Feb 172024
 
 February 17, 2024  Posted by at 9:51 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  57 Responses »


Francisco Goya The Dog 1819-23

 

Trump Slams Judge After $364 Million Verdict; Vows To Appeal (ZH)
Trump Responds To Judge Engoron’s Decision (ZH)
Speed. . . and. . . Action (Jim Kunstler)
Musk Decries US Government Censorship (RT)
‘Want to Get ‘Radicalized’, See Russia’- Scott Ritter (Sp.)
An Anti-Russian Europe Is a Europe That Destroys Itself (Dionisio)
Russian Space Nukes and Navalny’s Death… U.S. Psyops Go Ballistic (SCF)
Ohio Rep. Part of Shadowy Cabal Aiming to Destroy Russia – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Russian Media Thrilled By Biden’s LNG “Gift” To Putin (ZH)
Axis of Resistance: from Donbass to Gaza (Pepe Escobar)
Why Israel’s War on UNRWA is so Sinister (Cradle)
Political, Economic Indicators Not Promising for Biden (Gallup)
How the CIA Destabilizes the World (Jeffrey Sachs)
Bombing Muslims for Peace (Bill Astore)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Mike Benz

 

 

Fani Maddow

 

 

 

 

FANI Grand Jury Foreman

 

 

 

 

 

 

The judge and AG are essentially saying they know more about banking than the “defrauded” bankers, who made a hefty profit. This will never pass in the Supreme Court.

But: “He is expected to launch an appeal, which would put the verdict on hold until a higher court reviews the case. But if he wants to avoid paying the fine or have personal assets seized while the appeal process plays out, he still has to deposit the full amount to be held by the court within 30 days.”

For people like Letitia James and Fani Willis, “get Trump” is a career move. As promised in their White House talks.

Trump Slams Judge After $364 Million Verdict; Vows To Appeal (ZH)

New York Judge Arthur Engoron has ordered former President Donald Trump to pay $364 million for allegedly defrauding banks in order to acquire loans and other benefits – loans which the banks themselves testified they were satisfied with after doing their own due diligence. Trump is also barred “from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation or other legal entity in New York for a period of three years,” while his sons have been barred from serving as New York executives for two years. New York Attorney General Letitia James had sought $370 million from Trump, his company, and its top executives for what she claimed was “repeated and persistent fraud” – which included allegations of falsifying records and financial statements to the tune of as much as $2.2 billion. Trump maintains that his financial statements to banks were conservative, and has called the case a “fraud on me.”

“This is a case that should have never been brought, and I think we should be entitled to damages,” Trump said on Jan. 11. Following Friday’s decision, Trump’s attorneys hit back – calling it “manifest injustice” in a statement. The months-long civil trial included testimony from Trump and his oldest children. The former president was combative in his day on the stand, blasting James as a “hack” and calling the judge “extremely hostile.” Trump repeatedly complained about Engoron before and throughout the trial, and the judge slapped him with a partial gag order after he started blasting the judge’s law clerk as well. Trump’s complaints led to a flood of death threats against the clerk, as well as Engoron, court officials said, and Trump was fined $15,000 for twice violating the order. -NBC News

During the trial, Deutsche Bank executive David Williams, who directly worked on at least one of several loans obtained by Trump over several decades, testified that it’s “atypical, but not entirely unusual” for a bank to internally slash a client’s stated asset values by 50% and approve a loan anyway, as they did with Trump, Bloomberg reported in November. “It just depends on the circumstances,” said Williams, a managing director at the bank. “Deutsche Bank, which loaned hundreds of millions of dollars to Trump for properties in Miami, Chicago and Washington, cut his stated net worth in 2011 and 2012 from about $4.2 billion to $2.3 billion, according to internal bank credit memos. The same documents indicated the bank approved the loans anyway because it expected them to generate a profit based on Trump’s history of successful developments and other criteria.

Trump, who denies wrongdoing and claims the case is politically motivated, is calling to the stand this week four current and former Deutsche Bank employees — including the family’s former private banker Rosemary Vrablic — as part of his defense case, seeking to flip the script on the state’s version of events”. -Bloomberg. The testimony undermined AG James’ premise, that Trump defrauded the German bank. But of course, none of that matters to Engoron – while Trump’s Martyr status just intensified. Expect this decision to be reflected in upcoming polls.

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“Trump has responded to Judge Engoron’s decision, calling him a “crooked” judge who’s just committed election interference (and much, much more)..”

Trump Responds To Judge Engoron’s Decision (ZH)

“A Crooked New York State Judge, working with a totally Corrupt Attorney General who ran on the basis of “I will get Trump,” before knowing anything about me or my company, has just fined me $355 Million based on nothing other than having built a GREAT COMPANY. ELECTION INTERFERENCE. WITCH HUNT (more to follow!),” said Trump in a post to Truth Social. “The Justice System in New York State, and America as a whole, is under assault by partisan, deluded, biased Judges and Prosecutors. Racist, Corrupt A.G. Tish James has been obsessed with “Getting Trump” for years, and used Crooked New York State Judge Engoron to get an illegal, unAmerican judgment against me, my family, and my tremendous business. I helped New York City during its worst of times, and now, while it is overrun with Violent Biden Migrant Crime, the Radicals are doing all they can to kick me out….”

And according to the former president, Engoron conspired with New York Attorney General Letitia James. “This Election Interference and tyrannical Abuse of Power by a Crooked Judge and Crooked Attorney General cannot be tolerated. My case was already won in the Appellate Division, and more than 80% of the frivolous claims were wiped out. Yet, as I suspected, and in order to hurt me and the Republican Party politically, Crooked and Corrupt Judge Arthur Engoron ignored his loss at the Appellate Division, and came up with an outrageous $355 Million Dollar fine against me. Using a statute that has never been applied like this before, the Corrupt Judge conspired with the Crooked Attorney General, Letitia James, and punished a liquid and beautiful Corporate Empire that started in New York, and has been successful all around the world…..

“There were no victims, and not one person testified there was any fraud. The actual witnesses established my Net Worth exceeded that reported in my Financial Statements as those Statements never included my most valuable Asset – the TRUMP Brand. The Highly Respected Expert Witness said my Financial Statements were among the best he has ever seen. I paid over $300 Million Dollars in taxes to New York City and State, and they want me gone. They are Crazed Lunatics who are destroying everything in their way. It all starts with Biden’s attacks on his Political Opponent!” Trump also said he’d appeal Engoron’s decision.

“The actual bankers who were involved in the loan transactions testified I was a highly sought-after “whale” of a client with “one of the strongest personal balance sheets” they had ever seen, and I was overqualified for the loans. Those banks earned more than $100 Million Dollars in profits doing business with me and my companies. But to justify his crazed attack on me and my family, this biased, Trump Hating Judge, ignored all this, and even said Michael Cohen told the truth, although Cohen admitted to lying hundreds of times, and lied right in front of the Judge during the trial. This shocking and corrupt Interference in the Free Markets for political gain places every New York business transaction at risk. We must make sure Corrupt Politicians and Judges cannot continue to abuse the power of their office, and violate the public trust. We have already won, and will continue the fight on appeal!”

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“The reason the lovebirds could take so much time cavorting across the Caribbean and California — vineyard tours featuring “pairings of champagne, chocolate, and caviar,” Ms. Willis testified — is because their Fulton County case was entirely prepped for them out of DC by Mary McCord..”

Speed. . . and. . . Action (Jim Kunstler)

Have you noticed yet that America has turned into a Coen Brothers movie? Everywhere you look, you see madcap characters disgracing themselves while doing their bit to burn the whole country down. It’s a panoramic extravaganza of everything gone wrong, with slapstick overtones, driving toward an apocalyptic climax — civil war, nuclear war, economic collapse, maybe all three. And all because the people on-screen just can’t stop lying. Yesterday was Fani Willis’s turn, her big scene. The Fulton County, Georgia, DA, wasn’t even scheduled to testify, but she barged into Judge Scott McAfee’s courtroom and seized possession of the witness stand, like it was home-base in a game of ringolevio. This was after the morning vivisection of her boyfriend, the feckless Nathan Wade, testifying to the couple’s fun-filled romantic travels during the months they were supposedly busy constructing a racketeering case against Donald Trump and eighteen others scooped into their dragnet.

The reason the lovebirds could take so much time cavorting across the Caribbean and California — vineyard tours featuring “pairings of champagne, chocolate, and caviar,” Ms. Willis testified — is because their Fulton County case was entirely prepped for them out of DC by Mary McCord, the veteran blob lawyer active in every Get-Trump hoax cooked up since 2016. (And I’d bet cash-money that she had plenty of assistance from Lawfare blobsters Norm Eisen and Andrew Weissmann.) The complex particulars of the case were all teed up, ready to go. All Ms. Willis and her lead prosecutor, Mr. Wade, had to do was get the trial date set, raise the curtain, and follow the script. Alas, the couple got carried away in the raptures of amour and, all of a sudden, we’re in something like The Real Housewives of Atlanta. And then they lied about the details under oath, especially around the money involved. If they are not disqualified from participating in the Trump “racketeering” case — in which their own behavior would be centerpiece evidence of an ineptly tainted and malicious prosecution — and/or if the case is not tossed summarily, then it will have to be removed to another county and most likely delayed until after the 2024 elections. Nice work, Party of Chaos!

That little opéra bouffe is but one sub-plot in the larger scenario. Also this week, the scandal of the century was re-kindled when alt-news reporters Taibbi, Shellenberger, and Gutentag filed the story of how Barack Obama and CIA Director John Brennan, with his chore girls, Avril Haines and Gina Haspel, cooked up the RussiaGate caper and fed it to the FBI, with a major assist from The New York Times, the WashPo, CNN, and other useful idiot news media vectors. All of this had actually been well-documented for years, but the reporters dredged up new corroboration from disgusted blob insiders further clarifying the origins of the hoax. The cast of characters in that part of the big movie has been consistent through eight full years of anti-Trump hysteria and the associated trips laid on our country. Ms. McCord, for instance, was U.S. Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security during the birth of RussiaGate; later served as counsel to the House Committee that kicked-off Trump Impeachment No. 1 (coordinating the Eric Ciaramella “whistleblower” scam); then became counsel to Rep. Bennie Thompson’s J6 committee investigation, and now turns up as Fani Willis’ legal tutor, and probably also tutor to New York State Attorney General Letitia James and her preposterous Get Trump real estate valuation case under Judge Engoron.

(Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan DA on the Stormy Daniels case against Mr. Trump, was coached by then US Associate Attorney General Matthew Colangelo who was hired out of the DOJ directly into Mr. Bragg’s office for tutoring purposes.) All of this coaching post Jan 20, 2021, was coordinated by the “Joe Biden” White House. Speaking of whom, the evermore spectral “president” was not having a great week either after DOJ Special Counsel Robert Hur painted him into a corner in his final report as either too demented to face charges in the purloined documents case (and, by inference, not mentally capable to be president), or else a criminal trafficking in top secret documents he was not authorized to possess as Senator and Veep. Looks like that puts an end to “JB’s” game of pretending to run for reelection (that is, lying about it) and leaves the Democratic Party holding a flaming bag of dog doo-doo.

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Musk is paying good attention to what happens to Trump: “How far will they go to stop me?”

Musk Decries US Government Censorship (RT)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has claimed that his foray into social media – buying the former Twitter (since renamed X) and trying to make it a bastion of free speech – made him and all of his businesses targets for constant attacks by governments and their censorship allies. “The public still doesn’t understand even a tiny fraction of the power of the censorship-government-industrial complex,” Musk said on Friday in a post on X. “As predicted, my companies and I came under relentless attack the moment the censorship of this platform was lifted. How far will they go to stop me?” The US billionaire made the comments in response to a post by podcast host David Sacks, who warned that “regime Democrats” are working every day to undermine Americans’ free-speech rights and freedom from political persecution.

Musk also agreed with a suggestion that his political enemies are “just getting started” after winning a Delaware court ruling late last month voiding his $56 billion compensation package at Tesla. Musk, who heads several other companies, has previously claimed that he’s at “quite significant” risk of being killed. His father, Errol Musk, said in an interview last September that he feared his son could be assassinated by a “shadow government” because of the influence he wields. Ranking as America’s richest man with a fortune estimated by Forbes at over $200 billion, Elon Musk has been hit with a flurry of legal attacks and negative media coverage since buying Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022 and vowing to end censorship on the platform. Advertiser boycotts cut into X’s revenue, and President Joe Biden’s administration sued Musk’s SpaceX company for allegedly discriminating against refugees in its hiring practices.

Biden reacted to the Twitter takeover by suggesting that Musk should be investigated by the federal government. Asked whether Musk could jeopardize US national security, the president told reporters, “I think that Elon Musk’s cooperation and/or technical relationships with other countries is worthy of being looked at.” Under its previous ownership, Twitter was among the social media platforms that helped Biden win the 2020 US presidential election by censoring a bombshell report on alleged influence-peddling in Ukraine and China by his family. Republican lawmakers have accused the FBI of colluding with Twitter executives to squash the report. Musk also released internal Twitter documents exposing government involvement in the censoring of speech regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. “Thank God for Elon Musk for allowing to show us and the world that Twitter was basically a subsidiary of the FBI, censoring real medical voices with real expertise that put real American lives in danger because they didn’t have that information,” US Representative Nancy Mace said last year.

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“Russia is a nation, not a city. And the Russians love their country..”

‘Want to Get ‘Radicalized’, See Russia’- Scott Ritter (Sp.)

The knives are out for Tucker Carlson in the Washington establishment and the legacy media as he continues to debunk myths and stereotypes about Russia with a series of videos about life in the capital in the midst of the West’s sanctions ‘total war’. In the latest of a series of clips posted to his internet channel about his experiences from his eight-day stay in Russia, Carlson praised Moscow’s grocery prices. “I went from amused to legitimately angry,” Carlson said after purchasing a week’s worth of groceries for the equivalent of about $105 US. “Coming to a Russian grocery store, the ‘heart of evil’, and seeing what things cost and how people live, it will radicalize you against our leaders. That’s how I feel, anyway – radicalized,” Carlson said after dragging US leaders through the mud for “wrecking people’s lives” through “filth and crime and inflation.”

The independent conservative journalist’s comments sparked immediate outrage from detractors, with neocon Republican lawmaker Thom Tillis echoing Hillary Clinton, blasting Carlson as a “useful idiot” and mocking him for suggesting Russia “is so much better than the US with all those cheap groceries and lavish subway stations.” Another neocon group, ‘Republicans Against Trump’, blasted Carlson as a “Kremlin propagandist” and accused him of running a program called “Russia is awesome, the US is crap.” The hate was echoed by establishment media, with the USA Today publishing a column suggesting Tucker should do “everything he can to get his followers to move to Russia.” MSNBC host Chris Hayes immediately jumped in to suggest that the discrepancy in grocery prices is the result of America being a “rich country” and that “if you are an american [sic] and go to a country that is poorer, things will be cheaper there.”

Others suggested Tucker’s experiences were unique to Moscow, and that he would see something different if he went to “real Russia” outside the “Potemkin village” Russian capital. “It’s like a modern day equivalent of John Reed’s classic ‘10 Days That Shook the World’ – ‘8 Days That Radicalized Tucker Carlson’,” former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter told Sputnik of Carlson’s eye-opening experiences during his visit to Russia. “We all saw the interview with Vladimir Putin, over 1 billion of us, and we’ve seen Tucker Carlson’s video clips of his experience in Moscow, the Moscow Metro, shopping in a Moscow market, a visit to the Russian McDonald’s [equivalent]. Everything that Tucker Carlson said is true, 100%. The Metro is an amazing place, clean, it’s a work of art. There is no food shortage in Moscow. Yes, Russian fast food is not only as tasty as its American equivalent, but because of the GMO laws, yes, Tucker, you should have asked that question, healthier,” Ritter said.

Pointing to those dishing out of hate Carlson’s way and claiming his experiences were somehow “fake,” Ritter, who has traveled to Russia extensively over the past year, Ritter assured that he has “been to the rest of Russia,” and could confirm that what the former Fox News host saw in Moscow could be observed in other Russian cities as well. “In May, when I made my first visit to Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the first city I landed in wasn’t Moscow. It was Novosibirsk. Now is Novosibirsk is brilliantly lit up as Moscow? No, it’s not a city of 13 million. It’s not the capital of the Russian Federation. It’s not the center of commerce for Russia. But Novosibirsk is the third largest city in Russia and the largest developing economy. You know, when you go to a supermarket in Novosibirsk, it’s every bit as well stocked as those you will find in Moscow. Why? Because Russia is a modern state.

Russia is a state that has the ability to transport food products throughout the great expanse of the nation. Russia is not Moscow. Russia is a nation of over 150 million people who live with the same level of modernity as the rest of the world,” Ritter said. “In Novosibirsk, I saw a people who live their lives just like everybody else – [with] a public transportation system that’s clean, efficient, streets that are clean, efficient. Why? Because throughout Russia, the Russian people care about their cities as much as the residents of Moscow care about theirs. Russia is a nation, not a city. And the Russians love their country,” he added.

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“Russia did everything it could to free itself from US domination in the terrible 1990s, and Ukraine did everything it could to integrate itself under US control, mainly from 2004 onwards..”

An Anti-Russian Europe Is a Europe That Destroys Itself (Dionisio)

According to Syrsky, the new commander-in-chief of Kiev’s troops, the lives of Ukrainian soldiers are the most important thing the army has. An assumption that was only made when it became obvious to everyone that there was no chance of victory in a direct fight against Russia. As long as it was possible to feed the idea that „Ukraine was beating Russia“, when it was Russia that had the initiative — and never lost it — the lives of Ukrainian soldiers were worth little. Men — and some women — in their hundreds of thousands were thrown into muddy trenches, poorly fed and with ammunition in short supply, against an opponent who never lacked anything.

The fact is that when the Kiev forces had combat capability — not to be confused with „the ability to win“ — the official communication was that „Ukraine was winning the war“; when it became clear that the cost of fighting the Russian forces was so high that it could not be sustained, the pro-Kiev media, financed by Uncle Sam’s NGOs and primary sources of Western official information, began to say „Ukraine cannot lose the war“; when it could no longer be hidden that the „counter-offensive“ had failed and with it, the hopes — fanciful — of a Kiev victory, we moved on to the „Ukraine and Russia are in a stalemate“ phase. The Ukrainian reality, under the Kiev regime, is characterized by always being in direct contradiction with the Russian reality and, coincidentally, with the concrete observable reality. This is why the relationship between the two realities is an invaluable dialectical example from a pedagogical point of view.

While living with Russia, Ukraine has become one of the world’s greatest powers. There is not, and never has been, a successful Ukraine without Russia on its side. Vladimir Putin did not lie about the fact that Russia has always helped Ukraine. For those who don’t know, it wasn’t out of any kind of adventurism that the Donbass was annexed to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1917, Ukraine was an eminently rural and de-industrialized region of the Russian empire, so, in 1918, in order to guarantee conditions for the territory’s development and, in this way, a more harmonious development of the nascent Soviet state, the Donbass became part of the Ukrainian Socialist Republic, as a way of guaranteeing the progress of the newly formed homeland.

The truth is that, in 1991, Ukraine had more than 50 million inhabitants, one of the largest armies in Europe (perhaps the second largest), an enviable military-industrial complex, a highly qualified, talented and productive population, capable of revealing itself in all aspects of human life, from the arts to science, from agriculture to sport. After surviving many tensions imposed from outside and introduced by the usual suspects, in 2004-2005, the Orange Revolution accelerated the process of creating an anti-Russia. The idea was not new and had already crossed the minds of people linked to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and beyond. From then on, the balance of power between the Russian-speaking and Russian-sympathetic peoples and the peoples who had become „Russian-phobic“ began to reverse and, gradually, the anti-Russian forces began to infect the entire territory, gradually conquering new strongholds, from the outskirts of Galicia to the center of Kiev.

