Mar 252024
 


Pablo Picasso Don Quixote 1955

 

Trump Falsified Business Records Case May Be Delayed On Monday (Sp.)
Trump In Final Countdown To Post $464 Million Bond By Monday (ZH)
Fani Willis Goes Head to Head with Her Prior Self in Trump Case (Turley)
TIME To Panic: Joe Biden’s Campaign “In Trouble” Despite Obama Warning (ZH)
Ukraine Likely Had Prior Knowledge of Moscow Terrorist Threat (Sp.)
US Bails Ukraine Out, Covering Zelensky With ISIS – Zakharova (TASS)
Militaristic Revolution in the EU Paves Legal Way for Warmongering (Babich)
Western Banks Warn Against EU Plans to Give Russian Funds to Ukraine (Antiwar)
Mob Rule Versus Survival of the West (Susan D. Harris)
Macron Obsessing Over Personal Security Amid Ukrainian Conflict (RT)
Guterres, the UN, Might, Wise Guys’ ‘Wisdom’, and Right (Graça)
‘U-Turn Over Atlantic’ (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Far right
https://twitter.com/i/status/1771934645380100570

 

 

Mike Rowe

 

 

RFK

 

 

Tucker Roseanne
https://twitter.com/i/status/1771622982630211703

 

 

 

 

Stormy Daniels. Star witness: Michael Cohen.

Trump Falsified Business Records Case May Be Delayed On Monday (Sp.)

Former US President Donald Trump is facing four separate criminal cases, two at the federal level and two brought by the States of New York and Georgia. Trump also leads US President Joe Biden in national polls and most swing states. Judge Juan Merchan will hold a pre-trial hearing in New York on Monday to determine if there should be further delays in former US President Donald Trump’s falsified business documents case, one of four criminal cases he is facing. The case was initially scheduled to begin on Monday but was delayed to at least April 25 after prosecutors released more than 100,000 pages of documents to Trump’s defense team. Prosecutor Alvin Bragg did not oppose the 30-day delay but argued that no further delays should be placed on the trial.

Of the criminal cases Trump is facing, this case was the most likely to conclude before the Presidential election in November, but a significant delay could push it past election day. Trump’s legal team is arguing that the prosecution intentionally held the documents back and included exculpatory evidence favorable to the defense. If Merchan agrees, he could throw the case out and possibly sanction Bragg for potential Brady violations, but he could also issue a delay in the case or keep the trial date, scheduled for March 25, as-is.

“The People have engaged in widespread misconduct as part of a desperate effort to improve their position at the potential trial on the false and unsupported charges in the Indictment,” Trump’s legal team argued in court filings. “[R]eports relating to statements by Cohen that are exculpatory and favorable to the defense.” Most legal experts quoted in US media predicted that a delay could happen but they doubt that the judge will throw out the case. The documents relate to federal investigations into Michael Cohen, Trump’s former fixer who is expected to be the prosecution’s star witness. The documents were not in Bragg’s office and were instead in different offices around the country. Bragg argues that the Trump team intentionally waited until January to ask for the documents to cause a delay in the trial.

“[T]he belated nature of the recent USAO productions is entirely the result of the defendant’s own inexplicable and strategic delay in identifying perceived deficiencies,” the prosecution argued. Prosecutors also claim that less than 300 of the documents are both new to the defense and related to Trump’s trial. Trump has been charged with 34 counts of falsifying business documents related to repayments he made to Cohen for hush money payments Cohen paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels who claimed she had an affair with then-candidate Trump in 2016. Trump pleaded not guilty but admits to making the payments. He also denies that the affair took place. Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 after being convicted of campaign finance violations related to those payments and for lying to Congress about how long discussions about a potential Trump Tower in Moscow continued.

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Trump OAN

“What he’s talking about is the money reported on his campaign disclosure forms that he’s built up through years of owning and managing successful businesses,..

Trump In Final Countdown To Post $464 Million Bond By Monday (ZH)

Donald Trump has until Monday to come up with more than $450 million to stop his properties from being seized by authorities following the results of his New York civil fraud trial. According to the ruling by Judge Arthur Engoron, Trump and executives at the Trump Organization inflated his assets. Initially, NY Attorney General Letitia James sought $250 million in damages – but later increased it to $370 million plus interest. Trump has been seeking a bond of $464 million ($454 million plus $10 million to cover his sons’ fines) in order to post bond and appeal the case. Last week, Trump said he had “almost $500 million” in cash, however his attorney Chris Kise told CNN that Trump wasn’t referring to cash he has on hand. “What he’s talking about is the money reported on his campaign disclosure forms that he’s built up through years of owning and managing successful businesses,” he said, which the outlet noted is “the very cash that Letitia James and the Democrats are targeting.”

Assets including buildings, houses, cars, helicopters and even Trump’s plane are on the chopping block if Trump can’t come up with the money. The former president has asked a state appeals court to allow him to post a smaller bond, or none at all, claiming that irreparable harm would be done if he was forced to sell properties in a ‘fire sale’ that can’t be undone if he wins his appeal against the amount due. The court has not come back yet with a ruling. If Trump can’t secure the bond, New York state officials can begin the arduous process of taking his assets. According to experts cited by a very giddy CNN, the first action should be seizing Trump’s bank accounts. “The banks are the easiest part, they’ll receive the judgment from the Attorney General – the court order – then the banks will enforce,” said former federal prosecutor Peter Katz, who has handled fraud cases. “They take the funds from the account and put it in the attorney general’s accounts. The other stuff is a little more challenging.”

According to debt collection expert Alden B. Smith, New York officials are “trying to get their ducks in a row,” adding “They want to find the most liquid of the assets they can restrain immediately. A bank account is the most effective way to do it.” Seizing Trump’s buildings and businesses is far more complicated. Once state prosecutors figure out which properties they want to take from Joe Biden’s chief political rival, they will give the sheriff an execution order, a $350 fee, and then the sheriff will post notice for the property in three places. The AG’s office must then advertise it four times, after which the property will be sold at public auction 63 days after the sheriff is given the execution order. According to Newsweek, the following Trump-owned properties had “fraudulent” and “misleading” values, and could be on the list (with New York properties taking priority, and those in other states being more complicated to seize).
Trump Park Avenue, New York, N.Y.
Trump Tower, New York City.
40 Wall Street, New York City.
Trump Seven Springs, Westchester County, N.Y.
Trump International Hotel, Las Vegas.
Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach, Florida.
Trump National Golf Club Westchester, Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.
Trump National Golf Club Charlotte, Mooresville, North Carolina.
Trump National Golf Club Colts Neck, Colts Neck, New Jersey.
Trump National Golf Club, Washington D.C., Sterling, Virginia.
Trump National Golf Club Hudson Valley, Hopewell Junction, N.Y.
Trump National Golf Club Jupiter, Jupiter, Florida.
Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles, Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
Trump National Golf Club Philadelphia, Pine Hill, New Jersey.
Trump International Golf Links Scotland, Aberdeen.
Trump International Golf Links Scotland, Turnberry.
Trump has roughly $200 million in cumulative loans on his properties.

