May 252024
 


Thomas Cole Prometheus Bound 1847

 

Zelensky’s Legitimacy Has Expired – Putin (RT)
Betting on Armageddon: What is Zelensky’s Plan Now That His Term is Over? (Amar)
NATO Forming Network of Cyber Labs Along Russia’s Borders (Sp.)
NATO ‘Preparing For War’ With Russia – Orban (RT)
Ukraine Enforces Desperate Conscription Laws, Russia Closes In On Kharkiv (ZH)
Speaker Johnson: Ukraine Should Use US Weapons on Russian Territory (Antiwar)
Let Ukraine Freely Strike Russia With Western Arms – NATO Chief (RT)
US Should Quit Sending Money to Ukraine, Try to Negotiate Peace – Massie (Sp.)
Will the Trump Jury Exercise Blind Justice or Willful Blindness? (Turley)
Trump Says Bronx Residents Being Left Behind By Biden Policies (ZH)
Biden Admin Is Hiring A ‘Meme Manager’; Hilarity Ensues (MN)
Boeing Sued Over Deaths Of US Marines (RT)
The CIA’s Secret Effort To Seize Control Of Social Media (ZH)
Kevin Morris Reportedly Protected by CIA in Hunter Biden Investigation (Turley)

 

 

 

 

Schumer

 

 

Prince

 

 

 

 

Comey

 

 

FBI at my door

 

 

 

 

Who can Russia have talks with for peace? Not Zelensky…

“..Russia must be absolutely sure it’s dealing with the legitimate Ukrainian authorities before it can engage in meaningful and legally binding talks..”

“..one of the goals of this conference for the Western community, the sponsors of today’s Kiev regime is to confirm the legitimacy of the current – albeit no longer valid – head of state,” he suggested, adding that “such PR moves are meaningless for legal documents.”

“The Biden administration has yet to comment on the issue of Zelensky’s status publicly. However, the European Commission and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock assured on Tuesday that he is legitimate..”

He is not legitimate just because he says so, or Brussels or Berlin do…

Any deal with Zelensky is meaningless.

Zelensky’s Legitimacy Has Expired – Putin (RT)

Russia must be absolutely sure it’s dealing with the legitimate Ukrainian authorities before it can engage in meaningful and legally binding talks to conclude the conflict between the two nations, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday. He noted that Vladimir Zelensky’s term in office has expired. The president made the remarks in Minsk on Friday during a joint press conference with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko. Putin was asked for comment on Zelensky’s presidential term running out earlier this month and the impact of this development on potential talks. Putin reiterated Russia’s readiness to engage in talks with Ukraine to end the hostilities, stating that negotiations must be based on “common sense” and acknowledge “realties on the ground,” while using the preliminary agreement reached in the early days of the conflict as the foundation.

“But with whom to negotiate? That’s a peculiar question, I agree. We realize that the legitimacy of the incumbent head of the [Ukrainian] state has expired,” the Russian leader stated. The upcoming “peace summit,” scheduled to take place in Switzerland next month and actively promoted by Kiev is designed, among other things, to prop up Zelensky in his role, Putin said. “I think one of the goals of this conference for the Western community, the sponsors of today’s Kiev regime is to confirm the legitimacy of the current – albeit no longer valid – head of state,” he suggested, adding that “such PR moves are meaningless for legal documents.”

It’s up to Ukraine’s legal system, its “parliament, constitutional court and some other governing bodies” to determine whether Zelensky is now a legitimate leader or not, according to Putin. As for Russia, in order to engage in any meaningful talks with Kiev, it must be absolutely sure it’s dealing with the country’s legitimate authorities, the president stressed. Zelensky’s term expired on Monday, while no elections were held under the pretext of the martial law introduced by Kiev early in the conflict with Russia. The Ukrainian Constitution explicitly prohibits holding parliamentary elections under such circumstances, yet does not mention presidential elections. However, while setting the length of the presidential term, it also specifies that power is transferred the moment a new president is sworn in.

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“Legitimate or not, the Ukrainian leader is a national catastrophe hell-bent on going global..”

Betting on Armageddon: What is Zelensky’s Plan Now That His Term is Over? (Amar)

On 20 May, something important changed for Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky. On that day, the five-year presidential term for which he had been elected in 2019 came to an end. He remains in office, however, without having to face fresh elections. Zelensky’s critics, including within Ukraine, argue that he is now illegitimate in a strict, constitutional sense – in effect, a usurper. His followers and defenders, including in the West, insist that Zelensky legally remains president under martial law. What is clear is that, according to the Ukrainian constitution, presidential elections can be held during wartime (unlike parliamentary ones, which are ruled out), even if a lack of clarity would require amendments, as Ukrainian experts have explained in national media. Even the New York Times acknowledged as much as recently as last October. At that point, however, Zelensky himself had not yet ruled out elections and American super hawk Senator Lindsey Graham was demanding them in his usual imperious tone.

