Jan 122024
 January 12, 2024  Posted by at 9:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  81 Responses »

Salvador Dalí White calm 1936


The Georgia Case Against Trump Should Be Paused (Gregg Jarrett)
Fani Willis Coordinated with J6 Committee Before Launching Trump Case (PB)
Biden White House Has Been Prosecuting Trump (JTN)
US Confirms Ukraine Military Supplies Have Stopped (RT)
Ex-Ukrainian MP Calls For Corruption Charges Against Biden (RT)
Ukraine Prosecutor ‘Fired’ By Biden May Be Killed, Ex-MP Warns (RT)
The Russian Art of War: How the West Led Ukraine to Defeat (Baud)
Israel Cannot Be a Colonial Power and a Democracy (Chris Hedges)
What Israel Faces at The Hague (Gareth Porter)
Questions For NYT About Shoddy ‘Hamas Mass Rape’ Report (GZ)
The EU’s Worst Nightmare: Pitchforks! (Butler)
US School Boots Out Students To Shelter Migrants (RT)
Trump Runs On ‘Largest Deportation Effort’ If Reelected (SAC)
X, Drugs, Politics: What’s Behind The Latest Attack On Elon Musk? (Amar)



A reader sent me this, saying “I’ve had a graphic in my head for awhile now that I was hoping would appear in the public domain but I haven’t seen anyone post it yet. Finally I just hacked it out on an old version of Photoshop..”



These people are serious (-ly ill)



Ben Carson








Voter fraud






No Europe (maybe Belgium?!), no North America.





“Willis might want to consult with a criminal defense attorney for some advice. Just a suggestion.”

The Georgia Case Against Trump Should Be Paused (Gregg Jarrett)

Sex, money, and power. That’s what drove District Attorney Fani Willis to bring flimsy racketeering and conspiracy charges against former President Donald Trump and others in Georgia, according to a recent court filing demanding that the case be toss out. The scheme that Willis purportedly concocted reads like a steamy Harlequin romance novel, replete with a secret lover and luxury trysts financed by taxpayer dollars as they plotted to elevate her career by destroying a political opponent seeking to retake the White House. Pull up a beach chair and dig in. The salaciously shocking accusations by Trump co-defendant Michael Roman threatens to upend the Fulton County prosecution by disqualifying the DA and even dismissing entirely her prosecutions for election interference.

There’s a lot of slime to unpack here. But it begins with the curious decision made by Willis to hire —allegedly without authorization— a private attorney by the name of Nathan Wade to honcho the case against Trump, even though he has scant experience in felony cases. That would normally make him an unqualified prosecutor. So, what was going on? Perhaps Wade has other skills because Roman claims that the Trump-hating DA and her married subordinate were having an affair before and after she retained him. So far, neither one has denied the liaisons. To complicate matters, Willis has been subpoenaed by Wade’s wife to appear as a witness in their divorce case on January 23. That’ll be stimulating. Oh…but there’s more.

County records show that Wade was paid a whopping $654,000 for his “work,” which is hard to fathom by any compensation standard. The court motion contends that Willis and her paramour then used some of the cash for lavish vacations taken together in California, Florida, and the Caribbean. I’m guessing there wasn’t much incriminating Trump evidence to be gathered in those venues. But you never know what you’ll find on board one of those popular cruise lines. Billing records also show that Wade traveled to Washington DC for two different meetings at the Biden White House, which are identified on the invoices as 8 hours each. This would put a lie to Willis’s earlier statements that her prosecution of Trump was not discussed or coordinated with his election opponent.

I have long argued that the Georgia case is tainted by the stench of political prejudice, manipulated evidence, and a shameful contortion of the racketeering laws. But now, one is left to wonder whether it was “pillow talk” that led to inventing charges against Trump. In a sane world, the Georgia trial judge should hold an open hearing and demand honest answers. The accusations are serious, the conflict of interest is self-evident, and the ethical impropriety is severe. If warranted, the judge must refer the matter to the state attorney general, Christopher Carr, for immediate investigation of Willis and Wade. Obviously, the District Attorney’s office cannot be trusted to investigate itself. And neither can the feds appointed by Biden and controlled by his lapdog Merrick Garland at the DOJ.

In the meantime, the misbegotten racketeering case against Trump should be halted until an independent probe is concluded so that the public can be assured that this dubious prosecution was not poisoned at the outset by unethical or even corrupt conduct. If the allegations have validity, Willis’s actions demand her removal from the case and, potentially, the charges dropped against Trump and all other defendants. The previously negotiated plea agreements could be vacated due to prosecutorial misconduct. Willis might want to consult with a criminal defense attorney for some advice. Just a suggestion. Did she and her lover conspire to nail Trump while enriching themselves and promoting her political career as the darling of Democrats who brought down Joe Biden’s nemesis? It sure looks like it.

Funneling county money to your amorous partner and then using it jointly for extravagant recreation smacks of misappropriation of public funds and honest services fraud. As the court filing notes, Willis and Wade were “profiting significantly from this prosecution at the expense of taxpayers.” One can even contend, as Roman does, that it was Willis and Wade who were running an organized criminal enterprise known as racketeering, not Trump. But that’s probably a bridge too far.

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The White House AND the J6 Committee…

Fani Willis Coordinated with J6 Committee Before Launching Trump Case (PB)

There is more evidence of political motivation behind the Trump “racketeering” case launched in Fulton County, Georgia last year. According to a new report in Politico, the Fulton County prosecutor got help from none other than January 6 committee, which was organized and run during the previous Congress under former Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The partisan coordination between the January 6 committee and the Fulton County D.A.’s office reveals more insight into Trump opponents’ relentless efforts to criminalize legal objections to the 2020 election. “Georgia prosecutors probing Donald Trump’s effort to subvert the 2020 election got an early boost in the spring of 2022. It came from another set of investigators who were way ahead of them: the House Jan. 6 select committee,” Politico’s report noted.

“Committee staff quietly met with lawyers and agents working for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in mid-April 2022, just as she prepared to convene a special grand jury investigation,” the report continued. “In the previously unreported meeting, the Jan. 6 committee aides let the district attorney’s team review — but not keep — a limited set of evidence they had gathered.” “Over the next few months, committee staff also had a series of phone calls with Willis’ team,” the report added. “They answered the prosecutors’ questions and shared insight on matters like Trump’s false electors gambit and his efforts to pressure Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Both of those ploys ultimately featured prominently in the criminal charges that Willis brought against Trump and his allies last summer.”

“The contacts between the committee and Willis’ team also helped prosecutors prepare for interviews with key witnesses,” the report noted. The Politico report continues to shed new light on the contacts between the partisan January 6 committee and the Fulton County D.A.’s office, again, framing legal objections to the 2020 election as “election subversion.” “The content of the meetings and calls was described by two former committee officials familiar with the outreach, who were granted anonymity to speak candidly about the contacts,” Politico noted in the exclusive report. “The timing was corroborated by exhibits attached to new court filings in Willis’ ongoing prosecution of Trump and 14 co-defendants for their efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

“The committee aided Willis’ nascent probe even as it rebuffed the Justice Department’s requests for material in the separate federal criminal probe of Trump’s election subversion,” it continued. The Fulton County D.A.’s office replied that it was only granted access to now-public information. “As the January 6th Committee’s final report transparently stated, the Committee shared information — all of which is now public — with prosecutors conducting concurrent, independent investigations.”

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Changed the title. Enough beating around the bush.

Original title: “Georgia prosecutor’s meeting with Biden officials the latest evidence of WH hand in Trump cases”
Subtitle: “The Biden White House had previously worked with the National Archives and FBI to provide “special access” to Trump’s presidential documents.”

Biden White House Has Been Prosecuting Trump (JTN)

The special prosecutor in the Fulton County, Georgia case against former President Donald Trump sent an invoice to the district attorney which included charges for meetings with the Biden White House officials, according to court documents, raising questions about the White House’s involvement with criminal cases against Trump. This revelation comes after Nathan Wade, the special prosecutor, and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis came under scrutiny because of the court filings which allege that the two have been engaged in an affair while the DA’s office paid Wade over $650,000 in legal fees since January 2022. The new information regarding the White House Counsel meeting with Wade also follows previous reports by Just the News that the Biden White House worked to facilitate “special access” for the FBI to 15 boxes of Trump presidential documents that he had returned to the National Archives.

The new court filing, which is part of a Georgia case against Michael Roman, a Trump codefendant, shows that the special prosecutor met on at least one occasion with Biden’s White House Counsel. Wade indicated that this meeting was part of his travel to Athens, Ga., on May 23, 2022, according to an invoice that he submitted to the DA’s office. “Travel to Athens; Conf with White House Counsel,” the invoice reads. Wade charged the DA’s office $2,000 in attorney’s fees for the work. The invoices provided in the suit show at least one more meeting with Biden White House staff, on November 18, 2022, that appears to have taken place in Washington, D.C., though there is no record of a visit by Wade in the White House visitor logs. “Interview with DC/White House,” the invoice reads. Wade charged another $2,000 in fees for this meeting.