From then on, what would be the imported „solution“ to fill Ukraine’s lack of national identity began to take shape. As a country that had never existed until 1918, and only became fully independent in 1991, Ukraine had to create a national identity in order to guarantee its existence. Not an easy thing to do in a country built up by ruler and square in successive waves of annexation. The induced „choice“ was to turn Ukraine into an „anti-Russia“. Everything Russia would be, Ukraine would have to be the opposite.

It’s clear to see that this „choice“ would have to be induced, since in the case of a country with the same language, or languages with the same root (for those who separate „Ukrainian“ from „Russian“), with the same religion, culture and national past, the natural choice would never be antagonism, since one and the other thrived on a symbiotic relationship. And this relationship was mutually fruitful right up until the moment when Russia did everything it could to free itself from US domination in the terrible 1990s, and Ukraine did everything it could to integrate itself under US control, mainly from 2004 onwards. The chronological succession leaves no doubt: Russia freed itself from American tutelage during the late 90s and early 2000s, Ukraine embraced it from 2004 onwards.

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“..The U.S. media have claimed (preposterously) that if the military aid is not supplied then Ukraine’s defeat could result in American troops being deployed to prevent Russian rampaging across Europe.”

Russian Space Nukes and Navalny’s Death… U.S. Psyops Go Ballistic (SCF)

The claims about Russian space-based nuclear weapons unraveled to become a joke. Fortunately, the death of Western-sponsored dissident Alexei Navalny then occurred to enable Western media to go into a frenzy of anti-Russia headlines. First up was the scaremongering story about Russia allegedly developing a space-based nuclear weapon. Initially, it was dramatically trailed as posing a serious national security threat to the United States. Despite the sensational reporting, the story quickly became a laughingstock. Even some U.S. lawmakers dismissed it as “bullshit” and a blatant attempt by the Biden White House and intelligence agencies to push Congress into passing a new mega military aid bill for Ukraine worth $61 billion.

We’ll get to the Navalny story in a moment. But let’s just first parse the orchestration of the alleged Russian space nukes. The drama began on Wednesday when Mike Turner, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee (a dodgy source if ever there was one), made public appeals to President Joe Biden to declassify intelligence on “a serious threat to national security”. Turner is a Republican member of the House of Representatives but he is a close ally of the Democrat White House in terms of keenly supporting military aid to Ukraine. The latest bill passed the upper chamber of the U.S. Senate the day before, February 13, but it is unlikely to be approved by the House where many Republican lawmakers are staunchly opposed to it.

Accompanying the “concerns” of the intel committee chairman Turner, media outlets then vented anonymous US intelligence sources “revealing” that the national security threat was from Russian nuclear weapons allegedly under development for destroying American communication satellites in space. The White House then “confirmed” the intel the next day, February 15. It was a flagrant put-up job. But the Biden administration sought to tamp down any public panic by saying that the threat was not imminent and the alleged Russian satellite-killing weapon had not been deployed in orbit, nor would there be any danger to Earth. (So, what was all the fuss about?)

Ironically, derisive comments from incredulous U.S. lawmakers were also echoed by the Kremlin. The latter’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov made a similar assessment that the Biden administration was playing tricks to push through the military funding package for Ukraine. That bill has been delayed since the end of last year. The Biden administration has been cajoling Congress for months to vote it through. After the Senate finally passed the bill this week, President Biden put pressure on the House, saying that “history is watching you”. The bill has been exalted as having existential importance in defeating “Russian aggression” in Ukraine. The U.S. media have claimed (preposterously) that if the military aid is not supplied then Ukraine’s defeat could result in American troops being deployed to prevent Russian rampaging across Europe.

The American public, as with the European public, has become increasingly skeptical about the relentless funneling of taxpayer funds and weapons to Ukraine. Many citizens in the West – a majority, according to polls – have become critical of fueling a bloody war for the dubious cause of “defending democracy” in a regime dominated by NeoNazis. At a time of deep social and economic hardship in the U.S. and Europe, the Western public is rightly disdainful of hundreds of billions of dollars and euros being wasted on death and destruction and also being siphoned off by a corrupt cabal in Kiev. The $61 billion in military aid to Ukraine is just the latest tranche that Washington is seeking to throw at the black hole of its proxy war against Russia – a war that is really all about defeating Russia as a geopolitical obstacle to U.S. hegemony. Another driver is the massive profits that taxpayers are subsidizing the military-industrial complex at the rotten heart of Western capitalism.

Navalny

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“There’s no ammunition left. There’s nothing left. Ukraine has got nothing.” “And he [Turner] knows he’s looking at it, saying ‘it’s over, game set match – Russia, they win,’” he added.“

Ohio Rep. Part of Shadowy Cabal Aiming to Destroy Russia – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

Ohio Representative Mike Turner (R-OH) made waves this week when he warned of an alleged “serious national security threat” to the United States. The supposed risk was soon revealed to be Russian in nature, with a media cycle quickly emerging over the danger of alleged “space nukes” the country could detonate to disable US satellite communications. The timing of the revelation raised eyebrows as Turner had visited Ukraine just days ago as part of a Congressional delegation in solidarity with the country’s embattled President Volodymyr Zelensky. Turner’s claims also come as the Biden administration struggles to continue funding the US-backed Ukrainian proxy war, with key Republicans blocking a compromise bill with aid for Kiev and Tel Aviv.

Former UN weapons inspector and whistleblower Scott Ritter joined Sputnik’s Fault Lines program on Thursday to discuss the latest Russophobic hysteria, speculating Turner is part of a secret group of lawmakers and intelligence officials hellbent on undermining Russia at any cost. “There’s a cabal,” claimed Ritter, who was shunned in Washington after defying intelligence claims of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction during the George W. Bush administration. “Turner is… part of the cabal of people that view this Ukrainian conflict [as] not about defense of democracy – knock off this nonsense – it’s about defeating Russia, the strategic objective of the United States by using Ukraine as a proxy in a conflict against Russia.”

“You’ve heard everybody say this, ‘we’re killing them without losing a single American, we’re weakening Russia, we’re creating the conditions to destroy Russia, to collapse Russian society, to bring down [Russian President] Vladimir Putin,’” noted Ritter. “He believes that this is a good thing. He believes that’s the direction the United States should be going. And he understands that Ukraine right now is in freefall. Their military is being slaughtered on the battlefield. The Americans have no clue what’s happening on the battlefield right now.”

Ukraine has faced declining fortunes in the Donbass conflict since the spectacular failure of the country’s vaunted “counteroffensive” last year. In recent days Russian forces have achieved an advantage in the city of Avdeyevka, where for months they’ve endured a stalemate with Ukrainian troops. Shortages in ammunition have undermined Ukrainian reinforcements in the past weeks, allowing Russia to break down Kiev’s foritifications. “The Russians aren’t losing anywhere,” said Ritter. “Maybe in the Black Sea they lost a ship, big deal, but on the ground, they’re routing Ukraine. There’s no ammunition left. There’s nothing left. Ukraine has got nothing.” “And he [Turner] knows he’s looking at it, saying ‘it’s over, game set match – Russia, they win,’” he added. “‘Therefore, we need to make people understand the consequences of a Russian victory.’”

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“Pravda argued that Germany will eventually have to return to buying Russian gas because it will have no other choice..”

Russian Media Thrilled By Biden’s LNG “Gift” To Putin (ZH)

This week, President Vladimir Putin praised President Joe Biden as a more experienced and predictable president than Donald Trump, hoping the 81yo president “with a poor memory” wins a second term. Meanwhile, Trump made remarks during a campaign rally Wednesday night in South Carolina on Putin’s comments: “He’s just said that he would much rather have Joe Biden as president than Trump. Now that’s a compliment. A lot of people said, ‘Oh, gee, that’s too bad.’ No, no, that’s a good thing.” Democrats spent years framing Trump as ‘Putin’s puppet,’ but the actions by Biden, essentially handing over the global energy kingdom to Moscow by halting permits for new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects in Texas, is a stark reminder of why Putin prefers the elderly and weak president. Last month, the Wall Street Journal editorial board called Biden’s LNG export license halt “an election-year gift to Russia and Iran.” And the editorial board is out with another piece titled “Biden’s LNG ‘Gift’ to Vladimir Putin.”

This latest note by the editorial board points out how Russian media is “thrilled” by Biden’s LNG gas export ban: “Now it is not Russia, but the United States that wants to bring the Germans to their knees,” gloated the Russian newspaper Pravda after the Energy Department imposed a moratorium on permits for new LNG export projects last month. Pravda argued that Germany will eventually have to return to buying Russian gas because it will have no other choice, and it may be right. They cite another Russian media outlet: RedDigest, a Russian-based news source, also predicted Europe will need to buy more Russian gas and be forced to pay a higher price. “The EU may well turn to Moscow for additional supplies. Of course, there will be no talk of any discounts,” a Feb. 3 article sneered. Mr. Biden’s LNG embargo will leave Europe more vulnerable to Mr. Putin’s energy blackmail.

And another: Bloknot, a pro-war Russian media outlet, accused the U.S. of scheming to replace Russian gas and then pulling the rug from under Europeans. “A brilliant scam: how the States fooled Europe with gas,” read a Bloknot headline. RT (formerly Russia Today) gloated that Mr. Biden’s “very timely decision to ban LNG exports” was a “gift to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.” In a separate note, WSJ said Biden’s attempt to punish Texas over the border dispute is part of a campaign by wealthy donors – including the Rockefeller family – to pressure the government into shifting away from LNG. Why are America’s elites and an elderly president with a “poor memory” giving Putin the keys to the global energy kingdom under the guise of ‘climate change’?

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“Scratch the veneer of who’s in power in Kiev and Tel Aviv, and who pulls their strings, and you will find the same puppet masters controlling Ukraine, Israel, the US, the UK, and nearly all NATO members..”

Axis of Resistance: from Donbass to Gaza (Pepe Escobar)

During my recent vertiginous journey in Donbass tracking Orthodox Christian battalions defending their land, Novorossiya, it became starkly evident that the resistance in these newly liberated Russian republics is fighting much the same battle as their counterparts in West Asia. Nearly 10 years after Maidan in Kiev, and two years after the start of Russia’s Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine, the resolve of the resistance has only deepened. It’s impossible to do full justice to the strength, resilience, and faith of the people of Donbass, who stand on the front line of a US proxy war against Russia. The battle they have been fighting since 2014 has now visibly shed its cover and revealed itself to be, at its core, a cosmic war of the collective West against Russian civilization.

As Russian President Vladimir Putin made very clear during his Tucker Carlson interview seen by one billion people worldwide, Ukraine is part of Russian civilization – even if it is not part of the Russian Federation. So shelling ethnic Russian civilians in Donbass – still ongoing – translates as attacks on Russia. He shares the same reasoning as Yemen’s Ansarallah resistance movement, which describes the Israeli genocide in Gaza as one launched against “our people”: people of the lands of Islam. Just as the rich black soil of Novorossiya is where the “rules-based international order” came to die; the Gaza Strip in West Asia – an ancestral land, Palestine – may ultimately be the site where Zionism will perish. Both the rules-based order and Zionism, after all, are essential constructs of the western unipolar world and key to advancing its global economic and military interests.

Today’s incandescent geopolitical fault lines are already configured: the collective west versus Islam, the collective west versus Russia, and soon a substantial part of the west, even reluctantly, versus China. Yet a serious counterpunch is at play. As much as the Axis of Resistance in West Asia will keep boosting their “swarm” strategy, those Orthodox Christian battalions in Donbass cannot but be regarded as the vanguard of the Slavic Axis of Resistance. When mentioning this Shia–Orthodox Christianity connection to two top commanders in Donetsk, only 2 kilometers away from the front line, they smiled, bemused, but definitely got the message. After all, more than anyone else in Europe, these soldiers are able to grasp this unifying theme: on the two top imperial fronts – Donbass and West Asia – the crisis of the western hegemon is deepening and fast accelerating collapse.

NATO’s cosmic humiliation-in-progress in the steppes of Novorossiya is mirrored by the Anglo–American–Zionist combo sleepwalking into a larger conflagration throughout West Asia – frantically insisting they don’t want war while bombing every Axis of Resistance vector except Iran (they can’t, because the Pentagon gamed all scenarios, and they all spell out doom). Scratch the veneer of who’s in power in Kiev and Tel Aviv, and who pulls their strings, and you will find the same puppet masters controlling Ukraine, Israel, the US, the UK, and nearly all NATO members.

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“I =srael’s allegations are not based on any evidence. They are instead part of a classified plan prepared in advance by Israel’s foreign ministry to destroy UNRWA..”

Why Israel’s War on UNRWA is so Sinister (Cradle)

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is facing the gravest existential crisis in its 74-year history, as funding cuts by several western countries come on top of ongoing atrocities perpetrated by Israel in Gaza. The UN agency is unique in being the only one dedicated to a specific group of refugees in specific areas, and the only relief organization that operates a full-fledged educational system. UNRWA is also the only organization mandated to work in Gaza and distribute aid to the two million people currently trapped and starved in the besieged enclave. To compound these challenges, the occupation wants to see it dismantled. In January, Israel alleged that Palestinian members of UNRWA’s staff participated in the resistance’s Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on 7 October, leading the US and 18 other nations to swiftly suspend funding for the organization.

The suspensions were met with shock, as UNRWA plays a key role in providing food and medicine to starving Gazans struggling to survive Israel’s siege and bombardment of the coastal enclave. However, Israel’s allegations are not based on any evidence. They are instead part of a classified plan prepared in advance by Israel’s foreign ministry to destroy UNRWA. It believes that UNRWA “works against Israel’s interests” by perpetuating the dream of the right of return of Palestinian refugees and the idea of armed struggle against occupation. The foreign ministry plan leaked to Israel’s Channel 12 on 28 December, set out a three-stage process to eliminate UNRWA in Gaza, using the Hamas-led resistance operation as a pretext:

First, prepare a case alleging UNRWA’s cooperation with Hamas; second, reduce UNRWA’s field of activity and find replacement service providers; and third, transfer UNRWA’s responsibilities to another entity. Channel 12 noted that Israel wants to move slowly, given that the US government sees UNRWA as crucial to humanitarian efforts in Gaza. The foreign ministry is seeking to gradually build the case for ousting the organization as part of the discussions on “the day after” the war – should Hamas be dismantled. According to a report by The New York Times, the “sequence of events” that led the US to suspend UNRWA funding began on 18 January when Amir Weissbrod, a deputy director general at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, met with Philippe Lazzarini, the head of UNRWA in Tel Aviv.

Weissbrod showed Lazzarini a dossier from Israeli intelligence claiming that 12 UNRWA employees had participated in the 7 October attacks. After the meeting in Israel, Lazzarini made no effort to confirm the validity of the claims. Instead, he flew to New York to meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and immediately began firing the employees, a UN official said. The Guardian reported that Lazzarini was later asked in a press conference if he had looked into whether there was any evidence for the allegations presented to him by Weissbrod. “No,” Lazzarini replied, “the investigation is going on now.” Lazzarini said he made the “exceptional, swift decision” due to “the explosive nature of the claims,” rather than any evidence. Lazzarini said he did not even read the dossier himself because it was in Hebrew. Instead, Weissbrod “was reading this and translating for me,” he said.

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Better grow the economy, Joe.

Political, Economic Indicators Not Promising for Biden (Gallup)

Several key indicators of the 2024 election environment indicate that President Joe Biden faces an uphill climb to win a second term. His job approval rating, Americans’ satisfaction with how things are going in the country and their confidence in the economy are below the levels associated with successful reelection bids in recent elections. While Democrats hold a slight edge in national party identification and partisan leanings, that advantage is smaller than what it has been in past presidential elections won by Democratic incumbents. In less direct measures of the electoral environment, Americans are more inclined to say that they are worse off financially, that it is harder to buy things and that the U.S. is as respected throughout the world as it was before Biden took office.

Biden’s fate will ultimately be determined by whether Americans’ views on these metrics improve over the course of the year (as they did for Bill Clinton in 1996 and Barack Obama in 2012), stay the same or get worse (as they did for George H.W. Bush in 1992 and Donald Trump in 2020). Incumbent job approval is arguably the best predictor of reelection success. Presidents with approval ratings of 50% or higher close to Election Day have all been reelected. All but one president with a sub-50% approval rating lost, the exception being George W. Bush. He won reelection with a 48% approval rating in Gallup’s final 2004 preelection poll taken in late October. However, he registered multiple 50% readings earlier in the month and had a 51% approval rating among likely voters in that final survey.

Among the approval ratings that did not carry incumbents to victory, Trump’s 46% approval rating is the highest and Gerald Ford’s 45% is close behind. The inauspicious ratings descend from there, all the way down to 34% for George H.W. Bush. Biden’s 41% job approval rating, the lowest among incumbents in January of an election year, puts him in a precarious spot. It has not been unusual for incumbents to be below the 50% threshold this early on. But Biden’s reelection may depend on his ability to boost his numbers close to that threshold, something Clinton, Obama and Richard Nixon were able to do but Trump and Ford were not. Other presidents, including George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, saw significant declines in approval during their fourth year in office.

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“..Given Burns’ stature and diplomatic accomplishments, perhaps he would support the urgently needed accountability..”

How the CIA Destabilizes the World (Jeffrey Sachs)

Once in a while, a former U.S. official spills the beans, such as when Zbigniew Brzezinski revealed that he had induced Jimmy Carter to assign the CIA to train Islamic jihadists to destabilize the government of Afghanistan, with the aim of inducing the Soviet Union to invade that country. In the case of Syria, we learned from a few stories in the New York Times in 2016 and 2017 of the CIA’s subversive operations to destabilize Syria and overthrow Assad, as ordered by President Barack Obama. Here is the case of a dreadfully misguided CIA operation, blatantly in violation of international law, that has led to a decade of mayhem, an escalating regional war, hundreds of thousands of deaths, and millions of displaced people, and yet there has not been a single honest acknowledgment of this CIA-led disaster by the White House or Congress.

In the case of Ukraine, we know that the U.S. played a major covert role in the violent coup that brought down Yanukovych and that swept Ukraine into a decade of bloodshed but to this day, we don’t know the details. Russia offered the world a window into the coup by intercepting and then posting a call between Victoria Nuland, then U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (now Under-Secretary of State) and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt (now Assistant Secretary of State), in which they plot the post-coup government. Following the coup, the CIA covertly trained special operations forces of the post-coup regime the U.S. had helped bring to power. The U.S. government has been mum about the CIA’s covert operations in Ukraine. We have good reason to believe that CIA operatives carried out the destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline, as per Seymour Hersh, who is now an independent reporter. Unlike in 1975, when Hersh was with the New York Times at a time when the paper still tried to hold the government to account, the Times does not even deign to look into Hersh’s account.

Holding the CIA to public account is of course a steep uphill struggle. Presidents and the Congress don’t even try. The mainstream media don’t investigate the CIA, preferring instead to quote “senior unnamed officials” and the official cover-up. Are the mainstream media outlets lazy, suborned, afraid of advertising revenues from the military-industrial complex, threatened, ignorant, or all of the above? Who knows. There is a tiny glimmer of hope. Back in 1975, the CIA was led by a reformer. Today, the CIA is led by William Burns, one of America’s long-standing leading diplomats. Burns knows the truth about Ukraine, since he served as Ambassador to Russia in 2008 and cabled Washington about the grave error of pushing NATO enlargement to Ukraine. Given Burns’ stature and diplomatic accomplishments, perhaps he would support the urgently needed accountability.