Wartime elections in Ukraine would have posed practical challenges, although these could have been overcome. For instance, back in October, Zelensky himself stated that online voting was a possibility. Western media, including the BBC, which now claim Zelensky had no legal or practical option of standing for reelection, are misinforming their audiences by simply reproducing his regime’s current talking points. Not, obviously, for the first time. No doubt, the legal legitimacy of a president is a critical issue, especially one as high-handed and authoritarian as Zelensky has been for years and since well before the escalation of the war in February 2022. Yet what is more important are the political meaning and effects of Zelensky’s transition to past-due-date status.

In this respect, the first point to note is that is Zelensky is evading the basic accountability of an election that would inevitably increase public scrutiny of his record. Even more disturbing, however, is to see one of his closest associates turning unquestioning compliance with this move into a de facto loyalty test, complete with ominous threats. The speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Ruslan Stefanchuk, a key magnate in Zelensky’s “Servant of the People” party, has reportedly even called all those who doubt the president’s continuing legitimacy “enemies of the people” and “political lice.” Of course, this rhetoric – ironically reminiscent of Stalinism – comes with the usual tired smears: Anyone who dares doubt the Zelensky regime is routinely accused of doing so at the behest of Russian agitators. Perish the thought – in Zelensky’s post-“Revolution of Dignity” and “free world” showcase Ukraine – that citizens could genuinely disagree with their superiors!

Verbal brutality of the Stefanchuk kind is especially intriguing because a reasonably reliable and recent (February) poll shows that almost 70% of Ukrainians agree that Zelensky should remain president until “the end of the state of war.” For better or worse, Zelensky’s decision to avoid elections – whatever his reasons – is not unpopular. But a closer look at the same poll reveals why the Zelenskyites are so touchy and aggressive: Widespread consent with postponing presidential elections does not translate into the same amount of popularity for Zelensky personally, or, for that matter, for his regime. For instance, in December 2023, 34% of respondents believed that he should not stand for another election (whenever the latter were to take place). By February of this year, only three months later, that share had risen to 43%. Clearly, Ukrainians who believe that this is not the right time for presidential elections and, at the same time, that Zelensky should never be a candidate again, don’t consider elections unnecessary because they are happy with his rule.

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“..carry out acts of electronic sabotage under the close tutelage of NATO supervisors..”

NATO Forming Network of Cyber Labs Along Russia’s Borders (Sp.)

NATO is forming a network of cyber laboratories along the perimeter of Russia’s borders in Estonia, Latvia, Finland and Romania, Artur Lyukmanov, the special presidential representative for international cooperation in information security of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said in an interview with Sputnik. “Washington has long been practicing methods of hybrid warfare against Russia in the information sphere. Ukraine is used as the main training ground, whose hackers, including from the much-touted ‘IT army,’ carry out acts of electronic sabotage under the close tutelage of NATO supervisors,” he said. Lyukmanov said entire units of Western security services and armed forces have been sent to Kiev.

“It’s no secret that the alliance is forming an entire network of cyber laboratories along the perimeter of the Russian borders in Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Romania, and in the future – in Georgia and Moldova. Under the auspices of the Pentagon, cyber exercises are being carried out on a systematic basis (the Cyber Flag exercises recently ended in the US), during which scenarios of confrontation with us in the digital sphere are tested,” the diplomat said. Western countries, led by the United States, are building up offensive potentials in the field of information technology to conduct computer operations against Russia and China, Artur Lyukmanov said. “Indeed, Western countries, led by Washington, continue to build up offensive ICT potentials to conduct computer operations against their geopolitical opponents, that is, Russia, China and other independent states,” he said

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“Orban noted that the bloc was created with the purpose of defending member states against aggressors, not waging wars outside its territory..”

NATO ‘Preparing For War’ With Russia – Orban (RT)

Hungary is reevaluating its role in NATO, as it has no intention to take part in actions that could involve member states in the Ukraine conflict and lead to a direct clash with Russia, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday. Speaking on local Kossuth Radio, Orban stated that his country has already been relegated to the role of a non-participant within the US-led military bloc due to its stance on Ukraine, and Budapest is now working on legal ways to retain its membership but reserve the right to abstain from joining NATO operations it disagrees with. “Hungary’s position must be redefined, our lawyers and officials are working on ways to allow Hungary to continue to exist as a NATO member without participating in NATO activities outside the bloc’s territory. We need to create a new approach, a new definition for our position as a pro-peace force within NATO,” Orban said.

