Mar 132024
 


Vincent van Gogh Le moulin de blute fin 1886

 

Biden Impeachment Inquiry Reveals US Being Ruled by ‘Demented Gangsters’ (Sp.)
Trump Tightens Control Over GOP – Politico (RT)
Trump Did Propose 10,000 National Guard Troops on January 6th (Turley)
Trump Vows to Free Jan. 6 ‘Hostages’ in First Act as President (ET)
Biden, Along With NATO, Is Losing His Grip on Reality (Jay)
Macron ‘Panicked’ Over Leaked Ukraine Reports – Marianne (RT)
Polish Troops Would Never Leave Ukraine – Putin (RT)
Why The Only Credible Peace Deal Between Russia And Ukraine Collapsed (Poletaev)
Russia’s Response To Asset Seizure Could Trigger Global Financial Collapse (RT)
US Builds Gaza Port To Facilitate Mass ‘Voluntary’ Migration: Anadolu (Cradle)
What is it with Conservatives and Jews? (Paul Craig Roberts)
Boeing Failed 37% of Audits by US Regulators (Sp.)
Only Revolutionary Love Can Save Us Now (Alexander)
Confident Dragon Lays Out Modernization Roadmap (Pepe Escobar)
Twilight of the Blobs (Jim Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

Lots of Robert Hur snippet videos, topped off by Matt Gaetz’s description of Joe Biden:

“The elevator doesn’t go to the top floor.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


https://twitter.com/i/status/1767589194342506788

 

 

Hur Jordan

 

 

 

 

“..the old Delaware daughter sniffer” will be replaced by somebody “set up to lose to Donald Trump, or at least that’s the way it certainly looks right now.”

Biden Impeachment Inquiry Reveals US Being Ruled by ‘Demented Gangsters’ (Sp.)

The weaponization of the US Department of Justice against US President Joe Biden’s accusers reveals that the United States is ruled by “complete and total demented gangsters,” Steve Poikonen, who serves as the host of the Slow News Day show, told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Monday. Poikonen was speaking with co-hosts Wilmer Leon and Garland Nixon about the impeachment inquiry into US President Joe Biden over claims the commander-in-chief was involved in alleged influence peddling scheme linked to his son, Hunter Biden. Poikonen said that Joe Biden is an “outright criminal,” adding that there is “more than enough evidence to impeach him and arrest him based on him bragging about stuff on camera.” “We really are being, allegedly, governed by complete and total demented gangsters,” he added later.

Asked about former FBI informant Alexander Smirnov, who was charged with lying to the FBI about Hunter Biden, despite being seen as a credible informant for years, Poikonen compared it to WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange’s extradition case, during which, a key witness, Sigurdur Ingiu Thordarson, admitted he fabricated his testimony to get immunity. “The convicted pedophile whose testimony was used in part to deny to make sure [Assange] was going to be extradited to the US, said ‘I made it up, I made it all up for the immunity agreement’… and [the DOJ is] going ‘this is still admissible and this is still something that helps solidify our case against a journalist’… on the other hand… the same DOJ is using the exact opposite [in the Biden case], ‘well, we believed him when we liked it, but now that we don’t like it, we’re going to tell you that he’s full of it.’” Poikonen further asserted the FBI does not want to look too deeply into the Hunter Biden case as it could potentially blow back on the agency. “The FBI is complicit in absolutely every facet of this,” he said.

Nixon noted former US President Donald Trump and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani were also charged or attacked after looking into the Biden family’s business dealings in Ukraine, in addition to Smirnov. Poikonen acknowledged that another name should be added to that list: former Hunter Biden business partner Jason Galanis. “[Galanis had to] testify from a prison cell because as soon as he had information that could lead to the arrest of Hunter or Joe Biden, he found himself going to court over a $60 million bond fraud … It’s selective prosecution based on perceived political opponents or real bumps in the road.” That situation has resulted in the US resembling something that looks “a whole lot less like any sort of democracy or a free and fair society and a whole lot more like an oligarchy that is ruled by violence and theft and extortion and threats.” Due to the corruption case and the American president’s apparent mental decline, Poikonen said he believes Biden, who he called “the old Delaware daughter sniffer” will be replaced by somebody “set up to lose to Donald Trump, or at least that’s the way it certainly looks right now.”

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Not half work. They learned their lesson.

“.. the firing of more than 60 McDaniel-era staffers, including the heads of the political, communications, and data departments.”

“..the RNC’s finance and digital teams will be moved to Palm Beach, Florida, to bring them closer to the Trump campaign’s base..”

Trump Tightens Control Over GOP – Politico (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has taken charge of the Republican National Committee (RNC), installing his daughter-in-law and political allies in senior leadership roles and, according to Politico, firing dozens of staffers. The swift takeover ensures that the party’s manpower and funding will be entirely directed toward his election campaign. Michael Whatley, a senior party official in North Carolina, and Lara Trump were voted in as the RNC’s new chair and co-chair on Friday, following the resignation of Ronna McDaniel. Trump had accused McDaniel of bungling the 2022 midterm elections and failing to sufficiently back his claims of fraud after the 2020 presidential election, and endorsed Whatley to take her position in February. Trump campaign adviser Chris LaCivita was named as the RNC’s new chief of staff, and the committee also voted to recognize the former president as the party’s nominee to take on President Joe Biden this November.

In his acceptance speech, Whatley said that the RNC will work “hand in glove” with the Trump campaign over the next eight months to mobilize voters and prevent voter fraud. While the Republican and Democratic national committees typically back whichever candidate secures their party’s nomination, Trump has yet to secure the support of enough Republican delegates to formally clinch the title. However, Trump has won 1,078 out of the 1,215 delegates needed for nomination, and with no primary challengers remaining after Nikki Haley bowed out of the race last week, he is all but certain to be picked when the Republican National Convention is held in July. Trump’s reshaping of the RNC continued on Monday, with Politico reporting the firing of more than 60 McDaniel-era staffers, including the heads of the political, communications, and data departments.

According to a report by the New York Times, the RNC’s finance and digital teams will be moved to Palm Beach, Florida, to bring them closer to the Trump campaign’s base. Under McDaniel, the RNC consistently failed to match the fundraising power of the Democratic National Committee. As of the end of December, the RNC had around $8 million cash on hand, roughly a third as much as the DNC’s war chest, Politico noted. Before dropping out of the race last week, Haley warned that Trump would likely use the RNC’s funds to pay his mounting legal bills. “I don’t want the RNC to become his piggy bank for his personal court cases,” she told CNN last month. Lara Trump has refused to say whether she would allow RNC funds to be used for this purpose, but told reporters that the former president’s supporters had “a big interest” in the cases against him.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1767324470971113773

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“..I remember the number 10,000 coming up of, you know, the President wants to make sure that you have enough. You know, he is willing to ask for 10,000. I remember that number.”

Trump Did Propose 10,000 National Guard Troops on January 6th (Turley)

One of the long-standing unanswered questions from the January 6th riot has been why the Capitol was so poorly prepared and defended on that day. A newly released transcript has caused a firestorm in Washington over allegations that the J6 Committee downplayed or even suppressed evidence that former President Donald Trump personally suggested the deployment of 10,000 national guard troops to prevent violence. The transcript also includes contradictions of major allegations that ran wild in the media. That includes the claim that Trump tried to physically grab the steering wheel of the presidential limo, “The Beast,” when Secret Service refused to take him to the Capitol. Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson was the source of the claim, which appeared in most of the media and was highlighted in her testimony. However, it appears that the J6 Committee had testimony of secret service agents directly contradicting that account, including the driver. However, it is the National Guard question that is more weighty for historical purposes.

Trump has long claimed that he proposed the deployment of the National Guard troops (as was done previously at the White House during violent protests). The January 6th Committee said that was a lie. The release of the transcript by Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R., Ga.) triggered attacks on the J6 Committee. The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway wrote a column titled “Former Rep. Liz Cheney’s January 6 Committee suppressed evidence.” That triggered an angry response from former co-chair Liz Cheney which led to an even angrier reply from commentator Mark Levin. The anger is nothing new in a J6 investigation that seemed to produce more heat than light. Cheney’s spokesperson called the Federalist report “flatly false” and added “no transcripts were destroyed” while acknowledging that some material was not published “to allow the Secret Service to protect sensitive security information for interviews of its agents before preserving that testimony in the archives.”

The issue of the suppression or destruction of the evidence has drawn a lot of attention, but the more troubling question is the fact that such an offer was made and declined. The Committee found “no evidence” that the Trump administration called for 10,000 National Guard members to Washington, D.C., to protect the Capitol. That now stands contradicted and the question is whether Cheney or other members knew the public was being misled on the question. For example, the Washington Post “debunked” Trump’s comments with an award of “Four Pinocchios.” The Post’s Glenn Kessler admitted that Trump raised the issue but noted that he might have been suggesting the troops “not because he wanted to protect the Capitol,” but to suggest that he and his supporters were being threatened. He added that “Trump brought up the issue on at least three occasions but in such vague and obtuse ways that no senior official regarded his words as an order.”

However, the issue is not whether Trump issued “an order” but made an offer that was declined. For those of us who were covering the event on that day, the question has always been prominent in our minds. I was critical of Trump’s speech while he was still giving it. However, before the Capitol was breached, I also noted that I had never seen the Capitol so thinly protected in a major protest. We had just seen violent protests outside of the White House with a large number of police officers injured and extensive property damage, including arson. President Trump and his family had to be moved to a secure location out of concern of an imminent breach of the White House. National Guard were deployed and fencing installed. Even without an offer, it remains unclear why the violence around the White House did not prompt Congress to install the same barriers and deploy the same troops. (They ultimately took both steps but only after the rioters gained entry into the Capitol).

Moreover, if an offer was clearly made, it undermines the allegations that Trump was actively seeking an insurrection. While he has never been charged with an insurrection or even incitement, that allegation was used more recently to support his disqualification from the ballots in Colorado, Maine, and Illinois. The transcript contains the testimony of former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Anthony Ornato’s interview on January 2022 with Cheney present. Ornato states that he clearly recalled the offer of 10,000 troops being made by Trump in a conversation with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser: “I was there, and he was on the phone with her and wanted to make sure she had everything that she needed. Because I think it was the concern of anti and pro groups clashing is what I recall…I remember the number 10,000 coming up of, you know, the President wants to make sure that you have enough. You know, he is willing to ask for 10,000. I remember that number.”

Ornato said that Browser said that they would not need the troops. (She ultimately asked for only 300 troops). There are also reports that then Speaker Nancy Pelosi was worried about the “optics” of military reinforcements at the Capitol. Ornato also said that he recalled that, after Bowser refused additional National Guard members, the White House requested the Defense Department have a “quick reaction force” ready on that day. He gave details on meetings with the Defense Department and follow up from Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Hemingway noted in her report that Ornato’s testimony was supported by former Trump administration aide Kash Patel. Cheney has attacked Patel as unreliable. Ornato also testified that Meadows and others were frustrated by the delay in getting those troops to the Hill. The delay was blamed on the logistics, not some conspiracy to enable or facilitate an insurrection.

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“..he would not pardon all of those imprisoned, telling the audience that “a couple of them, probably they got out of control.”

Trump Vows to Free Jan. 6 ‘Hostages’ in First Act as President (ET)

Former President Donald Trump has vowed to release individuals imprisoned over the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol if he wins the 2024 election in November. President Trump made the comments in a statement on Truth Social on March 11, noting that it would be among one of his first acts upon taking office in the White House. The Republican said shutting down the U.S.-Mexico border and increasing oil drilling as part of efforts to make America more energy independent would also be among his first actions as president. “My first acts as your next President will be to Close the Border, DRILL, BABY, DRILL, and Free the January 6 Hostages being wrongfully imprisoned!” President Trump said. President Trump said during a rally in Texas in 2022 that he would consider pardoning those convicted of their involvement in the Jan. 6 breach, noting that his administration would treat them “fairly.”

“If it requires pardons, we will give them pardons, because they are being treated so unfairly,” he said at the time. Last year, President Trump told a town hall hosted by CNN at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire that he was inclined to pardon a “large portion” of those charged with crimes relating to the breach. However, the Republican stressed he would not pardon all of those imprisoned, telling the audience that “a couple of them, probably they got out of control.” At a rally in Iowa on the third anniversary of the breach at the start of this year, President Trump referred to the individuals arrested in the wake of the Jan. 6 breach as “hostages” who had suffered enough.” He then urged President Joe Biden to release them adding: “You can do it real easy, Joe.” President Trump’s latest comments mark the first time he has suggested that releasing those imprisoned over the Jan. 6 breach would be a top priority and that he will take immediate action to do so if he wins the November election.

According to the most recent statement from the Department of Justice (DOJ), more than 1,358 individuals from nearly all 50 states have been charged with crimes linked to the breach of the U.S. Capitol. This includes more than 486 individuals who were handed felony charges for assaulting or impeding law enforcement. Most recently, a 43-year-old Maryland man was arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges—including offenses of civil disorder and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers—in relation to the events of Jan. 6. President Trump himself has been indicted over allegations related to his actions on Jan. 6 and alleged attempts to challenge the results of the 2020 election, including conspiring to defraud the country and obstructing an official proceeding. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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“.. the American public who are more concerned about the price of groceries, gas pumps and their utility bills rather than what was going on in 1941..”

Biden, Along With NATO, Is Losing His Grip on Reality (Jay)

The state of the union speech was an insight into how the senile U.S. president is stuck in the past, out of touch with the reality of a multipolar world. While many will wonder whether he wrote the speech himself or it was drafted for him, President Joe Biden made his case to the American public in simple terms. Vote for me, as I am living the dream of USA 80 years ago. The references to the second world war should have shocked the American public who are more concerned about the price of groceries, gas pumps and their utility bills rather than what was going on in 1941. And yet 1941 for any half-rate history teacher in Alabama would seem an odd choice of dates to pluck out of nowhere and use as a reference point to present America as an unchallenged superpower. As it was, after all, the date where German troops took on their greatest challenge – Russia – and were mercilessly defeated through, amongst other military considerations – being both deluded about their strengths and poor military planning.

Those two points might be on the minds of western elites while Biden used the podium to once again beg Congress to approve his aid package for Ukraine. As even the BBC correspondent in Ukraine admitted – that Russia was now advancing and its troops no longer taking villages but now towns – it would seem that NATO planners have indeed repeated the Barbarossa lesson. Is this the real reason why the bill cannot get passed? The Americans have realised they have simply bitten off more than they can chew in Ukraine and the humiliation already of three U.S.-made Abrams tanks – the most cumbersome, impractical and overrated piece of modern U.S. military hardware ever conceived – along with a general ground swell of opinion that the war can never be won is weighing down on them. Even the Guardian newspaper recently published an opinion piece by Simon Jenkins who argued the case the NATO had become “reckless” in Ukraine, citing the carelessness of the German phone tap which revealed the plan to hit the bridge in Crimea, seemed to draw a new water line of despondency.

Perhaps this explained why Biden didn’t take too much time on harping on about Ukraine in his speech, preferring more to use the opportunity to strike out at Trump – a tactic which surely confirms that he is as stupid as he looks as it will surely backfire on him and raise Trump’s prowess ever further. Instead, Biden attempted at great length to divert cash back into the pockets of humble Americans who don’t understand how the so-called trickle down affect is supposed to work – how big businesses making huge profits don’t always distribute their gains throughout the financial system – by admitting that it is not working. On paper, the figures show that the U.S. is doing well. Try explaining that to millions of Americans facing hardship on a scale never before seen. Biden is going to be remembered in history as the buffoon who left office while two wars raged in the world, while he raised taxes from corporations and can’t remember where he is, or what day of the week it is. He will be remembered for the fiasco of the pullout of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and for his incoherent dithering. And for that bloody ice cream.

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“Make no mistake, up against the Russians we are an army of cheerleaders!”

Macron ‘Panicked’ Over Leaked Ukraine Reports – Marianne (RT)

French President Emmanuel Macron’s talk about maybe sending troops to aid Kiev may have been spurred by three assessments produced by the French military that painted a dire picture of the Ukraine conflict, according to the magazine Marianne. The reports, which have somehow found their way into the weekly’s possession, argued that Ukraine wrecked its Western-trained force in the failed 2023 offensive, has run out of men to mobilize, and that its recent loss in Avdeevka shows it can’t even hold the line against Russia. “Ukraine cannot win this war militarily,” concludes the first report, written in the fall of 2023, following Kiev’s disastrous ground offensive. It praises the Russian forces as the new “tactical and technical” standard of how to run defensive operations and debunks the media myth of “meat assaults.”

For the West to continue pursuing a military solution in Ukraine would be “the most serious error of analysis and judgment,” the classified document said, according to Marianne. Sending French troops to Ukraine would be “unreasonable,” one senior officer wrote. “Make no mistake, up against the Russians we are an army of cheerleaders!” he added. The second report, outlining the prospects for 2024, says that Kiev needs 35,000 men per month but is “recruiting less than half” of that number, while Russia enlists 30,000 volunteers monthly. Meanwhile, the 2023 offensive “tactically destroyed” half of Kiev’s 12 combat brigades. “The West can provide 3D printers to manufacture drones or loitering munitions, but will never be able to print men,” the report said. One solution it advised was sending Western troops to Ukraine to carry out support tasks in the rear, freeing the Ukrainians for frontline duty.

The second report also acknowledged the Western special forces and “soldiers in civilian clothes” had a far greater presence in Ukraine than officially acknowledged, including “quite a few British,” as well as French naval commandos training the Ukrainians. The third and latest report, which had the French observers “in cold sweat,” described the Battle of Avdeevka as a possible “rout” of Ukrainian forces. It described how Russia created “hell” for the Ukrainian troops by using massive glide bombs to inflict more than 1,000 casualties per day. The French document also described the Ukrainian retreat on February 17 as “sudden and unprepared.” At the end of February, Macron made an argument to NATO members that all options for helping Ukraine should be “on the table,” implying the possibility of sending ground troops. The idea was publicly repudiated by most members of the US-led bloc, however.

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”..Polish officials sleep and dream of returning “those lands that they consider historically their own, and which were taken from them by… Joseph Stalin..”

Polish Troops Would Never Leave Ukraine – Putin (RT)

Any attempt to send Polish troops into Ukraine may end up with a long-term occupation, President Vladimir Putin has warned in an extensive interview with Russian journalist Dmitry Kiselyov, which is set to be aired by Rossiya 1 TV and RIA Novosti on Wednesday. “If Polish troops enter the territory of Ukraine in order to, as they say, secure the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, for example, or in some other places to free up Ukrainian rear military units to participate in hostilities on the frontline, then I think that Polish troops will never leave,” Puitin said, according to snippets of the interview.

The deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine amid the conflict with Russia is “not unthinkable,” Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski claimed last week. He was commenting on a statement by French President Emmanuel Macron, who said late last month that he “cannot exclude” the possibility of soldiers from the US-led military bloc being sent to aid Kiev. Putin believes that Polish officials sleep and dream of returning “those lands that they consider historically their own, and which were taken from them by… Joseph Stalin, and transferred to Ukraine.” “They certainly want them back. So if official Polish units enter there, they are unlikely to leave,” he reiterated.

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‘The decision is yours, Mr. Zelensky. If you choose war, we will support you with money and weapons; if you choose peace, you will be left on your own with Putin..’

Why The Only Credible Peace Deal Between Russia And Ukraine Collapsed (Poletaev)

So, what really happened in April 2022? Apparently, upon arriving in Kiev, Johnson told Zelensky (speaking on behalf of the UK, US, and France) something along the lines of: ‘You can sign anything you want, but we will not sign anything and we are not ready to provide any guarantees, especially considering your requirements and wording. ‘The decision is yours, Mr. Zelensky. If you choose war, we will support you with money and weapons; if you choose peace, you will be left on your own with Putin.’ This matches the West’s subsequent actions and decisions, since so far, no one in the West has taken on any legal obligations in regard to Ukraine. Even the agreements on military assistance concluded this spring are nothing more than a set of declarations which are convenient for the West. Here’s the collective stance of Western leaders: NATO is not ready to provide any guarantees to Ukraine and will not sign any agreements.

If all this is indeed true (and the facts seem to leave no room for doubt), then it was Zelensky who made the fatal decision to stop negotiations. And while the West pushed him to this decision, its leaders also fell into the trap of believing that the conflict could be settled on the battlefield. At some point, instead of following a rational course, Western elites allowed their emotions to get the better of them. Zelensky convinced them that the Armed Forces of Ukraine could defeat Russia, and they believed this to such an extent that they were willing to risk their political standing and even the future of the entire current liberal world order. All this has led the West to a decisive fork in the road: What to do if Ukraine loses? Should Western leaders follow the example of Johnson and leave Ukraine alone with Moscow, or should they start a big war with Russia? Either way, the path that they chose will influence the entire course of world history.

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“.. The Euroclear Bank boasts of over €37 trillion of assets in custody globally, but if it runs out of liquidity amid a litany of lawsuits – the Belgian central bank may be forced to withdraw its license..”

Russia’s Response To Asset Seizure Could Trigger Global Financial Collapse (RT)

While Brussels is searching for legal loopholes to send frozen Russian assets to Ukraine, it must keep some of the cash as a “safety buffer,” should its clearing house Euroclear get in trouble, potentially jeopardizing the entire global financial system, a senior EU official told Reuters. The West has frozen roughly $300 billion in holdings belonging to the Russian central bank since the start of the Ukraine conflict two years ago. Brussels-based Euroclear holds around €191 billion ($205 billion) of them, and the EU is reportedly fast-tracking the decision to send Kiev the first tranche of up to €3 billion ($3.2 billion) from profits generated by frozen Russian assets as early as July. However, Brussels will have to “ensure that there is no breach of financial stability,” an unnamed EU official told Reuters on Tuesday. “The moment the war ends and all settlements can be made, all the money that was provisionally retained will also be transferred to Ukraine. But we need a significant amount in Euroclear… because Euroclear will face a lot of claims,” the official added.

Should the West proceed with expropriating the funds, the Russian central bank is likely to seize some €33 billion of Euroclear money held in the national securities depository in Moscow, the official noted. Russia may also sue to seize Euroclear cash from depositories in Hong Kong and Dubai. Moscow has repeatedly warned that it will respond in kind if the West goes through with threats to confiscate Russian assets. The finance ministry said last month that Western states and companies themselves still have holdings in Russia that could be jeopardized if the frozen funds were tapped. If Western banks begin suing Euroclear for the loss of their money invested in Russia “that’s the mechanism how Euroclear could be totally emptied,” the EU official warned. The Euroclear Bank boasts of over €37 trillion of assets in custody globally, but if it runs out of liquidity amid a litany of lawsuits – the Belgian central bank may be forced to withdraw its license, causing a global financial crisis, the official warned.

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“..making conditions in Gaza so uninhabitable that its population would be forced to flee to other countries, including Egypt’s Sinai, Greece, Spain, and Canada..”s

US Builds Gaza Port To Facilitate Mass ‘Voluntary’ Migration: Anadolu (Cradle)

A US military ship set sail on 11 March to travel to the coast of the besieged Gaza Strip to build a temporary port. However, doubts about US intentions for the port’s construction continue to emerge. Hisham Khreisat, a Jordanian military and strategic affairs expert, suggested the motivation for building the port was instead to facilitate the deportation of Gaza’s population by ship. Khreisat told Anadolu Agency that “the floating port off the shores of Gaza is a humanitarian facade hiding voluntary migration to Europe.” “This military tactical port will receive Israeli approval because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been seeking this idea since the beginning of the war, aiming for the voluntary displacement of Gazans and their [flight] to Europe,” he added. The White House claims it wishes to build the port to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza as hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are at risk of starvation due to Israel’s blockade.

But the BBC noted that the port would take at least 60 days to build and that “charities have said those suffering in Gaza cannot wait that long.” If the US wished to stave off famine in Gaza, it could simply use its leverage as Israel’s leading supplier of weapons to force Tel Aviv to allow more aid to enter by truck convoys through existing land crossings. On 13 October, just days after the beginning of the war on Gaza, the Israeli Ministry of Intelligence issued a document calling for the forcible expulsion of the strip’s 2.3 million inhabitants under a humanitarian guise. The leaked document recommends making conditions in Gaza so uninhabitable that its population would be forced to flee to other countries, including Egypt’s Sinai, Greece, Spain, and Canada. Israel could justify the deportation to the international community, the plan stated, if it appears to lead to “fewer casualties among the civilian population compared to the expected number of casualties if they remain,” the document says.

Israel’s horrific bombardment of Gaza since 7 October has created just such conditions, killing at least 30,000 Palestinians, the majority women and children. The risk of famine, caused by Israel’s blockade, has also created conditions to make the deportation of 2.3 million Gazans appear as a humanitarian gesture. These conditions could further be created should Israel conduct a ground operation in Rafah, where over a million Gazans displaced from other areas of the strip are sheltering. Egypt has so far refused to allow Gazans into the Sinai, making deportation by sea to Europe more attractive for Israeli planners. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) also issued a warning about the US plan to build a temporary port off the shore of Gaza. The resistance movement emphasized that the US plan is “suspicious and dubious,” as it would open the door to the forced displacement of Gaza’s population under humanitarian and other pretexts.

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“..the rise of status based law that protects some chosen ethnicities and persecutes others..”

What is it with Conservatives and Jews? (Paul Craig Roberts)

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is a conservative hero. Her CPAC speech was well received. Yet she doesn’t hesitate to pass legislation that turns the First Amendment into a hate crime. She has just had a law passed that turns “anti-semitism” into a hate crime. She says the law defines anti-semitism and will serve as the model for other states to follow. Governor Noem herself engages in hate speech. She says Joe Biden and Kamala Harris “suck” and she wants to humiliate them. If she said “Jews suck and I want to humiliate them,” under her own law she would probably be guilty of a hate crime. And if not, close to it. Governor Noem apparently doesn’t realize, along with many other people, that erasing the First Amendment means that any protected ethnicity can define hate speech as any words they claim to experience as “painful.” Ultimately, this will mean that they, as individuals, cannot be charged with a crime. South Africa’s experience with the International Court of Justice shows how difficult it is to charge the Israeli government with a crime even when Israel is committing genocide.

The Israel Lobby long ago defined anti-semitism. It is any criticism, true or false, of a Jew or of Israel. For example, to protest Israel’s slaughter or genocide of Palestinians is anti-semitic. To even report, quoting their own words, Israeli government officials and rabbis calling for the murder of Palestinian women and children and for the extinction of Palestinians is anti-semitism. If you can’t complain about mass murder, or even report the words of those calling for it, what can you complain about? Recently three presidents of Ivy League universities, all female and one black, were called before the US Congress and scolded for allowing their students to protest Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians. The three women were guilty of permitting students to have First Amendment rights and were treated as if they had organized the protests themselves. The black female president of Harvard had to resign. In the UK, University of London students were suspended for their pro-Palestine protests. I find it extraordinary that Jews alone among all ethnicities can control what can be said about them.

Curiously, it is progressive and woke students at progressive institutions, not conservatives, who are defending both their First Amendment right and expression of moral conscience. The Independent Institute, a conservative/libertarian institute that thoughtfully analyzes economic and social policies with which I have been associated in some way or the other for many years, inexplicably chose the moment of Israel’s announced policy of bombing the Palestinians out of existence and completing the theft of their country to publish a book, The New American Anti-Semitism by Benjamin Ginsberg. Ginsberg writes that anti-semitic progressives are a threat. He urges conservatives and Jews to stop their gifts to progressive universities and to “form new political alliances, particularly with evangelical Christians.” It is remarkable to see the Independent Institute in favor of an alliance between Jews, conservatives, and Christians against the First Amendment.

It is also an attack on the 14th Amendment’s requirement of equality under law. Currently, a hate crime, consisting only of words, can only be committed against a black, a Jew, and a sexual pervert. Anything can be said about white gentiles and Palestinians, who have no recourse. The real threat is not anti-semitism. The real threat is the destruction of free speech and the rise of status based law that protects some chosen ethnicities and persecutes others. What is really needed is an alliance against those who are destroying the foundations of truth, freedom, and accountable government. The growing limits on free speech are already damaging scholarship and science. Do we want to live in a world where “truth” consists of controlled narratives that serve the interests of the ruling elites?

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Feel lucky, punk?

Boeing Failed 37% of Audits by US Regulators (Sp.)

Boeing has failed 33 of 89 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspections, following a January incident in which part of the fuselage of an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX was lost, the New York Times reports, citing FAA data. According to the New York Times, auditors examined “many parts of the 737 MAX” as well as employees’ understanding of product quality control principles. The inspections lasted six weeks and involved both Boeing and the supplier, Spirit AeroSystems, which makes the fuselage for the Boeing 737 MAX. The newspaper notes that Boeing passed 56 of the 89 audits. The auditors focused on “many parts of the 737 MAX, including the wings and a number of other systems,” as well as employees’ understanding of product quality control principles.

The audits found 97 instances of alleged noncompliance with manufacturing standards. Spirit AeroSystems failed seven out of the 13 inspections according to FAA documents. Representatives observed mechanics at Spirit AeroSystems using a hotel key card to check the door seal, as well as using liquid soap as a lubricant during the assembly process on the seal. The Boeing 737 is a group of narrow-body, short- to medium-range passenger and transport airliners produced by the Boeing Corporation since 1967. It holds the title of being the most mass-produced passenger aircraft in the history of commercial aviation, with the delivery of the 10,000th airplane taking place on March 13, 2018.

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“I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice.”

Only Revolutionary Love Can Save Us Now (Alexander)

Of all the incredible speeches that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave in his life, I think the one that speaks most directly to the times that we are living in now, and that models what is required of us as we face multiple existential threats to our democracy and our world, is the speech that King gave when he publicly condemned the Vietnam War—and was immediately cancelled. That speech has become a touchpoint for me in recent years. Whenever I need a moral compass or my courage begins to falter, I return to the words King spoke on April 4, 1967, one year before his assassination, at the Riverside Church in Manhattan. King said, “I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice.” He explained that “a time comes when silence is betrayal” and that time had come in relation to Vietnam.

It is difficult to overstate the political risk that King was taking when he stepped to the podium at Riverside Church. Our nation had been at war with Vietnam for two years, more than 400,000 American service members were deployed, and roughly 10,000 American troops had been killed. The war had enthusiastic bipartisan support within the political establishment, and those who dared to criticize the war were often labeled Communists and subjected to vicious forms of retaliation and backlash. Many of King’s friends and allies warned him that speaking the whole truth about the war would jeopardize the fragile gains of the civil rights movement. Little could be gained, they said, by speaking up for people halfway around the world and much could be lost. “Why are you joining the voices of dissent? Aren’t you hurting the cause of your people?” they asked.

King acknowledged the source of their concerns but said that their questions revealed that they did not really know him, his commitment, or his calling. Indeed, as far he was concerned, “they do not know the world in which they live.” King acknowledged that it is not easy for people to speak out against their own government, especially during wartime, and that the situation in Vietnam was complex. But he felt morally obligated to speak for the suffering and helpless children of Vietnam. He said: “This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation’s self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation and for those it calls “enemy,” for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.”

Far from soft-pedaling his criticism, King described the American government as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world,” and urged our nation to get on the right side of the liberation struggles occurring around the world. He wondered aloud what the Vietnamese people must think of us, a nation that promises democracy, dignity, and equality but delivers bombs instead. “We herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps where minimal social needs are rarely met,” he said. “They know they must move on or be destroyed by our bombs.” In unflinching terms, King condemned the moral bankruptcy of a nation that does not hesitate to invest in bombs and warfare around the world but can never seem to find the dollars to eradicate poverty at home. He called for a revolution of values. He said:

“We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered”. The moment King ended his speech, he was cancelled. More than 60 newspapers railed against him, including the Washington Post and The New York Times. The Post claimed that King’s speech had “diminished his usefulness to his cause, to his country, and to his people.” Many civil rights leaders and organizations criticized him too, including the NAACP. But despite the withering public condemnation, King continued to speak out against the Vietnam War on both moral and economic grounds until his death.

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“..it is definitely unacceptable that certain countries must be at the table while others can only be on the menu.”

Confident Dragon Lays Out Modernization Roadmap (Pepe Escobar)

This is the Year of the Wooden Dragon, according to China’s classic wuxing (“five elements”) culture. The dragon, one of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac, is a symbol of power, nobility and intelligence. Wood adds growth, development and prosperity. Call it a summary of where China is heading in 2024. The second session of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) was finalized on Sunday in Beijing. The wider world should know that within the framework of grassroots democracy with Chinese characteristics, an extremely complex – and fascinating – phenomenon, the importance of the CPPCC is paramount. The CPPCC channels wide-ranging expectations of the average Chinese to the decision level, and actually advises the central government on a vast range of issues – from everyday living to high-quality development strategies.This year, most of the discussion focused on how to drive China’s modernization even faster.

This being China, concepts – like flowers – were blooming all around the spectrum, such as “new quality productive forces, “deepening reform,” “high-standard opening-up,” and a fabulous new one, “major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.” As the Global Times emphasized, “2024 is not only a critical year for achieving the goals of the ‘14th Five-Year Plan’ but also a key year for achieving the transition to high-quality development of the economy.” So let’s start with Chinese Premier Li Qiang’s first “work report” delivered a week ago, which opened the annual session of the National People’s Congress. The key takeaway: Beijing will be pursuing the same economic targets as in 2023. That translates as 5% annual growth. Of course deflationary risks, a downturn in the real estate market and somewhat shaky business confidence simply won’t vanish. Li was quite realistic, emphasizing Beijing is “keenly aware” of the challenges ahead: “Achieving this year’s targets will not be easy.” And he added: “Global economic growth lacks steam and the regional hotspot issues keep erupting. This has made China’s external environment more complex, severe and uncertain.”

Beijing’s strategy remains focused on a “proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy”. In a nutshell: the song remains the same. There won’t be a “stimulus” of any kind. Deeper answers should be found in the work report/budget released by the National Development and Reform Commission: the focus will be on structural change, via extra funds to science, technology, education, national defense, agriculture. Translation: China bets on strategic investment, the key for a high-quality economic transition. In practice, Beijing will be heavily invested in modernizing industry and developing “new quality productive forces” such as new-energy vehicles, biomanufacturing and commercial space flight. Science Minister Yin Hejun made it clear: there was an 8.1% increase in national investment in research and development in 2023. He wants more – and he will get it: R&D spending will grow by 10% to a total of 370.8 billion yuan. The mantra is “self-reliance”. On all fronts – from chipmaking to AI. A no holds barred tech war is on – and China is totally focused to counter “tech containment” from the Hegemon as much as its ultimate goal is to wrest tech supremacy from its prime competitor.

Beijing simply cannot allow itself to be vulnerable to U.S.-imposed tech choke points and supply chain disruptions. So short-term economic problems will not be causing sleepless nights. The Beijing leadership is always looking ahead – focusing on long-term challenges. Beijing will continue to steer the economic development of Hong Kong and Macau, and invest even more in the crucial Greater Bay Area, which is the premier southern China high tech, services and finance hub. Taiwan of course was central to the work report; Beijing fiercely opposes “external interference” – code for Hegemon tactics. That will become even trickier in May, when William Lai Ching-te, who flirts with independence, becomes president. On defense, there will be only a 7.2% increase in 2024, which is peanuts compared to the Hegemon’s defense budget now approaching $900 billion: China’s stands as $238 billion, even as China’s nominal GDP is approaching the U.S.

A great deal of China’s defense budget will go for emerging tech – considering the immensely valuables lessons the PLA is learning out of the Donbass battlefield, as well as the deep interactions part of the Russia-China strategic partnership. And that brings us to diplomacy. China will continue to be firmly positioned as a champion of the Global South. That was made explicit by Foreign Minister Wang Yi in a press conference on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress. Wang Yi’s priorities: to “maintain stable relations with major powers; join hands with its neighbouring countries for progress; and strive for revitalisation with the Global South”. Wang Yi once again stressed that Beijing favors an “equal and orderly” multipolar world and “inclusive economic globalization”. And of course he could not allow U.S. Secretary of State Little Blinken – always out of his depth – to get away with his latest “recipe”: “It is impermissible that those with the bigger fist have the final say, and it is definitely unacceptable that certain countries must be at the table while others can only be on the menu.

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“..what “capital” is? (Real wealth, not figments, wishes, bets, and hallucinations. . . hard things like good land, ore pockets, installed machinery, railroad tracks, and so on. . . .)”

