Jun 122024
 


Vincent van Gogh Bridge in the rain (after Hiroshige) 1887

 

Pelosi Admits Fault for the Lack of Jan 6 Security Precautions (Turley)
Biden Campaign Claims Trump “Has Praised The Third Reich” (MN)
NIH Scrambled After ZeroHedge Report On Fauci Beagle Experiments (ZH)
New Jersey Announces Investigation into Trump Liquor Licenses (Turley)
‘We Are So Proud’: Bidens React To Hunter Verdict (RT)
Israel and the Misjudgement of Reality (Alastair Crooke)
How Russia Can Prevent WW3 (Dmitry Trenin)
BRICS Must Prevent New ‘Cold War’ – China (RT)
West ‘Losing Trust’ In Ukraine – FT (RT)
Eastern NATO Club May Kick Hungary Out For Dissent – FT (RT)
US ‘Flirting With Neo-Nazis’ – Kremlin (RT)
Ukraine ‘Peace Conference’ Will Not Urge Withdrawal Of Russian Troops (RT)

 

 

I absolutely urge you to watch Steve Bannon talking to Tucker.

Tucker Bannon

 

 

 

 

Vucic

 

 

 

 

RFK Trump
https://twitter.com/i/status/1800576436731781143

 

 

Telegram

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..a previously-unreleased video..”

The Jan 6 committee decided to hold it back so they could promote false allegations against Trump. They must be investigated.

Pelosi Admits Fault for the Lack of Jan 6 Security Precautions (Turley)

For years, some of us have asked why the Capitol was so poorly prepared for the January 6th riot. As part of the coverage on that day, I remarked at the start of the protests that I had never seen the Capitol so thinly protected for a major demonstration. Some paths to the Capitol were protected by a handful of bicycle officers and thin barriers. Now, a previously-unreleased video taken on Jan. 6, 2021 shows then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., admitting that she was responsible for the lack of preparedness. The video was disclosed in a posting on X by a House Republican panel. The video shows Pelosi in an exchange with Chief of Staff Terri McCullough on the evacuation.

Pelosi states: “We have responsibility, Terri. We did not have any accountability for what was going on there. And we should have. This is ridiculous. You’re going to ask me in the middle of the thing when they’ve already breached…that, should we call the Capitol Police? I mean the National Guard? Why weren’t the National Guard there to begin with?…They clearly didn’t know, and I take responsibility for not having them just prepared for more.” The video was never released by the J6 Committee, which was criticized for its highly choreographed and scripted hearings with little balance in the presentation of evidence. The lack of emphasis on the security issues was glaring and raised by critics throughout the hearings. While Democrats and the media dismissed the issue and claims that Trump offered to supply the national guard, it was later confirmed that those offers were made to Congress and rejected.

A report from Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton also found that Capitol police were told that they could not use critical riot materials and tactics in preparation for the Jan. 6th protests. What was so curious about the lack of precautions that morning is that the Capitol had just experienced the violence outside of the White House in the Lafayette Park protests. To this day, the media and many members continue to repeat false accounts of the Lafayette Park. Many still have stories posted that claim that Lafayette Park was cleared for Trump to hold a photo op in front of a church. I discussed those accounts in testimony before Congress and in columns on the clearing of the Lafayette Park area. NPR still has a story on its website entitled “Peaceful Protesters Tear-Gassed To Clear Way For Trump Church Photo-Op.” More officers were injured in the Lafayette Park protests than on January 6th.

As previously discussed in repeated columns, the House Democratic leadership refused to hold a single hearing with key witnesses on what occurred before the riot. After using a “snap impeachment,” weeks went by without calling such witnesses before the Trump impeachment trial. Such evidence would have challenged the narrative and raised questions over decisions made by Congress that left the Capitol vulnerable to such an attack.In the Lafayette Park protests, White House officials feared that the compound could be breached by violent protesters who had injured dozens of officers and engaged in arson and attacks around the White House during that weekend. They decided to clear the area to install fencing (which Congress only ordered after the Jan. 6th riot). They also deployed the National Guard and the “heavier, less lethal weapons” that the Inspector General found were denied to the Capitol Police.

Had Pelosi and others accepted National Guard support and installed fencing as was done at the White House, it is doubtful that the riot on January 6th would have occurred or any disruption would have been far more limited in scope. The fact that the J6 Committee downplayed this major factor in the riot further undermines how the investigation was framed by the Democratic leadership. Pelosi barred the GOP members selected for the committee, hand picking two anti-Trump Republican members.

The absence of any balance on the committee was evident from the start. There was little effort to present alternative explanations or defenses to critical issues raised in hearings. No opposing witnesses were called who might contradict the narrative put forward by the Committee, including witnesses who would debunk the much-repeated, false claim that Trump wrestled with his driver to gain control of the presidential limo to drive to the Capitol. With the Speaker admitting on tape that she bore responsibility for the lack of precautions, one would think that the J6 Committee, including then Vice Chair Liz Cheney, would consider that relevant for the public to understand the underlying facts. Instead, it was buried with much other countervailing evidence.

Tucker Jan 6
https://twitter.com/i/status/1800541468051804485

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“..the downward trend for Biden means that dropping out of the race is worth discussing, even though it “would be a big risk” for the Democrats..”

Biden Campaign Claims Trump “Has Praised The Third Reich” (MN)

Biden campaign senior adviser Adrienne Elrod claimed Monday that Donald Trump has “praised the Third Reich” and intends to rule as a racist dictator. During an interview with CNN, Elrod was asked to comment on Republicans who “worship” Trump, and responded “I think that rhetoric speaks for itself.” “Donald Trump and his MAGA allies are focused on seeking revenge and retribution,” Elrod asserted, adding “They are running a negative campaign that is not focused on the American people, but is focused on themselves.” She continued, “Trump has made it very clear that if he steps back into that White House, he will rule as a dictator on day one. He will seek — he will use the White House to seek political revenge and retribution on his political enemies.” Trump actually said he won’t do that, but it doesn’t fit the Biden campaign’s narrative.

While she was at it, Elrod painted up Trump as an admirer of Hitler. “You know, he has said things that — you know, he’s praised the Third Reich. He has used, you know, racist rhetoric at every chance that he has,” she claimed. Praised the Third Reich? Presumably she is referring to this…

The desperation among the Biden campaign is palpable. His approval rating just hit a new all-time low of 37.4 percent. FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver noted that the downward trend for Biden means that dropping out of the race is worth discussing, even though it “would be a big risk” for the Democrats. “But there’s some threshold below which continuing to run is a bigger risk,” Silver commented, adding “Are we there yet? I don’t know. But it’s more than fair to ask.” “If I’d told you 10 years ago a president would seek re-election at 81 despite a supermajority of Americans having concerns about his age, and then we’d hit 8% inflation for 2 years, you wouldn’t be surprised he was an underdog for reelection. You’d be surprised it was even close!” Silver further wrote.

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Lock him up. Throw away the key.

NIH Scrambled After ZeroHedge Report On Fauci Beagle Experiments (ZH)

Last week, Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene took a detour from grilling Anthony Fauci over COVID-19, to confront him with photos of beagles who had been subjected to animal testing experiments widely reported to be funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) under the National Institutes of Health (NIH), following a 2021 investigation series by the group White Coat Waste Project. “We should be recommending you to be prosecuted,” Greene told Fauci. “We should be writing a criminal referral because you should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity. You belong in prison,” she continued, adding “That man does not deserve to have a license. As a matter of fact, it should be revoked and he belongs in prison.” This opened up a can of worms which includes a response from White Coat Waste, and triggered the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler to do a deep dive into ‘Beaglegage’ in an effort to debunk Greene.

“When we first saw Greene hold up the photo, we figured this would be easy to debunk — another in a string of misleading attacks against Fauci, who became the public face of the government’s response to the pandemic.” -Washington Post. Only to discover that the NIH appears to have lied about funding the experiment, which involved beagles between 6 and 8 months old obtained from the kennels of the Pasteur Institute of Tunis. In the study, the beagles were sedated and then exposed to hundreds of sand flies that had been deprived of food for 24 hours. This exposure took place as part of research into zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (ZVL), a disease carried by sand flies that can affect dogs and humans. After ZeroHedge amplified the White Coat Waste report (archived), there was a full blown panic.

In late October 2021, CNN asked Fauci to appear for an interview, and one of his staff members suggested late on Oct. 24 that Fauci pause any TV interviews “until we get a handle on this.” Early the next morning, Fauci emailed 12 officials and asked them to “tell me what grant or contract they are referring to.” Within two hours, one replied that they might have identified the grant. (Most staff members’ names are redacted.) “Let us find out for sure if it is that grant, and then let us take a look at what the experimental design is, and importantly whether it has received the appropriate ethical and animal care consideration,” Fauci replied in an email. “I want this done right away since we are getting bombarded by protests.”

Within two hours, one of the researchers involved, Abhay Satoskar, a professor of pathology and microbiology at Ohio State University, emailed to say that NIAID had been mistakenly cited as a funder of the study and that he would seek a correction from the journal. One NIAID official wrote in an email that Satoskar “stated that it was mistakenly cited because he was not clear of the true purpose of US funding acknowledgment” and that the program in question had been funded only by the Pasteur Institute. Satoskar, meanwhile asked Shaden Kamhawi, the editor of the journal, to correct the article. Kamhawi initially agreed, but noted internally that she may have a conflict of interest as a NIAID employee. She then sent an email in a panic over the ZeroHedge article potentially inviting “a lot of noise & unwanted attention for [Fauci]. They also called us an “illegitimate blog of no credibility,” which is high praise considering the source.

When the story broke in 2021, the NIH scrubbed it from its database and then fed WaPo disinformation: When The Post reported on the controversy in November 2021, the article noted: “The trapped-beagles study does not appear in a database of NIH-funded projects.” The emails show that, while it was removed before the publication of The Post article, the study had been listed in the database for months and was still listed as of the previous month, when Fauci first asked about the controversy. “We need that to be corrected too, ASAP please,” one NIH staffer wrote on Oct. 27. The anxiety level rose as officials realized it would take several days, until Nov. 1, before the project would be removed from the database — where reporters could not then find it. -WaPo.

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“..Platkin’s office has announced that it is “reviewing” whether to pull the liquor licenses for Trump golf clubs since he is now convicted of felonies in New York..”:

New Jersey Announces Investigation into Trump Liquor Licenses (Turley)

Many of us have expressed alarm at the politicization of the criminal justice system in New York by figures such as Attorney General Letitia James and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. It now appears that New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin is angling to get into the lawfare frenzy. The conviction of Trump on 34 felonies has either thrilled or repelled citizens. For many of us, it is a sign of the degradation of our legal system. Even the chief CNN legal analyst has acknowledged that Bragg contorted the law to bring the recent case against former President Donald Trump in an unprecedented prosecution. Yet, the use of the legal system for political purposes is clearly popular in New York where people were literally dancing in the street outside of the courthouse after the recent verdict against Trump.

Now Platkin’s office has announced that it is “reviewing” whether to pull the liquor licenses for Trump golf clubs since he is now convicted of felonies in New York. It appears that lawfare is nothing if not intoxicating for Democratic politicians. According to an article in the Hill, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control is “reviewing the impact of President Trump’s conviction” on his liquor licenses for the Trump National Golf Club in Colts Neck, Lamington Farm Club, and Trump National Golf Club Philadelphia in Pine Hill. The latest effort is based on a vague standard governing crimes of “moral turpitude” under New Jersey law: “No license of any class shall be issued to any person under the age of 18 years or to any person who has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. A beneficiary of a trust who is not otherwise disqualified to hold an interest in a license may qualify regardless of age so long as the trustee of the trust qualifies and the trustee shall hold the beneficiary’s interest in trust until the beneficiary is at least the age of majority.”

A “crime of moral turpitude” is a familiar, though dated, standard in American law. I teach the standard in torts as one of the traditional “per se” categories for slander under the common law. It was generally used to denote conduct of immorality or serious offenses to norms of society. New Jersey defines it as including “any offense that carries the possibility of one year in jail and involves acts of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellowmen, or to society in general. Even the New Jersey Alcoholic Beverage Control handbook notes that in “some instances, it may be unclear whether a conviction involves an element of moral turpitude.” Yet, Trump has a way to bringing clarity for his critics whenever they must chose between politics and principle.

For most of us, it is hard to see how falsifying business records would constitute “acts of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellowmen, or to society in general.” However, for Democrats, it seems that any act by Trump is by definition base, vile, and depraved. The piling on of investigations and charges by Democratic officials has reinforced Trump’s long narrative of a weaponization of the legal system against him and his supporters. Polling shows that most citizens view some of these cases as political prosecutions and that they are having diminishing impact on voter preferences. Yet, they remain thrilling for Democratic voters who lionize prosecutors who come up with novel or unprecedented avenues to hammer Trump or hit his businesses. It does not seem to matter that removing the liquor licenses of these clubs can endanger thousands of jobs of citizens or chill other businesses in considering investments in New York or New Jersey. In the end, the effort is hardly surprising. Lawfare is like binge drinking: the excess is the very measure of its success.

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“Crooked Joe Biden’s reign over the Biden Family Criminal Empire is all coming to an end on November 5th, and never again will a Biden sell government access for personal profit..”

‘We Are So Proud’: Bidens React To Hunter Verdict (RT)

US President Joe Biden and his wife Jill love their son and intend to respect the judicial process, according to a statement released on Tuesday in response to a Delaware jury finding Hunter Biden guilty of federal gun crimes. Biden’s younger son was charged with three felonies based on a 2018 firearm purchase while being a crack cocaine addict and lying about it on a gun control form. Tuesday’s verdict made him the first son of a sitting president to be convicted in federal court. “Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today,” Biden said in the statement. “I will accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal. Jill and I will always be there for Hunter and the rest of our family with our love and support. Nothing will ever change that.”

Joe Biden married Jill Jacobs in 1977, five years after losing his first wife Neilia and their daughter Naomi in a car crash. Hunter and his older brother Beau were seriously injured in the accident. Biden was sworn in as US senator in their hospital room. Beau Biden died of brain cancer in 2015. Hunter later ended up romantically involved with Beau’s widow Hallie. It was Hallie who found the illegally purchased Colt Cobra revolver in Hunter’s truck and threw it in the trash. Believing the gun had been stolen, Hunter set the Secret Service scrambling to recover it. The entire episode was revealed thanks to Hunter Biden’s laptop, which he left in a Delaware repair shop while high on crack and subsequently forgot about it. The laptop’s contents emerged during the 2020 presidential election, but social media companies censored the New York Post for publishing the story while Biden had current and former US intelligence officials denounce it as “Russian disinformation.” The trial confirmed that the laptop and its contents were authentic.

Hunter’s verdict came as his father was scheduled to appear at a gun control event in Washington, DC. At the end of May, a New York jury convicted Biden’s main rival for the presidency, Donald Trump, on 34 counts of “falsifying business records.” The Biden campaign rushed to declare Trump a “convicted felon” and argued no one should vote for him. While some Republicans gloated at the Delaware verdict, many pointed out that Hunter was not brought up on far more serious charges involving foreign bribery or tax evasion. Trump’s campaign called the trial “nothing more than a distraction from the real crimes of the Biden Crime Family, which has raked in tens of millions of dollars from China, Russia and Ukraine.” “Crooked Joe Biden’s reign over the Biden Family Criminal Empire is all coming to an end on November 5th, and never again will a Biden sell government access for personal profit,” Trump campaign spokeswoman, Karoline Leavitt, said.

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“..a ‘New War of Independence’ can be held aloft before the Israeli public as the metaphysical ‘vision’ of the way ahead..”

Israel and the Misjudgement of Reality (Alastair Crooke)

On all fronts, the Israeli internal paradigm is fracturing; and externally, the West is itself fissuring, and becoming a pariah on the global stage. The western leaderships’ explicit facilitation of a bloody cleansing of Palestinians has incised the old spectre of ‘Orientalism’ and colonialism onto the skyline. And is gyring the West towards being ‘the world’s untouchable’ (along with Israel). Overall, Israel’s government objective looks to be to converge and then channel – multiple tensions into a wide military escalation disgorgement (a big war) – that somehow would bring a restoration of deterrence. Such a course concomitantly implies that Israel would thus turn its back to western pleas that it somehow act ‘reasonably’. The West mostly defines this ‘reasonableness’ as Israel accepting the chimaera of a passage to ‘normality’ arriving through the Saudi Crown Prince bestowing it, in return for a contrite Israel undoing seven decades of Jewish supremacism (i.e. accepting a Palestinian State).

The core tension within the Western-Israeli calculus is that the U.S. and the EU are moving in one direction – back to the failed Oslo approach – whilst polling underscores Jewish electors firmly marching in the other direction. A recent survey conducted by the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs shows that since 7 October, 79% of all Jewish respondents oppose the establishment of a Palestinian State on 1967 lines (68% were opposed prior to 7 Oct); 74% are opposed even in exchange for normalisation with Saudi Arabia. And reflective of the internal Israeli divide, “only 24% of left-wing voters support a [Palestinian] State without conditions”. In short, as the western institutional leadership clings to the shrinking Israeli secular liberal Left, Israelis as whole (including the young) are moving hard Right. A recent Pew poll shows that 73% of the Israeli public support the military response in Gaza – albeit a third of Israelis complained it had not gone far enough. A plurality of Israelis think Israel should govern the Gaza Strip. And Netanyahu, in the aftermath of the ICC arrest threat, is overtaking Gantz (leader of the National Union) in approval ratings.

It seems that the ‘western consensus’ prefers not to notice these uncomfortable dynamics. Additionally, a separate Israeli divide concerns the purpose of the war: Is it about restoring to Jewish citizens the sense of personal, physical security, which was lost in the wake of 7 Oct? That is to say: Is it the sense of Israel as a redoubt, safe space in a hostile world that is being restored? Or alternatively, is the present struggle one of establishing a fully Judaicised Israel on the ‘Land of Israel’ (i.e. all the land between the river and the sea) the prime objective? This constitutes a key divide. Those who see Israel primarily as the safe redoubt to which Jews could flee in the wake of European holocaust, naturally are more circumspect at the risking of a wider war (i.e. with Hizbullah) – a war that could see the civilian ‘rear’ directly attacked by Hizbullah’s vast missile arsenal. For this constituency, safety is a premium.

On the other hand, a majority of Israelis sees the risk of wider war as inevitable – indeed to be welcomed by many, if the Zionist project is to be fully established on the Land of Israel. This reality may be difficult for secular westerners to grasp, but the 7 October has re-energised the Biblical vision in Israel, rather than excite a surfeit of caution about war, or a desire for rapprochement with Arab States. The point here is that a ‘New War of Independence’ can be held aloft before the Israeli public as the metaphysical ‘vision’ of the way ahead, whilst the Israeli government attempts to pursue the more mundane path of playing the long game, leading to the full military matrix control over the land between the river and the sea, and the removal of populations that will not submit to the Smotrich dispensation of ‘acquiesce or leave’.

Sachs hostages
https://twitter.com/i/status/1800314333576196369

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“..a long period of confrontation with the West, led by the US, lies ahead of us for about a generation..”

How Russia Can Prevent WW3 (Dmitry Trenin)

We can say that a new phase in relations between the world’s nuclear powers has begun. Many of us are still psychologically somewhere in the 1970s and 1980s. That is a kind of comfort zone. Back then, relations between the USSR and the US were based on the two superpowers’ strategic and political parity. In the military-strategic sphere, Washington was forced to deal with Moscow on an equal footing. After 1991, this parity disappeared. For the US, since the 1990s, Russia has been a declining power; throwing its weight around, always reminding itself of its former greatness, snapping back, even dangerous at times – but on a downward spiral. The difficult opening phase of the Ukraine conflict gave the Americans hope that the fields of that country would be the grave of the Russian superpower. They have since sobered up a bit, but equal status between Moscow and Washington is out of the question for them.

This is the main difference between the current state of relations and the ‘golden’ period of the Cold War – the 1960s and early 1980s. And Russia has yet to prove the Americans wrong. As they say, it is always difficult to predict anything, especially the future. But today we have to assume that a long period of confrontation with the West, led by the US, lies ahead of us for about a generation. The future of our country, its position and role in the world, and to a large extent the state of the global system as a whole, will depend on the outcome of this confrontation, the main front of which is not in Ukraine, but within Russia: in the economy, in the social sphere, in science and technology, in culture and art. Internally, because the enemy realises the impossibility of defeating Moscow on the battlefield, but remembers that the Russian state has collapsed more than once as a result of internal turmoil.

This may, as in 1917, be the result of an unsuccessful war. Hence the bet on a protracted conflict in which they know they have more resources. During the Cold War there were five nuclear powers, but then the only real poles were the US and the USSR, plus China with its then small nuclear arsenal. Now Beijing is moving towards (at least) parity with America and Russia, while India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel remain independent players (unlike NATO members Britain and France). The classic Cold War notion of strategic stability – i.e. the absence of incentives for the parties to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike – is not only inadequate but sometimes inapplicable when characterising relations between the great powers today.

Look at Ukraine: Washington is increasing arms supplies to Kiev, encouraging and providing for its provocative attacks on Russia’s strategic infrastructure (early warning stations, strategic airfields), while at the same time proposing Moscow resumes dialogue on strategic stability! In the emerging world order, strategic stability will have to mean the absence of reasons for military conflict (even indirect) between the nuclear powers. This, in turn, will be possible if the powers respect each other’s interests and are ready to solve problems on the basis of equality and the indivisibility of security. Ensuring strategic stability between all nine powers will require enormous efforts and the formation of a fundamentally new world order model, but it (strategic stability in the broad, i.e. real sense of the word) is quite realistic between pairs of states (Russia-China, the US-India, etc.). For Russia, only three of the other eight nuclear powers – the US, Britain and France – remain problematic.

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“.. the “collective West” is a minority whose worldview is not shared by the global majority..”

BRICS Must Prevent New ‘Cold War’ – China (RT)

The BRICS countries should work together to promote peace and prevent the onset of a new Cold War, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said. Speaking at the BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod on Monday, Wang stated that some major powers still harbor a “Cold War mentality.” According to the diplomat, this attitude directly contradicts UN Security Council resolutions and undermines the authority of multilateral mechanisms. China is willing to work with Russia to maintain strategic cooperation, respond to external pressures, and promote the sustained progress of bilateral relations, he said. Describing BRICS as an important platform for unity and cooperation among emerging markets and developing countries, Wang said the expanded BRICS mechanism will play a crucial role in creating a more just and reasonable global governance system.

He accused the West of the “politicization and excessive securitization” of economic issues, which has resulted in “rampant” unilateral sanctions and technological barriers for countries such as Russia and China. Wang urged the “big BRICS to “leverage” its political significance and transform the group into a new type of multilateral cooperation mechanism. The BRICS grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa was joined by Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates in early 2024. “By expanding our membership, we have ushered in a new era of joint self-reliance for the Global South, with the influence and appeal of BRICS continually rising,” Wang stated.

He added that in a “contest” where some forces promote global multipolarity while others maintain a “unipolar hegemony,” the BRICS countries should “stand on the side of fairness and justice, and make the right choices.” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claimed last week at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that Western governments are “obsessed” with the idea of global dominance. She argued that Western leaders continue to adopt “exceptionalism” at the expense of other ethnic and cultural identities. However, the “collective West” is a minority whose worldview is not shared by the global majority, which has already embraced the concept of multipolarity, Zakharova insisted.

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“..that Kubrakov’s ouster had been orchestrated by Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andrey Yermak, described as the “de facto head of state.”

West ‘Losing Trust’ In Ukraine – FT (RT)

Vladimir Zelensky’s recent purges of government officials have damaged the confidence of Ukraine’s foreign supporters, the Financial Times has reported, citing multiple sources in Kiev.The head of the State Agency for Restoration and Infrastructure Development, Mustafa Nayyem, tendered his resignation on Monday. He was followed by officials responsible for procurement and anti-corruption policy.Their departure is the latest in a series of personnel changes “that have shaken the confidence of western partners” in Vladimir Zelensky’s government, according to the FT. “The US and other western partners want a normal, predictable relationship with their Ukrainian counterparts,” one concerned Ukrainian official told the outlet on condition of anonymity. “Right now they are losing trust in Ukraine’s government because of personnel decisions that they do not understand.”

A spree of firings, resignations, and reassignments overseen by Zelensky in recent months has “caused tension” between Kiev and the countries financing Ukraine, six Ukrainian and Western officials told the outlet on condition of anonymity. They also said they had warned the Ukrainian leader about the “disruptive and inexplicable” moves. Nayyem’s resignation letter, seen by FT, said he was leaving due to “constant opposition, resistance and the creation of artificial obstacles” by Prime Minister Denis Shmygal. According to the outlet, Nayyem spoke to two dozen USAID and other Western officials two weeks ago, telling them he expected to be fired.

He urged Kiev’s foreign backers to continue working with his replacement, but one USAID representative was perturbed by changes to “ our most important partnership,” according to an audio recording of the meeting. Last month, Zelensky dismissed Ukraine’s infrastructure minister, Alexander Kubrakov. He and Nayyem were in charge of both reconstruction and the building of defensive fortifications. Two Ukrainian officials told FT that Zelensky viewed Kubrakov as “too cozy” with the Americans. Nayyem had warned USAID to expect a government probe into Kubrakov. FT reported last week that Kubrakov’s ouster had been orchestrated by Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andrey Yermak, described as the “de facto head of state.”

“This situation is really bad for [the] perception of the Ukrainian government and Ukraine generally,” Gleb Vishlinsky, the executive director at the Center for Economic Strategy in Kiev, told FT. He added that the firing of Kubrakov and Nayyem’s resignation, “build an image of weak and unpredictable governance.” Kubrakov’s sacking in particular attracted “backlash” from the US and its allies. The US, German, French, and EU ambassadors in Kiev posted messages of support for the minister on May 9 and complained about his departure to Shmygal four days later. A meeting that was supposed to be about the dire condition of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure reportedly turned into an argument about the absence of Kubrakov and Nayyem.

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” Hungary is scheduled to take over the presidency in July.”

Eastern NATO Club May Kick Hungary Out For Dissent – FT (RT)

A club of Eastern European and Baltic NATO nations is considering forcing out Hungary, a member state, for refusing to take the same stance on Ukraine, the Financial Times has reported, citing sources. The Bucharest Nine was founded in 2015 and includes Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. Senior officials from the regional group regularly meet to coordinate their foreign and security policy; a gathering of its leaders is scheduled to take place in Riga on Tuesday. Hungary, however, may be expelled from the club over its refusal to endorse joint statements of support for sending military aid to Ukraine and otherwise support Kiev in its confrontation with Moscow, insider sources told The Financial Times.

”We are likely meeting in this format for the last time,” one of the people familiar with the situation told the newspaper, calling the discussions “very serious.” All members of the Bucharest Nine were either Warsaw Pact nations or Soviet republics during the Cold War, and joined NATO during its expansion after the USSR collapsed. Hungary, however, is at odds with the other countries over the Ukraine conflict. Budapest opposes the continued arming of Kiev, saying this only prolongs the hostilities, and advocates for immediate peace talks instead. It is also highly skeptical of Western promises to eventually bring Ukraine into NATO and the EU. Supporters of Kiev have branded the government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban “pro-Russian” over the position, which he says is guided by his nation’s interests.

A similar push to ostracize Hungary is reportedly underway within the EU, where some members have called for suspending its voting rights. Belgium, which holds the rotating presidency in the European Council, believes that the future of the bloc may depend on it, Politico reported last week. ”This is a moment of truth,” Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib told the news outlet, referring to the so-called Article 7 proceedings against Hungary. “If we go all the way with this mechanism, it must work. If it doesn’t work, we have to reform it. That’s the future of the European Union.” Hungary is scheduled to take over the presidency in July.

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Because they know what Russia thinks about that.

US ‘Flirting With Neo-Nazis’ – Kremlin (RT)

Washington will stop at nothing, including the use of neo-Nazis, to damage Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday, following a US decision to lift a ban on supplying weapons to Ukraine’s Azov Brigade. The unit has notoriously welcomed into its ranks people who espouse ultranationalist and neo-Nazi ideologies, and has been described by the Western press as a magnet for such individuals from across the world. On Monday, the US Department of State cleared the brigade to receive American military assistance, stating that it found no evidence of human rights violations by the group. “This sudden change of stance by Washington proves that [US officials] would stoop to anything in their attempts to suppress Russia, using the Ukrainian people as a tool. They are even fine with flirting with neo-Nazis,” Peskov told journalists during a media briefing. Azov was founded as a volunteer battalion of Ukrainian nationalists in 2014 by white supremacist Andrey Biletsky.

People who came to power in Kiev following the Western-backed armed coup that year used Azov fighters in an attempt to violently quash a rebellion against the new government in the east. The battalion was incorporated into Ukraine’s National Guard the following year. In 2018, the US Congress banned the delivery of arms to the Azov Brigade, citing its ties to neo-Nazi ideology. Since the outbreak of conflict with Russia, Ukrainian officials and Azov members worked to rebrand the unit. Its insignia, which originally paid homage to Nazi symbology, was replaced with less offensive imagery, and its messaging changed to claim that the unit had distanced itself from its roots. Some former and serving US officials, such as ex-ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, helped Azov’s efforts by organizing events for them on American soil. However, Moscow insists that the nature of the unit has not significantly changed. It remains an “ultranationalist armed group,” Peskov stated.

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Not much left of Zelensky’s plan. Wonder why.

Ukraine ‘Peace Conference’ Will Not Urge Withdrawal Of Russian Troops (RT)

A draft joint statement prepared for an upcoming ‘peace conference’ on Ukraine in Switzerland will likely fall short of demanding the withdrawal of Russian forces from all territories claimed by Kiev, NHK has reported. The document also omits any mention of restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the Japanese news organization said on Tuesday after reviewing the draft statement. The agenda will reportedly address only three out of the ten points promoted by Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky, such as the safety of nuclear power plants, food security, the release of prisoners and the return of children evacuated by Russia from the conflict zone, NHK’s English-language news site said.

Zelensky’s topline demands when they were first floated in late 2022 included a complete withdrawal of Russian forces from all territories that Ukraine considers its own, that Russia pays reparations and submits its officials to war tribunals, all dismissed out of hand by Moscow. The points have been dropped from the draft joint statement because it took into account the stance of some Asian and Middle Eastern states that maintain ties with Russia, diplomatic sources told NHK. The draft also states that all parties should take part in the search for peace, and stresses the importance of Russia’s participation in future discussions, according to article. Russia has not been invited to the international gathering, due to take place on Saturday and Sunday at the Burgenstock Resort near Lucerne. Zelensky opposed the presence of a Russian delegation at the Swiss-hosted conference, saying it would enable Moscow to derail Ukraine’s diplomatic efforts.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told RT earlier that it was “absurd” to hold a meeting on settling the conflict between Russia and Ukraine without Moscow attending. “This conference is completely without prospects,” he stressed.The Russian authorities instantly rejected Zelensky’s ten-point plan as “unacceptable” when it was first presented. According to Moscow, the proposal disregards the actual situation on the ground, and is a sign of Kiev’s unwillingness to engage in negotiations.Last week, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin reiterated that Moscow is ready to seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis, but stressed that “fantasies” cannot be a basis for peace talks. “All negotiations are based on either military defeat, or military victory. Of course, we will win,” Putin said.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Biden still
https://twitter.com/i/status/1800361106520604994

 

 

Elon Xmas

 

 

Elon AI1

 

 

Eat

 

 

Jaguar

 

 

Kind

 

 

Friendship

 

 

Cheetah

 

 

Blue whale

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 142024
 


Edgar Degas At the Milliner’s 1905-10

 

Biden Tells Bibi: US Will Not Support A Counterattack Against Iran (ZH)
Washington Worried About Potential Israeli Attack – NBC (RT)
Iran Seizes Israeli-Linked Container Ship (RT)
Persian Gulf Powers Reportedly Refuse to Give US Access to Bases (Sp.)
Biden Prolongs Ukraine Crisis To Avoid Admitting Failure – Ron Johnson (RT)
Mobilization Law Is ‘Point Of No Return’ For Zelensky – Ukrainian MP (RT)
New Order Reveals Scale of Sabotage and Desertion in Ukrainian Army (Sp.)
Mobilizing for Defeat (Amar)
Ukrainian Troops Accuse Command of Treating Them ‘Like Livestock’ (Sp.)
Ukraine Asks France to Help Hold Positions in 2024 (Sp.)
Trump Thought Ukraine ‘Must Be Part Of Russia’ – Fiona Hill (RT)
‘Do The Right Thing’: Assange Supporters Urge As Biden Mulls Dropping Case (CD)
The Speech That Got Me Banned From Germany (Varoufakis)
DC National Guard Say They WERE Ready To Be Deployed On Jan 6 (DM)
Another Federal Judge Rejects All Hunter Biden Claims for Dismissal (Turley)

 

 

 

 

 

 

RFK Elon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778986189678055429

 

 

FISA

 

 

 

 

DOJ Biden

 

 

Assange

 

 

Maher Canada

 

 

 

 

Carano
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778941618491437198

 

 

Crenshaw

 

 

 

 

Things are not what they seem. Iran launched 100s of drones and missiles, almost no damage, and said: that’s one and done. Saved face. Everyone knows they had to respond to the Israeli attack in Damascus. And they wouldn’t even have done this if the UN had condemned that attack. And you bet they gave advance notice. An Israeli response now would threaten regionwide escalation. With surging oil prices in a US election year. No, the US does’t want a wider war. Neither does Iran.

Biden Tells Bibi: US Will Not Support A Counterattack Against Iran (ZH)

It is just after 7am Israel local time and Israel’s military is reporting the Iranian attack has stopped, several hours after Iran said its ‘limited’ operation has “concluded” – which involved an unprecedented hundreds of suicide drones as as well as ballistic missiles sent against Israel in retaliation for the April 1st Israeli attack on Iran’s embassy in Damascus. Below is the top story from English-language Times of Israel: Hebrew media reports claim that not a single drone or cruise missile managed to infiltrate Israeli airspace. According to the unsourced reports, most ballistic missiles were also knocked down outside of Israeli airspace. A report in Ynet says some 20 cruise missiles were downed short of Israel’s borders. The US, UK and Jordan helped take down many of the drones. Israel is reporting very little damage inside the country (though previously admitting “minor damage” against at least one key airbase in the south).

After the enormous Iranian drone and missile swarm a senior Israeli official has been quoted by Israel’s Channel 12 as saying “Iran’s attack was a strategic failure.” The official added in a threatening manner, “Now they can get ready and not sleep in peace.” Israel’s war cabinet appears to be readying a military response… Crucially, the Biden White House appears to be strongly signaling to the Netanyahu government that the attack is ‘done’ and that the United States will not back any follow-up counterattack operations against Iran: US President Joe Biden told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the US will not aid any Israeli counterattack on Iran, US media report, citing senior administration officials. Axios and CNN report that message was passed during a phone call between the pair. Axios reports that Biden told Netyanyahu the US will oppose any Israeli counterattack. CNN reports that Biden said the US will not take part in any such counteraction.

Israel has called on a United Nations Security Council meeting to condemn the Iranian aggression, which is expected to take place late Sunday. The US administration appears to be lobbying for a status quo and for Israel to not mount a strong response. Below is a portion of the Axios report on the Bibi-Biden late night phone call: Behind the scenes: Biden told Netanyahu the joint defensive efforts by Israel, the U.S. and other countries in the region led to the failure of the Iranian attack, according to the White House official. “You got a win. Take the win,” Biden told Netanyahu, according to the official. The official said that when Biden told Netanyahu that the U.S. will not participate in any offensive operations against Iran and will not support such operations, Netanyahu said he understood. U.S. Secretary of State Lloyd Austin spoke on Saturday with his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant and asked that Israel notify the U.S. ahead of any response against Iran, a senior Israeli official said.

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“I don’t think they had a strategy… the Israelis don’t always make the best strategic decisions..”

Washington Worried About Potential Israeli Attack – NBC (RT)

Some officials in Washington are worried that West Jerusalem’s response to Iran’s recent airstrikes could be reckless and escalatory, NBC news wrote on Sunday, citing anonymous White House sources. Iran launched several waves of drone and missile attacks against Israel on Saturday and Sunday. This was in response to an airstrike that damaged Iran’s embassy in Damascus, Syria and killed seven military personnel – including two generals – earlier this month. While Israel has refrained from commenting on the bombing, Tehran has accused West Jerusalem of conducting an extraterritorial assassination and attacking their embassy. Some US officials privately indicated exasperation with Israel’s decision to strike the Iranian consular building in Syria, NBC claimed, citing senior Pentagon officials as calling the strike potentially “catastrophically escalatory.”

Others in the White House have expressed concerns about Israel’s future response to the Iranian attack, given both West Jerusalem’s hardline approach in its conflict with Hamas and the airstrike on the embassy in Damascus, NBC News reports. President Joe Biden has privately expressed concern that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to pull the US into a broader conflict in the Middle East, three people familiar with the comments told the news channel. Another senior administration official said that while the White House does not believe Israel is looking for a direct war with Iran, they cannot be certain of West Jerusalem’s motives. “I don’t think they had a strategy… the Israelis don’t always make the best strategic decisions,” an anonymous senior official told NBC.

Some media reports that followed the bombing of Tehran’s diplomatic compound in Damascus claimed that West Jerusalem was preparing to strike Iranian nuclear facilities in the event of a direct Iranian attack on Israel. According to a Western security official, the Israeli Air Force has been training for long range strikes into sensitive areas of Iran which may be linked to the country’s nuclear program, London-based Arabic outlet Elaph wrote on Tuesday. Israel is prepared for any scenario, “both in defense and offense,” Netanyahu stated on Saturday. “Whoever hurts us, we will hurt them,” he said.

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Asymmetric warfare.

Iran Seizes Israeli-Linked Container Ship (RT)

Iranian commandos have stormed an Israeli-operated container ship in the Persian Gulf and taken control of the vessel. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz condemned the “pirate operation” and called on the West to impose sanctions on Tehran. The MSC Aries was boarded by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy troops as it transited the Strait of Hormuz around noon on Saturday. Once under the IRGC’s control, it was taken to Iranian territorial waters, Iranian state media reported. Video footage shared online showed IRGC commandos rappelling onto the deck of the ship from a helicopter.

The Portuguese-flagged MSC Aries is operated by Zodiac Maritime, a shipping firm owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer. At the time of the seizure, it was sailing past the Emirati port of Fujairah with its transponder switched off, the Associated Press reported. With Iran controlling the Strait of Hormuz and Yemen’s Houthi rebels attacking Israeli shipping interests in the Red Sea, it is standard practice for Israeli-linked vessels to disable their tracking data when sailing in the region. Since 2019, Iran has periodically seized Israeli and Western vessels in the Strait of Hormuz during times of increased tension. Tehran typically offers legal justification for these seizures, but gave no such explanation on Saturday. However, Saturday’s seizure came two weeks after an alleged Israeli airstrike on an Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital of Damascus. The strike killed seven officers of the IRGC’s Quds Force, including two generals.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed to deal Israel a “slap in the face” in response, and American officials warned on Friday that Tehran could be gearing up for a massive drone and missile strike on Israeli soil over the weekend. It is unclear whether Iran plans further attacks after seizing the MSC Aries. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz condemned the seizure, accusing Khamenei’s “criminal regime” of “conducting a pirate operation in violation of international law.” “I call on the European Union and the free world to immediately declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guards corps as a terrorist organization and to sanction Iran now,” he wrote on X.

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BRICS+.

Persian Gulf Powers Reportedly Refuse to Give US Access to Bases (Sp.)

Persian Gulf countries have reportedly told the United States not to launch any attacks against Iran from their territory or airspace amid seething regional tensions. Sources, including a senior US official told the Middle East Eye that Gulf monarchies have been “working overtime” on the diplomatic track “to shut down avenues that could link them to a US reprisal against Tehran or its proxies from bases inside their kingdoms.” The countries include regional heavyweights Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Kuwait, with their leaderships reportedly “raising questions” on the details of US basing agreements, and taking steps to prevent the use of their Iran-adjacent bases against the Islamic Republic. NATO member Turkiye has also reportedly barred the US from using its airspace for strikes against Iran, but Sputnik has not been able to independently verify this information.

“It’s a mess,” a senior US official said, referring to the headache the Biden administration faces as it prepares for a potential Iranian retaliatory strike against its top regional ally Israel following Tel Aviv’s April 1 attack on the Iranian Embassy compound in Damascus, Syria. The Middle East Eye report follows a report by Axios on Friday citing US officials who said that Iran has privately warned the US that it will target American forces in the Middle East if Washington gets involved in a military confrontation between Iran and Israel. The US has an estimated 40,000+ military personnel at bases dotting the Middle East, including the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, which hosts at least 10,000 troops, and serves as the forward headquarters of United States Central Command – the combatant command responsible for military operations across the Middle East. Nearby Bahrain hosts up to 7,000 troops and the US Fifth Fleet – which operates in the Persian Gulf, the Red and Arabian Seas, and part of the Indian Ocean.

