Nov 192023
 
 November 19, 2023  Posted by at 9:51 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  26 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Women Picking Olives 1889

 

Time’s Up for Netanyahu and Biden (Dan Siegel)
Biden Is Fully Signed Up To Genocide In Gaza (Cook)
Israel is Shutting Down its Human Laboratory in Gaza (Chris Hedges)
US Strategy In Ukraine, Middle East Means Progress – Biden (TASS)
Were the Biblical Prophets Anti-Semitic? (Michael Hudson)
Time To Come Clean On Israel’s Nuclear Status – Türkiye (RT)
Arab Nations Won’t ‘Clean Mess After Israel’ – Jordan (RT)
Elon Musk Plans “Thermonuclear” Lawsuit Against Media Matters (ZH)
Comer: White House ‘Obstructing’ Biden Inquiries (ZH)
One Law for Trump, No Law for Biden (NCP)
Colorado Judge Rejects Effort to Bar Trump from Ballot (Turley)
‘Clean Energy’ Fails A Basic Economics Test (RM)
Global Warming Might Not Happen Quite As Fast As We Thought (Tel.)

 

 

 

 

Nap, Johnson & McGovern

 

 

All Lost, Total Failure Achieved | Scott Ritter

 

 

 

 

Mearsheimer

 

 

UN

 

 

Letters

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The issue is not that Biden is too old. His policies are too old. The American Empire is no more.”

Time’s Up for Netanyahu and Biden (Dan Siegel)

We can tell the world is changing when tens of thousands of Texans rally in the capital of America’s most important red state to demand a ceasefire in Gaza and freedom for Palestine. No longer can the Israeli government enforce its deadly calculus of 10 (or 50? or 100?) Palestinian lives for each Israeli killed in its futile effort to suppress Palestine’s struggle for self-determination. No longer can an American President assume that the public will support propping up an Israeli government whose constant, murderous violations of international law bring us daily exposure to the violence and deprivation imposed on the Palestinian population.The issues are no longer whether Israel should survive and whether Hamas’ murders must be condemned. Those are the easy questions. Countless millions of us have moved on.

The question for today is what the world will do to enable the Palestinian people to live in peace and security in a nation where their children enjoy the opportunities most Americans and Europeans take for granted. No one suggests that this challenge can be easily resolved, but the first step is for the U.S. to stop supporting the most right-wing government in Israel’s history from imposing unlimited violence and deprivation on Gaza while accelerating violent settler expansion in the West Bank. Israel’s strategies to ensure its survival and the means it chooses to defend itself should no longer enjoy unquestioned American support. Netanyahu’s government has exhausted its legitimate right to defend itself against the Hamas attack. It has already killed 11,000 Palestinians and provided no evidence that any of them were responsible for Hamas’ violence.

Israel’s air campaign against Gaza relies on the “emergency” American appropriation of $14 billion in military aid. American weapons have been designated for Israeli settlers stealing Palestinian land in the West Bank. U.S. officials know that Israel’s actions will not lead to peace. So do Israeli leaders, including many in the military. Netanyahu and his government survive because they have American support, including Jews who continue to maintain that criticism of the Israeli government is the equivalent of antisemitism. Many of us disagree. Recent polling demonstrates that the American public is evenly divided on support for the Israeli bombing of Gaza. Organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace and J Street represent ever growing numbers of American Jews. We are no longer cowed from describing Israel’s actions against the people of Gaza as genocide or its policies in the West Bank as apartheid. We are no longer intimidated by an American Jewish establishment that wields specious and exaggerated accusations of antisemitism and harassment to silence critics of the Netanyahu government.

[..] This is Joe Biden’s Lyndon Johnson moment, the time for him to follow LBJ’s 1968 decision to withdraw from the campaign for reelection. The issue is not that Biden is too old. His policies are too old. The American Empire is no more. We need leaders ready to engage the emerging multipolar world, who do not imagine that the U.S. is going to war over Taiwan, who welcome sharing power with the nations of Europe and the BRICS countries. The end of America’s uncritical support of the Israeli government can be the first step in creating leadership for a world at peace.


The Dance of the True Landowners

Read more …

“Those who survive face a genocidal policy, starving them of food, water and power.”

