Apr 062024
 


Juan de la Corte (1597–1660) Lot And His Daughters Escaping From The Destruction Of Sodom And Gomorrah

 

The “Order” Based On Made-up Rules Is Descending Into Savagery (Pepe Escobar)
Putin’s Road to Armageddon (Paul Craig Roberts)
US and Germany Against Inviting Ukraine Into NATO – NYT (RT)
NATO Faces ‘Catastrophic Defeat’ In Ukraine – ex-Pentagon Adviser (RT)
Ukraine Plan Of Crocus Attack: Ethnic Pogroms, Civil War In Russia (Helmer)
MSM Reluctantly Admits Elon Musk’s Ukraine Takes Are Proving Correct (ZH)
Vectoring Dangerously (Kunstler)
Ukrainian Officials’ Wealth Surged During Conflict (RT)
Biden Was ‘Higher Than A Kite’ During SOTU Speech – Trump
US Intel Services Use Journalists As Their Agents – Zakharova (TASS)
Jan. 6 Defendant Video Raises Questions About Undercover Agents (ET)
Bidenomics and Its Discontents (Galbraith)
RFK Jr. Is Right About Joe Biden (ZH)
Judges Reject Trump’s Attempts To Quash Cases (RT)
Supreme Court Faces ‘High Stakes’ Decisions on Trump-Related Cases (ET)
How The West Lost Control Of The Gold Market (Henry Johnston)

 

 

The awful shadow of some unseen Power
Floats tho’ unseen amongst us, -visiting
This various world with as inconstant wing
As summer winds that creep from flower to flower.-
Like moonbeams that behind some piny mountain shower,
It visits with inconstant glance
Each human heart and countenance;
Like hues and harmonies of evening,-
Like clouds in starlight widely spread,-
Like memory of music fled,-
Like aught that for its grace may be
Dear, and yet dearer for its mystery.

Shelley, Hymn to Intellectual Beauty

 

 

Drones

 

 

Biden

 

 

Save the world

 

 

 

 

Letitia
https://twitter.com/i/status/1775962785886974153

 

 

Democrat
https://twitter.com/i/status/1775901228419174414

 

 

 

 

WWIII is creeping up on us. It’s everywhere today.

“..that thick slab of Norwegian wood posing as Secretary-General came up with a merry “initiative” to create a 100 billion euro fund..”

The “Order” Based On Made-up Rules Is Descending Into Savagery (Pepe Escobar)

As the de facto North Atlantic Terror Organization celebrates its 75th birthday, taking Lord Ismay’s motto to ever soaring heights (“keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down”), that thick slab of Norwegian wood posing as Secretary-General came up with a merry “initiative” to create a 100 billion euro fund to weaponize Ukraine for the next five years. Translation, regarding the crucial money front in the NATO-Russia clash: partial exit of the Hegemon – already obsessing with The Next Forever War, against China; enter the motley crew of ragged, de-industrialized European chihuahuas, all in deep debt and most mired in recession. A few IQs over average room temperature at NATO’s HQ in Haren, in Brussels, had the temerity to wonder how to come up with such a fortune, as NATO has zero leverage to raise money among member states.

After all, the Europeans will never be able to replicate the time-tested Hegemon money laundering machine. For instance, assuming the White House-proposed $60 billion package to Ukraine would be approved by the U.S. Congress – and it won’t – no less than 64% of the total will never reach Kiev: it will be laundered within the industrial-military complex. Yet it gets even more dystopic: Norwegian Wood, robotic stare, arms flailing, actually believes his proposed move will not imply a direct NATO military presence in Ukraine – or country 404; something that is already a fact on the ground for quite a while, irrespective of the warmongering hissy fits by Le Petit Roi in Paris (Peskov: “Russia-NATO relations have descended into direct confrontation”). Now couple the Lethal Looney Tunes spectacle along the NATOstan front with the Hegemon’s aircraft carrier performance in West Asia, consistently taking its industrial-scale slaughter/starvation Genocide Project in Gaza to indescribable heights – the meticulously documented holocaust watched in contorted silence by the “leaders” of the Global North.

UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese correctly summed it all up: the biblical psychopathology entity “intentionally killed the WCK workers so that donors would pull out and civilians in Gaza could continue to be starved quietly. Israel knows Western countries and most Arab countries won’t move a finger for the Palestinians.” The “logic” behind the deliberate three tap strike on the clearly signed humanitarian convoy of famine-alleviating workers in Gaza was to eviscerate from the news an even more horrendous episode: the genocide-within-a-genocide of al-Shifa hospital, responsible for at least 30% of all health services in Gaza. Al-Shifa was bombed, incinerated and had over 400 civilians killed in cold blood, in several cases literally smashed by bulldozers, including medical doctors, patients and dozens of children.

Nearly simultaneously, the biblical psychopathology gang completely eviscerated the Vienna convention – something that even the historical Nazis never did – striking Iran’s consular mission/ambassador’s residence in Damascus. This was a missile attack on a diplomatic mission, enjoying immunity, on the territory of a third country, against which the gang is not at war. And on top of it, killing General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force in Syria and Lebanon, his deputy Mohammad Hadi Hajizadeh, another five officers, and a total of 10 people. Translation: an act of terror, against two sovereign states, Syria and Iran. Equivalent to the recent terror attack on Crocus City Hall in Moscow. The inevitable question rings around all corners of the lands of the Global Majority: how can these de facto terrorists possibly get away with all this, over and over again?

Read more …

PCR keeps thinking he knows better then Putin.

Putin’s Road to Armageddon (Paul Craig Roberts)

The United States government, speaking through the mouth of Secretary of State Blinken, defied all of Russia’s warnings this week with this declaration: “Ukraine will become a member of NATO. Our purpose at the summit is to help build a bridge to that membership.” By Putin’s refusal to use the necessary force to deal with the dangerous situation and by continuing to insist that the conflict is nothing but a limited operation to clear Ukrainian forces out of the Russian provinces, not an invasion of Ukraine, Russia will soon find herself at war with NATO. I have warned consistently without effect, only to be denounced by idiots as “bloodthirsty,” that Putin’s unrealism about the conflict, like his previous unrealism about the Minsk Agreement and his unrealism about the overthrow of the Ukrainian government in the so-called Maidan Revolution, is a direct path to World War III.

The minute Ukraine becomes a member of NATO, Putin will find himself at war with NATO. Russia has only a short time to knock out Ukraine, destroy the government, occupy the country and build a wall around it. The ascension of Ukraine to Nato “is literally how the nuclear apocalypse movie starts,” says Elon Musk, one of the few remaining intelligent Americans. Putin’s “limited military operation” has achieved nothing but two new NATO members–Finland and Sweden–attacks on Russian civilians inside Russia, mounting deaths from Western weapon system after weapon system supplied to Ukraine along with NATO military personnel to operate them and Western intelligence to target them. All the while Putin has been unable to comprehend that Russia is at war. Putin’s lack of response to mounting provocations has convinced Washington that Putin’s warnings are meaningless. Putin’s failure to enforce his red lines has caused Washington to loose belief that Putin has any red lines.

Just as Putin was forced into his “limited military operation” by the insulting cold shoulder Washington gave his plea for a mutual security pact, Russia will be forced into wider war with NATO by Washington’s defiance of Putin’s warning that Russia will not allow NATO membership for Ukraine. Putin has a few months to end Ukraine’s existence, a country that never existed until Washington created it, before Putin’s inability to act brings on World War III. Despite the dire situation, Putin remains unable to come to terms with reality. The Russian government continues to demonstrate to Washington weakness and irresolution by repeating its willingness to negotiate. Here we see Putin’s failure as a war leader. It should be Washington and NATO pleading with Putin to negotiate.

We are traveling along the road to Armageddon exactly as I predicted. One ignored provocation leads to another and worst provocation, and then to another and another, and now we have reached the red line that Putin cannot ignore. At this point the only way Putin can avoid World War III is to surrender or to terminate the existence of Ukraine before Washington elevates Ukraine to NATO membership. There is no other choice.

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“..would draw it into the biggest land war in Europe since 1945..”

US and Germany Against Inviting Ukraine Into NATO – NYT (RT)

The US and Germany are reluctant to accept Ukraine into NATO despite fears of Kiev’s military collapse under Russian pressure, the New York Times reported on Thursday. Officials in the US-led bloc are worried that such a drastic move “would draw it into the biggest land war in Europe since 1945,” the paper said, adding that NATO is looking for a “middle ground” instead. These concerns are said to be shared by Berlin and Washington, which are opposed to opening membership talks with Ukraine at NATO’s summit in Washington in July. At the same time, they champion long-term security assistance commitments to Ukraine. On Wednesday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg urged the bloc’s members to focus on providing Ukraine with “reliable and predictable security assistance” rather than voluntary donations.

The NATO chief has reportedly proposed a five-year €100 billion ($107 billion) package of military aid to Kiev, which would also see the bloc take on more responsibility – rather than the US – in terms of coordinating assistance. Several Western diplomats told the NYT, however, that this plan appears “elusive” at the moment. A former US ambassador to NATO, Ivo Daalder, said that Washington appears to be tacitly opposed to the initiative, which would diminish its role in coordinating the assistance. Hungary, another NATO member, has publicly spoken out against any moves that could make the bloc more involved in the conflict. It is also unclear how NATO could compel members to contribute to the €100 billion package over such a long period of time, the report says.

However, “none of these things may matter” by summer if Russia continues to push back Kiev’s troops, as Ukraine is “in danger of losing the war,” the NYT said. In recent weeks, Russia has liberated the key Donbass city of Avdeevka, while capturing several nearby settlements. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky warned last month that this would not be the last retreat unless the US renews its military assistance. An aid package has for months been stalled in the US Congress due to Republican opposition, as GOP members demand more efforts to enhance border security. Russia has condemned the Western arms shipments to Kiev, warning they will only prolong the conflict. Officials in Moscow have also accused the West of using Ukraine as a tool in order to inflict “a strategic defeat” on Russia.

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“..the Machiavelli of Maryland..”

NATO Faces ‘Catastrophic Defeat’ In Ukraine – ex-Pentagon Adviser (RT)

NATO nations can only forestall an inevitable loss to Russian forces in Ukraine by deploying their troops to the former Soviet republic, a former adviser to the US military has claimed. “The arithmetic of this is inescapable: NATO countries will soon have to send soldiers to Ukraine, or else accept catastrophic defeat,” military strategist Edward Luttwak wrote in an oped published on Thursday by the British online media outlet UnHerd. “The British and French, along with the Nordic countries, are already quietly preparing to send troops – both small elite units and logistics and support personnel – who can remain far from the front.” The conflict can’t be won without direct troop deployments because regardless of the quantity and quality of weapons sent to Kiev, Ukrainian forces are too outnumbered by the Russians, Luttwak argued. “This means that unless [Russian President Vladimir] Putin decides to end the war, Ukraine’s troops will be pushed back again and again, losing soldiers in the process who cannot be replaced.”

Luttwak’s comments follow weeks of battlefield advances by Russian forces in the Donbass region. Western leaders have insisted that they can ensure a Ukrainian victory by providing aid to Kiev, but French President Emmanuel Macron suggested in February that direct troop deployments by NATO members could not be ruled out. European NATO members face a “momentous decision” because with US forces facing a growing threat of a potential Chinese attack on Taiwan, it will be up to them to provide the manpower that Ukraine needs, Luttwak said. “If Europe cannot provide enough troops, Russia will prevail on the battlefield, and even if diplomacy successfully intervenes to avoid a complete debacle, Russian military power will have victoriously returned to central Europe,” he added. NATO-Russia relations have deteriorated so much amid the Ukraine crisis that the Western alliance is already in “direct confrontation” with Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday. Putin has warned that NATO would risk triggering a nuclear conflict if its members send troops to Ukraine.

Luttwak suggested that by providing support troops for such tasks as troop training and repairing damaged equipment, NATO nations could free up more Ukrainians to serve on the front lines. “These NATO soldiers might never see combat, but they don’t have to in order to help Ukraine make the most of its own scarce manpower,” he said. The Romanian-born Luttwak, who was raised and educated largely in the UK, has advised the Pentagon, the US State Department, and the White House National Security Council, among other entities in Washington. A December 2015 profile of Luttwak by The Guardian billed him as “the Machiavelli of Maryland.” Now 81, he has reportedly advised clients ranging from the Dalai Lama to the prime minister of Kazakhstan. Despite being a proponent of Western involvement in the conflict, Luttwak was put on a Ukrainian blacklist in 2022 for opining that Kiev cannot realistically hope to defeat Russia outright and depose Putin.

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“..The newspaper – in the 19th century nicknamed “The Thunderer”, now owned by Rupert Murdoch, nicknamed “The Dirty Digger”..

Ukraine Plan Of Crocus Attack: Ethnic Pogroms, Civil War In Russia (Helmer)

“The unity of Russia’s multiethnic society,” President Vladimir Putin told the Russian Trade Union Congress on Thursday, “is the main fundamental condition of our success. In this connection, and based on the initial results of the investigation, we have grounds to believe that the main goal of those who masterminded the bloody and heinous terrorist attack in Moscow was to damage our unity.” Putin is repeating the message – four times in two weeks: earlier on March 23, March 25, and April 2 — because it happens to be true. What also happens to be true is that during the Yeltsin period, when asked by Moscow university students what I thought of anti-semitism in Russia, I said: Russians are the most primitive white tribe in the world – they are hostile to the other tribes, the Jews, Chechens, Armenians, Chukchi, Uzbeks, Tajiks — each one of them equally. After this sociology was elaborated, invitations to lecture at Moscow universities stopped.

The sociological problem which Russia’s enemies have is that the foreign white tribes, like the Galicians of the Ukraine, the Anglo Saxons, and the Blin-Noodle gang ruling Washington, make the primitive sociological mistake of thinking they can trigger intercommunal warfare inside Russia, to weaken and break it up. The British Secret Service (MI6) made their first abortive attempts at this during the Bolshevik revolution and the civil war following. The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and MI6 have been plotting the same thing since 1945, increasing the resources and accelerating their efforts in the Caucasus during the Yeltsin administration of the 1990s.

It is therefore no surprise they have convinced their Ukrainian counterparts to implement the same scheme. On Tuesday of this week, The Times of London headlined this plan “Ukraine Stokes Anti-Immigrant Tensions in Russia”. The newspaper – in the 19th century nicknamed “The Thunderer”, now owned by Rupert Murdoch, nicknamed “The Dirty Digger” — reported an interview with Andrei Kovalenko, head of the Ukraine’s Centre for Countering Disinformation (CCD). By weaponizing local ethnic communities like the Tajiks in Russia, the operational objective, according to Kovalenko, is “to exploit divisions and distrust among the Russian public.”

Kovalenko is conceding the Ukraine strategy behind the Tajik gunmen’s attack on the Crocus City Hall on March 22. But the foreign tribesmen have misread the Russian sociology again. The attack has failed in its war objective. The theory of interethnic conflict in Russia was last tested in Moscow in January 2022 by the Levada Centre, a pollster registered as a foreign agent in 2016. Levada has been surveying ethnic Russian attitudes towards other ethnic groups since 2011, emphasizing for its own reasons what the Levada staff call anti-Semitism. The polling results over the years show that positive and negative Russian sentiment has been moving on several measures of social distance — acceptance as family members, friends, neighbours, citizens, temporary workers on visa – in different directions for different ethnic groups.

The improvement in the Russian perception of Ukrainians and Jews has been sharply reversed by the Kiev war on the Donbass and then the Israeli war against Gaza. By contrast, the political, economic, and media efforts of the Putin administration to cultivate strategic relations with China, the African states, and the Caucasus, including Chechnya, have accentuated the positive, diminished the negative.

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There are plenty people with such “takes”. But Musk gets MSM coverage.

MSM Reluctantly Admits Elon Musk’s Ukraine Takes Are Proving Correct (ZH)

“So, Musk may not be too wide of the mark after all”: Politico. Something which could hardly be imagined a year ago or even six months ago has happened this week: a Politico op-ed voices agreement with Elon Musk on Ukraine. Of course, the Wednesday piece still takes customary shots at the “wayward” billionaire and owner of X: “Wayward entrepreneur Elon Musk’s latest pronouncements regarding the war in Ukraine set teeth on edge, as he warned that even though Moscow has “no chance” of conquering all of Ukraine, “the longer the war goes on, the more territory Russia will gain until they hit the Dnipro, which is tough to overcome.” “However, if the war lasts long enough, Odesa will fall too,” he cautioned.

Statements like these, and Musk’s supposedly ‘alternative’ view of the crisis in general, have long invoked the wrath of mainstream media pundits. Yet publications like Politico now sing a different tune, but only after President Zelensky himself has signaled just how dire the battlefield situation actually is for his forces. Politico has previously featured headlines like ‘Elon Musk Is Transmitting a Message for Putin’. Musk in his recent Odesa commentary did no such thing, but merely urged the Ukrainians to find a way forward towards peace at the negotiating table before it’s too late. Again, lines such as the below coming out of the heart of the media establishment would have been impossible to come across a year ago… from Politico:

“With a history of urging Ukraine to agree to territorial concessions — and his opposition to the $60 billion U.S. military aid package snarled on Capitol Hill amid partisan wrangling — Musk isn’t Ukraine’s favorite commentator, to say the least. And his remarks received predictable pushback. But the billionaire entrepreneur’s forecast isn’t actually all that different from the dire warnings Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made in the last few days. According to Zelenskyy, unless the stalled multibillion-dollar package is approved soon, his forces will have to “go back, retreat, step by step, in small steps.” He also warned that some major cities could be at risk of falling.”

But we should point out that Musk has been a realist from the start, more in line with analysts such as John Mearsheimer, voicing positions which have proven right time and again, despite contradicting the bandwagon mainstream consensus at every turn. And here’s the kicker in the conclusion, from the Politico op-ed… “We don’t only have a military crisis — we have a political one,” one of the officers said. While Ukraine shies away from a big draft, “Russia is now gathering resources and will be ready to launch a big attack around August, and maybe sooner.” So, Musk may not be too wide of the mark after all.

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“..and the whole shootin’ match ends up twenty minutes later a smoldering, civilization-ending mess..”

Vectoring Dangerously (Kunstler)

If your situational awareness is well-tuned, you can put together a political weather report from the swirl of events that otherwise seem to confound the degenerate simps who pretend to report the news. Events are tending in the direction of self-reinforcing, ramifying chaos, and the people running the show are obviously insane as they do everything possible to hurry chaos along. Case in point: Antony Blinken, our Secretary of State, who announced yesterday that Ukraine will get rushed into NATO ASAP. Do you understand that would mean a direct, automatic, peremptory declaration of war against Russia, requiring all of NATO — that is, their combined militaries — to go kinetic inside Ukraine and theoretically inside Russia, too, (a move that has not worked out well for anyone in all of history), because Article Five of the NATO charter states that an armed attack against one is an attack against all, and must be answered with counter-attack? Thus, you see, Mr. Blinken just announced World War Three.

You might also consider that NATO does not have the capacity to fight that war. The European members don’t have sufficient troops and equipment, or financial reserves for that matter. And there is, of course, America’s under-recruited DEI army of transsexuals and video-gamers, with equipment that has already proven inadequate on-the-ground in Ukraine, and a logistical route for delivery of all that which runs 5,000 miles across an ocean and then another continent. . . whereas our opponent (Russia) is right next door to the battlefield and churning out munitions like there is no tomorrow (which there might well not be for all concerned). Even Adolf Hitler, the last fool to attempt a conquest of Russia, wouldn’t like those odds. And why would Russia desist from firing hypersonic missiles at Berlin, Paris, London, New York and. . . ? You get the idea. In which case the USA, backstopping NATO, would lob swarms of our nuclear missiles into Russia. . . and the whole shootin’ match ends up twenty minutes later a smoldering, civilization-ending mess.

Smooth move, Tony Blinken. In political weather terms, this is like an arctic shear cutting across the northern hemisphere. At the same time, you might notice a financial la Nina forming out over the salty sea. Gold chugged up above $2,300-an-ounce the past ten days, a record. That’s a coded message from Reality Central. My de-coder ring says it means the bond market is about to fall on its ass, taking the dollar down with it, which would swiftly domino into the way-overpriced equity markets, and Gawd knows what kind of maelstrom all the derivatives flotsam would get sucked into. Notice, too that Bitcoin goes up $3,000 one day and down $2,000 the next. Kind of sketchy. But that’s just my take. If you have one, I’d like to hear it. In any case, it looks like stormy financial weather which, if nothing else, is not exactly an advantageous accompaniment to a world war. In fact, it could beat a path quickly to something like empty supermarket shelves — and you know what they say about a population being a few missed meals away from anarchy.

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I had to sit down for half a hour. Didn’t expect this at all. /sarc off. It’s called money laudering.

Ukrainian Officials’ Wealth Surged During Conflict (RT)

Senior Ukrainian officials have significantly increased their personal wealth over the past two years despite the conflict with Russia, an analysis of self-reported income and assets has revealed. The study was conducted by the Ukrainian business news site Ekonomicheskaya Pravda based on mandatory disclosures required from officials concerning themselves and their family members. The deadline for reporting on the previous year expired on March 31, meaning that a complete dataset is now available to the public. A third of the senior officials picked by the newspaper for their sample reported new major assets, such as vehicles or real estate, the outlet reported on Wednesday. For their study, the journalists picked 2,200 top-tier members of various branches of the Ukrainian government, prioritizing those whose family names are most common in the country.

They tracked the changes in the holdings of these individuals by examining disclosures from this past year and previous years. The open hostilities with Russia started in February 2022. The officials chosen by the outlet reported 721 cars, 268 apartments, and 90 homes newly owned by their households over that period of time. The second half of 2022 saw the highest numbe of acquisitions in all three categories, but there has been only a relatively small drop in the rate of purchases since. The public servants also managed to boost their ownership of liquid assets in the form of cash and bank deposits by roughly a quarter. The US dollar was the most popular currency among Ukrainian officials, with a $6 million increase reported by the 2,200 people studied.

The outlet stressed that it likely underestimated the increase in wealth among officials since “not all of them follow their duty” and disclose their assets accurately. For instance, a former regional head is currently being investigated after failing to mention property worth some $1.8 million, which a news outlet had linked to members of his family. Some of the changes were due to changes in marital status, the report said. One MP, who married a wealthy businessman in 2023, consequently reported dozens of land plots owned by her new family, according to the article. The Ukrainian government relies heavily on foreign credit and aid to remain operational. Its central bank reported last month that in January and February a shortfall of financial support from other nations forced it to shift to borrowing domestically and depleting reserves to cover the budget deficit.

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“I watched the State of the Union, he was all jacked up at the beginning, by the end he was fading fast, there’s something going on there..”

Biden Was ‘Higher Than A Kite’ During SOTU Speech – Trump

Former US President Donald Trump has accused his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, of using drugs to get through his State of the Union address last month, and has insisted that he should be tested for drugs before any potential debates. Speaking with radio broadcaster Hugh Hewitt on Thursday, Trump claimed that Biden “was higher than a kite” during his speech, and described it as “the worst address I’ve ever seen.” He went on to recall last year’s scandal in which the Secret Service discovered a bag of cocaine at the White House, suggesting that Biden may have been “helped some way” to get through the annual address. “I watched the State of the Union, he was all jacked up at the beginning, by the end he was fading fast, there’s something going on there,” Trump said.

A plastic bag containing cocaine was discovered in a phone locker in the West Wing of the White House on July 2, 2023. After launching an investigation, the Secret Service dropped the case after only a few weeks, concluding that it was impossible to determine the owner of the drugs. The move sparked outrage among Biden’s critics, with many suggesting the cocaine may have belonged to the president’s son, Hunter, who has admitted to struggling with substance abuse. The White House officially denied any involvement of the Biden family in the case and praised the Secret Service’s “thorough investigation.”

Nevertheless, Trump has insisted that Biden should be tested for drugs before the two engage in debates ahead of November’s presidential election. The billionaire has previously called on the president to debate him “anywhere anytime.” Biden has not yet agreed to any debates with his rival, but said last month that it would depend on Trump’s “behavior.” Recent surveys have found that a majority of voters are concerned with the mental capabilities of both Trump and Biden, who are set to face off in the presidential election on November 5. A poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research last month found that 63% of American voters do not believe Biden has the mental capacity to serve effectively as president; 57% said the same thing about Trump.

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“..no newspaper in the United States has ever published a similar black square” in support of American journalist Gonzalo Lira..”

US Intel Services Use Journalists As Their Agents – Zakharova (TASS)

US special services use journalists as their agents in violation of US laws, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. Commenting on how the United States “celebrated” a year since the arrest of Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal journalist, accused of espionage in Russia, the diplomat drew attention to the way one of the latest March issues of The Wall Street Journal looks – almost the entire front page is blank. “And only the black and white face of Evan Gershkovich, a US citizen detained on suspicion of espionage, caught in the act, with the phrase ‘His story should be here,'” she wrote on her Telegram channel. “Evan Gershkovich could have written about the terrorist bombing of Russian cities by the neo-Nazi regime in Kiev in recent months. The militants are also shelling journalists, including American journalists – it could be a report from a hot spot that the Americans themselves created by pumping weapons and intelligence into the militants,” she pointed out.

“He could have written a great article about all the fellow journalists killed by the Kiev regime: Oles Buzina, Pavel Sheremet, Andrey Stenin, Anatoly Klein, Igor Kornelyuk, Anton Voloshin, and many others. He could have, but for some reason he didn’t write [about it] all those years he had worked in Russia. He could have, if he had been practicing journalism and not spying,” the spokeswoman emphasized. “By the way, I do not exclude that the American media was expressing its indignation at the American secret services, which continue to use journalists as their agents in violation of US law,” she said. Zakharova pointed to the fact that “no newspaper in the United States has ever published a similar black square” in support of American journalist Gonzalo Lira, “who spent eight months in the torture chambers of a Ukrainian prison and was finally killed by the Ukrainian Security Service in January.”

“By the way, has a criminal case been opened in the US for his murder? I haven’t heard of it,” she added. Gershkovich, a correspondent for the US newspaper The Wall Street Journal, was arrested in Russia in an espionage case. According to the Center for Public Relations of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), Gershkovich, “acting as an agent for the American side, collected top-secret data about the activity of an enterprise of the Russian military-industrial complex.” In this connection, the journalist was detained in Yekaterinburg at the end of March 2023; criminal proceedings were initiated against him under Article 276 of the Russian Criminal Code (“Espionage”). Gershkovich faces up to 20 years in prison. He has not pleaded guilty.

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“The DOJ has filed opposition to Mr. Pope’s motion, saying it has “no obligation to investigate”..”

Jan. 6 Defendant Video Raises Questions About Undercover Agents (ET)

Recently released Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol Police security video shows a suspected FBI special agent clapping and cheering as crowds surged up steps to the Columbus Doors and another meeting with an FBI tactical team just before it entered the Capitol after the fatal shooting of Ashli Babbitt. The videos were first identified by defendant William Pope of Topeka, Kansas, in court filings in his own Jan. 6 criminal case. Exhibits Mr. Pope originally filed under seal have become public since the release of thousands of hours of Jan. 6 security video by the Committee on House Administration Subcommittee on Oversight. Two possible FBI special agents and a third unknown colleague were with John D. Guandolo, the FBI’s former liaison with U.S. Capitol Police, at the Women for a Great America event on the East Front of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, according to Mr. Pope.

In sworn testimony in a December 2022 Alaska civil court trial and in numerous media appearances, Mr. Guandolo said he was with two FBI special agents and a colleague with whom he traveled to Washington on Jan. 6. Mr. Guandolo has indicated that he was also introduced to other FBI personnel at the Capitol that day. Mr. Pope is seeking to compel federal prosecutors to identify them all. He said even if the men were at the Capitol on personal time, their free movement around the grounds shows they did not believe the Capitol was off limits to the public. Mr. Guandolo, who handled counterterrorism and criminal investigations for nearly 13 years—from 1996 to 2008—as an FBI special agent, has said he was at the Capitol in a personal capacity and went primarily to pray. He was interviewed by the FBI about his Jan. 6 visit on July 6, 2022. A heavily redacted copy of the FBI 302 interview summary has been made public.

Security video shows that as the crowd broke through the police line on the East Plaza and surged up the steps to the Columbus Doors, one of Mr. Guandolo’s colleagues clapped enthusiastically. “Oh, oh, oh man, this is huge,” the man said, heard on Mr. Guandolo’s cell phone video that showed the crowd ascending the east steps. On Capitol Police security Camera 7231, which looks out at the House Egg on the East Front, Mr. Guandolo was seen filming while standing on a chair just before 2:05 p.m. The clapping man, wearing a grey knit cap and dark coat, is identified in Mr. Pope’s court filing as “the Clapper” and “Colleague 2.” While Colleague 2 cheered the protesters’ advance on the Capitol, a man on Mr. Guandolo’s left, “Colleague 1,” had his phone raised, presumably capturing his own video of the advancing crowd. He wore a brown knit cap and blue jacket, and carried a backpack, video showed.

Mr. Pope asked U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras to compel the Department of Justice to identify all FBI agents “who were material witnesses at the Capitol.” Mr. Pope wants the FBI “to produce all photographs, videos, and records related to their presence.” The DOJ has filed opposition to Mr. Pope’s motion, saying it has “no obligation to investigate” who the men in the videos are. Some of the exhibits in Mr. Pope’s Feb. 12 motion were redacted, but the recent release of thousands of hours of Jan. 6 security video by the Subcommittee on Oversight allows them to be released publicly, Mr. Pope said.

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“The Federal Reserve then did the only thing it knows how to do: It hiked interest rates.”

Bidenomics and Its Discontents (Galbraith)

Unemployment is low. Inflation has fallen. Real earnings are rising. GDP growth has held up—so far. The economists are happy, but for some reason the voters are not! It must be their own ignorance and obtuseness—so says Paul Krugman, house economist of The New York Times. The other possibility—however horrible to contemplate—is that perhaps the voters are sensible and the economists are obtuse. And perhaps the indicators on which economists rely no longer mean what economists suppose them to mean. Take the unemployment rate. It is a ratio of those seeking work to the whole active labor force. In past times, most households depended on a single earner, for whom holding a job was a make-or-break proposition. If unemployment was rising or high—say 7 percent, typical in recessions—then, even though 93 percent of the labor force was still working, fear of unemployment amplified the woes of those actually out of work.

Conversely, if unemployment was low or falling, most workers felt reasonably secure. The unemployment rate, back then, was a reasonable indicator of distress or well-being. Those days are long gone. Today’s typical American working household has several earners, sometimes in multiple jobs. If one earner loses a job while the others keep theirs, she may leave the workforce for a time; there is the option of making do with less, and for some there is early retirement. She will not, in that case, count as unemployed—however difficult her life. A low jobless rate can mask a great deal of stress in such households. The employment-to-population ratio is still a bit below where it was in 2020, and far below where it was in 2000; average weekly hours are still falling. Next, consider inflation, which is the rate of price change measured month-to-month or year-to-year. But what matters to consumers is prices in relation to household incomes over several years.

In 1980 Ronald Reagan famously asked, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” Today, millions of American households are worse off than they were in 2020. Basic living costs, such as gasoline, utilities, food, and housing, have risen more than their incomes have. Real median household income peaked in 2019 and fell at least through 2022. Yes, but didn’t real wages go up sharply in 2023? According to the Biden-friendly Center for American Progress, real wages (for those continuously employed) have indeed now recovered roughly to where they would have been had no pandemic occurred. But there is a great distinction between steady progress and a sawtooth down-and-up. The former breeds confidence; the latter does not. Then there is the ending of Covid-19 relief. Pandemic programs gave millions of Americans a financial cushion for a time; early on, the payments were often larger than previous paychecks and, while they lasted, poverty and food insecurity went down. (By 2021 Covid tax credits and relief payments brought child poverty down to a record low of 5.2 percent.)

Most Americans were prudent with the support, but they often used it, not unwisely, to achieve a touch of independence from dreary jobs. With that support gone, the cushions erode, savings decline, debt rises–and families feel the pressure to go back to work on whatever terms that employers offer. They don’t like that very much. As people return to work, how secure are their jobs? In the golden years during which today’s older generation of economists learned their textbook tools, a worker’s job was often a lifetime affair. Autoworkers (and their associates in rubber and glass) might suffer periodic layoffs, but they could expect to be called back; their skills and experience remained useful. That was all over by the 1980s.

Since then, factories close and do not return, and practically all new jobs have been in routine services, with mediocre wages and high turnover. The pandemic drove home the fragility of these jobs to everyone—even those who had never lost a job before. Interest rates are another problem. Long ago, Joe Biden kicked the can of “fighting inflation” over to the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve then did the only thing it knows how to do: It hiked interest rates. Mortgage rates were around 3 percent in 2021; today they are at least twice that. High interest rates hit young families looking for their first house, and they hit established households, often older, looking to sell their homes. And high interest on consumer debt eats away at disposable incomes. The capital wealth of the middle class falls, to the benefit of those with cash to spare. The second group is much smaller and far richer than the first.

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“..RFK is right that the Biden administration engaged in censorship through agencies, but it wasn’t exactly a secret..”

RFK Jr. Is Right About Joe Biden (ZH)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. can be an unhinged leftist and crackpot, but he also happens to be correct about President Joe Biden’s attacks on constitutional order, particularly free expression. Speaking to an incredulous Erin Burnett on CNN this week, Kennedy argued that Biden was a bigger threat to “democracy” than Donald Trump, a position that clashes with the media’s entire 2024 campaign messaging. In a more decent world, we’d be debating which presidential candidate was better at upholding the constitutional order, rather than which one was worse. That is not our fate. And yet, the unique thing about the 2024 presidential contest is that voters are given a chance to compare existing presidential records. Kennedy contends that Biden “is the first candidate in history, the first president in history that has used the federal agencies to censor political speech or censor his opponent.”