The extent of the continuing mayhem resulting from CIA operations gone awry is astounding. In Afghanistan, Haiti, Syria, Venezuela, Kosovo, Ukraine, and far beyond, the needless deaths, instability, and destruction unleashed by CIA subversion continues to this day. The mainstream media, academic institutions, and Congress should be investigating these operations to the best of their ability and demanding the release of documents to enable democratic accountability. Next year is the 50th anniversary of the Church Committee hearings. Fifty years on, with the precedent, inspiration, and guidance of the Church Committee itself, it’s urgently time to open the blinds, expose the truth about the U.S.-led mayhem, and begin a new era in which U.S. foreign policy becomes transparent, accountable, subject to the rule of law both domestic and international, and directed towards global peace rather than subversion of supposed enemies.

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“..Think of them as being possessed by a monomania for war akin to my urge to play with toy soldiers. The key difference? When I played at war, I was a wet-behind-the-ears 10 year old..”

Bombing Muslims for Peace (Bill Astore)

Like many American boys of the baby-boomer generation, I played “war” with those old, olive-drab, plastic toy soldiers meant to evoke our great victory over the Nazis and “the Japs” during World War II. At age 10, I also kept a scrapbook of the 1973 Yom Kippur War between Israel and its various Arab enemies in the Middle East. It was, I suppose, an early sign that I would make both the military and the study of history into careers. I recall rooting for the Israelis, advertised then as crucial American allies, against Egypt, Syria, and other regional enemies at least ostensibly allied with the Soviet Union in that Cold War era. I bought the prevailing narrative of a David-versus-Goliath struggle. I even got a book on the Yom Kippur War that captivated me by displaying all the weaponry the U.S. military had rushed to Israel to turn the tide there, including F-4 Phantom jets and M-60 main battle tanks. (David’s high-tech slingshots, if you will.)

Little did I know that, in the next 50 years of my life, I would witness increasingly destructive U.S. military attacks in the Middle East, especially after the oil cartel OPEC (largely Middle Eastern then) hit back hard with an embargo in 1973 that sent our petroleum-based economy into a tailspin. As one jokester quipped: Who put America’s oil under the sands of all those ungrateful Muslim countries in the Middle East? With declarations like the Carter Doctrine in 1980, the U.S. was obviously ready to show the world just how eagerly it would defend its “vital interests” (meaning fossil fuels, of course) in that region. And even today, as we watch the latest round in this country’s painfully consistent record of attempting to pound various countries and entities there into submission, mainly via repetitive air strikes, we should never forget the importance of oil, and lots of it, to keep the engines of industry and war churning along in a devastating fashion.

Right now, of course, the world is witnessing yet another U.S. bombing campaign, the latest in a series that seems all too predictable (and futile), meant to teach the restless rebels of Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and possibly even Iran a lesson when it comes to messing with the United States of America. As the recently deceased country singer Toby Keith put it: Mess with this country and “We’ll put a boot (think: bomb) in your ass.” You kill three soldiers of ours and we’ll kill scores, if not hundreds, if not thousands of yours (and it doesn’t really matter if they’re soldiers or not), because… well, because we damn well can! America’s leaders, possessing a peerless Air Force, regularly exhibit a visceral willingness to use it to bomb and missile perceived enemies into submission or, if need be, nothingness. And don’t for a second think that they’re going to be stopped by international law, humanitarian concerns, well-meaning protesters, or indeed any force on this planet. America bombs because it can, because it believes in the efficacy of violence, and because it’s run by appeasers.

Yes, America’s presidents, its bombers-in-chief, are indeed appeasers. Of course, they think they’re being strong when they’re blowing distant people to bits, but their actions invariably showcase a distinctive kind of weakness. They eternally seek to appease the military-industrial-congressional complex, aka the national (in)security state, a complex state-within-a-state with an unappeasable hunger for power, profit, and ever more destruction. They fail and fail and fail again in the Middle East, yet they’re incapable of not ordering more bombing, more droning, more killing there. Think of them as being possessed by a monomania for war akin to my urge to play with toy soldiers. The key difference? When I played at war, I was a wet-behind-the-ears 10 year old.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

On purpose

 

 

Donuts

 

 

 

 

Jaguar
https://twitter.com/i/status/1758482520239214824

 

 

Pelican

 

 

Newborn dolphin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1758471327562809740

 

 

Goats Jump

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 062024
 


Claude Monet Houses of Parliament, Sunset 1904

 

“Don’t Be STUPID!!!”: Trump Slams Senate Border Bill (ZH)
Texas Stripped of Powers in Border Security Bill (NW)
Speaker Johnson: New Supplemental Funding Bill Even Worse Than Expected (Sp.)
Senate’s Border Deal Teeters On Brink Of Collapse (Pol.)
The Supreme Court Laid the Seeds for the Immigration Crisis (Turley)
Jake Sullivan Refuses To Rule Out Attacks On Iranian Soil (MEE)
Nicaragua Taking Germany, Canada, UK, Netherlands To ICJ For Genocide (AlM)
UN To Probe UNRWA For ‘Neutrality’ (RT)
Zaluzhny Agrees To Be Ukraine’s Ambassador To UK – Lawmaker (TASS)
Kremlin Warns West Against ‘Deeply Illegal’ Asset Seizure (RT)
Brace for Impact (Kunstler)
Trump Facing ‘Long’ Prison Sentence – DNC Lawyer Marc Elias (RT)
Judge Dismisses Alvin Bragg’s Felony Case Against Vax Card Forgers (PM)
The Overthrow of Men (Paul Craig Roberts)
US Panicking Tucker Carlson Will Continue Objective Reporting in Russia (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Trump border bill

 

 

Schumer

 

 

DeSantis

 

 

Texas AG Ken Paxton: “The Biden-Senate immigration bill is complete disaster. “The open borders policies it enshrines would destroy our country. In addition to encouraging nearly 2 million illegal aliens annually to enter the country, paying out over $1 billion to the toxic NGOs that settle illegal immigrants all over the nation, empowering Mayorkas to abuse the asylum process on his arbitrary whim, and ending catch-and-release, this bill that gives Biden and Mayorkas everything they want does something far more sinister.

It requires that legal challenges to these provisions be heard by the highly partisan Washington, D.C. courts. They know exactly what they are doing: Texas has been able to create major slowdowns to Biden’s open borders doctrine because our Constitutional system allows us to sue the federal government in fair venues. What Biden, Mayorkas, and the Senate uniparty in the swamp want to do is PREVENT the Texas AG and all other state AGs from acting as a check on the federal government’s tyrannical abuses of power. That is unthinkable. It is un-American. This bill is an unacceptable mess that no serious leader could even think about passing.”

 

 

Tucker Russia

 

 

“After that one puff on Joe Rogan Podcast, Elon Musk agreed, at NASA’s request, to do 3 years of random drug testing. Not even trace quantities were found of any drugs or alcohol. Last month, even NASA said there isn’t any evidence of drug use.”

 

 

Elon Musk: “Many states automatically register anyone with a driver’s license to vote (no citizenship verification), ballots are then mailed out and “ballot harvesters” pick them up mail them in, making fraud traceability impossible..”

 

 

 

 

“..It takes the HORRIBLE JOB the Democrats have done on Immigration and the Border, absolves them, and puts it all squarely on the shoulders of Republicans..” “Don’t be STUPID!!! We need a separate Border and Immigration bill. It should not be tied to foreign aid in any way, shape or form!”

“Don’t Be STUPID!!!”: Trump Slams Senate Border Bill (ZH)

The Senate’s $118 billion spending package, of which more than $60 billion would go to Ukraine, allows 1.5 million illegal migrants into the country per year, hobbles states like Texas by requiring legal challenges be arbitrated in DC courts, and funds NGOs who facilitate human trafficking to the tune of billions, is ‘dead on arrival’ according to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA). The bill’s most ardent supporters are a coalition of establishment all-stars, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and lead GOP negotiator, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) – who was censured last week by the Oklahoma GOP for striking such a crappy border deal with Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ). As Punchbowl News puts it, the bill’s Sunday night release was like “pouring gasoline on the fire that is the Senate GOP internal war,” as “Senators and aides publicly and privately questioned whether a majority of the Republican Conference would back it.”

Some GOP Senators and outside conservative groups even called for an immediate leadership change over the package. During a Sunday evening press call, Lankford said critics of the proposal had already come out against it before the text was released. “If we have a crisis on our southern border, and we do… we should address that and do what we can to be able to solve that problem — not just hope that the problem gets better or hope that an election solves the issue,” Lankford said – completely ignoring the fact that President Joe Biden could close the border with the stroke of a pen, today, without $60 billion going to Ukraine and 5,000 migrants allowed in per day.

Lankford said in response to these statements that he’s “a little confused… at how it could be ‘worse than expected.’” The Oklahoma Republican added he wants to huddle with the speaker’s team. Of course, Johnson’s statement will undoubtedly cause some on-the-fence GOP senators to vote against the bill. “We’re at the beginning points of information,” Lankford asserted, dismissing the House GOP criticisms. “There are some people who just read Facebook posts… They made their decision based on the Facebook posts, not the text.” According to Donald Trump, “We need a Separate Border and Immigration Bill. It should not be tied to foreign aid in any way, shape or form.”

“Only a fool, or a Radical Left Democrat, would vote for this horrendous Border Bill, which only gives Shutdown Authority after 5000 Encounters a day, when we already have the right to CLOSE THE BORDER NOW, which must be done,” he said on Truth Social. “This Bill is a great gift to the Democrats, and a Death Wish for The Republican Party. It takes the HORRIBLE JOB the Democrats have done on Immigration and the Border, absolves them, and puts it all squarely on the shoulders of Republicans,” the former president continued. “Don’t be STUPID!!! We need a separate Border and Immigration bill. It should not be tied to foreign aid in any way, shape or form!”

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“This would prevent plaintiffs – like the State of Texas – from filing suit in Texas federal courts. This is corrupt..”

Texas Stripped of Powers in Border Security Bill (NW)

Conservatives have attacked a provision of the new border security bill that would only allow legal challenges to be made in Washington D.C. The bill would strip the power of Texas and other states to challenge some of the its provisions in their local federal court. Conservative commentators were quick to denounce the provision, contained on page 221 of the bill. Bill Shipley, who was a federal prosecutor for over 20 years, decried the its court provisions on X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday. “This would prevent plaintiffs – like the State of Texas – from filing suit in Texas federal courts. This is corrupt,” he wrote. After outlining the provisions under which immigrants can seek judicial review of a deportation order, the bill states:

“The United States District Court for the District of Columbia shall have sole and original jurisdiction to hear challenges, whether constitutional or otherwise, to the validity of this section or any written policy directive, written policy guideline, written procedure, or the implementation thereof.” The right of judicial review for illegal immigrants about to be deported has proved controversial. In 2022, a Louisiana federal judge blocked the Biden administration from ending Title 42, a pandemic-related border restriction that allows for the immediate expulsion of asylum-seekers and other migrants. Reacting to the latest provisions in the border security bill, conservative writer and self-style “deportation scientist” Mike Howell wrote on X that the bill “puts far left DC district court in charge.” Lawyer and author, Kurt Schlichter, wrote: “This is amazing” on X in response to the provision.

President Joe Biden’s administration secured a significant win over Texas Governor Greg Abbott in late January after the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to allow the temporary removal of razor wire installed by Texas along the southern border. The removal will remain place while litigation over the issue proceeds. The decision sparked anger among Republicans who support the measures taken by Abbott and his administration to fight illegal immigration in the state. Tensions over the measures escalated as the federal government raised environmental and humanitarian concerns about the deterrent. The Texas governor, an outspoken critic of Biden over immigration issues, has vowed that the fight “is not over” and called the razor wire “an effective deterrent” in a post on X, formerly Twitter, despite the legal blow. He also issued a statement declaring Texas’ “right to self-defense.”

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“As the lead Democrat negotiator proclaimed: Under this legislation, ‘the border never closes..'”

Speaker Johnson: New Supplemental Funding Bill Even Worse Than Expected (Sp.)

US House Speaker Mike Johnson said Sunday that the proposed $118 billion supplemental funding bill with aid for Ukraine and Israel, as well as border security and national security measures, “is even worse than expected” and “will be dead on arrival.”Earlier on Sunday, the Senate, after weeks of negotiations with the White House, released the $118 billion national security supplemental bill that includes some $60 billion in additional aid for Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel, and about $20 billion for border security, among other priorities.

The proposed legislation would also immediately deport migrants who enter the US illegally, further restrict asylum eligibility, provide $650 million to build more border wall, and require a shutdown of the border to illegal migrants when illegal crossings exceed an average of 5,000 a week. “I’ve seen enough. This bill is even worse than we expected, and won’t come close to ending the border catastrophe the President has created. As the lead Democrat negotiator proclaimed: Under this legislation, ‘the border never closes,'” Johnson said on X (formerly Twitter), adding that the bill “will be dead on arrival” if it reaches the House.

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“Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), who struck the deal, even suggested he might vote against moving forward if his colleagues weren’t ready to move..”

Senate’s Border Deal Teeters On Brink Of Collapse (Pol.)

The Senate’s bipartisan border and foreign aid deal is already close to failure, with Republicans preparing to block debate on the bill this week — and potentially for longer than that. The President Joe Biden-backed agreement is getting pummeled from the left and right, but it’s internal GOP angst that’s fueling the likelihood of a filibuster during an expected test vote on Wednesday. After Senate Republicans met for 90 minutes on Monday night to discuss the border deal that a trio of senators forged over the past four months, few of them emerged willing to say they would vote to advance the $118 billion package. Several members of GOP leadership came out against the legislation in the past 24 hours, further boxing in Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Kentucky Republican, who supports the agreement linking border policy changes with aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, called Monday’s meeting an “interesting discussion.”

Inside the room, McConnell told Republicans that if they didn’t like the direction that the bill is going, they should vote against moving forward this week, according to two people briefed on the meeting who were granted anonymity to speak candidly. According to two attendees, McConnell did not forcefully whip for or against the bill. He instead discussed the specific policies and politics of the legislation, which is opposed by Speaker Mike Johnson and former President Donald Trump. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), who struck the deal, even suggested he might vote against moving forward if his colleagues weren’t ready to move. “That’s not voting against the bill,” Lankford said of voting to filibuster the bill from coming to the floor. “So that’s not the final passage. That’s the beginning point.”

It’s a stunning turnabout from just a few months ago, when Republicans demanded border security policy changes to pair with $60 billion in Ukraine aid requested by Biden. Now Republican support for the legislation is vanishingly hard to find, with just a handful of GOP senators in support. Even moderate Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said she was unsure if she would vote to advance the bill. Lankford added that he’s not sure how much time members will actually want to evaluate the proposal — if that timeline goes beyond Wednesday. Many Senate Republicans want an open amendment process that could drag out debate indefinitely, if leadership allows it.

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“The southern border in 2024 is, constitutionally, suffering no more an “invasion” than the Capitol riot in 2021 was an “insurrection.” There is a difference between the colloquial and constitutional meaning of such terms.”

The Supreme Court Laid the Seeds for the Immigration Crisis (Turley)

The upcoming impeachment vote on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has caused a deep rift even among his critics, including some Republican members of Congress. Many view Mayorkas as an unmitigated disaster as Homeland secretary. The massive numbers of migrants crossing the border has become a growing economic and security threat to the entire nation. I have previously expressed my disagreement with the two articles of impeachment, which present their own inherent dangers to the underlying constitutional standards. But whatever happens in the House, the real crisis is not the employment status of Mayorkas. It is what brought the House to seriously consider this extreme remedy in the first place. The seeds of this disaster were planted by the Supreme Court over a decade ago, in Arizona v. U.S., if not earlier.

In that case, a 5-3 majority ruled against a state seeking to enforce immigration laws in light of what it described as a vacuum of federal action. The court declared that the states were preempted or barred from taking such action. While giving the state a small victory in allowing state officers to investigate the immigration status of a suspect with reasonable suspicion, it left little room for independent state action in the area.Despite President Obama’s orders giving some migrants effective immunity from enforcement (such as the youths that came to be known as “DREAMers”), he actually deported a significant number of illegal migrants. At the time, many of us asked where the line would be drawn in the future, often raising the hypothetical of a president who abandons enforcement entirely or to a large extent.

It took a decade, but that hypothetical seems dangerously close to reality. Mayorkas is carrying out the policies of President Biden, who continues to praise his work and the worst record of enforcement in history. One of the first things that Biden did when coming into office was to seek to shut down policies and construction used to deter unlawful migration. At the same time, both Biden and Mayorkas were widely viewed as supportive of those crossing the border as many Democratic cities declared themselves sanctuaries for undocumented migrants pursued by ICE. Now, even some Democrats are now criticizing President Biden for his lax policies and the failure to do more in securing the border, as hundreds of thousands pour into the country. Most are promptly released, and many are not even asked to appear for eight years at an immigration proceeding.

For the states, desperate times call for desperate measures. For example, Texas recently declared that it was acting unilaterally under Article I, Section 10, Clause 3 of the Constitution. That provision reserves the right of self-defense for a state that is “actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.” The current crisis is a practical invasion, overwhelming towns and cities across the country. No state faces a greater danger than Texas. However, “invasion” was clearly meant in the traditional sense of a foreign power or army. Similarly, “such imminent danger” was referencing “such” an invasion. The southern border in 2024 is, constitutionally, suffering no more an “invasion” than the Capitol riot in 2021 was an “insurrection.” There is a difference between the colloquial and constitutional meaning of such terms.

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“He said the two countries were “fuelling chaos, disorder, insecurity and instability” by supporting Israel in its war in Gaza..”

Jake Sullivan Refuses To Rule Out Attacks On Iranian Soil (MEE)

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has refused to rule out air strikes on Iranian soil in the wake of a barrage of attacks on Iran-linked groups across the Middle East. Speaking to NBC News on Sunday, Sullivan was repeatedly asked if the US was considering attacks on Iran. “Well, sitting here today on a national news programme, I’m not going to get into what we’ve ruled in and ruled out from the point of view of military action,” he said. “What I will say is that the president is determined to respond forcefully to attacks on our people. The president also is not looking for a wider war in the Middle East.” Pressed again on the question, he continued to avoid a direct answer. “I’m not going to get into what’s on the table and off the table,” he said, before adding the strikes were “the beginning, not the end” of Washington’s response.

The US, along with the UK, launched strikes on Yemen’s Houthis overnight, hitting dozens of targets, just a day after they hit a number of Iran-linked groups in Syria and Iran. Speaking to reporters on Sunday, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak claimed the strikes on Houthi targets were in self-defence, adding he would not “hesitate to protect British lives.””Since the last set of strikes, we have seen the Houthis continue to attack shipping in the Red Sea,” Sunak said during a visit to Northern Ireland. “That is obviously unacceptable. It is illegal. It puts innocent people’s lives at risk and it has economic consequences. It includes attacks, by the way, on British-linked vessels. And that is why we have acted again in self-defence, in a proportionate way, and together with our allies.

“I have been clear that I won’t hesitate to protect British lives, British interests, and our diplomatic efforts are focused on bringing de-escalation and stability back to the region.” Iran-aligned groups have launched more than 160 rocket and drone strikes against US troops in Iraq and Syria since mid-October following the 7 October attacks on southern Israel and Israel’s decision to go to war on Gaza. Meanwhile, the Houthis, have mounted dozens of attacks against merchant ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, severely disrupting traffic through one of the world’s most important maritime trade routes. The Houthis have promised to continue disrupting Red Sea traffic until Israel stops its attacks on the residents of Gaza and allows humanitarian aid and basic supplies to enter the besieged enclave.