Biden Is Fully Signed Up To Genocide In Gaza (Cook)

The White House faces a dilemma. It has the power to stop the death and destruction in Gaza in its tracks, at any time of its choosing. But it chooses not to. The US is determined to back its client state to the hilt, giving Israel licence to wreck the tiny coastal enclave, seemingly whatever the cost in Palestinian lives. But the optics – and that is all that concerns Washington – are disastrous. TV images have shown hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fleeing their destroyed homes, on a scale unseen since Israel’s earlier mass ethnic cleansing operations of 1948 and 1967. Even the western media is struggling to obscure the veritable mountain of crushed and bleeding bodies in Gaza. The known death toll has now surpassed 11,000, with thousands more buried under rubble. Those who survive face a genocidal policy, starving them of food, water and power.

By the weekend, Israel’s declared war on Hamas had shifted into an open war on Gaza’s hospitals. Medicins San Frontieres reported that al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City had been bombed repeatedly and its power cut off, with horrific scenes of premature babies dying after their incubators had stopped functioning. Staff who tried to evacuate, as Israel had ordered them to, were shot at. Similar scenes unfolded at al-Rantisi hospital. Western publics are growing increasingly incensed. Protest marches have attracted numbers not seen since the mass demonstrations against the Iraq war 20 years ago. Western allies are finding it harder to obscure and justify their complicity in what are indisputable Israeli crimes against humanity. French President Emmanuel Macron broke ranks at the weekend. His message was summed up bluntly by the BBC: “Macron calls on Israel to stop killing Gaza’s women and babies.”

In private, US allies in the Middle East are pleading with the US to use its leverage to restrain Israel. Meanwhile, Washington is only too aware of how quickly Israel’s regional opponents could get dragged in, dangerously expanding and escalating the conflict. Its immediate response has been desperate, and preposterous, stop-gaps to ease the criticism, including from 500 administration staff who submitted a letter to Biden on Tuesday protesting the White House’s blanket support for Israel. Those measures have included the president calling for “less intrusive action” from Israel towards the hospitals, shortly before Israeli forces were reported storming al-Shifa, and rumours that Tony Blair, the former British prime minister who joined the US attack on Iraq in 2003 in violation of international law, might serve as the West’s “humanitarian coordinator” in Gaza.

But what the Biden administration really needs is a cover story to justify the fact that it is continuing to supply the weapons and funding needed by Israel to carry out its crimes in broad daylight. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken set out his stall last week at the G7 summit. The goal is to shift the focus away from Israel’s genocidal policies in Gaza, and Washington’s backing for them, to a purely theoretical discussion about what might happen after the fighting ends. Outlining his post-war “vision” for Gaza, Blinken said: “It’s also clear that Israel cannot occupy Gaza. Now, the reality is that there may be a need for some transition period at the end of the conflict… We don’t see a reoccupation and what I’ve heard from Israeli leaders is that they have no intent to reoccupy Gaza.”

Toddler

Read more …

“There remain plenty of Palestinian test subjects in the West Bank. Gaza will be closed for business.”

Israel is Shutting Down its Human Laboratory in Gaza (Chris Hedges)

The Palestinians are human laboratory rats to the Israeli military, intelligence services and arms and technology industries. Israel’s drones, surveillance technology — including spyware, facial recognition software and biometric gathering infrastructure — along with smart fences, experimental bombs and AI-controlled machine guns, are tried out on the captive population in Gaza, often with lethal results. These weapons and technologies are then certified as “battle tested” and sold around the world. Israel is the 10th biggest arms dealer on the planet and sells its technology and weapons to an estimated 130 nations, including military dictatorships in Asia and Latin America. Israeli weapons sales totalled $12.5 billion last year. Its close relationship with these military, internal security, surveillance, intelligence-gathering and law enforcement agencies, explains the fulsome support Israel’s allies give to its genocidal campaign in Gaza.