The US also has a 15,000-troop garrison in Kuwait, at least 5,000 troops in the UAE, and about 2,700 troops and fighter jets at the Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia. Oman hosts a few hundred US troops, and allows the US Air Force to conduct overflights and landings, and warships to make 80 port calls annually. The Gulf powers’ increasingly independent foreign policy is potentially a major setback for Washington, which for many decades after World War II (and especially after the Cold War) was able to rely on the Persian Gulf monarchies for its military operations in the oil-rich region. Regional countries led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE have taken a series of steps recently to wean themselves off of dependence on the US economically, politically and militarily, with Riyadh moving to break the petrodollar monopoly in the oil trade with China, pausing its military campaign against Yemen’s Houthi militia, restoring diplomatic ties with Iran and, together with Abu Dhabi, joining the BRICS Plus bloc.

The Palestinian-Israeli crisis has driven Gulf state leaders and their populations further from the idea of the establishing relations with Israel, and chilled ties with the US thanks to the Biden administration’s full-fledged support for Tel Aviv in the course of the Gaza War.

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“It’s just a fantasy, it’s just denying reality, to think that pumping more money, fueling the fire of that bloody stalemate, is going to break this thing open and show that Ukraine can be victorious..”

Biden Prolongs Ukraine Crisis To Avoid Admitting Failure – Ron Johnson (RT)

US President Joe Biden is dragging out an “obviously” lost cause in Ukraine because his administration will not admit to its policy failures in trying to weaken Russia, Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) has claimed. “At some point in time, you have to recognize reality and you have to base your decisions on reality,” Johnson said on Thursday in an interview with podcast host Glenn Greenwald. “But the Biden administration is not willing to do that, the generals aren’t willing to do that, because they’d have to admit they’ve been wrong all along.” Johnson was the only US lawmaker to attend the inauguration of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in May 2019. He said Zelensky wanted to make peace with Russia then, realizing that Kiev had no chance of retaking Crimea, and sought to resolve the conflict shortly after Moscow launched its military offensive in February 2022.

“I would like to have been a fly on the wall in Istanbul, when they apparently were negotiating a peace agreement and the Biden administration air-dropped [then-UK Prime Minister] Boris Johnson in there to blow that thing up,” Johnson said. “This was a few weeks after the war started. It’s a tragic, tragic turn of history there.” The third-term lawmaker, who formerly chaired the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said the US government has failed to reflect on its foreign policy failures. For example, he argued, fomenting the overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government in 2014 helped lead to the country’s destruction. He said Americans have been “grossly misserved” by their government’s long history of foreign entanglements and regime-change operations. “The military-industrial complex drives so much of what we’re experiencing here today, the endless wars,” Johnson said. “I can’t tell you how many governments we have, through covert action, we’ve overturned. What’s been the net result of that?”

It’s nonsensical for the US government to stand by its stated goal of helping Ukraine to defeat Russian forces, Johnson said. He added, “Part of the problem is that one of the war aims now has shifted. It’s not necessarily to liberate Ukraine but to utilize the Ukrainian people to fight a proxy war with Russia and degrade their military capability.” Johnson said the proxy-war strategy had failed: “With oil prices higher, with the sanctions not working to cripple the Russian economy, I think they’re just probably building up their military-industrial base, and if anything, they’re getting stronger and smarter militarily.”

Republican lawmakers have held up approval of Biden’s request for over $60 billion in additional Ukraine funding since last fall, but party leaders are reportedly preparing to pass an aid bill in the coming days. Biden is seeking reelection later this year. “It’s just a fantasy, it’s just denying reality, to think that pumping more money, fueling the fire of that bloody stalemate, is going to break this thing open and show that Ukraine can be victorious,” Johnson said
“That’s just not going to happen, so it’s better to recognize reality and realize the only way the bloodshed ends is if we sit down and negotiate with [Russian President] Vladimir Putin.”

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“..help Zelensky hold on to power by “forcing everyone into the army.” “That is a very bad basis for a social consensus..”

Mobilization Law Is ‘Point Of No Return’ For Zelensky – Ukrainian MP (RT)

A new conscription law will drive a wedge between officials in Kiev and ordinary Ukrainians, lawmaker Aleksandr Dubinsky has said. He described the legislation as a point of no return for President Vladimir Zelensky and his government. On Thursday, the Ukrainian parliament passed a long-debated law which simplifies procedures for the draft and forces all men aged 18 to 60 – including those residing abroad – to register with the military authorities. Earlier this month, after several weeks of deliberation, Zelensky signed a law lowering the age of conscription for men from 27 to 25. The new draft rules were approved without a demobilization clause that would have allowed troops to return home after three years on the front lines. As things currently stand, everyone who is drafted will have to serve until the end of the conflict with Russia.

Ukrainian troops feel betrayed by the new rules, Western media outlets reported earlier this week, citing soldiers who say they feel “fooled and used” and are being used as “slaves.” The mobilization law “will be the watershed, after which there will be no turning back,” Dubinsky wrote on Telegram on Thursday. He compared Kiev’s policies to ‘Oprichnina’ – a massive repression campaign launched by Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible in the 16th century and implemented by special troops called ‘Oprichniki’ who enjoyed the monarch’s trust and were spared his wrath. “The presidential administration and its Oprichniki, including MPs, state officials, the police and [security services] are on one side,” while “everyone else is on the other,” Dubinsky said.

According to the MP, the goal of this policy is to help Zelensky hold on to power by “forcing everyone into the army.” “That is a very bad basis for a social consensus,” the lawmaker added. In another post, he noted that MPs, police officers, some state officials, and local authorities are exempted from mobilization under the new draft rules, and “are by no means preparing to go to war.” Dubinsky is currently in custody in Ukraine. He was expelled from Zelensky’s ‘Servant of the People’ party in 2021. He faced treason charges in November 2023 after the Ukrainian domestic security service (SBU) accused him of working for Russia. Dubinsky dismissed the accusations as politically motivated and claimed that he was persecuted for criticizing Zelensky.

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“..footage appearing to show Ukrainian troops being shot at and having grenades thrown at them by their own comrades..”

New Order Reveals Scale of Sabotage and Desertion in Ukrainian Army (Sp.)

The Kiev regime’s soldiers sabotage army orders, threaten their commanders, refuse to fire their weapons, leave the battlefield, and desert. This was revealed in a new order on strengthening discipline signed by Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Oleksandr Syrsky and seen by Sputnik.The document notes that army commanders, law enforcement, and other government agencies have faced new challenges that require an immediate response. Among the military criminal offenses, the commander-in-chief listed “insubordination,” “failure to comply with an order,” “threat or violence against a superior,” “unauthorized abandonment of a military unit or place of service,” “desertion,” “evasion of military service by inflicting self-harm or in any other way,” and “unauthorized abandonment of the battlefield or refusal to use weapons.”

Syrsky’s order outlines the urgent need for the Armed Forces and representatives of law enforcement agencies to identify and put a stop to these offenses. The document presupposes that Ukrainian soldiers could be offered a chance to return to combat duty even after the abovementioned offenses. The new order comes as the Ukrainian Armed Forces are struggling to replenish their ranks, with men increasingly unwilling to die for the Kiev regime and actively avoiding mobilization or deserting. Following last year’s botched summer counteroffensive, which resulted in huge manpower losses, cases of desertion have soared. The Kiev regime’s army units are rife with cases of insubordination and desertion. Sputnik earlier obtained footage appearing to show Ukrainian troops being shot at and having grenades thrown at them by their own comrades during a Russian advance.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky recently deplored that such a case of desertion by a whole unit had resulted in Ukrainian forces being surrounded, and many soldiers being killed. He also spoke out against declaring a general amnesty for deserters in a video posted on his office’s YouTube channel. On Wednesday, Verkhovna Rada lawmaker Irina Gerashchenko reported that the Ukrainian parliament had backed in the first reading a bill to tighten liability for military offenses, including desertion. The following day, the country’s parliament adopted a bill on mobilization aimed at replenishing Ukrainian forces depleted by two years of NATO’s proxy war against Russia. Zelensky also signed new mobilization measures into law on April 2, lowering the conscription age and authorizing the creation of an electronic database of military-age men as the issue of draft dodgers continues to persist.

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“All Ukrainian men between age 18 and 60 will have to register, including those abroad. Failure to do so will count as evading military service..”

Mobilizing for Defeat (Amar)

Ukraine’s situation is extremely precarious, if you want to put it optimistically. A more realistic term is “catastrophic.” The country faces steady, accelerating advances of Russian forces that are well-motivated and trained and superior in quantity and equipment. Even Ukraine’s commander-in-chief has admitted that “the situation on the eastern front has significantly worsened in recent days.” A massive understatement but still proof that things are even worse. We also know – from Ukrainian polls – that ever more Ukrainians are open to ending the war by making concessions. Yet the Zelensky regime is doubling down. Instead of entering serious negotiations – the kind where you adjust your aims to your losses so as to avoid even greater ones – it is seeking to throw more lives into a war that has become a meatgrinder for Ukrainian troops.

That is the main purpose of a new mobilization law that has just passed the Ukrainian parliament. (In addition, President Zelensky has already signed off on additional measures that will be integrated into the new law once he signs that as well. In essence, though, this is one integrated bundle, which many Ukrainians and outside observers refer to as one and the same law, as will be done here.) The new mobilization law is complex, consisting of a long list of measures, including, for instance, new rules on confiscating private cars for defense purposes. Its core, however, is simple: The minimum age for mobilization is lowered from 27 to 25 years of age. All Ukrainian men between age 18 and 60 will have to register, including those abroad. Failure to do so will count as evading military service. To make sure that compliance can be policed easily, all registered men must have their registration papers on them at all times.

The law, which has been under contentious consideration for months, is not being well-received in Ukrainian society. On a TV show run by Ukrainska Pravda, a very anti-Russian outlet, Maria Berlinska, a Ukrainian activist of equally sterling credentials, called it a fiasco. And she is by no means alone. It is true that some Ukrainian commentators have – once again – tried to dismiss all and any popular discontent as nothing but Russian interference. But this time, that tired old trick from the NATO-Zelensky playbook is not working well. Even Western mainstream media acknowledge the law is “unpopular.”

It is not hard to understand why many Ukrainians are angry. Perhaps the single worst disappointment is that the law does not include a hard rule for demobilization, which is what everyone expected. Think of it as a tacit deal: The government gets to hoover up more young men for cannon fodder, but, at least, it also promises to let go those exhausted soldiers who have already served (and survived) for years (36 months was under discussion). Even the New York Times has noticed that Ukraine’s current soldiers are “battered and exhausted.” Yet opening a way out for at least some of them is what did not happen. Instead, the Zelensky regime has dared come out with a law that only takes but gives nothing back.

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“..accused of sabotaging orders, threatening commanders, refusing to fire their weapons, leaving the battlefield and deserting en masse..”

Ukrainian Troops Accuse Command of Treating Them ‘Like Livestock’ (Sp.)

A leaked order regarding plans to strengthen discipline signed by Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Syrsky has detailed the increasingly difficult situation for Kiev at the front, with troops accused of sabotaging orders, threatening commanders, refusing to fire their weapons, leaving the battlefield and deserting en masse. Russia’s Defense Ministry has published footage of nine servicemen from Ukraine’s elite 25th Separate Airborne Brigade collectively surrendering to Russian forces near the village of Vodyanoye in the Donetsk People’s Republic. In interviews taken after their capture, the troopers pointed to the difficult situation at the front, complained about poor operational planning, poorly trained commanders, large losses in manpower and equipment and panic among the units, and accused command of using them as cannon fodder.

“The commanders leave us to die like waste material, while they are somewhere on the sidelines,” serviceman Valery told his Russian interviewers. “When we were being taken into captivity, our own forces started shelling us, showing that we aren’t needed anymore. I’ve been captured and thanks to that I’m alive and won’t be executed. It’s worse in the Ukrainian military than in the Russian captivity,” he said. “The 25th Brigade’s command is treating us like livestock,” another captured serviceman said. “It’s better to surrender than die in such a ***** manner for who knows for what and why,” a third added. “Our commanders don’t care about us. They didn’t want to come to the positions and evaluate the situation…So ‘thank you’ to our commanders. In your words, we should have gone to our deaths,” another soldier said. Footage shot by Russian forces showed the surrendering servicemen approaching Russian positions, stripping off their gear and being led out of the combat zone by Russian forces after being searched.

Ukraine Armed Forces C-in-C Syrsky confirmed the desperate situation at the front in an order that was issued on April 4 and leaked to Russian media on Saturday, listing issues he said require immediate attention from law enforcement including insubordination, failure to comply with orders, threats or violence against superiors, unauthorized abandonment of positions, desertion, evasion of military service by inflicting self-harm, and refusal to use weapons. In a Telegram post Saturday, Syrsky offered an unusually frank public assessment of the battlefield situation, which he said had “significantly worsened in recent days, primarily due to the significant intensification of the enemy’s offensive actions,” which he said was “facilitated by warm, dry weather, which has made most open areas accessible to tanks.” Syrsky assured that his “personal communication” with servicemen has made him well “aware of the real scale and degree of threat from the enemy.”

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“..and we will be able to resume the counteroffensive in 2025..”

Ukraine Asks France to Help Hold Positions in 2024 (Sp.)

Kiev has asked Paris to help the Ukrainian military hold the positions on the battlefield this year so that it can launch a new counteroffensive in 2025, a French official who took part in the talks with the Ukrainian authorities has told Le Figaro newspaper. “The Ukrainians are telling us: help us make it through 2024, and we will be able to resume the counteroffensive in 2025,” the official said. Ukraine is in need of the SAMP/T air defense system, the official added. However, MBDA, which manufactures the Aster 30 missiles for the platform, will not be able to provide Kiev with more missiles in the near future, as the French military also needs them, Le Figaro reported. On June 4, 2023, Ukraine attempted a counteroffensive against Russia. Kiev deployed brigades trained by NATO instructors and armed with Western equipment, including Leopard and Challenger tanks.

Three months later, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that Kiev’s push had failed, with Ukraine suffering heavy casualties. Several Western officials also admitted that the Ukrainian counteroffensive had not been successful. Western countries have provided hundreds of billions of dollars worth of aid to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s special military operation in February 2022. Aid shipments began in 2022 with artillery munitions and training and have escalated to include tanks, advanced air-defense systems, missiles and cluster munitions. The Kremlin has consistently warned against the West’s continued arms deliveries to Ukraine, saying that they only prolong the conflict, adding that Western military equipment will be eventually destroyed. Moscow also cautioned that NATO countries “are playing with fire” by providing Kiev with arms.

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NYT and Fiona Hill team up to make Trump look ignorant. And yes, “Hill served on Trump’s National Security Council between 2017 and 2019”. How did that ever happen?

Trump Thought Ukraine ‘Must Be Part Of Russia’ – Fiona Hill (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump could not understand “the idea that Ukraine was an independent state” and assumed that it “must be part of Russia,” his former adviser, Fiona Hill, has claimed. “Trump made it very clear that he thought, you know, that Ukraine, and certainly Crimea, must be part of Russia,” Hill told New York Times writer David Sanger in an upcoming book previewed by The Guardian on Friday. “He really could not get his head around the idea that Ukraine was an independent state.” Crimea voted overwhelmingly to join the Russian Federation in 2014, six decades after the historically Russian peninsula was transferred to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in an administrative decision by Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev. In September 2022, four former Ukrainian regions – the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Kherson, and Zaporozhye – were also admitted to the Russian Federation after similar referendums.

It is unclear from the excerpt printed by The Guardian whether Trump was referring to Russia’s centuries of sovereignty over Crimea and interests in Ukraine, or whether he simply assumed that post-Soviet Ukraine was a part of Russia. Trump has never publicly suggested that Ukraine is not an independent state. Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee to challenge President Joe Biden in this November’s election. If elected, he has promised to end the conflict in Ukraine “within 24 hours.” “I would get [Russian President Vladimir Putin] into a room. I’d get [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky into a room. Then I’d bring them together. And I’d have a deal worked out,” he told NBC News in September. Trump did not elaborate on how he would achieve this, explaining that “if I tell you exactly, I lose all my bargaining chips.”

Despite accusing Biden of dragging the US toward “World War III” with his policy of open-ended military aid to Ukraine, Trump has said that he could keep money flowing to Kiev under some circumstances, albeit as a loan rather than a gift. An intelligence analyst and specialist on Russian and Eurasian affairs, Hill served on Trump’s National Security Council between 2017 and 2019. She emerged as a key witness during the 2019 impeachment inquiry against her former boss, during which she accused Trump of using American aid to pressure Zelensky into investigating the Biden family’s business dealings in Ukraine.

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“..this would be the best decision Biden ever made..”

‘Do The Right Thing’: Assange Supporters Urge As Biden Mulls Dropping Case (CD)

President Joe Biden this week for the first time said his administration is weighing the Australian government’s requests to drop charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been deprived of his freedom since 2010 and is currently jailed in London’s notorious Belmarsh Prison while fighting extradition to the United States. Asked by reporters at the White House about requests from Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and members of the country’s Parliament for the U.S. and United Kingdom to drop the extradition effort and charges against Assange – an Australian citizen – Biden said that “we’re considering it.” Stella Assange, Julian’s wife, responded to Biden’s remarks on social media. “Do the right thing,” she wrote. “Drop the charges. #FreeAssangeNOW.”

Srecko Horvat, a Croatian philosopher and co-founder of the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 pan-European progressive political party, said that “this would be the best decision Biden ever made.” British journalist Afshin Rattansi asked, “Why has Julian Assange been put through this ordeal in the first place?” Assange – who is 52 years old and suffers from various health problems – faces multiple U.S. charges under the Espionage Act and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for his role in publishing classified government documents, some of them revealing war crimes and other misdeeds. Among the files published by WikiLeaks are the “Collateral Murder” video – which shows a U.S. Army helicopter crew killing a group of Iraqi civilians – the Afghan and Iraq war logs.

Three U.S. administrations have pursued charges against Assange. During the administration of former President Donald Trump – who is the presumptive 2024 Republican nominee – officials including then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo allegedly plotted to assassinate Assange to avenge WikiLeaks’ publication of the “Vault 7” documents exposing CIA electronic warfare and surveillance activities. In 2010, Trump called for Assange’s execution. The U.K. High Court ruled last month that Assange could not be immediately extradited to the U.S., where he faces up to 175 years behind bars if convicted on all counts. The tribunal gave the Biden administration until April 16 to guarantee that Assange won’t face the death penalty. Absent such assurance, Assange will be allowed to continue appealing his extradition. Last month, Assange’s legal team denied reports that a plea deal with the U.S. government may have been in the works. Assange has been imprisoned in Belmarsh since 2019. Before that, he spent nearly seven years in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had been granted political asylum under the government of leftist former President Rafael Correa.

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“..not just a ban from visiting Germany but also from participation in Zoom events hosted in the country..”

The Speech That Got Me Banned From Germany (Varoufakis)

Today, Yanis Varoufakis was banned not just from visiting Germany but from participating in video conferences about politics hosted in Germany. Here’s the plea for humanity and justice in Palestine that got him banned. Today, Germany’s interior ministry issued a “betätigungsverbot” against me, a ban on any political activity — not just a ban from visiting Germany but also from participation in Zoom events hosted in the country. I can’t even have a recorded video of me played at German events.The trouble started in earnest yesterday, when German police burst into a Berlin venue to disband our Palestine congress, which was hosted by the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25). Judge for yourselves what kind of society Germany is becoming if its police ban the sentiments below.

“Congratulations and heartfelt thanks for being here — despite the threats, despite the ironclad police outside this venue, despite the panoply of the German press, despite the German state, despite the German political system that demonizes you for being here. “Why a Palestinian congress, Mr Varoufakis?” a German journalist asked me recently. Because, as Hanan Ashrawi once said, “we cannot rely on the silenced to tell us about their suffering.”Today, Ashrawi’s reason has grown depressingly stronger, because we cannot rely on the silenced who are also massacred and starved to tell us about the massacres and the starvation. But there is another reason, too: because a proud, decent people, the people of Germany, are led down a perilous road to a heartless society by being made to associate themselves with another genocide carried out in their name, with their complicity.

I am neither Jewish nor Palestinian. But I am incredibly proud to be here among Jews and Palestinians — to blend my voice for peace and universal human rights with Jewish voices for peace and universal human rights, with Palestinian voices for peace and universal human rights. Being together here today is proof that coexistence is not only possible — but that it is here already. “Why not a Jewish congress, Mr Varoufakis?” the same German journalist asked me, imagining that he was being smart. I welcomed his question. For if a single Jew is threatened, anywhere, just because she or he is Jewish, I shall wear the Star of David on my lapel and offer my solidarity — whatever the cost, whatever it takes.

So let’s be clear: if Jews were under attack, anywhere in the world, I would be the first to canvass for a Jewish congress in which to register our solidarity. Similarly, when Palestinians are massacred because they are Palestinians — under a dogma that to be dead and Palestinian, they must have been Hamas — I shall wear my keffiyeh and offer my solidarity whatever the cost, whatever it takes. Universal human rights are either universal or they mean nothing.

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Time to hear Pelosi and Liz Cheney under oath?

DC National Guard Say They WERE Ready To Be Deployed On Jan 6 (DM)

Whistleblowers from the Washington D.C. National Guard will tell Congress that Donald Trump did want them deployed during the Capitol riot and the Army delayed telling them to mobilize in a bombshell hearing next week. DailyMail.com can exclusively reveal that at least three officers will appear Wednesday before a House subcommittee to claim their stories were also ignored by the Democrat-led January 6 committee, because it didn’t fit their narrative. The hearing will aim to further prove that Acting Defense Secretary at the time Christopher Miller did give advance approval of D.C. National Guard deployment at the direction of then-President Donald Trump. A person familiar with the review by the House Administration Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee said the whistleblowers will provide testimony that then-Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy delayed by at least two hours providing official notice to D.C. National Guard Commander William Walker to deploy troops to the Capitol.

Instead of getting to the bottom of the breakdown in communication and focusing on improving Military preparedness for future incidents, the witnesses feel the January 6 panel was solely focused on pinning blame for the events that day on Trump. The officers, who were with Walker the day of the Capitol riot, will detail how they were on buses in full tactical gear for hours waiting for the go-ahead from the Army. McCarthy has stated under oath that he did give a timely order for deployment of the D.C. National Guard – but Walker’s troops said they found out about mobilization during a press conference, which led to a three-hour-and-19-minute delay of forces arriving at the Capitol. Some suggest that McCarthy was vying for a spot in President Joe Biden’s incoming administration and didn’t like the optics of it looking like the Army, under his command, was trying to interfere or inhibit certification of the 2020 presidential election results.

The hearing on Wednesday is titled ‘Three Years Later: D.C. National Guard Whistleblowers Speak Out on January 6 Delay’ and aims to examine whether Trump was at fault for the delay in National Guard deployment. Additionally, the whistleblowers will reveal how the January 6 Committee did not want to hear their testimony because it corroborated Trump and his allies’ claims that the former president did authorize the National Guard days in advance to respond to any violence or unrest on January 6, 2021. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) is chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee, which is tasked with reviewing the January 6 Committee’s investigation into the Capitol riot.

Last month, Loudermilk released a transcript of a never-before-seen interview with Tony Ornato, the man in charge of Trump’s security detail on January 6, 2021. In the interview with the panel, Ornato confirmed that Trump did authorize the National Guard for mobilization and deployment to D.C. that day. The bombshell release of that interview reveals flaws in the January 6 committee’s argument that Trump wanted to stoke chaos that day by not allowing National Guard troops to respond to the scene at the Capitol. Loudermilk’s panel is concerned with making sure that security of the U.S. Capitol complex is nonpartisan and that readiness is not affected by partisan politics.

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“..other defendants did not write “a memoir in which they made countless statements proving their crimes and drawing further attention to their criminal conduct.”

Another Federal Judge Rejects All Hunter Biden Claims for Dismissal (Turley)

While some legal analysts continue to boost Hunter Biden’s legal claims, the reviews in actual courts are far less glowing. Recently, we discussed a federal judge rejecting all eight motions of Hunter Biden to dismiss his tax charges in a stinging opinion citing a conspicuous lack of actual evidence to support their claims. Now, U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika has also rejected those claims in the gun case in Delaware, calling Hunter’s arguments “nonsensical.” Legal experts like MSNBC’s Andew Weissmann have slammed the gun charges as “an abuse.” Hunter Biden’s counsel has argued selective prosecution and a bar on charges (based on the defunct notorious plea deal) in both cases. While these arguments were given great credence on some networks, they were stomped on by actual judges applying the law to the case. Abby Lowell and Hunter’s defense team have insisted that he is the victim of selective prosecution, but Special Counsel David Weiss has eviscerated those claims.

In a recent filing, Weiss dismissed many of Hunter’s claims as “patently false” and noted that he virtually flaunted his violations and engaged in obvious efforts to evade taxes and hide his crimes. Weiss further noted that other defendants did not write “a memoir in which they made countless statements proving their crimes and drawing further attention to their criminal conduct.” It was a devastating take-down of Hunter’s claims, but it did not address the conspicuous omission of charges brought against Menendez, including FARA charges. It also does not address the fact that the Justice Department not only allowed the statute of limitations to run on major crimes, but sought to finalize an obscene plea agreement with no jail time for Hunter. It only fell apart when a judge decided to ask a couple of cursory questions of the prosecutor, who admitted that he had never seen an agreement this generous for a defendant. Weiss noted in his filing that they filed new charges only after Hunter’s legal counsel refused to change the agreement and insisted that it remained fully enforceable.

Judge Noreika is equally unimpressed by the arguments of the Biden team. She almost mockingly noted that “Defendant’s articulated protected class is apparently family members of politically-important persons.” She later added: “Defendant’s claim is effectively that his own father targeted him for being his son, a claim that is nonsensical under the facts here. Regardless of whether Congressional Republicans attempted to influence the Executive Branch, there is no evidence that they were successful in doing so and, in any event, the Executive Branch prosecuting Defendant was at all relevant times (and still is) headed by Defendant’s father.” The court also rejected Hunter Biden’s effort to subpoena Trump, former attorney general Bill Barr, and two other senior officials who served in the Trump Justice Department. Again, she noted that it was the Biden administration that decided to prosecute Hunter Biden on the firearms offenses.

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Aristotle time

 

 

Moom!

 

 

Wolf size

 

 

Lynx

 

 


Just 10 streams carry 95% of all river-borne plastic into the ocean

 

 

Reindeer

 

 

Octopus

 

 

Skink
https://twitter.com/i/status/1779155873861927286

 

 

Baby swans
https://twitter.com/i/status/1779221790038098045

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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


Edvard Munch Spring in Johan Karl Street 1891

 

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

 

 


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

 

 

Letitia

 

 

Vivek

 

 

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

 

 

Cannon

 

 

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

 

 

Stephen Miller

 

 

Watters

 

 

Watters Fani

 

 

Immigration

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump Ad

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

Wake-up Call (James Howard Kunstler)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Russia is at War – Kremlin (RT)

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

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

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

Katyusha

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

Macron Believes Ukraine Could Fall Soon – Politico (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ukraine Makes Fresh Move To Draft More Soldiers (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Fish

 

 

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

 

 

How?

 

 


Find “A”

 

 

Queen of the night

 

 

 

 

Deep-Sea Ghost Shark

 

 

Lion up close

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 142024
 


Jacobello Alberegno The Beast of the Apocalypse 1360-90

 

‘Your Vampire Ball Is Over’ – Putin To Western Elites (RT)
What Message is Putin Sending the West in His Interview? (Sp.)
Putin: Warmongers Will ‘Get More Than They Asked For’ – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Oil Industry Will Be Swamped With Work ‘For Another 100 Years’ – Putin (RT)
Ukraine’s Military Planning Takeover of Parliament in Kiev by Force (Sp.)
Kiev’s Allies Start Dividing Ukraine – Zakharova (TASS)
Macron Leads The Way To Western Civilization’s Suicide (RT)
US Uses NATO In Ukrainian Conflict To Tighten Grip On European Countries (TASS)
German Army Short of ‘Everything,’ Partly Due to Supplies to Kiev
Netanyahu Government’s Future ‘In Jeopardy’ – US Intel (RT)
Menendez Case Shatters Hunter Biden Claim of Selective Prosecution (Turley)
‘A Vote For Trump Is A Vote For Putin’ – Hillary Clinton (RT)
Georgia Judge Dismisses Several Counts In Trump Election Interference Case (ZH)
2/3 of Liberals Would Dispute Election If Trump Wins (MN)
Lara Trump: Preventing Cheating In November Is Top RNC Priority (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Schwab

 

 

Doocy

 

 

A-game

 

 

Hur

 

 

 

 

Rand Paul

Loomer

 

 

I have nothing with the UK “royals”, but this is wild.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1767693275622764667

 

 

 

 

”Those who are smarter” have now come to the conclusion that it is necessary to change their strategy in relation to Russia..”

‘Your Vampire Ball Is Over’ – Putin To Western Elites (RT)

The era of Western elites being able to exploit other nations and other peoples across the world is coming to an end, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an exclusive interview published by Rossiya 1 and RIA Novosti on Wednesday. The president stated that over the past few centuries, the so-called “golden billion” has grown accustomed to being able to “fill their bellies with human flesh and their pockets with money” as they have been “parasitizing” other peoples in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. ”But they must understand that the vampire ball is ending,” Putin said. He added that the citizens of the aforementioned regions, which have been continuously exploited by the West over the past 500 years, have started to associate Russia’s struggle for sovereignty with “their own aspirations for sovereignty and independent development.”

At the same time, Putin noted that Western elites have a very strong desire to “freeze the current situation” and preserve the “unjust state of affairs in international affairs.” Previously, in his keynote address to Russia’s Federal Assembly last month, Putin stated that the West, with its “colonial habits” of “igniting national conflicts all over the world,” intends to do everything it can to stall Russia’s development and turn it, as it did Ukraine, into a dying failed state. ”In place of Russia, they want a dependent, withering, dying space, where they can do whatever they want,” he said. The president followed up on those comments in Wednesday’s interview, stating that many Western elites, who have been “blinded by their Russophobia” were “thrilled” when they were able to push Russia to the point where it had to launch its military offensive in Ukraine in order to end the war unleashed by the West in 2014.

”They were even happy, I think, because they believed that now they would finish us off using a barrage of sanctions, having practically declared a sanctions war against us, and with the help of Western weapons in the hands of Ukrainian nationalists,” said Putin, suggesting that this mindset was behind Western calls to “inflict a strategic defeat on Russia on the battlefield.” Now, the West appears to have realized that defeating Russia in this way is not only unlikely, but impossible due to the unity of its people, the fundamental foundations and stability of its economy and the growing potential of its military, the president said. ”Those who are smarter” have now come to the conclusion that it is necessary to change their strategy in relation to Russia, Putin surmised.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1767922770661224783

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“Guarantees can only be given by responsible political figures representing stable governments of Western countries, and must be offered in the nature of absolutely binding signed documents..”

Putin won’t be fooled again.

What Message is Putin Sending the West in His Interview? (Sp.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin touched on a number of recent developments and hot topics that emerged after the message to the Federal Assembly in an exclusive interview with Dmitry Kiselev, director general of Rossiya Segodnya, Sputnik’s parent media group. President Vladimir Putin has stated very clearly that Russia is not against peace negotiations, but that they cannot be conducted on the basis of proposals put forward by the Kiev regime, Russian political scientist Dmitry Evstafiev told Sputnik. The so-called “Zelensky formula” “will not be discussed in any way,” Evstafiev underscored. Commenting on Vladimir Putin’s interview with Dmitry Kiselev, director general of Rossiya Segodnya, Sputnik’s parent media group, he continued: “Some of our partners have hinted to us about the need to start negotiations… But, first and foremost, [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky’s formula cannot be a starting position. Secondly, any negotiations should lead to the establishment of a lasting peace, and cannot be an instrument of a temporary truce at the front in order to further pump the Kiev regime with weapons.”

According to the analyst, an integral element of any negotiations needs to be “the West’s refusal to supply weapons to Ukraine.” Thirdly, these negotiations need to be conducted in a “public format and must be anchored in public agreements at the political level.” Putin laid out very clearly that Russia needs guarantees, the analyst said. “Guarantees can only be given by responsible political figures representing stable governments of Western countries, and must be offered in the nature of absolutely binding signed documents,” Dmitry Evstafiev said. He singled out the Russian head of state’s remark that there will be no secret temporary agreements with anyone. Russia was, is, and will always be open to negotiations on a settlement in Ukraine, but intends to continue the special military operation until its goals are achieved, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated earlier in the year. Russian and Ukrainian delegations have engaged in several rounds of peace talks, but the negotiations ultimately reached an impasse.

In October 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree stating that Kiev could not hold peace talks as long as Vladimir Putin is president of Russia. In November 2022, Zelensky unveiled a 10-point initiative dubbed a “peace formula.” It included an all-for-all prisoner swap with Russia, security guarantees for Ukraine, and a return to the pre-2014 borders. Moscow has continuously said it is open to peace negotiations as long as Kiev recognizes the territorial gains Russian forces have made since the launch of the special military operation. President Vladimir Putin has issued a warning to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that Russia is prepared to defend itself with all possible means, military analyst Anatoliy Matviychuk told Sputnik. Weighing in on Putin’s interview on March 13, the analyst said: “I believe that Putin is warning the US that you [NATO] expanded and expanded, but as long as you did not affect our living space, we were silent.”

No matter what “plausible intentions,” such as “defense of democracy, or defense against Martians,” might be drummed up to justify any foreign army’s boots on the ground on Russian territory, it would be an intervention, the retired colonel of the Russian Armed Forces underscored. “Intervention is an invasion into the expanses of the economy, into the expanses of finance, into the expanses of military security and, strictly speaking, into vital areas where Russia carries out its life activities. We will defend it with all possible forces and means that we have. And we know that the president has always warned: in the event of a sharp deterioration or even a threat to sovereignty, we will not hesitate to use nuclear weapons. I believe that is his message in this interview,” Anatoliy Matviychuk said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his interview that there has not yet been any need to use tactical nuclear weapons as part of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, but when asked whether such an idea ever occurred to him, he replied, “No, but why?” Russia is prepared to use nuclear weapons if the existence of the Russian state is threatened, the Russian leader said, adding that Russia’s nuclear triad is more advanced than that of any other country. “From the military and technical point of view, we are, of course, ready,” Vladimir Putin said.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1767879777468182873

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“..any future relationship between Moscow and Washington will have to be “negotiated carefully,” and any guarantees and assurances set down “in writing.”

Putin: Warmongers Will ‘Get More Than They Asked For’ – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

The key takeaway from President Putin’s conversation with Rossiya Segodnya head Dmitry Kiselev is that those “looking for a contrite Russia, a weak Russia, a compliant Russia” won’t find it in “the Russia that Vladimir Putin was presenting to the world in his interview,” says former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and independent military and international affairs observer Scott Ritter. “Instead, what he’s saying is that Russia’s not looking for a fight, but if somebody wants to bring the fight to Russia, they’ll get more than what they asked for. And if the world is looking for peace with Russia, it’ll be done on terms that are acceptable to Russia,” Ritter told Sputnik. “Russia hasn’t shut the door on peace, but the terminology used by the Russian president when discussing the potential of a peace negotiation with Ukraine didn’t bode well,” the observer suggested, pointing to the derision Putin cast in Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s direction when discussing Kiev’s maximalist ‘peace plan’.

“This shows that Russia doesn’t have respect for the Ukrainian leadership and indeed doesn’t view the ‘Ukrainian peace plan’ – Volodymyr Zelensky’s 10-point peace plan – as a serious effort for peace. This also points to the fact that Russia will probably continue the scope and scale of its military operations without let up until it accomplishes the missions that it has assigned itself, primarily demilitarization and denazification,” Ritter said. Furthermore, Ritter said, Putin has made clear that Russia expects US experts to “provide sage advice” to leaders in Washington to prevent the Russia-NATO crisis from breaking out into a full-blown nuclear war, while also making it obvious that he “doesn’t trust the United States,” making “that straight-up clear in this interview.” Accordingly, any future relationship between Moscow and Washington will have to be “negotiated carefully,” and any guarantees and assurances set down “in writing.”

Regarding the recent series of not-so-subtle hints by NATO officials that they would not “rule out” a direct, boots on the ground intervention in Ukraine, Putin confirmed that “any effort to intervene meaningfully, meaning large forces, etc., would be seen as a direct intervention that could lead to a direct conflict between Russia and NATO,” heightening the risks of a nuclear conflagration, Ritter said.Finally, regarding Putin’s comments about nuclear weapons, Ritter stressed that they must be taken at face value, since Russia’s nuclear doctrine provides for the use of such arms in the event of a nuclear attack, but also conventional aggression so severe that it “threatens the existential survival of Russia.”

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”..for a very, very long time humanity will be dealing with the issues of hydrocarbons..”

Oil Industry Will Be Swamped With Work ‘For Another 100 Years’ – Putin (RT)

The world will continue using oil and gas for a long time despite the focus on renewable energy, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said, adding that jobs in this sector have a secure future. He was speaking at a meeting with the winners of the Leaders of Russia award on Tuesday, when he insisted that hydrocarbons production would remain relevant for years to come, even with increased talk about transitioning to renewable energy. “No matter how they talk about renewable energy sources, for a very, very long time humanity will be dealing with the issues of hydrocarbons, their production and use,” Putin said. “There will be enough work for 100 years,” he added.

In its latest report published on Tuesday, OPEC said global oil demand is expected to grow by 2.25 million barrels per day (bpd) this year and by 1.85 million bpd in 2025. According to the report, robust growth in global oil consumption will be largely driven by transportation fuels. The Russian Finance Ministry forecast last year that the country’s revenues from oil and gas exports would surge by almost a third in 2024, reaching more than $118 billion. A further increase in energy revenues to over $121 billion is expected for 2025. Russia sharply increased its energy exports to Asia last year after the EU stopped accepting the country’s oil transported by sea. China and India have emerged as major buyers of Russian crude since Moscow redirected its cargoes from Europe eastwards in response to Ukraine-related sanctions imposed by the West.

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“When the staff is recruited, fighters are trained, the mass will be ready..”

Hard to gauge the accuracy of this.

Ukraine’s Military Planning Takeover of Parliament in Kiev by Force (Sp.)

The Ukrainian military, dissatisfied with the policy of the country’s leadership, is planning the takeover of the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, in Kiev and attracting other Ukrainian armed forces’ military personnel to their side, a correspondence on a closed resource obtained by Russian specialists has shown. Sputnik obtained the correspondence of the chat participants, which showed that the participants discussed a swift takeover of the Verkhovna Rada and attracting the military to their side. “The most important action that we will need to pull off lightning fast is the takeover of the VR [Verkhovna Rada] at a certain point,” one of the chat participants wrote.

Earlier this week, a source in the Russian law enforcement agencies told Sputnik that Russian specialists had gained access to a classified Telegram channel titled “ParaBelum,” where commanders and fighters of elite units of the Ukrainian armed forces are “seriously discussing options for overthrowing the current authorities and the command of the Ukrainian armed forces.” “When the staff is recruited, fighters are trained, the mass will be ready,” another chat participant said. “There must be support from the military. Without it, nothing will work. The main driving force. [They] will say from the trenches that [they are] with us, and people will follow,” one more chat participant said. “Especially when the people see that the military is at the helm and the rest of the military is following them – they automatically take the right side,” another chat participant added.

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“..they are starting to divide between themselves what’s left of Ukraine..”

Kiev’s Allies Start Dividing Ukraine – Zakharova (TASS)

French President Emmanuel Macron’s remark about the potential deployment of troops to Ukraine makes it clear that Western countries have started dividing Ukraine, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing. She pointed out that Macron “continues making statements about possibly sending troops to Ukraine.” “He did not rule out that French troops might be deployed to Ukraine if the Russian army <...> broke through to Kiev or Odessa,” Zakharova noted. “Clearly, Ukraine’s allies have started dividing the country. All the statements that Macron and other political figures from NATO member states are making about the possible deployment of troops or some paramilitary forces to Ukraine have to do with the division of Ukraine as they see it,” she added.

The diplomat also said that “this is why they are unwilling to grant full NATO membership to Ukraine.” “It’s about constant flirting with the issue and empty promises that are never kept because making Ukraine part of NATO means that all of the bloc’s members are ready to recognize its borders but not all NATO members are ready to do that. They are ready to occupy Ukraine and divide it; this is what political leaders in those countries are openly talking about. Actually, they are beginning to mentally prepare both their own people and Ukrainian citizens for such actions,” Zakharova added. According to her, “this is being done under a false flag, which is typical for NATO members.” “This is another staged show of an alleged confrontation with Russia but in fact, they are starting to divide between themselves what’s left of Ukraine,” the diplomat stressed.

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“While Russian President Vladimir Putin is encouraging his population to have more children, Macron’s France is celebrating the ‘enshrinement’ of abortion in the constitution..”

Macron Leads The Way To Western Civilization’s Suicide (RT)

While Russian President Vladimir Putin is encouraging his population to have more children, Macron’s France is celebrating the ‘enshrinement’ of abortion in the constitution. What does this say about France and the West in general? In 2022, there were 234,300 abortions in France. The procedure is legal upon request until 14 weeks after conception. These figures are interesting when one considers that French politicians (and elderly voters, who are the majority of the electorate) insist on maintaining the extremely costly pension system and say that it has a price. Someone needs to pay. That is, the active population needs to pay. You would think that to sustain the requisite size of the active population, it would be more logical to encourage having more new births than to ‘enshrine’ having fewer. But that’s not an issue if you import the population.

