May 012024
 


Edvard Munch Separation 1894

 

Trump Held in Contempt With Fine, Jail Threat For Violating Gag Order (ZH)
There Is No Crime”: Dershowitz Says Bragg’s Case Against Trump Will Fail (ET)
Trump Fined For Breaching Gag Order (RT)
Does the CIA Run America? (Jeffrey Tucker)
MAY DAY! MAY DAY! Celebration For Russia, Not A Stress Test (Helmer)
“Have You No Sense of Decency?” (Michael Hudson)
The Kiev Regime Must Not Get Away With It (Karganovic)
“All of the Conspiracy Theorists are Republicans.” (Turley)
Russia Defends Traditional Values The West Is Abandoning – Dugin to Carlson (RT)
Pfizergate: Ursula von der Leyen’s Shady Covid Vaccine Deals (Marsden)
US Politicians ‘Living In Wonderland’ – Moscow (RT)
This Isn’t Fascism (Patrick Lawrence)
Cars Used to Make Us Happy (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

Goofball
https://twitter.com/i/status/1785006072844964021

 

 

Nap Jan 6

 

 

Mike Davis
https://twitter.com/i/status/1785467744114073939

 

 

Eva

 

 

Elon Letterman 2009

Cramer Musk China

 

 

 

 

“That said, Merchan is allowing Trump to attend his son Barron’s high school graduation on May 17..”

Trump Held in Contempt With Fine, Jail Threat For Violating Gag Order (ZH)

Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan has held Donald Trump in contempt of court for ‘repeatedly violating’ a gag order in his so-called hush money trial in New York. According to Merchan, Trump violated the gag order nine times in online posts which targeted jurors or likely witnesses in the trial. The former president was fined the maximum of $1,000 per violation, or $9,000 – and was ordered to remove all of the offending posts by 2:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday. What’s more, Merchan threatened to toss Trump in jail if he willfully violates court orders again. “Defendant is hereby warned that the Court will not tolerate continued willful violations of its lawful orders and that if necessary and appropriate under the circumstances, it will impose an incarceratory punishment,” wrote Merchan in his ruling, CNBC reports. Merchan read the order aloud before the trial resumed with more testimony from a banker who worked with the former president’s lawyer on a $130,000 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

That payment is at the heart of Manhattan prosecutors’ case accusing Trump of falsifying business records as part of a scheme to influence the 2016 presidential election. Gary Farro, a former senior managing director at First Republic bank, took the stand Friday and continued testifying Tuesday. On his way into the courtroom, Trump repeated his call for Merchan to both recuse himself from the case and dismiss it entirely. -CNBC. “The judge should terminate the case because they have no case,” said Trump in response, adding that he’s been unable to campaign for president because he’s stuck in court. That said, Merchan is allowing Trump to attend his son Barron’s high school graduation on May 17. The historic trial began last week, which has included testimony from former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, as well as Trump’s longtime personal secretary, Rhona Graff.

Pecker testified to his efforts to “catch and kill” stories that could be damaging to Trump – including one instance in which his company American Media paying $30,000 for the rights to a former Trump Tower doorman’s story about Trump having a secret love child – though Pecker believes the story is untrue. The company also inked a $150,000 deal with former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claimed to have had an extramarital affair with Trump, according to Pecker. Pecker said he did not pay to silence Daniels, who claims she had sex with Trump. As the Epoch Times notes further, Court was resuming Tuesday with Gary Farro, a banker who helped President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen open accounts, including one that Mr. Cohen used to send a payment to adult film performer Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. She alleged a 2006 affair with President Trump, which he denies.

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“In Bragg’s case, what they’re trying to do is add one and one and come up with 11..”

There Is No Crime”: Dershowitz Says Bragg’s Case Against Trump Will Fail (ET)

Retired Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said on April 28 that he believes that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against former President Donald Trump could fail because prosecutors have charged the former president with fake crimes. “There is no crime,” Mr. Dershowitz said during an interview on Fox News on April 28, referring to the case in which Mr. Bragg’s office has charged the former president with 34 counts of falsifying business records to hide so-called hush money payments that prosecutors allege amounted to a criminal conspiracy to influence the 2016 presidential election. Mr. Dershowitz argued that making nondisclosure payments is not a crime and that neither is paying for the non-publication of potentially embarrassing stories (the so-called catch-and-kill dimension of the case), both of which prosecutors have alleged were part of a conspiracy to sway voters.

The retired law professor argued that Mr. Bragg’s office is in danger of having the case thrown out on grounds similar to those on which the conviction of Harvey Weinstein was recently overturned, namely that prosecutors prejudiced the case by a number of “egregious” improper rulings, including allowing testimony that was unrelated to what Mr. Weinstein was charged with. “They ought to be very careful about this because the Supreme Court of the Appellate Court in Albany just reversed Harvey Weinstein’s conviction on the ground that they put in too much information that wasn’t really relevant to the case,” Mr. Dershowitz said, adding that this is “what’s happening” in the trial against President Trump. “There is no crime in Manhattan. You cannot figure out what the crime is. That’s why they’re putting on all this evidence of non-crimes,” Mr. Dershowitz said.

“Trying to persuade the jury that ‘catch-and-kill’ is a crime—it’s not. Paying hush money is a crime—it’s not. Putting a corporate statement is a misdemeanor barred by the statute of limitations. You can’t suddenly resurrect that and turn that into a crime by invoking a federal statute which the federal government refused to invoke—the Federal Election Commission refused to invoke.” The former Harvard law professor has repeatedly criticized Mr. Bragg for elevating the charges against President Trump from misdemeanors to felonies on what Mr. Dershowitz has argued was an invalid legal premise because the Manhattan district attorney invoked federal statutes over which New York has no jurisdiction. Republicans have accused Mr. Bragg of bringing the case against the former president for political reasons.

[..] Under New York state law, falsifying business records is a misdemeanor. However, if the records fraud was used to cover up or commit another crime, the charge could be elevated to a felony, though a number of legal experts—including Mr. Dershowitz—have challenged the way that has been done in this case. “In order to turn the state statute into a felony, you have to borrow a federal statute,” Mr. Dershowitz told The Epoch Times in March 2023. He said that this combining of laws “seems to raise real serious legal questions.” “In Bragg’s case, what they’re trying to do is add one and one and come up with 11,” Mr. Dershowitz said. “No rational person would look at these two statutes and say that Trump violated them.”

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“The Gag Order imposed on me, a political candidate running for the highest office in the land, is totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL! Nothing like this has ever happened before..”

Trump Fined For Breaching Gag Order (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has been ordered to pay $9,000 for repeatedly violating a gag order imposed by the judge overseeing his ‘hush money’ trial in New York. Trump was threatened with jail if he continues to breach the order. At a hearing in Manhattan on Tuesday, Judge Juan Merchan fined Trump $1,000 for nine separate instances in which he violated the gag order. Merchan explained in his ruling that while a $1,000 fine ultimately matters little to a man of Trump’s wealth, he could not legally issue a larger fine. However, the judge added that he would consider whether “jail may be a necessary punishment” if Trump continues to break the order in future. Trump is currently on trial for allegedly misreporting ‘hush-money’ payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Since last month, Merchan has forbidden him from making public statements about Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg or the jurors working on the case, and from uttering anything that could interfere with the work of the court. Nevertheless, Trump has spoken to the media outside the courthouse every day since the trial began earlier this month. In these appearances and in posts on his Truth Social platform, the former president has denounced the “sham case” against him, often quoting conservative pundits and journalists in an apparent bid to skirt the gag order. “The Gag Order imposed on me, a political candidate running for the highest office in the land, is totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL! Nothing like this has ever happened before,” Trump wrote last week. “The Conflicted Judge’s friends and party members can say whatever they want about me, but I am not allowed to respond.”

Trump’s lawyers have argued that Merchan’s connections to the Democratic Party – his daughter owns a consulting firm that creates fundraising campaigns for Democratic politicians, including President Joe Biden – make him unsuitable to judge the case. However, Merchan has refused multiple requests to recuse himself, saying that Trump has “failed to provide” evidence of a conflict of interest. In addition to the ‘hush money’ trial, Trump is also facing two federal criminal cases concerning his alleged incitement of the January 6, 2021 riot on Capitol Hill and his alleged mishandling of classified documents, as well as a state-level racketeering case in Georgia concerning his alleged efforts to overturn Biden’s 2020 victory in the state. Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee to challenge Biden in November’s presidential election. Despite the ongoing trial effectively halting his campaign in its tracks, a CNN poll published on Sunday showed him leading Biden by a 49%-43% margin, with six in ten respondents disapproving of Biden’s performance as president.

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“..we live in a country today where most people readily admit that the CIA probably killed the president. Amazing.”

Does the CIA Run America? (Jeffrey Tucker)

[..] let’s not dismiss the theory completely. Based on a New York Times (NYT) piece that appeared last week, it contains more than a grain of truth. The article is titled: “Campaign Puts Trump and the Spy Agencies on a Collision Course.” Quote: “Even as president, Donald J. Trump flaunted his animosity for intelligence officials, portraying them as part of a politicized ‘deep state’ out to get him. And since he left office, that distrust has grown into outright hostility, with potentially serious implications for national security should he be elected again.” Ok, let’s be clear. If the intelligence community led by the CIA is not the “deep state,” what is? Further, it is proven many times over that the Deep State is in fact out to get him. This is not even controversial. Indeed, there is no reason for these journalists to write the above as if Donald Trump is somehow consumed by some kind of baseless paranoia.

Let’s keep going here: “Trump is now on a possible collision course with the intelligence community …. The result is a complicated and possibly destabilizing situation the United States has never seen before: deep-seated suspicion and disdain on the part of a former and perhaps future president toward the very people he would be relying on for the most sensitive information he would need to perform his role if elected again.” Wait just a moment. You are telling us that all previous presidents have had a happy relationship with the CIA? That’s rather interesting to know. And deeply troubling too, since the CIA has been managing regime change the world over for a very long time, and is now directly involved in U.S. politics at the most intimate level. Any president worth his salt should absolutely have a hostile relationship with such an agency, if only to establish clear civilian control over the government, without which it’s not possible to say that we live in a Constitutional republic.

And now, according to the NYT, we have one seeking the Presidency who does not defer to the agency and that this is destabilizing and deeply problematic. Who does that suggest really rules this country? Is the NYT itself guilty of the most extreme conspiracy theory imaginable, or is it just stating facts as we know them? I’m going to guess that it is the latter. In this case, every single American should be deeply alarmed.Crazy huh? As for the phrase “never seen before,” we have to push back. What about George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, James Polk, and Calvin Coolidge? They were all previous presidents, according to the history books that people once read. There was no CIA back then. If you doubt this, I’m pretty sure that your favorite AI engine will confirm it. One must suppose that when the NYT says “never seen before,” it means in the post-war period. And that very well might be true. John F. Kennedy defied them. We know that for certain.

The mysteries surrounding his murder won’t be solved fully until we get the documents. But the consensus is growing that this murder was really a coup by the CIA, a message sent as a lesson to every successor in that office. Think of that: we live in a country today where most people readily admit that the CIA probably killed the president. Amazing. [..] Have you considered that maybe the crackpots are exactly right? If so, shouldn’t we, at bare minimum, seek to support a Presidential candidate with a hostile relationship to the intelligence community? Indeed, that ought to be a bare minimum standard of qualification. There is simply no way we can restore civilian control of government and constitutional government until this agency can be thoroughly reigned in or abolished completely.

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“.. the party has announced two dozen slogans for May Day..”

“The vote for the Communist Party candidate for president, Nikolai Kharitonin, in the March election was just 4.37% — the lowest level ever reached. ”

MAY DAY! MAY DAY! Celebration For Russia, Not A Stress Test (Helmer)

Every spring, when it’s certain no more snow will fall on Moscow, it helps to remember what the celebration stands for, and look forward with hope. Hope doesn’t come cheaply. In English and many other languages including Latin, May Day meant the return of fecundity, flowers, food harvests, and so hopefulness after winter, with entertainment from the randiest, cleverest, and silliest of the field creatures, the hare and the goat. Mayday! Mayday! That started in 1927 as an internationally recognized distress call put out on radio, which had nothing to do with the month of May. It started in French – m’aidez! “Help me!” That replaced the Morse code for SOS (“Save our Ship”) which was first adopted internationally in 1905. Mayday!, the radio call for help, was needed when radio replaced the telegraph and a speaking voice was required instead of taps and pips.

These days it’s the traditional left wing, based on workers’ movements, which need help. In France they have been superseded by spontaneous mobilizations, like the gilets jaunes, but they are failing against the Macron presidency; Keir Starmer’s British Labour Party is already a failure of the left before it defeats the Tories. There are leftwing movements in Germany and the US, but it is unlikely that such splinters can achieve more than splinters can – that’s pinpricks. Altogether, this left contributes next to nothing to the defeat of their governments, arms, and armies on the Ukrainian and Middle Eastern battlefields compared to the Russian Army and the Axis of Resistance. In Russia, the party of Marx and Engels has one leader embalmed and horizontal in Red Square; and a stone’s throw away in the State Duma, the current leader, Gennady Zyuganov, embalmed and vertical. The vote for the Communist Party candidate for president, Nikolai Kharitonin, in the March election was just 4.37% — the lowest level ever reached.

For this year’s May Day, the Communist Party has published no analysis of the current situation in Russia or party programme. Instead, it has called for a rally at the Karl Marx statue in front of the Bolshoi Theatre. In addition, the party has announced two dozen slogans for May Day. These include: “Long live the red May Day!”, “Proletarians of all countries, unite!”, “A job! Salary! Confidence in the future!”, “No increase in prices and tariffs!”, “Affordable housing for a young family!”, and “Scholarships at the minimum wage level!” The alternative leftwing Russian leaders, Sergei Glazyev and Mikhail Delyagin, have published nothing for May Day. Without mentioning May Day, Vzglyad, the semi-official platform for national security and economic analysis, has issued a report on a new government planning document setting out three scenarios for Russia’s economic future. The author is Vzglyad’s economics reporter, Olga Samofalova.

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“..to criticize Israel is anti-Semitic. That is the “enabling slur” of today’s assault on academic freedom.”

“Have You No Sense of Decency?” (Michael Hudson)

The recent Congressional hearings leading to a bloodbath of university presidents brings back memories from my teen-age years in the 1950s when everyone’s eyes were glued to the TV broadcast of the McCarthy hearings. And the student revolts incited by vicious college presidents trying to stifle academic freedom when it opposes foreign unjust wars awakens memories of the 1960s protests against the Vietnam War and the campus clampdowns confronting police violence. I was the junior member of the “Columbia three” alongside Seymour Melman and my mentor Terence McCarthy (both of whom taught at Columbia’s Seeley Mudd School of Industrial Engineering; my job was mainly to handle publicity and publication). At the end of that decade, students occupied my office and all others at the New School’s graduate faculty in New York City – very peacefully, without disturbing any of my books and papers.

Only the epithets have changed. The invective “Communist” has been replaced by “anti-Semite,” and the renewal of police violence on campus has not yet led to a Kent State-style rifle barrage against protesters. But the common denominators are all here once again. A concerted effort has been organized to condemn and even to punish today’s nationwide student uprisings against the genocide occurring in Gaza and the West Bank. Just as the House Unamerican Activities Committee (HUAC) aimed to end the careers of progressive actors, directors, professors and State Department officials unsympathetic to Chiang Kai-Shek or sympathetic to the Soviet Union from 1947 to 1975, today’s version aims at ending what remains of academic freedom in the United States.

The epithet of “communism” from 75 years ago has been updated to “anti-Semitism.” Senator Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin has been replaced by Elise Stefanik, House Republican from upstate New York, and Senator “Scoop” Jackson upgraded to President Joe Biden. Harvard University President Claudine Gay (now forced to resign), former University of Pennsylvania President Elizabeth Magill (also given the boot), and Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Sally Kornbluth were called upon to abase themselves by promising to accuse peace advocates critical of U.S. foreign policy of anti-Semitism.

The most recent victim was Columbia’s president Nemat “Minouche” Shafik, a cosmopolitan opportunist with trilateral citizenship who enforced neoliberal economic policy as a high-ranking official at the IMF (where she was no stranger to the violence of “IMF riots) and the World Bank, and who brought her lawyers along to help her acquiesce in the Congressional Committee’s demands. She did that and more, all on her own. Despite being told not to by the faculty and student affairs committees, she called in the police to arrest peaceful demonstrators. This radical trespass of police violence against peaceful demonstrators (the police themselves attested to their peacefulness) triggered sympathetic revolts throughout the United States, met with even more violent police responses at Emory College in Atlanta and California State Polytechnic, where cell phone videos were quickly posted on various media platforms.

Just as intellectual freedom and free speech were attacked by HUAC 75 years ago, academic freedom is now under attack at these universities. The police have trespassed onto school grounds to accuse students themselves of trespassing, with violence reminiscent of the demonstrations that peaked in May 1970 when the Ohio National Guard shot Kent State students singing and speaking out against America’s war in Vietnam. Today’s demonstrations are in opposition to the Biden-Netanyahu genocide in Gaza and the West Bank. The more underlying crisis can be boiled down to the insistence by Benjamin Netanyahu that to criticize Israel is anti-Semitic. That is the “enabling slur” of today’s assault on academic freedom.

By “Israel,” Biden and Netanyahu mean specifically the right-wing Likud Party and its theocratic supporters aiming to create “a land without a [non-Jewish] people.” They assert that Jews owe their loyalty not to their current nationality (or humanity) but to Israel and its policy of driving the Gaza Strip’s millions of Palestinians into the sea by bombing them out of their homes, hospitals and refugee camps. The implication is that to support the International Court of Justice’s accusations that Israel is plausibly committing genocide is an anti-Semitic act. Supporting the UN resolutions vetoed by the United States is anti-Semitic. The claim is that Israel is defending itself and that protesting the genocide of the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank frightens Jewish students. But research by students at Columbia’s School of Journalism found that the complaints cited by the New York Times and other pro-Israeli media were made by non-students trying to spread the story that Israel’s violence was in self-defense.

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“..this hideous practice on the part of the Ukrainian authorities also unmistakably exhibits the legal elements of ethnic cleansing..”

The Kiev Regime Must Not Get Away With It (Karganovic)

The neo-Nazi regime in Kiev engages in an unperceived, generously glossed over but extremely grave violation of humanitarian principles. It is one of many breaches in that regard, of course. But it must be held to account for this and ultimately for every single one. In the zone the regime still controls in Ukraine, as Russian troops advance the neo-Nazi junta compels the local population to abandon its habitations and to withdraw alongside the retreating Ukrainian armed forces. Since generally that occurs in predominantly ethnically Russian areas, the reluctance of the population to withdraw with what it regards as occupation troops is understandable. For that reason, this hideous practice on the part of the Ukrainian authorities also unmistakably exhibits the legal elements of ethnic cleansing. The political objective behind these compulsory population movements is to project the propaganda illusion that the civilian population in Ukraine are averse to the arrival of Russian forces and would prefer to live under Kiev regime rule.

Reports of forced deportation of local residents are plentiful (also see here, here, and here). A quick search of the internet will yield much additional evidence. Western governments and “human rights monitors” have remained utterly silent about this egregious conduct, which in the past they would have denounced vociferously whenever the perpetrators could be presented as actors hostile to the collective West’s political interests. In the present case, however, the perpetrators happen to be their Ukrainian proxies, recently rewarded with another tranche of multibillion dollar largesse. Hence the studious silence of the Western governments and media. The enablers are loath to publicise their vassals’ transgressions. What does international humanitarian law have to say about the forced displacement of civilians during armed conflict? Individual or mass deportations are prohibited, regardless of their motive, by the Fourth Geneva Convention (Art. 49).

Deportation refers to the forced transfer of civilians (or other persons protected by the Geneva Conventions) from the territory where they reside to the territory of the occupying power or to any other territory, whether occupied or not. Such acts are prosecutable according to the universal jurisdiction principle (Geneva Convention IV on Civilians, Art. 147). They can also be constitutive elements of crimes such as ethnic cleansing and genocide. There is a degree of ambiguity in the scope and application of the norm, which in Article 49 holds that “individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.” The presence of the related concept of “population transfer” further complicates the legal analysis because it seems to describe a forced movement of the population which takes place within the national territory and thus, perhaps, under the direction of the domestic authorities.

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“..It is not accurate to say everyone in the Republican Party is a conspiracy theorist but as with racists, all of the conspiracy theorists are Republicans.”

“All of the Conspiracy Theorists are Republicans.” (Turley)

There has been a notable shift toward more and more extreme rhetoric in the media from predicting that democracy will end with this election to “disappearing” journalists and gays to ending all rights for everyone. On Monday, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace added to this litany with a claim that “as with racists, all of the conspiracy theorists are Republicans.” After discussing how GOP candidates have stated that they believe that the last election was “stolen,” Wallace added “It is not accurate to say everyone in the Republican Party is a conspiracy theorist but as with racists, all of the conspiracy theorists are Republicans.” It was a crushingly ironic moment. Wallace has been repeatedly criticized for spreading false news. For example, the “Deadline: White House” host told viewers that they should not take the Hunter Biden laptop seriously: “We shouldn’t look at it as anything other than a Russian disinformation operation.”

Wallace heralded the Mueller investigation while pushing the now debunked Russian collusion claims. However, on the Durham investigation, she told viewers that they could ignore it despite the fact that the report stands uncontradicted: “Durham’s whole thing is predicated on it’s like a rabbit hole conspiracy that suggests that the Trump-Barr paranoia infected his ability to stand back and evaluate whether the probe yielded guilty convictions of people who would have had nothing to do with any of these questions he looked at.” Wallace and MSNBC also pushed false claims about Bill Barr clearing Lafayette Park for a Trump “photo op.” On August 5th, 2019, MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace falsely claimed that Trump had talked about “exterminating Latinos.”

Wallace and MSNBC pushed the false story of border agents whipping migrants in Texas. Wallace claimed that the lab theory of the Covid 19 was a “conspiracy theory.” It has been embraced by various federal agencies despite being called racist by many experts. Many on the left now routinely call opposing views as spreaders of disinformation or conspiracy theories. The Biden Administration has funded various groups to blacklist or bar those with opposing views as disinformation, malinformation, or misinformation. Indeed, new groups are being formed before the election to echo these claims, including one headed by the former “Disinformation Czar.”

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Interesting man.

Russia Defends Traditional Values The West Is Abandoning – Dugin to Carlson (RT)

The ever-growing anti-Russia sentiment in the West stems from the fact that Russia adheres to traditional values that Western “progressives” are trying to destroy, philosopher and political commentator Aleksandr Dugin said in an interview with journalist Tucker Carlson that was posted on the latter’s YouTube channel on Monday. During the interview, Dugin laid out his view of the contemporary Western world and what he sees as the historical origins of its current ideology. He explained that the West has moved from “classical liberalism” – which professed individual freedom and democracy as understood as the rule of the majority – to a “new liberalism” defined by the rule of minorities and woke-ism. Rather than emphasizing freedom of the individual, the new incarnation of liberalism prescribes adherence to certain progressive values that are completely at odds with traditional values and in fact seeks to abolish them.

Carlson asked Dugin why many Westerners, even those who previously supported the Soviet Union, turned against Russia when President Vladimir Putin came to power in the early 2000s and started professing Russophobic ideas. The philosopher said that “Putin is a traditional leader” who defends traditional values, which run counter to those currently in vogue in the West. “When [Putin] came to power, from the very beginning, he started to extract Russia from global influence. He started to contradict the global progressive agenda… tried with success to restore traditional values – sovereignty of the state, Christianity, traditional family,” he said, explaining that Western progressives saw these developments as being in opposition to their values. This hatred is not something casual… it’s metaphysical. If your main task and main goal is to destroy traditional values – traditional family, traditional state, traditional relations, traditional beliefs – and someone with a nuclear weapon… stands strong defending traditional values you are going to abolish – they have some basis for this Russophobia and hatred for Putin.

In 2022, Dugin’s daughter Darya was killed in a car bombing in Moscow, which the Russian authorities claim was orchestrated by Ukrainian agents, a version also expressed by the US government. Darya, a journalist and political activist in her own right, was a vocal supporter of Russia’s military operation against Kiev. Russophobic sentiment has been growing exponentially in light of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the outbreak of which in 2022 the West has blamed squarely on Russia. NATO has branded Russia the “most significant and direct threat” to its members’ peace and security, and many Western leaders have claimed that Moscow would attack Europe if it secures victory in Ukraine. Russia has repeatedly said it has no such plans, with Putin last month dismissing such claims as “nonsense.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov last week called such ideas “horror stories” made up to divert attention from domestic problems in the West.

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“We’re talking about 11 contracts, 4.6 billion vaccines, and €71 billion of public money transferred to Big Pharma.”

Pfizergate: Ursula von der Leyen’s Shady Covid Vaccine Deals (Marsden)

Forget this whole “election” charade and just glue the crown onto her head, already.Ursula von der Leyen, the unelected European Commission President, is up for job renewal in June. She’d have to be re-nominated by the majority of EU member state leaders and then re-confirmed by members of the newly-elected European Parliament. They’d have to be crazy to dethrone this ultimate incarnation of true EU values, like transparency and foresight (or rather, lack thereof). One particular tale about Queen Ursula comes to mind that perfectly illustrates the point.

During Covid, the European Union rolled out a bloc-wide QR code system as proof of vaccination for travel, leisure, and in some cases a condition of employment – even as reports started raising doubts about how reliable the shot really was when it came to stopping infection, transmission, and death. It’s like there was this interest in Brussels to move fast in getting shots into arms as quickly as possible, and setting up this digital identity system linked to jab status before the scary music stopped or people just tuned it out. Skeptical members of the European Parliament have been demanding to know what kind of deal the bloc’s leadership actually signed with the manufacturers of these injections. We’re talking about 11 contracts, 4.6 billion vaccines, and €71 billion of public money transferred to Big Pharma.

So far, neither the citizens who paid for all of it, nor their elected representatives have been able to get full transparency on those deals. According to research published last year by the French NGO Global Health Advocates, and the UK based health nonprofit, StopAids, the European Commission “agreed to extensive confidentiality requirements with pharmaceutical corporations that may not be fully consistent with EU legislation,” and that of the contracts analyzed with AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Moderna, “the Pfizer contract was the most significantly redacted.” Specifically, they noted that the European Commission “redacted the most information about product safety and indemnification in the Pfizer and Moderna contract,” concluding that “it looks like most of the risk was borne by the EU in a desperate attempt to get access to these vaccines.”

The reports also draw attention to the lack of interest on the part of certain Big Pharma CEOs when it comes to accountability towards their customers – their end-clients who received and ultimately paid for the jabs: average EU citizens. “We provided Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Moderna the opportunity to react to the claims… but we did not receive a response,” the NGOs said. It turns out that Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla is also the same person who was exchanging private text messages with von der Leyen the month before the Pfizer contract was negotiated. How do we know that? Because she said so herself in April of 2021 in a New York Times interview. While she was busy doing that, questions arose over how German defense contracts were being awarded. Politico reported on it in 2019, citing the increased use of consultants during her time in office, and she ultimately copped to “mistakes” having been made. Nor would they be the last of their kind, apparently.

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“Everything has gone haywire in the White House,” Zakharova said.”

US Politicians ‘Living In Wonderland’ – Moscow (RT)

US calls for Russia to hold talks on ending the Ukraine conflict seem detached from reality and ignore Moscow’s previous attempts to reach a settlement, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken insisted on Monday that Moscow’s alleged plans “to erase Ukraine from the map… failed.” He added that he hopes Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken note of Western support for Ukraine, “gets the message, and demonstrates a willingness to genuinely negotiate consistent with the basic principles… of the international community and the UN Charter: sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence.” Responding to Blinken’s remarks later that day, Zakharova said American politicians seem to live in a “wonderland.”

She recalled that in 2014 and 2015, Russia “showed respect for international law” by promoting the now-defunct Minsk agreements, which sought to end the bloodshed in the region by giving the two Donbass republics special status within the Ukrainian state. Moscow has claimed that Kiev and Western countries never intended to implement the deal in the first place. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, ex-German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and ex-French President Francois Hollande have admitted that the primary purpose of the agreements was to help Kiev buy time to build a stronger military force. Zakharova also noted that Moscow was ready to engage in peace talks in 2022. At the time, negotiations in Istanbul, Türkiye initially made headway, but later collapsed after what Russia claims was interference by then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who allegedly advised Kiev to keep fighting. Johnson has denied the accusation.

The spokeswoman stated that Blinken himself had proposed settling the conflict “based not on international law,” but on the ‘peace formula’ proposed by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, which demands that Russia withdraw all troops from the territory Kiev claims as its own and includes several other clauses that Moscow has rejected as unacceptable. “Everything has gone haywire in the White House,” Zakharova said. Moscow maintains that it is open to talks with Ukraine. However, Zelensky signed a decree in autumn 2022 barring negotiations with the current leadership in Moscow. The move came after four former Ukrainian regions voted overwhelmingly to join Russia.

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“There is a straight line between this relentless, politically motivated fear-mongering and the thought that Fascism in some American incarnation is hard upon us..”

This Isn’t Fascism (Patrick Lawrence)

On April 19, just as a court in Lower Manhattan finished selecting a jury to hear the farcical “hush money” case against Donald Trump, a 37-year-old Floridian named Max Azzarello set himself ablaze across the street from the courthouse. Azzarello, by subsequent accounts, was a peaceable man, an agreeable neighbor, and was much taken up with questions of social justice. He was also no slouch on the academic side: Azzarello had a degree in anthropology from the University of North Carolina and a master’s in urban planning from Rutgers. To go by the mainstream press reports, Azzarello seems to have lost it somewhat after his mother died two years ago this month. But it is not anyone’s place, other than those close to him, to go any more deeply, or even this far, into the man’s psychiatric profile. Max Azzarello did have something to say to the rest of us as he stood in the park across from the Center Street Courthouse, however.

Just before setting himself ablaze, he held up a placard that read, in all caps, “TRUMP IS WITH BIDEN AND THEY’RE ABOUT TO FASCIST COUP US.” We ought to pay attention to this. An apparently capable man, by all accounts a compassionate man, died dreading an imminent Fascist takeover in America. This makes me very angry. To go straight to my point: A human life is wasted in consequence of a ridiculous, paranoiac idea that has for some time circulated among us either out of foolishness or for the most cynical of political motives. I was very sad to learn of Aaron Bushnell’s self-immolation before the Israeli Embassy in Washington on February 25. I was sad to read of Max Azzarello’s final act, too, but in a different way. Bushnell died for “what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonizers,” as he put it in his final moments. An Air Force enlistee, Bushnell declared he could “no longer be complicit in genocide.” His last words were “Free Palestine!” One would rather Bushnell were still with us, but his was an honorable death.

Azzarello died in a state of confusion and delusion, and I draw this conclusion from the message on his placard. His death honored no one. I will go so far as to say there are many among us who dishonorably bear responsibility for it. Readers of this column may have noted over the months that I am a stickler for nomenclature. To name things properly is essential to our understanding. It enables us to act, if we are so inclined, because we are clear in our minds as to what is to be done. To name things improperly causes all kinds of problems. It leaves us confused and deluded, as in the case of Max Azzarello. It can paralyze us. Or if we choose to act, we are likely to act wrongly. As in the case of Max Azzarello. There are so many misnomers abroad among us, amid the panic on our sinking ship, one sometimes grows weary of language altogether. Russia is an aggressor, China is an imperialist power, Israel is a democracy, and so on through the Orwellian lexicon: War is peace, etc.

On the domestic side, the Jan. 6, 2021, protests at the Capitol were an attempted coup. Or an insurrection. We have Donald Trump is a tyrant. We have Donald Trump is a dictator — “King Trump,” I am now reading in The New York Times. And we have it that America, as per the late Max Azzarello and countless other like him, is on the eve of a Fascist takeover. Much of this, let’s call it the pollution of public discourse, comes from the liberal authoritarians. Rachel Maddow, to take one of the more pitiful cases, wants us to think Trump the dictator will end elections, destroy the courts, and render the Congress powerless. The MSNBC commentator has actually said these things on air. One-man rule is the theme, if you listen to the Rachel Maddows. The evident intent is to cast Donald Trump in the most fearsome light possible, as it becomes clear Trump could well defeat President Biden at the polls come Nov. 5. We can mark this stuff down to crude politicking in an election year, surely. There is nothing new in it. But this is not the point.

There is a straight line between this relentless, politically motivated fear-mongering and the thought that Fascism in some American incarnation is hard upon us — a straight line, this is to say, from our Rachel Maddows to the self-immolation of Max Azzarello. This is the point.

Read more …

Muscle cars.

Cars Used to Make Us Happy (Paul Craig Roberts)

I attended a classic car show recently and realized why my generation was so happy compared to the current ones. Cars in those days were beautiful and the muscle car element had glorious sounds. Beginning in 1954 but especially with the advent of the 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air coup and Ford Fairlane coup you were looking at beauty enhanced by two-tone paint jobs. Some were a combination of pastels. Others were combinations of strong colors–red and black, yellow and black, red and white, and some were a combination of a strong color and a pastel–navy blue and French blue, pink and black. In 1955 Chevrolet brought back the V-8 for its cars, and it was a performer. A stock ’55 Chevy V-8 was a match for our souped up 1950 Ford flatheads. What you could do to that 55 Chevy V-8 was something else. So many of the cars, not only Chevrolets and Fords, but also Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Dodges had beautiful two-tone paint jobs and delightful styling. The cars also offered wonderful visibility. You could see where you were going, backing up, and what was on either side.

For us what constituted safety was visibility, good brakes, and maneuverability. The mid to late 60s into 1972-73 was the muscle car era. The cars had appealing design as they were designed by designers and not by safety bureaucrats. Some of the colors were outrageous–plum crazy purple, bright lime green, triple black, orange. Such outstanding colors usually indicated potent performance. How fast were the muscle cars of a half century ago? Very. Plymouth Barracudas, Superbirds, Dusters, Roadrunners, Dodge Daytonas, Chargers, Ford Torinos, Oldsmobile Cutlasses, 442s, Pontaic GTOs, Firebirds, Chevrolet Chevelles, Cameros could compete in quarter mile times with the supercar of the era, a Lamborghini Miura S (1970). The muscle cars would leave in the dust James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5, Ferrari’s 250 GT Lusso, and even beat fast cars from 20 and 30 years later such as the Lotus Esprit Turbo (1988) and Subaru’s 2001 WRX.

Moreover, a muscle car could be souped up to high heaven. Some of them run 9 and 10 second quarter mile times, which beats the entire range of today’s supercars, such as Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, Corvettes, and Shelby Mustangs. Not many of the souped up muscle cars from a half century ago can beat the present day Dodge Demon, but they can run with it. The thing about muscle cars is that they were so fast that you didn’t need to soup them up like you did a 1950s Ford flathead or a 55 Chevy. Muscle cars date from the days of 30 cents per gallon gasoline, and in those days it was 100 octane. The combination of low purchase cost (a Plymouth Barracuda with a Hemi engine cost $4,000), operating cost, style, and performance made them a deal that no longer exists. Today’s cars are loaded down with electronics and “safety” that you don’t need and that is difficult to live with and costly. If the tire pressure in my safe car drops from 32 to 31 on come warning lights and notices on my screen.

You have to go through a pointless exercise and then spend half an hour figuring out how to turn off the warning indicators. Moreover, the accepted safety style comes from federal safety bureaucrats. Consequently, unless you can see the Mercedes star, you can’t tell one from a Toyota. Today all cars look alike. And you have 4 color choices–white, black, gray, and a dark red. Mopar performance cars, Corvettes, and performance Mustangs are bringing back striking colors and their performance products have a striking appearance. They certainly get your attention, but they are not beautiful. At a large car show cars from the past and present will be on display. The older cars are beautiful. The new ones are aggressive and heavy in appearance. They don’t inspire. They drive well but they don’t make you happy. They look brutish, like American foreign policy. In my teenage years driving down a road was like driving along a rainbow. Colors everywhere. Distinctive styles with no possibility of confusing one make with another, glorious sounds if a muscle car passed you, and wonderful visibility.

All of this ended when the fools up high decided to make us safe. One of the consequences has been that we can’t see out of our cars. My safety designer car has great forward vision unless I turn left down hill. Then the massive pillar that makes me safe blocks all vision. There could be a dog, a child, a huge pothole in the road and I am unable to see it. Rear vision depends on cameras, but they are useless when you are backing out of a parking slot in a shopping center. You can see behind you but not on your side as the enormous pillar blocks all vision. When the massive trucks of today are parked along side of you, it is a game of Russian Roulette to back out. The emphasis on safety has homogenized car design. There is no distinction, and there are no shapes that work with two-tone paint. The modern car world is drab, and drabness produces depression. Thus, the cost of our bureaucratic imposed safety is depression. We are mired in sameness and brutal shapes. When did you last see a happy American?

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Change of guard

 

 

Bukele bribery

 

 

Dog trust

 

 

Cowswim

 

 

 

 

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Mar 252024
 
 March 25, 2024  Posted by at 11:55 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , ,  11 Responses »


Paul Gauguin The wave 1888

 

From what I’ve read so far, ISIS is about the least likely suspect for the Crocus massacre. If only because the CIA fingered them within minutes of the event. Russia will need to do a very thorough investigation, and hard evidence, to keep its people calm. Andrew Korybko has more:

 

 

Andrew Korybko:

 

Speculation has swirled since Friday night’s terrorist attack at the Crocus City Hall venue in Moscow over whether ISIS-K was really responsible like the group claimed or if Ukraine’s military-intelligence service GUR orchestrated everything under the cover of its agents posing as members of that group. The Mainstream Media is running with the first scenario while doing their utmost to discredit the second, but recalling the GUR’s terrorist history and ties with radical Islamists shows that it’s not above suspicion.

They were responsible for assassinating Darya Dugina in summer 2022, carrying out the Crimean Bridge truck bomb attack that fall, assassinating Vladlen Tatarsky in spring 2023, and the crossborder terrorist raids by the so-called “Russian Volunteer Corps” over the past year. They’re also tied to Crimean Tatar terrorists and ISIS-linked Chechen ones. The CIA is connected with these terrorist acts and groups too after the Washington Post reported last fall that they rebuilt the GUR from the ground-up after 2014.

The modern-day GUR is a product of the CIA, which certainly shared with its protégés everything that it learned while waging the ongoing Hybrid War on Syria, not to mention their terrorist contacts as well. It was through this meticulous cultivation that GUR chief Kirill Budanov obtained his bloodlust that was on full display last spring when he declared that “we’ve been killing Russians and we will keep killing Russians anywhere on the face of this world until the complete victory of Ukraine.”

For as lethal as the GUR has become over the past decade, it’s still a CIA knockoff, which is why it’s expected to make sloppy mistakes from time to time. This is relevant when it comes to the latest attack after ISIS-K claimed responsibility using an outdated news template, thus suggesting that someone else claimed credit in their name at first but then ISIS-K opportunistically ran with it for clout. Considering its terrorist history and ties with radical Islamists, that mysterious actor was arguably the GUR.  

What likely happened is that their agents posed as members of that terrorist group in order to retain plausible deniability in case the planned attack was foiled or the terrorists were caught afterwards. One of the Tajiks who was captured in the car that was racing towards the Ukrainian border claimed that they were recruited by the curators of a radical Telegram channel just a month ago to carry out the attack using already cached arms in exchange for a debit card payment of around $5000 each.

These nationals were probably chosen by the GUR since some of them are predisposed to religious radicalism due to the lingering legacy of Tajikistan’s Islamist-inspired civil war from the 1990s, their country abuts ISIS-K’s Afghan headquarters, and they have visa-free travel privileges to Russia. Accordingly, they were allegedly recruited via a radical Telegram channel, ISIS-K’s involvement doesn’t seem entirely implausible, and they were able to easily enter Russia with minimal scrutiny.

They weren’t radical enough to go out with guns blazing or in a suicide blast like ISIS-K is known for, however, but were still sufficiently sympathetic with that group’s ideology to carry out what they believed was its latest mission in exchange for money. This explains why they fled from the scene of the crime, which is contrary to what any affiliate of that group would ever do, after machine-gunning dozens of people and setting fire to the venue.

Had they reached Ukraine, where the FSB confirmed that they had contacts and President Putin said that “a window was prepared for them…to cross over”, then they’d likely have been killed by the GUR to cover everything up. It shouldn’t be forgotten that this group learned how to conduct terrorism from the CIA, which in turn perfected this practice in Syria over the past 13 years of the Hybrid War that it’s been waging there, but the GUR is still a knockoff and that’s why they made three sloppy mistakes.

In the order that they occurred, their first mistake was recruiting people who weren’t ready to fight to the death at the scene of their forthcoming terrorist attack. This led to the culprits being captured and spilling the beans about how they were recruited in exchange for money, which is one of the signs that ISIS-K wasn’t behind what happened since their members always expect to die as “martyrs”. Accordingly, the fact that this mistake was made suggests that the GUR was desperate to go through with their plans.

The second mistake was that they didn’t tell their proxies to flee to a safe house right after the attack to meet a contact that’ll then help them reach the border later on but who’d actually kill them once they meet in order to cover everything up. This led to them racing towards the Ukrainian border, thus showing everyone that they at the very least felt that they’d find sanctuary there, which made Russia’s claim of Ukrainian involvement much more believable for many skeptical Westerners.

And finally, the last mistake was that the GUR used an outdated news template to claim credit for the attack on behalf of ISIS-K, who they correctly predicted would opportunistically run with it for clout. By doing so, however, they signaled that the group itself didn’t play a role in organizing what happened otherwise their more modern template would have been used instead. Taken together, these three sloppy mistakes discredited the Mainstream Media’s narrative and drew attention to the GUR instead.

Coupled with its terrorist history and ties with radical Islamic groups, which respectively prove that it has the capabilities and intent to carry out the Crocus attack as well as the knowledge required to impersonate extremists online for recruiting purposes, all of this makes the GUR the prime suspect. It learned everything about terrorism from the CIA, but since it’s still a knockoff, it made a series of sloppy mistakes that resulted in incriminating Ukraine instead of lending false credence to the ISIS-K narrative.

 

 

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Mar 232024
 
 March 23, 2024  Posted by at 9:46 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  37 Responses »


Edvard Munch Spring in Johan Karl Street 1891

 

Trump: “I Almost Have Five Hundred Million Dollars In Cash” (ZH)
Trump’s Third Act Has Begun. It’s a Beauty. (Scott Adams)
Wake-up Call (James Howard Kunstler)
No Ukraine Talks Because US Threatens Zelensky – Seymour Hersh (Sp.)
Let NATO Troops Enter Ukraine. The War Will End Much Faster Then – Orban (VV)
Russia is at War – Kremlin (RT)
Macron Believes Ukraine Could Fall Soon – Politico (RT)
La Macronnerie of a Failed French President: Ukraine (Jay)
France’s Megalomaniac Macron is Gambling With World Peace (SCF)
EU Eyes ‘Groundbreaking’ Change On Ukraine Arms Funding (RT)
Ukraine Makes Fresh Move To Draft More Soldiers (RT)
Washington In Denial Over Putin’s Victory While Gaming Its Own Elections (Cox)
World Sees Gaza as ‘US Genocide’ Not Just Israel’s (Sp.)
CIA Told DOJ to Stay Away from Kevin Morris in Hunter Biden Probe (Turley)
CIA Protecting Biden by Blocking IRS Interviews – Whistleblower (DeMartino)
Global Population Set To Fall For First Time In 700 Years (MN)

 

 


BREAKING: Shareholders have just voted to let Trump’s company, Trump Media & Technology Group, which owns Truth Social, become a public company, which could earn Trump $4 billion. NOTE: However, if Trump wants to use this money to help with his legal issues in a fraud case by Letitia James, he has to get special permission to sell his shares early. NOTE: Trump’s company will start being traded on the stock market under the symbol “DJT” as soon as next week.

 

 

Letitia

 

 

Vivek

 

 

Lawfare
https://twitter.com/i/status/1770861500103557197

 

 

Cannon

 

 

There’s plenty of money for enhanced border security in the $1.2 Trillion funding package. Just not the US border.