According to the prime minister, there are “alarming similarities” between the emotionally charged media publications and statements by Western politicians regarding the Ukraine conflict and the atmosphere preceding the First and Second World Wars. “What is happening today in Brussels and Washington… looks like warming up for a possible direct military conflict. We can safely call it the preparation of Europe’s entry into the war,” Orban said, adding that there are working groups within NATO that are assessing the best ways for the bloc to further boost its participation in the conflict. He warned that the end result of these actions could be a direct conflict between the EU, NATO, and Russia – a “grim prospect,” as the conflict would involve nuclear powers.

Someone tell me why instead of isolating this conflict – because it is a war between two Slavic peoples, despite all the arguments on the side of Ukraine – we choose to jump into this war? Orban noted that the bloc was created with the purpose of defending member states against aggressors, not waging wars outside its territory. Commenting on Western claims that Russia could attack Europe if it defeats Ukraine, Orban said the chances of this happening are extremely slim, and these warnings only serve as an excuse to become directly involved in the Ukraine conflict. Hungary has opposed NATO funding and arming of Ukraine from the outset of the conflict in February 2022. The country has not sent any weapons to Kiev, and has not allowed its territory to be used for their delivery, despite pressure from both Brussels and Washington. Budapest has called for a ceasefire and a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

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“If only the media was as energetic about promoting peace negotiations as it has been about promoting war. ”

Ukraine Enforces Desperate Conscription Laws, Russia Closes In On Kharkiv (ZH)

Ukraine is now enforcing a new mobilization law which is being called ‘divisive’ among many Ukrainian citizens and some political leaders. The law requires men ages 18-60 to carry their military paperwork at all times to be presented to authorities on demand. It lowers the minimum draft age from 27 to 25 (Ukraine has a demographic shortage of men ages 18-25). And, all military age Ukrainian men abroad must come back to Ukraine to renew their passports, including refugees driven from their homes in the early days of the war. Conscripts must update their address, contact information, and military records within 60 days through government institutions or a mobile application. This is in preparation for a national draft database containing information on every fighting age male in the country. The conscription measures are expected to greatly reduce Ukraine’s labor pool, forcing many businesses to shut down. Essential workers are not exempt from the draft.

Vladimir Zelensky signed two other bills into effect, one allowing prisoners to be deployed to the front lines (the western media criticized Russia last year for implementing a similar measure), the other bill quintuples fines for people caught trying to evade the draft. Early versions of the law allowed for concessions on pay and better rotation for soldiers, including a policy which would relieve soldiers serving for 36 months or more. All demobilization concessions were removed from the final version; Ukraine’s military leadership argued that they needed the most experienced soldiers to remain at the front. Kyiv has offered cash bonuses to troops towards purchases of housing and cars as an incentive to join the war effort, however, critics argue that the Ukrainian treasury does not actually have the funds to fulfill the promises Zelinsky is making. To counter charges of undermining soldier morale, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry says it is working on a separate demobilization bill, but massive manpower shortages make any demobilization action highly unlikely.

Front line soldiers have repeatedly complained about the lack of rotation, with some rarely getting a chance to leave the trenches in the past two years. These desperate conscription laws arrive just as Russian forces close in on Kharkiv, the second largest city in the nation. Bombardment of the city’s defenses and infrastructure is already underway in preparation for a possible offensive. Some analysts argue that Russia does not have enough troops to take Kharkiv and that this is a distraction. Russia may open a new front near Sumy which is 100 miles away, or they may plan to full envelope Kharkiv because they know Ukraine’s troop strength is at a minimum. The western media has been an avid mouthpiece for the Ukrainian government over the past couple years with many pundits shaming Ukrainian citizens who have tried to leave to avoid being involuntarily mobilized. Seeing the complete lack of organization and the habitual embezzlement of funds among Ukraine’s leadership it’s not surprising that many citizens do not want to fight for them. If only the media was as energetic about promoting peace negotiations as it has been about promoting war.

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“Moscow recently warned the UK that if Ukraine used British weapons on Russian territory, Russian forces would target UK military sites in Ukraine “and beyond.”

Speaker Johnson: Ukraine Should Use US Weapons on Russian Territory (Antiwar)

On Wednesday, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) expressed support for Ukraine using US-provided weapons on Russian territory, a step that would risk a major response from Russia. Ukraine has been lobbying the US to allow the use of US-provided missile systems on Russian territory in the wake of Russia’s Kharkiv offensive, and the idea is gaining support in Congress. A group of bipartisan members of the House sent a letter to President Biden on Monday urging him to lift any restrictions on Ukraine’s use of US weapons. “It is essential the Biden administration allows Ukraine’s military leaders to conduct a full spectrum of operations necessary to respond to Russia’s unprovoked attack on their sovereign land,” the lawmakers said. Johnson was asked if he supported the idea of Ukraine hitting Russian territory with US weapons and replied that the US needs “to allow Ukraine to prosecute the war in the way they see fit.”

