Apr 262024
 
 April 26, 2024  Posted by at 8:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  55 Responses »


Herri met de Bles Landscape with Saint Christopher 1535 – 1545

 

America: Goodbye my Country (Paul Craig Roberts)
Sceptical Supreme Court Could Hand Trump Partial Victory In Immunity Case (ZH)
Court to Decide Trump Contempt Sanction (Turley)
Hillary Clinton and Marc Elias Are Afraid of 2024 Trump Win (Sp.)
Democrats Want Donald Trump ‘Killed,’ Alan Dershowitz Warns (ET)
Pollster: ‘Deep State’ Wanted Trump’s Imprint On Failed Ukraine Policy (Sp.)
Trump Allies Charged In Arizona Election Interference Case (Sp.)
Biden Rushes Aid to Ukraine As US Cost of Living Skyrockets (Miles)
Biden Team Doubts US Aid Will Help Ukraine Win – Politico (RT)
Scott Ritter: US Aid for Ukraine Won’t Hamper Russia’s Strategic Advantage (Sp.)
Russia To Seize $440 Million From JPMorgan (ZH)
Harvey Weinstein Conviction Overturned On Appeal (ZH)
Immanuel Kant Goes To War (Hayes)
Carbon Emissions CANNOT Cause ‘Global Warming’ (Slay)

 

 

 

 

Trump NY

 

 

Pecker
https://twitter.com/i/status/1783587614928368048

 

 

Immunity
https://twitter.com/i/status/1783600215817163214

 

 


Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

Tucker racism

 

 

Bannon Rickards

 

 

 

 

“Americans have sat on their butts and allowed the destruction of civility, the rule of law, the Constitution, and their nation.”

America: Goodbye my Country (Paul Craig Roberts)

I would add several more. For example, the independence of doctors requires private practice. Private practice is being destroyed systematically by medical insurance, malpractice insurance, Medicare, Big Pharma, and the US Congress which panders to Big Pharma for campaign contributions. Medical doctors are being forced into becoming employees for HMOs where they have to follow their employer’s protocols or be fired. This means that they must abandon the Hippocratric Oath and follow the profit-enhancing practices of their employer HMOs. Big Pharma provides software for diagnosis and treatment, and doctors have to prescribe according to what Medicare and insurance companies will pay a percentage of the billing amount. Even doctors in private practice find that what they can prescribe and what operations they can perform is limited to insurance and medicare decisions.

During the orchestrated “Covid pandemic,” the entire propaganda operation was geared toward maximizing Big Pharma’s profits from the Covid “vaccine” and to cancelling people’s control over their own health care by imposing “vaccine” mandates. This was the first exercise in the imposition of mass tyranny in the Western World. Individual countries had experienced tyranny, but never before the entire Western world simultaneously. In order to maximize Big Pharma’s profits and impose mass tyranny, it was necessary to prohibit two safe, effective, known preventatives and cures for Covid–hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin. Doctors who successfully used these cures and preventatives to protect their patients were subject to persecution by medical authorities and governing boards. Some were fired from their HMO jobs and university medical schools, some were stripped of their licenses, some were prosecuted. In order to mass inject people with an untested “vaccine” under an emergency use order the requirement was that there were no cures.

So, the fact that there were cures had to be suppressed. The utterly corrupt US medical establishment, the whore media and the Western governments suppressed the cures and ridiculed them as “horse medicine.” If the Western peoples were not so insouciant, so gullible, so trusting of “authorities,” so utterly stupid and incapable of thinking for themselves, there would have been no orchestrated “Covid pandemic” and no mass vaccination, which is against all medical protocols in the face of a pandemic. According to all available scientific evidence to date, the “Covid vaccine” has killed and destroyed the health of more people than the Covid virus. The corrupt “authorities” have done their best to cover this up, but as I have reported the coverup has failed. Still nothing is being done about it. Nothing can be done as long as Congress is dependent on campaign contributions from corporations. “Our” representatives are really representatives of those interest groups that fund election campaigns.

Congress reports to them, not to us. The idiot US Supreme Court actually ruled that corporations had a legitimate Constitutional right to purchase the US government. This ruling converted a government that represented the people into one that represented the political campaign contributors. Another addition I would make is the destruction of manners. Try to find today any sign of the manners I grew up with or the civilization that existed. Even when I was in my 20s, when a woman entered the room, the men stood up. Car and restaurant doors were opened for women. Women were helped into their seat at the table. Only when women were seated did men sit down. Men were trained to be gentleman, and ladies to be ladies. No gentleman ever used a four-letter word in a woman’s presence, and no woman ever spoke one. Listen to the barbaric youth today. Even the terms ladies and gentlemen have passed out or have been driven out of use.

[..] Today in the Disunited States we have a government in power that was not elected; instead it used control over the blue cities in swing states and the whore American media to steal the election. Massive amounts of evidence was provided by experts that the election was stolen, but this was strongly denied by the whore media, and experts were prosecuted for making the facts known. Today America is governed by an illegitimate tyrannical regime, and nothing has been done about it. The Republican Party is useless. Only Trump soldiers on with four orchestrated criminal indictments and a number of civil cases arrayed against him. The media, Democrats, and Rino Republicans are all against him. Only the people are for him, and the people are powerless. They don’t even have the vote as the Democrats made clear by stealing the last two elections. Those prosecuting Trump have no concern that they are destroying America’s reputation and reducing the power of all future presidents, making them even more subservient to the deep state.

America’s only representative–Donald Trump–is so overloaded with criminal and civil prosecutions that he has no time to campaign and even as a billionaire is overwhelmed with the legal costs of defending himself from obvious nonsensical charges.The legal profession, the law schools, the bar associations, the Congress, the courts, the media stand aside as if they are not also endangered and as if the weaponization of law isn’t a foundation of tyranny. What we are witnessing most certainly is the transformation of American law into a weapon for subjecting the American population and eliminating anyone who dares to protest or challenge the tyrannical ruling establishment. This is the reason that the United States of America is a totally dead and buried formerly free nation. Americans have sat on their butts and allowed the destruction of civility, the rule of law, the Constitution, and their nation.

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Interesting discussion. To be continued.

Sceptical Supreme Court Could Hand Trump Partial Victory In Immunity Case (ZH)

After two and a half hours, the Supreme Court has finished hearing arguments on whether a former president is immune from criminal prosecution. Reading the tea-leaves of the comments has left most believing that SCOTUS will fail to grant former President Trump the full immunity he is seeking (choosing instead to narrow the protections for former presidents), but are likely to issue a ruling that could further delay his trial on charges of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election. That would be a partial win for the former President. As Axios reports, a definitive ruling against Trump – a clear rejection of his theory of immunity that would allow his Jan. 6 trial to promptly resume – seemed to be the least likely outcome. A majority of the justices seemed inclined to rule that former presidents must have at least some protection from criminal charges, but not necessarily the “absolute immunity” Trump is seeking.

The core distinction during oral arguments came down to a president’s official vs. unofficial actions. — and which of Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results were official vs. unofficial. The most likely outcome might be for the high court to punt, perhaps kicking the case back to lower courts for more nuanced hearings. That would still be a victory for Trump, as Sam Dorman reports via The Epoch Times that the outcome of this appeal could delay lower court proceedings in President Trump’s Washington trial as well as his cases in Georgia and Florida. It’s unlikely that the Supreme Court, which is expected to release a decision in June, will write an opinion that delays his ongoing criminal “hush money” trial in New York. The bottom-line is that no clear, concise majority opinion emerged this morning. But there may be five justices willing to kick the can down the road – and that’s enough for Trump, at least for now.

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“Only Michael Cohen would portray himself in terms of a witness simply trying to share evidence of a crime..”

Court to Decide Trump Contempt Sanction (Turley)

I will confess that there are at times a level of contempt expressed in my columns. However, today will be the first time that a column becomes a legal matter for contempt. Among the ten postings by former president Donald Trump being raised by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in his contempt sanction is the use of a quotation from one of my columns. In a hearing on the gag order Tuesday morning, Judge Juan Merchan reserved any final decision. On April 15, Trump quoted my New York Post column from the day before titled “A serial perjurer will try to prove an old misdemeanor against Trump in an embarrassment for the New York legal system.” Trump posted the title while attaching a link. There is an interesting aspect to this controversy that captures the problem with Judge Merchan’s gag order.

In addition to continually appealing on television to oppose Trump’s election and to discuss his testimony in this case, Cohen has also lashed out against critics and coverage, including my own columns. I have been a critic of Cohen since the time when he was still working as counsel for Trump. Cohen has continued to attack some of us with vulgar postings while posting mocking pictures and attacks on Trump, including running commentary on the trial. In one posting, Cohen posted an insulting attack on myself and others who have raised questions about the Manhattan case while objecting that he is entitled to the protection of the gag order because he is a witness. Only Michael Cohen would portray himself in terms of a witness simply trying to share evidence of a crime.

Cohen has raised money on being the antagonist of Donald Trump. He has cultivated his professional wrestling style as a type of trash-talking, chair-throwing thug to liberal cable programs. Judge Merchan has allowed him to use the gag order to shield him from criticism as he heaps abuse on Trump both as a candidate and a defendant. That includes, like Trump, responding to these very columns, including my own, on the case. I have previously criticized these gag orders on constitutional grounds.

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“.. ‘public servants’ in the United States dole out trillions of unregulated dollars, but can be ‘purchased’ for mere millions of dollars..”

Hillary Clinton and Marc Elias Are Afraid of 2024 Trump Win (Sp.)

Hillary Clinton has once again evoked the specter of “Russian collusion” and warned the audience of Marc Elias’ “Democracy Docket” podcast that Donald Trump’s role model is no one but Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to Clinton, the danger of a Trump victory to the US democracy is acute, given that Republicans would do whatever it takes to win the 2024 elections, starting with narrowing the electorate, purging votes, creating confusion at polling stations and even weaponizing artificial intelligence (AI). “Probably can’t even imagine what they’re going to do with artificial intelligence and other cyber-attacks on voters in terms of the messages that they will get, sometimes deliberately, to confuse them. You know, different polling places, different days to vote, different times of voting — I mean, whatever they can do to mess people up,” the former secretary of state claimed.

She went on to say that if Trump wins the presidential election in 2024 he would turn into a full-fledged “authoritarian” or “dictator”, who wants to kill his opposition, suppresses the freedom of speech, takes bribes in pay-to-play schemes, and doesn’t believe in the rule of law. Clinton’s outlandish claims expose her as nothing short of a projectionist, according to Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist Charles Ortel, who has been examining the Clinton Foundation’s alleged fraud and pay-to-play scheming for several years. “Hillary Clinton and Marc Elias are both disgraces to the legal profession and mere servants of corrupt donors who plainly understand that ‘public servants’ in the United States dole out trillions of unregulated dollars, but can be ‘purchased’ for mere millions of dollars, often routed via leaky ‘charities,’ or off-market ‘business’ deals and media gigs,” Ortel told Sputnik.

“So far, the known record indicates that Elias, acting for the 2015/16 Clinton campaign and likely working directly with Hillary, rigged the Democratic primaries to favor Hillary and deny Bernie a running shot at winning the Democratic nomination,” the analyst continued. “Then, Elias (likely under direction from Hillary and her corrupt donors) contracted the manufacture of bold lies attempting to link Trump to Russia in the ‘Steele Dossier’ and hyped their deep connections in media and academia to inflate a massive web of deception that hampered the Trump presidency, instigated impeachments of Trump, interfered in the 2020 election, the 2022 election and now in the 2024 election. “If Trump and the GOP win the White House and Congress this year, that could spell serious legal troubles for both Hillary and Marc, the analyst presumed.

Clinton’s claim about Trump’s apparent desire to “kill” his opposition could trigger inconvenient parallels with a string of unexplained deaths around Team Clinton, according to Sputnik’s interlocutor. While Hillary is peddling the idea of the GOP’s forthcoming “election disinformation,” one should recall how she tried to evade scrutiny during the “emailgate” scandal concerning classified government information which ran through her unprotected server, the analyst pointed out. The former secretary of state permanently deleted 33,000 of those emails insisting they were “personal and private”. “Hillary Clinton is an adept liar and mistress of attempting to destroy incriminating evidence,” Ortel said. “In this, she has legions of co-conspirators who have woven fanciful tales of her decades of ‘public service’ without explaining how she managed to convince a major law firm— Williams & Connolly—-to defer collecting millions in legal fees through Bill Clinton’s presidency or how the Clinton family scored millions of dollars in off-market book and speech deals.”

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What is it with Dems and Secret Service protection? Nobody questioned it before..

Democrats Want Donald Trump ‘Killed,’ Alan Dershowitz Warns (ET)

Retired Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz suggested that Democrat officials want former President Donald Trump to get killed by taking away his Secret Service protection. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) introduced legislation last week that would remove Secret Service protection for people who are convicted of felony or state crimes. The lawmaker mentioned that a “former president” could be an individual whose protection would be terminated if he’s found guilty in four cases. But Mr. Dershowitz, a former constitutional law professor and criminal defense lawyer, asserted in an interview with Newsmax over the weekend that Mr. Thompson’s legislation is “ridiculous” and “means they want him killed because he’s obviously a target.”

“We live in an age where everybody is in danger. Look, Bobby Kennedy ought to be getting Secret Service protection, but certainly Donald Trump needs to get Secret Service protection. He’s not going to jail, but if he goes to jail obviously the law requires Secret Service protection,” Mr. Dershowitz said, referring to President Trump. It comes as President Trump faces a criminal trial in which prosecutors allege that he falsified business records during the 2016 campaign to cover up negative news stories. The trial is scheduled to last around six to eight weeks in total, while opening arguments started Monday. Judge Juan Merchan, who is overseeing the case, “is going to bluff, fine and threat, but he’s not going to throw Donald Trump in jail,” Mr. Dershowitz said. “That would be a guaranteed victory … I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

A press release issued by Mr. Thompson’s office said that with President Trump’s cases, there is now an opportunity for Congress to reform the U.S. Secret Service’s protective mission “by automatically terminating Secret Service protection for those who have been sentenced to prison following conviction for a federal or state felony—clarifying that prison authorities would be responsible for the protection of all inmates regardless of previous Secret Service protection.”

“Unfortunately, current law doesn’t anticipate how Secret Service protection would impact the felony prison sentence of a protectee—even a former president. It is regrettable that it has come to this, but this previously unthought-of scenario could become our reality,” Mr. Thompson said, referring to the former president’s 91 state and federal charges. “Therefore, it is necessary for us to be prepared and update the law so the American people can be assured that protective status does not translate into special treatment—and that those who are sentenced to prison will indeed serve the time required of them,” he added in the news release.

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“..Speaker Johnson and many congressional Republicans snubbed their own voters on Ukraine funding for two reasons: ignorance and ideology..”

Pollster: ‘Deep State’ Wanted Trump’s Imprint On Failed Ukraine Policy (Sp.)

Most Americans hold a realistic view of the unfolding Ukraine conflict and want their government to prioritize domestic economic and national security interests, according to Patrick Basham, head of Democracy Institute, a politically independent research organization based in Washington and London. Basham likewise does not rule out that Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has been played by the US “deep state” into supporting the unpopular Ukraine aid package. Sputnik: US Congress’ decision to back Joe Biden’s $61 billion aid package for Ukraine to fight its war against Russia has been met with disapproval from US voters on both sides of the political aisle, according to your new poll. Why did Mike Johnson and some of his fellow Republicans in the House decide to snub the GOP’s base on Ukraine?

Patrick Basham: Speaker Johnson and many congressional Republicans snubbed their own voters on Ukraine funding for two reasons: ignorance and ideology. These Republican politicians, along with the majority of American congressmen and senators, are abysmally ignorant about the state of the war in Ukraine. They do not realize that Ukraine has been defeated; many of them even believe Ukraine can still win the military contest with Russia. They are also adherents to a foreign policy ideology that is at odds with the perspective held by the overwhelming majority of conservative and Republican voters in America. The politicians are neoconservatives who divide the world into black and white, good and bad nations.

They believe that American and Western military and economic power can and should remove from power foreign governments that America dislikes – and, crucially, that the removal of these governments will be met with approval from those formerly ruled by them. Although these costly interventions consistently fail, they are advertised as projects to advance democracy, freedom, and prosperity. In striking contrast, most Republican voters (and most Americans) hold a more realistic view of American power. They want Washington to prioritize American interests (especially economic and national security) abroad. As such, they are deeply reluctant to put American soldiers in harm’s way for little, if any, apparent benefit to America, and they are also acutely sensitive to the horrendous economic cost of waging a prolonged overseas war.

Sputnik: Your survey has also indicated that Donald Trump’s support for Speaker Mike Johnson failed to sway the American opposition to funding the Ukrainian conflict. Nonetheless, Sen. Lindsey Graham claimed that Trump’s support helped ram the Ukraine package through Congress. What’s your take on Trump’s role in advocating the provision of Ukraine aid in the form of a loan and backing Johnson’s Ukraine bill? Patrick Basham: Trump’s support for Johnson helped to make the Ukraine bill more palatable to some Republican congressmen. Trump provided political cover for those Republican politicians afraid of attacks from “America First” critics within their own party. I presume that Trump’s principal goal was to shore up Johnson’s overall position within the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives so that during the election campaign Republicans would not experience yet another drawn-out, politically painful exercise to choose a new speaker.

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Raising Arizona.

Trump Allies Charged In Arizona Election Interference Case (Sp.)

Trump allies Mark Meadows, Rudy Giuliani, and Jenna Ellis are among 18 people charged in an election interference case in the state of Arizona, court documents revealed. “Defendants’ attempts to declare Unindicted Co-conspirator 1 and Pence the winners of the 2020 Presidential Election contrary to voter intent and the law, involved numerous other charged and uncharged co-conspirators,” the filing said on Wednesday. Former President Donald Trump is listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the filing. The defendants are accused of trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state of Arizona, the court documents stated.

In February, a US federal appeals court ruled that Trump is not immune from prosecution in his 2020 election interference case, which Trump appealed to the US Supreme Court. The US Supreme Court is scheduled to decide whether Trump is immune from being prosecuted as a former US president on Thursday. In August 2023, a Fulton County grand jury indicted Trump on 13 felony counts related to his alleged attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Trump has pleaded not guilty to the charges in Georgia over the 2020 presidential election. Trump faces a total of 91 charges in four criminal cases that Republicans say are an attempt by the Democratic establishment to prevent him from returning to the White House. The most serious charges carry penalties of up to 20 years in prison. If the punishment were to be determined by adding up the terms, he could be behind bars for more than 700 years.

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“..the cost now of living in America has risen by about $11,434, give or take, in comparison to when Biden took office.”

Biden Rushes Aid to Ukraine As US Cost of Living Skyrockets (Miles)

American households in 2024 are spending an extra $11,434 annually to maintain a similar standard of living to the one they enjoyed just three years ago. That’s according to a new study by Republican members of the US Senate Joint Economic Committee who examined consumer price data to arrive at an analysis of the impact of inflation from state to state. In some parts of the country the cost of living increase stood at a comparatively modest $8,500 per year, while in states like California and Colorado it approached $15,000. The Biden White House rejected the study as one-sided, pointing to attendant wage increases across the economy. Still, recent polling suggests most Americans don’t feel the increased income makes up for the rise in inflation, and economic issues remain at the forefront of voters’ concerns with November’s presidential election less than seven months away.

Geopolitical consultant and founder of Global Perspective Consulting David Oualaalou pointed to the troubling data during an appearance on Sputnik’s The Critical Hour program Wednesday, questioning the US president’s focus on foreign policy amidst a grim economic outlook for millions of Americans. “The fact that [the US] keeps sending more money to Ukraine [and] it’s already a failed state, what is it for?” asked the author and global speaker. “We have been taking money out of average Americans that are paying taxes. I hope your listeners understand — and this is a sad reality — that the cost now of living in America has risen by about $11,434, give or take, in comparison to when Biden took office.” “And why? Because we are taking money out of Americans and giving it to the corrupted government in Ukraine.” he insisted. “I saw those images of the incompetent members of Congress waving the Ukrainian flag inside Congress. Well to me it became like, why don’t you go and represent Ukraine?

Shame on our politicians. But, again, until the structure of our system has changed, nothing is going to change fundamentally.” Former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower famously warned Americans about the emergent US military-industrial complex during his farewell address in 1961. What’s less well known is that an earlier draft of the speech referred to a “military-industrial-congressional complex.” Eisenhower reconsidered the term out of fear of offending Washington lawmakers, but the designation makes clear legislators’ key role in what the former leader considered a corrupt and dangerous phenomenon. Military contractors make up one of the largest political lobbies in Washington; recently, a study found lawmakers who voted to pass a recent National Defense Authorization Act received four to five times more in donations from the defense industry than those who did not. The promise of campaign cash creates a powerful incentive for congress members to vote to fund more war.

“We have nothing to show but conflicts,” said Oualaalou. “We do not sell anything to the rest of the world except conflict and weapons. And at some point when the world is shifting, like what we are witnessing right now, most countries are going to say, ‘sorry, we are not interested in buying what you have to sell.'” Recently the African country of Chad has threatened to order US troops stationed in the country to leave. The move comes after the neighboring country of Niger made a similar request. The United States has, so far, refused to comply, having invested significant amounts of money there as a hub for military and surveillance activity in the region.

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It’s not about winning. It’s about fighting.

Biden Team Doubts US Aid Will Help Ukraine Win – Politico (RT)

US officials are not convinced that another $61 billion in American assistance for Ukraine will be enough for it to prevail in the conflict against Russia, Politico has reported. President Joe Biden signed a $95 billion foreign aid package on Wednesday, which also included funding for Israel and Taiwan. The Senate voted on the legislation earlier this week, ending a standoff between the Democrats and the Republicans that had dragged on since the autumn. “Battlefield dynamics [in the Ukraine conflict] have shifted a lot in the last few months,” Politico reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed members of the Biden administration. This happened partially because the stalemate in Congress led to Ukrainian forces running low on weapons and ammunition, the sources suggested.

“The immediate goal is to stop Ukrainian losses and help Ukraine regain momentum and turn the tide on the battlefield. After that, the goal is to help Ukraine begin to regain its territory,” one of the officials said. “Will they have what they need to win? Ultimately, yes. But it’s not a guarantee that they will. Military operations are much more complicated than that.” A senior Democratic Senate aide also told Politico that the question now is whether more US aid can lead to a Ukrainian victory, or if it would just be enough to fend off Russian forces temporarily. “There’s lots of debate about what a winning endgame for Ukraine looks like at this point,” the source said. The outlet argued that there is a difference between Kiev “winning” by getting “most or all of its territory back” and “not losing,” which means that “Ukraine can hold its lines and advance some but fail to claw back what Russia seized.”

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s stance that Kiev should fight until it takes back all of its territory, including Crimea, “commits the US to a much longer conflict with no guarantee Zelensky will achieve his goals,” Politico stressed. Commenting on the $61 billion US military aid package on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted that “all these new batches of weapons… will not change the dynamics on the front line.” Earlier this week, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said that Moscow’s forces currently hold the initiative everywhere along the front line and are capturing more settlements. He estimated Kiev’s losses at half a million troops since the start of the conflict in February 2022.

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“Russia currently enjoys “military superiority, if not outright supremacy, along the entire line of contact..”

Scott Ritter: US Aid for Ukraine Won’t Hamper Russia’s Strategic Advantage (Sp.)

US President Joe Biden recently signed a long-delayed $95 billion package, including $61 billion in aid for Ukraine, into law. At least $13.8 billion of this sum will be used to deliver weaponry, such as long-range ATACMS missiles and F-16 fighter jets. This is “a lot of money” but it will not turn the tide of the conflict, former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter said in an interview with Sputnik. “The $13.8 billion in military assistance that will be provided to Ukraine will be insufficient to basically halt the ongoing Russian advance,” and “to change the outcome on the battlefield,” he stated. The sum will not help the Kiev regime “turn the tide to send Russian forces back to, according to the Zelensky formula, the 1991 borders,” Ritter stressed, recalling that it isn’t just him making this assessment.

“This is the assessment of Ukraine’s Foreign Minister [Dmytro] Kuleba, who has said that at this late stage in the game, there’s no amount of military assistance that can stop the Russian advance. He’s correct,” the Marine Corps intelligence officer underscored. Ritter also cited “talk of magic weapons” for the Zelensky regime, which he said would be of little help. According to him, Russia currently enjoys “military superiority, if not outright supremacy, along the entire line of contact, not just on the front lines, but extending well into the rear areas of the Ukrainian defense areas.” He also explained that after the US weapons are delivered to Ukraine and brought up to the front line, the weaponry “will be subjected to increasing levels of interdiction.”

“Very little of this military assistance will actually make it to the Ukrainian soldiers at the front line, and when it does, this military equipment will be destroyed relatively quickly by the Russians who will be tracking this equipment throughout its entire journey from the West to the front lines,” Ritter pointed out. The former US Marine Corps intelligence officer suggested that Russia would manage to retain its “strategic advantage” on the battlefield “until victory, regardless of the amount of money that the United States, Europe or anybody else pours into Ukraine. Ritter’s remarks come after Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov underlined that the situation on the battlefield is “self-explanatory and unambiguous,” and that “all these new batches of weapons, […] will not change the dynamics at the front line.”

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The cost of sanctions.

Russia To Seize $440 Million From JPMorgan (ZH)

Seizing assets? Two can play at that game… Just days after Washington voted to authorize the REPO Act – paving the way for the Biden administration confiscate billions in Russian sovereign assets which sit in US banks – it appears Moscow has a plan of its own (let’s call it the REVERSE REPO Act) as a Russian court has ordered the seizure of $440 million from JPMorgan. The seizure order follows from Kremlin-run lender VTB launching legal action against the largest US bank to recoup money stuck under Washington’s sanctions regime. As The FT reports, the order, published in the Russian court register on Wednesday, targets funds in JPMorgan’s accounts and shares in its Russian subsidiaries, according to the ruling issued by the arbitration court in St Petersburg. The assets had been frozen by authorities in the wake of the western sanctions, and highlights some of the fallout western companies are feeling from the punitive measures against Moscow.

Specifically, The FT notes that the dispute centers on $439mn in funds that VTB held in a JPMorgan account in the US. When Washington imposed sanctions on the Kremlin-run bank, JPMorgan had to move the funds to a separate escrow account. Under the US sanctions regime, neither VTB nor JPMorgan can access the funds. In response, VTB last week filed a lawsuit against the New York-based group to get Russian authorities to freeze the equivalent amount in Russia, warning that JPMorgan was seeking to leave Russia and would refuse to pay any compensation. The following day, JPMorgan filed its own lawsuit against the Russian lender in a US court to prevent a seizure of its assets, arguing that it had no way to reclaim VTB’s stranded US funds to compensate its own potential losses from the Russian lawsuit.

Yesterday’s decision sided with VTB, ordering the seizure of funds in JPMorgan’s Russian accounts and “movable and immovable property,” including its stake of a Russian subsidiary. JPMorgan said it faced “certain and irreparable harm” from VTB’s efforts, exposed to a nearly half-billion-dollar loss, for merely abiding by U.S. sanctions. The order was the latest example of American banks getting caught between the demands of Western sanctions regimes and overseas interests. Last summer, a Russian court froze about $36mn worth of assets owned by Goldman following a lawsuit by state-owned bank Otkritie. A few months later the court ruled that the Wall Street investment bank had to pay the funds to Otkritie. The tit-for-tat continues.

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“..witnesses who said that Weinstein had assaulted them, but whose accusations weren’t part of the charges against him..”

Harvey Weinstein Conviction Overturned On Appeal (ZH)

A New York Court of Appeals has overturned Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 conviction on felony sex crime charges, for which he was sentenced to 23 years in prison. In a 4-3 decision, the court found that the trial judge in the disgraced mogul’s case had made a critical error, allowing prosecutors to call a series of women as witnesses who said that Weinstein had assaulted them, but whose accusations weren’t part of the charges against him, the NYT reports. In 2020, Lauren Young and two other women, Dawn Dunning and Tarale Wulff, testified about their encounters with Weinstein under a state law that allows testimony about “prior bad acts” to demonstrate a pattern of behavior. But the court in its decision on Thursday said that “under our system of justice, the accused has a right to be held to account only for the crime charged.”

Citing that decision and others it identified as errors, the appeals court determined that Mr. Weinstein, who as a movie producer had been one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, had not received a fair trial. The four judges in the majority wrote that Mr. Weinstein was not tried solely on the crimes he was charged with, but instead for much of his past behavior. -NYT The decision was determined by one vote on a majority female panel of judges, who in February held a searching public debate over the fairness of the original trial. Weinstein was convicted of raping aspiring actress Jessica Mann at a DoubleTree hotel in 2013 when she was 27-years-old, and forcing oral sex on former production assistant Mimi Haleyi, then 28, at his apartment in 2006.

Now, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who’s currently prosecuting former President Donald Trump, will have to decide whether to seek a retrial of Weinstein – who remains in an upstate prison in Rome, NY at the moment. It’s unclear how the decision will affect his future. In 2022, he was convicted by a California court of raping a woman in a Beverly Hills hotel and sentenced to 16 years in prison. The jury found Weinstein guilty of rape, forcible oral copulation, and sexual penetration by foreign object involving a woman known as Jane Doe 1.

The 2022 jury acquitted Weinstein of a sexual battery charge made by a massage therapist who treated him at a hotel in 2010, and was unable to reach a decision on two allegations, including rape, involving Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California’s Democratic governor Gavin Newsom. She was known as Jane Doe 4 in the trial, and had testified to being raped by Weinstein in a hotel room in 2005. Weinstein was convicted of sexually abusing over 100 women – and was convicted of assaulting two of them in the New York case. “That is unfair to survivors,” said actress Ashley Judd, the first actress to come forward with allegations against Weinstein, the NYT’s Jodi Kantor reports. “We still live in our truth. And we know what happened.”

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“..Though he is as undeniably German as the Nord Stream pipeline, Putin (and anyone else anywhere) has a right to quote him morning, noon and night..”

Immanuel Kant Goes To War (Hayes)

First off, a hat tip to Russia Today (and to the VPN, which allows me access to it) for telling me that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has lashed out at Russian President Vladimir Putin for quoting iconic German philosopher Immanuel Kant. Because Putin cited the philosopher at an event marking the 300th anniversary of Kant’s birth, Scholz accused Putin of trying to “poach” the great thinker as well as misrepresenting his ideas.n bThe story, at first glance, is so ridiculously funny that I had to google to ensure I was not being taken in by that mercurial NATO chameleon dubbed “Russian disinformation.” Sure enough, as plenty of Western sources later verified the story, we can proceed. Die Zeit cites Scholz at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences ranting that “Putin doesn’t have the slightest right to quote Kant, yet Putin’s regime remains committed to poaching Kant and his work at almost any cost”.

Let’s just stop the reel there. Kant was born in 1724 in Koenigsberg (present-day Kaliningrad), which belonged to the Kingdom of Prussia before later becoming part of the Russian Empire. The philosopher, famous for his work on ethics, aesthetics and philosophical ontology, is rightly considered one of the pillars of German classical philosophy. Though he is as undeniably German as the Nord Stream pipeline, Putin (and anyone else anywhere) has a right to quote him morning, noon and night. Though Kant is as German as Tolstoy, who regarded himself as a philosopher and not a writer, is Russian, their brilliance belongs to the world. Scholz, in other words, is free to quote Tolstoy, once, of course, he first learns to read. As Putin delivered his talk in Kant’s famous birth place, it was, of course, entirely appropriate that Putin should quote the great philosopher and Scholz, if he was not an ignoramus, should have used that to his advantage, rather than coming across as the obvious baboon that he is.

Putin, as it happens, spent much of his working life in Germany and he speaks the language of Kant, Schiller and Goethe at least as fluently as Scholz which is, admittedly, a low bar. Not only that but Putin has been praising and quoting Kant for decades and has even gone so far as saying that the philosopher should be made an official symbol of Kaliningrad Region. Germany and Germans like Kant have had a profound and often benign effect on Russia since even before Vasili III, Grand Prince of Moscow, established Moscow’s German Quarter in the fifteenth century. Catherine the Great, who was actually born in Prussia, and the German speaking and Kant admiring Putin have carried on those links into more modern times. And, though Catherine the Great, sadly, is no longer with us, Putin is, and his remarks that Kant is “one of the greatest thinkers of both his time and ours,” is not only worthy of consideration but it is one more cultured German leaders than Scholz would have leveraged to their advantage.

Scholz, who fancies himself as something of a bar room philosopher, is having none of that. He believes Russia’s role in the Russian speaking areas of Ukraine contradicts Kant’s fundamental teachings on the interference of states in the affairs of other nations, and he defended Kiev’s decision not to engage in peace talks with Moscow, unless they are on NATO’s terms of unconditional Russian surrender. Scholz, with no sense of irony or self awareness regarding the aborted Minsk Accords, said Kant believed that forced treaties were not the way to reach ‘perpetual peace’ – a direct reference to Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch, one of Kant’s major and most influential works.

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“..past 400 ppm, “the CO2 concentration can no longer cause any increase in temperature.”

Carbon Emissions CANNOT Cause ‘Global Warming’ (Slay)

A bombshell new peer-reviewed study has provided conclusive scientific evidence proving that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Earth’s atmosphere cannot cause “global warming.” Dr. Jan Kubicki led a group of world-renowned Polish scientists to study the impact of increases in CO2 emissions on the Earth’s global temperatures. However, not only did they find that higher levels of CO2 made no difference, but they also proved that it simply isn’t possible for increases in carbon dioxide to cause temperatures to rise. Kubicki and his team recently published three papers which all conclude that Earth’s atmosphere is already “saturated” with carbon dioxide. This saturation means that, even at greatly increased levels of CO2, the “greenhouse gas” will not cause temperatures to rise. Kubicki et al. summarize their evidence by noting that as a result of saturation, “emitted CO2 does not directly cause an increase in global temperature.”

Current levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are around 418 parts per million (ppm) but the scientists state that past 400 ppm, “the CO2 concentration can no longer cause any increase in temperature.” The saturation of CO2 in the atmosphere is the hypothesis that dares not speak its name in mainstream media, politics, and across much of climate science. The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) “Net Zero” collectivism agenda is doomed without the constant fearmongering of a so-called “climate crisis.” One of the key propaganda messages behind this “green agenda” is that humans are responsible for the ever-warming climate by burning hydrocarbons and releasing CO2 into the atmosphere. The saturation hypothesis is complex, but in simple terms, it can be described by the example of loft insulation in a house.

After a certain point, doubling the lagging will have little effect since most of the heat trying to escape through the roof has already been trapped. Carbon dioxide traps heat only within narrow bands of the infrared spectrum. Levels of the gas have been up to 20 times higher in the past without any sign of runaway “global warming.” At current levels, the Polish scientists suggest that there is “currently multiple exceedances of the saturation mass for carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere.” The latest study is published in the prestigious Elsevier’s Science Direct peer-reviewed journal. Many other scientists are attracted to the saturation hypothesis because it provides more plausible explanations to fit past changes in the climate.

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Trump pizza

 

 

Roadster

 

 

Saba

 

 

Lay Down Your Tomato Plants

 

 

Mwinzi

 

 

Donkeys
https://twitter.com/i/status/1783156462681739671

 

 

Cutting

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 122024
 


Edgar Degas The laundress 1873

 

The Deep State Prepares for a Trump Victory (Jeffrey Tucker)
Russia, China Sketch the Future as the World Awaits Iran’s Move (Pepe Escobar)
Israel Expects Iran’s Direct Attack Within Next 24 to 48 Hours (Sp.)
Had UN Condemned Israel, There’d Be No Need For Retaliation – Iran (RT)
Brits Should Not Be Part Of The Genocide In Gaza (Jay)
Russia Delivers Major Blow to Ukraine, Destroys Kiev’s Biggest Power Plant (NC)
We Really Want To Destroy Europe’s Longest Bridge – Zelensky (RT)
Biden’s Remark On Ukraine Apocalyptic – Medvedev (RT)
Biden ‘Very Proud’ Of Expanding NATO To Russia’s Borders (RT)
Pentagon Warns US Could Miss Ukraine ‘Pay Off’ (RT)
Moscow Shines Spotlight On Who Comes After Zelensky (Helmer)
US Citizens Backing Russia – Zelensky (RT)
Trump Has No Intention Of Going To Ukraine – Reuters (RT)
Ukraine Peace Impossible Without Russia – Swiss FM (RT)
Irish Taxpayers Paid For The Accommodation Of Ukrainian Dogs And Cats (RT)
Sen. Kennedy Suggests Ulterior Motive Behind Border Crisis (ET)

 

 

 

 

Tucker democracy
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778183879255265519

 

 

Nebenzya
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778474208743321696

 

 

Stefanik
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778433384865321226

 

 

 

 

RFK malinformation
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778532862402408632

 

 

Rogan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Absolute must read from Jeffrey Tucker. Another way to make it impossible for Trump to effect any meaningful changes. Just like the NATO “Ukraine fund”.

“There are more than 2 million permanent bureaucrats..” And they want to make them independent of who’s president. Democracy be damned.

The Deep State Prepares for a Trump Victory (Jeffrey Tucker)

“In the first week of the Biden-Harris Administration, President Biden revoked an Executive Order issued by the previous Administration that risked altering our country’s long-standing merit-based civil service system, by creating a new excepted service schedule, known as ‘Schedule F,’ and directing agencies to move potentially large swathes of career employees into this new excepted service status. This attempt would have stripped career civil servants of their civil service protections that ensure that decisions to hire and fire are based on merit, not political considerations.” The “previous administration” means of course the Trump White House, which issued the greatest executive order in a hundred years. After four years of being subverted and thwarted by the civil service bureaucracy, the White House finally figured out the core problem. There are more than 2 million permanent bureaucrats, ensconced in 430 agencies, who imagine themselves to live outside the democratic system and the U.S. Constitution itself. They believe they are the state and the elected leaders are mere decoration.

Trump’s executive order insisted that every agency do an internal audit and ferret out any employee who has something to do with making or interpreting policy; that is, anyone whose work impacts on whether the president actually has control of the executive department. All those employees would be reclassified as Schedule F, meaning that they could be replaced if need be. That’s it. That’s the whole order. Maybe it doesn’t seem like much but it was actually brilliant. The Trump administration is the first to discover the great secret of American public life, which is that the administrative state has taken on a life of its own. After years of trying, the Trump White House finally happened upon a key lever to gain back control for the people. It’s as simple as that. The Washington, D.C. political press freaked out. It was as if a president had found the engine room and the one switch that controls the whole thing. That was never supposed to happen. This produced mayhem inside the bureaucracy, and a doubling and tripling down on the conviction that he could never win a second term, lest this order be carried out.