 

 

Stephen Miller

 

 

Watters

 

 

Watters Fani

 

 

Immigration

 

 

Will The Supreme Court Recognize Voter Fraud And Ensure It Doesn’t Happen in 2024?

 

 

 

 

“Letitia James is about to hand Trump a huge victory…… when she seizes Trump Tower, the case is now federal bc Trumps Atty’s are ready to go into Federal Court, claiming his 8th Amendment rights have been violated. Thus putting an immediate freeze on her. Many are wondering why a federal judge hasn’t stepped in…. well the reason is…. she hasn’t acted on her threats yet…. so Trump’s Constitutional rights have yet to be violated.”

Trump: “I Almost Have Five Hundred Million Dollars In Cash” (ZH)

Former President Trump on Friday said on Truth Social that “through hard work, talent, and luck, I currently have almost five hundred million dollars in cash.” The announcement comes as a Monday deadline fast approaches for him to come up with roughly $454 million to stay judgement in his civil fraud case while he appeals. According to Trump, he had intended to use a “substantial amount” of his money in his presidential campaign. “THE OFTEN OVERTURNED POLITICAL HACK JUDGE ON THE RIGGED AND CORRUPT A.G. CASE, WHERE I HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG, KNEW THIS, WANTED TO TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME,” President Trump wrote. “THAT’S WHERE AND WHY HE CAME UP WITH THE SHOCKING NUMBER WHICH, COUPLED WITH HIS CRAZY INTEREST DEMAND, IS APPROXIMATELY $454,000,000,” he continued.

As the Epoch Times notes further: “The judgment total was $363 million, but breaks down with about $355 million of that specifically applying to President Trump, $4 million to be recovered from Eric Trump, $4 million to be recovered from Donald Trump Jr., and $1 million to be recovered from former Trump Organization finance chief Allen Weisselberg. With the applied 9 percent interest, court filings say the bond comes out to more than $464 million, with a little more than $10 million of that attributed to judgment on Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Mr. Weisselberg. Judgment was entered on Feb. 23, kicking off a 30-day clock to post the massive sum, set to expire on March 25. President Trump, in the post, decried the ruling as an example of “communism in America.” Meanwhile, even the AP found that in 70 years of similar cases involving civil fraud, Trump’s stood out as unique.

President Trump is billions of dollars richer after shareholders in Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC) on Friday approved a merger with Trump’s media startup, Truth Social. The long-delayed merger adds roughly $3.5 billion to Trump’s net worth – however the former president won’t be able to sell any shares for at least six months unless the board waives it (or they can back a loan), raising questions over whether he’ll be able to leverage it to secure a $464 million bond in his New York civil fraud case – which his lawyers say is “impossible” to secure due to a lack of cash on hand. If Trump can’t secure the giant sum by Monday, he risks the seizure of assets – which New York has already begun positioning itself to do. Earlier this week, DWAC sued to force its former CEO, Patrick Orlando, to vote his 14.77% shareholding in favor of the merger, despite an ongoing dispute over compensation, Axios and FT report. Orlando was on the shareholder vote call.

“The professional relationship between Mr Orlando and Digital World became strained and has continued to deteriorate such that there is no assurance that Mr Orlando as a current member of our board or as a controlling affiliate of the sponsor will be co-operative,” DWAC warned in a filing last month. Following the merger, DWAC will effectively cease to exist, and will be replaced by TMTG – which will be listed on the Nasdaq. Its board of directors will include Donald Trump Jr. as well as several former members of the Trump White House, the report continues. Former Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) will serve as TMTG’s CEO. Meanwhile, and perhaps in anticipation of Trump selling to satisfy the bond, DWAC shares have plummeted on the news to the tune of 8% in early trading.

Beyond Trump’s massive payout from the deal, three hedge funds also stand to make huge profits – Anson Funds, Mangrove Capital Partners and All Blue Capital, which participated in a $50mm convertible debt offering earlier this year after other funds had walked away. They’re sitting on over $400 million in gains as of Thursday’s closing price. “The return will be amazing,” said one person involved in the financing, per FT. “Trump’s advisers have been keeping him on the sidelines . . . they want to get this vote clear with no issues with the government. Then, on Tuesday when it starts trading, it is game on for Trump.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1770991128948420912

Read more …

X thread. “Trump turned Leticia James into his best fundraiser..”

Trump’s Third Act Has Begun. It’s a Beauty. (Scott Adams)

Next week, Trump could make over $4 billion when his media company goes public, removing all doubt about his billionaire status. And you can stop asking if he would have been better off putting his inheritance in a savings account in the 70s. I expect Trump to leave a 15% tip for Leticia James and the Democrats because they made his windfall possible by hunting him and censoring him for years. You can call it a bond, not a tip, if you prefer. When the Supreme Court tosses out the unconstitutional fine, Trump gets most of his “tip” back. The Democrats planned to cripple Trump financially so he couldn’t spend as much on the campaign. Trump turned Leticia James into his best fundraiser. Lots of interesting developments lately on the topic of the 2020 election. The Simulation wants at least one of those fresh allegations to be a Kraken.

Trump’s legal maneuvering is likely to keep him eligible for the election. You can fantasize about a heroic Democrat such as Newsom swooping in and replacing Biden, but it’s looking less likely every day. If it had always been the plan, it would have happened by now. Looks like Biden has to stay on the job to keep the Biden Crime Family out of jail. The predictable Democrat Summer Hoax will add some excitement, but it will be forgotten and debunked by November. Trump’s upcoming victory is looking like it will be, as Trump says, “too big to rig.” And by that I mean Democrats will try to rig it anyway and get caught. That will be fun.

The gears of the machine have become visible. We can all see the FBI is rotten and the DOJ is weaponized. We know the border is open intentionally. We know the cartels are working with our government. We know our elections are DESIGNED to not be auditable and there’s only one reason for it. We can see Biden is not in charge. We know the Ukraine war was always about its energy resources and who gets to own them. We know our rising debt is ruinous. We know our experts are liars. We know our pharma and food industries are poisoning us. We know our government is racist. We know the corporate media is essentially owned by Democrats who are controlled by intelligence entities and they are actively brainwashing the population. We know the 1st and 2nd amendments, and X, are under sustained government attack because they are the public’s last defense against the government. But we are not quitters. And the odds do not apply to us.

Trump Ad

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“But fiends got to fiend, and if you try to deprive them of being fiends then you are guilty of “hate.“

Wake-up Call (James Howard Kunstler)

Can you feel it? The tension rising to the red-line? It runs clear through all of Western Civ. We are ruled by governments of fiends. But now, the sun rides higher in the sky. The sap is rising in the northern forests. The earth heaves. The buds swell and blush. Something is in the air. The animals are waking from their long winter sleep. The natives are restless. The two traditional political divisions, liberal and conservative died with Covid. Now there are simply the sane versus the insane. The sane have had enough of being pushed around by the insane. The insane don’t register much of what reality tries to tell them. They have a body of insane ideas to comfort and protect them from the reality’s rigors. To call that body of ideas an “ideology” is way too polite. That the insane call themselves “progressive,” is a signature of their insanity. Progress toward what better state of things? Toward a supremacy of fiends, sadists, degenerates, and morons seizing riches and power by every dishonest means possible outside the rule of law and common decency?

It’s not even suitable to call them “communists.” They lack the necessary idealism for that. They don’t expect to put their shoulders to the wheel with their fellow man. They just want to grab your stuff and then kill you so they don’t have to hear any complaints. The insane do not believe any of the theoretical bullshit they want to force you to swallow. They don’t care about climate change. It’s just a cudgel they use to beat everyone over the head so they can steal your stuff. They don’t care about “democracy.” It’s just a line of bullshit to cover up their election-stealing. Do you suppose that sane people would keep using electronic vote-tabulating machines that were demonstrably connected to the Internet, and thus hackable, if they cared about election integrity? Of course not. They would arrange p.d.q. to junk them and use paper ballots, and only in person at polling places, with “absentee” exceptions only for people out of the country.

The insane do not care about public health. Everything that is known about the Covid-19 vaccinations tells you that they are unsafe and don’t prevent infection or transmission of a flu-like illness that might not even be what it was officially labeled as. Our public health officials in the FDA, the CDC, and in other corners of the Department of health and Human Services, lie about everything they’re responsible for. This week, the CDC (under Director Mandy Cohen) released a 148-page study on myocarditis reactions to mRNA shots. Every word on every page of the document was redacted. The CDC printed countless copies of the report with 148 utterly blank pages, and then proffered them to the news media. How is that not insane? The insane do not care about the rule of law. The conduct of “Lawfare” is the subversion of the law by dishonest means. It is a species of racketeering. And that is why Lawfare rogues such Marc Elias, Norm Eisen, Andrew Weissmann, Mary McCord, Lisa Monaco, Matthew Graves, and Merrick Garland, should be charged under the federal RICO statutes for conspiring to deprive sane citizens of their rights and property in the many cases related to the 1/6/21 riot at the US Capitol.

It is, so far, an abiding mystery of contemporary history as to how New York Attorney General Letitia James managed to get away with prosecuting a real estate case against Donald Trump that was no more than victimless business-as-usual between a borrower and his lenders. Ms. James ran for that elected office promising to “get” Mr. Trump on something, anything. That is not how the rule of law works. Under the rule of law, first you determine that there is a crime and then look for who did the crime. Letitia James must be insane and/or pretty stupid. The short-term gain of stealing Mr. Trump’s property under a false color-of-law and creating impediments to his election campaign, will, sooner or later, blow back at her as a matter of malicious prosecution and, plausibly, racketeering as well. (With whom did she conspire to bring this case? We shall find out.) She will eventually be disgraced publicly as her teammate Fani Willis has already been disgraced in Fulton County, Georgia.

I’ll tell you something that all sane people now know but won’t talk about for fear of being crushed by the levers of Lawfare: this looks like a concerted effort by people-of-color to railroad people of non-color. If you think that is a good thing for race relations in our country, then you are insane. Here are a bunch of other things that are insane: Re-litigating the first amendment is insane. It means what it says, and states it plainly. The open border is insane. No credible sovereign polity would allow it. It would be opposed with force, if necessary. Turning children into transsexuals on a wholesale basis is insane, and fiendishly so. Everybody knows that it is not good for the children or for our society as a whole. But fiends got to fiend, and if you try to deprive them of being fiends then you are guilty of “hate.”

Read more …

‘No negotiations or settlement or we won’t support your government with the $45 billion in non-military funds [that Ukraine is now receiving annually..'”

No Ukraine Talks Because US Threatens Zelensky – Seymour Hersh (Sp.)

Negotiations on resolving the conflict in Ukraine could have started months ago, but US authorities threatened Vladimir Zelensky with withdrawal of non-military funding, US journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh said in an article on Substack. “We were on the verge of a reasonable negotiation several months ago before Putin’s re-election and Zelensky’s military degradation. The US leaders got wind of the possibility and gave Zelensky the ultimatum-‘No negotiations or settlement or we won’t support your government with the $45 billion in non-military funds [that Ukraine is now receiving annually,'” the source told the journalist. According to Hersh’s information, US intelligence community recognises that “Ukraine has little chance of winning…”

Hersh’s interlocutor also added that US President Joe Biden has staked on confronting the “Russian threat to NATO” and will not change his course under any circumstances, while the end is inevitable. “There is no road to victory for Ukraine, and it will end with Putin as an historical icon in Russia…,” the source concluded. In autumn 2022, Zelensky signed a decree according to which his country will not negotiate with Russia as long as it is led by Vladimir Putin. Russia, for its part, has repeatedly noted its readiness to discuss the settlement of the conflict through diplomatic means. As Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov emphasised, the Russia does not see any prerequisites for a peaceful transition of the situation, and sovereignty over the new Russian regions and Crimea is not up for discussion.

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X thread. “And the West will get a lesson for memory that it is bad to fight with Russia..”

Let NATO Troops Enter Ukraine. The War Will End Much Faster Then – Orban (VV)

Viktor Orban: “It’s a strange feeling when you come from Hungary to Brussels. Hungary looks like a completely normal country. We have a calm and rational mindset, and if you come to Brussels and talk to politicians, you will be surprised. There is a military mood, military language, military logic. The leaders talk as if they are waging their own war against Russia. And now they are saying that soldiers should be stationed in Ukraine. It is not clear exactly what they mean, where they should be stationed, with what weapons and for what purposes. But they have already begun to prepare for the fact that in this situation it will be quite natural if Western European countries deploy military posts on the territory of Ukraine, which shocks Hungarians.

Therefore, I felt as if I had entered another galaxy, and we must be careful not to fall into the psychosis of these twenty or so state leaders. [How far are Western leaders willing to go in terms of supporting Ukraine? The most disturbing thing about this whole story is that two or three months ago it was unthinkable, now, two or three months later, it becomes an ordinary event.” That’s what I said – the worse, the better. Ukraine attacked the Belgorod region. Where is Ukraine’s energy sector now? Russia has always needed a good kick in the ass for it to act. So, let NATO troops enter Ukraine. The war will end much faster then. And the West will get a lesson for memory that it is bad to fight with Russia.

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“..Peskov explained that despite the conflict “de facto turning into a war,” legally it remains classified in Russia as a special military operation..”

Russia is at War – Kremlin (RT)

Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has turned into full-fledged war after the West became a participant in the conflict, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with national media published on Friday. Moscow will continue to pursue its goal of ensuring that the Ukrainian military cannot pose a threat to Russian citizens or territory, the spokesman told the Argumenti i Fakty newspaper, noting that the country now has four new federal subjects which must be protected and fully liberated from Kiev’s forces. Peskov stressed that Russia cannot allow the existence on its borders of a state that publicly claims it will seize the Crimean Peninsula as well as Russia’s new territories, referring to the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and Zaporozhye and Kherson regions.

“We are at war,” Peskov stated, explaining that while the conflict began as a special military operation, as soon as “the collective West became a participant in this on the side of Ukraine, for us it became a war.” In a phone conversation with journalists later in the day, Peskov explained that despite the conflict “de facto turning into a war,” legally it remains classified in Russia as a special military operation and that nothing has changed in that regard. The Russian Defense Ministry recently reported that since the start of the military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, over 13,000 foreign nationals have taken part in the fighting on the side of Kiev’s forces.

Of these fighters, which Moscow describes as mercenaries, some 5,962 have been “eliminated,” according to the ministry. Most of them came from Poland, Georgia, the US, Canada, the UK, Romania, Germany, and France, it reported. The head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin, claimed earlier this week that France is preparing its forces for deployment to Ukraine and is allegedly looking to send as many as 2,000 troops to fight for Kiev. French President Emmanuel Macron has hinted in recent weeks at the possible deployment of NATO forces to Ukraine, stating he could not “exclude” this possibility while branding Russia an “adversary.” Moscow has warned that such a step would likely lead to a direct clash between Russian and NATO forces, which, according to President Vladimir Putin, would be “one step shy of a full-scale World War III.”

Katyusha

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“..Marine Le Pen [..] accused the president last week of “hijacking” the Ukraine issue for the sake of domestic electoral politics..”

Macron Believes Ukraine Could Fall Soon – Politico (RT)

French President Emmanuel Macron believes Ukraine might be defeated on the battlefield in short order, the French edition of Politico reported on Wednesday. The outlet’s Playbook section spoke with several members of the president’s party who had attended a working dinner at the Elysee Palace the evening before. While most of the discussion centered on the upcoming European Parliament elections, the Ukraine conflict also came up. “Ukraine could fall very quickly,” one of the outlet’s sources quoted Macron as saying. Macron ramped up his rhetoric about Ukraine a few weeks after a number of French nationals fighting on behalf of Kiev were killed in a Russian missile strike. At a meeting of EU leaders in Paris in late February, he refused to rule out the possibility of a NATO intervention in Ukraine.

Though the idea was quickly rejected by almost all members of the US-led bloc and its secretary-general, Macron doubled down, declaring there would be “no limits” to French support for Kiev and calling Russia an “adversary.” Meanwhile, the French Army’s Chief of Staff Pierre Schill announced that the country’s military was “ready,” presumably for a war. Moscow has strongly condemned Macron’s remarks and cautioned NATO against taking further hostile moves. According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the deployment of Western soldiers to Ukraine would make direct conflict with Russia “inevitable.” Marine Le Pen, a prominent member of the opposition National Rally party and Macron’s rival in the 2022 election, accused the president last week of “hijacking” the Ukraine issue for the sake of domestic electoral politics. Polls have shown that the French support helping Kiev with weapons and money, but draw the line at getting involved directly with boots on the ground.

Concerns that Kiev might be losing the war appear to be based on several French military assessments leaked earlier this month to the outlet Marianne. One report, following Kiev’s summer offensive, concluded that Ukraine could not win the conflict by military means. Another described the Battle of Avdeevka as a Ukrainian rout and had the French military “in cold sweat,” according to Marianne. A few days later, the daily Le Monde claimed that Macron’s talk of possibly sending troops dated all the way back to June 2023, when the Ukrainian counteroffensive was just starting. General Schill also told the outlet that Macron’s public statements have been “foremost a political and strategic message” to Russia about France’s “will and commitment,” rather than an actual escalation.

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“Western elites have the technology and well-trained soldiers. What they lack is the stamina and political courage to face the baptism of outrage once body bags start arriving back on home soil..”

La Macronnerie of a Failed French President: Ukraine (Jay)

Just what is Emmanuel Macron thinking with his recent media trysts which have gained the attention of the world? Initially, we thought his statements about sending French troops to Ukraine to fight Russian forces was merely chaf to throw up in the air to distract journalists and a gullible French public. It’s true, it has rattled Germany which promptly replied to Macron, reminding him that EU countries are not “at war with Russia” – a curious statement given that just a week earlier, a leaked audio conversation with German air force chiefs revealed that they wanted to send Taurus missiles to Ukraine so as to hit the Crimean bridge. Of course, now that we all know what the intentions of the Germans were, Scholz has been forced to backpedal and downplay the scandal, sticking to its position of neutrality. But if you think that’s funny, wait until you see what Macron has in store for Old Europe.

Could it be really true that he believes French troops could end up in Ukraine? A quick glance at the actual quote from Le Parisienne interview would suggest the opposite and that he’s hedging his bets, or, as some suspect trying to bait the Americans into wanting to get there first. Is this what the British expression “jumping the gun” really means? “Maybe at some point – I don’t want it, I won’t take the initiative – we will have to have operations on the ground, whatever they may be, to counter the Russian forces,” he is quoted as saying. In reality, it seems as though he has been misquoted as there is no story here. Even he is saying on the record that he won’t authorise it. So is he hinting at other western countries taking the lead, perhaps the Poles, Lithuanians and Latvians? Possibly. But in reality, the most likely scenario would be the U.S. biting the bullet and financing a private army made up of various nationalities.

Yet even this initiative would need to be prepared for media and even Russia itself so that the underlying point is clear: this is not a NATO war. Of course, this thinking is fatally flawed as it is based on a premise that Putin wouldn’t dare retaliate against those units of troops who he knows are located in a particular spot, as this could invoke Article V of the NATO treaty itself. Yet any two-bit geopolitical hack who knows Putin, knows this would not stop him as killing western troops – or even better capturing a small number – would mean the end of the West’s intervention. Western elites have the technology and well-trained soldiers. What they lack is the stamina and political courage to face the baptism of outrage once body bags start arriving back on home soil. It may well mean, for Macron, if he were ever to entertain the idea of French troops, that it would or could be African troops from former French colonies enrolled under private contracts as mercenaries.

But as I saw in Somalia in 1993, Western leaders like Clinton had no stomach whatsoever for even a small number of their own being killed or captured. Osama bin Laden watched how Clinton soiled his own pants when just 18 soldiers died in the spectacular U.S. Rangers failure in Mogadishu with an operation which was supposed to take an hour. Black Hawk Down and its implications inspired Bin Laden to bomb both the Dar Es Salam and Nairobi U.S. embassies after seeing how vulnerable the West is fighting terrorism, or merely sticking its nose into other countries problems. All it actually took was Newsweek to run a cover of a U.S. soldier’s body being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu to make Clinton not only pull out of Somalia altogether, but convince the UN itself to leave later in 1995. It also meant that the West would not help hundreds of thousands of victims of the civil war in Rwanda which led to the genocide in 1994. One U.S. soldier. One Newsweek cover.

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“..the French military contingency does not make sense from a military point of view, unless that is, the ulterior objective is to incite escalation..”

France’s Megalomaniac Macron is Gambling With World Peace (SCF)

It is unequivocally clear that if France or any other NATO member deploys combat troops to Ukraine, those troops will be targeted and killed by Russian firepower. In that case, the proxy war in Ukraine becomes an all-out war between the U.S.-led NATO alliance and Russia. That is, World War Three will have started, which in all probability leads inexorably to a nuclear conflagration. Anyone pushing that trajectory is contemptible and criminal. Step up, Monsieur Macron. This narcissistic wannabe Napoleon figure has been pushing the envelope for several weeks now since he hosted a conference on Ukraine in Paris on February 26 when he began publicly toying with the notion of sending NATO troops to Ukraine to combat Russia. This week, Russian foreign intelligence chief Sergei Naryshkin claimed that a contingent of 2,000 French military personnel were preparing to enter the Ukraine conflict. France’s military commanders vehemently dismissed the Russian intelligence claim, decrying it as an “irresponsible provocation”.

Just who is being provocative here? The alleged French deployment is consistent with the unhinged and belligerent rhetoric of French President Emmanuel Macron over the past three weeks during which he has been hinting at sending troops and of having “no red lines” to make sure that Russia does not win the war in Ukraine. Macron – like a puerile character – has also taken to goading other European leaders, notably his German counterpart, about not being “cowards” when it comes to supporting Ukraine. Let’s be clear. NATO soldiers and weapons have been in Ukraine since the CIA-backed coup in Kiev in 2014 that installed a Russian-hating NeoNazi regime. The NATO proxy war has been targeting Russia for over a decade and killed more than 10,000 ethnic Russian civilians during a low-intensity war of aggression in formerly Eastern Ukraine. That aggression was finally countered when Russian forces intervened in Ukraine on February 24, 2022. However, the deployment of NATO combat battalions on the ground takes the conflict to the threshold of all-out war.

And Monsieur Macron appears to be willing to go there (while directing from his plush leather armchair in Elysée Palace and swirling a tumbler of vintage whiskey, bien sûr.) Russian President Vladimir Putin has said on several occasions – and most recently as of last week – that if Russia is threatened existentially, even with conventional weapons, then it reserves the right to use nuclear weapons for its defense. Putin warned that nuclear weapons exist to be used. The Russian doctrine for possible nuclear war is well-defined and long-established. Putin is not saber-rattling as the Western media stupidly make out. He is merely reminding potential enemies of the ultimate reality. Given the appalling stakes involved, it may seem bewildering that France’s Macron keeps talking about the possibility of deploying French and other NATO troops to fight in Ukraine. What is driving the French head of state to make such crass allusions?

First of all, it should be noted that such military contingents are crass from an objective military point of view. The deployment of 2,000 French troops would change nothing on the battlefield. They would be destroyed in two days, as American military analyst Scott Ritter points out. The risk is that the casualties inflicted on France would trigger other NATO members to intervene with greater numbers and firepower. That would lead to a spiraling escalation towards all-out nuclear war. As well as France, the Poles and Baltic states appear to be gung-ho about sending combat units. So, the French military contingency does not make sense from a military point of view, unless that is, the ulterior objective is to incite escalation. In other words, the French battle group is deliberately put forward as a sacrificial lamb to act as a tripwire for full NATO mobilization to war.

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“..by circumventing a clause in the bloc’s founding treaty..”

EU Eyes ‘Groundbreaking’ Change On Ukraine Arms Funding (RT)

EU officials are seeking legal advice on how to unlock more military spending for Ukraine by circumventing a clause in the bloc’s founding treaty, the Financial Times reported on Thursday. The move would involve bypassing a section of the Treaty on European Union which forbids charging expenditure that has “military or defense implications” to the bloc’s joint budget. Such funding can be directly provided by member states, but individual governments can opt out of paying, even if they don’t vote against the spending itself. The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, has proposed a legal task force to evaluate whether the section in question, Article 41(2), can be circumvented so that it doesn’t prevent Brussels from buying weapons for Ukraine to support it in the conflict with Russia, four people familiar with the matter told the British newspaper. Kiev’s military effort against Russia is currently being funded through the European Peace Facility (EPF), which exists outside of the bloc’s joint budget.

The legal theory is that Article 41(2) should apply only to the EU’s own military programs and not foreign states, the FT reported. If the interpretation is applied, “it would be absolutely groundbreaking,” one source said. Talks, however, are at an early stage and may not end in Kiev’s favor, the newspaper reported. Even if changes are made, member states may challenge them in court. While many EU countries support military assistance for Ukraine, Hungary and Slovakia are in opposition. They argue that continued weapons deliveries merely result in more bloodshed, as opposed to a Russian defeat, and stand in the way of possible peace talks. There are also neutral members, such as Austria, which favor non-lethal assistance only. Last year the EU vowed to supply 1 million artillery shells to Ukraine by March 2024, but has failed to deliver on the pledge. Ukrainian officials have complained that assistance from Western donors has been lackluster in both amount and capability.

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“..medical commissions would no longer classify Ukrainian recruits as ‘fit for limited military service’. She argued that “this will make life easier for tens of thousands of people.”

Ukraine Makes Fresh Move To Draft More Soldiers (RT)

Ukrainian recruits deemed ‘fit for limited military service’ could soon be thrown into the thick of the fighting after the nation’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, moved to abolish the term altogether. A bill to that effect was supported by the Rada on Thursday. According to the text, those who have been classified as fit for military service with restrictions would have to undergo a medical examination within the next nine months to determine their new health status, and whether they could be deployed to the front line. Those deemed fit for limited service could only be called up during time of war, and are not supposed to fill frontline positions, being allowed to serve only in support and rear units. The push to change conscription legislation comes amid calls from numerous officials in Kiev that every Ukrainian citizen should serve his country during the conflict with Russia. Commenting on the bill on national TV, Deputy Defense Minister Natalya Kalmykova said that medical commissions would no longer classify Ukrainian recruits as ‘fit for limited military service’. She argued that “this will make life easier for tens of thousands of people.”

“Both the service members and their relatives asked the Defense Ministry and other authorities to resolve this issue. We are very glad that the Verkhovna Rada has supported these changes,” she added. Meanwhile, since late December, Ukrainian lawmakers have been mulling a controversial bill that would lower the minimum conscription age from 27 to 25 to compensate for battlefield losses, with reported plans to call up around 500,000 troops. In early February, the legislation was passed in its first reading after numerous amendments. Later in the month, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu estimated Ukraine’s losses at more than 444,000 troops since the start of the conflict in February 2022. On Wednesday, the minister claimed that Kiev’s casualties had reached 71,000 troops this year alone, a figure he said was three times the losses during the same period last year. However, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed in February that Kiev had sustained only 31,000 soldiers killed since the start of the conflict. He did not disclose how many were injured or missing in action.

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“Unlike most Western leaders, Putin is on the side of his own citizens..”

Washington In Denial Over Putin’s Victory While Gaming Its Own Elections (Cox)

America’s legacy media and political ruling class have thrown a predictably massive hissy fit over last weekend’s Russian election, insisting that President Vladimir Putin’s landslide victory was “preordained” and “stage-managed.” Every protest and anti-Putin statement before, during, and after the election was amplified. Every allegation of misconduct was reported with zero scrutiny or skepticism. Washington and its allies decried the results, arguing that the vote wasn’t free or fair. UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron went so far as to call it “illegal.” The pearl-clutching over Russia’s vote was the most intense I’ve ever seen over a foreign election. It was so inordinate, in fact, that it reminded me of the nonstop media coverage last month after Russian political activist Alexey Navalny died in a Siberian penal colony.

The same media that showed no concern over the death of US journalist Gonzalo Lira in a Ukrainian jail – after he had been tortured, at American taxpayer expense, for daring to criticize the Kiev regime – huffed and puffed for weeks about the death of a Russian citizen in a Russian prison. Lost in all the hysteria over Putin’s victory is the fact that most of the Russian people like their president. The incumbent won over 87% of the votes, and as even CNN begrudgingly acknowledged before the election, a poll last month showed that Putin had an 86% approval rating. That compares with a 9% approval rating for Navalny, the great Western hope for destabilizing Russia, in a January 2023 poll. And by the way, it also compares with US President Joe Biden’s approval rating of around 38%. As US policy analyst Jeffrey Sachs explained in an interview this week with Russia-hating podcaster Piers Morgan, Putin’s popularity and reelection reflect the will of the Russian people. “It’s part of Russian culture,” said Sachs, who advised the Moscow and Kiev governments after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

“He’s a strong leader. The Russian people expect a strong leader, and we have to deal with a strong leader in Russia.” Therein lies the problem. Team America is unwilling to accept strong leadership of Russia with broad public support. Having failed to cripple Russia or its leadership through the proxy war in Ukraine, the US and its allies are in no mood to accept the political reality in Moscow. The political pouting was so bad in Berlin that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government refused to refer to Putin as Russia’s president. This is the same government that is mulling plans to ban one of Germany’s most popular opposition parties. However, for all the Western criticism of Putin and his policies, it’s not easy to argue that he doesn’t try to represent the interests of the Russian people. Unlike most Western leaders, Putin is on the side of his own citizens. He hit the nail on the head when he said Western attacks were directed not at him, but at “the forces that stand behind me, which seek to strengthen Russia – to improve its sovereignty, defense, and economic independence.”

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“..he does not think China will ever invest in Israel again. “They see on their own social media networks what you and I are seeing..”

World Sees Gaza as ‘US Genocide’ Not Just Israel’s (Sp.)

On Tuesday, four critical care doctors who recently returned from Gaza spoke to the UN. “I saw the most appalling atrocities, and I saw things I never would have expected to have seen in any healthcare setting,” Dr. Nick Maynard said, adding that he saw “mass indiscriminate bombing” and targeting of healthcare workers. Americans do not understand how badly the United States’ reputation has been damaged across the world, which sees Gaza as “a US genocide” and “not just an Israeli genocide,” Mohammad Marandi, a professor of English literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Thursday. “It’s revealing the reality of [the US] empire in a way that not even [author of ‘A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn] could do because it’s being done in front of our eyes, it’s being done in front of a global audience. We’ve never seen such a thing before,” Marandi said, adding that he suspects that is why the US is attempting to ban TikTok.

“The United States has lost credibility across the world. I don’t think many Americans understand how bad this has become for the United States. People across the world see this as a US genocide, it’s not just an Israeli genocide.” Co-host Wilmer Leon asked about a recent freeze on Canadian arms shipments to Israel, which Marandi said showed that “public opinion is shifting” but that ultimately “stopping Canadian exports of weapons is nothing.” Marandi said Canada needs to take a much tougher approach. “They sanctioned Syria… they’ve imposed sanctions on Cuba, on Venezuela, on Iran, on Yemen. Why don’t they impose sanctions on Israel? They’re carrying out a holocaust. Why don’t they hit the economy?” Marandi asked, noting that Israel will, unlike Russia, be allowed to participate in the Olympics. “No one takes this seriously. And, of course, the bulk of the weapons come from the United States anyway.”

“In any case, there is no reason to believe that the Canadian government cares about Palestinians, that they oppose the genocide because they’ve done absolutely nothing to stop it,” Marandi added. Ultimately, Marandi believes that Israel has laid the path for its destruction through its actions in Gaza. “I believe that the Israelis have made a fatal mistake and that what they’ve done in Gaza will be the beginning of the end of the Zionist project,” he asserted. “The real catastrophe for the Israeli regime is the fact that it’s been carrying out the genocide for almost six months in front of the world and it has demolished the facade that the regime had created for itself… about it being a democracy… All that is gone now and across the board the regime is despised and the image of the United States has been destroyed.” Marandi noted that he has been to China twice and public opinion there has shifted as well. He noted that he does not think China will ever invest in Israel again. “They see on their own social media networks what you and I are seeing,” he noted.

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“He’s Hunter’s confidant, art patron, business partner, and his lawyer. Now there is a suggestion that we might have to add CIA asset or protected person..”

CIA Told DOJ to Stay Away from Kevin Morris in Hunter Biden Probe (Turley)

The New York Post has created a stir in Washington with its report that a whistleblower claims that the CIA reportedly blocked federal investigators from interviewing Kevin Morris, the entertainment lawyer who has subsidized the expenses and bought the art of Hunter Biden. (For full disclosure, Morris previously threatened me with a defamation lawsuit over my writing about his representation of Hunter. Fortunately, I have not received any summons from either the courts or the CIA). We will have to wait for more details on the allegations, but the response of the CIA struck me as rather curious. As discussed earlier, the Hollywood lawyer, producer and Democratic donor has emerged as a major figure in the corruption scandal surrounding Hunter Biden. For years, some of us have complained that we are not sure what Morris was at any given moment.

What became clear in the deposition is that Morris does not appear certain himself. He’s Hunter’s confidant, art patron, business partner, and his lawyer. Now there is a suggestion that we might have to add CIA asset or protected person. The unnamed whistleblower told the House Oversight and Judiciary that the “intelligence agency stopped IRS and Justice Department investigators from interviewing Morris in August 2021.” That has led Oversight chairman James Comer (R-KY) and Judiciary chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) to demand answers from the CIA on whether two DOJ officials were summoned to CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. to discourage their interviewing Morris.

Given the allegations of special treatment by the Justice Department (including blocking efforts to interview Hunter or search Biden properties), the allegation is obviously quite serious. One would expect that the CIA would simply say that no such meeting related to the Hunter Biden investigation occurred. Instead, the agency responded that it “does not obstruct investigations.” The spokesman added “CIA does not comment on specific investigations. We can say that CIA cooperates with law enforcement partners and does not obstruct investigations. CIA also fully and routinely cooperates with our oversight committees and will continue to do so.”

Hunter met Morris when he attended a political fundraiser as a major donor. Soon thereafter, he warned Biden associates that Hunter’s unpaid taxes raised political problems during Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential run. He later proceeded to pay off Hunter’s taxes and to subsidize his lavish lifestyle. He also took an apparent lead in planning public campaigns against the critics of the Bidens, reportedly pushing a scorched-earth approach to attack potential witnesses and accusers. Then Morris seemed to take on the role of Hunter’s bank and art patron. He reportedly gave millions to Hunter while insisting that they are loans, not gifts. Most recently, it was revealed that, despite accounts of buyers flocking to buy Hunter’s overpriced art, it was Morris all along who bought most of the pieces. How the CIA would fit into any of this is anyone’s guess.

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“..why would you have 12 people armed with shotguns and machine guns, raid a doctor’s home in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and four years later never indict him?”

CIA Protecting Biden by Blocking IRS Interviews – Whistleblower (DeMartino)

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jordan and Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman Comer revealed that a whistleblower told them the CIA intervened to prevent the IRS from interviewing Kevin Morris, an associate of Hunter Biden who loaned him millions of dollars, as part of the IRS investigation into the first son’s alleged tax crimes. The CIA said it would not comment on specific cases but added that while it cooperates with other law agencies, it does not interfere with investigations and claims to be fully cooperative with its oversight committees. Jordan and Comer have sent a letter to the CIA requesting more information, but have not yet received a response. They set a deadline for April 4, 2024. If the whistleblower’s testimony is true, it would represent an unprecedented move by the CIA that is tasked with countering foreign threats.

Brad Birkenfeld, a whistleblower who exposed tax fraud and money laundering schemes in the Swiss banking system, told Sputnik’s Political Misfits that the problem is that “so many people are trying to help the Bidens get out of the illegal conduct that they’re doing,” noting that he has himself attempted to provide investigators with information on the Hunter Biden case, but was met hostile response. “I was introduced to Dr. Keith Ablow, [who] was Hunter Biden’s psychiatrist,” Birkenfeld began. “He wanted me to help him with his whistleblowing case.” Birkenfeld says that Ablow told him things about Hunter Biden but that Ablow didn’t show for meetings that Birkenfeld set up for him in Washington. “Then I went to Senator [Charles] Grassley’s (R-IA) office and Senator [Ron] Johnson’s (R-WI) office, and I felt obligated as an American citizen to tell them about the information that [Ablow] had relayed to us,” including Hunter Biden’s involvement with Monkey Island, a Liquified Natural Gas company in Louisiana.

“Two days later, lo and behold, the Drug Enforcement Agency in Boston raided Dr. Keith Ablow’s home,” Birkenfeld continued. “[The DEA] took everything. Now, why would you have 12 people armed with shotguns and machine guns, raid a doctor’s home in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and four years later never indict him?” “Whatever the CIA does,” Birkenfeld added while discussing the CIA’s past, including their support of dictators Augusto Pinochet, Saddam Hussein and Ferdinand Marcos, as well as their alleged efforts to undermine Donald Trump while he served as President. “Whatever the CIA does, this is like Cartoon Network over there in Langley. Yes, they do a job and some people work well. But there’s a lot of idiots over there that should be fired and prosecuted. And that’s the facts.”

Birkenfeld added earlier that Joe Biden -while serving as Vice President- was briefed in defense meetings “about his son interfering in US policies.” That, as of yet, has not been alleged by the committees investigating Hunter Biden but Birkenfeld insisted that it is “not conjecture.” “A lot of people don’t know this yet, but this is exactly what’s going to be coming out,” he asserted. While Democrats have consistently declared that the committees have yet to find any concrete evidence that President Biden committed any crimes, Birkenfeld argues that is because the power centers in Washington continue to obfuscate the case by blocking investigative efforts. “Give us the bank records, give us the credit cards offshore, and we can piece it together. But, once again, the Biden White House is obstructing, the DOJ is obstructing, the FBI is obstructing, the CIA [is] obstructing. So nobody can get the facts.”

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“..the potential causes of fertility decline, such as plastics and chemical shrinking penises and sperm counts, are relatively ignored..”

“In countries like South Korea and Japan, there are twice as many people dying as there are being born..”

Global Population Set To Fall For First Time In 700 Years (MN)

A major study published in scientific journal The Lancet has found that the global population will start to fall within decades due to vastly reduced fertility rates and may never recover. The study, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, found that by the year 2050, 155 of 204 countries are on course to have birth rates lower than required to sustain the population level. It notes that as of 2021, the “total fertility rate” worldwide was 2.23, hovering only just above the 2.1 children per woman needed to maintain population growth. That figure has fallen from 4.84 in 1950, with researchers predicting it will decrease to 1.83 in 2050 and go as low as 1.59 by 2100. The study notes that by that time only 26 countries will have birth rates that outpace the number of people dying, with “most of the world transitioning into natural population decline”. A fall in population would mark the first time in seven centuries such an occurrence has taken place. The last time it happened was after the Black Death bubonic plague pandemic killed as many as 50 million people in the mid-1300s, reducing the global population from 400 million to 350 million.


Dramatic declines in global fertility rates set to transform global population patterns by 2100

Commenting on the study, it’s co-author Dr Natalia Bhattacharjee said declining fertility rates “will completely reconfigure the global economy and the international balance of power and will necessitate reorganising societies”. Bhattacharjee, lead research scientist at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, also noted that a major consequence will be increased immigration from countries where there is still a “baby boom,” such as sub-Saharan Africa, in order to make up workforce shortages in nations with aging populations. Professor Stein Emil Vollset, senior author from IHME, also noted that the world is “facing staggering social change through the 21st century” due to population decline. The findings are exactly what the likes of Elon Musk have been warning of for years, describing population decline as a ‘civilisational threat’ and urging that humanity is literally going to disappear if something is not done to reverse the trend.

While Eco loons rage about ‘moral issues’ with having children, the potential causes of fertility decline, such as plastics and chemical shrinking penises and sperm counts, are relatively ignored. The stark reality is that birth rates globally are collapsing and almost every country is on course to have shrinking populations by the end of the century. In countries like South Korea and Japan, there are twice as many people dying as there are being born. You don’t have to be a mathematic genius to do the calculations on what’s going to happen very soon. These countries are already considering embracing mass migration, with South Korea’s Justice Minister recently declaring the country faces a “demographic catastrophe” and potential extinction otherwise. Despite this horrifying reality, it is now commonplace in modern culture for young people to genuinely believe they need to abandon their human instincts to reproduce, all for the greater good.

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McCullough: Spike proteins from Saliva
https://twitter.com/i/status/1770987637257413092

 

 

FDA loses its war on ivermectin and agrees to remove all social media posts and consumer directives regarding ivermectin and COVID, including its most popular tweet in FDA history.

 

 

Shark
https://twitter.com/i/status/1770998255851036861

 

 

Fish

 

 

Elephant
https://twitter.com/i/status/1771065184980742232
https://twitter.com/i/status/1771160969823027645

 

 

How?

 

 


Find “A”

 

 

Queen of the night

 

 

 

 

Deep-Sea Ghost Shark

 

 

Lion up close

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 032024
 
 March 3, 2024  Posted by at 9:35 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  16 Responses »


Edward Hopper Cape Cod evening 1939

 

Ukraine is Major Defeat for West Who Has Been Dominating Planet Earth (Sp.)
NATO Teetering on Edge of Direct Conflict With Russia (Sp.)
Ukraine Will Be ‘The Largest Operation In CIA History’ (HE)
NATO’s Presence in Ukraine is ‘Hardly Surprising for Anyone’ (Sp.)
Germans Plotting Attack on Russian Infrastructure: A Bridge Too Far (Jay)
‘Sheer Incompetence and Ignorance’ Led to Plan to Attack Crimean Bridge (Sp.)
German and French Leaders ‘Don’t Get Along’ – Bloomberg (RT)
Erik Prince Calls For ‘Ugly Peace’ In Ukraine (RT)
German Healthcare System Should Prepare For War – Minister (RT)
The West Can’t Be Trusted To Observe Its Own ‘Red Lines’ In Ukraine (Amar)
Settlement In Ukraine Impossible Without Moscow – China (TASS)
Heavy Losses Inflict ‘Dramatic Manpower Crisis’ On Israel (Cradle)
Trump Trounces Haley In Idaho, Missouri, And Michigan (ZH)
The Pipe Bombs Before Jan. 6: Capital Mystery That Doesn’t Add Up (Julie Kelly)
Federal Health Agencies and the COVID Cartel: What Are They Hiding? (AMD)

 

 

 

 

View

 

 

 

 

Hatch Act

 

 

 

 

Elon open source

 

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/Real_RobN/status/1763616646617526400

 

 

 

 

Dangerous moment.

“..now are going to have to get accustomed to a bitter new reality..”

Ukraine is Major Defeat for West Who Has Been Dominating Planet Earth (Sp.)

The conflict in Ukraine represents a major defeat for powers who have gotten used to “dominating planet Earth for hundreds of years” and are going to have to “get accustomed to a bitter new reality,” Dr. Gerald Horne, a professor of History at the University of Houston told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Friday. The topic of discussion was French PM Emmanuel Macron’s comments that he would not rule out sending NATO troops into Ukraine to fight Russia, which led to several of Macron’s allies, including UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz ruling out the possibility. Russian President Vladimir Putin in turn warned against the escalations, saying that it could lead to nuclear war. “Everything that they are thinking up now, that they are scaring the world with, it all really poses the threat of a conflict involving nuclear weapons, and therefore, the destruction of civilization. Don’t they understand this?” Putin asked during his annual state-of-the-nation speech.

“[Western politicians] have already forgotten what war is,” Putin said, adding later that they apparently “Think that these are just some cartoons.” Horne explained that NATO’s position is “the worst of both worlds,” because “it is enmeshed in a war it cannot win, but it can’t afford to lose. And when you are in such a corner, inevitably, it leads to the kinds of intemperate remarks of Mr. Macron, it leads to Rishi Sunak of London dispatching the flower of British youth to an uncertain fate in Ukraine,” he said, referring to comments by Scholz that there are already UK personnel in Ukraine operating Storm Shadow missile launches. “I think taxpayers and US citizens should ask themselves how all these think thanks and bureaucrats at the State Department and Pentagon… manage this kind of potential quagmire that NATO and the United States are now enmeshed in?”