The November meeting with undisclosed White House staff was held just three days after Trump, the widely anticipated election opponent of Biden, announced that he was running for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination. Roman’s attorney, Ashleigh Merchant, filed the motion calling for the court to dismiss the criminal charges against her client, arguing that Willis “never had legal authority to appoint the special prosecutor, who assisted in obtaining both grand jury indictments.” The motion also called for Willis and Wade to be disqualified from office and removed from the prosecution, respectively, because of an “improper, clandestine personal relationship” between the two during the case, according to the filing. Merchant is interested in sealed court records that are a part of the special prosecutor Wade’s divorce, which may shed light on his alleged relationship with Willis. Merchant told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she reviewed these filings and is asking a judge to unseal the case, arguing that they were improperly sealed.

Wade started his special prosecutor contract with Willis the day before he filed for divorce in Cobb County, Ga., in November 2021, but the filing was improperly sealed, the court document also states. Willis hired Wade to prosecute Trump, and he has been paid nearly $654,000 in legal fees from January 2022 through December 2023, according to the court filing. Willis’ office didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday. Willis spokeswoman Pallavi Bailey said that the district attorney’s office would respond to the allegations “through appropriate court filings,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Roman, the former president, and 17 other co-conspirators were charged under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, among other Georgia state counts, for their alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in favor of Trump. Three former Trump attorneys, Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro, as well as Republican poll watcher Scott Hall, have all pleaded guilty in the case, while all other defendants pleaded not guilty. The Fulton County case is one of four ongoing criminal cases brought against Trump.

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Secure the border now?

US Confirms Ukraine Military Supplies Have Stopped (RT)

The military aid Washington has been providing Kiev has come to a halt, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday. His remarks came amid the resurgence of debate in Congress about the importance of continuing support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. “We have issued the last drawdown package that we had funding to support, and that’s why it’s critical that Congress move on that national security supplemental request,” Kirby told reporters at a press briefing, admitting that “the assistance that [the US had] provided has now ground to a halt.” The last aid package worth $250 million was authorized by President Joe Biden in late December through the Presidential Drawdown Authority, which allows for urgent deliveries of weapons to allies without congressional approval.

Biden has been asking Congress to vote for his more than $100 billion supplemental budget request, of which more than $60 billion is slated for Ukraine. Republicans have blocked the measure, demanding that the White House and congressional Democrats agree to their plan of tightening security at the border with Mexico. Director of the Office of Management and Budget Shalanda Young told the press in January that the drawdown authority “is not going to get big tranches of equipment into Ukraine,” describing the situation as “dire.” Earlier in the month, Pentagon spokesman, Major General Patrick Ryder, warned that the army was running out of options “to replenish the stocks.”

While Biden has publicly pledged to back Kiev for “as long as it takes,” some Republicans and the media have been questioning Washington’s existing strategy, given that Ukraine’s much-hyped counteroffensive ended in a failure. Valery Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s top general, admitted last year that the conflict was “at a stalemate.” EU officials are also increasingly acknowledging that the deliveries of weapons to Ukraine have been delayed due to production and logistics issues. “Europe doesn’t know how to fight wars,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said in a recent interview. “Unfortunately, our friends spent too much time deliberating on how and when to ramp up their production of weapons and ammunition.”

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“..Biden’s partners in the corruption business in Ukraine finance terrorist acts, thus avoiding responsibility for corruption in Ukraine..”

Ex-Ukrainian MP Calls For Corruption Charges Against Biden (RT)

The Republican-led effort to impeach US President Joe Biden should include an indictment for facilitating corruption in Kiev, former Ukrainian MP Andrey Derkach said in an interview published on Wednesday. The ongoing impeachment inquiry against Biden, dismissed by US Democrats as a partisan publicity stunt, is looking into the president’s potential involvement in influence peddling in Ukraine by his son, Hunter. It is also investigating possible interference in the 2020 US presidential election, during which reporting about Biden Jr.’s laptop was suppressed by partisan American media and tech giants. Former Ukrainian MP Derkach is a controversial figure who worked with Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s lawyer, who investigated Biden’s ties with Ukraine. Speaking to Italian-US journalist Simona Mangiante in the Belarusian capital Minsk, Derkach claimed there was substantial evidence of the Biden family enriching itself in Ukraine, which is allegedly being ignored by US authorities.

“What’s important to me in the congressional investigation is not to bring Biden in for influence peddling. It is important for me that the final document of the Congress says that the money stolen from my fellow Ukrainians was taken out of Ukraine… and given to… Biden,” he said. As vice president, Joe Biden was the leading official on Ukraine in Barack Obama’s administration. A widely publicized example of Biden’s influence on Kiev came in 2016, when he pressured the country into sacking its prosecutor general. At the time, Viktor Shokin was investigating Burisma, a gas firm that listed the then-vice president’s son Hunter Biden on its board. Critics have accused Joe Biden of abusing his position to cover for his son, though the US president has claimed he was merely removing a corrupt official from power. Derkach, who has been accused by the US and Ukraine of working for Russia, lives in exile and says he is focused on anti-corruption advocacy.

Anyone who wants to expose alleged Ukraine-linked criminality in the Biden family is routinely dismissed by American officials as agents of Moscow, Derkach argues. In his interview with Mangiante, the former lawmaker implied that US influence on Ukraine allowed Joe Biden ensure that anyone involved in the alleged corruption schemes was let off the hook. He cited the example of Burisma head Nikolay Zlochevsky, who in 2020 was accused of sending $6 million in cash to people investigating him in exchange for closing the case. Despite being caught red-handed, neither Zlochevsky nor his middlemen were duly punished, Derkach said. The businessman effectively received a slap on the wrist last year in the form of a $1,800 fine, he pointed out.

Zlochevsky has also donated tens of millions of dollars to Kiev’s war effort against Russia, which some Ukrainian media have speculated impacted the outcome of the case. According to Derkach, some of the money went to the GUR, Ukraine’s military intelligence agency, and was presumably used to fund its operations. The agency’s leadership makes “no secret of the fact that they carry out terrorist acts and political assassinations for extra-budgetary cash. Once again: Biden’s partners in the corruption business in Ukraine finance terrorist acts, thus avoiding responsibility for corruption in Ukraine,” the former official alleged.

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“Shokin is now a hostage on Ukrainian territory. As far as I know, he is not allowed to leave Ukraine. He is under the total control of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU)..”

Ukraine Prosecutor ‘Fired’ By Biden May Be Killed, Ex-MP Warns (RT)

The former Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Viktor Shokin, who was famously sacked by then-President Pyotr Poroshenko, under pressure from US president Joe Biden, is being used by the current government in Kiev as a bargaining chip with Washington, controversial former MP Andrey Derkach has claimed in an interview. Biden had Poroshenko sack Shokin in 2016, when he was Vice President in the Obama administration, and threatened to withhold a $1 billion loan otherwise. The now-incumbent US president claimed that the prosecutor was corrupt, and also bragged about getting rid of the man. Critics of Biden have alleged that he used his office to derail an investigation into the gas firm Burisma, which infamously retained his son Hunter on a well-paid board position during his father’s tenure as Obama’s VP.

Derkach made his explosive claims in an interview with Italian-US journalist Simona Mangiante, which she published on Wednesday on X (formerly Twitter). It was recorded in Minsk, Belarus. “Shokin is now a hostage on Ukrainian territory. As far as I know, he is not allowed to leave Ukraine. He is under the total control of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU),” he claimed. The senior figures interested in information possessed by Shokin are President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the US side, and President Vladimir Zelensky and his chief-of-staff Andrey Yermak on the Ukrainian side, according to Derkach. He claimed that last October Shokin had contacts with two attorneys “working with the US Congress,” Jake Greenberg and Clark Abourisk.

The SBU “recorded those conversations, where Shokin told the Congress about real criminal acts of Blinken and Biden, and about the corruption of the Biden family.” The former official said he’d been tipped off about the surveillance by sources inside the SBU. Derkach is an intelligence officer by background and served in the Ukrainian agency before being elected to the parliament. He claimed that his sources had told him that “the question of liquidating Mr Shokin on the territory of Ukraine is under consideration.” He urged the US Congress to ensure the man’s safety and extraction from his home country. During the hour-long interview Derkach spoke in Russian and touched on a number of sensitive aspects of US-Ukraine relations, including those he’d been personally involved in.

He was the official that published in 2020 what he claimed to be recordings of conversations that Biden and Poroshenko had in 2015-2016. In the interview this week he also claimed that he was acting with the blessing of Zelensky’s office, which was seeking to discredit the former president. The US government branded Derkach a Russian agent in 2022 and indicted him for allegedly interfering in the 2020 presidential elections. Last year, Ukraine accused him of treason, claiming he was working for Moscow. Zelensky stripped him of his Ukrainian citizenship in January 2023. Derkach has denied the accusations and claims in the interview that the Ukrainian charges against him were brought after Kiev failed to dispose of him by other means, on a direct request from Antony Blinken.

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“This is an excerpt from Colonel Jacques Baud’s latest book, The Russian Art of War: How the West Led Ukraine to Defeat (L’art de la guerre russe: Comment l’occident conduire l’ukraine a la echec)”

The Russian Art of War: How the West Led Ukraine to Defeat (Baud)

Throughout the Cold War period, the Soviet Union saw itself as the spearhead of a historical struggle that would lead to a confrontation between the “capitalist” system and “progressive forces.” This perception of a permanent and inescapable war led the Soviets to study war in a quasi-scientific way, and to structure this thinking into an architecture of military thought that has no equal in the Western world. The problem with the vast majority of our so-called military experts is their inability to understand the Russian approach to war. It is the result of an approach we have already seen in waves of terrorist attacks—the adversary is so stupidly demonized that we refrain from understanding his way of thinking.