That’s why one of the very first actions of the Biden administration was to repeal this executive order. That action made it very clear that Biden’s loyalties were with the deep state first and foremost. He would protect their jobs and power above all else. In fact, the OPM (Office of Personnel Management) press release brags about this. At issue here is a phrase from the initial Trump order. Any employee would be reclassified who deals with “confidential, policy determining, policymaking, or policy-advocating.” Notice this word confidential. This would apply to the whole of the intelligence community, perhaps. So wait, are we saying that the president should be in charge of the CIA, FBI, NSA, NSC, and the entire security apparatus, even to the point that he could fire anyone? Maybe so! Such a situation would be intolerable to the bad guys. From their point of view, this would fundamentally upend the functioning of government in America. Let’s face it. If the OPM and the whole of the bureaucracy believed there was no threat from Donald Trump or RFK, Jr., such a rule change would not be necessary.

They believe it is necessary, which implies that the civil service thinks that the rising populist movement is a genuine threat that could succeed in taking back the country. Otherwise, they wouldn’t bother. What is the OPM? It was founded out of the Pendleton Act of 1883, which started the permanent bureaucracy in the United States. With it came the Civil Service Commission, the first name of what later was called the OPM. Until that time, and under the Constitution, the U.S. president had full control of the bureaucracy. The new president would typically replace a vast number of bureaucrats with loyalists. This was denounced as the “spoils system” but it could also be called simple democracy in which the people rule themselves through their elected representatives. The permanent class of rules grew through wars and crises over a hundred years to become the government that cares not a whit for who is technically elected or otherwise appointed as agency heads. As a matter of habit, they have come to ignore all the comings and goings of the people elected by the population. Elections are just a distraction to them.

The essential point: Donald Trump and RFK, Jr. represent a genuine threat to the gang that has subverted and nearly wrecked this country. Now we know that this threat is real, else we would not see these efforts to entrench the bad guys and protect them against all conceivable threats. As this proves again, the main struggle alive in this country and all over the world is the one between the people and the deep state consisting of a vast network of elites in government, media, the corporate world, banking and finance, private foundations, and global bureaucracies, all working for their own interests at the expense of everyone else. It’s a battle for control, and it is the underlying dynamic that shapes our lives right now. The bad guys are scared. Now we know this for sure, or they would not be trying to pre-rig the system against fundamental change. The elites believe based on long experience that they can always outwit the rest of the population. We shall see.

It’s going to be brutal before and after the election. There will be one or several October surprises. If Donald Trump wins, the onset of Winter will kick off propaganda like you have never seen. As the inauguration approaches, absolute hysteria will dawn. The COVID racket will seem like child’s play. Every day and every hour after will consist of wild attempts to stop the administration from functioning. What a time to be alive.

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“..the dogs of Forever Wars bark while the Eurasian integration caravan marches on..”

Russia, China Sketch the Future as the World Awaits Iran’s Move (Pepe Escobar)

The whole planet awaits with bated breath the avowedly inevitable Iranian response to the attack against its consulate/ambassador residence in Damascus by the biblical psychopaths responsible for the Gaza genocide. Enveloped in an aura of secrecy, each passing day betrays the immensity of the challenge: the possibly asymmetrical response must be, simultaneously, symbolic, substantive, cogent, convincing, reasonable and rational. That is driving Tel Aviv totally hysterical and the deciding instances of the Hegemon extremely itchy. Everyone with a functioning brain knows this wet dream of a stunt from the point of view of hardcore Zionists and US Christian zio-cons was a serious provocation, designed to draw the US to the long-cherished Israeli plan of striking a decisive blow against both Hezbollah and Tehran.

The IDF’s Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi all but gave away the game, when he said this past Sunday that “we are operating in cooperation with the USA and strategic partners in the region.” Translation: never trust the Hegemon even as the notion is floated – via Swiss mediators – that Washington won’t interfere with Tehran’s response to Tel Aviv. One just needs to remember Washington’s “assurances” to Saddam Hussein before the first Gulf War. It’s impossible to take Hegemon back-channel assurances at face value. The White House and the Pentagon occasionally dispense these “assurances” to Moscow every time Kiev strikes deep inside the Russian Federation using US-UK satellite intel, logistics, weaponry and with NATO in de-facto operational control. The state terror attack on Damascus, which shredded the Vienna convention on diplomatic immunity, crucially was also an attack on both the expanded BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Iran is a member of both multilateral bodies, and on top of it is engaged in strategic partnerships with both Russia and China. So it’s no wonder the leadership in both Beijing in Moscow is carefully considering all possible repercussions of the next Iranian move. Tel Aviv’s purposeful escalation – when it comes to expanding war in West Asia – happens to mirror another escalation: NATO’s no way out in Ukraine except by doubling down, with no end in sight. That started with the invariably out of his depth Secretary of State Little Tony Blinken affirming, on the record, that Ukraine will join NATO. Which any functioning brain knows is translatable as the road map towards a Russia-NATO hot war with unbelievably dire consequences. Little Blinkie’s criminal irresponsibility was duly picked up and reverberated by the Franco-British duo, as expressed by British FM David “of Arabia” Cameron and French FM Stephane Sejourne: “If Ukraine loses, we all lose”. At least they got that right – although that took ages, when it comes to framing NATO’s approaching cosmic humiliation.

Now let’s switch from clownish bit players to the adults in the room. As in Russian FM Sergei Lavrov and Chinese FM Wang Yi discussing literally every incandescent dossier together earlier this week in Beijing. Lavrov and Wang could not be clearer on what’s ahead for the Russia-China strategic partnership. They will engage together on all matters regarding Eurasian security. They will go, in Lavrov’s words, for “dual opposition” to counterpunch the West’s “dual deterrence”. They will be countering every attempt by the usual suspects to “slow down the natural course of history”. Add to it the confirmation that President Putin and President Xi will hold at least two bilaterals in 2024: at the SCO summit in June and at the BRICS summit in October. In a nutshell: the dogs of Forever Wars bark while the Eurasian integration caravan marches on.

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Iran will go asymmetrical.

Israel Expects Iran’s Direct Attack Within Next 24 to 48 Hours (Sp.)

Israel is expecting a direct attack from Iran on southern or northern Israel within the next 24 to 48 hours, The Wall Street Journal has reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. The report said on Thursday, citing a person briefed by the Iranian leadership, that no final decision has been made yet, although plans for an attack are being discussed. The report also cited a US official familiar with the situation as saying on Thursday that intelligence reports of the United States indicate an Iranian strike within days, “possibly on Israeli soil.” The Iranian Foreign Ministry said it “reserves the right” to respond to the Israeli attack and “punish the aggressor.” Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi also vowed that Israel would pay a “heavy price” for the strike.

US media reported earlier, citing Iranian and US intelligence sources, that Iran plans to strike dozens of sensitive targets in Israel, including energy infrastructure and various other facilities, using ballistic missiles and drones carrying explosives. A potential direct attack from Iran on the territory of Israel would require an appropriate response, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, according to a statement by the Israeli Defense Ministry. “The defense minister [of Israel] expressed his commitment to the security of Israeli citizens, as a direct Iranian attack on Israeli territory would require an appropriate Israeli response against Iran,” the ministry said on Thursday.

In a conversation, Gallant and Austin discussed preparedness for a possible Iranian attack, and Gallant told his American counterpart that Israel “will not tolerate an Iranian attack on its territory.” On April 1, Israel carried out an airstrike on the consular annex of the Iranian embassy in Damascus, destroying the building. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said seven of its members had been killed in the attack, including two commanders. The Syrian Health Ministry said the next day that the attack had also killed four Syrians and injured 13 more.

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Tehran offers a gift. An olive branch. It will be ignored.

Had UN Condemned Israel, There’d Be No Need For Retaliation – Iran (RT)

Iran feels obligated to punish Israel for attacking its diplomatic mission in Syria because the UN Security Council has failed in its duty, Tehran’s mission to the global organization said on Thursday.The April 1 airstrike killed seven Iranian officers, including two generals of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force. Israel has not officially claimed responsibility for the attack.“Had the UN Security Council condemned the Zionist regime’s reprehensible act of aggression on our diplomatic premises in Damascus and subsequently brought to justice its perpetrators, the imperative for Iran to punish this rogue regime might have been obviated,” the mission posted on X (formerly Twitter). Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said that Israel “must and shall be punished” for what it did. Israeli and US intelligence have fueled speculation that possible reprisals could entail anything from drone attacks to ballistic missile strikes.

Israel has been bracing for some kind of response for over a week, with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) canceling all leave and starting to spoof GPS signals. Reports on Wednesday, sources linked to anonymous US intelligence officials spoke of an imminent Iranian strike within 24-48 hours, following the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the feast of Eid-al-Fitr. Brent oil futures have risen above $90 per barrel in anticipation. British-based media have reported that Israel has been preparing to attack Iranian nuclear program facilities in the event of a missile strike. The US government has declared it would back West Jerusalem against Tehran, but anonymous claims that American jets would join Israeli strikes have not been officially confirmed.

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“Israel has gone over a line on “defending itself” and Britain has been dragged into that quagmire which has made us look like the amateurs we are on the international diplomatic circuit..”

Brits Should Not Be Part Of The Genocide In Gaza (Jay)

How likely is it that the Israeli air force jet which killed three British aid workers in Gaza took off from our base in Cyprus? How much longer can our own government deny that there is a genocide happening each day in Gaza with not only the tacit blessing of the government but in some cases it actually goes the distance and provides the full package of support to murder women and children? The murky dividing line between the British so-called neutral position on Gaza and the reality of what even our own MPs recently admitted was a genocide which broke a tome of internal laws – seems to be getting more opaque by the day. The Conservative party is very confused about where it is on the Gaza war and while David Cameron recently admitted that he was “worried” about international law being broken, it is the prime minister who is now in the firing line demanding enquiries about the death of the three nationals killed.

Three of the seven who were killed were British nationals named James Henderson, John Chapman and James Kirby. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak demanded a concrete investigation into the deaths from the Netanyahu government. But he won’t get concrete investigations from the Netanyahu government as this body has shown the world in recent months that there is no level of depravity which it is not prepared to stoop to as it still continues to shock us each day with video clips on social media breaking new boundaries of poor taste.= Yet IDF soldiers playing with women’s underwear is one thing; it is quite another thing for us to imagine that Britain could be pulled into a massive international law black hole which could go on for years via the ICJ in the Hague.

Surely the deaths of these three should be the right moment to have a re-think on a government level if we can’t have one as a society. Israel has gone over a line on “defending itself” and Britain has been dragged into that quagmire which has made us look like the amateurs we are on the international diplomatic circuit. But where to draw that line?

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“If Russia had tried prostrating Ukraine via widespread power outages much earlier (even assuming it wasn’t unduly costly against a Ukraine with intact air defenses) it would have been the dog that caught the car..”

Russia Delivers Major Blow to Ukraine, Destroys Kiev’s Biggest Power Plant (NC)

Ukraine’s government is facing a juncture described in Marguerite Yourcenar’s The Memoirs of Hadrian: “I begin to discern the profile of my death.” Russia is demonstrating that it can turn the lights out all over Ukraine. That time has now passed. Russia has destroyed the largest generating plant in the Kiev oblast, Tripilska Power Plant. As we’ll explain below, this further reduction of Ukraine’s generating capacity has knock-on effects, most importantly forcing further big cuts via soon necessitating the shutdown of nuclear reactors. The Ukraine power system is approaching a tipping point if it has not already reached it.

Commentators early in the war, particularly the hyper-nationalist sorts in Russia, were perplexed that Russia didn’t engage in the typical practice of a belligerent, of knocking out power and communications networks at the outset. The most common one provided was that Putin in particular really did regard the Special Military Operation as not exactly a war and hoped to bring Ukraine to the negotiating table, which indeed happened. So not stoking further Ukraine hostilities by harming civilians, or even unduly discomfiting them, was part of the initial “Let’s bring Kiev to its senses” plan. In addition, many Russians have relatives in Ukraine, so avoiding civilian casualties and even costs were important for domestic reasons.

Again, the more martial-minded weren’t happy with the Ministry of Defense, in fall-winter 2022, toying with Ukraine’s grid by selectively targeting transmission, inflicting damage that that Ukraine could repair in at worst a few days. John Helmer, who has given far and away the best analysis of the electrical war, depicted Russia as figuring out how the system worked so as to more efficiently drop the hammer when the time came. Others soon added that a major point of this campaign was to speed up the process of draining Ukraine of air defense missiles. Note that Russia intensified its grid strikes and began targeting generation capacity very close to when the Pentagon had said Ukraine would run out of air defense missiles, at the end of March. And on top of that, Russia has been taking out the weapons platforms too. One YouTuber (was it Brian Berletic?) recently said Ukraine might now has as few as three Patriot launch systems.

But there’s another reason for waiting until Ukraine’s military was on the rope and its air defenses were badly depleted. If Russia had tried prostrating Ukraine via widespread power outages much earlier (even assuming it wasn’t unduly costly against a Ukraine with intact air defenses) it would have been the dog that caught the car. Russia had dithered about developing a Plan B until the embarrassing Kharkiv and Kherson pull-backs forced Russia to act. Amazingly. Russia was able to start and implement its partial mobilization, with 6 to 7 months of training for new enlistees, with the West doing nothing to force Russia’s timetable. They were so high on the Russian retreats and their own PR that Russia any day now, yessiree, was going to run out of missiles that they gave Russia extremely valuable time to build up its capabilities and its weapons supplies. Weirdly, they even saw Russia demonstrate its capabilities by constructing the Surovikin Line, yet still refused to get the memo.

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“Kiev has repeatedly asked Germany for long-range Taurus missiles, specifically to strike the bridge. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has firmly rejected Kiev’s request..”

We Really Want To Destroy Europe’s Longest Bridge – Zelensky (RT)

Ukraine’s goal of bringing down Russia’s Crimean Bridge is part of plans for a new counteroffensive, President Vladimir Zelensky said in an interview with international media this week. Since the outbreak of the Ukrainian conflict in 2022, several officials and commanders in Ukraine, including Zelensky, have been threatening to destroy the 19-kilometer bridge connecting the Russian peninsula of Crimea to the Krasnodar Region – claiming the structure was vital for the Russian military. “We really want to destroy Russian infrastructure. This is not just about the bridge in Kerch, which everyone is talking about. We are talking about some infrastructure facilities that constitute a military target. We are talking about bridges and airfields,” Zelensky said on Tuesday, speaking to outlets owned by the German media giant Axel Springer. Ukraine’s leader made the same claim last year during Kiev’s failed attempt to wrest back land lost to Moscow in 2022.

The Crimean Bridge is a legitimate target for Ukraine and must be “neutralized,” he said in a video address to the Aspen Security Forum in July. Earlier, some Western media outlets wrote that new attacks on the bridge are inevitable. In February the commander of the Ukrainian Navy, Vice Admiral Aleksey Neizhpapa, claimed it will be destroyed in 2024. Kiev has repeatedly asked Germany for long-range Taurus missiles, specifically to strike the bridge. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has firmly rejected Kiev’s request, arguing that Russia could view this as Berlin’s involvement in the war. However, Scholz looks increasingly isolated in this view – in March, a leaked audio revealed that top German officials were discussing plans to send Ukraine long-range missiles that could take out the bridge. The Crimean Bridge was built between 2016 and 2018 and was the only road and rail link between the peninsula and mainland Russia.

However, Moscow opened a vast land bridge to Crimea after Kherson and Zaporozhye regions and the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk voted to officially join Russia in the fall of 2022. The structure had been targeted with missiles and naval drones on numerous occasions, but most of those attacks have been successfully blocked. In October 2022, an explosives-laden truck blew up as it was traveling along the bridge, killing three people and causing extensive damage. In July last year, a drone boat exploded under the structure, killing two people. Back then, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin labeled the attack “brutal” and pointless from a military perspective. He claimed the bridge is no longer being used to transport ammunition.

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“..Biden’s words amount to saying: “Keep killing each other. The more people die, the better. I want more deaths.”

Biden’s Remark On Ukraine Apocalyptic – Medvedev (RT)

US President Joe Biden is endorsing continued human suffering by demanding more military assistance for Ukraine, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has argued. Biden reiterated his call to the US Congress on Wednesday to release an additional $60 billion in aid for Ukraine. After doing so, he was asked by the press how he thought the conflict would come to an end. “The war in Ukraine comes to an end by the House Leader allowing a vote,” Biden responded, referring to Speaker Mike Johnson, who for weeks has been standing in the way of the foreign security assistance bill that includes more money for Kiev. According to Medvedev, Biden’s words amount to saying: “Keep killing each other. The more people die, the better. I want more deaths.”

The policy makes the US leader not unlike Death, one of the horsemen of the Apocalypse described in the Book of Revelations, the Russian official, who currently serves as deputy head of the national security council, claimed on social media on Thursday. Biden has pledged to support Kiev with arms and money for “as long as it takes” to defeat Russia. Moscow says the US is fueling the hostilities because it wants to cause more damage to Russia and would continue the fight “to the last Ukrainian.” Biden did not explain why he expects the pending aid package to be more impactful than the previous ones. On the same day, US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Celeste Wallander told the House that Ukraine funding must continue, because otherwise the billions of dollars spent by Washington on the conflict in the previous years would have been wasted.

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“Trump runs that party. He maintains a sort of a death grip on it. Everybody’s afraid to take him on..”

Biden ‘Very Proud’ Of Expanding NATO To Russia’s Borders (RT)

US President Joe Biden has hailed NATO’s further expansion toward Russia’s borders, while accusing Republican rival Donald Trump of undermining the unity of the American-led military bloc. Russia has for years voiced concern about NATO’s creeping encroachment, viewing its policies as an existential threat. However, in an interview with Spanish-language broadcaster Univision that aired on Tuesday, Biden touted the recent addition of Finland and Sweden to the bloc’s ranks amid the Ukraine conflict as a great achievement. “We’ve done something that I was very proud of. I’ve engaged with NATO for my whole career. We were able to expand NATO, and we have 2,000 miles of border because you have two Nordic nations having joined NATO. You have a whole range of NATO countries along the Russian border,” the US president said.

Biden went on to argue that a stalemate in Congress over his $61 billion military aid package for Kiev is “very dangerous” for the bloc’s unity, accusing his former US leader Trump of virtually holding the measure – and the entire Republican party – hostage. “Trump runs that party. He maintains a sort of a death grip on it. Everybody’s afraid to take him on whether they agree with him or not, and it’s incredibly dangerous. The last thing we need is to see NATO start to break apart. It would be a disaster for the United States, a disaster for Europe, a disaster for the world,” Biden said.

The US has provided Ukraine with over $113 billion in various forms of assistance since the start of hostilities with Russia. Moscow has repeatedly condemned foreign arms shipments to Kiev, arguing they will only prolong the conflict, while making the West a direct participant in the hostilities. Finland shares a 1,300km border with Russia, and Moscow has argued that NATO membership has threatened, not guaranteed, Finnish security. After Helsinki joined the alliance last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the creation of a new military district bordering the Nordic nation. Sweden joined the bloc last month.

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“..Washington must double down on funding Kiev’s war effort against Moscow, to ensure that billions of dollars in previous “investments” do not go to waste..”

Pentagon Warns US Could Miss Ukraine ‘Pay Off’ (RT)

Washington must double down on funding Kiev’s war effort against Moscow, to ensure that billions of dollars in previous “investments” do not go to waste, the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, Celeste Wallander, has claimed. The US has provided Ukraine with over $113 billion in various forms of assistance since the start of hostilities in February 2022, including more than $62 billion in military aid funneled through the Pentagon. However, more funds are urgently needed to protect this investment, Wallander told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday. “What we need right now to prevent Russian success and Ukrainian defeat is passage of the supplemental,” she said, urging Congress to approve President Joe Biden’s aid package which would earmark another $60 billion for Kiev.

None of that work that we’ve done for two years in investing in Ukraine’s future will pay off, unless we get them through the next few months. President Biden has been urging lawmakers for months to approve his new aid package, but many Republicans have opposed the measure, demanding more efforts to strengthen US border security, while seeking more accountability for the aid already transferred to Kiev – demanding concrete answers on what the United States’ end goal in Ukraine is. Ukraine has also received at least $190 billion in military and financial aid from EU institutions and individual members, as well as other donor states, according to Kiel Institute data.

Washington is working with the EU and other NATO partners to get to a longer-term solution “that is well underway,” Wallander claimed. However, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) General Christopher Cavoli argued at the hearing that new US aid is “critical at this moment,” until Ukraine’s other sponsors boost their production of crucial items including artillery shells. Without a new cash injection from Washington, Kiev will “lose the war,” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky admitted this week. Meanwhile US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin pitched the aid as a way to provide jobs for American workers in the military industry, arguing that more than $50 billion in the “national security supplemental” funding would end up spread across at least 30 American states.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned last month that the Ukrainian military was running out of guns and ammunition, rather than cash, calling on bloc members to mobilize their reserves and provide Ukraine with everything that it needs to continue the fight. The Kremlin has repeatedly warned that the ever-growing involvement of Western countries in the Ukraine conflict could result in an all-out confrontation between NATO and Russia. Moscow also insists that weapons deliveries will not change the outcome of the conflict but merely prolong them. At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed claims that Russia won’t stop after reaching its goals in Ukraine and could attack NATO next as “utter nonsense” designed to “beat the money out” of the populations of Western countries.

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“..reducing the presidency to a shadow; centralizing all military and civil command in Yermak’s office, but letting Zelensky stay alive..”

Moscow Shines Spotlight On Who Comes After Zelensky (Helmer)

Advertisements for replacements of Vladimir Zelensky aren’t unusual, even if he has disposed of almost all of them already. That leaves just one, Andrei Yermak, head of the Presidential Office — prompter, grey eminence, comfort blanket of Zelensky in almost every significant move he has made since 2019– and now candidate to become prime minister in a revolutionary transfer of power in the Kiev regime, reducing the presidency to a shadow; centralizing all military and civil command in Yermak’s office, but letting Zelensky stay alive. Advertising Andrei Yermak to be prime minister is unusual in Vzglyad, the semi-official platform in Moscow for political and security analysis. This is especially so at this point in time when President Vladimir Putin has identified the Kiev regime as responsible for the Crocus City Hall attack, and the General Staff are escalating the Russian offensive on the ground along the line of contact east of the Dnieper River, and in the air deep into the west as far as Lvov.

What war aim would be served by Vzglyad’s signal that Yermak may be an acceptable counterparty to the Kremlin for negotiations to end the war short of regime capitulation – unless the signal is a false flag, intended to encourage Zelensky to save himself by eliminating Yermak, as he did General Valery Zaluzhny, and thereby leave nothing and no one in Kiev to put a brake on the Russian resolve to create a demilitarized zone all the way to the Polish border. What follows is a verbatim translation of the publication on April 9 of a piece in Vzglyad by Vasily Stoyakin, entitled “The all-powerful ‘Green Cardinal’ is operating behind Zelensky’s back”. There is no precedent in the mainstream Russian media, nor in military blogs and the internet media, for promotion of any end for the Zelensky regime, except its end. A profile of Yermak which is neutral to positive towards the role he has played so far and may play in the future is so exceptional that the fact it appears now is more significant than what the story, compiled from earlier publications, actually says.

Oleg Tsarev, a leading Ukrainian opposition figure in exile in Russia and potential candidate for the Ukrainian president after the Russian victory, has ignored Yermak in his regular Telegram commentaries; Zelensky and Yermak targeted Tsarev for assassination in Crimea last October, but failed. Dmitry Rogozin, a possible presidential candidate for the Russian presidency, has mentioned Yermak once in his Telegram channel, declaring: “the Bandera leadership of Ukraine has embarked on the path of ‘the final solution of the Russian question.’ Well, [they are] creative people. [They are] comedians [Zelensky], [television] producers [Yermak]. Hitler was also an artist. Mediocre. But in other respects he surpassed everyone. This, apparently, is enviable. They want to repeat it. We’ll have to do it again.” Rogozin is currently senator for the Zaporozhye region. He was targeted for Ukrainian assassination in Donetsk in December 2022; he survived.

There are two reasons why Yermak might be considered by the Kremlin to be the substitute for Zelensky with whom a negotiated settlement can be reached. One is that it has reportedly happened before. In September 2020, when Yermak and Zelensky were meeting in Muscat, Oman, with the Omani foreign minister and other officials, the Russian Security Council Secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, flew to Muscat and reportedly met them for several hours. What happened between them remains secret. Less secret is that the aircraft on which the two Ukrainians returned to Kiev was identified to be the same aircraft which had brought Patrushev to Oman. The secrecy was exposed by the US government’s propaganda organ, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and then amplified by the Ukrainian press. Yermak claimed the report “does not correspond to reality” attacking the US-financed Ukrainian source for “a blatant manipulation of public opinion [as] part of the aggressor’s information operations against Ukraine.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed the reported meeting was “a classic example of fake news”.

The second reason for possible Russian favour for Yermak is a long history of his family’s connections to Russia. His mother is a Leningrader; his father, a Jewish Kievan, served in a Soviet government agency in Afghanistan; since then he and Yermak himself have had personal and business connections with Russians engaged with the intelligence services.

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Turning against the people who paid him $110 billion. Time to cancel him.

US Citizens Backing Russia – Zelensky (RT)

Russian influence has penetrated the US political system and warped the information field around the world, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed in an interview with Politico on Tuesday. Zelensky was asked to comment on recent statements made by two Republican lawmakers: Mike Turner of Ohio and Mike McCaul of Texas. They claimed that “pro-Russian” propaganda has filtered into the minds of some of the members of Congress, which has failed to greenlight the $60 billion aid package for Kiev. The Ukrainian leader stated that Russia has succeeded in distorting “the information field of the world.” “They have their lobbies everywhere: in the United States, in the EU countries, in Britain, in Latin America, in Africa,” he said. “When we talk about the Congress — do you notice how they work with society in the United States?” he noted, adding that the scale of Russian influence in the US has been underestimated.

He claimed that US citizens were helping Russia by spreading its ideas in the American media. “They pump their narratives through the media,” Zelensky said. “These are not Russian citizens or natives of Russia, no. They are representatives of certain media groups, citizens of the United States.” According to Zelensky, these people work in the US media and deliver the appropriate messages, which are sometimes “very pro-Russian.” He hasn’t mentioned any names though. Following the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in 2022, Western governments launched a large censorship campaign against Russian media they deem to be ‘state-controlled’. Multiple Russian TV stations and media outlets, including RT, have been either blocked or prevented from operating in the US and some other Western countries.

RT, having been the first international news channel to reach one billion views on YouTube, was banned from the platform and those owned by the US-based tech giant Meta, including Facebook and Instagram, in the spring of 2022. According to the Foreign Ministry in Moscow, Russian journalists working in the US have been facing difficulties, including over visa renewals; they’ve had their bank accounts blocked and in some cases been hounded by US intelligence agencies. Last year, James Rubin, the special envoy and coordinator of the US State Department’s Center for Global Engagement admitted that Washington wanted to shut down Russian media around the world. Commenting on his remarks, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said that by taking such steps, Washington, which positions itself as a stronghold of human rights, demonstrated a deep disregard for media freedom.

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Of course not. To do what?

Trump Has No Intention Of Going To Ukraine – Reuters (RT)

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump does not think it would be a good idea for him to travel to Ukraine while he does not hold public office, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing his campaign. On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky told outlets of the German-based Axel Springer media group that he had privately invited Trump through intermediaries to visit his country. The former US leader, who is likely headed for a rematch with incumbent Joe Biden in November’s election, has previously claimed that he would resolve the Ukraine conflict within “24 hours” if he were president. While Trump offered few clues as to how he might accomplish this task, the Washington Post reported that it would involve Kiev recognizing Russian sovereignty over some of the territories currently claimed by Ukraine. The ex-president’s aides, however, have dismissed the report as “speculation” by uninformed sources.

Zelensky has been skeptical about Trump’s ideas for making peace with Moscow, saying that “if the deal is that we just give up our territories… then it’s a very primitive idea.” In a statement to Reuters, Trump’s team insisted that there had been no formal outreach from Zelensky to the 45th president. “President Trump has said publicly it wouldn’t be appropriate for him to go to Ukraine right now since he’s not commander in chief,” the statement added. Trump has repeatedly criticized the Biden administration’s approach to the Ukraine conflict, saying Washington is sending too many weapons to Kiev. He has also floated a proposal to provide Ukraine with loans instead of non-repayable aid. While Ukrainian officials said they were ready to explore the idea, Politico reported that Kiev was “offended” by this plan. Meanwhile, commenting on Trump’s remarks about peace in Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow has had no contacts with Trump on the issue, adding that the ex-president’s plan had too few details publicly available.

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“..the first conference may focus on “exactly how to invite Russia and what role to give it..”

Ukraine Peace Impossible Without Russia – Swiss FM (RT)

Any diplomatic efforts to resolve the Ukraine conflict will be fruitless unless Russia is involved in the process, Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis has said. Switzerland is planning to host a high-level Ukraine peace conference June 2024 at the Burgenstock resort near Lake Lucerne, seeking “to create a common understanding of a framework favorable” for ending the conflict and establishing a “concrete roadmap” for peace. Earlier media reports suggested that up to 100 nations could be present at the event. Russia, however, has signaled that it will not attend, even if officially invited. It has argued that the gathering will be promoting the ‘peace formula’ of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, which demands that Moscow withdraw from all territories that Kiev claims as its own, and the creation of a tribunal to prosecute Russia for alleged war crimes.

Moscow has dismissed the initiative as “detached from reality.” Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Cassis noted that the conference would be organized at Zelensky’s request, adding that there are sufficient conditions to launch a high-profile push for peace. “The first country we talked to after Ukraine was, of course, Russia. Because no peace process can take place without Russia, even if it won’t be present at the first meeting,” he said. The diplomat acknowledged that Moscow would have to be involved “sooner or later, but not necessarily from day one,” suggesting that the first conference may focus on “exactly how to invite Russia and what role to give it”.

Echoing those remarks, Swiss President Viola Amherd warned that the success of the summit was by no means guaranteed. “The alternative would be to do nothing… We will not sign a peace plan at this conference. We think there will be a second conference, but we want to start the process with this one.” While Moscow intends to boycott the Swiss-hosted peace conference, it maintains that it is open to talks over Ukraine, both directly and with Kiev’s Western backers. However, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said last month that before any negotiations could begin Kiev must lift its ban on engagement with the current Russian leadership. A decree to that effect was signed by Zelensky in the autumn of 2022 after four former Ukrainian regions overwhelmingly voted to join Russia.

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“..1,806 pets were staying in hotels and other properties at the state’s expense..” “..accommodation for the animals was costing taxpayers just over €1 million ($1.07) per month..”

Irish Taxpayers Paid For The Accommodation Of Ukrainian Dogs And Cats (RT)

Irish taxpayers footed the bill for accommodating nearly 2,000 pets owned by Ukrainian refugees, including some they acquired after arriving in the country, according to local media. The money was allocated by the Department of Integration mostly in 2022, with peak spending recorded in November that year, the Irish Mirror reported on Wednesday, based on its own investigation. At that time, 1,806 pets were staying in hotels and other properties at the state’s expense, including 933 dogs, 819 cats, and 54 other animals.It cost Ireland up to €20 ($21.50) per night for each of the animals owned by Ukrainian Beneficiaries of Temporary Protection (BOTPs), records reviewed by the news outlet revealed. The exact sum spent specifically on non-human guests could not be established because the department “did not categorize between BOTPs and pets,” a spokesperson told the newspaper.

The Irish Mirror estimated that accommodation for the animals was costing taxpayers just over €1 million ($1.07) per month.The expenditure was “incredible” and “ridiculous,” independent lawmaker Michael McNamara told the newspaper, accusing the government of wastefulness. Referring to department officials, he asked: “What planet do these people live on?” “I presume the people arriving here with pets were prepared to pay for them in the same way as everyone else does or as they would have in Ukraine,” the politician added. “But if you find a department stupid enough to pay, then, of course, I wouldn’t blame people for allowing the department to pay for it.” The department said it stopped providing accommodation for Ukrainian pets from November 9, 2022. The latest report is a follow-up on a story that the Irish Mirror published in February, revealing that the Irish Department of Agriculture had spent €808,132 (about $869,000) on transport, kennelling and veterinary services for Ukrainian pets.

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Silent part out loud.

Sen. Kennedy Suggests Ulterior Motive Behind Border Crisis (ET)

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) suggested on April 10 that the Biden administration is facilitating illegal immigration to help Democrats politically. The senator’s remarks came amid his questioning of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on April 10. Mr. Kennedy, noting the “bleeding” southern border, suggested that the secretary’s border policies had an ulterior political motive. “Isn’t in fact, Mr. Secretary, that the number of illegal immigrants that you and the president allow into our country counts for congressional district reapportionment?” he asked. “Senator, I’m not sure I understand your question, but I can surely share with you that I disagree with its phrasing,” Mr. Mayorkas replied. The senator continued: “Isn’t it true, Mr. Secretary, that the number of illegal immigrants that you and President Biden have allowed into our country counts for allocating electoral votes?”

Mayorkas

Mr. Mayorkas repeated that he didn’t understand the question. He then called the senator’s insinuation “nothing short of preposterous” and “disrespectful” to administration and Department of Homeland Security personnel. Mr. Kennedy, however, charged that the secretary was well aware of the political ramifications of the border crisis, unintended or otherwise. “And you’ve done nothing for four years—zero, absolutely zilch. And, in fact, the only people I know in this country who are better off today than they were four years ago are illegal immigrants. And that’s a result of your policy.” Mr. Mayorkas became only the second presidential cabinet member ever to be impeached in U.S. history on Feb. 13. The charges against him included “willfully and systematically” refusing to enforce existing immigration laws and breach of public trust. The 214–213 vote split along party lines, with all but three Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats voting against.

Initially, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) planned to send the impeachment articles to the Senate on the day of the hearing. But on April 9, he announced that he would delay the move until next week as Republicans fight for a full trial. The Democrat-controlled Senate is expected to table the trial, though Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the chamber’s majority leader, has yet to announce his plans. A conviction would require a two-thirds majority vote. Democrats have said the charges against Mr. Mayorkas fail to meet the constitutional threshold of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” But Senate Republicans say Democrats fear the political consequences of a trial. “This issue is so toxic to Senate Democrats, to House Democrats, and to Joe Biden that they do not want this to be the issue of the day,” Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) said at an April 9 press conference.

Mr. Kennedy, during the hearing, said that he also expects his Democrat colleagues to dismiss the impeachment “and violate 200 years of Senate precedent in doing it.” He added, however, that the border crisis was likely to remain at the forefront regardless. “I don’t think that they will be able to sweep the issue—maybe your impeachment, but not the issue—under a rug as big as the United States of America,” he told the secretary.

Read more …

 

 

 

 


https://twitter.com/i/status/1778286157706481775
Greenwald Musk

 

 

Vivek Galileo

 

 

12 elks
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778372453116371188

 

 

Dog saves dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778597906108526855

 

 

Peroxide
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778189162870677856

 

 

Hippo lion
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778347366782730476

 

 

Badger

 

 

Rhino
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778148572006916488

 

 

Keef

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 112024
 
 April 11, 2024  Posted by at 8:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  42 Responses »


Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Triumph of Death c1562

 

Biden Considering Australian Request To Drop Assange Charges (BBC)
Iran Strike On Israel ‘Imminent’ (RT)
Jews Who Vote Democrat ‘Should Have Their Head Examined’ – Trump (RT)
Star Wars Coming – Top US General (RT)
Zelensky Reveals New Counteroffensive Plans (RT)
Trump Plan For Ukraine ‘Primitive’ – Zelensky (RT)
US Drones Faring Poorly In Ukraine Conflict – WSJ (RT)
Bodies of American Mercs Slain in Ukraine Piling Up at US Cemeteries (Sp.)
Senator Pressures Austin on How Much More Money US Will Spend in Ukraine (Sp.)
Attack on ZNPP Training Center Signals New Attacks On Plant — IAEA chief (TASS)
EU’s Borrell Warns Of ‘Potential Nuclear Disaster’ In Russia (RT)
Pentagon’s Ukraine Contract for Musk’s Starlink Expires – Bloomberg (RT)
DOJ Uncovers ‘Inconsistencies’ in Fani Willis’s Use of Federal Grant Funds (FB)
I’ve Been at NPR for 25 Years. Here’s How We Lost America’s Trust. (Berliner)
How Trump Could Beat Deep State (Jim Rickards)

 

 

 

 

MTG Bannon Mike Johnson
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777841725169336685

 

 

RFK

 

 

 

 

Donalds

 

 

Adrenochrome Caviezel

 

 

Alex Jones
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777830274480357507

 

 

PedoJoe

 

 

 

 

Biden doesn’t want the hot potato anymore..

Biden Considering Australian Request To Drop Assange Charges (BBC)

US President Joe Biden has said that he is considering a request from Australia to drop the prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The country’s parliament recently passed a measure – backed by PM Anthony Albanese – calling for the return of Mr Assange to his native Australia. The US wants to extradite the 52-year-old from the UK on criminal charges over the leaking of military records. Mr Assange denies the charges, saying the leaks were an act of journalism. The president was asked about Australia’s request on Wednesday and said: “We’re considering it.” The measure passed the Australian parliament in February. Mr Albanese told MPs: “People will have a range of views about Mr Assange’s conduct… But regardless of where people stand, this thing cannot just go on and on and on indefinitely.”

Mr Assange, 52, is fighting extradition in the UK courts. The extradition was put on hold in March after London’s High Court said the United States must provide assurances he would not face the death penalty. The High Court is due to evaluate any responses from the US authorities at the end of May. In a post on Twitter/X, directed at Mr Biden, Mr Assange’s wife Stella said: “Do the right thing. Drop the charges.” Kristinn Hrafnsson, the current editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, said that it was “not too late” for the president to stop the extradition attempt, which he said was a “politically motivated act” by Mr Biden’s predecessor. US prosecutors want to try the Wikileaks founder on 18 counts, almost all under the Espionage Act, over the release of confidential US military records and diplomatic messages relating to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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How Bibi draws the west into the war…

Iran Strike On Israel ‘Imminent’ (RT)

The promised Iranian retaliation for the Israeli attack on Tehran’s consulate in Damascus is likely in the next 24-48 hours, anonymous US officials told Bloomberg on Wednesday. Two generals of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force were killed in the Israeli airstrike on April 1, which for the first time targeted an internationally protected diplomatic mission. There has been a widespread expectation that Iran would refrain from reprisal until the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Speaking on Wednesday, as Muslims celebrated the feast of Eid-al-Fitr, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Israel “must and shall be punished” for what it did. “Major missile or drone strikes” are now imminent, Bloomberg reported citing “people familiar with” the Israeli, US and allied intelligence reports.

