May 282024
 
 May 28, 2024  Posted by at 8:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  36 Responses »


Edward Hopper Second Story Sunlight 1960

 

Saving our Democracy This Memorial Day (Jim Kunstler)
Why the Trump Trial Could End With a Hung Jury (Turley)
Trumpophobia Is Cresting With His Polls (Victor Davis Hanson)
NATO Falling Into ‘Wartime Ecstasy’ – Kremlin (RT)
ECB Tells Banks To ‘Get Out Of Russia’ (RT)
Russia Producing Shells at 25% Price of NATO Countries, 3x Faster (RT)
NATO To ‘Institutionalize’ Arms Support For Kiev At US Summit (TASS)
Ukraine Conference is Propaganda to Cover Up Zelensky’s Illegitimacy (Sp.)
The Small Baltic States Lead The EU In Insanity (Paul Craig Roberts)
Estonian President Pledges To Bring Russia ‘To Its Knees’ (RT)
Zelensky Bodyguard Told His Men To Surrender – The Times (RT)
The Brink Of Dissolution: Neurosis In West As Levee Breaks (Alastair Crooke)
Canada Afraid To Prosecute Colonel For Saying Ukrainian War Is Lost (Helmer)
Biden’s Tariffs Are Another Nail in the Dollar’s Coffin (Ron Paul)
Raisi’s Legacy is a Beacon For Posterity (Bhadrakumar)
Blinken’s Blunders Epitomize The Bankruptcy Of US Power And Diplomacy (SCF)

 

 

 

 

“Israel must accept that it cannot exist without a Palestinian state.”

 

 

US bases
https://twitter.com/i/status/1794832164913365037

 

 

Elon Obama

 

 

SpaceX booster
https://twitter.com/i/status/1794931625815617897

 

 

 

 

Hard choice what to open with today. Both Kunstler and Turley are excellent.

“..Legal experts at MSNBC, Andrew Weissmann (of the Mueller Special Counsel office) and Andy McCabe (former Deputy Director of the FBI), have already found this Trump guilty, and they know about these matters better than anybody..”

Saving our Democracy This Memorial Day (Jim Kunstler)

Surely it was the right thing to do for President “Joe Biden” to remind the nation of the tragic loss of George Floyd four years ago this Memorial Day weekend. At the time, the man known as “the Black Thomas Edison” was rumored to be this close to achieving an economically viable system for producing electricity via atomic fusion using the fentanyl molecule (C22H28N2O) combined with the nuclei of alcohol (C2H6O), releasing enough energy from one gram to power a city the size of Minneapolis for a day. The math he left behind on his chalkboard spells it out:

You see how that works? Alas, Dr. Floyd had apparently ingested a small amount of these experimental substances accidently before leaving his lab May 25, 2020, when he encountered the white supremacist police officer Derek Chauvin outside a Cup Foods convenience store in Minneapolis’s “Powderhorn” neighborhood. For reasons never understood, despite manifold judicial inquiries, the officer dragged the Great Man out of his car — where he was polishing some of the requisite algebra in his notebook — and for no reason at all placed one knee, and all his weight, on Dr. Floyd’s neck, constricting his airway and causing his death. The nation erupted in violence, and you know the rest of the story: no cheap energy for you, you nation of white supremacist asswipes!

And so it has gone since that fateful day: one darn thing after another. Luckily though — and with a little help from Mark Zuckerberg’s Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) — the vigilant “Joe Biden” presides in the White House, keeping America safe for democracy, by democracy, and of democracy. The country has never experienced so much democracy. The Brookings Institution even warns that the country might be close to a democracy overload, in which the popular will is so immense that everyone in all fifty states thinks the same morally correct thoughts all day long without giving offense or making any space unsafe or dis-including any diverse category of human (except white supremacists) from his, her, or they’s share of the nation’s limitless wealth.

“Joe Biden” has been especially effective at containing the Grand Golem of all white supremacists, Trump, from deconstructing our utopian democracy. This Trump uttered perfidious misinformation that the 2020 election was less than fair and upright. He is under indictment in Fulton County, GA, for conspiring to transmit this incorrect thinking to other white supremacists and creating an unsafe space for GA Sec’y of State Brad Raffensperger by asking him to “find” additional votes. What log was Bradraff supposed to look under, anyway (ha ha!)?

The case is being guided by Fulton County DA, the indomitable Fani Willis, at least for now, as she awaits a process known as getting the bidness from a white supremacist so-called ethics committee in the Georgia State Senate, where she has been falsely accused of mis-spending state money on vacations with erstwhile special prosecutor Nathan Wade. These trips were, of course, fact-finding efforts. One fact found is that the white supremacist cruise ship directors attempt to kill black people by luring them into all-you-can-eat buffets at sea, from which escape is impossible.

“Joe Biden” also got Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint Lawfare paladin Jack Smith to prosecute this nefarious Trump in the most upright of all federal court districts, Washington, DC, for instigating what “Joe Biden” recently called an “erection” against our democracy. Trump, you see, told a gigantic mob of white supremacists to penetrate our nation’s capitol building so as to obstruct certification of the 2020 electoral vote and murder then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, if possible, along with all congresspersons of color. Legal experts at MSNBC, Andrew Weissmann (of the Mueller Special Counsel office) and Andy McCabe (former Deputy Director of the FBI), have already found this Trump guilty, and they know about these matters better than anybody, so the trial under Judge Tanya Chutkan may be unnecessary.

Things are not going quite so well for SC Smith in the Martin County Federal Court of Judge Aileen Cannon, where this Trump stands accused of fobbing off with classified government documents, claiming some fabricated sort of presidential privilege — unlike “Joe Biden” who got his classified docs before he was president and therefore does not have to claim any such privilege (and was understandably “forgetful” when asked about the docs by the other SC Robert Hur). In any case, AG Garland can always dispatch an FBI SWAT team to Judge Cannon’s home to spur an attitude adjustment on the bench, if required.

Hopes really rest, though, on the current case against the Grand Golem Trump in Judge Juan Merchan’s Manhattan courtroom, where the most supreme of all white supremacists stands accused of book-keeping irregularities in furtherance of federal crimes so unspeakable that they have never actually been spoken. The case, engineered by veteran DC Golem hunters Mary McCord, Norm Eisen, Lisa Monaco, and Matthew Colangelo, fronted by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, goes to the jury after final arguments this week.

Judge Merchan is expected to instruct the jury to vote guilty because no other conclusion is possible. Thus, Judge Merchan will be celebrated far and wide for saving our democracy. But that’s not all. After the most excellent verdict of guilty X-23-Plus, he will have the pleasure of sentencing this Trump to life in the Rikers Island prison complex, where it will be difficult for the Grand Golem to organize any white supremacist activities and will be relegated to a diet of baloney sandwiches for the duration of his term.

The only downside for this scenario is that Trump might get elected President of the USA despite conviction, and on January 20, 2025, commence operations to put “Joe Biden” and all the others in his train of officials in jail for the rest of their natural lives. You have to wonder if they’re thinking about that this holiday weekend.

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“..the only thing worse in New York than being a Trump supporter is being a chump..”

Why the Trump Trial Could End With a Hung Jury (Turley)

Abstract artist Jackson Pollock once said that his paintings have no objective meaning, so the best way for people to enjoy them is to stop looking for it. For many of us, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has created a new school of abstract law where there is no need for objective meaning. The jury is simply supposed to enjoy it for what it is: a chance to convict Donald Trump. Pollock was famous for his painting drips on large canvases. Bragg has achieved the same effect by regenerating a dead misdemeanor on falsifying business records as 34 felony counts. To achieve that extraordinary goal, he has alleged that the document violations (which expired long ago under the statute of limitations) were committed to hide some other crime. Originally, Bragg vaguely referenced four crimes and there have been months of confusion as to what he was specifically alleging as his criminal theories. Even legal analysts on CNN and MSNBC have continued to question the specific allegations against Trump as we head into closing arguments.

As it stands, there are three crimes that have been referenced by prosecutors: state and federal election violations and taxation violations. Bragg’s legal vision for non-objective indictments was greatly advanced by Judge Juan Merchan, who will allow the jury to reach different rulings on what crime is actually evident in Bragg’s paint splatters. Merchan has ruled that the jurors can disagree on what actually occurred in terms of the second crime. This means there could be three groups of four jurors, with one believing that there was a conspiracy to conceal a state election violation, another believing there was a federal election violation (which Bragg cannot enforce), and a third believing there was a tax violation, respectively. Nonetheless, Merchan will treat that as a unanimous verdict. In other words, they could look at the indictment and see vastly different shapes, but still send Trump to prison on their interpretations.

Moreover, Michael Cohen is the sole witness even to address the elements of any of these crimes. Cohen is a convicted serial perjurer and disbarred attorney who appears to have lied again during the trial. Even if they consider his testimony, there is no direct corroboration in evidence on Trump’s intent or knowledge. As a result, the prosecutors will rely on circumstantial evidence to support whichever interpretation the jurors will buy. Faced with charges that can mean different things to different jurors, Trump’s team will have to focus on the spaces between the paint drips; the canvas itself. All of this case is based on the payment for a non-disclosure agreement that is perfectly legal and indeed common in business and politics. The Trump team needs to stop dancing around the NDA.

The jury likely believes that Trump knew of the NDA and supported it. The defense has to emphasize the testimony of David Pecker, the former publisher of the National Inquirer, that he killed stories for a variety of celebrities and politicians, including Rahm Emmanuel and Arnold Schwarzenegger. He also said that he killed stories for Trump for years before he even thought of running for president. They need to emphasize the testimony of multiple witnesses that Trump seemed to want to avoid embarrassment to his family. He was also the host of a popular television show and an international businessman. The payment of a couple hundred thousand to kill stories is considered a cost of doing business for most celebrities, particularly those who have television contracts with provisions allowing cancellation for scandals. In the instructions, the court will tell the jurors that payments cannot be campaign contributions if they would have been made anyway regardless of the campaign.

They also need to point out other gaps. It was not Trump who listed payments as legal expenses or retainer payments. Witnesses said that payments to lawyers are routinely recorded as legal expenses. Indeed, it is not clear how the money should have been denominated but the decision was being made by others in the Trump organization and by Cohen himself. Moreover, on the characterization of payments as part of a “retainer,” the other party to that characterization was former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg. He is currently in prison in New York, but was not called by the prosecution. The prosecutors elected to rely entirely on Michael Cohen with various witnesses, including Cohen, referencing Weisselberg’s decision on how to pay the money.

That made the canvas itself largely Michael Cohen. All of this is held together by a witness who admitted that he has lied to banks, Congress, prosecutors, business associates, and virtually every creature that has ever walked or crawled on the face of the Earth. He also lied in front of the jury about the critical call where he said that he told Trump about the NDA payment. The defense showed that that 96-second-long call was to Trump’s bodyguard, Keith Schiller, in late October 2016. It was preceded and followed by text messages that indicated that their conversation was actually about a teenager harassing Cohen.

Moreover, Cohen admitted to making millions by bashing Trump, and that he has a personal interest in his conviction. You can throw paint on Cohen all day, but it will not cover up the fact that he is a pathological liar and grifter. That is why I still believe that a hung jury might even be the most likely possibility. That may change when we see Judge Merchan’s final instructions. However, the only thing worse in New York than being a Trump supporter is being a chump. To rely solely on Cohen and not even call someone like Weisselberg is to play these jurors as chumps.

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“The public increasingly agrees that the Democrat Party is the party of the very rich, the bicoastal privileged, and the subsidized poor..”

Trumpophobia Is Cresting With His Polls (Victor Davis Hanson)

So, what is Trumpophobia? The syndrome displays a number of symptoms. One, the left always projects its sins onto its opponents. It accuses Trump of doing precisely what it has done, as a way of avoiding blame for its self-inflicted disasters. And the left so vehemently projects because it knows what it would do if it were Trump and was treated as he has been by them. Two, desperate Democrats are scrambling to find some bizarre way to depose both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, especially should Biden have a disastrous, historic preconvention June presidential debate. As a result, the 2024 campaign has never been about comparison of 2017-2020 to 2021-2024. But rather, it has already descended into the Democratic de facto smear that “Trump is even worse than Biden.”

And that fixation instills fears of what Trump might do rather than what he actually has done. Three, the left feels Biden may do more than just lose the Democrats the presidency, Senate, and its close margin in the House. His hyperinflation seriously damaged the middle class. He turns them off with his arrogance, screaming speeches, loud, obnoxious gibberish, compulsive lying, and generally impotent appearance. His racial condescension and pandering fool no one. As a result, Biden may well redefine the two parties as race is replaced by shared class concerns. Wealthy blacks may vote for Biden because they are black and wealthy, but more and more middle-class blacks may vote for Trump because they feel his policies benefit the middle class like themselves.

The public increasingly agrees that the Democrat Party is the party of the very rich, the bicoastal privileged, and the subsidized poor, while the lower and middle classes feel far more confident and secure with Republicans. Four, the left fears a more organized, savvier Trump second term might hit the ground running‚ and thus rapidly and professionally instill a conservative agenda to stop the current neo-socialist revolution. Given all that, 2024 for the left is little more than “Fear Trump or Bust.”

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“NATO is increasing the degree of escalation, NATO is flirting with warlike rhetoric, falling into “wartime ecstasy.” This is the reality we have to continue to deal with,” Peskov stated.”

NATO Falling Into ‘Wartime Ecstasy’ – Kremlin (RT)

The US-led NATO bloc has not only been directly involved in a confrontation with Russia but is now falling into “wartime ecstasy,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. He was speaking in response to the military bloc’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg advocating the removal of restrictions on use of Western weaponry by Ukraine. Stoltenberg’s remarks can be only considered as the official stance of the entire US-led military bloc and Russia will respond accordingly, Peskov told the Izvestia newspaper on Monday. “This cannot be his personal opinion. He is an official, he is the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and that is how we perceive it. NATO is increasing the degree of escalation, NATO is flirting with warlike rhetoric, falling into “wartime ecstasy.” This is the reality we have to continue to deal with,” Peskov stated.

Subsequent remarks by Stoltenberg that NATO “will not become part of the conflict” were rather “contradictory,” Peskov noted, given that the military bloc has de-facto long been a party to the hostilities and had entered into a direct confrontation with Russia. NATO is directly involved into the conflict. On Friday, Stoltenberg urged NATO allies to lift restrictions on Kiev’s use of Western-supplied weaponry against Russia. “To deny Ukraine the possibility of using these weapons against legitimate military targets on Russian territory makes it very hard for them to defend themselves,” he argued. “The time has come for allies to consider whether they should lift some of the restrictions they have put on the use of weapons they have donated to Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said in an interview with The Economist.

However, Stoltenberg insisted on Sunday that “NATO will not become part of the conflict.” The bloc has no plans to send in troops or to protect Kiev through extending “NATO’s air-defense shield to Ukraine,” the NATO chief told Germany’s Welt am Sonntag. Moscow has long rejected NATO’s rhetoric about its role in the conflict and the supposed restrictions on the use of Western-supplied munitions for striking deep into Russian territory. Such talk is merely designed to maintain the illusion that the West is not part of the conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. “We proceed from the fact that American and other Western weaponry strikes targets on the territory of Russia, primarily civilian infrastructure and residential areas,” the top diplomat told reporters on Friday.

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The only things these banks still do in Russia are either essential for survival or highly profitable. And that may be the same thing. The ECB is trying to kill off the banks.

ECB Tells Banks To ‘Get Out Of Russia’ (RT)

A senior official at the European Central Bank (ECB) has urged Italian banks with operations in Russia to pull out, amid the threat of harsher US sanctions on Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine. Italy’s UniCredit currently has the second largest exposure to the Russian market among EU-based banks, after Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI). Another lender, Intesa Sanpaolo, is working to dispose of its business in the country. ”From there (Russia) you have to get out,” ECB policymaker Fabio Panetta said at a press conference following a G7 finance meeting in Italy, as quoted by Reuters. ”There are objective difficulties because getting out of Russia is complicated… however, you have to get out because there is a reputational problem,” said Panetta, who is also the governor of the Bank of Italy.

The G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in the Italian lakeside town of Stresa was also attended by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. In an interview with Reuters, Yellen warned that European banks operating in Russia face growing risks, as the US is looking at “potentially a tougher stepping-up” of secondary sanctions on lenders that do business in the country. Sanctions related to banks’ dealings in Russia would only be imposed “if there was a reason to do so, but operating in Russia creates an awful lot of risk,” Yellen stressed. The risk of a US crackdown has reportedly spurred the ECB to up the pressure on European financial institutions still working in Russia.

Apart from RBI, UniCredit, and Intesa Sanpaolo, a number of other EU banks – notably the Dutch lender ING, Germany’s Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank, Hungary’s OTP Bank, and Sweden’s SEB –maintain a presence on the Russian market despite Western sanctions. According to the Financial Times, the regulator has sent letters to lenders with a request for an “action plan” to fold their business in Russia as early as June. Earlier this month Reuters reported that the US Treasury had threatened to cut off Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI)’s access to the American financial system due to its activities in Russia. RBI said it would start withdrawing in the third quarter of this year following pressure from the ECB.

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“..the production of ammunition in the country has increased 14-fold, drone manufacturing has increased four-fold, and the assembly of tanks and armored vehicles has increased 3.5-fold..”

Russia Producing Shells at 25% Price of NATO Countries, 3x Faster (RT)

Russia is able to produce artillery shells much faster and cheaper than Ukraine’s backers in the US and Europe, Sky News has reported, citing a study by the consulting firm Bain & Company. According to the research, based on publicly available data, Russian factories are projected to make or refurbish approximately 4.5 million rounds this year, compared to the West’s combined production of about 1.3 million rounds, the broadcaster reported on Sunday. This means that Moscow currently generates more than three times more artillery shells than the NATO members. The figures given by Bain & Company suggest that the average production cost of a Russian 152mm shell is $1,000, which is one quarter the price of the 155mm rounds used by NATO, which are priced at $4,000. The fact that the output of shells in the US and EU “lags behind” Russia poses “a major challenge” for the Ukrainian military amid the conflict with Moscow, Sky News stressed.

According to the broadcaster, Ukraine’s frontline troops are complaining that they can only fire one round for every five shells launched from the Russian side. The Pentagon said last fall that it plans to increase its output of 155mm rounds from 28,000 to 100,000 per month by the end of 2025. The EU announced in March that its goal is to ramp ammunition production capacity to 2 million shells per year during the same period. During a meeting with the leadership of Russia’s defense industry enterprises on Saturday, President Vladimir Putin said that the production of ammunition in the country has increased 14-fold, drone manufacturing has increased four-fold, and the assembly of tanks and armored vehicles has increased 3.5-fold since the launch of the military operation in Ukraine in February 2022.

“It’s a good pace, a large volume,” the president stressed, adding that the output of the country’s military-industrial complex continues to grow. “I want to thank you and your teams for dealing with such large-scale tasks,” he told the industry leaders. Moscow has warned repeatedly that deliveries of weapons and ammunition to Kiev by the US and its allies will not prevent it from achieving its military goals, adding that it will merely prolong the fighting and could increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO. According to officials, the provision of arms, the sharing of intelligence, and the training of Ukrainian troops obviate that Western nations have already become de-facto parties to the conflict.

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Trump wants peace. NATO does not. So they try to come up with something he cannot touch when elected.

“..a permanent NATO military fund for Ukraine worth $100 bln a year..”

NATO To ‘Institutionalize’ Arms Support For Kiev At US Summit (TASS)

NATO will establish a permanent entity at July’s summit in Washington to organize mandatory arms supplies to Ukraine and their financing, with the amount to be determined later, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, speaking at a NATO Parliamentary Assembly meeting. “Support must start to flow in again, but delays and also the fact that not everything is delivered as promised, has caused serious consequences. That’s also the reason why I have suggested that at the summit we agree a bigger NATO role in coordinating and providing security assistance and training for Ukraine. Because I strongly believe that we need a firmer, stronger institutionalized structure for the support. Ad hoc, short-term, voluntary announcements are good, but in the long term we need more predictable, stronger support for Ukraine,” he emphasized. According to Stoltenberg, the budget has not been agreed yet. The secretary general said earlier that it was necessary to create a permanent NATO military fund for Ukraine worth $100 bln a year.

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Switzerland just sold out its long lasting status of neutrality.

“Under these circumstances, Switzerland cannot be a neutral host by definition, let alone a mediator..”

Ukraine Conference is Propaganda to Cover Up Zelensky’s Illegitimacy (Sp.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin “is correct” when he states that the goal of the upcoming Ukraine ‘peace’ conference in Switzerland is to try to confirm Volodymyr Zelensky’s legitimacy to the Western community, Christopher C. Black, an international criminal lawyer with 20 years of experience in war crimes and international relations and a commentator on international affairs, told Sputnik. “It is a propaganda exercise to try to cover up the fact the Kiev regime is not legitimate. Of course legitimacy cannot be assured by statements by supporters of an illegitimate regime and those who arranged the coup d’etat of 2014,” Black pointed out.He was echoed by Francis Boyle, a professor of international law at the University of Illinois’ College of Law, who said in an interview with Sputnik that “everyone knows that the conference in Switzerland is a joke and a fraud that is based upon Zelensky’s peace program.”

“[The] Switzerland [summit] will just be an anti-Russian propaganda stunt designed to further vilify Russia in the eyes of the world. I am surprised the Swiss government is going along with it. But, of course, Switzerland is a member of NATO’s Partnership For Peace (PFP) and is no longer truly neutral — I have lectured there against this and told the Swiss they should pull out of NATO/PFP,” Boyle noted. As for Zelensky, he “has never been a legitimate president of Ukraine,” Black argued. According to him, the last legitimate president of Ukraine was Viktor Yanukovich, “who was overthrown in the NATO orchestrated coup d’etat of 2014” and who “has never served out his complete term.” “So when the Kiev coup regime conducted subsequent elections they could not be considered free and fair by any standards in the world. They were all rigged to maintain the coup regime in power under different figures or puppets,” the analyst noted.

In this vein, he referred to the people of eastern Ukraine who “have never accepted the legitimacy of the regime installed by NATO in the coup of 2014 for two reasons – it was a regime that still regards them as enemies and their democratic choice was denied” and “their chosen president [Yanukovich] was overthrown.” The remarks come after Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that discussing security issues at the Switzerland conference will be “absolutely futile” without the participation of Russia. “Most likely, it will be just empty scholasticism with no prospect of getting at least some tangible result,” Peskov added. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova earlier confirmed that Russia was not planning to participate in the summit due to be held in Buergenstock, Switzerland, on June 15-16. She also said that Russia had no confidence in Bern, a supporter of the Ukrainian government in Kiev that has implemented several rounds of EU sanctions against Russia. “Under these circumstances, Switzerland cannot be a neutral host by definition, let alone a mediator,” the spokeswoman underscored.

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“We should not be afraid of our own strength,” she declares..”

The Small Baltic States Lead The EU In Insanity (Paul Craig Roberts)

The president of Estonia (population 1,319,000 million) pledges to bring Russia “to its knees.” The prime minister of Estonia says she is not afraid of Russia and favors sending troops to Ukraine. “We should not be afraid of our own strength,” she declares. Lithuania (population 2,696,000) also thinks it is a good idea. The prime minister of Latvia (population 1,883,000) says she supports sending troops to Ukraine. The population of one Russian City, St. Petersburg is 5,600,000.

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“We will do everything possible to bring Russia and Putin to their knees,” Karis stressed. “Then it will be possible to start serious negotiations on ending the war in Ukraine.”

Estonian President Pledges To Bring Russia ‘To Its Knees’ (RT)

Estonian President Alar Karis has claimed that meaningful discussions on ending the Ukraine conflict can only take place when Moscow is fully subdued. The head of state also called on Western nations to attempt to force political change in Russia. In an interview with the news website Yle on Sunday – ahead of Finnish President Alexander Stubb’s state visit to Tallinn on Monday – Karis expressed skepticism over whether Russia can “change” quickly enough to “respond to our [Western] understanding of democracy.” He urged Western powers to intensify the pressure on Moscow – referring to sanctions imposed by the EU and US since the start of the conflict – with the goal of fueling public discontent among ordinary Russians. “We will do everything possible to bring Russia and Putin to their knees,” Karis stressed. “Then it will be possible to start serious negotiations on ending the war in Ukraine.”

Russia had a “chance” when the USSR ended, but then something went “wrong,” and now even regime change and the removal of President Vladimir Putin would not have the effect desired by the West, he argued. “Maybe you have to wait a little longer, many similar leaders, before change occurs,” he continued. Since the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in February 2022, the Estonian leadership has adopted a hawkish stance towards Moscow, regularly referring to the country as “an aggressor” and an “existential threat” to the Baltic states.

Last week Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas suggested that the conflict between Moscow and Kiev should end with the breakup of the Russian Federation into separate states, arguing that it would bring “a change in society.” She repeatedly urged NATO nations to keep “all options on the table” to ensure that Moscow “loses the war.” The Kremlin has consistently decried Western involvement in the conflict, accusing NATO of waging a proxy war against Russia. Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said that “the acute phase of the military-political confrontation with the West” is currently in “full swing,” with no end in sight, claiming that “many facts” indicate that “Europe as a partner” will remain irrelevant for at least another generation.

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“..the arrests were likely connected to Zelensky’s attempts to purge all people he does not trust, as his popularity dwindles..”

Zelensky Bodyguard Told His Men To Surrender – The Times (RT)

One of the Ukrainian officers arrested earlier this month for allegedly trying to assassinate the country’s leaders told his men to lay down their arms after the conflict with Russia erupted over two years ago, The Times has claimed. The SBU, Kiev’s security agency and successor to the Soviet KGB, has arrested two colonels serving in the State Security Administration, which is responsible for the personal protection of senior officials. On Sunday, the British newspaper reported new details about their alleged activities. The SBU claims Andrey Guk and a subordinate named Derkach were willing to assist Russia in executing a coordinated missile strike, which would have killed Vladimir Zelensky and other senior figures in the Ukrainian government sometime in early May. The Times spoke to an SBU insider, who claimed on condition of anonymity that Guk had become a traitor right after the Ukraine conflict erupted, when he instructed presidential bodyguards not to resist Russian forces.

“He told them: ‘We are not the armed forces, we don’t have a particular task to defend Ukraine and I’m not paid enough to organize Brest Fortress here,’” the officer said, referring to an outpost in Belarus, which heroically stood against a Nazi onslaught during Adolf Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union. According to the report, Guk retained his position because his words were dismissed as an emotional outburst. The Times said his men had “realized he was acting under orders from” the Russian intelligence, which came as a shock. The colonel’s alleged betrayal could be explained by the fact that he was born in Russia, the newspaper suggested. The SBU claims that Guk also received some $3,000 a month plus expenses while working for Moscow.

After the Ukrainian agency first claimed that it had thwarted an assassination plot involving the two colonels, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said no statements coming from the SBU “can be treated as truthful.” The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) said last week that the arrests were likely connected to Zelensky’s attempts to purge all people he does not trust, as his popularity dwindles. Zelensky’s five-year term in office has expired, and he has postponed elections under the martial law that remains in force in Ukraine. Ruslan Stefanchuk, the speaker of the national parliament, declared last Thursday that only “enemies of Ukraine” express doubts regarding Zelensky’s claim to the presidency.

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“Just for clarity, this (i.e. Ukraine) is Russia’s existential war which it will fight, no matter what it takes..”

The Brink Of Dissolution: Neurosis In West As Levee Breaks (Alastair Crooke)

[..] how and why can the West be said to be accelerating its own dissolution? The NY Times gives the clue to the ‘why’: The old ‘Anglo’ obsession with a defiant Russia that the West has never been able to bend to their will. And now, Russia and China have signed a joint statement somewhat similar to the ‘no limits’ friendship declared in February 2022 but reaching further. It portrays their relationship as “superior to political and military alliances of the Cold War era. Friendship between the two States has no limits, there are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation … ”. Put starkly, this breaches the long-standing western rule of triangulation: the U.S. must stand with either the one, Russia or China, against the other; but never should China and Russia be permitted to band together versus the U.S.! – a doctrine sanctified in western ‘canon law’ since Mackinder’s time in the 19th Century. Yet, that ‘two versus one’ is precisely what Team Biden inadvertently have ‘done’.

What then, constitutes the ‘how’? The problem with the western solutions to any geo-political problem is that they invariably comprise more of the same. The combination of this deep disdain for Russia – subsumed into the undercurrent fear of Russia as a putative geo-strategic competitor – invites a western recourse to repeating the same triangulation approach, without due reflection on whether circumstances have changed, or not. This is the case here and now – making for a ‘clear and present’ risk of unintended and damaging escalation: A prospect that might midwife the very thing that the West most fears – a loss of control, spiralling the system down into freefall. The Mistake: Ray McGovern, a former U.S. Presidential briefer, has chronicled how as “Biden took office in 2021, his advisers assured him that he could play on Russia’s fear (sic) of China – and drive a wedge between them. This represents the ‘mother of all errors’ of judgement, because it brings about the circumstances in which the western ‘Order’ may dissolve”.

“This [presumption of Russian weakness] became embarrassingly clear when Biden said to Putin during their Geneva summit … let me ask a rhetorical question: ‘You got a multi-thousand-mile border with China. China is seeking to be the most powerful economy in the world and the largest and the most powerful military in the world’.” McGovern observes that this meeting gave Putin clear confirmation that Biden and his advisers were stuck in a woefully outdated appraisal of Russia-China relations. Here is the bizarre way Biden described his approach to Putin on China: At the airport after the summit, Biden’s aides did their best to whisk him onto the plane but failed to stop him from sharing more ‘wisdom’ on China: “Russia is in a very, very difficult spot right now. They are being squeezed by China”. ‘Yes’: More of the same! Biden was trying, on the advice of his experts, to insert the ubiquitous western ‘wedge’ between Russia and an ‘BIG’ China.

After these remarks, Putin and Xi spent the rest of 2021 trying to disabuse Biden of the “China squeeze” meme: This mutual effort culminated in the Xi-Putin ‘no limits’ friendship summit of that year. If the advisers had been paying attention however, they would have threaded a long history of Russo-Chinese rapprochement. But no, they were ideologically frozen in the view that the two were destined to be eternal enemies. Doubling Down on the Mistake. It gets worse: Then, in a 30 December 2021 telephone conversation, Biden assured Putin that “Washington had no intention of deploying offensive strike weapons in Ukraine”. However, Foreign Minister Lavrov has revealed that when he met Blinken in Geneva in January 2022, the U.S. Secretary of State pretended he had not heard of Biden’s undertaking to Putin on 30 December 2021. Rather, Blinken insisted that U.S. medium-range missiles could be deployed in Ukraine, and that the U.S. might be willing to consider limiting their number.

In August 2019, when the U.S. withdrew from the treaty banning intermediate-range missiles in Europe, the U.S. had already deployed missiles in Romania and Poland (saying their purpose was ostensibly ‘to defend against Iran’). However, the tubes installed are deliberately configured to accommodate nuclear warhead equipped, cruise and ballistic missiles; but here is the rub: it is not possible to determine which missile is loaded, as the tubes have lids to them. The time for these missiles to reach Moscow would be 9 minutes from Poland, and 10 from Romania. But if, as Blinken threatened, missiles might be installed in Ukraine, it would drop to only 7 minutes (and were it to be a hypersonic missile, which the U.S. does not yet possess, it would be a mere 2-3 minutes). Just for clarity, this (i.e. Ukraine) is Russia’s existential war which it will fight, no matter what it takes. Beijing is fully aware of the high stakes involved for Russia (and ultimately for China, too).

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“A reporter named David Pugliese, who works for the Ottawa Citizen, has been the single source of the publicity against Kearney..”

Canada Afraid To Prosecute Colonel For Saying Ukrainian War Is Lost (Helmer)

A new press release in Ottawa reports that the court martial announced for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Colonel Robert Kearney for his disagreement with Canadian, American, and British military planners of Ukrainian battlefield operations against Russia may not proceed. The Canadian government news slip reveals the allegations of disloyalty against Kearney announced publicly last month are now likely to be abandoned. On April 29 a CAF press release was issued in Ottawa claiming that as a senior planning officer based in the UK and in Romania for Ukraine war operations, Kearney had made “derogatory and disloyal comments about Senior CAF [[Canadian] and NATO [US, UK] members. The first offence allegedly occurred in December of 2021 and four subsequent offences ranged from January 2023 to November 2023. The offences are alleged to have taken place in the United Kingdom and in Romania.”

Kearney was at the time of his “disloyal comments” the assistant chief of staff at the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) in Innsworth, United Kingdom. In this role, Kearney supervised more than 400 staff officers from the armies of the UK, US, Canada, Italy, Denmark, and other NATO states. ARRC and NATO press releases claim Kearney’s unit has been operating against Russia in Estonia and in Romania “in its primary role as a war fighting Corps Headquarters.” Under Section 129 of Canada’s Defence Act – the provision of military law reportedly being applied against Kearney — prosecution of soldiers is allowed for an undefined “act, conduct, disorder, or neglect to the prejudice of discipline”. The penalty for conviction is “dismissal with disgrace”, which includes loss of pension. This law has not been tested — no officer of Kearney’s rank has been charged and prosecuted for a Section 129 offence in a court martial before.

Canadian military sources believe Kearney is being threatened with court martial now because the Canadian government’s policy to finance, arm, train, plan, and direct Ukrainian operations against Russia is being defeated; and that the military collapse east of Kiev now risks loss of more territory and the lives of Canadians currently working in the Ukraine and at cross-border bases in Poland and Romania. At least one thousand Canadians have been counted by the Russian Defense Ministry on the battlefield since the start of the Special Military Operation; by March of this year, 422 had been confirmed killed in action. Loss of confidence in the Ukraine war has become increasingly public in the military staffs of the US, France and Germany, but this is being kept secret in the UK and Canada.

On May 15, a new press Canadian government release was issued acknowledging that, in fact, no charges have been filed against Kearney, and that the “military [have] yet to decide on court martial for colonel accused of making derogatory comments about Canadian Forces leaders”. The new press release, issued ten days ago in an email to an Ottawa journalist, reversed the meaning of the earlier government announcement. The new message divulges that Kearney has been accused by officers he had criticized for their professional incompetence, but he has not been charged with a military offence. “National Defence spokeswoman Andrée-Anne Poulin noted the charges against Kearney have now been referred to the Director of Military Prosecutions. ‘The prosecutor assigned to review the case will first complete the post-charge analysis,’ she explained in an email.

If the prosecutor prefers charges, and once the counsel for the accused indicates they are ready to proceed, the case will be brought before the Chief Military Judge, at a scheduling conference.’ Once the dates for the trial have been identified, the court martial administrator will issue a convening order, and a summons to the accused, which will specify the date for the court martial, Poulin added.” Canadian lawyers point out that the conditional “if” and “once” in this defence ministry statement are a new sign that the political costs of prosecuting Kearney have become too high to proceed against him. A reporter named David Pugliese, who works for the Ottawa Citizen, has been the single source of the publicity against Kearney. According to his newspaper, Pugliese is “an award-winning journalist covering Canadian Forces and military issues in Canada.”

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“This will not just end the US military and financial empire abroad. It will also end the welfare state at home.”

Biden’s Tariffs Are Another Nail in the Dollar’s Coffin (Ron Paul)

President Biden recently raised taxes on American consumers and businesses and may have hastened the end of the dollar’s world reserve currency status. President Biden did this by increasing tariffs on Chinese imports. Specifically, President Biden raised tariffs on products including Chinese-produced steel and aluminum and many components imported from China for use in manufacturing electric vehicle batteries. Tariffs on Chinese-made semiconductors are rising from 25 to 50 percent while tariffs on Chinese-made electronic vehicles are rising from 25 percent to an astounding 100 percent. Of course, the costs of these tariffs will be borne by Americans wishing to purchase electric cars and American electric car manufacturers that use material imported from China. These new tariffs thus undercut Biden’s goal of getting more Americans to drive electric cars.

The tariffs on Chinese goods give China even greater Inventive to challenge the dollar’s world reserve currency status. The same week Biden imposed these tariffs, China President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced they were strengthening their alliance in order to better challenge US military and economic hegemony. This is a reaction to US foreign policy of the post-Cold War era which has reversed the Richard Nixon-Henry Kissinger strategy of pursuing good relations with China.

A part of the announcement recognized use of the Chinese yuan and Russian ruble for over 90 percent of the trade between the two countries. This is only the latest challenge to the dollar’s world reserve currency status. China’s share of the global economy has more than doubled in the last twenty years from 8.9 percent to 18.5 percent while the US share of the global economy has fallen from 20.1 percent to 15.5 percent. China’s rise is one reason why the US currency held by foreign central banks has dropped from over 70 percent in the early 2000s to under 60 percent today.

Last year, China and Saudi Arabia agreed to expand their use of their own currencies in trade between the two countries. This is the first time the Saudis have agreed to use a currency other than the dollar for the oil trade since Henry Kissinger negotiated a deal where the Saudis would trade exclusively in dollars in return for US support for the Saudi regime. The “petrodollar” is a major reason why the dollar retained the world reserve currency status after President Nixon severed the last link between the dollar and gold.

If the dollar loses its world reserve currency status, the US government would lose the ability to “weaponize the dollar.” Other countries would then have less incentive to abide by US demands, including related to regime changes. It would also reduce other countries’ interest in purchasing US debt instruments. This would increase pressure on the Federal Reserve to monetize the debt, creating more price inflation and leading to a major economic crisis. This will not just end the US military and financial empire abroad. It will also end the welfare state at home.

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Raisi was not “just some kind of butcher..”

Raisi’s Legacy is a Beacon For Posterity (Bhadrakumar)

Raisi’s three-year term stands out for his non-involvement in the bickering endemic to Iran’s various powers and institutions, including parliament, judiciary, Revolutionary Guard Corps, military, intelligence services, the police agencies, clerical elite, the ubiquitous bazaar, the Friday prayer leaders, and so on. Having been a cleric who spent his entire public life in the judiciary, he acquired a deep understanding of Ayatollah Khomeini’s vision of velayat-e faqih as crucial to the Islamic government. Hence, his total submission to the Supreme Leader was anchored on the conviction that it is essential for the harmonious functioning of the system. Arguably, in the past three years, the presidency and the government showed a rare unity of purpose, even in the face of the concerted fueling of protests by western powers.

Raisi openly attributed his actions and policies to the Supreme Leader’s instructions. This meant that the government’s paralysis due to incessant factional feuds disappeared. The breakneck speed with which Tehran could advance its nuclear program, resisting pressure from Washington and Brussels, testified to this. When Raisi came to power, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) negotiated by the previous government had reached a cul-de-sac. Raisi’s administration tried to negotiate with the US through European intermediaries to revive the nuclear deal. However, the Biden administration ultimately refused to re-enter the JCPOA, and the EU proved ineffective as a mediator. As things stand, Iran is a nuclear threshold state. Equally, last October, the UN arms embargo on missile transfers to Iran ended, as the European members of the Security Council decided not to instigate the snapback mechanism. Iran can now legally supply the missiles, and sanctioning such arms transfers is voluntary. This has been a tremendous diplomatic victory.

From a longer-term perspective, another big shift in the situation around Iran is Washington’s tacit recognition that Tehran can be a factor of regional stability and security in the West Asian quagmire. The New York Times reported on 18 May that talks took place between senior officials of the US and Iran in the past week, the first such conversations after the Iran–Israel “tit-for-tat” missile strikes. Brett McGurk, the top White House official on West Asia policy, and Abram Paley, the deputy special envoy for Iran, attended the talks in Oman alongside Iran’s newly appointed interim Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani, who has played an active role in Iran’s nuclear negotiations with the US and European powers over the years.

[..] The Iranian news agency Nour News coined an apt description of the vital link between Iran’s diplomatic strategies and the battlefield needs of the Axis of Resistance under Raisi’s watch – “rational resistance.” At any rate, the geostrategic reality is that if Israel feels boxed in today, Iran is responsible for it. Raisi realized that hard power alone could not solve the looming crisis and understood the importance of soft power embodied in Iran’s culture and values through which it could generate trust and mobilize the regional and international audience around forward agendas that looked beyond the military and political problems. Abhorrence of war has become axiomatic in Raisi’s approach, which in turn has transmuted Iran’s “soft power.” That became possible only because Raisi understood deeply that power is nothing more than the ability to affect others to get what you want.

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“Even more cringe-making was his choice of song, Neil Young’s ‘Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World’. Not only was Blinken tone deaf to the horror of war, but he was oblivious to the fact that the song is an explicit condemnation of American imperialist barbarity…”

Blinken’s Blunders Epitomize The Bankruptcy Of US Power And Diplomacy (SCF)

As the Iranian nation mourned the tragic death of President Ebrahim Raisi this week, the United States could not even muster a respectful offer of condolence. The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, officially that country’s top diplomat, made a crass remark that the Iranian people would be “better off”. This as the Islamic Republic had declared five days of mourning for the late president whose funeral in the city of Mashhad was attended by millions of Iranians. President Raisi was killed in a helicopter crash along with the country’s much-respected Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and several other dignitaries who were also on board the aircraft. The fatal crash happened in treacherous weather over a mountainous region in northwest Iran as the president’s entourage returned from a visit to Azerbaijan. Most of the world expressed shock and grief over the loss. The UN General Assembly held a minute’s silence and at the funeral, 68 nations were represented including officials from Russia and China.

The United States and Iran have been staunch adversaries for more than half a century following the Iranian revolution in 1979. Nevertheless, it is a basic matter of diplomacy and etiquette for countries to show a token of sympathy at such a time of national mourning. The disgraceful and cheap comments about the death of Iran’s president show how inadequate Blinken is as the supposed U.S. primary diplomat. But the failure is not merely a personal matter, it epitomizes the general collapse of Washington’s political quality and international standing. The United States presumes to be a world leader but it evidently has no class. Biden, the president and Blinken’s boss, is a foul-mouthed crank who regularly insults other leaders with ignorant prejudice.

On Blinken’s insult over the Iranian president’s death, Russia’s presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov expressed the disgust of many observers around the world when he said: “It is hard to believe that a diplomat — let alone a high-ranking official of a country such as the United States — would make such a clumsy remark, to say the least. In essence, it was an insult directed at an entire nation.” Apart from the lack of human decency, there is a total lack of politics. Blinken’s offensive comment comes at a moment of extreme tension in the Middle East amid a genocide perpetrated by the Israeli regime with support from the United States. The powder-keg situation could explode at any time into an international war engulfing the entire region. Israel and Iran have already exchanged military blows. All diplomats worth their salt should be trying to calm tensions, not inflame them. Blinken’s contemptible insult to the Iranian people is a reckless provocation.

But such sensibility and respect are too much to expect from Blinken who has shown himself to be way out of his depth as a diplomat. Last week, the “top diplomat” embarrassed his office by playing guitar on stage in a bar during an official visit to Kiev. Blinken was in the Ukrainian capital promising billions of dollars more in military aid to prolong a bloody and futile proxy war against Russia. Reliable estimates put the Ukrainian military death toll at over 500,000 in over two years of combat. Yet, here was Blinken strumming electric guitar with a local rock band. Even more cringe-making was his choice of song, Neil Young’s ‘Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World’. Not only was Blinken tone deaf to the horror of war, but he was oblivious to the fact that the song is an explicit condemnation of American imperialist barbarity. How could anyone be so stupid and insensitive? That is the measure of Antony Blinken right there.

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“Be Careful What You Eat”
https://twitter.com/i/status/1795036516042891708

 

 

Egbert

 

 

Mongoose

 

 

Steel

 

 

Fence

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 242024
 


Theodoor Rombouts Prometheus 1627

 

Moscow as the Third Europe, and a Fourth There Will Never Be (Karganovic)
US Diplomacy Needed to Avoid Ukraine’s ‘Overwhelming’ Defeat Sy Hersh (Sp.)
Ukraine Seeking To Spark Direct NATO-Russia Clash – Moscow (RT)
Threat Of World War Grows Every Day – Hungary FM (TASS)
US OK for Ukraine Attacks on Russia Could Mean Nuclear War – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Blinken Lobbying For Strikes On Russia – NYT (RT)
Israel Abandons Major Invasion of Rafah in Favor of Targeted Raids (Sp.)
Unified Reich Hoax One Of Most Blatantly Dishonest Attacks On Trump Yet (ZH)
Will Garland Send Hunter Biden Perjury Allegations to a Grand Jury? (Turley)
Nikki Haley Endorses Trump: He’s Not Perfect But Biden ‘Catastrophe’ (Sp.)
Pentagon Pumped $756 Mln Into Hypersonic Missile That Doesn’t Fly (Sp.)
Dutch Lawyer Prosecuted For Social Media Post Slamming Mass Migration (MN)
292 United & American Boeing 777s At Risk For ‘Exploding’ Fuel Tanks (ZH)

 

 

I don’t like the rhetoric these days…

 

 


House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Michael McCaul

 

 

Trump Bronx
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793782406388027528

 

 

AOC
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793485913797882305

 

 

Trump 1989
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793725371357020478

 

 

Comey

 

 

Tucker Trump Bet-David

 

 

Bill oh Bill

 

 

Cruz

 

 

Bridgen
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793568491456668057

 

 

 

 

Russia as the guardian of western civilization.

