Nov 262023
 
 November 26, 2023  Posted by at 9:57 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  25 Responses »


Giorgio de Chirico Piazza d’Italia 1913

 

The Gaza Truce Is A Sign That Hamas Can’t Be Defeated (Inlakesh)
Hamas ‘Remains Strong’ After 49 Day Fight: Israeli Media (Cradle)
Biden Endorses Israel’s War To Eliminate Gaza (Aaron Maté)
The Thanksgiving Truce (Lauria)
Second Nakba; Same Israeli Lies; Same Western Narrative (Cook)
Israel Receives Third List Of Hostages To Be Released From Gaza (Az.)
US-German ‘Peace Talks Plot’ Shows West on Brink of Losing Ukraine (Sp.)
Ukraine Will ‘Strengthen EU’ – Baerbock (RT)
Germany Today Could Do What Hitler Did But Faster – Hungary’s Top MP (RT)
The Mind-Bending Politics of RFK Jr.’s Spoiler Campaign (NYMag)
The Invisible Hand Just Slapped Disney (Turley)
Bill Gates, Jeffrey Epstein and a Global Health Investment Fund (BB)
Jeffrey Sachs Says COVID About ‘Massive Government Lying’ (NM)

 

 


Some pictures do not need a caption.
– Banksy

 

 

Saudi Arabia Leaders Warns U.S To Stop Israel Or Face Its Wrath

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Middle East Will Cause WW3! Iran will ENTER Israel!!

 

 

Inevitable victory for Russia | Ukraine is crushed – Douglas Macgregor

 

 

Fed

 

 


2005. Not guilty.

 

 

“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”
– Kurt Vonnegut

 

 

 

 

“At this time, it appears that the idea that “Hamas must go” is no more than a pipe dream.”

The Gaza Truce Is A Sign That Hamas Can’t Be Defeated (Inlakesh)

After repeatedly rejecting a truce with Hamas and labeling the idea “ridiculous”, Israel agreed to a four-day cessation of hostilities in Gaza and a prisoner exchange. Six weeks of death and destruction, which Israeli and Western leaders declared should have led to the destruction of Hamas, have now bolstered the Palestinian movement’s image throughout the Arab world and beyond.The four-day truce that was implemented this Friday provided a sigh of relief for those most affected by the war in the Gaza Strip, but has in many ways spelled disaster for the Israeli government. As women and children, held captive by both Hamas and Israel, are being reunited with their families, the threat of further warfare looms. Although the loved ones of those released are now celebrating, the next steps will be crucial in determining the final outcomes of the 46-day battle that has now been placed on pause. At this time, it appears that the idea that “Hamas must go” is no more than a pipe dream.

On October 27, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution to the sound of overwhelming applause, calling for a truce to stop the fighting in the Gaza Strip. Although the non-binding resolution passed with a majority of 120 votes in favour, Israel and the United States outright rejected it. Tabled by Arab nations, the call for a truce was labeled as a “defense of Nazi terrorists” by Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the UN. This came after Hamas released four Israeli civilian hostages without conditions, for what the group said were humanitarian reasons.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others in his emergency war government, have repeatedly stated their goal of crushing Hamas and allied Palestinian armed groups in Gaza, refusing to negotiate with them. The six-week-long aerial bombardment of densely populated civilian areas in the besieged Palestinian enclave, which also morphed into a ground war, has claimed over 20,000 lives according to some estimates, but failed to eliminate Hamas. In fact, Israeli forces have not been able to show a single significant military achievement against the Palestinian armed groups. While Hamas claim to have struck 355 Israeli military vehicles during the past two weeks of fighting, publishing video evidence of dozens of attacks, Israeli forces have failed to assassinate senior leaders of Hamas, to free hostages by force, uncover major tunnel networks, or even publish proof that they have killed a significant number of Hamas fighters on the battlefield.

According to the Calcalist financial newspaper, the Gaza war was estimated early on to cost around $50 billion, roughly 10% of Israel’s GDP. In addition to this, the Israeli military has reportedly suffered losses in intelligence and monitoring equipment along their northern border, due to attacks carried out by the Lebanese group Hezbollah. Yemen’s Ansarallah also seized a ship in the Red Sea, owned by an Israeli businessman, which has severely impacted trade through the southern port city of Eilat. This is not factoring in the inevitable long-term effects on things like Israel’s tourism sector or investment in its high-tech industry.