“They [Ukraine] need[s] to be able to fight back. And I think us trying to micromanage the effort there is not a good policy for us,” he told Voice of America. Moscow recently warned the UK that if Ukraine used British weapons on Russian territory, Russian forces would target UK military sites in Ukraine “and beyond.” The warning came after British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said Ukraine had the “right” to use British arms in attacks on Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is asking NATO to take another step that could lead to a catastrophic escalation. In an interview with The New York Times on Tuesday, he pleaded for the Western alliance to shoot down Russian missiles over Ukraine, which would mean direct NATO involvement in the conflict, raising the risk of nuclear war.

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You’re located in Brussels, right?

Let Ukraine Freely Strike Russia With Western Arms – NATO Chief (RT)

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has argued that members of the Western military bloc should let Ukraine freely use their weapons to launch strikes deeper into Russian territory. “The time has come for allies to consider whether they should lift some of the restrictions they have put on the use of weapons they have donated to Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said on Friday in an interview with The Economist. “Especially now when a lot of the fighting is going on in Kharkov, close to the border, to deny Ukraine the possibility of using these weapons against legitimate military targets on Russian territory makes it very hard for them to defend themselves.” Stoltenberg noted that some NATO members have already lifted restrictions on using their weapons to attack targets in Russian territory.

Asked whether he was referring to the US as the one major holdout, he said, “I think what we see now demonstrates the need to reconsider those restrictions, not least because we have fighting going on along the border between Russia and Ukraine.” However, according to Moscow, the rhetoric about restrictions on the use of US munitions are false and designed to maintain the illusion that the West is not part of the conflict. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that US weapons, such as ATACMS missiles armed with cluster warheads, have already been used on attacks inside Russia, including strikes against civilian targets. “We proceed from the fact that American and other Western weaponry strikes targets on the territory of Russia, primarily civilian infrastructure and residential areas,” he told reporters on Friday.

The NATO chief’s comments come at a time when Western leaders are making increasingly bold statements about attacks on Russian territory. US President Joe Biden held back on sending long-range weapons to Ukraine in the early days of the conflict with Russia, citing concern over the possibility of triggering a wider conflict. When more advanced weaponry was later approved, it came with strings attached, including a prohibition on hitting Russian territory. However, as the New York Times reported on Thursday, views on those restrictions have shifted as Russian forces make battlefield gains. After making a “sobering” visit to Kiev earlier this month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly began urging the administration to let the former Soviet republic use American weapons as it sees fit. A group of US lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin earlier this week, pressing him to give the Ukrainians the permissions they have requested.

Stoltenberg said he believes NATO members can thread the geopolitical needle by supporting Ukraine’s defense without becoming direct parties to the conflict. “We provide training, we provide weapons, ammunition to Ukraine, but we will not be directly involved from NATO territory in combat operations over or in Ukraine,” he said. “So, that’s a different thing.”

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A lonely voice..

US Should Quit Sending Money to Ukraine, Try to Negotiate Peace – Massie (Sp.)

The United States should stop sending money to Ukraine and attempt to negotiate peace as soon as possible, US Congressman Thomas Massie told Sputnik on Friday. “I think we should quit sending money there. I think we should try to negotiate peace as soon as possible,” Massie said on the sidelines of the 2024 Libertarian National Convention. US lawmakers are showing dwindling support for sending military aid to Ukraine each time the matter comes to a vote, Massie highlighted. “The support for sending weapons to Ukraine is weakening in the US Congress, as you can see with each subsequent vote,” the congressman emphasized. There should be some effort made to bring both Ukraine and Russia to the upcoming conference in Switzerland as it is hard to imagine negotiations without Russia, Massie stressed “This sounds kind of hard to negotiate a peace if they don’t have Russia at the table. So I think there should be some effort to have Ukraine and Russia there,” the congressman said.

Talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden could help solve the conflict in Ukraine, and even lower-level discussions between top diplomats could help achieve progress, Massie highlighted. “I think it could help,” Massie said when asked whether talks between Biden and Putin could help solve the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. “Although, even lower-level negotiations would help as well, I think.” When asked at what level such discussion should be held, the congressman said, “Maybe at the secretary of state level, for instance.” Massie expressed his view that it is “wrong” that communications between the US and Russia are limited. “I think there should be talks,” he said. The US government freezing of foreign assets, including those of Russia, is a very short-sighted policy and sends a message to the international community that the United States may stop honoring transactions, the congressman emphasized.

“I think it’s very short sighted of our government to freeze for instance, Treasury assets, that are held by other countries, such as Russia, because it sends a message to the world that if you buy our debt, then we may not honor the transaction at some point,” Massie explained. The representative added that US moves to freeze foreign assets are “extremely dangerous” because they will increase the price that Washington has to pay to finance its debt. “I’m sure that our closest allies will still trust that we’ll be good on our word, but other sovereign funds will have a diminished appetite for financing our debt,” Massie said. “So, I think it’s very short-sighted of us to do that.” Moscow has maintained that any attempt to confiscate its frozen assets would violate international law, with the Russian Foreign Ministry labeling such an action as theft. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has also said that Moscow is willing to issue a “symmetrical” response to this form of Western financial aggression.