As a result, we are unable to develop strategies, articulate our forces, or even equip them for the realities of war. The corollary of this approach is that our frustrations are translated by unscrupulous media into a narrative that feeds hatred and increases our vulnerability. We are thus unable to find rational, effective solutions to the problem. The way Russians understand conflict is holistic. In other words, they see the processes that develop and lead to the situation at any given moment. This explains why Vladimir Putin’s speeches invariably include a return to history. In the West, we tend to focus on X moment and try to see how it might evolve. We want an immediate response to the situation we see today. The idea that “from the understanding of how the crisis arose comes the way to resolve it” is totally foreign to the West.

In September 2023, an English-speaking journalist even pulled out the “duck test” for me: “if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.” In other words, all the West needs to assess a situation is an image that fits their prejudices. Reality is much more subtle than the duck model…. The reason the Russians are better than the West in Ukraine is that they see the conflict as a process; whereas we see it as a series of separate actions. The Russians see events as a film. We see them as photographs. They see the forest, while we focus on the trees. That is why we place the start of the conflict on February 24, 2022, or the start of the Palestinian conflict on October 7, 2023. We ignore the contexts that bother us and wage conflicts we do not understand. That is why we lose our wars…

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“Religious nationalism is to religion what National Socialism was to socialism..”

Israel Cannot Be a Colonial Power and a Democracy (Chris Hedges)

The scholar, Yeshayahu Leibowitz, who Isaiah Berlin called the conscience of Israel, warned that, “If Israel did not separate church and state, it would give rise to a corrupt rabbinate that would warp Judaism into a fascistic cult. Religious nationalism is to religion what National Socialism was to socialism,” warned Leibowitz, who died in 1994. He understood that the blind veneration of the military, especially after the 1967 war that captured the West Bank in East Jerusalem was dangerous and would lead to the ultimate destruction of democracy. “Our situation will deteriorate to that of a second Vietnam, to a war and constant escalation without prospect of ultimate resolution,” he wrote. He foresaw that, “The Arabs would be the working people and the Jews, the administrators, inspectors, officials and police, mainly secret police. A state ruling a hostile population of 1.5 million to 2 million foreigners would necessarily become a secret police state.

With all that implies for education, free speech and democratic institutions. The corruption characteristic of every colonial regime would also prevail in the state of Israel. The administration would have to suppress Arab insurgency on the one hand and acquire Arab quiz links on the other. There is also good reason to fear that the Israeli Defense Force, which has been until now, a people’s army would, as a result of being transformed into an army of occupation to generate and its commanders who will have become military governors, will resemble their colleagues in other nations.” He warned that the rise of virulent racism would consume Israeli society. He knew that prolonged occupation of the Palestinians would spawn concentration camps for the occupied, and that in his words, “Israel would not deserve to exist and it will not be worthwhile to preserve it.”

The decision to obliterate Gaza has long been the dream of Israeli fanatics, heirs of the fascistic movement led by the extremist Meir Kahane, who was barred from running for office and whose Kach Party was outlawed in 1994 and declared a terrorist organization by Israel and the United States. These Jewish extremists who today make up the ruling coalition government are orchestrating the genocide in Gaza, where hundreds of Palestinians are being killed or wounded a day. They champion the iconography and language of their homegrown fascism. Jewish identity and Jewish nationalism are the Zionist versions of blood and soil. Jewish supremacy is sanctified by God as is the slaughter of the Palestinians who are compared to the biblical Amalekites massacred by the Israelites. Enemies, usually Muslims, slated for extinction are subhuman who embody evil.

Violence and the threat of violence are the only forms of communication those outside the magic circle of Jewish nationalism understand. Millions of Muslims and Christians, including those with Israeli citizenship, are to be purged. Joining me to discuss what the occupation of Palestine has done to Israeli society and what the results of the current murderous campaign in Gaza and the West Bank portends for Israel in the future is Ilan Pappe, Professor of History of the University of Exeter in Great Britain, who has described what Israel does to the Palestinians as incremental genocide. He has written numerous books including The Biggest Prison on Earth: A History of the Occupied Territories and The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, which his French publisher has ceased publishing despite a surge in sales since the October 7th attacks, part of the concerted campaign by Zionists and their supporters to discredit and censor narratives that are critical of Israel.

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“..As many as 312 Palestinian families in Gaza lost over 10 members each in just the first month of the bombing alone…”

What Israel Faces at The Hague (Gareth Porter)

When the International Court of Justice opens its consideration of the case against Israel’s genocidal policy towards Palestinians living in Gaza on Thursday it will have before it a petition from South Africa, which initiated the case. In legal terms it is a request that the court decides on “provisional measures” to protect the Gazan people from “imminent and irreparable loss,” in other words, to stop Israel’s assault on Gaza. But in political terms the 84-page document that South Africa submitted to the Court represents the most powerful indictment of Israeli genocide that has been available to the public thus far. It not only documents the genocidal consequences of the Israeli massive bombing and siege of Gaza, but presents a complete file of official Israeli professions of determination to carry out genocide against the Palestinians population of the Gaza strip.

The latter evidence comes directly from the mouths of Prime Benjamin Netanyahu himself, the president of Israel, the minister of defense, the minister of national security, five other government ministers and several leading Israeli military figures. It is a heart-rending document that can leave no one who reads it in doubt about the explicitly genocidal motive of the Israeli government in ordering indiscriminate bombing and the deliberate denial of food, water, energy and medical care and supplies to the Palestinian population with the explicit intention of making it impossible for Palestinians to sustain life in Gaza. The terrible human toll of the Israeli assault on the population of Gaza in terms of death and injury from Israeli bombing is well known. What is not generally known to the U.S. public is evidence provided in the South African document that Israelis have deliberately chosen the most indiscriminate way of bombing possible.

Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas of the world, so indiscriminate weapons are far more lethal there than in normal situations. Yet despite the availability of precision guided weapons, as the South African document points out, Israel has been dropping completely unguided “dumb bombs” and 2,000 pound munitions that have a lethal radius of up to 360m and cause serious injuries for 800m in all directions. Primary victims of the Israeli strategy, counting for 40 percent of the casualties, are children, with more than 115 Palestinian children in Gaza killed every day. The document cites a study by Save the Children showing that the 3,195 Palestinian children killed in the first three weeks in Gaza alone is more than total number of children killed each year since 2019 across all the world’s conflict zones.

And because of the close-knit character of Palestinian families and the prolonged war, the document reveals that this bombing strategy has taken a tragic toll on entire extended families, with mothers, fathers, children, siblings, grandparents, aunts and cousins frequently killed simultaneously with no remaining survivors. As many as 312 Palestinian families in Gaza lost over 10 members each in just the first month of the bombing alone.

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Max Blumenthal and Aaron Maté.

Questions For NYT About Shoddy ‘Hamas Mass Rape’ Report (GZ)

The Grayzone has identified serious issues with the credibility of key sources quoted in the New York Times’ December 28 story, “Screams Without Words: How Hamas Weaponized Sexual Violence on October 7.” Authored by Jeffrey Gettleman, Anat Schwartz, and Adam Sella, the article purports to prove “a broader pattern of gender-based violence on Oct. 7” than even Israeli authorities have been willing to allege . However, the Times report is marred by sensationalism, wild leaps of logic, and an absence of concrete evidence to support its sweeping conclusion.

The Times has come under fire from family members of Gal Abdush, the so-called “girl in the black dress” who features as Exhibit A in Gettleman and company’s attempt to demonstrate a pattern of rape by Hamas on October 7. Not only have Abdush’s sister and brother-in-law each denied that she was raped, the former has accused the Times of manipulating her family into participating by misleading them about their editorial angle. Though the family’s comments have sparked a major uproar on social media, the Times has yet to address the serious breach of journalistic integrity that its staff is accused of committing. The Israeli police have also issued a statement since the publication of the Times’ article asserting that they themselves are unable to locate eyewitnesses of rape on October 7, or to connect the testimonies published by outlets like the Times with anything remotely resembling evidence.

We call on the New York Times to publicly address the comments by the Abdush family accusing Times reporters of misleading them and lying about the circumstances of her death. The Times must also address the statement issued by Israel’s police subsequent to the article’s publication and explain why Gettleman and his co-authors apparently omitted it. Further, we demand a response to our thoroughly sourced debunking of testimony by key witnesses quoted in the story, as well as the documented record of discredited claims and ethically dubious activity by those same witnesses. We have provided several questions for your consideration. If you are unable to furnish responses which satisfactorily address the issues we have raised about the credibility of your article, we believe it must be retracted in full.

You write, “Based largely on the video evidence — which was verified by The New York Times — Israeli police officials said they believed that [Gal] Abdush was raped, and she has become a symbol of the horrors visited upon Israeli women and girls during the Oct. 7 attacks.” However, the sister of Gal Abdush, Miral Alter, stated in a January 2 Instagram comment that “she was not raped… There was no proof that there was rape, it was only a video.” She also pointed out that the timeline between Gal’s last message to the family and the time of her reported murder made it impossible for a rape to occur: “How in 4 minutes [were] they also raped and burned [?]” Alter concluded, “the New York Times that came to us indicated that they wanted to do a story in memory of Gal and Nagy [her husband] and that’s why we approved. If we knew that it was a headline like rape slaughter, we would never agree. Never.”