One suspects Eugene Debs might quibble with this characterization, though not since the Committee on Public Information has there been a White House that has shown such disdain for free expression and debate. Biden is the first president to openly and secretly pressure major communication companies to take direction and work in conjunction with state agencies to censor debate. The same left-wingers who do not believe in any limiting principles while regulating economic life will lecture us about how so-called platforms are free to work with anyone they please, including the White House. OK, but tech companies also spend tens of millions each year in Washington rent-seeking and lobbying for favorable regulations. They are highly susceptible to state intimidation. When Biden deputizes massive communication companies to act as censors, he’s merely taking a shortcut in the suppression of speech that undercuts, at the very minimum, the spirit and purpose of the First Amendment.

One might even call this brand of state-corporate relationship “semi-fascist.” RFK is right that the Biden administration engaged in censorship through agencies, but it wasn’t exactly a secret. Recall Jen Psaki informing us that the White House was “flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation.” Biden claimed that allowing unfettered speech on Facebook during COVID was “killing people.” Just contemplate the media’s reaction if Trump’s White House had been keeping lists of “problematic” posts. Remember, as well, White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield warning that social media companies “should be held accountable” for the ideas of those who use their websites. Was she talking about the ideas that spurred the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots, the most expensive in history? Was she talking about those who spread conspiracy theories about Russian collusion? Probably not. Though Trump never did anything to inhibit the spread of criticism or conspiracy theories.

Luntz

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Judge McAfee: “Jack Smith had made “no reference to the Presidential Records Act” in his indictment of Trump, giving the former president’s lawyers no legal grounds to invoke it..”

The prosecutor can bring it up, but the defense can’t.

Judges Reject Trump’s Attempts To Quash Cases (RT)

Judges in Florida and Georgia have shot down attempts by former US President Donald Trump to have two criminal cases against him thrown out of court. The cases pertain to his alleged mishandling of classified documents and efforts to interfere with the 2020 election. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee ruled on Thursday that the former president cannot use his constitutional right to free speech to dodge election interference charges in Georgia. Trump has been charged with state-level racketeering offenses for instructing his campaign staff to find evidence of election fraud by the Democratic Party, and for a taped phone call made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which he asked Raffensperger to “find 1,780 votes,” which would have guaranteed him a razor-thin victory in the state.

McAfee ruled that this statement was made “in furtherance of criminal activity,” and is therefore not protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Trump’s lawyer, Steve Sadow, said in a statement that “President Trump and other defendants respectfully disagree with Judge McAfee’s order and will continue to evaluate their options regarding the First Amendment challenges.” While the ruling is a setback for Trump, McAfee handed Trump a minor victory last month when he dismissed three out of 13 charges against the former president and multiple counts against his senior aides and lawyers. Trump has also appealed a decision by McAfee to allow Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to continue prosecuting the case, after it emerged that she benefited financially from her intimate relationship with a lawyer she hired to lead the prosecution.

Trump is facing three other criminal cases: two federal litigations concerning his alleged mishandling of classified documents and his alleged incitement of the January 6, 2021 riot on Capitol Hill, and a state-level case in New York concerning his ‘hush money’ payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. Later on Thursday, the Florida judge overseeing the classified documents case declined a request by Trump to dismiss the charges based on his claim that the Presidential Records Act authorized him to take the documents from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago estate.

The judge did not rule Trump’s claim true or false, but noted that government prosecutor Jack Smith had made “no reference to the Presidential Records Act” in his indictment of Trump, giving the former president’s lawyers no legal grounds to invoke it. Trump views all four cases as part of an overarching conspiracy by Democrats and their allies to prevent him from contesting this year’s election. In a post to his Truth Social platform on Easter Sunday, Trump condemned the “crooked and corrupt prosecutors and judges that are doing everything possible to interfere with the presidential election of 2024 and put me in prison,” including “deranged Jack Smith” and “sick Fani Willis.”

Mike Davis

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The Supreme Court must be much more assertive.

Supreme Court Faces ‘High Stakes’ Decisions on Trump-Related Cases (ET)

The combination of several Trump-related cases, the potential for landmark changes to legal precedent, the vigorous calls for reform, and the coming elections have made 2024 a year of high impact decisions for the court. One decision has already impacted the course of the 2024 presidential campaign. In March, the justices rejected an effort that could have resulted in millions of President Trump’s supporters not having their preferred candidate on the ballot. During oral argument, Justice Amy Coney Barrett referenced the “very high stakes” surrounding the case, which has been described as the court’s most influential election-related matter since Bush v. Gore. Its landmark opinion in Trump v. Anderson foreclosed the possibility that states like Colorado could, under their existing authority, remove federal candidates from ballots. The majority opinion, however, has been criticized for lacking clarity around how Congress should act.

The decision emphasized the role of Congress in enforcing the 14th Amendment, while the three liberal justices and Justice Barrett favored a more limited approach that overruled state authority over federal candidates for office. President Trump’s immunity appeal, scheduled for oral argument on April 25, could impact his Florida documents case and hush money trial, wherein he has requested a delay pending the Supreme Court’s decision on his D.C. immunity claims. The stinging criticism that followed the court’s unanimous opinion in Trump v. Anderson indicates no matter how united the justices are, they will continue to face heavy scrutiny—especially when it comes to President Trump. President Trump’s appeal, like Mr. Navarro’s, questions the separation of powers as well as the authority of the legislative and judiciary branches in challenging the executive.

In Trump v. Anderson, the court avoided wading into the specifics of President Trump’s alleged wrongdoing on Jan. 6 and will likely try to do the same with his immunity appeal. But their decisions in two other cases might impact the indictment in President Trump’s federal election case. A challenge brought by Jan. 6 defendants against the DOJ’s use of an Enron-era obstruction charge in prosecutions will be heard before the high court on April 16. In the federal election case, two of those charges were brought against President Trump. If the court rules in the defendants’ favor, as some legal experts predict, that could lessen the burden for President Trump in D.C. while also provoking scrutiny of the justices’ approach to Jan. 6. The court’s decision in the presidential immunity appeal could similarly either upend or affirm the prosecution—likely sparking backlash from either side depending on the outcome.

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Disconnect.

How The West Lost Control Of The Gold Market (Henry Johnston)

What is important to understand here is that the creation of a derivative market satisfies demand for gold that would otherwise go to the physical market. Only a limited amount of gold exists and can be mined but an unlimited amount of gold derivatives can be underwritten. As Gromen explains, when monetary expansion drives demand for gold (due to the inflation this brings), there are two ways this demand can be dealt with: let the price of gold rise as more dollars chase the same amount of gold; or permit more paper claims to be created on the same amount of gold, which allows the pace of gold’s rise to be managed. There are several important implications of this. The rise of the paper market has clearly played an important role in defanging gold in its role as exerting a hard limit on expansionary policy, thus implicitly reinforcing the credibility of the dollar. But it has also meant that the gold price has largely been determined by investment flows rather than physical demand.

And when we’re talking about investment flows, we mean first and foremost Western institutional investors. Given that gold trades essentially as a cyclical asset, institutional investors have primarily traded gold based on movements in real US interest rates – meaning interest rates adjusted for inflation. Gold is bought when real rates fall and vice versa. The logic is that when interest rates rise, money managers can earn more by switching to bonds or cash, thus increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-interest-bearing assets such as gold. By the same token, lower rates make gold – seen as a hedge against inflation – more attractive. This correlation has been particularly strong over the last 15 years or so and many analysts date it back further than that. So let’s go a step further and pose the following question: If Western institutional money has been driving the price, who has been on the other side of the trade when actual gold does change hands?

To oversimplify a bit, the model worked roughly as follows, as has been explained by gold analyst Jan Nieuwenhuijs: Western institutions essentially controlled the price of gold and bought from the East in bull markets and sold to the East in bear markets. This makes sense, because the Western side of this trade essentially consisted of investors who in any asset class tend to chase the price higher. The East, meanwhile, was characterized more by consumer demand. Because consumers are price-sensitive, they tend to buy when the price is low and are happy to sell into a rising market. So gold flowed from East to West in bull markets and from West to East in bear markets. But, as we mentioned above, it was the Western institutional investors who were in the driver’s seat in this trade. This was the well-established state of affairs up until 2022, which happens to be when the Ukraine proxy war began and the US took the bold step of freezing some $300 billion in Russian central bank assets.

A coincidence or not, what happened that year was that the correlation between US real rates and gold broke down and has not been restored. The first sign of an impending shift was that, in first few months after the Fed embarked on a sharp rate-hike cycle in March 2022, gold did drop but proved much more resilient to the rising rates than correlation models would have suggested. But the real breakdown in the correlation started around September of that year, when gold prices actually started climbing even as real rates remained flat. In fact, from late October 2022 through June 2023, the gold price rose 17%. Meanwhile, over 2023, US real yields rose (despite quite a bit of volatility), which, according to the old correlation, should have meant a decline in gold prices as higher yields elsewhere would make non-yielding gold less attractive. However, gold rose 15% for the year.

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Vodka
https://twitter.com/i/status/1775995652951978353

 

 

Live forever

 

 

Matrix
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776221960416157920

 

 

Jaguar

Kingfisher
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776014518650618272

 

 

Elephants

 

 

Ostrich

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 052024
 


Pablo Picasso The Rooster 1918

 

Supreme Court Rules 9-0 That Trump Cannot Be Kicked Off Any State Ballot (PM)
House Dems Implode Over Supreme Court Decision (ZH)
‘Uncommitted’ Voters Unite Against Biden Ahead of Super Tuesday (RT)
The Five FUBARs (Jim Kunstler)
‘Ukraine is Russia’ – Medvedev (RT)
Draft-Eligible Ukraine Men Flee ‘Certain Death’ (Sp.)
The Good Germans Are Blowing Smoke (Helmer)
The Brainwashing of Germany in Preparation for War (Bittner)
German Defense Ministry Uses ‘1234’ As Password (RT)
Zelensky and the West Have A New Scam – And Taxpayers Will Foot The Bill (RT)
Losing to Russia Shatters Western Leaders’ Belief in Their Exceptionalism (Sp.)
Is Tehran Winning the Middle East? (Juan Cole)
The EU’s American Queen (Lily Lynch)
Musk’s X Could Face New EU Restrictions (RT)
Ballot Drop Boxes Installed Along Border Wall (BBee)

 

 

 

 

2024 ad

 

 

New Yorker profile of Biden: “The former Hollywood executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, a co-chair of Biden’s campaign, urged him to embrace his age with swagger, like his fellow-octogenarians Mick Jagger and Harrison Ford.”

 

 

Free falling

 

 

 

 

Tucker Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1764850563940794481

 

 

Social media arrests
https://twitter.com/i/status/1764691399331754399

 

 

 

 

San Diego

 

 

2007

 

 

There’s a separate 5-4 decision hidden in this unanimous decision. Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh affirmatively rule that Congress has the sole power to enforce the “Insurrection” provision. Barrett objects for unelaborated reasons, Sotomayor, Kagan, Jackson dissent

 

 

“We conclude that States may disqualify persons holding or attempting to hold state office. But States have no power under the Constitution to enforce Section 3 with respect to federal offices, especially the Presidency,” the Court ruled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BBC: “Donald Trump says today’s Supreme Court decision that he cannot be banned from Colorado’s presidential ballot, is “both unifying and inspirational”. Speaking to Fox News, Trump said: “A great win for America. Very, very important!” He went on to highlight another legal case that is set to fall to the Supreme Court: that of presidential immunity. “Equally important for our country will be the decision that they will soon make on immunity for a president – without which, the presidency would be relegated to nothing more than a ceremonial position, which is far from what the founders intended.

“No president would be able to properly and effectively function without complete and total immunity.” The Supreme Court will hear arguments in April on whether Trump is immune from being prosecuted on charges of trying to overturn the 2020 election. Trump had claimed that he was immune from all criminal charges for acts that he said fell within his duties as president. A US Court of Appeals panel has already rejected Trump’s argument..”

Supreme Court Rules 9-0 That Trump Cannot Be Kicked Off Any State Ballot (PM)

In a stunning reversal on Monday morning, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously decided against the Supreme Court of Colorado in their decision to remove Donald Trump from the state’s ballot. They further said that this ruling applies to any state who wishes to make this move. Trump cannot be removed from the ballot in any state. Colorado had made the determination that Trump could not stand for office and justified their tactic through invoking the “insurrection” clause of the 14th Amendment, section 3. After their ruling, other states jumped on board, saying that Trump would not be permitted to stand for office in their states, either. The Court states that “if States were free to enforce Section 3 by barring candidates from running in the first place, Congress would be forced to exercise its disability removal power before voting begins if it wished for its decision to have any effect on the current election cycle. Perhaps a State may burden congressional authority in such a way when it exercises its ‘exclusive’ sovereign power over its own state offices.”

“But,” they continued, “it is implausible to suppose that the Constitution affirmatively delegated to the States the authority to impose such a burden on congressional power with respect to candidates for federal office.” The Court further stated that the petitioners on behalf of Colorado were unable to identify any “tradition of state enforcement of section 3 against federal officeholders or candidates in the years following ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment.” The key aspect, however, is what they had to say about the implications of letting a ruling like that in Colorado stand. “Conflicting state outcomes concerning the same candidate could result not just from differing views of the merits, but from variations in state law governing the proceedings that are necessary to make Section 3 disqualification determinations. Some States might allow a Section 3 challenge to succeed based on a preponderance of the evidence, while others might require a heightened showing.”

“Certain evidence (like the congressional Report on which the lower courts relied here) might be admissible in some States but inadmissible hearsay in others. Disqualification might be possible only through criminal prosecution, as opposed to expedited civil proceedings, in particular States. “Indeed, in some States—unlike Colorado (or Maine, where the secretary of state recently issued an order excluding former President Trump from the primary ballot)—procedures for excluding an ineligible candidate from the ballot may not exist at all.” “The result could well be that a single candidate would be declared ineligible in some States, but not others, based on the same conduct (and perhaps even the same factual record).” “The ‘patchwork’ that would likely result from state enforcement would ‘sever the direct link that the Framers found so critical between the National Government and the people of the United States’ as a whole. U. S. Term Limits, 514 U. S., at 822.”

“But in a Presidential election ‘the impact of the votes cast in each State is affected by the votes cast’— or, in this case, the votes not allowed to be cast—’for the various candidates in other States.’ Anderson, 460 U. S., at 795. An evolving electoral map could dramatically change the behavior of voters, parties, and States across the country, in different ways and at different times. “The disruption would be all the more acute—and could nullify the votes of millions and change the election result—if Section 3 enforcement were attempted after the Nation has voted. Nothing in the Constitution requires that we endure such chaos—arriving at any time or different times, up to and perhaps beyond the Inauguration.” “For the reasons given, responsibility for enforcing Section 3 against federal officeholders and candidates rests with Congress and not the States,” the Court determined.

“The judgment of the Colorado13 Cite as: 601 U. S. ____ (2024) Per Curiam Supreme Court therefore cannot stand.” “All nine Members of the Court agree with that result,” they wrote. “The judgment of the Colorado Supreme Court is reversed.” The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case earlier in February, taking on the case on an emergency basis. In their hearing of the case, they appeared to lean toward the conclusion that state’s do not have the right to unilaterally remove candidates, thereby denying their citizens the right to cote for the candidate of their choice. Illinois, Maine and other states that have attempted this tactic will now find that they are powerless to carry it out.

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“President Biden… Fight your fight yourself. Don’t use prosecutors and judges to go after your opponent… our country is much bigger than that..”

House Dems Implode Over Supreme Court Decision (ZH)

Update (1400ET): Not satisfied to let the Supreme Court-enforced Democratic process play out, House Democrats are now preparing legislation to try and keep Trump off the ballot. “Congress will have to try and act,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, in a comment to creepy deep state mouthpiece Axios (which swears the border is extra-secure!). Raskin, a former member of the Jan. 6 select committee, said he is already crafting the bill, telling Axios, “I’m working on it – today.” Raskin pointed to legislation he introduced with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) in 2022 creating a pathway for the Justice Department to sue to keep candidates off the ballot under the 14th Amendment. “We are going to revise it in light of the Supreme Court’s decision,” Raskin said. -Axios

“I don’t have a lot of hope that Speaker [Mike] Johnson will allow us to bring enforcement legislation to the floor, but we have to try and do it,” said Raskin, who said he’ll ‘beseech’ Republicans to join the bill. Very Democratic, Jamie. Update (1320ET): Former President Trump has responded to the Supreme Court’s ruling keeping him on the ballot in Colorado (and therefore, everywhere else). According to Trump, the decision was “very well crafted,” and “will go a long way toward bringing our country together.” Trump also slammed Biden for ‘weaponizing’ prosecutors against him. “President Biden… Fight your fight yourself. Don’t use prosecutors and judges to go after your opponent… our country is much bigger than that,” Trump said, speaking from Mar-a-Lago.

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“..Nikki Haley suffered an embarrassment when she became the first candidate to lose to ‘no-one’ in the Nevada GOP primary since the option was introduced in 1975..”

‘Uncommitted’ Voters Unite Against Biden Ahead of Super Tuesday (RT)

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the largest socialist organization in the US, has urged primary voters to cast their ballots for ‘uncommitted’ rather than President Joe Biden to show their opposition to his stance on the Israel-Hamas war. The announcement comes just two days before the primary elections on March 5 – known as Super Tuesday – when millions of Americans are expected to vote. In a series of X (formerly Twitter) posts on Sunday, the DSA, which has more than 92,000 members and chapters in all US states, demanded that the White House end the bloodshed in Gaza by revoking military assistance to Israel, saying Biden will be to blame if former President Donald Trump is reelected this year.

“Today, DSA endorses ‘Uncommitted’ in the remaining Democratic presidential primaries. Until this administration ends its support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza and delivers a permanent, lasting ceasefire, Joe Biden will bear the responsibility for another Trump presidency,” the organization said, adding that “defeat is certain” if Biden continues on the current course. “This week’s brutal ‘Flour Massacre’ has proven once again that Israel is a brutal, inhumane apartheid state which carries a legacy of 75 years of genocide and occupation. Over 30,000 Palestinians have already died; how many will be ENOUGH for Joe Biden to stop this war?” the DSA said in a follow-up post, referring to the tragedy on February 29 when at least 112 Palestinians were killed and more than 750 were injured while waiting for much-needed food aid in Gaza City.

The campaign calling on Democrats to vote ‘uncommitted’ was organized by local chapters of the DSA and the Colorado Palestine Coalitions last week and is gaining popularity amid protests against the Gaza war. The DSA noted that over 100,000 people voted ‘uncommitted’ in the Michigan primary last week. The movement was also endorsed by a major labor union, UFCW 3000, which represents more than 50,000 grocery workers in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Biden is not the only one feeling the heat from voters who are choosing ‘none of the above’. Last week, Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley suffered an embarrassment when she became the first candidate to lose to ‘no-one’ in the Nevada GOP primary since the option was introduced in 1975.

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“..DA’s and AG’s who make election promises to “go after” individuals without such niceties as probable cause..”

The Five FUBARs (Jim Kunstler)

You saw last year how the blob elite greeted the transfer of illegal immigrants to their happy little island of Martha’s Vineyard. (They were not amused by Governor DeSantis’s prank, and off-loaded the mutts post-haste.) But that same smug demographic doesn’t care if hundreds of thousands are distributed to the big cities, which are now fiscally destabilized by them to an extreme, probably to bankruptcy. Of course, that is not the main thing to worry about with what altogether amounts to millions of border-jumpers flooding our land. The main reason to worry is what the blob that invited them here intends for them to do, which, you may suspect, is to unleash mayhem in the streets, malls, stadiums, and upon our infrastructure just in time to derail the election — perhaps even to make war on us right in our homeland.

The US government is paying for this whole operation, you understand, funneling our tax money to international cut-out orgs who set up the transfer camps in Panama, and buy the plane tickets for the mutts to cross the ocean, and coordinate with the Mexican cartels to shuttle this horde of mystery people among us to work their juju for the Democratic Party. The pissed-off-ness of the public has passed the red line on this. A third FUBAR is the lawfare campaign of the Democratic Party and its regime in power against the citizens of this land. This folder includes overt and obvious political prosecutions by DA’s and AG’s who make election promises to “go after” individuals without such niceties as probable cause. It includes the gigantic new scaffold of inter-agency censorship and propaganda. It includes the psychopathic struggle sessions mandated by “diversity and inclusion” policy. It includes election-rigging directed by the likes of Marc Elias and Norm Eisen, getting states to fiddle laws on voter ID and mail-in ballots.

It includes the political protection of rogue groups ranging from looter flash-mobs to Antifa anarchists who bust up things and people and burn buildings down. It includes state officials who peremptorily kick candidates off the ballot. It includes a nakedly biased judiciary, and especially the use of the DC federal district court to punish people extralegally, unjustly, extravagantly, and cruelly. In short, lawfare is the complete perversion of law, and we-the -people are entreated by reprobate officials such as Merrick Garland and Letitia James to accept it. A fourth item on this list is the US economy which has been overwhelmed by maladministration of an overgrown monster bureaucracy, and the gross (perhaps fatal) mismanagement of the government’s money. The people of this land are not being allowed to do business, to find a livelihood, to transact fairly. “Joe Biden’s” shadow string-pullers are messing as badly with the oil and gas producers as they have messed with Ukraine. And they are doing it in pursuit of a laughable mirage: their “green new deal.”

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”The best fate they can expect [from the West] is to become slaves to the ailing European freak show..”

‘Ukraine is Russia’ – Medvedev (RT)

Ukraine lies within the sphere of Russian strategic interests and has no future in any other capacity, Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, has stated. Russian people consider Ukraine to be part of the larger Russian civilization, the senior official said in a speech at a youth conference in Sochi on Monday. Moscow considers it to be the country’s “soft underbelly,” from which no threat to Russia should be allowed to be projected. ”The territories on both banks of the Dnieper River are an inalienable part of Russian strategic historic borders,” he said, using his preferred term for what is usually known as ‘sphere of influence’ in geopolitics. “All attempts to change them by force, to cut its living body, are doomed.”

He noted the title of a book by Leonid Kuchma, the second president of Ukraine following its independence from the USSR, which declared: ‘Ukraine is not Russia’. “This concept must vanish forever. Ukraine is without a doubt Russia,” Medvedev said. He blasted the current government in Kiev as the “main threat” to its own people, considering its anti-Russian policies. Ukrainians have “fallen into a stupid trap” set for it by the US and its allies, who have successfully turned the nation into a weapon against Russia, he said. ”The best fate they can expect [from the West] is to become slaves to the ailing European freak show,” Medvedev said, referring to the leaders of the EU and UK, who he described as incompetent and subservient to Washington.

”[The Ukrainians] will play the role of a deaf-mute servant who is raped every day in a European kitchen by a lord from overseas,” the former president added. Russia is not interested in territorial conquest, Medvedev said. Whatever natural riches Ukraine has, Russia also has in abundance, he claimed. ”The great treasure that we will not surrender to anyone for anything is the people,” he said. The Ukrainians have become “confused” by Western propaganda, but at their core they have the same values and way of life as the Russians, and need to be rescued, Medvedev said.

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“These individuals may be restricted from traveling abroad, have their driver’s license suspended, or their bank accounts seized if they fail to do so..”

“..two categories of citizens are currently not involved in the mobilization, namely “those who are behind bars and those who are not.”

Draft-Eligible Ukraine Men Flee ‘Certain Death’ (Sp.)

Ukraine’s lack of any clear mobilization strategy aimed at plugging the gaping holes in the ranks of its armed forces is fueling “deep divisions in Ukraine’s parliament and more broadly in Ukrainian society,” The Washington Post reported. Despite mounting losses, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been downplaying to wheedle more money from the West, there is still “no political consensus” on how to remedy the severe shortage of troops on the battlefront. There is a yawning split between Zelensky and his top military commanders on a plan to conscript the thousands of soldiers they need as Russia continues to advance after liberating the stronghold of Avdeyevka. As a result, Ukraine’s military has been “relying on a hodgepodge of recruiting efforts and sown panic among fighting-age men,” the publication stated. It referenced the package of aid to Kiev still stalled in the US Congress, adding that many of Ukraine’s men “have gone into hiding, worried that they will be drafted into an ill-equipped army and sent to certain death.”

Infighting over how many more troops Ukraine needs “factored” into Zelensky’s sacking of his top general in February, the outlet noted. The previous Ukrainian commander-in-chief, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, was dismissed, with Colonel General Oleksandr Syrsky taking over, amid an overall reshuffle of the military command by Zelensky. Zaluzhny’s ouster came after months of intrigue between himself and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who slammed the commander for revealing that Kiev’s summer 2023 counteroffensive had ended in failure. But, apparently, new Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrsky has so far failed to bring new clarity regarding Ukraine’s mobilization efforts. Syrsky has been tasked with auditing the armed forces to scrape up more combat-eligible troops, added the publication. This comes after President Zelensky’s office recently announced that only some 300,000 have fought at the frontline of the one million people who have been mobilized.

With Ukraine’s rapidly dwindling troop strength described as a “strategic crisis,” Oleksiy Bezhevets, an adviser to the Defense Ministry on recruitment, was cited as saying that civilians of fighting age must recognize the fact that “there’s no time for you left to sit home.” Volodymyr Zelensky said in December 2023 that the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces had stressed the need to recruit an additional 450,000-500,000 men for the army. Accordingly, the government submitted a draft law on mobilization to parliament on January 30. However, the result has been a drawn-out and heated debate. The bill, which would broaden the scope of the draft, lowering the eligibility age from 27 to 25 years, caused outrage in the country and was sent back for revision.

It also obligates people liable for military service to report to military commissariats to clarify their information within 60 days, Ukrainian media reported. These individuals may be restricted from traveling abroad, have their driver’s license suspended, or their bank accounts seized if they fail to do so. Amid the debate over such draconian measures in January, panicky account holders withdrew over $700 million in a single month, the WaPo added. In February, Ukrainian Justice Minister Denys Maliuska proposed giving prisoners weapons and shovels when they are mobilized for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. He underscored that in Ukraine, two categories of citizens are currently not involved in the mobilization, namely “those who are behind bars and those who are not.” Maliuska previously said that at least 50,000 men of military age with criminal records are hiding from Ukrainian draft boards and are not registered with the military.

The Russian Defense Ministry earlier said that amid the disruption of mobilization plans and in order to conceal massive losses of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the Kiev regime has intensified the recruitment of mercenaries. Fighters from the United States, Canada, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East have joined the ranks of the Ukrainian military. Furthermore, NATO soldiers under the guise of mercenaries are involved in combat operations in Ukraine, Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoy, head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operational Directorate, told Russian media.

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“What remains is for the Kremlin and General Staff to decide to teach the Germans the only lesson by the only method they understand..”

The Good Germans Are Blowing Smoke (Helmer)

The political comprehension of the Germans — to adapt Mao Zedong’s axiom that political power comes out of the barrel of a gun — only comes out of the barrel of a Russian gun. The good Germans define themselves publicly by wishing this weren’t true because they realise there’s nothing they can do to stop the rest of their countrymen from throwing themselves at Russian guns until there are no more of them, the good Germans among them. One of these wishfully good Germans is called Florian Roetzer, who founded the widely read internet publication Telepolis in 1996, and retired to write elsewhere in 2021. Roetzer has just published his analysis of the transcript of last month’s teleconference at which the chief of the German Air Force, Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, discussed with three subordinates a plan of attack on Russian civil and military targets with the German Taurus KEPD 350E cruise missile; conceal this German operation behind British, French, and Ukrainian forces and German commercial companies; accelerate the missile deliveries; and present the plan for approval by German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius and Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Gerhartz is not only waging personal war against Russia, as he explained on the telephone two weeks ago, on February 19. Last November he declared personal war in alliance with the Israel Air Force in implementing the genocide of Gaza. In Roetzer’s new analysis, published on March 2 in Overton magazine, the problem is not (in Roetzer’s mind) that Gerhartz and the Bundeswehr are losing their war on the Ukrainian battlefield, or that they are aiming to provoke Russian counterattack against German targets outside that battlefield. “The fact that Russia was able to eavesdrop on the conversations of the German officers…is a major problem for the Bundeswehr, also in relation to its partners, who may no longer trust it.” “The bigger [sic] problem, however, has been Putin’s for quite some time, after one red line after another has been crossed by the NATO countries, without Russia really reacting to it, apart from warnings…But so far, Putin has accepted any military support for Ukraine.

“But if it is now becoming more and more public knowledge that NATO countries are directly supporting Ukraine with target data and in general in attacks with Western missiles and cruise missiles through the participation of soldiers in civilian and intelligence officers, and thus become parties to war, then Putin, who propagates that Russia is defending itself in Ukraine, has the problem of showing weakness and only bluffing, if no action is taken against it.” “It is obvious” – according to Roetzer – “that Russia cannot compete against a NATO weakened by the Ukraine war and therefore avoids a direct conflict. But if the attacks on Russia continue to increase and Western weapons are openly used, Putin will lose support in Russia if there is no military response…With the publication of the wiretapped conversation of the German officers, the Russian leadership may have harmed itself – if only because the Bundeswehr must now try to close the security gap. It is possible that [state media director Margarita] Simonyan has gone too far here. The question is whether the publication was coordinated with the Kremlin.”

That Germany is at war with Russia has been understood in Moscow for a long time. That there are good Germans like Roetzer who would like it to be otherwise for moral, legal, German national, or personal reasons is also well-known. Some of these good Germans have even served as German generals. What the Navalny Novichok episode of the autumn of 2020 revealed, followed by the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines in September 2022; and now last month’s teleconference conducted by Gerhartz – what all three episodes reveal is not how the Germans are understood in Moscow, but rather how the good Germans react when confronted with the war they are powerless to deter or stop their countrymen from waging. The impotence of the German opposition to this war is also well understood in Moscow. What remains is for the Kremlin and General Staff to decide to teach the Germans the only lesson by the only method they understand. That is the lesson the Germans have been failing to learn for seventy-nine years next month — since April 30, 1945, when Adolf Hitler shot himself before he could be captured by the Red Army waiting outside his bunker in Berlin.

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“And then she added : “But Putin…”.

The Brainwashing of Germany in Preparation for War (Bittner)

Recently my friend G., with whom I still correspond occasionally, wrote to me saying that he had read my book “State of Emergency” and got the impression that I had fallen into a “filter bubble”. He comes from a wealthy family, his father was a senior teacher, his mother a doctor, and at a young age he was a professor of mathematics at a southern German university and also a guest lecturer in Japan, South Korea and the USA. He cannot understand the fact that I am of the opinion that it is not Russia but the USA and its allies that are to blame for most of the conflicts in the world, especially the war in Ukraine and the economic decline in Germany and Western Europe. G. would like to give me friendly advice to reconsider my political views and to please obtain information from the public media and “reputable” newspapers such as Frankfurter Allgemeine, Welt or Süddeutsche and not from so-called alternative media. If I see “evil” in the USA rather than in Putin, all he can say about himself is that he would rather live “under the evil of the Americans” than that of the Russians.

And if the NATO protective umbrella, under which the Europeans have set themselves up so well, were to become leaky, things would not look rosy for Western Europe compared to a country like Russia full of nuclear weapons. It is sad that so much money has to be spent on “defensive armament”, but it is good that Putin is getting older and older and that the end of his tyranny is imminent at some point in the near future for the good of humanity. Like other acquaintances and friends, G. is firmly convinced that he knows everything and is right. All we agree on is that wars are terrible and must be avoided. But at this point the dissent begins again, because G. considers “humanitarian interventions”, such as those carried out by the USA again and again, to be legitimate and even necessary to defend freedom and democracy. I can describe the views represented by G. as exemplary. German society is thoroughly rabble-roused, and it is divided between those who have retained an eye for the facts and the others, the far greater majority, who have succumbed to years of influence.

My hairdresser, with whom I discussed, is of the opinion that Germany needs the atomic bomb to protect itself from “the Russian” who will soon attack Poland and the Baltic countries. When I countered that Vladimir Putin had called for cooperation and a common economic zone from Vladivostok to Lisbon in a memorable speech to the German Bundestag in 2001, he replied: “This Putin is lying as soon as he opens his mouth.” The resulting dispute ended He asked me the completely serious question: “Why do you think you can judge the political situation better than me?” He told me that he reads the newspaper in the morning and watches the Tagesschau in the evening. He also speaks to customers every day who all have different opinions than me. Every now and then I gave lectures and discussed things publicly. Most of the time, listeners and discussants came who shared my views or at least kept an open mind. After one such event, a middle-aged woman who identified herself as a judge said to me: “Everything you said was logical and well-documented, although from an unusual perspective, but you largely convinced me.” And then she added : “But Putin…”.

Indoctrination has not stopped at the doors of universities either. There are still some contacts with colleagues there from the time when I was a visiting professor in Poland, but they have become fragile. My friend Tomasz, who unfortunately also succumbed to US-controlled propaganda against Russia and for Ukraine, wrote to me: “I cannot understand the people who prefer to look the other way after the Russian attack on Ukraine. Stop this policy that is killing thousands of innocent people. “Putin with his megalomania has destroyed a long and stable peace in Europe.” He really believes that and he continued: “For me, Putin resembles Hitler to a T.” It is not Ukraine, which wants to go its own sovereign way, that is to blame for the war, but Putin, for whom Ukraine is just an appetizer. He built gas pipelines behind the EU’s back and against Poland’s interests. This shows his true colors, leading and oppressing other countries like dogs on a leash.

At least I was able to have a somewhat civilized conversation with my German friend and with Tomasz, if only by holding back. The space for debate has become increasingly narrow, and the authorities are no longer relying on the previous psychological warfare. Rather, the pressure on those who think differently, their patronization and harassment, is increasing dramatically. Anyone who doesn’t step up and stand out must expect the destruction of their existence and worse.

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“..the Russians could have simply logged on to the unsecured WebEx call without the officers noticing..”

