Edouard Vuillard The window 1894
A reminder – 344,000 younger persons died between 3 Apr 2021 and 6 Aug 2022.
• From a factor – we are not allowed to speak of
• Covid is now at 2,066 deaths per week
• This factor is killing 7,000+ per week (5+ sigma high)
• Cancer is at a 9+ sigma high pic.twitter.com/SsLvWPy4St
— Ethical Skeptic ☀ (@EthicalSkeptic) August 21, 2022
Tucker T celll damage
Swedish artist Karl Jilg shows how much public space we’ve surrendered to cars
“We have been moving slowly towards a major European war for 30 years and there are no good solutions anymore..”
The author and holocaust survivor, Victor Klemperer, identified two distinct styles of language that defined Hitler’s propaganda against the Jews: either “scornful derision” of the inferior race or “panic-stricken fear” of their threat to civilisation. Anti-Russian propaganda over the past centuries has similarly produced two contradictory positions – disdain for Russians as an uncivilised and backward people, and simultaneously an immeasurable threat looming over Europe. A state of affairs described by one writer as “Russophrenia: the idea that Russia is simultaneously about to fall apart, and also take over the world.” Russia is hopelessly inept and weak, yet it is also capable of subverting the democracies of the world and restoring a global empire.
Moscow is so impaired that the West does not need to acknowledge or accommodate its basic security interests, yet NATO’s 30 member states need ever-more weapons to defend against the dreaded Russians. Exaggerating the weakness or the strength of an adversary (or both) is a key component of propaganda, which carries with it the obvious risk of miscalculations, as the real capabilities of the opponent are not accurately assessed. The war in Ukraine is a good case study of this phenomenon. To encourage more NATO, more military spending and containment of Russia, it is commonly argued that we have underestimated the threat of the Russians. During the Cold War, it was falsely argued that the Soviets enjoyed a huge positive missile gap vis-à-vis the US, which incentivised further military spending in the US.
After the Cold War, NATO expansion and raison d’etre have continued to rely on an exaggerated Russian threat. To encourage a more forceful approach to Russia, it is now argued that we have overestimated Moscow’s strength. Case in point, an article by The Atlantic argues that “Ukraine Has Exposed Russia as a Not-So-Great Power”. It suggests that because the Russian army “has seized only 20 percent of Ukraine”, it is time to shed the illusion of Russia being a great power. This conclusion supports an even more hard-line position towards Russia as opposed to Kissinger’s argument that great powers must be accommodated for peace. In other words, more of the same policies that fuelled tensions and brought us to this horrific conflict. [..] We have been moving slowly towards a major European war for 30 years and there are no good solutions anymore. But an end to wishful thinking must be the beginning.
“..the lack of contact between officials means there is no potential to end the war through talks.”
In an interview with the Financial Times, a top Russian diplomat says there is no communication with Western diplomats at the UN. The complete freeze in contact led the Kremin to assess there is no possibility of a diplomatic solution to the war in Ukraine. Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, told FT, “We do not have any contacts with the western delegations,” he said of his day-to-day work in Geneva. “On the protocol side we do not see each other … Privately we do not have any contacts, unfortunately … we simply do not talk to each other.” He said the lack of contact between officials means there is no potential to end the war through talks.
“Now, I do not see any possibility for diplomatic contacts. And the more the conflict goes on, the more difficult it will be to have a diplomatic solution,” Gatilov said. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has only spoken with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov once in the past six months. Gatilov said Western military support for Ukraine and preventing peace talks means the war will have a military end. “And so they [Kiev and its western supporters] will fight until the last Ukrainian,” he said. Lavrov said Ukraine made a workable proposal in March before Kiev broke off talks the following month. Multiple sources reported, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Kiev as talks were progressing, discouraging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky from engaging with the Kremlin.
Gatilov praised Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan for attempting to facilitate a diplomatic end to the war in Ukraine. Ankara has hosted talks between Kiev and Moscow. Turkey and the UN were essential in crafting a deal that allows wheat to be exported through Black Sea ports. While Russia is happy with Turkey’s mediation efforts, FT reported two weeks ago that Western diplomats were concerned about Ankara’s ties with Moscow. On Saturday, deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told Turkish Deputy Finance Minister Yunus Elitas that Russian companies and individuals are attempting to bypass Western sanctions in Turkey. Adeyemo warned the White House was attempting to enforce those sanctions.