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“Having been pushed too far, the farmers are now threatening to undermine the entire European project with support for populist and, in some cases, outright anti-EU parties..”

The EU’s Worst Nightmare: Pitchforks! (Butler)

I recently wrote about what has become a global, populist political phenomenon. Citizens of multiple countries, in both hemispheres, are not only voting for populist candidates but are also working outside their entrenched political establishments to either enact desired changes or oppose undesired ones. The latter has been in focus this week as German farmers travelled to Berlin and other cities to blockade the roads in protest at the removal of certain subsidies considered noncompliant with official climate policies. Although not well reported in the British media, in the continental media, the protests made the front page. Farm subsidies have existed all across Europe ever since the EU was founded. Affordable and available basic food was considered – and still is – a matter of national security. And since European farmers are not always as competitive as those elsewhere, subsidies were deemed required to keep them in business.

No longer. Apparently, climate goals now trump food security and affordability. And so the subsidies are to be ended, rendering farmers less competitive and possibly forcing some into bankruptcy. As has been true throughout modern European history, the progressive Dutch were among the first to revolt against what they perceived as oppressive rules handed down from above. Farmers blockaded multiple cities and motorways in response to proposed nitrogen (fertiliser) quotas. More recently, the Dutch gave the largest portion of seats in the Tweede Kamer – their equivalent of the House of Commons – to the populist party of Geert Wilders. Now farmers in Germany, the EU’s largest, wealthiest country, and largest net contributor to the EU budget, have joined the fray. They, in turn, have been joined by farmers in neighbouring Poland, Hungary and Austria. HGV drivers, many of whom supply farms with fertilisers and other essentials and in turn deliver produce from farm to table.

The pitchforks have come out, as it were. As it happens, the UK also has a venerable populist tradition. In 1381, there was the so-called “Peasants Revolt” led by Wat Tyler. It began in Brentwood, Essex, with a dispute over unpaid taxes and rapidly spread to engulf much of southeast England. London was sacked, and many prominent buildings were set on fire. These included the Tower of London, in which Richard II’s lord chancellor and lord high treasurer were discovered by the rebels and summarily killed. By comparison, today’s EU farmers are rather restrained in their actions. But they have laid down a populist political gauntlet of sorts. The common agricultural policy has been the backbone of the EU for decades. The perceived common interest of farmers has functioned as a form of political “cement” to hold the European project together and provide a base on which to build further integration into other industries.

Having been pushed too far, the farmers are now threatening to undermine the entire European project with support for populist and, in some cases, outright anti-EU parties. Recent polls suggest that, in eastern Germany, Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) is the leading political party. Brussels has yet to voice any specific concerns about the matter. Perhaps they see these developments as just storms in teacups. Ensconced in their modern glass and steel palaces, they might even ponder whether, if European food security and affordability are compromised in pursuit of their lofty climate goals, they should just let their peasants eat cake instead.

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“Over 162,000 migrants have arrived in New York City since the spring of 2022, when governors and mayors of states along the southern US border began busing them north en masse..”

US School Boots Out Students To Shelter Migrants (RT)

Thousands of New York City public school students were ordered to attend classes remotely on Wednesday so that migrants previously housed in a Brooklyn tent city could take shelter in their school’s gymnasium during an approaching storm. Students and teachers were informed on Tuesday morning that James Madison High School had been “activated” as a “temporary overnight respite center” for some 1,900 migrants staying at Floyd Bennett Field, a tent city five miles away. They were given until 5pm to remove everything they might need for the coming days. The relocation was described by City Hall spokeswoman Kayla Mamelak as “a proactive measure being taken out of an abundance of caution to ensure the safety and well-being of individuals working and living at the center,” as the storm was predicted to bring winds of up to 70mph. However, it was not clear how long the migrants were expected to be staying at the gym.

“The relocation will continue until any weather conditions that may arise have stabilized and the facility is once again fit for living,” Mamelak said. She noted that the migrants would “continue to be provided with essential services and support” while occupying the school building. New York City Mayor Eric Adams attempted to convert public school gyms into migrant housing last spring as thousands of illegal immigrants descended on the city every week. The plan met with strident opposition and organized protests from parents concerned about their children sharing space with unvetted adults of unknown origin. The mayor ultimately backed off on plans to convert dozens of gyms into temporary migrant accommodation, though his administration denied a policy reversal had taken place and reserved the right to commandeer the buildings once more if the rate of new arrivals increased.

Over 162,000 migrants have arrived in New York City since the spring of 2022, when governors and mayors of states along the southern US border began busing them north en masse to so-called “sanctuary cities” known for their refusal to enforce immigration law. The human tide has long since overwhelmed the shelter system, leading the city to erect three massive tent complexes across the five boroughs – though only Floyd Bennett Field, with its tents held down by “heavy stones” rather than permanent anchors, was deemed at risk enough to warrant evacuation in the face of the coming storm. Last month, Adams predicted the resulting humanitarian crisis would cost the city $12 billion over three years. He has declared a state of emergency and significantly cut funding for most city services, further outraging long-time residents, who are fleeing the city in droves. New York lost more residents in 2023 than any other state, many hailing from the city.

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“.. we’re going to have peace through strength.”

Trump Runs On ‘Largest Deportation Effort’ If Reelected (SAC)

The border crisis has reached such a level that even liberal, so-called sanctuary cities, are admitting migrants are taking over their resources at an unsustainable rate. During his Fox News town hall Wednesday night, former President Donald Trump vowed that if he were to be reelected, he would create the “largest deportation effort in the history of our country…we have no choice.” Trump stated more than 18 million people will have entered the United States borders illegally by the end of President Joe Biden’s presidency. Not only is the number “not sustainable for our country” but a huge risk lies within just who the individuals are that are passing through without detection. “Many of those people come from jails and prisons, many of those people come from mental institutions and insane asylums, and many of those people are terrorists,” Trump said.

National Review notes a few other key points trump made during the Fox News live event: Trump called the economy under Biden “horrible” and said inflation also continued to be “horrible.” But, he noted, the stock market is doing well, and attempted to take credit. “I think if I wasn’t leading [in the polls] the stock market would be 25 percent lower,” he said. “And I think, frankly, if I didn’t win, I think the stock market would crash.” He touted the relative global calm under his leadership, saying, “I’m the only president in 72 years, I didn’t have any wars.” He claimed that Russian president Vladimir Putin wouldn’t have invaded Ukraine if he was president, and Hamas terrorists wouldn’t have attacked Israel. “They see a weak president in our country and they did something that is unthinkable,” Trump said, adding that if he’s elected again “we’re going to have peace through strength.”

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“..the death of “X,” as Musk has renamed the platform, has been foretold with a regularity reminiscent of Western fantasies about Russia’s government..”

X, Drugs, Politics: What’s Behind The Latest Attack On Elon Musk? (Amar)

A few months ago, Musk committed the unforgivable sin of stating the facts. From Beijing’s standpoint, he explained, Taiwan is “an integral part of China that is arbitrarily not part of China mostly because … the US Pacific Fleet has stopped any sort of reunification effort by force.” That is, actually, true. (Yes, he also made a comparison with Hawaii. Frankly, who cares?) Taiwan, it is also true, is a special case. The US and China have long practiced a compromise, going back to 1972. China has insisted that it has the right to use force to reunite Taiwan with mainland China, but, crucially, it has refrained from doing so. The US has recognized that Beijing speaks for China (and not Taiwan’s capital Taipei), while still supporting Taiwan militarily and maintaining a policy of “strategic ambiguity.” This is designed to leave open the question of whether Washington would fight for Taiwan. This compromise has been inconsistent but helped preserve the peace for half a century.

Yet since 2022, it has been Washington, not Beijing, that has upset this fragile balance the most, by provocative visits, exercises, and statements, most importantly by President Joe Biden himself. This is the context in which Musk reminded everyone of the underlying reality: that Taiwan is not a sovereign country, and that China has a legitimate claim under international law. Yet the narrative build-up to what may be the next major war for American global hegemony (this time to be lost against China, not Russia), requires us to forget that basic fact. It would be hard for CNN et al to whip Western publics into the requisite furor against “Chinese aggression,” if they were too well aware that, as a matter of fact, China is after what is legally its own territory.

If Musk has been worse than tactless, namely factual, about the world outside the US, he also has created upset at home. In general, he has become more outspoken about his politics that tend strongly – and for my taste – very unattractively to the right, even by American standards, in a capitalist-libertarian register. In particular, he has loudly challenged what he sees as the bane of the “woke-mind virus” and the failure of American border and immigration policy. In addition, he has been open about shifting his allegiance from the Democrats to the Republicans. And, worst of all, of course, he has taken over the social media platform once known as Twitter. Since then, the death of “X,” as Musk has renamed the platform, has been foretold with a regularity reminiscent of Western fantasies about Russia’s government.

Musk has also been criticized for bias and caprice in his very personalized handling of X, often with good reason. But the real issue for his centrist detractors is not his being biased but being biased in the wrong direction. Whereas old Twitter was a solid bastion of the center-liberal US establishment, Musk’s X is more right-wing, erratic, and unpredictable. It is, however – as Jill Lepore, another Musk-slayer with impeccable centrist credentials has rightly pointed out in the New Yorker – not a matter of “free speech” or “representation.” Because Twitter/X has always been a business. What is at stake is something else: control, or, as the perspicacious Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci would have put it, ideological hegemony. And with Musk at the helm, the former Twitter is certainly not a stable tool of such hegemony. That does not make it an agent of revolution or even progress. But it does make for an increase in establishment insecurity and infighting, for now.