German Defense Ministry Uses ‘1234’ As Password (RT)

The German Defense Ministry has protected a press statement on leaked military communications behind the password “1234.” German media has mocked the ministry for the “extremely embarrassing” security detail. The statement, made by Defense Minister Boris Pistorius on Sunday, was posted in audio format on the ministry’s website on Monday. Under a link to a cloud storage service hosting the file, the ministry informed visitors that they could access the recording by entering the password “1234.” While the file is not classified and the password was likely chosen as a placeholder, its use was roundly mocked by German tabloid Bild. “After the wiretapping attack on the Bundeswehr [German military] by Russian spies, this is extremely embarrassing,” the paper wrote on Monday.

On Friday, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan published a transcript and audio recording of a conversation between four officers of the German Air Force, including its top general, Ingo Gerhartz, saying that she had obtained the file from Russian security officials. Over a WebEx video call, the officers discussed the potential use of German-made Taurus missiles against the Crimean Bridge, wondering how they could maintain plausible deniability of involvement in such an attack. The conversation also revealed that – according to the officers – Britain has already sent its own military specialists to Ukraine to operate Storm Shadow cruise missiles given to the Ukrainian armed forces.

It is unclear how Simonyan’s contacts obtained the audio. However, the deputy chairman of the German parliament’s oversight committee, Roderich Kiesewetter, said on Sunday that the Russians could have simply logged on to the unsecured WebEx call without the officers noticing. Berlin confirmed the recording’s authenticity on Saturday. In his statement on Sunday, Pistorius did not address the apparent security lapses that led to the leak. Instead, he accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of orchestrating the incident as part of an “information war” against the West.

For months, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been under pressure from Kiev and members of his own cabinet to approve shipments of Taurus missiles to Ukraine. However, he has thus far refused, and the Wall Street Journal noted on Saturday that the leaked conversation could make their eventual delivery less likely. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that the leak proves that “plans to launch strikes on Russian territory are being substantively and specifically discussed within the Bundeswehr.” A day earlier, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned that “Germany is preparing for a war with Russia.”

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“..turning Ukraine into a giant factory showroom for Western weapons..”

Zelensky and the West Have A New Scam – And Taxpayers Will Foot The Bill (RT)

What do you do to boost GDP when your country is neck-deep in military conflict and your allies’ main interest is using you to wash taxpayer cash into their own military industrial complexes? Make that your whole national identity! And demand that the West help you transition. “Our country will become one of the world’s key producers of weapons and defense systems. And this is no longer just an ambition or a prospect, it is a potential that is already being realized,” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said in September 2023. That plea has echoed all over the Western press. You’d think that it may have thought to “realize” that “potential” before it went live with the big “Ukrainian counteroffensive” show. But hey, making lemonade from lemons, there’s definitely a business opportunity in losing on the battlefield that wouldn’t exist if Ukraine had proven to be adequately stocked up and victorious. Any ambulance-chasing weapons salesman would be attracted by that.

And on top of that, Russia’s whole stated objective from the very outset has been “de-militarization.” Right now, Ukraine is to Western weapons producers what the Cheesecake Factory is to a fat kid. Those slightly less cynical might be tempted to view all this as the path to victory for Ukraine, but a recent incident strongly suggests otherwise. In a leaked audio recording obtained by Russian intelligence and authenticated by the German government, senior Luftwaffe officers, including the Air Force’s chief, are overheard talking about how even the delivery of the German Taurus missiles to Kiev wouldn’t change the course of the conflict in Ukraine’s favor. If even the gold standard German cruise missile that doubles the strike distance of its Western rivals isn’t considered a game changer in the overall conflict with Russia at this point, then odds don’t sound too good for much else.

And who’s going to pay for Ukraine’s identity change, anyway? Western Europe and the US will pay for the transition, of course. Just as they’re also paying to keep all of Ukrainian society afloat, funding salaries and pensions. It’s not like investors are flocking to Ukraine right now. Much of the weapons-making infrastructure from the Cold War has been decimated, and in a country that ranks near the top of the global corruption index, it probably won’t come as a surprise that the industry itself is rife with “mismanagement.” While it’s clear who’s going to pay, what’s less obvious is who will actually benefit from turning Ukraine into a giant factory showroom for Western weapons. Some Western arms manufacturers have rushed into Ukraine to set up shop, such as Germany’s Rheinmetall, which started operating an armored vehicle plant in the country last year. Guess it’s just good business to be cranking out tanks right on the battlefield where they can be blown up coming off the assembly line. May as well just set fire to that Western taxpayer cash funding this charade the moment that it pops out of the ATM.

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“..from [the perspective of] the people who run the United States, the blob, the deep state… this war was absolutely essential.”

Losing to Russia Shatters Western Leaders’ Belief in Their Exceptionalism (Sp.)

There is “sincere panic” among Western leaders who are forced to “face the inevitable fact” that they are losing to Russia, Mark Sleboda, a foreign relations and security analyst told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Monday. “It is shattering both their preconceptions of this conflict and also shattering their belief in their own exceptionalism and seniority,” he told co-hosts Melik Abdul and Jamarl Thomas. The comments came after discussing the leaked German plans to coordinate a strike on the Crimean bridge or an ammo depot in Krasnodar, which Sleboda said was “planning an act of war on the Russian Federation” noting that Russia would have “every right” to respond. “They were plotting an act of war and [the] Ukrainians in all of this, they weren’t doing the planning, they wouldn’t be doing the implementation, the programing of the missiles on the ground. They were talking about having it be done by German officials and the number [of] people with American accents and civilian clothes,” he said, adding “Their biggest concern, other than which was the more feasible target… was their plausible deniability.”

Sleboda noted that it is an open question if German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who has been publicly against sending Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, was lying or if “he [was] unaware of what his own military was doing.” Recently, Scholz -seemingly on accident- revealed that British and American personnel are on the ground in Ukraine to help coordinate the long-range missiles provided by those countries to the Kiev regime. “That’s exposing that America and the UK have military people on the ground in the guise of volunteers or mercenaries or humanitarian workers… which means they are at war with Russia. It’s simply undeclared,” Sleboda argued. Noting that the plans violated the “rules” of the conflict by planning a strike inside of Russia’s mainland. “Russia had two options,” Sleboda explained. “They could escalate back or [which they tried] instead expose this, hoping that it will at least dampen down.”

“The West has two options in response, they can either back down or they can escalate in response,” he added. However, the West has a lot at stake in Russia because they bet Western hegemony on the conflict. “We’ve heard from every Western leader… a Russian victory in Ukraine would be a defeat of NATO. They did this to themselves, they invested this much political and geopolitical capital. They’ve said… that US global leadership… is at stake in the outcome of this conflict.” “The world might not have originally reached the same conclusion, but now they forced them to because they… said it so authoritatively.” Host Jamarl Thomas lamented how the West didn’t need to provoke Russia into the conflict, but Sleboda disagreed, saying that it was inevitable from the perspective of the “deep state.”

“They are fighting for US hegemony over the world – that’s why. From their point of view, this was also an inevitability, from [the perspective of] the people who run the United States, the blob, the deep state… this war was absolutely essential.” Sleboda noted that the US did manage to gain one advantage in the war, it made Europe more subservient to them. “They tied Europe more directly to them. Europe is now spending their money on two to four times more expensive [Liquefied Natural Gas] LNG than they were on Russian energy, which means that Europe’s economy, yes, is facing de-industrialization. But, on the plus side, a lot of those European businesses are going to the US. So they achieved very real geopolitical results out of this conflict.”

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“..their leaderships do agree that the days of marginalizing the Palestinians are over..”

Is Tehran Winning the Middle East? (Juan Cole)

Despite their fiery rhetoric, their undeniable backing of fundamentalist militias in the region, and their depiction by inside-the-Beltway war hawks as the root of all evil in the Middle East, Iran’s leaders have long acted more like a status quo power than a force for genuine change. They have shored up the rule of the autocratic al-Assad family in Syria, while helping the Iraqi government that emerged after President George W. Bush’s invasion of that country fight off the terrorist threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In truth, not Iran but the U.S. and Israel are the countries that have most strikingly tried to use their power to reshape the region in a Napoleonic manner. The disastrous U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, and Israel’s wars on Egypt (1956, 1967), Lebanon (1982-2000, 2006), and Gaza (2008, 2012, 2014, 2024), along with its steady encouragement of large-scale squatting on the Palestinian West Bank, were clearly intended to alter the geopolitics of the region permanently through the use of military force on a massive scale.

Only recently, Ayatollah Khamenei bitterly asked, “Why don’t the leaders of Islamic countries publicly cut off their relationship with the murderous Zionist regime and stop helping this regime?” Pointing to the staggering death toll in Israel’s present campaign against Gaza, he was focusing on the Arab countries — Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates — that, as part of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner’s “Abraham Accords,” had officially recognized Israel and established relations with it. (Egypt and Jordan had, of course, recognized Israel long before that.) Given the anti-Israel sentiment in the region, had it, in fact, been rife with democracies, Iran’s position might have been widely implemented. Still, it was a distinct sign of terminal tone deafness on the part of Biden administration officials that they hoped to use the Gaza crisis to extend the Abraham Accords to Saudi Arabia, while sidelining the Palestinians and creating a joint Israeli-Arab front against Iran.

The region had already been moving in a somewhat different direction. Last March, after all, Iran and Saudi Arabia had begun forging a new relationship by restoring the diplomatic relations that had been suspended in 2016 and working to expand trade between their countries. And that relationship has only continued to improve as the nightmare in Israel and Gaza developed. In fact, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi first visited the Saudi capital, Riyadh, in November and, since the Gaza conflict began, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has met twice with his Saudi counterpart. Frustrated by a markedly polarizing American policy in the region, de facto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei resorted to the good offices of Beijing to sidestep Washington and strengthen their relations further.

Although Iran is far more hostile to Israel than Saudi Arabia, their leaderships do agree that the days of marginalizing the Palestinians are over. In a remarkably unambiguous statement issued in early February, the Saudis offered the following: “The Kingdom has communicated its firm position to the U.S. administration that there will be no diplomatic relations with Israel unless an independent Palestinian state is recognized on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and that the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip stops and all the Israeli occupation forces withdraw from the Gaza Strip.” Significantly, the Saudis even refused to join a U.S.-led naval task force created to halt attacks on Red Sea shipping by the Houthis of Yemen (no friends of theirs) in support of the Palestinians. Its leaders are clearly all too aware that the carnage still being wreaked on Gaza has infuriated most Saudis.

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“..a “sweeping” European defence industry strategy, which will shift the EU’s defence industry to a war-footing..”

The EU’s American Queen (Lily Lynch)

Von der Leyen’s tenure has been marked by an acceleration of what Perry Anderson has termed “European coups” — the gradual agglomeration of power in Brussels. Even the manner in which she became Commissioner in 2019 represented a break with a procedure designed to lend the EU executive greater democratic legitimacy. In 2003, a Franco-German agreement established the foundations of what would become the Spitzenkandidaten (“lead candidate”) process, whereby the political family with the most votes in the European Parliamentary elections would secure the office of Commissioner for its pre-chosen candidate. But in 2019, Von der Leyen was not the Spitzenkandidat of her European People’s Party (EPP) — instead, she was handpicked by EU leaders Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron. The EPP’s Spitzenkandidat, Manfred Weber was thwarted by Macron, who viewed him as unqualified. Von der Leyen, on the other hand, was a long-time Merkel loyalist and, as Macron noted, spoke French exceptionally well.

The then-German Defence Minister was also amenable to closer military cooperation with France and had spoken of the need to create “an army of Europeans” — another point in her favour for Macron. In other words, Von der Leyen’s very rise constituted a quiet coup. Beyond the pretty verbiage about defending democracy, it amounted to what Anderson has described as “the quiet settling of affairs between elites in camera, above the heads of an inert populace below”. Perhaps as a result, Von der Leyen has started to rewrite her origin story, claiming that she “ran in 2019” — referencing a campaign that never happened. For the Queen of Europe, both reality and democracy are malleable. Yet Von der Leyen’s weightiest revisionism concerns the EU’s foreign policy. In 2019, she identified the creation of a “geopolitical commission” as one of her main priorities as Commissioner. The EU, she asserted, needed to become a major “geopolitical” actor “to shape a better world order”.

Chaos and crisis demanded that it “learn to speak the language of power”. Then came the twin threats of Russia and another Trump administration, both of which lent these aims a greater urgency. The result is that Von der Leyen’s EU is gradually being retooled for war. Two years ago, EU officials broke the taboo on financing lethal weapons when they decided to fund the provision of lethal military aid to Ukraine. As article 41.2 of the Treaty of the European Union explicitly prohibits “expenditure arising from operations having military or defence implications”, this move required some creativity to circumvent. Towards this end, the EU mobilised the European Peace Facility (EPF), a misnomer for a tool engineered to finance military engagements abroad. To get around the proscription on the financing of war, the EPF has been designed as a €5 billion “off-budget” instrument. Nor does the drumbeat of war stop there. On Tuesday, the Commission is set to unveil a “sweeping” European defence industry strategy, which will shift the EU’s defence industry to a war-footing, while “upending the way it finances and sells arms”.

Von der Leyen has said it will aim to “turbocharge our defence industrial capacity over the next five years”, with a focus on joint procurement. This approach draws on the Commission’s precedent-setting joint procurement of Covid vaccines, an effort now being touted as a model for success but still mired in major controversy: Von der Leyen’s private text message exchange with Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla — hammering out the details of the April 2021 deal for 1.1 billion doses of the vaccine — has been shrouded in secrecy, with both journalists and the European Court of Auditors stonewalled in their attempts to gain access to the conversation. Suffice it to say such a precedent does not bode well for transparency in the massive new defence procurement process.

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“Companies that fail to abide by the EU’s rules may face fines of up to 10% of their total worldwide annual turnover, or up to 20% in the event of repeated infringements..”

Musk’s X Could Face New EU Restrictions (RT)

Elon Musk’s X (formerly Twitter) could be forced to follow a set of strict guidelines in the EU after the European Commission (EC) announced that the platform may be classified as a ‘gatekeeper’ under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The EC explained that companies can be subject to additional regulations if they operate what is described as a “core platform service,” including search engines, app stores, and messenger services. They must have over 45 million monthly active end users, more than 10,000 yearly business users, or over €75 billion ($81 billion) in market capitalization.

According to an announcement published on the EC’s website on March 1, X, as well as travel website Booking.com and TikTok owner ByteDance, have submitted notifications that their services potentially meet the DMA thresholds. The commission now has 45 days to decide whether to designate the three companies as gatekeepers. If so, they will have six months to comply with DMA requirements. Companies that have already received the gatekeeper designation include the likes of Apple, Meta, Amazon, Microsoft, and Alphabet. Companies that fall under the rules are required to let third parties inter-operate with their services, to allow business users to access the data they generate on the platform, and to let them conclude contracts with their customers outside the gatekeeper’s ecosystem.

At the same time, the targeted companies must also refrain from favoring their own services over competitors or blocking users from removing pre-installed software or apps. They must also seek explicit consent from users to track their activity outside the gatekeeper’s core platform service for the purpose of targeted advertising. Companies that fail to abide by the EU’s rules may face fines of up to 10% of their total worldwide annual turnover, or up to 20% in the event of repeated infringements. Businesses may also be slapped with periodic penalty payments of up to 5% of their average daily turnover.

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“Some around town think it has something to do with Presiden Biden’s visit to the border..”

Ballot Drop Boxes Installed Along Border Wall (BBee)

Texas residents woke up Thursday morning to find general election ballot boxes had been placed along the southern border wall that divides parts of the U.S. from Mexico. “I’m not sure where these ballot drop boxes came from,” Brownsville resident Tom Walker told reporters. “Some around town think it has something to do with Presiden Biden’s visit to the border. I saw some of his folks down handing out mail-in ballots to these illegal guys who keep coming into town. Makes a person wonder what’s up.” Biden’s team denied placing the boxes strategically along the border wall right where the main surge of illegal immigrants are crossing into the country.

“This isn’t some crazy ploy to rig the election in favor of President Biden by handing out ballots to the millions of illegal aliens that have been streaming into the country over the past three years,” Biden spokesperson Alexander Sheperd told the press. “On a completely unrelated note, does anyone know how to say ‘President Biden will give you a prepaid $10 thousand Visa cash card if you vote for him’ in Spanish?” As of publishing time, Biden aids were seen rounding up as many filled-out ballots as they could in an effort they said would “restore fair and free elections and prevent that fascist Trump from taking office ever again.”

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Gaza 1970

 

 

Circle of life

 

 

Hedgehog

 

 

Floki

 

 

Survive

 

 

Coyote

 

 

Kiwi

 

 

Putin

 

 

 

 

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Oct 032023
 
 October 3, 2023  Posted by at 9:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  30 Responses »


René Magritte Le Cri du Coeur 1960

 

US Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Block Trump in 2024 (ET)
Now There is Evidence the FBI Planned the January 6 Operation (GP)
The Donald v. New York (DeMartino)
Two Democrat Gangsters Try to Steal Trump’s Real Estate (Paul Craig Roberts)
Overvalued (Jeff Childers)
Gaetz Files Motion to Remove McCarthy From House Speakership (DeMartino)
I’m Fighting For Taxpayers (Matt Gaetz)
AG Garland Promises to Resign if Biden Meddles in Trump Investigation (Sp.)
The Average Age Of Ukraine’s Army (MoA)
Zakharova Responds To German Promise To Add Russian Lands To EU (RT)
US Seems More Worried About Ukraine’s Corruption Than It Admits (Sp.)
Hungary’s FM Shuns EU Diplomats’ Summit in Kiev (Sp.)
Why Ukrainian F-16 Trainees Won’t Turn the Tide of Conflict (Sp.)
Musk Mocks Zelensky Over Aid Demands (RT)
Three-Way? (Jim Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

Tucker VDH We’re in the middle of a revolution

 

 

Trump trial

 

 


The Nobel Prize laureates do not trust their own ‘innovation’ and instead rely on…face diapers.
el gato malo: “world: there will never be a nobel prize for medicine worse than in 1949 when antonio moniz won for inventing “the frontal lobotomy.”
nobel committee: hold my beer and watch this…

 

 

 

 


Vaccine Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

 

 

Kanekoa
In 2018, Letitia James vowed to use the law as her weapon to remove Donald Trump from office, dubbing him “an illegitimate president for colluding with foreign powers.” She boldly declared, “We believe he’s engaged in a pattern and practice of money laundering. Laundering the money from foreign governments here in New York State.” “Understand that the days of Donald Trump are coming to an end,” she emphasized, “but we can only do it if all of you exercise the most fundamental right — the right to vote.” Fast forward five years, and what’s the grand finale? Trump is accused of taking out legally obtained loans that he repaid in full with interest. Bravo!

Meanwhile, in a twist worthy of a Hollywood plot, the Biden family has been on a money-laundering spree, washing millions from shady oligarchs in China, Russia, and Ukraine through a tangled web of 20 shell companies. The Treasury Department has a hefty stack of over 170 suspicious activity reports filed by 6 banks, all spelling out how the Biden family “engaged in a pattern and practice of money laundering,” with much of that foreign cash flowing right through the heart of New York City. Congratulations, Attorney General Letitia James!

Letitia 2018

 

 

Charlie Kirk
Donald Trump is facing a civil trial in New York for “fraud.” So, which of his victims is suing him? That’s a trick question: There aren’t any. None of New York’s banks or insurance companies, Trump’s supposed “victims,” are suing him. Trump’s loans are repaid and his accounts are current. Because one judge says Trump “overvalued” his properties, that same judge is empowered to fine him hundreds of millions of dollars, break up the Trump Organization, and seize control of his properties, including Trump Tower, all to remedy a phantom crime with no victims. When this happens in China or Russia, we call it what it is: Lawfare against an enemy of the regime. Normal people do not yet realize how patently insane this is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

First of many. They all hark back to Civil War laws. As if today is similar to those days.

US Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Block Trump in 2024 (ET)

The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 2 declined to take a longshot challenge to former President Donald Trump’s eligibility to appear on New Hampshire’s ballots during the 2024 election. John Anthony Castro filed an appeal with the Supreme Court several weeks ago and claimed that the former president should be disqualified under a reading of a section of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment. Mr. Castro, a Texas lawyer who’s running for president, claimed that President Trump partook in an insurrection against the federal government because of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. “The decision by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida dismissing Petitioner John Anthony Castro’s civil action on the grounds that he lacks constitutional standing to sue another candidate who is allegedly unqualified to hold public office in the United States pursuant to Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution,” Mr. Castro wrote in a petition for a writ of certiorari.

At the same time, he asserted that because he’s a Republican candidate, President Trump’s name appearing on the ballot injures his ability to obtain donations. According to records from the Federal Election Commission, Mr. Castro hasn’t raised any money for his campaign and appears to have given his own campaign $20 million. His petition with the high court comes as a number of left-wing activist groups have tried to block the former president from appearing on state ballots, using a rationale similar to Mr. Castro’s arguments. For example, the left-wing group Free Speech for People wrote to the secretaries of state of Florida, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, and Wisconsin, calling on them to not include President Trump on state ballots. Six Colorado voters also filed a lawsuit in September to block him from appearing under their interpretation of the 14th Amendment, which was written in the aftermath of the U.S. Civil War in the mid-19th century.

However, even Democratic secretaries of state appear to have little appetite for blocking President Trump on those grounds. Some legal analysts have also said that the insurrection clause under the 14th Amendment was targeting individuals who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War. “We’re not the eligibility police. We are responsible for ensuring that basic facts are met to get someone on the ballot,” Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat who has frequently been critical of the former president, told Axios in September. She was responding to calls from pressure groups to keep the former president from being on the ballot in her state.

[..] Meanwhile, retired Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz argued over the summer in an opinion article that President Trump can’t be disqualified under the 14th Amendment’s Section 3. That’s because, he wrote, “The amendment provides no mechanism for determining whether a candidate falls within this disqualification, though it says that [Congress can vote to] remove such disability” with a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate “A fair reading of the text and history of the 14th Amendment makes it relatively clear, however, that the disability provision was intended to apply to those who served the Confederacy during the Civil War,” Mr. Dershowitz wrote. “It wasn’t intended as a general provision empowering one party to disqualify the leading candidate of the other party in any future elections.”

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“Jurors were informed of this written plan to “fill buildings” “with patriots”—and were left to think it was a plan of Tarrio’s or co-defendants.” It was not. The plan was concocted by the FBI..”

Now There is Evidence the FBI Planned the January 6 Operation (GP)

In February of this year, The Gateway Pundit’s Cara Castronuovo wrote about a shocking development in the US government’s case against the Proud Boys. it was discovered that the Government itself was the author of the mysterious “1776 Returns” document. The 1776 Returns document is the title of a 9-page paper that outlined strategic plans for the takeover of US government buildings on January 6, 2021. It was confirmed in court that the FBI was behind the document and an FBI operative was the author of the document. The mysterious document was sent unsolicited to Proud Boy Chairman Enrique Tarrio’s Telegram right before January 6th by a “love interest” named Erika Flores. Flores reportedly testified to the January 6th Committee that A GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL was the author of the entirety of the “1776 Returns” and that this FBI and CIA member or associate asked her to share it with Tarrio!

Tarrio was charged with Seditious Conspiracy and was later found guilty along with four fellow members of the Proud Boys. Enrique Tarrio was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for planning the entire “seditious conspiracy.” We now know that it was the FBI who was behind the conspiracy. According to the Motion by attorney Roger Roots: “It appears that the government itself is the author of the most incriminating and damning document in this case, which was mysteriously sent at government request to Proud Boy leader Enrique Tarrio immediately prior to January 6 in order to frame or implicate Tarrio in a government- created scheme to storm buildings around the Capitol. As such, Exhibit 528-1 and the government’s efforts to frame or smear defendants with it, constitutes outrageous government conduct. This is either entrapment or outrageous government conduct, or both. Equally improper, it is a Brady violation because the Department of Justice must surely have known these revelations before putting Special Agent Dubrowski on the stand on February 9 to introduce this evidence.”

You can’t make this stuff up! The cover to the sketchy and poorly written “1776 Returns” was allegedly created by a Government Official who claims to have been “groomed” to join the CIA or FBI. Apparently, an individual by the name of Samuel Armes is responsible for writing the “1776 Files”. Armes is “a former State Department and Special Operations official” who was also interviewed by the January 6th Unselect Committee. Armes said “he recognized components of the document as ideas he had composed as part of a “war gaming” exercise he did in August or September of 2020. Armes “co-founded a Florida-based cryptocurrency LLC — Government Blockchain Systems” “Armes said that in college he had been groomed to join the CIA and FBI before his stint in the State Department and special operations. . . . In his studies, he often participated in “war gaming” scenarios, skills he used during his stint in government.” (*The J6 Committee was resistant in releasing these documents.)

To reiterate, this government asset, Armes, passed this document off to a “love interest” of Enrique Tarrio named “Erika”, who then testified she forwarded the document AT THE REQUEST OF ARMES to Tarrio via Telegram. “This means that the most damning document in this trial was authored by the intelligence community—someone “groomed” by the FBI itself,” said Roger Roots (the Proud Boys attorney who authored this Blockbuster Motion). “And this CIA and FBI asset requested Tarrio’s friend to share the document with Tarrio just prior to January 6.” According to the Motion- “During Special Agent Dubrowski’s chilling testimony, Assistant U.S. Attorney Conor Mulroe took lengths to emphasize segments of the document describing a plan to lay siege to Capitol Hill by strategically occupying most of the congressional office space around the Capitol. Jurors were informed of this written plan to “fill buildings” “with patriots”—and were left to think it was a plan of Tarrio’s or co-defendants.” It was not. The plan was concocted by the FBI and planted inside the Proud Boys Telegram page days before January 6.

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“[The Trump National Doral Miami hotel] would sell for at least a billion dollars. Mar-a-Lago at least a billion,” Habba said. “The value is what someone is willing to pay. The Trump properties are Mona Lisa properties.” “That is not fraud, that is real estate..”

That Trump gave Ivanka the option to buy her rental apartment cheap, now means fraud?!

The Donald v. New York (DeMartino)

The attorney general’s office alleges Trump inflated the value of properties he owned by the billions between 2011 and 2021 in order to secure favorable loans and insurance arrangements, with some property values reportedly being inflated by over $2 billion. Some of those properties include Trump Park Avenue and the famed Mar-a-Lago Florida resort, which was raided by multiple FBI agents looking to retrieve troves of classified documents that were being stored on the grounds. Trump defense attorney Chris Kise countered in his opening arguments by saying that Trump made his billions by utilizing his real estate knowledge – not by engaging in fraudulent business practices. “President Trump has made billions of dollars building one of the most successful real estate empires in the world,” Kise said. “He has made a fortune literally about being right about real estate.”

Kise also pointed out that while the leading German Deutsche Bank valued Trump’s net worth at $2 billion less than he did, they still underwrote a loan for him. That is evidence, Kise argued, that real estate valuations can vary greatly. The lawyer went on to remark that when is comes down to business in the Big Apple, “this is what happens every day in this city.” In order to ground the argument, reports have indicated that the Trump camp is seeking to call in witnesses from Deutsche Bank. Another Trump defense attorney, Alina Habba, argued that Engoron’s valuations of Trump properties were wildly inaccurate, comparing the estates to the Mona Lisa, which is commonly said to be the most valuable painting in the world. “[The Trump National Doral Miami hotel] would sell for at least a billion dollars. Mar-a-Lago at least a billion,” Habba said. “The value is what someone is willing to pay. The Trump properties are Mona Lisa properties.” “That is not fraud, that is real estate,” she added.

[..] Donald Bender, a former accountant and tax consultant for Trump was called as the first witness in the case, and was promptly moved to be disqualified by the Trump team although Engoron ruled against them. [..] .. in one incident Bender recalled that he pointed out a discrepancy involving the penthouse of Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump. Bender said he corrected the number at least twice. The discrepancies with the penthouse were mentioned in documents in the case. “Ms. Trump’s rental agreement for Penthouse A in Trump Park Avenue included an option to purchase the unit for $8,500,000. But in the 2011 and 2012 Statements of Financial Condition, this unit was valued at $20,820,000—approximately two and a half times as much as the option price, with no disclosure of the existence of the option,” the lawsuit stated.

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“Law is a weapon used against those who are not in power. It is nothing else.”

“Lenders go by success, not by valuations, because value is determined by success.”

Two Democrat Gangsters Try to Steal Trump’s Real Estate (Paul Craig Roberts)

Two New York Democrats, one being NY attorney general Letitia James, a black female helped into office by money from George Soros, who made his billions by manipulating the British pound to the disadvantage of the British population, and the other being NY state judge Arthur Engoron, a Donald Trump hater who was put in office by Trump-hating NY Democrats, have conspired to steal Trump’s real estate empire including Mar-a-Lago. [..] The obvious point is that Letitia James has no idea of the value of Trump’ properties. What she has done is so obviously totally dishonest that she should immediately be removed from office. She has picked low values that are so low as to be ridiculous as a statement of the value of Trump’s holdings. Who correctly valued the properties? Letitia James on her personal vendetta against President Trump, or the sophisticated lenders to Trump?

Ask yourself, if Trump did something wrong, why didn’t his creditors bring the lawsuit instead of a Trump-hating Democrat operative on a personal vendetta? No one was harmed, least of all Letitia James. What is Letitia James’ standing in the case? Nothing, Zero, Nada. That Trump’s property can be confiscated by two Democrats on a vendetta against Trump shows that the rule of law in the United States of America is stone dead. Let’s look at real estate valuations. Traditionally, the lowest appraisal is the tax appraisers. Then the foreclosure value. Then the “market value.” But what is the market value? It is different for different people. Appraisals of value are simply guesses. No lender has anything but their judgment of the borrower as to the success of the loan. If the borrower has a success record, as Donald Trump has, the lender has no interest in the listed value of the properties. Lenders go by success, not by valuations, because value is determined by success.

Letitia James is so ignorant of law that she does not know that law regards an owner’s opinion as admissible evidence of value. Thus, there is ZERO basis for her independent law suit, a suit not joined by any interested party. This example of total incompetence and total corruption of the American legal system is proof that law in America is no longer law. Law is a weapon used against those who are not in power. It is nothing else. Judge Engoran ruled that Trump had “inflated” his property values on his financial statements. Meaning, the judge applied an arbitrary low value as the properties worth and then ruled that Trump committed fraud by using a realistic value. Take for example Trump’s residence, Mar-a-Lago, which the judge determined was worth only $18 million!

Forbes estimated Mar-a-Lago’s value between $200 million and $725 million, based on broker opinions, and ultimately went with “a conservative” $350 million. For comparison, a 5-bedroom home recently sold in the same neighborhood for $75 million. The totally corrupt Democrat “judge” valued Trump’s enormous property at $18 million — $332 million less than Forbes–and convicted Trump of fraud for allegedly overstating its value, whereas the real fraud is the judge’s undervaluation. On the sole basis of an intentionally arbitrary low value the Democrat operative pretending to be a judge confiscated Trump’s property. This is law in Democrat America, a tyranny.

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Jeff Childers is an attorney working in real estate. Paul Craig Roberts in the article above links to this article.

“Even though an owner might not be a real estate expert, the law considers the owner well positioned to know the value of their own property.” [..] “..under the law, an owner’s opinion is admissible evidence of value.”

“Nobody would use the tax appraiser’s value to guess at Mar-a-Lago’s selling price. Nobody.”

Overvalued (Jeff Childers)

This case is right in my wheelhouse; I’ll explain the whole thing. It’s not complicated. The judge’s 35-page decision is, at bottom, only about how President Trump valued his real estate holdings when he was providing his personal financial statement to various people. I am qualified to comment because half of my commercial litigation cases are disputes over real estate. Before tumbling into constitutional and civil rights law, I also had a strong side practice in commercial loan workouts — negotiating for developers with banks — and commercial Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which (at least in Florida) is all about valuing real estate. Principle number one: Real estate valuation is not a science because values are subjective. Every effort to value real estate is just a guess at what someone will eventually be willing to pay for the land. Your dilapidated barn might be someone else’s castle.

Real estate — buildings and land — is worth different amounts to different people. A thousand acres of inexpensive pine forest zoned only for agricultural use could be worth a whole lot more to a developer who’s confident he can get a zoning change. It’s not nefarious. Maybe that developer also owns a half-acre parcel downtown somewhere that the County has long wanted for a park, so he knows he has something to trade the commissioners for rezoning the pine forest to residential. That hypothetical developer would pay a lot more for the thousand acres than anyone else. So what’s the property worth? The price to everyone else or the “highest and best use?” But legal disputes must be resolved and you have to start somewhere. Lawyers think about real estate values in three general categories, depending on who is doing the valuing.

From lowest value to highest, the normal categories are: the tax appraised value (the lowest, and least likely to be accurate), the “forced liquidation” value (think foreclosure sale), and then the highest, the “market” value (determined by professional appraisers who assume that the seller can market the property without pressure or time constraints). Even professional appraisers disagree on land value. Every single one of my cases involves competing appraisals, and the appraisers’ numbers are often wildly different. Lawyers and judges all know that appraisals are just guesses. When I negotiate with bank lawyers, I often offer to bet them a month’s salary that when the appraised property finally sells, it will bring a price at least 15% different than the bank’s appraisal. In all these years, no opposing lawyer has ever taken that bet.

A fourth category of valuation is the owner’s opinion of his property’s value. Even though an owner might not be a real estate expert, the law considers the owner well positioned to know the value of their own property. They probably think about it a lot. They know all the pro’s and con’s. Therefore under the law, an owner’s opinion is admissible evidence of value. The lowest valuation is usually the tax appraised value, which is the amount used by the state to calculate annual property taxes. There’s a good reason why it’s the lowest: tax appraisers calculations are limited in many ways under state law. For example, in Florida tax appraisers can’t increase the value of homestead property — where someone lives — more than a few percentage points at a time. Tax appraisers also can only change the assessment when certain things happen, like when a property is sold.

