Jun 052024
 


Vincent van Gogh The good Samaritan (after Delacroix) 1890

 

Trump Calls For Supreme Court To Intervene Before Sentencing (MN)
Dershowitz: Trump Could Fast-Track His Appeal To Supreme Court (ZH)
Republicans Vow To Scorch the Earth After Trump Conviction (RCW)
The Fake Conviction (Newt Gingrich)
Joe Biden’s Health Is About To Be Put To A Severe Test (Sadygzade)
Biden Does ‘We Gotta Secure The Border!’ Routine (ZH)
“A Blatant Lie” (Turley)
Freedom of Speech in the USA? Think again! (Gilbert Doctorow)
Swiss Senate Votes Against Aid For Kiev (RT)
NATO Member Turkiye Would Like to Join BRICS – Top Diplomat (Sp.)
NATO Preparing Troop Plans For Potential Russia Conflict – Telegraph (RT)
Punish Hungary To Ensure EU’s Future – Bloc Presidency Holder Belgium (RT)
Orban Believes Trump, EU Could End Ukrainian Conflict In 24 Hours (TASS)
People are Not Reading Your Stuff: Publisher Drops Truth Bomb at WaPo (Turley)
The Military-Industrial Complex Is Killing Us All (Vine/Arriola)
Musk Corrects “Liar” CNBC Journo Over Nvidia Report (ZH)
Pakistan Overturns Imran Khan’s Treason Conviction (RT)

 

 

 

 

“He’s polling right up there with fungal infections!”

 

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1797758238215016770

 

 

 

 

Hunter jurors

 

 

 

 

Border poll

 

 

Gaetz
https://twitter.com/i/status/1798004447362343011

 

 

O’Leary Musk

 

 

 

 

Before July 11th.

Trump Calls For Supreme Court To Intervene Before Sentencing (MN)

Donald Trump has called for the Supreme Court to step in before he is sentenced in the ‘falsified business documents’ case on July 11th. In a Truth Social post, Trump said he has not done anything wrong and referred to the prosecutors as “Fascists.” He added “A Radical Left Soros backed D.A., who ran on a platform of ‘I will get Trump,’ reporting to an ‘Acting’ Local Judge, appointed by the Democrats, who is HIGHLY CONFLICTED, will make a decision which will determine the future of our Nation?” “The United States Supreme Court MUST DECIDE!” Trump asserted. The sentencing date has been set a few days before the RNC Convention in Wisconsin. Trump is currently at the mercy of Judge Merchan, with the potential sentence being up to four years in jail for each of the 34 charges.

Merchan is a Columbian immigrant whose daughter is president of a political consulting firm that works closely with Democratic candidates. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg was literally funded into office by George and Alex Soros’ Open Society, with the latter gloating about the verdict last week and calling for Democrats to repeatedly label Trump a “convicted felon.” “Repetition is the key to a successful message,” Soros declared. In the wake of the verdict, there was a massive spike in Google searches for how to donate to Trump, and he has raised over $200 million and counting since. It is an unprecedented amount for a candidate. Despite Trump being convicted on 34 counts, there has been no negative impact on his support and even a slight increase in favorability, especially amongst independent voters.

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“..the Supreme Court has an obligation to review the case before the election so that the American public has resolution..”

Dershowitz: Trump Could Fast-Track His Appeal To Supreme Court (ZH)

In a Friday interview with Megyn Kelly, Dershowitz suggested that Trump’s legal team should immediately push to get their appeal heard before the New York Court of Appeals, asking them to bypass the Appellate Division – which, Dershowitz suggested, are elected and more likely to work against Trump. “The Appellate Division or Manhattan judges that are elected and they don’t want to have to face their families and say you were the judge who allowed Trump to become the next President of the United States. They don’t want to be Dershowitz’ed,” he said, referring to the fact that he defended Trump during his first impeachment trial in the Senate. “They don’t want to be treated in New York, the way I have been treated in Martha’s Vineyard and Harvard and New York because I defended Donald Trump, so they should skip the Appellate Division.”

And so, to avoid the politicized Appellate Division, Trump’s attorneys should ask the Court of Appeals for an expedited appeal while preparing to argue in front of the US Supreme Court that the Manhattan case was rushed to try and get a verdict before the election. Dershowitz further suggested that the Supreme Court has an obligation to review the case before the election so that the American public has resolution. As Tom Ozimek of the Epoch Times notes further, Dershowitz has in the past accused Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg of unfairly building the case against the former president by using a novel legal theory to elevate misdemeanor business falsification charges into a felony by alleging that the records fraud was carried out to conceal an underlying crime. In the Trump case, the underlying crime that was alleged was seeking to interfere in the 2016 election by using non-disclosure agreements to prevent unfavorable media coverage about an alleged affair with adult film actress Stormy Daniels that the former president has denied.

Mr. Dershowitz said that Trump attorneys should consider supporting their petition to the New York Court of Appeals by highlighting two issues, with the first relating to the fact that the state’s highest court recently reversed Harvey Weinstein’s rape conviction because the trial judge prejudicially allowed testimony on allegations unrelated to the case. The retired law professor alleged that Judge Juan Merchan “improperly” allowed irrelevant salacious details of President Trump’s alleged tryst with Ms. Daniels to be admitted into the record, while also raising the so-called “missing witness” issue. The second point that Mr. Dershowitz said would bolster a petition for an expedited review to the New York Court of Appeals is that the judge allegedly didn’t instruct the jury properly on why prosecutors didn’t call former Trump Organization CFO Alan Weisselberg to testify in the case. The judge was open to having Mr. Weisselberg testify but the prosecution didn’t call him, framing him as an unreliable witness due to earlier perjury charges in an unrelated case, while the defense also didn’t call him, citing the fact that prosecutors had undermined his credibility.

Mr. Dershowitz argued that failure to call Mr. Weisselberg left a hole in proving the case because it was expected that his testimony would have undermined some of the claims from another witness, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who testified against the former president. “Number two, I think would be the failure to give an instruction on the missing witness,” Mr. Dershowitz said. “The way the judge and the prosecution handled Allen Weisselberg really denied the defendant the right to a presumption that the only reason he wasn’t called was because he would not have corroborated the very important testimony, lying testimony of Michael Cohen.” Mr. Dershowitz said those two issues are what Trump attorneys should highlight in their request for an expedited appeal. “This is a winnable appeal,” he insisted.

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“They’ve broken a seal,” Lee said of the Trump conviction. “I don’t know that it can be contained.”

Republicans Vow To Scorch the Earth After Trump Conviction (RCW)

Spurred by the volcanic temper of their base, Republicans are now preparing to scorch the earth in the wake of former President Donald Trump’s conviction, potentially setting off a chain reaction that could fundamentally alter the American political system entirely. No one knows exactly how far they will go in their response. What is clear is that conservatives have no patience for President Biden’s argument Friday morning that justice was served in Manhattan, that “the American principle that no one is above the law was reaffirmed.” They see the conviction instead as unprecedented “lawfare” meant to interfere with the coming election and, some say, an unprecedented response is now in order. “The good guys must be as tough as the villains or freedom is doomed,” senior Trump advisor Stephen Miller told RealClearPolitics without offering exact details. Rep. Mike Collins, meanwhile, was explicit. “Time for Red State AGs and DAs to get busy,” the Georgia Republican said Thursday, floating the idea that Republicans should begin using the courts to pursue their political enemies.

“Hillary Clinton’s campaign-funded Steele dossier is a good start,” Collins continued, referencing how the former Secretary of State’s presidential campaign misreported their spending on the infamous opposition research document. Clinton was later fined $11,000 by the Federal Election Commission. No criminal charges were brought. “The statute of limitations expired but I’m told that’s not a thing anymore,” Collins said. Republicans on Capitol Hill are preparing a more traditional counter-offensive, one within established parliamentary rules. Led by Utah Sen. Mike Lee, eight Republicans have vowed to oppose all major legislation “not directly relevant to the safety of the American people” and blockade all judicial nominees in protest of Trump’s conviction. “We can’t pretend that our political world didn’t change yesterday pretty dramatically and for the worse,” Lee told RCP. The Utah Republican admitted that legislation normally slows ahead of an election but White House efforts to get anything through the Senate “just got a lot harder for them.”

A legislative blockade alone may not satisfy a conservative base hell-bent on retribution. “I don’t want to hear elected Republicans complaining. I don’t need to see their tweets and statements condemning the verdict. The only thing I want to hear from these people is which Democrats they will have arrested. Don’t tell us that you’re sad about the verdict. We don’t give a shit about your feelings. We want to see corrupt Democrats frog marched on camera in handcuffs. If you won’t do that, then shut up,” Matt Walsh, a Daily Wire columnist with a following in the millions, wrote on the social media website X. Replied conservative influencer Chaya Raichik: “Exactly. Where’s the list! Here’s a start: Obama Hillary Joe Biden Hunter Biden.”

Mike Davis, a longtime Republican strategist floated as a potential Trump attorney general, told Axios he wants prosecutors in red states like Georgia and Florida to open criminal probes into Democrats for allegedly conspiring to interfere in the election by indicting the former president. For his part, Lee stopped short of endorsing those efforts. He likened it to some campaigns on the left to pack the Supreme Court, an initiative he has long opposed, warning that it would lead to “lawlessness” and “politicization.” “I think this is an analogous circumstance,” the senator said of the prosecution of a major presidential candidate, something that the Department of Justice has long avoided. “They’ve broken a seal,” Lee said of the Trump conviction. “I don’t know that it can be contained.”