The congressman argued that he opposes the US government sending more money to Ukraine unless such assistance achieves peace. “I told our own speaker – if you want to send $60 billion and the goal is to achieve some kind of peace, I might be compelled to vote for it. But I’m not voting for $60 billion that will then only necessitate another $60 billion,” the representative clarified. Massie also said that both sides to the conflict in Ukraine will eventually run out of people if fighting continues. “I think it’s immoral to grind up people in this war on both sides,” Massie added. Earlier on Friday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced that the United States was providing a new weapons package for Ukraine worth $275 million. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Monday the United States has already delivered many of Ukraine’s “top-priority requirements” and much more assistance is on the way.
Austin added that he expects a steady flow of US assistance for Ukraine on a weekly basis.

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“Bragg is expected to finally state with clarity what he is alleging … at the closing arguments of the case.”

Will the Trump Jury Exercise Blind Justice or Willful Blindness? (Turley)

With closing arguments scheduled for Tuesday, May 28, the prosecution of former President Donald Trump will finally head to a jury. Judge Juan Merchan has refused every opportunity to bring an end to this politically manufactured prosecution. Now it will be up to 12 New Yorkers to do what neither the court nor the prosecutors were willing to do: adhere to the rule of law regardless of the identity of the defendant. Merchan has allowed the government to bring back into life a dead misdemeanor and convert it into 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. To accomplish this legal regeneration, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has vaguely referenced a variety of crimes that Trump allegedly was trying to conceal through the business record violations. The problem is that he has left the secondary crime mired in uncertainty to the point that experts on various networks are still debating what the underlying theory is in the case.

Indeed, Bragg is expected to finally state with clarity what he is alleging … at the closing arguments of the case. In the meantime, the prosecution is pushing to make it easier for the jury to convict. First, they have vaguely referenced a variety of possible offenses from tax to election violations. Bragg initially laid out four possible predicate crimes. It is down to three – a tax crime and violations of state or federal election law. Merchan has ruled that the jury does not have to agree on what crimes were being covered up so the jury could literally have three different views of what happened in the case and still convict Trump. Prosecutors are also seeking to effectively shorten the playing field by allowing the jurors to convict on a lower standard of proof for the key term in using “unlawful means.” The defense wants the jury instructed that it must find that such use of “unlawful means” was done with willful intent.

The prosecutors do not want to use that higher standard. For the defense, it is effectively reducing the field to the end zone to make it easier for the prosecution to score. In the last few days, the Bragg strategy has come into sharper focus in one respect. Bragg is not counting on the evidence or the law. He is counting on the jury. Call it the Lawrence O’Donnell factor. After Michael Cohen imploded on the stand in the trial, even experts and hosts on MSNBC and CNN stated that his admissions and contradictions were devastating. Cohen is not only accused of committing perjury in his testimony, but he matter-of-factly detailed how he stole tens of thousands of dollars from the Trump organization. After being disbarred and convicted as a serial perjurer, Cohen waited for the statute of limitations to run on larceny to admit that he stole as much as $50,000 by pocketing money intended for a contractor.

Liberal commentators acknowledged the fact that Cohen had committed a far more serious offense than the converted misdemeanor against Trump (but was never charged). Yet, one figure stepped forward to assure the public that all was well. MSNBC host O’Donnell said that he watched the testimony and that Cohen did wonderfully. Keep in mind that Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche asked Cohen point blank: “So you stole from the Trump organization, right?” Cohen answered unequivocably: “Yes, sir.”O’Donnell, however, rushed outside to declare that Cohen was merely acquiring a bonus that he thought that he deserved as a type of “self-help”: “Cohen [was trying] to rebalance the bonus he thought he deserved. And it still came out as less than the bonus he thought he deserved and the bonus he had gotten the year before.”

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25,000 is not a “large-scale campaign” either. Not for Trump. Not even in NY.

Trump Says Bronx Residents Being Left Behind By Biden Policies (ZH)

Former President Donald Trump took aim at President Joe Biden over a range of issues while vowing to turn New York City around “very quickly” at a rally in the South Bronx on Thursday. President Trump made the comments in front of a crowd estimated at 25,000 supporters in one of the most Democratic counties in the nation. His appearance at Crotona Park, which comes as he is on trial in New York, marked his first large-scale campaign in the state since 2016, when he held two events at the Times Union Center in Albany and another in Buffalo. As Axios (of all people) reported, the Thursday night drew a crowd that looked very different than the typical MAGA flock. The unusual sight of Trump speaking to several thousand people in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in deep blue New York is a sign of the realignment happening between the two parties.