Very nice historical perspective from Stephen Karganovic, President Of The Srebrenica Historical Project.

“Following the demise of the Byzantine Roman Empire, Russian monk Philotheus famously declared his firm belief that “Moscow [has become] the Third Rome, and a Fourth there will not be.”

Moscow as the Third Europe, and a Fourth There Will Never Be (Karganovic)

Upon assuming his duties, the new Russian Defence Minister Andrey Belousov made a number of noteworthy statements that rightfully reverberated throughout the world. But tucked in amongst his other observations of mainly geopolitical character there was one pregnant remark of an entirely different nature that nobody seems to have caught on to. Arguably however it surpasses all of the rest in significance: “Russia,” Belousov stated, “should follow the path of modernized conservatism… Russia can preserve traditional Western values. The West has abandoned these traditional values and moved on to something else – to an anti-traditional mindset within the framework of postmodernism.” One suspects that this circumlocution refers to the woke ideology which is currently ravaging the Western world. “It is important,” he continued, “to preserve traditional Western values, which in a certain sense are the values of Western Christian civilization, European civilization.”

Now comes the punchline: “Russia can become the guardian of these values. This may sound like a paradox, but it’s true. In this respect, it would be wrong to call the West our enemy … In the West, there are certain elites, and considerable parts of society that are associated with traditional values. And in this respect, they may grasp at this straw, this chance which Russia offers them to preserve some of their values.” These are remarkable affirmations. It would not be an exaggeration to call them epochal, coming from such a high-ranking source in the country that until quite recently symbolised a radical ideological rupture with the very civilisation and moral values in the defence of which Mr. Belousov has raised his voice. And he is doing it not just in his own name but plainly on behalf of the entire land for which he so self-confidently speaks. Granted, Mr. Belousov personally has all the required credentials to make such a statement because he is known to be a believing, church-going Orthodox Christian.

In defending the European civilisation and European values he is standing up for his own deeply cherished principles and for the Orthodox Christian civilizational milieu from which those principles have sprung. But on the symbolic level, as everyone with a solid grasp of relevant history knows, there is much more to it than that. Oddly, Western analysts and commentators missed completely the connection between Belousov’s bold depiction of Russia as the residual guardian and defender of Western civilisation and strikingly similar sentiments articulated earlier by another Russian, at an analogous historical juncture. Following the demise of the Byzantine Roman Empire, Russian monk Philotheus famously declared his firm belief that “Moscow [has become] the Third Rome, and a Fourth there will not be.” Western experts might have noticed the congruence between Philotheus and Belousov if they had a modicum of historical awareness, or, as Andrei Martyanov likes to put it, if their CVs contained even minimal evidence of culture and education. But in fact they are a culturally challenged and deplorably ignorant lot.

Therefore, they overlooked the premium point that Defence Minister Belousov gratuitously handed to them. Were they brighter or better educated, and capable of earning their keep, they might have gleefully twisted the minister’s words into rather plausible-sounding proof of Russia’s expansionistic ambitions. Such disinformation, bolstered with a decontextualised quote from one of the highest officials, would have corroborated perfectly their propaganda claims. They could have had a field day connecting Belousov’s words to their mendacious misrepresentation of current events. And if their propaganda skills were not so pathetically unrefined they could even have made the case that their geopolitical rival’s expansionistic pretensions did not start in February 2022 but go back for centuries, to at least the time of the monk Philotheus. Alas! to make such connections you need a bit of intellect, some imagination, and at least a bright schoolboy’s knowledge of history.

But needless to say, the issues that Philotheus broached in the epistle to his emperor in the 16th century, and also the issue that Defence Minister Belousov has raised more recently, are neither symbolic nor metaphorical, and least of all are given to vulgar propagandistic simplification. They reflect today as they did in the time of Philotheus an emerging civilizational paradigm, a reality that has been profoundly and for the West perhaps irreversibly reshaped. The new reality today is analogous to conditions in Christendom that prevailed when Philotheus made his bold declaration. Constantinople, the eastern Second Rome, had recently been conquered, just as in our time Europe, the First Rome, has finally imploded, ceasing to be either the political or spiritual centre of civilizational gravity. For recent evidence of that multi-level implosion one need look no further that the festival of satanic degeneracy in Malmo or the occult symbolism embedded in plain view in the official portrait of the head of the Church of England, the British monarch.

Today, as in the 16th century, who else is there that could possibly fill the void but the then surging, and in our own time resurgent, Russia? That in my view encapsulates the significance of Andrey Belousov’s history-making manifest that, regrettably, seems to have slipped under the radar but whose momentous impact will soon be felt.

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What diplomacy? They barely know how to spell it.

US Diplomacy Needed to Avoid Ukraine’s ‘Overwhelming’ Defeat Sy Hersh (Sp.)

Diplomatic efforts from Washington, which are withheld due to President Joe Biden’s irrational views on Russia, could have resolved the Ukrainian conflict that Americans and their allies are now unable to win, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said. “America, in the years Biden has been in office, has spent $175 billion to fight a war that cannot and will not be won. It will only be resolved by diplomacy—if rationality prevails in Kiev and Washington,” Hersh wrote in a Substack article. Otherwise, the “undertrained, understaffed, and poorly-equipped Ukrainian army faces an overwhelming defeat,” he predicted.

In addition, Hersh, citing a longtime senior US official said that the US intelligence community has been concerned about Biden’s views on Putin and Russia, which date back to his time serving in the Senate. However, some within the American intelligence community believe that the United States bears its own share of responsibility for the conflict in Ukraine, Hersh added. “Putin and his predecessors in Moscow watched for three decades—since the reunification of Germany in 1990—as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) added member states that brought NATO to Russia’s doorstep,” Hersh said.

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“..the use of US-provided weapons to strike strategic targets within Russian territory under certain circumstances.”

Ukraine Seeking To Spark Direct NATO-Russia Clash – Moscow (RT)

Calls by American lawmakers to allow Ukraine use foreign-made weapons against targets deep in Russian territory play into Kiev’s hands, as they encourage a direct clash between Moscow and NATO, Russia’s Ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, has warned. On Wednesday, a group of US congressmen submitted a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin asking him to authorize “the use of US-provided weapons to strike strategic targets within Russian territory under certain circumstances.” This stance has previously been supported by Victoria Nuland, the former acting US Deputy Secretary of State, who played a major role in the Western-backed coup in Kiev in 2014. Earlier this week, however, Austin stopped short of endorsing the policy shift, suggesting that Kiev should focus “on the close fight” rather than on long-range strikes with foreign-made weapons.

On Thursday, Antonov denounced the “provocative” and “extremely dangerous and reckless” calls to allow Ukraine use Western-supplied weapons to attack deep inside Russia. He added that “the calls by Russophobes mean only one thing – further US involvement in the conflict in Ukraine on the side of the agonizing Zelensky regime.” The envoy suggested that the debates on the matter were a “hysterical reaction” to Russia’s successes on the battlefield against Ukraine, and that Western policymakers “continue to test our patience.” According to Antonov, it is also obvious that by requesting permission to attack deep inside Russia with foreign-made weapons, Kiev seeks “to provoke the United States, as well as other NATO countries, into rash actions and achieve a head-on collision between Russia and the bloc’s members.”

Kiev would likely use long-range systems against Russian civilians, the ambassador claimed, adding that “the Kiev regime has long… stopped asking permission” from the West to do so. “Barbaric raids using deadly products of the NATO military-industrial complex are carried out across our country on an almost regular basis,” Antonov stated. Ukraine has stepped up its pleas to be allowed to use Western-made weapons against far-flung targets inside Russia as Moscow’s forces steadily advance in Donbass and the Kharkov Region. The latter area has been used by Kiev to routinely shell Russian territory, with strikes killing dozens of civilians. Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier this month that Moscow’s offensive in Kharkov Region seeks to establish a “cordon sanitaire,” or buffer zone, to prevent further Ukrainian attacks.

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“.. there has been no day without another crazy statement uttered by of some of the European politicians.”

Threat Of World War Grows Every Day – Hungary FM (TASS)

The threat of a world war is growing due to “insane statements” by Western politicians speculating about sending soldiers to Ukraine against the background of exercises in Russia involving non-strategic nuclear weapons, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said. He noted that “there has been no day without another crazy statement uttered by of some of the European politicians.” “There are those who want to send soldiers to Ukraine. Others are already speculating about the use of nuclear weapons. Every day the threat of a world war is getting closer,” Szijjarto told a news conference after a meeting in Budapest with his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis. “We see what is happening: European politicians are making statements about the use of nuclear weapons. The Russians are conducting exercises involving tactical nuclear weapons,” Szijjarto said. He believes that “the time has come to stop this ma”..dness.” Szijjarto recalled that the Hungarian government had long stated that it was impossible to resolve the Ukrainian conflict militarily.

“That is why Hungary continues to tell its European partners that instead of indulging in crazy statements and fantasies that threaten to escalate [hostilities] they should spend at least half of their energy on achieving peace. Then there may be hope that this war will be ended at the negotiating table,” Szijjarto emphasized. On May 21, Russia began the first stage of exercises including practical training in preparations for using non-strategic nuclear weapons. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, they are being held in response to provocative statements by Western officials and are aimed at maintaining the readiness to respond and ensuring the country’s sovereignty. Missile units of the Southern Military District are practicing preparations for launching Iskander tactical missiles, while the personnel of the Aerospace Forces will equip air-launched delivery vehicles with special warheads, including hypersonic Kinzhal missiles, and head for patrol areas.

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“..it’s not taking place with State Department or Department of Defense connivance. It’s taking place with the assistance and the facilitation of the Central Intelligence Agency – a covert war. All Tony Blinken is now talking about is taking this covert war and making it an overt war..”

US OK for Ukraine Attacks on Russia Could Mean Nuclear War – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Michael McCaul added fuel to the fire of escalatory rhetoric swirling around Washington on Wednesday regarding restrictions on Ukraine’s use of American long-range strike weapons, trotting out a map during Secretary Blinken’s testimony showing areas of Russia hundreds of kilometers from the Ukrainian frontlines that weapons like ATACMS and HIMARS could hit. “Will you change this policy so that Ukraine can fight without one hand tied behind its back?” McCaul asked. “When it comes to enabling or endorsing attacks outside of Ukraine, that’s not something we’ve done, but Ukraine will have to make and will make its own decisions and I want to make sure that it gets the equipment that it needs,” Blinken said, avoiding a direct answer. Privately, however, sources told the New York Times that the secretary of state favors lifting the restrictions, and that he has lobbied President Biden to do so after what the newspaper characterized as a “sobering” trip to Kiev last week, where he was briefed on Ukraine’s battlefield setbacks.

McCaul’s counterparts in the Russian Duma and Senate slammed the congressman’s “madness” and apparent loss of instinct for self-preservation, warning that Russia would be forced “to take tough and swift measures” in response to such blatant aggression. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, meanwhile, recommended to McCaul that the first place in the “Russian interior” to be targeted by long-range US missiles is the American Embassy in Moscow. But the debate in Washington regarding direct US approval for Ukrainian missile attacks deep inside Russia constitute little more than “word games,” says former US Marine and UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter.

“Ukraine is already attacking critical energy facilities inside Russia, oil tanks, petroleum depots. This is taking place. It’s just that it’s not taking place with State Department or Department of Defense connivance. It’s taking place with the assistance and the facilitation of the Central Intelligence Agency – a covert war. All Tony Blinken is now talking about is taking this covert war and making it an overt war. Why is he doing this? Domestic American politics. It will have no impact on the battlefield. But what it does is allow the Biden administration to posture itself as doing something discernable to address the Russian successes – the successful offensive north of Kharkov, the continuing successful offensives in eastern Ukraine and Novorossiya,” Ritter told Sputnik. The catastrophic situation for Ukraine is seen by the Biden administration as a “political problem” during an election year, and Blinken is “trying to come up with a political solution,” the military and international affairs observer explained.

“But it’s shortsighted. It won’t resolve the military problems that are being confronted by the Ukrainians. What it will do is create the dangerous potential for the kind of escalation that the Biden administration has been assiduously seeking to avoid – an escalation that would lead to a direct confrontation between Russia, the United States and NATO. An escalation that could see this conflict move away from conventional war into the possibility, indeed probability of nuclear conflict,” Ritter said. Ritter characterized the hostile rhetoric coming out of Washington regarding overt approval for strikes on Russia an “unprecedented” escalation, “an act of war, an act of aggression that Russia couldn’t let go without a response.” Legally, the retired soldier said, Russia would have the right not only to strike decision-making centers and launch sites inside Ukraine, but also those facilitating the attacks, potentially including “American decision-making centers in Europe.”

As for Congressman McCaul’s map, Ritter suggested that what neocons like McCaul “don’t understand” is “that they’re putting forward a slanted version of this conflict. An accurate map put up by Tony Blinken, Victoria Nuland or the congressman from Texas would highlight for instance Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Germany, France, England, Italy, the Netherlands, the Baltics…All of those nations provide a safe haven for Ukraine – a place where Ukrainian forces can train. A place where Ukrainian military materiel can be stockpiled, repaired. Where command and control activity takes place, where intelligence is collected, assessed and disseminated. All these activities are part and parcel of Ukraine’s military effort against Russia, and under normal conditions would be subjected to military interdiction. But Russia doesn’t attack them, it can’t attack them because they’re part of NATO. For Russia to attack them, even though this activity is directly related to the war, it would lead to an expansion of the conflict, an escalation. So Russia has avoided doing this even though it has every right to do so.”

“Russia has the ability to decisively interdict all of the activities that are taking place on NATO’s soil. Ukraine – if it were to launch attacks on…Russia – all it would do is kick the bear. It’s not going to have a meaningful impact. It’s not going to change the outcome. The Russians will not be defeated. This will not alter the reality that Ukraine lacks manpower, equipment and funding to sustain this conflict – that Ukraine is on a path of decisive defeat that could occur sometime this year. And no expansion of the target deck is going to change that reality,” Ritter concluded.

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With Biden incapacitated, Blinken is the de facto leader on foreign policy.

Blinken Lobbying For Strikes On Russia – NYT (RT)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is pushing the administration of President Joe Biden to allow Ukraine to attack targets deep inside Russia with American weapons, the New York Times reported on Thursday, referring to unnamed US officials. The ban, according to the White House, was imposed out of concern that if US arms were used inside what Washington acknowledges as Russian territory it would trigger an escalation and potentially World War III. Blinken has been advocating for scrapping the restriction after making a “sobering” visit to Kiev earlier this month, the newspaper said, citing insider sources. Ukrainian officials have claimed that being unable to target Russian forces across the border with American weapons led to the failure of its troops to prevent the recent Russian advances in Kharkov Region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the offensive is a response to months of Ukrainian artillery and drone attacks in Russia’s Belgorod Region and that a buffer zone is required to deprive Kiev of the capability to make such strikes. The Times said that Ukrainian weapons “don’t pack the power and speed of the American weapons.” Kiev has launched a lobbying campaign on Capitol Hill to pressure the White House over the issue and has some allies among lawmakers. A group of representatives signed a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Monday calling for the Ukrainian request to be granted. During a hearing in Congress on Tuesday, Senator Michael McCaul displayed a map showing the strike range of ATACMS missiles – a weapon the US has donated to Ukraine – if Kiev were allowed to use them inside Russia.

He called the outlined territory a “sanctuary zone” for Russian troops and accused the Biden administration of tying the hands of the Ukrainians behind their backs. Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky has urged increased NATO involvement in the conflict and has argued that the West should not fear Russia’s reaction. Moscow believes that Zelensky’s goal is to trigger an escalation to maintain his position. Russia is currently conducting a military drill to test its capability to use non-strategic nuclear weapons, which Putin ordered in response to hostile rhetoric by Western officials. One such remark identified by Moscow came from British Foreign Secretary David Cameron, who said earlier this month that Kiev “has the right” to use weapons donated by his nation to attack targets inside Russia.

Read more …

More Blinken.

Israel Abandons Major Invasion of Rafah in Favor of Targeted Raids (Sp.)

Israel has allegedly abandoned its plans for a major invasion of Rafah in the Gaza Strip in favor of targeted incursions after talks with the United States, The Telegraph has reported, citing a senior US official. The report cited the official as saying on Wednesday that Israel had taken concerns of the US into account, which had for weeks warned Israel against full-scale operation in Rafah. “It’s fair to say, I think, the Israelis have updated their plans. They’ve incorporated many of the concerns that we have expressed … This is an ongoing discussion, ongoing conversation. It’s been constructive,” the official said, referring to a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Jerusalem last week. Last week, Sullivan traveled to the Middle East and visited Saudi Arabia and Israel, where he met with Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Israeli leadership.

Earlier in May, the Pentagon confirmed media reports that the Biden administration halted deliveries of 1800 2000-pound bombs and 1700 500-pound bombs to Israel after the country began its allegedly limited military operation in Rafah while making public its plans to proceed with a major ground operation.In early May, US President Joe Biden said during an interview with CNN that Washington would not supply weapons to Israel if the Jewish state’s military went into Rafah. In the early hours of May 7, the Israel Defense Forces launched what it called a counterterrorist operation in the east of Rafah and took control of the Gaza side of the border crossing with Egypt. Later that week, Israeli media reported that Israel’s military cabinet had approved expanding the ground operation. Israeli authorities say the operation was aimed at eliminating the remaining battalions of Palestinian movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

On October 7, 2023, Hamas launched a large-scale rocket attack against Israel and breached the border, attacking both civilian neighborhoods and military bases. Nearly 1,200 people in Israel were killed and some 240 others were abducted during the attack. Israel launched retaliatory strikes, ordered a complete blockade of Gaza, and started a ground incursion into the Palestinian enclave with the declared goal of eliminating Hamas fighters and rescuing the hostages. Over 35,600 people have been killed so far by Israeli strikes in the Gaza Strip, local authorities said. More than 100 hostages are still believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza.

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They know how dumb their voters are… But even then, this is something else…

Unified Reich Hoax One Of Most Blatantly Dishonest Attacks On Trump Yet (ZH)

With a brand new set of polls showing Donald Trump leading in six of seven swing states, establishment media has stooped to new levels of transparent dishonesty in a desperate effort to derail his campaign. The latest example? An all-out hoax that had major outlets telling Americans that Trump shared a video promising that his reelection would lead to the “creation of a unified Reich,” in what was supposedly a shocking revelation of his intention to Make Nazism Great Again. Here’s a sampling of the hysterical headlines:
• Newsweek: Donald Trump ‘Unified Reich’ Video Leaves People Stunned
• MSNBC: Trump’s Online Account Promotes ‘Unified Reich’ Video, Adding To Alarming Pattern
• The Hill: White House Slams ‘Sickening’ Video Shared By Trump Referencing ‘Unified Reich’
• CNN: Trump Posts Video Referencing ‘Unified Reich’ If Reelected

TV’s talking heads gravely shared the news. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos said Trump posted a video that “used language from Nazi Germany, the latest in a series of antisemitic and authoritarian statements from Trump and his campaign.” Social media erupted in the latest round of bogus outrage, including this pearl-clutching tweet from archetypal deep-stater and Constitution-betraying mass surveillance architect Michael Hayden. The White House leapt headlong into the propaganda blitz. “It is abhorrent, sickening, and disgraceful for anyone to promote content associated with Germany’s Nazi government under Adolf Hitler,” said Deputy White House Press Secretary Andrew Bates. Piling dishonesty on dishonesty, here’s Joe Biden recoiling in phony disbelief as he pretends to be seeing Trump’s alleged abomination for the first time:

So what actually happened? On Monday afternoon, Trump’s Truth Social account reposted a video that had been created and posted by someone outside the campaign. The video used imagery of newspaper headlines to imagine a Trump victory in November and the beneficial consequences that would accompany it. The video was not created from scratch, but rather from a stock video template that anyone can buy online. Sold by Envato Elements, it’s called “Newspaper Vintage History Headlines Promo.” With its old-newspaper feel, whatever headlines are added to it are given a certain historical gravitas. Aside from the Trump-specific banner headlines, the video creator simply left intact all the minor, historical headlines that come with the template and serve as little more than background filler. For all the freaking out about Trump using the video to implicitly endorse the Third Reich, the vintage headline in question isn’t even about that reich. It reads, “German Industrial Strength After 1871 Driven By The Creation Of A Unified Reich.” “It’s difficult to convey just how fake the establishment American media really is,” said Newsmax’s Rob Schmitt, in this segment that lays bare the utter dishonesty behind the latest baseless outrage:

Predictably, the so-called “fact checkers” at Snopes framed the video controversy in such a way that they could stamp “TRUE” on it, addressing merely whether Trump shared a video that contained the words “creation of a unified reich.” Like many of the harpies on social media who’ve been called out for their deceptive descriptions of the video, Snopes blames the video creator for “fail[ing] to remove” the unified Reich headline — as if that video creator had used Triumph Of The Will as their starting template.

Meanwhile, with an article explaining why the video “isn’t what people are making it out to be,” The Atlantic’s David Graham pleasantly surprised us — only to then exasperate us by reinforcing one of the most persistent anti-Trump hoaxes of all. After explaining the benign nature of the video template, Graham proceeded to administer a Trump-mythology booster to The Atlantic’s lefty readership, writing that “[Trump] called neo-Nazi marchers in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 ‘very fine people.” Let’s go to the transcript…again. In a feisty exchange with reporters, Trump — referring to politically diverse protesters and counter-protesters who showed up in Charlottesville — said: “You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides…You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.”

After questioning whether statues of historical figures should be removed solely because the person in question had some involvement with slavery, Trump said: “You’re changing history. You’re changing culture. And you had people — and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists — because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. Okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.” Just as the “very fine people” hoax persists at The Atlantic and nearly everywhere else, we’re guessing the “unified reich video” hoax will have staying power too. In any event, it looks like it’s time for Scott Adams to issue another update to his hoax quiz…

Read more …

“These are instances where Hunter was under oath, prepared for months, and had counsel present..”

Will Garland Send Hunter Biden Perjury Allegations to a Grand Jury? (Turley)

Attorney General Merrick Garland has long maintained that he is a completely apolitical figure who only follows the law. Critics have challenged that claim on key cases, including those related to Hunter Biden. However, Garland may now face one of the clearest tests of his claim in his tenure. The House committees have issued a public report alleging three different instances where Hunter Biden allegedly committed perjury. The question is now what Garland is prepared to do about it. When Hunter testified, I wrote columns suggesting that he might take the Fifth Amendment to remain silent because the risk was too great that he might lie or mislead investigators in his answers. With months of preparation, he decided to run the gauntlet and now appears to have exposed himself to the possibility of additional criminal charges. Hunter Biden has still not responded to the specific allegations, but on their face they appear strong.

Notably, the Justice Department spent considerable time and money to pursue false statements against figures like Michael Flynn over just one statement describing a meeting with Russian diplomats. These are instances where Hunter was under oath, prepared for months, and had counsel present. One of the instances concerns the controversial WhatsApp message where Hunter not only threatened a Chinese businessman to send him massive amounts of money but said that his father was sitting next to him at the time. Millions were later sent to the Bidens. The infamous WhatsApp message stated in part: “I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled. Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight. And, Z, if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang, or the chairman, I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction. I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father.”

The response of Hunter to questions about the message was curious and evasive. Hunter said that he had only two things to say about that message. He denied that his father was sitting next to him despite saying that he had no memory of sending the message. Second, and most importantly, he stated “the Zhao that this is sent to is not the Zhao connected to CEFC” who “had no understanding or even remotely knew what the hell I was even Goddamn talking about.” The Committee staff maintains that Biden’s WhatsApp account show that he only ever communicated with one Zhao – Raymond Zhao – and that he most certainly did [know] what he was “talking about.” Another alleged lie was Hunter’s denial that he ever helped people associated with Burisma secure visas. He told Congress that he was unwilling to provide “any work as it related to visas that they needed” and that he would “never pick up the phone and call anybody for a visa.”

The Committee has produced an email showing Hunter’s associate Devon Archer concerning the revoking of Burisma CEO Nikolay Zlochevsky’s visa. It states that “Hunter is checking with Miguel Aleman to see if he can provide cover to Kola on the visa…Please send Hunter an email with all Kola’s passport and visa documents and evidence and copy me. We’ll take it from there.” Hunter also swore that he had no part in shell companies that received foreign payments. Yet, Archer testified that he and Hunter had equal stake in Rosemont Seneca Bohai and the Committee has evidence from the IRS whistleblowers showing that Hunter received benefits as owner of the entity’s associated bank account. The most damning evidence may be a document reading “I, Robert Hunter Biden, hereby certify that I am the duly elected, qualified and acting Secretary of Rosemont Seneca Bohai, LLC.” He used that document as part of his contract with Porsche Financial Services for a sports car.

That would seem pretty clear and well-founded allegations for a referral to the Justice Department. After fast-tracking false statement claims against Trump officials, the question is whether Garland will even submit the matter to a grand jury. He could also give the matter to the Special Counsel prosecuting Hunter. Ordinarily, a prosecutor pursuing a defendant in two different felony cases would jump at any alleged illegality. You would not want to stand between him and a grand jury. However, Special Counsel David Weiss has been accused of minimizing charges against the President’s son and attempting to push through a notorious sweetheart deal that collapsed in court. Now Garland faces an unavoidable choice in treating this referral as he did Trump cases (in sending this to a grand jury) or scuttling alleged perjury made by the son of the President before Congress. It is far less challenging legally than it is politically for Merrick Garland.

Garland

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Oh no, not her..

Nikki Haley Endorses Trump: He’s Not Perfect But Biden ‘Catastrophe’ (Sp.)

Former Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley announced on Wednesday that she will vote for Donald Trump in November as he meets her priorities better than Biden. “As a voter, I put my priorities on a president who is going to have the backs of our allies and hold our enemies to account…,” Haley said at the Hudson Institute. “I will be voting for Trump.” Trump has not been perfect but Biden has been a “catastrophe,” she said. Haley also expressed hope that Trump will actively engage her voters rather than simply expect their support. Earlier, an Axios report said that Trump’s campaign is considering Nikki Haley for the vice presidential role.

Haley, who was a key Republican rival in the presidential race alongside Vivek Ramaswamy and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, could be chosen if Trump believes she would enhance his chances of winning the November election, avoid potential imprisonment, and manage his multi-million dollar legal bills, the report added. Members of the Republican Party close to both politicians believe that teaming up is in their mutual interest because Haley has deep ties with sponsors who are wary of Trump, and she could help him attract the votes of some college-educated Republicans, the report said.

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“Money is one means of developing a technology, but it can happen that a technology is created with a minimum amount of funds. It can turn out that you have a lot of money, but the technology doesn’t work out. Therefore, money is not the main thing here. The main thing is people, and having the appropriate academic knowledge..”

Pentagon Pumped $756 Mln Into Hypersonic Missile That Doesn’t Fly (Sp.)

The US Army has been teasing the deployment of its ground-based Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) system since 2021, with the system touted as the Pentagon’s first nearly operational hypersonic missile amid development delays and cancellations plaguing nearly a dozen similar projects for and by the Army, Air Force, Navy, and DARPA. The US Army has awarded Lockheed Martin another $756 million for its delay-plagued LRHW “Dark Eagle” program, with the contract involving the provision of battery equipment, unspecified logistics, systems, and software engineering support. In development since 2017, the LRHW’s $41 million apiece truck-launched missiles are expected to be able to accelerate to speeds up to Mach 17, and boast a 3,000 km operational range. The system uses the common All Up Round (AUR) munition also used in the Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) program.

But like other US hypersonic missile efforts to date, Dark Eagle has become a somewhat “Dubious Eagle” after a string of testing issues. The Congressional Research Office has counted at least five failures to date:
• In October 2021, an LRHW test failed when the Common-Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) did not deploy.
• In June 2022, the complete LRHW missile system suffered another test failure.
• A scheduled LRHW test was canceled in October 2022 to “assess the root cause” of the June 2022 failure.
• In March 2023, a scheduled test launch from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida was scrapped.
• A second planned test at Cape Canaveral was canceled in September 2023, followed by an Army statement that it would not be able to meet the goal of deploying Dark Eagle in the current fiscal year.
• A November 2023 review by Army and Navy acquisition execs blamed the delays on unspecified “problems” with the Lockheed-made launcher, and said the issues would take “months” to iron out.

The poor track record of US hypersonic missile programs to date has been surprising, given the tens of billions of dollars in research and development funding lavishly doled out by Congress in annual defense budgets – which typically outpace the defense spending of all of Washington’s major adversaries combined. Last month, veteran Russian defense observer and missile expert Dmitry Drozdenko told Sputnik that the reason hypersonic weapons are so difficult to develop comes down not to the ability to accelerate vehicles to hypersonic speeds (which has been possible since virtually the dawning of the missile age), but creating materials that can withstand the ultra-hot temperatures hypersonic missiles encounter during flight – when they are covered by clouds of plasma. The USSR was leagues ahead of the US in the study of plasma physics during the Cold War, with Russia inheriting this invaluable knowledge and putting it to good use to field its first-in-the-world hypersonic missiles.

“Technologies are developed by people,” Drozdenko explained. “Money is one means of developing a technology, but it can happen that a technology is created with a minimum amount of funds. It can turn out that you have a lot of money, but the technology doesn’t work out. Therefore, money is not the main thing here. The main thing is people, and having the appropriate academic knowledge,” the observer said.

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“..pretending to be a democracy, a country with freedom of speech.”

Dutch Lawyer Prosecuted For Social Media Post Slamming Mass Migration (MN)

A Dutch conservative female lawyer is being prosecuted on charges of “racism” and “inciting hatred” after she expressed fury over mass migration in response to a viral video showing a white boy being beaten up and thrown onto a railway track by a gang of migrants. Raisa Blommestijn revealed how she had received a letter that amounted to an order to appear before a Dutch prosecutor at a court hearing in front of multiple judges on August 19th. The charges stem from comments Blommestijn made on social media in response to a video of a defenseless Dutch boy being brutally kicked and punched as he lay on the ground at an Amsterdam Metro station in May last year before he was thrown onto the railway track. “Yet another white man got kicked around in the street by a group of black primates. How many defenseless white people remain to become victims? Countless probably: the open borders elite is importing these people in droves, with all the consequences that entails,” she wrote.

Blommestijn said she was subjected to a four hour police interrogation over her comments and later learned that she would be facing prosecution. “Until now, it was still unclear what would happen next with this case. Unfortunately, I can tell you that as of today, there is clarity. The sword of Damocles has fallen because this morning I found this letter in my letterbox. A letter that cannot be seen as anything other than a subpoena,” the lawyer told her followers. The conservative warned that people were being “persecuted for their political opinions” and for opposing mass migration by a nation that is “pretending to be a democracy, a country with freedom of speech.”

Prominent conservatives being punished by authorities for expressing strong anti-mass migration views has become a common theme across Europe, with the state seeking to make an example of them in order to silence dissent. As we recently highlighted, a German politician was found guilty of ‘incitement’ by a district court after she posted a link to the government’s own statistics on crimes committed by migrants, specifically rape, and asked why they are so disproportionately high. Three former members of Belgium’s right-wing ‘Nation’ party were also convicted for Facebook posts in which they compared the Brussels district of Molenbeek to Africa due to its massive non-native population and demanded the Belgian government put “our people first.”

Eva

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“According to the FAA, a metal plate attached to a fuel tank vent on the wings of the 777 was installed without an electrical bond, meaning it could potentially accumulate static electricity and cause a “fire or explosion” in the jet’s fuel tanks.”

292 United & American Boeing 777s At Risk For ‘Exploding’ Fuel Tanks (ZH)

Overnight, DailyMail reported that yet another fleet of Boeing jets has a potentially disastrous flaw. The 777, commonly called the Triple Seven, has poor electrical insulation near its fuel tank that can cause “fire or explosion.” Back in March, the Federal Aviation Administration raised concerns about the 777’s safety and set a deadline of May 9 for Boeing and third-party experts to respond. However, it’s still unclear whether the company has taken any action, as reported by DailyMail. “This condition, if not addressed, could result in an ignition source inside the fuel tank and subsequent fire or explosion,” the Airworthiness Directives note states. The FAA noted the safety fix includes “installing electrical bonding and grounding” to prevent short-circuiting “electrostatic discharge to the surrounding structure” around the air intake system near the 777’s center-wing fuel tanks. The projected cost to fix the 292 vulnerable wide-body planes is around $700k.

777 are flown across the world. Many of these jets are commonly used by American and United Airlines. This was the same jet earlier this week that abruptly dropped 6,000 feet during a London to Singapore flight. Last month, Boeing whistleblower Sam Salehpour told lawmakers on Capitol Hill about “serious concerns about the safety of the 787 and 777 aircraft.” Salehpour is one of the lucky whistleblowers still remarkably alive after more than a month from his statement on Capitol Hill. At that time, he told lawmakers about “premature fatigue failure” on these planes and warned Boeing was “putting out defective airplanes.” In each passing week, problems for Boeing are growing, from the 777 earlier this week that abruptly dropped to a 747’s engine that erupted in a fireball last week to these recent mishaps: In markets, Boeing shares have been battered in the last 5.5 years following the twin Max 737 crashes (separate crashes) that killed 346 people.The optics for Boeing are terrible. This is why Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun is preparing to step down at the end of the year.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Milei

 

 

Chips

 

 

Public schools

 

 

US food system
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793673993058426979

 

 

Elk
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793375257388372054

 

 

Bark
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793217697540342117

 

 

Self defense shark

 

 

3 little bears

 

 

Baby sitter
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793671312235499566

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 022024
 
 May 2, 2024  Posted by at 8:58 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  47 Responses »


Edvard Munch Separation 1896

 

Student Protests Among ‘Biggest Things’ in US in Decades – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
‘All Because Columbia Refuses to Divest’ (CD)
The US Student Intifada: Palestine’s New Soft Power Leverage (Cradle)
Google Workers Fired Over Israel Protests File Federal Labor Complaint
Weissmann: “One Vote Away from … the End of Democracy” (Turley)
The Death of Ireland and Replacement of the Irish People (Paul Craig Roberts)
The Ukraine Conflict Is Spinning Out of Control (Paul Craig Roberts)
Ukraine Must Defeat Russia To Join NATO – Zelensky (RT)
China Humiliated Blinken But Blinken Kept Begging (Chang)
Trump Campaign Slams Commission’s Refusal to Hold Earlier Debates (ET)
Appeals Court Denies Trump’s Bid to Have Judge Merchan Recused (ET)
BRIC-O-Rama: On The Road In Brazil, With An Eye On Russia-China (Pepe Escobar)

 

 

 

 

Watters

 

 

KJP

 

 

Kash Patel
https://twitter.com/i/status/1785699469457023055

 

 

LA
https://twitter.com/i/status/1785716980361625956

 

 

Model 3

 

 

The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money. – Benjamin Franklin

 

 

 

 

Scott Ritter: “I think these student protests right now are some of the most important things to have happened in American society in many, many decades..”

I didn’t know. Let’s see.

Student Protests Among ‘Biggest Things’ in US in Decades – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video address that the protests against his country on American universities that had then only recently sprung up were “antisemitic mobs” that had “taken over” college campuses. He called on US authorities to do more to stop them. The growing student protest movement against the continued bombardment of Gazans by the Israeli government is among one of the most important things to happen in the US in “many, many decades,” former UN inspector and military expert Scott Ritter told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Tuesday. “If you were an American like myself, who is not inclined to go out and protest and hold signs and disrupt things, man, we have to wake up,” he explained. “I have to wake up. We have to join these students one way or another and join their cause in letting the government know that we will not stand silent in the face of police oppression of the right of American citizens to speak out, to assemble, to hold their government [to] account.”

“I think these student protests right now are some of the most important things to have happened in American society in many, many decades,” Ritter emphasized. Tuesday night, what appeared to be hundreds of officers with the New York Police Department entered Columbia University in riot gear and military-grade vehicles, arresting approximately 300 people, according to New York City Mayor Eric Adams. That raid came after similar raids across the country, including in Texas, where 79 people, including some faculty members who joined students, were arrested. Meanwhile, a 65-year-old professor, Steve Tamari, was hospitalized after an officer at Washington University in St. Louis slammed him to the ground, breaking multiple ribs and his hand, according to a statement he put out from the hospital. More than 100 people were arrested in that protest. Colleges being a place for the free exchange of ideals is a critical part of our society, Ritter argued, adding that he believes the crackdown is designed to end this.

“As somebody who has taken an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States… I respect not only [the] students’ constitutional rights to free speech and freedom of assembly, I also recognize that college is one of the great zones of developing good citizens,” Ritter said. Over the weekend, presidential candidate Jill Stein was arrested at a protest. Stein says she was told she was being charged with assaulting an officer, but clarified in a later interview with journalist Glenn Greenwald that was not on her paperwork. Part of the purpose of colleges is “to create an incubator for the development of good citizenship, not compliant zombies,” Ritter explained, arguing that the US needs, “citizens who think, who empower themselves with knowledge and information and express that individually and collectively.”

At University of California, Los Angeles, a group of pro-Israeli protesters reportedly fired pepper spray and fireworks at student protesters during clashes. Witnesses claim that while the police were standing by, they did not intervene for hours. Ritter noted the US government is doing “just about everything possible wrong,” underscoring that the US “needs these students to come out and they’ve picked an issue, Gaza, which is the manifestation of the totality of all we do wrong as a government.” “When you go to university, we need you to become radical. We need you to think. We need you to exercise your brain and your spirit and your conscience. And [the government is] trying to suppress them because apparently we don’t want good citizens anymore,” the analyst concluded.

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Overkill.

‘All Because Columbia Refuses to Divest’ (CD)

Hundreds of New York City police officers descended on Columbia University Tuesday night to arrest dozens of pro-Palestinian student protesters and dismantle a Gaza solidarity encampment that inspired campus protests across the United States, with demonstrators calling on their schools to divest from companies profiting off Israel’s devastating war. Police, some wearing riot gear, entered Columbia’s campus at the request of the university’s president, Minouche Shafik, who authorized the NYPD to “clear all individuals from Hamilton Hall and all campus encampments.” Video footage shows officers entering a campus building that students occupied hours earlier, renaming it “Hind’s Hall” after a 6-year-old girl who was killed by Israeli forces earlier this year. The Columbia Daily Spectator, the university’s student newspaper, reported that “as they entered the building, officers threw down the metal and wooden tables barricading the doors and shattered the glass on the leftmost doors of Hamilton to enter with shields in hand.”

“Several officers drew their guns, according to footage posted by NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Operations Kaz Daughtry,” the newspaper added. “At around 9:37 pm, officers led dozens of protesters out the entrance of Hamilton. The protesters’ hands were zip-tied behind their backs. The arrested individuals chanted, ‘Free, free Palestine’ as they were led away from the building.” Other footage shows NYPD officers forcing their way through students who locked arms in front of the occupied campus building. One cop is seen kneeing a student on the ground. Students reported that police used tear gas, which is banned in war, on demonstrators. “Tonight, my university called in a militarized police force—armed in riot gear, with guns drawn, deploying weapons banned under international law—to attack teenagers,” Lea Salim, a student member of Jewish Voice for Peace-Columbia/Barnard, said in a statement. “All because Columbia refuses to divest from the Israeli military and its genocidal campaign on the people of Gaza.”

As police set up barricades around the perimeter of the campus, onlookers gathered and chanted, “Let the students go!” in solidarity with the arrested demonstrators. Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) said he was “outraged” by the police presence at both Columbia and the City College of New York, writing on social media that the “militarization of college campuses, extensive police presence, and arrest of hundreds of students are in direct opposition to the role of education as a cornerstone of our democracy.” “I call upon the Columbia administration to stop this dangerous escalation before it leads to further harm,” Bowman added, “and allow the faculty back onto campus so that all parties can collectively come to a solution that centers humanity over hate.”

In a letter to the New York City Police Department on Tuesday, Shafik—who is facing mounting calls to resign—requested that officers maintain a presence on Columbia’s campus “through at least May 17, 2024 to maintain order and ensure encampments are not reestablished.” The police crackdown on Columbia students is part of a broader wave of repression against campus protests that have emerged across the country in recent weeks as Israel’s assault on and forced starvation of Gaza civilians continues with no end in sight. Police actions, approved by the leaders of some universities and cheered on by right-wing government officials, have drawn international rebukes. In a statement Tuesday, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said he is “concerned that some of law enforcement actions across a series of universities appear disproportionate in their impacts.”

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“..soft power can be more effective than hard power in achieving political outcomes, because it influences the preferences of others rather than forcing them to change through coercion.”

The US Student Intifada: Palestine’s New Soft Power Leverage (Cradle)

On 18 April, students at Columbia University in New York initiated a sit-in on the campus lawn, protesting the Ivy League institution’s ongoing financial links to companies connected to Israel’s occupation of Palestine and its brutal war on Gaza. The demonstrations quickly spread to other top US universities, including New York University, Yale, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of North Carolina, as demands intensified for an end to both the war and support for the occupation state. This growing wave of US and global student activism is of vital importance: it represents the soft power ripple effects of the resistance‘s Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, and as with other historic, mass US student movements against South African apartheid and the Vietnam war, will likely begin to fray at American support for Israeli aggressions. For decades, the US has portrayed Israel as a beacon of democracy in a region dominated by authoritarian regimes, often citing it as “the only democracy” in West Asia to justify its unwavering support.

However, recent shifts in public perception, particularly among western youth, now increasingly portray Israelis as “terrorists” and “colonizers.” This sea change in the discourse, driven by the global spread of information and activism, will have a significant impact on the Zionist entity. Israel’s global reputation had already been tarnished by the time South Africa filed genocide charges against the state in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) earlier this year, the first time Israel has faced such accusations at this level. In March, the ICJ demanded that Israel take immediate, effective measures to ensure the entry of essential food supplies to Gaza’s residents, emphasizing the severe famine conditions already present. “Soft power” is defined by Joseph Nye as “the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion or pressure.”

Joshua Kurlantzick, senior fellow for Southeast Asia at the influential Council on Foreign Relations, argues that “soft power can be more effective than hard power in achieving political outcomes, because it influences the preferences of others rather than forcing them to change through coercion.” This form of influence arises through culture, values, and policies that are universally attractive and morally legitimate – and, therefore, harder to contain. Decades of Tel Aviv’s “nation branding” or soft power initiatives in the west, geared at deeply entrenching the notion of Israel as “the only democracy” in West Asia that shared the occident’s “Judeo-Christian values,” aimed to justify Washington’s unconditional support for the occupation state. It took a show of Palestinian hard power, however, to unlock that narrative stranglehold in the west. Within weeks of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, western populations began for the first time to see the real face of Zionism – unleashed in an overwhelming military assault on Gaza’s hospitals, universities, infrastructure, and civilian populations.

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No Tech for Apartheid

Google Workers Fired Over Israel Protests File Federal Labor Complaint

Dozens of Google workers who were fired for protesting the tech giant’s cloud deal with the Israeli government filed a complaint on April 29 with the National Labor Relations Board over their termination. The complaint, obtained by The Washington Post, alleges that Google violated the workers’ rights by “terminating and/or placing them on administrative leave in response to their protected concerted activity, namely, participation (or perceived participation) in a peaceful, non-disruptive protest that was directly and explicitly connected to their terms and conditions of work.” The workers are seeking reinstatement of their jobs and back pay, alleging that Google “unlawfully retaliated” against them for engaging in “peaceful” protest, Jane Chung, a spokesperson for No Tech for Apartheid, was quoted as saying by the New York Post.