The international situation is not what the White House bargained for, Horne said, but “rather than make a sober assessment and trying to make the best out of this rather daunting situation, they’re floating ideas about nuclear conflict, they’re floating ideas about escalation in Ukraine, they’re floating rather harebrained ideas concerning Russia, supposedly putting weapons in outer space. “We see that this is a major defeat that has been inflicted upon the powers that have been dominating planet Earth for hundreds of years, and now are going to have to get accustomed to a bitter new reality,” Horne said.

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“They are spilling the beans in order to somehow stop this, so that the public of their countries support them, so as not to cross the Rubicon, so as not to get involved in a direct open war..”

NATO Teetering on Edge of Direct Conflict With Russia (Sp.)

A recording of German military officers discussing a potential attack on the Crimean Bridge was released by Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of RT and Rossiya Segodnya, Sputnik’s parent media group, on March 1. Judging from the transcript, NATO soldiers from the UK, the US and France have been operating in the Ukraine combat zone for quite a while. “A significant part of the weapons used by the Ukrainian Armed Forces is supplied from the West,” Leonid Reshetnikov, a retired lieutenant general of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), told Sputnik. “In addition, there is a considerable presence of Western intelligence operatives from NATO countries in Ukraine. They have long settled there, in Ukraine, even before 2014 – the intelligence services of the US, the UK, and also other countries.”

Likewise, when transferring sophisticated and high-precision weapons to Ukraine, NATO countries usually also dispatch maintenance personnel, repair staff and crews to operate this equipment to the combat zone, the retired intelligence officer continued. “They have no time for training the Ukraine military in the midst of the special military operation. Therefore the crews of these [NATO] countries have been operating or firing systems such as Patriot air defense systems and other systems supplied by the Americans, NATO members, the French, and the British for quite a while. Of course, they are not deployed at the very forefront, but they operate artillery, air defense systems, and partially tanks,” Reshetnikov said. Similarly, NATO Special Forces disguised as mercenaries have also been deployed in the zone of the special military operation, according to the intelligence veteran.

“Yes, there are indeed some mercenaries [in Ukraine] who had been engaged in this business well before the special military operation. But starting from the mid-2022 or the beginning of 2023, there has been a systematic recruitment of active [NATO] units,” he said. Reshetnikov explained that under this scenario, NATO Special Ops soldiers formally leave their unit and go to the zone of the special military operation as volunteers. However, they are not only paid for participating in hostilities on Ukraine’s side, but also retain the income they received while serving in the army of a NATO country. Thus, Special Forces from the US, the UK and France are fighting on the ground pretending to be mere mercenaries. Given all of the above, one can see that NATO is really involved in the Ukraine conflict and is actively fighting on the side of the Kiev regime, the intelligence veteran emphasized.

Prior to the Bundeswehr release, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz came under fierce criticism for disclosing information about the presence of the British and French military in the combat zone in Ukraine. According to Scholz, Western soldiers have been dispatched to operate long-range Storm Shadow and SCALP cruise missiles and help Ukrainian fire at Russian targets. Speaking to journalists in Berlin earlier this week, Scholz explained why Berlin hesitates to send Taurus missiles to Ukraine. “This is a very far-reaching weapon,” Scholz said about the Taurus. “What the British and French are doing in terms of target control and support for target control cannot be done in Germany.” Berlin’s French and British allies lambasted the German chancellor for what they called a “flagrant abuse of intelligence”.

[..] Reshetnikov outlined two opposite trends. According to him, there are Western politicians, who, like Emmanuel Macron, are willing to expand NATO’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict. However, there are also others, who fear that the alliance’s presence in the conflict zone may lead to direct confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia. The latter are openly speaking about NATO’s involvement to trigger a public debate and resentment about getting bogged down in Ukraine, according to the intelligence veteran. “They are spilling the beans in order to somehow stop this, so that the public of their countries support them, so as not to cross the Rubicon, so as not to get involved in a direct open war,” he stressed.

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“We were riding high and riding dirty. And that’s what this was, we thought we were unstoppable and we could just coup anyone we wanted, there’d never be any repercussions..”

Ukraine Will Be ‘The Largest Operation In CIA History’ (HE)

Jack Posobiec hosted guest Mike Benz on Human Events Daily Thursday to hear his take on the New York Times article that detailed the CIA’s involvement in Ukraine prior to the Russia invasion, which Benz said will reveal itself to be “the largest operation in CIA history.” The pair unpacked the reasoning behind the New York Times releasing their story which essentially agreed with what conservative commentators such as Posobiec have been saying since the war began. “This is actually such a shocking moment in American journalist history,” Benz stated. “These are highly highly, highly classified operations.” He said that “It’s my contention that when the dust settles on this, the Ukraine skirmish in the aftermath of the 2014 Maidan coup is going to ultimately be the largest operation in CIA history.” Compared to the CIA’s Syrian operation under Barack Obama, which was revealed to be the most expensive operation up to this point, Ukraine will blow it out of the water once all said and done, Benz said.

Posobiec clarified that Benz was implying the NYT article was a “limited hangout” when “an operation becomes so compromised, or public knowledge or public interest becomes so obvious around something,” that the CIA begins to unveil pieces of the big picture, like an “onion.” When the US involved itself in Ukraine in the Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Brennan era, “We were riding high and riding dirty. And that’s what this was, we thought we were unstoppable and we could just coup anyone we wanted, there’d never be any repercussions, and no one would ever stand up for themselves, and Russia would never actually backstop it,” Benz said. This, however, was a “serious miscalculation.” “And when it turned out that their own population didn’t support these dirty tricks, either in the form of the rise of a populace presidential candidate like Donald Trump who was running on putting America first in domestic priorities over foreign policy,” he explained, “then all hell broke loose.”

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“We are being made a target for Russian weapons and this matter must be discussed. The citizens must be informed about how carelessly and irresponsibly politics [in Germany] are being conducted..”

NATO’s Presence in Ukraine is ‘Hardly Surprising for Anyone’ (Sp.)

The German military made headlines this week after a recording of officials discussing the possible shipments of Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine and the use of these weapons against targets in Russia was disclosed by Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of RT and Rossiya Segodnya, Sputnik’s parent media group. In the recording, the German officers can be heard mulling various issues related to the transfer of Taurus missiles to the Kiev regime, as well as how to avoid implicating Germany’s involvement in the conflict while doing so. According to Eugen Schmidt, a member of the German parliament from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, the officers in question were likely not pursuing objectives of their own but were merely preparing for the possibility of Berlin approving the transfer of the missiles to Kiev.

“They act on political directives coming from above. That is, they follow orders, just like any military does. They do not act on their own initiative. So if a political decision on shipping the missiles is made, they would have to follow through,” Schmidt said. The lawmaker compared the current situation with the Taurus missiles to the Leopard tanks, which Germany was initially reluctant to supply to Ukraine but ultimately did after caving in to pressure from both the German political opposition and the “so-called allies from across the ocean.” “I do not know what really goes on in the defense ministry, but I suspect that the military were expecting certain political factions to force through the decision on missile shipments,” he said. “Besides, the French and the British are already sending similar missiles [to Ukraine], so the military likely assumed that Germany would have to do the same. And so they started calculating what would they have to do to make it happen.”

Commenting on the remarks made by the German officers during the conversation about a British and US military presence in Ukraine, Schmidt noted that NATO does wage a war against Russia, just not directly but by using Ukraine as a proxy. “So the presence of [foreign] military personnel there is hardly surprising to anybody, especially when it comes to planning operations, maintaining NATO military hardware and so on,” he said. At the same time, Schmidt pointed out, the powers that be in Western countries keep telling their citizens that there is no NATO military personnel in Ukraine. “They are painting a whole different picture for the common people, even though everyone realizes that there is NATO personnel there, a lot of them, not on the frontline but, shall we say, in the second or third echelon,” he added.

Schmidt also lamented that only the AfD, the German political party he represents, openly declares that a conflict with a nuclear power and the actions of the German government are detrimental to Germany’s security whereas other parties in the country prefer to keep quiet on such matters. “We are being made a target for Russian weapons and this matter must be discussed. The citizens must be informed about how carelessly and irresponsibly politics [in Germany] are being conducted at the expense of our safety,’ he said.

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“..the Germans have decades ahead of them in how be an effective fighting force on the international stage when they are so plagued by rank amateurism..”

Germans Plotting Attack on Russian Infrastructure: A Bridge Too Far (Jay)

When, at the beginning of the Ukraine war Scholz had his “moment” in the German parliament where he announced a new level or military spending many Germans paused and became nervous about the possibility of history repeating itself. But they were not alone. Many Europeans wondered about how wise the move was as it propelled a weak and ineffective coalition government down a dangerous and treacherous path towards exactly the same circumstances which led to the collapse of democracy in the 1930s and the rapid emergence of Hitler and his so-called “socialist” party: nationalism. Also, comical are the number of times these officials talk about the British who they call “the English” and how they consider them to be such important partners in the war against Russia, not only from a strategic standpoint but also a financial one. Roger and Fritz are closer than they’ve ever been.

But the obsession with the Crimean bridge is interesting as the transcripts reveal that it is on the Ukrainian side where the idea to hit it comes. The German airforce senior officials are sceptical about hitting the bridge with sufficient impact to actually destroy it and even less convinced that the Ukrainians can do this on their own. The idea of a French made Rafael jet is suggested for the job, but they believe that it would require 20 Taurus missiles to destroy it to any significant level. What exactly the Russians do while a French fighter jet repeats sortie after sortie dropping its bombs is unclear. There is also the problem of how to deflect attention or finger pointing when the job is done. It’s here where we see that the German air force commanders are woefully ignorant and misinformed about the realities on Russian intelligence.

The Germans actually believe they can protect themselves with a ring of disinformation and amateur distractions – like having their own people, while in Kiev talk with strong American accents while doing the training and logistics right through to insisting that the Ukrainians make a documented approach to the Germans for the equipment and training. As though this would temper the Russians even if they believed it once the bridge is destroyed! We are really in the land of amateur spooking here which leads the reader to believe that the Germans have decades ahead of them in how be an effective fighting force on the international stage when they are so plagued by rank amateurism – the same dismal lack of planning which made them lose the battle of Barbarossa in the second world war.

Planning is a word which comes up in the conversation transcripts a lot as it is an obsession of German public servants, whether they be in the military or work for Deutsche Welle news department – the latter a public funded German propaganda station which is so bad that even Germans gave up watching it years ago, forcing its executives to scrap the German language service. And yet it is the lack of planning, but merely the talk of it, which is the real heart of the problem of German thinking. A Bridge Too Far, in fact.

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Ray McGovern: “If I were Putin, I would have my focus on full alert because one of these acolytes [might] say ‘hey, Mr. Biden… we did the cluster ammo, we did the depleted uranium, who’s going to complain if we do just a mini-nuke?’”

‘Sheer Incompetence and Ignorance’ Led to Plan to Attack Crimean Bridge (Sp.)

On Friday, RT and the Rossiya Segodnya media group (Sputnik’s parent company) Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan published leaked audio of a conversation involving four German senior military officers, including the head of the German Air Force, General Ingo Gerhartz. The audio included operational and targeting details of Taurus missiles even though in public, sending Taurus missiles to Ukraine remains a matter of debate. Significantly, the four officers discussed hitting the Crimean bridge and how to maintain plausible deniability for their involvement in such operations. Ray McGovern, a peace activist and former CIA analyst with over 27 years of experience, told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour that only “sheer incompetence and ignorance” would lead NATO to consider such plans.

McGovern said that the leaked German conversation, which has since been reportedly confirmed as authentic by German officials, reflected comments that former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made during an interview with Western media. “If you want to give the Russians pause, if you want to interrupt that sense of momentum that they have, why not be able to do things like drop the Kerch Strait Bridge? That would have a big impact on the Russians, I think, psychologically as well as militarily,” Gates said during the interview. “Here’s this wise man, Bobby Gates, saying ‘Oh let’s get into World War Three,’” McGovern said. “I mean, if he is speaking for an influential element not only in the White House but also the German Army, my God.”

“It’s just sheer incompetence and ignorance,” McGovern continued later. “He reads the intelligence. Previous presidents and previous CIA directors are given special treatment, they can read the latest and most sensitive intelligence. … The intelligence has been so bad that Bobby Gates could be led to believe this would teach the Russians a lesson.” After noting that Gates wrote in his autobiography that “it has never been on top of [Gates’] job jar to please the Russians,” McGovern warned that “it may not be on top of the jar of people to make Putin or the Russians happy, but my God, they have to recognize that they don’t want to alienate the Russians or make the Russians think that [the West is] so unpredictable that the Russians may have to use this advantage that they have now in strategic weaponry.” Co-host Wilmer Leon asked about comments from US Senator and vice chair of the Intelligence Committee Marco Rubio (R-FL) that Ukraine needs to end in a negotiated settlement. McGovern said he doubted Rubio’s intentions but said the comments were still significant.

“He’s the same guy that voted vociferously to give [$60 billion] more to Ukraine, and of course $14 billion to Israel, X billion to Taiwan and whoever else. So I don’t know. A lot of this is rhetoric now, but it is significant that the rhetoric itself is changing,” McGovern explained. “If they don’t get a negotiated settlement or something they [can] depict as the same, it’s going to be just a disastrous loss.” But anytime a world nuclear power is cornered, it can be extremely dangerous, McGovern warned. “As John Kennedy said in that wonderful American University speech ‘Never give another nuclear power a choice between a humiliating retreat and using nuclear weapons’… Joe Biden is faced with humiliating retreat, he’s got lots at stake here,” McGovern warned. “If I were Putin, I would have my focus on full alert because one of these acolytes [might] say ‘hey, Mr. Biden… we did the cluster ammo, we did the depleted uranium, who’s going to complain if we do just a mini-nuke?’ So that’s the danger here.’”

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Good cop bad cop?

German and French Leaders ‘Don’t Get Along’ – Bloomberg (RT)

The relationship between German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron has long been strained, but Macron’s recent refusal to rule out sending troops to Ukraine has driven tensions to boiling point, Bloomberg reported on Friday. The rift between Paris and Berlin was exposed earlier this week when Macron declared that while “there’s no consensus today to send… troops on the ground” to Ukraine, “we cannot exclude anything.” Responding a day later, Scholz told reporters that there will be “no ground troops, no soldiers on Ukrainian soil, who are sent there by European or NATO countries,” and that the alliance’s leaders were “unanimous as far as this question is concerned.”

Macron’s statement was “deliberately ambiguous,” and intended to “create uncertainty in the mind of Russian military planners,” Bloomberg reported, paraphrasing anonymous officials. However, it was made “against the express wishes of Scholz’ office,” the same officials said. In a further dig at the German chancellor, Macron followed up his comment by calling out NATO members who had offered Ukraine nothing but “helmets and sleeping bags” when the conflict with Russia began in February 2022. According to Bloomberg, this was perceived as an insult by the chancellery, considering that Scholz rapidly overcame his initial reluctance to send lethal weapons to Ukraine, with Germany now Kiev’s second-largest provider of military aid. Despite Macron’s apparent willingness to escalate, Germany has sent Ukraine 27 times more bilateral military aid than France (€17.7 billion to €0.64 billion), according to figures from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

“In Berlin,” Bloomberg noted, “Macron is seen as a monarchical figure who is better at issuing grand visions than delivering.” Close aides to Scholz acknowledged to Bloomberg that “the two don’t get along.” On the other hand, “Macron sees Scholz as a leader without courage and ambition who cannot think beyond the short term,” a French official told the American news site. Further evidence of this rift emerged on Monday when Macron announced that he was leading a coalition of states to provide Ukraine with “medium and long-range missiles and bombs” to strike deep into Russian territory. On Thursday, Scholz said that he was reluctant to send long-range Taurus cruise missiles to Kiev, as they could potentially be used to strike Moscow.

Scholz also angered British and French officials earlier in the week when he said that British Storm Shadow and French SCALP-EG cruise missiles – which are already being used by Ukraine and are roughly equivalent to the Taurus – required British and French crews to operate, a statement implying that both countries already had military personnel on the ground in Ukraine.. In his annual state-of-the-nation address on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Western leaders toying with the idea of intervening in Ukraine “have already forgotten what war is.” Russia, he said, has a massive nuclear arsenal, and therefore “the consequences for potential invaders would be far more tragic” than in bygone eras.

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“The Western defense base is pathetic and you’re not going to out-conventional war the Russian bear..”

Erik Prince Calls For ‘Ugly Peace’ In Ukraine (RT)

The West should pull the plug on the Ukraine conflict as soon as possible because it will not be able to outperform Russia’s defense industry, Erik Prince, founder of the American private military company Blackwater has said. Speaking to the podcast PBD on Friday, Prince, who served as the CEO of the mercenary group until 2009 and now heads Frontier Resource Group, a private equity fund, expressed doubts about whether Kiev and its Western backers could prevail in the conflict with Russia, which has just entered its third year. “We need to bring this war to a close because all Ukraine is doing right now is destroying itself demographically,” he said, adding that hostilities are “chewing up the next generation of Ukrainian manpower,” which will be almost impossible to replace. “The Western defense base is pathetic and you’re not going to out-conventional war the Russian bear,” Prince argued.

According to the former US Navy SEAL, in this light, the “ugly peace” and a freeze in hostilities would be a better option both for Kiev and its Western supporters than “whatever their idea of an ideal war is,” adding “let them [Russia] keep Crimea, Donetsk, Lugansk. Whatever.” The majority Russian-speaking Autonomous Republic of Crimea and city of Sevastopol voted overwhelmingly to become part of Russia in a 2014 referendum after a Western-backed coup in Kiev. Donetsk and Lugansk, regions which had declared independence from Ukraine, followed suit in September, 2022 after the start of the current conflict. However, Prince did not mention Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, which also held successful referendums to join Russia in the fall of 2022. “It’s not the American taxpayer’s obligation to spend another hundred billion in Ukraine when there’s been significant corruption and really nothing to show for it,” he added.

Meanwhile, Tesla and Space X CEO Elon Musk appeared to agree with Prince. Commenting on the Blackwater CEO’s quotes, which were cited by American investor David Sacks, he wrote on X (formerly Twitter): “Unfortunately, that is true.” Russia maintains it is open to talks on Ukraine; however, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree banning talks with the current leadership in Moscow after the referendums in Kiev’s four former regions, which it immediately condemned as illegitimate. At the same time, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last year that Moscow is opposed to a freeze in the Ukraine conflict, saying that it will not stop until its goals are accomplished and national interests protected by military or other means. Russia has repeatedly said that its main goals are to “denazify” and “demilitarize” Ukraine.

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Next up: food rationing?!

German Healthcare System Should Prepare For War – Minister (RT)

Germany must improve its healthcare system to be able to swiftly respond to crisis situations, such as a new pandemic or a military conflict, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has said. Legislation for reforms expected to be presented this summer will be “a turning point for the healthcare system,” the Social Democratic Party (SPD) politician told the newspaper Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung in an interview published on Saturday. Though the ruling ‘traffic light coalition’ has already pushed for reforms following the Covid-19 pandemic, the health minister said that with the Ukraine conflict, the challenges have become even more important. “In the event of a crisis, every doctor, every hospital, every health authority must know what to do. We need clear responsibilities – for example, for the distribution of a high number of injured people among the clinics in Germany,” Lauterbach explained.

The minister said hospitals must also conduct drills to practice their response to disasters, dismissing accusations of scaremongering by arguing that “doing nothing is not an option.” “It would be silly to say we are not preparing for a military conflict and then it won’t come. According to this logic, there would be no need for a Bundeswehr,” he said. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius stated last November that the country must become “war-capable,” and insisted again in January that Berlin and all of NATO should arm itself more actively to be able to “wage a war that is forced upon us.”

Last month, Bundeswehr General Carsten Breuer called for a “change in mentality” in German society, insisting that the nation needs to build credible “deterrence” to prepare for a potential war with Russia within five years. Commenting on claims that Russia could be planning an attack on Germany or any other NATO state, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in January that EU officials were “inventing an external enemy” to divert attention away from domestic problems. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that “no one wants a big war,” especially Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed the claims as “complete nonsense,” insisting that Moscow has “no geopolitical, economic… or military interest” in starting a conflict with NATO.

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“..Germans might rally round the flag, or they might openly rebel against an already deeply unpopular government..”

The West Can’t Be Trusted To Observe Its Own ‘Red Lines’ In Ukraine (Amar)

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have disagreed publicly over how to support Ukraine – which has been ruthlessly deployed by the West as a geopolitical proxy – in its conflict with Russia. Macron used a special EU meeting he had convened, rumor has it directly inspired by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, to state, in effect, that sending Western combat troops into Ukraine was an option. Of course, the West already has troops on the ground, including those flimsily camouflaged as volunteers and mercenaries, or otherwise participating in the conflict (for instance by planning and targeting), as a recent leak of US documents has confirmed. But an open intervention by ground forces would be a severe escalation, directly pitting Russia and NATO against each other, as Moscow has quickly pointed out, and making nuclear escalation a real possibility.

Russia has deliberately tolerated a certain degree of Western intervention, for its own pragmatic reasons: In essence, it seeks to win the war in Ukraine, while avoiding an open conflict with NATO. It is willing to pay the price of having to deal with some de facto Western military meddling, as long as it is confident it can defeat it on the Ukrainian battlefield. Indeed, the strategy has the added advantage that the West is bleeding its own resources, while the Russian military is receiving excellent hands-on training in how to neutralize Western hardware, including much-touted “miracle weapons.” You do not have to believe Moscow’s words, but simply consult elementary logic to understand that there is an equally hard-headed limit to this kind of calculated tolerance. If the Russian leadership were to conclude that Western military forces in Ukraine were endangering its objectives (instead of merely making achieving them harder), it would raise the price for certain Western countries. (Selective treatment would be adopted to put under stress – quite possibly to breaking point – Western cohesion.)

Consider Germany, for instance: Berlin is by far Ukraine’s biggest bilateral financial supporter among EU states (at least in terms of commitments). Yet militarily, for now, Russia has been content with, in essence, shredding German Leopard tanks as they arrive on the battlefield. And, in a sense, punishing Germany’s meddling can safely be left to its own government: the country has already taken massive hits to its economy and international standing. But if Berlin were to go even further, Moscow’s calculations would change. In that case, as little as German mass media allow German citizens to think about it, a “sobering” (to use a term from Russian doctrine) strike – initially probably non-nuclear – on German forces and territory is possible. The domestic consequences of such an attack are unpredictable. Germans might rally round the flag, or they might openly rebel against an already deeply unpopular government that has been sacrificing the national interest with unprecedented bluntness to Washington’s geopolitics.

If you think the above sounds a little far-fetched, I know of someone who clearly does not share your complacency: the German chancellor. Stung by Macron’s provocation, Scholz countered with telling alacrity. Within 24 hours after the surprise French move, he publicly ruled out the sending of “ground troops” by “European nations or NATO nations,” underlining that that this red line has always been agreed on. In addition, the chancellor also chose exactly this moment to reaffirm that Germany will not deliver its Taurus cruise missiles to Kiev, as escalation that proponents have long demanded, including inside Germany. With, according to Scholz, the capability of striking Moscow, Berlin’s missiles in Ukrainian hands and Macron’s hypothetical ground forces have one thing in common: they come with a serious risk of spreading direct fighting beyond Ukraine, in particular to Western Europe and Germany.

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“..in addition to Russia, he will visit the EU headquarters, Poland, Ukraine, Germany and France..”

Settlement In Ukraine Impossible Without Moscow – China (TASS)

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin and Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Eurasian Affairs Li Hui during a meeting in Moscow stated that any discussion of the settlement in Ukraine is impossible without Russia’s participation and taking into account its security interests, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “An engaged and detailed exchange of opinions on the Ukrainian crisis took place. It was stated that any discussion of the political and diplomatic settlement is impossible without Russia’s participation and consideration of its interests in the security sphere,” the foreign policy agency said.

“That said, it was noted that ultimatums to Russia promoted by Kiev and the West and related dialogue formats only harm the prospects of any settlement and cannot serve as its basis,” the ministry stressed. The meeting was held in a traditionally friendly and trusting atmosphere, typical of Russian-Chinese relations, the agency added. On March 2, Li launched his second tour aiming to seek ways to settle the Ukrainian conflict. It is expected that, in addition to Russia, he will visit the EU headquarters, Poland, Ukraine, Germany and France. The previous tour took place in May 2023.

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Tolerance for body bags is not high in Israel.

Heavy Losses Inflict ‘Dramatic Manpower Crisis’ On Israel (Cradle)

The Israeli military is demanding an addition of at least 7,000 soldiers to its forces due to a serious manpower crisis. The 7,000 are needed on top of the soldiers already enlisting, the Israeli army said on 1 March. “The army requires standards for another 7,500 officers and noncommissioned officers, while the Treasury currently approves only 2,500. These are unprecedented numbers, which indicate the shock that befell the IDF following almost 150 days of fighting, which began with heavy losses on 7 October,” Hebrew news site Ynet reported, citing the army’s General Staff. “The army is compiling the data that will explain how dramatic the manpower problem is,” it added. Just one day ago, Israel’s Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, called to end draft exemptions for members of the ultra-Orthodox community. Gallant said he would only support legislation allowing for continued exemptions if all members of the ruling coalition backed it.

The minister asserted that “all parts of society” must “bear the burden” of service. Gallant’s position could result in tension with ultra-Orthodox parties in the coalition, viewed as integral to the current government’s survival, according to Hebrew media. However, the army’s demand for a boost in manpower “has nothing to do with politics or the demand for equal burden: The situation is simply not good and does not match the threat map,” Ynet wrote. Israel is taking severe losses in its genocidal war in Gaza and its attempt to eradicate the Palestinian resistance. While Israel claims that Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah is the final Hamas stronghold, the group’s military wing, along with several other factions, continue to fiercely confront Israeli troops across the strip.

A source from within the resistance told Al-Mayadeen on Thursday that the Israeli army has been forced out of Gaza City’s Al-Zaytoun neighborhood, where it had been operating over the past eleven days in an attempt to clear out Hamas fighters. The source added that the neighborhood is a “graveyard” for Merkava tanks, and the “bloodied and torn” uniforms of Israeli soldiers are spread out across the battlefield. Clashes between the resistance and the army continued to rage on 1 March in several areas of Gaza, including the southern city of Khan Yunis and the Jabalia area in the northern strip.

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“..a Republican event on Sunday in the District of Columbia (they have Republicans?)..”

Trump Trounces Haley In Idaho, Missouri, And Michigan (ZH)

Donald Trump dominated in Saturday’s primary races, inning caucuses in Idaho and Missouri – while sweeping the delegate haul at a Michigan party convention. The former president earned every delegate at stake on Saturday, bringing his overall count to 244 vs. Nikki Haley’s 24. To secure the Republican nomination, Trump will need 1,215 delegates in total. In Michigan, Trump won all 39 delegates at the Republican convention in Grand Rapids, after winning the state’s primary on Tuesday with 68% of the vote vs. Haley’s 27%. In Missouri, Trump won 51 delegates. Things went particularly not well for Haley at one point: “The steep odds facing Haley were on display in Columbia, Missouri, where Republicans gathered at a church to caucus. Seth Christensen stood on stage and called on them to vote for Haley. He wasn’t well received. Another caucusgoer shouted out from the audience: “Are you a Republican?” An organizer quieted the crowd and Christensen finished his speech. Haley went on to win just 37 of the 263 Republicans in attendance in Boone County.” -AP.

Earlier in the day, Missouri Trump supporters inside a church in Columbia linked up to appeal for the former president. “Every 100 days, we’re spending $1 trillion, with money going all over the world. Illegals are running across the border,” said Tom Mendenall, an elector for Trump in 2016 and 2020. “You know where Donald Trump stands on a lot of these issues.” And in Iowa, Trump won 32 delegates, once again smoking Haley. Next on deck is a Republican event on Sunday in the District of Columbia (they have Republicans?), followed by Super Tuesday two days later, when 16 states will hold primaries – and the date Haley suggested she’d be dropping out if things don’t start going her way. This is going to be fun, no? From tonight’s speech in Virginia:

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Once the main Jan. 6 story.

The Pipe Bombs Before Jan. 6: Capital Mystery That Doesn’t Add Up (Julie Kelly)

The now defunct Select Committee to Investigate the Attack on the U.S. Capitol barely mentioned the pipe bomb threat in its final report; the committee did not include video of the incident or the suspect during any televised hearings. This strikes some observers as odd for two reasons: The pipe bombs seemed to offer the strongest evidence for the Committee’s case that Jan. 6 was an act of domestic terrorism, and the direct threat to the life of the vice president, who was at the DNC for nearly two hours as the device sat undetected outside the building. The major news organizations that initially devoted significant space to promote the idea that a supporter of Donald Trump tried to blow up buildings near the Capitol on Jan. 6 have also lost interest in the case. But a handful of outlets led by Revolver News stayed on the story. And the same media once fixated on the pipe bomber now considers poking holes in the government’s official story little more than right-wing conspiracy-mongering.

The government’s seeming ineffectiveness, however, and lack of forthrightness regarding an allegedly deadly plot filled with unanswered questions has also created a wellspring of distrust. The presence of bombs in the nation’s capital as the joint session of Congress convened to debate the outcome of the Electoral College vote animated the notion that Jan. 6 represented an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated by Trump supporters. Reports that two explosives were found just blocks from the U.S. Capitol initiated the first wave of panic that accelerated throughout the afternoon. It began when a 37-year-old woman from Madison, Wisc., named Karlin Younger, who said she was walking to do her laundry near the RNC, discovered a device in an alley around 12:40 p.m. Although it is not clear whether the Jan. 6 committee interviewed Younger – her name does not appear in its final report – she gave numerous media interviews in the weeks and months following Jan. 6.

In November 2021, Younger told Business Insider, “When I cast my eyes down, I just saw something kind of metallic, and it was just a very passing glimpse, and all I thought is someone must have missed the recycling bin. And I was going to recycle it, because I’m about that life. I just looked, and it was so completely unbelievable. You’re not on high alert. You don’t think you’re under attack. I’m not in Iraq. This is Capitol Hill.” She beckoned an RNC security guard whose name has not been made public to confirm her suspicions. “Holy shit, it’s a bomb!” Younger said he exclaimed. The FBI interviewed Younger a few days later after she contacted the bureau’s Jan. 6 tip line. But it doesn’t appear she was interviewed again by the FBI.

The FBI official leading the investigation, Washington FBI Field Office assistant director in charge Steven D’Antuono, told House Republicans he did not “recall” who discovered the device. Had the FBI come knocking again, Younger certainly would have consented to another interview. At the time, Younger worked for a public-private partnership called FirstNet, which provides interoperable broadband for first responders across the country. The month before Jan. 6, the FBI awarded a $92 million grant to FirstNet. Authorities quickly dispatched officers to the DNC located a few blocks away. A similar device reportedly was found on the ground between two benches outside one of the building’s entrances at 1:07 pm.

In response, police immediately evacuated a few congressional buildings including the nearby Cannon House Office building. “I just had to evacuate my office because of a pipe bomb reported outside,” Virginia Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria tweeted at 1:46 p.m. “Supporters of the President are trying to force their way into the Capitol and I can hear what sounds like multiple gunshots. I don’t recognize our country today and the members of Congress who have supported this anarchy do not deserve to represent their fellow Americans.” The Capitol Police stated on Jan. 7 that both devices, which it said were “hazardous and could cause great harm to public safety,” were “disabled and turned over to the FBI for further investigation and analysis.”

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Please don’t miss. Ron Johnson was slow out of the blocks, but he’s become a solid Covid voice. The only one in DC.

“..in 2022, he decided to postpone his retirement to go through a grueling re-election campaign so there would be someone in the government who could advocate for everyone whose lives had been ruined by the COVID vaccines.”

Federal Health Agencies and the COVID Cartel: What Are They Hiding? (AMD)

Ron Johnson has gradually become one of my favorite senators in American history. In 2020, he repeatedly advocated for early COVID-19 treatments to be made available to Americans (which had they been made available would have ended the pandemic). Throughout 2021, he spoke out against the vaccine mandates and in November hosted a panel at the Senate which scrutinized the federal vaccine mandates and exposed how poorly those who experienced severe COVID-19 vaccine injuries were being treated. In January 2022, he hosted a panel which scrutinized the entire COVID-19 response, and in December of 2022, he hosted a panel focusing on everything we now know about the vaccines. Being one of the most outspoken critics of the vaccination program in American history got him a lot of pushback, and in 2022, he decided to postpone his retirement to go through a grueling re-election campaign so there would be someone in the government who could advocate for everyone whose lives had been ruined by the COVID vaccines.[..]

Since the entire panel was 4 hours long, I recognize that many of you will not be able to watch all of it. For that reason, I tried to highlight what I felt were it’s most important parts. First, in Johnson’s opening statement, he discusses just how hard it has been over the last three years to get any of the information his office is legally entitled to from the government. For example with (Fauci’s) NIH: “We are down to the last 50 pages [of the 4000 he originally requested]. They will not release these. It’s been now going close to 2 years. This is what has been provided to us. Do you think there might be some incriminating information in this?” Likewise, these agencies have completely brushed off all evidence something is wrong. For example, with the NIH: Just like former NIH director Francis Collins Collins told me when I asked about all the deaths being reported on VAERS, [he said], “Senator, people die.” The fact that both of these statements are as true as they are callous highlights the challenge we face in exposing the truth.

While with the FDA: “I’ve written 4 [letters on hot-lots] starting in December of 2021. The first letter compared 25,000 lots of COVID vaccine to 22,000 lots of flu vaccine. One COVID lot had 5,297 adverse reactions associated with it. The worst flu lot had a 137. So 5,300 versus 137. 365 COVID lots had more than 100 adverse events. Only 10 flu lots had more than 100. And 80% of the serious adverse events, those with emergency room visits, hospitalization, or death were associated with only 5% of the lots. So, again, to me, I’m from manufacturing. That shows to me a manufacturing process out of control. [It] took us a year to get some kind of response and, basically, response from the agencies was, “we don’t see any variation in lots.” Johnson then illustrates how the current political climate has undermined everything science once stood for:

“Vaccine injuries are rare.” “The benefits outweigh the risk and that the science is clear and overwhelming.” “And anyone challenging this narrative is an is an anti science conspiracy theorist.” In other words, second opinions are not allowed. To me, this attitude is the antithesis of science. I am amazed at the knowledge mankind has obtained over the millennia. But I would argue that what we don’t know vastly exceeds what we do know. So as we pursue truth, we must pursue it with the humility that that reality demands.” Johnson’s opening statement was then followed by Robert Malone: “I’ll be succinct. The SARS CoV 2 modified mRNA based vaccine products were deployed via emergency use authorization without adequate nonclinical and clinical testing and without full disclosure of known patient risk and efficacy data. This violated well established legislatively mandated patient informed consent requirements. The FDA and HHS justified these actions as necessary due to reliance on deeply flawed modeling data indicating that SARS CoV 2 was associated with an infection fatality rate of 3.4%.”

Note: the IFR was subsequently shown to average between 0.018%-0.03% for everyone under 60 and was approximately 0.506% for those between 60-69 years of age. Subsequent clinical research experience has revealed a number of problems with the genetic vaccine technology based SARS COV 2 products, which have been marketed as vaccines. In most cases, there has been an effort to obscure or deny facts in public communication by government and pharmaceutical industry representatives. Malone then listed the key issues with the vaccines, to which Johnson replied: Doctor Malone, I think one of the things that always bothers me is [that] so much of what we’re learning in terms of harms of these vaccine was clearly known before they were rolled out.

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Could it be this simple?

 

 

Harder/Smarter

 

 

 

 

Choke a horse
https://twitter.com/i/status/1763844457420509217

 

 

Good child

 

 

Yanis

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 012024
 
 March 1, 2024  Posted by at 9:38 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  39 Responses »


Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) German artist, philosopher, composer, mystic Cosmic Tree

 

West Flirting With Nuclear War – Putin (RT)
What Comes Next As The Ukrainian Army Collapses (Helmer)
How Realistic Is Putin? (Paul Craig Roberts)
West Destroying Its Own Financial System – Putin (RT)
The CIA in Ukraine – The NY Times Gets a Guided Tour (Patrick Lawrence)
CIA in Ukraine (John Kiriakou)
The Internationalization of the Neo-Liberal Shock (Dionísio)
Maddow and Others Denounce SCOTUS for Review of Presidential Immunity (Turley)
Yellen Voices Support For Permanent Inflation (Denninger)
‘State-minus’: Biden’s Palestine Solution (Cradle)
Federal Judge Blocks New Texas Law to Arrest Illegal Immigrants (ET)
Obama’s CIA Asked Foreign Intel Agencies To Spy on Trump Campaign (Chernin)
Hunter Finally Admits Joe Biden Is “The Big Guy” (ZH)
Julian Assange and Gaza Civilians (Amar)
Biden Arrives At Border To Address His Voters (BBee)

 

 

 

 

Not sure what Biden does, but I don’t think it’s called ‘walking’. Closest thing is Elon Musk’s new humanoid robot.

 

 

 

 

WH doc

 

 

 

 


“The judge who just threw Trump off the ballot in Illinois typically “presides over minor traffic violations”

 

 

Loan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1763341500627480884

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..now the consequences for potential invaders would be far more tragic.”

West Flirting With Nuclear War – Putin (RT)

Western officials indulging in escalatory rhetoric should realize that they are effectively invoking the specter of an all-out nuclear war, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned in a speech to legislators in Moscow on Thursday. He also once again accused the West of instigating the Ukraine conflict. Putin addressed the topic in the opening minutes of his annual state-of-the-nation speech, a key event in which the president declares his plans and priorities in a televised address to both houses of the Federal Assembly of Russia, the national legislature. President Putin insisted that recent claims by Western officials that Moscow is planning to attack NATO are “nonsense.” At the same time, those same nations are “selecting targets to conduct strikes on our territory,” the Russian head of state claimed, adding that there is now talk of “deploying NATO military contingents to Ukraine.”

Putin reminded would-be aggressors that all previous attempts to conquer Russia have ended in failure, warning that “now the consequences for potential invaders would be far more tragic.” He pointed out that Russia has a massive nuclear arsenal, which is in a state of “complete readiness for guaranteed deployment.” “Everything that they are thinking up now, that they are scaring the world with, it all really poses the threat of a conflict involving nuclear weapons, and therefore, the destruction of civilization. Don’t they understand this?” The Russian president suggested that Western politicians making those escalatory remarks “have already forgotten what war is.” Unlike Russians, who have faced “difficult trials” in recent decades, Westerners apparently “think that these are just some cartoons,” President Putin opined.

The Russian president’s remarks came after his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, toyed with the idea of a potential ground deployment of Western militaries to Ukraine while talking to reporters on Monday, saying “in terms of dynamics, we cannot exclude anything.” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg hastened to emphasize that “there are no plans for NATO combat troops on the ground in Ukraine.” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in turn, declared that there will be “no ground troops, no soldiers on Ukrainian soil, who are sent there by European or NATO countries” in the future. The leaders of Poland, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Finland also chimed in with similar assurances. Commenting on Macron’s remark, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that such a development would mean that “we have to talk not about the probability, but rather the inevitability” of an all-out military confrontation between NATO and Russia.

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“I would like to remind you that just a month ago, the French Foreign Minister denied Paris’s involvement in recruiting mercenaries for the Kiev regime, and called direct evidence ‘crude Russian propaganda.’”

What Comes Next As The Ukrainian Army Collapses (Helmer)

The collapse of the Ukrainian army following the battle of Avdeyevka, and its disorganized retreat, have accelerated Russian military thinking of how far westward the NATO allies will decide that the Ukrainian statelet can be defended against the expected Russian advance – and how fast new NATO defences can be created without the protection of ground-to-air missile batteries like Patriot, long-range artillery like the M777, and mobile armour like the Abrams, Bradley, and Caesar: all of them have already been defeated in the east. In short, there is no longer a NATO-command line of fortification east of the Polish border which deters the Russian General Staff. Also, no bunker for the Zelensky government and its NATO advisors to feel secure. Cutting and pasting from the Russian military bloggers and the Moscow analytical media, as a handful of US podcasters and substackers are doing as often as their subscribers require, is the Comfy-Armchair method for getting at the truth.

Reading the Russian sources directly, with the understanding that they are reporting what their military and intelligence sources are saying off the record, is still armchair generalship, but less comfy, more credible. Offence is now the order of the day up and down the contact line. The daily bulletin from the Ministry of Defense in Moscow calls this “improving the tactical situation” and “taking more advantageous positions”. In the past three days, Monday through Wednesday, the Defense Ministry also reported the daily casualty rate of the Ukrainian forces at 1,175, 1,065, and 695, respectively; three M777 howitzer hits; and the first Abrams tank to be destroyed. Because this source is blocked in several of the NATO states, the Russian military bloggers, which reproduce the bulletins along with videoclips and maps, may be more accessible; also more swiftly than the US-based podcasters and substackers can keep up.

Moscow sources confirm the obvious: the operational objective is to apply more and more pressure at more and more points along the line, in as many sectors or salients (“directions” is the Russian term) as possible simultaneously. At the same time, air attack, plus missiles and drones, are striking all rear Ukrainian and NATO airfield, road, and rail nodes, ammunition storages, vehicle parks, drone manufactories, fuel dumps, and other supply infrastructure, so as make reinforcement and redeployment more difficult and perilous. What cannot be seen are the Russian concentrations of forces aimed in the north, centre and south of the battlefield. Instead, there is what one source calls “an educated guess is that when the main blow comes, it will be North, Chernigov, Sumy, Kharkov, Poltava, or Centre, Dniepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, or both simultaneously.” For timing, the source adds, “after the Russian election.”

That is now less than three weeks away, on March 17. President Vladimir Putin will then reform his new government within four to six weeks for announcement by early May. Ministerial appointments sensitive to the General Staff’s planning are the Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who is expected to remain in place; and the Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who may retire. Following the call of French President Emmanuel Macron for the “possibility” of French ground force deployment to the Ukraine battlefield, and the subsequent clarification by French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu, the Russian assessment has been derisory. “As for Emmanuel Macron’s statements about the possibility of sending NATO troops to Ukraine,” replied Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova, “I would like to remind you that just a month ago, the French Foreign Minister denied Paris’s involvement in recruiting mercenaries for the Kiev regime, and called direct evidence ‘crude Russian propaganda.’

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“The West is unreasonable. Putin still thinks he can reason with the West. This is a mistake that is fatal for mankind.”

How Realistic Is Putin? (Paul Craig Roberts)

As readers know, I am concerned that Putin’s tolerance of a too-long-continuing-Ukraine-conflict is encouraging the conflict to spin-out-of-control. I have written about this risk neglected by the Kremlin many times. On February 27 I was interviewed by Finian Cunningham about this risk. If the interview is posted online, I will link to it hopefully before it is taken down by the narrative controllers. There is no doubt that I have been proven correct that the provocations, accepted by the Kremlin with only words in opposition, have increased in severity over the past two years. First the West would send to the Ukrainians helmets and sleeping bags. Then small arms ammunition. Then artillery. Tanks were mentioned, but Washington and NATO said, “never tanks.” Then tanks were sent. Then, after first being denied, drones and intermediate-range missiles. Then targeting information. Then mercenaries.

Then after being denied, now long-range missiles and US F-16s capable of penetrating deep into Russia herself far from the battlefront are under consideration. And now the latest, the French President’s proposal to send NATO troops. “We will never send troops,” declares NATO’s Stoltenberg. But all the denials previously were breached and meant nothing. So the question before us is: Has Putin reduced the threat of the conflict spinning out of control by fighting it on a low key basis limited to Donbass and the Russian areas, or has his low-key behavior convinced Washington’s neoconservatives that Putin is a paper tiger who will accept any provocation and any insult. If the latter, the provocations will increase in severity until the conflict spins out of control. Clearly from helmets to NATO troops is an immense escalation. Putin understands that the West intends Russia’s destruction, so why does he prolong conflicts that provide opportunities for the West to expand conflict?

