Jul 022024
 
 July 2, 2024  Posted by at 9:14 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  48 Responses »


René Magritte Man in a bowler hat 1964

 

US Supreme Court Rules Trump Has Presidential Immunity (RT)
Trump Says Immunity Ruling ‘Big Win For Democracy’ (ZH)
Biden Reacts To Trump Immunity Ruling (RT)
Biden ‘United Democrats And Republicans’ With Debate Performance – Musk (RT)
Obama Telling People Biden Can’t Win – Tucker Carlson (RT)
Biden’s Family Urges Him To Fight On (ZH)
DNC Weighs Early Nomination For Biden To Quash Internal Party Dissent (ZH)
Surprise, Surprise! (Kunstler)
Too Clever By Half (Turley)
The Resurrection of French Nationalism? (Paul Craig Roberts)
The West – Indubitably – Has Lost Russia, And Is Losing Eurasia Too (Crooke)
‘Unipolar US Dollar’ Mutated Into ‘Politically Weaponized’ Tool (Sp.)
Charles Nenner Warns “Very Hard Times Are Coming” (USAW)

 

 

 

 


https://twitter.com/i/status/1807804054136856803
https://twitter.com/i/status/1807766810130796737

 

 

Tapper

 

 

Plan B
https://twitter.com/i/status/1807876540648047090

 

 

 

 

“The President is not above the law. But under our system of separated powers, the President may not be prosecuted for exercising his core constitutional powers..”

US Supreme Court Rules Trump Has Presidential Immunity (RT)

American presidents have “absolute immunity” for their official actions, the US Supreme Court ruled on Monday, addressing a series of charges against former President Donald Trump. Federal prosecutors have charged Trump with four criminal counts related to the 2020 presidential election, alleging that he “conspired” to overturn the results by spreading “knowingly false claims” of fraud to obstruct the collection, counting, and certification of the results. “Under our constitutional structure of separated powers, the nature of Presidential power entitles a former President to absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for actions within his conclusive and preclusive constitutional authority,” the court said in a 6-3 decision. “And he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity from prosecution for all his official acts. There is no immunity for unofficial acts.” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, which saw the six conservative-leaning justices opposed by the three liberal ones.

The decision favors the former president in terms of his tweets to the American public on January 6 and conversations with then-Vice President Mike Pence about his presiding over the certification of election results, as both of those clearly fell within the scope of official duties. However, the verdict allows lower courts to hold evidentiary hearings to determine which actions by Trump may have been unofficial, such as when he contacted state and local election officials about the 2020 vote. “In dividing official from unofficial conduct, courts may not inquire into the President’s motives,” the court warned. “The President is not above the law. But under our system of separated powers, the President may not be prosecuted for exercising his core constitutional powers, and he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity from prosecution for his official acts,” said the ruling.

The Supreme Court saved the immunity case for the last day of its term. The long-awaited decision puts a dent in the plans for special counsel Jack Smith to prosecute Trump in the federal court in Washington, DC before the November election. Trump challenged the 2020 election – marked by a series of unusual procedures, ostensibly adopted due to the Covid-19 pandemic – as irregular and possibly tainted by fraud, pointing to delays in counting mail-in votes that suddenly went in Democrat Joe Biden’s favor after the polls closed in a handful of states. Democrats have insisted that the election was the most secure and legitimate ever and that any questioning of the result is an attack on democracy.

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“.. ‘all but ensures’ that a trial won’t happen in Trump’s classified documents case before the November election..”

Trump Says Immunity Ruling ‘Big Win For Democracy’ (ZH)

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled in a 6-3 vote that former presidents, including Trump, enjoy immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct involving official acts during tenure in office, but he’s not immune from unofficial acts. As Bloomberg notes, the decision – which kicks the ball back to the lower court – ‘all but ensures’ that a trial won’t happen in Trump’s classified documents case before the November election.The justices, voting 6-3 along ideological lines, said a federal appeals court was too categorical in rejecting Trump’s immunity arguments, ruling for the first time that former presidents are shielded from prosecution for some official acts taken while in office. The majority ordered the lower courts to revisit the case to decide the extent of the allegations that are off limits to prosecution.

“Just as former presidents have immunity from civil liability for official acts, they have immunity from criminal prosecution unless they are impeached and removed from office for the crime alleged. This decision is supported by the writings of the framers of the Constitution, the text of the Constitution and Supreme Court precedent,” wrote X user Martin Harry. As constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley notes, now “the issue is whether what constitutes official acts,” adding that the ruling will “further delay the lower court proceedings, but Trump will have to argue that his actions fall within these navigational beacons.” “The lower court judge has been highly favorable for Jack Smith in the past. Yet the court is arguing that there is a presumption of immunity for their official acts beyond the absolute immunity on core constitutional powers.” Meanwhile, Justice Thomas called into question the legality of Smith’s office:

In a blistering dissent, Justice Sotomayor writes that the ruling “makes a mockery of the principle, foundational to our constitution and system of government, that no man is above the law.” “Relying on little more than its own misguided wisdom… the court gives former President trump all the immunity he asked for and more.” Special counsel Jack Smith is leading two federal probes against Trump, both of which led to criminal charges. In Washington, Trump has been targeted over alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election, while a Florida case revolves around the mishandling of classified documents – for which Trump has claimed presidential immunity. In response to the ruling, Trump said on Truth Social that it was a “”BIG WIN FOR OUR CONSTITUTION AND DEMOCRACY.”

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No president should attack the Supreme Court.

Biden Reacts To Trump Immunity Ruling (RT)

US President Joe Biden has attacked the Supreme Court, urging citizens to “dissent” against its ruling that American presidents have “absolute immunity” for their official actions. In a 6-3 decision on Monday, the highest US court ruled that under “our system of separated powers, the President may not be prosecuted for exercising his core constitutional powers, and he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity from prosecution for his official acts.” Biden criticized the decision in a brief statement, calling it “a fundamentally new principle” and a “dangerous precedent because the power of the office will no longer be constrained by the law.”

“There are no kings in America. Each, each of us is equal before the law. No one, no one is above the law, not even the president of the United States,” Biden claimed – even as the Supreme Court ruling specifically stated that “the President is not above the law” and that “there is no immunity for unofficial acts.” Federal prosecutors have charged former President Donald Trump with four criminal counts related to the 2020 presidential election, alleging that he “conspired” to overturn the results. The Supreme Court verdict allows lower courts to hold evidentiary hearings to determine which actions by Trump may have been unofficial. Trump called the ruling – which puts a dent in the Democrats’ plans to prosecute him in the federal court in Washington, DC before the November election – a “big win for our constitution and democracy.”

Biden warned Americans about a possible presidential return for Trump, saying that “people must decide if they want to entrust … the presidency to Donald Trump, now knowing that he’ll be even more emboldened to do whatever he pleases whenever he wants to do it.” Biden went on to quote Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent, in which she wrote: “In every use of official power, the president is now a king above the law. With fear for our democracy, I dissent.” “So should the American people dissent, I dissent,” Biden added, concluding his prepared remarks and taking no questions from the press.

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Very presidential…

Biden ‘United Democrats And Republicans’ With Debate Performance – Musk (RT)

US President Joe Biden has united Democrats and Republicans in a common recognition of his cognitive decline, following a debate with Donald Trump last week, businessman Elon Musk has argued. The billionaire, who is a vocal critic of some Biden administration policies, such as on border security, supported an assessment made on Sunday by vlogger Farzad Mesbahi on X (formerly Twitter). The Spanish-born YouTuber and self-proclaimed troll said: “America seeing Biden’s cognitive decline at the debate feels like one of the most uniting things this country has experienced in a long, long time.” “True, first time I’ve seen Republicans & Democrats agree on something in a long time,” Musk responded, adding an emoji of a face with tears of joy. The entrepreneur also weighed in immediately following the debate after former 2024 GOP hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy said that Biden’s presentation made him wonder who runs the US government. Musk replied: “Maybe nobody.”

This election cycle’s first faceoff between Trump and Biden took place last Thursday in Atlanta, Georgia. Political observers have widely agreed that the incumbent failed to counter the perception that he has neither the energy nor mental acuity to lead the country for four more years. Some Democrats, either publicly or in private communications with journalists, have said Biden should stop his campaign after his dismal performance. By contrast, former President Barack Obama maintained his support for Biden’s bid despite the flop, posting on Friday: “bad debate nights happen” and that “last night didn’t change,” the stakes in the November election. Former President Bill Clinton echoed that sentiment, stating that he will relegate “the debate rating to the pundits.” The US president’s family, who reportedly are among the few who could convince him to quit, urged him to stay in the race during a meeting on Sunday, CNN sources have claimed.

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“Carlson also claimed that relations between Obama and Biden – who served as vice president between 2009 and 2017 – have never been warm, and were at times even “hostile.”

Obama Telling People Biden Can’t Win – Tucker Carlson (RT)

Former US President Barack Obama is telling Democrats that incumbent Joe Biden has no chance of being reelected after his recent debate against GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, American conservative journalist Tucker Carlson has claimed. According to Carlson, Obama’s recent public endorsement of Biden was not sincere. Biden and Trump faced off in an open debate on Thursday night, with the president’s performance widely seen as “incoherent” and “fumbling,” underscoring concerns about his age. Following the showdown, many Democrats and their donors reportedly scrambled to find a replacement for Biden as the party’s presumptive presidential nominee. Publicly, however, many Democratic heavyweights, including Obama, reaffirmed their support for Biden. While admitting that “bad debate nights happen,” the former president insisted that “this election is still a choice between someone who has fought for ordinary folks his entire life and someone who only cares about himself.”

Writing on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday, Carlson said, citing an “unusually good source,” that Obama’s post had been “disingenuous.” “In private, Obama is telling people Biden can’t win, and he is therefore in favor of an open convention,” the journalist claimed. He added Obama is not saying whom he supports, but recently met with Biden in person to deliver the message. Carlson also claimed that relations between Obama and Biden – who served as vice president between 2009 and 2017 – have never been warm, and were at times even “hostile.” According to the journalist, those ties “recently… deteriorated further,” mostly due to First Lady Jill Biden, who allegedly “kept her husband cloistered away from anyone who might convince him to drop out” of the race for the White House after the disastrous debate.

Carlson added that Biden’s wife remains “the driving force behind her husband’s reelection campaign,” echoing a recent NBC report naming her as the only person who could convince the president to “change course.” However, CNN reported on Monday that Biden’s family, including Jill, had urged him not to end his campaign, blaming his poor performance on his team. While the Biden-Obama relationship has often been described as a “bromance” to the point of becoming meme material, numerous media reports indicated that things have been much more complicated. An Axios report in March suggested that Biden “often measures himself” against his predecessor, with a rivalry dynamic present in their relations. According to Politico, Obama also shared serious concerns about Biden’s ability to win the 2020 election.

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“..not telling Biden which camera would be on him as he blankly stared a thousand miles into space with his mouth agape..”

Biden’s Family Urges Him To Fight On (ZH)

At a Camp David gathering on Sunday, President Biden’s extended family urged him to ignore the growing number of voices asking him to quit the race — and many of his loved ones blamed his disastrous debate on his advisors. According to Politico, the two who most forcefully encouraged the 81-year-old Biden to continue were his wife Jill and his son Hunter — the two people whose opinion he reportedly values most. The reports will strengthen a growing sense that Jill Biden is putting her own interests above that of her humiliated and failing husband. As one Democratic advisor told the New York Post over the weekend, “Jill Biden likes being First Lady…she doesn’t want to give that up.”

Meanwhile, Hunter, who doesn’t exactly have strong reputation for sound judgment, is said to long for Americans to see a version of his father that — as paraphrased by the Times — is “scrappy and in command of the facts.” Much as he once was in denial about his drug problem, Hunter now seems incapable of admitting that that version of his father is gone forever: Biden family members are said to have blamed the debate debacle on three advisors: Anita Dunn, her husband Bob Bauer — who played the role of Trump in practice sessions — and Biden’s former chief of staff Ron Klain, who was in charge of the debate training. Aides to Biden denied these reports from multiple outlets.

With Biden having spent a full week at Camp David gearing up for the debate, his family members and others are claiming the team worked the 81-year-old too hard, and tried to pack him full of too many statistics. They even fault advisors for a debate-night makeup job that transformed his summer-tanned face to one that was pale and unhealthy-looking. Relatives also blamed debate-host CNN for not “fact-checking” Donald Trump and not telling Biden which camera would be on him as he blankly stared a thousand miles into space with his mouth agape.

Jill

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“Democrats had already planned to nominate Biden, 81, before the convention in order to ensure he appears on the ballot in Ohio..”

DNC Weighs Early Nomination For Biden To Quash Internal Party Dissent (ZH)

Bloomberg reports that the Democratic National Committee is considering formally nominating Joe Biden as early as mid-July to ensure that the president is on November ballots, while helping to stamp out intra-party chatter of replacing him after last week’s poor debate performance. Democrats had already planned to nominate Biden, 81, before the convention in order to ensure he appears on the ballot in Ohio, which had an Aug. 7 deadline for candidates to be certified. A potential date for Biden’s nomination is July 21, when the Democratic convention’s credentials committee meets virtually, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity.nThe panel is meeting to finalize procedures before the party’s convention in Chicago starts on Aug. 19.

Interestingly, former President Trump’s sentencing hearing is set for July 11th, so he may well be in prison by then given the amount of pressure we assume is being placed on Judge Merchan’s shoulders to “lock him up”. Additionally, July 21 is just three days after Trump is scheduled to accept his party’s nomination at the Republican convention in Milwaukee. The desperate attempted message from all this narrative-shaping is simple – …nothing to see here, move along. Except we all saw the fireworks factory exploding with our own eyes. [..] At a Camp David gathering on Sunday, President Biden’s extended family urged him to ignore the growing number of voices asking him to quit the race — and many of his loved ones blamed his disastrous debate on his advisors. According to Politico, the two who most forcefully encouraged the 81-year-old Biden to continue were his wife Jill and his son Hunter — the two people whose opinion he reportedly values most.

The reports will strengthen a growing sense that Jill Biden is putting her own interests above that of her humiliated and failing husband. As one Democratic advisor told the New York Post over the weekend, “Jill Biden likes being First Lady…she doesn’t want to give that up.” Meanwhile, Hunter, who doesn’t exactly have strong reputation for sound judgment, is said to long for Americans to see a version of his father that — as paraphrased by the Times — is “scrappy and in command of the facts.” Much as he once was in denial about his drug problem, Hunter now seems incapable of admitting that that version of his father is gone forever: Biden family members are said to have blamed the debate debacle on three advisors: Anita Dunn, her husband Bob Bauer — who played the role of Trump in practice sessions — and Biden’s former chief of staff Ron Klain, who was in charge of the debate training. Aides to Biden denied these reports from multiple outlets.

With Biden having spent a full week at Camp David gearing up for the debate, his family members and others are claiming the team worked the 81-year-old too hard, and tried to pack him full of too many statistics. They even fault advisors for a debate-night makeup job that transformed his summer-tanned face to one that was pale and unhealthy-looking. Relatives also blamed debate-host CNN for not “fact-checking” Donald Trump and not telling Biden which camera would be on him as he blankly stared a thousand miles into space with his mouth agape. John Morgan, a top donor and friend of Biden’s brother Frank, was not at the family meeting, but joined the delusional pile-up on Biden’s advisers, telling the Times that the week-long debate prep — which involved rehearsals at various times of the day — was excessive: “It would be like if you took a prizefighter who was going to have a title fight and put him in a sauna for 15 hours then said, ‘Go fight.’ I believe that the debate is solely on Ron Klain, Bob Bauer and Anita Dunn.”

Unlike his family, the president is said to still hold confidence in the trio. Klain assured the Times that Biden will see the race through, saying, “He is the choice of the Democratic voters…We had a bad debate night. But you win campaigns by fighting — not quitting — in the face of adversity.” Of course, Biden is “the choice of Democratic voters” largely because the Democratic National Committee made sure he was the only choice available. A post-debate CBS News poll found that just 54% of registered Democrats think Biden should be in the race. The poll found 41% of Democrats think Biden lacks has the requisite mental and cognitive health. More importantly, 72% of all voters give him a failing grade on mental health. The family gathering at Camp David was reportedly scheduled before the debate, with the expectation that it would be a celebration of his performance and an opportunity for the extended Biden family — including his children and grandchildren — to be photographed by famed celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz.

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“The Bidens flew off to the Hamptons Saturday to milk the showbiz cows and hedge-funders for a campaign that might not still exist..”

Surprise, Surprise! (Kunstler)

Since his hiding-in-the-basement campaign in 2020 “Joe Biden’s” Party of Chaos has pretended that he is fit and alert for the job and now all of sudden they pretend to be shocked to see how far gone in the head he really is. The bullshit shovelers of the mainstream news media were especially rocked, not by the truth of the situation per se, but at being unmasked as the contemptible, confabulating tools that they’ve become. The New York Times wheeled around on a dime from their servile lionizing of the presidential hologram they helped create to its editorial board abjectly yelling for him to drop out and get gone. They were joined instantly by a long list of other opinion-shapers, campaign donors, political celebs, and Beltway players.

Right after the debate, First lady Dr. Jill led a cheerleading session before a roomful of partisans that went beyond cringeworthy into uncharted territory of mortification. (“You were great, Joe! You answered all the questions!”). By the time the entourage moved to a pre-planned event at a nearby Atlanta Waffle House, “JB” had gone full-on zombie. If all that was intended to be reassuring, the effect was the opposite. Someone handed the blank-faced old grifter a milkshake and they beat it out of there. The Bidens flew off to the Hamptons Saturday to milk the showbiz cows and hedge-funders for a campaign that might not still exist. “Everyone paid in advance. . .so it could be an opportunity to encourage him to drop out,” an invited guest told a New York Post reporter. “I wanted to go and see the train wreck,” another donor said. “I’d rather choose someone from a phone book than have Biden.”

That was generally the tone among the woke-gay-communist echelons all over the land — surprisingly vehement, considering that just forty-eight hours before they were all in on re-election. Some could probably see their lucrative hustles whirling around the drain, and others might fret about just how far and wide prosecutions under a Trump Attorney General might loom. “JB” and his family circle attempted to regroup over the weekend at Camp David where first son, Hunter (“the smartest man I know,” the president often says), led the buoying-up session, perhaps mindful of the many bank accounts set up by his lawyers in the name of Biden family members (including little grandchildren) for receipt of influence-peddling revenue gathered sedulously from entities abroad during “Joe Biden’s” post-veep high-earning years. The family emerged from that meet-up triumphantly, ready to forget the one bad evening and jump back into the election game.

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“Smith has long tended to push the law to the breaking point to bag defendants..”

Too Clever By Half (Turley)

The Supreme Court’s decision in Fischer v. United States rejecting the use of obstruction of legal proceedings against January 6th defendants will potentially impact hundreds of cases. For some, it may lead to dismissals or, in the cases with multiple charges, resentencings. One of those cases that will be impacted is the pending prosecution of former president Donald Trump who is facing four charges, including two obstruction counts. However, it is not clear if Special Counsel Jack Smith will yield to the decision or possibly take the dubious path laid out by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson in her concurrence. Smith has long tended to push the law to the breaking point to bag defendants. That was the case when his conviction of former Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell was unanimously reversed as overextending another law.

It is doubtful that he will go quietly into the night after the Fischer decision. In most cases, a prosecutor would go back and secure a superseding indictment in light of the loss of the obstruction claims. Those claims were central to the narrative of the government under the current indictment. That is not Smith’s style. He may decide to push even harder for a trial before the election on the remaining counts. Smith has made the trial before the election an overriding priority throughout his appointment. He also has a very favorable and motivated judge in United States District Judge Tanya Chutkan. He could also take a not-so-subtle hint from Jackson in her concurrence. Jackson supported the majority in finding that the obstruction provision, Section 1512(c), was enacted after the Enron case to address the destruction of documents and records.

Section 1512(c)(1) prohibits corruptly obstructing an official proceeding by altering, destroying, mutilating, or concealing a record, document, or other object with the intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding. However, a second provision under subsection (c)(2) allowed for charges that would “otherwise” obstruct, influence, or impede an official proceeding. The Court held that the obstruction cases under Section 1512(c)(2) must be tied to impairing the integrity or availability of evidence. However, in a single justice concurrence, she added a way that Smith and other prosecutors might still be able to shoehorn January 6th into a Section 1512 offense:

“That official proceeding [Congress’s certification of the Electoral College vote] plainly used certain records, documents, or objects—including, among others, those relating to the electoral votes themselves. See Tr. of Oral Arg. 65–67. And it might well be that Fischer’s conduct, as alleged here, involved the impairment (or the attempted impairment) of the availability or integrity of things used during the January 6 proceeding “in ways other than those specified in (c)(1).” Ante, at 8. If so, then Fischer’s prosecution under §1512(c)(2) can, and should, proceed. That issue remains available for the lower courts to determine on remand.” Notably, no other justice joined Jackson in the concurrence. However, Smith and Chutkan could reason that it was not expressly rejected and presumably, the three justices in dissent would support the broader reading since they were willing to sign off on the ultimate extension of the obstruction of justice statute. That includes Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

However, that still leaves less than a majority and an application that runs against the grain of the opinion. Just saying that a proceeding involves “certain records” is transparently artificial and forced. Even the submission of an alternative slate of electors is not the destruction of electors certified by the secretaries of state. The federal law allows for challenges in Congress, which Democrats previously utilized without claims of insurrections or attacks on democracy. J6 Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), voted to challenge the certification of the 2004 results of President George W. Bush’s reelection; committee member Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) sought to challenge Trump’s certification in 2016. Both did so under the very law that Trump’s congressional supporters used in 2020. And Pelosi and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) praised the challenge organized by then-Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in 2004.

Those challenges under the same loose theory could have been viewed as attempting to negate or destroy certifications from the states. It would likely, in my view, result in another reversal. It is, in my view, too clever by half. That may not concern Smith who may still want to use the obstruction counts to increase the likelihood of convictions on the other counts. In such a circumstance, the overturning of the two obstruction convictions might still leave the conviction for conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy against the rights of citizens. We will see in the coming weeks, but Smith is likely waiting for the other shoe to drop in the Trump immunity case. That could add additional complications if the case is remanded by the Court for further proceedings. There is little time for a trial before November if the district court must hold hearings on claims that statements or actions were taken by Trump as part of his office.

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“If Putin does not immediately use sufficient force to terminate the conflict, World War Three seems certain..”

The Resurrection of French Nationalism? (Paul Craig Roberts)

France was the last European nation to lose its sovereignty, and France might be the first to recover its sovereignty. In the 1960s France was still a nation of ethnic French as contrasted with the tower of babel and a geographical entity that it is today. During the ten-year presidency of Charles De Gaulle (1959-69) France’s policy was one of national independence. DeGaulle refused to join NATO, and he opposed a supranational Europe in which nations would subordinate themselves to a European Union.French independence could be on the point of return judging from the success of Marine Le Pen’s party yesterday in the current French elections. Her nationalist party has in the first round of the parliamentary elections taken 34% of the votes with President Macron’s centrist coalition receiving only 21% support. If the second round produces similar results, a restoration of French independence is possible.

For many years European governments have worked consistently to overwhelm their ethnic populations with third world immigrant-invaders. It has reached the point where ethnic European women raped by immigrant-invaders fear to report the crime as it can result in a charge of racism or worse against the victim. For example, in response to a gang-rape of an ethnic German female, a 20-year old ethnic German female citizen called one of the gang rapists a “disgraceful rapist pig.” The German citizen was sentenced to jail for defaming an immigrant-invader, a protected species under German law, while the rapist was given a suspended sentence and served no jail time. For many years the European working class has experienced their living standards reduced in the name of economy. Not long ago the French were protesting the rise in the retirement age, which forces them to work longer for their pension.

The French have noticed that economy measures only apply to their living standards and not to the vast sums that Macron pours into the West’s war against Russia in Ukraine. Now all of Europe hears continually that they must prepare, and cough up money for, war with Russia. The French don’t want war with Russia. Nor do the Germans, or the Italians. Only “their” governments do, and war is what Washington’s puppets have put on the agenda. Europeans don’t want the high energy cost and lost profit and employment opportunities imposed on them by Washington’s “Russian sanctions.” It seems to Europeans that the purpose of Washington’s sanctions is to make Europe more dependent on Washington, essentially reducing them to serfs. Finally, after suffering decades of abuse, insult, and total disregard by their leaders, Europeans protested in the recent European Union parliamentary elections. The ruling parties were repudiated across the board.

The Belgian prime minister had to resign. The French president had to call national elections. I wrote that if the repudiation carries over into the national elections, we could see the unravelling of NATO, the European Union, and a return of sovereign European nations. World War II gave control of Europe to the US instead of to Germany. The Soviet collapse gave Washington control over the Warsaw Pact, placing NATO on Russia’s border. Washington’s policy was to de-Germanize Germany and to destroy a national awareness. Washington controlled German education and indoctrinated Germans that nationalism was racist, produced Hitler and the Holocaust. Legislation was passed essentially criminalizing a positive attitude toward German nationalism. It meant that you were a Nazi. It still does. It is unclear if a German state can ever be resurrected.

Rid of the Germans, Washington turned its efforts on France. De Gaulle’s departure weakened France. It took time, but eventually Washington controlled who the French president would be. With France, Germany, and the British in Washington’s pocket, the rest of Europe went along. Today European nations that shared the rule of the world are puppets of a criminal regime in Washington. The notion that there is any military power in these puppet states is laughable. The self-confidence that made the British the ruler of the world has long departed. It was destroyed at Oxford and Cambridge. No Western country has a positive opinion of itself. All are being keyed for war with Russia, China, Iran, while they themselves are being overrun by immigrant-invaders who are paid tribute for their support and permitted to rape European women as a form of restitution.

The Kremlin does not understand the hollowed out, empty, West where there is no support for any government. Western peoples are brainwashed into impotence and cannot even protect their constitutional rights. Why would anyone fight for these governments, and if forced, with what spirit? Putin sits there in his legalistic way accepting insult after insult, provocation after provocation, as his way of avoiding war with the West. It is not only Western provocations that are widening the Ukraine conflict into World War III. Putin has permitted the conflict to go on and on and on, and this has enabled Washington to get more and more and more involved, thus widening the conflict. If Putin does not immediately use sufficient force to terminate the conflict, World War Three seems certain. There is hope that if Le Pen wins France and does not sell out to Washington, the unravelling of NATO and resurrection of European independence will begin. But this can be a slow process, while the developments in Ukraine toward wider war are accelerating. The time is rapidly ending during which Putin can use sufficient force to end the conflict before it results in World War Three.

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“The West has ‘lost’ Russia much more profoundly than is understood..”

The West – Indubitably – Has Lost Russia, And Is Losing Eurasia Too (Crooke)

There perhaps was a momentary shrugging-off of slumber in Washington this week as they read the account of Sergei Lavrov’s démarche to the U.S. Ambassador in Moscow: Russia was telling the U.S. – “We are no longer at peace”! Not just ‘no longer at peace’, Russia was holding the U.S. responsible for the ‘cluster strike’ on a Crimean beach on last Sunday’s Pentecost holiday, killing several (including children) and injuring many more. The U.S. thereby “became party” to the proxy war in Ukraine (it was an American-supplied ATACM; programmed by American specialists; and drawing on U.S. data), Russia’s statement read; “Retaliatory measures will certainly follow”. Evidently, somewhere an amber light flashed hues of pink and red. The Pentagon grasped that something had happened – ‘No going around it; This could escalate badly’. The U.S. Defence Secretary (after a pause since March 2023) reached for the phone to call his Russian counterpart: ‘The U.S. regretted civilian deaths; the Ukrainians had full targeting discretion’.

The Russian public however, is plain furious. The diplomatic argot of ‘there now being a state of betweenness; not war and not peace’ is but the ‘half of it’. The West has ‘lost’ Russia much more profoundly than is understood. President Putin – in his statement to the Foreign Ministry Board in wake of the G7 sword-rattling – detailed just how we had arrived at this pivotal juncture (of inevitable escalation). Putin indicated that the gravity of the situation demanded a ‘last chance’ offer to the West, one that Putin emphatically said was to be “No temporary ceasefire for Kiev to prepare a new offensive; nor a freezing the conflict – but rather, needed to be about the war’s final completion”. It has been widely understood that the only credible way to end the Ukraine war would be a ‘peace’ agreement emerging through negotiation between Russia and the U.S. This however is rooted in a familiar U.S.-centric vision – ‘Waiting on Washington …’.

Lavrov archly commented (in paraphrase) that if anyone imagines we are ‘waiting for Godot’, and ‘will run for it’, they are mistaken. Moscow has something much more radical in mind – something that will shock the West. Moscow (and China) are not simply waiting upon the whims of the West, but plan to invert completely the security architecture paradigm: To create an ‘Alt’ architecture for the ‘vast space’ of Eurasia, no less. It is intended to exit the existing bloc zero-sum confrontation. A new confrontation is not envisaged; however the new architecture nevertheless is intended to force ‘external actors’ to curtail their hegemony across the continent. In his Foreign Ministry address, Putin explicitly looked ahead to the collapse of the Euro-Atlantic security system and to a new architecture emerging: “The world will never be the same again”, he said.

What did he mean? Yuri Ushakov, Putin’s principal Foreign Policy adviser (at the Primakov Readings Forum), clarified Putin’s ‘sparse’ allusion: Ushakov reportedly said that Russia increasingly has come to the view there is not going to be any long-term re-shaping of the security system in Europe. And without any major re-shaping, there will be no ‘final completion’ (Putin’s words) to the conflict in Ukraine. Ushakov explained that this unified and indivisible security system in Eurasia must replace the Euro-Atlantic and Euro-centric models that are now receding into oblivion. “This speech [of Putin at the Russian Foreign Ministry], I would say, sets the vector of further activities of our country at the international stage, including the building of a single and indivisible security system in Eurasia,” Ushakov said.

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“.. the United States has massively over-extended itself and damaged its own reliability as a global trade partner.”

‘Unipolar US Dollar’ Mutated Into ‘Politically Weaponized’ Tool (Sp.)

“In essence, the more the United States prints and spends USD, the more the rest of the world is expected to invest in US government paper, and subsidize this debt-spending. The BRICS nations and their adherents are advocating for the use of national currencies for cross-border trade, eventually de-linking from the increasingly unipolar and visibly unreliable US Dollar,” Goncharoff explained. Furthermore, analysts at the Russia’s Pivot to Asia website wrote that two “main global financial evolutionary events” are unfolding right now. These involve changes to the role of the US dollar, and “technology and the digitization of financial transactions.” America has itself to blame for the loss of the greenback’s credibility as a global currency, mainly due to the mind-boggling US-dollar issued debt – a whopping $32.72 trillion.

“It has created a scenario where foreign governments are increasingly wary of investing in additional US dollar debt until a management system is put in place that will be able to support such a load,” Goncharoff noted. He forecasts that the US dollar “will become prone to increasing shocks, leading to uncertainty and mistrust on the global financial markets.” If the US were to default on its debt, American bondholders would carry losses on their investments, and the negative impacts on global trade would be huge, he warned. He underscored that the US treasury norm of printing of more dollars to cover up the fiscal debt “debases the actual value of the currency and encourages inflation.”

While Moscow has effectively “inoculated” itself from looming future problems with the US economy, other countries, like China, are doing the same. The trade focus is shifting away from the United States, fueling a geopolitical evolution of trade blocs like BRICS, the Eurasian Economic Union and Shanghai Cooperation Organization, with some like BRICS discussing alternative currency platforms. “One proposal for a unified BRICS trade unit is the “BRICS Bridge” allowing the ten current members to exchange units based 60% of their sovereign currencies and 40% backed by their gold reserves,” noted Goncharoff, and summed up:. “For Russia, and most other nations, there is a far bigger picture – where non-US dominated, global trade opportunities beckon.” Furthermore, the US has used the dollar as a trade and geopolitical weapon, said the pundit, seeking to abuse economies of Venezuela, Iran, Turkey and Russia amongst others.

“It has done this in two main areas, firstly by manipulating the US dollar currency exchange rates in order to damage other national currencies when the US wants to inflict fiscal punishments or seek trade advantages,” remarked the analyst, adding that Washington “has also used the global SWIFT payment network as a switch to turn US dollar trade on and off according to its policies.” “Other governments are becoming concerned that these punishments could in future be meted out to them, which also creates mistrust and fear of US dollar over-exposure. Any one of these problems are serious. It appears ultimately unlikely the United States will be able to fend off the repercussions of them all. In short – the United States has massively over-extended itself and damaged its own reliability as a global trade partner.”

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“The children here have not gone to school for a year, and we are under rocket fire day and night. It is a very strange situation.”

Charles Nenner Warns “Very Hard Times Are Coming” (USAW)

This week, Nenner’s war cycle “turned straight up” and his economic cycle “turned straight down.” The next big conflict is not going to be in Ukraine or Taiwan–just yet. On Saturday, this headline: “Iran Threatens Israel With ‘Obliterating War’ If It Attacks Lebanon.” Nenner says all hell is about to break loose. Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iran and Turkey are key players in an escalating war with Israel. Nenner, who lives on the border with Lebanon in Northern Israel, interviewed with USAW just after a barrage of 100 rockets hit near his location. Nenner reports, “The children here have not gone to school for a year, and we are under rocket fire day and night. It is a very strange situation. What I don’t understand is the Arab resistance, led by Iran, did not see what happened in Gaza. If this really goes, Lebanon is going to disappear from the map…

How do I know these things? I know these things because I work with several governments in the world… In the 1960’s, there was a war, and half of Cypress ended up Turkish and half of Cypress is Greek. Turkey never accepted that. . . . Israel is using airfields in Cypress. . . . If this really gets going, Turkey is going to take over Cypress because they support Hamas (and Hezbollah). Turkey will invade Cypress, and this will lead to a war between Greece and Turkey. Of course, Iran is going to be involved also. Big boats are heading to Israel, so America is going to be involved. Russia has its ideas too… I don’t think Americans have any clue what is going on there, and they have no background. They are only busy with trying to win the Election, and it’s going to lead to catastrophe. If there is a war, Turkey is going to be involved, Cypress is going to be involved, NATO is going to be involved, and it is going to be much more serious than people think.”

Nenner says, “We are already in the next big war cycle.” Nenner still thinks China is going to be a big problem and says, “I would say if the world is busy with all this nonsense, then this is a time for China to take Taiwan over. The war cycle is extra up, so we have to be very careful. A lot of my wealthy clients are busy trying to get visas . . . to Caribbean islands. I know many wealthy people busy trying to get visas and trying to get out of America. This is what is going on below the surface, and most small investors don’t know what is going on… They are worried about a nuke strike or terrorists blowing stuff up left and right because they came through the border. This is a very dangerous situation. They are not leaving right now, but they are preparing now… The war cycle has turned up, and it is going to be extra dangerous from the 3rd of July on.”

Nenner says his big clients are also leaving the cities and buying houses in rural locations. Nenner told me this is a trend that has been going on for about 5 years, but it has picked up speed in the last year and a half. Nenner says his economic cycles have turned straight down. In NYC, Nenner points out, “I have very wealthy clients that just got out of commercial real estate with a 67% loss. I also know the banks, they are holding all these bad loans.” “The banks have US bonds coming to maturity that they have lost a fortune on. So, the banks, especially the regional banks, are going to be in big trouble… The regional banks are very weak. A lot is burning below the surface, which nobody tells you about.” Nenner still likes gold, but it’s going to consolidate here. Inflation is getting ready to take off again, and Nenner says, “Layoffs are coming soon. . . . Very hard times are coming.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1807746047541694893

 

 

Thomas

 

 

Issa

 

 

Silicone

 

 

Wave

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 292024
 


Rembrandt van Rijn Christ and St Mary Magdalene at the Tomb 1638

 

Washington Crossed a Fatal Red Line with the Crocus Attack (Paul Craig Roberts)
Statements By Alexander Bortnikov, Director of FSB (Doctorow)
FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison (ZH)
Avenatti: Michael Cohen Was Having Affair With Stormy Daniels Since 2006 (GP)
Putin Friendship Could Help End Ukraine Conflict – Ex-German Chancellor (RT)
Ukraine Needs Air Defense To Boost Birth Rate – Zelensky (RT)
‘Russia for Russians’ Slogans Alarming – Putin (RT)
China Opposes US Practice of Creating Enemies Out of Thin Air (Sp.)
Who’s Running the EU? Big Global Corporations Which Aren’t Even European! (Jay)
UN Court Orders Israel To Let Food Into Gaza (RT)
UK Won’t Extradite Assange While Risk of Death Penalty Remains – Tory (Sp.)
The Crucifixion of Julian Assange (Chris Hedges)
Biden To Host Star-studded NYC Fundraiser With Obama And Clinton (BBC)
Maori King Calls For Recognizing Whales As People (RT)

 

 

 

 

Trump stocks

 

 

Trump Bragg
https://twitter.com/i/status/1773034485077921940

 

 

Watters Diddy

 

 


Life is the art of drawing without an eraser. – John W. Gardner

 

 

Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1773336445173829641

 

 

Scott Ritter

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Television talk is suddenly very violent with talk of flattening Kharkiv and Kiev and bringing a quick end to the conflict..”

Washington Crossed a Fatal Red Line with the Crocus Attack (Paul Craig Roberts)

Gilbert Doctorow Now Confirms with his own analysis my prediction that Putin’s toleration of provocations is spinning the Ukraine conflict out of control. Doctorow is a careful analyst never overstating a situation. In this interview he says that the FSB statement implicating the US and UK governments in the Crocus attack had to have been approved by Putin and that implicating the US and UK in the Crocus attack has brought us to the level of danger of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Doctorow reports that Russian television has undergone a massive change following the Crocus attack. Commentators are unwilling to accept any longer Putin’s nonresponse to attacks on Russians. Television talk is suddenly very violent with talk of flattening Kharkiv and Kiev and bringing a quick end to the conflict that has been permitted to endure for far too long. It seems that a fatal red line has been crossed.