No Tech for Apartheid, the group organizing the protests, claimed that Google fired more than 20 workers on April 23, including bystanders who were not participating. This adds to the 30 workers fired last week for their involvement in sit-in protests at Google offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California, bringing the total number of terminated workers to more than 50. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The protests targeted a $1.2 billion deal known as Project Nimbus that provides artificial intelligence (AI) technology to the Israeli government. The fired workers contend that the system is being lethally deployed in the Gaza war. “Google’s aims are clear: the corporation is attempting to quash dissent, silence its workers, and reassert its power over them,” the group said in an April 23 statement. “In its attempts to do so, Google has decided to unceremoniously, and without due process, upend the livelihoods of over 50 of its own workers.” The activist group has vowed to continue organizing until Google meets their demands: that it “drop Project Nimbus and stop powering Israel’s genocide of Palestinians in Gaza now.”

Project Nimbus was signed in 2021. It involves joint cloud computing and AI services provided by Google and Amazon to the Israeli government. Google has said that the program is not being used for military or intelligence purposes. Google has said that it fired the workers after gathering details from coworkers who were “physically disrupted” and it identified employees who used masks and didn’t carry their staff badges to hide their identities. Google didn’t specify how many were fired. In a blog post on April 18, Google CEO Sundar Pichai hinted that workers will be on a short leash as the company intensifies its efforts to improve its AI technology at a pivotal moment in the industry and, potentially, history. He did not openly refer to a specific incident. “But ultimately we are a workplace and our policies and expectations are clear: this is a business, and not a place to act in a way that disrupts coworkers or makes them feel unsafe, to attempt to use the company as a personal platform, or to fight over disruptive issues or debate politics,” Mr. Pichai wrote. “We have a duty to be an objective and trusted provider of information that serves all of our users globally.”

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Weissmann ran the Mueller probe.

Weissmann: “One Vote Away from … the End of Democracy” (Turley)

When Robert Mueller appointed Andrew Weissmann as one of his top advisers, many of us warned that it was a poor choice. Weissmann seemed intent to prove those objections correct in increasingly unhinged and partisan statements. This week, he ratcheted up the rhetoric even further in claiming that the nation is “one vote away” from the end of democracy if the Supreme Court does not embrace the sweeping claims of Special Counsel Jack Smith. At the time of his appointment, many Republicans objected to Weissmann’s status as a democratic donor, including his reported attendance of the election night party for Hillary Clinton in 2016. My objection was not to his political affiliations but to his professional history, which included extreme interpretations that were ultimately rejected by courts. Weissmann was responsible for the overextension of an obstruction provision in a jury instruction that led the Supreme Court to reverse the conviction in the Arthur Andersen case in 2005.

Weissmann then became a MSNBC analyst and a professor at New York University. In his book, he attacked prosecutors for refusing to take on his extreme views. Weissmann called on prosecutors to refuse to assist John Durham in his investigation. Now he is predicting the end of democracy if the Court remand the immunity case for further proceedings. Weissmann told MSNBC anchor Jen Psaki on Sunday: “I think that it’s important to remember that at the outset, the court had already given Donald Trump the win that he was seeking, which is the delay of the DC trial.” So going into this, this was all upside for him. I mean, I think he had to be thinking, I’m making this really outlandish argument, with ramifications that couldn’t possibly be squared with the text and history. The text of the Constitution or the history of the presidency? So it’s all upside if the court would actually bite on this.

And so what was surprising is that there were justices who actually were taking this seriously. And it just was, frankly, shocking. Remember, going into this, the given was that private conduct was certainly not, immunized from criminal liability. What everyone’s talking about now is, hey, maybe they think that some of this is private and they can go forward, but that was what was given going into this. And the reason people are thinking that is because there seem to be four justices who were really taking Donald Trump’s claim of criminal immunity seriously. And we are. I mean, I know it sounds like hyperbole, but I think your opening is so correct that we are essentially, as Neil put it, one vote away from sort of the end of democracy as we know it with checks and balances. And to say it’s an imperial presidency that would be created is, it’s frankly saying it would be a king, he would be criminally immune. And that that is what is so shocking is how close we are.

And we are really on the razor’s edge of that kind of result. But for the chief justice. Just for the record, it sounds less “like hyperbole” than hysteria. The justices were exploring the implications of the sweeping arguments on both sides of the immunity question. What they were not willing to do (as does Weissmann) is simply dismiss any arguments of official status on the part of the accused. That would establish a dangerous ambiguity for the future as prosecutors claim that political statements are private matters for the purpose of prosecution. Ironically, Weissmann’s lack of concern for the implications of such an interpretation is reminiscent of his prior sweeping arguments as a prosecutor that led to the stinging defeat in the Anderson case.

Of course, there is another possibility is that the justices were not seeking the end of democracy. The Court was honestly trying to get this standard correct not just for this case but future cases. To do so, it will require a record on the underlying actions rather than the categorical threshold judgment made by the district court. The argument showed justices exploring how to avoid a parade of horribles on either extreme with a more moderate approach. As I previously noted, it has been almost 50 years since the high court ruled presidents have absolute immunity from civil lawsuits in Nixon v. Fitzgerald. That protection applied to acts taken “within the ‘outer perimeter’ of his official responsibility.”

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The Conquest of Ireland and the UK Nears Completion

The Death of Ireland and Replacement of the Irish People (Paul Craig Roberts)

Gaza is not the only genocide. Genocide is taking place all over Europe and in the US. All over Europe and the US governments prefer immigrant-invaders over their own citizens.“The migrants are eligible for free accommodation, free social welfare, free medical care, food, clothes, and various other perks. Whilst at the same time that the Irish government is facilitating mass immigration there are 14,000 Irish homeless people on the streets.” And many more homeless Irish citizens are on the way. Migrants are given free accommodation in hotels and country estates throughout the land, while the Irish people are seriously struggling to make ends meet in a rigged inflationary system, with a never-ending story of sky-high rents, high taxes, inflation, and an ongoing extremely serious accommodation crisis. Many young Irish citizens are left with little option but to live with their parents or emigrate to countries such as Australia as they cannot afford to live in their own country.

This is an extremely important article. It shows that the West is being intentionally destroyed by its own governments. The threat that all citizens in the West face comes not from Russia, China, Iran, but from their own government. Irish citizens who peacefully protest their replacement by immigrant-invaders are brutally beaten–even mothers and children–by police, which emphasizes the second class status of Irish ethnicity. “Many of the Irish police in balaclavas that are enforcing these tactics against the Irish people are not Irish at all, but are more akin to non-Irish hired mercenaries, or more like an EU army.” “The stark reality is the Irish government is not really the Irish government it is just a puppet of the EU bureaucracy. Ireland has been a fully controlled vassal state of the banker-controlled EU, in particular since the controversial (and rerun) Lisbon referendum 14 years ago, which hammered a nail in the coffin of Irish sovereignty.”

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“..they are walking into Armageddon by betting that Washington is rational..”

The Ukraine Conflict Is Spinning Out of Control (Paul Craig Roberts)

In my effort to awake humanity to its extinction in the nuclear war that is advancing upon us, I have pointed my finger at Putin and Xi’s mistaken belief that the way to avoid it is to ignore provocations and wait for Washington to come to its senses. This shows diplomacy at its highest level, but it is mistaken. The ignored provocations encourage more and worst provocations. The Asia Times, if the story can be believed, reports that NATO has begun deploying troops in Ukraine’s defense. “NATO is starting to deploy combat troops to Ukraine. Soldiers from Poland, France, the UK, Finland and other NATO members are arriving in larger numbers.“ Although Russia says there are over 3,100 mercenaries in Ukraine, these newly arriving troops are not mercenaries. They are in uniform, home country proclaimed via insignia.

They mostly are concentrated in the western part of the country, although in some cases they are close to the actual fighting in the east. “NATO is putting out the word these are not combat soldiers but are in Ukraine to operate sophisticated western hardware. But if they are firing at the Russians the only proper way to interpret their presence is that they are playing an active part in the shooting war.” It is the same plan as Washington’s intervention in Vietnam. What will the sequel be? Putin and XI are diplomats. But they have no comprehension of Washington. Their naiveness has blinded them to reality. Consequently, they are walking into Armageddon by betting that Washington is rational.

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Cut it out.

Ukraine Must Defeat Russia To Join NATO – Zelensky (RT)

Ukraine needs to defeat Russia on the battlefield in order to be admitted to NATO, President Vladimir Zelensky has said. The US-led alliance has made it clear earlier that Kiev cannot become a member while the fighting is ongoing. “I believe that we will be in NATO only if we win. I don’t think that we will be admitted to NATO during the war,” Zelensky said on Tuesday during a meeting with a group of military officers in Kiev. He explained that the admission of Ukraine would require unanimous approval by the alliance’s 32 members. Some members are reluctant to admit Ukraine in the midst of an ongoing armed conflict because “they feel the risks, while others are simply skeptical,” Zelensky argued. “Therefore, for Ukraine to be accepted into the alliance, we need victory.” He went on to add that eventual membership would secure Ukraine’s security and independence.

Ukraine formally applied to join NATO in September 2022. While NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and individual members agree that Ukraine should someday become part of NATO, Kiev has not been presented with a concrete timetable. It is widely understood that the country will not be admitted until the conflict with Russia is resolved.v Stoltenberg, who visited Kiev on Monday, admitted to Reuters that the delays in promised weapons deliveries had “put a dent into the trust” between Ukraine and its foreign backers.

While the EU is struggling to find enough arms and ammunition for Ukraine’s wartime needs, the newest aid package from the US had been stuck for months in Congress due to political wrangling. The delays sparked worries in Kiev, with Zelensky openly warning that Ukraine would lose if ammunition shortages are not remedied. Ukrainian officials have blamed the slowdown of deliveries for last year’s failed counteroffensive, as well as more recent losses of cities in the east to the Russian army. Russia, for its part, has cited NATO’s continuing expansion eastward and the bloc’s military cooperation with Ukraine as one of the root causes of the conflict. Moscow considers NATO a threat to its national security and insists that Ukraine must become a neutral country.

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“In substance, therefore, Blinken in Beijing continued talking about talking.”

China Humiliated Blinken But Blinken Kept Begging (Chang)

It is not clear whether a Chinese official was at the Beijing airport to bid farewell to Secretary of State Antony Blinken as he ended his three-day visit to China on Friday, but the send-off was in any event low-key and Chinese leader Xi Jinping slighted America’s top diplomat at the end of his troubled stay. Also, China, literally and figuratively, did not roll out the red carpet for his arrival in Shanghai on Wednesday. Only a low-level official was on hand to greet Blinken as he stepped off the plane. “The Chinese government flouted international protocols at the airport on the secretary of state’s arrival in Shanghai and departure from Beijing,” Charles Burton of the Prague-based Sinopsis think tank told Gatestone. “It was petty.” “This was more than a slight,” Burton, a former Canadian diplomat who served in Beijing, said. “Aside from a calculated insult to the dignity of the United States, the move indicates Xi Jinping is making clear that the accepted norms of diplomacy will not be respected by China anymore.”

Blinken was in China to discuss the growing list of disagreements between Washington and Beijing. Not surprisingly, he did not accomplish anything there other than register America’s complaints on matters such as Beijing’s support for the Russian war effort in Ukraine and unfair treatment of U.S. companies. On every major issue, the U.S. and China take different sides, and the Chinese have clearly dug in. Blinken was reduced to begging. As a result, America is resorting to the dialogue-is-progress narrative. “I think it’s important to underscore the value—in fact, the necessity—of direct engagement, of sustained engagement, of speaking to each other, laying out our differences which are real, seeking to work through them, as also looking for ways to build cooperation where we can,” Blinken said to Chen Jining, Communist Party secretary of Shanghai, ahead of his talks in the Chinese capital.

After the end of fruitless sessions in Beijing—Blinken met with, among others, President Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Wang Yi—all the secretary of state could do is highlight new dialogue issues. “I’m pleased to announce that earlier today, we agreed to hold the first U.S.-PRC talks on artificial intelligence to be held in the coming weeks,” he said at a press availability on April 26, as he wrapped up his trip to China. “We’ll share our respective views on the risks and safety concerns around advanced AI and how best to manage them.” Blinken’s comments repeated those of President Joe Biden after his November 15 meeting with Xi Jinping in Woodside, California. In substance, therefore, Blinken in Beijing continued talking about talking.

There is no question that AI is an important topic, especially when it comes to the control of nuclear weapons. Yet this does not mean the U.S. should seek an agreement with China on that topic. “The latest shambolic display by the Biden administration comes in the form of Secretary of State Antony Blinken groveling before China’s Ruler-for-Life Xi Jinping for a new set of protocols for governing the development of artificial intelligence between America and China, the two nations contributing the most to both the advancement of AI and its weaponization,” Brandon Weichert, a national security analyst at The National Interest, told Gatestone. “Although creating such protocols may sound like a good idea, it seems like a bad idea for Washington to unilaterally agree to limit its own activities.”

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“..the first debate scheduled for Sept. 16 “will be the earliest televised general election debate ever held.”

Trump Campaign Slams Commission’s Refusal to Hold Earlier Debates (ET)

The Trump campaign on Tuesday issued a rebuke of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) refusal to move up its debate schedule until after millions of Americans have already cast their ballots, calling it “unacceptable” and a “grave disservice” to the electorate. In a statement, former President Donald Trump’s campaign representatives Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles intensified criticism of the body that sponsors all general election presidential debates. Previously, they had requested debates to be held “much earlier” than the commission’s planned first debate in mid-September. The Trump campaign repeated its argument that voters deserve to hear from both candidates before they begin casting their votes.

“The Presidential Debate Commission’s schedule does not begin until after millions of Americans will have already cast their ballots. This is unacceptable, and by refusing to move up the debates, they are doing a grave disservice to the American public who deserve to hear from both candidates before voting begins,” the statement read. The statement comes after the nonprofit commission told Fox News that it would stick with its debate schedule, which was released last November. Four debates are planned: three presidential and one vice presidential.The first presidential debate takes place on Sept. 16 at Texas State University in San Marcos; the second takes place on Oct. 1 at Virginia State University in Petersburg; and the third takes place on Oct. 9 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

The commission said that it “is proceeding with production and broadcast plans at its four debate sites as also announced on November 20, 2023.” Responding to the criticism, the CPD issued a statement on Wednesday, clarifying its decision-making process regarding the schedule for the 2024 debates. The commission noted that the first debate scheduled for Sept. 16 “will be the earliest televised general election debate ever held.” The selection of debate dates aimed to ensure accessibility for the American public, taking into account factors such as religious and federal holidays, early voting, and state ballot closing dates, according to the CPD.

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“It’s a disgrace to our Country — They’ve taken away my Right to Free Speech.”

Appeals Court Denies Trump’s Bid to Have Judge Merchan Recused (ET)

A New York state appeals court denied a request from former President Donald Trump to have his so-called “hush-money” judge removed. Lawyers for the former president sought a stay in the proceedings and the recusal of Judge Juan Merchan, who is overseeing the trial that will likely last for at least another month. Both the application for his recusal and for a stay in the case were denied on Tuesday without explanation by the New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division for the First Department. His lawyers had argued that the trial judge should be removed because he had acted out of his jurisdiction by refusing to recuse himself and restricting the number of docket entries, among other matters. “Now, upon reading and filing the papers with respect to the motion, and due deliberation having been had thereon,” Tuesday’s court order stated. “It is ordered that the motion is denied.”

In April, before the jury selection process started, Judge Merchan himself denied a request from President Trump’s attorneys to step down. Several days before that, the former president’s lawyers said in a hearing that the trial should be delayed, which the court also denied. “The unconstitutional effects of Justice Merchan’s rulings are causing ongoing, irreparable constitutional harms to Petitioner and the voting public and, if not stopped, will prevent Petitioner from receiving a fair trial,” Trump attorney Todd Blanche wrote in an application to the court. A judge, Ellen Gesmer, denied the application. Also last month, the state appeals court rejected another bid to stay the trial while the defense tried to move the trial away from Manhattan, arguing that they were concerned that the jury pool would be tainted. The court also rejected an appeal to pause the trial while President Trump appealed a gag order that was handed down by Judge Merchan earlier this year.

On Tuesday morning, Judge Merchan fined President Trump $9,000 for nine separate posts he made online that he believes violated the gag order. He further warned President Trump that he could be incarcerated if he continues to make the posts. Previously, President Trump and his attorneys argued that the gag order, which prohibits the former president from commenting on most people connected to the case, is a violation of his First Amendment rights. In a social media statement after the fines were handed down, President Trump wrote: “This gag order is not only unique, it’s totally unconstitutional. I am the Republican Candidate for President of the United States.” “This is a total Witch Hunt. Hours of sitting down and listening to nothing except EXONERATION AND LIES,” he continued. “The Trial is going like a speeding bullet, because the Judge is working hard to make all of his friends happy. Merchan is Rigged, Crooked and above all, and without question, CONFLICTED. It’s a disgrace to our Country — They’ve taken away my Right to Free Speech.”

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Pepe left Asia.

BRIC-O-Rama: On The Road In Brazil, With An Eye On Russia-China (Pepe Escobar)

I have just been immersed in an extraordinary experience: a mini-tour of conferences in Brazil encompassing four key cities – Sao Paulo, Rio, Salvador, Belo Horizonte. Full houses, sharp questions, fabulously warm people, divine gastronomy – a deep dive into the 8th largest economy in the world and major BRICS+ node. As much as I was trying to impress the finer points of the long and winding road to multipolarity and the multiple instances of frontal clash between NATOstan and the Global Majority, I was learning non-stop from an array of generous Brazilians about the current inner contradictions of a society of astonishing complexity. It’s as if I was immersed in a psychedelic journey conducted by Os Mutantes, the iconic trio of the late 1960s Tropicalia movement: from the business front in Sao Paulo – with its world-class restaurants and frantic deal-making – to the blinding beauty of Rio; from Salvador – the capital of Brazilian Africa – to Belo Horizonte, the capital of the third-wealthiest state in the Federation, Minas Gerais, a powerhouse of iron ore, uranium and niobium exports.

I learned about how China chose the state of Bahia as arguably its key node in Brazil, where Chinese investment is everywhere – even if Brazil is not yet a formal member of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). In Rio, I was presented with an astonishing work on Stoics Zeno and Cleanthes by essayist Ciro Moroni – delving among other issues into the equivalences between Stoic theogony/theology and the Hindu Vedanta – the tradition of culture, religion and sacred rituals in India up to the Buddha era.

And in a sort of psychedelic synchronicity, I felt like Zeno in the Agora as we debated the NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine at a lovely round pavillion – a mini-Agora – in fabled Liberty Square in Belo Horizonte, across the street from a fabulous exhibition of Treasures of Peruvian Art. Much to my astonishment, a Peruvian, Carlos Ledesma, flew in from Lima especially for my conference and the exhibition; and then he told me about the Chancay port being built south of Lima, owned 70% by COSCO and the rest by private Peruvian capital; that will be a sister port of Shanghai.

Chancay-Shanghai: APEC in action across the Pacific. Next November, there will be three nearly simultaneous key events in South America: the G20 in Rio, the APEC summit in Lima, and the inauguration of Chancay. Chancay will be boosted by no less than five rail corridors that may eventually be built – certainly with Chinese investment – from the agribusiness Valhalla in the Brazilian Center-West all the way to Peru. Yes, China is all over the place in its largest trade partner in Latin America – much to the despair of a Hegemon sending lowly functionary Little Blinken to Beijing to hear the letter of the new law by Xi Jinping himself: it’s cooperation or confrontation, a “downward spiral”. Your downward spiral.

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Markkula

 

 

Horse herd
https://twitter.com/i/status/1785657926448820571

 

 

Bugs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1785832474494279693

 

 

Rebel
https://twitter.com/i/status/1785599235297075474

 

 

Transform
https://twitter.com/i/status/1785594023543238942

 

 

 

 

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Apr 282024
 
 April 28, 2024  Posted by at 8:53 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  56 Responses »


Alberto Giacometti Tête Noire 1957

 

The Supreme Court’s Immunity Decision Could Limit the Cases Against Trump (ET)
Justice Kavanaugh Warns of Vicious Cycle of Malicious Prosecutions (ET)
UK Blocked Ukraine Peace Deal – Moscow (RT)
Details Emerge Of Failed Russia-Ukraine Peace Treaty – Welt (RT)
Blinken Accuses China Of Election Interference (RT)
US Spies Believe Putin Didn’t Order Navalny’s Death – WSJ (RT)
Tesla Attorneys Target Shareholder Trying To Stop Move To Texas (ZH)
US TikTok Ban Unconstitutional – RFK Jr (RT)
US To Build New ‘Doomsday Plane’ (RT)
Israel Rejects Calls for Independent Investigation Into Mass Graves (Manley)
Israel Uses Foreign Mercenaries In Gaza (Sahiounie)
Worst In 70 Years: Biden Approval Rating Absolutely Dismal (ZH)
White House Uses “Walkers” To Conceal Biden’s Old-Man Shuffle (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Alex Jones

 

 

Maher RFK

 

 

Joe heli
https://twitter.com/i/status/1783925342790468027

 

 

Larry Johnson
https://twitter.com/i/status/1784003860400353778

 

 

 

 

“We’re writing a rule for the ages,” Justice Neil Gorsuch told Mr. Dreeben. The opinion would presumably ripple through multiple levels of the justice system as well..”

The Supreme Court’s Immunity Decision Could Limit the Cases Against Trump (ET)

The Supreme Court indicated on April 25 that it would issue a narrow ruling refining the scope of presidential immunity while leaving the details of former President Donald Trump’s other legal battles up to lower courts. The most immediate effect of their decision on President Trump’s legal battles would be to delay his Washington case, where his immunity appeal originated. That trial was scheduled to start on March 4 but, more recently, observers have been questioning whether it will even start before the election. Sending the case back to D.C. District Judge Tanya Chutkan would presumably force her to continue pre-trial proceedings with an added layer: Determining how to square Special Counsel Jack Smith’s indictment with the Supreme Court’s new definition of immunity.

Based on their April 25 questions, the justices are expected to distinguish between official and unofficial acts while ruling that presidents enjoy some immunity for the official ones. But it’s unclear how specific they will be in their description and whether they’ll provide enough instructions for the lower court to avoid yet another appeal that could once again reach the Supreme Court. “The Supreme Court could remand the immunity case with very little, if any, instruction, let the district court come up with its opinion, and then let the appellate court deal with it again,” John Shu, a constitutional law expert who served in both Bush administrations, told The Epoch Times. He added, “I certainly hope that doesn’t happen, because we’d end up right where we are today.”

Even if the case does proceed to trial, it’s questionable how effective it will be without some of the indicted actions that President Trump’s attorney, D. John Sauer, said were private and therefore outside the scope of immunity. Michael Dreeben, who argued for Mr. Smith, said the Justice Department was willing to proceed with a weakened indictment. Perhaps previewing the court’s opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts worried that without official acts, the trial court may be proceeding with a “one-legged stool.” Mr. Sauer responded that he didn’t think the case “would be able to go forward.” Mark Miller, senior counsel at the Pacific Legal Foundation, told The Epoch Times that Justice Roberts could require a special interrogatory verdict form in which the jury is asked to distinguish between official and nonofficial conduct in weighing President Trump’s case.

It’s difficult to predict how the court’s decision would impact President Trump’s other ongoing criminal cases. Their future may hinge on the justices’ particular phrasing rather than merely distinguishing between official and non-official acts. The Georgia election case is the most likely to be impacted by the decision since the accusations are most similar to the Washington trial, which will likely loom large in the justices’ deliberations.But as the court indicated, their eventual opinion will have long-lasting impacts on other cases. “We’re writing a rule for the ages,” Justice Neil Gorsuch told Mr. Dreeben. The opinion would presumably ripple through multiple levels of the justice system as well. In an exchange with Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Mr. Dreeben acknowledged that immunity would apply to both state and federal prosecutions.

On the day of the oral argument, President Trump was facing state charges related to his purported attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election with a “hush money” payment to adult film actress Stephanie Clifford. In that case, he tried raising presidential immunity as a reason to exclude certain evidence since it came from his official communications channels as president. New York Judge Juan Merchan said the motion was filed too late but it nevertheless highlighted the complicated nature of President Trump’s cases as they relate to immunity. While the alleged payment to Ms. Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, was made before the election, the purported falsification of documents didn’t occur until after he took office.

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“This case has huge implications for the presidency, for the future of the presidency, for the future of the country..”

Justice Kavanaugh Warns of Vicious Cycle of Malicious Prosecutions (ET)

During Thursday’s deliberations at the U.S. Supreme Court on former President Donald Trump’s immunity claim, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh warned that a decision in the case has future implications for whether future presidents are shielded from vicious cycles of malicious prosecution that could effectively end the presidency as we know it. In the course of two-and-a-half hours of oral arguments on April 25, justices on the Supreme Court appeared skeptical of a ruling by a federal appeals court that rejected President Trump’s claim that he has absolute immunity from criminal charges based on his official acts as president. President Trump was indicted by special counsel Jack Smith in August 2023 on charges of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Pleading not guilty, the former president has argued that he should receive absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for acts that fell within the scope of his official duties.

The exception to this immunity, he has argued, is if Congress impeaches and convicts him on charges. A federal appeals court rejected that argument, claiming that presidents must face prosecution for alleged criminal wrongdoing. The question that is now before the Supreme Court is: “Whether and if so to what extent does a former president enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office?” During Thursday’s deliberations, the justices weighed the claim of absolute immunity that, if adopted, would stop Mr. Smith’s prosecution of the former president dead in its tracks. Several conservative justices suggested they favor imposing limits on the prosecution of former presidents, while highlighting the importance of the case for the future. Justice Kavanaugh said that when presidents are subject to prosecution, history shows that it’s not going to stop. “It’s going to cycle back and be used against the current president or the next president … and the next president and the next president after that.”

Justice Neil Gorsuch, who said that the court is “writing a rule for the ages,” along with Justice Samuel Alito and Justice Kavanaugh all said that their concern was not so much the case against President Trump, but rather the effect of the ruling on future presidencies. “This case has huge implications for the presidency, for the future of the presidency, for the future of the country,” Justice Kavanaugh said. Former Deputy Solicitor General Michael Dreeben, who argued for Mr. Smith, said that the framers of the U.S. Constitution never intended for presidents to be above the law. Mr. Dreeben also said that the crimes President Trump is charged with—including allegedly participating in a scheme to enlist dueling electors in battleground states won by President Joe Biden to cast alternate slates of electoral votes for him—weren’t a part of the president’s official duties.

Attorney D. John Sauer, who argued for President Trump, told the justices that without presidential immunity from criminal charges, the “presidency as we know it” will be changed, contending that the looming threat is that a decision to deny immunity would “destroy” presidential decisionmaking at a time in the nation’s history when it needs to be bold. Mr. Sauer argued that the impact of the case would have implications far beyond the question at hand, raising the hypothetical prospect of President Biden facing charges of encouraging illegal immigration with his border policies. Justice Kavanaugh expressed concern about the future implications of the case, warning of the prospect of a vicious cycle of malicious prosecutions that could hamper presidents for years to come.

Mr. Drebeen contended that the laws currently on the books have not shown they are prone to abuse, telling the high court that “we’ve lived from Watergate through the present, through the independent counsel era with all of its flaws, without these prosecutions having gone off on a runaway train.” Justice Kavanaugh argued that the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton presidencies were all “hampered” by investigations, while suggesting that holding a president accountable is less important than protecting the functioning of the presidency. He raised the question of the “risk” of a “creative prosecutor” using “vague” statutes against a commander-in-chief, telling Mr. Dreeben that this case has “huge implications” for the presidency, and that he was “very concerned about the future.”

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“Kiev effectively discarded the deal under “direct pressure by London,” Peskov stressed. “The rest is speculation. I suggest we learn from the source.”

UK Blocked Ukraine Peace Deal – Moscow (RT)

Ukraine abandoned a draft peace treaty with Russia in 2022 under British pressure, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. The deal, which could have ended the Ukraine conflict weeks after it started, was approved by negotiators in Istanbul, but Kiev later pulled out of the talks. The German newspaper Welt reported on Friday that Moscow had issued additional demands after a deal had already been outlined, such as making Russian the second official language in Ukraine, implying that this had ended any hopes of an agreement. Peskov denied those claims on Saturday, citing remarks made by Ukrainian MP David Arakhamia, who led Kiev’s delegation at the talks. In an interview to domestic media last November, Arakhamia said then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had intervened in the peace process and had urged the Ukrainians to “just fight” Russia.

Kiev effectively discarded the deal under “direct pressure by London,” Peskov stressed. “The rest is speculation. I suggest we learn from the source.” Asked whether the draft treaty could serve as a basis for further peace talks, Peskov said Kiev’s public position was to reject talks with Russia. The idea of reviving the failed agreement was floated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko when he met Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin earlier this month. Johnson has denied derailing the peace talks, but has also bragged on multiple occasions about his policy of nudging Kiev into continuing hostilities with Russia, which the British politician claims to be a fight for global democracy.

“There could be no more effective way of investing in Western security than investing in Ukraine, because those guys without a single pair of American boots on the ground are fighting for the West,” Johnson told students at Georgetown University during a visit to the US this month. The Ukrainians “are effectively fighting our own fight, fighting for our own interests,” he added. Russian officials have described the Ukraine conflict as a Western proxy war against Moscow, which the US and its allies allegedly intend to wage “to the last Ukrainian.” Their goal, according to Moscow, is to contain Russia and stall its development, rather than protect the interests of the Ukrainian people.

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“That was the best deal we could have had,” arguing that Kiev was in a stronger negotiating position in 2022 than it is now..”

Details Emerge Of Failed Russia-Ukraine Peace Treaty – Welt (RT)

Russia and Ukraine were close to reaching a peace deal in the spring of 2022, under which Kiev was ready to commit to neutrality, Welt reported on Friday, citing a draft treaty. Moscow’s insistence that Ukraine make Russian its second official language was reportedly among the stumbling blocks. Citing a 17-page document dated April 15, 2022, the German newspaper claimed that an agreement had largely been hammered out by Moscow and Kiev, and that any remaining differences would have been discussed at a summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelensky. According to Welt, Ukraine would have committed to “permanent neutrality,” would have agreed not to allow foreign weapons and troops into the country, and would have pledged not to “receive, produce or acquire” nuclear weapons.

Kiev would also reportedly have guaranteed not to hold military drills with other countries. In return, Russia would have pledged not to attack Ukraine again, while agreeing that Kiev could receive security guarantees from the US, UK, France, and China. If Ukraine came under attack, its guarantors would support its right to self-defense within three days, with the relevant agreements being ratified by each participating state, making them legally binding. Welt also claimed that the treaty had excluded Russia’s Crimean Peninsula, as well as parts of Donbass, from any security guarantees granted to Ukraine. However, it is unclear which parts of Donbass were covered by the clause. The outlet noted that while Russia had wanted the exact borders to be determined at a Putin-Zelensky summit, Kiev had refused, insisting that they be based on the Ukrainian interpretation.

At the same time, Moscow had reportedly signaled it was ready to withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory, but not from Crimea and Donbass. The details were said to have been slated for discussion by Putin and Zelensky. The two sides also reportedly had major disagreements over the size of the Ukrainian military, as Kiev wanted to maintain far more troops than Moscow was prepared to allow. Welt reported that while the belligerents were close to an agreement, Moscow subsequently demanded that Russian be made the second official language in Ukraine. It also purportedly wanted all mutual sanctions to be lifted and lawsuits dropped in international courts, while insisting that Kiev ban Nazism and “aggressive nationalism.” Those demands were rejected by Ukraine, the paper claims.

Commenting on the potential agreement, one Ukrainian negotiator told Welt: “That was the best deal we could have had,” arguing that Kiev was in a stronger negotiating position in 2022 than it is now. Russian officials earlier confirmed that Ukraine and Russia had been close to a peace deal, but claimed that progress had been derailed by then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who allegedly advised Kiev to keep fighting. Johnson has denied the accusation.

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Zero evidence.

Blinken Accuses China Of Election Interference (RT)

There is evidence that China has attempted to manipulate US elections, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CNN on Friday, as he wrapped up his three-day visit to the Asian nation. Host Kylie Atwood asked the senior diplomat about a pledge not to interfere in American democratic processes which Chinese President Xi Jinping gave to his US counterpart Joe Biden during their meeting in San Francisco last November. Recent reports have suggested that Beijing has failed to honor this promise, she claimed. Blinken refused to discuss any specifics. In general, Washington would consider any election interference “unacceptable,” he stressed, and that is what he reiterated during talks with top Chinese officials this week. “We have seen, generally speaking, evidence of attempts to influence and arguably interfere. And we want to make sure that’s cut off as quickly as possible,” the secretary of state added.

Atwood’s conclusion from Blinken’s remarks was that China is “not heeding” US warnings. A threat assessment issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in February stated that Beijing “aims to sow doubts about US leadership, undermine democracy, and extend Beijing’s influence” through information operations and possible election meddling. “Even if Beijing sets limits on these activities, individuals not under its direct supervision may attempt election influence activities they perceive are in line with Beijing’s goals,” the document stated. Claims that Chinese accounts online are trying to influence politics in the US came recently from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a London-based think tank, and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a Washington DC-based lobbying organization.

Both reports focused on ‘Spamouflage’, a purported Chinese online influence operation. FDD claimed its research demonstrates “that social media takedowns are necessary, but not sufficient, to combat foreign malign influence operations.” Earlier this week, Biden signed into law a bill which gives the owner of TikTok nine months to divest or face a ban in the US market. Proponents claim that ByteDance, which owns the popular social media outlet, is beholden to the Chinese government. Polls indicate that TikTok is a major news source for younger American voters, while older citizens prefer more traditional outlets, such as cable television and newspapers. Its management intends to challenge the law on First Amendment grounds.

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“..doesn’t dispute Putin’s culpability for Navalny’s death, but rather finds he probably didn’t order it at that moment.”

US Spies Believe Putin Didn’t Order Navalny’s Death – WSJ (RT)

The CIA and other US intelligence agencies have determined that the Russian authorities weren’t involved in the death of opposition figure Alexey Navalny, the Wall Street Journal has reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Navalny, who had been serving a lengthy prison sentence stemming from his violations of the terms of a previous fraud conviction and his “extremist activities,” died at a penal colony in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region in northern Russia on February 16. The Russian prison authorities insist that there was no foul play in the passing of the anti-corruption activist. They said that the 47-year-old suddenly fell ill after a walk and collapsed, and that efforts to resuscitate him were in vain. According to the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), which Navalny used to head, the death certificate provided to his mother stated he had died of natural causes.

However, some Western leaders and the FBK insisted that Russian authorities were behind the activist’s passing. “Make no mistake. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is responsible for Navalny’s death,” US President Joe Biden said at the time, without providing any proof of his claim. Now, however, the US intelligence agencies have come to the conclusion that Putin “likely didn’t order Navalny to be killed,” the WSJ said in an article on Saturday. This assessment is based on a range of data such as classified intelligence and the analysis of public facts, including “the timing of his death and how it overshadowed Putin’s re-election,” the sources explained. Navalny died a month before the Russian presidential election, in which Putin won 87.28% of the ballot.

The finding is broadly accepted by several agencies, including the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the State Department’s intelligence unit, the article read. The sources clarified that the assessment by the US intelligence “doesn’t dispute Putin’s culpability for Navalny’s death, but rather finds he probably didn’t order it at that moment.” Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said that he saw the article in the Wall Street Journal, but stressed that he “would not call it a high-quality piece that deserves any attention.” The publication contained “some empty reflections” and was apparently planned as “a Saturday reading for a global audience,” he stressed.

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The guy’s lawyers smell dollars. Lots.

Tesla Attorneys Target Shareholder Trying To Stop Move To Texas (ZH)

Richard Tornetta, who was at the center of Tesla shareholders’ claim that Elon Musk was taking an excessive pay package, is now at the center of claims that Tesla should not be reincorporating to Texas to approve Musk’s voided pay plan. But Tesla is firing back at Tornetta. John Reed, one of Tesla’s attorneys, said in a Delaware Chancery Court filing this week that Tornetta “is raising false alarms”, according to Bloomberg. Musk has considered relocating Tesla’s headquarters from Delaware to Texas after a judge revoked his substantial pay package due to conflicts among directors and inadequate disclosure of plan details. In response, Tornetta is urging the judge to prevent Musk from addressing the pay dispute outside of Delaware. Despite this, no legal actions are currently threatened or pending in Texas, and Musk has not obstructed the issuance of a final judgment in the case, according to Reed’s letter to the judge.

McCormick’s decision on retaining the dispute in Delaware remains uncertain and could affect the case’s outcome. If Tesla relocates to Texas and adjusts Musk’s compensation there, it might trigger a new legal battle under Texas law. A hearing is scheduled for July 8 to address Tornetta’s lawyers’ request for attorney fees and finalize the case. They aim to secure a ruling on their injunction plea before Tesla’s June 13 annual meeting, where a critical proxy vote will occur, Bloomberg writes. Reed, in a letter, suggests that Tornetta’s legal moves could sway Tesla shareholders’ decisions on relocating to Texas and reinstating Musk’s record-breaking compensation package. He advises McCormick against publicly addressing Tornetta’s injunction request to prevent influencing shareholder votes unfairly.

Tornetta’s legal team fears that a Texas move could enable Musk and Tesla’s directors to obstruct the judge’s decision on Musk’s pay. They also seek an escrow account creation for 29 million Tesla shares, valued at around $5 billion, as payment. Recall, Tornetta’s lawyers asked for $6 billion worth of legal fees for their services. “The lawyers who did nothing but damage Tesla want $6 billion. Criminal,” Elon Musk fired back last month. The reasoning for the excessive fee rests on the fact that the victory to void Musk’s pay plan results in 266 million shares being returned to the company. On January 31, we wrote that the compensation case, which was launched by Tornetta, argued that Tesla’s board lacked independence in crafting Musk’s pay, a view the judge supported.

Delaware Chancery Court Chief Judge Kathaleen St. J. McCormick cited inadequate disclosures and board conflicts of interest in her ruling. Musk, whose wealth largely comes from Tesla, the top auto company globally, has seen stock options from this plan vest as performance goals were met, though he hasn’t exercised them yet. The judge wrote earlier this year: “In the final analysis, Musk launched a self-driving process, recalibrating the speed and direction along the way as he saw fit. The process arrived at an unfair price. And through this litigation, the plaintiff requests a recall.” “The most striking omission from the process is the absence of any evidence of adversarial negotiations between the Board and Musk concerning the size of the grant,” she said in her ruling.

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Just till the election.

US TikTok Ban Unconstitutional – RFK Jr (RT)

US independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. intends to file a lawsuit against the American government over its threat to ban the TikTok social media platform, which has 170 million users in the country. President Joe Biden this week signed into law a bill which gives TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, 270 days to divest from it. Should it fail to comply, TikTok will be banned from app stores serving American customers. Kennedy believes the threat to be unconstitutional and that the justification for it – namely that the Chinese government could be using TikoTok to collect American citizens’ personal data – is a “smokescreen.” “Intelligence agencies from lots of countries, especially ours, are harvesting your data from everywhere all the time,” he said on Friday in a statement on X (formerly Twitter).

US officials “don’t understand that TikTok is an entrepreneurial platform for thousands of American young people,” the politician added. “They want to screw them over just so they can pretend to be tough on China.” Kennedy’s campaign is touted as antithetical to both Biden and his presumed Republican challenger, Donald Trump. He has urged American voters to reject both leading national parties, which he claims are barely distinguishable and represent big business rather than common people. Meanwhile, TikTok also intends to challenge the potential ban on First Amendment grounds. “The facts and the constitution are on our side and we expect to prevail again,” the CEO of the multibillion-dollar platform, Shou Zi Chew, said in a video statement posted moments after Biden signed the bill on Wednesday.

He was referring to Trump’s attempt in 2020 to ban TikTok and fellow Chinese-owned app WeChat, which was overturned in US courts. The Republican candidate has also criticized the White House over the latest campaign against TikTok. On Monday, Trump claimed in a Truth Social post that Biden “is the one pushing it to close, and doing it to help his friends over at Facebook become richer and more dominant.” The deadline given to TikTok is set to expire shortly after the presidential election in November. Among other things, the platform is a primary source of news for many young American voters, according to multiple surveys. Officials from both parties have been pressuring social media platforms to introduce stricter content moderation policies to supposedly combat misinformation.

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Not for Biden.

US To Build New ‘Doomsday Plane’ (RT)

The US will develop a new ‘doomsday plane,’ intended to allow the president to continue leading the country in case of a nuclear war or other major disaster that destroys command and control centers on the ground, the Air Force has announced. A $13-billion contract for the Survivable Airborne Operations Center (SAOC) project has been awarded to Sierra Nevada Corp, a US Air Force spokesperson announced in a statement on Friday. Work on the new strategic command and control military aircraft will be conducted at the company’s facilities in Colorado, Nevada and Ohio, the statement read. The deadline for the project is 2036, it added. According to the spokesman, the SAOC will be based on a commercial derivative jet, which would be hardened and modified to meet the standards of the Pentagon.

“The development of this critical national security weapon system ensures the department’s nuclear command, control, and communications capability is operationally relevant and secure for decades to come,” the statement read. The SAOC is intended to become a replacement for the aging E-4B Nightwatch aircraft or the National Airborne Operations Center that the US Air Force is using at the moment. The E-4Bs, which are based on a Boeing 747 jet, have been around since the mid-1970s. The planes are expected to be retired in the early 2030s. According to Reuters, it has become increasingly difficult to maintain the aircraft as parts for them become obsolete.

The US Air Force currently operates four ‘doomsday planes,’ with at least one of them being constantly on alert. The E-4Bs carry advanced communications gear, are capable of refueling in the air, and can withstand nuclear blasts and various electromagnetic effects. Russia also has four ‘doomsday planes,’ which are based on the Ilyushin Il-80 jet. The aircraft first took to the skies in 1985, but their communication equipment has been upgraded in recent years. A source told RIA-Novosti in 2022 that the planes can now exchange data with Russian nuclear submarines.

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“..he claimed that Israel had already looked into the report and found no evidence of wrongdoing..”

Israel Rejects Calls for Independent Investigation Into Mass Graves (Manley)

According to reports, some of the bodies found in the mass graves were handcuffed, shot in the head, or were buried without clothes. Leaders from the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) have called for an independent investigation into the mass graves that were discovered in Palestine. Volker Türk, the UN Human Rights Chief, said on Tuesday that an independent investigation into the mass graves – not an Israeli one – is needed “given the prevailing climate of impunity.” “We feel the need to raise the alarm because clearly there have been multiple bodies discovered,” said Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for Türk. When asked by reporters about the mass graves, Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Nadav Shoshani disregarded the reports as “fake news.” He also asked, “investigate what?” When asked if Israel will investigate the mass grave reports, he claimed that Israel had already looked into the report and found no evidence of wrongdoing.

“We gave answers. We don’t bury people in mass graves. Not something we do,” said Shoshani, without providing details of the investigation. However, a US official who requested anonymity said the US is not “in a position” to validate Israel’s claims. “The Israelis have told us privately what they’ve said publicly, that they totally reject the allegations,” said the US official. “We aren’t in a position to validate that, and would like a thorough and transparent investigation into the reports.” Palestinian Civil Defense said over the weekend that it had found a mass grave containing 283 bodies on the grounds of the Nasser Hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis. That discovery follows an incident two weeks ago when another mass grave was found at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

Some of the bodies that were found in the mass grave over the weekend had been handcuffed, shot in the head or were found wearing detainee uniforms, according to Mahmoud Basal, a spokesperson for Palestinian Civil Defense. Further reports added that some of the bodies found had been stripped of their clothes, or they had been buried in hospital gowns with tubes or needles still in them. Meanwhile, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) refused to comment on the findings, but acknowledged exhuming bodies that they claim had already been buried prior to their search for Israeli hostages. According to one report, at least two of the three burial sites were created prior to the arrival of IDF troops, but the Palestinian Civil Defense said only 100 bodies were in the graves prior to the arrival of IDF troops, and a total of 392 bodies were recovered.

John Kirby, spokesperson for the National Security Council said on Thursday that the reports about the mass graves is “deeply disturbing,” and added “we’d like to see this investigated.” US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan echoed those sentiments, telling reporters, “We want answers,” adding, “we want to see this thoroughly and transparently investigated.” Since the founding of Israel, it has been the largest cumulative recipient of US foreign aid and has received about $300 billion in total for economic and military support. The Biden administration’s new aid request for $14.3 billion has been the highest aid support approved by Congress thus far, since 1979 when $13.2 billion (adjusted for inflation) was given to Israel by the US.

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$4,000 a week.