Twilight of the Blobs (Jim Kunstler)

[..] in all the ongoing debates about the wonders and dangers of A-I, and Bitcoin, and suffocating surveillance, nobody ever talks about the sketchy condition of the electric grid that all these worrisome phenomena utterly rely on. In our chatter over Peak Oil, there’s little awareness of oil production’s utter dependence on steady capital flows. In all the guff about centralized control emitted by Klaus Schwab and his World Economic Forum, there’s no mention of the centrifugal forces driving human affairs to re-localization, dis-aggregation of large states, and down-scaling of many activities. In our zeal to become Gods, we miss a lot. Imagine: Bitcoin shoots up to a million dollars. You’re a zillionaire! Uh Oh. . . somewhere outside Zaneseville, Ohio, a squirrel takes a final chaw through some old insulation on a wire coming out of a transformer. His head blows up in a blue arc flash, and in a few seconds all the electricity goes out from Chicago to Boston.

It turns out that seventeen substations in ten states have blown relays, transformers, and switchgear. Some of those components were forty years old and are now manufactured twelve thousand miles away in a country that doesn’t like us anymore. The replacement parts get held up in a Chinese port. The power doesn’t come back on for weeks. Nobody who lives in the eastern USA can get to his Bitcoin wallet, which is just a virtual entity made of computer code residing in a digital “cloud,” i.e., nowhere real. Of course, in an event that bad, a lot of other things would fail — really just about everything that comprises modern life — but for sure you could kiss your Bitcoin goodbye, perhaps forever, because by the time the juice comes back on (if it even does), nobody will ever again want to invest their wealth in digital “money” they can’t access, and Bitcoin will go back to whence it came: zero.

Likewise, the financial system we depend on is a gigantic apparatus grown extremely janky from over-elaboration and hyper-complexity — to the degree that all kinds of things denoted as having “moneyness” are simply hallucinations of the markets that trade them. How many quadrillions of dollars do “derivative” financial instruments represent on the landscape of “money” these days? Most of these things amount to little more than bets that some number — an interest rate, a currency, a revenue flow — will change either up or down. That is, they are figments.

Under Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), the evolution of figments can theoretically go on forever. Derivatives can be ever more abstracted from what they purport to represent, until they fly up the system’s cloacal vent. MMT has become popular economic dogma, but its theory remains to be substantiated. Since the formula relies on the unlimited “printing” of money by central bank proxies for governments, you might bet that something will go wrong with such a system — and it kind of looks like something is about to go wrong in the system we’ve built for regulating and distributing capital. And do we need to state what “capital” is? (Real wealth, not figments, wishes, bets, and hallucinations. . . hard things like good land, ore pockets, installed machinery, railroad tracks, and so on. . . .)

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Rogan Musk

 

 

Haiti

 

 

Mom
https://twitter.com/i/status/1767536784575959419

 

 

Bearded vulture

 

 

Orca

 

 

Plenty fish

 

 

Cubs

 

 

Pharaoh

 

 

Italian society
https://twitter.com/i/status/1767360701226435007

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 152023
 


Vincent van Gogh Seine with Pont de Clichy 1887

 

The Era of the West Has Passed (Paul Craig Roberts)
Ukraine Conflict A “Great Tragedy”, “Civil War” Between Brothers– Putin (RT)
Goal of Denazifying Ukraine Remains In Place – Putin (TASS)
US Engineered Ukraine Conflict – Putin (RT)
Orban, Fico Branded ‘Pro-Russian’ Simply for Sticking to National Interests (Sp.)
Ukraine Debased to ‘Pawn’ on Geopolitical Chessboard – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Putin Reveals Number Of Troops In Ukraine Conflict Zone (RT)
400,000 Ukrainians Killed in Action Explains a Whole Lot (ET)
Putin Criticizes New Argentine President’s Dollarization Plan (RT)
What if Jack Smith Held a Trial and No One Came? (Turley)
Will the Corrupt US Department of Justice (sic) Be Held Accountable? (PCR)
Hunter Biden’s Contempt of Congress Has Wider Consequences (Turley)
That New Hunter Biden Indictment (Patrick Lawrence)
Breathing Contributes To Global Warming – Study (RT)
Italian Ex-Minister Faces Vax Murder Probe (CN)

 

 

 

 

Pepe Putin

 

 

Trump Israel

 

 

Jimmy Dore

 

 

Kory

 

 

 

 

“A tower of babel is not a nation..”

The Era of the West Has Passed (Paul Craig Roberts)

Globalists, who intend the destruction of sovereign nations, have labeled concerns with mass immigration to be racism as a way of discrediting the concerns and preventing discussion of the threat. Immigrant-invaders, or as the euphemisms “refugees” and “asylum seekers” label them, are used to overwhelm ethnic nationalities and turn them into towers of babel in which there are no common interests, values, morals, religion, or culture. A tower of babel is not a nation. At best it is a geographical location, but it is not even that if it has no borders, which the US and Europe do not have. Advocates of open borders say that the US is a nation of immigrants. But they don’t say that it was controlled immigration consisting of immigrants from white European countries who as a condition of admittance had to learn English, pass an exam on the US Constitution, and integrate themselves into the existing society and culture.

They were not allowed to set up separate cultures, and businesses answered the phone only in English. Additionally, the immigration was periodically halted in order to allow time for assimilation before accepting more immigrants. Today millions of non-white people from unrelated cultures walk across the border every year. Businesses answer telephones in Spanish and English. Federal agencies respond to 40 or more foreign languages. Separate cultures with non-Christian religions exist as independent entities, and a system of preferences that favors non-white people has been institutionalized. In other words the society, politics, and culture of the ethnic nationalities that created what formerly was a nation are being erased. In education, health care, business, and government power is passing out of the hands of the ethnic majority that created the nation.

Great Britain has an Indian prime minister. The London mayor is a Muslim. Recently two federal judges born in India ruled against President Trump, a ruling that violates both the Constitution and powers of the President. The CEO of IBM, Arvind Krishna is an Indian. He pulled IBM ads from X, accusing Elon Musk of racism, and he announced that he will fire, demote, or strip bonuses from IBM managers who don’t hire enough blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims, or who hire too many Asians and whites. The communications director of Red Hat, an IBM subsidiary, said that Red Hat had terminated employees because they weren’t willing to engage in racial discrimination through hiring and promotion quotas. Hiring, promotion, and “inclusion” quotas are violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and they are unconstitutional under the US Constitution and its amendments, such as the 14th.

But notice that the Indian running IBM has no hesitancy about using his power to force IBM executives and managers to violate US law and Constitution in order to advance “preferred minorities” at the expense of members of the white ethnic majority and Asians. This is what happens when a nation ceases to require assimilation. The CEO of IBM is an unassimilated immigrant who has no respect for US law or the US Constitution. An article by Ian Henderson in Chronicles magazine in July, 2022, showed that, unlike Western governments, both Russia and China protect the ethnic culture from immigrants and prevent cultural destruction by Woke ideologues and moral destruction by sexual perverts. Henderson points out that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) “strongly upholds traditional views on gender roles, race, sexuality, and family—more so than the Republican Party or mainstream conservatives in America.

A major example of China’s conservatism is the CCP’s view on LGBTQ rights. Same-sex couples are unable to marry or adopt, and households headed by such couples are ineligible for the same legal protections available to heterosexual couples, and no anti-discrimination protections exist for LGBTQ people. Contrast these policies with the views of mainstream American conservatism, which now seems deeply committed to gay marriage, an institution enthusiastically endorsed by the likes of National Review and the National Conservatism Conference.” “In short, Chinese leaders seek to promote masculinity and strength, and to uphold and expand their inherited Han civilization. They feel they cannot do that with homosexuals, transgenders, or feminists running government institutions and the military—or even exerting influence over forms of entertainment.”

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“[The West] has largely lost its sovereignty,” suggested Putin, pointing out that many Western nations, with the exception of countries like Hungary, constantly make decisions that only end up hurting themselves…”

Ukraine Conflict A “Great Tragedy”, “Civil War” Between Brothers– Putin (RT)

Russia has been trying for decades to build normal relations with Ukraine “at any cost,” but this was made impossible after the coup d’etat in 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a live marathon press conference on Thursday. The president was asked if he could foresee a normalization of relations with the West in the near future. Putin responded by stressing that Russia has never tried to intentionally ruin or sever ties with any nation. Instead, it was the West that spoiled relations with Russia by constantly trying to push the country aside and neglecting its national interests, Putin said.The culmination of that was the coup d’etat in Ukraine that was staged by Russia’s geopolitical “opponents” in 2014, which has ultimately led to the current situation, according to the president.

Putin described the ongoing conflict as a “great tragedy” that is essentially a “civil war” between brothers. He stressed that at their core, in spite of the current hostilities, Russians and Ukrainians are one people. The president noted that Moscow always had good relations with southeast Ukraine, which tended to be pro-Russian because these territories had historically belonged to Russia. “But after the coup d’etat of 2014, it became clear to us that we would no longer be allowed, by force, to build any sort of normal relations with Ukraine,” Putin said, recalling that the US had publicly admitted to spending $5 billion dollars on overthrowing the government of Ukraine.

That, coupled with NATO’s “uncontrollable desire to creep towards our borders” by inviting Ukraine into the bloc, and the eight-year-long bloodbath in Donbass, has ultimately led to the tragedy that is currently unfolding, Putin summarized. “So how are we supposed to build relations with them?” asked the Russian president, noting that the West has continued to pretend like it doesn’t remember doing any of the aforementioned things, only occasionally admitting that it was signing deals – such as the Minsk Accords, which were meant to be a path towards peace – with their fingers crossed behind their back. “[The West] has largely lost its sovereignty,” suggested Putin, pointing out that many Western nations, with the exception of countries like Hungary, constantly make decisions that only end up hurting themselves.

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“Well, how is that so, when a national hero, the famous Bandera, who is not just a nationalist, but a Nazi, has been elevated to the rank of a national hero. How is that so?”

Goal of Denazifying Ukraine Remains In Place – Putin (TASS)

The issue of Ukraine’s denazification remains relevant, after the head of the Kiev administration applauded a former SS soldier in a manifestation of Nazism, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his combined Direct Line Q&A session and year-end press conference. “Here is what is happening in terms of denazification. During the negotiation process, which had a certain phase after the drafting of a possible agreement, as officials in Kiev mentioned recently, in general, they did not agree that some kind of denazification was needed, saying that there was no fascistization, no increase in such sentiments,” the president said. “Well, how is that so, when a national hero, the famous Bandera, who is not just a nationalist, but a Nazi, has been elevated to the rank of a national hero. How is that so?”

“When the head of the current Kiev administration, in front of the whole world, stands up to applaud a former SS soldier, who was directly involved in the Holocaust, the extermination of one and a half million Jews in Ukraine, Russians and Poles, stands up to applaud, is this not a manifestation of Nazism?” Putin said. “So the issue of denazification, it is relevant. It is true that during the negotiation process we were told that in principle they do not exclude the possibility of adopting some legislative acts in Ukraine. But that was then, during the talks in Istanbul.” Speaking about the goal of Ukraine’s demilitarization, the president said certain parameters had been agreed upon in 2022 during the talks in Istanbul. “It’s just that these agreements were later tossed out,” he said. “But we did agree on that. There are other options either to agree or to achieve this by force. This is what we will strive for,” Putin said.

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“..Ukraine has “largely lost its sovereignty” and has been making “many decisions to their own detriment” ..

US Engineered Ukraine Conflict – Putin (RT)

The US was responsible for orchestrating the 2014 coup in Ukraine that overthrew President Viktor Yanukovich and ultimately led to the current conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. He added that Washington “needed to create a conflict” for its own purposes. Speaking during a marathon Q&A session on Thursday, Putin said the US “plotted and organized everything” while European leaders “silently watched” and pretended they were not aware of what was happening. As a result, Ukraine has “largely lost its sovereignty” and has been making “many decisions to their own detriment” since then. Following the 2014 coup, the then-Ukrainian provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk, known as Donbass, refused to accept the new government, which increasingly embraced nationalist ideology, and proclaimed their independence instead. Kiev responded with a violent military campaign that prompted a years-long conflict.

The Russian leader went on to accuse the West of having a short memory, pointing to the 2015 Minsk agreements, which were brokered by Russia, Germany and France and were designed to end the hostilities. The West had “no intention” of implementing the agreements, which Putin said were “signed and immediately forgotten.” Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron later admitted that the agreements were a strategic ploy aimed at buying Ukraine more time to prepare for a conflict with Russia. In an interview with CNN in 2015, then-US President Barack Obama also openly admitted that the US had “brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine.”

In September 2022, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as the parts of Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions under Russian control, voted to join Russia in a referendum which Ukraine and its Western backers denounced as illegitimate. Moscow has insisted that Kiev must recognize this “new territorial reality” as a prerequisite for any peace talks. Despite receiving a constant flow of weapons and aid from its Western backers since the current conflict broke out in February 2022, Kiev’s six-month counteroffensive against Russia has failed to yield significant results and Ukraine has lost some 125,000 military personnel and 6,000 pieces of heavy equipment since the beginning of June, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

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“..Europe is now weak and is going through a very deep, systemic economic, monetary and political crisis, unfortunately..”

Orban, Fico Branded ‘Pro-Russian’ Simply for Sticking to National Interests (Sp.)

At his big year-end presser on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary and Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia were among the only defenders of national interests left in the West. Sputnik reached out to a leading Hungarian foreign policy analyst for his take on Putin’s remarks. Vladimir Putin dismissed the characterization the leaders of Hungary and Slovakia as “pro-Russian.” “I have already said many times before that they are not ‘pro-Russian’ politicians, but rather pro-national – they defend their [national] interests. There are no others like this, they simply don’t exist…[This is] tied to a great dependence on ‘Big Brother,’ on the United States,” the Russian president said.

“I completely agree with President Putin. I have been saying for a long time that when Orban’s opponents reproach him for being ‘pro-Russian,’ this is just a label, nothing more. Orban proceeds from Hungarian national interests,” Gabor Stier, a senior foreign policy analyst at Magyar Nemzet, a leading Hungarian conservative daily newspaper, told Sputnik. “And I would add not just about Hungarian interests, but on some issues European interests. It’s a pity that Europeans and European politicians, especially the leaders of the European Union, do not proceed from European interests,” Stier added. The foreign affairs observer also agreed with Putin’s Europe’s dependence on its American “big brother,” saying the EU in its current form has become a “vassal of America, unfortunately.”

As an example, Stier pointed to the frantic drive by Brussels to try to incorporate Ukraine into the bloc, notwithstanding the threat to its own stability and well-being. “Whether Ukraine is ready or not is not something that needs to be explained to a normal person. The European Union is not ready either. Because if this expansion occurs earlier than in 15 years, it will deepen frictions within the European Union. The European Union is not ready economically, politically, and so on. That makes Orban a pragmatist, who proceeds from national interests on many issues, and from European interests on many issues. Orban is not destroying Europe. Orban wants to see a strong Europe. Europe is now weak and is going through a very deep, systemic economic, monetary and political crisis, unfortunately,” the observer said. Fico is “similar to Orban,” even if he’s not prepared to so openly clash with Brussels’ bureaucracy, in Stier’s estimation. “This means he’s ready for more compromises, but mainly he proceeds from Slovak interest,” the analyst stressed.

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“..Ukraine’s government appears to be pushing to have its people exterminated, Putin noted in his year-end presser.”

Ukraine Debased to ‘Pawn’ on Geopolitical Chessboard – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

Vladimir Putin defends his country’s sovereignty at every step, while Volodymyr Zelensky has allowed Ukraine to become a compliant tool of a West “willing to sacrifice that nation, its solders, and its people on a battlefield where they will get nothing but death and destruction,” Scott Ritter has underscored. President Vladimir Putin cares about the Russian people, soldiers, and nation, and therein lies the profound difference between his approach to the current conflict, and that of Ukraine’s President, the former US Marine Corps intelligence officer told Sputnik. “For a country like Russia, the existence, simply the existence of our country, without sovereignty is impossible,” Putin said during the joint “Direct Line” Q&A session and annual press conference on Thursday. “The primary objective is to bolster Russia’s sovereignty, fortify border security, and safeguard the rights and freedoms of [our] citizens,” the president remarked.

The present reality clearly demonstrates the very different approach to the Ukraine conflict shown by Russia, on the one hand, and the US, its allies in the West, on the other. “If you engage in an armed conflict, there will be consequences, there will be dead, wounded, but it’s incumbent upon the government, the state to prevent unnecessarily casualties of war,” said Ritter. Here lies the “secret” of the Russian approach, he added, as Putin has shown he is always prepared to put the interests of the Russian people, and Russia’s soldiers first and foremost. Volodymyr Zelensky, in contrast, instead of accepting the generous terms set forth by Moscow that could have saved the lives of Ukrainian soldiers, yielded to the pressure put on him by then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, other Western leaders, who said, ‘Don’t accept peace terms,’ and ‘continue the conflict’.

It was evident that it was physically impossible for the Ukrainian army to defeat Russia’s military, yet this is the premise that Zelensky “bought into” when he accepted Western military assistance… However, the question is: to what end? “Was this to serve Ukraine’s interests, or the interests of the West?” Scott Ritter mused. “Zelensky is not about serving the people of his own country… He allowed Ukraine’s sovereignty to be subordinated to NATO, EU, and US interests. The conflict has no consideration for Ukraine, and every consideration for the Western interests,” the pundit pointed out. Ukraine’s government appears to be pushing to have its people exterminated, Putin noted in his year-end presser. Indeed, as the West continues to funnel billions-worth of military aid to Kiev, despite the botched counteroffensive and enormous human casualties, Ukraine’s soldiers are little more than “pawns to be sacrificed on a geopolitical chessboard where the West is only looking out for their interests.”

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“I want to repeat myself: the line of contact [with Ukraine] is more than 2,000km long. There are now 617,000 people in the combat zone..”

Putin Reveals Number Of Troops In Ukraine Conflict Zone (RT)

Russia has deployed more than half a million service members, including many volunteers, in the combat zone of the Ukraine conflict, President Vladimir Putin has revealed. Speaking during his Q&A session on Thursday, the Russian leader was asked to comment on complaints that military volunteers often rely on aid fundraised by their fellow citizens rather than on state support. Putin emphasized that supplies provided by the government account for 99% of all assistance, but noted that Moscow welcomes and will in no way hinder pure-hearted efforts to provide Russian soldiers with various types of equipment and supplies. Still, he admitted that there could be a lack of specialized high-tech hardware, such as electronic warfare equipment, at a given time and place, and promised to look into the matter.

I want to repeat myself: the line of contact [with Ukraine] is more than 2,000km long. There are now 617,000 people in the combat zone … So, of course, there could be some problems in some places. According to Putin, 244,000 of those in the combat zone are troops that were called up when Russia announced partial mobilization in September 2022. They were deployed in a bid to stabilize the situation, protect new territories, and conduct further offensives. At the time, Moscow mobilized 300,000 troops. However, Putin said that 41,000 had since been discharged for health reasons, or after reaching the maximum age. Moscow has repeatedly denied it plans to announce a second wave of mobilization, with the Russian president explaining that there was no need for such a move. Instead, Russia is relying on a steady stream of volunteers willing to sign contracts with the military.

Putin noted that the authorities had signed up some 486,000 soldiers in this large-scale recruitment campaign, adding that more are ready to enlist. However, he did not say how many of them have been deployed to the front, are undergoing training, or are stationed elsewhere. Commenting on the battlefield situation, Putin remarked that Russian troops “to say it humbly, are improving their positions” along the entire frontline. He also said that Ukraine’s much-hyped counteroffensive – which began in early June – has been a complete failure, with no territorial gains. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu earlier this month estimated Kiev’s losses at more than 125,000 troops since the start of the push.

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8-to-1 ratio.

400,000 Ukrainians Killed in Action Explains a Whole Lot (ET)

Estimates of Ukrainians killed in action (KIA) range from a low of just over 30,000 to a high of over 400,000. Obviously, these two estimates can’t be reconciled. And it really, really matters to the people of Ukraine which one is closer to the truth. While 30,000 deaths is tragic, anything approaching 400,000 KIA and the accompanying hundreds of thousands of causalities is a humanitarian catastrophe that makes talks of continuing offensive operations next year, or even believing in a stalemate, wishful thinking that will result in even more fruitless Ukrainian deaths. Unsurprisingly, since the war began, the United States and its allies have unswervingly pushed the narrative that Russia is incurring far more casualties than Ukraine.

This casualty narrative was critical to maintaining any plausibility that Ukraine could defeat a country that has four to five times more men of military age and that was recently rated as having the world’s most powerful military. Hence, given the need to maintain the plausibility of a Ukrainian victory, it isn’t surprising that NATO intelligence asserted that the battle of Bakhmut saw Russia losing at least five soldiers KIA for every one of Ukraine’s. However, since the fall of Bakhmut to Russia, the failure of the much-hyped Ukrainian counteroffensive, and signs that Ukraine’s military is nearing collapse, we’re no longer hearing about five-to-one casualty rates. Still, the most recent estimates from United States and British officials claim that Russia has suffered 120,000 KIA while Ukraine has suffered “only” 70,000 KIA (more than the United States suffered in over 10 years of the Vietnam War).

But not everyone agrees with U.S./British casualty estimates for an army that started the war by mobilizing early 1 million men in arms and, over the course of the war, mobilized another estimated 1 million. Among the growing number of those who don’t agree is the former director of the Joint Operations Center at Supreme Headquarters Europe and one of the key leaders in achieving the legendary victory in the mass tank battle of 73 Easting, retired U.S. Army Col. Douglas Macgregor. In a recent interview with myself, Col. Macgregor agreed that while estimates putting Russian KIA at as high as 50,000 to 60,000 are defensible, most estimates for Ukrainian KIAs are not. In what many will undoubtedly find shocking given the countless stories disparaging Russia’s military skills and capabilities while uncritically fawning over Ukraine’s military prowess, Col. Macgregor puts Ukrainian KIA at over 400,000 out of the 2 million Ukraine has mobilized.

Col. Macgregor arrived at this shocking number using a wide variety of sources, including contacts within U.S. intelligence and contacts on the ground in Ukraine and Poland who have intimate knowledge of what’s really happening in Ukraine. In particular, he noted that his U.S. intelligence contacts have expressed shock as to just how far from reality the narrative being pushed by the Biden administration is from what’s happening in Ukraine and its real war losses. Likewise, Col. Macgregor’s Ukraine contacts relayed to him accounts of thousands of wounded Ukrainians being left to die on the battlefield, growing numbers of Ukrainian commanders and troops refusing orders to conduct suicide attacks against heavily fortified Russian positions, Ukrainian soldiers surrendering en masse to Russia, hospitals overflowing with Ukrainian wounded, and many other accounts that testify to horrendous casualty rates that contradict the narrative pushed by Western media.

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“.. a “significant loss of the country’s sovereignty..”

Putin Criticizes New Argentine President’s Dollarization Plan (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized his Argentine counterpart’s plan to ditch the national currency, the peso, for the US dollar. Speaking during a live press conference on Thursday, Putin said that the pledge of newly elected Argentine President Javier Milei to adopt the greenback would result in a “significant loss of the country’s sovereignty.” Dollarization is one of Milei’s core proposals, aimed at taming triple-digit inflation and supporting Argentina’s beleaguered economy amid low cash reserves and high government debt. Adopting the US dollar would take control of monetary policy away from Argentina’s central bank and hand it over to the US Federal Reserve.

The announced policy goes contrary to the de-dollarization trend pioneered by Russia and supported by many other developing economies, which has been gaining momentum since the imposition of Ukraine-related sanctions on Moscow. In response to the restrictions that effectively cut the country off from Western financial markets, Russia and its leading trade partners within the BRICS group of developing economies have started to switch to national currencies in trade. Argentina was set to join the bloc, made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, on January 1, 2024, but the new government scrapped the decision. According to Putin, Milei’s plan to scrap the peso or peg the national currency to the dollar could also result in social instability as it would trigger a sharp reduction in social spending.

“If there is no national currency, you can’t print anything, there is only one way – reducing budget spending for the social sphere, a severe cutting of wages, pensions, expenses on medicine, on roads and domestic security,” the Russian president maintained. Argentina’s new government announced earlier this week the start of its “economic shock therapy” policy, namely a sharp devaluation of the peso, cuts to energy and transportation subsidies and a freeze in spending on some major state programs. The South American nation is trying to battle inflation that hovers around 150% year-on-year. country owes $44 billion to the International Monetary Fund, and 40% of Argentinians reportedly live below the poverty line.

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“..At some point, the mad rush for a March trial will look illogical and gratuitous if key legal issues remain unresolved..”

What if Jack Smith Held a Trial and No One Came? (Turley)

In 1966, Charlotte E. Keyes wrote a famous article for McCall’s magazine titled “Suppose They Gave a War and No One Came.” Special Counsel Jack Smith may be contemplating the same fate. Putting the tongue-in-cheek title aside, the odds are that some people will come to any trial of President Donald Trump. After all, a lot of people have to come from the judge to the jurors and counsel. However, Smith has had an ominous week that could severely complicate his plans for convicting Donald Trump before the election. Moreover, a trial after the election could mean no trial at all. Before this week, Smith found himself on the losing end of the schedule in Florida in his prosecution of Trump for his retention of classified documents. Judge Aileen Cannon has scheduled a trial for May 20, 2024, but that could easily move with additional delays or appeals in the case.

I have always viewed that case to be the strongest against Trump, but the huge number of classified documents have (as predicted) slowed the prosecution. Despite Smith’s pushing for a pre-election trial, his structuring of the charges undermined that schedule. Smith then pushed hard for a pre-election trial in the January 6th case in Washington where he seemed to have a supportive judge in Judge Tanya Chutkan who shoehorned the start just before the Super Tuesday elections. Now, however, Judge Chutkan has been forced to stay the case indefinitely pending the appeal of the presidential immunity claim made by Trump. The matter is now before both the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court gave Trump until December 20th to respond to Smith’s request for an expedited review — leapfrogging over the D.C. Circuit.

Smith’s filing conveys priority, if not a necessity, in trying Trump before the election. The Supreme Court may not share that sense of urgency. Traditionally, the Supreme Court has preferred to wait to allow appellate courts to render decisions. Since a conviction will not make Trump ineligible to run for the presidency, the question is why the March date should short circuit the review process. If the Supreme Court ultimately does not rule on the merits, the period for review would easily supplant the trial schedule since an appeal could be taken to the entire D.C. Circuit (en banc) and then to the Supreme Court. That did not change the March 4 trial date, but it could well make that date unworkable if the appeals drag on. Then to make the week complete, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in United States v. Fischer. That case turns on the proper interpretation of the obstruction provision under Section 1512(c)(2).

Fischer was charged with obstructing an official proceeding of Congress and based solely on his trespass in the Capitol. A ruling in his favor could effectively cut away half of the case against Donald Trump. Among the four counts brought by Smith, Trump is charged under 18 U.S.C. § 1512(k) (Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding) (Count Two) and 18 U.S.C. §§ 1512(c)(2), 2 (Obstruction of and Attempt to Obstruct an Official Proceeding) (Count Three). If those two counts fell to the wayside, Smith would be left with a count on conspiracy to defraud the United States (Count One) and conspiracy against rights (Count 4). Those counts contain other challengeable elements which would have to be appealed after any conviction. At some point, the mad rush for a March trial will look illogical and gratuitous if key legal issues remain unresolved and pre-trial motions and discovery remain incomplete in February.

The problem for Smith is that a trial after the election could mean no trial at all. If Trump is elected, he could give himself a preemptive self-pardon, though some disagree with this view. Moreover, the new Attorney General could scuttle or undermine the prosecution. In other words, it is possible that Jack Smith might never see a jury in either case. That would still leave the New York and Georgia cases, which are not subject to presidential pardons. However, those cases (particularly the one in New York) have their own challengeable elements.

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“..a totally corrupt Department of Justice (sic), every member of which should be indicted for weaponizing law and using it as a weapon against Trump, his attorneys, and his supporters.”

Will the Corrupt US Department of Justice (sic) Be Held Accountable? (PCR)

It is a paradox that Jack Smith, who in my opinion has less integrity than the infamous Stalinist prosecutor Andrey Vyshinsky who prosecuted Stalin’s show trials of the Bolsheviks, was appointed director of the Justice (sic) Departments Office of Public Integrity. Perhaps recognizing Smith’s lack of concern with justice, Merrick Garland, the worst Attorney General in US history, sicced Jack Smith on President Trump and Trump supporters who attended the Trump rally labeled an “insurrection” by the whore media and Democrat Party. The way Smith got his convictions was to intentionally misapply law in order to coerce innocent people with a 20 year prison threat into a plea bargain. In other words, by intentionally misusing law he forced people to convict themselves via self-incrimination, which is what a plea bargain is.

Federal judge Carl Nichols threw out charges against three defendants based on Smith’s wrongful use of law. This has led to a situation in which the US Supreme Court announced yesterday that it would take up the defendants complaint that Jack Smith illegitimately used evidence-tampering law to prosecute Trump supporters and force them into self-incrimination to avoid a 20 year sentence. Smith’s pressure on one defendant, Matthew Perna, caused him to commit suicide. In my opinion, Jack Smith should be indicted for murder. Defense attorney Joseph McBride said that the DOJ’s misuse of law “is rooted in corruption and political hatred.” Defense attorney William Shipley predicted that the Supreme Court’s decision to take up the case would put an end to the case against Trump: “The decision by SCOTUS today to take up the appeal on the 1512 ‘obstruction of an official proceeding’ case means the Trump D.C. case will not be going to trial.”

After the Supreme Court’s refusal to take up the clearly wrongful conviction of Derek Chauvin, I haven’t as much confidence as Shipley in the Supreme Court’s interest in justice. But I hope Shipley is right as the result will be the release of the hundreds of innocent Americans wrongly convicted on purpose by in my opinion a totally corrupt Department of Justice (sic), every member of which should be indicted for weaponizing law and using it as a weapon against Trump, his attorneys, and his supporters.

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“..President Biden “was certainly familiar with what his son was going to say,” which suggests that the president spoke with his son before his act of contempt and discussed his statement. If that is true, it was a breathtaking mistake.”

Hunter Biden’s Contempt of Congress Has Wider Consequences (Turley)

Congress is often a theater of the absurd, from Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) pulling a fire alarm before a major vote to former Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) being, well, a member of Congress at all. However, none of that compares to what unfolded on Wednesday as Hunter Biden stood outside Congress and defied a subpoena as being “beyond the absurd.” What happens next could be even more bizarre. Hunter was under a subpoena from the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability to appear for testimony. As I previously wrote, he had two choices: He could appear and either testify or invoke his right to remain silent. The only thing that he could not do is what he did — just refuse to go into the hearing room. Yet, there he was, with counsel Abbe Lowell by his side,holding forth with a public press conference while refusing to appear in the closed-door deposition being held in the building behind him.

By staying on the Senate side of the Capitol, Hunter guaranteed that the House sergeant at arms did not pull him into the hearing room. Ironically, that would have been a better option than his blowing a raspberry at the committee and then speeding away. Many pundits immediately claimed this was a clever move because the subpoena was not really enforceable until the House voted on the formal impeachment inquiry a few hours later. I disagree. As I noted in my testimony in the first impeachment inquiry, there is no requirement for a formal vote to initiate an impeachment inquiry. Indeed, that is precisely what then-majority Democrats did with the impeachment of then-President Donald Trump. While I encouraged the House to hold a formal vote on the inquiry, it is not constitutionally required.

Moreover, this is an oversight committee which has independent authority to issue subpoenas. The subpoena was issued not only by the Oversight Committee but by the Judiciary Committee. It was issued under three different authorities, including Rule 12(g) of the Oversight Committee which allows for subpoenas “in the conduct of any investigation or activity or series of investigations or activities within the jurisdiction of the Committee.” In holding this spectacle, Biden and his legal team committed another unforced error. This one could prove as costly as pushing for an obscenely generous plea agreement and then telling prosecutors to “rip it up” in July. Few people expected Hunter to testify in the deposition. The evidence against him is overwhelming, as shown in his second federal indictment on tax charges.

He and his uncles were allegedly engaged in one of the largest influence-peddling operations in history involving millions of dollars from various foreign sources. Hunter simply could have done what prior witnesses have done: Go in and take the Fifth. That is what attorney and former IRS official Lois Lerner did — twice — when House Republicans wanted to ask her about the Obama administration targeting conservative groups. It was a no-brainer that someone appears to have radically over-thought on the Hunter Biden legal team.Hunter can now be held in contempt of Congress. That will force the hand of Attorney General Merrick Garland, who aggressively pursued Trump figures for contempt, including former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. Despite some of us writing to the contrary, Bannon claimed his lawyers told him he did not have to appear before a House committee. He was swiftly charged and convicted by Garland’s prosecutors.

In this instance, the contempt case would go to the U.S. Attorney in D.C., Matthew Graves, who previously declined to assist in bringing tax charges against the president’s son. Yet by pulling a Bannon, Hunter now faces the expectation in many circles that he will get the full Bannon treatment from Garland. There is another possible cost to this move. Fox News quoted White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying that President Biden “was certainly familiar with what his son was going to say,” which suggests that the president spoke with his son before his act of contempt and discussed his statement. If that is true, it was a breathtaking mistake. One of the four most obvious potential articles of impeachment that I laid out in my prior testimony was obstruction. There already are questions over special treatment potentially being given to Hunter in the form of alleged felonies being allowed to expire, warnings about planned federal raids, and sweetheart deals.

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“.. continue the DoJ’s “investigation”—let’s go with quotation marks at this point—into what corporate media like to describe as Hunter Biden’s “shenanigans.”

That New Hunter Biden Indictment (Patrick Lawrence)

Before wading through the latest indictment of Hunter Biden, this one for nine counts of assorted tax violations, we must consider briefly the record of David Weiss, the special counsel who signed the 56–page document made public last Thursday. Only then can we read the grand jury findings unsealed last week for what they are and are not. David Weiss is the Justice Department attorney in Delaware who has run the DoJ’s lengthy (as in slow-walked) investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged violations of tax and gun laws. Among much else, David Weiss appears to have connived with other Justice officials to cover up a Federal Bureau of Investigation finding that Hunter and President Biden accepted bribes of $5 million each from Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian energy company where Hunter sat on the board from April 2014 to April 2019.

David Weiss made sure that Internal Revenue investigators did not have access to Hunter’s infamous laptop after the FBI took possession of it in December 2019. David Weiss made sure that investigators—his investigators among them—were denied a requested warrant to search a cottage on Joe Biden’s Delaware estate. David Weiss let Hunter’s lawyers know in advance that investigators planned to search a storage unit Hunter kept. David Weiss barred IRS agents from interviewing members of the Biden family. David Weiss, as overseer of the investigation, let Hunter know in advance that IRS and FBI agents intended to interview him in California, so allowing Hunter to evade them.

David Weiss, after all this and probably more that is not visible to our naked eyes, put together the agreement that let Hunter plead to misdemeanor charges earlier this year and immunized him from whatever findings of criminal conduct that may come to the surface in the future. A properly disinterested judge assigned to validate that preposterous bargain, Maryellen Noreika, could not believe her eyes when she saw it last summer and promptly deep-sixed it. At that point, it followed naturally that Attorney General Merrick Garland rewarded David Weiss for all his good, loyal work by naming him special counsel, so giving him expanded powers to continue the DoJ’s “investigation”—let’s go with quotation marks at this point—into what corporate media like to describe as Hunter Biden’s “shenanigans.”

Now David Weiss has signed an indictment—the second Hunter faces, the other covering the gun charges—laying out three charges of tax evasion, three charges of failing to file and pay taxes, and three more for filing false or fraudulent tax returns. And now, with a few snippets from David Weiss’s c.v. in hand, we are ready to read and evaluate this document for what is in it and what is missing.

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“We would urge caution in the assumption that emissions from humans are negligible.”

This just had to get absurd.

Breathing Contributes To Global Warming – Study (RT)

Human breathing contributes to global warming, according to a study published Wednesday in PLoS One. The authors argued that human respiration’s contribution to climate change has been underestimated and merits further study. After measuring the gas composition in the exhaled breaths of 328 study participants, the researchers concluded human breath comprises 0.05% of the UK’s methane emissions and 0.1% of its nitrous oxide. Both of those gasses “have a much higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide,” the study notes. “Exhaled human breath can contain small, elevated concentrations of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), both of which contribute to global warming,” the researchers, led by atmospheric physicist Nicholas Cowan of the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, wrote.

“We would urge caution in the assumption that emissions from humans are negligible.” While Cowan explained that “CO2 contribution in human breath to climate change is essentially zero” because plants absorb nearly all the carbon dioxide humans breathe out, the other two gasses are left in the atmosphere. Methane traps 80 times the amount of heat as carbon dioxide during its first 20 years in the atmosphere, though this potency decreases over time. A detailed analysis of test subjects’ diets failed to yield any indication that meat eaters produced more of either gas. While all test subjects exhaled nitrous oxide, only 31% exhaled methane. These individuals, referred to as “methane producers” in the paper, were more likely to be female and over 30 years of age, though the researchers were unable to determine why this was the case.