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“..Russian state security on 8 March was too tight for the terrorist mission to succeed and the United States decided to pull the plug on that operation..”

Statements By Alexander Bortnikov, Director of FSB (Doctorow)

To the uninitiated, I explain first that the FSB is the successor organization to the Soviet Union’s well-known and much feared KGB. However, the FSB today might be better compared with the FBI in the United States. It deals with domestic criminality of all kinds and with threats to Russian civilians such as terrorism. The agency and its head are rarely in the news. In this respect, the FSB is less visible both at home and abroad than the Foreign Intelligence Service headed by Sergei Naryshkin, a state figure who spent five years of this millennium as chairman of the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of the legislature, and also three years as head of the Presidential Administration. In both positions Naryshkin was very often seen on television performing his duties.

By contrast, Bortnikov spent the past 15 years in his FSB offices out of sight. However, the spectacular attack on the Crocus City Hall concert venue has propelled him to center stage and yesterday he met with the Russian state television journalist Pavel Zarubin for an interview and then allowed himself to be questioned further by a gaggle of other journalists on his way out along a corridor. This spontaneous Q&A was later broadcast on the television news. What Bortnikov had to say was extraordinary and bears directly on whether you and I should now be looking for bomb shelters. Regrettably you will not find any of it in the lead stories of today’s mainstream media. The Financial Times, for example, features an account of Xi’s meeting with CEOs of American businesses to mend ties: interesting, but not very relevant if we are at the cusp of WWIII.

*****
Bortnikov is by definition a member of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle of advisors. He, Putin and Naryshkin are all roughly the same age. At 72, Bortnikov is just several years older. I was struck in particular by his poise and prudent, carefully weighed choice of words while setting out where the investigation is heading with transparency and a ‘let the chips fall where they may’ unaffected demeanor. The journalists were all probing the question of who stood behind the terror attack. Bortnikov told them…and us: standing behind the terror act committed by Islamist extremists are the United States, Great Britain and Ukraine.

Bortnikov said that the preliminary findings indicate that the four perpetrators of the slaughter were headed by car to the border with Ukraine where they were awaited on the other side. He very calmly explained that the involvement of foreign powers is being clarified and that he will say nothing out of pure emotion now but will wait for the facts to be solidly collected before being presented. Nonetheless, it was entirely newsworthy that he named the United States, Great Britain and Ukraine as the likely puppet masters of the terror act. Let us remember that following the bombing of the Nord Stream pipelines, the most significant attack on critical civilian infrastructure globally in the last 50 years, Russian officials did not point the finger directly at any country. There was innuendo but no direct accusations such as we heard from Bortnikov yesterday.

*****
Meanwhile, quite apart from Mr. Bortnikov’s chat with journalists, a lot of new elements to the terror attack at Crocus City Hall were posted yesterday on the Russian state television news and analysis program Sixty Minutes. In particular, we learned that in the last days of February and first couple of days of March two of the four attackers were in Istanbul. The departure and arrival of one at a Moscow airport was recorded on video. We were told which hotels they stayed in, and the selfies and other photos taken by one in Istanbul were put up on the screen. It is still not clear with whom they met in Turkey. However, the timing itself is very important, because the point was made that they returned to Moscow to carry out a terror attack on 8 March, International Women’s Day, a sacred date on the Russian calendar. Had they done so on that day, the effect would have been catastrophic for the presidential elections in Russia one week later.

However, per Sixty Minutes, it was determined that Russian state security on 8 March was too tight for the terrorist mission to succeed and the United States decided to pull the plug on that operation. Note that this is approximately the time when Victoria Nuland tendered her resignation at the State Department (5 March). The possible causal link here surely deserves attention by my peers in the U.S. ‘dissident’ community. In any case, the scenario which was explored later in the day on the Evening with Vladimir Solovyov talk show is that the Ukrainians decided to proceed with the terror attack a week after the Russian presidential elections, when it lost most of its rationale. They did so over the objections of Washington.

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SBF donated many millions to the Democrats. His victims would like that money back, please.

FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison (ZH)

And there it is – Bankman-Fried sentenced to 25 years in prison – more than Elizabeth Holmes, less than Bernie Madoff, same as Bernie Ebbers. SBF will also have to forfeit more than $11 billion. Judge Kaplan did not hold back during his sentencing: “When not lying, he was evasive, hair splitting, trying to get the prosecutors to rephrase questions for him. I’ve been doing this job for close for 30 years. I’ve never seen a performance like that.”

Update (1105ET): Just before the federal judge was about to sentence Bankman-Fried in his fraud case, the former FTX founder said that he was “sorry.” “I know a lot of people feel really let down,” he said at his sentencing hearing Thursday morning in lower Manhattan. “I’m sorry about that. I’m sorry about what happened at every stage.” “All of the company followed me across the earth, across continents, burning the midnight oil working until 2 a.m., 4 a.m., dedicated to FTX,” he said in a plea for leniency. “I remember so many of them.” He said the staff “all built something really beautiful. They threw themselves into it and then I threw that all away. It haunts me every day. I made a series of bad decisions. They weren’t selfish decisions, they were bad decisions.” Bad decisions indeed Sam.

[..] in November 2023, as Michael Washburn reports via The Epoch Times, jurors decided to convict Mr. Bankman-Fried on all seven of counts of conspiracy and fraud with which government lawyers charged him. Mr. Bankman-Fried and his attorneys have repeatedly argued that he didn’t intentionally do anything wrong and that he deserves no more than 6 1/2 years in jail. In his trial testimony in October 2023, Mr. Bankman-Fried insisted he used sophisticated analytics to try to keep track of the state of FTX’s finances and suggested that subordinates acting without his knowledge or imprimatur made costly mistakes. But prosecutors, citing testimony from Alameda Research head Caroline Ellison, who was at times romantically involved with Mr. Bankman-Fried, vehemently disagreed with the more charitable view and are pressing for a sentence of half a century or longer.

The government’s tough stance has found support from the current CEO of FTX, John Ray III, the former chair of the recovery corporation in another high-profile insolvency: that of Enron, which imploded in December 2001. In a letter to Judge Kaplan, Mr. Ray denounced the “categorically, callously, and demonstrably false” claims that Mr. Bankman-Fried and his lawyers have put forth in the hope of getting a lighter sentence. [..]

[..]The verdict in November 2023 came exactly one year after a Nov. 2, 2022, report in the cryptocurrency publication Coindesk began to stoke wide concern about the state of FTX’s finances. The report cited a leaked balance sheet of FTX’s hedge fund trading affiliate, Alameda Research. According to Coindesk’s analysis, a bulk of Alameda’s $14.6 billion of assets was in the form of FTX’s own crypto token, FTT, rather than a fiat currency. This not only suggested that Alameda’s wealth was potentially less fungible than many had assumed but also pointed to extensive commingling of FTX customer deposits with the hedge fund affiliate. Whether or not Coindesk was correct to impute instability and weakness to FTX on the basis of its position in FTT, the reaction in the market was swift. On Nov. 6, 2022, Changpeng Zhao, then-CEO of Binance, one of the other leading cryptocurrency exchanges, sent out a sharply worded post on Twitter.

Mr. Zhao alluded to the fact that Binance had been distancing itself from FTX over the past year and had received the equivalent of about $2.1 billion in U.S. dollars in the form of both cash and the FTT token. “Due to recent revelations that have come to light, we have decided to liquidate any remaining FTT on our books. We will try to do so in a way that minimizes market impact,” Mr. Zhao wrote.Despite that assurance, Binance’s move, and forthright public announcement, immediately helped fuel a run on the bank during which customers pulled $6 billion from FTX in three days. The exchange would never recover; some $9 billion of customer funds are still lost through the commingling of funds and Bankman-Fried’s lavish spending.

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Avenatti and Michael Cohen. What a pair.

Avenatti: Michael Cohen Was Having Affair With Stormy Daniels Since 2006 (GP)

Tony Seruga is a very popular commentator on Twitter. In his profile, the conservative commentator with over 77K followers, Mr. Seruga, states that he’s an Intel Ops CIA/NSA Contractor/Whistleblower. This afternoon, Mr. Seruga dropped a bombshell, and if true, it could blow up the whole Stormy Daniels affair with Trump lie that the mainstream media and Democrats have been clinging to since 2015. Tony Seruga claims he used to share office space with the convicted felon and former attorney, Michael Avenatti, who represented porn star Stormy Daniels in her case alleging that then-presidential candidate Donald J. Trump paid her hush money to keep their alleged “affair” out of the public. [..] Here’s where Seruga’s story gets to be very interesting as it relates to Stormy Daniels and former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, “In any case, Avenatti shared details of his client Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, case and the fact that her and Michael Cohen were actually having an affair since 2006.”

And then, Seruga drops a bombshell: “The whole hush money scheme was cooked up by Michael Cohen to extort the Trump Organization before the 2016 election. Avenatti seemed pleased at how deviant Michael Cohen was.” Seruga followed up his first tweet by explaining how the shady lawyer Michael Avenatti bragged about the scheme more than once and even bragged about it to former NBA star Dennis Rodman on the patio in Corona Del Mar, CA. In addition to being one of the all-time best defensive players in the NBA, Dennis Rodman is known for his relationship with Madonna and his unusual friendship with North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un. So, it’s pretty easy to believe Rodman could be friends with the flamboyant CA lawyer Michael Avenatti.

“Understand, Michael Avenatti is a serial liar, but he did speak about his client (that he would later steal from) and Michael Cohen’s affair touching on their scheme to bilk the Trump Organization out of money. He spoke about it on more than one occasion. He was very passionate that Trump had not signed the NDA making it null and void. One time, in fact, he was bragging about it to Dennis Rodman at the Port Restaurant out on the patio, in Corona Del Mar, CA. I was only half listening as I had heard it all before, but Dennis Rodman seemed engaged in the conversation.” Another popular Twitter personality from California, who goes by “SL,” had this to say about the Dennis Rodman and Michael Avenatti conversation that allegedly occurred at the Port Restaurant in California.

“Interesting. I know Dennis Rodman visits Port Restaurant on occasion since I had a conversion [conversation] [with] him there around 2015/2016. Likely to be a true story.” On Monday, when asked by reporters, President Trump said that he would testify in the alleged hush money payment to Stormy Daniels’ trial in NYC that was brought against him by the rabidly anti-Trump,] but soft-on-actual criminals DA Alvin Bragg. “I would have no problem testifying,” Trump said. “I didn’t do anything wrong.” Trump also suggested that he’s planning to appeal the trial date set for April 15 and said he’s unsure if there will even be a trial following his appeals.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1773436810229694731

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Schroeder persists.

Putin Friendship Could Help End Ukraine Conflict – Ex-German Chancellor (RT)

Talking to Moscow is the only way to end the hostilities between Russia and Ukraine, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder told the press agency dpa in an interview published on Thursday. His personal friendship with President Vladimir Putin could play a role in stopping the bloodshed, Schroeder said. The former chancellor and Russian leader are known to have close ties that stretch back to when Schroeder headed the German government in the late 1990s. In 2014, Putin attended Schroeder’s birthday party in St. Petersburg. Later, Schroeder joined the boards of directors of the Russian operator of the Nord Stream gas pipeline and energy giant Rosneft. He faced a backlash over his ties to Moscow after the conflict between Russia and Ukraine erupted in February 2022 – and resigned from the Rosneft board in May of that year. Asked about maintaining his friendship with Putin amid the Ukraine conflict, the former chancellor insisted the two matters were entirely distinct.

“I think it would be completely wrong to forget all the positive things that have happened between us in politics in the past,” he told the German news agency, adding that breaking relationships with friends was “not his style.” Contacts with the Russian leadership could still prove crucial in the future peace talks, Schroeder believes. “We have worked together sensibly for many years. Perhaps that can still help to find a negotiated solution,” he said, telling dpa that he saw “no other way” to end the conflict. “It is obvious that the war cannot end with the total defeat of one side or the other,” Schroeder said. The former chancellor has repeatedly called for a negotiated solution to the conflict and accused the US of forcing Kiev to reject a peace deal with Moscow. In October 2023, he also said that Western Europe had “failed” to seize the opportunity to push for peace in March 2022.

Schroeder himself traveled to Istanbul and Moscow on a “peace mission” in the spring of 2022 and also met Putin in July of the same year. His efforts yielded no results at that time. In Germany, Schroeder was ostracized by his own party, which deprived him of his parliamentary privileges, but failed in an effort to expel him over his ties to Russia. In 2023, he relinquished his honorary citizenship of Hannover before the city could strip him of it. Moscow has repeatedly said it is ready for peace talks as long as the situation on the ground is taken into account. Ukraine has insisted on Russian troops withdrawing from all the territories it claims as its own, including Crimea and the four former Ukrainian territories that joined Russian following a series of referendums in autumn 2022. Russia has dismissed such demands as “absurd.”

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No. It needs peace.

Ukraine Needs Air Defense To Boost Birth Rate – Zelensky (RT)

Kiev needs more air defense systems to help Ukrainians have more children, President Vladimir Zelensky said on Thursday. Ukraine currently has the lowest fertility rate in the world. The issue of demographics came up during Zelensky’s meeting with students in Sumy, a city near the border with Russia, when someone asked him if there were plans to financially support new parents. “We need not only financial incentives, because in my opinion, finances help, but they do not stimulate birth itself during war,” Zelensky said. “Help, yes. But as for births, it seems to me that it’s mainly a matter of security.” The government should put air-raid shelters in schools and kindergartens, he added, as well as getting “the latest technologies when it comes to air defense” from foreign partners, manufacture them domestically, and “inform the society about this.”

Zelensky further argued that there would be a “baby boom” after the conflict is over and millions of Ukrainians who left the country return from abroad “confident in a better tomorrow and the future of Ukraine.” Ukraine’s total fertility rate – the average number of babies per woman of child-bearing age – is currently 0.7, the lowest in the world. The country’s demographics have been further affected by a mass exodus to the West and significant casualties on the battlefield, to the point where the very survival of the nation is in question, a government-funded think tank told The Times earlier this year.

“Male life expectancy has decreased from 66-67 before the war to 57-58,” said Ella Libanova, head of the Institute for Demography and Social Studies at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Only four African countries – Chad, Nigeria, Lesotho and the Central African Republic – have lower life expectancies. Last June, the Ukrainian Institute for the Future (UIF) estimated that only 29 million people remained in the country – down from 52 million in 1991, when Ukraine declared independence. These estimates also included residents of the regions that joined Russia. The number of Ukrainian refugees abroad has been estimated by the government at over six million. While Kiev has been hopeful that most of them would come back eventually, the UIF estimated that the majority had no interest in returning.

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“And they treat both their small Motherland and our common big Motherland in a way that, I think, no one in other parts of the world treats their homeland..”

‘Russia for Russians’ Slogans Alarming – Putin (RT)

Nationalist ideas are concerning for a multicultural country like Russia, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday during a visit to Tver Region. He was referring to the slogan, “Russia for Russians,” which promotes the idea that the ethnic majority deserves more rights than other nationalities in the country. Russia is a multinational and a multi-confessional state, and the violation of rights of any citizens will only lead to a collapse of the country, the president warned, adding that all religions are treated with respect in teh country. He noted that 190 ethnic groups currently live in Russia, with some nationalities comprising millions of people. “When I listen to hurrah-patriots – and there are such people everywhere, in any society, including those who say that ‘Russia is only for Russians,’ you know, I get a feeling of anxiety,” Putin said.

He emphasized the importance of persevering with the multinational Russian state and warned that “destructive thoughts such as everyone else is a foreigner here” would ruin the country. Representatives of all religious denominations, all peoples of Russia, are “showing their best side on the battlefield today,” Putin said. “And they treat both their small Motherland and our common big Motherland in a way that, I think, no one in other parts of the world treats their homeland,” he concluded. Putin made the comments during a visit to Torzhok air force base in Tver Region, home of the 344th Training Center for Russian combat pilots, where personnel are being trained to take part in the Ukraine military operation.

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“The US practice of artificially creating enemies out of thin air for the sake of boosting its military budget..”

China Opposes US Practice of Creating Enemies Out of Thin Air (Sp.)

The US practice of artificially creating enemies out of thin air for the sake of boosting its military budget is strategically extremely dangerous, and China firmly opposes it, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said on Thursday. The United States had repeatedly used China as a pretext for increasing its military budget, inflating a non-existent “Chinese military threat,” Wu said at a briefing. “This practice of artificially creating enemies out of thin air is extremely dangerous from a strategic point of view, and China is firmly opposed to it,” the spokesman added. He also said that China did not wish to threaten anyone, but it was also not afraid of anyone’s threats, and no amount of force can stop the development of the Chinese army.

On Saturday, US President Joe Biden signed into law an appropriations package that includes the $825 billion defense spending bill for fiscal year 2024. The act doubles security cooperation funding for Taiwan. The United States would counter China by maximizing its production of critical munitions and by spending more than $66 billion for the US Indo-Pacific Command capabilities, including $42 million to bolster its military capabilities in the region, the House Appropriations Committee said in a summary of the package.

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“..the elitist payroll which you might be fooled into thinking was the EU itself. Oh you thought he was talking about the West in general and its population? Is it April 1st yet?”

Who’s Running the EU? Big Global Corporations Which Aren’t Even European! (Jay)

If you can get your head around the Moscow attacks or the British foreign minister’s recent video monologue where he explains how the UK is sanctioning a number of Chinese officials, have a thought about the European Union, a Rubik’s Cube which has all its faces painted one colour as its real identity is so opaque. With just weeks away from its own elections – yes, the most undemocratic organisation in the world even organises elections for its own fake parliament – the EU itself is about to redefine itself. Already there are signs that even EU leaders are growing tired of its foibles and delusional dreams about its identity on the international circuit as a geopolitical contender, but people, humble voters, will soon deliver a message to the elites which run the EU soon: reform or crumble. Just recently, EU nerds in Brussels noticed that when all of the EU’s leaders descend on the grey, depressing Belgian capital – a city many associate with industrial scale paedophilia, graft, chocolate and a pissing urchin – that they show anyone who’s paying attention who ultimately runs the EU: member states.

Or at least that’s the theory. In the last few days EU leaders attended a meeting at the European Council of Ministers building and voted to “condemn” illegal West Bank settlers in Israel. Most editors of UK newspapers didn’t even understand what was happening. It was reported as “EU slams Israel’s West bank settlers” or “EU mulls sanctions against violent settlers” in a number of exclusive, European high-brow journals but completely unreported in the UK or US. Perhaps the British press didn’t understand the significance of EU leaders – rather than the European Commission or the parliament – taking this initiative? EU leaders themselves, in theory, have the power. They hold the aces. And when they decide on a line or a certain policy, the European Commission has no choice but to go along with it – affirming the old hacks’ dinner party circuit rambling that “the EU Council of Ministers is the most powerful institution in Brussels”. Perhaps it is. Or was. But what were EU leaders really trying to say with the stunt?

Simply that they object to Ursula von der Leyen’s repulsive, uncompromising support for the genocide in Gaza and send a signal that Jewish settlers’ violence when they steal Palestinians’ land is unacceptable. Just keep on stealing and looting as much as you can, but please do it peacefully, seems to be the message. This in itself is a clear message who really runs the so-called EU “foreign policy” rather than the Spanish gimp in Brussels otherwise known as Josep Borrell. EU member states own this domain and every now and again need to remind the elite in Brussels that they, member states, humour the EU hierarchy with this fantasy of being a geopolitical dick swinger with its own hegemony. But even being the guardian of such a dossier, where does it get the EU or its “members” when both are so impotent, hesitant and ultimately cowardly on the international stage? Ultimately, all the EU can do is make statements. That’s it. It has proven over and over again that it is powerless against anything that Israel does, regardless of that old chestnut often known as “international law”.

And the call from EU leaders for violence in the West Bank to stop is also an indicator to who are the super elites around the world who really control David Cameron or pay for Boris Johnson to fly out to Kiev recently and bang on the “let’s never give peace a chance” drum: Jewish money and power. And that Jewish money – American Jewish money – which controls the UN banking system, the federal exchange, World Bank, IMF, Hollywood, both houses in U.S. politics and most of big business in America is worried about anti-Semitism growing in the West. And so they inform their servants to go to the garden and find the lost jewels of the lady in the house while the rest of the world burns. Priorities. EU leaders didn’t meet in Brussels to thrash out a peace plan as they don’t have the instructions to do so. Hatred towards Jews in the West is the most important issue as it could be the thin end of the wedge which removes power from the elites who own Sunak, Scholz, Macron et al not to mention the European Union project which serves their global interests most admirably.

And you can always tell when these powerful hidden elites are fretting over their power base being slightly shaken. Their surfs start whining. Just listen to Josep Borrell recently talk about the Ukraine war and Russia. “We cannot afford for Russia to win this war. Otherwise the U.S. and European interests will be very damaged” he gushed. “It is not a matter of generosity alone … of supporting Ukraine because we love Ukrainian people. It is in our own interest”. Of course, when he spoke of “our own interest” he literally meant his own interest and a few of his cronies on the elitist payroll which you might be fooled into thinking was the EU itself. Oh you thought he was talking about the West in general and its population? Is it April 1st yet?

Read more …

Binding.

UN Court Orders Israel To Let Food Into Gaza (RT)

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered Israel to allow uninterrupted shipments of food into Gaza. Before issuing the legally-binding order, the Hague-based court warned that “famine is setting in” in the besieged enclave. Issued on Thursday, the order commands Israel to take “all necessary and effective measures to ensure, without delay, in full cooperation with the United Nations, the unhindered provision…of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance,” including food, water, and medicine. The ruling comes two months after the court ruled that “the state of Israel shall take all measures to prevent the commission of genocide in Gaza,” including by blocking humanitarian aid shipments.

“The court observes that Palestinians in Gaza are no longer facing only a risk of famine … but that famine is setting in,” the judges wrote in Thursday’s ruling. Israel can help alleviate this looming famine “by increasing the capacity and number of land crossing points and maintaining them open for as long as necessary,” they noted. The Israeli military controls all entry and exit points to Gaza except the Rafah crossing between the enclave and Egypt. However, Cairo allows Israel to determine when the crossing can be opened, and Israeli troops inspect every truck that passes. Every other crossing has been shut since Israel imposed a siege on Gaza immediately after Hamas militants attacked the Jewish state on October 7, and aid groups say that the trickle of supplies passing the Rafah crossing is insufficient to feed Gaza’s starving population.

A UN-backed report warned last week that more than 70% of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents are facing “catastrophic hunger,” and that famine conditions now exist in the northern part of the enclave. At least 27 children have already starved to death, the ICJ judges noted on Thursday. Thursday’s order was requested by South Africa, which filed a legal action last year accusing Israel of committing “systematic” war crimes and genocide in Gaza. Israel denies that it is committing genocide and insists that its military campaign against Hamas – which has killed more than 32,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children – is legitimate self defense.

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“..their judgment is about the law as it stands not as some might like it to be..”

UK Won’t Extradite Assange While Risk of Death Penalty Remains – Tory (Sp.)

The government of the United Kingdom will not want to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States as long as he could still face the death penalty there, Lord Richard Balfe, a Conservative member of the UK Parliament’s House of Lords, told Sputnik. On Tuesday, the High Court of Justice in London ruled that Assange has a real prospect of success on three of the nine grounds of appeal. The court asked the US government to provide assurances that the WikiLeaks founder would be able to claim the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which guarantees freedoms related to religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. The court also asked to ensure that Assange would not be prejudiced at his trial due to his nationality, and that he would not face the death penalty. The next hearing is scheduled for May 20 if the parties submit the necessary documents.

“I am sure that the lawyers of Julian Assange will pursue appeals for as long as they can. It is my belief that the UK Government will be unwilling to extradite without a clear undertaking that the death penalty will not be imposed,” Balfe said. When asked about the High Court’s decision, Balfe stated that the UK-US extradition treaty signed by the Blair government has a reputation of being flawed and placing uneven responsibilities on the UK as opposed to the US. “The job of the High Court is to interpret the existing law, not to invent new laws. As such their judgment is about the law as it stands not as some might like it to be,” Balfe said.

The lawmaker stated that he in no way supports the past actions of Assange, stressing the importance of passage of confidential information between governments for conducting international diplomacy and that “sometimes difficult decisions need to be taken and examples need to be made.” Assange, an Australian citizen, was transferred to London’s high-security Belmarsh prison in April 2019 on bail breach charges. In the US, he faces prosecution under the Espionage Act for obtaining and disclosing classified information that shed light on war crimes and human rights violations committed by US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. If convicted, the WikiLeaks founder could face up to 175 years in prison. One of the last means of preventing his transfer to the US may be an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. Assange lost his previous appeal at the UK High Court last June.

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“..the British court could order Julian’s immediate extradition prior to a Rule 39 instruction, or decide to ignore a request from the ECtHR to allow Julian to have his case heard there.”

The Crucifixion of Julian Assange (Chris Hedges)

Prosecutors representing the United States, whether by design or incompetence, refused — in the two-day hearing I attended in London in February — to provide guarantees that Julian Assange would be afforded First Amendment rights and would be spared the death penalty if extradited to the U.S. The inability to give these assurances all but guaranteed that the High Court — as it did on Tuesday — would allow Julian’s lawyers to appeal. Was this done to stall for time so that Julian would not be extradited until after the U.S. presidential election? Was it a delaying tactic to work out a plea deal? Julian’s lawyers and U.S. prosecutors are discussing this possibility. Was it careless legal work? Or was it to keep Julian locked in a high security prison until he collapses mentally and physically? If Julian is extradited, he will stand trial for allegedly violating 17 counts of the 1917 Espionage Act, with a potential sentence of 170 years, along with another charge for “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion” carrying an additional five years.

The court will permit Julian to appeal minor technical points — his basic free speech rights must be honored, he cannot be discriminated against on the basis of his nationality and he cannot be under threat of the death penalty. No new hearing will allow his lawyers to focus on the war crimes and corruption that WikiLeaks exposed. No new hearing will permit Julian to mount a public-interest defense. No new hearing will discuss the political persecution of a publisher who has not committed a crime. The court, by asking the U.S. for assurances that Julian would be granted First Amendment rights in the U.S. courts and not be subject to the death penalty, offered the U.S. an easy out — give the guarantees and the appeal is rejected.

It is hard to see how the U.S. can refuse the two-judge panel, composed of Dame Victoria Sharp and Justice Jeremy Johnson, which issued on Tuesday a 66-page judgment accompanied by a three-page court order and a four-page media briefing. The hearing in February was Julian’s last chance to request an appeal of the extradition decision made in 2022 by the then British home secretary, Priti Patel, and many of the rulings of District Judge Vanessa Baraitser in 2021. If Julian is denied an appeal, he can request an emergency stay of execution from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) under Rule 39, which is given in “exceptional circumstances” and “only where there is an imminent risk of irreparable harm.” But it is possible the British court could order Julian’s immediate extradition prior to a Rule 39 instruction, or decide to ignore a request from the ECtHR to allow Julian to have his case heard there.

[..] Julian did not, unlike Daniel Ellsberg, leak the documents. He published documents leaked by U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Three of the nine legal grounds were accepted by the judges as potential points for appeal. The other six were denied. The two-judge panel also rejected the request by Julian’s lawyers to present new evidence. Julian’s legal team asked the court to introduce into the case the Yahoo! News report that revealed, after the release of the documents known as Vault 7, that the then-director of the CIA Mike Pompeo, considered assassinating Julian. Julian’s lawyers also hoped to introduce a statement from Joshua Dratel, a U.S. attorney, who said that Pompeo’s use of the terms “non-state hostile intelligence service” and “enemy combatant” were phrases designed to give legal cover for an assassination.

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“Hundreds of deranged Hollywood liberals will be in attendance, and they will open their wallets to fund the destruction of country!”

“Mr Trump is also in the New York area on Thursday, attending the wake of a police officer, Jonathan Diller, who was shot and killed in the line of duty..”

While there, Trump offered to pay off the mortgage for his widow.

Biden To Host Star-studded NYC Fundraiser With Obama And Clinton (BBC)

US President Joe Biden is set to host a record-breaking fundraiser in New York City, alongside his predecessors Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. The event is projected to raise over $25m (£20m) for the Democrat’s re-election campaign – the most ever for a single political event, says his team. The event looks set to extend a growing cash gap between Mr Biden and his Republican challenger Donald Trump. The Biden campaign recently declared it had $155m cash to hand. Mr Trump is also in the New York area on Thursday, attending the wake of a police officer, Jonathan Diller, who was shot and killed in the line of duty. Despite the Republican’s lower cash pile and legal troubles, a number of national polls indicate he could still beat Mr Biden in their November rematch. Over 5,000 people are expected to attend the star-studded Democratic fundraiser on Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall, with many more watching online.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1773401980355944563

Late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert will moderate a conversation with the three presidents. The event will be hosted by actress Mindy Kaling and feature musical performances from Lizzo, Queen Latifah and Lea Michele. First Lady Jill Biden will host an after-party for 500 guests. The president’s son, Hunter Biden, and his family are also attending. The tickets are priced between $225 and half-a-million dollars. For $100,000, guests can get a picture with all three presidents, with star photographer Annie Leibovitz taking the snaps. President Biden was joined on the Air Force One flight to New York by Mr Obama, whom he served as vice-president from 2009-2017. Mr Obama, wearing a casual dress shirt, briefly came back for an off-the-record chat with reporters on the presidential jet. New York ground to a halt for their arrival as the two men’s huge motorcade cut across Manhattan in the pouring rain. Hundreds of onlookers jostled to take pictures.

Mr Biden’s previous best single-day fundraising effort was the $10m he raised in 24 hours after his State of the Union address this month. His fundraising has also been boosted by the advantage of incumbency. “Biden raising a lot of money is probably a function of him not having any real primary challengers,” Joseph Campbell, a communications professor at American University, told the BBC. “There’s no competition for Democratic donor money.” The $155m million in cash his campaign has is the most of any Democratic candidate in history at this point in an election cycle, according to his campaign. Mr Trump and his political action committees reported having $74m.

The Republican candidate raised $20m in the whole of February, less than what President Biden expects to receive just from Thursday’s event.In addition to Mr Trump’s fundraising challenges, his campaign and committees have spent millions of dollars in legal fees fighting four criminal cases against him. Mr Trump, 77, blasted the Democratic fundraising event in a fundraising email of his own, sent out by his campaign on Thursday morning. “Hundreds of deranged Hollywood liberals will be in attendance, and they will open their wallets to fund the destruction of country!” the message said.

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“The sound of our ancestor’s song has grown weaker..”

Maori King Calls For Recognizing Whales As People (RT)

The king of New Zealand’s indigenous Maori people has signed a ‘Declaration for the Ocean’ that calls for whales to be granted legal personhood as part of a plan to protect them, AFP reported on Thursday. The declaration reportedly recognizes the mammals as legal persons with the inherent right to freedom of movement, natural behavior, and expression of their unique cultures. The declaration has been made with the intent of helping whales recover their depleted population. “The sound of our ancestor’s song has grown weaker, and her habitat is under threat, which is why we must act now,” King Tuheitia Potatau te Wherowhero VII was quoted as saying. He was echoed by high chief Travel Tou Ariki, who said: “We can no longer turn a blind eye. Whales play a vital role in the health of our entire ocean ecosystem … We must act with urgency to protect these magnificent creatures before it’s too late.”

Whales have traditionally had cultural significance for the Maori as supernatural beings and as harbingers of spiritual growth. Some tribes see the mammals as the descendants of Tangaroa, the god of the ocean. Whales are some of the largest mammals on earth, with blue whales reaching up to 30.5 meters (100 feet) in length and weighing up to 200 tons. Many of the species are endangered. The move to grant whales personhood would not be without precedent. In 2017, New Zealand passed a groundbreaking law granting personhood status to the Whanganui River and Mount Taranaki volcano, both of which are important to the Maori people. The Maori are the second-largest ethnic group in New Zealand and currently make up about 17% of the country’s total population, or about 900,000 people.

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Cancer: A Food-Borne Illness
https://twitter.com/i/status/1773126285633507786

 

 

Camelemon

 

 

Cats

 

 

Swan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1773217153363181623

 

 

 

 

Shoal

 

 

Puppy
https://twitter.com/i/status/1773473225487389036

 

 

Moose
https://twitter.com/i/status/1773228532237214034

 

 

Boji
https://twitter.com/i/status/1773417411372597563

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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


Paul Gauguin A Day of No Gods 1894

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

Star witness

 

 

KJP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Illinois Judge Rules Trump Disqualified From Ballot (ET)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Doesn’t stop him from starting wars either.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gaetz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Obamas are RUNNING the Country (VDH)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ukraine In ‘Catastrophic Situation’ – Zakharova (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The October 7th America Has Forgotten (Mazzarino)

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

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

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

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

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

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

China’s Unexpected Gains From The Red Sea Crisis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elon Musk Slams US-Mexico Border Security (RT)

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

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

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

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

 

 

Groucho

 

 

45

 

 

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

 

 

Osprey

 

 

Blue whale

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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Jan 072024
 
 January 7, 2024  Posted by at 9:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  37 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn An Old Scholar Near a Window in a Vaulted Room 1631

 

In a World Fraught With War and Danger… Signs of Hope (SCF Op-ed)
Israeli War Cabinet Cracks At The Seams Over Possible 7 October Probe (Cradle)
Israel Aiming To Derail ICJ Genocide Case – Axios (RT)
Biden Admin Can Force Israel to Stop Fighting in Gaza But Will Not Do It (Sp.)
Retired US General on Why American Army Numbers Smallest Since 1940 (Sp.)
Zelensky Punishes Men And Women Who Refuse Draft (Kominyenko)
White House Warns Of ‘Dire’ Situation With Ukraine Aid (RT)
Obama Sends Election Warning To Biden – WaPo (RT)
Criticism Over Secrecy of Pentagon Chief’s Hospitalization Mounts (Sp.)
Trump Says He Has ‘More Indictments Than Al Capone’ (RT)
Epstein, Clintons, Zelenska & Cash (Sp.)
Epstein Invoked Fifth Amendment 600 Times in 2016 Testimony (Sp.)
Hunter Biden’s ‘Sugar Brother’ Kevin Morris Plots Gauzy Documentary On First Son
When Satire Beats You By 18 Months

 

 

 

 

Trump Jan 6

 

 

Tucker Clay Higgins Jan 6 – Revealing -Over 200 FBI assets

 

 

 

 

RFK

 

 

 

 

Orlov

 

 

Ritter

 

 

 

 

“The U.S. and its Western partners are bankrupt in every way, financially, morally and politically. The world can see that as clear as the fable of the naked emperor..”

In a World Fraught With War and Danger… Signs of Hope (SCF Op-ed)

The emergence of a multipolar world is a reminder that the world has a lot to be optimistic about – despite the ravages of conflict and manifold perilous tensions. Russia and China’s strength to face down U.S. aggression is one such assurance of a better world taking shape. Out with the old and in with the new. There is an unerring sense that we are witnessing not merely one year giving way to the next. The world is undergoing truly historic changes that are related to the inexorable decline of the U.S.-led Western order and the emergence of a multipolar global order. The United States is still undoubtedly a global power with hegemonic ambitions. Its possession of hundreds of military bases in over 100 countries around the world is a testimony to its formidable military strength.

Nevertheless, the Washington-dominated Western order – or so-called “rules-based order” – is in fateful decline. The emergence of a multipolar alternative order is illustrated by numerous fora, the BRICS with its growing membership, the increasing influence of the G20, and the dynamism of the Eurasian economies. All these developments bear witness to the demise of the Western order. The substantial move away from the U.S. dollar as the premier currency of trade is perhaps the most consequential manifestation of the global shifts in power. Empires rarely expire quietly as millennia of history show. There is always a hard-bitten struggle to maintain privileges and monopoly control. The fading of the U.S. is no different. The empire is going down screaming and kicking.

This would account for the mainspring of tensions and conflict in today’s world. The proxy war in Ukraine against Russia, the eruption of genocidal violence in the Middle East and the incendiary tensions in the Asia-Pacific with China are all related to the U.S. loss of imperial power. Given the appalling violence and danger of these conflicts escalating into a conflagration, we nevertheless conclude the year with hopeful realism. Russia, China, and many other nations are steadfastly refusing to capitulate to U.S. aggression. The American empire is cornered by its own corruption and internal crisis. There was a time in history when Western powers could shoot their way out of trouble by starting wars overseas under all sorts of false pretences.

Those days are over. The U.S. and its Western partners are bankrupt in every way, financially, morally and politically. The world can see that as clear as the fable of the naked emperor. Russia, China and other nations that aspire for a new, fairer world based on respect for international law and the founding principles of the United Nations are not going to pander to the geopolitical blackmail of the U.S. and its dying Western empire. Despite the grim circumstances existing in parts, the world has much to look forward to in terms of achieving international cooperation, development and peace. Signs of hope are all around us. When an empire goes down there is much grinding and gnashing. But it goes down and the world goes on.

Happy New Year to all our readers.

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“What happened yesterday was a politically motivated attack in the middle of a war.” “I have participated in many cabinet meetings. Such conduct has never occurred and must not occur..”

Israeli War Cabinet Cracks At The Seams Over Possible 7 October Probe (Cradle)

War cabinet minister Benny Gantz says he supports the Israeli Army Chief of Staff’s call for an investigation into the security and intelligence failures of 7 October, the Times of Israel reported on 6 January. During a cabinet meeting on 5 January, several extremist ministers, including National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, ganged up against Chief of Staff Herzl Halevi for his intention to launch a probe into the army’s shortcomings on 7 October, when Hamas carried out an unprecedented attack on military bases and settlements in southern Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu abruptly ended the meeting after shouting erupted as some ministers came to Halevi’s defense.