When Colombian President Gustavo Petro refused to condemn the Oct. 7 attack by Palestinian resistance groups as a “terrorist attack” and said “terrorism is killing innocent children in Palestine,” Israel immediately halted all sales of defense and security equipment to Colombia. This global cabal, dedicated to permanent war and keeping its populations monitored and controlled, has hundreds of billions of dollars a year in sales. These technologies are cementing into place a supranational corporate totalitarianism, a world where populations are enslaved in ways that past totalitarian regimes could only imagine. The genocidal assault on Gaza is another chapter in the century-long ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians by the Israeli settler colonial project. It is accompanied, as is true for all settler colonial projects, by the theft of natural resources, land, water and the natural gas in the Gaza Marine fields, 20 nautical miles off the coast of Gaza, which could contain up to 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

In a world of diminishing resources, especially water in the Middle East, and the dislocations caused by the climate crisis, Gaza is the prelude to a frightening new world order. As democracies wither and die, as economic inequality expands, as poverty and desperation mounts, the global ruling class will increasingly do to us – once we become restive and attempt to rebel – what they are doing to the Palestinians. It is not a far cry from Gaza to the camps and detention centers set up for migrants fleeing to Europe from Africa and the Middle East. It is not a far cry from the carpet bombing in Gaza to the endless wars in the Middle East and the global south. It is not a far cry from the anti-terrorism laws used to criminalize dissent in Israel to the anti-terrorism laws introduced in Europe and the U.S.

On Oct. 7, Palestinians in Gaza escaped from their laboratory cage. They went on a killing spree against their sadistic masters. Almost 12,000 Palestinians have been killed and some 30,000 wounded, including 4,700 children, since Oct. 7 in the hurricane of shells, bullets, bombs and missiles that are turning Gaza into a wasteland. Nearly 3,000 Palestinians are missing or buried under the rubble. Soon Palestinians will be convulsed by infectious diseases and starvation. Those who survive, if Israel succeeds in its ethnic cleansing, will become refugees, yet again, over the border in Egypt. There remain plenty of Palestinian test subjects in the West Bank. Gaza will be closed for business.

Read more …

“Biden expects the US policy to bring “more hope, more freedom, less rage, less grievance, less war.”

US Strategy In Ukraine, Middle East Means Progress – Biden (TASS)

The policy being pursued by Washington in Ukraine and the Middle East would bring progress and make the United States more secure, US President Joe Biden said in his article for The Washington Post. According to Biden, against the backdrop of “so much violence and suffering – in Ukraine, Israel, [the] Gaza [Strip] and so many other places – it can be difficult to imagine that something different is possible.” “We must never forget the lesson learned time and again throughout our history: Out of great tragedy and upheaval, enormous progress can come,” he maintained. Biden expects the US policy to bring “more hope, more freedom, less rage, less grievance, less war.” “That is the strategy that my administration will continue to lead — in the Middle East, Europe and around the globe. Every step we take toward that future is progress that makes the world safer and the United States of America more secure,” he emphasized.

Read more …

Ecoomist Michael Hudson knows his Bible.

Were the Biblical Prophets Anti-Semitic? (Michael Hudson)

Were the prophets self-loathing Jews? Are those who criticize today’s right-wing politicians abolishing the land’s courts of justice, urging the mass murder of civilians and destroying an entire society’s infrastructure anti-Semites? Does commenting that October 7th did not occur “in a vacuum,” as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres did – even indeed after characterizing it as an atrocity – make one an anti-Semite? What I find most amazing is that no religious scholars are pointing out that Netanyahu’s claim to be following a Biblical covenant as his excuse for committing genocide to seize Palestinian land and destroy its existing population is a travesty of what actually is written in the Bible. By a sleight-of-hand like that of a stage magician trying to distract the audience’s attention from what really is happening, Netanyahu has evoked what he claims to be a Biblical excuse for Israeli genocide.

But what he pretends to be a covenant in the tradition of Moses is a vicious demand by the judge and grey eminence Samuel telling Saul, the general whom he hopes to make king: “Now go and smite Amalek [an enemy of Israel], and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys” (1 Samuel 15:3). These were not the Lord’s own words, and Samuel was no Moses. And there was no blanket promise to back the Jews regardless of their behavior. And indeed, in following Samuel’s demand for conquest – as a means of making Saul popular enough to be made king – Saul broke the Lord’s commandments about proper religious ceremonial and dietary behavior.

One would have no idea from Netanyahu’s celebration of the compact between Samuel and Saul to become popular by military conquest that Saul’s misbehavior led Samuel himself to rebuke Saul and tell him that the Lord had decided that another man must be found to be king of Israel. It was not the Lord offering that command to destroy Amalek, but a prophet anxious to place a king on the throne. Invocation of such a command is prima facie evidence of an intention to commit genocide. But that seemed less important to Netanyahu than pandering to the desire for revenge amongst Israelis. Netanyahu makes no mention of the fact that Saul disobeyed the Lord’s commandments and the Lord rejected him as king. Nor does Likud acknowledge the context, a few chapters earlier in I Samuel 12:15, describing the corrupt rule of judges and Samuel’s warning that “if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you,” and the Lord’s warning that “if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away.”