Judge Engoran ruled yesterday that Trump had “inflated” his property values on his financial statements. Meaning, the judge decided what the properties were worth and then found that Trump overestimated Trump’s values — on paper. Take for example Trump’s residence, Mar-a-Lago, which the judge determined was worth $18 million for the entire ten-year period between 2011 and 2021. That determination was based only on the county tax assessor, who appraised its value between $18 and $27 million. So of course the Judge used the lowest number in that range, $18 million, comparing that to Trump’s value of between $426 million and $612 million: Nobody would use the tax appraiser’s value to guess at Mar-a-Lago’s selling price. Nobody.

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“..Gaetz would only need a handful of Republicans to join him in removing McCarthy..”

My guess: the Dems will keep him in place. And down the line he will regret that.

Gaetz Files Motion to Remove McCarthy From House Speakership (DeMartino)

US Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) officially filed a motion late Monday to call for the removal of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a move likely to put the lower congressional chamber into chaos just days after a government shutdown was averted. Gaetz has been threatening McCarthy with a “vote to vacate” his position since the deal to avert the government shutdown was made. Gaetz has accused MacCarthy of making a “secret side deal on Ukraine” with Democrats. Gaetz and dozens of other House Republicans have stated their opposition to further funding of Kiev by Washington and aid to Ukraine was ultimately cut from the stop-gap funding bill.

“I rise to give notice of my intent to raise a question of the privileges of the house,” Gaetz said on the House floor while filing the motion. “[It is] resolved that the Office of Speaker of the House of Representatives is hereby declared to be vacant.” After filing the motion, Gaetz told reporters that he had enough Republican votes to oust McCarthy, unless he gets help from Democrats. “I have enough Republicans where at this point next week one of two things will happen: Kevin McCarthy won’t be the Speaker of the House or he’ll be the Speaker of the House working at the pleasure of the Democrats,” The firebrand representative said. “I’m at peace with either result because the American people deserve to know who governs them.”

The House will have two days to consider the measure, though it could be taken up earlier. A simple majority will be needed to oust McCarthy. Republicans have a slim nine-seat majority in the House. Typically, when House speakers are appointed, the minority party votes in unison against the nomination. If that holds for votes to vacate, Gaetz would only need a handful of Republicans to join him in removing McCarthy.

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“.. that agreement includes a vote on term limits, a vote on a balanced budget amendment, single subject spending bills, and the full release of the January 6 tapes.”

I’m Fighting For Taxpayers (Matt Gaetz)

I know who my bosses are. They aren’t the special interests in Washington, it isn’t party leadership, it’s my voters in Florida. Earlier this month, I sat down with some of my bosses in Destin, Florida for a podcast they host in their driveway. I was there to be held accountable. Congress has yet to achieve the things voters are asking for like term limits and a balanced budget. That’s what this fight in Congress is all about. It’s about making sure the promises we’ve made to voters are fulfilled. The Speaker made promises to me and other lawmakers in January, and I want to hold him to account. To be specific, that agreement includes a vote on term limits, a vote on a balanced budget amendment, single subject spending bills, and the full release of the January 6 tapes.

This isn’t about politics or personality. It’s about sticking to our word, and getting our nation back on track. In Joe Biden’s America, families are having to pinch pennies, so Congress should too. Politicians that have spent decades running up America’s deficit are taking this personally. Rep. John Carter, who has been on the appropriations committee since 2005, recently attacked me as an “idiot” to a reporter. Okay. What’s idiotic is that our nation’s national debt has increased more than $25 trillion since 2005. Some people are desperate to make a policy battle personal, because their policy failures are personally embarrassing. We have to stop the fiscal insanity in Washington and get our spending under control.

I’m not voting for a continuing resolution that funds Jack Smith’s election interference, dangerous chaos on the southern border, and money for the endless war in Ukraine. Just think about what it means for Congress to govern by Continuing Resolution. Every time we vote for a continuing resolution, we make no changes in policy or spending. It’s a vote to continue the status quo. If that’s all Congress is going to do, just replace us with AI bots, because we aren’t doing anything. The hearings are fun, but it’s the budgets where real policy changes are made. Moody’s chief economist recently said that the typical American household is spending $709 a month more than they were two years ago just to buy the same goods and services. That’s nearly $9,000 per year being stolen from Americans through the hidden tax of inflation.

Americans literally cannot afford Washington’s reckless spending. Politicians in Washington DC – on both sides of the aisle – are robbing the American people and their grandchildren to pay for war in Ukraine, drag queen shows in Ecuador, an open border, free stuff for illegal immigrants, and the Biden Department of Justice’s illegal election interference. I came to Washington to be a voice for my voters and fix this once great nation. I’m not here to empower the Democrats’ radical agenda. I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit by and do nothing while greed and corruption destroys our great nation.

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“The attorney general added that all US Justice Department prosecutors are impartial and do not allow party considerations to affect their decisions.”

AG Garland Promises to Resign if Biden Meddles in Trump Investigation (Sp.)

US Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Monday he would resign if US President Joe Biden interferes with investigations into former US President Donald Trump. “I am sure that that [Biden’s interference] will not happen, but I would not do anything in that regard. And if necessary, I would resign, but there is no sense that anything like that will happen,” Garland said in an interview. He also said he does not discuss the investigation into the former president with Biden or his administration, adding that the incumbent US president “never tried to put hands on these investigations.” The attorney general added that all US Justice Department prosecutors are impartial and do not allow party considerations to affect their decisions.

Last week, the US news broadcaster reported that Trump would attend first days of fraud trial against him in New York. New York Attorney General Letitia James stated last week that Trump inflated the value of his assets by between $812 million and $2.2 billion over a decade to obtain loans to build a golf resort in Miami and hotels in Washington and Chicago. Currently, the former US president is facing two federal indictments, including on alleged mishandling of classified documents at his house in Florida and an alleged attempt to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

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“If what Wallace says about the average age on the Ukrainian front is true, 40 years, then the worst assumptions about losses have been far exceeded..”

“A huge loss that will forever haunt that country.” It’s worse, the country won’t survive.

The Average Age Of Ukraine’s Army (MoA)

Ben Wallace, the former Secretary of State for Defence of the UK, writes in the Telegraph: “Putin is desperately grasping at the final two things that can save him – time and the splitting of the international community. Britain can do something about both. We must help Ukraine maintain its momentum – and that will require more munitions, ATACMSs and Storm Shadows. And the best way to keep the international community together is the demonstration of success. Ukraine can also play its part. The average age of the soldiers at the front is over 40.

I understand President Zelensky’s desire to preserve the young for the future, but the fact is that Russia is mobilising the whole country by stealth. Putin knows a pause will hand him time to build a new army. So just as Britain did in 1939 and 1941, perhaps it is time to reassess the scale of Ukraine’s mobilisation. Let us not pause for one day. Let us see this through. The world is watching to see if the West has the resolve to stand up for our values and the rules-based system. What we do now for Ukraine will set the direction for all of our security for years to come.”

Think for a moment what the aside insert “The average age of the soldiers at the front is over 40” really means. Can Storm Shadows change that fact? Roland Popp @RoPoppZurich – 5:43 UTC · Oct 2, 2023: “If what Wallace says about the average age on the Ukrainian front is true, 40 years, then the worst assumptions about losses have been far exceeded. Paraguay 1870.”

Paraguayan War – Casualties of the war: “Paraguay suffered massive casualties, and the war’s disruption and disease also cost civilian lives. Some historians estimate that the nation lost the majority of its population.” Ukraine ain’t there yet. But looking at pictures of Ukrainian soldiers at the front Wallace seems to be right. If you are forty or above are you really still able to run, react and fight like when you were twenty? I am not. The young Ukrainians are gone. They either have fled from Ukraine or are wounded, disabled or died. You can not mobilize what is no longer there. A huge loss that will forever haunt that country. End this war now!

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“..from Lisbon to Lugansk..” is the state of denial put in words.

Zakharova Responds To German Promise To Add Russian Lands To EU (RT)

Russia would have to join the EU for German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock to fulfill her promise of the bloc spanning all the way “from Lisbon to Lugansk,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said. Speaking at an informal meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers in Kiev on Monday, Baerbock insisted that “the future of Ukraine is in the EU, in our community of freedom, and soon [the EU] will stretch from Lisbon to Lugansk.” Lisbon is the capital of Portugal, which along with Ireland and part of Spain makes up the EU’s western edge. Lugansk is the main city of the People’s Republic of Lugansk, which officially became part of the Russian state last year, together with the People’s Republic of Donetsk and the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions.

The move followed referendums that saw the populace in the four regions overwhelmingly support reunification with Moscow. Ukraine and its Western backers refused to recognize the results of the votes. “It’s either us joining the EU or she forgot about the requirement to turn by 360 degrees,” Zakharova wrote on Telegram in response to Baerbock’s statement. The spokeswoman was referring to the blunder that the German FM made in February when she urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to “change by 360 degrees” his policy on Ukraine, unwittingly urging Russia to maintain the exact course it had been on. Baerbock’s claims about Lugansk being in the EU are a “figment of the sick imagination” of the German FM because the city is and will remain a part of Russia, Dmitry Belik, a member of the Russian Parliament’s Committee on International Affairs, told Izvestia newspaper.

Germany’s top diplomat “continues to add to her collection of absurd statements, which speaks of her incompetence and confirms the difficulty of seeking compromise with such politicians,” Belik added. On Monday, EU foreign ministers held their first ever meeting outside the bloc’s territory. Its foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that the high-profile meeting was staged in Kiev “to express our solidarity and support to the Ukrainian people.” Ukraine was granted EU-candidate status in July 2022 amid its conflict with Russia. Sources told Bloomberg last month that the European Commission is expected to shortly recommend that formal talks begin to start the multi-year process of Kiev’s accession into the bloc.

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It’s their way out. “You’re too corrupt, and you’re not changing that fast enough..”

US Seems More Worried About Ukraine’s Corruption Than It Admits (Sp.)

A leaked US strategy document revealed that the Biden administration is far more worried about corruption in Ukraine than it publicly admits, an American newspaper reported on Monday. A high-level corruption could undermine confidence of the Ukrainian public and foreign leaders in the government in Kiev, the report said. The confidential version of the document, named “Integrated Country Strategy,” is about three times longer than its public version and contains many additional details related to the US goals in Ukraine, the report noted. That includes privatizing Ukrainian banks, encouraging the military to adopt NATO norms, and supporting local schools in teaching the English language.

The strategy also stresses that the Ukrainian government can not delay its anti-graft policies because the current situation could cause concern from allies in the West. The newspaper supposed that the fact of the quiet release of the strategy, along with the toughest language in the confidential version, shows the White House’s concerns over the situation in Ukraine. The Biden administration wants to press Ukraine to cut graft. However, excessive attention to this problem may strengthen the opposition of Washington to Kiev and could make European allies think once again about their own role in this process, according to the report.

One US official noted that the American and Ukrainian counterparts have “some honest conversations happening behind the scenes” over the issue. His colleague familiar with the topic of those discussions confirmed that Washington is talking to Kiev about potentially conditioning future economic aid on “reforms to tackle corruption and make Ukraine a more attractive place for private investment,” the report added. However, these conditions are not related to the military support for Ukraine, this official added. The strategy noted that US goals in Ukraine include providing military support and training to confront Russia. The classified version also revealed Washington’s readiness to help Kiev in reforming its national security apparatus, the report said.

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Serious cracks. Cue Fico.

Hungary’s FM Shuns EU Diplomats’ Summit in Kiev (Sp.)

Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has met with representatives of German industrial conglomerate ThyssenKrupp, he said in a Facebook* post, and skipped a meeting of European foreign ministers in Kiev. “The task now is to reduce inflation, and for 2024 – to rebuild economic growth. For this, the work has to start now and it requires companies like the German Thyssenkrupp,” Szijjarto wrote. Ties between Budapest and Brussels have been tense of late, with Hungary repeatedly voicing its protest as the EU’s blank checks for Kiev. It was earlier reported that Hungary believes that the EU has spent its share of a funding program on supporting Kiev regime. EU authorities had confessed to freezing over €6 billion intended for Budapest, citing political concerns.

However, Hungarian PM Viktor Orban is afraid that the funds were given to Ukraine. “It is possible that some of it [the money] is already in Ukraine. If there is no money to give Ukraine the sums promised before, and we promise to give new sums, and there are people who haven’t received the money, it is reasonable to assume that this money is already gone,” Orban said in an interview to a radio station. The Hungarian premier added that his country will block any funding for Kiev unless Budapest receives the designated funds. Another stumbling block between Hungary and Ukraine is the fate of Transcarpathian Hungarians, whose rights are systematically abused by Kiev.

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“..what is happening in Ukraine has been far more similar to a First World War battlefield than anything else..”

Why Ukrainian F-16 Trainees Won’t Turn the Tide of Conflict (Sp.)

The US Department of Defense has officially announced the beginning of English language courses for Ukrainian pilots as part of the program to train them to fly US-made F-16 fighter jets. The language training is said to be taking place at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. In August, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry estimated that Kiev would get F-16 jets promised by Ukraine’s NATO backers in six-seven months. The Netherlands and Denmark since signaled that they would hand their F-16 fighters to Kiev at the beginning of 2024. However, Gen. James B. Hecker, commander of US Air Forces Europe, was quoted by the Western press as saying that the delivery of several dozens of the US-made fighter jets “isn’t going to be the silver bullet” for the Ukrainian military.

Previously, ex-Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley also warned Kiev that F-16s won’t be a “game-changer” or “magic weapon” that would change the balance of power on the battlefield. For its part, the Ukrainian military is blaming the failed counteroffensive on allegedly insufficient NATO training and flawed NATO tactics, insisting that the transatlantic alliance prepared them for the “wrong kind of war.” Could the training of Ukrainian pilots and delivery of fighter jets fix the problem? “The questions being asked here are about a decade too late for the US/NATO Ukraine proxy war project, and they certainly should have been considered before over $200 billion in US and NATO military aid has been shipped to Ukraine,” Retired Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, a former analyst for the US Department of Defense, told Sputnik.

“The US and NATO – to the extent that they have conducted military battles – have done so with combined arms, integrating sea, land and air – and command and control/intelligence — in both offensive and defensive actions. Our last real serious tank battles probably occurred in the early 1990s, with the first US invasion of Iraq. And that war was against a country that had a weak and outdated air force.” “We don’t remember how to fight a land battle from 30 years ago – and what is happening in Ukraine has been far more similar to a First World War battlefield than anything else. Americans in particular do not study lessons learned from the First World War – but that is no excuse in this case.

Ukraine’s ‘strategy’ vis-a-vis Russia has not been designed by Pentagon military strategists – as [Joe] Biden and [Antony] Blinken say, all decisions are [Volodymyr] Zelensky’s. The Pentagon’s role here has been logistics – scraping up goods and services and sending them over – without any connection to complementing an existing Ukrainian defense strategy or designing an effective strategy to push back the Russian forces,” the former Pentagon analyst continued.

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Musk has seen enough. Took him a while.

Musk Mocks Zelensky Over Aid Demands (RT)

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has ridiculed Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky over his demands for more financial support from the US and its allies amid the conflict with Russia. Posting on his X (formerly Twitter) social media platform on Sunday, Musk shared the popular ‘stressed guy’ meme with Zelensky’s face photoshopped onto it and with a caption reading: “When it’s been five minutes and you haven’t asked for a billion dollars in aid.” The post had already gained more than 25 million views and over 350,000 likes at the time of writing. The ‘stressed guy’ meme features an image of a male student whose neck and forehead are bulging with veins while he sits beside a girl in a classroom. The picture is commonly shared for humorous descriptions of frustrating or uncomfortable situations.

Musk’s post comes after Zelensky attempted to drum up more support from the US during a visit to Washington in September. According to US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the Ukrainian president told him that “if we don’t get the aid, we will lose the war.” The administration of US President Joe Biden has provided Kiev with around $46 billion since the beginning of the conflict with Russia in February 2022. However, no funding for Ukraine was included in the last-minute budget deal struck by Congress late on Saturday which allowed the US to avoid a federal government shutdown. US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who was among the Republicans to oppose the Biden administration’s request to allocate $6 billion more to Ukraine, said that the priority must be protecting America’s borders.

The Zelensky government considered Musk among its backers early in the conflict with Russia, when SpaceX donated $80 million worth of Starlink satellite internet terminals to Ukraine. Kiev’s forces have relied heavily on the system for communications. However, the billionaire was involved in a spat with Ukrainian officials and social media users last October after he proposed a peace plan to settle the conflict. Musk suggested that Russia should “redo elections of annexed regions under UN supervision,” while Ukraine would commit to neutrality and drop its claim to Crimea. Four former Ukrainian regions voted to join Russia a year ago, while Crimea held a similar referendum in 2014 after a Western-backed coup in Kiev.

Zelensky reacted to the idea by launching a social media poll, asking followers “which Elon Musk” they “like more” – the one “who supports Ukraine” or the one “who supports Russia.” Kiev’s then ambassador to Germany, Andrey Melnik, went further by telling the US billionaire to “f**k off.” A few days after the row, the Ukrainian military reportedly began experiencing problems with Starlink services. Musk’s biography by historian Walter Isaacson, which came out in September, described an indecent last autumn in which the billionaire allegedly told his engineers to shut down satellite internet coverage in Crimea amid an attempted Ukrainian drone assault on the Russian peninsula. According to Isaacson, the tech entrepreneur concluded that “allowing the use of Starlink for the attack… could be a disaster for the world.” Ukrainian presidential aide Mikhail Podoliak claimed that Musk was “committing evil and encouraging evil” with his decision, which he said was the result of “a cocktail of ignorance and big ego.”

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“The woked-up suburban ladies who comprise the party’s main voting bloc grow moist in anticipation of Gov. Newsome landing on-stage like a demigod out of a Mozart opera..”

“[RFK Jr’s] on a hero’s journey at a moment in history when America dearly needs one.”

Three-Way? (Jim Kunstler)

“Joe Biden” is now a monumental embarrassment and a liability to our country, let alone to the degenerate party that owns him. Sub rosa efforts must be in motion to persuade him to resign before the impeachment inquiry spotlights all those telltale bank records, but they will fail to overcome his demented pride. He’ll ride this thing out to the bitter end, when he can use the last tool at his disposal to officially pardon everyone involved in his family’s racketeering operation. The longer the party pretends to support him, the closer the party itself skates toward self-destruction. Also consider: if allowed to play out, the impeachment inquiry will implicate the DOJ and the FBI in obstruction of justice — exposing many Deep State blob players to danger of prosecution.

Gov Gavin Newsom dangles himself above the fray as the deus ex machina who can touch down in DC and make all the Democrat’s problems go away. Such an attractive fellow! Great teeth and hair! Tall as a sequoia! And such a smooth talker! The woked-up suburban ladies who comprise the party’s main voting bloc grow moist in anticipation of Gov. Newsome landing on-stage like a demigod out of a Mozart opera. But how do you think he’ll make out in an election when the airwaves are filled with oppo ads showing his toothy and hairy visage inset against scenes of homeless junkies and looting flash mobs? Try blaming that on climate change. What else does he stand for? Censorship? Forced vaccinations? Child sex mutilations? Open borders? News-flash: these are increasingly unpopular, except among an easily-identified depraved elite.

Indeed, the whole Left-Right demon-driven psychodrama is proving impossible to live in as it throbs and pulsates toward something like civil war. And it has obscured the truly potent idea that the nation might actually be capable of solving its problems by facing up to them and changing how we act. That potent idea might be what voters will see in Bobby Kennedy if he can get their attention. Mr. Kennedy would dismantle the heinous partnerships between private corporations and the US government that loosed the Covid-19 op on the world and asset-strips the middle-class. He favors closing the border and a reevalution of immigration policy. He aims to negotiate an end to the ignoble Ukraine war project. He’s determined to disassemble the security state apparatus that’s destroying the US Constitution and citizens natural rights with it.

Mr. Kennedy says he can bring divided Americans together on these dire matters. It’s conceivable that his message might go over with enough rancor-weary voters to pull off a tour-de-force plurality in a three-way race, where nobody wins enough electoral votes to settle the contest, which then moves to the House, like in the old days of Jefferson and Burr. The rest is election mechanics, some of it very sinister when you consider all the election-rigging booby-traps already in-place such as mass mail-in ballot harvesting, no voter ID requirements, and the still-mysterious hookups of vote-counting machines to the Internet. But, at least, Mr. Kennedy running on an independent line will be a hard whap upside the Democratic Party’s thick skull, maybe even a death-blow to the party. They made a big mistake trying to un-person him. He’s on a hero’s journey at a moment in history when America dearly needs one.

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Yeadon

 

 

Octopus
https://twitter.com/i/status/1708899128858587197

 

 

 

 

Jump

 

 

Ray
https://twitter.com/i/status/1708809366869062108

 

 

Camouflage
https://twitter.com/i/status/1709099401413562408

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 262022
 


Paul Gauguin Breton woman and goose by the water 1888

 

Exposure Of Ukraine’s ‘Dirty Bomb’ Plans Caused Stir In Kiev – Russia (RT)
Russia’s ‘Dirty Bomb’ Scare (Scott Ritter)
US Doubles Down On Denial Of ‘Dirty Bomb’ Warnings (RT)
“Progressive” Democrats Formally Retract Call For Diplomacy (ZH)
Why Ukraine Is Always Winning The War (Mazaheri)
Reflections on the Coup in Ukraine – 2014-2022 (Francis Lee)
Raytheon Making A Killing On Ukraine Weapons Demand (RT)
IEA Warns Of ‘First Truly Global Energy Crisis’ (RT)
Colombian President: “The US is Ruining Economies Around the World” (NC)
Record Volumes Of Russian Energy Headed To China (RT)
Kiev Tells Ukrainian Refugees Not To Come Home Yet (RT)
MSNBC Legal Analyst Declares Trump Could Be Charged With Manslaughter (Turley)
It Is ALL, At This Point, ENERGY (Denninger)
5 Thoughts on the Global Dictatorship (Cudenec)
NY Supreme Court Reinstates All Employees Fired For Being Unvaccinated (Fox)
Inquiry Focusing Solely On Safety Of Vaccines Will Not Be Opened – UK (Sky)
Democrats: Who Did All Those Lockdowns And Vaccine Mandates? (BBee)

 

 

George Webb is at least partly right: there WAS a Berlin conference on October 25. But is it about peace? Not 100% clear. The theme was reconstruction. Which George says is a precursor to peace talks. Maybe.

When the usual suspects talk about reconstruction of Ukraine, they mean including Crimea and the “four regions”. But Russia has no plans to give any of them up. So it might as well lead to more war.

 

 

Webb


“German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen attend a joint news conference during a post-war reconstruction of Ukraine conference in Berlin, Oct. 25, 2022.”

 

Gonzalo sees it as an American plan for more war.

 

 

 

 

Biden today: The pandemic is a “global health emergency”
Biden literally last month: “The pandemic is over”

Now: get a $20 discount when you get the shot

 

 

Alberta WEF
https://twitter.com/i/status/1584688076055793664

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At least by now, everyone should know about the dirty bomb story. Maybe that’s the best Russia can do at the moment.

Exposure Of Ukraine’s ‘Dirty Bomb’ Plans Caused Stir In Kiev – Russia (RT)

Kiev might be shelving its alleged ‘dirty bomb’ program after Russia exposed it, Moscow’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, claimed on Tuesday. He added that Ukraine may well have time to do this before the upcoming nuclear inspection. Over the last few days, Russian officials, including Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, have been accusing Kiev of preparing a false-flag attack with the use of a ‘dirty bomb’, a device combining conventional explosives with radioactive material. Ukraine has categorically denied Moscow’s claims. At the same time, the official claimed that the danger of Kiev using a ‘dirty bomb’ remains “very high,” and that Ukraine “has the opportunity” and “has every reason to use it.”

Earlier on Tuesday, in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the Russian mission’s head, Vassily Nebenzia, said that Moscow would consider the use of a “dirty bomb” by Ukraine “an act of nuclear terrorism.” Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba earlier called the Russian allegations “as absurd as they are dangerous.” He also noted that “Russians often accuse others of what they plan themselves.” On Tuesday, the minister revealed that Ukraine had invited IAEA inspectors to come and to “prove that Ukraine has neither any dirty bombs nor plans to develop them.”

“Good cooperation with IAEA and partners allows us to foil Russia’s ‘dirty bomb’ disinfo campaign,” Kuleba said. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, commenting on the matter, said that “all parties should avoid any actions that could lead to miscalculation and escalation of what’s already a devastating conflict.” Meanwhile, the Pentagon claimed that Russia’s allegations against Ukraine were “transparently false.” NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg said that the allies “reject the allegation” and believe that Russia “must not use it as a pretext” for further escalation.

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“The possibility that Russia would deliberately corrupt this communication channel with disinformation is highly unlikely.”

Russia’s ‘Dirty Bomb’ Scare (Scott Ritter)

In the span of a few hours on Sunday, the senior-most Russian defense authorities — Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu and General Gennady Gerasimov — called their counterparts in the U.S., U.K., France, and Turkey, with the same message — Ukraine is preparing to detonate a so-called “dirty bomb”— high explosive-wrapped radiological material, designed to contaminate large areas with deadly radioactive isotopes. Russia is not only concerned about the immediate impact of Ukraine detonating such a devise in terms of the harm that would be done to people and the environment, but also about the potential for such an event to be used by Ukraine’s western allies to directly intervene militarily in the ongoing conflict, similar to what occurred in Syria when allegations about the use of Sarin nerve agent by the Syrian government against civilians were used by the U.S., U.K., and France to justify an attack on Syrian military and infrastructure targets. [..]

The Russians are serious about the threat posed by the possibility of a Ukrainian “dirty bomb.” While the history of “dirty bombs” does not point to a threat on the scale or scope of an actual nuclear weapon, one can “worst case” a scenario which provides the potential for the significant loss of life and property from the radioactive fallout such a weapon could produce. Such an outcome would be a disaster which Russia and, presumably, the Western allies of Ukraine would like to prevent. So far, the Russian allegations appear to have fallen on deaf ears, with Ukraine dismissing the claims as absurd, and non-government affiliated western analysts flipping the script, accusing Russia of actually planning a false flag attack on Ukraine using a “dirty bomb” of its own construction.

But the reality is that Russia takes its senior military-to-military connections with its western counterparts very seriously, given the role such contacts play in the kind of deconfliction cooperation that keeps small-scale incidents from exploding into war. The possibility that Russia would deliberately corrupt this communication channel with disinformation is highly unlikely. Russia appears to be legitimately concerned about the possibility of Ukraine building and using a “dirty bomb”, so much so that it has taken the unprecedented step of reaching out to multiple senior Western defense authorities to prevent such an occurrence from happening. If, at the end of the day, the appropriate phone calls are made by the West, and Ukraine backs down, then Russia will have succeeded. And if it turns out that the Russian information is wrong, there was no harm from the effort. However, if Russia is correct, and Ukraine not only is preparing to use a “dirty bomb”, but detonates one, and the West did nothing to prevent it, then Russia is on the record for having provided the West with due warning.

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Russia used all channels.

US Doubles Down On Denial Of ‘Dirty Bomb’ Warnings (RT)

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has rejected Moscow’s warnings about Kiev’s alleged plans to deploy a ‘dirty bomb’ to frame Russia. The statement came during a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart on Monday. The Pentagon chief spoke with Minister of Defense Alexey Reznikov to “reaffirm the unwavering US commitment to support Ukraine’s ability to counter Russian aggression,” according to the readout of the call. He also “strongly condemned” Russian strikes on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure and “reiterated that the United States rejects the public and false allegations by Russia about Ukraine,” describing them as “a pretext for further Russian escalation of its unlawful and unjustified war against Ukraine.”

Austin also raised the issue with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The two officials “discussed recent diplomatic engagements with Russia”and what they called “Moscow’s false accusation that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb on its own soil.” Stoltenberg repeated the sentiment in an interview with Politico, describing the warnings as “absurd,” saying that Kiev is “fighting so hard to liberate” its territory. On Monday, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, warned that the threat from Ukraine is evident, adding that the West’s disbelief does not mean that the threat ceases to exist. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, a possible ‘dirty bomb’ attack would allow Ukraine to portray Russia as a “nuclear terrorist”, intimidate the local population and trigger a refugee exodus to the European Union.

Moscow’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, wrote to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, urging him “to do everything in his power to prevent this heinous crime.”He also stated that Russia would “regard the use of a dirty bomb by the Kiev regime as an act of nuclear terrorism.” Russia has already warned high-ranking officials from Türkiye, the US, the UK, and France about the possibility of a nuclear incident. All of them except for Ankara refuted what they called the “blatantly false allegations,” adding that this “should not be used as a pretext for greater escalation.” Kiev has also denied Moscow’s allegations. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky noted that the only side capable of launching an attack using nukes is Russia itself.

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Yeah, blame your staff…

“Progressive” Democrats Formally Retract Call For Diplomacy (ZH)

That didn’t take long… the 30 Houses Progressive Democrats led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has early Tuesday afternoon issued a complete retraction of their letter sent to the Biden White House urging diplomacy on Ukraine, per an official statement [emphasis ours]: “The Congressional Progressive Caucus hereby withdraws its recent letter to the White House regarding Ukraine.” “The letter was drafted several months ago, but unfortunately was released by staff without vetting. As Chair of the Caucus, I accept responsibility for this. Because of the timing, our message is being conflated by some as being equivalent to the recent statement by Republican Leader McCarthy threatening an end to aid to Ukraine if Republicans take over.


The proximity of these statements created the unfortunate appearance that Democrats, who have strongly and unanimously supported and voted for every package of military, strategic, and economic assistance to the Ukrainian people, are somehow aligned with Republicans who seek to pull the plug on American support for President Zelensky and the Ukrainian forces.” What’s more is that Jayapal’s retraction – after giving the ole “blame the interns” excuse (“unfortunately was released by staff without vetting”) – actually goes so far as to suggest diplomacy won’t be possible until after Ukrainian victory. The retraction concludes: “Nothing could be further from the truth. Every war ends with diplomacy, and this one will too after Ukrainian victory. The letter sent yesterday, although restating that basic principle, has been conflated with GOP opposition to support for the Ukrainians’ just defense of their national sovereignty. As such, it is a distraction at this time and we withdraw the letter.”

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Because your media says so.

Why Ukraine Is Always Winning The War (Mazaheri)

In the United States media editorial policy has not wavered on one subject this year: Ukraine is always winning the war. From the first week, when the Ukrainian air force and navy were smashed, to last week’s smashing of the electrical grid – this is what “victory” looks like in the Ukrainian language, apparently. The Russians can electorally incorporate territory after territory, but to suggest that Ukrainian victory hasn’t already arrived is verboten in American public spaces. What is the point of reading American coverage of the unrest in Ukraine when it’s so very absurd? The point is: to learn what America is thinking, of course. If it’s deluded then – like it or not – that’s the story, and the story always writes itself in honest journalism.

I was talking with a Polish cab driver whom I found extremely intelligent, and not only because he has an Iranian brother-in-law and thus knew and respected Iranian culture. This longtime immigrant cabbie was very pro-Ukraine and anti-Russian, which is his right and not unexpected, and he was a typical Pole in that he was ardently pro-American. However, he volunteered to me that he found Americans to be the most effectively propagandised people in the world – he said they, invariably, merely mouthed whatever they heard on TV news. It is one thing to dismiss the criticism of your enemies, but the criticisms of your friends merit some refection.

I have also personally found the same iron-jawed retention of dogma: Americans tell me that only in very recent weeks have they heard anyone even suggest the idea that the war isn’t going well for Ukrainians. I agree, as I have yet to hear such a remark (outside of interviews of political analysts for my work at PressTV), and I have gotten many strange stares when I brought up the idea – in my personal life – for discussion. It is happy news for Americans to talk about, after all: “Hey, did you hear? The Ukrainians are winning the war! Still!” [..] Ukraine has always been winning, is winning currently and will win in the future because the US always wins every war it embarks upon.

After all, the US was always winning the war in Afghanistan. The only internal disagreement ever allowed was regarding their total retreat in August 2020 – was it poorly planned, or not? If the former, then the total US victory was disgracefully (though merely slightly) tarnished by the total US retreat. The US was always winning the war in Iraq, as well. Shock and awe prevailed from start to finish, with the finish being a total shock at how few positives the US-led war created for either the Iraqis or the Americans. The indisputable fact of the American victory, however: totally awesome, of course.

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The whole 8-year history. Very useful.

Reflections on the Coup in Ukraine – 2014-2022 (Francis Lee)

Victor Yanukovich was elected President of the Ukraine in 2010 narrowly defeating Yulia Timoshenko with 49% of votes cast to Timoshenko’s 45%. The Ukrainian Presidential term of office lasts for five years. Yanukovich’s party, the Party of the Regions, together with its coalition partner, the Communist party of the Ukraine, also had a majority in the Ukrainian Parliament, with Mykola Azarov as Prime Minister. The membership of the European Union was one of the more salient issues during this time and was the trigger for subsequent upheavals. Negotiations for Ukraine’s initial stage of eventual membership of the EU – the Association Agreement – had been dragging on since 2011, with both Yanukovich and Azarov favorably disposed, although the communist coalition partners were not.

This did not go down at all well in Moscow and Azarov tried to assuage Russian misgivings by urging Russia “to accept the reality of Ukraine signing the EU agreement”. The commitment of Yanukovich was eventually to be tested to destruction since he was being pulled in two directions: by Russia on the one hand, and the EU on the other. For their part the Russians offered the Ukraine a $15 billion loan, a discount on gas prices, and membership of the customs union of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. But the EU was having none of it: President of the Euro-pean Commission José Manuel Barroso stated that the EU will not tolerate “a veto of a third country” (Russia) in their negotiations on closer integration with Ukraine. Thus, Yanukovich was forced into a choice which would be certain to alienate and anger one of the powerful interested partners on his borders.

Negotiations dragged on into 2013. Yanukovich was invited to sign the Association Agreement, but there were a number of conditions. The most significant of these were those concerning an IMF loan. The conditions were very much in the tradition of IMF Structural Adjustment Programmes (the scourge of the developing world). This was enough to scupper the EU deal. Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov stating that ‘’the issue that blocked the signature of the EU deal were the conditions proposed by the IMF loan being negotiated at the same time as the Association Agreement, which would require large budget cuts and a 40% increase in gas bills. This, for a country already verging on bankruptcy. In store for the Ukraine was the usual neo-liberal IMF austerity package, deregulation, privatization, and liberalization. The Greek treatment. Yanukovich took the Russian offer instead.