The Kremlin and the Western media whores see the fundamental issue as Ukraine becoming a member of NATO. The neoconservatives who control US foreign policy seem to think that Putin will stand aside from this just as he did from being called by the President of the United States “the new Hitler” and “a son-of-a-bitch.” No American official of any rank ever spoke in public of Soviet leaders in such terms. On his way to Reykjavik, Iceland, for his meeting with Gorbachev, Reagan told his entourage that one word of rudeness to the Soviet officials and you were fired on the spot. Reagan’s goal was to end the Cold War, and he did. It was the neoconservatives and the US military/security complex that restarted it. As the deceased Steven Cohen and I emphasized, the threat of nuclear war today is much higher than during the Cold War.

In those years, leaders on both sides worked to reduce tensions and to achieve mutual security that would reduce the danger of nuclear confrontation. I was part of the effort and perhaps I am one of a small handful of people still alive who know and lived the experience. Once the Soviet Union collapsed when the Politburo placed Russian President Gorbachev under house arrest, the neoconservatives saw their chance at world hegemony and began their assault on Russia. All of the security-enhancing agreements worked out over the years of the Cold War were cancelled by Washington. NATO’ Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is Washington’s puppet. But he is not sufficiently stupid to knowingly start a war with Russia. Who can possibly imagine Europe, which is incapable of protecting its own borders from being over-run by unarmed immigrant-invaders, possibly fighting Russia. The war, if Putin could bring himself to fight it, would be over in a few minutes.

[..] It is Putin’s refusal to impose restraint on a weak and collapsing West that is leading to nuclear Armageddon. I am not writing because I want a Russian victory. I am writing because I do not want nuclear Armageddon. The West is unreasonable. Putin still thinks he can reason with the West. This is a mistake that is fatal for mankind.

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“They’re sawing off a branch they’ve been sitting on for decades..”

West Destroying Its Own Financial System – Putin (RT)

The West is discrediting its own currencies and banking system, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his annual address to the Federal Assembly on Thursday, adding that the established monopolies and stereotypes in the global economy are crumbling. “The West itself is discrediting its own currencies and banking system. They’re sawing off a branch they’ve been sitting on for decades,” Putin said. Meanwhile, Russia together with so-called ‘friendly’ nations will focus on creating new financial infrastructure that will be free from politics as it seeks to unite efforts in the face of global challenges, he said. The president was referring to the global trend of moving toward using national currencies in trade rather than the US dollar that has gained significant momentum after Russia was cut off from the Western financial system and had its foreign reserves frozen in 2022.

A number of both Russian and foreign officials have repeatedly warned that the US currency has long been used as a weapon, noting that such actions have prompted countries around the world to reduce their dependence on the greenback. Putin emphasized that Moscow is working with its allies on the basis of equality and respect of mutual interests. Because of this, he said, more and more countries are seeking to join groups such as BRICS, the Eurasian Economic Union, and Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Together with its partners Russia will continue building “safe” transport corridors based on new technology and create a new global financial network “free from political interference” at a time when the world economy, trade and finance are undergoing rapid changes, the president noted.

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“..They cannot afford to lose a war they cannot win..”

The CIA in Ukraine – The NY Times Gets a Guided Tour (Patrick Lawrence)

If you have paid attention to what various polls and officials in the U.S. and elsewhere in the West have been doing and saying about Ukraine lately, you know the look and sound of desperation. You would be desperate, too, if you were making a case for a war Ukrainians are on the brink of losing and will never, brink or back-from-the-brink, have any chance of winning. Atop this, you want people who know better, including 70 percent of Americans according to a recent poll, to keep investing extravagant sums in this ruinous folly. And here is what seems to me the true source of angst among these desperados: Having painted this war as a cosmic confrontation between the world’s democrats and the world’s authoritarians, the people who started it and want to prolong it have painted themselves into a corner. They cannot lose it. They cannot afford to lose a war they cannot win: This is what you see and hear from all those good-money-after-bad people still trying to persuade you that a bad war is a good war and that it is right that more lives and money should be pointlessly lost to it.

Everyone must act for the cause in these dire times. You have Chuck Schumer in Kyiv last week trying to show House Republicans that they should truly, really authorize the Biden regime to spend an additional $61 billion on its proxy war with Russia. “Everyone we saw, from Zelensky on down made this very point clear,” the Democratic senator from New York asserted in an interview with The New York Times. “If Ukraine gets the aid, they will win the war and beat Russia.” Even at this late hour people still have the nerve to say such things. You have European leaders gathering in Paris Monday to reassure one another of their unity behind the Kyiv regime—and where Emmanuel Macron refused to rule out sending NATO ground troops to the Ukrainian front. “Russia cannot and must not win this war,” the French president declared to his guests at the Elysée Palace. Except that it can and, barring an act of God, it will.

Then you have Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s war-mongering sec-gen, telling Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty last week that it will be fine if Kyiv uses F–16s to attack Russian cities once they are operational this summer. The U.S.–made fighter jets, the munitions, the money—all of it is essential “to ensure Russia doesn’t make further gains.” Stephen Bryen, formerly a deputy undersecretary at the Defense Department, offered an excellent response to this over the weekend in his Weapons and Strategy newsletter: “Fire Jens Stoltenberg before it is too late.” Good thought, but Stoltenberg, Washington’s longtime water-carrier in Brussels, is merely doing his job as assigned: Keep up the illusions as to Kyiv’s potency and along with it the Russophobia, the more primitive the better. You do not get fired for irresponsible rhetoric that risks something that might look a lot like World War III.

What would a propaganda blitz of this breadth and stupidity be without an entry from The New York Times? Given the extent to which The Times has abandoned all professional principle in the service of the power it is supposed to report upon, you just knew it would have to get in on this one. The Times has published very numerous pieces in recent weeks on the necessity of keeping the war going and the urgency of a House vote authorizing that $61 billion Biden’s national security people want to send Ukraine. But never mind all those daily stories. Last Sunday it came out with its big banana. “The Spy War: How the C.I.A. Secretly Helps Ukraine Fight Putin” sprawls—lengthy text, numerous photographs. The latter show the usual wreckage—cars, apartment buildings, farmhouses, a snowy dirt road lined with landmines.

But the story that goes with it is other than usual. Somewhere in Washington, someone appears to have decided it was time to let the Central Intelligence Agency’s presence and programs in Ukraine be known. And someone in Langley, the CIA’s headquarters, seems to have decided this will be O.K., a useful thing to do. When I say the agency’s presence and programs, I mean some: We get a very partial picture of the CIA’s doings in Ukraine, as the lies of omission—not to mention the lies of commission—are numerous in this piece. But what The Times published last weekend, all 5,500 words of it, tells us more than had been previously made public.

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“If Republicans in Congress end military funding to Kiev, the CIA may have to scale back.”

CIA in Ukraine (John Kiriakou)

The New York Times on February 25 published an explosive story of what purports to be the history of the CIA in Ukraine from the Maidan coup of 2014 to the present. The story, “The Spy War: How the CIA Secretly Helps Ukraine Fight Putin,” is one of initial bilateral distrust, but a mutual fear and hatred of Russia, that progresses to a relationship so intimate that Ukraine is now one of the CIA’s closest intelligence partners in the world. At the same time, the Times’ publication of the piece, which reporters claimed relied on more than 200 interviews in Ukraine, the US, and “several European countries,” raises multiple questions: Why did the CIA not object to the article’s publication, especially with it being in one of the Agency’s preferred outlets? When the CIA approaches a newspaper to complain about the classified information it contains, the piece is almost always killed or severely edited. Newspaper publishers are patriots, after all. Right?

Was the article published because the CIA wanted the news out there? Perhaps more important was the point of the article to influence the Congressional budget deliberations on aid to Ukraine? After all, was the article really just meant to brag about how great the CIA is? Or was it to warn Congressional appropriators, “Look how much we’ve accomplished to confront the Russian bear. You wouldn’t really let it all go to waste, would you?” The Times’ article has all the hallmarks of a deep, inside look at a sensitive—possibly classified—subject. It goes into depth on one of the intelligence community’s Holy of Holies, an intelligence liaison relationship, something that no intelligence officer is ever supposed to discuss. But in the end, it really isn’t so sensitive. It doesn’t tell us anything that every American hasn’t already assumed. Maybe we hadn’t had it spelled out in print before, but we all believed that the CIA was helping Ukraine fight the Russians. We had already seen reporting that the CIA had “boots on the ground” in Ukraine and that the U.S. government was training Ukrainian special forces and Ukrainian pilots, so there’s nothing new there.

The article goes a little further in detail, although, again, without providing anything that might endanger sources and methods. For example, it tells us that: • There is a CIA listening post in the forest along the Russian border, one of 12 “secret” bases the US maintains there. One or more of these posts helped to prove Russia’s involvement in the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. That’s great. But the revelation exposes no secrets and tells us nothing new. • Ukrainian intelligence officials helped the Americans “go after” the Russian operatives “who meddled in the 2016 US presidential election.” I have a news flash for the New York Times: The Mueller report found that there was no meaningful Russian meddling in the 2016 election. And what does “go after” mean? • Beginning in 2016, the CIA trained an “elite Ukrainian commando force known as Unit 2245, which captured Russian drones and communications gear so that CIA technicians could reverse-engineer them and crack Moscow’s encryption systems.” This is exactly what the CIA is supposed to do. Honestly, if the CIA hadn’t been doing this, I would have suggested a class action lawsuit for the American people to get their tax money back. Besides, the CIA has been doing things like this for decades. The CIA was able to obtain important components of Soviet tactical weapons from ostensibly pro-Soviet Romania in the 1970s.

• Ukraine has turned into an intelligence-gathering hub that has intercepted more Russian communications than the CIA station in Kiev could initially handle. Again, I would expect nothing less. After all, that’s where the war is. So of course, communications will be intercepted there. As to the CIA station being overwhelmed, the Times never tells us if that is because the station was a one-man operation at the time or whether it had thousands of employees and was still overwhelmed. It’s all about scale. • And lest you think that the CIA and the U.S. government were on the offensive in Ukraine, the article makes clear that, “Mr. Putin and his advisers misread a critical dynamic. The CIA didn’t push its way into Ukraine. U.S. officials were often reluctant to fully engage, fearing that Ukrainian officials could not be trusted, and worrying about provoking the Kremlin.” It’s at this point in the article that the Times reveals what I believe to be the buried lead: “Now these intelligence networks are more important than ever, as Russia is on the offensive and Ukraine is more dependent on sabotage and long-range missile strikes that require spies far behind enemy lines. And they are increasingly at risk: “If Republicans in Congress end military funding to Kiev, the CIA may have to scale back.”

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Dionísio starts off talking about Astrid Klein, not Naomi. Normally such mistakes would make me switch off. But I like the topic of The Shock Doctrine on a wider scale.

The Internationalization of the Neo-Liberal Shock (Dionísio)

Looking at the present day, under the light of the formulation revealed by Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine” is an enlightening challenge and absolutely reveals the historical importance of the analysis that is carried out, even if, in my opinion, it suffers from a certain “historical punctuality” considering the moments of application of a process that has come to be known as “neo-liberal economic shock theory”. Klein’s analysis, based on known historical facts, recounts secret CIA experiments in psychology and psychiatry, the application of the techniques in Pinochet’s Chile and many other countries (including post-Soviet Russia), and the neo-liberal doctrine of Milton Friedman’s “Chicago Boys”, tells us of a process whereby the population is put into a permanent state of shock in order to leave it unresponsive (as in lobotomy treatments), so that, under the cover of the generated amorphism, extremely unpopular measures are applied which, above all, are diametrically opposed to the interests of the majority.

The very process of discrediting politics and politicians also serves as a pretext for the same type of action. Take Trump, Bolsonaro, Milei, Meloni, Duda or Zelensky. The kind of demagogic shock (using corruption, mass migration, etc.) gives birth to a pretext that works under the same assumptions. However, and bearing in mind the unquestionable topicality of the approach, analyzing the world today according to this theory reveals a truth that, in my opinion, negates the idea of a certain “historical punctuality” of the neo-liberal economic shock. In my opinion, Naomi Klein’s approach, at that time, showed us a world in which the US was unleashing — and is unleashing — processes of transformation aimed at subverting the national and popular sovereignty, democracy and freedom of the peoples, in order to place their nations at the service of the process of neo-liberal and imperialist accumulation.

The successive clashes are taking place in circumscribed national spaces and in a chronology whose origins go back to Pinochet’s Chile, but which lacks a certain continuity, as if we were dealing with a gang that was jumping from country to country, without ever reaching the whole. Now, while Klein’s approach proposes a certain national circumscription, the historical events of the last 23 years point us towards a globalization or internationalization of the shock doctrine, towards its historical continuity and towards a totalizing dimension, encompassing all dimensions of our lives from the outset and not just on arrival. Given what we know today, I can’t help but think that the chronologically linked examples of the application of the shock doctrine are nothing more than experiments, constantly being perfected, aimed at an epilogue, an epilogue that we are experiencing today. The globalization and internationalization of the neo-liberal shock, along with its phenomenological diversification.

It no longer only affects the economic or social component, but also health, the state, security, defense, information and propaganda. This is the clear materialization of another doctrine, the doctrine of “full spectrum dominance”. With the turn of the 21st century, everything changed! On September 11, 2001, the world was shocked by a terrorist attack of spectacular proportions, which culminated in the collapse of three towers in New York. As if Hollywood had been asked to prepare a terrorist attack. The American — and Western — population was in a state of shock, stunned, and we soon began to see direct attacks on the way of life that so many considered to be eternal — remember Fukuyama — and historically perfected. In the US, we saw the publication of the Patriot Act and the start of the War on Terror. State surveillance became part of American life and, a little later, European life, particularly after renewed waves of terrorist shocks in Spain, England and France.

The proven link between the perpetrators of terrorist acts — Al-Qaeda — and their creators, very few took, or wanted to take, notice of. Today, we go into a supermarket, visit a museum, make a phone call or take a photograph and we have the guarantee that, somewhere in space, that information will be processed, aggregated, integrated, analyzed and stored. Terrorism has become part of our lives and, under that pretext, mass surveillance. Bin Laden became the devil himself, the demon who terrorized the dreams of our little children, who would be protected by the omnipresent Pentagon and other “deep state” agencies. It was this “deep state” that took the opportunity to generalize and normalize torture, concentration camps like Guantánamo and the secret, or not so secret, prisons where all those who oppose the imperial designs are still held today. It was time to internationalize the terror that the Middle East had felt almost since the founding of the Anglo-Saxon spearhead in the region, the Zionist state of Israel and its infamous Mossad.

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The Supreme Court will have to issue an opinion, whether it likes to or not.

Maddow and Others Denounce SCOTUS for Review of Presidential Immunity (Turley)

Yesterday, the Supreme Court granted review of the presidential immunity question, but set an expedited schedule for the review of the question with oral argument scheduled for April. Former president Donald Trump wrote on Truth Social that “Legal Scholars are extremely thankful for the Supreme Court’s Decision today to take up Presidential Immunity.” As I mentioned last night in the coverage, legal scholars are hardly doing a conga line in celebration. Indeed, this morning had the usual voices attacking the Court as “craven” and partisan for granting review in the case. Despite the Court (including three Trump appointees) repeatedly ruling against Trump and conservative causes in past cases, the same voices declared that the Court was a cabal of politically compromised lickspittles.

MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow was outraged on the air and denounced “the cravenness of the court.” She noted that the Court took a whole two weeks to consider the question, ignoring the usual schedule of months of such deliberation. She added: “Obviously, pushing all of the cases that they can push to a point where Trump will be standing for election before any of us have heard the verdicts in any of those cases. Got it. It is the timing…This is BS, and you are doing this as a tactic to help for political friend, partisan patron. For you to say that this is something the court needs to decide because it is unclear in the law is fragrant bullpucky and they know it and don’t care that we know it. That is disturbing about the future legitimacy of the court.” Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner dismissed the review as a political effort to do Trump “an enormous favor.” Kirschner also said that it was “clear” the court “sold American democracy down the river” to help Trump.

Mary Trump, the niece of the former president, declared that “the Supreme Court of the United States just reminded us with this corrupt decision that the insurrection did not fail–it never ended.” In other words, the Supreme Court itself is now part of the “insurrection.” It is that easy. Once you start to remove people from the ballot by declaring a riot an insurrection, even courts become insurrectionists by allowing for a review of lower court rulings. For years, liberal law professors and pundits have filled the media with dire predictions that the Supreme Court was about to carry out a long-planned “coup” and “power grab” — one even wrote that the court could be on the brink of establishing “one-party rule” in the United States. These commentators often ignore the countervailing cases where conservative justices voted against conservative causes and immediately return to these sensational claims whenever the Court is seen as a hinderance of their agenda, even in the simple act of granting review of a long-debated constitutional question.

[..] There are a variety of reasons why the Court could have put this on the calendar for further argument. While I still believe that Trump will not be able to secure a majority on his sweeping immunity theory, some justices may be concerned over D.C. Circuit opinion and the lack of clarity on when a president is protected for actions taken in office. It is possible to uphold the lower court in its outcome but change the rationale or analysis. The Court has not been particularly eager to reenter this area of constitutional law, but it may now be prepared to lay down new precedent and bring greater clarity for future presidents.

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“..The inflation of the last few years is directly traceable to the end of this practice, and it was our sanctions that caused it…”

Yellen Voices Support For Permanent Inflation (Denninger)

No, seriously, that’s exactly what she’s now promoting (although I doubt she realizes it): WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday offered her strongest public support yet for the idea of liquidating roughly $300 billion in frozen Russian Central Bank assets and using them for Ukraine’s long-term reconstruction. “It is necessary and urgent for our coalition to find a way to unlock the value of these immobilized assets to support Ukraine’s continued resistance and long-term reconstruction,” Yellen said in remarks in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank governors are meeting this week.” In other words, steal the funds. Yellen goes on to say she believes there is a strong international law case for stealing the funds. Well perhaps there is and perhaps not; I will not pass judgment on whether one can find justification in international law for such an action.

I can and will, however, pass judgment on the immediate and permanent outcome of such an action, because that is both obvious and inevitable. It will force trade settlement into all bilateral currency forms immediately and permanently. Now this might not sound so bad and were our government not running a ~7% fiscal deficit right now it might not be. But we are running a 7% fiscal deficit, and kneecapping having trade settlement performed in dollars — or Euros — or Pounds — or whatever else by taking this action will permanently and immediately force all fiscal deficits (not just in the US) to reflect back into that nation’s economy in the form of inflation. We have, in the United States, benefited to an enormous degree from this temporary sequestration over the last 20 years. That was unwound to a large degree when the first round of sanctions was laid and now effectively all trade with either side of the Russian / Ukraine conflict is no longer using dollars as a funding currency.

Why does this matter? Because if that trade goes from $1 trillion a year to $2 trillion a year during the period of time when it increases there is $1 trillion in deficit spending that is effectively “impounded” while the goods are in transit. It is the increase in such trade that drives this, not the volume (since once the transaction settles those funds wind up back into the flow of commerce in the US.) But as international commerce has expanded and the dollar and, to a lesser extent the Euro, were used as the currencies while in-transit our nations have enjoyed a sizeable “sink” for deficit spending without having it immediately rebound back into consumer and producer prices. The inflation of the last few years is directly traceable to the end of this practice, and it was our sanctions that caused it. The Covid deficit spending was certainly a factor but much of that was absorbed and would have stayed absorbed as trade rebounded post pandemic but for our sanctions activity when the war in Ukraine broke out.

Now Yellen claims that the “frozen” assets were not just sequestered — she wants to take them. Most of these funds are in the EU, not the US — but the problem with the action is that producers and customers have no way to influence or prevent such an action by their government in the future and thus this is an external risk that can only be controlled by not exposing yourself to it; thus you demand payment in your local currency. Removing this leg of the stool leaves only one way to get inflation under control: Deficit spending must be cut to no more than the increase in productivity in the economy. When the “PIGS” problems showed up in Europe the EU’s response to this was to mandate no more than a 3% fiscal deficit — which reasonably aligns with productivity.

Meeting this today in the United States would require a cut in federal spending of more than $1 trillion dollars this fiscal year alone, and an escalating amount as existing treasury debt is rolled over at higher rates. Within the next two to three years the total cut required would be more than two trillion or approximately the entire Medicare and Medicaid spend this fiscal year. If that’s not done? We will get runaway — exponentially so — inflationary pressure and be forced to do it anyway at even greater levels of economic pain. If you are betting on lower rates at any time in the next decade, given this position of our government, you’re going to be sorely disappointed both in the outcome and in asset prices.

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“..the Biden administration refuses to clarify what it means by a ‘Palestinian state.’”

‘State-minus’: Biden’s Palestine Solution (Cradle)

Is it sadly ironic that the issue of Palestinian statehood – unresolved for over 75 years – has resurfaced only after Israel’s wholesale carpet-bombing of the Gaza Strip, killing over 30,000 civilians, injuring tens of thousands more, and destroying significant swathes of the territory’s infrastructure. University of California (UCLA) historian James Gelvin states the case plainly: “There would have been no serious discussion of a two-state solution without [the events of] 7 October. As a matter of fact, putting the Palestine issue back on the front burner of international and West Asian politics was one of the reasons Hamas launched its operation.” As Gelvin explains it to The Cradle, Hamas has already scored several victories since its Al-Aqsa Flood operation: “The Palestine issue is back on the international agenda, it is negotiating the release of its captives as an equal partner to Israel,” and has demonstrated that it is “more effective in realizing Palestinian goals than its rival, Fatah.”

While the unprecedented, brutal Israeli military response has indeed illustrated the urgency for establishing a Palestinian safe haven, it is impossible to ignore that western state backers of the 1993 Oslo Accords – which laid out the essential framework for the establishment of a Palestinian state – have then so assiduously ignored and neglected that responsibility. Even greater hypocrisy emerges from the fact that these western powers, led by Washington, have now decided to force the discussion of Palestinian statehood in the midst of Gaza’s carnage, with an Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who is infamously opposed to it. So, why is this debate possible now? Why was it ignored before 7 October – or even prior to Netanyahu’s return to the prime ministership?

After enormous public and international pressure, US President Joe Biden has, at least rhetorically, reopened the issue of Palestinian statehood. According to the New York Times, the Biden White House’s new doctrine would “involve some form of US recognition of a demilitarized Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in return for strong Palestinian guarantees that their institutions could never threaten Israel.” In addition, the US president’s plan also envisages Saudi–Israeli normalization and a tough military stance against Iran and its regional allies. However, many analysts have already raised questions about the viability of a plan that does not reflect current ground realities.

While Netanyahu rejects the very notion of a Palestinian state, the ‘Biden doctrine’ and its offering of some limited-sovereignty version of a demilitarized Palestinian state is nothing less than humiliating for Palestinians. Dr Muhannad Ayyash, Professor of Sociology at Mount Royal University, observes that there is no fundamental change of approach by the US on this issue. In short, the Biden administration refuses to clarify what it means by a ‘Palestinian state.’ Its initiative appears mainly to advance a form of a two-state solution that would be palatable to Israel. Ayyash points out that the key issues related to Palestinian statehood are left unanswered, including the issue of sovereignty, Jewish settlements, the status of East Jerusalem, a necessary West Bank/East Jerusalem with the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian right to return, and so forth.

Aid

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“I haven’t seen, and the state of Texas can’t point me to any type of military invasion in Texas,” Judge Ezra said.”

Federal Judge Blocks New Texas Law to Arrest Illegal Immigrants (ET)

A federal judge on Feb. 29 temporarily blocked a Texas law that would allow state police to arrest people who are suspected of illegally crossing the U.S.–Mexico border. Senate Bill 4, which was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in December 2023, was slated to go into effect on March 5. However, U.S. District Judge David Ezra ruled that it violated the U.S. Constitution’s supremacy clause that grants the federal government sole authority over immigration matters. The judge also rejected Texas’s arguments that it was being invaded under the Constitution’s Article IV. In his order, Judge Ezra, a Reagan appointee, said the law would run afoul of federal immigration laws and claimed Texas would then be able to “permanently supersede federal directives,” which would “amount to nullification of federal law and authority.”

According to the judge, that’s a “notion that is antithetical to the Constitution and has been unequivocally rejected by federal courts since the Civil War.” As a result, he argued, the federal government would “suffer grave irreparable harm” because other states would be inspired to pass similar measures. “SB 4 threatens the fundamental notion that the United States must regulate immigration with one voice,” he wrote. At a Feb. 15 hearing, Judge Ezra expressed skepticism as the state pleaded its case for what is known as Senate Bill 4. He also said he was somewhat sympathetic to the concerns expressed by Mr. Abbott and other state officials about the unprecedented influx of illegal aliens. Judge Ezra then expressed his concern that the United States could become a confederation of states enforcing their own immigration laws. “That is the same thing the Civil War said you can’t do,” he told the attorneys.

A lawyer for the state of Texas argued in court that because of the deluge of illegal immigrants, enabled by drug cartels and smugglers, it’s tantamount to an invasion and that the state has the right to defend itself under the Constitution. However, the judge said that while he was “sympathetic” to the state’s concerns, he was skeptical of the lawyer’s argument. “I haven’t seen, and the state of Texas can’t point me to any type of military invasion in Texas,” Judge Ezra said. “I don’t see evidence that Texas is at war.” Hours later, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton confirmed that he filed an appeal against the judge’s ruling, describing it as an “incorrect decision.” “Texas has a clear right to defend itself from the drug smugglers, human traffickers, cartels, and legions of illegal aliens crossing into our State as a consequence of the Biden Administration’s deliberate policy choices,” he said.

“I will do everything possible to defend Texas’s right to defend herself against the catastrophic illegal invasion encouraged by the federal government.” Mr. Abbott, a Republican, has backed the law, saying that it would complement his efforts to provide better border security, noting that his state has dealt with a surge of illegal crossings in recent years. Other measures that Mr. Abbott has implemented are a barrier in the Rio Grande, razor wire barriers at certain border crossings, and prohibiting federal agents who have been tasked by the Biden administration with undoing the measures from accessing border areas in Texas. Other state Republicans who back the law have said it wouldn’t target immigrants already living in the United States because of a two-year statute of limitations on the illegal entry charge and would be enforced only along the state’s border with Mexico.

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“We must not allow the politicization of intelligence to go unchecked, nor can we tolerate the involvement of foreign powers in our democratic processes.”

Obama’s CIA Asked Foreign Intel Agencies To Spy on Trump Campaign (Chernin)

The revelation that the U.S. intelligence community, under the Obama administration, sought the assistance of the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance to surveil Donald Trump’s associates before the 2016 election is a chilling reminder of the lengths to which the Deep State will go to protect its interests and challenge its adversaries. (The Five Eyes countries are the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.) This bombshell, reported by a team of independent journalists, exposes a dark chapter in American political history, where foreign intelligence services were reportedly mobilized against a presidential candidate. The alleged operation against Trump and his associates, which predates the official start of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation, is a stark example of political weaponization of intelligence.

The involvement of foreign allies in surveilling American citizens under the pretext of national security raises serious questions about the integrity of our democratic processes and the autonomy of our nation’s intelligence operations. The narrative that has been pushed for years, that the investigation into Trump’s campaign began with an Australian tip about a boastful Trump aide, now appears to be a cover for a more extensive and coordinated effort to undermine Trump. If reports are accurate, British intelligence began targeting Trump on behalf of American intelligence agencies as early as 2015, long before the official narrative claims.

The implications of this are profound. It suggests an unprecedented level of collusion between U.S. intelligence agencies and their foreign counterparts to influence the outcome of an American presidential election. The use of foreign intelligence to circumvent American laws and surveillance limitations represents a grave threat to our nation’s sovereignty and the principles of democracy. The fact that this operation was reportedly initiated at the behest of high-ranking officials within the Obama administration, including CIA Director John Brennan, only adds to the severity of the situation. Brennan’s alleged identification of Trump associates for surveillance by the Five Eyes alliance, and the directive to “bump” or make contact with them, illustrates a deliberate strategy to entangle the Trump campaign in a web of suspicion and intrigue.

Moreover, the reported involvement of foreign intelligence in crafting the Russia collusion narrative not only delegitimizes the subsequent investigation but also highlights the willingness of certain elements within the U.S. government to exploit international partnerships for domestic political gain. This revelation demands a thorough and transparent examination to ensure that such abuses of power are brought to light and severely punished to discourage them from being repeated. As more details emerge, it is imperative that the American public demand accountability from those who orchestrated and executed this operation. The sanctity of our electoral process and the trust in our intelligence agencies are at stake. We must not allow the politicization of intelligence to go unchecked, nor can we tolerate the involvement of foreign powers in our democratic processes.

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“Hunter’s stated purpose for joining Burisma’s board is a new claim that indicates bizarre reasoning never before revealed..”

Hunter Finally Admits Joe Biden Is “The Big Guy” (ZH)

Hunter Biden on Wednesday testified to Congress that his father, Joe, was indeed “the big guy” referenced in an email pertaining to a business deal with a Chinese state-linked energy company that made the Biden family and friends millions of dollars. He denied, however, that Joe Biden ever received a 10% stake as was indicated in the text message. “At one point, we asked Hunter about the 10% for the ‘big guy,’” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) told Breitbart News following the first son’s six-hour, closed-door deposition. “We showed him the email … And he said, ‘Oh, that was after my father left office.’” she told the outlet. Hunter then tried to downplay the 10% idea: “What’s wrong with having a pie-in-the-sky idea? When he [Joe Biden] left office in 2017, it thought he was done. I had no idea was gonna run for president. What’s wrong with just some pie?’ … thinking that he [Joe Biden] could be in the business.” -Breitbart

Greene said that Hunter insisted that “there was no percentage for my father in the business,” and that the 20 speakerphone calls Joe Biden joined was considered normal. “He was saying it’s totally normal for your parents to call you,” said Greene. “He just totally kept on saying, ‘Oh, this is normal. This is normal.'” “Greene also confirmed Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-KY) statement that Hunter testified he joined the board of Burisma Holdings to counter Russian aggression. “He said he was picked to serve on Burisma ‘s board to defend democracy and Burisma was stopping Russian aggression,” Greene said. Hunter’s stated purpose for joining Burisma’s board is a new claim that indicates bizarre reasoning never before revealed. In 2015, Burisma was under suspicion of money laundering and public corruption. Prosecutor Victor Shokin investigated the case before his termination due to pressure from then-Vice President Joe Biden, who threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid from Ukraine if the Ukrainian government did not fire the prosecutor investigating Burisma. Joe Biden later bragged about the firing during a 2018 appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations.” -Breitbart

According to Greene, Republicans need to “get ready” for Democrats to fabricate another Russian disinformation hoax related to Hunter and the 2024 election – and that it would likely fit the media’s existing narrative against both Trump and protecting the Biden family. “I have a prediction that they’re gonna move it on to members of Congress like me and others, Jim Jordan, Jamie Comer, any of us that got hot and heavy on this Ukraine Burisma stuff, that they’re somehow going to say that Republicans are Russian sympathizers. They’re gonna call me that anyway, because I won’t fund the Ukraine war. They’re probably going to accuse us of being Russian sympathizers and falling for Russian disinformation and its election meddling. And then Democratic members of Congress here already saying they will not certify Trump’s election if he wins.” -MTG “It was there’s a really weird theme in there with the whole Russian thing,” said Greene.

In November, the House Oversight Committee revealed that President Biden received $40,000 in Chinese funds which were “laundered” through his brother, James Biden, in a “complicated financial transaction” marked as a ‘loan,’ which took place just weeks after Hunter Biden threatened the Chinese with his father’s wrath in a July 30, 2017 text message to a CEFC China Energy employee. “The alleged 2017 transfer from first brother James Biden to the future president involves the same business deal in which Joe Biden was called the “big guy” and penciled in for a 10% cut — and would be the first proven instance of the commander-in-chief getting a piece of his family’s foreign income…. The money ended up in Joe Biden’s bank account on Sept. 3, 2017, via a check labeled “loan repayment” from his younger brother, who partnered with Hunter in the venture”. -NY Post

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“..a plethora of political pathologies, including merciless cruelty, politicized “justice,” mass media disinformation, and, last but not least, that old specialty of the “garden” West, peak hypocrisy.”

Julian Assange and Gaza Civilians (Amar)

Recently, two of the defining injustices of the contemporary West have been the object of legal proceedings. And while one involves mass murder and the other the torture but not murder of a single victim (at least not yet), there are good reasons to juxtapose the two systematically. The suffering involved is different, but the forces that cause it are intricately linked and, as we will see, reveal much about the nature of the West as a political order. In The Hague, the UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) – also known as the World Court – has held extensive hearings (involving 52 states and three international organizations) on Israel’s post-1967 occupation – or de facto annexation – of Palestinian territories. These hearings are connected to, but are not the same as, the genocide case against Israel also currently proceeding at the ICJ.

All of this is happening against the backdrop of Israel’s relentless genocide of the Palestinians by bombing, shooting (reportedly including small children, in the head), blockade, and starvation. As of now, the constantly growing – and conservative – victim count stands at about 30,000 killed, 70,000 injured, 7,000 missing, and at least 2 million displaced, often more than once, always under horrific conditions. In London, the Royal Courts of Justice have been the stage for Julian Assange’s fight for an appeal against Washington’s demand to extradite him to the US. Assange, an activist and publisher of investigative journalism, has already been in confinement – of one kind or the other – for more than a decade. Since 2019, he has been held in the Belmarsh high security prison. In fact, what has already happened to him is the modern equivalent of being locked away in the Bastille by royal “lettre de cachet” in absolutist, pre-revolutionary, Ancien régime France.

Multiple observers, including a UN special rapporteur, have argued compellingly that Assange’s treatment has amounted to torture. The essence of his political persecution – in reality, there is no good-faith legal case – is simple: Through his WikiLeaks platform, Assange published leaked materials that exposed the brutality, criminality, and lies of the US’ and UK’s (and, more generally, the West’s) post-9/11 wars. While leaking state secrets is not legal – although it can be morally obligatory and even heroic, as in the case of Chelsea Manning, who was a major WikiLeaks source – publishing the results of such leaks is legal. Indeed, that principle is an acknowledged pillar of media freedom and independence. Without it, media cannot fulfil any kind of watchdog function. Yet Washington is obstinately and absurdly trying to treat Assange as a spy. If it succeeds, “global media freedom” (for what it’s worth…) is toast. This is what makes Assange objectively the single most important political prisoner in the world.

If extradited to the US, whose highest officials have at times plotted his assassination, the WikiLeaks founder will definitely not get a fair trial and will die in prison. In that case, his fate will irreversibly turn into what Washington and London have been working on for over a decade, namely making an example of him by delivering the most devastating blow imaginable against free speech and a truly open society. That Gaza and Assange have something in common has occurred to more than one observer. Both stand for a plethora of political pathologies, including merciless cruelty, politicized “justice,” mass media disinformation, and, last but not least, that old specialty of the “garden” West, peak hypocrisy. There also is the grotesquely arrogant American sense of global entitlement: The Palestinians’ rights or, indeed, humanity count for nothing if Israel, Washington’s closest and most lawless ally, wants their land and their lives. Assange, of course, is an Australian citizen.

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“He is going to destroy this country unless he’s stopped by people buying my new Trump sneakers. Look at these beautiful gold sneakers..”

Biden Arrives At Border To Address His Voters (BBee)

Amid record-breaking illegal immigration at the southern border, President Biden arrived in Brownsville Texas to address his voters, who had crossed into the United States the previous night. “Welcome, voters, make yourselves at home!” said Biden to a group of military-aged male Chinese nationals and a crowd of convicted felons from a maximum security Venezuelan prison. “My nurse Jill always says you people are unique breakfast tacos and I couldn’t have said it better. We’re excited for you to live here. You have plenty of great states to choose from, like Ohio, Pennsylvania, or any other crucial battleground states. I was… I… I…” “… well, anyway.” The confused migrant crowd was then directed to a welcome station to receive their smartphones, visa gift cards, and mail-in ballots.

Trump, who also visited the border today, was quick to condemn Biden’s speech and his handling of the border. “Biden is possibly the worst president of any country in the history of the world, or maybe even the entire universe, and maybe all the other universes as well, possibly,” said Trump to reporters. “He is going to destroy this country unless he’s stopped by people buying my new Trump sneakers. Look at these beautiful gold sneakers. They’re the greatest sneakers ever made. So, so beautiful.” Following the Biden border visit, the White House confirmed that there is no crisis at the border. “Everything is fine and there are no illegal immigrants,” said gay black Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre. “There is no crisis and Biden is doing a great job and he’s very smart and sharp and mentally with it and you are a racist.” At publishing time, illegal immigrant support for Biden increased another 33 points.

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Cat reaction

 

 

 

 

Porcupine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1763289492897628313

 

 

Salmon

 

 

Illusions

 

 

Coke ad

 

 

Set the table

 

 

Nemo

 

 

Elephant

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 172024
 
 February 17, 2024  Posted by at 9:51 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  57 Responses »


Francisco Goya The Dog 1819-23

 

Trump Slams Judge After $364 Million Verdict; Vows To Appeal (ZH)
Trump Responds To Judge Engoron’s Decision (ZH)
Speed. . . and. . . Action (Jim Kunstler)
Musk Decries US Government Censorship (RT)
‘Want to Get ‘Radicalized’, See Russia’- Scott Ritter (Sp.)
An Anti-Russian Europe Is a Europe That Destroys Itself (Dionisio)
Russian Space Nukes and Navalny’s Death… U.S. Psyops Go Ballistic (SCF)
Ohio Rep. Part of Shadowy Cabal Aiming to Destroy Russia – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Russian Media Thrilled By Biden’s LNG “Gift” To Putin (ZH)
Axis of Resistance: from Donbass to Gaza (Pepe Escobar)
Why Israel’s War on UNRWA is so Sinister (Cradle)
Political, Economic Indicators Not Promising for Biden (Gallup)
How the CIA Destabilizes the World (Jeffrey Sachs)
Bombing Muslims for Peace (Bill Astore)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Mike Benz

 

 

Fani Maddow

 

 

 

 

FANI Grand Jury Foreman

 

 

 

 

 

 

The judge and AG are essentially saying they know more about banking than the “defrauded” bankers, who made a hefty profit. This will never pass in the Supreme Court.

But: “He is expected to launch an appeal, which would put the verdict on hold until a higher court reviews the case. But if he wants to avoid paying the fine or have personal assets seized while the appeal process plays out, he still has to deposit the full amount to be held by the court within 30 days.”

For people like Letitia James and Fani Willis, “get Trump” is a career move. As promised in their White House talks.

Trump Slams Judge After $364 Million Verdict; Vows To Appeal (ZH)

New York Judge Arthur Engoron has ordered former President Donald Trump to pay $364 million for allegedly defrauding banks in order to acquire loans and other benefits – loans which the banks themselves testified they were satisfied with after doing their own due diligence. Trump is also barred “from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation or other legal entity in New York for a period of three years,” while his sons have been barred from serving as New York executives for two years. New York Attorney General Letitia James had sought $370 million from Trump, his company, and its top executives for what she claimed was “repeated and persistent fraud” – which included allegations of falsifying records and financial statements to the tune of as much as $2.2 billion. Trump maintains that his financial statements to banks were conservative, and has called the case a “fraud on me.”

“This is a case that should have never been brought, and I think we should be entitled to damages,” Trump said on Jan. 11. Following Friday’s decision, Trump’s attorneys hit back – calling it “manifest injustice” in a statement. The months-long civil trial included testimony from Trump and his oldest children. The former president was combative in his day on the stand, blasting James as a “hack” and calling the judge “extremely hostile.” Trump repeatedly complained about Engoron before and throughout the trial, and the judge slapped him with a partial gag order after he started blasting the judge’s law clerk as well. Trump’s complaints led to a flood of death threats against the clerk, as well as Engoron, court officials said, and Trump was fined $15,000 for twice violating the order. -NBC News

During the trial, Deutsche Bank executive David Williams, who directly worked on at least one of several loans obtained by Trump over several decades, testified that it’s “atypical, but not entirely unusual” for a bank to internally slash a client’s stated asset values by 50% and approve a loan anyway, as they did with Trump, Bloomberg reported in November. “It just depends on the circumstances,” said Williams, a managing director at the bank. “Deutsche Bank, which loaned hundreds of millions of dollars to Trump for properties in Miami, Chicago and Washington, cut his stated net worth in 2011 and 2012 from about $4.2 billion to $2.3 billion, according to internal bank credit memos. The same documents indicated the bank approved the loans anyway because it expected them to generate a profit based on Trump’s history of successful developments and other criteria.

Trump, who denies wrongdoing and claims the case is politically motivated, is calling to the stand this week four current and former Deutsche Bank employees — including the family’s former private banker Rosemary Vrablic — as part of his defense case, seeking to flip the script on the state’s version of events”. -Bloomberg. The testimony undermined AG James’ premise, that Trump defrauded the German bank. But of course, none of that matters to Engoron – while Trump’s Martyr status just intensified. Expect this decision to be reflected in upcoming polls.

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“Trump has responded to Judge Engoron’s decision, calling him a “crooked” judge who’s just committed election interference (and much, much more)..”

Trump Responds To Judge Engoron’s Decision (ZH)

“A Crooked New York State Judge, working with a totally Corrupt Attorney General who ran on the basis of “I will get Trump,” before knowing anything about me or my company, has just fined me $355 Million based on nothing other than having built a GREAT COMPANY. ELECTION INTERFERENCE. WITCH HUNT (more to follow!),” said Trump in a post to Truth Social. “The Justice System in New York State, and America as a whole, is under assault by partisan, deluded, biased Judges and Prosecutors. Racist, Corrupt A.G. Tish James has been obsessed with “Getting Trump” for years, and used Crooked New York State Judge Engoron to get an illegal, unAmerican judgment against me, my family, and my tremendous business. I helped New York City during its worst of times, and now, while it is overrun with Violent Biden Migrant Crime, the Radicals are doing all they can to kick me out….”

And according to the former president, Engoron conspired with New York Attorney General Letitia James. “This Election Interference and tyrannical Abuse of Power by a Crooked Judge and Crooked Attorney General cannot be tolerated. My case was already won in the Appellate Division, and more than 80% of the frivolous claims were wiped out. Yet, as I suspected, and in order to hurt me and the Republican Party politically, Crooked and Corrupt Judge Arthur Engoron ignored his loss at the Appellate Division, and came up with an outrageous $355 Million Dollar fine against me. Using a statute that has never been applied like this before, the Corrupt Judge conspired with the Crooked Attorney General, Letitia James, and punished a liquid and beautiful Corporate Empire that started in New York, and has been successful all around the world…..

“There were no victims, and not one person testified there was any fraud. The actual witnesses established my Net Worth exceeded that reported in my Financial Statements as those Statements never included my most valuable Asset – the TRUMP Brand. The Highly Respected Expert Witness said my Financial Statements were among the best he has ever seen. I paid over $300 Million Dollars in taxes to New York City and State, and they want me gone. They are Crazed Lunatics who are destroying everything in their way. It all starts with Biden’s attacks on his Political Opponent!” Trump also said he’d appeal Engoron’s decision.

“The actual bankers who were involved in the loan transactions testified I was a highly sought-after “whale” of a client with “one of the strongest personal balance sheets” they had ever seen, and I was overqualified for the loans. Those banks earned more than $100 Million Dollars in profits doing business with me and my companies. But to justify his crazed attack on me and my family, this biased, Trump Hating Judge, ignored all this, and even said Michael Cohen told the truth, although Cohen admitted to lying hundreds of times, and lied right in front of the Judge during the trial. This shocking and corrupt Interference in the Free Markets for political gain places every New York business transaction at risk. We must make sure Corrupt Politicians and Judges cannot continue to abuse the power of their office, and violate the public trust. We have already won, and will continue the fight on appeal!”

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“The reason the lovebirds could take so much time cavorting across the Caribbean and California — vineyard tours featuring “pairings of champagne, chocolate, and caviar,” Ms. Willis testified — is because their Fulton County case was entirely prepped for them out of DC by Mary McCord..”

