa Musa.

According to various studies, Mansa Musa was in power for more than two decades – from 1307/1312 to 1332/1337 – and became the ninth ruler, or mansa, of the empire. Translated from the Maninka language, mansa means ‘king’ or ‘ruler’. Despite his relatively short reign, his rule led to the rapid economic development of the Mali Empire, the expansion of its territory, and a rise in science and culture.The ruler gained worldwide fame due to his untold wealth – even in the 21st century, Mansa Musa is recognized as the richest man in the history of mankind. In 2014, the publication Celebrity Net Worth estimated that, by modern standards, the ruler’s fortune would amount to $400 billion, which exceeds the capital of the Rothschild family and such figures as American entrepreneur John D. Rockefeller.


Mansa Musa, King of Mali, holding a sceptre and a piece of gold as represented in the Catalan Atlas, by the Jewish illustrator Cresques Abraham

It is rather difficult to make an accurate assessment of Mansa Musa’s total personal wealth, since in the Middle Ages the concepts of a ruler’s personal wealth and the general state of the empire are generally closely intertwined. In the 14th century, just as in the 21st, untold wealth was accumulated due to the country’s strategic location. Covering most of the Niger River valley and the surrounding areas of the Sahara Desert, the Mali Empire controlled the main routes along which the lucrative gold and salt trade with both Arab and Mediterranean countries took place. At that time, gold had already become both a symbol of prestige and a settlement currency, while salt was necessary for preserving food. This made these commodities essential for meeting the key needs of that time.

Deposits of basic commodities were also located on the empire’s territory, and Mali’s geographical location allowed its ruler to set taxes and trade duties, as well as to regulate the logistics chains of that time. The former brought the largest revenues to the state coffers. Thus, the Mali Empire occupied a central position in trans-Saharan trade, connecting West Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Arab world. In 1324, after more than a decade in power, Mansa Musa fulfilled the duty of every wealthy Muslim – he carried out the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. It was through this journey that the world learned about the wealth of both the Mali Empire and the ruler himself.

Mansa Musa went to Mecca accompanied by a large retinue. The size of the entire procession was 60,000 people, while Mansa’s personal escort numbered 12,000 slaves. The most striking part of the procession was 500 slaves, each of whom held an ingot of gold or a staff decorated with gold. In addition, the delegation was accompanied by 80 camels, which were also loaded down with gold. Michael A. Gomez, a professor at New York University and a specialist in the history of West Africa, suggests that the volume of gold taken on the Hajj could have been up to 18 tons. Such a procession could not go unnoticed. An equally important purpose of the pilgrimage was to demonstrate one’s wealth and power. On the way to Mecca, the delegation passed through the territory of modern Mauritania, Algeria, and Egypt.

Throughout the journey, Mansa Musa generously shared his wealth and distributed gold to all the poor and needy he met on the road. Upon his arrival in Cairo, which was capital of the Mamluk Sultanate at that time, the emperor’s huge outlays of gold even drove down its price, disrupting the stability of local markets. Mansa Musa’s pilgrimage led to unprecedented growth in the power of the empire and increased trade turnover. Gold began to course through the markets of Mediterranean countries, undermining their economies, which only contributed to developing the trans-Saharan trade routes, while elevating the role of the Mali Empire as its main trading center.

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WorkID
https://twitter.com/i/status/1810296420056121348

 

 

Otters

 

 

Loggerhead
https://twitter.com/i/status/1810038660068155879

 

 

 

 

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Jul 082024
 


Jacques-Louis David Erasistratus Discovering the Cause of Antiochus’ Disease 1774

 

Democratic Party ‘Clans Clash’ in Wake of Biden’s Debate Performance (Sp.)
Get a Dog: The Political and Media Establishment Turns on Biden (Turley)
‘Blitz Primary’ Proposed as Democratic Insiders Dissatisfied With Biden (Sp.)
Biden Campaign Fed Questions For ‘I’m A Black Woman’ Interview (RT)
Biden Refuses To Believe Poll Numbers (RT)
President Biden Must Resign, or Be Impeached (Young)
Leftist Coalition Set For Shock Victory In French Election (ZH)
New French Governing Coalition Will Likely Be ‘Fragile’ (Sp.)
How ‘Putin Endorsed Le Pen’: Russiagate Comes To France (Amar)
A Nation In Pain: How Political Idealism Destroyed Ukraine (Glenn Diesen)
Orban’s Peace Mission Continues (Sp.)
Xi Jinping Welcomes Viktor Orban To Beijing (RT)
Israel Deliberately Killed Own Citizens on October 7 – Report (Sp.)
BRICS To Launch Independent Financial System – Moscow (RT)
Elon Musk Issues WhatsApp Safety Warning (RT)

 

 

 

 

Tuberville

 

 

Biden chip

 

 

Megyn

 

 

Obamagate

 

 

Pope

 

 

Biden ABC full interview

 

 

 

 

“..a lot of people don’t understand is that Barack Obama and the Clintons and Biden don’t have a great relationship..”

Democratic Party ‘Clans Clash’ in Wake of Biden’s Debate Performance (Sp.)

A Wall Street Journal poll conducted in the wake of Joe Biden’s debate against Trump – his first of the 2024 election cycle – showed that 80 percent of the nation’s voters think the Democrat is too old to run for a second term. Fissures are growing within the Democratic Party’s three leading clans as Joe Biden refuses to give in to demands to drop out of the 2024 race, the Financial Times has reported. An “already-fractured” Democratic Party is reportedly trying desperately to carry out damage control in the wake of the 81-year-old president’s debate against Trump. But the “historic crisis” that has led to increasing questions regarding his mental acuity has opened up “old wounds and rivalries,” noted the FT. The Democratic Party is described as witnessing a raging battle between “three leading clans,” while the Republican Party “has appeared ever more uniform” under Trump.

Some Democrats are ostensibly hoping Biden’s once boss, ex-president Barack Obama, could “usher Biden aside.” However, the outlet cites those from the inner Biden circle as warning that such a step would be “counterproductive.” The reason is that there is supposedly a lingering bitterness among the Bidens after Obama backed Hillary Clinton, and not vice-president Biden to be his successor in 2015. Clinton went on to lose that presidential bid to Trump in 2016. “I think the thing that a lot of people don’t understand is that Barack Obama and the Clintons and Biden don’t have a great relationship,” one Democratic lobbyist was cited as saying. As for Obama himself, during his debut stint as senator representing Illinois from 2005 to 2008 he inflamed the Clintons after he “had the audacity” to challenge Hillary Clinton for the party’s 2008 nomination, reminded the outlet. “There is no unity among Democrats because, basically, the Democratic coalition’s pieces do not share the same values,” party strategist Hank Sheinkopf was cited as saying.

The various degrees of resentment nursed overtly by the Bidens, Obamas and the Clintons come amid a flurry of Democratic politicians, donors, and other supporters calling for the removal of Biden as candidate. Biden – appearing to be confused and incoherent throughout his debate with the Republican frontrunner last Thursday – reinforced ongoing concerns about his cognitive abilities. The president has taken a defiant stance, claiming his debate performance was just a “bad episode.” But 80 percent of the nation’s voters insist that the Democrat is too old to run for a second term, according to a Wall Street Journal poll released on Wednesday. Amid a flurry of reports attempting to suggest possible replacements for Biden, a new campaign has been imploring him to “Pass the Torch.” Hours before Biden was interviewed by ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, where he insisted that he will stay in the race, Democratic activists launched a grassroots campaign begging the president to step aside.

They urged him to act on a 2020 pledge to be a “transition” president. “Democrats need the strongest possible ticket to maximize our chances of winning in November. It has become very clear, based on both long-term polling and the recent debate, that Democrats’ current ticket is not the strongest one we can put forward,” said the campaign.

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“In a blink, he has gone from “the best Biden ever” to a type of “comatose but comfortable” defense. It is the political version of going from blue chip to junk bond status in a week.”

Get a Dog: The Political and Media Establishment Turns on Biden (Turley)

Fox host Shannon Bream reported this morning that her staff tried for an entire week to get a single Democrat to go on the show to defend President Joe Biden as the party’s nominee. Not a single Democrat was willing to do so. In the meantime, the New York Times is reporting that a senior White House official is calling for Biden to step down as the nominee due to his declining physical and mental condition. The media, which has long attacked those questioning Biden’s fitness, is now on board with the Democratic establishment in pushing the President to withdraw. The one constant in this ever-changing city is that self-interest alone drives policies and alliances. If you endanger the meal ticket of members of Congress, you are immediately persona non grata. Biden is now threatening Democratic control of both the White House and the Congress. The word is out that Biden has to go so the media is suddenly noticing what it long refused to see.

That goes for staffers too. For years, the staff has engaged in a dishonest effort to shield Biden from questions and to carefully script and choreograph his appearances. Figures like Karine Jean-Pierre and close political allies knowingly misled the public as to the President’s deteriorating condition. Even after telling the public to watch the President in interviews, it was revealed this weekend that the White House was feeding pre-written questions to favorable hosts. Indeed, the media is actually blaming conservatives for failing to reveal the President’s condition due to their effort to frame the news. The truth is now unavoidable. The President has continued to struggle with clarity, as when he recently declared “by the way, I’m proud to be, as I said, the first vice president, first black woman… to serve with a black president.”

In the case of this high-level White House staffer, he or she also said nothing for months, even as the White House attacked Fox News and other outlets for showing the President’s confusion at public events. They were denounced as “cheap fakes.” This staffer reportedly worked with Biden during his presidency, vice presidency and 2020 campaign. As with the media, however, the staffer now seems to have the green light to kick the President to the curb to strengthen Democratic chances in the upcoming election. The staffer revealed that Biden has repeatedly become confused and weakened in the course of the day. Somehow this is being portrayed as courageous despite the fact that the staffer remained silent as others were attacked for raising these issues and the White House actively hid the President’s declining condition.

As is often the case, everyone in Washington is jumping ship as the rats run for the poop deck. No one will be held responsible for months and months of misleading the public about the condition of the man who holds the nuclear launch codes. Just weeks ago, the media was heralding the brilliance and sharpness of the President. On MSNBC, Joe Scarborough stated “start your tape right now because I’m about to tell you the truth. And F— you if you can’t handle the truth. This version of Biden intellectually, analytically, is the best Biden ever. Not a close second. And I have known him for years…If it weren’t the truth I wouldn’t say it.” Now, the best that Biden can muster is MSNBC’s Joy Reid who declared “If it’s Biden in a coma, I’m going to vote for Biden in a coma. I don’t even really, in particular, like the guy. A lot of his policies? Don’t like them, [but] he’s not Donald Trump, right?”

Now there’s a roaring endorsement. The comatose POTUS pitch. Rep. Dan Goldman (D., N.Y.) threw in his own damning defense by saying that the public should just look at the people around the President, a type of figurehead rationale for keeping a possibly infirm president. As usual, it is the public that has been played as chumps by the establishment and the media. The public is expected to forget the years of shielding Biden and the many public testimonials of his wickedly sharp acumen. In a blink, he has gone from “the best Biden ever” to a type of “comatose but comfortable” defense. It is the political version of going from blue chip to junk bond status in a week.

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“..moderated by celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Taylor Smith and Michelle Obama..”

“Democratic Party luminaries are likely to continue to stick with Biden, maintaining their influence within the organization even if it means defeat in November.”

‘Blitz Primary’ Proposed as Democratic Insiders Dissatisfied With Biden (Sp.)

Two Democratic insiders have proposed a novel idea to address the “malaise and crisis” within the party amid questions over US President Joe Biden’s age and mental acuity. Ted Dintersmith, a wealthy party donor, and Rosa Brooks, a law professor and veteran of former President Barack Obama’s Defense Department, have proposed a whirlwind “blitz primary” to rapidly choose a replacement for the elderly party leader. The plan suggests Democratic Party leaders could choose six candidates, who would run brief “positive-only” campaigns putting forward their case for why they should be the party’s nominee. Weekly events would be held where the candidates put forward their ideas and vision, moderated by celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Taylor Smith and Michelle Obama in order to stir voter interest. After one month’s time the party leaders would vote to select a ticket from the group of contenders, making the decision before the start of the Democratic National Convention on August 19.

The insiders claim the ploy would reinvigorate interest in the party and revive its electoral chances, which suffered a steep decline after Biden’s widely-panned performance at June 27th’s televised debate. “We can limp to shameful, avoidable democracy-ending defeat,” Brooks and Dintersmith reason, “or Democrats can make this Our Finest Hour. While we hope for help from Lord Almighty, the Lord helps those who help themselves. We need to act. Now.” Observers suggest the idea is unlikely to gain traction as it would require the blessing of Biden, who has insisted he will continue his candidacy unless instructed otherwise by God himself. It would also require Kamala Harris to surrender her assumed right to top the ticket as the current Vice President. The appearance of the party passing over a Black and female presumptive nominee could cause lasting controversy among core Democratic Party constituencies, critics say.

What the plan has going for it, in the likely view of Democratic Party figures, is that it avoids the pesky issue of having to put the question to actual voters. Democratic Party delegates – the typically well-connected insiders chosen after state primaries or granted influence by virtue of their status in the party – would both choose the list of candidates and make the final decision once they are heard. Leaked emails published by Wikileaks after 2016’s contentious party primary revealed insiders intervened heavily to tilt the process in favor of former candidate Hillary Clinton and against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. In 2020, when Sanders again appeared to be in a strong position to win the party’s nomination, former President Barack Obama reportedly intervened behind the scenes to encourage multiple candidates to drop out and throw their support behind Biden instead.

The sudden surge of publicity for Biden, and stern warnings over the consequences of choosing Sanders, convinced voters to turn towards the former Obama vice president after Sanders’ victories in the first three state primaries had made his victory appear inevitable. The heavy hand of insiders in the candidate selection process – and series of highly questionable excuses offered to supporters for Biden’s disastrous debate performance – suggest the Democratic Party hardly lives up to its name. If some DNC figures remain concerned over the electoral chances of Joe Biden, they are terrified of losing control of the party to its voters, who may choose to back a forbidden candidate. All of which suggests Democratic Party luminaries are likely to continue to stick with Biden, maintaining their influence within the organization even if it means defeat in November.

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“The US president’s team has claimed “it is not at all uncommon” for guests to share topics they would prefer to discuss with journalists..”

Biden Campaign Fed Questions For ‘I’m A Black Woman’ Interview (RT)

The first journalists to interview US president Joe Biden after his disastrous performance in the June 27 debate against Donald Trump have said that they were given lists of approved questions by his campaign staff. Biden made appearances on radio shows with largely black audiences in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania on Thursday, a week after his face-off with Trump, in which the 81-year-old president appeared frail and lost his train of thought on multiple occasions. The interviews were used to show Biden’s doubters, especially in his own Democratic Party, that he is mentally and physically able for a reelection campaign and capable of discussing his record and answering questions coherently. However, the radio appearances were marred with more gaffes, with the president, among other things, describing himself as a “black woman.” “By the way, I’m proud to be, as I said, the first vice president, first black woman… to serve with a black president. Proud to be involved of the first black woman on the Supreme Court.

There’s so much that we can do because… look, we’re the United States of America,” Biden said on The Earl Ingram Show on Wisconsin’s CivicMedia. Host Earl told AP on Saturday that the Biden campaign gave him five “exact questions to ask” ahead of the interview. “There was no back and forth,” he added. “I probably would never have accepted, it but this was an opportunity to talk to the president of the United States,” Ingram explained. A few hours earlier, Andrea Lawful-Sanders, the host of The Source, a program on WURD in Pennsylvania, told CNN that “the questions were sent to me for approval; I approved of them” ahead of the interview with Biden. The Biden campaign’s spokeswoman, Lauren Hitt, confirmed the radio hosts’ claims, saying in a statement that “it is not at all an uncommon practice for interviewees to share topics they would prefer. These questions were relevant to news of the day.”

“We do not condition interviews on acceptance of these questions, and hosts are always free to ask the questions they think will best inform their listeners,” Hitt stressed. A source within Biden’s team told CBS News that it “will refrain from offering suggested questions” to journalists in his future interviews. A poll by Reuters/Ipsos revealed that one in three Democrats believes that Biden should quit the race after his debate performance, while some key donors have reportedly demanded that the president be replaced on the party’s ticket. In his interview with ABC News on Friday, Biden rejected the possibility of stepping down, insisting that he was “the most qualified person” to defeat Trump.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1809619673748529338

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Everybody loves me!

Biden Refuses To Believe Poll Numbers (RT)

US President Joe Biden said he does not accept polling data showing a slump in support, speaking in a televised interview on Friday. During the sit-down, ABC host George Stephanopoulos said: Mr. President, I’ve never seen a president with 36% approval get reelected.” Biden replied: “Well, I don’t believe that’s my approval rating. That’s not what our polls show,” without specifying which polling data he was relying on. A New York Times/Siena College poll released on Monday found that 36% of likely voters approve of the way Biden is handling his job as president. On voter intentions, the same survey showed Trump leading Biden with 49% to 43%, widening the gap from a 3-point lead before the debate.

“Look, you know polling better than anybody. Do you think polling data is as accurate as it used to be?” the US leader parried when Stephanopoulos insisted that Biden was close but still behind Trump even before going into the debate. Biden insisted that there’s nobody “more qualified to be president or win this race than me” and said he would not drop out, even if top Democratic leaders asked him to, claiming that only “the Lord Almighty” could convince him to step aside. Biden is struggling to dispel concerns over whether he is mentally and physically capable of leading the country for another four years following his halting performance in a televised debate against Republican rival Donald Trump.