In 2022, France welcomed 320,330 new people to the country – not counting illegal immigrants. Immigration in the country has nothing to do anymore with the fact that France has been a colonial power and that it is dealing with the consequences of its former policies. More and more people are coming from countries or regions such as Pakistan, Eritrea, Chechnya… where France never meddled in local affairs whatsoever. Something important that goodhearted Frenchmen seem to forget and French politicians feign to ignore, is that these populations, especially those from Africa, come with traditions which do not quickly disappear with time. Having multiple children is one of them, as these populations have for centuries been accustomed to having ten children or more because most of them would die young. French women usually have one or two. And the women who go for abortions are in the vast majority local French women. It should be noted that the situation is the same in most of the European Union.

Besides political decisions, the euphoria that took hold after this reform of the constitution is also worrying from a psycho-social point of view. Abortion has been legal in France for decades. There is indeed nothing new in this symbolic gesture of President Emmanuel Macron’s government. The fact that many women celebrated this strictly formal political decision as a ‘victory’ is a sign that many, unconsciously, want to die, to disappear as a population, as a civilization. This neo-feminism has gone too far. It leads to pure infantilization. A child thinks that he is the center of the world; neo-feminists think that their uterus is the center of the world. A child doesn’t care about the consequences of his deeds; neo-feminists do not want to think about consequences. The real message of this ‘victory’ is the following – you can screw around with as many people as you want, there will be no consequences. Even when the existence of your people is at stake. No consequences.

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“..The US keeps pouring oil on the fire, which yields huge benefits..”

US Uses NATO In Ukrainian Conflict To Tighten Grip On European Countries (TASS)

The United States is using the conflict between Russia and Ukraine to gain control over European countries with the help of NATO, the executive director of the Center for Russia and Central Asia Studies at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Sun Qi, has told TASS while commenting on CIA chief William Burns’ statement that Washington was providing support for Kiev to contain China. “The true purpose of Burns’ speech in the Senate is not to actually care about Ukraine, but to use the Ukrainian crisis to attain selfish geostrategic aims. These aims include using NATO to tighten the grip on the European countries. On the other hand, the Ukrainian crisis is being used for deriving profit. The US keeps pouring oil on the fire, which yields huge benefits,” Sun said, adding that Washington’s support for Kiev allowed the US to increase investment in its businesses and create jobs.

Sun noted that the United States unlike China was not interested in ending the conflict in Ukraine. As an example, he cited the European tour of the Chinese government’s special representative for Eurasian affairs, Li Hui. The expert also drew attention to the fact that the conflict in Ukraine was often compared in the West to the Taiwan issue. “The Taiwan issue is an internal affair of China. It is completely different from the Ukrainian one and has nothing to do with the US. No foreign interference is acceptable. While the US and the Western countries continue to add fuel to the fire of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, they often ignore the hard facts, compare the Taiwan issue with Ukraine and try to use the Russia-Ukraine conflict to impede China’s development. This is a vulgar, thoughtless and intemperate attitude,” he stated.

Speaking at a US Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing, Burns said that Washington was providing support for Kiev, because such activities, among other things, contributed to the containment of China. He argued that the US was able to continue supporting Kiev in the conflict, the consequences of which went far beyond Ukraine and European security.

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Got to start from scratch. See you in ten years.

German Army Short of ‘Everything,’ Partly Due to Supplies to Kiev

The German armed forces lack equipment, personnel and “everything” in general, with stocks depleted by military deliveries to Ukraine, the parliamentary commissioner for the Bundeswehr, Eva Hoegl, said Tuesday. “Unfortunately, I have to admit that the Bundeswehr still has too little of everything. There is a shortage of ammunition, spare parts and radio equipment. There are not enough tanks, ships and aircraft,” Hoegl said presenting the annual report on the state of the German military. The commissioner praised Berlin for doing an “outstanding” job in supporting Ukraine in the conflict. However, supplying military aid to Kiev means that the German armed forces now have even less of everything, even more so two years into the conflict, she added. Germany continues to procure equipment to modernize the Bundeswehr under a special military fund worth 100 billion euros ($109 billion), Hoegl said, adding that two-thirds of it are already earmarked for specific purchases.

“As for personnel, I have no good news or messages here because the Bundeswehr is aging and shrinking,” Hoegl said, adding that the number of applications and recruits last year was the same as in 2022, while 20,000 posts remain vacant. A total of 181,514 people were serving in the Bundeswehr as of the end of last year, with the average age of a German soldier being 38.8 years. The 100 billion euro fund was announced by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to improve the country’s defense capabilities shortly after the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. The fund was approved by the German parliament in June of that year. In January 2023, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius told the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that the special defense fund would not be enough for Germany to modernize its troops and cover maintenance costs for military equipment. Pistorius then called for an increase of 10 billion euros per year in the German defense budget.

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“..could potentially lead to “large protests demanding his resignation and new elections.”

Netanyahu Government’s Future ‘In Jeopardy’ – US Intel (RT)

Israel’s far-right cabinet led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could face serious challenges and be forced to step down due to flagging public support, the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has warned. In a report published on Monday, the ODNI noted that a “different, more moderate government” could take over the reins in the near future. The US intelligence agency concluded that “Netanyahu’s viability as leader as well as his governing coalition of far-right and ultraorthodox parties that pursued hardline policies on Palestinian and security issues may be in jeopardy.” According to the document, “distrust of Netanyahu’s ability to rule has deepened and broadened across the public” – something that could potentially lead to “large protests demanding his resignation and new elections.”

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“What they do not share is the same level of prosecution or press support. Menendez is a pariah in Washington and Hunter is the president’s son..”

“Hunter is not the victim of selective prosecution but the beneficiary of special treatment in the legal system..”

Menendez Case Shatters Hunter Biden Claim of Selective Prosecution (Turley)

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., was in court this week for another superseding indictment brought by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. Rather than the four original counts, he now faces 18 counts with his wife, Nadine Arslanian Menendez, and alleged co-conspirators Wael Hana and Fred Daibes. What is most notable is not the proliferation of counts but the lack of comparative charges in the pending case against Hunter Biden. Some of us have long raised concerns over the striking similarity in the alleged conduct in both cases, but the absence of similar charges against the president’s son. That contrast just got even greater. The allegations in the two cases draw obvious comparisons. Menendez is accused of accepting a $60,000 Mercedes-Benz as part of the corrupt practices. In Hunter’s case, it was a $142,000 Fisker sports car. For Menendez, there were gold bars worth up to $120,000. For Biden, there was the diamond allegedly worth $80,000.

Underlying both cases are core allegations of influence peddling and corruption. However, the Justice Department threw the book at Menendez while minimizing the charges against Biden. That includes charging Menendez as an unregistered foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Many of us have said for years that the treatment of Hunter under FARA departs significantly from the treatment of various Trump figures like former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort as well as Menendez. Now, there is a new layer of troubling comparisons to be drawn in the two cases. The superseding indictment incorporates new charges after the plea and cooperation of Menendez’s former co-defendant and businessman Jose Uribe. Uribe appears to have supplied the basis for some of the new charges, including a telling account with Nadine Menendez. She allegedly asked Uribe what he would say to law enforcement about the payments used for a Mercedes-Benz convertible and Uribe said that he could say that the payment were a “loan.” Nadine Menendez responded that “sounded good.”

The loan discussion hit a familiar cord with those of us who have written about the Biden corruption scandal. The Bidens have repeatedly referred to payment from foreign sources as “loans.” That most notoriously included millions given by his counsel Kevin Morris. In some cases, foreign money was received by President Joe Biden’s brother James and then immediately sent to the president’s personal account marked as a loan repayment. James admitted that the $40,000 was coming from the Chinese. The Justice Department in the Menendez case dismissed the claim of loans as merely a transparent effort to hide influence peddling. That includes not just the convertible payment but more than $23,000 that one businessman made toward the senator’s wife’s mortgage. Menendez and Biden share the array of luxury gifts, cars, and loans. However, the most important common denominator was the underlying corruption. Both cases are classic examples of influence peddling, which has long been a cottage industry in Washington, D.C.

What they do not share is the same level of prosecution or press support. Menendez is a pariah in Washington and Hunter is the president’s son. Menendez is blamed by many inside the Beltway not for being corrupt but for being open about it. The fact that others have been prosecuted for conduct similar to his own has not stopped Hunter from claiming victim status. He has told courts that even the few charges brought against him are evidence of selective prosecution. In the most recent filing, Special Counsel David Weiss dismissed many of Hunter’s claims as “patently false” and noted that Hunter Biden virtually flaunted his violations and engaged in obvious efforts to evade taxes and hide his crimes. Weiss further noted that other defendants did not write “a memoir in which they made countless statements proving their crimes and drawing further attention to their criminal conduct.” [..] As Hunter continues to claim to be the victim of selective prosecution in various courts, judges need only to look over the Menendez case to see the truth of the matter. Hunter is not the victim of selective prosecution but the beneficiary of special treatment in the legal system.

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A loser trying to save face. Trump lives in her head rent-free.

‘A Vote For Trump Is A Vote For Putin’ – Hillary Clinton (RT)

Supporters of US presidential hopeful Donald Trump would be voting for Russian President Vladimir Putin, the former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has claimed. Clinton’s remark followed a meeting between the presumed Republican nominee and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Florida on Friday. After the talks that CNN sources described as “friendly”, Orban told the media that Trump had a “detailed plan” to end the conflict in Ukraine, which involved stopping US aid to Kiev. “It’s becoming clearer every day: A vote for Trump is a vote for Team Putin,” Clinton, who run for Presidency twice as a democratic nominee, wrote on X (formerly Twitter). The post also displays a photo of Trump and Orban shaking hands and features a caption “Trump will not give a penny to Ukraine – Hungary PM Orban.” The quote refers to the comments made by the latter in an interview to Hungarian broadcaster M1 broadcast on Sunday.

According to a readout from Trump’s campaign, the two politicians met “to discuss a wide range of issues affecting Hungary and the United States, including the paramount importance of strong and secure borders to protect the sovereignty of each nation.” The Hungarian leader is seen by many in the West as an ally of Russia. Budapest has consistently called for a diplomatic solution to the conflict between Kiev and Moscow, as well as criticizing other Western nations for sending weapons to Ukraine. It has also maintained economic ties with Russia and called the EU sanctions against Moscow “counterproductive.”

Trump has repeatedly claimed on his campaign trail that, if he had remained in the White House for a second term, there would be no hostilities between Moscow and Kiev. If voted back in November, he promises to end the conflict “in 24 hours” by applying pressure on stakeholders. The US President Joe Biden, who is also running for re-election, described the meeting between Orban and Trump as “worrying”, according to CNN. Orban did not meet Biden during his visit to the US. On Tuesday, the Biden administration announced a new military aid package for Ukraine worth $300 million. The move comes as a bill that would provide $60 billion additional funds for Kiev remains blocked by Republican leaders in Congress.

Armstrong

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6 out of 40. Yay!

Georgia Judge Dismisses Several Counts In Trump Election Interference Case (ZH)

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee dismissed six charges out of the 40-count indictment in the election interference case against former President Donald Trump and his co-defendants, including three of the counts against Trump. The ruling, which is not linked to Fulton County DA Fani Willis’s (D) relationship with a special prosecutor she hired on the case – however McAfee is expected to rule on that later this week as well. The tossed charges do not impact the RICO charge that serves as the foundation for this unprecedented prosecution. Each of the tossed charges related to alleged efforts by Trump and some of his co-defendants, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, to solicit Georgia officials to violate their oaths of office.

The judge ruled that while the charges do contain the “essential” elements of each crime, they fail to provide enough detail for the defendants to mount their defenses. Under the current charges, McAfee said, the defendants could have violated the law in “dozens, if not hundreds, of distinct ways.” -The Hill. “The Court’s concern is less that the State has failed to allege sufficient conduct of the Defendants – in fact it has alleged an abundance,” McAfee wrote. “However, the lack of detail concerning an essential legal element is, in the undersigned’s opinion, fatal.” McAfee also emphasized that his ruling “does not mean the entire indictment is dismissed,” and preserved Fulton County’s ability to seek new indictments once they supplement the charges to his satisfaction. He also gave the state a six-month extension to resubmit the charges to a grand jury, even if the statute of limitations expires, and that he would “likely grant” a request to appeal.

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“Trump polled higher than Biden on all issues except abortion and climate change..”

2/3 of Liberals Would Dispute Election If Trump Wins (MN)

After over three years of complaining about Donald Trump contesting the 2020 election, a Rasmussen poll has found that a majority of Democrat voters oppose certifying the 2024 election should Trump emerge victorious. The survey found that should Trump win the election in November, and at this point it is difficult to bet against it, fifty seven percent of Democrat voters would oppose certifying the result, and close to two thirds of voters who identify as ‘liberal’ would oppose the result. That’s not very Democratic is it? The poll asked the question “Some Democrats in Congress have said that if Trump wins this year’s election, they will vote against certifying the election results because of Trump’s role in the January 6, 2021, Capitol riots. Do you support or oppose Democrats refusing to certify the election results if Trump wins?” The majority of Democrat voters said they would support the move. Incredibly, in the same poll, just 24 percent of Democrat voters said Republicans should have objected to the 2020 results if they believed they were fraudulent. It’s literally the same thing.

In perhaps a more telling revelation, however, the poll found that overall, only 35 percent of all voters would support opposing certifying a Trump victory. The survey also found that among those voters who strongly support Biden, close to three quarters disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision to prevent states from removing Trump from ballots. In other words Biden loyalists want to see his opponent unconstitutionally removed from the ballot. Again, not very Democratic. But as Democrats like to continuously remind Americans, it’s OK when they do it. Meanwhile, a further ABC/Ipsos poll has revealed that more Americans trust Trump to lead the country than Biden on all the top voter issues. Trump polled higher than Biden on all issues except abortion and climate change.

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“We need to have the biggest legal ballot harvesting operation this country has ever see..s”

Lara Trump: Preventing Cheating In November Is Top RNC Priority (ZH)

RNC co-chair Lara Trump says that “protecting the vote” in the upcoming November election is the most critical task for the committee. “We have three pillars that we need to focus on at the RNC to ensure victory on November 5, turn out the vote, protect the vote, and raise money,” she told Fox news’ “Sunday Morning Futures” on March 10. “But I would argue that maybe the most important of those three is protecting the vote, election integrity,” she added. Trump was asked by host Maria Bartiromo about her opinion of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s speech earlier this month in which he suggested that it’s racist not to allow the least secure methods of casting a vote in America. “On March 3, Mr. Garland said the U.S. Department of Justice was “fighting back” against “efforts by states and jurisdictions to implement discriminatory, burdensome, and unnecessary restrictions on access to the ballot, including those related to mail-in voting, the use of drop boxes, and voter ID requirements.” -Epoch Times

“We have to ensure that, when people go vote, they feel like their vote counts, that they are inspired to go vote. We can never allow what happened in 2020 and the questions surrounding that election to ever happen again,” said Trump. Lar a, the daughter-in-law of former President Donald Trump, suggested that Democrats are against voter ID because they seek to expand their voter base with illegal immigrants.”Democrats are bleeding and hemorrhaging voters. They understand that they cannot fool people in this country any longer so they have to import people,” she said. “The only reason you wouldn’t want voter ID is if you want people who cannot vote to vote in these elections. It is insane.” Roughly 81% of Americans support voter ID, according to a February poll by Pew Research. Along party lines, however, 95% favor the concept, while 69% of Democrats – still a majority, support it. According to Lara Trump, the RNC has established an “election integrity division” and devoted “vast resources dedicated solely to this cause,” which include a “nationwide network of volunteers,” such as poll workers and poll watchers.

To those who might cheat in the upcoming election, “We will go after you [and] you will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Trump said. As the Epoch Times notes further, Trump also told Ms. Bartiromo that the RNC would use legal ballot harvesting in this election cycle. “It is already underway, and we will expand it again,” she said. Last week, Ms. Trump and Michael Whatley, chair of the North Carolina Republican Party, were elected to lead the RNC to replace Ronna McDaniel. Both were endorsed by President Trump last month. The leadership overhaul comes just days after President Trump dominated the Republican presidential primaries on Super Tuesday on March 5, solidifying his hold on the Republican nomination and the party itself. Last month, Ms. Trump also told The Epoch Times in an exclusive interview that she would mount a ballot-harvesting campaign in this election, something Republicans have been averse to in the past. “We need to have the biggest legal ballot harvesting operation this country has ever seen,” Ms. Trump said.

“It feels, for a long time, like the Democrats have been playing chess, and we’ve been playing checkers,” she said. Her goal is for the Republican Party “to be the opposite, to be steps ahead of them, and on our toes, and ahead of the game, and facing forward the whole time.” Ballot harvesting, legal in some states, allows people to deliver absentee or mail-in ballots to drop-off points on behalf of other voters. Republicans have been skeptical of the procedure, fearing it would lead to election fraud. Democrats have been much more willing to use the strategy. “Whether or not [Democrats] do it legally, that’s up for discussion,” Ms. Trump said, adding that it’s time for Republicans to start “attacking the game differently.” She also suggested that the RNC embrace early voting for the upcoming election. “The truth is, if we want to compete with the Democrats, we cannot wait until election day,” she said. “If we want to compete, we must embrace early voting.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1767966769572909284

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Otto

 

 

 

 

Kulning
https://twitter.com/i/status/1767558666834808984

 

 

Elephant
https://twitter.com/i/status/1767879410265268678

 

 

Deer

 

 

Galapagos
https://twitter.com/i/status/1767895359521485009

 

 

Maned wolf

 

 

Cute dogs

 

 

Happy feet
https://twitter.com/i/status/1767581402164494403

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 292024
 
 February 29, 2024  Posted by at 10:10 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  41 Responses »


Paul Gauguin A Day of No Gods 1894

 

Illinois Judge Rules Trump Disqualified From Ballot (ET)
Trump Asks Judge to Block Testimony From Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels (ET)
EU Leaders ‘Scared To Death’ By Trump – Biden (RT)
Follow the McCaskill Rule on the Biden’s Use of False Story (Turley)
Biden Needs Legal Authority From Congress to Act on Russian Assets – White House (Sp.)
Hunter Biden Planned Global Hedge Fund to Benefit Joe (Sp.)
Joe Biden ‘The Closer’ In Hunter’s Corrupt Schemes (Fox)
The Obamas are RUNNING the Country (VDH)
Israel, Hamas Contradict Biden Claim That Gaza Ceasefire Is Close (Sneineh)
Ukraine In ‘Catastrophic Situation’ – Zakharova (RT)
Media’s Selective Coverage Of Navalny and Lira (Macleod)
The October 7th America Has Forgotten (Mazzarino)
China’s Unexpected Gains From The Red Sea Crisis (Cradle)
Explosive Truth of US’ Nord Stream Sabotage Could ‘Destroy’ NATO (Sp.)
Elon Musk Slams US-Mexico Border Security (RT)

 

 

 

 

Trump
https://twitter.com/i/status/1763001928554860831

 

 

Tom Fitton: In a massive loss for Biden regime/Jack Smith and the rabid anti-Trump DC courts, Supreme Court GRANTS Trump request to pause proceedings so it can decide whether a former president can be prosecuted for official acts:

The application for a stay presented to The Chief Justice is referred by him to the Court. The Special Counsel’s request to treat the stay application as a petition for a writ of certiorari is granted, and that petition is granted limited to the following question: Whether and if so to what extent does a former President enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office. Without expressing a view on the merits, this Court directs the Court of Appeals to continue withholding issuance of the mandate until the sending down of the judgment of this Court. The application for a stay is dismissed as moot.

The case will be set for oral argument during the week of April 22, 2024. Petitioner’s brief on the merits, and any amicus curiae briefs in support or in support of neither party, are to be filed on or before Tuesday, March 19, 2024. Respondent’s brief on the merits, and any amicus curiae briefs in support, are to be filed on or before Monday, April 8, 2024. The reply brief, if any, is to be filed on or before 5 p.m., Monday, April 15, 2024.

 

 

Turley: “The order setting argument on immunity for April 22 is a blow to Smith on the calendar. Rather than granting a stay, it has constructively created such a stay by scheduling the argument. Keep in mind, even if Smith prevails, pre-trial work must wait for the return of the mandate..”

 

 

Star witness

 

 

KJP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“In the meantime, President Trump remains on the Illinois ballot, is dominating the polls, and will Make America Great Again!”

Illinois Judge Rules Trump Disqualified From Ballot (ET)

Ahead of a Supreme Court ruling on whether former President Donald Trump can be disqualified as a candidate by individual states under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, an Illinois judge ruled President Trump ineligible for the ballot. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Tracie Porter, following other jurisdictions, stayed her order to remove the former president pending an appeal. The ruling came a week after the judge heard arguments regarding Illinois statutes. “This Order is stayed until March 1, 2024 in anticipation of an appeal to the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, or the Illinois Supreme Court. This Order is further stayed if the United States Supreme Court in Anderson v. Griswold enters a decision inconsistent with this Order,” the ruling reads.

On Feb. 8, the day the Supreme Court heard arguments regarding Colorado’s disqualification of President Trump, mail-in ballots were sent out in Illinois with President Trump’s name on them. This puts the state in a position to potentially have to not count votes cast for him. If the order is not stayed and reversed, the state elections board will be tasked with removing “Donald J. Trump from the ballot for the General Primary Election on March 19, 2024, or cause any votes cast for him to be suppressed, according to the procedures within their administrative authority.” Much of the judge’s opinion and order dealt with state law and whether the state elections board had the jurisdiction to rule on this matter. The judge found that Illinois law allowed petitioners to bring this kind of a challenge and that President Trump was “disqualified by engaging in insurrection,” noting that this finding was echoed by the hearing officer of the state election board and the Colorado Supreme Court.

“This Court shares the Colorado Supreme Court’s sentiments that did not reach its conclusions lightly. This Court also realizes the magnitude of this decision and it (sic) impact on the upcoming primary Illinois elections,” the order reads. Both of those jurisdictions based the “insurrection” conclusion on records that plaintiffs presented drawn largely from the controversial Jan. 6 Select Committee report. Judge Porter determined that Section 3 was self-executing, applied to presidents, and could be applied by individual states even in the event of a national election. These legal issues are all currently before the Supreme Court, which on Feb. 8 questioned attorneys representing President Trump and six petitioners from Colorado on the ramifications of states applying Section 3 at length and spent little time discussing whether an insurrection occurred.

Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung responded to the decision by highlighting that the judge was acting against the decision of the state’s board of elections and other relevant rulings, and called Judge Porter an “activist Democrat judge.” “The Soros-funded Democrat front-groups continue to attempt to interfere in the election and deny President Trump his rightful place on the ballot,” he said. “Today, an activist Democrat judge in Illinois summarily overruled the state’s board of elections and contradicted earlier decisions from dozens of other state and federal jurisdictions. “This is an unconstitutional ruling that we will quickly appeal,” he added. “In the meantime, President Trump remains on the Illinois ballot, is dominating the polls, and will Make America Great Again!”

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“The judge in President Trump’s civil fraud trial said that Mr. Cohen’s testimony was “significantly compromised..” “Arthur Engoron, who fined President Trump $355 million for supposedly inflating the value of his properties to get better loan terms, said he found Mr. Cohen’s testimony “credible.”

Trump Asks Judge to Block Testimony From Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels (ET)

Former President Donald Trump has asked the judge in his so-called “hush money” case to issue pretrial rulings that would block certain evidence and witness testimony that the former president says his opponents want to exploit to undermine his 2024 presidential campaign. The case centers on allegations that President Trump falsified business records to hide $130,000 in payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels (whose real name is Stephanie Clifford) in exchange for keeping quiet about her allegations about an affair. President Trump has repeatedly denied any affair or wrongdoing, while calling the case a politically-motivated ploy to hurt his chances of winning the race for the White House.

With trial scheduled to start on March 25, President Trump is now ramping up his rhetoric, accusing prosecutors in a 47-page motion filed on Monday of planning to put forward “improper arguments” and “inadmissible evidence” in order to bolster their “listless ‘zombie’ case” and interfere in the upcoming presidential election. At the top of the list of what President Trump wants New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan to block is any new testimony from his former personal attorney Michael Cohen, who has admitted to lying to Congress. Other demands include blocking testimony from Ms. Clifford, former Trump doorman Dino Sajudin, and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, as well as other requests related to evidentiary and procedural matters. President Trump’s motion challenges the credibility of the witnesses, including calling Mr. Cohen a “liar” and suggesting Ms. Clifford would offer “false” testimony.

“The People should be precluded from suborning additional perjury by Michael Cohen,” President Trump’ attorney, Todd Blanche, wrote in the filing. He said Mr. Cohen lied to lawmakers in 2017 and, more recently, perjured himself while testifying at President Trump civil fraud trial in October. The judge in President Trump’s civil fraud trial said that Mr. Cohen’s testimony was “significantly compromised” by his misleading statements to Congress and by some “seeming contradictions” in what he said at trial. Still, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, who fined President Trump $355 million for supposedly inflating the value of his properties to get better loan terms, said he found Mr. Cohen’s testimony “credible.” Mr. Blanche wrote in the filing that prosecutors have an obligation to ensure that testimony presented to judges and juries is truthful. He argued that it was a “troubling” violation of prosecutors’ ethical and constitutional obligations for them to push for testimony from Mr. Cohen, whom he called a “serial liar.”

President Trump’s attorney also asked the judge to issue a pretrial ruling that would render as inadmissible testimony from Ms. Clifford. “The People should be precluded from offering testimony from or regarding Stephanie Clifford, who has made clear through public statements that she intends to offer false, salacious, and unduly prejudicial testimony relating to President Trump,” Mr. Blanche wrote in the filing. Ms. Clifford wrote a tell-all memoir that included salacious details of her alleged tryst with the former president at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, California, in 2006. She then promoted the book in a series of media interviews and talk show appearances, in which she claimed she was pressured to sign a non-disclosure agreement in return for $130,000 in hush money payments. Ms. Clifford has also expressed enthusiasm to take the stand against President Trump.

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“You got to pay your bills,” Trump recalled telling the unnamed ally..”

EU Leaders ‘Scared To Death’ By Trump – Biden (RT)

US President Joe Biden has criticized his predecessor Donald Trump’s comments on NATO as “absolutely bizarre,” after the Republican frontrunner said Washington should not defend its European allies who refuse to fulfill their military spending commitments. President Biden slammed his Republican rival during a “surprise” guest appearance on NBC’s ‘Late Night with Seth Meyers’ on Monday, insisting that Trump’s idea that the US is not obliged to protect its allies was “totally against our interest.” “I’ve known every major foreign leader for the longest time, and I know all these guys extremely well. They’re scared to death. What it means for them, for them, what it means if we walk away.” Biden said. “It is just outrageous what he is talking about.”

Trump’s rhetoric on the campaign trail was in line with his NATO-skeptic stance during his term in the White House. Speaking at a rally in South Carolina earlier this month, Trump recalled an encounter in which he supposedly told a European leader that unless that nation met the spending threshold, the US would consider it “delinquent” and not defend it in the event of a Russian attack. “In fact I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You got to pay. You got to pay your bills,” Trump recalled telling the unnamed ally. Facing criticism for this “dangerous” and “un-American” stance, Trump doubled down with his verbal attack on low-spending members of the military bloc, arguing that the rest of NATO needs to send at least as much aid to Ukraine as the US does.

Trump also called on his loyalists in the US legislature to oppose any future assistance for Ukraine unless it includes a means to recoup the money. “They want to give them $60 billion more,” Trump said. “Why should you just hand it over to them? Do it as the form of a loan… If they can make it, they pay us back.” With Sweden clearing the final hurdle for accession this week, the trans-Atlantic alliance now has 32 member states, only two of which are located in North America. The organization recommends that each country spend at least 2% of GDP on military purposes, but even the wealthiest members such as Germany, France and Italy, have failed to meet the target for decades. However, smaller EU nations did ramp up their military spending during Trump’s presidency, something he has claimed as a personal diplomatic achievement.

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“Dr. John Gartner, a psychologist and former professor at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, “suggested that it’s actually Trump, not President Biden, who seems to be showing signs of mental decline.”

Follow the McCaskill Rule on the Biden’s Use of False Story (Turley)

We recently discussed the call by MSNBC contributor and former Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill for the media to stop fact checking Joe Biden before the election. Some in the media appear to have gotten the McCaskill memo in running the false story repeated by Biden in his interview this week on NBC. What is particularly striking is that the President is again being accused of spreading disinformation, the very basis used by his Administration to censor critics and groups. His Administration even pushed LinkedIn to bar those who have spread disinformation. President Joe Biden’s interview on “Late Night With Seth Meyers” has produced the usual diametrically opposite reviews. On the left, he was witty, spontaneous, and fun. On the right, he was wooden, scripted, and feeble. However, there is a new controversy over the President repeating a debunked claim that his leading opponent, Donald Trump, cannot remember the name of his wife. He was not alone.

The usual media outlets repeated the false claim and then refused to correct their false stories. It follows a familiar pattern of media adopting the most absurd interpretation of remarks while ignoring the obvious meaning. President Biden has long been challenged over false statements that range from accusing mounted border agents of whipping migrants to claiming that his son died in Iraq to embellishing his own history. He was recently called out for falsely accusing Special Counsel Robert Hur for raising his son’s death. It was the President who raised the death. What is striking about this incidence is that the falsity of this story was immediately called out and some in the media had the integrity to identify it as disinformation. Yet, it did not matter to Biden or his staff. The interview seemed highly scripted and it appeared that the questions were given to Biden in advance by NBC (as demonstrated by Biden holding his aviator glasses in anticipation of a line from Meyers as a prop). If so, it appears that his staff also did not care that the story was untrue.

Biden is trying to control the damage after a special counsel cited his diminished faculties as a reason for not indicting him. On the show, this issue of the President’s age was gently raised and Biden responded: “Well, a couple things. Number one, you got to take a look at the other guy. He’s about as old as I am, but he can’t remember his wife’s name!” It was a reference to the claim that Trump called his wife Melania “Mercedes” during the keynote speech at a recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) event. However, many pointed out that he was addressing Mercedes Schlapp, the wife of CPAC founder Matt Schlapp. The usual suspects spread the false claim such as Independent, Metro, and other sites as well as many on social media. Some liberal sites joyfully reported the false statement, opining “calling your wife by another woman’s name in bed or anywhere else is near most always a death sentence.

Trump called his wife, on stage and in front of a room full of people, Mercedes. Maybe he just confused to two because they’re both expensive to keep up when they get older.” Even for some of the outlets, the fact that it was untrue was only mentioned in passing while seemingly praising Biden for going on the attack on Trump. Salon ran an article entitled “He can’t remember his wife’s name!”: Biden turns the tables on Trump over age attacks, it then buried the fact that he was referring to Schlapp deep in the column. “Turning the tables” was using something that his own administration would consider malicious disinformation. Forbes said the President “flipped the script” on Trump with the attack. The usual experts came forward to issue medical judgments. Dr. John Gartner, a psychologist and former professor at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, “suggested that it’s actually Trump, not President Biden, who seems to be showing signs of mental decline.”

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Doesn’t stop him from starting wars either.

Biden Needs Legal Authority From Congress to Act on Russian Assets – WH (Sp.)

US President Joe Biden requires legal authority from Congress to take action on frozen Russian assets, White House National Security Communications adviser John Kirby said on Tuesday. “I want to make a couple of things clear. Number one, we still need more legislative authorities from Congress for the President to be able to act on that [unlocking assets],” Kirby said during a press briefing. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said earlier in the day that the Group of Seven countries should work together to explore different approaches to utilizing frozen Russian assets, including seizing and using them as collateral to borrow on global markets. Russia said it would view any move to seize or use its frozen assets as an “escalation of economic aggression” and would respond harshly.

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“The younger Biden proposed a list of billionaire investors for the new venture, including tycoons from China, Spain, Kazakhstan, Russia, South America, Africa and the Middle East.”

Hunter Biden Planned Global Hedge Fund to Benefit Joe (Sp.)

US president Joe Biden’s son Hunter plotted to set up a shadowy fund to cash in on his influence — so says a former business partner. Independent US media outlet Just the News has obtained a recent statement by Hunter Biden’s business associate Jason Galanis to the House impeachment inquiry.He said Hunter and his business buddies planned to build a global hedge fund with Joe Biden as its “central asset.” “The entire value-add of Hunter Biden to our business was his family name and his access to his father, Vice President Joe Biden,” Galanis told the House impeachment investigators. “Our objective was to build a diversified private equity platform, which would be anchored by a globally known Wall Street brand together with a globally known political name.” Hunter Biden sought “strategic relationships to the venture” with tycoons from all over the world, including from post-Soviet space.

Just the News quoted emails from Hunter Biden’s infamous “laptop from hell” which allegedly confirm the ambitious plan. “This is a global cooperation group that will assist each other in our respective regions in whatever manner possible,” Hunter’s other associate, Jeff Cooper, wrote in March 2014. The younger Biden proposed a list of billionaire investors for the new venture, including tycoons from China, Spain, Kazakhstan, Russia, South America, Africa and the Middle East. One of Hunter’s partners, Chinese businessman Xuejun “Henry” Zhao, showed interest in the plan based on the prospect that Joe Biden would join the venture after his vice presidential term ended. “Mr. Zhao was interested in this partnership because of the game-changing value add of the Biden family, including Joe Biden, who was to be a member of the Burnham-Harvest team post-vice presidency, providing political access in the United States and around the world,” Galanis said.

Galanis’s lawyer provided a draft email backing up the businessman’s testimony. “Michael, please also remind Henry [Zhao] of our conversation about a board seat for a certain relation of mine,” Hunter reportedly wrote. “Devon [Archer] and I golfed with that relation earlier last week and we discussed this very idea again and as always he remains very very keen on the opportunity.” According to Galanis, the “certain relation” was none other than Joe Biden. Even though the phrase was removed from the final email, it remained in Galanis’ records. The group’s plan to assemble a “dream team” of international billionaires and create a global Biden business empire took a serious knock when Archer and Galanis were charged and convicted of a plot to steal $43 million in tribal bonds. Hunter Biden avoided scrutiny despite “then-available documentation that we were partners, were involved in the decision making that involved illegal self-dealing, and all of us had financially benefited from these schemes,” Galanis claimed.

Galanis told House investigators that the illegal tribal bond scheme was part of a larger effort to create a financial platform for the Biden hedge fund. “In an effort to build this financial platform, I engaged in unlawful conduct. Our companies were entrusted with $11 billion of union members’ pension fund money whose trust I betrayed,” Galanis stated. “I pleaded guilty. I have had eight years in federal custody to reflect on my actions and I am profoundly sorry for my role.”

Gaetz

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“What Harvey sells at a high price is his outsized reputation —the prospect of power and influence..”

Joe Biden ‘The Closer’ In Hunter’s Corrupt Schemes (Fox)

In the hit TV series “Suits,” the lead character Harvey Specter is known as “the closer.” His underlings construct the lucrative agreements, but Harvey’s mere appearance in a room or a timely phone call always closes the deals. What Harvey sells at a high price is his outsized reputation —the prospect of power and influence. That appears to have been Joe Biden’s role in the numerous overseas schemes that netted tens of millions of dollars for his son and family. The elder Biden adopted a Specter-like modus operandi, according to evidence uncovered by the House impeachment investigation. That is, Hunter Biden solicited deals with foreign actors by selling access to his powerful dad and promises of influence. Joe would attend meetings or show up at dinners arranged with the benefactors. Sometimes he’d simply join in on a phone call. His presence signified his assent and participation, thus closing the deals.

Enormous sums of cash would immediately flow into Hunter-controlled banks accounts where the payola was funneled through a complex web of shell companies. Some of it was then distributed to Biden family members. In legal terms, the House Oversight and Judiciary committees portray Joe Biden as a witting accessory who actively aided and abetted the influence-peddling schemes by helping to sell the “Biden Brand.” Hunter associates Devon Archer and Tony Bobulinski have already testified in detail how the Bidens enriched themselves by marketing their own brand as the Washington DC power version of a Nike sports brand. The first son put it best in a WhatsApp message to his Chinese business partners when he bragged, “The Bidens are the best at doing exactly what (the) Chairman wants.”

As Harvey Specter liked to say, “It’s not bragging if it’s true.” And the Chinese knew that better than anyone. In one deal alone with the Beijing conglomerate CEFC China Energy, the Bidens hauled in $5 million. The money was wired only after Hunter sent an urgent missive armed with a thinly veiled threat, “I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled.” For emphasis, Hunter then added, “I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction.”

The CEFC transaction is especially illuminating because there are coded references to Joe Biden receiving a 10 percent cut of future profits that could have reached hundreds of millions of dollars. Two of Hunter’s former partners confirmed that Joe was “the Big Guy.” The IRS whistleblowers also verified it, although they complained that Biden’s Department of Justice tried to cover it up. Recently, Bobulinski testified, “The only reason any of these transactions took place…was because Joe Biden was in high office. The Biden family business was Joe Biden, period.” Bobulinski explained that the Vice President would call or meet with Hunter’s overseas partners “to demonstrate the ‘Biden Brand’ to whoever was in that meeting, whether it was the Ukrainians, the Romanians, the Russians, Colombians, Chinese, whoever it was. That’s all he had to do.”

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X thread. “Obama’s responsible for the border. He’s responsible for the whole crime epidemic. This is what he wanted. And Biden was very useful.”

The Obamas are RUNNING the Country (VDH)

“The Obamas are RUNNING the Country,” says military historian Victor Davis Hanson. Barack Obama said he wanted to serve a third term “in my basement in my sweats.” And he’s “living his dream” using Joe Biden as a “cardboard person they cut out,” declared @VDHanson. “Obama never moved the country as left as he wanted to. He was too timid, and he felt that he wasn’t yet ready. He would hurt his legacy if he didn’t get reelected. It was too dangerous. So now, with Joe Biden, he’s living his dream.” In November 2020, Barack Obama said to Stephen Colbert:

“And I used to say, ‘You know what, if I could make an arrangement where I had a stand-in, a front man or a front woman, and they had an earpiece in, and I was just in my basement with my sweats looking through the stuff, and I could sort of deliver the lines, but somebody else was doing all the talking and ceremony, I would be fine with that.’” “That’s what he’s doing right now,” remarked Hanson. “The Obamas are running the country. When my point is – they want Joe Biden the way he is because he’s a construct. He’s just a cardboard person they cut out and they plopped him down in the basement, and they make him move once in a while, and then they run all of the agency. Obama’s responsible for the border. He’s responsible for the whole crime epidemic. This is what he wanted. And Biden was very useful.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1762901089995587931

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“..we do not understand what the American president’s optimism is based on.”

Israel, Hamas Contradict Biden Claim That Gaza Ceasefire Is Close (Sneineh)

U.S. President Joe Biden said that he hopes a ceasefire will be reached between Israel and Hamas by next week, which would end Israel’s aggression on Gaza and secure the release of the Israelis taken captive on October 7, 2023. “Well, I hope by the beginning of the weekend, by the end of the weekend,” he told reporters. His comment came as an Israeli delegation flew for intensive talks to Qatar, which plays a mediator role along with Egypt. “My national security adviser tells me that we’re close. We’re close. We’re not done yet. My hope is, by next Monday, we’ll have a ceasefire,” Biden added while visiting an ice cream shop in New York on Monday. Indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas have been going on since December, but so far, they have not borne fruit. They have been hindered by the Israeli assassination of Hamas leader Saleh Aruri in January, the ground invasion of Khan Younis, and most recently, the threats to invade Rafah, where 1.4 million Palestinians are currently sheltering.

Biden also said that Israel“agreed” to end its military operations in the Gaza Strip for almost six weeks, which include the months of Ramadan that starts on March 10 and ends on April 9. “Ramadan’s coming up, and there’s been an agreement by the Israelis that they would not engage in activities during Ramadan as well, in order to give us time to get all the hostages out,” Biden said. There have been a few frameworks for a deal between Israel and Hamas that have been leaked since December. The most recent one, but yet to be confirmed by either Israeli or Hamas officials, is a temporary truce for 40 days, the release of 40 Israeli hostages, five female soldiers, and 35 civilians, in return for 400 Palestinian prisoners.

Israel’s air force will cease flights over Gaza for eight hours a day, withdraw from several areas, and allow the gradual return of Palestinians to north Gaza, except men “who are at the age of enlistment for Hamas,” Yediot Ahronoth reported. The deal involves the entry of 500 trucks of humanitarian aid daily into Gaza, 200,000 tents for displaced families, and 60,000 mobile homes. In addition, Israel agreed to an American proposal to free 15 Palestinian national figures from Israeli jails in return for the release of five Israeli soldiers.

However, Israeli and Hamas officials met Biden’s optimistic language less enthusiastically. A senior Israeli official told Yedioth Ahronoth that “we do not understand what the American president’s optimism is based on.” Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas political chief, said the movement “will not allow the enemy to use negotiations as a cover for this crime”. Previously, Hamas described the optimism of reaching a deal as “far from the truth.” Biden’s comment seems to be more about the U.S. presidential race and less about ending the Israeli assault on Gaza. His campaign is attempting to win Muslim and Arab American voters in states such as Michigan, which votes today in a Democratic primary to choose the party’s presidential candidate, and where anger over the administration’s firm support of Israel’s war on Gaza is profound.