The study authors cautioned that their research only looked at breath and called for further research into the total picture of human gas emissions, insisting it could reveal more about the “impacts of an aging population and shifting diets” on the planet. In recent years, environmental campaigners have focused on methane emissions from cows, whose herbivorous diet is broken down by methane-producing bacteria in their multiple stomachs. Policymakers’ focus on the resulting methane-tainted belches and farts have been the subject of much parody from climate change skeptics.

The UK has legally committed itself to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990. Residents have been strongly encouraged to reduce meat consumption in order to achieve this goal, with some estimates placing the share of global greenhouse gas emissions from raising livestock for meat at 15%. However, the researchers behind Wednesday’s study pointed out that shifting to a high-fiber vegetarian diet could potentially cause more methane and nitrous oxide emissions, a phenomenon they called “pollution swapping.”

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“..after emails revealed he knew mRNA shots were killing people, just as leaked NZ health department data has shown..”

Italian Ex-Minister Faces Vax Murder Probe (CN)

New Zealand’s politicians have all been sent an email informing them that the former Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza is under investigation for homicide after emails revealed he knew mRNA shots were killing people, just as leaked NZ health department data has shown. The emails were sent by US vaccine safety campaigner and tech entrepreneur Steve Kirsch, who organised statisticians and other experts to analyse NZ Ministry of Health data leaked by whistleblower Barry Young. The NZ health bureaucrats, supported by media, are using legal threats to censor and suppress access to the “pay-per-dose” data, which reveals of thousands of deaths in close proximity to mRNA vaccinations.

But New Zealand’s new government has agreed to carry out as a matter of urgency a “full scale, wide-ranging, independent inquiry” into how the Covid-19 pandemic was handled, regardless of the whitewashing “Royal Commission of Inquiry” set up by the Ardern Labor government. The new government’s inquiry will cover lockdowns, vaccine procurement and efficacy, the social and economic impacts on both regional and national levels and whether the decisions made and steps taken, were justified. The inquiry will also be conducted publicly with local and international experts. In Italy, Speranza is accused of giving orders to local health authorities to conceal deaths and serious side effects in order to reassure Italian citizens of the vaccines’ “safety” and to not jeopardize the vaccination campaign. NZ and Australian health officials acted similarly.

The main charges Speranza faces include ideological falsehood, multiple manslaughter, marketing of an imperfect, dangerous drug. Speranza is currently a deputy of the Democratic Party, and like Australian and New Zealand health ministers, was co-opted by the WHO and the global pharma cartel to push the mRNA shots. The Speranza investigation was announced on Italian TV channel Rete 4, on the program Fuori dal Coro. The channel is owned by the Mediaset group run by the heirs of the late Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a strong supporter of the vaccination campaign, who died in June this year. According to Italian website Gospa News, there was not much coverage in the national media which focused more on the statements of Speranza’s lawyer instead of examining the merits of the investigation resulting from the complaint by the State Police union OSA and by other organisations seeking to support vaccinated people.

The accusations have been reported on by German and Italian news networks but studiously ignored by Reuters and the western mainstream media. The closest reports Cairns News found were from months ago when the former Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Speranza were placed under investigation on suspicion of “aggravated culpable epidemic” and manslaughter in connection with the government’s response at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. They were later cleared.

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Ducks
https://twitter.com/i/status/1735286013042307534

 

 

Momma bear
https://twitter.com/i/status/1735272196874895825

 

 

Cheetah

 

 


This 2,000 year old tree is located at Zwigodini Village of Mutale in Limpopo, South Africa. Venda people call it, “Muri Kunguluwa”, which means, “The Tree That Roars”. The tree actually makes a roaring sound when the wind blows through its branches. It is also called, “The Tree Of Life”, because it serves as a source of life to the animals and the community that lives around it. 80% of its trunk consists of water and it can hold up to 4,500 liters, making it a water source for the community and the animals.

Elephants eat the bark. Baboons eat the fruit. Leaves can also be eaten. Birds, bees, fruit bats and bush babies nest in the tree. Humans use the dried fruit powder in drinks, as a source of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. The bark can be used to make rope, baskets, mats, cloth and paper. It also holds a spiritual significance for African people. In ancient times, leaders and elders would hold meetings under huge baobab trees, to discuss important matters. They believed that the spirit of the baobab would help them make wise decisions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 222023
 
 October 22, 2023  Posted by at 9:01 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  39 Responses »


Eugène Delacroix Les femmes d’Alger 1834

 

Netanyahoo’s Strategic Dilemma (MoA)
Middle Eastern Officials Could Cut Off Oil Supplies – AP (RT)
Biden’s ‘Weak’ Speech Reflects ‘Bankrupt’ US Policy in Mideast (Sp.)
US Will Build ‘New World Order’ – Biden (RT)
US and Israel Mulling Interim Government In Gaza (RT)
Ukraine to Receive ‘Frankenstein’ Air Defenses From US
EU Staff Members Express Fury Over Von Der Leyen Stance On Gaza Conflict (IT)
US Needs ‘Department of Offense, Not Defense’ –Nikki Haley (RT)
Ukraine’s Leaders Are Controlled By US – German ex-Chancellor (RT)
Step It Up and Go (Kunstler)
Big US Banks Quietly Cutting 1000s Of Employees, More Layoffs Coming (Az.)
Lithuania Wants To Ban Selling Needles And Nails To Russia (RT)
Hunter Biden Special Counsel To Meet With Republican House Judiciary Panel (Sp.)
Joe Biden Paid Nearly $2.75million CASH for Rehoboth Beach house (DM)

 

 

 

 

Palestina
https://twitter.com/i/status/1715813627708481568

 

 

Tucker Trump ad

 

 

Maher
https://twitter.com/i/status/1715728586928259078

 

 

Arnold

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibi’s main dilemma: Israel is much weaker than you think. Check also the Scott Ritter video. Israel would lose far too many troops if it enters Gaza.

Netanyahoo’s Strategic Dilemma (MoA)

Israel is a colonial settler state in permanent conflict with the suppressed natives. It thought it could survive in that state, or even extend its settlements, by deterring opposing forces with its superior military. Hamas has breached that deterrence myth by inflicting, in one day, more casualties in Israel than it had experienced in any previous wars. Natanyahoo is under pressure to restore the deterrence, to again provide the Zionists with a feeling of superiority. He can not do that. Any land attack in Gaza means urban warfare in an already destroyed city with large underground facilities. During the taking of Bakhmut the Wagener forces had in total some 40,000 casualties (dead and wounded). The other side had more than 70,000. What price would the IDF have to pay to ‘destroy Hamas’?

The other factor is of course Hizbullah and other resistance groups, which may well attack Israel from the north and various other directions. Hizbullah has loudly said it would do so should the IDF enter Gaza. It has some 100,000 missiles – more than enough to exhaust Israel’s air defenses. Its longest reach missiles can attack any major city within Israel. There have already been daily fire exchanges at the norther border. The 2006 war in Lebanon has shown that Hizbullah is dug in and very able to defend itself. It has since gained more experience by fighting ISIS in Syria. Neither U.S. air force attacks nor a land force invasion can hinder Hizbullah from firing its missiles. (Syria, as well as Iran, will not intervene in the war unless they are directly attacked.) Netanyahoo must attack Gaza to restore deterrence. He can not attack Gaza because the urban warfare would cause large Israeli casualties. He can not attack Gaza because Hizbullah would then destroy the myth of the superior settler state even more than Hamas has done so far.

Israel, with the help of the U.S., has tried to push the population of Gaza into Egypt. From Egypt’s standpoint that would be a humanitarian solution, at least as long as others pay for it. But it would cause a serious strategic problem. Resistance by Hamas and others against Israel would continue indefinitely, but Egypt would be held responsible for it. It can not and will not take on that burden. Netanyahoo’s next idea was to starve Gaza. But the world will not let him do that. At least not beyond a certain point. Even the UN Secretary General has visited the Rafah crossing. Other global organizations, like the WHO and ASEAN, have spoken up. Pictures of starving people will make it impossible for the west to support that ‘solution’.

Meanwhile Hamas fighters will continue to sit in their tunnels, ready to defend their land, and likely with enough provisions to hold out for months. Israeli settlers, with the support of the IDF, are rampaging through the West Bank. They are killing more Palestinians and further enrage the global public against their deeds. This will escalate. Israel’s decision making is paralyzed. It will for now continue to talk of a ground invasion but will not launch one. It will also continue to starve Gaza. But something will soon break. At any minute there might be a new large atrocity in Gaza or a pogrom in the West Bank. Any miscalculation in the north could launch that front into a hot war. Hizbullah could start to ‘preemptively’ invade Israeli proper. But Israel’s Jewish public is still demanding a war of revenge. It still needs the restoration of its deterrence and superiority. But what if that turns out to be impossible to achieve? Well. Then something else must change.

Ritter

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This would hit Europeans much more than Americans. But prices would surge everywhere.

Middle Eastern Officials Could Cut Off Oil Supplies – AP (RT)

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani has reportedly warned that supplies of Middle East oil to international markets could be disrupted if the war between Israel and Hamas escalates to the point of involving other countries in the region. The conflict will “impact global security, escalate regional conflict, jeopardize energy supplies, exacerbate economic crises, and invite further conflicts,” the Associated Press quoted al-Sudani as saying on Saturday at a peace summit in Cairo. Al-Sudani called for an immediate cease-fire and a prisoner swap to bring an end to the bloodshed. He argued against bringing civilians out of the Gaza Strip amid Israeli bombing, saying, “the Palestinians have no other place but their land.”

The PM suggested that the current crisis could have been averted if UN Security Council resolutions against Israel’s settlement policies in Palestinian territory had been respected. However, Israel dismantled its settlements in the Gaza Strip in 2005. Hamas has controlled Gaza since 2006, and no new elections have been held in the territory since then. Al-Sudani’s warning comes amid concerns that Middle East countries could cut off oil exports to the West in response to a possible Israeli ground offensive in Gaza. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian roiled energy markets on Wednesday, when he called for Muslim countries to impose an “immediate and complete” oil embargo on Israel. The 1973 Arab oil embargo against the US and other countries that supported Israel led to long lines at gasoline pumps and had a devastating economic impact. However, only about 12% of US crude imports came from the Middle East in 2022, down from around 85% in the 1970s.

International oil markets remain volatile, and the Israel-Hamas war could push prices higher, “which is definitely bad news for inflation,” International Energy Agency executive director Fatih Birol told the AP. Developing countries that rely on imported crude and oil products would be hurt the most, he said. Brent crude, a key international oil benchmark, is currently trading around $93 per barrel, up from $85 before Hamas militants killed hundreds of Israeli civilians and took hundreds of others as hostages on October 7. Hamas is backed by Iran, which ranks as the world’s eighth-largest oil producer. Even without support from other major exporters for an embargo, Tehran has the potential to significantly disrupt markets. About one-third of the world’s seaborne oil shipments pass through the Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea.

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“..the speech by the 80-year-old POTUS “infantilizes the American public..”

Biden’s ‘Weak’ Speech Reflects ‘Bankrupt’ US Policy in Mideast (Sp.)

In his address to the American people, US President Joe Biden announced he would be sending a budget request to Congress to “fund America’s national security needs.” By that, POTUS meant dishing out further support to the ongoing NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine, and aiding Israel in its fight against Hamas. As a presidential address, Joe Biden’s speech tailored to garner support for supplementary funding of Israel and Ukraine was a “failure,” “illogical,” and “a sort of muddled vision of what he thought he was doing,” Professor Joe Siracusa, political scientist and dean of Global Futures, Curtin University, told Sputnik. “What he did in it was he conflated what’s going on in Gaza with what’s going on between Ukraine and Russia. They’re not comparable. So he conflated these two things, and then he asked for money to cover both of these in the House of Representatives, saying that both Hamas and Russia pose ‘existential threats’ to their neighbors.

That’s not true. Russia’s relationship with its neighbor is a long, complicated one, going back to czarist Russia, Soviet Russia, in the modern times, not the same kind of thing,” the pundit clarified. US President Joe Biden spoke to the nation on Thursday and announced he would be sending a budget request to Congress for funding for Israel and Ukraine. Support for the two countries was positioned as funding “America’s national security needs.” Aid to Ukraine was offered under the guise of a “smart investment,” sure to pay dividends for future generations. Earlier reports indicated that the funding request may include as much as $60 billion in aid to Ukraine. Furthermore, the speech by the 80-year-old POTUS “infantilizes the American public,” the political scientist believed.

“The American public doesn’t know that much about foreign policy… Biden speaks for the foreign policy elite. These are the people who got us [United States] bogged down in Vietnam, who lost Iran, they lost Iraq… lost Afghanistan, and so on and so on. The foreign policy public in America is very small. But the elites or the neocons kind of run the show for Biden in the background,” Professor Joe Siracusa underscored. Asking Congress for supplementary funding for Tel Aviv, along additional aid to the Kiev regime amid waning resolve among lawmakers, as well as the American public, to further bankroll NATO’s proxy war against Russia in Ukraine is a “tough sell” for Biden, Joe Siracusa assured. “I think Americans are just a little weary of this,” he pointed out.

“I reckon that the Russian-Ukraine conflict has come to about an end. Most Americans are done with it because they understand there’s an adjustment there. But in terms of bankrolling Israel, the United States is looking over its shoulder at increasing confrontation in the region or beyond. Those two aircraft carriers there are not to deter violence, because Joe Biden hasn’t deterred violence anywhere. I mean, it happens anyway. They are there to tell Israel’s enemies that an attack on Israel right now from either Iran or Hezbollah or other places will be met with American counteraction. And that’s the one thing you do not want to fool around with,” said the expert. sAs to the Palestine-Israel conflict, which accrued an even more horrifying death toll after the attack on a northern Gaza hospital, “this war… was a failure in intelligence,” said the pundit, offering the opinion that “a lot of people… were asleep at the switch.”

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“We proceed from the fact that all people are equal, everyone has the same rights, the rights and freedoms of one country and one people end where the rights and freedoms of another person or of an entire state start. This is how a multipolar world should gradually be born,” Putin told the Chinese network.”

US Will Build ‘New World Order’ – Biden (RT)

The current US-led world order has “sort of run out of steam,” but Washington will shape the system that replaces it, US President Joe Biden told supporters on Saturday. Leaders in Moscow and Beijing, however, have argued otherwise. Speaking at a campaign reception in Washington, Biden bragged about how he convinced Japan and South Korea to send financial aid to Ukraine, and how he signed a rail and ports deal with the EU, India, and Saudi Arabia at the G20 summit in New Delhi last month. “So, I think we have an opportunity to do things, if we’re bold enough and have enough confidence in ourselves, to unite the world in ways that it never has been,” Biden declared. “We were in a post-war period for 50 years where it worked pretty damn well, but that’s sort of run out of steam. Sort of run out of steam. We need a new, new world order in a sense,” he continued.

The world order that emerged following the Second World War was a bipolar one, with the US and USSR vying for influence and geopolitical supremacy. The collapse of the Soviet Union ushered in a unipolar world order, with the US the sole superpower. As the USSR disintegrated, then-US President George HW Bush proclaimed victory in the Cold War and the dawning of a “new world order” in his 1991 State of the Union address. Three decades later, and with Washington scrambling for funds to fight two foreign wars, American dominance is less assured. China’s economy was the world’s eleventh largest in 1991, but is now second to only the US’. With Beijing expanding its nuclear arsenal and modernizing its military, President Xi Jinping has referred to the US-led West as “declining” on multiple occasions, and hailed the emergence of a “multipolar world,” in which international relations are governed by laws and treaties, rather than US-enforced “rules.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has also spoken at length about building a multipolar world, describing such an order as one in which individual “civilization-states” are free to pursue their own interests free from the dictates of a hegemonic power like the US. Russia, China, and their partners in the BRICS group and across the Global South all share this goal, Putin told China Central Television (CCTV) last week. “We proceed from the fact that all people are equal, everyone has the same rights, the rights and freedoms of one country and one people end where the rights and freedoms of another person or of an entire state start. This is how a multipolar world should gradually be born,” Putin told the Chinese network.

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Yeah, sure..

US and Israel Mulling Interim Government In Gaza (RT)

The US and Israel are mulling the creation of an interim administration in Gaza that would be backed by the UN and Arab governments, Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing sources. According to people familiar with US government discussions, the plans are still at an early stage and depend on future developments, including on whether Israel’s ground operation against Hamas is a success. The idea, which would effectively see the Palestinian armed group removed from power, would also require the participation of regional Arab states, which could be tricky to secure, the report says. Commenting on the potential of getting Arab nations on board, William Usher, a former senior Middle East analyst at the CIA, told Bloomberg that it “would require a major shift in how Arab states accept risk and work with one another” as well as a “leap of trust” by Israel at a time when this “commodity [is] in short supply.”

After Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 7, leaving thousands of dead and injured, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to “crush and destroy” the Palestinian group.On Friday, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant outlined three phases of war with Hamas. The first would involve aerial bombardment and ground operations, followed by lower-intensity fighting to eliminate “pockets of resistance” in Gaza. The final stage would require “removal of Israel’s responsibility for life in the Gaza Strip and the establishment of a new security reality,” he said. At the same time, Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid suggested on Thursday that the best solution for Gaza after the conflict is over would be to return it to the control of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, which was ousted by Hamas from the enclave in 2007.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported on Friday that the US and some of its European allies are pushing Israel to postpone its ground operation to win more time to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas, which has captured some 200 people since the violence began. The same day, US officials confirmed that the group had set free two American hostages. Washington has also reportedly exerted an unprecedented influence over the plan for the ground operation, fearing that an all-out attack on Gaza may trigger a broader conflict, drawing in Hezbollah, a Lebanon-based Islamist military group with close ties to Iran.

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Say no more: “The AIM-9 Sidewinder is the grandfather of a weapons system that entered production in 1956..”

Ukraine to Receive ‘Frankenstein’ Air Defenses From US

The Ukrainian military is experiencing a serious shortage of anti-aircraft defenses. This is because of the Russian forces’ use of long-range Lancet kamikaze drones, and the Russian Aerospace Forces deployment of precision-guided glide bombs, which have greatly thinned the ranks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ frontline air defenses. To protect infantry and equipment, Kiev has been forced to move its air defense systems closer to the front, where they can fall prey to cheap Russian FPV drones.Consequently, Kiev’s requests for advanced air defenses from its Western patrons have become increasingly urgent. The armed conflict that has broken out in the Middle East has exacerbated the problem. Israel asked for help from the US on the first day of hostilities.

The Pentagon is on the horns of a dilemma – whether Israel or Ukraine is more deserving of its support. The latest rhetoric would suggest that Washington is more inclined to help Tel Aviv, with Ukraine left scrambling for whatever scraps are left. Step forward the FrankenSAM (a portmanteau word of “Frankenstein” and “SAM” [surface-to-air missile]) program. The plan involves the development and production of improvised air defense systems using components and materials from Ukrainian, US and allied stockpiles. Old decommissioned anti-aircraft missiles will be repurposed as ammunition for these “chimeras”. According to one major international news agency, the US Department of Defense believes this approach will quickly provide the Ukrainian Armed Forces with some much-needed air defense capabilities. This, in turn, will prepare the Ukrainian army for the winter campaign.

In this way, Washington hopes to achieve three goals at once: it will load its defense industry up with orders for “FrankenSAMs”, get rid of obsolete explosives, and demonstrate “support for its ally” to the world. According to the media, the Pentagon is working on three projects as part of the FrankenSAM program. The first is almost finished: Ukraine will initially receive a ground-based short-range air defense system with AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles, according to the news agency’s source. Without going into detail, the source explained that the chassis, launchers, radar and other equipment for the system will be provided by the US and its allies. This, the media outlet noted, will help “meet Kiev’s vital air defense needs” and tackle related issues.

Washington announced the delivery of Sidewinder missiles in August, after the release of what was then its latest military aid package. This raised many questions, as the missile is of the air-to-air variety. Ukrainian fighter jets still in service are not capable of firing it without significant modifications to their on-board electronic systems, and the first F-16s for the Ukrainian armed forces are not expected until next spring at the earliest. In addition, the Sidewinder is only effective at short range, whereas Russian pilots prefer long-range engagements. The news about the modification of these missiles for ground use clarifies the situation. The AIM-9 Sidewinder is the grandfather of a weapons system that entered production in 1956 and has undergone several upgrades over the years.

The forthcoming short-range air defense version of the system will be equipped with the 9M variant, introduced in 1983 and actively used during Operation Desert Storm. The period of most extensive production coincided with the years of this conflict. In the early 2000s, this modification was replaced by the more advanced AIM-9X, with the Reagan-era AIM-9M variants stored away. It’s unknown how effective these 30-year-old missiles will be against modern Russian aircraft, but the fact is that the US has enough of these munitions to supply Ukraine for months.

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“We observe the death of diplomacy unfolding in front of our eyes and we do not see any expression or action being taken rooted in the values on which the EU was built.”

EU Staff Members Express Fury Over Von Der Leyen Stance On Gaza Conflict (IT)

Staff members of EU institutions have written to European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen expressing fury over her stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict, in a letter that accumulated 842 signatures. The letter, which has been seen by The Irish Times, accuses the commission of giving “a free hand to the acceleration and the legitimacy of a war crime in the Gaza Strip”. It begins by condemning the Hamas attack on Israel before continuing: “We equally strongly condemn the disproportionate reaction by the Israeli government against 2.3 million Palestinian civilians trapped in the Gaza Strip”. “We hardly recognise the values of the EU in the seeming indifference demonstrated over the past few days by our Institution toward the ongoing massacre of civilians in the Gaza Strip,” it continues.

The letter warns that the EU is “losing all credibility and the position as a fair, equitable and humanist broker” and damaging its international relations as well as risking the safety of EU staff. “We are saddened by the patent show of double-standards which considers the blockade (water and fuel) operated by Russia on the Ukrainian people as an act of terror whilst the identical act by Israel against the Gazan people is completely ignored,” the letter reads. The signatories are from a wide range of EU countries including Ireland. “We cannot remain silent observers when the Institution you represent as President not only has been unable to halt the Palestinian tragedy unfolding for decades in full impunity, but by its recent unfortunate actions or positions seem to give a free hand to the acceleration and the legitimacy of a war crime in the Gaza Strip,” they write.

It follows stiff criticism of president von der Leyen in the European Parliament and among EU national diplomats for her expression of unqualified support for Israel’s response to the Hamas attack in a trip to Israel, while opting not to make a call for the respect of international law as member states had done. The letter was circulated internally among staff of the European Commission and other institutions, with supporters invited to sign the letter on an online page which reached 842 signatures before the appeal closed. Messages left by EU staff reflect deep anger and disillusionment, including among longstanding EU diplomatic staff and specialists in foreign affairs. “As an EU diplomat I feel embarrassed by the stand taken by the institution in external communications since the start of the crisis,” one wrote. “We observe the death of diplomacy unfolding in front of our eyes and we do not see any expression or action being taken rooted in the values on which the EU was built.” Another commented that the EU had “destroyed all the good work done in the recent decades with the Palestinian authorities and people”.

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“This woman is a crazed warmonger..” “Don’t let the sweet Southern accent fool you. She’d have us in every war she could find.”

US Needs ‘Department of Offense, Not Defense’ –Nikki Haley (RT)

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has called for instilling fear in Washington’s foreign enemies by transforming the US Department of Defense into the “Department of Offense.” Speaking at a campaign event on Friday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Haley demanded that the US respond to the Israel-Hamas war by providing the Israeli government and military with “whatever they need whenever they need it.” She added that Washington’s goal must be to “eliminate Hamas, not weaken them,” and she called for cutting off government funding to colleges whose students or employees hold protests in support of the Palestinians. Haley, the former South Carolina governor who served as US ambassador to the United Nations under then-President Donald Trump, suggested that President Joe Biden’s administration must not be fooled by Friday’s release of two American hostages by Hamas.

“They are doing this to earn favor with America because they want to try and look good in the eyes of America,” she said. “Don’t fall for it.” Having a stronger military and strong leadership in the White House could have prevented the war in Israel, as well as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Haley argued. Biden’s botched withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan in 2021 and his administration’s recent prisoner-swap agreement with Iran emboldened America’s enemies, she claimed, adding that only a stronger military can restore US credibility. “We’ve got to be smart, and we’ve got to be ready,” Haley said. “I’m tired of talking about a ‘department of defense’. I want a ‘department of offense’. Every enemy needs to fear us.”

Haley is calling for a bigger and apparently more aggressive military despite the fact that the Pentagon already boasts annual spending of nearly $832 billion – exceeding the world’s nine next largest defense budgets combined. The US has about 750 bases in 80 countries, and it has a long history of regime-change programs and military interventions around the world. “This woman is a crazed warmonger,” US podcast host Joey Mannarino said in an X (formerly Twitter) post. “Don’t let the sweet Southern accent fool you. She’d have us in every war she could find.”

Haley has reportedly been enriched by the US military industrial complex since resigning as Trump’s UN ambassador in October 2018. She was hired as a board member with US defense contractor Boeing in 2019. Although she left the company the following year, she still owned as much as $250,000 in Boeing stock as of a financial disclosure filing in May. Haley has earned six-figure fees for speaking engagements, including over $230,000 from the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs, and she was paid $127,500 for her work as a consultant to an advocacy group called United Against a Nuclear Iran, which has lobbied for military strikes against Tehran. She also netted more than $708,000 in consulting fees from Prism Global Management LLC, an investment fund, and her husband holds stakes in two firms with ties to the defense industry.

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“Who are the victims on one side and on the other? Poor people who lose their children.”

Ukraine’s Leaders Are Controlled By US – German ex-Chancellor (RT)

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has argued in a newspaper interview that the US government didn’t “allow” any compromises that could have brought an end to the Russia-Ukraine conflict just weeks after Moscow’s military offensive began in February 2022. Speaking in an interview published by Germany’s Berliner Zeitung newspaper on Friday, Schroeder said he was asked to help mediate the March 2022 peace negotiations between Ukrainian and Russian officials in Istanbul. He said that although representatives of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky were open to making concessions on such key issues as renouncing efforts to join NATO, “the Ukrainians did not agree to peace because they were not allowed to. They first had to ask the Americans about everything they discussed.”

Russian officials have repeatedly claimed that the US and other Western backers of Ukraine discouraged Zelensky’s government from agreeing to a peace settlement. Schroeder, who has defended his continuing friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, essentially confirmed that allegation in the Berliner Zeitung interview. “My impression: Nothing could happen because everything else was decided in Washington,” he said. The ex-chancellor described Washington’s strategy as “fatal,” saying it resulted in closer ties between Russia and China. “The Americans believe they can keep the Russians down,” Schroeder said. “Now, it is the case that two actors, China and Russia, who are limited by the USA, are joining forces. Americans believe they are strong enough to keep both sides in check. In my humble opinion, this is a mistake. Just look how torn the American side is now. Look at the chaos in Congress.”

Washington’s allies in Western Europe “failed” to seize the opportunity to push for peace in March 2022, Schroeder said. At the time, he added, Zelensky was open to compromise on Crimea and breakaway territories in the Donbass region. Since that time, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian troops have been killed as Western military aid prolongs the conflict. Putin estimated earlier this month that Kiev lost over 90,000 soldiers in the failed counteroffensive that began in June. “The arms deliveries are not a solution for eternity, but no one wants to talk,” Schroeder said. “Everyone is sitting in trenches. How many more people have to die? It’s a bit like the Middle East. Who are the victims on one side and on the other? Poor people who lose their children.”

Schroeder argued that only French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz can revive peace talks in Eastern Europe. “Scholz and Macron should actually support a peace process in Ukraine because it’s not just an American matter, but above all a European matter.” He added, “Why did Scholz and Macron not combine the arms deliveries with an offer to talk? Macron and Scholz are the only ones who can talk to Putin.” Russian leaders were threatened by the US push to bring NATO to Moscow’s western border by adding Ukraine to the Western military alliance, Schroeder said. However, he claimed that one of the justifications for arming Ukraine – alleged Russian expansionism – had no basis in reality.

“This fear of the Russians coming is absurd,” Schroeder said. “How are they supposed to defeat NATO, let alone occupy Western Europe?” He added, “That is why no one in Poland, the Baltics and certainly not in Germany – all NATO members, by the way – has to believe they are in danger.” On the other hand, Schroeder insisted, Western leaders must understand that no matter who is in power in Moscow, Russia won’t allow either Ukraine or Georgia to be absorbed by NATO. “This threat analysis may be emotional, but it is real in Russia,” he said. “The West must understand this and accept compromises accordingly. Otherwise, peace will be difficult to achieve.”

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“..take action to get rid of the Covid-era mail-in ballot trickery that the blob cooked up to keep itself in power.”

Step It Up and Go (Kunstler)

When you read of “Joe Biden’s” 37 percent favorable rating in some poll, do you wonder how it can be that high? Hard evidence of his high crimes of bribery has been plain to see for many months. We await a brisk House inquiry to put all that evidence in order, in a simple bill that even The New York Times won’t be able to ignore. Let Mr. Schumer’s tiny Senate majority try to decline an impeachment trial. Between that and “Joe Biden’s obvious incapacity, he’ll have to resign. And then let the Party of Chaos try to pretend that Kamala Harris can be in charge of anything. We’ll see soon enough who’s pulling the strings in the White House. The House should simultaneously form committees to impeach the faithless and incompetent agency heads below “JB” starting with Merrick Garland, specifically for criminally violating the rights of the many J-6 defendants falsely charged, denied speedy trials, and abused in the federal jails while awaiting those unjustly delayed trials. Also, tack on multiple counts of perjury for the many times he lied under oath before Congress.

Next, Alejandro Mayorkas, for allowing a virtual invasion of our country and his gross, willful failure to enforce the laws that regulate entry across our borders. As with Mr. Garland, include counts of perjury, lying to Congress. After him, Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services, for presiding over the vaccination debacle and all the lying about it perpetrated under his supervision by the CDC, the FDA, and many other public health agencies. FBI Director Christopher Wray is not subject to impeachment, so the House should defund the agency until he and the rest of the seventh floor C-suite gang, led by Deputy AG Lisa Monaco, resign. That would be good start for breaking up the blob so that the public does not have to wait for a 2024 election that shows no signs of being cleaned up procedurally to ensure fair and truthful results — though momentous impeachment moves against the figures truly responsible for wrecking the country might prompt some states to take action to get rid of the Covid-era mail-in ballot trickery that the blob cooked up to keep itself in power.

All of the blob’s projects are coming to grief now in the worst way possible. Ukraine was a foolish venture starting in 2014 when the US tried to shanghai it into NATO over a red line explicitly declared by Russia. We didn’t believe they meant it, apparently. What part of sphere of influence don’t we understand? How did the CIA do sizing that up? Or sussing out the October 7 Hamas massacre in Israel? Do they have no assets in Gaza? How’s America’s prestige in the world doing, and the dollar that represents it, vis-à-vis the new BRIC alliance that was allowed to come together largely because of the “Joe Biden” regime’s foreign policy blunders scaring so many previously neutral nations?

How are the blob’s domestic projects doing? It’s managed to destroy the credibility of medicine, the honor of higher education, and the authority of the news media — with plenty of help from the blobistas embedded in all those institutions. How is it possible that the majority of doctors still don’t know that Covid vaccines are unsafe and ineffective, and that they have been systematically lied to by the CDC from the get-go on this? How is it possible that presidents of the most distinguished universities go along with the suppression of free inquiry and speech, as if these were not the foundation of learning? How is it possible that the editors of The New York Times and The Washington Post lie continually and knowingly about events and persons, unless they are getting paid by, and have become defacto arms of, the blob itself, to cover-up the discovery of its crimes?

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“They need to find levers to keep earnings from falling further and to free up money for provisions as more loans go bad..”

Big US Banks Quietly Cutting 1000s Of Employees, More Layoffs Coming (Az.)

The largest American banks have been quietly laying off workers all year — and some of the deepest cuts are yet to come, Report informs via CNBC. Even as the economy has surprised forecasters with its resilience, lenders have cut headcount or announced plans to do so, with the key exception being JPMorgan Chase, the biggest and most profitable US bank. Pressured by the impact of higher interest rates on the mortgage business, Wall Street deal-making and funding costs, the next five largest US banks have cut a combined 20,000 positions so far this year, according to company filings. The moves come after a two-year hiring boom during the Covid pandemic, fueled by a surge in Wall Street activity. That subsided after the Federal Reserve began raising interest rates last year to cool an overheated economy, and banks found themselves suddenly overstaffed for an environment in which fewer consumers sought out mortgages and fewer corporations issued debt or bought competitors.

“Banks are cutting costs where they can because things are really uncertain next year,” Chris Marinac, research director at Janney Montgomery Scott, said in a phone interview. Job losses in the financial industry could pressure the broader US labor market in 2024. Faced with rising defaults on corporate and consumer loans, lenders are poised to make deeper cuts next year, said Marinac. “They need to find levers to keep earnings from falling further and to free up money for provisions as more loans go bad,” he said. “By the time we roll into January, you’ll hear a lot of companies talking about this.” Banks disclose total headcount numbers every quarter. The deepest reductions have been at Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs, institutions that are wrestling with revenue declines in key businesses. They each have cut roughly 5% of their workforce so far this year.

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I’m sure the Chinese would be happy to step in. How dumb would you like it? .

Lithuania Wants To Ban Selling Needles And Nails To Russia (RT)

Lithuania has suggested including exports of buttons, nails, and sewing appliances in a 12th round of sanctions on Russia, EUobserver reported on Friday. According to the proposal, prohibiting the items is intended to “degrade Russian industrial capacities.” The list, among other things, is also said to include non-electric radiators for central heating and spare parts for them. The EU has been crafting its next set of Ukraine-related sanctions for weeks. While the package is expected to concentrate on further hindering Russia’s capacity to circumvent previously imposed restrictions, a number of new large-scale measures are also on the table. For instance, several member states have reportedly called for a ban on new deals with Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, as well as halting purchases of Russian uranium, liquified natural gas (LNG) and steel.

Estonia has reportedly demanded a full trade embargo on Russia to stop sanctions evasion. Other proposals include blocking IT services for Russian firms and stopping exports of laser technology. The Russian diamond industry is also in the crosshairs. The G7 has been working with Belgium, which hosts the world’s biggest diamond-trading hub in Antwerp, on traceability protocols which would be able to identify gems of Russian origin on retail markets. EUobserver cites an unnamed EU diplomat as saying the system is nearly ready and that Western states are set to impose a ban on Russian diamonds “in the very coming days.” In addition, the EU Council has reportedly stepped up work on the potential use of frozen Russian assets to aid Ukraine. Belgium earlier this month announced it would send tax revenue generated from Russian money kept it its Euroclear clearing house to Kiev, and proposed that other EU countries follow its lead.

According to EUObserver, the European Commission will start behind-closed-doors discussions on new sanctions with individual EU members this weekend or early next week. However, analysts note the process could take weeks to finalize, given the number of proposals and the fact that all member-states must agree on the measures to be included. Hungary, for instance, has adamantly opposed sanctioning the Russian nuclear industry due to its contracts with Rosatom for the construction of two new reactors at its Paks-2 nuclear power plant. Since the start of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, the EU has implemented 11 sets of sanctions on Russia, targeting various sectors of the economy, the country’s financial institutions and trade, and blacklisting several hundred Russian individuals and businesses. The Kremlin has repeatedly labeled the sanctions illegal and warned they pose a threat to the world’s economic and trade relations.

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“..claiming the investigation into Hunter Biden has been “slow-walked,” claiming Weiss had purposefully delayed the trial in order to favor Hunter Biden. Weiss has denied the claim..”

Slow walked? It’s only been 5 years…

Hunter Biden Special Counsel To Meet With Republican House Judiciary Panel (Sp.)

Members of the House Judiciary Committee will grill Special Counsel David Weiss over alleged favoritism in a criminal trial against the US president’s son. Special Counsel David Weiss is scheduled to meet with members of the House Judiciary Committee next month as Republicans continue to probe the handling of Hunter Biden’s criminal case. The private meeting will take place November 7 after prodding from House Judiciary Committee chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) who has alleged favoritism in the handling of charges against US President Joe Biden’s son. Jordan has long been a critic of the handling of the case, criticizing the role of Attorney General Merrick Garland, among others.

Two IRS workers claiming to be whistleblowers have come forward in recent months claiming the investigation into Hunter Biden has been “slow-walked,” claiming Weiss had purposefully delayed the trial in order to favor Hunter Biden. Weiss has denied the claim. Hunter Biden was previously set to accept a plea deal in the case, pleading guilty to willfully failing to pay taxes, but the deal fell apart amidst questions over to what degree the deal would shield the president’s son from future charges. Critics have alleged the deal was designed in an overly-favorable way to protect Hunter Biden from prosecution over several crimes. Weiss has indicated charges may be filed against Hunter Biden in Washington, DC or California where the IRS workers say there is more evidence of tax crimes.