The oldest US president in history appeared so frail and confused throughout the encounter last week that a survey conducted by CBS News/YouGov shortly afterwards found that 72% of registered voters do not believe Biden has the “mental and cognitive health necessary to serve as president.” A Suffolk University/USA TODAY poll published on Tuesday found Trump beating Biden by 3 percentage points, while a survey conducted for CNN by SSRS put Trump 6 points in the lead. A separate Bloomberg News/Morning Consult tracking poll showed Biden narrowing the gap over the past week and now losing “by only 2 percentage points” in the critical swing states needed to win the November election. Overall, less than one in five respondents in those states thought the 81-year-old was the “more coherent, mentally fit or dominant participant” of the debate.

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“A president’s failure to use due care or be loyal is ground for impeachment..”

President Biden Must Resign, or Be Impeached (Young)

President Biden’s duty to the American people is to “faithfully execute” his office. As a public trustee, Biden took an oath to do what is right. He is a trustee of powers bestowed upon him by the Constitution in return for his promise to be dutiful. Like every agent and trustee, Biden owes fiduciary duties to those who are served by his decisions. He owes them two duties: the duty of always acting with due care; and the duty of giving them his absolute loyalty, always putting their interests above his own. A president’s failure to use due care or be loyal is ground for impeachment. Under our Constitution, impeachment for “high crimes and misdemeanors” is not a criminal proceeding. Rather, it is a civil proceeding to discharge from office one who has failed in his or her trusteeship.

John Locke put it this way: “Who shall be judge, whether the prince or legislative act contrary to their trust? … To this I reply, The people shall be judge; for who shall be judge whether his trustee or deputy acts well, and according to the trust reposed in him, but he who deputes him, and must, by having deputed him, have still a power to discard him, when he fails in his trust? If this be reasonable in particular cases of private men, why should it be otherwise in that of the greatest moment, where the welfare of millions is concerned, and also where the evil, if not prevented, is greater, and the redress very difficult, dear, and dangerous?”

More than 50 years ago, when the impeachment of Richard Nixon was under consideration in the House of Representatives, I researched the English parliamentary practice of impeaching high officers for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The lead special counsel in the impeachment proceeding, John Doar, incorporated my conclusions into the articles of impeachment of Richard Nixon in these words: In all of this, Richard M. Nixon has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore Richard M. Nixon, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.

The same standard of abuse of fiduciary duties was later included in the articles of impeachment of Donald Trump: “In all of this, President Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.” As we saw last Thursday, President Biden is no longer capable of acting with due care as steward of the best interest of the American people. He appeared physically and cognitively inept. His answers to simple questions were nonsensical. Even Nancy Pelosi wondered aloud, “Is this an episode or is this a condition?”

For Biden to remain in office, he will not be faithfully executing it. Rather, he will be using the powers of the office for self-serving ends, depriving the American people of a vigorous defender of our rights and privileges. If Biden does not resign immediately, he has committed an impeachable offense by causing “manifest injury of the people of the United States.” Should Biden attempt to have his cake and eat it too, he might withdraw his candidacy for this year’s presidential election but not resign as president. If he affirms that he would not be qualified to execute the office of president in January 2025, then why is he qualified to serve in that office today? To withdraw from the presidential race but continue in office would be a violation of his duty of loyalty to the American people. Joe Biden made a choice when he took the oath of office to serve as our president. If he can no longer be loyal or serve with due care, then he must resign his office or be impeached.

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Very few saw that coming..

Leftist Coalition Set For Shock Victory In French Election (ZH)

Well, no one saw that coming… The last-minute-arranged broad left-wing coalition known as The New Popular Front (NFP), was leading a tight French legislative election Sunday, ahead of both President Emmanuel Macron’s centrists and Le Pen’s rightists, projections showed. Provisional estimates from four pollsters suggest the following seat projections: • Left Alliance Set for 170-215 Seats • Macron’s Group Set for 150-182 Seats • Le Pen’s Group Set for 110-158 Seats. It looks like the anti-National Rally front worked better than anyone expected, catching the polling companies by surprise. The projected results suggest that the co-ordinated anti-RN strategy, under which the left and center tactically withdrew their candidates from run-offs, had paid off. If confirmed in final voting tallies, the projections suggest that none of the three main blocs will be able easily to command a governing majority, potentially leaving France in a period of political gridlock.

There are some big barriers to that given that Macron himself has called France Unbowed – a big part of the left’s New Popular Front – an extremist party and some of his supports have called against voting for its candidates. AP reports that the French leftist leader,Jean-Luc Melenchon says elections are an “immense relief for a majority of people,” demands prime minister resign. Melenchon says the New Popular Front government would apply its program and nothing but the program as he refuses any negotiation with Macron’s party or any combination. As Bloomberg reports, that theoretically would mean some disruptive changes of economic policy, and by decree according to Melenchon: • Undoing the pension reform; • raising the minimum wage; • a 90% top marginal tax rate; • and freezing prices of some consumer staples. Not a pretty picture for French bonds either way.

Andrea Tueni, head of sales trading at Saxo Banque France: “This is a big surprise, it’s a real blow for the RN. That being said, it’s not necessarily good for markets: The Nouveau Front Populaire taking the lead could generate concerns due to their program which was the most poorly perceived by the markets.” French National Rally Leader Jordan Bardella warns this vote “has thrown France into the arms of the far-Left.” As @RUNews posted on X: “Macron now faces a total mess. He aimed to stop ‘Hitler’ party and mobilized Lenin (Mélenchon), but now he has both Lenin and Hitler, leaving him stuck in the middle.” Presumably all the globalist fear mongering over the so-called ‘Hitler-ite’ Le Pen pushed the French people back into the immigrant-loving arms of the Left? Or something else went down?

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If there is a coalition at all..

New French Governing Coalition Will Likely Be ‘Fragile’ (Sp.)

Assessing the results of the second round of the snap parliamentary elections in France, it can be assumed that the outcome will create a serious governance problem in the country. The future governing coalition will likely be fragile and society will be characterized by greater political polarization, chairman of Rome-based think tank Vision and Global Trends Tiberio Graziani told Sputnik. “Economic problems will worsen. It will be three years of political crisis,” he said. France is already going through a political crisis, both internally and within Europe. The elections show that the country is facing political, economic and social crises.

The same can be said about other European nations, like Germany, the expert added. Jean-Luc Melanchon’s left-wing New Popular Front coalition won the parliamentary elections, securing 182 seats (out of 577) in the French parliament. President Emmanuel Macron’s bloc gained 168 seats. Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardelle’s National Rally got 143 parliamentary seats.

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And then she loses…

How ‘Putin Endorsed Le Pen’: Russiagate Comes To France (Amar)

It is perfectly predictable and yet a sorry spectacle every time it happens: the great big bad Russia panic whenever, and that’s frequently nowadays, Western liberals and Centrists are losing their grip. This time it’s the turn of France. With the far-right/right-populist National Rally (RN) under Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella succeeding at the polls as never before, French and other Western mainstream media are serving up the same stale old dish of fearmongering and, most importantly, blame shifting.Russiagate, or really Russia Rage (as in Road Rage), and its many copies, have been with us since Hillary Clinton and her cult were incapable of facing the fact that she lost the 2016 US presidential election because she is a dreadful person with no redeeming graces – and unlike her naturally gifted if shifty and immoral husband, a catastrophically incompetent politician.

And like every good form of insanity, Russia Rage is absolutely immune to both falsification and its own record of failure, even as a piece of demagoguery. We know that the only real scandal about “Russiagate” was that it was a hoax, the result of massive exaggeration, outright lying, and all-round manipulation by Democratic party operatives and their media allies. We also know that it did not even work on its own dishonest terms. Russia Rage was, in American journalist Matt Taibbi’s words, an “epic disaster.” Indeed, if it had any political effect, then to ultimately help – not damage – its target, Donald Trump: Almost a decade after the inception of the “Russiagate” hoax, Trump is back, stronger than ever and set to capture the American presidency again. And this time, his organization and plans are much more elaborate and ambitious, and, just now, obliging conservative judges at the Supreme Court have also equipped him with almost perfect legal immunity.

The other thing that Russia Rage did accomplish is, of course, to massively damage the credibility of US mainstream media. Not that they ever deserved any (ask the Iraqis, for instance, owners of non-existent WMDs and victims of an absolutely illegal and devastating war of aggression based on a big fat lie eagerly supported by those media). But Russia Rage brought the lying home in a way that woke up many Americans. By 2022, US media credibility was the lowest “among 46 nations, according to a study by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.” One year before, “83 percent of Americans saw ‘fake news’ as a ‘problem,’ and 56 percent – mostly Republicans and independents – agreed that the media were “truly the enemy of the American people.”

And yet, here we go again. In best Russia Rage style, the Washington Post, relying unquestioningly on French intelligence services and, of course, anonymous “sources,” is mapping out a whole “ecosystem” of Russian influence campaigns targeting, it maintains, the French election as well as the Olympics. And not only now but for about a year already. One wonders how those wicked Russians foresaw Macron’s bizarre decision to cap his EU Parliament election failure with a snap legislative election at home to make the fiasco complete. Or, perhaps, must we now assume that Macron is working for Russia as well? Who knows? The French paper of record Le Monde has been keeping up a steady, ominous drumbeat for months already, keeping its readers on edge with tales of Russian subversion and, always, of course, the National Rally as its tool. Perish the thought that this could have anything to do with the RN being the most popular and most dangerous challenger to the Macronist regime of extreme Centrism.

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” Idealists who seek to transcend power politics and create a more benign world thus find themselves intensifying the security competition and instigating wars.”

A Nation In Pain: How Political Idealism Destroyed Ukraine (Glenn Diesen)

Political realism is commonly and mistakenly portrayed as immoral because its principal focus is on an inescapable security competition, and it thus rejects idealist efforts to transcend power politics. Because states canot break away from security competition, morality for the realist entails acting in accordance with the balance of power logic as the foundation for stability and peace. Idealist efforts to break with power politics can then be defined as immoral, as they undermine the management of the security competition as the foundation of peace. As Raymond Aron expressed in 1966: “The idealist, believing he has broken with power politics exaggerates its crimes.”The most appealing and dangerous idealist argument that destroyed Ukraine is that it has the right to join any military alliance it desires.

It is a very attractive statement that can easily win support from the public, as it affirms the freedom and sovereignty of Ukraine, and the alternative is seemingly that Russia should be allowed to dictate Ukraine’s policies. However, arguing that Ukraine should be allowed to join any military alliance is an idealist argument, as it appeals to how we would like the world to be, not how the world actually works. The principle that peace is derived from the expansion of military alliances without taking into account the security interests of other great powers has never existed. States such as Ukraine that border a great power have every reason to express legitimate security concerns, but inviting a rival great power such as the US into its territory intensifies the security competition. Is it moral to insist on how the world ought to be when war is the consequence of ignoring how the world actually works? The alternative to expanding NATO is not to accept a Russian sphere of influence, which denotes a zone of exclusive influence.

Peace is derived from recognizing a Russian sphere of interests, which is an area where Russian security interests must be recognized and incorporated rather than excluded. It did not use to be controversial to argue that Russian security interests must be taken into account when operating on its borders. This is why Europe had a belt of neutral states as a buffer between East and West during the Cold War to mitigate the security competition. Mexico has plenty of freedoms in the international system, but it does not have the freedom to join a Chinese-led military alliance or to host Chinese military bases. The idealist argument that Mexico can do as it pleases implies ignoring US security concerns, and the result would likely be the US destruction of Mexico. If Scotland secedes from the UK and then joins a Russian-led military alliance and hosts Russian missiles, would the English still champion the principle of consent?

When we live in a realist world and recognize that security competition must be mitigated for peace, then we accept a security system based on mutual constraints. When we live in the idealist world of good states versus evil states, then the force for good should not be constrained. Peace is then ensured when good defeats evil, and compromise is mere appeasement. Idealists who seek to transcend power politics and create a more benign world thus find themselves intensifying the security competition and instigating wars.

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“Hungarian FM Warns EU Politicians Will Have to ‘Buckle Up”

Orban’s Peace Mission Continues (Sp.)

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto on Sunday suggested that European politicians “buckle up” ahead of Hungary’s further actions aimed at promoting peace. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban visited Russia on Friday to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Orban described his visit as a continuation of his “peace mission” after a visit to Kiev, which took place on Tuesday. He has also announced more surprising meetings next week. Orban’s activity, however, sparked criticism from the EU authorities. “We are not deterred or discouraged by these attacks [by the EU officials]. The peace mission continues and even intensifies, so I suggest that European pro-war politicians buckle up and follow closely next week as well,” Szijjarto said in a video address on his social media.

The criticism Hungary faced during this week showed that the crisis in the European Union is being fueled by politicians who are supplying Ukraine with weapons, mulling sending troops there, and talking about nuclear weapons, he added. Hungary’s six-month presidency of the EU Council, which started on July 1, will be dedicated to the country’s peace mission, the top Hungarian diplomat said. Budapest will do everything it can to put an end to the Ukrainian conflict and to get Europe out of its “suffocating military crisis,” he added.

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Orban behaves like a true EU leader.

Xi Jinping Welcomes Viktor Orban To Beijing (RT)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has held a meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is in Beijing on what he has dubbed a “peacekeeping mission,” Xinhua reported on Monday morning. “China is a key power in creating the conditions for peace in the Russia-Ukraine war. This is why I came to meet with President Xi in Beijing, just two months after his official visit to Budapest,” Orban wrote in a post on X (formerly Twitter). Details of the meeting have yet to be revealed, but it follows Orban’s trips to Kiev and Moscow last week. The Hungarian prime minister called the Beijing trip a “peace mission 3.0” upon his arrival.

Orban embarked on an unannounced trip to Kiev last Tuesday, where he proposed a “quick ceasefire” to Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky. Orban then traveled to Moscow to discuss the “shortest way out” of the conflict with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Moscow’s and Kiev’s positions remain very “far apart,” according to the Hungarian leader, who noted that Zelensky “didn’t like” his proposals. Meanwhile, Putin reiterated Moscow’s readiness to resolve the hostilities through negotiations, but said the Ukrainian leadership appears committed to waging war “until the end.” Orban’s meeting with Putin angered some fellow EU leaders, while Kiev expressed fury that the Hungarian leader had traveled to Russia “without approval or coordination with Ukraine.”

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Hannibal.

Israel Deliberately Killed Own Citizens on October 7 – Report (Sp.)

A report in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz has claimed the IDF invoked the controversial Hannibal directive during Hamas’ October 7 attack last year, deliberately killing Israelis to prevent them from being taken hostage by Palestinian fighters. “Documents and testimonies obtained by Haaretz reveal the Hannibal operational order, which directs the use of force to prevent soldiers being taken into captivity, was employed at three army facilities infiltrated by Hamas, potentially endangering civilians as well,” read an article in the liberal paper’s Sunday edition. “‘Not a single vehicle can return to Gaza’ was the order,” writes journalist Yaniv Kubovich. “At this point, the IDF was not aware of the extent of kidnapping along the Gaza border, but it did know that many people were involved. Thus, it was entirely clear what that message meant, and what the fate of some of the kidnapped people would be.”

The newspaper notes the exact number of Israelis killed by IDF fire is unknown. The report cites testimony from servicemembers up and down the IDF chain of command, including soldiers and mid- and senior-level officers. Highly controversial within and outside of Israel, the so-called Hannibal directive was devised in response to the threat of armed groups gaining leverage over the Israeli state through the taking of hostages. Palestinian forces took several Israelis captive during the 1970s and 80s, successfully negotiating the release of Palestinian prisoners in return. The notion Israelis were “better dead than abducted” led to the creation of the protocol, which allowed the use of deadly force. Claims of the invocation of the Hannibal directive on October 7 were made months ago when it was revealed an IDF brigadier general instructed a tank to shell a house in Kibbutz Be’eri with a number of Israelis and Hamas fighters inside, killing 13 Israeli captives.

But Sunday’s report is the most complete accounting to date of accusations of friendly fire. The allegations add to claims Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has deliberately placed Israeli citizens in harm’s way in order to pursue the Likud party’s vision of territorial maximalism. The response to Hamas’ October 7 attack was reportedly delayed for hours because Netanyahu had redeployed soldiers to support Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank. Netanyahu’s government received urgent warnings from Egyptian authorities in the months leading up to Hamas’ attack that the Palestinian group was likely planning a significant armed operation, it has been revealed. Israeli reconnaissance of the Gaza Strip, broadly considered “one of the most heavily surveilled places in the world,” showed Palestinian fighters were training in the use of hang gliders that were used to breach the enclave’s border fence.

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And perhaps a currency.

BRICS To Launch Independent Financial System – Moscow (RT)

Countries of the BRICS economic bloc are currently working on the launch of a financial system that would be independent of the dominance of third parties, according to the Russian Ambassador to China Igor Morgulov. The volume of Russia’s transactions in national currencies with fellow BRICS nations is constantly growing, the envoy said on Saturday in Beijing, speaking at the 12th World Peace Forum (WPF). Morgulov highlighted that Russia-China trade turnover had reached $240 billion and that 92% of settlements were being conducted in rubles and yuans. “We are leaving the dollar-dominated space and developing the mechanism and tools for a truly independent financial system,” the ambassador said, as cited by RIA Novosti.

