Jun 132024
 
 June 13, 2024  Posted by at 9:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  56 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Courtesan (after Eisen) 1887

 

Biden’s Problems Are the Real Threats (Newt Gingrich)
“Pelosi SHOULD Take Responsibility!”: J6 Capitol Police Chief (ZH)
Maddow Says She’s Worried Trump Will Put Her In A Concentration Camp (MN)
Alito Exposed as ‘Crusader for Christian Nationalism’ (CD)
Hunter Biden’s Conviction on Gun Charges Is a Red Herring (Paul Craig Roberts)
Hunter Comes Up A Donut Short of a Defense in Delaware (Turley)
Did the Defense Make Prison More Likely for Hunter? (Turley)
Ukraine Must ‘Prevail’ To Join NATO – Stoltenberg (RT)
House Moves To Defund Ukrainian NGO That Issued ‘Enemies List’ (ZH)
The Summer of Living Dangerously (Pepe Escobar)
A New (and Fairer) Nuremberg (SCF)
Cuomo Blames COVID-19 Nursing Home Order on Unknown Staffer (ET)
Musk Drops Case Against OpenAI (RT)
The Absence — and Presence — of Daniel Ellsberg (Solomon)
The Destruction of Julian Assange (Jacob G. Hornberger)

 

 

 

 

Irreparable harm

 

 

Trump Biden

 

 

Comer

 

 

Benz

 

 

Bidenpromo

 

 

NapRitter

 

 

 

 

“The 2024 election isn’t about what the establishment media thinks. It’s about America’s survival.”

Biden’s Problems Are the Real Threats (Newt Gingrich)

Democratic analysts don’t seem to understand why the all-out legal assault on President Donald Trump isn’t working. It’s because they keep talking among themselves and not with the American people. The American people don’t live and work in the New York-Washington political-media-government bubble. If reporters and analysts listened to Americans, as we do at America’s New Majority Project, they would learn how decisive the choice between President Joe Biden or President Trump is. They would also see how difficult, if not impossible, it will be for President Biden to get easily re-elected. The propaganda media is trying to focus the election on what it sees as President Trump’s flaws. The Democrats, including the Biden campaign, are trying to focus the election on what they see as the threat President Trump represents.

But the 2024 election is ultimately going to come down to a simple question: Can the American people afford four more years of Biden’s policies and principles? President Trump’s problems all involve his own alleged behavior and activities. Even the totally phony legal attacks remain locked into a Trump-centered issue. No American is hurt by the things President Trump has supposedly done. Indeed, few Americans pay any attention to the outlandish, manipulated legal attacks on President Trump. Most Americans see the case against Trump as political lawfare. If anything, they are offended by the left’s assault on the rule of law and the Constitution. This is why the conviction in the so-called hush money trial led to an enormous surge of contributions to Trump’s campaign. Far from running away from President Trump, the American people found themselves running to defend him. They saw him as a champion being persecuted unfairly and took the conviction as a direct warning of what could happen to them.

By contrast, President Biden’s problems all impact everyday Americans. Bidenflation continues to drive already high prices higher. Child care costs increased 4.1 percent in the last year. Young parents are having to take on third and fourth jobs just to break even on costs. Grocery prices are forcing Americans to make tough decisions about how to feed their families. Young people can’t afford to buy houses – which is more than offsetting any good will Biden might have generated by (illegally) waiving student loan repayments. President Biden’s policies are causing millions of Americans real pain. Biden’s open border policy allows Venezuelan criminals to go to New York City and murder policemen. Biden’s open border policy allows fentanyl and other drugs to flood our country and poison our communities. When more than 100,000 Americans a year are dying from drug overdoses, it is hard to worry about how Trump valued his apartment or paid his attorney.

The average American can’t afford groceries, gasoline, or the electricity bill thanks to Bidenflation. Democrats want Americans to focus on these legal attacks. But Americans are focused on their own survival in the terrible economy President Biden and Democrats created. For the elite establishment Democrats, this is all still about politics. For the American people, it’s about survival. Economically, Biden’s destructive policies make life more expensive. Culturally, people are sick of radical dictates which denigrate religious liberty and seek to indoctrinate children against the will of their parents. Finally, as a matter of safety, Americans realize that Biden does not have the knowledge, ability, or wits to defend our nation against our adversaries. The 2024 election isn’t about what the establishment media thinks. It’s about America’s survival.

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“..the National Guard didn’t show up until 6 p.m., hours after the fatal shooting of Babbitt.. He also claimed that the Pentagon deployed resources to the homes of generals, but not the Capitol.”

“Pelosi SHOULD Take Responsibility!”: J6 Capitol Police Chief (ZH)

Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund responded to a viral video of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) admitting that she was responsible for the lack of preparedness on Jan. 6, 2021. “Pelosi should take responsibility!” Sund posted on X, adding “She put herself in the security decision process and her Sergeant at Arms denied my requests for support before and during the Jan. 6 chaos. She undermined my law enforcement capabilities.” Sund, who was in charge of the Capitol Police during Jan. 6, then asked “Why did they change the law (2US1970) that tied my hands?” On Monday, the House Oversight Committee posted footage of Pelosi admitting “I take responsibility” for the lack of security on Jan. 6. 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.” In February of last year, Sund told journalist Tucker Carlson that Jan. 6 was a “setup” – noting that Pelosi’s staff refused to authorize the deployment of the National Guard at the Capitol despite his pleas, and that federal agencies withheld information and warning signs of potential dangers prior to the riot. “It doesn’t seem like people really want to get to the bottom of it,” said Sund, adding “It really doesn’t. And it just gets worse. It gets worse from there.”

“Sund got approval to bring in the National Guard at 2:09 p.m. Before his approval, he alleged that he begged several generals, including General Michael Flynn, to bring the National Guard. The officials told Sund they did “not like the optics of the National Guard” as he allegedly begged for their assistance to intervene in the violence.” -Daily Caller. “This sounds like a set up to me,” Carlson said, adding “I’m sorry, it does.” To which Sund replied: “It gets better. So I beg and beg and he goes ‘well, I’m gonna walk down the hall and we’ll talk to the Secretary of Defense or whoever he’s gonna talk to. Right then I get a notification, oh, I’m still on the call, we have the shooting of Ashli Babbitt. And I said we have shots firing, I still remember yelling over the phone. We have shots firing on the U.S. Capitol, is that urgent enough for you now?” According to Sund, the National Guard didn’t show up until 6 p.m., hours after the fatal shooting of Babbitt. He also claimed that the Pentagon deployed resources to the homes of generals, but not the Capitol.

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“These people are completely ideologically captured and sound totally unhinged. They’re also psychologically projecting exactly what Democrats are trying to do to Trump on to him..”

Maddow Says She’s Worried Trump Will Put Her In A Concentration Camp (MN)

MSNBC performative hack Rachel Maddow has declared that she is worried that if Donald Trump becomes the president again he’s going to round her up and throw her in a concentration camp with all her leftist friends. Yes, really. Maddow teamed up with CNN’s resident mole man and former Brain Stelter acolyte Oliver Darcy for a super best friends ‘we hate Trump’ interview in which she made the comments. Darcy told Maddow, “Trump and his allies are openly talking about weaponizing the government to seek revenge against critics in media and politics, with some of his extremist allies even talking about jailing their fellow Americans,” further asking “You’re one of his most notable critics on television. Are you worried that you could be a target?” Maddow replied “I’m worried about the country broadly if we put someone in power who is openly avowing that he plans to build camps to hold millions of people, and to ‘root out’ what he’s described in subhuman terms as his ‘enemy from within.’”

“Again, history is helpful here. He’s not joking when he says this stuff, and we’ve seen what happens when people take power proclaiming that kind of agenda,” Maddow further declared.She continued, “I think there’s a little bit of head-in-the-sand complacency that Trump only intends to go after individual people he has already singled out. Do you really think he plans to stop at well-known liberals?” “When Trump invokes the Insurrection Act to deploy the U.S. military against civilians on his first day in office, do you think he then rescinds the order on day two?” the paranoid host added. “For that matter, what convinces you that these massive camps he’s planning are only for migrants? So, yes, I’m worried about me — but only as much as I’m worried about all of us,” Maddow concluded. This is the person who for four years got on TV every day and claimed Trump is secretly a Russian agent.

She has previously stated that if Trump wins he will try to remain president for life and cancel all future elections. These people are completely ideologically captured and sound totally unhinged. They’re also psychologically projecting exactly what Democrats are trying to do to Trump on to him.

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And if going after Trump doesn’t do the trick, they’ll target the Supreme Court.

Alito Exposed as ‘Crusader for Christian Nationalism’ (CD)

Judicial reform advocates on Monday demanded that the U.S. Senate take decisive action to hold Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito accountable for his clear display of bias and conflicts of interest, after a documentary filmmaker released audio clips she had recorded of the justice discussing ideological battles in the U.S. he said “can’t be compromised.” Shared exclusively with Rolling Stone, tapes recorded by filmmaker Lauren Windsor at the Supreme Court Historical Society’s annual dinner on June 3 include comments from Alito about the need to return the country to “a place of godliness” and suggesting that he sympathizes with right-wing activists who believe they can’t “negotiate with the left.” Windsor attended the annual dinner, which is frequented by right-wing activists who are able to interact with the justices at the event, using her real name and as a dues-paying member of the society, which costs $150 per year to join.

The liberal filmmaker asked questions of Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts “as though she were a religious conservative,” Rolling Stone reported. Alito replied, “I agree with you,” when Windsor said people who are conservative Christians need “to return our country to a place of godliness.” He said Windsor was “probably right” when she said, “I don’t know that we can negotiate with the left in the way that needs to happen for the polarization to end. I think that it’s a matter of, like, winning.” “One side or the other is going to win,” agreed the justice. “I mean, there can be a way of working—a way of living together peacefully, but it’s difficult, you know, because there are differences on fundamental things that really can’t be compromised. It’s not like you can split the difference.” In her response, Sarah Lipton-Lubet, president for the Take Back the Court Action Fund, referred to the display of an upside-down American flag at Alito’s house in early 2021—which the justice said was an action taken solely by his wife.

“Justice Alito can hardly blame his wife this time,” said Lipton-Lubet. “In case it wasn’t glaringly obvious to anyone paying attention, Alito is now on tape declaring himself a political crusader for Christian nationalism.” Progressives including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) have demanded in recent weeks that the Senate Judiciary Committee open a formal investigation into the display of the upside-down flag and another flag that read, “Appeal to Heaven”—both symbols that have been embraced by the “Stop the Steal” movement that’s baselessly claimed President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory was “stolen” from former President Donald Trump. Advocates have said the Alito family’s embrace of the symbols is grounds for Alito’s recusal from cases involving the 2020 election and Trump, and Judiciary Committee leaders last month called on Roberts to back the demand—but Alito wrote to the Senate and the House on May 29, saying he would not recuse.

Alito has also been rebuked by progressives following reporting by ProPublica last year that showed he and fellow right-wing Justice Clarence Thomas both accepted luxury travel and other gifts from conservative groups and operatives who had business before the court. Now that Alito has been heard aligning himself with right-wing zealots who aim to “return” the U.S. to “godliness,” Lipton-Lubet said, Democratic leaders must take further action against the justice. “If the sheer brazenness of his comments doesn’t spur Democratic senators to do something besides jot off a sternly worded letter, it’s hard to imagine what will,” she said.= As the story broke on Monday, more than 60 civil society groups joined the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights wrote to the Judiciary Committee, reiterating the need for an urgent investigation into Alito’s various ties to right-wing groups and interests.

“Given Justice Alito’s dismissive and combative response and his refusal to recuse, as well as Justice Thomas’ ongoing ethics failures, further action is needed to protect our democracy, prevent future violations of this nature, and restore public confidence in the judiciary,” the groups wrote. “These abuses of power, left unchecked, have already become more frequent and more severe, further corroding the public’s faith in our judicial system and weakening our democracy.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1800868363121447094

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“Founding Father Thomas Jefferson said that periodically the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants.”

Hunter Biden’s Conviction on Gun Charges Is a Red Herring (Paul Craig Roberts)

We now have matching news from the opposing camp. Just as Trump is the first US President to be convicted by a jury, Hunter Biden is the first son of a sitting president to be convicted of a federal felony. This conviction of Hunter Biden leaves me unsettled, as does his likely pending conviction for federal income tax evasion. The real issue is the information on Hunter Biden’s laptop that the FBI was able for awhile to suppress and brand as “Russian disinformation.” This is under US law obstruction of Justice by the FBI. All responsible should, if US law is still enforceable, be arrested, indicted, and prosecuted. It would be justice to see the FBI in the dock after all the innocent people the corrupt organization has put there.

The laptop information is the real issue. It shows that the Bidens are a crime family and that Hunter was marketing abroad his father’s influence as Vice President and as President. It seems clear that Biden senior, “the Big Guy,” received payments from the influence peddling. Yet, not only did the corrupt FBI and whore media cover this up, the Justice (sic) Department directed attention away from the major crime by focusing the prosecution on minor issues. Hunter is convicted of lying on his handgun purchase statement by hiding the fact that he was a drug user, and Hunter most likely will be convicted of income tax evasion as he and his accountants could not report income from influence peddling without launching a federal case that would cast a net over father Biden.

MAGA Republicans are delighted with the verdict as it spreads the criminal accusation into the Democrat camp. MAGA Republicans do not realize that they are being manipulated and diverted from the main issue into a subsidiary issue. Decades ago the Nobel prize-winning economist George Stigler pointed out that government is a private, not public, organization. Political campaign contributions purchase Congressional votes for special interest enrichment, and federal regulatory agencies are captured by the private industries that they are suppose to regulate, thereby serving private and not public interests. Fauci at NIH, for example, served the profits of Big Pharma’s Covid “vaccine” at the expense of the lives and health of millions of people.

Today all sorts of American politicians are serving Israel’s interest at the expense of Palestinian lives and the honor and integrity of the US government. The same politicians are serving the profits of the military/security complex by widening the conflict in Ukraine and fomenting war with Russia, Iran, and China that could easily end in the extinction of life on earth. There is no doubt that Stigler was right. I watched and experiences it during my quarter century in Washington. The public’s interest never enters into Washington’s concern. There is no such thing as the “public interest.” In the Western world government is merely a tool of the greed of private interests. Voting cannot overturn this high level of corruption. Founding Father Thomas Jefferson said that periodically the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants. It remains to be seen if Americans are up to the task of preserving liberty.

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“..a deal that would have avoided any jail time and would have given Hunter an immunity bath that would have drowned the entire criminal code..”

Hunter Comes Up A Donut Short of a Defense in Delaware (Turley)

The conviction of Hunter Biden on all of the federal gun counts created a surprising new precedent in Delaware … for Hunter Biden. In terms of the law, this was the easiest judgment since the Jussie Smollett verdict. (Actually the Biden jury took a third of the time with a verdict in just three hours.) For Hunter Biden, though, this was the first time he’s ever been held accountable for any criminal conduct, be it drug use, or prostitution, or tax evasion, or violations of various federal laws. To have that moment come in the hometown of the Bidens likely only magnified the shock. Last year, I described the growing legal problems of Hunter Biden as the cost of “legal gluttony.” The Bidens have always been adept at avoiding accountability, particularly for the extensive influence-peddling operation that raked in millions in foreign payments.

That appetite for special treatment proved the undoing of Hunter, much like his appetite in other areas of his life. Hunter and his team expected the same level of immunity when he worked with special counsel David Weiss to cut an astonishing deal to avoid any real punishment for these or other crimes. Even before the deal was cut, Weiss allowed major crimes to expire under the statute of limitations (despite having an agreement to extend that period).= He also agreed to a deal that would have avoided any jail time and would have given Hunter an immunity bath that would have drowned the entire criminal code. Hunter and his legal team succeeded in securing this sweetheart deal, which shocked many of us.

