Apr 142024
 


Edgar Degas At the Milliner’s 1905-10

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

FISA

 

 

 

 

DOJ Biden

 

 

Assange

 

 

Maher Canada

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Crenshaw

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Washington Worried About Potential Israeli Attack – NBC (RT)

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

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

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

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Asymmetric warfare.

Iran Seizes Israeli-Linked Container Ship (RT)

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

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

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

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BRICS+.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mobilizing for Defeat (Amar)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Speech That Got Me Banned From Germany (Varoufakis)

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

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

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

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

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Time to hear Pelosi and Liz Cheney under oath?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Aristotle time

 

 

Moom!

 

 

Wolf size

 

 

Lynx

 

 


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

 

 

Reindeer

 

 

Octopus

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 082024
 
 April 8, 2024  Posted by at 8:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


James McNeill Whistler Arrangement in Pink, Red and Purple 1883-4

 

Facing Nuclear War (Paul Craig Roberts)
Take up the NATO Man’s Burden. Send Forth The Worst Ye Breed (Hayes)
US Reluctant to Cut Off Israel’s Arms Pipeline (Sp.)
Ex-German Chancellor Calls For Diplomatic Solution To Ukraine Conflict (RT)
Ukraine May Have To Compromise With Russia – Stoltenberg (RT)
Stoltenberg’s Dido Moment Might Put A Halt To West’s Lies (Jay)
Kiev ‘Hostage’ To US Politics – Zelensky (RT)
UK To Pressure US House Speaker On Ukraine Aid (RT)
FSB Reveals Crocus City Attackers’ Plan To Escape To Ukraine (RT)
IAEA Chief Calls Attack on Zaporozhye NPP Violation of Security Principles (Sp.)
Morality Challenged (Michael Brenner)
Col. Macgregor Urges US to Stop ‘Marching’ Into Foreign Countries (Sp.)
Appeals Court Vacates ‘Disinformation’ Monitoring Of Jan. 6 Defendant’s Computer (ET)
Elon Musk Says X Will Defy Order From Brazil’s Supreme Court (ET)
Outgoing Boeing CEO Bags $33 Million Pay-Off Despite 737 Max Accidents (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Fundraiser

 

 

Palestine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776811771376111937

 

 

Pepe
https://twitter.com/i/status/1775855559012434117

 

 

Putin Macron
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776833714820989431

 

 


Temperance is a tree which has for its root very little contentment, and for its fruit calm and peace. – Buddha

 

 

 

 

“..that the US needs to defend against a Russian or Chinese invasion is an absurdity when the US is being overrun daily by immigrant-invaders..”

Facing Nuclear War (Paul Craig Roberts)

The invention of nuclear weapons was an act of total insanity. If the massive stockpiles of nuclear weapons are not dismantled and destroyed, sooner or later they will destroy planet Earth. We have survived so far because the Cuban Missile Crisis awoke President Kennedy and Soviet leader Khrushchev to the danger of distrust between nuclear powers. For the remainder of the 20th century Washington and Moscow worked to defuse tensions and to build transparency and trust. Sufficient success was achieved to avoid false indications from warning systems showing incoming ICBMs from resulting in the launch of nuclear war. Today there is no trust. In the 21st century all of the arms agreements hammered out over the decades of the Cold War have been abandoned, first by Washington and then in response by the Kremlin. The Soviet collapse in 1991 gave rise to the neoconservative doctrine of US hegemony, an assertion of American unilateralism, a claim of American supremacy. Such an absurd and unrealistic claim is totally inconsistent with the existence of nuclear weapons.

All trust has been erased. In the US Russia has been demonized to an unprecedented extent. It is so extreme that anyone who gives an objective analysis is branded a “Putin agent/dupe.” This makes realistic assessments impossible. In Russia trust of Washington has been completely destroyed by broken promises, such as NATO will not move one inch to the East, broken arms agreements, deceit over the Minsk Agreement, and by Washington’s endless rejections of Russian requests for a mutual security agreement. Today all it takes for the world to end is one false warning of incoming missiles. It was Washington, not Russia, that created this situation, and nothing is being done about it. The world is content with the Sword of Damocles hanging by a thread over the planet. Whenever I raise this most serious of all issues, a gaggle of idiots pronounce that nuclear weapons will never be used because there can be no winners. All the while Putin is warning that Washington and its NATO puppets are pushing Russia into nuclear war. There is no end of people too stupid to see the dire threat.

If Biden, the defense secretary, anyone in Washington had any sense, they would call Putin and declare that we need more than a mutual security agreement. We need to dismantle and destroy all nuclear weapons–the US, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel, France and the UK. To demonstrate our newly acquired good intentions, Washington should announce that it is closing its worldwide network of illegal bioweapon research laboratories and abandoning its effort to substitute Washington’s self-serving “rule-based order” for established international law. The notion that the US needs to defend against a Russian or Chinese invasion is an absurdity when the US is being overrun daily by immigrant-invaders. According to official numbers, immigrant-invaders recruited from 160 countries by NGOs financed with federal tax dollars are entering unopposed our country monthly in numbers equivalent to the population of Pittsburgh.

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“..intransigent Sunnis, who don’t know their place of half devil and half child in the Pax Americana’s scheme of things..”

Take up the NATO Man’s Burden. Send Forth The Worst Ye Breed (Hayes)

Fast forward to Easter 2024 and consider this report by Irish state broadcaster RTE on Israel’s latest attack on the Zaynab shrine. Note how this Irish government outlet (feebly) argues that Israel is entitled to attack the shrine and to hell with the collateral human damage because it is a Hezbollah (read Shia) stronghold. The reality, had these genocidal apologists bothered to check, is that Hezbollah have to guard all Shia locales because Israel and their NATO proxies continually attack them and slaughter every and all Shias that they can. Think of a Russian Orthodox Church in Western Ukraine and you get the picture. I asked a good friend of mine, a female secular Sunni tour guide, if the Zaynab shrine was always so heavily guarded. She said that prior to NATO’s war against Syria, it only had normal security, the type that would be common in the mid West of the USA. Syria, before NATO launched its genocidal war against it, was considered one of the safest countries one could travel in. And that was probably their mistake, that it looked like easy meat for NATO’s cut throats.

But let’s forget Syria and Maaloula (which the Western media conveniently forgot about once Hezbollah and the Syrian Army freed it from NATO’s nun-torturing proxies). Let’s move on to Gaza or, rather to the BBC’s sickening coverage of it, as exemplified by examples of the BBC’s complicity in this most disgusting of war crimes. The sufferings the people of Gaza are enduring is the plainest example there is today of a war crime committed by war criminals, who should answer for their crimes. That the BBC considers Gaza is just some sort of pedantic philosophical talking point is a criminal indictment of the BBC on a par with anything the Nazis stood accused of in Nuremberg. And then there is NATO’s most recent criminal attack on Moscow, which is brilliantly addressed here by British maverick Russell Brand, who uses [an] article from WSWS, which often features in this site’s Editor’s Picks.

Although Brand easily and convincingly argues that NATO’s instant denials of Ukrainian intelligence involvement in these terror attacks are not in the least credible, Maaloula, Zaynab, Gaza and a million other places show that the criminal case against NATO goes much further and deeper than that. We have, in essence, two great forces operating against each other in the West. On the one hand, we have the business model of NATO and Israel, which see themselves fulfilling their manifest destiny by cleansing the lands they conquer of Shias, Armenian Christians, and elderly Russian monks and nuns. Their logic is quite simple. By cleansing the Middle East of its minorities, NATO can argue that the war there is between their pampered Israeli puppets and intransigent Sunnis, who don’t know their place of half devil and half child in the Pax Americana’s scheme of things.

On the other side of the ledger sheet, you have the Armenians, the Assyrians, the Mandaeans, the Shia, the Yezidi, secular Sunnis and many more who just want to live out their lives in peace, observing the customs their ancestors have observed since the dawn of time. This is not so much the Clash of Civilizations NATO’s mouthpieces harp on about but NATO, being utterly devoid of civilisation, trying to wipe everything from Maaloula and Zaynab to Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Masha and Mishka from the face of the earth. Hyperbole? Consider the case of former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the man who flew to Kiev to order the cross dressing Zelensky to fight to the last pregnant woman. This “cultured” man suggested that Palmyra, one of the jewels in Syria’s cultural crown, be allowed fall into ruin but that it should be recreated in some British controlled virtual world or other. True to form, this modern day Kipling has not a thought on how Palmyra, Maaloula or Zaynab fit into the greater glory of Greater Syria and the entire Fertile Crescent. Johnson would make a good Israeli, brash, boorish, and so arrogantly full of piss and wind that he is.

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“..John Kirby said the US did not know whether American-supplied weapons were used in the Israeli strike..”

US Reluctant to Cut Off Israel’s Arms Pipeline (Sp.)

Despite the verbal rhetoric and political fanfare emanating from the White House over Israel’s actions in Gaza, the Biden administration shows no willingness to cut off Tel Aviv from Washington’s arms supplies. While Biden urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take steps to minimize civilian harm in the war against Hamas, at no point during a recent phone call did he specifically threaten to limit US arms shipments, according to media reports. Biden “has the power to limit any foreign arms deliveries, even those previously approved by Congress,” the New York Times noted. But there was no specific “or else” delivered by Biden to Netanyahu during their exchange, the outlet added, citing officials. The call itself was inevitable, prompted by a wave of outrage over Israel’s deadly strike on the World Central Kitchen (WCK) humanitarian convoy in Gaza.

The Israeli strike killed seven WCK workers from Australia, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Palestine, as well as a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. Their humanitarian convoy was traveling in a “deconflicted zone” in two armored vehicles emblazoned with the organization’s logo and a soft-skinned vehicle when it was attacked. The team had just unloaded more than 100 tons of food aid it had brought into Gaza. After the strike, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israeli troops had “unintentionally harmed non-combatants” in Gaza, adding that “this is what happens in war. The flood of official statements from the White House stands in stark contrast to the detachment the US has shown in the face of the escalating civilian death toll in Gaza since the Palestinian-Israeli conflict escalated in the wake of the Hamas attack on October 7. 32,916 Palestinians have died since hostilities began, according to Gaza health officials.

U.S. President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday that the strike on humanitarian workers and the overall humanitarian situation in Gaza were “unacceptable.” White House national security communications adviser John Kirby said the US did not know whether American-supplied weapons were used in the Israeli strike. The US is the largest supplier of arms to Israel. It will account for 69% of Israel’s arms imports between 2019 and 2023, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The US signed a ten-year military agreement with Israel in 2016 that guarantees Israel $3.3 billion a year to purchase weapons from the US. An additional $500 million per year is earmarked for missile defense. “The continued supply of the world’s most advanced weapons technology will ensure that Israel has the ability to defend itself from all manner of threats,” former President Barack Obama said at the time.

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“Berlin and Paris Should Spearhead Efforts To End The Bloodshed..”

Ex-German Chancellor Calls For Diplomatic Solution To Ukraine Conflict (RT)

Berlin and Paris should be leading the way toward a negotiated solution to the Ukraine conflict, Gerhard Schroeder, who served as German chancellor between 1998 and 2005, has argued. The veteran politician also refused to disavow his long-time friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, adding that it could make him a good mediator in the current situation. In 2014, Schroeder threw a birthday party in St. Petersburg, with the Russian leader in attendance. Back in 2006, he became the head of the shareholders’ committee of Nord Stream AG, later also accepting a role on the board of Russia’s Rosneft energy giant. Schroeder stepped down from the latter post several months after the conflict between Russia and Ukraine began in February 2022. In an interview with Suddeutsche Zeitung published on Thursday, the 80-year-old expressed the view that it is still possible to secure a peace deal. “I am firmly convinced that [President] Putin is also interested in that,” Schroeder clarified.

The former German chancellor told the newspaper that he did not believe the conflict would spread further beyond Ukraine, or that it would lead to the use of nuclear weapons. He also lauded German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for refusing to provide long-range Taurus missiles to Ukraine. However, according to the politician, Germany and France should do more on the diplomatic front to end the bloodshed. Schroeder also expressed cautious optimism over the fact that there is now talk within the ruling Social Democratic Party about potential ways out of the Ukraine conflict, such as the freezing of the hostilities. In an interview with the press agency dpa last week, he similarly named diplomacy as the only way out of the crisis.

Speaking of his personal ties to the Russian president, Schroeder said: “We have worked together sensibly for many years. Perhaps that can still help to find a negotiated solution.” The former chancellor has previously called for a diplomatic resolution, claiming that Western Europe “failed” to seize the opportunity to push for peace in March 2022 during talks between Kiev and Moscow in Istanbul. Around the same time, Schroeder himself reportedly traveled to Türkiye and Russia on a “peace mission.” Russia has repeatedly asserted that it is in principle ready to engage in peace negotiations with Ukraine. According to Moscow, Kiev and its Western backers, however, have been setting unrealistic preconditions for talks.

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But the career puppet also says: “real peace” can only be achieved with a Ukrainian victory..”

Ukraine May Have To Compromise With Russia – Stoltenberg (RT)

Ukraine may ultimately have to agree to some kind of compromise with Russia to end the conflict, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said. In an interview with the BBC published on Saturday, the NATO chief reiterated that the West must support Ukraine in the long term “even if we believe and hope that the war will end in the near future.” He added that Western countries should invest in Kiev’s defense capabilities to make it more resilient in the event of future hostilities. At the same time, he signaled that it was up to Ukraine to choose when and under what conditions to seek peace with Russia. “At the end of the day, it has to be Ukraine that decides what kind of compromises they’re willing to do,” Stoltenberg said, adding that the West’s role is to help Kiev reach a negotiating position that could produce an “acceptable result.”

That said, Stoltenberg emphasized that he was not pushing Kiev toward any concessions, adding that “real peace” can only be achieved with a Ukrainian victory. Earlier this week, the NATO boss made a strong plea to support Kiev in the long term, urging the bloc’s members to “rely less on voluntary contributions and more on NATO commitments.” According to several reports, Stoltenberg proposed a five-year €100 billion ($107 billion) military aid package to Ukraine. The exact details of the initiative are reportedly now under discussion. Throughout the conflict, Russia has maintained that it is open to talks with Ukraine. However, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky banned any negotiations with the current leadership in Moscow after four former Ukrainian territories overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in the autumn of 2022.

The Ukrainian leader has been advicating a ten-point ‘peace formula’ demanding that Moscow withdraw its troops from territory Kiev claims as its own, as well as for a tribunal to be established to prosecute Russian officials for alleged war crimes. Moscow has dismissed the initiative as “detached from reality.” In an interview with Politico on Saturday, Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andrey Yermak, claimed that while Ukrainians were tired of the conflict, they would vehemently oppose any compromise with Russia. However, last month Zelensky suggested that a return to Ukraine’s 1991 borders was no longer a precondition for negotiations with Russia. Nevertheless, he still insisted that Kiev must regain the territory it lost to Moscow in 2022. Moscow has said Ukraine must take into account the fact that its borders have changed drastically since the start of the hostilities.

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“The greatest lie of all is the one about Russia having its sights on European countries to invade and conquer..”

Stoltenberg’s Dido Moment Might Put A Halt To West’s Lies (Jay)

Lying seems to be the ubiquitous theme now of NATO and western elites so I can be forgiven. Those were, of course the immortal words of Dido from the song White Flag – a narrative which would work well with the NATO supremo who you could easily imagine singing along too at the lights in Oslo in his Volvo estate with the “baby on board sticker” on the rear window. In reality, ponder what the old fool really said. “The sooner we can convince Moscow that it will not win on the battlefield, the sooner we can reach a peace agreement in which Russia understands that it cannot win the war, but must sit down and negotiate an agreement in which Ukraine becomes a sovereign, independent state.” Interesting how the official line is shifting all the time. Our man Jens is now talking about Russia “not winning” compared to Biden just a few weeks ago who told press room wasters that “Putin was losing in Ukraine”.

But here is our NATO man actually now calling for peace talks as it becomes embarrassingly patent that NATO has nothing to celebrate on its birthday and that Ukraine is falling village by village, town by town, to Russian forces. Of course Ukraine and NATO are both banking on the Americans signing off a 60bn dollar of military aid for Ukraine, as though that will make a difference to a war machine which siphons off so much which arrives in Kiev, leaving some pundits recently writing about how much even the staplers in government ministries are being stolen each day, such is the depth and severity of the crisis. But it’s the lying and level of lying which is astonishing. As Anthony Blinken stunned journalists just recently by saying that “Ukraine will join NATO” – perhaps the biggest lie ever of the entire war as western leaders know this is impossible and can never happen, without, that is the full defeat and exit of Russian forces. Actually it’s the second biggest lie.

The greatest lie of all is the one about Russia having its sights on European countries to invade and conquer which is something that Stoltenberg constantly says but not one EU leader believes which is evident in their irresponsible depletion of their own missiles. Macron also plays a key role in the manufacture of these untruths with his recent success in convincing journalists to write up the “we could send French troops into Ukraine” when, in fact, he packed that statement with so many caveats that he really didn’t say it at all. What is clear is that there is a state of panic now which is palpable from the West in general and that Macron, as well as NATO leaders, are having informal talks – or at least are having talks about possible talks – with Russia over some sort of what the Americans like to call an “off ramp” for Ukraine and the West. You could call it a “white flag” which has probably left you humming the song.

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“..rebuking US lawmakers for what he called an “immature approach” to the conflict and global security as a whole..”

Kiev ‘Hostage’ To US Politics – Zelensky (RT)

Ukraine’s issues have become caught up in US domestic politics and this jeopardizes its ability to fight against Russia, President Vladimir Zelensky has complained. At this stage Kiev, he explained on national TV on Saturday, would agree to any kind of support from Washington, even in the form of a loan. Zelensky expressed hope that the US Congress would eventually approve a supplemental aid package for Kiev which has been in limbo for months worth of tens of billions of dollars. Describing the long-awaited assistance as critical, Zelensky said he believes that “we can get a positive vote from the US Congress.” “Unfortunately, we are hostage to the fact that this is the electoral process… Russia’s war against Ukraine has today become an internal political issue in the United States,” he complained, rebuking US lawmakers for what he called an “immature approach” to the conflict and global security as a whole.

The Ukrainian president also signaled that Kiev would accept assistance from the US in the form of a loan. “You know, one senator was recently there, and he asked: would you agree to loan money? Let’s be frank: we will agree to any option,” he said, adding that Ukraine’s fate is hanging in the balance. Zelensky was referring to senior Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who traveled to Kiev last month to promote the loan idea first put forward by GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump. Graham claimed at the time to have been direct with Zelensky, telling him, “it’s not unfair for me to ask you and other allies: Pay us back down the road, if you can.”

Later, Politico reported that while Kiev is ready to consider the proposal, some Ukrainian officials find it “somewhat offensive.” US President Joe Biden has been urging Congress for several months to approve his aid package which would earmark $60 billion for Ukraine. Many Republicans have opposed the measure, demanding more efforts to strengthen security on the Mexican border. However, House Speaker Mike Johnson signaled earlier this month that the package could come up for a vote soon with “some important innovations,” including a proposal to extend a loan to Ukraine, as well as seizing frozen Russian sovereign assets and transferring them to Kiev. Moscow has described the blocking as “theft” and warned of retaliation if the funds are seized.

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UK Foreign War Secretary David Cameron also gets involved in domestic US politics?!

UK To Pressure US House Speaker On Ukraine Aid (RT)

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron is planning to use his upcoming trip to the US to persuade House Speaker Mike Johnson to unblock a $61 billion military aid package for Ukraine, the Telegraph reported on Sunday, citing sources at the Foreign Office. The additional funding has been delayed for several months due to political in-fighting in Congress. Cameron will fly to Washington, DC next week to meet with Johnson, as well as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Telegraph said. “If Congress does not help Ukraine, Ukraine will lose the war,” President Vladimir Zelensky warned earlier this week, following multiple complaints about the shortage of ammunition on the battlefield. Cameron renewed his appeal to keep helping Kiev in a piece for the Telegraph on Sunday, arguing that the West must “stop” Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Ukraine must win this war. If Ukraine loses, we all lose. The costs of failing to support Ukraine now will be far greater than the costs of repelling Putin,” Cameron wrote in an op-ed co-authored with French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne. He previously argued on social media that the security of the US, UK and EU is “on the line in Ukraine.”

Earlier this year, the British government stepped up its military assistance to Ukraine, pledging $3.2 billion in military aid, while the EU unveiled a plan to provide €50 billion ($54 billion) in loans and grants. House Republicans, however, have so far refused to advance the aid bill sought by President Joe Biden, arguing that the White House should agree to tougher border security measures. Johnson said before Congress went on a two-week Easter break that he was working on “important innovations” to the proposed legislation, signaling that the bill could be put to a vote soon. Russia has repeatedly said that no amount of foreign aid will change the course of the conflict in Ukraine, and will merely increase the risk of a further escalation.

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“..abandon the car near the border” and then call their handler for further instructions..”

FSB Reveals Crocus City Attackers’ Plan To Escape To Ukraine (RT)

Two escape routes were prepared in Ukraine for the terrorists who attacked a packed concert hall outside Moscow last month, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Sunday. The FSB showed snippets from interrogation videos, in which the suspects confessed that they were promised money in Kiev. On March 22, four Tajik nationals opened fire inside the Crocus City Hall music venue and then set the building on fire. A total of 145 people were killed and more than 500 were injured in the attack. The suspected assailants were detained the next day while trying to flee to Ukraine by car, the authorities said. More suspects were arrested in the following days, most of them of Tajik origin. The jihadist group Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) has claimed responsibility for the attack. FSB chief Aleksandr Bortnikov, however, suggested that the US, UK, and Ukraine may also be linked to the attack, possibly using Islamists as proxies. Ukraine and its Western backers have denied any involvement.

In the interrogation videos aired on Russian TV, the suspects said that they were following instructions from the handler they knew as Sayfullo. The authorities are currently working to determine his identity. The handler told the suspects to escape to Ukraine where they expected to receive 1 million rubles each ($11,000), they said. “Sayfullo told us that guys would wait for us at the Ukrainian border and that they would help us to cross the border and arrive in Kiev,” suspect Muhammadsobir Fayzov told his interrogator. According to investigators, the suspects took the M3 highway that leads to the border with Ukraine, but were eventually intercepted about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from Ukraine’s Sumy region.

Suspect Shamsidin Fariduni said that they were told to “abandon the car near the border” and then call their handler for further instructions on how to cross into Ukraine. Russian officials said previously that a “window” for crossing the border had been arranged on the Ukrainian side.The FSB said on Sunday that the Ukrainians were conducting “demining activities” near the villages of Chuykovka and Sopych, which points to two possible escape routes. According to investigators, the suspects were expected to destroy their vehicle and cross the border on foot, using woodlands as cover. Russia’s Investigative Committee said earlier this week that pro-Ukrainian images were discovered on the phone of one of the suspects.

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“Such reckless attacks significantly increase the risk of a major nuclear accident and must cease immediately,” Grossi was quoted as saying..”

IAEA Chief Calls Attack on Zaporozhye NPP Violation of Security Principles (Sp.)

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi characterized the recent drone attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP) as a violation of nuclear security principles and called for an end to such “reckless attacks” Sunday. The IAEA confirmed minor damage to the sixth power unit of the plant as a result of the drone attacks. “This is a clear violation of the basic principles for protecting Europe’s largest [nuclear power plant]. Such reckless attacks significantly increase the risk of a major nuclear accident and must cease immediately,” Grossi was quoted as saying in the IAEA statement. Earlier in the day, Ukrainian kamikaze drones attacked the territory of the power station immediately after an inspection carried out by IAEA experts, the plant’s press service said. The attack left three of the facility’s workers injured, with one of them sustaining serious injuries, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said.

The IAEA had previously confirmed damage to the plant in a separate statement. “IAEA experts confirmed physical impact of drone attacks at ZNPP today, incl. at 1 of its 6 reactors,” the agency said. “One casualty reported. Damage at unit 6 has not compromised nuclear safety, but this is a serious incident with potential to undermine integrity of the reactor’s containment system.” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the international community must respond to Ukraine’s attack, calling it “an act of nuclear terrorism.” “The world community must realize and react to an act of nuclear terrorism on the part of the Kiev regime,” Zakharova said on Telegram. The Zaporozhye nuclear plant, constructed in the 1980s by the Soviet Union, is Europe’s largest and one of the world’s largest. The massive power station is reportedly now completely reliant on a single 750-kilowatt line for external power after previous attacks.

A connection to outside electricity is necessary to ensure the plant is able to cool its reactors – an interruption in the delivery of power could precipitate a catastrophic meltdown. Russia took control of the sensitive asset in March 2022 and it has endured Ukrainian fire ever since. Ukrainian drones, missiles, and artillery have all been used against the plant by Kiev, which has repeatedly attempted to reassert control. Kiev claims Russia is storing weapons at the power station and using it as cover to attack Ukrainian troops. Observers worry Ukraine may create a disaster at the plant, blaming Russia and spoiling newly-Russian territory. Kiev has repeatedly employed US-provided cluster munitions during fighting in the Donbass, raising the prospect of unexploded bomblets creating a hazard for decades to come.

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Long from Brenner.

Morality Challenged (Michael Brenner)

Is there now a moral void at the heart of Western societies? That question haunts us as governments in the United States and Europe act as accomplices in Israeli’s atrocious crimes against the Palestinians. The Jewish state’s conduct meets the standard of genocide as stated in the United Nations Convention on Genocide of which they all are signatories. Confirmation is likely to come soon in a conclusive determination by the International Court of Justice. The ICJ already in January recognized a prime facie case for genocide. The UN’s top court ordered Israel to take all measures to prevent genocidal acts in Gaza. The ICJ found it did have jurisdiction on the matter, and decided there was a plausible case under the 1948 Genocide Convention. At least some of the acts and omissions by Israel “fall within the provisions of the (Genocide) Convention,” the judges said.

The ICJ issued a set of stipulations “to protect the rights claimed by South Africa that the Court has found to be plausible,” including “the right of the Palestinians in Gaza to be protected from acts of genocide.” One reasonably expected that the stark moral issues thereby highlighted – along with subsequent atrocities – would spark an animated, anguished public debate as a prelude to decisive action. Yet, the political class in its near totality disregards or sublimates them. Silence reigns. Gaza exhibits singular features that set it apart from other relatively recent instances of systematic, targeted attacks on civilians. One, the West’s response is not one of indifference leading to passivity – as in regard to Ruanda.

Governments have been active participants in Israel’s indiscriminate punishment of the Palestinians. They provide Israel with vast amounts of weapons critical to their military assault; they offer unqualified political support and diplomatic cover; they acquiesce in the siege that prevents foodstuffs, medicines and other humanitarian aid from entering the strip – causing mass famine and disease among the civilian population; they lend credence to crude propaganda lines from Jerusalem without question or qualification: the phony rape stories, alleged Hamas nests in hospitals, etc. etc..; they pressure their mass media to publicize those fabrications as hard news; and they suppress both public demonstrations and individual calls for measure to alleviate Palestinian suffering – instead, denouncing them as pro-Hamas and/or anti-Semitic. Germany, France and now Britain have gone so far as to criminalize public expressions of anti-Zionist viewpoints.

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“..trying to force people to become like us..”

Col. Macgregor Urges US to Stop ‘Marching’ Into Foreign Countries (Sp.)

Former Pentagon Adviser Col. Douglas Macgregor said Sunday the United States should stop “marching” into foreign nations to expand their political influence. “We need to stop marching into other peoples countries and trying to force people to become like us,” Macgregor said on the X social media platform. Earlier this week US Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed the US-led NATO alliance is a defensive organization that has “no designs” to seize the territory of any other country in the world. NATO has carried out bombings and interventions in countries including Libya, Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan over its 75-year history.

The alliance also partnered with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to sponsor Operation Gladio, a covert program that backed far-right paramilitaries throughout Europe. In March, the Russian Mission to the United Nations requested a Security Council meeting to mark the 25th anniversary of the bombing campaign carried out by NATO against Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War in 1999. Several US-aligned states raised objections to the proposed meeting, saying it was not relevant under the UN Security Council agenda category of “threats to international peace and security.”

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The judge really wants to go after Tucker Carlson.

Appeals Court Vacates ‘Disinformation’ Monitoring Of Jan. 6 Defendant’s Computer (ET)

A sentencing requirement that Jan. 6 defendant Daniel Goodwyn have his computer monitored by the government for “disinformation” has been vacated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The court on March 26 published a mandate sending the case back to U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton to remove the computer monitoring requirement he issued as part of the sentencing judgment in the case on June 15, 2023.
“Judge Walton had no legal basis to issue the special condition,” Carolyn Stewart, Mr. Goodwyn’s attorney, told The Epoch Times in an April 3 email. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the judge “plainly erred” in imposing the computer monitoring. Judges Gregory Katsas, Naomi Rao, and Bradley Garcia issued a per curiam order vacating the monitoring provision.

Judge Walton, when imposing a 60-day jail sentence in June 2023, said Mr. Goodwyn spread “disinformation” during a broadcast of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on March 14, 2023. Judge Walton ordered that Mr. Goodwyn’s computer be subject to “monitoring and inspection” by a probation agent to check if he spread Jan. 6 disinformation during the term of his supervised release. The judge also referred to Mr. Goodwyn spreading alleged “misinformation,” using the term interchangeably with “disinformation.” Mr. Goodwyn, 35, of Corinth, Texas, pleaded guilty on Jan. 31, 2023, to one misdemeanor count of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. The charge could have meant up to a year in prison. On June 6, 2023, Judge Walton sentenced Mr. Goodwyn to 60 days in prison, a year of supervised release, a $2,500 fine, and a $500 restitution payment.

Federal prosecutors had asked for 90 days in jail, 36 months of supervised release, a $25,676 fine, and $500 in restitution. The recommended fine amount represented proceeds of a GiveSendGo web page Mr. Goodwyn uses to raise funds for his legal fees. Mr. Goodwyn asked for a sentence of time served with three months of supervised release. He received credit for three weeks he spent in pretrial detention, but not for the 13 months he spent in home detention. He completed his incarceration at the Federal Correctional Institution at Bastrop, Texas, on Aug. 25, 2023. Mr. Goodwyn said the Court of Appeals made the correct decision. “Judge Walton’s imposition of the computer monitoring restriction is inconsistent with American law and tradition,” Mr. Goodwyn told The Epoch Times. “It’s unbelievable, in my opinion, that he would unlawfully order feds to spy on me in direct violation of the First and Fourth Amendments, under threat of locking me back up in prison.”

[..] During the sentencing hearing, Judge Walton criticized Mr. Goodwyn for having the “false impression” that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from President Donald Trump. “And there is just no proof whatsoever that that was, in fact, the case,” the judge said, according to the official court transcript for the June 6 portion of the hearing. It was Mr. Goodwyn’s appearance on Mr. Carlson’s Fox News program that drew some of the sharpest fire from Judge Walton. He called Mr. Carlson a “lightning rod” who “has said and done things that I think clearly have been divisive.” Mr. Carlson gave the impression “that individuals who have been charged in reference to the events on January 6th of ‘21 have been treated unfairly,“ the judge said. ”And I see no evidence that, in fact, was the case.”

When being interviewed by Mr. Carlson, Mr. Goodwyn “made no attempt to correct the record,” Judge Walton said. “And when Carlson suggested that all the defendant did was go into the Capitol and walk around for less than a minute and leave, that just wasn’t correct. And that misinformation that is disseminated to the American public has contributed to the discord that now exists in our country in reference to the presidential election and what occurred on January 6th.”

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“You’re going to save my country. We could never repay you.”

Elon Musk Says X Will Defy Order From Brazil’s Supreme Court (ET)

Owner of X Corp. Elon Musk said on the platform on April 6 that the company had decided to lift all restrictions on Brazilian accounts targeted by an order from the nation’s Supreme Court. “We are lifting all restrictions. This judge has applied massive fines, threatened to arrest our employees and cut off access to X in Brazil. As a result, we will probably lose all revenue in Brazil and have to shut down our office there. But principles matter more than profit,” Mr. Musk wrote, explaining X’s decision. The announcement came in response to reporting by investigative journalist Michael Shellenberger and colleagues David Ágape and Eli Vieira, titled “Twitter Files Brazil.” In his reporting, Mr. Shellenberger cited records released by X, formerly known as Twitter, during Mr. Musk’s 2022 takeover that allegedly show that “Brazil is engaged in a sweeping crackdown on free speech led by a Supreme Court justice.”

Sitting members of Brazil’s Congress and journalists were among those named by Brazil’s highest court for censoring, Mr. Shellenberger said of his findings, which he has shared on X He named lower house members Carla Zambelli of former President Jair Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party and Marcel van Hattem of the NOVO party as targets of orders targeting posts that the court deemed misinformation. According to the internal files that Mr. Shellenberger shared, Twitter in Brazil was threatened with a $30,000 fine. The company had one hour to remove the congressmembers’ posts or pay the court for noncompliance. The article reports that the justice had even been jailing individuals without trial for their social media posts. According to Mr. Shellenberger, Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes allegedly made demands to Twitter to allow access to its internal data, in violation of Twitter’s own policies on the handling of user data.

He also allegedly ordered that Twitter deplatform the individuals responsible for the specific posts that he wanted censored “without giving users any right of appeal or even the right to see the evidence presented against them.” Brazil’s “Twitter Files” also show that the justice “sought to weaponize Twitter’s content moderation policies against supporters of then-president [Jair Bolsonaro],” Mr. Shellenberger said—a similar trend to what the “Twitter files” revealed was happening to former President Donald Trump and conservative voices in the United States. The origin of the order to censor Brazilians’ posts was also revealed in the internal Twitter files, he said. He said Justice de Moraes, Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court, and Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court declined to respond to the report.

Last year, Justice de Moraes also ordered an investigation into executives at social messaging platform Telegram and Alphabet’s Google, who were in charge of a campaign criticizing a proposed internet regulation bill. Mr. Musk said of Brazil’s Twitter Files, which he released to Mr. Shellenberger, “This aggressive censorship appears to violate the law & will of the people of Brazil.” Journalist Paulo Figueiredo, a contributor to The Epoch Times who was censored by the court order, replied: “You’re going to save my country. We could never repay you.” He had replied to an earlier post urging X to not comply with the court order, saying the independent platforms Rumble and Locals did not comply. “You’re powerful enough to make a difference,” Mr. Figueiredo said.

Rogan X

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For running the company into the ground.

Outgoing Boeing CEO Bags $33 Million Pay-Off Despite 737 Max Accidents (Sp.)

Boeing’s departing CEO Dave Calhoun’s 2023 pay package jumped by 45 percent to about $33 million, according to an annual proxy statement filed on Friday. Boeing reported that Calhoun’s compensation mainly consists of deferred stock options. Boeing’s share price has slumped almost 30 percent this year as of March 29, 2024 following the mid-air blowout of an Alaska Airlines B737 MAX 9 jet door plug on January 5. A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board revealed that Boeing failed to correctly install the four bolts required to secure the door on the Alaska jet. The revised figure for Calhoun’s overall earnings in 2023 totalled $24.8 million. The departing CEO pocketed $22.6 million the previous year, according to the regulatory filing.

The Seattle-based planemaker is in financial and regulatory trouble after several accidents with its B737 Max short-medium haul airliners. It has suffered a drop in new orders and mounting concerns over quality control and corporate governance raised by regulators and customers. Last February, an expert panel found Boeing’s safety practices “inadequate and confusing” and noted a “disconnect” between the company’s senior management and front-line workers. In March, a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) probe found multiple issues within Boeing’s 737 Max production, including quality control violations by major supplier Spirit AeroSystems. The FAA conducted 89 product audits of which 33 failed, totalling 97 instances of noncompliance. Based on FAA findings, Spirit AeroSystems underwent 13 audits, failing seven.