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“.. the French leader’s statement has had the opposite effect, especially after a large number of NATO representatives publicly stated that they were in no way considering sending their own soldiers to fight for Ukraine..”

Ukraine In ‘Catastrophic Situation’ – Zakharova (RT)

The current frontline situation is “monstrous” and “catastrophic” for Kiev and nothing can save it at this stage, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview with Sputnik radio station on Monday. According to her, even promises by French President Emmanuel Macron to send Western troops into Ukraine will not be enough to change the minds of the Ukrainian people, who have started to wake up to the fact that they have been betrayed by the West. The French leader had said this at a meeting of representatives from 20 Western nations, when Paris proposed the scenario of sending Western ground forces to Ukraine. Although a consensus on the proposal was not reached during that meeting, Macron has said that, in the future, such a scenario could not be ruled out.

Zakharova suggested that Macron’s statement was an attempt to send out a “bright” and “powerful statement that would somehow inspire people in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and in the ranks of Ukrainian citizens being driven to slaughter” that the West would help them. However, according to the spokeswoman, the French leader’s statement has had the opposite effect, especially after a large number of NATO representatives publicly stated that they were in no way considering sending their own soldiers to fight for Ukraine. “The signal was exactly the opposite – that they betrayed Ukraine and will continue to use and betray it,” she said. Countries that have officially dismissed any notion of sending their troops to fight for Kiev include the UK, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy, Finland and Sweden, among others.

NATO’s own Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, has also shot down Macron’s statement, insisting that there are “no plans for NATO combat troops on the ground in Ukraine.” Moscow, meanwhile, has warned that a direct conflict between Russia and NATO would become “inevitable” if the members of the US-led bloc decided to deploy their forces to Ukraine. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that those who have opposed the move appear to have arrived at a “sober assessment of the potential risks” and realized that such a decision would be “absolutely against the interests of those nations” and their people. Russia has repeatedly stated that it considers the Ukraine conflict to be a Washington-orchestrated proxy war against Moscow, and has repeatedly warned that by supplying increasingly sophisticated weapons to Kiev, NATO members are drawing closer to a direct confrontation.

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“Navalny was a controversial character. Earlier in his political career, he was a prominent leader in xenophobic, far-right marches. He also appeared in a political video where he described the Muslim people of the Northern Caucasus as an “infestation of cockroaches.”

Media’s Selective Coverage Of Navalny and Lira (Macleod)

MintPress conducted a quantitative analysis of the media coverage of two political figures who recently died in prison: Alexey Navalny and Gonzalo Lira. Both were controversial characters and critics of the governments that imprisoned them. Both died under suspicious circumstances (their families both maintain they were effectively murdered). And both died in the past six weeks, Navalny in February and Lira in January. A crucial difference in their stories, however, is that Navalny perished in an Arctic penal colony after being arrested in Russia (an enemy state), while Lira’s life ended in a Ukrainian prison, abandoned by the pro-Kiev government in Washington, D.C. The study compared the coverage of Navalny and Lira’s death in five leading outlets: the New York Times, the Washington Post, ABC News, Fox News, and CNN. These outlets were chosen for their reach and influence and, together, could be said to reasonably represent the corporate media spectrum as a whole.

The data was compiled using the Dow Jones Factiva news database and searches on the websites of the news organizations. This study takes no position on the matter of Navalny, Lira, or the Russia-Ukraine war. In total, the five outlets collectively ran 731 articles or segments that discussed or mentioned Navalny’s death, including 151 from the Times, 75 from the Post, 177 from ABC, 215 from Fox, and 113 from CNN. This means that each organization studied ran more than one piece per hour. This media storm stands in stark contrast to the Lira case, where the entire corporate media coverage of his death boiled down to a single Fox News article. Moreover, the article in question described him as “spreading pro-Russian propaganda” in its headline, did not inform readers that there was anything suspicious about his death, and appeared to be doing its best to justify his treatment in the body of the article. Aside from that, there was radio silence.

It is perhaps understandable that Navalny’s death was covered in much greater detail than Lira’s. Navalny was a political leader known across Russia and the world who died just weeks before the country’s presidential elections. Yet Lira was far from unknown. News anchor Tucker Carlson, for example, devoted an entire show to his imprisonment, while high-profile figures like Twitter owner Elon Musk took up his cause. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller has been repeatedly asked about Lira’s case and has failed to offer concrete answers. As an American living in Ukraine who took a pro-Russian line on the invasion, Lira built up a following of hundreds of thousands of people across his social media platforms.

As an American citizen who died while in the custody of a government that the U.S. has provided with tens of billions of dollars in aid, it could be argued that Lira’s case is particularly noteworthy for an American audience and should be given special attention. Moreover, Lira died more than one month before Navalny, meaning that the study compares more than 40 days of Lira coverage to just six days of coverage of Navalny’s death, making the disparity all the more glaring.

Alexey Navalny was a lawyer, activist and the leader of the opposition Russia of the Future Party. A fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin, for many, especially in the West, he became a symbol of the struggle for human rights and democracy in Russia. In 2021, he released a documentary film alleging that Putin was building an enormous $1 billion palace on the Black Sea for himself. Navalny made many enemies and was allegedly poisoned in 2020. Although most in the West believe the Kremlin was behind the incident, this is not a commonly held view in Russia. After returning from Germany for medical treatment in January 2021, he was incarcerated. On. February 16, 2024, he died at the notorious Polar Wolf penal camp in Russia’s far north. “Vladimir Putin killed my husband,” Navalny’s wife, Yulia, said in a statement, adding, “The most important thing we can do for Alexey and for ourselves is to keep fighting more desperately and more fiercely than before.”

Western leaders are largely of the same opinion. President Joe Biden said that, while the details are still unclear, “there is no doubt that the death of Navalny was a consequence of something Putin and his thugs did.” Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics said that he was “brutally murdered by the Kremlin.” That’s a fact, and that is something one should know about the true nature of Russia’s current regime,” he added. Other politicians were more cautious. “Why this hurry to accuse someone?” Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) asked. “If the death is under suspicion, we must first carry out an investigation to find out why this person died,” he said. Despite Lula’s warning, Western nations are already taking action against Russia. Both the U.S. and the U.K. have announced new rounds of “major sanctions” against Moscow, although it is far from clear to what extent previous sanctions actually hurt Russia.

Although he enjoyed a good reputation in the West, in his homeland, Navalny was a controversial character. Earlier in his political career, he was a prominent leader in xenophobic, far-right marches. He also appeared in a political video where he described the Muslim people of the Northern Caucasus as an “infestation of cockroaches.” While bugs can be killed with a slipper, in the case of human infestations, “I recommend a pistol,” he said before mimicking shooting one. According to a 2023 poll, just 9% of Russians held a positive view of him, compared to 57% who disapproved of his activities.

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“..something more sinister may be at play in shaping what violence we choose to focus on and condemn, and what violence we choose to overlook.”

The October 7th America Has Forgotten (Mazzarino)

We Americans have been at war now since October 7th, 2001. That was when our military first launched air strikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan in response to al-Qaeda’s September 11th terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. That’s 22 years and counting. The “war on terror” that began then would forever change what it meant to be an Arab-American here at home, while ending the lives of more than 400,000 civilians — and still counting! — in South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. In the days after those September 11th attacks, the U.S. would enjoy the goodwill and support of countries around the world. Only in March 2003, with our invasion of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, would much of the world begin to regard us as aggressors.

Does that sound like any other armed conflict you’ve heard about recently? What it brings to my mind is, of course, Israel’s response to the October 7th terror assault by the Islamic militant group Hamas on its border areas, which my country and much of the rest of the world roundly condemned. Many Americans now see the destruction and suffering in Gaza and Jewish settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank as the crises of the day and I agree. It’s hard even to keep up with the death toll in the Palestinian territories, but you can certainly give it a college try. More than 29,000 Gazans have already been killed, more than 12,000 of them reportedly children. The scale of the loss of civilian life has been breathtaking in what are supposed to be targeted missions.

For example, in mid-February, in an ostensible attempt to free two Israeli hostages in the southern Gazan city of Rafah, where more than one million civilians are now sheltering under the worst conditions imaginable, Israeli troops killed 74 Palestinians. Between December 2023 and January 2024, four strikes there had already killed at least 95 civilians. And on and on it goes. Anyone with concerns about Israel’s response to Hamas’s bloody attacks has ground to stand on.

But if war deaths among people of color in particular are really that much of a concern to Americans, especially on the political left, then there are significant gaps in our attention. Look at what’s happening in the 85 countries where the U.S. is currently engaged in “counterterrorism” efforts of one sort or another, where we fight alongside local troops, train or equip them, and conduct intelligence operations or even air strikes, all of it in an extension of those first responses to 9/11. Ask yourself if you’ve paid attention to that lately or if you were even aware that it was still happening. Do you have any idea, for instance, that our country’s military continues to pursue its war on terror across significant parts of Africa?

Given Israel’s October 7th tragedy, my mention of that date in 2001, which marked Washington’s first military response to the worst terrorist attacks on our soil, is more than a play on words. Like Israel, the U.S. was attacked by armed Islamic extremists who sought to make gruesome spectacles of ordinary Americans. Some of them, like the Israeli families smoked out of their saferooms only to be shot, flung themselves from their office buildings in New York’s Twin Towers, essentially choosing the least awful deaths under the circumstances. Yet after decades of America’s war on terror, whose benefits have been, to say the least, questionable, our tax dollars continue to fund the longest and bloodiest response to terrorism in our history. Our own October 7th and its seemingly never-ending consequences suggest that something more sinister may be at play in shaping what violence we choose to focus on and condemn, and what violence we choose to overlook.

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“Prior to the sending of the 46th fleet of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy, Beijing’s response to Ansarallah’s maritime attacks had been relatively muted.”

China’s Unexpected Gains From The Red Sea Crisis

The Gaza war’s expansion into the Red Sea has created an international maritime crisis involving a host of countries. Despite a US-led bombing campaign aimed at deterring Yemen’s Ansarallah-aligned navy from carrying out missile and drone strikes in the Red Sea, the armed forces continue to ramp up attacks and now are using “submarine weapons.” As these clashes escalate dangerously, one of the world’s busiest bodies of water is rapidly militarizing. This includes the recent arrival to the Gulf of Aden of a Chinese fleet, including the guided-missile destroyer Jiaozuo, the missile frigate Xuchang, a replenishment vessel, and more than 700 troops – including dozens of special forces personnel – as part of a counter-piracy mission. Beijing has voiced its determination to help restore stability to the Red Sea.

“We should jointly uphold the security on the sea lanes of the Red Sea in accordance with the law and also respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries along the Red Sea coast, including Yemen,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi emphasized last month. As the largest trading nation in the world, China depends on the Red Sea as its “maritime lifeline.” Most of the Asian giant’s exports to Europe go through the strategic waterway, and large quantities of oil and minerals that come to Chinese ports transit the body of water. The Chinese have also invested in industrial parks along Egypt and Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coasts, including the TEDA–Suez Zone in Ain Sokhna and the Chinese Industrial Park in Saudi Arabia’s Jizan City for Primary and Downstream Industries. Prior to the sending of the 46th fleet of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy, Beijing’s response to Ansarallah’s maritime attacks had been relatively muted.

China has since condemned the US–UK airstrikes against Ansarallah’s military capabilities in Yemen, and refused to join the western-led naval coalition, Operation Prosperity Guardian (OPG). China’s response to mounting tension and insecurity in the Red Sea is consistent with Beijing’s grander set of foreign policy strategies, which include respect for the sovereignty of nation-states and a doctrine of “non-interference.” In the Persian Gulf, China has pursued a balanced and geopolitically neutral agenda resting on a three-pronged approach: enemies of no one, allies of no one, and friends of everyone. China’s position vis-à-vis all Persian Gulf countries was best exemplified almost a year ago when Beijing brokered a surprise reconciliation agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, in which it played the role of guarantor. In Yemen, although China aligns with the international community’s non-recognition of the Ansarallah-led government in Sanaa, Beijing has nonetheless initiated dialogues with those officials and maintained a non-hostile stance – unlike many Arab and western states.

Overall, China tries to leverage its influence in West Asian countries to mitigate regional tensions and advance stabilizing initiatives. Its main goal is ultimately to ensure the long-term success of President Xi Jinping’s multi-trillion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and keep trade routes free of conflict. Often labeled by the west as a “free rider,” China is accused of opportunistically benefiting from US- and European-led security efforts in the Persian Gulf and the northwestern Indian Ocean without contributing to them. But given China’s anti-piracy task force in the Gulf of Aden and its military base in Djibouti, this accusation isn’t entirely justified. Beijing’s motivations for staying out of OPG were easy to understand: first, China has no interest in bolstering US hegemony; second, joining the naval military coalition could upset its multi-vector diplomacy vis-à-vis Ansarallah and Iran; and third, the wider Arab–Islamic world and the rest of the Global South would interpret it as Chinese support for Israel’s war on Gaza.

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“The center is self-destructing and virtually now ushering in the far-right to take its place..”

Explosive Truth of US’ Nord Stream Sabotage Could ‘Destroy’ NATO (Sp.)

On Monday, Denmark became the second European country to officially close its investigation into the explosion of the Nord Stream gas pipeline. for Ukraine’s proxy war against Russia. Lazare lists a number of figures benefiting from the phenomenon, including Donald Trump in the US, Marine Le Pen in France, Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, and Giorgia Meloni in Italy. In September 2022 a series of explosions disabled both branches of the Nord Stream pipeline between Russia and Germany. Completed in 2012, for almost a decade the pipeline provided Russian natural gas to Western Europe. Although the United States expressed unease over the act of cooperation between Russia and its European allies, the Nord Stream played a crucial role in fueling German industry and providing low-cost energy throughout the continent.

Observers immediately blamed the United States for the act of industrial sabotage, pointing to US President Joe Biden’s cryptic promise to “bring an end” to the project if Russia moved to intervene in Ukraine’s attacks on the ethnically Russian Donbass region. Denmark’s inquiry indeed found the explosions were an act of “deliberate sabotage,” although Danish officials refused to investigate who bore responsibility. Investigative journalist Dan Lazare joined Sputnik’s The Critical Hour program on Wednesday to comment on the US ally’s report. “It’s just absolutely farcical,” said the iconoclastic author. “I don’t know how much longer this can go on. I mean, Denmark investigated, came up with a conclusion, and everybody knows it was obviously sabotage – that was obvious from the very start. And [Denmark] refrains from pointing a finger at a likely culprit.” “And the reason, of course, is the likeliest culprit – in fact, I’m 100% convinced that it is the culprit – is the United States,” he claimed. “But, Denmark, Sweden, everybody is afraid to say it. It’s extraordinary.”

Sweden, likewise a US ally, ended its own investigation into the Nord Stream disaster earlier this month, also without commenting on the culprit of the sabotage. Lazare said the United States’ guilt is obvious, but frequently ignored in order to safeguard relations between the US and Europe. That dynamic is playing to the benefit of far-right parties across the continent who are the only ones willing to openly acknowledge the US role in the act, according to Lazare. “The man or woman on the street knows perfectly well who did this, but the liberal centrist parties try to bottle it up, try to deny reality,” he explained. “Which means that the only parties talking about it [are] other parties, the populist parties on the far-right, like the Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) in Germany. And the AfD actually is riding this issue rather hard.” “So if the AfD is climbing in the polls they have Joe Biden to thank because Joe Biden blew the pipeline up, and everyone’s afraid to admit it,” Lazare concluded.

The Alternative for Deutschland is one of a number of rightwing forces currently enjoying increased support in the West amidst economic hardship and the political establishment’s increasingly unpopular support for Ukraine’s proxy war against Russia. Lazare lists a number of figures benefitting from the phenomenon, including Donald Trump in the US, Marine Le Pen in France, Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, and Giorgia Meloni in Italy. “The center is self-destructing and virtually now ushering in the far-right to take its place,” he said, claiming establishment lawmakers “are going to pay a terrible, terrible price for covering this [Nord Stream sabotage] up.” But Lazare insisted that liberal political parties are not the only institutions likely to be damaged by the explosive reality of the Nord Stream disaster. “The US engaged in an act of war against a fellow NATO member,” he claimed bluntly. “NATO members aren’t supposed to engage in war against one another. They’re supposed to guard against attacks by outsiders.”

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“..anyone, even a literal serial killer, can toss away the ID they used to get into Mexico from anywhere in the world, then claim asylum, say they have no documents and be ushered into America.”

Elon Musk Slams US-Mexico Border Security (RT)

The fact that illegal migrants can cross the US-Mexico border and claim asylum without any identification has effectively turned the US into a “refuge” for criminals, Elon Musk stated in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday. His comments came in response to a recent Bloomberg article, shared by the X user EndWokeness, reporting that Venezuela is experiencing its lowest homicide rate in 22 years, now that many criminals and gangs have left as part of a massive wave of emigration prompted by economic hardship. EndWokeness commented on the report, stating “Venezuela has its lowest homicide rate in 22 years because their gangs are coming here.” Musk agreed and claimed that “the ability to discard your identification documents (from any country), walk across the southern border and claim ‘asylum’ has turned America into a refuge for the world’s worst criminals.”

In another post later that day, the billionaire doubled down on his statement, writing that “anyone, even a literal serial killer, can toss away the ID they used to get into Mexico from anywhere in the world, then claim asylum, say they have no documents and be ushered into America.” On Wednesday, the Tesla CEO also slammed a bill proposed by Democratic Senator Laphonza Butler, asking the Biden administration for more federal taxpayer money to provide beds for immigrants in San Diego after the county shelter ran out of funding. The senator warned that between 800 and 1,000 people residing in the shelter would be released per day otherwise.

“Dams are bursting all over the country,” Musk responded, noting that “America is only 4% of Earth’s population” and if just 1% of the rest of the Earth moves to the US, it would crush all of the country’s essential services. “I am ringing the alarm bell, because the flood of illegals is crushing the country,” he wrote. The state of the US-Mexico border has become one of the key issues in US politics over the past year amid a historic influx of millions of immigrants. Republican lawmakers have been demanding tighter controls and more money to be set aside to deal with the border crisis, prompting them to block a multi-billion-dollar aid package for Ukraine.

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Holes
https://twitter.com/i/status/1762790920200614146

 

 

Groucho

 

 

45

 

 

Friends
https://twitter.com/i/status/1762776196276785614

 

 

Osprey

 

 

Blue whale

 

 

Look
https://twitter.com/i/status/1762925969705189497

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 222024
 


Joan Miró Personnages Rythmiques 1934

 

Is Truth As Mighty As Evil? (Paul Craig Roberts)
If Assange is Extradited No Journalist in World Is Safe (Ex-UN Expert (Sp.)
Julian Assange’s Day in Court (Chris Hedges)
US ‘Always Planned’ For Assange to Die in Prison (Sp.)
New York AG Says She May Seize Trump Buildings, Assets (ET)
New York’s Perverse Incentive in Pricing Trump Out of an Appeal (Turley)
Biden Told His Campaign Staffers To Focus On ‘Crazy’ Trump Statements (RT)
Biden Struggles To Board Air Force One (RT)
Hunter Biden Goes Full Trump in a Flurry of Court Filings (Turley)
Ukrainian Forces Failed to ‘Hold Their Own in Avdeyevka’ – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Russia Is ‘A War Machine’ – Trump (RT)
Monkey With A Grenade: Nukes In EU Hands Would Be A Nightmare (Amar)
Munich Conference Shows Evaporating Western Optimism On Ukraine (TASS)
Narrative on Ukraine, Palestine Has Accelerated Western Media’s Decline (Sp.)
‘Sue and Settle’ Looks to Some Like Crony Democracy (RCW)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Stella

 

 

Greenwald

 

 

 

 

Ron Paul Assange

 

 


“This is actually insane and it’s by design. Biden is importing so many illegals that it’s enough to replace conservative voters in many swing states.”

 

 

Charles Payne
https://twitter.com/i/status/1760329617280295205

 

 

Trump ad
https://twitter.com/i/status/1760075223964000700
https://twitter.com/i/status/1760492879405776916

 

 

CIA
https://twitter.com/i/status/1760176467726479757

 

 

 

 

 

 

“.. there is nowhere in the West a countervailing power to the Evil that is engulfing us.. Try organizing one, and the FBI will arrest you or the CIA will assassinate you..”

Is Truth As Mighty As Evil? (Paul Craig Roberts)

“In a compelling piece of live television, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was recently confronted by a COVID-19 vaccine injury victim during an unscripted question and answer session. Describing the pain and trauma he suffered, audience member John Watt told the Prime Minister how he had been left with no help at all after the vaccine caused him to develop a heart condition. Already under pressure over his links to a hedge fund that has seen massive returns from an investment in COVID-19 vaccine maker Moderna, Sunak was like a rabbit caught in the headlights.” [..] people have finally realized that it was the Covid mRNA “vaccine” that did the harm. It also offers a possible, perhaps even likely, explanation as to why political leaders in the West all served as advocates for the death jab.

Were they alerted to the money-making opportunity in advance in order to be properly invested for the orchestrated “pandemic”? There are suspicions that Britain’s First Indian Prime Minister was. Today we know the facts. The mRNA jabs did not protect, did not prevent transmission, did not reduce the severity of the disease, but actually made the “vaccinated” more likely to catch Covid and to die or be injured from it. We also know that few of the deaths were from the virus. The deaths were from non-treatment with known effective preventatives and cures– ivermectin and HCQ–which were banned in order to go forward with the deadly “vaccination” and from mistreatment with ventilators. We know that the mRNA jabs have killed and maimed more people than the labratory-created virus itself.

And we know that no one has been held accountable. We know that the massive deaths and injuries from the death jab continue to be denied by the presstitutes and Big Pharma shills, such as the FDA, CDC, NIH, medical associations, and medical schools. We know that the corrupt medical profession continues to promote the death jabs.In other words, there is no shame, no sense of responsibility in the medical, media and political establishments. How can people stand for this? How can people stand for being callously murdered for profit and control? The public’s sheep-like response to mass murder guarantees another round of mass murder, just as the world’s refusal to do anything about the US-Israeli genocide of the Palestinians guarantees more genocides. Indeed, genocide is the agenda of the World Economic Forum and Bill Gates. They say there are too many people, and to save the planet the people have to be culled along with the cattle and sheep.

How can it be that elites can be so open about their intentions and they are not arrested? If you or I announced a plan to get rid of a single person, SWAT teams would descend on us. But the elite can announce their intention to eliminate 7.5 billion people and nothing happens. Not even Trump objects, nor Putin, nor Xi. These three are the only leaders the political world has. Why are they silent? Are they part of the plot, as so many now claim? Why would Trump, a billionaire with a beautiful wife, spend 8 years in the stress of persecution and indictment if he were part of the plot? He has lost 8 years of his life trying to represent the American people. I am certain that the rot in the intellectual mind of the West is not part of the Russian and Chinese mental framework. Moreover, if everyone was in the plot, it would not be a plot. It would be a happening that already would have happened.

The world’s problem is located in the West. It is a problem of lost belief in liberty and Christian morality. Indeed, it is the organized destruction of belief that has freed Satan and released him upon the world. How did it happen that the United States was transformed into the most immoral, other than Israel, government on earth, a servant of Satan.It was Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez who identified the problem in his famous speech to the United Nations General Assembly in 2006. As he stood at the podium, his opening words referring to President George W. Bush, were “yesterday at this very podium stood Satan himself, speaking as if he owned the world. You can still smell the sulfur.”

I have spent my life in defense of the Constitution, sound economic policy and in defense of truth. It has been my great distress to see the widening gap between agenda-controlled narratives and truth. Evil is a powerful force, and truth alone is not a match for it. The pen is mightier than the sword, but it doesn’t seem to be mightier than Evil. As I have previously noted, there is nowhere in the West a countervailing power to the Evil that is engulfing us.. Try organizing one, and the FBI will arrest you or the CIA will assassinate you. No one will come to your defense.

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“Assange’s extradition would mean that the United Nations is totally irrelevant..”

If Assange is Extradited No Journalist in World Is Safe (Ex-UN Expert (Sp.)

A legal team of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is fighting to prevent his extradition to the US where he will face 17 counts of espionage and one charge of computer misuse. Assange, who made classified data provided to him by Chelsea (born Bradley) Manning in 2010 public, shedding light on the US’ alleged war crimes during its invasions and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, could receive a prison term of up to 175 years. “If Assange were to be extradited to the United States, no journalist in the world would be safe,” Alfred de Zayas, professor of international law in Geneva, former UN independent expert on international order (2012-18), and a retired senior lawyer with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, told Sputnik. “Essentially it would mean that any journalist who publishes information that the US government does not like would be subject to persecution and prosecution. His extradition would set a very toxic precedent that the core principle of refugee law and asylum law no longer protects persons who have a well-documented fear of persecution, as codified in article 1 of the Geneva Refugee Convention.”

De Zayas explained that this principle, known as “non-refoulement”, is customary international law and its violation would entail breaches not only of the Geneva Refugee Convention but also of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the UN Convention against Torture (Article 3) and the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. “Non-refoulement is peremptory international law, what we lawyers call ‘ius cogens’. It is peremptory international law, and also a fundamental norm enshrined in the domestic law of all civilized states,” stressed the professor. Furthermore, Assange’s extradition “would be the culmination of 14 years of vicious lawfare, of the destruction of the rule of law in the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden and Ecuador, all complicit in this scandal and all too public,” argued de Zayas.

The retired UN expert highlighted that his colleague, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture Professor Nils Melzer, visited Assange in the UK’s Belmarsh prison and called his detention “torture,” and urged the WikiLeaks founder’s immediate release. “Melzer also published a book ‘The Trial of Julian Assange’ which documents the corruption of the administration of justice in the US, UK, Sweden and torture. His revelations are far more serious than the famous Emile Zola essay “J’accuse” that revealed in 1898 the trumped-up case against Alfred Dreyfus, who had been wrongly convicted of treason and banished to Devil’s Island. Melzer documents how the courts in the above countries have all abandoned their independence and have acted in the service of politics.”

De Zayas pointed out that the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention examined the case and determined that Assange’s detention “constituted a violation of article 9 of the ICCPR and demanded his release.” In his capacity as UN independent expert on international order, de Zayas personally met Assange in 2015 at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and similarly demanded his release. The then UN expert also called for the adoption of a Charter of the Rights of Whistleblowers that should protect them from prosecution and ensure that the public is not kept in the dark about crucial matters. “Assange’s extradition would mean that the United Nations is totally irrelevant and that the calls by UN official organs and rapporteurs can be ignored in total impunity,” De Zayas concluded.

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“..all dusty Victorian props employed in a modern Anglo-American show trial.”

Julian Assange’s Day in Court (Chris Hedges)

By the afternoon the video link, which would have allowed Julian Assange to follow his final U.K. appeal to prevent his extradition, had been turned off. Julian, his attorneys said, was too ill to attend, too ill even to follow the court proceedings on a link, although it was possible he was no longer interested in sitting through another judicial lynching. The rectangular screen, tucked under the black wrought iron bars that enclosed the upper left hand corner balcony of the courtroom where Julian would have been caged as a defendant, was perhaps a metaphor for the emptiness of this long and convoluted judicial pantomime. The arcane procedural rules — the lawyers in their curled blonde wigs and robes, the spectral figure of the two judges looking down on the court from their raised dais in their gray wigs and forked white collars, the burnished walnut paneled walls, the rows of lancet windows, the shelves on either side filled with law books in brown, green, red, crimson, blue and beige leather bindings, the defense lawyers, Edward Fitzgerald KC and Mark Summers KC, addressing the two judges, Dame Victoria Sharp and Justice Johnson, as “your lady” and “my lord” — were all dusty Victorian props employed in a modern Anglo-American show trial.

It was a harbinger of a decrepit justice system that, subservient to state and corporate power, is designed to strip us of our rights by judicial fiat. The physical and psychological disintegration of Julian, seven years trapped in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and nearly five years held on remand in the high-security HM Prison Belmarsh, was always the point, what Nils Melzer the former U.N. Special Rapporteur on torture calls his “slow-motion execution.” Political leaders, and their echo chambers in the media, fall all over themselves to denounce the treatment of Alexei Navalny but say little when we do the same to Julian. The legal farce grinds forward like the interminable case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce in Charles Dickens’ novel Bleak House. It will probably grind on for a few more months — one can’t expect the Biden administration to add the extradition of Julian to all its other political woes. It may take months to issue a ruling, or grant one or two appeal requests, as Julian continues to waste away in HM Prison Belmarsh.

Julian’s nearly 15-year legal battle began in 2010 when WikiLeaks published classified military files from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — including footage showing a U.S. helicopter gunning down civilians, including two Reuters journalists in Baghdad. He took refuge in London’s Ecuadorian embassy, before being arrested by the Metropolitan Police in 2019 who were permitted by the Ecuadorian embassy to enter and seize him. He has been held for nearly five years in HM Prison Belmarsh. Julian did not commit a crime. He is not a spy. He did not purloin classified documents. He did what we all do, although he did it in a far more important way. He published voluminous material, leaked to him by Chelsea Manning, which exposed U.S. war crimes, lies, corruption, torture and assassinations. He ripped back the veil to expose the murderous machinery of the U.S. empire.

The two-day hearing is Julian’s last chance to appeal the extradition decision made in 2022 by the then British home secretary, Priti Patel. On Wednesday the prosecution will make its arguments. If he is denied an appeal he can request the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) for a stay of execution under Rule 39, which is given in “exceptional circumstances” and “only where there is an imminent risk of irreparable harm.” But the British court may order Julian’s immediate extradition prior to a Rule 39 instruction or may decide to ignore a request from the ECtHR to allow Julian to have his case heard by the court.

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“If [Julian Assange] is sent to the US, they’re just going to delay the trial as long as they can so that they can guarantee that he’ll die in jail..” “That’s always been the plan.”

US ‘Always Planned’ For Assange to Die in Prison (Sp.)

On Tuesday, the final appeal for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange to avoid extradition to the United States began. Days earlier, his wife and lawyer, Stellar Assange, warned that if the journalist is not released soon, the stress of the case and his confinement could kill him, adding that he “will die” if extradited to the US. “His health is in decline, mentally and physically. His life is at risk every single day he stays in prison, and if he’s extradited, he will die,” Stellar Assange said at a media briefing in London. Julian Assange, an Australian national, could face up to 175 years in prison if extradited to the United States on espionage charges. But the US has no plans for Assange to stand trial in the United States, Dan Kovalik, a professor, human rights lawyer and peace activist told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Tuesday. “If [Julian Assange] is sent to the US, they’re just going to delay the trial as long as they can so that they can guarantee that he’ll die in jail,” Kovalik explained. “That’s always been the plan.”

Kovalik noted that there is documented evidence that the CIA plotted to kill Julian Assange in 2017 which revealed their intentions. “Here’s a guy, even if you believe everything is true that they’re charging him with, he is not charged with any violent crime. There’s no reason for him to be in jail while he awaits extradition… They’re holding him so that he’ll die,” Kovalik said. The US government would like to avoid an actual trial with Assange, Kobalik contended, because their misdeeds would come to light. “[Defense lawyers] could call a former secretary of state [or] a former secretary of defense. It would be a circus and it would not go well for the United States.” “People would be called from the US government, present and past, to talk about their crimes, to talk about the war crimes, the things that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have exposed. So they don’t want any part of that,” Kovalik predicted.

Co-host Wilmer Leon mentioned the seeming lack of support in US media for Assange, even as WikiLeaks’ revelations are reported on by those media outlets. Pointing to a Washington Post article that included the passage “US prosecutors want him to stand trial. They allege he violated the Espionage Act when he conspired to obtain thousands of classified documents related to the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” “Well, if he has conspired to obtain, then what does The Washington Post do? What does The New York Times do? What do most mainstream media outlets do as they gather information for their stories?” Leon asked. “They even gathered [information] from WikiLeaks,” Kovalik replied. “The New York Times, The Washington Post…. And those papers haven’t stood by Julian Assange when they’ve used his materials for their own stories. It’s just a disgrace. “I mean, the whole thing is just a travesty. It’s an absolute travesty of any idea of due process and justice,” he concluded.

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“..while also noting that she has her eyes on the Trump Building in Lower Manhattan..”

New York AG Says She May Seize Trump Buildings, Assets (ET)

New York Attorney General Letitia James said on Feb. 20 that she’s prepared to seize former President Donald Trump’s buildings and assets if he can’t pay the penalty imposed in the state’s civil fraud case. The former president was recently ordered to pay nearly $355 million and barred from doing business in New York state for three years by state Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron. During an interview with ABC News, Ms. James said that it was “really not my business” if President Trump doesn’t have the money to pay the penalty, while also noting that she has her eyes on the Trump Building in Lower Manhattan. “If he does not have funds to pay off the judgment, then we will seek, you know, judgment enforcement mechanisms in court, and we will ask the judge to seize his assets,” she said.

“We are prepared to make sure that the judgment is paid to New Yorkers, and yes, I look at 40 Wall Street each and every day,” she added, referring to the Trump Building. President Trump’s attorneys have vowed to appeal the case; he and his attorneys have described the case as a “political witch hunt” and the verdict as “manifest injustice.” Throughout the trial, the Trump team accused Justice Engoron of judicial malpractice, and the president has asserted that he should be the one being awarded damages. Responding to the Trump camp’s intention to appeal and their sentiment, Ms. James expressed confidence that her office would prevail. “I cannot be paralyzed by fear. And I cannot allow anyone to bully me into silence. And I cannot allow anyone to have a chilling effect on the work that I do and this office does each and every day,” Ms. James said. President Trump’s legal team has argued that no fraud occurred and that the state attorney general failed to prove intent to defraud.

He has said that there were “no victims because the banks made a lot of money.” In her comments on Feb. 20, Ms. James rejected such arguments, reportedly saying that financial fraud isn’t a victimless crime. The attorney general reportedly said that leveling the playing field is within her wheelhouse and that if the average person isn’t allowed to inflate the value of their assets to secure loans, then neither should President Trump. Ms. James brought the lawsuit against President Trump and his co-defendants in 2022. Justice Engoron found President Trump liable and ruled that he inflated his assets to get better loans weeks before the trial began. In addition to civil fraud cases, President Trump faces four criminal cases ahead of the 2024 elections. These include a case related to “hush money” payments before the 2016 elections, two cases related to his attempts to challenge the results of the 2020 elections, and a case related to the handling of classified documents.

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“..you have nothing to fear from confiscatory actions unless you are Trump in New York. Which is precisely why this decision should be overturned..”

New York’s Perverse Incentive in Pricing Trump Out of an Appeal (Turley)

Oscar Wilde wrote that “moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” Justice Arthur Engoron took that line to heart with his absurd imposition of $455 million in fines and interest against Donald Trump and his corporation. It succeeded wonderfully with New Yorkers, who celebrated the verdict like a popular public execution. It also worked wonderfully to make it difficult to appeal. Much of the criticism of the decision focused on the unprecedented use of the law and the excessive size of the fine. The New York statute has been on the books for decades and has always been something of an anomaly in not requiring an actual victim or loss to justify disgorgement or fines. Even the New York Times agreed that it could not find a single case in history where this statute was used against an individual or a company that did not commit a criminal offense, go bankrupt, or leave financial victims.

Engoron then combined that unprecedented application with an equally extraordinary penalty, which is greater than the gross national product of some countries. He disgorged hundreds of millions in a case where not one dollar was lost by anyone. Indeed, the “victims” wanted to get more business from Trump and are now being prevented from doing so by Engoron. There is also an added inequity to Engoron’s decision. Under New York law, Trump cannot appeal this ruling without depositing the full amount, including interest, in a court account. Even for Trump, $455 million is hard to come by. Likewise, a bond would require a company to guarantee payment for a defendant who has been barred from doing business in New York and is facing the need to liquidate much of his portfolio.

Nothing succeeds like excess for judges like Engoron. By imposing this astronomical figure, he can make it difficult or impossible for a defendant to appeal, absent declaring bankruptcy or selling off assets at distress prices. The excessive fine and its basis raise serious statutory and constitutional questions. Many of us believe it should be substantially reduced or tossed out entirely. First, however, Trump must come up with almost half a billion dollars to park with the court. Even with a bond, the high costs of securing a guarantor could come at a premium. It would cost a fortune to the bond holder just to carry the risk even if Trump prevails on appeal. The combination of the draconian fine and the threshold deposit for appeal has produced a shudder throughout the New York business community. The city is already experiencing an exodus of businesses and individuals from the top tax brackets. Rising crime, taxes, and eat-the-rich politics have made New York a hostile environment for businesses. At a time with rising costs from undocumented migrants, even Mayor Eric Adams is alarmed about the loss of his high earners.

The case brought by Attorney General Letitia James was unnerving for many. James previously sought to dissolve the National Rifle Association and campaigned on bagging Trump on some unnamed offense. The ecstasy expressed by many in the city reinforced the image of a thrill-kill chase around the island of Manhattan, like a corporate version of “Lord of the Flies.” Watching the celebrations probably caused many executives to check time shares in Florida. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has rushed to assure businesses that there is “nothing to worry about” after the corporate public execution of Trump and his company. But the best that politicians like Hochul and Adams can offer is that you have nothing to fear from confiscatory actions unless you are Trump in New York. Which is precisely why this decision should be overturned.

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“..in an effort to portray Trump as unstable and not fit for the presidency..”

Biden Told His Campaign Staffers To Focus On ‘Crazy’ Trump Statements (RT)

US President Joe Biden has personally instructed his reelection campaign aides to intensify their focus on rival Donald Trump’s “inflammatory” statements, CNN reported on Tuesday, citing two insider sources. The Democrat reportedly told his most senior staff to concentrate on the “crazy sh*t” the Republican frontrunner says in public in an effort to portray Trump as unstable and not fit for the presidency. “Donald Trump is the polar opposite of everything President Biden stands for and has accomplished since he took office, and the campaign’s top priority over the next nine months will be laying out that stark choice for voters,” Ammar Moussa, director of rapid response for the Biden campaign, told CNN in a statement.

The campaign is said to be concerned that voters have forgotten the “outrageous and unacceptable” aspects of Trump’s presidency and are looking at Biden’s predecessor’s tenure through “rose-colored glasses.” Last week, Biden repeatedly took aim at his rival over Trump’s suggestion that he would not defend America’s NATO allies who are falling behind in their defense spending targets. The president described Trump’s attitude as “appalling” and “un-American.”

The instruction to harp on Trump’s divisive statement was reportedly handed down to staffers before special counsel Robert Hur described Biden as an “elderly man with a poor memory” in his report about the president’s mishandling of classified documents. The White House pushed back against Hur’s unflattering characterization of the president, and Biden has himself insisted that he has no problems with memory. “I know what the hell I’m doing,” he told reporters at a press conference this month. He, nevertheless, raised some eyebrows at the same event when he mixed up the names of the leaders of Egypt and Mexico while discussing the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza. An ABC-Ipsos poll published earlier this month found that 86% of voters believe Biden should not run for reelection due to his age. He is the oldest president in US history and would be 86 by the end of a second term if reelected.

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And that’s on the small stairs at the back of the plane.

“..Americans 65 and older who are on Medicare are required to take a “cognitive assessment” as part of their annual “wellness visit.”

Biden Struggles To Board Air Force One (RT)

US President Joe Biden tripped twice on Tuesday as he boarded Air Force One for a flight to California. Although the White House has insisted he is in excellent health, the 81-year-old Democrat has persistently refused to take a cognitive test during his annual health exams. Cameras at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland captured Biden stumbling while going up the steps to the presidential jet, barely avoiding a fall. The latest incident comes as the president faces public demands to have his mental acuity checked. Biden “should come out and debate and to show the American public that he has the cognitive capacity to do this very, very difficult job,” his former challenger for the Democratic nomination Robert F. Kennedy Jr., now an independent candidate, said last week.

Meanwhile, 84 House Republicans wrote an open letter demanding that the commander-in-chief submit to a cognitive test, or face being replaced under the 25th Amendment. “If you are too mentally impaired to stand trial, as your own Department of Justice claims, then we are concerned that your mental state is not at a competent level to serve as the leader of the free world,” said the letter, written by former White House physician Ronny Jackson, who treated presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump before becoming a congressman from Texas. The letter came after special counsel Robert Hur, who was investigating Biden’s improper handling of classified documents, concluded that the president should not be charged because it would be difficult to persuade a jury that an “elderly man with a poor memory” could have committed a serious felony.

Biden is due for his annual physical, though the White House has not revealed the date of the examination. Following his last physical, in mid-February 2023, Dr. Kevin O’Connor declared Biden “healthy, vigorous” and “fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency.” Biden had two brain surgeries in 1988, to deal with life-threatening aneurysms. Dr. O’Connor’s report said that “an extremely detailed neurologic exam” found no indication of stroke, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease, but noted that the president did not take a cognitive test. Under the 2011 Affordable Care Act – passed when Biden was Barack Obama’s vice president – Americans 65 and older who are on Medicare are required to take a “cognitive assessment” as part of their annual “wellness visit.”

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“The only thing that remains is for Hunter to declare that he is only trying to Make America Great Again..”