Read more …

“Israel’s nuclear weapons must be inspected beyond any doubt before it is too late. We will follow this through…”

Time To Come Clean On Israel’s Nuclear Status – Türkiye (RT)

Türkiye will ask international inspectors to determine whether Israel has nuclear weapons in its possession, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Saturday. Speaking to reporters on his flight home from Germany, the Turkish leader noted that Israel is among the very few countries that are not parties to the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Erdogan said that Ankara would ask the International Atomic Energy Agency to investigate whether the Jewish state has a nuclear arsenal. “Moving forward with this is very important in terms of balancing strategic interests in the region. We will continue to put pressure [on Israel],” Erdogan said.

“Israel’s nuclear weapons must be inspected beyond any doubt before it is too late. We will follow this through. I also call on the international community not to let this go.” Although experts widely believe that Israel maintains a secret nuclear weapons program, the country does not confirm or explicitly deny its existence. Heritage Minister Amihai Eliyahu caused outrage across the Muslim world this month when he floated the idea of dropping a “nuclear bomb” on the Gaza Strip. Prime Minister Benjamin Netahyau suspended the minister from cabinet meetings following his incendiary comments. Erdogan has strongly criticized Israel’s conduct in Gaza, labeling it a “terror state” and accusing the Israel Defense Forces of committing war crimes against the Palestinians.

Netanyahu responded by accusing the Turkish president of supporting “the terrorist state of Hamas.” The current round of violence between Israel and Hamas broke out on October 7 when Palestinian militants attacked Israeli communities, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking over 200 hostages. Israel responded with airstrikes and a ground invasion of Gaza. More than 12,000 Gazans have been killed by the bombardment, according to local officials.

Read more …

“How could anybody talk about the future of Gaza when we do not know what kind of Gaza will be left once this aggression ends?”

Arab Nations Won’t ‘Clean Mess After Israel’ – Jordan (RT)

Arab nations have no plans to put boots on the ground in Gaza as part of post-conflict peacebuilding after the fighting between Israel and Hamas ends, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said in Bahrain on Saturday. The Arab world would not “clean the mess” supposedly created by Israel, he added. The post-conflict fate of the Palestinian enclave has emerged as a pressing topic amid the continued fighting between Israel and the Gaza-based Hamas militant group. In early November, roughly a month into the escalation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his country would manage “overall security” in Gaza for an “indefinite” period of time after hostilities end.

At the same time, even Israel’s closest allies opposed the idea of what they called “occupation” and a “blockade” of the enclave. Last week, US State Secretary Antony Blinken said that there should be “no reoccupation of Gaza” and “no attempts to blockade or besiege” it. The enclave should not be “a platform for terrorism or other violent attacks” either, he added. On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that the US and the EU were pushing for UN peacekeeping forces in the enclave after the end of the Israeli operation. On Monday, the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said that a post-conflict peacebuilding framework should be developed “in collaboration with the United States and Arab states.”

Minister Safadi insisted on Saturday that a two-state solution for the Israelis and Palestinians would be the only way forward. “Let me be very clear. I know speaking on behalf of Jordan but having discussed this issue with many, with almost all our brethren, there’ll be no Arab troops going to Gaza. None. We’re not going to be seen as the enemy,” the foreign minister said. He also accused the current Israeli government, led by Netanyahu, of aiming to dislodge Palestinians from Gaza. The foreign minister also called such plans a “direct threat” to Jordan’s national security.

The Arab nation’s top diplomat then said that any real plans for post-conflict peacebuilding could only be drawn after the end of the Israeli operation. “How could anybody talk about the future of Gaza when we do not know what kind of Gaza will be left once this aggression ends?” Safadi asked. West Jerusalem’s military operation in Gaza has been ongoing since October 7, when Hamas launched its own surprise attack against Israel, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians. More than 200 people, including both military and civilians, as well as foreign nationals, were taken hostage in the Hamas attack. Israel responded by massive bombardments of the enclave, followed by a ground operation, which have claimed more than 11,000 Palestinian lives, according to Gaza officials.