He held out one remote possibility: If Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his team experience a change of heart during the appeals process. “They could confess error on appeal,” Lee said. “Other instances of lawfare, wherever they exist, could be dropped. You could put this genie back in the bottle still, but not for very much longer.”

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“..You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate, rather than hung from a tree.”

The Fake Conviction (Newt Gingrich)

Americans are now being forced to think through the first fake conviction in the history of presidential politics. As an historian, I am really bothered when I hear lawyers on television describe these proceedings as though they were somehow related to the rule of law and the normal legal process. It is clear that what happened to President Donald J. Trump in Judge Juan Merchan’s court was not a legitimate conviction. Nearly every element of the prosecution was false. Therefore, the outcome is false. To say President Trump is now a convicted felon – as the left and its propaganda media allies are practically singing – is to legitimize the most corrupt judicial event in American presidential history. The burden of proof is not on President Trump. He remains an innocent citizen framed by an astonishingly corrupt district attorney, judge, and Biden Justice Department. Don’t take my word for it alone. Consider what a host of experts have to say.

Alan Dershowitz, professor emeritus at Harvard, sat through much of the trial and condemned it with strong language in his newsletter: “I have observed and participated in trials throughout the world. I have seen justice and injustice in China, Russia, Ukraine, England, France, Italy, Israel, as well as in nearly 40 of our 50 states. But in my 60 years as a lawyer and law professor, I have never seen a spectacle such as the one I observed sitting in the front row of the courthouse yesterday. “The judge in Donald Trump’s trial was an absolute tyrant, though he appeared to the jury to be a benevolent despot. He seemed automatically to be ruling against the defendant at every turn.” George Washington Law professor and legal analyst Jonathan Turley said, “Before jurors left, however, Judge Juan Merchan framed their deliberations in a way that seemed less like a jury deliberation than a canned hunt.” Attorney Mike Davis on the Just the News “No Noise” TV show said: “I would say the first one is there is no crime here. They waited until after this multi-week trial to even tell the criminal defendant what the legal allegations he was supposed to defend himself in that prior trial. He had no opportunity to defend himself.”

An innocent citizen being “hunted,” in Turley’s language, cannot be honestly convicted. That is why I argue this is a fake conviction. Again, I’m not the only one who thinks this. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is hardly a fan of President Trump, said, “These charges never should have been brought in the first place. I expect the conviction to be overturned on appeal.” House Speaker Mike Johnson called it “a shameful day in American history,” and continued, “Alvin Bragg targeted a political opponent, made up unprecedented charges, and denied him his Constitutional right to a fair trial.” House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik summarized the corruption and dishonesty brilliantly: “The facts are clear: this was a zombie case illegally brought forward by a corrupt prosecutor doing Joe Biden’s political bidding in a desperate attempt to save Joe Biden’s failing campaign. She pointed out that the case hinged on the word of Michael Cohen, who has a history of perjury and an axe to grind with Trump.

She pointed out that Judge Merchan’s own family members benefited financially from the case, that he levied unconstitutional gag orders on Trump, and repeatedly sided with the prosecution throughout the case. Mark Steyn captured why we must insist that the conviction is fake and reject any effort to suggest that Trump is guilty. As Steyn wrote: “pretending that there is anything ‘great’ about this that should command our ‘respect,’ is making evil and corruption respectable and bi-partisan.” Ironically, in a Senate hearing involving smears and sexually salacious accusations chaired by then-Sen. Joe Biden 33 years ago, we were taught how to stand up to outrageous, corrupt, and disgusting behavior by then-Supreme Court Justice nominee Clarence Thomas. After being repeatedly slandered by senators on Biden’s committee, on Oct. 11, 1991, Thomas said:

“This is a circus. It’s a national disgrace. And from my standpoint as a black American, as far as I’m concerned, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate, rather than hung from a tree.” A generation later, President Trump, is learning what Justice Thomas learned in 1991: Challenge the establishment, and it will go all out to destroy you. Every time you talk with someone who says President Trump is a convicted felon, point out it is a fake conviction. Challenge them to defend the dishonest, corrupt people who are putting the nation through this mess – starting with President Biden, the leader of the corrupt and dishonest.

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“Biden is described as a “healthy, active, robust 81-year-old male, who remains fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency, to include those as Chief Executive, Head of State and Commander-in-Chief.”

Joe Biden’s Health Is About To Be Put To A Severe Test (Sadygzade)

The Biden administration managed to keep the discourse surrounding his health out of the mainstream political discussion, and all stumbles and falls were attributed to fatigue and a heavy schedule, or written off as commonplace. However, the situation changed with the publication of Robert Hur’s report in February 2024, where the special prosecutor responsible for investigating a scandal involving Biden’s handling of secret documents commented on his health. Hur’s report states that during his investigation “evidence was found that President Biden intentionally retained and disclosed secret materials after the end of his vice-presidency when he was a private individual.” However, Hur concluded that “the evidence does not support guilt beyond reasonable doubt.” He reasoned that “in court, Mr. Biden would likely appear before the jurors just as he was during our interview with him – a charming, affable elderly man with poor memory.”

In Hur’s opinion, “it would be difficult to convince jurors that they should convict him – the by then former president, deep into his eighties – for a serious criminal offense requiring intent.” The widespread resonance of Hur’s report required immediate action by the Biden administration to mitigate the damage caused by its publication. This response was the publication of the president’s current health report on February 28, 2024. The examination was conducted by the president’s physician Kevin O’Connor from The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences. According to the document, addressed to the president’s assistant and White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, Biden is described as a “healthy, active, robust 81-year-old male, who remains fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency, to include those as Chief Executive, Head of State and Commander-in-Chief.”

This triggered an additional flurry of discussions about Biden’s health. Questions also arose about the position of the Democratic administration members regarding their support for Biden’s nomination for another presidential term, as Robert Hur is a subordinate of US Attorney General Merrick Garland, a very influential person in the structure of the Democratic party. Given the realities of political life in the US, it is fair to say that a new presidential campaign begins on the day of the inauguration of the elected president. However, the last year, especially the last six months before federal elections, are the most challenging for the candidate. This stage is characterized by frequent trips to undecided states, public appearances at rallies, and participation in debates. All this requires the candidate to have robust health and a significant amount of energy. For the incumbent president, this stage is even more challenging, as he is forced to combine election campaigning with the duties of the President of the United States.

In April of this year, Biden stated in an interview on “The Howard Stern Show” that he plans to participate in debates with the likely candidate from the Republican party, Donald Trump. “I’m happy to debate him,” Biden said, dispelling doubts about his participation in presidential debates, which traditionally take place in three different states. Later, in May, Biden’s team agreed to participate in debates organized by CNN, which are tentatively scheduled for June 27. Biden’s decision to participate in the debates pursues two important goals: to change the public narrative that Biden avoids direct discussion with his Republican opponent, and to improve his standing in the polls (according to most voter surveys, Biden is either trailing Trump or is on par).

If, in order to solve the first task, Biden simply needs to appear on stage at the appointed time; the second task may prove to be more challenging. The incumbent president, like any politician defending his position through participation in debates, needs to be persuasive, logical, and demonstrate mental agility. And all this in the conditions of a 90-minute live broadcast with a very strong debater – Donald Trump. Predicting the possible consequences of Joe Biden’s health on the upcoming elections is mere speculation and guesses. The analysis of possible scenarios directly depends on the actual state of health of the president and his diagnoses, which are unknown to the general public. But undoubtedly, Joe Biden’s health will become one of the main elements of Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric, including during the first face-to-face debates scheduled for June. However, how convincing these arguments will be will depend on Biden’s public appearance during the main summer-autumn phase of the 2024 presidential race.

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40-odd months of open borders later, and 10-20 million illegals, the story will now be: see, we secured the border, as the GOP refused. And half the population will buy that.

Biden Does ‘We Gotta Secure The Border!’ Routine (ZH)

After shredding Donald Trump’s ‘xenophobic’ Executive Orders on border security his first day in office more than three years ago, resulting in what some estimate to be upwards of 20 million illegal migrants pouring into the United States (which Trump plans to deport), President Joe Biden is quietly signing an executive order on Tuesday aimed at slowing migrant crossings. As we noted on Friday, the EO would slash asylum claims by roughly two-thirds of where they stand today – and would cap the number of daily encounters at an average of 2,500 crossings per day (or 912k per year), however Biden would allow mass asylum claims to resume once border encounters fall to around 1,500 per day. US Border Patrol recorded approximately 4,300 daily encounters in April – which of course doesn’t include ‘gotaways’ – those who enter the US without notice. The move comes three months after the White House said Biden was no longer considering using executive action to secure the border.

According to Bloomberg, lawmakers and others have been invited to a Tuesday afternoon event at the White House. The order is Biden’s most aggressive move yet to address the crisis on the US-Mexico border, which has seen record levels of migrants and taxed communities across the country struggling to deal with the influx of new arrivals. A bipartisan Senate plan that would have given Biden similar powers was blocked by Republicans at Trump’s behest earlier this year, denying the president a political win and prompting him to act unilaterally. Tuesday’s order is politically risky. It will invite criticism from Biden’s left flank, which has blasted moves to ramp up deportations as an inhumane approach to the crisis. That has the potential to stymie his efforts to shore up an electoral coalition already riven by divisions over his handling of the Israel-Hamas war and overarching concerns over his age and fitness to serve a second term. -Bloomberg

The Biden administration’s move underscores how the administration has been compelled to act just months before the 2024 US election – as it’s become a centerpiece issue for Republicans on the campaign trail. Donald Trump has been constantly hammering Biden over the border as polls continue to show that voters think the border and immigration are critical issues. The Executive Order is also timed to reflect an effort to deter a seasonal increase in crossings that typically occurs each summer and early fall (right before the election), and comes as Mexico welcomes a new president, Claudia Sheinbaum, who was elected on Sunday. She doesn’t take office until Oct. 1, and it’s unknown what actions she will take on the border situation.