Hunter Biden Goes Full Trump in a Flurry of Court Filings (Turley)

Last week, some of us were struck by how Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis seemed to morph into the man she is prosecuting in Georgia. In her mocking, combative testimony February 15, Willis lashed out against the media, the lawyers and many in the public for questioning her ethics in hiring her former lover as lead prosecutor. Where former President Donald Trump was roundly condemned for such testimony in court, Willis was celebrated by many as showing that she is a “great lawyer” and righteous champion. Now, Hunter Biden also seems to have gone full Trump in court and no one appears to have noticed. In a flurry of motions, Hunter is seeking to dismiss indictments in two states. However, his arguments are strikingly familiar. He is challenging the appointment of the special counsel, alleging selective prosecution and raising strategic leaks as reasons to strike all of his pending charges.

The motions are ripped from the pages of Trump challenges, which were widely panned by the media. No longer. Hunter has filed a flurry of nine separate motions seeking to dismiss charges against him. His arguments included challenging the authority of special counsel David Weiss as improperly appointed. Hunter maintains that “this prosecution is not legally authorized because David Weiss was unlawfully appointed as Special Counsel and Congress has not appropriated funds for the Special Counsel’s investigation or this prosecution.” He argues that DOJ regulations instruct the attorney general to appoint a special counsel from outside the government, but Weiss was working as U.S. attorney for Delaware. During the recent Trump appeal in Washington, there was also a claim that Special Counsel Jack Smith’s work was unconstitutional, though the challenge was based on the absence of an authorizing statute.

Hunter is also arguing selective prosecution and that the Justice Department caved into political pressure to target him despite a lack of criminal evidence. Much like Trump, Hunter is also arguing that leaks showed the bias and hostility of the Justice Department against him. At the same time, Hunter is pursuing a challenge to the underlying gun law that his father has championed as strengthening gun control laws. Worst yet for many on the left, Hunter is adopting an argument from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other gun rights groups in calling such laws unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. Hunter is pursuing the arguments from Bruen v. New York Rifle & Pistol Association, which his father has condemned. He insists that requirements that you not be an actual drug addict run against the history and tradition of the Second Amendment.

If he pushed forward on these claims, Hunter Biden could face opposition from the Biden administration in seeking to expand Second Amendment protections in court. Yet, if successful, he would be the first Biden to be honored by the NRA. Hunter is also adopting one of the most criticized practices of Trump in attacking the whistleblowers who came forward with allegations against him. Where Trump attacked the whistleblowers in the Ukraine controversy, Hunter has attacked IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler. Hunter is also arguing selective prosecution and that the Justice Department caved into political pressure to target him despite a lack of criminal evidence. Much like Trump, Hunter is also arguing that leaks showed the bias and hostility of the Justice Department against him.

Of course, adopting the same arguments and rhetoric of Trump does not make you Trump. That appears the critical distinction for many in the media, as it was for Willis. These arguments are being soberly analyzed on media platforms where Trump’s prior arguments were categorically rejected. The only thing that remains is for Hunter to declare that he is only trying to Make America Great Again by nullifying independent counsels and expanding the Second Amendment. Indeed, it could be the start of a Biden MAGA movement.

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“Russian strength grows every day. Not only are they not suffering horrific losses on the battlefield, but they’re getting stronger..”

Ukrainian Forces Failed to ‘Hold Their Own in Avdeyevka’ -Scott Ritter (Sp.)

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin earlier this week that an operation to take control of Avdeyevka was carried out with minimal losses. According to Shoigu, an area of 31.75 square kilometers has been freed as a result of the capture of the town from Ukrainian nationalists. Speaking to Sputnik, former US Marine Corps intelligence officer Scott Ritter said that Ukraine lost the battle of Avdeyevka for several reasons, the most dominant of which is that they simply don’t have the firepower necessary to stabilize the battlefield. “They [Ukrainian forces] have no more artillery rounds that enable them to flood the battlefield, break up Russian attacks, and support counterattacks. They don’t have air defenses to stop Russian air power from coming in and dominating the battlefield. They have insufficient drones to replace artillery fire support. Simply put, the Ukrainians are unable to hold their own on the battlefield,” Ritter pointed out, describing the situation as “the Avdeyevka end game.”

When it comes to the unmanned aerial vehicles, “even when Ukrainian soldiers use the drones because they can’t stop the Russian air power, the drone operators are targeted and eliminated,” according to Ritter. He recalled that Ukrainian troops had been “pushed out of Avdeyevka, heavily fortified, if not the most heavily fortified, position in the entire Ukrainian defensive lines.” The former US Marine Corps intelligence officer underlined that when freeing the town, “the Russians didn’t suffer the heavy casualties that the Ukrainians claimed. “But the notion that the Russians lost everybody, there’s nothing left, is absurd. Russian strength grows every day. Not only are they not suffering horrific losses on the battlefield, but they’re getting stronger,” Ritter emphasized.

He suggested that the liberation of Avdeyevka could be “the beginning of the end of the Ukrainian combat cohesion along their entire front line.” “Avdeyevka is not a one-off situation, it is the situation that will be replicated again and again, until which time Ukrainian military is no longer able to mount a cohesive defense. At that point of time, the special military operation will come to an end, because the goal of demilitarization would have been achieved,” Ritter underscored. The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) earlier said in a statement that the liberation of Avdeyevka “made it possible to push the front line away from Donetsk, significantly securing the city from terrorist strikes by the criminal Kiev regime.” The MoD added that the Russian military’s Tsentr (Center) Battlegroup continues offensive operations to further liberate the Donetsk People’s Republic from Ukrainian nationalists.

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“..[It’s] what they do. They’ve defeated Hitler, they’ve defeated Napoleon..”

Russia Is ‘A War Machine’ – Trump (RT)

Russia is a “war machine” that has defeated powerful invaders in the past, former US President Donald Trump said during a town hall meeting on Tuesday, as he explained his opposition to sending billions of dollars in additional aid to Ukraine. Trump, who is seeking a new presidential term in this year’s election, highlighted Russian military prowess after the town-hall host, Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, cited Kiev’s desperation to get the American money. “They say without that money, Ukraine will definitely lose the war, which would then empower Vladimir Putin and endanger our allies,” Ingraham said, referring to an argument made by US President Joe Biden.

Trump reiterated his earlier claims that, were he in the White House, the hostilities would not have erupted and that he could end them “in 24 hours” should voters put him back in the Oval Office. He also argued that EU nations, for whom the stakes in the conflict are higher than for the US, should pay more to support Kiev. “They have to start paying up,” he stated. “We have an ocean in between us. They don’t have that ocean,” he said. “You know why they have not paid? Cause nobody asked them.” “I feel very bad… Remember this: you are really up against a war machine in Russia. [It’s] what they do. They’ve defeated Hitler, they’ve defeated Napoleon,” Trump added Republican opposition in the US House to more aid for Ukraine stands in the way of an appropriation of over $60 billion for Kiev under a bill that was passed by the Senate this month.

The Biden administration claims that by keeping the flow of weapons into Ukraine the US would prevent a direct confrontation with Russia in the future. After defeating Kiev, this argument assumes, Moscow will certainly attack a NATO member, forcing Washington to send its troops to the rescue. Russia’s leadership has denied having such an intention and sees the Ukraine conflict as one triggered by NATO encroachment. The only scenario in which Russian troops could be sent into a NATO member state such as Poland is if it were attacked by the US-led military bloc first, President Vladimir Putin told former Fox News host Tucker Carlson in a recent interview. “You don’t need to be an analyst to understand that getting involved in a global war goes against common sense. A global war would bring all of humanity to the brink of destruction,” the president explained.

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“..Russia – that famous gas station sending out its shovel-wielding soldiers to capture German washing machines..”

Monkey With A Grenade: Nukes In EU Hands Would Be A Nightmare (Amar)

With its farmers rebelling, its economy declining, and its traditional parties decaying, you’d think the European Union has enough to worry about at home. Yet its thoroughly detached elites love to think big. And what’s bigger than nuclear weapons? That’s how they have ended up falling for one of Donald Trump’s typically blunt provocations. The former – and likely future – American president has warned that NATO members not spending enough on defense won’t be able to count on US protection on his watch. Eminently sensible – why do declining but still comparatively wealthy EU states keep behaving like defense beggars? – Trump’s threat has triggered various predictable meltdowns. The White House archly tut-tutted about the “appalling and unhinged” rhetoric of a man who is not, unlike the current president Joe Biden, overseeing a genocide together with Israel.

Go figure, as they say in the US. On the other hand, many Republicans have displayed demonstrative insouciance, if not outright agreement. And that is certain to reflect what many ordinary Americans think as well; that is, if they think about Europe at all. And as if the Big Scary Orange Man hadn’t done enough damage yet, next came the Pentagon, which (sort of) revealed that Russia – that famous gas station sending out its shovel-wielding soldiers to capture German washing machines – is building, if not a Death Star, then at least something equally sinister out there in space: Sputnik déjà vu all over again, as America’s greatest philosopher might have said. All of that, of course, against a background of incessant NATO scaremongering, which, it seems, has succeeded in spooking NATO most of all.

No wonder then that inside EU-Europe, reactions to Trump’s taunting sally have been marked by serious abandonment anxiety. One of its symptoms has been a call for the bloc – or Europe’s NATO members; the issue is fuzzy – to acquire its own nuclear force. One way or the other, Christian Lindner, Germany’s minister of finance, made time from razing the state budget in an economy that his cabinet colleague, the children’s book author and minister of the economy, Robert Habeck, has just labeled “dramatically bad,” in order to pen an article calling for France (not subordinating its nukes to NATO) and Britain (not even in the EU anymore) – two small nuclear powers – to step in as the new security sugar daddies by expanding their nuclear umbrellas over everyone else.

Katarina Barley, eternally fresh-eyed vice president of the European Parliament and the top EU election candidate of the German Social-Democrats – a party leading a deeply unpopular government while approaching extinction in the polls – and Manfred Weber, head of the conservative faction in the European Parliament, have kept things more general: They simply suggest that the EU should get its own doomsday weapons, somehow. Donald Tusk, freshly re-established as Poland’s EU-subservient viceroy, has made similar noises. Well, who cares about details, right? That attitude of “on s’engage et puis on voit” has, after all, proven a smashing success in Ukraine. In reality, this is not a problem caused by Trump: That, in a world of more than one nuclear power, the US nuclear umbrella over any place other than the US itself is – and can only be – fundamentally unreliable is, of course, a perennial, structural problem. Those who prefer realism to wishful thinking have always understood this.

[..] The EU is a large bloc of countries in an increasingly unstable and lawless world where the ever-wider proliferation of nuclear weapons will be inevitable. Hypothetically, such an entity would be a candidate for owning such weapons. Yet, in reality, the EU lacks three essential qualities to even consider acquiring them: It is far too fractious, it has no serious concept of its own interests as apart from and, indeed, opposed to the US, and it lacks an elite that could remotely be trusted with weapons capable of ending the world. There, it is of course, not alone. But isn’t one US on planet Earth bad enough already?[..]

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“..Ukraine has still retained the scientific and industrial potential for the production of nuclear weapons..”

Munich Conference Shows Evaporating Western Optimism On Ukraine (TASS)

The gloomy atmosphere at the annual Munich Security Conference showed that the West’s once-swaggering optimism on Ukraine has all but evaporated, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a comment on the Ukrainian crisis. “On February 16-18, the 60th Munich Security Conference was held, which was reduced to discussing the situation in Ukraine with a focus on how to forestall the complete collapse of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. We noted the dispirited atmosphere that permeated the meeting. There is no trace of the former optimism among the Western [cheerleaders for Ukraine],” the diplomat noted. “If just a year ago they were brimming with confidence in the imminent victory of their Kiev puppets, this time around they could barely conceal their skepticism and pessimism. Apparently, Europe and the United States are beginning to understand the impossibility of defeating Russia,” Zakharova stated.

At the same time, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that the international community should take very seriously the threats of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to reconsider the country’s renunciation of nuclear weapons. “In February 2022, Zelensky, in his speech at the very same Munich [Security] Conference, threatened to reconsider Kiev’s renunciation of nuclear weapons [under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum],” the diplomat said. “We are convinced that the international community should take such reckless statements very seriously. Moreover, Ukraine has still retained the scientific and industrial potential for the production of nuclear weapons that was created in the Soviet era.”.

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“His prospects for electoral success going forward are slim and none.”

Narrative on Ukraine, Palestine Has Accelerated Western Media’s Decline (Sp.)

Over the past few months, multiple major legacy media outlets announced significant layoffs of their news departments, including CNN, LA Times and Vox, among others. The latest series of layoffs is part of a larger pattern going back years of former media institutions being gutted, closed or sold off. Historian and author Dr. Gerald Horne told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Tuesday that the decline of mainstream Western media was accelerated by the press’ narratives on the conflicts in Ukraine and Palestine. “I think that an astute historian would point out that the Ukraine crisis helped to trigger or helped to accelerate the continuing decline of the news media,” Horne said, adding that the media crisis was “accelerated on October 7, 2023, because it’s no secret that the Zionist lobby has a stranglehold over a good deal of the US media.”

Horne also noted the US media coverage of the death of Alexey Navalny, particularly its lack of coverage of his documented Islamophobia. “We want to get an account of what happened when we pick up a newspaper or tune into CNN, but instead we oftentimes just get the current line of the neocons, or the neoliberals,” he explained, adding that there is “no guarantee” that CNN will be around by the end of the decade. The crisis goes beyond just the media, Horne argued, saying it is a crisis of “the entire capital system” and is part of “the inevitable demise of capitalism.”

“You see a similar crisis unfolding in Europe,” Horne said. “The party of [German] Chancellor [Olaf] Scholz is on the ropes because he has led his country into an abyss [by going] along with the Ukrainian caper and misadventures. His prospects for electoral success going forward are slim and none.” But it’s not only Scholz who’s headed down a troubled political future, Horne said, pointing out that French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak are in similar positions. “All in all, it’s not a good look or good prognosis for the North Atlantic countries,” he concluded.

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“Sue-and-settle is part of an even broader effort known as “lawfare..”

‘Sue and Settle’ Looks to Some Like Crony Democracy (RCW)

When the Biden administration announced in 2022 that it would remove some 4 million acres of federal land in Western states from oil and gas exploration, environmental groups hailed the decision as a milestone in their fight against global warming. “With the oil and gas industry bent on despoiling American’s public lands and fueling the climate crisis, this is a critical opportunity for the Biden administration to chart a new path toward clean energy and independence from fossil fuels,” said Jeremy Nichols, a director with WildEarth Guardians. But Nichols could just as easily have slapped himself on the back: The administration’s move was part of a private settlement of a lawsuit filed by WildEarth and others over the objections of energy consortiums, whose efforts to intervene in the matter were dismissed.

A similar thing happened last August, when the Biden administration announced it had agreed to exclude 6 million acres of the energy-rich Gulf of Mexico seabed from exploration to settle a lawsuit brought by environmental groups, including the Sierra Club – an announcement that triggered operational delays for the industry and expensive litigation to overturn. Administration critics say these moves reflect the resurgence of a practice embraced by the Obama administration and rejected during Donald Trump’s presidency: “sue and settle.” The tactic is simple: An advocacy group sues a federal agency for failing to enforce laws or regulations. Agency officials and the plaintiffs then come to a private agreement and that deal is ratified by the courts via a binding consent decree.

The practice is common at every level of government. New York City, for example, is obligated to house and feed tens of thousands of migrants because of a consent decree it entered into to settle a 1979 lawsuit brought by advocates for the homeless. But it is most prevalent in the environmental field, where well-funded groups commonly sue the Environmental Protection Agency or the Bureau of Land Management within the Department of the Interior alleging failure to enforce provisions of the Clean Air Act or regulations regarding federal leases for energy production. Although such consent decrees do not have the force of laws passed by Congress or regulations issued by the government that have gone through formal review and allow for public comment, they set the rules of the road. Critics say it has allowed government to advance policy goals that cannot be achieved through normal democratic channels.

“It’s not really an adversarial lawsuit, and with a settlement agreement and consent decree the case is never really over,” said Dave Tryon, director of litigation at the free-market Buckeye Institute. “The EPA is anxious to increase its power and control; it’s always happy to expand that.” The legal maneuver represents, according to this view, a return to the proverbial smoked-filled backrooms of politics. Huddled privately, without input from citizens or businesses that may be adversely affected by the decisions – let alone the public at large – lawsuits that often involve parties more simpatico than adversarial are settled. The plaintiffs and defendants are familiar to one another from years in the environmental lobbying and litigation world – and because of the “revolving door” between environmental groups and Democratic administrations. These like-minded players approach the issue seeking similar goals, a process that has only intensified with the Biden administration and leftist environmental groups sharing the belief that global warming is an existential threat.

“Overall, it’s harkening back to the bad old days – they do this in order to avoid scrutiny and bypass the regulatory process,” said Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, an advocacy arm of the Institute for Energy Research. “It’s a way to advance an agenda that may be rejected by voters. It’s a nefarious practice in which the agency and the environmental groups get what they want.” Sue-and-settle is part of an even broader effort known as “lawfare,” in which political parties and advocacy groups seek to achieve their goals not through elections or legislation but in the courts. This encompasses everything from President Trump’s “stop the steal” efforts to overturn the 2020 election through the courts to myriad efforts by Democrats, whose lawfare campaigns have ranged from getting courts to confiscate Trump’s businesses and charge him criminally to removing him from the 2024 ballot.

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Vivek Elon

 

 

 

 

Tiny house

 

 

Chain reaction

 

 

 

 

Cow steals shoes

 

 

Drinking water

 

 

Anaconda

 

 

 

 

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Jan 282024
 
 January 28, 2024  Posted by at 9:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  49 Responses »


Balthus Therèse dreaming 1938

 

RFK Jr. Praises Texas In Battle With Biden Over Border (Hill)
Biden Vows To Shut Border If Lawmakers Pass Budget Deal (RT)
How Trump and US Conservatives Deal a Blow to Ukraine Aid Package (Sp.)
US Promised To Seize Russian Assets – Kiev (RT)
Seizing Russia’s Money Would Endanger Euro – Italian Central Bank (RT)
EU and NATO Heading for the Abyss Over Foreign Policy Foibles (Jay)
‘No Threat’ Of Russia Attacking NATO – Germany (RT)
Davos, Dictators, and the Real ‘Threats to Our Democracy’ (Hollis)
WH’s New Strategy on Ukraine ‘Will De-Emphasize’ Retaking ‘Lost Territory’ (Sp.)
Putin Vows To Eradicate Nazism For Good (RT)
ICJ Ruling May Entail Dire Consequences for Israel (Sp.)
Who is Kevin Morris? Even Hunter’s Lawyer Seems Unsure (Turley)
Hunter Biden Partner Rob Walker Confirms Payments To Biden Family (JTN)
Boeing’s Nosedive: How Greed Ruined A Great American Company (Johnston)
83 million? (Victor Davis Hanson)

 

 

The alleged rape supposedly took place in 1996. With a script straight out of Law and Order. 16 years later, she’s a big fan of her “rapist”.

Note: the 83 million is not for the “rape”, but for defamation. Which she says cost her her job at ELLE magazine. ELLE has denied this.

 

 

Tucker Texas cartels

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..Biden’s failure to secure the border leaves states no choice but to take matters into their own hands..”

RFK Jr. Praises Texas In Battle With Biden Over Border (Hill)

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Thursday backed Texas in its ongoing battle with the federal government over border authority, criticizing the Biden administration for its handling of the U.S. southern border. “Texas is right. Biden’s failure to secure the border leaves states no choice but to take matters into their own hands,” Kennedy wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “As President, I will end this humanitarian crisis once and for all. I will secure the border and destroy the business model of the drug cartels. A country without borders is not a country at all.” Kennedy joins a growing list of politicians, most of them Republican, who have thrown their support behind Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) fight against the federal government over the fencing and razor wire installed by Texas at the U.S.-Mexico border. In a major blow to Abbott, the Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that border agents can remove the razor wire erected on the border, siding with the Biden administration.

Abbott has defended the fencing as necessary for his state’s security, claiming he was forced to take matters into his own hands due to what he characterizes as a lack of action on the Biden administration’s part. The federal government, meanwhile, contends the state does not have the power to build the fencing, which it says prevents it from managing the border. Abbott railed against the high court ruling and contended his authority is the “supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes.” Texas appeared to continue installing razor wire after the ruling came down. Kennedy has previously spoken out against what he sees as a “border crisis” that is leading to the smuggling of drugs and humans. He called Biden’s border policies a “disaster” in a Newsweek op-ed last year. Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley also spoke out in support of Abbott on Thursday and called Biden’s position “absolutely ridiculous.”

RFK border

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“Biden already has authority to shut down illegal immigration. And now he’s telling us he’s willing to do that, but only if we pass a new law — one whose authors refuse to share with the public or even their own colleagues. Something’s not right here.”

Scott Adams: “The plan is to close the barn door after too many horses get out.”

Biden Vows To Shut Border If Lawmakers Pass Budget Deal (RT)

US President Joe Biden has again urged Republican lawmakers to approve a long-stalled budget deal, vowing to shut down his country’s southern border as soon as he’s given the authority to do so. Republicans have been blocking the White House’s attempts to push through a $106 billion ‘national security package’ for Ukraine and Israel since October. They have demanded tougher security measures on the southern frontier be included in the agreement. ”For too long, we all know the border’s been broken. It’s long past time to fix it,” Biden outlined in a written statement on Friday. He described the border deal, now being negotiated in the Senate, as “the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had in our country.”

“It would give me, as President, a new emergency authority to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed. And if given that authority, I would use it the day I sign the bill into law,” Biden vowed. Under the bipartisan agreement, the administration would, among other things, be required to shut the border down if the number of migrants trying to get into the US illegally on any given day reaches 5,000, the New York Times reported. This threshold had been surpassed “routinely” in recent months, the paper stressed. Finding common ground on the immigration deal would be “a win for America,” the president insisted. “If you’re serious about the border crisis, pass a bipartisan bill, and I will sign it,” Biden said, addressing the Republican lawmakers.

The Washington Post described the comments as “a remarkable shift” in the Democratic president’s rhetoric on the immigration issue. The media outlet underscored “the urgency” of the situation on the border for his re-election bid. Biden’s statement came as Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson said on Friday that if the leaks about the deal’s content were accurate, it would be “dead on arrival” in the lower chamber. The likely Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, slammed the border deal earlier this week, warning that it “would be another gift to the radical left Democrats.” The agreement “will be meaningless in terms of border security,” Trump argued, reiterating that the only way to solve the immigration issue would be voting for him in November.

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“..the draft bipartisan agreement could allow up to 5,000 migrants to enter the US daily at the border..”

How Trump and US Conservatives Deal a Blow to Ukraine Aid Package (Sp.)

Former US President Donald Trump and Republican policymakers have subjected a draft bipartisan US border security deal to harsh criticism, casting doubt on the future of military aid packages for Ukraine and Israel. The border security deal is seen by Democratic lawmakers as a necessary evil to ram a new multi-billion Ukraine aid bill through the US Congress. Last December neither chamber managed to reach a compromise on the provision of further funds to Kiev despite pleas and even threats from the White House. Eventually, Republican and Democratic senators come up with a draft border agreement. Even though the formal text of the deal has not been officially released yet, leaks keep coming irritating US conservatives, as per Just the News, an independent US media outlet.

Media reported that the draft bipartisan agreement could allow up to 5,000 migrants to enter the US daily at the border. To that end, the White House is reportedly requesting at least $14 billion to help cities to absorb the flow of migrants released by US border authorities into the country. Former President Donald Trump denounced that as a bad deal in every way: “I do not think we should do a Border Deal, at all, unless we get everything needed to shut down the invasion of millions and millions of people, many from parts unknown, into our once great, but soon to be great again, country!” he wrote on his Truth Social media site on January 25. The US mainstream media warns that the former president’s comment was a “serious blow to the talks”. Trump has emerged as the leading Republican presidential candidate following the party’s first two primaries this month, with the power to influence the outcome of the negotiations.

Punchbowl News reported that Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell told his colleagues on Wednesday that the situation had “changed,” and that Trump was going to build his re-election campaign around the border crisis. “We don’t want to do anything to undermine him,” McConnell allegedly said. However, on Thursday the GOP leader appeared to backpedal on his remarks, asserting to the press that he still backed the bipartisan migration deal. Deputy White House Press Secretary Olivia Dalton also signaled that the Biden administration as supporting the bipartisan immigration agreement. “The president has been clear, we need action on the border,” Dalton told reporters on Thursday. “We’ve been engaging in good faith, bipartisan negotiations with both Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans to that end. And we believe that there’s no reason that shouldn’t continue.”

Still, some US senators warn that the effort is doomed. US Senator Ted Cruz said on Wednesday that the Ukraine aid-border security supplemental bill is a train wreck and has no chance of passing the US House of Representatives. Senator Rick Scott echoed Cruz, saying that the bill will be dead on arrival in the House. Earlier this week the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft suggested that House Republicans may kill the foreign aid bill even if a bipartisan border security and immigration deal is passed. The lower chamber’s Republican majority has no appetite for throwing good money after bad to Ukraine, according to the institute. The DC-based think-tank also noted House Speaker Mike Johnson’s ardent support for a sweeping migration reform and his record of opposing Ukraine funding packages. Some House Republicans, such as Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, even threatened to introduce a “motion to vacate” and oust the speaker if Johnson passes funding to Ukraine.

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“..a US Senate committee approved the “Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity (REPO) for Ukrainians Act..”

US Promised To Seize Russian Assets – Kiev (RT)

The US assured Kiev that the Russian assets that remain frozen in the West are going to be seized and used to rebuild Ukraine after the conflict, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal has said. The US, EU, and their allies blocked some $300 billion of Russian central bank assets as part of sanctions in response to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. Around $200 billion of that money is held in the EU. Politico reported on Thursday that it asked Shmygal if he was concerned that US funding for the Kiev government would come to a complete stop if Donald Trump won the presidential election in November and returned to the White House for his second term. ”We have all the assurances from the US about long-term support for Ukraine – for example, the seizure of Russian assets to fund the Ukrainian recovery,” he claimed.

On Wednesday, a US Senate committee approved the “Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity (REPO) for Ukrainians Act,” which should help pave the way for such a move by Washington. If it passes both houses and is signed into law by President Joe Biden, Washington could seize the Russian central bank assets, using such a measure against a country that it’s not directly at war with for the first time in history. Reuters reported this week, citing a senior official in Brussels, that the EU will be unlikely to join the US in confiscating the Russian funds as there’s no agreement on such a step between the bloc’s member-states. Earlier in January, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov warned that Moscow would respond to a possible seizure of its assets by the West, inducing tit-for-tat measures.

Previously, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that the confiscation of Russian funds would amount to “outright theft” by the West. He told reporters that it would undermine the trust in the US and EU financial systems around the globe. Shmygal also stated that Kiev is “working hard with the administration of President Biden and with Congress to have support for 2024.” As for the continuation of the aid in 2025, “we’ll see how conditions develop,” he stressed. ”I believe that any president of the US will support our fight for civilized values, our mutual values,” the Ukrainian PM said. The US has provided Ukraine with around $111 billion in economic and military support amid the conflict with Russia. But the flow of funds subsided dramatically in recent months as Republican lawmakers continue to resist attempts by the White House to push through another $60 billion in assistance for Kiev.

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“..weaponizing a currency inevitably reduces its attractiveness and encourages the emergence of alternatives..”

Seizing Russia’s Money Would Endanger Euro – Italian Central Bank (RT)

The EU should not use the euro as a tool in sanctions wars and political disputes, as it would harm the currency’s image and standing, Bank of Italy Governor Fabio Panetta warned on Friday. He as commenting on discussions in Brussels regarding frozen Russian assets. The EU, US, Japan and Canada froze some $300 billion of Russian central bank assets in 2022 as part of Ukraine-related sanctions against Moscow. Some $200 billion of that is held in the EU, largely in the Belgian clearing house Euroclear. Brussels is currently working on plans to apply a windfall tax to the profits Euroclear is making on the frozen funds, while opting not to seize the immobilized money outright.

However, Italy is one of several EU member states, including Germany and France, that have been skeptical of moves involving the assets, arguing that using them could prompt investors from other countries to doubt the safety of their own holdings in the EU and quit the bloc’s market, ultimately weakening the euro. “This power must be used wisely,” Panetta said, referring to euro’s standing as a global reserve currency. “International relations are part of a ‘repeated game’: weaponizing a currency inevitably reduces its attractiveness and encourages the emergence of alternatives,” he warned at an event in Riga, marking the 10th anniversary of Latvia adopting the euro. According to the official, the recent surge in the use of the yuan in trade between China and Russia is “instructive in this respect,” because it was Western sanctions that prompted the trend, as they made it difficult for Russia to use US dollars and euros in cross-border trade.

“The Chinese authorities are explicitly promoting [the yuan’s] role on the global stage and encouraging its use in other countries, including those sanctioned by the international community following the invasion of Ukraine,” Panetta said, adding that the share of Chinese trade financed in the domestic currency has doubled in the past three years, allowing the yuan to overtake the euro as the world’s second most-used trade currency. The official warned if the need to “be alert to the possibility that politics will have a greater impact on international currencies in the coming years.” Western currencies have been largely phased out in Russia-China trade, as nearly 95% of all transactions between the countries are now carried out either in rubles or yuan. Russia is not the only major economy to use the Chinese currency for trade settlements, as more and more nations seek alternatives to the dollar and euro. These include Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Iran.

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“..this BS is being fed into the echo chamber because a panic is setting in both on a EU level and national one as elections are looming and the smell of defeat is beginning to fill the lungs of the corrupt..”

EU and NATO Heading for the Abyss Over Foreign Policy Foibles (Jay)

A number of odd statements have been coming from the EU in recent days, coupled with some even odder skulduggery giving rise to thought that the entire project is having its ‘last days of the Roman Empire moment’. Is it possible that the EU that we know is on its last legs and what we are witnessing is the final demise? Ursula von der Leyen, whose grandparents were probably Wafen SS officers has said that if she doesn’t get her way in finding new money for Ukraine she will have to resort to dirty tricks. Well, she didn’t actually say “dirty tricks” but this is what is implied. And what might those underhand moves might be? In fact, there is already a motion in the EU corridors to make Hungary effectively a non-EU member state, a sort of rogue member which is still in the EU but has no voting rights.

Given that the EU is anything but a democracy and that the institutions in Brussels are monolithic and consensus-driven (there is no ‘opposition’ in Brussels like in most democratic countries) it is hardly surprising to see nefarious activities which would make an African dictator proud of his handy work. The EU, or rather the super federalist elite which run it in Brussels like von der Leyen and her mates as Pfizer – yes, multinational corporations really wield the most power in Brussels and more or less own the European Parliament – are getting worried. The project is starting to indulge in in-fighting and creating a lot of mixed message in the media. Gardner-in-chief Josep Borrell wants a new shiny state for the Palestinians but Ursula is perfectly happy with the present genocide program. Perhaps she sees in investment opportunities in offshore gas off the coast of Gaza?

And so with the economy in the doldrums and the EUs most powerful member state Germany looking more and more like the Czech Republic in the late 90s, the uber elites like Ursula and the most vile MEP the European Parliament ever had – Guy Verhofstadt – are worried that the project can be hijacked by far-right MEPs come the next euro election in the summer. Ironically, in such a scenario where the European parliament’s main majority bloc would be a far-right group, the support for Netanyahu would peak and even save him from falling into his own quagmire of corruption charges, as the far-right in Europe support the Zionists, shifting from the once popular idea of wiping them out under Hitler’s ‘final solution’ plan.

But the EU would never be the same again. These MEPs support reversing the centralisation of power back to member states. And so it is hardly any surprise at all that Verhofstadt, a man so bereft of charm that he makes a pile of damp towels look exciting, gives another one of his fiery speeches in the European parliament with always the same theme: all our problems can be resolved if we has more money, more power and an EU army. The fault is with member states, the European parliament’s top wanker-in-chief argues as he throws his head around and animates very much like a power hungry leader in the 1930s who got us in this mess in the first place. Have you noticed lots of media reports pointing to war with Russia? Wonder what this is based on? Of course there is no imminent war with Russia but the pundits can’t help presenting one to us, proclaiming that Putin wants to take the odd European country, like a rich man who collects them like pets.

The reality is that this BS is being fed into the echo chamber because a panic is setting in both on a EU level and national one as elections are looming and the smell of defeat is beginning to fill the lungs of the corrupt who have been feeding from the same trough for too long. Create a panic about a war looming and enough stupid Europeans and Americans will accept spiralling consumer prices, high pump prices, insane utility bills (like in the UK), poor growth and no jobs. Few westerners see through the lies and see the ruse in the making. Even the Germans.

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“..this is just a “snapshot” of the current situation and there’s no way of knowing how things would turn out in the future..”

‘No Threat’ Of Russia Attacking NATO – Germany (RT)

There’s currently no threat of Russia attacking NATO or any of the partners of the US-led military bloc, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has suggested. Moscow’s military is now fully occupied with the Ukraine conflict, Pistorius explained, in an interview with the tabloid Bild on Friday. ”At the moment, I don’t see any danger of a Russian attack on NATO territory or on any NATO partner-country,” he added. However, the minister stressed that this is just a “snapshot” of the current situation and there’s no way of knowing how things would turn out in the future. Pistorius warned against underestimating the alleged risks related to Russia, saying that NATO needs to rely on “the principle of deterrence, as we know it from the times of the Cold War.” During that time, things between the West and Moscow were “much more predictable than the situation we have today,” he argued.

”We are coming out of 30 years of peace… from which we have all benefited. And now the journey is going the other way,” the minister said. NATO and Germany must “really pick up the pace” in order to be able to face the emerging challenges, he stressed. Germany has given to Ukraine “a lot of systems” that Berlin needed for itself since the outbreak in February 2022 of fighting between Moscow and Kiev, but “we will get them again,” Pistorius vowed. Earlier this week, commenting on the possibility of a direct conflict between NATO and Russia, the bloc’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that “we don’t see any direct or imminent threat against any NATO ally.” He stressed, however, that NATO “closely monitors what Russia does” and has increased its “vigilance and presence in the eastern part of the alliance” in order to be able to counter any moves by Moscow.

Pistorius told ZDF on Monday that Germany should be ready to respond to a possible Russian attack. In order to be able to resist an aggression “that you don’t know if and when it will occur, then that means you have to arm yourself – and that’s what we’re currently doing together with allies in NATO,” he explained. On Tuesday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov dismissed Pistorius’ speculation about a possible conflict between Russia and NATO, saying that, due to internal problems the EU faces, its politicians “now need to somehow pump up public opinion, artificially agitate it, by inventing an external enemy.” Speaking at UN headquarters in New York the following day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that “no one wants a big war,” especially Moscow. “We have lived through ‘big wars’ many times in our history,” he added. President Vladimir Putin last month rejected as “complete nonsense” claims that Russia could attack NATO. Moscow has “no geopolitical, economic… or military interest” in doing so, he pointed out. Russia is, on the contrary, interested in developing ties with the bloc, he said.

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“..American voters see where the threats of authoritarianism truly lie, and it isn’t with Donald Trump…”

Davos, Dictators, and the Real ‘Threats to Our Democracy’ (Hollis)

The former Soviet Union collapsed politically because its centrally planned economy suffered disaster after disaster. Government takeover of the Venezuelan economy destroyed that once-prosperous country, plunging its residents into abject poverty. When the president of Sri Lanka banned nitrogen-based fertilizer, the country’s agricultural sector collapsed, as did its exports, leaving Sri Lankans without adequate food, fuel, or oil to heat their homes. Here in the United States, we have witnessed the nasty consequences of plenty of government policy failures: the health risks of COVID-19 shots; the spectacular failure of wind power in Texas during the 2021 winter storm; the inability of electric vehicles to start in the bitter temperatures across the northern U.S. two weeks ago; California’s water shortages and the struggling capacity of its electrical grid.

Egotists like WEF founder Klaus Schwab and his God-complex, like-minded cronies across the globe never consider that they could be wrong about anything. But they are always wrong about something. Trump voters do not want a dictator; they do not want an imperial presidency at all. They want a president who understands that free and independent businesses operating in a minimally regulated environment are the lifeblood of American prosperity. They recognize that an executive branch that refuses to enforce federal laws is failing in its primary constitutional obligations to the American public. They understand that a justice system that picks and chooses whom to prosecute based upon their race, ethnicity, or political belief is no justice at all. They are tired of inflation caused by misguided energy, trade, and environmental policies.

They are tired of our veterans suffering and dying with their physical and mental health needs unmet; tired of homeless people living in the streets; tired of open borders, of tens of thousands of Americans dying of fentanyl overdoses, and tired of unpunished crime, all while hundreds of billions of our hard-earned tax dollars get laundered through foreign wars into the pockets of multinational defense contractors, corruptocrat politicians, and warmongering toadies who never saw a foreign conflict they didn’t want to exploit. These Americans reject the globalist overlords pushing their anti-human philosophies down everyone’s throats, and they fear being enslaved by governments infiltrated by mindless drones in thrall to the latest apocalyptic power grab. The press and the Left can hand-wave and hyperventilate all they want about “threats to our democracy.” But American voters see where the threats of authoritarianism truly lie, and it isn’t with Donald Trump.

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Just give up.

WH’s New Strategy on Ukraine ‘Will De-Emphasize’ Retaking ‘Lost Territory’ (Sp.)

The Biden administration’s new strategy will “de-emphasize” Kiev’s recovery of the so-called “lost territories” this year and instead focus on Washington helping the Zelensky regime survive amid Russia’s ongoing special military operation, the Washington Post quoted unnamed sources as saying. The sources were apparently referring to the territories previously reunited with Russia as a result of popular referendums. They claimed that the Biden administration, “still smarting” from Kiev’s bungled counteroffensive in 2023, is “putting together the new strategy,” which includes helping the Zelensky regime strengthen its armed forces and economy in the face of the Ukraine funding impasse in the U.S. Congress.

The strategy’s other purpose is to help Kiev strengthen its fighting force and economy in the face of Ukraine funding-real impasse in the US Congress, according to the sources. “The emerging plan is a sharp change from last year, when the US and allied militaries rushed training and sophisticated equipment to Kiev in hopes that it could quickly push back Russian forces,” insiders pointed out. One source added that “it’s pretty clear” that it will be difficult for the Ukrainian Armed Forces to try to achieve “the same kind of major push on all fronts that they tried to do last year.” The idea is help Ukraine “hold its position on the battlefield for now, […] and “get them on a more sustainable path,” per the source. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu declared in late December that the Russian armed forces had achieved last year’s main goal by thwarting Ukraine’s summer counteroffensive.

“The main efforts of the past year were focused on achieving the goals of the special military operation. The main one was to stop the counter-offensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which was loudly proclaimed by Ukraine and its NATO allies. This task was successfully accomplished,” Shoigu emphasized at the time. The statement came after Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov told reporters that Ukraine had lost some 160,000 troops and over 3,000 armored vehicles, including 766 tanks, as well as 121 aircraft and 23 helicopters in all areas during the six-month counteroffensive.

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“..in a number of European countries, Russophobia is being promoted as the state policy.”

Putin Vows To Eradicate Nazism For Good (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to crush modern-day forces that promote Nazism, singling out Ukraine and the Baltic states as countries where the authorities have embraced such ideologies. Speaking on Saturday at the opening of a memorial to Soviet civilians killed by Nazi German forces in Leningrad Region, the Russian head of state said: “these days the outcomes of the Nuremberg trials are effectively being revised.” He claimed that some countries have gone from rewriting history and whitewashing the Nazis to “arming themselves with Hitlerites’ ideology and methods.”

President Putin cited the Baltic states, in an apparent reference to their treatment of Russian-speaking minorities, which Moscow deems discriminatory. “The regime in Kiev lionizes Hitlers’ accomplices, SS members, and uses terror against” those who resist it, the Russian leader alleged, accusing the Ukrainian authorities of subjecting the elderly, women and children to “barbaric shelling.” According to President Putin, “in a number of European countries, Russophobia is being promoted as the state policy.” “We will do everything – everything to undercut and eradicate Nazism for good,” the Russian head of state pledged.

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“..South Africa was after the provisional ruling to force Israel to agree to a ceasefire in Gaza.”

ICJ Ruling May Entail Dire Consequences for Israel (Sp.)

“Provisional measures is what South Africa wanted,” noted Carrillo, “that there is enough evidence to show that Israel has violated the 1948 Genocide Convention. “This is what South Africa wanted when they filed this suit because a final ruling by the courts can take months, it can take years. South Africa was after the provisional ruling to force Israel to agree to a ceasefire in Gaza.” Still, Carrillo noted that Israel often ignores world opinion and discounts measures taken against it in the international arena, such as when the Soviet Union led a 1975 effort in the United Nations to declare that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination. “Israel has a long history of disregarding the rulings or the opinions of international organizations,” said Carillo. “They do as they will, and they have the complete protection of the United States who at best is going to issue a lukewarm statement about protecting civilians. That’s what I think we should expect.”