Gantz acknowledged it was appropriate for government ministers to challenge the information provided to them by security chiefs at cabinet meetings but added: “What happened yesterday was a politically motivated attack in the middle of a war.” “I have participated in many cabinet meetings. Such conduct has never occurred and must not occur,” he said. Gantz then defended Halevi’s decision to appoint a panel to probe the military’s failures on 7 October. Netanyahu has insisted that such a probe can only occur after the war. The Chief of Staff explained his reason for opening a probe to Ynet: “Something happened here that the army should learn from. Tomorrow, if an incident happens in another sector, we want to understand what caused the failure in the chain of command. This is an operational investigation that has implications for the fighting in the north.”

Opening an investigation into the events of 7 October is controversial for Israeli leaders as it could affect the political fortunes of many should they be found responsible for an event that Israelis view as the greatest national tragedy since the Holocaust. Numerous reports have also emerged in Israeli media suggesting that the army killed many of their soldiers and civilians on 7 October to stop the Hamas attack. Roughly 1,200 Israeli soldiers and civilians died during the fighting; Israeli authorities typically claim Hamas murdered them all.

Israel deployed tanks, attack helicopters, and armed drones to attack the Israeli settlements infiltrated by Hamas. Troops bombed homes with Hamas fighters and their Israeli captives inside and attacked Hamas fighters near the border as they were taking Israelis captive back to Gaza. As a result, many Israelis were killed in their homes by Israeli tanks and helicopter fire, while others were gunned down near the Gaza border. Any investigation into the army’s conduct on 7 October would provide additional details of how, when, and how many Israelis were killed by friendly fire.

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“A ruling by the court could have significant potential implications that are not only in the legal world but have practical bilateral, multilateral, economic, security ramifications..”

Israel Aiming To Derail ICJ Genocide Case – Axios (RT)

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has ordered its embassies across the globe to pressure their host countries to reject South Africa’s genocide case against it at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Axios has reported, citing an urgent diplomatic cable. Pretoria addressed the ICJ last week, claiming that Israel’s ongoing attacks on Gaza are “genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part” of the Palestinian population. South Africa wants the The Hague-based court to issue an injunction ordering the IDF to suspend its military campaign in the enclave. More than 22,600 people have been killed in Gaza over the past three months, according to the local health ministry.

ICJ
https://twitter.com/i/status/1743520801620480247

The cable, which was sent out by the Foreign Ministry on Thursday, stresses that Israel’s “strategic goals” are for the ICJ to reject South Africa’s request for an injunction, refrain from determining that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza and acknowledge that the IDF’s actions in the enclave comply with international law, Axios said in an article on Saturday. “A ruling by the court could have significant potential implications that are not only in the legal world but have practical bilateral, multilateral, economic, security ramifications,” the document, copies of which were seen by the outlet, read. According to the Foreign Ministry, Israeli diplomats must pressure their counterparts and high-level politicians in host countries to issue “immediate and unequivocal public statement along the following lines: To publicly and clearly state that YOUR COUNTRY rejects the outragest, absurd and baseless allegations made against Israel.”

It’s also important for foreign nations “to publicly acknowledge that Israel is working to increase the humanitarian aid to Gaza, as well as to minimize damage to civilians, while acting in self defense after the horrible October 7 attack by a genocidal terrorist organization [Hamas],” the cable read. The Foreign Ministry stressed that Israeli diplomats must urgently work on obtaining such statements so that they come out before the ICJ hearings begin on January 11. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will also send letters to dozens of world leaders, relaying a similar message, it added. Countries like Türkiye, Jordan, and Malaysia have supported South Africa’s cases. However, it was rejected by Israel’s prime backer, the US. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said earlier this week that “we are not seeing any acts that constitute genocide” in Gaza.

Nap Mearsheimer

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“But of course, Blinken is not going to do that. He is a diehard Zionist. He is in on the plot over there with Netanyahu to inflict outright genocide on the Palestinians..”

Biden Admin Can Force Israel to Stop Fighting in Gaza But Will Not Do It (Sp.)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has undertaken yet another voyage to the Middle East, meeting Turkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the ongoing hostilities in the Gaza Strip. While media reports this week suggested that Blinken will try facilitate the return of Palestinians displaced by the fighting back to their homes and to urge Israel to increase aid to Palestinians, American human rights lawyer Francis Anthony Boyle argues that the US state secretary is “up to no good.” In an interview with Sputnik, Boyle, a professor of international law at the University of Illinois’ College of Law, suggested that Blinken headed to the Middle East to “better coordinate the escalation of conflict” there instead of trying to put an end to bloodshed. “In fact, the Biden administration just needs to order Israel to cease fire immediately, and they will have to do it.

“But of course, Blinken is not going to do that. He is a diehard Zionist. He is in on the plot over there with Netanyahu to inflict outright genocide on the Palestinians,” Boyle said. According to him, the US appears to be “just backing whatever Israel wants to do,” which currently appears to be attempting to to displace over 2 million Palestinians from the Gaza Strip. “If you look at the countries Blinken is going to, he is going to try to neutralize any opposition to this plan by by Israel and see if they can pull it off,” Boyle remarked. He also argued that the Biden administration is “complicit in Israeli genocide against the Palestinians” by supplying Israel with military hardware and munitions and by providing Tel Aviv with political support.

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“..they’re trying to bring those individuals back into the force, but it’s not happening. They don’t want to come back.”

Retired US General on Why American Army Numbers Smallest Since 1940 (Sp.)

By the end of 2023, there will be only 452,000 active-duty soldiers in the US Army, the smallest force since 1940, Defense News recently reported. In this vein, the international military news outlet pointed to recruiting shortfalls in the U.S. Army that could result in 3,000 Army Special Operations troops being cut before the end of this year. There are a number of factors that have contributed to the dwindling strength of the [US] armed forces, Paul E. Vallely, a retired US Army major general and chairman of the Stand Up America US Foundation, told Sputnik. First and foremost is the COVID-19 pandemic, in which a number of US soldiers were discharged from the army without pay because they didn’t want to take the vaccine, according to Vallely. “And of course, now they’ve changed that around, and they’re trying to bring those individuals back into the force, but it’s not happening. They don’t want to come back.”

The second factor, Vallely claimed, was “the surrender and withdrawal out of Afghanistan.” He argued that “many future soldiers decided they didn’t want to go into the armed forces with the poor leadership of some of the generals and admirals. “I think the third thing is that based on this racial rather than equity type of performance standards, where they’re going to select you based on race, rather than your ability to fly an airplane or whatever under what we call the critical race theory, that has to do with DEI, [namely] diversity, equity and inclusion.” The retired US Army major general accused the left wing of the American political system of trying “to judge you based on your racial makeup, rather than on your ability and skill to conduct certain actions required in the military.”

“And then you have this diversity trend where they’ve gone LGBTQ, and young American people, for the most part, don’t buy into that. They’re not going to go into the Air Force or the Army or Special Forces if there’s a transgender person next to them or in the shower and so on. So these are the issues that have affected both re-enlistment and the enlistment of new people.” Vallely remained pessimistic about the Pentagon’s hope that putting more money into the recruiting budget will help recruiters bring more people into the Army. “I don’t think it’s going to have any effect,” he remarked. Asked if it’s safe to say that the coming structural changes in the U.S. Army also reflect the challenges America faces abroad and at home, Vallely pointed to the migration crisis, saying, “What the military has to do is protect our [US] southern border.”

“We have thousands coming illegally across our southern border that are financed and supported by the Mexican cartels. So our military has to do something. We can’t depend on police or border patrol with the situation now and that’s going to be a major challenge for the United States to protect its borders. We have people coming in from all over the world,” he added.

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“In October 2023 Zelensky purchased a former Nazi lakeside luxury villa for €8.12 Million in Germany via his offshore company. The “Bogensee House” was a gift from Hitler to the Nazi minister Joseph Goebbels on his 39th birthday. The Egyptian journalist who investigated the purchase of this luxury villa by Zelensky’s mother-in-law was found dead with numerous abrasions, fractures and a severe head injury.”

Zelensky Punishes Men And Women Who Refuse Draft (Kominyenko)

All Ukranian men aged 25-60 years (including those abroad) who do not report to a recruiting station will be punished. Roughly 6,000 Ukro men flee Ukraine daily, 45% of them in the guise of truck drivers, another 150-200 men as volunteers, the residual are fathers with multiple children and the disabled. Divorcing and taking the kids has become popular some escape by taking the disabled aboard, others have medical certificates of exemption and some change their gender on their passport. Soon it will be a criminal act to flee the country to avoid the draft, justifying the complicit EU countries in their arresting and deporting of Ukrainians to die at the frontline.

A financial crisis is unfolding in Ukraine due to Zelensky’s mass mobilisation plan, Ukraine’s financial system is on the brink of collapse. The threat of drafting another 500,000 Ukrainians is sweeping the country with panic. Zelensky’s punishment; includes isolating people from; their bank accounts, selling property, consular services, renewing ID’s, acquiring power of attorney, access to credit cards. From Jan. 1st, 2024 it is impossible to see a doctor in Ukraine without a military service pass. So much for do no harm! Kiev authorities will serve summonses at checkpoints, law enforcement will also issue summonses to unsuspecting citizens at checkpoints. They are proposing a mechanism to track those eligible for mobilisation, the “international rules based order (NWO)” wet dream. A run on ATM’s in Ukraine has seen USD 1 billion extracted in a single day. They are plundering their accounts and hoarding cash while dumping the banks.

Ukraine is developing a single database listing all potential recruits, this system shall deliver digital conscription notices via phone. The military is using ministerial databases to create it. Antiquated push-button Nokia phones are now the craze in Ukraine, no Internet, no ID, hence nowhere to send friendly military summons. Men are reassigning property to their partners, one man transferred his car and apartment to his wife. In the meantime, Ukraine’s Finance Minister has stated that the country does not have the money to finance the mobilisation of 500,000 cannon fodder. Zelensky needs western cash to continue sacrificing innocents. The West has always known that Ukraine would be decimated by Russia and will probably not survive as a nation-state.

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Note that the GOP has just about offered to support Ukraine aid, if and when the Biden admin promises to secure the border. Also note that they haven’t said even one single word about that. They want to keep the border open. That’s priority no. 1.

White House Warns Of ‘Dire’ Situation With Ukraine Aid (RT)

The White House desperately needs congressional approval for its major aid package for Ukraine if it hopes to continue supporting Kiev, Shalanda Young, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, told journalists on Friday. Washington has very few other options left to continue the aid flow, she said, adding that the US is running out of time in this regard. Washington provided Ukraine with a $250 million arms package in late December, deemed the last one due to the lack of funding. According to Young, the administration of President Joe Biden decided to forgo its drawdown authority, allowing it to take weapons from existing US stockpiles and send them to Kiev. These stocks cannot be refilled without the funding that is yet to be approved by Congress.

The Pentagon still has some limited authority to provide the Ukrainian military with weapons, but “that is not going to get big tranches of equipment into Ukraine,” the official added. Earlier this week, Pentagon spokesman Major General Patrick Ryder also said the US Defense Department was running “out of money” for Ukraine. The situation with the aid for Ukraine is nothing short of “dire,” Young admitted, warning of an event when the US would potentially have to stop its assistance to Kiev completely. “Yes, Kiev might have a little time from other donors to make sure they can keep their war footing, keep the civil service, but what happens in the [European Union], in other NATO allies, if the US pulls out their support?” she told journalists at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

The official warned that such a development might also prompt other nations to withdraw their support for Kiev. “What message does that send to the rest of the world? And what will their decisions be if they see the United States not step up to the plate?” Biden urged lawmakers to pass a massive aid package, including some $61 billion for Kiev, in late October 2023. The bill remained stuck in Congress for months amid Republican opposition, which demanded a stricter border protection policy. The legislation was eventually left in limbo after Congress shelved it late last year, postponing discussions until after the holiday break.

At the same time, another major donor – the EU – also saw its major aid package to Kiev delayed due to internal disagreements. A planned four-year scheme worth some €50 billion ($55 billion) was vetoed by Hungary late last year, with deliberations on it pushed into 2024. Amid such developments, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour earlier this week that his nation had no “plan B” without the US military aid. He also reiterated Kiev’s demands for combat drones, long-range missiles, and air defense capabilities, among other gear.

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“..He is not only concerned by Biden’s weak polling number but also by the effectiveness of his unorthodox campaign structure..”

Obama Sends Election Warning To Biden – WaPo (RT)

Former US President Barack Obama has urged Biden’s advisers to bolster the reelection campaign by engaging top-level decision-makers or empowering those already in place in the headquarters amid the lackluster voter approval that may see Donald Trump return to power in 2024. Obama and Biden discussed the campaign during a previously unreported private lunch at the White House in recent months, the Washington Post reported in an article published on Saturday, citing sources familiar with the matter. The former president reportedly became “animated” while talking about the 2024 elections and the prospect of former president Donald Trump winning the race.

Obama, who served as the 44th president of the US, recalled the success of his 2012 reelection campaign when some of his top aides took charge of the reelection operations on the ground across the country, and criticized Biden’s approach of leaving his advisors in the White House. According to the people, who spoke to the outlet on the condition of anonymity, Obama did not refer to anything specific in the campaign structure but rather suggested that it needs to “move aggressively” as Trump appears to take the lead in the 2024 Republican presidential nominating contest. He did not recommend any specific individuals to be recruited by the campaign but allegedly mentioned his senior strategist David Plouffe, who led Obama’s 2008 race, as an example of who could help.

The Biden campaign and Obama’s spokespeople did not respond to a request for comment from the Washington Post. However, Obama has long worried about Donald Trump’s political strength and warned earlier this year that he could be a more formidable challenger than many Democrats realize. He is not only concerned by Biden’s weak polling number but also by the effectiveness of his unorthodox campaign structure. Biden’s campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodrigues is based in the campaign’s headquarters in Wilmington. At the same time, the top aides – Anita Dunn, Jen O’Malley Dillon, Mike Donilon, and Steve Ricchetti work from the White House, which means that all important decisions need to go through the White House first.

Some Democrats raised their concerns that the campaign may not be able to immediately respond to fast-moving developments. David Axelrod, the former senior presidential advisor, said on Friday that while he cannot comment on Obama’s discussions with Biden, each president approaches his reelection differently. Back in November, Axelrod suggested that Biden should consider dropping out of the 2024 race. Biden’s support rating hit a record low before the year’s end with just 38% of voters approving his performance, according to the polls recently conducted by the Washington Post. Voters, including a majority of Democrats, are particularly concerned about Biden’s age as well as his handling of the Israel-Hamas war.

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Weird story. Was he afraid they’d take his powers away? He was in the ICU for four days, but the latest pieces just say “hopitalized”.

Criticism Over Secrecy of Pentagon Chief’s Hospitalization Mounts (Sp.)

There has been a growing wave of censure over the secrecy that has surrounded the hospitalization of US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. The Pentagon has been slammed for concealing 70-year-old Austin’s condition for four days after he was admitted on January 1 to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center over “complications following a recent elective medical procedure.” No details have been released as to what the procedure was or what complications ensued. In an effort to smooth the situation over, Lloyd Austin himself released a statement on Saturday taking “full responsibility” for not divulging his condition earlier. “I am very glad to be on the mend and look forward to returning to the Pentagon soon. I also understand the media concerns about transparency and I recognize I could have done a better job ensuring the public was appropriately informed. I commit to doing better,” Austin said, adding: “But this is important to say: this was my medical procedure, and I take full responsibility for my decisions about disclosure.”

However, the statement did little to quell the disapproval. “When one of the country’s two National Command Authorities is unable to perform their duties, military families, Members of Congress, and the American public deserve to know the full extent of the circumstances,” said Senator Roger Wicker, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a member of the aforementioned committee, said that Austin “must address promptly” why the White House wasn’t informed of his hospitalization until later. The Pentagon Press Association underscored in a letter to the Defense Department that has been shared with the media that amid the current global tensions, it was “particularly critical for the American public to be informed about the health status and decision-making ability of its top defense leader.”

According to the nonprofit Military Reporters and Editors (MRE), the decision to keep the hospitalization under wraps for days was “in the worst traditions of obfuscation and opacity.” “This is a violation of the intent and spirit of the Pentagon’s own Principles of Information, and it fails to meet the standards of public disclosure for senior government officials unable to exercise their duties,” MRE said in a statement. On January 4, the Defense Department spokesperson Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder announced that Lloyd Austin had been hospitalized since New Year’s Day, with his deputy, Kathleen Hicks, taking over some of his duties. On January 5, Austin reportedly resumed full duties while still remaining in hospital.

However, the hospitalization was purportedly kept secret even from senior Pentagon officials and congressional lawmakers until Ryder’s press release. The “vast, vast majority of leaders were unaware,” one US official was cited as saying. When questioned why it took days for the Pentagon to notify the public about Austin’s hospitalization, Ryder said: “This has been an evolving situation in which we had to consider a number of other factors.” He added that Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks was “prepared to act for and exercise the powers of the Secretary, if required.”

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“..I was being indicted so fast we didn’t know where in the hell they were coming from. If I flew over a blue state, the next day I’d get served with a subpoena..”

Trump Says He Has ‘More Indictments Than Al Capone’ (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has dismissed the multiple criminal cases against him, telling supporters that he’s been prosecuted more harshly than infamous Chicago gangster Al Capone. He made his comments at a rally in Iowa ahead of the first contest of the election year. “I’ve got more indictments than Al Capone, did you ever hear of Al Capone?” Trump asked supporters in Mason City on Friday. “The great Alphonse Capone…but I’ve got it worse than Al Capone and he’s about as bad as you get,” he continued. “This was never in my plan…I was being indicted so fast we didn’t know where in the hell they were coming from. If I flew over a blue state, the next day I’d get served with a subpoena,” he exclaimed, to laughter from the crowd.

With eleven months to go until the 2024 presidential election, Trump is facing more than 90 criminal counts in two federal cases – concerning his alleged instigation of the January 2021 riot on Capitol Hill and his alleged mishandling of classified documents – as well as two state-level cases and a multitude of civil suits. He has dismissed the federal indictments as a “pathetic attempt by the Biden Crime Family and their weaponized Department of Justice to interfere with the 2024 Presidential Election.” Trump held two rallies in Iowa on Friday, during which he implored residents of the Hawkeye State to turn up at next week’s Republican caucuses and support his bid for the presidency. The Iowa caucuses are the first contest of the primary season, and recent polling shows him with a commanding 32-point lead over his nearest Republican rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Nevertheless, Trump urged his supporters not to get complacent. “Bad things happen when you sit back,” he said, adding that “you have to get out and vote because it sets the tone. It even sets the tone, frankly, for November.”

Hours before Trump spoke in Iowa, President Joe Biden delivered a speech of his own in Pennsylvania, in which he claimed that American democracy was “nearly lost” when Trump’s supporters rioted at the Capitol three years ago. Trump argued that Biden is the real “threat to democracy,” citing the indictments against him and the harsh sentences handed down to non-violent participants in the Capitol riot. “Joe Biden’s record is an unbroken streak of weakness, incompetence, corruption, and failure,” Trump told the crowd at the first rally of the evening. “That’s why Crooked Joe is staging his pathetic fearmongering campaign event in Pennsylvania today.” Despite the Biden campaign’s efforts to frame the 2024 election as a referendum on democracy itself rather than on his own record, most recent polls show the incumbent Democrat losing to Trump.

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Where the Clintons typically find their money.

Epstein, Clintons, Zelenska & Cash (Sp.)

Unsealed court filings over accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein named over a hundred of rich and powerful people connected to the billionaire pedophile — including former US President Bill Clinton and his aide Doug Band. Ironically, back in 2003, Doug Band helped kick off now-famous Clinton Foundation international initiatives with the aim of rehabilitating Bill’s post-presidential image, marred by sex scandals, and turning the ex-president into “the world’s philanthropist in chief,” writes Vanity Fair. The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), one of the foundation’s international projects, was supposedly started in league with Jeffrey Epstein — who died in Manhattan jail in 2019 while awaiting trial — late in 2004-early in 2005, according to Charles Ortel, a Wall Street analyst who has been investigating the Clinton Foundation’s alleged fraud for several years.

Ortel said the Clinton Foundation and its numerous offshoots were nothing but a vehicle to transform the once-broke presidential family into mega-multi-millionaires and help their associates to get rich too. The Wall Street analyst is highly skeptical about the Clintons’ new joint endeavor with the Zelenskys, who have also been mired in corruption allegations. “By the time Hillary Clinton commenced work with Ukraine’s First Lady, the Clinton family had more than twenty years of experience breaking key charity laws, especially in New York City and State which, to date, have targeted Donald Trump and his family for charity frauds, but allowed Clinton charity frauds to expand in scope, scale, and international breadth,” Ortel told Sputnik. “In fact, ‘Clinton Global Initiative’ and ‘The Clinton Foundation’ have not complied with laws concerning ‘public charities’,” the Wall Street analyst continued. “These laws require that such entities be controlled by truly independent boards of directors, bar creation of ‘private gain’ through their operation, and forbid partisan political activities.”

The Zelenska Foundation was founded in 2022 with the declared aim of attracting foreign businesses, funds and donors to “restore Ukraine’s human capital”. The Foundation’s public launch took place on September 22, 2022 at a charity event in New York during the opening of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly. The event was attended by former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, then-British foreign secretary James Cleverly, actor Matt Damon and “a wide circle of diplomats and businessmen”, according to the Ukrainian president’s official website. Around that time Hillary Clinton started wooing the Ukrainian first lady, who received the Hillary Rodham Clinton Award for exceptional leadership in December 2022 and the 2023 Clinton Global Citizen Award in September 2023. Hillary and Olena’s partnership, which started in 2022, resulted in the CGI Ukraine Action Network announced by the Clintons in September 2023, according to The Independent.

Ortel noted that the Clintons have a long record of collaborating with the Ukrainian elites, including oligarch Viktor Pinchuk and his wife Olena — daughter of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma. Like Zelenskaya, Olena launched a foundation, this one to raise funds to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Ukraine, and cooperated closely with the Clintons. Her husband is well known as one of the most generous donors to Clinton charities. “The Clinton family began operating in association with various persons in Ukraine by 2003 even though the original purported Clinton charity – The William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation never legitimately obtained approvals to operate outside Little Rock, Arkansas for any charitable purposes other than housing Presidential Records for Bill Clinton’s period as President (20 January 1993 through 20 January 2001) and allowing interested parties to perform research on these records at the Presidential Center,” explained Ortel.

“Without complying with applicable state, federal and foreign laws, Bill Clinton and his cohort of co-conspirators then ostensibly raised money for a raft of ‘charitable’ projects, including in Ukraine, for which there has never been proper accounting. If Ukraine maintains legal records on charities (an open question), there should be filings available to investigators that might allow authorities to compare claims made by Bill Clinton concerning his work there with apparent legal reality,” he continued. According to Ortel, “as during the Clinton years as Secretary of State, there is no oversight of monies flowing towards Ukraine from donors who believe they might be helping Ukraine repel Russia’s special military operation.”

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“..conspiracy theorists continue to wonder if Epstein was murdered..”

Epstein Invoked Fifth Amendment 600 Times in 2016 Testimony (Sp.)

Convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein invoked the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution about 600 times in 2016 while testifying for a sexual abuse lawsuit filed by one of his victims, Virginia Giuffre, according to a court filing. The Fifth Amendment states that a person has the right against self-incrimination. Epstein’s reluctance to testify against his longtime associate, Ghislaine Maxwel, was revealed during Friday’s filing in Manhattan federal court involving a new batch of unsealed documents related to the billionaire financier’s sexual abuse of teenage girls. According to the court filing, Epstein routinely answered “Fifth” to about 500 substantive questions posed by Giuffre’s attorneys during a September 2016 deposition.

In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty to procuring a person under 18 for prostitution and felony solicitation of prostitution. The 66-year-old billionaire financier was later released under a plea deal, only to be charged with sex trafficking in July 2019. In August of that year, he was found dead in his New York City jail cell, with officials declaring his death a suicide. The cause of his death remains controversial, however, as conspiracy theorists continue to wonder if Epstein was murdered to prevent him from testifying against his high-profile friends, including Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and Prince Andrew.

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“..he has given me back my dignity. He has been a brother to me…”

Hunter Biden’s ‘Sugar Brother’ Kevin Morris Plots Gauzy Documentary On First Son

First son Hunter Biden’s so-called “sugar brother,” Hollywood attorney Kevin Morris, is backing a soft-focus documentary on the disgraced and indicted presidential offspring. While the first son’s life as viewed through his now-infamous laptop resembles a Quentin Tarantino film — with plenty of not-so-tasteful nudity — the untitled Morris project would show a more gentle Hunter “painting, selling his art, raising his son, and navigating everyday life as a sober adult with ongoing criminal investigations and in the crosshairs of [former President Donald] Trump and his supporters,” the Los Angeles Times credulously reported this week. A film crew has been trailing Hunter, 53, for years and was most recently spotted recording the first son publicly defying a subpoena from the House Oversight Committee to sit for a deposition Dec. 13.

The Post has also noted the presence of cameras around the Biden scion, including when Hunter cozied up to one of our reporters at a December 2022 showing off his surprisingly pricey work at Soho’s Georges Berges gallery. The crew also popped up at the same gallery in the fall of 2021, at the very first public showing by the world’s most well-compensated amateur artist. Morris even took his cameras all the way to Serbia, where the crew crashed the set where filmmaker Phelim McAleer was shooting “My Son Hunter,” a flick mocking the Biden family that was distributed by Breitbart in September 2022. The Ireland-born McAleer told the LA Times he allowed Morris and his crew to film on their set for a few days and even went out to dinner with his adversary. At one point, the director said, Morris began asking him questions along the lines of “What was the history of the laptop? What did I know about the history of the laptop?”

“He was out there looking for information and evidence for his client while he was pretending to be something he was not,” McAleer claimed. There is no current release date for the flick, but if it ever does show up at a theater or streaming service near you, it may be among the costliest openings in history. Morris, of the powerhouse entertainment law firm Barnes & Morris — now known as Yorn Levine Barnes Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner Endlich & Gellman after he left the practice in 2021— made his bones repping “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone before cultivating a client list for the firm that included Matthew McConaughey, Scarlett Johansson and Will Ferrell. Professional expertise and political opportunity converged when Morris met Hunter at a November 2019 Southern California fundraiser for then-candidate Joe Biden.

Over the following three years, according to IRS whistleblower Joseph Ziegler, Morris gave Hunter $4.9 million — covering expenses including overdue tax bills, legal fees, housing, and car payments. At least one loan to Hunter from Morris, for at least $1.2 million in 2020, carried interest and requires repayment beginning in 2025. Vexed by an onslaught from federal prosecutors and congressional Republicans, the younger Biden has stepped up the public defenses of his conduct over recent months. He sued Ziegler and another IRS whistleblower, Gary Shapley, in September, accusing them of trying to “target and “embarrass” him.

Hunter has also repeatedly and petulantly accused the GOP of weaponizing his drug and alcohol addiction and other personal struggles. The friendship with Morris — who has his own history of alcohol addiction and also grew up in an Irish-Catholic family outside of Philadelphia — appears part of the first son’s own spin on rehabilitation. “I don’t know where I would be if not for Kevin,” Hunter Biden told the LA Times. “And I don’t mean just because he has loaned me money to survive this onslaught, I mean because he has given me back my dignity. He has been a brother to me.

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Word for word. Does the Biden Admin follow Babylon Bee?

The article is Babylon Bee, Jul 27, 2022 : “‘You Can’t Be Pro-Insurrection And Pro-American,’ Says President Of Nation Founded By An Insurrection”

When Satire Beats You By 18 Months

The president shot back at what he called “Super Duper Ultra MAGA Turbo Titans” Monday as he claimed “you can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-American” despite being the commander in chief of a nation founded by an insurrection. “Can you imagine Thomas Jefferson calling for the blood of tyrants? What if John Adams refused to pledge fealty to King George? England would’ve nuked us to oblivion. It would’ve been total malarkey anarchy!” said the unblinking Biden, unflinching in the face of a citizenry increasingly questioning whether he is fit to be president.

“Look, here’s the deal, these Capitol insurrectioneserutes are traitors to American ideals because they wanted to challenge the results of an election,” Biden confirmed. “I know this for a fact because a traitor is everyone who does not agree with me.” “We saw what happened,” he continued, referring to the events of January 6. “Law enforcement agencies were speared with terrorist javelins dripping in blood, surrounded by carnage.” “These are all things that actually happened that I am not making up,” he added. At publishing time, White House officials had advised the president to stop saying “we saw what happened” in regards to the January 6 capitol riots because he keeps describing events that never took place.

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Elephant

 

 

Norwegian
https://twitter.com/i/status/1743537552764576104

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 042024
 
 January 4, 2024  Posted by at 9:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


Rembrandt Old man with a beard 1630

 

Nabuillina vs the West (RT)
Russia May Establish BRICS Secretariat – Iranian Foreign Ministry (Sp.)
Medvedev Labels French Diplomats ‘Scum, Bastards, Freaks’ (RT)
Washington Sees No Sign of Genocide in Gaza (RT)
The US Can’t Stop China’s Rise, But It Will Cripple The EU While Trying (RT)
Leopard 2 Tanks Supplied to Ukraine Are Non-Operational – German MP (Sp.)
Will Chancellor Scholz Step Down Amid Plummeting Rating? (Sp.)
“What Do We Do if He Doesn’t Recuse Himself?” (Turley)
Colorado Disqualification Case Brings Back Bad Memories for SCOTUS (Turley)
White House Blames Republicans For Illegal Immigration Crisis (RT)
House Speaker Johnson At Border: ‘Disaster Of The President’s Own Design’ (JTN)
The Epstein Files (Cernovich)
Was Barack Obama Guilty of Insurrection? (Cashill)

 

 

 

 

Vivek


https://twitter.com/i/status/1742613810370711790
https://twitter.com/i/status/1742605320717758488

 

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1742687201110983128

 

 


Robin Williams offers Auguste Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’ a roll of toilet paper.

 

 

Neutering the CIA

 

 

Nap/Ritter

 

 

 

 

Putin has surrounded himself with some excellent people that he places a lot of trust in. For instance Lavrov as FM, Patrushev for security, Medvedev as the crown prince who can express things Putin may think but can’t say. And then there’s Elvira Nabiullina, who as central banker has guided the economy, and the ruble, through a decade of problems, not least of all many layers of sanctions, and came out on top.

Nabuillina vs the West (RT)

Elvira Nabiullina’s ten-year stewardship at the forefront of the Bank of Russia, marked by fiscal mastery and trailblazing leadership, showcases a narrative of exceptional achievement against the backdrop of societal shifts and global economic challenges. Nabiullina’s journey from humble beginnings to becoming the first woman to steer the economic course of a then G8 country underscores her mettle and intellectual prowess, exemplifying the significance of equal opportunities in a landscape defined by traditional gender roles. Maintaining a low profile yet earning the accolade of Russia’s ‘leader of distinction,’ Nabiullina’s transparent and disciplined leadership style, complemented by an unparalleled work ethic, has solidified her position as a beacon of excellence, integrity, and resilience. Her impact on the financial landscape resonates not only as a testament to her adept economic stewardship but also as a pioneering force toward a more inclusive and equitable future.

Nabiullina’s tenure has been characterized by deft maneuvers, particularly during challenging times when her hawkish monetary policies stabilized the economy and garnered international acclaim, including the prestigious title of central bank governor of the year. As the West intensifies efforts to isolate Russia financially, Nabiullina stands as the linchpin, navigating the economy through unprecedented sanctions. However, despite commendable fiscal strategies, the recent IMF prediction of a 2.2 percent growth in Russia’s economy, a substantial increase from the initial 0.7 percent forecast, prompts scrutiny. Entering a new year, Nabiullina faces mounting challenges – tightening sanctions, potential brain drain, volatile commodities markets, a weakened ruble, and spiraling inflation. This critical juncture prompts the question: Will she persist as Moscow’s steadfast economic steward, ensuring the Kremlin’s financial resilience, or will internal dissent and external pressures necessitate a change in course?

In a recent interview with RBK, Nabiullina acknowledged the hurdles ahead, underscoring the need for preparedness amidst potential escalations in Western sanctions. The freeze and blockage of central bank reserves and Russian investors’ assets were deemed painful measures, with Nabiullina not ruling out the possibility of further sanctions against Moscow. Furthermore, Nabiullina revealed that the Russian central bank will require two to three months or more to ensure a steady decline in inflation before making decisions on interest rate cuts, emphasizing the importance of a comprehensive analysis of indicators characterizing sustainable inflation declines. Admitting that the central bank might have initiated monetary policy tightening earlier than July, Nabiullina stressed the uncertainty surrounding the timing of rate cuts, urging a cautious approach and considering a broad spectrum of indicators indicative of inflation stability.

In her role as a torchbearer for gender equality, Elvira Nabiullina aligns with her counterparts, Christine Lagarde and Janet Yellen. Her decade-long leadership has not only demonstrated fiscal mastery but has also championed inclusivity in the financial realm, actively addressing gender disparities in the global economic landscape. Nabiullina’s commitment to gender diversity extends beyond fairness, recognizing its indispensable role in fostering sustainable economic growth. Her leadership is a beacon of inspiration for women aspiring to excel in central banking and finance, contributing to the broader narrative of achieving gender equality in influential economic positions. As we reflect on Nabiullina’s decade-long stewardship, the upcoming year promises to be a pivotal chapter in her legacy. Will she continue to navigate economic challenges with the finesse that earned her international recognition? Only time will tell, but one thing remains certain – Elvira Nabiullina’s journey is far from over, and the world will be watching closely.

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“..currently each country holding the presidency of BRICS collects and stores information about the bloc’s activities, but does not transfer this data to the succeeding nation..”

Russia May Establish BRICS Secretariat – Iranian Foreign Ministry (Sp.)

Russia may establish a BRICS secretariat, Mahdi Safari, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for economic diplomacy, told Sputnik, citing Moscow’s experience in managing international organizations. “Russia – a country with vast experience in international and regional organizations – in my opinion could establish a new body in BRICS which will eventually evolve into secretariat,” Mahdi Safari says. According to the Iranian diplomat, currently each country holding the presidency of BRICS collects and stores information about the bloc’s activities, but does not transfer this data to the succeeding nation. Safari stressed that Iran wants “this secretariat to be established as soon as possible.” The deputy foreign minister also congratulated Russia on assuming the BRICS presidency in 2024 and thanked it for helping Iran to join the bloc, expressing confidence that Russia will help Tehran and other new BRICS members to achieve unity.

Iran is not seeking to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) as soon as possible because its membership in other leading regional organizations is in sum equal to WTO membership, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy also told Sputnik. “We are a [WTO] observer country, but with membership in BRICS, the SCO [Shanghai Cooperation Organization], EAEU [Eurasian Economic Union], ECO [Economic Cooperation Organization] — all of that combined equals the WTO itself! Now, we do not see the need for WTO membership … [Being a member of] these organizations, we have automatically almost become a member of the WTO at the regional level and are enjoying our benefits. This is a winning position for all parties,” Safari says.

Tehran’s membership in the aforementioned groups meets almost all the country’s needs at the regional and global levels, the diplomat noted, adding, however, that if Iran was offered membership in the WTO, it would welcome such a step and agree to join the organization. At the same time, the diplomat pointed out that free trade with the EAEU would have a great impact on Iran-Russia trade and create prospects for successful cooperation in finance, transit, energy, technologies and knowledge-intensive projects. BRICS is already effectively dealing with important energy issues and is able to play a key role in aerospace and the development of new technologies, expanding its presence to the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy Mahdi Safari told Sputnik.

“The most important problem is represented by three issues: the first is energy production, the second is energy transportation, and the third is energy consumption. I can say that these three issues are being resolved by BRICS,” Safari said, adding that thanks to the membership of India, Russia and Iran, the group could also play an important role in such areas as new technologies, aerospace, transit corridors and global trade. In addition, BRICS can contribute to the international presence in the waters of the Persian Gulf, Oman Gulf and Indian Ocean, he added. “Iran’s accession to BRICS will provide this organization with enormous opportunities. One of them is transit, the second is energy, be it oil or gas, the third is new technologies and the knowledge-intensive sector,” the diplomat said. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and BRICS are the world’s largest producers and consumers of oil and gas, Safari noted in his interview with Sputnik, adding that BRICS is an oil and gas market half the size of the world, while the SCO is a major regional market, which itself can have a great impact.

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“We never liked the French,” Medvedev said in a Telegram post. “The frogs fought a war against us..”

Medvedev Labels French Diplomats ‘Scum, Bastards, Freaks’ (RT)

The French Foreign Ministry has justified Russia’s historic dislike of France by declaring the Ukrainian massacre of civilians in Belgorod to be self-defense, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev claimed on Wednesday. Ukrainian artillery struck the central square of the Russian city with cluster bombs on Saturday, injuring over 100 civilians and killing 25, including children. Asked about it on Wednesday morning, a spokesman of the Foreign Ministry in Paris said that Ukraine was “acting in self-defense” while Russia was “an aggressor state” responsible for any “human tragedies that accompany” the conflict. “We never liked the French,” Medvedev said in a Telegram post. “The frogs fought a war against us,” he added, referring to Napoleon Bonaparte’s ill-fated 1812 invasion.

“Now we are convinced of this. The French Foreign Ministry said that the strike on Belgorod using cluster munitions was ‘self-defense’,” he added. “Scum. Bastards. Freaks.” The French response to the Belgorod massacre echoed the official position of the European Union, which has fully endorsed Kiev. “In general, Ukraine has the legal right to defend itself,” EU foreign policy spokesman Peter Stano said on Wednesday. “Regarding the specific incident in Belgorod, no information that comes from Russia can be considered trustworthy.” Although Kiev’s forces have struck Russia’s border regions for months, the December 30 attack on Belgorod was the worst of its kind over the course of the conflict. Moscow has accused the US and the UK of helping plan the attack, while a security source told RT that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky personally ordered the massacre.

Russia has responded with drone and missile strikes on Ukrainian military industry facilities, repair shops and ammunition warehouses, including depots loaded with weapons donated to Kiev by the West. Medvedev currently serves as President Vladimir Putin’s deputy on the national Security Council. Since the Ukraine conflict escalated in February 2022, the former president (2008-2012) and prime minister of Russia (2012-2020) has emerged as a hard-line critic of Kiev and the West, compared to the more moderate rhetoric coming from the Kremlin.