Morgulov also said that introducing a new single currency is still some way off but stressed that the group – which recently expanded and now comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Ethiopia, Iran and Egypt – is “moving in this direction.” Last month, Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister Ivan Chebeskov told media that Russia was working on creating a settlement-and-payment infrastructure together with BRICS member states’ central banks. The senior state official specified that the economic bloc was working on launching the BRICS Bridge platform for settlements in national currencies. In addition, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told Russian daily Vedomosti that BRICS Bridge could provide member states an opportunity to make settlements using digital assets of central banks linked to national currencies

Russia has been promoting its own domestic payment system as a reliable alternative to SWIFT, after many of the country’s financial institutions were cut off from the Western financial network in 2022. The Russian SPFS interbank messaging system ensures the secure transfer of financial messages between banks both inside and outside the country. Moscow has also accelerated efforts to move away from SWIFT by trading with international partners using their respective national currencies. The trend has been increasingly supported by members of the BRICS group, which have shifted from using the dollar and euro for trade settlements. The share of national currencies in Russia’s settlements with BRICS countries jumped to 85% at the end of 2023, up from 26% two years ago.

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“WhatsApp exports your user data every night. Some people still think it is secure..”

Elon Musk Issues WhatsApp Safety Warning (RT)

Elon Musk, owner of X (formerly Twitter), has again attacked WhatsApp over its handling of personal data. On Saturday, Musk commented on a post on X; one of the users had asked: “If WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted, why do we see ads related to the things we discussed in our chats?” The entrepreneur offered a short answer to the question, saying: “WhatsApp is not secure at all.” Musk had already engaged in an online spat with WhatsApp, which is owned by Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta conglomerate, this May. At the time, he responded to another post on X, which claimed that “WhatsApp exports user data nightly, which is analyzed and used for targeted advertising, making users the product, not the customer.” “WhatsApp exports your user data every night. Some people still think it is secure,” the Tesla and SpaceX CEO said, referring to longstanding concerns about data sharing between WhatsApp and Meta’s other platform, Facebook.

The exchange was noticed by WhatsApp’s head, Will Cathcart, who tried to defend his platform’s conduct. “Many have said this already, but worth repeating: this is not correct. We take security seriously and that’s why we end-to-end encrypt your messages. They don’t get sent to us every night or exported to us,” Cathcart said in his post on X. However, security researcher Tommy Mysk, who also joined the debate, clarified that while messages on WhatsApp might be end-to-end encrypted, “user data is not only about messages.” “The metadata such as user location, which contacts the user is communicating with, the patterns of when the user is online, etc. This metadata according to your privacy policy is indeed used for targeted ads across Meta services,” he said. “So, Elon Musk is right,” Mysk, who had previously uncovered data vulnerabilities in TikTok, Facebook and Apple’s products, wrote.

In 2022, when he was still in the process of purchasing Twitter, Musk argued that Zuckerberg had too much control over social media due to Meta owning Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. He called Meta’s CEO “Mark Zuckerberg XIV” in reference to France’s “Sun King” Louis XIV, who apocryphally claimed to be the state itself and was known for his wealth and authoritarian power. In 2023, the two tech billionaires were on the verge of holding a cage match against each other, but the bout never happened. Relations between Musk and Zuckerberg deteriorated even further after Meta launched Threads last summer, with the platform, which offers a space for real-time online conversations, being seen as a direct competitor to Twitter. Threads garnered 100 million users in the first days after launch, but the public’s interest in the app quickly subsided.

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Woody

 

 

Guns

 

 

Rescue

 

 

Koala

 

 


Dick Van Duijn captured the exact moment a squirrel stopped to smell a flower

 

 

Dog angry

 

 

The best

 

 

Alpaca

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 072024
 


Roy Lichtenstein Hopeless 1963

 

Biden Says He’s ‘Running The World’ (RT)
America Doesn’t Have A President – Musk (RT)
‘Doing My Goodest Job’ To Beat Trump (ZH)
US Mainstream Media Await New Orders Now Big Lie About Biden is Rumbled (DS)
Parkinson’s Specialist Visited White House At Least 9 Times The Past Year (ZH)
Democratic Donors Urge Biden To Step Aside – WaPo (RT)
Western Elites Lose Grip on Power Amid Political Crisis in US, France (Sp.)
The West’s Mask Of Morality Burns To Dust (Carman)
The Grim Reaper: Biden Declares Two Justices Will Be Gone in Four Years (Turley)
“Think About it Very Carefully”: Author Don Winslow to Sen. Mark Warner (Turley)
War Has Become NATO’s Agenda – Orban (RT)
New British PM Assures Ukraine Of ‘Unshakable’ Support (RT)
Foreign Mercs in Ukraine Bragged About Murdering Russian PoWs (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Biden ABC

 

 

RoganDuckDuckGo

 

 

 

 

“Biden insisted “no one” had told him he actually needed to undergo one.”

Biden Says He’s ‘Running The World’ (RT)

US President Joe Biden says he has been “running the world” and therefore does not actually need any cognitive tests to prove his fitness for office. The president made the remarks in an interview with ABC News on Friday, when the 81-year-old was repeatedly pressed by George Stephanopoulos about the growing concerns surrounding his mental and physical condition. Asked whether he has “had a full neurological and cognitive evaluation,” Biden provided a rather incoherent response. “I’ve had – I get a full neurological test everyday with me. And I’ve had a full physical. I had, you know, I mean, I – I’ve been at Walter Reed [national military medical center] for my physicals. I mean – uhm yes, the answer,” he stated. Pressed further whether he has actually had “specific cognitive tests” and an examination by a trained neurologist, rather than a broader practice doctor, Biden insisted “no one” had told him he actually needed to undergo one.

The president dodged the question on whether he would willingly pass such a test and release its results to the public, insisting his work alone proves he is fit enough for office. “Look. I have a cognitive test every single day. Every day I have that test. Everything I do. You know, not only am I campaigning, but I’m running the world. Not – and that’s not hi -sounds like hyperbole, but we are the essential nation of the world,” he asserted. During the interview, the president also blamed his subpar performance during last week’s debate against Donald Trump on suffering from a “bad cold,” dismissing it as a “bad episode” rather than part of a bigger problem.

The debate debacle has reinvigorated long-running concerns over Biden’s advanced age, as well as declining health. On Friday, a group of 168 high-profile Democratic Party supporters, including major donors and academics, sent a letter to the US president, urging him to drop out of the race, the Washington Post reported, citing anonymous sources. The signees have “respectfully” called on Biden to do so, arguing the move was needed “for the sake of our democracy and the future of our nation,” according to the report. However, Biden has repeatedly pledged to continue pursuing reelection, dismissing any prospects of dropping out amid the mounting criticism of the past few days.

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“Does America need a president?”

America Doesn’t Have A President – Musk (RT)

The US does not have an actual president and has not had one “for a while,” Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk has suggested. Musk took to his X (formerly Twitter) social media network to dip into the ongoing political debacle in the aftermath of the debates between US President Joe Biden and former leader Donald Trump. He reposted a message by another user, with a screenshot of an opinion piece run by the New York Times, titled “Does America need a president?” “Real question … since we obviously haven’t had one for a while lmao,” Musk wrote.

The piece itself, penned by social conservative columnist Ross Douthat, polemizes with other authors on the role of the president in American society, on whether a dysfunctional president can be fully substituted by others in the executive branch, the impact such a ‘leader’ has on decision-making and accountability, and other topics. Douthat himself has been arguing long before the disastrous debate that Biden “needs to be replaced because it would be incredibly dangerous to have a senescent president in the White House for the next four years – and not just because Democrats fear he might lose to Trump in November.”

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“We’re gonna protect our children from getting weapons of war off our streets!”

‘Doing My Goodest Job’ To Beat Trump (ZH)

On the heels of his flub-filled Fourth of July, President Biden’s Friday appearances did nothing to reverse his slow march to a seemingly inevitable exit from the 2024 presidential campaign. The day brought more head-scratching misstatements and garbled lines on the campaign trail, along with a much-anticipated primetime ABC interview that prominent Democrats called “sad” and “chilling.” Perhaps most significantly of all, however, more Democratic legislators called for Biden to leave the race — and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner is reportedly organizing a meeting with his peers with a goal of building a united plea for Biden to quit. According to anonymous sources cited by the Washington Post, Warner and allies are weighing various means of intervening, including a meeting at the White House with Biden. While the count of House Democrats who’ve urged Biden to quit climbed to four on Friday — as Illinois Rep. Mike Quiqley made his feelings known on MSNBC — no sitting senators have yet crossed that line. However, per the Washington Post:

“There’s a growing consensus among Senate Democrats that the situation with Biden at the top of the ticket is untenable, and senators are trying to determine the best way to relay that message to an insulated president. Some senators don’t think Biden has people around him who are giving him an accurate picture of the fallout.” Tellingly, a Warner spokeswoman refused to confirm or deny the reports about his machinations, instead saying, “Like many other people in Washington and across the country, Senator Warner believes these are critical days for the president’s campaign, and he has made that clear to the White House.” While Warner — the chair of the Senate intelligence committee — maneuvered on Capitol Hill, Biden spent the day in the battleground state of Wisconsin, which he officially won in the last election by only 20,682 votes. At a rally at a middle school gymnasium in Madison, Biden added to his ever-growing stack of gaffes, confidently predicting he’d beat Donald Trump “again in 2020”:

Proving again that not even a teleprompter can assure Biden’s reasonably error-free delivery of a speech, he also said, “We’re gonna protect our children from getting weapons of war off our streets!” Friday’s main event was Biden’s sit-down interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. Though it was pre-recorded after his middle-school-gym rally before airing in a primetime special, ABC said it showed the entire interview without edits. As we’d predicted, Stephanopoulos, who’s demonstrated all the worst tendencies of big-media leftists, played this interview relatively straight. He challenged Biden’s previous attempt to blame his debate performance on jet lag from travel that ended a dozen days before the event. He confronted Biden with pointed quotes from a New York Times report, where sources claimed his mental lapses have become more frequent. He also asked pointed follow-up questions when Biden was evasive.

At one point, however, Stephanopoulos sounded like an empathetic family member gently confronting an elderly person with the hard truth about their condition, telling Biden: “I’ve heard from dozens of your supporters over the last few days…They love you, and they will be forever grateful to you for defeating Donald Trump in 2020. They think you’ve done a great job as president, a lot of the successes you outlined. But they are worried about you and the country. And they don’t think you can win. They want you to go with grace, and they will cheer you if you do.” One of Biden’s worst moments of the interview came in response to what may have been the simplest question. Asked if he’d watched the debate afterwards, Biden said, “I don’t think I did, no.” Stephanopoulos’s follow-up question about when Biden realized the debate wasn’t going well triggered a particularly incoherent reply:

“The whole way I prepared, nobody’s fault mine. Nobody’s fault, mine. I, uh, prepared what I usually would do, sitting down as I did, come back with foreign leaders or National Security Council for explicit detail. And I realized about partway through that, you know, I quoted The New York Times had me down 10 points before the debate, 9 now or whatever the hell it is. The fact of the matter is that what I looked at is that he also lied 28 times. I couldn’t, I mean, the way the debate ran, not — my fault, no one else’s fault — no one else’s fault.”

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“The donors did not like seeing their investment go down the drain. Many wanted their money back..”

US Mainstream Media Await New Orders Now Big Lie About Biden is Rumbled (DS)

[..] since 2020 the MSM have been carrying more water for Biden than the Ganges in monsoon season. Biden’s deterioration has been evident for some years and it became an issue in the 2020 election. Brit Hume, one of journalism’s grey eminences, posed that Biden was senile based on his manner, behaviour and actions. MSM “fact-checkers” protected the precious candidate. But Biden and his handlers took notice that they had been rumbled and used the excuse of Covid from early 2020 on to hide Biden away campaigning from his basement. MSM ignored his concerning demeanor completely and supported him for President in words that would have embarrassed George Washington. After a most unusual election came a most unusual Presidency, where the hiding away of the most powerful man in the world continued. Appearances were controlled, press conferences limited and interviews permitted only in controlled scripted environments such as with celebrities or on late night talk shows.

Biden’s deteriorating physical condition, as well as his mental decline, were covered up by his handlers in a number of ways. This year, two events began to poke serious holes in the view that Biden is just old. Last year a Special Counsel, Robert Hur, was appointed to conduct an investigation into the finding of classified documents at Biden’s residences. He reported his findings in January. The report was not kind to Biden to say the least. He stated that Biden should not be prosecuted for the documents because a jury would not find him guilty as they would be sympathetic to the fact he was a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory”. NBC News dutifully provided covering fire for this by rolling out Democrat operatives to trash both Hur and the report. Then there were the recent international events such as D-Day and the G7 meetings, where Biden was caught on camera spacing out and wandering off.

The videos were shown on Fox News and went viral. The Associated Press stepped up for the covering fire and called them “cheap fakes”, following on from the White House reaction. A bemused Fox News said the videos “have not been cropped, they have not been sped up or slowed down or edited in any way”. And then came the debate. Biden had slipped in the polls against Trump due to the response from voters to seeing a candidate pursue the Kafka-esque strategy of putting an opponent on trial. And so Biden and his handlers came up with a cunning plan – to challenge Trump to a debate in an environment they believed they could control. They set the rules, selected the moderators (CNN, who had earlier supplied the questions in advance to Hillary Clinton in a 2016 debate), had no audience that would cause Biden to lose focus, and banned any cross-talk to limit Trump’s quick repartee.

Biden spent seven days at Camp David prepping for the debate as if there was nothing else going on that required his attention. It was a brilliant strategy and only one thing could ruin it – the senility of the candidate. It did. The reaction was immediate from folks believing in Biden. Democrats and Never-Trumpers were gob-smacked. But it is fascinating how their surprise was akin to reading the last few pages of an Agatha Christie novel. Massive surprise at the unveiling of the murderer is followed by an “oh yeah” as folks think back on the clues that were there all along. These reactions showed up in polls taken over the last few days. A CBS News poll two days after the debate showed 72% of folks now believe Biden’s cognitive issues prohibit him from being President, and this includes 42% of Democrat voters.

The immediate reactions of the MSM were different. At 10:30 that night the panicked howls of the MSNBC political pundits and “experts” mourned the death of their favoured campaign, while CNN threw ashes on the coffin. The New York Times suffered a dark night of the soul, and as the dawn broke published an editorial claiming Biden should step down. These are the guys who in March this year were taking a victory lap comparing Biden to Beethoven, Wagner and Martin Scorsese after Biden angrily shouted his way through a teleprompter speech to Congress.

The assorted Democrat Party apparatchiks and elected representatives were even more on fire. The donors did not like seeing their investment go down the drain. Many wanted their money back. Incumbent Democrats facing election in November were all over the place, with the mood varying from total support to calls to step down. In a Presidential election year Biden is at the top of the ticket and so has the capability of dragging these guys over the finish line, as party regulars tend to vote the entire line. Or not, as the case may be. The White House gamely tried damage control, saying Biden was ill with a cold or suffering from jet lag after two back-to-back trips to Europe two weeks before the debate. The usually obedient White House Press Corps did not buy it. No word as yet from White House doctor Dr. Kevin O’Connor, who gave Biden his annual physical this year and claimed he was “fit for duty“.

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“He is part of the Biden family..”

Parkinson’s Specialist Visited White House At Least 9 Times The Past Year (ZH)

A Parkinson’s disease specialist from Walter Reed Medical Center visited the White House at least nine times in the past year, according to journalist Alex Berenson of Unreported Truths, while the NY Post has reported that a cardiologist was present during one of the visits. Dr. Kevin R Cannard traveled to the White House’s medical clinic each time, meeting with either President Joe Biden’s personal physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor, or a naval nurse who coordinates care for the president and other senior officials. O’Connor notably gave Biden a clean bill of health after his February annual physical. The visits spanned July 28, 2023 with the latest being March 28 of this year. That said, Berenson notes that the most recent logs are from April 1, so it’s unknown if Cannard has visited more recently.

According to Cannard’s physician profile page, he is a “neurologist and movement disorders specialist at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center” who specializes in treatments for “early Parkinson’s disease.” Since 2012, he has served as the “neurology specialist supporting the White House Medical Unit,” per his LinkedIn page. His most recent paper was published in August 2023 in the journal Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, and focuses on the “early-stage” of the crippling disease. Since Biden’s health is O’Connor’s primary responsibility, it is highly probable the meeting was about the commander in chief, according to Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Tx), the doctor for both Presidents Obama and Trump. “It’s highly likely they were talking about Biden,” Jackson told The Post. -NY Post. “He should only be [regularly] treating the president and the first family,” Jackson continued.

Walter Reed cardiologist Dr. John. E. Atwood was also present during a Jan. 17 meeting, the NY Post reports. According to Jackson, who has never treated Biden, O’Connor and Biden’s family are trying to “cover up” Biden’s declining cognitive health. Ya think? “I believe he and Jill Biden have led the cover up. Kevin O’Connor is like a son to Jill Biden — she loves him. It’s crazy. Kevin O’Connor was in that job on day one of the Biden administration because they knew they could trust Kevin to say and do anything that needed to be said or done and cover up whatever needed to be covered up. He is part of the Biden family,” said Jackson, who has warned about Biden’s cognitive decline for years.

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“A group of 168 Democratic Party supporters..”

Democratic Donors Urge Biden To Step Aside – WaPo (RT)

A group of 168 Democratic Party supporters, including major donors and academics, sent a letter to US President Joe Biden on Friday, urging him to drop his bid for reelection, the Washington Post has reported, citing anonymous sources. Over the past week, several other media outlets have claimed that pressure on Biden is mounting from within the party, but the incumbent is digging in his heels. Doubts over whether the 81-year-old is mentally and physically capable of leading the country for another four years have grown since his halting performance in a televised debate against Republican rival Donald Trump last week. Biden appeared frail and confused throughout the encounter – something he and his campaign have put down to a cold and travel-related fatigue. In its article on Friday, the Post quoted the letter as “respectfully” calling on Biden to “withdraw from being a candidate for reelection for the sake of our democracy and the future of our nation.”