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“I will certainly not be choosing to date people that work under me.”

Fani Willis Goes Head to Head with Her Prior Self in Trump Case (Turley)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has finally broken her silence with CNN. Willis insisted that she has done nothing wrong while declaring that “the train is coming” for Donald Trump. On this occasion, CNN can be excused for not having an opposing view. Willis circa 2020 denounced Willis circa 2024. Willis told a CNN reporter “I don’t feel like my reputation needs to be reclaimed. I guess my greatest crime is I had a relationship with a man, that’s not something I find embarrassing in any way. And I know that I have not done anything that’s illegal.” The most obvious person to interview in rebuttal of that statement is Willis’s 2020 self. After all, she repeatedly declared that she would not have any romantic relationship with those in her office. Willis ran against her former boss Paul Howard, who was embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal involving his relationship with women in his office.

Willis offered both experience and ethical leadership, including pledging repeatedly that “I will certainly not be choosing to date people that work under me.” When confronted with this repeated campaign promise on the stand, Willis came up with a perfectly bizarre spin about Nathan Wade being literally “special” as a special prosecutor. While she hired him, supervised him, and controlled his continued employment with the office, she tried to suggest that he was not really part of the office in the same sense. Willis notably stressed that she did nothing “illegal.” She did not address whether she acted unethically. The court itself denounced her for unprofessional conduct in this controversy, including her speech at a church suggesting that racism was behind these allegations.

Moreover, it may be too early to tell if she is entirely free of criminal allegations. Many believe that both she and Wade gave knowingly false or misleading testimony. That is a problem not just for them as individuals but for the office in this case. Willis and Wade were both prosecuting people for the very same conduct of filing false statements with courts and making false statements. The two lawyers testified in tandem but only one was disqualified. While the Court casts doubt on Wade’s testimony on the relationship, it ignored that Willis effectively ratified those claims in her own testimony. Putting aside the pledge of a train coming for Trump, there is the problem that there are usually two tracks and another train may be coming for Willis as the state (and potentially the bar) looks into these allegations.

Bosi

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“In 2020, Biden carried 87% of the black vote. Now, he’s polling at just 63%, a sharp decline. Meanwhile four years ago he won hispanic votes by a ratio of 2 to 1. He now trails Trump in that bloc..”

TIME To Panic: Joe Biden’s Campaign “In Trouble” Despite Obama Warning (ZH)

“Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to fuck things up.” -Barack Obama.

With less than eight months before the 2024 election, the Biden re-election campaign is in big trouble. Not only is Biden lagging in the polls vs. Donald Trump, the border crisis he created by shredding all of Trump’s Executive Orders on immigration has resulted in 10 million illegals flooding into the United States – which has left even Democrats livid. What’s more, Biden is quickly losing the support of young Americans, and the latino vote. Things are so bad that TIME magazine has just devoted 3,700 words to let us know that Barack Obama ‘warned’ the Biden campaign last June that defeating Trump would be harder in 2024 (because no pandemic or hoax dossier to set him up?). Six months later, Obama ‘saw few signs of improvement.’

Obama returned to the White House in December, with a ‘more urgent’ message: the re-election campaign was behind schedule in building out field operations, and that an ‘insular group of advisers’ in the West Wing was hamstringing the effort. Now, it’s really bad… “Three months later, the 2024 general election is under way, and Biden is indeed in trouble. His stubbornly low approval ratings have sunk into the high 30s, worse than those of any other recent President seeking re-election. He’s trailed or tied Trump in most head-to-head matchups for months. Voters express concerns about his policies, his leadership, his age, and his competency. The coalition that carried Biden to victory in 2020 has splintered; the Democrats’ historic advantage with Black, Latino, and Asian American voters has dwindled to lows not seen since the civil rights movement. -TIME

Meanwhile, Biden’s inner circle is “defiantly sanguine” as a “fog of dread” descends on Democrats. The rest of the TIME article is full of anecdotes of dissatisfied Democrats, particularly young voters such as 20-year-old Aidan Kohn-Murphy. It has nothing to do, as many assume, with the President’s age. With palpable frustration, Kohn-Murphy enumerates the list of perceived policy “betrayals” as though they were “tattooed on the back of my hand.” According to the report, GenZ voters “don’t understand why they should be compelled to cast their ballot for a candidate who has done so many things that are against their values,” said Kohn-Murphy.

In 2020, Biden carried 87% of the black vote. Now, he’s polling at just 63%, a sharp decline. Meanwhile four years ago he won hispanic votes by a ratio of 2 to 1. He now trails Trump in that bloc. Biden’s support of Israel amid the Gaza war has “tanked his standing with Muslim and Arab voters,” particularly in “must-win Michigan.” Overall, Biden’s advantage over Trump among nonwhite Americans has shrunk from almost 50 points in 2020 to 12, according to the latest Times/Siena poll. “It boils down to voters of color, and those voters are pissed,” said one former Biden campaign and White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “I think it’s very likely he’ll lose.”

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“..they have all these specific details, but they were unable to give anything specific to the Russians. This all makes one think that something is very wrong.”

Ukraine Likely Had Prior Knowledge of Moscow Terrorist Threat (Sp.)

A group of gunmen opened fire at a concert venue in Moscow on the evening of March 22, killing over 100 people and setting fire to the building. Eleven suspects have been detained by Russian security services in relation to the terrorist attack, including the four suspected perpetrators who were apprehended as they were trying to flee the country across the border with Ukraine. During an interview with Sputnik, political and military analyst Sergey Poletaev pointed out that the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officially announced that the suspected terrorists had contacts in Ukraine. According to Poletaev, even if the reports about the perpetrators being Tajikistani citizens are true, the attack in Moscow could have been masterminded either by some kind of Islamist terrorist organization that has ties with Ukraine, or even by Ukraine directly. In any case, he noted, it appears that the Ukrainian leadership had prior knowledge of this act of terror, “which makes them accomplices, at the very least.”

Poletaev also argued that while the attack was likely planned by professionals, it does not necessarily mean that the perpetrators were equally skilled, with the analyst observing how high school students sometimes kill dozens of people during shooting sprees. Commenting on the attempts by both Washington and Kiev to hastily deny Ukraine’s trace in this terrorist attack, Poletaev suggested that the West is going to insist that ISIS* alone was responsible. Thus, he postulated, there will be two narratives – the Russian and the Western – and it all comes down to whose side the “global majority” is going to take. “It is in our best interests to collate a convincing body of evidence for our case. It would greatly help us with diplomacy,” Poletaev remarked. “We’re talking about the ‘third countries,’ of course, as the West will most likely dismiss any talk of Ukraine’s involvement.”