Trump’s GOP is becoming more working class and a little more multiracial. Democrats are gaining with more well-educated voters in the suburbs. The thousands of people gathered to see the former president were a diverse group of people, including what Fox News Digital noted were Black, Hispanic, White, Asian and Muslim supporters. Ahead of Trump’s rally yesterday, both the Biden and Trump campaigns rushed to paint their opponents as racist and a worse choice for Black voters. The Biden campaign put out a digital and television ad that begins: “Trump disrespecting Black folk is nothing new.” The campaign posted on X: “Let’s remember that Trump is a lifelong racist.” The Trump campaign responded with a reminder that Biden helped pass the 1994 Crime Bill that led to mass incarceration disproportionately impacting minorities.

As Katabella Roberts reports via The Epoch Times, President Trump used the rally to criticize his Democratic rival and his immigration policies amid the ongoing crisis at the southern border, telling the crowd of attendees that his rival was failing to “get the job done” for those living in the Bronx. He also described his rival as “grossly incompetent.” President Trump said that under President Biden’s watch, impoverished communities and minorities have been hit the hardest. He said President Biden’s policies have seen inflation, crime, and illegal immigration rise. “African Americans are getting slaughtered, Hispanic Americans are getting slaughtered,” President Trump said. “These millions and millions of people that are coming into our country—the biggest impact and the biggest negative impact is against our black population and our Hispanic population who are losing their jobs, losing their housing, losing everything they can lose.”

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It’s an entire language they fail to understand..

Biden Admin Is Hiring A ‘Meme Manager’; Hilarity Ensues (MN)

The Biden campaign has posted a job listing seeking a ‘meme manager’ prompting many to submit examples of their finest Biden meme manager memes. The listing, seeking a ‘Partner Manager, Content and Meme Pages’, was posted on Daybook. It states, “In this role, you will initiate and manage day-to-day operations in engaging the internet’s top content and meme pages.” “The ideal candidate for this role is passionate about bringing political content to voters where they already are on the internet,” it adds.

Responsibilities in the post include a need to “cultivate and manage relationships with top digital media companies, podcasters, and meme pages across a number of social media platforms” as well as to “identify and land engagement opportunities.” The listing betrays the fact that Biden is haemorrhaging support among young voters, and the campaign, in its infinite ignorance, believes that a few well executed memes might turn that around. The problem is, the left can’t meme. Leftist memes routinely include walls of text explaining what they mean, rendering the meme itself pointless and absurd.

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Now the military arm of Boeing gets its turn.

Boeing Sued Over Deaths Of US Marines (RT)

The families of US servicemen killed in a V-22 Osprey crash in California in 2022 have brought a lawsuit against Boeing, Bell Textron, and Rolls-Royce, accusing them of hiding and failing to correct known reliability issues in their aircraft. Filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of California, the suit alleges that the three corporations “intentionally, recklessly and/or negligently provided false information about the safety, airworthiness, and reliability of V-22 Osprey aircraft,” its engines, systems, and component parts, according to the court documents. “The aircraft, as fielded, has failed and continues to fail to meet the government’s safety and reliability specifications and requirements and the aircraft is not safe,” the lawsuit reads.

The incident at issue occurred in southern California on June 8, “on a training mission during the day with good weather,” when a V-22 suffered catastrophic mechanical failure and crashed, killing all five Marines aboard. The subsequent investigation by the US Marine Corps found that “there was no error on the part of the pilots and aircrew and nothing they could have done to anticipate or prevent this mishap,” nor any “maintenance error” from the ground crew. The V-22 Osprey, a relatively recent addition to the US aircraft fleet, is capable of vertical take off and landing using its tilting twin proprotors, acting as both airplane-style propellers and helicopter-style rotors, depending on which flight mode the craft is using.

There have been 58 accidents involving Ospreys since 1991, with at least 20 being lost beyond repair and leading to more than 60 fatalities, according to the Flight Safety Foundation statistics. The V-22 gained the nickname ‘widow maker’, having led to 30 deaths before it even entered service in 2007. The US military temporarily ceased all flights of the aircraft for an investigation in November last year, after a V-22 crashed near Yakushima, Japan, killing eight. Two months prior, Boeing was ordered to pay $8.1 million to settle allegations that it failed to adhere to critical manufacturing specifications in its V-22 parts production. The claims were brought against the aerospace giant by three whistleblowers who worked at its Ridley Park, Pennsylvania facility.

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New “Twitter Files”.