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Killing Ukrainians for profit.

Raytheon Making A Killing On Ukraine Weapons Demand (RT)

US-based Raytheon Technologies, one of the largest aerospace and defense manufacturers in the world by revenue and market capitalization, posted a near 5% year-on-year surge in third-quarter revenue on Tuesday. Company sales grew to $16.95 billion during the period – based largely on its missile and defense contracts – thanks in part to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, as well as rising air travel demand, which buoyed parts and services sales. The Raytheon Missile and Defense unit reported third quarter adjusted sales of $3.678 billion. They were down 6% versus the prior year due to supply chain constraints and declines on some military programs, but the decrease was partially offset by higher volume on strategic missile defense orders.

Among the most notable defense bookings during the quarter were a $1 billion contract to develop the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM) for the US Air Force and a $972 million contract for the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) for the US Air Force, the US Navy, and international customers. Raytheon also recently received a $182 million contract from the US Army for supplying its National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAM) to Ukraine. It is part of the $2.98 billion in US defense aid promised to Kiev in order to stave off the advance of Russian troops. According to US defense officials, eight NASAMs have already been dispatched to Ukraine. This month, reports have emerged that Washington plans to send two more NASAMs to Kiev in the near future.

The US has also been supplying the Ukrainian army with Raytheon and Lockheed Martin-developed Javelin anti-tank missiles. Last month, the Pentagon announced a new $311 million contract for replenishing the stocks of Javelins that were reportedly depleted by deliveries to Kiev. Ukraine has been demanding more US missiles for its air defense following Russian missile attacks on several Ukrainian cities, including Kiev.


Raytheon CEO yesterday

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“..the world still needs Russian oil to flow into the market for now..”

IEA Warns Of ‘First Truly Global Energy Crisis’ (RT)

Tightening markets for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and curtailed supply from major oil producers have created “the first truly global energy crisis,” Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), has said. While addressing the Singapore International Energy Week on Tuesday, the IEA chief said that soaring LNG imports by Europe and a potential rebound in Chinese appetite for the fuel will tighten the market. Meanwhile, only 20 billion cubic meters of new LNG capacity will come on the market next year, according to Birol. He described the recent OPEC+ decision to cut output by 2 million barrels per day (bpd) as “risky,” noting that the IEA sees global oil demand growth of close to 2 million bpd this year.

“(It is) especially risky as several economies around the world are on the brink of a recession, if that we are talking about the global recession…I found this decision really unfortunate,” Birol said. He pointed out that skyrocketing global prices for oil, natural gas, and coal are hammering consumers, who are also dealing with spiraling costs of food and services. Europe may make it through this winter, though somewhat battered, if the weather remains mild, Birol believes. “Unless we will have an extremely cold and long winter, unless there will be any surprises in terms of what we have seen, for example Nord Stream pipeline explosion, Europe should go through this winter with some economic and social bruises,” he said.

The world will still need Russian oil to meet growing demand, he added, noting that the G7 nations’ price cap scheme still has many details that need to be ironed out and will require the cooperation of major oil-importing nations. Birol believes that “…the world still needs Russian oil to flow into the market for now. An 80%-90% is good and encouraging level in order to meet the demand.”

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“The Russians, Ukrainians and Europeans, first and foremost, have unleashed a war upon their own continent..”

Colombian President: “The US is Ruining Economies Around the World” (NC)

Just over a month ago, Colombia’s recently elected left-wing President Gustavo Petro ruffled a few feathers by lambasting the US-led war on drugs from the podium of the UN General Assembly in New York. He also condemned the NATO-Russia proxy war in Ukraine, which raised serious questions about Colombia’s position as NATO’s only Latin American partner. Then last week, during a visit to Urabá Antioquia, on Colombia’s northern border with Panama, he set his sights on US economic policy: “An economic crisis is undoubtedly brewing. The United States is practically ruining economies around the world. The German economy has already been destroyed by the war [in nearby Ukraine]. The Russians, Ukrainians and Europeans, first and foremost, have unleashed a war upon their own continent, which is a war for gas, for energy.

“And as a result of that war the European economy is sinking. Powerful Germany is entering recession. And who would think it? England, which one day was the world’s dominant colonial power, is mired in a deep economic crisis. In Spain, the residents of towns and cities are up in arms. The same in France. And in the United States decisions are being taken to protect the United States, sometimes without thinking about the consequences elsewhere.” Petro places much of the blame on the US Federal Reserve, whose aggressive interest rate hikes of the past seven months have propelled the dollar to its highest level since the year 2000. Raising rates draws capital toward the US economy and away from higher-risk emerging markets. [Interestingly, Petro didn’t mention how US and EU sanctions on Russia are ruining economies around the world by further rupturing global supply chains and supercharging inflation].

As the IMF noted last week, the dollar has appreciated 22% against the yen, 13% against the Euro and 6% against emerging market currencies since the start of this year. That the currencies of rich economies such as the UK and the EU have, as a whole, fallen faster against the dollar than emerging market currencies is testament to the severity of the global dollar shortage. As the Korean economist Keun Lee notes, “while US monetary policy is hardly the only factor in causing that shortage, it is undoubtedly making matters worse.” Many emerging market crises of the past were caused or exacerbated by a strengthening dollar. When the dollar strengthens sharply, emerging markets have fewer policy options to defend their currencies than rich economies.

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Including via Malaysia. Et al.

Record Volumes Of Russian Energy Headed To China (RT)

Russia exported a record amount of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and steelmaking coal to China in September, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday citing Chinese customs data. According to the report, Russia’s coking coal exports to its trading partner last month surged to 2.5 million tons from around 900,000 tons in September last year and 1.9 million tons in August. Overall coal imports, including thermal and coking coal, jumped 20% to nearly 7 million tons year-on-year. LNG deliveries surged by a third from a year ago to 819,000 tons. It is unclear how much Russian gas China has imported via pipelines, which is the main route for its delivery, as Beijing hasn’t reported on those flows since the start of the year.


China’s imports of Russian oil dropped to 7.5 million tons last month from 8.3 million tons in August but were still higher than last year’s 6.1 million tons. Total purchases of Russian energy, including oil products, also dropped slightly to $7.5 billion last month from $8.4 billion in August. They were still significantly higher than last year’s $4.7 billion. China’s overall purchases of energy products from Russia topped $51 billion in the seven months since the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. During the same period in 2021, China’s energy purchases from Russia amounted to $30 billion. The growth represents mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries, where Russia acquires a buyer for its energy products snubbed by the West, and China takes advantage of the discounts offered by Moscow.

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Make peace and send them home.

Kiev Tells Ukrainian Refugees Not To Come Home Yet (RT)

Ukrainians who have fled the country amid Russia’s military offensive should not return home before spring, Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk said on Tuesday. Staying away would protect them from unnecessary risk and help the country “survive” its deepening energy crisis, she added. Speaking on national TV on Tuesday, Vereshchuk claimed Russia was losing on the battlefield and had therefore turned to “terrorizing the civilian population” by targeting Ukrainian energy infrastructure. “I will ask you not to return, we need to survive the winter. Unfortunately, the power grids will not survive, you see what Russia is doing. You don’t need to do this. If you have the opportunity to stay, it’s better to spend the winter abroad,” Vereshchuk said.

She said she would like to see everyone return in the spring to rebuild Ukrainian cities and villages together. “Our children must live and study here, but for now let’s hold back, because we understand that the situation will worsen, and we have to survive the winter. We will survive the winter, and then we will think about everything else,” she added. According to a poll published by the Kiev-based Razumkov center in late August, more than 90% of Ukrainian refugees plan to return home at some point. More than 88% of those intending to return plan to live in the same region where they lived prior to the beginning of the Russian attack on February 24. Ukraine has been experiencing regular blackouts since Moscow launched massive strikes against its critical infrastructure, including power stations on October 10, accusing Kiev of terrorist attacks on Russian infrastructure.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has since asked his compatriots to ease pressure on the struggling energy system by limiting electricity use between 5pm and 11pm. On Monday, the head of the state-owned energy giant Naftogaz, Yuri Vitrenko, said that Ukraine was facing “the worst winter in history,” marked by “constant power outages.” He explained that recent Russian airstrikes have also hit oil refineries and destroyed “about 40% of the power generation plants.” On the same day, the Ukrainian online retailer Rozetka revealed that the last two weeks had seen a sharp increase in demand for “goods needed in the event of an energy crisis,” such as potbelly stoves, power banks, candles and gas burners.

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“The problem is that many officials had an affirmative duty to protect individuals on that day, including congressional leaders and officials.”

MSNBC Legal Analyst Declares Trump Could Be Charged With Manslaughter (Turley)

We previously discussed the declaration of Harvard Professor Lawrence Tribe that former president Donald Trump could be charged with the attempted murder of former Vice President Michael Pence. Now, MSNBC legal analyst and Michigan Law Professor Barbara McQuade has gone one better. She told MSNBC viewers that Trump could be charged with manslaughter for his role in the January 6 Capitol riot. Just as Tribe declared his theory was “without any doubt, beyond a reasonable doubt, beyond any doubt,” McQuade appeared equally certain that this was a serious and possible charge. Anchor Nicolle Wallace was bouncing off comments of Rep. Liz Cheney on what the House might do to Trump when she turned to McQuade for legal analysis:

Wallace: “Let me ask you, I think what they’re saying is that even if you were that deluded, quote, ‘You may not send an armed mob to the Capitol or sit for 87 minutes and refuse to stop the attack. You may not send out a tweet that incites further violence.’ It sounds like around the violence. She’s looking at what the committee talks about as dereliction of duty. Is that a specific crime you can charge someone with, Barbara?” McQuade: “It’s not a federal offense, but there actually is an interesting legal theory here for manslaughter, which Federal law defines as a death that occurs on federal property when a person acts with a recklessness mindset or even gross negligence. And so Donald Trump, unlike most ordinary citizens, has not only a duty not to do something bad, but an affirmative duty to take action to protect people. I think you could possibly put together a theory based on the facts that Liz Cheney just described to make Donald Trump responsible for the deaths that occurred that day.”

So let’s recap. Trump could be prosecuted for manslaughter because he had an “affirmative duty to take action to protect people”? The problem is that many officials had an affirmative duty to protect individuals on that day, including congressional leaders and officials. There is no question that Trump waited too long to call back his supporters. Many of us criticized Trump for his insistence that Pence could effectively block certification of the election. I publicly condemned Trump’s speech while it was being given. However, I know of no case that would impose this affirmative duty on Trump as a criminal legal matter.= That does not change due to Trump’s speech before the riot. Indeed, such a use of the speech would contradict controlling Supreme Court precedent.

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“.. the government — and not just ours — has declared war on the very reason we have had a rational cost of living for the last one hundred years..”

It Is ALL, At This Point, ENERGY (Denninger)

It’s pretty basic, as I noted in Leverage about 10 years ago: Behind every unit of GDP is a unit of energy. Period. I’ve been doing a fair bit of traveling this summer and fall, and in fact am having some fun right now, as I did last weekend. There is a constant — the spread between diesel and regular gasoline has held right around $2. I’ve never seen this before. It portends very bad things. You see, diesel isn’t just what you think of, although that’s bad enough. That is, big trucks without which you get….. nothing. Basically every item you buy from any place, anywhere, makes at least the last mile of that journey by truck. Most of it makes a very large percentage of its journey by either truck or train — both of which run primarily on diesel fuel.

That includes the gasoline you buy at the corner station. So who thinks inflation pressure is going to come down? How about the people who still use heating oil this winter? Oh, that’s diesel incidentally. Same fuel. Exactly the same fuel — just no road tax, and dyed red so if you try to cheat and put it in a truck you can be caught. “Well those fools should have converted by now!” you might say. Really? Have you looked at the price of natural gas lately? Propane? Well just burn wood! If you live where you can. And then…… wait, isn’t this about “saving the planet”? I thought wood was…… dirty?

Here’s reality, like it or not. That huge spread exists because the government — and not just ours — has declared war on the very reason we have had a rational cost of living for the last one hundred years. It has driven basically all of our advancement in that regard. It is responsible for all of the plastic things you have (look around you), all of the synthetic fibers (your couch, your bed, etc.) your shoes, your computer(s), your cellphones, the Internet and even the shingles on your house without which it rains inside as well as out.

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Excellent.

5 Thoughts on the Global Dictatorship (Cudenec)

2. A system that hates life. I am fed up with researching the ramifications and machinations of the finance-based global dictatorship, if I am completely honest. It is not a spiritually-nourishing activity; instead it sickens my soul, deeply offends my ethical aesthetics of honour, justice, truthfulness and value. Exploring and assessing the nastiness of the ruling crime gang leaves me feeling polluted and contaminated. And it keeps me trapped on the level at which they operate: I yearn to turn my back on their corrupt and shallow world and explore instead all the timeless magic of our living that so interests me.

I want to plunge into the folklore and mythology of my ancestors and yours, searching out the currents and branches and offshoots and intertwinings that have created, over many thousands of years, the richness of our common culture, paradoxically united by its infinite diversity. I want to feel and know and understand the way in which this wisdom grew slowly out of the soil and the hills and the plants and was spun and woven by our essential oneness with the natural world. I want to know what it feels like to reach, feet firmly grounded in the earth, towards the sky, the sun, the stars; informed and inspired by the wisdom of our forebears, I dream of finding the great poetry that will bring me peace in my final days.

And yet, I know full well that the time has not yet come when I can simply walk away from that other mundane work, the task of describing the detail of what has gone wrong in our contemporary society. I know full well that the system in which we are forced to live represents an existential threat to everything that inspires me. This system hates and fears the tangled roots of life, the sap of vitality and freedom that sends its green shoots soaring forth in search of authenticity and fulfilment. It hates and fears the belonging, and the knowledge of belonging, that makes us strong and proud and kind and just. It hates and fears how powerful we become when we feel the energy of the cosmos itself lighting us up from within, when our understanding and imagination pulse and glow with something which will lie forever beyond its dull comprehension. While this system still imprisons us, I will never find peace.

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“NY Supreme Court just ruled that all unvaccinated NYC employees are “reinstated to their full employment” and are “entitled to back pay in salary from the date of termination.”

NY Supreme Court Reinstates All Employees Fired For Being Unvaccinated (Fox)

The New York State Supreme Court reinstated all employees who were fired for not being vaccinated on Monday, ordering backpay and saying their rights had been violated. The court found that “being vaccinated does not prevent an individual from contracting or transmitting COVID-19.” New York City Mayor Eric Adams claimed earlier this year that his administration would not rehire employees who had been fired over their vaccination status. NYC alone fired roughly 1,400 employees for being unvaccinated earlier this year after the city adopted a vaccine mandate under former Mayor Bill de Blasio. Many of those fired were police officers and firefighters. FDNY-Firefighters Association President Andrew Ansbro and FDNY-Fire Officers Association President Lt. James McCarthy condemned Adams earlier this year after the mayor allowed an exception to the vaccine mandate for athletes and performers, even as firefighters were still being fired over their status. The pair called on the city to expand the exception to all New Yorkers.


“We’re here to say that we support the revocation of the vaccine mandate that the mayor announced on Thursday,” McCarthy said. “We think that it should be extended, as well. We support the revocation of the mandate for the athletes and performers that work in New York City. We think that the people that work for New York City should also have the mandate relocated for them.” “If you’re going to remove the vaccine mandate for certain people in the city, you need to remove it for everybody in the city,” Ansbro said. “If you’re gonna follow the science, science is gonna tell you there isn’t any danger right now and putting hundreds of firefighters, police officers, and other emergency workers out of work is not in the best interest of the city. It’s not safe.”

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“Many people now would not touch a booster with a barge pole, and I include myself amongst those…”

Inquiry Focusing Solely On Safety Of Vaccines Will Not Be Opened – UK (Sky)

The government is not planning to open an inquiry solely into the safety of coronavirus vaccines, a health minister has said. Caroline Johnson added the vaccines will be reviewed as part of the wider UK COVID-19 inquiry. However, Dr Johnson insisted the jabs are safe and encouraged those eligible to come forward for autumn boosters. She was speaking during a Westminster Hall debate in parliament – held in response to a petition calling for a public inquiry into COVID-19 vaccine safety, which has been signed more than 107,000 times. A few MPs raised concerns during the debate about the vaccines’ possible side effects, including what some described as data showing a correlation with increased levels of cardiovascular problems.

The NHS website says “reports of serious side effects are very rare” and the “COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness”. Scottish National Party MP Steven Bonnar said the vaccine programme saved “millions of lives”, adding almost 28,000 of those were in Scotland. But he added: “Despite this, there has been a significant increase in heart attacks and other related illnesses since the COVID-19 vaccinations started to be distributed in 2021. “To determine if there is any potential connection with the COVID-19 (vaccine) rollout, I believe this government must conduct an immediate and complete scientific investigation and ensure that the prescribed medical interventions of its response to coronavirus are indeed safe.”

But Mr Bonnar also said he would take his booster when called, and said people can “safely receive” their flu and COVID jabs at the same time as part of the autumn booster plan, saying they have been shown to be effective and “acceptably safe”. Conservative former minister Sir Christopher Chope said: “I agree with the legitimate concerns of the 100,000-plus people who signed this petition and I share their belief that the recent and increasing volume of data relating to cardiovascular problems is enough of concern to warrant an inquiry into safety.” Sir Christopher chairs the COVID-19 Vaccine Damage All-Party Parliamentary Group, which has five members: four Conservative and one Labour. He acknowledged the wider COVID inquiry “is going to cover, I think, a lot of this ground”, but said: “That won’t be for many years.

“And in the meantime people are being encouraged to have more and more boosters, and they want to know, understandably, what the impact of those boosters is upon their health and what the potential risks and rewards are. “The government seems to be in denial about the risks of these vaccines,” the MP for Christchurch said, saying the booster vaccines “are not perfectly safe, and there’s a question about whether they are effective”. He warned the vaccine damage payment scheme is “not fit for purpose”, and said: “Many people now would not touch a booster with a barge pole, and I include myself amongst those. “I am not anti-vax, I had my first two vaccines, but from all that I’ve seen and know about this, I think that the increase in boosters is now, for many people, counterproductive, and for some people it’s also dangerous.”

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“Democrats Form Committee To Get To The Bottom Of Who Did All Those Lockdowns And Vaccine Mandates”

“At publishing time, the committee announced the results of their thorough investigation: It was Ron DeSantis all along.”

Democrats: Who Did All Those Lockdowns And Vaccine Mandates? (BBee)

With the 2022 midterms just around the corner, Democrat lawmakers have formed the “United States House Select Committee to Investigate Who Did All Those Lockdowns and Vaccine Mandates” in hopes of finding out just who was behind all of those school closures, mask mandates, arrests, and egregious abuses of civil rights. “Despite the scant evidence pointing to any one political party as being at fault for enforcing harmful lockdowns and mandates,” said Committee Chair Nancy Pelosi while wearing three masks and a solid gold commemorative pin celebrating her vaccine status. “This committee pledges to leave no stone unturned in its investigation.”


Pelosi added that, while much anecdotal evidence points to Republicans being the source of damaging lockdown policies, “We may, in fact, never know who is truly to blame for the untold injuries brought upon the American people.” The committee began its investigation by issuing subpoenas to Senators Ron Johnson, Rand Paul, and other lawmakers who, according to CNN and MSNBC, were pro-lockdown from the start. At publishing time, the committee announced the results of their thorough investigation: It was Ron DeSantis all along.

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Elon Musk said yesterday he wants to close the Twitter deal by Friday. Employees have their demands:

And Musk has his answer ready:

 

 

Deaf man’s cat

 

 

“There’s less than a week to go before Halloween in case you haven’t cleaned your bat yet.”
https://twitter.com/i/status/1584634317720154112

 

 

Shark

 

 


Epicrates cenchria or rainbow boa

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 152021
 


Rembrandt van Rijn Christ In The Storm On The Sea Of Galilee 1633
Stolen from Gardner Museum March 18 1990, the single largest property theft in the world. Never recovered

 

Idiocy: Experimental Vaccines And Spike Proteins (Denninger)
Continued Lockdowns A Ticking Time Bomb To Cause Global Health Crisis Soon (RT)
Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Use Will Remain Paused In US Amid Evaluation (G.)
South Africa Covid Variant Found In Another Part Of London (Mirror)
How CO2 Sensors Might Help Us Return To ‘Normal’ (Verge)
Greece To Reopen To US Tourists Next Week – Under Conditions (F.)
US Intel Warns Of ‘Sustained Economic Downturn’, Other Long-Term Threats (ZH)
Democrats To Introduce Bill To Expand Supreme Court From 9 To 13 Justices (NBC)
US To Withdraw From Afghanistan Having Accomplished… Nothing (Ritter)
Putin’s Ukrainian Judo (Dmitry Orlov)
US Cancels Black Sea Deployment Of Two Warships: Turkey (Y!)
Biden To Unveil Russia Sanctions Over SolarWinds Hack, Election Meddling (G.)
Let’s Play The “Pay For” Game (Stephanie Kelton)
The Future Is Carbon Coin (Steve Keen)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Fauci
https://twitter.com/i/status/1382496036510384131

 

 

“..it is gross malpractice by any reasonable definition to refuse to give a patient any sort of treatment on an early basis for a given disease, deliberately doing nothing until the person is on death’s door.”

Idiocy: Experimental Vaccines And Spike Proteins (Denninger)

Do remember that when Covid-19 kills it almost-universally does so with a presentation of clotting in places where it should not occur, and that elevated d-Dimer is a very reliable indication that you’re going to get hammered. This was reported in the first few months of last year and I noted very early on that it was happening, it fully explained why ventilators were worthless since without gas exchange due to clotting you can ram however much oxygen into the lungs and it will do nothing or worse, cause physical damage and embolisms, and that getting to the bottom of that and stopping it when detected was key to management of severe cases that were at risk of becoming fatal. In addition preventing those events through early treatment modalities was obviously essential as once you get into that sort of dysregulation of your body’s systems you’re in trouble and the odds of dying are very high.

The evidence is, by the way, that the mRNA vaccines have a worse safety profile than the J&J shot does. Who remembers the healthy doc who got one of the mRNA shots and had the same thing happen to him? Go look up the death numbers associated with Covid19 vaccines yourself in VAERS. Do remember that VAERS, because it is a voluntary system and the hospitals are incentivized to code anything they can as “Covid-19” because they get paid a bonus for doing so provides great incentive to find some way not to call a vaccine death an actual vaccine death. Nonetheless there are a crap-ton of reports, roughly a hundred times as many as are found for flu shots that we give morbid and otherwise not-in-great-shape people every single year.

The last time I checked dead is dead and the entire point is not to be dead. Further, it is gross malpractice by any reasonable definition to refuse to give a patient any sort of treatment on an early basis for a given disease, deliberately doing nothing until the person is on death’s door. This is only gotten away with legally because in the early days Trump’s HHS secretary invoked an emergency law provision that immunizes hospitals and doctors from lawsuits for anything they do or don’t do in the treatment of Covid-19. Oh and our wonderful, life-affirming President now, Mr. PuddinHead, has not withdrawn that exemption. Why not? Well gee, we can’t cut off the $30,000 “bonus payments” to hospitals for people with Covid, right? I mean all those *******s heroes might get sued for refusing you Ivermectin and Budesonide when you get Covid if that was to be withdrawn and you died.

That would be great horrible and we must keep the death fear going so as to get you to take a jab that might kill you too, and for which they’re also immune if it does. After all there is only tens of billions of dollars each and every year at stake from this pack of lies since they’re already telling us this will be a ritual we shall be expected to partake in every six months or year forever into the future. It ought to be obvious that playing parlor tricks on your body’s cells to produce the “spike protein” — not introducing it directly into your body which is incidentally the actual definition of a vaccine, but tricking your cells to produce it instead (and which has now been magically redefined to count as a “vaccine”) is inherently dangerous.

You’d think that a decade or more of both animal and human trials, with very close follow-up on every single human so-exposed, with all of the data written up and presented to the world in public would be required to know if this sort of malarkey has unknown but severe danger associated with it. Among other risks doing this could result in cells in very unpleasant places (e.g. your heart, spleen, etc.) taking up said “instructions” and being damaged, leading to an immune response in a very bad place that could injure or kill you, or it might lead your body to target your own cells since by definition the cells that take up said “programming” and produce the protein are diseased. If either of those things happen then the very same thing that kills you when Covid goes badly might kill you as a result of the vaccine either immediately or somewhere down the road when challenged either by the original virus — or some other as yet not-identified stimulus.

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“..thanks to the hysteria over overcrowded ICUs, staggering numbers of patients are being denied life-saving treatments for up to one year.”

Continued Lockdowns A Ticking Time Bomb To Cause Global Health Crisis Soon (RT)

By continuing to push for lockdowns to ‘protect hospitals’, authorities worldwide are denying millions of cancer sufferers and other seriously ill people essential treatment. This will lead to many unnecessary deaths.
It is shocking that in 2021, surgeries for cancer and other critical ailments are being delayed. But thanks to the hysteria over overcrowded ICUs, staggering numbers of patients are being denied life-saving treatments for up to one year.
UK media recently reported a drop of around 350,000 urgent cancer referrals between March last year and January this year, compared to the same period in the previous 12 months. A researcher described the situation as a “ticking time bomb.”

There has also been a decrease in surgeries and chemotherapy and radiology treatments, “with 44,000 fewer patients diagnosed with cancer starting treatment.” This problem is not unique to Britain. Canadian provinces face similarly unacceptable numbers of delayed surgeries and treatments. As of April, Ontario has a backlog of 245,367 “medically necessary procedures.” A 60% drop in cancer surgeries was reported when the pandemic struck last March , leaving over 36,000 Ontario cancer patients in agonizing limbo. During stay-at-home orders in 2020, some patients chose to avoid hospitals, either out of worry about becoming ill or through fear of being forcibly estranged from family and loved ones.

But also, then and now, elective surgeries and treatments have been halted under the premise that ICUs are overwhelmed. Ontario recently went into a new lockdown, and with it we saw an increase in alarmist reports of ICUs being crowded. And so elective surgeries have been stopped again. It’s worth bearing in mind that these are not necessarily cosmetic or trivial procedures, but refer to surgeries scheduled in advance, including those to treat cancer. However, some Ontario doctors are now speaking out, providing anecdotal evidence that there are plenty of ICU doctors, and even that most are “underemployed.”

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The vaccine rollouts are a huge mess, as much as everyone tries to present them as successful. That’s what happens if you don’t properly test them first.

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Use Will Remain Paused In US Amid Evaluation (G.)

Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine will remain in limbo a while longer after US health advisers told the government Wednesday that they need more evidence to decide if a handful of unusual blood clots were linked to the shot – and if so, how big the potential risk really is. The reports are exceedingly rare – six cases out of more than 7m US inoculations with the one-dose vaccine. But the government recommended a pause in Johnson & Johnson vaccinations this week, not long after European regulators declared that such clots are a rare but possible risk with the AstraZeneca vaccine, a shot made in a similar way but not yet approved for use in the US.

At an emergency meeting, advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wrestled with the fact that the US has enough vaccine alternatives to do without the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for a time, but other countries anxiously awaiting the one-and-done shot may not. One committee member, Dr Grace Lee, was among those who advocated tabling a vote. She echoed concerns about getting more data to better understand the size of the risk and whether it was greater for any particular group of people. “I continue to feel like we’re in a race against time and the variants, but we need to [move forward] in the safest possible way,” said Lee, of Stanford University.

The clots under investigation are highly unusual. They occurred in strange places, in veins that drain blood from the brain, and in people with abnormally low levels of clot-forming platelets. The six cases raised an alarm bell because that number is at least three times more than experts would have expected to see even of more typical brain-drainage clots, said CDC’s Dr Tom Shimabukuro. “What we have here is a picture of clots forming in large vessels where we have low platelets,” Shimabukuro explained. “This usually doesn’t happen,” but it’s similar to European reports with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The clot concerns could undermine public confidence in a vaccine many hoped would help some of the hardest-to-reach populations – in poor countries or in places like homeless shelters in the US. Health officials recommended the Johnson & Johnson timeout in part to make sure doctors know how to recognize and treat the unusual condition. The US set up intensive systems to track the safety of Covid-19 vaccines, knowing that side effects too rare to have occurred in studies of thousands of people could pop up once millions rolled up their sleeves. Shimabukuro said spotting such a rare potential risk amid the nation’s huge vaccine rollout “is an example of a success story for vaccine safety”.

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What’s the big fuss about? Is it just the goverment sowing panic?

South Africa Covid Variant Found In Another Part Of London (Mirror)

Huge queues have formed for newly set up coronavirus testing stations as a case of the South African variant was found in another borough. People living in an area of Barnet, north London, have been asked to take a test following the detection. They join those living in Wandsworth, Lambeth and a part of Southwark, where cases of the mutant strain have been found. A steady stream of people joined the lines at pop-up centres on Clapham Common and in Brockwell Park, near Brixton, in Lambeth, on Wednesday morning. Marshals said they had warned on Tuesday afternoon that waiting times could be up to two hours and were forced to stop people joining the queue early.


Some 44 confirmed cases of the variant have been found in Lambeth and Wandsworth, with a further 30 probable cases identified, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said. The BBC reported that the outbreak appears to have been triggered by an individual who travelled from Africa in February. According to documents seen by the broadcaster, the country involved was not on the red list for mandatory hotel quarantine at that time, but is now. Facilities offering asymptomatic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing have now been deployed at Wandsworth Town Hall, Tooting Leisure Centre and the University of Roehampton, as well as Lambeth Town Hall and Brockwell Park. People aged 11 and over who live, work or travel through those areas are being urged to take a Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, on top of twice-weekly rapid testing.


The South Africa variant doesn’t appear to be causing a spike in deaths…in South Africa.

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Hepa filtration systems are the only ones that work vs Covid, from what I understand.

How CO2 Sensors Might Help Us Return To ‘Normal’ (Verge)

One of the things we’ve learned over the past year is to be wary of the air around us — especially indoors. If other people are around, exhaling, they’re filling the space with their breath. If one of those people has COVID-19, they could be filling the space with infectious breath. There’s a way to make indoor spaces safer, though: improving the ventilation to make sure the air doesn’t stay trapped. That way, any potentially infectious particles quickly gust away, instead of lingering for someone else to breathe in. Experts say one way to measure how well-ventilated certain spaces are is by checking how much carbon dioxide is in the air.


People exhale carbon dioxide, so the amount of it in a room gives you an idea of how much of the air is made up of other people’s breath. It’s not a perfect measure of danger — it won’t tell you if there is actually virus around — but it’s a pretty good proxy for how risky a room could be. It’s easy to check a room’s carbon dioxide levels: all you need is a small, portable monitor. To test this idea, the Verge Science team took one of those monitors all around Brooklyn, New York, to check out the ventilation at local grocery stores, bagel shops, and bars. Watch our latest video to see what we found.

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The entire country is closed. Lockdown tourism? You can’t even sit outside, let alone have drinks or dinner.

Greece To Reopen To US Tourists Next Week – Under Conditions (F.)

Greece will reportedly permit visitors from the United States to enter for the first time in more than a year starting next week, a month earlier than the previously announced date of May 14, when the country said it would reopen to international tourists who provide a negative coronavirus test or proof of vaccination. Greece is taking early “baby steps” toward a full reopening by allowing tourists from the U.S., the U.K., Serbia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and the European Union into the country starting Monday, tourism ministry officials told The Guardian and Reuters on Wednesday. If citizens of those countries can produce a negative PCR test less than three days old or proof of vaccination, they will be allowed in and permitted to skip the mandatory weeklong quarantine in place, officials said.

The tourists will reportedly be permitted to fly into Greece through airports in nine of the country’s most popular holiday destinations; Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Chania, Rhodes, Kos, Mykonos, Santorini and Corfu, according to Reuters. However, travelers would still have to follow the country’s coronavirus restrictions while they’re in Greece—bars and restaurants remain closed for dining in and a nationwide curfew is still in place, though many of the country’s famous archeological sites, like Athens’ Acropolis, have reopened. Under current guidelines, U.S. citizens are barred from entering Greece at all, except in cases of “extreme emergencies,” according to the Greek Embassy in Washington, D.C., while citizens of some countries are allowed in if they self-isolate for a week after arrival.

Tourism makes up a whopping 20% of the economy, making reviving the industry critical for the country. Greece has not permitted Americans to visit since March last year, when Greece went under a lockdown at the onset of the pandemic. While travelers from nearly 30 countries were allowed back in just three months later in July, the government excluded Americans based on the high rate of coronavirus infection in the U.S. The Greek Embassy in Washington, D.C., had no comment about the reported early opening.

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This is not a warning, this is an agenda.

US Intel Warns Of ‘Sustained Economic Downturn’, Other Long-Term Threats (ZH)

According to the Annual Threat Assessment – which comes on the heels of a separate intelligence report last week which offers a grim view of global challenges likely to be faced over the next 20 years – the pandemic is expected to contribute to “humanitarian and economic crises, political unrest, and geopolitical competition,” and will “strain governments and societies.” “The economic fallout from the pandemic is likely to create or worsen instability in at least a few—and perhaps many—countries, as people grow more desperate in the face of interlocking pressures that include sustained economic downturns, job losses, and disrupted supply chains,” the report warns. What’s more, food shortages and ‘uneven access’ to COVID treatments will contribute to humanitarian concerns, while the virus will remain a threat “to populations worldwide until vaccines and therapeutics are widely distributed.”

The report also warns that a new wave of infections earlier this year “may have an even greater economic impact as struggling businesses in hard-hit sectors such as tourism and restaurants fold and governments face increasing budget strains.” In addition to pandemic-related warnings, the report also predicts that Russia and China will continue to hatch covert influence operations (to blame populist victories on?) – and that Iran will continue to violate the 2015 nuclear agreement. According to the report, China “presents a growing influence threat” in the United States, and has been “intensifying efforts to shape the political environment in the United States to promote its policy preferences, mold public discourse, pressure political figures whom Beijing believes oppose its interests, and muffle criticism of China on such issues as religious freedom and the suppression of democracy in Hong Kong.”