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“You may know that cicadas spend most of their lives as underground nymphs, emerging in cycles of 13 or 17 years (coincidentally two prime numbers). The years when the two cycles emergence coincide are therefore rare, and one is 2024. The 17-year cicada and the 13-year cicada, which are periodical cicadas, are scheduled to emerge in Middle Tennessee in 2024. The broods co-emerge every 221 years. The last time the two broods co-emerged was in 1803, the same year as the Louisiana Purchase and Thomas Jefferson was president.”





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Aug 272023

Gustave Dore Dante and the Angel of the Church before the Door of Purgatory 1868


‘US In Conflict With Itself’ – Medvedev (RT)
Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Has Failed – It’s Time to Reevaluate (Greenwald)
Biden Staffers Met With Special Counsel Aides Before Trump Indictment (NYP)
The House Has No Alternative to an Impeachment Inquiry into Joe Biden (Turley)
Fired Ukraine Prosecutor Corroborates Biden Corruption (ZH)
World Laughing At EU Over Russia Sanctions – Hungary (RT)
Tucker Carlson Blasts ‘Creep’ US Ambassador To Hungary (RT)
No, Biden Can’t Wage Forever War in Ukraine (Sp.)
Biden Administration Sought Control Over TikTok (RT)
Prigozhin, Putin, and What Next? (VandenHeuvel)
I Just Want To Sell Titty Pictures (ZH)















“Such domestic conflicts often end with a civil war.”

“Biden’s resolve to aid Kiev against Russia has made him “a hostage of Ukraine, which is very sad for both Ukraine and the US..”

‘US In Conflict With Itself’ – Medvedev (RT)

The highly toxic political climate in the US feels like the confrontation between Democrats and Republicans can spiral into a full-blown civil war, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has said. Speaking to RT and news agency TASS on Saturday, Medvedev said that there was “a colossal rift between the elites” in the US. “It’s a clash between the conservative Republican establishment and the liberal segment, represented by the Democratic Party, which has actually torn America apart.” “America is currently in a state of internal strife. America is conflicting with itself,” Medvedev, who is currently the deputy chair of Russia’s Security Council, argued. “Moreover, in my view, this strife is irreconcilable in some aspects. Such domestic conflicts often end with a civil war.”

“I don’t know what will happen in the US, but the level of the conflict right now is [high],” the Russian politician noted. To illustrate his point, Medvedev brought up the ongoing criminal prosecution of ex-president Donald Trump, who is seeking the Republican Party nomination to run against incumbent Joe Biden in the 2024 presidential election. Medvedev claimed that the charges against Trump were brought “not for the sake of justice, but to prevent Trump from participating in the new election.” Asked whether there were similarities between the administration of Barack Obama and the Biden White House in terms of dealing with conflicts, Medvedev said that there was more “pragmatism” during the Obama years.

He went on to argue that Biden has been more “involved mentally, politically and economically” in Ukraine, which had “tied up his hands.” Biden’s resolve to aid Kiev against Russia has made him “a hostage of Ukraine, which is very sad for both Ukraine and the US,”Medvedev said. Trump is facing a litany of criminal charges, including for allegedly mishandling classified documents and attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. On Saturday, he was booked at a Georgia jail and released on bail, becoming the first US leader to have a mugshot taken.

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“..the war in Ukraine is following exactly the same pattern as every other U.S. war fought over the last 50 years.”

Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Has Failed – It’s Time to Reevaluate (Greenwald)

There is no question that the war in Ukraine has radically changed. Even Western media outlets that have been steadfastly cheerleading for this war – and, indeed, even Ukrainians themselves – are now admitting what battlefield realities dispositively prove. The much-vaunted Ukrainian counter-offensive – the imminent dramatic event we were assured for months would be transformative in finally giving Ukraine the upper hand and dislodging entrenched Russian positions inside Ukraine: a claim that doubled as a propaganda tool to assuage a growingly restless Western population about their endless support for this war – is now, no matter how you slice it, a failure.

After months of multi-pronged attacks, Ukraine’s gains are so minimal and trivial as to be barely worth noting. Russia continues to occupy a very significant chunk of both Eastern and southern Ukraine, along with Crimea which they have held since 2014. Even Western intelligence reports acknowledge that the Russians’ defensive positions are more fortified and entrenched than any seen in decades. The U.S. has already depleted its own stockpiles of artillery and other vital weapons and simply does not have to give Ukraine what they need to have any hope of changing this situation in anything resembling the near- or the short-term future.

What makes all of this vastly worse is that the cost to Ukrainians in their lives is staggeringly high. Consider just this one harrowing data point: more Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in the first 18 months of this war than the number of American soldiers killed during the decade-plus war in Vietnam. The Ukrainian men who were eager to fight and who volunteered to do so have long ago been used up – killed, maimed, or exhausted. Zelensky’s only option for continuing combat is to increase domestic repression, impose greater and greater punishment for desertion, and use harsher and harsher means to force those unwilling to fight to do so against their will. In so many ways, this conflict resembles some of the worst horrors of World War I, including the need to put unwilling men who do not want to fight the deeply grim choice of either offering themselves up as cannon fodder or facing unimaginably harsh punishments by a government completely unconstrained by basic considerations of human rights or legal process, operating under full-scale martial law.

At this point, debates over who is to blame for this war barely matter. All that does matter is the question of how this will end, and who will end it. It is simply becoming unsustainable – politically, economically, and morally – to justify having Western nations pour their resources into fueling and continuing this war that Ukraine has less and less chance of winning. At the start of the war, many who claim that the real goal of the US was not to save Ukraine and Ukrainians but rather to destroy them – at the altar of their geostrategic goal of weakening Russia – were accused of being callous and conspiratorial. Now, there is little reasonable space to contest that they were right all along.

Joe Biden just asked for another $25 billion to keep this war going – as he offered $700 checks per household to the victims of the Maui fire and as profits for the European arms industry reach such record heights that they do not even bother to conceal their glee. Even if you were someone who supported the US role in Ukraine back in February of 2022 with the best of intentions – namely, you wanted to help a country seeing to avoid Russian domination – the failed nature of this mission has to compel a re-evaluation of perspective and policy. The last thing this war is doing is protecting Ukraine and Ukrainians. It is destroying both of those while imposing suffering among everyone in the U.S. and Western countries other than a tiny sliver of arms dealers and intelligence agencies. In other words, the war in Ukraine is following exactly the same pattern as every other U.S. war fought over the last 50 years.

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“..they have trashed every ethical rule that exists and they have created a state police. It is a Biden state prosecutor and a Biden state police..”

Biden Staffers Met With Special Counsel Aides Before Trump Indictment (NYP)

The White House counsel’s office met with a top aide to Special Counsel Jack Smith just weeks before he brought charges against former President Trump for allegedly mishandling classified documents — raising serious concerns about coordinated legal efforts aimed at President Biden’s likely opponent in 2024. Jay Bratt, who joined the special counsel team in November 2022, shortly after it was formed, took a meeting in the White House on March 31, 2023, with Caroline Saba, deputy chief of staff for the White House counsel’s office, White House visitor logs show. They were joined in the 10 a.m. meeting by Danielle Ray, an FBI agent in the Washington field office. Nine weeks later, Trump was indicted by Smith’s office on June 8, 2023.

Bratt, 63, also met with Saba at the White House in November 2021, when Trump was mired in negotiations with the National Archives, who were demanding the return of presidential records from his Mar-a-Lago estate before a formal investigation had not yet been opened. Saba, who is not an attorney, left the White House in May to attend law school. Bratt had a third meeting in the White House in September 2021, this time with Katherine Reily, an advisor to the White House chief of staff’s office. The logs offer no information about what was discussed at the meetings. Critics and legal experts questioned why Bratt was taking meetings at all with the White House counsel’s office while part of an active investigation into President Biden’s likely 2024 Republican opponent.

“There is no legitimate purpose for a line [DOJ] guy to be meeting with the White House except if it’s coordinated by the highest levels,” said former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a one-time top federal prosecutor in the Southern District. Caroline Saba, a deputy chief of staff for the White House counsel’s office, met with Jay Bratt at the White House, records show. When asked if he believed the White House and special counsel were coordinating the prosecution of Trump, Giuliani said: “You’re damn right I do.” “What’s happening is they have trashed every ethical rule that exists and they have created a state police. It is a Biden state prosecutor and a Biden state police,” he continued.

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“While Garland seems incapable of imagining any crime involving the president, he has made a conclusive — if unintended — case for an impeachment inquiry.“

The House Has No Alternative to an Impeachment Inquiry into Joe Biden (Turley)

House Republicans had previously demanded that Weiss and his team answer questions about the investigation and the plea bargain. And an appearance before a House committee was planned when Garland suddenly preempted that by doing what many of us have demanded for years: He appointed a special counsel. To the amazement of many, though, he appointed the one prosecutor who should have been categorically excluded — David Weiss. Section 600.3 of the DOJ’s code on special counsels requires an appointment from outside the Justice Department, for obvious reasons. While another prior special counsel, John Durham, also came from within the Justice Department, Durham was retiring from the department at the time of his appointment.