In recent weeks the Biden administration has taken other steps to tighten immigration rules. Last month, they proposed a rule that would allow the US to expedite the expulsion of certain undocumented migrants trying to claim asylum. According to the report, Biden will use Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act – which Trump invoked – which are anticipated to invite legal challenges. House Speaker Mike Johnson told Fox News Sunday that the move is “too little too late,” adding “The only reason he’s doing that is because the polls say that it’s the biggest issue in America.”

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It’s a pattern: taking credit for other people’s achievements. And again: half the population will buy that.

“A Blatant Lie” (Turley)

Winston Churchill once said that “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” It often seems like the Biden White House and campaign has embraced that warning as an operating principle. The most recent target was the veteran Fox news anchor John Roberts, who was accused of airing “a blatant lie” in questioning Biden’s claim that he was the first president to push through a cap of $35 on insulin treatments. Roberts was entirely correct, but the campaign has still not removed the false attack on his integrity and accuracy. In the interests of full disclosure, I am a legal analyst for Fox News and I have known Roberts for decades. There is no one who I hold in higher regard for his integrity or his intellect than John Roberts. We have known and worked with each other at different networks through the years. Roberts is an old-school journalist with impeccable credentials.

Yesterday, the Biden campaign launched the attack on Roberts for his questioning of the claim of President Joe Biden that he solely secured the insulin cap. Roberts remarked that he had a recollection that it was former President Donald Trump who pushed the cap. “I seem to remember that back in May of 2020, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid said that President Trump had signed an executive order to cap the price of insulin for Medicare recipients at 35 bucks. Now, maybe I’m misremembering that, but I think it kind of already happened.” The Biden campaign then called it “a blatant lie” in a posting on X that has reached over a million people. Contrary to the Biden campaign’s claims, Roberts’s recollection was entirely correct. Under the Trump Administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced in May 2020 that the Part D Senior Savings Model participating plans would cap insulin copays to $35 per month’s supply, and over 1,750 Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans applied to offer lower insulin costs.

Trump praised the new policy, which was widely covered by the press. There was a Rose Garden event where Trump was praised for his actions: Trump later, in July 2020, signed four executive orders aimed at lowering the cost of insulin. That included Executive Order 13937, which required Federally Qualified Health Centers to pass 340B discounts on to patients. Notably, Biden later reversed Executive Order 13937 before those cost-saving measures could take effect.

This is obviously not the first false statement from the President. However, it is notable that his campaign spread obvious disinformation that was picked up by over a million people but then declined to take down the false claim. The campaign is now in a worse position. To take down the posting is to acknowledge not just that it has lied about Roberts, but that the President lied in taking sole credit for this cap. This is the same administration supporting the banning, blacklisting, and throttling of those responsible for disinformation. I would not support such censorship of the campaign. This and other columns refuting the false account is sufficient to combat a “blatant lie” by the Biden campaign. Whether it is his uncle being eaten by cannibals or insulin caps, free speech can correct false claims without government regulation. However, President Biden and his administration continue to push for censorship of others accused for false or misleading statements. The fact that John Roberts was right is hardly surprising. However, there remains a “blatant lie” on the Biden campaign’s social media that must still be corrected.

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Not only Scott Ritter was pulled off that plane to St Petersburg, so was Judge Nap(olitano).

Freedom of Speech in the USA? Think again! (Gilbert Doctorow)

First there was the news that Scott Ritter, a former U.S. military intelligence officer, was pulled off his plane which, with further flight connections would have taken him to St Petersburg, Russia where he was designated as a high level invited guest and would speak at the International Economic Forum that opens tomorrow. Upon being removed from the plane, his documents were taken from him. He was eventually released but his U.S. passport was kept by officials. Clearly Scott is not headed anywhere for some time. For those of you who have not been paying close attention to the U.S. “dissident movement,” allow me to explain that Scott Ritter has been a very active and widely listened to critic of American foreign policy, particularly as it relates to Russia and the Ukraine war. The weight of his messaging has been reinforced by his having been an insider and implementer of U.S. policies a couple of decades ago. Scott was one of the few U.S. inspectors of Iraq’s alleged programs of weapons of mass destruction. When snippets from his interviews are aired by Russian state television, they never fail to remind audiences of his past in U.S. intelligence.

Following his visit to Russia a year ago to promote a book he had just published, Scott became especially warm to the Putin ‘regime,’ as they would say in Washington. My first reaction upon hearing about this blatantly political act by the Biden Administration to knee-cap its critics and stifle free speech, was to look for an explanation in Ritter’s past military service. This viciousness of powers-that-be against one of their own sounded like what happened in Canada in the year before the onset of Covid to a very widely read and authoritative blogger, Patrick Armstrong. He was a former diplomat and had served in the Canadian embassy in Russia. Armstrong was visited by Justin Trudeau’s storm troopers who advised him to close his blog lest he lose not only his state pension but all of his savings. Patrick understood where things stood and fell silent. However, the follow-up news on the Yandex-Dzen website regarding events in Scott Ritter’s plane yesterday is still more damaging to my vision of free speech in the U.S.A. at present.

One other passenger was taken off the plane by U.S. government officials to prevent his appearing at the St Petersburg Economic Forum: Judge Andrew Napolitano. Judge Napolitano is the moderator of the very widely watched interview program “Judging Freedom” which is disseminated on youtube as well as on the main social media. He is a very responsible and informative critic of U.S. foreign policy, as are his regular guests. He is at the higher level of intellectual discourse a peer to the journalist Tucker Carlson who caters to the hoi polloi. He also is known for defending Donald Trump’s positions on a variety of issues. The deprivation of travel rights served on Judge Napolitano is a gross infringement of freedom of speech that the Biden administration cannot live down. All talk from the Oval Office of defending American democracy is shown through actions like these to be crass lies and utter hypocrisy. It is a long way to the November elections, but hopefully American voters will ‘throw the bums out’ and save what is left of freedom of speech.

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“..Lavrov argued that Switzerland was no longer a neutral party and had “turned from neutral to openly hostile.”

Swiss Senate Votes Against Aid For Kiev (RT)

Switzerland’s upper house of parliament rejected a 5 billion Swiss franc ($5.58 billion) aid package to finance the reconstruction of Ukraine on Monday. Lawmakers cited concerns that it would violate borrowing restrictions in the neutral country, Reuters has reported. The proposed aid was part of a wider package that also included additional funding for the Swiss military, the outlet said. The Council of States, one of Switzerland’s two houses of parliament, announced plans to set up a special 15-billion-franc ($16.7 billion) fund in April, proposing to allocate 10.1 billion francs to the Swiss Army and send the rest to Ukraine to support its economic development and reconstruction. The fund, despite initially being backed by a Swiss parliamentary committee, had faced opposition from right-wing lawmakers and was widely expected to be defeated, the report noted.

With 28 votes against and 15 in favor, the House rejected both the additional funding for the Swiss Army and the reconstruction aid for Ukraine. Opposition came from the conservative Swiss People’s Party (SVP) and the liberals from the Free Democratic Party (FDP), as well as from left-wing parties. According to the report, lawmakers argued that the package would breach a so-called “debt brake” provision in Switzerland, and would result in budget restrictions.In May, the Federal Council indicated that neither the funding for the Swiss military nor the aid for Ukraine met the “statutory requirements for extraordinary expenditure.” “The contribution amount can be controlled, which is why this expenditure cannot be recognized as extraordinary,” the government said.

The Council noted that the creation of such a fund under special legislation would have to be properly financed, whether through savings or additional revenue. The latest funding was rejected two weeks before the Swiss government is due to host a summit on the Ukraine crisis. The so-called ‘peace conference’ is scheduled to take place on June 15 and 16 at the Burgenstock Resort near Lucerne. Russia has not been invited to the summit. Switzerland has been under increased pressure from Western countries urging Bern to provide more help to Kiev. While refusing to supply Ukraine with military aid, citing its long-term neutrality policy, Bern has provided economic and humanitarian funding worth over $3 billion since the start of the Ukraine conflict in 2022, according to Swiss government data. In April, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov argued that Switzerland was no longer a neutral party and had “turned from neutral to openly hostile.”

Mearsheimer

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Might not go smooth.

NATO Member Turkiye Would Like to Join BRICS – Top Diplomat (Sp.)

BRICS was established in 2009 as a cooperation platform for the world’s largest emerging economies, bringing together Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. On January 1, 2024, the bloc was expanded to include Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates. Turkiye would like to become a member of BRICS and will monitor the developments in the organization, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said on Tuesday. “Certainly, we would like to become a member of BRICS. So we’ll see how it goes this year,” Fidan said during an event at the Centre for China and Globalisation (CCG) in Beijing, as quoted by the South China Morning Post newspaper. The BRICS bloc outperformed the G7 – the conglomerate of wealthy industrialized nations – in GDP in 2022. According to a forecast, BRICS economies will account for more than 50 percent of global GDP by 2030. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization have become key pillars in the emerging multipolar world.