The report also warns of domestic extremism – as the threat from foreign terrorist orgs such as ISIS and Al Qaeda has apparently abated. Instead, white supremacy is now the threat – which have led to “at least 26 lethal attacks that killed more than 141 people and for dozens of disrupted plots in the West since 2015.” For the sake of comparison, that’s fewer people killed in six years than the 170 homicides in Chicago, year-to-date, primarily committed by ‘black extremists’ against other ‘black extremists’ so to speak. “While these extremists often see themselves as part of a broader global movement, most attacks have been carried out by individuals or small, independent cells,” the report reads. “Australia, Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom consider white racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, including Neo-Nazi groups, to be the fastest growing terrorist threat they face.”

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Politicizing your highest court is always a bad idea.

Democrats To Introduce Bill To Expand Supreme Court From 9 To 13 Justices (NBC)

Congressional Democrats will introduce legislation Thursday to expand the Supreme Court from nine to 13 justices, joining progressive activists pushing to transform the court. The move intensifies a high-stakes ideological fight over the future of the court after President Donald Trump and Republicans appointed three conservative justices in four years, including one who was confirmed days before the 2020 election. The Democratic bill is led by Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee. It is co-sponsored by Reps. Hank Johnson of Georgia and Mondaire Jones of New York.

The Supreme Court can be expanded by an act of Congress, but the legislation is highly unlikely to become law in the near future given Democrats’ slim majorities, which include scores of lawmakers who are not on board with the idea. President Joe Biden has said he is “not a fan” of packing the court. But it represents an undercurrent of progressive fury at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for denying a vote in 2016 to President Barack Obama’s pick to fill a vacancy, citing the approaching election, before confirming Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett the week before the election last year. The anger has taken hold within the Democratic Party, and the new push indicates that it has not dissipated in an era when the party controls the White House and both chambers of Congress.

The lawmakers, who intend to announce the introduction of the bill outside the Supreme Court building, will be joined by progressive activists Aaron Belkin, who leads Take Back the Court; Chris Kang, a co-founder and chief counsel of Demand Justice; and Meagan Hatcher-Mays of Indivisible, according to an advisory notice. All three groups advocate adding justices. “This bill marks a new era where Democrats finally stop conceding the Supreme Court to Republicans,” said Brian Fallon, a former Senate Democratic leadership aide and a co-founder of Demand Justice, who described the court as “broken and in need of reform.”

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CIA.

US To Withdraw From Afghanistan Having Accomplished… Nothing (Ritter)

Biden mirrored the conclusion reached by his predecessor, Donald Trump, that left to their own devices, the US military would never depart from Afghanistan. Biden had made the rejection of the so-called “forever war” in Afghanistan an integral part of his national security strategy, but had been held hostage by conditions that had been put in place regarding the capabilities of the Afghan military and security forces to operate independently, assurances about women’s rights, assurances on the part of the Taliban regarding their relationship with Al-Qaeda, and a desire on the part of many officials – Biden included – that a residual force of US special operations forces based in Afghanistan was required for any lasting peace to be had.

In carrying out a “whole of government” analysis of US objectives in Afghanistan, it became apparent to Biden and his inner circle that by placing conditions on the withdrawal of US troops, the US would never leave Afghanistan. This decision flew in the face of the advice Biden was receiving from the military, which argued that any condition-free withdrawal would doom the Afghan government and military to a Vietnam-like collapse. Biden had also to overcome similar objections on the part of NATO and non-NATO allies of the US who had collectively deployed a 7,000-strong contingent to Afghanistan dedicated to the very training and advisory capacity the US military claimed was essential to the continued survival of the Afghan government.

[..] Biden’s decision was likewise aided by the recent appointment of William Burns, a veteran diplomat, to run the CIA. The CIA has built a virtual empire in Afghanistan, underpinned by a private army of contracted Afghan special forces who operate independently of the Afghan military, reporting instead to the CIA-controlled Afghan intelligence service. This private army represented the logical extension of the intimate and visceral involvement of the CIA in Afghanistan dating back to the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Like the US military, the current CIA leadership was forged in the fires of the Afghan conflict.

Trump’s last CIA director, Gina Haspel, was the personification of this reality, having played a key role in the implementation of both the CIA torture program and the ongoing use of armed drones to kill so-called “high value targets” in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Haspel strongly opposed Trump’s withdrawal plan and worked with the Pentagon to prevent its full implementation. With Haspel gone, and Burns in as director, the CIA’s objections, like those of the US military, have been pushed aside in favor of the domestic political imperative recognized by Biden that whatever national security gains that might be accrued by remaining in Afghanistan could not offset the reality that the American public was tired of a war that never ended, and apparently could not be brought to a successful conclusion.

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“Virtually all of the more capable young men have either left the country to work abroad or have bribed their way out of being drafted.”

Putin’s Ukrainian Judo (Dmitry Orlov)

[..] what’s about to happen now is forecasted to be on a different scale: the Ukrainians are moving heavy armor and troops up to the line of separation while the Russians are moving theirs up to their side of the Ukrainian border, a position from which they can blast any and all Ukrainian troops straight out of the gene pool without so much as setting foot on Ukrainian territory—should they wish to do so. The Russians can justify their military involvement by the need to defend their own citizens: over the past seven years half a million residents in eastern Ukraine have applied for and been granted Russian citizenship. But how exactly can Russia defend its citizens while they are stuck in the crossfire between Russian and Ukrainian forces?

The rationale of defending its citizens led to conflict in the briefly Georgian region of South Ossetia, which started on August 8, 2008 and lasted barely a week, leaving Georgia effectively demilitarized. Russia rolled in, Georgia’s troops ran off, Russia confiscated some of the more dangerous war toys and rolled out. Georgia’s paper warriors and their NATO consultants and Israeli trainers were left wiping each others’ tears. Any suggestion of arming and equipping the Georgians since then has been met with groaning and eye-rolling. Is the upcoming event in eastern Ukraine going to be similar to the swift and relatively painless defanging of Georgia in 2008? Given that the two situations are quite different, it seems foolish to think that the approach to resolving them would be the same.

Is it different this time and is World War III is about to erupt with eastern Ukraine being used as a trigger for this conflagration? Do the various statements made at various times by Vladimir Putin provide a solid enough basis for us to guess at what will happen next? Is there a third, typically, infuriatingly Russian approach to resolving this situation, where Russia wins, nobody dies and everyone in the West is left scratching their heads? The Ukrainian military is much like everything else currently found in the Ukraine—the railway system, the power plants, the pipeline systems, the ports, the factories (the few that are left)—a patched-up hold-over from Soviet times. The troops are mostly unhappy, demoralized conscripts and reservists. Virtually all of the more capable young men have either left the country to work abroad or have bribed their way out of being drafted.

The conscripts sit around getting drunk, doing drugs and periodically taking pot shots into and across the line of separation between Ukrainian-held and separatist-held territories. Most of the casualties they suffer are from drug and alcohol overdoses, weapons accidents, traffic accidents caused by driving drunk and self-harm from faulty weapons. The Ukrainian military is also working on winning a Darwin award for the most casualties caused by stepping on their own land mines. As for the other side, many of the casualties are civilians wounded and killed by constant shelling from the Ukrainian side of the front, which runs quite close to population centers.

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“..a 2014 revolution..”?

US Cancels Black Sea Deployment Of Two Warships: Turkey (Y!)

The United States has cancelled this week’s planned deployment of two warships to the Black Sea, Turkish officials and media said Wednesday, amid high tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Turkish diplomatic sources said the passage of the first ship through the Bosphorus due on Wednesday did not take place. Anadolu state news agency said both deployments, scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, have been cancelled with Ankara not yet informed of any possible rescheduling. Last week Turkey announced that it had been informed through diplomatic channels that two US warships “will pass toward the Black Sea” and remain in the region until May 4.


There was no confirmation from Washington either of the planned deployments or of their cancellation. Washington is required to give Ankara at least 15 days notice before sending warships through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits under the terms of the 1936 Montreux Convention. The treaty’s terms allow foreign warships to stay in the Black Sea for 21 days. US Navy ships routinely operate in the region in support of Ukraine, which has been fighting Russian-backed forces in its east since a 2014 revolution ousted the pro-Moscow leader in Kiev.

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Don’t eve ask for evidence. It’s secret.

Biden To Unveil Russia Sanctions Over SolarWinds Hack, Election Meddling (G.)

The United States will announce sanctions on Russia as soon as Thursday for alleged election interference and malicious cyber activity, people familiar the matter said. The sanctions, in which 30 entities are expected to be blacklisted, will be tied with orders expelling about 10 Russian officials from the US, one of the people said. The US is also expected to announce aggressive new measures targeting the country’s sovereign debt through restrictions on US financial institutions’ ability to trade such debt, according to another source. The wide-ranging sanctions would come partly in response to a cybersecurity breach affecting software made by SolarWinds Corp that the US government has said was likely orchestrated by Russia. The breach gave hackers access to thousands of companies and government offices that used the company’s products.

[..] The action will add a new chill to the already frosty relations between Washington and Moscow, which has tested the west’s patience with a military build-up near Ukraine. Relations slumped to a new post-cold war low last month when Biden said he thought Russian president Vladimir Putin was a “killer”. Biden has also vowed to take action on reports that Russia offered bounties to Taliban militants to kill US troops in Afghanistan. The US also intends to punish Moscow for alleged interference in the 2020 US presidential election. In a report last month, US intelligence agencies said Putin likely directed efforts to try to swing the election to then-president Donald Trump and away from Biden. Microsoft president Brad Smith described the SolarWinds attack, which was identified in December, as “the largest and most sophisticated attack the world has ever seen.”

In a call on Tuesday, Biden told Putin the US would act “firmly” to defend its interests in response to those actions, according to US officials’ accounts of the call. Biden also proposed a meeting with Putin “in a third country” that could allow the leaders to find areas to work together. In the past few weeks, Washington and its Nato allies have been alarmed by a large build-up of Russian troops near Ukraine and in Crimea, the peninsula that Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014. Anticipating the new sanctions, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters last week: “The hostility and unpredictability of America’s actions force us in general to be prepared for the worst scenarios.”

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Thread.

Let’s Play The “Pay For” Game (Stephanie Kelton)

Let’s play the “pay for” game. Suppose you want to spend $3-$10 trillion on a Build Back Better agenda. You’ve decided that you’re going to play the “pay for” game, which means you will show where every dollar you plan to spend is going to “come from.” 1/ The whole point is to appear “fiscally responsible,” showing that you can carry out your spending without adding to the deficit. In other words, for every dollar you want to spend INTO the economy, you have a plan to rip a dollar OUT of someone’s hands. 2/ The Biden administration has put forward their plan, which mostly relies on raising taxes on corporations. The president says it will raise more revenue (over 15 yrs) than he is proposing to spend (over 8 yrs). Don’t ask me why.

3/ Along with some other changes, the Biden plan would take the corporate income tax rate from 21% to 28%. Already, a number of Dems are balking at 28% and chattering about going to 25% instead. And, of course, CEOs are fighting back. 4/ If Dems don’t have the votes to go to 28%, then what? Scale down the package? Fight over other ways to raise taxes? The opposition loves it, because they know that the odds of passing anything bold drop precipitously when Dems hold themselves hostage to the “pay for” game. 5/ Is there a way out? Setting aside the MMT solution, which is to stop playing the conventional “pay for” game altogether, why not simply take the IRS Commissioner at his word? Why not make the case that you can spend up to $10 trillion without raising a single tax?

6/ If all you need is stepped up enforcement of EXISTING TAX LAWS, then you can play the “pay for” game even if you can’t get the votes for a slew of tax increases. Maybe I’m wrong and the votes are there. Give it a shot! 7/ Both strategies get you the revenue you think you need, and both reduce inequality. So I guess I’m curious to know whether the administration is digging its heels in on the need to RAISE TAXES or whether they would accept HIGHER REVENUE to play the game. 8/ As I’ve been saying for months, there’s yet another way to play the “pay for” game. Just make the case that the money you spend ‘today’ will come back to you ‘tomorrow.’ Fiscal multiplier and all that. 9/ Alternatively, we could all grow up and stop this nonsense. Admit that taxes don’t “pay for” anything and that all government spending is paid for in one way and one way only—the Federal Reserve credits the appropriate bank accounts. 10/end

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“We need a mechanism which would be popular with the poor—so much so that they would campaign in favour of it, rather than against it. We need a mechanism that hits the big consumers of carbon—the rich—rather than the poor. In short, we need a mechanism that puts the politics first, and lets the economics follow. ”

The Future Is Carbon Coin (Steve Keen)

Economists tell us that environmental problems are caused by the “tragedy of the commons”: because no-one owns the environment, no-one pays when they dump carbon dioxide into it. Their solution is carbon-pricing: put a price on things that generate carbon-dioxide—such as petrol consumption, or coal-fired power stations—and the market will do the rest. Demand for carbon-dioxide-generating products will fall, while the market will invent low-carbon products—such as electric cars, or solar power stations—to replace the high-carbon products that are causing Global Warming. Hey presto, problem solved. However, while the economics sounds OK, the politics are not: attempts to price carbon, or tax products with high carbon content, have led to social revolts.

The most colourful, literally, was the Gilet Jaunes movement in France, which started when French President Macron increased the tax rate on petrol. Working-class demonstrators donned the yellow safety vests that all vehicles in France are required to carry, and made the point that this tax was hard on the poor, but easy on the rich. They demonstrated as only the French can do, and Macron scrapped the tax. We need a mechanism that puts the politics first, and lets the economics follow. A “Universal Carbon Credit” (UCC) could be that mechanism. This is the problem with only using prices to attempt to reduce our carbon consumption: while the rich consume far more carbon per head than the poor, increasing the price of carbon affects the poor far more than the rich.

When you’re already barely able to meet your monthly expenses, a higher price for petrol for your car means you can’t afford to drive to work. But when you’re a billionaire, a higher price for avgas won’t make you leave your private jet parked on the tarmac. We need a mechanism which would be popular with the poor—so much so that they would campaign in favour of it, rather than against it. We need a mechanism that hits the big consumers of carbon—the rich—rather than the poor. In short, we need a mechanism that puts the politics first, and lets the economics follow. A “Universal Carbon Credit” (UCC) could be that mechanism. Every adult in a country would receive a UCC, measured in tons of carbon dioxide per year, for the carbon dioxide in their purchases of goods and services.

This allowance would be set, initially, at the level of the average carbon consumption in a country. Given how unequal the distribution of income has become, this average would in fact be well above the amount of carbon consumed by the vast majority of the population—90% or more of the population would not consume that much carbon per year. All goods and services would have their carbon content included, so that as well as running down your wallet when you went shopping, you would run down your UCC. For 90-95% of the population, this would not be a problem: they’d end up with unused UCCs. But the top 5-10% would exhaust their ration, and have to buy unused UCCs from the poor. The richer they were, the more they would have to buy.

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Feb 072021
 


Russell Lee Sign Along the Road Near Capulin New Mexico 1939

 

Zero Covid Is A Mirage – The Virus Is Here To Stay (Jonathan Sumption)
Oxford Covid Jab Less Effective Against South African Variant (R.)
Supreme Court Lifts California Worship Bans Prompted By Coronavirus (Pol.)
Long-Term Unemployment Is Close To A Great Recession Record (CNBC)
UK Exports To EU Slashed By 68% Since Brexit (G.)
Google Reverses Course, Opens Paid Platform For (Some) Australian News (ZH)
There Was A Color Revolution In The US After All (RT)
How Ecuador’s US-backed ‘Ecosocialist’ Candidate Aids The Right-Wing (GZ)
Pentagon Goes Rooting For ‘Extremists’ Among Its 3.6mn Trained Killers (RT)
Hunter Biden Memoir #1 In ‘Chinese Biography Bestsellers’ On Amazon (RT)

 

 

 

 

Let’s be a bit contrarian this Sunday, shall we?

Zero Covid Is A Mirage – The Virus Is Here To Stay (Jonathan Sumption)

Coronavirus has divided society. A chasm of mutual misunderstanding and resentment has opened up. On one side are people who want to be allowed to make their own judgments about risk, in the light of their own vulnerabilities and those of the people around them. On the other side are people who think their safety depends on coercing their fellow citizens into accepting the judgment of Government Ministers. Despite the optimism created by the vaccines, powerful voices are still exploiting public fears to keep us locked up for longer and impose distancing rules indefinitely in pursuit of the mirage of zero Covid. There is concern that medical scientists are moving the goalposts, changing their objectives in a way that would keep us locked up for longer, perhaps indefinitely.

Those of us who point to the staggering collateral cost of such policies are drowned out by outbursts of emotion and abuse from people who behave as if nothing matters except reducing the Covid death toll. As a society, we have been urged to suppress the most basic instinct of the human spirit – our interaction with each other. In the process, we turned a public health crisis into something much worse: a public health crisis AND an economic, social and educational crisis. Our economy is being laid waste, with small businesses snuffed out and job prospects destroyed for a generation of young people. Yet no society ever reduced deaths by making itself poorer. We have shut down our cities and crippled a once-flourishing musical, artistic and sporting culture.

We have created an acute crisis of mental health among the young. We are depriving children of their education, perhaps the most important benefit that the state can give them, at untold cost for their future. We are locking the elderly into islands of loneliness and wretchedness, depriving them of the stimulus of human contact. Dementia – a bigger killer than Covid-19 – is hitting unprecedented levels. None of this is the result of the disease. It is all due to the lockdown. To escape this situation, we need to understand how we got into it. Covid-19 is serious, but it is no worse than the scenario for which governments have planned for years. A pandemic caused by a new respiratory disease has topped the National Risk Register since 2008. In 2017, it assumed that a new pathogen might cause 750,000 deaths.

The principles of any response were set out in a 2011 Department of Health strategy. They were designed to ensure the minimum of disruption. The aim was to shield the sick and the vulnerable, not isolate the healthy and economically active. It was to ‘encourage those who are well to carry on with their normal lives for as long and as far as that is possible’. The Government would not close borders or stop mass gatherings. Lockdown was not even an option. Minutes of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) show that the same policies were the basis of its advice to Ministers right up to the moment last March when the first lockdown was decided.

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One of many problems with reliance on hasty vaccines.

Oxford Covid Jab Less Effective Against South African Variant (R.)

British drugmaker AstraZeneca said on Saturday that its vaccine developed with the University of Oxford appeared to offer only limited protection against mild disease caused by the South African variant of Covid-19, based on early data from a trial. The study from South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand and Oxford University showed the vaccine had significantly reduced efficacy against the South African variant, according to a Financial Times report published earlier in the day. Among coronavirus variants now most concerning for scientists and public health experts are the so-called British, South African and Brazilian variants, which appear to spread more swiftly than others.


“In this small phase I/II trial, early data has shown limited efficacy against mild disease primarily due to the B.1.351 South African variant,” an AstraZeneca spokesperson said in response to the FT report. The newspaper said none of the more than 2,000 trial participants had been hospitalised or died. “However, we have not been able to properly ascertain its effect against severe disease and hospitalisation given that subjects were predominantly young healthy adults,” the AstraZeneca spokesperson said. The company said it believed its vaccine could protect against severe disease, given that the neutralising antibody activity was equivalent to that of other Covid-19 vaccines that have demonstrated protection against severe disease.

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A splintered court.

Supreme Court Lifts California Worship Bans Prompted By Coronavirus (Pol.)

A splintered U.S. Supreme Court blocked California from enforcing coronavirus-related bans on indoor worship services, but declined to upset other state rules banning singing and chanting and limiting the number of worshipers. The ruling issued just before 11 p.m. ET Friday produced four separate statements by the justices, as well as a convoluted description of what relief various justices would have granted to churches objecting to the limits. However, a majority of the court was only willing to lift the ban California has applied on all indoor worship in Tier 1 counties — those most challenged by Covid-19. The other restrictions remain undisturbed, for now.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the Friday night ruling: new Justice Amy Coney Barrett, whose conservative Catholic views drew suspicion from many liberals in advance of her confirmation last year, declined to grant the churches the most sweeping relief favored by her most conservative colleagues. Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas would have granted all the churches’ requests, lifting the singing and chanting bans and barred California from enforcing a 25 percent capacity limit that applies to many indoor facilities. Justice Samuel Alito would have had such a ban kick in 30 days from now if the state didn’t make certain showings in court.

“Even if a full congregation singing hymns is too risky, California does not explain why even a single masked cantor cannot lead worship behind a mask and a plexiglass shield. Or why even a lone muezzin may not sing the call to prayer from a remote location inside a mosque as worshippers file in,” Gorsuch wrote. Barrett opted for a middle-ground position with Justice Brett Kavanaugh that did not go as far as Gorsuch, Thomas or Alito. “The applicants bore the burden of establishing their entitlement to relief from the singing ban. In my view, they did not carry that burden—at least not on this record,” she wrote in a brief opinion.

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“It would take approximately 29 years to get back to get back to pre-recession levels at the current pace of job growth..”

Long-Term Unemployment Is Close To A Great Recession Record (CNBC)

Long-term unemployment is edging toward a historical peak, almost a year into the pandemic-fueled downturn. Workers are deemed to be “long-term unemployed” when their jobless spell is longer than six months. It’s an especially dangerous period of unemployment, according to labor economists. For one, household income may drop significantly. But the dynamic also makes finding a new job more difficult, scars workers’ long-term earnings potential and raises the odds of losing a job (if they find one) down the road, economists said. Almost 40% of jobless workers in January were long-term unemployed, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

The share has grown steadily since the spring and is approaching the record set in April 2010, in the aftermath of the Great Recession. At that time, nearly 46% of the unemployed were out of work at least six months. “I think that is one of the many concerning things we see in this report,” Nick Bunker, economic research director at job site Indeed, said of January’s uptick in long-term unemployment. “I think it’s even more concerning when you see job gains continue to slow down.” The U.S. economy added 49,000 jobs last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The economy shed 227,000 jobs in December, the first drop since the rebound began in the spring. Meanwhile, there are about 10 million fewer jobs than before the pandemic.


It would take approximately 29 years to get back to get back to pre-recession levels at the current pace of job growth, according to Heidi Shierholz, director of Policy at the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank. (Her analysis uses the average growth over the past three months.) “There’s a massive hole to fill,” said Shierholz, a former chief economist at the Department of Labor.

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That’s a lot.

UK Exports To EU Slashed By 68% Since Brexit (G.)

The volume of exports going through British ports to the EU fell by a staggering 68% last month compared with January last year, mostly as a result of problems caused by Brexit, the Observer can reveal. The dramatic drop in the volume of traffic carried on ferries and through the Channel tunnel has been reported to Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove by the Road Haulage Association after a survey of its international members. In a letter to Gove dated 1 February, the RHA’s chief executive, Richard Burnett, also told the minister he and his officials had repeatedly warned over several months of problems and called for measures to lessen difficulties – but had been largely ignored.

In particular he had made clear throughout last year there was an urgent need to increase the number of customs agents to help firms with mountains of extra paperwork. The number now, around 10,000, is still about a fifth of what the RHA says is required to handle the massive increase in paperwork facing exporters. Burnett told the Observer that in addition to the 68% fall-off in exports, about 65%-75% of vehicles that had come over from the EU were going back empty because there were no goods for them to return with, due to hold-ups on the UK side, and because some UK companies had either temporarily or permanently halted exports to the EU. “I find it deeply frustrating and annoying that ministers have chosen not to listen to the industry and experts,” he said.

Contact with Gove had been limited and had achieved little over recent months. “Michael Gove is the master of extracting information from you and giving nothing back,” he said. “He responds on WhatsApp and says he got the letter but no written response comes. Pretty much every time we have written over the last six months he has not responded in writing. He tends to get officials to start working on things. But the responses are a complete waste of time because they don’t listen to what the issues were that we raised in the first place.” According to the House of Commons library, UK exports to the EU were £294bn in 2019 (43% of all UK exports) while UK imports from the EU were £374bn (52% of the total). The overwhelming majority of exports to the EU from the UK go through ports rather than by air.

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And now go global.

Google Reverses Course, Opens Paid Platform For (Some) Australian News (ZH)

The Australian government has possibly obtained a rare, partial victory in its standoff with Google. The US-based tech giant has appeared to reverse course as Australia holds hearings aimed at enacting legislation that would effectively force Google to pay local sources for news it links to and features in its search engine. Google last month threatened to pull its search engine off the continent altogether, with Canberra counter-threatening that they won’t budge. But on Thursday Google made the following official announcement: “To meet growing reader and publisher needs, last year we increased our investment in news partnerships and launched Google News Showcase.”

The ‘Showcase’ app is the result of the company negotiating to pay some Australian news producers who sign up for the program. It’s an attempt to undercut legislation being proposed to require the company to pay for all such content. It’s not likely to stop the new legislation, however, but Google is offering it as an ‘alternative’. The move shows that the tech giant is arguably feeling the pressure and is looking to compromise. The Google announcement continued, “Today we are happy to announce we are rolling out an initial version of the product to benefit users and publishers in Australia, with a keen focus on leading regional and independent publishers given the importance of local information and the role it plays in people’s everyday lives.”

“News Showcase is designed to bring value to both publishers and readers by providing a licensing program that pays publishers to curate content for story panels across Google services, and gives readers more insights into the stories that matter,” it said. While the details have yet to be revealed, for example just which publishers will eventually be enabled to join the platform, it’s being reported as a significant compromise which is likely to first reward major national Australian outlets, as Reuters details: With the legislation now before a parliamentary inquiry, Friday’s launch of News Showcase in Australia will see it pay seven domestic outlets, including the Canberra Times, to use their content.

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About the Time article.

There Was A Color Revolution In The US After All (Malic)

The 2020 US presidential elections wasn’t “rigged,” oh no, but “fortified” by a conspiracy of activists united in saving “Our Democracy” from the Bad Orange Man, now proud to share their story in a friendly tell-all piece in TIME.“There was a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes,” writes Molly Ball – a biographer of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, by the way – in TIME magazine this week, describing it as a “vast, cross-partisan campaign to protect the election – an extraordinary shadow effort.” Ball’s article reveals a lot, from why there were no street riots by Democrats either on November 4 or on January 6 – the organizers of this “conspiracy” stopped them – to who was behind the push to alter election rules in key states and set up mail-in voting, who organized “information” campaigns about the results of the election, and who even threatened election officials into making the “right” decision to certify the vote.

While everyone – myself included – was focused on the summer riots as a possible “color revolution,” they turned out to be misdirection. According to TIME, the real action was taking place behind the scenes, as Democrat activists and unions joined forces with NeverTrump Republicans, Chamber of Commerce, corporations, and Big Tech to make sure the 2020 election turns out the way they wanted. They call this a victory of democracy and the will of the people, of course, for no one is ever a villain in their own story. “Their work touched every aspect of the election,” Ball writes, from getting states to “change voting system laws” and fending off “voter-suppression lawsuits,” to recruiting “armies” of poll workers and pressuring social media companies to “take a harder line against disinformation.”

Then, after Election Day, “they monitored every pressure point to ensure that Trump could not overturn the result.” Alarmed yet? Maybe you should be. So who are these shadowy saviors of Our Democracy? One of them is union organizer Mike Podhorzer of AFL-CIO, a traditional Democrat powerhouse. Another is Ian Bassin, associate White House counsel in Barack Obama’s first administration. The roster of his “nonpartisan, rule-of-law” outfit called Protect Democracy includes a lot of Obama lawyers, a John McCain campaign aide, an editor from the defunct neocon Weekly Standard, and someone from SPLC, while among their advisers is the NeverTrump failed presidential candidate and ex-CIA spy Evan McMullin.

Bear that in mind when you read Bassin’s quote that “Every attempt to interfere with the proper outcome of the election was defeated,” but “it’s massively important for the country to understand that it didn’t happen accidentally. The system didn’t work magically. Democracy is not self-executing.” Chilling words.

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Trojan horse.

How Ecuador’s US-backed ‘Ecosocialist’ Candidate Aids The Right-Wing (GZ)

Ecuador’s historic February 7 election could bring a popular revolutionary movement back from the dead and help fuel a new wave of socialist governments in Latin America. The contrast between the two main presidential candidates could hardly be more stark: On one side is a conservative banker backed by Ecuadorian elites and the United States, Guillermo Lasso; and on the other is a youthful left-wing economist, Andrés Arauz, who follows in the footsteps of socialist former President Rafael Correa and wants to return to his Citizens’ Revolution. But a third candidate who has stayed in the race until the end, despite all polls showing him significantly behind, has helped to divide Ecuador’s left-wing vote by running what has been marketed as a progressive environmentalist campaign.

Yaku Pérez Guartambel, an Indigenous leader from Ecuador’s party Pachakutik, purports to be the true left-wing option in the election. But his political record suggests he is a Trojan Horse for the left’s most bitter enemies. Pérez supported right-wing US-backed coups targeting Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, demonizing the countries’ socialist governments as “racist.” His political views fuse ultra-leftist, anarchistic critiques of existing left-wing states with an objectively right-wing political agenda. And his opposition to state power is deeply opportunistic. While Pérez harshly criticizes China, he has simultaneously pronounced he “would not think twice” about signing a trade deal with the United States. Pérez’s ostensibly progressive ideology is filled with contradictions. While the Correista candidate Arauz has proposed giving $1000 checks to one million working-class Ecuadorian families, Pérez has attacked the plan on the grounds that poor citizens would spend all the money on beer in one day.

The party of Pérez, Pachakutik, identifies as “ecosocialist” and claims to represent Ecuador’s Indigenous communities. But like the candidate that leads it, it employs left-wing rhetoric to paper over regressive goals. Pachakutik is closely linked to NGOs funded by Washington and EU member states. The party’s leaders have been trained by the US government-funded National Democratic Institute (NDI), a CIA cutout that operates under the auspices of the National Endowment for Democracy. In the past, Pérez and Pachakutik helped lead protests against Ecuador’s former President Correa, forming an unspoken alliance with the country’s right-wing oligarchs in a bid to destabilize and overthrow the socialist president. In fact, Pachakutik played a significant role in a US-backed 2010 coup attempt that came close to undemocratically removing Correa from power.

Pachakutik’s ties to Washington are extensive. One of its most prominent former members is Fernando Villavicencio, an Ecuadorian journalist who spearheaded a disinformation campaign targeting journalist Julian Assange, peddling discredited but deeply damaging claims about the Wikileaks publisher through the neoliberal British newspaper The Guardian. Villavicencio’s anti-Correa activism also appears to have been funded by the US government’s National Endowment for Democracy.

Read more …

“Indeed, what’s denounced as extremism “back home” is very likely to be praised as bravery “over there.”

Pentagon Goes Rooting For ‘Extremists’ Among Its 3.6mn Trained Killers (RT)

The US military is making a big show of cleansing its ranks of ‘extremism’ – because nothing says tolerance like raining fiery death on innocent strangers at the command of a guy who just stepped down from Raytheon’s board. With “domestic extremists” now officially the enemy du jour in Washington, the top order of business has become finding some. On Wednesday, newly-anointed secretary of defense (and former Raytheon board member) Lloyd Austin ordered a two-month stand-down so that commanders could engage in “needed discussions” with their subordinates on the issue. Did we mention they have a lot of subordinates? There are 3.6 million service members in the most expensive military in the world, and evaluating every single one of them for a characteristic that lacks even a universally-agreed-upon definition is certain to be both time-consuming and frustrating.

It’s also quite likely to backfire. Being spuriously accused of “domestic extremism” is the sort of thing that might turn an ‘ordinary’ soldier into an anti-government ‘extremist.’ After all, what sort of gratitude is rewarding a person who just signed up to die for their country with the ideological equivalent of a prostate exam? The FBI, DHS and other security agencies have, at various times, declared almost every American to be some sort of anti-government extremist or other, from “conspiracy theorists” to, well, veterans, depending on that season’s trend in fear. But even the most ambitious diversity consultant can’t just lock up millions of Americans for thoughtcrime – yet.

It takes extreme conditioning indeed to abandon one’s humanity and learn to kill on command – “Thou shalt not kill” isn’t just a religious commandment. Former military personnel describing the process through which they were transformed from “normal” people into killing machines talk about a radicalization process quite unlike anything ever posted to 4chan or wherever 21st-century “radicals” are supposed to be born from. Yet anti-extremism nonprofits wring their hands when confronted with the seemingly disproportionate number of Three Percenters, Oath Keepers, Boogaloo Bois, and other militia and quasi-militia groups that have served in the military. Do they expect veterans to simply forget their entire training upon returning to civilian life?

Indeed, what’s denounced as extremism “back home” is very likely to be praised as bravery “over there.” Such doublethink makes it difficult for many returning veterans to readjust to civilian life – and the government – and it doesn’t help that Washington basically washes its hands of them once they remove their uniforms. What good is all that college money they dangle in front of young recruits’ faces if all that “life experience” leaves you a dysfunctional PTSD-stricken shell of a person, incapable of forming meaningful relationships or even sleeping through the night? Not every service member sees conflict, of course, but those who do are irrevocably changed by it.

Read more …

“a personal book about his own personal journey..”

Hunter Biden Memoir #1 In ‘Chinese Biography Bestsellers’ On Amazon (RT)

President Joe Biden’s son Hunter briefly hit bestseller status in Amazon’s ‘Chinese biography’ section for a new memoir, for which he was reportedly paid $2 million by the same publisher who scrapped GOP Sen. Josh Hawley’s book. The ‘Chinese biography’ listing was first reported on Friday by the New York Post, the same newspaper censored on social media in the run-up to the 2020 US presidential election over a story about Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine and China. After a few hours at the top of the section, however, Amazon scrubbed the ranking, relocating Biden’s memoir to the number-one spot in its ‘Lawyer & Judge biographies’ category. Biden was reportedly paid a $2 million advance for the book, titled ‘Beautiful Things’ and said to contain an account of his struggle with drug abuse, among other things.