Seyed Mohammad Marandi, a political analyst and professor at Tehran University, also found it curious that, even when “no real details” about the attack were known, the United States started insisting that Ukraine was not involved. “It is also very strange that the United States was able to give such a detailed travel advisory or warning about a terror attack naming concerts and giving specifics about an attack in Moscow and large gatherings and all that [previous to the attack],” he added. “So, they have all these specific details, but they were unable to give anything specific to the Russians. This all makes one think that something is very wrong.” Referring to claims about ISIS being responsible for the attack, Marandi argued that this theory does not necessarily rule out “cooperation between Ukraine and ISIS or the potential role of the United States.”

“The very fact that the United States, from the start, said that Ukraine wasn’t involved and the very fact that they gave such a detailed warning to their citizens is raising serious questions. But ISIS and the Ukrainian regime both have very strong connections with the West,” he elaborated. “ISIS has cooperated with NATO countries, it has cooperated with Israel, and it has cooperated with other American allies in Syria for years. And Ukraine is also deeply dependent on NATO countries. Marandi also pointed out that ISIS “has always been focused on the enemies of the United States” whereas the terrorist organization’s attacks on NATO countries or the Middle Eastern powers aligned with the West have been “very rare.”

Cactus City hall
https://twitter.com/i/status/1771960366140178439
https://twitter.com/i/status/1771954788789305698

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“Attention, a question for the White House: are you sure it was ISIS, won’t you change your mind later?”

US Bails Ukraine Out, Covering Zelensky With ISIS – Zakharova (TASS)

After the Crocus City Hall attack, the US tries to bail Ukraine out by mentioning the Islamic State (IS, ISIS) terror group, outlawed in Russia, and to cover itself and the Zelensky regime it created, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an article for kp.ru. “The American political engineers cornered themselves with their tales that the Crocus City Hall attack was carried out by the ISIS terror group,” the diplomat noted. “Hence Washington’s daily bailing out of its wards in Kiev, and the attempt to cover itself and the Zelensky regime they created with the scarecrow of the outlawed ISIS.” Zakharova noted that a number of factors directly and indirectly indicate the US authorities’ involvement in sponsoring the Ukrainian terrorism.

“Billions of dollar and an unprecedented amount of weapons, invested without accountability and with use of corruption schemes into the Kiev regime, the aggressive rhetoric regarding Russia, the rabid nationalism, the ban for peace talks on Ukraine, the endless calls for a force resolution of the conflict, the refusal to condemn the years-long terror attacks, carried out by the Kiev regime, and the massive informational and political support of any, even the most atrocious actions of Zelensky,” she listed. The spokeswoman also noted that previously, the US intervention in Middle Eastern affairs has led to the emergence, strengthening and institutionalization of a number of radical and terrorist groups that remain active in the region even today. “What is the logic, you may ask? Money and power. And, considering the international legal ban on direct interventions, it is also about sowing a ‘controlled chaos’ and reshaping the world order by the hands of terrorists,” she continued. “Attention, a question for the White House: are you sure it was ISIS, won’t you change your mind later?”

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“..the European Union, which was conceived as an entirely peaceful organization, becomes one of the world’s most implacable warring empires..”

“Later, these weapons will be used against “undemocratic” countries, whose leaders happen to be at odds with the EU and the US.”

An EU army is idiotic. Who will be in command? France or Germany? How about Hungary?

Militaristic Revolution in the EU Paves Legal Way for Warmongering (Babich)

During the last few days, the European Union went through a real militaristic revolution. A special “legal task force” is working on allowing the use of EU funds for war. The so-called European Peace Facility (EPF), officially stewarded by Josep Borrell, will get its money from the EU funds (and not individual states) after reporting the transfer of thousands of weapons systems to Kiev. EPF also reported having trained more than 40,000 Ukrainian military to use them. The Financial Times chose a somewhat routinely sounding lead for its story on the EU’s decision to legally stop being an “oasis of peace”: “Brussels proposes ‘legal task force’ to explore ways to use the common budget for defense. The headline, however, was more disturbing: “EU looks to bypass treaty ban on buying arms to support Ukraine.”

The reality described in the FT’s story, however, is more dramatic than the headline and the lead taken together: the European Union, which was conceived as an entirely peaceful organization, becomes one of the world’s most implacable warring empires – by law. Very soon the EU’s Union Treaty will no longer have a provision prohibiting “any expenditure arising from operations having military or defense implications.” (Article 41, point 2 of the Treaty on European Union.) Or, at best, this provision will be made devoid of legal force by some new additions to the EU’s legislation. FT reports, confirming its story by eyewitness accounts, that the European Commission is creating a “legal task force,” that would allow the EU to finance wars and military production by European money. In all likelihood, the first “beneficiary” of this financing will be NATO’s proxies in Ukraine, waging a war against Russia and Russians since 2014. At a recent conference of the EU’s 27 members in mid-March, 2024, it was decided to create within the framework of the so-called European Peace Facility (EPF) a special fund for financing Ukrainian armed forces (Ukraine Assistance Fund).

What the relation is between the word “peace” and the system of buying and transporting weapons to the zone of conflict, remains unclear. Ukraine Assistance Fund (UAF) will be financed by donations from EU member states to the tune of €5 billion a year. At least €500 million from that sum will be spent on training Ukrainian servicemen to use the EPF-provided weapons. The weapons will mostly be European-made (such was the requirement of France), but not only. Weapons from “third countries” can be bought and sold, creating opportunities for the spread of dangerous weapons around the world. Judging by the recent EU summit on Thursday, which discussed the ways of stealing “immobilized” Russia’s foreign assets and pouring its money into the UAF “for military support to Ukraine,” no law is an obstacle for the EU’s “legal task forces.” Was such an evolution of the EU unexpected? Not entirely.

The EU’s quasi-pacifist image started to crumble not now, but back in the 1990s. It transpired back then that the real European Union went a long way from the lofty ideas of the EU’s founders. Only naïve people can trust the EU’s claims, that it is a purely “soft power-based institution.” In 1995-1999 the EU’s member countries participated in military interventions against the former Yugoslav republics, later almost all EU members made their “military contributions” to the occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. However, as more and more “crusades” by individual Western countries or American-British alliances ended in defeats (one can cite Afghanistan in 2001-2021 or the French intervention in West Africa after the coup in Libya in 2011), the dreams about a “collective war chest” of the EU started to take shape In 2020 the so-called European Defense Fund (EDF) and later, in March 2021, the European Peace Facility (EPF) started operating at the EU level. Their aim was clear from the start: to collect money from member countries and to buy arms for this money.