More importantly, it shocked US District Judge Maryellen Noreika, who only had to question the immunity provision to have the entire agreement fall apart in open court. The prosecutor admitted that he had never seen a plea bargain like this in his long career. That’s when the legal gluttony became even more pronounced. Rather than fight to preserve key elements of the plea agreement, defense counsel said, “Just rip it up.” Later, the special counsel said the Hunter defense team would not agree to a compromise agreement and instead forced the matter to trial. I wrote before the trial that the defense was insane to try the case rather than plead guilty. A plea would have virtually guaranteed that there would be no jail time in the case.

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“Given the calculation for the three felonies, the defense had to know that they were increasing the chances of prison time by pursuing a nullification defense..”

Did the Defense Make Prison More Likely for Hunter? (Turley)

For months, I have been expressing disbelief that Hunter Biden and his defense team were going to take the gun case to trial. Even on the eve of the trial, I thought that the defense might snap into sanity and plead out the case. The reason was simple. A guilty plea would have materially improved the chances that Hunter could get probation and avoid jail by accepting responsibility. Conversely, a trial in a case with overwhelming evidence of guilt would make it less likely that a judge would depart from the guidelines at sentencing. Nevertheless, Hunter went forward with a nullification strategy and, in so doing, it may have nullified his best chance to reduce the risk of jail time. After the verdict, I have been stating that jail time is a real possibility in this case despite the fact that this is a first offender. Frankly, I do not see any real need for incarceration in this type of case and many judges would be likely tempted to grant “downward departures” in sentencing or disregard any recommended prison sentence.

It is also important to note that, after the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Booker, sentencing guidelines are discretionary. Judge Maryellen Noreika could sentence him to probation in light of his struggle with his addiction and his status as a first offender (as well as the absence of other aggravating factors). Yet, while many view this as a relatively minor offense, the sentencing guidelines do not. Judges regularly sentence people to prison for these offenses. The sentencing guidelines put the recommendation at 15 to 21 months in prison. Moreover, over 90 percent of those convicted are sentenced to prison time. The chances of probation are increased with guilty pleas, which generally allow for a downward departure of two levels for taking responsibility. That may not seem like a lot but it could prove determinative for a judge on a marginal call over the need for incarceration. By pursuing the nullification strategy, Hunter lost that benefit and now would have to belatedly accept responsibility just before sentencing after putting the court and public through a trial.

If the defense reviewed Judge Noreika’s past cases, they would have seen that she takes a tough approach on gun cases. In May, she sentenced defendant Zhi Dong to a year in jail for lying about his address on a gun form. Notably, that was twice the recommended sentence of the prosecutors. One point of distinction is that Dong purchased 19 pistols and 10 “lower receivers” rather than the single gun purchased by Biden. It is also notable that the prosecutors were only seeking six months of incarceration in that arguably more serious case.The defense strategy also makes it more difficult for Special Counsel David Weiss, who has shown remarkable lenience at critical stages of his investigation. It was Weiss who allowed the most serious tax offenses to lapse under a statute of limitations (despite reportedly having an agreement to extend the period). It was Weiss who sought to give Hunter an obscene sweetheart deal that would have avoided any jail time and given him immunity for all crimes.

Many remain skeptical of Weiss and his actions in this case. For that reason, the failure to plead guilty puts Weiss in a box. Given the sentencing guidelines of prison time, any recommendations for probation would be read as more favoritism for the president’s son. Weiss may feel compelled to follow the recommendations to show that Hunter is being treated the same as other defendants. Given the calculation for the three felonies, the defense had to know that they were increasing the chances of prison time by pursuing a nullification defense. The hope was that Wilmington is Bidentown and no local jury would convict the son of the favorite son of Delaware. It didn’t work out that way. The team seemed to overplay its hand with defenses that were so implausible as to be insulting for the jury. They suggested that Hunter might not have checked the box or signed the form during a brief window where he was not using drugs. The prosecutors demolished those defenses within two days of the trial.

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Never never land.

Ukraine Must ‘Prevail’ To Join NATO – Stoltenberg (RT)

Ukraine must prevail in its conflict with Russia if it wants to join NATO, the bloc’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said on Wednesday. The comments come as NATO countries prepare to meet for an annual summit in Washington on July 9-11. “I expect that allies will actually make important announcements between now and the summit and also at the summit for more military equipment … which is urgently needed to ensure that Ukraine prevails as a sovereign independent nation,” Stoltenberg told reporters during a meeting of defense ministers in Brussels. “And without that, of course, there is no membership issue to be discussed. We need to ensure that Ukraine prevails – that’s an absolute minimum for Ukraine to become a member of the alliance.”

Ukraine formally applied to join the US-led bloc in September 2022, citing the armed conflict with Russia. Despite Kiev’s requests for an expedited path to membership, the bloc has so far refused to provide a timetable or roadmap for accession. The allies have further ruled out admitting Ukraine until the conflict with Russia is resolved. Ukrainian officials, nevertheless, have continued their push for concrete steps towards accession. “We also expect specific decisions regarding Ukraine’s membership in NATO, in a package with other guarantees of continuity of military aid and increased interoperability,” Olga Stefanishina, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister responsible for Euro-Atlantic integration, told Politico this month. The White House, however, has said Ukraine will not become a member of the bloc during the upcoming summit in Washington.

“We do not anticipate that there’ll be an invitation for Ukraine to join NATO, but we think there will be a substantial show of support for Ukraine as it works to win its war,” US Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs James O’Brien said in May. Since 2023, Ukraine has signed bilateral security pacts with several NATO members, including the UK, France, and Germany. These agreements do not have the same power as Article 5 of the NATO Charter, however, which stipulates that an attack against one member must be treated as an attack against the bloc as a whole. Russia has cited Ukraine’s aspirations to join NATO and the bloc’s continued expansion eastward as one of the root causes of the current conflict. Moscow views NATO as a threat to its security and has insisted that Ukraine must be a neutral country with limited armed forces.

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Elon Musk called for this.

House Moves To Defund Ukrainian NGO That Issued ‘Enemies List’ (ZH)

Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) has taken swift and decisive action against the Data Journalism Agency (texty.org.ua), a Ukrainian NGO with US State Department links that recently published an ‘enemies list’ of individuals and organizations opposed to the war in Ukraine. Following a letter sent by Banks to his Republican colleagues, the House Appropriations Committee has passed a provision that would prohibit US funding and sever ties with the NGO, which deemed 76 organizations and 388 individuals as enemies of Ukraine – including ZeroHedge and prominent American politicians opposed to the war in Ukraine. “Federal bureaucrats should not support or partner with foreign groups that attempt to intimidate and silence U.S. citizens and lawmakers,” Banks wrote in his letter.

“I am urging the Appropriations Committee majority to support efforts in the Fiscal Year 2025 SFOPS bill to force the State Department and USAID to end all relations with foreign NGOs like TEXTY that seek to silence the speech of Americans they dislike and to sway U.S. policymakers to serve their own interests.” Texty.org.ua was founded by Anatoly Bondarenko, a participant in the State Department’s TechCamp program, which aims to train foreign journalists and activists in digital skills. The relationship between Bondarenko and the State Department has been publicly acknowledged, adding layers to the debate over the NGO’s activities and its impact on U.S. interests. This legislative action occurs amidst broader discussions about foreign influence in American politics, with increasing scrutiny on how foreign entities may use U.S.-linked platforms or resources to sway public and political opinion in the United States.

As this bill moves forward, it sets the stage for further debates on the balance between global cooperation and safeguarding national sovereignty in the realm of information and policy. On Tuesday, Banks sent a letter to journalist Jack Posobiec informing him that his name appears on the TEXTY list, and notifying him of his intent to put a stop to US taxpayers funding the organization. “I’m not bothered by what foreign nations think of me,” Banks said after the Appropriations Committee moved forward with his suggested provision. “But it’s shameful for our agencies to be using Hoosiers’ tax dollars to collaborate with foreign groups that attempt to intimidate U.S. citizens and lawmakers. I’d like to thank the Republicans on the Appropriations Committee for defunding any such work with the Data Journalism Agency.”

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“..what he really craves is to become a “War President” – together with the Cadaver in the White House, Starmer in the UK, Rutte in the Netherlands, the Toxic Medusa von der Lugen in Brussels, Tusk in Poland, without having to answer to the French people.”:

The Summer of Living Dangerously (Pepe Escobar)

So Le Petit Roi in Paris was predictably crushed in the European polls. He has called parliamentary snap elections, dissolving the Assemblée Nationale in an act of blind, puerile revenge on French citizens, de facto attacking French institutional democracy. That doesn’t mean much anyway, because the lineaments of “liberty, equality, fraternity” have long been usurped by a crass oligarchy. The second round of these fresh French elections will be on July 7 – nearly coinciding with the British snap elections on July 11, and only a few days before the slow-burning urban catastrophe which will be the Olympics in Paris. Paris salons are ablaze with intrigue on why the little Rothschild stooge with a Napoleon complex is throwing all his toys out of the pram now because he’s not getting what he wants. After all what he really craves is to become a “War President” – together with the Cadaver in the White House, Starmer in the UK, Rutte in the Netherlands, the Toxic Medusa von der Lugen in Brussels, Tusk in Poland, without having to answer to the French people.

It’s nearly certain that Le Petit Roi will be facing the real prospect of becoming a lame duck President who needs to obey a right-wing parliament; Elysée Palace chatter already joined the circus, conveying the impression he might resign (that was later denied). Still, if Le Petit Roi runs off to war on Russia no French citizen will follow him, least of all the – pitiful – French army. Bigger things though are in play. Following the – auspicious – game-changing messages to the Global Majority coming out of the St. Petersburg forum last week, anchored on openness and inclusiveness, the BRICS 10 meeting of Foreign Ministers in Nizhny Novgorod carried the baton early this week. Foreign Minister Lavrov stressed three key points:

“The countries of the Global South no longer want to be dependent on the double standards of the West and its whims.”
“Everyone knows that the BRICS countries already serve as the locomotive of the world economy.”
“We [at the BRICS FMs meeting] stressed the need for consistent efforts to create a new world order, where the equality of independent states will be the key.”

Now compare it with the shrinking G7 meeting later this week in Puglia in southern Italy: the same old song, from a “tough new warning” to Chinese banks (“Don’t do business with Russia or else!”) to vociferous threats against the China-Russia strategic partnership. And last but not least, extra plotting to skim interest from the massive, frozen/stolen Russian assets with the intent of sending them to country 404; the Toxic Medusa itself announced that country 404 will receive €1.5 billion of the income from stolen Russian assets from the EU in July, 90% of it to buy weapons. As for U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell – the man who invented the defunct “pivot to Asia” during Harpy Hillary Clinton’s tenure in the early 2010s – he had already advanced that Washington will sanction Chinese companies and banks over Beijing’s relations with Russia’s military-industrial complex.

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“The mistakes of the Nuremberg of the past generated the Nazism of today. And it is up to the Russians, again, to defeat and punish the Nazis. Now the task seems even clearer. Westerners are no longer disguised as “allies”.

A New (and Fairer) Nuremberg (SCF)

The Russian Federation continues to play its civilizing role in Ukraine, capturing, trying and punishing Nazis who participated in massacres against the civilian population of Donbass. Recently, a militant from the infamous Azov Regiment was sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering three civilians in Mariupol in the spring of 2022. In total, more than 250 sentences have already been passed by Russian courts against Ukrainian and foreign criminals, neo-Nazis and mercenaries – 32 of which are life imprisonment sentences. The act of capturing and imprisoning enemies during or after a conflict situation is commonplace in the international scenario. However, we cannot confuse the Russian attitude with a merely punitive gesture against the enemy. Moscow has at no time violated international standards of humanitarian law, with no Ukrainian soldier being tried or punished simply for fighting for Ukraine. Russia recognizes the role of the common soldier and respects it, having several rights and guarantees for all surrendered and captured Ukrainian fighters.

However, as has been made clear since 2022, special courts are being established in the New Regions to specifically judge those Ukrainians and foreign mercenaries involved in neo-Nazi activities and war crimes. The militants of the Ukrainian nationalist battalions are excluded from the norms of humanitarian law, since, like the foreign mercenaries, they are not ordinary citizens mobilized by the State for a war effort, but people who voluntarily chose to fight against Russia. Members of the so-called “Foreign Legion” and Nazi groups such as Azov, Aidar, Right Sector, S14 and several other Ukrainian militias are tried as criminals, without any special protection. It is important to remember that these fascists and mercenaries have since 2014 been the main actors behind the massacre of Russian civilians in Donbass. The genocide has been carried out mainly by paramilitary groups, as among the ordinary soldiers of the regular Ukrainian armed forces there are also many ethnic Russians, Russian speakers and Orthodox Christians.

The Kiev regime relied heavily on the work of neo-Nazi groups, ideologically driven by anti-Russian racism, to promote Ukraine’s “de-Russification” policies. After the start of the special military operation, Kiev began to internationalize its neo-Nazi apparatus, welcoming fascist militants from all over the world into the ranks of its “Foreign Legion”. Obviously, Russia could not remain silent in the face of this scenario. Eliminating foreign mercenaries and neo-Nazis has been Russia’s top priority since 2022. The goal of denazifying Ukraine remains vital. The process of eradicating fascism as a state ideology and military instrument in Ukraine needs to be completed, not only by military means, but also through law. For this reason, a special Investigative Committee has been operating in the New Regions, researching evidence of war crimes on the part of every enemy soldier. Those identified as neo-Nazis and mercenaries are often tried and punished.

Recently, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stated that a new Nuremberg needs to be established to punish today’s Nazis. More than that, he made it clear how necessary it is to go beyond the limitations that occurred in the Nuremberg Court of the past. According to Medvedev, all those responsible for Ukrainian Nazism must be captured and punished, which includes decision-makers, politicians, commanders and sponsors of the genocide in Donbass. In practice, the entire political structure of the Kiev regime and its international supporters must be investigated and tried by the Russians, thus avoiding the mistakes made in the previous Nuremberg. [..] The mistakes of the Nuremberg of the past generated the Nazism of today. And it is up to the Russians, again, to defeat and punish the Nazis. Now the task seems even clearer. Westerners are no longer disguised as “allies”. The US and Europe openly position themselves as supporters and promoters of fascism. Moscow must act decisively to dismantle the entire international network of support for Nazism, with Ukraine being just the first step towards a new and fairer Nuremberg.

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Coward.

Cuomo Blames COVID-19 Nursing Home Order on Unknown Staffer (ET)

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told members of Congress on June 11 that he was not responsible for an order requiring nursing homes to accept residents discharged from hospitals even if they still had COVID-19, according to lawmakers in the room. Mr. Cuomo did “tell us that he did not know that this directive existed, that he did not authorize it, that his department of health commissioner did not authorize it, that somehow it just popped up from an unknown staff member,” Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.) told reporters in a briefing after the closed-door hearing. Ms. Malliotakis said it was “outrageous” that the governor didn’t know the mandate came out of his administration. “The governor finds out about this directive that kills thousands of seniors a month later,” she said. “And he did not do an internal investigation to find out who this lowly staff member, who’s still unknown, who that person was? That to me is unconscionable.”

The March 25, 2020, directive from the New York Department of Health stated that nursing home operators couldn’t refuse to accept residents even if they tested positive for COVID-19. “No resident shall be denied readmission or admission to a nursing home solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19,” the order stated. Nursing homes were also barred from requiring COVID-19 testing if hospital staff determined the residents were medically stable before discharging them. Mr. Cuomo said that nursing home operators could lose their licenses or be fined if they did not follow state policies. More than 15,000 nursing home residents in New York state died from COVID-19, according to state data. The numbers were adjusted upward after Mr. Cuomo left office and several state agencies found the Cuomo administration had undercounted nursing home deaths.

Mr. Cuomo partially reversed the order in May 2021 but kept other elements in place for additional months. Mr. Cuomo previously said that health care workers and family members of residents brought COVID-19 into the nursing homes. He has blamed the Trump administration for the directive, pointing to guidance from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that said nursing homes can accept patients with COVID-19. However, the guidance, which cited the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stated that the facilities should only do so if they could follow specific rules, including isolating the patients in their own wing for two weeks. In remarks to reporters before the hearing on Tuesday, Mr. Cuomo said that “the investigations say New York followed the federal guidance.” He also said New York did well during the pandemic, but that “the federal government failed this nation.”

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No explanation?