They will likely be carried out by either Iran directly, or its allies such as the Lebanon-based Hezbollah, the anonymous sources said. The US is helping Israel with planning and sharing intelligence assessments, the sources said. West Jerusalem is reportedly waiting for the Iranian attack before it launches a ground offensive against the city of Rafah, in Gaza. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on Wednesday that West Jerusalem would respond in kind if the attack on Israel comes from Iranian territory. Several media outlets reported on Tuesday that Israel has been preparing to target Iran’s nuclear facilities. The US has publicly promised Israel support against an Iranian attack, including helping shoot down the incoming missiles. Washington has reportedly also floated the idea of taking part in any Israeli counter-strikes.

“We do not rule out launching joint retaliatory strikes with Israel if it is attacked by Iran or its agents,” an unnamed US official told Al Jazeera Arabic. Meanwhile, Lufthansa has announced that it was suspending service to and from Tehran “due to the current situation in the Middle East.” Flights might resume after April 11, the German national carrier said on Wednesday. Rumors that the airspace over Iran’s Khuzestan province – on the southwestern border with Iraq – has been closed could not be independently confirmed. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have canceled all leave and began spoofing GPS signals, in preparation for a possible Iranian reprisal. Rumors of the impending Iranian strike also drove up the price of oil on futures markets, with Brent crude trading above $90 a barrel.

Gideon Levy
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777819512680968496

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“Biden has totally lost control of the Israel situation,” Trump told reporters. “He has abandoned Israel.”

Jews Who Vote Democrat ‘Should Have Their Head Examined’ – Trump (RT)

Former US president and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested that Jewish-Americans would be insane to vote for his rival in November. Trump held an impromptu press conference on the tarmac of the international airport in Atlanta, Georgia, after flying into town for a campaign fundraiser. He used the occasion to criticize President Joe Biden’s handling of the Gaza conflict, among other things. “Biden has totally lost control of the Israel situation,” Trump told reporters. “He has abandoned Israel.” “Any Jewish person that votes for a Democrat or votes for Biden should have their head examined,” Trump added.

During his term in the White House, Trump openly supported Israel, recognizing West Jerusalem’s annexation of the Golan Heights and moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. In the 2020 election, an estimated 70% of American Jews voted for Biden. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on Hamas after the Gaza-based militant group’s October 7 attack that claimed an estimated 1,200 lives. Since then, over 33,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli military operations. Many Palestinian and Muslim Americans have voiced frustration with Biden over his support of West Jerusalem, accusing him of not doing enough to stop the Israeli onslaught.

Finding itself criticized from both sides, the White House has tried to please both. The US has continued supplying ammunition and weapons to Israel and offered Netanyahu “ironclad” support against Iran, but also called for a ceasefire in Gaza and opening of humanitarian aid corridors. Netanyahu has mostly shrugged off US criticism, saying that “no force in the world” will stop Israel from destroying Hamas. Last month, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat who is himself Jewish, called for the ouster of Netanyahu as a way to resolve the current conflict.

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“..Operation Olympic Defender, a program intended to “optimize space operation..,”

Star Wars Coming – Top US General (RT)

The possibility of a conflict in space is no longer just theoretical, General Stephen Whiting, head of the US Space Command, said on Tuesday. Speaking at the 39th Space Symposium at the command’s headquarters in Colorado Springs, Whiting painted an alarming picture of Russian and Chinese orbital capabilities. China has built a “kill web over the Pacific Ocean to find, fix, track and, yes, target US and allied military capabilities,” Whiting said, describing Beijing’s efforts as moving at “breathtaking speed.” Since 2018, Russia has doubled and China has tripled the number of their intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) satellites in orbit, while also testing and fielding anti-satellite weapons. Meanwhile, the US has “the world’s best space architectures,” but its military constellations are “optimized for a benign environment,” he said.

Russian and Chinese space weapons “hold at risk our modern way of life and how we defend this nation, and we must be able to deter and counter these threats when called upon to achieve space superiority,” the general said. Whiting described a possible armed conflict in space as “economically and environmentally devastating, perhaps for decades,” and said the US wishes to keep things in the state of “enduring competition” instead. The US is already working with Canada, Australia and the UK on Operation Olympic Defender, a program intended to “optimize space operations,” according to the Space Command. Whiting announced that Germany, France and New Zealand have been invited to join as well.

He also revealed that the command’s new Capability Assessment and Validation Environment (CAVE) has achieved “minimum viable capability.” The modeling and simulation laboratory will enable the US military to “derive better ways of deterring and planning to conduct operations for a war that’s never happened, and a war we don’t want to happen,” he said. Washington recently accused Moscow of having undisclosed anti-satellite capabilities, possibly nuclear in nature. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the US claims were “unfounded” and a ploy to manipulate arms control talks. The Russian embassy in Washington has also accused the US of using “Russophobic slogans” to mask its own plans to militarize space.

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Not exactly. But he does reveal his new mantra:

“..it’s not about the number of people. It’s about the quality of the weapons.”

Zelensky Reveals New Counteroffensive Plans (RT)

Western military technology can enable Kiev to launch a new counteroffensive against Russia, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky believes. While Ukrainian forces are presently being pushed back on the battlefield, Kiev hopes to turn the tide thanks to Western aid, the Ukrainian leader told the German tabloid Bild this week. “Russia has more men, more weapons. But the West has modern weapons systems,” Zelensky mused. “If we get [production] licenses from our partners, then it’s not about the number of people. It’s about the quality of the weapons.” Kiev already has a plan for a new counteroffensive against Russia, Zelensky said, indicating that it depends on the US resuming military assistance to his country and the West in general helping Ukraine ramp up domestic military production.

Last year, Ukraine attempted a counteroffensive; Western-trained and armed troops were expected to break through Russian defensive lines and score a major victory. However, they only managed negligible territorial gains at the cost of tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and depleted their arms stockpiles. Russia estimated Ukrainian military losses between early June and late October, 2023 at roughly 90,000 troops, 600 tanks and 1,900 other armored vehicles. The Zelensky government maintains that it cannot negotiate with Russia as long as President Vladimir Putin remains in power and would not accept any outcome of the conflict that doesn’t entail the full restoration of Ukraine’s pre-2014 borders. A profile of the Ukrainian leader published by Time magazine last November said that his faith in Ukraine prevailing was “immovable, verging on the messianic.” Some of his aides perceived it as delusional, they told the news outlet.

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“He expects Western weapons to be so superior to Russian ones that Ukraine’s inferior troop numbers will be irrelevant..”

Trump Plan For Ukraine ‘Primitive’ – Zelensky (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has rejected a plan for making peace with Russia involving territorial concessions, which has reportedly been devised by Donald Trump. The proposed deal was outlined by the Washington Post this week, and would involve Kiev acknowledging Russian sovereignty over some of the territories currently claimed by Ukraine. The newspaper cited anonymous sources but one of Trump’s advisers has dismissed its report as “fake news.” The former president has repeatedly boasted that he would end the hostilities within 24 hours if he’s returned to the White House in November’s election, but has declined to explain his plan in detail. The hypothetical plan described by the newspaper “is very primitive,” Zelensky told German tabloid Bild.

The Ukrainian leader has previously stated that Trump should make his plan public. He told CNN last September: “If he has this plan, why be afraid and wait?” In his interview with Bild, the Ukrainian leader said Trump should visit Kiev to “see the situation with his eyes and draw certain conclusions.” Ukraine would require “strong arguments” to show that his idea is a “real one” and not “fantastic,” he added. Negotiations with Russia remain impossible as long as Vladimir Putin remains as its president, Zelensky told the German newspaper. He said Kiev had a plan to beat Moscow on the battlefield, after it gets more aid from the US and its allies, including direct weapons supplies and military technology for domestic arms production. He expects Western weapons to be so superior to Russian ones that Ukraine’s inferior troop numbers will be irrelevant.

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About those superior weapons…

US Drones Faring Poorly In Ukraine Conflict – WSJ (RT)

Small drones sent to Ukraine by US manufacturers have largely proved ineffective on the battlefield due to Russian electronic countermeasures, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Ukraine conflict has seen the widespread use of small expandable unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for reconnaissance, as well as for dropping small explosives and serving as loitering munitions. US products have proved unsatisfactory, however, forcing Kiev to rely on Chinese models instead, the WSJ reported on Tuesday. “The general reputation for every class of US drone in Ukraine is that they don’t work as well as other systems,” Adam Bry, CEO of drone maker Skydio, told the newspaper. He admitted his own company’s products are “not a very successful platform on the front lines.”

Even some of the drones that the Pentagon has deemed fit for American soldiers have not fared well in the conflict, according to the report. The list of problematic weapons mentioned by the WSJ included AeroVironment Switchblade 300 loitering munitions, Velos Rotors V3 helicopter drones, and UAVs made by Cyberlux. Ukrainian troops are burning through some 10,000 small drones a month, the report added. Many of them are off-the-shelf models produced by Chinese manufacturer SZ DJI Technology, or are assembled from Chinese components on Ukrainian soil. The Chinese firm, which has been banned from US military use for supposedly posing a national security risk, told the newspaper that it “absolutely deplores and condemns the use of its products to cause harm anywhere in the world.”

Many American commercial drones cost tens of thousands of dollars more per piece than their Chinese competitors, the WSJ noted. US producers aiming to sell their UAVs to the Pentagon must meet its regulations, including restrictions on using Chinese parts and software updates. Russia has significantly increased domestic production of military drones amid the hostilities with Ukraine. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported last November that the country was supplying 16 times more drones compared to January 2023. Forbes suggested in December that Ukrainian assessments that Russia makes as many as 40,000 smaller first-person-view kamikaze quadcopters per month may be too conservative.

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“Therefore, they have only one choice – to flee Ukraine or to die..”

This should be on US prime time TV. It’d be over soon…

Bodies of American Mercs Slain in Ukraine Piling Up at US Cemeteries (Sp.)

US cemeteries are full of graves of American mercenaries who died in Ukraine – hirelings described by Western press as the so-called “volunteer soldiers.” One of them is retired Marine veteran Grady Kurpasi, who died two months after the start of the Russian special military operation. According to a Sputnik correspondent, the 50-year-old is buried in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, the most famous in the United States, where politicians, astronauts and even presidents, including John F. Kennedy, are buried. A cemetery in California has become the final resting place for another US mercenary, Bryan Young, 51, who was killed by “Russian artillery fire” in the Donetsk region in July 2023, according to American media. In a bizarre sight, the epitaph on Young’s gravestone reads “On to the next adventure”.

Another American mercenary who was buried in California is “Marine Corps veteran” Ian Tortorici. The 32-year-old fought for the Foreign Legion of Ukraine and was eliminated in an attack by Russian forces on a Ukrainian unit stationed in the city of Kramatorsk. US citizen Dane Partridge, 34, who had served in Iraq, fought on the side of the Kiev regime immediately after the start of Russia’s special operation, but was then seriously wounded and died a few months later. Partridge, who is survived by his wife and five children, is buried in Idaho. American mercenary Paul Lee Kim was also 34, when he was killed in Ukraine last year and was buried in a Texas cemetery.

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) said that almost 6,000 foreign mercenaries, who came to Ukraine to fight on the side of the Kiev regime, have been killed since the beginning of the special operation. According to the MoD, at least 1,113 mercenaries came from the United States, 491 of whom have already been killed. The Defense Ministry earlier stressed in a statement that the Kiev regime uses foreign mercenaries as “cannon fodder” and that “their lives are not spared by anyone in the Ukrainian command.” “Therefore, they have only one choice – to flee Ukraine or to die. The Russian armed forces will continue to destroy foreign mercenaries in the course of the special military operation, regardless of their location on the territory of Ukraine,” the statement read.

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“I’m just trying to understand the totality of the request to the American people for this war..”

Senator Pressures Austin on How Much More Money US Will Spend in Ukraine (Sp.)

US Senator Eric Schmitt on Tuesday pressured Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on the totality of funds the Biden administration is planning to spend supporting Ukraine in a conflict for which it has not articulated any clear goals. “There’s no money [left for Ukraine], so I can only be left to assume one of three things. One is the war is over. Two or B is the United States won’t be allocating any more dollars or C that this is a dishonest [supplemental] request. I guess the question is, are we going … to get another supplemental because members of this committee had been told there could be another request for $100 billion? I’m just trying to understand the totality of the request to the American people for this war,” Schmitt said in his remarks during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

In February, the Senate passed a $95 billion foreign aid bill that includes some $60 billion for Ukraine, but it was held up in the House of Representatives by Speaker Mike Johnson, who prioritized working on budget legislation and exploring other routes for Ukraine funding. Austin confirmed to Schmitt, though, that the supplemental request, which has not yet been voted on in the House, will provide additional funding for Ukraine-related needs only through the end of this fiscal year or September 30, meaning that there will be a need for another supplemental package past this date.

In addition, Austin said that it was a goal of the Alliance to admit Ukraine to NATO some time in the future. The Pentagon chief also agreed with Schmitt that the conflict is unlikely to end by September 30, which essentially means that the pending aid package for Ukraine obviously will not be the last. Schmitt emphasized that US legislators are skeptical about the $60 billion supplemental package for Ukraine because there are no adequate controls on how the money is being spent by Ukraine. “We are continuing to head down this road and now we are getting a budget request that isn’t reflective of the administration’s ‘how long it takes’ statement,” Schmitt said.

Every second, American taxpayers send $80,000 to Ukraine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777793753157083541

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“Attacking a nuclear power plant is extremely irresponsible and dangerous, and it must stop..”

Attack on ZNPP Training Center Signals New Attacks On Plant — IAEA chief (TASS)

Tuesday’s drone attack on the training center of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) points to readiness for new attacks on the plant, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi said. “Today’s reported incident – although outside the site perimeter – is an ominous development as it indicates an apparent readiness to continue these attacks, despite the grave dangers they pose to nuclear safety and security and our repeated calls for military restraint. Whoever is behind them, they are playing with fire. Attacking a nuclear power plant is extremely irresponsible and dangerous, and it must stop,” Grossi said in a statement posted on the agency’s website.

The IAEA chief promised to bring up the seriousness of the situation surrounding the attacks on the ZNPP in his address to the UN Security Council “next week.” “I remain determined to do everything in my power to prevent a major nuclear accident <…>. At this moment of great danger, I will underline the seriousness of the situation in my address to the Security Council, whose support is of paramount importance for the IAEA’s persistent efforts to help prevent a major nuclear accident, with potential consequences for people and the environment in Ukraine and beyond,” Grossi said.

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“Russia should withdraw from Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.”

It’s Russian territory now.

EU’s Borrell Warns Of ‘Potential Nuclear Disaster’ In Russia (RT)

Attacks on Russia’s Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) could result in a nuclear disaster, the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy has warned. Josep Borrell was commenting on a series of strikes carried out by kamikaze drones on the nuclear power station in the city of Energodar, in Zaporozhye Region. On Sunday, several bomb-laden Ukrainian UAVs struck parts of the complex, including the canteen and the cargo area. One drone was shot down above the dome of Reactor Six, according to the plant’s press service. On Tuesday, another UAV attacked the plant’s training center, where the world’s only full-scale reactor hall simulator is located.

“Reckless drone attack against [Zaporozhye] nuclear power plant increases risk of dangerous nuclear accident. Such attacks must stop,” the EU’s top diplomat wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday, adding that “Russia should withdraw from Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.” Europe’s largest nuclear power plant fell under Moscow’s control in 2022, early in the conflict with Ukraine. Russia’s nuclear energy agency Rosatom took over the running of the nuclear power station after Zaporozhye Region was incorporated into Russia following a referendum in the autumn of 2022. Kiev has repeatedly claimed that Moscow keeps heavy weaponry on the premises of the power plant. Russia has accused Ukraine of shelling the facility and risking a major nuclear incident.

Borrell’s remarks echoed comments by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi. Commenting on the strikes earlier this week, he described them as a “major escalation of the nuclear safety and security dangers facing the [Zaporozhye] Nuclear Power Plant,” adding that “such reckless attacks significantly increase the risk of a major nuclear accident.” The international nuclear watchdog, which has personnel at the site, said it was the first time the facility had been directly targeted since November 2022, and warned that such attacks endangered nuclear safety. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov warned on Monday that the Ukrainian drone strike on the Zaporozhye facility was a “dangerous provocation” which could lead to severe negative consequences.

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“miniscule” compared to the “hundreds of millions of dollars” Musk’s SpaceX received from the US..”

Pentagon’s Ukraine Contract for Musk’s Starlink Expires – Bloomberg (RT)

The Pentagon contract to deploy Elon Musk’s Starlink terminals in Ukraine will expire next month, Bloomberg has reported, citing an unnamed US official. The service plays a vital role in Washington’s security assistance to Kiev, the report adds. The source also revealed that the contract, which went into force in June of last year and lasts through May, is worth $23 million, Bloomberg wrote. The US Department of Defense has so far refused to officially disclose the size of the contract. The amount has been described by the publication as “miniscule” compared to the “hundreds of millions of dollars” Musk’s SpaceX received from the US for launching some of its national security satellites. Musk has repeatedly voiced unease about the use of Starlink in Ukraine. The satellite network has been providing communications to the country’s military and the government.

”Starlink needs to be a civilian network, not a participant to combat,” Musk said on X (formerly Twitter) in September, referring to the use of the satellites in Ukraine throughout the conflict with Russia. “This is the right order of things,” he added. Musk’s comment came shortly after the billionaire revealed that he had foiled a Ukrainian drone raid on Crimea by refusing to let Kiev forces use Starlink to guide naval drone strikes on Russian ships. Musk’s admission sparked outrage in Kiev, with Mikhail Podoliak, a top adviser to President Vladimir Zelensky, accusing him of “enabling evil.” Musk responded to the accusation by explaining that he had no obligation to fight for Ukraine, adding that he did not want Space X to be “explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.”

His remark echoed a previous statement made in the winter of 2023, where he admitted that although Starlink was “the communication backbone of Ukraine, especially at the front lines”, SpaceX “will not enable escalation of conflict that may lead to WW3.” Last year, SpaceX signed a contract with the US Defense Department to provide satellite services as part of the Pentagon’s new ‘Starshield’ program. CEO Elon Musk described the effort as a military alternative to the “civilian” Starlink. However, according to Bloomberg, the new Space Force contract will see Starshield’ rely on the existing constellation of Starlink satellites.

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“..the group’s administrative director, Toni Barnett, told the Free Beacon that she had no idea why the county was reporting making those payments..” “..You need to go to that government resource and you need to let that validate whatever you want to say or print. Because I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

DOJ Uncovers ‘Inconsistencies’ in Fani Willis’s Use of Federal Grant Funds (FB)

President Joe Biden’s Justice Department has uncovered “inconsistencies” in Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis’s use of federal grant funds, the Washington Free Beacon has learned. The bombshell discovery comes two years after Willis fired a whistleblower who had warned the district attorney that her office was attempting to misuse a $488,000 federal grant to pay for “swag,” computers, and travel. It’s that same grant that the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs now says is plagued with reporting discrepancies from Willis’s office, errors that federal authorities only disclosed to the Free Beacon after providing contradictory statements regarding awards Willis’s office may have made under the grant. “During our review of the award to respond to this inquiry, we have noticed some inconsistencies in what Fulton County has reported to [the Federal Subaward Reporting System] and we are working with them to update their reporting accordingly,” a Justice Department spokeswoman told the Free Beacon on Friday.

The Justice Department did not provide any further details on the nature of Willis’s reporting “inconsistencies” on the $488,000 federal grant, which was earmarked for the creation of a Center for Youth Empowerment and Gang Prevention in Atlanta. The grant ended in September 2023, but the center never opened. The Justice Department is coordinating with Willis’s office to fix the grant reporting “inconsistencies” amid an ongoing House Judiciary Committee investigation into Willis’s use of federal grant funds. Committee chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) subpoenaed Willis in early February for records related to the $488,000 federal grant and the whistleblower allegations made by former Willis staffer Amanda Timpson, who was listed as the grant director until the district attorney abruptly fired her in January 2022.

Jordan threatened to hold Willis in contempt of Congress on March 14 after the district attorney responded to his subpoena with a “narrow set of documents” that had nothing to do with Timpson’s whistleblower allegations. Willis wrote in response that Jordan’s demands were “unreasonable and uncustomary” and suggested his investigation was an effort to derail her election interference case against former president Donald Trump. The Free Beacon questions that prompted the Justice Department’s discovery of Willis’s reporting “inconsistencies” centered on subaward payments the district attorney may have made to the Offender Alumni Association, an Alabama-based charity staffed by former prison inmates. Whether or not the Offender Alumni Association received payments from the federal grant depends on who is asked. Fulton County records show that Willis’s office transferred $88,900 from the federal gang prevention grant to the Offender Alumni Association.

But the group’s administrative director, Toni Barnett, told the Free Beacon that she had no idea why the county was reporting making those payments to her group in 2022 and 2023. “I have no idea where that information is coming from,” Barnett told the Free Beacon on March 15. “I have no idea why you’re calling or where you’re getting that information from. You need to go to that government resource and you need to let that validate whatever you want to say or print. Because I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

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“..one story after another about instances of supposed racism, transphobia, signs of the climate apocalypse, Israel doing something bad, and the dire threat of Republican policies. It’s almost like an assembly line.“

I’ve Been at NPR for 25 Years. Here’s How We Lost America’s Trust. (Berliner)

“During most of my tenure [at NPR], an open-minded, curious culture prevailed. We were nerdy, but not knee-jerk, activist, or scolding. In recent years, however, that has changed. Today, those who listen to NPR or read its coverage online find something different: the distilled worldview of a very small segment of the U.S. population… Like many unfortunate things, the rise of advocacy took off with Donald Trump. As in many newsrooms, his election in 2016 was greeted at NPR with a mixture of disbelief, anger, and despair… But what began as tough, straightforward coverage of a belligerent, truth-impaired president veered toward efforts to damage or topple Trump’s presidency [italics mine]. Persistent rumors that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia over the election became the catnip that drove reporting. At NPR, we hitched our wagon to Trump’s most visible antagonist, Representative Adam Schiff…

The Schiff talking points became the drumbeat of NPR news reports. But when the Mueller report found no credible evidence of collusion, NPR’s coverage was notably sparse. Russiagate quietly faded from our programming… It’s bad to blow a big story. What’s worse is to pretend it never happened, to move on with no mea culpas, no self-reflection… [Hunter Biden’s] laptop was newsworthy. But the timeless journalistic instinct of following a hot story lead was being squelched. During a meeting with colleagues, I listened as one of NPR’s best and most fair-minded journalists said it was good we weren’t following the laptop story because it could help Trump [italics mine]… Over the course of the pandemic, a number of investigative journalists made compelling, if not conclusive, cases for the lab leak. But at NPR, we weren’t about to swivel or even tiptoe away from the insistence with which we backed the natural origin story…

[Our new director] declared that diversity—on our staff and in our audience—was the overriding mission… Race and identity became paramount in nearly every aspect of the workplace. Journalists were required to ask everyone we interviewed their race, gender, and ethnicity (among other questions), and had to enter it in a centralized tracking system. We were given unconscious bias training sessions. A growing DEI staff offered regular meetings imploring us to ‘start talking about race.’ There’s an unspoken consensus about the stories we should pursue and how they should be framed. It’s frictionless—one story after another about instances of supposed racism, transphobia, signs of the climate apocalypse, Israel doing something bad, and the dire threat of Republican policies. It’s almost like an assembly line.

The mindset prevails in choices about language. In a document called NPR Transgender Coverage Guidance—disseminated by news management—we’re asked to avoid the term biological sex… The mindset animates bizarre stories—on how The Beatles and bird names are racially problematic, and others that are alarmingly divisive; justifying looting, with claims that fears about crime are racist; and suggesting that Asian Americans who oppose affirmative action have been manipulated by white conservatives. More recently, we have approached the Israel-Hamas war and its spillover onto streets and campuses through the intersectional lens that has jumped from the faculty lounge to newsrooms. Oppressor versus oppressed… I looked at voter registration for our newsroom. In D.C., where NPR is headquartered and many of us live, I found 87 registered Democrats working in editorial positions and zero Republicans. None.”

Vivek NPR

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His first team WAS the deep state.

How Trump Could Beat Deep State (Jim Rickards)

The difference for investors between another Biden administration and the return of Trump to the White House could not be more stark. The Biden administration has been characterized by excessive regulation, pointless mandates as part of the Green New Scam, open borders bringing crime, drugs and cartel influence into the United States, disastrous wars in Ukraine, Gaza and now the closing of the Red Sea-Suez Canal passage, increased segregation of Blacks in colleges, the destruction of 50 years of progress in women’s sports by allowing competition by men and a long list of other ruinous policies.

The first Trump administration was characterized by business and personal tax cuts, reduced regulation, no new wars, outreach to nuclear rivals such as Russia and North Korea, tariffs on unfair trade by China, a concerted effort to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States, demands that NATO members pay their fair share for mutual defense and a secure southern border with Mexico. Trump also made an historic three appointments to the Supreme Court, which has emerged as practically the last bastion of constitutional order and the rule of law. There’s no reason to expect any improvement in another Biden administration. In fact, policies will almost certainly grow worse as Biden fails physically and mentally and opens the door to a possible acting president in the form of Kamala Harris, a known dunce.

There’s good reason to believe that a second Trump administration will offer the growth-oriented policies of the first administration with a much more effective decision-making apparatus resulting from attention to the Plum Book, the playbook and the transition process. A better transition process in a second term means the biggest threat to the deep state in decades. And a new team will put us on the road back to sanity. But powerful people won’t go quietly. A more experienced Trump will conduct a second war to destroy them. Unless they destroy him first.

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Elon 2008: money

 

 

Wild cat

 

 

Cats

 

 

Frens

 

 

 

 

Horse+baby
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777687533968650419

 

 

Cinereous vulture

 

 


The only journey is the one within. – Rainer Maria Rilke

 

 

Baby giraffe

 

 

Cartoons
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777787726307217891

 

 

Transport

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 042024
 


Edward Hopper Rooms By The Sea 1951

 

Deep State Goes After Trump and Musk’s Financial Assets-Who’s Next? (ET)
Wife of Judge In Trump ‘Hush Money’ Trial Worked for AG Letitia James (ET)
Trump Lawyers Reveal He Kept Classified Documents in Trump Tower (ET)
Jack Smith Urges Federal Judge to Change Course in Trump Case (ET)
In America the Legal Process Is the Punishment (Paul Craig Roberts)
Zelensky Ignored Interview Requests – Tucker Carlson (RT)
NATO Seeking To Insulate Kiev From Trump Pressure (RT)
Ukraine Can’t Win On The Battlefield, Military Intel Admits (RT)
Ukraine’s Starting to Get Dangerous (James Rickards)
A New Russia Has Emerged (Paul Craig Roberts)
Russia Is Undergoing A New, Invisible Revolution (Trenin)
WaPo Report About Crocus City Hall Attack Is a “Hoax” – Zakharova (RT)
Crocus Terror Attack Well-Organized, With Pre-Orchestrated Media Blitz (Sp.)
Biden Calls For Swift Probe in Israel Attack on WCK Workers (Sp.)
Scottish Minister Doubles Down on Anti-Free Speech Law (Turley)
White House Flack Raises Legal Concerns Over Biden Corruption Scandal (Turley)

 

 

 

 

NATO

 

 

 

 

Sickos

 

 

 

 

Neilsen
https://twitter.com/i/status/1775307290289061994

 

 

2001

 

 

 

 

Let’s check our terminology. Is this the Deep State or just the Democratic party? Or is that now the same? And moreover:

“It is becoming difficult to argue that the U.S. judicial system has not become a political arm of the Democratic Party..”

“Nations are either based on the rule of law or the rules dictated by the powerful.”

Deep State Goes After Trump and Musk’s Financial Assets-Who’s Next? (ET)

Is America as we know it over? Are we in the middle—or perhaps the end—of the transition from a national republic to a single-party regime that rules by fiat instead of law? If we look at what’s happening to two, high-profile cases, the answer is less than comforting. It is becoming difficult to argue that the U.S. judicial system has not become a political arm of the Democratic Party. Nations are either based on the rule of law or the rules dictated by the powerful. The former is meant to restrain, or better said, eliminate the possibility of the latter. But, as we’ve witnessed with the relentless political persecution of former President Donald Trump and, lately, of Elon Musk, laws only work when they’re fairly applied and enforced. Neither of those things are happening with President Trump or Mr. Musk. President Trump was found guilty of fraud by a left-wing judge who determined this without considering, or despite, mountains of evidence to the contrary.

The New York Attorney General Letitia James accused President Trump of over-valuing his real estate to obtain loans. Coincidentally, Ms. James ran for the office of attorney general in 2018 with the campaign pledge to go after Trump, showing clear political animus toward President Trump. What’s more, Judge Arthur Engoron has been accused by Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York of violating “political giving rules with financial contributions to Democrats as recently as 2018, and ignored a decision on the appropriate statute of limitations in the case,” according to NBC News. Ms. James prosecuted President Trump in a civil trial, which was by design; criminal court cases require a trial by jury and proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Somehow, Deutsche Bank was “defrauded” by President Trump into lending him hundreds of millions of dollars on a property, the value of which the bank determined by their own analysis. Talk about shifty business dealings.

Then, after a period of time, the former president had the audacity to sell the property at over $130 million profit and then pay the loan back, with interest. Despite all of this exculpatory evidence that showed no fraud and no money loss or any other determinable damages, the judge refused to allow President Trump to give his closing argument in his own defense and found him guilty of fraud, fined him $354 million plus interest, and forced him to forfeit the profit he made on the deal with Deutsche Bank. President Trump was also ordered to pay $111,000 per day in interest. The financial penalty is excessive under the Eighth Amendment, which disallows “excessive fines,” which is the case because it doesn’t reflect the value of the “damages,” which are nil, nor the profits he made. What’s more, President Trump is barred from doing business or getting loans in New York for three years, and two of his children are also barred from their executive roles in the Trump Organization for two years. All of this for paying back loans on properties that the bank made willingly, according to its own value assessments, and profited from.

Meanwhile, a Delaware judge voided Elon Musk’s $56 billion Tesla payout. The judge arbitrarily determined that the record-breaking compensation granted by the Tesla board was an “unfathomable sum” and was “unfair” to shareholders. The payout was the result of a 10-year pay plan that the board agreed to with Mr. Musk back in 2018. Mr. Musk is not only an entrepreneur extraordinaire, he’s also a fan of America and our constitutional right of free speech. He attracted the left’s wrath after acquiring Twitter (renamed X) and making it a bastion of free speech for conservatives who were formerly censored by Twitter and other social media outlets. In short, Mr. Musk single-handedly broke the stifling monopoly on speech and thought control the left had allegedly in close coordination with the federal government, prior to the acquisition.

The rationale for the judge’s unlawful decision was that the board was, in some way, “beholden” to Mr. Musk. Kathaleen McCormick of Delaware’s Court of Chancery speculated if the payout plan was necessary in order to keep Mr. Musk involved in Tesla and achieve the EV maker’s business goals. By that logic, the entire EV market is “beholden” to Mr. Musk since he is the single biggest influencer in the industry. There is no indication that the judge has a seat on the Tesla board or possesses expertise in the Tesla business model or investing strategies. So far, Mr. Musk’s response has been to begin moving his companies out of Delaware to the business-friendly states of Texas and Nevada.

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“He has to recuse himself now. There’s clearly at least an appearance of a conflict here. That’s enough in itself.”

Wife of Judge In Trump ‘Hush Money’ Trial Worked for AG Letitia James (ET)

Lara Merchan, the wife of the judge presiding over former President Donald Trump’s “hush money” case in Manhattan, once worked for New York Attorney General Letitia James, who brought the massive $350 million civil fraud case against the former president, with the revelation reviving claims of bias and calls for the judge’s recusal. Records reviewed by The Epoch Times show that Ms. Merchan worked for 21 years as a Special Assistant to the AG in New York, including three years under Ms. James. She changed jobs over two years ago. Ms. James is a Democrat who fixated on President Trump as she campaigned for New York attorney general, calling him a “con man” and vowing to shine a “bright light into every dark corner of his real estate dealings.” She began investigating the former president soon after taking office, eventually suing him for allegedly misleading banks and others about the value of his assets.

Ms. James eventually won the case on Feb. 16, with New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron ordering President Trump and Trump Organization executives to pay $350 million in damages, and barring the former president from doing business in the state for three years. Judge Juan Merchan is presiding over a separate criminal trial involving President Trump in New York, in which the former president is accused of falsifying business records in order to conceal a $130,000 “hush money” payoff to an adult performer to stay quiet about their alleged affair. President Trump on his Truth Social platform accused Judge Merchan of bias and corruption, while labeling the case against him “election interference” and also demanding the judge’s recusal. The former president has also alleged that the judge’s daughter, Loren Merchan, has a partisan interest in the case because she leads a political marketing firm and has represented President Trump’s political opponents, receiving millions from them.

Judge Merchan imposed a gag order against President Trump in the case and, on April 1, expanded it to include family members of the judge and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. The judge wrote in the order that President Trump’s speech “injects fear in those assigned or called to participate in the proceedings that not only they, but their family members as well, as ‘fair game’ for Defendant’s vitriol.” Laura Loomer, an independent journalist and popular conservative commentator who on social media shared records that Judge Merchan’s wife worked for Ms. James, wrote in a post on X that this fact represents “another major conflict of interest!”

Various conservative accounts reacted to Ms. Loomer’s post, arguing that the revelation adds to evidence that the judge should recuse himself from the case. “And this is why they expanded the gag order on Trump,” Paul A. Szypula, a popular conservative commentator on X with over 140,000 followers, said in a post. “It’s even more obvious how biased Judge Merchan is. He has to recuse himself now. There’s clearly at least an appearance of a conflict here. That’s enough in itself.”

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“President Trump acted as an ‘original classification authority’ while he was President of the United States” to declassify the records..”

Trump Lawyers Reveal He Kept Classified Documents in Trump Tower (ET)

Lawyers for former President Donald Trump revealed in new court filings that the former president kept classified materials at his Trump Tower in New York City and his estate in New Jersey. The former president kept the classified documents at those two locations as well as his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida while he was in office, and also during the months before he was inaugurated in 2017, the filings revealed. His lawyers were responding to a deadline to support U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon’s proposed jury instructions. “You may consider evidence that government officials discussed classified information with President Trump and provided classified briefings and documents to President Trump before and during his Presidency—including inside President Trump’s private offices and residences, such as at Bedminster, New Jersey, and Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida, as well as at Trump Tower in New York City,” they wrote to the judge.

President Trump, the GOP presumptive presidential nominee for 2024, is facing dozens of felony counts related to alleged mishandling of classified documents, according to an indictment. Part of his defense centers around how he personally designated presidential files as his personal items before he left the White House in early 2021. In Tuesday’s court filing, his attorneys said that jurors could be told that President Trump had the legal power as president to make those documents his personal belongings. “President Trump acted as an ‘original classification authority’ while he was President of the United States” to declassify the records, it said, adding that it “means that all classification decisions during his term as President were based on his authority, and that he also had absolute and unreviewable authority to declassify documents and information.”

There also is “evidence relating to former Presidents, Vice Presidents, and other public officials being authorized to possess documents containing classified information without criminal prosecution by the government after they left their positions,” his attorneys continued to say. “You heard evidence during the trial that President Trump exercised that authority, at times verbally and at times without using formal procedures, while he was President,” the proposed Trump jury instructions read. “I instruct you that those declassification decisions are examples of valid and legally appropriate uses of President Trump’s declassification authority while he was President of the United States.”

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“..the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the document you are considering is a ‘presidential record’ and not a ‘personal record.’”

Jack Smith Urges Federal Judge to Change Course in Trump Case (ET)

The federal judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case in Florida needs to clarify recent instructions to parties so the government can seek a higher court ruling, special prosecutor Jack Smith said late April 2. In March, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who was appointed by President Trump, ordered prosecutors and the defendant’s lawyers to file proposals for jury instructions. The parties must offer “alternative draft text” that assumes two “competing scenarios” are “a correct formulation of the law to be issued to the jury,” she wrote. The scenarios are former presidents being able to retain personal records under the Presidential Records Act (PRA), and presidents being able to designate records as personal. But both scenarios rest on a “fundamentally flawed legal premise,” Mr. Smith and his team wrote in the new filing.

The distinction in the PRA between personal and presidential records is irrelevant because President Trump has been charged under the Espionage Act, prosecutors said. “Based on the current record, the PRA should not play any role at trial at all,” they wrote, urging Judge Cannon to “decide whether the unstated legal premise underlying the recent order does, in the Court’s view, represent ‘a correct formulation of the law.’” If Judge Cannon wrongly decides that it does, the filing states, then the government may seek intervention from a higher court. They cited a ruling by an appeals court in a separate case that concluded, “the adoption of a clearly erroneous jury instruction that entails a high probability of failure of a prosecution—a failure the government could not then seek to remedy by appeal or otherwise—constitutes the kind of extraordinary situation in which we are empowered to issue the writ of mandamus.”

A writ of mandamus is an order to a lower court. “The question of whether the PRA has an impact on the element of unauthorized possession … does not turn on any evidentiary issue, and it cannot be deferred,” prosecutors said. “It is purely a question of law that must be decided promptly. If the court were to defer a decision on that fundamental legal question it would inject substantial delay into the trial and, worse, prevent the government from seeking review before jeopardy attaches.” President Trump, charged with 32 counts of violating the Espionage Act for retaining what the government described as national defense documents and other sensitive materials after his presidency, has stated that under the PRA, he could designate even classified records as personal and retain them upon leaving office.

“There is no basis for the special counsel’s office, this court, or a jury to second-guess President Trump’s document-specific PRA categorizations,” his lawyers wrote in a separate filing on April 2. Proposed jury instructions from President Trump said that to establish unauthorized possession of the records in question, “the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the document you are considering is a ‘presidential record’ and not a ‘personal record.’”

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There’s Letitia James again. And New York State Supreme Court Judge Sabrina Kraus.

In America the Legal Process Is the Punishment (Paul Craig Roberts)

The white-hating blacks to whom insouciant New Yorkers turned over the prosecutorial system have made it impossible to support the existence of, or advocacy for, a white ethnic nation. The First Amendment is also a victim of “black justice.” In New York today, speech is free only for sexual deviants and “preferred minorities.” Peter Brimelow, founder of VDARE and a former Forbes editor, writes: “I launched VDARE.com on Christmas Eve 1999. So it is perhaps appropriate that, on Good Friday 2024, the anniversary of Christ’s death, I must announce VDARE.com’s crucifixion by New York State’s communist Attorney General Letitia James.

On March 27 2024, in another of her lightning-fast NYAG James-compliant rulings, New York State Supreme Court Judge Sabrina Kraus held us in Contempt Of Court because we have not yet complied (because we were fighting it) with her January 23 2023 order that we meet NYAG James’ massive and crippling subpoena demands. Judge Kraus did modify her earlier order to reflect the intervention (much appreciated) of the Institute for Free Speech. So now we no longer have to reveal, explicitly, the names of our pseudonymous writers, some of whom would certainly be fired from their jobs if their identities leaked. But we are still required to review 40 gigabytes of emails, an enormous amount.