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Sounds juicy, but: the book deal.

Joe Biden Paid Nearly $2.75million CASH for Rehoboth Beach house (DM)

It’s Joe Biden’s favorite place – his summer home in Delaware where he has decamped dozens of times during his 1,000 days as Commander-in-Chief. As DailyMail.com revealed on Tuesday he has spent at least 300 of those days either in the country’s second smallest state or on vacation. He bought the home at a time that it appeared his political career was over – five months after his Vice-Presidency had ended he was well into his 70s and after all he had decided to forgo a 2016 run for the top job. But now that house in the tiny town of Rehoboth Beach could turn out to be a major embarrassment as Republicans continue their push to find business links between the 46th president and his son Hunter. DailyMail.com has discovered that then-private-citizen Biden, who had spent virtually all his adult life in public service, bought the home for slightly under $2.75million – in cash.

And making the transaction even stranger it was within weeks of a highly questionable text that Hunter had sent to Runlong ‘Raymond’ Zhao, an associate at Chinese oil giant CEFC asking to seal a deal worth $10 million a year. ‘I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled,’ Hunter wrote Zhao on WhatsApp on July 30, 2017. He then appears to threaten Zhao – who he calls Z. ‘Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand,’ he writes at 9.45 am. ‘And now means tonight,’ he adds, apparently referring to time in Beijing, which is 12 hours ahead. ‘And Z if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang or the chairman I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction.

He signs off emphasizing: ‘Ok my friend – I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father. I sure hope whatever it is you are doing is very, very, very important.’ There is no proof that Joe Biden actually was sitting with his son, but metadata from photos obtained by DailyMail.com from Hunter’s infamous abandoned laptop show he was at his father’s main house, his Wilmington mansion, the day the text was sent. James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight Committee and one of the key figures leading calls for Biden’s impeachment, said the all-cash house purchase is suspicious. ‘The fact that Joe Biden purchased a luxurious beach house around the same time his family was receiving millions from a CCP-linked company raises many questions that need to be answered,’ Comer told DailyMail.com. ‘The House Oversight Committee will continue to follow the money trail to determine the extent of President Biden’s involvement in his family’s influence-peddling schemes and its impact on our national security,’ Comer added.

[..] His tax records from the time show he was beginning to make much more money than while he was Vice President, mostly from sales of his memoi, Promise Me, Dad, and lucrative speaking engagements by him and First Lady Jill Biden. In 2017, the first year Joe was out of office after 36 years in the Senate and eight more as vice president, the couple declared an income of $11 million, and a further $4.58 million in 2018. At the time of Joe’s Rehoboth house purchase, local news site Delaware Online reported that it had been bought ‘using part of their advance from a multi-book deal’. But even if the money for the home came from the $11 million he and Jill earned that year according to their tax filings, there are still large discrepancies in the President’s financial disclosures that remain unexplained. An analysis published last year by DailyMail.com shows a $5.2 million discrepancy between his IRS filings and his Office of Government Ethics disclosures for the same period.

Comer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1715437026160382022

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Platypus
https://twitter.com/i/status/1715624902361747637

 

 

Snow leopard

 

 

 

 

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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)

 

 

 

 

VDH

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

“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.

Shokin

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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.”

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”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.

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Demonetized.

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.”

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Handpan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1695363907282444337

 

 

Polly
https://twitter.com/i/status/1695439851510706578

 

 

 

 

Frederik

 

 

Roar

 

 

Puppies- so cute….
https://twitter.com/i/status/1695328439937429802

 

 


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

 

 

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Aug 132023
 
 August 13, 2023  Posted by at 9:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  48 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Beach at Scheveningen in Stormy Weather 1882

 

Comer Ready To Subpoena Bidens’ Phone, Bank Records, Grant Immunity (JTN)
Prosecutors Want To Interview Joe Biden In Classified Memos Case (JTN)
Comer, Jordan Slam Hunter Biden Special Counsel ‘Coverup’ (ZH)
Now THAT Is Ridiculous (Denninger)
Appeals Court Judges Compare Biden Social Media Pressure To Mafia (JTN)
Congress Probing FBI Collection Of J6 Phone Location Data (JTN)
F-16 Training For Ukrainian Pilots Barely Getting Off the Runway (Sp.)
Russia Committed To Principle Of Inadmissibility Of Nuclear War (TASS)
Ray McGovern Has Never Been More Scared of Nuclear Catastrophe (SP)
US-Led NATO Drowns Ukraine in a Bloodbath (SCF)
US and NATO Arms Industries Hit Record $400 Billion in Sales (SCF)
Italy Launches $550 Million Airbnb Case (RT)

 

 

 

 

Greenwald

 

 

Devine

 

 

 

 

Schweizer

 

 

How much longer can the wagons protect them?

 

 

Event 201

 

 

 

 

“We’re getting closer every day to showing that Joe Biden was the ringleader in this, not Hunter Biden..”

Comer Ready To Subpoena Bidens’ Phone, Bank Records, Grant Immunity (JTN)

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer on Friday night pointedly dismissed the appointment of a special counsel in the Hunter Biden criminal probe as “another maneuver… to obstruct” Congress and vowed to escalate his investigation by subpoenaing Hunter and Joe Biden’s phone and bank records and offering witnesses immunity. “We’re getting closer every day to showing that Joe Biden was the ringleader in this, not Hunter Biden,” Comer said in an exclusive interview with the “Just the News, No Noise” television show just hours after Attorney General Merrick Garland shocked Washington by announcing that he was upgrading Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss to a special counsel after four years of investigating the Biden family finances.

Comer dismissed Garland’s decision as ineffective, noting Weiss had years to bring serious charges and instead managed to construct a plea deal that spared Hunter Biden prison for tax evasion and gun charges that even the trial judge could not accept. “It’s another maneuver by the Justice Department to obstruct our investigation. I find it odd that, the day after I announced that we had put together a case that would win in court to subpoena Joe Biden’s personal bank records, then lo and behold, Merrick Garland strikes again,” Comer said.

“I assumed he would try to indict Trump or something. But no, he appoints a special counsel and he appoint the same person who had supposedly been investigating Hunter Biden for years, who let the statute of limitations expire on all of his obvious tax crimes, who tried to negotiate a sweetheart plea deal that led him off scot free. And less than two weeks later, after a judge rejects that sweetheart plea deal, Merrick Garland appointed special counsel for the sole purpose to obstruct our credible, effective oversight House investigation of Biden corruption.” Comer said he is now prepared to subpoena the credit card and bank records of the president and his son as well as their phone records to check witness allegations that Joe Biden got financial benefit from Hunter Biden’s clients and talked and met with them at various times.

“We’re at the point to where we put together a case where we have emails, we have text messages, we have pictures, we have bank records. Now we have sworn testimony from associates like Devon Archer. We are ready now to be able to subpoena the personal bank records of the Bidens,” he said. “What we’ve got now are their shady shell company. Now, we need the personal records,” he said. “Because when we show… that chart that shows China and Romania and Russia and the arrows go into shell companies and into the Biden’s family, we think there may be another arrow beyond the Biden family. And that would go to Joe Biden himself. And that’s what people have told us. That’s what the emails suggest. And that’s what we’re trying to determine now. And that’s where our investigation is headed.”

[..] “We’re going to continue to exercise our subpoena power. Hopefully, when we move to impeachment inquiry, that’ll be able to give us tools like granting immunity,” he explained. “If we could grant immunity. I think people like Devon Archer would have would have said a whole lot more. I think people like Eric Sherwood would tell a lot of things that that the Bidens have done that we know they’ve done, that everyone in America knows they’ve done.”

Read more …

Robert Hur? Almost forgot about him.

Prosecutors Want To Interview Joe Biden In Classified Memos Case (JTN)

Special Counsel Robert Hur wants to interview Joe Biden in his classified memos investigation, and the president’s attorneys have been in negotiations for about a month. Hur was appointed last January, two months after special counsel Jack Smith was appointed to investigate former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents, according to NBC News. The issues being negotiated include the time and place of the interview, as well as the scope of the questions. The reporting on this suggests that the investigation has a way to go before wrapping up, but “an interview with the person at the center of an investigation typically takes place near the end of the process,” according to NBC.


While most of the classified documents found starting in November of last year were related to Biden’s time as vice president, some went as far back as when he was a U.S. senator from Delaware. They were found in his office in Washington at the Penn Biden Center, at a second office of the Penn Biden Center in the Chinatown area of Washington, D.C. and at his home in Wilmington, Del. Trump was indicted on 37 counts based on seven charges in June in his classified documents investigation. One such charge was for a violation of the Espionage Act. Based on current polling, both Trump and Biden are well ahead in their races to be the nominees of their respective parties, setting up a 2024 rematch of the 2020 election for president.

Read more …

When the Weiss-negotiated Hunter plea deal was thrown out, Garland made Weiss a special counsel. What links the two moves is that both are designed to keep all information under wraps.

Garland and Weiss must know this will not be accepted -it’s against the law-, but they entered it on Friday, so they have a whole weekend in which Weiss is able to manipulate even more files than in his previous position.

Paul SPERRY: “By suddenly acquiring special counsel status, Hill investigators say embattled prosecutor David Weiss can now avoid testifying next month before the House Judiciary Committee and face grilling over reports he helped obstruct a broader investigation into Hunter Biden..”

Jack Posobiec: “The appointment of Weiss as a ‘Special Counsel’ allows the Biden DOJ to keep the investigation open indefinitely and stall all House requests for information to coverup the Biden family corruption ring..”

Comer, Jordan Slam Hunter Biden Special Counsel ‘Coverup’ (ZH)

The Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, James Comer (R-KY) said in a Friday statement that the announcement of a special counsel in the Hunter Biden investigation is a DOJ “coverup.” “This move by Attorney General Garland is part of the Justice Department’s efforts to attempt a Biden family coverup in light of the House Oversight Committee’s mounting evidence of President Joe Biden’s role in his family’s schemes selling ‘the brand’ for millions of dollars to foreign nationals,” Comer said in a lengthy statement shortly after Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the appointment of US Attorney David Weiss as special counsel, the Daily Caller reports.

“The Justice Department’s misconduct and politicization in the Biden criminal investigation already allowed the statute of limitations to run with respect to egregious felonies committed by Hunter Biden. Justice Department officials refused to follow evidence that could have led to Joe Biden, tipped off the Biden transition team and Hunter Biden’s lawyers about planned interviews and searches, and attempted to sneakily place Hunter Biden on the path to a sweetheart plea deal,” the statement continues.

“Let’s be clear what today’s move is really about. The Biden Justice Department is trying to stonewall congressional oversight as we have presented evidence to the American people about the Biden family’s corruption. The House Oversight Committee will continue to follow the Biden family’s money trail and interview witnesses to determine whether foreign actors targeted the Bidens, President Biden is compromised and corrupt, and our national security is threatened. We will also continue to work with the House Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means to root out misconduct at the Justice Department and hold bad actors accountable for weaponizing law enforcement powers,” Comer continued.

House Judiciary Committee Jim Jordan (R-OH) conveyed similar sentiments, telling the Caller: “David Weiss can’t be trusted and this is just a new way to whitewash the Biden family’s corruption. Weiss has already signed off on a sweetheart plea deal that was so awful and unfair that a federal judge rejected it. We will continue to pursue facts brought to light by brave whistleblowers as well as Weiss’s inconsistent statements to Congress.” According to Garland, “The appointment of Mr. Weiss reinforces for the American people the department’s commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters,” adding “I am confident that Mr. Weiss will carry out his responsibility in an even-handed and urgent manner, and in accordance with the highest traditions of this department.” We’re sure he’s quite confident.

Read more …

Denninger’s not the only one who noticed this bit: “Durham’s appointment was invalid for the same reason — remember that? Where was the screaming then?”

NOTE: Durham’s probe also took 5 years or so. And what was the result?

Now THAT Is Ridiculous (Denninger)

There is a point that the in-your-face fraud reaches where one must that there is no longer a functional law enforcement capacity within a part of the government. In this case that’s the entire Federal government, as this is the DOJ itself and the AG of the nation, Garland: “Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday appointed U.S. Attorney David Weiss a special counsel in the Hunter Biden probe, as well as any other matters that arose or may arise from that investigation.” Weiss is the US Attorney who presented a negotiated plea agreement to the judge over Hunter’s conduct that the judge rejected as it appeared to have included terms intended to mislead both the court and the justice system generally. She sent that back, correctly flagging two provisions including an apparent undisclosed immunity deal that was out-of-scope of the charges that were negotiated.

This is flat-out improper and what’s worse is that it appeared both Weiss and Biden’s defense counsel colluded to place said terms in an addendum that was not disclosed in advance of the hearing to the judge which was clearly intended to keep her from knowing about it until, they hoped, she’s signed off on it. Further there are allegations that Biden’s counsel attempted to tamper with the evidentiary chain by trying to represent themselves as being related to counsel for parties that filed other briefs and have them either sealed or stricken from the record entirely. There was quite a tap-dance around that (as its a crazy-level breach of ethics, a violation of the duties of an officer of the court, as all counsel are, and also arguably criminal fraudulent misrepresentation) but as far as I know there hasn’t (yet anyway) been any serious consequences — although the judge was clearly inclined to hammer the responsible parties for very good cause.

That alone is enough to drag Garland out of office by his hair. But there’s more: The appointment appears to be facially-illegal and Garland knows damn well that it is. “(a) An individual named as Special Counsel shall be a lawyer with a reputation for integrity and impartial decision making, and with appropriate experience to ensure both that the investigation will be conducted ably, expeditiously and thoroughly, and that investigative and prosecutorial decisions will be supported by an informed understanding of the criminal law and Department of Justice policies. The Special Counsel shall be selected from outside the United States Government.”

Weiss cannot be appointed to this position as he is a sitting US Attorney! It is explicitly unlawful under the CFRs for Garland to appoint him — or any other sitting US Attorney. By definition a “Special Counsel” must not be a person inside the US Government; that’s the entire point of a Special Counsel! This act by Garland is not only impeachable it is void as Weiss is not qualified and thus the appointment is an open, public, in-your-face fraud. Where does this leave us as Americans? Nowhere good — and at some point we, as Americans, are going to have to deal with this problem whether we like it or not. PS: BTW Durham’s appointment was invalid for the same reason — remember that? Where was the screaming then?

Read more …

“..this is a really nice social media platform you’ve got there, would be a shame if something happened to it..”

Appeals Court Judges Compare Biden Social Media Pressure To Mafia (JTN)

Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod declared in court that the Biden administration’s efforts to persuade social media companies to remove, throttle and suppress purported misinformation on COVID-19, Hunter Biden’s laptop and elections reminded her of a mafia movie. That was just one of the most memorable examples of the frosty reception Justice Department Civil Division lawyer Daniel Tenny received Thursday from the three-judge panel considering whether to lift or modify last month’s ban on several forms of contact between the feds and companies — currently stayed by the 5th Circuit — as the First Amendment lawsuit led by Missouri and Louisiana proceeds. The back-and-forth at Thursday’s hearing resembled that between 6th Circuit judges and DOJ’s lawyer at a June hearing in a related social media censorship lawsuit against federal officials by users of X, formerly known as Twitter.

Both panels were appointed by Republican presidents. Echoing the injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, the 5th Circuit judges repeatedly cited specific conversations from the factual record that suggest social media companies feared legal consequences for not complying with White House and agency requests to censor or diminish the reach of websites or social media postings of which the Biden administration disapproved. When Tenny claimed the injunction’s wording was so broad and vague it could ban the government from alerting the public about “untrue statements” about a natural disaster, Judge Don Willett countered that documented private conversations were the issue. Federal officials appeared to practice “fairly unsubtle strong-arming” and make “not-so-veiled threats” in the vein of “this is a really nice social media platform you’ve got there, would be a shame if something happened to it,” Willett said.

Tenny, upon hearing what the judges appeared to be interpreting as coercive pressure, tried to soft pedal the severity of that pressure. “The government is generically going to be angry” when companies resist taking action, but the communications show officials and companies alternating between “friendly” and “testy” conversations, not specific orders to comply “or else.” Judge Elrod didn’t seem particularly convinced, telling Tenny that “Or else” isn’t required when the government and companies have a “very close working relationship” that resembles a supervisor addressing a subordinate. The “irate messages” actually show high-ranking officials badgering counterparts about why they hadn’t taken action against specific accounts as requested, Judge Elrod said: “It’s like ‘jump and how high.'”

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“..you can’t just have the government sweep up everything about you trying to find out if you did something wrong.”

Congress Probing FBI Collection Of J6 Phone Location Data (JTN)

The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday launched a broad inquiry into the FBI’s use of “geofence warrants” to sweep up large buckets of Americans cell phone location data, a relatively new tool that is raising questions about search and seizure powers that date all the way back to the country’s founding, The tactic came to prominence during the Jan. 6 riot investigation when it was revealed more than 5,000 American phone devices had location data gathered by the FBI in a digital dragnet designed to identify anyone who was in or near the U.S. Capitol that fateful day. That geofence warrant plus revelations that the FBI accepted bank records volunteered by a major bank without seeking a warrant or subpoena have trigged concerns of both liberals and conservatives of a modern-day end run around the 4th Amendment.

“The use of geofence warrants raises serious Constitutional concerns,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Jordan wrote Attorney General Merrick Garland in a letter Thursday announcing the congressional inquiry. “First, location history data is not an exact science as the geo-location data represents only a probable estimation of a device’s location within a given radius and margin of error. Second, a geofence warrant is inherently tied to a specific location—not a known suspect, user, account, or crime. “For that reason, among others, courts have wavered on whether searches pursuant to geofence warrants comply with the Fourth Amendment’s requirements of probable cause and particularity,” Jordan added.

In an interview with Just the News, Jordan said the geofence warrant inquiry was part of a larger effort to help Congress modernize civil liberty protections in an era of unprecedented digital surveillance and technological data gathering that also includes bank records and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that was abused during the Russia collusion scandal. “We know that regarding Jan. 6, a couple years ago that the FBI was looking to get your your phone data location, where you were in relation to the Capitol, were you around the Capitol,” Jordan told the John Solomon Reports podcast. “And it was just sort of this blanket approach No predicate to say you know Sally Smith, or John Jones was here. We have reasonable belief they did this. We’d like to know we want to double check that. Nothing like that. Just a blanket.

“And then you couple this with what we learned from a testimony from a whistleblower at the FBI, a few months back, where Bank of America just turned over their customers debit card and credit card purchases in the DC area around Jan. 6 2021. I mean, this is scary stuff,” he added. “It’s so contrary to the principles that our country was founded on. Like, you can’t just have the government sweep up everything about you trying to find out if you did something wrong. That’s not how our system works. “But it sure looks like that’s what’s happening in modern day America, particularly with this Biden administration.”

Jordan’s letter raised a second concern that geo-fence warrants may have been “weaponized for political ends” by the Justice Department, approved against conservatives and Trump protesters but not against liberal activists from the 2020 George Floyd riots. “Federal law enforcement’s interest in geofenced data appears selective,” he wrote. “For example, in 2020, Minnesota police sought a geofence warrant to investigate violent rioting in Minneapolis and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) used geofence warrants to investigate arson throughout Kenosha, Wisconsin. However, it seems that the FBI did not pursue geofenced data to investigate the violent crime occurring at federal facilities during a similar time frame. “In contrast, the FBI readily used geofencing at an unprecedented scope and scale as a part of its investigation and prosecution of the events of January 6, 2021,” he added.

Read more …

They need to learn English first.

F-16 Training For Ukrainian Pilots Barely Getting Off the Runway (Sp.)

Kiev might be clamoring for American-made F-16s amid its faltering counteroffensive, but the first Ukrainian pilots to undergo training on the fighter jets most likely will not be ready to fly them until next summer, according to a US report. A mere handful of six pilots will undergo the first round of instruction, with two other pilots picked as reserve candidates, according to cited senior Ukrainian government and military officials. However, this first group of pilots is not expected to wrap up training anytime soon, sources acknowledged to the outlet. The officials reportedly bemoaned delays by their Western patrons in implementing the instruction program. None of the previously touted “game-changing weapons” funneled from the West have made much impact on the catastrophically slow pace of Ukraine’s ground forces fighting in the ongoing NATO-Russia proxy war.

So begging for the multi-role US fighters to be added to the mix has become Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s mantra of late. While Kiev may have banked on its pilots being ready to fly the single-engine craft, which debuted in the 1970s and has been updated repeatedly, by as early as September, that appears to have been wishful thinking. While sending Patriot missile system, NASAMS, HIMARS, Bradley fighting vehicles, Leopard II tanks, depleted uranium shells, and, more recently, cluster bombs, to Ukraine, President Joe Biden spent close to a year denying Ukrainian appeals for F-16s. He backtracked as the special military operation continued, saying in May that he would green light training Ukrainian pilots on US-made jets, and supported the transfer of the combat planes by other countries. Eleven NATO countries pledged to support the training, expected to primarily take place in Denmark, Romania, and the Netherlands.

After the start of training was pushed back several times, officials were now cited as saying the effort was only gradually getting off the ground. There had previously been reports that the training had hit a major snag due to the language barrier. Now, the outlet said that even though the selected Ukrainian pilots were already fluent in English, at least four months of special English lessons in Britain were required for them to grasp the terminology associated with the F-16s. To complicate matters further, the language instruction for pilots is to take place simultaneously with lessons for Ukraine’s ground staff – suggested as being less proficient in English. The reason for this was because Denmark had allegedly demanded that entire crews be sent together to train.

The language hurdle is believed to have pushed back the beginning of actual combat training, anticipated to take six months, as far as to January, sources said. As for the second batch of pilots, ostensibly of the same size, they might be nowhere near ready to fly F-16s until the end of next year. It was added that 20 more Ukrainian pilots were currently ready for English-language training. “This is called dragging it out,” a Ukrainian official was quoted as fuming. However, the sources revealed that they feared railing openly against their US and European “benefactors” lest they “appear ungrateful.”

Read more …

“Our opponents know these provisions perfectly well..”

Russia Committed To Principle Of Inadmissibility Of Nuclear War (TASS)

Russia is taking all necessary measures to guarantee national security but is firmly committed to the principle of the inadmissibility of a nuclear war, the Russian foreign ministry said on Friday, commenting on the decisions made by Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States to not target strategic nuclear missiles. “The leadership of our country is firmly committed to the principle of the inadmissibility of a nuclear war. We proceed from the fact that there can be no winner in such a war and that it must not be unleashed,” the ministry said. “Russia is taking all necessary measures to ensure its national security, territorial integrity and sovereignty. And it will continue to do so.” According to the ministry, preventing a potential act of aggression against Russia and its allies “is among its highest state priorities.”

The ministry noted that the situation in the sphere of international security and strategic stability is degrading and “discussions about the expediency of measures on not targeting strategic nuclear forces, which have been in place between Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States since the early 1990s, have visibly invigorated.” “Calls are being heard to denounce the relevant agreements in which Russia takes part, “trigger a mechanism of nuclear deterrence,” and aim Russian missiles at the United States and the United Kingdom,” the ministry said. It recalled that on January 14, 1994, Russia and the United States signed the Moscow declaration, where the sides agreed not to aim strategic nuclear missiles at each other. A similar agreement with London was signed on February 15, 1994.

“These are political agreements and impose no legal obligations on the sides. Since they are not international treaties as defined in the Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties of 1969, the procedure of their termination of denunciation is not regulated by international law,” the ministry said. “As for triggering the nuclear deterrence mechanism, in line with the provisions of the fundamentals of Russia’s state policy in the sphere of nuclear deterrence that were endorsed by the Russian presidential decree of June 2, 2020 No355, nuclear deterrence is carried out permanently with respect to certain states and military coalitions (blocs, unions) which view Russia as a potential enemy and possess nuclear weapons and/or other types of weapons of mass destruction or a considerable combat potential of conventional forces. One of the principles of nuclear deterrence is maintaining a certain part of forces and nuclear deterrence means on permanent combat alert. Our opponents know these provisions perfectly well,” the ministry stressed.

Read more …

“Sullivan, Blinken, Nuland… They have the reins of power and they’re telling Biden what to do. They have a sense of unreality that they can prevail. ”

Ray McGovern Has Never Been More Scared of Nuclear Catastrophe (SP)

A retired CIA expert on Russia and rare voice of reason coming from the bowels of the American deep state, Ray McGovern joins host Robert Scheer on another edition of the Scheer Intelligence podcast. With world peace, nuclear weapon prudence and film critique on the agenda, McGovern and Scheer delve into a host of relevant issues stemming from the war in Ukraine and the history behind it. From Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer,” to CNN’s strange truthful broadcast on Ukraine’s counteroffensive, the old boys from the Bronx prod each other’s encyclopedic minds to try and make sense of the state of the world.

While mixed opinions over the atomic bomb film fill the first segment of the episode, the conversation seems to always make its way back to the importance of potential nuclear war on the horizon. As McGovern said, “I spent six decades, count them, six decades following Soviet and now Russian policy. Most of that time professionally and now… really just as intently and I have never, never had so much fear that we are on the cusp of a nuclear catastrophe.” McGovern, an adviser to seven presidents, also dives into the motivations and ramifications of such reckless foreign policy decisions, made by people who supposedly check all the qualification boxes:

“Sullivan, Blinken, Nuland… They have the reins of power and they’re telling Biden what to do. They have a sense of unreality that they can prevail. That was very clear at their first major foreign policy adventure, where the Chinese were kind enough to come to Anchorage, Alaska and they were treated like the British imperialists treated the Chinese on the Yangtze River two centuries ago!” In the end, it is the citizens back home as well as the soldiers on the front lines who get dealt a bad hand from these decisions. McGovern points out the bleak realities of what these aid packages to countries like Ukraine really mean to all parties involved. The most sinister part being how it happens in front of people without them even knowing and that is by design, courtesy of McGovern’s famously coined military, industrial, congressional, intelligence, media, academia, think tank (MICIMATT) complex.

Read more …

SCF op-ed last week.

US-Led NATO Drowns Ukraine in a Bloodbath (SCF)

New figures indicate the Ukrainian military death toll is at least 400,000 after 500 days of conflict. The real figure may actually surpass 500,000. This is much greater than previously estimated, which was already dreadful. Yet, Washington incoherently keeps pushing the failed counteroffensive to the “last Ukrainian”. This bloodbath is an obscenity, a vast imperial crime, with no effort at all by the U.S. and European leaders to sue for peace. Crudely put, war is a racket and the warmongers make a packet. Not surprisingly, the actual casualty figures suffered by the Kiev regime’s military are a closely guarded secret. The NATO sponsors are also keeping a tight lip on the ghoulish losses because to do so would be an admission of the abysmal failure of their proxy war against Russia, and that would entail incurring an almighty political backlash from the Western public. Therein lies a diabolical Catch-22.

Nevertheless, despite the best efforts to conceal the carnage, up to recently several independent observers had estimated the death toll for the Ukrainian forces to be around 250,000 to 300,000 since the conflict erupted on February 24, 2022. Russian military casualties have been put at about 10 percent of those inflicted on the Ukrainian side. New data this week, however, indicate the scale of losses for the NATO-backed Kiev regime to be much higher. Satellite imagery cited by Intel Republic’s Telegram channel of newly dug cemeteries in Ukrainian territory suggests that at least 400,000 military personnel have died in battles with Russian forces. The graves presume individual bodies buried. In addition, not recorded are the countless dead who have been obliterated on battlefields or left to rot by Kiev regime commanders.

Another measure is gleaned from grim reports this week in the U.S. media that there have been 50,000 amputees among Ukrainian soldiers, according to the supply of prosthetic limbs from German manufacturers. Extrapolation from that figure of casualties corroborates the far higher estimate of war dead. Consequently, in light of the amputee numbers, comparisons have been made even by the U.S. media with the level of attrition seen during World War One. The latter is notorious for its horrendous and senseless slaughter of men. The comparisons are correct but strangely glided over by the U.S. media without dwelling on what should be compelling abhorrence towards the violence. If the battles in Ukraine have been previously called a “meat grinder”, then it would be accurate to refer to the country more as a bloodbath.

Read more …

SCF op-ed this week.

US and NATO Arms Industries Hit Record $400 Billion in Sales (SCF)

Western weapons manufacturers are popping champagne corks over record sales with total revenues hitting $400 billion for last year. According to media reports, this coming year-end will see that record figure exceeded by another salivating $50 billion. Ukraine may be resembling a bloodbath, as we noted in last week’s editorial. But apparently, Western military corporations are swimming in a bonanza of profits and stock market investments. Most of this lucrative new business stems from NATO’s proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, which is heading toward its second year. There is no sign of a diplomatic effort from the West or the Kiev regime it sponsors to end the bloodshed.

The main corporate beneficiaries making a financial killing from Ukraine are by far the American firms. They include such behemoths as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and RTX (formerly Raytheon). But also enjoying soaring profits are arms makers in other NATO countries: BAE in the United Kingdom, Airbus in France, Netherlands and Spain, Leonardo in Italy, and Germany’s Rheinmetall. This week the Joe Biden administration requested another $24 billion in U.S. taxpayer-funded aid to Ukraine. It’s hard to keep track of the money flowing from NATO countries to prop up the Nazi regime in Kiev. Even the NATO authorities don’t seem to know the precise figures, such is the rampant corruption that is inevitably associated with the vast doling of funds. But estimates of total U.S. and NATO aid to Ukraine range from $150 billion to $200 billion over the past year alone.

What we are seeing is an audacious racket whereby the American and European public are subsidizing the funneling of their own taxpayers’ money into the coffers of weapons firms. And there is no democratic choice in the matter. It’s a fait accompli. Or, put another way, extortion. Of course, too, part of this huge scam is the hefty financial cuts for the inner circle of the Kiev regime, including its puppet president, Vladimir Zelensky, and the brazenly sleazy defense chief Aleksy Reznikov. It is reckoned that at least $400 million has been grafted by the top members of the regime from the arms bazaar flowing into Ukraine. Reznikov has even boasted that his country serves as a testing ground for NATO weaponry.

Read more …

“.. the company will have the right to sue hosts who have not paid the tax, and thus raise the funds to pay the government bill..”

Italy Launches $550 Million Airbnb Case (RT)

Italian authorities have accused US-based online accommodation booking firm Airbnb of not paying roughly €500 million ($547 million) in taxes, national news outlet Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Friday. A probe has been launched by Italy’s Revenue Agency (Agenzia delle Entrate), a government body that enforces financial laws and collects taxes, according to the outlet. Italian legislation governing short-term rental platforms states that professional landlords that lease accommodation must pay a 21% flat-rate tax on income they receive from rentals. In cases with non-professional hosts, or property owners for whom rentals are not the main source of income, platforms such as Airbnb have to act as agents and withhold the tax from transactions, before turning it over to the authorities.

Non-professional hosts make up the majority of Airbnb offers. The platform has repeatedly tried to contest the Italian legislation, but has so far failed. The EU Court of Justice ruled in December last year that the Italian law does not contradict broader EU legislation, effectively giving Italy the green light to demand the tax from the platform. According to the report, Airbnb has been negotiating with the Italian Revenue Agency for months to identify the exact group of hosts for whom the company should act as a tax agent. The final bill will depend on the number of non-professional hosts that Airbnb represents, the news outlet noted. Analysts have warned that after Airbnb and Italy’s tax authorities come to an understanding, the company will have the right to sue hosts who have not paid the tax, and thus raise the funds to pay the government bill.

If the estimations are correct, the €500 million settlement will be the second-highest figure ever requested by Italy from an internet company, following the €870 million it demanded from Meta platforms. The multinational owner of Facebook and Instagram was accused of failing to pay VAT in the country earlier this year. In the last ten years, Italy’s authorities have stepped up efforts to battle tax evasion and have collected nearly €3 billion from multinationals that initially failed to pay tax, according to Il Sole 24 Ore. Over €800 million was collectively paid by internet giants Apple, Google, Meta, PayPal, and Netflix.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

3D

 

 

Draco

 

 

Mandarin duck
https://twitter.com/i/status/1690472670700175361

 

 

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Aug 122023
 


Vincent van Gogh Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather 1882

 

AG Garland Appoints Special Counsel in Hunter Biden Probe (Sp.)
Ukrainian Lives Cheaper Than American, Polish President Suggests (RT)
What is Poland’s Role in Ukraine and Could Warsaw Invade? (Sp.)
West Can’t Defeat Russia – Serbin President Vucic (RT)
YouTube Deletes Scott Ritter’s Channels (Sp.)
August Psychodrama (Kunstler)
Ukraine Capitulation Way To Peace, But US, Kiev Resist – Medvedev (TASS)
How Zelensky ‘Blackmails’ the US – Mercouris (Sp.)
China Is Run By ‘Bad Folks’ – Biden (RT)
Türkiye Believes Ukraine Peace Talks ‘Futile’ Without Russia (RT)
Ukraine SitRep: The End Of The Counteroffensive (MoA)
Musk Reveals New Location For Proposed Fight With Zuckerberg (RT)

 

 

 

 

Weiss delay

 

 

CDC Data Shows Excess Mortality for Ages 0–24 is at 44.8%.

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Tucker Sund
Thompson said Pelosi was off limits for the committee’s “investigation” into Jan 6. Pelosi’s security chief, Jamie Fleet, told J6 committee the office started planning for January 6 IN THE SUMMER OF 2020.

 

 

 

 

High time for Congress to impeach Garland. He let Weiss run out time on the Hunter probe (5 years?!) , and now wants more powers for the same Weiss. To be used to run out more time (5 more years?!). If Weiss is special counsel, Congress can’t investigate. Meanwhile, both appear unaware that a special counsel must come from outside government, and Weiss is a US attorney. What a mess.

AG Garland Appoints Special Counsel in Hunter Biden Probe (Sp.)

US Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday officially designated US Attorney David Weiss as a special counsel in the ongoing probe into Hunter Biden, marking what insiders have deemed a significant escalation in the investigation of the US president’s son. Weiss, who had been overseeing the investigation into Hunter Biden, approached Garland with the proposal to be appointed as a special counsel, emphasizing the need for an impartial and uninterrupted continuation of the inquiry as main incentives. “On Tuesday of this week, Mr. Weiss advised me that in his judgment, his investigation had reached a stage at which he should continue his work as a special counsel, and he asked to be so appointed,” Garland said in a statement. Weiss, whose nomination under the Trump administration was confirmed by Senate in 2018, brings a wealth of experience to the table.


In response, Hunter Biden’s legal representative expressed a strong belief in the fairness of the resolution process, highlighting the anticipation of a just outcome. However, not everyone has viewed the move favorably; in fact, critics, predominantly Republican lawmakers, wasted no time in expressing their reservations. US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan both voiced concerns, questioning the credibility of the appointment and citing past disagreements over plea deals. “This action by Biden’s DOJ cannot be used to obstruct congressional investigations or whitewash the Biden family corruption. If Weiss negotiated the sweetheart deal that couldn’t get approved, how can he be trusted as a special xounsel?” McCarthy wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter).

Weiss

Miranda Devine: “It’s like putting the fox in charge of the hen house to appoint David Weiss special counsel – the very US attorney who approved Hunter Biden’s sweetheart plea deal and oversaw an investigation that protected the president and allowed the statute of limitations on the most serious charges to expire.”
https://twitter.com/i/status/1690055160574447616

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Cute headline, but I found this the most remarkable:

“Polish President Andrzej Duda has accused his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin of seeking to conquer Europe..”

“He said the West needed to stop Russia now, before “American soldiers have to shed their blood and to lose their lives in Europe..”

Ukrainian Lives Cheaper Than American, Polish President Suggests (RT)

Polish President Andrzej Duda has accused his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin of seeking to conquer Europe and has insisted that Russia must be stopped in Ukraine where it is “cheap” to do so. In an interview with the Washington Post published on Thursday, the Polish leader was asked to respond to American conservatives who oppose sending additional military and financial aid to Ukraine. “It is very simple,” Duda said. “Right now, Russian imperialism can be stopped cheaply, because American soldiers are not dying.” Unless “Russian aggression” is halted now, “there will be a very high price to be paid,” the Polish president said. President Putin is seeking to restore “czarist territory,” Duda claimed. He said the West needed to stop Russia now, before “American soldiers have to shed their blood and to lose their lives in Europe to restore peace and liberty to the world.”

Duda suggested admitting Ukraine into NATO as the best way to thwart the Kremlin. He admitted that he was disappointed that Kiev did not receive a formal invitation to the US-led block during last month’s NATO summit in Lithuania. He said he planned to push the Biden administration to make sure Kiev gets an invitation next year. Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated on Wednesday that Moscow would bolster its forces along its western borders in response to what he called a growing threat coming from the US and its allies in Europe, which are increasing their own military presence in the region.