Speed. . . and. . . Action (Jim Kunstler)

Have you noticed yet that America has turned into a Coen Brothers movie? Everywhere you look, you see madcap characters disgracing themselves while doing their bit to burn the whole country down. It’s a panoramic extravaganza of everything gone wrong, with slapstick overtones, driving toward an apocalyptic climax — civil war, nuclear war, economic collapse, maybe all three. And all because the people on-screen just can’t stop lying. Yesterday was Fani Willis’s turn, her big scene. The Fulton County, Georgia, DA, wasn’t even scheduled to testify, but she barged into Judge Scott McAfee’s courtroom and seized possession of the witness stand, like it was home-base in a game of ringolevio. This was after the morning vivisection of her boyfriend, the feckless Nathan Wade, testifying to the couple’s fun-filled romantic travels during the months they were supposedly busy constructing a racketeering case against Donald Trump and eighteen others scooped into their dragnet.

The reason the lovebirds could take so much time cavorting across the Caribbean and California — vineyard tours featuring “pairings of champagne, chocolate, and caviar,” Ms. Willis testified — is because their Fulton County case was entirely prepped for them out of DC by Mary McCord, the veteran blob lawyer active in every Get-Trump hoax cooked up since 2016. (And I’d bet cash-money that she had plenty of assistance from Lawfare blobsters Norm Eisen and Andrew Weissmann.) The complex particulars of the case were all teed up, ready to go. All Ms. Willis and her lead prosecutor, Mr. Wade, had to do was get the trial date set, raise the curtain, and follow the script. Alas, the couple got carried away in the raptures of amour and, all of a sudden, we’re in something like The Real Housewives of Atlanta. And then they lied about the details under oath, especially around the money involved. If they are not disqualified from participating in the Trump “racketeering” case — in which their own behavior would be centerpiece evidence of an ineptly tainted and malicious prosecution — and/or if the case is not tossed summarily, then it will have to be removed to another county and most likely delayed until after the 2024 elections. Nice work, Party of Chaos!

That little opéra bouffe is but one sub-plot in the larger scenario. Also this week, the scandal of the century was re-kindled when alt-news reporters Taibbi, Shellenberger, and Gutentag filed the story of how Barack Obama and CIA Director John Brennan, with his chore girls, Avril Haines and Gina Haspel, cooked up the RussiaGate caper and fed it to the FBI, with a major assist from The New York Times, the WashPo, CNN, and other useful idiot news media vectors. All of this had actually been well-documented for years, but the reporters dredged up new corroboration from disgusted blob insiders further clarifying the origins of the hoax. The cast of characters in that part of the big movie has been consistent through eight full years of anti-Trump hysteria and the associated trips laid on our country. Ms. McCord, for instance, was U.S. Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security during the birth of RussiaGate; later served as counsel to the House Committee that kicked-off Trump Impeachment No. 1 (coordinating the Eric Ciaramella “whistleblower” scam); then became counsel to Rep. Bennie Thompson’s J6 committee investigation, and now turns up as Fani Willis’ legal tutor, and probably also tutor to New York State Attorney General Letitia James and her preposterous Get Trump real estate valuation case under Judge Engoron.

(Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan DA on the Stormy Daniels case against Mr. Trump, was coached by then US Associate Attorney General Matthew Colangelo who was hired out of the DOJ directly into Mr. Bragg’s office for tutoring purposes.) All of this coaching post Jan 20, 2021, was coordinated by the “Joe Biden” White House. Speaking of whom, the evermore spectral “president” was not having a great week either after DOJ Special Counsel Robert Hur painted him into a corner in his final report as either too demented to face charges in the purloined documents case (and, by inference, not mentally capable to be president), or else a criminal trafficking in top secret documents he was not authorized to possess as Senator and Veep. Looks like that puts an end to “JB’s” game of pretending to run for reelection (that is, lying about it) and leaves the Democratic Party holding a flaming bag of dog doo-doo.

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Musk is paying good attention to what happens to Trump: “How far will they go to stop me?”

Musk Decries US Government Censorship (RT)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has claimed that his foray into social media – buying the former Twitter (since renamed X) and trying to make it a bastion of free speech – made him and all of his businesses targets for constant attacks by governments and their censorship allies. “The public still doesn’t understand even a tiny fraction of the power of the censorship-government-industrial complex,” Musk said on Friday in a post on X. “As predicted, my companies and I came under relentless attack the moment the censorship of this platform was lifted. How far will they go to stop me?” The US billionaire made the comments in response to a post by podcast host David Sacks, who warned that “regime Democrats” are working every day to undermine Americans’ free-speech rights and freedom from political persecution.

Musk also agreed with a suggestion that his political enemies are “just getting started” after winning a Delaware court ruling late last month voiding his $56 billion compensation package at Tesla. Musk, who heads several other companies, has previously claimed that he’s at “quite significant” risk of being killed. His father, Errol Musk, said in an interview last September that he feared his son could be assassinated by a “shadow government” because of the influence he wields. Ranking as America’s richest man with a fortune estimated by Forbes at over $200 billion, Elon Musk has been hit with a flurry of legal attacks and negative media coverage since buying Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022 and vowing to end censorship on the platform. Advertiser boycotts cut into X’s revenue, and President Joe Biden’s administration sued Musk’s SpaceX company for allegedly discriminating against refugees in its hiring practices.

Biden reacted to the Twitter takeover by suggesting that Musk should be investigated by the federal government. Asked whether Musk could jeopardize US national security, the president told reporters, “I think that Elon Musk’s cooperation and/or technical relationships with other countries is worthy of being looked at.” Under its previous ownership, Twitter was among the social media platforms that helped Biden win the 2020 US presidential election by censoring a bombshell report on alleged influence-peddling in Ukraine and China by his family. Republican lawmakers have accused the FBI of colluding with Twitter executives to squash the report. Musk also released internal Twitter documents exposing government involvement in the censoring of speech regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. “Thank God for Elon Musk for allowing to show us and the world that Twitter was basically a subsidiary of the FBI, censoring real medical voices with real expertise that put real American lives in danger because they didn’t have that information,” US Representative Nancy Mace said last year.

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“Russia is a nation, not a city. And the Russians love their country..”

‘Want to Get ‘Radicalized’, See Russia’- Scott Ritter (Sp.)

The knives are out for Tucker Carlson in the Washington establishment and the legacy media as he continues to debunk myths and stereotypes about Russia with a series of videos about life in the capital in the midst of the West’s sanctions ‘total war’. In the latest of a series of clips posted to his internet channel about his experiences from his eight-day stay in Russia, Carlson praised Moscow’s grocery prices. “I went from amused to legitimately angry,” Carlson said after purchasing a week’s worth of groceries for the equivalent of about $105 US. “Coming to a Russian grocery store, the ‘heart of evil’, and seeing what things cost and how people live, it will radicalize you against our leaders. That’s how I feel, anyway – radicalized,” Carlson said after dragging US leaders through the mud for “wrecking people’s lives” through “filth and crime and inflation.”

The independent conservative journalist’s comments sparked immediate outrage from detractors, with neocon Republican lawmaker Thom Tillis echoing Hillary Clinton, blasting Carlson as a “useful idiot” and mocking him for suggesting Russia “is so much better than the US with all those cheap groceries and lavish subway stations.” Another neocon group, ‘Republicans Against Trump’, blasted Carlson as a “Kremlin propagandist” and accused him of running a program called “Russia is awesome, the US is crap.” The hate was echoed by establishment media, with the USA Today publishing a column suggesting Tucker should do “everything he can to get his followers to move to Russia.” MSNBC host Chris Hayes immediately jumped in to suggest that the discrepancy in grocery prices is the result of America being a “rich country” and that “if you are an american [sic] and go to a country that is poorer, things will be cheaper there.”

Others suggested Tucker’s experiences were unique to Moscow, and that he would see something different if he went to “real Russia” outside the “Potemkin village” Russian capital. “It’s like a modern day equivalent of John Reed’s classic ‘10 Days That Shook the World’ – ‘8 Days That Radicalized Tucker Carlson’,” former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter told Sputnik of Carlson’s eye-opening experiences during his visit to Russia. “We all saw the interview with Vladimir Putin, over 1 billion of us, and we’ve seen Tucker Carlson’s video clips of his experience in Moscow, the Moscow Metro, shopping in a Moscow market, a visit to the Russian McDonald’s [equivalent]. Everything that Tucker Carlson said is true, 100%. The Metro is an amazing place, clean, it’s a work of art. There is no food shortage in Moscow. Yes, Russian fast food is not only as tasty as its American equivalent, but because of the GMO laws, yes, Tucker, you should have asked that question, healthier,” Ritter said.

Pointing to those dishing out of hate Carlson’s way and claiming his experiences were somehow “fake,” Ritter, who has traveled to Russia extensively over the past year, Ritter assured that he has “been to the rest of Russia,” and could confirm that what the former Fox News host saw in Moscow could be observed in other Russian cities as well. “In May, when I made my first visit to Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the first city I landed in wasn’t Moscow. It was Novosibirsk. Now is Novosibirsk is brilliantly lit up as Moscow? No, it’s not a city of 13 million. It’s not the capital of the Russian Federation. It’s not the center of commerce for Russia. But Novosibirsk is the third largest city in Russia and the largest developing economy. You know, when you go to a supermarket in Novosibirsk, it’s every bit as well stocked as those you will find in Moscow. Why? Because Russia is a modern state.

Russia is a state that has the ability to transport food products throughout the great expanse of the nation. Russia is not Moscow. Russia is a nation of over 150 million people who live with the same level of modernity as the rest of the world,” Ritter said. “In Novosibirsk, I saw a people who live their lives just like everybody else – [with] a public transportation system that’s clean, efficient, streets that are clean, efficient. Why? Because throughout Russia, the Russian people care about their cities as much as the residents of Moscow care about theirs. Russia is a nation, not a city. And the Russians love their country,” he added.

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“Russia did everything it could to free itself from US domination in the terrible 1990s, and Ukraine did everything it could to integrate itself under US control, mainly from 2004 onwards..”

An Anti-Russian Europe Is a Europe That Destroys Itself (Dionisio)

According to Syrsky, the new commander-in-chief of Kiev’s troops, the lives of Ukrainian soldiers are the most important thing the army has. An assumption that was only made when it became obvious to everyone that there was no chance of victory in a direct fight against Russia. As long as it was possible to feed the idea that „Ukraine was beating Russia“, when it was Russia that had the initiative — and never lost it — the lives of Ukrainian soldiers were worth little. Men — and some women — in their hundreds of thousands were thrown into muddy trenches, poorly fed and with ammunition in short supply, against an opponent who never lacked anything.

The fact is that when the Kiev forces had combat capability — not to be confused with „the ability to win“ — the official communication was that „Ukraine was winning the war“; when it became clear that the cost of fighting the Russian forces was so high that it could not be sustained, the pro-Kiev media, financed by Uncle Sam’s NGOs and primary sources of Western official information, began to say „Ukraine cannot lose the war“; when it could no longer be hidden that the „counter-offensive“ had failed and with it, the hopes — fanciful — of a Kiev victory, we moved on to the „Ukraine and Russia are in a stalemate“ phase. The Ukrainian reality, under the Kiev regime, is characterized by always being in direct contradiction with the Russian reality and, coincidentally, with the concrete observable reality. This is why the relationship between the two realities is an invaluable dialectical example from a pedagogical point of view.

While living with Russia, Ukraine has become one of the world’s greatest powers. There is not, and never has been, a successful Ukraine without Russia on its side. Vladimir Putin did not lie about the fact that Russia has always helped Ukraine. For those who don’t know, it wasn’t out of any kind of adventurism that the Donbass was annexed to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1917, Ukraine was an eminently rural and de-industrialized region of the Russian empire, so, in 1918, in order to guarantee conditions for the territory’s development and, in this way, a more harmonious development of the nascent Soviet state, the Donbass became part of the Ukrainian Socialist Republic, as a way of guaranteeing the progress of the newly formed homeland.

The truth is that, in 1991, Ukraine had more than 50 million inhabitants, one of the largest armies in Europe (perhaps the second largest), an enviable military-industrial complex, a highly qualified, talented and productive population, capable of revealing itself in all aspects of human life, from the arts to science, from agriculture to sport. After surviving many tensions imposed from outside and introduced by the usual suspects, in 2004-2005, the Orange Revolution accelerated the process of creating an anti-Russia. The idea was not new and had already crossed the minds of people linked to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and beyond. From then on, the balance of power between the Russian-speaking and Russian-sympathetic peoples and the peoples who had become „Russian-phobic“ began to reverse and, gradually, the anti-Russian forces began to infect the entire territory, gradually conquering new strongholds, from the outskirts of Galicia to the center of Kiev.

From then on, what would be the imported „solution“ to fill Ukraine’s lack of national identity began to take shape. As a country that had never existed until 1918, and only became fully independent in 1991, Ukraine had to create a national identity in order to guarantee its existence. Not an easy thing to do in a country built up by ruler and square in successive waves of annexation. The induced „choice“ was to turn Ukraine into an „anti-Russia“. Everything Russia would be, Ukraine would have to be the opposite.

It’s clear to see that this „choice“ would have to be induced, since in the case of a country with the same language, or languages with the same root (for those who separate „Ukrainian“ from „Russian“), with the same religion, culture and national past, the natural choice would never be antagonism, since one and the other thrived on a symbiotic relationship. And this relationship was mutually fruitful right up until the moment when Russia did everything it could to free itself from US domination in the terrible 1990s, and Ukraine did everything it could to integrate itself under US control, mainly from 2004 onwards. The chronological succession leaves no doubt: Russia freed itself from American tutelage during the late 90s and early 2000s, Ukraine embraced it from 2004 onwards.

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“..The U.S. media have claimed (preposterously) that if the military aid is not supplied then Ukraine’s defeat could result in American troops being deployed to prevent Russian rampaging across Europe.”

Russian Space Nukes and Navalny’s Death… U.S. Psyops Go Ballistic (SCF)

The claims about Russian space-based nuclear weapons unraveled to become a joke. Fortunately, the death of Western-sponsored dissident Alexei Navalny then occurred to enable Western media to go into a frenzy of anti-Russia headlines. First up was the scaremongering story about Russia allegedly developing a space-based nuclear weapon. Initially, it was dramatically trailed as posing a serious national security threat to the United States. Despite the sensational reporting, the story quickly became a laughingstock. Even some U.S. lawmakers dismissed it as “bullshit” and a blatant attempt by the Biden White House and intelligence agencies to push Congress into passing a new mega military aid bill for Ukraine worth $61 billion.

We’ll get to the Navalny story in a moment. But let’s just first parse the orchestration of the alleged Russian space nukes. The drama began on Wednesday when Mike Turner, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee (a dodgy source if ever there was one), made public appeals to President Joe Biden to declassify intelligence on “a serious threat to national security”. Turner is a Republican member of the House of Representatives but he is a close ally of the Democrat White House in terms of keenly supporting military aid to Ukraine. The latest bill passed the upper chamber of the U.S. Senate the day before, February 13, but it is unlikely to be approved by the House where many Republican lawmakers are staunchly opposed to it.

Accompanying the “concerns” of the intel committee chairman Turner, media outlets then vented anonymous US intelligence sources “revealing” that the national security threat was from Russian nuclear weapons allegedly under development for destroying American communication satellites in space. The White House then “confirmed” the intel the next day, February 15. It was a flagrant put-up job. But the Biden administration sought to tamp down any public panic by saying that the threat was not imminent and the alleged Russian satellite-killing weapon had not been deployed in orbit, nor would there be any danger to Earth. (So, what was all the fuss about?)

Ironically, derisive comments from incredulous U.S. lawmakers were also echoed by the Kremlin. The latter’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov made a similar assessment that the Biden administration was playing tricks to push through the military funding package for Ukraine. That bill has been delayed since the end of last year. The Biden administration has been cajoling Congress for months to vote it through. After the Senate finally passed the bill this week, President Biden put pressure on the House, saying that “history is watching you”. The bill has been exalted as having existential importance in defeating “Russian aggression” in Ukraine. The U.S. media have claimed (preposterously) that if the military aid is not supplied then Ukraine’s defeat could result in American troops being deployed to prevent Russian rampaging across Europe.

The American public, as with the European public, has become increasingly skeptical about the relentless funneling of taxpayer funds and weapons to Ukraine. Many citizens in the West – a majority, according to polls – have become critical of fueling a bloody war for the dubious cause of “defending democracy” in a regime dominated by NeoNazis. At a time of deep social and economic hardship in the U.S. and Europe, the Western public is rightly disdainful of hundreds of billions of dollars and euros being wasted on death and destruction and also being siphoned off by a corrupt cabal in Kiev. The $61 billion in military aid to Ukraine is just the latest tranche that Washington is seeking to throw at the black hole of its proxy war against Russia – a war that is really all about defeating Russia as a geopolitical obstacle to U.S. hegemony. Another driver is the massive profits that taxpayers are subsidizing the military-industrial complex at the rotten heart of Western capitalism.

Navalny

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“There’s no ammunition left. There’s nothing left. Ukraine has got nothing.” “And he [Turner] knows he’s looking at it, saying ‘it’s over, game set match – Russia, they win,’” he added.“

Ohio Rep. Part of Shadowy Cabal Aiming to Destroy Russia – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

Ohio Representative Mike Turner (R-OH) made waves this week when he warned of an alleged “serious national security threat” to the United States. The supposed risk was soon revealed to be Russian in nature, with a media cycle quickly emerging over the danger of alleged “space nukes” the country could detonate to disable US satellite communications. The timing of the revelation raised eyebrows as Turner had visited Ukraine just days ago as part of a Congressional delegation in solidarity with the country’s embattled President Volodymyr Zelensky. Turner’s claims also come as the Biden administration struggles to continue funding the US-backed Ukrainian proxy war, with key Republicans blocking a compromise bill with aid for Kiev and Tel Aviv.

Former UN weapons inspector and whistleblower Scott Ritter joined Sputnik’s Fault Lines program on Thursday to discuss the latest Russophobic hysteria, speculating Turner is part of a secret group of lawmakers and intelligence officials hellbent on undermining Russia at any cost. “There’s a cabal,” claimed Ritter, who was shunned in Washington after defying intelligence claims of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction during the George W. Bush administration. “Turner is… part of the cabal of people that view this Ukrainian conflict [as] not about defense of democracy – knock off this nonsense – it’s about defeating Russia, the strategic objective of the United States by using Ukraine as a proxy in a conflict against Russia.”

“You’ve heard everybody say this, ‘we’re killing them without losing a single American, we’re weakening Russia, we’re creating the conditions to destroy Russia, to collapse Russian society, to bring down [Russian President] Vladimir Putin,’” noted Ritter. “He believes that this is a good thing. He believes that’s the direction the United States should be going. And he understands that Ukraine right now is in freefall. Their military is being slaughtered on the battlefield. The Americans have no clue what’s happening on the battlefield right now.”

Ukraine has faced declining fortunes in the Donbass conflict since the spectacular failure of the country’s vaunted “counteroffensive” last year. In recent days Russian forces have achieved an advantage in the city of Avdeyevka, where for months they’ve endured a stalemate with Ukrainian troops. Shortages in ammunition have undermined Ukrainian reinforcements in the past weeks, allowing Russia to break down Kiev’s foritifications. “The Russians aren’t losing anywhere,” said Ritter. “Maybe in the Black Sea they lost a ship, big deal, but on the ground, they’re routing Ukraine. There’s no ammunition left. There’s nothing left. Ukraine has got nothing.” “And he [Turner] knows he’s looking at it, saying ‘it’s over, game set match – Russia, they win,’” he added. “‘Therefore, we need to make people understand the consequences of a Russian victory.’”

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“Pravda argued that Germany will eventually have to return to buying Russian gas because it will have no other choice..”

Russian Media Thrilled By Biden’s LNG “Gift” To Putin (ZH)

This week, President Vladimir Putin praised President Joe Biden as a more experienced and predictable president than Donald Trump, hoping the 81yo president “with a poor memory” wins a second term. Meanwhile, Trump made remarks during a campaign rally Wednesday night in South Carolina on Putin’s comments: “He’s just said that he would much rather have Joe Biden as president than Trump. Now that’s a compliment. A lot of people said, ‘Oh, gee, that’s too bad.’ No, no, that’s a good thing.” Democrats spent years framing Trump as ‘Putin’s puppet,’ but the actions by Biden, essentially handing over the global energy kingdom to Moscow by halting permits for new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects in Texas, is a stark reminder of why Putin prefers the elderly and weak president. Last month, the Wall Street Journal editorial board called Biden’s LNG export license halt “an election-year gift to Russia and Iran.” And the editorial board is out with another piece titled “Biden’s LNG ‘Gift’ to Vladimir Putin.”

This latest note by the editorial board points out how Russian media is “thrilled” by Biden’s LNG gas export ban: “Now it is not Russia, but the United States that wants to bring the Germans to their knees,” gloated the Russian newspaper Pravda after the Energy Department imposed a moratorium on permits for new LNG export projects last month. Pravda argued that Germany will eventually have to return to buying Russian gas because it will have no other choice, and it may be right. They cite another Russian media outlet: RedDigest, a Russian-based news source, also predicted Europe will need to buy more Russian gas and be forced to pay a higher price. “The EU may well turn to Moscow for additional supplies. Of course, there will be no talk of any discounts,” a Feb. 3 article sneered. Mr. Biden’s LNG embargo will leave Europe more vulnerable to Mr. Putin’s energy blackmail.

And another: Bloknot, a pro-war Russian media outlet, accused the U.S. of scheming to replace Russian gas and then pulling the rug from under Europeans. “A brilliant scam: how the States fooled Europe with gas,” read a Bloknot headline. RT (formerly Russia Today) gloated that Mr. Biden’s “very timely decision to ban LNG exports” was a “gift to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.” In a separate note, WSJ said Biden’s attempt to punish Texas over the border dispute is part of a campaign by wealthy donors – including the Rockefeller family – to pressure the government into shifting away from LNG. Why are America’s elites and an elderly president with a “poor memory” giving Putin the keys to the global energy kingdom under the guise of ‘climate change’?

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“Scratch the veneer of who’s in power in Kiev and Tel Aviv, and who pulls their strings, and you will find the same puppet masters controlling Ukraine, Israel, the US, the UK, and nearly all NATO members..”

Axis of Resistance: from Donbass to Gaza (Pepe Escobar)

During my recent vertiginous journey in Donbass tracking Orthodox Christian battalions defending their land, Novorossiya, it became starkly evident that the resistance in these newly liberated Russian republics is fighting much the same battle as their counterparts in West Asia. Nearly 10 years after Maidan in Kiev, and two years after the start of Russia’s Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine, the resolve of the resistance has only deepened. It’s impossible to do full justice to the strength, resilience, and faith of the people of Donbass, who stand on the front line of a US proxy war against Russia. The battle they have been fighting since 2014 has now visibly shed its cover and revealed itself to be, at its core, a cosmic war of the collective West against Russian civilization.

As Russian President Vladimir Putin made very clear during his Tucker Carlson interview seen by one billion people worldwide, Ukraine is part of Russian civilization – even if it is not part of the Russian Federation. So shelling ethnic Russian civilians in Donbass – still ongoing – translates as attacks on Russia. He shares the same reasoning as Yemen’s Ansarallah resistance movement, which describes the Israeli genocide in Gaza as one launched against “our people”: people of the lands of Islam. Just as the rich black soil of Novorossiya is where the “rules-based international order” came to die; the Gaza Strip in West Asia – an ancestral land, Palestine – may ultimately be the site where Zionism will perish. Both the rules-based order and Zionism, after all, are essential constructs of the western unipolar world and key to advancing its global economic and military interests.

Today’s incandescent geopolitical fault lines are already configured: the collective west versus Islam, the collective west versus Russia, and soon a substantial part of the west, even reluctantly, versus China. Yet a serious counterpunch is at play. As much as the Axis of Resistance in West Asia will keep boosting their “swarm” strategy, those Orthodox Christian battalions in Donbass cannot but be regarded as the vanguard of the Slavic Axis of Resistance. When mentioning this Shia–Orthodox Christianity connection to two top commanders in Donetsk, only 2 kilometers away from the front line, they smiled, bemused, but definitely got the message. After all, more than anyone else in Europe, these soldiers are able to grasp this unifying theme: on the two top imperial fronts – Donbass and West Asia – the crisis of the western hegemon is deepening and fast accelerating collapse.

NATO’s cosmic humiliation-in-progress in the steppes of Novorossiya is mirrored by the Anglo–American–Zionist combo sleepwalking into a larger conflagration throughout West Asia – frantically insisting they don’t want war while bombing every Axis of Resistance vector except Iran (they can’t, because the Pentagon gamed all scenarios, and they all spell out doom). Scratch the veneer of who’s in power in Kiev and Tel Aviv, and who pulls their strings, and you will find the same puppet masters controlling Ukraine, Israel, the US, the UK, and nearly all NATO members.

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“I =srael’s allegations are not based on any evidence. They are instead part of a classified plan prepared in advance by Israel’s foreign ministry to destroy UNRWA..”

Why Israel’s War on UNRWA is so Sinister (Cradle)

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is facing the gravest existential crisis in its 74-year history, as funding cuts by several western countries come on top of ongoing atrocities perpetrated by Israel in Gaza. The UN agency is unique in being the only one dedicated to a specific group of refugees in specific areas, and the only relief organization that operates a full-fledged educational system. UNRWA is also the only organization mandated to work in Gaza and distribute aid to the two million people currently trapped and starved in the besieged enclave. To compound these challenges, the occupation wants to see it dismantled. In January, Israel alleged that Palestinian members of UNRWA’s staff participated in the resistance’s Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on 7 October, leading the US and 18 other nations to swiftly suspend funding for the organization.

The suspensions were met with shock, as UNRWA plays a key role in providing food and medicine to starving Gazans struggling to survive Israel’s siege and bombardment of the coastal enclave. However, Israel’s allegations are not based on any evidence. They are instead part of a classified plan prepared in advance by Israel’s foreign ministry to destroy UNRWA. It believes that UNRWA “works against Israel’s interests” by perpetuating the dream of the right of return of Palestinian refugees and the idea of armed struggle against occupation. The foreign ministry plan leaked to Israel’s Channel 12 on 28 December, set out a three-stage process to eliminate UNRWA in Gaza, using the Hamas-led resistance operation as a pretext:

First, prepare a case alleging UNRWA’s cooperation with Hamas; second, reduce UNRWA’s field of activity and find replacement service providers; and third, transfer UNRWA’s responsibilities to another entity. Channel 12 noted that Israel wants to move slowly, given that the US government sees UNRWA as crucial to humanitarian efforts in Gaza. The foreign ministry is seeking to gradually build the case for ousting the organization as part of the discussions on “the day after” the war – should Hamas be dismantled. According to a report by The New York Times, the “sequence of events” that led the US to suspend UNRWA funding began on 18 January when Amir Weissbrod, a deputy director general at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, met with Philippe Lazzarini, the head of UNRWA in Tel Aviv.

Weissbrod showed Lazzarini a dossier from Israeli intelligence claiming that 12 UNRWA employees had participated in the 7 October attacks. After the meeting in Israel, Lazzarini made no effort to confirm the validity of the claims. Instead, he flew to New York to meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and immediately began firing the employees, a UN official said. The Guardian reported that Lazzarini was later asked in a press conference if he had looked into whether there was any evidence for the allegations presented to him by Weissbrod. “No,” Lazzarini replied, “the investigation is going on now.” Lazzarini said he made the “exceptional, swift decision” due to “the explosive nature of the claims,” rather than any evidence. Lazzarini said he did not even read the dossier himself because it was in Hebrew. Instead, Weissbrod “was reading this and translating for me,” he said.

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Better grow the economy, Joe.

Political, Economic Indicators Not Promising for Biden (Gallup)

Several key indicators of the 2024 election environment indicate that President Joe Biden faces an uphill climb to win a second term. His job approval rating, Americans’ satisfaction with how things are going in the country and their confidence in the economy are below the levels associated with successful reelection bids in recent elections. While Democrats hold a slight edge in national party identification and partisan leanings, that advantage is smaller than what it has been in past presidential elections won by Democratic incumbents. In less direct measures of the electoral environment, Americans are more inclined to say that they are worse off financially, that it is harder to buy things and that the U.S. is as respected throughout the world as it was before Biden took office.

Biden’s fate will ultimately be determined by whether Americans’ views on these metrics improve over the course of the year (as they did for Bill Clinton in 1996 and Barack Obama in 2012), stay the same or get worse (as they did for George H.W. Bush in 1992 and Donald Trump in 2020). Incumbent job approval is arguably the best predictor of reelection success. Presidents with approval ratings of 50% or higher close to Election Day have all been reelected. All but one president with a sub-50% approval rating lost, the exception being George W. Bush. He won reelection with a 48% approval rating in Gallup’s final 2004 preelection poll taken in late October. However, he registered multiple 50% readings earlier in the month and had a 51% approval rating among likely voters in that final survey.

Among the approval ratings that did not carry incumbents to victory, Trump’s 46% approval rating is the highest and Gerald Ford’s 45% is close behind. The inauspicious ratings descend from there, all the way down to 34% for George H.W. Bush. Biden’s 41% job approval rating, the lowest among incumbents in January of an election year, puts him in a precarious spot. It has not been unusual for incumbents to be below the 50% threshold this early on. But Biden’s reelection may depend on his ability to boost his numbers close to that threshold, something Clinton, Obama and Richard Nixon were able to do but Trump and Ford were not. Other presidents, including George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, saw significant declines in approval during their fourth year in office.

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“..Given Burns’ stature and diplomatic accomplishments, perhaps he would support the urgently needed accountability..”

How the CIA Destabilizes the World (Jeffrey Sachs)

Once in a while, a former U.S. official spills the beans, such as when Zbigniew Brzezinski revealed that he had induced Jimmy Carter to assign the CIA to train Islamic jihadists to destabilize the government of Afghanistan, with the aim of inducing the Soviet Union to invade that country. In the case of Syria, we learned from a few stories in the New York Times in 2016 and 2017 of the CIA’s subversive operations to destabilize Syria and overthrow Assad, as ordered by President Barack Obama. Here is the case of a dreadfully misguided CIA operation, blatantly in violation of international law, that has led to a decade of mayhem, an escalating regional war, hundreds of thousands of deaths, and millions of displaced people, and yet there has not been a single honest acknowledgment of this CIA-led disaster by the White House or Congress.

In the case of Ukraine, we know that the U.S. played a major covert role in the violent coup that brought down Yanukovych and that swept Ukraine into a decade of bloodshed but to this day, we don’t know the details. Russia offered the world a window into the coup by intercepting and then posting a call between Victoria Nuland, then U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (now Under-Secretary of State) and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt (now Assistant Secretary of State), in which they plot the post-coup government. Following the coup, the CIA covertly trained special operations forces of the post-coup regime the U.S. had helped bring to power. The U.S. government has been mum about the CIA’s covert operations in Ukraine. We have good reason to believe that CIA operatives carried out the destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline, as per Seymour Hersh, who is now an independent reporter. Unlike in 1975, when Hersh was with the New York Times at a time when the paper still tried to hold the government to account, the Times does not even deign to look into Hersh’s account.

Holding the CIA to public account is of course a steep uphill struggle. Presidents and the Congress don’t even try. The mainstream media don’t investigate the CIA, preferring instead to quote “senior unnamed officials” and the official cover-up. Are the mainstream media outlets lazy, suborned, afraid of advertising revenues from the military-industrial complex, threatened, ignorant, or all of the above? Who knows. There is a tiny glimmer of hope. Back in 1975, the CIA was led by a reformer. Today, the CIA is led by William Burns, one of America’s long-standing leading diplomats. Burns knows the truth about Ukraine, since he served as Ambassador to Russia in 2008 and cabled Washington about the grave error of pushing NATO enlargement to Ukraine. Given Burns’ stature and diplomatic accomplishments, perhaps he would support the urgently needed accountability.

The extent of the continuing mayhem resulting from CIA operations gone awry is astounding. In Afghanistan, Haiti, Syria, Venezuela, Kosovo, Ukraine, and far beyond, the needless deaths, instability, and destruction unleashed by CIA subversion continues to this day. The mainstream media, academic institutions, and Congress should be investigating these operations to the best of their ability and demanding the release of documents to enable democratic accountability. Next year is the 50th anniversary of the Church Committee hearings. Fifty years on, with the precedent, inspiration, and guidance of the Church Committee itself, it’s urgently time to open the blinds, expose the truth about the U.S.-led mayhem, and begin a new era in which U.S. foreign policy becomes transparent, accountable, subject to the rule of law both domestic and international, and directed towards global peace rather than subversion of supposed enemies.

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“..Think of them as being possessed by a monomania for war akin to my urge to play with toy soldiers. The key difference? When I played at war, I was a wet-behind-the-ears 10 year old..”

Bombing Muslims for Peace (Bill Astore)

Like many American boys of the baby-boomer generation, I played “war” with those old, olive-drab, plastic toy soldiers meant to evoke our great victory over the Nazis and “the Japs” during World War II. At age 10, I also kept a scrapbook of the 1973 Yom Kippur War between Israel and its various Arab enemies in the Middle East. It was, I suppose, an early sign that I would make both the military and the study of history into careers. I recall rooting for the Israelis, advertised then as crucial American allies, against Egypt, Syria, and other regional enemies at least ostensibly allied with the Soviet Union in that Cold War era. I bought the prevailing narrative of a David-versus-Goliath struggle. I even got a book on the Yom Kippur War that captivated me by displaying all the weaponry the U.S. military had rushed to Israel to turn the tide there, including F-4 Phantom jets and M-60 main battle tanks. (David’s high-tech slingshots, if you will.)

Little did I know that, in the next 50 years of my life, I would witness increasingly destructive U.S. military attacks in the Middle East, especially after the oil cartel OPEC (largely Middle Eastern then) hit back hard with an embargo in 1973 that sent our petroleum-based economy into a tailspin. As one jokester quipped: Who put America’s oil under the sands of all those ungrateful Muslim countries in the Middle East? With declarations like the Carter Doctrine in 1980, the U.S. was obviously ready to show the world just how eagerly it would defend its “vital interests” (meaning fossil fuels, of course) in that region. And even today, as we watch the latest round in this country’s painfully consistent record of attempting to pound various countries and entities there into submission, mainly via repetitive air strikes, we should never forget the importance of oil, and lots of it, to keep the engines of industry and war churning along in a devastating fashion.

Right now, of course, the world is witnessing yet another U.S. bombing campaign, the latest in a series that seems all too predictable (and futile), meant to teach the restless rebels of Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and possibly even Iran a lesson when it comes to messing with the United States of America. As the recently deceased country singer Toby Keith put it: Mess with this country and “We’ll put a boot (think: bomb) in your ass.” You kill three soldiers of ours and we’ll kill scores, if not hundreds, if not thousands of yours (and it doesn’t really matter if they’re soldiers or not), because… well, because we damn well can! America’s leaders, possessing a peerless Air Force, regularly exhibit a visceral willingness to use it to bomb and missile perceived enemies into submission or, if need be, nothingness. And don’t for a second think that they’re going to be stopped by international law, humanitarian concerns, well-meaning protesters, or indeed any force on this planet. America bombs because it can, because it believes in the efficacy of violence, and because it’s run by appeasers.

Yes, America’s presidents, its bombers-in-chief, are indeed appeasers. Of course, they think they’re being strong when they’re blowing distant people to bits, but their actions invariably showcase a distinctive kind of weakness. They eternally seek to appease the military-industrial-congressional complex, aka the national (in)security state, a complex state-within-a-state with an unappeasable hunger for power, profit, and ever more destruction. They fail and fail and fail again in the Middle East, yet they’re incapable of not ordering more bombing, more droning, more killing there. Think of them as being possessed by a monomania for war akin to my urge to play with toy soldiers. The key difference? When I played at war, I was a wet-behind-the-ears 10 year old.

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On purpose

 

 

Donuts

 

 

 

 

Jaguar
https://twitter.com/i/status/1758482520239214824

 

 

Pelican

 

 

Newborn dolphin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1758471327562809740

 

 

Goats Jump

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 162024
 


J.J. Grandville ‘A Comet’s Journey’, Illustration from ‘Un Autre Monde’ 1844

 

Prosecutors Reportedly Met with Biden Admin Before 3 Trump Indictments (BB)
Judge Denies Trump Motion To Dismiss Stormy Daniels ‘Hush Money’ Case (ZH)
Obama CIA Colluded with Foreign Powers in Massive Spy Op Against Trump (Miles)
US Intel Asked Foreign Countries to Surveil Trump Associates (Turley)
US Intel Fabricated Claim Putin Preferred Trump Over Clinton in 2016 (Sp.)
Will Bobulinski’s Testimony End Joe Biden’s 2024 Presidential Bid? (Sp.)
A Kamala Harris Presidency Would Be The Death Of The Democrats (Bridge)
Trump Could Force Ukraine To Make Peace – Bloomberg (RT)
Texas Should Be Renamed ‘Ukraine’ – Rep. Chip Roy (RT)
Kremlin Responds To Rumors Of Russian Space Nukes (RT)
Epstein Victims Sue FBI (RT)
Over a Million Palestinians to be Forced Into Egypt at Gunpoint (Mike Whitney)
Soros Could Take Control Of Hundreds Of US Radio Stations (RT)
Europe ‘In For Very Rocky Times’ After Failed Sanctions on Russia (Miles)
Defusing the Derivatives Time Bomb (Ellen Brown)

 

 

 

 

Fani
https://twitter.com/i/status/1758242279196672503

Yeartie
https://twitter.com/i/status/1758162535197376793

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker radicalized


https://twitter.com/i/status/1758104468971769856

 

 

Mastery

 

 

 

 

The levels of collusion are out of this world. And still, “Stormy Daniels” is the only case left that still seems alive.

Prosecutors Reportedly Met with Biden Admin Before 3 Trump Indictments (BB)

Three separate prosecutors reportedly met with White House aides before indicting former President Donald Trump, President Joe Biden’s political opponent. The reported meetings suggest a coordinated attack against Biden’s 2024 rival. If coordination occurred, it lends credence to Trump’s belief that the indictments are election interference. The timing of the indictments are peculiar. After Trump announced a reelection bid against Biden, four indictments hit Trump in four separate jurisdictions, each following revelations about the Biden family business. In three cases, prosecutors reportedly met with the Biden administration before indicting Trump:
Alvin Bragg: New York – “Stormy Daniels” Case (state)
Jack Smith: Miami – “Documents” Case (federal)
Fani Willis: Fulton County, Georgia (state)

First Case: “Stormy Daniels”
The first indictment occurred on April 4, 2023, the same day that former Biden aide Kathy Chung testified about Joe Biden’s mishandling of classified documents, contradicting Biden’s version of events. On March 17, 2023, Bragg asked for a meeting with federal law enforcement ahead of the Trump indictment Trump, a court source told Fox News. A year earlier, Bragg’s office hired a former senior Department of Justice (DOJ) official Matthew Colangelo, who spent years targeting Trump at the Justice Department. He also attacked Trump in his role in the New York Attorney General’s office. “Bragg has been very discredited by the indictment because the people that read it, even Democrats—they’re saying this is not an indictment,” Trump exclusively told Breitbart News after the indictment: Some are saying this is unconstitutional because there’s no crime. He’s been absolutely discredited. It’s a shame. They’re willing to destroy our country. This is all run by the White House, by the way, just in case you have any questions. In fact, they put a man from the White House into one of the top White House/DOJ officials is right there—Matthew Colangelo. He’s the one that’s leading it. He was sitting in the front row in the court during the whole thing. He was in the front row. This is all done by the White House because they don’t want to run against us.

Second Case: “Documents”
Smith filed the second indictment on June 8, 2023, the same day an FBI 10-23 form surfaced alleging Joe Biden was bribed $5 million. Later in June, Smith filed a superseding indictment in the case the day after Hunter Biden’s sweetheart plea deal in Delaware fell apart. Months prior, in March, a member of Biden’s counsel’s office met with a top member of Smith’s team, just nine weeks before he indicted Trump in the classified document case, Breitbart News reported. The meeting “raises obvious concerns about visits to the White House after [Bratt] began his work with the special counsel,” George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley told the Post. “There is no reason why the Justice Department should not be able to confirm whether this meeting was related to the ongoing investigation or concerns some other matter.” Trump slammed the indictment as election interference. Biden does not want to “run” against him, Trump exclusively told Breitbart News in July. “They didn’t want to run against me. That’s why they did it,” he said. “They did this so I wouldn’t get the nomination… They don’t want to run against me, that’s why they did it.”

Third Case: Georgia Case
Willis filed the third indictment against Trump on August 14, 2023. The official court website of Fulton County, Georgia, published what appeared to be an indictment against Trump before deleting it. Months before the indictment, Willis’ top county prosecutor met twice with Biden’s White House counsel on May 23 and November 18, 2022, a year before Trump’s August indictment, Breitbart News reported. Willis’ prosecutor reportedly charged Fulton County taxpayers $2,000 for each meeting, billing $250 an hour for eight hours. Neither Willis nor the prosecutor dispute the allegations, but a spokesperson for Willis’s office told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution she would later respond in court filings. “[T]he district attorney was totally compromised. The case has to be dropped,” Trump told reporters in Washington, DC. “They say she’s in far more criminal liability than any of the people she’s looking at.” Once again, the timing of the indictment was suspect. Willis indicted Trump on the same day former FBI supervisory special agent confirmed Biden’s 2020 transition team was tipped off about its plan to interview Hunter Biden.

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“He has since been indicted in Florida, Georgia, and Washington D.C. – which has only propelled him to new heights in the polls.”

Judge Denies Trump Motion To Dismiss Stormy Daniels ‘Hush Money’ Case (ZH)

The judge in former President Donald Trump’s New York hush-money trial says the case will go forward as scheduled, with jury selection beginning on March 25. The decision by Judge Juan Manuel Merchan was made after consulting with the judge in Trump’s now-delayed federal election interference case in Washington DC. Trump was in attendance on Thursday for the hearing to determine whether Trump is guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records in an alleged scheme to conceal stories about alleged extramarital affairs which former porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal sprung on the billionaire during the 2016 election. Thursday marked Trump’s first return to the court in the New York criminal case since he became the first ex-president indicted in US history. He has since been indicted in Florida, Georgia, and Washington D.C. – which has only propelled him to new heights in the polls.

Sparks flew in the coutroom, as Trump’s attorneys blasted the decision to keep the March date – arguing that Trump will have to stand trial in New York while simultaneously attempting to seal the Republican nomination. “It is completely election interference to say ‘you are going to sit in this courtroom in Manhattan,” said defense attorney Todd Blanche. Merchan at one point told Blanche “Stop interrupting me.” In recent weeks, Merchan has taken steps to prepare for the trial – which would be the first for Trump of his several cases, AP reports. Over the past year, Trump has lashed out at Merchan as a “Trump-hating judge,” asked him to step down from the case and sought to move the case from state court to federal court, all to no avail. Merchan has acknowledged making several small donations to Democrats, including $15 to Trump’s rival Joe Biden, but said he’s certain of his “ability to be fair and impartial.”

Thursday’s proceeding is part of a busy, overlapping stretch of legal activity for the Republican presidential front-runner, who has increasingly made his court involvement part of his political campaign. The recent postponement of a March 4 trial date in Trump’s Washington, D.C. election interference case removed a major hurdle to starting the New York case on time. -AP. Trump has denied any of the alleged sexual encounters. At the time, Trump’s lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen paid Daniels $130,000, and arranged for the publisher of the National Enquirer tabloid to pay McDougal $150,000 in a practiced coined “catch-and-kill.” Trump’s company then paid Cohen $420,000 and marked the payments as legal expenses vs. reimbursements, according to prosecutors.

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Why the Five Eyes? “..the US was not able to spy on Trump legally [through] the intelligence community,” McAdams said. “So they asked their allies, ‘Hey, spy on someone and tell us what’s going on.’”