Economic experts stress that BRICS is also a locomotive of de-dollarization of the global economy since members of this bloc are increasingly switching to national currencies in trade relations – for instance, 90% of settlements between Russian and Chinese companies are now made in rubles and yuans The BRICS doubled its membership last year, becoming the BRICS+ after including Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on January 1, 2024. Russia welcomes Turkiye’s interest towards BRICS, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on uesday. “We, of course, all welcome this increased interest in BRICS on the part of our neighboring states, including our important partners such as Turkiye. Of course, the topic of this interest will be on the agenda of the BRICS summit, which will be chaired by Russia,” Peskov told reporters.

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“..training exercises have exposed red tape and infrastructure bottlenecks that prevent the rapid transfer of personnel and materiel across the continent.”

NATO Preparing Troop Plans For Potential Russia Conflict – Telegraph (RT)

NATO is working on plans to rush tens of thousands of US troops along “land corridors” in Europe in the event of war with Russia, a senior strategist has told The Telegraph. Last year, members of the US-led military bloc agreed to keep 300,000 troops ready for deployment, purportedly in response to a potential Russian attack. However, training exercises have exposed red tape and infrastructure bottlenecks that prevent the rapid transfer of personnel and materiel across the continent. NATO military leadership is therefore working to ensure that the flow of troops would not be stopped by likely Russian strikes on ports used by the US military to unload its cargos, The Telegraph reported on Tuesday.

“It is clear that huge logistics bases, as we know it from Afghanistan and Iraq, are no longer possible because they will be attacked and destroyed very early on in a conflict situation,” Lieutenant General Alexander Sollfrank, head of NATO’s JSEC logistics command, told the newspaper. The primary route for American troops in the event of war with Russia would be via the Dutch port of Rotterdam to Germany and Poland, the report said. Alternative corridors would start in Italy, Greece, and Türkiye, and would respectively run through Slovenia and Croatia to Hungary and through Bulgaria and Romania. There are also plans to involve Norway, Sweden, and Finland for backup logistics.

The US and its allies have claimed that Moscow could attack NATO, and that sending arms to Ukraine to fight Russia will help stall or prevent that outcome. Moscow has denied having any such intentions, and has accused Western governments of creating false threats to deceive their populations over the Ukraine conflict. Russian officials have described the hostilities with Ukraine as a US-initiated proxy war aimed at undermining Russian development, in which Ukrainian soldiers serve as “cannon fodder” while weapons, intelligence, training, and planning is contributed by the West. A direct conflict with NATO would be an existential threat to Russia, according to Moscow, considering the bloc’s superiority in conventional forces. Consequently, any such clash would warrant the deployment of nuclear weapons under Russian nuclear doctrine, it has warned.

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“If we go all the way with this mechanism, it must work. If it doesn’t work, we have to reform it. That’s the future of the European Union.”

Punish Hungary To Ensure EU’s Future – Bloc Presidency Holder Belgium (RT)

The EU should strip Hungary of its voting rights to safeguard the union’s future, Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib has argued. Budapest is scheduled to take over the EU Council’s rotating presidency in July. Belgium, the current holder, is in a group of countries voicing frustration over Hungary’s opposition to key EU plans – including support for Ukraine in the conflict with Russia. “I think we need to have the courage to make decisions: go right to the end of Article 7, activate Article 7 right to the end, which provides for the end of the right of veto,” the Belgian diplomat told Politico on Sunday. Article 7, which involves a suspension of voting rights, is often referred to as a “nuclear option” against member states considered to have breached the EU’s values.

The European Parliament voted to launch the procedure against Hungary in 2018, accusing Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government of undermining the rule of law through alleged attacks on the media and judiciary – but the process stalled due to disagreements between member states. Orban is a vocal critic of the Western stance on the Ukraine crisis. He has argued that the arming of Kiev against Moscow has failed to stop the hostilities, and that sanctions have inflicted more harm on the EU than on Russia. Budapest has repeatedly used its veto power to block trade restrictions on Russia that it views as a threat to Hungarian interests, and to restrict funding for Ukraine. Lahbib accused the Orban government of “increasingly adopting a transactional, blocking and veto attitude” to the bloc’s affairs.

“This is a moment of truth,” she said of the Article 7 threat. “If we go all the way with this mechanism, it must work. If it doesn’t work, we have to reform it. That’s the future of the European Union.” Hungary is the only EU member currently facing such proceedings. In May, Brussels dropped a similar inquiry into Poland’s domestic policies. Warsaw aligns with Brussels on Ukraine, but until recently had a conservative government that opposed it on other matters, including refugees and LGBT rights. This changed last December, when Donald Tusk – a longtime EU supporter and former president of the European Council – returned to office as Polish prime minister. “You can do anything as long as you’re one of them, as long you’re part of the Brussels mainstream,” Polish MEP Radoslaw Fogiel said at the time, in an interview with the news outlet Hungarian Conservative.

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The man that Belgium thinks should be punished:

“We must not forget that the war is waged by people, and these very people, if they are willing, have every opportunity to make peace..”

Orban Believes Trump, EU Could End Ukrainian Conflict In 24 Hours (TASS)

Donald Trump, the potential Republican candidate in the US presidential election, and the European Union could put an end to the conflict in Ukraine in 24 hours, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said. “If Trump and the EU wanted to end the war [in Ukraine], they could have done it in 24 hours. We must not forget that the war is waged by people, and these very people, if they are willing, have every opportunity to make peace. I think that if Trump became president, he could achieve a ceasefire in Ukraine in one day, and then start talks,” the prime minister told the Il Giornale newspaper. According to him, the EU strategy on the Ukrainian issue has failed even from a tactical point of view. “We don’t understand that we are playing with fire. We should ask ourselves what are Europe’s strategic interests and demand a ceasefire. Our citizens want peace, not war, which could be a political game,” Orban added.

The prime minister said that he expects a new right-wing majority in the European Parliament after the elections scheduled for June 8-9. “The current European Commission has failed on the agricultural issue, on the conflicts, on the migration issue, on the economy, and now its leadership must go. Strengthening democracy means electing a new commission, different from the current one, which was the worst in my memory,” Orban said. At the same time, he hinted that much depended on the decision of his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni, the leader of the European conservatives, and Marine Le Pen, the leader of the French National Rally party’s parliamentary group. “The right-wing parties must cooperate, we are in the hands of two women who must come to an agreement,” the Hungarian prime minister concluded.

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“..you need to return to being reporters and not advocates; you need to start reaching an audience larger than yourself and your friends.”

People are Not Reading Your Stuff: Publisher Drops Truth Bomb at WaPo (Turley)

Washington Post publisher and CEO William Lewis is being denounced this week after the end of the short-lived tenure of Executive Editor Sally Buzbee and delivering a truth bomb to the staff. Lewis told them that they have lost their audience and “people are not reading your stuff.” It was a shot of reality in the echo chambered news outlet and the response was predictable. However, Lewis just might save this venerable newspaper if he follows his frank talk with meaningful reforms to bring balance back to the Post. As someone who once wrote for the Washington Post regularly, I have long lamented the decline of the paper following a pronounced shift toward partisan and advocacy journalism. There was a time when the Post valued diversity of thought and steadfastly demanded staff write not as advocates but reporters. That began to change rapidly in the first Trump term.

Suddenly, I found editors would slow walk copy, contest every line of your column, and make unfounded claims. In the meantime, they were increasingly running unsupported legal columns and even false statements from authors on the left. When confronted about columnists with demonstrably false statements, the Post simply shrugged. One of the most striking examples was after its columnist Philip Bump had a meltdown in an interview when confronted over past false claims. After I wrote a column about the litany of such false claims, the Post surprised many of us by issuing a statement that they stood by all of Bump’s reporting, including false columns on the Lafayette Park protests, Hunter Biden laptop and other stories. That was long after other media debunked the claims, but the Post stood by the false reporting.

The decline of the Post has followed a familiar pattern. The editors and reporters simply wrote off half of their audience and became a publication for largely liberal and Democratic readers. In these difficult economic times with limited revenue sources, it is a lethal decision. Yet, for editors and reporters, it is still professionally beneficial to embrace advocacy journalism even if it is reducing the readership of your own newspaper. Lewis, a British media executive who joined the Post earlier this year, reportedly got into a “heated exchange” with a staffer. Lewis explained that, while reporters were protesting measures to expand readership, the very survival of the paper was now at stake: “We are going to turn this thing around, but let’s not sugarcoat it. It needs turning around,” Lewis said. “We are losing large amounts of money. Your audience has halved in recent years. People are not reading your stuff. Right. I can’t sugarcoat it anymore.” Other staffers could not get beyond the gender and race of those who would be overseeing them. One staffer complained “we now have four White men running three newsrooms.”

The Post has been buying out staff to avoid mass layoffs, but reporters are up in arms over the effort to turn the newspaper around. The question is whether, after years of creating a culture of advocacy journalism and woke reporting, the Post is still capable of reaching a larger audience. If you want to read about certain stories, you are not likely to go to the Post, NPR or other outlets. Likewise, with reporters referring to the January 6th riot as an “insurrection,” there is little doubt for the reader that the coverage is a form of advocacy. Again, such stories can affirm the bona fides for reporters, but they also affirm the bias for readers. I truly do hope that the Washington Post can recover. The newspaper has played a critical role in our history and a towering example of journalism at its very best from the Pentagon Papers to Watergate. If you want people to “read your stuff,” you need to return to being reporters and not advocates; you need to start reaching an audience larger than yourself and your friends.