Not only did Garland have to ignore his own regulations to appoint Weiss but he also had to ignore the main qualification: The appointed outside counsel should be someone with “a reputation for integrity and impartial decision-making.” Weiss could well have a legitimate defense to Republican complaints that he ran a fixed investigation into Hunter or accusations that he made false statements to his own team. However, he clearly remains under suspicion by many people. That is reflected in an ABC News/Ipsos poll in which almost half of Americans lack trust that the DOJ will conduct the Hunter Biden investigation in a “fair and nonpartisan manner.” In addition to this controversial appointment, Garland again refused to expressly extend the special counsel’s mandate to include influence-peddling allegations involving President Biden.

Even some liberal pundits are mystified by these moves and why Garland would not simply appoint someone in compliance with the regulations who could guarantee a new and full investigation. So Weiss is now investigating crimes that continue to dwindle in number due to the long delays in prosecution. It is like waiting for winter to go goose hunting in Canada, long after the geese have flown South. Everyone just gets dressed up and fires aimlessly into an empty sky. While Hunter still can be charged on the same meager grounds (and possibly the addition of a Foreign Agents Registration Act charge), the alleged fix remains in the Biden investigation. Now, however, Congress will have a more difficult time getting answers out of Weiss because he can claim he is engaged in an ongoing special counsel investigation, and he can use the eventual special counsel report as much to defend his own actions as to detail any potential crimes.

At the same time, the Biden administration still is resisting the sharing of information with the House, including records held by the National Archives. For months, I have discussed a potential impeachment of the president with Republican House members and have encouraged them not to repeat the abuses of House Democrats in the use of “snap impeachments” and the discarding of fact hearings in the House Judiciary Committee. Garland, however, has effectively forced their hands. While Garland seems incapable of imagining any crime involving the president, he has made a conclusive — if unintended — case for an impeachment inquiry.

With the investigative impediments created by the Weiss appointment and by Garland’s refusal to expressly extend the special counsel’s mandate to the allegations of Biden family influence-peddling, there is little choice but to commence an impeachment inquiry. The authority of the House is at its apex when carrying out its duties under the impeachment clause. Whatever interest — or ability — remains to prosecute Hunter Biden, Congress has a separate duty to confirm any high crimes and misdemeanors committed by President Biden. Indeed, the Democrats themselves established precedent for carrying out retroactive impeachments for prior offices, including any which may have occurred when Biden was vice president. With the current state of the Hunter Biden investigation and the baffling conduct of Attorney General Garland, there is no alternative for the House but to launch the impeachment inquiry.

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“The fact that Joe Biden gave away $1 billion in U.S. money in exchange for my dismissal – my firing – isn’t that alone a case of corruption?”

Fired Ukraine Prosecutor Corroborates Biden Corruption (ZH)

Victor Shokin, the fired Ukrainian prosecutor investigating Biden family corruption (that Donald Trump was impeached for asking about) has spoken out for the first time since 2019 – and says the Bidens did it. To review – Shokin had an active and ongoing investigation into Ukrainian energy company Burisma and its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, according to a 2020 US Senate Committee report. Zlochevsky, who hired Hunter Biden to sit on his board, granted his own company (Burisma) permits to drill for oil and gas in Ukraine while he was Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources. Shokin stated in a 2019 deposition that there were five criminal cases against Zlochevesky, including money laundering, corruption, illegal funds transfers, and profiteering through shell corporations while he was a sitting minister.

Now, Shokin tells Fox News that be believes the Bidens were taking bribes. “I do not want to deal in unproven facts. But my firm personal conviction is that yes, this was the case. They were being bribed,” Shokin told the outlet. “The fact that Joe Biden gave away $1 billion in U.S. money in exchange for my dismissal – my firing – isn’t that alone a case of corruption?” he asks in another clip. The full interview with Shokin will air Saturday evening at 8pm ET with Brian Kilmeade. According to the White House, Fox News is giving a “platform to lies” by airing the interview. Republicans, meanwhile, aren’t letting this one go. Earlier this week we noted that memos obtained by Just the News via FOIA request reveal that the Obama Administration was still actively communicating with Shokin after Biden’s December 2015 threat to withhold $1 billion in US aid unless then-President Petro Poroshenko fired him.

The memos reveal: • Senior State Department officials sent a conflicting message to Shokin before he was fired, inviting his staff to Washington for a January 2016 strategy session and sent him a personal note saying they were “impressed” with his office’s work. • U.S. officials faced pressure from Burisma emissaries in the United States to make the corruption allegations go away and feared the energy firm had made two bribery payments in Ukraine as part of an effort to get cases settled. • A top U.S. official in Kyiv blamed Hunter Biden for undercutting U.S. anticorruption policy in Ukraine through his dealings with Burisma. Meanwhile, nobody else seems interested in what Shokin has to say.


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“..we are literally destroying Europe.”

World Laughing At EU Over Russia Sanctions – Hungary (RT)

Europe is “destroying” itself in the name of supporting Ukraine, and the EU’s sanctions policy is a laughing stock on the global stage, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has declared. He repeated his government’s position that the conflict in Ukraine “must end this minute.” It would be a “baroque and poetic exaggeration” to say that sanctions against Russia have succeeded in crippling the Russian economy, Szijjarto told attendees at the Tranzit political festival on Saturday. “The policy of sanctions has failed,” he said, adding that “everywhere in the world, the European sanctions policy is being laughed at.” The EU has imposed 11 successive rounds of sanctions on Russia since Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine last February. While the EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, claimed on Saturday that the sanctions are “producing hard, tangible effects across Russia’s economy,” the IMF has forecast that the Russian economy will continue to grow by 0.7% this year and 1.3% in 2024.

By contrast, the Eurozone entered recession earlier this year after the bloc voluntarily cut itself off from Russia, its largest foreign energy supplier. With the energy crunch crippling German industrial output in particular, Russia overtook Germany as the world’s fifth-largest economy last year, according to the World Bank. European leaders have embraced these self-harming sanctions because they “are in a war psychosis,” Szijjarto said, adding that EU military aid to Kiev is also directly threatening security on the continent. “The USA has pushed Europe into the competition of who will help Ukraine and how much: a military aid competition,” he said, lamenting that European politicians “accepted this provocation” even though “we are literally destroying Europe.”

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has refused to allow Western weapons to enter Ukraine via Hungarian territory, and Szijjarto has repeatedly voted in Brussels against increasing the EU’s arms fund for Kiev. Although Hungary is a party to all of the EU’s sanctions packages, Orban has managed to carve out exemptions for Hungary to continue oil and nuclear fuel imports from Russia in exchange for supporting these measures. Orban and Szijjarto have both repeatedly called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, arguing that Kiev cannot hope to defeat Russia on the battlefield, and that the longer the conflict persists, the greater the risk of escalation, and the worse the final terms will be for Ukraine. “The only morally tenable position is [that] the war must end this minute,” he said on Saturday.

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“It’s a Christian country, and they hate that. That is enough to incite our policymakers in the United States. That’s exactly why they hate Russia, by the way.”

Tucker Carlson Blasts ‘Creep’ US Ambassador To Hungary (RT)

Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson has called for the firing of US Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman, saying the diplomat has undermined the interests of Americans by trying to impose an LGBTQ agenda rather than building stronger relations with Budapest. Speaking at an event earlier this week in Budapest, Carlson said he was compelled to apologize for the treatment of Hungary by President Joe Biden’s administration. “The world is realigning at high speed and turning against the United States, but the Biden administration is spending its time harassing one of our last sincere allies in Europe, Hungary, for the crime of being too Christian,” he said. Carlson claimed that Biden administration officials hate Hungary, just as they hate Russia, for defending Christian values.

Pressman, a California-born lawyer who formerly worked as an aide to then-US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, has harangued Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government for policies restricting promotion of LGBTQ lifestyles. “For a creep like David Pressman . . . to show up in your country and lecture you about your culture – and threaten you because you do things differently from the way they do things where he lives – hurts the United States and is a grave embarrassment to me as an American and an outrage to me as someone who pays his salary,” Carlson said. “It’s disgusting.” He added, “I’m embarrassed that I share a country of birth with a man, with a villain like this. It’s horrifying.” Carlson argued that Pressman works on behalf of special interests, rather than the American people.

He added, “They hate Hungary, and they hate it not because of what it’s done but because of what it is. It’s a Christian country, and they hate that. That is enough to incite our policymakers in the United States. That’s exactly why they hate Russia, by the way.” He suggested that Hungarians “wait it out” because the US is on an unsustainable political path. “You can’t run a global empire on the imposition of boutique sexual politics on countries that don’t want them.” Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto rebuked Pressman in February for allegedly meddling in Budapest’s internal affairs. The US ambassador had accused Hungarian leaders of pushing policies endorsed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Szijjarto declared that the era of foreign envoys telling Hungarians how to live was over.

Carlson likened Pressman’s behavior to the dictates of the Soviet Union, saying the Biden administration was engaged in “exactly the same kind of tyranny.” He added that just as the Soviets imposed their ideology, Washington demands that you “worship transvestites. It’s not so different. It’s a foreign power pushing its weird boutique religion on you, and it’s wrong.” Formerly host of the most highly rated cable news show in US history, Carlson now attracts an even larger audience on his X (formerly known as Twitter) channel. Major US media outlets have lied about the Russia-Ukraine crisis to the extent that most Americans falsely believe that Kiev is winning the conflict, he added. “It’s embarrassing to be from a place that has been lied to at scale and believed the lies so thoroughly.”