A Houthi military spokesperson said on Sunday that the rebel group, also known as Ansarullah, would not be deterred, adding that the strikes on Yemen would “not pass without a response and consequences.” Iran on Sunday warned that the strikes across the region appeared to “contradict” the stated desire by the leaders of the US and UK that the fighting in Gaza not expand into a regional war. Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, Nasser Kanani, said in a statement that the attacks were “in clear contradiction with the repeated claims of Washington and London that they do not want the expansion of war and conflict in the region”. He said the two countries were “fuelling chaos, disorder, insecurity and instability” by supporting Israel in its war in Gaza, which has so far left at least 27,365 people dead, according to the health ministry in Gaza.

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“..the countries supporting “Israel” are obligated to cut off supplies to it “from the moment the state becomes aware of the existence of a serious risk of committing genocide.”

Nicaragua Taking Germany, Canada, UK, Netherlands To ICJ For Genocide (AlM)

The Nicaraguan government started Monday proceedings to take Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Canada to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for their complicity in the genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza by providing the Israeli occupation with the weapons and means to carry out the horrendous act. The executive authority in Nicaragua published an official statement in which it revealed that it warned the governments of said Western powers that they might be jointly complicit in the “flagrant and systemic violations” of the Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and international humanitarian law in the Gaza Strip. In its note verbal, Nicaragua urged the four states to immediately cease the provision of arms, munitions, and technologies to “Israel” because it might use them to facilitate or commit violations of the Genocide Convention in Gaza.

The memorandum underlined that the countries supporting “Israel” are obligated to cut off supplies to it “from the moment the state becomes aware of the existence of a serious risk of committing genocide.”This has been achieved, the memorandum adds, since “the International Court of Justice issued, on January 26, a preliminary ruling in which it considered it reasonable that the Genocide Convention had been violated by Israel in Gaza.” The court recognized the right of Palestinians in Gaza to be protected from acts of genocide, adding that the Palestinians are a protected group under the Genocide Convention.The Court ordered “Israel” to take all measures to prevent genocide acts in Gaza, ensure its forces do not commit genocide, and take measures to improve the humanitarian situation.

“Israel” is required to submit a report to the court within a month, detailing its actions to comply with the order. Furthermore, it must implement measures to prevent and punish direct incitement of genocide in the context of its war on Gaza. South Africa hailed temporary measures issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the genocide lawsuit against “Israel” at the Hague, describing them as a “decisive victory” for the international legal system. A French left-wing legislator praised the temporary measures, describing the verdict as “historic”, noting that it “clearly established the risk of genocide in the Gaza Strip.”

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All they need to do is cast a doubt. There is nothing to replace the UNRWA.

UN To Probe UNRWA For ‘Neutrality’ (RT)

The United Nations has said it will investigate its own agency for Palestinian refugees to ensure “neutrality” following allegations by Israel that at least 12 UN staffers assisted in the Hamas-led terrorist attack of October 7. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced the move in a statement on Monday, saying he had established an “independent review group” to probe “allegations of serious breaches” at the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The UN chief said the probe would seek to “identify the mechanisms and procedures that the Agency currently has in place to ensure neutrality and to respond to allegations or information indicating that the principle may have been breached.”

Though Guterres stopped short of outlining the alleged breaches, Israeli officials have repeatedly accused 12 UNRWA workers of involvement in last year’s Hamas cross-border raid, which killed around 1,200 people in Israel and saw more than 200 taken hostage by Palestinian militants. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz later hailed the decision, saying “We will submit all evidence highlighting UNRWA’s ties to terrorism and its harmful effects on regional stability.” Guterres previously acknowledged that nine of the 12 UN staffers allegedly linked to Hamas had been fired, while two remained unidentified and another had since been killed. Though the Israeli allegations have yet to be independently confirmed, more than a dozen countries have already opted to sever funding to the refugee agency, including the United States, Sweden, Britain and Germany.

Last week, a spokesman for the US State Department said that $300,000 set aside for UNRWA would be withheld pending the results of the investigation. Around $121 million had already been distributed to the agency since October 1, as Washington typically devotes up to $400 million to the office each year. While the review panel will focus on UNRWA’s “neutrality,” Guterres noted that a separate investigation into Israel’s charges would continue under the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services. He also went on to stress the agency’s critical role in Gaza, saying that more than 2 million people “depend on it for their survival amidst one of the largest and most complex humanitarian crises in the world.”

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I haven’t seen this confirmed anywhere else.

Zaluzhny Agrees To Be Ukraine’s Ambassador To UK – Lawmaker (TASS)

Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny has reportedly agreed to be Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom and will leave Ukraine within days, lawmaker Yevgeny Shevchenko said. “I would like to say that according to my sources, Zaluzhny has agreed to be the ambassador to Great Britain. He is highly likely to go there and we know that those who leave the country as ambassadors are political retirees. None of them has ever returned to their former positions, this is Ukraine’s tradition. I hate to disappoint any Zaluzhny fans,” he said in an interview with Vadim Karasev, director of Ukraine’s Institute of Global Strategies. According to the lawmaker, if Zaluzhny opts to stay in Ukraine he has every opportunity to achieve great things in politics after resigning. “If he opts to be ambassador, he is not a politician any longer, 100% If he stays in Ukraine and begins to build a political career, he has good prospects, very good prospects,” Shevchenko said, adding that Zaluzhny’s resignation could be expected on February 8 or somewhere around there.

On Sunday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said in an interview with Italy’s RAI television channel that he was looking at reshuffling the defense ministry. Reports about Zaluzhny’s potential dismissal appeared in the Ukrainian mass media and on social networks on January 29, when Zelensky allegedly suggested that Zaluzhny step down voluntarily. According to former lawmaker Borislav Bereza, Zaluzhny was offered a post as Ukraine’s ambassador to a European country, but turned this offer down. Ukraine’s media and social networks continue speculating about Zaluzhny’s future. Some say that his resignation stems from the failure of Ukraine’s “counteroffensive” in the summer of 2023 and Zaluzhny’s political ambitions. A number of foreign media outlets confirmed reports about Zaluzhny’s dismissal, citing their own sources.

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“Encroachment on someone else’s property undermines the foundations of the entire economic system..”

Kremlin Warns West Against ‘Deeply Illegal’ Asset Seizure (RT)

Anyone who seizes Russian assets will face long-lasting consequences, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned on Monday. His comments came after the Financial Times reported that G7 nations are considering using frozen Russian funds as collateral to finance Ukraine. In an article published on Saturday, the newspaper claimed the Belgian government has proposed a plan under which Western governments would raise debt to finance the Ukrainian government, and then demand that Russia repay that debt. If Moscow failed to do so, the G7 would then seize frozen Russian assets being held in Europe and the US. The plan is seen as a way to circumvent the legal issue of confiscating Russian assets, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told the outlet. The idea is reportedly now the “leading option” to unlock frozen Russian funds and send them to Ukraine. However, none of the countries in question has officially confirmed any such plans.

Commenting on the reported proposal, Peskov said it would be “deeply illegal” and stressed that Russia will defend its interests. “There will be very, very long – for many decades – judicial prospects both for those who make these decisions and for those who implement them,” the spokesman warned. “Encroachment on someone else’s property undermines the foundations of the entire economic system,” Peskov added. At the same time, the presidential spokesperson insisted on waiting for official statements on the FT’s claims, noting that “even the most serious publications, unfortunately, make many mistakes.” Shortly after Moscow launched its military operation against Ukraine, the US and its allies froze an estimated $300 billion of Russian central bank assets, most of which are being held in Europe.

Since then, Kiev and its Western allies have floated the idea of seizing the assets and using them to fund the Ukrainian government. However, financial experts have warned that any such move could seriously damage the reputation of Western economic institutions and the euro’s standing as a global reserve currency, and would drive away foreign investors. Nevertheless, Brussels announced last week that EU member states had reached an agreement to transfer the income generated by Russia’s funds to Kiev without touching the assets themselves. Moscow, meanwhile, has repeatedly warned that any actions related to its assets by the US and its allies would amount to “theft” and would violate international law. The Kremlin has also cautioned that any seizures would trigger a tit-for-tat response from Russia.

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“..liable to inform Americans that their own political leadership is a party of mental illness..”

Brace for Impact (Kunstler)

“Joe Biden’s” victory dance in South Carolina — down on the ol’ Democratic Party Plantation, where they grows votes — didn’t last long. By Sunday, a rogue satellite named Tucker Carlson was spotted orbiting over Russia, Russia, Russia, a country you have to say three times so that people get how serious it is. Carlson threatens to actually sit down in the same room with Putin, Putin, Putin — the antithesis of “Joe Biden,” since Putin actually operates as head-of-state — and convey Mr. P’s thoughts and opinions to the citizens of America via the rascally social media platform called “X.” Do you realize the danger of exposing Americans to what this Putin might say? Hearing him express his thoughts about the world situation in a leisurely format — which Putin does regularly among his own people (I’ve seen him do it!) — is liable to inform Americans that their own political leadership is a party of mental illness.

Even without this new provocation of a Carlson / Putin colloquy, folks in the land of the free and the home of the brave have begun to grok just how insane things have gone under “Joe Biden” blobism. And that darn conversation comes just egg-zackly at the moment when our Senate is attempting to package a bill tying a $60-billion taxpayer gift to Ukraine with a “border security” law that will forbid more than 8,500 foreigners on any given day to enter the USA illegally. Sweet deal, huh? Er. . . maybe not. On the House side of Congress, Speaker Mike Johnson says, “No way, José.”

So, do you really want to chance this Putin guy actually explaining calmly and clearly to folks here how our own State Department cooked up this war in Ukraine, and keeps it going month after month? Figures such as the ex-conservative Bill Kristol (now blob cheerleader), want to prevent the Tucker Carlson satellite from re-entering the USA after its Moscow visit. Mr. Kristol is apparently under the illusion that we are at war with Russia. Somebody please inform him that this is just not so. Strictly speaking, Russia is just another European nation that Americans can visit on a visa. That’s a fact, Jack. And if you happen to be there, and you’re a journalist, and Putin, Putin, Putin agrees to an interview, well. . . you sit down and talk to the guy. . . and record it. . . and let people around the world decide what to think about it.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds a little. . . I dunno. . . fascist-y to me. Which is the dirty secret of the Party of Mental Illness that folks in the USA are beginning to grok. All their blather about “our democracy” is a smokescreen for the lust to shutdown free speech at all costs and push everybody around. It will be interesting to see who shows up at the jetway when Mr. Carlson actually does land back in America. The FBI, you think? With a set of leg-irons (like they did with Peter Navarro)? Mr. Putin might also explain how immigration works in Russia, Russia, Russia, where you have to fill out an application, explain who you are, and be evaluated as worthy to enter. Not everybody makes the grade. But, surprise, surprise, surprise, not everybody seeks to enter a country with good intentions. Can you imagine that? The Party of Mental illness in America does not believe that anyone can have less than good intentions. At least that’s what they pretend (because they are mentally ill). So, anyone at all can drift across the Mexican border into the USA. They call that “diversity and inclusion.” It’s a thought problem.

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Hillary’s counsel.

Trump Facing ‘Long’ Prison Sentence – DNC Lawyer Marc Elias (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump could be sent to prison “for a long time” when a verdict is delivered in his upcoming trial over alleged mishandling of sensitive government documents, an attorney linked to the US Democrats has warned.Last June, Trump was charged with 37 felony counts amid claims that he illegally retained highly sensitive national security information at his South Florida residence. These included top-secret details of Washington’s nuclear capabilities and its strategies in the event of an attack on the US or its allies. Prosecutors, led by Special Counsel Jack Smith, claim that Trump rejected requests by federal officials to return the documents – some of which were stored in publicly accessible locations in Mar-a-Lago, including in an unsecured bathroom.

Trump has denied all allegations of wrongdoing and has pleaded not guilty to the charges. “People forget how damaging the evidence is in that Florida case,” Marc Elias, who represented the Democratic National Committee (DNC) between 2009 and 2023, said on MSNBC’s The Weekend on Sunday.“It is literally about a former president of the United States stealing highly classified sensitive documents from the United States government, treating them cavalierly, showing them to people, storing them willy-nilly.” Elias said that the evidence, when it is delivered in the trial in over three months’ time, could be “devastating to him politically, adding that “it puts him in real prospect of going to prison for a long time.”

The indictment marked the first time that a former US president faced criminal charges from a federal government he once led. Trump received another federal indictment in August 2023 over his alleged attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 US presidential election.He also faces separate charges over allegations of falsifying business records in New York, and for a conspiracy to undermine election results in the US state of Georgia.Trump, who is the clear frontrunner to claim the Republican nomination to challenge likely Democratic candidate Joe Biden in November’s election. In a head-to-head poll published by NBC News on Sunday, Trump beat Biden by five points, 47%-42%. However, the same poll found that in the event that Trump is convicted of a felony Biden would lead by 45%-43%.

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“..Bragg and his office almost daily “move to dismiss significantly more serious counts or entire indictments” and avoid harsher penalties for far more violent and convicted felons..”

Judge Dismisses Alvin Bragg’s Felony Case Against Vax Card Forgers (PM)

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg attempted to charge two New York residents with felonies for having false vaccine passports while he has let off others charged with far worse crimes scot-free. New York State Supreme Court Justice Brendan T. Lantry dismissed the felony charges against the residents, identified as J.O. and R.V. in the decision, who had bought the forged vax passports, usurping Bragg’s decision. The judge said the two were among 16 others that Bragg had “cherry-picked” to prosecute, according to the case. Lantry slammed Bragg in the decision decided at the New York Supreme Court on Jan. 30. The judge wrote in the opinion, “Clearly, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree (Penal Law § 170.25) is not among the most serious crimes in the New York Penal Law, nor are the factual allegations against Defendants R.V. and J.O. particularly serious in nature.”

“Moreover, the factual allegations — that the Defendants purchased fake COVID-19 vaccination cards so that they could provide same to their employer (R.V.) and school (J.O.) — do not rise to the level of the majority of the crimes adjudicated in Supreme Court, New York County, namely homicide, sexual assault, drug sale, robbery, burglary, and other violent and non-violent serious felony offenses,” Lantry continued. The judge expanded on the decision that Bragg and his office almost daily “move to dismiss significantly more serious counts or entire indictments” and avoid harsher penalties for far more violent and convicted felons. Bragg also recently allowed a group of all but a single illegal immigrant to be released without bail after they allegedly beat up two NYPD officers. He later defended this saying that the video evidence was not enough to hold the foreign nationals. NYC government officials, including Bragg, have faced increasing scrutiny over the government’s lackluster effort to control crime in the city as well as the high influx of illegal immigrants.

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“If Putin or Xi just gave one little push the West would collapse like a house of cards.”

The Overthrow of Men (Paul Craig Roberts)

In my lifetime I have watched the complete overthrow of American men. The only role that they have left is to be a hate object for feminists. I think the overthrow was initiated with the 1964 Civil Rights Act as implemented, contrary to the statutory language in the law, by the EEOC bureaucracy. Congress explicitly prohibited racial quotas, but the EEOC under the leadership of Alfred Blumrosen put in place a regulatory system that, at first, under the name of “affirmative action” gave racial preference to blacks in university admissions, hiring, and promotion. Soon after the preferences were extended to women, and later to the handicapped and now to sexual perverts. The consequence of Alfred Blumrosen is that white heterosexual males are second class citizens in law. They have been denied for a half century the 14th Amendment’s protection of equality under the law. Initially, the impact was limited, but as time passed more and more American men were held back in order to advance those with racial and gender preferences.

Feminists went on and on about a “glass ceiling,” and American men, weakened by their demonization, invited them on boards and into executive offices. This has gone on for so many decades that today a male CEO or University president is an endangered species, as exemplified by the recent controversy over Ivy League students’ protests against Israel’s genocide of the Palestinians. The three Ivy League university presidents called before Congress to explain why they had allowed students to commit anti-semitism by protesting Israel’s massacre of Palestinians were all women, with the President of Harvard being a black woman with plagiarism problems. Today many corporate boards are more concerned about whether they have enough women and blacks than they are with profits and the corporation’s future. Having pushed men aside, they started on boys. Boys could no longer be Boy Scouts. They had to take in girls or it was ruled discrimination against females.

But Girl Scouts didn’t have to take in boys. Boy’s Little League baseball had to take in girls or it was discrimination. Next school playground fights between a bully and one not content to be bullied, were no longer left to completion by the playground monitor–standing up for yourself was regarded as part of growing up. Today the police are called, and what was normal in my day has been criminalized. Boys cannot even play cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians without severe punishment. If a 6 year old points his finger and says bang-bang, the cops are called, and parents are told that their son is a sociopath who is dangerous to his classmates. When was the last men’s club extinguished for discrimination? When was the last men’s college extinguished? I went to three–Georgia Tech, the University of Virginia, Merton College, Oxford University. They are now sexually integrated, and their character is lost. Merton College now has female wardens (presidents).

Once the alumni from the past are dead, no one will have a memory of a men’s space. It will become a mythology like a unicorn. When boys don’t want to be boys: What is proof of men’s demise is that today in America boys find themselves so demonized as misogynist and racists and treated as society’s problems that some would rather be girls than boys and, often with their mother’s urging, subject themselves to chemical castration and breast implants. No male in the past could possibly have preferred to be a girl than a boy. The question for feminists who have aided and abetted the overthrow of the American male is: who is going to protect you as the society you helped to destroy comes crashing down on your heads?

The delegitimizing of the white heterosexual male is the same throughout the remnants of Western civilization. In Sweden there are reports that white Swedish men stand aside while immigrant-invaders rape Swedish women in public, because if they interfere they might be arrested for a hate crime. The British government, which is no longer British, has a tradition of protecting immigrant-invaders against the British people instead of protecting the British people against immigrant-invaders. What is happening conflicts with the protective mentality of white men. But they are prohibited from providing the protection. The Western World is devoid of maleness. Even the West’s war ministers are women. A couple of years ago I posted photographs of NATO’s European war ministers and Shoigu. If memory serves, every European war minister was female. If Putin or Xi just gave one little push the West would collapse like a house of cards.

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“..they will now see Putin as not only a human being, but also a very intelligent leader that is actually doing what’s best for his people. And that is everything that the American public wants.”

US Panicking Tucker Carlson Will Continue Objective Reporting in Russia (Sp.)

Maverick US journalist Tucker Carlson has raised eyebrows after being spotted in Moscow this week, with observers speculating Carlson has arrived to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin. The popular American commentator has so far remained coy about the reasons for his visit, but he has expressed his willingness to speak with Putin in the past, allegedly making him the target of surveillance from US intelligence agencies. As Russiagaters melt down over the prospect Carlson will undermine US regime propaganda by practicing real journalism, geopolitical analyst and journalist Fiorella Isabel joined Sputnik’s The Critical Hour program Monday to discuss the situation. “The fact that this targeting [of Carlson] is happening in the way it is happening now signifies a fear from the United States,” said Isabel.

“They are fearful of a conversation that somebody like Tucker Carlson and Vladimir Putin could have because Tucker Carlson did leave Fox [News]. And since he did leave Fox, so much has happened in the world where, as you all were talking about before, there are major escalations, not only in the Asia-Pacific region, but also obviously with Iran via Israel-Palestine and via, of course, Ukraine.” “The United States is involved in every single one of these conflicts,” noted the journalist. “And I think that the aim is to really show what Moscow is like, what the Russian people are like, and give a different perspective.” Isabel speculated Carlson was indeed likely to speak with Putin while in Moscow, adding “I don’t think he would come for anything less.”