And of course these would in fact reveal the names of those pseudonymous writers, as well as our donors, privileged communications with lawyers etc. Judge Kraus has also now allowed us to redact these emails. But this is a huge task, which our lawyers estimate could cost as much as $150,000. An observer tells us this order is more typical of major corporate litigation, not a tiny charity. And, perversely, although Judge Kraus has now modified her January 23 2023 order, she is nevertheless now fining us $250 a day for not complying with it. We have fought NYAG Letitia James, at a cost of up to $1 million, for nearly three years. But now we are literally hanging on the cross. REMEMBER, VDARE.com HAS NOT BEEN CHARGED WITH ANYTHING—BECAUSE IT IS NOT GUILTY OF ANYTHING.

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“..invited House Speaker Mike Johnson to explain why he would want Congress to “fund a doomed war.” “Of course, he hasn’t responded,” the journalist said. “We also sent multiple requests to Zelensky himself for an interview to explain his position. Of course, he ignored that as well.”

Zelensky Ignored Interview Requests – Tucker Carlson (RT)

American journalist and political commentator Tucker Carlson has said that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky snubbed multiple invitations for an interview. Carlson had previously recorded a lengthy interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, where they discussed the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and Russia’s standoff with NATO. The journalist revealed his attempts to contact Zelensky in a video on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday. In a monologue before his interview with Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, Carlson said that he had invited House Speaker Mike Johnson to explain why he would want Congress to “fund a doomed war.” “Of course, he hasn’t responded,” the journalist said. “We also sent multiple requests to Zelensky himself for an interview to explain his position. Of course, he ignored that as well.”

The conservative commentator went on to argue that, no matter how much foreign money Kiev will receive, it cannot defeat Moscow on the battlefield, given Russia’s bigger population and industrial capacity. “It’s not working. Two years in, the war is still going,” Carlson told his viewers. “Ukraine can’t win. Everybody knows that around the world. People are very clear on that. There is not one informed person outside the United States who thinks that somehow Ukraine is going to beat Russia.” A vocal critic of Zelensky, Carlson has accused US news organizations of not being truthful about the origin and nature of the ongoing conflict. He stated that the media bias was one of the reasons he had sought an interview with Putin.

During a conversation in Moscow in February, Putin reflected on the centuries of shared history between Russia and Ukraine, and stressed that he has no intention of attacking NATO unless Russia is attacked first. Zelensky, however, dismissed Tucker’s interview with Putin as “more than two hours of bull***t.” The Ukrainian leadership has been increasingly pressuring the Western countries to provide more military aid in an effort to reverse the tide after a string of battlefield losses. Kiev has been particularly frustrated by House Republicans who refused to back President Joe Biden’s $61 billion aid package that has been stuck in Congress for several months.

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They’re afraid Trump will win. So they think up schemes he can’t stop.

NATO Seeking To Insulate Kiev From Trump Pressure (RT)

NATO leaders are devising ways to limit Donald Trump’s potential leverage over Ukraine by ensuring the continued supply of arms to Kiev does not depend on Washington, according to Western media reports. Trump has suggested he would reassess aid to Ukraine, should he be reelected to the White House later this year. The plans are set to be discussed at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels this week, sources have told news outlets including Politico, the Financial Times, and Euractiv. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for the November US presential election, has claimed on his campaign trail that he could end the Ukraine conflict in 24 hours by making phone calls to Kiev and Moscow. He has declined to explain the specifics of his scheme, but presumably intends to pressure both sides of the hostilities to force a compromise.

Ukraine has declared a full military victory as the only acceptable outcome, but its army is heavily dependent on Western aid. One of the proposed shifts in assistance to Kiev would affect the so-called Ukraine Defense Contact Group, which holds monthly meetings at the US Ramstein Air Base in Germany to coordinate weapons deliveries to Ukraine. It is currently led by Washington and includes non-NATO states that follow the US lead in the conflict. The idea is to formally incorporate the group into NATO structures, according to the reports. “There’s a feeling among, not the whole group but a part of the NATO group, that thinks it is better to institutionalize the process just in case of a Trump reelection,” Jim Townsend, a former Pentagon and NATO official, told Politico.

Outgoing NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has reportedly suggested the creation of a fund to pay for arms supplies over the next five years. Dubbed Mission for Ukraine, the war chest would amount to up to $100 billion or €100 billion ($108 billion), conflicting reports have said. In addition to “Trump-proofing” and entrenching arms deliveries, giving NATO a formal role would supposedly allow it to push Ukraine into implementing reforms required for its eventual accession to the bloc, according to justifications cited by Euractiv. Moscow considers the Ukraine conflict to be part of a US-led proxy war against Russia, in which Kiev and NATO serve as tools of American hegemony. The US-led bloc’s expansion in Europe and its intention to absorb Ukraine were among the key triggers of the hostilities, according to the Russian leadership.

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Luke Harding still works at the Guardian. What a disgrace.

Ukraine Can’t Win On The Battlefield, Military Intel Admits (RT)

Kiev has no other option but to launch attacks inside Russia, including on oil infrastructure, as its army faces continued setbacks on the battlefield, The Guardian has reported, citing the leadership of Ukraine’s military intelligence service, GUR. Officers who spoke to the British newspaper’s Luke Harding were candid about Ukraine’s desperate military situation. Brigadier-General Dmitry Timkov said his country was like a patient on life support. ”We are attached to a drip. We have enough drugs to stay alive. But, if the West wants us to win, we need the full treatment,” he said, referring to dwindling military aid. Major General Vadim Skibitsky, the deputy head of GUR, said Kiev’s wished-for battlefield victory was impossible at the moment, which is why the agency had “no choice” but to launch strikes deep inside Russia. He described this as a “NATO-standard procedure, known as center of gravity, or COG.”

The concept was first developed by Carl von Clausewitz, the famous Prussian general and military theorist, and essentially refers to targets that have the most value for the enemy, physically or morally. The GUR officials that spoke with the outlet claimed credit for a recent string of Ukrainian drone strikes on Russian oil infrastructure. This contradicts public statements by the head of SBU, the Ukrainian civilian security agency, who said it was his agents who were responsible for the operations. Both branches have been overhauled in the years since the 2014 armed coup in Kiev with the CIA’s help, according to reports in the Western media. Both were allegedly involved in targeted assassinations of persons deemed to be enemies of Ukraine, since before the hostilities with Russia escalated in 2022.

The newspaper said GUR intends to launch a new major attack on the Crimean Bridge –and to disable it– “in the first half of 2024.” Ukraine has previously targeted the structure, twice in 2022 and 2023. The first plot involved a powerful bomb hidden in a truck, which killed the vehicle’s driver and four other civilians in nearby cars. Moscow said GUR masterminded this attack. The second strike involved naval kamikaze drones that SBU said were deployed by its agents. That bombing killed two civilians. Moscow has accused Kiev of engaging in terrorism as a method of war. The regime in Kiev has adopted the tactics, Russian officials are claiming, because it is unable to score victories on the battlefield.

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“Putin has absolutely no incentive to invade any of these nations, which are NATO members. What do they have that he wants?”

Ukraine’s Starting to Get Dangerous (James Rickards)

A lot of people seem to have forgotten about the war in Ukraine. That’s a mistake. Russia is slowly but steadily defeating Ukraine, which is becoming increasingly obvious to everyone except the most anti-Russian diehards. That’s leading to desperation in elite Western circles determined to stop Russia one way or the other. In their minds, they simply can’t let Putin win. They think that if Putin wins in Ukraine, he’ll next move on to the Baltic states, Poland and elsewhere. You know the West is getting desperate based on recent threats by France’s Emmanuel Macron to send troops to Ukraine. The vice president of the Russia Duma, Pyotr Tolstoy (descendant of the great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy), warned that French troops would be priority targets for Russian forces if they entered Ukraine.

Even though France would send troops independent of NATO, that puts us on a very dangerous path that ultimately leads to direct conflict between NATO and Russia. And that path ends in nuclear war ultimately. Tolstoy added that it would take “just two minutes to nuke Paris.” It’s not hard to envision how quickly things could escalate if France decided to send troops to Ukraine. Meanwhile, NATO is preparing to send F-16s to Ukraine. Airfields in Ukraine are highly vulnerable to Russian attack, especially since Ukraine’s air defenses are heavily depleted at this point and the Russian air force is becoming increasingly active in Ukraine. But if NATO allows the F-16s to be based on its own airbases, Putin has warned that these airfields would become a “legitimate target” if strikes against Russian forces were launched from them.

By the way, Russia has hypersonic missiles that NATO has no practical ability to shoot down, so these attacks would likely be successful. Of course, NATO would have to retaliate in kind. You can imagine where all this could lead. We’re already well along the escalation ladder. And the higher you go, the more face you stand to lose if you back down. I warned about that from the outset of the war. But the entire notion that Russia poses some existential threat to NATO or Europe is absurd. First off, the theory that Putin will invade other countries if he wins in Ukraine is nonsense. The Russian army lacks the men and materiel to occupy Ukraine while simultaneously invading other countries.

This isn’t the Soviet Union with its massive tank armies poised to roll over Western Europe. And Soviet communism is long dead, so there’s no ideological basis for Russia to invade Europe. These days Russia is a conservative, Orthodox Christian nation. But more importantly, Putin has absolutely no incentive to invade any of these nations, which are NATO members. What do they have that he wants? All it would do is trigger Article 5 of the NATO Charter, which stipulates that an attack on one member is an attack on all, inviting a massive NATO response. At that point, you’re on the fast track to nuclear war. Putin is fully aware of that.

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“..It is difficult to believe that 20 years ago Russia looked to the West with hope..”

A New Russia Has Emerged (Paul Craig Roberts)

Dmitry Trenin reports that Russia has come to its senses and, as I have long recommended, turned her back on the West, a morally debauched, socially dysfunctional, and politically disunited and disintegrating polity. For years Russia was handicapped by its pro-Western intellectuals, but the West’s demonization of Russia has forced them to change their spots or to leave. Free of the former influence of these Russian traitors, everyone of whom Stalin or Lenin would have shot, Russia has emerged as the leader of the world majority that is tired of Western bullying. The fools in Washington, instead of undermining Russia in the interest of US hegemony, have created their replacement by Russia as world leader.

The fools in Washington fail to comprehend that a country blinds itself when it curtails freedom of speech, discredits truth in the interest of self-serving agendas, and destroys the patriotism and security of its ethnic base. All across America and its empire everything is failing. Schools and universities are propaganda centers against white Americans, the military is a disunited tower of babel, massively expensive weapons systems are problem-plagued, the social and economic infrastructure is disintegrating, health care has been turned into a profit machine–at the public’s expense–for Big Pharma. Both water and food are polluted. Government bureaucracies have taken control over children away from parents. Economic opportunity is shrinking. Integrity cannot be found. People who insist on truth in place of propaganda are persecuted. It is difficult to believe that 20 years ago Russia looked to the West with hope.

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“In just two years, the European Union, which only recently accounted for 48% of foreign trade, is down to 20%, whereas Asia’s share has soared from 26% to 71%.”

Russia Is Undergoing A New, Invisible Revolution (Trenin)

When President Vladimir Putin, back in February 2022, launched Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, he had specific, but limited objectives in mind. It was essentially about assuring Russia’s security vis-à-vis NATO. However, the drastic, expansive and well-coordinated Western reaction to Moscow’s moves – the torpedoing of the Russo-Ukrainian peace deal and the mounting escalation of the US-led bloc’s involvement in the conflict, including its role in deadly attacks inside Russia – have fundamentally changed our country’s attitude towards our former partners. We no longer hear talk about “grievances” and complaints about “failures in understanding.” The last two years have produced nothing less than a revolution in Moscow’s foreign policy, more radical and far-reaching than anything anticipated on the eve of the Ukraine intervention. Over the past 25 months, it has been quickly gaining in strength and profundity.

Russia’s international role, its position in the world, its goals and methods of reaching them, its basic worldview – all are changing. The national foreign policy concept, signed by Putin just a year ago, represents a major departure from its predecessors. It establishes the country’s identity in terms of it being a distinct civilization. In fact, it is the first official Russian document to do so. It also radically transforms the priorities of Moscow’s diplomacy, with the countries of the post-Soviet ‘near abroad” on top, followed by China and India, Asia and the Middle East, and Africa and Latin America. Western Europe and the United States rank next to last, just above the Antarctic.

Unlike in previous decade, when Russia’s “turn to the east” was first announced, these are not just words. Our trade partners, not just political interlocutors, have also switched places. In just two years, the European Union, which only recently accounted for 48% of foreign trade, is down to 20%, whereas Asia’s share has soared from 26% to 71%. Russia’s use of the US dollar has also plummeted, with increasingly more transactions being conducted in Chinese yuan and other non-Western currencies: such as the Indian rupee, the UAE dirham, as well as the instruments of our partners in the Eurasian Economic Union, and the ruble itself.

Russia has also ended its long and tiresome efforts to adapt to the US-led world order – something which it enthusiastically embraced in the early 1990s, grew disillusioned about in the following decade, and unsuccessfully tried to establish a modus vivendi with in the 2010s. Instead of surrendering to a post-Cold War set-up, in which it was left with no say, Russia has begun pushing back more and more against the hegemonic US-centered system. For the first time since the Bolshevik Revolution, albeit in a very different way from then, the country has de facto become a revolutionary power. While China still seeks to improve its position in the existing world order, Russia sees that state-of-affairs as being beyond repair, and is instead seeking to prepare for a new alternative arrangement.

For the time being, instead of the “one world” concept, which the Soviet Union even accepted in 1986, under Gorbachev, Moscow’s contemporary foreign policy has now split into two. For Russian policymakers, the post-2022 West has turned into a “house of adversaries,” while partners for Russia can only be found in the countries of the non-West, for whom we have coined a new description, “the World Majority.” The criterion for being included the group is simple: non-participation in the anti-Russia sanctions regime imposed by Washington and Brussels. This majority of over 100 nations is not considered a pool of allies: the depth and warmth of their relations with the Russia vary greatly, but these are the countries that Moscow can do business with.

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The West is pushing the narrative hard.

WaPo Report About Crocus City Hall Attack Is a “Hoax” – Zakharova (RT)

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has rejected the Washington Post’s claim that the US alerted Russia that the Crocus City concert hall could be attacked by terrorists two weeks before the tragedy, calling it completely false. On Tuesday, the paper reported, citing unnamed US officials, that Russian authorities had received an alert with a “high degree of specificity” that the popular venue could be targeted by terrorists. According to the news outlet, the notice came one day before the US Embassy in Moscow warned Americans on March 7 to stay away from public gatherings for the following 48 hours because of the heightened threat. At a press briefing on Wednesday, Zakharova dismissed the report, noting that Moscow has grown “accustomed to American misinformation” as well as the Western media’s repeated attempts to retract their own assertions.

“I would really like… to receive factual material on this topic from the American side. That is, to whom and when did they give this information?” she added. In the aftermath of the Crocus City Hall massacre, the White House said that the US had shared data with Moscow about a potential terrorist attack. The head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin, has confirmed this, but noted that “the information was too general and did not allow us to fully identify those who participated in this terrible crime.” On March 22, a group of armed men stormed the venue, killing at least 144 people, including six children, and injuring over 500 others. The terrorist act was the deadliest on Russian soil since the early 2000s.

Russian law enforcement agencies arrested several suspects in the aftermath of the attack, including four suspected gunmen who were caught fleeing towards Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin has described the culprits as radical Islamists, saying that a “window” was arranged for them on the Ukrainian border. Moscow has suggested that the Ukrainian intelligence services may have been involved in the attack, a claim vehemently denied by Kiev. The US and its allies have insisted that the atrocity was orchestrated by Islamic State terrorists. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accused the West of obsessive attempts to clear Ukraine of any culpability. He also advised against jumping to conclusions before the investigation is over.

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“..We should also bear in mind that ISIS*, Al-Qaeda* and other terrorist organizations were created by Washington..”

Crocus Terror Attack Well-Organized, With Pre-Orchestrated Media Blitz (Sp.)

The terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall was well organized, it was accompanied by extensive and pre-orchestrated media coverage in the West, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said on Wednesday. *”The terrorist attack was well organized and was accompanied by extensive, pre-orchestrated coverage by Western media in the right tone for them,” Patrushev said at the 19th annual meeting of security council heads of Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states.= On March 22, several armed men broke into Crocus City Hall and started shooting at people. They also started a fire in one of the auditoriums, which was full of people ahead of a concert. The attack left 695 casualties, including 144 dead, according to the latest data from the Russian Emergencies Ministry.

The Islamic State – Khorasan Province* (ISKP, also known as ISIS-K) terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack. The four main suspects in the case — all citizens of Tajikistan — tried to flee the scene in a car but were detained and charged with terrorism. Russian authorities believe their plan was to flee to Ukraine, where the masterminds of the attack had arranged a safe haven for them. An investigation is underway. “It is well known that the Kiev regime is not independent and is completely controlled by the United States. We should also bear in mind that ISIS*, Al-Qaeda* and other terrorist organizations were created by Washington,” Patrushev noted, commenting on the alleged role of ISIS* in the terrorist attack on Crocus in Moscow.

The reaction of Volodymyr Zelensky who said that the Russian authorities were responsible for the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack is inadequate, Patrushev pointed out. “The inadequate reaction of Zelensky, who accused the Russian authorities of organizing the terrorist attack, is also typical. At the same time, Slovakia directly says that the Kiev regime has been sheltering ISIS* militants on its territory for a long time and is using them for its own purposes,” Patrushev stressed. Immediately after the terrorist attack, phone calls from Ukraine to the Russian emergency services with false reports of mining of buildings began en masse, the official added.

Patrushev highlighted that terrorist groups are increasingly being used for geostrategic purposes, and they are given modern weapons and intelligence equipment, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said on Wednesday. “Terrorist groups are increasingly being used for geostrategic purposes. Terrorists are given modern weapons, advanced types of tracking and reconnaissance equipment are provided, and intelligence information is supplied,” Patrushev said at the 19th annual meeting of security council heads of Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states. The official called for resolutely and harshly condemning terrorism in all its manifestations and the actions of countries that support or condone it.

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“Israel has pledged to conduct a thorough investigation..” Pretending it was a accident…

Biden Calls For Swift Probe in Israel Attack on WCK Workers (Sp.)

US President Joe Biden in a statement called for a swift probe into the incident that killed seven humanitarian workers from World Central Kitchen in Gaza. “Israel has pledged to conduct a thorough investigation into why the aid workers’ vehicles were hit by airstrikes. That investigation must be swift, it must bring accountability, and its findings must be made public. Even more tragically, this is not a stand-alone incident. This conflict has been one of the worst in recent memory in terms of how many aid workers have been killed,” said Biden in a White House release. The president added that Israel has not done enough to protect civilians and that the United States will continue its humanitarian efforts in Gaza while urging Israel to do more to facilitate the aid.

On Monday, WCK staff were traveling “in a deconflicted zone” in two armored cars branded with the organization’s logo, and a soft skin vehicle, the NGO said. The humanitarian convoy was attacked as it left the Deir al Balah warehouse, where the team had unloaded more than 100 tonnes of food aid brought to Gaza by sea. The organization said that its convoy had coordinated its movements with the IDF. The Israeli strike against the staff of the WCK killed seven employees from Australia, Poland, the United Kingdom and Palestine, as well as a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. The organization suspended its operations in the Gaza Strip after the deadly incident.

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“The rewrite of Braveheart is going to be a real disappointment..”

Scottish Minister Doubles Down on Anti-Free Speech Law (Turley)

There is global criticism of the new anti-free speech law in Scotland, including a dare from author J.K. Rowling to arrest her for her criticism of transgender policies. The law is so bad that even the British Prime Minister, in a country widely denounced for attacks on free speech, has demurred from supporting the Scottish law. Now Humza Yousaf, first minister of Scotland, has doubled down in supporting the draconian law while misrepresenting its language. Yousaf bizarrely claimed that critics have ignored that the legal threshold of “the new offences is very, very high indeed. Your behaviour has to be threatening or abusive and intended to stir up hatred.” It is almost comical in its absurdity. No, a standard based on “stirring up hatred” is not very very high. Moreover, the showing can be based on a showing that stirring up hatred was “likely” rather than “intended.”

In signature form, Yousaf reportedly then lashed out at critics like Rowling and Joe Rogan as “right-wing actors” who have “[no] sympathy for the fact we are bringing in legislation that is clamping down on hatred.” He insisted that this is merely an extension of the fight against “disinformation.” The critics include virtually the entirety of the free speech community. Rowling’s objections to transgender policies are rooted in her feminist principles and the concern over the erasure of the gains of women generally.

By declaring opposing views as hateful, many on the left like Yousaf seek to shutdown any debate through a chilling effect on speech. Many do not want to face the cancel campaign or abuse directed against Rowling, who has the means and the following to weather this storm. The Scottish law is a disgrace to the nation, which once distinguished itself in the Scottish Enlightenment as a haven for free thought. The rewrite of Braveheart is going to be a real disappointment when Wallace asks what Scots will do without their freedom and Yousef steps forward to accuse him of “disinformation” and delivers him over to the English:

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“.. it is the type of posting that one would expect from the DNC, not the WHC.”

White House Flack Raises Legal Concerns Over Biden Corruption Scandal (Turley)

In a city of flacks, Ian Sams is prototypical. Quotable, punchy, and fast on social media, he stays ahead of the news cycle. Those traits are greatly valued by clients in this city where losing control of a narrative can allow a controversy to metastasize into a full fledge scandal. What is different is the client. Sams, a well–known Democratic operative, is not working for a Democratic campaign, but a Democratic president and speaks for the White House Counsel. That position continues to raise eyebrows, as it did this week when Sams issued insulting and taunting postings after the House Oversight Committee asked the President to answer ten questions from its impeachment inquiry. Sams posted images of signs mocking the inquiry next to his title reading “White House spokesman for oversight and investigations. Deputy Assistant to the President & Senior Advisor to WH Counsel’s Office.”

The White House Counsel’s office has historically avoided engaging in political spin and attacks. It prides itself on representing the office of the Presidency, not the president as a person. President Biden has personal counsel to look after his interests as an individual. What is striking is that his personal counsel has shown far more circumspection and restraint in responding to such inquiries. Sams has been previously questioned by the White House press corp over the accuracy of his statements and that fact that he is routinely cited as speaking for White House Counsel’s office on a variety of legal questions, but lacks any law degree. He was also the subject of a complaint from the head of White House press corps over his giving them “marching orders” on how to control the allegations against the President.

[..] I have previously raised concerns over the role of Sams in the impeachment inquiry. In my testimony in the first Biden impeachment hearing, I noted that the Biden White House was approaching a dangerous line in pushing false claims on the corruption scandal, including repeating President Biden’s past denials that he never spoke to his son or had knowledge of his son’s foreign dealings. It can lead to the same blurred lines that led to not just the impeachment articles but the criminal charges in the Nixon Administration. Those concerns became magnified this month when the House send the ten questions to the President to address glaring contradictions in his past public statements. Sams immediately responded on behalf of the White House Counsel:

“LOL. Comer knows 20+ witnesses have testified that POTUS did nothing wrong. He knows that the hundreds of thousands of pages of records he’s received have refuted his false allegations. This is a sad stunt at the end of a dead impeachment. Call it a day, pal.” Again, it is the type of posting that one would expect from the DNC, not the WHC. Yet, Siskel clearly approves of this type of taunting, sarcastic response from an office that has fought to maintain its image of professionalism and prudence. Sams, not Siskel, is now the face of the White House Counsel’s office. That is certainly welcomed by the Biden campaign, but it is often difficult to distinguish postings between the two operations. With an impeachment inquiry in the field, that aggressive media role can produce more than favorable media articles. It can become the basis for actual impeachment articles.

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17

 

 

Whacker
https://twitter.com/i/status/1775532073593528558

 

 

 

 

Wild crazy

 

 

Frens
https://twitter.com/i/status/1775572374248689794

 

 

Otter

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 022024
 
 February 2, 2024  Posted by at 9:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  68 Responses »


Winslow Homer Mending the nets 1881

 

House Speaker Mike Johnson First Floor Speech On Border Catastrophe (Kanekoa)
It’s Biden vs. Texas, and Texas Is Right. (McMaken)
Israel Accepts Ceasefire Deal – Al Jazeera (RT)
US Created Ukraine Conflict to Keep Europe ‘Under Its Thumb’ (Sp.)
EU Leaders Agree to Give $54Bln in Macro-Financial Assistance to Ukraine (Sp.)
Zelensky Wants Zaluzhny Out Over Effort At Ceasefire With Russia – Hersh (Sp.)
Zelensky To Fire Top General This Week – CNN (RT)
Zelensky’s Generals Refuse To Accept Firing Top Commander – Bild (RT)
Biden Makes Clear Case for NATO Complicity Over IL-76 Shoot-Down (SCF)
Ukraine’s ‘Failed State’ Status (DeMartino)
Mass European Farmer Protests Blowback for Ukraine Support (Sp.)
CIA Staffer Sentenced To 40 Years For Leaking US Hacking Secrets (RT)
Roger Waters Faces Axe by Record Label Over Defiant Israel Stance (Sp.)
UK High Court Throws Out Trump’s Christopher Steele Case (BBC)
Interesting – Elon Musk (Kanekoa)

 

 

 

 

Meme team
https://twitter.com/i/status/1753078612243423563

 

 

 

 

Jan 6

 

 

Tucker Bret

 

 

KJP Boeing

 

 

Scott Ritter: Turkey & Russia JOIN WAR

 

 

Macgregor: Iran must pay

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Just as we lock our doors at night to protect our homes, we secure our borders to protect our homeland. And my friends, that is our sacred obligation.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson First Floor Speech On Border Catastrophe (Kanekoa)

House Speaker Mike Johnson delivers first floor speech on border catastrophe, accusing President Biden of intentionally creating a “clear and present danger to our national security.” “Since I was elected Speaker less than 100 days ago, more than 700,000 illegals have been welcomed into our country illegally by the Biden administration. American schoolchildren have been forced into virtual schools so migrants can sleep in their school buildings. Korean War veterans have been booted from nursing homes that were sold to house migrants. Our streets are being flooded with fentanyl. Hundreds of thousands of children and adults are being poisoned and losing their lives. Vulnerable children and women are being exploited and trafficked by cartels. Since President Biden and Alejandro Mayorkas assumed office, there have been more than 7 million encounters with illegal aliens just at our southern border alone.

35 of our 50 states, including my home state of Louisiana, don’t have a population that large. More than 300 individuals who are on our terror watchlist have been apprehended on the southern border. The frightening question is, how many have entered undetected? We know there are at least 1.8 million gotaways that have escaped. Understand that the situation at our border presents a clear and present danger to our national security, and it demands that it be addressed. FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Homeland Security Committee in November that these gotaways are a great concern for the agency, and all 56 of our Joint Terrorism Task Forces are trying to identify who these people are. We don’t know how many terrorists are inside our borders. We do know that fentanyl is pouring into our communities like an open sewer. Right now, the leading cause of death in America for Americans aged 18 to 46 is fentanyl poisoning.

To make matters worse, we’ve learned that the Biden administration is now simply just releasing 85% of the illegals who come across that border right into the country. For reference, by the way, in 2013, the Obama administration detained 82% of illegal aliens. How do we go from detaining 82% to releasing 85%? It only happens if this is by design. It only happens if it’s an orchestrated intentional effort by the administration to do exactly that, and that is what the evidence shows. Earlier this month, I released a memo documenting 64 specific actions that the Biden administration has taken to undermine our border security and to promote the mass release of illegals and dangerous persons into our country. The very first day President Biden walked into the Oval Office, he revoked Executive Order 9844. Do you know what that did? It ended the construction of the border wall that Congress had already paid for. Everybody has seen the images of the materials out there rotting in the sun. Why?

Because Joe Biden decided unilaterally that he didn’t want a wall. In February 2021, the administration stopped applying Title 42 expulsions to children and incentivize by doing that incentivize families to send unaccompanied children through Mexico under the watch of cartels and traffickers. Since then, the administration admits to losing track of more than 80,000 unaccompanied children somewhere in the US. We don’t know where they are. Have they been put into trafficking rings? We know that some of these kids are being trafficked for free labor and being forced to do things that are too appalling for us to articulate on this floor. Everybody here knows that’s happening, and we’re not demanding the President stop it? He can. He has the power to do it.

[..] We have to decide if we believe in the rule of law or not. We have to decide if we’re a sovereign nation or we’re not. I believe that border security is part of our solemn obligation to safeguard the well-being of our citizens and uphold the principles that define who we are as a nation. A weak border weakens America, and a strong border is good for America, and a stronger America is good for everybody around the world. And everybody in this chamber should acknowledge that. Just as we lock our doors at night to protect our homes, we secure our borders to protect our homeland. And my friends, that is our sacred obligation.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1753202850023498016

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“..what is self-evident here is that it is up to the state government to determine for itself whether or not the state is being invaded..”

It’s Biden vs. Texas, and Texas Is Right. (McMaken)

So, what exactly does the Texas governor’s declaration say? Overall, it makes the case that the Biden administration has been ignoring federal immigration laws and illegally withdrawing border-control operations from the Texas-Mexico border. Abbott concludes: “Under President Biden’s lawless border policies, more than 6 million illegal immigrants have crossed our southern border in just 3 years. That is more than the population of 33 different States in this country. This illegal refusal to protect the States has inflicted unprecedented harm on the People all across the United States.” If that were all, we’d just chalk this up to a document that amounts to little more than a letter to the editor. But then Abbott says that the US Constitution provides a remedy for the situation:

“..the Framers included both Article IV, § 4, which promises that the federal government “shall protect each [State] against invasion,” and Article I, § 10, Clause 3, which acknowledges “the States’ sovereign interest in protecting their borders.” The final paragraph is where it gets interesting. Abbott writes: “The failure of the Biden Administration to fulfill the duties imposed by Article IV, § 4 has triggered Article I, § 10, Clause 3, which reserves to this State the right of self-defense. For these reasons, I have already declared an invasion under Article I, § 10, Clause 3 to invoke Texas’s constitutional authority to defend and protect itself. That authority is the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary. The Texas National Guard, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and other Texas personnel are acting on that authority, as well as state law, to secure the Texas border.”

Abbott is essentially saying that federal supremacy in this case has been rendered null and void by a federal refusal to enforce federal law. Can he get away with it? For clarity, let’s look at Article 1, section 10. It reads: “No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.” The key phrase here is “unless actually invaded.” Whether or not the current flood of migrants across the border constitutes “invasion,” as stated here, is perhaps debatable.

However, what is self-evident here is that it is up to the state government to determine for itself whether or not the state is being invaded. After all, the whole point of the section is to grant certain powers to states outside the authority of the federal government. If the federal government also gets to determine for itself whether or not the state is being invaded, then the section is pointless. So, an honest reading of this text ought to preclude the Biden administration or US Supreme Court coming back and saying “you’re not being invaded, now do what we say.”

Abbott
https://twitter.com/i/status/1753160896312995917

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Wait and see.

Israel Accepts Ceasefire Deal – Al Jazeera (RT)

Israel has agreed to a ceasefire proposal that would halt its war with Hamas, Al Jazeera reported on Thursday, citing the Qatari Foreign Ministry. Hamas has reportedly given the plan a “positive” response. The ceasefire plan was hashed out in Paris over the weekend, with Qatari and Egyptian diplomats mediating between Israel and the Palestinian militant group. Delegations from West Jerusalem and Gaza left the French capital promising to study the proposal and negotiate further this week, and by Thursday evening, a deal was apparently within reach. “Israel agreed to the ceasefire proposal and we have initial positive confirmation from Hamas,” a spokesman for the Qatari Foreign Ministry said on Thursday evening, according to Al Jazeera. “We are awaiting their response,” the spokesman added.

The proposed ceasefire will be implemented in three stages, according to a Hamas statement shared with Reuters earlier this week. The first phase would see fighting stop for 40 days as Hamas hands over the female civilians, children, and elderly people it is still holding captive. During this time, large-scale deliveries of food and medicine into Gaza would resume. The following stages would see Hamas turn over captive Israeli soldiers and the bodies of Israeli troops, in exchange for further aid deliveries and the freeing of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails. “Military operations on both sides will stop during the three stages,” the militants said, adding that the number of Palestinian prisoners freed would be open to negotiation.

The proposal falls short of the full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza that Hamas initially demanded. As a step toward ending the war, however, it also threatens Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to keep fighting until Israel achieves “total victory” over the militants, as he has promised on multiple occasions. While hardliners within Netanyahu’s cabinet have pressed him to reject any deal they view as too lenient towards Hamas, Israel has faced international condemnation over its conduct in Gaza, and two of the Jewish state’s most stalwart backers – the US and UK – suggested this week that they could soon recognize an independent Palestinian state. Such an outcome would be a political disaster for Netanyahu, who angered Washington and London last month when he outright rejected a two-state solution to the decades-long conflict with the Palestinians.

Hamas fighters attacked Israel on October 7, killing around 1,200 people and taking roughly 240 as hostages. Israel responded by imposing a siege on Gaza and launching waves of airstrikes on the densely-populated enclave. A ground operation followed three weeks later, and after almost four months of fighting, more than 27,000 Palestinians have died, two thirds of them women and children, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

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“..European countries are “going down faster than we can even imagine..”

“..we were concerned about their economy moving up because they were getting cheap Russian energy..”

US Created Ukraine Conflict to Keep Europe ‘Under Its Thumb’ (Sp.)

On Thursday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban relented to pressure from the EU and finally allowed €50 billion in military and financial aid to be transferred to Ukraine after blocking the funding for more than a month. The funds are ostensibly planned to fund Ukraine until 2027 and came as US aid remains stalled in Congress. Before the latest aid package was approved by the EU, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg remarked at a Monday news conference in Washington, DC, that “weapons are – in fact – the way to peace [in Ukraine],” but that’s not quite the case, an analyst told Sputnik. Dr. David Oualaalou told Sputnik’s Critical Hour on Wednesday that Stoltenberg’s assertion “defies logic” and asserted that Ukraine is already “gone.” Oualaalou argued that Europe was pushed into supporting Ukraine by the US, which is not “paying the price” of that support in the same way Europe is.

He added that the economic situation in Europe, largely brought on by the consequences of their support of Ukraine and sanctions on Russia, makes the continent reliant on the US. “[The US] created the conflict to ensure that Europe will stay under [its] thumb by dictating the terms and complicating matters for them,” Oualaalou explained. “One way you do that, [is] you complicate the economic outcome for an entity, doesn’t matter who, that’s how you do it.” He added that his family members in Europe acknowledge that European countries are “going down faster than we can even imagine,” and pointed to the farmer and worker protests breaking out across the continent. Complicating matters further, Oualaalou argued, is that even with monetary aid being sent to Ukraine, Europe is too short on ammunition to give Ukraine much that will help them on the battlefield.

“I hope your listeners know that the UK cannot fight the Houthis, for example,” Oualaalou said, referring to the growing conflict in the Red Sea. “The reason? They don’t have firepower, they don’t have enough. That is why they are just riding with the US.” Oualaalou also argued that even the US and UK combined will not be able to defeat the Houthis. “We couldn’t defeat the Taliban, we couldn’t defeat the militias in Iraq. What makes us think we’re going to defeat the Houthis? And the Houthis, to my knowledge, and I’ve been on the ground, I was there. They are fierce fighters.” Co-host Garland Nixon suggested that the real goal in funding Ukraine was to line politicians’ “filthy pockets” with money, an assertion Oualaalou agreed with. But he also reiterated that it is also part of the US geopolitical strategy.

“[The] Ukraine conflict was created by design for us to keep the Europeans down because we were concerned about their economy moving up because they were getting cheap Russian energy – that’s what’s at the heart of it,” he said. Asked about the narrative and media attention shifting from Ukraine to the Middle East, even as the conflict continues, Oualaalou admitted that it’s simply part of the larger plan, and that there could be more on the horizon. “That’s usually how the narrative goes because that is the aim – you move from one conflict to the next one because you’re already preparing [for] the next conflict. … what I see on the horizon, is what’s going on too, in Asia,” he explained. “It [has] become clear in the West that Ukraine is a failed state. The objective has been accomplished. Let’s move to the next conflict. And once that’s settled, we’re going to move to a third one and so forth.”

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To achieve what?

EU Leaders Agree to Give $54Bln in Macro-Financial Assistance to Ukraine (Sp.)

The EU leaders have reached an agreement on allocating 50 billion euros ($54 billion) as part of macro-financial assistance to Ukraine, European Council President Charles Michel said on Thursday. “All 27 leaders agreed on an additional €50 billion support package for Ukraine within the EU budget. This locks in steadfast, long-term, predictable funding for #Ukraine. EU is taking leadership & responsibility in support for Ukraine; we know what is at stake,” Michel wrote on X. The EU leaders have agreed to hold a debate about its assistance to Ukraine every year, and to review it after two years if necessary, The Guardian reported on Thursday, citing the EU summit’s conclusions. According to the conclusions, the European Council will hold a debate every year on the implementation of the Ukraine facility, and will invite the European Commission to make a proposal to review it in two years if needed.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported, citing a European diplomat, that the EU funds for Hungary will remain frozen after Budapest also agreed on the allocation of assistance for Ukraine. European officials have continuously said that they are ready to study alternatives in the event of a final blocking of aid to Kiev from the EU budget. The total amount of EU macro-financial assistance to Ukraine in 2023 amounted to 18 billion euros, transferred in monthly payments in the amount of 1.5 billion euros. This assistance was provided to Kiev regardless of the implementation of reforms and the fight against corruption.

In December, Hungary vetoed an enlargement of the EU’s 2024-2027 budget to incorporate 50 billion euros in macro-financial aid for Ukraine. Media reported that Hungary had proposed splitting the package into four tranches, subject to approval each year. However, several EU diplomats are reportedly opposed to giving Hungary the option of an “annual veto”. Western countries, led by the United States, have been providing military aid to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s special military operation in February 2022. The aid evolved from providing artillery munitions and training in 2022 to heavy weapons, including tanks, advanced air-defense systems, prohibited cluster munitions and long-range missiles, later that year and in 2023.

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Your top man must be a warmonger.

Zelensky Wants Zaluzhny Out Over Effort At Ceasefire With Russia – Hersh (Sp.)

Volodymyr Zelensky wants to remove Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny from his post because of his alleged involvement in secret talks with Western officials about pursuing a ceasefire with Russia, US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported. On Monday, Ukrainian lawmaker Oleksiy Goncharenko said, citing sources, that Zaluzhny was allegedly ordered to resign. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry and Zelensky’s spokesman denied the claims. “Zelensky’s desire to fire his commanding general is the result, some Americans believe, of his knowledge that Zaluzhny had continued to participate – whether directly or through aides is not known – in secret talks since last fall with American and other Western officials on how best to achieve a ceasefire and negotiate an end to the war with Russia,” Hersh said on Thursday. The New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing sources, that the Ukrainian government had postponed the dismissal of Zaluzhny due to a leak of information about his possible resignation.