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“Americans should pray it never actually has to defend the United States..”

The Military-Industrial Complex Is Killing Us All (Vine/Arriola)

The Emergence of a Monster: To face what it would take to dismantle the MIC, it’s first necessary to understand how it was born and what it looks like today. Given its startling size and intricacy, we and a team of colleagues created a series of graphics to help visualize the MIC and the harm it inflicts, which we’re sharing publicly for the first time.

The MIC was born after World War II from, as Eisenhower explained, the “conjunction of an immense military establishment” — the Pentagon, the armed forces, intelligence agencies, and others — “and a large arms industry.” Those two forces, the military and the industrial, united with Congress to form an unholy “Iron Triangle” or what some scholars believe Eisenhower initially and more accurately called the military-industrial–congressional complex. To this day those three have remained the heart of the MIC, locked in a self-perpetuating cycle of legalized corruption (that also features all too many illegalities). The basic system works like this: First, Congress takes exorbitant sums of money from us taxpayers every year and gives it to the Pentagon. Second, the Pentagon, at Congress’s direction, turns huge chunks of that money over to weapons makers and other corporations via all too lucrative contracts, gifting them tens of billions of dollars in profits. Third, those contractors then use a portion of the profits to lobby Congress for yet more Pentagon contracts, which Congress is generally thrilled to provide, perpetuating a seemingly endless cycle.

But the MIC is more complicated and insidious than that. In what’s effectively a system of legalized bribery, campaign donations regularly help boost Pentagon budgets and ensure the awarding of yet more lucrative contracts, often benefiting a small number of contractors in a congressional district or state. Such contractors make their case with the help of a virtual army of more than 900 Washington-based lobbyists. Many of them are former Pentagon officials, or former members of Congress or congressional staffers, hired through a “revolving door” that takes advantage of their ability to lobby former colleagues. Such contractors also donate to think tanks and university centers willing to support increased Pentagon spending, weapons programs, and a hyper-militarized foreign policy. Ads are another way to push weapons programs on elected officials.

Such weapons makers also spread their manufacturing among as many Congressional districts as possible, allowing senators and representatives to claim credit for jobs created. MIC jobs, in turn, often create cycles of dependency in low-income communities that have few other economic drivers, effectively buying the support of locals. For their part, contractors regularly engage in legalized price gouging, overcharging taxpayers for all manner of weapons and equipment. In other cases, contractor fraud literally steals taxpayer money. The Pentagon is the only government agency that has never passed an audit — meaning it literally can’t keep track of its money and assets — yet it still receives more from Congress than every other government agency combined.

As a system, the MIC ensures that Pentagon spending and military policy are driven by contractors’ search for ever-higher profits and the reelection desires of members of Congress, not by any assessment of how to best defend the country. The resulting military is unsurprisingly shoddy, especially given the money spent. Americans should pray it never actually has to defend the United States. No other industry — not even Big Pharma or Big Oil — can match the power of the MIC in shaping national policy and dominating spending. Military spending is, in fact, now larger (adjusting for inflation) than at the height of the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, or Iraq, or, in fact, at any time since World War II, despite the absence of a threat remotely justifying such spending. Many now realize that the primary beneficiary of more than 22 years of endless U.S. wars in this century has been the industrial part of the MIC, which has made hundreds of billions of dollars since 2001. “Who Won in Afghanistan? Private Contractors” was the Wall Street Journal‘s all too apt headline in 2021.

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Musk: on X: “Laura “Liar” Kolodny”.

The move makes a lot of sense.

Musk Corrects “Liar” CNBC Journo Over Nvidia Report (ZH)

Another day, another Tesla report to take with a big grain of salt until further notice. In the latest report from CNBC, citing “emails written by Nvidia senior staff” and “correspondence from Nvidia staffers” that “Musk presented an exaggerated picture of Tesla’s procurement” of Nvidia’s flagship artificial intelligence chip, the H100, diverting “a sizable shipment of AI processors” from Tesla to X and xAI. Update: Further notice has occurred… the salt was wise. In a Tuesday morning post on X, Musk said: “Tesla had no place to send the Nvidia chips to turn them on, so they would have just sat in a warehouse,” adding “The south extension of Giga Texas is almost complete. This will house 50k H100s for FSD training.” According to Musk, “Of the roughly $10B in AI-related expenditures I said Tesla would make this year, about half is internal, primarily the Tesla-designed AI inference computer and sensors present in all of our cars, plus Dojo,” adding that Nvidia hardware “is about 2/3 of the cost.”

Musk estimated that Tesla purchases of Nvidia hardware will be “$3B to $4B this year.” As CNBC continues; By ordering Nvidia to let privately held X jump the line ahead of Tesla, Musk pushed back the automaker’s receipt of more than $500 million in graphics processing units, or GPUs, by months, likely adding to delays in setting up the supercomputers Tesla says it needs to develop autonomous vehicles and humanoid robots. “Elon prioritizing X H100 GPU cluster deployment at X versus Tesla by redirecting 12k of shipped H100 GPUs originally slated for Tesla to X instead,” an Nvidia memo from December said. “In exchange, original X orders of 12k H100 slated for Jan and June to be redirected to Tesla.”

A more recent Nvidia email, from late April, said Musk’s comment on the first-quarter Tesla call “conflicts with bookings” and that his April post on X about $10 billion in AI spending also “conflicts with bookings and FY 2025 forecasts.” The email referenced news about Tesla’s ongoing, drastic layoffs and warned that headcount reductions could cause further delays with an “H100 project” at Tesla’s Texas Gigafactory. The new information from the emails, read by CNBC, highlights an escalating conflict between Musk and some agitated Tesla shareholders who question whether the billionaire CEO is fulfilling his obligations to Tesla while also running a collection of other companies that require his attention, resources and hefty amounts of capital. Really? Does it highlight the escalating conflict?

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But he will remain in jail because of all the other indictments.

Pakistan Overturns Imran Khan’s Treason Conviction (RT)

The Islamabad High Court on Monday vacated the former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s conviction for leaking state secrets. He remains behind bars, however, for allegedly violating Islamic tradition with his marriage. Khan, 71, was ousted in April 2022. Since then, he has faced over 100 indictments, which his party has denounced as politically motivated. The state secrets case saw him sentenced to ten years in prison in February, just ahead of the national elections. “Thank God, the sentence is overturned,” Naeem Panjutha, a spokesman for Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, said after the court announced its decision. Former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi (2018-2022) was also acquitted of the charges. Khan has cited a classified cable as proof that the Pakistani military conspired with the US to overthrow his government after he visited Russia. The US has denied the accusation.

The government in Islamabad has claimed that by revealing the contents of the cable, Khan violated the state secrets law. “It is a fact that a national security document was used for political purposes,” government spokesman for legal issues Aqeel Malik said at a press conference on Monday, noting that PM Shehbaz Sharif’s government might appeal Khan’s acquittal to the Supreme Court. Two other convictions against Khan, handed out just days before the February 8 vote, have been stayed pending appeal. In one case, he and his wife Bushra were sentenced to 14 years for illegally selling state gifts. Khan remains in prison because of the seven-year conviction for allegedly violating Islamic tradition by marrying Bushra too soon after her divorce. According to his party, the case has no leg to stand on, as Bushra herself had the sole right to decide on the timing of the marriage.

Multiple convictions have been used to bar Khan and PTI from running for office in the February election. The party’s candidates still got 93 out of the 266 directly elected seats in the legislature, but were kept from power by a coalition of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), which won 54 and 73 seats, respectively. While Monday’s acquittal is a “huge political and legal victory” for Khan, the cricket-star-turned-politician won’t be released any time soon, journalist and political analyst Mazhar Abbas told Reuters.

Read more …

 

 

From Jim Kunstler’s site. Obviously, we have the same issues. Credit card expiration is a point that warrants attention. Our Patreon revenue is down 25%. So is Paypal.

“Note to Readers: We’ve just come through the time of year when credit cards expire. My Patreon revenue is down and I doubt it is because you’re disappointed in this blog’s content. Plus, it comes to you absolutely reliably twice-a-week, without fail. You can continue reading it for free — there’s no pay-wall — but just know that I depend on this support to make a living. Back in the day, a newspaper would pay me a salary, but this is no longer that day and now public voices like mine must perform like buskers on the street. Acknowledging that times are tough and getting tougher, if you are a regular reader here, please consider kicking in maybe two bucks a month for the eight blog-columns you’ll get and probably appreciate, just as I will be grateful to get paid for the work I do putting them out there. Just sayin’. . . .”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orca
https://twitter.com/i/status/1797838232970834430

 

 

Hug
https://twitter.com/i/status/1798046998677115057

 

 

Excavator

 

 

Owl head

 

 

Mom

 

 

Pick up

 

 

Dog toys

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 172024
 


Leonard Misonne Waterloo Place, London 1899

 

Why Trials Like Trump’s Must Be Televised (Alan M. Dershowitz)
Trump Lawyer “Dog Walks” Michael Cohen Through Lie After Lie (ZH)
Trump Believes a ‘Great Silent Majority’ Will Vote for Him in November (ET)
Joe Biden Invokes Executive Privilege Over Special Counsel Recordings (ZH)
Freezing the Arms Shipment to Israel Not an Impeachable Offense (Turley)
Martin Armstrong: ‘West Governments Need War’ (SF)
Zelensky Blames ‘Whole World’ For Ukraine’s Failures In Kharkov (RT)
Slovakia Faces ‘Civil War’ – Interior Minister (RT)
Hunter Biden Loses Bid to Halt Tax Evasion Court Proceedings (ET)
“We’ve Had A Hell Of A Run”: Druckenmiller Sells 441,000 Shares Of Nvidia (ZH)
Biden Should Have Pardoned Trump – Romney (RT)
‘Big Blunder’ To Let China And Russia Get Close – US Strategist (RT)

 

 

Vivek debate

 

 

Ogles

 

 

Xi Putin
https://x.com/i/status/1791264681694556387

 

 

Videos are being transferred from twitter.com to X.com. It is not going seamless. Should improve as the day goes by.