“.. Islamic State militants, who scattered their forces throughout the civilian population thereby turning civilians into ‘human shields’ – a technique now being employed by Ukraine.”
Efforts are underway in the US Senate to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. Before going down that road, lawmakers may wish to consider some inconvenient facts. If Russia’s military operation in Ukraine is doing anything – aside from eradicating the resurgence of fascism on the European continent – it is revealing the shocking lack of self-awareness in Western capitals. Perennial American Russophobes from opposite sides of the political spectrum, Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Sen. Lindsey Graham, are now agitating members of Congress to include Russia in Washington’s list of ‘state sponsors of terrorism,’ which presently includes North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Syria. Meanwhile, the Baltic State of Lithuania signed off on its own legislation in May declaring Russia a ‘terrorist state.’
Yet Vilnius didn’t stop there, accusing Russia of carrying out ‘genocide’ on its neighbor’s territory. The resolution states that Russia is committing “genocide against the Ukrainian people,” while saying that the Russian military, like some kind of modern-day Huns, “deliberately and systematically target civilian targets…”. Consider how US-led coalition forces ‘liberated’ the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State militants, who scattered their forces throughout the civilian population thereby turning civilians into ‘human shields’ – a technique now being employed by Ukraine. The US-led Coalition’s relentless four-month ‘precision’ bombardment against IS killed and injured thousands of civilians, while reducing homes, businesses and infrastructure to rubble. Surveying the damage on the ground, Amnesty International concluded that the US-led Coalition “launched strikes likely to cause excessive harm to civilians and failed to distinguish between military targets and civilians.”
The tragic irony of the situation, from Russia’s perspective, is that while Moscow is attempting to spare infrastructure and human lives, it is branded the ‘terrorist state,’ whereas Ukraine is granted hero status as it employs those same tactics that put civilian life at grave risk. Naturally, tragedies will occur and Russia, like any country that finds itself at war, will eventually be accused of killing innocent civilians. Yet these casualties are vastly exacerbated by the fighting techniques of the Ukrainian military, which, it should be emphasized, has been receiving its training from NATO forces since 2014. Time and again, when Russian troops enter a city, they find the enemy fortified behind civilian infrastructure, like hospitals, kindergartens and schools. This automatically turns the facility into a military target for Russian forces, which Ukraine then uses as ‘proof’ that Moscow is deliberately targeting civilians.
Did Mutti pick this dude, for his lack of charisma?
The approval rating of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has reached the lowest mark since he took office in December. Only 25% of the public is satisfied with the job he’s doing, a survey published by Bild on Sunday reveals. “It’s not working” for both Scholz and the ‘traffic light’ coalition government, the tabloid said as it shared the results of the poll, conducted by Germany’s INSA research institute. A mere 25% of those surveyed approve of the chancellor’s job, with 62% expressing disapproval. If an election were held right now, Scholz would only finish third with 18% of the vote. Economy Minister Robert Habeck of the Green Party and Friedrich Merz, who heads the opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU), are currently more popular, backed by 25% and 19% respectively, the poll shows.
The numbers for the ‘traffic light’ coalition, which unites the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP), and the Greens, were as bad as those for Scholz. Only 27% told the pollsters they were happy with the government, while 65% said they have a negative view of its decisions. Scholz’s ratings have been on a steady decline since becoming chancellor eight months ago, Bild said. In March, when the conflict in Ukraine – in which Berlin sided with Kiev, supplying it with arms and slapping harsh sanctions on Moscow – had just started, he was backed by 46%, but in April, the number dropped to 38%.
Economic problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have been further exacerbated by the Western restrictions on Moscow and the subsequent decrease in Russian gas supplies to the EU. Despite being Europe’s top economy, Germany has been hit hard by soaring gas prices as it faces the risk of energy shortages this winter. On Sunday, the head of the German central bank warned that “an inflation rate of even 10% is possible in the autumn months,” something which has not been seen in the country for more than 70 years.
Imagine you’re Putin and you have to listen to this:
“..Ukraine would have been blocked from joining NATO for 30 years..”
“..NATO was never a threat to Russia..”
The German chancellor said he had sought to assure the Russian president that Ukraine would not join the bloc in the near future German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Ukraine would have been blocked from joining NATO for 30 years, in a bid to assure Moscow of the military bloc’s good intentions. Over the weekend, the German leader revealed some details of his talks with Putin before Russia began its military operation in Ukraine, adding that he now believes Russia sought to “conquer its neighboring country” all along. “NATO was never a threat to Russia,” Scholz said he told Putin. The chancellor did not specify which conversation he was referring to, though Scholz met Putin in Moscow in mid-February.