The minister pointed to the recent accession of Finland into NATO and the potential joining of Sweden, as well as the increasing militarization of Poland, which he claimed “has become the main instrument of the anti-Russian policies of the US.” Shoigu also alleged that Warsaw is actively seeking to take over parts of Ukraine by forming a so-called Polish-Ukrainian military unit, whose official purpose will be defending Western Ukraine, but will in fact serve to occupy it. The defense minister also stressed that Russia needs to come up with a timely and adequate response to the increasing size of NATO forces in the immediate vicinity of the borders of the Union State of Russia and Belarus.

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History lesson.

What is Poland’s Role in Ukraine and Could Warsaw Invade? (Sp.)

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu accused Warsaw of harboring ambitions to establish a permanent military presence in western Ukraine on Wednesday, saying Polish troops could be dispatched to the country, “ostensibly to ensure…security,” but “in fact – for the subsequent occupation of this territory.” Shoigu’s comments come in the wake of warnings by President Putin last month calling on Warsaw not to follow through with any “revanchist plans” to seize Ukrainian lands, with Putin recalling that Poland surrendered its claims to western Ukraine at the end of the Second World War after receiving German lands as “a gift from Stalin to the Poles.” “Have our friends in Warsaw have forgotten about this?” Putin asked.

Putin and Shoigu’s concerns were recently echoed by Russian Foreign Intelligence chief Sergei Naryshkin, who similarly said that Russia has picked up on chatter within the Polish leadership about efforts to “introduce control” in western Ukraine. Polish officials have dismissed Russian concerns about Warsaw’s intentions, or refused to comment. However, former NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen may have let the cat out of the bag in June when he said that “some countries,” including Poland, might “individually take action” and assemble a new “coalition of the willing” to deploy troops in Ukraine.

What are Poland’s Historical Claims in Ukraine? Poland’s claims to large swathes of Ukraine go back to the era of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth – the long-defunct Eastern European super-state which once controlled vast territories in present-day Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, parts of northwestern Russia, Lithuania, Latvia and a piece of Estonia between the 16th to the 18th centuries. The commonwealth disappeared from the map of Europe in the late 1700s after being partitioned by the Russian Empire, Prussia an Austria, with Poland only reemerging as an independent state in 1918, as Russia was engulfed in internal strife following the February and October Revolutions of 1917.


Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1619)

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“The economy would immediately flourish; energy prices would drop dramatically. Everything would be much easier. I think he knows that the key issue in the US election is the economy..”

West Can’t Defeat Russia – Serbin President Vucic (RT)

All Western efforts to help Ukraine prevail over Russia on the battlefield are in vain, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Thursday, calling on Moscow and Kiev to engage in peace talks. Speaking to Happy TV, Vucic stated that while Western countries are providing Ukraine with massive military assistance, “now it is clear that there is nothing to it,” and an “easy end” to the conflict is nowhere in sight. “A war of attrition is being waged, and with all the strength of the West, Russia will not be defeated on the battlefield,” the Serbian leader opined. Vucic noted that while he is “not sure what Russia has to gain politically,” a truce between Russia and Ukraine would be the best outcome.

“I see initiatives coming from some Arab countries, I hope that something will bring us closer to peace,” the president said, adding that a cessation of hostilities would also be in the interests of US President Joe Biden, who is up for reelection in 2024. “The economy would immediately flourish; energy prices would drop dramatically. Everything would be much easier. I think he knows that the key issue in the US election is the economy,” Vucic said. He also stated that the same would be true for Russia and Ukraine, which the president believes are “exhausted,” although he noted that Moscow was holding up under Western sanctions “better than many expected.” In June, the Serbian leader warned of a possible escalation in the Ukraine conflict, saying that Kiev’s much-touted offensive – which Russia claims has failed to gain any ground – could trigger a strong response from Moscow.

Vucic’s comments come after a recent Saudi-hosted summit in Jeddah attended by officials from some 40 countries. While the list included Ukraine, some of its Western backers such as the US and the UK, and Moscow’s partners from the BRICS group (Brazil, India, China and South Africa), Russia itself was not invited. Moscow has argued that without its participation, any peace talks are pointless. While the summit did not end with an official communique, the Wall Street Journal reported that Ukraine refrained from pushing its peace formula requiring the withdrawal of Russian troops from all territory Kiev claims as its own. Ukraine, however, denied that it had given up on its plan, which rejects any compromise on the ground with Moscow.

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Macgregor next?

YouTube Deletes Scott Ritter’s Channels (Sp.)

Google-owned video hosting giant YouTube has deleted Scott Ritter’s YouTube channel. A banner reading “This account has been terminated due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy prohibiting hate speech” greets anyone trying to navigate to Ritter’s channel. The company did not provide any information about the nature of these alleged “multiple or severe violations,” or how Ritter’s mostly Ukrainian crisis-related commentaries and interviews constituted “hate speech.” YouTube allows for user-based reporting of any alleged “hate speech,” prompting concerns from content creators over the years that the video hosting giant lets organized online activists to silence voices and views they might not like or agree with, or which challenge important state and corporate narratives.

Ritter responded to YouTube’s decision in a pair of tweets Friday, saying the move is an attempt by US-based social media platforms to silence him. “There was never any hate speech involved in any of the episodes of ‘The Scott Ritter Show’, unless one views unique content from silenced voices hateful,” Ritter wrote. “Knowledge is power, ignorance is weakness. YouTube, through its actions, makes America and Americans weak,” he added. Pointing out that his channel was removed the same day that “Ask The Inspector,” another of his channels, got scrubbed, Ritter emphasized that “this is a targeted effort by YouTube to remove/minimize my voice, and those of my guests and the people who took the time to ask probing questions about the pressing issues of the day.”

“Those who are behind this should know – you won’t succeed. There is a vast social media world out there beyond YouTube. And for those voices who still use YouTube as the primary vector to your audience, understand this – conform or perish. If you’re doing a geopolitical show, and you’re still platformed by YouTube, ask yourself why. And be willing to live with the answer,” he added. Ritter is no stranger to censorship by major online platforms. Last year, he was suspended from Twitter after calling Joe Biden a “war criminal” and accusing him of “seeking to shift blame for the Bucha murders” on Russia. He was later reinstated, but suspended again after a “test, test, test” tweet stating that “Bucha was a war crime,” and that “Ukraine did it.” He has since been reinstated again. Ritter has faced a seemingly organized campaign against him on the microblogging platform, with users appealing to the site’s owner to have him permanently banned.

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“Joe Biden” is what has driven the Democratic Party insane. And now, of course, they can’t seem to get rid of him, like a demon riding them through an endless nightmare.”

August Psychodrama (Kunstler)

One thing that has become clear in this cabbage soup of perfidy, is just how blobbed-up Volodymyr Zelensky was when President Donald Trump made that fateful phone call to him in August of 2019 inquiring about “JB’s” curious doings in Kiev over the years. Did Z follow-up that call immediately with one to Alexander Vindman in the National Security Counsel… who then called Eric Ciaramella of the NSC and CIA? Because, voilà, there was something supernatural about how fast we were off to Impeachment Number One!

And now the not-insane cohort of Americans is prompted to ask whether this war in Ukraine was provoked in any part to cover-up all the nefarious blobbery that preceded it — and not just Hunter and “Joe Biden’s” capers, but the machinations, too, of State Department blobette Victoria Nuland and her retinue in the Kiev embassy, Marie Yovanovitch, George Kent, and many others of the Blob persuasion. A review of all this suggests that “Joe Biden” is what has driven the Democratic Party insane. And now, of course, they can’t seem to get rid of him, like a demon riding them through an endless nightmare.

Instead, they have bent every last effort to get rid of “JB’s” supposed rival, Donald Trump, who has been inducted into a Lawfare-engineered chamber of horrors designed to slice-and-dice him into a million pieces and strew the shreds into the Potomac for the blue crabs to feed on. One can’t imagine a lamer case than the charges Special Counsel Jack Smith has cooked up against Mr. Trump for verbally expressing doubt about the probity of election 2020. Will Mr. Smith be able to prove any of this, assuming that it is now against the law in America to believe something and say so?

Logically, Mr. Trump’s defense might present reasons why he believed the election was rife with fraud, by introducing evidence of said fraud, of which there is actually an impressive amount now, despite whatever mendacious bullshit you see in The New York Times and on MSNBC. Do you suppose Judge Tanya Chutkan would do anything but allow that evidence to be introduced? And if she disallows it, is that not instantly grounds for a mistrial, since it would prove beyond a reasonable doubt there were good reasons, after all, for Mr. Trump to express what he believed?

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“the enlightened world once again shuddered upon learning of the allocation of tens of meaningless billions of dollars for the zombies from Country 404..”

Ukraine Capitulation Way To Peace, But US, Kiev Resist – Medvedev (TASS)

The only thing Ukraine really needs is capitulation, which could very likely pave the way to peace, but neither Washington nor Kiev want such an outcome, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said. “The people suffering in the trenches of a divided country really need only to surrender, which could potentially pave the way to peace. But neither Washington nor Kiev want peace,” he wrote on his Telegram channel. Medvedev pointed out that, “the meat processing plant that is [Kiev’s] counteroffensive is now operating nonstop, sending thousands of unfortunate people to the slaughterhouse.” “But this operation is already powerless to help the Kiev regime, which has now advanced to the stage of post-mortem putrefaction. Nothing could regalvanize its corpse at this point,” the senior official concluded.


Commenting on the Biden administration’s latest request to the US Congress to appropriate another $13 billion in emergency military aid to Kiev, Medvedev noted that, “the enlightened world once again shuddered upon learning of the allocation of tens of meaningless billions of dollars for the zombies from Country 404 (a euphemism for Ukraine – TASS).” At the same time, “the kamikazes stuck in burning Western tanks will not see this [money allocated by Washington],” Medvedev asserted. “They will see nothing but death,” he added. At the same time, the senior official pointed out, this money is very important “for the gerontocratic elite of the US Democratic Party and its lackeys in the EU.” “After all, the myth of the ‘great counteroffensive’ is sustained by the myth of the ‘almighty dollar-based economy,'” he explained.

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“If the US dumps Ukraine, then the Kiev regime would collapse and the blame for that would be laid at the door of the Biden administration”

How Zelensky ‘Blackmails’ the US – Mercouris (Sp.)

The Kiev regime openly opposes any scenario of a ceasefire in Ukraine and is likely to derail any Western-led peace initiatives, the analyst stressed. “I wouldn’t assess it as a high risk. I would assess it as a certainty,” Mercouris said. “They will do everything they can to disrupt negotiations. They will take steps of that nature. They will try to goad the Russians, as they’ve always been trying to goad the Russians into extreme reactions, which they can then capitalize on to sort of build up opposition to Russia in the West. So there will definitely be trying to do things like that. And of course, they will pull every lever that they can in the United States and Europe with people who are sympathetic to themselves. To disrupt and interfere with the negotiations. They will speak to the Green Party in Germany. They will speak to the political leaders in Britain. They will contact the authorities in Brussels. They will speak to their friends in Congress. They will do everything that they can to disrupt the process,” Mercouris emphasized.

Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky minces no words in chastising those advocating a ceasefire in Ukraine and negotiations with Russia. Kiev regime officials believe that a ceasefire or freezing the conflict would mean only one thing – Russia’s actual victory and Vladimir Putin’s personal triumph. Judging from Podolyak’s earlier statements, the Kiev regime desires nothing less than degrading and dismembering Russia. “[Russia] have to come up with a different name for themselves. They have to shrink in size, they have to change their rhetoric. They have to go to court and so on. I want you and me to consciously understand what our key task is, why we cannot stop in the middle of the road, already realizing what price we are paying for the fact that today it is possible to finally resolve this issue with Russia,” Podolyak said on August 3 in a TV interview.

[..] “That problem with Ukraine, given the mindset that exists in Ukraine, which does have support within Ukrainian society, it’s not just Podolyak and people like him who are talking like that,” Mercouris pointed out. “There are other people in Ukraine who very much take those views. It’s going to be very, very difficult to find any kind of way to get Ukraine to change, to change its stance. The one thing I would say is this: If you’re going to seek a diplomatic outcome to this war, it’s hopeless to think that you can do it by getting Russia and Ukraine to sit down and talk with each other. We came to a point last year when it seemed like that was going to happen, but it’s not going to happen from this point onwards I mean, Ukraine has said too much. It’s rhetorical stance has hardened beyond the point where negotiations are really practical,” the expert explained.

[..] The only possible way out, seen by the analyst, are direct talks between Washington and Moscow with regard to a peace settlement in Ukraine. Plausibly, Ukraine’s extreme dependence now on the United States and on Western powers could help Washington force the Kiev regime into accepting a peace framework agreed between Moscow and Washington. That being said, Ukraine’s excessive dependence on the US and NATO is a double-edged sword, as the Zelensky government has reached the point when it could blackmail the United States. The United States was incredibly unwise to overcommit and overinvest in Ukraine, according to Mercouris. “This is a very interesting point,” the analyst noted. “But again, history to some extent provides the explanation, because dependency actually can increase the leverage of the party that is apparently in that position of dependency.

Because what can happen in that situation is that, of course, if the United States starts to apply pressure, if it dials back economic and military aid, then what it risks in Ukraine is an uncontrolled collapse. It’s only US military and economic aid that is keeping this thing afloat at all. So the very fact that Ukraine is so dependent on the United States gives Ukraine leverage over the United States, because the one thing the United States will not want in Ukraine is an uncontrolled collapse, an uncontrolled collapse which would be blamed on the administration itself.” The Zelensky regime can play on that by reminding Washington that it has already invested too much in the Ukraine proxy war, and therefore it can’t just cut the Kiev regime off. If the US dumps Ukraine, then the Kiev regime would collapse and the blame for that would be laid at the door of the Biden administration, according to the analyst.

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Go talk to the drapes, Joe.

China Is Run By ‘Bad Folks’ – Biden (RT)

US President Joe Biden has escalated his attacks on Chinese leaders, reportedly telling donors to his re-election campaign that China’s government is run by “bad folks” who may take dangerous actions as their economy teeters on the brink of collapse. Biden claimed on Thursday at a fundraising event in Park City, Utah, that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government was in “trouble” because Beijing’s economic problems were a “ticking time bomb,” according to multiple media reports. He backed up his assertions with several erroneous claims about China’s economy and demographics. “They got some problems,” Biden told supporters. “That’s not good because when bad folks have problems, they do bad things.”

He falsely stated that China had the “highest unemployment rate going” and more people of retirement age than of working age. He mocked Xi’s signature Belt and Road Initiative as the “debt and noose,” alluding to the loans China provides to developing nations. The remarks were reminiscent of comments Biden made at a similar political event in June, when he referred to Xi as a “dictator.” Chinese officials lodged a formal complaint in Washington and called the insult a “political provocation.” Biden dismissed the controversy when asked at a press briefing about Beijing’s reaction, saying he didn’t think there would be “any real consequence.” At Thursday’s fundraising event, the 80-year-old US president said he wants to have a “rational relationship” with China, adding, “I don’t want to hurt China, but I’m watching.”

He didn’t specify which potential Chinese actions concern him, though US-China tensions over self-governing Taiwan have escalated in the past year. Biden claimed that China’s economic growth has slowed to 2%. Chinese GDP rose at a 5.5% pace in this year’s first half, compared with the US rate of around 2.2%. As Western economies feel the effects of historically high inflation, China is dealing with deflation. The country has more than three times as many people of working age as people 60 and older. China’s unemployment rate is around 5.2%, compared with 6.4% in the Eurozone. Spain and Greece both have double-digit jobless rates.

Biden has made incendiary comments about Xi’s government at a time when his administration is trying to improve strained relations between the world’s two largest economies. His “dictator” remark came just one day after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken concluded a long-awaited visit to China. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and US climate envoy John Kerry later made visits to Beijing. The Utah fundraiser was held at the home of Mark Gilbert, a former US ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. Donors reportedly had to pay at least $3,300 to attend. Hosts paid $100,000, and guests who contributed at least $50,000 were allowed to speak with Biden and have a picture taken with him. Those paying $10,000 to $25,000 could get a photo with the president.

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Erdogan would love this on his resumé. Peacemaker.

Türkiye Believes Ukraine Peace Talks ‘Futile’ Without Russia (RT)

Türkiye is convinced that any peace negotiations on Ukraine that do not involve Russia will yield “no results and no solution,” according to the Hurriyet newspaper. Ankara reportedly voiced its position during a meeting on the conflict hosted by Saudi Arabia earlier this month. The summit in Jeddah brought together some 40 nations, represented primarily by security advisers and senior diplomats. The talks, which excluded Russia, failed to yield any tangible results, with participants agreeing only that the UN Charter and Ukraine’s territorial integrity should be respected. Türkiye was represented by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s chief adviser on foreign policy and security, Akif Cagatay Kilic.

During the meeting, Ankara stated its position that “if Russia is not included in the search for a solution, there will be no results and no solution,” according to Hurriyet. The Jeddah talks showed that Türkiye remains the only party that speaks “openly and clearly” with both Kiev and Moscow, the newspaper claimed. Türkiye has strived to become a mediator in the conflict, which broke out in February 2022, from its very early stages. The country hosted direct talks last year between Kiev and Moscow in Istanbul, which yielded a preliminary peace agreement. However, the negotiations ultimately collapsed, with Russia accusing Ukraine of discarding the peace deal immediately after it was initiated.

Ankara also emerged as a key broker behind the so-called Black Sea grain deal. The UN-sponsored agreement lifted a blockade from Ukrainian Black Sea ports, enabling the country to export its agricultural produce. Russia repeatedly criticized the deal, stating that it veered away from its original purpose to send produce to the poorest nations, and ended up benefitting Western countries. Moscow also argued that none of the Russian demands envisioned under the deal, including unblocking its own agriculture and fertilizer exports, or the partial lifting of sanctions affecting the sector, were met. Russia refused to prolong its participation in the initiative in mid-July, de facto re-imposing a blockade on Ukrainian ports.

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Russia gets stronger at the same time that Ukraine weakens.

Ukraine SitRep: The End Of The Counteroffensive (MoA)

Western media have finally changed course. They are now admitting that the much promoted Ukrainian counter-offensive has failed. In fact, they acknowledge that it never had a chance to win in the first place. The Hill, the Washington Post and CNN now agree that the Ukrainian army will never achieve its aims. That makes it difficult for the Biden administration to get Congress approval for $24 billion in additional ‘aid’ to Ukraine. It does not make sense to pay for a cause that is evidently lost. The Polish President Duda has also acknowledged that the counter-offensive has failed. Relations between Warsaw and Kiev have gotten worse and Polish interests will not allow for more support or active intervention. Nothing has come from the ‘peace conference’ which Saudi Arabia arranged on Ukraine’s behalf.

Despite the onslaught of bad news the Ukrainian army is still trying to take Russian positions in the south and east of Ukraine. But it simply does not have enough in men and material to break through the lines. Even if they would manage to get a local breakthrough there are not enough reserves to push for the necessary follow up. Just one of the NATO trained brigades has still been held back. All others have been mauled in their various deployment zones. In the northeast around Kupyansk the Russians have started their own offensive which has the Ukrainians on the run. Ukraine has ordered the evacuation of the area: A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for the Ukrainian city of Kupyansk and its surrounding areas, as Russia intensified shelling of Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region and claimed to have captured Ukrainian positions near the city on Thursday. But Kupyansk is a Russian city and people refuse to leave.

The Russian campaign is slowly speeding up. As the Ukrainian Strana.news reports (machine translation): “Also in Ukraine, it is recorded that from Kupyansk to Bakhmut, Russia has increased the number of attacks. “Over the past month, the total number of attacks in the Kupyansk, Limansky and Bakhmut directions has grown significantly. In July, during the week there were 6-6.5 thousand attacks, during the last week-9 thousand attacks, ” – said the representative of the National Guard Ruslan Muzychuk.” According to him, the Russian Federation does not experience “shell hunger”. Aviation is also actively used, and over the past few weeks, more than 50 air attacks have been taking place every day, and sometimes more than 80. That is bad news for the Ukrainian side which lacks the reserves to counter the Russian onslaught. There are also less weapons coming in from the West. F-16 fighter jets will be delayed for another nine months due to training issues. Tanks and other material are in short supply.

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Colosseum.

Musk Reveals New Location For Proposed Fight With Zuckerberg (RT)

Elon Musk has claimed that his much-hyped potential fight against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg will be held at a historic location in the Italian capital, Rome. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano have “agreed on an epic location” for the bout, Musk tweeted on Friday. According to the billionaire, “everything in camera frame will be Ancient Rome, so nothing modern at all.” He followed the announcement with a one-word tweet reading “Gladiator,” in what appeared to be a reference to Rome’s iconic Colosseum. The amphitheater dates back to the first century AD and hosted centuries of gladiatorial spectacles.

According to Musk, the billionaire-on-billionaire beatdown will be managed by his and Zuckerberg’s respective charitable foundations, rather than leading MMA promotion the UFC, as had initially been suggested. Musk has also said it will be live-streamed on both his and Zuckerberg’s platforms, X (formerly Twitter) and Meta, while proceeds will reportedly go to a veterans’ charity. On Meta’s Twitter-like Threads platform, Zuckerberg initially responded to Musk’s announcement that X would livestream the event by sniping: “Shouldn’t we use a more reliable platform that can actually raise money for charity?”

Musk’s plan to rebrand X as a live-streaming powerhouse failed to launch in May when the live announcement of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination was beset by technical glitches. Musk attempted to shrug off the problems as the result of “strained” servers, even though fewer than half a million people were listening. Musk initially challenged Zuckerberg to a cage match – adding the qualifier “lol” – in June after a follower reminded him that the Facebook billionaire was a trained martial artist. Musk, who bought Twitter last year with the aim of transforming it into an “everything app” along the lines of China’s WeChat, claimed that the world was falling “exclusively under Zuck’s thumb with no other options.” Zuckerberg shocked many – perhaps including Musk – by agreeing to the fight and even pushing to hold it sooner, accusing the Tesla tycoon of not being serious.

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Bookstore
https://twitter.com/i/status/1689969234456014849

 

 

Uroplatus
https://twitter.com/i/status/1690031214130823168

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 142023
 


Edward Hopper Railroad sunset 1929

 

The Rape of Lady Justice (Patrick Lawrence)
Trump 1st POTUS in 40 Years Who Feds Didn’t Help Archive Classified Docs (GP)
Trump Could Turn Latest ‘Bizarre’ Bid to Jail Him to His Advantage (Tweedie)
Special Counsel Lied in Trump Indictment (Lee Smith)
Is Special Counsel Smith Singing to an Empty Room? (Turley)
Putin: Ukraine Fails in All Directions of Counteroffensive (Sp.)
Why Can’t Western Weapons Save Day for Ukraine’s Counteroffensive? (Sp.)
US to Provide Ukraine With Depleted Uranium Rounds for Abrams Tanks (Antiwar)
West Told Us ‘To Kill As Many Russians’ As Possible – Ukrainian MOD Chief (RT)
Pentagon Will Replace Destroyed Ukrainian Armor – US State Media (RT)
Nord Stream Scoop, Ukraine and Nuclear War – Ray McGovern (SchP)
US Using Ukraine As ‘Iron Baton’ – Moscow (RT)
Safety On Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant Ensured After Dam Breach – Operator (RT)
House Oversight Panel Subpoenas Former Hunter Biden Associate Devon Archer (ET)
Macron Asks For Invitation To BRICS Summit (RT)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Ep. 3
https://twitter.com/i/status/1668761705982066688

 

 

Ukraine counteroffensive advances…

 

 

Cruz

 

 

Marco Polo

 

 


This map, spanning over 600 million light years on a side, shows that our Milky Way Galaxy is on the edge of the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies, which is connected to the Great Attractor — an even larger grouping of galaxies

 

 

Disinformation
https://twitter.com/i/status/1668637917399621633

 

 

Georgescu

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1668784894946803713

 

 

Putin: We were forced to try to end the war that the West started in 2014 by force of arms. And Russia will end this war by force of arms, freeing the entire territory of the former Ukraine from the United States and Ukrainian Nazis. There are no other options. The Ukrainian army of the US and NATO will be defeated, no matter what new types of weapons it receives from the West. The more weapons there are, the fewer Ukrainians and what used to be Ukraine will remain. Direct intervention by NATO’s European armies will not change the outcome. But in this case, the fire of war will engulf the whole of Europe. It looks like the US is ready for that too.

 

 

 

 

“..the leading Republican candidate who handily defeats the enfeebled incumbent in every poll so far conducted.”

The Rape of Lady Justice (Patrick Lawrence)

Now we have a Miami grand jury handing up indictments on 37 charges related to the documents case. Of these, we must note, 31 counts come under the Espionage Act of 1917. This escalates matters very considerably. A former president and a current contender for the presidency now faces the gravest charge for which American law provides. Trump now keeps company with, among others, Eugene Debs, Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden — others charged under the Espionage Act since the Wilson administration passed this unambiguously unconstitutional law to silence those critical of America’s entry into World War I a century and some ago.

The D.A. in Atlanta is currently investigating, with a view to possible indictments, allegations that Trump interfered in Georgia during the 2020 presidential election. Jack Smith, the special counsel running the Mar-a–Lago investigation, has another one going in Washington, where a grand jury is considering indicting Trump on charges he incited whatever the liberals are calling the protests of Jan. 6, 2021, these days — a coup, a riot, an insurrection, who can keep track? These are criminal cases. On the civil side, there is the preposterous case of E. Jean Carroll, a never-heard-of-her writer who won a $5 million judgment last month based on her claim that Trump assaulted her in a Bloomingdale’s dressing room in (are you ready?) the early 1990s, yet 15 years earlier than the wholesome Stormy alleges she had her go-around with The Donald. Carroll, keeping the ball in the air, is now going for an additional $10 million in damages.

I will no longer use “the former president” to describe the former president. From here on out it will be “the leading Republican candidate” to run against the enfeebled Democratic incumbent next year. Make that “the leading Republican candidate who handily defeats the enfeebled incumbent in every poll so far conducted.” How’s this for a succinct second mention? There is most certainly a revenge factor behind this legal onslaught against the leading Republican candidate who handily defeats …. Democrats have never got over Trump’s triumph over Hillary Clinton seven years ago, when history was supposed to end and orthodox neoliberalism was to reign without challenge as it is now and ever shall be amen. Trump Derangement Syndrome lives, in short.

But we must look forward to understand events on the legal side over the past couple of months. What we now witness is an open-and-shut case of liberal authoritarians’ misuse of the judiciary to keep Donald Trump out of the political process because they are correctly uncertain they can defeat him by way of it. I am all but convinced that the Biden Justice Department does not give much of a damn whether or not the cases against Trump end in convictions. If I am right, the objective is to keep him tied up in judicial rope until the election next year is fought and won. We are already hearing from the nitwittier of mainstream commentators, Rachel Maddow among them but not alone, that it would be fine were Justice to drop all charges providing Trump commits not to run next year.

Parlatore

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“NARA didn’t assist Trump’s team in archiving documents during the transition — unlike it did for the five prior presidents — then made a criminal referral over the documents it didn’t assist in archiving?”

Trump 1st POTUS in 40 Years Who Feds Didn’t Help Archive Classified Docs (GP)

As we all now know, former President Donald Trump has been indicted on 37 counts of willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and false statements after a special counsel investigation. However, was the president set up by the federal government? That is a possible defense that floated into a letter to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in April by Trump’s attorneys, in which they allege the National Archives and Records Administration “has become overtly political and declined to provide archival assistance to President Trump’s transition team” — the first such incidence of this to happen in 40 years. And there’s a reason why NARA usually aids presidents in the transition.

As The Associated Press noted in a January piece about the Presidential Records Act, the Classified Information Procedures Act and other statutes in question here, Trump is “hardly the first president to mishandle classified information.” For instance, while the Presidential Records Act was signed by President Jimmy Carter, it didn’t apply to his administration. The AP reported Carter “found classified materials at his home in Plains, Georgia, on at least one occasion and returned them to the National Archives, according to the same person who spoke of regular occurrences of mishandled documents. The person did not provide details on the timing of the discovery. “An aide to the Carter Center provided no details when asked about that account of Carter discovering documents at his home after leaving office in 1981.

” It’s notable that Carter signed the Presidential Records Act in 1978 but it did not apply to records of his administration, taking effect years later when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated,” the AP’s account continued. “Before Reagan, presidential records were generally considered the private property of the president individually. Nonetheless, Carter invited federal archivists to assist his White House in organizing his records in preparation for their eventual repository at his presidential library in Georgia.” In a letter to House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio in April, former Trump lawyer Timothy C. Parlatore argued that NARA’s cooperation with the outgoing Trump administration differed starkly with what the agency had done with every president since Carter.

“When President Trump left office, there was little time to prepare for the outgoing transition from the presidency. Unlike his three predecessors, each of whom had over four years to prepare for their departure upon completion of their second term, President Trump had a much shorter time to wind up his administration,” Parlatore wrote. “White House staffers and General Service Administration (‘GSA’) employees quickly packed everything into boxes and shipped them to Florida. This was a stark change from the standard preparations made by GSA and National Archives and Records Administration (‘NARA’) for prior administrations.”

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“There’s no more conversation about the other candidates,” he added. “You’ve made Donald Trump the nominee by indicting, effectively.”

Trump Could Turn Latest ‘Bizarre’ Bid to Jail Him to His Advantage (Tweedie)

Federal charges against Donald Trump will only keep him in the media spotlight and help his bid for the presidency, commentators say. Trump is due to appear at a federal court in Miami later in Tuesday for the first hearing over boxes of White House documents found in an FBI raid on his Florida mansion at the Mar-a-Lago golf resort. Writer and editor Jim Kavanagh told Sputnik that the charges would only help Trump as the Republican primaries to select a candidate for the 2024 election loom. “For some reason, they’re terrified of Donald Trump. This is what this just demonstrates, their political fear of Donald Trump. And that’s going to be the problem,” he said. “Clearly they hate Trump for some bizarre reason,” Kavanagh said.

“Normally people in his position, people who are oligarchs or people who are party presidents, even when they do investigations of them, they do the limited hangouts. They don’t go too far with it.” In the wake of charges levelled against Trump in New York for alleged campaign finance violations, the editor of online magazine The Polemicist said President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party administration and “never-Trump” Republicans were looking for any charges to pin on the former president. “I think what it does is it proves to everybody that they’re afraid of Donald Trump,” Kavanagh said. “And that’s the most damning thing I can think of, damning for the Democrats and damning for the American political situation as a whole, that Donald Trump is such a big political presence.”

The writer called the obsession with attacking Trump “bizarre.” “The franticness, the obsessiveness with which they need to feel the need to attack this guy is bizarre to me,” Kavanagh said. “It demonstrates their weakness. They’re helping him, they’re helping to keep him at the center of the political conversation… there’s no use to this for anybody.” Attorney Steve Gill told Sputnik that while federal prosecutors had a strong case against Trump, the case was still “obviously politically motivated.” “The only reason Melania didn’t testify is she would have had to have talked about why did the FBI agents ramble around in her underwear drawer,” Gill said, while Trump could legitimately ask when the Justice Department would act “over all of the documents Joe Biden was stashing completely unsecured in his garage.”

The attorney also stressed that the charge sheet against Trump was excessively long. “Out of the 15 boxes that were at Mar-a-Lago, they’re talking about 131 documents, so they’re overcharging,” Gill said. “Of these 37 counts, 31 of them are repetitive. So they have to keep saying the same thing over again.” Fellow attorney Robert Patillo believed Trump was guilty, but asked why the Democrats and the “deep state” would risk making Trump more popular by casting his as a martyr. “This makes Trump look like he’s persecuted, makes Trump seem that he’s the victim in this situation,” Patillo said. “So why would you want a political persecution against Trump that helps him in the polls, to basically clear of the entirety of the Republican field.”

Ramaswamy

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“..they’re so desperate to avoid Judge Cannon, they lied on the form,” says Patel. “They went forum shopping for a jurisdiction favorable to their case.”

Special Counsel Lied in Trump Indictment (Lee Smith)

The Justice Department’s special counsel team led by Jack Smith lied in the 37-count indictment filed last week against former president and GOP 2024 frontrunner Donald Trump. Page 45 of the 49-page document is a form that prosecutors are required to submit with the indictment. Question number eight asks, “Does this case relate to a previously filed matter in this District Court.” If yes, the questionnaire continues, who was the judge? The correct answer of course is yes. In August, Trump brought a suit in the southern district of Florida to request a special master to review the classified documents seized by the FBI in its raid on his Florida home, Mar-a-Lago. Nevertheless, under the signature of Assistant Special Counsel Jay Bratt, the Smith team answered no — even though the DOJ’s classified documents case is directly related to Trump’s suit.

“They just flat-out checked the ‘no’ box,” says former Trump administration senior official Kash Patel. The one-time federal public defender and federal prosecutor explains that “the indictment requires information for the district court that the prosecutor must be helpful on to facilitate case flow, like asking if there’s a related case. And the rules says that a related case must go the same judge.” The judge in the previous case was Aileen Cannon. Appointed to the bench by Trump in 2020, she ordered the DOJ to stop its review of the seized documents and appointed the special master that the former President requested. Despite an appellate court overturning her decision, “they’re so desperate to avoid Judge Cannon, they lied on the form,” says Patel. “They went forum shopping for a jurisdiction favorable to their case.”

And according to Patel, formerly based in Miami where he tried dozens of cases, that wouldn’t be hard to find. “There are two dozen, maybe 30 judges in that district who would have loved to preside over the trial of the century. Instead, the special counsel drew the one judge they didn’t want to draw, where it should have gone anyway, Judge Cannon.” The court rotation, or “wheel,” randomly landed the case on Cannon’s desk. And now the pathologically anti-Trump mob is directing its fire at her, demanding she recuse herself. “Even if she is personally convinced that she could preside impartially and without any bias or appearance of bias,” Cannon must recuse herself, said Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe. Failing to do so, Tribe told the media, “would violate a federal law regarding a judge’s impartiality.” And if she doesn’t go willingly? Deep State blocking back Norman Eisen says that the chief judge of the district court should strip the case away from her.

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“..Trump may have a better chance running on this case than defending against it..”

Is Special Counsel Smith Singing to an Empty Room? (Turley)

For almost two years, I have written that the most serious threat against Trump would come out of Mar-a-Lago. That torpedo has now hit. Trump’s team is fooling itself if it does not recognize that this has caused damage below the waterline. All indictments tend to diminish with time and adversarial process. As of this writing, we have not heard yet from the defense on these allegations. However, the indictment is full of quotes from lawyers and others made under oath or to federal investigators. If false, either would be grounds for criminal charges. It could also get worse. Trump’s aide, Walt Nauta, has also been charged. According to reports, the Justice Department pressured Nauta and his lawyer for him to flip as a government witness.

Indeed, the defense has charged that prosecutor Jay Bratt suggested that the Justice Department might sink Nauta attorney Stanley Woodward’s application for a federal judgeship unless his client cooperates and changes his testimony. This indictment is clearly designed to concentrate Nauta’s mind on cooperation. If he were to flip (as the person who allegedly moved or concealed these documents), Trump would face a potentially insurmountable case. The problem for the Justice Department is that it has made itself unbelievable in the eyes of many in the public. After years of overt bias and targeting of Trump, polls show that the majority of Americans view the FBI as a politically compromised organization. The use of this type of speaking or “talking” indictment is clearly directed more at the public than at the court or the defendant.

The Justice Department usually prefers a bare-bones indictment, to withhold a full account of its evidence before it has to turn it over to the defense. Smith wanted to show the public that it can trust the government, despite its behavior over the last seven years, as shown most recently by the report of Special Counsel John Durham. This is also the reason Smith turned this indictment into a virtual picture book for public consumption. The Justice Department has left little room for trust among many citizens, and Smith is hoping that these images can change that perspective. But this indictment is likely to do better in the court of law than it does in the court of public opinion. Just as many have Trump fatigue, many also have DOJ fatigue.

This is the third consecutive election in which Trump is being hounded by allegations of crimes. It was immediately preceded by a clear political prosecution in New York State. In other words, the DOJ may have long ago lost the room for this production. That does not mean that Trump can face this deluge of 37 counts and come out dry. The odds favor the government in this type of case. Yet the question is whether there will be a case to prosecute after November 2024. Indeed, whatever the merits of a self-pardon, Republican candidates are already indicating that they would also consider pardoning Trump themselves if they are elected. That is why Trump may have a better chance running on this case than defending against it.

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Putin had a meeting with “military correspondents”.