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“Calls for mass displacement of the Palestinians are contrary to official Israeli government policy and the US view..”

Washington Sees No Sign of Genocide in Gaza (RT)

US President Joe Biden’s administration has rejected genocide allegations against Israel by multiple nations, including a NATO ally, insisting that Washington sees no indication that West Jerusalem’s forces are committing such acts as they pound the Gaza Strip in a campaign to destroy Hamas. South Africa’s government filed a genocide case against Israel last week in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and NATO member Türkiye announced its official support for the charge on Wednesday. US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller denounced the allegations at a press briefing later on Wednesday, saying there was no indication that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were committing genocide against the Palestinians.

“Genocide is of course a heinous atrocity, one of the most heinous atrocities that any individual can commit,” Miller said. “Those are allegations that should not be made lightly, and as it pertains to the United States, we are not seeing any acts that constitute genocide.” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby was more pointed in his response, saying the allegations against Israel were “meritless.” He added that the ICJ case filed by South Africa was “counterproductive and completely without any basis in fact whatsoever.” More than 22,000 Palestinians have been killed since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, according to Gaza health authorities. The UN warned last month that more than 500,000 Gazans were starving amid the Israeli bombardment, and 85% of the population had been displaced.

The conflict began when Hamas militants launched surprise attacks against villages in southern Israel, killing more than 1,100 people, including nearly 700 Israeli citizens, and taking hundreds of hostages back to Gaza. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has likened Israel’s military campaign in the Palestinian enclave to Nazi Germany’s Holocaust against the Jewish people. He also has blasted Western nations for supporting Israel’s tactics, and he suggested that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was just as genocidal as Germany’s Adolf Hitler. Türkiye’s foreign minister, Hakan Fidan, argued on Wednesday that by giving “unconditional support” to Israel, Western nations had lost all credibility to talk about “principles, virtue and morality.” He added, “I see that all of this is paving the way for a huge geostrategic rupture.”

Miller’s comments came one day after the US State Department rebuked “inflammatory and irresponsible” statements by two Israeli politicians calling for the removal of Palestinians from Gaza. Israeli Defense Minister Ben Gvir doubled down on his statement later on Tuesday, saying, “With all due respect, we are not another star on the American flag.” Calls for mass displacement of the Palestinians are contrary to official Israeli government policy and the US view, Miller told reporters on Wednesday. “They are in direct contradiction of his own government’s policy, and we believe those statements should stop,” he said of Gvir’s rhetoric. However, Miller added that it was appropriate for the IDF to ask Gazans to “temporarily” evacuate their homes when Israeli forces carry out “legitimate military operations” in their neighborhoods.

RT
https://twitter.com/i/status/1742706506619851124

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“You need to be in China to compete in the game, you don’t win by refusing to participate when the other side is still kicking the ball.”

The US Can’t Stop China’s Rise, But It Will Cripple The EU While Trying (RT)

For years now, the US has been strongarming the Netherlands into accepting technology restrictions on the export of advanced lithography machines to China. These machines, produced by the Dutch firm ASML, use lasers to help create circuits for microchips. Although ASML is a world-leading specialist company, its foundational patents are derived from the US, which allows Washington to coerce it into following unilateral export controls as the Americans see fit. American restrictions have come in several waves, building on the sweeping export controls introduced in 2022. One such update concerning a specific kind of lithography machine came into effect on Monday, January 1, 2024. ASML attempted to rush through the sale of several such machines to China before the deadline but canceled it at the last moment – reportedly due to pressure from the US.

The news caused ASML’s US shares to drop. The fundamental goal of US foreign policy here is to try and crush China’s semiconductor industry and hobble its high tech ambitions, which has become one of the critical strategies to try and curb China’s military and economic rise as a whole. In doing so, the US has blacklisted Chinese technology firms and has increasingly tried to stave off the exports of semiconductor equipment to China, describing it as a “small yard, high fence” approach. Despite this, there is overwhelming evidence at this stage that such sanctions are not working, not least because China is pursuing a coordinated state and industry effort to forcibly advance itself in semiconductor technology which has seen Huawei, the original US target of sanctions, effectively piece together its very own semiconductor supply chain.

While doing this, China has also found increasingly creative ways around restrictions, secured loopholes for US equipment, and has continued to make progress on new chip nodes while also making older designs more efficient and effectively shrugging off America’s coercive campaign. If it wasn’t obvious already, the US is doubling down on failure and is forcing China towards self-sufficiency, which, of course, most ironically, will hurt US companies and exports above all. How exactly can the US feasibly maintain strict export controls over the world’s second-largest economy and largest trading nation? However, moves targeted at companies such as ASML show that the US continues to represent an obvious threat and challenge to European economic competitiveness and prosperity. Why? Because EU firms are being forced, by command of a third party, to sever ties with their most lucrative market, in order to meet American goals.

The US likes to claim that it supports free and fair trade in a market governed by the rule of law, but what kind of “rule of law” is there in a system where a firm you operate has secured a large number of sales in anticipation of a restriction deadline imposed by a third party outside of your legal system and then has to cancel those sales anyway because the same third party doesn’t want to wait for the deadline? China is the world’s largest semiconductor market, whose high-tech development fuels a greater demand for microchips than anywhere else in the world. The US believes it can hamstring China’s long-term prospects by blocking this ascension as the country moves away from low-end manufacturing. Washington’s plan to stop China’s development and induce stagnation is based on faulty logic that China is incapable of innovating or moving forward without Western technology, which goes against all evidence to the contrary.

Instead, in the long-term, this approach will effectively cut off Western firms from the critical and lucrative Chinese market, as the US aims to create a new global supply chain in technology which it dominates, and therefore make the EU dependent upon it. This reminds us that the EU is the biggest loser of America’s war on China as it seeks to break a lucrative trading relationship but also, more critically, undermine European competitiveness, as it has done by depriving it of Russian energy over the war in Ukraine, and therefore absorb the market space for itself. To follow American wishes on China is to sacrifice sovereignty, geopolitical autonomy, and prosperity to serve the goals of the United States. It is a lose-lose situation. What happens to ASML when the time comes that China is capable of creating its own high-end chips and lithography equipment? And no longer has need of it for its domestic market, and offers the same solutions to other countries? You need to be in China to compete in the game, you don’t win by refusing to participate when the other side is still kicking the ball.

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What a surprise…

Leopard 2 Tanks Supplied to Ukraine Are Non-Operational – German MP (Sp.)

Very few of the Leopard 2A6 tanks delivered by Berlin to Ukraine are still in service, according to Green Party member Sebastian Schafer. The majority of the machines were damaged in battle and spare parts are scarce, he stressed. “Unfortunately, we must admit that Ukraine can now use only small number of tanks delivered,” Schafer wrote to Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann arms manufacturers, which was reported on by German media. The politician noted that some of the Leopard tanks were further damaged by Ukrainian servicemen who tried to repair them. He stresses that there is a shortage of spare parts in the Lithuanian repair center. According to the politician, who recently visited the repair center in Lithuania with Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, there are not enough spare parts for these tanks in the workshops to keep the vessels in working condition.

In his speech, Schaefer, a member of the parliamentary budget committee, called for measures to speed up the repair work. Western donors had earlier announced the delivery of Leopard tanks to Kiev, hailing them as a miracle weapon that would turn the tide for Ukraine. In total, the German government has transferred 18 Leopard 2 tanks from the Bundeswehr arsenal to Ukraine. Within weeks of the Leopards’ arrival on the battlefield, Russian forces began hunting them down with missiles and kamikaze drones. In November 2023, Forbes magazine reported that Ukraine was in danger of losing its entire Leopard fleet due to the incompetence of its soldiers.

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“..he does not currently see a way to force Scholz to step down, as it is not in the interests of his coalition partners, as they are even more unpopular..”

Will Chancellor Scholz Step Down Amid Plummeting Rating? (Sp.)

Support for Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party has dropped from 20% to 15% according to a December survey by the country’s Institute for New Social Answers (INSA). The drop is reportedly causing deep concern among party officials. Furthermore, the gap between it and its main rivals, the opposition conservative block CDU/CSU, has nearly tripled, reaching 17 percentage points. Scholz’s approval rating as the head of the government has also plummeted, with only one in five Germans expressing approval of his performance, as reported by Bild. Likewise, a December article from the Italian newspaper La Repubblica hinted at “bad rumors” circulating in the Bundestag, without disclosing sources. The potential successor to Scholz, according to the Italian publication, is also under consideration, with Pistorius being a prominent candidate.

The Wirecard scandal of 2020, involving a fraudulent scheme amounting to $2 billion, may also influence Scholz’s fate. At that time, Scholz served as the Minister of Finance in Angela Merkel’s government. Wirecard, once considered a promising fintech company specializing in cryptocurrency cards, went bankrupt in June 2020, revealing the disappearance of €1.9 billion from its accounts. Markus Braun, the head of the company, was arrested, and Jan Marsalek, the company’s executive, went missing. Scholz was responsible for financial supervision, as Wirecard was a partner of the federal government. The chancellor has consistently denied any involvement in the scandal and personal responsibility for what transpired. Addressing the chancellor’s policies, Gunnar Beck, a member of the European Parliament from the hard-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, stated in an interview with the Russian newspaper Izvestia on January 3 that Scholz should resign.

“I think it would be very good if he (Scholz) resigned because his government is a disaster, diplomatically, economically, and in all other respects. But I don’t think he will resign for this reason. If he resigns now, it will not lead to the restoration of his own political career or to the electoral success of his own party in the next elections. It would be good for the country if he resigned, but I don’t think he will do that,” he said. As the politician noted, he does not currently see a way to force Scholz to step down, as it is not in the interests of his coalition partners, as they are even more unpopular. The opposition party will also not push him to resign because it is in the interest of the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Friedrich Merz, for Scholz to cause a real catastrophe in the remaining 18 months.

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“There is nothing Congress can do to force Thomas off the appeal. The concern is that Raskin is encouraging new targeting of justices at their homes by protesters..”

“What Do We Do if He Doesn’t Recuse Himself?” (Turley)

Rep. Jamie Raskin raised eyebrows on Sunday with a CNN interview where he said that there may have to be action taken if Justice Clarence Thomas does not recuse himself from pending appeals over the disqualification of Donald Trump from the Colorado and Maine ballots. Not only is there a weak basis for demanding such recusal, the suggestion of some type of response or retaliation raises ongoing concerns over efforts to influence or intimidate justices. CNN host Dana Bash asked Raskin, a former law professor, whether Thomas or any of the judges appointed by the former president should recuse themselves. Raskin responded that “anybody looking at this in any kind of dispassionate, reasonable way would say, if your wife was involved in the ‘Big Lie’ and claiming that Donald Trump had actually won the presidential election and been agitating for that and participating in the events leading up to January 6, that you shouldn’t be participating in (the rulings).”

I, for one, disagree. Under this theory, Thomas would have to recuse himself from any election or Trump related case because of his wife’s advocacy. Justices on both the left and right have long applied a far more narrow view of recusal. However, Raskin then stated: “He absolutely should recuse himself. The question is, what do we do if he doesn’t recuse himself?” The reference to some response from Congress or the public was left unexplained. In the past, Democrats have been criticized for fueling the attacks or targeting of conservative justices. In fairness to Raskin, I do not believe that he is an advocate for violence. He could be referring to the public voting against Trump. I wish, however, that his fealty to the constitution would extend to opposing this pernicious and dangerous theory. Other leading Democrats in Congress have done so.

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer was widely criticized (including by Chief Justice John Roberts) when he went in front of the Supreme Court to publicly declare “I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price! You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.” There is nothing Congress can do to force Thomas off the appeal. The concern is that Raskin is encouraging new targeting of justices at their homes by protesters. The interview had other curious elements. Raskin made a rather anemic effort to portray the removal of someone from the ballot as weirdly democratic under the theory that Trump picked himself for disqualification: “If you think about it, of all of the forms of disqualification that we have, the one that disqualifies people for engaging in insurrection is the most democratic because it’s the one where people choose themselves to be disqualified.”

That is akin to treating every criminal charge as an act of self-selection and consent by the accused. Raskin also stated that all of the justices on the left and right “call themselves textualist and originalists.” That is not true in the sense of originalism as a school of constitutional interpretation. Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, and Jackson do not follow an originalist approach but rather a more flexible living constitutional approach. Moreover, many of us do not believe that the text or original intent of the 14th Amendment support this anti-democratic theory.

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“.. the two states’ decisions — and the risk of others joining them — underscores the imperative need for the nation’s high court to decide the issue once and for all.”

Colorado Disqualification Case Brings Back Bad Memories for SCOTUS (Turley)

It is “a sad day for America and the Constitution when a court decides the outcome of an election.” Those words, condemning a4-3 decision by state supreme court justices regarding a presidential election, undoubtedly spoke for millions of Americans. However, it wasn’t a reference to the Colorado Supreme Court’s recent 4-3 decision to disqualify Donald Trump from running in the 2024 election. Instead, it was a statement by James Baker, then a spokesman for Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush, criticizing the Florida Supreme Court’s decision during the 2000 election. Of course, the condemnations in 2000 would shift to the U.S. Supreme Court, when it stopped the recount ordered by the four Florida justices and effectively called the election for Bush.

Then, it was the left condemning the U.S. justices as being, in the words of law professor Cass Sunstein, “illegitimate, undemocratic, and unprincipled.” Even the justices appeared to lose some of their customary collegiality and civility in the moment. Then-Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg famously omitted the customary word “respectfully” before the phrase “I dissent” at the end of her opinion. Now, the Supreme Court is being pulled into another election vortex by the Colorado decision and, potentially, by some of the cases in at least 15 other states. (Appeals of ballot decisions are pending in Arizona; ballot challenges are in process in Alaska, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming. A Wisconsin challenge has been denied twice.)

Colorado and, now, Maine remain outliers after the Michigan Supreme Court rejected another disqualification effort in that state. Last Wednesday, the Colorado GOP appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to accept the case given the split among the states and the importance of the issue. Politicians on both sides of the aisle have criticized the decision by Maine’s secretary of state and urged that the courts overturn it. But the two states’ decisions — and the risk of others joining them — underscores the imperative need for the nation’s high court to decide the issue once and for all.

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Attack is the best defense?

White House Blames Republicans For Illegal Immigration Crisis (RT)

US President Joe Biden’s administration has responded to the political fallout over a record influx of illegal immigrants by trying to shift blame for the border crisis to Republican lawmakers. As House Speaker Mike Johnson led a delegation of Republicans visiting the US-Mexico border on Wednesday, the White House issued a statement accusing the opposition party of blocking Biden’s efforts to resolve the crisis. Biden spokesman Andrew Bates condemned Republicans for refusing to pass the president’s emergency-funding request and accused them of having an “anti-border-security record,” including an effort to cut funding for Border Patrol officers.

“House Republicans are once more compromising America’s national security and economic growth with shutdown threats,” Bates said in response to a report that lawmakers vowed to block funding for the whole government if Biden didn’t close the border. He added, “Today’s statements are just House Republicans’ latest admission that as President Biden and both parties in the Senate seek common ground to address the needs of the American people, their conference is instead choosing extreme politics that would subject American families to needless pain.” However, Biden bundled his request for $6.4 billion in border security funding into a $106 billion emergency spending package that also includes military aid to Ukraine and Israel.

Most House Republicans oppose continuing to send weapons to Kiev, arguing that Biden’s policies lack a strategy for ending the fighting. Lawmakers have also argued that the president’s plan doesn’t go far enough to stop the flow of illegal aliens into the US. Border Patrol officers reportedly encountered more than 300,000 illegal immigrants crossing into the US in December, an all-time high for a single month. Illegal border crossings have surged since Biden took office in January 2021 and began dismantling the immigration policies of his Republican predecessor, former President Donald Trump. Biden’s administration released nearly 1.4 million illegal aliens into the US in the last fiscal year, in many cases letting them stay in the country while awaiting court hearings for dubious asylum claims, according to the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington.

A Monmouth University poll released last month showed that Biden’s approval rating dropped to a record low of 34%. Just 26% of US adults approve of his immigration policies, a troubling statistic as he seeks reelection in 2024. Critics of Biden’s policies have argued that in addition to flooding the US with illegal aliens, the nation’s porous borders have jeopardized national security. More than 172 illegal immigrants encountered by Border Patrol agents in the last fiscal year had been flagged on the nation’s terrorist watch list. House Republicans plan to launch impeachment proceedings next week against Biden’s Homeland Security chief, Alejandro Mayorkas, citing his alleged failure to enforce immigration laws. “The border crisis is a direct result of President Biden’s policies,” Johnson said on Wednesday as he began his border trip.

Caravan

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“Treason, I don’t know. It comes to an end soon and we’re here to make sure it happens.”

House Speaker Johnson At Border: ‘Disaster Of The President’s Own Design’ (JTN)

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said on Wednesday that the crisis at the southern border is a “disaster of the president’s own design,” adding that Biden has the authority to fix the problems. A group of 64 lawmakers representing 26 states visited the southern border in Texas on Wednesday. Describing the situation there as “heartbreaking and infuriating,” Johnson called on President Biden to reinstate the “Remain in Mexico” policy that he ended as soon as he took office in 2021. He also said the Biden administration must end “catch and release,” which allows illegal immigrants apprehended at the borer to be released into U.S. communities. Johnson said those policy changes would “stem the flow” of illegal immigrants arriving at the border by 70% or more. He told reporters that a border sheriff explained to him that the policy changes made since 2021 have “dismantled” 100 years of progress on border security.

House Republicans on the border trip urged Biden to resume construction of border barriers along open areas of the border. Johnson said there have been 7 million border encounters with illegal immigrants under Biden and a record amount of 312 individuals on the terrorist watchlist caught at the border. He noted that the Biden administration has taken the state of Texas to court for taking steps to secure the border. “Madness is the only word that we can think of to describe this,” Johnson said, as another lawmaker suggested treason as another word. “Treason, I don’t know. It comes to an end soon and we’re here to make sure it happens.”

Johnson emphasized that the president has the authority to “stop this madness.” He said the Biden administration has opened the border to the “entire world.” Johnson declared that any foreign aid package for Ukraine and Israel that Congress passes “better begin by defending America’s national security.” Republican leaders are pushing to incorporate border security measures into a supplemental foreign aid package. “We want to get the border closed and secured, first, and we want to make sure that we reduce non-defense discretionary spending,” he said.

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X thread.

I’m hesitant to pay too much attention to this. FBI and CIA have had access to it for years. The info has been thoroughly cleaned.

The Epstein Files (Cernovich)

The Epstein Files. Today a tranche of documents were released in a case involving Jeffrey Epstein. There’s no revelations. Jeffrey Epstein’s case was covered up. I can explain why. In 2017, my lawyer Marc Randazza found a wonky freedom of the press case. There was a defamation case, and although Jeffrey Epstein wasn’t named as a defendant, the case was central to some “conspiracy theories.” Marc asked me if I wanted to file a motion to intervene. We expected it to be a simple matter. Media interest was almost zero. No one in the “free press” cared. Then Trump nominated Alexander Acosta to the Secretary of Labor. Acosta had handled the original Epstein criminal case, and said Epstein was given kid gloves treatments due to protection from the intelligence community. Epstein was an asset of the FBI. What his exact relation was remains sealed.

By 2019 the case I sought to intervene in had an ORANGE MAN BAD angle because Acosta was Trump’s Labor Secretary. Even if the motives were impure, at least we were on to the races. Hundreds-of-thousands of dollars later, a trip to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and a lot of fighting, we had a batch of documents ready to be unsealed. The weekend before the documents were made public, SDNY arrested Epstein quietly when he landed his private jet on an airport from a trip he took in France. No perp walk for Epstein. In 2019 I wrote the following after a press conference was held re: Epstein’s arrest: ” Why didn’t the SNDY charge Jeffrey Epstein under the Mann Act? Under the Mann Act, it’s unlawful to transport an underage girl through interstate travel, including on an airplane.” “In a widely-publicized press conference the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced sex trafficking charges against Jeff Epstein.”

“Epstein was charged for paying minors for massages from 2002 to 2005. Yet what was more newsworthy was the what the indictment left out.” “The indictment against Epstein does not charge anyone except Epstein, and there’s nothing to indicate that anyone who flew to Epstein’s private island has faced scrutiny.” “The SDNY’s actions have all of the telltale signs of containment. Because the Miami Herald and Cernovich won a civil lawsuit, leading to over 2,000 records being unsealed, it’s simply impossible for the same Feds who gave Epstein a pass years ago to continue to cover up.” “The SDNY could have charged Epstein in 2002, 2003, 2004, or at anytime until today. Yet they did not file charges until the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that previously sealed records involving Jeff Epstein would become public record.Thus they are charging him without implicating anyone else who assisted with his operation.”

You know what happened next. Epstein committed suicide. Because SDNY charged the lowest level offenses possible, they “lacked jurisdiction” to raid Epstein’s island in Little St James, as well as his New Mexico and Paris properties. Those houses were left unattended for a couple of weeks. During that time, a safe went missing. During the Ghislaine Maxwell trial, it was reported: Evidence from Jeffrey Epstein’s safe ‘went missing’ after FBI raid. What was in the safe? We’ll never know for certain. We do know that the FBI has Jeffrey Epstein’s blackmail files. The real Jeffrey Epstein files are the blackmail material. Very powerful forces have made sure we will never see it.

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“The flood came. It inundated America’s newsrooms for the next two and a half years and washed away the Republican House majority in 2018. And we’re charging Donald Trump with insurrection? Please! Pass the bananas.”

Was Barack Obama Guilty of Insurrection? (Cashill)

According to the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, no person shall be eligible to hold federal office who “shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion.” Although all parties know the “insurrection or rebellion” clause refers specifically to recently completed Civil War, the Department of Justice argues for a much more elastic definition, all the better to hang Donald Trump with. Yet if there were one president guilty of insurrection in recent years, that president would have to be Barack Obama. In late 2016 and early 2017, Obama knowingly conspired with others to subvert the presidency of Donald Trump. Thanks to the zealous note taking of his once and future factotum, Susan Rice, we have documentation of this flagrant act of sedition. The formal plot to unseat President Donald Trump was launched with a White House meeting on Jan. 5, 2017, 15 days before Trump’s inauguration.

In conference with Rice and Obama were his national security team, including all the usual suspects: the FBI’s James Comey, the CIA’s John Brennan, then Vice-President Joe Biden, DNI James Clapper and Acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Following the meeting, Obama asked Yates and Comey to stick around along with Rice, his trusted scribe. Obama had a reason for singling out Comey and Yates. Unlike the others, they were staying on in their jobs. On the very day at the very moment Trump was being inaugurated, Rice sent to “self” a peculiar email memorializing this meeting. “President Obama began the conversation,” wrote Rice, “by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book.'”

The “issue” in question was the framing of Donald Trump for collusion with Russia. Obama had to know by this time that the collusion accusation was spawned by the Clinton campaign. The law firm that served as cutout for Clinton, Perkins Coie, was the same law firm that magically produced Obama’s birth certificate in 2011. There is evidence that Obama knew in early August of the provenance of the infamous Steele dossier. In 1974, Nixon campaign aide Donald Segretti made “dirty tricks” a household phrase. The nation was scandalized that Segretti would send fake letters using the letterhead of presidential candidate Edmund Muskie. For his dirty tricks, Segretti served four months in prison. For hers, the mother of all dirty tricks, Hillary Clinton walked away without even a scolding. The Steele dossier proved to be the most consequential dirty trick in American political history.

There is no “book” that justifies what Comey and pals did in the weeks immediately following this meeting while Obama was still president. The next day, Jan. 6, 2017, the conspirators released the declassified version of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA). Commissioned a month earlier by Obama, the ICA was John Brennan’s way of welcoming the president-elect to Washington. Titled “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections,” the report concluded that Putin “ordered” an influence campaign, the goal of which was “to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.”The corollary of this, of course, was that “Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”

The “Obama dossier,” as Rep. Devin Nunes called the ICA, reads like one of my college term papers, filled with sundry bits of information gathered from here and there just hours before the due date. Although Comey lobbied to have the Steele dossier included in the body of the text, wiser heads prevailed, and it was relegated to the appendices. On the same day the ICA was released, Jan. 6, Comey, Clapper, Brennan and the NSA’s Mike Rogers briefed the incoming president at Trump Tower, sort of. “[W]e were not investigating him and the stuff [in the dossier] might be totally made up but it was being said out of Russia and our job was to protect the president from efforts to coerce him,” Comey wrote in his notes to self following the meeting. At least three of the four men were investigating Trump, and it was not the Russians who were doing the coercing.

Only Comey stayed behind to brief Trump about the Steele dossier. It had not yet been published. CNN had the story, Comey knew. He also knew that by telling the president about the dossier, he would give CNN the necessary news hook to report the dossier’s allegations, at least the more plausible ones. One of the conspirators promptly leaked the news of the more intimate briefing to CNN. On Jan. 8, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe emailed his senior FBI colleagues. “CNN is close to going forward with the sensitive story,” wrote McCabe, emphasis his. “The trigger for [CNN] is they know the material was discussed in the brief and presented in an attachment.” McCabe sent this email under the heading, “The flood is coming.” The flood came. It inundated America’s newsrooms for the next two and a half years and washed away the Republican House majority in 2018. And we’re charging Donald Trump with insurrection? Please! Pass the bananas.

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Hair
https://twitter.com/i/status/1742474649756164196

 

 

Ice
https://twitter.com/i/status/1742536626541089246

 

 


Donnie Dunagan was the youngest U.S. Marine drill instructor. He served three tours in Vietnam and was wounded several times, retiring as a Major in 1977. Throughout his career he managed to keep secret that he had been the voice of Bambi in the 1942 Disney film.

 

 

Cassoway

 

 


Raimondi Cove Plant reaches maturity only after 100 years, flowers only once in a lifetime, and can live over 1000 years. Raimondi Cove Plant (Puya raimondi) is a unique and rare plant that can grow at a high altitude of about 3800 m. It is the largest species of bromeliad, reaching up to 15 m (50 ft) in height.

 

 


The Oriental dwarf kingfisher is a small, red and yellow kingfisher, averaging 13 cm (5.1 in) in length, yellow underparts with glowing bluish-black upperparts

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 272023
 
 December 27, 2023  Posted by at 9:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  46 Responses »


Edward Hopper New York restaurant 1922

 

‘Rot In Hell’ Biden – Trump Christmas Greeting (RT)
Obama Shaped CIA To Boost His Political Agenda – Former Agent (JTN)
The Supreme Court Holds to Regular Order for the New Year (Turley)
India’s Turnaround On Palestine Has More Than Meets The Eye (Bhadrakumar)
US ‘Cannibalizing Europe’ – Oreshkin (RT)
Russia Now Europe’s Largest Economy – Oreshkin (Sp.)
German Car Industry Could Be Sold To China – Oreshkin (RT)
Russia – China Are on a Roll (Pepe Escobar)
CIA Struggling to Tackle ‘Horrendous’ Losses in China Spy Network (Sp.)
Germany’s Bundeswehr Not Battleworthy Beyond Several Hours’ Fight (TASS)
Ukrainian MP Explains Why Kiev Needs 500,000 More Conscripts (RT)
Why Russian Liberation of Maryinka is So Significant (Sp.)
Nearly 250,000 People Flood Southern Border In 1 Month (CS)
Gaetz Demands Transparency From Delta CEO About Illegal Immigrants (ET)

 

 

 

 

 

 

1947

 

 

 

 

Chris Farley

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We are in the fight of our lives to save our country from madness and doom.”

‘Rot In Hell’ Biden – Trump Christmas Greeting (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has posted Christmas greetings wishing eternal damnation on his political enemies and ranting about their alleged efforts to interfere in the 2024 election by blocking voters from returning him to power. Trump’s series of holiday messages on Monday reached a crescendo with a post wishing a merry Christmas to US President Joe Biden, federal prosecutor Jack Smith and world leaders, “both good and bad.” He concluded, “May they rot in hell. Again, merry Christmas.” Trump referred to his successor as “Crooked Joe Biden” and said Smith was the current president’s “only hope” to win reelection in 2024. Smith is prosecuting Trump in two criminal cases – alleging mishandling of classified documents and trying to overturn Biden’s 2020 election victory – and is trying to win convictions before voters go to the polls next November.

Referring to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) special counsel as an “out-of-control lunatic,” Trump claimed that Smith’s recent hiring of outside lawyers was an “unprecedented” move that aimed to “help him with his poorly executed witch hunt.” He went on to say that “the thugs we have inside our country” are trying to destroy the US through such measures as open borders, high inflation, high taxes, “woke military,” and Biden’s handling of Israel-Iran tensions and the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The ex-president lamented in another post that it was difficult for him to have a “truly great” Christmas as he faced “a crooked and incompetent president who wants to put his political opponent in jail.” He added, “We are in the fight of our lives to save our country from madness and doom.”

Trump also predicted that 2024 will “go down as the year of great and fully coordinated illegal election interference” by Biden, the DOJ, the FBI and politically motivated prosecutors around the country. In addition to the two federal cases, he faces criminal indictments on state charges in Georgia and New York. “But despite it all, in the end, there will be a big and glorious victory for those brave and valiant patriots who want to make America great again,” he said. “Merry Christmas to all!” Trump issued a more traditional holiday greeting on Sunday, wishing Americans a merry Christmas. He acknowledged the birth of Jesus Christ as the reason for the celebration and alluded to the 2024 election by referring to the “pivotal” year ahead. “May 2024 be the best year of our lives,” he concluded.

The former president has made a tradition of scathing holiday messages, such as a Thanksgiving greeting in which he blasted Biden and aired his legal grievances. His Christmas post last year called out “radical left Marxists,” the “lamestream media,” the DOJ and the FBI.

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“..the continued existence of a politicized [intelligence community] that will cause problems for years to come — long after Trump has left the political scene..”

Obama Shaped CIA To Boost His Political Agenda – Former Agent (JTN)

Former CIA agent John Gentry said that the CIA became politicized under the Obama administration with the hiring of Democratic activists who shifted the intelligence agency leftward. Gentry, a Georgetown University adjunct professor who served in the CIA from 1978 to 1990, details the agency’s political changes in his new book, “Neutering the CIA: Why U.S. Intelligence Versus Trump Has Long-Term Consequences.” The politicization of the non-partisan agency first became an issue in the 1990s under CIA analyst Robert Gates, who later went on to become defense secretary for both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Gentry says. At the time, Gates ordered reports to be skewed to support elected officials’ political narratives, according to The Washington Times.

Obama and his appointees “made and institutionalized significant changes, largely by creating new structures, policies, and incentives designed to alter organizational cultures in ways congruent with Obama’s political agenda,” Gentry wrote. He said that Democratic activists hired by Obama “shifted leftward the collective, politically salient worldview of the intelligence bureaucracy.” Gentry also calls the CIA a “center of partisan political activity.” This shift was illustrated in the 2016 election, with the most prominent example occurring with the embrace of the since discredited Christopher Steele dossier. “While activists tried hard to keep observers’ focus on Trump and his exceptionalism, the preponderance of evidence points strongly to the continued existence of a politicized [intelligence community] that will cause problems for years to come — long after Trump has left the political scene,” Gentry said.

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“..would overturn the long-standing Justice Department policy to avoid even the appearance of trying to influence elections..”

The Supreme Court Holds to Regular Order for the New Year (Turley)

The decision on Friday by the U.S. Supreme Court to deny a motion for expedited appeal is not ordinarily a matter for exhaustive media coverage. However, if the Trump name appears in the caption of a case, many legal experts suddenly jettison all due process concerns or sense of restraint. That is particularly true when the denial could — as here — prove highly beneficial to Donald Trump. The denial very likely ends the effort by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith to put Trump on trial just before the March 5 Super Tuesday primary elections, and it could well result in a trial after next November’s general election. Smith was able to get D.C. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan to shoehorn the trial into a small window in March 2024. At the time, some of us stated that we were skeptical whether Smith could hold to that date in light of the novel constitutional and evidentiary issues in the case.

Even with the expedited review of the D.C. Circuit appellate court with an oral argument scheduled for Jan. 9, it will take time to issue an opinion. Trump then has a right to seek review with the full court in an en banc petition. That could easily take weeks, even on an expedited basis. It would then have to be appealed to the Supreme Court for a full briefing and argument. That schedule would likely approach or pass the March date. Assuming Smith prevails in every review, the pretrial proceedings still would have to resume after the case is returned to Judge Chutkan. That could easily push any potential trial to within 60 days of the general election — a period in which the Justice Department has historically avoided prosecutions under a long-standing policy to prevent influencing elections.

Ironically, Judge Chutkan ruled against Trump on immunity and the scheduling by insisting that he should be treated no differently from ordinary citizens. That is precisely what the Supreme Court just did. It refused to take away an appeal that most ordinary defendants could expect from the courts. Once the Court’s rejection became known on Friday, the coverage was full of anger and accusations. Before the ruling, many legal experts praised Smith and supported the effort to cut short Trump’s right to appeal. Just a day before the Court’s decision to turn down Smith, legal expert Dave Aronberg declared on MSNBC that “the Supreme Court seems to be willing to hopscotch over the appellate court. Jack Smith is calling Trump’s bluff.” It did not exactly work out that way.

Although the justices’ actual vote on the motion is not known, commentators immediately declared that conservatives on the Court had rendered a politically calculated opinion to spare Trump. A typical take appeared on Vox, where senior correspondent Ian Millhiser referred to “the GOP-controlled Supreme Court” and that three justices are Trump appointees, in order to paint the decision as nothing more than a rigged process. The decision, however, stuck with the regular order of appeals used for defendants. The extraordinary act would have been for the Supreme Court to allow Smith to bypass the court of appeals for no other reason than his insistence that the case is hugely important.

It is clear, of course, that the case is important — but the question is why such weighty issues should be given less judicial scrutiny due to that importance. A full appeal can produce concessions or admissions by a party in the course of arguing the issues. It creates a full appellate record that is considered by the Supreme Court, along with the trial record. So far, just one judge has ruled on this matter. The D.C. Circuit adds at least three — and potentially more — appellate judges as part of the standard review process.

If anything, Smith has an advantage before the D.C. Circuit. Notably, while two of the three judges were appointed by President Joe Biden, much of the media does not refer to the panel as “Democratic-controlled.”Every defendant is entitled to due process, including a full opportunity of appellate review absent a set of narrow, expedient circumstances. This was not one of those. Smith never actually explained why the trial is so urgent that the defendant should be denied one of two courts for appellate review. The assumption is that Smith’s urgency is to convict Trump before the 2024 election for the benefit of voters. That, of course, would overturn the long-standing Justice Department policy to avoid even the appearance of trying to influence elections.

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“The way out of this impasse lies in Israel reinventing itself. But the near civil war conditions in the country won’t permit that to happen.”

India’s Turnaround On Palestine Has More Than Meets The Eye (Bhadrakumar)

Indian diplomacy is ending 2023 with a momentous turnaround. What began as a course correction necessitated by the torrential flow of events in West Asia is assuming strategic overtones. Truly, the aberration in India’s policies can be traced to the UPA rule (2004-2014) but it is under the period since then 2014 that they accentuated phenomenally and began creating contradictions undermining national interests. This aberration also led to a serious erosion of India’s strategic autonomy in a transformative international environment. India’s voting pattern in the United Nations with regard to the Israel-Palestine conflict is lately marked by a calibrated distancing from Israel. Only a few weeks ago, Israel’s ambassador in Delhi bullishly described the Indian stance as one of “100% support” to his country. But that is no more the case today.

Delhi has rejected the repeated Israeli entreaties to declare Hamas as a terrorist organisation, marking its independent opinion regarding the ecosystem of resistance movements. Indeed, this is a highly significant distinction that Delhi is making vis-a-vis the Israeli and Western narrative about Hamas. although India has not hesitated to condemn the violence directed against Israel on October 7, it refused to name Hamas. Considering that Hamas had a chequered past of receiving patronage from Israel, Tel Aviv has no right to expect Delhi to dance to its tunes. Equally, Hamas’ future is far from an open and shut case. The fact that Sinn Fein and Irish opinion has shown empathy towards Hamas, or that South Africa, which has itself been a victim of apartheid, has recalled its ambassador and diplomatic mission to Israel, calling the horrific Gaza killings as “genocide,” go to show that the embers of national liberation struggle are still burning.

Although India expressed “solidarity” with the Israeli people over the brutal violence on October 7, it cannot condone the vastly disproportionate Israeli retaliation since then, blithely calling it a matter of Israel’s ‘right to self-defence’. On December 13, India voted in favour of a resolution in the UN General Assembly that demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict. This was the first time India supported such a resolution since the war broke out more than two months ago. Such a stance puts India on the right side of history, as the 193-member UNGA overwhelmingly adopted the resolution at an emergency special session, with 153 nations voting in its favour. A third aspect is that from a geopolitical perspective, Delhi has marked its distance from the US-Israeli campaign branding Iran as the instigator of extremist groups acting against Israel.

Interestingly, on December 19, India was one of only thirty states — along with Russia and China — who voted against a UN resolution on “the human rights situation in Iran.” The running thread here is that India has reverted to its traditional stance on the Palestine problem and jettisoned the tilt supportive of Israeli interests. The unprecedented unity among the Arab countries, the close coordination between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the huge groundswell of opinion in the Arab world against Israeli atrocities against the Palestinian populations in Gaza and West Bank — all this has created a new momentum in Middle East politics that has pitchforked the Palestine problem to the centre stage, which is something India cannot afford to ignore. Nor can Delhi be oblivious of the new reality that something has fundamentally changed in the dynamics of the Palestine problem after the events since October 7.