She also noted that Carlson has previously spoken with other leaders sometimes considered controversial in the United States, such as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. “What we’re looking at here is that the United States and their proxies are clearly afraid of the response that such a popular figure like Tucker Carlson might have with an audience, in response to Vladimir Putin, who we have been told is this boogeyman and he is evil, and there is no redeeming quality to him,” said Isabel. “But based on Putin’s speeches and the things he says that many Western audiences don’t get to hear, that will drastically change, I think, a lot of people, or at least impact them in a way, in a time where we’re on the brink of a catastrophic nuclear event I think,” she added.

Tucker CNN

“I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. So I think that’s why at this pivotal moment, the powers that be are extremely afraid of this interview, to the point where they’re saying that they’re going to go after Tucker Carlson in a legal way for simply being here and trying to attempt to do journalism.” “They have gone so far off from what journalism was supposed to be that they don’t recognize that this is actually what you’re supposed to do, talk to adversarial figures or people that you may disagree with,” noted the analyst. Host Garland Nixon noted that demonization of foreign leaders is a traditional tactic of US propaganda as Americans are conditioned to revile figures like President Bashar al-Assad in Syria or President Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. The “danger” of Carlson’s interview, he noted, is that Putin would be humanized before an American audience.

Co-host Wilmer Leon agreed, arguing that Americans would see that Putin is not “crazy,” “unhinged,” or “evil.” Isabel noted that Putin has made highly subversive arguments for American audiences, questioning the fairness of US elections and noting that US foreign policy generally remains unchanged as new presidents enter the White House. “So I think, when Americans would view or hear somebody like Vladimir Putin, especially Americans that haven’t actually gotten a chance to listen to any of his speeches, they will be perhaps blown away in the sense that they will [say], ‘wow, this guy makes a lot of sense. And he just simply is saying what’s on our minds,’” said Isabel. “And I think that fear is what the West would fear, because they will now see Putin as not only a human being, but also a very intelligent leader that is actually doing what’s best for his people. And that is everything that the American public wants.”

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Gecko
https://twitter.com/i/status/1754751777927258324

 

 

Ardennes

 

 

Russia prop

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 292024
 


MC Escher Relativity 1953

 

Specter of Civil War: Biden’s Border Policy Could Lead to ‘Huge Explosion’ (Sp.)
Biden Has No Intention to Close Border, And Even If He Did, It’s Too Late (Sp.)
Speaker Debunks ‘Need’ To Pass Ukraine-Israel Funds Before Securing Border (ZH)
Speaker Johnson is Right: Stop the Fake Border Bill (Newt Gingrich)
Articles Of Impeachment Against Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas (JTN)
George Soros Pours Millions Into Texas In Hopes Of Shifting Power To Dems (Fox)
Will a South African Victory Stop the Gaza Genocide? (Pepe Escobar)
The ICJ Ruling On Genocide Is A Crushing Defeat For Israel (Amar)
Has International Law Survived, or Has the West Killed It? (Craig Murray)
Mediators Propose Hostage Deal to Establish 4-Month Ceasefire in Gaza (Sp.)
Cost of Biden’s Attacks on Houthis May Exceed Red Sea Trade Disruption (Sp.)
Israel Fails To Destroy Hamas Tunnels (Cradle)
NATO Won’t Defend US – Trump (RT)
22 Articles Of Impeachment Filed Against Fani Willis (ZH)
US Navy Says High School Diploma No Longer Needed For New Recruits (Sp.)

 

 

High class trolling.

 

 

Gutfeld

 

 

 

 

Biden
https://twitter.com/i/status/1751333938411241802

 

 

Hillary

 

 

 

 

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in the Near East employs some 30,000 people, 13,000 of them in Gaza. 12 of them are accused of working with Hamas. Much of the West has now withdrawn their funding. But Gaza needs UNRWA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..And I’m afraid that if… The way things are going right now, if Biden wins reelection, there could be a huge explosion in this country.”

Specter of Civil War: Biden’s Border Policy Could Lead to ‘Huge Explosion’ (Sp.)

The migrant crisis has been increasingly haunting the US since President Joe Biden assumed office and revoked border restrictions implemented by his predecessor, Donald Trump. However, some red states rebelled against Biden’s open border agenda, with Texas kicking off Operation Lone Star in March 2021, bringing together the Texas Department of Public Safety and the National Guard. Recently, the Texas National Guard “seized” a section of the US-Mexico border, blocking federal border patrol agents from accessing it and raising legal disputes. The US Supreme Court ruled that federal agents may cut the wire barriers placed by the Lone Star authorities to deter illegal migrants from entering the state. Nonetheless, 25 Republican governors signed a letter supporting Texas in the border control fight with the federal government over the “invasion” of migrants.

“This whole immigration issue has become one total mess,” Michael Maloof, a former senior security policy analyst at the Office of the US Secretary of Defense, told Sputnik. “We’re going to see where it goes. But it appears that [Texas] Governor [Greg] Abbott and the governors of 25 other states are very firmly opposed to what the Biden administration is doing. And I would add that it’s also suggesting a line in the sand. If you look at the states that are involved, they’re mostly right in the middle and approaching toward the east. And it’s really a clear division of blue states versus red states in this country today, which is where the political lines have been drawn. And this is all happening leading up to the 2024 elections. And I’m afraid that if… The way things are going right now, if Biden wins reelection, there could be a huge explosion in this country.” Per Maloof, the situation is now boiling down to a potential confrontation between the state of Texas and 25 Republican states on the one side and the federal government on the other.

Meanwhile, Democrats appear to be unwilling to back down: they are calling on Biden to “federalize” the Texas National Guard thus upending the state’s Operation Lone Star. “You would have a confrontation,” the former Pentagon analyst warned. “There would be no question about a confrontation. That are some other states that are bringing their National Guards, their state national Guards to Texas, Montana has done it, Arizona has done it. The federal government would have to federalize all of them. Is there money for it? You’d have to pay those reservists because it’s a recall to active duty to the federal government. Right now it’s not in the budget.” One also has to bear in mind that Texas has forces to protect itself even without federal government assistance, according to Sputnik’s interlocutor.

“Texas’ governor also has the Texas police and there are also other types of local police forces scattered around the country that are not subject to federal recall, that can be utilized from these other 25 states. So, and it hasn’t been mentioned yet, but, a number of these states have, militias – people who are quiet organizations that conceivably could offer their services to the state of Texas and be deputized by the state of Texas. They would not be subject to any recall by the federal government. But the question will be the issue of training, discipline. So that would be an additional factor which probably could be dealt with, if this came down to a very serious confrontation.” Maloof drew attention to the fact that despite the US Supreme Court’s recent ruling concerning the wire barriers at the border, the Border Patrol – which is a federal agency – has not moved to demolish the barriers so far. The crux of the matter is that the Border Patrol “does not want to have a confrontation with state officials, many of whom probably live next door to each other half the time and they work closely together any other time,” the expert explained.

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“..Between the Senate and the [Biden] administration there are no believable individuals. The House is the only hope to kill this travesty..”

Biden Has No Intention to Close Border, And Even If He Did, It’s Too Late (Sp.)

US President Joe Biden has pledged to close the border if it “becomes overwhelmed” should Congress pass a bipartisan immigration bill. In a recent statement, he said the bill, if enacted, would be “the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had.” “It would give me, as President, a new emergency authority to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed. And if given that authority, I would use it the day I sign the bill into law,” Biden added. This document “is solely designed to persuade gullible Republicans to support sending more money to Ukraine in return for non–existent ‘reforms’ at the border,” Michael Shannon, a political commentator and Newsmax columnist, told Sputnik. “Existing US law provides all the enforcement authority necessary for closing the border. Leftists just refuse to use that authority,” Shannon pointed out. On POTUS’ promise of the “toughest” border security reforms, Shannon insisted that the pledge shows that “Joe Biden remains an unrepentant liar.”

Biden “has no intention of closing the border and even if they did, it’s too late. What is required is closing the border and relentless, mass deportations of illegals regardless of how long they’ve been inside the border breaking the law,” according to the analyst. He also recalled a series of immigration deals that “disingenuous Republicans” have cut with Democrats in the past. Those GOP members, he continued, were “always betrayed when it came time to implement the deal.”“The foolish Republicans think that finally this time the leftists will adhere to their end of the deal. The disingenuous Republicans hope the bill will do enough to fool their conservative voting base into thinking they are doing something about the illegals’ invasion without upsetting the open borders, cheap labor donors who keep them in office. Between the Senate and the [Biden] administration there are no believable individuals. The House is the only hope to kill this travesty,” Shannon argued.

Referring to Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott’s ongoing border standoff with the federal government, the analyst said the furor has “greatly complicated the response of the Biden administration and pushed the legislation, at least temporarily, into the background.” “If Biden attempts to force Texas to stand down and allow federal employees to essentially re–open the border, then how can Biden claim to be strong on enforcement? If Biden does nothing, he looks weak and angers the anti–America, open borders crowd that makes up much of his base. This confrontation — and the overwhelming support Texas has received from other state governors — is overshadowing the coverage of the ‘reform’ bill and will have to be resolved first,” Shannon concluded.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1751346454680207360

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Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act:

“Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

Speaker Debunks ‘Need’ To Pass Ukraine-Israel Funds Before Securing Border (ZH)

House Speaker Mike Johnson has dispelled President Joe Biden’s absolute lie that Congress needs to act to pass a $110 billion aid package which would include money for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan – a bill, mind you, that would still allow as many as 150,000 illegal crossings per month, or 1.8 million per year, before any of the proposed border shutdown authorities would be triggered. “President Biden falsely claimed yesterday he needs Congress to pass a new law to allow him to close the southern border, but he knows that is untrue,” said Johnson. “As I explained to him in a letter late last year, and have specifically reiterated to him on multiple occasions since, he can and must take executive action immediately to reverse the catastrophe he has created.” Recall that Biden signed three executive orders on day one of his presidency which reversed significant border protections put into place by former President Trump, and made it clear to migrants worldwide that the door was now open.

President Trump, meanwhile, is circling on this like a shark – telling a crowd on Saturday in Las Vegas “When I’m President, instead of trying to send Texas a restraining order, I will send them REINFORCEMENTS!” David Sacks breaks things down perfectly (via X): “WHAT’S REALLY HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON”. Neocons had a problem. The big Spring-Summer Counteroffensive, which was supposed to kick the Russians out of Ukraine, was a miserable failure. Even TIME Magazine was reporting that Zelensky is delusional, the Ukrainians are running out of soldiers, and Ukrainian officials are stealing like there’s no tomorrow. House Republicans, fearing their base, began to have cold feet about throwing more money down this bottomless pit. So Biden and the Neocons came up with a plan: package Ukraine aid with border security. Each side would get want it wants.

But Senate RINOs couldn’t help themselves — they turned the border security provisions into an amnesty bill. Meanwhile Biden picked a fight with Texas over what little remains of our border security, reminding Republicans that he can’t be trusted to faithfully execute the law. So now the deal has fallen apart. So what is the Administration to do? There’s only ever one answer for that: blame Trump. Supposedly he is responsible for Ukraine losing the war AND the southern border being overrun. In reality, Biden and his handlers have nobody to blame but themselves for both policies. Shakespeare put it best: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves.”

Lankford

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“..77 percent of Americans reject non-citizens voting. In fact, 60 percent strongly oppose non-citizens voting. The voting issue is a real election game changer..”

Speaker Johnson is Right: Stop the Fake Border Bill (Newt Gingrich)

Speaker Mike Johnson just sent out an email which captures exactly what is going on in the U.S. Senate today. He wrote: “They want you to believe that the deal they’re offering to the American people is a ‘compromise.’ “[Sen. Chuck] Schumer wants you to sign off on: “150,000 illegal immigrants entering the country uninhibited per month. (That’s nearly the population of my hometown in Louisiana) “Work permits for EVERY illegal alien who’s been released into the country. And they want YOU to pay for their legal fees. “My answer is NO. Absolutely not.” As I mentioned on my podcast this week, I am proud of Speaker Johnson’s firm position, but he is going to need a lot of grassroots support to convince Senate Republicans not to go along with this border sell out. Americans want a clean, simple bill that controls the border and stops illegal immigrants from entering the United States.

Americans strongly favor legal immigration, but they are worried about the enormous flood of illegal immigrants from more than 160 countries – including people on the terrorist watch list and criminals from dangerous cartels. Closing Brooklyn’s James Madison High School so American students had to learn from home while illegal immigrants stayed in the school became a symbol of misplaced values and destructive Biden administration policies. In fact, the American people strongly support another bill, the Secure the Border Act of 2023 – which House Republicans passed last year. At America’s New Majority Project, we found enormous support for key provisions in that bill which address the amnesty and parole systems that are currently being abused. The American people are increasingly concerned about Joe Biden’s illegal immigration crisis. The issue was the No. 1 concern for Republican caucus goers in Iowa – surpassing even the economy.

Further, in a brand-new poll by America’s New Majority Project, we found 77 percent of Americans reject non-citizens voting. In fact, 60 percent strongly oppose non-citizens voting. The voting issue is a real election game changer. A Republican who is against non-citizens voting defeats a Democrat who favors non-citizens voting 56 percent to 29 percent (15 percent were undecided). Finally, Americans do not want to open up the welfare system to illegal immigrants. In yet another America’s New Majority Project poll, we found only 29 percent support letting illegal immigrants receive “Medicaid, food stamps, and other help meant for people with low incomes.” Sixty-four percent oppose this (and 47 percent oppose it strongly). These most recent findings by America’s New Majority Project reaffirm the results of other polls on immigration and border security.

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Mayorkas has been laying the foundations for the border crisis ever since Biden was installed.

Articles Of Impeachment Against Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas (JTN)

House Republicans on Sunday released their articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The first article alleges Mayorkas participated in a “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law,” while the second article says he breached the public’s trust for his handling of the southern border amid record illegal immigration numbers. The articles state that Mayorkas has “willfully and systemically refused to comply with Federal immigration laws” and “repeatedly violated laws enacted by Congress regarding immigration and border security.” A markup of the articles is scheduled for Tuesday after a multi-phase, year-long investigation into Mayorkas.

“Congress has a duty to see that the executive branch implements and enforces the laws we have passed,” House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green, R-Tenn., said, according to The Washington Post. “Yet Secretary Mayorkas has repeatedly refused to do so.” After the House Homeland Security Committee’s markup of the articles, they are expected to be sent to the full House for a vote. If the House votes to impeach Mayorkas, he could then go on trial in the Senate to potentially be removed. However, this is unlikely considering the body is controlled by Democrats.

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It doesn’t smell democratic.

George Soros Pours Millions Into Texas In Hopes Of Shifting Power To Dems (Fox)

Liberal billionaire George Soros is pouring extensive amounts of cash into Texas in an attempt to flip the state to Democrats, state campaign finance records reviewed by Fox News Digital show. Soros has contributed over $3 million to at least five left-wing groups in the Lone Star State over the last year to beef up infrastructure and help Democrats make gains in the overwhelmingly Republican stronghold. The financier is single-handedly propelling one of the progressive groups working to accomplish those goals. Fox News Digital reported in August that Texas Majority PAC, a mysterious under-the-radar group positioning itself to turn the state blue, had received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Soros’ Democracy PAC II. Texas Majority PAC had not been publicly launched, nor were there any news reports about it at the time. However, it has since come out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

A recent report by The Texas Tribune said former staffers from Democrat Beto O’Rourke’s failed gubernatorial campaign operate the group, and it raised nearly $2.25 million last year. “We need millions of more dollars and hundreds of more full-time staff to do this,” the group’s executive director, Katherine Fischer, told The Texas Tribune last week regarding its fundraising. “Texas Majority PAC works with partners across the state to create the conditions that will make flipping the state possible.” Recently released Texas campaign finance records reviewed by Fox News Digital show Soros has provided all its donations to date. His Democracy PAC II has given the group $850,000 in contributions, while he has personally provided $1.4 million. They account for the PAC’s entire $2.25 million in donations.

Mayra Flores, a former Republican congresswoman and the first Mexican-born woman to serve in the House of Representatives, believes Soros is pouring money into the Texas Majority PAC to boost Democrat turnout in 2024 because he doesn’t want Republican Hispanic leaders like her to win over other Hispanics who have traditionally voted blue. “They’re seeing that Hispanics are shifting towards the Republican Party because they’re realizing that we are the party of prosperity, that we want to build a strong economy, that we want to secure the border, that we want to prioritize the people of this country and not prioritize people from outside this country. And I believe that it’s our policies that are winning people over, and the struggle is real,” Flores recently said.

“George Soros and the Democratic Party are seeing people like myself that resonate with the Hispanic community,” she added. “They resonate with me. I resonate with them. We have similar stories. I’m bilingual. I speak Spanish and English. We have similar stories, and we share that bond.” The bulk of Soros’ Texas cash has gone to the Texas Majority PAC, but he has also given hundreds of thousands of dollars to other groups working to elect Democrats statewide. Campaign finance records show Soros has donated at least $300,000 in the second half of 2023 to CTX Votes, which doesn’t appear to have an online footprint. In December, he gave $250,000 to the Texas Organizing Project, which caught flak last month for previously bailing out an individual charged with killing several people in Texas, including his parents. Additionally, he gave $200,000 to the Dallas County Democratic PAC and $100,000 to a group called First Tuesday, which also does not appear to have an online presence, in the second part of 2023.

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“..The overwhelming majority of the Global South instead interprets it as a peacekeeping force upholding the Genocide Convention – the Houthis – attacked by the rogue purveyors of the “rules-based international order..”

Will a South African Victory Stop the Gaza Genocide? (Pepe Escobar)

Let’s cut to the chase: By 15-2, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has just ruled in favor of BRICS member South Africa, and ordered Israel to take all necessary measures to prevent a genocide in Gaza. When it comes to the most scrutinized genocide ever, followed 24/7 by every smartphone on the planet, it’s fair to argue that South Africa has just scored an astonishing win against Zionism. And yet, as a Global Cynic Armada argues, in practical terms there has been no call for a ceasefire in Gaza.Of course it may also be argued that calling for a ceasefire only applies to a war – as in the case of the proxy war in Ukraine. Gaza is a case of genocide of an indigenous population perpetrated by an occupying power. That calls for an immediate halt to all genocidal acts. Essentially this is what the ICJ has ordered. The South African Foreign Ministry has noted that “if one reads the sentence, it’s implicit” that a ceasefire must be imposed.

The inestimable former British ambassador Craig Murray has noted that “after an extremely damning exposition of the facts by South Africa”, powerfully “and meticulously well stated”, conclusions were inevitable. These are the highlights:“The military operation conducted by Israel in Gaza has resulted in untold death and injuries, destroyed substantial infrastructure and housing units, caused mass malnutrition, collapsed the healthcare system, and displaced the majority of its inhabitants. This war has affected the entire population of Gaza and will have far lasting consequences. The court has taken note of the language of dehumanization by senior Israeli government officials.” Hence the ICJ “accepts the South African demand for urgent provisional measures to be taken for the protection of Palestinians in Gaza against Israel and recommends” (italics mine) the following:

By 15-2: “The state of Israel shall take all measures to prevent the commission of genocide to Gaza.” By 15-2: “The state of Israel shall ensure that the military not commit any acts of genocide.”By 16-1: “Israel shall take all measures to punish all public solicitations to genocide.” By 16-1: “Israel shall take immediate and effective measures to address adverse conditions to life in the Gaza Strip”. By 15-2: “Israel shall take effective measures to preserve evidence of actions impacting the Genocide Convention.” By 15-2: “Israel shall submit to the court a report of all measures taken to follow the orders of this court within one month.” The ICJ decision is binding. Yet even as the ICJ decided that Israel must “take all measures to prevent death and injury”, and provide for all Palestinian humanitarian needs (including access to food, medicine, infrastructure), what happens if Tel Aviv simply ignores the decision?