Putin: Ukraine Fails in All Directions of Counteroffensive (Sp.)

Kiev is so far failing in all directions of their counteroffensive, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, adding that the Ukrainian military has suffered heavy casualties. “The enemy was not successful in any of the directions. They have heavy losses,” Putin said during a meeting with military correspondents. The president mentioned that the Ukrainian military is currently attacking at the Shakhtyorsk and Vremevka directions “but fail to reach the front line.” In total, Ukraine is attacking from four directions, Putin added. “This is a large-scale counteroffensive using, as I said quite recently publicly, reserves prepared for these purposes. It has been going on since [June] 4, and continues to this day, right now,” Putin said. The president also noted that the Ukrainian forces” lost more than 160 tanks [during their counteroffensive], while we lost 54. Some of them can be recovered and repaired.”

“According to my calculations, this is about 25% or maybe 30% of the volume of the equipment that was delivered from abroad, that is about it. It seems to me that if they objectively calculate them, they will agree with this number, but as far as I have seen from open sources, Western sources, that is almost what they say, I think. So the offensive is underway, and the results today are what I just said,” Putin told military correspondents Ukraine lost 160 tanks and 360 armored vehicles during the counteroffensive, and this is only what Moscow sees, the president added. “As for armored vehicles, there are even more serious [losses]. They have lost over 160 tanks and over 360 armored vehicles of various types during this time. This is just what we register. There are also losses that we do not see, which are inflicted by high-precision long-range weapons on clusters of personnel and equipment. So in fact, there are more of them, these losses, on the part of Ukraine,” Putin concluded.

The Russian president noted that with Kiev importing all its weapons and equipment from foreign countries Ukraine’s defense industry will soon completely cease to exist since it is producing nothing. “Ukraine’s defense industry will soon completely cease to exist. What are they producing? They are importing ammunition, equipment, weapons, everything. So one cannot live and last long. That is why the issue related to demilitarization is in a very practical dimension,” Putin highlighted. Russia definitely had no interest in the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant (HPP), this tragedy had entailed severe consequences for new Russian regions, and the responsibility for this lies with Kiev, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “But as we understand, we are definitely not interested in this, because these are serious consequences for those territories that we control and which are Russian — this is the first point.

And the second point — well, unfortunately, I will say a strange thing, but nevertheless, unfortunately, it slowed down their counteroffensive in this direction. Why do I say unfortunately? Because it would be better if they were advancing there. It is better for us, because it would be really bad for them to attack there. But since such a flood occurred, then, accordingly, the offensive did not take place,” Putin told reporters. The president stressed that the Ukrainian side was to blame for the tragedy at the Kakhovka HPP. “Well, it is clear who is to be blamed, the Ukrainian side was striving toward this. You know, I am not going to say things 100% now that I am not sure about, because by and large we did not record big explosions before the destruction occurred, at least that is what I was told. But they purposefully repeatedly attacked with HIMARS Kakhovka HPP. Maybe they had planted some kind of explosives there, I do not know now,” Putin said.

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“Having met with Russian technology, Western technology turned out to be not on par, neither in terms of armament, nor in armor, nor in maneuverability..”

Why Can’t Western Weapons Save Day for Ukraine’s Counteroffensive? (Sp.)

The first days of the well-advertised Ukrainian counteroffensive have borne no tangible results prompting disappointment among Western military analysts. What’s behind the failure? “I would say that the counteroffensive is less than what [the West] expect[s],” Michael Maloof, former senior security policy analyst in the US Office of the Secretary of Defense, told Sputnik. “The extent to which the Ukrainians are undertaking any so-called counteroffensive is more of a probing action than an actual assault and onslaught.” Per Maloof, the failure could be largely attributed to poor planning, lack of manpower, resources and training. The Ukrainian military has so far failed in all directions of their counteroffensive, despite receiving billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment from the US and its NATO allies.

In the first week alone, the Kiev regime forces lost thousands of casualties, along with more than a dozen of German Leopard 2 tanks, nearly two dozen of US-made Bradley infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) and several French AMX-10 RC light tanks. The pictures of destroyed Western military equipment have already been circulated by the media and social networks. The Russian armed forced has destroyed a vast amount of Ukraine’s military equipment since day one of the special military operation, including: 442 airplanes and 238 helicopters, 4,585 unmanned aerial vehicles, 426 air defence missile systems, 9,939 tanks and other armoured combat vehicles, 1,122 combat vehicles equipped with MRLS, 5,100 field artillery cannons and mortars, as well as 10,927 units of special military equipment, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense.

“For some reason, the West believed that the appearance on the battlefield of Western equipment, especially Leopard tanks, would confuse the Russian army, and the Russian army would give up its principles, but the West miscalculated he,” Anatoliy Matviychuk, military expert and retired colonel, who has experience in combat operations in Afghanistan and Syria, told Sputnik. Matviychuk has drawn attention to the fact that the Russian military has repeatedly participated in local conflicts and peace missions starting from 1979. Therefore, despite all the shortcomings of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian military equipment has undergone development and is up to date in terms of modern warfare challenges. “Having met with Russian technology, Western technology turned out to be not on par, neither in terms of armament, nor in armor, nor in maneuverability,” said the expert He placed special emphasis on maneuverability flaws of Western armored vehicles.

Per him, the Eastern European military theater with its freeze, river floods, mud, swamps and other critical weather conditions became a serious challenge for the NATO military equipment. The Ukrainian military has faced a plethora of logistic problems including that the German 60-ton battle tanks could not cross some of Ukraine’s bridges. Europe and the world have suddenly realized that Western-style equipment is not “second to none” in many respects, that it has its own shortcomings, along with its advantages, according to the military analyst. Russia’s relatively rapid obliteration of Western weapons and lack of any tangible victories on the front could affect weapons supplies, according to Sputnik’s interlocutors. “I think countries will begin to see that whatever they’re putting into the mix is getting destroyed rather quickly,” said Maloof.

“Bradleys have already been destroyed. They are sitting ducks. Some Leopard tanks have been destroyed already. The countries that have them cannot continue to supply unless they go into a war time production. And their economies cannot support that right now. They’ve got to start facing reality. They’re not doing that despite the political rhetoric of support. And I think this gives Ukraine a very false sense of not only bravado but a false sense of support. That is not going to continue, because reality dictates otherwise. Look, the European industries are hurting because they on their own cut off their nose to spite their face by cutting off all oil and gas from the east, from Russia. Their quality of life has depreciated greatly. This is going to affect Europe for decades to come.”

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Completely bonkers. They just hired a few people to say it’s harmless.

US to Provide Ukraine With Depleted Uranium Rounds for Abrams Tanks (Antiwar)

The Biden administration is expected to provide Ukraine with controversial depleted uranium ammunition for use with US-made Abrams tanks, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. Depleted uranium is a byproduct of enriched uranium and is extremely dense, making it a good material for penetrating armor. But depleted uranium is radioactive, and it’s been linked to cancer, birth defects, and environmental damage in areas it’s been used, including Iraq, where US forces frequently fired the toxic munitions and the impact is still being felt today. According to the Journal report, there has been a debate within the White House over whether or not to provide Ukraine with depleted uranium rounds. Some officials have raised concerns about the criticism the US could face for providing weapons that might cause health and environmental damage.


The Pentagon has been pushing for the US to arm the Abrams tanks it sends to Ukraine with depleted uranium. The US is refurbishing old Abrams tanks that are expected to arrive in Ukraine by the fall. US-made Bradley Fighting Vehicles can also be armed with depleted uranium, earning them the nickname “tank killer.” Earlier this year, the White House refused to say if it would provide Ukraine with Bradleys armed with the controversial ammunition. The UK has sent depleted uranium rounds to Ukraine for use with the British-made Challenger 2 tanks. The British took the step despite Russian warnings that it would treat Ukraine’s use of the radioactive ammunition the same as a dirty bomb. Russian President Vladimir Putin said his decision to deploy nuclear weapons to Belarus was a response to the UK arming Ukraine with depleted uranium.

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“We were said, ‘No, dig trenches and kill as many Russians as you can before it’s over.”

West Told Us ‘To Kill As Many Russians’ As Possible – Ukrainian MOD Chief (RT)

In the initial days of the conflict in Ukraine, Kiev’s Western backers wanted its forces to make do without military aid and “kill as many Russians” as they could before admitting defeat, Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov has told Foreign Policy magazine. Before NATO leaders pledged to back Ukraine’s war effort for “as long as it takes,” the quantity and quality of arms that the West was willing to send to Kiev was unclear in the days and weeks after Russian forces entered the country. “We asked, ‘can we have stingers?’” Reznikov told Foreign Policy in an interview published on Tuesday. “We were said, ‘No, dig trenches and kill as many Russians as you can before it’s over.’ People thought our victory was impossible.”

Now, Reznikov boasted, Ukraine has been given “Bradleys, Strykers, Abrams, Leopards, and more,” and will soon be equipped with American-made F-16 fighter jets. The White House maintains that American arms deliveries to Ukraine – worth more than $40.4 billion to date – are intended to help Kiev score as many battlefield successes as possible before the conflict is eventually settled at the negotiating table. However, some American officials and lawmakers are more direct with their views. “The Russians are dying,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky during a visit to Kiev last month. “It’s the best money we’ve ever spent.” The Kremlin called Graham’s statement “cannibalistic,” and Russian officials have repeatedly pointed to similar utterances from the Ukrainian government as proof that the military operation must be seen through to its conclusion.

Reznikov told Foreign Policy that Ukraine intends to drive Russian forces back to Ukraine’s pre-2014 borders, which would involve capturing the historically Russian territory of Crimea. He insisted that Russia would not defend its land with nuclear weapons – as Russian nuclear doctrine prescribes – calling the nuclear threat “a bluff.” Despite their promises to retake Crimea, Ukrainian troops are currently faltering as they attempt to breach Russian defensive lines near Zaporozhye. The Russian Defense Ministry estimates that Kiev has lost thousands of troops and scores of Western-provided vehicles in more than a week of attacks without the cover of air support. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the losses of the Ukrainian army “impressive” and blamed the country’s government for taking actions that pushed the situation to the current “tragic” state.

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“.. it may take months or years before the weapons, which come under the banner of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, are contracted by the department..”

And then it still needs to be manufactured..

Pentagon Will Replace Destroyed Ukrainian Armor – US State Media (RT)

The Pentagon will announce on Tuesday a new presidential drawdown of its stockpiles in support of Ukraine’s fight against Russia, Voice of America has reported, citing anonymous officials. The $325 million worth of equipment will include Stryker and Bradley armored vehicles that “can replace those damaged and destroyed in the Ukrainian counteroffensive currently underway,” defense sources told the US government-funded outlet on Monday. The upcoming aid package is set to become the 40th of its kind since the Russian-Ukrainian conflict started in February 2022. Washington has allocated over $100 billion for Ukraine-related spending, including some $40 billion in direct assistance.

In addition to new armored vehicles, the new package will include munitions for National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) and High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), the sources said. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley are visiting Brussels this week to attend a series of NATO meetings. One of the gatherings will be of the so-called Ukraine Defense Contact Group, a key vehicle for coordinating weapons supplies to Kiev by Washington and its allies. Last week, the Pentagon announced the allocation of an additional $2.1 billion in weaponry for Ukraine, though the hardware in that package must be manufactured rather than drawn from American stockpiles.

Bloomberg suggested that it may take months or years before the weapons, which come under the banner of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, are contracted by the department. Last week, Kiev launched its long-expected counteroffensive, pitting its Western-provided tanks and other weapons against Russian defensive positions. So far the thrust has been largely unsuccessful and costly, a fact acknowledged even by some media outlets sympathetic to Ukraine. sMoscow perceives the conflict as part of a US-led proxy war against Russia. It has warned that flooding Ukraine with weapons simply increases the cost of the war but will not alter its outcome.

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“No one has refuted what he had said. They’ve just offered alternative stories.”

Nord Stream Scoop, Ukraine and Nuclear War – Ray McGovern (SchP)

Let’s begin with Hersh’s report. I know Sy Hersh, he’s a friend of mine. There’s no better reporter or meticulous observer of the rules of reporting, namely protecting your sources, that there’s no one better. Okay. And that’s why precisely why sources come to Sy, so to speak. So he had it right, in my view. No one has refuted what he had said. They’ve just offered alternative stories. Okay. Now, about three weeks after Sy issued his report on Substack. No publication would receive and publish it. Fewer of prize winning. Revealer of My Lai in the works and no one would publish science. That speaks volumes as well. Anyhow, three weeks after, as I recall, I had an opportunity to brief the U.N. Security Council. Professor Jeffrey Sachs from Columbia first briefed them via video stream and then I briefed them in person.

They’re sitting around that horseshoe desk. I couldn’t stop thinking about Colin Powell, and anyhow. So I reached them. And the morning of the briefing, we had a paper circulated by the Danes and the Germans and the Swedes saying, We’re deep into our investigation of the Nord Stream pipeline blow up. We don’t need any help. We got it covered. We certainly don’t need a U.N. Security Council to get involved. We got we got a cover that was circulated to everyone on the Security Council that morning. Okay. So those were the talking points. They got the memo, so to speak. Okay. So everybody talked to those talking points. And the Russian ambassador Nebenzya, said, you know, this is kind of hard to understand. Here’s an act of war. Here’s the U.N. Security Council established precisely for the purpose of looking into these things.

And, you know, it’s sort of hard. What’s the hesitation? And and the Chinese representative gave him very, very strong support. I noticed that the Brazilian representative was sitting just about four people down from me, was sort of shuffling his feet and hemming and hawing. And what he said was very mediocre, like, I don’t know, pretty much I don’t really have instructions. Well, that that put that judgment off for a couple of weeks. I think about three weeks since there was a resolution had to be acted on. And so the vote finally came. And when I saw the vote, I saw I first saw the reports. Hey. Russia, for. China, for. Brazil, for. Anybody against? Nobody against. Nobody against? The 12 were all abstentions. Good. You setting a new record for abstentions, though?

Ray McGovern

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“The US is demanding “a result from neo-Nazis – to break through the Russian positions,” no matter the cost, Antonov claimed..”

US Using Ukraine As ‘Iron Baton’ – Moscow (RT)

The US has no plans to push for a peaceful settlement of the Ukraine conflict, and is instead using Kiev as a weapon against Russia to achieve its own goals, Moscow’s ambassador in Washington, Anatoly Antonov, claimed on Tuesday. In a statement on Telegram, the envoy warned Washington is “being deeper and deeper dragged into the abyss of the Ukrainian crisis,” after the US unveiled its latest security assistance package to Kiev worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Antonov accused the US of pushing the situation in Ukraine to “an even greater tragedy” while pressuring dozens of other countries to supply Kiev with weapons in a bid to inflict “a strategic defeat on Russia on the battlefield.”

The US is demanding “a result from neo-Nazis – to break through the Russian positions,” no matter the cost, Antonov claimed. The envoy also suggested that the White House was keen to demonstrate “success” in the fight against Russia in the run-up to the 2024 presidential election. “Americans are not ready to stop at anything. They are not interested in negotiated solutions. Nobody is bothered about the fate of Ukraine, which is used only as an iron baton against Russia.” However, the ambassador insisted that Western weapons would not turn the tide of the conflict, warning that the arms “will again be turned into a pile of twisted metal.”

On Tuesday, the administration of US President Joe Biden unveiled a new $325 million military assistance package, bringing the total value of security assistance provided to Kiev since the start of the conflict in February 2022 to more than $40 billion. As part of the measure, the US has committed to supply Ukraine with additional rocket and artillery munitions, Stinger anti-aircraft systems, and two-dozen armored vehicles. The announcement came after Ukraine launched its long-expected counteroffensive against Russia. Kiev’s troops have thus far failed to gain any ground and have suffered heavy losses, according to the Defense Ministry in Moscow.

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Next false flag target?

Safety On Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant Ensured After Dam Breach – Operator (RT)

Russia will ensure the safety of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant following the Kakhovka dam disaster, Renat Karchaa, an adviser at the country’s national nuclear operator Rosenergoatom, said on Tuesday evening. “We can say with high confidence that the nuclear safety of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant will be maintained in full,” Karchaa told TV channel Rossiya-24. He added that a mobile pumping station was being delivered from a nuclear plant in Smolensk in order to help cool the reactors if necessary. Five of ZNPP’s six power units are shut down. One reactor is currently producing a low level of power to keep the facility operational. Normally, the plant relies on the Kakhovka Reservoir for water to cool its reactors. The Kakhovka hydroelectric dam, which sits close to the front line separating Russian and Ukrainian soldiers, broke on June 6, flooding the city of Novaya Kakhovka, as well as Kherson and surrounding areas.


The water levels have since gradually dropped, according to Vladimir Saldo, a top Russian regional official. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi warned earlier that the destruction of the dam could disrupt the normal functioning of the ZNPP. He said on Sunday that the water level by the Zaporozhye Thermal Power Plant, which is located not far from the nuclear facility, had decreased significantly, however, “water pumps continue to be operable.” Grossi, who arrived in Kiev on Tuesday, plans to visit the nuclear power plant and assess the risks. Moscow and Kiev have blamed each other for the dam disaster. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Ukrainian troops “repeatedly” fired rockets at the dam during their conflict with Russian forces.

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Archer knows a lot. Like Hunter, he was also on Burisma’s board. Will he sing?

House Oversight Panel Subpoenas Former Hunter Biden Associate Devon Archer (ET)

The House Oversight Committee has issued a subpoena to Devon Archer, the former long-time business partner of Hunter Biden, as part of its ongoing investigation into the business dealings of the Biden family. The committee, led by Chairman James Comer, is particularly interested in Archer’s involvement in the family’s international business deals, which included countries like China, Russia, and Ukraine. The subpoena compels Archer to testify at a deposition before the panel on June 16, focusing on attempts by foreign nationals to influence high-ranking U.S. officials’ family members through financial incentives. In a letter to Archer’s attorney, Comer emphasized the importance of Archer’s role, highlighting his multiple meetings with then-Vice President Biden, including at the White House.

“Both information that the Committee has reviewed and public reporting indicates that Mr. Archer played a significant role in the Biden family’s business deals abroad, including but not limited to China, Russia, and Ukraine,” Comer wrote. “Additionally, while undertaking these ventures with the Biden family, [Mr. Archer] met with then-Vice President Biden on multiple occasions, including in the White House. Mr. Archer’s testimony is critical to the Committee’s investigation.” The committee’s investigation aims to obtain communications and documents that could shed light on potential financial crimes or misconduct involving the Biden family’s foreign business dealings.

In his letter, Comer accused the Biden family of receiving significant amounts of money from foreign companies without providing clear legitimate services. “Mr. Archer is associated with corporate entities that the Committee has identified and the Biden family’s role in each of them,” Comer wrote. “Furthermore, he has significant information regarding the purpose of these companies and knowledge of relevant documents related to the Committee’s investigation.” The committee seeks to reform government ethics and disclosure laws to ensure transparency into the income, assets, and financial relationships of immediate family members of vice presidents and presidents, Comer said.

Watters

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Like inviting Putin to NATO.

Macron Asks For Invitation To BRICS Summit (RT)

French President Emmanuel Macron has asked South African President Cyril Ramaphosa for an invitation to the upcoming BRICS summit in Pretoria, French newspaper L’Opinion reported on Monday. Macron’s recent attempts to win over his African counterparts have fallen flat. Macron raised the possibility of attending the summit during a phone call with Ramaphosa earlier this month, L’Opinion stated, citing sources in the Elysee palace. According to one “well-informed” source, Ramaphosa was non-committal. “Presence at this summit was mentioned during the conversation between the two leaders, but Pretoria gave no indication of whether or not to extend this meeting to other international leaders,” the source said.

If Macron were to attend the summit, he would be the first leader of a G7 nation to do so. BRICS leaders and Macron apparently share a desire to overhaul the global financial and geopolitical order, with Macron hosting a conference in Paris next week aimed at overhauling the financial system to better benefit the developing world. Ramaphosa is due to attend the conference, and a cordial meeting between him and Macron could set the stage for the French president to make history in Pretoria. However, Macron’s relations with the rest of the BRICS bloc – Brazil, Russia, India, and China – are fractious at best, and Paris has sent mixed messages to these nations. For example, Macron has called for peace negotiations in Ukraine and put himself forward as a potential mediator, yet has backed a Ukrainian-drafted peace plan that Russia categorically rejects, while continuing to send heavy weapons to Kiev.

Likewise, Macron has asserted that Europe must not follow the US into a confrontation with China, and has opposed the opening of a controversial NATO liaison office in Japan. However, he signed a joint communique with other G7 leaders last month labeling China “the greatest challenge to global security and prosperity in our time,” a position identical to that of the US. Meanwhile in Africa, Macron’s condemnations of Russia have irritated France’s former colonies on the continent, who see Russia as a more reliable partner than their former master. Since the term was first coined in 2001, BRICS has grown from an acronym into an informal alliance that has overtaken the US-led G7 bloc in its share of global GDP, has its own development bank, and counts Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Argentina among 19 prospective members.

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10-year old girl

 

 


This is the Sacra di San Michele, a 1,000 year old monastery in the mountains of northern Italy. It is one of the greatest achievements of Medieval architecture, and it inspired Umberto Eco to write The Name of the Rose…

 

 

MELO

 

 

Buffalo

 

 

STOP
https://twitter.com/i/status/1668688202293452807

 

 


Blue Penguins are the smallest type of penguin. Adults grow just to an average of 33 cm (13 in) in height and 43 cm (17 in) in length. Due to their small size and bright color they are often called Fairy Penguins

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 232022
 
 November 23, 2022  Posted by at 10:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  66 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn The spectacles seller 1624

 

Is NATO Falling Apart? (Saker)
Is Washington’s Dangerous Ukraine Boondoggle Starting to Unravel? (Ron Paul)
Emmanuel Macron: “We Need a Single Global Order” (SN)
Scholz Names Reason Behind European Economy Downturn (RT)
Up To Three Million Ukrainians Will Migrate In Winter – WHO (RT)
Russia Threatens To Cut Gas Exports Due To Ukraine’s Theft (RT)
CIA Reveals Plan For Disgruntled Russians (RT)
App Store ‘Gatekeepers’ Could Deplatform Twitter Itself (SN)
Stop COP (Hunziker)
Biden Officials Off The Hook For Deposition In Social Media Censorship Case (PM)
Greek Food Prices Consistently Higher Than EU (K.)
Special Counsel vs Trump ‘Tool to Attack a Political Enemy’: FBI Veteran (ET)
FDA Social Media Posts On Covid Under Legal, Medical Scrutiny (JTN)
Sometimes I feel I Am Damaged for Life: Woman Injured by Pfizer Vaccine (CHD)
New WHO Pandemic Treaty In Final Stages, Would Overrule US Constitution (NN)

 

 

Marc Elias is the top Hillary lawyer.

 

 

 

 

Terry Duffy

 

 

 

 

Macgregor-Ukraine is about to be annihilated

 

 

 

 

 

 

“NATO can’t defend ANY of its members against a truly modern military..”

Is NATO Falling Apart? (Saker)

[..] let’s imagine that Russia would really strike some target inside Poland (which is what the Ukies claimed, as did the Poles until Uncle Shmuel told them to cool it). What would happen next? Does anybody still remember what happened when Erdogan flew to Mons to beg for NATO protection against Russia (following the downing of a Russian Su-24 over northern Syria by a joint US-Turkish operation, possibly executed without Erdogan’s knowledge, at least that was his claim). What did NATO promise or give the Turks? Absolutely *nothing* (other than “consultations”). Now the Poles might be delusional enough to think that a US President might order a retaliatory attack on Russia if Russia strikes Poland, but those of us who know the USA and its ruling elites know that this is nonsense.

Why? Simply because a US/NATO counter-strike on Russian forces would result in an immediate Russian response. And then what? The truth is very stark in its simplicity: • The US/NATO do not have the manpower or firepower needed to take on Russia in a conventional combined arms war. • Any use of nuclear weapons will result in an immediate retaliation most likely resulting into a unwinnable full-scale nuclear war. • So here is the deal: whether western politicians understand that or not, military professionals all know the truth – NATO can’t defend ANY of its members against a truly modern military. Why? Let’s look at what capabilities the US/NATO truly have:

• The USN has a superb submarine force (both SSNs and SSBNs) capable for firing large numbers of relatively obsolete cruise missiles (and plenty of SLBMs) •A still very capable, if rather old, nuclear triad •A quantitative (only!) conventional advantage over Russia • Superb (but very vulnerable!) C4ISR capabilities • A printing press allowing for the quasi infinite printing of dollars • A comprador elite ruling over all the NATO/EU countries • The most formidable propaganda machine in history. So what does NATO lack to be a credible military force? Obviously, “boots on the ground”. And I don’t mean a few subunits from the 101st or 82AB or US special forces or even a so-called “armored brigade” which, in reality, lacks adequate TO&E to qualify as such. I am talking about a “land warfare” force capable of fighting a modern and extremely determined enemy.

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“.. this is the clearest public example of the Biden Administration’s acceptance that it has a “Zelensky problem.”

Is Washington’s Dangerous Ukraine Boondoggle Starting to Unravel? (Ron Paul)

Last week the world stood on the very edge of a nuclear war, as Ukraine’s US-funded president, Vladimir Zelensky, urged NATO military action over a missile that landed on Polish soil. “This is a Russian missile attack on collective security! This is a really significant escalation. Action is needed,” said Zelensky immediately after the missile landed. But there was a problem. The missile was fired from Ukraine – likely an accident in the fog of war. Was it actually a Russian missile, of course, that might mean World War III. But Zelensky didn’t seem to be bothered by the prospect of the world blown up, judging from his reckless rhetoric. While Zelensky has been treated as a saint by the US media, the Biden Administration, and both parties in Congress, something unprecedented happened this time: the Biden Administration pushed back.

According to press reports, several Zelensky calls to Biden or senior Biden Staff went unanswered.When US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan finally returned Zelensky’s call, he is reported to have said, “tread carefully” on claims Russia was behind the missiles landing in Poland. The Biden Administration went on to publicly dispute Zelensky’s continued insistence that Russia shot missiles into NATO-Member Poland. After two days of Washington opposition to his claims, Zelensky finally, sort of, backed down. We’ve heard rumors of President Biden’s frustration over Zelensky’s endless begging and ingratitude for the 60 or so billion dollars doled out to him by the US government, but this is the clearest public example of the Biden Administration’s acceptance that it has a “Zelensky problem.” Zelensky must have understood that Washington and Brussels knew it was not a Russian missile. Considering the vast intelligence capabilities of the US in that war zone, it is likely the US government knew in real time that the missiles were not Russian.

For Zelensky to claim otherwise seemed almost unhinged. And for what seems like the first time, Washington noticed.As a result, there has been a minor – but hopefully growing – revolt among conservatives in Washington over this dangerous episode. Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene introduced legislation demanding an audit of the tens of billions of dollars shipped to Ukraine – with perhaps $50 billion more in the pipeline. The resolution currently has eleven co-sponsors. Rep. Matt Gaetz has publicly stated that he would not vote for one more dollar for Ukraine. Others, like US Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), have gone even further. In a recent Tweet Rep. Gosar called US support for Ukraine a “corrupt money-laundering operation.” As the fallout from the recent collapse of the FTX crypto exchange points to possible political corruption, his claims may prove to be accurate.

[..] When the Ukraine war hysteria finally dies down – as the Covid hysteria died down before it – it will become obvious to vastly more Americans what an absolute fiasco this whole thing has been. Hopefully Republicans will accelerate that process when they take the House in January. It cannot come too soon!

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1) I thought we were in a garden, not a jungle?!

2) There will be a global order, and you won’t be in it.

Emmanuel Macron: “We Need a Single Global Order” (SN)

During a speech at the Apec summit in Bangkok, where world leaders gathered, French President Emmanuel Macron called for a “single global order.” Macron made the comments while discussing the power interests of Russia and China and the threat of war. “We are in a jungle and we have two big elephants trying to become more and more nervous,” he said.“If they become very nervous and start a war, it will be a big problem for the rest of the jungle. You need the cooperation of a lot of other animals, tigers, monkeys and so on,” added Macron.“Are you on the U.S. or the Chinese side? Because now, progressively, a lot of people would like to see that there are two orders in this world. This is a huge mistake, even for both the U.S. and China.” “We need a single global order,” he concluded.


Macron’s words are sure to confuse the ‘fact checker’ industry, which continues to insist that claims about the ‘New World Order’ or one world government are a baseless conspiracy theory. Indeed, much hilarity ensued last week when it was revealed that Google-owned YouTube had effectively fact-checked a video published by ‘The World Government Summit 2022’. In the video, the host of a panel discussion asks H.E. Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Diplomatic Advisor to the UAE President, “Are you ready for a new world order?” Underneath the video is a fact check box about the ‘New World Order’ which links to a Wikipedia article that states, “The New World Order (NWO) is a conspiracy theory which hypothesizes a secretly emerging totalitarian world government.” The tone of the article debunks the notion that there is a move towards a ‘New World Order’, despite the panelists at the World Government Summit openly discussing that very agenda.

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It was China all along…

Scholz Names Reason Behind European Economy Downturn (RT)

Neither the Covid-19 pandemic nor Russia’s offensive against Ukraine has played a pivotal role in bringing about the current economic downturn in Europe, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has argued. He attributed it to growth in Asia instead, warning that there likely will not be a return to the good old days in the foreseeable future.Speaking on Tuesday at an economic summit in Berlin organized by Suddeutsche Zeitung, Scholz said that, for years, countries in North America and Europe had enjoyed a combination of stable growth, low inflation and high employment rates. This, however, according to the chancellor, was an “economic exception” that cannot be expected to last any longer.

“Russia’s war [against Ukraine] and the economic consequences of the [Covid-19] pandemic may have expedited” the end of this era, the politician opined. He hastened to add, however, that “they were not the trigger for it.” Scholz went on to explain that, for decades, countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia have mainly been viewed as a source of cheap goods for the European, American and, increasingly, the Chinese markets. But in the meantime the same Asian nations experienced an explosive increase in the number of people belonging to the middle class. Those individuals’ purchasing power rose accordingly. This, the German chancellor postulated, is what has led to growing inflation elsewhere.

He noted that, at the same time, this is a major story of success enabled by globalization. He also warned against deglobalization, calling on Germany and other European nations to embrace more trade with emerging economies, “of course, [trade] by fair rules. “An increasingly multipolar word is arranging itself right now, fundamentally anew,” a development which is best seen in South-East Asia, Scholz argued. He hastened to reassure German businesses that they have nothing to fear, as their goods will remain in high demand in this new world and they only stand to gain more.

Speaking of the current energy crisis in his country, Scholz accused Russia of weaponizing gas exports, adding that Germany had made a mistake in relying too much on one supplier. He vowed that Berlin will never repeat this, going forward, meaning that dependence on China will have to be reduced as well. Germany, he said, needs to look for new suppliers and markets for its goods. The chancellor promised to make sure Europe’s economic powerhouse sees itself through the coming winter.

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Peace talks now. But not on Zelensky’s terms.

Up To Three Million Ukrainians Will Migrate In Winter – WHO (RT)

This winter may be a “life-threatening” experience for “millions” of Ukrainians, Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization (WHO) regional director for Europe, has warned. Up to three million Ukrainians are expected to migrate “in search of warmth and safety,” Kluge said on Monday during a press conference in Kiev. “We expect 2–3 million more people to leave their homes in search of warmth and safety. They will face unique health challenges, including respiratory infections such as Covid-19, pneumonia and influenza, and the serious risk of diphtheria and measles in under-vaccinated populations,” Kluge stated.

Those who remain at home will likely be forced to opt for “alternative heating methods,” the official said, warning that doing things “like burning charcoal or wood, or using generators fueled by diesel, or electric heaters” carry health risks as well.They include “exposure to toxic substances that are harmful for children, older people and those with respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, as well as accidental burns and injuries,” he said.The ongoing conflict is also taking a heavy toll on the mental health of Ukrainians, according to Kluge. Some 10 million of them are already “at risk of mental disorders such as acute stress, anxiety, depression, substance use and post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD,” the official said.

According to the latest UN figures, more than 7.8 million refugees from Ukraine have migrated to Europe amid the conflict between Moscow and Kiev that broke out in late February. Some 4.7 million of them have been registered for Temporary Protection or similar national protection schemes across the EU. A sizable portion of the refugees, however, have gone to Russia, with more than 2.8 million recorded in the country.

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Again: peace talks now.

Russia Threatens To Cut Gas Exports Due To Ukraine’s Theft (RT)

Russia’s energy giant Gazprom said on Tuesday that Ukraine was diverting natural gas supplies transiting to Moldova, and the company has threatened to curtail deliveries through a key pipeline in response. “The volume of gas supplied by Gazprom to the ‘Sudzha’ gas measuring station (GMS) for transit to Moldova via Ukraine exceeds the physical volume transmitted at the border of Ukraine with Moldova,” Gazprom’s statement read. Moldova paid for some November gas supplies on Monday, according to Gazprom, which said that Kiev had kept 52.52 million cubic meters of gas meant for Moldova on its territory.


The Russian energy company further warned that if the transit imbalance persists then it would begin slashing gas supply to the Sudzha GMS for transit via Ukraine from 10 am (7am GMT) on November 28, “in the amount of the daily underderlivery.” The Sudzha transit line through Ukraine remains the only route to supply Russian gas to western and central European countries after the Nord Stream network was damaged by a suspicious explosion in September. Meanwhile, land-locked Moldova, which has been suffering massive blackouts lately, has called for international assistance as soaring energy costs and skyrocketing inflation are set to put a huge strain on consumers in one of Europe’s poorest countries. According to the French Foreign Ministry, support is all the more important as Moldova is facing an unprecedented energy crisis as winter approaches.

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“He described the conflict as a massive failure for Moscow and said it presented opportunities for Western intelligence agencies to recruit disaffected Russians.”

CIA Reveals Plan For Disgruntled Russians (RT)

The CIA is interested in recruiting Russians “disgusted” with the conflict in Ukraine, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. The claim was made by deputy director of operations David Marlowe during a recent meeting at a Washington-area think-tank. “We’re looking around the world for Russians who are as disgusted with that as we are,” Marlowe reportedly said, referring to the current events in Ukraine. “Because we’re open for business.”Marlowe spoke “before a select audience of university faculty and staff” at George Mason University’s Hayden Center in Arlington, Virginia. The “CIA at 75” event was his first public appearance since he took office in June 2021, according to the WSJ. Though the event was held last week, the Hayden Center made the video of it public on Monday.

CIA Deputy Director for Analysis Linda Weissgold, described as responsible for producing finished intelligence reports for President Joe Biden and the rest of the US leadership, was also on the panel, along with the agency’s one-time acting director Michael Morrell. Appointed by current CIA Director William Burns, Marlowe is an Arabic speaker whose expertise is in the Near and Middle East. According to him, Russian President Vladimir Putin “squandered” all of his power and influence by “invading” Ukraine in February. He described the conflict as a massive failure for Moscow and said it presented opportunities for Western intelligence agencies to recruit disaffected Russians.

The announcement follows several instances during which Western intelligence agencies have tried to approach Russian personnel serving abroad, according to Moscow. Last month, Moscow summoned the Dutch ambassador over reports that a British spy had tried to recruit a Russian military attache in The Hague. Earlier this year, the Kremlin denounced US attempts to suborn Russian diplomats as “very impudent behavior” and “unacceptable.” The Hayden Center was set up in 2017 by the retired US Air Force General Michael V. Hayden, several months after he became a CNN contributor. Hayden ran the National Security Agency (NSA) between 1999-2005 and the CIA from 2006-2009, through such controversies as waterboarding torture of terrorism suspects and warrantless mass surveillance of Americans.

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What are the odds of Musk setting up his own app store?

App Store ‘Gatekeepers’ Could Deplatform Twitter Itself (SN)

App store ‘gatekeepers’ Apple, Google Play and Amazon could all decide to deplatform Twitter itself following new owner Elon Musk’s commitment to free speech, according to a report. Speculation over app stores potentially targeting Twitter intensified after Apple executive Phil Schiller deactivated his Twitter account for no apparent reason days after Donald Trump was restored to the platform. Twitter users also noticed that the official Apple account itself had apparently removed all of its tweets, although it was later revealed that this was nothing new. According to a report by Fast Company, “Musk is playing a dangerous game that could spell game over for the platform he just bought” by his supposed failure to moderate impose stringent moderation.

“Musk’s platforming of hateful content could get Twitter itself deplatformed,” writes Clint Rainey, adding that the company could be on a “collision course” with app store “gatekeepers.” Rainey and his ilk are mad that Musk has culled the number of “moderators employed to track harmful content and enforce Twitter’s rules against it.” Showcasing again how journalists now weaponize their platforms to try to chill free speech, Fast Company contacted Apple, Google and Amazon to ask them if they planned to deplatform the Twitter app itself, but none responded. The article notes how both Parler and Truth Social were at one stage banned from app stores before they were forced to agree to more draconian moderation policies.