The Israeli ploys of dissimulation and evasiveness and deliberate wrecking of dialogue process and negotiations may no longer work. Indeed, Israel’s overwhelming military superiority vis-a-vis its Arab neighbours has lost its relevance. Coupled with the US’ loss of influence and America’s waning global hegemony alongside the sharp polarisation of opinion within Israel itself internally add up to create grave uncertainties regarding the future of the state of Israel as it exists today. Suffice to say, India feels the need to adapt to the new conditions in West Asia where regional countries prefer to settle their issues by themselves, which in turn undermines the rationale behind the creation of Israel as a cockpit of western strategic interests. The way out of this impasse lies in Israel reinventing itself. But the near civil war conditions in the country won’t permit that to happen.

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Maksim Oreshkin is not a public figure. But when he appears, pay attention. He’s labeled a “Putin aide”, but he’s his no.1 economic adviser. A very influential man.

US ‘Cannibalizing Europe’ – Oreshkin (RT)

The US insistence on sanctioning Russia has caused a downturn in the EU economy, according to President Vladimir Putin’s top economic adviser, Maksim Oreshkin. In an interview with Expert magazine published on Tuesday, Oreshkin said the sanctions imposed since February last year have caused the EU to lose both its energy security and a key export market. Oreshkin pointed to the key factors underlying the EU’s economic prosperity, outlined by the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. They include easy availability of energy resources from Russia, the use of cheap production in China, and access to the Russian and Chinese markets. “The gradual loss of these factors is leading the EU economy towards long-term stagnation,” Oreshkin argued, “because European manufacturers now have neither the export market nor the advantages in technology that they had five to ten years ago.”

Oreshkin accused the US of “cannibalizing its European partners, killing European chemicals, automotive and other industries.” This comes amid a broader degradation of the West and its economic model, he said. “The economies of the Global North – the US, Japan, the EU – are slowly losing their status, their significance. This gradual decay of the countries of the Global North and the growth of countries in the East and South is what will further shape the landscape of the global economy,” he predicted. Oreshkin noted that China has already become the leading global economic power, while Russia is now the largest economy in Europe, “on course to replace Japan as the world’s fourth largest.”

According to the presidential aide, the world’s key economic players will be focusing their development strategies on growing markets in Asia and Africa in the coming years. Russia’s development will take the same direction, he predicted, especially in the energy sphere. “The stronger the economic growth [in Asia and Africa], the higher will their level of energy consumption be, and the better the energy markets will feel… For Russia, the key task is to remain the most efficient producers of what we make, which includes energy. We must have lower costs, more efficient production, and then the changes that will occur in the energy markets will affect us to a lesser extent.”

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“..the so-called economies of the Global North – the United States, Japan, the EU – are gradually losing their role and importance.”

Russia Now Europe’s Largest Economy – Oreshkin (Sp.)

Russia has become the largest economy in Europe, revealed Russian presidential aide Maxim Oreshkin in an interview with Expert magazine. Globally, he also stated that the Russian economy sits just behind Japan in the race for the fourth-largest economy. According to Oreshkin, “the so-called economies of the Global North – the United States, Japan, the EU – are gradually losing their role and importance.” “China has become the leading economy, Russia is now the largest economy in Europe and is closing in on Japan in the race for fourth rank. Asian economies have moved up significantly in the rankings, with India taking third place, Indonesia moving up to seventh place and poised to challenge Germany’s sixth place in the near future,” Oreshkin said. According to the World Bank, China emerged as the world’s largest economy in purchasing power parity terms in 2022. The United States secured second place, followed by India in third and Japan in fourth. Russia secured fifth place, while Germany remained in sixth.

Back in October, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised its 2023 GDP growth forecast for Russia to 2.2% growth compared to the earlier prediction of 1.5% in July. However, the outlook for 2024 has been adjusted downward to 1.1% from 1.3%. The IMF noted “mixed effects” of Western sanctions on Russian crude oil exports in its latest World Economic Outlook. Despite sanctions, Russian export flows remained stable, and crude oil continues trading above the $60 price cap imposed by the G7 countries. Earlier, Russian Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov hinted at a 3.5% GDP growth in 2023, but the formal forecast of 2,9% remained unchanged. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin was more optimistic and asserted a minimum 3.5% growth by the year’s end, surpassing the ministry’s official 2.8% forecast for 2023.

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May sound crazy, but the reasoning is solid.

German Car Industry Could Be Sold To China – Oreshkin (RT)

China is rapidly gaining market capitalization in the global automobile sector, while European carmakers are losing competitiveness, Maksim Oreshkin, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top economic adviser, told Expert magazine in an interview published on Tuesday. Oreshkin noted that China has already become the number one exporter of cars in the world, which does not bode well for European car brands. “I wouldn’t be surprised if companies like Mercedes and BMW fade into history in ten years. As brands they will probably remain, but will follow the fate of Volvo, which was sold to China. In other words, they will actually cease to be European cars,” the presidential aide predicted.

“European manufacturers now have neither the market nor the technological advantage that they had five to ten years ago,” according to Oreshkin. The broader EU, and Germany, its industrial powerhouse, in particular, have been in the grip of an economic crisis for the past year and a half, ever since Brussels launched its sanctions war on Russia in response to the Ukraine conflict. As a result, the bloc lost access to cheap energy from Russia, which used to power much of its industry. Earlier this year, the head of Germany’s Association of the Automotive Industry, Hildegard Muller, warned that the country “is losing dramatically its international competitiveness” as the location for the automobile industry because of soaring energy costs.

China became the world’s largest automobile exporter for the first time in Q1 this year, having sold 1.07 million vehicles and pushing Japan to second place. The country has kept up its lead in the following quarters, with the export volume registering a year-on-year growth of 59.7% in January-October at 3.92 million units, according to data from the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. Meanwhile, following the departure of European, American, South Korean, and Japanese carmakers due to sanctions, China became Russia’s biggest automobile supplier in 2023. According to the latest available data, Chinese brands accounted for 92% of all Russian car imports between January and August.

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The west goes down. The rest does not.

Russia – China Are on a Roll (Pepe Escobar)

One of the most impressive features of the expanded Russia-China partnership is what is being planned for the Chinese northeastern province of Heilongjiang. The idea is to turn it into an economic, scientific development and national defense mega-hub, centered on the provincial capital Harbin, complete with a new, sprawling Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The key vector is that this mega-hub would also coordinate the development of the immense Russian Far East. This was discussed in detail at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok last September. In a unique, startling arrangement, the Chinese may be allowed to manage selected latitudes of the Russian Far East for the next 100 years. As Hong Kong-based analyst Thomas Polin detailed, Beijing is budgeting no less than 10 trillion yuan ($1.4 trillion) for the whole thing. Half of it would be absorbed by Harbin.

The blueprint will reach the National People’s Congress next March, and is expected to be approved. It has already been approved by the lower house of the Duma in Moscow. The ramifications are mind-boggling. We would have Harbin elevated to the status of direct-administered city, just like Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing. And most of all a Sino-Russian Management Committee will be established in Harbin to oversee the whole project. Top flight Chinese universities – including Peking University – would transfer their main campuses to Harbin. The universities of National Defense and National Defense Technology would merge with Harbin Engineering University to form a new entity focused on defense industries. High-tech research institutes and companies in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen would also move to Harbin.

The People’s Bank of China would establish its HQ for northern China in Harbin, complete with markets trading stocks and commodities futures. Residents of Heilongjiang would be allowed to travel back and forth to designated Russian Far East regions without a visa. The new Heilongjiang SEZ would have its own customs area and no import taxes. That’s the same spirit driving BRI connectivity corridors and the International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC). The underlying rationale is wider Eurasia integration. At the recent Astana Club meeting in Kazakhstan, researcher Damjan Krnjevic-Miskovic, Director of Policy Research at the ADA University in Baku, gave an excellent presentation on connectivity corridors.

He referred for instance to the C5+1 (five Central Asian “stans” plus China) meeting three months ago in Dushanbe joined by Azerbaijan’s president Aliyev: that translates as Central Asia-Caucasus integration. Miskovic is paying due attention to everything that is evolving in what he defines, correctly, as “the Silk Road region” – interlinking the Euro-Atlantic with Asia-Pacific and interconnecting West Asia, South Asia and wider Eurasia. Strategically, of course, that’s the “geopolitical hinge where NATO meets the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and where the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) connects with Turkiye and the territory of the EU.” In practical terms, Russia-China know exactly what needs to be done to propel economic connectivity and “synergistic relationships” all across this vast spectrum.

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“We have no real insight into [Chinese] leadership plans and intentions in China at all..”

CIA Struggling to Tackle ‘Horrendous’ Losses in China Spy Network (Sp.)

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is struggling to rebuild its damaged spy network in China, unnamed American officials have told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). According to them, the goal is to restore the CIA’s “human espionage capabilities” in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), where the agency lost its network of agents a decade ago. The sources referred to what they described as Beijing’s spycatchers, who “all but blinded” CIA agents in China at the time, when the officials claimed at least “two dozen assets” providing information to the US had been executed or put behind bars. The officials argued that the US currently faces limited understanding of secret plans by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his associates on key security issues, including those pertaining to Taiwan.

“We have no real insight into [Chinese] leadership plans and intentions in China at all,” the sources claimed. The insiders added that details of what went wrong are not known to the public and it is unclear whether any of the CIA’s employees have been held accountable. One official argued that the agency’s losses in China were “horrendous.” Per the sources, the CIA and other US spy agencies cut spending on counterterrorism and other targets to focus on funding programs to penetrate the Chinese government after 2020. One official made it clear that strengthening the human spy network targeted on China will be a tricky task, saying, “The reality is that you don’t have collection resources that you can exploit all over the world.”

The claims come after CIA Director William Burns said in an interview with the WSJ that China remains at the top of the agency’s to-do list. “We are approaching the PRC as a global priority, more than doubling the budget resources devoted to the China mission over the past three years, and establishing the China Mission Center as CIA’s only single country mission center to coordinate the full agency’s efforts on this issue. Even as we are balancing multiple priorities including ongoing conflicts, we remain intensely engaged on the strategic long-term challenge posed by the PRC,” he said.

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“Before it would have endured three days. Now it’s a matter of hours..”

Germany’s Bundeswehr Not Battleworthy Beyond Several Hours’ Fight (TASS)

The current material and technical condition of Germany’s armed forces, the Bundeswehr, has deteriorated sharply over the past two years, Colonel (Ret.) Ralf Thiele, a retired Bundeswehr officer told the Focus Online publication. “At the beginning of the attack (the start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine – TASS), the Bundeswehr was already understaffed. Now it is even worse,” he contends. According to the expert, the German armed forces can only blame themselves for this deplorable state of affairs, as they long delayed needed upgrades. Should Germany or any other NATO country be attacked, the Bundeswehr’s equipment would not last long, Thiele believes. “Before it would have endured three days. Now it’s a matter of hours,” Thiele remarked without elaborating. At the end of February 2022, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced the creation of a special 100 bln euro fund specifically for upgrading the Bundeswehr.

The earmarked funds were to be used for investment and armament projects, in particular, the purchase of new equipment, ammunition and machinery. According to German experts, however, no significant improvement in the material and technical base of the country’s armed forces has been achieved yet. In late March, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius sacked Gabriele Korb, the head of the Federal Office for Defense Technology and Procurement. She had come under criticism for overly long timeframes and overly complex procedures for weapons and equipment procurement. The total amount of German support for Ukraine – including humanitarian, financial and military assistance – has exceeded 25 bln euros since February 2022. In November, it was reported that the German government intended to increase support for Kiev from 4 bln euros to 8 bln euros in 2024. However, the authorities have not yet agreed on the budget for next year due to fiscal problems.

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They made people believe they were winning.

Ukrainian MP Explains Why Kiev Needs 500,000 More Conscripts (RT)

The Ukrainian military needs 500,000 new conscripts to cover casualties and man new units created during the next 12 months, the secretary of Ukraine’s parliamentary national security committee, Roman Kostenko, has said. The lawmaker also warned that eligible Ukrainians would not escape the ongoing mobilization. President Vladimir Zelensky claimed last week that the military leadership had requested the mobilization of “450,000-500,000 individuals” amid the conflict with Russia. Earlier this month, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu estimated that Kiev had lost more than 383,000 troops, both killed and wounded, since the start of hostilities in February 2022. In an interview with the Ukrinform media outlet published on Monday, Kostenko lamented that his compatriots “thought that we would win soon,” which instilled the belief in Ukrainians that “they could live quietly [and] not prepare for mobilization.”

“And now the words about an additional 450,000-500,000 mobilized have become a cold shower for everyone,” the lawmaker said. He added that the figure roughly reflects the armed forces’ needs in terms of replenishing “sanitary losses during the year” as well as forming new units. The military, according to Kostenko, must plan years ahead as the conflict “can… drag on for a long time.” The national security committee chief added that the Ukrainian government should shift the focus of its information policy from the promise of a quick victory and a vacation in Crimea to a more solemn message that “everyone must protect the Motherland. No one will evade it.”

Several Ukrainian media outlets reported on Monday that the legislation currently being considered by the Verkhovna Rada calls for the conscription age to be lowered from 27 to 25. The draft law is also said to include the introduction of electronic military draft notices, which would be sent via email and other means. According to reports, draft dodgers will be banned from receiving certain benefits and services from the state, obtaining loans, traveling abroad, and carrying out property transactions. MP Vadim Ivchenko told the Strana.ua news outlet that men hiding from mobilization abroad could be denied consular services, including the issuance of new IDs.

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“There were firing positions for long-range artillery and MLRS that shelled Donetsk. Now Maryinka is taken and thus the threat was moved away from Donetsk.”

Why Russian Liberation of Maryinka is So Significant (Sp.)

Russia’s Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu formally announced that the Russian Armed Forces liberated Maryinka, a heavily fortified city in the Donetsk People’s Republic, which for years served as an important stronghold for the Ukrainian troops, on December 25. Maryinka’s close proximity to the region’s capital of Donetsk allowed Ukrainian forces to shell the bigger city with relative impunity, noted military analyst Anatoliy Matviychuk, a retired colonel of the Russian Armed Forces. “Most importantly, they (Ukrainian forces) turned that city into a fortification,” Matviychuk said. “There were firing positions for long-range artillery and MLRS that shelled Donetsk. Now Maryinka is taken and thus the threat was moved away from Donetsk.”

He further noted that the liberation of Maryinka results in Russian forces taking control of “a hub of railways and highways,” not to mention cutting off the supply lines for the Ukrainian forces in the sector.The Russian victory in Maryinka also means that Ukrainian forces suffered a huge blow to their morale and lost confidence in their ability to hold their positions, suggested Colonel General Georgy Shpak, ex-commander of the Russian Airborne Forces. “Already, as I’ve learned, the number of Ukrainian soldiers who want to end up in Russian captivity has drastically increased,” Shpak said, adding that Kiev troops are becoming disaffected with their leaders and their ideals. Meanwhile, Ret. Col. Rustem Klupov, a military analyst and Russian military intelligence veteran, argued that the liberation of Maryinka was the beginning of a breakthrough in multilayered enemy defense in the sector, which may be followed by further breakthroughs in the Artemovsk and Avdeyevka sectors.

“These three directions – Artemovsk, Maryinka and Avdeyevka – they may lead to a strategic advance towards Pavlograd and Dnepropetrovsk, that’s about 200 kilometers, in order to encircle the enemy attack force that sought to punch through our frontlines in the south,” Klupov said. According to him, such a move by Russian forces would put the entire Ukrainian southern army group at risk as Kiev would be forced to either pull these troops back or risk them being cut off. “The success of this big operation is being determined there, near Avdeyevka and Maryinka,” Klupov claimed. While Kiev’s “counteroffensive” that started early in June and ended without much fanfare by the year’s end failed to produce any results apart from tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers killed, Russian forces scored a number of victories in 2023 which include the liberation of the cities of Artemovsk, Soledar and Maryinka.

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“Aliens cross the border illegally, test the system, are released into the interior, and then call home to share their experiences. That’s happened millions of times in the past three years.”

Nearly 250,000 People Flood Southern Border In 1 Month (CS)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered a new record number of illegal border crossers in November as the agency pleaded for help from Congress. Total illegal border crossers encountered along the southwest border in November were 242,418. The majority of apprehensions, 191,113, occurred between ports of entry. CBP agents also processed more than 43,000 people at ports of entry who made appointments through the CBP One App. As part of the administration’s expanded parole program to foreign nationals from specific countries, which Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced earlier this year, an unprecedented number of Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans were released into the U.S. who otherwise would not have been allowed in. Early this year, 20 states sued over the program, which they argue is illegal.

The plan initially allowed up to 30,000 Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans to enter the U.S. a month. Since then, that total and the program were expanded. Through the end of November 2023, CBP reports that 297,000 Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans “arrived lawfully under the parole processes.” More than 62,000 Cubans, more than 120,000 Haitians, more than 54,000 Nicaraguans, and more than 81,000 Venezuelans “were vetted and authorized for travel,” CBP states. They were released into the U.S. CBP also states that more than 60,000 Cubans, 112,000 Haitians, 47,000 Nicaraguans, and 76,000 Venezuelans arrived at the border and were granted parole. CBP processing facilities are currently at capacity along the southwest border in what is projected to be the largest number of illegal entries for the month of December in U.S. history.

In response to the surge at the border, CBP directed more personnel and transportation resources to areas being hard hit in order to transfer illegal foreign nationals “from high traffic areas to locations where they can be efficiently and humanely processed,” it said. “We are screening and vetting every individual we encounter at the border and those without a legal basis to stay are processed for removal,” the statement says. Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner Troy Miller also said the agency needed more resources from Congress, at a time when Republican Congressional leaders are planning on impeaching Mayorkas in January over the border crisis. “We are facing a serious challenge along the southwest border and CBP and our federal partners need more resources from Congress – as outlined in the supplemental budget request – to enhance border security and America’s national security,” Miller said in a statement.

“Despite ongoing challenges, in November, the men and women of CBP continued their tireless work and recorded increased seizures of illegal narcotics while facilitating lawful trade and increased holiday travel.” U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green, R-Tenn., who has vowed to impeach Mayorkas next month, said, “When there is no meaningful consequence applied to illegal activity, that activity will continue – and others will get the message that they can also engage in it with impunity. That’s exactly what has happened at our borders since Secretary Mayorkas took office. Aliens cross the border illegally, test the system, are released into the interior, and then call home to share their experiences. That’s happened millions of times in the past three years.” Green said this will not stop “so long as Secretary Mayorkas doubles down on his refusal to enforce the immigration laws passed by Congress. He must be held accountable.”

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“..legitimate major airline boarding passes for migrants that quite literally have the name printed as ‘NO NAME GIVEN.'”

Gaetz Demands Transparency From Delta CEO About Illegal Immigrants (ET)

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has raised national security concerns about Delta Air Lines’ role in transporting illegal immigrants from the U.S. southern border into the country’s interior without being “properly vetted.” In a letter to Delta CEO Ed Bastion on Friday, Mr. Gaetz urged transparency regarding arrangements between the airline, federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) facilitating transportation. “It has recently come to my attention that Delta Air Lines is transporting non-resident aliens from the southern border of the United States into the interior of the country,” Mr. Gaetz wrote. “The United States Congress has an interest in understanding pursuant to which arrangements with federal agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) non-resident aliens are able to book and travel on Delta Air Lines flights.”

Sparked by claims in viral social media posts, Mr. Gaetz cited national security concerns around NGOs that receive taxpayer funds buying flights for illegal immigrants who have not been vetted and who seem to be boarding flights without proper identification. These concerns were also put to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Wednesday. Mr. Cruz sought information about the screening procedures for illegal immigrants crossing the border via the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “CBP One” app and being helped onto flights to the country’s interior from southern border locations. In his letter to the Delta Air Lines boss, Mr. Gaetz said, “As you are likely aware, certain NGOs receive federal grants, including through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program and Shelter and Services Program, making it possible that these NGOs are using federal money to purchase flights for non-resident aliens on Delta Air Lines.”

The Republican congressman echoed Mr. Cruz, saying it was “alarming” that American taxpayers are paying for illegal immigrants to fly around the country from the U.S. southern border who “may not be properly vetted.” “Therefore, I am concerned the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) may be allowing nonresident aliens to board flights, including those operated by Delta Air Lines, with an alternate form of identification that meets a weaker standard than that used to verify the identities of American citizens when they fly,” he added.

Mr. Gaetz sought answers from Ms. Bastion to the following questions:
• How many nonresident aliens has Delta Ait Lines transported on behalf of governmental or nongovernmental organizations since January 20, 2021?
• How do NGOs purchase or reimburse your airlines for the tickets of non-resident aliens?
• Are you now receiving, or have you ever received, any incentive to reimbursement, including money, credit, or other benefits from the federal government, in exchange for the transport of nonresident aliens?
• Has the TSA notified you of what forms of identification are acceptable for nonresident aliens to clear airport security and board your flights? If so, what are they?

Read more …

 

 

Cobalt

 

 

 

 

Blue magpie

 

 

Okapi

 

 


Athens Christmas

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 032023
 
 September 3, 2023  Posted by at 9:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  34 Responses »


Claude Monet Bain à la Grenouillère 1869

 

Biden’s Use Of Fake Names In Email Could Cost Him (Turley)
Zelensky Sponsor Kolomoysky Charged With Money Laundering (RT)
Russia Is ‘Absolutely Invincible’ – Putin (RT)
US Laying Groundwork for Defeats in 2 Wars of Choice, vs Russia & China (Sp.)
Moscow Warns Of Direct Clash With NATO (RT)
Ukraine’s Western Backers Are ‘Pro-Nazi Coalition’ – Medvedev (RT)
Is Ukraine Losing Because Foreign Fighters Are Walking Away? (ZH)
Funny Old Man Borrell Typifies The Arrogant Mediocrities Running The EU (Bordachev)
German Chancellor Says Nuclear Power ‘Dead Horse’ Despite Energy Crunch (Sp.)
Sanctions Against Russia Turning Germany Into ‘Kamikaze’ – MP (RT)
EU Migration System ‘Has Been Broken For Years’ – Austria (RT)
Alexander Dugin: Global Liberalism in Crisis (Sp.)
7 Civilisations -1 Against 6 (Alexander Dugin)
Why They Hate Imran Khan? A Short Note. (Haider Mehdi)

 

 

 

 

Imagine Putin doing this. Or Trump. What excuses this behavior?

https://twitter.com/i/status/1697988586425954547

 

 

 

 

RFK Pfizer trial
https://twitter.com/i/status/1698081641296437328

 

 

 

 

Maui
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697988053455843467

 

 

 

 

“People under 50 kilograms banned from the streets in China due to Typhoon Saola”

 

 

 

 

Look who’s back…

”..Obama has 30 days to bar the release of the emails and to help shield his former vice president in a growing corruption scandal ..”

Biden’s Use Of Fake Names In Email Could Cost Him (Turley)

Last year, at an event at the White House, former president Barack Obama jokingly referred to the current president as “Vice President Biden.” At the time, it was described as the more popular politician “reminding Biden who’s boss.” Yet, this needling carried an added bite, given reports of Obama’s private doubts about Biden’s judgment. In 2020, Obama had famously warned fellow Democrats, “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f— things up.” Obama is now being asked to bail Biden out from another debacle of his own making, going back to his time in Obama’s administration. Various committees and private groups are seeking more than 5,000 emails from Biden in which he used an array of aliases during the Obama administration.

Under the Presidential Records Act, Obama has 30 days to bar the release of the emails and to help shield his former vice president in a growing corruption scandal over the influence-peddling operation run by Biden’s son, Hunter. Recently, it was learned that Joe Biden went by a variety of code names and false names, including Robin Ware. Robert L. Peters, JRB Ware, Celtic and “The Big Guy.” House investigators believe that may only be a partial list. For many Americans, it is understandably unnerving to learn that their president has more aliases than Anthony Weiner. However, while the number seems unusual, the practice is not unprecedented. Top officials have used such aliases in the past for emails, including former Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch.

During the Obama administration, the practice was defended by then-White House press secretary Jay Carney, who assured the public that any such emails would still be subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and congressional inquiries. He added, “We do not use and should not use private email accounts for work.” The problem is that there was “work” being discussed on some of these emails, including official foreign travel plans and the hiring of associates of Hunter for high-level positions. More importantly, some emails are relevant to the clients of Biden’s son. Biden has previously lied that he knew nothing of these dealings, but these emails could reveal even more about his knowledge and involvement.

Congress is investigating more than $20 million that was transferred to members of the Biden family from foreign sources through a labyrinth of shell companies and accounts. Even the Washington Post has been forced to admit that the president has lied in the past about aspects of Hunter’s dealings. Devon Archer recently confirmed that Joe Biden’s long-standing denial of any knowledge of their business dealings is “categorically false.” Most reporters now admit that Hunter was clearly engaging in influence-peddling, Washington’s favorite form of corruption. Yet in the face of this growing evidence, Democrats insist that Hunter and his associates were merely selling “the illusion of influence,” not actual access or influence over Joe Biden. Obviously, these foreign clients believed that they were buying more than an illusion for the millions they spent. One corrupt Ukrainian figure said that Hunter Biden was dumber than his dog, but that he paid him anyway for access to his father.

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Is Kolomoysky the target, or Zelensky?

Zelensky Sponsor Kolomoysky Charged With Money Laundering (RT)

Ukrainian authorities have informed oligarch Igor Kolomoysky, whose support helped Vladimir Zelensky secure the presidency, that he is suspected of fraud and real estate laundering amid Kiev’s ongoing crusade against rampant corruption. In a statement on Saturday, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said that the billionaire – whom it described as the “de facto owner of a large financial and industrial group” – had legalized more than 500 million Ukrainian hryvnia ($13.5 million) by “transferring it abroad, while using the infrastructure of banking institutions controlled by him.” Ukrainian officials stated that Kolomoysky, who has Cypriot and Israeli citizenship, was informed that he is suspected on two counts – fraud, and legalization of property obtained by criminal means.

The development was also confirmed by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine, which said that Kolomoysky was “served with a motion to choose pre-trial restrictive measures,” adding that the agency is continuing its investigation into the matter in coordination with the SBU and Economic Security Bureau. This comes after Kolomoysky’s home was searched by SBU operatives in early February, according to local media reports. At the time, the raid reportedly focused on Kolomoysky’s potential involvement in the alleged embezzlement of 40 billion hryvnia ($1.1 billion) and evading customs duties at the oil companies Ukrtatnafta and Ukrnafta. Kolomoysky burst on to the political scene in 2014, when he was appointed governor of the southeastern Dnepropetrovsk Region following a Western-backed coup in Kiev.

A year later, however, he was dismissed from his post over a conflict with then-Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko amid a struggle for control of Ukrnafta and state-owned oil pipeline operator Ukrtransnafta. In 2016, Ukrainian authorities also nationalized Kolomoysky’s PrivatBank after declaring it a major threat to the country’s financial system following allegations of large-scale fraud. Kolomoysky is also widely considered to have played a major role in the rise to power of incumbent President Vladimir Zelensky. Before launching his political campaign in 2019, Zelensky was a comedian, whose show was hosted by a Kolomoysky-controlled media holding. The magnate himself said he “wanted” Zelensky to become president, but denied close contacts with him.

In 2021, the US State Department sanctioned both Kolomoysky and his family members, citing his involvement “in corrupt acts that undermined rule of law and the Ukrainian public’s faith in their government’s democratic institutions.” In July 2022, media in Ukraine reported that he was stripped of his Ukrainian passport. However, while the news was confirmed by several officials in Kiev, the relevant presidential decree is classified while the oligarch himself dismissed the reports as “nonsense.”

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Talking about the spirit of the Russian people. Ergo, WWII.

Russia Is ‘Absolutely Invincible’ – Putin (RT)

Russia has always been and remains “absolutely invincible,”President Vladimir Putin told a group of students at an open lesson marking the start of the academic year on Friday. The mentality of the Russian people makes it impossible for the country to be defeated by anyone, he added. The president recalled the history of his own family, telling students about his ancestors who lived through World War II. According to Putin, his grandmother was fatally shot by a Nazi soldier but, even as she was dying, she was still thinking about her husband and told Putin’s grandfather “not to cry” in order not to upset her in her final moments. “Do you understand the depth of these relationships between the ordinary people, this love?” the president said, adding that, even in the face of death, his grandmother was caring for her loved one.

“How can we not take that for a model?” he added. Putin also said that all members of his family felt deep respect for each other and had a “strong inner culture.” Putin also said he believes most families in Russia are like this. “And here I understood why we won the Great Patriotic War,” the president said, referring to the Soviet struggle against Nazi Germany in World War II. “One cannot defeat a people with such a mentality,” he said, adding that “we have been absolutely invincible. And we remain as such now.” His words came as Russia has been locked in a conflict with neighboring Ukraine for more than a year and a half. The latest developments have seen Kiev’s forces unable to breach Russian defenses in nearly three months since the start of the much-hyped Ukrainian counteroffensive.

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“..US establishment politicians maintain that “if the US does not defend Ukraine, China will invade Taiwan”, a theory the report says is flawed.”

US Laying Groundwork for Defeats in 2 Wars of Choice, vs Russia & China (Sp.)

In an effort to live up to its promise to “fight Russia to the last Ukrainian,” the Biden administration is “laying the groundwork for defeats in two more wars of choice, against Russia and China,” a US report has asserted. The Democrat POTUS has been burning through cash (although national debt stands at $33 trillion), and munitions stockpiles in an effort to prop up the Kiev regime. The US announced a new package of military assistance for Ukraine on 29 August, worth $250 million, that includes AIM-9M missiles for air defense, munitions for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), 155mm and 105mm artillery ammunition, mine-clearing equipment, Javelin and other anti-armor systems and rockets, three million rounds of small arms ammunition, as well as other items.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated on 29 August that the US and its allies “will stand united with Ukraine, for as long as it takes”. Some of the contenders for the Republican 2024 presidential nomination fully support this stance – former governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley recently stated: “A win for Russia is a win for China. We have to know that. Ukraine is the first line of defense for us.” According to the report, US establishment politicians maintain that “if the US does not defend Ukraine, China will invade Taiwan”, a theory the report says is flawed. “If China does make a move on Taiwan in the next few years, stockpiles already reduced by Ukrainian aid will make aiding Taiwan more difficult and expensive if policy makers decide to do so. The foreign policy establishment that lost in Iraq and Afghanistan is laying the groundwork for defeats in two more wars of choice, against Russia and China—both nuclear powers, putting human civilization on the line,” the American media outlet highlighted.

The US military aid donated to Ukraine thus far amounts to more than $41 billion, with a further $100 billion appropriated for supporting Kiev, the report’s author emphasized. But by continuing to pile military aid worth billions upon Kiev the US is purportedly fast-depleting its own military stockpiles of various weapons. Accordingly, America’s own manufacturers are left “struggling” to replace the hollowed-out weapons caches. Amid its botched counteroffensive, launched on 4 June, Ukraine has been rapidly chewing through all the weapons funneled from the West. However, Kiev still has no territorial gains to show for it, with its military sustaining tremendous losses. As of 30 August 2023, Ukraine has reportedly lost 466 airplanes, 247 helicopters, 6,234 unmanned aerial vehicles, 433 air defense missile systems, 11,570 tanks and other armored fighting vehicles, as well as 12,528 special military motor vehicles since the beginning of the special military operation.

Macgregor

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“Anything could happen. Nothing is ruled out amid such an intense proxy-standoff between NATO and Russia..”

Moscow Warns Of Direct Clash With NATO (RT)

The military confrontation in Ukraine has reached a point where it could easily spiral into a full-blown conflict between Russia and NATO, Moscow’s deputy envoy to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, said on Friday. The diplomat blamed the US-led military bloc’s ever deeper involvement in the fighting between Moscow and Kiev. “We have repeatedly warned that the situation is quite dangerous and there is a big risk of a direct clash between Russia and NATO,” Polyansky said while answering questions on X (formerly Twitter). The US-led alliance is already supporting Ukrainian forces by every means possible, except for direct troop deployment, he said.

Moscow sees “many indications that there are some instructors, mercenaries” in Ukraine, the deputy envoy stated. He also pointed to some “strange messages” about the deaths of NATO officers and generals. “That does raise major suspicions,” he said, adding that “we cannot rule out that they [NATO specialists] are participating in certain actions in Ukraine,” Polyansky added, without naming any specific examples. Polyansky also claimed that the current situation is “very bad” for the Ukrainian military and that “Western aid is their only salvation.” Many people in the US and elsewhere “are starting to understand that the Kiev regime is losing,” he added.

“Anything could happen. Nothing is ruled out amid such an intense proxy-standoff between NATO and Russia,” the diplomat warned. Ukraine’s Western backers maintain that they are not directly participating in the conflict despite having sent more than $100 billion in arms to Kiev. Moscow has repeatedly said that continued weapons supplies only prolong the conflict and extend human suffering as well as increase the risks of a direct confrontation between Russia and the US-led military bloc. It has also blasted the US and its allies, accusing them of enabling Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian civilians, and labeling them as “sponsors of terrorism.”

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“..Russia should not “lapse into sweet daydreaming” about achieving reconciliation with the West and joining what he called a “big polyamory family of non-binary genders.”

Ukraine’s Western Backers Are ‘Pro-Nazi Coalition’ – Medvedev (RT)

Washington and its allies in Europe and elsewhere continue to support Kiev despite it acting increasingly like the Nazis during World War II, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in a Telegram post on Saturday. Moscow should abandon hope of reconciling with the West and see it for what it is, he believes. The leaders of Ukraine are “increasingly talking about ‘holding all Russians accountable’,” Medvedev said, adding that Kiev sees all Russian citizens as ‘Russians’ regardless of their ethnic background. In a thinly veiled reference to the Nazis’ plans for the Soviet Union, the former president said that the world had already seen similar aspirations. Medvedev noted that Ukraine is still being supported by almost every single Western leader, as well as by the heads of Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

All of them “are direct and obvious Nazi accomplices,” he stated, adding that “they should be treated as the leaders of a pro-Nazi coalition.” The former president, who now serves as the deputy head of Russia’s National Security Council and the Military Industrial Committee, then insisted that Russia should not “lapse into sweet daydreaming” about achieving reconciliation with the West and joining what he called a “big polyamory family of non-binary genders.” Medvedev had earlier condemned what he called open glorification of Nazism in Ukraine, pointing to an initiative calling for the establishment of the Stepan Bandera Order that would supposedly be awarded to Ukrainian servicemen.

Bandera was a notorious Ukrainian nationalist leader during World War II whose organization was responsible for mass killings of Jews and Poles in Ukraine. The petition requesting the creation of such an order in Ukraine appeared on the official website of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in May. It has since received nearly 2,300 signatures of the required 25,000. Medvedev blasted the initiative by comparing it to Germany establishing an order of Adolf Hitler or Italy introducing an order of Bennito Mussolini. “What is there to be ashamed of?” Medvedev mockingly wrote on Telegram at the time. “Let’s just glorify all European Nazis at once. This appears to be the new European ideology,” he added.

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“..One potential explanation is the sheer number of foreign fighters joining with Ukraine last year that are now gone..”

Is Ukraine Losing Because Foreign Fighters Are Walking Away? (ZH)

It has been almost 3 months since the launch of Ukraine’s long anticipated counter-offensive which many “experts” claimed would be the fatal blow that would remove Russian forces from the country altogether. The initial action gained little; around 90 square miles of territory in June and a handful of villages, and at great cost. There are no accurate casualty reports for Ukraine, which is by design, but estimates suggest that the nation’s military has doubled its number of dead since the counter offensive began. Official numbers from the DoD claim that Ukraine has lost over 100,000 troops since the beginning of the conflict (almost double the amount of US dead during the entirety of the Vietnam War). Other estimates are far higher.

Foreign fighters back from the front lines report a mismanaged and chaotic Ukrainian military using ill conceived tactics. Some say that the units they were assigned to have lost 80% or more of their men in recent months. Ukraine military leadership has also been misusing their fleet of tanks and armored vehicles from NATO, sending them ‘straight into mine fields’ in some cases. As volunteers note, the Ukrainians were given training on how to operate the vehicles, but no training on how to use them effectively in a fight. There is also a flurry of reports suggesting that friendly fire has been doing significant damage, so much so that “mercenaries” have taken to covering themselves in reflective blue or yellow tape so that they aren’t mistaken for Russian troops.

This disorganization seems to be far removed from the precision shown by Ukraine in their 2022 offensive, which forced Russia to reposition a large number of forces and give up over 3000 square miles of territory. Numerous successful strikes on Russian armored columns were widely publicized, all with a suspicious level of expertise employed by Ukraine. Yet, by 2023 their momentum was stopped cold. They were tied up in Bakhmut where they lost thousands of soldiers. And now, Ukraine’s hyped up counter action has been effectively dragged down to a crawl. You wouldn’t know it by reading sensationalized western media reports and propaganda, but Ukraine is losing, badly. So what happened? What changed since the end of 2022?

One potential explanation is the sheer number of foreign fighters joining with Ukraine last year that are now gone. While the data on volunteers is limited, multiple sources claim at least 20,000 mercenaries (many with prior combat experience) joined with Ukraine in 2022. Then, there are the covert operatives – At least one General out of the UK let slip that Royal Marine units were in fact deployed on high risk operations in Ukraine. Sources also indicate that US special operations teams have been stationed out of the US embassy in Kyiv since the beginning of the war. Though officials claim that the soldiers do not go to the front lines and stay near the embassy (which begs the question – what’s the point of having them there?). The presence of highly trained western covert ops troops in Ukraine would help explain the far more effective offensive in 2022.

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“..You are already in paradise, fellow Western Europeans, what more do you need?..”

Funny Old Man Borrell Typifies The Arrogant Mediocrities Running The EU (Bordachev)

Josep Borrell, the head of the European Union’s diplomacy, known and loved by us, in Moscow, for his paradoxical statements, has reported on the effectiveness of his bloc’s economic war against Russia. In the first lines of his message, he claims that “sanctions are working” and that those who claim otherwise are simply telling untruths. But the main indicator of the effectiveness of sanctions for Borrell is not even the dynamics of the Russian economy. The emphasis in the report is on the reduction of Russia’s bilateral trade with EU countries: This is what particularly pleases their chief diplomat. However, for him, it doesn’t matter that Russia’s trade with the rest of the world, with the exception of the US, has grown at the same time (even Japan and South Korea do not show a significant decline in trade turnover).