The plea cited “threats posed by a second term of Donald Trump” and advised Biden to “cement your legacy by passing the torch – just as George Washington did.” According to the paper, the 168 signatories include Christy Walton, the billionaire daughter-in-law of Walmart’s founder, as well as billionaire investor Mike Novogratz and Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig, among many other top-level business executives and academics. Speaking to the New York Times on Wednesday, Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings argued that “Biden needs to step aside to allow a vigorous Democratic leader to beat Trump and keep us safe and prosperous.” The article noted that while Hastings was one of the first major Democratic donors to publicly vent his frustration, many of his peers are privately expressing similar concerns.

On the same day, another major Democratic Party donor, Charles Myers, the chair of Signum Global Advisors, told Bloomberg Surveillance that Biden has “four to five days” to prove he is fit to continue the race for reelection. The president has, however, brushed off all suggestions he should step aside. “Let me say this as clearly as I possibly can, as simply and straightforward as I can: I am running… no one’s pushing me out. I’m not leaving,” the politician insisted during a call with campaign staffers on Wednesday.

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“So already you have people concerned about Trump, but at least Trump is a known quantity,” he added. “But now, well, what’s going to happen now?”

Western Elites Lose Grip on Power Amid Political Crisis in US, France (Sp.)

US President Joe Biden is considering dropping out of the 2024 US presidential race after last week’s disastrous debate performance, according to reporting from The New York Times. The news emerged early Monday after the president was said to be in discussions with members of his family over the weekend on whether to continue his candidacy amid widespread concern over his age. Last week’s televised debate with former President Donald Trump, where Biden frequently appeared to have trouble finishing thoughts and responding to questions, stoked public anxiety among many Democratic Party officials. Opinion surveys since Thursday night’s event appear to show the octogenarian head of state falling further behind in the polls. The renewed panic comes as observers in France are urging a center-left alliance ahead of elections this weekend to deny Marine Le Pen’s party a parliamentary majority.

Observers fear the controversial figure could prevail in the second round of voting Sunday, ushering in the country’s first right-wing government since World War II. Both incidents are drawing concern internationally as establishment political forces struggle to fend off increasingly potent challenges to their power, according to Dr. George Szamuely, a senior research fellow at London’s Global Policy Institute. The author joined Sputnik’s The Final Countdown program Wednesday to offer analysis on the twin developments and their implications for Western countries. “This makes the United States look weak because if Biden does step aside and they say ‘I’m not physically and mentally competent to run,’ then the next question will be, ‘well, are you physically and mentally competent to remain president?’” said Szamuely. “It’s going to be very hard for Biden to say, ‘yes, I can still function for another six months as president while there are two serious wars taking place in which America is actively involved. I think there will immediately be calls for Biden to resign forthwith and the result will be great anxiety.”

“So already you have people concerned about Trump, but at least Trump is a known quantity,” he added. “But now, well, what’s going to happen now? I mean, what happens during the next six months? What happens at the convention? Everything is up in the air. So internationally there’s just a great deal of concern of an America in turmoil.” “Yeah, it feels like a bit like a free fall for sure,” agreed host Angie Wong. European leaders are said to be worried over the potential of a second Trump term amid concerns the former president would pull the United States out of the NATO military alliance. The European Union has investigated ways to ensure continued funding for Ukraine’s proxy war against Russia in the event the former president ends US support for the conflict upon returning to the White House.

But Europe’s political establishment is also losing its grip on power as support surges for right-wing populist parties throughout the continent. Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party won the most support in the first round of recent French parliamentary elections, leading President Emmanuel Macron to seek alliances to prevent her triumph in the second round. Although Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s coalition bested Macron’s centrist party in the first round of voting, the French president is unlikely to include the leftwing in figure in any coalition, said Szamuely, noting that ”Macron seems to really hate him.” The analyst suggested the French leader would seek more moderate allies, forming a center-left alliance of establishment political figures to deny Le Pen power.

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“..empires pass through seven stages, and right now the West is in the stage of decline and collapse in which “the heroes are always the same—the athlete, the singer, or the actor.” Sound familiar?”

The West’s Mask Of Morality Burns To Dust (Carman)

“Knowledgeable people know that Frankenstein is not the monster, but only wise people see that Frankenstein is the monster.” This quote has been resonating recently when considering the monstrous atrocities occurring on the world stage. Knowledgeable people know now, thanks to eyewitness accounts and global communications, that what is happening in Gaza to civilians is monstrous, in spite of the media spin, but only critical thinkers are willing to go deeper and see that the governments purporting to fight “the monster,” that is, Hamas, are at least partially culpable for creating it and, at worst, the monster themselves. It’s still absolutely wild how quickly the West went from arming Nazis in Ukraine to supporting actual genocide, all the while domestically making issues about the dangers of the far right, inclusion, kindness, and right think.

Words are violence after all, according to AOC, just perhaps a tad less violent than air strikes, but who’s measuring? Western support should be of no surprise considering the death toll in the Middle East over the past several decades in the name of freeing the people from evil tyrants. Of course, it’s easy to overlook that 90% of US drone strikes killed civilians, but we’ve been indoctrinated to have a short memory and rewrite history. Luckily, we get a “masterclass” in painting from old favourite George W. Bush as a gift for our collective amnesia and ability to allow a relentless PR machine to dictate and reformulate our opinions. Of course history would remind us of Agent Orange, the Tuskegee experiments, and other immoral atrocities waged against humans, but there’s something even more flamboyant and bombastic about the West’s current posturing, like they’re no longer hiding the psychopathy from their citizens, with the mainstream media becoming more desperate and less impactful in maintaining these nonsense narratives.

Has the West always been narcissistically playing the good guy, or has it become more depraved over time? While we can look back over history to the banking cartels and war profiteers to see that evil has always lurked within, it must be acknowledged that during the earlier stages of empire, there was a stronger commitment from institutions, some members of government, and active citizens to uphold the values of the ideology. As Glubb asserts, empires pass through seven stages, and right now the West is in the stage of decline and collapse in which “the heroes are always the same—the athlete, the singer, or the actor.” Sound familiar? It’s therefore fair to assume, based on empirical evidence even amassed within our lifetimes, that the Western leadership and its institutions themselves have become even more overtly and intensely morally corrupt over time. It could be argued that there was moral justification for fighting the Nazis in World War II as well as economic and geopolitical aims.

It could also be argued to a lesser extent that the proxy wars fought against the backdrop of the Cold War had legitimacy considering the Western paranoia of the USSR and communist ideals of permanent revolution. It begins to get much harder to justify the more recent wars in the Middle East, but a US public shellshocked by 911 was willingly compliant, with antiwar voices ignored and drowned out by its European allies. However, the military industrial complex is increasingly clutching at straws despite the most intense propaganda scheme deployed since COVID, evoking ignorant but well-meaning support to arm Ukraine and prolong the death toll. The struggling public of the collapsing West has grown weary of taxes used to fund the war machine, and now, with Gaza, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the stories fed to us about freedom and democracy are nothing more than comforting fairytales to justify state sanctioned mass murder.

The weak rationalisations for the current genocide occurring are becoming more and more pitiful as the death toll of innocents surpasses the 10,000s and World War III looms on the horizon, promising many millions more. Yet the tired legacy media still attempts to twist the narrative, making traumatised Palestinians pulled from the rubble condemn Hamas before they are allowed a voice. Are Israeli citizens expected to condemn their government, which, to date, has been far more murderous before being platformed? The whitewashing of history, just as occurred with Ukraine, to downplay the neo-Nazi threat and murder of 14,000 civilians in the Donbass since the US-backed coup in 2014 is in full swing again. Hamas are the personification of evil and attacked Israel completely unprovoked, purely because they are evil. This smear is from the Putin playbook, Hussein before him, and frankly any leader that’s impending the savagery and theft of Western colonialism. It’s so infantile that it’s embarrassing.

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“>.the next president “is going to appoint at least two new appointees.”

The Grim Reaper: Biden Declares Two Justices Will Be Gone in Four Years (Turley)

One of the least discussed aspects of the interview with President Joe Biden last night was his declaration that two of the nine justices are not long for the Court. The question is which two are facing retirement or the reaper. In arguing for his remaining as the nominee despite record low polling, the President told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos with certainty that the next president “is going to appoint at least two new appointees.” That must be uneasy news for the relatively small court that almost of a third will soon pass . . . one way or another. Liberals have been pushing Sonia Sotomayor to retire, but she has clearly rejected those calls. On CNN, journalist Josh Barro bluntly wondered why Sotomayor remains on the bench when younger jurists could be brought on to guarantee a liberal vote for years to come. He indicated that many liberals are frustrated with her for not stepping down: “I find it a little bit surprising, given what Justice Sotomayor describes there about the stakes of what is happening before the Supreme Court, that she’s not retired. She’s 69 years old, she’s been on the court for 15 years.”

At 70, Sotomayor shows no signs of mental decline. She has been a highly effective justice, stepping into the vacuum created by the death in 2020 of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Of course, few ever questioned the “Notorious RBG” in her decision to stay on the Court, despite her much older age and longer tenure. While some of us noted that Ginsburg was taking a huge risk in not allowing then-President Barack Obama to pick a successor, she remained on the Court in spite of medical problems and ultimately was replaced by Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Ginsburg, however, was almost 20 years older than Sotomayor. There is no concern for deterioration or death on the bench in Sotomayor’s case. It is simply a matter of swapping out justices like light bulbs before they burn out.

All of the justices are younger than Ginsburg when she passed (and considerably younger than President Biden who is running for a second four-year term).
Justice Thomas, 76.
Justice Alito, 74.
Justice Sotomayor, 70.
Chief Justice Roberts, 69.
Justice Kagan, 64.
Justice Kavanaugh, 59.
Justice Gorsuch, 56.
Justice Jackson, 53.
Justice Barrett, 52.

Justice Clarence Thomas is the oldest, but has not indicated that he is ready to retire. He would likely want to wait for a Republican president. If history is a measure, he has time. Oliver Wendell Holmes retired at 90. A recent analysis of the court’s projected composition suggested the next time the majority of justices will be appointed by a Democrat is likely to be around 2065. I did not find that analysis particularly compelling. However, I also fail to see how Biden can be certain that 2 of the 9 justices will die or retire. After all, even Thomas is six years younger than Biden. If he is predicting the death or retirement of Thomas within four years, he would presumably predict his own passing or retirement years ago. Running on the pledge to replace two departing justices could prove awkward if the justices are reluctant to be replaced or dispatched.

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“The real issue for Democrats is how to address this looming issue without tearing the party apart..”

“Think About it Very Carefully”: Author Don Winslow to Sen. Mark Warner (Turley)

Last night, President Joe Biden refused to take a cognitive or neurological test despite widespread concerns over his physical and mental decline. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos pressed the President on his low polling and efforts of Democrats to get him to drop out of the race. He specifically mentioned the effort of Sen. Mark Warner (D., Va.) to organize members to pressure him to end his campaign. Biden took a not-so-subtle dig at Warner. However, it was nothing compared to a curious posting by author and Democratic activist Don Winslow, who appeared to threaten Warner on X (formerly Twitter). When the story broke in the Washington Post, Winslow posted a curious and ominous response:

It is not clear what Winslow meant by Warner knowing what he was talking about when asking if he was “sure you want to go down this road?” The message has caused a bit of a stir on the Hill. For the denizens of the Beltway, it sounds extortive and threatening. The suggestion is that Winslow has something on Warner. While some have asked whether this could be viewed as a threat criminally, it is clearly not sufficient for a charge. Warner is a public figure and this comment could just be a reference to political backlash or the lack of an alternative. His asking Warner “Are you sure you want to go down this road?” could be a reference to the political implications of the resulting chaos, including making Kamala Harris the presidential candidate. Harris is even less popular than Biden according to some polls.

While some polls show her doing slightly better than Biden against Trump, other polling shows that she would do considerably worse. However, it is the follow up of “Think about it very carefully” that has got tongues wagging in D.C. Whatever the intended meaning, the posting shows the depth of the division on the issue. Those divisions are only likely to deepen further after the refusal to take a test to put these concerns to rest. Notably, Biden has insisted that the public can simply observe him. However, that position stands in contradiction to the frivolous privilege claims made by the Administration to withhold the audiotape from the interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur. That was an interview that the President was prepared for in advance and held in ideal conditions with staff.

It is an opportunity for the public to hear him under questioning to reach the very conclusions that Biden suggested in the interview. As for Winslow’s posting, it may just be an incautious, poorly worded message rather than extortion or blackmail. We have all made postings that we regretted. The real issue for Democrats is how to address this looming issue without tearing the party apart. I have tried to drill down on the legal implications of swapping out the top of the ticket or the entire ticket. It is uncharted territory when it comes to the federal election laws on the use of past contributions as well as some states with restrictive rules on ballot changes.

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“According to Orban’s Friday op-ed, unless NATO changes tack now, “it will be committing suicide.”

War Has Become NATO’s Agenda – Orban (RT)

NATO has effectively made warmongering its raison d’être by jettisoning its original “peaceful” and “defensive” nature, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has claimed. Hungary’s leader, a vocal critic of Western involvement in the Ukraine conflict, has repeatedly warned that ever more escalatory steps by the US-led military bloc could eventually lead to a direct military confrontation with Russia, yielding catastrophic consequences. On Friday, Orban paid a surprise visit to Moscow, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Hungarian prime minister’s office clarified that he was on a “peacekeeping mission.” The discussion between the two leaders centered on potential ways to peacefully resolve the Ukraine conflict. Wrapping up the talks, Orban acknowledged that Moscow’s and Kiev’s positions remain very “far apart.” He added, however, that “we’ve already taken the most important step – establishing contact,” vowing to continue the effort.

Earlier, on Tuesday, the Hungarian prime minister had arrived in Kiev, where he sat down with Vladimir Zelensky. Orban advocated for an immediate ceasefire and negotiations. On the same day as his trip to Moscow, an op-ed penned by Orban was published in Newsweek which addressed the latest tendencies involving NATO, of which Hungary has been a member since 1999. In it, the Hungarian prime minister stressed Budapest’s active participation in multiple NATO operations and initiatives over the years, as well as its compliance with the bloc’s 2% defense spending target. Orban noted that the NATO his country joined 25 years ago was a “peace project” and a “military alliance for defense.” However, “today, instead of peace, the agenda is the pursuit of war; instead of defense, it is offense,” Orban lamented.

The prime minister stated that “ever more voices within NATO are making the case for the necessity—or even inevitability—of military confrontation with the world’s other geopolitical power centers.” He warned that this attitude “functions like a self-fulfilling prophecy.” He noted that several member states have recently entertained the possibility of launching a NATO operation in Ukraine. In late February, French President Emmanuel Macron said he did not rule out the deployment of French troops to Ukraine. Even though his suggestion quickly drew criticism from Germany and other members, the French head of state has since doubled down on the controversial idea on multiple occasions. In May, Estonia and neighboring Lithuania signaled their readiness to send troops to Ukraine for logistical and other non-combat missions. According to Orban’s Friday op-ed, unless NATO changes tack now, “it will be committing suicide.”

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“One of Keir Starmer’s first phone calls after taking charge of the UK government was with Vladimir Zelensky..”

New British PM Assures Ukraine Of ‘Unshakable’ Support (RT)

London’s support for Kiev during the conflict with Moscow will remain at the same level under his leadership, the new Prime Minister of Britain Keir Starmer has told Vladimir Zelensky. Starmer replaced Rishi Sunak as the head of the UK government on Friday after the Labour Party he leads claimed a landslide victory in a general election, securing at least 412 of the 650 seats in parliament. One of his first phone calls in the new role was with Zelensky. The Ukrainian leader wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Friday that during their conversation he congratulated Starmer on becoming prime minister and “wished him success in fulfilling the British people’s expectations of the new government.” “I am grateful to Prime Minister Starmer for reaffirming the UK’s principled and unwavering support for Ukraine,” he said.

According to Zelensky, he and the British premier had “coordinated positions” ahead of the NATO Summit in Washington on July 9-11 and discussed ways to further strengthen the “partnership” between Kiev and London. Starmer later shared Zelensky’s post on his page, claiming that “Ukraine’s ongoing fight against Russian aggression matters to all of us.” “The UK’s support [for Kiev] remains unshakable,” the PM wrote, adding that he is looking forward to meeting Zelensky in person. Britain has been one of the biggest backers of Ukraine during the conflict with Russia, pledging £12.5 billion (around $16 billion) in support for Kiev, including £7.6 billion (around $9.7 billion) in military aid, since February 2022.

Starmer becomes the UK’s fourth prime minister during this period, after Conservatives Boris Johnson, who resigned in September 2022, Liz Truss, who set a record by stepping down on her 15th day in office, and Sunak, who headed the government until Friday. However, London’s commitment to Kiev remained unchanged despite the changes at the helm. Earlier this year, Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said that the role played by Britain during the conflict in Ukraine was “even more aggressive, more elaborate in its provocative assertiveness than of any other participant, including even the US.”

In May, London’s ambassador in Moscow, Nigel Casey, was summoned to the foreign ministry following remarks by the UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron that Ukraine has the “right” to use UK-provided weaponry to strike targets deep inside Russia, if it decides to do so. Casey was warned that “British military facilities and equipment on the territory of Ukraine and beyond” could be targeted if such attacks do happen. Moscow has repeatedly warned that deliveries of weapons and ammunition to Kiev by the US, UK and their allies will not prevent Russia from achieving its military goals, but will merely prolong the fighting and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO. According to Russian officials, the provision of arms, sharing of intelligence, and training of Ukrainian troops effectively means that Western nations have become de-facto parties to the conflict.