Musk Drops Case Against OpenAI (RT)

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has unexpectedly dropped a legal case against OpenAI, shortly after he criticized the ChatGPT owner’s recently announced partnership with Apple. Attorneys for Musk asked the California state court to dismiss the lawsuit against the artificial intelligence (AI) research firm without giving a reason for the move, Reuters has reported, citing a filing in San Francisco Superior Court. The Tesla and X (formerly Twitter) boss filed the case against OpenAI in February, arguing that the company, which he had helped establish in 2015, had abandoned its founding mission of developing AI for the benefit of humanity and not for profit. OpenAI’s ChatGPT has since become the face of generative AI thanks to investment from Microsoft. Musk dropped the case just a day before the court was expected to hear OpenAI’s bid to have it dismissed.

The firm described Musk’s lawsuit as a contrived attempt by the tech billionaire to advance his own AI interests, Reuters said, citing court filings. Musk founded his own artificial intelligence startup last year. Called xAI, it announced in May that it had raised $6 billion in funding that would help bring its “first products to market”. xAI has so far launched a generative artificial intelligence chatbot dubbed Grok as a rival to ChatGPT. Grok is available via X. Earlier this week, OpenAI and iPhone maker Apple unveiled a partnership to boost Siri voice assistant with ChatGPT. The announcement triggered criticism from Musk, who warned that the tie-up would result in an “unacceptable security violation.” In a post on X, the mogul threatened to ban staff at his companies from using Apple devices if the iPhone maker integrates OpenAI’s artificial intelligence software into its operating systems.

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” If freedom of speech is violated to this extent, our republic is in danger. Unauthorized disclosures are the lifeblood of the republic.”

The Absence — and Presence — of Daniel Ellsberg (Solomon)

On a warm evening almost a decade ago, I sat under the stars with Daniel Ellsberg while he talked about nuclear war with alarming intensity. He was most of the way through writing his last and most important book, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Somehow, he had set aside the denial so many people rely on to cope with a world that could suddenly end in unimaginable horror. Listening, I felt more and more frightened. Dan knew what he was talking about. After working inside this country’s doomsday machinery, even drafting nuclear war plans for the Pentagon during President John F. Kennedy’s administration, Dan Ellsberg had gained intricate perspectives on what greased the bureaucratic wheels, personal ambitions, and political messaging of the warfare state.

Deceptions about arranging for the ultimate violence of thermonuclear omnicide were of a piece with routine falsehoods about American war-making. It was easy enough to get away with lying, he told me: “How difficult is it to deceive the public? I would say, as a former insider, one becomes aware: it’s not difficult to deceive them. First of all, you’re often telling them what they would like to believe — that we’re better than other people, we’re superior in our morality and our perceptions of the world.” Dan had made history in 1971 by revealing the top-secret Pentagon Papers, exposing the constant litany of official lies that accompanied the U.S. escalation of the Vietnam War. In response, the government used the blunderbuss of the World War I-era Espionage Act to prosecute him. At age 41, he faced a possible prison sentence of more than 100 years.

But his trial ended abruptly with all charges dismissed when the Nixon administration’s illegal interference in the case came to light in mid-1972. Five decades later, he reflected: “Looking back, the chance that I would get out of 12 felony counts from Richard Nixon was close to zero. It was a miracle.” That miracle enabled Dan to keep on speaking, writing, researching, and protesting for the rest of his life. (In those five decades, he averaged nearly two arrests per year for civil disobedience.) He worked tirelessly to prevent and oppose a succession of new American wars. And he consistently gave eloquent public support as well as warm personal solidarity to heroic whistleblowers — Thomas Drake, Katharine Gun, Daniel Hale, Matthew Hoh, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, Jeffrey Sterling, Mordechai Vanunu, Ann Wright, and others — who sacrificed much to challenge deadly patterns of official deceit.

Dan often spoke out for freeing WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, whose work had revealed devastating secret U.S. documents on America’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. At the end of a visit in June 2015, when they said goodbye inside Ecuador’s embassy in London, I saw that both men were on the verge of tears. At that point, Assange was three years into his asylum at that embassy, with no end in sight. Secretly indicted in the United States, Assange remained in the Ecuadorian embassy for nearly four more years until London police dragged him off to prison. Hours later, in a radio interview, Dan said: “Julian Assange is the first journalist to be indicted. If he is extradited to the U.S. and convicted, he will not be the last. The First Amendment is a pillar of our democracy and this is an assault on it. If freedom of speech is violated to this extent, our republic is in danger. Unauthorized disclosures are the lifeblood of the republic.”

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“Don’t ever even think of doing what Assange did. If you do, we will do to you what we have done to him.”

The Destruction of Julian Assange (Jacob G. Hornberger)

Last month, a British court gave Julian Assange permission to continue opposing the U.S. government’s attempts to extradite him to the United States to stand trial for violating the World War I Espionage Act. In truth, what U.S. officials are really targeting him for is that Assange, as head of WikiLeaks, had the audacity to reveal war crimes and other dark-side activities of the U.S. national-security state. U.S. officials know that Assange’s recent judicial victory is a pyrrhic one. That’s because Assange continues to be jailed under brutal conditions in a maximum-security jail in England — and will continue to be — until his appeal is finally decided. What difference does it make to U.S. officials if Assange is jailed under brutal conditions in England or under brutal conditions here in the United States? The fact is that either way he is being jailed under brutal conditions.

In fact, there is an increasing possibility that Assange will die in an English jail before the extradition proceedings are finally resolved. That would undoubtedly fill U.S. officials with glee, given that they will have been relieved of the task of putting a person on trial for revealing war crimes and other dark-side activities of the U.S. national-security state. Keep in mind that the Assange prosecution has much more to it than just inflicting harm on Assange. U.S. officials know that they have to send everyone else a message: “The secrecy surrounding our war crimes and dark-side actives is sacrosanct. Don’t ever even think of doing what Assange did. If you do, we will do to you what we have done to him. We will finish you. Even if you are ultimately acquitted, you will be an utterly destroyed individual at the end of the process.”

Thus, U.S. officials couldn’t care less about Assange’s latest judicial “victory.” They know that British officials will keep him rotting in their jail system until his appeals are finally resolved, if ever. Ideally, from the perspective of U.S. officials, Assange will die during the pendency of his forever appeals, in which case the destruction of his life and his subsequent death in prison will have served its purpose with its message to everyone else: “Don’t ever mess with us or we will do to you what we did to Assange.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Maté

 

 

Donkey

 

 

Barkour

 

 

Maruay

 

 

Shoes

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 162024
 
 January 16, 2024  Posted by at 9:35 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  64 Responses »


Salvador Dalí The oecumenial council 1960

 

Trump Scores Major Election Victory (RT)
Lawfare Against Trump Is Running Out of Gas (Victor Davis Hanson)
Jan. 6 Committee Helped Guide Early Days Of Georgia Trump Probe (Pol.)
Prosecutors Are Charging Trump Using Laws Made To Fight The KKK (G.)
Ukraine Crisis Won’t End Until NATO Push Kiev to Negotiating Table (Sp.)
Zelensky Rejected Favorable Peace Deal With Russia – Arestovich (RT)
Moscow Slams Bild Report of Preparations for ‘NATO-Russia War’ (Sp.)
US Seeks Funds for Bioweapons Projects From Private Foundations (Sp.)
Israel and the U.S. Are Already Feeling the Weight of Houthi Justice (Dionisio)
US Lured Into Battlescape in Gaza, Yemen and Now Iraq (Alastair Crooke)
Red Sea Tensions May Become ‘Impossible To Contain’ – UN (RT)
UK To Send 20,000 Troops To NATO Exercise (RT)
Mega-Poll Predicts Disaster For Tories – But Reality Could Be Even Worse (G.)
Cheers to You, WEFers of Davos! (Kunstler)
‘Say it Nicer’: Hunter Makes a Familiar Last-Minute Offer to Congress (Turley)

 

 

 

 

Israel is finished- Macgregor

 

 


Mr. Fish

 

 

Elon Musk:
Destroying freedom of speech means destroying democracy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historic numbers.

Trump Scores Major Election Victory (RT)

Former President Donald Trump won a landslide victory in the first Republican primary of the 2024 presidential race, taking home three times more delegates than his closest opponent and over 50% of the popular vote. With more than 95% of the votes counted following Monday’s caucus in Iowa, Trump had 51% of the electorate and 19 delegates, far ahead of Republican rivals Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley, who earned 21.3% and 19.1% respectively. DeSantis won eight delegates and remained in second place, while Haley scored seven. As the race came to a close late in the evening, Trump penned a social media post thanking his supporters in Iowa, writing “I LOVE YOU ALL!” The victory comes on the heels of favorable polling for the frontrunner, with an NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom survey giving him an almost 30-point advantage over the other candidates.

While the same poll put former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley in second place, the number two spot went to DeSantis, Florida’s current governor. Before heading home, Haley hurled a veiled criticism at Trump, telling supporters “If you want to move forward with no more vendettas, if you want to move forward with a sense of hope, join us in this caucus.” GOP newcomer Vivek Ramaswamy, meanwhile, came in fourth with 7.7% of the vote, but won no delegates. Trump’s win in Iowa follows significant campaigning in the state, vastly outdoing his showing in the 2016 race, which Texas Senator Ted Cruz ultimately won. According to the Associated Press, Trump’s team “paid special attention to building a sophisticated digital and data operation to regularly engage with potential supporters.”

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“..Both have made a mockery of their indictment of an ex-president and, if the allegations are true, will be disbarred and prosecuted..”

Lawfare Against Trump Is Running Out of Gas (Victor Davis Hanson)

We should dispense with the tired narrative that four conscientious state and federal prosecutors—independently and without contact with the Biden White House or the radical Democrats in Congress—all came to the same disinterested conclusions that Donald Trump should be indicted for various crimes and put on trial during the campaign season of 2024. The prosecutors began accelerating their indictments only once Trump started to lead incumbent Joe Biden by sizable margins in head-to-head polls. Moreover, had Trump not run for the presidency, or had he been of the same party as most of the four prosecutors, he would have never been indicted by any of them. Yet now they are in a doom loop of discovering that the more they seek to rush to judgment before the election and gag Trump from speaking publicly about these star-chamber proceedings, the more he rises in the polls.

In truth, each succeeding cycle of corrupt leftwing lawfare that ends in failure—the Russian collusion hoax, the weaponized first impeachment, trying ex-president Trump in the Senate as a private citizen, the laptop disinformation set-up, the Alfa bank ping caper, the pathetic attempt to erase Trump from state ballots, and the unfolding Fani Willis moral debacle—does not return things to zero. Rather, they serve as force multipliers for each other. Each overreach geometrically increases the dangers to democracy, ever more turns the public off, and ironically cascades sympathy and poll numbers for the very target of their paranoias. Some of the prosecutors have colluded with White House lawyers and congressional liaisons. Some had run for office, offering campaign promises to get Trump convicted for something or other.

Now, after years of delays and deadends, all four are rushing to synchronize their trial dates to ensure that the front-running Trump is on the docket daily and not out on the 2024 campaign trail. Do we recall when leftist legal eagles claimed that of all the iffy Trump indictments, Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis had the best case against Trump? The phone call, we were told, was proof of “election interference.” It was Willis who got the first Trump “mug shot.” It was Willis, we were assured, who got Trump with the goods on tape, begging election officials to “find” the requisite missing votes that would prove his victory (note that he did not say “invent” the votes but to look for a supposedly existing trove of them). And now Willis’s signature case is in shambles.

We learn, allegedly, that 1) Willis hired her stealth boyfriend Nathan Wade as a special counsel, the day before he filed for divorce (whose records were then mysteriously sealed by the court); 2) that Wade so far has received over $650,000 as special counsel, reportedly including a miraculous ability to charge for 24 hours of continuous legal service in a single day; 3) that Willis and Wade allegedly have used her greenlighted windfall to him to go on a number of pricey junkets and cruises; 4) that to try an ex-president and the leading candidate in the 2024 presidential election, Willis picked Wade who had never tried a single felony case and was previously a “personal injury/accident” lawyer; 5) that the supposedly apolitical Willis had consulted with the January 6 partisan congressional special committee, while Wade had met for marathon meetings with the Biden White House legal counsel (and apparently billed Georgia taxpayers for receiving such federal tutorials).

The legal community’s initial dismissal of this sordid prosecutor’s office is reminiscent of the immediate efforts to downplay Claudine Gay’s plagiarism. But the charade will eventually end the same way, in this case with the resignation and likely indictment of the prosecutor, along with her boyfriend, who concocted quite a scheme at the expense of the taxpayers. Both have made a mockery of their indictment of an ex-president and, if the allegations are true, will be disbarred and prosecuted.

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Politico acts like this is normal.

Jan. 6 Committee Helped Guide Early Days Of Georgia Trump Probe (Pol.)

Georgia prosecutors probing Donald Trump’s effort to subvert the 2020 election got an early boost in the spring of 2022. It came from another set of investigators who were way ahead of them: the House Jan. 6 select committee. Committee staff quietly met with lawyers and agents working for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in mid-April 2022, just as she prepared to convene a special grand jury investigation. In the previously unreported meeting, the Jan. 6 committee aides let the district attorney’s team review — but not keep — a limited set of evidence they had gathered. Over the next few months, committee staff also had a series of phone calls with Willis’ team. They answered the prosecutors’ questions and shared insight on matters like Trump’s false electors gambit and his efforts to pressure Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

Both of those ploys ultimately featured prominently in the criminal charges that Willis brought against Trump and his allies last summer. The contacts between the committee and Willis’ team also helped prosecutors prepare for interviews with key witnesses. The content of the meetings and calls was described by two former committee officials familiar with the outreach, who were granted anonymity to speak candidly about the contacts. The timing was corroborated by exhibits attached to new court filings in Willis’ ongoing prosecution of Trump and 14 co-defendants for their efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The committee aided Willis’ nascent probe even as it rebuffed the Justice Department’s requests for material in the separate federal criminal probe of Trump’s election subversion.

At the time, one reason the committee was more inclined to cooperate with the Fulton County team than with the federal prosecutors was that federal prosecutors might have been required to disclose the evidence in ongoing criminal cases related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. When congressional Republicans recently pressed Willis to disclose her team’s contacts with the Jan. 6 committee, she refused, calling their inquiry an affront to “well-established principles of federalism and separation of powers.” “You cannot — and will not — be provided access to any non-public information about this,” she wrote to the House Judiciary Committee last month in a letter obtained by POLITICO. Jan. 6 committee chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) had previously described “staff-level contacts” between his panel and Fulton County prosecutors. In early April 2022 — nearly two weeks before the panel’s staff met with Willis’ team — Thompson told reporters he wasn’t aware of how extensive those contacts were. And on Wednesday, Thompson told POLITICO that he did not know about the in-person visit that spring.

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The Guardian provides a stage for Clinton tool Sidney Blumenthal.

Prosecutors Are Charging Trump Using Laws Made To Fight The KKK (G.)

On Tuesday, in response to the federal case brought by special prosecutor Jack Smith over Trump’s alleged role in the January 6 insurrection, Trump threatened a new round of violence – or “bedlam” – if he loses the election. In early February, the US supreme court will also rule on the Colorado supreme court’s decision to disqualify Trump from the state’s ballot for his part in the insurrection. The two cases might appear to be disconnected, but they are inseparable in law and history. They are united by Congress’s Reconstruction-era action to enforce the 14th amendment’s extension of constitutional rights against the former Confederates’ campaign of racial and political violence – the Ku Klux Klan Acts of 1870 and 1871.

Smith has indicted Trump under the KKK Act, which incorporates the 14th amendment, section 3, of the constitution. The Colorado court’s disqualification comes under the third section of the amendment, which disqualifies from office anyone who has engaged in insurrection against the United States. There are clear and compelling reasons why Trump has been indicted under the KKK Act and disqualified under the 14th amendment, section 3. Those reasons are stated in the indictments and court rulings. Trump has been charged on the same grounds that Klansmen were prosecuted, not only during Reconstruction but also during the civil rights era of the 1960s, and he has been removed from the ballot on the same basis as Confederate traitors were removed from elective office. Complacent commentators have dismissed the charges that Trump has brought on himself, hoping to calm the waters by vainly demonstrating their fair-mindedness. But the law is not somnambulant forever and the historical reality underlying it cannot be erased as it was in the aftermath of the dismantling of Reconstruction in a ‘lost cause’ of false conciliation.