The government planned to fire Zaluzhny, but on Monday evening, when information leaked, it decided to back off, the report said, adding that now, the government is slowing down the process. According to reports, Zelensky was forced to reverse his decision as international partners, including the United States and the United Kingdom, expressed concern about Zelensky’s actions.Zelensky reportedly met with Zaluzhny to inform the general of the decision to fire him. Instead, Zelensky offered Zaluzhny the post of secretary of the country’s security council, but Zaluzhny turned it down. The head of Ukraine’s military intelligence service, Kyrylo Budanov, and the commander of the Ukrainian ground forces, Oleksandr Syrsky, were named candidates for the post of commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, the report added.

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If only he could find a replacement.

Zelensky To Fire Top General This Week – CNN (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky intends to fire his top general, Valery Zaluzhny, before the end of the week, CNN claimed on Wednesday citing sources familiar with the situation. The report follows similar rumors appearing in outlets such as the Financial Times and the Washington Post, which have so far been dismissed by Kiev. The relationship between the two men reportedly began to deteriorate when the general wrote an article for The Economist in November, describing the battlefield situation as a “stalemate” following Kiev’s failed counteroffensive. The president has vehemently rejected that assessment. According to CNN, Zaluzhny was called into Zelensky’s office on Monday, where he was told he would be fired in the next few days. While no formal announcement has yet been made, a source allegedly told the outlet that a presidential decree is expected by the end of the week.

Rumors that the country’s popular military leader would be replaced originally started circulating in the media earlier this week based on anonymous sources in Kiev. The Washington Post claimed that the president explained his decision to Zaluzhny by saying that a new commander was needed to rejuvenate the situation, as the Ukrainian people had grown tired of war while Kiev’s foreign backers had reduced military assistance. The general was then reportedly offered an advisory position, which he declined, opting instead to leave the military entirely, a source told the outlet. After reports of Zaluzhny’s imminent sacking leaked on Monday, Zelensky spokesman Sergey Nikiforov issued an official statement insisting it was “untrue.” The Ukrainian Defense Ministry also posted a message on social media declaring the rumors false.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the Ukrainian president had chosen to reconsider the decision after the initial plan ended up in the press. However, another source told the paper that the firing had only been temporarily delayed while Kiev looks for a fitting replacement for Zaluzhny. Moscow, meanwhile, has described the rumors of the Ukrainian commander’s dismissal as a sign that Kiev’s leadership is in disarray and has “a lot of problems,” according to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov. He predicted that divisions in Ukraine’s military and civilian leadership stemming from the failed counteroffensive would continue to grow as Russia proceeds with its objectives.

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“Syrsky himself – alongside the Ukrainian military intelligence chief, Kirill Budanov – reportedly “politely declined” an offer to take up Zaluzhny’s position..”

Zelensky’s Generals Refuse To Accept Firing Top Commander – Bild (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has been unable to fire the nation’s top general, Valery Zaluzhny, because both replacements under consideration refused the job, the tabloid Bild reported on Thursday. A host of Western and Ukrainian media previously claimed, citing anonymous sources in Kiev, that Zelensky had sacked Zaluzhny, prompting the Ukrainian government to refute those rumors. According to Bild, the president did attempt to fire the general on Monday and had to reverse his decision “within an hour” because he could not find a replacement for the nation’s top commander. The move drew strong opposition from the Ukrainian generals, the tabloid claimed. Zelensky allegedly wanted to see Ground Forces Commander Aleksandr Syrsky in Zaluzhny’s place because “he is more loyal to the president,” Bild said, citing Gustav Gressel, a Ukraine expert with the Berlin-based European Council on Foreign Relations think tank.

The generals disapproved of the choice because they see Zaluzhny as a “more humane” leader who is “closer to the troops,” the analyst explained. Syrsky himself – alongside the Ukrainian military intelligence chief, Kirill Budanov – reportedly “politely declined” an offer to take up Zaluzhny’s position, the paper claimed. Yesterday, Britain’s The Times named Syrsky and Budanov as possible candidates to be Ukraine’s top general, also reporting that they had refused. Despite Zaluzhny retaining his post, the conflict between him and Zelensky continues to “smolder,” Bild alleged. The relationship between the two men reportedly began to deteriorate when the general wrote an article for The Economist in November, describing the battlefield situation as a “stalemate” following Kiev’s failed counteroffensive. The president has vehemently rejected that assessment.

According to the German outlet, the president and his commander also clashed over strategy in the cities of Bakhmut and Avdeevka. In late spring 2023, when the Russian forces were pressing their advantage against the Ukrainians in Bakhmut, Zelensky insisted the city should be held to the last man, while Zaluzhny wanted to withdraw to preserve his forces, the paper said, adding that the situation was being repeated in Avdeevka. On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Zelensky had abandoned his plans to fire the top general after his plan was leaked to the media. CNN reported on Thursday, however, that the Ukrainian leader still wanted to go ahead with the decision and would fire Zaluzhny by the end of the week.

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“..even the Pentagon has admitted there is no evidence showing Iran had a hand in the drone attack. Nevertheless, Biden has asserted Iran is to blame and that this gives the U.S. a right to respond militarily..”

Biden Makes Clear Case for NATO Complicity Over IL-76 Shoot-Down (SCF)

Joe Biden is contending that the United States has the right to attack Iran as a result of the deadly strike on a U.S. base in Jordan which killed three American troops. Biden is throwing rocks in a glass house if we then look at the case of the IL-76 shoot-down over Russia when 74 people were killed. It is by no means clear if Iran was involved in the Jordan base raid. Tehran strongly denies it and even the Pentagon has admitted there is no evidence showing Iran had a hand in the drone attack. Nevertheless, Biden has asserted Iran is to blame and that this gives the U.S. a right to respond militarily. If Biden can make that case, then the United States and its NATO allies should be held accountable for the shooting down of the IL-76 transport plane over Russia killing all onboard, according to the reasoning of none other than the US President.

By “accountable” that means Russia has the right to take retaliatory military action against the culprit of the crime in which 74 people were killed. Again, this is according to Biden’s own reasoning.Biden was not speaking about the fatal IL-76 incident that occurred on January 24 when nine Russian servicemen and 65 Ukrainian prisoners were killed after their cargo plane was hit in mid-air with a warhead. The president was responding to U.S. journalists questioning him about the deaths of three American military personnel at a base in Jordan that Iraqi militants attacked on January 28. Biden said he held Iran responsible for the American fatalities and vowed to retaliate. Somewhat contradictorily, the president and his spokesmen have said the United States does not seek to have a wider war with Iran even though Biden said he intends to attack Iranian assets in a “tiered way at a time of his choosing”. If that’s not a wider war, what is?

Iran has vehemently denied any involvement in the drone attack on the U.S. base in Jordan near the border with Syria and Iraq. The strike was claimed by Iraqi militia known as Islamic Resistance which is allied with Iran.Asked if he blamed Iran, Biden said he did “in the sense that they’re supplying the weapons to the people who did it.” Iran and the Iraqi militants are affiliated in a similar way to Tehran’s support for Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, and the Ansar Allah movement in Yemen. All are motivated by staunch opposition to U.S. military occupation in the Middle East and Washington’s support for Israel’s genocidal aggression in Gaza. Collectively, Iran and its allies are known as the Axis of Resistance.There is no evidence that Iran supplied the weapons to the militants who killed the three American troops. Iran contends that each resistance member possesses its own agency and decision-making.

By contrast, however, the supply of American and other NATO weaponry to the Kiev regime is publicly recorded. It is estimated that the West has funded Ukraine with a total of $200 billion since the proxy war against Russia erupted in February 2022. About half of that has been spent on weapons that include long-range missiles such as Patriot, Shadow Storm, Scalp and Iris-T systems. British and French cruise missiles have been repeatedly used to hit pre-war Russian territory such as Belgorod resulting in dozens of civilian deaths. The strike on the IL-76 transport plane is believed to have been carried out with Western-supplied weapons. Russian crash investigators have this week confirmed earlier claims that the cargo plane was shot down with a NATO weapon, either a U.S.-made Patriot missile system or a German Iris-T surface-to-air missile.

When the IL-76 was blown out of the sky on January 24 over Russia’s Belgorod region, Russian radars detected the launch of two anti-aircraft warheads nearly 100 kilometers away from the target. The missiles were allegedly fired from the location of Liptsy in Ukraine’s eastern Kharkov province. It is believed that only NATO-supplied weapons to the Ukrainian forces could have achieved that extensive range.At the time of the IL-76 shoot-down, the Kremlin said that if it confirmed that Western weapons were responsible then Russia would deem the West to be complicit in the crime. On January 26, Russian First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky said: “According to preliminary investigation, Ukrainian armed forces carried out this terrorist attack using an anti-aircraft missile system. The missiles were launched from the village of Liptsy in Kharkov region.”

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“..despite all the aid that has been sent to Ukraine, which he estimated to be over $200 billion, the army itself is woefully ill-equipped for battle..”

Ukraine’s ‘Failed State’ Status (DeMartino)

Earlier this week, Ukraine’s security service announced that five Ukrainians, including the current head of a department in Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, had been served with notices of suspicion related to the embezzlement of nearly $40 million that was supposed to be spent on artillery shells.The news was the latest in a consistent pattern of fraud and corruption being reported in Ukraine since Russia’s special military operation began nearly two years ago. Former Ukrainian ambassador and whistleblower Andrii Telizhenko told Sputnik’s Fault Lines that corruption is rife in Kiev and is only getting worse. “So this whole scheme of $40 million is just a small little example,” Telizhenko explained. “Ukraine became a failed state,” Telizhenko said, “because of the corruption and because Ukraine was sold off to the people inside Ukraine, was sold off to its Western allies, and people in Ukraine are suffering from this.”

Telizhenko noted that despite all the aid that has been sent to Ukraine, which he estimated to be over $200 billion, the army itself is woefully ill-equipped for battle. “People are still collecting money to buy medical kits and drones for the soldiers,” Telizhenko said. “[This is] what is happening in Ukraine, total corruption.” Telizhenko noted that there was another case in which more than $1 billion worth of military equipment that the US Department of Defense authorized to be sent to Ukraine never arrived and the DoD was unable to locate them. “So this is a great example where equipment is being lost for billions of dollars, equipment is not being made for hundreds of millions of dollars, and it’s all being stolen by the Kiev regime, and I think, with the help of the deep state government in Washington.”The actions by Ukrainian authorities to arrest those involved in the motor scandal are token gestures, says Telizhenko,“It’s all a big show.”The corruption in Ukraine has always been there but grew exponentially after the West began meddling in Ukrainian affairs, he explained.

“Corruption, which was inside Ukraine, which [already] was pretty big, but then it came from the outside, from people like [US President Joe] Biden in Washington, the deep state, which said, ‘Oh, why [don’t] we also make money on this together with the Ukrainian politicians?’” Telizhenko blasted the Ukrainian officials calling them “hypocrites” and “so-called patriots.” The corruption is so entrenched, Telizhenko said, that it will take more than the removal of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to root it out.“It [is] coming to a situation where a change of government in Washington, DC, a change of national policy issues in Washington, people like [Former US President Donald] Trump [could] come in,” Telizhenko explained. “He spoke about making peace in 24 hours, that’s a possibility.” “The end game… for Ukraine is to have a new government inside Ukraine and to see what government comes from Washington, maybe that will give some stability in the world,” he concluded.

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“..we see how the [countries in the union are] going really down the slope and nobody’s stopping it..”

Mass European Farmer Protests Blowback for Ukraine Support (Sp.)

After farmers blocked highways leading into Paris last week, farmers from several other European countries have followed suit, protesting against their countries’ dropping of fuel subsidies, green regulations and dropping sale prices. Veteran war correspondent Elijah Magnier told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Wednesday that the root causes of the protests stem from Europe’s decision “to follow the United States policy and join the war against Russia.”
“We shot ourselves in the foot, basically that’s very soft – we shot ourselves in the head and now we are paying the price,” Magnier said. He noted how everything from energy to consumer food prices has skyrocketed in Europe, but that has not caused European leaders to change course. “Now, they are attacking the heart of Europe that are the farmers … they can no longer stand on their feet with the difference of prices, with the increase of price [for consumers and] the lower price that the markets are buying off of them.”

Co-host Jamarl Thomas asked Magnier what demands the farmers have. Magnier replied that they want protection from cheap products coming out of Ukraine, subsidies on diesel fuel to be reinstated, the rollback of European Green New Deal regulations that limit when and what crops are allowed to be planted and a fair price from the supermarket that matches the cost of living increases in Europe. Part of the issue, says Magnier is that the EU hamstrings what the individual countries’ leaders can do to respond to their population. “It’s a serious issue today in Europe, where the European leaders are no longer able to rule Europe as it used to be, and we see how the [countries in the union are] going really down the slope and nobody’s stopping it,” Magnier explained.

In particular, Magnier explained, farmers are angry that they have to follow the new regulations but Ukraine is allowed to skirt them under the guise that they are at war. “When you say ‘you cannot plant this kind of vegetable at this particular time of the year because of the CO2 and because of the climate change and because we need to transform Europe into a green environment,’” Magnier explained. “You cannot [also] say, ‘Okay, this is applicable only on the Europeans [with] the exception of Ukraine,’ that doesn’t go, it doesn’t work. “The farmers today are waking up [to] the consequences of the Ukrainian conflict and they are saying ‘we have to be completely detached from what is happening in Ukraine because this is not our war,’” he added. Instead of fighting with the farmers, Magnier said he believes the EU should at least pause the Green New Deal regulations until after the conflict in Ukraine is over and talk to the farmers about what they need and can accommodate, but he noted that trust between the two parties has already been severed.

“So what [European Commission President] Ursula von der Leyen is saying is, ‘Well, I’m ready to talk to you to see what we need and how we can work together.’ But it is too late. [The EU should] stop all [their] procedures and say, ‘let us talk.’ But you don’t negotiate with the knife at the throat of the farmers saying, ‘Well, now I have to think what I can lift, what I cannot lift.'” “If the leaders in Brussels don’t start talking and listening to the farmers, they cannot achieve their [Green New Deal] plan, so the plan is unachievable,” he added.

Dutch farmer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1753176829169398094

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Vault 7. “..Schulte had helped create the hacking tools that he later exposed to WikiLeaks..”

CIA Staffer Sentenced To 40 Years For Leaking US Hacking Secrets (RT)

A former CIA software engineer who embarrassed his employer by allegedy giving a massive trove of classified information to WikiLeaks has been sentenced to 40 years in prison by a New York judge. US District Court Judge Jesse Furman handed down the sentence against Joshua Schulte on Thursday, falling short of the life prison term that federal prosecutors had requested. Schulte, who was accused of carrying out the largest theft of US secrets in the CIA’s history, was convicted on charges of espionage, computer hacking, contempt of court, making false statements to the FBI, and possessing child pornography. Schulte, 35, was allegedly the source behind the so-called Vault 7 release by WikiLeaks in 2017, which exposed the methods used by the CIA to hack smartphones and other devices.

The bombshell report exposed how the US spied on foreign governments, terrorism suspects and other targets, creating a major embarrassment for Washington’s intelligence agencies. It also reportedly triggered a secret CIA plot to kidnap or assassinate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Prior to his arrest in 2018, Schulte had helped create the hacking tools that he later exposed to WikiLeaks. The CIA tactics included efforts to turn so-called smart TVs – televisions with online connectivity – into listening devices. Prosecutors claimed he was behind “the most damaging disclosures of classified information in American history.”Schulte argued during his July 2022 trial that the CIA and FBI were making him a scapegoat for a humiliating leak of data that could have been stolen by hundreds of other people. He claimed, too, that he had no motive to carry out such a leak.

During Thursday’s sentencing hearing, he complained of horrible conditions in his New York jail cell, which he called a “torture cage,” and he said prosecutors were seeking “vengeance” after previously offering him a plea bargain calling for a 10-year prison sentence. Furman found that Schulte was motivated by “anger, spite and perceived grievance” against his CIA bosses after they ignored his complaints about working conditions. After being jailed in 2018, the ex-programmer continued trying to leak classified materials in what prosecutors called an “information war” with the US government, the judge said.

While executing a search warrant in the espionage case, FBI investigators allegedly found an encrypted cache of more than 3,000 images and videos depicting child sexual abuse on Schulte’s home computer, according to prosecutors. More than six years of his 40-year prison sentence stemmed from the pornography charges. Although Furman didn’t grant the request by the US Department of Justice to imprison Schulte for life, he did agree to apply a “terrorism enhancement,” a legal provision that allows harsher sentences for terrorism-related offenses. Assange, who has been jailed in London since 2019 while fighting extradition to the US, faces up to 175 years in prison on 17 espionage charges.

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Waters is 80 years old and doing massive sold out shows all the time. He’ll be fine.

Roger Waters Faces Axe by Record Label Over Defiant Israel Stance (Sp.)

Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) is reportedly planning to axe its 2016 publishing deal with 80-year-old rock legend Roger Waters over his “inflammatory comments” on the crises in Israel and Ukraine, and his outspoken criticism of the United States. Sources told entertainment magazine Variety that the Germany-based record giant is getting ready to take the radical step to “separate entirely” from Waters. Ordinarily, publishing deals are generally allowed to expire without renewal instead of being prematurely ended. Waters mentioned being “fired” by BMG in an interview with independent journalist Glenn Greenwald late last year, citing pressure from Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League pro-Israeli lobbying group, over his outspoken position on the conflict in Gaza.

“Bertelsmann’s, did they say ‘F*ck you Jonathan Greenblatt, we’re a proper company and this is a great artist and we have his publishing and we supported him and he makes great records’? No, they didn’t. They went ‘ok’ and they fired me, boom!” Waters recalled, accusing Greenblatt of falsely labeling him an “anti-Semite” and threatening to “remind the public” that BGM “collaborated with the Nazis in World War II” to push the label to axe him. After the October 7 escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli crisis, Waters, a longtime self-professed pro-Palestinian peace activist, accused Israel of “committing genocide” and suggested that “its leaders and any Western leaders who support it should be prosecuted under the Genocide Convention.”

On Ukraine, Waters was invited by Russia to speak at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council last February, where he condemned all sides in the conflict but emphasized that Russia’s special military operation was “not unprovoked” and the “provocateurs” must be condemned “in the strongest possible terms.” Waters’ nuanced stance on the Ukrainian crisis led his name to be placed on a notorious ‘kill list’ website linked to the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs. Consistently speaking out against the suspected crimes of the UK government as a “willing accomplice and satellite of the American Empire,” Rogers has decried the “US Empire” as “the most evil of all by a factor of at least ten times.”

Waters’ future with BGM was called into question last year. After being appointed CEO of BMG last July, record industry big whig Thomas Coesfeld unilaterally canceled the release of a new 50th anniversary recording of Dark Side of the Moon, the legendary album which propelled Pink Floyd and Waters to international stardom in 1973. The album wound up being released by independent UK-based publisher Cooking Vinyl Publishing instead. Waters was Pink Floyd’s lead lyricist, co-lead vocalist and band leader between 1968 and 1985. He was inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005, and has often been characterized as one of the top rock singer-songwriters of all time.

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Steele belongs in jail. But he has protection.

UK High Court Throws Out Trump’s Christopher Steele Case (BBC)

Donald Trump’s attempt to bring a case in the UK courts against a former MI6 officer who wrote a salacious dossier linking him to Russia has failed. The former president had been seeking to use data protection laws to sue Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, the company run by Christopher Steele. Mr Steele compiled the dossier which had unproven allegations about bribing officials and sex parties. It was leaked to the media just before Mr Trump was sworn in as president. In bringing the lawsuit, he said the dossier contained allegations that were inaccurate and breached his data protection rights. A ruling on Thursday by the High Court in London threw out the case. Mrs Justice Steyn DBE said she did not make any judgement on the allegations themselves but found Mr Trump’s claim had not been brought within the six-year limitation period.

“There are no compelling reasons to allow the claim to proceed to trial,” she wrote. A statement is expected from Mr Steele later today. The case stems from 2016, when a US political consultancy asked Mr Steele’s company to produce a report into potential Russian interference in that year’s US general election. The project was paid for by Hillary Clinton’s Democrats and other political opponents of Mr Trump. Mr Steele, the former head of MI6’s Russia desk, sent his findings to the FBI, a British national security officer and an aide to a senior US senator. The dossier, later obtained and published by BuzzFeed News, detailed uncorroborated intelligence claims that Mr Trump had a “compromising relationship with the Kremlin”.

The former president said in his witness statement when he brought the case last year that “none of these things [in the Steele dossier] ever happened.” “I can confirm that I did not, at any time engage in perverted sexual behaviour including the hiring of prostitutes to engage in ‘golden showers’ in the presidential suite of a hotel in Moscow.” Mr Trump said official investigations had debunked the dossier but it continued “to cause me significant damage and distress” because people still believed it. He added that he had not had time to sue in the UK before 2023 because he had been busy being president. Antony White KC, for Orbis, told the court in October that Mr Trump had accepted that the company was not responsible for BuzzFeed’s publication of the document.

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X thread that Musk labeled “interesting”.

“Elon Musk paid more income tax than anyone ever in the history of Earth back in 2021. He paid over $11 billion in taxes.”

Interesting – Elon Musk (Kanekoa)

Judge Kathaleen McCormick rescinded Elon Musk’s $55 billion Tesla compensation package, overturning the company’s board and 80% of its shareholders. McCormick also ruled against @elonmusk during his Twitter acquisition. Before becoming the head of the Delaware Chancery Court, McCormick worked at a Delaware law firm called Young Conaway. This firm and its employees have been major donors to President Joe Biden for decades. In 2016, Hunter Biden hosted a gubernatorial campaign event for Congressman John Carney, with then-Vice President Joe Biden as the guest speaker. This event took place at the Law Offices of Young Conaway in Wilmington, Delaware. Carney, a close friend of Joe Biden for the last four decades, later became governor and nominated Kathaleen McCormick, a partner at Young Conaway, to her position on the Delaware Chancery Court.

In a March 2018 email, Hunter Biden claimed to personally know every judge on the Delaware Chancery Court while threatening legal action against his Chinese business partners. “I will bring the suit in the Chancery court in Delaware – which as you know is my home state and I am privileged to have worked with and know every judge on the chancery court.” After Elon Musk purchased Twitter with the stated goal of restoring free-speech, President Biden called for a federal investigation into Musk on the podium at the White House. Following this, the Biden Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Federal Trade Commission initiated legal actions and investigations against Tesla, SpaceX, and X. This recent decision by Judge McCormick, who worked with Biden’s top donors and was nominated by Biden’s close friend, to override Tesla’s board and the majority of its shareholders is another clear example of the Biden administration and its allies weaponizing the American legal system against their political opponents.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Assange

 

 

 

 

Brahman
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752804731859218932

 

 

Treat

 

 

Disabled
https://twitter.com/i/status/1753069487925190827

 

 

Tiny
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752811211866116527

 

 

Mandarin

 

 

Ears
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752788518420840805

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 152024
 
 January 15, 2024  Posted by at 9:17 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  54 Responses »


Salvador Dalí The discovery of America by Christopher Columbus 1959

 

There is Hope After All (Paul Craig Roberts)
We Are Witnessing The Final Downfall Of The West (Emmanuel Todd)
The End of Global Leadership (Patrick Lawrence)
After 100 Days, Netanyahu Vows To Continue Gaza Killing (Cradle)
Western Strikes On Houthis Mostly Failed – NYT (RT)
Egypt’s Suez Canal Revenues Plunge (RT)
Political Survival Now Netanyahu’s ‘Real Objective’ (Sp.)
Ukrainian Army Mostly ‘Very Old Men’ – Commander (RT)
Why Did West Put Ukraine Funding Onto Back Burner? (Sp.)
Germany Unsure Where Its Ukraine Weapons Went – Der Spiegel (RT)
No Peace Without Russia – Swiss Foreign Minister (RT)
Fani Willis Says Accusations Of Affair With Trump Prosecutor Are Racist (NYP)
NBC News Admits ‘Deep State’ Exists… To Save Us From Trump’s Return (ZH)
Dems Hatch “Republicans For A Day” Scheme To Boost Haley Vs. Trump In Iowa (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Vivek
https://twitter.com/i/status/1746566676026393079

 

 

 

 

David Martin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jane Doe 3
https://twitter.com/i/status/1746716708738404421

 

 

Assad

 

 

 

 

“The West is going down in flames. Don’t be discouraged by the collapse of evil. Be encouraged. The collapse of evil brings the opportunity for renewal.”

There is Hope After All (Paul Craig Roberts)

From time to time I receive a message from a reader that he or she has been reading my analyses for years, is convinced that what we have known as Western civilization is in collapse, but wishes to see some hope. What can we do to resurrect our civilization, integrity, moral behavior, and respect for truth? My position has been that nothing can be done unless the people are aware of their plight. My job is to bring awareness. Nothing can be done until the people seek awareness and become aware. As long as the media and official narratives keep people in The Matrix, nothing can be done. Movies such as V for Vendetta and The Matrix have made this clear. But today I bring you good news. After a conversation with a friend today, I can tell you that it is in the collapse of the system where hope resides. As every aspect of the system is corrupt, collapse is the corrective. The ruling elites have miscalculated. By bringing about the collapse, the elites are collapsing their own power.

Collapse brings reset, not the World Economic Forum’s, but the peoples’ reset. The people have the numbers, not the elites, who are diminished by fights among themselves. As their power shrinks from their miscalculations, their power diminishes. The elites know this, which is why they are trying to kill us with “vaccines,” “pandemics,” and the destruction of our food supply in the name of “saving the planet from global warming.” The only way humans can destroy planet Earth is through nuclear war, which seems to be the goal of US/Israeli neoconservatives, such as Robert Kagan and Victoria Nuland. Why is there hope in collapse of the accumulated evil? Because it clears the agenda. What can you do to survive the collapse? Arm yourselves. Create organizations of family, friends, community, county, and elevate them into state alliances against the anti-American woke, the anti-American neoconservatives, the anti-American Democrats, and your deadly anti-American enemy in Washington. Secession of the red states is possible.

It is the blue states that are the reservoirs of anti-American hatred. These states are a far more dangerous enemy to Americans than Russians, Chinese, Iranians, Hamas, and Houthis in Yemen. Yet we hear from the whore media nothing of the real threat, only the make-believe threat to America from the designated enemies of Zionist Israel’s expansion from the Nile to the Euphrates. Except for the Houthis and Hamas, the Muslim rulers are too content accepting bribes from Washington to do anything about the US/Israeli genocide of the Palestinians. Other than the Houthis, the entire Muslim world could be in the dock, with Israel and the West, at the International Court of Justice. One consequence could be the collapse of American/Israeli power in the Middle East. Arab power collapsed long ago. But American power has failed to take its place.

After a 20-year effort, the American “superpower” was defeated and driven out of Afghanistan by a few thousand lightly armed Taliban, who again rule the country, just as happened in Vietnam where endless US bombing only ensured the Vietcong’s victory. It is the Houthis and Iranians who are likely to control the sea lanes in the territory under attack, not Washington, unless the Houthis and Iranins accept being paid off. None of this works for the anti-American, anti-nation, anti-national sovereignty, anti-white civilization ruling elite of Washington. The ruling anti-western white elites hate America, national sovereignty, and human liberty far more than they hate their self-chosen foreign enemies chosen for profit and control reasons. The US Constitution is in the way of their dictatorship more than are the Houthis.The West is going down in flames. Don’t be discouraged by the collapse of evil. Be encouraged. The collapse of evil brings the opportunity for renewal.

Read more …

X thread by Emmanuel Hemmerlé.

“The American ruling class is devoid of morality, it has no more religion, all that remains with it is an obsession with money and war and a kind of enjoyment at creating a mess all over the world.”

We Are Witnessing The Final Downfall Of The West (Emmanuel Todd)

Emmanuel Todd is a prominent and brilliant French intellectual: a historian, a demographer, and an anthropologist. He is one of France’s last independent thinkers, a category that has become a rarity… while we used to have so many. He has just published a new book: “The Defeat of the West”. In it, he proposes a dispassionate analysis of the world’s geopolitical scene, laying out facts without taking moral stances. In Todd’s assessment, the disappearance of American Protestantism is the key factor in the fall of the West. This fall of the Protestant religion in America has given rise to this new American ideology reigning over the whole Western space: Nihilism. This is the central concept of the book. This Nihilism is both the trigger of the West’s final downfall and the driving force behind the West’s renewed violent imperialism. Here are some of his quotes from interviews he has given over the last couple days:

“My book is basically a sequel to Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. On the eve of the 1914 war, he rightly believed that the rise of the West was at its heart the rise of the Protestant world – England, the United States, Germany unified by Prussia, Scandinavia. France’s luck was to be geographically glued to the leading pack. Protestantism had produced a high level of education, unprecedented in human history, universal literacy, because it required that every believer should be able to read the Holy Scriptures for himself. In addition, the fear of damnation and the need to feel chosen by God induced a work ethic, a strong individual and collective morality. On the negative side, there were some of the worst forms of racism that ever existed – anti-black in the United States or anti-Jewish in Germany – since, with its conceptual dichotomy of “Chosen by God” and “Damned by God”, Protestantism renounced the Catholic principle of equality between all people.”

“Today, symmetrically, the recent collapse of Protestantism in the U.S. has set in motion an intellectual decline, a disappearance of work ethic, and its substitution by mass greed (official name: neoliberalism). After the rise of the West comes its downfall. This analysis of the religious element does not denote any nostalgia or moralizing lamentation in me: it is a historical observation.” “I emphasize the industrial deficiency of the United States with the revelation of the fictitious nature of the American GDP. I deflate this GDP and show the root causes of industrial decline: the inadequacy of engineering training and more generally the decline in educational levels. The US GDP is a bubble.” s”The fixation of the Western middle classes on transgenderism raises a sociological and historical question. To constitute in the social horizon the idea that a man can really become a woman and a woman a man is to affirm something biologically impossible, it is to deny the reality of the world, it is to affirm the false.”

“Trans ideology is, therefore, in my opinion, one of the flags of this nihilism that now defines the West, this drive to destroy, not just things and humans but reality.” “The collapse of Protestantism in the United States has caused a decline in the level of education.” “The disappearance of religion: Americans don’t go to church anymore, they don’t believe in God anymore.” “There is a powerful nihilistic impulse in the US: the search for war and violence. This is a lost society without meaning, that provokes or fans conflicts everywhere in the world.” “Something important has happened in the West : the transition from liberal democracy to liberal oligarchy.”

“France does not exist because it is now aligned with the United States.” “The Americans’ obsession is to prevent the cooperation between Germany and Russia. This is American leaders’ terror. But it’s going to fail because the West is going to lose. It’s reality that’s going to win.” “The best thing that could happen to Europe is the retreat of the US.” “The West is on an aggressive trajectory.” “The American ruling class is devoid of morality, it has no more religion, all that remains with it is an obsession with money and war and a kind of enjoyment at creating a mess all over the world.”

Read more …

“..the apartheid state, as it exposes its own grotesquerie, also exposes the West’s centuries of sins..”

The End of Global Leadership (Patrick Lawrence)

There are many photographs of President Biden floating around these days. Maybe it is because, even allowing for his physical decline and his mental incompetence, his minders can no longer keep him so thoroughly out of sight as this, an election year, begins. The picture I am thinking of, carried by the BBC, is a video frame shot at Biden’s Valley Forge speech last week. That was his first outing as he seeks reelection next November. And there are Joe Biden and First Lady Jill—excuse me, Dr. Jill—standing before the usual prop on such occasions, an immense American flag. Joe smiles out from a mask-like face, blank with what looks like bewilderment. Dr. Jill smiles, too—a frozen smile, but one that suggests she is at least aware of what is going on. Dr. Jill waves, left arm hoisted high. The two are holding hands. What is it about this image, among so many others, that causes it to linger in my mind? I conclude it was the utter emptiness of the poses and the gestures. I have seen few photographs of prominent pols, and in this case the spouse, so abjectly devoid of sincerity and authenticity.

It has something to do with the moment, too. This is a president who has supplied and financed a proxy war in Ukraine that has failed after killing scores of thousands of soldiers and displacing millions more. This is a president who now sponsors a genocide in Gaza as the world watches in real time—a genocide, do you hear me? This president’s signature project—America will lead democratic nations in a crusade against the world’s authoritarians—is virtually nowhere taken seriously. This is a man who presides with imperial distance over a republic that has tumbled into spiritual and social collapse and extreme economic inequality, all the while displaying more or less complete indifference to this national plight. This is a president facing articles of impeachment based on plentiful evidence that he participated in the influence-peddling schemes of his son and brother.

This is a man who is smiling. At the end of the video Dr. Jill has to lead President Joe off the stage. He does not stop smiling as she does so. I suppose the intent is to encourage as many Americans as possible to assume—to assume without thinking too much—all goes swimmingly as 2024 begins, the outlook altogether hunky-dory. My read of the Valley Forge image is upside down to this. I find the president and First Lady’s fixed expressions, and their evident determination that they must not betray any of what lies behind the smiles, frightening. This is what “victory culture” looks like when it is videoed or photographed, to borrow Tom Engelhardt’s very useful phrase. When Tom published The End of Victory Culture in 1995, he thought he had written the epitaph for the peculiarly American preference for the illusion of never-ending “wins,” success everywhere one looks. He knows better now, as a revised edition of this fine book makes clear. If I find the image of Joe and Dr. Jill Biden at Valley Forge frightening, I also find it dangerous. And I may as well add, I find it abusive.

This is a time of many defeats for America and Americans. There is the list noted above. The war in Ukraine is out-and-out lost no matter how long and perversely the U.S. and its clients continue wasting lives and money to avoid this truth. The Israelis will prevail on the ground in Gaza, as argued recently in this space, but Israel and America have already lost big, very big, if we think in strategic terms rather than tactically. The Gaza crisis, in turn, has further shredded the social and political fabric at home. Federal and state legislatures, the courts, the universities, the media, rights of assembly and free speech: How far will America go until it recognizes that U.S. support for an out-of-control Zionist state is damage America inflicts on itself?

I look now to a defeat greater than all of these. Ours is a passage in history that, however difficult it is, we must recognize for its sheer magnitude. It was a long time coming, but the pathological savagery of the Israelis as they exterminate the Palestinians of Gaza announces the end of any claim America and the West altogether have to global leadership on any kind of moral basis, legal basis, or any assumption that the West possesses superior ideals, principles of government, or what have you. Israel’s genocide, we had better acknowledge, has many antecedents. In this way the apartheid state, as it exposes its own grotesquerie, also exposes the West’s centuries of sins.

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“..the war is turning out to be a bloody slog that is demonstrating the limits of Israeli military capabilities—and the sophistication of Hamas’s underground defense network.”

After 100 Days, Netanyahu Vows To Continue Gaza Killing (Cradle)

In a speech on 13 January, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin said not even the International Court of Justice in The Hague would stop Israel from continuing its war on Gaza, which has killed some 23,900 Palestinians, including 10,000 children, so far. “No one will stop us — not The Hague, not the Axis of Evil, and no one else. It is possible and necessary to continue until victory, and we will do it,” Netanyahu told a televised press conference marking day 100 of the war. Earlier this week, South Africa brought a case against Israel for breach of the UN Genocide Convention, of which Tel Aviv is a signatory. South Africa is hoping the court will issue a temporary injunction demanding Israel halt its bombing and ground campaign that has seen 65,000 tons of munitions dropped on Gaza, leaving large areas in its cities and refugee camps appearing as “moonscapes” and many dead under the rubble.

Netanyahu accused South Africa of supporting “baby burners,” though Israel has not provided any evidence Hamas committed such crimes. Instead, evidence continues to emerge that the Israeli forces burned many of their own civilians to death during Operation Al-Aqsa Flood by responding to the attack by Hamas’ Qassam Brigades using helicopter and tank fire. Israel issued the “Hannibal Directive” to kill Israeli civilians and soldiers rather than let them be taken captive by fighters from Hamas’ military wing, the Qassam Brigades, to exchange for Palestinians held captive in Israel. The Israeli premier claimed that the war on Gaza had already “eliminated most of the Hamas battalions.” However, The Wall Street Journal noted on 14 January that Netanyahu has not achieved the goals he declared at the beginning of the war, including destroying Hamas, ending its control of Gaza, and freeing Israeli captives taken on 7 October.

Instead, “the war is turning out to be a bloody slog that is demonstrating the limits of Israeli military capabilities—and the sophistication of Hamas’s underground defense network.” “The Israeli military is still seeking to find and destroy tunnels where Hamas’s leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, and others are believed to be hiding,” the paper added. In his speech, Netanyahu told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier this week, “This is not only our war, this is also your war.” As Al-Mayadeen noted, Tel Aviv is deeply dependent on Washington, which has played a vital role in the war to support the killing. Israel’s Channel 12 reported on 26 December that 244 US transport planes and 20 ships had delivered over 10,000 tons of armaments and military equipment to Israel since 7 October.

According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the Biden administration cleared a potential $147.5 million foreign military sale of M107 155mm artillery shells and supporting equipment to Israel on December 30. Israel is also relying on US naval forces to target Yemen’s Ansarallah-led armed forces, who have been targeting Israeli-linked commercial ships traveling through the Red Sea. Ansarallah seeks to blockade and punish Israel for what the resistance group views as the genocide in Gaza. But Israeli leaders are hoping for additional US help to expand the war to Lebanon to confront the most important Axis of Resistance member, Hezbollah

Live genocide

Read more …

Ask the Saudis how hard it is.

Western Strikes On Houthis Mostly Failed – NYT (RT)

The US-led strikes on alleged positions of Houthi militias in Yemen have failed to significantly weaken their military potential and prevent them from further attacks on shipping routes in the Red Sea, the New York Times reported on Saturday, citing sources. According to the first assessment of Friday’s barrage cited by the paper, the attacks successfully hit 90% of designated targets. However, two US officials suggested that while the strikes had destroyed or damaged more than 60 drone and missile sites with more than 150 munitions, the Houthis still retained about 70-80% of their military capability. The article added that some of the militia’s assets are also mobile, meaning they could be hidden if necessary.

Meanwhile, The Times noted that locating Houthi targets is proving more difficult than expected, as Western efforts picked up steam only after the start of the Hamas-Israel conflict on October 7. The Houthis, who control most of Yemen, have rallied to the support of the Palestinian armed group, attacking both Israeli targets and what they describe as Israeli-linked ships in the region in recent weeks. US officials interviewed by the NYT have suggested that Washington may launch another barrage on Houthi targets after it analyzes the damage from the recent strikes. The outlet’s sources also noted that while the militia’s response to the Western attack has so far been muted, they are bracing for a Houthi retaliation.