The EU’s chief diplomat is known to live in his own ‘Garden of Eden’, and everything outside this hallowed ground has no meaning for him. One could simply mock the degradation of the Western European perception of the surrounding reality embodied in Borrell’s remarks. But this approach is not an aberration; it reflects the whole philosophy of the EU’s relations with the rest of the world. It is only now that we have seen the inadequacy of such a strategy in a reality which there will never again be a center and a vast periphery to serve its interests. We are now really opening our eyes to the – to put it politely – uniqueness of our partners in Western Europe. What the Russian foreign policy culture, in a delicate manner, has tried not to talk about for the past 30 years is becoming public knowledge.

The question is what lessons can be learned for the future when the active military phase of relations with the West subsides somewhat? This will happen sooner or later, unless the world really splits into opposing closed camps. And then it will be extremely dangerous for us to harbor illusions about the fundamental intentions of our Western neighbors towards the rest of humanity. Josep Borrell is a somewhat caricatured but still credible embodiment of the nature of EU foreign policy. This funny old man is certainly a product of his time – the ‘beautiful 80s and 90s’ in Spanish and European history. In those days, either the most backward or the least ambitious, went into politics. And they are a product of a Western European order which educates its elite in a spirit of exclusivity and contempt for others.

From the point of view of mass psychology, exceptionalism is a very good means of control. Those who consider themselves special, the best and unparalleled in their superiority, never compare their own position with others. This means that they are ready to accept not only aggression against “outsiders,” but also the restriction of their rights: they are still the best in the world. You are already in paradise, fellow Western Europeans, what more do you need?

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It will get dark in Germany. Too late to prevent it now.

“..Anyone who wanted to build new nuclear power plants would need 15 years and would have to spend €15-20 billion ($16.2-21.6 billion) each..”

German Chancellor Says Nuclear Power ‘Dead Horse’ Despite Energy Crunch (Sp.)

Berlin’s move to join the West’s energy sanctions against Russia and ditch Moscow’s reliable and abundant energy supplies, along with the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage and the “green agenda” aimed at replacing fossil fuels and phasing out nuclear energy, have all contributed to Germany’s dismal economic data and looming deindustrialization. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has insisted that nuclear energy “is over” in Germany, and firmly dismissed calls from Free Democrats (FDP) lawmakers in his coalition government to re-embrace the technology in light of the ongoing energy crunch. “The issue of nuclear energy in Germany is a dead horse. Anyone who wanted to build new nuclear power plants would need 15 years and would have to spend €15-20 billion ($16.2-21.6 billion) each,” the chancellor said in an interview for German radio.

He added that the phase-out “has been done by law… I don’t need to put my foot down at all.” The issue of nuclear energy has fired off a fierce debate among Germany’s coalition partners in the government: Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s center-left Social Democrats (SPD), the Free Democrats, and the Greens. The energy crisis and soaring electricity costs have prompted the FDP to argue the need for halting the dismantling of Germany’s nuclear power plants. The door for resorting to nuclear power ought to be left open, the FDP – a proponent of the technology – has argued. The FDP’s parliamentary group approved a policy statement earlier in the week that called on Germany “to stop the dismantling of the nuclear power plants that are still fit to use,” adding: “That is the only way we will remain capable of acting in every situation.”

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“..Germany should “react accordingly to the new multipolarity.” “Germany and Europe need a sovereign foreign policy that is no longer subordinate to the US and NATO..”

Sanctions Against Russia Turning Germany Into ‘Kamikaze’ – MP (RT)

Western sanctions have failed to destabilize Russia and are now backfiring on the countries that imposed them, including Germany, Sevim Dagdelen, a German MP from the Left Party (Die Linke) wrote in an op-ed for the Berliner Zeitung published on Friday. According to the lawmaker, Russia’s economy has successfully weathered the restrictions and is steadily adjusting to the new economic realities. “In order to ruin Russia, it was hoped that the punitive measures that violate international law will have a long-lasting effect. But the reality is different. Even the Russian auto industry is recovering. Chinese companies are stepping in for the German manufacturers who leave Russia,” Dagdelen wrote. “Contrary to what was hoped, Russia has not been ruined. The consequences of the sanctions are evident, but on our side.

“While Germany’s economy collapsed by 0.3% in the last quarter and stagnation is also threatening the Eurozone, Russia is now forecast to grow by 2.5% this year. As is often the case, a merciless idealism characteristic of the German ruling party obscures the view of reality.” According to the lawmaker, the sanctions are strengthening Russia while the German government “is ruining domestic economy with open eyes.” “The federal government acts here like a kamikaze pilot, replacing politics with dubious morality and is happy about a friendly nod from Washington,” she stated, noting that double-digit inflation in Germany is the product of sanctions, as well as the “ever increasing military support for Ukraine.” Dagdelen also noted that the sanctions war has prompted the largest redistribution of capital in the country, with large corporations boosting profits while ordinary German consumers suffer from a drop in real wages and a cost-of-living crisis.

The lawmaker criticized the government that “wants nothing to do with diplomacy” and urged Berlin to distance itself from Washington and NATO. She suggested closer ties with BRICS, a G7 rival economic bloc of countries that includes Russia and that will represent nearly 40% of global GDP after it officially admits new members at the beginning of next year. According to Dagdelen, Germany should “react accordingly to the new multipolarity.” “Germany and Europe need a sovereign foreign policy that is no longer subordinate to the US and NATO. Supporting the BRICS peace initiative would be a first step towards freeing ourselves from the socially and politically fatal paternalism of the US. It would represent a step towards democratic sovereignty. No war is our war, not even this one.”

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No solutions here.

EU Migration System ‘Has Been Broken For Years’ – Austria (RT)

The EU must urgently fix its dysfunctional asylum system to prevent another iteration of the 2015 migration crisis that could potentially lead to the collapse of the entire bloc, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said in an interview published on Saturday. Speaking to Welt am Sonntag, Nehammer railed against the current EU regulations, claiming that the bloc’s “asylum system has been broken for years” and calling for immediate action. He admitted that while European policymakers have finally got “more sense of reality” and had started discussing migration, “the road is far from over.” According to the chancellor, migration is among the serious issues that need to be addressed at the European level, “as irregular migration can be an issue that can divide and possibly even destroy the European Union.”

To solve the problem, Nehammer proposed a list of changes, including the creation of effective border protection, rapid asylum procedures both at the EU’s external borders and in third countries, and concluding agreements with other nations allowing for the rapid deportation of migrants. He also strongly opposed an initiative supported by Germany and the EU Parliament that would exempt women with children from these suggested practices, branding it “impractical and ultimately counterproductive.” According to Nehammer, such an exemption would result in women and children being sent off by their relatives “on the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean and helplessly handed over to unscrupulous traffickers.”

“Such a derogation would be practically an invitation for women with children to risk illegal migration to Europe – and, if protection is granted, to bring the entire family to join them,” Nehammer told the German newspaper. The bloc saw a sharp increase in asylum applications between June 2022 and May 2023, according to EU data. The number is approaching the record levels of the 2015 crisis, when some 1.3 million migrants sought refuge in the EU. In 2022 alone, the number of asylum applications in the bloc hit almost one million, with the most people coming from Syria, Afghanistan, and Türkiye. Furthermore, the bloc’s social welfare system remains under severe pressure from refugees who fled to the EU from Ukraine.

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“.. there is no other possible vision of the future in the modern Western liberal civilization outside of global decay..”

Alexander Dugin: Global Liberalism in Crisis (Sp.)

Liberalism is headed for “catastrophe” following decades of global ideological hegemony, political philosopher Alexander Dugin told Sputnik’s New Rules podcast. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 allowed liberalism to emerge as the undisputed, dominant global ideology. Over the past several years, however, the ideology’s future has come increasingly under question. Populist upheavals in the United States and Europe exposed growing discontent with the inability of liberal institutions to cope with foreign policy and economic failures. At the same time, new emerging powers such as Russia, China, and India among others have begun to put forth their own ideological alternatives. Dugin said that liberalism had no solutions for the problems it helped create – a fact that is implicitly admitted by the ideology’s own supporters.

Liberalism’s only path forward, he warned, was to double down on its mistakes. “If we consider the futuristic vision in the cinema and the art made by the Liberal West, we don’t see a single positive scenario. Everything is a ‘Mad Max’, everything is Armageddon – atomic catastrophe, atmospheric catastrophe, or ecological catastrophe,” he said. “So, there is no other possible vision of the future in the modern Western liberal civilization outside of global decay. That offers a revelation of liberalism’s inner void because liberalism started as an individualistic version of humanism, but now it is approaching anti-human, transhuman individualism.” “That is precisely the political agenda of [Joe] Biden, of Kamala Harris, of modern day progressives in the United States that are openly post-human,” he added.

“They are trying to destroy history, the family, the sexes, and all kinds of traditional institutions. It is just a kind of imperative, political imperative of destruction of humanity. So, that is the catastrophe [of liberalism].” Dugin argued that liberalism was a “disguised path to the abyss” from the very beginning due to its intrinsic desire to tear down all forms of collective identity, such as religion, family, and nationality, in the name of individualism. The Russian philosopher insisted that it was only a matter of time before the ideology began trying to deconstruct the very concept of humanity. “The last thing [liberals] needed to accomplish on their way is to liberate individuals from their human identity – precisely because it is the last form of collective identity,” he said. As evidence of liberals’ increasingly “anti-human” worldview, Dugin pointed to the growing popularity of transhumanism, a movement that advocates for the use of emerging technologies to remake human beings, and radical environmentalism among Western elites.

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“..Fukuyama is left only doomed to lecture the Ukrainian neo-Nazis, the last hope of globalists to stop the onset of multipolarity..”

7 Civilisations -1 Against 6 (Alexander Dugin)

But at the XV summit, held from 22 to 24 August 2023 in Johannesburg, the final formation of the multipolar club took place. The entry of three Islamic powers – Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia and the UAE – was fundamental. Thus, the direct participation in the multipolar world of the entire Islamic civilisation, represented by both branches – Sunnism and Shiism – was assured. In addition, along with Portuguese-speaking Brazil, Spanish-speaking Argentina, another strong and independent power, joined the BRICS. Even in the mid-twentieth century, theorists of South American unification into a consolidated “Greater Space” – primarily Argentine general Juan Perón and Brazilian president Getúlio Vargas – considered a decisive rapprochement between Brazil and Argentina to be the first principle of this process. If this is achieved, the process of integration of the Latin American ecumene (term of A.Buela) will be irreversible. And that is exactly what is happening now in the context of the accession of the two major powers of South America, Brazil and Argentina, to the multipolar club.

The admission of Ethiopia is also highly symbolic. It is the only African country that remained independent throughout the colonial era, preserving its sovereignty, its independence and its unique culture (Ethiopians are the oldest Christian people). Combined with South Africa, Ethiopia strengthens by its presence in the multipolar club the African continent as a whole. In fact, the new composition of the BRICS gives us a complete model of uniting all poles – civilisations, “Greater Spaces”, with the exception of the West, which desperately seeks to preserve its hegemony and unipolar structure. But now it faces not disparate and fragmented countries, full of internal and external contradictions, but a united force of the majority of humanity, determined to build a multipolar world. This multipolar world consists of the following civilisations:

— The West (the USA+EU and their vassals, which includes, alas, the once proud and sovereign Japan now degraded to passive puppet of the Western conquerors);
— China (+Taiwan) with its satellites;
— Russia (as an integrator of the entire Eurasian space);
— India and its zone of influence;
— Latin America (with the core of Brazil+Argentina);
— Africa (South Africa+Ethiopia, with Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, etc., liberated from French colonial influence).
— Islamic world (in both versions – Shiite Iran, Sunni Saudi Arabia and UAE).

At the same time, one civilisation – the Western one – claims hegemony, while the other six deny it, accepting only a multipolar system and recognising the West as only one of the civilisations, along with others. May be still strongest (relatively and not for too long) but not unique. So the rightness of Samuel Huntington, who saw the future in the return of civilisations, has been confirmed in practice, while the fallacy of Fukuyama’s thesis, who believed that the global hegemony of the liberal West (the end of history) has already been achieved, has become obvious. Therefore, Fukuyama is left only doomed to lecture the Ukrainian neo-Nazis, the last hope of globalists to stop the onset of multipolarity, for which Russia in Ukraine is fighting today.

August 2023 can be considered the birthday of the multipolar world. Multipolarity is established and somehow institutionalized. It is time to take a closer look at how the civilisational poles themselves interpret the situation in which they find themselves. And here we should take into account that virtually every sovereign civilisation has its own idea of the structure of history, the nature of historical time, its direction, the goal and the end. Contrary to Fukuyama, who ambitiously proclaimed a single end of history (in his liberal version), each sovereign civilisation operates with its own understanding, interpretation and description of the end of history.

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X thread.

Why They Hate Imran Khan? A Short Note. (Haider Mehdi)

*Why they hate Imran Khan? A Short Note. Haider Mehdi. 1 Sep 2023*

He took away religion from the Molvis. Took away Spirituality from the Sufis. Took away intellectualism from the intellectuals. Took away social welfare from the socialists/ leftists / communists. Took away patriotism from the Military. Took away machismo from the so called hulks. Took away fame from the rich and famous.

Every man, father, husband, brother hates him because their wives, sisters and daughters fell madly in love with him! He left everybody without their pretentious personas. Naked! Except the poor. To whom he gives dignity and compassion and well being. And the Youth to whom he gives hope and pride. And the Nation to whom he gives self respect and honour! He’s a rare one. Value him. Save him. Fight for him. Sacrifice for him.

Salaams and Prayers
Haider Mehdi

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Windows
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697966780788924516

 

 

Future or climate killer?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 102023
 


Priest and scribe Ka-aper ca. 2465-2323 BC

 

Ukraine Defeat Ominous to Team Biden Admitted by US Press (Sp.)
US Stokes Tension in Persian Gulf as It Loses Control, Needs More Wars (Sp.)
West’s ‘Neo-Colonial Geopolitical Crusade Against Russia’ Is Doomed – Moscow (RT)
US Told Pakistan To Remove Imran Khan From Power – Intercept (RT)
US Regime Change Karen Wants To Speak To The Manager In Niger (Marsden)
All-Africa War Possible – Ex-Presidential Aide (RT)
GOP Memo: Hunter Sold ‘Biden’ Brand for At Least $20 Million As Joe Was VP (Sp.)
Trump: Biden ‘Petrified of China’ Because They Pay Him Millions of Dollars (Sp.)
Search Warrant Was Issued For Donald Trump’s Twitter Account (BBC)
Critical Mineral Shortage to Put US Energy Security at Risk (Sp.)
Shakespeare Banned In US School Districts Over ‘Sexual Content’ (RT)
The “Magic Negro Of The Billionaire Industrial Complex” (ZH)

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

RFK Dore

 

 

Watters

 

 

 

 

“CNN is telling it as it sees it, in its own limited way. “

Ukraine Defeat Ominous to Team Biden Admitted by US Press (Sp.)

Having lauded the Kiev regime’s resolve and the Ukrainian military’s resourcefulness for quite some time, the US mainstream press has suddenly changed its tune, being forced to admit that the well-advertised Ukrainian counteroffensive has failed. Some established American newspapers went even so far as to report that the US military tactics had proven almost useless on the Ukrainian battlefield. “After two months of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, the US press is finally waking up to the fact that the offensive is going extremely poorly,” Daniel Lazare, an independent journalist, author, and writer, told Sputnik. “Ukraine has made minimal gains due to very dense Russian defenses, including mines and drone swarms, which are completely changing the battlefield equation. This is devastating news for the Biden administration, which after the disastrous retreat from Afghanistan in August 2021, is now two years later facing an equally dangerous situation in Ukraine.”

As of August 4, Ukraine had lost more than 43,000 soldiers and over 4,900 units of various weaponry, including 26 planes, nine helicopters, 1,831 tanks and other armored fighting vehicles, including 25 German-made Leopard tanks, seven French-made AMX wheeled tanks, and 21 US-made Bradley infantry fighting vehicles (IFV), as well as 747 field artillery guns and mortars, since the beginning of Kiev’s counteroffensive, per Russia’s Ministry of Defense. Thus, Ukraine’s attrition rate is so high it could hardly be ignored by Western politicians and corporate press. “These articles are not a ploy. That’s not how the US mass media works. They’re honest,” Lazare said. “CNN is telling it as it sees it, in its own limited way.

And after months of pro-Pentagon propaganda, where CNN essentially toed the Defense Department line all the way, essentially now it realizes it can’t do that much longer because the facts are running strongly against it. So CNN, The New York Times, Politico, etc., are forced to recognize the reality of what’s happening in Ukraine. And it’s extremely negative from a US perspective. I think it is a sobering-up process. They are alerting their readers to how dangerous and negative the situation in Ukraine is becoming in terms of American strategic interests. And therefore, they are preparing them for worse to come. But it’s honest in the sense that no one is bribing CNN and it has no ulterior motive in mind. It simply is telling the truth in its own half-witted, politically distorted fashion.”

Still, those who have followed the Ukraine conflict from the very beginning have already noticed that the US media’s prognoses don’t work. So, for them the Ukraine counteroffensive failure was hardly surprising, per US independent journalist and geopolitical analyst Max Parry. “There is no way anyone could follow this conflict closely without noticing Western corporate media’s continuous pattern of failure in its predictions about the outcome of the war in favor of Kiev and then backtracking each time only to come up with excuses as to why its prognostications have been wrong,” Parry told Sputnik. “As a result, it has only revealed the incompetence of Washington’s military strategists and NATO, whose forces have trained Ukraine, and the media’s own role as a propaganda arm of the US.”

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“..its coveted superior role of “being the world policeman that the laws don’t apply to” slipping from its grasp..”

US Stokes Tension in Persian Gulf as It Loses Control, Needs More Wars (Sp.)

The Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, which plays a crucial role for global trade, have yet again found themselves in the focus of the US military, as Washington has accused Iran of “seizing and harassing” civilian vessels – a practice that the Islamic Republic has resolutely denied employing. The United States realizes that it is losing control, and cannot maintain it without creating more wars, which explains why it is stoking tension in the Persian Gulf, Laith Marouf, a broadcaster and journalist based in Beirut, Lebanon, told Sputnik. With increasingly more countries rejecting the US-driven so-called “rules-based order,” and America feeling that its coveted superior role of “being the world policeman that the laws don’t apply to” slipping from its grasp, Washington is desperate to fan hostilities in the region, Marouf underscored.

According to the US press, thousands of US Marines and sailors have been brought to the Persian Gulf by the USS Bataan and the USS Carter Hall, as part of a buildup ongoing for months. On August 4, unnamed US officials told the press that the Pentagon was considering putting armed personnel on commercial ships traveling through the Strait of Hormuz, as a part of an intensified response from Washington to the allegedly destabilizing activity caused by Iran’s “harassment and seizure of merchant vessels.” The Iranian Foreign Ministry dismissed the US’ claims as untrue. “In the last two years, we saw multiple ships confiscated by the United States – some in international waters – that belong to Iran,” Laith Marouf pointed out, adding:

“It seems like the United States wants to police the world, and in this situation, they want to become a valet service for these international shipping companies that are looting oil from the Gulf… The more the United States acts in such pirate ways, the more we will lose control of the situation.” Reports of more than 3,000 US military personnel having arrived in the Red Sea on board two warships following Washington’s allegations of Iran “seizing” several civilian ships in the waterways is a dangerous escalation, Mazda Majidi, long-time antiwar and social justice activist from Iran, told Sputnik. “It’s really an escalation that’s not really called for by actual developments on the ground,” the activist said, underscoring that it was pretty much a “war footing.” Washington accuses Iran’s Navy of no less than 20 such incidents involving commercial vessels over the past two years.

“The average, accordingly, is less than one a month,” underscored Mazda Majidi, who has written extensively on the nuclear deal and other issues pertaining to Iran and the Middle East. He added that, like the Iranian Navy has said, some of the instances were a reaction to a distress signal, when they went in to see if they could help. “But in the bigger picture, the ongoing problem is the continual US seizure of Iranian oil tankers around the globe. And while the US claims that these are based on the sanctions on Iran, that sanctions that the US has placed on Iran. Those sanctions do not apply to international waters. In other words, the US Navy has no legal right to seize Iranian oil tankers anywhere it sees fit. So in that sense, the Iranian reaction is related to what the US has been doing to tankers carrying Iranian oil,” Mazda Majidi said.

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“Russia will achieve peace on its own terms.”

West’s ‘Neo-Colonial Geopolitical Crusade Against Russia’ Is Doomed – Moscow (RT)

The West is treating Ukraine the same way it treated Georgia, as a proxy against Russia to be used and abandoned, Moscow’s deputy envoy to the UN Dmitry Polyansky has said. August 8 is a “sad day in Georgian history,” Polyansky tweeted on the anniversary of the 2008 conflict. “It’s very hard to rectify the bloody mistakes of [the] Saakashvili regime which acted in 2008 as a puppet of the West. Now Saakashvili is in prison in Georgia but his poisonous legacy is still felt.” The “Kiev regime is doing a far more nefarious mistake right now naively hoping that the West will not abandon it after NATO’s proxy war with Russia until the last Ukrainian,” Polyansky added. “And Washington and its allies are still bringing death and devastation to the post-Soviet space in their futile neo-colonial geopolitical crusade against Russia.”

Mikhail Saakashvili became the president of Georgia in the US-backed ‘Rose revolution’ in 2003. In August 2008, as the world’s attention was on the Beijing Olympics, he launched an attack on the breakaway region of South Ossetia, hoping to overwhelm the Russian peacekeeping battalion stationed there since the 1990s. Moscow’s quick reaction surprised both Tbilisi and Washington. Georgia’s Western-trained military was dismantled within five days. Saakashvili lost the 2012 election and went to the US, then to Ukraine after the US-backed coup in Kiev. Russia’s president at the time, Dmitry Medvedev, also commented on the anniversary of the conflict. In a Telegram post, he said that Saakashvili had been a proxy of the West, “which was trying to stir up the situation in the immediate vicinity of Russia’s borders even then.”

Washington and its vassals are “once again waging a criminal war by proxy” against Russia, Medvedev added. “Just like in August 2008, our enemies will be crushed, and Russia will achieve peace on its own terms.” The US and NATO have sent over $100 billion worth of weapons, equipment and ammunition to Kiev, as well as cash to keep the Ukrainian government afloat, while insisting they were not a party to the conflict with Russia. Earlier this year, they supplied modern Western tanks to the Ukrainian military, with the expectation of a grand spring-summer offensive that would push the Russians into the sea. Kiev launched the offensive in early June, but has achieved little while losing 5,000 vehicles and 43,000 soldiers, according to Russian Defense Ministry estimates. Earlier this week, senior US and Western officials told CNN that it was “extremely, highly unlikely” the Ukrainians could make progress on the battlefield that could change the balance of the conflict.

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Smells like Nuland around here.

US Told Pakistan To Remove Imran Khan From Power – Intercept (RT)

The US State Department pressured Pakistan to remove its popular prime minister, Imran Khan, last year over the latter’s neutrality regarding the conflict in Ukraine, The Intercept reported on Wednesday, citing a secret diplomatic cable obtained from a Pakistani military source. The cable documents a meeting between US State Department officials and Pakistan’s ambassador to the US on March 7, 2022. “People here and in Europe are quite concerned about why Pakistan is taking such an aggressively neutral position” on Ukraine, US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu warns his Pakistani counterpart in the cable, blaming the PM alone for the offending policy.

While Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan attempts to correct the American, pointing out that Pakistan’s position on Ukraine is shared across the government, Lu counters that it is the PM’s behavior that is the problem, but that “if the no-confidence vote against the Prime Minister succeeds, all will be forgiven in Washington.” “Otherwise, I think it will be tough going ahead,” he threatens, adding that Europe will follow the US’ lead in the “isolation of the prime minister.” Ambassador Khan reflects in his notes that the threat seems to be coming directly from the White House and suggests a strong diplomatic response. Khan, who apparently obtained a copy of the cable in the weeks following the meeting, pointed at the US as the director of his ouster after he was removed following a no-confidence vote last April – just as Lu had suggested.

His successor, Shehbaz Sharif, admitted the cable existed and that some of its messaging was inappropriate, but stopped short of acknowledging its confirmation of Khan’s claims. Washington has categorically denied pressuring Islamabad to remove Khan. While the document obtained by The Intercept does not technically constitute a direct order, it attaches strongly-worded threats to noncompliance, hints at rewards for obedience, and confirms both were viewed as coming directly from President Joe Biden. Immediately following Khan’s ouster, Pakistan reversed its neutrality on Ukraine, demonstrating its fealty to Washington by supplying copious amounts of weapons to Kiev.

Its military was reportedly rewarded with a defense pact covering “joint exercises, operations, training, basing and equipment.” While polls have suggested Khan would easily win an election were he permitted to run again, he was sentenced to three years in prison last week on corruption charges, blocking him from contesting elections expected to take place this year. He has been charged with numerous crimes since his ouster, from insulting state officials to terrorism, and last month it was announced he would be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act for revealing the contents of the cable documenting the conspiracy to oust him.

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I meant Karen.

US Regime Change Karen Wants To Speak To The Manager In Niger (Marsden)

France has been kicked out of Niger by its new military government, by extension placing US interests there in peril. Who would ever have thought that the US footing the bill for training Nigerien soldiers would result in a net gain for Russia and China? Apparently not the US State Department. Enter Victoria Nuland with demands to speak to those in charge. Officially the acting US deputy secretary of state, Nuland should really change her title to ‘Regime Change Karen’. In modern parlance, a ‘Karen’ is a middle-aged woman “who uses her privilege to get her way or police other people’s behaviors.” Karens can often be spotted at the customer service desks of big box stores demanding to speak to the manager – or in this case, the military leaders now in charge of Niger.

Nuland rocked up to Niger and demanded to speak to the ousted president, but was refused the opportunity. Instead, she got to meet with one of the coup leaders – the new army chief of staff, Brigadier General Moussa Salaou Barmou, who not only trained at Fort Benning and at Washington’s National Defense University, but was photographed alongside US Special Operations in Africa Commander Lt. Gen. Jonathan Braga just a few weeks ago at a US drone base in Niger. In a State Department teleconference on Monday, Nuland said that she was in Niger “because we wanted to speak frankly to the people responsible to this challenge to the democratic order.” That didn’t actually require a foreign trip, though. She could have just stayed home and called a staff meeting. You made this mess yourselves, guys. “The benefit from the joint mortar training event is twofold – providing Nigerien soldiers with a tangible skill, while also bolstering the partnership between US and Niger forces,” the Pentagon said in 2021 of a joint training exercise. Looks like all those skills came in handy when it came to kicking out US-allied France.

“We met with the self-proclaimed chief of defense of this operation, General Barmou, and three of the colonels supporting him,” Nuland said. “I will say that these conversations were extremely frank and at times quite difficult because, again, we were pushing for a negotiated solution.” Interesting how peace and negotiations suddenly appear on the table when Washington loses its foothold, finds itself in too weak or precarious a position to start dropping bombs, and needs to buy some time to regain the upper hand. Such was the case with the Russia-Ukraine Minsk agreements of 2014 and 2015, which used peace as a pretext for better arming Kiev against Moscow as Western allies trained and supplied Ukrainian neo-Nazis at Russia’s doorstep. Nuland not so subtly hinted at Washington’s priorities when she said that she “had a chance first to sit with a broad cross-section of Nigerien civil society,” describing them as “long-time friends of the United States.” In other words, to better shore up the in-country proxies to defend US interests.

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Not what Russia needs right now. That’s why it’s happening.

All-Africa War Possible – Ex-Presidential Aide (RT)

A military intervention in Niger could set off a broader war, Antinekar al-Hassan, a political adviser to the ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, told RIA Novosti on Wednesday. “I don’t think ECOWAS will make the mistake of intervening militarily in Niger, because if they intervene militarily, that means all of Africa will be at war,” al-Hassan said. Bazum was arrested on July 26, by a group of Nigerien military officers led by General Abdourahamane Tchiani. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has threatened to deploy troops unless he was restored to power, but their ultimatum to Niamey expired on Sunday. In the meantime, the bloc has closed borders and stopped all trade and transactions with Niger. Al-Hassan said he was against these sanctions, calling them “illegal and illegitimate.” “We’re against the sanctions. They will hurt the people of Niger, not the junta,” he said.

The new military government has refused any talks with the ousted president, who has no intent of stepping down, according to al-Hassan. “He did not sign anything and is not preparing to resign. He would rather die than resign,” al-Hassan said. In an op-ed supposedly written from prison and published in the Washington Post on August 4, Bazoum had appealed to the “US government and the entire international community to help us restore our constitutional order.” ECOWAS military chiefs reportedly finalized their war plans last Friday, but noted the actual intervention requires a political decision by the bloc’s governments. Chad and Guinea have opposed both sanctions and intervention in Niger, while Burkina Faso and Mali said they would regard any military move against Niamey as a declaration of war against both of them as well.


According to the French broadcaster RFI, which was banned in Niger, ECOWAS was mustering a force of about 25,000 troops, most of them from neighboring Nigeria. The new military government in Niamey accused France on Wednesday of setting free terrorists so they could attack a military camp in Niger and violating the country’s airspace as part of a campaign of destabilization. Paris denied that any terrorists were set free, or that any attack took place, and insisted the French aircraft were operating in Nigerien airspace under a military pact with Bazoum’s government. France refused to recognize the generals’ repudiation of the deal last week, and vowed to keep some 1,500 troops in the Sahel country.

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How much more proof is required? Asking for a friend.

GOP Memo: Hunter Sold ‘Biden’ Brand for At Least $20 Million As Joe Was VP (Sp.)

Companies related to the Biden family received a whopping $20 million from foreign nationals during Joe Biden’s vice presidency, as per the GOP-led House Oversight and Accountability Committee. On August 9, the Committee on Oversight and Accountability Majority Staff released a third bank records memorandum within the framework of the ongoing investigation of the Bidens’ alleged influence peddling schemes. The committee identified over $20 million in payments from foreign sources to the Biden family and their business associates during Joe Biden’s vice presidential tenure. Per House GOP investigators, Biden family members and partners routinely collected money from Ukrainian, Kazakh, Chinese, Russian, and Romanian nationals in exchange for protection, assistance, and access to then-Vice President Joe Biden.

“Joe Biden was ‘The Brand’ sold around the world to enrich the Biden family and he was used to ‘signal’ their access, influence, and power,” the congressional memo reads. “Then-Vice President Biden met – in person, for significant periods of time – with those individuals or their representatives. Then-Vice President Biden joined approximately 20 phone calls on speakerphone with Hunter Biden’s foreign business associates and attended dinners with foreign oligarchs who paid huge sums of money to Hunter Biden. Joe Biden, ‘the brand,’ was the only product the Bidens sold.” The memo also referred to the change of the White House’s narrative regarding Joe Biden’s apparent involvement in his son’s business dealings.

While, previously, Team Biden had claimed that Joe was unaware of Hunter’s financial activities and never discussed them, now they say that the “President was not in business with his son.” Still, the White House staff refuses to comment about this departure from previous statements, the memo noted. Commenting on the release of the third memo, Committee Chairman James Comer opined that the data obtained by the committee confirms the assumption that the Bidens, including Joe, were involved in “pay-for-play.” Comer particularly drew parallels between bank records and Hunter’s partners getting access to then-Vice President Biden, including two dinners in April 2014 and 2015 at Washington, DC’s Café Milano.

Most recently, US renowned legal scholar Jonathan Turley brought focus on the discussions surrounding Joe’s visits to Café Milano. The lawyer noted that the testimony by Devon Archer – Hunter’s longtime business partner – indicated that the elder Biden had indeed spent time with his son’s clients and was aware of Hunter’s business schemes. “Then-Vice President Joe Biden dined with oligarchs from around the world who had sent money to his son. It’s clear Joe Biden knew about his son’s business dealings and allowed himself to be ‘the brand’ sold to enrich the Biden family while he was Vice President of the United States,” Comer emphasized.

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By the balls.

Trump: Biden ‘Petrified of China’ Because They Pay Him Millions of Dollars (Sp.)

Former US President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he believes incumbent President Joe Biden is “so petrified of China” because they are paying him “millions and millions of dollars.” “I believe we have a compromised president. I believe he’s so petrified of China because they know how much money has been given to him, and they know where it is,” Trump said during an interview with US media. “As of today, I think $32 million that went into his accounts, the various accounts of the family. That’s a tremendous amount of money. And nothing was done for it. It was just a bribe … I’m amazed nothing was ever done.”

Trump added during the interview that Biden “is so afraid of China, and the reason he’s afraid is because I believe they paid him a tremendous amount of money, and he doesn’t want people to find out about it.” The former US president claimed that he believes China paid the Bidens “a lot more than that.” “You look at the University of Pennsylvania, you take a look at what’s going on over there, where China pays millions and millions of dollars at Biden’s center. I guess they’re paying him a million dollars a year, or I think they have it at 999,000 dollars a year.

That way you don’t have to maybe reproach because it’s under a million,” Trump claimed. The former commander-in-chief claimed that all signs point to China paying Biden “a fortune” because he has not seen “anyone so weak on China” before. Trump went to reference Beijing’s influence in Cuba and South America over the last three years. At one point during the interview, Trump went so far as to describe Biden as a “Manchurian candidate,” otherwise known as an individual who has become a puppet for a foreign nation. Trump later shifted and called on congressional lawmakers to undertake impeachment proceedings against Biden over evidence gathered by the House Oversight Committee regarding the Biden family’s business dealings.

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Michael Tracey: “Amazing: Jack Smith tried to impose a gag order on Twitter by arguing Trump was likely to “flee from prosecution” if it came out that his account had been seized. DC district court then *affirmed* the validity of this claim. Later, the claim was mysteriously retracted as “errant”.

“..may have included unpublished posts..”

Search Warrant Was Issued For Donald Trump’s Twitter Account (BBC)

The US special counsel investigating Donald Trump obtained a secret search warrant for the ex-president’s Twitter data in January, unsealed records show. Jack Smith requested “data and records” relating to Mr Trump’s account which may have included unpublished posts. After initially resisting the warrant, Twitter eventually complied, but missed a court-ordered deadline by three days. The delay resulted in the company being handed a $350,000 (£275,000) fine for contempt of court. The existence of the search warrant and the legal fight over it was revealed in court documents unsealed on Wednesday. According to the unsealed ruling, which still includes some redactions, Twitter’s lawyers did not object to the warrant itself, but disputed the nondisclosure order which kept it secret.

The company, now known as X under the ownership of Elon Musk, argued that it should be allowed to notify customers whose accounts are subject to search warrants. X handed over the data in February, but appealed the fine. Its case was rejected by a US appeals court last month. There is little indication in the documents about what exactly Mr Smith was seeking, with the court filing noting that only that the warrant directed the company “to produce data and records” related to Mr Trump’s account. The US congressional panel investigating the 6 January 2021 Capitol riot found that Mr Trump had drafted – but never sent – a tweet urging his supporters to come to Washington. It said: “I will be making a Big Speech at 10 a.m. on January 6th at the Ellipse (South of the White House). Please arrive early, massive crowds expected. March to the Capitol after. Stop the steal!”

The @realdonaldtrump account, which has 86.5m followers, was suspended after the riot. It was reinstated in November 2022 after Mr Musk ran a poll asking users whether the former president should be allowed back on the platform. Mr Trump has not posted on X since being reinstated, instead preferring to use his own Truth Social network. Experts have noted that his Truth Social business contracts mean he potentially stands to lose millions if he resumes posting on X. Mr Trump responded to news of the search warrant on Truth Social, writing that it was a “major ‘hit’ on my civil rights… These are DARK DAYS IN AMERICA!”

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Casus belli?

Critical Mineral Shortage to Put US Energy Security at Risk (Sp.)

Last week, the US Department of Energy (DOE) in a new assessment expanded its list of critical materials, defined as those indispensable to the clean energy transition with high supply risks, adding six new elements in 2023. The DOE warned the list will only grow bigger amid the global race to net-zero emissions and underscored the importance to energy security of establishing reliant and robust critical mineral supply chains.
Nickel, platinum, and silicon carbide join lithium and magnesium as critical in the medium term (2025-2035), while graphite, terbium, and iridium join cobalt, gallium, dysprosium and neodymium as elements considered critical in both the short and medium term (from now until 2035).

The DOE raised the status of copper and aluminum from non-critical to “near critical” in the medium term largely due to their importance to electrification across a wide spectrum. The report, citing International Energy Agency (IEA) data, said critical mineral demand will have to grow by up to 600% by 2040 if the world is to achieve net-zero by 2050. The demand for critical minerals is being driven by a surge in the adoption of electric vehicles, which the IEA says could account for 60% of all auto sales by 2030. The swift growth in EV sales and green electricity networks boosted demand for vital components such as lithium-ion batteries and rare earth magnets, the report noted. The report was released just as the US-China trade war escalated even further, with Beijing’s export controls on gallium going into effect, unveiled last month in retaliation to Washington’s restrictions on Chinese technology.

The US, and many Western allies, have invested heavily in trying to achieve supply chain independence from China. The Biden administration intensified efforts last week in discussions with Mongolian officials about “creative ways” to extract rare earth minerals from the landlocked country, which neighbors both China and Russia. The US faces a daunting task in breaking its mineral dependence on China. For example, China is the leading producing nation for 30 of 50 minerals the US Geological Survey classified as critical to the economy with vulnerable supply chains.

Jonathan Poston, a business strategy consultant for Artax Consulting, shed more light on the implications involving China’s dominance of key critical minerals, most particularly, rare earth elements. “Rare earth elements are a group of 17 elements that are essential for a wide range of clean energy technologies, including magnets, batteries, and catalysts,” Poston told Sputnik. “China is the world’s leading producer of rare earth elements, along with graphite – critical to lithium-ion batteries – and there are concerns about China’s control of the global supply chain.”