Obama CIA Colluded with Foreign Powers in Massive Spy Op Against Trump (Miles)

New reporting suggests the lengths the US deep state went to to undermine former US President Donald Trump. Since 2016, Democratic Party officials have accused former US President Donald Trump of illegally colluding with the Russian government as part of the discredited “Russiagate” narrative. Now, it appears such claims may represent a case of projection on the part of Trump’s critics. That’s the takeaway from a bombshell report by “Twitter Files” journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger this week that suggests that CIA officials under former US President Barack Obama worked through English-speaking intelligence partners to spy on Trump’s presidential campaign. The report alleges that the CIA under intelligence chief John Brennan worked with Five Eyes intelligence partners to circumvent legal restrictions against domestic spying by the agency. Five Eyes is an alliance of intelligence agencies in the United States, the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Brennan’s CIA allegedly colluded with these foreign intelligence agencies to conduct surveillance on the Trump campaign. The spy agency also reportedly targeted prominent people associated with the campaign, operating from a list of 26 figures that intelligence assets could attempt to extract information from. Attorney Steve Gill and analyst Daniel McAdams joined Sputnik’s Fault Lines program on Thursday to discuss the shocking revelations. “It’s now becoming clear that despite all the claims that Trump didn’t know what he was talking about when he said that his campaign operatives were being spied on by the federal government – they were,” noted Gill. “It is deplorable that we have a federal government that is spying on our citizens, not because of a legitimate national security interest, but because the deep state is trying to protect their interests rather than the interests of fair and free elections,” he added.

“You know, they’re targeting their political opponent. This is the stuff that you see in third-world countries and allegedly in Russia, and it is despicable that it’s not getting the backlash from the public and the media that it deserves.” Host Jamarl Thomas then cut to a clip of a 2020 appearance by Trump on the 60 Minutes television program. “The biggest scandal was when they spied on my campaign,” said Trump to reporter Leslie Stahl. “They spied on my campaign.” An argument then ensued between Trump and Stahl over whether the alleged spying actually took place. “He was right,” Thomas observed after playing the clip. “Leslie Stahl should be fired by 60 Minutes today,” said Gill.

“All these people that have collected their Emmys and their awards for their journalistic integrity and their successes, including those that denied that the Russia hoax was being pushed by Hillary Clinton… at the very least they should be turning in their awards as they exit their positions of power in the media.” Daniel McAdams, the executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, also commented on the bombshell report during the final hour of the program Thursday. “The revelations about the spying on the Trump campaign now that have come out thanks to Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger… [are] astonishing because it tells you that the US was not able to spy on Trump legally [through] the intelligence community,” McAdams said. “So they asked their allies, ‘Hey, spy on someone and tell us what’s going on.’”

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“Congress should be interested in whether the origins for the Russian investigation began with nudges from American intelligence in 2016 to the “Five Eyes.”

US Intel Asked Foreign Countries to Surveil Trump Associates (Turley)

There is a disturbing report published on Michael Shellenberger’s Public Substack detailing how the U.S. intelligence community called upon foreign governments to target associates of Donald Trump before the 2016 election. The request to the “Five Eyes” agencies (the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) appears to have come from Obama’s CIA Director, John Brennan. According to Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi and Alex Gutentag, foreign intelligence agencies were asked to conduct the surveillance, including “bumping” the associates — a term for making contact with or casually engaging a target to generate intelligence. These encounters may also have been used to generate intelligence reports used to support further intelligence efforts by the United States in the Russian investigation. The journalists reported that Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters intelligence apparatus, or GCHQ, went ahead in contacting the Trump’s associates as early as March 2016.

Keep in mind that this was the same month that George Papadopoulos joined the Trump campaign as an adviser. It was also when Papadopoulos met a London-based professor, Josef Mifsud, who Papadopoulos was led to believe had “substantial connections to Russian government officials.” On March 21, 2016, Trump identified Papadopoulos and Carter Page as members of his foreign policy team. If true, the question is the basis for such surveillance of U.S. citizens associated with the opposing political party and a presidential campaign. The role of Brennan is intriguing. Brennan was the one who briefed President Barack Obama on Hillary Clinton’s alleged “plan” to tie then-candidate Donald Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.”

It was also Brennan who later declared during the Trump Administration that a press conference with Vladimir Putin was “nothing short of treason.” He later said that he did not mean real treason when he said it was nothing short of treason. Brennan also signed the infamous letter warning that the Hunter Biden laptop had all of the markings of Russian intelligence, a letter that he later admitted was “political.” Now these sources are claiming that agents from the Five Eyes “were making contacts and bumping Trump people going back to March 2016.” Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith was sentenced to probation in 2021 after admitting that he falsified evidence to renew a wiretap against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Shellenberger and Taibbi have a record of investigating in areas long avoided by other journalists, particularly in exposing the massive censorship system funded and coordinated by the government. There is much to learn about these allegations and their underlying support. If proven, it would appear that neither the Inspector General nor John Durham were given the full picture of the origins of the Russian investigation. Moreover, there are intriguing questions over a referenced binder that sources said contained much of this intelligence and analysis. That binder or binders allegedly disappeared from the CIA. Once again, this is still the early reporting and we need to have more confirmation on these facts. However, Congress should be interested in whether the origins for the Russian investigation began with nudges from American intelligence in 2016 to the “Five Eyes.”

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“..intelligence indicates that Russians viewed Clinton as manageable and likely to continue existing US policies, the report said..”

US Intel Fabricated Claim Putin Preferred Trump Over Clinton in 2016 (Sp.)

The US intelligence community fabricated claims that Russian President Vladimir Putin preferred Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US presidential election, journalists Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi and Alex Gutentag reported on Thursday. An Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) published by the US Director of National Intelligence in January 2017 purported that Putin wanted Trump to win the election. However, the assessment’s authors fabricated the intelligence on the claim, the report said, citing sources close to a House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia scandal. The findings of the HPSCI investigation are being blocked from release, according to the report. Evidence indicates that Putin actually preferred Clinton, the report said.

The House investigators found that US intelligence analysts had information about Russians calling Trump unreliable and unsteady, the report said. In contrast, intelligence indicates that Russians viewed Clinton as manageable and likely to continue existing US policies, the report said. Former CIA Director John Brennan led the attempt to frame Trump as Putin’s preferred candidate in the ICA, the report said. The HPSCI investigation determined that the intelligence community conducted the assessment for political purposes, the report said. On Wednesday, Putin said in an interview with Russian media that it would be better for Russia for current US President Joe Biden to remain in office because he is more predictable. Trump called Putin’s remarks a “great compliment” and said that Biden would give up everything to Russia.

Russia will work with any president elected by US citizens, Putin added. In the wake of the 2016 election campaign, former President Trump was investigated by federal agencies for possible ties between his aides and Russia. Both Trump and Russia denied allegations of collusion. A four-year investigation by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller into the allegations found no evidence of a criminal conspiracy. A subsequent investigation by US Special Counsel John Durham concluded that the FBI should have never launched the probe into the collusion allegations.

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“..why are authorities finally giving Bobulinski an audience only now?”

Will Bobulinski’s Testimony End Joe Biden’s 2024 Presidential Bid? (Sp.)

Former head of the Sinohawk company Tony Bobulinski testified behind closed doors before US lawmakers in the House impeachment inquiry on February 13. Commenting on the testimony, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer told Just the News on Wednesday that Bobulinski had revealed that “Joe Biden knew [Tony] was going in business with Hunter and with [Joe’s brother] Jim Biden, and he knew that the business was selling the Biden brand.” In an explosive opening statement, Bobulinski alleged that Joe Biden could be probed in relation to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity statutes, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). “From publicly available information alone, it seems clear that the Biden family monetized Joe’s public offices for decades, just as the Clinton family seems to have done, albeit on a much smaller scale than the Clintons,” Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist Charles Ortel told Sputnik.

“We also know from [Joe Biden’s] tax returns that he declared very low incomes for decades. Miraculously after he left the vice presidential mansion on January 20, 2017, his declared income soared. But the murky ventures that may have paid him millions of dollars have never accurately been explained. Like other corrupt, dynastic families in both political parties, the Bidens, until now, have never been forced to explain how they obtained their mansions and other assets, and whether they have paid all required income and other taxes on these cash flows.” Ortel drew attention to the fact that Bobulinski has been trying to make his case against the Biden family “business” for years; and yet over the same period, the FBI, Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service have refused to prosecute many Biden family members and associates for corruption, influence peddling, money-laundering and income tax evasion.

“The really damning questions here include why did government officials protect so many potential, high-level defendants and who has been involved in this decision-making process?” the Wall Street analyst asked. “As in my case in December 2018, when I tried to persuade the FBI to investigate Clinton Foundation crimes unsuccessfully, I think the real timing question is why are authorities finally giving Bobulinski an audience only now?” There are crucial questions concerning Bobulinski’s interaction with the Biden family and Chinese business tycoons which require answers, according to Jason Goodman, a US investigative journalist and founder of CrowdSource the Truth. “Bobulinski was in business with an individual who was addicted [Hunter Biden] to crack which is obviously illegal and dangerous,” Goodman told Sputnik. “Either he didn’t notice this, or he knew and didn’t think it was a concern. Either reflects poorly on his judgment.

Even without the crack, a reasonable person might have questions about getting into business with a bunch of Chinese nationals and the vice president’s moron son who clearly was doing exactly nothing for the business. It really is a very strange circumstance and hard to understand how a legitimate businessperson could find themselves in such a situation.” Charles Ortel also wonders “why [Bobulinski] agreed, initially, to get anywhere near the Biden family in these ‘ventures’. “Having stepped forward with his explosive allegations, Bobulinski runs the risk of being hunted by the Biden administration’s “justice machine”, according to Sputnik interlocutors. “One hopes Bobulinski is safe, but I believe another Biden accuser who deserves a fair hearing – Tara Reade – fled to Russia in fear of being attacked,” Ortel remarked. “Bobulinski will be repeatedly audited and harassed by the IRS. Also, given personal experience, his computer will be hacked by government operatives,” suggested retired certified public accountant Robert Bishop in an interview with Sputnik.

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“..Harris was polling at 1% when she dropped out of the presidential nominee race in 2019..”

A Kamala Harris Presidency Would Be The Death Of The Democrats (Bridge)

With President Joe Biden’s advanced age and cognitive decline taking central stage just months before the presidential election, Democrats need to discuss ‘the Kamala problem.’ As the US speeds towards the 2024 presidential election, the Democrats find themselves in a rather untenable position. Not only is the incumbent US President Joe Biden suffering visibly on the mental front – reminiscing aloud over meetings he’s never had with long-dead world leaders – but his second in command lacks the essential support of the Democratic base. While Biden’s approval rating sits in the basement at 39%, Vice President Kamala Harris has managed to outdo him with 37.5%. This should come as no surprise considering that Harris was polling at 1% when she dropped out of the presidential nominee race in 2019. How did she manage to alienate so many people within her own party?

Earlier in her career as California’s district attorney, Harris, the child of immigrants from Jamaica and India, had a reputation as a ‘top cop’ who worked against the interests of victims. She frequently failed, for example, to exercise her authority to investigate charges of misconduct and abuse by police and prosecutors. At the same time, she often kept people – many of them poor black people – behind bars even when there was ample evidence of wrongful convictions, while opposing legislation that would have demanded her office to investigate fatal police shootings. During the 2019 Democratic presidential debate, Representative Tulsi Gabbard called out Harris over her record. “She put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations, and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana,” Gabbard said. “She blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the courts forced her to do so. She kept people beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California. And she fought to keep cash bail systems in place that impacts poor people in the worst possible way.”

Harris never denied the charges, only saying that she was responsible for “reforming California’s justice system.” More recently, Harris’ popularity has taken a hit because she has failed to show any real accomplishments in the past four years on the VP job. On the most important issue that Biden tasked Harris with, which was to investigate what was driving waves of illegal immigrants to America, she dropped the ball, neglecting to even visit the US-Mexico border. A former Biden administration senior official told Axios: “She’s been at best ineffective, and at worst sporadically engaged and not seeing [the border] was her responsibility. It’s an opportunity for her, and she didn’t fill the breach.” This is what happens when you elect a candidate based on their identity, not their competence – it’s nearly impossible to relieve them of their duties.

Should the Democratic Party take the decision to replace Harris, 59, at this particular juncture, the fallout would be fierce and swift. Anyone who dares criticize Harris, the first woman and first Black American to hold the office of vice president, will be accused of holding her to a higher standard than past (male, white) politicians. As far as Harris is concerned, she firmly believes that she can lead the nation should something untoward happen to Joe Biden. “I am ready to serve. There’s no question about that,” Harris told the Wall Street Journal in an interview last week, just days before the release of a damning report emphasizing her boss’ failing memory. The report, penned by Special Counsel Robert Hur after an investigation into Biden’s mishandling of classified documents, said Biden displayed “diminished faculties” in interviews and derided him as an “elderly man with a poor memory.”

The public relations fallout has become so critical for the White House that there are rumors of invoking the 25th Amendment, which outlines presidential succession. This empowers the vice president and cabinet to remove the president from office through a majority vote in the event it’s determined he or she is no longer fit to hold office. The amendment has never been invoked in US history, and it probably won’t be invoked now since the specter of a Harris presidency is even less attractive than sitting through a Biden speech. Whatever the case may be, Donald Trump will not miss an opportunity to throw a spotlight on Harris and her inglorious stint as vice president, nor should he, considering that chances are high that Biden won’t serve out his term through age 86. In other words, Trump would be reminding Americans that a vote for Joe Biden is essentially a vote for Kamala Harris. Such a strategy will likely attract many swing voters into the Trump camp.

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And peace is of course bad.

Trump Could Force Ukraine To Make Peace – Bloomberg (RT)

Republican presidential frontrunner and ex-US leader Donald Trump is planning to pressure Ukraine to negotiate peace with Russia if he wins an expected rematch against incumbent Joe Biden for the White House, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing sources. Should Trump become president, he may also retract a number of defense commitments to some NATO allies, according to reports. People familiar with the matter said Trump advisers had talked about ways of bringing Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and his Russian counterpart to the negotiating table shortly after the potential inauguration. One adviser, according to Bloomberg, suggested that Washington could push Kiev to engage with Moscow by threatening to cut massive military assistance, adding that Russia could be swayed by the threat of increasing that aid instead.

Bloomberg sources also stressed that Trump aides had not discussed the matter with Russian officials, as it would be illegal for private US entities to negotiate with foreign governments on behalf of the administration. Russian officials have repeatedly said they are open to talks with Ukraine, but noted that any dialogue would take place only after Zelensky cancels his decree banning negotiations with the current leadership in Moscow. The Ukrainian leader introduced the ban last autumn after four of Kiev’s former regions overwhelmingly voted to join Russia. Another facet of Trump’s presumed foreign policy appears to be a concept of “a two-tiered NATO alliance” in which a common defense clause would be applied only to those nations that had reached a certain defense-spending threshold, Bloomberg reported, adding that no final decision had been made on the matter.

Still, the agency noted that such an approach could “upend decades of US policy” while risking “fracturing” the defense alliance. During his term as president, Trump repeatedly pushed NATO countries to increase military spending to 2% of GDP, a threshold many have struggled to reach. As of July, only 11 NATO members had met or exceeded that level. Bloomberg’s report came after Trump claimed last week that, while in office, he had threatened not to defend those ‘delinquent’ NATO members that did not pay their fair share of defense spending if they were attacked by Russia. His remarks triggered condemnation both from the White House and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Moscow has repeatedly said it has no plans or interest in attacking the US-led military bloc.

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“I’ve never seen the nursing home known as the United States Senate work harder than when it comes to spending the American people’s money for foreign wars..”

Texas Should Be Renamed ‘Ukraine’ – Rep. Chip Roy (RT)

Republican congressman Chip Roy from Texas has slammed the US Senate for passing a $95 billion bill for Ukraine and Israel without including provisions for securing the southern border, calling the bill an “abomination.” The Democratic-led upper house passed the international security assistance package on Tuesday with a 70-29 vote after a group of Republican lawmakers broke ranks to back the measure – but it has yet to be approved by the House of Representatives. Speaking to Fox News on Tuesday, Roy proposed submitting a bill to rename the state of Texas as Ukraine, quipping that “then, maybe this administration and senators will work on securing the border of the United States.” “I’ve never seen the nursing home known as the United States Senate work harder than when it comes to spending the American people’s money for foreign wars,” the Republican lawmaker said.

Roy went on to call out GOP senators who supported the Senate bill, and who argued that much of the $60 billion for Ukraine would in fact support the US defense-industrial base and help American business. “Since when do we have economic development that is being driven by funding war overseas?” the congressman asked, insisting that “anybody that’s sane and sees what’s happening at our southern border would know that you cannot fund foreign wars, while our border is wide open and exposed to criminals and lawlessness and terrorists.” Roy stated that border security remains a priority for the American people as well as for Republicans in Congress, and vowed to block the Senate-approved bill when it gets to the House.

House speaker Mike Johnson has strongly opposed further funding for Ukraine unless it is tied to border security and tougher immigration laws. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has been urging Congress to speed up approval of the aid for Ukraine, arguing that stalling the funds plays into the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin and increases the likelihood of a direct confrontation with Moscow in the future. Biden has claimed the Russia could attack a NATO state if it manages to defeat Ukraine, which would require Washington to intervene, in line with the bloc’s mutual defense guarantee. Moscow, in turn, has repeatedly denied having any intention to attack NATO – with Putin stressing that Russia has “no interest… geopolitically, economically or militarily” in doing so, and would only engage in hostilities if attacked first.

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“It’s clear that the White House is trying, by hook or by crook, to push Congress to vote on a bill to approve funding [for Ukraine]. We’ll see what tricks the White House will use..”

Kremlin Responds To Rumors Of Russian Space Nukes (RT)

Western media reports claiming that Russia could place nuclear weapons in space are nothing more than a ploy by the White House to convince US lawmakers to approve further military aid to Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. Citing sources, several US media outlets reported this week that American intelligence had obtained information on purported Russian plans to deploy a nuclear anti-satellite system in orbit, although the idea supposedly remains at the developmental stage. ABC News claimed that while the system would not be used to attack targets on Earth, US officials still consider it “very concerning and very sensitive.” Responding on Thursday, Peskov suggested that the administration of US President Joe Biden is using the issue to force a vote to approve Ukraine aid. Moscow, however, will wait and see what comes from an upcoming White House briefing on the topic, Peskov added.

“It’s clear that the White House is trying, by hook or by crook, to push Congress to vote on a bill to approve funding [for Ukraine]. We’ll see what tricks the White House will use,” he said. Nuclear weapons in space are banned under the Outer Space Treaty, which was opened for signature by the US, Soviet Union, and the UK in 1967, as Moscow and Washington sought to ease tensions during the Cold War. More than 100 countries have since joined the treaty. On Wednesday, Republican congressman Mike Turner, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, claimed to have shared information “concerning a serious national security threat” with US lawmakers, while urging Biden to declassify the relevant materials. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan is scheduled to brief congressional leaders on security issues on Thursday.

When pressed on whether he would address Turner’s concerns, he declined to respond, noting he was “surprised” by the statement, given the upcoming meeting on the matter. His comments came after the New York Times suggested, citing sources, that Turner – whom it described as the administration’s ally on Ukraine aid – had pushed the nuclear issue into the spotlight, to “perhaps to create pressure” on lawmakers to approve $60 billion in supplemental funding for Kiev. The Biden administration has been urging Congress to approve more aid for Ukraine since the autumn. Its efforts have been met with opposition from Republicans, who have demanded that the White House do more to improve security on the southern US border in return.

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“..Wray promised to conduct an internal investigation to “figure out if there is more information we can provide.”

Epstein Victims Sue FBI (RT)

A dozen victims of Jeffrey Epstein have sued the FBI, alleging that the agency failed to properly investigate the notorious sex offender. They claim that the FBI sat on reports about Epstein’s activities for two decades, allowing the victims to be “trafficked, abused, raped, tortured and threatened.” The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in New York on Wednesday by 12 women, all of whom are referred to in the document as anonymous Jane Does. “For over two decades, the Federal Bureau of Investigation permitted Jeffrey Epstein to sex traffic and sexually abuse scores of children and young women by failing to do the job the American people expected of it,” the complaint alleges. “As a result of the continued failures of the FBI, Jane Does 1-12 bring this lawsuit to get to the bottom – once and for all – of the FBI’s role in Epstein’s criminal sex trafficking ring.”

According to the lawsuit, the FBI began receiving tips, reports, and complaints about Epstein’s alleged trafficking and abuse of minors in 1996, but failed to open a case or share this information with other law enforcement agencies. The FBI eventually opened a case in 2006, two years before Epstein pleaded guilty to a child prostitution charge in Florida. A controversial plea deal saw Epstein register as a sex offender and serve 13 months on supervised release in lieu of a possible life sentence. Despite the fact that he had been convicted for one offense and dodged a litany of other sex-trafficking charges, the FBI continued to ignore tips that flowed in over the next decade, the lawsuit claims. “As a direct and proximate cause of the FBI’s negligence, plaintiffs would not have been continued to be sex trafficked, abused, raped, tortured and threatened,” the complaint said. Epstein was eventually arrested in 2019 and charged with the trafficking of dozens of minors. He died awaiting trial in a Manhattan jail cell a month later, with his death officially ruled a suicide.

Epstein’s girlfriend and “madam,” Ghislaine Maxwell, was sentenced to 20 years behind bars for child sex trafficking in 2022. According to testimony from victims, Epstein and Maxwell recruited girls to perform sexual acts on themselves and their rich and powerful associates, and instructed these girls to recruit additional victims. Among the powerful men accused of abusing the girls was Britain’s Prince Andrew, who settled out of court with an accuser in 2022. The plaintiffs behind the latest lawsuit are seeking an unspecified amount in compensation and damages from the US government. The FBI has already been accused of negligence in its handling of the Epstein case. In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in December, agency Director Christopher Wray was asked why the FBI didn’t do more to stop the notorious pedophile. Wray promised to conduct an internal investigation to “figure out if there is more information we can provide.”

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Egypt has started building refugee camps.

Over a Million Palestinians to be Forced Into Egypt at Gunpoint (Mike Whitney)

Here’s a blurb from Israel’s first prime minister David Ben-Gurion who said: “You are no doubt aware of the [Jewish National Fund’s] activity in this respect. Now a transfer of a completely different scope will have to be carried out. In many parts of the country new settlement will not be possible without transferring the Arab fellahin.” He concluded: “Jewish power [in Palestine], which grows steadily, will also increase our possibilities to carry out this transfer on a large scale.” (1948) This same line of reasoning has persisted through the decades although today’s Zionists tend to express themselves more brashly and with less restraint. Take, for example, popular conservative pundit Ben Shapiro who presented his views in an article titled “Transfer is Not a Dirty Word”. Here’s what he said:

“If you believe that the Jewish state has a right to exist, then you must allow Israel to transfer the Palestinians and the Israeli-Arabs from Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Israel proper. It’s an ugly solution, but it is the only solution. And it is far less ugly than the prospect of bloody conflict ad infinitum…. The Jews don’t realize that expelling a hostile population is a commonly used and generally effective way of preventing violent entanglements. There are no gas chambers here. It’s not genocide; it’s transfer…. It’s time to stop being squeamish. Jews are not Nazis. Transfer is not genocide. And anything else isn’t a solution”. Transfer is Not a Dirty Word, Narkive “Squeamish”? Shapiro thinks that anyone who recognizes the appalling moral horror of driving people off their land and forcing them into refugee camps is squeamish?

This is the essence of political Zionism and it dates back to the very beginning of the Jewish state. So, when critics claim that Netanyahu has assembled the “most right-wing government in Israel’s history”, don’t believe them. Netanyahu is no better or worse than his predecessors. The only Prime Minister who veered even slightly from this ‘iron law’ of Zionism, was Yitzhak Rabin who was (predictably) assassinated by an opponent of Oslo. What does that tell you?It tells you there was never going to be a “two-state” solution; it was a charade from the get-go. And (as Netanyahu intimated recently) Israeli leaders merely played along with the hoax in order to buy-time to prepare for the solution that is being imposed today. Have you ever wondered why so many Israelis support Netanyahu’s murderous rampage in Gaza?

(Hint) It’s not because Israeli Jews are homicidal maniacs. No. It’s because they know what he is doing. They’re not taken-in by the “Hamas” diversion, that is merely propaganda pablum for the West. They know that Netanyahu is implementing a plan to seize all the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. And, in doing so, he is achieving the territorial ambitions of his Zionist ancestors. So, even though the majority of Israelis despise Netanyahu and think he should be prosecuted for corruption, they are willing to look the other way while he does their bidding. What onlookers need to realize is that the current strategy is not new at all, in fact, it has a 75 year-long pedigree that aligns with the demographic objectives of the Zionist leadership. None of this of course has anything to do with Hamas which is merely the pretext for the eradication of the indigenous people. What we are seeing is the actualization of the Zionist dream, the modern version of Plan Dalet, the original roadmap for ethnic cleaning that was drawn up in 1948.

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“He was the largest donor of the 2022 US midterm election season, funneling $128 million to Democratic candidates and organizations..”

Soros Could Take Control Of Hundreds Of US Radio Stations (RT)

Liberal financier George Soros has bought a major stake in the US’ second-largest radio company and could gain “effective control” of more than 220 stations across the country, the New York Post reported on Wednesday. Soros Fund Management purchased around $400 million of debt owed by the Audacy media group during its bankruptcy process, the newspaper reported, citing court filings. The billionaire bought the debt at roughly 50 cents on the dollar from hedge fund HG Vora, the report continued, noting that once the deal is approved by a bankruptcy court, Soros will own about 40% of Audacy’s overall debt. While 40% is not a majority stake, a source told the New York Post that Soros could nevertheless gain “effective control of the media giant when it emerges from bankruptcy.”

Audacy owns 227 music, sports, and talk radio stations in 45 US states. The company also owns CBS Radio, which operates 11 news stations including San Francisco’s KCBS and New York’s WCBS. After years of declining revenue, Audacy filed for bankruptcy early last month with $1.9 billion in debt. Should the deal go ahead as reported, Audacy will be the latest addition to Soros’ growing media empire. Soros Fund Management joined a consortium of creditors to purchase Vice Media last summer, paying $350 million to acquire a former media juggernaut once valued at $5.7 billion. An “insider source” cited by the New York Post described the Audacy deal as “scary,” saying he believed that Soros intended to use his stake to influence public opinion ahead of this year’s presidential election.

A hedge fund manager who shot to infamy for crashing the British pound in 1992, Soros is among the wealthiest men on earth, with an estimated net worth of around $7 billion. That’s on top of the $32 billion he’s donated to a web of NGOs, charities and political campaigns through his Open Society Foundations. Soros is an advocate for mass immigration to Western countries, European federalism, and economic and political liberalism. He was the largest donor of the 2022 US midterm election season, funneling $128 million to Democratic candidates and organizations. As well as direct donations to candidates and activist groups, Soros reportedly gave $300,000 to a group of TikTok influencers who collaborated with the White House to promote President Joe Biden’s policies. The Open Society Foundations announced last year that Soros, who is 93 years old, would step down from the helm of the organization and hand control to his 38-year-old son, Alex.

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“..“no one is buying European or German products,” he claimed, contributing to “a really critically-wounded Europe.” “We are in for very rocky times..”

Europe ‘In For Very Rocky Times’ After Failed Sanctions on Russia (Miles)

Beijing reacted angrily Wednesday to reports that the European Union plans to target three Chinese companies as part of the bloc’s 13th round of sanctions against Russia. The move by the EU follows claims that Chinese and Indian businesses have helped Russia “circumvent” European sanctions by providing them with electronic components used in the manufacturing of drones and other military equipment. The EU has imposed sanctions on Russia since the intensification of the Donbass conflict in early 2022. Beijing blasted the EU restrictions as “illegal” and criticized the “long-arm jurisdiction” against Chinese companies. China has benefited in recent months as Western sanctions against Russian energy have hampered European competitiveness, forcing companies in Germany and other EU nations to raise prices as they rely on more expensive American liquified natural gas.

Seen in this light, the EU’s attempts to punish Chinese businesses may be viewed as a desperate attempt to hobble the competition as Europe increasingly faces economic crisis and deindustrialization. Economist Richard Wolff joined Sputnik’s The Critical Hour program on Wednesday to discuss the grim economic outlook for the continent. “Europe, which has been kind of a dominant player in the whole world for a couple of thousand of years, is in what I believe to be – and I’m far from the only one – a crisis so profound it may be what we look back on and call the terminal crisis, the last one, because it literally cannot survive,” Wolff speculated. “On the one hand, it is being outcompeted by the United States, which has dominated it for the last 75 years anyway,” he noted. “But now the new player in the world economy, the People’s Republic of China and its allies, known generally as the BRICS, competing and challenging Europe, from the other side of the planet, if you like, means that Europe is caught between them.”

Wolff claimed the cultural, historical, and linguistic differences between EU countries have undermined the continent’s attempts to unify in recent decades. Now, Europe is a “junior partner” Wolff claimed, caught between the US-led G7 economic bloc and the China-led BRICS countries. While Europe previously benefited from its relationship with Russia in the form of cheap natural gas, Russia has now turned towards China and the other nations of the BRICS bloc after being “betrayed by the rest of Europe.” If the solidifying of new alliances has economically harmed Europe, it has benefitted Russia, Wolff claimed, which has been able to sell its oil and gas to India and China. “The Russian ruble is in fine shape. The Russian economy is growing faster than last year, [faster] than the United States is and is in no way falling apart,” the economist insisted. Meanwhile “no one is buying European or German products,” he claimed, contributing to “a really critically-wounded Europe.” “We are in for very rocky times,” Wolff warned ominously.

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“.. in the event of the bankruptcy of a major financial institution, derivative claimants are put first in line to grab the assets — not just the deposits of customers but their stocks and bonds..”

Defusing the Derivatives Time Bomb (Ellen Brown)

This is a sequel to a Jan. 15 article titled “Casino Capitalism and the Derivatives Market: Time for Another ‘Lehman Moment’?”, discussing the threat of a 2024 “black swan” event that could pop the derivatives bubble. That bubble is now over ten times the GDP of the world and is so interconnected and fragile that an unanticipated crisis could trigger the collapse not just of the bubble but of the economy. To avoid that result, in the event of the bankruptcy of a major financial institution, derivative claimants are put first in line to grab the assets — not just the deposits of customers but their stocks and bonds. This is made possible by the Uniform Commercial Code, under which all assets held by brokers, banks and “central clearing parties” have been “dematerialized” into fungible pools and are held in “street name.”

This article will consider several proposed alternatives for diffusing what Warren Buffett called a time bomb waiting to go off. That sort of bomb just detonated in the Chinese stock market, contributing to its fall; and the result could be much worse in the U.S., where the stock market plays a much larger role in the economy. A Jan.30 article on Bloomberg News notes that “Chinese stocks’ brutal start to the year is being at least partly blamed on the impact of a relatively new financial derivative known as a snowball. The products are tied to indexes, and a key feature is that when the gauges fall below built-in levels, brokerages will sell their related futures positions.” Further details are in a Jan. 23rd article titled “’Snowball’ Derivatives Feed China’s Stock Market Avalanche.” It states, “China’s plunging stock market is leading to losses on billions of dollars worth of derivatives linked to the country’s equity indexes, fuelling further selling as retail investors offload their positions…. Snowball products are similar to the index-linked products sold in the 2008 financial crisis, with investors betting that U.S. equities would not fall more than 25% or 30%,” which they did.

The Chinese stock market is much younger and smaller than that in the U.S., with a much smaller role in the economy. Thus China’s economy remains relatively protected from disruptive ups and downs in the stock market. Not so in the U.S., where speculating in the derivatives casino brought down international insurer AIG and investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2008, triggering the global financial crisis of 2008-09. AIG had to be bailed out by the taxpayers to prevent collapse of the too-big-to-fail derivative banks, and Lehman Brothers went through a messy bankruptcy that took years to resolve. In a December 2010 article on Seeking Alpha titled “Derivatives: The Big Banks’ Quadrillion-Dollar Financial Casino,” attorney Michael Snyder wrote, “derivatives were at the heart of the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, and whenever the next financial crisis happens, derivatives will undoubtedly play a huge role once again…. Today, the world financial system has been turned into a giant casino where bets are made on just about anything you can possibly imagine, and the major Wall Street banks make a ton of money from it. The system … is totally dominated by the big international banks.”

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Ron Paul Assange

 

 

 

 

Baby rhino

 

 

Bear and Moose

 

 

 

 

Lion turtle
https://twitter.com/i/status/1758108922764804147

 

 

Dinosaur
https://twitter.com/i/status/1758103418093064324

 

 

India and Pakistan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1758122937905820057

 

 

Bach

 

 

Legend

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 272023
 
 December 27, 2023  Posted by at 9:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  46 Responses »


Edward Hopper New York restaurant 1922

 

‘Rot In Hell’ Biden – Trump Christmas Greeting (RT)
Obama Shaped CIA To Boost His Political Agenda – Former Agent (JTN)
The Supreme Court Holds to Regular Order for the New Year (Turley)
India’s Turnaround On Palestine Has More Than Meets The Eye (Bhadrakumar)
US ‘Cannibalizing Europe’ – Oreshkin (RT)
Russia Now Europe’s Largest Economy – Oreshkin (Sp.)
German Car Industry Could Be Sold To China – Oreshkin (RT)
Russia – China Are on a Roll (Pepe Escobar)
CIA Struggling to Tackle ‘Horrendous’ Losses in China Spy Network (Sp.)
Germany’s Bundeswehr Not Battleworthy Beyond Several Hours’ Fight (TASS)
Ukrainian MP Explains Why Kiev Needs 500,000 More Conscripts (RT)
Why Russian Liberation of Maryinka is So Significant (Sp.)
Nearly 250,000 People Flood Southern Border In 1 Month (CS)
Gaetz Demands Transparency From Delta CEO About Illegal Immigrants (ET)

 

 

 

 

 

 

1947

 

 

 

 

Chris Farley

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We are in the fight of our lives to save our country from madness and doom.”

‘Rot In Hell’ Biden – Trump Christmas Greeting (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has posted Christmas greetings wishing eternal damnation on his political enemies and ranting about their alleged efforts to interfere in the 2024 election by blocking voters from returning him to power. Trump’s series of holiday messages on Monday reached a crescendo with a post wishing a merry Christmas to US President Joe Biden, federal prosecutor Jack Smith and world leaders, “both good and bad.” He concluded, “May they rot in hell. Again, merry Christmas.” Trump referred to his successor as “Crooked Joe Biden” and said Smith was the current president’s “only hope” to win reelection in 2024. Smith is prosecuting Trump in two criminal cases – alleging mishandling of classified documents and trying to overturn Biden’s 2020 election victory – and is trying to win convictions before voters go to the polls next November.

Referring to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) special counsel as an “out-of-control lunatic,” Trump claimed that Smith’s recent hiring of outside lawyers was an “unprecedented” move that aimed to “help him with his poorly executed witch hunt.” He went on to say that “the thugs we have inside our country” are trying to destroy the US through such measures as open borders, high inflation, high taxes, “woke military,” and Biden’s handling of Israel-Iran tensions and the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The ex-president lamented in another post that it was difficult for him to have a “truly great” Christmas as he faced “a crooked and incompetent president who wants to put his political opponent in jail.” He added, “We are in the fight of our lives to save our country from madness and doom.”

Trump also predicted that 2024 will “go down as the year of great and fully coordinated illegal election interference” by Biden, the DOJ, the FBI and politically motivated prosecutors around the country. In addition to the two federal cases, he faces criminal indictments on state charges in Georgia and New York. “But despite it all, in the end, there will be a big and glorious victory for those brave and valiant patriots who want to make America great again,” he said. “Merry Christmas to all!” Trump issued a more traditional holiday greeting on Sunday, wishing Americans a merry Christmas. He acknowledged the birth of Jesus Christ as the reason for the celebration and alluded to the 2024 election by referring to the “pivotal” year ahead. “May 2024 be the best year of our lives,” he concluded.

The former president has made a tradition of scathing holiday messages, such as a Thanksgiving greeting in which he blasted Biden and aired his legal grievances. His Christmas post last year called out “radical left Marxists,” the “lamestream media,” the DOJ and the FBI.

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“..the continued existence of a politicized [intelligence community] that will cause problems for years to come — long after Trump has left the political scene..”

Obama Shaped CIA To Boost His Political Agenda – Former Agent (JTN)

Former CIA agent John Gentry said that the CIA became politicized under the Obama administration with the hiring of Democratic activists who shifted the intelligence agency leftward. Gentry, a Georgetown University adjunct professor who served in the CIA from 1978 to 1990, details the agency’s political changes in his new book, “Neutering the CIA: Why U.S. Intelligence Versus Trump Has Long-Term Consequences.” The politicization of the non-partisan agency first became an issue in the 1990s under CIA analyst Robert Gates, who later went on to become defense secretary for both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Gentry says. At the time, Gates ordered reports to be skewed to support elected officials’ political narratives, according to The Washington Times.

Obama and his appointees “made and institutionalized significant changes, largely by creating new structures, policies, and incentives designed to alter organizational cultures in ways congruent with Obama’s political agenda,” Gentry wrote. He said that Democratic activists hired by Obama “shifted leftward the collective, politically salient worldview of the intelligence bureaucracy.” Gentry also calls the CIA a “center of partisan political activity.” This shift was illustrated in the 2016 election, with the most prominent example occurring with the embrace of the since discredited Christopher Steele dossier. “While activists tried hard to keep observers’ focus on Trump and his exceptionalism, the preponderance of evidence points strongly to the continued existence of a politicized [intelligence community] that will cause problems for years to come — long after Trump has left the political scene,” Gentry said.

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“..would overturn the long-standing Justice Department policy to avoid even the appearance of trying to influence elections..”

The Supreme Court Holds to Regular Order for the New Year (Turley)

The decision on Friday by the U.S. Supreme Court to deny a motion for expedited appeal is not ordinarily a matter for exhaustive media coverage. However, if the Trump name appears in the caption of a case, many legal experts suddenly jettison all due process concerns or sense of restraint. That is particularly true when the denial could — as here — prove highly beneficial to Donald Trump. The denial very likely ends the effort by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith to put Trump on trial just before the March 5 Super Tuesday primary elections, and it could well result in a trial after next November’s general election. Smith was able to get D.C. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan to shoehorn the trial into a small window in March 2024. At the time, some of us stated that we were skeptical whether Smith could hold to that date in light of the novel constitutional and evidentiary issues in the case.

Even with the expedited review of the D.C. Circuit appellate court with an oral argument scheduled for Jan. 9, it will take time to issue an opinion. Trump then has a right to seek review with the full court in an en banc petition. That could easily take weeks, even on an expedited basis. It would then have to be appealed to the Supreme Court for a full briefing and argument. That schedule would likely approach or pass the March date. Assuming Smith prevails in every review, the pretrial proceedings still would have to resume after the case is returned to Judge Chutkan. That could easily push any potential trial to within 60 days of the general election — a period in which the Justice Department has historically avoided prosecutions under a long-standing policy to prevent influencing elections.

Ironically, Judge Chutkan ruled against Trump on immunity and the scheduling by insisting that he should be treated no differently from ordinary citizens. That is precisely what the Supreme Court just did. It refused to take away an appeal that most ordinary defendants could expect from the courts. Once the Court’s rejection became known on Friday, the coverage was full of anger and accusations. Before the ruling, many legal experts praised Smith and supported the effort to cut short Trump’s right to appeal. Just a day before the Court’s decision to turn down Smith, legal expert Dave Aronberg declared on MSNBC that “the Supreme Court seems to be willing to hopscotch over the appellate court. Jack Smith is calling Trump’s bluff.” It did not exactly work out that way.

Although the justices’ actual vote on the motion is not known, commentators immediately declared that conservatives on the Court had rendered a politically calculated opinion to spare Trump. A typical take appeared on Vox, where senior correspondent Ian Millhiser referred to “the GOP-controlled Supreme Court” and that three justices are Trump appointees, in order to paint the decision as nothing more than a rigged process. The decision, however, stuck with the regular order of appeals used for defendants. The extraordinary act would have been for the Supreme Court to allow Smith to bypass the court of appeals for no other reason than his insistence that the case is hugely important.

It is clear, of course, that the case is important — but the question is why such weighty issues should be given less judicial scrutiny due to that importance. A full appeal can produce concessions or admissions by a party in the course of arguing the issues. It creates a full appellate record that is considered by the Supreme Court, along with the trial record. So far, just one judge has ruled on this matter. The D.C. Circuit adds at least three — and potentially more — appellate judges as part of the standard review process.

If anything, Smith has an advantage before the D.C. Circuit. Notably, while two of the three judges were appointed by President Joe Biden, much of the media does not refer to the panel as “Democratic-controlled.”Every defendant is entitled to due process, including a full opportunity of appellate review absent a set of narrow, expedient circumstances. This was not one of those. Smith never actually explained why the trial is so urgent that the defendant should be denied one of two courts for appellate review. The assumption is that Smith’s urgency is to convict Trump before the 2024 election for the benefit of voters. That, of course, would overturn the long-standing Justice Department policy to avoid even the appearance of trying to influence elections.

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“The way out of this impasse lies in Israel reinventing itself. But the near civil war conditions in the country won’t permit that to happen.”

India’s Turnaround On Palestine Has More Than Meets The Eye (Bhadrakumar)

Indian diplomacy is ending 2023 with a momentous turnaround. What began as a course correction necessitated by the torrential flow of events in West Asia is assuming strategic overtones. Truly, the aberration in India’s policies can be traced to the UPA rule (2004-2014) but it is under the period since then 2014 that they accentuated phenomenally and began creating contradictions undermining national interests. This aberration also led to a serious erosion of India’s strategic autonomy in a transformative international environment. India’s voting pattern in the United Nations with regard to the Israel-Palestine conflict is lately marked by a calibrated distancing from Israel. Only a few weeks ago, Israel’s ambassador in Delhi bullishly described the Indian stance as one of “100% support” to his country. But that is no more the case today.

Delhi has rejected the repeated Israeli entreaties to declare Hamas as a terrorist organisation, marking its independent opinion regarding the ecosystem of resistance movements. Indeed, this is a highly significant distinction that Delhi is making vis-a-vis the Israeli and Western narrative about Hamas. although India has not hesitated to condemn the violence directed against Israel on October 7, it refused to name Hamas. Considering that Hamas had a chequered past of receiving patronage from Israel, Tel Aviv has no right to expect Delhi to dance to its tunes. Equally, Hamas’ future is far from an open and shut case. The fact that Sinn Fein and Irish opinion has shown empathy towards Hamas, or that South Africa, which has itself been a victim of apartheid, has recalled its ambassador and diplomatic mission to Israel, calling the horrific Gaza killings as “genocide,” go to show that the embers of national liberation struggle are still burning.

Although India expressed “solidarity” with the Israeli people over the brutal violence on October 7, it cannot condone the vastly disproportionate Israeli retaliation since then, blithely calling it a matter of Israel’s ‘right to self-defence’. On December 13, India voted in favour of a resolution in the UN General Assembly that demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict. This was the first time India supported such a resolution since the war broke out more than two months ago. Such a stance puts India on the right side of history, as the 193-member UNGA overwhelmingly adopted the resolution at an emergency special session, with 153 nations voting in its favour. A third aspect is that from a geopolitical perspective, Delhi has marked its distance from the US-Israeli campaign branding Iran as the instigator of extremist groups acting against Israel.

Interestingly, on December 19, India was one of only thirty states — along with Russia and China — who voted against a UN resolution on “the human rights situation in Iran.” The running thread here is that India has reverted to its traditional stance on the Palestine problem and jettisoned the tilt supportive of Israeli interests. The unprecedented unity among the Arab countries, the close coordination between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the huge groundswell of opinion in the Arab world against Israeli atrocities against the Palestinian populations in Gaza and West Bank — all this has created a new momentum in Middle East politics that has pitchforked the Palestine problem to the centre stage, which is something India cannot afford to ignore. Nor can Delhi be oblivious of the new reality that something has fundamentally changed in the dynamics of the Palestine problem after the events since October 7.

The Israeli ploys of dissimulation and evasiveness and deliberate wrecking of dialogue process and negotiations may no longer work. Indeed, Israel’s overwhelming military superiority vis-a-vis its Arab neighbours has lost its relevance. Coupled with the US’ loss of influence and America’s waning global hegemony alongside the sharp polarisation of opinion within Israel itself internally add up to create grave uncertainties regarding the future of the state of Israel as it exists today. Suffice to say, India feels the need to adapt to the new conditions in West Asia where regional countries prefer to settle their issues by themselves, which in turn undermines the rationale behind the creation of Israel as a cockpit of western strategic interests. The way out of this impasse lies in Israel reinventing itself. But the near civil war conditions in the country won’t permit that to happen.