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“..the so-called “Chosen company.”

Foreign Mercs in Ukraine Bragged About Murdering Russian PoWs (Sp.)

A US media outlet’s report has claimed to shed light on atrocities committed by foreign hirelings dubbed by the West as so-called “volunteer soldiers” fighting in the proxy war in Ukraine. Foreign mercenaries fighting on the side of the Kiev regime reveled in executing Russian prisoners, the New York Times has reported. The atrocious killings are believed to have been carried out by members of the so-called “Chosen company.” One incident in August 2023 was described to the outlet by a witness, the unit’s medic, a German called Caspar Grosse. Grosse explained that a wounded and unarmed Russian soldier seeking medical help from his foreign captors was shot in cold blood. First one mercenary shot the Russian in the torso, and then, as he slumped still breathing, another soldier “just shot him in the head,” Grosse recalled. According to several accounts, video footage and text messages exchanged by members of the unit and reviewed by the outlet, such “unwarranted killings” continued.

In another episode, a Chosen company fighter “threw a grenade at a surrendering Russian soldier who had raised his hands, killing him,” the outlet stated, referencing reviewed drone footage. It was added that the Ukrainian military published a video of this episode, but edited out the surrender moment. Militants from the company of foreign hirelings and thrill-seekers reportedly talked freely about the murders of prisoners of war in group chats. In a third episode, revealed by such messages, a soldier in command in October 2023 told the fighters he would take personal responsibility if “anything comes out” about the killings. At the center of all these three incidents was reportedly a Greek mercenary with the callsign Zeus. He shot a wounded Russian in the trench, tossed the grenade at a prisoner, and bragged “a thousand times” about killing the surrendering Russian, claimed Grosse.

Benjamin Reed, a former American member of the unit, claimed that he “heard, to such a large degree, innumerable conversations, about the executions of PoWs on various operations.” Furthermore, the unit’s recruiter told him that it “was OK to kill PoWs if they didn’t surrender in the strictest Geneva Convention standards.” Reed posted a video on TikTok, calling his former comrades “kill-crazy cowboys, nothing more.”In interviews, Grosse is said to have recounted details that other Chosen members corroborated. Ryan O’Leary, the American who claims to be the de facto commander of Chosen company, denied to the outlet that his fighters had committed war crimes. However, after being contacted by The Times, O’Leary reportedly vowed in a group chat to “cast a wide net” to “snare the rabbit” who had been speaking to journalists. Any footage showing the killing of a surrendering soldier should have triggered an investigation in the US, underscored the publication.

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When life gets you down and you feel unloved and worthless, just remember you’ll be dead one day. Have a great weekend.

 

 

Pet machine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1809504559963816060

 

 

Cattle swim

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 052024
 


René Magritte The evening gown 1954

 

Biden Says He Is Proud To Be A ‘Black Woman’ (RT)
Michelle Obama Hears the Calls and Sees the Polls (Taft)
Trump Caught On Camera Insulting Biden (RT)
Trump Wants Biden To Stay In Race – WaPo (RT)
One Of Biggest Democratic Donors Says Biden Should Step Aside (TASS)
Biden Has Five Days To Prove Himself – Top Donor (RT)
Panicky White House Hits Post-Debate Damage Control Button (Sp.)
Biden Told Governors He Had Medical Checkup – Politico
MSM Blames Right For Failure To Disclose Biden’s Infirmity (Turley)
US Encouraging Ukraine To Commit New Crimes – Moscow (RT)
Transformation of Russian Economy Is Marathon With Barriers – Nabiullina (TASS)
Concern Over Reports Of Orban Planning Moscow Trip (BBC)
Labour Set For Crushing 170 Seat Majority In UK General Election (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Not a convicted felon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1808583120234631350

 

 

Vivek

 

 

Bannon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1808889208548835397

 

 

Tulsi Kamala
https://twitter.com/i/status/1808641698932699455

 

 

KJP

 

 

 

 

Yeah, debate night was a one-off. All’s fine now…

Biden Says He Is Proud To Be A ‘Black Woman’ (RT)

US President Joe Biden has made several radio interview appearances and delivered a brief Fourth of July speech in an apparent attempt to reassure Democrat supporters about his mental capacity to serve following a disastrous debate with his Republican rival Donald Trump. Biden openly admitted he “screwed up” the debate with Trump, but told The Earl Ingram Show on Thursday that he will “get back up,” rejecting any intention of dropping out of the presidential race. “I had a bad night…. And the fact of the matter is that, you know, I screwed up,” Biden said bluntly, after his aides spent a week offering various excuses from an alleged preparation overload, to a minor cold and a jet lag from a trip 12 days ahead of the debate. During a separate interview with Philadelphia’s WURD, the gaffe-prone US leader struggled to find the right phrase while apparently trying to refer to Vice President Kamala Harris and recall his time in Barack Obama’s administration.

“By the way, I’m proud to be, as I said, the first vice president, first black woman… to serve with a black president. Proud to be involved of the first black woman on the Supreme Court. There’s so much that we can do because, look… we’re the United States of America,” Biden said. The US president also delivered a four-minute speech at the White House, focusing his remarks on his visit last month to Normandy, to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day, but seemingly veered off script and lost the train of thought several times, and at one point even called his rival Trump a “colleague.” “And by the way, you know I was in that WWI cemetery in France, and…. the one that one of our colleagues, the former president, did not wanna go and be up there… I shouldn’t probably have said it anyway,” Biden said before abruptly cutting the story short, and continuing his prepared remarks.

In another clip scrutinized and mocked by critics, Biden greeted the crowd with a lively “Ho! Ho! Ho! Happy Independence Day!”, after Harris almost accidentally introduced him as the vice president. Concerns over whether the 81-year-old veteran politician can successfully handle the presidential campaign and four more years in the Oval Office were reignited after Biden delivered a shaky performance in a televised debate with Trump last Thursday. The incumbent appeared frail and seemingly lost his train of thought on multiple occasions, allowing his rival to comfortably come out on top by most accounts. A post-debate Reuters/Ipsos poll found that one in three Democrats believe that Biden should quit, while some key donors have reportedly been looking at ways of replacing Biden with a stronger candidate on the 2024 ticket.

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Big Mike.

Michelle Obama Hears the Calls and Sees the Polls (Taft)

The latest stories are that Joe Biden has been given only a few more days to prove he should be the Democrat nominee for president after his disastrous debate performance. If he leaves the race, the thinking is that the only person who could swoop in at this late stage and defeat Donald Trump in November is Michelle Obama, not Kamala Harris. The speculation is not without merit according to a new poll. Kamala Harris is a better-known quantity. She’s held political office. She’s one of the least respected and worst vice presidents America has ever seen. After slipping into the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office under the, ah, tutelage of married Bay Area kingmaker Willie Brown, she won the race for California attorney general by highlighting her Indian background. She was awful. Eventually, when U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, herself not a MENSA member, announced her retirement, Harris jumped into the race and defeated a fellow Democrat on a ballot that featured recreational pot use.

Harris sent people to prison for pot use during her stints as DA and attorney general. She changed her position when she ran for president. Harris is incapable of speaking extemporaneously. When she speaks, it’s with a nasally tone that invariably settles into lecture mode. Michelle Obama has never run for political office. She and her husband have had a general antipathy for America, “For the first time in my adult life I’m proud of my country,” for example. Michelle Obama’s unpopular overhaul of the school lunch program and government-paid food mobiles to address “food deserts” showed her willingness to ignore process and indulge her leftist authoritarian streak. An Ipsos poll released this week shows that Michelle Obama is better liked than Joe Biden and other potential candidates in the Democrat race. The poll question asked, “Would you say you are generally favorable or unfavorable towards these public figures?”

Michelle Obama, who’s never held elected office and has never wanted to run a campaign for one, is at 55 percent favorability. Joe Biden is at 36 percent with a 60 percent unfavorable rating. Biden is one point behind Vice President Kamala Harris. Former President Trump is at 39 percent favorability. On the question of whom they would vote if the choice is between Trump and Biden, the two tied. Michelle Obama is surely thrilled that some would think she is of presidential timber, but few people know if she could do the job. As Matt pointed out in a piece earlier this year, Obama has said multiple times she has no interest in being president.

“There’s zero chance,” Michelle Obama said back in 2019. “There are so many ways to improve this country and build a better world, and I keep doing plenty of them, from working with young people to helping families lead healthier lives. But sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office will never be one of them. It’s just not for me.” Her spokeswoman, Crystal Carson, said earlier this year that she’s not into it. “As former First Lady Michelle Obama has expressed several times over the years, she will not be running for president,” said Crystal Carson, director of communications for her office. “Mrs. Obama supports President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ re-election campaign.” And there’s this comment from a Netflix special Obama was a part of in which she said being president wasn’t in her “soul.” “[T]he people who get into it [politics]… you’ve got to want it. It’s got to be in your soul, because it is so important. It is not in my soul.”

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That’s Barron in the cart with him?

Trump Caught On Camera Insulting Biden (RT)

US presidential hopeful Donald Trump has declared that he trounced his “old, broken down” rival Joe Biden during their election debate last week, in a video released on Wednesday by The Daily Beast. In the footage Trump is sitting in a golf cart hurling insults at that 81-year-old incumbent president. He also claimed that Biden would withdraw his candidacy. ”How did I do with the debate the other night? I kicked that old, broken down pile of crap. He’s quitting the race,” Trump says, referring to Biden. Trump then went on to deliver a dig at US Vice President Kamala Harris, who is seen as a possible replacement candidate amid mounting calls for Biden to step aside. ”I got him [Biden] out the race, and that means we have Kamala. I think she’s going to be better [as an opponent]. She’s so bad. She’s so pathetic,” the former president said, then appearing to add: “She’s so f**king bad.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1808879563075658060

He then switches back to Biden, asking, “Can you imagine that guy dealing with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin? And the president of China – who is a fierce person. He’s a fierce man, very tough guy.” “But they just announced he’s probably quitting. Just keep knocking him out, huh?” Trump reiterates, before driving off in the cart. It was not immediately clear where or when the footage was covertly filmed, The Daily Beast noted. The White House has stated that Biden is “absolutely not” considering ending his campaign. “He understands that it is fair for people to ask that question,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told journalists on Wednesday. The Daily Beast said it had reached the Trump campaign for comment, and spokesperson Stephen Cheung directed the outlet to an earlier statement declaring the “Total Collapse of the Democrat Party.” “Every Democrat who is calling on Crooked Joe Biden to quit was once a supporter of Biden and his failed policies that lead to extreme inflation, an open border, and chaos at home and abroad,” according to the statement by Trump campaign senior advisers Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles.

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“.. I got him out of there. And that means we have Kamala. I think she’s going to be better. She’s so bad. She’s so pathetic. She’s just so f*****g bad..”

Trump Wants Biden To Stay In Race – WaPo (RT)

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump hopes that his rival, US President Joe Biden, will not withdraw his candidacy after his disastrous TV debate performance, the Washington Post has reported, citing anonymous sources According to the Post, Democrats have been “plunged into panic” over Biden’s “poor showing” at last week’s TV debate with Trump, questioning his ability “to execute the campaign or serve another four years,” and even seeking to replace him with someone else. While Trump and his campaign expect Biden to stay in the race they have begun preparing for the possibility of facing a different opponent, the Post reported on Thursday, citing “four people familiar with private discussions.” The Post has traditionally been hostile to Trump and close to the US Democrats. “It sure seems they want Biden to stay on the ticket,” David Axelrod, a long-time Democratic strategist, told the Post.

“They think he’s vulnerable, and they like where they’re at. You can see they are not excited at all about the prospect of him leaving the race.” Quotes from named Republicans don’t seem to support Axelrod’s claim, however. Taylor Budowich, head of the pro-Trump MAGA Inc. political action committee, told the Post that clips from last Thursday’s debate “would make for devastating campaign commercials” but that the possibility of Vice President Kamala Harris becoming the nominee “has the ad team cackling with excitement.” “We are confident no matter what that we will be victorious in tying any Democrat on the ballot to Biden and to the Democratic Party,” Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt told the outlet. Trump himself has said he would campaign “whether it’s him [Biden] or somebody else,” and that “nobody else is doing any better” in the polls, the Post noted, citing two of his radio interviews on Monday.

A video of Trump that made rounds on social media on Wednesday showed the former and possibly future US president declaring that he “kicked that old, broken down pile of crap” – meaning, Biden – in the debate.“He’s quitting the race. I got him out of there. And that means we have Kamala. I think she’s going to be better. She’s so bad. She’s so pathetic. She’s just so f*****g bad,” Trump says in the video, published by another traditionally hostile outlet, the Daily Beast. Meanwhile, the Post has reported that top Democrats have given Biden a “grim ultimatum” to either quickly prove he is fit to rule and run, or be replaced by someone else. Until last week, most US media outlets insisted that the 81-year-old Biden was “sharp as a tack” and perfectly fine. The debate hosted by CNN showed Americans otherwise. One senior Democrat told Politico that “no one expected this nosedive,” describing it as “bad on message, bad on substance, bad on counter-punching, bad on presentation, bad on non-verbals. There was no bright spot in this debate for him.”

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“..They fear that the 81-year-old incumbent’s continued candidacy would lead to a Republican sweep of Washington and an unchecked Donald Trump presidency..”

One Of Biggest Democratic Donors Says Biden Should Step Aside (TASS)

One of the Democratic Party’s biggest donors, Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings, urged US President Joe Biden to withdraw from the presidential race. “Biden needs to step aside to allow a vigorous Democratic leader to beat Trump and keep us safe and prosperous,” he told The New York Times. According to the report, Hastings was among the first donors to publicly speak about Biden, although many of them said privately that Biden should stop his campaign. Bloomberg reported earlier that dozens of Democratic MPs are set to sign a letter, demanding that Biden withdrew from the presidential race. They fear that the 81-year-old incumbent’s continued candidacy would lead to a Republican sweep of Washington and an unchecked Donald Trump presidency, the news agency wrote.

The first televised debates before current and former presidents took place in Atlanta on Thursday. Biden and Trump were prohibited from having speech points during the debates. According to a CNN express poll, two thirds of the viewers said that Trump won the debate.Previously, The Wall Street Journal reported that a panic sparked among the US Congressional Democrats over what they consider Biden’s unsuccessful performance at the debates. Some Dems hope to find a new candidate for the upcoming elections. The presidential elections in the United States will take place on November 5. Trump has already secured enough delegates’ votes to be nominated as the Republican presidential candidate. Biden, who runs for re-election, has secured enough Democratic votes. Their candidacies will be officially approved by their parties later this summer.

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5 days to cure senility?

Biden Has Five Days To Prove Himself – Top Donor (RT)

US President Joe Biden and his campaign have just a few days to prove the 81-year-old politician’s fitness to run for another term, a major Democratic Party donor has said. Charles Myers, the chair of Signum Global Advisors, believes Biden’s disastrous debate performance against Donald Trump has changed the race “fundamentally” and caused “panic” – not only among Democratic Party donors but office holders as well. House and Senate Democrats in particular fear the president’s weak showing will drag down their campaigns, and prominent figures are expected to publicly call on Biden to step aside in favor of another candidate, Myers told Bloomberg Surveillance on Wednesday. “I’m hearing the most pressure and much more panic [from elected Democrats] actually than amongst the donors,” he said.

A separate report by Bloomberg suggested that dozens of Democrats in Congress are considering signing an open letter to Biden urging him to suspend his campaign. The report did not name those allegedly considering such a move, but attributed the information to an anonymous “senior party official.” The Biden campaign has just a few days to demonstrate the president is up to the job amid mounting concern over his physical and mental condition. “I think we’re going to find out in the next four to five days whether the president is still in this race. I don’t think he’s got three weeks,” Myers stated.

On Wednesday, Biden said he was ready to continue his reelection campaign “to the end,” dismissing any possibility of calling it off. “Let me say this as clearly as I possibly can, as simply and straightforward as I can: I am running… no one’s pushing me out. I’m not leaving. I’m in this race to the end, and we’re going to win,” Biden said during a call with his campaign staffers. The White House has also dismissed rumors of Biden’s potential withdrawal, with spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre saying the US president remains “clear-eyed, and he is staying in the race.”

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“As 80% of Voters Say Biden ‘Too Old'”

Panicky White House Hits Post-Debate Damage Control Button (Sp.)

The White House is scrambling to insist that Joe Biden has “absolutely” no intention of dropping out as the Democratic nominee for the November race. The veteran Democrat seemed to be “clear-eyed” and committed to staying in the race, despite Wednesday’s media reports that suggested Biden had conceded to an ally that he was eyeing exiting the race. President Biden and his allies have called all hands on deck to figure out a scheme to “rebuild confidence” in the 81-year-old leader’s mental acuity, but it may be too late. That said, 80 percent of the nation’s voters are insisting that the Democrat is simply too old to run for a second term, according to a Wall Street Journal poll released on Wednesday. Furthermore, this figure has risen 7 points as compared to the Journal’s survey in February. The WSJ poll was conducted in the wake of Biden’s disastrous debate against Trump – his first of the 2024 election cycle.

The June 27 face-off turned out to be a huge flop for the 81-year-old contender. Biden’s performance was punctuated with cringeworthy freeze-ups and slip-ups, which sent Democrats into panic mode. Discussions on when Biden might hit the exit ramp and bow out due to medical reasons exploded across all corners of the US media landscape. Reports were also rampant that allies of the US Vice President were privately discussing scenarios of a Kamala Harris candidacy. First, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) urged Biden to drop out of the race on Tuesday, then Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), revealed in an MSNBC interview that he would back Harris if Biden stepped down. A Wednesday report in the New York Times added fuel to the fire by claiming that Biden told a close ally he is wondering whether or not to stay in the election race.