However, host Jamarl Thomas noted the significant “moral weight” the decision carries as Carillo insisted Israel “did not refute any of the evidence, they did not disprove any of the South African evidence.” Amidst a rapidly emerging multipolar world order, Carillo suggested Global South countries and their allies may enforce material consequences against Israel for their actions in Gaza, where 70% of the more than 26,000 deaths are said to be of women and children. “We will have to see, because we are seeing a polar shift in the geopolitical sphere,” said the analyst. “Maybe we will see countries like Russia, maybe like China, or maybe like South Africa or other BRICS members, find a way to stop or to punish Israel in a way.”“Economically, Israel is already facing dire consequences,” Carillo claimed. “Its ports are empty, its workforce is completely depleted, and, among other things, their currency is on the downward trend.

So if you add on top of these, as you said, the moral weight of committing genocide and then more than likely not stopping, how are nations not aligned with the US, why would they continue dealing with Israel? Where is the benefit?”Israel also continues to face economic repercussions as a result of the effective blockade in the Red Sea enforced by the Houthi movement in Yemen. Despite Yemen’s status as one of the poorest countries in the Middle East, Yeminis have demonstrated strong support for the Palestinian cause, with hundreds of thousands taking to the streets to protest US and UK-led retaliatory strikes in the country. “There will always be resistance to oppression,” Carillo insisted. “Always. We know this through human history.”

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“The problem is that when you are “everything” to a client, you may end up with nothing when it comes to confidentiality.”

Who is Kevin Morris? Even Hunter’s Lawyer Seems Unsure (Turley)

Kevin Morris testified last week in the House. The question that lingered then, and now, is who is Kevin Morris. The Hollywood lawyer, producer and Democratic donor has emerged as a major figure in the corruption scandal surrounding Hunter Biden.For years, some of us have complained that we are not sure what Morris was at any given moment.What became clear in the deposition is that Morris does not appear certain himself. He’s Hunter’s confidant, art patron, business partner, and his lawyer. That could prove his undoing … both for himself and his client. Morris seems to move effortlessly between roles in his relationship with Hunter Biden.Hunter met Morris when he attended a political fundraiser as a major donor. Soon thereafter, he warned Biden associates that Hunter’s unpaid taxes raised political problems during Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential run.

He later proceeded to pay off Hunter’s taxes and to subsidize his lavish lifestyle. He also took an apparent lead in planning public campaigns against the critics of the Bidens, reportedly pushing a scorched-earth approach to attack potential witnesses and accusers. Then Morris seemed to take on the role of Hunter’s bank and art patron. He reportedly gave millions to Hunter while insisting that they are loans, not gifts. Most recently, it was revealed that, despite accounts of buyers flocking to buy Hunter’s overpriced art, it was Morris all along who bought most of the pieces. The overpriced art could be used to excuse some of these “debts” — a type of special crafts project for the president’s son to write off millions. The most striking thing about the deposition from his House interview was the speed at which Morris seemed to put on and remove his various hats.

He invoked attorney-client privilege at least 17 times over questions related to his payments and work for Hunter Biden. Yet, while refusing to answer those questions, he admitted to an array of other financial ties and transactions with his “client.” To the extent that Morris was not acting as a lawyer but as a businessman or a friend, these conversations (and related records) may not be protected. In his deposition, Morris also discusses his ownership of 10% of Bohai Harvest RST LLC (BHR), through his acquisition of interest in Skaneateles LLC. Those are business interests associated with Hunter Biden Morris seemed to be working through his own identity crisis with the help of House investigators. While insisting that his legal representation of Hunter Biden was “global and complete,” Morris detailed how his relationship floated from loan giver to friend to patron to film producer.

His counsel insists that all loans and roles were clearly laid out for Hunter in writing and reviewed by outside counsel. House investigator: “How did it come up that you were going to purchase Skaneateles? Or why did you buy Skaneateles of all the companies that Hunter Biden was involved with? Why that one?” Morris: “That’s privileged. I am not going to answer that because of attorney-client privilege.” That prompted a quick intervention by his lawyer. Morris reversed and agreed it was not protected and said that he “evaluated it as a businessman, and I thought it was something that could be a very successful investment.” Morris’ confusion often left his answers in an unintelligible morass. When asked about his decision to do a movie on his client, Morris again seemed to merge his roles, saying these are “just materials being collected for representation that may be used in the future after the representation.”

Later, Morris seemed to invoke an open-ended, running privilege. At one point, Morris claimed he was “like a general counsel” in Hunter Biden’s “virtual corporation.” He explained, “Counsel, in my job, I represent high-profile individuals. … [H]igh-profile individuals have basically virtual corporations. And in those virtual corporations, they have all kinds of staff and assistants. You know, agents and managers … publicists. You know, whatever. And what I do is I oversee … sort of the squad. Sort of like a general counsel.” With that, Morris was viewed as asserting a type of floating privilege because “I am involved in everything. And the same is with Hunter. If you check my retainer agreements, you’ll see that it’s not — it says all matters.” The statement is both factually accurate and ethically dubious. It seeks sweeping privilege claims despite the layers of different relationships, from loaner to donor to lawyer to producer. If Morris is called to testify in court, this may not fly. The problem is that when you are “everything” to a client, you may end up with nothing when it comes to confidentiality.

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“..The relationship between James Biden, Hunter Biden, Ye, and other partners resulted in at least $9 million in payments to Biden-connected companies in 2017 alone after Joe Biden returned to private life..”

Hunter Biden Partner Rob Walker Confirms Payments To Biden Family (JTN)

Hunter Biden associate Rob Walker appeared for a transcribed interview with the House Oversight Committee Friday as the latest witness in the impeachment inquiry and weeks before Hunter Biden is set to testify. According to a source familiar with Walker’s testimony, he confirmed reports that Hunter Biden’s work for the Chinese energy company CEFC began while Joe Biden was still Vice President, in 2015. In December, Just the News reported that the impeachment inquiry had assembled a growing body of evidence that Hunter’s work with the Chinese energy company started years before its million dollar payments began to flow into the Biden family coffers in 2017, following Joe Biden’s departure from office. “Today we learned that Joe Biden met with the now-missing Chairman of CEFC, Ye Jianming, as Hunter Biden and his associates received $3 million from a Chinese entity CEFC controlled. Evidence continues to reveal the Bidens sold the ‘Biden Brand’ to enrich the Biden family,” Oversight Chairman James Comer said in a statement released by the Oversight Committee.

“Today’s interview confirmed Hunter Biden and his associates’ work with the Chinese government-linked energy company began over a year before Joe Biden left the vice presidency, but the Bidens and their associates held off being paid by the Chinese while Joe Biden was in office,” he continued. “The Chinese company paid Hunter Biden and his associates $3 million shortly after Joe Biden left office as a ‘thank you’ for the work they did while Joe Biden was in office. Members of the Biden family received payments from the Chinese deal even though they did not work on it. This is the type of swampy influence peddling the American people want us to end,” Comer said. The relationship between James Biden, Hunter Biden, Ye, and other partners resulted in at least $9 million in payments to Biden-connected companies in 2017 alone after Joe Biden returned to private life.

The payments included a $3 million “thank you” in March 2017, a $5 million loan in August 2017, and a $1 million legal retainer fee to Hunter Biden from CEFC official Patrick Ho after he was indicted on bribery charges, according to documents gathered by Congress and federal prosecutors. Yet, evidence from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop and FBI interviews with Biden business partners provided to Congress show that the relationship dates back to at least 2015 and 2016. One email from Rob Walker to another of Hunter Biden’s business partners referenced an apparent letter from Hunter to Zang Jianjun, the executive director of CEFC China Energy, who worked directly for its founder and Chairman Ye Jianming.

In an interview with the FBI, Walker told investigators that he recalls two meetings that Vice President Biden had with CEFC officials, one after leaving office in 2017 and another while he was still in office. The interview was provided by IRS Whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joe Ziegler to the House Ways and Means Committee in their probe of the IRS and DOJ investigation into Hunter Biden. “Any times when he was in office or did you hear Hunter say that he was setting up a meeting with his dad with them (CEFC) while dad was still in office?” an FBI agent asked Walker. “Yeah,” Walker responded. After this admission, the investigators inexplicably changed course and did not follow up on what Walker had just told them.

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“..hunter killer assassins meeting boy scouts.”

Boeing’s Nosedive: How Greed Ruined A Great American Company (Johnston)

The singular event cited as marking the beginning of Boeing’s downfall was its 1997 merger with McDonnell Douglas, which put it on a collision course with a culture steeped in cost-cutting and financial performance. Somewhat perversely, although Boeing had acquired McDonnell, it was the latter that took over. McDonnell’s executives ended up running the company and its culture became ascendant. Scores of cut-throat managers battle-hardened in the company’s perform-or-die culture were brought in. A federal mediator once likened the partnership to “hunter killer assassins meeting boy scouts.” The self-effacing and introspective Bill Allen, Boeing’s genteel CEO through the post-war era and the man behind the 707 gamble, described his company’s ethos as “to eat, breathe, and sleep the world of aeronautics.”

But a new generation of leaders was emerging who brought new priorities and a new vocabulary. It was no longer about making great airplanes; it was about “moving up the value chain.” What it was really about was maximizing shareholder value. Now looming like a colossus over Boeing was the figure of Harry Stonecipher, McDonnell’s CEO. The blunt, hard-nosed son of a coal miner, Stonecipher was known for vicious cost-cutting, emails written in all caps – and for jettisoning executives who didn’t hit financial targets. But Stonecipher was a ‘winner’: McDonnell’s stock price had risen fourfold under his tenure. What predictably ensued was nothing short of a complete transformation of Boeing from being a company run by engineers to one that prized financial profit over all, and was willing to cut all manner of corners to reduce costs and boost returns.

The quality of the product was, to put it mildly, severely compromised. Downstream from these changes are the spectacular failures we all know about: the outrageous cost overruns, delays and production issues in making the Boeing 787, which ended up being temporarily grounded for battery fires that regulators attributed to flaws in manufacturing, insufficient testing and a poor understanding of an innovative battery; the abject failure of the jimmy-rigged 737 MAX, which saw two deadly crashes and, most recently, a harrowing incident in which a sealed-off emergency exit blew out mid-air in an Alaska Airlines flight, leaving a gaping hole in the fuselage. m It is possible to see Boeing’s merger with McDonnell as simply an unfortunate mistake, and the rise of the likes of Harry Stonecipher as simply an instance in which the wrong person found his way to the top; and the outsourcing and cost-cutting as simply a misbegotten strategy.

But this would miss the wider trends at work in the American corporate landscape at the time. Boeing was hardly alone on this path. The writer David Foster Wallace once wrote that “America… is a country of many contradictions, and a big contradiction for a long time has been between a very aggressive form of capitalism and consumerism against what might be called a kind of moral or civic impulse.” What is evident is that starting roughly in the 1970s, this “aggressive form of capitalism” became ascendant in the US and for a long time overwhelmed – and is arguably still overwhelming – the “moral and civic impulse.” However, to view this as simply a moral failing is to miss the greater economic pressures at work.

The ‘70s were, in the words of historian Judith Stein, the “pivotal decade” that “sealed a society-wide transition from industry to finance, factory floor to trading floor, [and] production to consumption.” America had emerged from World War II with unquestioned manufacturing supremacy, but within a few short decades, US companies had begun falling behind. Whereas Japan, Germany, and, later on, China invested heavily in their industrial bases in the post-war period, the US came to emphasize innovation at the expense of capital investment. The 1970s were when nascent industrial powerhouse Japan pulled off its so-called ‘revolution of quality,’ which went a long way toward putting American manufacturers on the back foot.

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“..Trump will have to soldier on. He must stay controlled amid the tsunamis, not play into the hands of his accusers, and remember that he may soon be the only eleventh-hour hope to stop this mockery of American law, customs and traditions.”

83 million? (Victor Davis Hanson)

Donald Trump in furor stormed out of a New York courtroom for a while, in the defamation suit brought by author and dating/boyfriend/sex-advice columnist E. Jean Carroll. It was just settled against Trump for $83.3 million! The Carroll suit was largely subsidized by Reid Hoffman the billionaire capitalist, and mega-donor to the Democratic Party and leftwing causes. The subtext of Trump’s rage, aside from the outrageous monetary size of the defamation ruling, is that he was facing—and angered—a leftwing claimant, a quite hostile leftwing judge, and a leftwing New York jury. The civil suit serves as a mere preview of four additional leftwing criminal prosecutions, leftwing judges, and leftwing juries to come—all on charges that would never had been filed if Trump either had not run for president or been a liberal progressive. Yet here we are.

The E. Jean Carroll case is the most baffling of all five. She, the alleged victim, did not remember even the year in which the purported sexual assault took place, nearly three decades ago. Observers have pointed out dozens of inconsistencies in her story. It was never clear what were the preliminaries that supposedly (Trump denies meeting her) led both, allegedly, willingly to retreat together to a department store dressing room, where during normal business hours the alleged violence took place. Moreover, the sexual assault complaint came forward decades post facto—and only after Trump was running for and then president. Carroll eventually sued him for battery, but well after the statute of limitations had expired and thus the case seemed defunct.

Her claims of defamation injuries arise from being fired from her advice column job at ELLE magazine. She claimed that Trump’s sharp denials and ad hominem retorts led to her career ruin. But the loss for anyone of a column at 76 does not seem such a rare occurrence, and the absence of a salaried job in one’s late seventies for four years does not seem to equate to a $83 million hit. And note the allegation that her dispute with Trump led to her firing was strongly denied by the very magazine that cut her loose. But then another strange thing happened. In 2022, a new law (“The Adult Survivors Act”) was passed in the New York legislature. It also post facto established a twelve-month window (beginning six months from the signing of bill) that permitted survivors of long ago alleged sexual assaults suddenly to sue the accused long-ago perpetrator—regardless of the previous statute of limitations.

That unexpected opening suddenly gave Carroll’s prior unsuccessful efforts a rebirth. And she quickly refiled with the help of arch-Trump hating billionaire Hoffman. Yet the bill may have been introduced with Trump particularly in mind—given the legislator who introduced it, Brad Hoylman-Siga, was known as another Trump antagonist. More interestingly, he had earlier introduced and had passed another Trump-targeted bill. That “TRUST” act had empowered particular federal Congressional committees to have access to the New York State once sealed tax returns of high-ranking government officials—such as Trump. That bill’s generally agreed subtext was a green light for anti-Trump members of Congress to obtain legal access to Donald J. Trump’s tax returns.

So there is an eerie feeling that the New York legislature may have abruptly passed legislation that was aimed at the past conduct of Donald Trump but only after he entered the political arena. While these are not quite bills of attainder, there is something unsettling if they are post facto laws aimed at targeting the most famous and controversial man in America and the leading candidate for the presidency. In essence they were targeted statutes designed to make Trump’s prior legally unactionable behavior suddenly quite legally actionable. Trump will be subject to such special treatment all summer and fall. Prosecutors Bragg, James, Smith, and Willis will synchronize their court business for maximum effect.

Trump again will face leftwing prosecutors, judges, and juries on charges that are politically driven, involving alleged behavior that is either usually not criminalized or not to the same degree as Trump’s case. (Do we remember the nearly $375,000 federal fine belatedly leveled at an exempt Obama but only five years after his 2008 illegal garnering of, and not reporting, foreign campaign contributions?) The stakes are higher each day as Trump closes in on the nomination and thus becomes the hope of half the country to end the Biden madness. Somehow Trump will have to stay calm, give no opening to his legion of hostile prosecutors, while conducting a nonstop campaign against Biden (and for a while Hayley), and while fighting to keep his name on various state ballots.

So what we are witnessing is not even the extralegal efforts of Steele/Fusion GPS, Perkins Coie/DNC/Hillary Clinton in 2016, or the 2020 “Russian disinformation” ruse/change the voting laws/infuse half a billion dollars to absorb the work of the registrar machinations against Trump. We are way beyond all that. The legal system itself, hand-in-glove with leftwing politicos (compare campaign boasts of James and Willis, or prosecutorial visits to the January 6 committee and the White House) is turning the process of balloting and elections into an embarrassing farce. Still, Trump will have to soldier on. He must stay controlled amid the tsunamis, not play into the hands of his accusers, and remember that he may soon be the only eleventh-hour hope to stop this mockery of American law, customs and traditions.

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Wild dogs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1751228420925562943

 

 

Baby goat
https://twitter.com/i/status/1751252951375712290

 

 


The bearded vulture is the only known animal whose diet is almost exclusively bone

 

 

Fata morgana

 

 

Monarch
https://twitter.com/i/status/1751398451152044152

 

 

Clay
https://twitter.com/i/status/1751471302169227699

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 112024
 
 January 11, 2024  Posted by at 9:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


Salvador Dalí Figure at a window 1925

 

BRICS Member South Africa Takes Zionism To Court (Pepe Escobar)
The War Within Israel’s War Cabinet (Cradle)
Ukraine Conflict Drove Up Ammo Prices Tenfold – Sweden (RT)
Lavrov Knew of ‘Secret’ Ukraine Meeting Weeks Before Bloomberg Report (Sp.)
Ukrainians Will Benefit From Zelensky’s Fall – Medvedchuk (RT)
West Got Ukraine ‘Painfully Wrong’ – Slovak PM Robert Fico (RT)
Ukrainians In UK Told To Register For Military Service (RT)
US Government Debt Biggest Threat To Global Economy – Russian NGO (RT)
China Has Become More Aggressive – UK Foreign Secretary (RT)
Germany’s ‘Krisenmodus’ Has No End in Sight (Conor Gallagher)
German Government Is Ripping Off The Farmers Who Feed The Country (Marsden)
UK Parliament Cold, Damp, and Infested With Mice – Politico (RT)
Hunter Biden Defends Including Father On Business Calls (Fox)
Can Big Pharma Be Held Accountable? (Paul Craig Roberts)
Trump Says Georgia Case ‘Totally Compromised’ (ET)

 

 

Fani Willis and her beau were there, but so was Letitia James. It was all coordinated.

 

 

Trump

 

 

Before: Russia exported cheap energy to European industries & imported European industrial goods. Now: Russia exports cheap energy to Asia & imports Asian industrial goods.

 

 

Hunter

 

 

 

 

Rogan study

 

 

LGBTs

 

 

 

 

Poland
https://twitter.com/i/status/1745104202597081348

 

 

 

 

“Both Pretoria and Tel Aviv are members of the ICJ – so the rulings are binding..”

But are they enforcable?

BRICS Member South Africa Takes Zionism To Court (Pepe Escobar)

Nothing less than the full concept of international law will be on trial this week in The Hague. The whole world is watching. It took an African nation, not an Arab or Muslim nation, but significantly a BRICS member, to try to break the iron chains deployed by Zionism via fear, financial might, and non-stop threats, enslaving not only Palestine but substantial swathes of the planet. By a twist of historical poetic justice, South Africa, a nation that knows one or two things about apartheid, had to take the moral high ground and be the first to file a suit against apartheid Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The 84-page lawsuit, exhaustively argued, fully documented, and filed on 29 December 2023, details all the ongoing horrors perpetrated in the occupied Gaza Strip and followed by everyone with a smartphone around the planet.

South Africa asks the ICJ – a UN mechanism – something quite straightforward: Declare that the state of Israel has breached all its responsibilities under international law since 7 October. And that, crucially, includes a violation of the 1948 Genocide Convention, according to which genocide consists of “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”South Africa is supported by Jordan, Bolivia, Turkiye, Malaysia, and significantly the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which combines the lands of Islam, and constitutes 57 member states, 48 of these harboring a Muslim majority. It’s as if these nations were representing the overwhelming majority of the Global South. Whatever happens at The Hague could go way beyond a possible condemnation of Israeli for genocide. Both Pretoria and Tel Aviv are members of the ICJ – so the rulings are binding.

The ICJ, in theory, carries more weight than the UN Security Council, where the US vetoes any hard facts that tarnish Israel’s carefully constructed self-image. The only problem is that the ICJ does not have enforcement power. What South Africa, in practical terms, is aiming to achieve is to have the ICJ impose on Israel an order to stop the invasion – and the genocide – right away. That should be the first priority. Reading the full South African application is a horrifying exercise. This is literally history in the making, right in front of us living in the young, tech-addicted, 21st century, and not a science fiction account of a genocide taking place in some distant universe.

Pretoria’s application carries the merit of drawing The Big Picture, “in the broader context of Israel’s conduct towards Palestinians during its 75-year-long apartheid, its 56-year-long belligerent occupation of Palestinian territory, and its 16-year-long blockade of Gaza.” Cause, effect, and intent are clearly delineated, transcending the horrors that have been perpetrated since the Palestinian resistance’s Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on 7 October, 2023. Then there are “acts and omissions by Israel which are capable of amounting to other violations of international law.” South Africa lists them as “genocidal in character, as they are committed with the requisite specific intent (dolus specialis) to destroy Palestinians in Gaza as a part of the broader Palestinian national, racial and ethnic group.”

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“..originally intended to be about post-war plans — a topic the prime minister appears reluctant to tackle given the potential risks to his political and personal future..”

The War Within Israel’s War Cabinet (Cradle)

Three months into Israel’s longest and costliest unconventional war, the country’s armed forces have emerged as a significant indirect source of pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s extremist government. This development comes at a crucial juncture, both politically and in terms of security, for Tel Aviv. Amid ongoing internal differences over post-Gaza war strategies and proposed resolutions for Hamas’s prisoner exchange demands, the negative shift in international and regional public opinion over Israel’s 13-week Gaza assault has generated further stressors. At the same time, the escalating situation on the northern front with Hezbollah has compelled the Israeli army to establish a committee to investigate the political, security, and military shortcomings that led to the 7 October Al-Aqsa flood operation.

This decision by the Israeli army has triggered a political uproar, particularly from a faction uncertain about how to deal with intensifying Palestinian resistance activities brought on by the formation of Netanyahu’s coalition government – which is marked by extremism and controversial decisions, even by Israeli standards. During a recent cabinet meeting, far-right and nationalist Zionist ministers slammed army Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi’s decision to probe intelligence and operational failures leading up to the 7 October resistance operation, claiming that forming an inquiry commission during the ongoing Gaza war damages army and soldier morale. Some cabinet members rallied to scuttle the selection of former Minister of Defence Shaul Mofaz as head of the inquiry commission, largely because of his role in Israel’s unilateral Gaza disengagement plan in 2005.

The timing of the investigative committee’s formation is underscored by Defense Minister Yoav Galant and emergency cabinet member Benny Gantz’s vigorous defense of Halevi’s decision. They emphasize its importance in learning from past mistakes, addressing security gaps, and preparing for potential wider conflicts, particularly with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Less clear, however, is Netanyahu stance on the matter, despite the fact that he scheduled the session which was originally intended to be about post-war plans — a topic the prime minister appears reluctant to tackle given the potential risks to his political and personal future.

Netanyahu’s right-wing cabinet members view the inquiry as a tool to further undermine an already precarious government. They recognize that the findings of the commission could be especially damning for their governing coalition, which, since its formation, has implemented an agenda focused on the oppression of Palestinians living under occupation and the strangulation of their national aspirations. It is an agenda which security and military experts in Israel have consistently warned could heavily exacerbate the level of retaliatory violence against settlers and inflame the security situation, whether in the Gaza Strip or in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.

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In other news, Sweden is telling its people to prepare for war with Russia.

Ukraine Conflict Drove Up Ammo Prices Tenfold – Sweden (RT)

The deficit of ammunition in Europe has led to inflated prices as Western nations scramble to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia, the chief of staff of the Swedish Armed Forces has said. Speaking to Sveriges Radio national broadcaster on Tuesday, Michael Claesson said the conflict had led to a surge in demand in a very short period of time. He described the increase as “dramatic.” “I won’t give exact figures, but we are talking about an increase of between five to ten times compared to the time before the war started,” he said, noting that it impacted not only ammunition, but also other military materiel. According to Claesson, artillery shells for the Swedish-designed Archer 155mm self-propelled howitzer are now eight times more expensive than in 2021.

He told the broadcaster that the development had been caused by a significant rearmament campaign underway both in Sweden and other European countries. “All this creates an enormous demand and competition, essentially as if people were standing in a queue.” Commenting on weapons procurement in late December, Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson admitted that his country found itself in a “difficult situation” because it had not only to support Ukraine, but also take care of its own security. As of December, Stockholm has provided Kiev with $2.2 billion in military assistance. On Sunday, speaking online at the Society and Defense conference held in Sweden, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky urged his European partners to “create an arsenal for the defense of freedom” by stepping up joint arms production.

Russian officials have repeatedly said that the Western push to arm Ukraine will only prolong the conflict while becoming a burden on ordinary taxpayers. In October, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov stated that “the potential of the collective West to produce munitions is limited,” saying that it would have to spend a lot of time mobilizing its resources, an effort he suggested could cause “certain points of friction.” Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba admitted last month that Kiev senses a growing “war fatigue” in the West, and acknowledged that the country’s much-hyped counteroffensive had failed to produce swift and decisive results. Moscow has described Kiev’s push as a complete fiasco, claiming that Ukraine lost some 160,000 troops over the six months of the offensive.

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Secret meeting to discuss Zelensky’s “peace plan”, “that Kiev be given control over its pre-2014 borders, while calling for the prosecution of the Russian leadership and reparations from Moscow..”

Lavrov Knew of ‘Secret’ Ukraine Meeting Weeks Before Bloomberg Report (Sp.)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spilled the beans on the much-touted “secret meeting” of Ukrainian, Western, and Global South countries’ national security advisors in Riyadh on December 16 weeks before Bloomberg’s report on the gathering, telling Rossiya Segodnya chief Dmitry Kiselev about it on December 28. “Considering our good relations [with Global South countries, ed.], I can say that another meeting like this took place 10 days ago – the G7 plus the leading developing nations. Not all countries from the world majority attended. Some turned down their invitations. The meeting took place in complete secrecy. Nothing was reported about it; there were no leaks,” Lavrov said at the time. “But you know about it,” Kisilev interjected.

“Yes, we do. Our close allies and associates who attended that meeting did not promise to keep an issue that concerns Russia secret from us. Another meeting is scheduled to take place in January 2024 and a ‘peace summit,’ where [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky’s ‘peace formula,’ is to be approved in February 2024,” Lavrov said. Commenting on Bloomberg’s report and the absurdity of organizing “peace talks” aimed at resolving the Ukraine crisis without inviting Moscow to the table, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Radio Sputnik on Wednesday that the “secret meeting” had less to do with ending the conflict, and more to do with pumping up Mr. Zelensky’s ego.

“This is a well-worn concept of attracting political attention specifically to the Zelensky regime. This is PR for the Zelensky regime. Speaking in terms used in political science, [the talks] were about maintaining a sense of constant activity in the information and political space, at the center of which is Zelensky,” Zakharova stressed. “This has nothing to do with resolving the Ukrainian crisis. These are two completely different topics.” In fact, the spokeswoman suggested, holding “peace talks” without Russia, and on maximalist terms which Russia would never accept only serves to weaken the possibility of peace actually being reached.

“Because resolving the situation in Ukraine is, of course, painstaking work. This is work on the political and diplomatic track. This is negotiations, contacts and so on. This is not about the fate of one person, 10 people or their commercial, financial and economic interests, but about the fate of peoples and nations. That’s if we’re talking about the situation in Ukraine and a real resolution [to the crisis]. The PR around Zelensky, his so-called peace initiatives, his endless statements, appearances at various places and platforms – all this hype is created precisely to maintain the illusion of some kind of political activity while diverting the world’s attention from real processes of a possible settlement,” Zakharova said.

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“..an “unfunny parody of a dictator..”

Ukrainians Will Benefit From Zelensky’s Fall – Medvedchuk (RT)

President Vladimir Zelensky has antagonized all his allies, both domestic and foreign, and is doomed to be ousted this year, exiled Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Medvedchuk has said. But his failure will be good for the Ukrainian people, he added. Medvedchuk was the leader of the Opposition Platform – For Life party, which Zelensky’s government banned for allegedly being “pro-Russian.” He was arrested and forced out of Ukraine in a prisoner exchange with Moscow. The politician has since been promoting a project, which would make his home nation a neutral state, prioritizing national interests, as opposed to being a Russian enemy. In a column published on Wednesday, Medvedchuk blasted the incumbent Ukrainian president, branding him an “unfunny parody of a dictator,” whose weakness sends a signal to all “political predators to eat him.”

“Zelensky has antagonized everyone he could: big businessmen, whom he blacklisted as traitors and oligarch, professional Nazis, who see his cowardice, the military, who sees his incompetence, and last but not least the people, who see his indifference and cruelty,” he wrote. Ukraine is in a deep crisis that is bound to lead to a national disaster once Western funding for the proxy war against Russia is reduced, he claimed. And Ukrainian citizens need to realize that Zelensky’s downfall “does not necessarily mean a defeat of the Ukrainian people.” Instead, the opposite is true, according to Medvedchuk. It will be a victory for them, since the president “has long betrayed them and is selling them out for cannon fodder.”

The column predicted hard times for the US, which Medvedchuk believes has lost its direction, and the EU, which he expects to be sacrificed by Washington to support the American economy. For Ukraine, it means no EU membership, and its citizens should know that “Europeans will have to give their financial goodies to the American elites, not Ukrainian refugees.” Medvedchuk believes that Russia may serve as an alternative to “impoverishing Europe.” He expects that “the number of Ukrainians in Russia will increase in 2024, benefiting not just them, but everyone.” Russia has become a major destination for Ukrainian nationals, with officials estimating that as many as five million fled eastwards after the hostilities erupted in 2022. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he considers Russians and Ukrainians brotherly peoples. He described as tragic the fact that Kiev’s divisive policies after the 2014 armed coup had led to bloodshed between these peoples.

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“..in two or three years we will still be where we are now,” Fico predicted. “The EU alone will be perhaps 50 billion euros lighter, and in Ukraine, cemeteries will be full with thousands more dead soldiers.”

West Got Ukraine ‘Painfully Wrong’ – Slovak PM Robert Fico (RT)

Funding and arming Ukraine is a “futile waste of human resources and money” that will serve only to fill Ukrainian cemeteries with “thousands of dead soldiers,” Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico wrote in an op-ed on Tuesday. Fico’s article was a rebuttal to his country’s president, who has urged him to send weapons to Kiev. Following his party’s electoral victory in September, Fico immediately cut off Slovakia’s military aid to Ukraine and vowed to block Kiev’s accession to NATO. Slovak President Zuzana Caputova, however, has called for Ukraine to be given “the means needed to defend itself,” while pro-Western pundits in Slovakia have accused Fico of cozying up to the Kremlin. “I will no longer be subject to stupid liberal and progressive demagoguery,” Fico wrote in Slovakia’s Pravda newspaper. “It is literally shocking to see how the West has repeatedly made mistakes in assessing the situation in Russia.”

Despite pumping Ukraine with tens of billions of dollars’ worth of weapons and sanctioning Moscow’s economy, “Russia completely controls the occupied territories militarily, Ukraine is not capable of any meaningful military counter-offensive, [and] it has become completely dependent on financial aid from the West with unforeseeable consequences for Ukrainians in the years to come,” he explained. “The position of the Ukrainian president is shaken, while the Russian president increases and strengthens his political support,” Fico continued, pointing out that “neither the Russian economy nor the Russian currency collapsed, [and] anti-Russian sanctions have increased the internal self-sufficiency of this huge country.”

Should the West continue along the path desired by Caputova, “in two or three years we will still be where we are now,” Fico predicted. “The EU alone will be perhaps 50 billion euros lighter, and in Ukraine, cemeteries will be full with thousands more dead soldiers.” Fico’s Slovak Social Democracy (SMER-SD) faction currently leads a three-party coalition government, while Caputova is the co-founder of the Progressive Slovakia party. Caputova’s role as president is largely ceremonial, and Fico claimed in his op-ed that she is “impatiently waiting” for the end of her term this year so that she can re-enter parliamentary politics.Fico has labeled Caputova an “American agent” on several occasions. After consulting the American Embassy in Bratislava last summer, Caputova sued Fico over the remarks, Slovakia’s SITA news agency reported.

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“..Ukrainians living abroad who have not registered for military service may end up being denied both consular and banking services under the new law..”

Ukrainians In UK Told To Register For Military Service (RT)

Ukrainians living abroad must register for military service, according to a recently adopted government decree, the consulate in the UK has said. In a statement released on Wednesday, it explained that the move is in response to numerous inquiries from Ukrainians residing in the country. According to the new rules, Ukrainian nationals must register for the military “in case of staying outside Ukraine for a period of more than three months,” the consulate stated. New arrivals must show up at Ukrainian diplomatic institutions within a week of entering Britain, it added. Currently, there are no penalties for avoiding military registration, the diplomatic body said, adding that rumors of consular services being denied to people who do not sign up are not true.

The situation, however, could change if these provisions are included in the new mobilization law, which is currently being considered by the Ukrainian parliament, it warned. Previously, Batkivshchyna party MP Vadim Ivchenko, who sits on the parliamentary committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence, warned that Ukrainians living abroad who have not registered for military service may end up being denied both consular and banking services under the new law. It remains unclear whether the provisions will be included in the new legislation, which is expected to be voted on in the first reading on Thursday. The mobilization law was introduced in the Ukrainian parliament late last year. It proposes lowering the draft age from 27 to 25, eliminating exemptions for some categories of disabled people, and other measures to bolster the ranks of the military.

Shortly before the mobilization bill was put forward, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said the military had asked him to round up another 450,000 to 500,000 soldiers. This claim has been disputed by Ukraine’s top general, Valery Zaluzhny, who insisted the military had not come up with exact figures, but wanted the government to ensure a steady flow of recruits to meet its combat needs and make up for losses. Kiev has never officially disclosed the country’s casualties amid the conflict with Russia, yet the tally is widely believed to be in the hundreds of thousands. According to the latest estimates by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu provided on Tuesday, Ukraine lost more than 215,000 troops and 28,000 pieces of military hardware last year alone. Last month, the minister said that Kiev lost more than 383,000 service members, killed or wounded, since the beginning of the hostilities, with more than half of the casualties sustained during its summer counteroffensive, which was launched early last June.

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“The excessive debt was accumulated at low rates but needs to be refinanced at high rates that limit economic activity and reduce cash flow..”

US Government Debt Biggest Threat To Global Economy – Russian NGO (RT)

US government debt and Washington’s budget deficit present the biggest threats to the global economy this year, Russian government agency Roscongress has warned. Washington’s $34 trillion burden is mathematically impossible to pay off, Roscongress has claimed in a report it published on Wednesday. The agency based its estimate on the current ratio between the size of the debt, the rate at which it is growing, and budget revenues. “The excessive debt was accumulated at low rates but needs to be refinanced at high rates that limit economic activity and reduce cash flow. In the medium term, the servicing of US debt will cost $1 trillion a year,” reads the report, titled ‘Key Events – 2024. Geoeconomics. Forecasts. Major risks’.

The US government cannot solve the problem by restarting the printing press this year because that would lead to higher inflation, the report added. The country saw consumer prices shoot up to the highest levels in decades in 2022, prompting the Federal Reserve to embark on a series of rate hikes to tame inflation. US government federal debt toped $34 trillion for the first time in history at the end of December. It now amounts to about $102,000 for every man, woman, and child in the country. US total public debt is roughly equivalent to the economies of China, Germany, Japan, India, and the UK combined, as pointed out by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a nonpartisan fiscal policy group in New York.

Among other threats to the global economy, Roscongress identified the global real estate bubble, mentioning the high-profile bankruptcies of Chinese property developers Country Garden and Evergrande; the volatility of the US stock market; and demographic issues, namely the shrinking of China’s population. The Roscongress Foundation was established in 2007 and is a key organizer of nationwide and international congresses and exhibitions with an economic and social focus. Among the events it hosted recently is the Russia-Africa forum in St. Petersburg in July, a high-profile international gathering attended by dozens of delegations from African nations.

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As I said the other day, Cameron was hired as war secretary, not Foreign Secretary.

China Has Become More Aggressive – UK Foreign Secretary (RT)

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron has claimed that China has become more “aggressive and assertive” in the years since he headed the UK government and tried to build warm relations with Beijing. Speaking in front of the UK Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday, Cameron, who was prime minister from 2010 to 2016, said that while there had been a lot of incentives for the UK to develop business relations with China in the previous decade, “a lot has changed” since then. The diplomat pointed to China’s alleged repression of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province, which Beijing denies, as well as its policies in Hong Kong and its “wolf warrior diplomacy” as some of the primary examples of the country’s aggressive and assertive attitude.

Nevertheless, Cameron insisted that it was still crucial to engage with Beijing on various policy issues because China represented “a fifth of humanity.” “We’re not going to solve climate change without talking with the Chinese. We’re not going to work out the rules of the road on AI without at least engaging with the Chinese,” Cameron said, noting that he believes this is the foreign policy the UK should pursue. Meanwhile, China reported on Monday that it had detained the head of an overseas consulting firm for allegedly gathering sensitive data on the Asian nation on behalf of the British Secret Intelligence Service MI6.

Beijing’s Ministry of National Security accused the UK spy agency of hiring a man identified as Huang Moumou, who it claims was recruited by MI6 in 2015. He had allegedly been ordered to travel to China to collect state secrets and identify personnel to “incite rebellion.” The ministry added that London had provided Huang with intelligence training in the UK and other places, and with special spy equipment. The UK has so far declined to comment on the incident. In October, however, the British Security Service MI5 warned of the “epic scale” of Chinese espionage, claiming that more than 20,000 people in the UK had been approached by operatives who sought to acquire various secrets. China has consistently denied that it is engaged in spying against the US and UK.

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“..the fairytale that Germany’s crises are just a string of bad luck as opposed to the result of government policy..”

Germany’s ‘Krisenmodus’ Has No End in Sight (Conor Gallagher)

The Association for the German Language chose the term Krisenmodus as the ‘Word of the Year’ for 2023. I’m not sure they’ve ever awarded a back-to-back winner, but krisenmodus (crisis mode) looks to have a chance to repeat in 2024. The current government coalition has lost almost all trust from the public, yet they soldier on determined to make things worse for the vast majority of Germans. The Greens push for more war, the Free Democrats want more social spending cuts, and Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his Social Democratic Party (SPD) are in the middle adopting the worst from both sides and leading Germany to ruin. The chancellor’s decision making likely won’t get any better after a Christmastime bout with Covid-19 – if he sticks around much longer.

On the international front, Deutsche Welle declares that this year “Berlin must find ways to deal with two wars, an increasingly aggressive China, and a world order in transition.” Led by the ill-equipped and overconfident Green, Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s foreign policy has been disastrous and has spilled over into the domestic arena. Severing itself from Russian energy drained government coffers; at the same time, in addition to the money and weapons already sent to Ukraine, Berlin wants to increase military spending and become more interventionist. After running up the tab in these areas, there are now calls for a renewed fiscal responsibility, which means social spending cuts at home. A botched energy transition led by the Greens, which has industry collapsing and higher prices for consumers, militarization, and austerity – has proved to be an awful combination for the average citizen. And the data is grim.

Inflation continues to be problematic, the economy is contracting as industry shrinks, exports to China are declining and there is constant pressure from Atlanticists to self-impose a further reduction, living standards are declining, political paralysis reigns on most matters except social cuts and more military spending, wealth inequality grows, and industry continues to leave the country. Farmer protests are also now taking place across the country in response to the government’s decision to phase out a tax break on agricultural diesel. Scholz paid homage to the krisenmodus in his New Year’s address (including erroneously blaming Putin for “turn[ing] off the tap on our gas supplies”), centered around the fairytale that Germany’s crises are just a string of bad luck as opposed to the result of government policy.

He concluded with the following: “If we realize this, if we treat each other with this respect, then we don’t need to be afraid of the future, then the year 2024 can be a good year for our country, even if some things turn out differently than we expected today, on the eve of this New Year.” Such vacuous rhetoric is a sign that Scholz knows the path the country is currently on is doomed and yet plans nothing to change it. If anyone was watching, it was another reminder why Scholz’s approval rating has sunk to a miserable 26 percent and he and/or his government could soon be headed for an early exit.

Tucker Vlaar

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“Team Scholz is making one of the most productive elements of German society pay a heavy price for its own relentless screwups..”

German Government Is Ripping Off The Farmers Who Feed The Country (Marsden)

Farmers and their tractors started gathering on Monday here in Berlin as well as in cities across all of Germany’s federal states, including Hamburg, Cologne, and Bremen. The culmination, a massive planned protest, is set for Monday, January 15. The aim? To get Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition government to backtrack on its decision to eliminate tax breaks on the diesel fuel used for farming – a sector already struggling with high energy costs as a result of the government’s de facto policy to screw itself and its own citizens over “for Ukraine” by cutting off cheap fuel from Russia because Brussels ordered it to. And then deciding that it’s cool because gas isn’t “green” enough anyway. Who knew that the German economy couldn’t just run on wind and sun? Not this government, apparently.

Feeling the heat, Team Scholz has already said that it’ll now just slow roll the cuts to subsidies. Apparently he’s never tried removing a band-aid really slowly. The farmers responded with some slow rolling of their own – right down the Autobahn and up to the Brandenburg Gate. The other issue is a road tax exemption for agricultural vehicles that the government decided to reimpose. Well, at least the farmers are getting their money’s worth this week by taking their tractors out for a spin along roads they probably never would have bothered with, just to join up with the protests.