Israel Uses Foreign Mercenaries In Gaza (Sahiounie)

The international community is not only silent about Israel’s genocide but also sends foreign mercenaries to fight alongside Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in Gaza. The IDF summoned hundreds of reserve soldiers to reinforce its ranks in preparation for its ground attack on the Gaza Strip. To bolster their Israeli ranks the IDF promoted an influx of people holding Israeli passports and living in foreign countries. However, the Spanish newspaper, El Mundo, reported that Tel Aviv contacted international security contractors to provide fighters to perform military tasks during its ongoing war in Gaza. Pedro Diaz Flores Corrales, aged 27 years, is a former soldier in the Spanish army and had previously fought as a mercenary in both Ukraine and Iraq.

In addition to this, he is known for belonging to a fascist political group, the so-called Neo-Nazi movement, according to the Middle East website ‘Monitor’. The group is involved in illicit arms trafficking, as well as mercenary exploitation. Corrales justified his decision to fight alongside the IDF, and said that each participant in the fighting receives about 3,900 euros ($4,187) a weekly salary, and perks associated with the tasks they perform. El Mundo reported that it had seen pictures of Corrales surrounded by mercenaries of different nationalities, including French, Germans, and Albanians, and even American Marines or members of the Special Forces who fought in Iraq, Afghanistan, Mali, or Kosovo. Last October, French media circulated news about a large number of French fighters joining the fight alongside the IDF.

A report by the Euro-Mediterranean Observatory revealed in the past the presence of hundreds of European mercenaries who volunteer for military service in the ranks of the IDF, as part of special forces, especially in the Gaza Strip. Organizations directly linked to right-wing Jewish and Christian groups within Europe are organizing projects and campaigns to invite Europeans to join the IDF, as well as to join campaigns to support illegal settler operations against Palestinians in the West Bank. Intending to use them in tunnels of Hamas, Israel offers Kurdish PKK terrorists $ 2,200 to join the frontlines in its genocidal war against Palestinians with thousands of terrorists and mercenaries already transported to Israel.

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“I think they’re just sending a message to politicians: ‘Get this under control..'”

Worst In 70 Years: Biden Approval Rating Absolutely Dismal (ZH)

President Joe Biden has the worst job approval rating since Eisenhower during his recently completed 13th quarter in office, according to a new poll by Gallup. While Biden clocks in at 38.7%, the previous low was set by George H.W. Bush at 41.8% in 1992. Donald Trump and Barack Obama averaged 46.8% and 45.9% respectively during the same point in their presidencies. Prior to Bush, Jimmy Carter is the only other president with a sub-50% average in his 13th quarter. Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush averaged between 51% and 55% approval in their 13th quarters, while Dwight Eisenhower had the highest average for a president during his 13th month at 73.2%. What’s more, Biden’s most recent approval rating places him 277 out of 314 presidential quarters in Gallup history dating back to 1945, placing him in the bottom 12% of all presidential quarters.

Biden’s score is technically the lowest of his presidency, which has been dragging in the low 40% range since Q4 of his term. Put another way: By political affiliation, Gallup’s poll found that 2% of Republicans approve of Biden’s job in office, while independents have him at 33%. The vast majority of Democrats, 83%, think Biden’s doing an awesome job. Meanwhile an Axios ‘vibes survey’ / Harris poll found that most Americans want mass deportations, including 42% of Democrats. The poll also found that 30% of Democrats and 46% of Republicans say they’d end birthright citizenship guaranteed under the 14th Amendment.

As Axios notes further: Americans are open to former President Trump’s harshest immigration plans, spurred on by a record surge of illegal border crossings and a relentless messaging war waged by Republicans. President Biden is keenly aware the crisis threatens his re-election. He’s sought to flip the script by accusing Trump of sabotaging Congress’ most conservative bipartisan immigration bill in decades. But when it comes to blame, Biden so far has failed to shift the narrative: 32% of respondents say his administration is “most responsible” for the crisis, outranking any other political or structural factor. “I was surprised at the public support for large-scale deportations,” said Mark Penn, chairman of The Harris Poll and a former pollster for President Clinton, adding “I think they’re just sending a message to politicians: ‘Get this under control,'” suggesting that this is a clear warning to Biden that “efforts to shift responsibility for the issue to Trump are not going to work.”

Drilling down, when asked to identify their greatest concern surrounding illegal immigration, Americans most frequently cited: • Increased crime rates, drugs, and violence (21%). • The additional costs to taxpayers (18%). • Risk of terrorism and national security (17%). The survey also found that 64% of those polled believe immigrants receive more in welfare and benefits than they pay in taxes, and 54% believe that immigration is linked to spiking US crime rates, which Axios refutes. Bottom line: “The tradeoff here in the poll is, people would take expanded legal immigration if they saw there’s a crackdown on the border,” according to Penn.

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What a job.

White House Uses “Walkers” To Conceal Biden’s Old-Man Shuffle (ZH)

With the presidential election still more than six months away, President Biden’s handlers are under increasing pressure to divert Americans’ eyes from his obvious and accelerating mental and physical decline. Where his deteriorating mental abilities are concerned, we’ve already seen them using tactics like drastically minimizing his spontaneous interactions with reporters and excessively stage-managing his rare press conferences — down to furnishing him with answers to questions submitted in advance. Now comes news that Team Biden’s latest stage-management innovation is focused on obscuring his frailty: Uncomfortable with the way Biden looks as he unsteadily shuffles across the White House lawn, one or more staffers now walk at his side, helping to prevent close scrutiny of his gait.

Biden advisors have told Axios they’re uneasy about how he looks when walking and shuffling by himself, particularly across the White House lawn. The outlet analyzed video of Biden’s navigation to Marine One helicopters and pegged when the new hide-the-invalid routine started: In March, Biden’s five walks shuffles to Marine One were by himself or family members only. After April 16, nine of his 10 treacherous traverses of the lawn had him obscured by accompanying staffers or legislators In addition to acting as visual screeners, the aides might also be beneficial in grabbing him if he starts falling to the ground. Biden’s advisors and doctors have had him embrace other tools and techniques to minimize physical disasters like his falls on the Air Force One stairs…

…and this wipeout at last spring’s Air Force Academy graduation: The extra measures include wearing black sneakers instead of business shoes, and now walking up a shorter set of stairs to board Air Force One. The mental side of the ledger is constantly being filled with new debit entries. The latest came this week, when — not for the first time — Biden read his stage directions off the teleprompter. In a Wednesday speech to North America’s Building Trades Unions, he weakly delivered a line meant to draw applause, then read the word “PAUSE” off the prompter. As we detailed Friday, Biden’s latest approval rating is the worst for any president at this point in a term in 70 years. Just 38.7% of Americans approve of his performance, according to Gallup. A February poll found 76% of Americans have moderate or major concerns about Biden’s mental and physical fitness to advance to a second term.

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Mood
https://twitter.com/i/status/1784146158228582813

 

 

Last night was a movie

 

 

Baby giraffe
https://twitter.com/i/status/1784003433143427547

 

 

How clean does this feel?

 

 

Wabbit

 

 

White calf

 

 

 

 

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Apr 272024
 


Herri met de Bles c1510-after 1555 Saint Jerome medidating

 

Trump Responds to Main ‘Hush Money’ Trial Witness’s Claims (ET)
Immunity for Me but Not for Thee (Woodruff)
Justices Signal a Desire to Avoid Both Cliffs on Presidential Immunity (Turley)
Emergency-O-Rama (Kunstler)
Trump Plans To Sanction Countries For Refusing To Use Dollar – Bloomberg (RT)
The Impotence of Antony Blinken (Patrick Lawrence)
Blinken Threatens China Over Russia Ties (RT)
Here’s What Makes Blinken’s Job In China So Difficult (Blankenship)
Facade of Diplomacy Masks US Efforts to ‘Smear, Isolate, Suppress’ China (Sp.)
Russia Must Fear NATO – Poland (RT)
Congress Panics Over Ukraine as Russian Drones Kill Abrams Battle Tanks (Sp.)
Ukraine’s Deep Manpower Shortage Overshadows Arms Deliveries (Sp.)
Pelosi Insulting Americans – Zakharova (RT)
US Congress Probing 13 Banks For January 6 ‘Collusion’ (RT)
Biden: White Americans Are the Threat (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

Tucker fraud poll

 

 

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https://twitter.com/i/status/1783877767827775661

 

 

Rogan Tucker Dumb

 

 

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“..the former president “had no idea what [he] was talking about” when he asked about reimbursing Mr. Cohen.”

Trump Responds to Main ‘Hush Money’ Trial Witness’s Claims (ET)

Former President Donald Trump praised the first witness in his New York City “hush money” trial, former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, as he is scheduled to deliver more testimony in the case on Friday. “He’s been very nice. David’s been very nice. He’s a nice guy,” President Trump said on Thursday, responding to a question about Mr. Pecker’s testimony over the past week or so. During cross-examinations Thursday, Mr. Pecker detailed how he obtained potentially damaging stories about the candidate and paid out tens of thousands of dollars to keep them from the public eye. But when it came to the seamy claims by adult performer Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, the former National Enquirer publisher said he put his foot down.

“I am not paying for this story,” he told jurors Thursday at President Trump’s trial, recounting his version of a conversation with President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen about attempts to suppress allegations that prosecutors claim amounted to election interference in the 2016 campaign. Mr. Pecker said that he remembers saying he “didn’t want to be involved in this.” President Trump has maintained he is not guilty of any of the charges, and says the stories that were bought and squelched were false. “There is no case here. This is just a political witch hunt,” he said before court in brief comments to reporters on Thursday. Ms. Daniels was eventually paid by Mr. Cohen to not speak about her claim of a 2006 sexual encounter with President Trump. The ex-president denies it happened, while his lawyers have said that she is using the claims to make money and bolster her fame.

Although he did not buy her story, Mr. Pecker told Mr. Cohen that someone should make a move to suppress the claims from going public. “I said to Michael, ‘My suggestion to you is that you should buy the story, and you should take it off the market because if you don’t and it gets out, I believe the boss will be very angry with you,’” he said. Later, Trump defense attorney Emil Bove opened his cross-examination by asking Mr. Pecker about his recollection of specific dates and meanings. He appeared to be laying further groundwork for the defense’s argument that any dealings President Trump had with the National Enquirer publisher were intended to protect himself, his reputation, and his family, not his campaign.

At one point on Thursday, Mr. Pecker said that when he spoke to President Trump about the former president reimbursing Mr. Cohen for paying Ms. Clifford, the former president told him that he had no idea what Mr. Pecker was referring to. He specifically testified that the former president “had no idea what [he] was talking about” when he asked about reimbursing Mr. Cohen. He also said that he purchased the rights to former model Karen McDougal’s story as well but he stipulated that President Trump never told him to purchase that story—only that he and Mr. Cohen were concerned about the McDougal story from emerging.

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Hot potato.

Immunity for Me but Not for Thee (Woodruff)

“Whether and if so to what extent does a former President enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office?” That is the question the Supreme Court will answer when it hears oral argument in Trump v. U.S. on April 25, 2024. Legacy media and the ladies of “The View” nearly lost their collective minds when the Court agreed to hear Trump’s appeal of the D.C. Circuit’s decision denying him immunity for his actions surrounding the events of Jan. 6, 2021. However, even Jack Smith, the Special Counsel prosecuting the case, argued that it was of “imperative public importance” that the Court resolve the immunity question before trial. But forget about Trump for the moment. The issue is bigger than Trump and his legal woes. As the partisan divide between the left and the right grows larger, there is a real risk that the criminalization of policy differences could raise our current state of “lawfare” to a new level.

Several retired four-star generals and admirals, as well as former cabinet officials, have filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court arguing that granting immunity to former presidents for actions within the outer perimeter of their official duties would raise questions about the ability of the United States to peacefully transfer power from one administration to another, and thereby pose a grave risk to national security. The retired officials’ brief also argues that granting immunity would undermine civilian control of the military and undermine trust and confidence in the military as an institution. The “parade of horribles” in the retired officials’ brief assumes that a future president would instruct subordinate military officers to carry out illegal orders for which they, but not the president, would be criminally liable. The brief also suggests that an unrestrained incumbent would use the military to retain power and, thus, destabilize America’s diplomatic and military standing among nations. Of course, none of the hypotheticals feared by the brief writers occurred in the case pending before the Court. Apparently, they are afraid not of Donald Trump but of some unidentified future president. To analyze the pros and cons of immunity, however, there is no need to speculate about what some future president might do. We need only look at actual events from our recent history.

Situation #1. President Obama ordered a drone strike in Yemen to kill Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen and Islamic Imam critical of American foreign policy in the Middle East. Before releasing the drones that killed al-Awlaki and two others, the White House sought and received a Memorandum from the Department of Justice providing legal justification for the attack. Several questions come to mind. Should the memo from DoJ authorizing the killing of an American citizen abroad without judicial due process immunize President Obama for violating the federal criminal statute that imposes criminal penalties for the extra territorial killing of an American citizen? Could a subsequent President, a member of the opposing political party, direct a new Attorney General to investigate whether the killing of the U.S. citizen by drone attack in Yemen violated federal criminal law? If an indictment is returned against the now former President for that killing, should President Obama be allowed to claim immunity or be forced to stand trial?

Situation #2. President Biden revoked many of President Trump’s Executive Orders addressing border security when he took office. He also halted construction of physical barriers intended to secure the southern border and stem the flow of illegal border crossings and the smuggling of dangerous drugs. The number of illegal border crossings skyrocketed. Instead of remaining in Mexico until asylum claims were adjudicated, migrants were “paroled” into the interior of the United States and given a court date for their asylum claim years into the future. The quantity of illegal drugs, and the deaths of American citizens from accidental drug overdoses smuggled across the southern border, escalated astronomically. Federal law imposes criminal penalties on those who enter the United States illegally. It also punishes conspiracies to violate federal law. So, if the White House switches parties when President Biden leaves, should the new president’s Attorney General seek an indictment against Biden for conspiring with the Secretary of Homeland Security to violate U.S. immigration laws by facilitating the illegal entry of millions of migrants into the United States? Or should those policy choices be protected by a cloak of immunity?

Situation #3. Eager to deliver on a campaign promise, President Biden announced a policy to “forgive” billions of dollars in student loan debt. The Supreme Court struck down the President’s plan and held that Congress had not authorized the Executive to unilaterally forgive student loan debt. Instead of seeking legislative authority, President Biden reworked his plan to rely upon a different statute for authority. Assume the courts dismissed lawsuits challenging Biden’s “Plan B” because the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue. “Plan B” went forward and billions of dollars in federal student loans became “grants” instead of loans that had to be repaid. The federal Anti-deficiency Act imposes criminal penalties on anyone who authorizes the expenditure of federal funds without a valid congressional appropriation. When President Biden leaves office, can he be indicted and tried because his “Plan B” loan scheme violated federal law?

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“..Alvin Bragg is the very personification of the danger immunity is meant to avoid..”

Justices Signal a Desire to Avoid Both Cliffs on Presidential Immunity (Turley)

Writer Ray Bradbury once said, “Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down.” In Thursday’s case before the Supreme Court on the immunity of former President Donald Trump, nine justices appear to be feverishly working with feathers and glue on a plunge into a constitutional abyss. It has been almost 50 years since the high court ruled presidents have absolute immunity from civil lawsuits in Nixon v. Fitzgerald. The court held ex-President Richard Nixon had such immunity for acts taken “within the ‘outer perimeter’ of his official responsibility.” Yet in 1974’s United States v. Nixon, the court ruled a president is not immune from a criminal subpoena. Nixon was forced to comply with a subpoena for his White House tapes in the Watergate scandal from special counsel Leon Jaworski. Since then, the court has avoided any significant ruling on the extension of immunity to a criminal case — until now.

There are cliffs on both sides of this case. If the court were to embrace special counsel Jack Smith’s arguments, a president would have no immunity from criminal charges, even for official acts taken in his presidency. It would leave a president without protection from endless charges from politically motivated prosecutors. If the court were to embrace Trump counsel’s arguments, a president would have complete immunity. It would leave a president largely unaccountable under the criminal code for any criminal acts. The first cliff is made obvious by the lower-court opinion. While the media have largely focused on extreme examples of president-ordered assassinations and coups, the justices are clearly as concerned with the sweeping implications of the DC Circuit opinion. Chief Justice John Roberts noted the DC Circuit failed to make any “focused” analysis of the underlying acts, instead offering little more than a judicial shrug.

Roberts read its statement that “a former president can be prosecuted for his official acts because the fact of the prosecution means that the former president has acted in defiance of the laws” and noted it sounds like “a former president can be prosecuted because he is being prosecuted.” The other cliff is more than obvious from the other proceedings occuring as these arguments were made. Trump’s best attorney proved to be Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. If the justices want insight into the implications of denying any immunity, they just need to look north to New York City. The ongoing prosecution of Trump is legally absurd but has resulted in the leading presidential candidate not only being gagged but prevented from campaigning.

Alvin Bragg is the very personification of the danger immunity is meant to avoid. With cliffs to the left and the right, the justices are looking at a free-fall dive into the scope of constitutional and criminal law as they apply to presidential conduct. They may be looking not for a foothold as much as a shorter drop. Some of the justices are likely to be seeking a third option where a president has some immunity under a more limited and less tautological standard than the one the DC Circuit offered. The problem for the court is presidential privilege and immunity decisions are meant to give presidents breathing room by laying out bright lines within which they can operate. Ambiguity defeats the purpose of such immunity. So does a test that turns on the motivation of an official act.

Turley

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“Whichever way the verdict goes in the Alvin Bragg case, epic looting and rioting will commence..”

Emergency-O-Rama (Kunstler)

So far, the spring rioting has mostly been fun for the rioters. Unlike the J-6-21 “paraders,” locked up in the putrid DC jail for years pending trial, the Hamas frolickers are at near-zilch risk of any serious consequences. Few will even be suspended from school. They are doing exactly what the schools trained them up for: destroying Western Civ, one acanthus leaf at a time. According to the shadowy stage-managers behind “Joe Biden,” this will save our democracy.

That and stuffing Donald Trump in jail for the rest of his natural life. Alas, the lawfare cases cooked up toward that end appear defective to a spectacular degree. It really says something about the true authors of these beauties brought by Alvin Bragg, Letitia James, Fani Willis, and Jack Smith. I speak of the behind-the-scene blob lawfare ninjas Norm Eisen, Andrew Weissmann, Matt Colangelo, and Mary McCord, who wrote the scripts for all four of this year’s big elephant trap cases against the former president. You have to wonder how that bunch made it through their law boards. The current extravaganza in Manhattan that centers on alleged book-keeping errors in furtherance of an unstated federal offense is due to go on a few more weeks. The howling errors of both the prosecution and Judge Juan Merchan are so extravagant that the proceeding looks like it was cribbed from the pages of Lewis Carroll.

Yet, there is near unanimous sentiment that the Trump-deranged New Yawk jury will convict, no matter how much more idiotic the case turns out to be. By then, we will be verging on summer. The college campuses will be shuttered and the youth-in-revolt action will necessarily move to the regular streets. Whichever way the verdict goes in the Alvin Bragg case, epic looting and rioting will commence. Sometime this summer, I predict, the Mar-a-Lago documents case will get tossed on something like malicious prosecution. Jack Smith’s DC case, kneecapped by SCOTUS, won’t start before the November election (or maybe ever) and ditto the Fani Willis fiasco in Atlanta. George and Alex Soros will pour millions into box lunches for the kids burning down what’s left of the cities and the demure gals of the Ivy League Left will find plenty of love in the ruins.

The two major party conventions in July (Republican) and August (Democrat) are sure to out-do the 1968 lollapalooza in Chicago (I was there) in mayhem and property damage. “Joe Biden” — really the blob behind him — will ache to declare a national emergency, perhaps even a second emergency after the recently unveiled “climate emergency” supposedly pending any day. The USA will be in an historic horror movie you could call Emergency-O-Rama. If you think the financial system, and the US economy that has become the tail on the finance dog, can survive all this, you will be disappointed. The army may have to step in and put an end to these shenanigans. Don’t think it can’t happen.

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“I would not allow countries to go off the dollar because when we lose that standard, that will be like losing a revolutionary war..”
]
Sorry, but that train has sailed.

Trump Plans To Sanction Countries For Refusing To Use Dollar – Bloomberg (RT)

Economic aides to former US President Donald Trump are looking for options to stop countries from shifting away from the US dollar as it faces a growing challenge from emerging markets, including BRICS nations, Bloomberg reported on Friday. The presumptive Republican nominee for the November presidential election and his team are discussing penalties against both allies and adversaries who seek to divert their trade from the greenback to other currencies. The options could include export controls, currency manipulation charges, and tariffs, the outlet said, citing people familiar with the matter. The global trend toward using national currencies in trade instead of the dollar gained significant momentum after Russia was cut off from the Western financial system and had its foreign reserves frozen in 2022, as part of Ukraine-related sanctions.

A bill with provisions authorizing the US to confiscate frozen Russian assets, which Biden signed on Wednesday, could further spur de-dollarization, financial experts have warned. The so-called REPO Act, which was incorporated in the $61 billion military aid package for Kiev, authorized the US president to seize Russian state assets held in American banks. As quoted by Bloomberg, Trump warned on Thursday that with US President Joe Biden, “you’re going to lose the dollar as the standard. That’ll be like losing the biggest war we’ve ever lost.” According to the news agency, Trump’s economic advisers and his campaign team have specifically considered curbing de-dollarization efforts by BRICS countries.

The group – which recently expanded and now comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Ethiopia, Iran, Egypt – is boosting the use of national currencies in mutual trade. It has even signaled the possibility of introducing a new single currency in the coming years. Trump has repeatedly said that he wants the dollar to remain the world’s reserve currency. “I hate when countries go off the dollar,” Trump told CNBC in March. “I would not allow countries to go off the dollar because when we lose that standard, that will be like losing a revolutionary war,” he said, adding that it would be a “hit” for the US.

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“..there’s no mileage in predicting success when Blinken boards a plane for the great “out there.”

The Impotence of Antony Blinken (Patrick Lawrence)

Antony Blinken is now in China for his second such journey as secretary of state and his third encounter with senior Chinese officials: This is our news as April marches toward May. I have to say, it is a stranger state of affairs than I can figure when the State Department and the media that clerk for it tell us in advance that America’s top diplomat is going to fail to get anything done as he sets out for the People’s Republic. “I want to make clear that we are realistic and clear-eyed about the prospects of breakthroughs on any of these issues,” an unnamed State Department official said when briefing reporters last week on Blinken’s agenda. This is how State warns in advance that the secretary will be wasting his time and our money during his encounters in Shanghai and Beijing. What is this if not an admission of our secretary of state’s diplomatic impotence? Or do I mean incompetence? Or both?

This is the man, after all, who arrived in Israel five days after the events of last Oct. 7 to announce, “I come before you as a Jew.” Does this guy understand diplomacy or what? The media followed the State Department’ lead, naturally, in advising us of the pointlessness of Blinken’s sojourn in China—this at both ends of the Pacific. CNBC: “Washington is realistic about its expectations on Blinken’s visit in resolving key issues.” Japan Times: “While crucial for keeping lines of communication open, the visit is unlikely to yield major breakthroughs.” Matt Lee, the very able diplomatic correspondent at The Associated Press, got it righter than anyone in his April 22 report: The point of Blinken’s three days of talks with top Chinese officials, he reported, is to have three days of talks with top Chinese officials. “The mere fact that Blinken is making the trip might be seen by some as encouraging,” Lee wrote, “but ties between Washington and Beijing are tense and the rifts are growing wider.”

This is our Tony. As the record makes pitifully clear, there’s no mileage in predicting success when Blinken boards a plane for the great “out there.” This is unequivocally so in his dealings with the western end of the Pacific. There is a long list of the topics Blinken was set to raise with Chinese officials, notable among these Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Taiwan and the South China Sea, military-to-military contacts, artificial intelligence applications, illicit drug traffic, human rights, trade: These are standards on the American menu when a U.S. official addresses Chinese counterparts. The last is especially contentious just now, given the Biden regime’s disgraceful determination to subvert those Chinese industries with which the U.S. cannot compete. With plans to block imports of Chinese-made electric vehicles already afoot, last week President Biden announced new tariffs on imports of Chinese steel. And it is now “investigating” China’s shipping and shipbuilding industries, which sounds to me like prelude to yet more measures to undermine China’s admirable economic advances.

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Imagine you’re mini-me and the CEO of China is persuaded to receive you. What do you do then? Well, you insult him, of course…

Blinken Threatens China Over Russia Ties (RT)

Washington is ready to introduce more sanctions against China over its alleged transfer of dual-use goods and components, which it claims can be used by the Russia, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday. Speaking at a press conference in Beijing following a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the US official recalled that Washington has already imposed sanctions against more than 100 Chinese entities and is “fully prepared to act” and “take additional measures.” Blinken claimed that China’s alleged support for the Russian defense industry raises concerns not only about the situation in Ukraine, but also about a “medium to long-term threat that many Europeans feel viscerally that Russia poses to them.” Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal also reported that the US was drafting sanctions that could cut off some Chinese banks from the global financial system unless Beijing severs its economic ties with Russia.

The outlet claimed that US officials believe trade with China has allowed Russia to rebuild its military industrial capacity and could help it defeat Ukraine in a war of attrition. Beijing, in turn, has accused the US of hypocrisy for providing billions of dollars in assistance to Ukraine while “unreasonably criticizing the normal trade and economic relations between Russia and China.” “This is a very hypocritical and irresponsible approach,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters on Friday in response to Blinken’s concerns about Beijing’s support of Moscow. China has also vehemently rejected accusations leveled by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg of “fueling” the Ukraine conflict. Beijing has instead blamed NATO for instigating the crisis by continuing its expansion in Europe and refusing to respect Russian national security concerns. Following his meeting with Blinken, Xi suggested that the US and China “should be partners, not rivals” and should strive towards achieving “mutual success and not harm each other.”

“I proposed three major principles: mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation. They are not only a summary of past experience, but also a guide to the future,” the Chinese leader was quoted as saying. Beijing has maintained a policy of neutrality on the Ukraine conflict, with Chinese officials repeatedly stating that the country is not selling weapons to either Russia or Ukraine. Earlier this month, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Ning insisted that China “regulates the export of dual-use articles in accordance with laws and regulations,” urging “relevant countries” not to “smear or attack the normal relations between China and Russia.” In December last year, US President Joe Biden issued a decree which enabled sanctions on foreign financial institutions that continue to deal with Russia. It targeted lenders outside US and EU jurisdictions that help Russia source sensitive items, which reportedly include semiconductors, machine tools, chemical precursors, ball bearings, and optical systems.

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TikTok.

Here’s What Makes Blinken’s Job In China So Difficult (Blankenship)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in China on Wednesday to kick off a three-day trip. It is reported that he will speak with his Chinese counterpart and potentially with President Xi Jinping. As the New York Times reported, quoting officials privy to the visit, one of the main topics will be China’s alleged support of Russia, which includes the supposed sale of weapon components and dual-use products. It also comes at a time of increased tensions. Relations have shown a flicker of warmth since US President Joe Biden and Xi’s encounter at the 30th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco last year. However, this visit comes sandwiched between significant moves by the Biden administration. On the one hand, Biden recently signed off on a hefty military aid package for Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel, coupled with a divest-or-ban provision for the Chinese social media juggernaut, TikTok.

On the other, a historic trilateral summit involving the US, Japan, and the Philippines hints at potential formal military collaborations down the road, with the US deploying medium-range missiles in the Philippines, a move with unmistakable implications for China. Blinken’s trip also follows closely on the heels of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s recent visit to China, which coincided with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s presence in the country. Lavrov’s visit underscored the enduring bond between Russia and China, while Yellen’s seemed to foreshadow potential trade tensions over what Beijing perceives as baseless accusations of “overcapacity.” Behind the diplomatic niceties lies a deeper agenda: the concerted effort by the US and some of its allies to curb China’s economic and technological ascent. This was laid bare when EU officials on Tuesday executed unannounced raids on the offices of a Chinese company in Poland and Denmark.

The European Commission said that its “unannounced inspections” are based on “indications that the inspected company may have received foreign subsidies that could distort the internal market pursuant to the Foreign Subsidies Regulation.” Despite this explanation, it appears the EU is mirroring Washington’s growing scrutiny of and hostility against Chinese firms. The EU’s alignment with the US on trade policy, particularly regarding China, signals a loose front aimed at constraining China’s global economic reach. The issue of Russia is also another excuse to limit China. The bilateral partnership has been extraordinarily beneficial for both sides: their trade reached a record $240.1 billion in 2023, and Russia’s economy grew by 3.6% the same year despite Western sanctions. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts Russia’s economy will grow faster than all advanced economies in 2024.

This is due in no small part to trade with China, the world’s second-largest economy, but it’s also due to the fact that many other large countries, such as Brazil and India, have not joined Western sanctions on Russia – they just aren’t trading in strategic sectors of the economy like China is. But even in those sectors, the US and its allies have never revealed evidence that Beijing is directly helping Russia’s war effort in Ukraine.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1783971853981155437

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“Imagine them [China] looking at Elon Musk and saying that you need to sell Tesla or else,” suggested Thomas. “It’s just astonishing stuff.”

Facade of Diplomacy Masks US Efforts to ‘Smear, Isolate, Suppress’ China (Sp.)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s second visit to China in less than a year this week signifies the importance the Biden administration places on Sino-US relations in addressing various global challenges, according to Chinese commentator Anna Ge. “The United States aims to sustain dialogue with China and collaborate on addressing some of the world’s most pressing issues and also domestic issues,” said the CGTN Radio host, who frequently discusses China-related issues in mainstream media in South Africa, India, and Central Asia. But the US maintains its own motives in such discussions, according to Ge, frequently using China as a scapegoat for its own geopolitical and economic difficulties. The political commentator joined Sputnik’s Fault Lines program Friday to discuss the issue. “It is interesting to see how China-US relations develop today,” said Ge as host Jamarl Thomas noted the often chaotic nature of diplomacy between the two countries in recent years.

US President Joe Biden referred to Chinese President Xi Jinping as a “dictator” the last time the two met in the United States, a gaffe judged to have damaged relations between the two countries. “We are left with a contradiction [between] messages and reality,” she said. “On the one hand, we hear relations are more stable with the personal diplomacy of [Janet] Yellen and Blinken in attending cultural events, etcetera. in line with the increase of flights and other types of people-to-people exchanges. These were impossible last year when the weather balloon lies and provocation in Taiwan and the South China Sea were edging towards a military confrontation.” “On the other hand we have become accustomed to anticipating negative developments shortly after high level US officials depart, often leading to any positive outreach being subsequently retracted or modified by the American side… Washington has been testing China’s limits unilaterally,” the commentator highlighted.

Biden signed a bill likely banning the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok shortly after Blinken arrived in Shanghai this week, an unprecedented measure. TikTok CEO Shou Chew, a Singaporean businessman, has vowed to oppose pressure to sell the social media platform to an American owner, which would result in the application being banned unless the company succeeds in launching a judicial challenge. US politicians have cast TikTok as a threat to US security and Americans’ privacy, but a raft of concessions won by former US President Donald Trump resulted in all data associated with the platform being hosted in the United States, with periodic auditing from US-based companies. Critics have claimed the strongarm tactic is merely a strategy to undermine competition from a successful Chinese competitor, as when the United States pressured European allies to ban 5G technology from the Shenzhen-based Huawei. “Imagine them [China] looking at Elon Musk and saying that you need to sell Tesla or else,” suggested Thomas. “It’s just astonishing stuff.”

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They do not.

Russia Must Fear NATO – Poland (RT)

Russia should fear clashing with NATO because such a war would end in “inevitable defeat” for Moscow, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said in parliament on Thursday, claiming that the US-led military bloc has several times more troops and resources. Sikorski’s comments come as a number of European leaders have raised concerns that Russia may attack an EU member state if it is allowed to defeat Ukraine on the battlefield. “It is not we, the West, who should fear a clash with Putin, but the other way around,” he insisted, adding that “it is worth reminding [people] about this” to show that an attack by Russia on any NATO member would end in Moscow’s defeat. “Putin’s only hope is our lack of determination,” he stated. The minister said the US-led military bloc remains a “defensive pact,” but nevertheless boasted that it has three times as many military personnel, three times the aerial resources, and four times as many ships as Russia.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk had previously also warned that Europe is in a “pre-war era,” while President Andrzej Duda has expressed the country’s readiness to host US nuclear weapons under NATO’s nuclear-sharing program. The move would place the bloc’s nuclear arsenal on the border of Belarus – a key Russian ally. Moscow has responded by stating that its military would take “all necessary countermeasures” to ensure its security if US nuclear weapons were deployed to Poland. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has also slammed Warsaw’s statements as a “provocation” and an attempt to “snuggle up” to Washington with its “deeply hostile policy towards Russia.” Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly stated that Moscow has no plans to attack any US “satellites” in Eastern Europe, and insists that claims of a potential Russian invasion are merely government propaganda aimed at scaring citizens “to extract additional expenses from people, to make them bear this burden [of funding Ukraine] on their shoulders.”

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So-so tanks.

Congress Panics Over Ukraine as Russian Drones Kill Abrams Battle Tanks (Sp.)

The rush to fast-track $6 billion in military aid to Ukraine on Friday reflects the panic felt by the Biden administration and in Congress that the Zelensky regime’s forces are collapsing, veteran UK diplomat, former ambassador and political commentator Peter Ford told Sputnik. Reports that Russia’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are now proving successful at targeting and destroying US-supplied Abrams Main Battle Tanks causes a lot of concerns among the Biden administration and Congress, according to Ford. “The haste to release billions of dollars of funds for Ukraine betrays US alarm at the dire situation facing its client state on the battlefront,” he said on Friday. On Tuesday, the US Senate passed a $95 billion bill containing approximately $61 billion in Ukraine-related funding, including via a loan. US President Joe Biden signed the bill into law on Wednesday.

The US Department of Defense later unveiled a $1 billion military aid package for Kiev, including cluster munitions and air defense supplies. In addition, the Pentagon announced on Friday its largest-ever $6 billion military aid package that will include interceptors for Ukraine’s Patriot and NASAMS systems, more counter-drone systems, significant amounts of artillery ammunition, and air-to-ground munitions. However, the move came amid reports that the Ukrainian armed forces moved Abrams tanks from the frontlines due to threats from Russian drones. Ford observed that the rush to send so many more advanced weapons systems to Ukraine came hard on the heels of these reports. “The announcement coincides with reports that the Ukrainians are withdrawing US Abrams tanks from the front because they have shown themselves to be vulnerable to drone attack,” the analyst highlighted.

However, the main US defense contractors were oblivious to the multiple failures of their weapons systems on the battlefields of Ukraine and were only interested in further expanding their already enormous profit margins, the ex-diplomat emphasized. “Never mind, the main aims are being achieved. Not to help Ukraine – how naive! – but to stuff billions of taxpayer dollars down the gullet of the arms manufacturers,” Ford clarified. The other purpose of the otherwise futile and too late new arms package was to give Biden domestic credibility before his re-election campaign against former President Donald Trump this fall, he explained. The $6 billion arms package was therefore meant “to make Biden look resolute and consistent as he positions himself for the presidential election campaign,” the analyst said. The people of Ukraine once again had become the victims of cynical and ruthless US political manipulations and intrigues, Ford stressed.

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“..the former Ukrainian lawmaker estimates that about 1.5 million men of military age are currently on the run across Ukraine.”

Ukraine’s Deep Manpower Shortage Overshadows Arms Deliveries (Sp.)

New arms deliveries from the US cannot compensate for Ukraine’s deep manpower shortage and exhaustion, Volodymyr Oleynyk, a Ukrainian politician and former member of the Verkhovna Rada, told Sputnik.
Although the lack of ammunition has been alleviated to some extent by foreign aid, Ukraine’s main weakness is an acute shortage of soldiers, the Western press acknowledges. Since the beginning of the special military operation, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have lost nearly 500,000 servicemen, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. To make matters worse, Ukraine has been “plagued by draft dodging,” with young men evading conscription and failing to register as required, Politico reported in March. “Many [Ukrainian] commanders say that their combat units suffer from a 30-40% deficit in manpower,” Volodymyr Oleynyk told Sputnik.

“Entire brigades break the law, violate orders and arbitrarily leave combat positions. Some of them are elite brigades. One of them was disbanded – the one that included the Right Sector*, which is considered very ‘patriotic’.” In recent months, there has been a significant increase in the number of Ukrainian troops using the special “Volga” 149.200 radio frequency to communicate their desire to disarm, according to Sputnik’s sources. The frequency was set up by Russian forces for Ukrainian troops wishing to surrender. Oleynyk quoted the head of the Ivano-Frankovsk regional military commissar as saying last month that some 30,000 potential conscripts were in hiding in the region. By 2020, Frankovshchyna will have a population of only 1.3 million. Doing the math, the former Ukrainian lawmaker estimates that about 1.5 million men of military age are currently on the run across Ukraine.

In addition, Ukrainian military personnel are increasingly deserting, Oleynyk added. “I’ve analyzed the situation for the first quarter of this year: about 20,000 criminal cases related to desertion have been opened over the past three months,” he said. “In general, it is believed that about 100,000 deserters are on the run. How many cases have been sent to court? Over these three months only 80 criminal cases were sent to court. This shows that even the judicial system does not want to consider these cases, because officials are afraid of later revenge by those convicted.”

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“..trying to blame Moscow for a wave of pro-Palestinian protests across the country..“

Pelosi Insulting Americans – Zakharova (RT)

Former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is insulting American voters by trying to blame Moscow for a wave of pro-Palestinian protests across the country, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday. The senior Democrat has linked pro-Palestinian protests in the US with alleged foreign influence on multiple occasions, most recently in an interview with Irish public broadcaster Raidio Teilifis Eireann (RTE) this week. Pelosi also took issue with the ‘Genocide Joe’ nickname that US President Joe Biden has been branded with over his failure to pressure Israel into showing more restraint in its military campaign in Gaza. Pelosi acknowledged that pro-Palestinian sentiment could impact Biden’s support during the US presidential vote in November, and claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted the presumptive Republican candidate, Donald Trump, to be elected.

“It’s in Putin’s interest for – what’s his name? – to win. And therefore I see some encouragement on the part of the Russians of some of what is going on,” she alleged of the demonstrations. Pro-Palestinian activists are genuine in their feelings, she conceded, but “some of it has a Russian tinge to it.” Responding to Pelosi’s remarks in a social media post, Zakharova said they “can only be taken as an insult to the Americans and a disregard for democracy.”

In January, the former House speaker called on the FBI to investigate the financing of pro-Palestinian groups, claiming that their demands for a ceasefire in Gaza were “Putin’s message.” Pelosi was also caught on camera lashing out at hecklers outside her home, telling them to “go back to China,” supposedly where their “headquarters” were located. Biden’s approval ratings have taken a hit among Democratic voters over his pro-Israeli stance, although Pelosi insisted that the president has been “the biggest advocate for humanitarian assistance to Palestinians” amid the conflict in Gaza. “The groups outside with their protest lay some blame at his doorstep, when he is the only one advocating at that level,” she added.

This week, local authorities across the US used force to disperse pro-Palestinian rallies at university campuses, with mass arrests reported in some cases. Protesters were targeted at Yale, Harvard, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Southern California, and other institutions. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has welcomed the US crackdown, branding the activists “anti-Semitic mobs” and comparing them to Nazi sympathizers in the 1930s. Putin has publicly stated that he would be more comfortable with “predictable” and “old-school” Biden than Trump as the next US president.

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Your bank spies on you…

US Congress Probing 13 Banks For January 6 ‘Collusion’ (RT)

Republicans in the House of Representatives have sent letters to 13 financial institutions they suspect of colluding with the FBI and the Treasury Department to spy on Americans without a warrant in relation to the 2021 Capitol riot. Supporters of then-President Donald Trump had stormed the legislature just as Republican lawmakers were starting to register objections to certifying the 2020 election in favor of Joe Biden. Democrats labeled the unrest as an “insurrection” and sought to arrest over 1,000 people involved in any way. Some of these people were apparently targeted by financial institutions working with the FBI and Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), according to the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, led by the Judiciary Committee chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

“The Committee and Select Subcommittee remain concerned about how and to what extent federal law enforcement and financial institutions continue to spy on Americans by weaponizing backdoor information sharing and casting sprawling classes of transactions, purchase behavior, and protected political or religious expression as potentially ‘suspicious’ or indicative of ‘extremism’,” said a letter from Jordan, which the Daily Mail obtained exclusively on Thursday. Jordan has pointed to evidence that the FBI and FinCEN instructed banks to look for purchases of Bibles or search terms such as “Trump” or “MAGA,” the acronym for the 45th president’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.” Congress was already investigating Bank of America, Chase, US Bank, Wells Fargo, Citi Bank and Truist. Thursday’s letter was sent to Charles Schwab, HSBC, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, PayPal, Santander, Standard Chartered and Western Union. That makes 13 banks or financial institutions potentially involved in the dragnet.

Bank of America alone sent data on 211 individuals to the FBI and FinCen by January 17, 2021. However, its Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) was sent after the federal agencies asked banks to look for “extremist” purchases. Four of the 211 were tagged for a follow-up and visited by FBI agents. None of them ended up being charged with anything. “This kind of warrantless financial surveillance raises serious concerns about the federal government’s respect for Americans’ privacy and fundamental civil liberties,” Jordan wrote in a separate letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, also obtained by the Daily Mail. Since 2021, the FBI has targeted “radical-traditionalist Catholics” as well as parents who spoke up at school board meetings – on issues such as mask mandates or critical race theory – as potential domestic terrorists. Both programs were officially denounced after being revealed by whistleblowers.

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” What future can such a collection of morons have?”

Biden: White Americans Are the Threat (Paul Craig Roberts)

The Main Goal of the Biden Regime Is to Sell-out the Majority White American Population and to declare them as a menace. Tucker Carlson points out that president Biden, illegitimately in office due to the theft of the 2020 election, has as president of the United States defined America’s majority white population as the major cause of racism and a threat to national unity. Note: it is the majority that is the threat. Yet, tens of millions of dumbshit white Americans designated as America’s worst threat by Biden vote for him. What future can such a collection of morons have?

A white heterosexual who votes for Biden is expressing a death wish. It is the US whose Democrat Government is alienated from its own white majority population that intends to fight wars against Russia, Iran, and China. This is insanity. Who is going to fight these wars for Biden? The answer is Europeans and the immigrant-invaders into America thanks to Biden’s open border policy. Like Rome in its own self-inflicted decay, the US will be dependent on troops from the immigrant-invaders overrunning its own borders to fight its wars abroad in defense of the borders of foreign countries.

There is no discussion of this whatsoever.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Swan

 

 

Tokyo

 

 

Fukuoka Imaya Hamburger
https://twitter.com/i/status/1783862345821016170

 

 

70 meters

 

 

Tusk

 

 

Rope

 

 

Drink of water

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 052024
 


Jan van Eyck Crucifixion and Last Judgement 1430

 

New York Judge Calls Trump Jan. 6 Case ‘Federal Insurrection Matter’ (ET)
Judge Denies Trump First Amendment Challenge to Georgia Election Charges (ET)
The Trump-Proofing Checklist (Manley)
Ukraine ‘Will Become a Member of NATO’ – Blinken (RT)
NATO Exists To Respond To The Conflicts Caused By Its Own Existence (Sp.)
Enlargement Made NATO Hostage to Agenda Pushed by Eastern Europe (Sp.)
Russia and NATO Already In ‘Direct Confrontation’ – Kremlin (RT)
Lavrov Says Obvious That Ukraine Involved in Terrorist Attack in Crocus (Sp.)
‘Stop Lying,’ Russia Tells US (RT)
Kiev’s Backers Fear Frontline Breach – Media (RT)
Why Are Central Banks Buying Gold? (Martin Armstrong)
“Is He Blackmailed?” MTG Questions Speaker Johnson (ZH)
Europe’s Identity Crisis (Patrick Lawrence)
The European Union’s Fires Where Freedom Burns (Hugo Dionísio)
Canada’s Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland Diagnosed With Progressive HPD (Helmer)

 

 

It’s so easy to confuse me…

 

 

Peltz Musk

 

 

Galloway Escobar

 

 


WikiLeaks Ukraine Cable from 2008 written by CIA director William J. Burns, then US ambassador to Moscow

 

 

Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1775830366622024005

 

 

CNN

 

 


Foreign-born population growth:
Barack Obama: 68,000 per month
Donald Trump: 42,000 per month
Joe Biden: 172,000 per month

 

 

Trump UN
https://twitter.com/i/status/1700360281698791655

 

 

Obama

 

 


Elon Musk: “Bet you didn’t know that this administration is flying hundreds of thousands of illegals into America using your tax dollars …”

 

 

 

 

A judge who confuses the case beforee him with a parallel case? Seems a very strange mistake.