The CIA’s Secret Effort To Seize Control Of Social Media (ZH)

While the CIA is strictly prohibited from spying on or running clandestine operations against American citizens on US soil, a bombshell new “Twitter Files” report reveals that a member of the Board of Trustees of InQtel – the CIA’s mission-driving venture capital firm, along with “former” intelligence community (IC) and CIA analysts, were involved in a massive effort in 2021-2022 to take over Twitter’s content management system, as Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi and Alex Gutentag report over at Shellenberger’s Public. According to “thousands of pages of Twitter Files and documents,” these efforts were part of a broader strategy to manage how information is disseminated and consumed on social media under the guise of combating ‘misinformation’ and foreign propaganda efforts – as this complex of government-linked individuals and organizations has gone to great lengths to suggest that narrative control is a national security issue.

According to the report, the effort also involved; • a long-time IC contractor and senior Department of Defense R&D official who spent years developing technologies to detect whistleblowers (“insider threats”) like Edward Snowden and Wikileaks’ leakers; • the proposed head of the DHS’ aborted Disinformation Governance Board, Nina Jankowicz, who aided US military and NATO “hybrid war” operations in Europe; • Jim Baker, who, as FBI General Counsel, helped start the Russiagate hoax, and, as Twitter’s Deputy General Counsel, urged Twitter executives to censor The New York Post story about Hunter Biden. Jankowicz (aka ‘Scary Poppins’), previously tipped to lead the DHS’s now-aborted Disinformation Governance Board, has been a vocal advocate for more stringent regulation of online speech to counteract ‘rampant disinformation.’ Jim Baker, in his capacity as FBI General Counsel and later as Twitter’s Deputy General Counsel, advocated for and implemented policies that would restrict certain types of speech on the platform, including decisions that affected the visibility of politically sensitive content.

Furthermore, companies like PayPal, Amazon Web Services, and GoDaddy were mentioned as part of a concerted effort to de-platform and financially de-incentivize individuals and organizations deemed threats by the IC. This approach represents a significant escalation in the use of corporate cooperation to achieve what might essentially be considered censorship under the guise of national security. Nina Jankowicz And The Alethea Group: Remember Nina? A huge fan of Christopher Steele – architect of the infamous Clinton-funded Dossier which underpinned the Trump-Russia hoax, and who joined the chorus of disinformation agents that downplayed the Hunter Biden laptop bombshell, Jankowicz previously served as a disinformation fellow at the Wilson Center, and advised the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry as part of the Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellowship. She also oversaw the Russia and Belarus programs at the National Democratic Institute.

Jankowicz compares the lack of regulation of speech on social media to the lack of government regulation of automobiles in the 1960s. She calls for a “cross-platform” and public-private approach, so whatever actions are taken are taken by Google, Facebook, and Twitter, simultaneously. Jankowicz points to Europe as the model for regulating speech. “Germany’s NetzDG law requires social media companies and other content hosts to remove ‘obviously illegal’ speech within twenty-four hours,” she says, “or face a fine of up to $50 million.” By contrast, in the US, she laments, “Congress has yet to pass a bill imposing even the most basic of regulations related to social media and election advertising.” -Public.

In a 2020 book, How to Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict, Jankowicz praises a NATO cyber security expert for having created a “Center of Excellence,” a concept promoted by Renée Diresta of the Stanford Internet Observatory, in which she made the case for the (now failed) Disinformation Governance Board that Jankowicz would briefly head up. One year later, Jankowicz began working with ‘anti-disinformation’ consulting firm, Althea Group, staffed by “former” IC analysts. Althea notably came after ZeroHedge at one point, shopping a ‘dossier’ around which suggested we were allegedly contributing to “increased online panic” amid the monumental collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. The outlets they peddled said dossier to included Bloomberg – which elected to exclude ZeroHedge from their report following a brief email exchange. Eventually, one of their operatives dropped the dossier on Twitter, only to be mocked as a propagandist.

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“..they were summoned to the CIA in Langley concerning Mr. Morris, and that because of the information provided there, he could not be a witness for the investigation. AUSA Wolf proudly referenced a CIA mug and stated that she purchased some CIA “swag” at the gift shop..”

Kevin Morris Reportedly Protected by CIA in Hunter Biden Investigation (Turley)

Recently, it became public that Kevin Morris, the entertainment lawyer who has subsidized the expenses and bought the art of Hunter Biden, had stopped his funding of Biden. Morris has paid off Hunter’s IRS debts and reportedly lent him a total of $4.9 million for housing, car payments, legal fees, and other possible costs. The so-called “sugar bro” is “tapped out” according to media reports. (For full disclosure, Morris previously threatened me with a defamation lawsuit over my writing about his representation of Hunter). Now the House has confirmed prior stories that whistleblower records indicate that the CIA prevented the Justice Department from questioning Kevin Morris as a witness in its probe of Hunter Biden. Morris has maintained that he lent Hunter millions for “no ulterior motive” and continued to support him out of friendship. Yet, when investigators started to look into the payments and the relationship, they were told that Morris had some relationship with the CIA in August 2021. According to previously unreleased information, IRS special agent and current whistleblower Gary Shapley documented the bizarre intervention of the spy agency.