[..] Striking at former Confederates who were commanding the Klan, the act then prescribed imprisonment of “any person who shall hereafter knowingly accept or hold any office under the United States, or any State to which he is ineligible under the third section of the fourteenth article of amendment of the Constitution of the United States … ” Under the KKK Act, Grant’s attorney general, Amos Akerman, successfully prosecuted more than 1,100 cases against members of the Klan, effectively breaking it up. In the 1872 campaign, a large faction of the national Republican party opposed the KKK Act and advocated reconciliation with the south. They called themselves the Liberal Republican party and aligned with the Democrats against Grant’s re-election. The Amnesty Act of 1872, lifting the disability of section 3, was a sop to outflank the Liberal Republicans and marked the beginning of the end of Reconstruction. Still, Grant was re-elected, winning eight southern states with a black-white coalition.

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“..they need to find a way to explain to their own population (and to NATO countries) why and how they will agree on a compromise..”

“..it will be interesting to see “how Ukrainian leaders will abandon their 10 points without saying that they are reneging on them.”

Ukraine Crisis Won’t End Until NATO Push Kiev to Negotiating Table (Sp.)

Sunday’s meeting of Western national security officials in Davos on Ukraine’s ‘peace proposal’ ended “with no clear path forward,” with British business media reporting that the only “achievement” of the talks was a “more diverse family photo than last time,” including representatives from countries with close relations with Russia such as Brazil and South Africa. “There was no progress on an actual peace deal. That would be impossible without Russia, and Russia wasn’t invited. But that’s not the point,” the Financial Times assured in a chirpy summary of the meeting, saying it was meant to “remind” other countries that “Ukraine, not Russia, is the one trying to talk about peace.”

Setting aside that this disingenuous claim ignores repeated attempts by Moscow to nip the Ukrainian crisis in the bud in 2014, prevent it from escalating into a full-fledged NATO-Russia proxy war in 2022, and to signal readiness to talk in the two years since, it’s important to recognize that the Zelensky ‘peace formula’ doesn’t even pretend to seek to include Russia in the conversation, going so far as to attempt to hold its meetings in secret. And perhaps with good reason. Zelensky’s formula demands that Russia give up Crimea, the Donbass, Zaporozhye and Kherson, pay Ukraine reparations, subject its officials and military personnel to war tribunals, and make other one-sided concessions which look less like a peace deal and more like demands against a capitulating power. Moscow has predictably dismissed the proposal, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently calling them a “figment of a sick imagination.”

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis admitted that a peace process could not be started without Russia’s participation. “One important point is to be highlighted here: Peace is no more an impossible or unspeakable word, and the idea of negotiation is again on the table. But it is important here to understand however that Ukraine’s position is still not realistic,” Jacques Sapir, director of studies at the Paris-based School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, told Sputnik. “In the mind of Kiev’s rulers, peace is to come through military victory and a reconquest by Ukrainian Armed Forces of the four oblasts (Kherson, Zaporozhye, Donetsk and Luhansk) and of Crimea. This is the content of the so-called ‘ten point plan’,” Sapir explained, highlighting the Zelensky proposal’s keystone demand.

The analyst likens Kiev’s poker face approach as an “opening move,” and believes the Zelensky regime may be willing to pursue more “realistic” options, including the idea of having Russia actually take part in talks, particularly “as the military situation is now deteriorating for Kiev.” “Ukraine’s leaders know very well that they are not in a position to aim at complete, or even partial, victory against Russia. But they have so much talked of a ‘victory’ that they need to find a way to explain to their own population (and to NATO countries) why and how they will agree on a compromise,” Sapir said. If and when talks proceed and Kiev’s position softens, Sapir suggested that it will be interesting to see “how Ukrainian leaders will abandon their 10 points without saying that they are reneging on them.”

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“..I think we face ten or 15 years of war in Europe,” Arestovich said..”

Zelensky Rejected Favorable Peace Deal With Russia – Arestovich (RT)

Ukraine had the chance to make peace at the 2022 Istanbul talks but something or someone changed President Vladimir Zelensky’s mind, according to an interview with his former aide, Aleksey Arestovich, published on Monday. Freddie Sayers, the editor in chief of the British outlet UnHerd, interviewed Arestovich almost a year after Ukraine’s top spin doctor left Zelensky’s service. He has since moved to the US, saying that Kiev wants him arrested on politically trumped-up charges. “I was a member of the Istanbul process, and it was the most profitable agreement we could have done,” Arestovich told Sayers. The Ukrainian delegation “opened the champagne bottle” when they came back to Kiev, believing the agreement was a done deal, he added.

The protocols were “90% prepared” for a direct meeting between Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Arestovich, when Zelensky called off the talks. His rejection of the talks has been widely attributed to the ‘Bucha massacre’, which Ukraine accused Russia of, but Arestovich said he did not know that for a fact. Something “absolutely” changed Zelensky’s mind and “historians will have to find an answer to what happened,” Arestovich said. “A lot of people say it was the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who came to Kiev and put a stop to this negotiation with Russia. I don’t know exactly if that is true or false. He came to Kiev, but nobody knows what they spoke about except, I think, Zelensky and Boris Johnson himself,” he told UnHerd.

Johnson’s role in scuttling the Istanbul peace talks was reported as early as May 2022 by the outlet Ukrainska Pravda. According to the outlet, he came to Kiev with “two simple messages,” that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “a war criminal” who should not be negotiated with, and that even if Ukraine was ready to sign some kind of agreement with Russia, the West was not. David Arakhamia, the leader of Zelensky’s party in the Ukrainian parliament, brought up the visit in a November 2023 interview, paraphrasing Johnson’s message as telling the Ukrainians “let’s just continue fighting.” The former British PM finally commented on the matter last week, saying he merely told Zelensky the UK would support Ukraine “a thousand percent” and that any potential agreement with Russia would be “pretty sordid.” He insisted he did not “order” anyone to do anything, however.

According to Arestovich, the conflict has now evolved beyond Russia and Ukraine, pitting the collective West against the ‘Global South’. “We have to negotiate for an all-new security system for Europe, taking into account all sides of this problem,” he told UnHerd, adding that NATO would need to discuss with Russia “what it would take to guarantee not to use military force in Europe to decide political questions.” “I should perhaps add that I am absolutely pessimistic that this will happen. I think we face ten or 15 years of war in Europe,” Arestovich said.

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“..I talked to many leaders and they tell me: ‘Why are they scaring us? We understand that Russia is not going to fight with Europe.’ Yes, we are not going to [fight] now.”

Moscow Slams Bild Report of Preparations for ‘NATO-Russia War’ (Sp.)

“Germany is gearing up for “war between NATO’s forces and Russia,” which could begin in the summer of 2025, Bild has written, citing a “secret” Bundeswehr document. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commenting on the publication said it is nothing but fake news. “I would not like to comment on the report of Bild, this news outlet does not hesitate to use fake news,” Peskov told reporters. According to the alleged “training scenario” of the German Ministry of Defense, “on ‘Day X,’ NATO’s commander-in-chief will give the order to move 300,000 troops to the eastern flank, including 30,000 Bundeswehr soldiers,” the tabloid states. The escalation could reportedly begin as early as February 2024 with the start of Russia’s active offensive against the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. By June of the same year, according to Bild, Russia will have forced Kiev’s military to retreat.

The Kiev regime’s much-hyped 2023 counteroffensive which began in June suffered a resounding defeat. The Ukrainian Armed Forces lost more than 125,000 people and 16,000 units of weapons over the six-month counteroffensive, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated in late December. Without offering any specific details, the publication noted that the most likely location for a “clash” will purportedly be the so-called “Suwalki Gap” or “Suwalki Corridor” (Przesmyk suwalski). This is a section about 100 km long near the city of Suwalki in the northeast of Poland, located between Belarus and Russia’s Kaliningrad region. In July, according to the “secret document,” Russia might allegedly launch “cyber attacks and other forms of hybrid warfare” against the Baltic countries.

Furthermore, “clashes” would occur which Moscow ostensibly could use as a pretext to begin large-scale exercises on its territory and in Belarus, as per the authors. By October Russia could allegedly transfer troops and medium-range missiles to its Kaliningrad region, and December might see a border conflict erupt in the Suwalki Corridor. According to Bild, the “secret document” also indicates that when Washington is temporarily left without a leader as a result of the presidential elections in the United States in 2014, “Russia, with the support of Belarus, will repeat the 2014 invasion of Ukraine on NATO territory.” No further clarification is offered to these wild scenarios and off-mark references.

[..] In effect, Russia has only been responding to NATO’s continuous expansion. Moscow’s determination to protect itself and its allies has been explicitly outlined in its new foreign policy doctrine, signed by Russian President Putin on March 31, 2023. “Recently, the activity of the NATO military bloc as a whole has sharply increased. Significant forces from the United States, including aircraft, have been deployed to our borders, and the number of alliance troops in Eastern and Central Europe has increased,” Russian President Vladimir Putin stated while presiding over a Russian Ministry of Defense meeting on December 19. As for the repeated attempt to portray Russia as the “bogeyman,” he clarified: “[The US] was very frightened by Russia’s rapprochement with Europe. It should be the masters there. It kept scaring … evil Russia is threatening you. But I talked to many leaders and they tell me: ‘Why are they scaring us? We understand that Russia is not going to fight with Europe.’ Yes, we are not going to [fight] now.”

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Madmen.

US Seeks Funds for Bioweapons Projects From Private Foundations (Sp.)

The United States government is actively searching for new sources of funding for military biological research from leading American ‘philanthropic’ institutions, including the Clinton, Soros, Rockefeller and Biden Foundations, RCBD Troops chief Igor Kirillov has announced. “Based on an analysis of documents received in the course of the special military operation, the structure of the system created by the US administration for the global management of biological risks has become clear,” Kirillov said in a briefing Monday, summarizing an analysis of US military-biological activities in Ukraine and globally over the course of 2023. “It consists of government agencies and private contractors, including representatives of Big Pharma. Through the organs of the executive branch, a legislative framework is being created to finance military-biological research directly from the federal budget. Guarantees provided by the state attract funds from non-governmental organizations controlled by the Democratic Party leadership, including the Clinton, Rockefeller, Soros and Biden Foundations,” Kirillov said.

According to the RCBD Troops’ chief’s information, the main private contractors involved in the Pentagon’s military-biological program include Metabiota, Black & Veatch and CH2M, with the companies tasked with the construction of facilities and the supply of equipment to labs around the globe. Their work is coordinated by the DoD’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency. On the Big Pharma front, Pfizer, Moderna, Gilead, Dynport Vaccine, AbbVie, Parexel, Eli Lilly & Co, Merck and Battelle are identified as key partners. Washington’s goals are multifold, Kirillov said, and include the study of the causative agents of “particularly dangerous infections in regions of the world that are strategically important for the United States,” and achieving “superiority” in biomanufacturing, including by using biological espionage against potential geopolitical adversaries.

“Materials received have confirmed that the US military was set the task of monitoring the biological situation in the Middle East and Central Asia, territories bordering China, Turkiye, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia,” Kirillov said. “Over the past year, the Pentagon developed and adopted a number of conceptual documents involving the expansion of the foreign network of US-controlled biological laboratories, and continuing military biological research beyond America’s national jurisdiction.” Furthermore, the RCBD Troops chief said, 2023 saw the creation of new administrative and technical structures, including the Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy, and the State Department’s new Bureau of Global Health Security and Diplomacy, with their main aims assumed to be centered on securing the further expansion of America’s military-biological activities worldwide.

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“..without economic stability, wars can’t be won. Even against those who arm themselves with little more than stones and sticks and a few handmade rockets..”

Israel and the U.S. Are Already Feeling the Weight of Houthi Justice (Dionisio)

For better or worse, the Houthis are the only political and military force doing anything practical to demand that Israel pay for its acts. And despite the attack on their territory, we can already say with certainty, that the Ansar Allah movement and the pro-Palestinian resistance, in general, will be strengthened by this event. Were it not for a rebel movement, made up of poor people living in great hardship, no other country in the region would do anything to bring some moral justice, however little, to this whole process. As they say, whoever has a lot, has the most to lose. Only the poor give what they need and this is a good example of that. It is even curious that here and there, apart from a few diplomatic and commercial measures, the most serious diplomatic action for Israel has come from outside the continent and the Middle East: South Africa’s accusation at the International Court of Justice that the state of Israel should be tried for genocide.

Of course, the accusation was immediately branded with the very vulgar epithet of “anti-Semitic”. But the Houthis’ role in the Red Sea has produced absolutely unpredictable and — perhaps unexpected — results for the West. The Red Sea trade route accounts for 12% of global maritime trade and 12% of all oil trade. An important part of the commercial ships that travel between the Indian Ocean and Europe pass through the Red Sea. Moreover, the importance of this route for Israel is truly decisive. The Port of Eilat essentially lives off this sea route. Disconnecting the port of Eilat from the international routes to Asia not only means that many of the goods that Israel receives from Asia will become more expensive and risk perishing, with all the economic burdens that this entails. But it also means cutting tourism, since the city of Eilat is an important tourist destination in the Middle East, and losing the competitiveness of its exports to the Asian continent.

But in the end, the financial damage might even be surmountable. What would be difficult to overcome would be the fragility in which an effective blockade of the Red Sea crossing would leave Israel.Let’s imagine a likely scenario in which the war fronts multiply and the conflict spreads to other regions (Lebanon, Syria and Yemen). Just as Oman has closed its airspace to military planes to bomb Yemen, a country like Egypt could, in a situation of great pressure and popular pressure, consider closing the Suez Canal to boats that are linked to Israel. It wouldn’t be unheard of, as we know. Oman itself has prevented U.S. military aircraft from passing through, for various reasons. One of them has to do with a certain neutrality that the sultanate is assuming on the international stage. However, this “neutrality” is also due to the ethnic tensions it has in its territory, which borders Yemen.

In any case, leaving the port of Eilat open only to boats coming from the Suez Canal would be strategically fragile. So, while it cannot be denied that the Houthi naval blockade may be a burden for the other Arab nations that receive their ships at Red Sea ports, the fact is that for none of them the situation is as dramatic as it is for Israel. Since the goods that Israel receives by sea and from Asia can come from the Red Sea without having to go through the Suez Canal, the port of Eilat is absolutely strategic for the country’s economic stability. And without economic stability, wars can’t be won. Even against those who arm themselves with little more than stones and sticks and a few handmade rockets.

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“..The endgame is inevitable: An agreement to end the conflict on Russia’s terms..”

US Lured Into Battlescape in Gaza, Yemen and Now Iraq (Alastair Crooke)

China and Russia have been remarkably quiet, watching carefully the global tectonic plates shifting around in response to the ‘two wars’ (Ukraine and Israel’s ‘multiwar’). Really it is not surprising; both states can sit back to simply watch Biden and his team persist with their strategic mistakes in Ukraine and in Israel’s multiple wars. The interlacing of the two wars will, of course, shape the new era. There are substantive risks, but for now they can observe with comfort from afar as a climatic juncture in world politics unfolds, gradually raising the pace of the attrition to a circle of fire. The point here is that Biden, at the centre of the storm, is no cool-headed Sun-Tzu. His politics are personal and highly visceral: As Noah Lanard has written in his forensic analysis of How Joe Biden Became America’s Top Hawk, his own team say it plainly: Biden’s politics is seated in his ‘kishkes’ – his guts.

That can be seen in the disdainful and graphic way in which Biden sneers at President Putin as an ‘autocrat’, and the way he talks about victims of the Hamas attack being massacred, sexually assaulted, and taken hostage, whilst “Palestinian suffering is left vague – if mentioned at all”. “I don’t really think he sees the Palestinians at all”, says Rashid Khalidi, Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University. There is a long and reputable history of leaders making the right spur of the moment decision from their unconscious, without careful rational calculous. In the ancient world this was a highly prized quality. Odysseus exuded it. It was called mêtis. But this ability was contingent on having a dispassionate temperament and an ability to see things ‘in the round’; to grasp both sides to a coin, we would say.