New York Judge Calls Trump Jan. 6 Case ‘Federal Insurrection Matter’ (ET)

On April 3, New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan denied a defense motion to adjourn the upcoming trial scheduled for April 15, and in his order, referred to former President Donald Trump’s case before the Supreme Court as the “Federal Insurrection Matter.” “Defendant fully briefed the issue of presidential immunity in his motion to dismiss the matter of United States v. Trump, US Dist Ct, DDC 23 CR 25, (TSC) (hereinafter “Federal Insurrection Matter”) on October 5, 2023,” Justice Merchan wrote. Justice Merchan is presiding over one of four criminal cases against President Trump. This one is a state case, where Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has charged President Trump with 34 counts of falsifying business records, alleging a scheme to influence the 2016 elections. The other case in question charges President Trump with four counts of obstruction and conspiracy for his acts on Jan. 6, 2021, but it does not allege insurrection in the indictment.

Special counsel Jack Smith is prosecuting the case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and trial proceedings have been stayed as President Trump pursues an appeal on grounds of presidential immunity. Counsel for President Trump in the Manhattan case brought the federal case up recently in requesting that the trial be delayed, arguing that the presidential immunity they raised in state court will soon be under review by the U.S. Supreme Court. On April 25, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on “whether and if so to what extent does a former President enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office.” The presidential immunity defense is one President Trump has raised in several of his cases, and attorneys in other cases have requested additional hearings and delays in anticipation of a Supreme Court decision. It is unclear why Justice Merchan would use the “insurrection” as shorthand for the federal case.

The only appearance of the word “insurrection” is in a quote in response to an attorney saying there would be “riots everywhere” if President Trump remained in office. In response, one of the unnamed co-conspirators tells him, “Well, [Deputy White House Counsel], that’s why there’s an Insurrection Act.” Separately, critics of President Trump have colloquially referred to the events of Jan. 6, 2021, as an “insurrection,” resulting in a wave of almost 100 state-level lawsuits to disqualify him from the ballot over the past half year. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court heard another case involving President Trump and ruled that states have no authority to disqualify a federal candidate in elections. However, it would be unlikely that the judge confused the two cases, as President Trump did not argue presidential immunity in the ballot disqualification case, and the Supreme Court issued a ruling ending the challenges on March 4. Defense attorneys in the Manhattan case are also renewing requests that the judge step down, arguing that he has shown partisan interest.

Last August, Justice Merchan rejected an initial motion for recusal. He stated that his small-dollar donations to President Trump’s political opponents and his daughter’s employment at a marketing firm, which has received millions from those campaigning against President Trump, would not affect his ability to try the case impartially. However, Justice Merchan recently broadened a gag order to prevent President Trump from discussing the judge’s family members. The move follows President Trump’s renewed grievances about the judge’s daughter helping to campaign for politicians such as Vice President Kamala Harris and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). Defense attorneys made another request that the judge recuse himself on April 1, arguing that the judge’s family has commercial interests that “are benefitted by developments in this case that harm President Trump’s penal interests.”

Read more …

I was wondering if, like Fani and her boytoy, the judges in various Trump cases have also had 8-hour sessions at the White House. How would we ever find out?

Judge Denies Trump First Amendment Challenge to Georgia Election Charges (ET)

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee has denied former President Donald Trump’s motion to dismiss charges under the First Amendment, noting that the way the challenge was brought limited the arguments that could be made. “Without foreclosing the ability to raise similar as-applied challenges at the appropriate time after the establishment of a factual record, the Defendants’ motions based on First Amendment grounds are denied,” the judge wrote in an April 4 order. President Trump is being charged along with 14 others of violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act for their actions in challenging the 2020 election results. He had brought a First Amendment as-applied challenge, arguing that everything he said listed in the indictment was protected by the First Amendment.

The defense also touched on making a First Amendment facial challenge, arguing that the charges were overly broad and the statutes may be unconstitutional. But when such a challenge is made before trial, the only record of facts that can be used is the indictment itself. The allegations must be accepted as fact at this stage. Much of President Trump’s speech is cited as part of the RICO charge, in which legal acts and truthful speech can be listed in order to show that an “operation” was in place, prosecutors explained. The First Amendment does not protect speech “integral to criminal conduct, fraud, or speech presenting an imminent threat that the government can prevent,” the judge wrote. Political speech is protected, as is communication to government officials, but protection “does not extend to allegedly fraudulent petitions,” the judge wrote. In the indictment, prosecutors allege all included speech was tied to criminal conduct and the furtherance of a conspiracy.

Defense attorney Steve Sadow argued that President Trump’s speech could not be prosecuted for falsity, and argued that courts have recognized that even false speech must be protected, as free debate cannot be free from error. However, the judge found that prosecutors did not bring charges because the speech was “false” but because President Trump allegedly “knowingly” and “willfully” acted in a way that “impacted matters of governmental concern.” As for proving out that intent, that was a matter for trial, he added. “The allegations that the Defendants’ speech or conduct was carried out with criminal intent are something only a jury can resolve,” the order reads.

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“The US has used the group to funnel tens of billions of dollars in weapons and other equipment to Ukraine. But NATO may bring the group under its control should Ukraine lose US support..”

The Trump-Proofing Checklist (Manley)

Mainstream media has dubbed a new proposal a way to “Trump-proof” aid for Ukraine. Some foreign ministers, however, have made it clear that any funding that moves NATO closer to war will not be supported. NATO foreign ministers met Wednesday to discuss a proposal by NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg for a €100 billion ($108 billion) five-year fund for Ukraine. The move comes as Europe fears the return of a Donald Trump presidency. The former US president has said he will not aid Ukraine in their conflict with Russia if he is elected, according to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. “What is obvious is that we need new and more money for Ukraine. And we need it over many years. And the whole idea of now discussing a framework, commitments and an institutionalized framework, for the support is to ensure more predictability and more confidence that the money will come every month, every year for the long haul,” said Stoltenberg before the meeting.

The Ukraine Defense Contact Group was first created in the early weeks of the conflict by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and then-Joint Chiefs Chair General Mark Milley. The US has used the group to funnel tens of billions of dollars in weapons and other equipment to Ukraine. But NATO may bring the group under its control should Ukraine lose US support. “We need to shift the dynamics of our support,” Stoltenberg said. “We must ensure reliable and predictable security assistance to Ukraine for the long haul… less on short-term offers and more on multi-year pledges.” But foreign ministers have reportedly warned that putting together such a fund would not be easy. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto “firmly stated Hungary will not back any [NATO] proposals that might draw the alliance closer to war or shift it from a defensive to an offensive coalition,” government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said on X.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said he and others warned against duplicating efforts between bilateral, European Union and NATO aid. In early March, former President Donald Trump met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. According to Orban, Trump will “not give a penny into the Ukraine-Russia war and therefore the war will end” as its “obvious that Ukraine on its own cannot stand on its feet.” Stoltenberg concluded at the end of the summit that NATO will make its final decision in July. A consensus between its 32 members will be required before they can move forward with such a decision. As NATO marks its 75th anniversary this week, Russia has accused the military alliance of returning to a Cold War mindset. Late last year, US legislators passed a law requiring congressional approval should any US president attempt to pull the country out of NATO.

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Note that he doesn’t say when.

Ukraine ‘Will Become a Member of NATO’ – Blinken (RT)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has capped a meeting of NATO diplomats by doubling down on an issue that helped trigger the Russia-Ukraine conflict: allowing Kiev to join the Western military alliance. “Ukraine will become a member of NATO,” Blinken told reporters on Thursday in Brussels. “Our purpose at the summit is to help build a bridge to that membership and to create a clear pathway for Ukraine moving forward.” Blinken made his comments as NATO foreign ministers completed a two-day meeting to rally more international support for Kiev. He spoke at a press briefing alongside Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba, who argued that Ukraine “deserves to be a member of NATO.” The Ukrainian diplomat added, “This should happen sooner rather than later.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned for the better part of two decades that NATO’s eastward expansion undermines Russian national security and that moving the bloc’s forces into Ukraine would cross a “red line.” NATO-Russia relations have deteriorated so much amid the current Ukraine crisis that the alliance is now in “direct confrontation” with Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday. The determination of NATO members to back Ukraine remains “rock solid,” Blinken said at Thursday’s press briefing. “We will do everything we can; allies will do everything that they can to ensure that Ukraine has what it needs to continue to deal with Russia’s ongoing aggression.” The top US diplomat also urged Congress to approve $60 billion in additional aid to Ukraine. The proposal has been stalled by rising opposition from Republican lawmakers since last fall. The administration of US President Joe Biden has already burned through $113 billion in previously approved Ukraine funding.

US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene said in an interview on Wednesday that the latest aid bill is likely headed for passage when Congress goes back into session next week. The Georgia Republican argued that Washington’s escalating “proxy war” in Ukraine is making Americans less safe and pushing the world closer to World War III. Reacting to Blinken’s statement on Thursday, Greene reminded her 3.2 million followers on X (formerly Twitter) that under the NATO charter, an attack on one member is considered an attack on all. “Making Ukraine a member of NATO means that the US will be going to war against Russia, as mandated by Article 5,” she wrote.

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“We could exit this tragedy by reaching out to Russia to negotiate a new inclusive European security architecture devoted to reducing security competition instead of imposing hegemony..”

NATO Exists To Respond To The Conflicts Caused By Its Own Existence (Sp.)

Exactly 75 years ago, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was founded by the US, Canada, and several Western European nations, with the main aim of deterring and confronting the USSR, their former Second World War ally. After the Soviet Union’s collapse in December 1991, the conditions for a new inclusive security architecture in Europe and beyond emerged, according to Glenn Diesen, professor of international relations at the University of South-Eastern Norway. “After the Cold War, we developed the format for a new inclusive security system,” Diesen told Sputnik. “The Charter of Paris for a New Europe in 1990 and the establishment of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 1994 were both based on the [1975] Helsinki Accords, and embraced the principles of sovereign equality, indivisible security, and ending the dividing lines in Europe.”

The Helsinki Accords, signed during the Cold War by the US, Soviet Union, and several European countries, led to greater cooperation between Eastern and Western Europe. Even though the agreements weren’t binding, they significantly contributed to the détente between the East and West. Instead of building on that momentum, the US saw the end of the Cold War as the beginning of its unipolar moment, according to the professor: in 1992, George H.W. Bush proudly declared that the US had “won” the Cold War during his State of the Union address. “The US also developed a security strategy based on hegemony, which required expanding NATO and thus cancelling the pan-European security architecture,” Diesen said. “NATO therefore transitioned from a status quo power to a revisionist power. NATO required a new purpose, which became ‘out-of-area’ military interventionism and expansionism.”

The next 30 years saw a string of NATO overseas military campaigns, neither of which has seen a comprehensive resolution, resulting in the creation of hotbeds of instability instead. “During the 1990s, NATO turned from a conceptually defensive organization into an openly aggressive organization when it entered the Yugoslav wars and waged a massive bombing campaign there,” Gilbert Doctorow, an international relations and Russian affairs analyst, told Sputnik. “More generally, the United States was at this time preparing NATO to move out of its core geography in Europe and to assist US plans for global domination in the Middle East in the succession of regime change operations and open invasions that the United States planned and led.” Doctorow highlighted that these “out-of-region NATO operations were one disaster after another, ending in the withdrawal from Afghanistan after participation in a 20-year-long war directed by Washington.”

Meanwhile, the alliance’s seven waves of post-Cold War eastward expansion accelerated tensions in Europe, according to the Norwegian academic. “Reviving the bloc approach to security and competing over where to draw the new dividing lines has been the primary source of conflicts in Europe for the past three decades and eventually resulted in the Ukraine war,” Diesen said. The academic pointed out that “by going along with NATO expansionism, the Europeans allowed their continent to be re-divided and remilitarized, which has predictably doomed Europe to greater irrelevance.” He projected that Europe “will undergo systemic economic decline and become painfully subordinated to the US.” “We could exit this tragedy by reaching out to Russia to negotiate a new inclusive European security architecture devoted to reducing security competition instead of imposing hegemony,” the professor emphasized.

NATO exists to respond to the conflicts caused by its own existence,” Diesen explained. “The problem now is that NATO is returning to great power conflicts with the same disastrous approach to security, based on hegemony rather than mitigating security competition.” Despite the Western mainstream media claims that the North Atlantic Alliance is united like never before amid the Ukrainian conflict, it is in fact not true, according to the professor. “There are great tensions within NATO that simmers below the surface, and I do not think the hatred of Russia is enough to ensure unity after the war is over,” he said.

Tucker Ukr

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“..classic tail-wags-the-dog situation..”

Enlargement Made NATO Hostage to Agenda Pushed by Eastern Europe (Sp.)

The decades-long NATO expansion to all of Central and Eastern Europe has turned the United States into a hostage of the agenda pursued by Eastern European allies in a classic case of “tail-wags-the-dog,” James Carden, former adviser to the US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission at the Department of State, told Sputnik. The United States together with 31 other NATO members is celebrating the alliance’s 75th anniversary this week. “NATO expansion has turned what once arguably (pre-March 1953) could have been called a defensive alliance into a (post-1992) classic tail-wags-the-dog situation,” Carden said. That has resulted in the former Soviet and Warsaw Pact states “pushing their parochial agenda on the United States,” he said. “Not a good state of affairs but here we are,” Carden concluded.

Even at the height of the Cold War, and a quarter century before the peaceful disintegration of the Soviet Union, NATO’s tendencies to over-extend itself to the east and become a tool for the continued US domination and micro-management of Europe had been noted by the great, visionary French statesman President Charles de Gaulle, Carden pointed out. “Over-extension is the core issue, identified early on by no less a statesman than de Gaulle, who intuitively understood that the opening of the European Economic Community (ECC) to the United Kingdom (UK) would introduce an American Trojan horse into the most sensitive issues of European economic affairs,” he said.

For years, Moscow has objected to NATO’s continued expansion and military buildup near Russian borders. Ukraine’s plans to join the bloc were among the reasons why Russia launched its special military operation in February 2022, President Vladimir Putin said. In response to the latest NATO enlargement, Russia will station its troops and strike systems near the borders of Finland and Sweden, Putin said in a March interview with Rossiya Segodnya Director General Dmitry Kiselev for the Rossiya 1 broadcaster and RIA Novosti.

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“NATO continues to fulfill its purpose, which currently, however, in no way contributes to security, predictability and stability on the continent, but on the contrary is a destabilizing factor..”

Russia and NATO Already In ‘Direct Confrontation’ – Kremlin (RT)

The current state of relations between Russia and NATO can be described as a “direct confrontation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. He claimed that the US-led military bloc has been a destabilizing force in Europe rather than ensuring the continent’s security. He made his comment on Thursday, as the bloc marked 75 years since the signing of its founding document, the North Atlantic Treaty. Since the start of the Ukraine conflict, NATO has provided Kiev with billions worth of military aid and weaponry, as well as sharing intelligence and helping to train Ukrainian troops. “The bloc itself is already involved in the Ukraine conflict. NATO continues to move towards our borders, expanding its military infrastructure towards our borders… In fact, our relations have now descended to the level of direct confrontation,” Peskov said at a press-briefing.

He stated that the organization had been created as an “instrument of confrontation” in Europe, and is fulfilling its purpose to the detriment of the entire continent. “NATO continues to fulfill its purpose, which currently, however, in no way contributes to security, predictability and stability on the continent, but on the contrary is a destabilizing factor,” Peskov explained. Multiple Western leaders have warned that Russia may attack NATO once the Ukraine conflict is over. Moscow has repeatedly dismissed those claims. Russian President Vladimir Putin said last month that talk of a potential Russian attack on NATO countries is simply propaganda by their governments aimed at scaring their own population to “beat the money out of them.”

Moscow has for years voiced concerns about NATO’s expansion toward its borders, viewing the US-led military bloc’s policies as an existential threat. However, it has also warned that NATO’s more pronounced involvement in the Ukraine conflict, in particular, the possibility of a troop deployment to the front lines, would be seen as an intervention. This, according to an earlier statement by Putin, would take the conflict “one step shy of a full-scale World War III.”

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“Now they want to turn voluntary military assistance to Ukraine within NATO into mandatory military assistance..”

Lavrov Says Obvious That Ukraine Involved in Terrorist Attack in Crocus (Sp.)

It is obvious that Ukraine was involved in the terrorist attack in the Crocus City Hall concert venue on March 22, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday. “This terrorist attack, as you know, is now being actively investigated by the Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor General’s Office, other competent authorities. It is already obvious … that there was a Ukrainian trace, especially since Ukraine’s involvement in many other terrorist attacks on Russian territory is no longer in doubt,” Lavrov said at the round table with ambassadors of over 70 countries dedicated to the Ukrainian crisis. On March 22, several armed men broke into Crocus City Hall and started shooting at people. They also started a fire in one of the auditoriums, which was full of people ahead of a concert. The attack left 695 casualties, including 144 dead, according to the latest data from the Russian Emergencies Ministry.

The four main suspects in the case — all of them citizens of Tajikistan — tried to flee the scene in a car but were detained and charged with terrorism. Russian authorities believe their plan was to flee to Ukraine, where the masterminds of the attack had arranged a safe haven for them. An investigation is underway. Providing aid to Ukraine is planned to be made obligatory for NATO members, Lavrov added. “Now they want to turn voluntary military assistance to Ukraine within NATO into mandatory military assistance. To force all NATO members through strict discipline to sign up for the mandatory provision of funding and weapons to the Kiev regime,” Lavrov said at the round table with ambassadors of over 70 countries dedicated to the Ukrainian crisis.

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A hard habit for them to break:

“Russia is not a pariah,” Blinken stated, and “the idea has never been to exclude [it]..”

‘Stop Lying,’ Russia Tells US (RT)

The US mantra that Russia must change its behavior to improve relations with the West disregards the fact that Washington has for years willfully ignored Moscow’s core interests, Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov has said. Moscow’s envoy was responding to comments by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken who told French broadcaster LCI on Tuesday that he did not rule out a possible meeting between President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, despite the current standoff over Ukraine.“Russia is not a pariah,” Blinken stated, and “the idea has never been to exclude [it],” while insisting that Moscow is responsible for the current rift with the West. “If policy changes, we don’t rule anything out. The problem is that we don’t have any proof, for the moment, that policy is changing.” It was not Moscow that “moved its war machine to NATO’s borders” and spearheaded unprecedented economic and personal sanctions, Antonov added.

“Everything that is happening now is the exclusive choice of the West, which has trampled on the basics of diplomacy, the principle of indivisibility of security and has been abusing the trust of the Russian Federation for many years,” the envoy claimed. For relations to improve, Western countries “should abandon illusions about the possibility of inflicting a strategic defeat” on Russia and learn to respect other nations’ interests, the ambassador stated, adding that Moscow does not accept “attempts at dictatorship” and the US desire to impose its values on others. President Putin said in December that Moscow is open to improving relations with the US, but that this process depends on fundamental changes in Washington’s policies and a desire to seek compromise. Russia has for years voiced concern about NATO’s expansion toward its borders, viewing the US-led military bloc’s policies as an existential threat. Putin, however, has repeatedly said Moscow has no plans to attack NATO.

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“..the Center for Countering Disinformation (CCD), stated on Tuesday that Moscow “does not have resources” for a major push forward..”

Kiev’s Backers Fear Frontline Breach – Media (RT)

There are growing concerns both in Ukraine and among its Western backers that an expected Russian offensive this summer could break through the country’s defenses, Western media have reported. Kiev has been complaining for months that a shortage of weapons from the West has put it at a massive disadvantage on the battlefield against Moscow. President Vladimir Zelensky told the Washington Post last week that his forces may have to retreat further to reduce the length of the front line and the amount of munitions and men needed to hold it. “If [the line] breaks, the Russians could go to the big cities,” he warned. Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that the ratio of artillery shells fired by Russia compared to Ukraine has increased from 3:1 to 7:1 since the beginning of the year.

Sources told the outlet that concerned foreign donors intend to improve the ratio to 7:3, as Western-donated weapon systems are supposedly superior to Russia’s. An even gloomier prediction came from Ukrainian military officials, who spoke to Politico on condition of anonymity, and warned that the front line may collapse. Russia’s advantage in weapons and manpower means that it will likely be able to “penetrate the front line and to crash it in some parts,” one of the officers said on Wednesday. “There’s nothing that can help Ukraine now because there are no serious technologies able to compensate Ukraine for the large mass of troops Russia is likely to hurl at us,” a top military leader said. The warning came from officers who served under Valery Zaluzhny, who was the commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces until Zelensky replaced him in early February.

Prior to that, the pair had clashed publicly over whether the hostilities with Russia had reached a stalemate, which was the general’s assessment. The officers cautioned against underestimating Russia’s ability to adapt and counter new military capabilities provided by the West to Ukraine. They “are always studying. They don’t give us a second chance. And they’re successful in this,” one of them said. Even now, Russian forces are laying the groundwork for engaging F-16 fighter jets, which Kiev is expected to eventually deploy, the report said. Domestically, the Ukrainian government has been downplaying the risks that a Russian offensive would pose. Its information warfare service, the Center for Countering Disinformation (CCD), stated on Tuesday that Moscow “does not have resources” for a major push forward.

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“..You simply do not buy the debt of your enemy. Central banks are buying gold because the USD is political..”

Why Are Central Banks Buying Gold? (Martin Armstrong)

Investors’ curiosity has peaked as central banks are increasing their gold purchases. We are not going back to a Bretton Woods type situation and that is not the issue. You must understand that gold is neutral. Central banks are buying gold because the Neocons have weaponized the dollar. Russia was removed from the SWIFT system, and private citizens’ assets were confiscated. When Russian assets were removed from SWIFT, a threat to the world was issued to say, “Hey, if you don’t do what we tell you to do, we will take you out of SWIFT.” This is not the end of the dollar. Money continues to pour into US equities, particularly the Dow. Why? When the drum of war is beating, major institutions rush to move their money into a safe haven, which happens to be the US at this point in time.

The big money is not purchasing start-up equities on the Nasdaq, for example, as they will not take that risk. Our computer model indicates the Dow will continue rising into 2032 as it remains one of the last safe havens. The West has become extremely aggressive in its geopolitics. You simply do not buy the debt of your enemy. Central banks are buying gold because the USD is political. There is a stark difference between short-term and long-term bonds. The central banks have zero control over the short-term and that is how this whole QE fiasco began as central banks began purchasing long-term debt in an attempt to reduce long-term interest. Why would you buy long-term when war, the primary driver of inflation, is looming? This is a serious situation that the neocons who have weaponized the dollar simply do not understand.

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GOP picking one Trojan horse after the other…

“Is He Blackmailed?” MTG Questions Speaker Johnson (ZH)

Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) suggested that House Speaker Mike Johnson is being “blackmailed” because of his “complete departure” from Republican concerns, saying the Louisiana Republican “has completely changed his character.” “Mike Johnson has completely changed his character in a matter of about five months after he has become speaker of the House,” Greene told Tucker Carlson in a recent episode of Tucker Carlson Uncensored Carlson pointed to Johnson’s meeting with Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky – after which Johnson said that the second congressional recess ends, “his number one priority at a moment when the U.S. is being invaded” is to ” send that $60 billion to Ukraine, possibly as a loan.” According to Carlson, Johnson won’t come on his show to explain, while Zelensky also refused to discuss his position:

They’re not grateful now. So we sent a message to the speaker of the House and asked him to come on and explain why, when the majority of the Republicans he represents both the voters and members of Congress, opposes why he would join with Democrats to do the one thing that Americans don’t think we should do, which is send another $60 billion to pay the pensions of Ukrainian bureaucrats and fund a doomed war. Why are you for that? And of course, he hasn’t responded. We also sent multiple requests to Zelensky himself for an interview to explain his position. Of course, he ignored that as well. Greene echoed Tucker’s concerns, saying “It’s outrageous.” When you saw Zelenskyy right there on that interview talking about, oh, we’re going to lose territory. Oh, we really need this money. This $60 billion should have been approved yesterday.

Let me tell you, we are losing our country to the illegal invasion that’s happening every single day at our southern border. And I am so pissed off about it because the American people are pissed off about it. And while our so-called Republican speaker of the House is only working with Chuck Schumer and Hakeem Jeffries and Ukraine First Mitch McConnell and the white House and Jake Sullivan, who he talks to on the phone all the time. We are angry and people have had it. Greene said this “needs to end,” but Johnson “has has made a complete departure of who he is, and what he stands for and to the point where people are literally asking, is he blackmailed?” When Carlson asked her to expound, Greene said that she has “no idea” if that’s the case, but asks: “What radically changes a man. I mean, if we break down the the second part of basically an omnibus, let’s let’s break that down.”

Greene cited Johnson’s funding of “full term abortion clinics” despite being pro-life, doing “nothing for the southern border” – particularly on the heels of Laken Riley’s murder at the hands of an illegal, which followed “a video that was running on loop on social media, where illegal aliens had rushed our border, ran over Texas National Guard.” “He did nothing to secure the border. It’s the number one issue in the world. He completely changed who he was. Funded the FBI, gave them a brand new building, fully funded the Department of Justice that is persecuting everyone on the right and actually targeting our presidential candidate, for for election this year. Literally trying to put him in jail the rest of his life. We don’t know who Mike Johnson is anymore. So there’s no, I can’t comprehend it,” Greene continued.

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“To militarize as much as it needs to,” he wrote, “Europe needs its citizens to bear higher taxes or a smaller welfare state.”

Europe’s Identity Crisis (Patrick Lawrence)

It is many years now since the French, bless them, revolted as Disneyland Paris arose near the previously uninvaded village of Marne-la–Vallée–Chessy. Soon enough came the Disney Hôtel New York, the Disney Hôtel Santa Fe, the Disney Hôtel Cheyenne, the Disney Newport Club, the Disney Sequoia Lodge, Disney Village, Parc Disneyland, Parc Walt Disney Studios. Let us not omit Star Wars Hypersonic Mountain among these monuments to the Americanization of Europe. Blocking imports of American “culture,” and we need the quotation marks, is among the world’s more quixotic undertakings, given the failure rate. But losing the battle against the infantilization of European sensibilities seems the least of the Continent’s worries at this point. The irrational Russophobia, the proxy war in Ukraine, the disruption of the Continent’s natural place as Eurasia’s western flank, the conjured-from-nothing “threat” of Russian expansionism, support of Israel’s siege of Gaza: These are U.S. imports, too, and Europe finds itself in crisis in consequence of them.

Who are we, Europeans now ask in one or another way. What have we made of ourselves? Are we always to be America’s obedient underlings, taking all orders and refusing none? What has become of us in the 21st century? European social democracy in its various forms has been vulnerable to the attacks of market fundamentalists and neoconservative ideologues for many years. Now the apostles of “savage capitalism,” as its Latin American casualties call it, and their warmongering siblings begin, this time in the name of Cold War II, what appears to be their final assault. Europe has vacillated between two contradictory impulses — asserting its sovereignty and succumbing to an undignified dependence on American power — since the mid–Cold War years. Charles De Gaulle was the last European leader to stand with conviction for the Continent’s independence and autonomy.

But Gaullism is no more than a faint and far-off light around Europe today. I reluctantly conclude that, in the moment of truth now upon it, the Continent will make the unwise choice, a self-condemnation that could endure for decades to come. A long-evident divide between Europeans and those who purport to lead them now widens. The former defend what remains of the socially advanced state erected across the Continent during the first postwar decades. The latter are poised to tear it down to import a version of America’s military-industrial complex precisely as The Walt Disney Company brought Sleeping Beauty’s Castle to the French capital’s outskirts. “Europe’s leaders have woken up to hard power” is the headline atop a commentary Janan Ganesh, a Financial Times columnist, published on this topic last week. “To militarize as much as it needs to,” he wrote, “Europe needs its citizens to bear higher taxes or a smaller welfare state.”

This is bitterly succinct. Europe’s leaders and the media that serve them are in the process of normalizing the “need” to turn Europe into a warrior state in the American image — suffused with animus and paranoia, beset with “threats,” never at ease as the social fabric deteriorates.

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Taking it all to 2030.

The European Union’s Fires Where Freedom Burns (Hugo Dionísio)

It is in Brussels that we find the symbolic center to which we must be loyal. The “Ukrainian project”, for the idolaters of european central power — and their followers — which is based on the bodies that make up the European Union, has a founding dimension, having become the ultimate symbol of the regime; a regime that no longer asserts itself by what it is, but by what it defends as the ultimate symbol of Russian antagonism: support for the Kiev regime. The more rigid, uncompromising and demanding you are in your support for Kiev, the more anti-Russian you became. And that’s the ultimate proof of loyalty. Is that a reason to say that this EU is no longer the same. Or is it, now, what it should be from the very start?

Presented as a peace project, but which ended up financing the war, even the most absent-minded passer-by in Brussels won’t miss the regime’s ultimate symbol. Since February 25, 2022, Brussels has been a city bathed in blue and yellow. From billboards to public works fences, everything seems to denounce the single truth to which we must be loyal. Zelensky’s Ukraine is indeed a member state of the EU! The legitimacy that it lacks in formal law, it has in the manifestation of symbolic paraphernalia and in the persecutory frenzy with which the European institutions embrace its protection. By dispensing with the usual access procedures, which only aim to give some formal legitimacy to a whole phenomenon (Ukraine on the “fast track” to the EU) that is observable in fact, Ukraine benefits from a whole altar that is the ultimate symbol of this idolatrous fundamentalism and this de facto adoption.

Nothing is more overwhelming than a trip to the central square of “Luxembourg”, where the European Parliament is located, under the watchful eye of a vigilant European Commission and a European Council commanded by far more distant powers. Yellow and blue are so intensely prominent here that we seem to be both in the sky and close to the sun. They say they are the colors of the EU… Their presence has never been as strong as it is today. Ukraine and the EU are also intertwined in color. Zelensky’s image stands out from this sea of colors, flooded with messages like “stand with Ukraine” or billboards saying “the brave people of Ukraine, represented by their president (…)”. As if to prove that what is outside, emanates from within, the Ukrainian state, without other democratic backing than that generated by the immense propaganda that floods our senses, even has its space in the very hemicycle of the European Parliament.

In addition to all the simultaneous translation booths for each of the languages that make up the European project, the “Ukrainian project” also has its own. Even if it has no MEP’s. Even the 50 billion euros recently approved by the European Council for the remaining 4 years of the Multiannual Financial Framework (which normally runs until one year after the nominal period, which is 21-27), taken from the respective financial cake, seems to reproduce, more or less, what a country with 35 to 40 million inhabitants and a per capita income below the European average would receive. In other words, not even the funds are lacking for the development of the goals of the 2030 strategy. Now, tell me Ukraine isn’t a member state?

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“Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD)”

“– Incurable Unless She Takes The Prime Ministry From Justin Trudeau..”

Freeland is of Ukrainian origin.

Canada’s Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland Diagnosed With Progressive HPD (Helmer)

In two public performances of less than two minutes apiece, Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister, and leader of Canada’s war against Russia, has demonstrated bizarre facial and upper torso symptoms. Political analysts and psychiatrists have been asked if they believe Freeland is suffering from a clinical pathology or drug abuse. Cocaine use has been ruled out. According to a medical psychiatrist, “the display [of symptoms] is remarkable. And just as remarkable, they disappear when [Freeland] takes the tribune from the prime minister and starts to make a speech herself. The control of torso, eyes, and speech she shows then is not consistent with chronic cocaine use.” The source, who specializes in treating drug addiction, says that Freeland’s display of symptoms does not reveal the twitches, tics, or other involuntary muscular movements usually seen with cocaine users. “What can I make of the relentless movements,” the source commented.

“[They] are more or less non-stop and they serve to draw attention away from everybody but herself. In her speech, there was no restlessness. It was fluent and clear. But she was the centre of attention then. It seems to me that with all her restless movements taking so many different forms she could still be the centre of attention…In some ways she was like the child who must always have attention.” Another expert source believes Freeland’s symptoms have been diagnosed clinically in the US as Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD). This has been reported in a research paper published in January of this year: “a chronic and enduring condition marked by a consistent pattern of attention-seeking behaviours and an exaggerated display of emotions. Typically emerging in late adolescence or early adulthood, individuals with HPD are often characterized as narcissistic, self-indulgent, and flirtatious. Individuals with HPD may feel undervalued when not in the spotlight, leading to a persistent need for validation…People presenting with HPD typically demonstrate rapidly shifting and shallow emotions that others may perceive as insincere…

Women are four times more likely to be diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder than men.” Canadian political analysts report that Freeland’s condition has long been recognized among male voters; less so among female voters. The analysts also note that as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau loses general voter approval, and also the support of his Liberal Party constituency, Freeland’s ambition to replace him before the national election next year, is becoming more obvious. Her HPD symptoms, the sources say, become extreme when she appears in public with Trudeau, revealing her impatience to replace him. In this personal contest of wills and of political power in Canada, the national and provincial polls are showing that the looming defeat of Freeland’s side in the war against Russia, the partition of the Ukraine, and the loss of more than C$4 billion in Canadian military donations to Kiev, are making no (repeat no) difference to the election outcome in Ottawa.

Freeland’s career to promote herself and the neo-Nazi ambitions of the Ukrainian community in Canada – the largest Ukrainian diaspora outside the country identifying as anti-Russian – has been documented in this archive. Her grandfather, Mikhail Chomiak’s career as a profiteer and propagandist of the ethnic cleansing of the Ukraine and murder of Russians, Jews and Poles, was documented from January 2017; Freeland and her supporters have dismissed this record, including US Army intelligence and Polish police files, as Kremlin propaganda. The recording of Freeland’s facial and torso displays have not been noted in Canadian politics before. Layman observers have suspected the display to be symptomatic of drug use, particularly of cocaine. The standard lists of symptoms of cocaine use include restlessness, agitation, irritability, tremors, involuntary muscular spasms, and volatile behaviour, such as temper tantrums. Sources who have worked with Freeland in the past note that her screaming fits were commonplace.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

VdB
https://twitter.com/i/status/1775594138378854503

 

 

Aaron Russo

 

 

Bachmann

 

 

Worm

 

 

Max

 

 

Kitten

 

 

Bath
https://twitter.com/i/status/1775918366290493661

 

 

Baby
https://twitter.com/i/status/1775628060366090723

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 182024
 


Jean-Léon Gérôme Slave market 1866

 

World Wants More US Intervention – Blinken (RT)
World on ‘Escalation Spiral’ Towards War (Sp.)
BRICS and Global South Challenge ‘Globalist Elites’ With Multipolar World (Sp.)
Reviving ISIS: A US weapon Against The Resistance Axis (Cradle)
UK Working To Prevent Peace – Zakharova (RT)
Britons Mock Warmongering Lecture by UK Defense Secretary (Sp.)
West Cannot Let Russia Win – Macron (RT)
Germany To Double Defense Aid For Ukraine This Year (RT)
How US Coerces France & Germany to Fund Zelensky’s Failing Conflict (Sp.)
Poland’s Decision To Host German Troops Will Not Go Unanswered – Moscow (RT)
Brussels Starts ‘Screening’ Ukrainian Laws (RT)
Judges Smack Down Jack Smith for Violating Trump’s Executive Privilege (PB)
A Gun Pouch Covered In Cocaine Shows Hunter’s Defense Is Ridiculous (Turley)
Supreme Court to Hear Potentially Historic Chevron Case (Turley)
Trump Vows To “Never Allow” A Central Bank Digital Currency (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Michael Moore must see
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747630445838131401

 

 

Meister
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747336776614564316

 

 

Vivek Trump
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747420626032205840

 

 

Tucker

 

 

Tucker Haley

 

 

Watters

 

 

ICJ

 

 

 

 

How crazy is that? “I’m hearing from virtually every country: They want the United States..”

World Wants More US Intervention – Blinken (RT)

Geopolitical turmoil and conflict around the globe have made the world’s nations hungrier than ever for diplomatic intervention from Washington to help deal with their crises, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has claimed. “There’s a greater premium than there’s ever been on our engagement, on our leadership, in partnership with others,” Blinken told an audience on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He added that Washington needs to “reimagine” its geopolitical partnerships to resolve global challenges, such as the Israel-Hamas war. The top US diplomat made his comments as Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip triggers escalating tensions in the Middle East and the Russia-Ukraine conflict nears its 24th month. He claimed that many governments see Washington as key to finding solutions.

“I’m hearing from virtually every country: They want the United States,” Blinken said. “They want us present, they want us at the table, they want us leading.” When Washington fails to tackle a major issue, he added, it is either handled by another nation – probably to the detriment of US interests – or no one else takes the lead. When other nations see the domestic investments that US President Joe Biden is making, such as funding of major infrastructure projects and “climate technology,” they realize that “we’re actually serious about ourselves, despite some of the dysfunction that may be seen on the front pages,” Blinken said. Biden also has pressed for re-engagement with US allies and the building of new coalitions to address specific challenges, he added.

“On some of the really big issues of the day – whether it’s how to deal with China, how to deal with Russia – we have more convergence than we’ve had at any time in recent memory between us, key partners throughout Europe, throughout Asia, and even in other parts of the world, about how to manage these problems,” the secretary said. The Israel-Hamas war has reportedly left more than 24,000 people dead in the Palestinian enclave. The conflict began on October 7, when Hamas militants killed more than 1,100 people – mostly civilians – in southern Israeli villages and took hundreds of hostages back to Gaza. Asked about the disparity in casualties, Blinken denied that the US places a higher value on Jewish lives than Palestinian lives. “What we’re seeing every single day in Gaza is gut-wrenching,” the diplomat said. “And the suffering we’re seeing among innocent men, women and children breaks my heart.”

He claimed that US engagement in the crisis had helped to minimize civilian casualties and get more humanitarian aid into the enclave. Blinken said he sees no near-term prospects for a negotiated settlement to end the bloodshed in Ukraine. He argued that peace talks can only go forward when Russian leaders are willing to negotiate “in good faith,” respecting Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Russian officials have accused Western leaders of derailing a potential peace deal in April 2022 and prolonging the conflict by providing massive military aid to Kiev. Moscow also has claimed that US insistence on a negotiated settlement being based on Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s demands, which it calls detached from reality, leaves no chance for a ceasefire in 2024.

Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747606360458412185

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“Foreign policy in the Middle East will become hostage to American domestic politics, which is very dangerous..”

World on ‘Escalation Spiral’ Towards War (Sp.)

The likelihood of global military confrontation is increasing according to analyst Yezid Sayigh, a senior fellow at the Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center. Sayigh made the assessment during an interview with Chinese media that touched on Israel, the crisis in the Red Sea, and the United States’ so-called “pivot to Asia” policy. Commenting on tensions between Israel and its neighbors in the Middle East, Sayigh offered sobering insight on the potential for events to escalate beyond world leaders’ control. “I think the risk of a wider war is obviously increasing,” said Sayigh. “However, at the same time, I think that the key parties will not go beyond a certain point into direct confrontation. At the same time, they have already started what we call an escalation spiral.”

“The US is in a very risky situation, and it increasingly looks as though it is entering the war on the side of Israel as well,” the analyst noted. “[Biden] has already, in a way, signaled military deterrence that encouraged Iran to use military deterrence. Biden, in a way, started this escalation spiral from the beginning with his immediate deployment of military assets to the Mediterranean.” Sayigh employed the metaphor of World War I to explain how events could lead towards war even without world leaders consciously seeking to initiate conflict. World War I was famously set into motion by the murder of Austro-Hungarian heir apparent Archduke Franz Ferdinand. But Sayigh argued the key factor in the war’s outbreak was not the killing itself, but rather the greater zeitgeist of global tension created by previous events.

“By 1914, the world was ready for war,” said the historian. “Global tensions had reached a point where it was the assassination that was the trigger, but it might have been something else. It could have been sinking a boat at sea. It could have been anything.” Part of what makes the current moment so perilous are the set of incentives created by domestic politics, Sayigh argued. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces corruption charges, as well as an Israeli public likely to hold the longtime leader accountable for Hamas’ October 7 attack. Netanyahu has an interest in the continuation of military conflict to prevent either of those things threatening his political career. But domestic politics also alters the calculations of US President Joe Biden, the analyst argued. Previously Biden showed signs of returning to former President Barack Obama’s policy of detente with Iran, resisting many neoconservatives’ call for war on the Middle Eastern country. Now, domestic support for Israel makes it harder for Biden to pursue reconciliation with the country’s fierce enemy.

“It [the Biden administration] no longer calculates foreign policy purely on the basis of strategic and global stability, as it was previously doing by improving relations with Iran or at least defusing tensions with Iran,” Sayigh explained. “That was when it was thinking globally. However, now the administration has to consider domestic politics, and the calculation there is different.” “Foreign policy in the Middle East will become hostage to American domestic politics, which is very dangerous,” he warned.

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“..it is a process made of deconstruction and chaos, of divide and control, an illusion of democracy so they can ultimately control absolutely everything..”

BRICS and Global South Challenge ‘Globalist Elites’ With Multipolar World (Sp.)

BRICS and the Global South are offering “a new world order” to the “Western-centric”, Angelo Giuliano, a Hong Kong-based political and financial analyst, told Sputnik. The vision is “strong opposition” to that of the Western-dominated World Economic Forum, suggested the analyst.”The rest of the world, BRICS and the Global South… is opposing the values of a Western-centric world controlled by the very few, the old powerful families and the likes of Blackjacks and other banksters,” Giuliano noted. “What the rest of the world is offering is an option of a multipolar world where differences of cultures and values are respected, an idea of coexistence, of live and let live, respect of sovereignty. Seeking mutual prosperity, mutual respect and maybe also putting the human being at the center of the preoccupation. A world of purpose as opposed to a world of profit,” he stated.

The West, however, takes its directions from multinational corporations, underscored the pundit. “Globalist elites are the real ones in charge in the West. The same globalist elites select Western leaders and give the directions that they want the world to take, it is a process made of deconstruction and chaos, of divide and control, an illusion of democracy so they can ultimately control absolutely everything, for a central digital currency, to ownership, privacy and ultimately to people’s minds,” said the Hong Kong-based political analyst. Earlier, speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan offered up the Biden administration’s vision for the era ahead.

“Major powers are vastly more interdependent than at any time during the Cold War. But we’re also in stiff competition about the type of world we want to build,” Sullivan said in his remarks. “We are moving into a new era, the post-Cold War era has come to a close. We are at the start of something new, we have the capacity to shape what that looks like, and at the heart of it will be many of the core principles, core institutions of the existing order, adapted for the challenges we face today,” he added later, talking with Børge Brende, president of the World Economic Forum and former minister of foreign affairs of Norway.

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“.. fresh blood, money, and weapons are being pumped into the ISIS organization’s arteries again..”

Reviving ISIS: A US weapon Against The Resistance Axis (Cradle)

According to intelligence reports reviewed by The Cradle, at its height, ISIS consisted of more than 35,000 fighters in Iraq – 25,000 of these were killed, while more than 10,000 simply “disappeared.” As an officer of one Iraqi intelligence agency recounts to The Cradle: “Hundreds of ISIS fighters fled to Turkey and Syria at the end of 2017. After the appointment of Abdullah Qardash as the leader of ISIS in 2019, following the death of Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the new Caliph began to restructure the organization, and ordered his followers to return to Iraq. The organization exploited the long border with Syria, the security disturbances, and the diversity of forces on both sides of the border to infiltrate the Iraqi territory again.” Imprisoned ISIS officials admit that infiltrating that border is not an easy task, because of the strict control imposed by the Iraqi Border Guards and the use of modern technologies, such as thermal cameras.

It therefore became necessary for the terror group to identify intermediaries capable of breaking through or bypassing these fortifications to transport its fighters across borders. An Iraqi security source, insisting on anonymity, tells The Cradle that the US plays a vital role in enabling these border violations: “[There are] several incidents that confirm the American assistance in securing the crossing route for ISIS members – mainly, by shelling Iraqi units on the border, especially the Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs), to create gaps that allow ISIS fighters to cross the border.”

[..] In a speech on 5 January, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah warned that the US was supporting an ISIS revival in the region. The Cradle obtained security information monitoring the new activity of extremists in Lebanon, communications between these elements and their counterparts in Iraq and Syria, and suspicious money transfer activities among them. Lebanese Army Intelligence also recently arrested a group of Lebanese and Syrians who were preparing to carry out security operations. Importantly, this surge in terror activities comes at a time when the Lebanese resistance is engaged in a security and military battle with Israel, which may expand at any moment into open war. It is also notable that renewed ISIS activity is concentrated in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Iran; that is, in the countries that support the Palestinian resistance politically, militarily, and logistically.