Even considering that Israel must file a report on the remedial actions within one month of the ruling, all bets are off on whether biblical psychopathy practitioners will comply. The answer came fast. Israel’s National Security Minister Ben Gvir, a cartoonish candidate for the role of out of control psycho in a cheap horror flick, stated that “the decision of the antisemitic court in The Hague proves what was already known: This court does not seek justice, but rather the persecution of Jewish people. They were silent during the Holocaust and today they continue the hypocrisy and take it another step further.”Psychos don’t do history. The ICJ in its current iteration was founded in 1945.What the ICJ ruling certainly did was de facto legitimize the moral strength of the Houthis supporting “our people” in Gaza.

And this while the US and the UK are spinning across the Global South that they must strike against the Houthis, whose policy of defending Palestine translates as upholding the Genocide Convention. The US and the UK cynically evoke the necessity to “protect international law.” The overwhelming majority of the Global South instead interprets it as a peacekeeping force upholding the Genocide Convention – the Houthis – attacked by the rogue purveyors of the “rules-based international order”. In parallel, a crucial point has been underlined by crack international lawyer Juan Branco. France currently presides the UN Security Council. According to Article 94.2 of the UN Charter: by South Africa’s request, the UN must force Israel to apply the ICJ ruling. No one should count on trashy Macronist France to do the right thing.

Pelosi

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“..One side effect of this rampant abuse of the accusation of antisemitism is, of course, that soon it won’t be taken seriously anymore, even when it should. And we will have Israel to thank for that..”

The ICJ Ruling On Genocide Is A Crushing Defeat For Israel (Amar)

The United Nations’ International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled on the case that South Africa had brought against Israel. Those who mistake realism for simplistic materialism – the ‘it’s only there if I can touch it’ variety – may underestimate the significance of that ruling. In reality, it is historic. Here’s why. First, and most importantly, the court has ruled against Israel. South Africa’s well-prepared brief was over 80 pages long, closely argued, and very detailed. But its gist was simple: It had applied to the ICJ – which only handles cases between countries, not individuals – to find that Israel is committing genocide in its attack on Gaza, thereby infringing on fundamental Palestinian rights as brutally as possible. Such a finding always takes years. For now, at this preliminary stage, South Africa’s immediate request was for the judges to decide that there is, in essence, a high enough probability of this genocide taking place to do two things:

First, continue the case (instead of dismissing it) and, secondly, issue an injunction (in this context called “preliminary measures”) ordering Israel to abstain from its genocidal actions so that the rights of its Palestinian victims receive due protection. The court has done both, with a majority of 15 to 2. One of the two judges dissenting is from Israel. Those voting, in effect, against Tel Aviv included even the president of the court, from the US, and the judge from Germany, a country that has taken a self-damagingly pro-Israel line. As to the Israeli pseudo-argument claiming ‘self-defense,’ the court rightly ignored it. (Occupying powers simply do not have that right regarding occupied entities under international law. Period.) This is a clear victory for South Africa – and for Palestine and Palestinians – and a crushing defeat for Israel, as even Kenneth Roth, head of thoroughly pro-Western Human Rights Watch recognizes with commendable clarity.

It is true that the ICJ has no power to enforce its rulings. That would have to come through the UN Security Council, where the US is protecting Israel, whatever it does, including genocide. Yet there are good reasons why representatives of Israel have reacted with statements so arrogant and aggressive that they only further damage Tel Aviv’s badly damaged international standing: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for instance, has displayed his legal nihilism by dismissing as “outrageous” the closely reasoned finding of the court, at which Israel had every opportunity to argue its case. Israel’s far-right Minister of National Security, convicted racist and terrorist supporter Itamar Ben-Gvir, has derided the ruling with an X post simply saying: “Hague schmague.”

And, of course, as always, everyone not toeing Israel’s line is smeared as an “antisemite”: The ICJ is now joining the UN, the World Health Organization and, by now, almost everyone and everything outside the ideological bubble of Zionism on the list of those slandered in this manner. (One side effect of this rampant abuse of the accusation of antisemitism is, of course, that soon it won’t be taken seriously anymore, even when it should. And we will have Israel to thank for that.)

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65-year old Craig Murray slept on a mat in the cold outside the door of the ICJ in The Hague 3-4 nights, to get one of 15 seats for the public. He was the only journalist present.

Has International Law Survived, or Has the West Killed It? (Craig Murray)

In finding there is a plausible case against Israel, the International Court of Justice treated with contempt the argument from Israel that the case should be dismissed as it is exercising its right of self-defence. This argument took up over half of Israel’s pleadings. Not only did the court find there is a plausible case of genocide, the court only mentioned self-defence once in its interim ruling – and that was merely to note that Israel had claimed it. That the ICJ has not affirmed Israel’s right to self-defence is perhaps the most important point in this interim order. It is the dog that did not bark. The argument which every western leader has been using is spurned by the ICJ. Now the ICJ did not repeat that an occupying power has no right of self-defence. It did not need to. It simply ignored Israel’s specious assertion. It could do that because what it went on to iterate went way beyond any plausible assertion of self-defence. What struck me most about the ICJ ruling was that the Order went into far more detail about the evidence of genocide than it needed to. Its description was stark.

The reason this is so crucial, is that the Court is not saying that South Africa asserts this. The Court is saying these are the facts. It is a finding of fact by the Court. I cannot emphasise too strongly the importance of that description by the court of the state of affairs in Gaza. The Court then goes on to detail accounts by the United Nations of the factual situation, quoting three different senior officials at length, including Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner General of UNRWA:

This of course explains why the immediate response to the ICJ ruling was a coordinated attack by Israel and the combined imperialist powers on UNRWA, designed to accelerate the genocide by stopping aid, to provide a propaganda counter-narrative to the ICJ judgment, and to reduce the credibility of UNRWA’s evidence before the court. The Court works very closely with the UN and is very much an entrenched part of the UN system. It has a particularly close relationship with the UN General Assembly – many of the Court’s cases are based on request from the UN General Assembly. In a fortnight’s time the Court will be starting its substantive hearings on the legal position in the Occupied Territories of Palestine, at the request of the UNGA. There are five specific references to the UNGA in the Order. The Court spent a great deal of time outlining the facts of the unfolding genocide in the Gaza Strip. It did not have to do so in nearly so much detail, and far too little attention has been paid to this. I was equally surprised by how much detail the court gave on the evidence of genocidal intent by Israel.

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“..The sources added that Israel and Hamas had not yet officially responded to the proposal, and that the deal may not go through at all..”

Mediators Propose Hostage Deal to Establish 4-Month Ceasefire in Gaza (Sp.)

Arab mediators are working on an agreement between Israel and Hamas to release all remaining hostages in the Gaza Strip in exchange for a roughly four-month ceasefire, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing Egyptian officials familiar with the plan. The proposal provides for an initial six-week pause in the fighting to allow the release of children, women and elderly people in need of medical care from Hamas captivity, according to the report. In exchange, Israel will release a significant number of Palestinian prisoners and increase the flow of aid into the Gaza Strip. The Egyptian officials added that under the plan, in subsequent stages, Hamas would release female soldiers, then male soldiers, and also hand over the remains of the dead to Israel.

At the same time, Hamas will receive international guarantees, including from the United States, that during this ceasefire, a comprehensive agreement that will lead to an end to the war in Gaza will be reached. The sources added that Israel and Hamas had not yet officially responded to the proposal, and that the deal may not go through at all. The parties now mainly agree on the framework of a future deal, which includes several stages and a potential long-term ceasefire, the sources said. On October 7, the Gaza Strip-controlling Hamas movement launched a large-scale rocket attack against Israel and breached the border. As a result, over 1,200 people in Israel were killed and some 240 others abducted. Israel launched retaliatory strikes, ordered a complete blockade of Gaza, and started a ground incursion into the Palestinian enclave with the declared goal of eliminating Hamas fighters and rescuing the hostages. About 26,000 people have been killed so far in the Gaza Strip, local authorities said.

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“..an average Houthi radar destroyed by the Pentagon may cost no more than $2,000, whereas a US missile used to knock it out costs at least a million dollars..”

We see that all the time. You’d almost think something went wrong in planning…

Cost of Biden’s Attacks on Houthis May Exceed Red Sea Trade Disruption (Sp.)

President Joe Biden’s claim that the US strikes against Yemen’s Houthi militants is necessary to protect the continued flow of global trade doesn’t hold water, as per the Quincy Institute of Responsible Statecraft and Cato scholars. The US has so far conducted 10 rounds of airstrikes against Houthis in response to the Yemeni militant group’s attacks on Israel, US, or UK-linked vessels in the Red Sea over Tel Aviv’s brutal war in Gaza. Joe Biden’s Department of Defense justifies the strikes by the threat allegedly posed by the Yemenis to global trade. Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder insisted on January 22 that the Houthis’ attacks in the Red Sea, including “the unprecedented use of anti-ship ballistic missiles,” have “significantly disrupted the free flow of commerce” in “one of the globe’s most critical waterways.” According to some estimates cited by the Quincy Institute of Responsible Statecraft (QI), the Red Sea crisis led to a 1.3% drop in global trade in December 2023.

In the course of the crisis, the Houthis have hijacked one ship and launched at least 34 attacks in the region – making a whopping 90% of container ships divert from the Suez Canal to go around Africa. Nonetheless, the QI doubts the Biden administration’s assumption that bombing of Houthis (which is fraught with a risk of a wider regional conflict, given the Shiite Yemeni group’s longstanding ties with Iran) is an adequate response to the Red Sea crisis. The think tank’s skepticism is shared by Eugene Gholz, a political science professor at Notre Dame University. In particular, Gholz wrote in his January 12 op-ed for the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, that “the cost of diverting shipping away from the Red Sea is not very significant in the grand scheme of the global economy.” “You would need very fine-grained data to try to find any effect,” Gholz told the QI. “You see articles that say consumer prices have gone up in the last couple months. The Red Sea issue has been happening, but that’s hardly the only thing that’s been happening in the global economy, right?”

Commenting on the claim of “huge” increases in fuel and personnel costs caused by the necessity to send ships around Africa, Gholz explained that those costs are “actually quite small compared to the cost of the cargo on an average cargo ship.” Even if the ship needs another two million dollars’ worth of fuel to travel around Africa, this sum should be “amortized across a billion dollars of value of cargo.” Eventually, “it’s a very marginal change in the cost to consumers of getting their product delivered,” per the political scientist. In contrast, the cost of Biden’s military operation in the Red Sea is much greater than the cost of shippers’ adaptation to the Houthis’ disruption, according to Gholz. Referring to the Pentagon’s claim that it had so far spent around $1.6 billion on the Red Sea mission, the scholar argues that the real price tag is bigger, given that the cost of weapons fired at Houthis weren’t included in this sum.

In December, the QI estimated that each US munition used to intercept Houthi rockets and drones costs between $1 million and $4.3 million. Per the think tank, US missiles reportedly used to shoot down Houthi projectiles and UAVs include the SM-2 ($2.1 million), SM-6 ($4.3 million), ESSM Sea Sparrows ($1.7 million), and Rolling Airframe missile ($905,000). For their part, the Yemeni Houthis are firing relatively cheap projectiles, drones and missiles at vessels in the Red Sea. Most Houthi installations in Yemen, targeted by the US military, also use relatively inexpensive military equipment. Once destroyed, some of this equipment could be then quickly and easily replaced, per Gholz. To illustrate his point Gholz noted that an average Houthi radar destroyed by the Pentagon may cost no more than $2,000, whereas a US missile used to knock it out costs at least a million dollars. “This is a bad cost trade-off,” the professor said.

But that is not all: “There’s also risk,” Gholz warned. “If this gets some Americans killed, if the Houthis got a lucky shot and they actually hurt someone, that’s a huge cost. If the United States gets drawn further into the maelstrom of Yemeni politics, or if the American hawks satisfy their wildest dream and leverage this into getting the United States to attack Iran, that’s an incredibly costly thing.”

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“..Israel has implanted GPS chips under the skin of its soldiers to facilitate locating them in case of abduction..”

Israel Fails To Destroy Hamas Tunnels (Cradle)

Israel has destroyed only 20 percent of Hamas tunnels in Gaza since the beginning of the war with Hamas and the Palestinian resistance that began almost four months ago, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on 28 January. According to US and Israeli officials, “80% of Hamas’s vast warren of tunnels under Gaza remains intact after weeks of Israeli efforts to destroy them … hampering Israel’s central war aims.” The roughly 500 km of tunnels under Gaza give Hamas places to securely store weapons and ammunition, hide and transport its fighters, hold Israeli captives, and operate command-and-control centers for its leadership. Israel has tried to destroy the tunnels in several ways, including hitting them with airstrikes and liquid explosives, searching them with dogs and robots, destroying their entrances, and raiding them with elite soldiers.

Israel has used the tunnels as a pretext to destroy civilian infrastructure in Gaza, including entire residential areas, using 2,000 lb bunker-buster bombs supplied by the US. The WSJ added, “And Israel has said it has conducted strikes on hospitals and other key infrastructure in its pursuit of the tunnels.” Israel also installed a series of pumps to flood the tunnels with water from the Mediterranean Sea and Israel. But efforts to destroy the tunnels have nevertheless been ineffective, US officials told the WSJ. Israeli officials moved ahead with plans to flood the tunnels in December despite fears this would kill some of the captives taken by fighters from Hamas’ armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, on 7 October during Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.

In a meeting with Israel’s war cabinet, released captives and family members of captives angrily told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu they feared that flooding the tunnels, where many of the captives are presumably being held, would kill their loved ones. One released Israeli captive, whose husband remained in Gaza, told the prime minister: “The feeling we had there was that no one was doing anything for us. The fact is that I was in a hiding place that was shelled, and we had to be smuggled out and wounded. Not including the helicopter that shot at us on the way to Gaza. You claim that there is intelligence, But the fact is that we are being shelled. My husband was separated from us three days before we returned to Israel and taken to the tunnels. And you are talking about flooding the tunnels with seawater? You are shelling the route of tunnels in the exact area where they are.”

Others have accused the Israeli government of attempting to kill their captive family members deliberately. According to Maya Sherman, her son Ron was killed by the Israeli army, which flooded the tunnel he was being held captive in with poison gas, suffocating him to death. “Ron was indeed murdered. Not by Hamas. Think more in the direction of Auschwitz and the showers but without Nazis and without Hamas as the cause. No accidental shooting, no report, premeditated murder, bombings with poisonous gases,” she wrote on social media. Israel has adopted a controversial military policy, the Hannibal Directive, which states it is better to kill its own soldiers or civilians who have been taken captive by an enemy rather than have to negotiate and give concessions to win their release, such as releasing Palestinians held captive in Israeli prisons.

A report from Al-Estiklal Newspaper from October detailed how Israel has implanted GPS chips under the skin of its soldiers to facilitate locating them in case of abduction by Hamas or other Palestinian resistance groups. According to Ayman Rigib, a political science professor at the University of Jerusalem, Hamas discovered these chips under the skin of the soldiers it captured and took to Gaza on 7 October. The resistance removed these electronic chips, which were implanted under the skin of the Israeli soldiers’ hands, and placed all the chips in one location to set up an ambush for Israeli troops that may come to save their comrades. However, rather than send troops to rescue the captive soldiers, the Israeli army bombed the location as if intending to kill the soldiers.

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They can’t even defend themselves. The US likes things that way.

NATO Won’t Defend US – Trump (RT)

NATO will not come to the rescue if the US is attacked, former President Donald Trump warned on Saturday. Speaking to a crowd of supporters at a campaign event in Las Vegas, Nevada, Trump continued his criticizm of the Western military bloc. “We’re paying for NATO, and we don’t get so much out of it,” he claimed. “And you know – I hate to tell you this about NATO – if we ever needed their help, let’s say we were attacked, I don’t believe they’d be there,” the former president said. “I know the people,” he added. According to Article 5 of the NATO Charter, an armed attack against one member state must be considered an attack against all of them. The statement follows a long history of complaints leveled by Trump at the US-led bloc during and after his presidency. He famously ruffled many feathers in Brussels by claiming in 2017 that NATO was “obsolete.” He later repeatedly chastised Germany and other American allies for not spending enough on defense.

Similarly, Trump criticized President Joe Biden for providing military aid to Ukraine during its conflict with Russia. “We don’t have ammunition for ourselves, [yet] we’re giving away so much,” he said last year. Trump also promised to end the fighting between Moscow and Kiev within “24 hours” and restore peace in the region if re-elected. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, however, said that Trump’s claim was unrealistic. Asked by NBC News in November if he believed that Trump would continue supporting Ukraine, Zelensky replied: “Really, I don’t know.” Trump remains the frontrunner for the Republican Party’s nomination as their candidate against Biden. This month, he comfortably came first in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, prompting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to drop out. Former US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, is now Trump’s sole Republican rival.

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“..The resolution calls Ms. Willis’ indictment “the severest case of gross abuse of discretion” while alleging that the Fulton County DA “grossly violated” her oath of office..”

22 Articles Of Impeachment Filed Against Fani Willis (ZH)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis may find herself out of a job, after a Georgia lawmaker filed a resolution Friday to impeach her for various acts of “malfeasance, tyrannical partiality, and oppression,” after allegations emerged that the Special Prosecutor she hired to go after Donald Trump turned out to be her lover, who she paid almost $700,000 – before he dropped thousands of dollars to take her on lavish vacations. “Fani Willis has a laundry list of potential conflicts that make her unworthy and unfit to be the District Attorney in Fulton Count,” said state Rep. Charlice Byrd (R) in a Jan. 26 statement accompanying the introduction of H.R. 872, a resolution to vote on impeachment charges against Willis. Willis brought a 2020 election interference case against former President Trump and over a dozen co-defendants under Georgia laws intended to fight organized crime.

In particular, Trump asked Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to ‘find’ votes for him. The context, however, was that Trump was commenting on all the votes ‘found’ for Biden in the middle of the night, so ‘find’ Trump votes in the same vein. Byrd’s 10-page resolution lays out the case against Willis, accusing her of violating her oath of office which states that “Any public officer who willfully and intentionally violates the terms of his oath as prescribed by law shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.” “The impeachment resolution comes on the same day that the Georgia State Senate voted to establish a committee that will investigate various allegations of misconduct against Ms. Willis, ranging from accusations of prosecutorial misconduct to questions about the use of public funds and allegations of an unprofessional relationship with the lead prosecutor in the case”. -Epoch Times

“The impeachment resolution accuses Ms. Willis of having committed “acts of malfeasance, tyrannical partiality, and oppression” in the “wrongful” indictment of President Trump and his 18 co-defendants (now down to 14 since four have pleaded guilty). The resolution calls Ms. Willis’ indictment “the severest case of gross abuse of discretion” while alleging that the Fulton County DA “grossly violated” her oath of office, in which she swore to be impartial. Ms. Byrd’s impeachment resolution also accuses Ms. Willis of engaging in an “inappropriate” and “unethical” relationship with lead prosecutor Nathan Wade while alleging that she profited from the relationship. There are a total of 22 articles of impeachment in the resolution, each an alleged violation of Georgia Code 16-10-1. Nineteen of the impeachment charges are allegations that Ms. Willis’ prosecution of President Trump and the 18 other co-defendants under Georgia’s organized crime laws was done for the purpose of advancing her political career and so “grossly violates” her oath of office.

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Why spend all that time and money teaching your cannon fodder to read and write?

US Navy Says High School Diploma No Longer Needed For New Recruits (Sp.)