This whole mess is a result of Team Scholz’s own screwup. What else is new? Pretty standard operating procedure for the Western establishment: they screw up, then the cost of their mess gets dumped onto the average person. Scholz quietly took €60 billion ($65 billion) from a Covid recovery slush fund and plonked it into a fund for the much put-upon German industry. But only for the “green” industrials. Everyone else can just shove off. Which is also the arrogant attitude being bandied about by some establishment figures when it comes to farm diesel subsidies. Anyway, Scholz was ordered by the courts to put the misappropriated cash back – lest the government run the risk of incurring a debt. Whoops, too late. Berlin ended up €13 billion short in repaying it. So then the government had to figure out who it was going to have to screw over in an attempt to drum up some quick cash. Apparently those who literally feed the German people were identified as viable cash cows.

The government can now hear and see the honking tractors and big rigs from the Bundestag, gathering just a stone’s throw away from the epicenter of the protests at Brandenburg Gate. But Scholz has been talking instead about the need for European nations to mirror Germany in devoting more money to Ukraine – like he has nothing else going on inside his own country. You’d think that if he didn’t keep loading Ukraine up with cash and weapons then Russian tanks would just roll right into Berlin. He really should be more concerned about the German tractors and trucks that are already nearly right up under his office window. Germany doubled its Ukrainian military aid to €8 billion just before the New Year. Compare that with the €900 million that its rolled back tax breaks on farmers are expected to save them.

If Team Scholz was so blasé about shuffling money around in the creation of this whole debt problem, you’d imagine it would be easy enough at the very least just to hold onto that cash for Ukraine and take the jackboots off the necks of the farmers. It seems that German farmers may have to move to Ukraine to get treated fairly by their own government. Team Scholz is making one of the most productive elements of German society pay a heavy price for its own relentless screwups. The precise cost amounts to €10,000 annually for some farmers, who say it represents a potentially catastrophic loss for them. But the message being peddled by government officials is that farmers are already subsidized enough. You’d think they were just rolling in cash. Clearly, the reality is quite the opposite when €10,000 represents a make-or-break scenario.

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“..temporarily fixing problems as they appear is costing the British taxpayer £2 million ($2.54 million) per week..”

UK Parliament Cold, Damp, and Infested With Mice – Politico (RT)

Politicians and aides alike “dread” coming to work at Westminster Palace, Politico reported on Tuesday, describing how the crumbling Victorian building is driving them to work elsewhere in order to avoid the cold, the mold, and the rodents. British lawmakers returned to work at the House of Commons on Monday, as the Met Office warned that freezing temperatures will linger for the next week. Westminster Palace offers little respite from the winter weather, multiple staffers told Politico, citing persistent heating failures, power cuts, and moldy bathrooms. A report compiled by the GMB trade union – which represents parliamentary aides – in 2022 also noted crumbling masonry and falling glass even in one of the more modern buildings of the complex, as well as an outbreak of the legionella bacteria in showers on the estate.

“If it wasn’t a protected heritage site, there would be absolutely no way – with the current health and safety regulations – that we would be allowed to even set foot in a building this broken and damaged,” a Conservative Party staffer told Politico. “I would never go in again [if I could],” a Labour Party staffer said. “I think there is a sense that parliament is a very important building, you’re very lucky to be here – but there are basic standards, actually.” Much of Westminster Palace was built in the 19th Century and has not been renovated since before World War II. Some politicians have been demanding restoration works for years, but a vote authorizing this work will not be held until at least 2025. In the meantime, temporarily fixing problems as they appear is costing the British taxpayer £2 million ($2.54 million) per week, an anonymous official told Politico last September.

“This building is falling down and becoming a hazard to all those who work here,” Scottish National Party MP Pete Wishart said in an address in 2019. “It is so overrun with vermin that even the mice in this place now wear overalls.” Earlier this year, the Public Accounts Committee warned in a report that there is a “real and rising danger” that the building could be destroyed by a “catastrophic incident” before repairs take place. Labour leader Keir Starmer has almost completely eschewed working in the palace, multiple officials told the news site. Instead, he chooses to work up to three days per week at the party’s newly-built headquarters in Southwark, around a mile away. “It doesn’t feel as imposing, it’s not freezing cold, and it’s much more modern,” a Labour staffer said of the new building, describing it as “good for morale.” Despite the litany of complaints, politicians are unlikely to advocate too loudly for renovations these days, a GMP representative told Politico. “I don’t think that the general public have a lot of sympathy for politicians and their staff complaining about being cold at work… when there’s a lot worse things going on in other workplaces,” she said.

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“Yes, but why did you talk to him during business meetings if he had nothing to do with your business?”

Hunter Biden Defends Including Father On Business Calls (Fox)

Hunter Biden defended including his father on business calls with Ukrainian associates while speaking to a FOX Business reporter on Wednesday. Hunter Biden was questioned by FOX Business’ Hillary Vaughn after walking out of a House hearing as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., began to question him about President Biden’s ongoing impeachment probe. “Why did you put your dad on speakerphone during these business meetings if he had nothing to do with your business?” Vaughn asked as Biden left the Rayburn office building on Capitol Hill. “Do you have a dad? Does he call you?” the first son asked in reply. “Yes,” Vaughn said. “Do you answer the phone?” Biden continued. “Yes,” Vaughn answered. “OK,” Biden said. “Yes, but why did you talk to him during business meetings if he had nothing to do with your business?” Vaughn pressed.

Devon Archer, a former best friend and business associate of Hunter Biden in Ukraine, testified to lawmakers in July that President Biden met with dozens of Hunter’s business associates while he was serving as vice president between 2009 and 2017. Archer testified about meetings he witnessed attended by both Bidens — Hunter and Joe — either in person or via telephone. During the meetings, Hunter would specifically introduce his father to foreign business partners or prospective investors, Archer claimed. Archer said Hunter put his father, then the vice president, on speakerphone while meeting with business partners at least 20 times. He described how Joe Biden was put on the phone to sell “the brand.”

Crack

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“..there is to be no more accountability for Big Pharma’s mass murder than there is for Israel’s mass murder of Palestinians..”

Can Big Pharma Be Held Accountable? (Paul Craig Roberts)

In 1935 Trofim Lysenko, a fraudulent agronomist took control of Soviet genetics and agronomy and destroyed the science with political and ideological explanations. With biology under Lysenko’s dominance, the principles of Mendel’s classical genetics were banned, and real scientists suffered political repression. The Lysenko affair exemplifies my point that without truth there can be no science and no scholarship. Tony Fauci and his puppet-masters introduced their own form of Lysenkoism with the Covid campaign. It was early apparent to independent scientists that the virus was a manufactured one made in a laboratory and that the “vaccine” was more dangerous than the virus. The distinguished scientists who sounded the alarm were suppressed, deplatformed, fired, prosecuted, and stripped of medical licenses. Big Pharma was a modern day Lysenko, and the large part of the medical profession under Big Pharma’s control discredited distinguished scientists by branding them spreaders of disinformation. The useless media did no investigation.

The Cleveland Clinic has shown that the “vaccine” actually makes it easier to catch the virus, and the excess deaths on the heels of mass vaccination demonstrate the killing and health injury power of the Covid mRNA “vaccines.” Professors Angus Dalgleish and Paul Goddard have just published a book, The Death of Science. Big Pharma has taken over regulatory agencies such as FDA, NIH, CDC, and controls with research grants the findings published in medical journals and the curriculums of medical schools. The fraud is far more extensive than the fraud imposed by Lysenko. We are in danger of losing medical science altogether as the young entering the profession are Big Pharma indoctrinated. When older generations such as Dalgleish and Goddard pass, there will be none to take their place. Medical science will die with them.

Congress and medical schools can do nothing about it as both are dependent on Big Pharma’s money. Scientists are not always adept at speaking to the public. If you have any doubts that a deadly world-wide fraud was perpetrated in service to private agendas, read The Death of Science. This is my only posting for today. Because of its importance, I do not want to distract you with multiple offerings. Dr. Reiner Fuellmich, a world-renowned international trial lawyer who was leading an organized effort to hold Big Pharma accountable is sitting in a German prison detained on false charges orchestrated in order to stop a campaign that was nearing success. In other words, there is to be no more accountability for Big Pharma’s mass murder than there is for Israel’s mass murder of Palestinians. When mass murderers cannot be held accountable, what is the prospect for humanity?

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It’s almost funny.

Trump Says Georgia Case ‘Totally Compromised’ (ET)

Ms. Willis brought the case against President Trump and more than a dozen co-defendants under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, a law drafted to fight organized crime. The indictment accuses President Trump, and 18 others, of being part of a “criminal organization” that sought to overturn the Georgia results of the 2020 presidential election by unlawful means. “It’s illegal. What she did is illegal. So we’ll let the state handle that, but what a sad situation it is,” President Trump added.Ms. Willis’s office did not respond to a request for comment from The Epoch Times, though a spokesperson for her office told media outlets that she would “respond through appropriate court filings.” Ms. Willis brought the case against President Trump and more than a dozen co-defendants under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, a law drafted to fight organized crime. The indictment accuses President Trump, and 18 others, of being part of a “criminal organization” that sought to overturn the Georgia results of the 2020 presidential election by unlawful means.

Mr. Roman, who faces seven charges in the Georgia election interference case, served on President Trump’s 2020 campaign as director of Election Day operations. In Monday’s court filing, Mr. Roman cited “discussions with individuals with knowledge” about Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade allegedly being “romantically involved” before the special prosecutor was brought onto the case by Ms. Willis. “Sources close to both the special prosecutor and the district attorney have confirmed they had an ongoing, personal relationship during the pendency of the special prosecutor’s divorce proceedings,” states the filing, which also accuses Ms. Willis of bringing Mr. Wade on as a special counsel without obtaining proper government authorization. The filing further states that Mr. Wade allegedly had a “lack of relevant experience” although he was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the county.

Mr. Roman’s filing also accused Ms. Willis of having potentially committed “an act to defraud the public of honest services” due to what he called an “intentional failure” to disclose her alleged relationship with Mr. Wade, which she “personally benefitted from.” Records obtained by a local media outlet show that Mr. Wade was paid over $650,000 in legal fees since January 2022 and that the district attorney is the one who authorizes it. Mr. Roman’s filing alleges that checks sent to Mr. Wade from Fulton County and vacations that he purchased with Ms. Willis could amount honest services fraud, which is a federal crime.

“Willis has benefitted substantially and directly, and continues to benefit, from this litigation because Wade is being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to prosecute this case on her behalf,” the filing states. Mr. Roman’s filing states that Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade could be prosecuted under a federal racketeering statute. Besides the public comments President Trump made on Tuesday in response to Mr. Roman’s filing, he also took to Truth Social to post that the case “should be immediately dropped” and that Ms. Willis should apologize. Earlier court filings by President Trump’s co-defendants have alleged that Mr. Wade’s work is “void as a matter of law” because he allegedly failed to file his oath of office paperwork in time to formally join Ms. Willis’ team.

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Tiger and her cubs drinking from a creek in the forests of India. – Ricky Patel

 

 

Ocean

 

 

Cheetah

 

 


Most of you is 10 years old or less, because your cells are always renewing. The epidermis recycles every 2-4 weeks, red blood cells every 4 months, and your skeleton every 10 years.

 

 

Plastics water

 

 

 

 

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Jan 092024
 


René Magritte Youth 1924

 

Ukraine Has Lost 500,000 Troops – Ex Prosecutor General (RT)
Ukraine May Resort to Printing Money if Western Cash Dries Up (Sp.)
Russia Must Be Asia’s Peace Maker (Hayes)
Poland Covered Up For Nord Stream Attackers – WSJ (RT)
Biden Refills Strategic Petroleum Reserve At Twice The Historic Average (Sp.)
Biden Is Asking For Mexican Help To Stop The Record Surge Of Migrants (NBC)
27 States File to Oppose Colorado’s Disqualification of Trump (Turley)
Donald Trump Will Attend Tuesday Arguments For Immunity Motion In J6 Case (PM)
Trump Co-Defendant: Improper Relationship Between Georgia DA, Prosecutor (NYP)
Musk Responds To WSJ ‘Hit Piece’ (RT)
Hunter Biden Contempt Resolutions Introduced In House (ZH)
Most Germans Want Scholz To Step Down – Poll (RT)
House Freedom Caucus Slams Speaker Johnson’s Proposed Spending Deal (JTN)
“It’s Okay to Be Fat” and Obesity Should be “Normalized” (MN)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Jan 6

 

 

Riveted
https://twitter.com/i/status/1744415213053522390

 

 

Biden plagiarism

 

 

“They plunder, they slaughter, and they steal: this they falsely name Empire, and where they make a wasteland, they call it peace.”
– Tacitus

 

 

 

 

To achieve what?

Ukraine Has Lost 500,000 Troops – Ex Prosecutor General (RT)

Ukraine’s leaders should frankly admit that they have lost 500,000 service members since the start of the conflict with Russia, and that the monthly casualty rate is at around 30,000, former prosecutor general Yury Lutsenko has said. President Vladimir Zelensky’s goverment could convince reluctant citizens to join the fight by publicly admitting the heavy losses on the battlefield and declaring that the country’s very existence is in jeopardy, he believes. Ukrainians “must know how many have died, and then all debates about the mobilization will be settled,” he added. Speaking to the country’s media on Wednesday, the former official proposed a number of steps to address the draft-dodging and corruption that is hampering the country’s conscription efforts.

He suggested that new legislation must be introduced by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, the country’s defense minister, and top army general to emphasize the seriousness of the situation. “They should say how many Ukrainians have died. I know that this news will be received badly. But there is no other way to bring out of the comfort zone millions of those who hide behind bogus stories that everyone can serve except me,” Lutsenko said. According to Lutsenko, this “shock” would lead to large queues at recruitment offices, as had occurred in February 2022. Another important measure, according to the former official, would be the campaign to send members of the Ukrainian elite to the frontline.

“The army should not be all workers and peasants. Everyone should fight for Ukraine,” he stated, arguing that this would encourage ordinary citizens who he said have a very strong sense of justice. Zelensky said in December that the Ukrainian military had asked him to mobilize another 450,000 or 500,000 soldiers to make up for battlefield losses. Later that month, the government introduced a mobilization bill proposing to lower the recruitment age from 27 to 25 and eliminate exemptions for some categories of disabled people. The initiative comes after Ukraine launched a large counteroffensive in early June, which failed to gain any substantial ground. Moscow has described Kiev’s losses as catastrophic, estimating them at around 160,000 since the start of the push. Ukraine, however, has been reluctant to officially publish data on its casualties.

Ukr TV
https://twitter.com/i/status/1744313678021660797

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“The West reportedly pays for a whopping 70 percent of the Ukrainian government’s expenses..”

Ukraine May Resort to Printing Money if Western Cash Dries Up (Sp.)

The Wall Street Journal has crunched some numbers on the Ukrainian crisis and concluded that Ukraine might have to resort to drastic measures if Western support stops flowing. Pointing to “dwindling” Western financial assistance; lesser interest in continuing to fund the proxy crisis; and Russia outguning Ukraine militarily and economically, the outlet warned that “without sufficient support, Ukraine may have to resort to painful spending cuts or even printing money to fill its deficit” to keep the lights on and the war effort going. Such a policy “would pose a grave risk to the health of its economy,” the newspaper said, hinting at the danger of hyperinflation which traditionally hits countries that print money to try to fill budget gaps.

The analysis likewise showed that Russia’s military budget and weapons manufacturing capacity has expanded dramatically. On the other hand, Ukraine’s production has been stagnant since 2022 and today is “no match for a much larger Russian military-industrial complex running at full steam.” The study found, for example, that Russian forces are presently producing and using five times more shells than Ukraine on the front. Politically too, the paper’s analysis pointed to dropping support for the proxy war in both the US and Europe. Meanwhile, in Ukraine, there have been “some declines” in “trust levels” for President Zelensky’s government. Internal polling conducted late last year found Zelensky’s approval rating had sunk to just 32 percent.

US lawmakers have been wrangling with the White House over President Biden’s request to commit another $61 billion in military backing to Kiev. Ukrainian officials have admitted they “don’t have a plan B” if the support, which they insist is “not charity” but “an investment in the protection of NATO,” falls through. In Europe also, deliveries of fresh military and economic support have dropped dramatically in recent months, with the Kiel Institute for the World Economy’s Ukraine Support Tracker showing nearly a 90 percent drop in Western assistance overall between August and October 2023 compared to the same period a year earlier. Western officials have repeatedly warned that Ukraine would be “certain to fail” without a renewed IV drip of financial and military support – confirming nearly two years of statements by Russian officials that the NATO-backed regime would collapse without Western backing.

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister warned last month that salary and pension delays were imminent if Western support was not immediately forthcoming. At the front, foreign mercenaries have reportedly been trickling out of the country after payments to them were halted and they found more lucrative opportunities elsewhere. The West reportedly pays for a whopping 70 percent of the Ukrainian government’s expenses, with Kiev racking up a record-high debt of $157 billion in 2023 – less than ten percent shy of the 100 percent of GDP mark. Debt is forecast to grow precipitously in the coming years, reaching up to $313 billion by 2028.

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“Contrary to what our Nazi-saluting, cat-strangling, welfare cheque-cashing friends in Kiev might think, there is no other power beside Russia in a position to get all sides in Asia to come together to cool things down..”

Russia Must Be Asia’s Peace Maker (Hayes)

Although China and its adversaries have a number of symmetric and asymmetric options available to them that range from Nordstream style no claim no blame attacks on hostile shipping to blowing up, in pre-emptive strikes, the Three Gorges Dam and thereby drowning the 1 billion or so Chinese unfortunates who live in the Lower Yanzgtse Valley, outside the lunatic asylums of Washington, most of those are not realistic choices. That said, China’s reaction to the results of Taiwan’s pending 13 January elections might bring unwanted fireworks to bear on what already is a tense tinderbox. Should William Lai Ching-te, the incumbent vice president and the candidate of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), prevail over Hou Yu-ih from the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) Party, China will most likely spit the dummy again and launch massive military drills around the island or even grab Penghu Island as a sign it is serious about subjugating Taiwan.

Though China certainly carries a big stick, it doesn’t yet seem to grasp the notion that one should speak softly and only wave or use the stick as a last recourse. That is where the diplomats of Russia, which currently chairs the loose and untested BRIICS alliance, comes in. As a long standing ally of Vietnam, China and India, and as one which understands the nuanced goals of all three of those countries, Russia can bring a lot to the table. Not only did Russia help broker peace in the 1965 2nd Kashmir war between Pakistan and India but Russia fully understands that India and Vietnam both want strategic autonomy, and that neither will ever submit to being a vassal of a revanchist China. Taiwan currently leads the world in the crucial field of semiconductors and that is unlikely to change any time soon.

And nor is Taiwan’s status as, for Taiwan to revert to the 1683-1895 era when it paid tribute to the Qing Dynasty, would mean empowering China to annex the entire region as Imperial Japan did in late 1941 from its Taiwanese/Formosan base. Because Japan, India, Vietnam and even the Philippines cannot accept that, China is thereby opening up the door for NATO’s carrier groups and sundry other legacy defence systems and that is far from being an optimal state of affairs if peace and trade, rather than war and all it entails are the goals. There are two or even three ways out of this morass, only one of which is really acceptable. The first of these is to duke it out across the Taiwan Strait and every other strait or reef that is deemed important along the String of Pearls from Siberia to Somalia.

The second way is for China to goose step ahead with its neomercantalism until the global economy revolves around it and it alone. The third and best way is for the BRIICS and allied countries to take the opportunity Russia’s chairmanship of that group offers and chart some way through all the straits and reefs they might sink or run aground on. Contrary to what our Nazi-saluting, cat-strangling, welfare cheque-cashing friends in Kiev might think, there is no other power beside Russia in a position to get all sides in Asia to come together to cool things down. And, because there is still a pivotal role not only for diplomacy but for those like Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and his standing army of fellow Russian diplomats who retain those vital skills the West so stupidly jettisoned, there still mind be time to avoid this looming Armageddon of the Eastern Seas and all it entails.

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The story of the little yacht must be kept alive. It is used to cast doubt on US involvement.

Poland Covered Up For Nord Stream Attackers – WSJ (RT)

Polish officials have withheld evidence and attempted to stall an international probe into the bombing of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, making investigators “suspicious of Warsaw’s role and motives,” the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. The Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas lines – which linked Russia with Germany through the Baltic Sea – were destroyed in a series of explosions near the Danish island of Bornholm in September 2022. A joint inquiry by Germany, Denmark, and Sweden is ongoing, with investigators theorizing that a Ukrainian team rented a yacht in Germany from a Polish company, which they used to transport explosives to the blast sites. When these alleged leads were chaned in Poland, investigators were stonewalled by government officials and law enforcement agents, the Journal reported, citing sources within the investigation.

Polish authorities failed to turn over testimony from eyewitnesses who allegedly encountered the yacht’s six-person crew in the Polish port of Kolobrzeg until pushed to do so by German police, the sources said. CCTV footage from the port was then withheld, and Poland’s internal security agency, the ABW, “failed to answer queries, obfuscated or gave contradictory information,” the newspaper stated. Polish prosecutors said they found no traces of explosives on the yacht, despite never having boarded it to check, the investigators claimed. The investigation would later find explosive residue on the vessel, according to media reports. The prosecutors reportedly told European investigators that the boat arrived in Kolobrzeg at 4pm September 19, when it actually moored seven hours earlier. Later in the investigation, the ABW told its sister agencies in Europe that the yacht “had links with Russian espionage,” the newspaper reported, adding that investigators considered this “disinformation.”

According to all available information, no Western governments or intelligence agencies suspect that Russia was behind the bombings. Gas sold to Europe via the Nord Stream lines was a lucrative source of revenue for Moscow, and was seen as a powerful instrument of leverage for the Kremlin. Poland’s efforts to hinder the investigators have made them “increasingly suspicious of Warsaw’s role and motives,” the Wall Street Journal noted. All of the alleged misdirection and obfuscation took place under Poland’s previous government, however, and unnamed “senior European officials” told the newspaper that they are considering contacting Poland’s new prime minister, Donald Tusk, in the hope that he will grant them access to police and security personnel who may have previously been pressured to stay silent.

According to an alternate theory put forward by American journalist Seymour Hersh, the CIA was responsible for the Nord Stream blasts. Citing sources within the intelligence community, Hersh argued that CIA divers working with the Norwegian Navy planted remotely-triggered bombs on the lines last summer, using a NATO exercise in the region as cover. Bolstering this theory was a tweet by former Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, who within hours of the explosions shared an image of a giant gas leak at the blast site along with the caption “Thank you, USA.” Russian President Vladimir Putin has backed this explanation, stating last month that the sabotage operation “was done, most likely, by the Americans or someone at their instruction.”

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“They could have picked up several hundred million barrels at $15, but because it was what President Trump wanted, Congress said no..”

“..it will take a whopping 75 months to bring the SPR back to the level at which it was before US President Joe Biden started draining it..”

“..the Biden administration is buying oil at twice the historic average to replenish the SPR..”

Biden Refills Strategic Petroleum Reserve At Twice The Historic Average (Sp.)

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is currently buying three million barrels a month to refill the nation’s SPR in the wake of Joe Biden’s release of over 225 million barrels of oil between March 2022 and August 2023, dumping levels in the reserve to the lowest in 40 years. Tim Stewart, president of the US Oil and Gas Association, alleges that Team Biden is doing nothing short of damage control ahead of the 2024 election given that the nation’s depleted SPR has recently become the public’s concern. “Prior to 2022, the average person knew nothing about the SPR. That has completely changed. When the lovely 75-year-old blue-haired lady at church complains to me how Biden has drained the SPR – they must have caught the public’s attention,” Stewart told Just the News, an independent US media outlet founded by award-winning investigative journalist John Solomon.

Apparently, the Biden administration would have bought “refill barrels” at a greater pace, but it is facing limits on how much crude can be funneled into the reserve per month. That means it will take a whopping 75 months to bring the SPR back to the level at which it was before US President Joe Biden started draining it. To sweeten the pill, the US administration triumphantly claims that it is buying oil for the SPR at an average price of $77.31 per barrel, which is considerably below the average of $95 per barrel it was in 2022. Per Stewart, it’s by no means “a good deal for American taxpayers”: one should bear in mind that the average price paid per barrel in the SPR has been $29.70 per barrel, the expert pointed out. It appears that the Biden administration is guided by its own political interests rather than those of the nation.

It began draining the SPR in spring of 2022, ahead of the midterm election: at the time gasoline prices went up and American voters were not happy with that. Still, Just the News failed to mention that the hike in prices was partially caused by Team Biden’s energy sanctions slapped on Russia over Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine. If one digs deeper, one would learn that the special military operation started after the Biden administration snubbed Moscow’s draft security agreement aimed at safeguarding Europe’s peace, protecting Russia’s borders and restoring the balance of forces vis-à-vis NATO. Now, the Biden administration is buying oil at twice the historic average to replenish the SPR before the 2024 presidential election in a bid to look good in the eyes of the US voters.

The crux of the matter is that the US administration and the Democratic Party in general may have avoided this tricky situation ahead of the election if it had green-lighted Donald Trump’s initiative to fill the SPR at the time when oil prices were extremely low, per Stewart. Back in 2020, in the midst of the COVID pandemic, then US President Donald Trump moved to buy oil for the SPR when West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil prices were under $25 per barrel. Trump requested $3 billion from the US Congress to jump at this lucrative opportunity, but Democratic lawmakers nipped the president’s endeavor in the bud. Per Just the News, Democratic lawmakers bragged at the time that they had “eliminated a $3 billion bailout for big oil.” “They could have picked up several hundred million barrels at $15, but because it was what President Trump wanted, Congress said no,” Stewart told the media outlet.

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At the same time that they’re suing Texas for trying to… “Stop The Record Surge Of Migrants..”

Biden Is Asking For Mexican Help To Stop The Record Surge Of Migrants (NBC)

The Biden administration is increasingly leaning on Mexico to curb the record flow of migrants crossing into the U.S., but Mexico has its own lists of ambitious asks for the U.S., say officials from both governments familiar with the discussions. Previous measures taken by the Biden administration to stem the migrant surge have led to only temporary dips in the numbers, and in late December, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of State Antony Blinken went to Mexico to meet with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to ask for greater assistance. Those conversations were “preliminary,” the officials said, and did not result in hard promises from either side. In a press conference on Friday, López Obrador called on the U.S. to approve a plan that would deploy $20 billion to Latin American and Caribbean countries, suspend the U.S. blockade of Cuba, remove all sanctions against Venezuela and grant at least 10 million Hispanics living in the U.S. the right to remain and work legally.

All of those are extremely tall demands of an administration headed into a re-election campaign that may hinge on how firmly Biden is able to get control of the southern U.S. border, which saw a record 300,000 migrants processed by Customs and Border Protection in December. Responding to those requests, a senior Biden administration official told NBC News that AMLO, as López Obrador is commonly called, “has a very ambitious agenda. For some of these things, we would need Congress to act. We share the vision that we need to lift up the region.” The two countries are expected to continue talks in Washington later this month. Mexico brings significant leverage to the negotiations, the U.S. and Mexican officials said. López Obrador’s administration would prefer that President Joe Biden win re-election in November, given Donald Trump’s rhetoric and actions during his time in office.

But Biden is quickly running out of options to fix a problem that is driving down his poll numbers without increased support from Mexico, three U.S. officials told NBC News. On Capitol Hill, negotiations over border security measures between Republicans and Democrats continue into their second month with no clear breakthrough. And new asylum policies introduced by the Biden administration in May failed to deter migrants, as evidenced by the record surge. To bring the numbers down, the Biden administration needs Mexico to let it push more non-Mexican immigrants back across the U.S. southern border, as the U.S. was able to do through early 2023. During the Covid pandemic, the Trump and Biden administrations used a public health order known as Title 42 to push migrants back into Mexico without an asylum screening. During that policy, which ended in May, Mexico took back migrants over 1 million times each year for three years. Under current policies, Mexico has agreed to take back 30,000 migrants per month, but that is only 10% of December’s tally.

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“.. The Western elites have become a symbol of total, unprincipled lies.”

DC Has Resurrected the Specter of Nuclear Armageddon (Paul Craig Roberts)

The US and Israel have isolated themselves as the two most evil governments on earth. By complying with Washington’s foreign policy, the European puppet governments find themselves despised by their citizens. Eleven months ago Russia’s president Vladimir Putin described the West to the Russian Federal Assembly: “They behaved just as shamelessly and duplicitously when destroying Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. They will never be able to wash off this shame. The concepts of honor, trust, and decency are not for them. Over the long centuries of colonialism, diktat and hegemony, they got used to being allowed everything. They grew accustomed to spitting on the whole world.

“It turned out that they treat people living in their own countries with the same disdain, like a master. They cynically deceived them too, tricked them with tall stories about the search for peace, about adherence to the UN Security Council resolutions on Donbass. The Western elites have become a symbol of total, unprincipled lies.” It took Russian politicians and journalists a long time to recover from their delusion that with the demise of communism the world was a community governed by agreed-upon rules. Many Russian intellectuals and journalists had an idealized picture of the United States which kept the Russian government off balance in understanding Washington’s intentions toward Russia. How else to explain Russia’s lack of preparedness when Washington overthrew the elected government of Ukraine and when Georgia invaded South Ossetia?

As Putin now understands, the consequences of the Russian government’s mistaken expectation of fair and honorable relations with the West have been severe. Unless the West’s degradation results in collapse, war is inevitable. American and European peoples have no impact on their governments who serve the agendas of the financially powerful. Now that the West has demonstrated for all to see that the West suffers no shame from participation in genocide, even the most westernized Russians are likely to keep a safe distance from Washington’s snares. Now that the West has completely shattered the trust built during the Soviet era, the threat of nuclear Armageddon again holds sway over the Earth. In the face of this threat, all other threats recede into nothingness.

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“The attorneys general of Indiana, West Virginia and 25 other states, warn the court that this novel theory will produce “chaos” in the country.”

27 States File to Oppose Colorado’s Disqualification of Trump (Turley)

The majority of Americans oppose the decisions in Colorado and Maine to disqualify former President Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot. Other polls put the balance slightly in favor, but all polls show a deeply divided country on this effort. The Maine decision will now be reviewed by the Maine state courts, but the Colorado decision is scheduled for oral argument in a matter of weeks. A reversal of the Colorado decision is now supported by 27 states, which filed with the Supreme Court to oppose the underlying theory under the Fourteenth Amendment. It is relatively rare to see states opposing the expansion of their own authority vis-a-vis Congress. The brief reinforces the view of states like Colorado as outliers in the country in embracing this anti-democratic theory. The attorneys general of Indiana, West Virginia and 25 other states, warn the court that this novel theory will produce “chaos” in the country.

“The Colorado Supreme Court has cast itself into a ‘political thicket,’ Evenwel v. Abbott, 578 U.S. 54, 58, (2016), and it is now up to this Court to pull it out. ‘Confidence in the integrity of our electoral processes is essential to the functioning of our participatory democracy.’ Purcell v. Gonzalez, 549 U.S. 1, 4 (2006) (per curiam). If the Colorado decision stands, that critical confidence will be harmed. Many Americans will become convinced that a few partisan actors have contrived to take a political decision out of ordinary voters’ hands.” Advocates are pushing this dangerous theory at a time of deepening divisions in our country. As I have previously said, the four Colorado justices are recklessly throwing matches at a powder keg. That is why I am hopeful that at least one of the liberal justices will follow the lead of the three democratically appointed Colorado justices, who dissent from this anti-democratic decision.

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Federal appeals court.

Donald Trump Will Attend Tuesday Arguments For Immunity Motion In J6 Case (PM)

Former President Donald Turmp will be attending Tuesday’s arguments regarding his presidential immunity motion in the Jan. 6 case being led by Jack Smith. In a post to Truth Social, Trump made the announcement that he would be attending the arguments come Tuesday.

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Crazy story of the day.

Trump Co-Defendant: Improper Relationship Between Georgia DA, Prosecutor (NYP)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis had an “improper” and “clandestine” relationship with the married special prosecutor who assisted in securing the Georgia grand jury indictment against former President Donald Trump, a co-defendant in the election interference case alleged Monday. The bombshell court filing made by former Trump 2020 campaign official Michael Roman argues that Willis should be disqualified from the case and the charges against him dropped because “the district attorney chose to appoint her romantic partner, who at all times relevant to this prosecution has been a married man” to the case.

Roman contends that Nathan Wade, a private attorney with the Atlanta-based Wade & Campbell Firm, used some of the nearly $654,000 in legal fees that he’s been compensated for by the Fulton County DA’s office for his work on the Trump case to take Willis on lavish vacations to “Napa Valley, California, Florida and the Caribbean.” “Mr. Roman … moves the Court for an order disqualifying the district attorney, her office, and the special prosecutor from further prosecuting the instant matter on the grounds that the district attorney and the special prosecutor have been engaged in an improper, clandestine personal relationship during the pendency of this case, which has resulted in the special prosecutor, and, in turn, the district attorney, profiting significantly from this prosecution at the expense of the taxpayers,” the 127-page filing states.

“Accordingly, the district attorney and the special prosecutor have violated laws regulating the use of public monies, suffer from irreparable conflicts of interest, and have violated their oaths of office under the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct and should be disqualified from prosecuting this matter,” it continues. Roman’s filing claims that “sources close to both the special prosecutor and the district attorney” have confirmed that Willis and Wade had an ongoing fling, and that Wade filed for divorce in Cobb County, Ga., “a day after his first contract with Willis commenced” in November 2021. “In addition, the district attorney and the special prosecutor have been seen in private together (in a personal relationship capacity) in and about the Atlanta area and believed to have co-habited in some form or fashion at a location that neither of them owned,” the filing alleges.


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“@WSJ is not fit to line a parrot cage for bird,” he concluded, adding a “poop” emoji.”

Musk Responds To WSJ ‘Hit Piece’ (RT)

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk hit back at the Wall Street Journal in a post on his X platform (formerly Twitter) on Sunday, a day after the paper published a lengthy article detailing company executives’ purported concerns over his use of illegal drugs. Referring to an infamous 2018 interview with podcaster Joe Rogan, during which Musk smoked marijuana on camera, the Tesla tycoon explained: “after that one puff with Rogan, I agreed, at NASA’s request, to do 3 years of random drug testing. Not even trace quantities were found of any drugs or alcohol.” “@WSJ is not fit to line a parrot cage for bird,” he concluded, adding a “poop” emoji.

In its article, headlined: “Elon Musk Has Used Illegal Drugs, Worrying Leaders at Tesla and SpaceX,” the Journal claimed multiple company executives and board members at both companies were concerned that what they viewed as Musk’s erratic behavior was caused by the use of illegal drugs. These supposedly included not only the cannabis he was seen smoking with Rogan, but also ketamine – for which he has claimed to have a legal prescription – LSD, cocaine, ecstasy, and magic mushrooms. Musk’s brother Kimbal and at least one current SpaceX board member reportedly took drugs with Musk, though it was not stated whether they were among those supposedly concerned about the billionaire’s habits. Musk has allegedly used drugs at “private parties around the world,” where attendees were made to sign non-disclosure agreements or turn in their phones.

While “people close to Musk” were said to be “concerned [his drug use] could cause a health crisis,” the Journal focused more on the potential implications for his businesses, specifically the fate of $14 billion in government contracts enjoyed by SpaceX. “Drug abuse” – the use of controlled or illegal substances “in a manner that deviates from approved medical direction” – could jeopardize Musk’s security clearance and would violate federal contractor requirements. Following the Rogan incident, SpaceX randomly deployed drug-sniffing dogs on company property and executives “began warning employees to follow company rules at all times, including to not use illegal drugs even outside of the office,” insider sources told the WSJ.

Despite focusing on drugs, the report acknowledged that even those concerned about Musk’s behavior were not sure whether to attribute it to substance use or other issues like his “consistent lack of sleep,” being on the autism spectrum, or (self-diagnosed) bipolar disorder. Few investors complained about his behavior when his companies were performing as well as they were in recent years, it admitted. Musk fans on X have condemned the “hit piece,” which think-tank director Jeffrey Tucker decried as “the kind of vicious thing you would expect to see in East Germany or the old Soviet Union.”

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“..by pulling a Bannon, Hunter now faces the expectation in many circles that he will get the full Bannon treatment from Garland.”

Hunter Biden Contempt Resolutions Introduced In House (ZH)

House Republicans on Monday introduced contempt resolutions against Hunter Biden, recommending that he be held in Contempt of Congress for failing to comply with subpoenas and appear for testimony in front of the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees on Dec. 13. Hunter, who was handsomely compensated for doing nothing on the board of Ukrainian energy giant Burisma (right before his father strong armed the Ukrainians into firing their chief prosecutor – who was investigating Burisma), skipped out on his closed-door deposition, and instead said he would only appear for public testimony – where questions would be far more limited. According to the committees, “Biden has violated federal law, and must be held in contempt of Congres.”

The committees said they want to get information from Hunter Biden to determine whether his father, President Joe Biden, was involved in any bribery schemes, abused his positions of political power as president or vice president, or knowingly participated in any scheme to enrich himself or his family, including through contact with foreign entities. -Just the News. As Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley noted in December; “Few people expected Hunter to testify in the deposition. The evidence against him is overwhelming, as shown in his second federal indictment on tax charges. He and his uncles were allegedly engaged in one of the largest influence-peddling operations in history involving millions of dollars from various foreign sources. Hunter simply could have done what prior witnesses have done: Go in and take the Fifth. That is what attorney and former IRS official Lois Lerner did — twice — when House Republicans wanted to ask her about the Obama administration targeting conservative groups.”

It was a no-brainer that someone appears to have radically over-thought on the Hunter Biden legal team. Hunter can now be held in contempt of Congress. That will force the hand of Attorney General Merrick Garland, who aggressively pursued Trump figures for contempt, including former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. Despite some of us writing to the contrary, Bannon claimed his lawyers told him he did not have to appear before a House committee. He was swiftly charged and convicted by Garland’s prosecutors. In this instance, the contempt case would go to the U.S. Attorney in D.C., Matthew Graves, who previously declined to assist in bringing tax charges against the president’s son. Yet by pulling a Bannon, Hunter now faces the expectation in many circles that he will get the full Bannon treatment from Garland.

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Sounds like Biden: “Bild described Scholz as “the most unpopular chancellor of all time.”

Most Germans Want Scholz To Step Down – Poll (RT)

Public support for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has fallen to record lows, the tabloid Bild reported on Monday, citing a fresh survey conducted by the INSA polling institute. Almost two-thirds of Germans want him to resign before the next federal election, scheduled for October 2025, the data suggests. As many as 64% of respondents told INSA that Scholz should vacate his position and hand it over to Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, who is a fellow Social Democrat. Less than a quarter of Germans opposed that prospect. Scholz would also lose an election versus any of his major rivals, the poll showed. Only 23% of Germans would support the current chancellor against Friedrich Merz, the leader of the opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Merz himself would enjoy the backing of 26% of voters.

Should Scholz face off against Markus Soeder, leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU) – the traditional CDU ally in Bavaria – Soeder would secure a clear victory with 36% to 20%. Pistorius would claim a narrow victory against Merz with 25% to 23%, but would still lose to Soeder 25% to 34%, the survey said. Under German law, the chancellor is confirmed by MPs on the proposal of the federal president. Soeder currently serves as governor of Germany’s most populous state and is known for his criticism of Scholz’s policies. In November, he warned that Germany was in a “serious crisis,” particularly slamming the chancellor’s cabinet over its budget and police failures, adding that the “government has gone bankrupt.” The Bavarian politician also criticized the federal government’s strategy of using only subsidies to combat price hikes resulting from forgoing Russian energy supplies. He also criticized Berlin for, as he said, prioritizing military aid to Ukraine over the nation’s own security.

The INSA poll showed that Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) had the support of just 16% of Germans, 15 percentage points behind the CDU and seven percentage points behind the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. Scholz has been losing public support for quite some time. In early December, a YouGov poll showed that 74% of Germans believed he was doing a poor job as chancellor, with only 20% seeing his performance in a positive light. As many as 73% said they were unhappy with his entire cabinet. Some 77% said they placed little or no trust in the way Scholz is governing Germany. Even among SPD supporters, this figure reached 60%. Later in the month, Der Spiegel reported that Scholz’s personal approval had slipped to just 30%, down from 44% in June 2023. On Monday, Bild described Scholz as “the most unpopular chancellor of all time.”

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“This is total failure.”

House Freedom Caucus Slams Speaker Johnson’s Proposed Spending Deal (JTN)

The conservative House Freedom Caucus slammed House Speaker Mike Johnson’s proposed top-line spending deal with Senate Democrats as a “total failure,” arguing the potential agreement costs about $68 billion more than the Louisiana Republican said it would.Johnson told members of Congress on Sunday that he reached a $1.590 trillion spending deal with the Senate and White House, but the Freedom Caucus slammed the proposal later that evening in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “It’s even worse than we thought,” the caucus wrote. “Don’t believe the spin. Once you break through typical Washington math, the true total programmatic spending level is $1.658 trillion — not $1.59 trillion. This is total failure.”

At the end of last month, the Freedom Caucus released a statement titled, “House GOP’s New Year Resolution Must Be Cutting Spending,” which stated that the U.S. is “on the path to fiscal ruin” but that Congress has “done little to force a course correction from this calamity.” With a slim Republican majority, the 45-member Freedom Caucus holds a significant amount of sway in the 435-member House, and most recently played an integral role in deciding the House speaker. Now, the House needs to pass a deal before government funding completely expires on Feb. 2.