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Maksim Oreshkin is not a public figure. But when he appears, pay attention. He’s labeled a “Putin aide”, but he’s his no.1 economic adviser. A very influential man.

US ‘Cannibalizing Europe’ – Oreshkin (RT)

The US insistence on sanctioning Russia has caused a downturn in the EU economy, according to President Vladimir Putin’s top economic adviser, Maksim Oreshkin. In an interview with Expert magazine published on Tuesday, Oreshkin said the sanctions imposed since February last year have caused the EU to lose both its energy security and a key export market. Oreshkin pointed to the key factors underlying the EU’s economic prosperity, outlined by the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. They include easy availability of energy resources from Russia, the use of cheap production in China, and access to the Russian and Chinese markets. “The gradual loss of these factors is leading the EU economy towards long-term stagnation,” Oreshkin argued, “because European manufacturers now have neither the export market nor the advantages in technology that they had five to ten years ago.”

Oreshkin accused the US of “cannibalizing its European partners, killing European chemicals, automotive and other industries.” This comes amid a broader degradation of the West and its economic model, he said. “The economies of the Global North – the US, Japan, the EU – are slowly losing their status, their significance. This gradual decay of the countries of the Global North and the growth of countries in the East and South is what will further shape the landscape of the global economy,” he predicted. Oreshkin noted that China has already become the leading global economic power, while Russia is now the largest economy in Europe, “on course to replace Japan as the world’s fourth largest.”

According to the presidential aide, the world’s key economic players will be focusing their development strategies on growing markets in Asia and Africa in the coming years. Russia’s development will take the same direction, he predicted, especially in the energy sphere. “The stronger the economic growth [in Asia and Africa], the higher will their level of energy consumption be, and the better the energy markets will feel… For Russia, the key task is to remain the most efficient producers of what we make, which includes energy. We must have lower costs, more efficient production, and then the changes that will occur in the energy markets will affect us to a lesser extent.”

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“..the so-called economies of the Global North – the United States, Japan, the EU – are gradually losing their role and importance.”

Russia Now Europe’s Largest Economy – Oreshkin (Sp.)

Russia has become the largest economy in Europe, revealed Russian presidential aide Maxim Oreshkin in an interview with Expert magazine. Globally, he also stated that the Russian economy sits just behind Japan in the race for the fourth-largest economy. According to Oreshkin, “the so-called economies of the Global North – the United States, Japan, the EU – are gradually losing their role and importance.” “China has become the leading economy, Russia is now the largest economy in Europe and is closing in on Japan in the race for fourth rank. Asian economies have moved up significantly in the rankings, with India taking third place, Indonesia moving up to seventh place and poised to challenge Germany’s sixth place in the near future,” Oreshkin said. According to the World Bank, China emerged as the world’s largest economy in purchasing power parity terms in 2022. The United States secured second place, followed by India in third and Japan in fourth. Russia secured fifth place, while Germany remained in sixth.

Back in October, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised its 2023 GDP growth forecast for Russia to 2.2% growth compared to the earlier prediction of 1.5% in July. However, the outlook for 2024 has been adjusted downward to 1.1% from 1.3%. The IMF noted “mixed effects” of Western sanctions on Russian crude oil exports in its latest World Economic Outlook. Despite sanctions, Russian export flows remained stable, and crude oil continues trading above the $60 price cap imposed by the G7 countries. Earlier, Russian Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov hinted at a 3.5% GDP growth in 2023, but the formal forecast of 2,9% remained unchanged. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin was more optimistic and asserted a minimum 3.5% growth by the year’s end, surpassing the ministry’s official 2.8% forecast for 2023.

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May sound crazy, but the reasoning is solid.

German Car Industry Could Be Sold To China – Oreshkin (RT)

China is rapidly gaining market capitalization in the global automobile sector, while European carmakers are losing competitiveness, Maksim Oreshkin, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top economic adviser, told Expert magazine in an interview published on Tuesday. Oreshkin noted that China has already become the number one exporter of cars in the world, which does not bode well for European car brands. “I wouldn’t be surprised if companies like Mercedes and BMW fade into history in ten years. As brands they will probably remain, but will follow the fate of Volvo, which was sold to China. In other words, they will actually cease to be European cars,” the presidential aide predicted.

“European manufacturers now have neither the market nor the technological advantage that they had five to ten years ago,” according to Oreshkin. The broader EU, and Germany, its industrial powerhouse, in particular, have been in the grip of an economic crisis for the past year and a half, ever since Brussels launched its sanctions war on Russia in response to the Ukraine conflict. As a result, the bloc lost access to cheap energy from Russia, which used to power much of its industry. Earlier this year, the head of Germany’s Association of the Automotive Industry, Hildegard Muller, warned that the country “is losing dramatically its international competitiveness” as the location for the automobile industry because of soaring energy costs.

China became the world’s largest automobile exporter for the first time in Q1 this year, having sold 1.07 million vehicles and pushing Japan to second place. The country has kept up its lead in the following quarters, with the export volume registering a year-on-year growth of 59.7% in January-October at 3.92 million units, according to data from the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. Meanwhile, following the departure of European, American, South Korean, and Japanese carmakers due to sanctions, China became Russia’s biggest automobile supplier in 2023. According to the latest available data, Chinese brands accounted for 92% of all Russian car imports between January and August.

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The west goes down. The rest does not.

Russia – China Are on a Roll (Pepe Escobar)

One of the most impressive features of the expanded Russia-China partnership is what is being planned for the Chinese northeastern province of Heilongjiang. The idea is to turn it into an economic, scientific development and national defense mega-hub, centered on the provincial capital Harbin, complete with a new, sprawling Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The key vector is that this mega-hub would also coordinate the development of the immense Russian Far East. This was discussed in detail at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok last September. In a unique, startling arrangement, the Chinese may be allowed to manage selected latitudes of the Russian Far East for the next 100 years. As Hong Kong-based analyst Thomas Polin detailed, Beijing is budgeting no less than 10 trillion yuan ($1.4 trillion) for the whole thing. Half of it would be absorbed by Harbin.

The blueprint will reach the National People’s Congress next March, and is expected to be approved. It has already been approved by the lower house of the Duma in Moscow. The ramifications are mind-boggling. We would have Harbin elevated to the status of direct-administered city, just like Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing. And most of all a Sino-Russian Management Committee will be established in Harbin to oversee the whole project. Top flight Chinese universities – including Peking University – would transfer their main campuses to Harbin. The universities of National Defense and National Defense Technology would merge with Harbin Engineering University to form a new entity focused on defense industries. High-tech research institutes and companies in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen would also move to Harbin.

The People’s Bank of China would establish its HQ for northern China in Harbin, complete with markets trading stocks and commodities futures. Residents of Heilongjiang would be allowed to travel back and forth to designated Russian Far East regions without a visa. The new Heilongjiang SEZ would have its own customs area and no import taxes. That’s the same spirit driving BRI connectivity corridors and the International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC). The underlying rationale is wider Eurasia integration. At the recent Astana Club meeting in Kazakhstan, researcher Damjan Krnjevic-Miskovic, Director of Policy Research at the ADA University in Baku, gave an excellent presentation on connectivity corridors.

He referred for instance to the C5+1 (five Central Asian “stans” plus China) meeting three months ago in Dushanbe joined by Azerbaijan’s president Aliyev: that translates as Central Asia-Caucasus integration. Miskovic is paying due attention to everything that is evolving in what he defines, correctly, as “the Silk Road region” – interlinking the Euro-Atlantic with Asia-Pacific and interconnecting West Asia, South Asia and wider Eurasia. Strategically, of course, that’s the “geopolitical hinge where NATO meets the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and where the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) connects with Turkiye and the territory of the EU.” In practical terms, Russia-China know exactly what needs to be done to propel economic connectivity and “synergistic relationships” all across this vast spectrum.

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“We have no real insight into [Chinese] leadership plans and intentions in China at all..”

CIA Struggling to Tackle ‘Horrendous’ Losses in China Spy Network (Sp.)

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is struggling to rebuild its damaged spy network in China, unnamed American officials have told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). According to them, the goal is to restore the CIA’s “human espionage capabilities” in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), where the agency lost its network of agents a decade ago. The sources referred to what they described as Beijing’s spycatchers, who “all but blinded” CIA agents in China at the time, when the officials claimed at least “two dozen assets” providing information to the US had been executed or put behind bars. The officials argued that the US currently faces limited understanding of secret plans by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his associates on key security issues, including those pertaining to Taiwan.

“We have no real insight into [Chinese] leadership plans and intentions in China at all,” the sources claimed. The insiders added that details of what went wrong are not known to the public and it is unclear whether any of the CIA’s employees have been held accountable. One official argued that the agency’s losses in China were “horrendous.” Per the sources, the CIA and other US spy agencies cut spending on counterterrorism and other targets to focus on funding programs to penetrate the Chinese government after 2020. One official made it clear that strengthening the human spy network targeted on China will be a tricky task, saying, “The reality is that you don’t have collection resources that you can exploit all over the world.”

The claims come after CIA Director William Burns said in an interview with the WSJ that China remains at the top of the agency’s to-do list. “We are approaching the PRC as a global priority, more than doubling the budget resources devoted to the China mission over the past three years, and establishing the China Mission Center as CIA’s only single country mission center to coordinate the full agency’s efforts on this issue. Even as we are balancing multiple priorities including ongoing conflicts, we remain intensely engaged on the strategic long-term challenge posed by the PRC,” he said.

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“Before it would have endured three days. Now it’s a matter of hours..”

Germany’s Bundeswehr Not Battleworthy Beyond Several Hours’ Fight (TASS)

The current material and technical condition of Germany’s armed forces, the Bundeswehr, has deteriorated sharply over the past two years, Colonel (Ret.) Ralf Thiele, a retired Bundeswehr officer told the Focus Online publication. “At the beginning of the attack (the start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine – TASS), the Bundeswehr was already understaffed. Now it is even worse,” he contends. According to the expert, the German armed forces can only blame themselves for this deplorable state of affairs, as they long delayed needed upgrades. Should Germany or any other NATO country be attacked, the Bundeswehr’s equipment would not last long, Thiele believes. “Before it would have endured three days. Now it’s a matter of hours,” Thiele remarked without elaborating. At the end of February 2022, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced the creation of a special 100 bln euro fund specifically for upgrading the Bundeswehr.

The earmarked funds were to be used for investment and armament projects, in particular, the purchase of new equipment, ammunition and machinery. According to German experts, however, no significant improvement in the material and technical base of the country’s armed forces has been achieved yet. In late March, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius sacked Gabriele Korb, the head of the Federal Office for Defense Technology and Procurement. She had come under criticism for overly long timeframes and overly complex procedures for weapons and equipment procurement. The total amount of German support for Ukraine – including humanitarian, financial and military assistance – has exceeded 25 bln euros since February 2022. In November, it was reported that the German government intended to increase support for Kiev from 4 bln euros to 8 bln euros in 2024. However, the authorities have not yet agreed on the budget for next year due to fiscal problems.

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They made people believe they were winning.

Ukrainian MP Explains Why Kiev Needs 500,000 More Conscripts (RT)

The Ukrainian military needs 500,000 new conscripts to cover casualties and man new units created during the next 12 months, the secretary of Ukraine’s parliamentary national security committee, Roman Kostenko, has said. The lawmaker also warned that eligible Ukrainians would not escape the ongoing mobilization. President Vladimir Zelensky claimed last week that the military leadership had requested the mobilization of “450,000-500,000 individuals” amid the conflict with Russia. Earlier this month, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu estimated that Kiev had lost more than 383,000 troops, both killed and wounded, since the start of hostilities in February 2022. In an interview with the Ukrinform media outlet published on Monday, Kostenko lamented that his compatriots “thought that we would win soon,” which instilled the belief in Ukrainians that “they could live quietly [and] not prepare for mobilization.”

“And now the words about an additional 450,000-500,000 mobilized have become a cold shower for everyone,” the lawmaker said. He added that the figure roughly reflects the armed forces’ needs in terms of replenishing “sanitary losses during the year” as well as forming new units. The military, according to Kostenko, must plan years ahead as the conflict “can… drag on for a long time.” The national security committee chief added that the Ukrainian government should shift the focus of its information policy from the promise of a quick victory and a vacation in Crimea to a more solemn message that “everyone must protect the Motherland. No one will evade it.”

Several Ukrainian media outlets reported on Monday that the legislation currently being considered by the Verkhovna Rada calls for the conscription age to be lowered from 27 to 25. The draft law is also said to include the introduction of electronic military draft notices, which would be sent via email and other means. According to reports, draft dodgers will be banned from receiving certain benefits and services from the state, obtaining loans, traveling abroad, and carrying out property transactions. MP Vadim Ivchenko told the Strana.ua news outlet that men hiding from mobilization abroad could be denied consular services, including the issuance of new IDs.

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“There were firing positions for long-range artillery and MLRS that shelled Donetsk. Now Maryinka is taken and thus the threat was moved away from Donetsk.”

Why Russian Liberation of Maryinka is So Significant (Sp.)

Russia’s Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu formally announced that the Russian Armed Forces liberated Maryinka, a heavily fortified city in the Donetsk People’s Republic, which for years served as an important stronghold for the Ukrainian troops, on December 25. Maryinka’s close proximity to the region’s capital of Donetsk allowed Ukrainian forces to shell the bigger city with relative impunity, noted military analyst Anatoliy Matviychuk, a retired colonel of the Russian Armed Forces. “Most importantly, they (Ukrainian forces) turned that city into a fortification,” Matviychuk said. “There were firing positions for long-range artillery and MLRS that shelled Donetsk. Now Maryinka is taken and thus the threat was moved away from Donetsk.”

He further noted that the liberation of Maryinka results in Russian forces taking control of “a hub of railways and highways,” not to mention cutting off the supply lines for the Ukrainian forces in the sector.The Russian victory in Maryinka also means that Ukrainian forces suffered a huge blow to their morale and lost confidence in their ability to hold their positions, suggested Colonel General Georgy Shpak, ex-commander of the Russian Airborne Forces. “Already, as I’ve learned, the number of Ukrainian soldiers who want to end up in Russian captivity has drastically increased,” Shpak said, adding that Kiev troops are becoming disaffected with their leaders and their ideals. Meanwhile, Ret. Col. Rustem Klupov, a military analyst and Russian military intelligence veteran, argued that the liberation of Maryinka was the beginning of a breakthrough in multilayered enemy defense in the sector, which may be followed by further breakthroughs in the Artemovsk and Avdeyevka sectors.

“These three directions – Artemovsk, Maryinka and Avdeyevka – they may lead to a strategic advance towards Pavlograd and Dnepropetrovsk, that’s about 200 kilometers, in order to encircle the enemy attack force that sought to punch through our frontlines in the south,” Klupov said. According to him, such a move by Russian forces would put the entire Ukrainian southern army group at risk as Kiev would be forced to either pull these troops back or risk them being cut off. “The success of this big operation is being determined there, near Avdeyevka and Maryinka,” Klupov claimed. While Kiev’s “counteroffensive” that started early in June and ended without much fanfare by the year’s end failed to produce any results apart from tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers killed, Russian forces scored a number of victories in 2023 which include the liberation of the cities of Artemovsk, Soledar and Maryinka.

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“Aliens cross the border illegally, test the system, are released into the interior, and then call home to share their experiences. That’s happened millions of times in the past three years.”

Nearly 250,000 People Flood Southern Border In 1 Month (CS)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered a new record number of illegal border crossers in November as the agency pleaded for help from Congress. Total illegal border crossers encountered along the southwest border in November were 242,418. The majority of apprehensions, 191,113, occurred between ports of entry. CBP agents also processed more than 43,000 people at ports of entry who made appointments through the CBP One App. As part of the administration’s expanded parole program to foreign nationals from specific countries, which Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced earlier this year, an unprecedented number of Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans were released into the U.S. who otherwise would not have been allowed in. Early this year, 20 states sued over the program, which they argue is illegal.

The plan initially allowed up to 30,000 Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans to enter the U.S. a month. Since then, that total and the program were expanded. Through the end of November 2023, CBP reports that 297,000 Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans “arrived lawfully under the parole processes.” More than 62,000 Cubans, more than 120,000 Haitians, more than 54,000 Nicaraguans, and more than 81,000 Venezuelans “were vetted and authorized for travel,” CBP states. They were released into the U.S. CBP also states that more than 60,000 Cubans, 112,000 Haitians, 47,000 Nicaraguans, and 76,000 Venezuelans arrived at the border and were granted parole. CBP processing facilities are currently at capacity along the southwest border in what is projected to be the largest number of illegal entries for the month of December in U.S. history.

In response to the surge at the border, CBP directed more personnel and transportation resources to areas being hard hit in order to transfer illegal foreign nationals “from high traffic areas to locations where they can be efficiently and humanely processed,” it said. “We are screening and vetting every individual we encounter at the border and those without a legal basis to stay are processed for removal,” the statement says. Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner Troy Miller also said the agency needed more resources from Congress, at a time when Republican Congressional leaders are planning on impeaching Mayorkas in January over the border crisis. “We are facing a serious challenge along the southwest border and CBP and our federal partners need more resources from Congress – as outlined in the supplemental budget request – to enhance border security and America’s national security,” Miller said in a statement.

“Despite ongoing challenges, in November, the men and women of CBP continued their tireless work and recorded increased seizures of illegal narcotics while facilitating lawful trade and increased holiday travel.” U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green, R-Tenn., who has vowed to impeach Mayorkas next month, said, “When there is no meaningful consequence applied to illegal activity, that activity will continue – and others will get the message that they can also engage in it with impunity. That’s exactly what has happened at our borders since Secretary Mayorkas took office. Aliens cross the border illegally, test the system, are released into the interior, and then call home to share their experiences. That’s happened millions of times in the past three years.” Green said this will not stop “so long as Secretary Mayorkas doubles down on his refusal to enforce the immigration laws passed by Congress. He must be held accountable.”

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“..legitimate major airline boarding passes for migrants that quite literally have the name printed as ‘NO NAME GIVEN.'”

Gaetz Demands Transparency From Delta CEO About Illegal Immigrants (ET)

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has raised national security concerns about Delta Air Lines’ role in transporting illegal immigrants from the U.S. southern border into the country’s interior without being “properly vetted.” In a letter to Delta CEO Ed Bastion on Friday, Mr. Gaetz urged transparency regarding arrangements between the airline, federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) facilitating transportation. “It has recently come to my attention that Delta Air Lines is transporting non-resident aliens from the southern border of the United States into the interior of the country,” Mr. Gaetz wrote. “The United States Congress has an interest in understanding pursuant to which arrangements with federal agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) non-resident aliens are able to book and travel on Delta Air Lines flights.”

Sparked by claims in viral social media posts, Mr. Gaetz cited national security concerns around NGOs that receive taxpayer funds buying flights for illegal immigrants who have not been vetted and who seem to be boarding flights without proper identification. These concerns were also put to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Wednesday. Mr. Cruz sought information about the screening procedures for illegal immigrants crossing the border via the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “CBP One” app and being helped onto flights to the country’s interior from southern border locations. In his letter to the Delta Air Lines boss, Mr. Gaetz said, “As you are likely aware, certain NGOs receive federal grants, including through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program and Shelter and Services Program, making it possible that these NGOs are using federal money to purchase flights for non-resident aliens on Delta Air Lines.”

The Republican congressman echoed Mr. Cruz, saying it was “alarming” that American taxpayers are paying for illegal immigrants to fly around the country from the U.S. southern border who “may not be properly vetted.” “Therefore, I am concerned the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) may be allowing nonresident aliens to board flights, including those operated by Delta Air Lines, with an alternate form of identification that meets a weaker standard than that used to verify the identities of American citizens when they fly,” he added.

Mr. Gaetz sought answers from Ms. Bastion to the following questions:
• How many nonresident aliens has Delta Ait Lines transported on behalf of governmental or nongovernmental organizations since January 20, 2021?
• How do NGOs purchase or reimburse your airlines for the tickets of non-resident aliens?
• Are you now receiving, or have you ever received, any incentive to reimbursement, including money, credit, or other benefits from the federal government, in exchange for the transport of nonresident aliens?
• Has the TSA notified you of what forms of identification are acceptable for nonresident aliens to clear airport security and board your flights? If so, what are they?

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Cobalt

 

 

 

 

Blue magpie

 

 

Okapi

 

 


Athens Christmas

 

 

 

 

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Nov 172023
 
 November 17, 2023  Posted by at 9:22 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  34 Responses »


Jackson Pollock The Deep 1943

 

Former Israeli PM Calls To Oust Netanyahu, ‘Extremist’ Allies (Cradle)
Iran Will ‘Do Whatever It Takes’ To Help Hamas – Top Commander (RT)
Western Elite Ignoring Pro-Palestine Protests May Be Fatal Mistake (Blankenship)
Just How Many Faked Videos by the IDF Can Western Media Handle? (Jay)
CIA Chief’s Ukraine Visit Linked to Looming Palace Coup Against Zelensky (Sp.)
CIA’s Desperate Gambit in Kiev (The Islander News)
End ‘Magical Thinking’ About Russia’s Defeat – WSJ essay (RT)
US Abrams Tanks Made No Difference – Zelensky (RT)
Xi Outmanuevers Biden in San Francisco (Pepe Escobar)
China Seeks Neither Hegemony Nor To Wage War With Anyone — Xi Jinping (TASS)
Rand Paul Wants Federal Prosecution of Fauci for COVID Coverup (ET)
No Charges Likely In Biden Classified Document Scandal (ZH)
Should Joe Biden Be Banned? (Turley)
Appeals Court Lifts Trump Gag Order In NY Fraud Case (ZH)

 

 

 

 

UN Palestine

 

 

Jimmy Dore

 

 

 

 

Tucker Iran

 

 

McGovern

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Netanyahu has lost the trust of his citizens, the trust of the international community, and most seriously – the trust of the Israeli security system..”

Former Israeli PM Calls To Oust Netanyahu, ‘Extremist’ Allies (Cradle)

Yair Lapid, former Israeli prime minister of the Yesh Atid opposition party, called on 15 November for Benjamin Netanyahu to be replaced as premier. In an interview with Hebrew news outlet Channel 12, Lapid said: “The public has lost faith in Netanyahu … we can’t run an extended [military] operation with a prime minister we do not have faith in.” Lapid called for the prime minister to be replaced by another member of his Likud party without carrying out an election. “What we need is a national rehabilitation government. We need to begin the repairing and healing process,” the former prime minister said. Lapid said his party would be fully willing to join a new government still led by the Likud, but it is not the right time for elections in Israel. The opposition leader did not name any Likud figure he sees fit for the premiership.

“I think at the end of the day, I’m worried about the real issue, and the real issue now is for us to have a functioning government.” “Yesterday on Channel 12, I explained that the time has come – we need to establish a national reconstruction government. Likud will lead it, Netanyahu and the extremists will be replaced, and over 90 MKs will be partners in a coalition of healing and reconnection.” In a long thread on the X platform, Lapid praised the army and its operation in Gaza and reiterated that the war would be a “long and complex” one. “The Israeli public is showing resilience, and civil society has mobilized in the thousands … The weak link is the government, and especially the prime minister … Netanyahu has lost the trust of his citizens, the trust of the international community, and most seriously – the trust of the Israeli security system,” he said.

Lapid’s words come as recent polling has indicated a significant increase in mistrust and bitterness toward Netanyahu. According to a Maariv poll from last week, only 26 percent of Israelis believe Netanyahu is suitable to be prime minister. Another recent poll shows that 76 percent of Israelis want him out of office and that 44 percent hold Netanyahu responsible for what happened on 7 October. Israel’s former prime minister Ehud Olmert said last week that Netanyahu is “a danger to Israel.”

Netanyahu is Finished | Jeffrey Sachs

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Soleimani’s successor.

Iran Will ‘Do Whatever It Takes’ To Help Hamas – Top Commander (RT)

The head of Iran’s elite Quds Force has vowed to do “whatever it takes” to back Hamas in its war with Israel, claiming that the Palestinian militant group is headed for an “impressive victory” in Gaza. In a letter addressed to the commander of Hamas’ armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Quds Force leader Esmail Qaani declared that Tehran and its allies “will not allow this brutal enemy and those standing behind him to conquer Gaza and its heroic people.” “We will do whatever it takes in this historic battle,” Qaani said, adding that Hamas had “proved to everyone that the resistance in Gaza is capable of initiative and innovation, while maintaining its organization and field capabilities.”

Published on Thursday by the state-backed Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), the letter comes just one day after Reuters reported that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had informed Hamas that his country would not get directly involved in the Gaza war. Instead, Khamenei reportedly restated Iran’s long standing “political and moral support” for Hamas, but ruled out military intervention. Earlier on Thursday, however, top Hamas official Osama Hamdan dismissed the Reuters story, telling IRNA: “Instead of providing information, this news agency has published worthless lies.” He added that such reports are intended to harm the image of Hamas and its allies in the “axis of resistance” – a network of Iran-backed militia groups in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza.

Iranian officials have yet to comment on the Reuters report. Qaani went on to congratulate the Palestinian armed faction for an “impressive victory and qualitative achievement that is unprecedented in the history of the conflict,” assuring that “Your brothers in the resistance axis stand united with you.” The Quds Force is the foreign operations arm of Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), responsible for military and intelligence missions beyond Iran’s borders. Qaani took over the force in 2020 after his predecessor, Qasem Soleimani, was killed in a US drone strike near Baghdad.

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“The fact that he is staying firm on his position with Israel, despite protests from his own party and reportedly his own staff, is a grave mistake.”

Western Elite Ignoring Pro-Palestine Protests May Be Fatal Mistake (Blankenship)

In recent days, there has been a wave of pro-Palestine protests across the world as violence in Gaza escalates in the wake of an Israeli invasion and bombing campaign that has killed thousands, including many women and children, in response to the deadly terrorist attack by Hamas on October 7. One of the key questions is, will this actually amount to any change in so-called Western democracies that are standing behind Israel’s onslaught? It depends on the country; however, largely, the answer is no – at least for the countries that have the most pull over Israel’s position. In the United States, lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Party are reportedly ducking calls from concerned constituents who are calling for a ceasefire. President Joe Biden, when asked by reporters if there was any possibility for a halt to the violence, said, “None. No possibility.”

This is worrying because, in principle, in a democracy, politicians are supposed to respond to the will of constituents. They are also supposed to bend to popular will, given that their electoral odds hinge on the opinions of voters. Arab Americans, including in key swing states, are fed up with the Biden administration’s policies in general – but also particularly with its dealings with Israel. Support for Biden among them now stands at a mere 17%, and 40% are inclined to vote for Republican former President Donald Trump in the 2024 election, according to a poll conducted by the Arab American Institute. Massive protests, calls for voters, and the very real possibility that Biden’s position on Israel could forfeit the upcoming 2024 presidential election to Trump, the likely Republican Party nominee, show that Western democracy – especially in the US – is in shambles.

When politicians ignore popular will, it shows that there is a serious crisis with the ordinary function of supposedly democratic institutions. At the same time, it must be noted that Biden has not shied away from his pro-Israel leanings. To quote then-Senator Joe Biden, a self-described Zionist, from 1986, “There’s no apology to be made [for supporting Israel]. None. It is the best three-billion-dollar investment we make. Were there not an Israel, the United States of America would have to invent an Israel to protect her interests in the region.” Still, as a unity president (at least in theory), Biden has a responsibility to shirk ideology in order to preserve democracy – especially when it is under full-scale assault by an opposition party that casts doubt on the legitimacy of elections and does not believe Biden was rightfully elected. The fact that he is staying firm on his position with Israel, despite protests from his own party and reportedly his own staff, is a grave mistake.

The situation in Europe is also more nuanced. Here we are seeing countries, like the Czech Republic and Hungary, remain steadfast in their unwavering support for Israel despite some opposition, and the former has even outlawed pro-Palestine demonstrations. French President Emmanuel Macron recently urged Israel to stop bombing Gaza – but he is also facing open criticism from his own ambassadors for his support for Israel. France has also outlawed pro-Palestine protests. But some countries, like Ireland and Spain, are openly critical of Israel and are considering cutting diplomatic ties. If nothing else, this disunity demonstrates the fragility of a common EU foreign policy framework. This is especially the case given the fact that Ursula von der Leyen, the unelected president of the European Commission, has proven to be a US-infiltrated, hypocritical pro-war demagogue.

What’s clear as day in the current situation in the Middle East is that each and every day that the attack on Gaza continues, it becomes more difficult to morally and logically justify the common Western position of supporting Israel no matter what. The rest of the world sees this and is taking note, understanding the days of Western hegemony are numbered. Moreover, the leaders who are holding firm on the pro-Israel line despite immense and unprecedented public pressure are inadvertently eroding the very fabric of the fundamental institutions of Western society. As a growing number of people in the West become jaded with democracy, or, in the case of the EU, become skeptical of Brussels, the leaders who ignore their constituents only have themselves to blame.

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“..you won’t have to wait too long before another seamless transition takes place between what US media is ‘reporting’ and what Hollywood will soon produce.”

Just How Many Faked Videos by the IDF Can Western Media Handle? (Jay)

The war in Gaza is going into the history books for setting precedents for many things. But perhaps it might not be such a watermark which too many journalists will remind you about, but fake news on a whole new scale which we haven’t seen before, will be one of them. How do westerners who watch their evening news take our mainstream media journalist in Israel seriously? Firstly, most of them aren’t even inside Gaza but comfortably ‘embedded’ with Israel’s IDF usually in lux accommodation which has been arranged for them, while IDF propagandists feed them nuggets of prepared fake news during the day while they dine as guests of the army. Our western journalists are so embedded that what they are presenting is not even news each night but a narrative which they have been hearing all day. And in some cases, seeing.

Part of the IDF’s mantra when handling the press is to show them video clips they have in their possession. But so far there is no scepticism as to the validity of this material shown by the journalists. Remarkably, British journalists like Douglas Murray – who seems to be one of the very few inside Gaza – tell Piers Morgan during a live interview, while coming under fire, that the Palestinians deserve the absolute ‘collective’ obliteration as the raw video clips he saw of Hamas fighters on October 7th murdering Israeli civilians were doing so while showing ‘glee’. This is a good example of what happens to western journalist who gets too close to those doing the ‘media handling’. It’s subtle and you have to look closely, but there is a seamless transition from where the journalist crosses a line and becomes the propagandist for this hosts. Remarkably a couple of Palestinian Hamas fighters phoned their parents in a state of glee after they murdered Israelis and this is enough to dehumanize them and deem them worthy of mass annihilation.

And how can we even trust anything the IDF press team are feeding western journalists? Their track record is appalling when it comes to faking video and audio clips. The most recent IDF soldier showing us some hospitals where he shows what looks like a lift shaft but is presented as a Gaza tunnel might be regarded as par for the course. But wait. Soon our man is standing in the hospital where in one room some arms and ammunition is laid out on the floor. And we are expected to believe that this shows that Hamas was using the hospital as a base. Even the events of October the 7th are still to be regarded with heavy scepticism when it is revealed that the so-called massacre at a music festival was actually done when the IDF arrived with tanks and shot at anyone driving in a panicky way in their cars to flee. Western journalists seldom report the policy that Israel has towards its own people who are taken captive: when possible kill them ourselves.

But any two-bit journalists could have seen by looking at the twisted metal of the cars at the pop concert that this damage was not done by light arms fire, say, from AKs but from much heavy calibre equipment. It’s a similar pantheon of lies when we watch a video of a doctor talking softly about how much the IDF have tried to help the hospitals by trying to donate diesel. You know the sort of thing. Didn’t take too much time for online sleuths to expose the doctor as a second-rate Israeli actress. Israel calls Hamas animals and as we have seen intends to wipe as many off the face of the earth so that Gaza can be retaken and new settlements can be built. But is the barrage of fake videos intended to fool the West? So far, mostly they are ridiculed within minutes of being posted and so can only be assumed that they are created for the Zionists supporters around the world who need something to grasp, to justify the holocaust which we are witnessing each day.

But the role played by western media in not using them as subjects in reports is disgraceful. Some might even argue that the journalists themselves are complicit in the genocide as the mass slaughter of civilians can only be carried out when Israel has the guarantee from the west of no war crimes being charged and that media don’t (or can’t) report on just how far faking the news has got in Israel. It has reached a whole new level and only made possible by the big media outlets not calling them out. Why should we be shocked or even surprised to learn that all of CNN’s footage and reports are checked before they are aired by the IDF themselves. We are literally watching an illusion each night by CNN journalists ducking and diving while they do their pieces to camera. And you won’t have to wait too long before another seamless transition takes place between what US media is ‘reporting’ and what Hollywood will soon produce.

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“Anyone who doesn’t bow down to the dictator that Zelensky has become, is found guilty of being treasonous to the emperor.”

CIA Chief’s Ukraine Visit Linked to Looming Palace Coup Against Zelensky (Sp.)

Washington’s spymaster has flown to Ukraine in secret to stamp US authority on the power struggle within the Kiev regime, says a security expert. CIA Director William Burns reportedly flew to Kiev on Wednesday for “urgent and secret” meetings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Security analyst Mark Sleboda told Sputnik that Burns’ visit “dovetails” with this week’s visit to Washington by Andriy Yermak, “Zelensky’s powerful, grey, cardinal, chief of staff” to meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken — who duly uttered pledges of continued military support for Kiev in the US proxy conflict with Russia. “The general assumption is that this has to do with the growing rift between Zelensky, the president of the Kiev regime, and [Valery] Zaluzhny, the regime’s top general,” Sleboda explained, noting that Western mainstream media were “openly now reporting about the rift and speculating that they are on the verge of some type of open conflict.”

He pointed out that the US was already pressuring its client state in Ukraine to hold a presidential election on schedule by March 31 2024 — “with the intention of replacing Zelensky, who may appear to have lost confidence, with Zaluzhny.” Zelensky called off that election last week, claiming the ongoing fighting and the secession of four regions to Russia in 2022 made it impossible. “First he said: ‘OK, if you pay for it’. And then last week it became: ‘no, no elections’,” Sleboda said. “And now Zaluzhny’s top deputies, those close to him, we’ve had one fired. We’ve had another one blown up at his birthday party by either a moronic accident or a targeted political assassination by those close to Zelensky.” The analyst speculated that Burns’ intervention could have one of two aims: either “tamping it down or settling it or whatever, but saying that this is not acceptable, this is the road to disaster and your patron does not allow this, stop fighting — or they’re telling Zelensky to go away.”

Along with the attacks on Zaluzhny’s faction, officials are also going after anyone deemed sympathetic to former US president Donald Trump — who asked Zelensky to investigate his rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter for possible corruption over their deep involvement in Ukraine. Two politicians and a former prosecutor have recently been charged with treason for assisting Trump’s personal lawyer, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, in his own probes in the Biden family’s dealings. “This is what the Kiev regime charges everyone with. They charged the leaders of the three largest opposition parties in the country — before two of them were banned,” Sleboda stressed. “Anyone who doesn’t bow down to the dictator that Zelensky has become, is found guilty of being treasonous to the emperor.”

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“Is the pursuit of a NATO foothold in Ukraine worth the cost? The very existence of NATO itself may well be the cost. ”

CIA’s Desperate Gambit in Kiev (The Islander News)

The arrival of CIA Director William Burns in Kiev signals a critical juncture in the Ukraine conflict. As the situation intensifies, Burns’ urgent mission is a stark indicator of Ukraine’s dire state. The Zelensky regime, once propagated as an emblem of resilience, now teeters on the brink of collapse, overwhelmed by insurmountable casualties and internal strife. This visit raises a crucial question: Is Ukraine on the cusp of a necessary capitulation, or is a coup on the horizon? Amidst these high-level meetings, the on-ground reality in Ukraine is catastrophic. The country has cycled through 3 armies, now relying on an untrained and under-equipped force consisting largely of older men, women, and youths.

This strategic dilution is no accident but a calculated Russian tactic: a meat-grinding strategy designed to deplete Ukraine’s military strength and incite political chaos in Kiev. As tensions escalate, an internal power struggle unfolds. Zelensky, in a bid to consolidate power, appears poised to purge key military figures, including Zaluzhny. This move would destabilize the already fragile military structure, further diminishing its capacity to withstand Russian advances. Meanwhile, Zelensky’s admin grapples with allegations of corruption, with reports of rampant graft and theft, potentially affecting the flow of vital aid. In this high-stakes environment, Burns’ role is beyond mere diplomatic support.

His presence underscores a broader strategic dilemma: whether to continue propping up a faltering regime or recalibrate US policy in the region. With Washington’s ambitions to embed NATO in Ukraine, the implications of Burns’ visit are profound. How will the US navigate this precarious situation, and at what cost? As the war reaches an inevitable tipping point, one must ask: Is the pursuit of a NATO foothold in Ukraine worth the cost? The very existence of NATO itself may well be the cost.

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“The technocrats responsible for running the Russian economy have proven themselves to be resilient, adaptable, and resourceful..”

End ‘Magical Thinking’ About Russia’s Defeat – WSJ essay (RT)

Western leaders must give up their “magical thinking” about defeating Russia in Ukraine and shift to a strategy of long-term containment against Moscow, an analysis published by the Wall Street Journal has concluded. “What Western leaders conspicuously haven’t done is level with their publics about the enduring nature of the threat from an emboldened, revisionist Russia,” Eugene Rumer and Andrew Weiss of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace wrote in an essay published on Thursday. “They have indulged all too often in magical thinking – betting on sanctions, a successful Ukrainian counteroffensive or the transfer of new types of weapons to force the Kremlin to come to the negotiating table.”

The Washington think tank’s authors noted that contrary to the hopes of Western officials who speculated that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be ousted in a “palace coup,” Moscow has maintained popular support for its Ukraine strategy while overcoming efforts to cripple its economy. “More than six months before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Putin signed off on a new national security strategy for Russia,” the op-ed said. “The main thrust of that document was to prepare the country for a long-term confrontation with the West. Today, Putin can tell the nation that his strategy is working.” Although Rumer and Weiss claimed that “none of this should come as a surprise,” the WSJ is among the Western media outlets that have built up hopes for a Ukrainian victory since the conflict began. However, the tone of media coverage has shifted amid Kiev’s battlefield struggles in recent weeks, acknowledging that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky faces wavering allies, enormous casualties, and growing fissures within his leadership team.

One of the most somber articles was posted late last month by Time magazine, which had named Zelensky its “person of the year” just last December. “Exhaustion with the war rolls along like a wave,” Zelensky told the publication, referring to the sharp decrease in Western enthusiasm for the Ukrainian cause. Speaking to The Economist earlier this month, Valery Zaluzhny, Kiev’s top general, admitted that the situation on the battlefront had reached “a stalemate.” The WSJ essay said there are no indications that Russia is losing the conflict, which has become a “war of attrition.” Putin’s hold on power has only strengthened, and Russian defense contractors are outperforming their Western counterparts in producing weaponry. The Russian economy has withstood US-led sanctions, the authors noted. “The technocrats responsible for running the Russian economy have proven themselves to be resilient, adaptable, and resourceful,” the two analysts said. “Elevated oil prices, driven in part by close cooperation with Saudi Arabia, are refilling state coffers. Ukraine, by contrast, depends heavily on infusions of Western cash.”

Weiss and Rumer called for a shift to a long-term containment strategy because “there should be no illusions that any possible combination of short-term steps will be sufficient to force Putin to abandon his war.” The new strategy would involve continuing Western sanctions, isolating Russia diplomatically, and strengthening NATO defense capabilities, as well as “mitigating all of the damage – diplomatic, informational, military and economic” caused by the war. The op-ed stressed that Western leaders used a similarly long-term approach during the Cold War, rather than unrealistically betting on an “overnight collapse of the Soviet system.” However, the analysts advised against fighting another Cold War. “Embarking on a global competition with the Kremlin would not be a wise investment of US prestige or resources. It would consign us to a pointless game of whack-a-mole against any and all manifestations of Russian influence,” wrote Rumer and Weiss.

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Hoocoodanode?

US Abrams Tanks Made No Difference – Zelensky (RT)

The M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks provided to Ukraine by the US have hardly made a difference on the battlefield, President Vladimir Zelensky said in a discussion with journalists from several African nations published by his office on Wednesday. Zelensky explained that the batch of 31 vehicles, which were fully delivered by mid-October, is too small. While praising the American weapon’s quality, he said, “So far, I can hardly say that they play a particularly important role on the battlefield. There are too few of them.” “For better or for worse, we have many different kinds of tanks,” the Ukrainian president said, describing the US-provided variant as but one part of the fleet.

These remarks align with what Col. Martin O’Donnell, a US Army Europe and Africa spokesman, told the media as he confirmed the completion of Washington’s handover of the units to Kiev. He said, “The Abrams tank is one hell of an armored vehicle, but it’s not a silver bullet.” In January, the US agreed to supply Ukraine with enough Abrams tanks to arm a single battalion as part of its military assistance against Russia. The delivery started in September and was completed a month later. Previously, the Pentagon argued against sending the tanks, saying that Abrams was too difficult and expensive to operate to be of much use to Kiev.

The range of weapons sent to Kiev by its Western donors has been described as a “zoo” by Ukrainian troops. According to Western media reports, this variability causes issues with the compatibility of munitions, adds to the challenge of repairing damaged hardware, and makes training soldiers on how to operate weapon platforms more cumbersome. The Ukrainian military has incorporated a diverse range of armored vehicles into its arsenal, including French AMX-10RC fighting vehicles, German Leopard tanks, British Challenger 2 tanks, and American Abrams tanks. These supplies were anticipated to enhance Kiev’s capabilities for breaking through Russian defensive lines during the summer. However, the anticipated counteroffensive did not yield the desired success. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reacted to the news of the Abrams tank’s arrival in Ukraine at the time by stating, “These will burn too.”

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“All of the above of course assumed The Mummy knew where he was and what he was talking about, “off the cuff”, and not dictated by his ubiquitous earpiece.”

Xi Outmanuevers Biden in San Francisco (Pepe Escobar)

All those previous elaborate plans unraveled, in a flash. A tentatively rosy scenario turned into a film noir. The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s response was as sharp as a Dashiell Hammett one-liner – and contextualized: this was not only “extremely wrong” but “an irresponsible political manipulation”. All of the above of course assumed The Mummy knew where he was and what he was talking about, “off the cuff”, and not dictated by his ubiquitous earpiece. The Xi-Biden drama, lasting a little over two hours, was not exactly a remake of “Vertigo”. Washington and Beijing seemed quite cozy jointly promising the proverbial promotion and strengthening of “dialogue and cooperation in various fields”; an intergovernmental dialogue on AI; drug control cooperation; back to high-level military-to-military talking; a “maritime security consultation mechanism”; significantly increasing flights by early 2024; and “expanding exchanges” in education, international students, culture, sports, and business circles.

The Hegemon was far from having a priceless Maltese Falcon (“the stuff dreams are made of”) to offer Beijing. China is already solidified as the world’s top trading economy by PPP. China is advancing at breakneck speed on the tech race even under nasty US sanctions. China’s soft power across the Global South/Global Majority increases by the day. China is co-organizing with Russia the concerted drive towards multipolarity. The White House readout , as bland as it might seem, actually gives away the key part of the plot. Biden – actually his earpiece – underscored “support for a free and open Indo-Pacific”; the defense of “our Indo-Pacific allies”; the “commitment to freedom of navigation and overflight”; “adherence to international law”; “maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea and East China Sea”; “support to “Ukraine’s defense against Russian aggression”; and “support for Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism”.

Beijing understands in detail the context and the geopolitical overtones of each of these pledges. What the readout does not say is that Biden’s handlers also tried to convince the Chinese to stop buying oil from their strategic partner Iran. That’s not gonna happen. China imported an average of 1.05 million barrels of oil a day from Iran over the first 10 months of 2023 – and rising. US Think Tankland, always excelling in misinformation and disinformation, believed in their own childish projection of Xi playing tough guy against the US in Asia, knowing that Washington can’t afford a third love affair, sorry, war front on top of Ukraine and Israel/Palestine. The fact is Xi knows all there is to know about imperial, rotating Hybrid War fronts, plus others that can be powered on at the flick of a switch. The Hegemon continues to provoke disturbance not only in Taiwan but in the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, India, and continues to flirt with possible color revolutions in Central Asia.