Read more …

“They created three new accounts, each following only a small number of accounts posting objectionable material. By relentlessly refreshing their timeline—13 times more frequently than an average user—they were able to capture screenshots of major corporate advertisements alongside the targeted content. This revelation exposes Media Matters’ calculated strategy: generating these screenshots as leverage to compel major advertisers to withdraw their ads from X.”

Elon Musk Plans “Thermonuclear” Lawsuit Against Media Matters (ZH)

Early Saturday morning, Elon Musk said his social media platform X will be “filing a thermonuclear lawsuit” against left-leaning non-profit Media Matters and “all those who colluded” for “completely misrepresenting” the real user experience on X. “This week, Media Matters for America posted a story that completely misrepresented the real user experience on X, in another attempt to undermine freedom of speech and mislead advertisers,” Musk said. Media Matters shared a report Thursday that showed “white nationalist and antisemitic conspiracy theories” content next to “ads for major brands like Apple, Bravo (NBCUniversal), IBM, Oracle, and Xfinity (Comcast).” Musk outlined, “X has seen a number of attacks from activist groups like Media Matters and legacy media outlets who seek to undermine freedom of expression on our platform because they perceive it as a threat to their ideological narrative and those of their financial supporters.” He said these rogue groups are “trying to use their influence to attack our revenue streams by deceiving advertisers on X.” Musk detailed how the Media Matters’ report was nothing but garbage:

[..] Earlier this week, Musk responded to an X post that criticized “Western Jewish populations” and said Jewish people were pushing “hatred against whites.” He added, “You have said the actual truth.” As a result of the report, Apple, Disney, and IBM pulled ad spending this week. On Thursday, X CEO Linda Yaccarino tried to calm concerns about the platform: “When it comes to this platform — X has also been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination. There’s no place for it anywhere in the world — it’s ugly and wrong. Full stop.” [..] Musk added the lawsuit will be filed “when the split second court opens on Monday,” adding in a separate tweet that “many of the largest advertisers are the greatest oppressors of your right to free speech.”

Read more …

“Remember when Democrats just up and impeached Trump twice with way less evidence?”

Comer: White House ‘Obstructing’ Biden Inquiries (ZH)

Tensions are simmering in Washington as House Republicans intensify their probes into President Joe Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified documents and the family’s business dealings, sparking a fiery standoff with the White House. The White House, meanwhile, has made clear to House Republicans that they won’t play ball – leading to accusations that the Biden White House is “obstructing” their investigative efforts. Spearheaded by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY), the Republicans are aggressively pursuing over 20 subpoenas issued to Biden staffers and family members. “We just received a letter from the Special Counsel to the president making it clear the White House intends to continue obstructing our investigation,” reads a post on X from House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY)

“We also need to know if these classified materials aided the Bidens’ global influence-peddling enterprise that brought in tens of millions for the Bidens and their associates,” Comer said on Friday. “This obstruction does not deter us, and we will continue to follow the facts and hold President Biden accountable to the American people.” In a scathing four-page letter pushing back against the inquiry, a senior White House attorney, Richard Sauber, hit back, accusing the GOP of twisting facts and pushing a narrative loaded with “distortions and falsehoods.” Sauber’s letter lambasts the Republicans’ efforts as “congressional harassment” and a mere play to “score political points.” Adding to the complexity, the White House accuses the Republicans of withholding critical information and shifting goalposts when their allegations are countered or debunked.

This claim points to a deeper narrative battle, where each side accuses the other of misinformation and evasion. Meanwhile, Hunter Biden’s representatives have dismissed the subpoenas as a political charade but have signaled a willingness for a public address at an appropriate time. Similarly, James Biden’s attorney has highlighted the committee’s review of private bank records, suggesting that the necessary transparency is already in play. Remember when Democrats just up and impeached Trump twice with way less evidence?

Read more …

“..Biden’s Department of Justice took the unprecedented step of charging his chief opponent for re-election with a federal crime that the current president was under investigation for..”

One Law for Trump, No Law for Biden (NCP)

If you ever needed to see the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican in the eyes of the current Department of Justice, Special Counsel Robert Hur just provided it. For years, like former President Donald Trump, Joe Biden has held classified documents all over the place, for example, in his unsecured garage, in his “think tank” at the University of Pennsylvania, and at his lawyer’s office. Unlike the 45th president, however, the current occupant is just going to get a stern talking to. Like Hillary Clinton in 2016, the likely Democratic nominee will not be charged with a crime even though anyone else under the same circumstances likely would. Who’s excited to live under a two-tiered system of justice?