Later, these weapons will be used against “undemocratic” countries, whose leaders happen to be at odds with the EU and the US. Real European pacifists immediately smelt the rat and protested both against EDF and especially against EPF, which after the escalation of the Ukrainian conflict became one of the main sponsors of Zelensky’s military machine. Back in 2021, 40 pro-peace NGOs, headed by the German group Brot für die Welt (Bread for the World) came out with a statement denouncing the EPF as an instrument “which brings arms into wrong hands” and “allows to use the EU money to train the military cadres for dictatorial regimes.” Now, however, Brussels uses widespread anti-Russian prejudice in the EU, as well as constant reminders about the “threat from Putin” to justify the final destruction of the dream of “peaceful Europe,” which once inspired the pioneers of European integration. In comparison to 2021 critics are fewer and quieter. In this way, Russophobia was spiritually destructive for Europe, stealing its dream of “world peace.”

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“..once sanctions on Russia are eased or lifted, they could face decades of legal action.”

Western Banks Warn Against EU Plans to Give Russian Funds to Ukraine (Antiwar)

Some Western banks are lobbying against an EU plan to use profits made by Russian central bank funds that are frozen in Europe to arm Ukraine, Reuters reported on Thursday. The European Commission has proposed sending up to 3 billion euros to Ukraine per year using the revenue. About 90% would go to a fund called the “European Peace Facility” that can be used to buy weapons for Ukraine, and the remaining funds would go to the EU’s central budget for other types of aid. Russia has slammed the plan and has vowed to respond. “This is outright banditry and theft. These actions are a gross and unprecedented violation of basic international norms. We said that we would respond, and so we shall,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday. Sources told Reuters that banks fear they could be held liable by Russia in the future for being involved in the transaction. The report said once sanctions on Russia are eased or lifted, they could face decades of legal action.

The banks also worry the move would erode trust in the Western banking system. One source said it would set a bad precedent and that stealing the funds would amount to the “weaponization of foreign-held reserves and assets.” The US is looking to take an even more extreme measure by giving all of the Russian funds to Ukraine, not just the profit and interest. Last month, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen came out strongly in favor of the idea. “It is necessary and urgent for our coalition to find a way to unlock the value of these immobilized assets to support Ukraine’s continued resistance and long-term reconstruction,” Yellen said. Legislation to give the Russian money to Ukraine has been introduced in Congress and has received bipartisan support, but the bills have yet to be voted on. About $67 billion in Russian central bank funds are held in the US, while over $200 billion is held in Europe.

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“..it is taking you to the point where I truly believe they will only stop when they find that you will swing from a tree.”

Mob Rule Versus Survival of the West (Susan D. Harris)

It’s been hard to watch the effects of forced diversity, multiculturalism, and mass immigration on the tiny island of Great Britain—the most densely populated nation in Europe. At least in America we still have so much land area that most people are not yet feeling the effects of large-scale population displacement stemming from all forms of immigration. In the UK, however, every day feels like an episode of “Survivor” as people who are being crammed in like sardines are increasingly made to fear that they’ll be voted off the island. Recently, protests surrounding the Israel–Hamas war have exposed the fragility of a British culture—and nation—on the verge of capsizing from the weight of immigration and cultural divides. Well-known British YouTuber Paul Joseph Watson has been covering events there, addressing the British prime minister’s remarks that his country is descending into “mob rule” and that the situation is urgent. The prime minister was referring to pro-Palestinian protesters currently flooding the streets of Britain.

Mr. Watson shared a genius chart from a user on social media platform X supposedly detailing the rise of mob rule in London. The user commented, “HOW DID WE GET HERE? After importing millions of people from countries with a culture of mob rule into London, mob rule has taken over London. Experts are crunching the numbers to figure out if systematically undermining basic law and order could have affected basic law and order.” Meanwhile, Pro-Palestinian protesters across Britain vowed more marches, ostensibly to protest Israeli attacks in Gaza. Mr. Watson has also been covering reactions to another member of parliament recently claiming there were “no-go zones” in Birmingham. To support the existence of “no-go zones,” Mr. Watson cited the Birmingham Mail newspaper, which reported that “due to soaring crime being committed by ‘urban youths,’ parts of the city center are no-go zones and the areas immediately surrounding Birmingham are no-go areas for the same reason,” according to Mr. Watson.

All of this comes after a huge blow-up about a comment made by a Conservative member of parliament on conservative-leaning GB News. Lee Anderson told the news outlet (where he also hosts his own show) that “I don’t actually believe that the Islamists have got control of our country, but what I do believe is they’ve got control of [Mayor of London Sadiq] Khan and they’ve got control of London. … He’s actually given our capital city away to his mates.”
Mayor Khan then responded with three strikes against Mr. Anderson, saying his remarks were “Islamophobic, anti-Muslim and racist” and poured “fuel on the fire of anti-Muslim hatred.” It was all downhill from there. Mr. Anderson was suspended from the Conservative Party after refusing to apologize and later defected to the Reform UK party. After that, a GB News guest said Mayor Khan was “not British. He doesn’t support Britain.” Which led to calls for GB News to be investigated by Ofcom, Britain’s communications regulator, similar to our FCC. And it won’t be the first time; Ofcom seems to be targeting GB News for investigations quite a lot lately.

Another British YouTuber who’s been weighing in on the ongoing cancel culture wars in her country is Katie Hopkins. In a video titled, “How cancel culture (evisceration) REALLY works,” Ms. Hopkins outlines what she believes is “currently being done to GB News by those that want to see it done away with.” She also claims that “Ofcom is the weapon wielded in a war of attrition against GB News.” And she should know. The controversial celebrity, journalist, and comedian has done her share of shocking the public and angering many over these last many years, but she’s also become quite the conservative hero. She’s been re-tweeted by President Donald Trump multiple times, banned from Twitter, reinstated on Twitter (now X), and thrown out of Australia for mocking quarantine lockdowns. She’s called Islam the “single biggest threat” to Europe and was named as a target in a planned terror attack by ISIS supporters. Most recently, she’s done a hilarious must-see YouTube short dedicated to all the people who “pushed the jab.” It currently has over 1 million views.

In 2020, Ms. Hopkins told conservative host Candace Owens that her situation in Britain was so much more than the cancel culture that was overtaking America. She explained that in the UK it had become “acceptable” to think that a targeted physical attack against her would be “welcomed and applauded.” She continued to explain to Ms. Owens that she lost her jobs, her home (which she said had to be sold due to litigation), and even experienced having her children reported to social services with the intent to have them taken away. She concluded by saying that, in the UK, “[T]he darkness is that when they come, it’s not something flippant that is cancel culture, it is taking you to the point where I truly believe they will only stop when they find that you will swing from a tree.” Her fundamental commitment, she added, was to not allow that to happen.

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“As soon as we arrived at the Elysee, the staff responsible for the president’s security were immediately doubled..”