Palestinian Ambassador to UK

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“..the Military Oversight Authority is refusing to allow Israeli media to show an action map of its progress in Gaza, fearing that it will show how little the army has achieved..”

Hamas ‘Remains Strong’ After 49 Day Fight: Israeli Media (Cradle)

Following the implementation of a four-day truce in Gaza, the Israeli media is flush with reports that Hamas remains strong after 49 days of fighting, and that the Israeli military is losing the war. Following the 7 October Hamas attack on Israeli settlements surrounding the Gaza strip, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to eliminate Hamas. But despite Israel’s horrific bombing campaign and ground operation in Gaza that has killed some 15,000 Palestinians, the majority women and children, the Israeli media is reporting that Hamas remains in control of the conflict. Following the release of the first batch of Israelis held captive by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Hebrew language Channel 12 said that on 25 November, “Whoever is in a hurry to mourn Hamas should look at this day to understand that this is not the reality.

“After 49 days of fighting, Hamas has proven that it is still strong, and that it still controls the Gaza Strip.” The channel noted that Hamas successfully completed the exchange of captives, including one held by another Palestinian faction, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, despite claims it had lost control over its fighters and cells. “After all this, the scene of Hamas kneeling is still a long way off,” the channel added. The Israeli channel’s military affairs correspondent, Nir Dvory, said that the Hamas movement “has not collapsed yet,” noting that the Israeli army “failed to liquidate the movement’s officials” whom it declared targets of its operations. Hours after the temporary truce took effect between the Israeli occupation and the resistance in Gaza on Friday, criticism began to appear for not achieving the declared goals of the war on the Gaza Strip.

According to Channel 12, the Military Oversight Authority is refusing to allow Israeli media to show an action map of its progress in Gaza, fearing that it will show how little the army has achieved. Israeli media reported as well that Reserve Major General Israel Ziv stated that if Hamas currently succeeds in stopping the continuation of the fighting, “it has emerged victorious.” At the same time, the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported the intelligence capabilities of the Palestinian resistance are much more sophisticated than previously known. The newspaper’s military affairs analyst, Yossi Yehoshua, revealed the Israeli army found documents in a Hamas base in Gaza that included details of the structure and social composition of Israel’s Paratroopers Brigade, as well as pictures of the former brigade commander and other officers who had ended their service.

The extent and complexity of Hamas’ tunnel system also surprised Israel’s military,Yedioth Ahronoth reported. An officer admitted that the resistance tunnels in the northern Gaza Strip, those closest to the border with Israel, were “deep, long, and operational in a way that was fundamentally different from what Israeli intelligence estimated.” The Israeli officer said, “No one imagined that this is what we would find there.”

Tapper

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“.. it will be difficult to continue with a ground maneuver in the southern Gaza Strip should public anger over what will be perceived as abandoning women and children increase.”

Biden Endorses Israel’s War To Eliminate Gaza (Aaron Maté)

In rationalizing his continued support for Israeli aggression, Biden echoed the Netanyahu government’s claim that its attacks have forced Hamas to negotiate the captives’ release. “I don’t trust Hamas to do anything right,” Biden told reporters during his Thanksgiving vacation. “I only trust Hamas to respond to pressure.” The available evidence shows otherwise. As Mohammad Alsaafin notes, the thousands of Palestinians – and an unknown numbers of Israeli and other foreign captives — killed by Israeli bombings “did not have to die—not just because Israel could have refrained from targeting civilians, which it has clearly refused to do, but because the contours of the deal announced Wednesday have been on the table for weeks.” On Oct. 26th, Hamas official Ali Barakeh laid out the terms for a proposed hostage exchange similar to those reached this week.