Johnson

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“The medical field is determined to kill whatever shred of credibility it still has left. And it is succeeding.”

“It’s Okay to Be Fat” and Obesity Should be “Normalized” (MN)

A doctor at Cedars-Sinai posted a TikTok video saying “it is okay to be fat,” and that being fat “needs to be normalized,” despite obesity-related diseases being the biggest killer in America. Yes, really. “Here’s my hot take as a doctor, I totally agree, it is okay to be fat, we don’t say that enough, but it needs to be normalized,” remarked Dr. Nicole Vangroningen. Vangroningen went on to claim that being fat is “typically not a problem that requires immediate solving.” Presumably, it only needs “solving” once an obese person has developed numerous fat-related diseases that greatly increase their risk of dying. Perhaps even more ludicrously, the doctor said “it is okay to not be healthy,” suggesting that people who suggest otherwise are engaging in “healthism,” adding “a good doctor will not judge you for being fat, they will not judge you for being unhealthy.”

Vangroningen completely removes any responsibility from the equation, telling potential patients, “We are also here to help you if you decide to not make any changes at all”. God forbid anyone end up under her “care”. According to the CDC, “In the United States and worldwide, obesity is also associated with the leading causes of death, including deaths from diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.” “We now have doctors speaking out against “healthism,” commented Matt Walsh. “The medical field is determined to kill whatever shred of credibility it still has left. And it is succeeding.” As we document in the video below, the ‘body positivity’ movement has been triumphed by the culture and the establishment despite literally killing some of its leading advocates.

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Picnic
https://twitter.com/i/status/1744318846268285388

 

 

Gorilla mom

 

 

Orchestra

 

 

Microlight
https://twitter.com/i/status/1744307961122443769

 

 


Reminder that experiencing awe quite literally improves your health.
Awe, which has only been studied properly in the last two decades, has been shown to:
• Reduce stress
• Trigger the release of oxytocin
• Lower levels of inflammatory cytokines

Being made to feel small (experiencing “self-diminishment”) even quells our negative self-talk, by deactivating the part of the cortex involved with how we perceive ourselves. Through awe we become less attuned to ourselves and more attuned to the wider world. Dacher Keltner at UC Berkeley said: “We are at this cultural moment of narcissism and self-shame and criticism and entitlement; awe gets us out of that.” Neuroscientists define awe it as the emotional response to something vast that defies (and changes) our existing frame of reference of something.

What’s one way to experience it? Travel to your nearest cathedral and gaze upwards. Gothic architecture was built for this very purpose – through maximum height and maximum light. Achieving this at vast scale was a critical breakthrough by medieval engineers, who pioneered the flying buttresses, the pointed arch, and various other innovations which made taller and thinner walls possible. Those builders also believed that light itself was divine, and that when it poured in through the great windows it elevated one’s consciousness to the heavens. As English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge said: “The principle of the Gothic architecture is infinity made imaginable.”

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 152023
 


Vincent van Gogh Seine with Pont de Clichy 1887

 

The Era of the West Has Passed (Paul Craig Roberts)
Ukraine Conflict A “Great Tragedy”, “Civil War” Between Brothers– Putin (RT)
Goal of Denazifying Ukraine Remains In Place – Putin (TASS)
US Engineered Ukraine Conflict – Putin (RT)
Orban, Fico Branded ‘Pro-Russian’ Simply for Sticking to National Interests (Sp.)
Ukraine Debased to ‘Pawn’ on Geopolitical Chessboard – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Putin Reveals Number Of Troops In Ukraine Conflict Zone (RT)
400,000 Ukrainians Killed in Action Explains a Whole Lot (ET)
Putin Criticizes New Argentine President’s Dollarization Plan (RT)
What if Jack Smith Held a Trial and No One Came? (Turley)
Will the Corrupt US Department of Justice (sic) Be Held Accountable? (PCR)
Hunter Biden’s Contempt of Congress Has Wider Consequences (Turley)
That New Hunter Biden Indictment (Patrick Lawrence)
Breathing Contributes To Global Warming – Study (RT)
Italian Ex-Minister Faces Vax Murder Probe (CN)

 

 

 

 

Pepe Putin

 

 

Trump Israel

 

 

Jimmy Dore

 

 

Kory

 

 

 

 

“A tower of babel is not a nation..”

The Era of the West Has Passed (Paul Craig Roberts)

Globalists, who intend the destruction of sovereign nations, have labeled concerns with mass immigration to be racism as a way of discrediting the concerns and preventing discussion of the threat. Immigrant-invaders, or as the euphemisms “refugees” and “asylum seekers” label them, are used to overwhelm ethnic nationalities and turn them into towers of babel in which there are no common interests, values, morals, religion, or culture. A tower of babel is not a nation. At best it is a geographical location, but it is not even that if it has no borders, which the US and Europe do not have. Advocates of open borders say that the US is a nation of immigrants. But they don’t say that it was controlled immigration consisting of immigrants from white European countries who as a condition of admittance had to learn English, pass an exam on the US Constitution, and integrate themselves into the existing society and culture.

They were not allowed to set up separate cultures, and businesses answered the phone only in English. Additionally, the immigration was periodically halted in order to allow time for assimilation before accepting more immigrants. Today millions of non-white people from unrelated cultures walk across the border every year. Businesses answer telephones in Spanish and English. Federal agencies respond to 40 or more foreign languages. Separate cultures with non-Christian religions exist as independent entities, and a system of preferences that favors non-white people has been institutionalized. In other words the society, politics, and culture of the ethnic nationalities that created what formerly was a nation are being erased. In education, health care, business, and government power is passing out of the hands of the ethnic majority that created the nation.

Great Britain has an Indian prime minister. The London mayor is a Muslim. Recently two federal judges born in India ruled against President Trump, a ruling that violates both the Constitution and powers of the President. The CEO of IBM, Arvind Krishna is an Indian. He pulled IBM ads from X, accusing Elon Musk of racism, and he announced that he will fire, demote, or strip bonuses from IBM managers who don’t hire enough blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims, or who hire too many Asians and whites. The communications director of Red Hat, an IBM subsidiary, said that Red Hat had terminated employees because they weren’t willing to engage in racial discrimination through hiring and promotion quotas. Hiring, promotion, and “inclusion” quotas are violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and they are unconstitutional under the US Constitution and its amendments, such as the 14th.

But notice that the Indian running IBM has no hesitancy about using his power to force IBM executives and managers to violate US law and Constitution in order to advance “preferred minorities” at the expense of members of the white ethnic majority and Asians. This is what happens when a nation ceases to require assimilation. The CEO of IBM is an unassimilated immigrant who has no respect for US law or the US Constitution. An article by Ian Henderson in Chronicles magazine in July, 2022, showed that, unlike Western governments, both Russia and China protect the ethnic culture from immigrants and prevent cultural destruction by Woke ideologues and moral destruction by sexual perverts. Henderson points out that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) “strongly upholds traditional views on gender roles, race, sexuality, and family—more so than the Republican Party or mainstream conservatives in America.

A major example of China’s conservatism is the CCP’s view on LGBTQ rights. Same-sex couples are unable to marry or adopt, and households headed by such couples are ineligible for the same legal protections available to heterosexual couples, and no anti-discrimination protections exist for LGBTQ people. Contrast these policies with the views of mainstream American conservatism, which now seems deeply committed to gay marriage, an institution enthusiastically endorsed by the likes of National Review and the National Conservatism Conference.” “In short, Chinese leaders seek to promote masculinity and strength, and to uphold and expand their inherited Han civilization. They feel they cannot do that with homosexuals, transgenders, or feminists running government institutions and the military—or even exerting influence over forms of entertainment.”

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“[The West] has largely lost its sovereignty,” suggested Putin, pointing out that many Western nations, with the exception of countries like Hungary, constantly make decisions that only end up hurting themselves…”

Ukraine Conflict A “Great Tragedy”, “Civil War” Between Brothers– Putin (RT)

Russia has been trying for decades to build normal relations with Ukraine “at any cost,” but this was made impossible after the coup d’etat in 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a live marathon press conference on Thursday. The president was asked if he could foresee a normalization of relations with the West in the near future. Putin responded by stressing that Russia has never tried to intentionally ruin or sever ties with any nation. Instead, it was the West that spoiled relations with Russia by constantly trying to push the country aside and neglecting its national interests, Putin said.The culmination of that was the coup d’etat in Ukraine that was staged by Russia’s geopolitical “opponents” in 2014, which has ultimately led to the current situation, according to the president.

Putin described the ongoing conflict as a “great tragedy” that is essentially a “civil war” between brothers. He stressed that at their core, in spite of the current hostilities, Russians and Ukrainians are one people. The president noted that Moscow always had good relations with southeast Ukraine, which tended to be pro-Russian because these territories had historically belonged to Russia. “But after the coup d’etat of 2014, it became clear to us that we would no longer be allowed, by force, to build any sort of normal relations with Ukraine,” Putin said, recalling that the US had publicly admitted to spending $5 billion dollars on overthrowing the government of Ukraine.

That, coupled with NATO’s “uncontrollable desire to creep towards our borders” by inviting Ukraine into the bloc, and the eight-year-long bloodbath in Donbass, has ultimately led to the tragedy that is currently unfolding, Putin summarized. “So how are we supposed to build relations with them?” asked the Russian president, noting that the West has continued to pretend like it doesn’t remember doing any of the aforementioned things, only occasionally admitting that it was signing deals – such as the Minsk Accords, which were meant to be a path towards peace – with their fingers crossed behind their back. “[The West] has largely lost its sovereignty,” suggested Putin, pointing out that many Western nations, with the exception of countries like Hungary, constantly make decisions that only end up hurting themselves.

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“Well, how is that so, when a national hero, the famous Bandera, who is not just a nationalist, but a Nazi, has been elevated to the rank of a national hero. How is that so?”

Goal of Denazifying Ukraine Remains In Place – Putin (TASS)

The issue of Ukraine’s denazification remains relevant, after the head of the Kiev administration applauded a former SS soldier in a manifestation of Nazism, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his combined Direct Line Q&A session and year-end press conference. “Here is what is happening in terms of denazification. During the negotiation process, which had a certain phase after the drafting of a possible agreement, as officials in Kiev mentioned recently, in general, they did not agree that some kind of denazification was needed, saying that there was no fascistization, no increase in such sentiments,” the president said. “Well, how is that so, when a national hero, the famous Bandera, who is not just a nationalist, but a Nazi, has been elevated to the rank of a national hero. How is that so?”

“When the head of the current Kiev administration, in front of the whole world, stands up to applaud a former SS soldier, who was directly involved in the Holocaust, the extermination of one and a half million Jews in Ukraine, Russians and Poles, stands up to applaud, is this not a manifestation of Nazism?” Putin said. “So the issue of denazification, it is relevant. It is true that during the negotiation process we were told that in principle they do not exclude the possibility of adopting some legislative acts in Ukraine. But that was then, during the talks in Istanbul.” Speaking about the goal of Ukraine’s demilitarization, the president said certain parameters had been agreed upon in 2022 during the talks in Istanbul. “It’s just that these agreements were later tossed out,” he said. “But we did agree on that. There are other options either to agree or to achieve this by force. This is what we will strive for,” Putin said.

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“..Ukraine has “largely lost its sovereignty” and has been making “many decisions to their own detriment” ..

US Engineered Ukraine Conflict – Putin (RT)

The US was responsible for orchestrating the 2014 coup in Ukraine that overthrew President Viktor Yanukovich and ultimately led to the current conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. He added that Washington “needed to create a conflict” for its own purposes. Speaking during a marathon Q&A session on Thursday, Putin said the US “plotted and organized everything” while European leaders “silently watched” and pretended they were not aware of what was happening. As a result, Ukraine has “largely lost its sovereignty” and has been making “many decisions to their own detriment” since then. Following the 2014 coup, the then-Ukrainian provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk, known as Donbass, refused to accept the new government, which increasingly embraced nationalist ideology, and proclaimed their independence instead. Kiev responded with a violent military campaign that prompted a years-long conflict.

The Russian leader went on to accuse the West of having a short memory, pointing to the 2015 Minsk agreements, which were brokered by Russia, Germany and France and were designed to end the hostilities. The West had “no intention” of implementing the agreements, which Putin said were “signed and immediately forgotten.” Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron later admitted that the agreements were a strategic ploy aimed at buying Ukraine more time to prepare for a conflict with Russia. In an interview with CNN in 2015, then-US President Barack Obama also openly admitted that the US had “brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine.”

In September 2022, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as the parts of Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions under Russian control, voted to join Russia in a referendum which Ukraine and its Western backers denounced as illegitimate. Moscow has insisted that Kiev must recognize this “new territorial reality” as a prerequisite for any peace talks. Despite receiving a constant flow of weapons and aid from its Western backers since the current conflict broke out in February 2022, Kiev’s six-month counteroffensive against Russia has failed to yield significant results and Ukraine has lost some 125,000 military personnel and 6,000 pieces of heavy equipment since the beginning of June, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

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“..Europe is now weak and is going through a very deep, systemic economic, monetary and political crisis, unfortunately..”

Orban, Fico Branded ‘Pro-Russian’ Simply for Sticking to National Interests (Sp.)

At his big year-end presser on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary and Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia were among the only defenders of national interests left in the West. Sputnik reached out to a leading Hungarian foreign policy analyst for his take on Putin’s remarks. Vladimir Putin dismissed the characterization the leaders of Hungary and Slovakia as “pro-Russian.” “I have already said many times before that they are not ‘pro-Russian’ politicians, but rather pro-national – they defend their [national] interests. There are no others like this, they simply don’t exist…[This is] tied to a great dependence on ‘Big Brother,’ on the United States,” the Russian president said.

“I completely agree with President Putin. I have been saying for a long time that when Orban’s opponents reproach him for being ‘pro-Russian,’ this is just a label, nothing more. Orban proceeds from Hungarian national interests,” Gabor Stier, a senior foreign policy analyst at Magyar Nemzet, a leading Hungarian conservative daily newspaper, told Sputnik. “And I would add not just about Hungarian interests, but on some issues European interests. It’s a pity that Europeans and European politicians, especially the leaders of the European Union, do not proceed from European interests,” Stier added. The foreign affairs observer also agreed with Putin’s Europe’s dependence on its American “big brother,” saying the EU in its current form has become a “vassal of America, unfortunately.”

As an example, Stier pointed to the frantic drive by Brussels to try to incorporate Ukraine into the bloc, notwithstanding the threat to its own stability and well-being. “Whether Ukraine is ready or not is not something that needs to be explained to a normal person. The European Union is not ready either. Because if this expansion occurs earlier than in 15 years, it will deepen frictions within the European Union. The European Union is not ready economically, politically, and so on. That makes Orban a pragmatist, who proceeds from national interests on many issues, and from European interests on many issues. Orban is not destroying Europe. Orban wants to see a strong Europe. Europe is now weak and is going through a very deep, systemic economic, monetary and political crisis, unfortunately,” the observer said. Fico is “similar to Orban,” even if he’s not prepared to so openly clash with Brussels’ bureaucracy, in Stier’s estimation. “This means he’s ready for more compromises, but mainly he proceeds from Slovak interest,” the analyst stressed.

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“..Ukraine’s government appears to be pushing to have its people exterminated, Putin noted in his year-end presser.”

Ukraine Debased to ‘Pawn’ on Geopolitical Chessboard – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

Vladimir Putin defends his country’s sovereignty at every step, while Volodymyr Zelensky has allowed Ukraine to become a compliant tool of a West “willing to sacrifice that nation, its solders, and its people on a battlefield where they will get nothing but death and destruction,” Scott Ritter has underscored. President Vladimir Putin cares about the Russian people, soldiers, and nation, and therein lies the profound difference between his approach to the current conflict, and that of Ukraine’s President, the former US Marine Corps intelligence officer told Sputnik. “For a country like Russia, the existence, simply the existence of our country, without sovereignty is impossible,” Putin said during the joint “Direct Line” Q&A session and annual press conference on Thursday. “The primary objective is to bolster Russia’s sovereignty, fortify border security, and safeguard the rights and freedoms of [our] citizens,” the president remarked.

The present reality clearly demonstrates the very different approach to the Ukraine conflict shown by Russia, on the one hand, and the US, its allies in the West, on the other. “If you engage in an armed conflict, there will be consequences, there will be dead, wounded, but it’s incumbent upon the government, the state to prevent unnecessarily casualties of war,” said Ritter. Here lies the “secret” of the Russian approach, he added, as Putin has shown he is always prepared to put the interests of the Russian people, and Russia’s soldiers first and foremost. Volodymyr Zelensky, in contrast, instead of accepting the generous terms set forth by Moscow that could have saved the lives of Ukrainian soldiers, yielded to the pressure put on him by then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, other Western leaders, who said, ‘Don’t accept peace terms,’ and ‘continue the conflict’.

It was evident that it was physically impossible for the Ukrainian army to defeat Russia’s military, yet this is the premise that Zelensky “bought into” when he accepted Western military assistance… However, the question is: to what end? “Was this to serve Ukraine’s interests, or the interests of the West?” Scott Ritter mused. “Zelensky is not about serving the people of his own country… He allowed Ukraine’s sovereignty to be subordinated to NATO, EU, and US interests. The conflict has no consideration for Ukraine, and every consideration for the Western interests,” the pundit pointed out. Ukraine’s government appears to be pushing to have its people exterminated, Putin noted in his year-end presser. Indeed, as the West continues to funnel billions-worth of military aid to Kiev, despite the botched counteroffensive and enormous human casualties, Ukraine’s soldiers are little more than “pawns to be sacrificed on a geopolitical chessboard where the West is only looking out for their interests.”

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“I want to repeat myself: the line of contact [with Ukraine] is more than 2,000km long. There are now 617,000 people in the combat zone..”

Putin Reveals Number Of Troops In Ukraine Conflict Zone (RT)

Russia has deployed more than half a million service members, including many volunteers, in the combat zone of the Ukraine conflict, President Vladimir Putin has revealed. Speaking during his Q&A session on Thursday, the Russian leader was asked to comment on complaints that military volunteers often rely on aid fundraised by their fellow citizens rather than on state support. Putin emphasized that supplies provided by the government account for 99% of all assistance, but noted that Moscow welcomes and will in no way hinder pure-hearted efforts to provide Russian soldiers with various types of equipment and supplies. Still, he admitted that there could be a lack of specialized high-tech hardware, such as electronic warfare equipment, at a given time and place, and promised to look into the matter.

I want to repeat myself: the line of contact [with Ukraine] is more than 2,000km long. There are now 617,000 people in the combat zone … So, of course, there could be some problems in some places. According to Putin, 244,000 of those in the combat zone are troops that were called up when Russia announced partial mobilization in September 2022. They were deployed in a bid to stabilize the situation, protect new territories, and conduct further offensives. At the time, Moscow mobilized 300,000 troops. However, Putin said that 41,000 had since been discharged for health reasons, or after reaching the maximum age. Moscow has repeatedly denied it plans to announce a second wave of mobilization, with the Russian president explaining that there was no need for such a move. Instead, Russia is relying on a steady stream of volunteers willing to sign contracts with the military.

Putin noted that the authorities had signed up some 486,000 soldiers in this large-scale recruitment campaign, adding that more are ready to enlist. However, he did not say how many of them have been deployed to the front, are undergoing training, or are stationed elsewhere. Commenting on the battlefield situation, Putin remarked that Russian troops “to say it humbly, are improving their positions” along the entire frontline. He also said that Ukraine’s much-hyped counteroffensive – which began in early June – has been a complete failure, with no territorial gains. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu earlier this month estimated Kiev’s losses at more than 125,000 troops since the start of the push.

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8-to-1 ratio.

400,000 Ukrainians Killed in Action Explains a Whole Lot (ET)

Estimates of Ukrainians killed in action (KIA) range from a low of just over 30,000 to a high of over 400,000. Obviously, these two estimates can’t be reconciled. And it really, really matters to the people of Ukraine which one is closer to the truth. While 30,000 deaths is tragic, anything approaching 400,000 KIA and the accompanying hundreds of thousands of causalities is a humanitarian catastrophe that makes talks of continuing offensive operations next year, or even believing in a stalemate, wishful thinking that will result in even more fruitless Ukrainian deaths. Unsurprisingly, since the war began, the United States and its allies have unswervingly pushed the narrative that Russia is incurring far more casualties than Ukraine.

This casualty narrative was critical to maintaining any plausibility that Ukraine could defeat a country that has four to five times more men of military age and that was recently rated as having the world’s most powerful military. Hence, given the need to maintain the plausibility of a Ukrainian victory, it isn’t surprising that NATO intelligence asserted that the battle of Bakhmut saw Russia losing at least five soldiers KIA for every one of Ukraine’s. However, since the fall of Bakhmut to Russia, the failure of the much-hyped Ukrainian counteroffensive, and signs that Ukraine’s military is nearing collapse, we’re no longer hearing about five-to-one casualty rates. Still, the most recent estimates from United States and British officials claim that Russia has suffered 120,000 KIA while Ukraine has suffered “only” 70,000 KIA (more than the United States suffered in over 10 years of the Vietnam War).

But not everyone agrees with U.S./British casualty estimates for an army that started the war by mobilizing early 1 million men in arms and, over the course of the war, mobilized another estimated 1 million. Among the growing number of those who don’t agree is the former director of the Joint Operations Center at Supreme Headquarters Europe and one of the key leaders in achieving the legendary victory in the mass tank battle of 73 Easting, retired U.S. Army Col. Douglas Macgregor. In a recent interview with myself, Col. Macgregor agreed that while estimates putting Russian KIA at as high as 50,000 to 60,000 are defensible, most estimates for Ukrainian KIAs are not. In what many will undoubtedly find shocking given the countless stories disparaging Russia’s military skills and capabilities while uncritically fawning over Ukraine’s military prowess, Col. Macgregor puts Ukrainian KIA at over 400,000 out of the 2 million Ukraine has mobilized.

Col. Macgregor arrived at this shocking number using a wide variety of sources, including contacts within U.S. intelligence and contacts on the ground in Ukraine and Poland who have intimate knowledge of what’s really happening in Ukraine. In particular, he noted that his U.S. intelligence contacts have expressed shock as to just how far from reality the narrative being pushed by the Biden administration is from what’s happening in Ukraine and its real war losses. Likewise, Col. Macgregor’s Ukraine contacts relayed to him accounts of thousands of wounded Ukrainians being left to die on the battlefield, growing numbers of Ukrainian commanders and troops refusing orders to conduct suicide attacks against heavily fortified Russian positions, Ukrainian soldiers surrendering en masse to Russia, hospitals overflowing with Ukrainian wounded, and many other accounts that testify to horrendous casualty rates that contradict the narrative pushed by Western media.

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“.. a “significant loss of the country’s sovereignty..”

Putin Criticizes New Argentine President’s Dollarization Plan (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized his Argentine counterpart’s plan to ditch the national currency, the peso, for the US dollar. Speaking during a live press conference on Thursday, Putin said that the pledge of newly elected Argentine President Javier Milei to adopt the greenback would result in a “significant loss of the country’s sovereignty.” Dollarization is one of Milei’s core proposals, aimed at taming triple-digit inflation and supporting Argentina’s beleaguered economy amid low cash reserves and high government debt. Adopting the US dollar would take control of monetary policy away from Argentina’s central bank and hand it over to the US Federal Reserve.

The announced policy goes contrary to the de-dollarization trend pioneered by Russia and supported by many other developing economies, which has been gaining momentum since the imposition of Ukraine-related sanctions on Moscow. In response to the restrictions that effectively cut the country off from Western financial markets, Russia and its leading trade partners within the BRICS group of developing economies have started to switch to national currencies in trade. Argentina was set to join the bloc, made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, on January 1, 2024, but the new government scrapped the decision. According to Putin, Milei’s plan to scrap the peso or peg the national currency to the dollar could also result in social instability as it would trigger a sharp reduction in social spending.

“If there is no national currency, you can’t print anything, there is only one way – reducing budget spending for the social sphere, a severe cutting of wages, pensions, expenses on medicine, on roads and domestic security,” the Russian president maintained. Argentina’s new government announced earlier this week the start of its “economic shock therapy” policy, namely a sharp devaluation of the peso, cuts to energy and transportation subsidies and a freeze in spending on some major state programs. The South American nation is trying to battle inflation that hovers around 150% year-on-year. country owes $44 billion to the International Monetary Fund, and 40% of Argentinians reportedly live below the poverty line.

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“..At some point, the mad rush for a March trial will look illogical and gratuitous if key legal issues remain unresolved..”

What if Jack Smith Held a Trial and No One Came? (Turley)

In 1966, Charlotte E. Keyes wrote a famous article for McCall’s magazine titled “Suppose They Gave a War and No One Came.” Special Counsel Jack Smith may be contemplating the same fate. Putting the tongue-in-cheek title aside, the odds are that some people will come to any trial of President Donald Trump. After all, a lot of people have to come from the judge to the jurors and counsel. However, Smith has had an ominous week that could severely complicate his plans for convicting Donald Trump before the election. Moreover, a trial after the election could mean no trial at all. Before this week, Smith found himself on the losing end of the schedule in Florida in his prosecution of Trump for his retention of classified documents. Judge Aileen Cannon has scheduled a trial for May 20, 2024, but that could easily move with additional delays or appeals in the case.

I have always viewed that case to be the strongest against Trump, but the huge number of classified documents have (as predicted) slowed the prosecution. Despite Smith’s pushing for a pre-election trial, his structuring of the charges undermined that schedule. Smith then pushed hard for a pre-election trial in the January 6th case in Washington where he seemed to have a supportive judge in Judge Tanya Chutkan who shoehorned the start just before the Super Tuesday elections. Now, however, Judge Chutkan has been forced to stay the case indefinitely pending the appeal of the presidential immunity claim made by Trump. The matter is now before both the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court gave Trump until December 20th to respond to Smith’s request for an expedited review — leapfrogging over the D.C. Circuit.

Smith’s filing conveys priority, if not a necessity, in trying Trump before the election. The Supreme Court may not share that sense of urgency. Traditionally, the Supreme Court has preferred to wait to allow appellate courts to render decisions. Since a conviction will not make Trump ineligible to run for the presidency, the question is why the March date should short circuit the review process. If the Supreme Court ultimately does not rule on the merits, the period for review would easily supplant the trial schedule since an appeal could be taken to the entire D.C. Circuit (en banc) and then to the Supreme Court. That did not change the March 4 trial date, but it could well make that date unworkable if the appeals drag on. Then to make the week complete, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in United States v. Fischer. That case turns on the proper interpretation of the obstruction provision under Section 1512(c)(2).

Fischer was charged with obstructing an official proceeding of Congress and based solely on his trespass in the Capitol. A ruling in his favor could effectively cut away half of the case against Donald Trump. Among the four counts brought by Smith, Trump is charged under 18 U.S.C. § 1512(k) (Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding) (Count Two) and 18 U.S.C. §§ 1512(c)(2), 2 (Obstruction of and Attempt to Obstruct an Official Proceeding) (Count Three). If those two counts fell to the wayside, Smith would be left with a count on conspiracy to defraud the United States (Count One) and conspiracy against rights (Count 4). Those counts contain other challengeable elements which would have to be appealed after any conviction. At some point, the mad rush for a March trial will look illogical and gratuitous if key legal issues remain unresolved and pre-trial motions and discovery remain incomplete in February.

The problem for Smith is that a trial after the election could mean no trial at all. If Trump is elected, he could give himself a preemptive self-pardon, though some disagree with this view. Moreover, the new Attorney General could scuttle or undermine the prosecution. In other words, it is possible that Jack Smith might never see a jury in either case. That would still leave the New York and Georgia cases, which are not subject to presidential pardons. However, those cases (particularly the one in New York) have their own challengeable elements.

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“..a totally corrupt Department of Justice (sic), every member of which should be indicted for weaponizing law and using it as a weapon against Trump, his attorneys, and his supporters.”

Will the Corrupt US Department of Justice (sic) Be Held Accountable? (PCR)

It is a paradox that Jack Smith, who in my opinion has less integrity than the infamous Stalinist prosecutor Andrey Vyshinsky who prosecuted Stalin’s show trials of the Bolsheviks, was appointed director of the Justice (sic) Departments Office of Public Integrity. Perhaps recognizing Smith’s lack of concern with justice, Merrick Garland, the worst Attorney General in US history, sicced Jack Smith on President Trump and Trump supporters who attended the Trump rally labeled an “insurrection” by the whore media and Democrat Party. The way Smith got his convictions was to intentionally misapply law in order to coerce innocent people with a 20 year prison threat into a plea bargain. In other words, by intentionally misusing law he forced people to convict themselves via self-incrimination, which is what a plea bargain is.

Federal judge Carl Nichols threw out charges against three defendants based on Smith’s wrongful use of law. This has led to a situation in which the US Supreme Court announced yesterday that it would take up the defendants complaint that Jack Smith illegitimately used evidence-tampering law to prosecute Trump supporters and force them into self-incrimination to avoid a 20 year sentence. Smith’s pressure on one defendant, Matthew Perna, caused him to commit suicide. In my opinion, Jack Smith should be indicted for murder. Defense attorney Joseph McBride said that the DOJ’s misuse of law “is rooted in corruption and political hatred.” Defense attorney William Shipley predicted that the Supreme Court’s decision to take up the case would put an end to the case against Trump: “The decision by SCOTUS today to take up the appeal on the 1512 ‘obstruction of an official proceeding’ case means the Trump D.C. case will not be going to trial.”

After the Supreme Court’s refusal to take up the clearly wrongful conviction of Derek Chauvin, I haven’t as much confidence as Shipley in the Supreme Court’s interest in justice. But I hope Shipley is right as the result will be the release of the hundreds of innocent Americans wrongly convicted on purpose by in my opinion a totally corrupt Department of Justice (sic), every member of which should be indicted for weaponizing law and using it as a weapon against Trump, his attorneys, and his supporters.

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“..President Biden “was certainly familiar with what his son was going to say,” which suggests that the president spoke with his son before his act of contempt and discussed his statement. If that is true, it was a breathtaking mistake.”

Hunter Biden’s Contempt of Congress Has Wider Consequences (Turley)

Congress is often a theater of the absurd, from Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) pulling a fire alarm before a major vote to former Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) being, well, a member of Congress at all. However, none of that compares to what unfolded on Wednesday as Hunter Biden stood outside Congress and defied a subpoena as being “beyond the absurd.” What happens next could be even more bizarre. Hunter was under a subpoena from the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability to appear for testimony. As I previously wrote, he had two choices: He could appear and either testify or invoke his right to remain silent. The only thing that he could not do is what he did — just refuse to go into the hearing room. Yet, there he was, with counsel Abbe Lowell by his side,holding forth with a public press conference while refusing to appear in the closed-door deposition being held in the building behind him.

By staying on the Senate side of the Capitol, Hunter guaranteed that the House sergeant at arms did not pull him into the hearing room. Ironically, that would have been a better option than his blowing a raspberry at the committee and then speeding away. Many pundits immediately claimed this was a clever move because the subpoena was not really enforceable until the House voted on the formal impeachment inquiry a few hours later. I disagree. As I noted in my testimony in the first impeachment inquiry, there is no requirement for a formal vote to initiate an impeachment inquiry. Indeed, that is precisely what then-majority Democrats did with the impeachment of then-President Donald Trump. While I encouraged the House to hold a formal vote on the inquiry, it is not constitutionally required.

Moreover, this is an oversight committee which has independent authority to issue subpoenas. The subpoena was issued not only by the Oversight Committee but by the Judiciary Committee. It was issued under three different authorities, including Rule 12(g) of the Oversight Committee which allows for subpoenas “in the conduct of any investigation or activity or series of investigations or activities within the jurisdiction of the Committee.” In holding this spectacle, Biden and his legal team committed another unforced error. This one could prove as costly as pushing for an obscenely generous plea agreement and then telling prosecutors to “rip it up” in July. Few people expected Hunter to testify in the deposition. The evidence against him is overwhelming, as shown in his second federal indictment on tax charges.

He and his uncles were allegedly engaged in one of the largest influence-peddling operations in history involving millions of dollars from various foreign sources. Hunter simply could have done what prior witnesses have done: Go in and take the Fifth. That is what attorney and former IRS official Lois Lerner did — twice — when House Republicans wanted to ask her about the Obama administration targeting conservative groups. It was a no-brainer that someone appears to have radically over-thought on the Hunter Biden legal team.Hunter can now be held in contempt of Congress. That will force the hand of Attorney General Merrick Garland, who aggressively pursued Trump figures for contempt, including former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. Despite some of us writing to the contrary, Bannon claimed his lawyers told him he did not have to appear before a House committee. He was swiftly charged and convicted by Garland’s prosecutors.

In this instance, the contempt case would go to the U.S. Attorney in D.C., Matthew Graves, who previously declined to assist in bringing tax charges against the president’s son. Yet by pulling a Bannon, Hunter now faces the expectation in many circles that he will get the full Bannon treatment from Garland. There is another possible cost to this move. Fox News quoted White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying that President Biden “was certainly familiar with what his son was going to say,” which suggests that the president spoke with his son before his act of contempt and discussed his statement. If that is true, it was a breathtaking mistake. One of the four most obvious potential articles of impeachment that I laid out in my prior testimony was obstruction. There already are questions over special treatment potentially being given to Hunter in the form of alleged felonies being allowed to expire, warnings about planned federal raids, and sweetheart deals.

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“.. continue the DoJ’s “investigation”—let’s go with quotation marks at this point—into what corporate media like to describe as Hunter Biden’s “shenanigans.”

That New Hunter Biden Indictment (Patrick Lawrence)

Before wading through the latest indictment of Hunter Biden, this one for nine counts of assorted tax violations, we must consider briefly the record of David Weiss, the special counsel who signed the 56–page document made public last Thursday. Only then can we read the grand jury findings unsealed last week for what they are and are not. David Weiss is the Justice Department attorney in Delaware who has run the DoJ’s lengthy (as in slow-walked) investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged violations of tax and gun laws. Among much else, David Weiss appears to have connived with other Justice officials to cover up a Federal Bureau of Investigation finding that Hunter and President Biden accepted bribes of $5 million each from Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian energy company where Hunter sat on the board from April 2014 to April 2019.

David Weiss made sure that Internal Revenue investigators did not have access to Hunter’s infamous laptop after the FBI took possession of it in December 2019. David Weiss made sure that investigators—his investigators among them—were denied a requested warrant to search a cottage on Joe Biden’s Delaware estate. David Weiss let Hunter’s lawyers know in advance that investigators planned to search a storage unit Hunter kept. David Weiss barred IRS agents from interviewing members of the Biden family. David Weiss, as overseer of the investigation, let Hunter know in advance that IRS and FBI agents intended to interview him in California, so allowing Hunter to evade them.

David Weiss, after all this and probably more that is not visible to our naked eyes, put together the agreement that let Hunter plead to misdemeanor charges earlier this year and immunized him from whatever findings of criminal conduct that may come to the surface in the future. A properly disinterested judge assigned to validate that preposterous bargain, Maryellen Noreika, could not believe her eyes when she saw it last summer and promptly deep-sixed it. At that point, it followed naturally that Attorney General Merrick Garland rewarded David Weiss for all his good, loyal work by naming him special counsel, so giving him expanded powers to continue the DoJ’s “investigation”—let’s go with quotation marks at this point—into what corporate media like to describe as Hunter Biden’s “shenanigans.”

Now David Weiss has signed an indictment—the second Hunter faces, the other covering the gun charges—laying out three charges of tax evasion, three charges of failing to file and pay taxes, and three more for filing false or fraudulent tax returns. And now, with a few snippets from David Weiss’s c.v. in hand, we are ready to read and evaluate this document for what is in it and what is missing.

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“We would urge caution in the assumption that emissions from humans are negligible.”

This just had to get absurd.

Breathing Contributes To Global Warming – Study (RT)

Human breathing contributes to global warming, according to a study published Wednesday in PLoS One. The authors argued that human respiration’s contribution to climate change has been underestimated and merits further study. After measuring the gas composition in the exhaled breaths of 328 study participants, the researchers concluded human breath comprises 0.05% of the UK’s methane emissions and 0.1% of its nitrous oxide. Both of those gasses “have a much higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide,” the study notes. “Exhaled human breath can contain small, elevated concentrations of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), both of which contribute to global warming,” the researchers, led by atmospheric physicist Nicholas Cowan of the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, wrote.

“We would urge caution in the assumption that emissions from humans are negligible.” While Cowan explained that “CO2 contribution in human breath to climate change is essentially zero” because plants absorb nearly all the carbon dioxide humans breathe out, the other two gasses are left in the atmosphere. Methane traps 80 times the amount of heat as carbon dioxide during its first 20 years in the atmosphere, though this potency decreases over time. A detailed analysis of test subjects’ diets failed to yield any indication that meat eaters produced more of either gas. While all test subjects exhaled nitrous oxide, only 31% exhaled methane. These individuals, referred to as “methane producers” in the paper, were more likely to be female and over 30 years of age, though the researchers were unable to determine why this was the case.

The study authors cautioned that their research only looked at breath and called for further research into the total picture of human gas emissions, insisting it could reveal more about the “impacts of an aging population and shifting diets” on the planet. In recent years, environmental campaigners have focused on methane emissions from cows, whose herbivorous diet is broken down by methane-producing bacteria in their multiple stomachs. Policymakers’ focus on the resulting methane-tainted belches and farts have been the subject of much parody from climate change skeptics.

The UK has legally committed itself to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990. Residents have been strongly encouraged to reduce meat consumption in order to achieve this goal, with some estimates placing the share of global greenhouse gas emissions from raising livestock for meat at 15%. However, the researchers behind Wednesday’s study pointed out that shifting to a high-fiber vegetarian diet could potentially cause more methane and nitrous oxide emissions, a phenomenon they called “pollution swapping.”

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“..after emails revealed he knew mRNA shots were killing people, just as leaked NZ health department data has shown..”

Italian Ex-Minister Faces Vax Murder Probe (CN)

New Zealand’s politicians have all been sent an email informing them that the former Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza is under investigation for homicide after emails revealed he knew mRNA shots were killing people, just as leaked NZ health department data has shown. The emails were sent by US vaccine safety campaigner and tech entrepreneur Steve Kirsch, who organised statisticians and other experts to analyse NZ Ministry of Health data leaked by whistleblower Barry Young. The NZ health bureaucrats, supported by media, are using legal threats to censor and suppress access to the “pay-per-dose” data, which reveals of thousands of deaths in close proximity to mRNA vaccinations.

But New Zealand’s new government has agreed to carry out as a matter of urgency a “full scale, wide-ranging, independent inquiry” into how the Covid-19 pandemic was handled, regardless of the whitewashing “Royal Commission of Inquiry” set up by the Ardern Labor government. The new government’s inquiry will cover lockdowns, vaccine procurement and efficacy, the social and economic impacts on both regional and national levels and whether the decisions made and steps taken, were justified. The inquiry will also be conducted publicly with local and international experts. In Italy, Speranza is accused of giving orders to local health authorities to conceal deaths and serious side effects in order to reassure Italian citizens of the vaccines’ “safety” and to not jeopardize the vaccination campaign. NZ and Australian health officials acted similarly.

The main charges Speranza faces include ideological falsehood, multiple manslaughter, marketing of an imperfect, dangerous drug. Speranza is currently a deputy of the Democratic Party, and like Australian and New Zealand health ministers, was co-opted by the WHO and the global pharma cartel to push the mRNA shots. The Speranza investigation was announced on Italian TV channel Rete 4, on the program Fuori dal Coro. The channel is owned by the Mediaset group run by the heirs of the late Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a strong supporter of the vaccination campaign, who died in June this year. According to Italian website Gospa News, there was not much coverage in the national media which focused more on the statements of Speranza’s lawyer instead of examining the merits of the investigation resulting from the complaint by the State Police union OSA and by other organisations seeking to support vaccinated people.

The accusations have been reported on by German and Italian news networks but studiously ignored by Reuters and the western mainstream media. The closest reports Cairns News found were from months ago when the former Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Speranza were placed under investigation on suspicion of “aggravated culpable epidemic” and manslaughter in connection with the government’s response at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. They were later cleared.

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Ducks
https://twitter.com/i/status/1735286013042307534

 

 

Momma bear
https://twitter.com/i/status/1735272196874895825

 

 

Cheetah

 

 


This 2,000 year old tree is located at Zwigodini Village of Mutale in Limpopo, South Africa. Venda people call it, “Muri Kunguluwa”, which means, “The Tree That Roars”. The tree actually makes a roaring sound when the wind blows through its branches. It is also called, “The Tree Of Life”, because it serves as a source of life to the animals and the community that lives around it. 80% of its trunk consists of water and it can hold up to 4,500 liters, making it a water source for the community and the animals.

Elephants eat the bark. Baboons eat the fruit. Leaves can also be eaten. Birds, bees, fruit bats and bush babies nest in the tree. Humans use the dried fruit powder in drinks, as a source of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. The bark can be used to make rope, baskets, mats, cloth and paper. It also holds a spiritual significance for African people. In ancient times, leaders and elders would hold meetings under huge baobab trees, to discuss important matters. They believed that the spirit of the baobab would help them make wise decisions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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