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“..the territorial gains of Ukraine’s much vaunted counteroffensive have been so miniscule, they are barely visible on a map.”

No, Biden Can’t Wage Forever War in Ukraine (Sp.)

The US mainstream media has hinted at the possibility of a new Ukraine counteroffensive next year. Reportedly, Biden administration officials are privately bracing for a “war of attrition” that will last well into next year. According to The Wall Street Journal, “military strategists and policymakers across the West are already starting to think about next year’s spring offensive” while preparing for a protracted conflict. Having analyzed the publications, one DC-based think tank, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, has raised the question whether the White House is going to unleash a new “forever war” in Ukraine. “I do not believe the US and NATO have sufficient weapons and ammunitions to help Ukraine fight Russia until next spring and beyond,” David T. Pyne, an EMP Task Force scholar and former US Department of Defense officer, told Sputnik.

“Credible US media reports earlier this year stated that the Biden administration had informed the Ukrainian government that it lacked the ability to support Ukraine militarily at a high rate past summer 2023. There is nothing that has been done to increase US munitions or weapons production since those reports came out that would allow the US to arm the Ukrainian military to enable it to fight Russia at the same intensity level beyond that timeframe. The main problem is munitions, specifically heavy artillery shells. This increasing artillery shell shortage will only serve to increase Russian superiority over Ukraine in terms of missiles, rockets, and artillery systems if the war continues beyond September.” The provision of more NATO-grade conventional weapons won’t become a “magic bullet” for Ukraine, either, according to the military analyst.

Pyne takes the reports about planned deliveries of General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons to Kiev and training of Ukrainian pilots undertaken by the US and its NATO allies with a pinch of salt. He believes that the provision of 50-60 early-model F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine is unlikely to make much of a difference in the course of the conflict. “Russia has over fifteen times more fighter aircraft than Ukraine has right now so these additional fighters will not serve to meaningfully diminish Russian air superiority over Ukraine,” Pyne said. “Furthermore, it will take five to eight months to train Ukrainian pilots to fly these F-16 after they have completed English language training, meaning they will not likely see combat until early 2024 at the earliest.”

The military expert noted that US advocates of further weapons supplies to Kiev have been insisting since April 2022 that “if the West just provides with a limited number of additional major weapon systems, then somehow that will enable Ukraine to force Russian troops back to Russia’s pre-2014 borders.” However, all those predictions have proven wrong. “The reality is that there is no conventional weapon system that NATO could provide to Ukraine that would serve as a ‘game changer’ to enable it to defeat Russia which has over five times as many tanks, combat aircraft and artillery systems than Ukraine has. Russia also has 300,000 reserve troops bordering on Kharkov oblast which could be used for a major offensive to surround tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops in southeast Ukraine to force Ukraine to admit defeat and accept a ceasefire and armistice agreement on Russian terms,” Pyne stressed.

What’s more, the Biden administration is going to have a difficult time getting additional aid approved by Congress, according to the former Pentagon officer. “America First conservative Republicans wield substantial influence in the US House of Representatives, and they are very much averse to providing Ukraine with additional assistance of any kind, let alone another $13 billion in direct military assistance. Furthermore, even pro-war congressional Republicans are reportedly questioning the wisdom of providing additional military assistance to Ukraine since the territorial gains of Ukraine’s much vaunted counteroffensive have been so miniscule, they are barely visible on a map.”

Read more …

”TikTok has over 150 million American users spending 90 minutes or more on the platform..”

Biden Administration Sought Control Over TikTok (RT)

The Biden administration sought to gain control over nearly every aspect of the inner workings of social media behemoth TikTok as part of negotiations allowing its continued operation in the US, according to a draft agreement obtained by Forbes last week. The agreement, which runs to nearly 100 pages, would reportedly give the White House a level of control over the Chinese-owned platform even greater than that which it was found last year to be exercising over US-based competitors like Facebook and Twitter, allowing government officials to not only monitor and influence the conversation on the platform but also to interfere in the day-to-day operations of TikTok in the US.

Government agencies like the Department of Justice and Department of Defense would have full authority to examine TikTok’s servers, equipment, records, facilities, and other properties, according to the draft. They could also block changes to the app’s US terms of service, privacy policy, and moderation policies and veto the hiring of any individual involved in data security for the US. The agreement would also force TikTok and its parent company ByteDance to submit to outside audits, assessments, code inspections, and cybersecurity checks by supposedly independent entities chosen by the US government. The company would be required to foot the bill for these intrusions.

The platform’s US staff could even have been required to exclude ByteDance’s executives from security-related decisions, instead deferring to an executive security committee whose actions would also be concealed from ByteDance. This committee’s primary responsibility would be maintaining US national security first and TikTok’s profitability second. The draft seen by Forbes, dated last summer, is the product of months of exchanges between ByteDance and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which oversees foreign involvement in business deals that could potentially impact national security and has been investigating ByteDance for four years. TikTok has repeatedly been threatened with a blanket ban or forced sale of its US assets to an American competitor as both President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump claimed the platform is used by Beijing for information warfare.

CFIUS renewed the call for a ban or sale in March after the DOJ launched an investigation into ByteDance employees using TikTok to spy on American journalists. A spokesperson for ByteDance confirmed the surveillance but attributed it to rogue employees who have since been fired. TikTok has over 150 million American users spending 90 minutes or more on the platform. While the company pledged in 2021 to isolate US user data on servers owned by tech giant Oracle to assuage spying concerns, Biden prohibited its use by federal employees in December and dozens of state and city governments have followed suit.

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“He went so far as to declare that it was in fact Russia who militarized Ukraine by launching the invasion..”

Prigozhin, Putin, and What Next? (VandenHeuvel)

A Russian friend texted me soon after learning that the head of Wagner private military company (PMC), Yevgeny Prigozhin, had been killed in a private plane crash, midway between Moscow and his native city of St. Petersburg. My friend had just seen the New York Post headline, “Russian dissident Prigozhin reported dead after a plane crash outside Moscow.” My friend, a longtime independent editor whose paper has published—and protected—dissidents, was apoplectic. “Dissident!?” Between May 2022 and May 2023, the Russian government paid $1 billion to Wagner for military and other services (including inflated catering prices for poorly paid soldiers). Indeed, Putin has said, “We fully funded this group.” (At the time this went to press, Prigozhin’s death had still not been officially confirmed.) If Prigozhin was not already a household name in Russia following the attempted rebellion that The New York Times says exposed him as Putin’s “biggest threat,” he certainly was after his Embraer private jet crashed.

Prigozhin’s Wagner Group operated in several African countries, including the Central African Republic and Sudan, as well as in Syria as of 2015 and in Ukraine since 2014. It captivated governments and media across the globe and made international headlines after having declared a “March on Moscow” to remove what they decried as the incompetent and corrupt Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov. Following Wagner’s seizure of a regional military command, the downing of seven Russian aircraft on their way to Moscow, and Putin’s determined speech accusing the mutineers of treason and vowing punishment, the rebellion was halted in dramatic fashion. The charges leveled against Prigozhin and his supporters were dropped following a still unclear agreement ostensibly mediated by Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko.

Nevertheless, Prigozhin’s ultimately aborted armed rebellion mesmerized Western audiences who had long believed that Putin’s downfall was just around the corner. The June events followed Wagner’s brutal, yet ultimately successful, tactics in Ukraine–most infamously in the battle of Bakhmut. Although Wagner had initially been seen as subordinate to the Ministry of Defense, Prigozhin increasingly became one of the loudest critics of the Russian invasion from the nationalist right. He demanded more ammunition for his fighters and the intensification of the war effort, and he directly criticized the military leadership–eventually questioning Putin’s justifications for the “special military operation” itself.

During the months-long battle for Bakhmut, commentators had rationalized Prigozhin’s freedom to directly criticize the war’s conduct as due to his being in Russia’s so-called “party of war” camp, which fervently supports the extension of the conflict into a full-scale war. Nevertheless, Prigozhin’s confidence (or desperation) had been visibly increasing in the months prior to the attempted rebellion. He had directly questioned, via his 1,000,000 followers on Telegram, the objectives of the “special military operation,” one of which was to demilitarize Ukraine. Prigozhin remarked how before the full-scale invasion of 2022, Ukraine had “maybe 500 tanks” and “twenty thousand skillful fighters,” but now it had thousands of tanks and hundreds of thousands of skilled fighters. He went so far as to declare that it was in fact Russia who militarized Ukraine by launching the invasion that caused unprecedented military aid to be delivered by the coalition supporting Kyiv. As Anatol Lieven, of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, points out, Putin initially encouraged Wagner as a “rival force” to the professional army, but this ultimately had “damaging results” for his regime.

Read more …


I Just Want To Sell Titty Pictures (ZH)

Sex workers – who frequently face financial discrimination, losing access to payment apps and banking apps such as PayPal, Venmo and CashApp due to their profession – began using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as an alternative for payments, which bypass traditional banking systems and avoid service fees from platforms such as OnlyFans. According to data by the Free Speech Coalition, 2/3 of sex workers have lost access to a bank account or financial service, with 40% having an account closed within the last year, Wired reports. “I just want to sell titty pictures,” said Allie Eve Knox, a professional dominatrix and fetish performer. “I never wanted to be an expert in financial discrimination.” After starting out in sex work in 2014, Knox, like others in the field, has become something of a financial pariah.