On 4 January, ISIS officially claimed responsibility for two bombings in the Iranian city of Kerman that targeted memorial processions on the anniversary of the assassination of Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani by US forces. The dual explosions killed around 90 people and injured dozens, in an unprecedented attack targeting the biggest US-Israeli adversary in West Asia – just one day after Tel Aviv killed top Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut. Before that, on 5 October 2023, ISIS drone-attacked an officers graduation ceremony at the Military College in the Syrian city of Homs, killing about 100 people. These attacks, and others in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Africa, indicate that fresh blood, money, and weapons are being pumped into the ISIS organization’s arteries again.

Read more …

“Ukraine is literally being stripped of any chance to get out of the conflict through negotiations.”

Sunak gives Zelensky a few billion, on the condition that he’ll never talk peace. US and UK want the war to continue. Germany and France follow their lead.

These are also the countries, not coincidentally, that will not criticize Israel.

In the UK, Germany and France, also not coincidentally, governments are about to be voted out. (US?!)

UK Working To Prevent Peace – Zakharova (RT)

A security agreement signed last week is further proof that London is maintaining a firm grip on the Kiev government and is working to prevent any prospect of peace, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.On Friday, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a £2.5 billion ($3.2 billion) military assistance package for Ukraine – Britain’s largest to date. The two sides also signed a ten-year security guarantee, with the UK pledging “swift and sustained” aid for Ukraine in the event of a Russian attack in future. Kiev also promised to come to Britain’s defense in the event of Russian “aggression” against the country. Speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday, Zakharova suggested that the deal was an indication that “Ukraine is literally being stripped of any chance to get out of the conflict through negotiations.”

As a result, Kiev is being turned into “a bargaining chip in the reckless ventures of the Anglo-Saxons,” she added, claiming that the UK wants to keep the country in conflict with Russia. She also ridiculed Ukraine’s commitment to defend the UK. “No sane person would believe that. The regime of [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky is crying in every corner that, if not one more dollar … is transferred to it, Ukraine will cease to exist. And under these conditions, Ukraine undertakes to help Britain in the event of a military threat to the kingdom.” Russia has never closed the door on peace negotiations with Kiev despite Zelensky barring talks with the current leadership in Moscow in the autumn of 2022. This was made law after four former Ukrainian regions overwhelmingly voted to become part of Russia.

Meanwhile, both Russian and Ukrainian officials have confirmed that Moscow and Kiev were close to settling the conflict in the spring of 2022, but the process was derailed by then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who convinced Ukraine to keep fighting. One of Russia’s key demands was that Ukraine stay neutral and refrain from joining military alliances. Last week – months after the first reports of his role in the talks emerged – Johnson dismissed the allegations that he had sabotaged a peace deal as “total nonsense and Russian propaganda.” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Kiev could have ended the conflict if it had ignored Johnson. Now, “Ukrainian statehood could be dealt an irreparable and very serious blow… if things carry on this way,” he warned, noting that Russian troops had regained the initiative on the battlefield after Kiev’s failed counteroffensive.

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“Wars happen when the government tells you who your enemy is. Revolution happens when you work it out for yourself.”

Britons Mock Warmongering Lecture by UK Defense Secretary (Sp.)

The United Kingdom’s Defense Secretary Grant Shapps warned of potential war with Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea within the next five years in a widely mocked speech in London this week. Shapps delivered the address to promote greater investment in military spending in the UK and its European allies. “The era of the peace dividend is over,” said Shapps in remarks he also shared on his profile on the X social media platform. The so-called “peace dividend” was a proposed reinvestment of government finances toward domestic concerns after the end of the Cold War. The comment may leave many Britons wondering when exactly they enjoyed a peace dividend, as the British government has imposed a policy of economic austerity for a number of years.

The UK was also perhaps the US’ strongest ally in the so-called “War on Terror,” which led to the deaths of more than 4.5 million people across the Middle East according to some estimates. The comments come as European media is reporting on supposed “leaked documents” that allege Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning to launch an attack on Germany and other NATO members in the near future. The claims were dismissed as “fake news” by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Britons greeted Shapps’ remarks with ridicule, with multiple posts by the defense minister being “ratioed” on the X platform, meaning they received more comments than likes as users piled on to jeer the jingoistic speech.

“Obviously, the best way to deter enemies and lead allies is by pouring billions of pounds into the military industrial complex,” responded one user sarcastically. “You do know we were involved in bloody and unsuccessful wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?” added another. “Can you explain how British soldiers killed in Helmand or in Basra were at all beneficiaries of this so-called era of the peace dividend?” “The people need to prepare for a new era of conflict with you bastards,” wrote user John Wight, expressing widespread antipathy towards governing elites in the West. “Wars happen when the government tells you who your enemy is. Revolution happens when you work it out for yourself.”

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“According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, France has provided Kiev with €500 million ($540 million) in military aid – less than Slovakia has..”

West Cannot Let Russia Win – Macron (RT)

French president Emmanuel Macron has announced new deliveries of long-range missiles and bombs to Kiev, while insisting the West “cannot let Russia win” the conflict with Ukraine. He added that he will visit the country next month. Speaking at a press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Tuesday, the French leader reiterated that his country will continue to assist Ukraine. Amid criticism that France has not been doing enough to help Kiev, Macron said Paris would send 40 SCALP air-launched cruise missiles, which have a range of more than 250km, as well as “hundreds of bombs.” Local media, citing French officials, reported that the president was referring to munitions equipped with the AASM, or HAMMER module, which transforms ordinary bombs into precision-guided weapons with a range of up to 70km. Russia has repeatedly accused Kiev of using Western-supplied long-range weapons to target civilian infrastructure.

Macron added that he would visit Ukraine in February to finalize a bilateral security agreement with Kiev, similar to the one the country recently signed with the UK. The ten-year deal between the two, which was announced last week, guarantees Britain’s “swift and sustained security assistance” to Ukraine in the event of a future Russian attack, while outlining numerous other support measures. Some of France’s NATO allies, notably Poland, have criticized it for not pulling its weight in assisting Ukraine despite being one of Europe’s most powerful economies. According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, France has provided Kiev with €500 million ($540 million) in military aid – less than Slovakia has. However, lawmakers in Paris have insisted that the true scale of the assistance was actually larger, blaming flawed methodology.

Ukraine has been asking for more Western aid since the start of the conflict in February 2022, recently expressing concerns about gridlock in the US Congress over approval for additional funding. On Monday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba called on the West to do more in this regard, vowing that Ukrainians “would fight with shovels” once they run out of weapons. France first provided Ukraine with 50 SCALP missiles last year, following the lead of the UK, which sent similar weapons – Storm Shadows. Russia has since accused Kiev of using Western-supplied long-range missiles to target residential areas, causing numerous civilian casualties.

Zel

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Well, we’ve seen the farmers protest exactly this.

Germany To Double Defense Aid For Ukraine This Year (RT)

Germany will shell out more than €7 billion ($7.6 billion) on military aid for Ukraine this year, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said. Late last year, Bild reported that Berlin was going to double its initial figure of €4 billion, with Defense Minister Boris Pistorius understood to have demanded a bigger contribution. Speaking at a joint press conference with Luxembourg Prime Minister Luc Frieden in Berlin last Monday, the German chancellor mentioned the €7 billion contribution for Kiev in 2024. He also called on the country’s “allies in the European Union to strengthen their efforts,” lamenting that some member states had been tight-fisted in their backing of Ukraine. In a phone call with US President Joe Biden on Tuesday, Scholz said “Germany will support Ukraine with more than €7 billion worth of military goods in 2024,” as quoted by the chancellery.

Back in November, Bild, citing unnamed sources in the defense ministry, claimed that Germany’s original budget for 2024 had provided €4 billion in defense aid for Ukraine. According to the article, most of that sum covered projects that had already been agreed, with little resources left for any further commitments. Pistorius took issue with this, and insisted that the figure be doubled to €8 billion, the media outlet reported at the time. Berlin provided Kiev with nearly $23 billion in aid between February 2022 and November 2023, according to the Kiel Institute for World Economy (IfW), making Germany the second-largest contributor after the US. Washington confirmed last week that its assistance had “ground to a halt” due to weeks of political bickering between Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

Late last year, the Biden administration asked representatives to give the green light to more than $60 billion worth of weapons and military equipment for Kiev. However, the GOP has been blocking the package, demanding that President Biden and the Democrats first agree to their plan to tighten security at the border with Mexico. Since Kiev’s summer counteroffensive fizzled out with no major gains and heavy losses, top Ukrainian officials have increasingly been pressuring their Western backers for yet more weaponry. Russia has consistently criticized Western arms shipments to Ukraine, arguing that these prolong the bloodshed unnecessarily without changing the outcome of the conflict.

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“We will put you in this situation that you will not be able to easily get out of the conflict because we have another fish to fry on the horizon..”

How US Coerces France & Germany to Fund Zelensky’s Failing Conflict (Sp.)

France and Germany announced recently they’d commit to continued support for Ukraine in 2024. As US aid has ground to a halt amidst political infighting, Washington has increasingly leaned on European powers to help make up the difference. But after the failure of Kiev’s 2023 counteroffensive, the writing is on the wall regarding the country’s slim chance of success in European capitals as well, with some savvy leaders riding to power on promises to end weapons shipments. How then is the United States managing to keep some of Western Europe’s largest economies on board for the effort? Sputnik spoke with two international affairs experts for insight. “Germany is a very interesting country,” said London-based analyst Adriel Kasonta. “Americans have a huge influence in Germany after the Second World War. And when the Americans set up their bases in Germany and decided to somehow, in one way or another, occupy Germany to stay there in order to make sure that Germany will not emerge as a superpower on the continent, they exercised a very huge influence over this country.”

“In order to meet their commitments towards the western hegemon, the United States, Germany [has] to do or show an extra effort in whatever European countries are doing,” explained the former chairman of the International Affairs Committee at the Bow Group think tank. “So if, for instance, the United States is objecting [to] the charges against Israel brought by South Africa, Germany has to be the first country to object after the United States.”“If the United States is saying that Russia is an enemy, then Germany has to be the first country in Europe to beat the same drum and beat the drum of war and to sustain the supply,” he said. Kasonta also claimed Germany benefits from the influx of Ukrainian migrants caused by the conflict, calling the country “the migrant economy.” Cheap labor from throughout the continent is crucial to Germany’s economic strength, especially as Western sanctions on Russia backfire by driving up energy costs. However, the policy does not come without consequences in the form of rising domestic opposition from the German public.

Russian affairs analyst Gilbert Doctorow also points out that the loss of Russian gas has had a “very damaging impact on the [competitiveness] of German industry and on investment in new production.”The international relations expert noted that France has a different relationship with the United States than Germany but nevertheless has its own reasons for continued support for Ukraine’s military effort.“Both are heavily invested in the Ukraine cause and in ensuring there is no Russian victory, which would be a major disaster for NATO and for the entire existing concept of European security that these countries share,” he explained. “Their control of their own domestic politics will be greatly compromised if they turn their back on the Ukraine propaganda narrative they have been promoting for the past two years,” Doctorow added. “With Europe wide parliamentary elections coming in June, they could be heavily punished at the ballot box.”

Along with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron has so thoroughly committed himself to the narrative of the conflict in the Donbass as an existential battle for Europe that he would have difficulty in suddenly backing away from his country’s support. Kasonta claimed that the emergence of hostilities with Ukraine has been bad for the continent as a whole because it prevents Russia from uniting with the rest of the continent and forming a truly counter-hegemonic force.“We will use you by putting you in trouble with your closest neighbor, which is Russia,” he said, summarizing the thinking of US policymakers. “We will put you in this situation that you will not be able to easily get out of the conflict because we have another fish to fry on the horizon. And this fish to fry on the horizon is the conflict with China.”

[..] “The international community and especially people in Western Europe formed their own opinion about what is happening,” he added. “They formed the opinion about their own governments. They felt betrayed by their governments for a long time before the conflict in Ukraine started. But I think that the conflict in Ukraine is the final nail in the coffin of the current neoliberal establishment in the West.” “As I’ve said, either way, the governments in the West have failed.”

Putin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747423612309553489

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How much longer does Duda have?

Poland’s Decision To Host German Troops Will Not Go Unanswered – Moscow (RT)

Warsaw’s announcement that it is prepared to invite German military units, in addition to already existing NATO forces in the country, demonstrates the West’s anti-russian agenda and desire to increase tensions in Europe and will not go unanswered, said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. Her comments come after Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Szejn stated on Monday that Warsaw was willing to host German troops on its territory for the first time since World War II in order to further strengthen NATO’s eastern flank. It’s unclear if Germany has any actual plans for such deployments. During a press briefing on Wednesday, Zakharova recalled that there are currently about 10,000 US troops already stationed in Poland, as well as a multinational NATO combat tactical group which includes military personnel from the US, the UK, Romania and Croatia.

The spokeswoman pointed out that calls to deploy even more foreign forces to Poland were “not necessary if these countries are peace-oriented,” and can only be interpreted as a desire to further escalate tensions in Europe and prolong the collapse of pan-European security, which she said has been completely undermined by NATO. Zakharova also recalled that late last year, Germany had signed an agreement with Lithuania to increase the size of the Bundeswehr contingent in the Baltic republic to a brigade, and suggested that Polish leaders were trying not to “lag behind their neighbors in demonstrating loyalty to their older brothers from Berlin and Washington.”

“The increased activity and the strengthening of NATO’s military capabilities near the borders of Russia and the Union State of Russia and Belarus is provocative and is leading to the complete degradation of the European security architecture,” Zakharova said, stressing that “such steps will, of course, not be left without an appropriate response from the Russian side.” The spokeswoman also pondered how Poland intended to finance the potential deployment of German troops on its territory and whether it would seek compensation from Berlin, given the fact that Warsaw is already demanding $1.3 trillion in WW2 reparations from Germany. The reparations demands were put forward under the former PiS government which was ousted from power last month. Poland’s new government, led by former European Council President Donald Tusk, has stated that it will continue to seek these compensations from Berlin, but would work with Germany to find “a favorable and fair solution.”

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US coerces EU towards provoking Russia.

Brussels Starts ‘Screening’ Ukrainian Laws (RT)

Brussels has announced launching a “screening process and putting together the negotiating framework” as part of negotiations with Ukraine on its ambition to join the EU. Some member states previously said Kiev was years away from achieving its goal. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen mentioned the new phase during a Wednesday speech before the European Parliament. Von der Leyen mentioned the new phase during a speech before MEPs. She mused that when the formal accession process was launched last year, “hearts of millions of Ukrainians were filled with hope and joy” and claimed that Ukrainian lawmakers had made strides in adopting required reforms.

Earlier this week, von der Leyen met Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. His office said the screening of national legislation was discussed there and will move Ukraine towards full membership. The EU leadership resorted to unusual political maneuvering when it pushed the start of accession talks through the Council of Europe in December. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a vocal critic of Brussels’ approach to Kiev, left the meeting when the vote was cast. This allowed the EU requirement for unanimous approval to be technically met without him explicitly supporting the decision. Both Kiev and von der Leyen urged member states to ensure continued funding of the Ukrainian government with European taxpayers’ money. During the same session of the Council, Orban vetoed a Commission proposal to allocate €50 billion ($54 billion) over four years to support Kiev. Budapest wants any funding to be done on an annual basis pending review and be done outside of the joint EU budget.

EU leaders will discuss both issues during an extraordinary summit on February 1. Longterm “stable and substantial financing to Ukraine” is needed to “support the daily functioning of the state, to stabilize the economy, and to bring it closer to our Union,” the Commission head said in her address. Hungary is not alone in its skepticism about Ukraine’s candidacy. French President Emmanuel Macron, for instance, told domestic media that the EU was “very far” from accepting it as a new member, commenting on the outcome of the December summit. Meanwhile, the new government in Slovakia has sided with Hungary in its attitude towards Ukraine. Prime Minister Robert Fico called Budapest’s conditions for funding Kiev “rational and sensible” during a visit to Hungary on Tuesday.

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There seems to be a rat in here somewhere.

Judges Smack Down Jack Smith for Violating Trump’s Executive Privilege (PB)

Special Counsel Jack Smith has been excoriated by a panel of four appellate court judges for his unprecedented search of a former president’s private communications. The judges condemned Smith’s violation of executive privilege by searching former President Donald Trump’s Twitter files. “Holy sh*t: 4 judges on DC appellate court just delivered a scorching smack down of Special Counsel Jack Smith, Judge Beryl Howell, and Judge Florence Pan for search of Trump’s Twitter file,” reported Julie Kelly. “The Special Counsel’s approach obscured and bypassed any assertion of executive privilege and dodged the careful balance Congress struck in the Presidential Records Act,” she added while citing a user named @FamilyManAndrew.

The court document states: “This case turned on the First Amendment rights of a social media company, but looming in the background are consequential and novel questions about executive privilege and the balance of power between the President, Congress, and the courts.” “Seeking access to former President Donald Trump’s Twitter/X account, Special Counsel Jack Smith directed a search warrant at Twitter and obtained a nondisclosure order that prevented Twitter from informing President Trump about the search,” the judges added. “The Special Counsel’s approach obscured and dodged the careful balance Congress struck in the Presidential Records Act. The district court and this court permitted the arrangement without any consideration of the consequential executive privilege issues raised by this unprecedented search.”

“We should not have endorsed this gambit,” the judges added. “‘Any court completely in the dark as to what Presidential files contain is duty bound to respect the singularly unique role under Art. II of a President’s communications and activities’ by affording such communications a presumptive privilege,” the judges added, citing the legal precedent in United States v. Haldeman. Julie Kelly provided additional commentary on the case. “This by Judge Naomi Rao is a withering condemnation of Judge Howell (district court) and Judge Pan (*this court*) about their decisions to brazenly circumvent normal exec privilege litigation process to give Jack Smith what he demanded,” Kelly reported. “Rao continues her thrashing of former chief judge Howell—even noting Howell’s snarky comment to Twitter’s lawyer during sealed hearing as to why Twitter fought nondisclosure order,” she added. “Keep in mind, Howell and Smith also suggested Trump was a “flight risk” as reason to keep search warrant concealed from Trump.”

“And Florence Pan, who upheld Howell’s order, is the idiot who brought up ‘Seal Team Six’ hypothetical last week in appellate hearing on presidential immunity,” Kelly remarked. The Daily Mail, however, reported that the court nonetheless rejected Twitter’s appeal to have the case reheard, but the case is now free to move to the Supreme Court. “A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Special Counsel Jack Smith can have access to former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account, as he investigates the former president for 2020 election interference,” the report noted. “The full U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C., rejected a petition from Twitter to rehear the case after a three-judge panel ruled against the social media company in July,” it continued. The Daily Mail noted more gripes from the appellate court.

“Without a presumption for executive privilege, new questions will invariably arise, particularly because nothing in the panel’s opinion is limited to a former President,” the judges said. “What if, in the course of a criminal investigation, a special counsel sought a warrant for the incumbent President’s communications from a private email or phone provider? Under this court’s decision, executive privilege isn’t even on the table, so long as the special counsel makes a showing that a warrant and nondisclosure order are necessary to the prosecution,” they continued. “And following the Special Counsel’s roadmap, what would prevent a state prosecutor from using a search warrant and nondisclosure order to obtain presidential communications from a third-party messaging application?” the judges went on. “And how might Congress benefit from this precedent when it seeks to subpoena presidential materials from third parties in an investigation or impeachment inquiry?” Rao and the other judges asked.

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“..It’s not the government portraying Hunter as Tony Montana from “Scarface,” it’s Hunter himself. He’ll have a tough time changing that story now..”

A Gun Pouch Covered In Cocaine Shows Hunter’s Defense Is Ridiculous (Turley)

Hunter Biden’s counsel Abbe Lowell has faced a series of legal blows in his defense of Hunter Biden, but not quite as literal or lethal as what came this week in his client’s gun prosecution. After Lowell sought to dismiss the federal indictment as a trumped-up political prosecution, the Justice Department lowered the boom and revealed that Hunter’s gun was found in a pouch covered in cocaine. The disclosure is devastating for a defense that Lowell just rolled out late last year. In October, Lowell argued that Hunter had not lied on ATF Form 4473 that he was not an unlawful user of, or addicted to, narcotics. “At the time that he purchased this gun, I don’t think there’s evidence that that’s when he was suffering,” he said. It was a curious shift, since Hunter, the President, and the media have repeatedly used his addiction to forgive everything from corruption to influence peddling.

Hunter released a book that had laid the foundation of that defense and “Beautiful Things” was heralded by many in the press. Reviews gushed about “an astonishingly candid and brave book about loss, human frailty, wayward souls, and hard-fought redemption.” The image of a clear, redemptive soul is strikingly out of sync with a gun pouch that the officers who found it said was covered in coke. In the Special Counsel’s filing, the court was informed that “an FBI chemist subsequently analyzed the residue and determined that it was cocaine. To be clear, “investigators literally found drugs on the pouch where the defendant had kept his gun.” Hunter bought and possessed the Colt Cobra 38SPL revolver for 11 days between Oct. 12 and Oct. 23, 2018. That possession ended when his sister-in-law Hallie Biden was tossed into a dumpster in Wilmington, Delaware.

Hallie, the widow of Hunter’s deceased brother, had begun a sexual relationship with him and she apparently became concerned about what he might do with the gun. According to Hunter’s own memoir, that would make the window of sobriety a mere blink in time for a defense. The defense will likely challenge the admissibility of police testing due to the gun being tossed into the dumpster. Of course, Lowell can now argue that Wilmington dumpsters are so saturated with cocaine that any item would come out covered in coke. It is more likely that they will cite the break in the chain of custody as making the test unreliable and prejudicial.

What is clear is that the sobriety defense seems not so much risky as implausible. The government could argue that it should be able to use the testing as circumstantial evidence to rebut the claim or even impeach Hunter if he takes the stand (which seems unlikely). Hunter wrote about being a crack addict and alcoholic throughout this period, writing in his book that at some points he was “drinking a quart of vodka a day by yourself in a room is absolutely, completely debilitating” as was “smoking crack around the clock.” It’s not the government portraying Hunter as Tony Montana from “Scarface,” it’s Hunter himself. He’ll have a tough time changing that story now.

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Chevron Case: The 1984 Supreme Court ruled “that judges should defer to the reasonable interpretation of agencies in administering ambiguous federal laws.”

Dereliction of duty by 1984 SCOTUS. The results were easy to see comimg.

Supreme Court to Hear Potentially Historic Chevron Case (Turley)

Today, the Supreme Court will hear two of the most important cases of the term. At issue is the continued meaning (or even viability) of the Chevron doctrine, the 40-year-old doctrine granting deference to federal agencies in regulations carrying out federal laws. This massive doctrine, blamed for the dominance of the administrative state, could be brought down by the diminutive herring. The cases are Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce. In 1984, the Supreme Court ruled in Chevron U.S.A. v. Natural Resources Defense Council that judges should defer to the reasonable interpretation of agencies in administering ambiguous federal laws. That deference continued to grow in later years to the point that some of us have warned of the emergence of a type of fourth branch of government.

The court went even further in Arlington v. FCC in giving deference to agencies even in defining their own jurisdiction. In dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts warned: “It would be a bit much to describe the result as ‘the very definition of tyranny,’ but the danger posed by the growing power of the administrative state cannot be dismissed.” When I testified at the confirmation hearing of Neil Gorsuch, I noted that Chervon would likely be part of his legacy given his opposition to its use. Justice Gorsuch wrote in a 2022 dissent from denial of certiorari in Buffington v. McDonough that what he called “the aggressive reading of Chevron has more or less fallen into desuetude.” He added:

“At this late hour, the whole project deserves a tombstone no one can miss. We should acknowledge forthrightly that Chevron did not undo, and could not have undone, the judicial duty to provide an independent judgment of the law’s meaning in the cases that come before the Nation’s courts.” The cases today concern federal requirements that commercial fishermen pay for at-sea monitors. Herring fishermen in New Jersey and Rhode Island are challenging the law in a case with a long list of amicus filings on both sides from groups, politicians, and businesses. The fishermen say that the monitors could put them out of business, costing up to 20 percent of their annual revenues in a business that is already marginal for profits. They argue that the government wants monitors (which they do not necessarily oppose) but lacked the funds.

The decision was made to shift the costs to the fishermen and then citing Chevron to curtail judicial review. One of the lead counsel is my friend and former colleague Columbia professor Philip Hamburger, a brilliant academic who believes that the doctrine has fundamentally distorted our tripartite constitutional system. In both lower court cases, Chevron carried the day for the agency. In addition to the New Jersey case, the court added the second, nearly identical one from Rhode Island to its calendar — presumably because Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was recused in the New Jersey matter after serving on the appeals court panel that initially reviewed it before her elevation to the Supreme Court.

Chevron
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747645275605172307

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A big task: “130 countries – representing over 98% of global gross domestic product – are exploring or developing CBDCs..”

Trump Vows To “Never Allow” A Central Bank Digital Currency (ZH)

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday vowed to never allow the use of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), as it would “give the government absolute control over your money.” “This would be a dangerous threat to freedom – and I will stop it from coming to America. We are also going to put in place strong protections to stop banks and regulators from trying to de-bank you for your political beliefs. That will never happen while I am your president,” Trump told a crowd in Portsmouth, New Hampshire – as first reported by The National Pulse. Trump’s comments come hours after Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) revealed that federal agencies have been flagging financial transactions using politically sensitive words such as “MAGA” and “Trump” in yet another egregious example of the establishment targeting political rivals.

As we’ve reported for years, CBDCs – touted by globalists such as French Central Bank deputy governor Denis Beau as “the catalyst for improving cross-border payments by enabling the build-up of a new international monetary system” – are in fact the ultimate tools of oppression. Even Fed Governors know ‘this way lies danger’: “In thinking about the implications of CBDC and privacy, we must also consider the central role that money plays in our daily lives, and the risk that a CBDC would provide not only a window into, but potentially an impediment to, the freedom Americans enjoy in choosing how money and resources are used and invested,” Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman told a Harvard Law School Program on International Financial Systems last year.

Central bank digital currencies are part of a broader “war on cash.” A cashless society is sold on the promise of providing a safe, convenient, and more secure alternative to physical cash. We’re also told it will help stop dangerous criminals who like the intractability of cash. But there is a darker side – the promise of control.The elimination of cash creates the potential for the government to track and control consumer spending. Digital economies would also make it even easier for central banks to engage in manipulative monetary policies such as negative interest rates. But they seem to be an inevitability, as according to data from the Atlantic Council CBDC Tracker, 130 countries – representing over 98% of global gross domestic product – are exploring or developing CBDCs, marking an outsized increase from just a few years ago.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

GVB Vaccines will be banned from medicine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747421038860808465

 

 

Milei
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747635083521998960

 

 

Balloon

 

 

 

 

Best friends
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747733727076347993

 

 

Bald eagle
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747562077831512236

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 302023
 


Paul Cézanne Curtains 1885

 

Israel’s Gaza Offensive Ends in Political, Military Defeat – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Erdogan Dubs Netanyahu ‘Butcher of Gaza’ (RT)
Hamas Informs Mediators of Willingness To Extend Gaza Truce (Cradle)
Pentagon Struggling To Pay For Middle East Buildup – Politico (RT)
CIA Director Increasingly Supplanting ‘Neocon’ Blinken in Gaza Diplomacy (Sp.)
No Ukraine Ceasefire In 2024 – Moscow (RT)
Deep State Wants to Dump Zelensky After He Outlives Usefulness (Sp.)
Has The Ukraine Conflict Entered Its Endgame? (RT)
West Watching Zelensky-Zaluzhny Fight, Thumbs Up to Most Malleable (Sp.)
Hunter to Face a Moment of Truth Before the House Oversight Committee (Turley)
Russian Oligarchs Contemplate The Devil And The Deep Sea (Helmer)
The French Are Desperate For A New Napoleon. Will They Get One? (Marsden)
DOJ Ordered Twitter Data for Everyone Who Liked, Followed, Retweeted Trump (PB)
Elon Musk to Companies Pulling Ads From X: ‘Go F*** Yourself’ (Sp.)
‘Make Them Pay’: Trump Attacks MSNBC in Social Media Salvo (Sp.)
Judge Rules Contents of Seth Rich Laptop Must Be Released…(CTH)

 

 

 

 

Trump Tucker

 

 

 

 

Jeffrey Sachs

 

 

Ritter

 

 

 

 

Bill Gates

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The world has flipped against Israel. Israel has been exposed as a war criminal state,” Ritter said. “Even America, who has shown the ability to chug blood by the gallon, is saying ‘enough is enough’.”

Israel’s Gaza Offensive Ends in Political, Military Defeat – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

Israel has lost both the political and military battle in the Gaza Strip, says a leading geopolitical commentator. Israel and the Hamas Islamic resistance movement that governs the besieged Palestinian enclave reportedly agreed on Tuesday to extend the four-day ceasefire, brokered by Persian Gulf Arab state Qatar, for another two to three days. Exchanges of captives will continue during that extension, with Hamas releasing 20 Israelis taken prisoner during its October 7 raids into southern Israel. The number of Palestinians to be freed was not reported, but Israel had previously released 180 women and children from its jails in return for 61 Israeli civilians and roughly 20 foreigners held by Hamas. Former US Marine Scott Ritter told Sputnik that the bombing and ground invasion had been unsuccessful when measured “by Israel’s own standards.” He pointed out that Israel had dismissed any talk of a ceasefire from the start of the latest escalation on October 7, while Hamas had offered a truce and prisoner exchange.

“That was Hamas’ goal all along,” Ritter said. “One of the stated objectives of Hamas was to get Israel to release the thousands of Palestinians that it’s holding.” The commentator noted that Hamas had made three political demands after launching its al-Aqsa Flood operation: statehood for Palestine, the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails and an end to Israeli settler and police incursions into the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem — Islam’s third holiest site and under Jordanian jurisdiction. “Those are the three big things. Hamas is on the path of accomplishing every single one of those,” Ritter stressed. “War is an extension of politics by other means. Hamas is winning politically.” By contrast, the conflict had been a political disaster for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

More than 16,000 Palestinians have been killed in nearly two months of Israeli bombing and ground incursions, with 35,000 wounded and 6,000 still missing under the rubble of destroyed homes. “The world has flipped against Israel. Israel has been exposed as a war criminal state,” Ritter said. “Even America, who has shown the ability to chug blood by the gallon, is saying ‘enough is enough’.” But ultimately, the former UN weapons inspector argued, Netanyahu was forced to accept the ceasefire “because Israel had been fought to a standstill in Gaza.” “You can look at the map and look at all the blue there. That’s empty space. That’s uncontested, destroyed urban areas,” Ritter said. “But the bulk of Gaza, northern Gaza ain’t under Israeli control.”

He asserted that in the days leading up to the truce, Israeli troops had refused to go into battle “because they were getting slaughtered, because they were going in to Hamas’ trap.” “Hamas was springing up here, there and everywhere and taking them out,” Ritter said. “They only killed a thousand lightly-armed Hamas people. All that bombing, and they only got 1,000. Are you kidding me? What does that tell you? That Hamas knows what they’re doing, that Hamas is deep underground, that Hamas was prepared for this fight and this fight had only just begun.”

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“Netanyahu, who committed one of the greatest atrocities of the last century in Gaza, has already inscribed his name in history as the ‘Butcher of Gaza’..”

Erdogan Dubs Netanyahu ‘Butcher of Gaza’ (RT)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has committed in Gaza one of the worst atrocities of the century, making his mark in history a bloody one, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a parliamentary group meeting on Wednesday. In his televised speech, he spoke out against the Israeli military operation in the Palestinian enclave. Erdogan blasted “human rights violations and acts of war in Gaza” and the “apathy of most Western nations,” stating that Türkiye “will exhaust all efforts to hold the Israeli government accountable under international law and moral responsibility.” The speech echoed a conversation Erdogan had with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday, when the Turkish president called for Israel to be held to account for continuing to “blatantly trample on international law, the law of war and humanitarian law.”

Israel has waged war on the militant group Hamas since October 7, after the latter’s surprise attack on Israeli soil claimed more than 1,200 lives, mostly civilians, while another 200 were taken hostage. West Jerusalem retaliated with, as Erdogan put it “a kind of genocide by cutting off the food, fuel, medicine, bread, electricity, water, and communication of 2.3 million people, squeezing them into a 360-square-kilometer open-air prison.” “Netanyahu, who committed one of the greatest atrocities of the last century in Gaza, has already inscribed his name in history as the ‘Butcher of Gaza,’” the Turkish president proclaimed. The subsequent Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) bombing campaign and ground operation have resulted in more than 16,000 Palestinian deaths, including women and children, according to local officials.

Netanyahu fired back at earlier comments by Erdogan that Israel was a “terrorist state” by stating that the Turkish president “supports the terrorist state of Hamas.” Erdogan expressed his view that Netanyahu’s actions in Gaza and the press they have elicited are “fueling anti-Semitism and endangering the safety of all Jews along with the Israeli people.” Following significant international pressure, a four-day humanitarian pause in the Gaza hostilities was arranged last week and subsequently extended. An exchange of prisoners followed, with Hamas trading their hostages for Palestinians kept as prisoners in Israel.

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“We are working to strengthen the Qatari mediation role in reaching a truce and then a permanent cease-fire.”

Hamas Informs Mediators of Willingness To Extend Gaza Truce (Cradle)

Citing alleged Hamas sources, AFP reported on 29 November that the Palestinian resistance group is looking to extend the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip for at least four more days. “Hamas has informed the mediators that it is willing to extend the truce for four days and that the movement would be able to release Israeli prisoners that it, other resistance movements, and other parties hold during this period, according to the terms of the existing truce,” the sources revealed to AFP. The temporary truce between the Palestinian resistance and Israel, mediated by Qatar and Egypt, is set to expire early on Thursday after a two-day extension. If what the AFP sources say is confirmed, it would more than double the length of the initial ceasefire between the warring parties, a deal that has Israeli government members red with rage.

Egyptian media has reported that efforts to extend the truce for a few additional days are “a possibility” and that “the conditions for the release of Israeli military will be completely different.” On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that Qatari and Egyptian mediators are working to extend the current ceasefire in Gaza. “A long-term cease-fire would likely require Israel and Hamas to make hard-to-swallow concessions, such as trading Israeli soldiers for potentially thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails,” Egyptian and Qatari officials told WSJ. On Tuesday, Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majed al-Ansari said, “We are working to strengthen the Qatari mediation role in reaching a truce and then a permanent cease-fire.”

So far, as part of the extended six-day temporary ceasefire, 60 Israeli captives and 180 Palestinian prisoners have already been released, and more are set to walk free on 29 November. Teenagers were among the Palestinian prisoners released by Israel as part of the temporary ceasefire. Mohammad Nazzal was among those released who mentioned that the Israelis beat the teenager and other prisoners “without any reason.”

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“..the military “had to pull money from existing operations and maintenance accounts.”

Pentagon Struggling To Pay For Middle East Buildup – Politico (RT)

The Pentagon is scrambling to find money to pay for a military buildup in the Middle East amid the Hamas-Israel conflict due to gridlock in the US Congress, which has so far been unable to approve full defense funding, Politico reported on Tuesday. The US Department of Defense, along with many other federal agencies, is now operating under a stopgap funding bill which was signed by US President Joe Biden earlier this month to avert a potential government shutdown. The measure, which did not satisfy Biden’s request for additional money for Israel and Ukraine, also freezes other types of defense spending at the previous year’s levels.

Pentagon spokesman Chris Sherwood told Politico that since no one planned for a massive redeployment of US forces to the Middle East after the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, the military “had to pull money from existing operations and maintenance accounts.” This means less funding for exercises and deployments that had already been planned. “We’re taking it out of hide,” the spokesman said. Since the start of the Middle East crisis, the US has deployed two aircraft carriers with escorts, additional missile and air defense systems, more than 1,000 troops, and an Ohio-class nuclear-powered missile submarine to the region. The military buildup came as the US declared unequivocal support for Israel in its conflict with the Palestinian armed group Hamas, as well as fears that hostilities could lead to a major regional escalation involving Iran and Islamist organizations with ties to Tehran.

US defense officials had previously sounded the alarm about the congressional stalemate, warning that a lack of funding could harm not only shipbuilding and procurement programs, but the industrial base itself. Speaking to Defense News, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Radha Plumb did not rule out the possibility of an “additive domino effect of delays,” noting that suppliers could be especially hard-hit by this. Meanwhile, Under Secretary of Defense Bill LaPlante warned of potential layoffs in contractor companies due to the lack of Pentagon funding. According to Politico, if US lawmakers are unable to pass a full spending bill by spring, the Pentagon and other federal departments will have to cut their overall expenses by 1%.

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“..Biden is going out of his way to make sure that none of the above will be an impediment to them getting weapons,” said Kovalik. “He’s already going to be remembered for dead children in Gaza.”

CIA Director Increasingly Supplanting ‘Neocon’ Blinken in Gaza Diplomacy (Sp.)

Labor attorney and human rights activist Dan Kovalik joined Sputnik’s Political Misfits crew Tuesday to discuss the ongoing crisis in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip. As a fragile ceasefire of hostilities continues, Washington has reportedly been working behind the scenes to secure the release of captives and facilitate negotiations in Qatar. Increasingly, one Biden administration figure has been playing a key role in US statecraft. “The irony of ironies is that [William] Burns, who’s the head of the CIA, actually has much more of a diplomatic temperament than [Antony] Blinken does,” said Kovalik, claiming that Biden’s Secretary of State has taken a backseat in secret negotiations regarding the Palestine-Israel conflict. “Blinken’s a neocon. And in terms of what’s happening in Ukraine and in what’s happening in Gaza, he’s extreme, and has really tended to do things to increase the chance for conflict rather than the opposite.” Secretary of State Blinken has a relationship with Biden going back decades, making him one of the closest members of the White House cabinet to the current president.

But host John Kiriakou suspects the career diplomat is “in over his head” on matters relating to Israel. “Burns is a man of action,” Kiriakou claimed, to which Kovalik agreed before adding: “Burns has been a much more calm and considered diplomat.” “He’s been a voice of reason,” continued Kovalik, noting Burns’ past recognition that Ukraine joining NATO “would be a red line for Russia that we don’t want to cross.” President Biden elevated the Central Intelligence Agency director to a cabinet-level position earlier this year, representing the increasing importance of the controversial agency. The CIA’s often underhanded practices were once highly controversial in the United States, famously culminating in the Senate Church Committee hearings in 1975. The inquiry uncovered a plethora of abuses committed by the agency, including the MKULTRA human experimentation program, support for the Chilean coup against Salvador Allende, and domestic spying and infiltration of civil rights groups.

Since then the CIA’s tactics have increasingly been adopted by other government agencies such as USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy. When former President Donald Trump made ex-CIA director Mike Pompeo his secretary of state, it seemed to imply a complete merger between the secretive government body and America’s public-facing foreign policy establishment. Biden’s reliance on Burns may provide him with an expanded toolset in the United States’ increasingly unpopular support for Israel’s military incursion, but it could also risk damaging Biden’s long-term reputation, which Kovalik noted is already at risk after the announcement of support for sending unlimited supplies of US weapons to Israel. “At a time that israel is being credibly accused of genocide and ethnic cleansing and war crimes, Biden is going out of his way to make sure that none of the above will be an impediment to them getting weapons,” said Kovalik. “He’s already going to be remembered for dead children in Gaza.”

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“..Moscow’s relationship with the US-led military bloc is unlikely to recover anytime soon “for reasons of principle and practical nature..”

No Ukraine Ceasefire In 2024 – Moscow (RT)

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov sees no chance for a ceasefire in the Ukraine conflict next year, considering that Kiev and its Western backers have taken a position that is totally unacceptable to Moscow. The senior diplomat offered his analysis of Russia’s relations with NATO and Ukraine in an interview with the newspaper Izvestia published on Wednesday. He expects no breakthroughs, despite suggestions in the Western press that the US may be nudging Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky towards a negotiated settlement. “Unfortunately, the US leads the Western group, which recites the ‘Zelensky peace formula’ as mantra, claiming it to be the only possible basis for an agreement,” he said, adding that a dialogue is “impossible on this basis.”

Asked whether he expected a ceasefire next year, Ryabkov responded negatively. He said: “I expect the goals of the special military operation to be unconditionally achieved.” The ‘peace formula’ proposed by Zelensky last year entails Kiev reassuming control over its pre-2014 borders and receiving war reparations from Moscow and subjecting Russian officials to a war tribunal amid extensive international support for Ukraine. Moscow has dismissed the proposal as being detached from reality. The German tabloid Bild claimed last week that Washington and Berlin were rationing arms deliveries to Ukraine to pressure Zelensky into concessions. The White House has said that its policy remained the same and it was up to Kiev to decide how to conduct the war.

However, David Arakhamia, a key Zelensky ally who leads the ruling party’s faction in parliament and headed up the Ukrainian delegation at last year’s peace talks in Istanbul, recently provided further grounds for doubt about how independent Kiev’s policy has been. He confirmed in an interview last Friday that then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had derailed a possible truce with Russia, telling the Ukrainian leadership to “just make war.” Moscow’s primary goal was Ukraine’s neutrality, Arakhamia said.

Ryabkov reiterated that NATO’s expansion in Europe was the key cause of the Ukraine conflict. Moscow’s relationship with the US-led military bloc is unlikely to recover anytime soon “for reasons of principle and practical nature,” he told Izvestia. “If someone in the West thinks we need that relationship and will at some point come and ask for it to be restored, that is a great error in judgment,” he said. NATO members are “gambling” by encroaching on fundamental Russian interests and apparently believe that there can be no limit to upping the ante, but “they may end up among the losers,” Ryabkov warned.

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Does he have time left to save his hide?

Deep State Wants to Dump Zelensky After He Outlives Usefulness (Sp.)

Talk in Western media about the possibility of a peace deal with Russia and increasing political and media criticism of Volodymyr Zelensky at home signals that he’s lost his value as a puppet for Western elites and that they’re preparing to dump him, French politician Florian Philippot believes. “Now that Zelensky is no longer useful and annoys NATO with his stubbornness as the theater of conflict has moved on to the Middle East, the Deep State wants to get rid of him,” Philippot wrote in a social media post. As evidence, the Gaullist politician pointed to a recent report in Germany’s Bild newspaper on the existence of a “secret peace plan” scenario and plans by Washington and Berlin to pressure Zelensky into negotiations with Russia, as well as “growing political and media criticism against Zelensky” in Ukraine itself, causing the leader, in fear of his safety, to begin firing people left and right.

“France must not allow itself to be duped by being the last country ‘at war’ against Russia,” Philippot urged, referring to Paris’ not insubstantial support for Kiev in NATO’s ongoing proxy war with Moscow. Philippot is the former vice president of Marine Le Pen’s National Front (now called the National Rally), a conservative populist, Eurosceptic party, and served as strategic director Le Pen’s presidential campaign in 2011. He split off and created his own party, The Patriots, in 2017. The politician’s remarks come amid growing wariness among Kiev’s Western backers over the thought of endlessly continuing the proxy war with Russia in Ukraine after Washington’s goals of “weakening Russia” militarily and economically or instituting regime change in the Kremlin failed to pan out. The situation made worse after Kiev’s disastrous counteroffensive this past summer, which cost Ukraine tens of thousands of its best troops and hundreds of pieces of Western-provided military equipment, including artillery and main battle tanks.

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“In order to liberate [Gorlovka], it is necessary to conduct a strategic offensive operation and involve at least 150,000-200,000 troops along with thousands of units of equipment..”

Has The Ukraine Conflict Entered Its Endgame? (RT)

Why did the Ukrainians decide to disperse their forces and advance in three operational directions during the summer campaign? Several Russian experts stated that Kiev’s strategy was to win the battle of reserves –and to this end, its army attempted to create several hotbeds of tension that were supposed to swallow up Russian manpower. In case of success, the AFU would have been able to overcome the deadlock of positional warfare and deliver a crushing blow in one of the directions. In reality, however, the Ukrainians were not able to beat the Russian army, which was strong enough to carry out both a localized offensive on the border between the Lugansk People’s Republic and Kharkov region this summer, and the offensive on Avdeevka in October.