Calhoun was appointed CEO of Boeing in January 2020. His 2023 pay-packet is his highest yet, despite the transnational corporation’s litany of woes. sFollowing the Alaska incident, Boeing’s executive compensation committee adjusted the payment structure for top officials in 2024. Executives in the commercial aircraft division will now have their pay split into 60 percent based on operational performance and 40 percent based on financial performance. Previously, three-quarters of pay was based on financial metrics.

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https://twitter.com/i/status/1776616386048983117

https://twitter.com/i/status/1776606901611933760

 

 

Birx

 

 

Baby elephant
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776687801632952388

 

 

Toddler puppy

 

 

Hawk mallard

 

 

Horse
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777095055255433356

 

 

Toothpaste
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777182076950974843

 

 

PolyGlu

 

 

Table cloth

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 312024
 


Titian Christ Carrying the Cross 1565

 

Why Americans Have Little To Smile About These Days (Bridge)
Trump Pushes Legal Challenges In Two Cases (BBC)
We Need A Ceasefire In Ukraine – Orban (RT)
‘Odessa Will Fall’, Musk Warns Ukraine (RT)
Ukraine Was Testing Ground for Western Big Pharma (Sp.)
Money Transfers Proof That Crocus Terrorists Followed Orders From Ukraine (Sp.)
US Marines Struggle to Adapt to Fighting Adversary That Can Fight Back (Miles)
Biden Claims Saudi Arabia, Qatar ‘Ready To Normalize’ With Israel (Cradle)
Israel Believes Only 60-70 Out Of 134 Hostages Are Still Alive (ZH)
The Never-Ending Federal Surveillance Crime Spree (Bovard)
Republicans Score Win In Court Battle Over Pennsylvania Mail-In Ballots (ET)
Behind Massive Mail-in Ballot Push Is a Little-Noticed Executive Order (ET)
Judge Rebukes DOJ Arguments Against Release Of Jan. 6 Defendant (ZH)
$935 Diabetes Jab Ozempic Costs Less Than $5 To Make (ET)
Why is $BCH So Hot Right Now? (Kim Dotcom)

 

 

How Joe Biden chooses to celebrate the resurrection of Christ.

 

 

Maher Trump

 

 

Habba

 

 

 

 

Mike Davis Fani

 

 

DeSantis

 

 

Lie
https://twitter.com/i/status/1773809245504278628

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Not since the Civil War period have the American people witnessed such stark political divisions, and it seems to be just a matter of time before the Blue and Gray battle fatigues are back in style..”

Why Americans Have Little To Smile About These Days (Bridge)

From a sputtering economy and high inflation to a lack of trust in political leadership, Americans are expressing displeasure with many facets of their daily lives. In the annual World Happiness Report, the United States plunged eight places to 23rd, a historic low for the land famous for its pearly white smiles. It’s the first time since the report launched back in 2012 that the US did not feature among the world’s 20 happiest countries. So what’s dragging Americans down? Perhaps the best place to start is with the economy, which has left many people in the dust as the rich just keep getting richer. Consumer prices for basic grocery items remain above what they were in January 2021, when President Joe Biden assumed office. Prices for chicken (+26%), bread (+30%), sugar (+44%), and butter (+27%) are enough to trigger many shoppers, while a simple trip to a restaurant has become a rare luxury for many financially strapped consumers. Meanwhile, rent costs have surged by 20% over the same period.

Amid this sticker shock at the checkout line, Americans have also expressed a heavy amount of skepticism with the political system. A comprehensive Pew Research Center survey reveals high levels of dissatisfaction with the three branches of government, the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as the candidates for office. Among the findings, just 4% of US adults say the political system is working extremely or very well; another 23% report it is working somewhat well. About six in ten (63%) express not too much or no confidence at all in the future of the US political system. A growing proportion of Americans are expressing contempt for both political parties. Nearly three in ten (28%) express unfavorable opinions of both parties, the highest share in three decades of polling. And a comparable share of respondents (25%) do not feel well-represented by either party.

While trust in government has remained near historic lows for much of the last two decades, today it stands among the lowest levels dating back nearly seven decades. And now, three years after the January 6 protests at the Capitol Building, more Americans believe their country is heading for a political smash-up. According to a CBS/YouGov poll released in January, 49% of respondents expect some sort of violence in future political contests, like the upcoming showdown between Donald Trump and Joe Biden on November 4. Meanwhile, a full 70% agreed with the statement that American democracy is ‘threatened’. Not since the Civil War period have the American people witnessed such stark political divisions, and it seems to be just a matter of time before the Blue and Gray battle fatigues are back in style, albeit over entirely different issues.

The Democrats and Republicans are trapped inside of their own iron-clad echo chambers, where they are prevented from hearing their political opponents just across the aisle. This lack of a national dialogue, worsened by an overtly pro-liberal media, is what spawned the so-called insurrection on January 6, and could easily trigger a new bout of violence sometime down the road. Feelings of loneliness is another thing dragging Americans down. In May 2023, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called loneliness a “public health epidemic.” The latest Healthy Minds Monthly Poll from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) reveals that, early in 2024, 30% of adults said they have “experienced feelings of loneliness at least once a week over the past year, while 10% say they are lonely every day.”

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When you don’t take it as “News”, the MSM is a delight. Take the new Trump gag order, “barring Mr Trump from attacking court staff and their family members”. What happened is Judge Merchan’s daughter uses a pic of Trump behind bars as her avatar. But he cannot say now that that is inappropriate.

“Contrary to the People’s suggestion, the Court cannot ‘direct’ President Trump to do something that the gag order does not require..”

Another gem: “Ms Willis had described Mr Wade as a “trusted friend..”

Michael Cohen boinked Stormy Daniels and paid her for it using Trump’s money. When that ran out, he claimed it was “hush money”. The paper trail was already there. Does that sound about right?

Trump Pushes Legal Challenges In Two Cases (BBC)

Donald Trump’s attorneys pushed two legal challenges before Easter weekend. His camp is appealing against a verdict from a Georgia judge allowing Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to stay on an election subversion case. They also aim to stop the expansion of a gag order, limiting Mr Trump’s speech, in a New York hush money case. The Republican presidential nominee faces four legal cases, and these two are the most likely to be heard in court before the US elections. Mr Trump has pleaded not guilty in all the cases, and claimed he is being politically persecuted. Mr Trump and his co-defendants in the Georgia case, which accuses them of plotting to overturn the 2020 election, have alleged that Ms Willis financially benefitted from an improper romantic relationship with Nathan Wade – a prosecutor she hired to lead the case. Judge Scott McAfee – who is overseeing the case – held two weeks of chaotic hearings that included fiery testimony from Ms Willis.

She admitted to the relationship but denied benefitting from it financially. In the end, the judge sided with Ms Willis, though he said the relationship had the “appearance of impropriety” and demanded Mr Wade or Ms Willis step down. Mr Wade did so within hours. In a 51-page motion filed on Friday before the Georgia Court of Appeals, Mr Trump and eight of his co-defendants argued Ms Willis should also be removed – which would greatly delay the case or could lead to it being dismissed. Mr Trump and other co-defendants’ lawyers said Mr Wade’s resignation did not sufficiently address the “appearance of impropriety” that “cast a pall over these entire proceedings”. “The trial court was bound by existing case law to not only require Wade’s disqualification (which occurred) but also to require the disqualification of DA Willis and her entire office,” the attorneys said in the filing. CBS News, the BBC’s US partner, has reported that Ms Willis intends to play a prominent role in the case, which the judge has ordered to proceed if Mr Trump appeals.

Meanwhile, in New York, Mr Trump is embroiled in other legal battles while he awaits the start of his first criminal trial over the alleged falsification of business records related to a payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels. This week, the justice in the case, Juan Merchan, granted a request from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to impose a gag order on Mr Trump barring him from making statements about jurors and witnesses or intimidating court staff. On Friday, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg sought to clarify – and possibly expand – the gag order barring Mr Trump from attacking court staff and their family members. His motion came after Mr Trump insulted Justice Merchan’s daughter in a social media post before the gag order was issued.

Mr Bragg asked Justice Merchan to “make abundantly clear” that the gag order applied to “family members of the Court”, the district attorney and other individuals mentioned in the gag order. He also asked the judge to “warn” Mr Trump “and direct him to immediately desist”. If Mr Trump does not, the prosecutor argues, he should face sanctions. The former president’s attorney, Todd Blanche, denied that his client had violated the gag order and argued that the judge’s daughter was not a part of it. He wrote that there was nothing wrong with the social media posts. “Contrary to the People’s suggestion, the Court cannot ‘direct’ President Trump to do something that the gag order does not require,” he said.

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“There is no remaining “reasonable dispute between Russia and the West,” Orban added..”

We Need A Ceasefire In Ukraine – Orban (RT)

Ukraine’s path to peace and security could lie in establishing a buffer zone next to the Russian border, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said. With the conflict between Moscow and Kiev in its third year, the Western flow of military and financial aid to Ukraine is dwindling, while its army is losing ground. Orban suggested that now is the time for a ceasefire, Hungarian magazine Mandiner wrote on Friday, quoting the prime minister’s interview with former Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schussel in Budapest. There is no remaining “reasonable dispute between Russia and the West,” Orban added. “People in Europe are not happy that their governments want to provide more financial assistance to Ukraine,” he said, explaining that Europe cannot provide the kind of support that would result in a military victory for Ukraine. EU states have allocated €77 billion ($83 billion) in aid to Kiev, while pledging €144 billion since the beginning of the conflict in February 2022, according to Germany’s Kiel Institute.

Ukraine has lost several strategically important cities in Donbass in the last month. Officials in Kiev have repeatedly cited the lack of Western-supplied munitions as the reason for their battlefield setbacks. Orban doubled down on his idea of a buffer zone next to the Russian border as Ukraine’s ideal peace solution, provided there are “additional security guarantees.” Without this, he said, “they could lose their country.” He stressed that Russia will never accept Ukraine joining NATO. Moscow has stated that one of the main causes of the conflict was the expansion of the US-led military bloc towards Russia’s borders. President Vladimir Putin has said one of the key goals of the Russian military operation is to force Kiev away from its goal of joining NATO – an ambition enshrined in the country’s constitution in 2019. While the Hungarian prime minister condemned the Russian military operation, he has repeatedly spoken out against the EU’s handling of it. Unlike the other EU states, Hungary has not sent any armaments to Kiev, limiting their contributions to humanitarian aid.

Mearsheimer

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“Whether Ukraine loses all access to the Black Sea or not is, in my view, the real remaining question..”

‘Odessa Will Fall’, Musk Warns Ukraine (RT)

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has reiterated his belief that Ukraine’s position is weakening with each passing day of the hostilities, warning that the “real question” is how much territory Kiev will lose and how many lives it will waste before sitting for talks with Moscow. The entrepreneur claimed in a post on his X platform on Saturday that “any fool could have predicted” that Kiev’s much-touted counteroffensive last year would fail, adding that even if Kiev had followed his recommendation to “entrench and apply all resources to defense,” it would be “tough to hold land that doesn’t have strong natural barriers.” “It was a tragic waste of life for Ukraine to attack a larger army that had defense in depth, minefields and stronger artillery when Ukraine lacked armor or air superiority!,” Musk wrote. Kiev has lost over 444,000 troops killed and wounded in two years of hostilities against Moscow, including more than 166,000 during last year’s counteroffensive, according to last month’s estimates from the Russian Defense Ministry.

However, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed in February that Kiev’s forces lost only 31,000 soldiers killed since the start of the conflict. The billionaire went on to argue that “the longer the war goes on, the more territory Russia will gain until they hit the Dnepr, which is tough to overcome.” However, if the war lasts long enough, Odessa will fall too… Whether Ukraine loses all access to the Black Sea or not is, in my view, the real remaining question. I recommend a negotiated settlement before that happens. Elon Musk has shifted his position on Ukraine several times since the conflict began in early 2022. He initially supplied Kiev with free Starlink internet terminals and access to the satellite-based network, but declined to activate the service near Crimea for fear that Ukraine would use it to guide drone attacks on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. If this had happened, he explained last year, SpaceX would have been “complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.”

Musk has also used his X account to speak extensively about the trajectory of the conflict. More than a year ago, he proposed that Kiev abandon its claim to Crimea, declare neutrality, and allow the four new Russian regions – Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye – to hold fresh referendums on joining the Russian Federation. This proposal is similar to the terms offered by Russia to Kiev and the Western powers before the conflict began, except Moscow initially called only for autonomy in Donetsk and Lugansk. Moscow has stressed that it remains open to meaningful talks with Kiev and has blamed the lack of a diplomatic breakthrough on the Ukrainian authorities, who refuse to accept the “reality on the ground.” Ukraine must take into account the fact that its borders have changed drastically since 2022, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday, commenting on Zelensky’s suggestion that a return to 1991 borders was no longer a precondition for negotiations.

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Biolabs.

Ukraine Was Testing Ground for Western Big Pharma (Sp.)

Ukraine was one of the main testing grounds for trials of a drug that could potentially cause various forms of cancer and that was used on patients in the psychiatric ward of Mariupol Hospital No. 7 with the support of local officials in the interests of Western pharmaceutical companies, according to documents seen by Sputnik. In particular, the trial involved the experimental drug SB4 for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The drug inhibits the action of molecules of the so-called tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF), which plays an important role in the immune system, and its use creates the possibility of developing various forms of cancer, including in the lymphatic and hematopoietic systems, as well as skin. The manufacturers of SB4 were Biogen Idec Denmark Manufacturing ApS (Denmark), Catalent Pharma Solutions (Belgium), and Fisher Clinical Services UK Limited (UK). The study was sponsored by South Korea’s Samsung Bioepis, the documents read.

An application from Quintiles Ukraine for approval by the state expert center of the Ukrainian Ministry of Health and the Ethics Commission at the medical and preventive institution for conducting clinical trials of SB4 was found among the documents. Quintiles Ukraine was established as a division of the US outsourcing pharmaceutical company Quintiles Transnational. According to the application, signed in February 2013, at that time it was planned to test the drug in Ukraine on 152 patients (later this number increased to 180), and in total on almost 500 patients around the world. According to the periodic report of the SB4-G31-RA project on SB4 trials, by November 2013, 777 patients had been selected for testing, including 285 in Poland, 143 in Ukraine, 108 in the Czech Republic, 77 in Bulgaria, 60 in Lithuania, 37 in the Republic of Korea, 34 in Mexico, 17 in Hungary, 14 in Colombia, and two in the United Kingdom.

The documents found in Mariupol Hospital No. 7 were collected between 2008 and 2016. The results of the initial inspection show that drugs with numbers and without names were tested on people, with the tests also conducted on toddlers. Companies such as Pfizer (US), AstraZeneca (UK, Sweden), Celltrion (South Korea), Novatris International AG (Switzerland, US), IQVIA (formerly Quintiles and IMS Health Inc., US, UK), Sanofi (France), Galapagos NV (Belgium), Janssen Pharmaceuticals (now Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine, Belgium), Abbott Laboratories (US), Covance (now Labcorp Drug Development, US), and Merck KGaA (Germany) are mentioned in the documents.

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“..In order to save face, and to hide the fact that Ukraine itself is a huge terrorist organization..”

Money Transfers Proof That Crocus Terrorists Followed Orders From Ukraine (Sp.)

It is of paramount importance that data in the technical devices seized from the suspects in the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack has confirmed their connection with the Ukrainian side, Kirill Kabanov, chairman of the National Anti-Corruption Committee, told Sputnik. Initial data received from those detained in the case related to the terrorist attack indicated Ukraine pulled the strings. However, the fresh report by the Russian Investigative Committee points to the Ukrainian special services, and “we must understand that they are directly connected with the CIA and MI6 and MI5,” Kabanov said. “That is why the West is trying to cover this up, blaming an outlawed international terrorist organization for everything. In order to save face, and to hide the fact that Ukraine itself is a huge terrorist organization,” Kabanov, who is also a member of the Human Rights Council, said.

The ongoing investigation into the attack at Crocus City Hall has discovered proof of the connection of the terrorists who carried out the heinous crime with Ukrainian nationalists, the Russian Investigative Committee said on March 28.”The initial results of the investigation fully confirm the planned nature of the terrorists’ actions, careful preparation and financial support from the organizers of the crime. As a result of working with the detained terrorists, analyzing the technical devices seized from them, analyzing information about financial transactions, evidence of their connection with Ukrainian nationalists has been obtained,” the Russian Investigative Committee said on Telegram.

The terrorists received significant amounts of money and cryptocurrency from Ukraine, Russian investigators added. Russia’s special services have completed their task by uncovering this proof, yet they “refuse to hear us in the West, the world’s mechanisms don’t work,” said Kirill Kabanov. “The Americans can get away with brandishing an empty vial and using it as a pretext for starting a war and destroying an entire state, as was the case with Iraq. Unfortunately, I am not at all sure that our evidence of cryptocurrency transfers will be heard. Although for citizens of many countries this might add to their perception of reality,” the expert noted. For people in Western countries whose leaders remain committed to supporting the regime holed up in Kiev, a reality check as to what is really happening in Ukraine is long overdue, the analyst believes.

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“..the United States has deployed its military forces almost 400 times during its short history..”

US Marines Struggle to Adapt to Fighting Adversary That Can Fight Back (Miles)

After killing at least 3.6 million people in its so-called “War on Terror,” US armed forces are regrouping to combat adversaries capable of mounting a resistance. In a hagiographic article entitled “Preparing for a China war, the Marines are retooling how they’ll fight,” ruling class stenographer Ellen Nakashima blithely considers the prospect of fighting a war against a nuclear-armed country of 1.4 billion people. The piece, appearing in The Washington Post, details the US Marine Corps’ efforts to adapt to what she appears to believe is an inevitable, and desirable, conflict with China. “The Marines are striving to adapt to a maritime fight that could play out across thousands of miles of islands and coastline in Asia,” writes Nakashima, admitting the armed service has devoted the last 20 years to fighting less capable forces in the Middle East. “Instead of launching traditional amphibious assaults… nimbler groups are intended as an enabler for a larger joint force.”

“Their role is to gather intelligence and target data and share it quickly — as well as occasionally sink ships with medium-range missiles,” it is explained, “to help the Pacific Fleet and Air Force repel aggression against the United States and allies and partners like Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines.” The country she imagines launching this aggression has not been at war since 1979, while the United States has deployed its military forces almost 400 times during its short history. “New regiments are envisioned as one piece of a broader strategy to synchronize the operations of US soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen, and in turn with the militaries of allies and partners in the Pacific,” the piece continues. “Their focus is a crucial stretch of territory sweeping from Japan to Indonesia and known as the First Island Chain. China sees this region, which encompasses an area about half the size of the contiguous United States, as within its sphere of influence.” Naturally, China needs to understand its coastal waters are not its own concern, but the United States’, Nakashima’s logic suggests.

“China not only has the region’s largest army, navy and air force, but also home-field advantage,” Nakashima writes, apparently under the impression the United States will be allowed to attack China without suffering retribution on its own shores. “Taiwan, a close US partner, is most directly in the crosshairs.” China’s links with Taiwan go back hundreds of years. In the 1950s the United States attempted to cleave the island off from the country after the Chinese Civil War. As the defeated Kuomintang retreated to Taiwan the US threatened to use nuclear bombs if leader Mao Zedong crossed the Taiwan Strait, seeking to balkanize China as the US did in Korea and attempted to do in Vietnam. Nakashima writes of the disastrous consequences for shareholder profits of a war over Taiwan: “A successful invasion would… have catastrophic economic consequences due to disruption of the world’s most advanced semiconductor industry and of maritime traffic in some of the world’s busiest sea lanes — the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea.”

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“..either a “multinational force” or a “Palestinian peacekeeping team” to oversee the affairs of a post-war Gaza..”

No use without involving Russia and China.

Biden Claims Saudi Arabia, Qatar ‘Ready To Normalize’ With Israel (Cradle)

US President Joe Biden said at a campaign event on 28 March that Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are ready for a full normalization of ties with Israel. During the event – which was meant to show unity in the Democratic Party ahead of US elections in November this year – Biden was joined on stage by former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. “I’ve been working with the Saudis and with all the other Arab countries, including Egypt and Jordan and Qatar. They’re prepared to fully recognize Israel. There has to be a post-Gaza plan, and there has to be a trade to a two-state solution. It doesn’t have to occur today. It has to be a progression and I think we can do that,” Biden said. Since the outbreak of the war in Gaza, which has seen Israel kill over 32,000 civilians, Saudi Arabia has repeatedly stated that normalization with Tel Aviv is still on the table.

However, Riyadh has doubled down on its demands for concessions to the Palestinians, including, most prominently, the demand for the eventual realization of statehood. Washington has been devising a plan for post-war Gaza, which includes the idea of a “reformed” Palestinian Authority (PA) assuming control over administration in the strip. In late February, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled a similar plan, which included demilitarizing Gaza, forming a local governing authority, and a broader normalization pact with Arab states, including the Saudis. Politico reported on the same day as Biden’s campaign event that the White House, State Department, and Pentagon are discussing the potential establishment of either a “multinational force” or a “Palestinian peacekeeping team” to oversee the affairs of a post-war Gaza.

Yet Israel has yet to achieve its goal of dismantling the Palestinian resistance and is continuing brutal and incessant airstrikes daily. “There are too many innocent victims, Israelis and Palestinians,” Biden added at the event. “We’re in a position where Israel’s very existence is at stake. You had all those people massacred,” the president said about 7 October, adding: “It’s understandable Israel has such a profound anger and Hamas is still there, but we must in-act, stop the effort that is resulting in significant deaths of innocent civilians and particularly children.” Several pro-Palestine activists erupted in chants throughout the campaign event, accusing Biden of complicity in the genocide being carried out against the Palestinian people in Gaza.

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How many Palestinian hostages?

Israel Believes Only 60-70 Out Of 134 Hostages Are Still Alive (ZH)

Israel’s official count for the number of people still being held hostage in the Gaza Strip remains at 134 mostly Israeli citizens as well as some foreigners, which includes possibly deceased victims. Amid stalled truce negotiations in Qatar, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz has revealed that Israeli officials believe only 60 to 70 Israeli hostages in Gaza are still alive. “According to the IDF, a total of 134 hostages and bodies are being held in Gaza,” Haaretz wrote Thursday. “Thirty-six of the people were confirmed by the army as killed – some on October 7, when their bodies were taken into the Strip. Of the 98 living hostages, 10 are foreigners (eight Thais, one Nepalese national, and one man with Mexican and French citizenship).” What’s more is that a month ago some of the families of the hostages were informed that 20 captives were in life-threatening condition.

An unnamed source close to the crisis told Haaretz, “I hope I’m mistaken, but the number may even be lower”—suggesting there may be even fewer that are alive. Given the intense battles unfolding across most of the Gaza Strip, it is widely speculated that the hostages are being held somewhere within the miles of underground tunnels below, where Hamas also has command and control centers. There’s a possibility that some of the hostages could have been killed by Israeli’s relentless bombing campaign which has decimated entire neighborhoods. A horrifically tragic incident last December saw three Israeli hostages shot dead by Israeli forces who mistook them for Palestinian militants. Israeli leadership under Netanyahu has been accused by the hostages’ families of prioritizing the military operation to defeat Hamas far and above hostage recovery.

Some recent testimony of hostages freed in last year’s truce and exchange with Hamas said the following: Echoing this sense of an indiscriminate and haphazard policy, testimonies from newly freed Israeli hostages, who were released as part of exchange deals for Palestinian prisoners during a temporary ceasefire in late November, as well as from some of the hostages’ families, indicate that one of the main fears of those held captive in Gaza was the threat of being hit by Israeli airstrikes and shelling. Many of the hostages, according to these testimonies, were held above ground rather than in tunnels, and were therefore particularly vulnerable to such attacks. Large-scale anti-Netanyahu protests led by victims’ families have persisted in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Pressure has also mounted on Washington to strike a ceasefire. Prime Minister Netanyahu is currently facing accusations from within his own government of ‘sabotaging’ the truce process with an aim to prolong the war, and also thus his political future in the top office.

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“..a much more lenient standard for wiretaps than the Constitution permitted for American citizens..”

The Never-Ending Federal Surveillance Crime Spree (Bovard)

Last December, one of the most intrusive provisions in the federal statute book was set to expire. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorizes the National Security Agency to vacuum up trillions of emails and other data. A bevy of bipartisan members of Congress called for radically curtailing those nullifications of Americans’ privacy. But the effort to put a leash on the federal surveillance failed dismally. Congress voted for a four-month extension of FISA, which will likely be followed in April by a much longer extension. There was a bipartisan congressional conspiracy to entitle the Deep State to continue trampling the Constitution. In 1978, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to outlaw political spying (such as the FBI had committed) on American citizens. FISA created a secret court to oversee federal surveillance of suspected foreign agents within the United States, permitting a much more lenient standard for wiretaps than the Constitution permitted for American citizens.

The FISA court “created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans,” the New York Times reported in 2013 after Edward Snowden leaked court decisions. The court rubber-stamped FBI requests that bizarrely claimed that the telephone records of all Americans were “relevant” to a terrorism investigation under the Patriot Act, thereby enabling National Security Administration (NSA) data seizures later denounced by a federal judge as “almost Orwellian.” In 2017, a FISA court decision included a 10-page litany of FBI violations, which “ranged from illegally sharing raw intelligence with unauthorized third parties to accessing intercepted attorney-client privileged communications without proper oversight.” The latest controversy involved FISA Section 702, first enacted by Congress in 2008.

That section authorizes the National Security Agency to surveil targets in foreign nations regardless of how many Americans’ privacy is “incidentally” destroyed. The NSA collects vast amounts of information as part of that surveillance and then permits the FBI to sift through its troves. The Electronic Frontier Foundation warned more than a decade ago that Section 702 “created a broad national-security exception to the Constitution that allows all Americans to be spied upon by their government while denying them any viable means of challenging that spying.” Professor David Rothkopf explained in 2013 how Section 702 worked: “What if government officials came to your home and said that they would collect all of your papers and hold onto them for safe-keeping, just in case they needed them in the future. But don’t worry … they wouldn’t open the boxes until they had a secret government court order … sometime, unbeknownst to you.” Actually, the law in practice is much worse.

From the beginning, federal agencies brazenly lied about the number of Americans whose privacy was ravaged. In 2014, former NSA employee Edward Snowden provided the Washington Post with a cache of 160,000 secret email threads that the NSA had intercepted. The Post found that nine out of ten account holders were not the “intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else.” Almost half of the individuals whose personal data was inadvertently commandeered were American citizens. The files “tell stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental-health crises, political and religious conversions, financial anxieties and disappointed hopes,” the Post noted. If an American citizen wrote an email in a foreign language, NSA analysts assumed they were foreigners who could be surveilled without a warrant.

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“..this 3rd Circuit ruling roundly rejects unlawful left-wing attempts to count undated or incorrectly dated mail ballot..”

Republicans Score Win In Court Battle Over Pennsylvania Mail-In Ballots (ET)

Pennsylvania rules that require mail-in ballots to be dated are legal, a federal appeals court has ruled. A state law that says voters must fill out, date, and sign envelopes containing the ballots is not prevented by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a majority said in the March 27 ruling. The act bans denying “the right of any individual to vote in any election because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration or other act requisite to voting.” But that provision “only applies when the state is determining who may vote,” U.S. Circuit Court Judge Thomas Ambro, appointed by former President Bill Clinton, wrote for the majority of a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit panel. “In other words, its role stops at the door of the voting place. The provision does not apply to rules, like the date requirement, that govern how a qualified voter must cast his ballot for it to be counted.”

The same court ahead of the 2022 election ruled that state officials must count undated ballots but the U.S. Supreme Court vacated that order. After the state’s acting secretary of state said counties should still count undated ballots, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that counties could not count mail-in ballots with missing or incorrect dates. About 7,900 ballots were not counted in the 2020 election because they were missing a signature or date, or had an inaccurate date, according to state officials. U.S. District Judge Susan Paradise Baxter later ruled that the Pennsylvania law violated the Civil Rights Act provision, meaning Pennsylvania officials had to count mail-in ballots even if they lacked dates, or contained inaccurate dates. “Federal law prohibits a state from erecting immaterial roadblocks, such as this, to voting,” Judge Baxter, appointed by former President Donald Trump, wrote at the time, referring to the Pennsylvania law.

According to the law, a voter casting a ballot by mail must mark the ballot, then place it inside a provided envelope. That envelope must then be placed into a second envelope, which contains the areas for the date and signature. “The elector shall then fill out, date and sign the declaration printed on such envelope,” the law states. The Republican National Committee (RNC) and other groups appealed Judge Baxter’s ruling, arguing that her conclusion was wrong. “This is a crucial victory for election integrity and voter confidence in the Keystone State and nationwide. Pennsylvanians deserve to feel confident in the security of their mail ballots, and this 3rd Circuit ruling roundly rejects unlawful left-wing attempts to count undated or incorrectly dated mail ballot,” Michael Whatley, the RNC’s chairman, said in a statement after the new ruling was handed down.

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“This is Zuckerbucks on steroids because instead of $400 million, it’s unlimited funding and resources and the reach of the federal government and all its offices located across the country..”

“..the president’s unprecedented effort to deploy federal agencies in support of partisan voting operations and fortify politically aligned private organizations working to circumvent state election integrity laws.”

Behind Massive Mail-in Ballot Push Is a Little-Noticed Executive Order (ET)

A federal effort to register voters using the government’s vast reach, including throughout the U.S. prison system, is raising concerns from critics who have said it won’t benefit Democrats and Republicans equally. Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson wrote to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on March 6 alleging that agencies under the attorney general’s charge are “attempting to register people to vote, including potentially ineligible felons, and to co-opt state and local officials into accomplishing this goal.” The allegation relates to President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 14019, which states, “The head of each agency shall evaluate ways in which the agency can, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, promote voter registration and voter participation.”

Among other things, this order has forced U.S. Marshals to modify more than 900 contracts with prisons and jails to provide voter registration documents and facilitate mail-in voting for inmates, Mr. Watson wrote. “We have worked extremely hard to restore the confidence of Mississippi voters in our election process,” Mr. Watson told The Epoch Times. “To have the Biden administration and the DOJ purposefully undermine these efforts and jeopardize the integrity of Mississippi’s elections is unacceptable.” The secretary of state is the chief election officer in Mississippi. The work by the Department of Justice to register voters in prisons, critics say, is just the tip of the iceberg. Other agencies, including the Department of Education, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, are also carrying out campaigns to sign up new voters.

On Feb. 26, Vice President Kamala Harris lauded a federal plan to use work-study grants to pay students to register voters. In addition, President Biden’s executive order directed federal agencies to select “approved, nonpartisan third-party organizations and state officials to provide voter registration services on agency premises.” President Biden’s executive order was called “visionary“ by Ceridwen Cherry, a former staff attorney on the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Voting Rights Project, who said, ”In a democracy, governments at all levels should be doing everything they can to help eligible people register to vote.” However, critics say elections are under the purview of states, not the federal government.

“The reason it’s such a big problem is that, with the president, it’s only one political party that’s in power,” Stewart Whitson, legal director of the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), a conservative think-tank, told The Epoch Times. “If you allow the president to be the one to decide where all these massive resources are channeled, that’s problematic,” he said, adding that this is why the Founders gave election authority to states and not to the federal executive. The plan has been called “Bidenbucks” by some of its detractors, referencing the injection into state election programs of $400 million in 2020 from Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, dubbed “Zuckerbucks.” “This is Zuckerbucks on steroids because instead of $400 million, it’s unlimited funding and resources and the reach of the federal government and all its offices located across the country,” Mr. Whitson said.

[..] In July 2021, the FGA filed a FOIA request regarding President Biden’s Voting Access plan. The group sought information about what federal agencies were doing to implement the plan, as well as records from planning and strategy meetings among President Biden’s staff, federal agencies, and the architects of EO 14019. “These documents, in any other context, would be handed over much more quickly,” Mr. Whitson said. “So this indicates to us that there’s something there the Biden administration really does not care to share, because they’ve withheld it for nearly three years now.” The America First Legal foundation, another plaintiff in a FOIA suit, characterized EO 14019 as “the president’s unprecedented effort to deploy federal agencies in support of partisan voting operations and fortify politically aligned private organizations working to circumvent state election integrity laws.” More than two years later, court battles over the information requests are ongoing. The administration has brought in White House counsel and the Department of Justice to fight the requests.

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Can’t find anywhere what he’s supposed to have done, other than: “obstructing an official proceeding among other charges..”

“..the appeal raises a substantial question likely to result in a significantly lesser sentence or reversal..”

That will be true for most. But then they will have been locked up for years.

Judge Rebukes DOJ Arguments Against Release Of Jan. 6 Defendant (ZH)

A Jan. 6 defendant seeking to be released from prison was granted in part by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia this week. The order, signed by U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden on March 26, will grant the release of Kevin Seefried, a defendant convicted for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach, pending the appeal of his conviction. This decision comes despite stark warnings from the Justice Department regarding the implications of such a move. Mr. Seefried received a three-year prison sentence for obstructing an official proceeding among other charges, facing a potential maximum sentence of 23 years. After his conviction, he appealed and requested release pending appeal, a request that gained new relevance when the Supreme Court decided to review a related case, Fischer v. United States, which could impact many Jan. 6 defendants.

The high Court’s decision on this case may influence the outcome of Mr. Seefried’s conviction, suggesting it could be vacated depending on the justices’ ruling. The decision to release Mr. Seefried is grounded in the ongoing legal debate over the application of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c), the obstruction of an official proceeding statute, beyond the context of “evidence impairment.” “Seefried’s current motion is déjà vu all over again,” Judge McFadden wrote. This legal question is currently under review by the Supreme Court in a related case, Fischer v. United States, which directly challenges the scope of § 1512(c) and its application to the Jan. 6 defendants. Judge McFadden, in his memorandum order, outlined that the release is premised on two conditions mandated by 18 U.S.C. § 3143(b): a defendant is not likely to flee or pose a danger to the community if released, and that the appeal raises a substantial question likely to result in a significantly lesser sentence or reversal.

Judge McFadden found that Mr. Seefried met both conditions, noting a lack of evidence to suggest Mr. Seefried would flee or pose a danger, and that the Supreme Court’s review of Fischer represents a substantial question of law that could materially affect Mr. Seefried’s conviction. Judge McFadden noted the argument of the Justice Department that, in their belief, he now knew the “day-to-day reality of confinement in prison” and was therefore “more likely” to flee than return to prison. Judge McFadden also noted U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves’s argument of 2024 being an election year involving “what will likely be another fiercely contested presidential election” and if released, the Court “would be releasing defendant into the same political maelstrom that led him to commit his crimes in the first place.”

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Why not focus on preventing diabetes? Easier, healthier and cheaper.

$935 Diabetes Jab Ozempic Costs Less Than $5 To Make (ET)

It costs Novo Nordisk less than $5 per month to produce its top-selling diabetes injection, Ozempic, even as it charges nearly $1,000 for a month’s supply before insurance, according to a new study. The study, published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Network Open, raises questions about the prohibitive cost of the popular diabetes treatment and other weight loss drugs that belong to a pricy class of medications based on GLP-1 technology. Those medicines work by mimicking a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which stimulates the pancreas to release insulin when blood sugar rises too high, slows down the emptying of the stomach, and targets brain receptors involved in reducing appetite. Over the past year, demand for GLP-1 agonists has exploded despite soaring costs and limited insurance coverage.