 

 

Moose
https://x.com/i/status/1790990564646609003

tiktokers
https://x.com/i/status/1791220831252595119

 

 

 

 

Spectacle?!

Why Trials Like Trump’s Must Be Televised (Alan M. Dershowitz)

If you were flipping between CNN and Fox News following the cross-examination of Stormy Daniels in the New York criminal case against former President Donald Trump, you would have had the impression that the CNN commentator, who professed to be reporting what happened in the courtroom, described a completely different event from what the Fox News reporter, who was also in the courtroom, described. It was as if they had seen two different witnesses and two different lawyers. The CNN commentator reported that Daniels had done a great job holding up against the incompetent cross-examination of Trump’s lawyer. The Fox News commentator reported that the extraordinarily effective Trump lawyer had totally destroyed Daniels’ credibility. Who were you to believe? The CNN commentator was an experienced lawyer who was purporting to describe accurately what had happened without bias or subjectivity.

The Fox News commentator was a former judge and prosecutor with vast experience, who also claimed to be describing the cross-examination without bias. Neither of the commentators even pretended to paint a gray picture. One was starkly black, the other unambiguously white. No nuance in either account. If the trial had been televised, the dominant color would have been gray. Perry Mason cross-examinations rarely occur in real life, and witnesses like Daniels rarely emerge unscathed from cross-examinations even by mediocre lawyers. We, the American public, however, have been denied the right to judge for ourselves how the case against the once and possibly future president is going. We cannot judge the credibility of witnesses, the fairness of the judge or the effectiveness of the lawyers. We must depend on the subjective and generally biased accounts of often partisan “reporters.”

Polls following the OJ Simpson case suggested that those who personally watched the trial on TV were less surprised by the not guilty verdict than those who only read about it in the media, which generally described it as an open and shut case and predicted a guilty verdict. They downplayed or omitted the gaps in the prosecution case and the mistakes made by prosecutors that may have led jurors to find reasonable doubt. The same may be true of the Trump case, except that everyone is seeing the case through the prism of the reporters, rather than with their own eyes. Those who get their “news” from anti-Trump sources will be surprised and outraged if there is an acquittal or hung jury in this “strong” case. Those who get their “news” from pro-Trump sources will be surprised and outraged by a conviction in this “weak” case.

The result of making us rely on partisan secondary sources rather than our own direct observations is inevitable distrust in the justice system. If “Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” lack of visibility is a major source of distrust. Every important trial involving public figures should be televised. Now the trial of Senator Robert Menendez is starting. It, too, should be publicized so that the public can see how the judiciary deals with an important case involving a member of the legislative branch. Even the Supreme Court now permits live audio broadcasts of important appellate cases. Hopefully, they will soon allow telecasting since there is little difference between listening and seeing the justices and the lawyers. The framers of the Constitution intended all judicial proceedings to be public – no secret trials. At the time of the framing, public meant open to print journalists. Today, public means audio and video publication.

The New York trial of Trump is a national scandal. There is no real crime. The judge has allowed testimony that is highly prejudicial and irrelevant. He has made numerous unfair rulings, of which the prosecution has taken advantage. The public has the right to see this abuse with their own eyes, so that we all can judge for ourselves and not allow possibly biased reporters to judge for us. Now the government’s star witness is testifying. Michael Cohen’s credibility promises to be a key factor in the jury’s deliberation. Every citizen should have a right to make his or her own assessment of his credibility or lack thereof. There is no good argument for allowing CNN to tell us whether he is believable, when we might come to a different conclusion based on direct observation with our own eyes.

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Star witness, blindsided by prank calls from a 14-year old.

Trump Lawyer “Dog Walks” Michael Cohen Through Lie After Lie (ZH)

President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen had his “knees chopped out” by Donald Trump’s defense attorneys in cross-examination during Trump’s ‘hush money’ trial. Cohen was grilled by Trump attorney Todd Blanche about a pivotal phone call that connected Trump to allegations that he approved reimbursements to pay porn star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election. In one exchange, Blanche accused Cohen of lying about speaking with Trump on the phone in October 2016 to reassure his boss that he was handling the payment to Daniels. Blanche then confronted Cohen with text messages that contradicted the lie – revealing that Cohen in fact spoke with Trump’s bodyguard, Keith Schiller. Trump attorney Todd Blanche grilled him about a pivotal phone call that had connected President Trump to the allegations at the center of the case.

He accused Mr. Cohen of calling the former president’s bodyguard, Keith Schiller, to complain about harassing phone calls—not to disclose an update on a plan to purchase the silence of Ms. Clifford. Mr. Cohen said that the prank calls were a part of the conversation with Mr. Schiller. “Now your memory is that you were testifying truthfully on Tuesday, and you had enough time to update Mr. Schiller about all the problems you were having with these harassing calls?” Mr. Blanche asked him. “I always run everything by the boss immediately,” Mr. Cohen said. “It could’ve just been me saying, ‘everything’s been taken care of, it’s been resolved.’” “That was a lie. You did not talk to President Trump that night,” Mr. Blanche said. “You can admit it.” “No sir, I can’t,” Mr. Cohen said. “Because I’m not sure that’s accurate.” “This jury doesn’t want to hear what you think happened,” Mr. Blanche said. -Epoch Times. Cohen appeared blindsided by the line of questioning, and wavered in his recollection of the phone call before blurting out “I believe I was telling the truth!”

Blanche then slapped Cohen around for telling Congress that he didn’t want to work in the Trump administration – only to be confronted with conversations in 2016 in which he expressed disappointment that he was overlooked for the role of Trump’s chief of staff. Cohen also lied about seeking a pardon from Trump, for which his attorneys later had to issue a statement to correct the record. After Cohen had his ass handed to him, CNN pundits were beside themselves. “It was incredible…lawyers want to build a box around the witness & slam it shut–that’s what Todd Blanche did to Cohen…it was an extraordinary cross…Cohen was cornered in…a lie,” said host Anderson Cooper. The network’s top legal analyst said “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a star witness get his knees chopped out quite as clearly and dramatically as what just happened with Michael Cohen.”

https://x.com/i/status/1791174382288765323

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“It’s got to come down much more. That’s a lot of inflation, their number they announced.”

Trump Believes a ‘Great Silent Majority’ Will Vote for Him in November (ET)

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he believes he has a “great silent majority” who will vote for him during the 2024 election. While speaking to radio host Hugh Hewitt, the former president claimed that he may have the “biggest ever” silent majority, using a term that was popularized by former President Richard Nixon in 1969. He then made reference to the relatively large crowd turnout during last weekend’s rally in Wildwood, New Jersey. “I have a great silent majority … the term was very, very powerfully associated with Nixon, and I didn’t want to be copying the term actually, so it’s the great silent majority,” President Trump said, adding that he believes that 107,000 people attended the Wildwood rally. The Epoch Times could not immediately authenticate that figure. The former president in 2020 made similar claims about a silent majority turning out in droves for him during that year’s election.

But the term was famously used by President Nixon to refer to conservative voters who did not participate in the current political discourse at the time, later resurfacing in the campaigns of former President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. In his interview with Mr. Hewitt, the former president said that he believes inflation may cause some voters to cast ballots in favor of him, coming after the Labor Department released figures Wednesday showing that the consumer price index slightly eased in April. “It’s a lot of inflation when added to the inflation that we’ve suffered that’s been so bad,” President Trump said, likely referring to years of rising prices since the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s got to come down much more. That’s a lot of inflation, their number they announced.” The former president’s remarks on Wednesday come as a recent poll from Siena College shows that President Joe Biden is trialing the former president in five of six battleground states.

President Trump, notably, is ahead by 6 percentage points in Arizona, 11 points in Georgia, and 13 points in Nevada, the survey revealed. He’s ahead about 3 points in Pennsylvania and 1 point in Wisconsin, while is down by 1 point to President Biden in Michigan. In the 2020 election, races were called for President Biden in all of those states mentioned in the Siena College survey. In a Wall Street Journal poll conducted in April, President Trump garnered a lead of between 2 and 8 percentage points among voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and North Carolina on a ballot that included third-party and independent candidates. The results were similar in a one-on-one matchup with President Biden, it said.

The former president also was viewed as having better physical and mental fitness for the job by 48 percent of respondents, compared to 28 percent for President Biden, the poll showed. Meanwhile, a recent Reuters-Ipsos poll showed that more Americans believe President Trump would handle the economy better than President Biden. Some 41 percent of respondents in the three-day poll said the former president has the better approach, compared to 34 percent for the current president.

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“Because of the President’s longstanding commitment to protecting the integrity, effectiveness, and independence of the Department of Justice and its law enforcement investigations….