Macron Obsessing Over Personal Security Amid Ukrainian Conflict (RT)

French president Emmanuel Macron’s concerns for his own personal safety are being amplified by his public statements and tough stance on the Ukraine conflict, Marianne magazine reported on Sunday. The magazine spoke to multiple sources within Macron’s security detail, the country’s Interior Ministry, and to his notorious ex-bodyguard Alexandre Benalla. During his time with Macron’s security team, Benalla became embroiled in multiple scandals, including beating up demonstrators alongside riot police during the Yellow Vest protests. Macron has always been concerned with his personal security, Benalla claimed, revealing the president had bolstered the ranks of his guard right after assuming office. “As soon as we arrived at the Elysee, the staff responsible for the president’s security were immediately doubled compared to those responsible for that of [predecessor] Francois Hollande,” the disgraced bodyguard explained.

The Yellow Vests protests, which have plagued Macron’s presidency throughout his first term and beyond, have left a dent. Macron’s spouse Brigitte has been particularly concerned that her husband would ultimately end up assassinated, Benalla claims. “She was always very worried about him. At home, there is the fear of ‘Kennedy syndrome,’ that he will end up assassinated,” the insider reportedly claimed. The situation has deteriorated further as a result of Macron’s determination to present himself as a hawk on the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. The president’s security team has been working in “red” mode since at least last summer, an unnamed source “at the heart” of Macron’s guard system told the magazine.

“Recently, he is provoking so much that he is afraid,” a source at the heart of the Macron security system confided. “Since last summer, he has taken on some big guys to accompany him. They are more visible and also more effective in intervening in the event of a crowd movement.” The French president is apparently not afraid of facing off angry citizens as is, but rather fears the alleged Russian “hybrid threat,” the report suggested. He has repeatedly voiced concerns over “state-level” threats emanating from abroad, while in private blaming the alleged threat exclusively on Moscow, and creating a special taskforce to tackle it. “Macron is totally freaked out by the Russians. One morning, he arrived at the intelligence services and requested the creation of a special task force on Russian interference overnight. Colleagues have to hold a meeting daily, it doesn’t excite them much,” a senior official with the Interior Ministry told Marianne.

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25 years ago NATO bombed Yugoslavia. Guterres was Portugal PM.

Guterres, the UN, Might, Wise Guys’ ‘Wisdom’, and Right (Graça)

António Guterres, according to what I have read somewhere, has formally and publicly protested the fact that the people of the newly incorporated regions of Russia participate in the latter’s presidential elections. The reason, he claimed, was that it had been an illegal incorporation, based on an also illegal invasion. Russia would thus have in this case the might, Guterres argued, but she would not have on her side the right. Does this sit well with a UN Secretary-General? It certainly does, the unaware reader will likely say. That’s precisely what the UN exists for: to show everyone that, beyond might, irreducible to it, there is always (and there will be) the right. The problem with this – formally impeccable – argument resides, however, elsewhere. Do you remember Kosovo? It was occupied by NATO in 1999, after this alliance bombed the then Yugoslavia, on various pretexts that later were revealed to be false, forcing it (without a UN mandate, by sheer military might) to withdraw from that territory.

Yugoslavia held out for almost three months of relentless bombardment, but eventually withdrew, albeit grudgingly and only against written assurances that Kosovo would remain Yugoslav territory, only provisionally occupied: “we didn’t give away Kosovo, we don’t give away Kosovo”, Slobodan Milosevic then declared publicly. Kosovo was part of a Yugoslav republic, Serbia, and remained so even when this and the other remaining Yugoslav republic, Montenegro, later legally ‘divorced’, thus ending the very existence of the ‘once upon a time’ Country of the South Slavs. Serbia does not recognize the right to secession of her provinces, and so she did not recognize the secession of Kosovo when this territory subsequently (in 2008, still under NATO occupation and without holding a referendum with that purpose) proclaimed its independence.

She complained about this to the International Court of Justice, but the ICJ did not grant the Serbian complaint, arguing that, while it was true that on the latter’s side was the UN’s principle of protection of the integrity of states’ borders, on the side of Kosovar independence was the also UN’s principle of the defense of peoples right to self-determination. That being the case, and although admittedly in a situation of mon coeur balance, the august Court decided by a majority to give the right to Kosovo’s independence, and the wrong to Serbia. The rejection of a region’s independence could be valid internally, but not internationally. Was the secession of Kosovo illegal from the point of view of Serbian law? Perhaps. But not, the ICJ declared, from the point of view of international law.

Now, with things admittedly at this point, the obvious question is: have Crimea, the Donbass, plus the other two provinces of Novorossiya, legally seceded from Ukraine? From Kiev’s point of view, of course not. But from the point of view of international law? When faced with the problem of the secession of countries de facto in a colonial situation, but formally only provinces of another (as was the case with the then Portuguese overseas provinces in Africa), the UN had already decided, in 1970, that the decisive criterion was the existence or not of negative discrimination against certain groups. If the Portuguese state practiced negative discrimination against African ‘indigenous’ people, this would be an irrefutable indication of colonialism, even if the Portuguese Constitution of the time did not openly proclaim it. Therefore, Angola and Mozambique would have the right to secede.

If, on the other hand, it was a question of territories where the populations enjoyed the same rights as the ‘normal’ nationals of their respective countries, such as the Corsicans vis-à-vis the other French, or the Sardinians in relation to the other Italians, there would be no right of secession. Corsica and Sardinia would therefore not have the right to secede from France and Italy, respectively. The point is that, precisely, Kosovo was not the target of any derogatory treatment by Serbia. On the contrary, there was positive discrimination, with the right to use Albanian as a regional co-official language, just as it is today in Spain with Basque, Galician and Catalan in the Basque Country, Galicia and Catalonia, respectively. And yet, the ICJ ruled against Serbia’s claim! That is, giving an additional right to the centrifugal political tendencies, when compared to the position of the UN General Assembly back in 1970…

Given this, the question inevitably arises: have the inhabitants of the Donbass, who revolted and organized secessionist referendums as early as 2014, and since then saw the Russian language banned, and were the target of indiscriminate bombardment by Kiev’s troops and paramilitary, and suffered all kinds of other atrocities, not much more right to secession than the Kosovars – to whom, for example, the use of Albanian had never been forbidden by Belgrade? On the contrary, the entire Albanian cultural legacy was always carefully protected by Yugoslavia’s emphatically multi-ethnic Constitution, and the ethnic Albanian population benefited from various forms of positive discrimination. And yet, the ICJ rejected Serbia’s complaint!

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What led to Putin. “If I had accepted Gore’s terms, I would have been a real traitor..”

‘U-Turn Over Atlantic’ (Sp.)

Sunday marks the 25th anniversary of then-Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov’s famous “U-turn” over the Atlantic, an event that grabbed global headlines at the time. On March 24, 1999, Primakov was on a flight to the United States to negotiate a $5 billion IMF loan for Russia. But after then-US Vice President Al Gore informed Primakov that NATO had launched a bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, Primakov decided to turn his plane around and return to Moscow. Witnessing the Primakov-Gore conversation was the now-deputy head of Russia’s upper chamber of parliament, Konstantin Kosachev, who served as an assistant for international affairs to the prime minister in the late 1990s. Kosachev was among the members of a Russian government delegation on board Primakov’s plane when the incident took place. The Federal Council deputy head later recalled that Gore told Primakov about the beginning of NATO’s military operation and the alliance’s decision to start bombing Yugoslavia “in these very minutes.”