Speaking to journalists this weekend during an ‘open-doors day’ at the chancellor’s office, Scholz also denied that the military alliance had disregarded Russian security interests. When the two leaders spoke about the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO, Scholz assured Putin that “it will not happen in the next 30 years,” the chancellor revealed. Scholz also said that he would not abandon dialogue with Russia but struck a harsher tone when assessing Moscow’s motives. He particularly accused Putin of starting the conflict for “completely absurd” reasons. “This is a war that Putin, Russia, started, … clearly with the intention of conquering its neighboring country,” he told journalists, adding that he believes “that was the original goal” that Moscow had in its military campaign. The chancellor also recalled how Putin had “explained” to him that Ukraine and Belarus should not be “separate states.”
Problem is, they don’t have them.
Berlin supplies “a lot of weapons” to Kiev and will continue to provide Ukraine “with what it needs for its defense,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, in response to criticism from a former Bundeswehr general. Germany is currently “in the process of supplying the most modern and efficient equipment,” Scholz stressed during a traditional ‘open-doors day’ this weekend, citing recent multiple deliveries of self-propelled ‘Gepard’ anti-aircraft guns and PzH 2000 howitzers. The German leader claimed that his main focus remains on “ensuring that there is no escalation of the war,” when a retired Bundeswehr general Klaus Wittmann accused him of a lack of “leadership” and appearing “intimidated” by Russian President Vladimir Putin, as cited by the German news outlet NTV.
Even more weapons “will be there soon,”Scholz vowed, apparently referring to the long-promised deliveries of an Iris-T SLM anti-aircraft missile system and a Cobra artillery radar, but providing no clear timeline. Back in June, Berlin promised to send Kiev one Iris-T unit for free, but Ukraine wants at least a dozen and has offered to purchase the rest directly from the manufacturer, even though Germany’s armed forces reportedly do not have enough air-defense systems themselves. Kiev is expected to receive the first such system no earlier than November, according to previous reports. Last month, Germany also committed a Cobraartillery radar to Ukraine, reportedly set for delivery in September. According to German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht, Kiev has already signed the contract for the materials and troops should have starting training to operate “this highly complex system.”
Centralizing decision making.
Last month, a Chinese entrepreneur making medical equipment for consumers told me that local officials had demanded he convert his production lines in China so that they could turn out items for the military. Communist Party cadres, he said, were issuing similar orders to other manufacturers. Moreover, Chinese academics privately say the ongoing expulsion of foreign colleagues from China’s universities appears to be a preparation for hostilities. The People’s Republic of China is preparing to go to war, and it is not trying to hide its efforts. Amendments to the National Defense Law, effective the first day of last year, transfer powers from civilian to military officials. In general, the amendments reduce the role of the central government’s State Council by shifting power to the CMC, the Communist Party’s Central Military Commission.
Specifically, the State Council will no longer supervise the mobilization of the People’s Liberation Army. As Zeng Zhiping of Soochow University told Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, “The CMC is now formally in charge of making national defense policy and principles, while the State Council becomes a mere implementing agency to provide support for the military.” In one sense, these amendments were window dressing. “Recent changes to China’s National Defense Law that diminish the power of the State Council are largely political posturing,” Richard Fisher of the Virginia-based International Assessment and Strategy Center told me soon after the amendments went into effect. “The Chinese Communist Party and particularly its subordinate CMC have always held supreme power over decisions regarding war and peace.”
Why then do we care about the National Defense Law amendments? The amendments, Fisher tells us, “point to China’s ambition to achieve ‘whole nation’ levels of military mobilization to fight wars and give the CMC formal power to control the future Chinese capabilities for global military intervention.” “The revised National Defense Law also embodies the concept that everyone should be involved in national defense,” reports the Communist Party’s Global Times, summarizing the words of an unnamed CMC official. “All national organizations, armed forces, political parties, civil groups, enterprises, social organizations, and other organizations should support and take part in the development of national defense, fulfill national defense duties, and carry out national defense missions according to the law.”
Small impact for now.