The first to ban her were the payment apps—PayPal, Venmo, and CashApp—which prohibit the sale of adult content as policy. But then Knox lost her bank account too. It took a week to recover her money. Nine years on and 30-plus bans later, Knox is jaded: “I don’t want to have to know how to run money to different places. I don’t want to deal with any of this bullshit.” -Wired. Another sex worker, Allie Rae, an ICU worker by training, began posting on OnlyFans when her husband was placed on work furlough. After a short period of time, she was making nearly $500,000 per month more than her day job – but she says she quickly ran into trouble. After her OnlyFans account was discovered by her employer, she was fired. She also found that realtors shunned her, lenders refused to extend a mortgage and accountants ghosted her.

Rae eventually established a corporation to run her business through, however no major bank would open a business account. “Left and right, it’s been a struggle,” she told the outlet. “I was very naive—I didn’t understand the magnitude of the discrimination.” In short, in a world that embraces the gig economy, where YouTubers and Instagram influencers can become millionaires, sex workers have found themselves in a peculiar form of exile. Given the systemic discrimination throughout the banking sector, many sex workers have turned to cryptocurrencies as a means of both storing wealth and accepting payment. For a while, things were great. Digital currencies allowed customers to pay discreetly without supplying personal information, while sex workers now had a way to bypass the banking system entirely.

Knox, for example, began accepting crypto in 2014 – holding up a QR code through which viewers could tip her in crypto. Another sex worker, former escort-turned-porn star Lira Roux, told the outlet that she began to accept crypto in 2015 at the request of clients. Initially, she would exchange the crypto for dollars, however when new laws came into effect – after which many adult-friendly advertising sites were barred from accepting regular money – she began to pay for ads with crypto too. “By and large, crypto is useful for people that aren’t being taken care of properly by the government,” Roux said. “For sex workers, who aren’t well-served by banks, it becomes a useful option.”

Now, thanks to regulatory scrutiny which has gone into overdrive since the collapse of crypto exchange FTX, sex workers are ‘bumping up’ against limitations – and are finding that ‘decentralized’ crypto is no more detached from the banking system than traditional currency – as sex workers are finding it increasingly difficult to convert crypto into dollars. Typically, this is done via an exchange, which then allows one to withdraw to a traditional bank account. Sex workers are now being banned from crypto exchanges. “You get on an exchange for as long as you can, until they shut your ass down,” said Knox. “You quickly [run out of exchanges], so you sit on a lot of useless money. The whole ‘crypto is permissionless and censorship-resistant’ thing is a bunch of bullshit.”

Read more …



















Puppies- so cute….



The saiga antelope is a critically endangered antelope that originally inhabited a vast area of the Eurasian steppe zone



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Nov 232019
 November 23, 2019  Posted by at 2:14 pm Finance, Primers Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  15 Responses »

Salvador Dali Back the girl 1926


It wouldn’t be the first time we ask ourselves what American journalism has come to, but that question sure appears relevant today. There are again new accusations floating around about Trump. And of course we are all weary by now, after the Russiagate bomb and the Ukraine fizzle, but okay, let’s take a look.

There is a newfangled poetically named “ethics watchdog” named American Oversight, which has received some documents after a FOIA request. And everybody’s talking about it! So it must be real interesting, right? The word bombshell comes to mind. Or at least, the minds of much of the press. There’s the BBC:

The US State Department has released records relating to the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine. Documents were released to the ethics watchdog American Oversight after a freedom of information request. The records show repeated contacts between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mr Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. US ties with Ukraine are at the centre of an impeachment investigation against Mr Trump.

The president is accused of withholding aid to Ukraine that had been approved by Congress to pressure the country into investigating his political rival Joe Biden. Mr Giuliani has been accused of trying to discredit former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch while running a shadow US foreign policy on Ukraine. There have been questions over what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo knew.

The records show Mr Pompeo and Mr Giuliani repeatedly spoke to one another – although the topics of those conversations remain unknown. Emails among the documents suggest the pair spoke on the phone on 27 and 29 March.

And the Guardian:

Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani was in contact with secretary of state Mike Pompeo in the months before the US ambassador to Ukraine was abruptly recalled, according to a cache of documents released on Friday. The state department released the documents to the group American Oversight in response to a freedom of information lawsuit. They show that Pompeo talked with Giuliani on 26 March and 29 March.

Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight, said the documents reveal a clear paper trail from Giuliani to Trump to Pompeo in order to enable the smear campaign against the now ousted envoy in Kyiv, Marie Yovanovitch. “We can see why Mike Pompeo has refused to release this information to Congress. It reveals a clear paper trail from Rudy Giuliani to the Oval Office to secretary Pompeo to facilitate Giuliani’s smear campaign against a US ambassador,” he said.

As well as NBC:

The allegations of a pressure campaign by Trump to get the Ukrainians to announce investigations into a conspiracy theory about the 2016 presidential election and the Bidens are central to the impeachment inquiry into whether Trump abused the power of his office for personal political gain.

The documents released Friday appear to confirm that Pompeo and Giuliani spoke on the phone on March 26, and that another call was scheduled between the two men for March 29 and that it took place. One email appears to show Trump’s former personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, helping to connect Giuliani to Pompeo after there was trouble establishing a connection.

The documents do not say what Giuliani and Pompeo discussed. The March 29 call was scheduled for 20 minutes but lasted just four minutes, according to the documents, and the March 26 call was also just minutes long, the emails show.

When I first saw this all this morning I thought: let it go, and I’m thinking just that again right now. Look, Pompeo and Giuliani talking to each other for just minutes (and to their boss!) is hardly a crime. Unless they talk about committing crimes, but you don’t even know what was discussed! That a group which calls itself nonpartisan connects these calls to Giuliani’s alleged smear campaign against Yovanovich is a bit more puzzling.

Because a president doesn’t need any reason to fire an ambassador. He gets the permission to do that the moment he’s first elected and then inaugurated. He doesn’t have to explain. Getting Giuliani in there doesn’t look like Trump’s best moment, but it’s inconsequential from a legal point of view.

Another allegation that’s being repeated is that Giuliani et al were looking to dig up dirt against Joe Biden and his family, with an eye to the 2020 election. But, again, is that so? Wasn’t perhaps finding out what the most corrupt company in the world’s third-most corrupt country, which receives billions in US aid, was up to in 2016, or today for that matter, the real intention?

Why should we believe it was about 2020, and not 2016? Are there perhaps American interests who don’t want Burisma investigated? And are they perhaps behind the accusation that links that investigation to 2020, so there won’t be an investigation? Shouldn’t we all want to find out what went on?


Another story connected to this is that Minority House Leader David Nunes in Vienna met with Victor Shokin, the former Ukraine prosecutor who was fired mere hours after Joe Biden demanded he be. Moon of Alabama asked earlier today on Twitter if anyone has ever seen evidence that Shokin was corrupt, as Biden and others have claimed. I come up empty on that one. Here’s NBC on Nunes’s trip:

The attorney for an indicted associate of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer says his client is willing to tell Congress that Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, met with Ukraine’s former top prosecutor about investigating the activities of Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.

An impeachment inquiry is being conducted over allegations Trump held up aid to Ukraine to encourage its leaders to launch an investigation into Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, who worked as an energy executive in that country. As vice president, Joe Biden joined a chorus of global pressure for Ukraine to fire then-state prosecutor Victor Shokin.

Trump and Nunes, his chief defender as a ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee that has taken a lead role in the impeachment inquiry, say Joe Biden wanted Shokin out to protect his son when Hunter Biden’s employer, Burisma, was under suspicion. Shokin himself claims he was fired at the behest of the former vice president to ease pressure on Burisma and Hunter Biden.

Joseph A. Bondy, an attorney for Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, confirmed that his client was willing to testify before Congress that Nunes met with Shokin. “I can confirm that Victor Shokin told Lev Parnas that he had met with Nunes in Vienna in late 2018, and that Derek Harvey informed that they were investigating the activities of Joe and Hunter Biden related to Burisma,” Bondy told NBC News. Derek Harvey is Nunes’ investigator.

There are a lot of people out there who don’t like Devin Nunes. Which is fine. But claiming that he committed a crime or something in that vein just by talking, with his investigator, to Shokin about Burisma, that’s a whole other thing.

This entire topic appears to be founded on an idea that many people have convinced themselves and others of, that the Trump administration doesn’t have the right to investigate what happened in the past, because it might affect the future. It would seem they DO have that right, though.

It would also seem that they couldn’t rely on existing diplomatic staff in Ukraine and Europe to investigate Burisma. Schiff’s impeachment witnesses made that abundantly clear. So if they do investigate on their own, are they breaking laws, or are they merely breaking a protocol that suits some people just fine?

American Oversight has promised much more: “The evidence is only going to get worse for the administration as its stonewall strategy collapses in the face of court orders..”. Alright, fine, let’s see it. But it had better be better than this. You have to come with facts. Certainly after two failed investigations.

“Giuliani talked to Pompeo” may be a fact, but if you have no idea what they talked about, it’s a useless fact, that at most you can use to whip up more empty frenzy. And we know, it’s clickbait, and it sells papers and TV ads, but really, what are we watching, what has American journalism come to? What happened to finding evidence first, and reporting on it after?



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