For their study, researchers at Yale University, King’s College Hospital in London, and the nonprofit Doctors Without Borders looked at the cost of manufacturing insulin and compared it with that of GLP-1 agonists. They estimated those prices by combining manufacturing costs for the weekly injection with costs of formulation and other operating expenses, plus a profit margin with an allowance for tax. The foundational price for a weekly dose of injectable semaglutide—the generic name for Ozempic—ranges from $0.89 to $4.73 per month, the study found. By contrast, a vial of human insulin can be manufactured at a cost between $2.37 and $5.94 per month. A month’s supply of Ozempic is $935.77 for those in the United States without health insurance, according to Novo’s website.

The Danish company’s GLP-1 weight loss drug, Wegovy, is listed as $1,349 per month. Wednesday’s study concluded that GLP-1s “can likely be manufactured for prices far below current prices, enabling wider access.” “High prices limit access to newer diabetes medicines in many countries,” the researchers wrote. “The findings of this study suggest that robust generic and bio-similar competition could reduce prices to more affordable levels and enable expansion of diabetes treatment globally.” Citing the findings, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called on Novo to slash prices for both Ozempic and Wegovy, highlighting the price gap for the identical drugs sold in America and other developed countries.

“A new Yale study found that Ozempic costs less than $5 a month to manufacture. And yet, Novo Nordisk charges Americans nearly $1,000 a month for this drug, while the same exact product can be purchased for just $155 a month in Canada and just $59 in Germany,” the senator said in a statement. “As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, I am calling on Novo Nordisk to lower the list price of Ozempic—and the related drug Wegovy—in America to no more than what they charge for this drug in Canada,” he continued. “The American people are sick and tired of paying, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs while the pharmaceutical industry enjoys huge profits.”

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Kim has promoted Bitcoin Cash for a while now.

Why is $BCH So Hot Right Now? (Kim Dotcom)

Bitcoin Cash is launching a new innovation on May 15th. The adaptive blocksize limit algorithm. This is an important step for BCH in preparation for substantial growth and one of the reasons why BCH is gaining popularity with Miners and Investors. The algorithm automatically adjusts Bitcoin Cash’s block size limit to reduce infrastructure costs during periods of lower usage while enabling up to a doubling of the maximum block size per year at peak growth. The block size limit caps the technical requirements of network infrastructure, enables reliable infrastructure cost projection, and prevents attacks that increase the cost of participating in the network. Excessively large blocks could require users and businesses to waste resources on unnecessary infrastructure, switch to cheaper and less secure validation strategies, or even to abandon running their own infrastructure and instead rely on third-party service providers – reducing the overall privacy, independence, and financial freedom of all users.

To limit block size, most bitcoin-like networks employ a static block size limit. For Bitcoin Cash this limit is currently 32MB. If a payment network is growing, usage will eventually approach any previously established static limit. If this limit is reached before a successfully coordinated upgrade, network service degrades, transaction fees and confirmation times become less predictable as size-limited blocks become more common. Uncorrected, market actors begin to adapt to this artificial scarcity by using alternatives to on-chain transactions, custodians, intermediaries, and competing networks. This in turn compromises the long-term economics of mining, cumulative transaction fee revenue is suppressed, and long-term network security grows to rely on continuous inflation via block subsidies.

Because static block size limits can only be changed as part of a widely coordinated network upgrade, they present a focal point for network interruption or capture by motivated attackers, rent seeking institutions, competing networks, opponents of peer-to-peer cash, etc. To make matters worse, the attackers have a significant coordination advantage – while honest network participants must achieve near-unanimous consensus to activate an upgrade, attackers must only create sufficient uncertainty among the honest participants to delay limit increases, as inaction results in degradation of the network’s functionality and long-term security.

Adaptive block size limits resolve the economic vulnerability of static limits by automatically adjusting the maximum block size over time. While an adaptive block size limit could still diverge from a hypothetical “ideal” size due to significant changes in the rate of technological advancement or the availability of capital, such divergences would likely remain much smaller than with static limits, and attackers are no longer afforded an advantage. Bitcoin Cash’s Adaptive Algorithm is conservative and based on observed usage. In cooling-off periods of falling network usage, the limit slowly decreases to preserve the resources of infrastructure operators. On the other hand, during periods of rapid growth, the limit can increase at a rate of up to 2x per year.

Exciting times for Bitcoin Cash.

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Kory

 

 

Denier
https://twitter.com/i/status/1774045305509446045

 

 

Coyote

 

 

God jump

 

 

Girl power

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 092024
 


Eugène Delacroix Femmes d’Alger (Women of Algiers) 1834

 

And Now There (Really) Are Two… or Three (Denninger)
Col. Macgregor Response to Biden Speech Profoundly Accurate and Important (CTH)
Scott Ritter on Biden’s SOTU: ‘America’s Running Away From Ukraine’ (Sp.)
Medvedev Calls Biden a US Disgrace (TASS)
Tucker Carlson: Biden’s Address to Congress ‘Most Un-American Speech Ever (Sp.)
Is This The Real Reason Why Victoria Nuland Quit? (Strokan)
Biden Tries to Blame Republicans for Coming Loss of Ukraine (Sp.)
China Wants Russia At Ukraine Peace Talks (RT)
We Will Not Be Intimidated By The Kremlin – Greek PM (RT)
Europe Is in Danger of Falling Asleep in Peace and Waking Up in War (Dinisio)
Fearful Electioneering Turbo Charges Western Warmongering (SCF)
Biden Parachutes TV Dinners Into Gaza. Sounds Absurd? It Is (SCF)
DC Court Greenlights Flurry of Jan. 6 Lawsuits Against Trump (ET)
Trump Coughs Up $91 Million Bond, Appeals E. Jean Carroll Defamation Suit (ZH)
Jan 6 Comm. Hid Exonerating Evidence Of Trump’s Push For National Guard (Fed.)

 

 

 

 

Agenda 47

 

 

Brennan

 

 

Rufo

 

 

 

 

OMG
https://twitter.com/i/status/1765912315805757637

 

 

RFK

 

 

 

 

Alex Jones
https://twitter.com/i/status/1765964006924427490

 

 

Mike Benz Assange

 

 

 

 

“..Kennedy is flirting with attempting to get the Libertarian nomination, and the Libertarian party has ballot access for the Presidential ticket in all 50 states..”

And Now There (Really) Are Two… or Three (Denninger)

Haley is out and IMHO good riddance. She was wildly more-dangerous than Victoria Nuland, who is also leaving and there is speculation that’s because an FOIA was filed for records that could implicate her in the Lira’s torture and death in Ukraine; he was of course a very loud critic of Nuland’s views and US Ukraine policy, which got him jailed for what in the US would be considered Constitutionally-protected free speech. I don’t know if Nuland had anything to do with it or not but that’s she’s out is good — what’s not disputable is that pretty-much the entire Ukraine policy since 2014 has been hers, including our sponsorship of Maidan. The destruction there in both material and people is hideous and as with Madame Albright’s myopic view of international relations born of her roots Nuland’s position appears to be equally-driven by personal animus. In my view both should have been jettisoned as soon as that became apparent, but obviously neither was.

That Haley had no path was known a couple of months ago, but eventually no matter how stubborn you are in the face of facts the money runs out because modern politics requires a lot of it, and the people spending it see it as a prop bet with a potential return. When the odds get long enough they stop paying and you stop running, like it or not. This of course means that with Biden being the incumbent and political party doctrine being that sitting Presidents with another term available may not be challenged in the primary it is now a two person race. Well, sort of. There are rumors flying around that Kennedy is flirting with attempting to get the Libertarian nomination, and the Libertarian party has ballot access for the Presidential ticket in all 50 states. Despite his policies being pretty much anything but Libertarian the party, of which I have decent internal knowledge of as I was elected to the EC in Florida, is very likely to embrace this move since it will both bring in money and, assuming he gets any material number of votes, and he will, further-cement their ballot position.

Politics makes for strange compromises sometimes and whether you like it or not that’s never going to change. While I wildly disagree with many of Kennedy’s views I might actually vote for him rather than write in Beelzebub or Cthulhu this November, should he run on the Libertarian ticket. I certainly can’t support Biden nor can I support Trump as on the critical issues facing this nation, all related to the rule of law, neither has delivered anything than a Bronx Cheer, albeit aimed in different directions and to the benefit of, in some cases, different people. I will remind everyone that 8 USC §1324 has been around since long before either Trump or Biden was President and that the Executive, of which the President is the head, has the Department of Justice, AG and FBI under same.

Further, every federal officeholder takes an oath to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States, including the ones they personally disagree with. There’s a process to change the law if you don’t like it and that process goes through Congress. Said law, were it to be enforced, would absolutely stop all of the illegal immigration games instantly and permanently as it lays out criminal felony penalties, including prison time of 5, 10, 20 and potentially life prison terms, for those who harbor or assist such immigration including those who employ said persons. Since both of the current “mainstream” candidates claim the situation is a critical problem (and I agree with this) but at the same time claim they don’t have the legal tools to deal with it and that is absolutely a lie I will not vote for either of them.

The same applies when it comes to monopolist practices riven through our economy, most-critically in health care as that has the largest impact on the Federal and State budgets. Again, 15 USC Ch. 1 §1-3 makes clear that such conduct, even the mere attempt if it fails, is a criminal felony carrying prison penalties for each person who is engaged in same. That law has been challenged twice to the US Supreme Court in the late 1970s and early 80s (Royal Drug and Maricopa County) and found Constitutional both times. Nonetheless neither major political party has lifted a finger to bring a single criminal charge under that law — not in health care or in any of the other merger and consolidation activities in any industry. Now will Kennedy vow to bring said charges? That would be a reason to vote for him. Of course he might be lying, but then again he might not. I already know the other two have lied and nothing they can say now will cause me to believe them thus “might” beats “won’t.”

There are many who think our markets and economy will chug along through 2024 and that “its just fine.” I argue the data says otherwise; consumer credit has gone vertical, for example, and lates are rising quickly, including in car loans which are more-likely to get paid than a mortgage because without a car you’re not going to work and then everything goes down the toilet for you in your personal financial situation. Thus if you have to screw someone as you simply don’t have the money to pay the last person you usually screw is the car finance company. I’m not dancing in the streets, incidentally, that Trump is the presumptive nominee. The Supreme Court’s 9-0 decision on Colorado the other day probably won’t stop some from trying to interfere in the election, but the Court made quite clear that the decision as to who is President lies with the people as the States and other apparatus, other than through Congress, simply do not have jurisdiction to force a decision other than by individual votes at the ballot box.

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“Macgregor doesn’t go deep in the weeds on this, but what he describes as the economic and financial outcome is entirely accurate.”

Must watch video.

Col. Macgregor Response to Biden Speech Profoundly Accurate and Important (CTH)

The core targets within this information war are those who are talking about the entities who are controlling and directing the politicians and government. The voices who are considered a threat are not, repeat NOT, voices who are critical of government. The voices who are considered a threat are those who understand the government actors are controlled and intentionally presented as the false source of the problem. Just as Jack Smith is not the controlling entity organizing the targeting of Donald Trump, so too is Joe Biden (and the administration) not the originating entity who organized the Western sanction regime against Russia. Jack Smith and Joe Biden are essentially actors, vessels following a design that has been created by outside government entities for the purpose of targeting Donald Trump and/or Russia respectively. The bigger motives and intents of targeting both are essentially the same. There are trillions at stake.

Outside government actors like Mary McCord, Norm Eisen, Andrew Weissmann and crew are the organizers behind Jack Smith’s effort. They are the characters who coordinate with Fani Willis (GA) and Letishia James (NY). Those individuals are funded by outside government institutions. Ultimately, Jack Smith is the vessel. Within the Western finance system, Blackrock, Vanguard, the WEF and a host of similarly aligned massive financial interests are the organizers behind the Russian sanction regime. The USA government is the vessel. FOLLOW THE MONEY…. This is one of the reasons why the entire political establishment is behind support for Ukraine. Blackrock, Vanguard, State Street and a host of massive financial interests are the funding mechanism for U.S. politicians. The various Western governments and politicians are the vessels, not the originating sources of these policies. Macgregor doesn’t go deep in the weeds on this, but what he describes as the economic and financial outcome is entirely accurate.

Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766089825273164037

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“Biden didn’t walk away from Ukraine. He ran away from there, straight into issues about domestic politics because it’s a campaign address, not a State of the Union speech..”

Scott Ritter on Biden’s SOTU: ‘America’s Running Away From Ukraine’ (Sp.)

“Instead of a State of the Union address, the US Congress and indeed the American people were treated to a rousing campaign speech which POTUS was using to kick off the 2024 presidential election campaign,” former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and independent military analyst Scott Ritter told Sputnik. Biden “is facing the presumptive Republican nominee, former US President Donald Trump, in what many expect to be a very hot, very controversial and heated contest for who will be the next president of the United States. Joe Biden let off this State of the Union address, this campaign speech, by speaking about Ukraine, and about Russia, and about Russian President Vladimir Putin,” Ritter said. Quoting POTUS as saying during the address that America “will not walk away from Ukraine,” Ritter noted that “in many ways, the 46th US president is right.”

“Biden didn’t walk away from Ukraine. He ran away from there, straight into issues about domestic politics because it’s a campaign address, not a State of the Union speech,” the ex-US Marine Corps intelligence officer insisted. He suggested that Biden hinted at the necessity of releasing the $64 billion funding package during the Thursday speech “because it’s tied to domestic American politics and perhaps the most contentious issue of the day, that is border security immigration reform.” The $64 billion package is “being held hostage by Republicans in the House of Representatives. […] If Biden isn’t going to change his approach to immigration, the Republicans aren’t going to release the money – Ukraine isn’t going to get the assistance it needs,” according to the analyst. “America’s running away from Ukraine. And that’s the reality,” Ritter argued, adding that “people need to understand” that the next months will see Biden “almost singularly focused on domestic American policy, trying to differentiate himself from Donald Trump.”

SOTU 2022 23 24
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766125803790794762

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“.. Biden is a “mad, mentally disabled individual who set his mind on dragging humanity to hell.”

Medvedev Calls Biden a US Disgrace (TASS)

US President Joe Biden should not have mentioned his predecessor Franklin Delano Roosevelt, because, unlike Roosevelt, he only disgraces the US, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said, commenting on the State of the Union address. “In the State of the Union address, Biden compared himself with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. That’s a so-so comparison. Obviously, not in his favour,” Medvedev said on his X page. ” He is the United States’ disgrace!” Medvedev pointed out that, even though the 32nd US President was an infirm man in a wheelchair, “he raised America from the Depression,” while Biden is a “mad, mentally disabled individual who set his mind on dragging humanity to hell.” In addition, the official continued, Roosevelt fought for peace together with allies, including the USSR, while “Biden is actively and persistently trying to start WWIII.” Finally, Roosevelt “was fighting against fascists, but Biden is fighting for them,” Medvedev concluded.

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“There is lie after lie. ‘Ukraine can stop Russia.’ No, it can’t. This has been going on for over two years. ‘NATO is stronger than ever.’ No, it is not … It was crazy talk..”

Tucker Carlson: Biden’s Address to Congress ‘Most Un-American Speech Ever (Sp.)

US journalist Tucker Carlson on Friday called President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address to Congress “possibly the darkest, most un-American speech” ever delivered by a US president, saying that it had been focused not on US’s national interests, but on pouring billions of dollars into military aid to Ukraine. “That was possibly the darkest, most un-American speech ever given by an American president,” Carlson said during a broadcast published on his X account, calling Biden a “cruel and vicious demagogue.” The US journalist described the president’s address as a “lie,” saying that Biden “quickly explained” that his top priority “has nothing to do with America” and was related to “sending billions more to Ukraine.” “There is lie after lie. ‘Ukraine can stop Russia.’ No, it can’t. This has been going on for over two years. ‘NATO is stronger than ever.’ No, it is not … It was crazy talk,” Carlson said.

Tucker Speaker
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766024481053552951

On Thursday, Biden delivered the State of the Union address to the US Congress. The speech comes amid Washington’s efforts to provide further aid to Ukraine for use in its conflict with Russia. However, some Republican lawmakers have called on Congress and the Biden administration to address border security before approving more foreign aid. The president called on the US Congress to pass a $118 billion foreign aid bill that includes border policy reforms. The bill was blocked by Senate Republicans last month over concerns it did not do enough to resolve the border crisis. Biden also said that his policies are designed to keep drug cartels and human smugglers from profiting off the border crisis.

CNN SOTU

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“..the second place in the State Department went not to the greatest hater of Russia, but to the greatest hater of China..”

Is This The Real Reason Why Victoria Nuland Quit? (Strokan)

According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Nuland was forced to resign because of the failure of Biden’s course on Russia. “This is a failure of the policy associated with Nuland, because she was the central figure who pursued a Russophobic policy towards our country, the whole story was tied to Nuland,” Zakharova said. According to her, the outgoing US deputy secretary of state was “not just a high-ranking representative of the State Department, but a key figure in US interagency cooperation.” “She was a coordinator of anti-Russian sentiment and anti-Russian policy by the United States, especially in the context of Ukraine. I can’t say that she was an ideologue. There are people out there who hate us more, but she really was a coordinator, she is associated with that policy. And that is how they said goodbye to her,” the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said. Meanwhile, a theory has emerged in Washington that Nuland’s resignation was the result of a power struggle in which she lost the race for the post of first deputy foreign policy chief.

Some pundits see a battle of narratives, with behind-the-scenes jockeying of personalities. All part of a dispute over the long-term shape of US foreign policy and its priorities. It should be recalled that after Wendy Sherman resigned last summer as US deputy secretary of state, her duties were carried out for six months by Nuland. At the end of last year, however, the White House made the unexpected decision to nominate Campbell, another veteran of American diplomacy, for the second post in the diplomatic service. Campbell, who does not have as big a name in the diplomatic world as Nuland, has made his career not in the Euro-Atlantic but in the Indo-Pacific region. “Ms. Nuland was considered the natural candidate to replace Ms. Sherman on a permanent basis. But Mr Blinken nominated Kurt Campbell, the former National Security Council representative for Asia,” the New York Times commented on the reshuffle.

James Carden, a former US State Department official, told RIA Novosti: “I was actually surprised that she lasted as long as she did. I realised her time was up when Kurt Campbell got the second-ranked job at the department.” In a Senate vote on 6 February, his nomination received broad bipartisan support: 92 senators voted in favour, with five voting against. “President Biden’s choice of Kurt Campbell signals a desire to continue the efforts begun by his predecessors decades ago to shift the focus of US foreign policy to China as the major challenge facing America in the future,” AP commented on the reshuffle. “Kurt Campbell played a key role in developing President Barack Obama’s ‘pivot to Asia’ into President Biden’s Indo-Pacific strategy,” Yuri Tavrovsky, chairman of the expert council of the Russian-Chinese Friendship, Peace and Development Committee, told Kommersant.

“In practical terms, he was particularly active in the creation of the anti-Chinese military bloc AUKUS (Australia, the UK and the US) and in strengthening the military component of the QUAD group (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue – Australia, India, the US and Japan,” Tavrovsky said. “The appointment of Campbell to the second-highest post in the State Department demonstrates the White House’s long-term course of containing China, despite words and gestures that look like a desire for reconciliation.” Thus, according to Mr Tavrovsky, “the second place in the State Department went not to the greatest hater of Russia, but to the greatest hater of China.”

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“I think he’s a true believer and actually believes that his status as Warlord-in-Chief helps him politically..”

Biden Tries to Blame Republicans for Coming Loss of Ukraine (Sp.)

President Joe Biden used his State of the Union speech to blame the Republicans if Russia wins the war in Ukraine by claiming Kiev could have won or survived if the latest $61 billion arms package had not been blocked in Congress, former State Department official and consultant on US-Russia relations James Carden said. “The way I heard the speech was Biden setting the ground to blame the Republicans for losing the war should they block further tranches of funding,” Carden told Sputnik. But Biden was still committed to his confrontational and warmaking policies in Ukraine, the Middle East and elsewhere around the world and showed no sign of wanting to change them, he emphasized. “I think he’s a true believer and actually believes that his status as Warlord-in-Chief helps him politically,” Carden explained.

Biden’s indirect admission that the planned next enormous military aid package for President Volodymyr Zelensky’s increasingly discredited regime in Kiev was blocked on Capitol Hill did not stem from any fundamental reassessment of US policy on backing Ukraine’s war against Russia, he said. Instead, Biden’s comments reflected his always primary concern with domestic politics and his obsession with getting reelected to a second term in November even though he is already 81 years old, Carden clarified. “The results coming out of Michigan, however, disprove his thesis,” Carden said.

Uncommitted voters in the US state of Michigan on Super Tuesday this week registered a protest against Biden and his policies, especially on foreign affairs, security and the invasion of Gaza. Some 100,000 voters, or 20% of those who participated in the Democratic primary alone, cast their ballots as “Uncommitted,” expressing a massive lack of support for the president in his own party with no other serious candidate to choose from. The $61 billion package is being blocked by Republicans in the House of Representatives until Biden changes his policies on illegal immigration and agrees to crack down on it. But because the president is determined not to change course on that, he will not get more aid approved for Kiev, his opponents have said.

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China starts being involved.

China Wants Russia At Ukraine Peace Talks (RT)

China and Switzerland are working behind the scenes to get Russia invited to proposed Swiss-hosted talks aimed at ending the fighting between Kiev and Moscow, the South China Morning Post reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. Last month, Switzerland announced plans to organize a peace summit “by the summer.” No specific date has been named yet. The number of potential participants has also not been revealed. However, Ukraine indicated that Russia can only be invited if it agrees in advance to a litany of preconditions. According to the news website, China’s envoy for Eurasia Li Hui told EU officials that the summit “can’t be a conference that produces a plan that is pushed down the Russians’ throat.” The sources further told the publication that both China and Switzerland share a “pragmatic” view that the negotiations should not be just a formality.

Unlike many Western countries, Beijing has refused to blame Moscow for the outbreak of hostilities in February 2022, and has stressed that the conflict can only be ended through diplomacy. “The earlier the talks start, the sooner peace will arrive,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters at a CCP event in Beijing on Thursday. He added that “the absence of peace talks… may lead to an even bigger crisis.” China proposed a 12-point roadmap to peace in February 2023. The initiative was dismissed by Kiev. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has, in turn, insisted that a settlement can only be based on the 10-point ‘peace formula’ he unveiled at the end of 2022. Moscow has rejected Zelensky’s terms as unrealistic, arguing that it will never surrender Crimea, which joined Russia in 2014, or the four former Ukrainian regions that did the same in September 2022.

Ukraine and its Western backers have branded the accession referendums “a sham” and accused Russia of illegally occupying Ukrainian lands. They later said that peace can only be achieved on Kiev’s terms. Russian Ambassador to Switzerland Sergey Garmonin told local media in January 2024 that a peace summit without Russian participation would be “doomed to fail.” Moscow maintains that it is open to negotiations but on acceptable terms. According to the South China Morning Post, Chinese envoy Li told his EU counterparts that Moscow had two preconditions for talks – ending Western arms deliveries to Ukraine and the revocation of Zelensky’s 2022 decree that states negotiations with Putin are “impossible.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1766184754456506811

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If Russia wanted Zelensky dead, he would be. And they sure wouldn’t kill a Greek PM as well, too messy.

“Do not betray… the memory of the Greek Resistance,” Zakharova urged Mitsotakis..”

We Will Not Be Intimidated By The Kremlin – Greek PM (RT)

The EU will not be intimidated by Russia and will continue to support Ukraine for “as long as it takes,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said. Mitsotakis made the comment during his speech at the European People’s Party (EPP) conference in Romania’s capital, Bucharest, on Thursday, a day after his visit to the Ukrainian city of Odessa. During that trip, a Russian missile reportedly hit the port of Odessa 800 meters away from the motorcade in which Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and the Greek PM were traveling. “I was in Odessa yesterday with President Zelensky when a Russian ballistic missile hit the port during our visit to the facility and I think we all have a message for the Kremlin: We shall not be intimidated,” Mitsotakis vowed.

He described the conflict between Russia and Ukraine as “Europe’s darkest hour,” claiming that the EU’s determination to back Kiev and place sanctions on Moscow was “maybe unexpected for some of our enemies.” Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova responded to Mitsotakis’ statements in a post on Telegram on Thursday, insisting that “we [Moscow] never intimidated and aren’t intimidating anybody, including Greece.” She pointed out that Europe was not always the same throughout its history. “The Third Reich was also Europe. And for such a ‘Nazi Europe,’ we will always be an enemy,” the spokeswoman stressed. Zakharova recalled how during music lessons at her Russian school she used to study the works of Mikis Theodorakis, a legendary Greek composer most famous for Sirtaki dance music. “He, too, was an enemy of Europe, Nazi Europe,” she said.

Theodorakis was once a symbol of the resistance to the right-wing military dictatorship known as the Regime of the Colonels, which ruled Greece in the late 1960s and early 1970s. During that time, his music was banned; the composer was imprisoned for five months and eventually forced into exile. “Do not betray… the memory of the Greek Resistance,” Zakharova urged Mitsotakis. The EU has given Ukraine around 88 billion euros ($96.2 billion) since the start of the conflict in February 2022. Russian officials have repeatedly warned that the foreign aid provided to Kiev will not prevent Moscow from achieving the goals of its military operation, and will only prolong the fighting and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.

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“If you knew that your power, status and legitimacy emanated from supranational interests, to whom would it be natural to show your loyalty? To the people?”

Europe Is in Danger of Falling Asleep in Peace and Waking Up in War (Dinisio)

No wonder, then, that Ursula herself is so fervently anti-Russian and Atlanticist. Of course, between 1992 and 1996 she lived at Stanford (again Stanford) in California, where she studied economics. Poland’s own Donald Tusk was part of an Independent Students’ Association set up in 1980, financed by the same people as before, which aimed to subvert Poland’s then socialist regime from within the academy. Later, it was members of this truly “independent” “association” who, on the ground, supported the organization of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine. In other words, what we see in Ukraine today is the result of a wide-ranging project to break up and submit Europe to the neoliberal, hegemonic and imperial interests of the USA. This European “shield”, as we can see, is built by a group that functions almost like a secret society, endowed with deep internal cohesion, based on the narcissistic feeling of election, exclusivity and belonging to an elite group, trained to lead, trained to manage the supranational interests of the monopolist state par excellence, the USA.

Now, imagine yourself in a group of people who, in addition to the fact that many belong to the wealthiest classes or the political aristocracy, are also inculcated, through the countless institutional resources at their disposal, with the idea that they are part of a restricted group, placed above the common man, destined to decide on behalf of the monopoly interests that hire them. Imagine that, belonging to such an elite, the common mistake, which normally costs a career, honor and even life, for these people is nothing more than a setback on the way to the top. Put in a position like this, how would they behave? With a sense of responsibility? Or with a total sense of impunity? If you knew that your power, status and legitimacy emanated from supranational interests, to whom would it be natural to show your loyalty? To the people?

The way in which the U.S., and the monopoly interests that make up its system of power, have subverted any idea of strategic autonomy for the EU, throwing us all onto a front line that is not designed to protect our interests, but their own, has consisted of handing over high politics, not to the most experienced statesmen, the most emerging leaders of the masses, or the most capable and competent public officials, but instead to a socially isolated Spartan strain (only in terms of organization, not customs), made up of careerists, incapable of distinguishing between public and private, national or international interests. For them, the interests of public affairs are confused with their own, and their own with those of their sponsors. They are one and the same, in a vicious cycle in which who wins and who loses is determined from the outset.

And if the actions of this privileged, elitist, segregationist and exclusivist group in terms of the European economy have the results in plain sight, when it comes to foreign policy, their actions also show what project their loyalties are expressed for. Victoria Nuland came to Europe to demand a show of support and received it in the form of a Macron who, summoning all the European leaders to the Elysée Palace, tried to discuss the possibility of sending European troops to Ukraine. If it weren’t for Robert Fico, who apparently doesn’t see himself in this select group of yuppies, we wouldn’t know that the leaders in whom the people of Europe are supposed to trust are discussing, behind closed doors and behind the backs of the very democracy with which they fill their mouths, something like the fuse that could ignite a third world war. In other words, they are discussing among themselves the use of Europe as a shield for the American sword, with total contempt for those they claim to govern.

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“Western political leaders are only digging a deeper hole for their eventual collapse..”

Fearful Electioneering Turbo Charges Western Warmongering (SCF)

Western states are facing an acute political crisis whereby their established governing parties and leaders are fighting for survival amid a grave loss in legitimacy in the eyes of their electorates. In the United States, incumbent President Joe Biden is vying for reelection in November with historically lowest poll numbers ever for an occupant of the White House. Meanwhile, across the European Union, governing parties and leaders are braced for a drubbing from parliamentary elections in June. The roots of this unprecedented loss of legitimacy among Western political establishments are manifold. But surely one cause is the rank hypocrisy of Western leaders that has now been laid bare. How can political figures expect to have any moral authority when they are seen to be inveterate liars and shamelessly corrupt? Western governments and their servile media lecture about “democracy”, “human rights” and upholding “law and order”. They claim to be motivated by such principles in their support of Ukraine against alleged Russian aggression.

Yet these same governments are complicit in the genocide of Palestinians in Gaza through their unwavering support for the Israeli regime. Western leaders have been fatally exposed and compromised by the conflict in Ukraine and Gaza. The contradiction is terminal. That’s not just because of the blatant double standards and duplicity. Western voters are increasingly disgusted by the relentless financial and military support funneled into Ukraine to prop up a scamming regime comprised of NeoNazi ideologues. Under Joe Biden and the incumbent European politicians, the West has flooded Ukraine with weapons and hundreds of billions of dollars in what is the biggest war racket ever. This is while Western populations, workers, farmers, and businesses are hard-pressed with numerous social and economic burdens. Western governing parties are rightly seen as elitist and serving powerful minority oligarchic interests such as the military-industrial-corporate-financial nexus. Their declared vows about democracy are a contemptible joke.

The war in Ukraine is increasingly understood by voters to be a disastrous proxy war of choice that was pushed by U.S. and Western imperial objectives to confront Russia. Despite the squandering of public money to propagate the war, the U.S.-led NATO axis has lost its “great game”. The proxy war has devastated Ukraine, causing up to 500,000 military deaths in two years, as well as destabilizing the rest of Europe from increased migration, fiscal impact, deindustrialization, and the shattering of agricultural industries. Western populations are furious with their political leaders for having inflicted such chaos and waste of resources – as well as wantonly provoking tensions in international relations with Russia. Western politicians have pushed the world to the brink of an all-out war between nuclear powers. All this crazed folly is based on utter lies and deception – as the horror of Gaza and Western complicity illustrates. In this cauldron of electoral revolt, Western political leaders are only digging a deeper hole for their eventual collapse.

American President Joe Biden in his State of the Union address this week made a disingenuous pitch to voters. He portrayed the world as facing an existential crisis from Russian “tyranny” and simultaneously claimed the fate of US democracy was under threat from his election rival Donald Trump. In a dangerous and desperate move, Biden is conflating Trump with alleged Russian aggression. The Democrat president is fighting for political survival against Republican presumptive nominee Trump primarily because Biden is so deeply unpopular among American citizens. To boost his election prospects, Biden is making out that the country is facing an “inflection point” that requires rejection of Trump because he is “bowing down” to Russia. Trump and many within the Republican Party are opposed to continuing the proxy war in Ukraine, recognizing that it is futile.

Biden and the Democrats, who are more aligned with the U.S. foreign policy establishment, are therefore trying to make the election about an existential “defense of world democracy and peace”. Biden claimed in his State of the Union address that if the U.S. does not supply Ukraine with another $60 billion more in military aid then Russia will overrun the rest of Europe. Biden even invoked the memory of Roosevelt supposedly facing down Nazi Germany in 1941.

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“..Israel has the green light from this White House to commit the worst and most flagrant genocide since the Second World War..”

Biden Parachutes TV Dinners Into Gaza. Sounds Absurd? It Is (SCF)

It’s a classic American public relations stunt. All show and drama signifying nothing else. President Joe Biden ordered U.S. military transport planes to airdrop food aid into Gaza purportedly to save starving people. Well, they’re starving to death because the United States is supporting the genocidal siege by the Israeli regime of 2.3 million people for nearly five months. The situation is unprecedented, invoking the worst crimes of Nazi Germany. Babies dying in hospitals from lack of food and water. And all due to American support for the Israeli regime carrying out this genocide. But, hey, come on, drop those food parcels. It sort of looks good. The C-130 cargo planes throw bails of ready-made dinners into the sky, which slowly descend on parachutes to the desperate masses on the ground. It’s the kind of Hollywood narcissistic depiction of American greatness always riding to the rescue. Pass the popcorn and soda.

Only when you think about it, the whole airdrop mission is absurdly inadequate. The U.S. Air Force has parachuted in 38,000 dinners to Gaza so far, and more are reportedly on the way. That’s only crumbs for millions of people who are starving to death because the U.S.-backed Israeli regime has blocked the hundreds of food aid trucks that should be entering Gaza daily. When a trickle of aid deliveries are permitted on the ground, the Israeli military has opened deadly fire on hungry Palestinians clambering for relief. International aid agencies have slammed the airdropped relief supplies as an inefficient way to meet the dire humanitarian needs in Gaza. Besides, the real target of the Biden administration’s relief effort is the American people who are disgusted by the complicity of Washington in genocide.

The public relations exercise of parachuting food into Gaza is meant to appease the growing criticism of Biden’s White House. As Joe Biden squares up to Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election this November, the incumbent Democrat is in real danger of losing. Biden’s poll ratings have been flagging anyway, and especially over the horrendous disaster in Gaza. Younger voters and Muslim Americans who would normally vote Democrat are alienated by Biden’s craven complicity in the Israeli siege of Gaza. For months, Biden has refused to call on the Israeli regime of Benjamin Netanyahu to implement a ceasefire and let humanitarian aid into Gaza. The U.S. has blocked three UN Security Council resolutions demanding a cessation of military operations. In recent days, however, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris finally voiced support for a ceasefire. And then we see the American Air Force dropping off food supplies.

The belated moves are as cynical as they can get. They’re only motivated by Biden’s political need to bolster his electoral campaign. This week, it was reported that the Biden administration has secretly overseen over 100 separate weapons supply deals to Israel since it began its offensive on Gaza in October. Those sales amount to thousands of munitions including bunker-buster bombs, artillery shells, and other types of lethal ordnance. The transfers have been deliberately kept quiet by Biden owing to the potential public outcry. President Biden and his senior aides like Secretary of State Antony Blinken have refused to impose any conditions on Israel for the use of American weapons. Thus, Israel has the green light from this White House to commit the worst and most flagrant genocide since the Second World War. Not only merely permission but actual material support to enable the horror that has killed over 30,000 people – 70 percent of whom are women and children.

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They’re now saying he was campaigning on Jan 6, so no immunity.

DC Court Greenlights Flurry of Jan. 6 Lawsuits Against Trump (ET)

A federal appeals court in the District of Columbia has issued an order allowing three Jan. 6 lawsuits to proceed against former President Donald Trump after a court rejected his assertion of presidential immunity. A three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an order on March 8, allowing the three consolidated appeals to be “removed from abeyance” and approving motions for summary affirmance, meaning removing a temporary hold on the cases and allowing them to proceed. The lawsuits that are now allowed to proceed are Moore v. Trump, Kirkland v. Trump, and Tabron v. Trump. In all three civil suits, law enforcement officers are seeking damages based on the premise that President Trump incited a mob to storm the Capitol, leading to a violent incident in which they sustained various injuries and suffered harm, including emotional distress.