“We are ready to let them all leave,” Barakeh told the Washington Post. That same day, senior Qatari negotiator Mohmmed al Khulaifi said that he believed “all civilian hostages” could be freed if Israel would pause its bombardment of Gaza. Rather than engage with these overtures, Israel launched a ground invasion the following day. According to Western and Arab officials interviewed by the New York Times, Israel’s Oct. 27th ground invasion thwarted the release of up to 50 captives in exchange for a bombing pause. The talks were additionally “stymied” by Israel’s decision to cut off Gaza’s telecommunications network, which meant Qatari officials and Hamas “struggled to make quick, consistent contact.” Another obstacle was Israel’s initial refusal of Hamas’ demand to free Palestinian “women and minors held without charge” from Israeli prisons — the captives that Western audiences are not supposed to care about.

After undermining a hostage deal with its ground invasion of Gaza, Israel thwarted another opportunity with last week’s attack on Al-Shifa hospital. On Nov. 14th, Israel relayed its acceptance of a similar offer to Hamas’ original. But hours later, after Israeli forces stormed Al-Shifa, Hamas made clear that “[t]he deal was off,” according to the Times. “It had looked like towards the end of that day … that we were closing in and [then] everything stalled,” a senior US official told the Washington Post. According to one source familiar with the talks, Hamas was “concerned about the evacuations of patients, including premature babies, and attacks on other hospitals.”

According to Israeli military correspondent Amos Harel of Haaretz, Israel’s decision to accept a deal this week stemmed from “not only… the terms of the deal,” which “improved somewhat,” but a more important imperative: sustaining the Gaza assault over the long-term. The Israeli “security establishment,” Harel writes, has developed the “understanding that the outcry of the hostages’ families is arousing broad public support, and that it will be difficult to continue with a ground maneuver in the southern Gaza Strip should public anger over what will be perceived as abandoning women and children increase.” In other words, to keep killing Palestinian women and children caged in Gaza, Israel decided that it must finally stop abandoning the Israeli women and children held hostage in Gaza.

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“..ultimately, both Israel and U.S. politicians depend on the support of the American people..”

The Thanksgiving Truce (Lauria)

Israel has long depended on American military aid and diplomatic support to pursue its interests in the Middle East. Without such backing, especially in a time of open warfare, it is doubtful that Israel could for long pursue its goals in Gaza. American politicians likewise depend on support from Israel and its lobby in the United States to pursue their political careers. But ultimately, both Israel and U.S. politicians depend on the support of the American people. There was already a trend, especially among young Americans, many of them Jews, to no longer lend unconditional support to Israel. This became evident with the growing popularity of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement among American youth, causing individual states to pass laws outlawing the movement.

The trend towards rejecting the mainstream media’s whitewashed history of Israel and Palestine, and the growing understanding that Israel was established in 1948 largely through the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their ancestral homes and land, has only intensified with Israel’s current onslaught against Gaza.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Joe Biden know that if they lose the American people they are both in serious trouble. Biden is already feeling the heat from American voters because of his handling of Gaza. He can pretty much kiss the swing state of Michigan goodbye with its large Arab population. But polls show many Democrats across the entire country also strongly disapprove.

Palestinian Americans sued in federal court on Nov. 16 to immediately force Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to stop providing additional weapons, money and military and diplomatic support to Israel. A motion from the Center for Constitutional Rights’ for preliminary injunction charges that: “Defendants have been on notice of the risk of genocide since at least October 9, if not already on October 7, through the public and widely circulated statements and actions by Israeli officials with whom they were in close, regular contact and consultation, as well as by warnings of indicators of genocide from United Nations officials and other sources that have only increased since then.”

Israel understands that to maintain U.S. government support, without which it cannot continue its genocidal goals, it needs to keep the U.S. public on side, lest it bring pressure on Biden and Congress to finally cut off aid to stop the massacres. Right now Netanyahu sees Americans dangerously turning against Israel and the Biden administration. Weekly protests and American Jews taking over Grand Central Station (which the New York governor called “a major incident”) are clearly alarming Washington and Tel Aviv, (not to mention London, Berlin and Paris where it’s illegal to support the Palestinians.) Is it therefore a coincidence that a 4-day ceasefire allowing cameras to show food trucks delivering aid to Gazans coincides with the 4-day U.S. Thanksgiving holiday?