While it’s incredibly unlikely that the Twitter app itself would ever be deplatformed, the ‘gatekeepers’ could follow the example of advertisers by putting pressure on Musk to impose tighter censorship, therefore derailing the billionaire’s stated goal to “free the bird” and restore true freedom of speech. Given that Apple is also likely to take a large cut of Twitter’s new $8 subscription service, a financial motive is also in place to maintain a good relationship with Musk. Much of the hysteria seems to be based around Musk allowing accounts that had been unfairly banned or suspended on the platform, such as those operated by the Babylon Bee and Jordan Peterson, to return. Trump himself returning to the platform, despite insisting he has no plans to actually use his account again, has also instilled terror into censorious leftists who fear they are losing power over the ability to shut down adversarial voices.

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What I wrote almost 7 years ago: CON21. Nothing has changed, let alone improved.

Stop COP (Hunziker)

Fossil fuel interests have taken over climate talks. The acronym COP for “Conference of the Parties” should be changed to “Continue Oil Production.” Eighteen of the twenty companies that sponsored UN climate talks at the make-believe Egyptian resort Sharm El-Sheikh either directly support or partner with oil and gas companies. Global Witness/London identified at least 636 fossil lobbyists at COP27. What are fossil fuel lobbyists doing at a climate conference? According to Pascoe Sabido of Corporate Europe Observatory/Brussels: “These findings underline the extent to which this COP has never been about the climate. It’s been about rehabilitating the gas industry and making sure that fossil fuels are on the agenda.

This is part of the bigger problem which is linked to the overall corporate capture of the U.N. climate talks… We need to kick the big polluters out.” (Source: Fossil Fuel-Linked Companies Dominate Sponsorship of COP27, DeSomg, Nov. 16, 2022) Of course, fossil fuel interests sponsor big pavilions, like showtime at Las Vegas conventions. Dubai’s racy, futuristic colorful pavilion was a standout as an effective ploy to convince the world of their serious intentions for net zero. Oh, please! Hopefully, a massive worldwide movement to Stop COP28 Dubai can effectively reverse the embarrassment of holding next year’s COP in the kingdom of oil. It’s an insult to climate scientists. Is Saudi Arabia next?

Adding insult to even the remotest idea of holding further COPs, COP 27 was a virtual disaster. “Indeed, the real legacy of COP27 could well be exposing the climate summit for what it has become, a bloated travelling circus that sets up once a year, and from which little but words ever emerge… in the course of 27 COPs, there has never been a formal agreement to reduce the world’s fossil fuel use.” (Source: Bill McGuire, professor emeritus, Geophysical & Climate Hazards, UCL, The Big Takeaway From COP27? These Climate Conference Just Aren’t Working, The Guardian, Nov. 20, 2022).

Hopefully, a movement to stop COPs altogether will emerge from the shadows of backroom and boardroom negotiations resembling fraternity initiations of naive pledges turned into nincompoops. COP is that ridiculous and overly expensive as well as duping the public into thinking something constructive is happening. Stop COP! According to Bill McGuire: “Some old hands have labelled it (COP27) the worst COP ever, and I doubt many would argue… it is becoming increasingly difficult to view these events as anything other than photo opportunities for presidents and prime ministers who turn up simply to make the world think they care… hijacking by the fossil fuel sector, and failure, year on year, to do the job they were set up to do, surely means that COP is no longer fit for purpose.”

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Fauci and Psaki are still due. For now.

Biden Officials Off The Hook For Deposition In Social Media Censorship Case (PM)

On Monday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked deposition requests handed down to three officials in the Biden administration, overruling Louisiana District Judge Terry Doughty, who had originally placed the order. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly, and White House Director of Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty had all been slated to provide depositions in an ongoing lawsuit alleging that the administration worked hand-in-hand with social media companies to censor certain points of view.As the New York Post reports, in their decision, the panel of judges stated that they would be staying the depositions “pending further consideration” from Doughty and the district court.

“Before any of the depositions may go forward,” they argued, “the district court must analyze whether the information sought can be obtained through less intrusive, alternative means, such as further written discovery or depositions of lower-ranking officials.” They went on to point out that the Biden administration “has already produced extensive written discovery,” and that in his ruling, Doughty gave Easterly and Flaherty the choice to send their inferiors to depose in their place. Thus, they argued, it is now Doughty’s burden to prove why the government’s request to find alternative means is unreasonable. “It is not enough,” they continued, “that these officials may have ‘personal knowledge’ about certain communications. That knowledge may be shared widely or have only marginal importance in comparison to the ‘potential burden’ imposed on the deponent.”

As the New York Post reports, while the court’s ruling may lead to Murthy, Easterly, and Flaherty not having to give depositions, there are a number of other officials listed in the lawsuit that are still slated to take the stand, including Dr. Fauci and former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. If Doughty is not able to defend his position, however, their depositions may be overturned as well. The lawsuit, which was filed by attorneys general Eric Schmitt of Missouri and Jeff Landry of Louisiana in May, alleged that the Biden administration had colluded with big tech to suppress debate over topics like Covid-19, election integrity, and the Hunter Biden laptop story.

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What I keep a close eye on. Minimum wage is way below most EU countries, but prices are higher.

Greek Food Prices Consistently Higher Than EU (K.)

The turbulence in energy prices and other commodities like cereals and grains brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may have exacerbated the inflationary crisis for almost 12 months now, but for many years in Greece, the cost of food and other necessities has not been in line with the purchasing power of the country’s citizens. Despite the recession-induced fall in consumption, this discrepancy remained even during the 10-year financial crisis, with the so-called internal devaluation only having an impact on wages, pensions and incomes in general, but not prices. More recently, Greece’s gross domestic product per capita in purchasing power standards in 2021 was 65% of the average for the European Union, placing it second to last behind Bulgaria.

The main reasons cited for this imbalance are Greece’s significant reliance on imports for primary and secondary materials, the market’s small size, which does not favor price competition from suppliers who are both Greek and foreign, and numerous “blurred” areas in supplier-retailer relationships that still exist despite the issue being raised by the Competition Commission and by government announcements. Therefore, it is seen as little coincidence that during this most recent crisis, food inflation in Greece has consistently been higher than in the eurozone from last November to August, with the gap even widening by 3.8 percentage points.This is taking place in addition to the difference that frequently exists in absolute prices of similar products in Greece and other European countries.

Tellingly, Greece is more expensive compared to countries where the purchasing power is higher (such as Germany and France). With regard to the issue of dependence on basic raw materials, the example of bread and a range of foodstuffs with flour as the basic raw material is a telling one. Bread is produced from flour, mainly from soft wheat, a product that is grown to a very small extent in Greece, unlike durum wheat, which is mainly used for pasta. As a result, Greece covers only 10% of its needs for soft wheat from domestic production and imports the rest. Indicatively, until the beginning of the war in Ukraine, 30% of Greece’s needs were covered by imports from Russia and Ukraine.

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“They really haven’t articulated facts which justified the appointment of any kind of counsel..”

Special Counsel vs Trump ‘Tool to Attack a Political Enemy’: FBI Veteran (ET)

In appointing a special counsel to investigate former President Donald Trump, the Justice Department (DOJ) has turned its law enforcement apparatus into a “tool to attack a political enemy,” according to FBI veteran Marc Ruskin. During a Nov. 18 announcement in Washington, Attorney General Merrick Garland, a Biden appointee, tasked former DOJ prosecutor Jack Smith with overseeing investigations related to Trump’s handling of classified records and parts of the probe into the events surrounding Jan. 6, 2021. Trump has denied wrongdoing and characterized Garland’s move as a “horrendous abuse of power” and the “latest in the long series of witch hunts.” The timing of the appointment is significant, Ruskin said, noting how it dovetailed with pledges by House Republicans to investigate President Joe Biden and his administration once the GOP takes control of the House in January. “Using the legal system in baseless investigations and prosecutions has been a hallmark of the anti-Trump campaign since before 2016,” Ruskin, who served 27 years with the FBI and is a contributor for The Epoch Times, said in an interview.

Ruskin believes that the special counsel investigation serves a particular purpose. “It’s an old trick,” he said. “They’ll be hoping to divert attention from the congressional investigations and focus instead on a baseless special counsel investigation, because there’s no question that the legacy media is going to jump on board and give this front page attention, while the investigations being conducted by Congress will either be ignored or relegated to the back of the newspaper.” U.S. Code 28 CFR Section 600.1 prescribes that the DOJ should appoint a special counsel in an investigation in which there is a conflict of interest or other extraordinary circumstances, under which it would be in the public interest for an outside special counsel to step in. During the Nov. 18 press conference, Garland described the appointment of Smith—a registered independent—as a matter of public interest, citing Trump’s presidential candidacy and Biden’s interest in entering the race.

Ruskin, however, didn’t feel convinced that there were sufficient grounds to warrant such a move. “They really haven’t articulated facts which justified the appointment of any kind of counsel,” he said. Some Trump critics have argued that the special counsel appointment suggests that the DOJ is intent on bringing the case to indictment. Ruskin dismissed this claim as “a fabrication in order to justify a difficult-to-justify investigation.” “The argument is the old ‘where there’s smoke there must be fire’ reasoning, which is fallacious reasoning,” he said. “It’s a fallacy which has been propagated in order to justify what is arguably a politically motivated investigation seeking to create an advantage for the Democratic Party in the upcoming elections.”

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The FDA now says it was “only a suggestion”. Weasels.

“The judge suggested it was “common sense that it would be predictable that state boards would react to statements by the FDA” by investigating doctors who prescribe ivermectin for COVID.”

FDA Social Media Posts On Covid Under Legal, Medical Scrutiny (JTN)

The FDA’s Twitter habits are getting scrutiny in court and from medical professionals as the feds seesaw between walking back their once-confident COVID-19 assertions and making sweeping new claims without providing evidence.Having long ago conceded that COVID vaccines can’t stop viral transmission and that assertions to the contrary by President Biden among others were based on “hope” rather than science, the feds are now downplaying the influence of their social media to escape liability for allegedly violating statutory limits by interfering in medical judgments. At the same time, over the past two months, FDA Commissioner Robert Califf has gone on a spree of evidence-free tweets about bivalent boosters and oral antivirals, such as Pfizer’s rebound infection-prone Paxlovid, prompting exasperation from leading doctors.

The FDA’s “social media statements … are what bother me the most,” U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Brown said in a hearing this month on the government’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit by three doctors who claim the agency’s false portrayals of ivermectin have harmed their ability to treat patients and threatened their licenses. The June lawsuit cited the FDA’s multiple tweets characterizing the antiparasitic, whose inventors won a Nobel Prize in 2015, as a livestock treatment that was dangerous for humans, as well as other statements falsely suggesting off-label treatments were dangerous rather than routine. Justice Department lawyer Isaac Belfer emphasized that the social media statements were “written in informal conversational language” and constitute “non-binding recommendations” that doctors and consumers were free to ignore.

Brown responded that they lacked “qualifier statements” on ivermectin’s human uses and the drug’s FDA authorization. He questioned whether “the purpose of those statements [was] really to advise patients not to self-medicate with ivermectin,” as the feds claim. FDA emails show the agency celebrating the virality and media coverage of its “You are not a horse” tweet, its most viewed ever, which linked to an agency webpage referring to “multiple” reports of people who took the livestock version and required medical attention. The page starts with a photo of a horse and a warning that it’s “highly dangerous” to use medicine not authorized to treat COVID. The judge suggested it was “common sense that it would be predictable that state boards would react to statements by the FDA” by investigating doctors who prescribe ivermectin for COVID.

The FDA separately warned the Federation of State Medical Boards and National Association of Boards of Pharmacy about ivermectin between its August 2021 and April 2022 “horse” tweets. Less than two weeks after Brown’s warning to the FDA about careless tweets, Califf went beyond crediting his recovery from his first known COVID infection to his “up to date” vaccination and course of Paxlovid, which was only tested in unvaccinated patients. In a meandering tweet thread, the commissioner also cited unspecified “preliminary epidemiological findings” that “point to the distinct possibility of the bivalent vaccines and antivirals reducing risk of long Covid.” Johns Hopkins medical professor and National Academy of Medicine member Marty Makary and University of California San Francisco epidemiologist Vinay Prasad accused Califf of making statements that pharmaceutical companies themselves can’t legally make.

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“Blood pressure spikes, elevated heartbeats, dizziness, nausea, heat on chest and pain, hot feet and cold hands, weird head pressure, shortness of breath, neck pain, back pain, extreme fatigue, a numb left hand, mild numbness on left side of face with random twitching, confusions, heart palpitations, eye blurriness, jaw tightness and gum pain.”

Sometimes I feel I Am Damaged for Life: Woman Injured by Pfizer Vaccine (CHD)

Ortiz, now 54 years old, is a mail carrier in Arlington, Texas. In an exclusive interview with The Defender, she described her initial injuries and ongoing symptoms. She provided extensive documentation to corroborate her claims. Ortiz described what happened when she got the vaccine — and how the pharmacist who administered it reacted:“I felt waves of heat in my body and felt as if I was going to faint. I did not faint. But I immediately felt that my life was in danger, something was really wrong with me.” She asked the pharmacist what would happen if she were allergic to the vaccine, and did he have an EpiPen, Ortiz said. The pharmacist said he did. “But when I was lying on the floor, all he did was call the ambulance,” she said.

Ortiz may have sustained an immediate adverse event following her vaccination, but her symptoms were far from fleeting. She told The Defender she experienced: “Blood pressure spikes, elevated heartbeats, dizziness, nausea, heat on chest and pain, hot feet and cold hands, weird head pressure, shortness of breath, neck pain, back pain, extreme fatigue, a numb left hand, mild numbness on left side of face with random twitching, confusions, heart palpitations, eye blurriness, jaw tightness and gum pain.” Her symptoms led to several visits to the emergency room and significant lost time at work, which put her career at risk. “I missed work for over three months and ended up at the emergency room five times,” said Ortiz.

“When I returned to work, I [was] approved for a very easy route at the post office. It is mostly curbside. And thank God, otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to do the route.” However, even with a less challenging route, Ortiz still faced significant difficulties, she said: “There were many times, while driving to work, that I felt sick and ended up at the hospital or going back home. It caused me to leave work many times. “There was one time that I pushed myself to work with the weird head pressure and confusion and eye blurriness, and I ended up rear-ending a vehicle on my route.”Similar to the experience of several other vaccine injury victims who recently spoke to The Defender, Ortiz described multiple doctors’ visits, during which doctors usually dismissed her concerns that the COVID-19 vaccination caused her health problems.

“I’ve been to many doctors but all the tests are okay,” said Ortiz. “Many doctors would insist that the vaccine does not cause what I was suffering [from].” Ortiz described taking a battery of exams, including “[an] EKG, CT scan, x-rays, a brain MRI, lumbar MRI, a stress test, tons of lab tests, aldosterone/renin activity, a transthoracic echocardiogram, urinary fractionated metanephrines, duplex abdomen complete, and an EEG.”Even after all of these tests, said Ortiz, “All the doctors told me that the Pfizer vaccine” did not cause her injuries. Instead, they blamed “anxiety” for her symptoms. “When I look at a lot of my medical records, I was surprised how in so many pages they didn’t even mention the vaccine, just that I am there, in the ER, for high blood pressure.” She described one particularly disheartening experience with one of her doctors: “My family doctor pretty much was annoyed with me. She refused to run any tests for me. “I had to beg her to check my vitamin D levels because of the extreme fatigue. She acted as if I was not insured and was begging for free services.”

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Dr. Richard Urso shared this, asking: “Is this nonsense true or is it hyperbole?”

New WHO Pandemic Treaty In Final Stages, Would Overrule US Constitution (NN)

Today we bring you a truly bombshell interview and critical story about the WHO’s new pandemic treaty which is specifically written to overrule the United States Constitution and all domestic laws in every nation, worldwide. How do we know this? Because treaty expert Dr. Francis Boyle studied the proposed treaty language and lays it all out in today’s hard-hitting interview (see below). He’s the author of the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, and an expert in reading and writing treaties. And today, he issues his strongest warning yet made public.

Dr. Boyle is the author of a recent book entitled, “Resisting Medical Tyranny,” and in today’s interview, he openly warns that this new WHO treaty — dubbed “WHO CA+” — is designed to unleash a global medical dictatorship that would overrule your local doctors, hospitals and clinics, forcing them to follow WHO directives on things like masks, quarantines, social distancing and economic lockdowns. In essence, the new WHO pandemic treaty turns the entire world into a China-style medical police state where sovereign nations, states and individuals themselves have no recognized health freedom rights whatsoever.

Digital gulag

Stated another way, if Biden signs this treaty, what China did to its own people during COVID lockdowns will soon be coming to America. Joe Biden reportedly intends on signing this treaty as quickly as possible, once the final language is completed. And from that day forward, governments around the world merely need to unleash their own cooked-up biological weapons on their own people to set the provisions of this treaty into motion. Dr. Boyle specifically told me in the interview that governments are unleashing “Nuremberg-level crimes against civilians,” and that this new WHO treaty grants genocidal governments the “teeth” they need to lock down, imprison or exterminate their own populations.

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Garland Nixon was suspended for this tweet.

His comment on the suspension: “Change Blinken to Putin and change Palestinians to Ukrainians and it gets boosted by Twitter instead of censored.”

 

 

 

 

Puppies
https://twitter.com/i/status/1595197053042393088

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 192022
 


Rembrandt van Rijn The resurrection of Christ 1639

 

Towards the Real New World Order (Batiushka)
US Lectures Allies Over Poland Missile Incident – Politico (RT)
‘The US Won’t Sacrifice Chicago For Warsaw’ (Misnik)
A Smoldering Fuse (Jim Kunstler)
‘Aid To Ukraine,’ the US Democratic Party And The Collapse Of FTX (Livshitz)
FTX Boss Accused Of Using Offshore Funds After Bankruptcy (RT)
Ukraine – Switching The Lights Off (MoA)
Ukraine Has Lost 40% Of Energy System As Kyiv Sees First Snow (ZH)
Ukraine Is ‘War Between West And Russia’ – Turkish Official (RT)
Former Trump Advisor: Biden Admin Has No End Goal For Ukraine War (JTN)
Russian Oil Price Cap Idea ‘Ridiculous’ – Former US Treasury Secretary (RT)
DOJ Appoints Special Counsel For Trump Probes, But What About Hunter? (JTN)
MTG Says Kevin McCarthy, House GOP Will Defund Trump Special Counsel (JTN)
G20 Pushes Vaccine Passports For All Future International Travel (ZH)
Colin Campbell: A Tribute To The Father Of The Concept Of “Peak Oil” (Ugo Bardi)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alex Jones

 

 

 

 

Meloni
https://twitter.com/i/status/1593793325659815936

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..Kiev, Warsaw, the Baltics and in London, they should remember what the Americans did to Hussein and Bin Laden. They are quite capable of doing the same again, pulling the plug on them all.”

Towards the Real New World Order (Batiushka)

Now we are talking about a real ‘New World Order’. This is being fought for in the Ukraine and in world political and economic fora at this very moment. And its ideological and military leader is the Russian Federation, the only country with the guts to lead the real New World Order. This will be to its credit for as long as the world lasts. In this context the Saker has written an excellent article, titled with the following hypothetical question: “What would a Russian Defeat Mean for the People of the West?” Although the Saker has given an excellent answer, I would give my own, which is a summary of his. This is: A Russian defeat at the hands of the ‘Combined West’ would mean the end of the world and therefore no New World Order.

Fear not, since Russia is not about to be defeated, the world is not going to end just yet and there is going to be, and there already is, a New World Order. Let us be frank, the Combined West has attacked Russia again and again in history. Many do not know that the Teutonic Knights in the thirteenth century were international, pan-Western. The Napoleonic Invasion of 1812 was carried out by twelve Western nationalities. The Crimean War, i. e., the 1854 Invasion of Russia, was carried out by the French, the British, the Ottomans and the Sardinians. As for the Austro-Hungarian Army and the Kaiser’s Army in 1914, that too was an effort of the Combined West, and if it had not been for the Revolution, Russia would have taken Vienna and Berlin later in 1917. And Hitler’s invasion 27 years later was equally multinational.

And such is the case today, with the Kiev regime’s mercenary army, armed by multinational NATO. Today the US mentors of the Kiev regime are desperate for peace talks to begin. Peace could have been had at any time between February 2014 and April 2022. The US did not want it then and did not allow it then, so now they will have to pay the price. The US elite knows that they are about to lose big time. This is their last chance and the last chance for the former Ukraine – for that is what we are talking about now. Like so many, these Americans have big mouths, but when it comes to it, it is all just hot air. And although Russia is talking at the US request in order to keep channels open, it is ignoring ridiculous American demands.

Today Russia has no reason to talk. It is successfully fighting against and so demilitarising NATO in the Ukraine. Everybody knows it. However, we are also at a dangerous moment because the US is losing control of its puppets. Just as it promoted Hussein in Iraq or Bin Laden in Afghanistan, ISIS in Syria and any number of Latin American gangster-puppets and then lost control of them because they refused to behave as puppets, so they risk losing control now. The lickspittle Kiev regime and its allies in Poland, the Baltics and even in the UK (there they have been singing even pop songs with an American accent for over sixty years) are being more American than the Americans. The pupil is worse than the teacher.

The recent provocation of a Ukrainian missile landing in Poland and the Poles and Latvians claiming it was Russian is an example, The Americans refused to fall for it. Before that the threat of a dirty bomb being prepared by the Kiev regime was another example. Alarmed, the Americans stopped that nonsense. The UK’s anti-German destruction of the Nordstream pipeline was yet another example. The culprit was covered up, just as the Americans covered up the culprits of MH-17. In Kiev, Warsaw, the Baltics and in London, they should remember what the Americans did to Hussein and Bin Laden. They are quite capable of doing the same again, pulling the plug on them all.

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Warsaw and Kiev try to drag the US directly into war, but the US refuses.

US Lectures Allies Over Poland Missile Incident – Politico (RT)

US officials have called on their European and Ukrainian counterparts to tread lightly when commenting on a deadly missile blast in Poland, Politico reported on Thursday. According to three Western officials interviewed by the outlet, over the last couple of days US officials have asked their European colleagues and the office of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to be careful when speaking about what caused the blast. They also reportedly made a series of urgent phone calls in which they requested that their NATO allies not make any definitive statements until an investigation is carried out. The outreach efforts come as Western and Ukrainian officials have been at loggerheads about who was responsible for the explosion in the Polish village of Przewodow close to the Ukrainian border that killed two people.

While Western officials have said that the blast was probably caused by a Ukrainian missile, Kiev insists that it was Russian in origin. According to Politico, these statements “illustrate one of the first major divergences in opinion between Washington and Kiev” since the start of Russia’s military campaign in the neighboring state in late February. US officials are trying to downplay this rift, but new fissures between Washington and Kiev may emerge as the conflict drags on, the report says. According to Heather Conley, a former State Department official, the “confusion” surrounding the Poland missile incident was a “really important test run” for the US, NATO, and Ukraine. “I think we all learned a pretty valuable lesson in [that] you cannot say something right off the bat until you understand what it is … because the stakes are so high right now,” she told Politico.

Following the Tuesday blast, Zelensky pinned the blame on Russia, calling the incident “a very serious escalation” and describing it as an attack on NATO and demanding a response. Later, however, he toned down his claims, admitting that “we do not know 100%” what caused the blast. The Russian Defense Ministry denied any involvement in the incident, saying its military experts had analyzed the photos from the scene and identified the debris as parts of an S-300 air defense system missile used by Ukraine.

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And here’s why the US refuses.

By Lidia Misnik, a Moscow-based reporter focused on the political process, sociology and international relations.

‘The US Won’t Sacrifice Chicago For Warsaw’ (Misnik)

“We approached the moment of truth in the confrontation between the collective West and Russia. When it happened, it became clear that an attack by Russia could be claimed. This situation tested the effectiveness of NATO’s strategy for ensuring the security of the collective West,” Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for US and Canadian Studies Vladimir Vasiliev told RT. He noted that the incident itself featured an element of happenstance, but that it helped shed light on a long-standing question: To what extent is the West prepared to invoke Article Five to defend NATO members? As Vasiliev noted, in this situation, the West “put the brakes on everything,” and the US quickly took cover behind the version that it was a Ukrainian rocket.

“There was always a question about the extent to which the US would be prepared to intervene on behalf of Riga, Vilnius, or Warsaw, and in doing so sacrifice Boston, Chicago, or California. And now it becomes clear that there is a problem and that the US is not willing to sacrifice its own security, its own territories,” Vasiliev said. In his words, this episode is extremely important for Russia, because it shows that the US is not prepared to invoke Article Five until there is a danger to the country itself or at least to some of the most important member states of the bloc, primarily Western Europe. “There is a certain understanding that conflicts such as this one should be resolved by others. The US will gladly put Poland, the Baltic States, Bulgaria, and Romania in the line of fire while itself staying out of the war zone.

That’s where the entire NATO architecture begins to crumble. Domestic politics will always take precedence,” Vasiliev added. From this situation, he believes, a far-reaching conclusion can be drawn: Ukraine in any shape or form is not wanted by NATO. Vasiliev says it is clear that the US is playing a geopolitical game against Russia by using Ukraine, which is expendable. This allows the vital interests of Washington to remain untouched. According to him, the countries of Eastern Europe are equally considered not to be vital interests, as are Finland and Sweden, and likely Türkiye.

The calm before the storm in Ukraine – MacGregor

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“This complex fraud will smolder for a few weeks before it explodes into an extinction-grade event for the Democratic Party..”

A Smoldering Fuse (Jim Kunstler)

Thirty-seven billion more dollars for Ukraine? (That’s thirty-seven thousand millions of dollars, by the way.) Bringing the total this year to a click-or-two over ninety billion (ninety-thousand millions), on top of whatever Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX company funneled through that sad-sack international money laundromat — soon to be the darkest backwater of a European failed state since Field Marshal Melchior von Hatzfeldt of Westphalia left Bohemia a corpse-strewn wasteland after the Battle of Jankau (1645). It really doesn’t matter how much more money we pound down that rat-hole, you understand, because by the time various parties — the weapons-makers, Volodymyr Zelensky, sundry members of the US House of Representatives, the Biden family, the World Economic Forum — are finished creaming off their fair shares, poor Ukraine won’t have enough cash-on-hand to replace six fuse-boxes in Zaporizhzhia.

Against this backdrop, the USA enters a holiday season near-death spiral as unspooling scandals battle a collapsing economy for supremacy of the alt news sites. Case-in-point: the aforementioned FTX monkey business, a metastasizing tumor of the body politic. This complex fraud will smolder for a few weeks before it explodes into an extinction-grade event for the Democratic Party. The usual suspects among the mainstream media are trying strenuously to ignore it, but the shreds of this exploding money-borg are already sticking to guilty parties far and wide across the political landscape like so much rotting flesh.

FTX commander-in-chief Sam Bankman-Fried remains at large after steering the crypto-currency trading platform into a bankruptcy so hideously tangled that the assigned liquidator in court proceedings, one John Ray III, who oversaw the Enron aftermath years ago, was boggled by what he’s found so far (and it’s early in the game): Namely, a company run by a handful of twenty-something drug freaks with no idea what they were doing, no record-keeping, and a slime trail of misappropriated investors’ funds leading to Kiev and Geneva through various crooked American political action committees, and the halls of Congress — with echos in ballot harvesting shenanigans which shaped the outcome of this month’s US elections.

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“Bankman-Fried has boasted of meeting policymakers in Washington “every two or three weeks for the last year.”

‘Aid To Ukraine,’ the US Democratic Party And The Collapse Of FTX (Livshitz)

Bankman-Fried is a very well-connected figure indeed in US politics. Over the course of the 2020 presidential election cycle, he contributed $5.2 million to two super PACs supporting Joe Biden’s campaign, and was the overall second-largest individual donor to Biden that year. Such extravagant spending appears trivial today. In 2021/22, he provided tens of millions to Democratic causes and candidates, becoming the party’s second-largest donor, behind only “spyless coup” specialist George Soros. Bankman-Fried has boasted of meeting policymakers in Washington “every two or three weeks for the last year.” Over 2022, this has included multiple audiences with senior government officials and top Biden advisers at the White House. These meetings escalated in volume around the time that the Ukraine conflict began.

On March 7, exactly one week before Aid for Ukraine was launched, his brother Gabe Bankman-Fried – who directs his political operations – visited the White House along with Jenna Narayanan, a Democratic strategist who once worked for the Democracy Alliance, which has been called the “most powerful liberal donor club” in the US. Bankman-Fried himself then visited the White House on numerous occasions in April and May, concurrent with him donating $865,000 to the Democratic National Committee. In early June, mere days after his last recorded White House meet-and-greet, Bankman-Fried announced he would invest up to $1 billion in further funds between then and 2024 to guarantee Biden – or whoever might take his place – won the next presidential election. These activities have been interpreted by many as an attempt by Bankman-Fried to ingratiate himself with politicians to further his commercial interests.

It is certainly true that, at the same time, he and FTX high-rankers were attempting to influence US lawmakers on crypto regulation, to make the market more favorable for his company. In this context, the promised $1 billion appears to be a dangled carrot, an implied promise of future financing if Bankman-Fried got his way. Accompanying him on some of these visits was Mark Wetjen, FTX head of policy and regulatory strategy, who previously served as commissioner on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under President Barack Obama – but only some. Were the other meetings related to Ukraine? If so, the $1 billion pledge may have reflected what Bankman-Fried thought could be secretly skimmed from Aid for Ukraine for Democratic Party purposes. It’s conspicuous that in mid-October, he completely disowned that enormous commitment, saying, “That was a dumb quote. I think my messaging was sloppy and inconsistent in some cases.”

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“BAHAMAS GOVT ORDERED BANKMAN-FRIED TO HACK FTX SYSTEM AND TRANSFER ASSETS TO THE BAHAMAS GOVT ACCOUNT: COURT FILING”

BAHAMAS SECURITIES REGULATOR SAYS IT ORDERED FTX CRYPTO WALLETS TO BE TRANSFERRED TO GOVERNMENT WALLETS

SAM BANKMAN STOLE $300 MILLION OF THE $420 MILLION FTX RAISED FROM INVESTORS LAST YEAR IN OCTOBER. (WSJ)

SBF’s lawyers at Paul Weiss have dropped him as a client: “We informed Mr. Bankman-Fried several days ago, after the filing of the FTX bankruptcy, that conflicts have arisen that precluded us from representing him”

FTX Boss Accused Of Using Offshore Funds After Bankruptcy (RT)

The collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX has provided court evidence suggesting that its former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, had transferred digital assets belonging to the company to regulators in the Bahamas just after filing for bankruptcy. In a bombshell emergency court filing on Thursday, FTX claimed that the government of the Bahamas directed Bankman-Fried to gain “unauthorized access” while in custody. While thousands of clients have been denied access to their funds, millions of dollars in crypto reportedly continued to be drained from FTX wallets over the weekend through a back door in the Bahamas. The filing cited an interview published by Vox on Wednesday, in which Bankman-Fried expressed disdain for regulators. “F**k regulators,” he said in the interview, adding: “They make everything worse. They don’t protect customers at all.” “You know what was maybe my biggest single f**k up?” he asked. “Chapter 11.”


The motion lodged by FTX in the US Bankruptcy Court in Delaware says the alleged conduct puts “in serious question” a request by regulators in the Bahamas for recognition as liquidators in the bankruptcy. “[I]n connection with investigating a hack on Sunday, November 13, Mr. Bankman-Fried and [FTX co-founder Gary] Wang, stated in recorded and verified texts that ‘Bahamas regulators’ instructed that certain post-petition transfers of Debtor assets be made by Mr. Wang and Mr. Bankman-Fried (who the Debtors understand were both effectively in the custody of Bahamas authorities) and that such assets were ‘custodied on FireBlocks under control of Bahamian gov’t,’” the filing said. FTX, which is based in the Bahamas due to the relaxed tax laws, collapsed on November 11 in a scandal that has cost investors more than $11 billion. The debacle followed reports of mishandled customer funds and abandoned acquisition plans by rival exchange Binance. The scandal has triggered a crisis of confidence in the cryptocurrency market and caused the value of assets including Bitcoin to sink.

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“The clobber list also includes this curious item: “The strike has resulted in the neutralisation of the production capacities for nuclear weaponry.”

Ukraine – Switching The Lights Off (MoA)

The careful destruction of energy systems in Ukraine continues. From today’s clobber list as provided by the Defense Ministry of Russia: ” On 17 November, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation launched a concentrated strike, using high-precision long-range air-, sea- and ground-based weapons, at the facilities of military control, defence industry, as well as related fuel and energy infrastructure of Ukraine. The goals of the strike have been reached. All the missiles have accurately stricken the assigned facilities.” I have no idea if the last line is true but it does not matter much. The targeting of 330 kilovolt transformers in various switching stations has cut some 50% of the distribution capability of Ukraine’s electricity network. These transformers weigh up to 200 tons.

There are no replacements. You do not buy them at the next corner but will have order them with years of lead time. As far as I can tell Russia is currently Russia the only producer of transformers of that type. Isn’t it a war crime to destroy the infrastructure that supplies civilians? It depends. If the infrastructure is used exclusively for civilian purpose the destruction is illegal. But the electricity and transport infrastructure in Ukraine is used for civilian AND military purposes. In a recent Politico piece Ukrainian officials are even confirming that: Ukraine tells allies it may not be able to recover from more Russian attacks on energy systems: ” An unreliable energy sector could have deadly consequences, Ukrainian officials say. In recent conversations, they’ve added that it could halt food production and transport operations — critical services needed to support military operations.”

The clobber list also includes this curious item: “The strike has resulted in the neutralisation of the production capacities for nuclear weaponry.” I wonder where and what that has been: “One depot of artillery armament, delivered by western countries and prepared for being sent to troops, has been destroyed. The redeployment of the reserve forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), and the delivery of foreign armament to operations areas have been frustrated.” The last sentence describes the real purpose of the attacks on the energy systems.

The lack of energy is degrading the railway network that brings weapons from the west to the eastern front. It makes redeployment of units from one front section to another very difficult and time consuming. It will give the Russian forces the advantage when they change the Schwerpunkt of their attacks from one corner of the frontline to another. Another effect of the strikes on the electricity systems and the blackouts in the big cities that follow them is a renewed stream of refugees that will want reach western Europe. It will over time change the public opinion and the political priorities of those countries. If they fail to end the war they will have to carry the burden.

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“The New York Times notes the continued emergency that the country’s vital nuclear power plants are facing, given they themselves must rely on the national grid for aspects of their normal operations.”

Ukraine Has Lost 40% Of Energy System As Kyiv Sees First Snow (ZH)

Ukraine’s largest city and capital of Kyiv, with about 3 million residents, saw half its home and businesses plunged into darkness following Tuesday’s largescale Russian airstrikes which once again targeted energy infrastructure nationwide. Much of the electricity was restored in the capital city Wednesday, while much of it remained off in many other parts of the country. In a rare occurrence, most of the western city of Lviv had also been plunged into darkness this week, after what authorities called the biggest wave of Russian strikes on power facilities since the invasion began. “Photos of Kyiv draped in darkness have become a shareable illustration of winter in Ukraine this year: dark, cold, dangerous,” observed The Hill.

“Ukraine’s energy infrastructure is under attack from Russia, which has failed to defeat Ukrainian forces on the battlefield and is now once again targeting civilians.” An estimated 100 missiles had rained down on Ukrainian cities over the span of just a couple hours on Tuesday, chiefly targeting the energy grid. President Zelensky had already earlier in November warned that 40% of the country’s energy system has been destroyed. One Kyiv resident, Vladimir Yanachuk, was cited in NPR as saying, “We are not afraid about this. Ukrainians are not afraid about this,” while acknowledging: “Winter will be hard. But this winter will be hard not only for Ukrainians, but for Russian soldiers too.”

Temperatures in the capital and other parts of Ukraine have dipped below freezing this week, with the first snow fall of the season dusting Kyiv. The AFP reports, “The first snow of the winter falls on Maidan Square in Kyiv, blanketing its statues and anti-tank obstacles as the Ukrainian capital faces blackouts and power outages from a fresh series of Russian strikes targeting the country’s energy infrastructure.” Meanwhile The New York Times notes the continued emergency that the country’s vital nuclear power plants are facing, given they themselves must rely on the national grid for aspects of their normal operations.

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“What we want is an end to this war. Someone is trying not to end the war. The US sees the prolongation of the war as its interest.”