But what happens if, as Professor Khalidi implies, the ‘kishkes’ are filled with anger and bile; instinctive sympathy for Israel, fuelled by an outdated view of the Israeli domestic scene. “He just does not seem to acknowledge the humanity of [others]”, as a former Team Biden member put it to Lanard. Well, mistakes – strategic mistakes – become inevitable. And these mistakes are luring the U.S. in – deeper and deeper (as the Resistance foresaw). Michael Knights, a scholar at the neo-con Washington Institute think-tank noted: “The Houthis are high on their successes and will not be easy to deter. They are having the time of their lives, standing up to a superpower who probably cannot deter them”. This comes on the back of an Ukraine war already reaching – or at – its foregone conclusion. Both in the U.S. and amongst its allies in Europe, it is recognised that Russia has prevailed overwhelmingly, and across all ‘domains of conflict’.

There is next to no chance that this situation can be recouped, irrespective of money or fresh western ‘support’. The Ukrainian military taste the bitter fruits of this fact daily. Many in Kiev’s ruling classes ‘get it’ too, but are frightened to speak out. The cadre of hardliners behind Zelensky however insist to press on with their delusion of mounting a new offensive. It would be a kindness to ‘those about to die’ in another futile mobilisation for the West to call a halt. The endgame is inevitable: An agreement to end the conflict on Russia’s terms.

Ahhh, but do not forget Biden’s ‘kishkes’: This outcome would mean Putin ‘winning’ and Biden’s hope of a victory garland turning to ashes. The war must be kept going, even if its only achievement be to fire long-range missiles directly into the civilian cities of Russia (a war crime). It is obvious where this is going. Biden is in hole that only can deepen. Can’t he stop digging? Some in America may wish he would, as the Democratic electoral prospects dim. But it seems probable that he can’t, for then his nemesis (Putin) would ‘win’.

Nap Crooke

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Yes.

Red Sea Tensions May Become ‘Impossible To Contain’ – UN (RT)

The current instability in the Middle East may soon spiral completely out of control, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at a press conference in New York on Monday. Guterres once again addressed the crisis triggered by the events of October 7, when Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on Israel, killing around 1,200 people and taking more than 200 hostages. The ensuing Israeli blockade, bombing, and ground assault of Gaza has since killed almost 24,000 people, according to local health officials. The civilian death toll in Gaza has resulted in widespread international condemnation of Israel’s actions, and has already drawn the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and Yemen’s Houthis into the conflict.

“Tensions are also sky-high in the Red Sea and beyond – and may soon be impossible to contain,” Guterres said, adding that he is concerned that “daily exchanges of fire” risk “triggering a broader escalation between Israel and Lebanon and profoundly affecting regional stability.” While the secretary-general condemned the actions of Hamas, he also blasted the Israeli operation as “collective punishment of the Palestinian people,” saying it has caused an “unprecedented level of civilian casualties,” while noting that “the vast majority of those killed are women and children.” Last week, the Houthis pledged to continue targeting Israeli- and US-linked ships in the Red Sea “until the siege on Gaza is lifted.”

The Houthis have also targeted British and American warships operating in the area as part of an international maritime operation organized last month by the US to safeguard shipping in the region. The “heightening tensions” also led Iran to send one of their warships to the Red Sea earlier this month. US and UK warplanes attacked Houthi targets in Yemen with around 70 airstrikes last Thursday and Friday. While US National Security spokesman John Kirby stated that the strikes are having a “good effect,” a New York Times report claimed that around three-quarters of Houthi military assets remain intact. Moscow has condemned the strikes on Yemen, calling them “illegal” and saying they were carried out in violation of the UN Charter. The UN secretary-general has said that “the longer the conflict in Gaza continues, the greater the risk of escalation and miscalculation.”

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“.. the UK and its allies have found themselves “in a new era” and “must be prepared to deter our enemies..”

UK To Send 20,000 Troops To NATO Exercise (RT)

The UK is set to deploy around 20,000 service members – as well as modern warships and fighter jets – to take part in a major NATO exercise amid rising tensions with Russia, the Defence Ministry in London has announced. In a statement on Monday, the ministry, citing excerpts from a speech to be delivered by Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, said that some 16,000 army troops – along with tanks, artillery, and helicopters – will join other bloc members on the continent to participate in Exercise Steadfast Defender 24, scheduled to take place in the first half of this year. The effort will be supported by eight warships and submarines, as well as 2,000 Royal Navy sailors. The UK will also deploy a number of aircraft, including F35B Lightning fighters and Poseidon P8 surveillance aircraft, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, Shapps is expected to call the drill “one of NATO’s largest deployments since the end of the Cold War,” adding that the UK and its allies have found themselves “in a new era” and “must be prepared to deter our enemies,” according to the statement. The statement specifically referred to the threat from the Russian “menace.” NATO began reinforcing its military footprint in Europe first after a Western-backed coup in Kiev triggered hostilities in Donbass, which is now part of Russia. However, the most drastic build-up occurred after Russia launched its military campaign against Ukraine in February 2022. In June of the same year, the US-led military bloc agreed to put 300,000 troops on high alert, up from 40,000, to deter Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously said that Moscow has no plans to attack NATO, arguing that there was “no geopolitical, economic … or military interest” in waging war against the bloc. Still, Moscow has also repeatedly warned that the alliance’s military activities close to its border warrant additional security measures. Putin has also said that Ukraine’s desire to join NATO was one of the key reasons for the current conflict.

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All they have left is two warmonger parties. A poor nation.

Mega-Poll Predicts Disaster For Tories – But Reality Could Be Even Worse (G.)

For Conservative MPs opening their Daily Telegraph on Monday morning it was a distinctly gloomy start to the week: a mega-poll suggesting they are heading for a crashing general election defeat. And this was arguably an optimistic take. For one thing, some pollsters believe the YouGov conclusion of a 120-seat Labour majority could be an underestimate. Additionally, the poll’s organisers seem intent on using its findings to push the party further to the right on immigration, a move that will dismay many centrist Tories, and seems unlikely to stop the rot. The notable aspects of the poll come in two main parts. The first is its findings: YouGov surveyed 14,000 people and extrapolated the results to constituencies using the multilevel regression and poststratification model, or MRP.

This predicted that the Conservatives would retain only 169 seats, 196 fewer than their 2019 total, while Labour would take 385, the Liberal Democrats 48 and the SNP 25. This would be a disaster for the Conservatives, resulting in 11 current cabinet ministers losing their seats, among them Jeremy Hunt, Grant Shapps and Gillian Keegan. But it could – and might – be worse. Rob Ford, a professor of politics at Manchester University, noted that the YouGov modelling appeared to play down the effect of tactical voting in many seats where Conservative MPs were at risk of challenge. “It doesn’t seem very credible to me that in a Tory-Lib Dem marginal, 10% of people would still support Green, and not care either way about the opportunity to get rid of a Conservative MP. It does suggest that things could be even worse for the Conservatives,” Ford said.

Another point of interest is the political backdrop to a large and very expensive polling operation. It was, the Telegraph said, commissioned by the Conservative Britain Alliance, a previously unknown organisation described only as a “group of Conservative donors”. YouGov, the Telegraph added, worked with the Tory peer David Frost, who contributed an opinion piece arguing that the only way back from the brink for the party was to go much harder on immigration, seeking to tempt former Tory voters who are backing the Nigel Farage-founded Reform UK. “The big problem is immigration, legal as well as illegal. That’s why this week’s vote on Rwanda is so important,” Frost writes.

The Telegraph runs its own analysis arguing that Reform votes would play a part in 96 losses for the Conservatives, making the difference between a catastrophic loss and a hung parliament. The combined message is clear: copy Reform, notably on small boats and on migration more generally.

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Article comes with free menu.

Wrote to Jim:
“On the very same day we got introduced to Disease X, Denmark – of Macbeth fame- announced its new king.
His name: Frederik X.”

Cheers to You, WEFers of Davos! (Kunstler)

The nabobs and panjandrums of the World Economic Forum (WEF) meet up at Davos, Switzerland, the next several days to lay plans for their latest assault on humanity. This year’s theme is “Rebuilding Trust.” Did you just blow your coffee through your nose? The outfit that coordinated the world-wide Covid-19 response (that perhaps birthed the very concept of Covid-19 itself), and especially pushed mRNA vaccines on the credulous global public — this gang of super-wealthy, super-connected, super-important celebrity punks, poohbahs, pricks, and predators wants a cuddle.

This Davos crowd — moiling around the opening soirée amid drool-worthy trays of crab puffs, asparagus gougères, lobster crostini, waygu morsels, Prosciutto-Fig bites, chickpea panisse, stuffed castelvetrano olives, wild boar and quinoa dolmas, fava bean puree toasts, pigeon pea fritters, and Nürnberger rostbratwurst pigs-in-a-blanket, all washed down by bottomless flutes of Roederer Cristal Millésime Brut— could not stop chattering about the debut of the latest viral confection, “Disease X”, said to be twenty times deadlier than Covid-19.

Imagine the opportunities this one will provide for the WEF’s Davos prom date, the World Health Organization (WHO). And just in time to create enough hysteria for the May vote on the new WHO treaty binding the world’s governments to its pandemic diktats. In that new disposition of things, whatever Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says, goes! Lockdowns. Quarantine camps. Mandatory (improved) safe-and-effective vaccines. Nevermind what the actual citizens of Countries A, B, or C might otherwise decide for themselves under the obsolete system of national sovereignty. Follow the science, useless eaters of the world! (And please quit carping about it!)

Any resemblance of “Disease X” to the remaining global free speech platform (Elon Musk’s X, formerly Twitter), is just another bothersome conspiracy theory. Of course, theories imply the discovery of proofs, and it so happens that the unelected European Commission, under its Digital Services Act (passed in Nov., 2022), has already threatened Mr. Musk’s X to remove so-called hate speech, illegal content, and disinformation or face a fine amounting to 6-percent of its annual global revenue. Hate speech and disinfo are whatever the EU says it is, including information that is true but disagreeable to the agenda of all supranational orgs such as the EU, the WEF, and the WHO. Reminds us of something Pete Hogwallop once said to Ulysses E. McGill:

Last time around, those mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna proved to be super-effective at one thing: disordering all the cells and organs in the human body so as to produce a severe auto-immune reaction resulting in death and disability. The artificial spike protein replication induced by the vaxxes has a special yen for heart tissue, the linings of blood vessels, and the reproductive organs — thus, all those world-class soccer players dropping dead in mid-kick, all the massive clots the size of shipworms discovered by the morticians, and all the spontaneously aborted babies over the past three years. By the way, having seen all this, the CDC Director, Mandy Cohen, is still pushing “updated” mRNA shots, down to six-month-old babies. No, I’m not making this up.

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“.. Indeed, in Washington, it was an open joke like when Hunter was put on the Amtrak board and later made its vice chair..”

‘Say it Nicer’: Hunter Makes a Familiar Last-Minute Offer to Congress (Turley)

This week, after weeks of Hunter mocking the House over its subpoena for a deposition, the House Oversight Committee voted to hold him in contempt. Now facing a referral for prosecution, Hunter declared that he might belatedly comply to avoid a prosecution. Hunter is nothing if not consistent. As with his taxes and other federal violations, Hunter is asking for a mulligan just before a possible indictment. For decades, Hunter has conveyed an attitude that laws do not apply to him or to other Biden family members. After all, as his father once said, “no one f**ks with a Biden.” Since he was a young man, Hunter seems to have been told that he lives a life of privilege that entitles him to considerations denied to others. Indeed, in Washington, it was an open joke like when Hunter was put on the Amtrak board and later made its vice chair.

When pressed on his lack of credentials for the position, Democratic Senator Tom Carper of Delaware quipped that “Hunter Biden has spent a lot of time on Amtrak trains.” It appears that nothing is quite so funny as open nepotism in Washington. Not surprisingly, Hunter’s life of entitlement would lead to a life of excess and debauchery. He was one of Washington’s noble class, a scion of a political dynasty. In time, he would be brought into the family business of influence-peddling with his uncles. For decades, the Bidens have been accused of selling access and influence to Joe Biden. When things got legally difficult, Hunter could count on government guardians. When he lost his gun in 2018, Secret Service agents appeared at a gun shop to demand all records of his purchase. (Those records would later become the basis for the current gun charges against him.)

When Hunter lost his laptop, containing hundreds of incriminating files showing everything from influence peddling to alleged human trafficking, FBI agents showed up at the computer shop and reportedly conveyed an intimidating message to the owner not to speak to anyone. When years of news reports forced the Justice Department to investigate some of these crimes, the Justice Department sat on the case until the most serious tax violations from 2014 to 2015 expired under the statute of limitations. It did so despite internal objections that the period for prosecution could easily be extended. The Justice Department then sought a plea bargain so absurdly generous that it fell apart in open court, with a prosecutor admitting to the judge that he had never seen any deal like it. Notably, the cause for the collapse was an immunity agreement so obscene that no one other than a Biden would demand it, let alone get it.

Throughout this history, one thing has been consistent. Hunter has received and seems to feel entitled to legal mulligans that no other citizen could reasonably expect. It is the very meaning of “privilege” that many Democrats in Washington denounce on a weekly basis. We are not the only country with such a privileged class of scions. In China, the children of powerful leaders who live lavish lives are called the “red nobility” or “communist princelings.” Yet, even in Washington, many were floored by the display of absolute entitlement when Hunter appeared with his counsel Abbe Lowell outside of Congress at the time of his scheduled deposition. Hunter mocked the House and refused to go inside, insisting that he would only agree to give testimony on his own terms.

For those of us who have been writing about the Hunter and the Bidens for decades, it was not in the least surprising. His conduct on taxes showed the utter lack of concern over any obligations owed to the government. In a sense, his family is the government. As the Justice Department noted in its tax charges, Hunter spent his money on “drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and other items of a personal nature, in short, everything but his taxes.” When the IRS finally moved toward prosecution, a democratic donor named Kevin Morris reportedly gave him millions to cover his taxes and lavish lifestyle, even though he had only been introduced to Hunter at a Democratic fundraiser not long before.

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Tucker Ladapo

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1746697773292962016

 

 

WEF water

 

 

Ray
https://twitter.com/i/status/1746980872102781223

 

 

Kitten
https://twitter.com/i/status/1746659297201926502

 

 

Guitar

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 102023
 


Vincent van Gogh Stairway at Auvers 1890

 

Ukraine’s Future Lies in the Great Reset (Pabst)
Any Ideology of Superiority Is Criminal – Putin (TASS)
Globalist Elites Provoke Bloody Conflicts And Coups – Putin (RT)
UN Chief Says Peace Talks Between Ukraine And Russia Impossible Now (RT)
UN Skeptical About China Helping To End Ukraine Conflict (RT)
‘All’ NATO Members Support Ukraine Membership – Stoltenberg (RT)
Can BRICS Save Argentina From Disaster? (Vargas)
“We’re Back”: Tucker Carlson Moves Show To Twitter (ZH)
Journalists-on-Journalists Crime (Patrick Lawrence)
War for Profit: A Very Short History (Brad Wolf)
Jury Rejects Rape Claim Against Trump But Finds Liable For ‘Sexual Abuse’ (ZH)
If Hunter Is Indicted (Lipson)
House Committee Prepares to Hold Blinken in Contempt (Turley)
Australian Lawmakers Call On US To Drop Assange Extradition Bid (RT)
Why the Release of Julian Assange Is Crucial for Our Future (Scheidler)

 

 

JFK WWII
https://twitter.com/i/status/1656006128722141185

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1656072328277573634

 

 

The power of propaganda.

 

KJP
https://twitter.com/i/status/1656000904959791104

 

 

Zel cartoon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1655688459590172674

 

 

Trunews

 

 

Note: he doesn’t confirm anything.

 

 

 

 

It’s all a literally bloody experiment.