A record-breaking drought has caused some rivers in China – including parts of the Yangtze – to dry up, affecting hydropower, halting shipping, and forcing major companies to suspend operations. A nationwide drought alert was issued on Friday as a long-running and severe heatwave in China’s heavily populated south-west was forecast to continue well into September. The loss of water flow to China’s extensive hydropower system has sparked a “grave situation” in Sichuan, which gets more than 80% of its energy from hydropower. On Sunday the provincial government declared it was at the highest warning level of “particularly severe”, with water flow to Sichuan’s hydropower reservoirs dropping by half. The demand for electricity, meanwhile, has increased by 25% this summer, local media reported.
Last week the province suspended or limited power supply to thousands of factories and rationed public electricity usage due to the shortage. Toyota, Foxconn and Tesla are among companies reported to have temporarily suspended operations at some plants over the last fortnight. On Sunday the South China Morning Post reported plans to restart production this week had been postponed. The Yangtze is the world’s third largest river, providing drinking water to more than 400 million Chinese people, and is the most vital waterway to China’s economy. It is also crucial to the global supply chain, but this summer it has reached record-low water levels, with entire sections and dozens of tributaries drying up. Water flow on the Yangtze’s main trunk is more than 50% below the average of the last five years.
Shipping routes in the middle and lower sections of the river have also closed, the SCMP reported. Across the affected regions of China authorities are rushing to ensure water and power supply, as the region approaches harvest season for water-intensive crops like rice and soy. On Sunday authorities discharged 980m cubic meters of water from reservoirs in an effort to replenish lower levels of the river, state media said. The drought has affected at least 2.46 million people and 2.2m hectares of agricultural land in Sichuan, Hebei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui and Chongqing. More than 780,000 people have needed direct government support because of the drought, according to China’s ministry of emergency management.
I’d venture it’s too late already.
The UK could face a “humanitarian crisis” involving ill health, excess deaths and rising inequality if the government does not take urgent action on rising energy bills, the National Health Service (NHS) Confederation warned on Friday. The organization wrote to the chancellor of the exchequer, claiming that failing to act would add more pressure on health services that were already strained. According to the NHS, if energy bills become unaffordable, the country’s health and social care system will be left to “pick up the pieces.” “The country is facing a humanitarian crisis. Many people could face the awful choice between skipping meals to heat their homes and having to live in cold, damp and very unpleasant conditions,” wrote the head of the NHS Nadhim Zahawi.
“This, in turn, could lead to outbreaks of illness and sickness around the country and widen health inequalities, worsen children’s life chances and leave an indelible scar on local communities.” The NHS highlighted that, in addition to causing more sickness, mass fuel poverty was also likely to “increase the already high number of annual deaths associated with cold homes.” It noted the situation could also affect mental health. “Health leaders are clear that unless urgent action is taken by the government, this will cause a public health emergency,” Zahawi stressed. The warning comes as energy bills for the average household in Britain are projected to rise to more than £4,200 ($4,960) per year from January 2023 after the next increase in the price cap. Last October, it was set at £1,400 ($1,653).
Worse than Germany?!
The average British household can expect to see annual energy bills soar to £6,000 (nearly $7,100) in 2023, according to the latest outlook issued by the UK independent energy consultancy Auxilione on Saturday. The analysts project that the price cap on bills, an officially set reference point, could reach £6,089 as soon as next April. The cap, which currently stands at £1,971, is expected to climb to £3,576 in October and £4,799 in January. Last October, it was set at £1,400 ($1,653). Earlier this month, the UK energy industry regulator Ofgem announced plans to adjust the cap quarterly rather than every six months due to the volatility in energy markets.
The latest figure represents a substantial increase to what was already a gloomy forecast made last week, when the consultancy projected annual average energy bills growing to more than £5,000 (nearly $6,100) next year. Auxilione expects bills to peak at over £6,000 in April before slowly decreasing in the second half of next year, eventually coming down to £5,160 in October. According to the latest poll by Opinium, about 40% of respondents said they would not be able to afford the rise in the cap due to be announced by the energy regulator Ofgem without falling behind on other essential bills.
“We are the generation that must prepare the Army to fight in Europe once again.”
Maybe feed your people first?