As part of the scramble to undo the damage in the last 48 hours, Biden has:
• Phoned top Democrats in Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday, including House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), and Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), according to Politico.
• Reportedly met in private with over 20 Democratic governors on Wednesday evening to tell them he underwent a medical checkup after the debate and is fine.
• Unexpectedly joined a Zoom call with campaign and Democratic National Committee staff on Wednesday. “Let me say this as clearly as I possibly can — as simply and straightforward as I can: I am running … no one’s pushing me out. I’m not leaving. I’m in this race to the end and we’re going to win,” Politico cited Biden as saying during the call.

Sen. Chris Coons (D., Del.), after speaking with Biden on Tuesday, said that the president was “determined to beat Donald Trump.” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre rushed to tell reporters on Wednesday that Joe Biden “is clear-eyed and he is staying in the race.” But pressure is growing exponentially, with dozens of Democratic lawmakers reportedly mulling signing a letter demanding that Biden withdraw from the race, according to an unnamed senior party official.

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“..a brief checkup by a White House physician in the days following the debate, which did not include any major tests..”

Biden Told Governors He Had Medical Checkup – Politico

US President Joe Biden has told a group of Democratic governors that he underwent a medical checkup following his poor performance in last week’s election debate against Donald Trump, Politico has reported, citing anonymous sources. During the CNN-hosted faceoff with his Republican rival last Thursday, the 81-year-old Biden appeared frail and seemingly lost his train of thought on multiple occasions. Most commentators, both Republican and Democrat, have concluded that Trump came out comfortably on top in the meeting, which was the first of two planned debates ahead of the November 5 presidential vote. One survey has also indicated that 72% of registered voters do not believe that Biden has the “mental and cognitive health necessary to serve as president.”

In the wake of Biden’s poor showing, multiple US media outlets have claimed there is growing pressure from within the Democratic Party and among major donors for him to drop out of the election race. Politico reported on Wednesday that the US president had held an hour-long private meeting with more than 20 Democratic governors earlier in the day, during which he mentioned a recent medical checkup after being asked about his physical condition. Politico quoted an unnamed person familiar with Biden’s schedule as clarifying that he was referring to a brief checkup by a White House physician in the days following the debate, which did not include any major tests. Biden is said to have told the governors that he was deemed to be in good health after the medical check. During the meeting with governors, the Democratic hopeful also reportedly reiterated that he would not be pushed out of the race, insisting that he was “in it to win it.”

Biden put his poor performance in the debate down to his failure to ease up with his schedule ahead of the faceoff with Trump, as quoted by Politico. Earlier, his campaign had attributed his underwhelming showing to a cold. Also on Wednesday, Bloomberg cited an anonymous “senior party official” as claiming that dozens of Democrats in the US Congress are considering a letter to demand that Biden suspend his reelection campaign. They are allegedly concerned that his weak candidacy could lead to a “Republican sweep of Washington and an unchecked Donald Trump presidency.” In the wake of last week’s debate, multiple liberal-leaning media outlets have openly called on Biden to step aside.

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“Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.”

MSM Blames Right For Failure To Disclose Biden’s Infirmity (Turley)

On MSNBC, Joe Scarborough stated “start your tape right now because I’m about to tell you the truth. And F— you if you can’t handle the truth. This version of Biden intellectually, analytically, is the best Biden ever. Not a close second. And I have known him for years…If it weren’t the truth I wouldn’t say it.” Then the presidential debate happened and, after years of being protected by staff, tens of millions of people watched the president struggle to stay focused and responsive. So, as an embarrassed press struggled to explain the most recent belated disclosure, the reason is the “right-wing press” and the need to counter their narratives. While saying that reporters “are now expressing regret,” CNN explains that “some members of the White House press corps who have regular exposure to President Biden are now admitting they were “turned off” from exposing his mental decline before last week’s debate in part because of the attention it has got from ‘right-wing media.’”

It was just part of shaping the news, which is now the priority in journalism. A recent series of interviews with over 75 media leaders by Leonard Downie Jr., former Washington Post executive editor, and Andrew Heyward, former CBS News president, reaffirmed this shift. As Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, editor-in-chief at the San Francisco Chronicle, stated: “Objectivity has got to go.” But that objectivity seems to depend heavily upon what ideology you are advocating. We have been discussing the rise of advocacy journalism and the rejection of objectivity in journalism schools. Writers, editors, commentators, and academics have embraced rising calls for censorship and speech controls, including President-elect Joe Biden and his key advisers. This movement includes academics rejecting the very concept of objectivity in journalism in favor of open advocacy. In an interview with The Stanford Daily, Stanford journalism professor, Ted Glasser, insisted that journalism needed to “free itself from this notion of objectivity to develop a sense of social justice.”

He rejected the notion that journalism is based on objectivity and said that he views “journalists as activists because journalism at its best — and indeed history at its best — is all about morality.” Thus, “Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.” Lauren Wolfe, the fired freelance editor for the New York Times, has not only gone public to defend her pro-Biden tweet but published a piece titled “I’m a Biased Journalist and I’m Okay With That.” Former New York Times writer (and now Howard University Journalism Professor) Nikole Hannah-Jones is a leading voice for advocacy journalism. Indeed, Hannah-Jones has declared “all journalism is activism.” The problem comes with these little embarrassing moments when the public suddenly sees that prior coverage was false.

Whether it is the Russian collusion story (for which reporters received Pulitzer Prizes) or the Hunter Biden laptop or the Lafayette Park photo shoot or the migrant whipping controversy, there is an inescapable pattern of omission and misdirection. This is why media outlets are collapsing as the public seeks other sources for information. As I previously wrote, the mantra “Let’s Go Brandon!” was embraced by millions as a criticism as much of the media as President Biden. It derives from an Oct. 2 interview with race-car driver Brandon Brown after he won his first NASCAR Xfinity Series race. During the interview, NBC reporter Kelli Stavast’s questions were drowned out by loud-and-clear chants of “F*** Joe Biden.” Stavast quickly and inexplicably declared, “You can hear the chants from the crowd, ‘Let’s go, Brandon!’” So, in expressing guilt for not pursuing the President’s mental and physical decline, the media is left with explaining that they are just doing what they are trained to do in the new J Schools. They were countering conservatives and framing the news.

This is why Washington Post publisher and CEO William Lewis is under attack for dropping a truth bomb on the staff of the Post when he told them: “We are going to turn this thing around, but let’s not sugarcoat it. It needs turning around,” Lewis said. “We are losing large amounts of money. Your audience has halved in recent years. People are not reading your stuff. Right. I can’t sugarcoat it anymore.” Staff is now trying to get him fired.

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“..the US leadership is blind to the true state of affairs, as it has become “entangled in its own networks of intrigue and sanctions..”

US Encouraging Ukraine To Commit New Crimes – Moscow (RT)

The US is nudging Ukraine towards committing new war crimes and helping to prolong the conflict by continuing to send military aid to the embattled country, Moscow’s ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, has said. On Wednesday, the administration of US President Joe Biden announced another military assistance package for Kiev totaling around $2.5 billion. It includes air defense munitions, HIMARS missiles, artillery rounds, anti-tank weapons and other equipment. Since the start of the conflict in February 2022, the Biden administration has committed more than $53 billion in military aid to Ukraine. In a statement on Telegram, Antonov denounced the latest American aid package, charging that Washington “continues its course towards war” and “harbors illusory dreams of a strategic victory over Russia.”

“Pumping up the agonizing Zelensky regime with deadly weapons is a futile project. In essence, this is encouraging Kiev terrorists to commit new crimes.” American weapons will not deter Russia from pushing on toward its end goal of “liberating Ukraine,” the envoy said. “They will only lead to new casualties among civilians, including women and children.” He also said that the Ukraine conflict mostly benefits the US defense industrial complex, while Washington “is balancing on the brink of conflict with Russia, the largest nuclear power.” The ambassador added that “it feels as if they are not thinking about the global consequences of the catastrophe that is approaching due to the short-sighted and dangerous policies of Washington.”

In addition, Antonov opined that by approving Ukraine aid, US policymakers intend to “demonstrate that they are steadfast in defending the crumbling world order based on American rules on the eve of the NATO summit in Washington.” Those politicians, however, are ignoring “the cost of such a Pyrrhic victory,” he stated. The ambassador said that the US leadership is blind to the true state of affairs, as it has become “entangled in its own networks of intrigue and sanctions” which have failed to deter Russia and other independent states, while becoming a burden for the West. The envoy also recalled that the West rejected Moscow’s peace overture that could put an end to the conflict. Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow was ready to immediately open peace talks with Ukraine once it withdraws troops from Donbass and two other former regions and agrees to commit to a neutral status.

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She delivers.

Transformation of Russian Economy Is Marathon With Barriers – Nabiullina (TASS)

Current transformation of the Russian economy is a marathon race with barriers and not a short distance, Governor of the Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina said. “We have recovered quickly, quicker than we expected ourselves, than expected by many. Growth rates are very high in 2023. Growth rates are high now and certainly, everybody wants to keep them. However, it seems to me that it is important for us to comprehend the current situation and understand that this is a long-distance run. This is not a short run but indeed a marathon distance, and furthermore, across the country and with barriers. We therefore need to estimate forces and understand how we work with constraints,” she said. It is important to think how to respond to long-term challenges, Nabiullina noted. “Mere crisis response measures and the use of reserves should not be the response to such permanent structural change of the economy. This is rethinking of priorities, from my point of view, and reallocation of resources,” she added.

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No peace!

Concern Over Reports Of Orban Planning Moscow Trip (BBC)

Other EU leaders have expressed concern over media reports that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban may be meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Friday. Mr Orban – whose country now holds the EU rotating presidency – is the bloc’s only head of national government to have kept close ties to the Kremlin following its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. European Council President Charles Michel said Mr Orban had “no mandate to engage with Russia on behalf of the EU”, while Polish PM Donald Tusk asked for clarification. Several media outlets reported about Mr Orban’s apparent forthcoming visit, quoting their sources. The Financial Times said one Hungarian and two EU officials had confirmed media reports that Mr Orban would meet Russia’s president on Friday. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, a US-government funded media organisation, quoted a Hungarian government source. It also said that Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto would accompany Mr Orban.
.
On Monday, according to AFP news agency, Mr Orban promised “surprising news from surprising places”. In a post on X, Mr Michel wrote: “The EU rotating presidency has no mandate to engage with Russia on behalf of the EU. “The European Council is clear: Russia is the aggressor, Ukraine is the victim. No discussions about Ukraine can take place without Ukraine.” Mr Tusk asked: “The rumours about your visit to Moscow cannot be true@PM_ViktorOrban, or can they?” Earlier this week, Mr Orban visited Kyiv, saying a “a quick ceasefire could be used to speed up peace negotiations”. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – who has had frosty relations with Mr Orban – did not publicly respond to the proposal. But many Ukrainians believe any ceasefire would simply cement Russia’s hold over territory it has seized from Ukraine and, if negotiations were to take place, they would prefer them to be conducted from a position of strength rather than on the back foot.

Media speculation about Mr Orban’s visit to Moscow came as President Putin said again that he was open to negotiating with Kyiv. The Kremlin leader recently publicly voiced a number of tough pre-conditions for such talks but Kyiv and its Western allies say these are tantamount to Ukraine’s capitulation. Mr Orban has been a vocal critic of Western support for Ukraine. He previously slowed agreement on a €50bn ($54bn; £42bn) EU aid package designed to support Ukraine in its defence against Russia. Tuesday’s visit to Kyiv was his first in 12 years, although he met Mr Putin repeatedly during that time. During Mr Orban’s joint appearance with Mr Zelensky the body language between them was not warm, and neither took questions from the media after they gave their statements. But for the next six months Mr Orban’s position as head of the European Council means he has an influential role as a figurehead for Europe. He came to Ukraine on his second day in that role for discussions, saying there was a need to solve previous disagreements and focus on the future.

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Labour: 410 seats. Tories: 131 seats. For a majority of about 170 seats. Not a typo.

Labour Set For Crushing 170 Seat Majority In UK General Election (ZH)

The year of record elections continues to serve up dramatic results, and on Thursday, a national exit poll in the UK general election indicated that Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives will crash out of office after 14 years after Keir Starmer’s Labour party was heading for a massive majority of about 170 seats. The poll on Thursday night suggested Starmer will become prime minister with 410 seats out of 650 in the House of Commons, while Sunak’s party is facing the worst result in its history, with just 131 seats. The result, according to the FT, is “momentous for Britain and will resonate around the world” because at a time when right-wing populists are advancing in many countries, political power in the UK has swung back to a liberal, internationalist, centre-left party. But Labour’s victory was projected to be delivered on a smaller share of the vote than the 40% secured by leftwing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in his 2017 general election defeat — suggesting the public remains sceptical.

Labour’s shadow foreign secretary David Lammy warned: “If we do not deliver for working people, we will be out and nationalists will be on our tails.” He added: “That’s the lesson we have seen around the world.” Meanwhile, Nigel Farage’s Reform UK was projected to do better than expected with 13 seats, a result that would be a big breakthrough for his right-wing populist party. The first two constituencies to report results on Thursday evening, both in the north of England, showed Labour wins with Reform in second place. Labour’s victory is a personal triumph for Starmer, who took over the party’s leadership in 2020 after the party’s worst election defeat in almost a century. His projected victory is similar in scale to Sir Tony Blair’s 1997 Labour landslide. That said, while the Ipsos exit poll is usually a reliable predictor of overall results, the final result may still differ. Vote counts from individual constituencies will trickle in through the night, with Labour, if the polls are correct, likely to have a clear majority by 5am.

According to the exit survey, the centrist Liberal Democrats was on course to win 61 seats, close to the 62-seat record set by the party in 2005. The Lib Dems are forecast to make big gains in the Tory “blue wall” of rich constituencies in the south of England. The Scottish National party was set to come behind Labour in Scotland with just 10 seats, according to the exit poll, putting a serious dent in the party’s dream of securing independence. The survey exposed the overwhelming sentiment reported by candidates from all parties that Britain wanted “change”, with many senior Tories admitting during the campaign that the party looked exhausted. The UK has been under Conservative rule for 14 years, during which time there have been five prime ministers, with a near catastrophic banking and bond market crisis erupting during the brief reign of Liz Truss. The period was marked by economic austerity, Brexit, the coronavirus pandemic and an energy price shock.

Former Tory minister Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg said it was “clearly a terrible night” and added that the Conservatives had taken votes for granted. Starmer is set to become only the seventh Labour prime minister in the party’s history, and his victory is the first since 2005 for the center-left party. Labour last ousted the Tories from power in 1997, when Tony Blair became prime minister in a crushing victory over John Major’s Tories. He will move into 10 Downing Street on Friday and immediately form his cabinet, with an instruction to ministers to quickly deliver policies to jolt Britain out of its low-growth torpor. The exit poll indicated that Starmer’s avowedly pro-growth, pro-business agenda has paid off, as Labour bucked international political trends. Far-right parties have performed strongly in recent elections for the European and French parliaments, while in the US, Donald Trump is leading in polls for the presidential race.

Labour’s chancellor-in-waiting Rachel Reeves has said she hopes investors will now see the UK as a “safe haven” although once the UK unleashes the next spending spree to fund all the various welfare projects, we fully expect another quick funding crisis and even more QE.

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Kirsch

 

 

Bed making

 

 

 

 

Wolf
https://twitter.com/i/status/1808734618868461811

 

 

Jack

 

 

Barn cat
https://twitter.com/i/status/1808746085415813126

 

 

Foxes
https://twitter.com/i/status/1808780625970606151

 

 

Penguins
https://twitter.com/i/status/1808739929469468689

 

 

 

 

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Jul 042024
 


Félix Vallotton The balloon 1899

 

“No One Is Pushing Me Out” Biden Tells Staff (ZH)
Biden May Drop Out Of Presidential Race – NYT (RT)
Dozens of Democrat Lawmakers Want Biden Out – Bloomberg (RT)
Only Michelle Obama Can Beat Donald Trump – Poll (RT)
Jack Smith is Willing to Try Trump Up to Inauguration Day (Turley)
The Presidential Dilemma (Paul Craig Roberts)
Hillary Clinton Welcomes Ukraine ‘Attacking’ Trump (RT)
Will Putin Attack Poland & the Baltics? (Ray McGovern)
Western Talk of Ukraine Peace Just For Show – Zakharova (RT)
Orban Reveals Zelensky’s Reaction To Ceasefire Proposal (RT)
US Dissatisfied With Ukraine’s Mobilization Rate – Former PM (Sp.)
Tucker Carlson Announces Zelensky Interview (RT)
Ukraine To Be Warned It’s ‘Too Corrupt’ For NATO – Telegraph (RT)
‘Hamas Has Never Been Stronger’: Israel Is Stuck In A War It Can’t Win (Blade)
Houthis Vow USS Theodore Roosevelt Primary Target Once it Enters Red Sea (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kamala
https://twitter.com/i/status/1808504862386049227

 

 

Big Mike
https://twitter.com/i/status/1807996200966410600

 

 

 

 

 

 

Someone gave Hunter a security clearance? For real?

“No One Is Pushing Me Out” Biden Tells Staff (ZH)

Update (1355ET): According to AP, Biden told campaign staff “No one is pushing me out” during a Wednesday call. Would he even know though? Meanwhile, a new NYT/Siena poll reveals that Trump now leads Biden 49%-43% among likely voters.