The US and UK launched what they called “defensive” strikes against the Houthis in the early hours of Friday morning, backed by Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands, with President Joe Biden declaring them a success and accusing the militia of “endangering freedom of navigation”. According to Reuters, the barrage has caused mixed reactions in the EU, where several members would have preferred a calmer policy towards the security crisis in the Middle East. Meanwhile, Moscow has called the strikes “illegal,” noting that they had violated the UN Charter. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has also suggested that the latest development risks derailing the Yemen reconciliation process and triggering a “destabilization of the entire Middle East.”

Read more …

“Egypt’s Suez Canal saw a 40% year-on-year decline in the first eleven days of 2024..”

Egypt’s Suez Canal Revenues Plunge (RT)

Revenues generated by Egypt’s Suez Canal saw a 40% year-on-year decline in the first eleven days of 2024, canal authority head Osama Rabie said earlier this week. Ship traffic through the maritime artery connecting the Mediterranean and the Red Sea dropped 30% between January 1 and January 11 compared to the same period a year prior, the official noted, speaking on a talk show Thursday night. According to Rabie, the number of ships that have moved through the Suez Canal fell to 544 in the first eleven days of the current year compared to 777 in the equivalent period of 2023. He pointed out that the period of cargo transportation has increased by at least two weeks while costs for the delivery of goods and insurance were also growing.

“The Cape of Good Hope is not a valid and safe route for ships to cross at this time, especially in light of bad weather and the long duration of the crossing,” the official said, adding that navigating around the African continent adds up to 15 days compared to passing through the Suez Canal. The canal is a major source of foreign currency for Egypt. In recent years, the country’s government has been trying hard to increase revenues generated by allowing commercial vessels through it. The route was expanded in 2015, with further enlargement underway. In June, Egypt’s Suez Canal posted an all-time high annual revenue of $9.4 billion in the fiscal year 2022-2023, up from $7 billion recorded a year earlier.

Back then, 25,887 ships carrying 1.5 billion tons of cargo passed through the route, marking the highest amount on record. However, at the end of last year, cargo traffic through one of the world’s vital trade arteries dropped 28% due to the attacks carried out by Yemen-based Houthis against commercial ships in the Red Sea. The assaults became more frequent after the rebels instituted a de facto blockade through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. They have been attacking vessels thought to be linked to Israel in what they say is a show of solidarity with the Palestinians following the escalation of hostilities in Gaza.

Read more …

“..the real objective of Netanyahu and his government is political survival. The victory, per se, is very far.”

Political Survival Now Netanyahu’s ‘Real Objective’ (Sp.)

Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip in response to Hamas’ attacks on October 7 has essentially devolved into a bloody quagmire. It remains unclear how exactly it might end. While Israeli forces continue to battle Palestinian militants amid the ruins of the Gaza Strip, Tel Aviv’s stated goal of destroying Hamas appears to be far from accomplished, even as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasts that not even International Court of Justice will prevent Israel’s triumph. Commenting on the current situation, Beirut-based scholar and analyst specializing in the Middle East Dr. Lorenzo Trombetta pointed out to Sputnik that now, 100 days after the launch of Israel’s invasion, “it is clear to many Israelis, and perhaps also to Netanyahu and his ministers, that this achievement” – the destruction of Hamas – “is far from being obtained.”

According to Dr. Trombetta, Israeli “military operations on the ground and their airstrikes will continue in the Gaza Strip and in various areas of the region.” “And the victory won’t be something that won’t concern the present in the endgame, the narrative, aim of Netanyahu this victory be something concerning the future,” he remarked. “But between the victory and today, for Netanyahu, that is the political survival. I think the real objective of Netanyahu and his government is political survival. The victory, per se, is very far.” As for what victory might look like for the denizens of the Palestinian strip, Trombetta suggested that a “Hamas victory could be its survival after the October 7 offensive and after so many months, and perhaps because the war would continue, if Hamas will continue to survive and we could have a physical presence in the Gaza Strip, this could be a victory, of course, and this will be claimed as a victory.”

“But for the Palestinian society, it could be seen in another way,” he added. He branded as unrealistic the scenario in which the Israeli military assumes “full control of the Gaza Strip” or where Egypt and other Arab states manage to “exert that control” over the area. “So as far as things are going in this direction, I think that at the end of the day, there would be a sort of truce between Hamas and Israel and Hamas would continue to have a physical presence in Gaza Strip with huge humanitarian aid for basic reconstruction, at least for basic services in some parts of the Strip, where Israel could maintain some partial control of key areas,” Trombetta speculated. “A sort of mixed control between Hamas and Israel, mainly Israel on the internal borders of the Gaza Strip while Hamas can retain some key hotspot here and there.”

He also said it is unlikely that the Gaza Strip would receive some “new legal status” in the near “foreseeable future,” and that he thinks “from now to one year and half of two years, we will see a de facto hybrid scenario in Gaza Strip, something that is resembled to after post-conflict settlement, but not really something that will last the many years.” Regarding the recent escalation in the Red Sea, Trombetta noted that the US-UK strikes on Houthi position in Yemen “didn’t calm down the situation,” achieving the opposite result instead. “It will get worse and worse, because the Houthis will continue to fire, the Anglo-US leading Western coalition will continue to retaliate or to strike Houthi positions and there will not be any truce among parties because the Houthi are very well determined to be present in this conflict, to say, hey, we are here, we want to say our word, we, we want to show our support to Gaza and our other friends, to the axis of resistance,” he predicted.

Nap Sachs

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“..the average age of a soldier is way over 40 years old..”

Ukrainian Army Mostly ‘Very Old Men’ – Commander (RT)

The Ukrainian Armed Forces are in dire need of younger recruits because the average age of a soldier is way over 40 years old, said Alexey Tarasenko, commander of the 5th Assault Brigade. Speaking to Espresso TV on Sunday, Tarasenko said that it is “outlandish and perplexing” to hear that some people doubt the need for additional mobilization. “The military is eagerly waiting for fresh reinforcements because the situation in many units is critical in terms of personnel,” the commander lamented. “Even those who do come often leave much to be desired. Mostly, these are men of a much older age with a multitude of problems that typically arise [at that age].”

The military desperately needs “young men” because those who joined the army at the very beginning of the conflict are mostly “gone,” he said, adding the average age of soldiers is above 40. Tarasenko’s remarks came after Ukraine’s parliament – the Verkhovna Rada – asked the government for additional revisions of the much-debated bill that would expand the pool of men available for conscription. The proposed legislation would lower the maximum draft age from 27 to 25, limit deferrals, and increase penalties for draft dodgers. The critics have argued that the bill contains provisions that violate the constitution and pave a way for corruption. Last month, President Vladimir Zelensky revealed that the army had requested to mobilize between 450,000 and 500,000 people. Valery Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s top general, however, denied that the military asked for a specific number of new fighters.

Nevertheless, the situation prompted the authorities to consider different options for replenishing battlefield losses, including the introduction of electronic call-up papers, and to explore the conscription of women. The governor of Nikolaev region, Valery Kim, warned at the time that conscripting half a million people “is not enough” and Ukraine needs to enlist at least two million. Ukraine does not reveal its casualty numbers. According to Russia’s estimates, some 400,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed or wounded during the conflict, including 125,000 over the course of Kiev’s failed counteroffensive between early June and late November.

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“.. the escalation in Yemen after US and UK strikes on the Houthis is “more important for the West now, because commercial shipping is at risk.”

Why Did West Put Ukraine Funding Onto Back Burner? (Sp.)

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Thursday that US assistance for Ukraine “has now ground to a halt.” “While the US would like to sustain the war in Ukraine, because none of its objectives have been met, Washington can see the Ukraine conflict is unwinnable and Russia has the upper hand strategically,” Anuradha Chenoy, a retired professor and dean of the School of International Studies at the New Delhi-based Jawaharlal Nehru University, told Sputnik. She added that Ukraine is “now on the back burner of the Western mindset,” and that the escalation in Yemen after US and UK strikes on the Houthis is “more important for the West now, because commercial shipping is at risk.” This is a “creeping escalation of a regional war,” which Chenoy stressed no one doesn’t want to see because “it can really damage the global economy” and negatively impact oil and other commodities.

“If this war escalates it will be dangerous economically and militarily with global impacts,” she warned. As for Global South nations, Chenoy went on, they are especially up in arms against “any other war” because they all face “developmental challenges and internal issues that they have to concentrate on; many countries are indebted, many have their own conflicts.” “So the Global South does not want to see any conflagration in the Middle East, because if oil prices go up, they are the first to be impacted negatively. They would express neutrality in such a conflict and call for immediate peace. They also appeal to the Houthis, to not endanger commercial shipping, keep sea lanes safe and secure and negotiate a resolution of the Palestine issue,” Chenoy concluded.

Biden Ukr

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“..regarding the massive commitment to finance the Ukrainian military, there have been “no controls” whatsoever, Der Spiegel reported, quoting the ministry..”

Germany Unsure Where Its Ukraine Weapons Went – Der Spiegel (RT)

The German government checked only twice where the weapons it had sent abroad in 2023 went, Der Spiegel reported on Friday, citing officials. Meanwhile, Berlin’s massive military assistance to Kiev was also left unsupervised, with German policymakers relying on assurances from Ukrainian officials. The Ministry of Economics provided the information in response to a request from Bundestag member Sevim Dagdelen, who is now a member of the recently formed BSW party founded by MP Sahra Wagenknecht. The latter, often described as the ‘Icon of German Left,’ has been a vocal critic of arms deliveries to Kiev. Citing the reply, Der Spiegel noted that Berlin had checked the whereabouts of small arms sent to Taiwan in January 2023, and in June, it carried out a similar inspection in Cape Verde.

German officials insisted that both on-site inspections meant to make sure that the weapons did not leave the end destination went smoothly. However, regarding the massive commitment to finance the Ukrainian military, there have been “no controls” whatsoever, Der Spiegel reported, quoting the ministry. German officials reportedly stated that Kiev had assured them that all German weapons would remain in the country, adding that “any verification measures must under no circumstances impair Ukraine’s effective defense against ongoing Russian aggression.” Ukraine received €17 billion ($18.7 billion) in military aid from Germany between January 2022 and October 2023, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. Meanwhile, the German government approved nearly €12 billion ($13 billion) in arms exports in 2023, setting a new record.

Commenting on the officials’ reply, Dagdelen called the inspections a “laughing stock.” She suggested that the German government was much more eager to check weapons going to Cape Verde than to Saudi Arabia – which she called a “dictatorship” – or the United Arab Emirates. “Given the corruption in Ukraine, checks must be there too,” the MP added. Russia, which has repeatedly condemned Western arms deliveries to Ukraine, has also warned that these weapons could end up in the black market, reaching criminals and terrorists around the world. Meanwhile, in late December, Ukrainian Interior Minister Igor Klimenko admitted that Kiev does not know precisely how many weapons are in the hands of its citizens. He noted that the estimates vary from one to two million and are based mainly on data provided by Ukraine’s international partners and statistics collected in other conflict-ridden countries.

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“The Swiss diplomat insisted on the urgency of ending the war promptly, as lives are lost daily. “We have no right to wait..”

No Peace Without Russia – Swiss Foreign Minister (RT)

Any peace negotiations to resolve the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev should involve Russia, asserted Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis during a press briefing in Davos, where he co-hosted a gathering focused on discussing a “peace formula” proposed by Kiev. The Ukrainian government has consistently sought to engage entities other than Russia in these discussions. Security officials from 83 countries gathered in the Swiss mountain resort before the World Economic Forum, which is scheduled to open on Monday evening. This Sunday gathering marked the fourth of its kind organized by Kiev, which actively promotes its vision for conflict resolution, supported mainly by its Western backers. “One way or another, Russia will have to be included,” Cassis conveyed to journalists on the sidelines of the meeting. “There will be no peace without Russia’s word,” he emphasized. The Swiss diplomat insisted on the urgency of ending the war promptly, as lives are lost daily. “We have no right to wait,” he stated.

Unveiled in November 2022, the Ukrainian proposal, also known as ‘Zelensky’s peace formula,’ demands that Kiev be granted control over its pre-2014 borders. Additionally, it calls for prosecuting Russian leadership and reparations from Moscow. The plan requires Moscow’s forces to withdraw from territories claimed by Ukraine before initiating peace negotiations. The ten-point plan also addresses less contentious areas, such as global food and energy security. Moscow has previously characterized the proposal as detached from reality. It has consistently expressed readiness for peace talks, emphasizing the need to consider the situation on the ground. In the autumn of 2022, four former Ukrainian territories, including two Donbass republics, officially joined Russia following referendums. The Crimean Peninsula, claimed by Ukraine, has been part of Russia since 2014, when its people voted to join Russia in a referendum.

Cassis also underscored the crucial role of BRICS nations, particularly China, in the future peace process. “The participation of the BRICS alliance is crucial because these countries have a relationship with Russia,” he noted, adding that “China plays a significant role.” Cassis called on meeting participants to explore collaboration with China on this matter. Representatives from Beijing did not attend the Davos gathering. China presented its 12-point peace roadmap early last year, addressing measures like a ceasefire, peace talks, abandoning the “Cold War mentality,” and ending sanctions while promoting global stability and international supply chains. The roadmap, welcomed by Moscow, was poorly received by Kiev and swiftly dismissed by Western backers.

Last February, US officials rejected the Chinese proposals, contending they would primarily benefit Russia. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg argued that China lacks “credibility” on the issue due to its refusal to condemn Russia for attacking Ukraine. In December, Moscow labeled the entire “peace process” organized by Kiev as a mere PR stunt. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov denounced Zelensky’s peace formula as “a figment of a sick imagination,” asserting that demands for Ukraine to reclaim its pre-2014 borders, including the Donbass, amounted to a call “for genocide.”

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“..She called Wade “a great friend and a great lawyer,” along with a “superstar,” but failed to mention him by name once during her more than 30 minute speech..”

Fani Willis Says Accusations Of Affair With Trump Prosecutor Are Racist (NYP)

A Georgia district attorney accused of hiring her lover to prosecute former President Trump broke her silence on the controversy, saying she and the prosecutor were targeted because they are black. “They only attacked one,” Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis Sunday at Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta. “First thing they say, ‘Oh, she’s gonna play the race card now.’ “But no God, isn’t it them that’s playing the race card when they only question one?” The comments were Willis’ first time addressing the allegations publicly — but she neither confirmed nor denied the claims lobbed at her and special prosecutor Nathan Wade, who helped secure an indictment against the former Republican president in an election interference case. She called Wade “a great friend and a great lawyer,” along with a “superstar,” but failed to mention him by name once during her more than 30 minute speech, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The pair were accused by Trump co-defendant Michael Roman of having a “clandestine” and “improper” affair when appointments were made for the 2020 election interference case. Roman, a former official on the Trump 2020 campaign, argued in a court filing last week that the integrity of the case had been compromised by their alleged affair and asked that all charges against him be dropped. “The district attorney chose to appoint her romantic partner, who at all times relevant to this prosecution has been a married man,” the filing read. Roman contended in the filing that Wade used some of the $654,000 in legal fees he’d earned on the case to take Willis on vacations to “Napa Valley, California, Florida and the Caribbean.” Willis pointed out during her speech that the other two prosecutors assigned to the case, Anna Green Cross and John Floyd, both are white, and noted that allegations have only emerged targeting the two prominent black members of the prosecution — her and Wade.

“Isn’t it them playing the race card when they constantly think I need someone from some other jurisdiction in some other state to tell me how to do a job I’ve been doing almost 30 years?” she asked. Roman was unmoved by Willis accusations of the charges being racially charged. “The biggest difference between Ms. Cross, Mr. Floyd and Mr. Wade is that Ms. Willis is not in a relationship with Ms. Cross and Mr. Floyd,” he said in a statement to the Constitution-Journal Sunday. Willis is planning to file an official response to the allegations, her spokesperson said. Once that filing is in, Fulton Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee said he would schedule a hearing to address the matter.

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“There are an array of horrors that could result from Donald Trump’s unrestricted use of the Insurrection Act.”

NBC News Admits ‘Deep State’ Exists… To Save Us From Trump’s Return (ZH)

The last time Donald Trump got within striking distance of the Oval Office in 2016, the Clinton campaign, the Obama administration, and various foreign accomplices invented a hoax accusing the real estate tycoon of being a secret Russian agent, who would use the power of the United States to do Vladimir Putin’s bidding (Which begs the question; why wouldn’t Putin have just invaded Ukraine when his ‘puppet’ Trump wouldn’t have waged a proxy war?). And when Donald Trump asked Ukraine about obvious corruption by the Biden family, one of the key ‘deep state’ players in his impeachment behind the scenes was none other than Mary McCord – who went from taking down Michael Flynn after the FBI set him up, to helping Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) to peddle a “whistleblower” complaint about Trump’s Ukraine call. McCord is back with a new hoax to peddle, telling NBC News that the Deep State is preparing for Trump’s return – and is taking action to limit his ability to ‘become a dictator’ and use the military to those ends.

“We’re already starting to put together a team to think through the most damaging types of things that he [Trump] might do so that we’re ready to bring lawsuits if we have to,” McCord – executive director of the Institution for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown Law – told the outlet. The quotes from this fine piece of yellow journalism from NBC are simply hilarious… “Donald Trump is sparking fears among those who understand the inner workings of the Pentagon that he would convert the nonpartisan U.S. military into the muscular arm of his political agenda as he makes comments about dictatorship and devalues the checks and balances that underpin the nation’s two-century-old democracy.” “A circle of appointees independent of Trump’s political operation steered him away from ideas that would have pushed the limits of presidential power in his last term.” “In a new term, many former officials worry that Trump would instead surround himself with loyalists unwilling to say no.”

“He’s a clear and present danger to our democracy.” “His support is solid. And I don’t think people understand what living in a dictatorship would mean.” “There are an array of horrors that could result from Donald Trump’s unrestricted use of the Insurrection Act.” “The military is hundreds of thousands of people strong, and ultimately Trump will find people to follow his legal orders no matter what … The Insurrection Act is a legal order, and if he orders it there will be military officers, especially younger men and women, who will follow that legal order.” This one might be the best: “We’re about 30 seconds away from the Armageddon clock when it comes to democracy,” said William Cohen, a former Republican senator from Maine and defense secretary in the Clinton administration. “I think that’s how close we’re coming to it when you have a presidential candidate who can be indicted on 91 counts, who can be [found liable for] sexual aggression, who we have seen lies pathologically, who has flouted every rule in the book.”

Wow! Narrative: Trump is going to appoint loyal peons to subvert democracy and declare himself a dictator. But wait, the deep state cavalry is here! “Now, bracing for Trump’s potential return, a loose-knit network of public interest groups and lawmakers is quietly devising plans to try to foil any efforts to expand presidential power, which could include pressuring the military to cater to his political needs.”

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Too clever by half.

Dems Hatch “Republicans For A Day” Scheme To Boost Haley Vs. Trump In Iowa (ZH)

Iowa Democrats and independents have a plan to make a dent in former President Donald Trump’s massive lead over the rest of the GOP field – help Nikki Haley by becoming “Republicans for a day” during the Iowa caucuses. According to Axios, “crossover” voting is a low-key tradition in the Iowa event, as the state allows day-of party registration for voters, while Democrats aren’t holding in-person presidential caucuses this year – providing the perfect opportunity for uniparty Democrats to support yet another perpetual war candidate. As Don McLeese of west Des Moines told Axios, the crossover voting scheme gives anti-Trumpers “a chance to diminish Trump’s inevitability,” adding “I’ll hold my nose and caucus for Haley.”

Iowa Republican precinct captain for Haley, Lyle Hansen, acknowledged that “there could be a good crossover” vote for Haley, because Democrats “get to come over and pick the candidate for Biden to oppose.” Des Moines Democrat Jonathan Neiderbach told the outlet “I believe all Americans should cast a vote against Donald Trump every chance we have.” Reality bites… As Axios notes, the crossover votes are “are highly unlikely to help Haley catch Trump, who’s consistently had a big lead in Iowa polls.” But GOP strategist David Kochel said that if crossovers see Haley as the best Republican alternative to Trump, they could help her finish a solid second in Iowa, ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. “If you even had 5,000 or 7,500 people across the state cross over for her, that might be the difference between her and Ron DeSantis,” Kochel said.

The intrigue: There’s some risk for Iowa’s Democratic Party if many of its members cross over to vote with Republicans. People who switch parties to participate in a caucus sometimes don’t switch back, Tim Hagle, a political scientist at the University of Iowa, tells Axios. Responding to the ‘threat,’ Trump senior adviser Chrris LaCivita brushed aside any concerns. “If that is something they are relying on to get through the night, then poor people, I feel bad for them,” he told Axios.

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Japan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1746458766315565447

 

 

Eagle owl
https://twitter.com/i/status/1746409455942610989

 

 

Lions

 

 

We need this
https://twitter.com/i/status/1746566267186598217

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 012023
 
 September 1, 2023  Posted by at 8:41 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  35 Responses »


Laurits Andersen Ring At Breakfast 1898

 

US Getting ‘Money’s Worth’ In Ukraine – Sen. Blumenthal (RT)
US Congress To Consider Pro- and Anti-Nazi Amendments (RT)
Heritage Suggested We Form A Ukraine Strategy. Neocons Lost Their Minds (Fed.)
Living on a War Planet (Bromwich)
Hungary Blocks EU Military Aid To Ukraine – Borrell (RT)
Biden Will Use Covid To Rig Election – Trump (RT)
Trump Reportedly Rambled Non-Stop During NY Deposition (Manley)
‘Obama’s Man In Africa’ Under House Arrest As Popular Coup Rocks Gabon (GZ)
The Real Threat From China: They’re Better at Capitalism Than We Are (Lawrence)
Does BRICS Need Its Own Currency? (Pepe Escobar)
From One Unapologetic Media Hoax to the Next (VDH)
New Meanings of ‘Deep State’ and ‘Working Class’ (Matt Taibbi)
Glyphosate Exposure Linked to Severe Depression and Cognitive Decline (SP)

 

 

 

 

Watters Biden book

 

 

RFK
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697198312259006945

 

 

Tulsi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697174012462514602

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Hotel Ukraine

 

 

Tucker Portnoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We’ve helped restore faith and confidence in American leadership — moral and military..”

Have we completely lost oversight of how obscene this is?

US Getting ‘Money’s Worth’ In Ukraine – Sen. Blumenthal (RT)

The US is using Ukraine as the “tip of the spear” against Russia, getting a major return on its “investment” in Kiev without any American lives lost, according to Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat. “Even Americans who have no particular interest in freedom and independence in democracies worldwide, should be satisfied that we’re getting our money’s worth on our Ukraine investment,”Blumenthal argued in an op-ed, published earlier this week by the Connecticut Post. “For less than 3 percent of our nation’s military budget, we’ve enabled Ukraine to degrade Russia’s military strength by half. We’ve united NATO and caused the Chinese to rethink their invasion plans for Taiwan.

“We’ve helped restore faith and confidence in American leadership — moral and military. All without a single American service woman or man injured or lost, and without any diversion or misappropriation of American aid,” he claimed. The senator’s unsubstantiated and unverifiable claims were made after he visited Kiev with fellow Democrat Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Republican Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican. Blumenthal was impressed by Zelensky’s “magnetic energy” and “resolve and resilience,” and taken by his admission that “Ukraine could not have survived without America and our allies.” “Ukraine is at the tip of the spear, fighting our fight for independence and freedom,” the senator claimed.

Zelensky doesn’t want or need US troops, but “he deeply and desperately needs the tools to win,” Blumenthal added, providing a wish list of more tanks, planes, guns, ammunition and everything else. The US has so far committed over $130 billion in funding to Ukraine, covering everything from HIMARS multiple rocket launch systems, M777 towed artillery, M1 Abrams tanks, Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, Javelin and Stinger missiles, Patriot air defense batteries, ammunition, equipment, and even salaries for Ukrainian soldiers and government officials.

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Obscene 2. Funding Azov.

US Congress To Consider Pro- and Anti-Nazi Amendments (RT)

Congresswoman Victoria Spartz, an Indiana Republican, has proposed an amendment to the 2024 Pentagon funding bill that would remove the 2018 prohibition on funding ‘Azov’ due to the Ukrainian unit’s neo-Nazi character. Fellow Republican Andy Ogles of Tennessee, on the contrary, wants to explicitly ban the Pentagon from providing intelligence to Azov. The Spartz amendment would “Strike section 8105 of the bill which prohibits funds to the ‘Azov Battalion’,” according to documents posted on the website of the House Rules Committee. It would amend HR 4365, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for the next fiscal year, which begins in October. Journalist Aida Chavez noticed the amendment on Thursday, along with several other proposals by Republican lawmakers, who have a slim majority in the House.

Ogles, on the other hand, wants to expand Section 8105 to ban the US from providing intelligence to Azov, and also ban any aid to the ‘Russian Volunteer Corps’ (RVC). He had previously tried to ban any “funding, equipment, training, fuel, or other support” to “the Russian Volunteer Corps, the Azov Battalion, or any other neo-Nazi militia” in Ukraine in an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). ‘Azov Battalion’ was originally a militia set up by the notorious neo-Nazi Andrey Biletsky after the 2014 US-backed coup in Kiev, that took part in Ukraine’s crackdown on dissidents in Kharkov and Donetsk. Biletsky admitted to several Western outlets that he handpicked their symbols – the ‘Wolfsangel’ rune used by the German 2nd SS Panzer Division ‘Das Reich’ in WWII, and the ‘Black Sun’ logo beloved by SS leader Heinrich Himmler.

Spartz was elected in 2020 and represents Indiana’s 5th congressional district. She was born in Chernigov, in present-day Ukraine, and immigrated to the US in 2000. Her amendment is the first time any US lawmaker has attempted to repeal Section 8105 since it was passed in 2018. In late 2019, a group of 40 House Democrats wrote to the State Department describing Azov as a “violent white supremacist” group “that openly welcomes neo-Nazis into its ranks.” The unit responded by accusing them of hostility to Ukraine. Azov has since been fully integrated into Ukraine’s armed forces. The ‘Azov Tactical Group’ is currently operating as part of the 3rd Separate Assault Brigade, recently visited by President Vladimir Zelensky on the Donbass front.

Several other House Republicans have proposed more Ukraine-related amendments to the Pentagon funding bill. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia want to block any funds from being used for Ukraine. Greene also wants to ban “the conduct of ground operations in Ukraine by the US Armed Forces or intelligence officials of the US.” Paul Gosar of Arizona has proposed redirecting all $300 million from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (Section 8104) to the pay of enlisted service members, while his colleague Andy Biggs wants to delete the entire section outright. Montana’s Matt Rosendale would block all spending on Ukraine “until a border wall system along the US-Mexico border is completed and operational control of such border is achieved.”

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“..even if one accepts that we should be supporting Ukraine to the hilt, it’s fair to ask what the plan is to end the war — and no, “until Russia is totally defeated” is not a serious response, much less a strategy.”

Heritage Suggested We Form A Ukraine Strategy. Neocons Lost Their Minds (Fed.)

The Heritage Foundation came under fire [last] week from a bunch of politically toxic neocons for suggesting we should prioritize helping Americans suffering from natural disasters like the Maui wildfires over funding a grinding war of attrition between Ukraine and Russia. A radical suggestion, I know. The background here is that under the leadership of President Kevin Roberts, Heritage has been saved from irrelevance by focusing less on what establishment neocon Beltway elites think is important and more on what ordinary Americans actually want. And one of the things they want is for Congress to stop pouring taxpayer dollars into Ukraine. In an op-ed last week, Roberts noted this as part of a pointed criticism of an underhanded White House plan to force another round of aid to Ukraine into a supplemental funding bill that would add money to FEMA’s depleted Disaster Relief Fund (DRF).

Roberts rightly says this is a dirty trick designed to pressure Republicans to support more aid to Ukraine by tying it to aid for hurricane and wildfire victims. Then this week, Heritage posted a couple of ads making the entirely fair point that every American has now sent more money to Ukraine than to the victims of the Maui fires. One of those ads argued that until the Biden administration comes up with a plan to end the war, Congress shouldn’t approve another cent of aid. Reasonable people can disagree about how much support Americans owe the Ukrainians in their struggle against Russia. But even if one accepts that we should be supporting Ukraine to the hilt, it’s fair to ask what the plan is to end the war — and no, “until Russia is totally defeated” is not a serious response, much less a strategy.

This war, like nearly all wars, will end with a negotiated political settlement. Since American taxpayers are funding the war, they deserve to know if our leaders have a plan to end it that doesn’t amount to World War III. As the war drags on, it seems increasingly obvious they do not have such a plan. Their only policy seems to be to keep funneling money into Ukraine with little to no oversight and no strategy to forge a durable peace settlement. But for Heritage to articulate all of this was too much for the neocons. As with one voice, they denounced Heritage and invoked Ronald Reagan, declaring that Reagan is surely “rolling over in his grave,” as both Marc Thiessen and Avik Roy put it. National Review’s Jay Nordlinger went a step further, pronouncing that the Heritage Foundation has become a “moral obscenity.”

Elsewhere at NR — which unlike Heritage has not managed to escape irrelevance — there was an unintentionally hilarious post from Dominic Pino critiquing Heritage’s position on U.S. aid to Ukraine. Pino managed to sum up the neocon worldview in a single line, noting that “not all the money goes to Ukrainians. Much of it goes to U.S. defense contractors, which employ Americans and contribute to U.S. economic output.” Ah yes, there’s nothing like bankrolling foreign wars with no end-game strategy to get the American economy going. Defense contractors are Americans too! Think about it, the Ukraine war is a U.S. jobs program!

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Q: If, as the author here, you realize the Russia SMO was provoked, at what point does the reaction to the provocation become “illegal and immoral”?

The provocation was not just a virtual further eastward extension of NATO, but Ukraine had gathered a huge military force (200-300K) looking ready to invade the Donbass. After killing some 14,000 there over 8 years.

Living on a War Planet (Bromwich)

The Russian invasion of Ukraine was an illegal and immoral act, but the adjective that usually follows illegal and immoral is “unprovoked.” In truth, this war was provoked. A contributing cause, impossible to ignore, was the eastward extension of NATO, always moving closer to the western borders of Russia, in the years from 1991 to 2022. That expansion was gradual but relentless. Consider the look of such a policy to the country –- no longer Communist and barely a great power — which, in 2013, American leaders again began to describe as an adversary. With the end of the Cold War in 1991 (the very global conflict that gave NATO its reason for being), the eastward projection of the alliance accelerated dramatically.

Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic, all former members of the Soviet bloc, were brought into NATO in 1999; and 2004 witnessed an even richer harvest of former satellites of the USSR: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia, all either near to or bordering on Russia. Then came the Bucharest Summit Declaration of April 2008: Georgia and Ukraine, the NATO heads of state announced, would be given the opportunity to apply for membership at some future date. If you want to know why Putin and his advisers might have considered this a security concern for Russia, look at a map. The United States has supported Ukraine with copious donations of weapons, troop-trainers, and logistical and technical advisers left to work the interoperable targeting equipment we “share” with that country. Between 2014 and 2022, NATO drilled at least 10,000 Ukrainian troops per year in advanced methods of warfare.

In the war itself, weapons supplies have climbed steadily from Stinger and Javelin missiles to Abrams tanks (whose greenhouse-gas environmental footprint is 0.6 miles per gallon of gas, or 300 gallons every eight hours of use), to cluster bombs, and most recently the promise of F-16s. All this has put fresh wind in the sails of the weapons manufacturers of the American military-industrial-congressional complex. In May 2022, the CEO of Lockheed Martin thanked President Biden personally for his kindness. F-16s, after all, are big money-makers. As for the additional fuel that ordinary Ukrainians require, it is now being sequestered underground by Ukrainian commodities traders at enormous environmental risk.Wars and their escalation — the mass destruction of human life that is almost invariably accompanied by destruction of the natural world — happen because preparations for war bring leaders ever closer to the brink. So close, in fact, that it feels natural to go on.

That was certainly the case with Russia, Ukraine, and NATO, and the escalation that followed. Examples of such escalation are indeed the rule, not the exception in time of war.Think of the invention, testing, and strategic planning that led to the dropping of the first nuclear bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. In Jon Else’s extraordinary documentary The Day After Trinity, the physicist Freeman Dyson offered a sober analysis of the momentum driving the decision to use the bomb: “Why did the bomb get dropped on people at Hiroshima? I would say: it’s almost inevitable that it would have happened — simply because all the bureaucratic apparatus existed by that time to do it. The air force was ready and waiting. There had been prepared big airfields in the island of Tinian in the Pacific from which you could operate. The whole machinery was ready.”

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“..Hungarian FM Peter Szijjarto described the EU as being in a “very bad shape” due to the Ukraine conflict, “worse than at any time in the past, in terms of security, economy and energy supply.”

Hungary Blocks EU Military Aid To Ukraine – Borrell (RT)

The EU has been unable to release €500 million in ‘European Peace Facility’ funding for Ukraine, due to opposition from one of the members, the bloc’s foreign policy commissioner Josep Borrell told reporters on Thursday. The country was later identified as Hungary. “I have to regret that the 8th tranche of the European Peace Facility (EPF) is still blocked,” Borrell said after an EU ministerial meeting in Toledo, Spain. “I hope we will be able to unblock [it] in the next [few] weeks. But this is a problem that is still pending to be solved.” Budapest has been blocking the EPF funds for months, objecting that Kiev has designated a major Hungarian bank as a ‘war sponsor’. The bloc has used the EPF, established in March 2021, as a way to fund weapons and ammunition deliveries to Ukraine outside of normal budgetary procedures.

Following the meeting of EU defense ministers on Wednesday, Borrell spoke of the need to train more Ukrainian troops faster, noting that almost 40,000 conscripts will have undergone training at various EU sites this year, including at the Spanish military academy in Toledo itself. Thursday’s meeting involved foreign ministers, and included a briefing by Ukrainian FM Dmitry Kuleba. At the press conference, Borrell spoke of the need for the EU to support Ukraine “today, tomorrow and always” in a manner that is “predictable and sustainable,” but mainly financial. The Spanish politician again mentioned that he had proposed to the European Commission to create a new Ukraine Assistance Fund, spanning the period from 2024 to 2027, and expressed hope the body would “reach an agreement by the end of the year.”

Borrell envisioned the fund to amount to about €5 billion annually, for a total commitment of €20 billion over the next four years. While Borrell spoke as if Brussels could afford to leverage its entire economic, political, and military might in the service of Ukraine, Hungary has been skeptical of the bloc’s policies. Speaking at a forum in Slovenia earlier this week, Hungarian FM Peter Szijjarto described the EU as being in a “very bad shape” due to the Ukraine conflict, “worse than at any time in the past, in terms of security, economy and energy supply.” The bloc’s commitment to arming Ukraine has made it unable to broker a peace, while the EU’s energy, security, and economic prosperity have been dealt serious blows by the embargo against Russia, according to Szijjarto.

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“..it was Trump himself who continuously renewed the state of emergency declaration used to justify the changes.

He also imposed a nationwide lockdown in March and April 2020, issued national guidelines recommending the closing of schools, and appointed the pro-mandate Dr. Anthony Fauci..”

Biden Will Use Covid To Rig Election – Trump (RT)

Former US president Donald Trump has claimed that President Joe Biden’s administration will take advantage of the reemergence of Covid-19 to rewrite election rules in order to prevent him from winning the upcoming election. “The left-wing lunatics are trying very hard to bring back covid lockdowns and mandates with all of their sudden fear mongering about the new variants that are coming,” Trump said in a video message released on Thursday. “Gee whiz, you know what else is coming? An election.” “They want to restart the covid hysteria so they can justify more lockdowns, more censorship, more illegal drop boxes, more mail-in ballots and trillions of dollars in payoffs to their political allies heading into the 2024 election,” he continued, adding “does that sound familiar?”

The threat of Covid-19 was invoked by both Democrat and Republican governors to change election laws in 2020. Mail-in ballots were issued to more voters and accepted beyond the usual election-day deadline, party activists were permitted to harvest ballots from drop-boxes, and absentee ballots were accepted without witness signatures. The implementation of these laws varied from state to state, with Democrat-run states typically waiving the most rules. While these changes resulted in an election that defied almost every traditional indicator to end in Trump’s loss, it was Trump himself who continuously renewed the state of emergency declaration used to justify the changes.

He also imposed a nationwide lockdown in March and April 2020, issued national guidelines recommending the closing of schools, and appointed the pro-mandate Dr. Anthony Fauci to lead his coronavirus task force. “To every Covid tyrant who wants to take away our freedom, hear these words: we will not comply, so don’t even think about it. We will not shut down our schools; we will not accept your lockdowns; we will not abide by your mask mandates; and we will not tolerate your vaccine mandates,” Trump continued in Thursday’s video. “They rigged the 2020 election and now they’re trying to do the same thing all over again by rigging the most important election in the history of our country.”

Public health officials are currently tracking the spread of two new coronavirus variants: EG.5, or Eris, and BA.2.86. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention no longer tracks new cases of the virus, its most recent figures show a 19% increase in hospitalizations and a 17% increase in deaths between the second and third week in August. However, only a quarter as many people were hospitalized this month as during the same month last year, and most of those receiving treatment are over the age of 65, CDC Director Mandy Cohen said on Tuesday. Nevertheless, universities in Georgia and Louisiana have already reimposed mask mandates, as have some healthcare providers and other businesses.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1697083418947801265

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Quite funny.

Trump Reportedly Rambled Non-Stop During NY Deposition (Manley)

Last year, New York Attorney General Letitia James claimed the Trump Organization illegally increased their profits by hundreds of millions of dollars by exaggerating the value of their properties. A transcript of a deposition recently revealed that former US President Donald Trump rambled so frequently throughout a formal interview that a lawyer with the Office of the New York Attorney General griped: “We’re going to be here until midnight.” The deposition was made public ahead of Trump’s September 22 hearing over a state lawsuit that accuses the former commander-in-chief of engaging in business fraud practices that saw his net worth skyrocket by some $2 billion.
The attorney general’s case against Trump indicates the former president, as well as his two eldest sons, and two of his former top executives repeatedly inflated his net worth in financial filings made on behalf of the Trump Organization.

Prosecutors argue that by doing so, it helped Trump deceive banks into extending lower-cost loans that saved him hundreds of millions of dollars in interest. During the seven-hour deposition, Trump rambled about various topics including his “beautiful” marble bathrooms, a reference to the historical figure George Washington, and boasted that he could have done more sales than “ever” during his presidency. When asked how his children’s roles in the Trump Organization changed after he was elected to the US presidency, Trump strayed from the answer and began to talk about North Korea. “I was interested in solving the problem with North Korea, which was ready to blow up, and solving the problems we had with China, who was just ripping us off left and right, and making sure that Russia never went into Ukraine, which they didn’t, under our auspices and, you know, a lot of other things,” Trump said as part of his lengthy response.