Ukraine’s Future Lies in the Great Reset (Pabst)

“Ukraine 2030 — the freest and most digital country in the world. Without bureaucracy, but with strong tech industry. Cashless & paperless. This is the future we are building.” These were the words of Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov, who posted a glossy video showcasing Ukraine’s sci-fi-esque future to Twitter. The video boasts of Ukraine’s plans (after its victory over Russia, of course!) to become the “freest and most convenient country in the next 10 years.” In this theoretical scenario, Ukraine is “the first country to abandon paper money,” tele-health and tele-education programs abound, courts’ decisions are guided by artificial intelligence, and cities can even defend themselves with an “ultra-modern iron dome.”

But the juxtaposition between the video’s boasts and Ukraine’s dire reality on the ground grows more uncanny by the day.November 2022 reports quietly admitted that roughly 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed or wounded in action, and apparently leaked documents from April 2023 exposed Ukraine’s especially weak wartime positioning, where Ukrainian casualties outnumber those of the Russians four to one. Meanwhile, complaints of low ammunition — with Ukraine running through ammo faster than the US and NATO can replace it — run amok, and in Bakhmut’s “meat-grinder,” the estimated lifespan of Ukrainian soldiers in battle was reported as being a grim four hours in late February. Meanwhile, millions of Ukrainians have fled home as sky-high inflation rates and energy prices have slashed living standards in Europe and internationally.

But as the war drudges on, Ukrainian officials have zeroed in on the conflict’s alleged “silver linings,” bragging about the new technological developments and investment possibilities that have surfaced during the conflict, such as Ukraine’s “state in a smartphone” Diia app, the e-hryvnia, mounting technological capabilities spurred by corporate war-time involvement in Ukraine, a further crystallization of the public-private partnership as a civil society instrument, and Ukraine’s budding “green” revolution, which is slated to blossom during its prospective elite-backed reconstruction. While these and other initiatives taking place as part of Ukraine’s war-time and reconstruction efforts are being done in the name of modernization, convenience, and democracy, these efforts instead contribute to a technological and political terrain that is conducive to depriving the civilians of Ukraine, and all nations, of their sovereignty, privacy, and dignity.

As I illustrate in this investigative piece, such efforts are part of the larger drive towards the related phenomena of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, today’s technological revolution that blurs the physical, digital, and biological spheres, and the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset, an elite-driven initiative to establish Klaus Schwab’s vision of stakeholder capitalism, where corporations are positioned as “trustees of society” to address the world’s economic and social woes.

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“..in essence, a system of robbery, violence and oppression.”

Any Ideology of Superiority Is Criminal – Putin (TASS)

Any superiority ideology is, by definition, repulsive, deadly, and criminal, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the Victory Day parade on the Red Square on Tuesday. “We believe that any ideology of superiority is inherently disgusting, criminal, and deadly,” he said. At the same time, Putin added that Western elites “still talk about their exclusivity, put people against each other and divide society, provoke bloody conflicts and coups, sow hatred, Russophobia, aggressive nationalism, destroy those family, traditional values that make humans human.” All this, he said, is done in order “to continue dictating, imposing their will, rights and rules on the peoples – in essence, a system of robbery, violence and oppression.” “They seem to have forgotten what the Nazis’ insane claims to world domination led to,” the president added. “They have forgotten who defeated this monstrous, total evil, who stood as a wall for their homeland and did not spare their lives for the liberation of the peoples of Europe,” he said.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1655836194713006080

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“The Ukrainians became“hostages” of the coup that took place in the country in 2014 and were turned into “a bargaining chip” by the West..”

Globalist Elites Provoke Bloody Conflicts And Coups – Putin (RT)

Western elites have forgotten the consequences of the Nazis’ “insane ambitions,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his Victory Day Parade speech on Red Square in Moscow. Russia believes that “any ideology of superiority is by its nature disgusting, criminal and deadly,”the president pointed out. “The globalist elites keep insisting on their exceptionalism; they pit people against each other, split societies, provoke bloody conflicts and coups, sow hatred, Russophobia and aggressive nationalism, destroy traditional family values that make human a human,” Putin said. According to the Russian leader, all this is being done by the US and allies in order to “further dictate their will, their rights and their rules” and implement what is basically “a system of robbery, violence and suppression” on the international stage.


“It seems that they have forgotten what the insane ambitions of the Nazis led to. They have forgotten who defeated this monstrous, total evil,” he stressed. Referring to the conflict in Ukraine, Putin said that “a real war has been unleashed against out Motherland. But we resisted international terrorism. We’ll also defend the residents of Donbass and assure our security.” The aim of the West is “to achieve the disintegration and destruction of our country, nullify the results of World War II, completely break down the system of global security and international law, and strangle any sovereign centers of development,” he insisted. The US and its allies are to blame for the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine, the head of state said. “Overwhelming ambitions, arrogance and permissiveness inevitably lead to tragedies. This is the reason for the catastrophe that the Ukrainian people are now experiencing,” he pointed out. The Ukrainians became“hostages” of the coup that took place in the country in 2014 and were turned into “a bargaining chip” by the West, which uses the country to implement its “cruel selfish plans.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1655948103206465539

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The UN does not want peace.

UN Chief Says Peace Talks Between Ukraine And Russia Impossible Now (RT)

The peace talks between Ukraine and Russia are impossible now, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in an interview with Spain’s El Pais published on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, I think that the talks on peace are impossible now,” he said. According to him, “both sides are convinced that they can win.” “We are in dialogue with both sides as far as possible to solve specific problems. The most important initiative was the export of grain from Ukraine… And now I do not see the possibility of an immediate ceasefire and peace negotiations,” Guterres stated.

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And if peace were to break out regardless, then China should not be its agent. That would threaten the UN.

UN Skeptical About China Helping To End Ukraine Conflict (RT)

Offers to mediate in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine are unlikely to come to fruition at the moment since both parties seem to be “fully involved” in continuing the war, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said. “Peace negotiations are not possible at this time,” Guterres told Spain’s El País newspaper in an interview. Asked whether the peace initiatives floated by China and Brazil, were “doomed to fail,” the UN chief said both parties to the conflict seemed to be too resolved to continue the hostilities for the mediation offers to work. “I already said that peace negotiations at this time are not going to happen. I hope in the future, yes. There was talk of a Russian offensive in the winter and a Ukrainian one in the spring. It is evident that the parties are fully involved into the war,” Guterres stated.

The grim prediction comes amid an apparent uptick in fighting, with both Moscow and Kiev ramping up long-range attacks against each other in recent days. The increase in military activities comes amid the long-hyped looming counteroffensive by Kiev’s forces, repeatedly cheered by the country’s top officials. Early this year, China unveiled a 12-point peace roadmap designed to bring the conflict, which has been raging since February 2022, to an end. The initiative got a positive reception in Moscow, with Russia’s top leadership signaling its readiness to discuss it further. However, the roadmap was received poorly by Kiev and its Western backers, who accused Beijing of allegedly already siding with Russia and, therefore, having no say on potential peace talks.

Brazil has also been actively pushing for Moscow and Kiev to come to the table, with the country having taken a neutral stance on the conflict. Brazilian President Lula da Silva has condemned both Russia’s military operation and the collective West for “encouraging war,” urging them to stop arming Kiev and to push for a ceasefire instead. “There is no use now in saying who is right, who is wrong. What we have to do now is stop the war,” Lula said late in April, claiming that “no one in the world is talking about peace except for me.”

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NATO wants no peace either. It wants to cross Russia’s no. 1 red line.

‘All’ NATO Members Support Ukraine Membership – Stoltenberg (RT)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has told the Washington Post that all member states have agreed to welcome Ukraine after it defeats Russia. He also revealed that the US-led military bloc had started backing Kiev in 2014. In the interview, conducted last week at the bloc’s Brussels headquarters and published on Tuesday, Stoltenberg told the WP’s editorial staff that “all NATO allies agree that Ukraine will become a member of the alliance.” “Then the question is when, and I cannot give you a timetable on that,” Stoltenberg added. The NATO head has made this claim once before, last month when he visited Kiev. This prompted a one-word response from Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, who suggested that the bloc had not actually bothered to obtain consent from Budapest.

Stoltenberg told the Post that NATO was currently helping Kiev “transition from Soviet-era equipment, doctrines and standards” and become “interoperable with NATO forces,” while reforming and modernizing their military and defense institutions. “The urgent task now is to ensure that Ukraine prevails as a sovereign, independent nation, because if Ukraine doesn’t prevail, then there is no issue to discuss at all.” According to Stoltenberg, NATO has two fundamental tasks “in the war,” one being to “support Ukraine,” the other to prevent escalation “by making absolutely clear that we are not party to the conflict.” The deployment of 40,000 troops to eastern Europe is also helping avoid escalation with Russia, he argued. The former Norwegian prime minister, who has been running NATO since October 2014, also revealed that the US, Canada, and the UK have provided 78% of the bloc’s support to Ukraine, and have been training Kiev’s troops since 2014.

“The war in Ukraine has fundamentally changed NATO, but then you have to remember the war didn’t start in 2022. The war started in 2014,” Stoltenberg told the Post, noting that all members of the bloc have “significantly increased” their military spending since then. Ukraine’s government was overthrown by US-backed nationalists in a February 2014 coup. The new authorities quickly moved to violently crush any opposition, leading Crimea to seek protection from Moscow. Protests against the coup government were met with a massacre in Odessa, terror in Kharkov, and a “punishment expedition” against Donetsk and Lugansk, which responded by declaring independence.

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“.. the more Argentina wants to produce, the more US dollars it needs..”

Can BRICS Save Argentina From Disaster? (Vargas)

Argentina recently announced that it will be adopting the Chinese yuan, rather than the US dollar, for trade with the Asian giant – the latest development in a wider global process of de-dollarization. This comes as Argentina is currently pushing to formally join BRICS, for which it says it has the support of Brazil, India, and for which Russia and China have hinted at possible support in the past. Argentina is South America’s second-largest economy with significant potential to contribute to BRICS, but the country is also in the grips of an increasingly extreme economic crisis with runaway inflation that’s hitting new highs every week. Can a multipolar financial system help struggling economies like Argentina? Can this move away from the dollar, and membership of BRICS, save the country from potential disaster? Yes, but only if Argentina stops flip-flopping on economic and foreign policy decision-making.

Argentina’s economic turmoil has reached desperate levels, a result of debt slavery to the International Monetary Fund, lack of access to dollars, and a historic drought that has battered crucial agricultural exports. While the official exchange rate with the US dollar is 222 pesos for 1 USD, the ‘Dollar Blue’, the unofficial rate offered on the black market, reached up to 500 Pesos in recent days. For context, in 2014 under leftist President Cristina Kirchner, the official rate was 8 pesos for 1 USD and the unofficial rate hovered around 12-14 pesos. Annual inflation stands at 104% and Argentinians have attempted to combat this by holding their savings in US dollars, and even in cryptocurrency. The crypto market is not as bullish as it was a couple of years ago, and the Fed’s interest rate increases along with speculation within Argentina has made dollars very hard and expensive to access.

More importantly, the colossal debt built up with the IMF is dollar-denominated. Argentinian economist Gisela Cernadas, now working in China with Dongsheng News, spoke exclusively to RT and explained the perilous situation caused by dependency on the dollar. “Argentina has been suffering, for an extended period of time, from a structurally unbalanced current account,” she said. “This means that the country needs more US dollars to function than what it has. “To carry out its productive activities, Argentina needs immediate inputs that have to be imported, such as machinery and equipment that has to be imported in dollars,” Cernadas explained.

“Therefore, the more Argentina wants to produce, the more US dollars it needs. So, this structurally unbalanced current account puts pressure on the currency exchange market.” In this context, the move to de-dollarize trade with China is clearly a positive move, in so far as it will ease the stranglehold that the US dollar has on the country. It will also help protect the central banks’ foreign reserves. “Paying part of the imports from China using Chinese currency instead of the US dollar will help relieve the pressure on the current account deficit,” said Cernadas. “It’s not going to solve the structural problem of needing more foreign currency to produce and carry out its productive activity, but at least it will relieve parts of the demand they have.”

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“The rule of what you can’t say defines everything..”

Huge boost for Musk as well; he can showcase new Twitter features..

“We’re Back”: Tucker Carlson Moves Show To Twitter (ZH)

According to Twitter owner Elon Musk, Twitter and Carlson have not signed “a deal of any kind whatsoever,” which we assume means that Tucker has found a clever way around his Fox contract which stipulated that he has to stay off the air until 2025 insofar as other networks are concerned. “Rewards means subscriptions and advertising revenue share (still working on software needed for latter), which is a function of how many people subscribe and the advertising views associated with his content,” Musk tweeted.

As hinted at in a Sunday Axios report, former Fox News host Tucker Carlson announced on Tuesday that he’s moving his show to Twitter. “There aren’t many platforms left that allow free speech. The last big one remaining in the world is Twitter,” Carlson said in a monologue – in which he took a shot at Fox, saying “If you bump up against the limits [in the news business] you will be fired for it.” “The rule of what you can’t say defines everything,” he said, adding “You can’t have a free society if people aren’t allowed to say what they think is true… There aren’t many platforms left that allow free speech. The last big one… is Twitter, where we are now.”


“Twitter has long served as the place where our national conversation incubates and develops,” he continued, adding that other networks are “thinly disguised propaganda outlets.” “You see it on cable news, you talk about it on Twitter,” said Carlson. “The result may feel like a debate, but actually the gatekeepers are still in charge. We think that’s a bad system. We know exactly how it works and we’re sick of it.”

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“..the hoards of flunkies working for corporate media have it in for Tucker Carlson because he takes positions that are forbidden to them..”

Journalists-on-Journalists Crime (Patrick Lawrence)

I’ve read a lot of smear since Fox News dismissed Tucker Carlson as its premier evening news presenter late last month. How could I not? It was everywhere, and more fecal matter is being flung Carlson’s way as we speak. My favorite in this line so far comes from The American Prospect. “Farewell to a Neo–Nazi Blowhard” was the head on its piece last week. Carlson, you see, is a “neofascist,” TAP wants us to know. What hollow hyperbole. How few are the level heads in mainstream media these days. How cavalierly do our liberal media debase the English language. How difficult it is to take journalists seriously as they attack another journalist because his views do not match theirs. What can we learn from all the unhinged denunciations we read daily?

What do they tell us about the predicaments of independent minds in journalism—and no matter what you think of Carlson, he has one—and by extension independent journalism altogether? In my read, independent media are in a state of siege that has escalated markedly of late. Although he worked for a corporate-owned cable network, I take Carlson’s fate as symptomatic of an intensifying attack on any media that deviate from the national security state’s ever more rigorously enforced orthodoxies. The past week brings grim news of the determination of political elites and deeply insecure mainstream media to stifle dissent in wall-to-wall fashion. It is time to pay close attention. This is more now than the grousing of a few independent journalists such as your columnist. Everything up to how we live and think is at stake.

Setting aside all the dross casting Carlson as the Beelzebub of our profession, the remarks that stay in my mind are of another kind. Diana Johnstone, the distinguished Europeanist who has corresponded from Paris for decades, sent a brief note after Fox’s announcement, calling Carlson “the last free voice on mainstream television.” I paused and wondered if I agreed. And then decided I did. “The TV host paid the price because he tried the impossible: straddling the divide between corporate media and critical journalism,” Jonathan Cook, who I hold in the same high regard I have for Johnstone, wrote last week on his blog. “He exposed ordinary Americans to critical perspectives, especially on U.S. foreign policy, that they had no hope of hearing anywhere else—and most certainly not from so-called ‘liberal’ corporate media outlets like CNN and MSNBC.

[..] the hoards of flunkies working for corporate media have it in for Tucker Carlson because he takes positions that are forbidden to them. Among these many, Carlson opposes the war in Ukraine, the military-industrial complex, covert coup operations in Cuba and elsewhere, Washington’s subterfuge at the United Nations and America’s imperialist project altogether. Carlson took Seymour Hersh’s report on the Biden’s regime’s covert op to destroy the Nord Stream pipelines for what it is: a tour de force piece of work by the premier investigative reporter now writing. Corporate-paid journalists detest Carlson for these things. I imagine there is a lot of subliminal envy attaching to Tucker Carlson’s professional performance over the years.