On top of that, Russian troops continued to hold their defensive lines in Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, as well as near Artemovsk. So why did the Ukrainians refuse to concentrate their forces in one area, as Western experts advised them to do? One possible explanation for this was the reputational and media significance of the “Bakhmut Fortress,” which the Ukrainian political and military leadership fell victim to. The ‘heroic’ defense of one position, which gradually lost its strategic and operational importance, endowed Artemovsk with ideological and reputational significance. In an attempt to recapture this city, Ukrainians pulled their reserves and most motivated units into battle. Or perhaps, the situation was even worse. After the summer defeat, they needed to distract the public from negative news. The best way to do so would have been to break through the front line separating Ukraine and the Donbass republics which had existed from 2015 to February 24, 2022. In case of success, Zelensky would have had the chance to proclaim the return of “Ukrainian” land lost by his predecessors.

One of the areas where this plan was theoretically possible to carry out was Gorlovka – a large industrial city located south of Artemovsk, where about 300,000 people lived before the war. Gorlovka has been under the control of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) since the latter declared independence in 2014. Some of the fiercest battles in Donbass were fought there. After Time magazine published an article about the conflict between Kiev’s political and military leadership around plans to storm the city (the military command refused the idea), Ukrainian expert Bogdan Miroshnikov commented on November 16: “In order to liberate it, it is necessary to conduct a strategic offensive operation and involve at least 150,000-200,000 troops along with thousands of units of equipment. Some may say that we are [positioned] near Gorlovka. Yes, we are. But that direction is surrounded by numerous spoil tips. This means a frontal assault is necessary. But no one would do that.”

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“..The Economist suggested the commander-in-chief’s recent “media engagement could be seen as an insurance policy.”

West Watching Zelensky-Zaluzhny Fight, Thumbs Up to Most Malleable (Sp.)

Relations between President Volodymyr Zelensky and Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Valery Zaluzhny are “understood to be terrible,” The Economist summed up on Tuesday. How serious is the Ukrainian internal political strife, and what could it result in? The differences in opinion between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny were first reported in summer last year, per the UK magazine. It appears that tensions have substantially grown since then. What could have led to the current conflict between military and political leadership? “We can hypothesize at least three reasons,” Tiberio Graziani, chairman at Vision & Global Trends – International Institute for Global Analyses, told Sputnik, “the duration of the conflict has worn out the military cadres; the loss of credibility of the current political conduct of the conflict managed by Zelensky and, indirectly by NATO, the EU and the US; the growing awareness among military leaders that negotiations need to be reached.”

The British magazine writes that there is a blame game underway in Ukraine about who is responsible for the counteroffensive’s failure. In late October, Ukrainian politician Volodymyr Oleynyk told Sputnik that Zaluzhny didn’t want to be scapegoated for the failed Ukrainian advance, which claimed the lives of over 90,000 Ukrainian troops. After Zelensky pledged to proceed with the offensive through the winter, Zaluzhny insisted it’s time to go on the defensive and prepare for a spring advance. In early November, Zaluzhny gave an extensive interview to The Economist, admitting that what had been expected to become a triumphalist march of the Ukrainian military had ended in a stalemate. “There will most likely be no deep and beautiful breakthrough,” the top Ukrainian general said.

Immediately after giving the interview, Zaluzhny came under heavy criticism from the Ukrainian presidential office, with Zelensky later issuing a vague warning to “generals” against doing “politics.” The British outlet said that relations between Zelensky and Zaluzhny are now “terrible.” A series of events appeared to add fuel to the fire. Gennady Chastyakov, assistant to the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, died in a “tragic accident” while celebrating his 39th birthday on November 6. Earlier, on November 3, Zelensky unilaterally dismissed Viktor Khorenko, who was known to be close to Zaluzhny, from his post as commander of special operations forces. Likewise, the commander of the medical forces, Tatyana Ostashchenko, was replaced with Anatoly Kazmirchuk by the Kiev regime without consulting Ukraine’s top general.

Then, The Washington Post alleged on November 11 that Ukrainian Colonel Roman Chervinsky was the coordinator of the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines, citing Ukrainian and European officials, as well as other individuals purportedly familiar with the operation. The newspaper claimed the Ukrainian officer took orders from his seniors, who ultimately reported to Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhny. Moreover, the Kiev regime is carrying out an investigation into the Ukrainian Army’s failure to withstand Russia’s advance in February-March 2022. For now, Zaluzhny has reportedly been named as a witness to the inquiry. Still, the nickname for the inquiry in the Ukrainian press is “Zaluzhny case,” suggesting he could become one of the main suspects. Citing a general staff source, The Economist suggested the commander-in-chief’s recent “media engagement could be seen as an insurance policy.”

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“..During periods where he claims to have been a hopeless junkie, he was a key player in a global influence-peddling scheme netting millions through a complex labyrinth of accounts..”

Hunter to Face a Moment of Truth Before the House Oversight Committee (Turley)

Hunter will now have to answer for exactly what the “man sitting next” to him was prepared to do if money did not continue to flow to the Biden family. There are other specific communications that will likely be raised with Hunter. For example, Devon Archer reportedly recounted how, in 2015, Mykola Zlochevsky and Vadym Pozharski, two executives of the corrupt Ukrainian energy firm Burisma, pressed Hunter to “get help from D.C.” to fire a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating Burisma for corruption. Archer said that Hunter, Zlochevsky and Pozharski stepped away to make the call. Hunter can also address communications with government officials on behalf of foreign clients. His access to top officials was clearly due to his family name and influence.

The irony is that the long delay in bringing Hunter to this moment could prove his undoing. The committee has waited until it collected a massive amount of data and records on these financial records. It has interviewed witnesses on the influence-peddling operation. Hunter must now address highly specific questions and evidence under oath. If he is found to have lied, he can be charged with a criminal felony. The threat of prosecution is real. Hunter has benefited from the Justice Department limiting its investigation and inexplicably allowing the statute of limitations to run on key charges. False statements on any of these questions could result in new charges and pressure on Attorney General Merrick Garland to prosecute. After all, Trump officials were prosecuted for contempt of Congress under Garland.

Hunter is likely to cite his past drug use and the passage of time for failing to remember details. He continues to vacillate on whether the laptop itself is really his or, as he has suggested in the past, possible Russian disinformation. The use of his drug addiction as a defense was successful with the media, but is likely to be less so with Congress. During periods where he claims to have been a hopeless junkie, he was a key player in a global influence-peddling scheme netting millions through a complex labyrinth of accounts. Hunter will have to testify at his own peril for the first time under oath and leave the niceties behind.

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John Helmer on the long and complex relationship between Putin and the oligarchs.

Russian Oligarchs Contemplate The Devil And The Deep Sea (Helmer)

Until the US and the NATO states escalated their threats to seize Russian oligarch assets in what had been their safe havens abroad, every attempt at repatriation of the oligarchs’ capital to Russia had failed. Now, however, between the twin threats of foreign confiscation and domestic renationalisation, the oligarchs are pressing the president to protect their special position in the domestic economy. Putin has now repeated his September reassurances. “ ‘We had a thorough conversation,’ Putin spokesman Peskov told Tass. ‘A number of issues were formulated through the RSPP. There were various speeches – both business spoke, and representatives of the economic bloc of the government spoke,’ Peskov added. Peskov said that Putin at a meeting with representatives of large Russian businesses discussed the transfer of some companies to Russian jurisdiction.

‘The speech was about possible steps to improve the investment attractiveness of our economy, to create more than competitive conditions for completing the process of transferring companies here,’ the Kremlin spokesman said… According to the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation, the meeting was held precisely so that this process would be well-established, so that business would not face problems and transfer its companies to Russia, opening new enterprises in it and creating new jobs. ‘That’s what, in fact, it was about, Peskov explained.” Redomiciliation without nationalisation and no new taxation – these are the oligarchs’ codewords for continuing the 25-year old system of domestic economic control despite wartime mobilisation and the removal of Chubais and Kudrin from their former Kremlin influence. According to Peskov, “the process of redomicilation should be absolutely perfect, so that business does not face problems, and so that business transfers its companies here, creates new jobs, opens new enterprises, invests and earns money here, at home.”

Shokhin has also revealed that the oligarchs want to grandfather their old tax evasion and offshore holding company schemes in the form of Putin’s personal guarantee that their net domestic tax rate will not be raised. The Kremlin’s silence on this oligarch agenda is one thing. The silence of the domestic political opposition is quite another. Sergei Glazyev, a former Yeltsin-era minister, Kremlin economic policy advisor, and current state job-holder, refuses point-blank to comment. Glazyev’s record for opposition policymaking in theory but political failure in practice can be followed in this archive. For the Russian Communist Party, spokesman Alexander Yuschenko said by telephone that the party “wasn’t going to comment on [the oligarchs’] meeting at the moment and [readers] can always watch for official articles on the party website.”

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“Imagine if Napoleon had done that — sold out France’s ambitions to the whims of his allies and their own agendas.”

The French Are Desperate For A New Napoleon. Will They Get One? (Marsden)

While Napoleon put France in a prominent spot on the world stage, it was arguably former French President and World War II General Charles de Gaulle that gave it any hope of persisting there. Beyond leading the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation, De Gaulle subsequently ensured France’s post-war independence by kicking the Americans out of the country, refusing their demand for permanent bases, and then keeping France out of NATO to avoid the ultimate fate of ending up under de facto US military command. Always with French independence in mind, De Gaulle then went to Moscow in 1944 to sign mutual assistance agreements, and envisioned the Soviet Union as an important partner for French independence within a vision of Europe that stretched from the Atlantic to the Urals.

De Gaulle also spearheaded state-backed nuclear energy projects that were so successful that they’ve saved France amid the current EU energy crunch (and to think that current President Emmanuel Macron was on the verge of killing the whole industry in favor of trendy green energy fantasies — the same ones that flopped when Germany realized that it couldn’t power its economic engine with the wind and sunshine after its Nord Stream pipeline network of Russian gas was mysteriously blown up.) Jeanne d’Arc was a teenage peasant girl who led the French to victory against the English, then was unrepentant about who she was and what she did when she was burned at the stake in Rouen — for literally having wild visions of French victory, then making them happen.

French-naturalized Pole Marie Curie was yet another French woman who fell outside the conventional role for females in society, winning the Nobel Prize for physics in 1903 and for chemistry in 1911, for her groundbreaking research, alongside husband Pierre Curie, on radioactivity, including the discovery of radium and polonium. Her achievements put France on the intellectual global map. Over a century later though, in 2019, French officials yanked mandatory mathematics from the last two years of the high school curriculum. It was such an unmitigated disaster for numeric literacy and such a looming disaster for French competitiveness on the global playing field that they had to reinstate the courses in September 2023. Therein lies the difference between those still admired by the French — despite having long shuffled off the face of the Earth — and those who have since come and gone from power or prominence with little fanfare. A lack of unwavering leadership — foresight, clarity, and determination.

Macron doesn’t have it — although he’s an avowed admirer of De Gaulle. It seems that every French politician fancies himself the second coming of De Gaulle, but very few have the strength to stick to a course of action that serves the French people and nation first and foremost. Instead, they double-deal and play both sides of the court from the middle, trying to serve their EU masters — currying favor with unelected European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen — or aligning their interests with Washington’s, placing Western solidarity above sovereign national interests. Imagine if Napoleon had done that — sold out France’s ambitions to the whims of his allies and their own agendas. Unsurprisingly, the latest Ifop-Feducial poll found that the two current political figures considered to most closely resemble Napoleon are right-wing opposition leader Marine Le Pen and former center-right President Nicolas Sarkozy.

It’s hardly a coincidence that both have been criticized recently for speaking out against the French and Western establishment status quo of blindly following anti-Russian US foreign policy on Ukraine — with both favoring immediate peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine and an end to hostilities over prolonged spending on “aid” to keep a conflict going that’s to the net detriment of France and the EU as whole. Napoleon came to power with the backing of the people after they had literally beheaded the entire corrupt establishment. Today’s establishment has given itself more than enough rope to ultimately hang itself. One can’t help but notice the parallels. The question is, at what point will the French people have the courage to once again choose the kind of anti-establishment visionary leader on whom they could one day look back and realize they absolutely needed. Until then, they’ll be stuck longing for, and romanticizing, times and figures of greatness.

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Jack Smith knows no limits or boundaries.

“The DOJ’s warrant sought a slew of other data as well—including information on Trump’s geolocation, his private messages, search history and contact info. More absurdly, prosecutors apparently wanted to know his pronouns..”

DOJ Ordered Twitter Data for Everyone Who Liked, Followed, Retweeted Trump (PB)

Attorneys for the Justice Department have revealed documents connected to their search warrant for Donald Trump’s Twitter account, indicating that prosecutors collected a massive collection of data about the former President’s social media activity—including information on every account that liked, followed, or retweeted him. The extensively redacted search warrant was revealed as a result of a judge’s ruling on November 17, which came after a consortium of media organizations filed an application in August for the warrant and other data to be made public. Twitter appears to have provided the DOJ with vast volumes of material under compulsion. Indeed, Special Counsel Jack Smith sought, and appears to have gotten, information on all users Trump followed, unfollowed, muted, unmuted, blocked, or unblocked, as well as all users who followed, unfollowed, muted, unmuted, blocked, or unblocked Trump.

Smith also requested that Twitter provide information on “all lists of Twitter users who have favorited or retweeted tweets posted by [Trump], as well as all tweets that include the username associated with the account (i.e., ‘mentions’ or ‘replies’).” The DOJ’s request also wanted information on Trump’s geolocation, private messages, search history, and contact information. More outrageously, prosecutors allegedly wanted to know his pronouns, as reported by Headline USA in August, when court transcripts relating to the Twitter-DOJ battle became available. The warrant’s release comes after Twitter objected to the search warrant as well as an accompanying gag order, claiming that the gag order violated the company’s First Amendment right to communicate with Trump and that Trump may have legal standing to use executive privilege to block the warrant.

Twitter’s challenge to the DOJ was eventually unsuccessful, with Obama-appointed District Judge Beryl Howell fining the firm $350,000 in February for failing to fulfill a deadline for complying with the order. All of Howell’s rulings were upheld by an appeals court. Justice Department attorneys have since released records related to their search warrant for Donald Trump’s Twitter account, revealing that prosecutors obtained a vast trove of data about the former President’s social media activity—including info on every account to like, follow or retweet him. The heavily redacted search warrant was released Monday pursuant to a Nov. 17 judge’s order, which was made after a coalition of media groups filed an application in August for the warrant and other records to be made public.

From the looks of it, Twitter forked over massive amounts of information to the DOJ. Indeed, Special Counsel Jack Smith sought, and apparently ultimately received, all users Trump followed, unfollowed, muted, unmuted, blocked, or unblocked—as well as all users who have followed, unfollowed, muted, unmuted, blocked or unblocked Trump. Additionally, Smith demanded Twitter data on “all lists of Twitter users who have favorited or retweeted tweets posted by [Trump], as well as all tweets that include the username associated with the account (i.e., ‘mentions’ or ‘replies’).” The DOJ’s warrant sought a slew of other data as well—including information on Trump’s geolocation, his private messages, search history and contact info. More absurdly, prosecutors apparently wanted to know his pronouns—as Headline USA reported in August, when court transcripts related to the Twitter-DOJ dispute were made public.

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“If somebody’s gonna try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money – go f*** yourself..”

Things you can say when you’re the richest man in the world.

Elon Musk to Companies Pulling Ads From X: ‘Go F*** Yourself’ (Sp.)

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk said during an interview that he does not care if key US corporations stop advertising on his social media platform X in light of his endorsement of an antisemitic statement recently. “If somebody’s gonna try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money – go f*** yourself,” Musk said during a discussion at The New York Times DealBook Summit on Wednesday. Leaving audiences momentarily stunned, Musk reiterated his point, saying, “Go f*** yourself. Is that clear?” The matter was raised after host Andrew Ross Sorkin touched on Disney CEO Bob Iger’s earlier remarks at the event regarding the company’s decision to halt spending on X. Iger had stated that Disney’s association with X was “not necessarily a positive one for us” in light of Musk’s social media comments.

Musk

Earlier in November, the US entrepreneur came under fire for endorsing a social media post that claimed Jewish communities were pushing hatred against white people, saying it was “the actual truth.” Film companies Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Paramount, and Lionsgate suspended advertising on Musk’s social network X due to his “antisemitic” comments. A similar decision was made by technology giants IBM and Apple. Musk said the general public will determine whether X will succeed in the long-run or if an advertisement boycott will lead to the downfall of the social media platform. On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Musk visited the southern Israeli kibbutz of Kfar Aza to see firsthand the aftermath of attacks carried out by Palestinian movement Hamas last month.

Musk during the Wednesday discussion said he does apologize if his endorsement of the antisemitic statement encouraged antisemites. He admitted that in hindsight he should not have replied to that particular post, but he mentioned that his recent trip to Israel was “not an apology tour.” Last week, Musk said that the network would donate all its proceeds from the content related to the conflict in the Gaza Strip to Israeli hospitals and an international humanitarian organization providing medical assistance to Palestinians. Responding to an Hamas invitation, Musk in a post on Tuesday said it is a bit too dangerous to visit Gaza, but believes a long-term prosperous Gaza is good for all sides.

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“About six large conglomerates reportedly control 90% of media in the United States [..] The number has fallen from about 50 companies that controlled 90% of US media in 1983..”

‘Make Them Pay’: Trump Attacks MSNBC in Social Media Salvo (Sp.)

Former US President Donald Trump railed against cable news channel MSNBC in a post on his Truth Social platform Tuesday, accusing the liberal media outlet of forming part of an “election interference” effort against the former commander-in-chief. “MSNBC (MSDNC) uses FREE government approved airwaves, and yet it is nothing but a 24 hour hit job on Donald J. Trump and the Republican Party for purposes of ELECTION INTERFERENCE,” wrote Trump in the late night post. “It is the world’s biggest political contribution to the Radical Left Democrats who, by the way, are destroying our Country. Our so-called ‘government’ should come down hard on them and make them pay for their illegal political activity.” MSNBC is actually a cable news outlet, unlike broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, or MSNBC’s sister network NBC.

The US Federal Communications Commission has limited power to regulate political speech on broadcast outlets available over-the-air but generally lacks authority over content on “cable or satellite TV systems,” meaning the US government may lack power to “come down hard” on the channel. The comments may suggest another area in which the former president would attempt to seek retribution against his enemies; Trump recently said he may seek to prosecute political opponents if reelected next year. As president, Trump reportedly pressured the media conglomerate Time Warner to sell cable network CNN in order to win approval from his Justice Department for their planned merger with AT&T. Trump has frequently condemned the channel, which in turn was often sharply critical of the former president during his time in the White House.

Although Trump’s attacks on various news outlets have sometimes proven controversial, they may fall on fertile ground amidst a broader crisis of institutional legitimacy in the United States. Recent polling has shown only about a third of Americans have trust in US mass media. That number has fallen from a high of 72% of Americans who said they had a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in US media outlets in 1976. US mass media has trended toward increasing corporate consolidation in recent decades, especially after the signing of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which broadly deregulated the industry. About six large conglomerates reportedly control 90% of media in the United States: Comcast, Disney, AT&T/Time Warner, Paramount, Sony, and Fox. The number has fallen from about 50 companies that controlled 90% of US media in 1983 according to some studies.

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Excellent fom “sundance” connecting Seth Rich, Julian Assange, Robert Mueller, John Durham and much more. Don’t miss.

Judge Rules Contents of Seth Rich Laptop Must Be Released…(CTH)

If you know the background context, the latest developments in the Seth Rich laptop legal battle could be extremely interesting. However, despite a very favorable court ruling, I caution against too much optimism – the stakes in this ancillary story to the targeting of President Donald Trump are extremely high. The bottom line of the latest development is that a judge has given the DOJ 14 days to turn over the contents of the laptop belonging to former DNC staffer Seth Rich. There are multiple points of information that point toward Seth Rich having downloaded the DNC email files and shared them with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Seth Rich was killed shortly thereafter in what DC claims was a “botched robbery.” The reason this story is important will be highlighted below in granular detail. However, within the Time Magazine article about the judge’s ruling the closing statement summarizes the position of the DEEPEST elements of the DC Deep State.

NOTE:…”After his death, Rich was proven to not be the source of any email leaks, with the Mueller Report—also known as the Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election—finding Russian hackers responsible.” This point, emphasized at the end of the Newsweek article outlining the recent ruling, is the epicenter of the DC narrative. You see, just like the James Wolfe leak of the FISA application to journalist Ali Watkins (hidden by the DOJ/FBI/IC and aligned interests), if the truth of the Trump targeting by the DOJ/FBI and Obama Intelligence community were to surface in the ancillary stories around the Seth Rich issue, it would be the most explosive revelation as to the scale of DC corruption and cover-up. The Weissmann/Mueller report contains claims that Russia hacked the DNC servers as the central element to the Russia interference narrative in the U.S. election.

This DNC hack claim is the fulcrum issue structurally underpinning the Russian election interference narrative pushed by the Weissmann and Muller Special Counsel. However, this essential “hacking” claim was/is directly disputed by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as outlined during a previous Dana Rohrabacher interview and by Julian Assange’s own on-the-record statements. When you overlay the timeline of activity that touches the story of Seth Rich, a DNC staff member who was outraged at the DNC effort to block Bernie Sanders, the potential motive for Seth Rich’s death takes on an entirely different dimension. That said, even people very high up in the Trump administration would be part of the cover up to protect DC from sunlight. No one in Washington DC wants this story to be investigated or told. Julian Assange was arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London immediately after the Weissmann/Muller report was released to Bill Barr in 2019.

Additionally, despite investigating the background of the Trump-Russia nonsense, John Durham never touched the DNC hacking claim – the core of the Mueller report. Why? The Occam’s razor reason is that Durham knew the U.S. Government threw a bag over Assange to protect the fraudulent Trump-Russia and Russian interference claims. Again, this reality speaks to the corruption within the John Durham investigation. By claiming he was not authorized to review anything from the Mueller probe, John Durham was protecting Weissmann, Mueller and the core of their justification for a 2-year investigation. I believe John Durham knew why Assange was eventually arrested. Durham stayed away from it, intentionally. The Russians HAD TO have made efforts to interfere in the election, or else the factual basis for the surveillance operation against candidate Donald Trump is naked to the world.

That’s why so much DOJ, FBI and Mueller special counsel energy was exhausted framing the predicate. “Seventeen intelligence agencies,” the December 29th Joint Analysis Report, the expulsion of the Russian diplomats which was an outcropping of the JAR, the rushed January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment, shoving microphones in everyone’s faces and demanding they answer if they believed Russia interfered – all of it, and I do mean every bit of it, is predicated on an absolute DC need to establish that Russia Attempted to Interfere in the 2016 election.

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Max Keiser

 

 

 

 

Gotcha
https://twitter.com/i/status/1729921917862154304

 

 

Gravity
https://twitter.com/i/status/1729935054728532092

 

 


The famous Italian diver Enzo Maiorca dove into the sea of Syracuse and was talking to his daughter Rossana who was aboard the boat. Ready to go in, he felt something slightly hit his back. He turned and saw a dolphin. Then he realized that the dolphin did not want to play but to express something. The animal dove and Enzo followed. At a depth of about 12 meters, trapped in an abandoned net, there was another dolphin. Enzo quickly asked his daughter to grab the diving knives.

Soon, the two of them managed to free the dolphin, which, at the end of the ordeal, emerged, issued an “almost human cry” (describes Enzo). (A dolphin can stay under water for up to 10 minutes, then it drowns.) The released dolphin was helped to the surface by Enzo, Rosana and the other dolphin. That’s when the surprise came: she was pregnant! The male circled them, and then stopped in front of Enzo, touched his cheek (like a kiss), in a gesture of gratitude and then they both swam off. Enzo Maiorca ended his speech by saying: Until man learns to respect and speak to the animal world, he can never know his true role on Earth.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Oct 022023
 
 October 2, 2023  Posted by at 8:47 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  23 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn The Descent from the Cross 1634

 

The Western World Is Now a Tyranny (Paul Craig Roberts)
One Year Lying About US-Led NATO’s Nord Stream Terrorism Breeds More War (SCF)
Western ‘Idiots’ Want World War III – Medvedev (RT)
PM Sunak Backtracks On Sending British Troops To Ukraine (ZH)
Ukraine Must Mobilize Youths – Ex-UK Defense Chief (RT)
EU Will Back Ukraine Without The US – Borrell (RT)
‘My People Have Bigger Problems Than Ukraine’ – Fico (RT)
Russia’s Military Budget Set To Rise By 70% (RMX)
‘Camouflage’ for Zelensky to ‘Steal More Money From West’ (Sp.)
Blinken’s ‘History Lesson’ Gets Corrected By X Users (RT)
Nagorno-Karabakh Is No More (Pepe Escobar)
The Proper Way to Impeach: Steve Bannon was Right for the Wrong Reason (Turley)
Federal Prosecutors Want Gag Order Against Trump After His Recent Remarks (ET)
Trump Sues Christopher Steele Over Hoax Dossier (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Scott Ritter About Ukraine since 1945

 

 

 

 

TDS

 

 

 

 

Vandersteel

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s all been said before..

“..a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all..”

The Western World Is Now a Tyranny (Paul Craig Roberts)

America’s reputation as “the land of the free” is rooted in the Anglo-Saxon legal and political tradition, not in diversity and multiculturalism. Law as a shield of the people instead of a weapon in the hands of rulers is a British achievement that Britain’s American colonies inherited. It was the accomplishment of a specific ethnicity known as Anglo-Saxon. Bringing rulers to the same accountability to law as the lowest peasant was a centuries-long process beginning with Alfred the Great in the 9th century and culminating in the Glorious Revolution of 1680. In this legal tradition law is based in the customs and mores of the people, not on edicts issued from rulers, government bureaucrats, regulatory agencies, and activist judges. Obviously, this conveys an ethnic basis to law. A Tower of Babel–the fate of all diminishing white countries today–has no common customs and mores and no basis for law other than rulers’ edicts enforced by power.

Throughout the Western World today the people have lost the protection of law as a shield and suffer under rulers who wield law as a weapon. In the United States today demonstrators and rally attendees are turned into “insurrectionists” and sentenced to prison. Even US President Donald Trump is being subjected to four fake felony prosecutions in order to prevent him from being elected president. During my youth law was seen as a shield of our rights, not as a weapon to be used against us. US Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland explained in 1934 that the purpose of law was to discover innocence or guilt, not to dispose of an enemy:

“The United States Attorney is the representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done. As such, he is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocent suffer. He may prosecute with earnestness and vigor–and indeed, he should do so. But, while he may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones. It is as much his duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one.”

US Attorney General and Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson saw it the same way: “Any prosecutor who risks his day-to-day professional name for fair dealing to build up statistics for success has a perverted sense of practical values, as well as defects of character… A sensitiveness to fair play is perhaps the best protection against the abuse of power, and the citizen’s safety lies in the prosecutor who tempers zeal with human kindness, who seeks truth and not victims, who serves the law and not factional purposes, and who approaches his task with humility.” In 1940 Jackson said that unethical prosecutors are a threat to justice because of the danger that the prosecutor..

..“will pick people that he thinks he should get, rather than pick cases that need to be prosecuted. With the law books filled with a great assortment of crimes, a prosecutor stands a fair chance of finding at least a technical violation of some act on the part of almost anyone. In such a case, it is not a question of discovering the commission of a crime and then looking for the man who has committed it, it is a question of picking the man and then searching the law books, or putting investigators to work, to pin some offense on him. It is in this realm–in which the prosecutor picks some person whom he dislikes or desires to embarrass, or selects some group of unpopular persons and then looks for an offense, that the greatest danger of abuse of prosecuting power lies. It is here that law enforcement becomes personal, and the real crime becomes that of being unpopular with the predominant or governing group, being attached to the wrong political view, or being personally obnoxious, or in the way of the prosecutor himself.”

Robert Jackson’s 83-year old description of unethical prosecution precisely describes all of the “investigations,” impeachments, and indictments of President Trump that have been ongoing since 2016 for 8 years and show no sign of abating. The prosecutions of Trump are clearly prosecutions for the purpose of getting rid of a leader who presumes to challenge the ruling establishment. The prosecutions of Trump underline the termination in the US of the impartial rule of law.

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“The reality is fascism, imperialist lawlessness and barbarity are already well-ensconced in this White House.”

One Year Lying About US-Led NATO’s Nord Stream Terrorism Breeds More War (SCF)

Washington’s imperialist interests of dominating Europe and displacing Russia as an energy supplier are central to the reason for the war in Ukraine. This selfish and criminal agenda becomes evident if the Nord Stream act of terrorism is acknowledged and properly understood. The Western public would be up in arms over the false propaganda about the Ukraine war and the supposed “defense of democracy”. Not only that but the European and NATO states would be seen as the criminal accomplices and pathetic vassals that they are. The United States sabotages European civilian infrastructure and the economies of its supposed allies – and yet those allies utter not a word of protest. Indeed, they have willingly and meekly participated in their self-harm.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other European leaders should be prosecuted for complicity in international terrorism and treason against their national interests. Ironically, this week, Joe Biden while in Arizona dared to tell American voters that they face a stark choice in the presidential elections coming next year. Biden said the choice would be for U.S. citizens to either “support democracy” under his continued leadership or “elect extremism” under Donald Trump or some other Republican candidate. What could be more extreme than Biden ordering his military agencies to blow up gas pipelines owned by Russia and other European states?The fact that Biden and the United States have been permitted to get away with the outrage of Nord Stream terrorism is why Washington and its NATO acolytes have continually escalated the proxy war in Ukraine against Russia over the past year.

The astounding impunity afforded to the U.S. and its NATO accomplices over the Nord Stream incident is consistent with the way these same imperialist powers have gotten away with mass murder and waging criminal wars for decades without any prosecutions. The U.S. establishment and its clandestine agencies are a criminal syndicate that also suffers from delusions of virtue. Impunity breeds more criminality. The United States and its Western partners have rarely, if ever, been held to account for their historic crimes against the rest of the world. When such a transparent, brazen act of terrorism is perpetrated as in the Nord Stream sabotage and it is ignored then the world has shifted to an even more perilous situation where crimes have no punishment and even greater, more nefarious crimes can be engaged in.

The U.S. and its NATO henchmen, in particular Britain, are arming a Nazi regime in Kiev with tanks, cluster bombs, depleted uranium shells and longer-range missiles to strike Russia. The impunity that the Americans and their partners believe that they have acquired is shocking and hideous. There is no restraint. For years, the NATO axis has been arming and training Nazi battalions in Ukraine to cynically take an imperialist war to Russia’s doorstep. Canada’s scandalous adulation of a Nazi war criminal in its parliament last week is a sign of the depraved times we live in. But we have reached this degeneration because, as the Nord Stream incident illustrates, the Western powers, primarily the executive American power, feel they are not just above the law but entitled to smash the law for whatever objective they deem desirable.

When those who profess to uphold the law, break the law, then there is no law. That is the frighteningly barbaric world we live in today. Biden warned this week of fascism creeping up on the United States in the form of domestic political rivals. The reality is fascism, imperialist lawlessness and barbarity are already well-ensconced in this White House.

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“..a “freshly minted cretin”..

“..the [Russian] strikes on German factories where those missiles are being made would also be in full compliance with international law..”

Western ‘Idiots’ Want World War III – Medvedev (RT)

The conflict in Ukraine may lead to World War III because of the “idiots” occupying leading roles in the West, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has warned. “The number of high-ranking morons is rising in NATO member states,” he wrote on Telegram on Sunday. Medvedev, who currently serves as the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, was responding to statements from London and Berlin the previous day. The former president labeled the UK’s newly appointed Defense Secretary Grant Shapps a “freshly minted cretin” over his idea of sending British military instructors to Ukraine to train local troops for the conflict with Russia. If this happens, the UK servicemen would become a “legitimate target” for Russian forces, Medvedev warned.

Shapps has proposed deploying instructors to Ukraine, “knowing fully well that they’ll be mercilessly destroyed, and no longer as mercenaries, but precisely as British NATO specialists,” the Russian official wrote. Medvedev also described the head of the German parliament’s defense committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, as “another fool” after she urged Berlin to supply long-range Taurus cruise missiles to Kiev. She also claimed that Ukrainian attacks on targets inside Russia using those German-made munitions would be in full compliance with international law. “In this case, the [Russian] strikes on German factories where those missiles are being made would also be in full compliance with international law,” he said.

“Still, those idiots are actively pushing us towards World War III,”the former president concluded. In a previous post on Saturday, Medvedev insisted that Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine would continue until the current regime in Kiev is “destroyed and the historic Russian territories are liberated from the enemy.” Moscow has repeatedly warned that deliveries of weapons to Ukraine by Western countries only prolong the fighting and increase the risk of a direct military confrontation between Russia and NATO. Russian officials have also argued that the provision of arms, intelligence-sharing and the training of Kiev’s troops already means that Western nations have de facto become parties to the conflict.

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Are they just flying trial balloons over there?

PM Sunak Backtracks On Sending British Troops To Ukraine (ZH)

On Sunday, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev who currently serves as the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, suggested that British soldiers training Ukrainian troops in Ukraine would be legitimate targets for Russian forces, as would German factories producing Taurus missiles should they supply Kyiv. Medvedev, who is deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, and has become one of the most hawkish and anti-Western figures in Russian politics, said such steps by the West were bringing World War Three closer. In a post on Telegram, Medvedev first slammed Shapps’s proposal to deploy military instructors to Ukraine, in addition to training Ukrainian armed forces in Britain or other Western countries as at present. “(This will) turn their instructors into a legitimate target for our armed forces,” Medvedev wrote on Telegram. “Understanding perfectly well that they will be ruthlessly destroyed. And not as mercenaries, but namely as British NATO specialists.”

Medvedev then turned his focus to Germany, vilifying those who want Berlin to supply Ukraine with Taurus cruise missiles that could strike Russian territory and try to limit Moscow’s supply to its army. “They say this is in accordance with international law. Well, in that case, strikes on German factories where these missiles are made would also be in full compliance with international law,” Medvedev said. “These morons are actively pushing us towards World War Three,” Medvedev said. Realizing that he probably does not want his government to end in a mushroom cloud, British PM Rishi Sunak quickly backtracked and during a visit to Burnley on Sunday, said he wanted to make the situation “absolutely clear,” explaining that Shapps did not mean British soldiers would be deployed in Ukraine during the conflict with Russia, claiming there was “some misreporting” of comments by Defense Secretary Shapps, who floated the idea; he did however say that the UK has been training Ukrainian soldiers on British soil for “for a long time.”

According to the PM, the defense secretary actually meant that “it might well be possible one day in the future for us to do some of that training in Ukraine.” “But that’s something for the long term, not the here and now, there are no British soldiers that will be sent to fight in the current conflict. That’s not what’s happening,” he insisted. London continues to provide military training to the Ukrainians, but it’s “doing that here in the UK,” Sunak assured. US Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene also voiced alarm over Britain’s apparent plans to send troops to Ukraine, writing on X (formerly Twitter): “They’re going to start World War III” and that “the US cannot participate” in such a deployment, stressing: “No American troops” in Ukraine.

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Come get killed at 16!

Ukraine Must Mobilize Youths – Ex-UK Defense Chief (RT)

Former UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has claimed that Kiev is succeeding in its counteroffensive but to maintain the momentum and “finish the job,” President Vladimir Zelensky must throw more and younger Ukrainians into battle, while the West provides them with weapons to defeat Russia. Throughout the summer, Kiev’s forces have ultimately failed to make any notable territorial gains and have suffered heavy casualties as they tried to break through Russia’s defenses consisting of vast minefields, as well as heavy artillery and swarms of drones. According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, the number of Ukrainian servicemen killed since the start of the counteroffensive has surpassed 83,000.

Wallace, however, believes that “slowly but surely” Ukrainian forces have been “adapting tactics, absorbing lessons, and making the best of the equipment we have all gifted them,” and that Kiev’s victory is imminent as long as the government “plays its part.” “The average age of the soldiers at the front is over 40. I understand President Zelensky’s desire to preserve the young for the future, but… just as Britain did in 1939 and 1941, perhaps it is time to reassess the scale of Ukraine’s mobilization,” Wallace wrote in an opinion piece published by The Telegraph on Sunday. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said that such heavy casualties were the result of Kiev throwing untrained soldiers into “senseless assaults and slaughter.”He added that these “cynical actions by the West and their henchmen in Kiev are only pushing Ukraine towards self-destruction.”

Back in July, Wallace called Ukraine a “battle lab” for the British military during a report to the parliament. “Let us not pause for one day,” he stated on Sunday. “The world is watching to see if the West has the resolve to stand up for our values and the rules-based system. What we do now for Ukraine will set the direction for all of our security for years to come.” Mobilization in Ukraine has been ongoing since the start of the conflict and had some bumps recently. The country has been hit by scandals involving conscription chiefs, prompting President Vladimir Zelensky to announce in August that he was firing all regional draft heads in the country.

The Ukrainian government has relaxed eligibility standards for recruits, declaring people with certain mental and physical conditions fit for duty. After the launch of Russia’s military operation, Kiev barred men aged between 18 and 60 from leaving the country. Kiev also recently ordered female medics and pharmacists to register for possible enrolment, reportedly causing an exodus of women in those professions. The Russian military leadership in the meantime has no plans to conduct mobilization as its current needs are fulfilled by career military service members, including those who volunteered to fight in Ukraine, according to a senior official. The Russian president reported earlier this month that some 300,000 people had enrolled in the Russian army this year alone.

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Europe’s already sinking into a black hole. Forget it.

EU Will Back Ukraine Without The US – Borrell (RT)

The EU’s military aid to Ukraine will not depend on the decisions taken by the US, the bloc’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, told journalists during his visit to Kiev on Sunday. Brussels plans to continue and further increase its military assistance to the Ukrainian forces, he added. “We have not waited for the [US] decision to be taken to increase our propositions to support Ukraine,” the official said when asked about the EU’s reaction to the US Congress removing military aid for Kiev from its short-time spending bill passed over the weekend. Brussels still regretted the American lawmakers’ decision “deeply and thoroughly,” Borrell said, expressing his hope that “this will not be a definitive decision, and Ukraine will continue having the support of the US.”

The EU Commission had earlier proposed creating a fund for Ukraine worth €50 billion ($52.8 billion), the bloc’s top diplomat said, adding that he also suggested creating a similar fund amounting to €20 billion ($21.13 billion) within the European Peace Facility at an EU foreign ministers meeting in August. “Let’s see what’ll be happening in the US but from our side, we will continue supporting and increasing our support,” the official said. The EU’s top diplomat also maintained that the bloc’s military aid for Kiev is “permanent structured” and does not depend on the decisions of other nations or the results of the Ukrainian operations. His comments came amid the continued Ukrainian offensive, which has failed to bring about any major changes to the frontlines over some four months since its launch, despite massive Western military aid before its start and heavy Ukrainian losses over its course.

“We are facing an existential threat for Europe,” Borrell claimed, adding that if Brussels wants the Ukrainian troops to be “more successful, we have to provide them with better arms and quicker.” He still hinted that Kiev should be more grateful for the bloc’s efforts. In some cases, “our support is not being perceived as important as it is,” the EU top diplomat said, insisting that “it is.” He then said that the total military aid from Brussels and the EU member states to Ukraine amounted to €25 billion ($26.4 billion). The bloc’s cumulative military, financial and humanitarian support reached €85 billion ($89.8 billion), he added.

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I said yesterday that he campaigned on “Not a single penny” more, but it was “Not a single round..”

Meanwhile, Donald Tusk held a mass pro-globalist rally in Warsaw on Sunday. We’re not done yet.

‘My People Have Bigger Problems Than Ukraine’ – Fico (RT)

The Slovak Social Democracy (SMER-SD) party will not support further military aid for Ukraine, its leader, Robert Fico, told journalists on Sunday. Fico’s party took the lead in the parliamentary elections held over the weekend and is now poised to start talks about forming a government. “Slovakia and the people of Slovakia have bigger problems than Ukraine,” he said at a press conference following the announcement of the election results. The SMER-SD won around 23% of the vote, with its closest competitor, Progressive Slovakia (PS), receiving some 18%. When asked about his party’s stance on helping Kiev, Fico said that, if his party successfully forms a government, it would still be ready to help, but only in a humanitarian way.

“We are prepared to help with the reconstruction of the state, but you know our opinion on arming Ukraine,” he said. The SMER-SD conducted an election campaign under the slogan “Not a single round,” suggesting that it would end military assistance to Kiev. An EU and NATO member state with a population of around 5.5 million, Slovakia has already supplied Ukrainian forces with armored personnel carriers, howitzers, and its entire fleet of Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets. Last week, Fico vowed at one of his campaign rallies that his party would not “send a single round [of ammunition] to Ukraine” if it won the election. On Sunday, the politician, who is a former prime minister, described the ongoing conflict as a great tragedy, adding that prolonging the standoff would only make things worse.

“We will do everything we can to start peace negotiations as quickly as possible,” he said, referring to the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. “Further killing does not benefit anyone,” Fico added. Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova said on Sunday that she would formally ask Fico to form a new government on Monday. With no party set to win a majority, Slovakia will need to form a coalition government. The pro-European HLAS (Voice) party, which took third place with 14.7%, did not rule out a possible alliance with SMER-SD. Fico also received congratulations on his election victory from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who said it would “always [be] good to work together with a patriot.” A victory by Fico and his party has reportedly sparked concerns in the US. According to Russian foreign intelligence, Washington had sought to keep the previous Slovakian government in power.

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Poorly write-up.

Russia’s Military Budget Set To Rise By 70% (RMX)

Russian military spending is set to rise by almost 70 percent — to €106 billion — by 2024, according to a Russian Finance Ministry document published Thursday, an increase that illustrates Moscow’s determination to continue its military intervention in Ukraine despite the human and economic costs. According to the document, Russian defense spending will increase by 68 percent in 2024 compared to this year and will reach 10.8 trillion rubles (€106 billion). As a result, the amount allocated to defense will represent about 30 percent of total federal spending in 2024 and 6 percent of GDP — a first in Russia’s modern history. The budget for internal security is set to rise to 3.4 trillion rubles (€33 billion), almost 10 percent of annual federal spending.

The priorities for this budget are outlined as “strengthening the country’s defense capacity” and “integrating the new regions” of Ukraine whose annexation Moscow has demanded, as well as “social aid for the most vulnerable citizens,” just months ahead of the Russian presidential elections in spring 2024. Conversely, total spending on education, healthcare and environmental protection accounts for barely a third of the defense budget, according to ministry figures. Overall, federal spending will total 36.7 trillion rubles (€359 billion), a dramatic 20 percent increase over 2023. The government, however, has explained little about how it will finance this large increase, as Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Musustin said last Friday that revenues from the sale of hydrocarbons will be down sharply and will account for “a third of next year’s budget” in 2024, whereas before the invasion of Ukraine, they accounted for half the budget.

The sector used to drive Russia’s growth, hydrocarbon sales are declining due to international sanctions and the European Union’s determination to move away from energy dependence on Moscow. One indication that the government expects a delicate month ahead for the Russian economy is that it has announced that it has based its budget forecast on the assumption of a dollar worth around 90 rubles, thus betting on a weakening of the national currency in the medium term. The draft budget law for 2024-2026 is due to be sent to the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, on Friday.

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“Ukraine’s Possible New Counteroffensive..”

‘Camouflage’ for Zelensky to ‘Steal More Money From West’ (Sp.)

Kiev’s alleged push for another counteroffensive, this time in the autumn, can be perceived as the West’s red herring, Scott Bennett, a former US Army psychological warfare officer and State Department counter-terrorism analyst, told Sputnik. The Zelensky regime had elaborated a plan for a major offensive in the Kherson and Zaporozhye region in early October, securing the approval of Ukraine’s sponsors in Washington and London, an informed source told Sputnik earlier this week. According to the source, Kiev’s special forces intend to seize control of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) as part of the blueprint. All this could be Western countries’ red herring, Scott Bennett suggested, pointing to the Ukrainian Army’s futile attempts to break through Russian defensive lines.

“As a result of the resounding defeat of Ukraine, the West is frantically searching for an opportunity to try and escape the coming judgement and potential crimes against humanity charges for the death and destruction the Biden Administration has recklessly unleashed. And the nearest opportunity for distraction may be the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant,” Bennett argued. He recalled that many perceive this facility as “a target for destruction in a kind of ‘doomsday’ button that the US might try and push, in an attempt to generate sufficient chaos and destruction to distract the world away from the small scale battles of Ukraine, to the global implications of a nuclear disaster.” According to the former psychological warfare officer, the potential destruction of the Zaporozhye NPP would be the “ultimate expression” of this chaos.