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“The final destination is clearly in view, as, in truth, it has been for more than seven decades..”

Second Nakba; Same Israeli Lies; Same Western Narrative (Cook)

After its mass ethnic cleansing operations of 1948 and 1967, Israel tried to manage the remaining Palestinian population through the traditional apartheid model of herding the natives into reservations, as its predecessors did with the remnants of the “locals” who survived their efforts at extermination. Any caution on Israel’s part derived from the different political climate it had to operate in: international law became more central after World War II, with clear definitions of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The West wilfully mischaracterises Israel’s process of dispossessing and ghettoising these remaining Palestinians as a “conflict” because they refuse to submit quietly to the apartheid, ghettoisation model. Now, Israel’s management approach to the Palestinians has broken down completely — for two main reasons.

First, the Palestinians, aided by new technologies that have made it more difficult to keep them out of view, have attracted ever widening popular support – and most problematically, among Western publics. The Palestinians have also managed to bring their cause to international forums, even gaining recognition as a state by a majority of members of the United Nations. Potentially, they even have redress in the West’s international legal institutions, like the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice. As a result, subduing the Palestinians — or maintaining “calm”, as Western establishments prefer to call it — has become more and more difficult and expensive. And second, on Oct. 7, Hamas proved that Palestinian resistance cannot be contained even under a siege enforced by drones, and an Iron Dome interception system protecting Israel from retaliatory rockets. In such circumstances, Palestinians have shown they will seek surprising and creative ways to break out of their confinement and bring their oppression into the spotlight.

In fact, given the West’s dulled sensitivities to Palestinian suffering, militant factions are likely to deduce that headline-grabbing atrocities — mirroring Israel’s own historic approach to the Palestinians — are the only way to gain attention. Israel understands that the Palestinians are going to continue being a thorn in its side, a reminder that Israel is not a normal state. And the struggle to correct Israel’s decades of dispossessing and brutalising Palestinians will become ever more a defining moral cause among Western publics, as the fight against apartheid South Africa once was. So Israel is taking advantage of this moment to “finish the job”. The final destination is clearly in view, as, in truth, it has been for more than seven decades. The crime is unfolding step by step, the pace quickening. And yet senior politicians and journalists in the West, like their predecessors, continue to be blind to it all.

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Qatar is trying hard to extend the truce.

Israel Receives Third List Of Hostages To Be Released From Gaza (Az.)

Israel has received a list of hostages to be released in the third stage of the implementation of a ceasefire agreement, the Kan radio station noted, Report informs referring to TASS. According to the Times of Israel newspaper, the Israeli prime minister’s office has notified the families of those on the list handed over by Qatar. The third group of hostages may be released on Sunday. The Palestinian movement Hamas announced on November 22 that an agreement on a four-day humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip had been reached through the mediation of Qatar and Egypt. The agreement stipulates the release of 50 women and children under the age of 19 who are held in Gaza in exchange for the release of 150 women and children under the age of 19 from Israeli prisons.

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“..Kiev now faces the last moment when it can lay claim to more or less acceptable terms of a truce with Moscow…”

US-German ‘Peace Talks Plot’ Shows West on Brink of Losing Ukraine (Sp.)

Washington and Berlin have reportedly kicked off a plot to push Ukraine for negotiations with Russia by slashing military supplies to Kiev and leaving Volodymyr Zelensky with little if any options, according to the German publication [Bild]. According to Bild, there is also a plan B envisaging a frozen conflict that would solidify a new quasi-border between Ukraine and Russia along the contact line. “First, [this report] should be seen in a specific temporal context,” Dmitry Evstafiev, a political scientist and High School of Economics (HSE) University professor, told Sputnik. “This is not a statement, of course, this is a publicity stunt. It appeared in the media almost immediately after the end of the meeting of the notorious Ramstein group that has made an essential decision to create the [Ground Based] Air Defense coalition to strengthen air defense.