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To be replaced with Barbie.

Shakespeare Banned In US School Districts Over ‘Sexual Content’ (RT)

Multiple Florida schools leery of running afoul of a controversial new law banning books with sexual content are dropping Shakespeare plays from their curricula, the Tampa Bay Times reported on Wednesday. Hillsborough County public schools will only be assigning excerpts from the works of Shakespeare during the coming academic year, district officials revealed. While they told the Times they had altered their instructional guides for teachers because of “revised state teaching standards and a new set of state exams that cover a vast array of books and writing styles,” district spokeswoman Tanya Arja admitted the decision was “also in consideration of the law,” referring to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Law.

Better known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law, the measure took effect last month, requiring schools to suspend access to reading material alleged to contain pornography, depictions or descriptions of sexual conduct, pending resolution of any complaints from parents or the state. “I think the rest of the nation – no, the world, is laughing at us,” Joseph Cool, a teacher at Gaither High, told the Times on Tuesday, pointing out that “taking Shakespeare in its entirety out because the relationship between Romeo and Juliet is somehow exploiting minors is just absurd.” Because of uncertainty over what constitutes forbidden content, school districts have been preemptively removing books from their libraries in order to avoid parental challenges while trained “media specialists” screen the contents for anything that could potentially run afoul of the law.

If the specialists flag a book, a district-level panel is required to review it and make the final decision on whether it remains in the library. Parents may also file a complaint about any book on the school district’s website, requiring the district to pull the title within five days and keep it out of libraries until it can be reviewed. Local CBS affiliate WJAX found earlier this week that Duval County had removed 19 titles from its shelves ahead of the 2023-2024 school year, while St. Johns County had dropped 31 books and Clay County pulled 115.

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Zero Hedge lifts out a reference to Obama’s presumed homosexuality, but the David Samuels interview for Tablet Magazine with David Garrow has a lot more.

The “Magic Negro Of The Billionaire Industrial Complex” (ZH)

“I also found the Cuba thing deeply puzzling and offensive,” Garrow said. “It’s a fucking dictatorship that imprisons all sorts of truly progressive, creative people.” Many of the regime’s political prisoners are black but in the style of Frank, Obama is basically uncritical of the regime’s all-white Stalinist dictatorship. But then, as David Garrow says, the composite character is not a normal politician or human being. In one of his first actions, Obama canceled missile defense for U.S. allies Poland and the Czech Republic, and Garrow laments his “failure to object to Russia taking Crimea and the Donbas.” “For Barack, everything has to be a success,” Garrow explained. “Everything has to be a victory.”

And on his own terms, Obama may be the most successful president ever. He transformed the nation into a place where the outgoing president picks his successor and deploys the FBI and DOJ to help Hillary Clinton and harm candidate and President Donald Trump. “From the first time I saw it,” Garrow said, “I realized that Christopher Steele’s shit was just complete crap. It was bad corporate intelligence, even. It was nonsensical.” Samuels is also concerned. “A new milieu had been created consisting of party operatives, the people in the FBI and the CIA who are carrying out White House policy, and the press,” Samuels explains. “That’s something people still seem loathe to admit, even to themselves, in part because it puts them in a state of dissonance with this new kind of controlled consensus that the press maintains, which is obviously garbage. But if you question it, you’re some kind of nut.”


The interview keeps returning to Dreams from My Father, which biographer David Garrow exposed as a novel, infuriating the president. “There was something about this fictional character that he created actually becoming president,” contends Samuels, “that helped precipitate the disaster that we are living through now.” The nation has been transformed into a “Gilded Age oligarchy” by Obama, the “Magic Negro of the billionaire industrial complex.”

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May 202023
 
 May 20, 2023  Posted by at 8:52 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


Leonardo da Vinci Head of bear c.1480

 

Real Revelation of the Durham Report: Obama is the REAL ‘Big Guy’ (Root)
Barack Obama Among 500 Americans Banned From Russia (RT)
Dum-Da-Dum-Dum…Dah (Kunstler)
US National Security Experts: Give Peace in Ukraine a Chance (CD)
The Ukraine Refugee Question (Seymour Hersh)
Why Ukraine Must Lose to Save the World (Martin Armstrong)
US To Allow Allied Transfers Of F-16s To Ukraine (RT)
Medvedev Sees ‘No Need At All’ For Talks On Ukraine (TASS)
Russia Orders Arrest Of ICC Prosecutor (RT)
Russian Prosecutor General Designates Greenpeace As ‘Undesirable’ (TASS)
Is China The Only Issue Holding The US Together? (Fomenko)
End the FBI (McMaken)
Israel’s State-Building Project Is Unraveling – From Within (Cook)
Israel and the ‘New’ Middle East (Sheikh)
UK In ‘Geriatric Decline’ – Legendary Financier (RT)

 

 

 

 

Macgregor


https://twitter.com/i/status/1659594747466461184

 

 

Podolyak
https://twitter.com/i/status/1659602082679209995

 

 

RFK


https://twitter.com/i/status/1659720620978888705

 

 

 

 

“..a radical Marxist put in place by the Deep State and globalist billionaires to destroy America..”

Real Revelation of the Durham Report: Obama is the REAL ‘Big Guy’ (Root)

We are living in an age of mass deception, distraction and denial, of mass brainwashing. We might as well all be living in Jonestown, Guyana and following the orders of Jim Jones. That’s how bad it is. It’s all laid out right in front of us. But no one can see it. Or maybe no one wants to see it. The Durham Report is “the canary in the coal mine.” It’s all Obama. It’s always been Obama. Obama is the REAL “Big Guy.” Obama is the REAL criminal mastermind. Obama was the head of the snake. Obama was the John Gotti of the US government, overseeing a massive criminal conspiracy. Obama was the head of the “Obama Crime Family.” Obama committed TREASON. And the worst part of all: Obama’s still in charge. Obama is pulling all the strings. He’s the one calling the shots. He’s the ventriloquist, speaking for the wooden dummy puppet Joe Biden. Obama is the real President of the United States, back for his third term.

I warned and predicted from the first day Obama appeared on the scene that my old Columbia University classmate was a Manchurian candidate, a radical Marxist put in place by the Deep State and globalist billionaires to destroy America. In my #1 bestselling book back in 2013, “The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide” I reported Obama’s plan was to “boil the frog slowly.” To destroy America in small steps, to move so slowly that we wouldn’t notice we were being destroyed, until it was too late. Hillary Clinton was supposed to finish the job. Hillary’s election was supposed to be Obama’s third term. But Donald J. Trump came along and ruined the plan. Trump became the first politician in history to beat a rigged election. That’s why Hillary and Democrats were so shocked. Obama rigged it, so Hillary could not lose.

How did Obama do that? In addition to the usual Democrat tricks of stuffing the ballot box in Democrat run inner cities, with no Voter ID and no signature match, Obama spied on the Trump campaign. But Trump brought out more working and middle-class voters than any candidate in history. He beat the rig. He won even though Obama spied on him. Even though Obama knew everything Trump was doing and planning- and gave it all to Hillary. Enter Russia Collusion. See the Durham Report. We now know for a fact this was a fraud made up by Hillary. We also know that Hillary laid out this scam to Obama and Biden in the Oval Office. Obama gave his approval. Then Obama rigged the game even further- making sure his handpicked DOJ and FBI would never prosecute these high crimes.

Obama also made sure they’d continue spying on the now President Trump. And use the weaponized federal government filled with Obama hacks to target, frame, demonize and destroy Trump the president. But wait, there’s more. I may despise Obama, but I also respect him. Because he’s brilliant. He ran the country like John Gotti ran his crime family. Nothing happened under Obama without him knowing. So, when Durham reports Obama’s FBI was not allowed to prosecute Hillary for her Clinton Foundation crimes (extorting world leaders), obviously Obama gave that order too. Obama knew everything Hillary was doing- she was his Secretary of State. And you can bet Obama got a piece of her corrupt loot in return for allowing her to do it, and for killing any DOJ/FBI investigations.

And if Obama knew about Hillary’s crimes extorting world leaders, you can also bet he knew about the Joe Biden “Big Guy” scam. Joe was his Vice President. You think Joe and his slimy son Hunter ran around the world extorting money from world leaders and Obama didn’t know about it? You can bet Obama got a piece of Biden’s corruption too. Just like John Gotti. The mafia Don always gets a piece of every scam run by the capos under him. Or they get wacked. And where was all the corrupt loot run out of? The Clinton Foundation. That’s why it was based offshore- far away from prying eyes. As one more layer of protection, Obama ordered the DOJ and FBI to look the other way. This is all called TREASON.

Bill Barr

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If you’re not on the list you don’t count.

Barack Obama Among 500 Americans Banned From Russia (RT)

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday published a list of 500 US citizens – including former president Barack Obama – who are banned from entering the country with immediate effect. The move is a response to the ongoing American sanctions against Moscow. “It is high time for Washington to learn that not a single attack against Russia will go without a strong reaction,” the ministry said in a statement. “The principle of inevitable punishment will be consistently applied, whether we are talking about tougher sanctions or discriminatory steps to hinder the professional activities of our citizens.” In reprisal for the US embassy in Moscow witholding visas for Russian journalists – which prevented them from accompanying Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to the UN Security Council last month – the Russian government has refused to grant the embassy’s request for a consular visit to Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal correspondent charged with espionage.

Besides Obama, the list Russian blacklist includes many members of Congress, governors and attorney-generals of several US states, former officials currently on boards of prominent think tanks, military contractors who supply weapons to Ukraine, and even the short lived “disinformation czar”Nina Jankowicz. Also on the list are “those in government and law enforcement agencies who are directly involved in the persecution of dissidents in the wake of the so-called Capitol insurrection,” the Russian Foreign Ministry noted. Notable names in that category include US Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew Graves, his predecessor Michael Sherwin, DC Attorney General Karl Racine, and Michael Byrd, the Capitol Police officer who fatally shot unarmed protester Ashli Babbitt.

Among the prominent Biden administration officials who made the blacklist are Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Geoffrey Pyatt (formerly the US ambassador to Ukraine in 2014); James Rubin, former State Department spokesman and current head of the Global Engagement Center; State Department Counselor Derek Chollet; and President Joe Biden’s senior advisor, Anita Dunn. TV hosts Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, Rachel Maddow, and Joe Scarborough were also among the sanctioned, along with former NBC presenter Brian Williams. Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force, Christine Wormuth and Frank Kendall, made the list as well, along with USAF Chief of Staff General Charles Q. Brown Jr. Think tanks and the military-industrial complex made the bulk of the list, however. Former secretary of defense and Marine general James Mattis was sanctioned for being on the board of General Dynamics, and ex-CIA director George Tenet as board member of agency contractor In-Q-Tel.

Former US ambassador to Russia John Tefft was sanctioned as a senior fellow at RAND Corporation. Nelson Strobridge “Strobe” Talbot III – formerly of the State Department – and Norm Eisen were sanctioned for their involvement with the Brookings Institute. Senior Russia and Eurasia researcher Eric Ciaramella was among the many Carnegie Foundation employees on the sanctions list, which also contained many names from the Atlantic Council and the Center for Strategic and International Studies think-tanks. Other prominent names on the Russian blacklist were Ukraine’s former finance minister Natalie Jaresko and former Russia expert at the National Security Council Fiona Hill.

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“Can someone please ask Mr. Durham why he did not bring a charge of conspiracy to commit sedition under the RICO act against the whole gang of RussiaGate players..”

Dum-Da-Dum-Dum…Dah (Kunstler)

It is impossible for now to know the constraints placed on Mr. Durham by Attorney General Merrick Garland — though it appears that Mr. Garland is just the latest initiate into the years-long shuck-and-jive that amounts to a seditious conspiracy against the republic. That is, add Mr. Garland to the long list of officials who have a lot at risk and a lot to hide, so he’s used his vested powers to hamstring Mr. Durham. But the heart of the story is out, despite all that, and pretty baldly stated: Hillary Clinton started the whole RussiaGate gag to take the heat off her own turpitudes. The federal agency heads and their lieutenants avidly used Hillary’s concocted falsehoods to foment malicious prosecutions and drive the naively accommodating President Trump out of office, and stopped at nothing until they succeeded.

There it is. We will now have to muddle through and go forward, a savagely deformed polity. Still, it will be edifying to see Mr. Durham testify before The House Judiciary Committee next week, as Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has requested. Mr. Durham may even wish to use the opportunity to redeem his tarnished reputation. Some items for review: Why did Mr. Durham omit to investigate the deceitful Mueller team (especially its actual director, Andrew Weissmann), which was an obvious cover-up operation? Ditto: the role played by President Barack Obama in the scheme to interfere in the 2016 election? Ditto: the operation to hide and then discredit Hunter Biden’s crime-stuffed laptop during the 2020 presidential election? Ditto: what has been the CIA’s role in all of this? I believe Mr. Durham will provide many interesting answers to these queries. It may be the only forum that will ever avail him to speak honestly. Presumably the House Judiciary Committee members are lawyers, and have a host of aide lawyers to fall back on for legal advice. Can someone please ask Mr. Durham why he did not bring a charge of conspiracy to commit sedition under the RICO act against the whole gang of RussiaGate players based on the “enterprise rationale” that the evidence suggests they were all vested in an effort to defenestrate a sitting president?

We will go forward from this whether we like it or not, of course, because the arrow of time flies only in that direction. What is the best way out of this wilderness of dishonor and disgrace? Take a lesson from the campaign, so far, of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. The way Mr. Kennedy has been straight-talking — around the coordinated slanders and scurrilities of an ignoble news media — he makes the current leadership of the Democratic Party look like the most pathetic claque of rascally whack-jobs ever assembled under a gonfalon. Keep your eye on RFK, Jr. He’s moving downfield, even without blocking. Side-note or post-script, for those interested in how the vaccination story is going: A close friend went into the CVS pharmacy looking for a “get well soon” card. There were none. A clerk on-hand right there in the aisle said, “we can’t keep them in stock.” No “sympathy” cards either. Draw your conclusions.

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“Yet that compromise was exactly what he talked Zelenskyy out of agreeing to in April 2022, when most of the war’s dead were still alive..”

US National Security Experts: Give Peace in Ukraine a Chance (CD)

On May 16, 2023, TheNew York Times published a full-page advertisement signed by 15 U.S. national security experts about the war in Ukraine. It was headed “The U.S. Should Be a Force for Peace in the World,” and was drafted by the Eisenhower Media Network. While condemning Russia’s invasion, the statement provides a more objective account of the crisis in Ukraine than the U.S. government or TheNew York Times has previously presented to the public, including the disastrous U.S. role in NATO expansion, the warnings ignored by successive U.S. administrations, and the escalating tensions that ultimately led to war. The statement calls the war an “unmitigated disaster,” and urges President Joe Biden and Congress “to end the war speedily through diplomacy, especially given the dangers of military escalation that could spiral out of control.”

If the U.S. persists in backing the plan for a Ukrainian offensive, instead of encouraging Zelenskyy to seize the moment for diplomacy, it will share considerable responsibility for the failure to seize the chance for peace, and for the appalling and ever-rising human costs of this war. This call for diplomacy by wise, experienced former insiders—U.S. diplomats, military officers, and civilian officials—would have been a welcome intervention on any one of the past 442 days of this war. Yet their appeal now comes at an especially critical moment in the war. On May 10, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that he is delaying Ukraine’s long-awaited “spring offensive” to avoid “unacceptable” losses to Ukrainian forces.

Western policy has repeatedly put Zelenskyy in near-impossible positions, caught between the need to show signs of progress on the battlefield to justify further Western support and arms deliveries and, on the other hand, the shocking human cost of continued war represented by the fresh graveyards where tens of thousands of Ukrainians now lie buried. It is not clear how a delay in the planned Ukrainian counter-attack would prevent it leading to unacceptable Ukrainian losses when it finally occurs, unless the delay in fact leads to scaling back and calling off many of the operations that have been planned. Zelenskyy appears to be reaching a limit in terms of how many more of his people he is willing to sacrifice to satisfy Western demands for signs of military progress to hold together the Western alliance and maintain the flow of weapons and money to Ukraine.

Zelenskyy’s predicament is certainly the fault of Russia’s invasion, but also of his April 2022 deal with the devil in the shape of then-U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Johnson promised Zelenskyy that the U.K. and the “collective West” were “in it for the long run” and would back him to recover all of Ukraine’s former territory, just as long as Ukraine stopped negotiating with Russia. Johnson was never in a position to fulfill that promise and, since he was forced to resign as prime minister, he has endorsed a Russian withdrawal only from the territory it invaded since February 2022, not a return to pre-2014 borders. Yet that compromise was exactly what he talked Zelenskyy out of agreeing to in April 2022, when most of the war’s dead were still alive and the framework of a peace agreement was on the table at diplomatic talks in Turkey.

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“Meanwhile, the slaughter in the city of Bakhmut continues. It is similar in idiocy, if not in numbers, to the slaughter in Verdun and the Somme during World War I.”

The Ukraine Refugee Question (Seymour Hersh)

Last Saturday the Washington Post published an exposé of classified American intelligence documents showing that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, working behind the back of the Biden White House, pushed hard earlier this year for an expanded series of missile attacks inside Russia. The documents were part of a large cache of classified materials posted online by an Air Force enlisted man now in custody. A senior official of the Biden administration, asked by the Post for comment on the newly revealed intelligence, said that Zelensky has never violated his pledge never to use American weapons to strike inside Russia. In the view of the White House, Zelensky can do no wrong.

Zelensky’s desire to take the war to Russia may not be clear to the president and senior foreign policy aides in the White House, but it is to those in the American intelligence community who have found it difficult to get their intelligence and their assessments a hearing in the Oval Office. Meanwhile, the slaughter in the city of Bakhmut continues. It is similar in idiocy, if not in numbers, to the slaughter in Verdun and the Somme during World War I. The men in charge of today’s war—in Moscow, Kiev, and Washington—have shown no interest even in temporary ceasefire talks that could serve as a prelude to something permanent. The talk now is only about the possibilities of a late spring or summer offensive by either party.

But something else is cooking, as some in the American intelligence community know and have reported in secret, at the instigation of government officials at various levels in Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Estonia, Czechoslovakia, and Latvia. These countries are all allies of Ukraine and declared enemies of Vladimir Putin. This group is led by Poland, whose leadership no longer fears the Russian army because its performance in Ukraine has left the glow of its success at Stalingrad during the Second World War in tatters. It has been quietly urging Zelensky to find a way to end the war—even by resigning himself, if necessary—and to allow the process of rebuilding his nation to get under way.

Zelensky is not budging, according to intercepts and other data known inside the Central Intelligence Agency, but he is beginning to lose the private support of his neighbors. One of the driving forces for the quiet European talks with Zelensky has been the more than five million Ukrainians fleeing from the war who have crossed the country’s borders and have registered with its neighbors under an EU agreement for temporary protection that includes residency rights, access to the labor market, housing, social welfare assistance, and medical care. An assessment published by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reports that the estimate excludes roughly 3 million Ukrainian refugees who escaped from the war zone without a visa into any of the 27 European nations that have abolished border control between each other under the Schengen agreement.

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“I have even seen proposed maps carving up Russia after they destroy its government and subjugate its people, as they once planned to carve up China. It is sad to say, but unless Ukraine loses this war, we are in for a total worldwide war on an unprecedented scale post-2024.”

Why Ukraine Must Lose to Save the World (Martin Armstrong)

There is a major problem with Ukraine’s claims of shooting down a barrage of supersonic missiles. This cannot be confirmed independently and Ukraine is notoriously always putting out fake news typically to get more money. The incentive to create this type of fake news is that Western countries who have been supporting Ukraine are concerned that the military support for Kiev may soon peak as they run out of funds. There is concern that funds for Ukraine will be curtailed ahead of the 2024 presidential election in the United States, the Financial Times recently reported. The Neocons are desperately trying to create World War III before the 2024 election. They are fighting against any cutbacks for Ukraine. This has highlighted that European officials now are increasingly concerned about the flow of aid next year as the US enters a divisive presidential campaign.

According to the FT, Washington has been Kiev’s major source of military aid. US officials interviewed by the newspaper say the remaining funds preapproved by Congress could sustain Ukraine for about another five months. Western officials in regular contact with the US over Ukraine told the FT that Washington sees that period of time as the last real chance for Kiev to change the situation on the ground. There is a twist. That is the debt ceiling and funds would stop flowing after June 1st unless Biden yields on his insane agenda. European official told the FT newspaper “We can’t keep the same level of assistance forever.” Politico reported earlier that only $6 billion of the original $48 billion military aid package that the US had approved previously is all that is left. Without Congressional approval, US aid to Ukraine will be finished by mid-summer.

This claim of shooting down every supersonic missile just does not ring true and it would be typical of Ukraine to boast in order to keep the money flowing. Ukraine’s air defenses conveniently claim that they shot down “[a]ll 18 missiles were destroyed by the forces and means of air defense of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.” We must be cautious about claims during war for the first causality is ALWAYS the truth, especially when this claim comes at the precise moment when the funds may end in a few weeks. Meanwhile, Zelensky is the WAR CRIMINAL here as are our Western leaders. The real war criminals are the leaders who instigate war. You are correct about his meeting with the Pope was all for a theatrical display. Zelensky stated that he saw no sense in trying to involve Russia in a dialogue at this stage. He rejected the Pope’s offer to mediate He said: “One cannot make a mediation with Putin. He just knows how to kill. It is not a question of the Vatican, Latin America or China.”

Zelensky’s statement shows the hatred of the majority of Ukrainian people toward Russians. He cares nothing for all the Ukrainians who have fled to other countries. He cares nothing for all the Ukrainians dying. Alessandro Di Battista, an Italian journalist, and former lawmaker, reported on Zelensky’s European tour visiting several European countries showed that he was only interested in getting more weapons, not peace.= “Zelensky went on a tour to get ammunition. The only thing he’s after is weapons because he’s not interested in peace,” Di Battista was quoted as saying by the Adnkronos news agency. In addition, Zelensky’s wife, Yelena Zelenskaya, went to Seoul and asked South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol to ship air defense systems to Ukraine and provide assistance with modern technology.

This illustrates that Ukraine will sacrifice its people rather than seek peace and simply honor the Minsk Agreement. This is what the American Neocons want – sacrifice every Ukrainian just to conquer Russia. The Neocons have ZERO respect for human life on either side. Indeed. Zelensky prays for the destruction of more Ukrainian property so he will get his cut from Blackrock for rebuilding Ukraine which our computer says WILL NOT HAPPEN! I stress once again – do NOT invest in this Blackrock venture which rubs its hands in blood and at least Pilot tried to wash his hands after sentencing Christ – not Blackrock or Zelensky. It will become a classic short. Sorry – I do not believe Aladdin has the database needed to make such a speculative investment.

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“..makes Western countries de facto direct parties in the conflict..”

US To Allow Allied Transfers Of F-16s To Ukraine (RT)

The US government will not block allied countries from sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine if they decide to do so, multiple news outlets reported on Friday, citing American officials. Sources cited by the Washington Post, CNN, NBC and other media said the White House is prepared to allow F-16 shipments after months of Ukrainian requests for the aircraft, which is being used by more than two dozen nations. A senior White House official told NBC that Washington had already informed its partners about the decision. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan on Saturday, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said that “in the coming months, we will work with our allies to determine when the planes will be delivered, who will be delivering them, and how many.”


UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced earlier that London would back the creation of an “international coalition” to supply the F-16s and other aircraft to Kiev. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky met with the PM this week and lobbied for Western fighter jets, insisting they are needed for Kiev’s much-touted counteroffensive. The US military is currently training Ukrainian pilots to fly the F-16s. However, Washington has so far declined to provide its own warplanes to Kiev. Moscow has warned against supplying Kiev with weapons, arguing that it will only prolong the fighting and do little to deter its military objectives. The Kremlin says that military support to Ukraine, which includes the training of troops and sharing of intelligence, makes Western countries de facto direct parties in the conflict.

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“How can you engage in equal talks with a half-decayed neo-Nazi country, which is under external governance? ”

Medvedev Sees ‘No Need At All’ For Talks On Ukraine (TASS)

Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev sees no point in conducting negotiations on the situation in Ukraine and around it at the moment, because talks should be conducted only with the Kiev government’s ‘masters’ in Washington and only about post-conflict world order. Commenting on European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s latest remarks against equal negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel on Friday that he would “find it difficult to disagree” with her in this regard. “This is certainly so. How can you engage in equal talks with a half-decayed neo-Nazi country, which is under external governance?


Talks are possible only with its masters, namely with Washington. There is no one else to talk to,” Medvedev wrote. In his opinion, negotiations are possible only on the subject of “post-conflict world order.” “However, it is too early to speak about it,” the Russian official added. “That is why there is no need at all for any negotiations.” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima on Friday that equal negotiations between Russia and Ukraine must be rejected. In her words, G7 member states must support Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s so-called peace plan.

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“.. Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute that created the court. Neither are the US, China, India and several dozen other countries.”

Russia Orders Arrest Of ICC Prosecutor (RT)

The Russian Interior Ministry on Friday issued an arrest warrant for Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, the British lawyer currently acting as chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. In March, Khan sought the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, children’s rights commissioner, for the alleged war crime of “unlawful deportation and transfer” of children from “occupied areas of Ukraine” to Russia. The ICC had acted on claims by the government in Kiev that Russia’s evacuation of children from civilian areas under fire by Ukrainian forces amounted to forcible transfer of population, which was defined as a crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention.


Three days after Khan’s announcement, on March 20, the Russian Investigative Committee launched a probe into the prosecutor, as well as three ICC judges who approved his warrant – Tomoko Akane, Rosario Salvatore Aitala and Sergio Gerardo Ugalde Godinez. The investigation focused on articles 299 and 360 of the Russian criminal code, namely bringing criminal charges against persons known to be innocent, and preparations for an attack on a representative of a foreign state enjoying international protection in order to complicate international relations. Moscow has dismissed the ICC warrants against Putin and Lvova-Belova as null and void, as Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute that created the court. Neither are the US, China, India and several dozen other countries.

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“Greenpeace activists have engaged in spreading anti-Russian propaganda, and have called for the further economic isolation of our country and the toughening of sanctions.”

Russian Prosecutor General Designates Greenpeace As ‘Undesirable’ (TASS)

The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has designated the activities of Greenpeace International within the country as undesirable, the law enforcement agency’s press service told reporters on Friday. “According to the findings of a study of the available materials, investigators have established that the activities of the international non-governmental, non-profit organization Greenpeace International (Stichting [a Dutch form of legal entity] Greenpeace Council, Greenpeace International, Greenpeace Foundation Council, Greenpeace, the Netherlands) represent a threat to the fundamental constitutional order and security of the Russian Federation,” the Prosecutor General’s Office said.

Investigators pointed out that, “when applied to the Russian Federation, the environmental activities of Greenpeace are in fact accompanied by the active promotion of a political agenda, [as well as] attempts to interfere in the domestic affairs of the country, and are aimed at undermining its economic foundations.” Since the start of Russia’s special military operation for the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, “Greenpeace activists have engaged in spreading anti-Russian propaganda, and have called for the further economic isolation of our country and the toughening of sanctions.” As the Prosecutor General’s Office explained, Greenpeace’s work is often connected with efforts to obstruct the implementation of Russian government programs by means of organizing information campaigns and unauthorized mass public actions in order to engender negative public opinion and impede the implementation of infrastructure and energy projects that are beneficial to the country.

In addition, the foundation finances the activities of Russian organizations that have been designated as foreign agents and demands changes in Russian legislation to the detriment of our society and citizens. “The foundation’s efforts are aimed at destabilizing the social and political situation and attempting to effect regime change in the country in an unconstitutional manner,” investigators said, adding that information about Greenpeace’s activities being designated as undesirable in Russia was forwarded to the Russian Ministry of Justice for inclusion in the official list of foreign and international non-governmental organizations whose activities have been deemed undesirable in Russia. Greenpeace has been active in Russia for more than 30 years, since the late 1980s.

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“Every single foreign adversary the US has encountered has always been depicted as an “imminent threat” to American values in a way articulated to provoke fear amongst the population..”

Is China The Only Issue Holding The US Together? (Fomenko)

The US is a vast and diverse nation. It has a population of over 300 million people across a territorial expanse which is the third largest in the world by some definitions. Across its 50 states, a variety of different ethnic and social backgrounds can be found. Your Baptist pastor from Alabama has nothing in common with your ambitious young middle-class banker living in New York City, and even less with your struggling African-American family in the same city. In incorporating such diversity, the political system of the US is also by constitution decentralized, delegating power into multiple branches of government dispersed across federal, state and local levels. It is no surprise that this has produced a political system which is beset by often bitter division and intense ideological and value-based conflicts.

This has been enough, as history demonstrates, to plunge the country into a civil war. The development of mass media and social networks has only made it worse. Thus, starting in the 20th century, the American elite structure has sought to maintain control over its nation by vesting itself in the politics of fear mongering, which forces a continual emphasis on “American values,” namely democracy and liberty, in the bid to maintain a basic consensus for the justification of the state itself. Every single foreign adversary the US has encountered has always been depicted as an “imminent threat” to American values in a way articulated to provoke fear amongst the population, as if to constantly remind them of what they have. This has ranged from the Soviet Union, to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, to North Korea, to Russia and to China.

Every adversary is depicted as almost omnipotent, with power to infiltrate, sabotage, and subvert the US. In doing so, as we are seeing now with the debt ceiling crisis, every single one of these adversaries is deemed to benefit from whatever fundamental disagreement US politicians may be having, subsequently forcing them to coalesce around a position of unity for the “greater good” – as if it doesn’t exist otherwise. When analyzed through this lens, if the US runs out of adversaries and threats, politicians genuinely might have difficulty justifying the existence or unity of the nation altogether in its current form. The US centralizes itself through fear and hysteria, because if not for those things constantly looming, Americans wouldn’t have a whole lot to agree on, be it guns, abortion, LGBTQ rights, immigration, or anything else.

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Talk about a threat to America…

End the FBI (McMaken)

Even if we ignore the fact that there is no provision in the US constitution for a federal police force, it is nonetheless apparent that the FBI, which now bills itself primarily as an intelligence organization, is simply duplicating the work of countless other organizations in this respect. There are at least 18 intelligence organizations current being funded by US taxpayers. Further, prosecuting any real crime does not require an additional layer of federal law. Fraud, theft, murder, and assault are all already illegal in every single US state. If a huge continent-spanning police force is necessary to keep law and order, how is it that Europe somehow manages to survive without a Europe-wide police? Data sharing organizations like INTERPOL—which is staffed by agents with no power to arrest or launch their own investigations—somehow manage to work. The FBI will no doubt argue that it brings valuable resources to cash-strapped police forces when more resources are needed.


The FBI only has access to these resources, however, because the federal government extracts more than $10 billion dollars from state and local taxpayers first, and then hands it over to the FBI to “help” the locals. The Durham report is only the latest indication that the true nature of the FBI. In a 2020 essay, Angelo Codevilla examined the rot at the core of the FBI. He goes far too easy on the FBI in early decades, but he was right enough when it came to the present state of the agency. He wrote: Thus FBI officers became standard bureaucrats who learned to operate on the assumption that all Americans were equally likely as not to be proper targets of investigation. They replaced the distinctions by which they had previously operated with the classic bureaucratic imperative: look out for yourselves by making sure to please the powerful.

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A class society.

Israel’s State-Building Project Is Unraveling – From Within (Cook)

As Israel celebrates its 75th anniversary, the state-building project it cemented into place in 1948 by expelling 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland is showing the first signs of unraveling. The surprise is that Israel’s woes spring not, as generations of its leaders feared, from outside forces – a combined attack from Arab states or pressure from the international community – but from Israel’s own internal contradictions. Israeli leaders created the very problems they all too obviously lack the tools to now solve. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bombardment of Gaza in recent days, killing dozens of Palestinians, should be understood in that light. It is one more indication of Israel’s internal crisis.

Once again, the Palestinians are being used in a frantic bid to shore up an increasingly fragile “Jewish” unity. Israel’s long-term problem is underscored by the current, bitter standoff over Netanyahu’s plan for a so-called judicial overhaul. The Israeli Jewish population is split down the middle, with neither side willing to back down. Rightly, each sees the confrontation in terms of a zero-sum battle. And behind this stands a political system in near-constant paralysis, with neither side of the divide able to gain a stable majority in the parliament. Israel is now mired in a permanent, low-level civil war.To understand how Israel reached this point, and where it is likely to head next, one must delve deep into the country’s origin story.

The official narrative is that Israel was created out of necessity: to serve as a safe haven for Jews fleeing centuries of persecution and the horrors of the Nazi death camps in Europe. The resulting ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and the erasure of hundreds of their towns and villages – what Palestinians call their Nakba, or Catastrophe – is either mystified or presented simply as a desperate act of self-defense by a long-victimized people. This colossal act of dispossession, aided and abetted by western powers, has been reinvented for western publics as a simple morality tale, as a story of redemption.

Israel’s establishment was not only a chance for the Jewish people to gain self-determination through statehood so they would never again be persecuted. Jews would also build a state from scratch that would offer to the world a more virtuous model of how to live. This tapped neatly, if subliminally, into a western, Christian-derived worldview that looked to the Holy Land for salvation. Jews would restore their place as “a light unto the nations” by “redeeming” the land they had stolen from the Palestinians and offering a path by which westerners could redeem themselves too.

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“..peace-making is no longer made in the US or Israel, as China’s success in mediating between Iran and Saudi Arabia has significantly shifted Middle Eastern geopolitics..”

Israel and the ‘New’ Middle East (Sheikh)

In 2020, when Israel, backed by the US, signed the Abraham Accords with the UAE and some other Middle Eastern states, the Israeli government looked well in charge of the trajectory of the peace process in the Middle East. Three years later, peace-making is no longer made in the US or Israel, as China’s success in mediating between Iran and Saudi Arabia has significantly shifted Middle Eastern geopolitics’ local and international dynamics. Locally, more and more Arab states are now pursuing ‘normalisation’; internationally, Beijing, rather than Washington, is playing the lead role. This adds to Israel’s troubles, as it can no longer influence these developments even indirectly via Beijing for obvious reasons. At the same time, if the underlying logic of the Abraham Accords was to expand Israeli influence in the Arab world and further isolate Iran, this is no longer possible.

While the US and Israeli officials have stated that the Iran-Saudia deal doesn’t impact the politics and the possibility of the possible extension of the Abraham Accords, it remains that the deal has not materialised despite various rounds of talks. While one of the key reasons is the change of government in the US, with the Biden administration not sharing the Trump administration’s enthusiasm for both peace in the Middle East and deep ties with Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia, too, is not keen to make this deal. In other words, the China-led ‘new’ peace process in the Middle East is nothing short of a setback for Israel. This is most clearly evident from the way Saudi position vis-à-vis talks with Israel has hardened in the past few months or so.

As reported in the mainstream media in the US as well, not only is Saudi Arabia demanding additional security guarantees from Washington but is also seeking the latter’s help to develop its civilian nuclear programme. This is besides the Saudi demand from the US to loosen restrictions on the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia. These demands are in addition to a persistent Saudi demand from Israel to “do something to address Palestinian aspirations for independence.” From the US and Israeli perspectives, the Saudis are only using the scenario to extract maximum concessions from them in exchange for ‘normalisation.’ From their perspectives, they might ultimately need to address some of the Saudi demands, given that a peace process in the Middle East that excludes Israel as a player will ultimately lead to Israeli isolation in the region insofar as other states are most likely to continue pursuing their normalization politics under the Chinese auspices.

As irony would have it – and as it may further complicate the US position – China recently offered its services to mediate between Israel and Palestine to develop a realistic peace plan. If the US fails to convince Saudia, Israel, fearing increasing isolation, may ultimately move towards China for a new peace process. The US, so far, has failed to make any headway in this direction i.e., towards an Israel-Saudi peace process. In fact, the failure to address Saudi demands is pushing the latter in the opposite direction. Saudi Arabia, as again reported in the US mainstream media, is moving to normalise and streamline its ties with Hamas, a Palestinian militia resisting Israel but designated by the US as a ‘terrorist group.’

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“.. in 2030, Poland will be wealthier than we are,” he said. “In 2040, we will be the poor man in Europe.”

UK In ‘Geriatric Decline’ – Legendary Financier (RT)

Brexit has weakened the UK economy and driven the nation into a “sort of geriatric decline,” British financier and chairman of the private equity firm Terra Firma told Bloomberg on Friday. Since the UK left the European Union, it has been competing on the world stage, but the country’s current laws might not be suitable for the new environment, billionaire Guy Hands suggested in the outlet’s weekly ‘In The City’ podcast. Unless change happens, the UK risks becoming poorer and poorer compared to other European countries. “I look at the UK and see that, in 2030, Poland will be wealthier than we are,” he said. “In 2040, we will be the poor man in Europe.”

According to Hands, the UK should not have left the EU, as the country needs rule of law and consistency, but not a single politician is talking about going back. He lamented that Brexit has essentially thrown the country back 50 years, to the 1970’s, a decade that is widely remembered as a time of crisis, with skyrocketing inflation, high unemployment, strikes and power cuts. The enormous amount of political change that has happened in the UK over the past seven years has left investors concerned, and the public lacking confidence, the billionaire believes.

Now that the UK is out of the EU, the British government could take a radical approach and change some of its laws, Hands said, citing the country’s “extraordinarily complex” labor laws that are “a nightmare” compared to other European countries. The UK also needs some “boring bookkeeping,” and the current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak seems to be good at it, according to Hands. The financier noted that the British government has succeeded in repairing some of the damage caused by Liz Truss, whose economic policies were “absolutely disastrous” and would have led to the country needing a bailout. Truss’s argument, however, that the UK needed to become much more productive to be more competitive was “100% right”.