The prosecutor investigating why classified documents ended up at President Biden’s home and former office is preparing a report that is expected to be sharply critical of how he and his longtime aides handled the material, but the probe isn’t likely to result in a criminal case, according to people familiar with the matter, reports The Wall Street Journal. Since his appointment in January, Special Counsel Robert Hur has interviewed roughly 100 of Biden’s aides, colleagues and family members, including his son, Hunter, culminating in a two-day interview with the president last month. The documents in question date to Biden’s time as vice president during the Obama administration as well as his days in the U.S. Senate. The number of interviews Hur’s team has conducted indicates it cast a wide net in trying to answer questions about how the material was packed and handled and wound up at an office Biden used at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, a Washington-based think tank, and in the garage of his home in Wilmington, Del., alongside his vintage Corvette.

Among those Hur spoke to were Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was an aide to Biden in the Senate and his national security adviser when he was vice president; current White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan; top White House political aide Steve Ricchetti and Biden’s former chief of staff Ron Klain. Democratic allies in the media have already begun to spin the fact that these exact same crimes are being treated wildly differently. CNN writes, “A decision to not pursue charges is likely to draw criticism from Donald Trump and his allies. They have long drawn parallels between Hur’s investigation with that of special counsel Jack Smith, who earlier this year brought charges against the former president related to his own handling of classified documents after he left the White House.

But key differences between the two probes abound, including the fact that the National Archives repeatedly tried and failed to get back documents in Trump’s possession. At one point, the FBI secured a search warrant to search his Florida estate. Biden’s attorneys, on the other hand, quickly notified the National Archives of the materials found in his possession.” Unlike Trump, the Biden family has been alleged to have profited from keeping classified documents. Evidence showed that Hunter Biden had demanded a key to the office where some of the documents were held at the University of Pennsylvania. The request raised some eyebrows, and later House Oversight Chairman James Comer said in April that it appears that Hunter Biden “sent one of the classified documents to a “partner” at Burisma, the Ukrainian energy.” It has previously been reported that many of the boxes holding classified documents were connected to Ukraine, Iran, and the United Kingdom.

The current controversy surrounding both Biden and Trump has reminded many political commentators of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and the special treatment she received from the Obama Justice Department. The initial FBI investigation into her obvious breaking of the law concluded in July 2016, with then FBI Director James Comey announcing that although Clinton and her staff had been “extremely careless” in handling classified information, there would be no criminal charges filed. Biden has been accused of using the government to punish his adversaries for decades, including using his power as a senator to attack his wife’s ex-husband. Over the summer, Biden’s Department of Justice took the unprecedented step of charging his chief opponent for re-election with a federal crime that the current president was under investigation for. Trump received seven counts against him, including conspiracy to obstruct, willful retention of documents, and false statements. The trial is scheduled to start on May 20, 2024.

Read more …

“[t]o lump the Presidency in with any other civil or military office is odd indeed and very troubling to the Court,,”

Colorado Judge Rejects Effort to Bar Trump from Ballot (Turley)

Colorado Judge Sarah Wallace has become the latest jurist to reject the effort to bar former president Donald Trump from the ballot under the novel 14th Amendment theory. I have long been a vocal critic of the theory, which I view as historically and legally unfounded. I also view it as arguably the most dangerous theory to arise in decades. While Wallace reached the right conclusion, she committed, in my view, fundamental errors in her analysis on the free speech elements of the case. The case involves a chilling effort of Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold to use her office to prevent voters from being able to cast their ballots for Trump, one of the leading candidates for the presidency. Like other challengers, she claimed to be protecting democracy by denying voters the ability to vote for their preferred candidate on the basis of this dubious theory.

Polls show Trump and Biden in a statistical dead heat at 42% (Biden) to 38% (Trump) which is within the margin of error. Judge Wallace rejected the use of the amendment to prevent voters from voting for Trump in the 2024 election, declaring that “[t]he Court holds there is scant direct evidence regarding whether the presidency is one of the positions subject to disqualification.” In her 102-page ruling, Wallace declared that “[a]fter considering the arguments on both sides, the Court is persuaded that ‘officers of the United States’ did not include the President of the United States. It appears to the Court that for whatever reason the drafters of Section 3 did not intend to include a person who had only taken the Presidential Oath.”