…he won’t let us see any of it…”

Joe Biden Invokes Executive Privilege Over Special Counsel Recordings (ZH)

After the DOJ stonewalled over surrendering an audio recording of Special Counsel Robert Hur’s interview with President Joe Biden over his handling of classified documents, the White House has invoked executive privilege to block House Republicans from obtaining it. On Wednesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland requested that Biden assert executive privilege over the recordings following a subpoena from the House Judiciary and Oversight committees. “Because of the President’s longstanding commitment to protecting the integrity, effectiveness, and independence of the Department of Justice and its law enforcement investigations, he has decided to assert executive privilege over the recordings,” said White House counsel Ed Siskel in a letter obtained by The Hill. The Feb. 27 subpoena requested copies of notes, audio files, video and transcripts related to Hur’s probe, and had a deadline of March 7.

“Americans expect equal justice under the law and DOJ is allowing the Bidens to operate above it,” House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) said in an April statement. “Special Counsel Hur’s report outlined that classified documents Joe Biden stashed for years relate to countries where his family cashed in on the Biden brand.” In response to a request for audio of what author Mark Zwonitzer recorded while interviewing Biden, whose two memoirs he wrote, Assistant AG Carlos Felipe Uriarte said there is no need for the department to hand it over because the committees also have transcripts of the interviews. “To go further by producing the audio files would compound the likelihood that future prosecutors will be unable to secure this level of cooperation,” Uriarte wrote.

“They might have a harder time obtaining consent to an interview at all. It is clearly not in the public interest to render such cooperation with prosecutors and investigators less likely in the future.” Uriarte then reiterated that the DOJ has provided ample evidence to the committees. Hur’s 345-page report concluded that no charges should be brought against Biden due to cognitive decline. “We have also considered that, at trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” Hur wrote. Hur cited 2017 conversations between Biden and Zwontizer, which Hur described as “painfully slow, with Mr. Biden struggling to remember events and straining at times to read and relay his own notebook entries.”

Hur

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“President Trump will not be our last president and what we leave in the wake of this scandal will shape our democracy for generations to come..”

Freezing the Arms Shipment to Israel Not an Impeachable Offense (Turley)

Political analysts on the left and the right have acknowledged that Biden’s hardened stance toward Israel is due to his faltering poll numbers and the threat that he could lose Michigan and Minnesota in the upcoming election. A loss in Michigan, where the state’s large Muslim population has rejected Biden’s past support for Israel, would likely doom his chances for reelection. Even assuming that Biden’s recent changes were motivated by politics in Michigan (which I believe is a fair assessment), it would not be a high crime and misdemeanor. Presidents routinely act out of political interests. Indeed, a democracy involves using one’s voting power to influence politicians like Biden to change policy. The more than 100,000 “uncommitted” votes in Michigan’s Democratic primary clearly spooked the Biden White House.

To impeach presidents for such discretionary conduct would make impeachment a type of “vote of no confidence” device used in countries like the United Kingdom. That is not the purpose of impeachment, which was meant to be a rarely-used measure to address the most egregious forms of presidential misconduct. The recent resolution falls into a type of “just desserts” rationale for impeachment. I testified in the first Trump impeachment and opposed it on constitutional grounds. I warned Democrats that they would rue the day that they lowered the standard and short-circuited the process for impeachment. At the time, I told the House Judiciary Committee: “President Trump will not be our last president and what we leave in the wake of this scandal will shape our democracy for generations to come.

I am concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger. If the House proceeds solely on the Ukrainian allegations, this impeachment would stand out among modern impeachments as the shortest proceeding, with the thinnest evidentiary record, and the narrowest grounds ever used to impeach a president. That does not bode well for future presidents who are working in a country often sharply and, at times, bitterly divided.” After ignoring that warning, Democrats went a step further in the second impeachment in 2021 and used what I called a “snap impeachment” in an attempt to punish Trump for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.It would be an easy thing to say “well, turnabout is fair play, so a pox upon their house.”

The problem is that this is the people’s house and we all are harmed by the destruction of the impeachment process. Democrats were wrong in 2019 and 2021 to impeach Trump, but yielding to the same political motives now is no virtue. Ironically, the new impeachment resolution does precisely what Biden is accused of doing: using constitutionally bestowed powers for raw political purposes. The White House has insisted that this latest effort is “ridiculous.” Except that isn’t ridiculous given Democrats’ past actions. But it is equally wrong.

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“I named my computer model after Socrates because the oracle of Delphi had said that he was the smartest man in Greece.”

Martin Armstrong: ‘West Governments Need War’ (SF)

Your predictive model is based on precise calculations. The cycles of history and the economy thus seem to chase each other along the time span of history. If I’m not mistaken, you compared the current context to the crisis and dissolution of the Roman Empire. Is it correct? History repeats because human nature never changes. The Roman Empire is but one example from history of its success and failures. It lasted longer than anyone because it did not impose cultural regulations. The Christians called them pagans because they had so many Gods. That was the product of their policy of freedom of religion. Athens had Athena, Northern Europe had Thor, so they did not try to change the culture of the lands they conquered. They created a common market where someone in Britain could sell products to someone in Rome. So the freedom of religion, low taxation, freedom of movement, and a common market combined to create the Pax Romana.

Is it still possible to avoid a large-scale world conflict? It is unlikely that we can avoid world war. Governments need war because their debts are no longer sustainable. They will use the war as the excuse for defaults – as was the case for WWII. They will create Bretton Woods II with the IMF digital currency as the reserve. [..] Is it correct to claim that your analysis succeed in covering the intersection of geopolitics, Global Markets and Economic Confidence? Can you explain to us in a simple way how your Socrates predictive model works? By the way, why did you name it just like the Greek philosopher? I named my computer model after Socrates because the oracle of Delphi had said that he was the smartest man in Greece. He tried to prove the oracle wrong and the process proved it to be correct. He was put on trial and sentenced to death because he knew too much. My computer has taught me a lot in geopolitics, we had a major bank in Lebanon in the 1980’s and they asked if I could create a model on the Lebanese pound.

I put the data in the computer and it came out and said their country would fall apart in 8 days. I thought something was wrong with the data. When I told the client, they asked me what currency would be best, and I said the Swiss Franc. Eight days later the civil war begn. Obviously they saw the movement of money themselves and came to me for the timing. The same thing happened with a client in Saudi Arabia who was a big shipper. He called me asking me what gold would do tomorrow because Iran was going to begin attacking shipping in the gulf. So once again, there was advanced information about war. By 1998, I understood how the computer was forcasting such events. I warned in June at our London conference that Russia was about to collapse. The London financial Times had snuck into the back of the room and reported that forecast on the front of their newspaper on June 27th 1998. Russia collapsed about 6 weeks later.

Are unpredictable events, such as the terrorist attack in Moscow, also considered among the parameters of your predictive model? A “black swan” type event can change the course of history and geopolitical relations?” Yes, we saw the capital flows shift a day in advance, up to a week in advance in the case of the attack in israel. The defense stocks began to rise even with 9/11 the government used our model to look at who bought puts on airlines in the days before. Someone always knows when they’re going to do these types of events. And they move their money either to profit or to avoid a loss. The computer is tracking everything. It cannot tell me which person has done it. Just that the move is about to take place.

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The whole world except for himself.

Zelensky Blames ‘Whole World’ For Ukraine’s Failures In Kharkov (RT)

The whole world is to blame for Ukraine’s failure to stop Russia’s recent advances in Kharkov Region and must now help Kiev to change the situation, President Vladimir Zelensky told ABC News in an interview on Thursday. It comes after Russian forces managed to capture several settlements near Ukraine’s second-largest city over the past week. Top military officials in Kiev have admitted that the situation is now “extremely difficult,” and that Ukrainian troops are struggling to hold ground due to being outgunned and outnumbered. Asked if he believes Ukraine’s failures on the battlefield to be the fault of the US, Zelensky told ABC reporters that “it’s the world’s fault,” and accused the international community of giving “the opportunity for Putin to occupy.” The Ukrainian leader said the country “cannot afford to lose Kharkov,” and that “the world can help” Kiev to hold on to the vital city in the country’s northeast.

“All we need are two Patriot systems,” Zelensky said, suggesting that “Russia will not be able to occupy Kharkov if we have those.”ng to source billion-dollar Patriot air defense systems for Ukraine. Last month, Zelensky insisted that Ukraine needs 25 such batteries but later revised that number to “at least seven.” The president also complained that funding that has been approved by the US for Kiev is not actually reaching the country and is instead being spent “in American factories, creating American jobs.” Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who visited Kiev this week, assured the Ukrainian leadership that Washington was “actively and urgently” trying.

Each Patriot battery comprises a power plant, radar and control stations, truck-mounted missile launchers, and support vehicles, and costs around $1 billion. Ukraine is currently believed to possess at least three Patriots, one of which is stationed near the capital. Last year, one of these batteries was reportedly damaged or destroyed in a Russian hypersonic missile strike. Moscow, meanwhile, has repeatedly stated that no amount of Western weapon systems can change the inevitable outcome of the conflict, and has warned that continuing to arm Ukraine will only prolong the bloodshed and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.

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Alright for now.

Slovakia Faces ‘Civil War’ – Interior Minister (RT)

Slovakia appears to be on the brink of a civil war, its interior minister has warned, following the attempted assassination of Prime Minister Robert Fico on Wednesday. The head of the Slovak government was shot in the eastern town of Handlova, where he had chaired a working meeting. The gunman, identified by the media as an opposition party supporter in his early 70s, acted on political motives, according to Deputy Prime Minister Robert Kalinak. Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok warned that the country was “on the edge of a civil war” over political tensions. Social media is full of “hateful comments” in the wake of the attack, he added. Meanwhile, according to Kalinak, who spoke to journalists outside the hospital in the city of Banska Bystrica, where Fico was rushed for emergency surgery, “the inability to accept the will of some part of the public, which some group does not like, is the result that they have worked towards today.”