President Trump has denied calling for violence on Jan. 6, pointing to remarks he made encouraging his supporters to demonstrate “peacefully and patriotically.” The judges noted in their March 8 order that the merits of the three parties’ positions “are so clear as to warrant summary action,” and that the cases can proceed based on a Dec. 1 appeals court decision in Blassingame v. Trump that President Trump is not immune to lawsuits over the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol. In Blassingame v. Trump, the former president’s attorneys had argued that he should be granted immunity because his alleged actions around Jan. 6 amounted to official speech on “matters of public concern.” The judges’ reasoning in that case was that the former president’s actions leading up to and on Jan. 6 were part of his campaign for a second term in the White House and not an official presidential act.

“In arguing that he is entitled to official-act immunity in the cases before us, President Trump does not dispute that he engaged in his alleged actions up to and on January 6 in his capacity as a candidate. But he thinks that does not matter,” U.S. Circuit Judge Sri Srinivasan, appointed under President Barack Obama, wrote in the Dec. 1 ruling. “Rather, in his view, a president’s speech on matters of public concern is invariably an official function, and he was engaged in that function when he spoke at the January 6 rally and in the leadup to that day. We cannot accept that rationale.”

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$91 million just to have the right to appeal a ludicrous case.

Trump Coughs Up $91 Million Bond, Appeals E. Jean Carroll Defamation Suit (ZH)

Former President Trump posted a bond of $91.6 million on Friday while appealing the recent verdict in advice columnist E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit. “President Trump respectfully requests that this Court recognize the supersedeas bond obtained by President Trump in the sum of $91,630,000.00 and approve it as adequate and sufficient to stay the enforcement of the Judgment, to the extent that the Judgment awards damages, pending the ultimate disposition of President Trump’s appeal,” Trump attorney Alina Habba wrote in court filings. In January, Trump was ordered to pay Carroll $83.3 million for defaming her in 2019, when he denied sexually assaulting her three decades earlier. The decision came after a separate jury ruled that Trump was liable for sexually abusing Carroll, which led to him paying her $5.5 million in cash – which he’ll get back also if he wins on appeal.

Carroll, 80, testified that Trump’s lies destroyed her reputation for telling he truth. “I am here because Donald Trump assaulted me, and when I wrote about it, he said it never happened,” Carroll said, adding “He lied, and it shattered my reputation.” During Trump’s trial, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan and the former president got into frequent verbal altercations – with Kaplan at one point threatening to toss the former president out of the courtroom if he wouldn’t keep his mouth shut. Kaplan also told Habba to “sit down” after she requested an adjournment tomorrow so Trump could attend his mother-in-law’s funeral – a request Kaplan had previously denied. And once Carroll ‘won’ the $83.3 million, she went on a disgusting ‘price is right’ diatribe over how she’ll spend her ‘winnings.’

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“President Trump did in fact offer 10,000 National Guard troops to secure the U.S. Capitol, which was turned down..”

Jan 6 Comm. Hid Exonerating Evidence Of Trump’s Push For National Guard (Fed.)

Former Rep. Liz Cheney’s January 6 Committee suppressed evidence that President Donald Trump pushed for 10,000 National Guard troops to protect the nation’s capital, a previously hidden transcript obtained by The Federalist shows. Cheney and her committee falsely claimed they had “no evidence” to support Trump officials’ claims the White House had communicated its desire for 10,000 National Guard troops. In fact, an early transcribed interview conducted by the committee included precisely that evidence from a key source. The interview, which Cheney attended and personally participated in, was suppressed from public release until now. Deputy Chief of Staff Anthony Ornato’s first transcribed interview with the committee was conducted on January 28, 2022. In it, he told Cheney and her investigators that he overheard White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows push Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to request as many National Guard troops as she needed to protect the city.

He also testified President Trump had suggested 10,000 would be needed to keep the peace at the public rallies and protests scheduled for January 6, 2021. Ornato also described White House frustration with Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller’s slow deployment of assistance on the afternoon of January 6, 2021. Not only did the committee not accurately characterize the interview, they suppressed the transcript from public review. On top of that, committee allies began publishing critical stories and even conspiracy theories about Ornato ahead of follow-up interviews with him. Ornato was a career Secret Service official who had been detailed to the security position in the White House. Cheney frequently points skeptics of her investigation to the Government Publishing Office website that posted, she said, “transcripts, documents, exhibits & our meticulously sourced 800+ page final report.” That website provides “supporting documents” to the claims made by Cheney and fellow anti-Trump enthusiasts.

However, transcripts of fewer than half of the 1,000 interviews the committee claims it conducted are posted on that site. It is unclear how many of the hidden transcripts include exonerating information suppressed by the committee. Those documents support the committee’s narrative rather than the truth of the events leading up to January 6, 2021, said Rep. Barry Loudermilk, chairman of the House Administration’s Subcommittee on Oversight. “The former J6 Select Committee apparently withheld Mr. Ornato’s critical witness testimony from the American people because it contradicted their pre-determined narrative. Mr. Ornato’s testimony proves what Mr. Meadows has said all along: President Trump did in fact offer 10,000 National Guard troops to secure the U.S. Capitol, which was turned down,” said the Georgia Republican.

His subcommittee is reviewing the work of the January 6 committee, which has been accused of other unethical behavior at the expense of accuracy, as well as collusion with other Democrat efforts to prosecute political opponents. “This is just one example of important information the former Select Committee hid from the public because it contradicted what they wanted the American people to believe,” Loudermilk said. “And this is exactly why my investigation is committed to uncovering all the facts, no matter the outcome.”

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Rothschild

 

 

Mother horse letting the kids play
https://twitter.com/i/status/1765841061853933747

 

 

Porcupine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1765839839973290316

 

 

Eagles
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766114575017971852

 

 

 

 

Pigcasso

 

 

Jaguar Puma

 

 

Kittens

 

 


Found in the Pirin Mountains of southwestern Bulgaria

 

 

Knife-billed puffin..
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766170916298301740

 

 

Hold this

 

 

Helping

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 222024
 
 January 22, 2024  Posted by at 9:34 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  31 Responses »


Leonardo da Vinci Salvator Mundi 1513

 

Supreme Court Action Alters Course of Jan. 6 Defendant Sentencings (ET)
Russia Must Give Up Its Nuclear Weapons – Ukrainian Officials (RT)
Frontline Situation ‘Dramatic’ For Ukraine – German Reporter (RT)
EU Mulls $21 Billion Military Aid to Ukraine Bypassing Hungary’s Veto (Sp.)
Scale of NATO Drills Marks Return to Cold War-Era Patterns (Sp.)
NATO Drills Raise Risks of Inadvertent Escalation – Moscow (Sp.)
US Preparing For ‘Sustained’ Yemen Bombing Campaign – WaPo (RT)
Mexico And Chile Call On ICC To Investigate Crimes In Gaza (Singh)
Iran and US Use Saudi Arabia to Swap Messages and Cool Gaza Tensions (MEE)
American Democracy ‘In Danger’ – Trump (RT)
RFK Seeks Path to Victory by Forcing House to Elect President (ET)
WSJ Editor-in-Chief Admits To Davos Elites ‘We No Longer Own The News’ (ZH)
John Kerry Wants To Remove 1.6 Trillion Tons Of CO2 From The Atmosphere (X)

 

 

 

 

Paxton

 

 

 

 

Arabella
https://twitter.com/i/status/1748916334178558434

 

 

Tucker Dore

 

 

But she’s white! Next thing you tell me she’s straight too!

 

 

Optics

 

 

 

 

SCOTUS is late.

Supreme Court Action Alters Course of Jan. 6 Defendant Sentencings (ET)

A recent Supreme Court decision to review a case called Fischer v. United States, which experts say could weaken prosecutors’ hand in hundreds of Jan. 6 cases, including former President Donald Trump’s, is already upending some defendant cases and sentencing proceedings. In December, the Supreme Court decided it would take up the appeal by Jan. 6 defendant Joseph W. Fisher of the Biden administration’s novel use of an Enron-era evidence-tampering law to prosecute hundreds of defendants for obstruction of Congress during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. The obstruction of Congress charge—which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison—is the most widely charged felony in Jan. 6 cases, including against President Trump.

Mr. Fischer was indicted for various alleged offenses for his role in the Jan. 6 incident, including obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder, violent entry, and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds—and obstruction of Congress based on 18 U.S. Code Section 1512(c)(2), or “Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant.” That’s an evidence-tampering provision that’s part of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act, which experts say was conceived largely to curb wrongdoing on Wall Street—but is now used by the Justice Department (DOJ) to prosecute Jan. 6 cases. Mr. Fischer challenged the obstruction charge, claiming that 1512(c)(2) doesn’t prohibit his alleged conduct on Jan. 6. A district court agreed but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reversed that decision, siding with a broader reading of the provision, namely that it applies other forms of obstructive conduct, not just ones related to investigations and evidence.

While it’s unclear when the Supreme Court will hold the first hearings in Mr. Fischer’s appeal, several legal experts told The Epoch Times in earlier interviews that the high court is likely to find that 1512(c)(2) is being improperly used against Jan. 6 defendants. If the challenge proves successful, the Supreme Court’s decision could have far-reaching consequences, potentially erasing some charges against President Trump and overturning felony convictions for numerous Jan. 6 defendants. The implications extend beyond individual cases to the core strategy employed by the DOJ in securing convictions. Meanwhile, the fact that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear Mr. Fischer’s challenge to the provision is already having an effect on some Jan. 6 cases.

Since the Supreme Court agreed in mid-December to take up the Fischer appeal, a number of Jan. 6 defendants have asked judges to pause their trials and sentencing proceedings pending the outcome of the case. One of these is John Strand, a former underwear model convicted of obstructing Congress on the basis of 1512(c)(2), who describes himself as a “political prisoner.” He was sentenced to 32 months in prison. On Jan. 19, Mr. Strand’s attorneys filed a motion for release pending the Fischer appeal and a motion for reduction of sentence based on the zero-point offender guideline, which gives defendants with no criminal history an extra two points off their sentencing calculations, court filings show. The DOJ has taken the position that Jan. 6 defendants are ineligible for sentence reduction on the basis of the zero-point offender guideline, which has some exceptions, including for violent crimes.

Noteworthy in Mr. Strand’s filing is the singling out of the obstruction charge, which in his case is the only felony he’s been found guilty of. “In particular, a substantial question exists as to whether the statute underlying Strand’s sole felony conviction, 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2), applies to his conduct on January 6, 2021, in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to grant certiorari in United States v. Fischer,” it reads. While it’s too early to know whether the judge in Mr. Strand’s case will side with his request to reduce his sentence, several other Jan. 6 defendants have won early release based on the Supreme Court’s decision to review the Fischer case.

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How Ukraine prolongs the war:
– Bombing civilians (Donetsk most recently)
– Grossly exaggerate number of Russian victims.
– Make preposterous demands (re: Zelensky “peace plan”, this zinger.)

Russia Must Give Up Its Nuclear Weapons – Ukrainian Officials (RT)

As President Vladimir Zelensky pushes forward with his so-called “peace formula,” which was already dismissed by the Kremlin as “absurd,” Ukrainian officials continue to come up with additional terms and conditions. The conflict in Ukraine can only end with a “complete liberation” and “restoration of its 1991 borders,” Kiev’s deputy defense minister Ivan Gavrilyuk told the newspaper Der Tagesspiegel last week. Only then Moscow and the pro-Kiev “coalition” will be able to sign a document to “create preventive mechanisms so that Russia will never think about another war against Ukraine or any country in the future.” “This document must include Russia’s renunciation of nuclear weapons, because it poses a threat to the world,” Gavrilyuk claimed. A senior adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Mikhail Podoliak, voiced a similar idea, claiming that the negotiation should take place only when Moscow “suffers a global defeat,” or at the very least a series of “tactical defeats,” and “internal riots” that would threaten political stability in Russia and force it to “voluntarily give up nuclear weapons.”

“What is a global defeat? The Russian Federation will no longer be able to dominate… will not be able to use its veto right in the UN Security Council,” Podoliak explained. “Then conditions are possible for nuclear weapons, and for the number of carriers of nuclear weapons, including missiles of a certain range, and for cross-border buffer zones, etc.” During the World Economic Forum in Davos, Zelensky once again attempted to promote his so-called ‘peace formula’, which among other things proposes that Russia pay reparations, surrender its officials to face war crimes tribunals, and restore Ukraine’s 1991 borders. It has previously been rejected by the Kremlin as “absurd,” with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov referring to it as a publicity stunt and “a figment of a sick imagination.”

Moscow insists it never closed the door to talks but Kiev itself did, and now bears full responsibility for the situation in which it finds itself, Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week. Putin noted that the head of Ukraine’s negotiation team had recently admitted that Kiev was at one point ready to reach an agreement with Moscow – before then-British prime minister Boris Johnson convinced them to continue fighting. “Are they not idiots?” Putin asked, adding that if Ukraine had simply ignored Johnson, then the violence could be long over by now. “This just proves yet again that they are not independent people.” Even Ukraine’s former top spin doctor, Aleksey Arestovich, recently admitted that Kiev’ had the chance to make peace at the 2022 Istanbul talks but “something” changed Zelensky’s mind, and Moscow is unlikely to offer Kiev such favorable conditions ever again.

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“..mobilization isn’t working.”

Frontline Situation ‘Dramatic’ For Ukraine – German Reporter (RT)

The situation on the front lines is becoming increasingly disadvantageous for Ukraine, a Kiev-based correspondent with German daily Die Welt reported this week. Ukrainian troops severely lack ammunition and personnel to fend off Russian attacks, according to Paul Ronzheimer, citing “generals and soldiers” whom he has “constantly been in contact with.” Kiev’s troops have largely gone on the defensive following the failure of their much-hyped summer counteroffensive. The operation, which began in early June 2023, failed to gain much ground or bring about significant changes to the front lines, despite heavy personnel and equipment losses. Russia’s Defense Ministry has previously estimated Ukraine’s losses during the failed counteroffensive at 160,000.

Moscow also described Kiev’s total losses throughout the conflict as catastrophic, estimating that nearly 400,000 soldiers have been killed or wounded since February 2022. Late last year, Kiev intensified its mobilization efforts in a bid to replenish the troop pool. President Vladimir Zelensky stated earlier that the military wanted up to 500,000 new recruits. According to Ronzheimer, “mobilization isn’t working.” Ukraine has also been flooded with reports about difficult situations at the front lines, the reporter said, without mentioning any particular news pieces. Kiev’s forces were also about to run out of ammunition for its Western-made air defense systems, such as America’s Patriot, he noted, characterizing the situation as a “major concern” for the local population.

Ukrainian “generals and …soldiers” also told the correspondent that the frontline situation “is extremely tense,” particularly near the Donbass city of Avdeevka, a strategic location north of Donetsk that’s seen heavy fighting over the past months. The Ukrainian generals want “more mobilization” efforts, Ronzheimer wrote, adding that they want to “send more soldiers” into the fray. In another report earlier this week, the correspondent noted that Ukrainian troops had taken to the defensive along the entire front line in the East and the South, and were still struggling to hold ground. Moscow’s troops launched “massive attacks” in 80 areas “along several hundred kilometers of the front,” he added.

“We keep hearing the messages from the soldiers, which become more dramatic,” Ronzheimer reported, adding that Kiev’s troops had warned they would hardly be able to defend their current positions with whatever they had in stock as of that moment. It will be “very difficult” for Ukrainian troops to hold Avdeevka in the long term, since Moscow’s forces were making steady progress in that area, Ronzheimer said. “The Russians are on the offensive there and are making progress meter by meter,” he added, while noting that such advances are still quite costly for Moscow.

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“..the assets of the extra-budgetary European Peace Facility ..”

EU Mulls $21 Billion Military Aid to Ukraine Bypassing Hungary’s Veto (Sp.)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced last month that Budapest had vetoed 50 billion euros in the EU macro-financial aid for Ukraine. The European External Action Service (EEAS) is developing a new plan to provide military assistance to Ukraine that will allow EU members to override Hungary’s veto of the bloc’s aid to Kiev, according to The Wall Street Journal. Under the plan, a draft of which was seen by the newspaper, EU members will provide Ukraine with more than 20 billion euros ($21.8 billion) in military aid over the next four years. The EEAS, for its part, is proposing the creation of a special military fund for Ukraine, which would include some 6.5 billion euros ($7 billion) from the assets of the extra-budgetary European Peace Facility (EPF) and provide up to 5 billion euros ($5.4 billion) per year from 2024 to 2027.

The purpose of the project is to reimburse several member states for the joint purchase of military equipment, including ammunition and air defense missiles, to be transferred to Ukraine. The remaining funds will be used to cover the costs of the EU military training program for Ukrainian soldiers. In 2024, the project will offer EU countries around 7.5 billion euros ($8.1 billion) in compensation for military aid. The structure of the new fund will reportedly make it possible to avoid ditches, which are regularly blocked by Hungary or used by Budapest as “leverage” to demand something in return. The proposal will reportedly be discussed by EU leaders at their summit scheduled for February 1, with a final decision likely to take weeks. Brussels has not yet commented on the WSJ report.

In mid-December, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced that his country had vetoed an expansion of the EU’s 2024-2027 budget to include 50 billion euros ($54.5 billion) in macro-financial assistance to Ukraine. “Summary of the nightshift: veto for the extra money to Ukraine, veto for the MFF [Multiannual Financial Framework] review. We will come back to the issue next year in the #EUCO [European Council] after proper preparation,” Orban wrote at the time on X, formerly known as Twitter. Last month, when asked whether Budapest would support a 50 billion euro financing plan for Kiev ahead of the forthcoming summit, Orban told reporters that Budapest supports the provision of more funds to Ukraine by the EU “outside” the bloc’s budget.

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“..90,000 servicepeople with the participation of 31 countries..”

Scale of NATO Drills Marks Return to Cold War-Era Patterns (Sp.)

The scale of NATO exercises Steadfast Defender-2024 marks the final and irrevocable return of the alliance to the Cold War schemes to oppose Russia, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told Sputnik. On Thursday, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe Gen. Christopher Cavoli said that the alliance would begin Steadfast Defender-2024, “the largest NATO exercise in decades,” next week. About 90,000 servicepeople will be involved in the drills, he added. “These exercises are another element of the hybrid war unleashed by the West against Russia. The exercises of such scale – 90,000 servicepeople with the participation of 31 countries – mark the final and irrevocable return of NATO to the Cold War support schemes, when the military planning process, resources and infrastructure are being prepared for confrontation with Russia,” Grushko said.

He also noted that the preparation for the exercises “takes place in an artificially heated atmosphere of military psychosis.” “Irresponsible statements about a possible war with Russia, for which European citizens ‘should prepare,’ were made by the German defense minister, the Swedish commander-in-chief and the chairman of the NATO Military Committee. The goal is clear: by demonizing Russia, intimidating the average person, to justify the unbridled increase in military spending and the completely failed policy of supporting the Kiev regime with the aim of inflicting a strategic defeat on Russia. And at the same time, force the Europeans to join the arms race even more energetically, to the delight of the American military-industrial complex,” Grushko said.

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“..European security is of little concern to the top NATO command, which is too busy trying to keep this tool of US influence relevant in the already lost war for the West’s global dominance..”

NATO Drills Raise Risks of Inadvertent Escalation – Moscow (Sp.)

NATO’s upcoming military exercise, Steadfast Defender 2024, raises the risk of unintended military confrontation and undermines security in Europe, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told Sputnik on Sunday. NATO announced Thursday that it would kick off exercise Steadfast Defender 2024 next week. The US-led alliance bills it as the largest NATO exercise in decades, with participation from some 90,000 troops from 31 allies and Sweden. “Any event of this scale significantly increases the risk of military incidents and further destabilizes security. But European security is of little concern to the top NATO command, which is too busy trying to keep this tool of US influence relevant in the already lost war for the West’s global dominance,” Grushko said.

The senior diplomat added that Russia would not be intimidated by what he described as a provocative show of force. He said his country had everything it needed to ensure its security and defense capabilities. The NATO exercise will run through May. NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, Gen. Christopher Cavoli, told reporters on Thursday that the allies planned to test out a conflict scenario against a “near-peer adversary.”

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“..Washington is “not trying to defeat the Houthis. There’s no appetite for invading Yemen..”

US Preparing For ‘Sustained’ Yemen Bombing Campaign – WaPo (RT)

The US is preparing for a “sustained” bombing campaign in Yemen after ten days of airstrikes failed to undermine the ability of Houthi fighters to target ships in the Red Sea, the Washington Post has reported, citing unnamed officials. The administration of President Joe Biden does not expect a protracted operation such as the US campaigns in Iraq or Afghanistan, but at the same time it cannot provide a timeframe for when Houthi military capabilities will be adequately diminished, the newspaper reported on Saturday. Washington’s strategy is to curb the ability of the Shiite militant group to target ships off the coast of Yemen, or at least create safe conditions for shipping companies to resume sending vessels through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, sources added.

The Houthis have launched dozens of drone and missile attacks on commercial ships in the area in recent months, declaring support for Gaza amid Israel’s military operation in the Palestinian enclave. The militants have also vowed revenge against the US and the UK, who have been carrying out strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen for more than a week. “We are clear-eyed about who the Houthis are, and their worldview. So we’re not sure that they’re going to stop immediately, but we are certainly trying to degrade and destroy their capabilities,” one US official told the Post. Washington is “not trying to defeat the Houthis. There’s no appetite for invading Yemen,” a diplomat familiar with the situation explained.

Instead, the US wants “to degrade their ability to launch these kind of attacks going forward, and that involves hitting the infrastructure that enables these kind of attacks, and targeting their higher-level capabilities,” he added. President Biden ordered the strikes on Yemen for ideological reasons, rather than economic, as the US seeks to maintain its status as the world’s “indispensable nation,” officials claimed. The Washington Post expressed concern that the bombing campaign against the Houthis would become a “setback” for Biden’s goal of preventing the spread of the Israel-Hamas conflict to other parts of the Middle East. It could also end up “undermining his attempt to refocus US foreign policy on Russia and China,” the newspaper argued.

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“..believed to be responsible for perpetrating, ordering, planning, and instigating international crimes, including genocide, committed over the past 100 days as well as since 13 June, 2014.”

Mexico And Chile Call On ICC To Investigate Crimes In Gaza (Singh)

Chile and Mexico have called upon the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the crimes being committed amid Israel’s ongoing war on Gaza. In the past 105 days, Israel has killed over 24,600 Palestinians in Gaza, with more than 7,000 people missing and presumed dead under the rubble. In a statement released on January 18, Mexico and Chile stated that their referral to the ICC was “due to growing concern about the latest escalation of violence, particularly against civilian targets, and the alleged continued commission of crimes under the jurisdiction of the Court, specifically since the attack on October 7, 2023, carried out by Hamas militants and the subsequent hostilities in Gaza.” The ICC is based at The Hague alongside the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is the chief judicial organ of the United Nations that adjudicates disputes between states.

Meanwhile, the ICC is a separate legal entity that has been established under the Rome Statute, and is authorized to prosecute individuals. It has jurisdiction over crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide, and crimes of aggression. The referral filed on Thursday follows after Bolivia, South Africa, Djibouti, and the Comoros approached the court in November, calling on chief prosecutor Karim Khan to investigate the commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Palestine. While Israel is not a State Party to the Rome Statute and does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC, Palestine was accepted as a member state of the ICC in 2015. In February 2021, a pre-trial chamber of the court ruled that it had jurisdiction over the “territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem”.

The following month, the ICC, under former chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, opened an investigation into the “situation in Palestine” covering the period starting from June 13, 2014. This was after Bensouda concluded that there was a “reasonable basis to believe that war crimes “have been or are being committed” in the occupied Palestinian territories. In November, Bensouda’s successor, Karim Khan had stated that the investigation would cover “the escalation of hostilities and violence” since October 7. However, Palestinian human rights organizations and legal representatives of victims have denounced delays and double standards in the investigation under Khan. In early December, Khan visited Israel, however he did not go to the Gaza strip despite the fact that Israel had already killed over 15,000 people by that time. Even prior to the ongoing attacks on Gaza which began on October 7, Palestinian human rights organizations had repeatedly called on Khan to issue preventive statements “to deter the commission of more crimes” by the Occupation. These calls, along with calls to expedite the investigation, were ignored.

These organizations have since urged the Court to issue arrest warrants for Israeli political, security and military officials “believed to be responsible for perpetrating, ordering, planning, and instigating international crimes, including genocide, committed over the past 100 days as well as since 13 June, 2014.” In its statement on Thursday, the Mexican foreign ministry emphasized “the importance of guaranteeing the independence of the ICC prosecutor to investigate crimes committed in the context of the conflict in Gaza.” The submission to the ICC was welcomed by the Palestinian foreign ministry, stating that the move “confirmed the urgent need for the Court to fulfill its mandate, to deter, investigate, and prosecute the most serious crimes of concern for the international community.” “Israeli officials are not deterred as they continue their genocidal war.”

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Saudis sitting on the fence.

Iran and US Use Saudi Arabia to Swap Messages and Cool Gaza Tensions (MEE)

Nine months since Riyadh and Tehran restored ties after years of animosity, Saudi Arabia has assumed a new role as an intermediary between Iran and the United States, three sources in Iran told Middle East Eye. High-ranking officials in Riyadh have been instrumental in relaying messages between the countries and reducing tensions over Israel’s war on Gaza. The process began in November, when Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian attended an emergency summit in Riyadh on the Gaza war attended by leaders from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Arab League countries. An Iranian insider familiar with the matter told MEE that Amirabdollahian carried with him a message for the US to give to Saudi officials. It was a response to one recently received from Washington.

The Saudis then conveyed this message to senior officials in Washington, the source said. Another source in Iran’s foreign ministry told MEE that Saudi Arabia has been used as a conduit between the two sides alongside Oman, Qatar and Switzerland, which occasionally represents the US diplomatically in Tehran. The four countries have had to work as go-betweens repeatedly since the 7 October Hamas-led attack on Israel and the war on Gaza. Iran is the Palestinian group’s strongest backer, and other Iranian-associated groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthi movement in Yemen have attacked Israel and Israeli- and US-linked targets as Israel’s assault on Gaza has escalated. According to the foreign ministry source, the communications passed between Iran and the US have primarily focused on curbing tensions and avoiding greater escalation in the region.

The source said Tehran had warned the US about the potential consequences if Israel’s war on Gaza, which has already killed 24,000 people, brings regional tensions to an uncontrollable level. These included Israel being defeated in a broader regional war and increased security pressure on the US military. The first source said Saudi Arabia has been used as a conduit when tensions have ramped up following Israel’s assassination of senior commanders from the “Axis of Resistance”, the Iran-backed group of countries and armed groups in the region. After Israel killed Razi Mousavi, a general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp’s elite Quds force, on 25 December, a Saudi delegation visited Tehran with a message from Washington that said the US wanted to contain the conflict in Gaza.

According to the first source, the US suggested potential concessions from Israel. One was that the US would not give backing or support to hard-right Israeli officials, which dominate Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. This, the source said, would be contingent on Iran not trying to derail efforts to establish full ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, a process that was interrupted by the outbreak of the Gaza war. On 8 January, Hossein Akbari, the Iranian ambassador to Syria, said that Iran had received a message from “one of the Persian Gulf countries”. According to Akbari, this country sent a delegation to Iran with a message from the Americans, offering a plan to resolve conflicts for the entire region, rather than solely addressing the Gaza war. MEE understands this Gulf country was Saudi Arabia.

Another Iranian insider told MEE that Washington used Saudi channels to inform Tehran that it was about to strike Yemen’s Houthis, who have been staging attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea to disrupt Israeli supplies and commerce. The message urged Iran to restrain its allied groups during the US strike. It also indicated that the strikes on the Houthis would not initially be too strong, but if Tehran reacted forcefully then a fierce US response would follow.

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“..a “deadly combination” of Biden’s “incompetence, radicalism, and weakness.”

American Democracy ‘In Danger’ – Trump (RT)

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has countered claims that his possible reelection to the White House poses an existential risk to the American way of life, telling supporters in the US state of New Hampshire on Saturday that it is Joe Biden’s ‘incompetence’ that represents the real threat to democracy. Trump was speaking in Manchester ahead of primary elections beginning on Tuesday that could further cement his status as the likely GOP candidate to challenge presumptive Democratic nominee Biden in November. But after being accused earlier this month by Biden of being “willing to sacrifice democracy,” the former US president turned the tables on his political rival, saying that Biden’s incapacity for the job is a clear and present danger to the United States. “He is a threat to democracy,” Trump said, his comments delivered under a giant sign reading: ‘Biden attacks democracy.’

He added: “We have to get him out. You know why he is a threat to democracy? A couple of reasons, but you know the first reason? He’s grossly incompetent.” It is an accusation that Trump has repeated on several occasions throughout his bid to return to the White House. In October, he blamed the Hamas attack on Israel on a “deadly combination” of Biden’s “incompetence, radicalism, and weakness.” Trump, who faces 91 charges in a range of criminal cases as he campaigns for the nation’s highest office, also accused Biden’s administration of “weaponizing” the justice system against him. He added that Biden’s efforts to do so are being enabled by his “protectors” in the “fake news” media. The comments appeared to be a reference to claims made by Biden in Pennsylvania earlier this month in which he said that Trump intends to uproot democracy to ensure he wins the election.

“Whether democracy is still America’s sacred cause is what the 2024 election is all about,” Biden said on January 5. “Donald Trump’s campaign is all about him, not America, not you. Donald Trump’s campaign is obsessed with the past, not the future. He’s willing to sacrifice our democracy to put himself in power.” Meanwhile, GOP-nomination candidate Nikki Haley, whom polling suggests trails Trump by around ten percentage points in New Hampshire, openly questioned her Republican opponent’s mental fitness, following comments in recent days in which Trump appeared to mistake her for former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “When you’re dealing with the pressures of a presidency, we can’t have someone else that we question whether they’re mentally fit to do it,” Haley said on Saturday.

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“..contingent election..” We touched on this before.

RFK Seeks Path to Victory by Forcing House to Elect President (ET)

To win the 2024 election as an independent, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is firstly hoping for an outright win, but the second path to victory is to make sure no other candidate wins 270 electoral votes. If no candidate reaches 270 electoral votes in a presidential election, the winner is decided in a contingent election by the House of Representatives, where each state votes as a bloc. The House has picked the president twice in American history. In 1800, Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson were deadlocked after the electoral votes were counted. The House cast their ballots to elect President Jefferson, who received 61 percent of the popular vote. When none of the four presidential candidates received an electoral vote majority in 1824, the House elected John Quincy Adams on Feb. 9 the following year.

“People are starting to realize that Bobby can win, with where he is in the polls,” Amaryllis Fox Kennedy, the campaign manager of Mr. Kennedy, told The Epoch Times. “They are starting to see that, for the first time in their lifetime, the two-party system can be broken and they can vote for somebody who excites them rather than having to vote for the lesser of two evils,” she said. Ms. Kennedy is also the candidate’s daughter-in-law. Ms. Kennedy said Mr. Kennedy could be considered a preferred candidate over former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, the likely Republican and Democrat nominees.

The prospect of Mr. Kennedy winning as a compromise candidate is relatively slim because a contingent United States election is decided by state delegations. Republicans currently hold a four-vote delegation lead, according to a tally maintained by ProPublica. The next House of Representatives, composed of lawmakers elected in 2024, would vote in a contingent election. A consensus forecast by 270toWin based on an aggregate of forecasts by five major analytics firms sees Republicans keeping their delegation majority in the House in 2024.

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“..We were the gatekeepers, and we very much owned the facts as well.”

WSJ Editor-in-Chief Admits To Davos Elites ‘We No Longer Own The News’ (ZH)

Thanks to the internet and (shrinking) press freedoms, legacy media outlets no longer have a monopoly on information and narratives. Case in point, during a WEF discussion at Davos entitled “Defending Truth,” Wall St. Journal EIC Emma Tucker lamented this loss of control over ‘the facts,’ as Modernity.news reports. “I think there’s a very specific challenge for the legacy brands, like the New York Times and like the Wall Street Journal,” Tucker said, adding “If you go back really not that long ago, as I say, we owned the news. We were the gatekeepers, and we very much owned the facts as well.” “If it said it in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, then that was a fact,” she continued, adding “Nowadays, people can go to all sorts of different sources for the news and they’re much more questioning about what we’re saying. “Russia, Russia, Russia!

European Commission VP Vera Jourova also piped up during the same discussion, calling the rise of “disinformation” a “security threat,” and suggesting that “It was part of the Russian military doctrine that they will start information war, and we are in it now.” Like when the Hillary Clinton campaign used a former (?) British spook’s Russian source to fabricate a hoax against Donald Trump, which was peddled through the Wall Street Journal and every single other legacy media outlet? That kind of information war? Or when 51 former US intelligence officials used disinformation to influence the 2020 election, suggesting the NY Post’s Hunter Biden laptop bombshell was Russian meddling? “Disinformation is a very powerful tool,” Jourová continued, adding that “In the EU we are focusing on improving of the system where the people will get the facts right. We don’t speak about opinions. We are not correcting anyone’s opinions or language. This is about the facts.” Bitch please.

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X thread from Wall Street Apes.

“Estimated Cost For Tax Payers: $1.6 Quadrillion Dollars..”

John Kerry Wants To Remove 1.6 Trillion Tons Of CO2 From The Atmosphere (X)

John Kerry Told The Washington Post He Wants To Remove 1.6 Trillion Tons Of Carbon Dioxide From The Atmosphere Via Direct Air Capture. Estimated Cost For Tax Payers: $1.6 Quadrillion Dollars That’s $1,600,000,000,000,000 (This isn’t a joke, he’s serious). “The lowest periods of carbon in the atmosphere and not only recorded history, in the history of life existing on the planet. In December of 2022, you told the Washington Post we need to remove 1,600,000,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere via direct air capture. The cost for that is about $1,000 per ton or 1.6 quadrillion dollars. Now I said you said you didn’t know, But since 2015, since the last El Nino, about 500,000,000,000 tons have been have been emitted into the atmosphere. During that same period of time, 2015, if you look at the temperature graph, this is from NOAA.

The temperature has gone down. Show the next slide. This is from NASA satellite data. Temperature has gone down. You wanna have the Have the American taxpayers, my constituents that are having a hard time afford their groceries, pay for a car, buy a new home, Spend 1.6 quadrillion dollars to fix a problem that, a, doesn’t exist. And as a matter of fact, You might be exacerbating because it’s unknown. It is unknown at this time the low level that of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that might actually destroy life, because plant life all depends. As you know, secretary, Plant life all depends on CO2. And when we kill it, then we’re done too. I yield the ballots.”

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Eagle

 

 

Python

 

 

Lions

 

 

 

 

Peacock

 

 

Murmuration
https://twitter.com/i/status/1749313443151376779

 

 

Bears

 

 

 

 

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

Read more …

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.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 012023
 
 December 1, 2023  Posted by at 9:57 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  43 Responses »


Pierre Bonnard Nude in an Interior c1935

 

IDF Resumes Gaza Strip Bombing, Says Hamas Violated Truce (Sp.)
US Lectures Israel Over Gaza War – Leaks (RT)
Israel Had Actual Hamas Attack Plan A Year Before Oct. 7 Assault (Week)
What Arab States Can Do To Punish Israel (Shami)
Ukrainian Authorities Prepare People For Truce With Russia (Sp.)
Stoltenberg Prepares NATO to Accept Russian Demands (Sp.)
US Offers NATO Reality Check To Ukraine (RT)
Germany Warns Against ‘Fatal’ Ukraine Fatigue (RT)
World Laughing At Germany’s Leaders – Putin (RT)
Ukraine Is Not Fighting For Europe – Hungary (RT)
Bank Raised Red Flags About Biden Family’s $5m China Loan (JT)
Texas Sues Pfizer For “Misrepresenting COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy” (ZH)
Trump Gag Order Reinstated By NY Appeals Court (ZH)
House Panel Chairman Says J6 Videotapes Of Witness Interviews Missing (JTN)
Time To Boycott Elon’s Boycotters (ZH)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Netanyahu is Deadly Wrong | Col. Larry Wilkerson

 

 

Macgregor: Turkey sends an ultimatum to Netanyahu, 2M soldiers are ready to flatten Israel

 

 

Nap/Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Evil done for its own sake
https://twitter.com/i/status/1730164779392925835

 

 

 

 

Rudy Havenstein:

“People are moving out of cash,”

Mostly into rent, food and healthcare.”