“Moreover, it is quite obvious that they will strengthen not so much the air defense of Ukraine, but the air defense of the countries bordering Ukraine. Therefore, this is a kind of first proposal that it is necessary to take certain political steps that would indicate that Ukraine is ready for negotiations.” The second aspect is an interview given by the leader of the Servant of the People faction, Davyd Arakhamia, which is “clearly synchronized with the West.” According to Evstafiev, it is “even more indicative against the backdrop of problems at the front.” Speaking to Western journalists, Arakhamia noted that Russia’s main condition during the March 2022 peace talks with Kiev was Ukraine’s neutrality and guarantees that the Eastern European country wouldn’t join NATO. (It was Arakhamia who headed the Ukrainian delegation during the negotiations with Russians in Belarus and Türkiye in 2022.)

In addition, he debunked the Western media narrative that Russia does not want to negotiate peace with Ukraine by saying that Moscow is open to talks and it may start them when Kiev is ready. “At the moment, [Western] support to Kiev is becoming more and more politically expensive/costly, or whatever you want to call it, for the key countries that provide assistance, these are, first of all: Germany and the United States,” said Evstafiev. “The United States has already almost halted aid [to Ukraine]. Of course, there will still be a revaluation through the Pentagon, but one can no longer expect large packages.”

“Assistance from the European Union will be largely aimed at maintaining the functionality of the public administration system and some kind of social support, but not so much for military support. Therefore, the first point is that support for Kiev has become toxic in terms of politics. “The second point, which is absolutely clearly visible from the statements of Western sources, is that Kiev now faces the last moment when it can lay claim to more or less acceptable terms of a truce with Moscow. (…) The third point – which Westerners do not conceal – is that Russia will agree to any starting conditions for these negotiations. Arakhamia speaks about this directly, openly and without hesitation.”

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What a drama that woman is.

Ukraine Will ‘Strengthen EU’ – Baerbock (RT)

The EU and NATO will continue to back Ukraine because they view such support as geopolitically critical, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has said. Speaking at the Green Party Conference in Karlsruhe on Saturday, Baerbock argued that the European Union has to accept Kiev, as it can no longer afford any gray areas in Europe. “It’s in our own geopolitical interest that Ukraine joins the European Union, which is why we will not only continue our support for Ukraine, but also strengthen it in the EU and NATO,” she said, stressing that “Europe is our life insurance and that’s what is important and geostrategically crucial.” “Today it is clear that Ukraine will strengthen the EU in the foreseeable future,” she stressed.

Last month, Baerbock said that Ukraine’s future “lies in” the EU, including regions that were incorporated by Russia in 2022 but are still claimed by Kiev. “[The EU] will soon stretch from Lisbon to Lugansk,” Baerbock told journalists on the sidelines of the EU foreign ministers’ meeting in the Ukrainian capital. Reiterating Berlin’s stance that Ukraine should join the EU, Baerbock said the same applies to Moldova, Georgia and potentially the Western Balkans, so as to leave no “gray areas” in Europe. However, earlier in November, she admitted that the bloc itself would have to undergo “tedious” reforms to properly function with so many members. Germany is Ukraine’s second-largest donor of military aid behind the US, and Baerbock has become one of the most vocal advocates of Kiev since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Berlin recently pledged to “expand and increase” its support for Kiev in the coming years. Berlin is planning to provide another air-defense system and electricity generators as part of the so-called “winter protection umbrella” scheme.Having spent some $18.2 billion providing military assistance to Kiev, Germany still trails far behind the US, which has spent around $45 billion, according to Germany’s Kiel Institute for the World Economy. Russia has stated that Western arms supplies to Ukraine have failed to have a significant impact on the frontline. In early November, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said that “despite the supply of new kinds of NATO weapons, the Kiev regime is losing.” The Russian military has also regularly published photos and videos of destroyed Ukrainian heavy armor, including German-made Leopard tanks.

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Sink Germany, that is.

Germany Today Could Do What Hitler Did But Faster – Hungary’s Top MP (RT)

Germany is destroying itself faster than under Adolf Hitler’s rule, while the UN is nothing but a front company for propaganda, Hungarian parliamentary speaker Laszlo Kover has said. The senior MP, well-known for repeatedly making various controversial statements, produced a flurry of inflammatory remarks on Thursday when he spoke at a sovereignty-protection forum held in the central Hungarian town of Jaszapati. The speaker launched a bitter attack on Germany, comparing its current leadership to that of the Hitler era.“We have no reason to be happy that the Germans are destroying themselves and are doing so with a whirlwind speed, perhaps faster than Hitler did,” Kover asserted.