When the former president was asked to clarify his answer, he continued to pile details onto his response. “I think you would have a nuclear holocaust, if I didn’t deal with North Korea. I think you would have a nuclear war, if I weren’t elected. And I think you might have a nuclear war now, if you want to know the truth,” Trump said. The attorney general’s lawyer, Kevin Wallace, then responded: “I’m not going to use my seven hours on nuclear war.” When asked how involved he was in his family’s business dealings during his presidency, Trump launched into another lengthy answer in which he boasted about the properties that the Trump Organization owns. “We have properties that make money, but you can sell for many, many times because of the quality of the property like a Turnberry in Scotland,” said Trump, who complained several times that the lawsuit was “unfair.”

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“Irresponsible and unpredictable governance has led to a steady deterioration in social cohesion, threatening to drive the country into chaos..”

‘Obama’s Man In Africa’ Under House Arrest As Popular Coup Rocks Gabon (GZ)

When a military junta arrested President Ali Bongo Ondimba on August 30, Gabon became the ninth African nation to depose its government through a military coup. As citizens of Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali did before them, crowds of Gabonese poured into the streets to celebrate the removal of a Western-backed leader whose family flaunted its lavish lifestyle while more than a third of the country’s population languished in destitution. “Irresponsible and unpredictable governance has led to a steady deterioration in social cohesion, threatening to drive the country into chaos,” a leader of Gabon’s junta, Col. Ulrich Manfoumbi, declared upon seizing power. President Bongo’s arrest was met with indignant condemnations from Washington and Paris, which had propped him up as he pillaged his country’s vast oil wealth.

His ouster represented a particularly sharp rebuke of former President Barack Obama, who groomed the Gabonese autocrat as one of his closest allies on the continent, and leaned on him for diplomatic support as he waged a war on Libya that unleashed terror and instability across the region. So close was the bond between Obama and Bongo that Foreign Policy branded the Gabonese leader, “Obama’s Man in Africa.” With Obama’s help, Bongo attempted to fashion himself as a reformist modernizer. He traveled repeatedly to Davos, Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum, where was appointed an “Agenda Contributor.” There, he pledged to accelerate the Fouth Industrial Revolution in Africa by implementing lucrative digital identification and payment systems among his country’s heavily impoverished population.

Bongo’s bio on the WEF website lists him as a “spokesperson for Africa on biodiversity” and “composer of musical pieces” whose interests include “history, football, classical music, jazz and bossa nova.” The self-styled renaissance man managed to hit it off with Obama, kibitz with Klaus Schwab, and press the flesh with Bill Gates. But at home, he found few friends among the struggling Gabonese masses. Ali Bongo rose to power as the son of the late Gabonese autocrat Omar Bongo Odinmba, who ruled the country from 1967 to his death. In 2004, a year after discussing a $9 million image-washing deal with disgraced Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Bongo secured a meeting with President George W. Bush. When he died five years later, he left behind a $500 million presidential palace, over a dozen luxurious homes from Paris to Beverly Hills, and a country overrun with inequality.

[..] nothing on the Bongo family’s lengthy and well-documented record of corruption seemed to bother President Barack Obama when he embarked on a regime change operation in Libya ironically justified as an exercise in “democracy promotion.” With Washington’s help, Gabon was rotated into the UN Security Council, where it functioned as a rubber stamp for US resolutions demanding sanctions and a No Fly Zone on Libya in February 2011. Bongo’s cooperative spirit earned him a visit with Obama in Washington four months later. There, while staying at the president’s personal residence, he became the first African leader to call for Qaddafi to give up power. “They could call any African leader with private cell numbers,” then US Ambassador to Gabon Eric Benjaminson remarked to Foreign Policy, referring to Bongo’s staff. “They knew Qaddafi and they knew his chief of staff very well, and we were trying to work through the Gabonese to get Qaddafi to step down without military action.” Benjaminson added, “Obama sort of liked him.”

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“This administration simply has no idea what a sound China policy would look like.”

The Real Threat From China: They’re Better at Capitalism Than We Are (Lawrence)

The Biden regime’s robotic procession to Beijing proceeds apace. Following Antony Blinken’s fruitless visit in mid–June, we have paid Janet Yellen’s airfare for another fruitless visit, and following Yellen it was the same for John Kerry. This week it is Gina Raimondo’s turn. The secretary of state, the Treasury secretary, the chief climate envoy, and the commerce secretary: What is the point of this parade? I cannot but wonder whether these officials are dispatched across the Pacific in descending order of competence. Raimondo, who previously flopped as governor of Rhode Island—except for her plan to cut civil service pensions, an unfortunate success—is mediocrity made flesh. The Chinese must be wondering, with chagrin or amusement or both, who the Biden regime will next send their way.

The assignment in all these cases is the same: It comes down to “two seemingly contradictory responsibilities,” as The New York Times’s Ana Swanson put it in a curtain-raiser last week. She described “a mandate to strengthen U.S. business relations with Beijing while also imposing some of the toughest Chinese trade restrictions in years.” This is succinct, although we can live without the “seemingly.” Proposing to conduct routine business while sabotaging China’s competitive position in advanced technologies is prima facie a ridiculous idea. But The Times must have its “seemingly,” because it is imperative we pretend the Biden regime thinks sensibly and means well in its relations with the People’s Republic.

Blinken got nothing done, Yellen got nothing done, Kerry got nothing done, and in Raimondo’s case it is hopeless. The final item on her itinerary is a visit to Disneyland in Shanghai, and you have to credit the secretary’s scheduler for the parting reference to dreams and fantasy. An English friend observes that we Americans are doing a lot of blinkin’ and yellin’ across the Pacific these days. Fair enough, but I think it is more of the former than the latter for the time being. This administration simply has no idea what a sound China policy would look like.

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It’s not so easy. But the euro proves this is not true: “A currency has to be issued by a sovereign government.”

Does BRICS Need Its Own Currency? (Pepe Escobar)

Right at the heart of fervent discussions are the merits of designing a new BRICS currency. Brazilian economist Paulo Nogueira Batista Jr., a former IMF director who was deeply involved with BRICS from 2007 to 2015, has noted how a reserve currency discussion among the original five members was already too difficult. With 11, even more so. A currency has to be issued by a sovereign government. The indispensable Michael Hudson has cut to the chase to focus on what President Putin stressed in the summit in Johannesburg: what is needed is a means of settlement among Central Banks to keep in check the imbalances of trade and investment in their balance of payments. That implies no BRICS supra-national gold backed currency.

Prof. Hudson has observed that, “nobody uses gold as a currency. You don’t go to the grocery store or you don’t buy stocks and bonds or even houses with gold. You’re not going to be able to do it with anything like a BRICS currency within the future.” So the possible “BRICS currency” on a – distant? – future will be “only a narrow currency that only governments can spend for each other, and it’s created on a computer. It’s not anything that you can hold in your pocket to spend.” Michael Kumhof, a senior advisor for the Bank of England, adds a few more elements: “A currency does not need to be issued by a single state, instead its issuance can be delegated by a group of states to a common institution, see the ECB [European Central Bank]. And while that currency would be unlikely to be used by people to buy a coffee (although who knows, given enough time), it could be used by corporations for invoicing in cross-border trade.”

Kumhof projects a different future: “Imagine if 50-100 countries joined BRICS, some of them with pretty small, marginal currencies. They might appreciate being able to invoice and settle in a strong common currency rather than only having a choice between USD and, say, RMB. Not to mention the fact that if the Chinese want to keep some of their capital controls (good idea for now, I think), the RMB could not really fully replace the USD in such transactions. A BRICS currency would not be subject to such restrictions. This BRICS bank would buy up bonds of member countries according to some quota, and then issue a common currency against it, with all its gains and losses shared by member governments.

That could create an arbitrarily large amount of liquidity (and firepower for BRICS) without requiring any debt to do so, in fact massively reducing debt while doing so. And of course I agree that this would need to be supplemented by a bancor-type arrangement to clear cross-country imbalances.” What’s certain for now is that at the heart of what’s coming next will be an enhanced role for the New Development Bank (NDB), the BRICS bank, headquartered in Shanghai and now presided by former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

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“Moscow supposedly had created fake nude pictures, fake photos of Hunter’s drug use, and fake email and text messages from Hunter to the other Bidens.”

From One Unapologetic Media Hoax to the Next (VDH)

From 2015 to 2019, we were suffocated 24/7 with lies like “Russian collusion,” “Putin’s puppet,” “election rigging” and the “Steele dossier.” When all such “evidence” was proven to be a complete fraud cooked up through Hillary Clinton’s stealthy hiring of and collusion with a discredited ex-British spy, a Russian fabulist at the Brookings Institution and a Clinton toady in Moscow, did the media apologize for their untruth? Was there any media confessional that perhaps Robert Mueller and his leftwing legal team (the giddy media-dubbed “all-stars,” “dream team,” and “hunter killers”) proved a colossal waste of time? Not at all. Instead, the media went next right on to “the phone call” and “impeachment.” The country then wasted another year.

The same biased reporters now claimed that the heroic Andrew Vindman had caught Donald Trump fabricating lies about the Bidens—given Joe Biden was a possible 2020 opponent—to force Ukraine to investigate them or lose American foreign aid. On that accusation Trump was impeached. Then the truth emerged that unlike Joe Biden, Trump never threatened to cancel aid, but merely to delay it. Trump was right that the Bidens were knee deep in Ukrainian bribes and influence peddling. And that the whistleblower had no first-hand knowledge of the Trump call but was spoon fed a script cooked up by the gadfly Vindman and Rep. Adam Schiff. The result was journalistic glee that we impeached a president for crimes that he did not commit but exempted another president, Joe Biden, who had actually committed them.

Then came the next hoax of the Russian fabricated facsimile of Hunter’s laptop. The 2020 Biden campaign along with an ex-CIA head rounded up “51 intelligence authorities” to mislead the country into believing that Russian gremlins in the Kremlin had fabricated a fake laptop. Ponder that absurd fantasy: Moscow supposedly had created fake nude pictures, fake photos of Hunter’s drug use, and fake email and text messages from Hunter to the other Bidens. The media preposterously convinced the country that the Russians and by extension Donald Trump had once again sandbagged the Biden campaign. No apologies followed when the FBI later admitted it had kept the laptop under wraps for more than a year, knew it was authentic, and yet said nothing as the media and former spooks misled the country and warped an election.

Now we are enmeshed in at least four court trials on cooked-up charges that could as easily apply to a host of Democrats as to Trump. For the last eight years, a discredited media has never expressed remorse for any of the damage they did to the country. And they will not again, when their latest mythological indictments are eventually exposed.

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“..the best and most thorough whitewash job since the Soviets wiped the photo record clean of Yezhov and Trotsky. It’s an awesome achievement.”

New Meanings of ‘Deep State’ and ‘Working Class’ (Matt Taibbi)

DEEP STATE: In July of last year David Rothkopf wrote a piece for the Daily Beast called, “You’re going to miss the Deep State when it’s gone: Trump’s terrifying plan to purge tens of thousands of career government workers and replace them with loyal stooges must be stopped in its tracks.” In the obligatory MSNBC segment hyping the article, poor Willie Geist, fast becoming the Zelig of cable’s historical lowlight reel, read off the money passage: During his presidency, [Donald] Trump was regularly frustrated that government employees — appointees, as well as career officials in the civil service, the military, the intelligence community, and the foreign service — were an impediment to the autocratic impulses about which he often openly fantasized.

This passage portraying harmless “government employees” as the last patriotic impediment to Trumpian autocracy represented the complete turnaround of a term that less than ten years before meant, to the Beast’s own target audience, the polar opposite. This of course needed to be lied about as well, and the Beast columnist stuck this landing, too, when Geist led Rothkopf through the eye-rolling proposition that there was “something fishy, or dark, or something going on behind the scenes” with the “deep state.” Rothkopf replied that “career government officials” got a bad rap because “about ten years ago, Alex Jones and the InfoWars crowd started zeroing in on the deep state, as yet another of the conspiracy theories…”

The real provenance of deep state has in ten short years been fully excised from mainstream conversation, in the best and most thorough whitewash job since the Soviets wiped the photo record clean of Yezhov and Trotsky. It’s an awesome achievement. Through the turn of the 21st century virtually no American political writers used deep state. In the mid-2000s, as laws like the PATRIOT Act passed and the Bush/Cheney government funded huge new agencies like the Department of Homeland Security, the word was suddenly everywhere, inevitably deployed as left-of-center critique of the Bush-Cheney legacy. How different was the world ten years ago? The New York Times featured a breezy Sunday opinion piece asking the late NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake — a man described as an inspiration for Edward Snowden who today would almost certainly be denounced as a traitor — what he was reading then.

Drake answered he was reading “Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry” by Marc Ambinder, whose revelations about possible spying on “eighteen locations in the Washington D.C. area, including near the White House, Congress, and several foreign embassies,” inspired the ACLU to urge congress to begin encrypting communications. On the eve of a series of brutal revelations about intelligence abuses, including the Snowden mess, left-leaning American commentators all over embraced “deep state” as a term perfectly descriptive of the threat they perceived from the hyper-concentrated, unelected power observed with horror in the Bush years.

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Still in use. Insane.

Glyphosate Exposure Linked to Severe Depression and Cognitive Decline (SP)

A new peer-reviewed study released by a group of scientists in Taiwan has revealed an astonishingly strong link between severe depression, cognitive decline and exposure to the world’s most used herbicide, glyphosate. The study was fully published last Tuesday in the highly respected Elsevier Journal, Environmental Research, and was met with silence by the manufacturers of glyphosate-based herbicides such as Bayer/Monsanto, who produce the infamous weedkiller Roundup. The study authors stated that they: “conducted analyses on existing data collected from 1532 adults of the 2013–2014 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to explore the possible relationship between glyphosate exposure and cognitive function, depressive symptoms, disability, and neurological medical conditions.”

“Our study used a cohort representative of the U.S. adult general population and found a significant negative correlation between urinary glyphosate levels and cognitive function test scores. Additionally, our findings suggest that the odds of having severe depressive symptoms were significantly higher than having no symptoms in individuals with higher glyphosate levels, as measured by the PHQ-9,” the scientists continued. The NHANES is a biennial nationwide survey that recruits a representative sample of the population. The study population had a mean age (SD) of 48.15 (18.32) years and a mean BMI (SD) of 29.15 (7.25) kg/m2. The majority of participants were women (51.5%), while the most common ethnicity was non-Hispanic white (47.1%). Regarding socioeconomic status, 53.7% of participants reported a household income of ≥ $4500 per year. Additionally, 37.2% of participants had a body mass index of ≥30 kg/m2. The proportion of individuals with detectable levels of glyphosate was 80.4%.

“Because many of the key neurological system questionnaires used to assess neurological function in NHANES are only available to adults, we restricted our study population to those 18 years of age or older,” the scientists added. “In conclusion, our study provides important evidence of an association between urinary glyphosate levels and adverse neurological outcomes in a representative cohort of U.S. adult population. Specifically, we observed lower cognitive function scores, greater odds of severe depressive symptoms, and increased risk of serious hearing difficulty in individuals with higher glyphosate exposure,” the scientists concluded.

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Moore

 

 

 

 

Red crab
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697266961934414091

 

 

Shrimp
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697299523020705853

 

 

Dogs play
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697288483096678738

 

 

Italian music
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697312042942697983

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 132023
 


Edward Hopper The Circle Theater, New York 1936

 

Joe And Hunter Biden Caught On 17 Recordings With Burisma Owner (WE)
Comer Says Will View Additional FBI Documents on Possible Biden Crimes (Sp.)
The Democrats Versus Trump: A Bad Horror Movie? (Ron Paul)
Donald Trump’s Indictment Case has a Looming 2024 End Date (Turley)
Trump Promises “Final Battle” To “Demolish The Deep State” (SN)
We’re Not Finished (Jim Kunstler)
‘Cynical’ Ukrainian Counteroffensive Takes ‘Horrific’ Casualties (Tweedie)
Ukraine’s Counteroffensive To Last For Weeks Or Months – Macron (TASS)
Americans in Pain (Mazzarino)
Fox Sends Tucker Carlson Cease-and-Desist Letter (Axios)
Debt Crisis Was Bipartisan Excuse to ‘Cut Social Spending,’ Not Defense Budget (Sp.)
How The BRI Train Took The Road To Shangri-La (Pepe Escobar)
US Attempts ’Divide and Conquer’ Strategy Against BRICS (Pepe Escobar)

 

 

 

 

Oliver Stone

 

 

 

 

Ed Dowd

 

 

 

 

Sy Hersh Zelensky Embezzling $400 Million from US

 

 

Ritter

 

 

Blood clots
https://twitter.com/i/status/1668242537662803969

 

 

 

 

Insurance policy.

Joe And Hunter Biden Caught On 17 Recordings With Burisma Owner (WE)

A top Senate Republican revealed Monday that an FBI informant said the Ukrainian oligarch involved in an alleged “criminal bribery scheme” with Joe and Hunter Biden also claimed to have 17 recordings of his conversations with the president and his son. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) revealed on the Senate floor that a largely unredacted version of the bureau’s FD-1023 confidential human source form said that “the foreign national who allegedly bribed Joe and Hunter Biden allegedly has audio recordings of his conversations with them — 17 such recordings.” The Republican senator said, “These recordings were allegedly kept as a sort of insurance policy for the foreign national in case he got into a tight spot.”

Mykola Zlochevsky, the Ukrainian owner of Burisma, was the “foreign national” involved in the alleged “criminal bribery scheme” detailed in the FBI form, and Zlochevsky referred to Joe Biden as the “big guy” during a conversation several years before the June 2020 date of the bureau document, according to sources familiar with the FBI record who described its contents to the Washington Examiner. Grassley added Monday that, according to the FD-1023, “the foreign national possesses 15 audio recordings of phone calls between him and Hunter Biden” and “two audio recordings of phone calls between him and the-Vice President Joe Biden.” The senator also said the FBI record “also indicates that then-Vice President Joe Biden may have been involved in Burisma employing Hunter Biden.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware is handling the ongoing federal criminal investigation into Hunter Biden. It is allegedly up to U.S. Attorney David Weiss, a Trump-appointed holdover, to decide whether to indict the president’s son. In February 2021, Joe Biden asked all Senate-confirmed U.S. attorneys appointed by Trump for their resignations, with Weiss a rare exception. “What is U.S. Attorney Weiss doing with respect to these alleged Joe and Hunter Biden recordings that are apparently relevant to the high-stakes bribery scheme?” Grassley asked Monday. Sources previously told the Washington Examiner that the Burisma owner discussed an alleged bribe of $5 million to Joe Biden and of $5 million to Hunter Biden, according to the paid FBI informant who said he heard this from Zlochevsky. The sources said Zlochevsky said he believed it would be difficult to unravel the alleged bribery scheme for at least 10 years because of the number of bank accounts involved.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1668308263350284293

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“Now, the FBI has told me there are more 1023 forms. I will be granted access to these additional docs..”

Comer Says Will View Additional FBI Documents on Possible Biden Crimes (Sp.)

US House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer said on Monday that he will be granted access to additional FBI documents that contain allegations of potential criminal activity by President Joe Biden in his previous capacity as vice president. Earlier this month, lawmakers on the Oversight Committee were granted access to an FD-1023 form, which is used by the FBI to record information from confidential human sources, that alleged then-US Vice President Joe Biden engaged in a bribery scheme involving a foreign national. “Now, the FBI has told me there are more 1023 forms. I will be granted access to these additional docs,” Comer said in a statement via Twitter. The document alleges that the president and his son Hunter received a total of $10 million to help end a probe into Ukrainian energy industry holding company Burisma, US Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene said last week.


The head of Burisma purportedly told the FBI’s confidential source that the executive retained evidence of the payments to Joe and Hunter Biden, Greene said, characterizing the alleged actions as a “political bribery pay-to-play scheme.” There were two footnotes in the FD-1023 form made accessible to lawmakers that referenced other 1023s, Comer said on Sunday in an interview with Fox News. “There are a lot more of these than what the federal government wants to admit, and the question is, why hasn’t the federal government done anything about it?” Comer said. Biden called the allegations of a bribery scheme involving Burisma “a bunch of malarkey,” when asked about the situation on Thursday.

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“Democrats were furious that Trump was less than enthusiastic about their plans to use Ukraine as a proxy to go to war with Russia.”

The Democrats Versus Trump: A Bad Horror Movie? (Ron Paul)

The Democrats and Donald Trump reminds me of a bad horror movie, where the hapless protagonists only make the monster stronger with each attempt to eliminate it. So goes the Democrats’ endless attempts to finally rid America of the “scourge” of Donald Trump. Thanks to the Durham Report we now know they started even before Trump was elected president. Hillary Clinton’s campaign – with the full knowledge of the candidate and the sitting president, Barack Obama – cooked up a “dirty trick” to portray Trump as an agent of Russia in their effort to deny Trump the White House. When that didn’t work they weaponized the FBI, CIA and the rest of the “deep state” to undermine and hobble his presidency. They spied on Trump and his campaign staff using false information manufactured by the FBI.

When that didn’t work they impeached him under the false charge that he sought foreign assistance for his 2020 re-election bid. This time a spy, in the person of NSC staffer Alexander Vindman, was sent to listen in on Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian president Zelensky and then make all manner of false charges against Trump based on it. Democrats were furious that Trump was less than enthusiastic about their plans to use Ukraine as a proxy to go to war with Russia. Vindman, though an active-duty US military officer, was of Ukrainian background and was loyal to the country of his origin rather than the country of his citizenship. He also openly defied the military chain-of-command and his commander-in-chief. Trump’s lack of enthusiasm for their “Project Ukraine” infuriated Vindman and he sought his revenge against the US President.

When that didn’t work they impeached Trump again over the false charge that he led an “insurrection” against the US government on January 6, 2021. The more surveillance video we see of this “insurrection,” the more it looks like a false-flag operation cooked up perhaps by Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Washington swamp to finally be rid of Trump. Hundreds of political prisoners have been held in solitary confinement on false accusations that they tried to overthrow the US government. When that didn’t work and Trump’s re-election numbers looked more and more favorable while Biden’s approval rating continued to linger in the political basement, the Democrats have now indicted him over some classified documents apparently discovered in his residence in Florida.

[..] Suddenly Donald Trump, who polling suggests would obliterate Joe Biden in a fair US election, faces 100 years in prison! Where else would you see the head of one political party arrest his main political opponent on cooked up charges? A banana republic! For those of us who love this country, it is truly shocking to see this abuse of power. But there’s one thing these dirty tricksters never seem to understand: the more false evidence and false charges they cook up against Trump, the stronger Trump becomes. With these outrageous and continuous attacks on Trump, the Democratic Party (and plenty of Republicans) has lost all credibility. When this plan fails, and it will, I am afraid to think what they might try next.

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“..this is a prosecution entirely removed from recent history..”

Donald Trump’s Indictment Case has a Looming 2024 End Date (Turley)

When Special Counsel Jack Smith walked before cameras on Friday after the release of the Trump 44-page indictment against former President Donald Trump, he started with arguably his most difficult case to make. He declared “we have one set of laws in this country and they apply to everyone.” After years of scandal and documented political bias by key Justice officials, the line likely left many skeptical, assuming many were even watching. The indictment was clearly a pitch to the public that this is a prosecution entirely removed from recent history. We’re also meant to not think about the fact that the Biden Administration is charging the leading candidate opposing him in the upcoming election.

This indictment has merit, but the Justice Department lost the right to expect trust from the citizens years ago — long before the damning Inspector General’s Report and the recent report of Special Counsel John Durham. To make matters worse, the same suspects have surfaced to celebrate Trump’s expected demise — and remind the public of the perceived double standard in Washington. Peter Strzok, the FBI special agent who was fired over his anti-Trump bias in the Russian collusion investigation, cheered the indictment by tweeting a photo of handcuffs with Trump’s image. Strzok seems to think that it is a good thing for Smith to remind everyone of how he promised his colleague and lover Lisa Page that she did not have to worry about Trump being elected because they had an “insurance policy” to “stop it.”

Hillary Clinton went on social media to hawk her line of merchandize mocking the case against her for storing classified material on her personal server and then destroying tens of thousands of emails sought by the Congress. She sent out a picture mocking Trump while wearing her “But Her Emails” hat. With millions of Americans wondering why Trump is being charged but Clinton was given a pass, Clinton decided to do a victory lap. And hey, why not: James Comey is back. [..] In April, Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg related to hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 election. Nevertheless, Comey chose this month to declare that, in the 2024 election, “it has to be Joe Biden.” For critics, that is consistent with his views and actions before he was fired as FBI director.

After Trump was indicted in a raw political prosecution in New York, Comey also went public to declare it a “good day.” So in the court of public opinion, past history and hypocrisy may mean that few are swayed about whether they back Trump or not. Which leaves the criminal court. This indictment has some devastating elements, including an audiotape in which Trump tells two visitors about a highly classified attack plan on Iran while admitting that it remained classified. That tape directly contradicts his past claims of declassification and suggests that Trump was using the document as a type of trophy. There are also damaging statements from former staff and counsel alleging that Trump actively sought to conceal documents. Smith is now left in a battle not with Trump but time.

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He already had 4 years to do it.

Trump Promises “Final Battle” To “Demolish The Deep State” (SN)

During a speech in North Carolina this past weekend, President Trump promised to “demolish the deep state” in what will be “a final battle.” “We are a failing nation. We are a nation in decline. And now these radical left lunatics want to interfere with our elections by using law enforcement. It’s totally corrupt and we can’t let it happen,” Trump told the crowd. “This is the final battle,” he further urged, adding “With you at my side, we will demolish the Deep State, we will expel the warmongers from our government, we will drive out the globalists, we will cast out the communists, we will throw off the sick political class that hates our country.” Trump continued, “We will roll out the fake news media, we will expose the RINOs for what they are, we will defeat Joe Biden and we will liberate America from these villains once and for all.” “We’re going to liberate our country. The silent majority is rising, and under our leadership, the forgotten man or woman will never be forgotten again,” Trump vowed.

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“..what is so striking in Mr. Kennedy’s performance so far is an absence of fakery. It’s more than refreshing, it’s… startling..”

We’re Not Finished (Jim Kunstler)

[..] we need somebody to steer. Mr. Trump has volunteered to try doing it again. The first time, forces in every quarter of American power set out to bushwhack, sandbag, harass, hector, and hound him. In the process, they just about destroyed the rule of law. Then they simply dis-elected him surreptitiously, something you’re not supposed to say, but there it is, like so much meat on the table. Now they’re trying to hoo-rah him into jail. Whatever you think of his, er, complex personality, you must admire his perseverance through adversity. If he somehow manages to wriggle through the present obstacle course of Lawfare chicanery, his next term would be an extravaganza of retribution. The spectacle would provide much satisfaction but, in the end, it would just be a sideshow, and it is not the same thing as taking care of business.

“Joe Biden,” of course, the man who is not really even there, is only pretending to run for reelection, or at least a coterie around the Oval Office is pretending for him while they try to figure out what to do. They’re in an awful quandary. They hold all the levers of power and they have no other credible candidate, not a living soul, in their own official hatchery. Outside of that ghastly edifice, Robert F. Kennedy is making a determined flanking move, an end-run near the sidelines. The Democratic Party in all its florid and mendacious lunacy is pretending to not notice him, especially their praetorian news media that is the vector for America’s mass mental illness. Mr. Kennedy put it so simply in April when he announced a run to preside over the stupendous mess that is our government.

He said his mission is an experiment to see what happens when you tell Americans the truth. Hold that thought. How long has it been since you thought anything like that was possible? There’s a broad-based assumption across the land, derived from our fading prime artform, the movies, that Americans can’t handle the truth. Like so much else in our national life, that is probably erroneous… fake truth. And what is so striking in Mr. Kennedy’s performance so far is an absence of fakery. It’s more than refreshing, it’s… startling. Makes you blink, a little bit. Makes you remember what it’s like to not be lied-to incessantly. Makes you want to see more of it because it gives you strength when you thought you were finished. Get this now: our world is changing, and deeply, but we’re not finished.

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“..right now the strategy that the Kiev regime appears to be using to clear the minefields is over the vehicles and bodies of its territorial defense units..”

‘Cynical’ Ukrainian Counteroffensive Takes ‘Horrific’ Casualties (Tweedie)

The Kiev regime appears to be cynically throwing men and machines against solid Russian defenses — but all may not be as it seems, a military commentator says. One week into the Ukrainian counteroffensive and the Ukrainian army has already lost thousands of casualties, along with up to 15 of the vaunted German Leopard 2 tanks, 13 M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) supplied by the US and five of the French AMX-10 RC light tanks. Security Analyst Mark Sleboda told Sputnik that Ukraine’s military chiefs were to blame for sending their troops into the killing fields. “Currently there is fighting along pretty much every line of engagement between Russia and Ukraine right now, except for the Kherson area where the recent flooding has made combat impossible,” Sleboda noted.

He said the Kiev regime was sending troops forward in NATO-supplied IFVs and armoured personnel carriers (APCs), supported by tanks and artillery — including US-made HIMARS rocket launchers. “But they’re doing it into echelon to Russian defenses that have been formed over months,” Sleboda stressed. “Five layers of defense, trenches, concrete fortifications, pillboxes, bunkers, tank obstacles like dragon’s teeth.” But he said that most significant was that Russian forces had “created mazes of minefields” which have taken a significant toll on attacking Ukrainian vehicles. “[..] it sounds rather cynical, but right now the strategy that the Kiev regime appears to be using to clear the minefields is over the vehicles and bodies of its territorial defense units,” Sleboda said. “And the horrific casualties that are resulting from this are pretty high.”

He said the Ukrainian plan right now appeared to be based on “hoping to punch a hole in the line somewhere.” “And then presumably a very large reserve force, supported by a the majority of the western main battle tanks, will seek to exploit that,” Sleboda ventured. “But then even so, to make it even through one line of defense and to face several lines more, each actually progressively more significant than the others, It seems a very bad situation.” But the security expert warned against complacency on the Russian side, saying he expected “something more cunning” from the Ukrainian armed forces.

“Once the waters recede from the destruction of the Kakhovka dam, I expect some kind of multiple pronged attack, including amphibious assaults against a lower Kakhovka reservoir towards Energodar and the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant,” he said. “But I would presume that Russia is also prepared to defend that there as well.” “NATO has been wargaming this out for half a year. This is the most hyped, announced offensive in world history,” Sleboda stressed. “I’m expecting that there has to be a curveball. It can’t be this straight up playing exactly into Russia’s defenses. There’s going to be something. We just haven’t seen it yet.”

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We want peace, but first we want to kill some more people…

Ukraine’s Counteroffensive To Last For Weeks Or Months – Macron (TASS)

Ukraine’s counteroffensive will last for several weeks or months and France hopes that it will help create conditions for future peace talks, French President Emmanuel Macron told a news conference on Monday. “Ukraine’s counteroffensive began several days ago. It has been thoroughly planned,” he said. “This counteroffensive will last for several weeks or months. We did our best to help it happen within the frames outlined by us since the conflict beginning: to punish Russia in order to stop its military effort, to help Ukraine resist and win back its territory, but to never attack Russia and avoid any forms of escalation of this conflict.”


He reiterated commitment to the long-term support for Kiev and expressed the hope that the Ukrainian army’s offensive operations will be successful as “the transition to the phase of talks in favorable conditions” will depend on that. “It is clear today that Ukraine will not be conquered, that the only peace that is acceptable today is the one which is based on international law and the sovereign choice of the Ukrainian people,” he stressed. “Our enduring support for Ukraine must continue for a long time, be it political, military, economic, humanitarian assistance or assistance linked with [Ukraine’] restoration.”.

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“it’s easy enough not to meet stressed-out military service members and their families..”

Americans in Pain (Mazzarino)

America’s War on Terror, launched in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, has had a staggering impact on our world. The Costs of War Project at Brown University, which I helped found, paints as full a picture as possible of the toll of those “forever wars” both in human lives and in dollars. The wars, we estimate, have killed nearly one million people, including close to 400,000 civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan alone. Worse yet, they sickened or injured several times more than that — leading to illnesses and injuries that, we estimate, resulted in millions of non-battlefield deaths. And don’t forget that those figures include dead and wounded Americans, too. Most of us, however, have little awareness of any of this.

If you live outside the archipelago of American military bases that extends across this country and the planet — an estimated 750 of them outside the U.S. on every continent except Antarctica — it’s easy enough not to meet stressed-out military service members and their families. It’s easy enough, in fact, not to grasp just how America’s wars of this century rippled out to touch military communities. In recent times, those bases have become ever more difficult for the public to enter and often aren’t close to the cities where so many of us live. All of this means that, if you’re a civilian, the odds are you haven’t met the grieving spouses of the soldiers who never came home or the shaken children of the ones who did, forever changed, sometimes with amputated limbs or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I’m thinking of the ones with those far-off gazes and the pain they have to deal with in their heads, their limbs, their backs.

Personally, I find it overwhelmingly hard to write about such human-shaped holes in our disturbed world. That’s probably why the Costs of War Project has a 35-person (and counting) team of journalists, physicians, social scientists, and other experts to portion out the research and the pain that goes with it as they deal with the fact that the monumental death and injury counts they’ve produced are likely to be underestimates.

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“Tucker will not be silenced by anyone … He is a singularly important voice on matters of public interest in our country, and will remain so.”

Fox Sends Tucker Carlson Cease-and-Desist Letter (Axios)

Fox News has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Tucker Carlson as he ramps up a competing series on Twitter that drew a combined 169 million views for its first two episodes, Axios has learned. The contract battle between Fox and its former top host — who was taken off the air in April, after the network’s historic Dominion settlement — has mighty repercussions for the conservative media ecosystem. With “Tucker on Twitter,” Carlson and his growing production team are working to elevate Elon Musk’s social media site as a news platform. Fox is continuing to pay Carlson, and maintains that his contract keeps his content exclusive to Fox through Dec. 31, 2024. Carlson is making a First Amendment argument for posting on Twitter, and asserts that Fox has committed material breaches of his contract.


Carlson’s first two Twitter episodes were straight-to-camera monologues. He plans to keep iterating with longer, more varied episodes and the addition of guests, Axios is told. Justin Wells, Carlson’s executive producer, tweeted yesterday: “Next Episode of Tucker on Twitter coming Tuesday: Tucker’s response to the indictment of President Donald Trump. Harmeet Dhillon, a lawyer who represents Carlson along with Bryan Freedman, said in a statement to Axios: “Fox News continues to ignore the interests of its viewers, not to mention its shareholder obligations.” “Doubling down on the most catastrophic programming decision in the history of the cable news industry, Fox is now demanding that Tucker Carlson be silent until after the 2024 election,” the statement continued. “Tucker will not be silenced by anyone … He is a singularly important voice on matters of public interest in our country, and will remain so.”

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“Biden wants a free hand to continue to give billions every week to finance the Ukraine proxy war, and he’s got that free hand now..”

Debt Crisis Was Bipartisan Excuse to ‘Cut Social Spending,’ Not Defense Budget (Sp.)

Democrats and Republicans have used the recent debt ceiling stand-off as a pretext for cutting social spending while inflating the military budget. The latest threat of a US Treasury default due to wrangling over the budget between the Democrat-held White House and Republican-controlled Congress has been averted after House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden struck a deal on limited spending cuts. But economist Dr. Jack Rasmus told Sputnik that poverty alleviation programs were the casualty of that battle, while the Pentagon’s budget emerged unscathed and even boosted. “You’ve got to understand that both Democrats and Republicans, a majority of them in Congress, liked the debt ceiling situation because it allows them to put pressure on social programs’ spending,” Rasmus said.

“You know, defense spending is never affected by these deals. That always goes through. You can see it in this deal here, 11 percent in the first year increase in the Pentagon budget alone, not the other defense spending.” But the saga and its outcome was nothing new in Washington DC, the academic pointed out. “You go back to Obama in 2011, last time we had this, and the defense spending increase just blew right through. It had no effect. They only cut a trillion dollars out of social programs spending.” However, the Democratic leadership will be happy as the final budget deal does nothing to rein in their pet project of arming the Kiev regime for a proxy conflict with Russia.

“Biden wants a free hand to continue to give billions every week to finance the Ukraine proxy war, and he’s got that free hand now,” Rasmus said. “And both sides never even made an effort to do any cuts here on the defense side. So Biden got his blank check for raising Pentagon and war spending and financing Ukraine. And the Republicans got all the rest. “So Democrats got what they wanted, at least the corporate Democrats running the party. And the Republicans got a you know, a big bite of the apple of cutting social spending,” he added. “And they’re going to get another bite here when it comes later in the year for passing the budget for the next year.”

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“..the US/NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine is simultaneously a war designed to interrupt the progress of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)..”

How The BRI Train Took The Road To Shangri-La (Pepe Escobar)

It is important to recognize that the US/NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine is simultaneously a war designed to interrupt the progress of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). As we approach the 10th anniversary of the BRI, to be marked by the third Belt and Road Forum later this year in Beijing, it is clear the original Silk Road Economic Belt – announced by President Xi Jinping in Astana, Kazakhstan, in September 2013 – has traveled a long way. By January this year, 151 nations had already signed up to the BRI: No less than 75 percent of the world’s population that represents more than half of the global GDP. Even an Atlanticist outfit such as the London-based Center for Economic and Business Research admits that the BRI may increase global GDP by a whopping $7.1 trillion a year by 2040, dispensing “widespread” benefits.

Included in the Chinese Constitution since 2018, BRI constitutes the de facto overarching Chinese foreign policy framework all the way to 2049, marking the centenary of the People’s Republic of China. The BRI advances along several overland connectivity corridors – from the Trans-Siberian to the “middle corridor” along Iran and Turkiye and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) all the way to the Arabian Sea. Meanwhile, on the waterways front, the Maritime Silk Road offers a parallel network from southeast China to the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Swahili Coast, and the Mediterranean Sea. All that is mirrored by the Russian-driven Northern Sea Route, connecting the eastern and western sides of the Arctic, and reducing to and fro sailing time from Europe to Asia from one month to less than two weeks.

Such a massive Make Trade Not War project, centered on connectivity, infrastructure building, sustainable development, and diplomatic acumen – focusing on the Global South – could not but be interpreted by western elites as a supreme geopolitical and geoeconomic threat. And that’s why every geopolitical turbulence across the chessboard is directly or indirectly linked to BRI. Including Ukraine.

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Meeting without Russia.