Accordingly, “[t]he Court orders the Secretary of State to place Donald J. Trump on the presidential primary ballot when it certifies the ballot on January 5, 2024,”The scope of the provision is one of the inherent questions presented by this theory. The disqualified offices are enumerated in the section and start with “Senator or Representatives in Congress.” It then lists “electors of President and Vice President,” and then ends with the catchall phrase of “any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State.” U.S. CONST. amend. XIV, § 3. 302. As the court notes, “[t]o lump the Presidency in with any other civil or military office is odd indeed and very troubling to the Court because as Intervenors point out, Section Three explicitly lists all federal elected positions except the President and Vice President. Under traditional rules of statutory construction, when a list includes specific positions but then fails to include others, courts assume the exclusion was intentional.

Read more …

“It turns out, going green is not just about saving the planet; it’s an expensive affair..”

‘Clean Energy’ Fails A Basic Economics Test (RM)

The once-glorified clean-energy stocks are now facing their darkest days, plunging the industry into a financial abyss that threatens America’s ambitious environmental aspirations. The much-touted green revolution is looking more like a red alert as the sector hemorrhages tens of billions in market value.Sure, we’re told that hundreds of billions is still pouring into renewable energy projects, despite the fact that the stock market seems to have declared a resounding “no thanks” to these ventures. The iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (Exchange-Traded Fund), the poster child for the industry, has nosedived by over 30% this year and a whopping 50% since the dawn of 2021. Not to be outdone, specific sectors are getting their fair share of punishment. The Invesco Solar ETF is down over 40% in 2023, while the First Trust Global Wind Energy ETF is witnessing losses of about 20% this year and a grim 40% since January 2021. It seems the wind has been knocked out of their sails.

Blame it on rising interest rates, the industry’s newfound nemesis. These higher rates have not only increased costs but also put a damper on consumer enthusiasm, leading to a nosedive in stock valuations for companies that once promised a green utopia but are now struggling to turn a profit. Solar companies such as SolarEdge and Enphase Energy are feeling the burn as demand for their products dwindles. Meanwhile, wind energy giant Orsted is singing the blues, with shares plummeting after revealing potential multibillion-dollar write-downs on its offshore wind projects in the US. In Germany, after the Nord Stream sabotage, because, you know, energy geopolitics and straightforward plans always go hand in hand, a whopping 77% of skeptics are shaking their heads, expressing disbelief that the nation will magically conjure up 80% of electricity from renewables by 2030. I guess turning skepticism into solar power hasn’t quite hit the mainstream yet.

Switzerland, the poster child for phasing out nuclear power, is now flexing its green muscles by entertaining the idea of keeping nuclear plants running longer, because who needs a clear exit strategy when you can just extend the atomic party until 2040? In the US, the demise of two New Jersey wind projects is just the tip of the iceberg, with inflation, sky-high interest rates, and a supply chain in shambles throwing a wrench into the gears of Joe’s climate ambitions. Despite a whopping $369 billion in federal aid from his climate law, clean energy projects are dropping like flies. Even the postponement of a Kentucky EV battery plant by Ford and General Motors trimming their EV plans couldn’t escape the economic tempest. It seems the only thing rising faster than hopes for a clean energy revolution is the cost. But hey, who needs affordable, reliable energy when we’ve got grand climate goals, right? Biden’s green plans are becoming a chilling reality check, and it’s not just the polar ice caps feeling the heat.

It’s ironic, isn’t it? Not too long ago, clean energy was hailed as the savior of our planet, but now it seems the green agenda is drowning in a sea of red ink. The S&P Global Energy index, once a shining star, has seen its value halved since 2020 – a spectacular fall from grace. Fast forward to the present, and we witness the mighty green stocks taking a severe beating. Despite the EU and US governments offering billions in tax credits and subsidies to support the so-called green transition from Russian oil and gas, investors are losing confidence faster than you can say “renewable.” The S&P Global Clean Energy Index has experienced a gut-wrenching 30% freefall in 2023, with the biggest quarterly outflow of $1.4 billion. The once-booming sector now holds a 23% decline in total assets under management, a far cry from its heyday just a few months ago.