Hitler needed 12 years to accomplish this, those who are now [in Berlin] do not even need 12 years to send Germany to the ground in every sense, economically and socially. Apart from obliterating German leadership, the top MP was also highly critical of the EU, as well as the UN. He blasted the United Nations as a mere “front company” without any weight and being used only for propaganda purposes. Kover, who is a co-founder of Hungary’s Fidesz party, compared the European Union to the Warsaw Pact, a long-defunct Cold War-era security system established by the USSR and its Eastern European satellites, including Hungary. Nowadays, Brussels effectively plays the same role as Moscow used to play at the time, the MP suggested, insisting that Budapest was at war only with the Eurobureaucracy rather than with the EU itself. “The Union is us,” he stressed.

Kover’s speech at the forum also included a personal touch, as he launched a bitter attack on the US ambassador to Hungary, David Pressman, stating the top diplomat actually meant that little to him, he literally considered Washington’s envoy in Budapest a “non-existent” person. “He is not persona non-grata, but rather a non-person,” the speaker stated. “For me, for example, he’s a non-existent person who sometimes appears. I don’t know who he is, what he wants, he’s supposed to be an ambassador, but he doesn’t act like one.” It “doesn’t matter” what the US diplomat relays to the Hungarian government – and otherwise – given that Pressman apparently came to the country with a firm belief he was actually sent to govern it, Kover explained.

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“Theoretically, any of these candidates earning just a small percentage in one key state could be enough to fuck up the whole map for the major parties — much less all of them..”

The Mind-Bending Politics of RFK Jr.’s Spoiler Campaign (NYMag)

“Kennedy” and “Democrat” had become practically synonymous since the family landed in America in 1848. “I have a strong emotional connection to the party,” he said. He didn’t want to leave. “I was very resistant to it.” But it was the way forward: “Life is a series of separations … I feel like I didn’t really have a choice.” The choice he did make landed like a Big Bang, its impact immediately redefining the contours of presidential politics. The general election is now projected to be a three-way race between Biden, Trump, and their mutual, Kennedy, with a cluster of less popular third-party candidates filling out the constellation. Deep polarization to a near evenly divided electorate means major-party candidates are super-vulnerable to external threats.

Much was made of a recent New York Times–Siena College poll that showed Trump beating Biden in several key swing states. The reality is more like, in a reliably unreliable estimate of how people will behave on Election Day a year from now, you have two likely nominees so unlikable that they are tied for historic unlikableness with the 2016 nominees (only one candidate has been a historically unlikable constant across elections). Then factor in the margin of error of 1.8-to-4.8 points across the dataset. Then rerun the poll with Kennedy in the mix, as Times–Siena did, and you get a chaotic and scarcely recognizable race with Kennedy in striking distance at 24 percent. As CNN polling savant Harry Enten put it, “A clear Trump polling lead became a jumbled mess with no clear favorite to win in the Electoral College thanks to Kennedy. Both Biden (34 percent) and Trump (36 percent) were south of 40 percent in an aggregate across the six states.”

It’s true that in the 1992 election, Ross Perot was often outright beating Bush and Clinton in the polls, and he didn’t become president. But Kennedy doesn’t have to win to sabotage Biden or Trump. He doesn’t even have to come close. In 2000, when Democrats won the popular vote and lost the Electoral College, Ralph Nader scored 97,488 votes in Florida, where Al Gore lost by 537 votes. In 2016, when Democrats again won the popular vote and lost the Electoral College, Libertarian Gary Johnson got 172,136 votes in Michigan, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein got 51,463. Clinton lost by 10,704 votes. Johnson got 106,674 votes in Wisconsin and Stein 31,072. Clinton lost by 22,748. Not only is Kennedy polling more competitively now than any independent since Perot, but he has backup. Celebrity academic Cornel West is also running as an independent. Stein has risen from the dead to haunt the Dems once more on a Green Party ticket.