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“China does not seek spheres of influence, and will not fight a cold war or a hot war with anyone..”

China Seeks Neither Hegemony Nor To Wage War With Anyone — Xi Jinping (TASS)

China has no desire for hegemony and will not wage either a cold or hot war against anyone, Chinese President Xi Jinping said after talks with US President Joe Biden in San Francisco, Xinhua news agency reported. “Whatever stage of development it may reach, China will never pursue hegemony or expansion, and will never impose its will on others,” Xi Jinping said at a meeting arranged by a number of US organizations. “China does not seek spheres of influence, and will not fight a cold war or a hot war with anyone,” Xinhua quoted the Chinese leader as saying.

The talks between the Chinese and US presidents are their seventh official interaction since January 2021, when Biden became president. The two countries’ heads met in person for the second time (the first meeting was last November on the Indonesian island of Bali). Xi Jinping is visiting the US for the first time in six years. During the visit, he is scheduled to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

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“Why is [Dr. Fauci] so wedded to trying to make you believe it came from the animal kingdom and not the lab? Because he funded the lab.”

Rand Paul Wants Federal Prosecution of Fauci for COVID Coverup (ET)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has said he’s pursuing federal criminal action against Dr. Anthony Fauci for perjury before Congress. In an interview on EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” with Jan Jekielek, Dr. Paul said he has asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to prosecute Dr. Fauci for giving false testimony during multiple congressional hearings. “We haven’t had a lot of luck,” Dr. Paul said. “Garland is not paying attention to the referral, but [Dr. Fauci] did lie to Congress.” The Epoch Times reached out to Georgetown University, where Dr. Fauci is employed, for comment but didn’t receive a reply by the time of publishing. In July, Dr. Fauci joined the university as a distinguished university professor in its school of medicine’s department of medicine.

Dr. Paul alleges that Dr. Fauci—and multiple other parts of the federal government—engaged in an “extensive” coverup of the origin, threat, and potential treatments for COVID-19. The senator said he detailed the two-year misdirection in his book “Deception: The Great Covid Cover-Up,” which was published in October. “Virtually everything they said in private, they said the opposite in the public at the same time,” Dr. Paul said. As early as February 2020, Dr. Fauci and other scientists convened and discussed their conclusion that the genetic sequence of the virus that causes COVID-19 appeared to have been manipulated in a lab to make it more infectious to humans. They were doubly concerned because they knew that the Wuhan, China, lab performed gain-of-function research.

Dr. Paul also alleges that many of the scientists involved in the U.S. public health response to COVID-19 were “funding the lab in Wuhan.” “They actually have a direct conflict of interest because they are the ones that will be culpable,” Dr. Paul said. “Why is [Dr. Fauci] so wedded to trying to make you believe it came from the animal kingdom and not the lab? Because he funded the lab.”

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“..while Hur’s investigation may not lead to criminal charges, the political and public scrutiny over the matter is far from over..”

No Charges Likely In Biden Classified Document Scandal (ZH)

Following a ‘thorough investigation,’ special counsel Robert Hur is unlikely to charge anyone in connection to President Joe Biden’s classified document scandal, according to multiple reports citing sources familiar with the matter. Hur’s report is expected to sharply criticize Biden and his aides for their handling of classified documents – the standard treatment for the protected establishment class whose name doesn’t end in Trump. This outcome raises obvious questions DOJ sham investigations – for if a Special Counsel’s probe into potential mishandling of sensitive national documents results only in criticism and no legal repercussions, what message does it send about accountability at the highest levels of government?

Hur’s investigation, which began in January following his appointment by Attorney General Merrick Garland, has spanned nearly a year. It has involved interviews with around 100 Biden aides, including the President’s embattled son, Hunter Biden, who himself faces unrelated legal troubles following an indictment on federal gun charges. Biden himself was interviewed last month. “The president has been interviewed as part of the investigation being led by Special Counsel Robert Hur,” reads the statement from the White House Counsel’s Office spokesperson Ian Sams (the guy who lied and had a meltdown over Hunter Biden’s $260K in Chinese wires). Of note, Hunter Biden listed Joe’s Wilmington, Delaware home – where a bunch of classified documents were found, as his address when he received above mentioned Chinese wires, due to the Biden family’s dealings with CCP-linked businessmen.

[..] Notably, the investigation has also involved discussions with Secretary of State Tony Blinken, former White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, as reported by WSJ. These high-level interviews underscore the gravity of the investigation and the potential ramifications it could have had. The House Oversight Committee wrote a letter to Hur in October requesting information on whether President Biden possessed classified documents related to his son’s foreign business dealings. The classified documents discovered at the Penn Biden Center and Joe Biden’s Delaware residence date back to his vice presidency and decades-long senate tenure.

Kathy Chung, a Defense Department aide and former Vice President Biden aide recommended by Hunter Biden, was one of the individuals who handled classified documents, according to the Oversight Committee. -Daily Caller As the DOJ investigation winds down, the House Oversight Committee has vowed to continue its quest for clarity and accountability. Former White House Counsel Dana Remus was subpoenaed to appear for a deposition to answer questions about the handling of the classified documents. This move indicates that, while Hur’s investigation may not lead to criminal charges, the political and public scrutiny over the matter is far from over. So yes, corrupt administration investigates itself – finds no wrongdoing worth pursuing. End of story.

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“No level of censorship seemed to be sufficient for President Biden, who once claimed that social media companies were “killing people” by not silencing more dissenting voices..”

Should Joe Biden Be Banned? (Turley)

An internal State Department dissent memo was leaked this past week, opposing the Biden administration’s position on the war between Israel and Hamas. What was most notable about the memo is that some administration staffers accused President Joe Biden of “spreading misinformation.” It was a moment of crushing irony for some of us who have written and testified against the Biden administration’s censorship efforts. The question is whether, under the administration’s own standards, President Biden should now be banned or blacklisted to protect what his administration has called our “cognitive infrastructure.” For years, the administration and many Democrats in Congress have resisted every effort to expose the sprawling government censorship program that one federal judge described as an “Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth.’”

As I have written previously, it included grants to academic and third-party organizations to create a global system of blacklists and to pressure advertisers to withdraw support from conservative sites. Most recently, a House Judiciary Committee report revealed another layer of this system, described as a “switchboarding” role for the censorship system by channeling demands for removal or bans from state and local officials. This switchboarding process was confirmed by Brian Scully of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), during prior court testimony. CISA’s director, Jen Easterly, previously declared the administration’s intent to extend its role over maintaining critical infrastructure to include “our cognitive infrastructure” and combating not just mis- and disinformation but also “malinformation,” which CISA describes as “based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate.”

As a result, over the last four years, researchers, politicians, and even satirical sites have been banned or blacklisted for offering dissenting views of COVID measures, climate change, gender identity or social justice, according to the House Judiciary report. No level of censorship seemed to be sufficient for President Biden, who once claimed that social media companies were “killing people” by not silencing more dissenting voices. Now, though, President Biden himself is accused — by some in his own administration — of spreading misinformation and supporting war criminals. The five-page State Department memo was signed by 100 State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) employees and was accompanied by a social media post by a junior foreign affairs staffer, accusing Biden of being “complicit in genocide” in Gaza. The memo accuses Biden of “spreading misinformation,” citing his Oct. 10 speech supporting Israel, and accuses Israel of committing “war crimes and/or crimes against humanity under international law.” It also accuses Biden of ignoring facts — a classic justification for past administration demands to censor figures — on the number of Palestinian casualties.

Democrats face a nightmare of allegations of disinformation on both sides of the war and other issues. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and numerous media outlets have been accused of spreading disinformation about Israel killing hundreds with an airstrike on a Gaza hospital. Former CIA director Leon Panetta, in an interview on Fox News, stood by disproven claims about Russia faking Hunter Biden’s laptop. There is, of course, not even a whisper (let alone a loud demand) for censorship or suspension of any of these figures or outlets, because that is not how the administration’s policies over “misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation” — what it terms “MDM” — work. The administration at one point insisted that it would police this “MDM space” to target views on a sweeping range of subjects, including racial justice and the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. So what will the Biden MDM space-rangers do with President Biden? The obvious answer is, “Nothing.”

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“In short, the entertainment factor with Trump’s NY trial just went up immeasurably.”

Appeals Court Lifts Trump Gag Order In NY Fraud Case (ZH)

A New York appeals court judge on Thursday temporarily lifted a gag order preventing former President Donald Trump from commenting on court staffers in his civil fraud trial. Trump was gagged last month by judge Arthur Engoron, and later fined $15,000 for violations after he talked trash on social media about the Judge’s top law clerk. On Wednesday, Trump’s attorneys filed a lawsuit against the trial judge – arguing that the Engoron had abused his power. In response to the request, Judge David Friedman of the state’s intermediate appeals court scheduled an emergency hearing Thursday afternoon around a conference table in a state appellate courthouse just a few miles from Engoron’s courtroom, where he granted their request.

“Ruling at an emergency hearing Thursday, Friedman questioned Engoron’s authority to police Trump’s speech outside the courtroom — such as his frequent gripes about the case on social media and in comments to TV cameras in the courthouse hallway. Friedman said that while it’s true that judges often issue gag orders, they’re mostly used in criminal cases where there’s a fear that comments about the case could influence the jury. Trump’s civil trial doesn’t have a jury. Trump lawyer Christopher Kise said after Friedman ruled that the appellate judge “made the right decision and allowed President Trump to take full advantage of his constitutional First Amendment rights to talk about bias in his own trial, what he’s seeing and witnessing in his own trial — which, frankly, everyone needs to see.” -AP

Vivek
https://twitter.com/i/status/1725009663924604970

“I don’t see a reason for restrictions because Ms. James is continuing to disparage my client,” said Trump attorney Alina Habba, referring to NY Attorney General Letitia James, who is prosecuting the case. In staying the order, Trump can now freely comment about the court and its staff while the appeals process plays out. Separately on Wednesday, Trump’s legal team urged Engoron to stop the case immediately, arguing that his appearance of bias “threatens both Defendants’ rights and the integrity of the judiciary as an institution.” “This constitutional protection is at its apogee where the speech in question is core political speech, made by the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, regarding perceived partisanship and bias at a trial where he is subject to hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties and the threatened prohibition of his lawful business activities in the state,” the filing continues. In short, the entertainment factor with Trump’s NY trial just went up immeasurably.

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Kirsch
https://twitter.com/i/status/1725058928415764975

 

 

 

 


Jacana father shields his offspring

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 282023
 
 September 28, 2023  Posted by at 9:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  44 Responses »


Claude Monet The Pond at Montgeron 1876

 

Trump Rages At “Deranged” NY Judge’s ‘Corporate Death Penalty’ Decision (ZH)
Trump Says Net Worth ‘Much Greater’ Than Financial Statements (JTN)
Real Estate Insiders: Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Worth At Least $300M, Not $18M (NYP)
Russian “Alabuga” Complex to Be “More Powerful Than a Nuclear Bomb” (Zlatko)
US’ Ukraine Reforms is Signal to Zelensky That His Time is Up (Sp.)
US Aid to Ukraine May Dry Out, But Not Because of House GOP (Sp.)
Is World War III About to Start? Part II: The MIC and Deep State (Cook)
Western Left Abandoned The People To Fuel NATO’s Carnage (Rogatyuk)
Ukraine Offered To Strike Iran And Syria – Guardian (RT)
Fauci Was ‘Smuggled’ Into CIA HQ To “Influence” Covid-19 Origins Probe (ZH)
EcoHealth is a “CIA Front Organization” (ZH)
100s Of Pages Of Newly Released Memos Spark Fresh Biden Corruption Charges (ZH)
FBI Refuses To Release Nationwide Voter Registration Fraud Probe Docs (JTN)
Disappearing Americans (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

Paperclip

 

 

Canada nazis

 

 

 

 

Tucker Bill O’Reilly Short&Long

 

 

Jimmy Dore

 

 

 

 

“From 2011-2021, the Palm Beach County Assessor appraised the market value of Mar-a-Lago at between $18 million and $27.6 million because of various land use restrictions. The judge simply restated the appraisal which is an undisputed fact.”

The assessor, and now the judge, are the only people who claim the assessment is correct. Everyone else puts the value at 20-30 times that, if not more.

They’re simply trying to bankrupt Trump, and think a 10-day window is enough: “..must dissolve all business interests in the state and exit within 10 days..”

They think they can sell off his property for cheap.

Trump Rages At “Deranged” NY Judge’s ‘Corporate Death Penalty’ Decision (ZH)

Right on cue, in a stunning decision on Tuesday, a New York State judge found – with no trial or jury – that Donald Trump, his family, and his business, theTrump Organization, was liable for fraud, and ordered what experts in New York financial crimes say amounts to the dissolution of his company. In a 35-page ruling, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron (D) revoked the New York “business certificates” belonging to the Trump Organization and any other New York-based business run by Trump or his family – while ordering that an independent third party will be tasked with “managing the dissolution of the cancelled LLCs.” “It’s a staggering judgement,” said John Moscow, a former financial crimes prosecutor for the Manhattan district attorney’s office. “It means you are no longer a company, and the judge is appointing someone to take over the assets and distribute them as the court sees fit.”

“It’s comparable to once a person dies. A dead person can’t sell property. Only the executor of the estate can do that – or in this case, the receiver.” Experts are calling it the “corporate death penalty.” As Sundance at TheConservativeTreehouse.com put it: “All the banks and lenders did their own due diligence on the financing. All operational loans and business loans were paid back. There were no defaults or banking interests adversely impacted. There are no victims of what the State calls “fraud,” yet the judge is ruling the Trump organization must dissolve all business interests in the state and exit within 10 days.” As you might expect, President Trump was enraged, blasting “The widespread, radical attack against me, my family and my supporters have now devolved to new, un-American depths,” calling Engoron “deranged” and James a “completely biased and corrupt ‘prosecutor.’”

“We are rapidly becoming a communist country, and my civil rights have been taken away from me,” he continued. “This is Democrat political lawfare and a witch hunt at a level never seen before.” Trump plans to appeal the decision, his attorneys said. “Today’s outrageous decision is completely disconnected from the facts and governing law,” Christopher Kise, a lawyer for Trump, said in a statement. “President Trump and his family will seek all available appellate remedies to rectify this miscarriage of justice.” Eric and Don Jr. Trump took to X to slam the Judge’s valuation of his father’s Mar-a-Lago resort, which Trump claims is over a billion dollars, but Engoron ruled is worth between $18 million and $27.6 million – which is absurd when you look at the surrounding property values.

 

 

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“..the Florida property “IS WORTH POSSIBLY 100 TIMES THAT AMOUNT..”

Trump Says Net Worth ‘Much Greater’ Than Financial Statements (JTN)

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday said his net worth is “much greater” than that shown on his financial statements, which he says contained a “disclaimer clause” stating that the information should not be relied upon, after a New York judge found that the former president, his two eldest sons and his businesses could be held liable for fraud in the state attorney general’s civil case against them.Trump wrote on Truth Social: “In addition to the fact that my Net Worth is much greater than the number shown in the Financial Statements, there is a POWERFUL Disclaimer Clause … explaining that there should be no reliance placed on these Financial Statements, but instead everyone should do their own independent research, analysis, and due diligence.” He also said banks understood the clause and there were no problems with it.

Judge Arthur Engoron ruled Tuesday that New York Democrat Attorney General Letitia James demonstrated that Trump, his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, several of the family’s entities and former employees, could be liable for “repeated and persistent fraud by preparing, certifying and submitting to lenders and insurers false and misleading financial statements” in violation of New York law. Trump specifically took issue with Engoron’s evaluation of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, which the judge said could be worth as little as $18 million, citing an appraisal from the Palm Beach County Assessor.

Trump said in a separate Truth Social post that the Florida property “IS WORTH POSSIBLY 100 TIMES THAT AMOUNT” and that the judge’s “anger & hatred is politically motivated & unprecedented by those who watched!” James is also attempting to get $250 million in damages from Trump and the other defendants in the case, as well as an order barring the former president and his two eldest sons from being leaders at New York-based companies. That trial is set to begin Oct. 2.

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“..a 2-acre wooded lot at 1980 S. Ocean Blvd., just 5 minutes from Mar-a-Lago, is currently listed for $150 million. Mar-a-Lago, situated at 1100 S. Ocean Blvd., dwarfs this lot tenfold and operates as a commercial business..”

Real Estate Insiders: Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Worth At Least $300M, Not $18M (NYP)

A New York judge’s Tuesday ruling valuing Donald Trump’s sprawling, headline-making Florida estate at $18 million has left industry experts perplexed. In his verdict, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron delivered a bombshell ruling that the former president committed fraud by inflating the value of his wealth, with details including the monetary value associated with Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. This decision, which came down without a jury, has sent shockwaves through political — and real estate — circles, especially that $18 million base value for the property. One prominent Palm Beach real estate broker, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Post, “It’s utterly delusional to think that property is only worth $18 million.”

The insider added, “If that property were on the market today, I would list it at around $300 million, minimum … at least. He also has the separate golf course minutes away.” Engoron’s verdict holds Trump, 77, along with his family and his business empire, the Trump Organization, liable for fraud — a central allegation in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit against the defendants. In a 35-page judgment, Engoron sided with James, asserting that Trump had made unequivocally false statements in official documents to secure favorable terms with financial institutions. Notably, Trump’s claims, such as his triplex penthouse in Trump Tower being 30,000 square feet when it was closer to 11,000, were also described by Engoron as “fraudulent” given their significant discrepancies.

However, the ruling raised eyebrows when Engoron, a Democrat who ran unopposed in the general election on Nov. 3, 2015, evaluated the worth of Trump’s prized Mar-a-Lago Club resort at $18 million, ruling that the property was inflated by 2,300%. He cited a basic Palm Beach Assessor valuation that ranged from $18 million to $28 million between 2011 and 2021, with industry sources saying it fails to take into consideration the fair market value. This valuation is far from Trump’s 1985 purchase price of $10 million, $8 million less than what the judge declared it was worth today. There are also nearby comps. To put it in perspective, a 2-acre wooded lot at 1980 S. Ocean Blvd., just 5 minutes from Mar-a-Lago, is currently listed for $150 million. Mar-a-Lago, situated at 1100 S. Ocean Blvd., dwarfs this lot tenfold and operates as a commercial business with around 500 members as part of the golf club.


Eric Trump: “These homes are about 1/30 the size of Mar-a-Lago, not on the beach (let alone the beach and intercostal), don’t span from once side of the Palm Beach Island to the other… it is a travesty of justice and an embarrassment to the court.”

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X thread.

Russian “Alabuga” Complex to Be “More Powerful Than a Nuclear Bomb” (Zlatko)

In Russia, the development of a missile equipped with a high-frequency generator of significant power is underway, which would allow neutralizing the enemy without firing a single shot. In the West, “Alabuga” is referred to as “secret weaponry” that is “more powerful than a nuclear bomb” and capable of “disabling entire armies.” The electromagnetic missile can disrupt all enemy electronics within a radius of 3.5 kilometers. “The military plans to install this weapon on state-of-the-art Russian drones to deter enemy aircraft.

Among other uses, such a system could be employed to destroy missile warheads and communication devices on aircraft. Additionally, it disables tank loading mechanisms, detonates artillery shells inside gun turrets, and eliminates enemy soldiers hiding underground at depths of up to 100 meters using radiation,” Daily Star reported this already in 2017. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently mentioned the development of weapons based on new physical principles at the Eastern Economic Forum.

“Even when it comes to security matters, weapons based on new physical principles will ensure the security of any country in the near historical perspective. We understand this perfectly well and are working on it,” the president stated. Moreover, this summer, Russian troops already received the “Listva” remote-controlled mine-clearing vehicles. They can detect and disable radio-controlled mines using super high-frequency emissions.

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“..the elimination of corruption in Ukraine is the number one priority: reforms in this sphere should be accomplished within a three-month timeframe…”

US’ Ukraine Reforms is Signal to Zelensky That His Time is Up (Sp.)

Earlier this week, Deputy White House National Security Adviser for International Economics Mike Pyle sent a draft list of reforms to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, as per Ukrainian media. The document was also forwarded to the multi-agency Donor Coordination Platform, a group of organizations including the EU, G7 governments, and the main international financial organizations, including the IMF, the World Bank, and others. Later, the US Embassy in Ukraine confirmed that Kiev had been “provided a proposed list of priority reforms for discussion and feedback at the multi-donor coordination platform in Brussels”. The document titled “Reforms Linked to Conditions on US Assistance” details the necessary changes in order of urgency – 0-3 months, 3-6 months, one year, and 18 months.]

Some of the provisions have additions in italics, like “EU MFA [macro-financial assistance] conditionality”; “IMF Structural Benchmark”; “requirements for Ukraine to begin EU accession process”; and “IMF MEFP [Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies]” suggest that the list covers not only US assistance, but also aid from Western-led international organizations. The document clearly indicates Ukraine will further lose its sovereignty in favor of EU and NATO institutions. Per the White House list, the elimination of corruption in Ukraine is the number one priority: reforms in this sphere should be accomplished within a three-month timeframe.
· Ukraine has to reform the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO), in line with the parameters of the IMF structural benchmark.
· Increase the number of detectives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) by at least 300; provide them with wiretapping capability; and preserve the agency’s “independence and exclusive investigative authority over high-profile corruption matters.”
· Reinstate mandatory asset and financial disclosure requirements for public officials, judges, and political parties.
· Select new head of the National Agency for Corruption Prevention (NACP).
· Complete the High Council of Justice (HCJ) reboot by establishing a Service of Disciplinary Inspectors with direct and meaningful participation of independent experts to restore the HCJ “disciplinary function.”

Furthermore, in the three-to-six month timeframe, the Kiev regime has to expand the number of judges on the nation’s High Anti-Corruption Court; establish a new specialized court (the High Administrative Court of Ukraine [HACU]) for administrative cases against national state agencies; reform Ukraine’s Supreme Court (SC). Remarkably, at the same time, Kiev is required to “limit” the powers of the infamous Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) “to those associated with counter-intelligence, counter-espionage, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism,” and reshuffle the agency. “Create a credible disciplinary committee and replace staff who do not meet ethical and professional standards,” the document reads. “Enhance parliamentary and civilian oversight of SBU. Restructure process for requesting lawful intercept (wiretapping), and allow other institutions to conduct judicial intercept separate from SBU.”

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The Pentagon plays tricks.

US Aid to Ukraine May Dry Out, But Not Because of House GOP (Sp.)

The Biden administration wants the US Congress to pass a $24 billion package for Ukraine along with other spending initiatives as soon as possible. Washington has already committed over $110 billion in Ukraine assistance to date. While House Republicans appear skeptical about further financial and military assistance to the Kiev regime, which has failed to succeed with its summer counteroffensive, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy proposed to pass a stopgap measure to avoid a looming government shutdown. September 30 is the deadline. GOP lawmakers have signaled that they won’t include any funds for Ukraine in their stopgap bill. On September 22, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Capitol Hill to lobby for a hefty multi-billion package.

Even though McCarthy (unlike his predecessor Nancy Pelosi) did not provide the Ukrainian president with an opportunity to address the House, he held a conversation with Zelensky. The day after the meeting with Zelensky, McCarthy told reporters in the Capitol that he had decided to keep the $300 million in Ukraine aid in the Pentagon funding bill, adding that another spending measure set for the State Department and foreign operations would also include money for Kiev. The development is by no means surprising, according to retired US Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, a former analyst for the US Department of Defense. “The Pentagon has stated that Ukraine funding and aid would continue unabated by any government shutdown, and this includes the payment of salaries for tens of thousands of Ukrainian government employees and bureaucrats – even as paychecks for US government employees, and bureaucrats can and likely would be held back in the event of a shutdown,” Kwiatkowski told Sputnik.

“I think this is a Pentagon and administration attempt to remove the ability of the Congressional GOP Freedom Caucus to argue that they desire to pay American salaries, before they pay Ukrainian ones – by saying we (the Biden admin) are paying Ukrainian salaries no matter what you (the House America First-types) do.” When it comes to the larger $24 billion package, the former Pentagon analyst has a sense that “if serious negotiations are forced on Speaker Kevin McCarthy, they will find a way to reduce this amount, or to separate this aid out for separate and subsequent Congressional consideration.” The Biden administration has publicly promised this aid to Ukraine, but they do not control the appropriations – the House does, she emphasized.

“However – the Pentagon could simply provide it to Ukraine using a recalculation ‘trick’ and devaluing of past aid in the amount of $24 billion. I give this a 50% chance of happening in some way,” Kwiatkowski said. For example, in late June, the Pentagon said that it had overestimated the value of the arms it supplied to Kiev by $6.2 billion over the past two years. Four weeks earlier, the US Department of Defense cited an accounting error of at least $3 billion. Eventually, the “surplus” simply went back into the Pentagon’s pot allocated for Ukraine within the president’s drawdown authority (which allows providing Kiev with weapons directly, without Congressional approval).

“I think there is a good chance Ukraine will be able to wring out much of the promised $24 billion – but that the political battle, here in the US, to make that happen will reveal much to Congress and the American people about both the shady accounting ‘principles’ of the Pentagon and the honest situation in Ukraine,” Kwiatkowski said. Still, trouble is brewing for Kiev: it seems like many in Congress on both sides of the political aisle are beginning to understand the practical and political need for Kiev and Washington to end the conflict immediately, according to the former Pentagon analyst. She suspects that “the truth about the terrific loss on the battlefield and in Ukrainian military capability in the past 18 months is getting to the various committees in both the House and the Senate.”

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“.. the MIC is probably the principal economic engine of the U.S. as a whole..”

“So are we going to tell what adds up to tens of millions of people, sorry, your services are no longer needed? Good luck with that.”

Is World War III About to Start? Part II: The MIC and Deep State (Cook)

Today about 2.1 million people are employed by the defense industry. According to Acara Solutions, a major MIC recruiting firm, their average annual salary is $106,700, 40 percent higher than the national average. The companies they work for produced revenues in 2022 of $741 billion. How much of their production is high-priced junk, no one knows. The performance of U.S.-produced armaments in the Ukraine conflict does not seem impressive. No modern U.S. weapons have ever been tested in an industrial-type war against an equal adversary. The MIC also includes active-duty uniformed personnel of 1.37 million and reserves of 849,000. There are 750 U.S. military bases in more than 80 countries outside of the U.S. More than 100,000 U.S. military personnel are stationed in Europe.

Annual salary and benefits of the military are currently $146 billion per year, escalating with COLAs compounded at two to three percent annually, sometimes more. Some former U.S. military personnel are assumed to be fighting in Ukraine as mercenaries or helping direct the fighting from safe locations like Kiev or Lvov. Then there are the civilian employees. According to the DoD, it employs more than 700,000 civilians “in an array of critical positions worldwide,” with compensation totaling about $70 billion. According to the Government Accountability Office, we may also add 560,000 contractor employees, whose compensation is typically higher than the career workforce. We can also add hundreds of thousands of executives, managers, employees and contractors of the three-letter Deep State agencies, such as the CIA, NSA, DEA, FBI, and now DHS, etc., who interface with the MIC day in and day out and are part of the same fabric of state-sanctioned force and enemy identification and interdiction.

Added to the above are members of Congress who vote on military budgets and make the laws that protect the MIC from accountability, lobbyists who pressure those members to cast votes favorable to their MIC clients, private sector financial service employees who handle the retirement accounts of the MIC multitude, foreigners who are employed at overseas bases, and various scoundrels and hangers-on. I would include in the latter category the multitude of MIC cheerleaders from Hollywood who produce trashy spectacles like Top Gun. On top of everything else, there are millions of retirees drawing annuities in excess of what most working-class Americans earn, many of these retirees double- or triple-dipping with lucrative jobs in business or government.

Each of the above individuals supports multiple family members, workers, and vendors within the civilian economy who, with the ripple effect and velocity of money, keep entire towns, cities, states, regions, and industries afloat. An example is building the F-35 that has workers assembling it in 350 congressional districts. It is probably no exaggeration to say that given the vast exiting of civilian U.S. factories and jobs over the last half-century to cheap-labor countries abroad, the MIC is probably the principal economic engine of the U.S. as a whole. So are we going to tell what adds up to tens of millions of people, sorry, your services are no longer needed? Good luck with that. And isn’t it obvious that all these people, especially the higher echelons, are going to do everything within their power to persuade us that their jobs are so essential that without them we will shortly be overwhelmed and eaten alive by every “enemy” on the planet?

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The real warmongers.

Western Left Abandoned The People To Fuel NATO’s Carnage (Rogatyuk)

After the breakout of the First World War, the Second International and the numerous socialist organizations affiliated with it across Western Europe threw their weight behind their governments’ new military adventurism and became completely oblivious to the suffering of their fellow man at the hands of their countries’ economic and political elites. More than a century later, many of their modern-day counterparts have joined the chorus of Western governments, and their respective military-industrial complexes, in their proxy war hymn against Russia. And some of them have gone as far as giving a standing ovation to a literal member of the Waffen-SS, Yaroslav Hunka, when he was presented as a “veteran who fought for Ukrainian independence against Russia during WWII” in the Canadian parliament. It seems that even praising Nazis has become an acceptable part of the Western progressives’ discourse against all things Russian.

While many of the social democrats of the 1970s and 80s throughout Western Europe strongly opposed NATO’s expansionism and the presence of US military bases, the modern-day progressive and green parties go out of their way to roll out the red carpet for foreign soldiers on their soil. The examples are numerous. There’s Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s foreign minister from the Greens, who made headlines around the world for admitting that Germany is “fighting a war against Russia,” the former prime minister of Finland, Sanna Marin, who attended the funeral of a well-known neo-Nazi leader in Ukraine, Mette Frederiksen of Denmark, the first to pledge F-16 jets to Kiev, and Spain’s Pedro Sanchez, one of the first to promise Zelensky Leopard tanks.

In the United States, the Squad – a group of relatively young members of Congress elected in 2018 and 2022 on a progressive left-wing platform – was once considered something of an alternative to the Democratic Party establishment, but has equally fallen under the spell of the siren war song of President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Except for criticism of the delivery of cluster munitions and depleted uranium shells and supporting Bernie Sanders’ proposal to cut military spending, the Squad has consistently voted in favor of progressively bigger and bigger military aid packages to Kiev, while largely ignoring the threat posed by the various neo-Nazi armed groups in Kiev’s employ.

Even the trade unions, long considered the backbone of the anti-war movement, are not immune to the whims of the mass Russophobia and the warmongering spirit of the progressive and liberal leaders. The British Trade Union Council’s resolution urging Rishi Sunak’s government to commit further arms deliveries and financial assistance to the regime in Kiev is a stab in the back for the Stop the War coalition and millions of British workers who view the cost-of-living crisis as far more important than the delivery of military aid to a government that has thrown the rights of its own workers back to the 19th century with the new law 5371.

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Imagine dreaming of WWIII because you think it will save you.

Ukraine Offered To Strike Iran And Syria – Guardian (RT)

The Ukrainian government urged its Western backers last month to conduct missile strikes on drone factories in Iran and Syria, offering to launch the attacks itself if given the weapons to do so, according to a document seen by The Guardian. The document in question was handed to G7 governments by Ukrainian officials in August, the British newspaper reported on Wednesday. In it, the Ukrainians claimed that kamikaze drones used by Russian forces are built by Iranian manufacturers in Iran and Syria, and contain Western components. Kiev has alleged that Russia uses Iranian-made Shahed-131 and Shahed-136 drones, and that these contain 51 and 57 Western-made parts respectively.

“Among the manufacturers are companies headquartered in the countries of the sanctions coalition: the United States, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, Japan, and Poland,” the document reportedly stated. Russia denies using Iranian drones, insisting that the Shahed-like craft it launches at Ukrainian military and infrastructure targets are designed and made in Russia. According to The Guardian, the report recommended “missile strikes on the production plants of these UAVs in Iran [and] Syria, as well as on a potential production site in the Russian federation.” “The above may be carried out by the Ukrainian defense forces if partners provide the necessary means of destruction,” the document continued.

While Israel occasionally strikes military factories in Syria and is widely believed to be behind similar attacks in Iran, it is highly unlikely that the US or its allies would consider a direct attack on Iran. Likewise, it is unlikely that Ukraine would be given the long-range missiles necessary for such an operation, considering the US has even expressed reservations about providing Kiev with missiles capable of hitting targets inside Russia. Additionally, Moscow claims that Ukraine has lost 83,000 men since June in its failing effort to breach Russian defensive lines near Zaporozhye and Donetsk. With losses mounting, the chances of Ukraine being able to fight foreign forces 1,500km away are extremely slim.

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He financed it all.

Fauci Was ‘Smuggled’ Into CIA HQ To “Influence” Covid-19 Origins Probe (ZH)

Dr. Anthony Fauci was smuggled into CIA headquarters, “without a record of entry,” where he “participated in the analysis to “influence” the Agency’s” Covid-19 investigation, according to the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. Fauci’s alleged CIA meeting was revealed in a Tuesday night letter from Subcommittee Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) to the Inspector General of the US Department of Health and Human Services, which demands documents, communications and other evidence between Fauci and the CIA. This allegation is even more interesting in light of a report from two weeks ago that the CIA bribed analysts to say Covid-19 did not originate in a Chinese lab. According to a ‘senior-level’ CIA whistleblower, the agency ‘tried to pay off six analysts who found SARS-CoV-2 likely originated in a Wuhan lab if they changed their position and said the virus jumped from animals to humans.’

“According to the whistleblower, at the end of its review, six of the seven members of the Team believed the intelligence and science were sufficient to make a low confidence assessment that COVID-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China,” reads the letter from Wenstrup. “The seventh member of the Team, who also happened to be the most senior, was the lone officer to believe COVID-19 originated through zoonosis. “The whistleblower further contends that to come to the eventual public determination of uncertainty, the other six members were given a significant monetary incentive to change their position,” the letters continue, adding that the analysts were “experienced officers with significant scientific expertise.”

Wenstrup and Turner also asked for documents and communications between the CIA and other federal agencies, including the State Department, FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Energy Department. In a separate letter, the House committee leaders identified former CIA Chief Operating Officer Andrew Makridis as having “played a central role” in the COVID investigation and asked him to sit for a transcribed interview. -NY Post In June, the US Intelligence Community declassified a 10-page report on COVID origins, in which it found “biosafety concerns” and “genetic engineering” taking place in Wuhan, but that most of its “agencies assess that SARS-CoV-2 was not genetically engineered.” As the Committee noted on Tuesday;

Dr. Fauci’s questionable presence at the CIA, coupled with recently uncovered evidence that he, Dr. Fauci, “prompted” the drafting of “Proximal Origin” — the infamous paper that was used to attempt to “disprove” the lab leak theory — lends credence to heightened concerns about the promotion of a false COVID-19 origins narrative by multiple federal government agencies. Chairman Wenstrup is seeking all documents and communications related to Dr. Fauci’s access to CIA facilities and CIA employees as it relates to these allegations. Also, after becoming aware of additional information, the Select Subcommittee is requesting Special Agent Brett Rowland appear for a transcribed interview regarding Dr. Fauci’s purported movements to and from the CIA. As mounting evidence continues to imply that federal government officials covered-up the origins of COVID-19, investigating any improper influence will ensure future accountability of not only the intelligence community, but also public health officials.

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“..NAIAD, under the direction of Dr. Fauci, went ahead with the research in Wuhan, China and at several sites across the U.S…”

EcoHealth is a “CIA Front Organization” (ZH)

According to a January, 2022 Twitter (now “X”) thread by [former EcoHealth Alliance scientist Andrew] Huff, who worked at EcoHealth from 2014 to 2016, “I knew in December of 2019 that COVID was likely a lab leak.” Huff then claimed that “Not only is EcoHealth Alliance a CIA front organization, but the United States of America is primarily responsible for COVID, not China.” Huff also told Fox Business in January: “This was actually a failed intelligence operation. We were actually trading China advanced biotechnology for access to and collect intelligence on their bioweapons laboratory. I believe. I can’t prove that but a number of agencies that I discuss in the book, including Dr. Peter Daszak telling me he worked with the CIA.” From Huff’s book, “The Truth About Wuhan”:

“These discussions resulted in publications indicating that Dr. Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, was working with the CIA, and that the biological agent commonly known as COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) had been in development at EcoHealth Alliance since 2012, and other evidence suggested that SARS-CoV-2 began earlier than 2012. The development of SARS-CoV-2 included several prominent US-based scientists and US academic institutions that received funding from numerous federal government agencies and private non-governmental organizations to complete the gain of function work on SARS-CoV-2.”

Huff also posted a document obtained by Project Veritas and published in January of 2022 purportedly authored (and not denied) by Maj. Joseph Murphy (USMC), which states “SARS-CoV-2 is an American-created recombinant bat vaccine” which was “created by an EcoHealth Alliance program at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).” Project Veritas has obtained a separate report to the Inspector General of the Department of Defense written by U.S. Marine Corp Major, Joseph Murphy, a former DARPA Fellow. The report states that EcoHealth Alliance approached DARPA in March 2018, seeking funding to conduct gain of function research of bat borne coronaviruses. The proposal, named Project Defuse, was rejected by DARPA over safety concerns and the notion that it violates the basis gain of function research moratorium. According to the documents, NAIAD, under the direction of Dr. Fauci, went ahead with the research in Wuhan, China and at several sites across the U.S. -Project Veritas

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Impeachment inquiry starts today.

“..the Biden family foreign influence peddling operation suggests an effort to sway U.S. policy decisions.”

100s Of Pages Of Newly Released Memos Spark Fresh Biden Corruption Charges (ZH)

[..] Republicans have portrayed the initial hearing as merely a summary or review of the evidence obtained to date, but Mr. Comer announced Sept. 26 that his panel received in response to subpoenas two previously unknown wire transfers to Hunter Biden from Chinese businessmen with numerous links to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). “On July 26, 2019, Hunter Biden received a $10,000 wire from Wang Xin. On August 2, 2019, Hunter Biden received a $250,000 wire from Jonathan Li and Tan Ling. Both wires originated in Beijing and Joe Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, home is listed as the beneficiary address for both wires,” Mr. Comer said in a statement. The transfers directly contradict claims by the President and Hunter Biden’s lawyer that no funds were received from China.

In addition, Mr. Comer pointed out that “evidence shows Joe Biden developed a familiar relationship with Jonathan Li during his vice presidency and prior to these payments to Hunter Biden. Devon Archer, a Biden business associate, described [to the oversight committee in closed-door testimony] how Joe Biden met with Jonathan Li in Beijing, China, had a phone call with him, and later wrote college recommendation letters for his children.” Then on Sept. 27, Mr. Smith’s panel made public 700 pages of additional evidence provided by two IRS whistleblowers who were deeply involved in the government’s long-running investigation of Hunter Biden’s failure to pay taxes on income he received in 2014 and 2015.

The Ways and Means panel made the new evidence public following a closed-door executive session in which all 18 Democrats opposed the release. The new materials made public by Mr. Smith indicated the Biden family received at least $19 million in income from entities in at least 23 countries around the world which was channeled through 20 shell companies. The income was ultimately received directly or indirectly by multiple members of the Biden family, including the president while he was vice president.

The materials also included numerous references in emails and telephone messages to the senior Biden playing an active role in what Mr. Smith described to reporters during a Capitol Hill news conference following the executive session as “a complex and lucrative enterprise operated by the Biden family to enrich themselves to the tune of at least $20 million, with much of Hunter Biden’s share going unreported for taxes.” Mr. Smith further claimed the new evidence makes clear that “then Vice President Joe Biden’s political power and influence was ‘the brand’ that Hunter Biden was selling all over the world. Even more alarming, the Biden family foreign influence peddling operation suggests an effort to sway U.S. policy decisions.”

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“The material you requested is located in an investigative file which is exempt from disclosure.” Like for the next 5 years?!

FBI Refuses To Release Nationwide Voter Registration Fraud Probe Docs (JTN)

The FBI took over a 2020 probe into voter registration fraud that began in Michigan but has denied a Freedom of Information Act request regarding the investigation, citing an exemption in that law regarding ongoing investigations. According to the dozens of pages of police reports from the Muskegon Police Department and Michigan State Police, a firm called GBI Strategies was under scrutiny as an organization central to alleged voter registration fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The matter was initially investigated by city and state authorities before the FBI took over. Contacts between local law enforcement and the FBI continued into 2022 but there is no evidence of what happened after that in the memos obtained by Just the News through requests made under Michigan’s own Freedom of Information Act.

Last week, the FBI denied a Freedom of Information/Privacy Acts request from Just the News regarding records from the investigation into GBI Strategies. The request sought “copies of all reports, documents, and records about GBI Strategies, including all communication and correspondence regarding investigations of GBI Strategies with Michigan government officials, city and state law enforcement agencies in Michigan, and all other state government officials and law enforcement agencies involved in investigations of GBI Strategies.” The FBI’s response partially reads: “The material you requested is located in an investigative file which is exempt from disclosure.”

The FBI cited 5 U.S. Code § 552(b)(7)(A) for exempting disclosure of the records, specifically, “records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such law enforcement records or information … could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.” The agency’s response continued: “The records responsive to your request are law enforcement records; there is a pending or prospective law enforcement proceeding relevant to these responsive records, and release of the information could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.”

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“As a nation, the United States no longer exists. What was once a country is today just a geographical location.”

Disappearing Americans (Paul Craig Roberts)

Washington lies to American citizens for the benefit of non-citizens and well-connected citizens such as Big Pharma, agri-business, and the military-security complex. To prove the point, the anti-American Biden Regime’s “Justice” Department is suing Elon Musk for hiring American Citizens instead of immigrant-invaders. The anti-American Biden Regime calls immigrant-invaders “asylees” and “refugees” and although they do not have green cards, that is, permission to reside and work in the US, the anti-American Biden Regime gives the immigrant-invaders equal footing with American citizens and green card holders to employment rights. Elon Musk, a patriot who wishes to employ American citizens is being sued for employing Americans instead of immigrant-invaders. This is the fate of Americans under the America-Hating-Democrats. Here is what the Biden Department of “Justice” said:

“Our investigation found that SpaceX failed to fairly consider or hire asylees and refugees because of their citizenship status and imposed what amounted to a ban on their hire regardless of their qualification, in violation of federal law,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Our investigation also found that SpaceX recruiters and high-level officials took actions that actively discouraged asylees and refugees from seeking work opportunities at the company. Asylees and refugees have overcome many obstacles in their lives, and unlawful employment discrimination based on their citizenship status should not be one of them. Through this lawsuit we will hold SpaceX accountable for its illegal employment practices and seek relief that allows asylees and refugees to fairly compete for job opportunities and contribute their talents to SpaceX’s workforce.”

Dear insouciant Americans: This is what the Biden Regime’s “Justice” Department is telling you: Your citizenship as an American citizen means nothing whatsoever. Your status as an American citizen places you on the same level, or even lower, than the status of an immigrant-invader. If you hire an American Citizen instead of an immigrant-invader you have violated US law! Insouciant Americans send their sons and daughters to fight for rights of immigrant-invaders who have turned our country into a Tower of Babel. Take a moment and consider, what was the consequence of the fake “war on terror” other than massive acceptance of “refugees” from our own attacks on the Middle East and North Africa? What is the consequence of our war against Russia in Ukraine other than millions of immigrant-invders into the US and Europe?

Every time the anti-Americans who rule us launch a war, whether against “terror,” or “to build democracy,” or against “Putin reconstructing the Soviet Empire,” we get more boatloads of immigrant-invaders who demand rights at the expense of American citizens. Washington’s wars and open borders have destroyed the cohesiveness of American society and the homogeneousness of the American population. The anti-Americans in Washington have turned the United States of America into a Tower of Babel. As a nation, the United States no longer exists. What was once a country is today just a geographical location.

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Trevi

 

 

 

 

Butterfly

 

 

DogDucks
https://twitter.com/i/status/1707258166101066190

 

 

 

 

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