 

 

 

 

“It’s all their fault..”

IDF Resumes Gaza Strip Bombing, Says Hamas Violated Truce (Sp.)

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Friday that it had resumed fighting against Palestinian movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip, as the latter violated the humanitarian pause by opening fire on the Israeli territory. “Hamas violated the operational pause, and in addition, fired toward Israeli territory. The IDF has resumed combat against the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF wrote on Telegram. Israeli fighter jets are currently hitting Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces said. “The Wall Street Journal reported late on Thursday, that the two sides had agreed to extend a temporary humanitarian pause for an eighth day.

Last week, Qatar mediated a deal between Israel and Hamas on a four-day truce and the exchange of some of the prisoners and hostages, as well as the delivery of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. On Monday, Qatar announced that an agreement had been reached between Israel and Hamas on a two-day extension of the truce on the same terms as the previous one. Earlier on Thursday, the ceasefire was extended for a seventh day.

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“They have a our full support, but we told them to be nice about it..”

US Lectures Israel Over Gaza War – Leaks (RT)

Israel lacks “credit” to keep the fight against Hamas going for months and needs to change its tactics in the south of Gaza, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a war cabinet meeting on Thursday, according to Israel’s Channel 12. Blinken was in Jerusalem for meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the cabinet overseeing the war on the Palestinian militant group. Some of the quotes from the meeting somehow made their way to Channel 12, Israel’s most popular commercial TV station, which aired them on Thursday evening. “You can’t operate in southern Gaza in the way you did in the north. There are two million Palestinians there,” Blinken said at one point, according to a translation from Hebrew posted by the Times of Israel.

“You need to evacuate fewer people from their homes, be more accurate in the attacks, not hit UN facilities, and ensure that there are enough protected areas,” the US diplomat added. “And if not? Then not to attack where there is a civilian population.” When Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that the entire Israeli society was united behind the objective of dismantling Hamas, “even if it takes months,” Blinken replied, “I don’t think you have the credit for that.” The leaked quotes also revealed that Israel does not want the Palestinian Authority to ever rule Gaza, because it “supports, educates, and finances terror,” according to Netanyahu. Blinken said the US understands that, but “other states in the region need to know what you are planning,” because “The best way to kill an idea is to bring a better idea.” Washington has backed Israel’s offensive against Gaza after the October 7 raid by Hamas that resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,200 Israelis.

Since then, however, the US government has faced public backlash over the deaths of some 16,000 Palestinians in the enclave, many of them women and children. According to a statement issued by the State Department, Blinken has “reaffirmed the United States’ support for Israel’s right to protect itself from terrorist violence in compliance with international humanitarian law and urged Israel to take every possible measure to avoid civilian harm.” Blinken also urged “immediate steps to hold settler extremists accountable for violence against Palestinians in the West Bank” and said the US “remains committed to tangible steps to advance a Palestinian state living in peace, freedom, and security alongside Israel,” according to State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.

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Option 1: Israel didn’t take it serious.
Option 2: Israel had a year to prepare its response…

Israel Had Actual Hamas Attack Plan A Year Before Oct. 7 Assault (Week)

Israel possessed what turned out to be remarkably accurate Hamas plans for an attack on southern Israel for more than a year before the Palestinian militants launched their Oct. 7 terrorist incursion, The New York Times reported Thursday. “But Israeli military and intelligence officials dismissed the plan as aspirational, considering it too difficult for Hamas to carry out” and out of step with Israel’s view that Hamas wasn’t interested in war. The roughly 40-page document was “circulated widely among Israeli military and intelligence leaders,” who code-named it “Jericho Wall,” the Times reported. It “outlined, point by point, exactly the kind of devastating invasion that led to the deaths of about 1,200 people.”The Israeli military officials in charge of the Gaza sector initially said they weren’t sure what the document revealed about Hamas’ intentions, the Times reported.

But on July 6, three months before the attack, a veteran Israeli signals intelligence analyst warned that Hamas was conducting training exercises that matched the “Jericho Wall” plan, and that its military capabilities were more advanced than believed. A colonel in the Gaza division brushed off her analysis, writing in an encrypted email that the training exercise was part of a “totally imaginative” scenario and Israel should “wait patiently,” the Times reported. “It is unclear whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or other top political leaders saw the document,” the Times said, but Israeli and U.S. media reported that Egypt warned Netanyahu’s government repeatedly that Hamas was planning something big. “We know that Egypt has warned the Israelis three days prior that an event like this could happen,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told reporters after an Oct. 11 closed-door intelligence briefing.

Israel’s failure to heed the warnings and connect the dots before Oct. 7, which ended up being the deadliest day in Israeli history, is considered the country’s greatest intelligence failure since missing the surprise attack that started the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas so it can never threaten Israel again. That includes an order by Netanyahu “to kill Hamas leaders around the world when the nation’s war in the Gaza Strip winds down,” The Wall Street Journal reported, and Israeli spies are already plotting to assassinate Hamas leaders living in Lebanon, Turkey and Qatar. Israel has a long, checkered history of secret assassinations, but Netanyahu “telegraphed his intentions” in a Nov. 22 nationwide address, the Journal noted.

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A lot more than they have so far..

What Arab States Can Do To Punish Israel (Shami)

Despite widespread sentiment against Israeli aggressions across West Asia and the wider Islamic world, the summit, as many expected, concluded without concrete actions against Israel, underscoring the weakness and unwillingness of 22 Arab leaders to confront Israel and its western allies. It raises a pivotal question: In lieu of a collective decision by the Arab League, what can individual Arab nations do to support Palestine, and why haven’t they done these things already? To unravel the complexities of Arab geopolitics, and for the sake of simplifying the region’s various world views and priorities, Arab states can be categorized into three main political groupings – each influenced by non-Arab actors: the US, Turkiye, and Iran.

The foreign policies of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, and Djibouti – most governed by hereditary monarchies – align closely with the US and the west. Despite hosting numerous US military bases, these states, paradoxically, could play a substantial role in supporting Palestine without resorting to conflict. Morocco, the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, Egypt, and Jordan all have economic, political, and security relations with Israel. Yet, unlike distant Latin American countries, none have severed ties, although Bahrain did suspend its economic ties. Instead, the Israeli embassies in Jordan, Morocco, Egypt, and Bahrain were evacuated by the order of Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and the Ministry’s Director-General due to massive protests in support of Palestinians. The most strategically important states in this grouping are Jordan and Egypt, both of which share borders with Israel, and have the longest-established relations with Tel Aviv.

Egypt, a key player since the Camp David Accords were signed in 1979, has the ability to immediately influence events in Gaza. But from presidents Anwar Sadat to present day’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Cairo has instead worked overtime to safeguard Israel’s southern border and actively engages in energy deals to boost their mutual economies. If it chooses to do so, Egypt can block Israeli ships in the Suez Canal, open the Rafah Crossing to Gaza to flood the besieged territory with essential aid, and halt intelligence cooperation – today, and bloodlessly. Jordan, which shares the longest border with the occupation state, lacks substantial means to counter Israeli influence. However, Amman could cut ties with Israel and threaten Tel Aviv that it will loosen its border controls – potentially allowing foreign fighters and weapons to infiltrate into the occupied West Bank – a scenario that Tel Aviv fears greatly.

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“..Russia has never refused talks, but the other side must make it clear that it is ready for them.”

Ukrainian Authorities Prepare People For Truce With Russia (Sp.)

The West and some Ukrainian politicians are beginning to prepare the people for a peaceful settlement of the conflict with Russia, said Ukrainian political scientist Ruslan Bortnik. “Western media and some of our politicians are already hanging this gun on the wall so that we can see it, so that we can get used to the sight of it. Obviously, certain preparations need to be made for possible negotiations,” the expert said. According to him, two factors are influencing the approach to the negotiations – a decrease in the amount of aid from the West and a failed attempt to bring the countries of the South to Kiev’s side.

The analyst added that the unstable state of the West forces Kiev to reconsider its general strategy of fighting Russia and return to the issue of peace. Russia has repeatedly expressed its readiness for negotiations, but the Kiev authorities have imposed a ban on them. The Kremlin also noted that now there are no preconditions for the situation to move in a peaceful direction, and the special operation’s goals remain a priority for Moscow. According to President Vladimir Putin, Russia has never refused talks, but the other side must make it clear that it is ready for them.

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“..make it easier for alliance members to accept that Russia’s demands for Kiev’s neutrality will likely to be accepted in future peace talks..”

Stoltenberg Prepares NATO to Accept Russian Demands (Sp.)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has changed his rhetoric with regard to Ukraine to make it easier for alliance members to accept that Russia’s demands for Kiev’s neutrality will likely to be accepted in future peace talks, Belgian military expert Pierre Henrot told Sputnik. Earlier in the week, Stoltenberg acknowledged that Ukraine had failed to advance its front line in the conflict with Russia over the past year even with NATO’s “significant” support, urging the alliance not to underestimate Russia’s defense capabilities. “It has been made repeatedly clear that the first demand by Russia, if and when negotiations start, would be that Ukraine remain neutral and never enter NATO,” Henrot said.

“Now that it becomes evident that Ukraine is going to lose this conflict, Stoltenberg prepares the allies, especially European public opinion, to the fact that this condition of strict neutrality of Ukraine that has been continuously demanded by Russia since the early 1990s will have to be applied.”The expert to Stoltenberg repeatedly and on multiple occasions saying that Ukraine could potentially join the alliance only after the conflict. At the same time the NATO headquarters understands any negotiation will have to deal first with Russia’s demand of Kiev’s strict neutrality, according to Henrot. The NATO foreign ministers’ meeting took place in Brussels from Tuesday to Wednesday to address the situation in Ukraine and the Palestine-Israel conflict.

As a result of the NATO Summit in Vilnius from July 11-12, NATO leaders agreed on a package of three elements to bring Ukraine closer to the alliance. The first element is the creation of an assistance program for Ukraine that will facilitate its transition to NATO standards, training and doctrine. The second element is the establishment of a NATO-Ukraine Council, and the third is the cancellation of the Membership Action Plan for Ukraine, which will allow Kiev’s accession process to be shortened from two steps to one. However, the bloc has not extended an official invitation to Kiev.

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“Ukraine is well on the path of NATO, as well as to the European Union, with the accession process, uh, beginning..”

US Offers NATO Reality Check To Ukraine (RT)

Ukraine will join the US-led military alliance only after it meets all conditions and secures the consent of every member, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken repeated on Wednesday when asked about a proposal to fast-track the process. Blinken and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba made a short press appearance on the sidelines of a NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels, painting an optimistic picture of Kiev’s current situation. “We reaffirm the commitment made in Vilnius that Ukraine will become a member of NATO when allies agree and conditions are met,” Blinken said. “Ukraine is well on the path of NATO, as well as to the European Union, with the accession process, uh, beginning,” he added.

Kuleba described the meeting with Blinken as “a clear no to fatigue, a clear yes to continued and increased support to Ukraine.” Blinken was quoting the joint communique from the July summit in Lithuania, which said that NATO “will be in a position to extend an invitation to Ukraine to join the alliance when allies agree and conditions are met.” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky had reacted to the communique by calling NATO weak and its behavior “unprecedented and absurd,” drawing the ire of Washington. Earlier this month, former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen – now an adviser to the government in Kiev – proposed admitting Ukraine within the boundaries of territory it currently controls, thereby making it subject to the bloc’s Article 5 security guarantees.

Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andrey Yermak, rejected Rasmussen’s offer within days, saying there could be no compromise on Ukraine’s “independence, territorial integrity, sovereignty.” Russia has repeatedly made clear that no form of Ukraine’s membership in NATO would be acceptable to Moscow. Zelensky’s top MP and former head negotiator in Istanbul, David Arakhamia, admitted last week that Kiev could have stopped the conflict in April 2022 by agreeing to the Russian demand for neutrality, but said that the West urged Ukraine to keep fighting.

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“The view of Ukraine is currently disappearing from the public – that is fatal..”

Germany Warns Against ‘Fatal’ Ukraine Fatigue (RT)

Dwindling public attention to the Ukraine conflict will be “fatal,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has said, in the run-up to a key NATO meeting in Brussels on Wednesday. The first meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council on the level of foreign ministers took place amid a “stalemate” on the frontline, as described by the top Ukrainian general, Valery Zaluzhny, earlier this month. Dmitry Kuleba, Kiev’s top diplomat, rejected the assessment ahead of the meeting.Western fatigue with Ukraine and its problems topped the agenda during the session, but according to German news program Tagesschau, the ministers offered no concrete solutions. “The view of Ukraine is currently disappearing from the public – that is fatal,” Baerbock warned, as quoted by the German Foreign Ministry on social media.

“We all have to work to further extend the winter protection umbrella for Ukraine,” she added, referring to bolstering Ukraine’s air defenses against Russian attacks. A short communique released by NATO after the meeting said the council has “proven to be a reliable crisis consultation mechanism.” Ukraine and members of the bloc are developing “a roadmap for Ukraine’s transition to full interoperability with NATO” – that is, switching Ukraine from Soviet to Western weapons and military tactics. Western media has reported numerous complaints by Ukrainian troops that the training they receive from NATO states is not applicable to the conflict with Russia.

Kuleba reiterated Kiev’s pitch for unrestricted support of his nation, touting the Ukrainian army as a proxy force prepared to sacrifice their lives fighting against the Russians. “The best way to avoid sending your own soldiers into a war is to help another country fight its own war,” the minister told the press. “This is what makes us very different from others. Our deal is very fair. You give us all we need, we fight.” The premise that Ukraine serves as a shield for Europe was openly criticized by Hungary, which has refused to send arms to Ukraine and has been pushing for a negotiated truce. Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto called Kiev’s claim “an exaggeration,” and said Budapest rejects any approach to the conflict based on this notion. “This is not our war,” he added.

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“Germany is being bossed by its Western partners because it lacks sovereignty, and its policymakers demonstrate poor leadership skills..”

World Laughing At Germany’s Leaders – Putin (RT)

Germany is being bossed by its Western partners because it lacks sovereignty, and its policymakers demonstrate poor leadership skills, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated at a meeting with young Russian scientists on Wednesday. Putin weighed on the EU’s push to wean itself off Russian energy following the escalation of the Ukraine conflict, arguing that by implementing the measure, Germany was only hurting itself. The president noted that either European countries are turning their backs on cheap energy on their own accord, or the decision-making is being “done by their allies from the United States due to political reasons.” In this sense, the EU’s energy security took a hit when Poland and Ukraine cut off Russian gas supplies through their territory and the Nord Stream pipelines were blown up, he added.

According to Putin, who had maintained close working relations with Berlin for most part of his political career, Kiev “receives money from Europe, from Germany… while the gas they need from Russia has been cut off.” “The Germans swallow all this because… they lack sovereignty. And some government leaders apparently lack sufficient professional skills to make adequate and professional decisions. Everyone knows who that is, they are being laughed at by the whole world.” Shortly after the Ukraine conflict escalated in February 2022, the EU unveiled a plan to wean itself off Russian energy “well before 2030.” In April 2022, Russian energy giant Gazprom announced that it would stop delivering gas via the Yamal-Europe pipeline, which runs through Poland, because the country had refused to pay for the energy using rubles due to sanctions against Moscow.

At the same time, Western restrictions launched as a response to the Ukraine conflict – including those on fossil fuel imports – were among the main culprits which led to last year’s energy crisis. The situation was exacerbated by the September 2022 bombing of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, which connect Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea. While several Western media outlets have suggested that the energy pipelines were blown up by Ukrainian-linked saboteurs, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh alleges that the attack was orchestrated by US intelligence agencies. Putin has agreed with Hersh’s conclusions, arguing that a sabotage of this magnitude would have been impossible to pull off without state support.

Lavrov

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“You can’t lead us or mislead us with statements..”

Ukraine Is Not Fighting For Europe – Hungary (RT)

Hungary rejects any approach to the Ukraine conflict that suggests that Kiev is somehow fighting to protect peace and democracy in Europe, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said, adding that the conflict is only about Ukraine’s own territorial integrity. Speaking at a press conference following a meeting of foreign ministers of the NATO-Ukraine Council, Szijjarto called for an end to deliveries of lethal aid to Ukraine, warning that such assistance has the potential to spark an escalation of the conflict. He noted that while Hungary supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev is “not Europe’s fight” and is not about peace and democracy in Europe.

“Ukraine is fighting for itself, for its own territorial integrity, its own sovereignty and its own independence, which we value very much, because it is a heroic fight, of course, but I say again, this is not our war, which is why we reject any approach that starts from this,” Szijjarto said. He added that NATO membership for Ukraine should be out of the question given the current circumstances. He noted that Kiev’s accession to the bloc is not even an option given that countries at war cannot be accepted. Such a move would put the alliance itself in danger and could potentially spark a world war, the minister said. The second reason, according to Szijjarto, is the fact that NATO is a “community of values,” which has no place for a state that “constantly suppresses the rights of national minorities.”

Budapest has repeatedly accused Kiev of suppressing the right of the nearly 150,000 ethnic Hungarians living in Ukraine to speak their own language by introducing laws requiring that Ukrainian be spoken in public life, school, the media, as well as in offices. Despite assurances from Kiev that a bill has already been drafted to address the issue, Szijjarto insisted that simple promises are meaningless and that Hungary only believes in fully adopted and implemented legislation. “You can’t lead us or mislead us with statements,” he said. Szijjarto’s statement comes after NATO promised on Wednesday that it will “develop a roadmap toward Ukraine’s full interoperability” with the bloc’s militaries but stopped short of offering any membership prospects for Kiev.

Russia, meanwhile, has repeatedly made it clear that Ukraine’s membership in NATO would be unacceptable to Moscow. President Vladimir Putin has also cited Kiev’s potential accession to the US-led bloc as one of the key reasons for the military operation against Kiev.

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“A money laundering investigator for a bank raised serious concerns in 2017 about a $5 million loan that the Biden family received from the arm of a Chinese energy firm..”

Bank Raised Red Flags About Biden Family’s $5m China Loan (JT)

A money laundering investigator for a bank raised serious concerns in 2017 about a $5 million loan that the Biden family received from the arm of a Chinese energy firm, flagging the transaction as “high risk” and possibly tied to efforts by the communist government to gain influence through Hunter Biden, according to an explosive new memo released by congressional investigators Wednesday. The unnamed investigator specifically raised concerns that the loan had no paperwork, that a Biden family firm distributed large sums of the money to a Hunter Biden law firm and that the recipient firm inside the Biden family did not appear to have any investments in need of a loan, the memo released by House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer stated.Comer noted Wednesday that the complex $5 million trail of transactions also resulted in a $40,000 check landing in Joe Biden’s account.

The memo shows that the bank investigator identified Hunter Biden as a Politically Exposed Person (PEP), which is a widely used term in financial industry money laundering reviews to classify a person who is either “entrusted with a prominent public function” or a family member of one who is, according to The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. “We have been monitoring the subject customer due to the PEP designation and observations on the account activity as well as recent negative news indicate this entity to be high risk,” the money laundering investigator wrote bank officials as he traced the money from Northern International Capitol Holdings (HK) Limited, a firm tied to China CEFC Energy, through the Biden family’s Hudson West III firm and to Hunter Biden’s Owasco PC law firm.

“These payments were indicated as management fees and reimbursements. We find It unusual that approximately 58% of the funds were transferred to the law firm in a few months and the frequency of payments appear erratic,” the investigator’s memo noted. “It was also previously indicated Hudson West III LLC does not currently have any investment projects at this time, which raises further concerns as millions in fees are being paid but does not appear to have any services rendered by Owasco PC.” The memo also noted that the transmission of the $5 million loan from China has “no loan agreement document submitted” and that there was public news reports that Hunter Biden was in the midst of financial difficulties.

“There has been negative news regarding the beneficial owner of Owasco PC, Robert Hunter Biden (son of former U.S. Vice President-Joe Biden) regarding allegations by his ex-wife that there were financial concerns about his extravagant spending on his own Interests (drugs, strip clubs, prostitutes, etc,) which may put his family ln a deep financial hole,” the examiner wrote. “More recent negative news indicate China targeting children of politicians and purchase of political influence through ‘sweetheart deaIs,'” the examiner added.

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“Had Pfizer used the FDA’s preferred metric — absolute risk reduction — it would have instead informed the public that “the vaccine was merely 0.85% effective..”

Texas Sues Pfizer For “Misrepresenting COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy” (ZH)

The Texas attorney general is suing pharmaceutical giant Pfizer for misrepresenting the effectiveness of the company’s Covid-19 “vaccine” and for conspiring to censor those who questioned its claims. The suit, filed Thursday, alleges that Pfizer violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act by engaging in false, deceptive and misleading acts as it promoted the drug.“The facts are clear. Pfizer did not tell the truth about their COVID-19 vaccines,” said Attorney General Kenneth Paxton in a statement revealing the suit. “We are pursuing justice for the people of Texas, many of whom were coerced by tyrannical vaccine mandates to take a defective product sold by lies.” The suit comes about eight months after Paxton announced an investigation of Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson for potential misrepresentations about Covid-19 vaccine efficacy and “potential manipulation of vaccine trial data.”

He has accused the company of “unlawfully misrepresenting the effectiveness of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine and attempting to censor public discussion of the product,” according to a press release. “Pfizer engaged in false, deceptive, and misleading acts and practices by making unsupported claims regarding the company’s COVID-19 vaccine in violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act,” the release continues Much of Paxton’s 54-page-complaint focuses on Pfizer’s December 20, 2020 claim that its vaccine was “95% effective.” However, according to the complaint, “more Americans died in 2021, with Pfizer’s vaccine available, than in 2020, the first year of the pandemic.” He also cites government reports concluding that in some places, deaths among vaccinated people outpaced those among the unvaccinated, even on a percentage basis.

Pfizer’s claim of 95% efficacy rested on deceptive framing of clinical trial observations, says the complaint: That number was only ever legitimate in a solitary, highly- technical, and artificial way—it represented a calculation of the so-called “relative risk reduction” for vaccinated individuals in Pfizer’s then-unfinished pivotal clinical trial. But FDA publications indicate “relative risk reduction” is a misleading statistic that “unduly influence[s]” consumer choice. Indeed, per FDA: “when information is presented in a relative risk format, the risk reduction seems large and treatments are viewed more favorably than when the same information is presented” using more accurate metrics. The critical 95% claim came at a point when Pfizer only had an average of two months data on participants, says Paxton.

Specifically, the Texas AG says that of the 17,000 who received a placebo, only 162 contracted the illness, which makes for a poor baseline from which to judge the efficacy of the so-called vaccine. Had Pfizer used the FDA’s preferred metric — absolute risk reduction — it would have instead informed the public that “the vaccine was merely 0.85% effective,” writes Paxton. “Moreover, according to Pfizer’s own data, preventing one COVID-19 case required vaccinating 119.”

NZL 30% death rate

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How to spell banana republic.

Trump Gag Order Reinstated By NY Appeals Court (ZH)

Color us less than surprised; but a New York appeals court reinstated Thursday the gag order imposed on former President Donald Trump by the judge overseeing his civil fraud trial. The gag order was initially imposed by Judge Engeron on Oct. 3 (after President Trump accused the judge’s top clerk of political bias in a post on social media). An appeals court judge temporarily paused the gag order on Nov. 16 while the former president appealed the order. But now, in an order issued on Nov. 30, a four-judge panel of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division, overturned the temporary suspension of the gag order:

“Now, upon reading and filing the papers with respect to the motion, and due deliberation having been had thereon…it is ordered that the motion is denied; the interim relief granted by order of a Justice of this Court, dated November 16, 2023, is hereby vacated,” the appeals court’s order states. Trump’s legal team filed a mistrial motion earlier this month purporting that Engoron and his clerk have “tainted” the trial with their bias against Trump. Engoron denied the motion, calling it “utterly without merit.” President Trump has not publicly commented on the latest development. Trump also faces a gag order in his federal 2020 election subversion case. That order is currently on pause as a panel of federal judges weighs its merit.

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“All of the videotapes of all depositions are gone..”

“House Republicans have no records of who the witnesses were, what they said, or why it is being used by the federal prosecutor in their case against Trump..”

House Panel Chairman Says J6 Videotapes Of Witness Interviews Missing (JTN)

Videotapes of witness interviews that the Democrat-led Jan. 6 congressional committee conducted have vanished, raising concerns for the chairman of the successor House panel that is now examining security failures related to the Capitol riot as well as possible implications for upcoming criminal trials. “All of the videotapes of all depositions are gone,” Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., chairman of the House Administration oversight subcommittee, told the “Just the News, No Noise” television show Thursday night. Loudermilk said he believes under the House rules the videotapes qualified as congressional evidence because some clips were aired at hearings, and all the tapes should have been preserved by the now-defunct J6 committee and its chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.

“We found out about this early in the investigation when I received a call from someone who was looking for some information off one of the videotapes, and we started searching, and we had none,” Loudermilk explained. “I wrote a letter to Bennie Thompson asking for them. And he confirmed that they did not preserve those types. He didn’t feel that they had to. “But according to House rules, you have to preserve any data and information and documents that are used in an official proceeding, which they did, They (J6 Democrats) actually aired portions of these tapes on their televised hearings, which means they had to keep those. But yet he chose not to, I believe they exist somewhere. We’ve just got to find where all these videos are.” The revelation also could have implications for criminal trials being conducted in state court in Georgia and federal court in Washington where former President Donald Trump and allies are charged with crimes related to the Jan. 6, 2021 events.

Trump’s legal team recently was turned down by a judge when he requested certain evidence from the Jan. 6 committee.Loudermilk also revealed another tantalizing twist in the J6 committee evidence: the Democrat-led House committee sent certain evidence such as transcripts to the Biden White House and Homeland Security Department and now the transcripts have been returned to Loudermilk’s GOP-led subcommittee nearly fully redacted so their contents can’t be read. House Republicans have no records of who the witnesses were, what they said, or why it is being used by the federal prosecutor in their case against Trump, Loudermilk said. The documents “belong to the House. They should have never been sent. And second of all, do not send them back to me this heavily redacted. Those are our documents,” the chairman said. “But my question is, why was it okay for a Democrat-run House of Representatives to have unredacted documents but not when there’s a Republican committee that’s looking into this. What is it that the committee and or the White House is trying to hide?”

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Zero Hadge knows what this is like. So does the Automatic Earth: “..precisely what ad demonetization is: a not so subtle way of pushing content and editorial direction in exchange for a monthly stipend..”

Time To Boycott Elon’s Boycotters (ZH)

It was about four years ago that ZeroHedge went through ad monetization hell, having lost most of our advertisers because they did not approve of the content on this website and as a result they – together with such members of the Censorship Industrial Complex such as Newsguard, Sleeping Giants and CheckMyAds and various three letter US government agencies – did everything in their power to kill the site by starving it of ad revenue (it’s what prompted us to launch a premium, subscription-supported version without which we would not have survived, and therefore we wish to personally thank all of our premium subscribers). Fast forward to today, when Elon Musk is going through the same hell, as a growing group of companies are trying to do to X/Twitter what they tried to do to us by targeting the social media network and trying to starve it of ad revenue (their stated trigger of responding to the Media Matters fake news “report” was just a red herring: if it hadn’t been for Media Matters, they would have found some other point of “virtue” to rally around, and pull their ads).

Of course, there is one key difference: Elon is the world’s richest man, and if Twitter does not generate even one additional dollar of revenue, Elon will still be a multi-billionaire, and X can continue to operate for a long, long time if not in perpetuity (if costs are trimmed enough). It’s also why Elon yesterday had some choice words for those advertisers who had halted advertising, telling them “go fuck yourself” (with a shout out to Disney chief Bob Iger) if they think they can blackmail Musk… which is precisely what ad demonetization is: a not so subtle way of pushing content and editorial direction in exchange for a monthly stipend. Here, a brief tangent: for the most part, advertising spending is rarely about actual “advertising” and instead it is about endorsing, encouraging and funding certain ideologies and party lines which corporations agree with, encourage and seek to make default. It is about influencing the content decisions and editorial slant by implicitly threatening that the ad money can disappear at a moment’s notice if something is published the company disagrees with.

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Oscar Wilde, who died #otd in 1900, pictured in Athens in 1877.

 

 

Bear dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1730179615631524075

 

 

Web developer

 

 

Shane

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Nov 222023
 
 November 22, 2023  Posted by at 9:21 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  74 Responses »


Paul Cézanne Young Italian Woman at a Table c1900

 

Israel’s Cabinet Approves Ceasefire, Hostage Deal With Hamas (Sp.)
Gaza ‘Truce’ Won’t Halt The Regional War (Illaik)
Will the Scorpion Sting the US Frog? (Alastair Crooke)
Putin Calls For Joint Global Efforts To End Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (TASS)
Will Russia-China Patience Extinguish the Fire in West Asia? (Pepe Escobar)
Biden Op-ed Likening Russia to Hamas is Result of Dementia – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Western Leaders Came to Ukraine to Test Kiev Regime Viability (Sp.)
US Mission To NATO Signals Zelensky Must Sit At “Negotiating Table” (ZH)
Rep. Goldman Denounced “Dangerous” Rhetoric Using Dangerous Rhetoric (Turley)
‘All In’ for Trump House Speaker Johnson Pays Visit to Mar-a-Lago (Sp.)
Trump Seeks To Halt Gag Order In Election Meddling Case (BBC)
We Must Demand Justice for the January 6th Protestors! (Ron Paul)
Texas AG Sues Pfizer Over Tainted Children’s Drugs (ZH)
Lawsuit Against Alleged CIA Spying On Assange Visitors (Gosztola)

 

 

 

 

Children of Gaza

 

 


“Interest on the federal debt is now so immense that it’s consuming 40% of all personal income taxes… If federal finances continue on their current path, we are only a few years from the entirety of income taxes being needed to finance the debt…”

 

 

Morning Joe


https://twitter.com/i/status/1726977947549213107

 

 

Nap Macgregor

 

 

Scott Ritter: “Israel been defeated on the battlefield! We will not SAVE THEM this time..”

 

 

Sachs UN

 

 

Martyanov

 

 

 

 


Truth Social files defamation suit vs 20 media companies

 

 

The head of the aid organization that runs the Indonesian Hospital in Gaza, now under sustained assault by Israeli forces, wrote a letter to Pres. Biden: “You have destroyed the international rules of the game, insulted the authority of the UN, torn apart the sense of justice, and hurt human values, and tarnished the face of human civilization.”

 

 

 

 

Nobody believes in Israel’s good intentions.

Israel’s Cabinet Approves Ceasefire, Hostage Deal With Hamas (Sp.)

The Israeli cabinet has accepted a deal with Palestinian movement Hamas for a temporary ceasefire and the release of hostages in a vote on Wednesday, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported. The newspaper cited a senior Israeli official as saying that the deal would see Hamas release 30 children and eight mothers, as well as 12 more women, during a four-day ceasefire. The official also said that all the branches of the Israeli security services supported the deal, the newspaper reported. The deal includes only Israelis, but Hamas may release foreign nationals under deals with other countries, the report said. Implementing an agreement between Israel and Palestinian movement Hamas on the release of hostages will start a day after the deal is reached and the US anticipates the freeing of additional hostages, a senior Biden administration official said during a press briefing.

“Even if we get an agreement tonight or tomorrow morning, the implementation would not start until 24 hours after that,” the official said on Tuesday evening. “If we had an agreement tonight, the implementation would probably be Thursday morning Israel time.” Palestinian movement Hamas will release 50 of some 240 hostages being held in the Gaza Strip, women and children first, over a four-day ceasefire that was approved by Israel’s cabinet, the Associated Press reported Tuesday, citing the Israeli government. Israel would publish a list of names of prisoners to be released under a deal with Palestinian movement Hamas within the next 24 hours so that Israelis can appeal the release in court, Axios reported Tuesday, citing an Israeli official. The report added that Israel would extend the truce by an additional day for every ten hostages released.

Palestinian movement Hamas said in a statement on Wednesday that it has agreed with Israel on a four-day truce in the Gaza Strip with the cessation of all hostilities and the release of 50 Israeli hostages in return for 150 Palestinian prisoners. “Following difficult and complex negotiations that lasted for many days, we announce that … we, thanks to the persistent efforts of Qatar and Egypt, have reached an agreement on a humanitarian truce (temporary ceasefire) for four days, according to which a ceasefire on both sides comes, as well as the cessation of all military activities of the occupation army in all areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the cessation of the movement of its military equipment into the Gaza Strip,” Hamas said on Telegram.

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“..In short, the ground battle in northern Gaza has only just begun, and is gearing up to get even hotter in the weeks ahead.”

Gaza ‘Truce’ Won’t Halt The Regional War (Illaik)

The Israeli military has announced the expansion of its ground operations in the northern Gaza Strip. After seizing territories on Gaza’s coastline, in the western part of the northern strip, Tel Aviv’s actual ground operation is now beginning. For more than three weeks of its ground offensive, the occupation army has been operating in areas close to the shoreline, in places where tunnels cannot be dug, and, therefore, areas where the Palestinian resistance does not have significant defensive capabilities. But now, the occupation army is moving eastward from the Gaza coast, allowing the armed resistance to maneuver far more easily and inflict greater losses on the invading soldiers and their armored vehicles – as has become quite evident in recent days. In short, the ground battle in northern Gaza has only just begun, and is gearing up to get even hotter in the weeks ahead.

In support of the resistance in Gaza, the Yemeni army and Ansarallah fighters seized an Israeli-owned vessel in the Red Sea on 19 November after threatening to target all Israeli ships crossing the Bab al-Mandab Strait. Over the past week, on Lebanon’s border with Israel, the Lebanese resistance Hezbollah has increased the frequency of its military operations. On 20 November, the occupation army monitored more than 40 attacks on its positions, one of which was carried out with four rockets, each with an explosive warhead weighing around 500 kilograms. The salvo destroyed the Israeli ‘Branit’ military barracks near the border with Lebanon. In just the past three days, Hezbollah has carried out an average of 12 military operations against Israeli targets each day. Simultaneously, Iraqi resistance attacks are continuing against US military bases in Iraq and Syria – over sixty operations to date.

The increased pace of clashes across West Asia is, however, being widely ignored by many of Tel Aviv’s western allies, whose attention has been diverted by ongoing prisoner exchange talks between Israel and the Palestinian resistance, mediated by Qatar and the US. These weeks-long negotiations are being treated as evidence that the next phase will necessarily be a de-escalation in Palestine. Those expectations have been fanned by a leak that Israel’s cabinet has discussed the imminent demobilization of a number of army reservists. While the Israeli military may indeed demobilize part of the reserve forces it called up after 7 October, this decision is not based on de-escalatory considerations. The more than 300,000 Israeli reservists initially mobilized was far too great for the capacity of the occupation army, which was unable to absorb these personnel into its fronts in Gaza, Lebanon, and the West Bank.