From retirement, Senator Joe Manchin threatens to run with No Labels, which has already secured ballot access in the swing state of Arizona. Theoretically, any of these candidates earning just a small percentage in one key state could be enough to fuck up the whole map for the major parties — much less all of them. In the face of this reality, Biden plans to argue that Kennedy is a closet conservative. Trump is already arguing that Kennedy is a closet liberal. (If either likely nominee has more sophisticated messaging planned to fight off Kennedy, it is not yet apparent.) That both claims are sort of true and sort of not true in equal measure is, sort of, the basis of Kennedy’s appeal. According to the Times, Democratic lawyers across the country are mobilizing to suppress third-party challenges through initiatives to further limit ballot access, the central obstacle for an independent candidate. “We’ll get on the ballot in every state,” Kennedy told me.

RFK

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Go woke go broke.

The Invisible Hand Just Slapped Disney (Turley)

This year marks the 300th anniversary of Adam Smith, the iconic figure behind the theory of free markets, or of what we have since come to call “capitalism.” Born in June 1723, Smith went on to explain how the “invisible hand” of the market worked as people exercised their choices between certain products. It can shape economies and challenge whole governments. One company in particular appears to be learning that lesson. In recent filings, Disney appears to acknowledge that Smith’s invisible hand is giving the “House of Mouse” the middle finger. In a new corporate disclosure, Disney acknowledges that its controversial political and social agenda is costing the company and shareholders.In its annual SEC report, Disney acknowledges that “we face risks relating to misalignment with public and consumer tastes and preferences for entertainment, travel and consumer products.”

In an implied nod to Smith, the company observes that “the success of our businesses depends on our ability to consistently create compelling content,” and that “Generally, our revenues and profitability are adversely impacted when our entertainment offerings and products, as well as our methods to make our offerings and products available to consumers, do not achieve sufficient consumer acceptance. Further, consumers’ perceptions of our position on matters of public interest, including our efforts to achieve certain of our environmental and social goals, often differ widely and present risks to our reputation and brands.” Disney and other companies have previously ignored consumer backlash over corporate campaigns such as Disney’s opposition to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law. Corporate officials once avoided political controversies and focused on selling their products and services rather than viewpoints.

Disney has reportedly lost a billion dollars just on four of its recent “woke” movie flops, productions denounced by critics as pushing political agendas or storylines. Yet until now, the company has continued to roll out underperforming movies as revenue has dropped. What’s more, Disney stars persist in bad-mouthing its fabled storylines and undermining its new productions. The company admits that it has suffered a continued slide in “impressions” (that is, viewership) by 14 percent. For shareholders, it may seem counterintuitive that corporate executives would trade off profits for political or social agendas. However, it does serve as a rationale for individual corporate executives who are professionally advanced when they champion such causes.

For example, when Alissa Heinerscheid, vice president of marketing for Bud Light, pledged to drop Bud Light’s “fratty reputation and embrace inclusivity,” she was heralded by colleagues, even though her move went on to tank that brand as a whole. Indeed, Bud Light has still not recovered from the loss of billions in profits, market share, and overall market value. The same trend is playing out in the media. Public trust in journalists has fallen to a record low. Yet media executives continue to push advocacy journalism, abandoning objectivity. As former New York Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones declared, “all journalism is activism.”

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“..Epstein worried that saving lives by curing diseases would not lower population growth rates..”

Bill Gates, Jeffrey Epstein and a Global Health Investment Fund (BB)

Over time, Gates and JPMorgan established an investment fund that sought to profit from the development of vaccines and other health technologies. Epstein wanted a piece of the action, and Staley brought Epstein into the Gates partnership. The Gates-JPMorgan partnership was called the Global Health Investment Fund (GHIF) and was created circa 2011. At the time, Staley managed the Epstein relationship for the bank, and Epstein was a valuable client who brought JPMorgan a lot of business. Epstein was an adviser to billionaires like Victoria’s Secret mogul Leslie Wexner and Wall Street legend Leon Black and the “family offices” which manage their fortunes. Wexner and Black deny any involvement in Epstein’s criminal activities.