The UK’s top ‘other ranks’ soldier has said that British troops must be ready to fight Russia, and should prepare their families for the prospect of an “extended” deployment. His advice comes after the UK’s new head of General Staff said that British forces must become capable of “defeating Russia in battle.” Writing for the latest issue of the British Army’s ‘Soldier’ magazine, Carney said that “the Army is shaping itself to meet the threat from Russia,”and “will be ready, with the right equipment, to play our part in deterring a future war in Europe.” “Deterring” in this case seemingly means deploying. “I want us all to check we are physically fit for operations. And it is also important we prepare loved ones and families, who often have the hardest role in our absence,”he continued.
“My ask is that you have discussions about a potential deployment with them now…we could be out of contact for extended periods on tour.” Carney’s warning does not signal an imminent change in the UK’s role in the conflict in Ukraine. However, a warning in June by Britain’s new chief of the General Staff, General Patrick Sanders, suggests that the Army views Russia as its next major opponent. “There is now a burning imperative to forge an Army capable of fighting alongside our allies and defeating Russia in battle,” Sanders wrote in a letter to his charges. “We are the generation that must prepare the Army to fight in Europe once again.”
The UK has given Ukraine £2.3 billion ($2.7 billion) in military aid since Russia’s military operation began in February. British forces are currently training Ukrainian recruits in the UK, and its intelligence agencies are allegedly sharing information with their Ukrainian counterparts. The UK is a member of the NATO alliance, and in the event that it became involved in open war with Russia, the bloc’s 29 other member states, including the US, would be obliged to enter the conflict.
Saskatchewan Minister Jeremy Cockrill has sent a warning to the Trudeau government that officers sent by Ottawa will be arrested if they continue to trespass on farmland to test nitrogen levels. According to Cockrill, Trudeau’s government has been unlawfully sending federal employees onto Saskatchewan farmlands to test for nitrogen levels without the consent of landowners. In the letter, the Minister raised multiple complaints from Saskatchewan farmers that raised “serious concerns about Government of Canada employees, in clearly marked Government of Canada vehicles, trespassing on private lands.” The farmers reporting these trespasses made clear that these government agents did not request permission to access the land and were not in any other manner given consent to access it.
Minister Cockrill further pointed out to the Trudeau government that these actions constitute a breach of the Saskatchewan Trespass to Property Act, and warned that these actions could carry with them serious penalties, including fines of up to $200,000 and up to six months in prison. By sending this letter, the Saskatchewan government has provided a clear order to the Trudeau government to cease and desist with any unlawful trespasses and warned them that should it continue, their employees could face arrest and prosecution. What is more concerning to some than the actual trespass are the motivations of the federal agents. According to the land owners who confronted the federal agents trespassing on their land, they were told that the purpose of them being there was to test the water in the farmers’ dugouts to measure nitrate levels.
For those following recent news in the agricultural world, this is being seen as connected to the Trudeau government’s recently announced policy to reduce the use of fertilizer on Canadian farms by 30%. This policy has been widely criticized by farmers across the country and by provincial governments in the Western provinces. Some observers have said that there is reason to suspect that these actions are the first steps in replicating the attacks on farmers that have provoked widespread unrest in the Netherlands and other places in Europe. While the federal government has not yet confirmed it, there is speculation that the water sampling we now know is underway, will be used as baseline measurements to enforce reductions in fertilizer usage going forward.
“After he was fired, the former special agent was given a lucrative book deal, lionized on the left, featured prominently as an expert by CNN, and given a teaching job at Georgetown.”
Peter Strzok is back in the news this week. Career colleagues at the Justice Department previously referred Strzok for possible criminal charges and he was fired for his bias and unprofessional conduct. However, Strzok was immediately embraced by many in the media and establishment for his anti-Trump sentiments. After he was fired, the former special agent was given a lucrative book deal, lionized on the left, featured prominently as an expert by CNN, and given a teaching job at Georgetown. It was an extraordinary recovery from a scandal where he showed flagrant bias, engaged in an affair with another married colleague at the FBI, and fought to continue to investigate Russian collusion claims despite early warnings over the questionable basis of the allegations pushed by the Clinton campaign. (Strzok’s colleague and former paramour, Lisa Page, was given a contract as a legal analyst with NBC and MSNBC).
Now, Strzok appears liberated in showing precisely the bias and unhinged hostility alleged by his critics. He has been in the news lashing out at Trump and trolling his objections to the raid on Mar-a-Lago. The seizure of Trump’s passports has raised more doubts about the seemingly unlimited scope of the search. One of the passports taken in the raid was Trump’s active diplomatic passport, according to an email from the Justice Department made public by Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich. The other two passports alleged were expired. Last week, Strzok was one of the first to jump on the bandwagon with CBS News anchor Norah O’Donnell, who blasted out a tweet claiming DOJ sources refuting Trump’s claim that the FBI took his passports.