According to Kosachev, Primakov reacted by telling Gore that such a development means that the Russian delegation’s visit to the US “becomes impossible.” The lawmaker added that the plane turned around after Primakov received the go-ahead from then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin. When asked by reporters why Primakov’s move was so significant for history, Kosachev stressed that “it was the first sign of Russia’s disagreement as a state with the policies that the US and its NATO allies were pursuing in a world which seemed to have changed since the end of the Cold War, but in fact which had not changed at all.” “As I see it, the decision proved to be a turning point both literally and figuratively in relations between Russia and the West, something that reflected our country’s utter disagreement with the West’s line on building a unipolar world,” Kosachev underscored.

It predetermined the entire course of subsequent events, the lawmaker went on, noting that Russia and the West “could have come out of all this by preserving partnership in those issues that unite both sides.” “The two, however, continued to move in opposite directions because the West refused to reconsider its policy line with regard to the outside world and Russia. What’s more, the West in many situations further aggravated the situation,” Kosachev pointed out. As for Primakov, needless to say he was shocked after hearing the news about a European country being bombed for the first time since the end of the Second World War. Despite Gore’s desperate attempts to persuade Primakov to backtrack on his decision and come to Washington, the Russian prime minister was undeterred. “If I had accepted Gore’s terms, I would have been a real traitor,” Primakov later said.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Bhakdi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1771608859221619053

 

 

Parakeet

 

 

Tiger

 

 

China 2019-24
https://twitter.com/i/status/1771858094030565756

 

 

Bird dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1771934010643451957

 

 

Giraffe
https://twitter.com/i/status/1771923520995340738

 

 

 

 

Whales
https://twitter.com/i/status/1772141576900214974

 

 

Love

 

 

Gravity

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 092024
 


Eugène Delacroix Femmes d’Alger (Women of Algiers) 1834

 

And Now There (Really) Are Two… or Three (Denninger)
Col. Macgregor Response to Biden Speech Profoundly Accurate and Important (CTH)
Scott Ritter on Biden’s SOTU: ‘America’s Running Away From Ukraine’ (Sp.)
Medvedev Calls Biden a US Disgrace (TASS)
Tucker Carlson: Biden’s Address to Congress ‘Most Un-American Speech Ever (Sp.)
Is This The Real Reason Why Victoria Nuland Quit? (Strokan)
Biden Tries to Blame Republicans for Coming Loss of Ukraine (Sp.)
China Wants Russia At Ukraine Peace Talks (RT)
We Will Not Be Intimidated By The Kremlin – Greek PM (RT)
Europe Is in Danger of Falling Asleep in Peace and Waking Up in War (Dinisio)
Fearful Electioneering Turbo Charges Western Warmongering (SCF)
Biden Parachutes TV Dinners Into Gaza. Sounds Absurd? It Is (SCF)
DC Court Greenlights Flurry of Jan. 6 Lawsuits Against Trump (ET)
Trump Coughs Up $91 Million Bond, Appeals E. Jean Carroll Defamation Suit (ZH)
Jan 6 Comm. Hid Exonerating Evidence Of Trump’s Push For National Guard (Fed.)

 

 

 

 

Agenda 47

 

 

Brennan

 

 

Rufo

 

 

 

 

OMG
https://twitter.com/i/status/1765912315805757637

 

 

RFK

 

 

 

 

Alex Jones
https://twitter.com/i/status/1765964006924427490

 

 

Mike Benz Assange

 

 

 

 

“..Kennedy is flirting with attempting to get the Libertarian nomination, and the Libertarian party has ballot access for the Presidential ticket in all 50 states..”

And Now There (Really) Are Two… or Three (Denninger)

Haley is out and IMHO good riddance. She was wildly more-dangerous than Victoria Nuland, who is also leaving and there is speculation that’s because an FOIA was filed for records that could implicate her in the Lira’s torture and death in Ukraine; he was of course a very loud critic of Nuland’s views and US Ukraine policy, which got him jailed for what in the US would be considered Constitutionally-protected free speech. I don’t know if Nuland had anything to do with it or not but that’s she’s out is good — what’s not disputable is that pretty-much the entire Ukraine policy since 2014 has been hers, including our sponsorship of Maidan. The destruction there in both material and people is hideous and as with Madame Albright’s myopic view of international relations born of her roots Nuland’s position appears to be equally-driven by personal animus. In my view both should have been jettisoned as soon as that became apparent, but obviously neither was.

That Haley had no path was known a couple of months ago, but eventually no matter how stubborn you are in the face of facts the money runs out because modern politics requires a lot of it, and the people spending it see it as a prop bet with a potential return. When the odds get long enough they stop paying and you stop running, like it or not. This of course means that with Biden being the incumbent and political party doctrine being that sitting Presidents with another term available may not be challenged in the primary it is now a two person race. Well, sort of. There are rumors flying around that Kennedy is flirting with attempting to get the Libertarian nomination, and the Libertarian party has ballot access for the Presidential ticket in all 50 states. Despite his policies being pretty much anything but Libertarian the party, of which I have decent internal knowledge of as I was elected to the EC in Florida, is very likely to embrace this move since it will both bring in money and, assuming he gets any material number of votes, and he will, further-cement their ballot position.

Politics makes for strange compromises sometimes and whether you like it or not that’s never going to change. While I wildly disagree with many of Kennedy’s views I might actually vote for him rather than write in Beelzebub or Cthulhu this November, should he run on the Libertarian ticket. I certainly can’t support Biden nor can I support Trump as on the critical issues facing this nation, all related to the rule of law, neither has delivered anything than a Bronx Cheer, albeit aimed in different directions and to the benefit of, in some cases, different people. I will remind everyone that 8 USC §1324 has been around since long before either Trump or Biden was President and that the Executive, of which the President is the head, has the Department of Justice, AG and FBI under same.

Further, every federal officeholder takes an oath to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States, including the ones they personally disagree with. There’s a process to change the law if you don’t like it and that process goes through Congress. Said law, were it to be enforced, would absolutely stop all of the illegal immigration games instantly and permanently as it lays out criminal felony penalties, including prison time of 5, 10, 20 and potentially life prison terms, for those who harbor or assist such immigration including those who employ said persons. Since both of the current “mainstream” candidates claim the situation is a critical problem (and I agree with this) but at the same time claim they don’t have the legal tools to deal with it and that is absolutely a lie I will not vote for either of them.