* * *

Update (1055ET): With knives out and all eyes on Kamala, President Biden has reportedly ‘told a key ally that he knows he may not be able to salvage his candidacy’ if he can’t convince the public in the coming days that he’s up for the job, the NY Times reports. “He knows if he has two more events like that, we’re in a different place” by the end of the weekend said the ally, referring to last Thursday’s debacle of a debate. The conversation is the first indication to become public that the president is seriously considering whether he can recover after a devastating performance on the debate stage in Atlanta on Thursday. Concerns are mounting about his viability as a candidate and whether he could serve as president for another four years.

A top adviser to Mr. Biden, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the situation, said the president was “well aware of the political challenge he faces.” -NYT. We’re shocked Biden can ‘weigh’ anything given his condition, but the White House says the Times report is ‘absolutely false.’ As we noted earlier, odds of Kamala Harris facing off with Trump in November spiked overnight, and then accelerated even higher upon the NYT report, only to pull back shortly thereafter after the White House denied.

What a time to be alive!

* * *
While Former President Barack Obama has publicly supported sockpuppet president Joe Biden following last Thursday’s unprecedented debate, he has privately told allies that the path to victory ‘grew more challenging’ following an abject debacle for the Democrats. According to ‘several people familiar with his remarks,’ and perhaps most notably conveyed via the Washington Post, not only has Obama grown more concerned following the debate (and having to physically guide the 81-year-old off of a stage last month), the former president “has long harbored worries about his party defeating Donald Trump in November, repeatedly warning Biden in recent months about how challenging it will be to win reelection.” Not only that, “Just before the debate, Obama conveyed to allies his concerns about the state of the race.”

So Obama gets to save face, while adding to the growing chorus of Democrats who have expressed everything from quiet panic to public hints, to outright calls for Biden to drop out of the race. Meanwhile in the ivory tower, White House aides are reportedly freaked out that crack addict, China profiteer, Ukraine energy expert, convicted felon Hunter Biden is in the building helping to counsel his father in Jill’s time of crisis. According to NBC News’ Ken Deilanian, White House staff are asking “What the hell is happening,” after a report that Hunter has been sitting in on meetings.

Read more …

Comedy.

Biden May Drop Out Of Presidential Race – NYT (RT)

US President Joe Biden is seriously considering whether he can recover from his “disastrous” debate performance, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing a “key ally” who wished to remain anonymous. Biden struggled through last week’s exchange with challenger Donald Trump, hosted by CNN. The Times described his performance as “devastating,” even though Biden’s campaign had arranged the circumstances to be maximally favorable. “He knows if he has two more events like that, we’re in a different place” by the end of the Independence Day weekend, the unnamed ally told the newspaper. While the unnamed source insisted that Biden is “still deeply in the fight for re-election,” the 81-year-old is reportedly aware that the next several days must go well if he wishes to “salvage” his candidacy.

Biden is scheduled to record an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos – a Clinton White House veteran – on Friday and take part in campaign events in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. A meeting with Democratic governors is also on the schedule for Wednesday evening. White House spokesman Andrew Bates told the NYT that the anonymous ally’s claim was “absolutely false” and that he had not been given enough time to respond. According to the Times, Biden has told at least one person that he is open to the possibility that the plan to move on from the debate and shift the narrative to Trump “may not work.” The White House and the campaign have offered a range of excuses for what happened at the debate. Meanwhile, a CBS News poll on Wednesday showed Trump two points ahead of Biden nationally and three points in battleground states.

“Concerns are mounting about his viability as a candidate and whether he could serve as president for another four years,” the Times noted. Several other unnamed allies of Biden told the outlet that he was “clear-eyed” about the “uphill battle to convince voters, donors and the political class” that his debate performance was just a bad day. Media outlets that have been friendly to Biden for years, insisting just last month that he was “sharp as a tack” and that allegations of mental and physical infirmity were fake news, turned on the president practically overnight. Major party donors have reportedly done so as well, demanding a new candidate. Vice President Kamala Harris remains unpopular, however, and the Democrats did not allow a competitive primary, leaving them in a bind to name a possible replacement

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“..even among Democrats some 45% believe that he should withdraw from the race..”

Dozens of Democrat Lawmakers Want Biden Out – Bloomberg (RT)

Dozens of Democrats in the US Congress are considering signing a letter demanding that President Joe Biden suspend his reelection campaign, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. Calls for Biden to withdraw from the race and resign from office have intensified since his disastrous debate performance against Donald Trump last week. Bloomberg did not name any of the lawmakers involved, and attributed the news to an anonymous “senior party official.” According to this official, Democrats fear association with the unpopular and apparently senile president will harm their own reelection chances in November, leading to “a Republican sweep of Washington and an unchecked Donald Trump presidency.” Calls for Biden’s withdrawal have snowballed since last Thursday’s CNN-hosted debate, during which Biden appeared confused and struggled to finish sentences.

Speaking to MSNBC on Tuesday, influential Democrat Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Jim Clyburn both discussed the possibility that Biden may suffer from a mental condition, while Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas became the first sitting Democrat lawmaker to urge Biden to suspend his campaign. Liberal pundits have gone further, with The Atlantic and The Hill both publishing op-eds on Wednesday calling on Biden to leave office immediately, after the New York Times, Washington Post, and Chicago Tribune all called on him to step aside so the party can choose a more lucid candidate to take on Trump this November. The White House, meanwhile, insists that Biden does not suffer from dementia or any other degenerative condition, and that his lackluster performance was the result of tiredness and a “bad cold.”

On Wednesday, White House spokesman Andrew Bates dismissed a report in the New York Times suggesting that the president was considering whether to pull out of the race, calling the claim “absolutely false.”According to Politico reporter Elena Schneider, Biden told campaign staffers on Wednesday that “no one’s pushing me out. I’m not leaving. I’m in this race to the end and we’re going to win.” Biden spoke to Clyburn and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer by phone on Wednesday, Bloomberg reported. The president has a packed schedule of appearances over the coming days, including a meeting with Democratic governors on Wednesday evening, an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Friday, and campaign events in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin over the weekend.

“We really want to turn the page on this,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Tuesday, adding that Biden’s upcoming appearances will allow Americans to “see him for themselves.” According to multiple polls, however, Americans have already decided that Biden is not fit for office. A survey conducted by CBS News/YouGov in the wake of the debate found that 72% of registered voters do not believe that Biden has the “mental and cognitive health necessary to serve as president.” The poll indicated that even among Democrats some 45% believe that he should withdraw from the race.

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That poll is wrong. Because it will all be about Big Mike.

Only Michelle Obama Can Beat Donald Trump – Poll (RT)

Michelle Obama, the wife of former US President Barack Obama, is the only potential Democratic candidate who could beat Republican frontrunner Donald Trump in November’s election, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll. There is growing concern among Democratic voters over President Joe Biden’s ability to secure a second term in office this year, particularly after his debate with Trump, in which the 81-year-old incumbent appeared frail and confused, and struggled to finish his sentences. On July 1 and July 2, Ipsos market research company surveyed a representative sample of 1,070 US adults for Reuters, including 892 registered voters, 348 Democrats, 322 Republicans, and 303 independents.

According to the poll, if a vote were to be held now, Biden and Trump would both win an estimated 40% of the votes. However, around three in five voters, including nearly one-third of Democrats, believe Biden should drop out of the race altogether and that his party should put forward a new candidate, even at this late stage. Most of Biden’s potential replacements do not seem to have the public approval or recognition needed to beat Trump on November 5, according to the poll. In hypothetical matchups against Trump, Vice President Kamala Harris was one point behind the Republican candidate, while others, like California Governor Gavin Newsom and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, fared even worse. The only person who could beat Trump is Michelle Obama, the poll suggests. In her matchup against the former president, some 50% of registered voters said they would vote for her, compared to 39% who said they would vote for Trump.

The former first lady also appears to have a better public image than the other candidates. The survey showed that around 42% of voters have a favorable opinion of Trump, compared to the 38% who have a favorable opinion of Biden. But Obama had an approval rating of 55%, beating all other potential Democratic candidates. Meanwhile, Biden and his team have indicated that they have no plans to drop out of the race despite last week’s debate performance, which they have tried to play down as just a “bad night.” The Democratic Party has also publicly rallied behind the president. Privately, however, media reports suggest that many top Democratic donors want Biden gone from the November 5 ticket and even his public allies, including Barack Obama, have reportedly been “telling people Biden can’t win” in private.

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It’s called election interference. And SCOTUS should stop it.

“Smith’s appetite for a trial before the Inauguration may exceed his ability to force that expedited schedule…”

Jack Smith is Willing to Try Trump Up to Inauguration Day (Turley)

The Washington Post is reporting that Special Counsel Jack Smith may try to convict former president Donald Trump all the way through the election and up to 11:59 am on January 20th. After the oath, the Justice Department has long maintained that it will not prosecute a sitting president. There is also a long-standing policy of the Justice Department to abstain from criminal proceedings before an election to avoid the appearance of trying to influence the outcome. Smith has signaled that he will discard that policy and that he is prepared to try Trump not only up to the election but through the election. He is now reportedly willing to try Trump up to January 20th. Smith has made trying Trump before the election the overriding priority in his two cases against the former president. He failed repeatedly to force a shorter schedule on appeal before the Supreme Court.

His arguments were revealing. He suggested that the public should have a possible conviction before they cast their votes. It flipped the DOJ policy on its head in openly seeking to influence the election. The Supreme Court was not persuaded, though Smith did succeed in effectively cutting the appellate process a bit shorter. He then lost in spectacular fashion before the Court on presidential immunity. According to the Post, he is not giving up the ghost and is now committed to a trial running up to Inauguration Day: “Current officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, expressed … that if Trump wins the election, the clock on the two federal cases against him would keep ticking until Jan. 20, when he would be sworn in as the 47th president.” Even with Smith’s continued push to try Trump at all costs before the Inauguration, it could be a challenge. There is a 30-day period before the Supreme Court case is effectively returned to district court.

Judge Tanya Chutkan has been highly favorable for Smith and highly motivated in seeking a trial before the election. That led to problems highlighted in the recent opinion. Chutkan was so motivated that she failed to create an adequate record on these issues. That record will now have to be established. If Chutkan rules as she did earlier, she is expected to be hostile to Trump’s claims on his conduct falling within official functions. However, she will need to make the record and her decision could again be appealed. The Court left clear guidelines that will make it difficult for Chutkan to, again, dismiss such claims.

Moreover, the pre-trial motions were stopped with the latest appeal. They must now be addressed. Finally, she pledged to give the Trump team over 80 days for preparation after the appeal, which will be added to the 30 days, the period for the remand record, and the pre-trial motions. There is also the need for the court and Smith to deal with the Fischer decision limiting the use of the obstruction charges — impacting two of the four counts against Trump. As I have previously written, Smith has various options but could trigger a new reversal on appeal if he follows his signature inclination to resist legal limits. In other words, Smith’s appetite for a trial before the Inauguration may exceed his ability to force that expedited schedule.

Read more …

“All the people can do is to cast votes that might or might not be properly counted..”

The Presidential Dilemma (Paul Craig Roberts)

The dilemma is not limited to Trump and Biden. All of us face it. Biden cannot win despite all of the theft mechanisms the Democrats have institutionalized. A stolen election requires a close election in order to hide the theft. But the polls show no such close election. In order to use the fraudulent electoral means put in place, the Democrats need a candidate that the media can present as neck-in-neck with Trump. Even if Democrats had such a candidate, the Biden Crime Family cannot risk Trump taking office. In the event that Trump has learned not to appoint his most dangerous enemies to the highest offices, Biden out of power faces the risk of a real investigation of his and his son’s suspect business affairs, which appear to boil down to influence peddling.

So far the Biden family has reacted negatively to the pressure on Biden from fellow Democrats to stand down. But there is room for a deal if the Democrats can find a candidate for whom they can succeed in having a stolen election accepted. The deal would be that in exchange for standing down, the replacement candidate when “elected” will have the Justice (sic) Department investigate Joe and Hunter’s business dealings and clear them from all suspicions. One wonders why the corrupt merrick garland hasn’t already done this. For Trump the main problem is how does he form a loyal government committed to Trump’s and Trump’s supporters agenda? The Rino Republican establishment is almost as opposed to Trump as the Democrats. Where are there aware Republicans with brains and a willingness to fight the Establishment and the media which serves the Establishment? Supposing such people exist and that Trump finds them, how does he get them confirmed in office? Confirmation is up to the Senate. Is the Senate going to put in office people who intend to dismantle the Establishment that the Senate represents?

The most important question is who will sacrifice his chances for success in life by serving in a Trump administration and going against the Establishment. There are so many ways in which the Establishment can ruin you. When Trump, if elected, is confronted with his isolation, as he was during his first term with no reliable advisers having abandoned Bannon and Flynn, what does he do? Does he declare his re-election as vindication and make his peace with the Establishment, thereby surviving and recovering from his damaged business interests? Trump’s support is in the people, but the people are impotent. The media lies to them continually, but enough of them continue to support the media and partake of their indoctrination from CNN, NPR, the New York Times and the rest of the presstitutes for the media to continue its lies. The media’s lies sustain the official narratives.

The people have no influence on the cabinet departments that serve the private agendas of the Establishment. All the people can do is to cast votes that might or might not be properly counted. We already see an unpromising change in Trump. In place of analysis he blusters. If he had been in office Russia would have been too afraid to invade Ukraine and Hamas to attack Israel. In other words, he has bought into the Establishment explanations. We no longer hear that he is going to normalize relations with Russia. Instead, he is going to intimidate Russia. This is not what the world on the brink of World War III wants to hear. We want to see leadership that acknowledges Washington and NATO’s responsibility in the ever-widening conflict. As long as we are full of self-justification, we can’t see the Russian point of view. Unless we can bring ourselves to see the Russian point of view, we will continue on our path to a major war.

Read more …

Vovan and Lexus strike again.

Hillary Clinton Welcomes Ukraine ‘Attacking’ Trump (RT)

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has signaled her support if Ukraine attempted to dig up dirt on GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump. She made the comment in a phone call with Russian prankster duo Vovan and Lexus, one of whom posed as ex-Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko. According to a recording of the conversation made public on Wednesday, Clinton and the man she believed to be Poroshenko discussed the political landscape in the US leading up to the November election, as well as the potential repercussions of a Trump victory for both Kiev and Washington. Trump has repeatedly criticized the way the administration of US President Joe Biden has handled the Ukraine conflict, saying he would end hostilities within 24 hours if elected and stop sending unconditional financial support to Kiev.

Clinton said that she is “doing everything” she can to secure Biden’s reelection, while acknowledging that those efforts come at “a very difficult time in this country.” Her comments followed a recent television debate between Biden and Trump, widely seen as a disaster for the incumbent. The former presidential candidate, who lost the 2016 election to Trump, described her former rival as “very dangerous,” adding that he “would be very bad for the United States as well as for… Ukraine,” and that Kiev was right to be concerned. Later in the conversation, ‘Poroshenko’ offered to “request a hearing in the [Ukrainian] parliament to find something on him [Trump] before the election,” recalling that the 45th president is already facing serious legal trouble in the US. “I think we can attack him from different sides,” the prankster suggested.

Clinton seemed to like the idea. “Good. Anything you could do, attack him, I’m all for it, because he is a very dangerous man,” she responded. ‘Poroshenko’ then followed up with a suggestion to “send my people in the US,” without clarifying what he meant, but the former secretary ignored this proposal. Biden and Trump faced-off on June 27, with the US president widely being perceived as incoherent and fumbling. According to several reports, many prominent Democrats and party donors are scrambling to find a replacement for Biden. Meanwhile, Trump is heading into the election as the only former or current US president to be convicted of a crime. In May, the GOP frontrunner was found guilty of falsifying business records stemming from an alleged ‘hush money’ payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, with whom Trump allegedly had an affair. The ex-president maintains his innocence and has denied being involved with Daniels.

Read more …

Fiona Hill.

Will Putin Attack Poland & the Baltics? (Ray McGovern)

At Thursday’s debate with Donald Trump, President Joe Biden, calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal,” claimed that he “wants all of Ukraine. … Do you think he’ll stop? … What do you think happens to Poland and other places?” Spoiler Alert: Official Ukrainian sources confirm that Putin did stop in March 2022, after Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky agreed to forswear membership in NATO. This was the key provision in the Ukraine-Russia deal initialed by Davyd Arakhamia, who at the time was Zelensky’s chief negotiator (and his party’s faction leader in the Rada) at the talks in Istanbul at the end of March, hardly a month into the war. The Russians lifted their objection to Ukraine joining the EU, as the Ukrainians agreed to neutrality. Security guarantees sought by Kyiv (short of NATO membership) would be worked out. The fighting would stop. Agreement on the status of Crimea would be put off to the future.

Putin and Zelensky reportedly were micromanaging the March 2022 negotiations, and at that early stage the Russians expressed readiness for the two to meet. At the same time that Biden and other Western leaders raise the alarm that Putin will attack other parts of Europe when he’s through with Ukraine, they claim Russia can’t even take the Ukrainian province of Kharkiv, has lost more than 500,000 men to just 30,000 Ukrainians and its economy is faltering (none of which is true.) But Cold War Western power was based on an exaggerated Soviet threat and the same is true today. In a November 2023 Kyiv Post report titled “Russia Offered to End War in 2022 If Ukraine Scrapped NATO Ambitions – Zelensky Party Chief,” Arakhamia confirmed that in the March 2022 negotiations Russia proposed ending the war on the condition that Ukraine abandon its NATO aspirations and adopt a neutral stance.