The Navy is the latest branch of the United States’ armed forces to lower its recruitment standards after struggling to meet its yearly goals. “We get thousands of people into our recruiting stations every year that want to join the Navy but do not have an education credential,” said the branch’s chief of personnel Vice Admiral Rick Cheeseman. “And we just turn them away.” Now the Navy will accept some of those potential recruits lacking a high school diploma or GED, assuming they’re able to score 50 or above on a qualification test. The move comes after the service previously lowered their qualification requirements in 2022, again amidst recruitment challenges. The Navy is the only branch of the US armed forces that admits applicants who score below 30 out of 100 on the qualification test. Officials say some positions, such as in maintenance or food preparation, don’t require a conventional education.

The change in policy likely won’t be enough to fully meet the Navy’s recruiting shortfall. The branch fell 5,866 recruits short of its goal last year, while Cheeseman estimates perhaps 500 of the applicants it turned away would immediately be able to score high enough on the exam. Still, the Navy hopes the revised policy will encourage more people to enlist, and that low-scoring applicants can eventually make the grade with proper training. The US Air Force also reported failing to meet their recruiting goals last year, while the Army said they fell 15,000 short of their target. Only the Marine Corps and the fledgling Space Force hit their goals. The recruitment problems come as the Biden administration recently announced talks to end the country’s 20-year military presence in Iraq. Biden presided over a chaotic pullout from Afghanistan in 2021. Polling shows Americans’ confidence in the country’s armed forces has reached a two decade low.

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Unboxed process

 

 

 

 

New language

 

 

The duck

 

 

Camels

 

 

Pink flamingos
https://twitter.com/i/status/1751603783912800538

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 112023
 
 December 11, 2023  Posted by at 8:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  39 Responses »


MC Escher Still life and street 1937

 

Israel Cannot Win – Jordan (RT)
Erdogan Blasts US For Blocking Gaza Peace Resolution (RT)
Israel Is Trying To Force Gazans Into Egypt – UN Official (RT)
Leadership In Kiev Has Gone ‘Totally Crazy’ – Putin (RT)
US Veteran Ridicules Claim That Russia Poses Threat to Europe (Sp.)
Zelensky’s Anti-Russian Narrative Faces Resistance in Latin America (Sp.)
German Chancellor Lying About Gas – Medvedev (RT)
Maduro’s Iron Fist: Why Would Venezuela Risk An All-Out War? (RT)
Hunter Biden Launches Attack on Elon Musk (RT)
Musk Wants Answers From Biden And Zelensky About Fate Of Gonzalo Lira (RT)
George Floyd: The Complete And Total Collapse Of Justice In America (Paul Craig Roberts)
Biden’s Clinton Defense: I Did Not Have Interactions with Those People (Turley)
Trump Not To Testify In Fraud Proceedings (TASS)
UK Tories Plotting Boris Johnson Comeback – Daily Mail (RT)
Al Gore: Access to Non-Mainstream Information ‘Threatens Democracy’ (MN)

 

 

Take your children to work. So at least you can die together.

 

 

Gaza teaches life

 

 

 

 

Biden bombs

 

 

Vivek

 

 

Tucker Trump

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The animosity created by the violence in Gaza will haunt the Middle East for generations..”

Israel Cannot Win – Jordan (RT)

Jordan’s foreign minister has claimed Israel cannot achieve military victory in Gaza and has already suffered a strategic defeat by alienating the entire region. Speaking on Sunday at the Doha Forum – an annual gathering of diplomats in the Qatari capital – Ayman Safadi said the goal of Israel’s operation against Hamas is to oust the Palestinian population, rather than to defeat the militant group. The destruction in Gaza in the past two months “is an indication of an Israeli policy that seems determined to expel the residents” of the enclave, he said, adding that top Israeli officials, including Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, have been quite candid about that intention.

Safadi brought up the Friday vote at the UN Security Council, in which the US vetoed a proposal by Arab nations urging for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. It was the only vote against, with American ally the UK being the only member of the 15-strong body to abstain. The top Jordanian diplomat noted that despite the veto, Washington was publicly calling on Israel to change its military tactics. “Simply put, Israel is defying everyone – its allies, international law, and the United Nations,” he said. “Israel has created an amount of hatred that will haunt this region and that will define future generations. It harms its people as much as it affects everyone in the region.” This is a war Israel cannot win. Israel has already suffered a strategic defeat. The minister blamed Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and systematic obstruction to the creation of a Palestinian state as the root cause of the hostilities.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who attended the event in Qatar via video link, remarked that the US has blocked several proposals for a ceasefire in Gaza at the UN. He called the unresolved status of Palestinian statehood the “single most dangerous factor igniting extremism in the Middle East.” Israel launched its military campaign in Gaza after Hamas fighters broke through the border wall on October 7 and raided several settlements and military bases in southern Israel. Israeli officials said over 1,200 people were killed as a result. The death toll in Gaza stood at more than 17,700 as of Sunday, as updated by the local health ministry. Around two-thirds of the Palestinians killed were women and children, the report noted.

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“A fair world is possible, but not with America..”

Erdogan Blasts US For Blocking Gaza Peace Resolution (RT)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Saturday, stating that it has become a “protector of Israel” due to the influence of Washington. This statement followed the US blocking a resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. “Due to a veto by the US, no decision was reached. It’s essential for the UN Security Council to be reformed,” Erdogan stressed in his address at the World Human Rights Day event in Istanbul. The Turkish leader argued that the world extends beyond the five permanent members of the UNSC with veto power: China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US. Expressing disappointment in the UNSC, Erdogan, despite Türkiye being a NATO ally of the US, said, “We have lost our hope and expectation from the UN Security Council.”

Erdogan asserted that since October 7, when the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) initiated attacks on Gaza in response to an incursion by the Palestinian armed group Hamas that killed at least 1,200 people, the UNSC, “whose mission is to establish global peace, has turned into a protector of Israel.” “The Israeli administration, which has the unwavering support of Western countries, is committing murderous atrocities and massacres in Gaza that will make all humans blush… A fair world is possible, but not with America, because America sides with Israel,” the Turkish president insisted. According to the Gaza Health Ministry, the death toll from Israeli actions in the past two months stands at 17,700 people, with 48,800 others injured. Following the breakdown of a week-long humanitarian pause with Hamas, Israel resumed its military offensive in Gaza on December 1. The US vetoed the UNSC resolution for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire on Friday, with the vote in the 15-member council being 13-1 and the UK abstaining.

US Deputy Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood justified the move, stating that a halt in fighting would allow Hamas to maintain control of Gaza and “only plant the seeds for the next war.” Wood emphasized Washington’s preference for a “durable peace” based on a two-state solution, but he argued that Hamas has “no desire” for such an outcome. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the US veto, asserting that “the correct stance [was] taken by the US.” He also criticized the UNSC members who supported the ceasefire, stating that it is impossible to both endorse the elimination of Hamas and call for an end to the war against the group. “Other countries should understand that it is impossible to both support the elimination of Hamas and call for an end to the war aimed at eliminating Hamas,” the PM said.

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“After the destruction of the north, the destruction of the south is ongoing, except this time, people have nowhere to go.”

Israel Is Trying To Force Gazans Into Egypt – UN Official (RT)

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are setting the stage for the mass expulsion of Palestinians into Egypt while creating conditions that will make it impossible for them to ever return to their destroyed homes in Gaza, the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency chief has claimed. “The United Nations and several member states, including the US, have firmly rejected forcibly displacing Gazans out of the Gaza Strip,” UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) chief Philippe Lazzarini wrote on Saturday in a Los Angeles Times op-ed. “But the developments we are witnessing point to attempts to move Palestinians into Egypt, regardless of whether they stay there or are resettled elsewhere.” An Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman denied Lazzarini’s accusation, saying West Jerusalem has never had a plan to push Gazans into Egypt.

However, two Israeli lawmakers wrote last month in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that they would like to see countries around the world welcome Gazan refugees who choose to relocate. The Israel-Hamas war has driven more than 1.8 million Gazans from their homes, the largest forced displacement of Palestinians since 1948, Lazzarini said. Nearly 18,000 people have been killed in Gaza, and an Israeli study found that 61% of the people who perished in IDF airstrikes were civilians. The war began when Hamas launched surprise attacks against southern Israeli villages on October 7, killing around 1,200 people and taking hundreds of hostages back to Gaza. The Palestinian casualties have included more than 270 people who were sheltering in UNRWA facilities at the time they were killed.

Lazzarini said many of those shelters were in areas of central and southern Gaza that were thought to be safer than the north, where Israel’s bombing campaign was primarily focused. “The sad reality is that Gazans are not safe anywhere: not at home, not in a hospital, not under the UN flag, not in the north, middle, or south,” he added. The survivors are now besieged and holed up in a “tiny area” of southern Gaza, near the Egyptian border, Lazzarini said. Many are being left with only one option: Leaving the Palestinian enclave altogether. “Judging by policy and humanitarian discussions underway, it is hard to believe that the Palestinians of Gaza who are displaced today will be allowed –or even willing– to return to their destroyed homes anytime soon,” the UN official said.

If this path continues, leading to what many are already calling a second Nakba, Gaza will not be a land for Palestinians anymore.” A UN Security Council resolution that would have brokered a ceasefire in Gaza was vetoed by the US on Friday. President Joe Biden’s administration has claimed that the US is doing more than any other nation to help civilians in Gaza, but it’s also aiding the Israeli war effort. A CBS News poll released on Sunday found that only 20% of Americans believe that Biden is making a peaceful resolution to the conflict more likely.

Lazzarini said civilians are being used as pawns in the war, with Hamas abdicating all responsibility for their well-being to the UN and Israel inflicting “collective punishment” on the more than two million people of Gaza. The “meager” humanitarian supplies that Israel has allowed to trickle into the enclave have provided little relief, he added. “Bombardment and a tight siege are again creating conditions under which nothing more than mere survival is possible,” Lazzarini said. “The deprivation of humanitarian aid is key to this plan. After the destruction of the north, the destruction of the south is ongoing, except this time, people have nowhere to go.”

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“Have they gone completely crazy? Are they completely – how can I put it more bluntly – nuts?”

Leadership In Kiev Has Gone ‘Totally Crazy’ – Putin (RT)

Persistent persecution of ethnic Russians in Ukraine was one of the key reasons behind Moscow’s decision to launch its special military operation in that country, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said, adding that the Ukrainian authorities have since gone completely “crazy” in their policies. The president made the remarks earlier this week when he hosted distinguished servicemen at the Kremlin to award them Hero of Russia medals. Excerpts from Putin’s speech on the sidelines of the event were published by Russian journalist Pavel Zarubin on Sunday. “We would never have done anything like [the special military operation] if they had not started to destroy Russia in our historical territories, expel people from there, declared Russians a non-indigenous ethnic group in Ukraine.

Have they gone completely crazy? Are they completely – how can I put it more bluntly – nuts?” Putin told the medal recipients. The president was apparently referring to Ukraine’s Law On Indigenous Peoples, adopted in 2021. The legislation recognized only three ethnic groups – Crimean Tatars, Crimean Karaites and Krymchaks (Crimean Jews) – as the country’s indigenous peoples. The legislation denied indigenous designations to Russians, which amounted to at least one fifth of Ukraine’s population, according to various estimates, and to other minorities, such as the ethnic Hungarians and Belarusians who reside in the country’s west and north, respectively. Moreover, all three ethnic groups recognized by the ‘indigenous peoples’ law predominantly live in Crimea, which split from Ukraine in 2014 and joined Russia after a peninsula-wide referendum.

In addition to questionable ethnic policies, the Ukrainian leadership has been openly courting and honoring Nazis, Putin said, invoking a recent scandal in Canada’s House of Commons. The legislature celebrated Ukrainian-Canadian Yaroslav Hunka, a 98-year-old Waffen SS veteran, hailing him as a “Canadian hero” who’d “fought the Russians” during World War II. The whole body, with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in attendance, engaged in a standing ovation to honor Hunka. “And who exactly fought Russians during the war? Nazis. Everyone knows that and the Ukrainian president knows that. The entire parliament stood up and applauded him. What is it, if not a manifestation of Nazism?” Putin asked, adding that a large proportion of Nazi atrocities were committed by Ukrainian nationalists who collaborated with them.

“They are not just fools, they are also neo-Nazis. It’s an obvious fact. They are ready to cooperate with just anyone to try and hurt Russia,” the president noted. The Hunka affair triggered a major international scandal, which led to the downfall of the House Speaker Anthony Rota, who accepted entire responsibility for inviting the Waffen SS veteran to the legislature. Russia has charged Hunka in absentia with genocide, claiming that archive documents serve as evidence that he and fellow SS Galicia members had killed at least 500 civilians in late February 1944, and Moscow is now seeking the extradition of the Nazi veteran.

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“..it’s ridiculous to believe that Russia wants to attack the West or re-create the USSR..”

US Veteran Ridicules Claim That Russia Poses Threat to Europe (Sp.)

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s December 2 claim that Russia poses an immediate threat to Europe is absurd, according to retired Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis, a senior fellow for defense priorities at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. “[Austin] claims that all of Western Europe and NATO would be ‘directly threatened’ – this was the term that he used – if [Vladimir Putin] wins here and that’s just nonsense. That’s just absurd,” Davis said on Stephen Gardner’s podcast. “Why would he ever do it? (…) Everything [Putin] has done, everything he has said over the past 15 years is that he wants to protect his borders. They are historically afraid of Western incursions because Russia itself has been invaded many times throughout its history from the West.” Per Davis, it’s ridiculous to believe that Russia wants to attack the West or re-create the USSR, stressing that Austin is either “disingenuous or doesn’t know what he is talking about.”

According to Austin, “Ukraine matters profoundly to America and to the entire world. And it matters for four key reasons.” “First, Putin’s war poses a stark and direct threat to security in Europe and beyond,” the Pentagon chief claimed at the Reagan National Defense Forum. The second reason, argued Austin, is that Russia’s special military operation is “a clear challenge to [US] NATO allies.” The third is that Moscow’s actions are an attack on “democratic values and decency.” And finally, Russia’s special op is a “frontal assault on the international rules-based order,” according to him. But that is not all. Earlier this week, ex-Fox News host Tucker Carlson said on his podcast that Austin allegedly threatened to send lawmakers’ “uncles, cousins and sons to fight Russia” if Ukraine aid is not approved.

Commenting on the alleged threat, Davis highlighted that under the US Constitution the Pentagon chief has zero authority to send any combat troops to Ukraine. What’s more, any direct confrontation with Russia over Ukraine is not in the US national interest, the retired lieutenant colonel emphasized. “There is nothing in that war… the war is militarily unwinnable. We’ve been saying that since the outset of this war.” The military expert said that everything that has happened on the ground since the beginning of Kiev’s summer counteroffensive has validated his assumption.

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The West has lost the Global South. But Milei wants to support Ukraine. i.e. the US. Faux pas.

Zelensky’s Anti-Russian Narrative Faces Resistance in Latin America (Sp.)

Volodymyr Zelensky will attend the inauguration of president-elect Javier Milei. The Ukrainian president is seeking to strengthen ties with the Global South, but Kiev’s rapprochement with Buenos Aires won’t help him win the hearts and minds of Latin Americans, says an Argentine newspaper. Zelensky’s presence in Buenos Aires at the inauguration of Javier Milei’s government is apparently seen by Kiev as a PR coup aimed at restoring the Ukrainian president’s tarnished image as Western support for Ukraine wanes, according to Pagina 12, a left-leaning Argentine publication. “At this time, and due to the diminished support of the governments of the Atlantic alliance, Ukraine’s priority interest is to achieve the support of the countries of the Global South,” writes Daniel Kersffeld, Pagina 12 contributor.

According to Kersffeld, Zelensky’s greatest hope is to make Milei a strategic ally in the conflict against Russia, which would accept Kiev’s unrealistic “peace formula” during a Ukraine summit proposed by Milei. The scholar notes that Kiev also expects Buenos Aires to impose sanctions on Russia. Earlier, President-elect Milei signaled his full support for Zelensky in a clear break with the policy of his predecessor, Alberto Fernández. In late November, the new Argentine leader offered the Ukrainian president to hold a conference on Ukraine in the South American country. “They are organizing a peace conference in Latin America and Ukraine, and we have offered ourselves as a venue if it is appropriate,” Milei’s foreign policy adviser Diana Mondino told reporters last month.

Still, Zelensky’s biggest bet is that the new Argentine government – with Washington’s backing – will bring the governments of the region together and persuade them to support Zelensky and turn their backs on Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kersffeld added. Alas, “the Ukrainian government’s preaching against Moscow was never able to gain footing in the Latin American context, despite various mechanisms of enticement and political and economic pressure imposed by Washington which, among other aspects, sought to provide weapons to Ukraine or, directly, the breaking of relations with Russia,” the scholar underscored.

Despite ideological differences among Latin American governments, there is a consensus in the continent that it must be a “region of peace” and not interfere in overseas conflicts, Kersffeld stressed. “It would be very risky for Argentina to get involved in a foreign conflict not so much in search of peace, but to get a positive nod from Joe Biden’s administration,” the article’s author warned. Meanwhile, Zelensky’s biggest problem is that Kiev’s summer counteroffensive has yielded zero results on the battlefield and failed to achieve any of the Zelensky regime’s goals, making the West increasingly skeptical about pouring money into Ukraine and supporting its incumbent president, according to Kersffeld.

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“..They rejected it themselves, they screwed over their own people because of the hatred for Russia..”

German Chancellor Lying About Gas – Medvedev (RT)

Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy head of the Russian Security Council and the country’s ex-president, has accused German Chancellor Olaf Scholz of “lying” after the latter shared his take on the roots of the energy crisis in Europe. Speaking at a meeting of the ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Berlin on Saturday, Scholz accused Russia and, personally, President Vladimir Putin of halting the gas supply to the EU. “It was the Russian president who stopped gas supplies through undamaged gas pipelines. Thus, 50% of Germany’s gas supply was called into question. 50 billion cubic meters of gas that went through them became inaccessible,” Scholz claimed during the event, hailing the government’s efforts to buy gas elsewhere. The remarks drew the ire of Medvedev, who took to the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, to flatly accuse the German chancellor of “lying” and trying to shift the blame for their own actions on Moscow.

“The German is lying through his teeth! They rejected it themselves, they screwed over their own people because of the hatred for Russia, and now they are dodging and lying!” While Scholz did not elaborate on the matter during his speech, he was apparently referring to the troubles around Nord Stream that unfolded last summer, shortly before the pipelines ended up being destroyed in a sabotage attack on September 26. At the time, Russian energy giant Gazprom was forced to drastically reduce gas deliveries through the pipelines owing to technical issues related to the maintenance of turbines for Nord Stream 1. The difficulties with servicing the turbines stemmed from Western sanctions on Russia, which effectively prevented the maintenance and timely delivery of spare parts.

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“..Where is Guaido now? He’s a political exile who rode on a failed dream and eventually joined the scrapheap of puppets used, abused and discarded..”