Despite this, many still optimistically cling to the de-escalation narrative. They are further encouraged by official US statements criticizing – albeit in a watered-down manner – Israel’s targeting of Palestinian civilians, and point to the occasional US-Israel divergences over what they call the “post-Hamas phase” in Gaza as further proof that Tel Aviv will have to scale down its war. But at the current stage of the conflict, these discrepancies and observations are considered totally irrelevant by officials in the region’s Axis of Resistance. They note instead that Washington continues to maintain its pace of arms support for Israel, as it has done since the war’s onset, while sticking to its refusal to entertain any permanent ceasefire.

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“..he manoeuvres to alleviate criticism and to stay in power as long as he can. More importantly, he hopes this will enable him to spread the blame, shedding all and any responsibility and accountability from himself..”

Will the Scorpion Sting the US Frog? (Alastair Crooke)

The allegory is one in which a scorpion depends on the frog for its passage across a flooded river, by hitching a lift on the frog’s back. The frog distrusts the scorpion; but reluctantly agrees. During the crossing the scorpion fatally stings the frog swimming the river, under the scorpion. They both die. It is a tale from antiquity intended to illustrate the nature of tragedy. A Greek tragedy is one in which the crisis at the heart of any ‘tragedy’ does not arise by sheer mischance. The Greek sense is that tragedy is where something happens because it has to happen; because of the nature of the participants; because the actors involved make it happen. And they have no choice but to make it happen, because that is their nature.

It is a story that was deployed by a former senior Israeli diplomat, well versed in U.S. politics. His telling of the frog fable has Israel’s leaders desperately fending off responsibility for the 7 October débacle, with a cabinet furiously trying to turn the crisis (psychologically) from culpable disaster – to present the Israeli public instead with an image of epic opportunity. The chimaera being presented is one that by reaching back to earliest Zionist ideology, Israel can turn the catastrophe in Gaza – as Finance Minister Smotrich has long argued – into a solution that once and for all ‘unilaterally resolves the inherent contradiction between Jewish and Palestinian aspirations – by ending the illusion that any kind of compromise, reconciliation or partition is possible. This is the potential scorpion sting: the Israeli cabinet betting all on a hugely risky strategy – a new Nakba – that could draw Israel into major conflict, but in so doing also sink what remains of western prestige.

Of course, as the former Israeli diplomat underlines, this ploy is essentially constructed around Netanyahu’s personal ambition – he manoeuvres to alleviate criticism and to stay in power as long as he can. More importantly, he hopes this will enable him to spread the blame, shedding all and any responsibility and accountability from himself. [Better still], “it can place Gaza in an historic and epic context as an event that might render the PM as a formative wartime leader of grandeur and glory”. Far-fetched? Not necessarily. Netanyahu may be writhing politically for survival, but he is a true ‘believer’ too. In his book, Going to the Wars, historian Max Hastings writes that Netanyahu told him in the 1970s that, “In the next war, if we do it right, we’ll have the chance to get all the Arabs out … We can clear the West Bank, sort out Jerusalem.” And what is the Israeli cabinet thinking about the ‘next war’? It thinks ‘Hizbullah. As one minister noted recently, ‘after Hamas, we will turn to deal with Hizbullah’.

It is precisely the confluence of a lengthy war in Gaza (along lines established in 2006), and an Israeli leadership seemingly intent to provoke Hizbullah on to, and up, the escalatory ladder, which is causing red lights to flash inside the White House, according to the former Israeli diplomat. In the 2006 war with Hizbullah, the entire urban populated suburb of Beirut – Dahiya – was levelled. General Eizenkot (who commanded Israeli forces during that war and is now a member in Netanyahu’s ‘War Cabinet’) said in 2008: “What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on … From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases … This is not a recommendation. This is a plan. And it has been approved.”

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Putin first wants more countries to step up to the plate. He won’t be isolated.

Putin Calls For Joint Global Efforts To End Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (TASS)

The international community should join forces to find a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “Russia’s position is consistent and does not change with the situation. We urge the international community to join forces in order to ease tensions, ensure a ceasefire and find a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he noted, addressing an extraordinary summit of the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). According to Putin, “BRICS nations and the countries of the region could play a key role in this work.” “This is why the participation of our colleagues from the Middle East in today’s meeting, who were invited to join BRICS as full members earlier in the year, is particularly important,” the Russian leader noted.

“I would like to use this opportunity to respectfully commend their efforts to improve the situation, particularly by holding the Peace Summit in Egypt and the extraordinary Arab-Islamic Summit in Saudi Arabia,” Putin said. The Russian president highlighted the fact that “all BRICS countries share similar positions on the need to make joint efforts to find a long-term and sustainable solution to the prolonged Israeli-Palestinian issue.” In his view, “this became evident in the UN General Assembly’s vote on a draft resolution on a humanitarian ceasefire, as well as in discussions of a UN Security Council resolution on the Middle East settlement, which was adopted for the first time in seven years.” “Even though the resolution only calls for humanitarian pauses and not for a ceasefire, we see its adoption as a step in the right direction,” the Russian president pointed out. He stressed that “while a full ceasefire would be better, such humanitarian pauses are required for efforts to release hostages and evacuate civilians and foreign nationals from the Gaza Strip.”

The UN Security Council earlier passed a Malta-drafted humanitarian resolution aimed at assisting children in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict zone. The seven-point document particularly calls for long humanitarian pauses and the immediate release of all hostages, especially children. Putin also thanked his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El-Sisi for facilitating the evacuation of Russian nationals from Gaza. The Russian leader emphasized the need to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East and prevent the conflict from expanding. “By and large, ensuring a long-term and sustainable ceasefire is certainly the most pressing goal,” Putin noted. “It is important to stop other countries from being dragged into the war in the Middle East and prevent the conflict from expanding, as well as to preserve the fragile interfaith peace,” he added.

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“..that’s actually BRICS 10, because after the election of pro-Hegemon Zionist Javier “Chainsaw Massacre” Milei for President, Argentina is now out of the picture, and possibly discarded by January 1st, 2024..”

Will Russia-China Patience Extinguish the Fire in West Asia? (Pepe Escobar)

Everyone familiar with West Asia – from US generals to grocers in the Arab Street – knows that Israel is a landed aircraft carrier whose mission is to keep West Asia in check on behalf of the Hegemon. Of course in a dog eats dog geopolitical environment it’s easy to misunderstand all wag the dog shenanigans. What’s certain is that for hegemonic circles of the US Deep State, and certainly for the White House and the Pentagon, what matters in the current incandescent juncture is the uber-extreme/genocidal Likud-led Netanyahu government in Israel, not “Israel” per se. That projects Netanyahu as the exact mirror image of the beleaguered sweaty sweatshirt actor in Kiev. Quite the geopolitical gift – in terms of deflecting blame away from the Hegemon for a genocide deployed live on every smartphone on the planet.

And all that conducted under a veneer of legality – as in the White House and the State Department “advising” Tel Aviv to act with moderation; yes, you can bomb hospitals, schools, medical workers, journalists, thousands of women, thousands of children, but please be gentle. Meanwhile, the Hegemon has deployed an Armada to the Eastern Mediterranean, complete with two very expensive iron bathtubs, sorry aircraft carrier groups plus a nuclear submarine close to the Persian Gulf. That’s not exactly to survey guerrillas in underground tunnels and to “protect” Israel. The ultimate – neocon and Zio-con – targets are of course Hezbollah, Syria, Hashd al-Shaabi in Iraq and Iran: the whole Axis of Resistance.Iran-Russia-China, the new neocon-defined “axis of evil”, which happen to be the Top Three Actors of Eurasia integration, for all practical purposes have interpreted the genocide in Gaza as an Israeli-American operation. And they have clearly identified the key vector: energy.

The inestimable Michael Hudson has noted how “we’re really seeing something very much like the Crusades here. It’s a real fight for who is going to control energy, because, again, the key, if you can control the world’s flow of energy, you can do to the whole world what the United States did to Germany last year by blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines.” And that brings us to the fascinating case of the OIC/Arab World delegation of Foreign Ministers now on tour of selected capitals promoting their plan for a complete ceasefire in Gaza plus negotiations for an independent Palestinian state. The delegation, called the Gaza Contact Group, includes Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Indonesia, Nigeria and Palestine.

Their first stop was Beijing, meeting Wang Yi, and the second stop Moscow, meeting Sergei Lavrov. That tells us all we need to know about BRICS 11 in action – even before the fact. Well, that’s actually BRICS 10, because after the election of pro-Hegemon Zionist Javier “Chainsaw Massacre” Milei for President, Argentina is now out of the picture, and possibly discarded by January 1st, 2024, when BRICS previously 11 starts under the Russian presidency. The OIC/Arab League special conference on Palestine in Saudi Arabia had yielded a meek final declaration that disappointed virtually the whole Global South/Global Majority. But then something started to move. Foreign Ministers started to coordinate closely. At first Egypt with China, after previous coordination with Iran and Turkey. That may sound counter-intuitive – but it’s all due to the gravity of the situation. That explains why the Iranian Foreign Minister is not part of the current traveling delegation – which is led, in practice, by Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

The meeting with Lavrov coincided with an extraordinary online BRICS meeting on Palestine, called by the current South African presidency. Crucial point: the flags of new members Iran, Egypt and Ethiopia could be identified behind the speakers. Iran’s President Raisi went no holds barred, calling for BRICS member states to use every political and economic tool available to pressure Israel. Xi Jinping called once again for a two-state solution and positioned China as the mediator of choice. For the first time Xi in his own words laid it all out: “There can be no security in the Middle East without a just solution to the question of Palestine. I have emphasized on many occasions that the only viable way to break the cycle of Palestinian-Israeli conflict lies in a two-state solution, in the restoration of the legitimate national rights of Palestine, and in the establishment of an independent state of Palestine.” And it should all start via an international conference.

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“The story is that Joe Biden, the president of the United States is lacking in such mental capacity that the presidency is being managed by people who weren’t elected to do that job. That’s what people should be worried about.”

Biden Op-ed Likening Russia to Hamas is Result of Dementia – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

US President Joe Biden lacks the mental ability to draw parallels between Russia and Hamas, says a former US Marine. The Washington Post ran an op-ed under Biden’s byline at the weekend, likening the Palestinian Islamic resistance movement Hamas’ breakout from the besieged Gaza Strip on October 7 to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in defence of the Russian-speaking Donbass region — following eight years of Ukrainian shelling of civilians. Biden “didn’t write this” as he “doesn’t have the mental capacity,” Ritter told Sputnik. “I’m not picking on him, I’m just being honest,” he said. “This was written by his national security staff. It was edited by Jake Sullivan. I believe [US Secretary of State] Tony Blinken came in with a lot of stuff that this was a collaborative effort by the people who are managing Joe Biden.” “This is the story, not the content of the op-ed,” Ritter stressed. “The story is that Joe Biden, the president of the United States is lacking in such mental capacity that the presidency is being managed by people who weren’t elected to do that job. That’s what people should be worried about.”

But he said the words attributed to Biden no longer carry the same weight as comments by previous presidents, thanks to the proliferation of alternatives to the mainstream media. “So when Joe Biden or his managers publish an op-ed of this nature, it no longer has the same cachet, the same impact that it would have ten years ago,” Ritter argued. “Today, it’s immediately cancelled out as ridiculous as absurd.” Ritter wrote for Consortium News last week that Biden and Blinken were being disingenuous in their call for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, given that no Israeli leader in decades has been serious about implementing it. “Even if such a governing coalition could be crafted together to politically sustain the idea of a two-state solution that fails to resonate with Israelis and Palestinians alike, there remains the ultimate hurdle that needs to be cleared before any notion of a lasting peace between Israeli and Palestinian states premised on the notion of equality — Israel’s nuclear weapons program,” Ritter wrote.

The former weapons inspector said Israel’s nuclear program had been “shrouded in ambiguity from the moment it was born, back in the 1960s when they actually produced a weapon.” “The United States has been the principal reason why this has happened,” Ritter pointed out. “The Nixon administration was confronted with the fact that Israel had nuclear weapons. We knew it. And they were in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, because even if they didn’t sign the treaty, we signed the treaty. And the treaty only allows five declared nuclear powers. So we would have to sanction Israel.” He underscored the aggressive nature of Israel’s military doctrine known as the “Samson option” after the biblical hero who collapsed the temple of the Philistines, killing them and himself. That doctrine mandates first use of nuclear weapons against neighboring Middle Eastern states if Israel faces military defeat and a return to Palestinian majority rule.

“That’s Israel’s nuclear policy, that if Israel goes, everybody goes,” Ritter explained. “And we went along with it because we believed that we could secure Israel enough so they would never have to use this weapon.” But Biden’s ostensible resurrection of the two-state solution calls that doctrine into question, he said. “A Palestinian state implies that Israel has normalized relations with their Palestinian neighbors and by extension, their regional neighbors.Therefore, there could be no justification for the continuation of this policy,” Ritter said. “Moreover, Palestine could never be considered free and independent so long as it was living next door to a nuclear power, an undeclared nuclear power.”

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“European leaders want to understand whether they will have their say in the process of replacing Zelensky, or whether this political transformation in Kiev will be carried out, as usual, by two powers – London and Washington..”

Western Leaders Came to Ukraine to Test Kiev Regime Viability (Sp.)

European Council President Charles Michel arrived in the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday as well as Maia Sandu, president of Moldova. Separately, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius took the train to Kiev to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on an unannounced visit. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin landed in Ukraine on Monday to unveil a new US military aid package worth $100 million for the Ukrainian military. Prior to that, new Foreign Secretary David Cameron made his first trip to the Eastern European country last week. “Firstly, we must not forget that today all ‘progressive’ humanity is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Maidan,” Dmitry Evstafiev, political scientist and HSE University professor, told Sputnik with a touch of irony referring to the 2014 February coup in Kiev.

“Therefore, all the main European leaders, in Kiev, in fact, defend the policy that they began 10 years ago to finally turn Ukraine against Russia. This was a very important strategic choice. And this was, first of all, a European choice, not an American one. The Americans simply hijacked the processes that the Europeans launched, hijacked it successfully and effectively in such a way that today’s Europe, while still representing something geopolitically, no longer represents anything in terms of geoeconomics.” Secondly, it has become obvious that the Zelensky regime is becoming “catastrophically toxic” not only for the United States, but also for Europe, Evstafiev continued. “For the United States, the Zelensky regime has become toxic for quite a while, and it was a very difficult story for the Americans, which turned the issue of supporting, in fact, a radical nationalist, almost dictatorial at that time, and now an overtly dictatorial regime, into one of the most important topics of internal political struggle in the United States,” the professor remarked.

Per Evstafiev, Washington is no longer concealing the fact that it wants to turn a Ukraine conflict into a big European war using the desire of the Zelensky regime to somehow survive amid the deteriorating military situation and dwindling US support. The high-profile visits came at a time when the West has shifted focus on the Palestinian-Israeli standoff, which reportedly frustrated Zelensky. The Western mainstream press has also recently changed its coverage of the conflict from lauding Ukraine to admitting Kiev’s failure to proceed with its counteroffensive. Against this backdrop, European leaders are apparently trying to find out to what extent the Kiev regime is viable and whether it is worth continuing to support Volodymyr Zelensky, the expert said.

“And here there is a second layer to this issue: European leaders want to understand whether they will have their say in the process of replacing Zelensky, or whether this political transformation in Kiev will be carried out, as usual, by two powers – London and Washington. In this sense, of course, the outright incapacity of the German government and the virtual absence of political leadership in Germany becomes a huge problem for Europeans. Nevertheless, Europeans may try to seize on some opportunities in Kiev and try to defend their positions and their interests in the process of changing power in Kiev.”

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“U.S. and European officials have begun quietly talking to the Ukrainian government about what possible peace negotiations with Russia might entail to end the war..”

US Mission To NATO Signals Zelensky Must Sit At “Negotiating Table” (ZH)

The official X account of the US Mission to NATO wrote Monday, “In this tough and dynamic battle, Ukraine’s soldiers are fighting bravely every single day, and they continue to inspire the world with their bravery and courage.” “We will continue to support them to be in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table when the time comes,” the statement said. This marks a drastic shift in public messaging. Up to a short while ago, the Biden administration had essentially banished the words “negotiating table” from its public discourse. Journalist Glenn Greenwald has commented of this narrative shift: “The West is now telling Zelensky, more or less explicitly and right out in the open: time to wrap this up.” This significant difference in public rhetoric has also begun to appear more and more in mainstream media, which has also very belatedly reflected the American public’s ‘war fatigue’ – which was already setting in even before Ukraine’s much-vaunted early summer attempt at a counteroffensive…

It’s widely believed that talks could already quietly be happening, and that Washington is finally pressuring the Zelensky government to find compromise. “U.S. and European officials have begun quietly talking to the Ukrainian government about what possible peace negotiations with Russia might entail to end the war, according to one current senior U.S. official and one former senior U.S. official familiar with the discussions,” an early November report in NBC said. “The conversations have included very broad outlines of what Ukraine might need to give up to reach a deal, the officials said.” Certainly, at the very least this will include Kiev permanently giving up any future claims on Crimea. But the question of the four annexed territories is what will determine whether a peace deal is reached or not.

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“He claims, as have other Democratic members, that “you can’t use hate speech.” That is demonstrably and completely wrong. Hate speech is protected under the First Amendment. You cannot commit hate crimes.”

Rep. Goldman Denounced “Dangerous” Rhetoric Using Dangerous Rhetoric (Turley)

Even in his freshman year, Democratic New York Rep. Dan Goldman has proven one of the most controversial members in Congress from attacking witnesses to inadvertently undermining the Biden defenses. The latest controversy involves a call to “eliminate” Donald Trump after accusing him of using “inflammatory rhetoric.” He has since apologized for his own language. Despite being one of the many past targets of Goldman’s wrath, I do not believe that Goldman was calling for violence. It was what I call “rage rhetoric” in my book The Indispensable Right. However, the incident shows the perils of criminalizing political speech. Goldman remains a favorite on MSNBC where he rarely fails to disappoint viewers with his brand of smash-mouth politics and rhetoric. It was, therefore, somewhat ironic for Jen Psaki to interview him on the inflammatory rhetoric in this election on MSNBC’s “Inside with Jen Psaki.”

Goldman responded: “rhetoric is really getting dangerous, more and more dangerous, and we saw what happened on Jan. 6, when he uses inflammatory rhetoric. It is just unquestionable at this point that that man cannot see public office again. He is not only unfit, he is destructive to our democracy and he has to be eliminated.” Some have called for Goldman to be investigated by the Secret Service. Others have called for a censure resolution. I do not agree. It was clearly reckless rhetoric and not a true threat. Yet, the incident shows how inflammatory terms are often used in politics. In the very same sentence in which Goldman denounced “dangerous” rhetoric, he proceeded to use dangerous rhetoric. Rep. Goldman has been one of the most vocal voices for prosecuting incitement based on such language.

In an interview with NPR, Goldman (who was counsel in the Trump impeachment) defended the use of such rhetoric as the basis for impeachment or prosecution: “there’s all sorts of speech that is criminalized. You can’t – you know, you can’t use hate speech. You – people – in all sorts of crimes. You can’t send death threats across, you know, the Internet. There are so many criminal laws that do criminalize speech, and so the notion that the president of the United States somehow has a First Amendment right to be protected by the government for his speech doesn’t make any sense. It’s a backwards argument, and it’s a loser.” As a threshold observation, the interview shows how dangerously ill-informed Goldman is on the First Amendment. He claims, as have other Democratic members, that “you can’t use hate speech.” That is demonstrably and completely wrong. Hate speech is protected under the First Amendment. You cannot commit hate crimes.

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“I have endorsed him wholeheartedly,” Johnson said. “He had a phenomenal first term. His first two years, as you all know, we brought about the greatest economic numbers in the history of the world, not just the country, because his policies work.”

‘All In’ for Trump House Speaker Johnson Pays Visit to Mar-a-Lago (Sp.)

On Monday, US House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) made the pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago, the estate of former US President Donald Trump, who is leading the polls among Republicans in the 2024 race for the presidency. According to US media reports, Johnson attended a fundraiser hosted by Trump for US Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) who, like Johnson, is a close supporter of Trump. It was reportedly the first time Johnson and Trump have spoken since the Louisiana lawmaker became House Speaker a month ago. The previous Speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), had a troubled relationship with the former president, and it was ultimately a strongly pro-Trump faction of the House GOP Caucus that caused McCarthy’s eviction from the Speaker’s seat in early October.

In the fracas of selecting a new Speaker, Trump endorsed Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) instead of Johnson and even floated the idea of him becoming Speaker himself for a time, since the Constitution doesn’t require that the Speaker be a sitting member of Congress. However, Trump did eventually urge Republican lawmakers to rally behind Johnson because he was the leading candidate and the lower Congressional chamber had been without leadership for three weeks. After Johnson was elected Speaker, Trump praised him for being an underdog. “At this time yesterday, nobody was thinking of Mike,” Trump said. “And then we put out the word, and now he’s the Speaker of the House. So I want to just thank all of the supporters that I have, and I want to thank all the supporters that Mike has, and again, he’ll be a great Speaker. I think you’re going to be very proud.”

Johnson has remained loyal to Trump, too. Johnson and Bilirakis were both signatories of an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court in late 2020 that supported Trump’s claim that the November 2020 election had been marred by fraud, invalidating his loss to Joe Biden. While those claims have been widely discredited in the years since, including by many who were part of Trump’s cabinet at the time, Johnson is one figure who has maintained that the 2020 election was “stolen” from Trump. Last week, Johnson told reporters he was “all in” on Trump’s 2024 election bid. “I have endorsed him wholeheartedly,” Johnson said. “He had a phenomenal first term. His first two years, as you all know, we brought about the greatest economic numbers in the history of the world, not just the country, because his policies work. And I’m all in for President Trump.”

Trump has not yet won the Republican National Committee’s endorsement as their presidential candidate, but has led the pack of candidates since announcing his intention to run. The latest poll by Morning Consult found two-thirds of GOP voters ready to pull the lever for Trump in November 2024; however another poll by Harvard CAPS-Harris found that 60% of likely Trump voters said there is “at least some chance” they would support a different candidate. Behind Trump, the Morning Consult poll found just 13% of GOP voters support Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and 9% support former UN ambassador Nikki Haley. However, Trump is also facing down several criminal cases that have levied a wide array of federal offense accusations at him, including related to the January 6, 2021, insurrection by his supporters at the US Capitol and the classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago during an FBI raid in August 2022. Some of the charges could bar him from running for public office if he is found guilty.

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There are so many of these, it’s hard to keep track.

Trump Seeks To Halt Gag Order In Election Meddling Case (BBC)

An appeals court is weighing a bid by Donald Trump to halt the limited gag order he faces in his federal trial on election subversion charges. The order keeps Mr Trump from speaking out against court personnel, potential witnesses or the special counsel’s office. It is currently on hold. Lawyers for the former president and current Republican frontrunner called for the order to be revoked. But a three-judge panel appeared sceptical over lifting the restriction. The trio of Democratic appointees grilled both sides over the most appropriate way to balance free speech considerations with the integrity and safety of those involved in a criminal trial that begins next March. After an initial hearing that was scheduled for 40 minutes but lasted more than two hours, the judges did not issue an immediate ruling.

Attorneys for Mr Trump had challenged what they called an effort to censor his speech in the midst of a hotly contested presidential campaign. But prosecutors with the US justice department argued he has a “well-established practice of using his public platform to target his adversaries”. Mr Trump’s criticism of those involved in the federal case over the 2020 election had occurred most recently this weekend, they noted. At a Saturday campaign rally in Iowa, Mr Trump called Special Counsel Jack Smith, the key prosecutor involved in the case, “deranged” and a “Trump-hating prosecutor”. He also said that Mr Smith’s “wife and family despise me much more than he does”, at “about a 15 on a scale of 10”.

They were the types of remarks that Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the election subversion case, has sought to limit since she issued a “narrowly tailored” gag order last month. Her intention, she said, was to prevent “a pre-trial smear campaign”. “The order is unprecedented and it sets a terrible precedent for future restrictions on core political speech,” John Sauer, Mr Trump’s attorney, told the Washington DC appeals court on Monday. Mr Sauer claimed there was no evidence that anybody involved in the case was facing an “imminent, pending threat” because of Mr Trump.

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“Yes, there was an insurrection of sorts. Those in power hated Donald Trump so much that they were willing to torture and even murder their fellow Americans to keep him from the presidency. Unless these people are brought to justice, we will have no Republic left to defend.”

We Must Demand Justice for the January 6th Protestors! (Ron Paul)

New US House Speaker Mike Johnson struck a blow for liberty and justice last week when he finally authorized the release of all the tapes from the January 6, 2021 “insurrection.” We were told by no less than President Biden himself that this was the “worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.” The FBI was unleashed by the Biden Administration to hunt down hundreds of participants in this “insurrection” and lock them up in the gulag where they awaited trial in torturous conditions – many in solitary confinement. A Congressional Committee was set up under then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi to “get to the bottom” of the “Trump-led insurrection.” It did not include a single Representative nominated by the opposition Republican Party, but rather two “Republicans” – Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger – who could be relied on by Pelosi and the Democrats to toe the line.

In short, the whole thing was an old-fashioned Soviet show trial, where the evidence was kept secret and the pre-determined verdict – guilty – was to be used to tighten the grip of the ruling regime and intimidate any further dissenters into silence. The message was clear: “speak out against the ‘perfection’ of the 2020 election and you may find yourself in the gulag along with the insurrectionists.” It was terrifying and profoundly anti-American. And, as we finally can see for ourselves thanks to Speaker Johnson, it was a huge lie. The new video shows demonstrators shaking hands with police officers once they entered the Capitol Building. They were welcomed into the building by officers who even held the doors for them to enter! They had no way of knowing that they would soon be rounded up and locked away.

Does that mean no crimes were committed on January 6th? Not at all. The tapes already released were carefully chosen to single out examples of violence and other possible criminality. But the full release of the tapes demonstrates beyond a doubt that the endless propaganda that this was a coordinated attempt to overthrow the government was false. And as for that violence and mayhem on January 6th? How much of it was instigated by undercover FBI agents? New footage clearly shows officers outside the building firing on protestors with no warning. That must be why, in hearing after hearing, Biden Administration officials like Attorney General Merrick Garland have refused to tell Congress the number of federal agents present and their roles in instigating violence.

The release of this evidence should immediately result in the release of all non-violent protestors awaiting trial or serving their sentences. Those in power responsible for promoting this lie should take their places in the jail cells. This delayed justice will not help protesters like Matthew Perna, however. Though the new video release clearly shows him calmly walking inside the Capitol in the presence of unconcerned police officers, when Merrick Garland’s Department of “Justice” announced they would seek terrorism charges against him, Perna, in despair, decided to hang himself in his garage. Yes, there was an insurrection of sorts. Those in power hated Donald Trump so much that they were willing to torture and even murder their fellow Americans to keep him from the presidency. Unless these people are brought to justice, we will have no Republic left to defend.

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Texas AG Ken Paxton is busy. He has officially opened an investigation into Media Matters for potential fraudulent activity, and sued Pfizer at the same time.. Both of whom are dealing with the same judge.

Texas AG Sues Pfizer Over Tainted Children’s Drugs (ZH)

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sued Pfizer and Tris Pharma “for defrauding the Texas Medicaid program by providing adulterated pharmaceutical drugs to Texas children.” Specifically, Pfizer’s ADHD drug “Quillivant XR” was “knowingly distributed” to children on Medicaid despite the drugmaker’s “pattern of failing quality control tests” due to a flawed manufacturing process by Tris, which Pfizer contracted with to produce the drug, according to the complaint. “I am horrified by the dishonesty we uncovered in this investigation,” said Texas AG Ken Paxton. “Pfizer and Tris intentionally concealed and failed to disclose the issues with Quillivant to receive taxpayer funded benefits through Texas Medicaid, defrauding the state and endangering children.

Our Civil Medicaid Fraud Division has done an outstanding job holding these pharmaceutical companies accountable.” According to the filing, “At no point did Defendants warn Texas Medicaid providers or decision-makers that Quillivant had known manufacturing issues affecting its efficacy, thereby depriving the Medicaid program of the crucial information it relies on.… As a result, thousands of Texas children received an adulterated Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance.”The lawsuit, initially filed under seal, was unsealed at the AG’s request.

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“Barnea, who represents the CIA and Pompeo, contended that the Fourth Amendment right to privacy under the U.S. Constitution did not apply at the Ecuador embassy in London..”

Lawsuit Against Alleged CIA Spying On Assange Visitors (Gosztola)

United States court held an extraordinary hearing on November 16, where a judge carefully considered a lawsuit against the CIA and former CIA director Mike Pompeo for their alleged role in spying on American attorneys and journalists who visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Judge John Koeltl of the Southern District of New York pushed back when Assistant U.S. Attorney Jean-David Barnea refused to confirm or deny that the CIA had targeted Americans without obtaining a warrant. He also invited attorneys for the Americans to update the lawsuit so that claims of privacy violations explicitly dealt with the government’s lack of a warrant. In August 2022, four Americans sued the CIA and Pompeo: Margaret Ratner Kunstler, a civil rights activist and human rights attorney; Deborah Hrbek, a media lawyer who represented Assange or WikiLeaks; journalist John Goetz, who worked for Der Spiegel when the German media organization first partnered with WikiLeaks; and journalist Charles Glass, who wrote articles on Assange for The Intercept.

The lawsuit alleged that as visitors Glass, Goetz, Hrbek, and Kunstler were required to “surrender” their electronic devices to employees of a Spanish company called UC Global, which was contracted to provide security for the Ecuador embassy. UC Global and the company’s director David Morales “copied the information stored on the devices” and shared the information with the CIA. The agency even had access to live video and audio feeds from cameras in the embassy. On June 4, 2023, the Spanish newspaper El País reported that UC Global director David Morales had a folder on his laptop marked “CIA.” Spanish police initially withheld 213 gigabytes of files in a criminal case against Morales that has unfolded as the U.S. government pursues Assange’s extradition on Espionage Act charges. (Morales and UC Global were sued as well.)

Often a lawsuit—especially one involving allegations of illegal and unchecked surveillance—would end swiftly. A judge would accept all of the “national security” arguments made by the CIA and dismiss the case. However, Koeltl has chosen to be more fair and measured when assessing the stunning allegations. Barnea, who represents the CIA and Pompeo, contended that the Fourth Amendment right to privacy under the U.S. Constitution did not apply at the Ecuador embassy in London. The CIA did not play a “sufficient role in controlling or directing” the actions of Morales and UC Global contractors. When Barnea maintained that CIA access to live video feeds would not necessarily mean that the agency was in control or directing UC Global, Koeltl seemed baffled.

“So U.S. agents were monitoring the feed in the United States, and that’s not sufficient involvement by the government?” “You don’t seem to dispute in your papers that a warrant would be necessary to seize the contents of the electronic devices,” Koeltl said, as Barnea outlined the government’s argument that Americans who visited Assange had no “reasonable expectation of privacy” when they entered the embassy. “You don’t seem to dispute in your papers that a warrant would be necessary to seize the contents of the electronic devices,” Koeltl said, as Barnea outlined the government’s argument that Americans who visited Assange had no “reasonable expectation of privacy” when they entered the embassy. Barnea replied, “I don’t believe that a warrant is ever required outside the United States. The Second Circuit [Court of Appeals] has held that the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment only applies within the United States.”


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Net Zero

 

 

 

 

Moderna

 

 

 

 

Carnivore

 

 

Belgium bicycle

 

 

Raccoons

 

 


Argentinosaurus lived on the then-island continent of South America somewhere between 97 and 93.5 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous Period. It is among the largest known dinosaurs and this is the size of its leg (human for scale).

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 182023
 
 November 18, 2023  Posted by at 9:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


Mark Rothko Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea 1944

 

Israel Captures Al Shifa Hospital for Their Gaza Military Post (Sahiounie)
‘Al-Shifa Hospital Has Become A Giant Prison:’ Gaza Health Authority (Cradle)
How The Colonial West Continues To Betray The Rest Of The World (Ullekh)
‘Attacks On US Forces Essential To Stop Bloodbath In Gaza’: Hezbollah (Cradle)
Biden Offers Hand of Friendship to Xi While Holding Enmity in the Other (SCF)
Zelensky Fears A New ‘Maidan’ – Bloomberg (RT)
Will US Ever Resume Funding Ukraine? (Sp.)
Mike Johnson To Post More Than 40,000 Hours Of Jan. 6 Footage Online (JTN)
US Needs ‘New Breed’ Of Leaders – Schwarzenegger (RT)
Michael Cohen Appears to Confess to Prior False Statements Under Oath (Turley)
Don’t Count On A Trump Conviction — None Of These Cases Are Slam Dunks (Turley)
Stefanik Files Second Ethics Complaint Against Judge Engoron (JTN)
Judge Rejects Trump Bid To Remove ‘Prejudicial’ Language From Indictments (JTN)
As White House Stonewalls Probe, James Biden Signals Cooperation: Comer (JTN)
Pilot Warns Of Airline Industry Disaster Due To Covid Vaccines (Beck)

 

 

 

 

Tapper – Don’t miss
https://twitter.com/i/status/1725341684580438091

 

 

BBC

 

 

Israel May Lose Its Statehood | Col. Larry Wilkerson Col. (ret.) Lawrence Wilkerson was Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff (2002-05)

 

 

 

 

What really happened in Israel on Oct. 7? Chris Hedges w/Max Blumenthal

 

 

 

 

Tucker Spain

 

 

 

 

“In the face of millions of protesters across the world, we still have never once heard Biden call for a ceasefire.”

Israel Captures Al Shifa Hospital for Their Gaza Military Post (Sahiounie)

A military expert in the Middle East, on the condition of anonymity, said that Hamas likely keeps the location of their headquarters secret, and the information is available on a ‘need to know’ basis. Only the most senior members would likely know the location, and the local informants would not have that information, nor would the fighters who participated on the October 7 attack. The same military expert offered his theory: that the IDF want the Al Shifa Hospital as their headquarters because it is centrally located in the north, a substantial building, and has plenty of resources inside for electricity production and health care for the IDF. If his theory is correct, we may be presented with fabricated evidence of a secret Hamas headquarters by the IDF.

Regardless of how flimsy the evidence, the White House will rubber-stamp it with their seal of approval. We can’t forget General Colin Powell in Congress in 2003 with the small vial of baby powder claiming it to be Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Fabrications and lies are a specialty served up hot on a bed of media distortions by the Biden administration. The IDF hurriedly deleted a social media post they made claiming that all hospitals and ambulances in Gaza were a legitimate military target as Hamas used them. They were working up to the Al Shifa Hospital attack and wanted to test the waters. Gaza’s largest hospital, al-Shifa Hospital, located in northern Rimal in Gaza City, was built in 1946 during British rule. “In Gaza, as Israeli forces enter Al-Shifa hospital, we call once again for the protection of medical staff, patients and displaced civilians sheltered inside the hospital,” Doctors Without Borders said on X.

“We are extremely worried for their lives,” it stressed. “There are reports that some people who fled the hospital have been shot at, wounded and even killed,” wrote WHO on X on Saturday. Decomposed bodies were buried in a mass grave at the hospital to ward off contagions. Dr. Ahmad Mokhallalati, a surgeon who is currently in the hospital, told Al Jazeera that gunshots can be heard surrounding the hospital. Mokhallalati said 650 patients remain at the hospital, including about 100 in critical condition, with 2,000 to 3,000 displaced Palestinians seeking shelter in the building, and 700 medical staff. 36 premature babies were recently taken off their incubators because the station supplying them oxygen was destroyed in Israeli shellings three days ago, and three babies died. The IDF have stripped naked people in the courtyard of the hospital amid rain and winter temperatures while interrogating them as Israel tanks approached while firing.