News of the contract – reportedly signed secretly in late 2019 – was only announced on Thursday. The memoir is scheduled to be published in early April by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster – the very same publisher who canceled Hawley’s ‘Tyranny of Big Tech’ after the January 6 unrest at the US Capitol. Asked about the memoir on Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki called it “a personal book about his own personal journey.” Psaki also quoted a statement “in their personal capacity as parents” from Joe and Jill Biden, who said they “admire our son Hunter’s strength and courage to talk openly about his addiction so that others might see themselves in his journey and find hope.”

Read more …

 

 

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“Think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are stupider than that.”
– George Carlin

 

 

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Nov 222020
 


William Blake Europe Supported by Africa and America 1796

 

 

 

Don’t miss the update on our support for the Monastiraki social kitchen in Athens.. And please consider donating to our efforts for this Christmas season.

 

 

Pennsylvania Judge Throws Out Trump Campaign Lawsuit (ZH)
Chicago Election Board Gave Dominion Complete Access for 2020 Election (NF)
Dominion Transferring Vote Ratios between Precincts in PA (Rumble)
Request To Declare Mail-In Voting Unconstitutional In PA (CBS)
Do Trump Supporters Live in an Alternate Universe? (Bryce Buchanan)
Biden’s Deep State (Brown)
Biden Advisors Promise Smarter, More Secretive Permanent War Policy (GZ)
FDA Emergency Approval For COVID19 Antibody Serum Used To Treat Trump (JTN)

 

 

Glenn Beck Sidney Powell

 

 

 

 

Steve Cortes

 

 

Going through the motions?!

Pennsylvania Judge Throws Out Trump Campaign Lawsuit (ZH)

A federal judge on Saturday dismissed the Trump campaign’s lawsuit in Pennsylvania seeking to invalidate millions of votes, rejecting the “startling” request due to a lack of evidence and ruling that the state can move forward with certifying its election results. U.S. Middle District Judge Matthew Brann, an Obama appointee, ruled that the campaign presented “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations” that were “unsupported by evidence.” The ruling is a major blow to the Trump campaign’s efforts to overturn election results, with Biden leading Trump by more than 81,000 votes in Pennsylvania.

“In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state. Our people, laws, and institutions demand more,” the judge wrote. Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani personally argued against the state’s motion to dismiss before Brann on Tuesday, arguing that the commonwealth should not certify its results and making claims of a vast Democratic conspiracy to steal the election. In reaching his conclusion, Brann said the campaign was not “formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption” needed to win such a case.

“This court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence,” the judge wrote. The suit’s core claim was that certain Democratic-led counties had more lenient rules in accepting “defective” ballots or letting voters “cure” such ballots than Republican-led ones, which the campaign claimed violated the Constitution’s due process and equal protection guarantees. The state denied those claims and also said the campaign’s proposed remedy of disenfranchising tens of thousands of voters was implausible.

Read more …

Votes: very clever young man
https://twitter.com/i/status/1329935870691069955

Chicago Election Board Gave Dominion Complete Access for 2020 Election (NF)

As the nation is focused on the lack of system security in the 2020 General Election, now comes news that not only did Dominion Voting Systems have access to the entirety of the Chicago voting system and database, they had that access for over half a year. In a March 2020 video of an emergency meeting of the Chicago Election Board (CEB), that body approved a motion to provide Dominion Voting Systems the right and capability to remotely access their machines in an administrative role during the 2020 election. Eric Coomer, the Director of Product Strategy & Security for Dominion Voting Systems, was a full participant on the call suggesting that, from the start, Dominion was the one running the elections in Chicago, the thirds-largest city in the United States and one that glows cobalt blue in its politics.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the votes in Chicago went lopsided toward Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden. Biden received 74.34 percent of the vote with 1,714,792 ballots cast in his name, to President Trump’s 24.06 percent with 555,001 ballots cast in his name. The video, titled “Chicago Election Board – Emergency Meeting – 2020-03-19” and available on YouTube, finds Dominion Voting executives Coomer and Nicole Nollette, Executive Vice President of Dominion Voting Systems on the call. In the meeting the CEB approves allowing election personnel, including Dominion Voting System contractors, to telework and “work from home” – or work remotely – due to the COVID emergency. This move by the CEB allowed Dominion Voting Systems contractor personnel, including election systems administrators and technicians from Dominion, full remote access to Chicago’s election systems, files, and databases from anywhere at any time.

Dominion Voting Systems administrators had free, open, and unfettered access to Chicago’s election systems, files, and data for 7-1/2 months prior to the election. They had full access to all voter registration information poll books, requests for absentee ballots, voter mailout lists, and virtually everything related to elections. If Chicago’s election results were invalidated because of vote fraud and ballot manipulation, Biden’s total of 3,450,333 votes in Illinois would be reduced to 1,735,541 while President Trump’s total of 2,434,252 votes in that state would be reduced to 1,879,251. President Trump would win Illinois’ 20 Electoral College votes by 143,710 votes, a comfortable margin.

Now This voting machines hacked
https://twitter.com/i/status/1330303845096951810

Read more …

If it can be done, it will be done.

Dominion Transferring Vote Ratios between Precincts in PA (Rumble)

In this video you will see data from the NYT feed from PA on November fourth. In this data, particular vote ratios are transferred between random sets of seized precincts throughout the day. A total of nine exhibits are presented in this video, but there are in fact several hundred of these precincts seizures and ratio transfers on the day of November 4th alone, and the same ratios continue to be transferred for several more days within the overall dataset spanning an entire week. Original data sets: https://gofile.io/d/qZcQl6. “The Dominion System isolated a “Flip Set” from the expected vote count and the expected percentage.


It then splices the Flip Set into multiple “ratio sets” and assigns them to precincts throughout the day. Once a particular “ratio set” receives the votes it needed, it releases that set, and then Dominion injects it into the city wide count. To hide it’s trail, Dominion reassigns the same “ratio set” to different (random) precincts throughout the day, so that the same precinct doesn’t keep getting the exact same ratio (or the same set of precincts). During a particular period of time while a precinct is selected, it gives Trumps an EXACT NUMBER of votes, it gives Biden a MINIMUM number of votes, and splits the small remainder to a third party or to Biden (via random assignment).

Read more …

Would also need the Supreme Court.

Request To Declare Mail-In Voting Unconstitutional In PA (CBS)

Congressman Mike Kelly and congressional candidate Sean Parnell are requesting the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania to declare universal mail-in voting unconstitutional in the state and deny the votes of the majority of Pennsylvanians who voted by mail in the Nov. 3 election. In the official request, the plaintiffs specifically cite issue with Act 77 and its “universal mail-in ballot provisions.” They allege that the provisions that allow all qualified electors to vote by mail in Pennsylvania are unconstitutional. As such, they are calling for mail-in ballots that they allege do not meet “Constitutional requirements” to not be certified and for only “legal votes” to be certified or for the Pennsylvania General Assembly to choose the electors and compensate the legal costs of the plaintiffs. Both Kelly and Parnell are registered Republicans.

Read more …

How the media splits the nation.

Do Trump Supporters Live in an Alternate Universe? (Bryce Buchanan)


It is instructive to make a list of ‘Things That Are True’, as asserted by the leftist media and contrast it with the ‘Delusions’ that are commonly held by the foolish Trump supporters. In the list below, “T” indicates the certainly ‘True Things’, as reported by the very wise people in leftist media. “D” indicates the ‘Delusions’ held by the Trump supporters, who “are not able to differentiate between fantasy and reality.”

The List:
T: This was a very clean and honest election. There is no evidence of fraud. Claims to the contrary are baseless conspiracy theories.
D: There is massive evidence of election fraud of every type, including programmed computer cheating, dead people voting, and massive dumps of Biden votes in the middle of the night. There is also extremely strong statistical evidence of vote total manipulation.

T: Biden is “President Elect” because the news media have declared that to be the case. He will be the next President, and there is no room at all for dispute about that fact.
D: The media do not determine who is President. The next President will be determined when he has enough certified and unchallenged votes. We are nowhere near that point.

T: The story about Hunter Biden’s laptop is “Russian disinformation”. It’s designed to make you think Joe Biden did something wrong, but Joe doesn’t do things that are wrong. Joe will bring integrity back to the White House.
D: The laptop belongs to Hunter Biden. Russia has nothing at all to do with it. There is a massive amount of information on the laptop demonstrating schemes to enrich the Biden family by selling influence. Tony Bobulinski, worked closely with the Bidens to set up some of the questionable transactions. Tony met with Joe and said Joe was fully onboard with these business plans. Joe got a percentage of the foreign money. Hunter made deals with high ranking Chinese communists, plus lucrative deals with several other countries. Joe is thoroughly compromised. The way that the MSM and all of social media worked to hide this story is shocking.

T: President Obama set a good example of peaceful transition of power. He did everything he could to help President Trump.
D: President Obama, and ‘dirty cops’ at the head of his intelligence and law enforcement agencies planned and orchestrated a plan to damage the incoming President. “The Resistance” has continued to this day. Trump has never had a single day when he was not under attack by these forces.

T: Trump and his supporters are white supremacists. Trump said the white supremacists in Charlottesville were “good people”. He seems unwilling to condemn them. Trumps desire to protect our southern border proves that he is racist. His desire to ban all Muslims from the country proves that he is a bigot.
D: Biden started his campaign with the Charlottesville lie and he repeated it often. He once told a black audience that Republicans wanted “to put y’all back in chains”. He works hard to keep blacks on the Democrat Voting Plantation, even going so far as to telling a black person, “you ain’t black” if you don’t vote for Joe. Trump condemned white supremacists in Charlottesville and has done so many times since then. Borders are not racist. Countries have borders. Trump did not ban Muslims. He wanted to restrict entry from a few pro-Jihadist countries.

Read more …

Victoria Nuland!

Biden’s Deep State (Brown)

Philosopher Hannah Arendt once wrote about the banality of evil, and there’s never been a more banal bunch than the foreign policy and security state crew Barak Obama surrounded himself with for eight years beside the possible exception of Bush’s own Neocons. Now after three years screaming about “Russian collusion” it appears the Evil Empire is about to regain its lost ground, championing new wars and more interventionist expansionism with a much greater role for the US military in the world. Let’s name names.

Pentagon For the defense chief post, the Washington Post has portrayed the banal face of Michele Flournoy as the pick to ‘restore stability’ to the Pentagon, an entirely false assertion. Recall that Fluornoy promotes unilateral global US military intervention, and advocated the destruction of Libya in 2011. By the military-industrial revolving door, Flournoy enabled many Corporate weaponry contracts amounting to tens of millions. Likewise Fluornoy is on the Booz-Hamilton board, where the swamp cannot get any deeper. As if this wretched example of an agent-provocateur for war and destruction were not bad enough, Biden is reportedly considering Lockheed-Martin banal kingpin Jeh Johnson for the DoD position, too.

Lockheed director Johnson was employed by Rob Reiner and Atlantic editor arch-Neocon David Frum to run the Committee to Investigate Russia which mysteriously blew up as soon as the Mueller Report was released. Jeh Johnson has continued to warn of “Russian interference” in the US presidential election until now. Biden’s anointing as president-elect has ended that. As Homeland Security head, Johnson authorized cages for holding immigrant children. He also supported the assassination of General Suleimani, and has voiced support for US wars in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

State From Libya to Syria, Yemen, Ukraine and beyond, the banality of evil is perhaps best personified by Susan Rice – apparently Biden’s premiere pick for Secretary. Rice was an abject failure at the United Nations, but all seems forgiven, probably at the behest of Biden’s donors. After her failure at the UN, Obama kicked Rice upstairs to be his National Security Advisor, a position that does not require Senate approval. An obvious war hawk in the mold of the Democrat’s donor class, a Rice appointment could reinforce the liberal mantra that women can be just as good at interventionism as men, and ensure full re-establishment of the Neoliberal agenda in Washington. John Kerry has been flagged as a potential for State (again) too, but at age 77 and subsequent to the failure of the JCPOA Kerry is an unlikely pick.

Another potential pick among the banal Daughters of Darkness is Victoria Kagan-Nuland, architect of the 2014 debacle in Ukraine (among other things). Outed at State in an embarrassing act of what she called impressive statecraft and other embarrassing incidents, Nuland seems an unlikely choice. But Kagan-Nuland is as banal as banal can be, and Biden may somehow wish to reinforce his solidarity with the JTF and his donor class, on Israel.

Read more …

More Deep State.

Biden Advisors Promise Smarter, More Secretive Permanent War Policy (GZ)

Throughout his campaign, Joe Biden railed against Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ foreign policy, claiming it weakened the United States and left the world in disarray. “Donald Trump’s brand of ‘America First has too often led to America alone,” Biden proclaimed. He pledged to reverse this decline and recover the damage Trump did to America’s reputation. While Donald Trump called to make America Great Again, Biden seeks to Make the American Empire Great Again. Joe Biden: “Tonight, the whole world is watching America. And I believe at our best, America is a beacon for the globe. We will lead not only by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.”

Among the president-elect’s pledges is to end the so-called forever wars – the decades-long imperial projects in Afghanistan and Iraq that began under the Bush administration. “It’s long past time we end the forever wars which have cost us untold blood and treasure,” Biden has said. Yet Biden – a fervent supporter of those wars – will delegate that duty to the most neoconservative elements of the Democratic Party and ideologues of permanent war. Michele Flournoy and Tony Blinken sit atop Biden’s thousands-strong foreign policy brain trust and have played central roles in every U.S. war dating back to the Bill Clinton administration. During the Trump era, they’ve cashed in through WestExec Advisors – a corporate consulting firm that has become home for Obama administration officials awaiting a return to government.

Flournoy is Biden’s leading pick for Secretary of Defense and Blinken is expected to be the president’s National Security Advisor. Since the 1990s, Flournoy and Blinken have steadily risen through the ranks of the military-industrial complex, shuffling back and forth between the Pentagon and hawkish think-tanks funded by the U.S. government, weapons companies, and oil giants. Under Bill Clinton, Flournoy was the principal author of the 1996 Quadrinellial Defense Review, the document that outlined the U.S. military’s doctrine of permanent war – what it called “full spectrum dominance.” Flournoy called for “unilateral use of military power” to ensure “uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies, and strategic resources.”

As Bush administration officials lied to the world about Saddam Hussein’s supposed WMD’s, Flournoy remarked that “In some cases, preemptive strikes against an adversary’s [weapons of mass destruction] capabilities may be the best or only option we have to avert a catastrophic attack against the United States.”

Read more …

What’s the cost?

FDA Emergency Approval For COVID19 Antibody Serum Used To Treat Trump (JTN)

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday evening gave emergency approval for a COVID-19 antibody treatment used to treat President Trump. Regeron’s antibody serum was authorized for treating mild to moderate coronavirus in adults, as well as children 12 years or older who have a high risk of progressing to severe disease. Regeron applied for emergency FDA approval in October after Trump praised the treatment in a Twitter video.
The FDA earlier this month also issued an emergency use authorization for another COVID-19 antibody treatment made by Eli Lilly.

Read more …

 

 

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Click at the top of the sidebars for Paypal and Patreon donations. Thank you for your support.

 

 

“Hope” is the thing with feathers

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

– Emily Dickinson

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime, election time, all the time. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

Nov 052020
 


Pablo Picasso Bull plates I-XI 1945

 

Trump Goes To Supreme Court, Files Lawsuits To Stop Vote Counting In PA (F.)
Trump Assembling All-star Legal Team To Mount Election Challenges (JTN)
US Inability To Count Votes is a National Disgrace. And Dangerous (Greenwald)
How The GOP Retook House Seats From Democrats (F.)
House Democrats Fall Way Short In Disappointing Night (Hill)
Statehouse Wins Position GOP To Dominate Redistricting (Pol.)
Election Update, 9:50 am Weds Nov 4 (Jim Kunstler)
Michigan Finds 138,339 Ballots, Every Single One Has Biden’s Name on It (RS)
For Stocks, Any Election Outcome is Now the Best Outcome (WS)
ECB May Cut Support For Indebted Countries In Nudge Towards EU Loans (R.)
COVID Testing: We’ve Been Duped (AT)
England Underestimates The Costs Of Lockdown At Its Peril (Jonathan Sumption)
Kim Dotcom Can Be Extradited To US But Can Also Appeal (BBC)
Bayer Takes Over $10 Billion Write-Down Over Monsanto Roundup Weed Killer (RT)

 

 

There is this odd divide between the presidential vote, which Biden may win, and all the other votes, where the GOP candidates are doing much better than expected, and taking back House seats. How is that possible?

 

 

 

 

Happy lawyers.

Trump Goes To Supreme Court, Files Lawsuits To Stop Vote Counting In PA (F.)

The Trump campaign is filing multiple lawsuits in Pennsylvania targeting the state’s rules for election observers and mail-in ballots, as well as intervening in an ongoing U.S. Supreme Court case regarding the state’s mail-in ballot deadline, the campaign said Wednesday, ramping up the GOP’s legal efforts in the battleground state as the race between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden narrows. The Trump campaign said in a statement Wednesday that it is suing Pennsylvania to stop the state from “hiding the ballot counting and processing from our Republican poll observers,” specifically mentioning a policy that requires poll watchers to stand 25 feet from where the counting process is taking place.

The campaign is appealing a case that previously failed in a lower court in Philadelphia to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, which alleged an election observer could not “observe the writing on the outside of the ballots.” The Trump campaign and Republican National Committee sued state and local officials over a practice in which mail-in voters are allowed to provide proof of identification after the ballot deadline if it was initially missing, which Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar recently extended by an additional three days to November 12. Republicans claim allowing voters to provide identification through that date will “create a high risk of jeopardizing the integrity” of the election by delaying election results, and are calling for the court to throw out any ballots where the voter’s identification isn’t received by the original deadline of Nov. 9.

The Trump campaign also filed a motion to intervene in an ongoing U.S. Supreme Court case regarding the state’s mail-in ballot deadline, which allows mail-in ballots to be counted if they’re delivered up to three days after Election Day.The Supreme Court previously declined to overturn the extended deadline before Election Day—in a 4-4 ruling before Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined the court—but several conservative justices said the court could still revisit the ruling and invalidate the deadline, which would result in any late-arriving ballots being rejected.

Trump to win Arizona

Read more …

“President Trump’s campaign has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process.”

“President Trump is committed to ensuring that all legal votes are counted in Michigan and everywhere else.”

Trump Assembling All-star Legal Team To Mount Election Challenges (JTN)

President Trump’s campaign on Wednesday began assembling an all-star legal team to file challenges to election regularities in several battleground states, starting with a Court of Claims lawsuit in Michigan. Among the lawyers the president is activating include his private attorney Jay Sekulow, who will help campaign lawyers with matters before the Supreme Court as well as former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, officials said. Sidney Powell, the lawyer for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, may also be called upon, officials said. The legal team’s first stop was Michigan, where the campaign filed an action in the Court of Claims seeking to halt vote counting until irregularities are addressed, campaign manager Bill Stepien announced.


“As votes in Michigan continue to be counted, the presidential race in the state remains extremely tight as we always knew it would be. President Trump’s campaign has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law,” Stepien said. “We have filed suit today in the Michigan Court of Claims to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted. We also demand to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access. President Trump is committed to ensuring that all legal votes are counted in Michigan and everywhere else.”

Read more …

“..the monumental failures of the polling industry and the data nerds who leech off it, for the second consecutive national election, only serve to sow even further doubt and confusion..”

US Inability To Count Votes is a National Disgrace. And Dangerous (Greenwald)

Nations far poorer and less technologically advanced have no problem holding quick, efficient elections. Distrust in U.S. outcomes is dangerous but rational. The richest and most powerful country on earth — whether due to ineptitude, choice or some combination of both — has no ability to perform the simple task of counting votes in a minimally efficient or confidence-inspiring manner. As a result, the credibility of the voting process is severely impaired, and any residual authority the U.S. claims to “spread” democracy to lucky recipients of its benevolence around the world is close to obliterated. At 7:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, the day after the 2020 presidential elections, the results of the presidential race, as well as control of the Senate, are very much in doubt and in chaos.

Watched by rest of the world — deeply affected by who rules the still-imperialist superpower — the U.S. struggles and stumbles and staggers to engage in a simple task mastered by countless other less powerful and poorer countries: counting votes. Some states are not expected to finished their vote-counting until the end of this week or beyond. The same data and polling geniuses who pronounced that Hillary Clinton had a 90% probability or more of winning the 2016 election, and who spent the last three months proclaiming the 2020 election even more of a sure thing for the Democratic presidential candidate, are currently insisting that Biden, despite being behind in numerous key states, is still the favorite by virtue of uncounted ballots in Democrat-heavy counties in the outcome-determinative states.

[One went to sleep last night with the now-notorious New York Times needle of data guru Nate Cohn assuring the country that, with more than 80% of the vote counted in Georgia, Trump had more than an 80% chance to win that state, only to wake up a few hours later with the needle now predicting the opposite outcome; that all happened just a few hours after Cohn assured everyone how much “smarter” his little needle was this time around].

NYT’s predictive needle for Georgia at 8:40 pm ET, Tuesday night.

https://twitter.com/TravisAllen02/status/1323855693359861762

NYT’s predictive needle for Georgia less than four hours later, at 12:12 a.m., early Wednesday morning.


Given the record of failures and humiliations they have quickly compiled, what rational person would trust anything they say at this point? A citizen randomly chosen from the telephone book would be as reliable if not more so for sharing predictions. And the monumental failures of the polling industry and the data nerds who leech off it, for the second consecutive national election, only serve to sow even further doubt and confusion around the electoral process. A completely untrustworthy voting count is now the norm. Two months after the New York state primary in late June, two Congressional races were in doubt by what The New York Times called “major delays in counting a deluge of 400,000 mail-in ballots and other problems.” In particular: Thousands more ballots in the city were discarded by election officials for minor errors, or not even sent to voters until the day before the primary, making it all but impossible for the ballots to be returned in time.

Read more …

“..a 2020 election night awash with Democratic disappointment..”

How The GOP Retook House Seats From Democrats (F.)

Republicans wrested at least seven U.S. House seats from Democrats this year, retaking districts the party lost in 2018 and expanding slightly into blue territory, a surprising set of victories that could narrow the House’s thin 14-vote Democratic majority. Republicans have won back six moderate rural and suburban districts that Democrats took from the GOP in 2018 — in New Mexico, South Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Iowa — reversing some of the Democrats’ gains from two years ago.In two of those districts, this year’s races were rematches of 2018, featuring the same candidates but different outcomes: Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Fla.) defeated Republican Maria Elvira Salazar in 2018 but lost to her in 2020, and Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) lost to Republican Yvette Herrell despite winning against her two years ago.

Republicans also took Minnesota’s rural, conservative-leaning seventh district, ousting moderate 30-year incumbent Rep. Collin Peterson (D) after a tough re-election battle. Meanwhile, Democrats picked up just two seats in North Carolina, defeating Republican nominees in a pair of new urban and suburban districts created after a court-ordered redistricting effort last year. Dozens of House districts remained too close to call Wednesday morning, as officials rush to count mail-in ballots. In particular, Republicans are vying to win back former Republican strongholds like Orange County, Calif. and Staten Island, N.Y.

Democrats flipped dozens of congressional districts from red to blue in 2018, part of a wave election that propelled the party to a House majority. Many of those suburban and rural districts were traditionally conservative but changed hands amid nationwide leftward momentum, making their status as Democratic seats tenuous at best. Still, Democrats hoped to extend those gains in 2020 by flipping several moderate seats, and pre-election polls indicated most voters favored Democrats over Republicans in local House races. But on a 2020 election night awash with Democratic disappointment, the party’s hopes of another Democratic wave in the House quickly faded, and Republicans ended up regaining some ground.

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“The spate of Democratic losses were not limited to any one geographic region.”

House Democrats Fall Way Short In Disappointing Night (Hill)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her invigorated caucus charged into Tuesday with an energized base, a sharp fundraising advantage and hopes to flip anywhere from five to 15 Republican seats on election night. Instead, it was the Republicans who scored big — at least in the early counting — knocking out at least a half dozen vulnerable Democrats with several more clinging to the ropes. It was a reversal of fortunes for the Democrats, who had led big in the polls and the money race and were betting that President Trump at the top of the ticket would be a drag on GOP lawmakers all the way down the ballot. With gushing optimism, Democrats were expecting Tuesday night would give them a chance to pad their 232-197 majority next year.

“We’re well-positioned to have a good night,” Rep. Cheri Bustos (Ill.), head of the Democrats’ campaign arm, told reporters hours before polls closed Tuesday. As the sun came up Wednesday morning, however, there appeared few bright spots for Bustos’s party. While Democrats will retain their majority, a handful of their front-line members — incumbents facing the toughest races — had been defeated. And after boasting about how they’d expanded the map and were playing “deep into Trump country,” they’d failed to pick off even a single House Republican running for reelection. Democrats did manage to pick up a pair of GOP-held open seats in North Carolina, where redistricting had made the districts much bluer, and a third in Georgia after the retirement of vulnerable GOP Rep. Rob Woodall.

The spate of Democratic losses were not limited to any one geographic region. In rural Minnesota, Rep. Collin Peterson (D), a 15-term veteran and chairman of the Agriculture Committee, was clobbered by the state’s former lieutenant governor, who’d linked Peterson to the liberal Pelosi. In the suburbs of Oklahoma City, Rep. Kendra Horn (D), a first-term moderate, was defeated by Republican Stephanie Bice, a state senator, in one of the country’s most contested races. On New Mexico’s southern border, Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D), a 36-year-old centrist also in her first term, fell to Yvette Herrell, a former state legislator, in a rematch of 2018. And in South Carolina, first-term Rep. Joe Cunningham (D) was ousted by state Rep. Nancy Mace (R).

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And this is what comes next.

Statehouse Wins Position GOP To Dominate Redistricting (Pol.)

Here’s something else Republicans can be happy about after Tuesday. An abysmal showing by Democrats in state legislative races on Tuesday not only denied them victories in Sun Belt and Rust Belt states that would have positioned them to advance their policy agenda — it also put the party at a disadvantage ahead of the redistricting that will determine the balance of power for the next decade. The results could domino through politics in America, helping the GOP draw favorable congressional and state legislative maps by ensuring Democrats remain the minority party in key state legislatures. Ultimately, it could mean more Republicans in Washington — and in state capitals.

By Wednesday night, Democrats had not flipped a single statehouse chamber in its favor. And it remained completely blocked from the map-making process in several key states — including Texas, North Carolina and Florida, which could have a combined 82 congressional seats by 2022 — where the GOP retained control of the state legislatures. After months of record-breaking fundraising by their candidates and a constellation of outside groups, Democrats fell far short of their goals and failed to build upon their 2018 successes to capture state chambers they had been targeting for years. And they may have President Donald Trump to blame. “It’s clear that Trump isn’t an anchor for the Republican legislative candidates. He’s a buoy,” Christina Polizzi, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, said Wednesday.

“He overperformed media expectations, Democratic and Republican expectations, and lifted legislative candidates with him.” Democrats had a disappointing night in congressional and state legislative races across the country, as they realized the suburban revolt against Trump did not extend in 2020. Republicans appear poised to hold on to the Senate, gain seats in the House and pick up a governorship in Montana, defying expectations. But it is the victories they won in state legislatures could be the most consequential of all, giving the GOP outsize influence over the congressional and legislative redistricting process that begins early next year.

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“Let’s not forget the rather reckless remark made by PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Halloween night that “if all the votes are added up, Mr. Trump is going to lose.“

Election Update, 9:50 am Weds Nov 4 (Jim Kunstler)

The election has rolled out as expected here – that is, not resolved the morning after, with Antifa and BLM rioters already moiling in the streets of Washington D.C.Portland, Oregon, remains in continual uproar after four months of violence and destruction, and Mayor Ted Wheeler won reelection against “Antifa candidate” Sarah Iannarone. Lucky Portland. Outside the swing states still in play, the margins were strikingly lopsided. Joe Biden’s radiant charisma worked in the usual blue coastal states — Cal 65% to 33%, NY 55% to 33% — but Mr. Trump’s margins were equally lopsided in the flyover red states — OK 65% to 32%, TN 60% to 37%, MO 56% to 41%. Mr. Biden won thumpingly in VA once the Deep State bedroom counties next to DC came in late at night. But the president won convincingly in FLA, OH, and TX.

For now, at 9 a.m. Weds, the race hinges on the usual suspects. Mr. Trump is up a half a percent in Michigan with 91% of votes counted; Mr. Biden is seven-tenths up in Wisconsin, with 95% in… awaiting Green Bay results (delayed, apparently, because a vote-processing machine ran out of ink (!). Similar close margins in NC… not so close in GA, with the president ahead a healthy 2 percent, and finally the dark maw of mischief, PA, where Mr. Trump was up by more than ten full percentage points (@700,000 votes) this morning, but awaiting more than a million mail-in ballots. Let’s not forget the rather reckless remark made by PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Halloween night that “if all the votes are added up, Mr. Trump is going to lose.” Sounded pretty sure of himself.

Now, as I understand it, the PA state supreme court ruled recently that counties could continue to process mail-in votes until Friday, and, more importantly, that they did not require postmarks or signature authentication — which would appear an easy invitation to simple ballot fraud. The president vowed late Tuesday night to take a case to the US supreme court where, I expect, that PA ruling will be tossed out as self-evidently unsound. Can the forces of Dem Lawfare work around that? I don’t see how, but I’m not a constitutional lawyer. The Dems have worked hard in recent years to manufacture the inane and false narrative that any kind of voter-ID procedure amounts to “suppression.” America needs to get its mind right about that. Does Lawfare have other tricks up its sleeve? I rather expect so, but the president has had months to plan his own defense against the threat of a Lawfare coup, so now we will see the game play out. Meanwhile, we await mayhem in the streets, condoned and encouraged by Joe Biden’s party, as though that will endear him to nation.

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Standing next to 17,000 simulated ballots
https://twitter.com/HalosRamsFan/status/1324073111969554435

Michigan Finds 138,339 Ballots, Every Single One Has Biden’s Name on It (RS)

Saying that this is an impossible thing wouldn’t be right as statistically, the early vote combined with mail-in voting was always heavily Democrat-leaning. The catch here is that it’s definitely not probable. The idea that not one of them is a Trump vote seems a little off. However, what should really make people suspicious is the fact that not one of these votes leans toward a third-party vote. While people voting for Trump definitely wanted their votes counted by showing up in person, third-party voters didn’t particularly follow the same idea as some of these were leftists as well. Not one vote for the Green Party candidate? Not one for Jo Jorgenson of the Libertarian Party?

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Second hand car salesmen.

For Stocks, Any Election Outcome is Now the Best Outcome (WS)

At first, long ago, the narrative was that a Trump victory would boost stocks. And then when this became more uncertain, the narrative was that a Biden victory would also boost stocks, and that a “Blue Wave” would boost stocks hugely because it would trigger the mother of all stimulus packages, which would spread trillions of dollars directly and indirectly to these companies, which would be good for stocks. And so it was that a victory by either presidential candidate would boost stocks, and that only a disputed election outcome with a long drawn-out legal battle or a split government would derail stocks.

And now, that Trump is already disputing the still unknown election outcome and is threatening a long-drawn-out legal battle if he loses – with Biden leading in electoral votes but millions of mail-in ballots left to be counted – even the threat of a disputed election and a long-drawn-out mess is now boosting stocks. And even funnier: The only remaining outcome that would not boost stocks, and by some measures would be the worst possible outcome during these times – namely a split government, with the Senate remaining under Republican control and Biden in the White House, and therefore no stimulus package – is suddenly a distinct possibility.

But it now too is seen as boosting stocks because it would mean, according to the newly fashioned narrative, that the absence of a Blue Wave would be good for Big Tech because it would be less threatened by antitrust pressures. These narratives are funny. They change and adapt constantly, like a weather vane. Major investment banks come out with reports to create and support these narratives, and adjust them as probabilities of outcomes change, with the purpose being that whatever happens, and no matter how it happens, and regardless of why or when it happens, it has to boost stocks, according to the narratives.

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Nice little country you have there…

ECB May Cut Support For Indebted Countries In Nudge Towards EU Loans (R.)

The European Central Bank could offer less generous support for indebted governments when it puts together a further stimulus package next month, to push them to apply for European Union loans tied to productive investments, sources told Reuters. The ECB promised last week to introduce more measures in December to help euro zone countries cope with the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, including new lockdowns that will curtail economic activity. The four sources who spoke to Reuters said policymakers were debating whether the ECB should extend its Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP), which gives it unprecedented flexibility in buying bonds from any country in distress, or its regular Asset Purchase Programme (APP), under which purchases should mirror the relative size of each country.


This is because PEPP has driven down borrowing costs for indebted governments such as Spain and Portugal so much that they are shunning EU loans tied to digital and green investments in favour of raising no-strings cash on the bond market. The composition of the package should be decided at the ECB’s Dec. 10 policy meeting and the sources said a compromise could be on the cards, with both PEPP and APP being expanded but the former remaining the main instrument. The difference between the two programmes is material and the decision will have implications for how much help the ECB might give to the bloc’s most indebted countries. The ECB has significantly overbought Italian and Spanish bonds under PEPP since the first wave of the pandemic in the spring, helping lower their bond yields to pre-pandemic levels — a welcome relief for their governments at a time of stress. But in doing so, it has made borrowing from the EU’s Next Generation fund less attractive.

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Most stunning is there has been hardly any movement in the whole thing. Where are the better and faster tests?

COVID Testing: We’ve Been Duped (AT)

During a considerably quieter time, back in 2007, the New York Times featured a very interesting exposé on molecular diagnostic testing — specifically, the inadequacy of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test in achieving reliable results. The most significant concern highlighted in the Times report is how molecular tests, most notably the PCR, are highly sensitive and prone to false positives. At the center of the controversy was a potential outbreak in a hospital in New Hampshire that proved to be nothing more than “ordinary respiratory diseases like the common cold.” Unfortunately, the results wrought by the PCR told a different story.