Maduro’s Iron Fist: Why Would Venezuela Risk An All-Out War? (RT)

The South American nation of Venezuela has purportedly voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to affirm its territorial claim to part of the neighboring nation of Guyana. Caracas, which was recently subject to an unsuccessful American regime change attempt to topple its leader Nicholas Maduro, argues the oil reach territory known as the Essequibo region was its own historically, but had it stolen away by the British Empire. Such grievances may be found all over the world. While an invasion of the region remains unlikely at this point, given the role of regional power Brazil and obvious opposition from the nearby US, it is a telling sign about the world today that Venezuela feels it can viably affirm its claims like that. Only a few years ago, the US imposed crippling sanctions on the country and appointed Juan Guaido as an “interim president.” Where is Guaido now? He’s a political exile who rode on a failed dream and eventually joined the scrapheap of puppets used, abused and discarded as Washington’s political preferences shift – the likely looming fate of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

But more to the point, it is an affirmation that the US-led world order is fragmenting and that American power is declining. This is paving the way for other countries to reshape the international order to address what are deemed to be historic grievances or injustices. The weakening of the unipolar political order’s ability to assert its authority presents a window for overt challenges to the status quo for nations that were previously unable to do so. In 1990, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein attempted to do the same, but massively miscalculated the shift towards American unipolar hegemony at the end of the Cold War, believing Washington did not have the will to fight. Seeking to rectify the perceived partition of Iraq by the British Empire and the creation of the Sheikdom of Kuwait, Saddam Hussein invaded and attempted to annex the Gulf State.

The US and its allies hit back with a powerful response, and George H.W. Bush famously proclaimed the objective of creating a “new world order.” His message was essentially that American hegemony was here, and that the US would now reshape the world on its own terms. That message was backed by the overwhelming use of military force, which crushed Saddam’s forces, opening the way to decades of unopposed US-led regime changes and wars, including in Iraq again. However, within those passing decades the world has changed. The US is no longer the only geopolitical force in town and the distribution of power has diversified. New actors, such as a resurgent Russia, China, India, and Iran, among others, have changed the geopolitical landscape towards multipolarity and because of this, other states may now find political space to make their own moves without suffering the same fate as Saddam Hussein.

The two wars of 2022-2023 have been instrumental in changing this. First of all, the US and its allies have not been able to muster the political will to defeat Russia in Ukraine or, as they had assumed, even crush the economy of the Russian Federation. Second, America’s support of Israel and its attempts to squeeze Iran have provoked a war in Gaza, with Hamas successfully sensing an opportunity to lure Israel into a destructive conflict which will crater its credibility and global standing for generations. As the US has become distracted by the emerging crises and seemingly unable to resolve them, Venezuela thus sees an opportunity to strengthen its hand by reaffirming its territorial claims over Guyana as a nationalism-driven bargaining chip.

Venezuela is not a major military power and its geographic location means that an attempt to forcibly occupy the Essequibo would be defeated, as the US is on its doorstep and would do everything it takes to crush hostile states in the western hemisphere. However, Washington’s failed regime change, combined with its need to negotiate sanctions relief due to the impact on global oil markets, mean its own hand against Caracas has shrunk, and the US is not in a position to crush Venezuela as of present. Even without the military dynamic, an extended territorial claim gives a country diplomatic leverage that it can use to extract concessions and assert its authority, just like China in the South China Sea, over Taiwan, or Russia incorporating a number of Ukrainian oblasts into its own territory. All these are part of a long list of historic problems which the given states have been unable to address before, held back by American hegemony, but we now live in a different world and because of that, the political map as we know it is changing.

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“..the “dumbest smart person I think that the world has ever known.”

Hunter Biden Launches Attack on Elon Musk (RT)

Hunter Biden, son of US President Joe Biden, has raised doubts about Elon Musk’s intellectual acumen, claiming the billionaire lacks regard for US democracy and freedoms. Biden also accused Musk of spreading “disinformation” about his personal life and business dealings. These comments followed one day after the US Department of Justice filed nine new tax-related charges against Biden, alleging that he had led an “extravagant lifestyle” while evading taxes. In an interview with musician-turned-podcaster Moby published on Friday, Hunter Biden expressed concern that criticisms from right-wing detractors could jeopardize his safety, citing a past attack on Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul, where the assailant mentioned Biden as a potential target. According to the 53-year-old, some people have come to view him as an “embodiment of evil” over his alleged wrongdoings that have circulated in the media, especially outlets affiliated with the political right.

Biden asserted that figures like Musk are amplifying narratives damaging to his reputation. “One thing about Elon Musk that I’m certain of is there’s another very damaged human being,” the president’s son told Moby, calling the billionaire the “dumbest smart person I think that the world has ever known.” The attorney-by-profession went on to say that “Elon Musk doesn’t care about the goddamn First Amendment… Elon Musk doesn’t care about democracy; Elon Musk doesn’t care about our freedom to vote.” Responding to these remarks on X (formerly Twitter) that same day, the entrepreneur replied: “Exactly what ‘misinformation’ is he talking about?” Musk quipped, “The dude made so many videos of himself doing crime that he should get an award for cinematography!” – an apparent reference to multiple videos and photos of Hunter that have emerged over the past few years, which depict him spending time with prostitutes and smoking crack cocaine.

Meanwhile, court documents suggest that the younger Biden son was “engaged in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4 million in self-assessed federal taxes he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019.” A press release emphasized that his income would have allowed him to pay his taxes but that he had allegedly squandered the money on “drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties,” among other things. The charges include three felony and six misdemeanor tax offenses, potentially leading to a maximum sentence of 17 years if convicted on all counts. In addition to the tax case, Hunter Biden faces another legal challenge related to allegations of lying about his drug use during the purchase of a firearm. He has also dealt with previous misdemeanor tax-related charges. The combination of legal issues has put the president’s son under significant public scrutiny.

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The White House wanted Lira arrested and disappeared. Ukraine had already picked him up twice and let him walk. When Lira went after Biden and Kamala, who he called stupid, they saw a chance to get rid of him and blame it on Zelensky. An American citizen. Lived his whole life in America, as per his dad.

Musk Wants Answers From Biden And Zelensky About Fate Of Gonzalo Lira (RT)

Elon Musk has addressed US President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky about the status of US-Chilean journalist and critic of the Kiev government Gonzalo Lira, who remains under arrest in Ukraine since summer. On Saturday, US political commenter Tucker Carlson published an interview on X (formerly Twitter) with Lira’s father, who said that his son is currently awaiting trial in Ukraine “because he was exercising his right of freedom of speech.” According to Gonzalo Lira Senior, the US embassy “haven’t done a thing” for the detained American passport holder, who is being defended by a court-appointed Ukrainian lawyer with no knowledge of the English language. In his comment on the interview, Musk wondered how it was possible that “an American citizen is in prison in Ukraine after we sent over a $100 billion” to support Kiev amid its conflict with Russia.

“Is there more to this story than simply criticizing Zelensky? If that’s all it is, then we have serious problem here,” the SpaceX and Tesla CEO posted on X. Carlson responded to the message, by saying that the “crime” committed by Lira, who is an author of several novels and a filmmaker with Hollywood experience, was “saying unapproved things.” On Sunday, Musk also addressed the issue on his own account, writing: “What is the status of this American journalist, Joe Biden?” The post included a link to Lira’s last post on X before his third arrest by the Ukrainian authorities in early August. In his message, the journalist said that he was about to cross from Ukraine into Hungary in search of a political asylum. “Either I’ll cross the border and make it to safety, or I’ll be disappeared by the Kiev regime,” he warned followers.

When addressed on the issue by Strana.ua news outlet, a spokesman for Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) confirmed that Lira had been arrested on the border with Hungary. The US journalist is currently in custody in Ukraine’s second largest city Kharkov, with the court being scheduled to consider his case on December 12 and 21, he added. According to the spokesman, Lira violated Ukrainian law as he “systematically justified” Russia’s actions in Ukraine and “disseminated pro-Russian views on his social media accounts.” In his videos he “also claimed that the Ukrainian Armed Forces were shelling their own territory, while a neo-Nazi regime reigned in Ukraine,” the spokesman stated. Lira, who had been living in Kharkov since the mid-2010s, was actively covering Russia’s military operation in the country from its very start in February 2022. He said that it was a tragedy for Ukraine and its people, whom he loved, but stressed that the conflict had been provoked by the Zelensky government and its Western backers. Among other things, the journalist argued that Ukraine had no chance of winning against Russia and predicted the failure of the sanctions against Moscow.

He also decried attempts by Western media to portray Ukraine as a democracy, speaking about corruption in the government and publishing a list of Zelensky’s opponents who, he claimed, had been “disappeared” by the Kiev authorities. Lira was first arrested by the SBU in April 2022 but released without charge a week later as the story made international headlines. The 55-year-old continued his reporting and, in May, was again taken into custody, in this instance accused of “producing and distributing materials justifying the armed aggression” by Russia against Ukraine. On August 1, the journalist briefly reemerged on social media, posting several videos in which he said that he had been released on bail and was trying to flee to neighboring Hungary in order to avoid a lengthy prison term. He hasn’t been heard from since then.

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“..Chauvin’s frame up was a product of the intimidating violence Democrats and media encouraged and justified..”

George Floyd: The Complete And Total Collapse Of Justice In America (Paul Craig Roberts)

Derek Chauvin was convicted on the basis of false evidence. His conviction rested on a video taken at an angle that produced a misleading view. As I reported at the time, up close police videos showed Chauvin’s knee was on Floyd’s shoulder, an approved restraint illustrated in the approved police practices handbook. This information was buried under constantly repeated showings by the irresponsible and witch-hunting American media of the video which from the angle it was taken made Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s shoulder look like it was on Floyd’s neck.. The three officers, Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao (a black, a white, and an Asian) convicted along with Chauvin were simply convicted for being present on the scene. As I pointed out at the time, Chauvin was indicted and convicted by the irresponsible American media with endless repetition of “Derek Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes despite Floyd’s plea ‘I can’t breathe.’”

This was a lie. Chauvin was convicted by a lie. I remember when it was a cause for moving a trial to a neutral or objective location or even for dismissal of the charges if media or public officials said a defendant was guilty prior to conviction by a jury. The reason was the media would have polluted the jury pool with the idea that the defendant was guilty. In Chauvin’s case the Minneapolis city government further polluted the jury pool by awarding Floyd’s family $27 million dollars in damages prior to the trial. I do not know whether the ban against conviction in the media has been repealed or become a dead letter requirement or whether it was just suspended in Chauvin’s case. Intimidation also played a role in the wrongful conviction of Chauvin. The Black Lives Matter riots, which the Democrats permitted, encouraged and justified, convinced prosecutors, judges, and jurors that a guilty verdict was required whatever the facts of the case or there would be more looting and burning.

It is clear that Judge Cahill withheld exculpatory evidence from being presented to the jury. He was an asset to the prosecution and enabled Chauvin’s wrongful conviction. I also reported at the time that the coroner’s report stated that Floyd’s blood contained a higher dose of fentanyl than is normally required to kill a person. This evidence played no role in the trial of Chauvin. I also reported the autopsy report’s conclusions that there were no injuries to Floyd’s neck and that Floyd had heart problems that would make his death likely under the influence of drugs. Chauvin’s frame up was a product of the intimidating violence Democrats and media encouraged and justified and of the prosecution and judge’s withholding of exculpatory evidence. It was also a product of years of media reports emphasizing gratuitous police violence against blacks. The same police violence was used against whites, but the media only reported the instances where blacks were the victims.

Some experts attributed the police violence to the Israeli firms that were hired to train US police, pointing out that in Israel police are trained to deal with terrorists, not with ordinary crimes. The years of media emphasis left a negative image of police. The misrepresentation of George Floyd’s death has even intimidated the US Supreme Court which refused to hear Chauvin’s evidence-based appeal. One consequence of Chauvin’s wrongful conviction is that media, Democrats, and Black Lives Matter have learned that they can use violence and intimidation to convict the accused, thereby decreasing the importance of evidence. Another consequence is that policing in Minneapolis is dead. Forty-four percent of the force resigned.

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“..the House has interviews, documents, photos and even audiotapes contradicting Biden’s continuing denial of having any knowledge of his son’s financial dealings.”

Biden’s Clinton Defense: I Did Not Have Interactions with Those People (Turley)

With a formal House vote on an impeachment inquiry expected next week, President Joe Biden was confronted this week about his knowledge and involvement in alleged influence peddling by his son and brothers. An irate Biden seemed to morph into Bill Clinton and — echoing his predecessor’s “I did not have sex with that woman” denial of an earlier scandal — effectively declared that he did not have relations with “those people.” As with Clinton, the denial was absurd, even insulting. Roughly 70% of voters (including 40% of Democrats) believe Biden has acted either unlawfully or unethically in the overseas business dealings of his family. More importantly, the House has interviews, documents, photos and even audiotapes contradicting Biden’s continuing denial of having any knowledge of his son’s financial dealings.

This includes testimony from Hunter Biden’s associates that Joe Biden called in as many as 20 times (and was put on speakerphone) at dinners and meetings with Hunter’s associates. It also includes sworn testimony from figures like Hunter’s ex-associate, Tony Bobulinski, that he discussed dealings directly with Joe Biden. And it includes a statement by Devon Archer, Hunter’s close friend and business partner, that the president’s denials of knowledge were “categorically false.” Yet, according to the president, it is all lies, lies, lies. When finally confronted this week about interacting with these associates, Biden barked back, “I did not and it’s just a bunch of lies. They’re lies. I did not. They’re lies.”

It may become Biden’s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” moment, a line that is likely to be repeated with the same frequency as Clinton’s denial before being impeached in 1998. In the face of a formal vote for an impeachment inquiry, Biden is sticking with the same rhetorical chest-poking done by his predecessor. Despite the photos of Clinton with Lewinsky and his long history of womanizing, Clinton expected the media and the public to ignore their lying eyes. The Starr investigation and impeachment forced his hand in eventually admitting the obvious. The Bidens have their own vices, of course, but it seems the family signature has been influence peddling. It appears to have been, as I have written previously, virtually a family business.

Like Clinton, however, Biden is in a bind. He spent the last election categorically denying any knowledge or involvement in Hunter’s business dealings. He continues those denials despite evidence that Hunter discussed these dealings with his father and used Air Force 2 as transport to work on foreign clients during official trips with his father. For years, much of the media refused to acknowledge the authenticity of the emails on Hunter’s abandoned laptop. Yet, in the last year, many have reached the limit of plausible deniability and now acknowledge that Hunter was involved in a multimillion-dollar influence-peddling scheme. The final line of defense has become that Joe Biden did not directly benefit. Even now, some are frantically joining Biden in calls for blind denials.

Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) has even doggedly maintained that the laptop may really be Russian disinformation, despite confirmation of its content by witnesses, government investigators, and several media organizations. It won’t work. Biden clearly lied when he denied knowledge of his son’s business operations, and he has continued to lie during his presidency. Moreover, besides the benefits to his family (which would legally constitute benefits in criminal cases), there are references in Hunter’s emails to giving his father income, paying bills, and using shared accounts and credit cards. Now, the National Archives is finally turning over tens of thousands of emails, including many in which Joe Biden reportedly used false names in communicating with Hunter’s associates. And various key figures, including Hunter, face testimony or contempt proceedings. Thus, Biden is caught in a trap of his own making.

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Might as well let real estate insiders do the talking.

If Engoron and Letitia really want to go with a $26 million valuation of Mar-a-Lago, by all means let them make fools of themselves.

Trump Not To Testify In Fraud Proceedings (TASS)

Ex-US President Donald Trump made the decision not to testify before a New York court in proceedings on fraud when appraising assets of the Trump Organization. The ex-President was expected to arrive in New York and speak before the court on Monday, December 11. “I have already testified to everything & have nothing more to say other than that this is a complete & total election interference (Biden campaign!) witch hunt, that will do nothing but keep businesses out of New York,” Trump wrote on his page in the Truth Social network. “I will not be testifying on Monday,” he added. The Office of the New York State Attorney General sent its action against Trump and Trump Organization to court in September 2022. The Attorney General of the State alleged that the company had overstated the asset value for more comfortable terms of loans and insurance. The defense insists that claims are ungrounded and the property value may change over time due to different reasons.

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“..an ‘Advent calendar of sh*t.’”

UK Tories Plotting Boris Johnson Comeback – Daily Mail (RT)

Tory rebels are considering a plan to “crash” UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative government and reinstall Boris Johnson as leader as concerns rise over flagging poll figures and surging support for the opposition Labour Party ahead of an expected general election next year, according to the Daily Mail. Amid the high-profile cabinet departures of former Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick, Sunak’s authority over Tory ranks is set to be further tested this week when he faces a pivotal vote over his flagship Rwanda migrant-handling plan. Citing anonymous Conservative MPs, the Daily Mail wrote on Saturday that Tory insiders are urgently attempting to address a growing revolt – with peerages being offered to possible rebels to convince them to toe party lines.

The tabloid claims that disgruntled Tories will increasingly seek to “crash” the Sunak government with a series of Commons votes and outspoken interventions, which the newspaper’s sources said is crudely referred to as an ‘Advent calendar of sh*t.’ Furthermore, the outlet cites anonymous sources as saying there is a belief within the party that Johnson – who stood down as prime minister in September 2022 – is the only person who possesses the necessary skills to pose a challenge to Labour leader Keir Starmer. The newspaper also notes that the Reform Party, the successor to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, is siphoning votes that might otherwise have gone to the Conservatives – with a so-called Johnson/Farage “dream ticket” being floated. It also notes that Farage’s appearance on a popular UK reality television series has bolstered support for the Brexit architect.

Johnson, who is a columnist for the Daily Mail, did not elaborate on his possible political ambitions when contacted by the newspaper. A spokesperson for Farage, who, like Johnson, is not currently an MP, said that any political alliance between the two would “soon end in tears.” “Reform are going to kill us,” the newspaper cites an anonymous Tory MP as saying. “We have to buy Farage off. The plan is we get him into the Lords, give him some brief like we did with [David] Cameron – maybe even home secretary – then go to the country with the ‘Dream Team.’” Another possibility for a post-Sunak scenario, per the Mail, would be for Johnson ally and former Home Secretary Priti Patel to be appointed as temporary PM while Johnson seeks a ‘safe’ seat in the election – after which he would hypothetically return to Downing Street. Recent polling has indicated that Labour holds a commanding lead over the Tories ahead of the next general election, which must take place before January 2025.

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“..Gore has a storied history of making climate change predictions that turn out to be spectacularly wrong. No wonder he wants to ban dissent.”

Al Gore: Access to Non-Mainstream Information ‘Threatens Democracy’ (MN)

Al Gore says that people having access to information outside of mainstream media sources is a threat to “democracy” and that social media algorithms “ought to be banned.” Yes, really. Gore made the comments during an appearance at the Cop28 climate change hysteria conference in Dubai. Gore whined that social media had “disrupted the balances that used to exist that made representative democracy work much better.” The former Vice President said that functioning democracy relied on a “shared base of knowledge that serves as a basis for reasoning together collectively” but that “social media that is dominated by algorithms” upsets this balance. According to Gore, people are being pulled down “rabbit holes” by algorithms that are “the digital equivalent of AR-15s – they ought to be banned, they really ought to be banned!”

Gore claimed, “It’s an abuse of the public forum” and that people were being sucked into echo chambers. “If you spend too much time in the echo chamber, what’s weaponized is another form of AI, not artificial intelligence, artificial insanity! I’m serious!” he added. Apparently, the only echo chamber that should be allowed to exist is Gore’s own rabbit hole, wherein the earth is constantly on the brink of destruction thanks to people not obeying his technocratic mandates. Perhaps Gore is unhappy at his own misinformation being fact checked by individuals who have access to information not produced by corporate media sources that are friendly to him. Gore infamously predicted that the north polar ice cap would be “ice free” within 5 to 7 years. It never happened. As Thomas Cartenacci documents, Gore has a storied history of making climate change predictions that turn out to be spectacularly wrong. No wonder he wants to ban dissent.

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To date, the inquiry has spent over £70 million

 

 

Excess deaths

 

 

 

 

Watters climate

 

 

Stringballs

 

 

Owl legs

 

 

Baby owl

 

 

Lots of memories..

 

 

 

 

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