The same applies when it comes to monopolist practices riven through our economy, most-critically in health care as that has the largest impact on the Federal and State budgets. Again, 15 USC Ch. 1 §1-3 makes clear that such conduct, even the mere attempt if it fails, is a criminal felony carrying prison penalties for each person who is engaged in same. That law has been challenged twice to the US Supreme Court in the late 1970s and early 80s (Royal Drug and Maricopa County) and found Constitutional both times. Nonetheless neither major political party has lifted a finger to bring a single criminal charge under that law — not in health care or in any of the other merger and consolidation activities in any industry. Now will Kennedy vow to bring said charges? That would be a reason to vote for him. Of course he might be lying, but then again he might not. I already know the other two have lied and nothing they can say now will cause me to believe them thus “might” beats “won’t.”

There are many who think our markets and economy will chug along through 2024 and that “its just fine.” I argue the data says otherwise; consumer credit has gone vertical, for example, and lates are rising quickly, including in car loans which are more-likely to get paid than a mortgage because without a car you’re not going to work and then everything goes down the toilet for you in your personal financial situation. Thus if you have to screw someone as you simply don’t have the money to pay the last person you usually screw is the car finance company. I’m not dancing in the streets, incidentally, that Trump is the presumptive nominee. The Supreme Court’s 9-0 decision on Colorado the other day probably won’t stop some from trying to interfere in the election, but the Court made quite clear that the decision as to who is President lies with the people as the States and other apparatus, other than through Congress, simply do not have jurisdiction to force a decision other than by individual votes at the ballot box.

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“Macgregor doesn’t go deep in the weeds on this, but what he describes as the economic and financial outcome is entirely accurate.”

Must watch video.

Col. Macgregor Response to Biden Speech Profoundly Accurate and Important (CTH)

The core targets within this information war are those who are talking about the entities who are controlling and directing the politicians and government. The voices who are considered a threat are not, repeat NOT, voices who are critical of government. The voices who are considered a threat are those who understand the government actors are controlled and intentionally presented as the false source of the problem. Just as Jack Smith is not the controlling entity organizing the targeting of Donald Trump, so too is Joe Biden (and the administration) not the originating entity who organized the Western sanction regime against Russia. Jack Smith and Joe Biden are essentially actors, vessels following a design that has been created by outside government entities for the purpose of targeting Donald Trump and/or Russia respectively. The bigger motives and intents of targeting both are essentially the same. There are trillions at stake.

Outside government actors like Mary McCord, Norm Eisen, Andrew Weissmann and crew are the organizers behind Jack Smith’s effort. They are the characters who coordinate with Fani Willis (GA) and Letishia James (NY). Those individuals are funded by outside government institutions. Ultimately, Jack Smith is the vessel. Within the Western finance system, Blackrock, Vanguard, the WEF and a host of similarly aligned massive financial interests are the organizers behind the Russian sanction regime. The USA government is the vessel. FOLLOW THE MONEY…. This is one of the reasons why the entire political establishment is behind support for Ukraine. Blackrock, Vanguard, State Street and a host of massive financial interests are the funding mechanism for U.S. politicians. The various Western governments and politicians are the vessels, not the originating sources of these policies. Macgregor doesn’t go deep in the weeds on this, but what he describes as the economic and financial outcome is entirely accurate.

Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766089825273164037

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“Biden didn’t walk away from Ukraine. He ran away from there, straight into issues about domestic politics because it’s a campaign address, not a State of the Union speech..”

Scott Ritter on Biden’s SOTU: ‘America’s Running Away From Ukraine’ (Sp.)

“Instead of a State of the Union address, the US Congress and indeed the American people were treated to a rousing campaign speech which POTUS was using to kick off the 2024 presidential election campaign,” former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and independent military analyst Scott Ritter told Sputnik. Biden “is facing the presumptive Republican nominee, former US President Donald Trump, in what many expect to be a very hot, very controversial and heated contest for who will be the next president of the United States. Joe Biden let off this State of the Union address, this campaign speech, by speaking about Ukraine, and about Russia, and about Russian President Vladimir Putin,” Ritter said. Quoting POTUS as saying during the address that America “will not walk away from Ukraine,” Ritter noted that “in many ways, the 46th US president is right.”

“Biden didn’t walk away from Ukraine. He ran away from there, straight into issues about domestic politics because it’s a campaign address, not a State of the Union speech,” the ex-US Marine Corps intelligence officer insisted. He suggested that Biden hinted at the necessity of releasing the $64 billion funding package during the Thursday speech “because it’s tied to domestic American politics and perhaps the most contentious issue of the day, that is border security immigration reform.” The $64 billion package is “being held hostage by Republicans in the House of Representatives. […] If Biden isn’t going to change his approach to immigration, the Republicans aren’t going to release the money – Ukraine isn’t going to get the assistance it needs,” according to the analyst. “America’s running away from Ukraine. And that’s the reality,” Ritter argued, adding that “people need to understand” that the next months will see Biden “almost singularly focused on domestic American policy, trying to differentiate himself from Donald Trump.”

SOTU 2022 23 24
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766125803790794762

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“.. Biden is a “mad, mentally disabled individual who set his mind on dragging humanity to hell.”

Medvedev Calls Biden a US Disgrace (TASS)

US President Joe Biden should not have mentioned his predecessor Franklin Delano Roosevelt, because, unlike Roosevelt, he only disgraces the US, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said, commenting on the State of the Union address. “In the State of the Union address, Biden compared himself with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. That’s a so-so comparison. Obviously, not in his favour,” Medvedev said on his X page. ” He is the United States’ disgrace!” Medvedev pointed out that, even though the 32nd US President was an infirm man in a wheelchair, “he raised America from the Depression,” while Biden is a “mad, mentally disabled individual who set his mind on dragging humanity to hell.” In addition, the official continued, Roosevelt fought for peace together with allies, including the USSR, while “Biden is actively and persistently trying to start WWIII.” Finally, Roosevelt “was fighting against fascists, but Biden is fighting for them,” Medvedev concluded.

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“There is lie after lie. ‘Ukraine can stop Russia.’ No, it can’t. This has been going on for over two years. ‘NATO is stronger than ever.’ No, it is not … It was crazy talk..”

Tucker Carlson: Biden’s Address to Congress ‘Most Un-American Speech Ever (Sp.)

US journalist Tucker Carlson on Friday called President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address to Congress “possibly the darkest, most un-American speech” ever delivered by a US president, saying that it had been focused not on US’s national interests, but on pouring billions of dollars into military aid to Ukraine. “That was possibly the darkest, most un-American speech ever given by an American president,” Carlson said during a broadcast published on his X account, calling Biden a “cruel and vicious demagogue.” The US journalist described the president’s address as a “lie,” saying that Biden “quickly explained” that his top priority “has nothing to do with America” and was related to “sending billions more to Ukraine.” “There is lie after lie. ‘Ukraine can stop Russia.’ No, it can’t. This has been going on for over two years. ‘NATO is stronger than ever.’ No, it is not … It was crazy talk,” Carlson said.