At least 11,320 Palestinians have been killed, including over 7,800 women and children, and more than 29,200 others have been injured, according to the latest figures from Palestinian authorities. According to experts, the Al Shifa attack and occupation is part of the Israeli vision for a forceful displacement of everyone in northern Gaza. Food and water supplies have run out, and the destruction of the last remaining source of medical care is a strategic Israeli military goal. “The war against [Hamas] is advancing with full force, and it has one goal: to win. There is no alternative to victory,” Netanyahu said on Saturday, and has rejected international calls for a ceasefire. Netanyahu has clearly stated it is his goal to remain in Gaza as an occupying force indefinitely, despite the U.S., Egypt, and Jordan opposing such a plan. Netanyahu also made clear he wanted Israel to retain overall security control after any conflict “with the ability to go in whenever we want in order to kill terrorists”.

In the face of millions of protesters across the world, we still have never once heard Biden call for a ceasefire.

Read more …

“We are left with nothing, no power, no food, no water. With every passing minute, we are losing a life..”

‘Al-Shifa Hospital Has Become A Giant Prison:’ Gaza Health Authority (Cradle)

The head of the burns department in Al-Shifa Hospital, Ahmed Muqhalati, revealed to Al-Jazeera on 17 November that the Israeli army has continued to conduct several war crimes as their occupation of Gaza’s largest medical complex extends into a third day. Muqhalati mentioned that the hospital’s main building lacks water and electricity and that surviving children are suffering from severe intestinal infections due to the lack of clean water. Muhammed Abu Salmiya, Shifa Hospital’s director general, told Al-Jazeera that the building has become a “giant prison.” Still, staff continue to do their best to help patients but add that they “lost all those who were in the intensive care unit.” “We are left with nothing, no power, no food, no water. With every passing minute, we are losing a life. Overnight, we lost 22 persons, [and] for the past three days, the hospital has been kept under siege,” Salmiya said.

However, despite efforts from the hospital’s staff, the situation remains out of their hands. “On some occasions, we are forced to leave patients to die because we are helpless; we cannot perform any surgical operations on them; the least we can do is give them some painkillers to let those victims die in peace,” Salmiya added. He called out Israel’s propaganda, in which the Israeli army claimed to have provided humanitarian aid to the hospital, including incubators for the premature children. “The Israeli occupation forces claim to have provided incubators to the hospital, but this is not true; this is false,” Salmiya underlined. “In addition, we are not in need of incubators; we already have incubators in the hospital, yet we are out of fuel to generate electricity [for the incubators].” Al-Shifa Hospital is in crisis as the Israeli army claims to have information about a Hamas cell operating from within the medical facility. As current reports have it, nothing has been found.

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“..doling out death sentences to more than 11,000 people, including over 4,000 children, infants and newborn babies, under the guise of “self-defense.”

How The Colonial West Continues To Betray The Rest Of The World (Ullekh)

Nothing is more telling of the Western world’s attitude towards developing nations than the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Middle East. We in the Global South aren’t the only ones aghast at non-precision attacks by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on the Gazans. American academic John Mearsheimer, one of the world’s foremost international relations experts, is of the view that Tel Aviv is committing war crimes and “tearing the place” apart. He said in a recent interview that Israel is “waging a punishment campaign in Gaza [where] they are punishing the civilian population. If the Israelis were going to great lengths to target just Hamas and avoid civilian casualties then you could make a coherent argument that this is not a case of them committing war crimes. But they are not doing that.”

This is not the first instance of the South feeling betrayed by the West, which has come under sharp attack for treating the people of the rest of the world as subhuman, mere expendables. One key takeaway from Israel is the statement by its defense minister that the IDF is up against “human animals” in Gaza. This is the language of the colonizer since the dawn of empires: Sir Winston Churchill thought of Indians as an inferior race. When he was told that millions were dying in India because of the British diverting food supplies to the frontlines during World War II, he reportedly asked, “Why hasn’t Gandhi died yet?” There may exist no proof that he uttered those exact words, but his attitude was clear. From dehumanizing the Gazans who died in IDF strikes by terming them “Hamas’ human shields” – an accusation made sweepingly without evidence, as is the habit of the powerful over the ages – an Israeli representative has now called the UN relief workers in Gaza “Hamas members.”

Among the Western leaders, only Emmanuel Macron of France has so far spoken out against the killings of civilians in Gaza. The less said, the better about US officials such as former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, whose claims about Hamas’ “terror infrastructure” have not been backed up by proof of any kind – a privilege that would not have been so easily granted to a country from the Global South. I recently interviewed Dr. Mads Gilbert, a veteran Norwegian physician in the NORWAC (Norwegian Aid Committee) emergency team for Gaza, who has worked with the Palestinians for nearly 45 years as a specialist in emergency medicine and anaesthesiology. He was in Lebanon in 1982 when the IDF invaded the south of the country. He was in Gaza, too, offering emergency medical services during the Israeli bombardments of 2006, 2009, 2012, and 2014.

He had worked in hospitals that the IDF had bombed, including Al-Shifa Hospital. “I challenge [Benjamin] Netanyahu to show proof that Al Shifa Hospital is a Hamas hideout,” he told me just before crossing the Rafah border into Gaza during the current bombardment to assist Palestinian doctors working under the direst conditions. The West seems driven by a divine right to whimsically trample upon the human rights of those it deems unimportant and beneath it, doling out death sentences to more than 11,000 people, including over 4,000 children, infants and newborn babies, under the guise of “self-defense.” Over the past two decades, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have proven this typical Western mentality beyond doubt, and these countries need to be called out for their collective hypocrisy.

Now in Gaza, the women and children who die of starvation, bomb explosions, and lack of medicine perish because of American complicity – it is American weapons, funded by American taxpayers, that the Israelis use with complete impunity and utter lack of respect for international laws. According to the Western idea of justice, even occupiers have the right to “defend” themselves militarily against the occupied. Presidents who order invasions under unethical pretexts never make it to the list of global terrorists, nor are they tried at The Hague. Leaders who criminalize whistle-blowing are forgiven because they belong to the league of untouchables. Such tyranny is condoned as business as usual in the West.

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”If Israel still stands, it is because of the support of the United States. Otherwise, it would have collapsed within a few days. Israel is under intensive care by the west and we do not know how much longer it will last.”

‘Attacks On US Forces Essential To Stop Bloodbath In Gaza’: Hezbollah (Cradle)

In an extensive interview with Spanish daily El Mundo, the Deputy Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Naim Qassem, said that attacking US positions in West Asia is “essential” to stop the mass murder of Palestinians in Gaza due to the unfettered support given by Washington to Tel Aviv. “It is the [western] axis that supports the occupation, legitimizes the murder of children and women, the destruction of hospitals, and grants immunity to Israel to continue its massacres. The US is supporting these massacres, and that is why attacking the US is essential to stop the aggression against Gaza,” Qassem said in the interview published on 14 November. “US military intervention is part of the violent Israeli reaction and serves to protect this monstrosity,” the Hezbollah deputy chief stressed.

US bases in Iraq and Syria have come under daily bombardment since 17 October by local resistance factions, prompting the Pentagon to deploy nearly a dozen warships, thousands of troops, and heavy weapons to the region. The Hezbollah official also stressed that Israel “still stands [today] because of the support of the US.” “You heard Nasrallah say in 2006 that Israel was more fragile than a spider’s web. Israel is weak. Their society is not motivated to defend their country. This is what happened on [7 October]. The amount of time it took for politicians and the army to react was unreal. If Israel still stands, it is because of the support of the United States. Otherwise, it would have collapsed within a few days. Israel is under intensive care by the west and we do not know how much longer it will last.”

When asked about the fighting between Hezbollah and the Israeli army at the Lebanese border – which has been ongoing since 8 October – Qassem said Hezbollah has a plan to “force Israel to restrain itself.”Nonetheless, he added that any decision “will be made on the battlefield,” as the possibility of the fighting spreading beyond the Lebanese border region depends on “the evolution of the Gaza war and on Israel’s (hypothetical) decision to start a broader war.” “If they attack us, we will have to defend ourselves, and we will use all of our power,” he told El Mundo.

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“It was highly notable that Biden and Xi did not hold a joint press conference following their lengthy discussions. Nor did the two leaders issue a joint statement.”

Biden Offers Hand of Friendship to Xi While Holding Enmity in the Other (SCF)

Despite the hype in the U.S. media about their much-anticipated summit in California this week marking a putative return to normal bilateral relations, the Biden administration continues pushing unprecedented aggression towards China. Just like San Francisco’s notorious Third World-like homelessness and squalor being hurriedly cleaned up (swept under the rug, more like it) for the media spectacle, all the signs point to no return to decent U.S.-China relations in the longer term. It’s all a duplicitous facade for a passing moment on a path of enmity. Biden held a four-hour summit with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Wednesday in San Francisco ahead of the annual conference for the 21-nation Association of Pacific and Economic Cooperation (APEC).

It was highly notable that Biden and Xi did not hold a joint press conference following their lengthy discussions. Nor did the two leaders issue a joint statement. So much for a new beginning! Almost comically, the supposed positive meeting was later thrown into disarray when Biden at the end of his solo press conference made a hallmark embarrassing gaffe by repeating an earlier epithet for Xi. Asked by a reporter if he still considered the Chinese president “a dictator”, Biden responded, “Yes”. Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, was visibly perplexed by his tone-deaf boss’s remarks, sensing that all the effort to create an apparent amiable reset in relations was in danger of collapsing in farce.

Chinese media tended to overlook Biden’s undiplomatic gaucheness. Surprisingly, China’s foreign ministry and media appeared to talk up the presidential summit as bearing prospects of more friendly bilateral relations. Global Times reported in an upbeat mood on a “strategic summit” for “greater stability in the world”. The American and Chinese media spinning or wishful thinking about a seeming turnaround in positive relations is misplaced. As Biden’s foolish and gratuitous remark about Xi being a “dictator” shows, the U.S. rulers have nothing but contempt for China. Biden may have held out a friendly hand to Xi, but the American president and the U.S. establishment are harbouring endemic and growing hostility towards Beijing.

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“..a “disinformation plan known internally as ‘Maidan 3’”

Zelensky Fears A New ‘Maidan’ – Bloomberg (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky told journalists on Thursday that he has received tips about a Russian influence campaign aimed at destabilizing his government, according to a Bloomberg report. He claimed that various intelligence agencies had informed him about the purported operation. Ukraine’s top leadership has experienced divisions in recent months, with a series of publications in the Western press, based on leaks from Kiev staffers, describing Zelensky as calcified in pursuing an unrealistic goal of pushing Russia out of all territories claimed by Kiev. His office has also publicly clashed with one of the country’s top generals, Valery Zaluzhny, who said earlier this month that the hostilities had reached a stalemate and that he expected no breakthrough for Kiev.

Bloomberg reported on Friday that Zelensky claims to have received information from Ukrainian and allied intelligence services warning him about a “disinformation plan known internally as ‘Maidan 3’”meant to play on fractures in civil society and foment insurrection. Maidan means “square” in Ukrainian. Maidan 1 and 2 are the terms for the mass protests that took place in 2004 and 2014, respectively, primarily in Kiev’s Independence Square. Both were directed against Viktor Yanukovich, the former president whose political support base was in what was then the majority Russian-speaking eastern portion of the country, but which joined Russia in a series of referendums in 2022. The 2004 protest was mostly peaceful and successfully overturned Yanukovich’s victory in that year’s presidential race.

On the other hand, the 2014 demonstration occurred while Yanukovich was in office, forcing him to flee the country and resign from his post as armed rioters targeted his home. The violent uprising in 2014, Maidan 2, was backed by the West and empowered nationalist forces in the country. Moscow has described the policies of the successive government in post-coup Kiev as discriminatory against ethnic Russians and detrimental to Russia’s national security. Zelensky was elected on a promise of reconciliation with Donbass rebels but caved into the pressure of pro-Maidan nationalists, who threatened him with mass protests. Now, he believes Russia is seeking to provoke chaos and division in his country and topple his government.

Bloomberg quoted him as saying: “Maidan is coup for them (Moscow), so the operation is understandable.” Earlier this month, a profile of the Ukrainian president in TIME magazine cited his close aides as complaining about his unwavering pursuit of a military victory over Moscow, which the report called “verging on the messianic.” One source in the article reportedly called Zelensky delusional. General Zaluzhny outlined his vision of the frontline situation in The Economist, stating that despite all the Western assistance, Ukrainian troops were unlikely to carry out a “deep and beautiful breakthrough.” The remark put into doubt Zelensky’s assurances that the counteroffensive against Russia was progressing and reportedly fueled tension between his government and Kiev’s military leadership.

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“They’re going to have to learn how to shoot more accurately if they want to keep shooting at the Russians. They obviously are incapable of that..”

Will US Ever Resume Funding Ukraine? (Sp.)

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden inked a stopgap funding bill that, remarkably, does not include a supplemental package of aid to the Zelensky regime. The US decision to provide Ukraine with a new military aid package may be made next month at the earliest, the US news agency Bloomberg reported. “New US aid for Ukraine risks slipping to mid-December and maybe longer, casting doubt on Washington’s ability to keep up the flow of weapons that both the Biden administration and the Ukrainian government say is vital,” the media outlet pointed out. Bloomberg quoted a Pentagon spokeswoman as saying that America had already begun restricting the flow of military aid to Kiev “because of the wait.”

According to Bloomberg, Republican infighting may push congressional consideration of new Ukraine aid into the new year, though White House national security spokesman John Kirby earlier warned that the US is “near the end of the road” in terms of resources available for Ukraine. “It’s an active battlefront and our ability to continue to support Ukraine is increasingly at jeopardy,” Kirby stated. The US news outlet’s report comes after the threat of a US government shutdown was narrowly averted on Thursday when President Joe Biden signed another stopgap spending bill into law just before the funding deadline on November 17. The document does not include Biden’s funding requests for Ukraine and Israel, which essentially means that these countries won’t be getting more US money anytime soon, Michael Maloof, a former senior security policy analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, told Sputnik.

Asked how Ukraine would get money to replace US support, Maloof said it would have to “suck it up. “They’re going to have to learn how to shoot more accurately if they want to keep shooting at the Russians. They obviously are incapable of that,” he stated, in an apparent reference to the Ukrainian armed forces. “They burn through ordnance faster than I’ve seen anything like it. And under peacetime conditions, neither the United States nor the Europeans collectively can produce it fast enough to supply them without reverting their own industries to full wartime production. And the American people won’t settle for that,” the analyst added. Earlier this month, Kirby, for his part, said that the US had already gone through nearly 96% of the funds allocated to the Kiev regime since the start of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine. “We’ve gone through about 96% of what’s left and greater than 90% of security assistance replenishment funds,” Kirby told reporters.

Read more …

That’s almost 3 years later.

Mike Johnson To Post More Than 40,000 Hours Of Jan. 6 Footage Online (JTN)

House Speaker Mike Johnson on Friday announced that he planned to post nearly all of the Capitol Hill security footage from the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot online for the public to view. “When I ran for Speaker, I promised to make accessible to the American people the 44,000 hours of video from Capitol Hill security taken on January 6, 2021,” he said in a statement obtained by Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman. “Truth and transparency are critical.” “Today, we will begin immediately posting video on a public website and move as quickly as possible to add to the website nearly all of the footage, more than 40,000 hours. In the meantime, a public viewing room will ensure that every citizen can view every minute of the videos uncensored,” he continued. “This decision will provide millions of Americans, criminal defendants, public interest organizations, and the media an ability to see for themselves what happened that day, rather than having to rely upon the interpretation of a small group of government officials.”

“I commend Chairman Loudermilk and his team for their diligent work to ensure the thousands of hours of videos are promptly processed to be uploaded to the committee’s public website,” he continued. “Processing will involve blurring the faces of private citizens on the yet unreleased tapes to avoid any persons from being targeted for retaliation of any kind and segregating an estimated 5% of the videos that may involve sensitive security information related to the building architecture.” Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had previously made some of the footage available to media outlets and personalities such as former Fox News host Tucker Carlson. McCarthy did not make the footage directly available to the general public.

Jan 6

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“..I just think we’re at a time now where we need someone strong, where we need visionaries, and not people that tinker around with little Mickey Mouse stuff..”

US Needs ‘New Breed’ Of Leaders – Schwarzenegger (RT)

Americans are looking for “something new” in the White House and are understandably worried about a 2024 presidential rematch between Donald Trump and Joe Biden due to the candidates’ advanced ages, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has said. In an interview with Politico, the Terminator movie-star said that, given the complexity of the problems the US is facing, the country needs “someone that has energy.” “We need new blood. I say, always, we need a new breed of leaders,”Schwarzenegger told the outlet. “It’s really because none of them are perfect and also because of the age factor.” Schwarzenegger also complained about the media’s focus on Trump and Biden, saying it hinders other potential candidates from being able to “build a name” for themselves.

“When Biden holds a press conference, everyone covers it. And when Trump does something …even when he sneezes, they cover it,” he said. Schwarzenegger also raised the Biden and Trump age issue when he spoke with Axios to promote a new audiobook on the 2003 California recall election, which he won. “The bottom line is, I think we need to find new leaders. To me they’re both flawed and I just think we’re at a time now where we need someone strong, where we need visionaries, and not people that tinker around with little Mickey Mouse stuff,” he told Axios. In June, the actor-turned-politician told CNN’s Chris Wallace that he would run for president himself if he was legally allowed to enter the race.

Schwarzenegger was born in Austria so is ineligible to run for the top job. He told Wallace that he could “see so clearly how I could win that election” and that it was a “no-brainer.” In a recent New York Times/Siena College poll, nearly three quarters of respondents (71%) said Biden was too old to serve effectively. Biden turns 81 later this month and was the oldest president sworn into office at 78 years old. Trump is currently 77. Earlier this month, David Axelrod, the chief strategist for former US President Barack Obama’s political campaigns, implied that Biden should reconsider running in 2024 due to “concern about the age issue,” suggesting it was something the incumbent president “needs to ponder.”

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“A serial liar just admitted under oath that he lied previously under oath.”

Michael Cohen Appears to Confess to Prior False Statements Under Oath (Turley)

If lying were an art form, former Trump fixer Michael Cohen would be its Rembrandt. Throughout his career, the disbarred lawyer has found powerful clients who valued his reputation for supporting any side that offered the biggest payback. Now he is accused of yet another lie under oath and the question is whether his current benefactors will again protect him from a criminal charge. For years, Cohen was the heavy for Donald Trump who threatened everyone from journalists to students with ruin for threatening the former president. Faced with disbarment and criminal charges, he then became an equally vicious critic of Trump; a human cudgel for Democrats. The most remarkable thing about his checkered career is the one constant: a long, uninterrupted line of lies upon lies. Indeed, he is now accused of lying about prior lies.

I have been a critic of Cohen for years, going back to work as a legal thug for Trump. That criticism continued after Cohen sought to raise money from Democrats as a Trump killer as opposed to a Trump enabler. Those of us familiar with his history warned about the notion that he was now a “liberated former liar.” As expected, the sides changed but the lies continued. He would appear as the new star Democratic witness before House Oversight Committee chairman, Elijah Cummings, and was promptly accused of lying under oath again. Cummings refused to take any action against Cohen. He had again found a powerful ally who valued his moral flexibility. Even after being stripped of his bar license and sentenced to three years in prison, Cohen continued the pattern.

In 2019, Cohen failed to appear to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, citing the inability to travel due to a medical surgery. However, he was seen partying before the hearing date with five friends with no apparent problems. Even in jail, Cohen was accused of lying to a court in violation of an order for early release due to medical problems. He was ordered back into custody after being spotted at a high-end restaurant. Nevertheless, Cohen has few illusions about his sudden alliance with media outlets and Democratic figures. He does not have to be truthful; he has to be useful. That celebrated role continued this year when Cohen was called to testify in the New York fraud case brought by Attorney General Letitia James. It mattered little to James that Cohen is a serial liar. Yet, even her office may have been surprised with the ease with which Cohen now admits to false statements.

During his recent testimony, Cohen was confronted by statements about Trump inflating the value of his properties that directly contradicted his sworn testimony before Congress. Most witnesses would be petrified by the prospect of admitting lying under oath. Most would refuse to testify under the Fifth Amendment. Not Cohen. He simply seemed to shrug it off and admitted that he previously lied under oath in 2019 before Congress. In testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on February 28, 2019, Cohen was asked about the same alleged violation and responded: “I’m sorry. Did he ask me to inflate the numbers? Not that I recall, no.” When read that answer in New York by defense counsel, Cohen admitted that he was not being “honest” with Congress. Trump attorney Alina Habba then asked him: “So you lied under oath in February of 2019? Is that your testimony?” Cohen replied “yes.”

For Cohen, the admission of a lie is hardly a significant moment. He pleaded guilty to felonies including false statements to banks in 2018. After professing his profound guilt and remorse, he was sentenced to three years. He then later said that he really did not mean it in denying aspects of the plea. After that plea and then denying the sworn plea, Cohen was called to give testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. He now says that he proceeded to lie again. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner and House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik have sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland for an investigation into the admitted false testimony.

This would seem an embarrassingly easy case for a prosecutor. A serial liar just admitted under oath that he lied previously under oath. There is a five-year statute of limitations on lying to Congress. Moreover, this is the attorney general who aggressively pursued Trump officials and associates for contempt and other violations linked to congressional investigations. It is also the same department that prosecuted figures like Gen. Michael Flynn for false statements made to FBI agents. For Cohen, the key to his career has been to lie to the right people at the right time. It is now up to Garland whether he will join a long line of powerful allies covering for Cohen.

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“the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this son of [New] York.”

“..It is perfectly consistent that a man long described as having an inflated self-image would not accept that he is a loser. That long-held journalistic view is now a viable criminal defense.”

Don’t Count On A Trump Conviction — None Of These Cases Are Slam Dunks (Turley)

This week, Chris Christie declared that “it’s over” for Donald Trump and predicted that the former president would be a convicted felon “by the spring.” He was specifically referring to the prosecutions linked to the 2020 election denial in Atlanta and DC. However, Yogi Berra would likely caution that, in baseball and litigation, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” Trump’s greatest threat of conviction remains in Florida, where he is facing federal charges related to his retention of classified documents. But the judge in that case seems inclined to delay it, perhaps even until after the election. And with reports that President Biden will not face charges in his own handling of classified documents, Trump has a political rallying cry that — correctly or not — he’s being treated differently. So that leaves the two cases surrounding the 2020 election.

In Georgia, a slew of former lawyers are taking pleas with promises to testify if called. Some of their depositions have been leaked, much to the dismay of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. She has reason to be alarmed because some of the leaked interviews hit hard at the weakest link in her conspiracy case. For instance, Sidney Powell stated that Trump clearly believed that he had won the election when he was challenging the results in the courts and Congress. Powell pleaded to misdemeanors for a deal that avoids jail time and preserves her ability to resume the practice of law. She notably did not plead guilty to the sweeping racketeering charges brought by Willis to link Trump in an effort to subvert the election. I previously wrote that the Achilles heel of the racketeering case was Trump’s state of mind: “As a threshold matter, one problem is immediately evident. If Trump actually did (or does) believe that he did not lose the election, the indictment collapses.”

That’s exactly what Powell argues. Trump had “general instincts that something wasn’t right here.” She added, “I didn’t think he had lost. I saw an avenue pursuant to which, if I was right, he would remain president.” That supplies a key defense for Trump: that he believed assurances from counsel that he had a case to make in challenging the election. Powell’s statement will also present challenges to special counsel Jack Smith, who has a parallel case in Washington, DC. While both prosecutors benefit from heavily favorable jury pools in staunchly Democratic strongholds, it requires only one holdout juror to result in a hung jury. Smith has admitted that Trump’s election claims were protected under the First Amendment but claims that, at some point, they became criminal lies. But Smith fails to explain when that line was clearly crossed — a dangerous ambiguity for free speech, particularly in the context of an election.

Smith ignores past election challenges by Democrats that were made without factual or legal support, including the challenge in Congress to certify Trump’s victory in 2016 by figures like Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.). The statement of Powell only magnifies those concerns over the lack of a clear line between political advocacy and criminal conduct in future cases. As part of his own agreement, former counsel Kenneth Chesebro pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit filing false documents. Again, the deal avoided jail time and allowed him to keep his law license. His attorney, Scott Grubman, said Chesebro “never believed in ‘the Big Lie’ ” and that he knows Joe Biden won the election. However, the question is what he told Trump about avenues for challenging the election. Grubman has emphasized that he “do[esn’t] think” Trump should be concerned about Chesebro’s plea and Chesebro “didn’t snitch against anyone.”

Previously, Chesebro’s lawyers stated that nothing about his “conduct falls outside the bounds of what lawyers do on a daily basis; researching the law in order to find solutions that address their clients’ particularized needs.” Both the prosecutors and media have maintained a conflicted narrative of a man who could not accept defeat and a man who knew he was defeated. Trump has long been portrayed as a megalomaniac in the media who never apologizes or accepts failure. It is perfectly consistent that a man long described as having an inflated self-image would not accept that he is a loser. That long-held journalistic view is now a viable criminal defense.

The Georgia case has strong individual claims for crimes like unauthorized access to voting machines or areas. But that clarity is lost in the effort to establish a massive racketeering conspiracy to ensnare Trump. While polls increasingly show Trump winning a general election against Biden, pundits point to these criminal trials as proof it’s all over. But none of these cases are truly slam dunks, particularly with the danger of hung juries. For candidates like Christie, it is understandable to hope that the courts will finally dislodge the hold of Trump on this primary. He, like others, looks at this election, to paraphrase Richard III, as “the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this son of [New] York.” Spring could just as easily bring more discontent rather than convictions.

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“Today, I’m supplementing my ethics complaint against Judge Engoron with examples of even more of his egregious misconduct after he just wrongly dismissed President Trump’s motion for a mistrial.”

Stefanik Files Second Ethics Complaint Against Judge Engoron (JTN)

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik on Friday filed a second ethics complaint against New York Judge Arthur Engoron after he rejected former President Donald Trump’s bid for a mistrial in New York Attorney General Letitia James’s fraud case against him. Engoron on Friday rejected Trump’s bid for a mistrial in a decision that followed an appeals judge’s staying a gag order he issued against Trump and his attorneys to stop them from publicly criticizing him and his court staff. Trump has repeatedly accused Engoron and his senior clerk, Allison Greenfield, of having a political bias against him.

While Stefanik previously submitted an ethics complaint against Engoron over his conduct in the case, on Friday she supplemented her initial criticisms in light of the court developments.”A week ago, I filed an ethics complaint against Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron for his partisan antics, bias, and railroading of President Trump. After my complaint, a New York appellate court smacked down Judge Engoron for his blatantly unconstitutional gag order,” she said. “Today, I’m supplementing my ethics complaint against Judge Engoron with examples of even more of his egregious misconduct after he just wrongly dismissed President Trump’s motion for a mistrial.”

Stefanik, a stalwart Trump ally, declared “victory” in the wake of the appeals decision striking down Engoron’s gag order earlier in the week. “I am pleased to see that after my ethics complaint to the New York Commission on Judicial Conduct against Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron, an appellate court has lifted the unconstitutional gag order against President Trump,” she said. “If Democrats can do this to a billionaire, former President, and leading presidential candidate, just imagine what they can do to the rest of us. That’s why I filed my ethics complaint against Judge Engoron, and I will continue to fight for all New Yorkers.”

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“Because the Government has not charged President Trump with responsibility for the actions at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, allegations related to these actions are not relevant and are prejudicial and inflammatory..”

Judge Rejects Trump Bid To Remove ‘Prejudicial’ Language From Indictments (JTN)

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Friday rejected a bid former President Donald Trump to remove language in the indictments against him that his attorneys deemed “prejudicial and inflammatory.” Trump currently faces conspiracy charges in special counsel Jack Smith’s case involving his efforts to challenge the 2020 election results and has pleaded not guilty. The former president’s legal team had objected to passages in the indictment referring to the “actions of independent actors at the Capitol on January 6, 2021” for which the prosecutors did charge Trump himself, The Hill reported. “Because the Government has not charged President Trump with responsibility for the actions at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, allegations related to these actions are not relevant and are prejudicial and inflammatory. Therefore, the Court should strike these allegations from the Indictment,” his attorneys wrote last month.

“Regardless of whether the allegations at issue are relevant, Defendant has not satisfied his burden to clearly show that they are prejudicial,” Chutkan said. Smith’s team, meanwhile, had argued that “evidence of the attack at the Capitol on January 6 is powerful and probative evidence of the defendant’s conduct, motive, and intent.” Trump specifically faces charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights. He has contended that the case, as well as the myriad other legal proceedings against him, are part of broader political witch hunt designed to derail his 2024 bid to return to the White House.

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“..we have questions about which countries were involved in those classified documents, because we’re still trying to figure out what the Biden family did to receive all that money.”

As White House Stonewalls Probe, James Biden Signals Cooperation: Comer (JTN)

Attorneys representing President Joe Biden’s brother, James, have signaled the House Oversight Committee that he will sit for an interview as part of that panel’s ongoing investigation of the first family, Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., confirmed on Friday. “[W]e have heard from James Biden’s attorney, and they have signaled that he will come and answer questions in front of the House Oversight Committee, and we’re very appreciative of that look forward to that,” the Kentucky Republican said on the “Just the News, No Noise” television show. “We have as you know, the IRS notes that the IRS whistleblowers turned over from his interview with the FBI. We also have the bank records that I’ve subpoenaed,” he continued. “So we have several specific questions for James Biden.

“And yes, he will be an absolutely crucial witness to our investigation and help us continue to connect the dots as to what exactly the Biden family was doing to receive millions of millions of dollars from our enemies around the world.” Prior to Comer’s appearance on the show, the committee announced that it had received a letter from the White House signaling it did not intend to cooperate with the litany of records requests from the committee and would seek to prevent the Bidens and their associates from testifying. “This obstruction does not deter us, and we will continue to follow the facts and hold President Biden accountable to the American people,” the committee asserted in a statement. Comer, for his part, was optimistic that the committee would ultimately be able to interview every relevant figure in its investigation.

“I think everybody that we’ve requested will come in,” he said. “The White House is has apparently sent a letter in the last few minutes – they always do something on a Friday – saying that they don’t … agree with having to bring the staff over over the classified documents over their mishandling classified documents.” “The reason we want the president’s staff to answer questions about his mishandling of classified documents is his timeline doesn’t match up with what our transcribed interviews, with some of his staff in the past have said, with respect to when they discovered the classified documents,” Comer went on. “And as you know, we have questions about which countries were involved in those classified documents, because we’re still trying to figure out what the Biden family did to receive all that money.” “So I believe that all these people will come in. We’re we’ve got speaker [Mike] Johnson has made it clear to both Jim Jordan and myself that anyone who doesn’t honor a subpoena will get a loud and clear message from Congress,” he concluded.

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“He thinks some pilots are ticking timebombs and claims many are not declaring ill-health. He said: ‘They are not reporting brain fog, heart flutters and dizzy spells because they don’t want to lose their jobs.’”

Pilot Warns Of Airline Industry Disaster Due To Covid Vaccines (Beck)

It was November 15, 2020, when Australian airlines mandated Covid-19 vaccines for 900 pilots, and all air and ground crew. Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Moderna were available in Australia. Today is the third anniversary of that mandate and Cpt Murdock is one of 12 pilots who refused. He was sacked of course, accused of serious professional misconduct, a charge generally reserved for inappropriate sexual behaviour or reckless and dangerous behaviour. Mr Murdock, 60, who lives near Sydney, Australia, flew as Captain for Virgin Australia for 20 years, and has held a licence since 1984. He also has an MSc in Aviation Human Factors, the science behind how humans interface with machines. He said: ‘Somewhere on the international network daily, you will find a plane has been turned back because of a health emergency. Either a passenger health emergency or crew health emergency.’

When pilots put out a mayday radio call to air traffic control, it is nicknamed a ‘squawk’. They use the code 7700 for all mayday calls which are reserved for serious incidents like pilot incapacitation or an uncontained fire on board. Few scenarios warrant a mayday; passengers and crew must face genuine peril. There has been an unprecedented rise in the numbers of mayday calls as tracked by a bot set up by the X account @GCFlightAlerts. It posts when a pilot squawks 7700 anywhere in the world. Between 2018, and 2019, the mayday average was 29.1 per cent of all distress calls. During 2022, mayday calls increased by 272 per cent. In the first three months of 2023, the increase was 386 per cent. The graph shows there was an instant, steep increase when the vaccines were mandated to pilots.

The average age of death in Australia during the pandemic was 85.3 years. The figures did not justify mandating vaccination to healthy, fit, pilots and implementing a no jab, no job policy. It even violated their own guidance: according to FAA rules, no pilot is allowed to take any type of medicine unless it has been approved and in use in the general population for 12 months. Pilots are forbidden to take part in drug trials and all Covid-19 vaccines were allowed under emergency use authorisation. The final phase of the trial finishes this year.

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McBride

 

 

 

 

Green murder

 

 

How To Steal An Election
https://twitter.com/i/status/1725674895634567214

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 032023
 
 October 3, 2023  Posted by at 9:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  30 Responses »


René Magritte Le Cri du Coeur 1960

 

US Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Block Trump in 2024 (ET)
Now There is Evidence the FBI Planned the January 6 Operation (GP)
The Donald v. New York (DeMartino)
Two Democrat Gangsters Try to Steal Trump’s Real Estate (Paul Craig Roberts)
Overvalued (Jeff Childers)
Gaetz Files Motion to Remove McCarthy From House Speakership (DeMartino)
I’m Fighting For Taxpayers (Matt Gaetz)
AG Garland Promises to Resign if Biden Meddles in Trump Investigation (Sp.)
The Average Age Of Ukraine’s Army (MoA)
Zakharova Responds To German Promise To Add Russian Lands To EU (RT)
US Seems More Worried About Ukraine’s Corruption Than It Admits (Sp.)
Hungary’s FM Shuns EU Diplomats’ Summit in Kiev (Sp.)
Why Ukrainian F-16 Trainees Won’t Turn the Tide of Conflict (Sp.)
Musk Mocks Zelensky Over Aid Demands (RT)
Three-Way? (Jim Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

Tucker VDH We’re in the middle of a revolution

 

 

Trump trial

 

 


The Nobel Prize laureates do not trust their own ‘innovation’ and instead rely on…face diapers.
el gato malo: “world: there will never be a nobel prize for medicine worse than in 1949 when antonio moniz won for inventing “the frontal lobotomy.”
nobel committee: hold my beer and watch this…

 

 

 

 


Vaccine Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

 

 

Kanekoa
In 2018, Letitia James vowed to use the law as her weapon to remove Donald Trump from office, dubbing him “an illegitimate president for colluding with foreign powers.” She boldly declared, “We believe he’s engaged in a pattern and practice of money laundering. Laundering the money from foreign governments here in New York State.” “Understand that the days of Donald Trump are coming to an end,” she emphasized, “but we can only do it if all of you exercise the most fundamental right — the right to vote.” Fast forward five years, and what’s the grand finale? Trump is accused of taking out legally obtained loans that he repaid in full with interest. Bravo!

Meanwhile, in a twist worthy of a Hollywood plot, the Biden family has been on a money-laundering spree, washing millions from shady oligarchs in China, Russia, and Ukraine through a tangled web of 20 shell companies. The Treasury Department has a hefty stack of over 170 suspicious activity reports filed by 6 banks, all spelling out how the Biden family “engaged in a pattern and practice of money laundering,” with much of that foreign cash flowing right through the heart of New York City. Congratulations, Attorney General Letitia James!