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Elon 2008

 

 


The Japanese paradise flycatcher is a medium-sized passerine bird native to southeastern Asia. Photo by Young Sung Bae

 

 

Rotor

 

 

 

 

Acorn

 

 


Severely damaged by a storm, the tallest tree in Wales was supposed to be cut down. But chainsaw artist Simon O’Rourke found a better solution to symbolise the tree’s last attempt to reach the sky…

‘The Giant Hand Of Vyrnwy’

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 172023
 
 May 17, 2023  Posted by at 9:10 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  46 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Woman Sitting Near a Window (Marie-Therese) 1932 (sold 2 years ago for $103.4 million)

 

Russia Case Against Trump: A Shocking Conspiracy That Continues Today (Turley)
The Durham Coverup (Lee Smith)
Special Counsel Reveals 2016 Trump-Russia FBI Investigative Failure (Max Jones)
Why Shouldn’t the Election Be Called Into Question? (BN)
Influence of ‘Russian Propaganda’ Growing – EU Official (RT)
Aide Reveals Zelensky’s F-16 Wish List – Politico (RT)
UK Will Help Supply Ukraine With F-16s (RT)
NATO’s Military Policies In Ukraine Posed Real Threat To Russia – Envoy (TASS)
How NATO Seduced The European Left (Lily Lynch)
Ukraine Says It Shoots Down More Missiles Than Russia Fires – Shoigu (RT)
Russia Likely Damaged US-Made Patriot Missile Battery – CNN (RT)
Ukraine’s Top Spy Admits Killing Russian Public Figures (RT)
Erdogan Accuses Biden Of Attempt To Topple Him (Cradle)
US May Designate Russia As State Sponsor Of Terrorism (Az.)
German ex-Chancellor’s Wife Fired For Attending May 9 Celebration (RT)
Musk: I’ll Say What I Want And If The Consequence Is Losing Money, So Be It (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Hawley

 

 

 

 

Lesley Stahl

 

 

 

 

Tapper
https://twitter.com/i/status/1658538596058423323

 

 

 

 

Biggs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1658501544952623104

 

 

 

 

Durham Report: Obama FBI offered Clinton campaign operative Christopher Steele as much as $1 million for dirt on Trump just one month before the 2016 election. Durham Report, p. 118

 

 

The West is not able to make up for the loss of armored vehicles to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel Douglas McGregor, a former adviser to the head of the Pentagon, admitted in an interview.
“The Ukrainian army has lost almost 10,000 armored vehicles since the beginning of the conflict. This is unbelievable, 10 thousand! ”, The former adviser said.
He also emphasized that the colossal losses of equipment by the Ukrainian army speak of the “extreme effectiveness” of the Russian army in destroying armored vehicles. McGregor noted that sending weapons to Kiev could “bring money into the pockets of the American defense leadership,” but would not change the course of the conflict.

 

 

 

 

“Comey delighted viewers by saying: “Honestly, I never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but I don’t know whether the current president of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013.”

Russia Case Against Trump: A Shocking Conspiracy That Continues Today (Turley)

A political campaign hatches a plot to create a false claim of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Making this even more implausible is that the CIA and FBI know about the plot. As detailed in the report, President Barack Obama and his national security team were briefed on how “a trusted foreign source” revealed “a Clinton campaign plan to vilify Trump by tying him to Vladimir Putin so as to divert attention from her own concerns relating to her use of a private email server. It then happened a few days later. It was a plot that required everyone to take a hand in derailing a duly elected president and effectively shutting down his administration for three years of investigation and prosecutions. In this conspiracy, there were dozens of key participants in the campaign, the government, and the media. Here are a few of the characters implicated in this report.

The report details how the Russian collusion conspiracy was invented by Clinton operatives and put into the now-infamous Steele dossier, funded by the Clinton campaign. The funding was hidden as legal expenses by then-Clinton campaign general counsel Marc Elias. (The Clinton campaign was later sanctioned by the FEC over its hiding of the funding.) New York Times reporter Ken Vogel said at the time that Elias denied involvement in the anti-Trump dossier. When Vogel tried to report the story, he said, Elias “pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong.’” Times reporter Maggie Haberman declared, “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.” It was not just reporters who asked the Clinton campaign about its role in the Steele dossier.

John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, was questioned by Congress and denied categorically any contractual agreement with Fusion GPS. Sitting beside him was Elias, who reportedly said nothing to correct the misleading information given to Congress. Durham details how Elias played an active role in tracking the media campaign to push the false allegations. (Elias was recently severed by the Democratic National Committee from further representation and has been previously sanctioned in the federal courts in other litigation.) The report details how false claims like the existence of a “pee tape” showing Trump engaging in disgusting acts with prostitutes in Moscow came from a Clinton operative, Chuck Dolan, with no known basis in fact.

Likewise, now-national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Clinton personally pushed an absurd campaign-created conspiracy theory about a secret communication line between Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin through a Russian bank. The Clinton campaign later admitted that it had indeed funded the dossier, but Clinton continued to claim that the election was stolen from her by the Russians. Of course, this conspiracy could not occur without the assistance of the FBI, which Durham found played an eager role due to a “predisposition” of key players against Trump. The dossier was discredited early by American intelligence, which learned that it might itself be Russian disinformation. There never was support for the allegations, but the FBI launched and maintained a massive investigation anyway.

Durham noted that the FBI showed a completely different approach to allegations involving the Clinton campaign. The Trump investigation was a “noticeable departure from how it approached prior matters involving possible attempted foreign election interference plans aimed at the Clinton campaign.” Nevertheless, former FBI Director James Comey would continue to reference the entirely unsupported “pee tape” in interviews. Even though investigators found no support for the campaign-created story, in a 2018 interview, Comey delighted viewers by saying: “Honestly, I never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but I don’t know whether the current president of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013.”

Peepee

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“Did Ex-CIA Director John Brennan Doctor His Notes to Hide His Role in Russiagate?”

“..virtually none of the officials interviewed by Durham knew about the Clinton Plan intelligence..”

The Durham Coverup (Lee Smith)

The only genuine piece of Russian intelligence that US spy services ever received about Donald Trump’s ties to Russia was intelligence that Russia knew Hillary Clinton backed a 2016 campaign plan to smear Trump as a Russian agent. According to John Durham’s 300-page report, the information reached the CIA in late July 2016. Brennan told Durham that on August 3 he briefed President Barack Obama at the White House on what the special counsel refers to as the Clinton Plan intelligence. Others in attendance at the meeting were Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and FBI Director James Comey. Imagine Comey’s reaction when he first heard of the Clinton Plan intelligence, only days after the July 31 start date for the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, code-named Crossfire Hurricane:

So, if it’s just a dirty trick staged by the Clinton campaign, I should shut down the Trump-Russia probe, right? Right. There is little chance Brennan said anything about the Clinton Plan intelligence in that August 3 meeting. Reading the Durham report, it’s not even clear when Brennan first found out about it or the September 2016 CIA memo referring the Clinton Plan intelligence to the FBI’s counterintelligence division. Brennan’s handwritten notes memorializing his allegedly briefing Obama on the Clinton Plan and the CIA’s referral letter were both declassified by Trump’s Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe in October 2020. Durham’s report sheds light on how the information and subsequent CIA memo were received, who knew about them, and perhaps more significantly who didn’t.

According to the report, virtually none of the officials interviewed by Durham knew about the Clinton Plan intelligence or the referral memo. Former FBI general counsel James Baker “stated that he had neither seen nor heard of the Clinton Plan intelligence or the resulting Referral Memo prior to his interview” with Durham. Same with Supervisory Special Agent-1, reportedly FBI agent Joe Pientka. According to the report, when Durham showed Pientka the information, he became “visibly upset and emotional, left the interview room with his counsel, and subsequently returned to state emphatically that he had never been apprised of the Clinton Plan intelligence and had never seen the aforementioned Referral Memo. Supervisory Special Agent-1 expressed a sense of betrayal that no one had informed him of the intelligence.”

The reason so few FBI officials knew of the Clinton Plan information is because it was buried. Otherwise, it would have implicated senior Obama officials — from the president and vice president and his security chiefs — and the Crossfire Hurricane team in an illegal surveillance and propaganda operation targeting a presidential campaign. But how did the Russians know it started with Hillary Clinton? Did they have spies buried deep inside the Democratic National Committee? Maybe Christopher Steele, British ex-spy and author of the Clinton-funded memos tying Trump to Russia, had been compromised by one of the Russian oligarchs he worked for? No, you wouldn’t have needed an intelligence service to find out the Clinton campaign was using Moscow as an instrument to smear the GOP candidate. By the end of July, much of the anti-Trump campaign was public.

Nunes

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“The FBI” is made up of real people. Go after them.

Special Counsel Reveals 2016 Trump-Russia FBI Investigative Failure (Max Jones)

• The Australian diplomats told Crossfire Hurricane investigators that Papadopoulos never stated that he had any direct contact with the Russians nor did he provide any explicit information about an offer of assistance.
• There was a complete lack of information from the Intelligence Community that corroborated the hypothesis upon which the Crossfire Hurricane investigation was predicated.
• The FBI generally ignored the significant exculpatory information provided by Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and Trump Senior Foreign Policy Advisor-! during recorded conversations with FBI CHSs.
• The FBI failed to pursue investigative leads that were inconsistent with their theory of the case (e.g., Page’s recorded denials of having any relationship with Paul Manafort, a fact about which there was available evidence).
• The FBI failed to take Page up on the written offer he made to Director Corney to be interviewed about the allegations contained in Michael Isikoff s Yahoo 1 News article and instead opted to seek FISA surveillance of Page.
• The FBI was willing to make use of the completely unvetted and uncorroborated Steele reporting in multiple FISA applications targeting a U.S. citizen, even after the Crossfire Hurricane investigators had determined that there were major conflicts between the reporting of Steele and his primary sub-source, Igor Danchenko – conflicts the FBI incredibly failed to resolve.
• The Crossfire Hurricane investigators did not even ask Steele about his role in providing information to Michael Isikoff as contained in the September 23, 2016 Yahoo! News article – information that essentially accused Carter Page of colluding with the Russians. And thereafter the same investigators demonstrated a willingness to contort the plain language of the article to suggest it was not Steele but Steele’s employers who had given the information to Isikoff.
• The FBI ignored the fact that at no time before, during or after Crossfire Hurricane were investigators able to corroborate a single substantive allegation in the Steele dossier reporting.
• There was a complete failure on the part of the FBI to even examine – never mind resolve – the serious counterespionage issues surrounding Steele’s primary subsource, Igor Danchenko.
• The FBI leadership essentially disregarded the Clinton Plan intelligence, which it received at almost the exact same time as the Australian Paragraph Five information. This was despite the fact that at precisely the same time as the Clinton Plan intelligence was received (i) the Clinton campaign made public statements tying the DNC computer hack to Russian attempts to help Trump get elected, (ii) the FBI was receiving the Clinton campaign-funded Steele Reports, and (iii) the Clinton campaign-funded Alfa Bank allegations were being prepared for delivery to the media and the FBI.
• The Crossfire Hurricane investigators essentially ignored information they had received as early as October 2016 regarding Charles Dolan, a longtime Democratic operative with ties to the Clintons who also possessed significant ties to Russian government figures who would appear in the Steele reporting, and never interviewed him.
• The Crossfire Hurricane investigators provided only partial, and in some instances misleading, information to Department attorneys working on the Page FISA applications while withholding other highly relevant information from those attorneys and the FISC that might cast real doubt on their probable cause assertions.

Pelosi


Schiff

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Durham makes this inevitable.

Why Shouldn’t the Election Be Called Into Question? (BN)

The Five’s co-host Greg Gutfeld unleashed a powerful diatribe in the aftermath of Monday’s Durham Report revelations detailing a full-fledged election interference operation carried out by the FBI and CIA in concert with the knowledge and approval of the Obama White House and driven in part by a Clinton Plan to ‘stir up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services.” Gutfeld defended Americans who continue to be skeptical about election integrity in the wake of the contested 2020 election that saw Joe Biden officially elected president over Donald Trump. “If you have people saying that the country will not survive Trump, then your moral duty is to cheat. Right?” he asked rhetorically. “And you should cheat. Like if somebody believe is telling everybody that this person is a modern day Hitler, it is your duty to do whatever is possible to stop him. In fact, if you actually play by the rules, you’re a traitor. Right?”

Gutfeld

“So, they created a devil that was so big and so vast that made all actions permissible,” he continued. “And it made every institution as, as the judge was saying, subject to suspicion, right? So you can bury stories, you can create hoaxes, you can fund smears, it could go anywhere, because this person must be stopped. It’s Hitler! An existential threat. And so what happens is now we’re left and none of it’s true? And so we had a half a decade hoax that infected and undermined every institution because we are made to believe this person is evil.” “And then people make fun of people who are skeptical about an election,” he went on. “Why shouldn’t they be skeptical about an election when the DOJ and the FBI and the mainstream media and the tech companies and the Chamber of Commerce are all in on the same thing.”


“Why shouldn’t the election be called into question? Right?” he asked. “Shouldn’t a hero try to fix the election? Right? Shouldn’t a hero do that? If you’re up against Hitler, that’s where we ended up. And you can’t go and condemn people for so-called ‘conspiracy theories’ when you were going around telling everybody this guy was worse than Hitler. No.” The Fox News co-host’s rant flies in the face of the pivot of the network away from pro-Trump coverage and away from questioning the 2020 election following a $750 million dollar lawsuit settlement with Dominion Voting Systems. Tucker Carlson, who was depositioned for the lawsuit, lost his popular primetime cable news show in the fallout, leading some media observers to believe that it may in part be connected to his 2020 election coverage. Rupert Murdoch, Chairman of Fox Corporation, in his own deposition was highly critical of the Fox News’ coverage, even going so far as to state news “news networks should not knowingly broadcast lies.”

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“infiltration of the peace movement..”

“In many countries, the narrative that Russia is not the aggressor but the victim is on the rise..”

Influence of ‘Russian Propaganda’ Growing – EU Official (RT)

EU member states should spend more money on “strategic communications” because “Russian propaganda” is affecting their people, a senior official from the bloc has said. RT must remain banned in the region, while “independent” Russian media based in European nations need support, EU Commissioner Vera Jourova added. The Czech politician and European Commission veteran, who currently serves as its vice president for values and transparency, expressed her concern about the growing popularity of Russian positions on issues like the conflict in Ukraine during an interview with German newspaper Bild on Sunday. “In many countries, the narrative that Russia is not the aggressor but the victim is on the rise,” Jourova told the outlet.

“In Slovakia, more than 50% of the population believe in conspiracy theories, including those about the Russian war of aggression. To this day, we underestimate the influence of Russian propaganda.” Moscow maintains that the conflict in Ukraine stems from NATO’s unchecked expansion in Europe and the failure of Western nations to heed Russian warnings about how it was perceived by the country. A last-ditch attempt to de-escalate the situation was taken by the Russian government in 2021, but it was told that its concerns were unfounded and that Ukraine had a right to seek membership of the US-led military organization. From Russia’s perspective, the conflict is part of a proxy war against it by the West. The problem with EU citizens agreeing with the Russian position is that Moscow “invests billions in its propaganda and we hardly do anything to counter it,” Jourova claimed. She urged member states to invest more in “strategic communications and the fight against disinformation.”

Germany, Jourova suggested, is a particularly important target for Russia. She said she was worried about “infiltration of the peace movement” in the country. “Claiming that anyone supplying arms is a warmonger is extremely dangerous,” she explained. “This only serves to weaken the support for Ukraine.” The commissioner praised the EU’s censorship of RT, describing the channel as “not a media outlet” but rather a “wartime propaganda weapon” that has no place in Europe. “We should instead support the independent Russian media,” she suggested. “Many of them are here in Berlin and in other European cities.” The vice president’s office is reportedly behind a push to introduce a law in the EU to crackdown on “foreign agents.” Politico reported on a survey of nonprofits in March, who were asked whether they had foreign sources of funding. This was conducted ahead of a legislative package intended to “defend democracy.”

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They’ll be flying ducks, so to speak..

Aide Reveals Zelensky’s F-16 Wish List – Politico (RT)

Vladimir Zelensky wants the US and its allies to provide Kiev with between 40 and 50 F-16 fighter jets for use in its conflict with Russia, according to Yury Sak, an aide to Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov. This would be enough to form three or four squadrons of American-made fourth generation aircraft to protect the Ukrainian skies amid a large-scale Russian missile campaign, Sak told Politico on Monday. Kiev has been asking its Western backers for F-16s for months, but the need for the jets has become much more pressing since March, when Russia began using guided glide bombs that strike targets at greater distances, the adviser claimed. Ukraine currently has “nothing to stop” the Russian aircraft that launch those munitions, he admitted.

Zelensky has been touring Europe in the past week, visiting Italy, Germany, France and the UK in an attempt to ramp up military support for Ukraine. After talks with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday, the Ukrainian leader said he wanted to create a “jets coalition” of countries to facilitate the supply of F-16s to Kiev. “I’m very positive [about the plan]. We spoke about it and I see that in the closest time, you will hear some, I think, very important decisions – but we have to work a little bit more on it,” the Ukrainian president told reporters. London, Rome, Berlin and Paris don’t have F-16s to offer Ukraine but, according to Sak, those European powers “have an important voice in the international coalition.” Kiev wants them to “encourage” their allies, such as the US and Turkey, to make the deliveries, he explained.

Zelensky’s latest diplomatic efforts have resulted in him receiving “assurances” from Western leaders that they would address the issue of F-16s at the annual G7 meeting in Hiroshima, Japan this weekend. “Everybody understands that the topic is ripe for discussion. Nobody said that it’s impossible. If you compared it with three months ago, when we were still struggling to get tanks, today everybody is talking about the jet coalition – that’s a very promising sign,” Sak said. Russia has repeatedly warned that deliveries of more sophisticated weapons to Ukraine by the US and its allies could cross its ‘red lines’, which would lead to a major escalation. According to Moscow, the supply of arms, intelligence sharing and training provided to Kiev’s troops have already made Western nations de facto parties to the conflict.

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Let’s kill more young Ukrainians…

UK Will Help Supply Ukraine With F-16s (RT)

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he would work to create an “international coalition” to provide Western fighter jets to Ukraine, pledging to bolster the country’s “combat air capabilities” alongside allies. In a statement issued following a meeting with Dutch PM Mark Rutte at a Council of Europe summit on Tuesday, Sunak’s office said the two leaders would take steps to help coordinate aircraft shipments to Kiev. “[Sunak] and Prime Minister Rutte agreed they would work to build [an] international coalition to provide Ukraine with combat air capabilities, supporting [it] with everything from training to procuring F16 jets,” 10 Downing Street said, stressing the “importance of allies providing long-term security assistance to Ukraine.” The prime minister did not specify what country might offer the American-made fighter jet, which is operated by more than two dozen nations, but suggested he would press allies to help facilitate the weapons transfers.

Ukrainian officials have requested the aircraft for months, with a senior Defense Ministry aide telling Politico on Monday that Kiev hopes to receive up to 50 F-16s from Washington and other partners. Since Moscow stepped up its use of guided glide bombs in March, the aide said Ukraine has “nothing to stop” Russian planes equipped with them. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky met with Sunak in an unannounced visit to the UK on Monday, where he called for a new “coalition of jets,” an idea well received by the British PM. The concept has been proposed by Kiev and other allies before, with Poland also voicing interest in such a project after providing some of its own Soviet-era MiG-29 fighters. Despite the renewed discussion of a jet coalition, some Western powers appear reluctant to supply advanced warplanes.

Though Ukrainian pilots are already being trained to operate the F-16 by the US military – and will soon receive similar instruction from British pilots – American, German and French officials have indicated they would not be willing to supply jets from their own arsenals. However, Washington has previously reversed course after declining to provide certain weapons systems, including the Patriot missile defense platform and the M1 Abrams main battle tank, both of which have since been pledged to Ukraine. Berlin, too, backtracked after refusing to transfer its Leopard 2 tank, agreeing to send the weapon earlier this year following pressure from allies. Russia has repeatedly warned that deliveries of more sophisticated weapons to Ukraine could cross its ‘red lines’ and lead to a major escalation. According to Moscow, the arms, intelligence and training provided to Kiev’s troops have already made Western nations de facto parties to the conflict.

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“These countries “had been pursuing an openly anti-Russian policy long before the current events in Ukraine.”

NATO’s Military Policies In Ukraine Posed Real Threat To Russia – Envoy (TASS)

The threat to Russia resulting from NATO, US and Britain’s military policies in Ukraine was real, Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN headquarters in Geneva, said at the plenary session of the Conference on Disarmament on Tuesday. “The threat to Russia’s security from the military development of Ukraine’s territory was real and acute and similar to what the US itself experienced during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis,” he said. Gatilov dismissed as falsehoods the accusations made by the US and other NATO countries against Moscow to the effect that the conflict in Ukraine was allegedly “unprovoked aggression.” “In deciding on a special military operation Russia took into account many security factors,” the Russian envoy said. In this regard, Gatilov recalled “the Kiev regime’s agreement in principle to the accelerated strategic development of Ukrainian territory by the NATO ‘nuclear alliance’ hostile to Russia” as well as “our country’s two nuclear adversaries – the US and Britain.


These countries “had been pursuing an openly anti-Russian policy long before the current events in Ukraine.” “In this context, it is worth recalling London’s construction of a naval base in the Ukrainian port city of Ochakov, NATO’s anti-Russian exercise Sea Breeze in the summer of 2021, which ended with the reckless behavior of a British ship that came under fire from the Russian armed forces and was forced to retreat,” Gatilov said. Furthermore, he continued, in September 2020, the US Air Force “used the airspace over Ukrainian territory for familiarization flights by heavy US B-52 nuclear-capable strategic bombers.” The Russian envoy noted that Moscow had warned of “the unacceptability of these irresponsible and destabilizing actions” and proposed “various initiatives for preventing the emerging conflict”.

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It’s the women…

“..telegenic female leaders such as the Finnish Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, and Estonian Prime Minister, Kaja Kallas, have increasingly served as the spokespersons of enlightened militarism in Europe..”

And the Estonian PM in the video.

How NATO Seduced The European Left (Lily Lynch)

In January 2018, Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg held an unprecedented press conference with Angelina Jolie. While InStyle reported that Jolie “was dressed in a black off-the-shoulder sheath dress, a matching capelet and classic pumps (also black)”, there was a deeper purpose to this meeting: sexual violence in war. The pair had just co-authored a piece for the Guardian entitled “Why NATO must defend women’s rights”. The timing was significant. At the height of the #MeToo movement, the most powerful military alliance in the world had become a feminist ally. “Ending gender-based violence is a vital issue of peace and security as well as of social justice,” they wrote. “NATO can be a leader in this effort.”

This was a new and progressive face for Nato, the same one it has since used to seduce much of the European Left. Previously, in the Nordic countries, Atlanticists have had to sell war and militarism to largely pacifist publics. This was achieved in part by presenting Nato not as a rapacious, pro-war military alliance, but as an enlightened, “progressive” peace alliance. As Timothy Garton Ash effused in the Guardian in 2002, “NATO has become a European peace movement” where one could watch “John Lennon meet George Bush”. Today, by contrast, following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Sweden and Finland abandoned their long-standing traditions of neutrality and opted for membership. Nato is portrayed as a military alliance -and Ukraine a war- that even former pacifists can get behind. All its proponents seem to be singing is “Give War a Chance”.

The Jolie campaign marked a dramatic turn in what Katharine A.M. Wright and Annika Bergman Rosamond call “Nato’s strategic narrative” in several ways. First, the alliance embraced celebrity star power for the first time, imbuing its unremarkable brand with elite glamour and beauty. Jolie’s star power meant that the alluring images of the event reached apolitical audiences with little knowledge of Nato. Second, the partnership seemed to usher in an era in which women’s rights, gendered violence and feminism would assume a more prominent role in Nato rhetoric. Since then, and especially in the past 12 months, telegenic female leaders such as the Finnish Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, and Estonian Prime Minister, Kaja Kallas, have increasingly served as the spokespersons of enlightened militarism in Europe. The alliance has also intensified its engagement with popular culture, new technologies, and youth influencers.

[..] No political party in Europe better exemplifies the shift from militant pacifism to ardent pro-war Atlanticism than the German Greens. Most of the original Greens had been radicals during the student protests of 1968; many had demonstrated against American wars. The early Greens advocated for West Germany’s withdrawal from Nato. But as the founding members entered middle age, fissures began to appear in the party that would one day tear it apart. Two camps began to coalesce: the “Realos” were the moderate Greens, politically pragmatists. The “Fundis” were the radical, uncompromising camp; they wanted the party to remain faithful to its fundamental values no matter what.

Predictably, the Fundis believed that European peace would be best served by West Germany’s withdrawal from the alliance and tended to favour military neutrality. Meanwhile, the Realos believed that West Germany needed Nato. They even argued that withdrawal would return matters of security to the German nation-state and risk rekindling militaristic nationalism. Their Nato was a post-national, cosmopolitan alliance, speaking numerous languages and flying a multitude of flags, protecting Europe from Germany’s most destructive impulses. But Nato membership at the end of history was one thing. Germany going to war again — the most forbidden of taboos after World War II — was something else entirely.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1658588374511263746

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“..The minister also said that Ukraine “always” misidentifies munitions used by Russia in its media statements. “That’s why they miss them..”

Ukraine Says It Shoots Down More Missiles Than Russia Fires – Shoigu (RT)

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has refuted claims made by Ukrainian military officials about shooting down six Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missiles during overnight strikes on targets near the country’s capital city of Kiev. Ukraine routinely exaggerates the effectiveness of its anti-aircraft defenses, primarily ‘intercepting’ incoming Russian munitions only with public statements, Shoigu told RIA Novosti. “I have already said that, and I will repeat it again. We have not launched as many ‘Kinzhals’ as they allegedly shoot down every time with their statements. Moreover, the number of these ‘Ukrainian interceptions’ – and who really mans the American [anti-aircraft] complexes there, is still a big question – is three times as high as what we actually launch,” Shoigu stated.

The minister also said that Ukraine “always” misidentifies munitions used by Russia in its media statements. “That’s why they miss them,” he added, without providing any further information on the number of missiles used in the latest barrage. Ukraine was subjected to a new massive missile and suicide drone barrage overnight, with the country’s capital city of Kiev seeing particularly intense activity by Ukrainian anti-aircraft defenses, footage circulating online suggests. Moscow and Kiev have provided drastically different accounts of what happened overnight. Kiev claimed that it had shot down six state-of-the-art hypersonic missiles over the capital, as well as other incoming projectiles, using a battery of the US-made Patriot air defense system.

The Russian military, however, said the battery was successfully hit by a Kinzhal missile. Footage available online shows multiple anti-aircraft missiles going towards an unseen target, with at least two explosions seen at the site from which they appeared to be launched. Western media reports suggested the Patriot battery in question was likely damaged in the strike. According to CNN, citing an unidentified US official, Washington is currently assessing the extent of the damage in order to determine whether the Patriots need to be pulled back or whether on-site repairs by Ukrainian forces would be enough.

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The unlikely story of Ukraine downing a Kizhal is very popular. This much more likely story, much less so.

Russia Likely Damaged US-Made Patriot Missile Battery – CNN (RT)

A hypersonic missile strike by Russia has reportedly hit a US-supplied Patriot air-defense system in Kiev, potentially knocking the battery out of commission amid Moscow’s escalating attacks in western Ukraine. The Patriot system was likely damaged, but not destroyed, in a Russian missile barrage against Kiev on Tuesday morning, CNN reported, citing an unidentified US official. Washington is assessing the damage to determine whether the battery needs to be pulled back or repaired on site by Ukrainian forces, the outlet said. The report came hours after the Russian Defense Ministry announced that a hypersonic Kinzhal missile strike had destroyed a Patriot base in Kiev. Tuesday’s strikes also took out Ukrainian troop positions, munitions storage facilities, and Western-supplied weapons, the ministry said in a press briefing.

Ukrainian officials said earlier on Tuesday that they had intercepted six hypersonic missiles with their Patriot systems, a claim touted by Western media as proof that Kiev was thwarting a supposedly “unstoppable” Russian weapon. CNN said a US National Security Council spokesperson referred questions about the successful Russian strike to Ukrainian officials, who declined to comment on Moscow’s claim. Ukraine reportedly has two Patriot systems in operation – one supplied by the US and a battery provided jointly by Germany and the Netherlands. “Taking one out of commission, even for a short period, could affect Ukraine’s ability to defend Kiev amid intensifying Russian missile attacks,” CNN said. US officials told CNN last week that Moscow had targeted a Patriot system in a hypersonic strike earlier this month, but Ukrainian forces used the battery to intercept the Russian missile.

The outlet said Patriot batteries use a powerful radar to detect incoming threats at long range, enabling Russia’s military to pick up their signals and determine their location. Although the US military confirmed Ukraine’s claim of a successful missile intercept earlier this month, officials didn’t say whether the Kinzhal was flying at hypersonic speed at the time. Russia’s hypersonic missiles can travel at speeds up to Mach 12 (about 14,800 kilometers per hour) while performing evasive maneuvers, making them capable of penetrating any current air-defense systems. Missiles that fly at Mach 5 or above are classified as hypersonic. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was highly unlikely that Ukraine shot down a Kinzhal missile, which he described as having “absolutely unique characteristics.”

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“Zakharova wrote on Telegram: “Will the UN not notice that again?” The remarks are the latest in a string of bloodthirsty statements..”

Ukraine’s Top Spy Admits Killing Russian Public Figures (RT)

Ukrainian military intelligence (GUR) chief General Kirill Budanov has claimed responsibility for assassinating “many” Russian public figures. The spy boss made the bombshell admission in an interview with Ukrainian blogger Sergey Ivanov on Tuesday. Asked whether top Russian “propagandists,” such as prominent journalist Vladimir Solovyov or RT’s Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan, are prime targets for his organization, Budanov responded that the GUR had already “gotten” multiple high profile targets. “We have already gotten many, including public and media personalities,” Budanov said, without providing any names.

Pressed further by the blogger on the potential involvement of the GUR in the assassination of Darya Dugina, a journalist and the daughter of prominent Russian philosopher Aleksandr Dugin, or the recent car bombing of Russian author and political activist Zakhar Prilepin, the spy boss said he could “neither confirm nor deny” the involvement of his service. Budanov’s remarks were condemned by Moscow, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stating that they were a clear admission of wrongdoing. “Terrorists. Those who provide excuses for the Kiev regime and sponsor it are accomplices of terrorists,” Zakharova wrote on Telegram. “Will the UN not notice that again?” The remarks are the latest in a string of bloodthirsty statements made by the GUR boss amid the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev.

Earlier this month, Budanov declared, “We’ve been killing Russians, and we will keep killing Russians anywhere on the face of this world until the complete victory of Ukraine.” The pledge received an equally poor reception in Russia, with multiple top officials branding it an admission of engaging in state-level terrorism by Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, for instance, said Budanov’s statement was “unprecedented in its essence,” and it was “strange” to not hear any condemnation “from European capitals and from Washington.” “It’s evident that the Kiev regime is behind the killings, not only sponsoring them but organizing, inciting, and carrying them out. De facto, we’re talking about a state sponsor of terrorism,” Peskov concluded, warning that Russia’s “special services know what to do after such statements.”

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“..the US must “support those elements of the Turkish leadership that still exist and get more from them and embolden them to be able to take on and defeat Erdogan..”

Erdogan Accuses Biden Of Attempt To Topple Him (Cradle)

On the eve of critical Turkiye’s elections, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his supporters that US President Joe Biden had given instructions to topple him, Rudaw reported on 14 May. “Biden gave the instructions saying ‘we have to topple Erdogan.’ I know this. All my people know this. Tomorrow the ballots will give Biden an answer as well,” Erdogan said during an election rally in Istanbul on Saturday, 13 May, the day before voting began. At the rally, Erdogan also criticized his challenger, Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), who had accused Russia of spreading fabricated videos and fake content online to damage his campaign to unseat Erdogan. Erdogan said Russia is a crucial ally in the agriculture, defense, and tourism sectors, but NATO member Turkiye has also sold weapons and arms, including drones, to Ukraine in its war with Russia. In Sunday’s widely anticipated voting, Erdogan received 49.40 percent of the votes, while Kilicdaroglu received 44.96 percent.


However, neither candidate received the required 50% of votes to avoid a second round runoff vote, which will now take place in two weeks to determine Turkiye’s next president. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Biden described Erdogan as an autocrat and claimed his relationship with the Turkish president had deteriorated significantly. Biden explained, as a result, that his “comfort level [about having nuclear weapons in Turkiye] is diminished a great deal.” Biden stated that Erdogan needs to better integrate the country’s Kurdish population via participation in parliamentary elections and that the US must “support those elements of the Turkish leadership that still exist and get more from them and embolden them to be able to take on and defeat Erdogan. Not by a coup, not by a coup, but by the electoral process.”

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More empty gestures.

US May Designate Russia As State Sponsor Of Terrorism (Az.)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Department of State would not rule out designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism for its accused atrocities in Ukraine. Report informs that, according to CNN, in an angry line of questioning at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on China on May 16, Sen. Lindsey Graham asked Blinken: “You’re never going to designate Russian state sponsored terrorism, are you?” Blinken quickly responded, “never say never.” Lawmakers and Ukrainian officials have repeatedly put pressure on the Biden administration to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terror, but the Biden administration has not taken that action out of concern for unintended consequences.

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“..he has also expressed doubt that distancing himself from Putin “would do any good.”

German ex-Chancellor’s Wife Fired For Attending May 9 Celebration (RT)

The wife of former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, So-yeon Schroeder-Kim, has been fired from her position at a business development agency after visiting the Russian Embassy in Berlin to celebrate Victory Day. “Ms. Schroeder-Kim has been released with immediate effect, and the employment relationship will now be terminated by NRW.GlobalBusiness without notice,” a spokeswoman for NRW told German media on Tuesday. The company explained that it had on several occasions explicitly told Schroeder-Kim, who worked there as a representative for South Korea, that she should “not speak out in public on politically sensitive topics,” particularly with regard to Russia and the situation in Ukraine.

The move comes after Schroeder-Kim and her husband visited the Russian Embassy on May 9 to attend a reception dedicated to the 78th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. The event was also attended by other German politicians, including co-chairman of the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party Tino Chrupalla, and chairman of the Bundestag committee on climate protection and energy and member of the Left Party Klaus Ernst. Schroeder himself has also faced backlash for maintaining close ties with Moscow. The former chancellor forged friendly relations with Russia during his time in office between 1998 and 2005, and has kept in contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin throughout the years. Although Schroeder has repeatedly spoken out against Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, he has also expressed doubt that distancing himself from Putin “would do any good.”

Shortly after Moscow launched its military campaign, Schroeder personally traveled to Moscow to meet with Putin. He has insisted since that Russia sought a negotiated solution to the ongoing conflict and had vowed to keep seeking “opportunities to talk to President Putin.” The former chancellor’s stance has put him at odds with other members of the ruling Social Democrats Party (SPD), some members of which have recently unsuccessfully demanded his expulsion. The SPD did, however, manage to strip the former leader of his parliamentary privileges last year. Under current German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the SPD has sought to reduce the country’s ties with Russia and its reliance on Russian energy. Berlin, under Scholz’s leadership, has also sent billions of dollars worth of military aid to Kiev’s forces throughout the past year.

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“I wish we could have just a normal human being as president.”

Musk: I’ll Say What I Want And If The Consequence Is Losing Money, So Be It (ZH)

Tesla CEO and Twitter owner Elon Musk sat down for an hour-long candid, sprawling interview with CNBC’s David Faber on Tuesday following Tesla’s 2023 annual shareholder meeting in Austin, Texas. Among many other things, Musk reflected on: Accusations from the left over his tweets which have been criticized as lending credence to conspiracies about George Soros and a recent mass shooting event in Allen, Texas, insisting “I’ll say what I want, and if the consequence of that is losing money, so be it.”


Clearly this displeased Musk’s critics, who can’t comprehend how someone who hopes to receive major ad dollars (and thus be beholden to the largest US corporations via advertising channel) can speak his mind. In fact, according to Bethany McLean, “Elon Musk sounds like a spoiled child when he talks about free speech,” adding that “If you run a business that depends on advertisers you might have to think about it a little bit differently and Musk seems utterly unwilling to make that distinction.” Translation: if you run a business that depends on advertisers, you can’t say anything your advertisers disagree with. Which of course is another way of being subject to the censorship of the establishment, and why traditional media is always silent when certain interests – be it of generous advertisers like Pfizer, or the Deep State, or the Bidens, or the Clintons, etc – are in question.

Musk defended what Faber said was the spreading of “conspiracy theories” by countering that pointing out that so many of these “conspiracy theories have turned out to be true”, and pointed to the Hunter Biden laptop suppression story, which was an example of “election interference.” Naturally, the question of Musk calling George Soros Magnito came up. An incongruous Faber asks where that tweet came from, to which Musk replies “that is my opinion.” Faber then pressed: “why share it” if it could lead to less revenue/sales, and do your tweets “hurt the company”; Musk responds with a quote from the Princess Bride: “offer me money; offer me power. I don’t care.” The sad fact is that all of Musk’s peers in the media world, who aren’t independently wealthy and who do care about money (and power) will gladly be PR agents for their advertising sponsors, pretending to be independent media outlets.


How he has managed a takeover of Twitter so far and what lies ahead. Among other things, he said Twitter’s Community Notes feature has cost Twitter $40 million in business when two big clients reduced spending after their ads received community notes accusing them of false advertising. He also claimed that when the acquisition closed, Twitter had negative $3 billion in annual cash flow and $1 billion in the bank. “The analogy I was using was like being teleported into a plane that’s in a nosedive headed to the ground with the engines on fire and the controls don’t work….” Musk said he voted for Biden but hinted he wasn’t happy with his choice, saying “I wish we could have just a normal human being as president.” Asked if he believes the 2020 election was stolen, Musk said no, but countered that there certainly has been election fraud. Musk even slammed the obvious CIA front Bellingcat. Discussing the recent Texas shooting, Musk said the shooter was “incorrectly described to be a white supremacist. The company that found this is Belingcat. Do you know what Belingcat is? A company that does Psyops.”

Errol Musk
https://twitter.com/i/status/1658536557890895873

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