Blame it on the current economic climate, they say – high interest rates, soaring costs, and supply chain woes are the villains of this melodrama. And let’s not forget China, the puppet master of the solar supply chain, flooding the market with cheap alternatives, undermining the EU’s dreams of a local green market. As utility stocks struggle to convert to green energy, the sector’s operating margins are squeezed. The final nail in the coffin? NextEra Energy Partners cutting its growth target by half, sending shockwaves through the renewable industry. I dismiss the sell-off as overblown, but the damage is done, and confidence in renewables has hit rock bottom. So, what’s the moral of this green tale? It turns out, going green is not just about saving the planet; it’s an expensive affair. As the renewable energy stocks hit rock bottom, analysts are left wondering: is it time to buy, or is the green dream truly over?

Read more …

You been sold down the river.

Global Warming Might Not Happen Quite As Fast As We Thought (Tel.)

Plants will absorb 20 per cent more carbon dioxide than predicted by the end of the century, a new study has found, suggesting climate models are overestimating how fast the planet will warm. Trinity College Dublin said its research painted an “uncharacteristically upbeat picture for the planet” after finding models had failed to take into account all the elements of photosynthesis. During photosynthesis, green plants use light energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide, water and minerals into the sugars they need for growth. Scientists thought climate change could weaken the process, but the new research suggests plants can adjust to the temperatures, efficiently absorbing carbon dioxide, producing extra nutrients, and continuing to thrive.

They found that on a global scale, the amount of carbon converted during photosynthesis could be up to 68 per cent greater by the end of the century compared to the start of the century, and 20 per cent more than some current models suggest. Silvia Caldararu, assistant professor at Trinity’s School of Natural Sciences, said: “What our study shows is that ecosystems could take up more CO2 out of the atmosphere than previously thought, which would mean lower CO2 concentrations, so a less steep rise in temperature. “So yes, that would give us a bit more time to reach net zero. But it is important to note that we predict a lot of this drawdown will happen towards the end of the century, while we need to cut emissions now, or possibly yesterday.”

Plants take up a huge amount of carbon dioxide every year, slowing down the effects of climate change, but experts have been uncertain whether that would continue as the climate changes. In recent years, observations have shown that the carbon dioxide uptake by plants is increasing, which is likely driven in part by increased vegetation growth caused by carbon rises. An increase in the ability of plants to absorb carbon dioxide not only removes it from the atmosphere, but more growth brings down land temperature and mitigating effects on climate change globally indirectly. Although climate modellers have attempted to include estimates for this carbon sink, the researchers found that most models were not complex enough to understand the true resilience of plants to climate change.

Researchers found that under the extreme RCP 8.5 warming scenario, a pathway where greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow unmitigated, plants would take a fifth more carbon dioxide from the air than currently expected.The RCP 8.5 scenario predicts a temperature increase of about 4.3C by 2100, relative to pre-industrial temperatures. However, the authors cautioned that land ecosystems only absorb about a quarter of human emissions, so the extra benefit would take that up to around 30 per cent.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Weirdest ever video?
https://twitter.com/i/status/1725817257417457838

 

 

Stick insect

 

 

Snoopy

 

 

 

 

Orang

 

 

Danny Boy – Sinéad O’Connor

 

 


Whenever they tell you it can’t be done in the modern age, show them Dresden. What’s been achieved in Dresden is the most inspiring architectural feat for decades. Everything you see in the bottom image was built, from scratch, in the last 20 years. The city was a gem of German Baroque architecture, completely levelled by Allied bombings during WW2 – more than 80% of the buildings in the historic city center were either damaged or totally destroyed. Heartbreakingly, the wonderful Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) lay in rubble for decades, under the East German communist regime which refused to rebuild it. It was left in a pile as a “memorial against war” for 50 years. When the Berlin Wall finally fell, the people endeavored to bring it back.

Work began in 1993 to piece the church back together, brick by brick; every stone in the pile was sorted and carried off to be analyzed. Except for the brand new dome, it was reconstructed using as much original stone as possible, to the exact specifications of the original (as much as could be pieced together from old photographs). The work took 11 years, and in 2005, the Frauenkirche was reconsecrated – rising like a phoenix from the ashes. It was finished one year ahead of schedule and just in time for the city’s 800-year anniversary celebrations. In a remarkable gesture, the gilded orb and cross atop the new dome were crafted by an English goldsmith – whose father partook in the bombing of the city in 1945.

 

 

 

 

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