Letitia 2018

 

 

Charlie Kirk
Donald Trump is facing a civil trial in New York for “fraud.” So, which of his victims is suing him? That’s a trick question: There aren’t any. None of New York’s banks or insurance companies, Trump’s supposed “victims,” are suing him. Trump’s loans are repaid and his accounts are current. Because one judge says Trump “overvalued” his properties, that same judge is empowered to fine him hundreds of millions of dollars, break up the Trump Organization, and seize control of his properties, including Trump Tower, all to remedy a phantom crime with no victims. When this happens in China or Russia, we call it what it is: Lawfare against an enemy of the regime. Normal people do not yet realize how patently insane this is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

First of many. They all hark back to Civil War laws. As if today is similar to those days.

US Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Block Trump in 2024 (ET)

The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 2 declined to take a longshot challenge to former President Donald Trump’s eligibility to appear on New Hampshire’s ballots during the 2024 election. John Anthony Castro filed an appeal with the Supreme Court several weeks ago and claimed that the former president should be disqualified under a reading of a section of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment. Mr. Castro, a Texas lawyer who’s running for president, claimed that President Trump partook in an insurrection against the federal government because of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. “The decision by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida dismissing Petitioner John Anthony Castro’s civil action on the grounds that he lacks constitutional standing to sue another candidate who is allegedly unqualified to hold public office in the United States pursuant to Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution,” Mr. Castro wrote in a petition for a writ of certiorari.

At the same time, he asserted that because he’s a Republican candidate, President Trump’s name appearing on the ballot injures his ability to obtain donations. According to records from the Federal Election Commission, Mr. Castro hasn’t raised any money for his campaign and appears to have given his own campaign $20 million. His petition with the high court comes as a number of left-wing activist groups have tried to block the former president from appearing on state ballots, using a rationale similar to Mr. Castro’s arguments. For example, the left-wing group Free Speech for People wrote to the secretaries of state of Florida, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, and Wisconsin, calling on them to not include President Trump on state ballots. Six Colorado voters also filed a lawsuit in September to block him from appearing under their interpretation of the 14th Amendment, which was written in the aftermath of the U.S. Civil War in the mid-19th century.

However, even Democratic secretaries of state appear to have little appetite for blocking President Trump on those grounds. Some legal analysts have also said that the insurrection clause under the 14th Amendment was targeting individuals who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War. “We’re not the eligibility police. We are responsible for ensuring that basic facts are met to get someone on the ballot,” Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat who has frequently been critical of the former president, told Axios in September. She was responding to calls from pressure groups to keep the former president from being on the ballot in her state.

[..] Meanwhile, retired Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz argued over the summer in an opinion article that President Trump can’t be disqualified under the 14th Amendment’s Section 3. That’s because, he wrote, “The amendment provides no mechanism for determining whether a candidate falls within this disqualification, though it says that [Congress can vote to] remove such disability” with a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate “A fair reading of the text and history of the 14th Amendment makes it relatively clear, however, that the disability provision was intended to apply to those who served the Confederacy during the Civil War,” Mr. Dershowitz wrote. “It wasn’t intended as a general provision empowering one party to disqualify the leading candidate of the other party in any future elections.”

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“Jurors were informed of this written plan to “fill buildings” “with patriots”—and were left to think it was a plan of Tarrio’s or co-defendants.” It was not. The plan was concocted by the FBI..”

Now There is Evidence the FBI Planned the January 6 Operation (GP)

In February of this year, The Gateway Pundit’s Cara Castronuovo wrote about a shocking development in the US government’s case against the Proud Boys. it was discovered that the Government itself was the author of the mysterious “1776 Returns” document. The 1776 Returns document is the title of a 9-page paper that outlined strategic plans for the takeover of US government buildings on January 6, 2021. It was confirmed in court that the FBI was behind the document and an FBI operative was the author of the document. The mysterious document was sent unsolicited to Proud Boy Chairman Enrique Tarrio’s Telegram right before January 6th by a “love interest” named Erika Flores. Flores reportedly testified to the January 6th Committee that A GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL was the author of the entirety of the “1776 Returns” and that this FBI and CIA member or associate asked her to share it with Tarrio!

Tarrio was charged with Seditious Conspiracy and was later found guilty along with four fellow members of the Proud Boys. Enrique Tarrio was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for planning the entire “seditious conspiracy.” We now know that it was the FBI who was behind the conspiracy. According to the Motion by attorney Roger Roots: “It appears that the government itself is the author of the most incriminating and damning document in this case, which was mysteriously sent at government request to Proud Boy leader Enrique Tarrio immediately prior to January 6 in order to frame or implicate Tarrio in a government- created scheme to storm buildings around the Capitol. As such, Exhibit 528-1 and the government’s efforts to frame or smear defendants with it, constitutes outrageous government conduct. This is either entrapment or outrageous government conduct, or both. Equally improper, it is a Brady violation because the Department of Justice must surely have known these revelations before putting Special Agent Dubrowski on the stand on February 9 to introduce this evidence.”

You can’t make this stuff up! The cover to the sketchy and poorly written “1776 Returns” was allegedly created by a Government Official who claims to have been “groomed” to join the CIA or FBI. Apparently, an individual by the name of Samuel Armes is responsible for writing the “1776 Files”. Armes is “a former State Department and Special Operations official” who was also interviewed by the January 6th Unselect Committee. Armes said “he recognized components of the document as ideas he had composed as part of a “war gaming” exercise he did in August or September of 2020. Armes “co-founded a Florida-based cryptocurrency LLC — Government Blockchain Systems” “Armes said that in college he had been groomed to join the CIA and FBI before his stint in the State Department and special operations. . . . In his studies, he often participated in “war gaming” scenarios, skills he used during his stint in government.” (*The J6 Committee was resistant in releasing these documents.)

To reiterate, this government asset, Armes, passed this document off to a “love interest” of Enrique Tarrio named “Erika”, who then testified she forwarded the document AT THE REQUEST OF ARMES to Tarrio via Telegram. “This means that the most damning document in this trial was authored by the intelligence community—someone “groomed” by the FBI itself,” said Roger Roots (the Proud Boys attorney who authored this Blockbuster Motion). “And this CIA and FBI asset requested Tarrio’s friend to share the document with Tarrio just prior to January 6.” According to the Motion- “During Special Agent Dubrowski’s chilling testimony, Assistant U.S. Attorney Conor Mulroe took lengths to emphasize segments of the document describing a plan to lay siege to Capitol Hill by strategically occupying most of the congressional office space around the Capitol. Jurors were informed of this written plan to “fill buildings” “with patriots”—and were left to think it was a plan of Tarrio’s or co-defendants.” It was not. The plan was concocted by the FBI and planted inside the Proud Boys Telegram page days before January 6.

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“[The Trump National Doral Miami hotel] would sell for at least a billion dollars. Mar-a-Lago at least a billion,” Habba said. “The value is what someone is willing to pay. The Trump properties are Mona Lisa properties.” “That is not fraud, that is real estate..”

That Trump gave Ivanka the option to buy her rental apartment cheap, now means fraud?!

The Donald v. New York (DeMartino)

The attorney general’s office alleges Trump inflated the value of properties he owned by the billions between 2011 and 2021 in order to secure favorable loans and insurance arrangements, with some property values reportedly being inflated by over $2 billion. Some of those properties include Trump Park Avenue and the famed Mar-a-Lago Florida resort, which was raided by multiple FBI agents looking to retrieve troves of classified documents that were being stored on the grounds. Trump defense attorney Chris Kise countered in his opening arguments by saying that Trump made his billions by utilizing his real estate knowledge – not by engaging in fraudulent business practices. “President Trump has made billions of dollars building one of the most successful real estate empires in the world,” Kise said. “He has made a fortune literally about being right about real estate.”

Kise also pointed out that while the leading German Deutsche Bank valued Trump’s net worth at $2 billion less than he did, they still underwrote a loan for him. That is evidence, Kise argued, that real estate valuations can vary greatly. The lawyer went on to remark that when is comes down to business in the Big Apple, “this is what happens every day in this city.” In order to ground the argument, reports have indicated that the Trump camp is seeking to call in witnesses from Deutsche Bank. Another Trump defense attorney, Alina Habba, argued that Engoron’s valuations of Trump properties were wildly inaccurate, comparing the estates to the Mona Lisa, which is commonly said to be the most valuable painting in the world. “[The Trump National Doral Miami hotel] would sell for at least a billion dollars. Mar-a-Lago at least a billion,” Habba said. “The value is what someone is willing to pay. The Trump properties are Mona Lisa properties.” “That is not fraud, that is real estate,” she added.

[..] Donald Bender, a former accountant and tax consultant for Trump was called as the first witness in the case, and was promptly moved to be disqualified by the Trump team although Engoron ruled against them. [..] .. in one incident Bender recalled that he pointed out a discrepancy involving the penthouse of Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump. Bender said he corrected the number at least twice. The discrepancies with the penthouse were mentioned in documents in the case. “Ms. Trump’s rental agreement for Penthouse A in Trump Park Avenue included an option to purchase the unit for $8,500,000. But in the 2011 and 2012 Statements of Financial Condition, this unit was valued at $20,820,000—approximately two and a half times as much as the option price, with no disclosure of the existence of the option,” the lawsuit stated.

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“Law is a weapon used against those who are not in power. It is nothing else.”

“Lenders go by success, not by valuations, because value is determined by success.”

Two Democrat Gangsters Try to Steal Trump’s Real Estate (Paul Craig Roberts)

Two New York Democrats, one being NY attorney general Letitia James, a black female helped into office by money from George Soros, who made his billions by manipulating the British pound to the disadvantage of the British population, and the other being NY state judge Arthur Engoron, a Donald Trump hater who was put in office by Trump-hating NY Democrats, have conspired to steal Trump’s real estate empire including Mar-a-Lago. [..] The obvious point is that Letitia James has no idea of the value of Trump’ properties. What she has done is so obviously totally dishonest that she should immediately be removed from office. She has picked low values that are so low as to be ridiculous as a statement of the value of Trump’s holdings. Who correctly valued the properties? Letitia James on her personal vendetta against President Trump, or the sophisticated lenders to Trump?

Ask yourself, if Trump did something wrong, why didn’t his creditors bring the lawsuit instead of a Trump-hating Democrat operative on a personal vendetta? No one was harmed, least of all Letitia James. What is Letitia James’ standing in the case? Nothing, Zero, Nada. That Trump’s property can be confiscated by two Democrats on a vendetta against Trump shows that the rule of law in the United States of America is stone dead. Let’s look at real estate valuations. Traditionally, the lowest appraisal is the tax appraisers. Then the foreclosure value. Then the “market value.” But what is the market value? It is different for different people. Appraisals of value are simply guesses. No lender has anything but their judgment of the borrower as to the success of the loan. If the borrower has a success record, as Donald Trump has, the lender has no interest in the listed value of the properties. Lenders go by success, not by valuations, because value is determined by success.

Letitia James is so ignorant of law that she does not know that law regards an owner’s opinion as admissible evidence of value. Thus, there is ZERO basis for her independent law suit, a suit not joined by any interested party. This example of total incompetence and total corruption of the American legal system is proof that law in America is no longer law. Law is a weapon used against those who are not in power. It is nothing else. Judge Engoran ruled that Trump had “inflated” his property values on his financial statements. Meaning, the judge applied an arbitrary low value as the properties worth and then ruled that Trump committed fraud by using a realistic value. Take for example Trump’s residence, Mar-a-Lago, which the judge determined was worth only $18 million!

Forbes estimated Mar-a-Lago’s value between $200 million and $725 million, based on broker opinions, and ultimately went with “a conservative” $350 million. For comparison, a 5-bedroom home recently sold in the same neighborhood for $75 million. The totally corrupt Democrat “judge” valued Trump’s enormous property at $18 million — $332 million less than Forbes–and convicted Trump of fraud for allegedly overstating its value, whereas the real fraud is the judge’s undervaluation. On the sole basis of an intentionally arbitrary low value the Democrat operative pretending to be a judge confiscated Trump’s property. This is law in Democrat America, a tyranny.

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Jeff Childers is an attorney working in real estate. Paul Craig Roberts in the article above links to this article.

“Even though an owner might not be a real estate expert, the law considers the owner well positioned to know the value of their own property.” [..] “..under the law, an owner’s opinion is admissible evidence of value.”

“Nobody would use the tax appraiser’s value to guess at Mar-a-Lago’s selling price. Nobody.”

Overvalued (Jeff Childers)

This case is right in my wheelhouse; I’ll explain the whole thing. It’s not complicated. The judge’s 35-page decision is, at bottom, only about how President Trump valued his real estate holdings when he was providing his personal financial statement to various people. I am qualified to comment because half of my commercial litigation cases are disputes over real estate. Before tumbling into constitutional and civil rights law, I also had a strong side practice in commercial loan workouts — negotiating for developers with banks — and commercial Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which (at least in Florida) is all about valuing real estate. Principle number one: Real estate valuation is not a science because values are subjective. Every effort to value real estate is just a guess at what someone will eventually be willing to pay for the land. Your dilapidated barn might be someone else’s castle.

Real estate — buildings and land — is worth different amounts to different people. A thousand acres of inexpensive pine forest zoned only for agricultural use could be worth a whole lot more to a developer who’s confident he can get a zoning change. It’s not nefarious. Maybe that developer also owns a half-acre parcel downtown somewhere that the County has long wanted for a park, so he knows he has something to trade the commissioners for rezoning the pine forest to residential. That hypothetical developer would pay a lot more for the thousand acres than anyone else. So what’s the property worth? The price to everyone else or the “highest and best use?” But legal disputes must be resolved and you have to start somewhere. Lawyers think about real estate values in three general categories, depending on who is doing the valuing.

From lowest value to highest, the normal categories are: the tax appraised value (the lowest, and least likely to be accurate), the “forced liquidation” value (think foreclosure sale), and then the highest, the “market” value (determined by professional appraisers who assume that the seller can market the property without pressure or time constraints). Even professional appraisers disagree on land value. Every single one of my cases involves competing appraisals, and the appraisers’ numbers are often wildly different. Lawyers and judges all know that appraisals are just guesses. When I negotiate with bank lawyers, I often offer to bet them a month’s salary that when the appraised property finally sells, it will bring a price at least 15% different than the bank’s appraisal. In all these years, no opposing lawyer has ever taken that bet.

A fourth category of valuation is the owner’s opinion of his property’s value. Even though an owner might not be a real estate expert, the law considers the owner well positioned to know the value of their own property. They probably think about it a lot. They know all the pro’s and con’s. Therefore under the law, an owner’s opinion is admissible evidence of value. The lowest valuation is usually the tax appraised value, which is the amount used by the state to calculate annual property taxes. There’s a good reason why it’s the lowest: tax appraisers calculations are limited in many ways under state law. For example, in Florida tax appraisers can’t increase the value of homestead property — where someone lives — more than a few percentage points at a time. Tax appraisers also can only change the assessment when certain things happen, like when a property is sold.

Judge Engoran ruled yesterday that Trump had “inflated” his property values on his financial statements. Meaning, the judge decided what the properties were worth and then found that Trump overestimated Trump’s values — on paper. Take for example Trump’s residence, Mar-a-Lago, which the judge determined was worth $18 million for the entire ten-year period between 2011 and 2021. That determination was based only on the county tax assessor, who appraised its value between $18 and $27 million. So of course the Judge used the lowest number in that range, $18 million, comparing that to Trump’s value of between $426 million and $612 million: Nobody would use the tax appraiser’s value to guess at Mar-a-Lago’s selling price. Nobody.

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“..Gaetz would only need a handful of Republicans to join him in removing McCarthy..”

My guess: the Dems will keep him in place. And down the line he will regret that.

Gaetz Files Motion to Remove McCarthy From House Speakership (DeMartino)

US Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) officially filed a motion late Monday to call for the removal of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a move likely to put the lower congressional chamber into chaos just days after a government shutdown was averted. Gaetz has been threatening McCarthy with a “vote to vacate” his position since the deal to avert the government shutdown was made. Gaetz has accused MacCarthy of making a “secret side deal on Ukraine” with Democrats. Gaetz and dozens of other House Republicans have stated their opposition to further funding of Kiev by Washington and aid to Ukraine was ultimately cut from the stop-gap funding bill.

“I rise to give notice of my intent to raise a question of the privileges of the house,” Gaetz said on the House floor while filing the motion. “[It is] resolved that the Office of Speaker of the House of Representatives is hereby declared to be vacant.” After filing the motion, Gaetz told reporters that he had enough Republican votes to oust McCarthy, unless he gets help from Democrats. “I have enough Republicans where at this point next week one of two things will happen: Kevin McCarthy won’t be the Speaker of the House or he’ll be the Speaker of the House working at the pleasure of the Democrats,” The firebrand representative said. “I’m at peace with either result because the American people deserve to know who governs them.”

The House will have two days to consider the measure, though it could be taken up earlier. A simple majority will be needed to oust McCarthy. Republicans have a slim nine-seat majority in the House. Typically, when House speakers are appointed, the minority party votes in unison against the nomination. If that holds for votes to vacate, Gaetz would only need a handful of Republicans to join him in removing McCarthy.

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“.. that agreement includes a vote on term limits, a vote on a balanced budget amendment, single subject spending bills, and the full release of the January 6 tapes.”

I’m Fighting For Taxpayers (Matt Gaetz)

I know who my bosses are. They aren’t the special interests in Washington, it isn’t party leadership, it’s my voters in Florida. Earlier this month, I sat down with some of my bosses in Destin, Florida for a podcast they host in their driveway. I was there to be held accountable. Congress has yet to achieve the things voters are asking for like term limits and a balanced budget. That’s what this fight in Congress is all about. It’s about making sure the promises we’ve made to voters are fulfilled. The Speaker made promises to me and other lawmakers in January, and I want to hold him to account. To be specific, that agreement includes a vote on term limits, a vote on a balanced budget amendment, single subject spending bills, and the full release of the January 6 tapes.

This isn’t about politics or personality. It’s about sticking to our word, and getting our nation back on track. In Joe Biden’s America, families are having to pinch pennies, so Congress should too. Politicians that have spent decades running up America’s deficit are taking this personally. Rep. John Carter, who has been on the appropriations committee since 2005, recently attacked me as an “idiot” to a reporter. Okay. What’s idiotic is that our nation’s national debt has increased more than $25 trillion since 2005. Some people are desperate to make a policy battle personal, because their policy failures are personally embarrassing. We have to stop the fiscal insanity in Washington and get our spending under control.

I’m not voting for a continuing resolution that funds Jack Smith’s election interference, dangerous chaos on the southern border, and money for the endless war in Ukraine. Just think about what it means for Congress to govern by Continuing Resolution. Every time we vote for a continuing resolution, we make no changes in policy or spending. It’s a vote to continue the status quo. If that’s all Congress is going to do, just replace us with AI bots, because we aren’t doing anything. The hearings are fun, but it’s the budgets where real policy changes are made. Moody’s chief economist recently said that the typical American household is spending $709 a month more than they were two years ago just to buy the same goods and services. That’s nearly $9,000 per year being stolen from Americans through the hidden tax of inflation.

Americans literally cannot afford Washington’s reckless spending. Politicians in Washington DC – on both sides of the aisle – are robbing the American people and their grandchildren to pay for war in Ukraine, drag queen shows in Ecuador, an open border, free stuff for illegal immigrants, and the Biden Department of Justice’s illegal election interference. I came to Washington to be a voice for my voters and fix this once great nation. I’m not here to empower the Democrats’ radical agenda. I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit by and do nothing while greed and corruption destroys our great nation.

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“The attorney general added that all US Justice Department prosecutors are impartial and do not allow party considerations to affect their decisions.”

AG Garland Promises to Resign if Biden Meddles in Trump Investigation (Sp.)

US Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Monday he would resign if US President Joe Biden interferes with investigations into former US President Donald Trump. “I am sure that that [Biden’s interference] will not happen, but I would not do anything in that regard. And if necessary, I would resign, but there is no sense that anything like that will happen,” Garland said in an interview. He also said he does not discuss the investigation into the former president with Biden or his administration, adding that the incumbent US president “never tried to put hands on these investigations.” The attorney general added that all US Justice Department prosecutors are impartial and do not allow party considerations to affect their decisions.

Last week, the US news broadcaster reported that Trump would attend first days of fraud trial against him in New York. New York Attorney General Letitia James stated last week that Trump inflated the value of his assets by between $812 million and $2.2 billion over a decade to obtain loans to build a golf resort in Miami and hotels in Washington and Chicago. Currently, the former US president is facing two federal indictments, including on alleged mishandling of classified documents at his house in Florida and an alleged attempt to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

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“If what Wallace says about the average age on the Ukrainian front is true, 40 years, then the worst assumptions about losses have been far exceeded..”

“A huge loss that will forever haunt that country.” It’s worse, the country won’t survive.

The Average Age Of Ukraine’s Army (MoA)

Ben Wallace, the former Secretary of State for Defence of the UK, writes in the Telegraph: “Putin is desperately grasping at the final two things that can save him – time and the splitting of the international community. Britain can do something about both. We must help Ukraine maintain its momentum – and that will require more munitions, ATACMSs and Storm Shadows. And the best way to keep the international community together is the demonstration of success. Ukraine can also play its part. The average age of the soldiers at the front is over 40.

I understand President Zelensky’s desire to preserve the young for the future, but the fact is that Russia is mobilising the whole country by stealth. Putin knows a pause will hand him time to build a new army. So just as Britain did in 1939 and 1941, perhaps it is time to reassess the scale of Ukraine’s mobilisation. Let us not pause for one day. Let us see this through. The world is watching to see if the West has the resolve to stand up for our values and the rules-based system. What we do now for Ukraine will set the direction for all of our security for years to come.”

Think for a moment what the aside insert “The average age of the soldiers at the front is over 40” really means. Can Storm Shadows change that fact? Roland Popp @RoPoppZurich – 5:43 UTC · Oct 2, 2023: “If what Wallace says about the average age on the Ukrainian front is true, 40 years, then the worst assumptions about losses have been far exceeded. Paraguay 1870.”

Paraguayan War – Casualties of the war: “Paraguay suffered massive casualties, and the war’s disruption and disease also cost civilian lives. Some historians estimate that the nation lost the majority of its population.” Ukraine ain’t there yet. But looking at pictures of Ukrainian soldiers at the front Wallace seems to be right. If you are forty or above are you really still able to run, react and fight like when you were twenty? I am not. The young Ukrainians are gone. They either have fled from Ukraine or are wounded, disabled or died. You can not mobilize what is no longer there. A huge loss that will forever haunt that country. End this war now!

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“..from Lisbon to Lugansk..” is the state of denial put in words.

Zakharova Responds To German Promise To Add Russian Lands To EU (RT)

Russia would have to join the EU for German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock to fulfill her promise of the bloc spanning all the way “from Lisbon to Lugansk,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said. Speaking at an informal meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers in Kiev on Monday, Baerbock insisted that “the future of Ukraine is in the EU, in our community of freedom, and soon [the EU] will stretch from Lisbon to Lugansk.” Lisbon is the capital of Portugal, which along with Ireland and part of Spain makes up the EU’s western edge. Lugansk is the main city of the People’s Republic of Lugansk, which officially became part of the Russian state last year, together with the People’s Republic of Donetsk and the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions.

The move followed referendums that saw the populace in the four regions overwhelmingly support reunification with Moscow. Ukraine and its Western backers refused to recognize the results of the votes. “It’s either us joining the EU or she forgot about the requirement to turn by 360 degrees,” Zakharova wrote on Telegram in response to Baerbock’s statement. The spokeswoman was referring to the blunder that the German FM made in February when she urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to “change by 360 degrees” his policy on Ukraine, unwittingly urging Russia to maintain the exact course it had been on. Baerbock’s claims about Lugansk being in the EU are a “figment of the sick imagination” of the German FM because the city is and will remain a part of Russia, Dmitry Belik, a member of the Russian Parliament’s Committee on International Affairs, told Izvestia newspaper.

Germany’s top diplomat “continues to add to her collection of absurd statements, which speaks of her incompetence and confirms the difficulty of seeking compromise with such politicians,” Belik added. On Monday, EU foreign ministers held their first ever meeting outside the bloc’s territory. Its foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that the high-profile meeting was staged in Kiev “to express our solidarity and support to the Ukrainian people.” Ukraine was granted EU-candidate status in July 2022 amid its conflict with Russia. Sources told Bloomberg last month that the European Commission is expected to shortly recommend that formal talks begin to start the multi-year process of Kiev’s accession into the bloc.

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It’s their way out. “You’re too corrupt, and you’re not changing that fast enough..”

US Seems More Worried About Ukraine’s Corruption Than It Admits (Sp.)

A leaked US strategy document revealed that the Biden administration is far more worried about corruption in Ukraine than it publicly admits, an American newspaper reported on Monday. A high-level corruption could undermine confidence of the Ukrainian public and foreign leaders in the government in Kiev, the report said. The confidential version of the document, named “Integrated Country Strategy,” is about three times longer than its public version and contains many additional details related to the US goals in Ukraine, the report noted. That includes privatizing Ukrainian banks, encouraging the military to adopt NATO norms, and supporting local schools in teaching the English language.

The strategy also stresses that the Ukrainian government can not delay its anti-graft policies because the current situation could cause concern from allies in the West. The newspaper supposed that the fact of the quiet release of the strategy, along with the toughest language in the confidential version, shows the White House’s concerns over the situation in Ukraine. The Biden administration wants to press Ukraine to cut graft. However, excessive attention to this problem may strengthen the opposition of Washington to Kiev and could make European allies think once again about their own role in this process, according to the report.

One US official noted that the American and Ukrainian counterparts have “some honest conversations happening behind the scenes” over the issue. His colleague familiar with the topic of those discussions confirmed that Washington is talking to Kiev about potentially conditioning future economic aid on “reforms to tackle corruption and make Ukraine a more attractive place for private investment,” the report added. However, these conditions are not related to the military support for Ukraine, this official added. The strategy noted that US goals in Ukraine include providing military support and training to confront Russia. The classified version also revealed Washington’s readiness to help Kiev in reforming its national security apparatus, the report said.

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Serious cracks. Cue Fico.

Hungary’s FM Shuns EU Diplomats’ Summit in Kiev (Sp.)

Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has met with representatives of German industrial conglomerate ThyssenKrupp, he said in a Facebook* post, and skipped a meeting of European foreign ministers in Kiev. “The task now is to reduce inflation, and for 2024 – to rebuild economic growth. For this, the work has to start now and it requires companies like the German Thyssenkrupp,” Szijjarto wrote. Ties between Budapest and Brussels have been tense of late, with Hungary repeatedly voicing its protest as the EU’s blank checks for Kiev. It was earlier reported that Hungary believes that the EU has spent its share of a funding program on supporting Kiev regime. EU authorities had confessed to freezing over €6 billion intended for Budapest, citing political concerns.

However, Hungarian PM Viktor Orban is afraid that the funds were given to Ukraine. “It is possible that some of it [the money] is already in Ukraine. If there is no money to give Ukraine the sums promised before, and we promise to give new sums, and there are people who haven’t received the money, it is reasonable to assume that this money is already gone,” Orban said in an interview to a radio station. The Hungarian premier added that his country will block any funding for Kiev unless Budapest receives the designated funds. Another stumbling block between Hungary and Ukraine is the fate of Transcarpathian Hungarians, whose rights are systematically abused by Kiev.

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“..what is happening in Ukraine has been far more similar to a First World War battlefield than anything else..”

Why Ukrainian F-16 Trainees Won’t Turn the Tide of Conflict (Sp.)

The US Department of Defense has officially announced the beginning of English language courses for Ukrainian pilots as part of the program to train them to fly US-made F-16 fighter jets. The language training is said to be taking place at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. In August, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry estimated that Kiev would get F-16 jets promised by Ukraine’s NATO backers in six-seven months. The Netherlands and Denmark since signaled that they would hand their F-16 fighters to Kiev at the beginning of 2024. However, Gen. James B. Hecker, commander of US Air Forces Europe, was quoted by the Western press as saying that the delivery of several dozens of the US-made fighter jets “isn’t going to be the silver bullet” for the Ukrainian military.

Previously, ex-Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley also warned Kiev that F-16s won’t be a “game-changer” or “magic weapon” that would change the balance of power on the battlefield. For its part, the Ukrainian military is blaming the failed counteroffensive on allegedly insufficient NATO training and flawed NATO tactics, insisting that the transatlantic alliance prepared them for the “wrong kind of war.” Could the training of Ukrainian pilots and delivery of fighter jets fix the problem? “The questions being asked here are about a decade too late for the US/NATO Ukraine proxy war project, and they certainly should have been considered before over $200 billion in US and NATO military aid has been shipped to Ukraine,” Retired Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, a former analyst for the US Department of Defense, told Sputnik.

“The US and NATO – to the extent that they have conducted military battles – have done so with combined arms, integrating sea, land and air – and command and control/intelligence — in both offensive and defensive actions. Our last real serious tank battles probably occurred in the early 1990s, with the first US invasion of Iraq. And that war was against a country that had a weak and outdated air force.” “We don’t remember how to fight a land battle from 30 years ago – and what is happening in Ukraine has been far more similar to a First World War battlefield than anything else. Americans in particular do not study lessons learned from the First World War – but that is no excuse in this case.

Ukraine’s ‘strategy’ vis-a-vis Russia has not been designed by Pentagon military strategists – as [Joe] Biden and [Antony] Blinken say, all decisions are [Volodymyr] Zelensky’s. The Pentagon’s role here has been logistics – scraping up goods and services and sending them over – without any connection to complementing an existing Ukrainian defense strategy or designing an effective strategy to push back the Russian forces,” the former Pentagon analyst continued.

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Musk has seen enough. Took him a while.

Musk Mocks Zelensky Over Aid Demands (RT)

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has ridiculed Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky over his demands for more financial support from the US and its allies amid the conflict with Russia. Posting on his X (formerly Twitter) social media platform on Sunday, Musk shared the popular ‘stressed guy’ meme with Zelensky’s face photoshopped onto it and with a caption reading: “When it’s been five minutes and you haven’t asked for a billion dollars in aid.” The post had already gained more than 25 million views and over 350,000 likes at the time of writing. The ‘stressed guy’ meme features an image of a male student whose neck and forehead are bulging with veins while he sits beside a girl in a classroom. The picture is commonly shared for humorous descriptions of frustrating or uncomfortable situations.

Musk’s post comes after Zelensky attempted to drum up more support from the US during a visit to Washington in September. According to US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the Ukrainian president told him that “if we don’t get the aid, we will lose the war.” The administration of US President Joe Biden has provided Kiev with around $46 billion since the beginning of the conflict with Russia in February 2022. However, no funding for Ukraine was included in the last-minute budget deal struck by Congress late on Saturday which allowed the US to avoid a federal government shutdown. US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who was among the Republicans to oppose the Biden administration’s request to allocate $6 billion more to Ukraine, said that the priority must be protecting America’s borders.

The Zelensky government considered Musk among its backers early in the conflict with Russia, when SpaceX donated $80 million worth of Starlink satellite internet terminals to Ukraine. Kiev’s forces have relied heavily on the system for communications. However, the billionaire was involved in a spat with Ukrainian officials and social media users last October after he proposed a peace plan to settle the conflict. Musk suggested that Russia should “redo elections of annexed regions under UN supervision,” while Ukraine would commit to neutrality and drop its claim to Crimea. Four former Ukrainian regions voted to join Russia a year ago, while Crimea held a similar referendum in 2014 after a Western-backed coup in Kiev.

Zelensky reacted to the idea by launching a social media poll, asking followers “which Elon Musk” they “like more” – the one “who supports Ukraine” or the one “who supports Russia.” Kiev’s then ambassador to Germany, Andrey Melnik, went further by telling the US billionaire to “f**k off.” A few days after the row, the Ukrainian military reportedly began experiencing problems with Starlink services. Musk’s biography by historian Walter Isaacson, which came out in September, described an indecent last autumn in which the billionaire allegedly told his engineers to shut down satellite internet coverage in Crimea amid an attempted Ukrainian drone assault on the Russian peninsula. According to Isaacson, the tech entrepreneur concluded that “allowing the use of Starlink for the attack… could be a disaster for the world.” Ukrainian presidential aide Mikhail Podoliak claimed that Musk was “committing evil and encouraging evil” with his decision, which he said was the result of “a cocktail of ignorance and big ego.”

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“The woked-up suburban ladies who comprise the party’s main voting bloc grow moist in anticipation of Gov. Newsome landing on-stage like a demigod out of a Mozart opera..”

“[RFK Jr’s] on a hero’s journey at a moment in history when America dearly needs one.”

Three-Way? (Jim Kunstler)

“Joe Biden” is now a monumental embarrassment and a liability to our country, let alone to the degenerate party that owns him. Sub rosa efforts must be in motion to persuade him to resign before the impeachment inquiry spotlights all those telltale bank records, but they will fail to overcome his demented pride. He’ll ride this thing out to the bitter end, when he can use the last tool at his disposal to officially pardon everyone involved in his family’s racketeering operation. The longer the party pretends to support him, the closer the party itself skates toward self-destruction. Also consider: if allowed to play out, the impeachment inquiry will implicate the DOJ and the FBI in obstruction of justice — exposing many Deep State blob players to danger of prosecution.

Gov Gavin Newsom dangles himself above the fray as the deus ex machina who can touch down in DC and make all the Democrat’s problems go away. Such an attractive fellow! Great teeth and hair! Tall as a sequoia! And such a smooth talker! The woked-up suburban ladies who comprise the party’s main voting bloc grow moist in anticipation of Gov. Newsome landing on-stage like a demigod out of a Mozart opera. But how do you think he’ll make out in an election when the airwaves are filled with oppo ads showing his toothy and hairy visage inset against scenes of homeless junkies and looting flash mobs? Try blaming that on climate change. What else does he stand for? Censorship? Forced vaccinations? Child sex mutilations? Open borders? News-flash: these are increasingly unpopular, except among an easily-identified depraved elite.

Indeed, the whole Left-Right demon-driven psychodrama is proving impossible to live in as it throbs and pulsates toward something like civil war. And it has obscured the truly potent idea that the nation might actually be capable of solving its problems by facing up to them and changing how we act. That potent idea might be what voters will see in Bobby Kennedy if he can get their attention. Mr. Kennedy would dismantle the heinous partnerships between private corporations and the US government that loosed the Covid-19 op on the world and asset-strips the middle-class. He favors closing the border and a reevalution of immigration policy. He aims to negotiate an end to the ignoble Ukraine war project. He’s determined to disassemble the security state apparatus that’s destroying the US Constitution and citizens natural rights with it.

Mr. Kennedy says he can bring divided Americans together on these dire matters. It’s conceivable that his message might go over with enough rancor-weary voters to pull off a tour-de-force plurality in a three-way race, where nobody wins enough electoral votes to settle the contest, which then moves to the House, like in the old days of Jefferson and Burr. The rest is election mechanics, some of it very sinister when you consider all the election-rigging booby-traps already in-place such as mass mail-in ballot harvesting, no voter ID requirements, and the still-mysterious hookups of vote-counting machines to the Internet. But, at least, Mr. Kennedy running on an independent line will be a hard whap upside the Democratic Party’s thick skull, maybe even a death-blow to the party. They made a big mistake trying to un-person him. He’s on a hero’s journey at a moment in history when America dearly needs one.

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Yeadon

 

 

Octopus
https://twitter.com/i/status/1708899128858587197

 

 

 

 

Jump

 

 

Ray
https://twitter.com/i/status/1708809366869062108

 

 

Camouflage
https://twitter.com/i/status/1709099401413562408

 

 

 

 

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