The GHIF partnership brought in a host of other powerful investors, including The Pfizer Foundation, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, as well as entities funded by the governments of Sweden, Canada, and Germany. There would also be private support from “qualified individuals and family offices.”The GHIF’s purpose was to give “individual and institutional investors the opportunity to finance late-stage global health technologies that have the potential to save millions of lives in low-income countries.” The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency committed to help offset any potential GHIF losses. As the GHIF was getting started, Epstein began pitching other business ideas to Gates and his foundation staff. They met “many times,” according to the New York Times, and Gates flew on Epstein’s Gulfstream plane from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey to Palm Beach, Florida, according to a March 2013 flight manifest.

It turned out that Gates and Epstein had mutual interests in the areas of global health and funding scientific breakthroughs. Both men also had a deep interest in genetic tinkering projects. Epstein reportedly wanted to “seed the human race” with his own DNA by impregnating scores of women. Ironically (or perhaps hypocritically), Epstein was concerned about overpopulation. Likewise, Gates has long been worried about overpopulation and has stated repeatedly that he wants to mass vaccinate the third world, specifically for the purpose of curbing population growth. In a 2010 TED Talk, Gates succinctly explained his rationale for funding vaccines and birth control to curtail population growth worldwide.

“The world today has 6.8 billion people. That’s headed up to about 9 billion,” Gates warned. “Now, if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by, perhaps, ten or fifteen percent.” But Epstein worried that saving lives by curing diseases would not lower population growth rates. He “criticized efforts to reduce starvation and provide health care to the poor because doing so increased the risk of overpopulation,” the New York Times reported. Bill and Melinda Gates apparently do not see curing diseases in the same way.

Meet Bill Gates

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And I began to really see close up that there was so much lying coming out of NIH [National Institutes of Health], coming out of Fauci, coming out of, unfortunately, the government protecting all of this and now it’s spilling out..”

Jeffrey Sachs Says COVID About ‘Massive Government Lying’ (NM)

A prominent “lifelong Democrat” scholar and economist who chaired a COVID-19 commission blasted Dr. Anthony Fauci and others for promoting “massive government lying” regarding the coronavirus, and accused Senate Democrats of refusing to investigate the virus’ origins. Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, a Columbia University professor who chaired a COVID-19 commission set up by “The Lancet” medical journal, said he has since left the Democratic Party after seeing how government officials have behaved around the origins of the virus. “The sad part of this, not with respect to the vaccine per se, but with respect to the origin of the virus, is that it’s yet another case of massive government lying,” Sachs said during an appearance on The Hill’s “Rising” show. “We have since discovered from the start that what the government told us about ‘natural origins’ of this virus were hokey, and really amounting to scientific fraud.”

Sachs said that even the scientists who wrote “The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2” in the spring of 2020 “didn’t even believe that as they were writing it because they knew that there were so many hints that this could well have come out of a U.S. lab, or out of Chinese lab, or out of a U.S.-China partnership in the research.” Sachs admitted he, too, bought into the mainstream media’s COVID-19 reporting at the beginning of the pandemic, especially after a major scientific journal, “Nature,” said there was overwhelming evidence the origin was natural.He then credited reporting by The Intercept, U.S. Right to Know, and whistleblowers for helping to change his thinking.”[They] started letting us in on what was really said inside, was shocking,” said Sachs, who added that after requesting a certain document he had been refused by a fellow commission member.

Rancourt

“I said, ‘Well, you can’t be on the commission. We’re a transparent commission,” Sachs said. “And I began to really see close up that there was so much lying coming out of NIH [National Institutes of Health], coming out of Fauci, coming out of, unfortunately, the government protecting all of this and now it’s spilling out.” Sachs insists his desire to investigate COVID-19’s origin has more to do with present-day and future research. He credited Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., for focusing on gain-of-function research and for trying to persuade Democrat colleagues to probe the issue. “It’s shocking to me that Democratic senators can’t understand this is not a partisan issue,” Sachs said. “This is a life and death issue. What kind of research is going on? What kind of laboratory manipulation’s going on? What is going on under what we euphemistically … call our biodefense research? Because who knows what it really is?

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