He warned that if the facility is destroyed, “the resulting tsunami of social, political, economic disruption would disorganize opposition parties and protests against the current political elites in Europe and America, and justify a lockdown or martial law and police state mentality which could be endlessly extended.” Bennett didn’t rule out that “the West will combine its best liars in the CIA, the Mossad, the MI6 to blame the event on Russia, and perhaps also simultaneously initiate some self-inflicted false flag attacks at the same time—such as assassinate Joe Biden and Zelensky at the same time and blame this on Russia in order to justify ‘police action’ and a drafting of Americans into the military for conflict with Russia.”

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Trying to blame the holocaust on Russia. Through insinuation.

Blinken’s ‘History Lesson’ Gets Corrected By X Users (RT)

Users of the social media network X (formerly Twitter) have fact-checked a statement made by United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken in which he said Vladimir Putin’s government “manipulates” the details of massacres in Kiev in 1941 “to provide cover for Russia’s abuses in Ukraine.” “Eighty-two years ago, Nazis murdered 34,000 Jews at Babyn Yar,” Blinken wrote in a Friday post. “Soviets buried this history, which today Putin’s government manipulates to provide cover for Russia’s abuses in Ukraine.” He added that “the US is committed to justice for Holocaust survivors and accountability for atrocities.” Blinken was referring to massacres in the Babyn Yar ravine in present-day Kiev, perpetrated by Nazi Germany’s forces and their local Ukrainian collaborators in late September and October 1941 during its campaign against the Soviet Union.

The first such massacre, which took place on September 29 and 30, saw some 33,771 Jews killed. Other victims of mass killings at the site include Soviet prisoners of war (POWs), communists and Romani. It is estimated that between 100,000 and 150,000 people were murdered at Babyn Yar during the German occupation. The atrocities, which were considered to be extreme even by Nazi Germany’s standards, have been a source of debate in Ukraine over reports of local collaborators being involved. Estimates by historians put at one million the number of Jews killed in what is now Ukraine during the Second World War. As such, X users were quick to point out what they suggested was Blinken’s rather short-sighted recollection of historical events.

“Soviet prisoners of war were among the people massacred at Babyn Yar,” reads a contextual fact-box added by X users to Blinken’s post. “The Soviets liberated Babyn Yar and Kiev in 1943. The Soviets held a trial in 1946 in Kiev for 15 German policemen involved in the Babyn Yar massacres.” In response to Blinken’s statement, Russia’s First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, wrote on X: “I was brought up in the USSR and we all knew about Babyn Yar. Nazi crimes were never ‘buried’ in my country, unlike yours. Writing such a sacrilegious post is beyond any basic notions of decency.” On Friday’s 82nd anniversary of the first Babyn Yar massacre, the Ukrainian foreign ministry issued a statement saying that the event should serve as a reminder to oppose “aggressive-chauvinistic ideologies, in particular, Russian aggression against Ukraine.”

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“..unlike the West which has become quite skilled in organising color revolutions, Moscow does not engage in such activities.”

Nagorno-Karabakh Is No More (Pepe Escobar)

In the end, Nagorno-Karabakh – or the Artsakh Republic – is no more. It will cease to exist on 1 January 2024 – also the first day of the Russian presidency of BRICS 11. All autonomous state structures will be dissolved – according to a decree signed by the head of the Republic, Samvel Shahramanyan. The population – roughly 147,000, 99% of them Armenian Christians – has a choice that’s not really a choice: “familiarize themselves with the conditions of reintegration presented by the Republic of Azerbaijan” and stay, or leave to Armenia for good. Predictably, the exodus is on: an interminable serpent of vehicles congesting the mountain roads of a beautiful landscape where generations of Armenians lived for centuries. As of Thursday night, over 70,000 Armenians had left towards the Syunik region.

The Azeri government in Baku sent police/security forces to Stepanakert. Former Foreign Minister Ruben Vardanyan, an oligarch, was detained by Azeri security while trying to leave for Armenia, mingling with refugees. He had renounced Russian citizenship last year when he moved to work in Artsakh. He’ll probably be freed. Others won’t be so lucky. Everyone leaving is being exhaustively searched. Baku has warned that every Artsakh notable – political and military – will be captured. This is how it sadly ends: the story of how a bunch of crooks – Team Pashinyan in Yerevan – profited personally from a geopolitical pretext. Armenian PM Pashinyan announced that in a few days he’ll consider there are no more Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. Translation: those that decided to stay will be considered to be Azerbaijanis. Yet for Baku, Armenians from Artsakh will always remain Armenians – and thus an object of suspicion.

[..] As corridors go, Zangezur is the proverbial Chinese win-win. Azerbaijan links with its Nakhitchevan enclave and Turkiye. Russia gets a road that goes through Baku and Yerevan. Armenia opens itself to international trade. And Iran is satisfied that the manager will be the former owner of the place: Russia. Ay, there’s the rub. The usual suspects were not happy that Russian guards would be back in Armenia. So they sabotaged this clause via their agent Pashinyan. The record shows how Team Pashinyan behaved these past few months: Armenia’s First Lady visited Kiev; Yerevan transferred “humanitarian aid” to Ukraine; there were joint military exercises with the U.S.; frantic back and forth by U.S. and EU politicos and NGOs. Relations with Moscow are deteriorating fast. Yerevan – a juicy strategic target – is being taken over by the Hegemon and its vassals. It’s not an accident that Yerevan hosts the second largest American embassy in the world. So only one thing is certain: the Transcaucasus will continue to be on fire.

It’s not clear what will happen to Zangezur – and if and when Pashinyan will act on it. There’s always a – remote – possibility that Pashinyan, egged on by his Western handlers, may try to strike a deal with Aliyev to leave Russia out. The Russian Foreign Ministry has not minced its words, noting how Yerevan “flip flopped on policy and sought Western support over working closely with Russia and Azerbaijan”. And how in meetings in Prague and Brussels under the EU, Pashynian “acknowledged Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, but failed to address the rights and safety of the Karabakh Armenians.” The Foreign Ministry all but warns Pashynian that “unlike the West which has become quite skilled in organising color revolutions, Moscow does not engage in such activities.”

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People are confused about impeachment. It’s not a one time, one off thing, it’s a process in which truth finding is central. An impeachment inquiry provides more tools for that.

The Proper Way to Impeach: Steve Bannon was Right for the Wrong Reason (Turley)

Yesterday, I spent a very long day testifying in the first hearing of the House impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden. Not unexpectedly, my testimony angered many on both the left and the right. As I mentioned in my testimony, there is little tolerance for opposing views in this age of rage. Today, caution is considered cowardice and impartiality is viewed as chicanery. Yet our Constitution demands more of each of us at these moments. We can rise to that challenge, as the Framers hoped we would, or we can continue our national descent into rage and ruin. It is the difference between laying the groundwork for a real impeachment or for just another political hit-job.

I was asked to testify on whether the threshold had been met for an impeachment inquiry and what the best practices would be in the investigation of President Biden. I testified that the existing evidence was more than ample to warrant an impeachment inquiry and that these allegations, if proven, would constitute impeachable conduct. That was not enough for many. One of those was Steve Bannon, who went on social media to criticize House Republicans for not selecting someone who would testify, at the very start of an inquiry, that the case already was made for actual articles of impeachment. Bannon suggested that I should have been placed on the “maybe list” if I was not willing to say that the committee had the basis to vote out articles of impeachment on the first day of inquiry.

That, however, would be akin to calling a special grand jury and demanding an indictment before any witnesses or evidence are presented. Bannon’s criticism is emblematic of much of what I cautioned against in my testimony. I implored the Republicans not to replicate the last two impeachments, which I believe did considerable damage to this constitutional process. In the first Trump impeachment, I appeared as the only Republican witness in the only hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee. House Democrats then just cut to the chase and impeached Donald Trump on a thin, undeveloped record.In the second impeachment, they skipped the formalities entirely and went straight to the articles of impeachment in what I called a “snap impeachment.”

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“..He also suggested that Mr. Milley should be executed for his alleged conduct..”

No he did not. He said that: “..in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH!”. Not that it should be now.

Federal Prosecutors Want Gag Order Against Trump After His Recent Remarks (ET)

Federal prosecutors have urged the federal judge to impose a gag order on former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election interference case, citing the “prejudicial extrajudicial statements” he made on social media. The special counsel team filed the request for a gag order against Mr. Trump on Sept. 15 to restrict him from making “intimidating” comments about witnesses, lawyers, and other people involved in the criminal case. Prosecutors said on Sept. 25 that Mr. Trump continued to wage “a sustained campaign of prejudicial public statements regarding witnesses, the court, the district, and prosecutors” even after the proposed order.

“The defendant should not be permitted to obtain the benefits of his incendiary public statements and then avoid accountability by having others—whose messages he knows will receive markedly less attention than his own—feign retraction,” they said in a court filing. “No other criminal defendant would be permitted to issue public statements insinuating that a known witness in his case should be executed; this defendant should not be, either,” it added. They referred to recent posts on his social media platform, Truth Social, including one on Sept. 22 in which Mr. Trump accused departing Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley of committing treason. In the post, Mr. Trump said that Mr. Milley’s alleged “treasonous act” could have led to “a war between China and the United States.” He also suggested that Mr. Milley should be executed for his alleged conduct.

Prosecutors also mentioned a video posted by Mr. Trump’s spokesman claiming that Mr. Trump had bought a Glock gun in South Carolina. The post was later removed, and the spokesman retracted his remarks, saying that Mr. Trump had only indicated his interest in buying the gun. Despite the spokesman’s retraction, prosecutors said that Mr. Trump “re-posted a video of the incident” posted by one of his followers with a caption that suggested he had indeed bought the weapon. “The defendant either purchased a gun in violation of the law and his conditions of release, or seeks to benefit from his supporters’ mistaken belief that he did so,” the prosecutors stated. Mr. Trump’s lawyers have objected to the request, and U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Friday set courtroom arguments for Oct. 16.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers have previously denounced the gag order request as an attempt to “unconstitutionally silence” his political speech. They called the request a “desperate attempt at censorship.” “The prosecution would silence President Trump, amid a political campaign where his right to criticize the government is at its zenith, all to avoid a public rebuke of this prosecution,” his lawyers wrote on Sept. 25. “However, above all else, the First Amendment means that government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content. “The prosecution may not like President’s Trump’s entirely valid criticisms, but neither it nor this Court are the filter for what the public may hear,” they added.

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Why just Steele? And not Clinesmith, Sussman, Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Comey, Hillary Clinton etc etc?!

Trump Sues Christopher Steele Over Hoax Dossier (ZH)

The Steele dossier was used by the Obama DOJ and the intelligence community to smear Trump as a Russian asset. Its various fabrications were legitimized under the guise of a legitimate DOJ investigation, and featured frequent strategic media leaks, ‘expert’ opinions, and manipulated evidence such as an email altered by former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith, which was used to renew a wiretap warrant on Trump Campaign adviser Carter Page. Then there was the fraudulent ‘Alfa Bank Server’ allegation made by Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussman, who pleaded guilty to not telling the FBI that he was Hillary’s employee when he alleged that Trump was directly communicating with the Kremlin via a covert server.

Steele peddled the dossier to the State Department – which then passed it along to former FBI deputy assistant director of counterintelligence Peter ‘We’ll stop Trump’ Strzok. Steele also met with the DOJ’s Bruce Ohr (whose wife, as we noted above, Fusion GPS employee), who he told that Russia had Trump “over a barrel.” (Bruce Ohr was consequentially demoted for making “consequential errors in judgement” for failing to inform his supervisors for his role in Russiagate, and retired on Sept. of 2020 “after his counsel was informed that a final decision on a disciplinary review being conducted by Department senior career officials was imminent”). Then there was the infamous ‘pee tape’ allegation that Trump paid prostitutes to urinate in a bed in Moscow where Barack and Michelle Obama had stayed, and that the Kremlin had a tape of the whole thing.

The 35-page dossier was publicly disavowed by high ranking FBI officials, including the bureau’s former deputy director Andrew McCabe, who told lawmakers in November 2020 that he would have never approved the Carter Page wiretap if he’d known the dossier was inaccurate. And now, Trump is suing Steele…

According to the Independent, the 77-year-old former president is bringing a data protection claim against Steele, and his consulting firm Orbis Business Intelligence, in the UK. “Proceedings have been issued on behalf of President Donald J. Trump against Orbis Business Intelligence Limited. The claim relates to breaches of UK Data Protection law arising from the inaccurate processing of the President’s personal data by Orbis following the publication of the false ‘Steele Dossier,’” said Trump attorney Tim Lowles. “The President’s claim seeks remedies including that the inaccurate data contained within the Steele Dossier be erased or rectified together with the payment of damages,” the statement continues.

On October 16, a two-day hearing will commence according to the report, citing a High Court order published Thursday. Steele has defended his work, telling the Oxford Union in March 2022: “What is being called the dossier was actually a series of single-source intelligence reports over a period of time, if you like, almost a running commentary on the election campaign and Russia’s perspective on it — and it comes from the Russian perspective of the telescope if you like,” adding “The sources were Russian, they were reporting on how Russia saw it, and of course, that may in some cases be rather different than how it was viewed in America at the other end of the telescope.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soccer dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1708198778174345445

 

 

Ink

 

 

Turkey
https://twitter.com/i/status/1708441860228751683

 

 

Bless you
https://twitter.com/i/status/1708396893607465463

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 122023
 
 September 12, 2023  Posted by at 8:55 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  47 Responses »


Claude Monet O Rio (The River) 1881

 

Zelensky ‘Senses’ Weakening Western Support (RT)
Zelensky Threatens To Terrorize Europe (MoA)
Ukrainians Blame Zelensky For Corruption – Poll (RT)
EU Believes Ukraine Is ‘A Very Corrupt Country’ – Politico (RT)
Blinken Contradicts Ukraine On Peace Negotiations (RT)
Elon Musk Responds To Ukraine ‘Treason’ Claims (RT)
Medvedev Advocates Suspending Diplomatic Relations With EU (TASS)
Russian Customs Chief Accuses EU Of ‘Total Lawlessness’ (RT)
Brazilian Court To Decide About Putin If He Attends G20 Summit – Lula (TASS)
Lies And Pretence In New London Novichok Hearing (Helmer)
The Gun Charge Against Hunter Is the Way of Covering Up the Real Issues (PCR)
The “Why Not” Culture: The Georgia Final Report Should Worry Us All (Turley)
The Mills of the Gods (Jim Kunstler)
9/11 After 22 Years (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

RFK

 

 

 

 

Trump 9/11
https://twitter.com/i/status/1701280839533838398
https://twitter.com/i/status/1701253565702938885

 

 

 

 

Isaacson

 

 

“A judge in Pennsylvania has ruled that former President Trump has ‘presidential immunity’ and cannot be sued over statements he made about 2020 election fraud.”

 

 

 

 

He’s directly threatening Europe now:

“..the millions of Ukrainian refugees now residing in foreign nations. They have generally “behaved well,” but if the hosts “drive these people into a corner,” the end result will not be “a good story” for Europe..”

Zelensky ‘Senses’ Weakening Western Support (RT)

If Western nations do not maintain their assistance to Kiev, they could face defeats at the ballot box and trouble from the millions of Ukrainian refugees they host, President Vladimir Zelensky has warned. In an interview with The Economist, Zelensky complained about weakening support from senior Western officials, which he claimed to have seen in their eyes during meetings. “I see that he or she is not here, not with us” contrary to spoken assurances, he said, according to the interview published on Sunday. According to Zelensky, failure to support Ukraine amounts to siding with Russia in the conflict, which escalated into open hostilities in February 2022. “If partners do not help us, it means they will help Russia to win,” he stated.

Zelensky believes that Western voters will not forgive their leaders if they “lose Ukraine.” Further trouble may also come from the millions of Ukrainian refugees now residing in foreign nations. They have generally “behaved well,” but if the hosts “drive these people into a corner,” the end result will not be “a good story” for Europe, the president added. The Ukrainian leader said he is “morally” ready for a long war with Russia, but this will require the country to switch to a “totally militarized economy.” He added that now is “a bad moment” for peace talks with Russia, due to the lackluster battlefield progress over the three months of Kiev’s summer ‘counteroffensive’. Moscow has estimated Ukrainian losses during the push at over 66,000 troops and 7,600 heavy weapons.

The Economist noted that the Zelensky government had built up expectations for the offensive, but now he is “carefully adjusting his message to reality.” The Ukrainian president also appeared to take credit for the drone attacks deep inside Russian territory, which Kiev formally refuses to claim as its own. Explaining his strategy, he said public support for the Russian government will fall “because our drones will land.”In a “long war,” Moscow will lose regardless of how the Russians feel because the Russian economy will fail, he added. The Russian government expects the economy to grow by 2.5% or more in 2023. Recent forecasts by the World Bank and the IMF have upgraded their predictions for Russia due to strong industrial production and higher-than-expected energy revenues.

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Moon of Alabama noticed it too.

“I have seen such threats from low ranking individuals of the fascist Bandera fringe. They spoke of terrorism they would unleash in the West should it end its support for Ukraine. That the Ukrainian president now reinforces such threats shows how deeply he immersed himself in that mindset..”

Zelensky Threatens To Terrorize Europe (MoA)

The Economist published another interview with the Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenski. It includes his usual unrealistic platitudes about not ending the war until Russia has completely pulled back. Speaking with an English language media he didn’t miss to mention the ever misunderstood story about Chamberlain’s move in Munich: “Tapping loudly on the table, Mr Zelensky rejects outright the idea of compromise with Vladimir Putin. War will continue for “as long as Russia remains on Ukrainian territory”, he says. A negotiated deal would not be permanent. The Russian president has a habit of creating “frozen conflicts” on Russia’s borders (in Georgia, for example), not as ends in themselves but because his goal is to “restore the Soviet Union”. Those who choose to talk to the man in the Kremlin are “tricking themselves”, much like the Western leaders who signed an agreement with Adolf Hitler at Munich in 1938 only to watch him invade Czechoslovakia. “The mistake is not diplomacy. The mistake is diplomacy with Putin. He negotiates only with himself.”

In 1938 Chamberlain had no other choice but to give in on Czechoslovakia. Britain was not ready for war and the parts Hitler wanted to annex from Czechoslovakia had undeniably a largely German population: “He contended that Sudeten German grievances were justified and believed that Hitler’s intentions were limited”. Zelenski goes on to threaten, in rather unthankful fashion, those countries which have delivered aid to Ukraine but may want to cut their losses: “Curtailing aid to Ukraine will only prolong the war, Mr Zelensky argues. And it would create risks for the West in its own backyard. There is no way of predicting how the millions of Ukrainian refugees in European countries would react to their country being abandoned. Ukrainians have generally “behaved well” and are “very grateful” to those who sheltered them. They will not forget that generosity. But it would not be a “good story” for Europe if it were to “drive these people into a corner”.

I have seen such threats from low ranking individuals of the fascist Bandera fringe. They spoke of terrorism they would unleash in the West should it end its support for Ukraine. That the Ukrainian president now reinforces such threats shows how deeply he immersed himself in that mindset. A previous Economist story shows that Ukraine has already set up the necessary infrastructure to wage a terrorist campaign: “In modern Ukraine, assassinations date back to at least 2015, when its domestic security service (SBU) created a new body after Russia had seized Crimea and the eastern Donbas region. The elite fifth counter-intelligence directorate started life as a saboteur force in response to the invasion. It later came to focus on what is euphemistically called “wet work”.

“Valentin Nalivaychenko, who headed the SBU at the time, says the switch came about when Ukraine’s then leaders decided that a policy of imprisoning collaborators was not enough. Prisons were overflowing, but few were deterred. “We reluctantly came to the conclusion that we needed to eliminate terrorists,” he says. A former officer of the directorate describes it in similar terms. “We needed to bring war to them.” In 2015 and 2016 the directorate was linked to the assassinations of key Russian-backed commanders in the Donbas; Mikhail Tolstykh, aka “Givi”, killed in a rocket attack; Arsen Pavlov, aka “Motorola”, blown up in a lift; Alexander Zakharchenko, blown up in a restaurant.

Intelligence insiders say the SBU’s fifth directorate is playing a central role in counter-Russia operations. From there it is just a short step towards total war: “Meanwhile, a long war of attrition would mean a fork in the road for Ukraine. The country would lose even more people, both on the front lines and to emigration. It would require a “totally militarised economy”. The government would have to put that prospect to its citizens, Mr Zelensky says, without specifying how; a new social contract could not be the decision of one person. Almost 19 months into the war, the president says he is “morally” ready for the switch. But he will only broach the idea with his people if the weakness in the eyes of his Western backers becomes a “trend”. Has that moment come? No, not yet, he says. “Thank God.” Does Zelenski know of any country with a totally militarized economy that survived? I have yet to hear of one.

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“..78% of Ukrainian adults see Zelensky as “directly responsible” for Kiev’s corruption problem..”

“..only 18% of Ukrainian adults disagreed with the statement that Zelensky bears responsibility…”

And we hand him tens of billions.

Ukrainians Blame Zelensky For Corruption – Poll (RT)

The vast majority of Ukrainians believe that President Vladimir Zelensky is at fault for widespread corruption in the country’s government and military, a new study has revealed. The poll, released on Monday, found that 78% of Ukrainian adults see Zelensky as “directly responsible” for Kiev’s corruption problem. It was conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Charitable Foundation and the Kiev International Institute of Sociology. Prior to the launch of Russia’s military offensive in February 2022, Ukraine consistently ranked among the world’s most corrupt nations, but it was touted as a bastion of freedom and democracy as the US and its NATO allies rallied public support for massive aid to Kiev. However, Ukrainian corruption remains a concern and could hinder the country’s bid to join the European Union, an unidentified Western diplomat told Politico on Monday.

Ukraine is a “very corrupt country,” the diplomat said, adding that Zelensky’s plan to use the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) to prosecute graft cases could “send the wrong message.” Upon landing in Kiev for a surprise visit on Monday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock reportedly said Ukraine needed to step up its efforts to fight corruption. The Ukrainian poll was conducted from July 3 to July 17 in face-to-face interviews with thousands of citizens across the country. There were no major differences in findings based on region or socioeconomic factors. Respondents aged 60 and older took a harsher view, with 81% saying Zelensky was responsible for government corruption. The rate was 70% in the youngest segment, ages 17 to 29. Overall, only 18% of Ukrainian adults disagreed with the statement that Zelensky bears responsibility.

Documents obtained by the International Association of Investigative Journalists in 2021 showed that Zelensky and his business partners set up offshore companies to purchase lavish properties in central London. Zelensky transferred his stake in one of the companies to an aide just before he was elected president in 2019. Supporters of former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko accused Zelensky and his associates of using their offshore accounts to evade taxes. Zelensky has purged officials in his government for alleged corruption, including an embezzlement scheme involving humanitarian aid. Just this month, he sacked Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov, who came under fire earlier this year over purchases of military rations at inflated prices. However, the new defense chief, Rustem Umerov, is reportedly under investigation for alleged crimes in his previous job.

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If everyone’s corrupt, who investigates?

EU Believes Ukraine Is ‘A Very Corrupt Country’ – Politico (RT)

Widespread corruption in Ukraine could hamper Kiev’s bid for EU membership, a western European diplomat told Politico on Monday. He said Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s efforts to tackle the problem have also alarmed Brussels. Ukraine applied for membership in the European Union last February, and was formally granted candidate status four months later. Although European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is expected to address the issue of enlargement during her state of the union speech on Wednesday, and EU Council President Charles Michel has vowed to admit all candidate nations by 2030, Ukraine’s bid could be hamstrung by rampant corruption. Ukraine is a “very corrupt country,”an anonymous western European diplomat told Politico.

“We want to give a positive signal to Ukraine but things such as this proposal to give more power to [Ukraine’s] intelligence [services] over corruption can send the wrong message.” The proposal in question was raised by Zelensky last month. Following a purge of allegedly corrupt officials at the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, Zelensky announced that he would task the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) with probing and prosecuting corruption cases, taking investigative power away from the country’s multiple anti-graft agencies. The SBU reports solely to Zelensky. Representatives of Ukraine’s existing anti-corruption agencies told Politico last month that by making the SBU the only body allowed to investigate these cases, Zelensky is essentially giving himself the power to decide which corrupt officials to prosecute and which ones to shield.

There is precedent for these fears, the head of the Anti-Corruption Action Center (ACAC), Vitaly Shabunin, said. Oleg Tatarov, the deputy head of Zelensky’s office, was under investigation by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) last year, when the case was unexpectedly transferred to the SBU. “It was buried there,”Shabunin said. “Now [Zelensky’s] office wants to make that into practice.” Ukraine has for years been ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, as of 2022, the country ranked 116th out of 180. Aside from corruption concerns, disputes between Ukraine and European nations over agriculture could also hold up Kiev’s membership bid. Ukrainian farmers could undercut their European counterparts with cheap grain exports, meaning that the EU will likely have to reform its Common Agricultural Policy if Ukraine is to be admitted, Politico noted.

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“..Russia controlled more land last month than it did at the beginning of the counteroffensive..” But Blinken said Ukraine reclaimed 50%.

Blinken Contradicts Ukraine On Peace Negotiations (RT)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has claimed that the Ukrainian government will agree to peace talks with Russia if Moscow offers to negotiate first. Ukrainian leaders have argued otherwise, however, and insist that peace “needs to be won on the battlefield.” “Thus far, we see no indication that [Russian President] Vladimir Putin has any interest in meaningful diplomacy,” Blinken told ABC News on Sunday. “If he does, I think the Ukrainians will be the first to engage, and we’ll be right behind them,” he added. Blinken and other top American officials have long insisted that the Ukrainian government will decide when to seek peace with Russia, and that the US will continue to supply Kiev with weapons until that time comes.

Ukraine agreed in principle to a Turkish-mediated peace deal in April 2022, but walked away from the agreement after a visit to Kiev by then-British prime minister Boris Johnson. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has since issued a decree forbidding any negotiations with Putin’s government, as well as repeatedly vowing to take back the territories of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, Zaporozhye, and Crimea – the latter of which voted to join Russia in 2014 – by force. Retaking this land, however, has proven costly for Kiev. More than three months into its long-awaited summer counteroffensive, the Ukrainian military has lost more than 66,000 troops and 7,600 pieces of heavy weaponry, according to the latest figures from the Russian Defense Ministry.

In exchange, Kiev’s forces have only managed to reclaim a handful of villages near Zaporozhye, while Russia controlled more land last month than it did at the beginning of the counteroffensive, according to the Washington Post. Nevertheless, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba declared last week that the conflict “cannot be ended by simply bringing belligerent parties to the table for negotiations.” “It needs to be won on the battlefield for Russia to become serious about negotiating peace,”Kuleba added. Russia maintains that it is open to a diplomatic solution to the conflict, but that any peace deal would have to take into account the “new territorial reality” – that Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, Zaporozhye, and Crimea will never be ceded back to Ukraine. Furthermore, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said negotiations would be held “not with Zelensky, who is a puppet in the hands of the West, but directly with his masters.”

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“..if anyone is treasonous, it is those who call me such. Please tell them that very clearly.”

Elon Musk Responds To Ukraine ‘Treason’ Claims (RT)

American tech billionaire Elon Musk has responded to criticism over his refusal to help enable a Ukrainian drone attack on Russian naval forces in Crimea by pointing out that he’s a citizen of only the US and isn’t obliged to fight for Kiev. “I am a citizen of the United States and have only that passport,” Musk said on Monday in a post on his X (formerly Twitter) social media platform. “No matter what happens, I will fight for and die in America.” He added that in light of the fact that the US Congress hasn’t declared war on Russia, “if anyone is treasonous, it is those who call me such. Please tell them that very clearly.”

At issue is Musk’s decision last year to prevent his Starlink satellite network from being used to guide Ukrainian naval drones for an attack against the Russian Black Sea Fleet on the Crimean coast. When news of Musk’s refusal came to light last week, US media outlets suggested that he had been traitorous, and Ukrainian presidential aide Mikhail Podoliak accused him of “committing evil and encouraging evil.” The Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder gave Ukraine free use of more than 20,000 Starlink terminals after Russia launched its military offensive against Kiev in February 2022. His aim was to keep Ukrainians from losing internet access and communications capabilities amid the conflict.

However, Musk expressed concern about his network being used for offensive purposes and potentially playing part in triggering a wider conflict. He therefore refused Kiev’s pleas to extend the country’s Starlink coverage all the way to Sevastopol. “If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.” CNN host Jake Tapper argued on Sunday that Musk had “effectively sabotaged” an American ally, and he asked US Secretary of State Antony Blinken whether the “capricious billionaire” should therefore face “repercussions.” Blinken declined to condemn Musk and pointed out that Starlink had been a vital tool for Ukraine’s defense.

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..”straightforward and honest Brussels bosses” who “told all Russians directly and without beating around the bush: you are second-class people for us.”

Medvedev Advocates Suspending Diplomatic Relations With EU (TASS)

Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev has called for suspending diplomatic relations with the EU in response to the EU decision to bar Russian citizens from entering the EU with everyday personal items, calling it a spit in the face of every Russian. “What should we do about it? Certainly not impose tit-for-tat retaliatory restrictions on EU citizens. We are not racists, in contrast to many leaders of those countries whose relatives served in the SS (Schutzstaffel, the notorious paramilitary organization under Germany’s Nazi regime – TASS). Moreover, those [Europeans] who travel here usually have a love and appreciation for Russia. It would be better just to suspend diplomatic relations with the EU for a while.

And to call our diplomatic personnel home,” Medvedev suggested, commenting on the European Commission’s clarification on the EU’s ban on importing automobiles, smartphones, suitcases and shampoo, among an entire range of items, into the EU from Russia, even for strictly personal use. Medvedev mockingly “praised” the EU leaders, calling them “straightforward and honest Brussels bosses” who “told all Russians directly and without beating around the bush: you are second-class people for us.” And the EU’s decision is clearly not meant as just punishment for what Brussels sees as the “criminal and aggressive regime in the Kremlin.” Rather, “this is a spit in the face of every citizen of Russia,” Medvedev emphasized. In suggesting measures to suspend Moscow’s diplomatic relations with the EU, Medvedev noted that only such a move could make Brussels officials truly afraid, “because embassies are [traditionally] evacuated before certain very specific events.”

“Who knows what else these ‘orcs’ from that immense ‘Mordor’ are capable of?” Medvedev asked sarcastically, using a common derogatory slur used in the West to refer to Russia and Russians, equating them to the goblin-like humanoid creatures in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel “The Lord of the Rings.” The European Commission’s clarification dated September 8 bans the import from Russia to the EU of goods listed in Annex 21 to EU Regulation No. 833/2014, regardless of the purpose of their use and the duration of stay in the EU, including cars with less than 10 seats. The EC emphasized that it does not matter whether the vehicles are being used for private or commercial purposes. The list contains a wide range of all sorts of items from cellular telephones and audio and video recording devices, to suitcases, hold-alls, articles of clothing, toothpaste, shampoo and other hygiene products.

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“Goods that are classified as prohibited – even shampoo and toilet paper – should be confiscated..”

“..at least “they have not banned [Russian nationals] from wearing pants when crossing the border.”

Russian Customs Chief Accuses EU Of ‘Total Lawlessness’ (RT)

Russia’s interim customs chief has blasted the European Commission’s instruction to EU member states to confiscate personal possessions of arriving Russian tourists. “How do we take the European Commission’s ban on traveling by personal car or with smart phones? Well, it’s utter nonsense,”Ruslan Davydov told journalists on Monday on the sidelines of an economic forum in the city of Vladivostok. The EU slapped wide-ranging sanctions on trade with Russia over the Ukraine conflict. Last Friday, however, Brussels explained that the restrictions should also apply to items for personal use brought by tourists crossing the bloc’s border. Goods that are classified as prohibited – even shampoo and toilet paper – should be confiscated, according to the clarification. The European Commission urged “EU operators [to] identify, assess, and understand the possible risks of sanctions circumvention” when conducting customs checks.

Davydov branded the decision as “total lawlessness” that defies the normal logic of customs controls. Moscow has little influence on the policies, since the EU broke all cooperation with Russia, he noted. “The way they regulate customs procedures on their soil can only invoke regret and incomprehension,” he added. But at least “they have not banned [Russian nationals] from wearing pants when crossing the border.”=The official assured that the Federal Customs Service, which he heads, shall not adopt a similar policy regarding tourists arriving from the EU. The Russian embassy in Helsinki urged citizens on Sunday not to travel to Finland in cars with Russian license plates, citing the risk of seizure stemming from the new guidelines.

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Lula opens the door and closes it at the same time. Putin as Schrödinger’s president: “..the decision [on a possible arrest] is within the power of the judiciary, not my government..”

Brazilian Court To Decide About Putin If He Attends G20 Summit – Lula (TASS)

The issue of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s arrest during his visit to the G20 summit in Brazil in 2024 will be considered by the country’s court taking into account the arrest warrant issued for the Russian leader by the International Criminal Court (ICC), the country’s president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said. “If Putin decides to attend [next year’s summit], the decision [on a possible arrest] is within the power of the judiciary, not my government,” Reuters quoted the politician as saying. On September 9, in an interview with the Indian TV channel Firstpost, Lula da Silva said that as long as he was president of Brazil, “he [Putin] will not be arrested without the authorization of the authorities.” At the same time, Reuters pointed out the president questioned Brazil’s membership in the ICC. He recalled that neither Russia, China nor the US are members of the organization.

According to the leader, such agreements harm developing countries. On March 17, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova, alleging that they were responsible for the unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children. It could theoretically be executed if the Russian leader arrives in one of the countries that recognize the ICC’s jurisdiction. Moscow has rejected such accusations, calling “the very phrasing of the question” outrageous and pointing out that Russia does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC, so its decisions are null and void for Russia.

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“Sergei Skripal, the original target and survivor of the Novichok attack allegations in the official narrative, must never be allowed to testify publicly..”

Lies And Pretence In New London Novichok Hearing (Helmer)

In a London courtroom last week, lawyers for the British government and the presiding judge, Lord Anthony Hughes (lead image, centre), revealed they will resist the efforts of the Dawn Sturgess family to obtain a multi-million pound settlement in compensation for what they claim, and the government says, was her death five years ago from Novichok poisoning by Russian state agents. Secrecy is the key, not only to the big money claim, but to the government’s aim to defeat it and at the same time preserve the official story that the Kremlin ordered and carried out the chemical warfare attack in England in 2018.

Lord Hughes is defending the government’s effort to keep secret enough of the evidence in the case to block Adam Straw KC and Michael Mansfield KC, the Sturgess family lawyers, from demonstrating that the British security services should have known in advance – and did know enough — to have protected Sturgess from the Russian cause of her death. Their argument has been that for this negligence a very large sum of money should be paid to Sturgess’s heirs, to Rowley, and to the lawyers. The judge, the government, and the lawyers have agreed, however, there is one secret they must all keep. Sergei Skripal, the original target and survivor of the Novichok attack allegations in the official narrative, must never be allowed to testify publicly to what he knows.

To cover this up, Straw, Mansfield, and a lawyer representing the British press lied in court last week, claiming they want “open justice” from the secret services and the police. According to Jude Bunting KC representing the media, “open justice is about avoiding ill-informed speculation about proceedings and, insofar as material is in the public domain because of assertion, or even because of state-sponsored [Russian] misinformation, that is all the more reason for disclosing that material in open rather than in closed.” Hughes claimed to be seeking the same openness. “One of the difficulties of this inquiry and this case…is that everybody popularly supposes that they know the answer. They may or may not be right, but the purpose of the inquiry is to find out.” Hughes was pretending.

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Paul Craig Roberts. “The gun charge is just a way of getting rid of the real charges..”

The Gun Charge Against Hunter Is the Way of Covering Up the Real Issues (PCR)

Conservatives and Republicans are gleeful that the DOJ has been forced off its sweetheart gun charge deal for Hunter and might now have to bring a felony gun charge. The conservatives and Republicans do not realize that the gun charge is the least serious or important of the charges and that by making the gun charge the issue the real issues, which are threats to Joe Biden, don’t get a day in court. The gun charge is just a way of getting rid of the real charges. Moreover, if Hunter is convicted, something a Democrat jury is unlikely to do, and doesn’t get a suspended sentence, Joe will pardon him.

The conservatives and Republicans don’t understand that they and President Trump, not the Bidens, are the prosecutors’ target. We now have a black quota-hire Fulton County prosecutor adding US Senators and Trump lawyers to her racketeering indictment. The ridiculous indictment is so broadly framed that anyone who expressed doubt about the election is covered by the indictment. When you give power over law to people who see law only as a weapon with which to get enemies, you destroy the rule of law. That’s what the dumbshit white liberals have done.

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“..But the question is whether such requests are evidence of a crime…”

The “Why Not” Culture: The Georgia Final Report Should Worry Us All (Turley)

With the release of the special grand jury final report in Georgia, the nation finally was able to see what foreperson Emily Kohrs last February was giggling about in interviews. Call it the “Why not?” report. Back then, when Kohrs was asked if there were recommended charges, she chuckled and said, “Can you imagine doing this for eight months and not coming out with a whole list of recommended indictments? It’s not a short list. It’s not.’” In addition to nodding at an expected Trump indictment, she added, “There may be some names on that list that you wouldn’t expect.” After all, why not? The final product did not disappoint. The members recommended 39 people for prosecution, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and former Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.).

They also included lawyers who argued for recounts or investigations into alleged election fraud. While the report expressly claims that the Fulton County District Attorney’s office did not create the list, it was the office of Fani Willis that presented the law, the evidence and potential targets to the special grand jury. During that process, these members concluded that politicians voicing support for the former president and his allegations could be criminally charged for doing so. The news that Willis did not indict Graham and others infuriated many on the left. Liberal websites were inundated with comments like “I want all the enablers charged, tried, and given long sentences as traitors to our country” and asking why the list did not include Senators Grassley, Cruz, Lee and “147 current and former members of the House, just to name a few.”

[..] The question is when advocacy or inquiries or negotiations become criminal acts. Willis’s first grand jury clearly believed that senators who called for recounts or Raffensperger’s resignation should go to prison. The comparison between their recommendations and the eventual indictment does not clearly answer how such acts are distinguishable as crimes. The same lack of limiting principle is evident in the new theory being pushed by various experts under the 14th Amendment to bar Trump from ballots on the grounds that he “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” or gave “aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” Beyond the tendentious claim that the Jan. 6 riot was an actual insurrection, they also maintain that the provision is self-executing, requiring no vote of Congress for secretaries of state to bar Trump from next year’s ballots.

Even though Trump has not been charged, let alone convicted, of insurrection (or even incitement), these advocates believe that he can be removed from the ballot because of his election claims, his inflammatory rhetoric and his delay in calling for supporters to leave the Capitol. This is one of the most dangerous legal theories to arise in decades. This week, Democratic Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes aptly described the claimed right to disqualify as a “radical” measure that would “encompass every elected office in our government — state, local, federal, and so forth.” Indeed, Democrats have called for barring not just Trump but 120 Republicans in Congress from running for office.

As with the Georgia special grand jury, the question is “Why not?” If the standard is “giving aid or comfort” to insurrectionists, then why not throw hundreds of other Republicans who supported the challenge to certification on Jan. 6 off the ballot? And while we’re at it, why not bar every lawyer who helped file claims of voting fraud from ever running for office? They all gave aid or comfort with their actions. By this reasoning, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and other Democrats could have been barred from ballots for opposing Trump’s certification in 2016 without any basis, along with leaders such as Hillary Clinton, who continued to call the election “stolen” for years. In 2016, there were also violent riots in Washington opposing Trump’s inauguration, thanks in no small part to such rhetoric. We can then have different candidates of both parties removed from ballots in every state.

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“Mr. Gaetz pushed through an agreement that the process to remove and replace the Speaker of the House could be activated by one vote. Mr. Gaetz reiterated last week that he means business. He’s the one vote.”

The Mills of the Gods (Jim Kunstler)

Do you think that more than half of the US public may be getting a little irked with “Joe Biden’s” lawfare elf, AG Merrick Garland, as he rolls one innocent J-6 protester after another into decades of hard-time for strolling through the US Capitol building — while the special counsels assigned to only a few of the Biden family crimes play hide-the-salami with due process? For all their cheap talk about “our democracy,” it’s a little scary to see what Democratic Party lawyers actually think of the legal system that is supposed to allow a society based on liberty to function fairly. Court filings last week indicate that Special Counsel David Weiss is about to indict Hunter Biden on that gun charge they have used as the joker in a three-card Monte game for going on five years.

Last time, they ran the game before Delaware federal judge Maryellen Noreika, she detected a teeny-weeny, sneaky clause in the plea agreement to a watered-down gun charge that would have granted immunity to Hunter B from any other past wrongdoing, including, of course, the entire alleged Biden family racketeering operation that had the First Son acting as prime broker and bag-man for tens of millions of dollars in bribes from foreign actors in countries less than friendly to US interests, funneled into any number of Biden family shell corporations. Judge Noreika nixed the plea agreement. Now, Mr. Weiss’s crew seems to be saying that the immunity clause is still tied to any plea deal answering a forthcoming September 29 indictment.

The move would appear to be timed to exactly the moment that a House impeachment committee would begin its inquiry into the Biden family’s moneygrubbing activities. In ordinary House committee hearings, DOJ officials like to use the excuse of “an ongoing investigation” to demur from answering questions. Merrick Garland has done this dozens of times. Will they now try to upgrade that to “an ongoing prosecution?” Could that move lead to a constitutional impasse, requiring the Supreme Court to rule? Or does a House impeachment panel enjoy special privileges of inquiry? It also appears that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FLA) intends to force the issue of opening an impeachment ASAP against “Joe Biden.” In last January’s maneuvering to seat a new Republican House majority, Mr. Gaetz pushed through an agreement that the process to remove and replace the Speaker of the House could be activated by one vote. Mr. Gaetz reiterated last week that he means business. He’s the one vote.

The argument that Republicans should leave hands-off “Joe Biden” so they can run against the feeble old grifter in 2024 is preposterous because there is no way that the “JB” can possibly run for reelection under any circumstances. It’s just another trip being laid on the American public — and one that illustrates how tragic and dangerous is the absence of an honest news media for challenging such insolent gambits. The President can barely totter into a room now without making some embarrassing pratfall or gaffe. He couldn’t possibly survive a debate, especially with all the new records of his crimes unearthed since the last time around in 2020 when he pretended to know nothing about his son’s business dealings.

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“..it is pretty clear who is responsible for 9/11 and why. Many Americans today understand what really happened..”

“It is paradoxical that President Trump is in the dock for questioning an election, while Dick Cheney and the neoconservatives, and the whore media that covered up for them, never faced a single charge.”

9/11 After 22 Years (Paul Craig Roberts)

Today is the 22nd Anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon known as 9/11. A generation of 22-year olds has grown up after 9/11, and the event probably means nothing to them. They learn that it was an attack on America like the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and 9/11 disappears into history. It is unlikely that anyone under 40 is much concerned with 9/11. A 40-year old today would have been 18 in 2001 and would likely dismiss 9/11 concerns as conspiracy theory. Today’s youth are more likely to be marching in support of sexual perversion than wondering about the source and purpose of the 9/11 attack.

Over the years I have reported the mounting evidence provided by scientists and by architect Richard Gage’s Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth until the organization he created removed him at the request of the government, effectively destroying the organization. But for me the proof that 9/11 was an inside job has always been that no one in government and security agencies was ever held accountable for the worst humiliation ever inflicted on an alleged “superpower.” Instead, it took a year before the White House even agreed to an official coverup with the 9/11 Commission, another in the long line of commissions like the Warren Commission that validates the official story. If a few young Saudi Arabians had actually defeated the entire national security apparatus of the United States, the White House would have been screaming, and heads would have rolled.

The neoconservatives had just called for a “new Pearl Harbor” so they could launch their wars of destruction of Israel’s enemies in the Middle East. They immediately blamed 9/11 on “Muslim terrorists” and began their invasions that halted only when Russia blocked the neoconservatives’ overthrow of Syria. So it is pretty clear who is responsible for 9/11 and why. Many Americans today understand what really happened, but the government will never admit it. It takes decades for the truth to come out, and by then everyone affected by the event is dead, and the event becomes ancient history. It is paradoxical that President Trump is in the dock for questioning an election, while Dick Cheney and the neoconservatives, and the whore media that covered up for them, never faced a single charge.

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Great Depression
https://twitter.com/i/status/1701337655886102874

 

 

Smile
https://twitter.com/i/status/1701205047835521236

 

 

Left my heart

 

 

 

 

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