In a sworn affidavit in May, Shapley declared: “During a recurring prosecution team conference call in or around late August 2021, Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Lesley Wolf told the team that she and DOJ Tax Attorney Jack Morgan had recently returned from the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia, where they had been summoned to discuss Kevin Morris. AUSA Wolf stated that they were provided a classified briefing in relation to Mr. Morris and as a result we could no longer pursue him as a witness. Investigators probed AUSA Wolf, but since her briefing was classified and she was apparently sanitizing it to an unclassified form to share over an open phone line, she did not elaborate with more information. She reiterated more than once that they were summoned to the CIA in Langley concerning Mr. Morris, and that because of the information provided there, he could not be a witness for the investigation. AUSA Wolf proudly referenced a CIA mug and stated that she purchased some CIA “swag” at the gift shop while she was there. It is unclear how the CIA became aware that Mr. Morris was a potential witness in the Hunter Biden investigation and why agents were not told about the meeting in advance or invited to participate. It is a deviation of normal investigative processes for prosecutors to exclude investigators from substantive meetings such as this.”

It is a testament to the level of bias in the mainstream media that this story is not the sole focus of every media outlet in America. Imagine if the CIA intervened to stop an investigation into a donor maintaining one of the Trump children and supporting his effort to blunt any investigation into corruption. MSNBC would make it ongoing special programming with its own time slot. This is an agency that is supposed to avoid domestic interventions into politics as well as other areas. It is accused of pulling in a prosecutor to tell her to close part of a criminal investigation involving the financial supporter of the president’s son. Even if Morris was an asset, the question is why shut down the inquiry into his payments to Hunter Biden. The work of Morris with the CIA could be protected or redacted. Instead, the line of inquiry was shut off and Wolf reportedly left Langley with CIA swag and an empty bag of evidence.

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May 062023
 


Willem de Kooning Rosy-fingered Dawn at Louse Point 1963

 

Andrew Korybko:

 

Dual American-Chilean national Gonzalo Lira was recently arrested by Ukraine’s secret police on charges pertaining to “wartime propaganda”, for which he faces the possibility of 5-8 years in jail. The US Government’s (USG) silence on this incident completely contrasts with its hysteria over Wall Street Journal (WSJ) employee Evan Gershkovich’s arrest in Russia last month on charges of espionage after he was caught red-handed soliciting classified military-industrial information from a regional lawmaker.

This is a betrayal of American principles since the freedom of speech is regarded as a sacred right of all its citizens no matter where they might be at any given time. Regardless of whatever one might think about Lira’s views and the particular piece of Ukrainian legislation that was cited as the basis for arresting him, the USG is supposed to support the rights of its nationals abroad. This is especially so whenever they’re arrested for expressing an opinion and/or practicing journalism like he was.

Its silence in the face of this scandalous incident suggests a degree of complicity in, or at the very least tacit approval of, Lira’s arrest since nothing else cogently explains the conspicuous lack of any response. These suspicions are further reinforced by the fact that one of the USG’s leading information warfare assets in Ukraine, transgender mercenary Michael John Cirillo, admitted to the Daily Beast that he colluded with the SBU on its case against Lira and even plans to testify against him.

In his exact words, “I’ve already given my sworn statement to SBU about Gonzalo Lira several months ago and expect to be called as a witness in his prosecution.” Cirillo also added on Twitter that “When I’m on Capitol Hill in 10 days, no doubt the arrest of Gonzalo Lira will be a prime topic of conversation.” Instead of seeking his release, the USG is relying on one of its top propagandists in that country to pursue Lira’s conviction, prior to which their proxy brazenly plans to boast about this to Congress.

It should also be noted that Cirillo told this to Julia Davis, who’s banned by Russia on the basis of having worked against its national interests at the behest of hostile powers, which obviously refers to the USG in this context. Her article also mentions that she obtained exclusive footage of Lira’s arrest, which could only have been obtained by the SBU, whose employees shared it with her precisely because they know that she’s one of their patron’s most reliable agents and would thus use it to humiliate Lira in her piece.

These facts lead to the conclusion that the USG is indeed complicit in Ukraine’s arrest of this dual American national. It’s not even hiding its complicity in Lira’s persecution either after one of its leading information warfare assets in that country admitted to colluding with the secret police on this case, told the media that he plans to testify against him, and even plans to brag about this to Congress. The USG is perversely proud of this since it hopes to pressure critics of its proxy war into self-censoring.

This objective also clearly includes its own citizens like Lira, who the USG hates with a passion since his brave reporting from Kharkov discredited many of their claims about this conflict. It could have simply requested that Kiev deport him in order to lessen the damage that he’s inflicted on their information warfare operations, but it preferred to make an example out of him by pursuing his prosecution. Cirillo’s role in this incident and his plans to brag about it to Congress leave no doubt about the USG’ complicity.

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