US Attempts ’Divide and Conquer’ Strategy Against BRICS (Pepe Escobar)

Something extraordinary, at least on the surface, happened on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore earlier this month – a somewhat pompous affair self-described as “Asia’s premier defense summit”. Intel heads of 24 nations met in de facto semi-secrecy, because in the end the event was duly leaked (Western spin qualified it as an “informal” meeting). Among the 24, the real deal comprised the US and all the other Five Eyes, plus representatives of two BRICS members, China and India. All the others were not identified with certainty or preferred to remain anonymous – presumably due to their “hanger on” status. Crucially, key BRICS member Russia was not represented. Reuters swore the information about the not-so-secret gathering came from five different – unnamed – sources.

A Southeast Asian diplomat independently confirmed the presence of the Five Eyes, China, India and Singapore – and that was it. The de facto sponsor of the meeting was Singapore’s Ministry of Defense. Things gets curioser and curioser when we examine the leak a bit closer. So many sources basically corroborating each other point to a concerted spin – practically on an official level. If this was meant to be really secret, as in the past, that would have been the case, with every involved lip conveniently sealed. So why leak it? Such spy vs. spy meetings, historically, take ages to prepare, especially one involving 24 nations and featuring superpower rivals US and China. That implies countless qualified sherpas redacting documents; very complicated logistics; an ultra-secure environment; and an extremely detailed script covering every intervention.

All of that must have been discussed in excruciating detail for months, side by side with putting together the larger agenda for the Shangri-La Dialogue: and all the while there were no leaks. And then what was leaked, after the meeting, was just that it happened. With only selected participating players fully identified. There’s absolutely nothing on substance. It beggars belief that the Five Eyes would openly discuss Western security fears and/or procedures openly with the Chinese, not to mention the other minor hangers-on. After all the Beijing leadership is fully aware the US-UK is engaged in full hybrid war against China, with the Five Eyes and containment mechanisms such as Quad and AUKUS in tow. The main reason for the leak is a dead giveaway when we see what US Think Tankland is spinning: the US was talking security with China and India behind Russia’s back. Translation: the US is trying to undermine the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) from the inside.

This is purely wishful thinking – because no one knows anything about the substance of the discussions. The meat of the matter was not leaked on purpose. The dead giveaway about the leak being engineered to undermine the BRICS – at least in the Western public sphere – would have to come from the usual suspects themselves: US think tanks, inserted in what the indispensable Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst, christened as MICIMATT (Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think Tank complex).

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Olympos

 

 

Flees

 

 

Mastiff

 

 

 

 

Octopus moonwalk
https://twitter.com/i/status/1668129343451680769

 

 

Cookie monster

 

 


The South Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher was first described 130 years ago and has eluded scientists for over 100 years because of its behavior. Thanks to Miguel David De Leon we get a glimpse of the beautiful bird that is sadly threatened with extinction

 

 

 

 

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Apr 212023
 
 April 21, 2023  Posted by at 6:57 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  3 Responses »


Keith Haring Untitled 1983

 

 

 

Andrew Korybko:

 

Debunking The Latest Fake News Narrative

CNN published an exclusive piece on Thursday alleging that “Evidence emerges of Russia’s Wagner arming militia leader battling Sudan’s army”. They claim that satellite imagery shows increased Russian military transport activity between Libya and Syria in the run-up to Sudan’s “deep state” war. According to CNN, this confirms rumors that General Haftar is supplying Rapid Support Forces’ (RSF) leader General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (“Hamedti”) with surface-to-air missiles (SAM) on behalf of Wagner.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published their own exclusive piece the day prior on Wednesday alleging that “Libyan Militia and Egypt’s Military Back Opposite Sides in Sudan Conflict”, so these two stories complement one another. Both Hamedti and Wagner have denied these claims, however. The Sudanese Ambassador to Russia also confirmed that “Russia is a friendly country to us so we have been in direct contact with [the] Russian Foreign Ministry since the very beginning of those events last Saturday.”

That diplomat’s reaffirmation of Sudan’s close ties with Russia is especially important since he represents the government that’s internationally recognized as being led by Chief General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, who commands the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and is one of the two figures vying for power. At present, Khartoum therefore doesn’t extend credence to the emerging US-led Western Mainstream Media (MSM) narrative that Russia is arming the RSF via Haftar-Wagner, but that could soon change.

Preconditioning The Public For Another Proxy War

Unless the present three-day Eid ceasefire holds and leads to the start of peace talks that ultimately end this “deep state” war, which is unlikely since both sides made clear their intent to completely destroy the other, then this conflict is expected to resume in the near future. Should the SAF fail to defeat the RSF and possibly even be placed on the backfoot, then Burhan might gamble that it’s in his best interests to parrot the MSM’s anti-Russian accusations in an attempt to receive direct Western military support.

That scenario isn’t all that far-fetched either considering that the Associated Press and Politico both cited unnamed officials on Thursday to report that the US is assembling additional troops in nearby Djibouti to prepare for the possible evacuation of Americans from Sudan. This pretext could easily be exploited to arm the SAF and/or attack the RSF, especially if the Pentagon claims that the latter tried stopping its operation by building upon last week’s claim that its forces shot at an armored US diplomatic vehicle.

In the event that Burhan repeats the MSM’s emerging anti-Russian narrative and promises to rubbish Sudan’s naval base deal with Moscow upon defeating the RSF, then the Biden Administration can “justify” its military intervention on the basis of “defending Sudanese democracy from a Kremlin coup”. The public would then be told that the latest conflict was sparked by Russia’s support for the “insurgent” RSF, which the MSM would attribute to its interests in defending Wagner’s mining operations there.

American Meddling In Russian-Egyptian Relations

This would predictably precede an unprecedented but preplanned information warfare campaign painting Russia as a “destabilizing” force in Africa, which would be aimed at counteracting its hitherto highly successful efforts at presenting itself as a force of stability in support of legitimate governments. The purpose of this aforesaid operation would be to erode Russia’s newfound “Democratic Security” appeal across the continent with a view towards reversing the decline of Western influence there.

Furthermore, Burhan’s potentially opportunistic piggybacking on the earlier described emerging anti-Russian narrative could have serous implications for Moscow’s ties with Cairo due to the perception of them backing opposite sides in Sudan’s “deep state” war. Russian-Egyptian relations have recently been beset by scandal upon the latest Pentagon leaks alleging that Cairo abandoned its supposedly secret plan to supply rockets to Moscow under pressure from Washington and agreed to arm Kiev instead.

Considering this context, the scenario of Egyptian-backed Burhan blaming Russia for sparking the latest conflict could therefore lead to the rapid deterioration of Russian-Egyptian ties, especially if Cairo decides to indirectly retaliate against Moscow by curtailing its investment rights in Port Said. Those two signed an additional agreement on this industrial zone last month, which was first approved in 2018 and is supposed to help Russia expand its economic engagement with the broader region.

Punishing The Emirates For Its Close Relations With Russia

That goal could be jeopardized if Egypt decides to punish Russia through these means in response to Burhan opportunistically piggybacking on the MSM narrative in an attempt to obtain direct Western military support against the RSF. Furthermore, the UAE’s ties with Egypt and the US could also become much more complicated in that event too since Abu Dhabi is accused of backing reportedly RSF-allied Haftar, being favorable disposed to that armed Sudanese group, and secretly allying with Russia.

The last-mentioned accusation was brought to the public’s attentions as a result of the previously mentioned Pentagon leaks, which were denied by the UAE but coincided with the weakening of its ties with Washington that are partially over that Gulf country’s growing ones with Moscow. There are more factors at play than just the Russian-Emirati relationship, but the point is that the UAE’s problems with the US could be amplified by the MSM if Burhan accuses Russia of arming the RSF via Haftar-Wagner.

It also deserves mentioning that America’s other ulterior interest in its incipient propaganda campaign against Russia in Sudan is to complicate its geopolitical opponent’s logistical connections with the Central African Republic (CAR), which owes its continued existence as a state to Moscow’s military support. The Kremlin largely relies on transit across Sudan in order to supply its forces and its ally’s there, but this could be cut off if Burhan jumps on the anti-Russian bandwagon and revokes Moscow’s privileges.

The Chadian Connection

Lastly, another strategic factor behind this latest information warfare offensive against Russia is that it could ruin that country’s surprisingly solid relations with regional military heavyweight Chad. As explained in this recent analysis here, N’Djamena ended up expelling the German Ambassador earlier this month for meddling instead of the Russian one despite the US telling its counterparts in late February that Moscow is using Wagner in the CAR and Libya to arm anti-government rebels against it.

The Associated Press cited an African analyst from a Western risk assessment firm in their article on Thursday about 320 SAF troops fleeing to Chad to claim that this development could prompt N’Djamena into taking those forces’ side in Sudan’s “deep state” war. According to Benjamin Hunter, “N’Djamena is likely to oppose (Dagalo) due to fears that RSF dominance in Darfur could empower Chadian Arabs to unseat the (president’s) regime. Many within (Dagalo’s) Rizeigat tribe live across the border in Chad.”

If Chad becomes embroiled in Sudan’s “deep state” war on Burhan’s side, then it might be susceptible to Western suggestions that jumping on the anti-Russian bandwagon like he would have already done in this scenario could lead to them suspending their regime change campaign against N’Djamena. Should that happen, then this regional military heavyweight might also support any potentially forthcoming rebel/terrorist offensive that its historical French partner could soon plot against Russia in the CAR.

Concluding Thoughts

Putting everything together, the US plans to achieve the following strategic objectives by introducing the narrative that Russia is arming the RSF:

  1. Entice Burhan to extend credence to these claims in exchange for US military support;
  1. Demand that he also rescinds Russia’s naval base rights and cuts off its overflight access to the CAR;
  1. Consider direct support to the SAF on the pretext of commencing an “evacuation operation” in Sudan;
  1. Discredit Russia and the UAE’s African engagement policies by framing both as “destabilizing forces”;
  1. Attempt to provoke a crisis in Russia’s relations with Sudan’s Chadian and Egyptian neighbors;
  1. Exploit the above scenario to assemble a regional coalition for pushing back against Russia in Africa;
  1. Encourage Chad to support a French-backed rebel/terrorist offensive in the Russian-allied CAR;
  1. Plot a copycat proxy war in Russian-allied Mali in order to crush the Kremlin’s influence in the Sahel;
  1. Perfect this new Hybrid War method prior to employing it all across the continent;
  1. And thus turn Africa into the top proxy war battleground of the New Cold War.

The US therefore has many reasons to push this fake news campaign, though it’s unclear whether it’ll ultimately achieve any of its envisaged objectives or not.

 

 

 

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Mar 052023
 


Robert Capa Capucine, French model and actress, in her hotel room, Rome 1951

 

American Leaders Are ‘Fundamentally Stupid’ – US Democrat (RT)
Trump Vows To End Ukraine Conflict In 24 Hours (RT)
Bakhmut, Strategic Or Not, Is Falling (MoA)
U.S. Intel On China Considering Lethal Aid For Putin’s War (NBC)
China Is Finally Stepping Up To Its Role As A Superpower (Lukyanov)
West Likely Covering Up Nord Stream Probe Findings – French General (RT)
We’ll Soon Find Out (Kunstler)
EU Should ‘Get Ready’ For Stagflation – Jeffrey Sachs (RT)
Obesity Is a US Security Threat (ZH)
Almost 80% of Americans Aged 17 to 24 Unfit for Military Service (ET)
EU Delays Final Vote On Combustion Engine Ban (EN)
Twitter Discloses Another Possible Government Censorship Effort (Turley)

 

 

 

 

Russell MSNBC

 

 

 

 

Trump Deep state

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Our leaders are intellectually bankrupt. They don’t know what they can accomplish and what they can not accomplish. Fundamentally they’re stupid, and they don’t have any other ideas.”

American Leaders Are ‘Fundamentally Stupid’ – US Democrat (RT)

Motivated by a desire to sever Germany’s economic ties to Russia, the US’ “intellectually bankrupt” politicians have made nuclear war a realistic possibility, Kentucky gubernatorial candidate Geoffrey Young told RT on Saturday. Young said that the electorate he has spoken to in Kentucky are “sick of” seeing their tax dollars go to Ukraine, and think that the US should cut off the supply of arms to Kiev. In Washington, however, politicians are “separated from reality,” he said. “I think most of them are severely deluded about reality by decades of anti-Russian propaganda in our mainstream media,” he claimed, pointing to the fact that Congress is currently holding hearings on climate change, which he called “totally irrelevant..at this moment when humanity is threatened by a possible nuclear war.”

Aside from using Ukraine to fight a proxy war against Russia, Young claimed that the Bden administration’s overarching goal has been to “strengthen Washington’s hold over our European so-called allies.” “The Nord Stream bombing was a part of that strategy, designed to make Germany, the largest economy in Europe, totally dependent on the US,” he explained. “For decades, Washington’s biggest nightmare has been that Germany and Russia would ally, have their economies complement each other… and make the United States irrelevant.” American journalist Seymour Hersh recently published reports blaming the bombing of the Nord Stream pipelines on the CIA and the Norwegian navy, who he claimed acted on the instruction of President Joe Biden.

Hersh said that the attack was largely intended to remove Berlin’s ability to lift sanctions on Russia and resume buying Russian gas – which is significantly cheaper than American liquefied natural gas. These sanctions have been ineffective. According to the most recent figures from the IMF, Russia’s economy is set to grow faster than that of the UK and Germany this year, and faster than all of the G7 nations in 2024. Yet the West continues to prepare more sanctions on Moscow out of “incompetence,” Young told RT. “Our leaders are intellectually bankrupt. They don’t know what they can accomplish and what they can not accomplish. Fundamentally they’re stupid, and they don’t have any other ideas.”

The US and its allies should therefore “back off” before the conflict in Ukraine spreads any further, he recommended. Young’s position on Ukraine puts him at odds with the rest of the Democratic Party, who have voted in lockstep to continue the US’ military support for Ukraine. Only a minority of Republicans in Congress have opposed this support, with 11 GOP representatives sponsoring legislation last month that would cut off the flow of weapons to Kiev. Young is challenging incumbent Governor Steve Beshear in the Kentucky Democratic primary this May. He ran for the House of Representatives as a self-described “Peace Democrat” last November, but lost to Republican Andy Barr.

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“We are never going back to a party that wants to give unlimited money to fight foreign wars that are endless wars, that are stupid..”

Trump Vows To End Ukraine Conflict In 24 Hours (RT)

President Joe Biden is leading the United States “into oblivion,” Donald Trump told the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland on Saturday, promising to stop wasting US taxpayer money on “stupid” foreign wars as he rallies support for a potential political comeback in 2024. “I was the only president in decades that didn’t have a war,” Trump said in his nearly two-hour long speech at the annual conservative gathering at Gaylord National Resort, claiming that if he was in office right now, “Ukraine would have been thriving, there would have been no dead people, no obliterated cities that can never be rebuilt.” Last month, Trump promised to immediately call Moscow and Kiev, if re-elected, insisting he knows exactly what to tell Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky to stop the conflict.

“I know what to say,” he reiterated on Saturday. “Before I arrive in the Oval Office, I will have the disastrous war between Russia and Ukraine ended… I will get the problem solved and I will get it solved in rapid order and it will take me no longer than one day.” At the same time, Trump blasted Biden for wasting billions of US taxpayer dollars instead of forcing Washington’s European allies to bankroll Kiev. “Is NATO putting up dollar for dollar with us?” he said. “We put up $140 billion and they put up just a tiny fraction of that. And you know, we all want to see success, but it’s far more important to them than it is to us because of that location.” “We are never going back to a party that wants to give unlimited money to fight foreign wars that are endless wars, that are stupid,” Trump proclaimed.

Trump warned Americans that they are facing the “most dangerous time in our country’s history, and Joe Biden is leading us into oblivion,” claiming that the world will soon plunge into WWIII unless “something doesn’t happen fast.” “I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent world war three,” he said. In recent months, Trump has repeatedly called for the US to lead the way in negotiating a peace settlement in Ukraine, while blasting the way President Biden has handled the conflict. He also condemned the US’ promise to send M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, saying the move could bring about a nuclear war – as Moscow continues to insist that arms shipments make the West a direct party to the hostilities.

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“The Ukrainian soldiers in Bakhmut, several thousands still seem to be there, will then be left with only two options: surrender or die.”

Bakhmut, Strategic Or Not, Is Falling (MoA)

Over the last six weeks the Russian counter-battery campaign destroyed some additional 500 Ukrainian howitzers and multiple rocket launchers. The Russian Lancet suicide drones (videos) have done a lot of that work. Russia has thereby increased its own artillery advantage even more. As artillery is the major killer in any modern war this also means that casualties on both sides will follow a similar ratio as the number of guns and rounds fired by each side. For the last several weeks the daily ‘clobber report’ by the Russian Defense Ministry reported some 350-400 Ukrainian soldiers killed per day along the whole frontline. On Thursday that number increased to 640, stayed at 640 in Friday’s report and increased to 880 in today’s report. 490 of those were reported in the Bakhmut area.

BBC cooperates with other organization to count every announcement of a dead soldier in the Russian local media. Since the start of the war it has identified a total of 16,000: Throughout 2022, Russian sources typically reported about 250–300 deaths each week, doubling in January and continuing to grow again in February. Russian source report death per week at a lower rate than Ukrainian death per day. The ratio is again about 10 Ukrainians for 1 Russian. That number of Russian dead has doubled in January and further increased in February says the BBC. But the 10 to 1 ratio between Ukrainian and Russian dead will still have been the same.

I have said for a while that Bakhmut was in operational encirclement. Russian artillery could reach its last roads in and out. Since three days ago Bakhmut is in tactical encirclement. Russian direct fire, i.e. tank guns and hand held anti-tank missiles, can now cover all of Bakhmut’s supply routes. They will shoot at any car that attempts to drive there. Its one reason why the reported deaths have harshly increased. Should the Ukraine decide to order its soldiers to stay in Bakhmut the city will be physically encircled. All roads will be blocked not only by fire but by heavily armed Russian checkpoints. The Ukrainian soldiers in Bakhmut, several thousands still seem to be there, will then be left with only two options: surrender or die.

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Anonymous sources galore. But zero evidence. Just poking the dragon.

U.S. Intel On China Considering Lethal Aid For Putin’s War (NBC)

Initial U.S. intelligence suggesting that China is considering supplying lethal aid to Russia for its war in Ukraine was gleaned from Russian government officials, according to one current and one former U.S. official familiar with the intelligence. U.S. officials then spent weeks corroborating the information from other sources of intelligence, the current and former officials said, and with allies who also brought additional streams of information. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence matters. The multiple threads of intelligence suggesting that China is considering giving lethal aid to Russia, including ammunition and artillery, raised alarm among Biden administration officials, particularly given how such a move by Beijing could shift the dynamic of the war in Moscow’s favor.

“A Russian military that’s fueled by or aided by a Chinese infusion of weapons and platforms is more lethal militarily and more capable,” a senior administration official said. “That’s not going to be good for the people of Ukraine.” Top administration officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and CIA Director Williams Burns, have publicly expressed confidence in the intelligence and warned China against providing Russia with lethal military aid. China has denied it is considering sending lethal aid to Russia, calling the U.S. accusation “disinformation.” U.S. officials note that they have not seen any evidence of movement or a decision from China to take that step. At a White House press briefing Thursday, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby was asked how serious the administration thinks China is about possibly sending weapons to Russia.

“We actually don’t know,” Kirby said. Kirby added that the U.S. believes China has not taken it off the table but also has not seen any evidence that Beijing is moving toward sending lethal aid to Moscow. The initial intelligence was vague about what specific systems or equipment China was considering providing to Russia, including whether they could provide drones beyond what are already available commercially, officials familiar with the intelligence said. “There are varying levels of confidence about how serious China is about this,” a second senior U.S. official said. In an interview Sunday on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” Burns acknowledged that the decision to release the information publicly was intended to deter China from deciding to provide Russia with lethal aid. “We’re confident that the Chinese leadership is considering the provision of lethal equipment,” Burns said. He added: “Secretary Blinken and the President have thought it important to make very clear what the consequences of that would be.”

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“This will change the world..”

China Is Finally Stepping Up To Its Role As A Superpower (Lukyanov)

China has stepped up its diplomatic activity considerably. This is not only because it has broken out of the long-standing pandemic isolation that previously hampered its outreach. The main motive is that China’s role and weight in the international arena have grown to the point where contemplative detachment is no longer possible. This is an important shift in Chinese self-awareness; the question now is what changes in international practice it will lead to. Non-action as the highest virtue and the non-contradictory interpenetration of opposites are principles of traditional philosophy, but they are also quite an applied way of conducting international activities. A detailed analysis of this phenomenon should be left to specialists, but it is worth noting that the shift from such a worldview to a more familiar ideological and geopolitical confrontation took place when China adopted the generally alien Western communist doctrine.

Mao Zedong attempted to change not only the social order but also the culture of the Chinese. But his reign ended with a bargain with the United States, which was a return to a strategic equilibrium that better suited the Chinese view of the world. Mutual recognition did not mean agreement and harmony, but it was in line with the objectives of the parties at the time. This period, which lasted until very recently, is only now showing signs of coming to an end. There is much debate in America about the last few decades, and there is complaining that it is China that has gained the most from the interaction. Criteria may vary, but in general it is hard to disagree that Beijing has been the primary beneficiary – at least in terms of the transformation of the country and its place on the international stage. Deng Xiaoping’s strategy of quiet, gradual ascent was entirely in the Chinese spirit, and the result has undoubtedly been justified.

So much so that it was extremely difficult for Beijing to understand that this super favorable and advantageous situation would come to an end. This proved inevitable for one simple reason: China has acquired a power that, whatever its wishes and intentions, makes it a potential rival to the US. And this has led to a natural evolution of the American approach to Beijing. After all, the US style is the direct opposite of the classic Chinese style described above. And the latter’s attempts in the late 2010s and early 2020s to slow down the growing American pressure have run up against Washington’s firm intention to move the relationship into the category of strategic competition. To be fair, China’s assertiveness and self-confidence were also growing, but if everything had depended on Beijing alone, the period of beneficial cooperation would have lasted several more years.

Be that as it may, a new era has dawned. China’s diplomatic revival is intended to demonstrate that Beijing is not afraid to play a role in world politics. The form of engagement so far bears the hallmarks of the previous period and of that very traditional approach – the sterile precision of the wording of Chinese peace proposals on the Ukraine issue is evidence of this. But this too is likely to change. China’s desire to maintain an outwardly well intentioned neutrality suits Moscow; it is the West that is quick to allege insincerity, and to do so in a tone that is unbecoming of the Chinese. Beijing should not be expected to make a sharp U-turn, which is also contrary to its sense of propriety, but the direction is set. And it is not a question of whether China shares Russia’s assessment of what is happening in Ukraine.

Beijing has carefully avoided expressing an opinion because it does not consider it to be its business. But the realignment of forces on the world stage is taking its course, with China and Russia, whether they like it or not, on one side and the United States and its allies on the other. And from now on this will become increasingly clear. In his ten years at the helm of his country, Xi Jinping has transformed its domestic and foreign policies. On the one hand, he has emphasized the classical Chinese outlook more than his predecessors, while on the other, he has honored the slogans and ideas associated with socialism. The former implies a self-sufficient harmony, while the latter tends to be outward-looking as much as inward-looking. This symbiosis is likely to define China’s positioning in the next five or ten years of Xi’s rule. The hostile international environment will increasingly test Beijing’s ability to maintain an acceptable equilibrium. Much will depend on how successful these attempts are, including for Russia.

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“And if we don’t have any conclusions, it’s [because] there are probably conclusions that they don’t want to give..”

West Likely Covering Up Nord Stream Probe Findings – French General (RT)

The fact that none of the Western nations investigating the Nord Stream pipeline explosions have released their findings implies they have reached a conclusion they would rather keep under the rug, a French general has claimed. Dominique Trinquand, the former head of the French military mission to the UN and NATO, also described as “trustworthy” a recent exposé by Pulitzer Prize-winning US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, which alleged that Washington was behind the act of sabotage. Speaking on France’s LCI TV channel on Friday about the attack, which took place in September 2022, Trinquand argued that “we would have found proof if it were the Russians.” He went on to suggest that if there is still no evidence incriminating Moscow, “you have to look elsewhere.”

A key question that needs to be asked, according to the French general, is “who benefits from the crime?” Seeing that the destroyed pipelines were owned by Moscow, “the crime a priori will not benefit the Russians,” Trinquand insisted. He also pointed out the fact that even though such countries as Sweden, Denmark, and Germany have conducted their own probes into the explosions, recovering a lot of material from the site, no conclusions have been made public as of yet. “And if we don’t have any conclusions, it’s [because] there are probably conclusions that they don’t want to give,” the general surmised.

Commenting on Hersh’s bombshell report, which pointed the finger squarely at the US, Trinquand asserted that the story is not only plausible, but also verifiable by pretty much anyone thanks to online aircraft- and vessel-tracking services available nowadays. In his article, Hersh claimed US Navy divers had planted bombs at the undersea pipelines for pumping gas from Russia to Germany back in June 2022 under the guise of the BALTOPS 22 NATO exercise in the Baltic Sea. According to the exposé, the explosives were detonated three months later with a remote signal sent by a sonar buoy dropped by a Norwegian Navy P8 surveillance plane. Washington has consistently denied any involvement in the sabotage, while top Russian officials have called for a UN investigation into what President Vladimir Putin has described as an “act of international terrorism.”

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“..just adds another layer of perfidy to the giant matrix of lies laid down by US agency officials in this disgraceful episode of US history..”

We’ll Soon Find Out (Kunstler)

In an interview with Fox News’s Bret Baier last Tuesday, FBI Director Chris Wray said, “The FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan.” Like so much else in America’s tortured, distractible life these days, the meaning larded into that utterance went clear over the collective heads of just about everybody. What was the key part of that statement? “For quite some time now….” Gee, really? Like, how long? One year? More than that? Maybe since March 2020? And you didn’t say anything, Mr. FBI Director? You didn’t do a thing to dispel the Covid-19 miasma of confusion that swaddled Washington DC like a smallpox blanket of yore?

The question of where the novel coronavirus came from has been a ferocious national controversy since late 2019, you understand. Several government agencies, including the CIA and all the offices under the gigantic National Institutes of Health (NIH) – including the NIAID run for decades by Dr. Anthony Fauci — plus the FDA and CDC, tucked into the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)… all of these outfits have pretended to not know the true origin of Covid-19 for over three years. And the FBI Director, who could have shed some authoritative light on the matter by stepping up to a podium and weighing in, just let all that chaos roll? And by-the-by, let’s not forget that the whole time Chris Wray knew with moderate certainty that Covid-19 came from the Wuhan virology lab, he was in charge of a battalion of FBI agents assigned to managing Twitter, Facebook, and Google — that is, the apps that comprise the digital Public Square — to make sure that anyone who opined about Covid coming from the Wuhan lab got censored, banished, cancelled, reputationally destroyed.

So, why did Mr. Wray make this statement on Tuesday… “The FBI has for quite some time now assessed…” Probably we’re hearing the old Modified Limited Hangout strategy, a venerable ruse, which is when a criminally culpable government throws the public a bone of admission about something that is common knowledge anyway — the thing everybody knows — while pretending that they were in on the common knowledge all along — which just adds another layer of perfidy to the giant matrix of lies laid down by US agency officials in this disgraceful episode of US history. What Mr. Wray left out of his statement this week is any hint that a gang of US scientists and doctors under Dr. Fauci were directly and intimately involved in the activities at Wuhan that produced the virus that killed millions around the world, and led to the warp speed production of a “vaccine” mere weeks after the organism appeared — which will probably end up killing and maiming more people than the disease itself.

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Hmm.. What’s happening in Europe is not just some financial phenomenon. It’s eating its own sanctions.

EU Should ‘Get Ready’ For Stagflation – Jeffrey Sachs (RT)

The Eurozone is on the verge of stagflation, renowned US economist Jeffrey Sachs has warned on his Youtube channel. Stagflation refers to a period of stagnant economic growth tied up with persistently high inflation and a sharp rise in unemployment. According to Sachs, who was the mastermind behind “shock therapy” reforms in the 1990s in Russia, the recent slowing in headline inflation in the euro area is a temporary occurrence, as it includes highly volatile fresh food and energy prices, which change quickly. However, the core inflation, which excludes these readings and therefore gives a clearer picture of underlying pressures within the economy, surged to a new record last month, signaling that the Eurozone economy may be headed into a crisis in the long run.

“Core inflation in Europe just keeps rising, despite headline slowing as the economy tips into recession. Get ready for stagflation!” Sachs said. Headline inflation across the 20 countries of the euro area slowed to 8.5% in February from 8.6% the month before, according to Eurostat data. Experts attribute the trend to the decline in energy prices brought about by unseasonably mild weather and, subsequently, lower demand. Core inflation, on the other hand, rose by 5.6%, a new historic high for the indicator. The surge in core inflation is likely to force the European Central Bank to keep raising interest rates, which often stalls economic growth or even pushes the economy into a recession, a period of negative growth.

“If we don’t get clear signals that core inflation is going down, we’ll have to do more,” Belgium’s central bank head Pierre Wunsch, who is also a member of the ECB governing council, told reporters this week, adding that “looking at rates of 4% would not be excluded.” Sachs is not the first to issue warnings about a looming stagflation. Another renowned economist, Nouriel Roubini, has been saying for months now that the world economy is headed into what he calls “a global stagflationary debt crisis,” noting that with interest rates at their current level, the debt ratio is quickly becoming unsustainable.

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Two articles on the same topic. Zero Hedge focuses on military, ET more on food.

It is absolute insanity that the US subsidizes the demise of its own citizens, through foodstamps etc.

77% of Americans aged 17-24 are unfit for military service.

Obesity Is a US Security Threat (ZH)

As the US military struggles to fill the ranks with new recruits, a new report from the Department of Defense reveals that the vast majority of Americans aged 17-24 are unfit for military service. Citing a Feb. 16 congressional hearing, a DoD report reveals that 77% of Americans in the above age group could not physically qualify to enter the armed forces – a 6% increase from 2017. A key factor is obesity – which hit nearly 42% in 2020. Meanwhile, a 2022 study cited by the Epoch Times found a link between receiving government food assistance and a greater chance of becoming obese through the consumption of unhealthy foods. A 2015 USDA analysis found that 40% of total SNAP participants were obese. Last month, Military.com reported on an Army initiative to whip fat, low-scoring recruits into shape in ‘pre-basic training courses.’

“The program, known as the Future Soldier Preparatory Course, is designed to expand the pool of eligible Americans who can join the service by creating short camps that help applicants reach Army standards. The service came up short of its recruiting goal last year, bringing in 45,000 new active-duty troops — well below its goal of 60,000. This year, the service is even more ambitious, seeking 65,000 new recruits.” -Military.com “The Future Soldier Prep Course is giving young Americans who want to serve the chance to do so, by helping them not only meet our standards, but in many cases rise above them,” said Gen. James McConville, the Army’s top officer. “We started seeing positive results early on in the program, and I am happy to see it expand to additional installations so we can continue to attract and invest in our nation’s best talent.”

In September 2022, a U.S. Army general bluntly said that young Americans are either too obese, too sick, or too criminal to serve in the military. “Some of the challenges we have are obesity, we have pre-existing medical conditions, we have behavioral health problems, we have criminality, people with felonies, and we have drug use,” Lt. Gen. Xavier Brunson told The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington. Brunson called it a “condition,” saying that “this is not an Army problem, so nationally what we have to look at is what’s going on with our youth.” The general’s statement came as a response to difficulties the U.S. military had reaching their target goals for recruits in 2022. This struggle, prevalent in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force, has prompted security analysts and some U.S. institutions to declare obesity a threat to national security.

“Each year, more than $60 million goes toward replacing the 1,200-plus first-term enlistees discharged for excess weight,” Irina Tsukerman, a security analyst and the owner of Scarab Rising, told The Epoch Times. She said high obesity rates have narrowed the recruiting pool considerably, coupled with “falling intelligence and education standards.” She also noted that, along with reduced resiliency and flexibility, the military is less prepared to meet “asymmetrical or conventional challenges.” Police departments struggle with similar challenges, according to Tsukerman.

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“The top seven subsidized foods covered under SNAP have been associated with “cardiometabolic risk factors” such as obesity..”

Almost 80% of Americans Aged 17 to 24 Unfit for Military Service (ET)

It’s no secret that the U.S. military is struggling to find people who are fit for service these days. Maintaining health and wellness among its existing members has also become a challenge. A Department of Defense report cited during a Feb. 16 congressional hearing offered a hard pill to swallow: 77 percent of Americans between the ages of 17 and 24 are unqualified physically to enter the armed forces. That’s a 6 percent increase from 2017, which has added to the struggle to find new recruits in every branch of the military. One of the major hurdles recruiters now face is obesity, which has become a dominant health challenge for Americans. As of 2020, the prevalence of obesity in the adult population hit nearly 42 percent. In addition, research shows that government food subsidies are a significant contributing factor.

One 2022 study found a link between receiving food assistance and a greater chance of becoming obese through the consumption of unhealthy foods. That’s especially true for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). As the largest federal nutrition assistance program in the United States, SNAP counts thousands of U.S. military members among its beneficiaries. Presently, there are 22,000 active duty individuals and nearly 250,000 National Guard service members who receive SNAP, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). But this isn’t a new problem. Findings from a 2015 USDA analysis revealed that 40 percent of total SNAP participants were obese. The top seven subsidized foods covered under SNAP have been associated with “cardiometabolic risk factors” such as obesity since 2009. Subsidized crops are turned into highly processed foods with little to no nutritional benefit, many of which are available to SNAP recipients.

Ultra-processed foods directly contribute to obesity, according to a 2022 health report. The analysis states that the consumption of ultra-processed foods is likely much higher among those participating in SNAP. And that’s because, unlike some U.S. nutrition subsidy programs, SNAP covers items such as cookies, soda, candy, and ice cream. So participants aren’t only eating higher quantities of heavily processed items, but also have access to a lot of junk food. Although food assistance is critical for more than 41 million Americans, nutritionists argue that a helping hand shouldn’t be at the expense of someone’s health. And it really comes down to cost. It’s simply cheaper to eat junk than it is to eat healthier food.

“We need a system that reduces the cost of healthy, unprocessed foods and makes it easier for people to afford and access them,” Dana Ellis Hunnes, senior clinical dietitian at UCLA Medical Center, told The Epoch Times. Hunnes has a passion for nutrition, which she shares in her book “Recipe for Survival.” She noted that ultra-processed food is the cornerstone of federal food assistance, which can fuel high obesity rates. “Ideally, we should be offering significantly more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and farmers’ market vouchers than … processed cereals, dairy products, and other packaged ultra-processed foods,” she said.

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A suicidal society in a last gasp save.

EU Delays Final Vote On Combustion Engine Ban (EN)

European Union member states decided on Friday morning to postpone a vote to ratify an EU-wide ban on the sale of new combustion engine vehicles as of 2035, reflecting growing discontent over one of the central measures to achieve climate neutrality by mid-century. The ban was designed as a gradual transition and proposes that all new cars and vans sold across the EU market from 2035 onwards should have a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions, a provision that will effectively exclude all those that run on petrol and diesel. Brussels chose 2035 as the cut-off date because the average lifespan of vehicles is 15 years and the Green Deal aims to make the entire economy CO2-neutral by 2050.

Friday’s vote by EU ambassadors was supposed to be a mere formality after the bloc’s two co-legislators, the EU Council and the European Parliament, had reached in October a provisional agreement that kept the 2035 deadline intact. The Parliament rubberstamped the law last month with a tight margin of 340 MEPs in favour and 279 against. The legislation was then passed on to ambassadors for the final green light. But as Friday’s vote approached, a number of member states intensified their opposition. Germany, Italy, Poland and Bulgaria are among those who in recent weeks expressed concerns regarding the far-reaching measure, Euronews understands. Together, the four countries would have been able to mount a so-called “blocking minority,” using either abstention or rejection votes.


Germany, a world leader in the automotive industry, is campaigning to have cars that run on synthetic fuels, also known as e-fuels, excluded from the 2035 ban. E-fuels are an emerging technology whose carbon footprint and commercial viability have been contested by environmental organisations. German Transport Minister Volker Wissing, who hails from the liberal, business-friendly FDP party, said earlier this week he had asked the European Commission for a new proposal to introduce the e-fuel exemption but he had not received any positive feedback from the bloc’s executive. “Against the background of the enormous fleet of cars that we have in Germany alone, there can only be a compromise for the FDP on the fleet limits if the use of e-fuels is also possible,” Wissing said.

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Possible?

Twitter Discloses Another Possible Government Censorship Effort (Turley)

An old saying, attributed to Henry David Thoreau, maintains that you do not have to find a trout in your glass to know someone is watering down the milk. This week Americans found a veritable school of trout in their milk — an unintentional demonstration by the Biden administration of why such a gathering of fish is often called a “lie.” In the 17th release of the “Twitter Files,” journalist Matt Taibbi disclosed that the U.S. government is funding a group that has supported the censorship of dissenting viewpoints on social media, including those of U.S. citizens. That may sound familiar. Just a few weeks ago, I wrote here that the congressionally created, federally funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) had supported the British-based Global Disinformation Index (GDI).

The index was widely ridiculed for targeting ten conservative and libertarian sites as the most dangerous sources of disinformation; it sought to persuade advertisers to withdraw support for those sites, while listing their most liberal counterparts as among the most trustworthy. At the time, I noted that the Biden administration had played us for chumps. As we celebrated the demise of the infamous Disinformation Governing Board with its “Disinformation Nanny,” the Biden administration never disclosed a larger censorship program. Shortly after my column posted in The Hill, the NED wrote to me to say that it was discontinuing support for the GDI. Microsoft also was forced into retreat after it was shown to be pushing the GDI’s biased blacklist. Again, many celebrated a victory for free speech.

Yet, here we are again staring down at a trout in our milk. This week, Taibbi reported that the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) may have supported a different disinformation blacklisting operation. The GEC controversy appears strikingly similar to the one involving the NED. Both have supported third-party organizations that carried out blacklisting. Taibbi contends that the GEC contracted with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab), which sent suggested blacklists to Twitter; DFRLab says Taibbi’s report is incorrect and that it does not make content moderation decisions. Yet, even Twitter censors reportedly balked at the size of the suggested blacklists and lack of supporting evidence. One list submitted by the GEC included several CNN journalists and Western government accounts, according to Taibbi.

Twitter’s Patrick Conlon reportedly mocked the list by referring to network anchor Anderson Cooper, joking: “Not exactly Anderson’s besties, but CNN assets if you will.” Yoel Roth, then Twitter’s head of trust and safety, responded “omg” and “what a total crock.” It would be funny except for the fact that we know Twitter has admitted censoring many of those targeted by the government. Still, many congressional Democrats continue to oppose efforts to investigate government censorship efforts, unleashing a type of Red Scare 2.0 by accusing critics of supporting insurrectionists or being “Putin lovers.” Others have simply insisted that if you see a trout in your milk, it is just your opinion.

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https://twitter.com/i/status/1632298558022885376

 

 

 

 

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