Ukraine Is ‘War Between West And Russia’ – Turkish Official (RT)

The West is using Ukraine to wage a war against Russia and has gone so far as to sabotage Turkish diplomacy that sought to negotiate an end to it, the deputy leader of Türkiye’s ruling AKP party, Numan Kurtulmus, told CNN Turk on Friday. “This war is not between Russia and Ukraine, it is a war between Russia and the West,” Kurtulmus told the outlet, adding that “the US and some countries in Europe” are prolonging the conflict by supporting Ukraine. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is talking to both Moscow and Kiev, said Kurtulmus, and in March managed to organize negotiations in Istanbul that looked promising. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelensky, “were going to sign” a deal, but “someone didn’t want” that to happen.

According to Ukrainian media, Kiev received a message in April that the West was not interested in peace with Russia, which encouraged Zelensky to break off the talks. The messenger was reportedly none other than the UK prime minister at the time, Boris Johnson. “There was progress on certain issues, and we were reaching the final point, and then suddenly we saw that the war accelerated,” Kurtulmus told CNN Turk on Friday. “What we want is an end to this war. Someone is trying not to end the war. The US sees the prolongation of the war as its interest.” In his opinion, the conflict has made much of Europe clamor for NATO to become more active against the perceived threat from Russia, which benefits Washington.

According to Kurtulmus, the “balance of the world system disappeared” with the demise of the Soviet Union, and a “fierce power struggle” is currently taking place. “It is essential to establish a global political system. It is necessary to establish new institutions that will ensure world peace,” he said. Kurtulmus is a former Turkish deputy prime minister, who has been Erdogan’s deputy at the head of AKP since 2018. His comments came as Russia agreed to extend the Turkish-negotiated deal for exporting grain through the Black Sea by 120 days, on the condition Kiev doesn’t use the sea corridor to carry out more attacks.

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No coincidence. If you don’t want an end, you’re not going to define an end goal.

Former Trump Advisor: Biden Admin Has No End Goal For Ukraine War (JTN)

Former Donald Trump advisor Victoria Coates said the Biden administration doesn’t have an end goal for its involvement in the war in Ukraine. “I think it’s a lot of confusion within the administration,” Victoria Coates said on Friday’s edition of the “Just the News, No Noise” TV show. “You’ll hear the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Milley saying he wants to negotiate. Then we hear from the National Security Council that we don’t want to negotiate. So there’s friction within the administration. Unfortunately, I think that means we don’t have strong direction from the top.” Coates speculated that conflicting agendas within the administration were undermining Washington’s response to the conflict. “They’re all arguing about what kind of weapon weapon systems they may or may not give the Ukrainians,” Coates said. “They’re arguing about whether or not they should negotiate. It’s very confusing.”


Coates said that this inevitably will lead to scrutiny from the next Congress. “This is why you have a lot of concern out of the new Congress for these huge supplemental requests that are coming in,” Coates explained. “What’s the purpose here? Because if we have a strategy to win, and I think the Ukrainians have shown the will to win, how do we get them across that finish line sooner rather than later so the American people aren’t still feeling the pain of this conflict?” “We’re up against $100 billion of support to Ukraine over the course of the last 10 months,” Coates said. “Now, maybe I would spend more money if it means we’re going to defeat Putin, but I don’t hear that from the President. So I’m wondering why, in these difficult times, we’re spending all this taxpayer money.”

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“..the market is going to set the price. So if you put sanctions on at higher prices, in a way you’re just making the situation worse.”

Russian Oil Price Cap Idea ‘Ridiculous’ – Former US Treasury Secretary (RT)

Former US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has criticized the Group of Seven (G7) plan of capping the price of Russian oil in an interview to CNBC. The measure, which is due to be implemented early next month, is “not only not feasible, I think it’s the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever heard,” Mnuchin said. The former official said that “the market is going to set the price. So if you put sanctions on at higher prices, in a way you’re just making the situation worse.” The G7 countries, comprising the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Japan, earlier agreed to set a fixed price limit on Russian oil. The measure takes effect on December 5.

While the price level is not yet known, reports indicate it will be set at around $60 per barrel. The current market price on Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, is around $86 per barrel. Under the plan, Western companies will be banned from providing certain services for shipments of Russian oil that is purchased at a price above the cap. The list of services includes insurance and facilitating payments. The mechanism, which had been pitched by Washington, is intended to limit Russia’s revenues from energy exports, which, the West claims Moscow uses to fund its military operation in Ukraine.

Moscow, meanwhile, has increased oil exports in recent months to countries outside of the West, particularly China and India, by offering discounts to secure buyers. Analysts say that in order for the price cap to have the desired effect, the G7 would have to make sure these countries join the scheme. However, Russian officials have repeatedly stated that the country will not sell oil to buyers that agree to the price cap, which may make many reluctant to participate in the mechanism. India, for instance, recently said it sees no “moral conflict” in importing Russian oil and will buy it “from wherever” to ensure the country’s energy stability.

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This puzzles me: Garland said:“Based on recent developments, including the former president’s announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election and the sitting president’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel.”

See? They’re both candidates, but only one gets a special counsel. Where in his words is the logic? It’s not as if there is no reason to probe Hunter. And FTX should be probed too, but yes, that too is linked to Biden.

DOJ Appoints Special Counsel For Trump Probes, But What About Hunter? (JTN)

Powell’s words follow Garland’s appointment of Jack Smith, a former career Justice Department prosecutor and former chief prosecutor at The Hague, to serve as special counsel to oversee two ongoing criminal investigations. The first is the investigation into whether any individual, Trump included, attempted to interfere unlawfully in the transfer of presidential power or the electoral certification process in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The second is the investigation into the documents the FBI seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in August and any obstruction of justice charges that could stem from it. Garland’s announcement came three days after Trump launched his 2024 presidential campaign.

“The Department of Justice has long recognized that in certain extraordinary cases it is in the public interest to appoint a special prosecutor to independently manage an investigation and prosecution,” said Garland. “Based on recent developments, including the former president’s announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election and the sitting president’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel.” Trump blasted the appointment as the “politicization of justice” and said he “won’t partake in it” in comments to Fox News Digital. Observers were quick to similarly criticize Garland’s decision, noting a potential double standard as the Justice Department hasn’t named a special counsel to oversee its ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden.

“By appointing a special counsel to investigate his boss’s political enemy, Attorney General Merrick Garland continues to politicize and weaponize the Biden Justice Department — all while Garland ignores smoking-gun evidence of Biden’s foreign corruption,” tweeted Mike Davis, former chief counsel for nominations for the Senate Judiciary Committee. Other legal experts thought Garland’s appointment itself was fine but took issue with not doing the same for Biden. s”Appointment of a special counsel is a significant step, but Garland is well within his rights to do so,” said Geoff Shepard, a lawyer and author who served in the Nixon administration. “The disturbing thing is that he has not already done so with regard to the Hunter Biden investigation. It reeks of a double standard and gives critics plenty of reason to object.”

“The more he spoke of his honor, the faster we counted the spoons…”

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@JulieZebrak: “Fun fact: Jack Smith and Jim Trusty both worked in the Criminal Division when I was there. Jack was the head of Public Integrity Section aka PIN. Jim was the head of the Organized Crime and Gang Section. Jim now represents Trump.”

MTG Says Kevin McCarthy, House GOP Will Defund Trump Special Counsel (JTN)

Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green on Friday said that current House Minority Leader and likely next House Speaker Kevin McCarthy would deny funding to the Department of Justice special counsel investigating former President Donald Trump. In a Tweet detailing the plan, Greene insisted McCarthy would invoke the Holman rule, a procedural measure by which the House may adjust appropriations legislation to reduce the salary of or fire specific government employees. They may also use it to cut specific programs. “Holman Rule. Look it up! [McCarthy] is going to put it in place,” Greene wrote. “That means no money for Garland’s politically weaponized Special Counsel. Don’t promise too many jobs! Whoops defunded.”

It was not immediately clear whether Greene was predicting such action or announcing that McCarthy had made the decision. Just the News has sought comment from Greene’s office. McCarthy’s office could not immediately be reached. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday that he was appointing Jack Smith as special counsel to oversee the DOJ investigations relating the former president. “The Department of Justice has long recognized that in certain extraordinary cases it is in the public interest to appoint a special prosecutor to independently manage an investigation and prosecution,” Garland said.

“Based on recent developments, including the former president’s announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election and the sitting president’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel.” McCarthy has thus far not announced any plans akin to what Greene has indicated. The California Republican this week won his party’s nomination for speaker while the party. Republicans won control of the House during the 2022 midterm elections, meaning McCarthy will likely be the one driving the lower chamber’s operations in the next congressional session.

Trump
https://twitter.com/i/status/1593785088055029761

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Game over, guys, don’t even try.

G20 Pushes Vaccine Passports For All Future International Travel (ZH)

The G20 has issued a formal decree promoting vaccine passports as preparation for any future pandemic response in its final communique. Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, speaking on the matter on behalf of the G20 host country, had earlier in the summit called for a “digital health certificate” using WHO standards. Sadikin advocated for that he dubbed a “digital health certificate” which shows whether a person has been “vaccinated or tested properly” so that only then “you can move around”. Watch his comments during a G20 Bali panel discussion earlier in the week… A somewhat more vaguely-worded version of these recommendations was included in the official G20 leaders’ declaration, which calls for digital COVID-19 certificates, or often simply called vaccine passports.

The section of the final communique, which is republished and available on the White House website, which deals with vaccines and the Covid-19 pandemic begins, “We recognize that the extensive COVID-19 immunization is a global public good and we will advance our effort to ensure timely, equitable and universal access to safe, affordable, quality and effective vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics (VTDs).” While describing the need for greater collaboration among nations during any future pandemic response, it continues in this section, “We remain committed to embedding a multisectoral One Health approach and enhancing global surveillance, including genomic surveillance, in order to detect pathogens and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) that may threaten human health.”

[..] Article 24 of the final G20 declaration begins, “The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the transformation of the digital ecosystem and digital economy.” And then leads into to the following statement later in the section: “We acknowledge the importance to counter disinformation campaigns, cyber threats, online abuse, and ensuring security in connectivity infrastructure.” So as predicted by many early on in the pandemic (who were all dismissed and condemned as “conspiracy theorists”), a future proposed standardized vaccine passport will be accompanied by efforts for greater standardization and policing against ‘disinformation’ – likely to include any speech critical of the type of regimen that G20 leaders wish to enact.

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“..many people misunderstood the meaning of “peak oil” and saw it as equivalent to “running out” of oil…”

Colin Campbell: A Tribute To The Father Of The Concept Of “Peak Oil” (Ugo Bardi)

Rethinking today about Colin’s legacy, we can see that he was not always right in his assessments. One of the limits of his approach was that it was focused only on oil and gas. His models were sometimes oversimplified, and, at times, he would be too quick in disparaging new technologies that could change the picture. Perhaps his main limit was to have overemphasized the importance of the peak date as a turning point for humankind and to have believed that it could be determined by models. I know that he understood that the peak was just one point in a smooth curve, and he said that several times in public statements. But many people misunderstood the meaning of “peak oil” and saw it as equivalent to “running out” of oil. For some, it was the equivalent of the religious concept of apocalypse, and that led to accusations against ASPO of being a millenarian cult of some kind.

It should go without saying that Colin’s ideas were as far from millenarism as they could possibly have been. His approach was good, data-based science, and he was fond of quoting Keynes saying, “when I have new data, I change my mind, what do you do, sir?” (actually, Samuelson said that). Colin’s capability of dispassionately analyzing data led him to avoid the mistakes that other members of ASPO made, such as putting all their hopes on nuclear energy or refusing to accept climate science as a valid scientific field. So, even though right now the concept of “peak oil” seems to be out of fashion, good ideas are like souls. They move from one generation to another, being reborn as new incarnations if they are good.

Campbell’s ideas have that power, right now they are nearly forgotten, but waiting to reappear in a suitable body, like the spirit of the Dalai Lama. We, humans, forget things so easily, especially important things. But one day we’ll understand Campbell’s main message that what we get from the Earth may seem to be free, but it must be repaid, sooner or later. And the debt recovery agency employed by Gaia is ruthless and cannot be bribed using money.

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Cooling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby chimp
https://twitter.com/i/status/1593402415985971200

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 292022
 


Odilon Redon Sunset n.d.

 

Ukraine Shells Prison Holding POWs – Donbass Official (RT)
US Should Not Fund Ukrainian ‘Blacklist’ (Scott Ritter)
Provoking Beijing (MoA)
UK Official Says Nuclear War Threat Higher Than During the Cold War (Antiwar)
US GDP Drops 0.9 Percent In Second Quarter (PM)
‘Horror Chart’ Suggests Germany On Brink Of Huge Energy Crisis (RT)
Hanover Becomes First German City To Ban Hot Water In Public Buildings (DM)
EU Ban On Russian Gas ‘Impossible’ – Austria (RT)
EU Gas Solidarity Complicated By Lack Of Fuel Sharing Deals (R.)
Worst Is Yet To Come From Trudeau Liberals (Jordan Peterson)
Bill Barr To Merrick Garland: Appoint A Special Counsel Already (Fed.)
Joe Biden Met With 14 Of His Son’s Business Associates (RT)
They Can’t Let Him Back In (Michael Anton)

 

 

 

 

Never forget

 

 

 

 

Don’t miss O’Looney


https://twitter.com/i/status/1552438998009790465

 

 

Hesitancy

 

 

 

 

Breaking, not confirmed.

Ukraine Shells Prison Holding POWs – Donbass Official (RT)

Dozens were killed after Ukrainian forces struck a jail with POWs in Donbass, local official says Ukrainian troops shelled a prison housing POWs in Yelenovka early Friday morning, Donetsk People’s Republic Deputy Information Minister Daniil Bezsonov wrote on his Telegram channel. “There was a direct hit at a building with prisoners,” Bezsonov wrote. “The results as of now: 40 killed, 130 wounded.” The minister added that he believes Kiev used US-supplied HIMARS multiple rocket launchers for the attack. The facility reportedly housed Ukrainian fighters captured by Russian and allied forces during the siege of the Azovstal steel mill in the city of Mariupol.

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“Many on this list are citizens of the United States, some of whom, like me, have taken an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

US Should Not Fund Ukrainian ‘Blacklist’ (Scott Ritter)

Dear Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and Congressman Tonko, My name is Scott Ritter. I am a New York State resident, currently residing in the Town of Bethlehem, in Albany County. My family and I have lived at our current address since July 2000. I am writing to you in your collective role as my elected representatives in the United States Congress, specifically regarding H.R. 7691, the Additional Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2022, which became Public Law 117-128 on May 21, 2022, which each of you voted in favor of. I draw your attention to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, specifically the following language: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

By enacting Public Law 117-128, you appear to have abrogated your Constitutional responsibilities in so far as you may have, in fact, made a law which both abridges the freedom of speech and a free press by enabling the Government of Ukraine, through the use of US taxpayer dollars appropriated under Public Law 117-128, to publish a “blacklist” singling out US citizens as “Russian propagandists” for exercising their Constitutional rights pertaining to free speech and a free press. The “blacklist” in question was published on July 14, 2022, by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation, and consists of a list of politicians, academics, and activists who the Center claims promote “Russian propaganda.” Many on this list are citizens of the United States, some of whom, like me, have taken an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.

While the specific criterion used by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation for selecting persons for inclusion on this “blacklist” is not known, in my case the Ukrainian government appears to have taken umbrage against my articulation of Ukraine as a NATO base of operations, my analysis of the Bucha Massacre in early March which assigns responsibility to Ukrainian security services, and my description of the current Ukraine-Russian conflict as a “proxy conflict” being waged on behalf of the United States. Whether one agrees with my positions on these and other matters pertaining to Ukraine is not the point; by articulating my views, I am exercising my rights under the Constitution of the United States. While the Government of Ukraine is free to express its opinions regarding my viewpoints as it sees fit, the Government of the United States, by using funds appropriated by the United States Congress, should not facilitate the actions of the Government of Ukraine in this regard.

[..] As a constituent whose name has appeared on a so-called “blacklist” published by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation, my personal and professional life has been, and continues to be, detrimentally impacted by the chilling effect of being labeled a “Russian propagandist” for simply exercising the right to free speech guaranteed by the United States Constitution. Moreover, Ukraine has a history of converting “blacklists” of this nature into “kill lists”, where those who speak out against the policies of the Ukrainian government are being murdered or threatened with violence.

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Nancy missed the past 30 years.

Provoking Beijing (MoA)

Yves Smith is aghast about the U.S. eyepoking of China: “The neocons above all seem unable to process that the days of US hegemony are over. It boggles the mind that they are not just eyepoking but escalating greatly with China via the still-planned Pelosi visit to Taiwan in August. As we’ll explain, China is fully cognizant of the fact that Pelosi is number two in line after Harris should something happen to the increasingly addle-brained Biden. And they don’t buy for a second that Pelosi is operating without the explicit approval of the Administration. Note that it’s entirely possible that Pelosi revived her Taiwan trip plan (recall she put it off after coming down with Covid) all on her own. The Pentagon gave her a face-saving out by saying they didn’t recommend it. China, which is routinely screechy when it is upset about what it perceives to be foreign transgressions, has managed to find new registers in its objections the proposed Pelosi visit.”

Pelosi is not only number two in line but has been hostile to the Chinese government for more than 30 years. In 1991 she and two other members of Congress made a stunt on the Tiananmen square where two years before protests had taken place. The multiday protest in the square had ended peacefully. But outside of the square bloody riots took place over several days and nights during which hundreds of soldiers and rioters got killed. The protest and riots had been a U.S. instigated color revolution attempt with the father of the color revolution concept, Gene Sharp, being personally in the Beijing and consulting the protest leaders. After the attempt had failed the CIA organized the exit of hundreds of protest leaders and agents to Hong Kong where they formed the base for the 2020 color revolution attempt there. Lots of those ‘activists’ have now moved to Taiwan.

In 1991 Pelosi and two congressmen unfolded a banner on Tianamen in front of the international media that said: “To those who died for democracy in China.” Police immediately intervened and ended the stunt. The stunt had a positive echo in U.S. media (Note: The video title says it is 1989 but the announcer says it is two years later). Pelosi may think she can recreate another positive media echo by traveling to Taiwan. But the China of 2022 is no longer the China of 1991. It is now the world’s biggest economy and its military force rivals the one the U.S. has. It no longer condones eyepoking and ‘human rights’ stunts. It knows a U.S. provocation when it sees one. In the 1950s and 60s the U.S. financed terrorism in Tibet. In 1989 it coached and financed a bloody color revolution attempt in Beijing. In the 1990s it brought Islamist terrorism to Xinjiang. In this century the U.S. instigated several periods of riots in Hong Kong.

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“..during the Cold War, there was an “understanding of the Soviet doctrine and capabilities — and vice versa” because they kept more negotiation channels open.”

UK Official Says Nuclear War Threat Higher Than During the Cold War (Antiwar)

British National Security Advisor Stephen Lovegrove warned on Thursday that there is a greater risk of nuclear war today than there was during the Cold War due to a lack of communication channels. “The Cold War’s two monolithic blocks of the USSR (Soviet Union) and NATO — though not without alarming bumps — were able to reach a shared understanding of doctrine that is today absent,” Lovegrove said. He said during the Cold War, there was an “understanding of the Soviet doctrine and capabilities — and vice versa” because they kept more negotiation channels open. “This gave us both a higher level of confidence that we would not miscalculate our way into nuclear war,” Lovegrove said.

“Today we do not have the same foundations with others who may threaten us in future — particularly with China,” he said. Today, there is only one remaining nuclear arms control treaty between the US and Russia, the New START, which limits the deployment of nuclear warheads, bombers, submarines, and missiles. Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the US has abandoned diplomacy with Moscow, and US officials have said they can’t imagine negotiating a replacement of New START before it expires in 2026. The US has no nuclear arms control treaties with China, which has a vastly smaller arsenal than the US or Russia. Current estimates put Beijing’s arsenal at around 350 warheads, while the US has 5,550 and Russia has about 6,200.

During the Trump administration, the US tried to get Beijing to take part in trilateral arms control talks with Moscow and Washington. But China has little interest in such talks while its arsenal is so much smaller. If the US were serious about getting China involved, it would need to work with Russia to significantly reduce its stockpiles. Besides the lack of communication, the risk of nuclear war is significantly higher today because the US is funding a war on Russia’s border and helping Ukraine with intelligence to carry out attacks on Russian forces. The US is also stoking tensions with China by deploying more military forces in the South China Sea and increasing support for Taiwan.

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What Is A Woman? – Part 2

US GDP Drops 0.9 Percent In Second Quarter (PM)

The Bureau of Economic Analysis has released their report on the second quarter GDP. “Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 0.9 percent in the second quarter of 2022, according to the ‘advance’ estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP decreased 1.6 percent.” By standard definitions, two consecutive quarters of declining GDP growth indicates that a nation is in an economic recession. President Joe Biden said on Monday that the US is not facing a recession. “We’re not going to be in a recession, in my view,” Biden said. “The unemployment rate is still one of the lowest we’ve had in history. It’s in the 3.6 percent area. We still find ourselves with people investing.”

“The decrease in real GDP reflected decreases in private inventory investment, residential fixed investment, federal government spending, state and local government spending, and nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by increases in exports and personal consumption expenditures (PCE). Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased,” the BEA reports. The White House last week adjusted the definition of recession to distinctly not mean that two consecutive quarters of declining GDP growth is a recession. “While some maintain that two consecutive quarters of falling real GDP constitute a recession, that is neither the official definition nor the way economists evaluate the state of the business cycle,” the White House wrote.


“Instead, both official determinations of recessions and economists’ assessment of economic activity are based on a holistic look at the data—including the labor market, consumer and business spending, industrial production, and incomes. Based on these data, it is unlikely that the decline in GDP in the first quarter of this year—even if followed by another GDP decline in the second quarter—indicates a recession,” the White House said.

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Zschaepitz : “This horror chart suggests that #Germany is heading for a huge energy crisis. Not only are gas prices near record highs, but electricity prices in particular are signaling stress.”

‘Horror Chart’ Suggests Germany On Brink Of Huge Energy Crisis (RT)

Germany is heading for a “huge energy crisis,” a senior editor at one of the country’s most influential newspapers, Die Welt, warned on Wednesday. “Not only [are] gas prices near record highs, but electricity prices in particular are signaling stress,” Holger Zschaepitz, a senior editor on the daily’s economic and financial desk, wrote on Twitter. In what he called a “horror chart” that he posted with his tweet, Zschaepitz showed that the price of electricity had reached almost €400 per megawatt hour on the energy exchange, or €0.40 per kilowatt-hour. If consumer prices reflected such market rates, Germans would be paying around €0.80 per kilowatt-hour rather than the current €0.30, including taxes and fees. However, such a sharp increase would be socially explosive, Zschaepitz suggests.

Meanwhile, in such a case energy companies would no longer be able to produce competitively, he adds. Electricity prices in Germany are influenced by the price of natural gas, which is the source of 15% of the country’s electricity, according to official statistics. Gas prices have nearly quadrupled this year, primarily due to shrinking flow from Russia, the continent’s major supplier. The price crunch has already led to a partial nationalization of one of Germany’s largest energy supply companies. The German government announced last week it would acquire a 30% stake in Uniper after the company asked for a bailout, citing “extreme financial pressure” caused by the reduced Russian natural gas deliveries.

The curtailment of gas flows meant that rather than being able to fully rely on its long-term contracts at a fixed price, Uniper has recently been forced to buy gas on the spot market at a much higher price to make up for shortages. According to a recent report by Bloomberg, European energy firms are racking up debt to cover the soaring costs, with their liabilities having reportedly reached over $1.7 trillion.

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Shoot. Foot.

Hanover Becomes First German City To Ban Hot Water In Public Buildings (DM)

The Germany city of Hanover has become the first big city in Europe to ban hot water and central heating in public buildings in response to Vladimir Putin’s weaponizing of gas supplies. The drastic step comes as Germans have been told to expect sky high electricity bills and sweeping gas rationing measures that will affect their day-to-day lives. In a sign of things to come, Hanover, the capital of Lower Saxony in the north west of the country, will cut off the hot water in public buildings, swimming pools, sports halls and gyms. Other desperate gas-saving measures include switching off public fountains and blacking out night-time lights on major buildings such as the town hall and museums. The city’s mayor, Belit Onay, spoke of an ‘imminent gas shortage’ that meant they had to reduce the city’s energy consumption by 15 per cent.


The plans call for shutting off heating within public buildings between April and September each year, and thermostats set at just 20C (68F) for the rest of the year, although there will be some exemptions. There will also be a ban on portable air conditioners, heaters and radiators among the general populace as the average German begins to pay a price for standing up to the Russian dictator. The panic among European states – especially Germany – will likely come as music to Putin’s ears, as he is seen to be cutting energy supplies in retaliation for countries that have supported Ukraine after he invaded the country. Germany, like most of Europe, has been enjoying a hot summer which should soften the blow of the cold showers, but public officials are introducing the measures now in fear of what awaits them when the season turns.

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“..the German industry also depends on it, and if it collapses, the Austrian industry will also collapse, and we will face mass unemployment..”

EU Ban On Russian Gas ‘Impossible’ – Austria (RT)

The European Union cannot ban Russian natural gas, as the step would harm EU members more than Russia, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer warned on Thursday, as cited by Austrian media outlets. Chancellor Nehammer made the comments during a visit to Vienna by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. “Sanctions must hit those against whom they are directed more, but not harm those who decide them,” Nehammer told the Austria Press Agency. A ban on gas supplies from Russia – an idea that has been circulating within the EU since Moscow started its military operation in Ukraine – would lead to a domino effect in Europe, the Austrian chancellor suggested.

“Austria’s position is that an embargo on gas is impossible. Not only because Austria depends on Russian gas, the German industry also depends on it, and if it collapses, the Austrian industry will also collapse, and we will face mass unemployment,” Nehammer said, as cited by Lenta.ru. Viktor Orban criticized the gas rationing plan approved by the EU – which aims to reduce gas consumption within the bloc by 15% from August to March next year – earlier this week. According to the Hungarian PM, the mandatory rationing of natural gas is “the first sign of a war economy,” and warned of a possible recession and unemployment in Europe.

Europe has seen reduced gas flow from Russia – a major supplier – due to technical issues at a major pipeline. Nord Stream 1 is currently operating at 20% capacity. The reduction comes as the continent is trying to top up its gas reserves ahead of the heating season. The EU pledged earlier this year to end the bloc’s reliance on Russian energy. A partial embargo on oil was agreed upon, but several rounds of sanctions have not included similar restrictions on Russian natural gas.

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The EU is made up of bureaucrats, so of course pratical things do not get done.

EU Gas Solidarity Complicated By Lack Of Fuel Sharing Deals (R.)

The European Union clinched a deal this week to cope with a gas supply crisis, but to make it work member states need to establish bilateral pacts to share gas and, right now, most have no such agreement in place. Only six such deals have been secured, leaving most of the EU’s 27 countries without firm terms on how and when they would share gas in a supply crunch, or the financial compensation they would give or get for doing so. “[Bilateral deals] are really … the only thing that will hold at the end of the day if there is a real supply crisis,” Christian Egenhofer, associate senior research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies, said. “They organise the legal stuff, the compensation, the financial but also the infrastructure constraints,” he said.

Fearing Russia may completely halt gas flows, EU countries agreed on Tuesday to curb their gas use by 15% over winter, to fill storage and free up fuel to share around in a supply crisis. But it is up to individual countries to sort out how that sharing of fuel will happen in practice. EU laws oblige member states to send gas to a neighboring state whose households or essential services like hospitals face a severe shortage. To make that happen, governments arrange bilateral deals. However, just eight countries are covered by the six agreements so far – including between Germany and Austria, Estonia and Latvia, and Italy and Slovenia. “This is not sufficient,” EU energy policy chief Kadri Simson said last month, urging countries to arrange more.

A handful of countries are negotiating new two-way agreements, government officials said. A German-Czech deal is due to be signed by winter, and Germany is working on further agreements with Poland and Italy, its economy ministry said. But some countries heavily reliant on Russian gas – such as landlocked Hungary, which opposed this week’s deal – have none. Italy and France are the EU’s biggest gas users after economic powerhouse Germany. Italy has just one bilateral deal on emergency gas sharing and France has none. A senior Italian official said the country was negotiating a deal with Greece on gas storage.

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“I simply cannot believe that this absolute failure of economic policy is now being trumpeted as a positive accomplishment.

Worst Is Yet To Come From Trudeau Liberals (Jordan Peterson)

I have had the great privilege of travelling to 40 American cities in just about as many states and to 15 European countries in the last four months, in the waning days of the great COVID panic, and I have learned many things about our great and self-conscious nation. First: I have not travelled anywhere else where the citizens and the government are more neurotically “concerned” about the pandemic. It may have escaped Canadians’ notice, but virtually nowhere else in the developed world is it now required to wear a mask, as is still mandatory in many of Canada’s airports and on flights out of our benighted country. There is absolutely no excuse for this, except the punitive self-righteousness of the Trudeau Liberals.

What else might you expect, however, from a government that also includes Chrystia Freeland, a deputy prime minister who has bragged about her colleagues’ appalling economic performance, claiming that it is actually good for Canadians to empty their wallets at the gas pumps, because of its implications in fighting the “climate emergency.” I simply cannot believe that this absolute failure of economic policy is now being trumpeted as a positive accomplishment. Here’s a hint for you saintly progressives: if you cared about the poor (the real poor, not the hypothetical poor you are hypothetically saving in the future), you would seek to drive down the cost of energy — energy that is precisely equivalent to work and, therefore, to the wealth that ameliorates poverty.

Second: it is almost impossible to overstate the degree to which Canada’s international reputation has been damaged by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Americans I have talked to (including people very well-placed politically on the Democratic and Republican fronts alike) listen in disbelief when I recount the claim brought forth by the Trudeau Liberals: that the trucker Freedom Convoy was financed by Americans hell-bent on bringing about a Jan. 6-style insurrection in Ottawa. Who would benefit from that, even in principle? Even if the Americans (Republican MAGA-types, say) cared about us — which they don’t — why in the world would they want to destabilize Canadian democracy? What’s the motive, to justify the crime? There is none. Even the American Democrats think that idea is insane.

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Barr 180º.

Bill Barr To Merrick Garland: Appoint A Special Counsel Already (Fed.)

Recent developments warrant the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden, former Attorney General William Barr says. “[I]ntervening events, especially recent reports about FBI whistleblowers and the possible reach of the investigation, warrant adding the protections of special counsel status to assure that key decisions are made independently without political ‘favor,’” Barr told The Federalist. President Joe Biden’s son Hunter has been under federal investigation since 2018 for issues related to his foreign business practices, including obtaining investments and board positions from politically compromised figures in communist China and other trouble spots. Multiple U.S. attorney’s offices were tasked with components of the investigation, with the Delaware office being the lead.

Hunter Biden’s problems became much more public with the news that he had left a laptop full of incriminating information at a computer repair store in Delaware. That news was then suppressed by Democrat-allied intelligence officials falsely claiming it was Russian disinformation. This week, multiple FBI whistleblowers, including those in senior positions, accused FBI headquarters of “improperly discredit[ing] and falsely claim[ing] that derogatory information about Biden’s activities was disinformation, causing investigative activity and sourcing to be shut down,” according to a Monday letter from Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. That fact, as well as concern over the investigation’s complexity and scope, convinced the former attorney general of the need for a special counsel.

By highlighting the apparent breadth of the still-pending investigation into Hunter Biden’s affairs, Barr’s comments confirm concerns of three insiders, reported by The Federalist on Wednesday, that “the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office investigating Hunter Biden lacks the wherewithal and resources to adequately probe the dubious financial dealings of the Biden family and their business partners.” Barr’s view that a special counsel is now warranted to continue the investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings represents a change from the position he took in December 2020.

During a December 21, 2020 press conference, when asked whether he agreed with Republicans that a special counsel was needed to handle the Biden investigation, Barr negated the idea. “I think it’s being handled responsibly and professionally currently within the department, and to this point I have seen no reason to appoint a special counsel, and I have no plan to do so before I leave,” the outgoing attorney general told reporters.

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Get that counsel.

Joe Biden Met With 14 Of His Son’s Business Associates (RT)

Despite repeated denials that he ever spoke to his son Hunter about the latter’s overseas business dealings, Fox News reported on Thursday that President Joe Biden met with at least 14 of Hunter’s business associates from the US, Mexico, Ukraine, China and Kazakhstan. Abandoned in a Delaware computer repair shop some time before the 2020 election and unearthed by the New York Post, Hunter’s laptop contained presumed evidence of numerous foreign deals in which businessmen offered tens of millions of dollars for introductions to Joe Biden, as well as graphic proof of Hunter’s drug use and dalliances with prostitutes.

“I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” Biden insisted in 2019. When last month Britain’s Daily Mail published a 2018 voicemail featuring Biden speaking to Hunter about a deal with Chinese oil firm CEFC, the official line remained the same, with White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying that “what the president said still stands.” Fox News’ latest report casts serious doubt on Biden’s denial. According to the news site, Joe Biden met with Mexican businessmen Miguel Aleman Velasco and Miguel Aleman Magnani in 2014, giving the pair a tour of the White House. A year later, Biden reportedly spoke by video with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and all three Mexicans – whom Hunter was doing business with or in negotiations with at the time – visited them at the vice presidential residence in Washington DC.

In a text message found on the laptop, Hunter told his business partner, Jeff Cooper, that he had spoken to his father about the deal involving Slim. Joe Biden also reportedly met with former Colombian President Andres Pastrana Arango and Eric Schwerin, another of Hunter’s business partners, in 2012, before dining with Arango and Juan Esteban Orduz, a Colombian businessman, later that same day. Files from the laptop show that during a single dinner in 2015, Joe Biden met with Hunter’s business associates from Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Russia, including an executive from Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian energy company that paid Hunter a reported $50,000 per month from 2014 to 2018 to sit on its board. The following day, the Burisma executive emailed Hunter, thanking him for “giving an opportunity to meet your father.”

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Anton is a former Trump WH adviser.

They Can’t Let Him Back In (Michael Anton)

Why? They say Jan. 6. But their determination began much earlier. And just what is so terrible about Trump anyway? I get many of his critics’ points, I really do. I hear them all the time from my mother. But even if we were to stipulate them all, do Trump’s faults really warrant tearing the country apart by shutting out half of it from the political process? Love him or hate him, during Trump’s presidency, the economy was strong, markets were up, inflation was under control, gas prices were low, illegal border crossings were down, crime was lower, trade deals were renegotiated, ISIS was defeated, NATO allies were stepping up, and China was stepping back (a little). Deny all that if you want to. The point here is that something like 100 million Americans believe it, strongly, and are bewildered and angered by elite hatred for the man they think delivered it.

Nor was Trump’s record all that radical—much less so than that of Joe Biden, who is using school-lunch funding to push gender ideology on poor kids, to cite but one example. Trump’s core agenda—border protection, trade balance, foreign restraint—was quite moderate, both intrinsically and in comparison to past Republican and Democratic precedent. And that’s before we even get to the fact that Trump neglected much of his own agenda in favor of the old Chamber of Commerce, fusionist, Reaganite, Conservatism, Inc., agenda. Corporate tax cuts, deregulation, and bombing Syria: These are all things Trump’s base doesn’t want, but the oligarchs desperately do, which Trump gave them. And still they try to destroy him.

Again, why? I think it’s because, while Trump’s core MAGA agenda is decidedly not outside the historic bipartisan mainstream, it is well outside the present regime’s core interests. Our rulers’ wealth and power rise with open borders, trade giveaways, and endless war. Trump, at least in principle, and often in practice, threatens all three. The old America—the one in which Republicans cared about the heartland and weren’t solely valets to corporate power, Democrats were pro-worker and anti-war, and Bill Clinton and The New York Times could advocate border security—is in the process of being replaced, if it hasn’t already been, by one in which there is only one acceptable opinion on not just these, but all other issues.

Anti-Trump hysteria is in the final analysis not about Trump. The regime can’t allow Trump to be president not because of who he is (although that grates), but because of who his followers are. That class—Angelo Codevilla’s “country class”—must not be allowed representation by candidates who might implement their preferences, which also, and above all, must not be allowed. The rubes have no legitimate standing to affect the outcome of any political process, because of who they are, but mostly because of what they want. Complaints about the nature of Trump are just proxies for objections to the nature of his base. It doesn’t help stabilize our already twitchy situation that those who bleat the loudest about democracy are also audibly and visibly determined to deny a real choice to half the country. “No matter how you vote, you will not get X”—whether X is a candidate or a policy—is guaranteed to increase discontent with the present regime.

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Bear

 

 

 

 

Gerry Ritz

 

 

 

 

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