Arakhamia continued: “Neutrality was the biggest thing for them, they were ready to end the war if we took — as Finland once did — neutrality and made commitments that we would not join NATO. This was the key point. While negotiations continued in Istanbul, former U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson unexpectedly arrived in Kyiv on April 9 and said that Ukraine shouldn’t sign anything with them at all – and ‘let’s just fight.’ ” Arakhamia’s candor was refreshing. But it came as no surprise to those of us following Ukraine in early 2022. On May 5, 2022 — a year and a half before Arakhamia spilled the beans to the Kyiv Post — Ukrainska Pravda ran a report under the title “Possibility of talks between Zelensky and Putin came to a halt after Johnson’s visit”: “According to sources close to Zelenskyy, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, who appeared in the capital almost without warning, brought two simple messages.

The first is that Putin is a war criminal, he should be pressured, not negotiated with. And the second is that even if Ukraine is ready to sign some agreements on guarantees with Putin, they [the West] are not. The collective West felt that Putin was not really as powerful as they had previously imagined, and that here was a chance to press him.” Three days after Johnson left Kyiv, Putin publicly stated that talks with Ukraine had “turned into a dead end.” Putin expressed confidence that Russia would ultimately prevail and added that it would “rhythmically and calmly” continue conducting the operation in Ukraine. In his major speech to the Russian Foreign Ministry on June 14, Putin said the Russian troops approaching Kyiv in February-March 2022 were there “to push the Ukrainian side to negotiations.” From Feb. 24 on, the Russians had expressed readiness for diplomacy. Interestingly, Zelensky appointed Arakhamia chief negotiator on Feb. 28.

Putin continued: “Surprisingly, as a result, agreements that satisfied both Moscow and Kyiv were indeed reached and initialed in Istanbul. … The document was titled ‘Agreement on Permanent Neutrality and Security Guarantees for Ukraine’. It was a compromise but resolved the problems that were stated as major ones even at the start of the special military operation. But the path to peace was rejected again. … The former UK prime minister said directly during his visit to Kyiv – no agreements. Russia must be defeated on the battlefield. … Thus they began to intensively pump Ukraine up with weapons and started talking about the need to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia.”

Who has been telling Biden that Putin “will not stop at Ukraine?” Exhibit A would be Fiona Hill, disciple of arch-Russophobe historian Richard Pipes, and national intelligence officer for Russia (2006-09). Her insights appeared in The New York Times exactly a month before Russia invaded Ukraine. On Jan. 24, 2022, the Times featured a guest essay by Hill titled “Putin has the U.S. Right Where He Wants It”: “This time, Mr. Putin’s aim is bigger than closing NATO’s ‘open door’ to Ukraine and taking more territory — he wants to evict the United States from Europe. As he might put it: ‘Goodbye, America. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.’”

Read more …

”What is happening to Europe is not just a crisis, or collapse, or loss of position. It truly is a disaster..”

Western Talk of Ukraine Peace Just For Show – Zakharova (RT)

Any Western talk of peace in the Ukraine conflict is merely a “decoy” as the US and its allies remain intent on inflicting a strategic defeat on Moscow, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban visited Kiev on Tuesday, where he urged Vladimir Zelensky to seek a ceasefire with Russia to facilitate peace talks. The Ukrainian leader rejected the proposal, saying he has a different way to end the conflict. Whatever discussions Ukraine and Western nations have about peace are mere “decoys, screens, tropes and memes,” said purely for their own sake, Zakharova said on her weekly radio show on Wednesday. The Ukraine conflict is dominated by the goal of inflicting a strategic defeat on Russia, which the US and its allies have declared “absolutely clearly and specifically,” the official explained.

In practical terms, the West seeks to dismantle Russia and to end its existence, she claimed. What did you expect from the people chosen by the US as their tools? Tools don’t have a say in what they do. Clear-eyed politicians in the EU can see the place allocated to their nations in the US grand plan, which is that of a sacrificial animal on the altar of victory against Russia, Zakharova added. Europe’s grim future is evident in the state of its economy, she said. ”What is happening to Europe is not just a crisis, or collapse, or loss of position. It truly is a disaster,” she argued. Western officials such as Hungary’s Orban, who publicly object to the course of action chosen in Washington, probably want to set the record straight for the future generations of Europeans, who will blame the leaders of today for their inaction, Zakharova said.

The Hungarian prime minister has repeatedly argued that Western sanctions imposed on Russia as punishment for the Ukraine conflict have failed to end hostilities and ended up hurting EU members more than they did Russia. Budapest has used its veto power in the bloc to stop proposed restrictions that would have undermined core Hungarian national interests, such as its cooperation with Russia on nuclear energy. Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged to order a ceasefire with Ukraine as soon as Kiev renounces its bid to join NATO and pulls its troops out of all territory which Moscow claims under its sovereignty.

Read more …

“..Ukraine is not interested in Orban’s proposal and claimed that a ceasefire “cannot be considered in isolation.”

Orban Reveals Zelensky’s Reaction To Ceasefire Proposal (RT)

Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky was not receptive to Budapest’s proposal to establish a temporary ceasefire with Russia, according to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who recently traveled to Kiev. During his surprise visit on Tuesday, which was his first trip to Ukraine in over a decade, Orban proposed that Zelensky think about “whether it would be possible to take a break. To reach a ceasefire and start negotiations [with Russia] since a quick ceasefire could speed up these negotiations.” Ahead of the trip, Orban stated that he hoped to explain to Zelensky that “time is running out and it is important to establish peace, as hundreds of soldiers are dying on the front every day and we do not see how a solution can be found on the battlefield.”

However, following his conversations with Zelensky, Orban told the Swiss Die Weltwoche news outlet, that the Ukrainian leader “had some doubts” about the ceasefire proposal and “didn’t like it very much.” He explained that Zelensky “had a bad experience in the past with ceasefires, which, in his opinion, did not benefit Ukraine” and because of this believed there were “limits” to what could be achieved. While Zelensky himself has not yet commented on Hungary’s proposal, his deputy chief of staff, Igor Zhovka has stated that Ukraine is not interested in Orban’s proposal and claimed that a ceasefire “cannot be considered in isolation.”

Instead, Zhovka said that Kiev will continue to seek a resolution to the conflict based on Zelensky’s own ‘peace formula’. The ten-point program, initially floated in late 2022, calls for a complete withdrawal of Russian forces from territories Kiev claims as its own, reparation payments and an international war crime tribunal for Russia’s leadership. Moscow has vehemently rejected Zelensky’s plan as a non-starter and has stressed that any peace talks with Kiev must be based on “realities on the ground.” Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has presented his own set of terms for starting ceasefire talks, which include a full Ukrainian withdrawal from the regions that voted to be part of Russia, as well as legally binding guarantees that ensure Ukraine will never become a member of NATO.

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‘You planned to mobilize this number of people, but mobilized that. We have provided you with funds for weapons and that number of troops, and you fail to hold your end of the bargain,..”

US Dissatisfied With Ukraine’s Mobilization Rate – Former PM (Sp.)

The United States expresses its dissatisfaction with the insufficient mobilization rate in Ukraine, causing trouble in Washington-Kiev relations, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said on Wednesday. “After the adoption of the bill facilitating mobilization, the number of mobilized people increased, but the Kiev regime failed to achieve the numbers set by the Americans, failed by far. That is why they are having problems with their US masters who are openly saying: ‘You planned to mobilize this number of people, but mobilized that. We have provided you with funds for weapons and that number of troops, and you fail to hold your end of the bargain,'” Azarov said on Telegram. There is active agitation in Ukraine in favor of signing of the temporary ceasefire agreement, he added.

“They say, we should sit tight, gain strength and win [the lost territories] back. That is the idea of all that [agitation] talks. No one is promoting the idea of giving up these territories indefinitely, the idea of a permanent peace treaty, the idea of giving up on NATO membership. These ideas are mentioned nowhere,” the former prime minister added. Martial law was introduced in Ukraine on February 24, 2022. The next day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree on general mobilization. The martial law and mobilization have been continuously extended since then. On May 9, the Ukrainian president signed bills to extend mobilization and martial law in the country for another 90 days. Under martial law, Ukrainian citizens aged from 18 to 60 are prohibited from leaving the country.

Western countries have been providing massive military and financial aid to Kiev since the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. The Kremlin has consistently warned against continued arms deliveries to Kiev, saying it would lead to further escalation of the conflict.

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“Stage [the interview] on neutral grounds or he might have you disappeared like Gonzalo Lira..”

Tucker Carlson Announces Zelensky Interview (RT)

Vladimir Zelensky has finally accepted a request to be interviewed by Tucker Carlson, the American journalist has revealed. A notorious Ukrainian government-linked website branded Carlson an enemy of the state, in particular for his interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this year. Carlson used to host a highly-rated evening show on Fox News until he was fired last April for reasons never quite explained. He has since launched his own network, posting on X (formerly Twitter) and Telegram. “Looks like we’ve got the Zelenskyy interview,” Carlson said on Wednesday. “We’ve been trying for two years, and with particular intensity after interviewing Putin in February.” “The point is to bring Americans much-needed information about the conflict that’s completely reshaping their country’s position in the world. Coming soon we hope,” he added.

Following the Putin interview, Carlson revealed that he also reached out to Zelensky to give him a chance to “explain his position,” but said that the Ukrainian leader ignored his overtures. The influential American journalist has long been critical of the US policy to fund Kiev in the conflict against Moscow. “Ukraine can’t win. Everybody knows that around the world. People are very clear on that. There is not one informed person outside the United States who thinks that somehow Ukraine is going to beat Russia,” he said in April.Last month, during an interview with Donald Trump Jr, Carlson argued that Ukraine was being sold off to foreign corporate investors and that the Ukrainian nation would disappear within 50 years. “We betrayed them like no other country ever,” he said at the time.

Carlson’s announcement has caused some concern among his fans, given that he was placed on Ukraine’s notorious list of public enemies back in 2023, labeled as “an accomplice of Russian occupiers and terrorists.” “Stage [the interview] on neutral grounds or he might have you disappeared like Gonzalo Lira,” conservative blogger Ian Miles Cheong warned Carlson, referring to an American-Chilean journalist who was tortured to death in a Ukrainian jail earlier this year. The controversial Mirotvorets (Peacemaker) database was launched by Ukrainian government-linked activists in 2014. It has often been called Ukraine’s ‘kill list’, as a number of prominent journalists and other public figures featured on the website have been murdered over the years.

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Good topic for Tucker’s interview.

Ukraine To Be Warned It’s ‘Too Corrupt’ For NATO – Telegraph (RT)

NATO wants Ukraine to make more effort to crack down on endemic corruption as a condition for any progress towards joining the bloc, the Daily Telegraph reported on Tuesday, citing sources. According to the British paper, concerns that Ukraine is “too corrupt” to become a full-fledged NATO member will be highlighted in the communique at the bloc’s Washington summit on July 9-11. A senior US State Department official told The Telegraph that the West must “applaud everything that Ukraine has done in the name of reforms over the last two-plus years.” However, he added that “we want to talk about additional steps that need to be taken, particularly in the area of anti-corruption. It is a priority for many of us around the table.”

NATO members first agreed in 2008 that Ukraine would eventually join the bloc, without setting an exact timetable. After the Western-backed coup in Kiev in 2014, Ukraine made its NATO aspirations a strategic goal and formally applied to join the bloc in 2022. The move came after four of its former regions voted overwhelmingly to join Russia. However, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said Ukraine’s accession is out of the question while it is in conflict with Russia, insisting that membership can only be approved “when allies agree and conditions are met.” Moscow has said Ukraine’s plans to join NATO are among the key reasons for the conflict. Ukraine has been plagued by corruption for years. The hostilities with Russia have made the problem even more apparent, and the Ukrainian military has been rocked by several high-profile procurement scandals in recent months.

Graft is high on the list of concerns for Ukraine’s Western backers in the EU and US. Last month, the EU set up a special watchdog to combat the possible embezzlement of billions of dollars allocated to Kiev. In May, Robert Storch, the Pentagon’s inspector general, released a report stating that “endemic corruption persists” in Ukraine while calling its government “one of the least accountable” in Europe. An NBC report in June claimed that Kiev has been irritated by constant US demands to ramp up anti-corruption efforts. American and Ukrainian officials have acknowledged that it is one of the issues poisoning bilateral relations. According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, Ukraine is in the ‘red’ zone, ranking 104th out of 180 countries.

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“The stocks of their weapons have been depleting, many tunnels have been destroyed, infrastructure has been devastated. Their combatants must be exhausted as they have been fighting for a long time. But from the political point of view, Hamas has never been stronger..”

‘Hamas Has Never Been Stronger’: Israel Is Stuck In A War It Can’t Win (Blade)

Through April, the IDF had targeted more than 32,000 military sites belonging to Hamas and its allies. In June, Israel announced that 15,000 of the group’s militants had been eliminated. But experts are certain those measures won’t eradicate the Islamic group that has been in charge of Gaza since 2007. “We are advancing to the end of the stage of eliminating the Hamas terrorist army,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday, addressing the cadets of Israel National Defense College. “I was very impressed by the achievements above ground and below ground, and by the commanders’ fighting spirit. With this spirit we will achieve our objectives: Returning our hostages, eliminating Hamas’ military and governing capabilities, ensuring that Gaza will not constitute a threat…” he added. Since October 7, 2023 – when hordes of Hamas militants attacked Israel and killed more than 1,500 people – Israel has eliminated dozens of Hamas tunnels.

It has seized weapons depots and cash, destroyed various military sites, killed operatives of Hamas and of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and captured thousands others. But almost nine months in, Israel’s victory over Hamas still seems remote. Before the deadly October 7 attack, the Islamic group that has been in control of the Strip since 2007, boasted five brigades or 25 battalions with a total number of active combatants standing at 30,000. In June, Israel admitted that it had only eliminated half of that original force, or 15,000 Hamas combatants. On Tuesday evening, the country’s chief of staff, Herzi Halevi, said Israeli forces had killed at least 900 militants in Rafah, south of the Strip. Reports suggest that Hamas is now actively recruiting new cadets, many of whom are 18 year-olds, to replenish its ranks, but even if they fail to reach their initial numbers, the existing battalions are more than enough to challenge Israel.

Just on Monday, Hamas militants fired twenty rockets from Khan Yunis at Israel’s southern communities, showing they are still capable of putting up a fight. Areas that had been vacant of Hamas before are now seeing a resurgence. Israeli soldiers continue to fall in the Strip, almost on a daily basis, with the total number already exceeding 670. “I don’t believe Israel can destroy Hamas completely,” said Shadi Abdelrahman, a political analyst and native of Gaza who left the Strip shortly before the war. “Hamas is not like any other group. They are not outsiders. They have an ideology connected to a cause, and that cause is to fight for their lands or to avenge the death of their loves ones,” he added.

Stemming from the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical Islamist organization that’s deemed terrorist by many regional and international players, Hamas was established in Gaza in late 1980s as a response to what they call Israeli occupation and the inability of other Palestinian factions, including Fatah, to confront it. But they were far more than just a group that wanted to resist Israel militarily. Just like their patrons, the Muslim Brotherhood, they were a social movement: they established schools and hospitals, they ran charities and served as mediators in family feuds, and that made them an indispensable part of the Gazan society.

“Socially speaking, Hamas of today doesn’t have that much power and cannot provide what it used to before, simply because they cannot move freely due to Israel’s heavy shelling,” explained Abdelrahman. “Militarily, their capabilities have also been damaged. The stocks of their weapons have been depleting, many tunnels have been destroyed, infrastructure has been devastated. Their combatants must be exhausted as they have been fighting for a long time. But from the political point of view, Hamas has never been stronger,” added the analyst.

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“If they want to take the risk, get themselves into trouble, and put themselves into the same predicament that Eisenhower was, let them come..”

Houthis Vow USS Theodore Roosevelt Primary Target Once it Enters Red Sea (Sp.)

The USS Theodore Roosevelt is set to take over duties in the region after Yemen’s Ansar Allah movement (Houthis) targeted the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea with missiles and UAVs in response to earlier bombings, leading the supercarrier to exit after an eight-month posting. Yemen’s Houthi militia has released a video promising to sink the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt once it arrives in Red Sea waters. The aircraft carrier is a “primary target for the Missile Forces of the Yemeni Army from now on, and will be subject to targeting upon its entry into the Red Sea,” Ansar Allah leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi stated in the video. “If they want to take the risk, get themselves into trouble, and put themselves into the same predicament that Eisenhower was, let them come,” al-Houthi warned.

The Houthis have vowed to stop all Israeli-owned or bound naval traffic through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden until Israel halts its assault on the Palestinian Gaza Strip. The armed forces have tried to strike the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier on several occasions, but the US Navy insists that those attacks caused no damage to the supercarrier or its escorts. A missile and drone barrage targeted the vessel shortly before it departed the region in early June.

“In response to US and UK air strikes on some cities and civilian targets in Yemen, which killed and injured more than 58 people, most of whom were civilians, the USS Eisenhower aircraft carrier was attacked in the Red Sea with a large number of ballistic, cruise missiles and drones,” Ansar Allah political office member Hezam al-Asad told Sputnik in May. Yemeni forces hit a US aircraft carrier in the Red Sea with missiles and UAVs in response to the bombing of the country – Ansar Allah. Most of those killed and wounded in US and British strikes on Yemen were civilians, a member of the Ansar Allah political bureau told Sputnik. The Yemeni blockade of Israel prompted the United States to send warships to the Red Sea along with a handful of ships from a ‘coalition’ of NATO member states including the UK. Those forces have attacked targets in Yemen.

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FSD

 

 

Chicken
https://twitter.com/i/status/1808274583784403372

 

 

Snow leopard

 

 

Baby sleep

 

 

 

 

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