The “CBS Evening News” anchor reported that the Department of Justice did not have Trump’s passports, tweeting, “According to a DOJ official, the FBI is NOT in possession of former President Trump’s passports.” In fact, the FBI did take the passports and had to later return them. The clear import of O’Donnell’s tweet was that Trump was lying. That was clearly the message received by various critics, including Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who is purportedly serving as an unbiased member of the January 6th committee. Kinzinger, R-Ill., wrote, “Lies lies lies and more lies.” Notably, Strzok was also among those eager to spread the O’Donnell report, tweeting, “And unsurprisingly, Trump’s statement turns out not to be true.” He later deleted it.
None at all.
Representative Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., told ABC News that there was no political motivation in carrying out an FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s resort home in Palm Beach, Florida. “I’ve seen no evidence that there was any political motivation,” Cheney told ABC News when asked about the Mar-a-Lago raid carried out by FBI agents. “I was ashamed to hear Republicans immediately and reflexively attack the FBI agents who executed the search warrant. I was disgusted when I learned that President Trump had released the names of the agents when he released the unredacted search warrant, and that has now caused violence,” Cheney said in the interview, which aired on Sunday. “This is a really dangerous moment,” she added.
On the heels of her congressional primary loss, Cheney also said that she will work with bipartisan political leaders to ensure that Trump never holds the nation’s highest office again. “I think, I think we have to make sure that he is not our nominee,” Cheney told ABC News. Cheney warned that Trump’s characterizations of U.S. elections as rigged is dangerous and disrupts the “fundamental function and principle at the center of our constitutional republic.” “There’s just simply no way that the nation and in my view, excuse that and put him in a position of power again,” Cheney said, referencing Trump’s 2020 presidential election loss and then the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
When asked about the Jan. 6 committee, which she serves as vice chair, Cheney declined to say whether Trump would be called to testify. “I don’t want to make any announcements about that this morning. I think it’s very important. As I said in the first hearing and the second hearing. His interactions with our committee will be under oath,” she said. Cheney noted that the committee has been in discussions with former Vice President Mike Pence’s legal counsel. “When the country has been through something as grave as this, everyone who has information has an obligation to step forward. So I would hope that he will do that,” Cheney said.
“..an intra-elite, symbiotic feud that simultaneously boosts Trump among his base, and the national security state among his foes..”
For my money, the early beneficiary of the FBI’s espionage investigation of Donald Trump is Donald Trump. According to the Washington Post, “Trump has told advisers that in the nearly two years since leaving office, no issue had better galvanized Republican voters around him.” A Politico poll of Republican voters in the aftermath of the Mar-a-Lago raid gave Trump a 10-point boost over his closest possible primary rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Trump’s ensuing fundraising campaign has done even better, quickly topping $1 million on at least two days, a jump of at least 700%. Over the long run, it is difficult to form a conclusive judgment on Trump’s potential culpability in the absence of any confirmed detail about both the contents of the documents that Trump allegedly mishandled, and the evidence to support the Justice Department’s suspicions.
But if the last six years of routine Trump standoffs with the national security state are any guide, the walls are nowhere closer to closing in. Whatever your views on Trump, it is undeniable that the permanent military-intelligence bureaucracy in Washington does not see him as one of their own, and has gone to extraordinary lengths to target him when it sees fit. It is also undeniable that the national security state’s spats with Trump have distracted the public from vital issues that impact working people’s lives and the future of the planet. This includes, I have long argued, Trump’s most harmful policies as president, which were routinely overshadowed and even exacerbated by his standoffs with the “deep state.”
Accordingly, it is reasonable to expect that this latest “scandal” over the potential mishandling of classified documents will continue the trend that has defined the Trump era: an intra-elite, symbiotic feud that simultaneously boosts Trump among his base, and the national security state among his foes. Pundits and politicians are resoundingly confident that the FBI must have the goods on Trump to have taken the unprecedented step of searching the former president’s home. This argument can only be made by ignoring that the FBI and other intelligence agencies took far more unprecedented and consequential actions against Trump when he was president, on grounds that were not only baseless, but fraudulent.
— healthbot (@thehealthb0t) August 21, 2022
Ode to Joy 2
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