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“Senator Nye suggested that upon a declaration of war by Congress, taxes on annual income under $10,000 should automatically be doubled and higher incomes should be taxed at 98%.”

“If such policies were enacted, businessmen would become our leading pacifists.”

War for Profit: A Very Short History (Brad Wolf)

TIn 1934 a book written by Helmuth Engelbrecht called The Merchants of Death became a best seller. The book exposed the unethical business practices of weapons manufacturers and analyzed their enormous profits during World War I. The author concluded that “the rise and development of the arms merchants reveals them as a growing menace to World Peace.” While not the only reason for the US entering the war, it became clear the Merchants of Death lobbied both Congress and the President for war. The American public was incensed. In 1934 almost 100,000 Americans signed a petition opposing increased armament production. Veterans paraded through Washington DC in 1935 in a march for peace. And Marine Major General Smedley Butler, two-time Medal of Honor winner, published his book War is a Racket, claiming he had been “a high-class muscle man for big business, for Wall Street and the bankers.

In short, I was a racketeer; a gangster for capitalism.” His book too became a bestseller. The growing wave of public outrage led Senator Gerald Nye to initiate congressional hearings investigating whether US corporations, including weapons manufacturers, had led the United States into World War I. In two years, the Nye committee held 93 hearings and called more than 200 witnesses to testify, including JP Morgan and Pierre S. DuPont. The committee conducted an extensive investigation searching the records of weapons manufacturers. They uncovered criminal and unethical actions including bribery of foreign officials, lobbying the United States government to obtain foreign sales, selling weapons to both sides of international disputes, and the covert undermining of disarmament conferences.

“The committee listened daily to men striving to defend acts which found them nothing more than international racketeers, bent upon gaining profit through a game of arming the world to fight itself,” Senator Nye declared in an October 1934 radio address. The Senate Nye Committee recommended price controls, the transfer of Navy shipyards out of private hands, and increased industrial taxes. Senator Nye suggested that upon a declaration of war by Congress, taxes on annual income under $10,000 should automatically be doubled and higher incomes should be taxed at 98%. A journalist wrote at the time, “If such policies were enacted, businessmen would become our leading pacifists.” The American public was outraged at the committee’s findings and so created some of the largest peace organizations the country had ever known.

Committed to staying out of all future European wars, American college campuses in the 1930s had thousands of students taking oaths swearing they would never fight in a foreign war. Farmers, laborers, intellectuals, ministers, people from all walks of life declared they would never again participate in a war fought to increase the profits of corporations. And then, business fought back. They lobbied those in Congress to cut off funding for the Nye committee, which they soon did. A smear campaign was orchestrated against Senator Nye. The committees’ days were numbered. In the end, the Nye Committee demonstrated that “these businesses were at the heart and center of a system that made going to war inevitable. They paved and greased the road to war.”

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2012 episode of Law and Order SVU.

Jury Rejects Rape Claim Against Trump But Finds Liable For ‘Sexual Abuse’ (ZH)

A New York City jury has found former President Trump liable for sexual assault, but not rape, in a New York defamation case brought by accuser E. Jean Carroll. The jury awarded Carroll $20,000 in punitive damages for a battery claim, and $2.7 million in compensatory damages for defamation by Trump. The verdict came after less than three hours of deliberation by jurors in US District Court in lower Manhattan. The jury did not find Trump liable for rape, as Carroll alleged. Trump, who has long-denied her allegation dating back to the mid-90s, accused Carroll of using false claims as a way to promote her book. “I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened,” the-then president told The Hill in an interview at the White House in June 2019.

“U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan read instructions on the law to the nine-person jury before the panel began discussing Carroll’s allegations of battery and defamation shortly before noon. If they believe Carroll, jurors can award compensatory and punitive damages. Trump, who did not attend the trial, has insisted he never sexually assaulted Carroll or even knew her. Kaplan told jurors that the first question on the verdict form will be to decide whether they think there is more than a 50% chance that Trump raped Carroll inside a store dressing room. If they answer yes, they will then decide whether compensatory and punitive damages should be awarded. If they answer no on the rape question, they can then decide if Trump subjected her to lesser forms of assault involving sexual contact without her consent or forcible touching to degrade her or gratify his sexual desire. If they answer yes on either of those questions, they will decide if damages are appropriate.” -AP

The nine-member panel began discussing verdicts at 11:50 a.m. ET after Judge Lewis Kaplan gave his final instructions and a 10-question verdict form. Carroll, 78, sued Trump in 2019, claiming the Republican sexually assaulted her in 1995 or 1996 in a dressing room at a Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan. Because the alleged attack happened decades ago, Carroll was originally barred from suing over sexual battery, pushing her to sue for defamation over allegedly disparaging comments Trump made about the rape allegation. Trump denied her allegation at the time and accused her of using false claims as a way to promote her book. “I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened,” the-then president told The Hill in an interview at the White House in June 2019. The D.C. Court of Appeals was then asked to weigh in on whether Trump was acting within the scope of his presidential duties when he denied raping Carroll and dismissed her during the interview. Trump last October called her claims “a hoax” and “a lie.”

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Today is Comer’s day.

If Hunter Is Indicted (Lipson)

First, a pardon would set off the biggest political firestorm since Watergate. It would look worse than self-dealing, bad as that is. It would look like the president is covering up his family’s corruption, not only to get Hunter off the hook but to prevent the disclosure of damning evidence in court. That evidence is likely to touch many more Biden family members than Hunter, and perhaps the president himself. The more Biden family members who are implicated, the more the whole operation looks like a concerted operation to monetize Joe’s political position. It also might threaten to shred Joe’s repeated claim that he knew nothing about any family business interests or influence peddling. The wider the sleaze, the harder it is to sell that story.

The chairman of the House committee investigating these issues has said Hunter’s corruption was merely one part of the family business. And that business was selling influence. Rep. James Comer has publicly said that his House Oversight Committee has already collected evidence that nine Biden family members are involved in sketchy business deals, including substantial payments from foreign firms. Some of those firms are closely linked to the Chinese Communist Party. Comer added that his committee is investigating the possible involvement of at least three more family members, as well as Joe Biden’s own role. His conclusion: “The entire Biden family” is entrapped in the financial enrichment scheme. So far, however, Comer hasn’t named names or provided the evidence. He says he will provide much more at a major press conference Wednesday.

Comer’s principle suggestion is that the Biden family’s influence-peddling scheme is much broader, and their criminal actions more serious, than isolated schemes perpetrated by the president’s conniving second son. He adds that his evidence points to Joe Biden’s direct involvement, including possible payments for official actions. That is what he told Maria Bartiromo on Sunday, although he hasn’t yet provided the evidence for that incendiary allegation. Comer is also attacking the FBI for desultory investigation – which ignored much of the malfeasance – and calling out the mainstream media for its concerted silence.

The Internal Revenue Service might be implicated, too, since a lot of payments – and a lot of Hunter’s income – went through what Comer calls the family’s “web of LLCs.” A senior supervisory agent at the IRS is seeking whistleblower protection to tell Congress about “preferential treatment and politics improperly infecting decisions and protocols that would normally be followed” in investigating Hunter’s taxes. If political pressure really was applied to the IRS over Hunter’s taxes, or if senior agents acted improperly to curry favor, those would obviously be very serious matters, legally and politically. Comer and the House Republicans in the committee’s majority want that testimony under oath and are seeking responses from the IRS and DOJ.

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“The question is whether Blinken and the Administration really want to test this in court.”

House Committee Prepares to Hold Blinken in Contempt (Turley)

The House of Representatives and the Biden Administration appear in a staring contest waiting for any sign of Blinken. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) warned Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the House Foreign Affairs Committee is moving to hold him in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with subpoena requests related to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. There is no question that the Committee has a legitimate oversight interest in the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan at a huge loss of life, abandonment of thousands of allies, and seven billion dollars in military equipment. The committee specifically wants to review a full copy of a dissent cable that had been signed by nearly two dozen State Department officials warning Blinken of a Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan a month before the terrorist group’s takeover occurred.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the cable undermines the claims of the Biden Administration that it had no forewarning of the chaos that would unfold in the country. The State Department has stonewalled the Committee, offering oral testimony and a summary while refusing to turn over the document. In his letter, McCaul warned that “the Department is now in violation of its legal obligation to produce these documents and must do so immediately.” McCaul added that “It strains credulity to believe that the official responsible for preparing the cable summary and briefing Congress on it would be unable to provide this information.” This has not been a great month for Blinken. He was earlier identified as the Biden campaign associate who “triggered” the infamous letter of 51 former intelligence officials claiming that the Hunter Biden laptop was likely “Russian disinformation.”

He was then named as a contact of Hunter Biden in the Obama Administration as part of an alleged influence peddling operation. (Blinken previously denied such contacts and was accused of lying under oath). The withdrawal from Afghanistan has been condemned by Democrats and Republicans alike. Given the loss of lives and equipment (as well as the impact on U.S. standing), there could not be more obvious subject matter for congressional inquiry. The question is whether Blinken and the Administration really want to test this in court. Attorney General Merrick Garland would likely decline to prosecute Blinken for contempt (despite his green lighting such prosecutions against former Trump officials), but the Congress could go to court to compel production.

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“..during a meeting with US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy in Canberra on Tuesday..”

Australian Lawmakers Call On US To Drop Assange Extradition Bid (RT)

A delegation of Australian lawmakers called for the United States to end its attempts to extradite and prosecute Julian Assange during a meeting with US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy in Canberra on Tuesday. The ‘Bring Julian Assange Home Parliamentary Group’ informed Washington’s chief diplomat in Australia that its citizens had expressed “widespread concern” at the continued detention in Britain of the WikiLeaks founder, who is an Australian national, as well as attempts to extradite him to the United States to face espionage charges. In 2010, Assange’s WikiLeaks platform published sensitive US government documents leaked by former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. “There are a range of views about Assange in the Australian community and the members of the parliamentary group reflect that diversity of views,” the cross-party group said in a statement following the meeting with Kennedy on Tuesday.

“But what is not in dispute in the group is that Mr. Assange is being treated unjustly.” The group’s co-chair, independent MP Andrew Wilkie, added on Tuesday that the Australian parliament had also expressed “broad concern” for Assange, as outlined in statements of support last week by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and opposition leader Peter Dutton. Albanese, in particular, was a noted critic of Assange’s detention throughout his successful election campaign in 2022. Assange is currently in London’s Belmarsh prison as he continues a legal battle to fight extradition to the United States, where he is facing espionage charges related to WikLeaks’ publication of hundreds of thousands of government documents pertaining to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, in addition to diplomatic cables. If convicted, Assange faces a sentence of 175 years in a maximum security prison.

Washington maintains that Assange’s actions put the lives of US servicemen in danger. His supporters, however, argue that Assange is being unfairly targeted by Washington following the damaging leaks, which exposed malfeasance by US personnel during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In April, 48 Australian lawmakers co-signed a letter addressed to US Attorney General Merrick Garland in which they said the United States’ pursuit of “journalist and publisher” Assange “set a dangerous precedent” for press freedom. US President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit Sydney on May 24 for the Quad Leaders’ Summit, where he will meet with the leaders of Australia, India and Japan. Albanese has not said whether he intends to raise the issue with Biden during his visit.

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“Wars cannot be fought without lies because most populations reject these wars as soon as they know the truth about them..”

Why the Release of Julian Assange Is Crucial for Our Future (Scheidler)

What is Julian Assange in prison for? He is in prison for showing the truth about our wars, in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. War and lies are very closely related. Wars cannot be fought without lies because most populations reject these wars as soon as they know the truth about them. Governments never tell the truth about their wars, because otherwise they lose the support of the population. Embedded journalists do not tell us the truth about the wars. After the disaster of the Vietnam War, various concepts have been developed to allow journalists to go to war theaters only embedded, accompanied by the respective military. We saw this in Iraq, we saw it in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Only a few journalists had the opportunity to look behind the scenes. That is why leaks, confidential sources and journalists like Julian Assange are so important.

Reporting the dirty truth about wars, no matter from which side they are waged, is crucial so that these wars can no longer be waged in the future. Let me give a few examples of this from history. In the Vietnam War, reporting by courageous journalists, often citing anonymous sources or using leaks, played a decisive role in ending the bloodshed. One of the most important steps was the story revealed by Seymour Hersh in 1969 about war crimes in My Lai, Vietnam. At that time, U.S. troops murdered hundreds of civilians, mostly women and children, in the village. This story and the images of it were instrumental in turning popular sentiment against this war. Another important revelation was the so-called Pentagon Papers, published by whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg with the help of journalists.

They showed that several U.S. governments had systematically lied to the population about the Vietnam War, about its motives, about its scale, and about its methods. It came out that not only Vietnam was bombed, but also Laos and Cambodia. An estimated three to four million people died in that war. These reports and the largely anonymous sources on which they were based were instrumental in bringing this war to an end. This was later followed by the revelations of the secret programs used by the CIA to illegally spy on U.S. citizens. These revelations, again by Seymour Hersh, led to the establishment of the so-called Church Commission in 1975 to provide parliamentary oversight of the intelligence agencies – an important step in defense of democracy. We then saw a new phase of wars with the start of the so-called war on terror after September 11. In 2004, Seymour Hersh exposed U.S. torture practices at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison.

Wikileaks and Julian Assange are part of this long tradition. In 2010 and 2011, based largely on information from Chelsea Manning, Wikileaks exposed a whole series of crimes committed by our governments that shocked the world. Among them was a document that showed how the CIA tried to mobilize sentiment in Germany and France for the war in Afghanistan. A headline from this document is telling: “Why it is not enough to count on the apathy of the Germans.” The point was to mobilize people for an expansion of operations in Afghanistan through manipulated information.

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Yeadon

 

 

Bigotry porn

Smile
https://twitter.com/i/status/1655975832450478081

 

 

 

 

Bird dog

 

 

 

 

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Oct 162020
 


Pablo Picasso Self portrait 1896

 

Hunter Biden Tried To Cash In Big On Behalf Of Family With Chinese Firm (NYP)
House GOP Asks If FBI Had Hunter Biden Laptop During Trump Impeachment (Fox)
Obama Conference Call Leaked To Burisma: Biden Emails (NYP)
Biden Campaign: VP May Have Had ‘Informal’ Meeting With Burisma Exec (DW)
Twitter, Facebook Protecting Biden After Execs Join Transition Team (ZH)
POTUS Punk vs. Dem Dementia (Escobar)
Facebook, Twitter Cross Line Far More Dangerous Than What They Censor (IC)
Weissmann Made Rosenstein Take Ownership of Michael Flynn Targeting (sundance)
Antiviral Drug Remdesivir Proves Ineffective In Treating COVID19 – WHO (F.)
WHO Europe Director Says Governments Should Stop Enforcing Lockdowns (PJW)

 

 

We’re in a communication vacuum. or maybe that should read: two separate vacuums. Even townhalls are not townhalls anymore. Everyone’s a liar, and everyone’s a winner.

 

 

 

 

$10 million a year. And then some.

Hunter Biden Tried To Cash In Big On Behalf Of Family With Chinese Firm (NYP)

Hunter Biden pursued lucrative deals involving China’s largest private energy company — including one that he said would be “interesting for me and my family,” emails obtained by The Post show. One email sent to Biden on May 13, 2017, with the subject line “Expectations,” included details of “remuneration packages” for six people involved in an unspecified business venture. Biden was identified as “Chair / Vice Chair depending on agreement with CEFC,” an apparent reference to the former Shanghai-based conglomerate CEFC China Energy Co. His pay was pegged at “850” and the email also noted that “Hunter has some office expectations he will elaborate.”


In addition, the email outlined a “provisional agreement” under which 80 percent of the “equity,” or shares in the new company, would be split equally among four people whose initials correspond to the sender and three recipients, with “H” apparently referring to Biden. The deal also listed “10 Jim” and “10 held by H for the big guy?” Neither Jim nor the “big guy” was identified further. The email’s author, James Gilliar of the international consulting firm J2cR, also noted, “I am happy to raise any detail with Zang if there is [sic] shortfalls ?” “Zang” is an apparent reference to Zang Jian Jun, the former executive director of CEFC China. The email is contained in a trove of data that the owner of a computer repair shop in Delaware said was recovered from a MacBook Pro laptop that was dropped off in April 2019 and never retrieved.