Thankfully, a faux epidemic was avoided but not before thousands of workers were furloughed and given antibiotics and ultimately a vaccine, and hospital beds (including some in intensive care) were taken out of commission. Eight months later, what was thought to be an epidemic was deemed a non-malicious hoax. The culprit? According to “epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists … too much faith in a quick and highly sensitive molecular test .. led them astray.” At the time, such tests were “coming into increasing use” as maybe “the only way to get a quick answer in diagnosing diseases like … SARS, and deciding whether an epidemic is under way. Nevertheless, today, the PCR test is considered the gold standard of molecular diagnostics, most notably in the diagnosis of COVID-19.

However, a closer analysis reveals that the PCR has actually been pretty spotty and that false positives abound. Thankfully, the New York Times is once again on the case. “Your Coronavirus Test Is Positive; Maybe It Shouldn’t Be,” according to NYT reporter Apoorva Mandavilli. Essentially, positive results are getting tossed around way too frequently. Rather, they should probably be reserved for individuals with “greater viral load.” So how have they’ve been doing it all this time you ask? “The PCR test amplifies genetic matter from the virus in cycles; the fewer cycles required, the greater the amount of virus, or viral load, in the sample . .. the more likely the patient is to be contagious.”

Unfortunately, the “cycle threshold” has been ramped up. What happens when it’s ramped up? Basically, “huge numbers of people who may be carrying relatively insignificant amounts of the virus” are deemed infected. However, the severity of the infection is never quantified, which essentially amounts to a false positive. Their level of contagion is essentially nil. How are they determining the cycle threshold? If I didn’t suspect that it was based on maximizing the amount of “cases,” I would find the determination pretty arbitrary. More than a few of the professionals on record for Times report appear pretty perplexed on this vital detail which is essentially driving “clinical diagnostics, for public health and policy decision-making.”

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They don’t know what they’re doing.

“Lockdowns temporarily reduce infections and associated deaths. But they do so only by deferring them to the period after they are lifted.”

England Underestimates The Costs Of Lockdown At Its Peril (Jonathan Sumption)

Suppose there is nothing that governments can do to stop the spread of Covid-19. What then? It is not a hypothetical question, as England is discovering. “We’ve got to be humble in the face of nature,” the prime minister observed in Saturday’s Downing Street press conference. But humility learns from experience, and there was no sign of that in the measures he then went on to announce. In my opinion, the problem with lockdowns is that they are indiscriminate, ineffective in the long term, and carry social and economic costs that outweigh their likely benefits. Lockdowns temporarily reduce infections and associated deaths. But they do so only by deferring them to the period after they are lifted. Members of the government’s Sage group pointed this out back in February.

“Measures which are too effective,” they said, “merely push all transmission to the period after they are lifted, giving a delay but no substantial reduction in either peak incidence or overall attack rate.” In the meantime, these restrictions prolong the crisis, slow down the process by which the population acquires a measure of natural immunity, and cause immeasurable collateral damage. This is what we are experiencing now. Lockdowns are indiscriminate because they do not distinguish between different categories of people whose vulnerabilities are very different. Some are young, some old. Some have had the disease and enjoy a measure of immunity while others do not. Some live alone and are starved of company, others have their families around them. Some live in rural Cornwall, where the reproduction rate is low, others in Liverpool, where it is high.

Allowing people to make their own judgments, tailored to their own circumstances and those of the people around them, is not only a more humane and rational response to the pandemic. It also directs resources to where they are actually needed. Instead, ministers treat the entire population as an undifferentiated mass. This one-size-fits-all approach is irrational. The result is to inflict an appalling injustice on the young, who are unlikely to become seriously ill but are bearing almost all the burden of the counter-measures. The average age at which people die with Covid-19 is over 82. As of 3 November, the Office for National Statistics reports that 49,420 out of 55,311 deaths involving Covid-19 were among people aged 65 or older. The risk of death for young people is very small. They are not the ones who are filling NHS beds.

Yet their job prospects are being snuffed out. The spectacle of bright engineering graduates and talented musicians forced into unemployment, or to take jobs in which their training will go to waste, is a savage indictment of current policies. It is the old and vulnerable whom we should be protecting from the virus. Care homes should be better managed and resourced. Older people who live outside such institutions may shield themselves from infection, if they choose to, though some may prefer to take the risk. But the young and healthy should not be deprived of the ability to live fulfilling and productive lives simply to spare the old and vulnerable from taking precautions for their own safety. The lower proportion of positive test results from older people since the summer suggests that many of them are already doing so.

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Political persecution?!

Kim Dotcom Can Be Extradited To US But Can Also Appeal (BBC)

A long-running effort to extradite file-sharing site mogul Kim Dotcom to the US has been left in limbo after a Supreme Court decision in New Zealand. The court ruled that he can be returned to the US to face copyright charges – but has also overturned another lower court’s decision, effectively granting him the right to appeal. Mr Dotcom himself described the ruling as a “mixed bag”. The legal wrangling is likely to continue. The court ruled that Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused were liable for extradition on 12 of the 13 counts the FBI is seeking to charge them with. But it also ruled that the Court of Appeal had erred in dismissing judicial review requests from Mr Dotcom, and granted him the right to continue with them.

The FBI alleges that Megaupload facilitated copyright infringement on a huge scale, but Mr Dotcom’s lawyers argue that the website was never meant to encourage copyright breaches. If he is extradited, he faces a lengthy jail term. In response to the ruling, he tweeted a statement from his lawyers which read: “For the Dotcom team, and especially for Kim and his family, it is a mixed bag.” “There is no final determination that he is to go to the United States. However, the court has not accepted our important copyright argument and in our view has made significant determinations that will have an immediate and chilling impact on the internet.”

The controversial figure founded file-sharing site Megaupload in 2005, and made millions of dollars from advertising and premium subscriptions. At one point, he boasted that it was responsible for 4% of internet traffic. In 2012, he was arrested when armed police stormed his Auckland home in a dramatic dawn raid, which was later to become the subject of its own legal enquiry, when Mr Dotcom sued for damages. A district court in New Zealand ruled in 2015 that he could be extradited, but a series of appeals and judicial reviews followed. Lawyers for Mr Dotcom argued that his actions did not amount to criminal offences in New Zealand, and were therefore not extraditable.

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And who goes to jail?

Bayer Takes Over $10 Billion Write-Down Over Monsanto Roundup Weed Killer (RT)

German pharmaceutical giant Bayer said it’s facing a double hit from a higher legal bill for claims relating to weed killer Roundup and €9.25 billion ($10.8 billion) in impairments on Monsanto-related agriculture businesses. According to the company, the write-downs were driven by weaker demand from farmers due to low biofuel prices and an increase of about $750 million in the costs of settlement terms with US plaintiffs over Roundup. As a result, the losses before interest and tax amounted to €9.4 billion ($10.9 billion) in the third quarter. “The impact of the (coronavirus) pandemic is placing additional strain on our Crop Science Division. We are also facing negative currency effects,” Chief Financial Officer Wolfgang Nickl said as quoted by Reuters.


Nickl explained that a massive depreciation of the Brazilian real was weighing heavily on the firm’s business in the world’s second-largest agricultural market. Bayer said it was unable to say what part of the impairment was attributable to legacy Monsanto businesses, saying only that two-thirds of the write-downs were due to currency and interest rate effects. Bayer has been under fire and facing a wave of lawsuits in the US over Roundup since its 2018 takeover of Monsanto for about $63 billion. The deal made Bayer the world’s largest supplier of seeds and pesticides. In June, Bayer struck an $11 billion outline agreement with US plaintiffs’ lawyers, but a judge later took issue with a side arrangement on future cases that may yet be lodged, known as a class plan.

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Oct 272020
 


Henri Matisse Bathers by a River 1910

 

Hillary Clinton Says Trump & Russian Media ‘Stole’ Election From Her (RT)
Meacham Attacks Trump Supporters As Lizard Brains (Turley)
Supreme Court Rules Wisconsin Ballots Must Be Received By Election Day (Fox)
Biden’s Parade of Horribles For Changing The Supreme Court (Turley)
Debt-To-Income Ratios Are Worse Than They Appear (RIA)
Confirmed Influenza Cases Hit Rock-Bottom, Puzzling Experts (JTN)
China Moves To Legalise Digital Yuan, Ban Competitors (SCMP)
China Launches Crackdown On Mobile Web Browsers, ‘Chaos’ Of Information (R.)
Social Media’s Erasure Of Palestinians Is A Grim Warning For Our Future (Cook)
The Revelations Of Wikileaks: No. 9 – Opening the CIA’s Vault (CN)
‘Iraq War Diaries’ At Ten Years: Truth is Treason (Ron Paul)
US Pulls Plan To Give Early Vaccine To Santa Claus (BBC)

 

 

Making Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation an election issue may not be the smartest move ever for the Dems.

But not as bad as Hillary again blaming her loss on the Russians. Look, people don’t like you. Go home. Stay home. Like Joe.

 

 

 

 

Lincoln Project

 

 

Strassel Hunter

 

 

Nothing is ever my fault.

Hillary Clinton Says Trump & Russian Media ‘Stole’ Election From Her (RT)

Failed 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is claiming Trump “basically stole the election” from her four years after her loss, a statement that is earning her plenty of ridicule on social media. In an interview with journalist Kara Swisher’s podcast for the New York Times Opinions network released on Monday, Clinton spoke about losing in 2016 because of a “disinformation campaign” run by then-Republican candidate Donald Trump and “Russian media.” She even claimed the election was “stolen” from her. “I think that Trump and a lot of the people around him know that his victory was not on the up and up. They had an extensive campaign to suppress black voters. We now know much more about that than we did,” the former secretary of state said.


She also blamed third party voters who handed Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein historic results for their parties and claimed they were “boosted” by “Russian media.” “They had third party candidates boosted, particularly by Russian media. And the lies and ridiculous stories made up about me were meant to either keep you at home, or drive you third party if they couldn’t get you to vote for Trump,” she said. Trump, she said, holds a presidency that has an “air of illegitimacy,” something she has said many times over the past four years. She now drives Trump and Republicans “crazy” because “I was the candidate that they basically stole an election from.”

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Here, have some more deplorables.

Meacham Attacks Trump Supporters As Lizard Brains (Turley)

We recently discussed how Vanderbilt professor and historian Jon Meacham gave a quiz in his course on the 2020 Election in which students were asked “Was the Constitution designed to perpetuate white supremacy and protect the institution of slavery?” You had to answer “yes” or get points deducted. It appears that the final exam in the class could prove even more demanding for any intellectually honest student if Meacham asks about the voters themselves. The NBC analyst this week declared that President Trump and his supporters are examples of being controlled by what is called “the lizard brain”. It only got worse from there.

Meacham addressed a simple question of whether Trump helped himself with his base in the second presidential debate Thursday night. It is impossible on NBC, however, to refer to Trump voters without some derisive or insulting precursor. Meacham did not disappoint his audience. “I think Trump did himself good with his base tonight,” Meacham said. “The question for America is how big that base is. There is a lizard brain in this country. Donald Trump is a product of the White man’s, the anguished, nervous White guy’s lizard brain.” Meacham was referring to a primitive part of the brain in psychological literature: “Many people call it the ‘Lizard Brain,’ because the limbic system is about all a lizard has for brain function. It is in charge of fight, flight, feeding, fear, freezing up, and fornication.”

Of course, even with the lead held by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in the polls, roughly half of this country still supports Trump (or at least rejects Biden, who Meacham has endorsed). That is a lot of lizard people. What is striking is that Meacham is supposed to give what NBC, MSNBC and PBS present as neutral, scholarly analysis. But his comment about Trump supporters having lizard brains captures why conservative or independent voters view the networks as biased and gratuitously insulting. Indeed, these comments show that networks like NBC are now focusing entirely on Democratic and liberal viewers — writing off half of the American people as gag lines.

[..] I have watched the stereotyping of Trump supporters at media conferences for years. It suggests that roughly 63 million people in this country who voted for Trump in 2016 are knuckle-dragging racists. The media have simply never tried to see any nuance or gain any insight into what is motivating Trump supporters. It is easier to dismiss them as a whole as racists and lizard people. Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin has declared that Trump supporters as a whole are racists. That common stereotyping of Trump supporters is uncontested, even as the media object to Trump’s generalizations about other groups. Miami Herald columnist and NBC analyst Leonard Pitts wrote a column headlined: “No, it’s not the economy, stupid. Trump supporters fear a black and brown America.”

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I know we use the term ‘election year’, but I don’t think it was ever meant to be used in this sense. It was always ‘election day’.

Supreme Court Rules Wisconsin Ballots Must Be Received By Election Day (Fox)

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled against a request by Wisconsin Democrats to allow an extension for mail-in ballots that are received after Election Day. In a 5-3 ruling, the justices refused to reinstate a lower court order that called for mailed ballots to be counted if they are received up to six days after the Nov. 3 election. A federal appeals court had already put that order on hold. Democrats argued that the flood of absentee ballots and other challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic makes it necessary to extend the period in which ballots can be counted. Wisconsin is one of the nation’s hot spots for COVID-19, with hospitals treating a record high number of patients with the disease.


Republicans had opposed extending the Nov. 3 deadline, saying that voters have plenty of opportunities to cast their ballots by the close of polls on Election Day and that the rules should not be changed so close to the election. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services said that more than 201,000 people in the state have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Monday. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals had approved a six-day extension of a deadline for absentee ballots to be received in Wisconsin. Absentee ballots postmarked on or before Election Day would have been counted as long as they came in before Nov. 9. Chief Justice John Roberts sided with his conservative colleagues. Justice Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.

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“He insists Democrats can change the system to guarantee Republicans “will never win another election..”

Biden’s Parade of Horribles For Changing The Supreme Court (Turley)

The vote on Monday to make Judge Amy Coney Barrett the 115th Supreme Court justice will be more than a confirmation. It will be a dispensation, according to former Vice President Joe Biden and various Democratic senators. They have cited the vote as relieving them of any guilt in fundamentally changing the court to manufacture a liberal majority. Like school kids daring others to step over a line as an excuse to fight, Democrats insist that filling this vacancy will invite changes ranging from “packing” the court to stripping it of authority to rule in certain cases. The problem is that the line the Senate will step over is set by the Constitution, while the proposals by Democrats would retaliate against the use of a power granted by the Constitution. Democrats are floating a parade of horribles to “reform” the Supreme Court and negate its growing conservative majority.

Biden said this week that the court is “out of whack” and, as president, he would assemble a commission of “experts” to explore “a number of alternatives that go well beyond packing.” The commission would report to him 180 days after his inauguration. Polls show almost 60 percent of Americans oppose the court packing scheme supported by Democrats, including Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris. One person not polled was the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who denounced such a scheme as guaranteeing the court’s destruction. A New York Times and Siena College poll found only 31 percent favor court packing. That is a familiar figure: For the last four years, the same 30 percent of both parties have supported the most destructive political measures and rhetoric.

Those extremes continue to control our politics, while the vast majority of us in the middle watch in disbelief as virtually every Democratic senator embraces one of the most reviled tactics in American history. Those senators are not alone. A host of professors (who likely will be on the short list for Biden’s commission) are giving credibility to court packing. Harvard professor Michael Klarman attacked the foundations of Congress before attacking the foundations of the court. Klarman condemned a “malapportionment” in the Senate that he believes gives Republicans greater power, and referred to their refusal to vote on Obama court nominee Merrick Garland as “stealing a seat.” While controversial (and I was among those calling for a vote on Garland), that decision was clearly constitutional.

Yet Klarman illogically calls it “court packing” to justify any act of retaliation: “Democrats are not initiating this spiral. They are simply responding in kind.” He then says not to worry about Republicans responding with their own court packing when they return to power. He insists Democrats can change the system to guarantee Republicans “will never win another election,” at least not without abandoning their values. Of course, Klarman concedes “the Supreme Court could strike down everything I just described” so the court must be packed in advance to allow these changes to occur. Here are some of the other wacky ideas to get the court back into “whack.”

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Only needed to read the headline to understand why.

Debt-To-Income Ratios Are Worse Than They Appear (RIA)

I recently published an article discussing why “recessions” are a good thing by reverting debt buildups excesses during expansions. The argument against debt reversions is always the same in that “debt-to-income” ratios low. To wit: “One reason (of many) we don’t need a debt reversion is that household debt service costs (interest etc.) as a % of household incomes are currently at a 40 year low.” – S. Porter If you look at a chart, it certainly would seem that would be the case. But, like most data from the Federal Reserve, you have to dig behind the numbers to reveal the real story. So let’s do that, shall we?

Every year, most Americans go further into debt just to “sustain” their standard of living. To wit: “In 1998, monetary velocity peaked and began to turn lower. Such coincides with the point that consumers were forced into debt to sustain their standard of living. For decades, WallStreet, advertisers, and corporate powerhouses flooded consumers with advertising to induce them into buying bigger houses, televisions, and cars. The age of ‘consumerism’ took hold.“

The idea of “maintaining a certain standard of living” has become a foundation in society currently. The average American believes they are “entitled” to a specific type of house, car, and general lifestyle. Such includes living necessities such as food, running water, electricity, and the latest mobile phone, computer, and high-speed internet connection. (Really, what would be the point of living if you didn’t have access to Facebook every two minutes?) However, maintaining this “entitled” lifestyle requires money, and as shown above, when income and savings run short, debt fills the gap.

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Are all COVID patients tested for flu?

Confirmed Influenza Cases Hit Rock-Bottom, Puzzling Experts (JTN)

Even as worries persist over increasing COVID-19 cases in the United States, cases of another virus — influenza — have plummeted relative to their number a year ago. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s FluView influenza tracker lists an influenza-positive test percentage of 0.3% for week 42 of 2020 — a total of 33 positive tests out of 10,809 specimens. That’s down sharply from 2.4% during the same week last year. Visits to healthcare providers for “influenza-like illnesses” during week 42 were also down this year from the last, though not as sharply: This week that rate was 1.2% of all such visits, while last year it was 1.7%.

Sharp drops in influenza have also been observed elsewhere throughout the world over the past several months. World Health Organization global flu surveillance shows a severe dropoff in flu cases starting in early April; whereas in past years flu cases are sustained at a steady plateau over the mid-year months — driven by the Southern Hemisphere’s flu season — WHO observation has cases more or less disappearing from April onwards. “Globally, influenza activity remained at lower levels than expected for this time of the year,” the WHO wrote earlier this month, “though increased detections were reported in some countries.”

[..] Some experts have, perhaps unsurprisingly, cited the still-ongoing lockdowns, mitigation measures, mask mandates and social distancing orders as possible explanations for reduced flu rates worldwide. “It does seem that the rates are lower,” Phyllis Kanki, an infectious disease professor at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told Just the News. “I think COVID mitigation measures are likely to lower levels. Some of these mitigation measures may have been particularly effective for high-risk groups for flu, like the elderly and immunosuppressed.” Nevertheless, she acknowledged, at this point there are “more questions than answers.”

[..] Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University, is skeptical about the conventional wisdom that COVID mitigation efforts suppressed this year’s flu. “I think we can dismiss out of hand that that masks and social distancing are responsible for the decline in flu incidence this season,” he told Just the News, while also confessing to being uncertain as to why levels were so low. “First, why would they work for the flu, but not for COVID? Second, there is randomized evidence that those interventions do not work to suppress influenza incidence.” Bhattacharya was referring to a substantial body of evidence indicating that masks do not stop the spread of influenza. A World Health Organization review from last year found “no evidence” that masks helped to stop influenza transmission.

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Does this mean they’ll ban Bitcoin?

China Moves To Legalise Digital Yuan, Ban Competitors (SCMP)

China is inching closer to the launch of its own sovereign digital currency by giving it a legal foundation in an upcoming law revision, while the central bank is also addressing problems that emerged in pilot tests for the digital yuan. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) published a draft law on Friday that would give legal status to the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) system, and for the first time the digital yuan has been included and defined as part of the country’s sovereign fiat currency. The draft law would also forbid any party from making or issuing yuan-backed digital tokens to replace the renminbi in the market.

Mu Changchun, head of the central bank’s digital currency research institute, said on Sunday at the Bund Summit in Shanghai that the DCEP will be allowed to circulate and be converted like physical banknotes and coins. “Its centralised management will be good to fight against cryptocurrencies and global stablecoins and prevent their erosion of currency-issuance rights,” he said. China released its design framework for the digital yuan soon after Facebook unveiled its ambitious Libra token project in the summer of last year, with plans for a two-tier issuance structure and a focus on small retail application scenarios. China appears to be the front runner in the race to issue the world’s first digital currency, having conducted a series of trials in four cities – Suzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu and Xiongan – as well as at venues for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.


Earlier this month, a district in Shenzhen, just across the mainland border from Hong Kong, gave away 50,000 digital “red packets”, totalling 10 million yuan (US$1.5 million), to local residents in the largest-scale test so far. The central government has made it clear that the goals of the DCEP include replacing cash, maintaining government control over the currency and creating as many small retail application scenarios as possible. China is also looking to internationalise the yuan by enhancing its use in international settlements.

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“..dissemination of chaos by ‘self-media’. Don’t think I’ve seen that term before.

China Launches Crackdown On Mobile Web Browsers, ‘Chaos’ Of Information (R.)

China’s top cyber authority said on Monday it would carry out a “rectification” of Chinese mobile internet browsers to address what it called social concerns over the “chaos” of information being published online. China’s strict internet censorship rules have been tightened numerous times in recent years and in the latest crackdown, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has told firms operating mobile browsers that they have until Nov. 9 to conduct a “self examination” and rectify problems. The problems include the spreading of rumours, the use of sensationalist headlines and the publishing of content that violates the core values of socialism, it said in a statement.


“For some time, mobile browsers have grown in an uncivilised way … and have become a gathering place and amplifier for dissemination of chaos by ‘self-media’,” the CAC said, referring to independently operated social media accounts, many of which publish news. “After the rectification, mobile browsers that still have outstanding problems will be dealt with strictly according to laws and regulations until related businesses are banned.” The campaign will initially focus on eight of the most influential mobile browsers in China, including those operated by Huawei, Alibaba Group Holding’s UCWeb and Xiaomi Corp, it said.

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We all heard of Big Brother. We just never understood who he is.

Social Media’s Erasure Of Palestinians Is A Grim Warning For Our Future (Cook)

Western publics are waking up very belatedly to the undemocratic power social media wields over them. But if we wish to understand where this ultimately leads, there is no better case study than the very different ways Israelis and Palestinians have been treated by the tech giants. The treatment of Palestinians online serves as a warning that it would be foolish indeed to regard these globe-spanning corporations as politically neutral platforms, and their decisions as straightforwardly commercial. This is to doubly misunderstand their role. Social media firms are now effectively monopolistic communication grids – similar to the electricity and water grids, or the phone network of a quarter of a century ago.

Their decisions are therefore no longer private matters, but instead have huge social, economic and political consequences. That is part of the reason why the US justice department launched a lawsuit last week against Google for acting as a “monopoly gatekeeper for the internet”. Google, Facebook and Twitter have no more a right to arbitrarily decide who and what they host on their sites than telecoms companies once had a right to decide whether a customer should be allowed a phone line. But unlike the phone company, social media corporations control not just the means of communication, but the content too. They can decide, as the Hunter Biden story shows, whether their customers get to participate in vital public debates about who leads them.


The Hunter Biden decision is as if the phone company of old not only listened in to conversations, but was able to cut the line if it did not like the politics of any particular customer. In fact, it is even worse than that. Social media now deliver the news to large sections of the population. Their censoring of a story is more akin to the electricity company turning off the power to everyone’s homes for the duration of a TV broadcast to ensure no one can see it.

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At least Merkel said she was angry. But after that, crickets.

The Revelations Of Wikileaks: No. 9 – Opening the CIA’s Vault (CN)

As its publisher remains in prison awaiting judgment on his extradition case, we continue our series of looking at WikiLeaks’ significant revelations contributing to the public’s right to know. On Feb. 6, 2017, WikiLeaks released documents detailing the Central Intelligence Agency’s espionage program in the months leading up to and following France’s presidential election in 2012. The agency used spies and cyberweapons to infiltrate and hack into the major political parties with competing candidates — the Socialists, the National Front and the Union for a Popular Movement. Their candidates — respectively François Hollande, Marine Le Pen and incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy — were also spied upon individually, as were many other prominent political figures.

The objectives of the program included ascertaining the contending parties’ political strategies and platforms, their views of the U.S., and their relations with the European Union, with other European nations (Germany, Britain) as well as Israel, Palestine, Libya, Syria, and others. The CIA’s French operation lasted 10 months, beginning in November 2011 and enduring until September 2012, several months after Hollande won the election and formed a Socialist government. WikiLeaks’ disclosure of the agency’s project bears a special irony: It was just as WikiLeaks published this material in 2017 that the CIA helped propagate unsubstantiated (and later discounted) “intelligence” that Russian hackers and propagandists were interfering with France’s presidential election that year.


Similar allegations (similarly lacking in evidence) were floated as the European Union held parliamentary elections in May 2019. As WikiLeaks reported at the time of the releases on the CIA’s covert activities in France, those revelations were to serve “as context for its forthcoming CIA Vault 7 series.” WikiLeaks’ apparent intent was to display a CIA’s hacking operation in action. Vault 7, the subject of this latest report on the history of WikiLeaks disclosures, stands as the most extensive publication on record of classified and confidential CIA documents. Never before and not since have the agency’s innumerable programs and capabilities been so thoroughly exposed to public scrutiny.

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“People who knowingly lied us into the war like Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, the Beltway neocon “experts,” and most of the media, faced neither punishment nor professional shaming for their acts.”

‘Iraq War Diaries’ At Ten Years: Truth is Treason (Ron Paul)

The purpose of journalism is to uncover truth – especially uncomfortable truth – and to publish it for the benefit of society. In a free society, we must be informed of the criminal acts carried out by governments in the name of the people. Throughout history, journalists have uncovered the many ways governments lie, cheat, and steal – and the great lengths they will go to keep the people from finding out. Great journalists like Seymour Hersh, who reported to us the tragedy of the Mai Lai Massacre and the horrors that took place at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, are essential. Ten years ago last week, Julian Assange’s Wikileaks organization published an exposé of US government wrongdoing on par with the above Hersh bombshell stories.

Publication of the “Iraq War Diaries” showed us all the brutality of the US attack on Iraq. It told us the truth about the US invasion and occupation of that country. This was no war of defense against a nation threatening us with weapons of mass destruction. This was no liberation of the country. We were not “bringing democracy” to Iraq. No, the release of nearly 400,000 classified US Army field reports showed us in dirty detail that the US attack was a war of aggression, based on lies, where hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed and injured. We learned that the US military classified anyone they killed in Iraq as “enemy combatants.” We learned that more than 700 Iraqi civilians were killed for “driving too close” to one of the hundreds of US military checkpoints – including pregnant mothers-to-be rushing to the hospital.

We learned that US military personnel routinely handed “detainees” over to Iraqi security forces where they would be tortured and often killed. Ten years after Assange’s brave act of journalism changed the world and exposed one of the crimes of the century, he sits alone in solitary confinement in a UK prison. He sits literally fighting for his life, as if he is successfully extradited to the United States he faces 175 years in a “supermax” prison for committing “espionage” against a country of which he is not a citizen. On the Iraq war we have punished the truth-tellers and rewarded the criminals. People who knowingly lied us into the war like Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, the Beltway neocon “experts,” and most of the media, faced neither punishment nor professional shaming for their acts. In fact, they got off scot free and many even prospered.

Julian Assange explained that he published the Iraq War Diaries because he “hoped to correct some of the attack on truth that occurred before the war, and that continued on since that war officially ended.” We used to praise brave journalists not afraid to take on the “bad guys.” Now we torture and imprison them.

Assange 10 years later

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Read it twice, still can’t decide if it’s serious.

US Pulls Plan To Give Early Vaccine To Santa Claus (BBC)

The US has cancelled plans to offer Santa Claus performers early access to a coronavirus vaccine in exchange for their help in promoting it publicly. Those who perform as Mrs Claus and elves would also have been eligible for the jabs. The festive collaboration was part of a $250m (£192m) government campaign to garner celebrity endorsements of vaccinations once they are approved. But health authorities confirmed the advertising campaign had been scrapped. Ric Erwin, chairman of the Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas, called the news “extremely disappointing.”


“This was our greatest hope for Christmas 2020, and now it looks like it won’t happen,” he told the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the story. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has since confirmed the existence of the Santa plan to the New York Times. The idea was initially conceived by Michael Caputo, a former assistant secretary at the department. Mr Caputo announced last month that he would be going on leave, shortly after posting a video to Facebook where he accused government scientists of engaging in “sedition” against President Donald Trump.

Read more …

 

 

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The main difference between government bailouts and smoking is that in some rare cases the statement “this is my last cigarette” holds true.
– Nassim Nicholas Taleb in The Bed of Procrustes

 

 

To become a philosopher, start by walking very slowly.
– Nassim Nicholas Taleb

 

 

 

 

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Oct 182020
 


René Magritte The seducer 1953

 

 

USA Today Headline: “A Tabloid Got A Trove Of Data On Hunter Biden From Rudy Giuliani. Now, The FBI Is Probing A Possible Disinformation Campaign

(The FBI is examining whether the material supplied to the New York Post by Rudy Giuliani is part of a disinformation campaign by Russia.)”

 

Seeing that makes me think: with Comey, Strzok, Lisa Page, McCabe et al gone, who initiates and approves such “examinations”? The aforementioned were all involved in setting up the Special Counsel led by former FBI chief Robert Mueller, and that was the most embarrassing episode in the Bureau’s history. Which is saying something given J. Edgar’s penchant for dressing up in women’s clothing.

The Mueller probe was all predicated on vague and unproven Russian “disinformation”, and it fittingly ended with it too. With absolutely nothing coming out of the probe, that was based on the Steele Dossier which the protagonists knew was false even before the probe started, Mueller and his right-hand Andrew Weismann in the end had nothing left but “13 Russians” and Julian Assange to “justify” their $30 million, 2 year “effort”.

The only people they could lay any -always unproven- blame or suspicion on were those who could not defend themselves against false accusations. And when Concord Management unexpectedly did raise a defense, Mueller was shut down by a US judge in no time. It’s pathetic. Mueller’s a liar and a coward, as I’ve said a dozen times now. He should be exiled to Mars.

But what’s worse than his reputation having been destroyed, is that he and his pals hammered the FBI’s reputation as well. So when I read in October 2020 that “The FBI Is Probing A Possible Disinformation Campaign by Russia”, I’m obliged to ask: where does that come from?

Because apparently at least some things haven’t changed yet, despite the Mueller horror show. What the FBI needs is a thorough cleansing, not another nonsensical politically driven opaque “investigation” of Russians. The obvious problem, of course, is that the same media who edged on that disaster will also report on this one without an inch of actual journalistic curiosity or integrity.

The media are in the same political wing as the FBI. They are all counting down the days until November 3, and they are all counting on their mishaps and misdeeds being forgiven and/or buried deep if Joe Biden wins, something they spare no effort to achieve.

 

But unlike the Democrats, in their present-day DNC, Hillary, Pelosi et al, setting, and the mainstream media, who have lost all credibility, the FBI will have a role to play in the future of America. All of the above have been caught in scandalous endeavors to halt a presidential candidate and then unseat a president, but unlike in the case of the Democrats and the media, the nation itself actually has the means to change the FBI.

And it will have to. Because it needs a domestic intelligence service that can go after people who attempt to subvert the workings -and laws- of American society. But yes, that means people like themselves. And once the FBI becomes complicit in such subversion, there is no-one left to investigate them. A classic problem, who will investigate the investigators?

Sure, in “normal” times that should be the House, but the Democrat House is also part of the entire “cabal”. Just remember Adam Schiff’s and Jerry Nadler’s shameless statements of having evidence of collusion when they very obviously did not. So that’s not going to happen. Or at least, that’s what they all think. But it must, Biden victory or not.

Ironically, an Amy Coney Barrett confirmation for the Supreme Court, in that regard, may be seen as a move to save the country, to save the integrity and moral fiber of the United States. Because if the House won’t, and the Senate can’t, save the country from the FBI turning rogue and siding with one side of the political system , the Supreme Court will have to. Or else.

 

A vote for Joe Biden is a vote for the entire DNC-FBI-MSM cabal. Which counts on all they’ve done to magically disappear under President Kamala. And that is not going to happen. If the FBI and Capitol Hill will not see to it, the judicial system will. How big a role Michael Flynn lawyer Sidney Powell will play in that depends on how much people like Bill Barr are willing to take on, but Powell is up to the task.

Of course there are legitimate questions about how exactly the New York Post and Rudy Giuliani got hold of the emails and other Hunter Biden-related material. But the fact that the Biden campaign after three days still hasn’t disputed its veracity is a major tell. All they have done is point to Russian disinformation -again- and now the FBI is “investigating” that. The exact same thing Mueller failed to prove.

In other words, we’re still caught in a circle-jerk, only now Facebook and Twitter have joined in too. But the real question should not be about the Russians, that’s always only been a ruse. It should be: how do we restore the reputation and credibility of the FBI that was so thoroughly annulled over the past 5 years?

If Biden wins, nothing will be restored. Because the FBI helped him win. If Trump wins, there’s a slightly better chance. Then again, Trump’s presidency didn’t change much. Comey, Strzok and McCabe disappeared, but new chief Christopher Wray is out there frustrating declassifications, and approving brainless probes like Russian disinformation in the Hunter Biden laptop case.

Which is not just useless, it’s an active attempt to direct attention away from what is actually there: the contents of the laptop. Which, again, remains uncontested by the Biden campaign.

If the FBI cannot be perceived by the American people as an impartial bureau, that will be a very big problem for many years to come. If people fear that it may -again- turn against a presidential candidate for partisan reasons, and lie through their teeth to achieve their goals, that will be it for the Bureau.

 

 

 

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Support the Automatic Earth in virustime, election time, all the time. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.