Fico, a nationalist and euro-skeptic, assumed office last year, after his Smer-SD party won the parliamentary election in September. He promised to put Slovakia’s interests first, including in the highly-contentious issue of the Ukraine conflict. His refusal to provide more arms to Kiev stood in sharp contrast to the previous government. His victory was a defeat for Progressive Slovakia (PS), which suffered a second electoral upset in April. The presidential candidate endorsed by the pro-EU party was defeated by Peter Pellegrini. PS co-founder Zuzana Caputova is set to complete her term as president next month. Fico has lashed out at comments coming from supporters of the opposition, particularly those upset by the waning power of the Progressives. He has also accused some media outlets of fanning the flames.

Some Slovaks are denouncing supporters of political forces they do not like as “misguided blind folk” that they are ashamed to have as their neighbors, he lamented in a video statement last month. Politicians face obscenities in the streets, he added. ”I expect this frustration to turn so intense that it could lead to the murder of one of the leading government officials,” Fico warned. Many Slovak politicians and foreign leaders have condemned the attempt on Fico’s life. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Slovak leader was a “courageous and strong-spirited man,” and that those qualities would hopefully help him overcome the crisis. Fico’s deputy, Tomas Taraba, said his surgery was a success and that the prime minister is expected to recover.

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It’s alive!

Hunter Biden Loses Bid to Halt Tax Evasion Court Proceedings (ET)

Hunter Biden lost his bid to halt his tax evasion district court proceedings in California on Wednesday after the Ninth Circuit declined to hear his appeal. District Judge Mark Scarsi denied Mr. Biden’s motion for a stay of proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California pending the outcome of his appeal. The stay had been requested on May 10 after Mr. Biden filed his interlocutory appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On Wednesday, the Ninth Circuit panel ruled in favor of the special counsel and dismissed Mr. Biden’s appeal. This rendered moot a motion filed by Mr. Biden’s lawyers on Tuesday asking the judge for an expedited hearing on his motion to halt proceedings or, alternatively, for the judge to consider his written motion without hearing oral arguments.

“Because the panel’s order moots Mr. Biden’s motion, the Court grants the application to rule on shortened time and denies the motion,” Judge Scarsi wrote in his order on Wednesday Judge Scarsi’s order stated that his prior orders and the trial schedule would remain in place, and that the court would hear any further requests to modify the pre-trial schedule at a conference on May 29. Mr. Biden, who had argued that the district court’s jurisdiction had been divested once he filed his interlocutory appeal, filed his motion for a stay after the judge wrote in a May 9 order that failing to do so would be “at his own peril.”

Special Counsel David Weiss, who is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government, opposed Mr. Biden’s bid to halt proceedings while waiting to hear the outcome from the Ninth Circuit. He argued that any “problems” with scheduling conflicts in both Mr. Biden’s California tax evasion case and his Delaware gun charges case “are entirely of his own making. In his brief asking for an expedited hearing filed on Tuesday, Mr. Biden’s lawyers told Judge Scarsi that he wasn’t aware that failing to file a motion to stay pending appeal would be “at his own peril,” and that he promptly filed his motion to stay the next day after the judge’s order came down.

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“..the AI boom is likely a “mega-trend like we’ve never seen,” with the potential to be bigger than the internet. ”

“We’ve Had A Hell Of A Run”: Druckenmiller Sells 441,000 Shares Of Nvidia (ZH)

Billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller, head of the Duquesne Family Office, sees the artificial intelligence bubble as overextended. He has slashed some of his holdings in “Magnificent Seven” technology stocks, including Nvidia. He’s not alone. Other notable fund managers and company insiders are jumping ship and unloading their shares. A recent 13F filing reveals that Druckenmiller’s family office sold over 441,000 shares of Nvidia Corp. in the first quarter, reducing its stake to only 176,000 shares, or worth just about $158 million. Since 13F filings are backward-looking, the firm may have further divested or adjusted those holdings since the first quarter. We suspect Druckenmiller has not added to his Nvidia holdings.

Early last week, the billionaire investor appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” explaining that his exposure to Nvidia was reduced after it went from $150 per share to $900 in just over a year. “I’m not Warren Buffett,” Druckenmiller emphasized, noting, “I don’t own things for 10 or 20 years. I wish I was Warren Buffett.” Druckenmiller said that when Microsoft-backed ChatGPT soared in popularity, he doubled down on his Nvidia position because it was an obvious no-brainer. “Even an old guy like me could figure out what that meant,” he said, adding the AI boom is likely a “mega-trend like we’ve never seen,” with the potential to be bigger than the internet.

Druckenmiller concluded: “I just need a break. We’ve had a hell of a run. A lot of what we recognized has become recognized by the marketplace now.” Besides Druckenmiller, 13F filings showed David Tepper slashed his holdings in Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta Platforms. David Bonderman’s Wildcat Capital Management sold Meta stock, bringing his position to $23.7 million. Michael Platt’s BlueCrest Capital Management dumped Nvidia and Amazon.

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Would Trump have accepted?

Biden Should Have Pardoned Trump – Romney (RT)

US Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) has suggested that President Joe Biden blundered politically by allowing his administration to prosecute Donald Trump, his hated Republican rival. “Had I been President Biden, when the Justice Department brought on indictments, I would have immediately pardoned him,” Romney said in an MSNBC interview aired on Wednesday. “I’d have pardoned President Trump. Why? Well, because it makes me, President Biden, the big guy and the person I pardoned a little guy.” Romney, a former Republican presidential candidate who has clashed repeatedly with Trump, said Biden made an “enormous error” by allowing prosecutors to indict the ex-president last year for mishandling classified documents and trying to block the transfer of power after losing the 2020 election. The two federal cases are among four criminal indictments against Trump, who has accused Biden and his allies of using sham prosecutions to interfere in the 2024 presidential race.

“He should have fought like crazy to keep this prosecution from going forward,” Romney said. “It was a win-win for Donald Trump. Pressed on the principle of leaving prosecutorial decisions to the Justice Department, the senator said Biden should have led like former President Lyndon B. Johnson. “I’ve been around for a while. If LBJ had been president, and he didn’t want something like this to happen, he’d have been all over that prosecutor saying, ‘You better not bring that forward or I’m gonna drive you out of office.’” Romney, who was defeated by Barack Obama in the 2012 election, has announced plans to retire from the Senate in January 2025, when his term ends. He has criticized both Trump and Biden for running for the presidency again this year, saying they should instead make way for a younger generation of leaders.

Upon announcing his decision last September to leave the Senate, Romney scolded his own party’s voters for favoring Trump. “There’s no question that the Republican Party today is in the shadow of Donald Trump,” he said. “He is the leader of the greatest portion of the Republican Party. It’s a populist, demagogue portion of the party. Look, I represent a small wing of the party. I call it the wise wing of the Republican Party.” Romney, 77, is the son of a former Michigan Governor George Romney and made upward of $200 million during his career in the private-equity business. He was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2002. He has been a leading proponent of prolonging the Russia-Ukraine conflict, saying that using Kiev’s forces to weaken the Russian military “is about the best national defense spending I think we’ve ever done.”

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A new world.

‘Big Blunder’ To Let China And Russia Get Close – US Strategist (RT)

US President Joe Biden’s cabinet has made a major policy mistake by driving Russia and China into a strategic partnership, Heritage Foundation fellow Michael Pillsbury said on Thursday. Pillsbury spoke to Fox and Friends as Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing on his first foreign trip since inauguration. “To draw, to push together two nuclear powers, Russia and China, it’s really a blunder of the highest order,” he told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade. According to Pillsbury, China spent much of the past 75 years in conflict with the Soviet Union, “so to see them come together like this to me is just shocking.” It’s one of the biggest blunders we’ll see in my lifetime.”

Pillsbury has helped Washington formulate its China policy since the 1970s. He held a variety of posts at the Pentagon and as a staff member for the US Senate, before settling at China-centric desks at the Hudson Institute and later at Heritage. It has long been a policy objective of Washington to keep China and Russia apart, starting with President Richard Nixon’s detente with Beijing in the 1970s. This policy was in effect as late as 2020, with President Donald Trump trying to use tariffs to pressure China into working with the US, noted Pillsbury. “This would never happen under Trump,” he said. “This was one of Trump’s goals never to allow this to happen.” When Kilmeade suggested that China “needs” the US and EU markets, so the West has leverage over Beijing, Pillsbury pointed out that this “simply isn’t happening under Biden.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also commented on the US attempts to split China away from Russia. In an interview on Thursday, he said that China was “strong enough” to resist the “brazen” attempts at pressure. China and Russia both “defend the principles of fairness and the democratic world order based on the multipolar realities and international law,” Putin said on Thursday, adding that relations between the two countries “are not aimed against anyone.” Putin described the Russo-Chinese cooperation as “one of the main stabilizing factors on the international stage.” Xi agreed, arguing that ties between Beijing and Moscow are a “model of relations between large powers and neighboring states, characterized by mutual respect, trust, friendship and mutual benefit.”

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Horse sculpt
https://twitter.com/i/status/1791077037496799692

 

 

Geert

 

 

Flying cow

 

 

 

 

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