Tucker Burisma

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They did. And nothing happened.

House GOP Asks If FBI Had Hunter Biden Laptop During Trump Impeachment (Fox)

House Republicans are calling on the FBI to reveal whether it was in possession of a laptop that reportedly contained emails by Hunter Biden during the impeachment of President Trump — and claiming the agency committed a “gross error in judgement” if it did not inform the White House. “If the FBI was, in fact, in possession of this evidence and failed to alert the White House to its existence that would have given even more weight to the president’s legal defense, this was a gross error in judgement and a severe violation of trust,” the letter says. The letter was signed by 19 House Republicans, including Reps. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.; Louie Gohmert, R-Texas; Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz.; and Jody Hice, R-Ga.

The letter was written after the New York Post published emails suggesting that Hunter Biden introduced his father to a top executive at Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings in 2015 — one year before his father allegedly pressured the country’s government to fire a prosecutor who had launched an investigation into the company. The Post reported that the FBI was in possession of the laptop on which the emails were found in December 2019 — right in the middle of the impeachment of President Trump over remarks he made to the Ukrainian president about Biden’s conduct in the country.

[..] “A large portion of the president’s legal defense case revolved around strong evidence that former Vice President Biden’s son Hunter was peddling his influence to his father to land lucrative jobs overseas that he might not have otherwise been qualified for,” the letter says. The lawmakers ask whether the FBI was in possession of the laptop and drive as documented in the Post, whether it took steps to authenticate the drive and the data, and if anyone at the FBI briefed officials at the Department of Justice or White House after December.

Tucker Enjeti
https://twitter.com/i/status/1316547616239353856

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A Burisma PR firm was listening in on the call. WTF?

Obama Conference Call Leaked To Burisma: Biden Emails (NYP)

The Obama administration let a Democratic p.r. company that worked for Ukrainian energy firm Burisma take part in a conference call about an upcoming visit to Ukraine by then-Vice President Joe Biden, emails obtained by The Post show. An associate at Blue Star Strategies then emailed a memo with minutes of the conference call hosted by the White House to a top Burisma executive, Vadym Pozharskyi, as well as to Joe Biden’s son Hunter and Hunter’s business partner, Devon Archer, both of whom sat on Burisma’s board. The trip, in December 2015, turned out to be the one during which Biden later bragged about forcing Ukrainian officials to fire a state prosecutor who was investigating Burisma by threatening to withhold a $1 billion US loan guarantee.


The memo, sent shortly after the Dec. 2, 2015, call, also “outlined the trip’s agenda and addressed several questions regarding US policy toward Ukraine.” Blue Star has said it began working for Burisma and contacting Ukrainian officials on its behalf in November 2015, and an email shows that on Nov. 18, 2015, Pozharskyi sent the Blue Star contract to Hunter Biden, Archer and Eric Schwerin, president of the Rosemont Seneca Partners investment firm. Hunter Biden and Archer were among RSP’s founders, along with former Secretary of State John Kerry’s stepson, Christopher Heinz, Reuters has reported. “Could you kindly have BS countersign it and forward back to me?” Pozharskyi wrote. “I am kindly asking you to schedule either a conf call or advise us as to the foreseen action plan for November-December 2015, and if anything has been already done by BS, could kindly you ask them to share with us this information?”

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Didn’t you just deny this yesterday?

Biden Campaign: VP May Have Had ‘Informal’ Meeting With Burisma Exec (DW)

The campaign for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden admitted that it’s possible that Biden may have met with an executive for Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, during his time as vice president when his son was a board member of the company. The Biden campaign released a statement condemning reporting from the New York Post that revealed an email alleging that Biden’s son Hunter brokered a meeting between his father and Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to Burisma’s board. The campaign ruled out any official meetings between Pozharskyi and the former vice president but could not say that the two never met.


“We have reviewed Joe Biden’s official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place,” Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told Politico. “Investigations by the press, during impeachment, and even by two Republican-led Senate committees whose work was decried as ‘not legitimate’ and political by a GOP colleague have all reached the same conclusion: that Joe Biden carried out official U.S. policy toward Ukraine and engaged in no wrongdoing. Trump administration officials have attested to these facts under oath.” Despite the strong condemnation, Bates could not say for certain that Vice President Biden and Pozharskyi did not meet in an informal setting, however.

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They always had the power. And now they’re using it. But when Twitter suspended the Trump campaign and blocked the House Judiciary, that may have been a step too far.

Twitter, Facebook Protecting Biden After Execs Join Transition Team (ZH)

As if anyone needed more evidence of Silicon Valley’s overt political bias – just weeks before Twitter and Facebook nuked Biden corruption revelations from their platforms with the intensity of a thousand suns, executives from both companies joined the Biden transition team. [..] Perhaps the selective enforcement of content which is politically harmful to Democrats can be explained by recent hires by the Biden transition team. According to Breitbart, Twitter Public Policy Director Carlos Monje left the social media giant to join Biden’s transition team in September. He will reportedly serve as co-chair of Biden’s infrastructure policy committee, and helped organize a fundraiser for the former VP this week, according to an invitation from Politico.

Monje has worked in the world of presidential transition politics in the past, previously serving as the director of agency review on the team that prepared for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s administration, which failed to take flight. Monje also worked on the Obama administration team’s 2008 national security working group according to his LinkedIn profile. Monje also acted as deputy policy director during Obama’s first run for office and subsequently served as a senior policy advisor and special assistant to the president on the Domestic Policy Council. Monje’s final years in the administration were spent in the Transporation Department before he departed for Twitter. -Breitbart

Meanwhile in October, Biden’s transition team hired Facebook executive Jessica Hertz to its general counsel to deal with ‘ethics’ issues. Notably, Facebook was the first platform to ban the Post article – with former Democrat staffer and Facebook communications team member Andy Stone tweeting that the company would be ‘reducing its distribution.’

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“Evidence shows that on The Walking Dead’s rallies, there are more people from the Biden bus and reporters than flesh-and-blood Dem voters. ”

POTUS Punk vs. Dem Dementia (Escobar)

All manner of polls are circulating like whirling dervishes. Most highlight myriad Dem paths to victory and an inexorable Highway to Hell for Trump. A poll by The Economist gives Joe “Walking Dead” Biden a whopping 91% chance – remember Hillary in 2016? – of winning the Electoral College. A Dem-fueled consensus is emerging that Trump – relentlessly depicted as a deranged, lunatic proto-fascist who’s bad for business worldwide – will dispute results in any Republican-led state which he may narrowly lose, as in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Yet on the campaign trail, it’s a completely different story. Evidence shows that on The Walking Dead’s rallies, there are more people from the Biden bus and reporters than flesh-and-blood Dem voters.

The Biden-Harris campaign, demonstrating its matchless P.R. skills, spins these rallies as campaign secrets. Team Trump’s long-shot strategy seems to have been unveiled by the President himself: “We are going to be counting ballots for the next two years (…) We have the advantage if we go back to Congress. I think it’s 26 to 22 or something because it’s counted one vote per state.” That was a reference to the 12th Amendment to the Constitution: if state electors can’t agree on a president, the decision goes to the House. And then each of the 50 states gets one vote. So picture small GOP-controlled states such as Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming (each with one Republican in the House) having the same weight as California (52 members in the House, 45 of them Democrats.)

Advantage Trump: as it stands, it’s indeed 26 to 22, with two – Pennsylvania and Michigan – basically tied. Internal GOP polls show that while the Biden-Harris campaign is not knocking on any doors, Trump volunteers have actually swarmed no less than 20 million homes in swing states. Combine it with a new Gallup Poll showing that 56% of Americans state they are better off now under Trump than four years ago under Obama/Biden. Call it the return of “It’s the economy, stupid.” The Trafalgar Group – which correctly called the 2106 election – bets that Trump narrowly wins the Electoral College with 275 votes.

JPMorgan’s top quant Marko Kolanovic has exhaustively mapped changes in voter registration to dismiss virtually every poll showing a Dem sweep. This implies that Trump may well end up winning the Holy Trinity: Pennsylvania (20 votes), Florida (29 votes) and North Carolina (15 votes). And to top it off, something more exotic than a black hole eating a star has happened in this October Surprise-laden week: CNN decided to practice real journalism and eviscerated Nancy Pelosi on camera. That may be quite a bad omen for President-in-Waiting Kamala Harris, who very few remember was forged as the heir to the Obama-Pelosi axis in a secret meeting in the Hamptons way back in the summer of 2017.

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@Jack is expected on Capitol Hill next week.

Facebook, Twitter Cross Line Far More Dangerous Than What They Censor (IC)

In sum, the two Silicon Valley giants, with little explanation, united to prevent the sharing and dissemination of this article. As Los Angeles Times reporter Matt Pearce put it, “Facebook limiting distribution is a bit like if a company that owned newspaper delivery trucks decided not to drive because it didn’t like a story. Does a truck company edit the newspaper? It does now, apparently.” That the first amendment right of free speech is inapplicable to these questions goes without saying. That constitutional guarantee restricts the actions of governments, not private corporations such as Facebook and Twitter. But glibly pointing this out does not come close to resolving this controversy. That actions by gigantic corporations are constitutional does not mean that they are benign.

State censorship is not the only kind of censorship. Private-sector repression of speech and thought, particularly in the internet era, can be as dangerous and consequential. Imagine, for instance, if these two Silicon Valley giants united with Google to declare: henceforth we will ban all content that is critical of President Trump and/or the Republican Party, but will actively promote criticisms of Joe Biden and the Democrats. Would anyone encounter difficultly understanding why such a decree would constitute dangerous corporate censorship? Would Democrats respond to such a policy by simply shrugging it off on the radical libertarian ground that private corporations have the right to do whatever they want? To ask that question is to answer it.

To begin with, Twitter and particularly Facebook are no ordinary companies. Facebook, as the owner not just of its massive social media platform but also other key communication services it has gobbled up such as Instagram and WhatsApp, is one of the most powerful companies ever to exist, if not the most powerful. In June, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law launched an investigation into the consolidated power of Facebook and three other companies — Google, Amazon and Apple — and just last week issued a sweeping report which, as Ars Technica explained, found: “Facebook outright “has monopoly power in the market for social networking,” and that power is “firmly entrenched and unlikely to be eroded by competitive pressure” from anyone at all due to “high entry barriers—including strong network effects, high switching costs, and Facebook’s significant data advantage—that discourage direct competition by other firms to offer new products and services.”

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Bit too many screenshots would be needed. See the original.

Weissmann Made Rosenstein Take Ownership of Michael Flynn Targeting (sundance)

On June 3, 2020, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss his role in how Main Justice was operating while Andrew Weissmann’s special counsel was in charge. What he said in that hearing never quite made sense until yesterday. Those who closely followed the arc of the Weissmann/Mueller investigation; and those who joined us in following that investigation; already knew the SCO was in complete control from May 2017 to April 2019. Everything taking place inside the DOJ in the two years of the Mueller/Weissmann probe was completely and unequivocally controlled by the Weissmann team. Few journalists have ever grasped the ramifications of that control.


That control included every release and non-release of information during their two year tenure. However, Rosenstein’s tone when questioned about the scope memos he authorized during the special counsel time-frame was very odd in that June hearing. Rosenstein had a very guilty conscience and it was on full display as he attempted to justify his action. You see, there was always a missing scope memo from October 20, 2017, that no-one in the DOJ ever discussed. The nature of the scope memo was mentioned by Weissmann and Mueller in part of their Russia report; but until yesterday it was hidden. Here is the only mention of the October 20, 2017, scope memo prior to yesterday:

As you can see above the special counsel’s office used that October 20th scope memo to expand their investigative authorities. Specifically the second redacted name is very important because this specific memo authorized Andrew Weissmann to target Michael Flynn Jr as pressure to coerce a guilty plea from Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn a month later. During his apologetic senate testimony Rosenstein told congress he never questioned the authority of the special counsel team and never once questioned their “investigative process“, those are his words. Additionally, Rosenstein testified he signed all the scope memos because he felt it was his “responsibility” to facilitate the SCO needs regardless of what they requested; and every request was considered an “investigative process” by him.


Yesterday the mysteriously avoided October 20, 2017, scope memo was finally released to Catherine Herridge from the Senate Homeland Security Committee (Chairman Ron Johnson). Within the scope memo we can now see exactly what reference point Rosenstein was carrying during his June testimony. The scope memo was written by the special counsel’s office and the last page shows the motive and intent of Weissmann’s crew. Notice the tone and direction of the memo as that aspect also conveys a message; and do not overlook the specific phrase “jointly undertaken activity.” That approach was used by the SCO to target Flynn Jr.:

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“The gains Gilead experienced in the stock market during the pandemic have all but dissipated.”

Antiviral Drug Remdesivir Proves Ineffective In Treating COVID19 – WHO (F.)

The antiviral drug remdesivir had little or no effect in treating patients hospitalized with Covid-19, according to a study that has not yet been peer reviewed, but was coordinated by the World Health Organization and released on Thursday, casting doubt on one of the few promising treatments for the coronavirus. Deeming it “the world’s largest randomized control trial on Covid-19 therapeutics,” the six-month long study of four drugs—remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon—proved “unpromising.” “The main outcomes of mortality, initiation of ventilation and hospitalization duration were not clearly reduced by any study drug,” the study reads. Over 11,000 adults across 30 countries and 405 hospitals were studied to come to these results.


Regimens involving the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine have already been proven ineffective, but remdesivir appeared to be one of the few therapies to prove effective in combating Covid-19 symptoms. The WHO’s results come just a week after a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that found remdesivir shortened the time of recovery for adults hospitalized with Covid-19. President Trump, who contracted Covid-19 and spent time at Walter Reed hospital upon suffering from symptoms, was administered remdesivir as part of his treatment. Remdesivir is the only specific drug with an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. [..] The gains Gilead experienced in the stock market during the pandemic have all but dissipated. Its price rose as much as 29% since the start of the year before falling 3% below its position in January.

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Contradictory messages are lethal for an organization like the WHO.

WHO Europe Director Says Governments Should Stop Enforcing Lockdowns (PJW)

The World Health Organization’s Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge says governments should stop enforcing lockdowns, unless as a “last resort,” because the impact on other areas of health and mental well-being is more damaging. In an interview with Euro News, Kluge cautioned against the imposition of more lockdowns unless they are “absolutely necessary.” “He says damage to other health areas, mental health, domestic violence, schools and cancer treatment is too great,” tweeted reporter Darren McCaffrey. Kluge’s warning matches that of the WHO’s special envoy on COVID-19, Dr David Nabarro, who recently told the Spectator in an interview that world leaders should stop imposing lockdowns as a reflex reaction because they are making “poor people an awful lot poorer.”

It also resonates with numerous other experts who have desperately tried to warn governments that lockdowns will end up killing more people than the virus itself, but have been largely ignored. Germany’s Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Gerd Muller, recently warned that COVID-19 lockdowns will result in “one of the biggest” hunger and poverty crises in history. “We expect an additional 400,000 deaths from malaria and HIV this year on the African continent alone,” Muller said, adding that “half a million more will die from tuberculosis.” Muller’s comments arrived months after a leaked study from inside the German Ministry of the Interior revealed that the impact of the country’s lockdown could end up killing more people than the coronavirus due to victims of other serious illnesses not receiving treatment.

Another study found that lockdowns will conservatively “destroy at least seven times more years of human life” than they save. Professor Richard Sullivan also warned that there will be more excess cancer deaths in the UK than total coronavirus deaths due to people’s access to screenings and treatment being restricted as a result of the lockdown. His comments were echoed by Peter Nilsson, a Swedish professor of internal medicine and epidemiology at Lund University, who said, “It’s so important to understand that the deaths of COVID-19 will be far less than the deaths caused by societal lockdown when the economy is ruined.” According to Professor Karol Sikora, an NHS consultant oncologist, there could be 50,000 excess deaths from cancer as a result of routine screenings being suspended during the lockdown in the UK.

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