Tucker Speaker
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766024481053552951

On Thursday, Biden delivered the State of the Union address to the US Congress. The speech comes amid Washington’s efforts to provide further aid to Ukraine for use in its conflict with Russia. However, some Republican lawmakers have called on Congress and the Biden administration to address border security before approving more foreign aid. The president called on the US Congress to pass a $118 billion foreign aid bill that includes border policy reforms. The bill was blocked by Senate Republicans last month over concerns it did not do enough to resolve the border crisis. Biden also said that his policies are designed to keep drug cartels and human smugglers from profiting off the border crisis.

CNN SOTU

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“..the second place in the State Department went not to the greatest hater of Russia, but to the greatest hater of China..”

Is This The Real Reason Why Victoria Nuland Quit? (Strokan)

According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Nuland was forced to resign because of the failure of Biden’s course on Russia. “This is a failure of the policy associated with Nuland, because she was the central figure who pursued a Russophobic policy towards our country, the whole story was tied to Nuland,” Zakharova said. According to her, the outgoing US deputy secretary of state was “not just a high-ranking representative of the State Department, but a key figure in US interagency cooperation.” “She was a coordinator of anti-Russian sentiment and anti-Russian policy by the United States, especially in the context of Ukraine. I can’t say that she was an ideologue. There are people out there who hate us more, but she really was a coordinator, she is associated with that policy. And that is how they said goodbye to her,” the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said. Meanwhile, a theory has emerged in Washington that Nuland’s resignation was the result of a power struggle in which she lost the race for the post of first deputy foreign policy chief.

Some pundits see a battle of narratives, with behind-the-scenes jockeying of personalities. All part of a dispute over the long-term shape of US foreign policy and its priorities. It should be recalled that after Wendy Sherman resigned last summer as US deputy secretary of state, her duties were carried out for six months by Nuland. At the end of last year, however, the White House made the unexpected decision to nominate Campbell, another veteran of American diplomacy, for the second post in the diplomatic service. Campbell, who does not have as big a name in the diplomatic world as Nuland, has made his career not in the Euro-Atlantic but in the Indo-Pacific region. “Ms. Nuland was considered the natural candidate to replace Ms. Sherman on a permanent basis. But Mr Blinken nominated Kurt Campbell, the former National Security Council representative for Asia,” the New York Times commented on the reshuffle.

James Carden, a former US State Department official, told RIA Novosti: “I was actually surprised that she lasted as long as she did. I realised her time was up when Kurt Campbell got the second-ranked job at the department.” In a Senate vote on 6 February, his nomination received broad bipartisan support: 92 senators voted in favour, with five voting against. “President Biden’s choice of Kurt Campbell signals a desire to continue the efforts begun by his predecessors decades ago to shift the focus of US foreign policy to China as the major challenge facing America in the future,” AP commented on the reshuffle. “Kurt Campbell played a key role in developing President Barack Obama’s ‘pivot to Asia’ into President Biden’s Indo-Pacific strategy,” Yuri Tavrovsky, chairman of the expert council of the Russian-Chinese Friendship, Peace and Development Committee, told Kommersant.

“In practical terms, he was particularly active in the creation of the anti-Chinese military bloc AUKUS (Australia, the UK and the US) and in strengthening the military component of the QUAD group (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue – Australia, India, the US and Japan,” Tavrovsky said. “The appointment of Campbell to the second-highest post in the State Department demonstrates the White House’s long-term course of containing China, despite words and gestures that look like a desire for reconciliation.” Thus, according to Mr Tavrovsky, “the second place in the State Department went not to the greatest hater of Russia, but to the greatest hater of China.”

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“I think he’s a true believer and actually believes that his status as Warlord-in-Chief helps him politically..”

Biden Tries to Blame Republicans for Coming Loss of Ukraine (Sp.)

President Joe Biden used his State of the Union speech to blame the Republicans if Russia wins the war in Ukraine by claiming Kiev could have won or survived if the latest $61 billion arms package had not been blocked in Congress, former State Department official and consultant on US-Russia relations James Carden said. “The way I heard the speech was Biden setting the ground to blame the Republicans for losing the war should they block further tranches of funding,” Carden told Sputnik. But Biden was still committed to his confrontational and warmaking policies in Ukraine, the Middle East and elsewhere around the world and showed no sign of wanting to change them, he emphasized. “I think he’s a true believer and actually believes that his status as Warlord-in-Chief helps him politically,” Carden explained.

Biden’s indirect admission that the planned next enormous military aid package for President Volodymyr Zelensky’s increasingly discredited regime in Kiev was blocked on Capitol Hill did not stem from any fundamental reassessment of US policy on backing Ukraine’s war against Russia, he said. Instead, Biden’s comments reflected his always primary concern with domestic politics and his obsession with getting reelected to a second term in November even though he is already 81 years old, Carden clarified. “The results coming out of Michigan, however, disprove his thesis,” Carden said.

Uncommitted voters in the US state of Michigan on Super Tuesday this week registered a protest against Biden and his policies, especially on foreign affairs, security and the invasion of Gaza. Some 100,000 voters, or 20% of those who participated in the Democratic primary alone, cast their ballots as “Uncommitted,” expressing a massive lack of support for the president in his own party with no other serious candidate to choose from. The $61 billion package is being blocked by Republicans in the House of Representatives until Biden changes his policies on illegal immigration and agrees to crack down on it. But because the president is determined not to change course on that, he will not get more aid approved for Kiev, his opponents have said.

Read more …

China starts being involved.

China Wants Russia At Ukraine Peace Talks (RT)

China and Switzerland are working behind the scenes to get Russia invited to proposed Swiss-hosted talks aimed at ending the fighting between Kiev and Moscow, the South China Morning Post reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. Last month, Switzerland announced plans to organize a peace summit “by the summer.” No specific date has been named yet. The number of potential participants has also not been revealed. However, Ukraine indicated that Russia can only be invited if it agrees in advance to a litany of preconditions. According to the news website, China’s envoy for Eurasia Li Hui told EU officials that the summit “can’t be a conference that produces a plan that is pushed down the Russians’ throat.” The sources further told the publication that both China and Switzerland share a “pragmatic” view that the negotiations should not be just a formality.

Unlike many Western countries, Beijing has refused to blame Moscow for the outbreak of hostilities in February 2022, and has stressed that the conflict can only be ended through diplomacy. “The earlier the talks start, the sooner peace will arrive,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters at a CCP event in Beijing on Thursday. He added that “the absence of peace talks… may lead to an even bigger crisis.” China proposed a 12-point roadmap to peace in February 2023. The initiative was dismissed by Kiev. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has, in turn, insisted that a settlement can only be based on the 10-point ‘peace formula’ he unveiled at the end of 2022. Moscow has rejected Zelensky’s terms as unrealistic, arguing that it will never surrender Crimea, which joined Russia in 2014, or the four former Ukrainian regions that did the same in September 2022.

Ukraine and its Western backers have branded the accession referendums “a sham” and accused Russia of illegally occupying Ukrainian lands. They later said that peace can only be achieved on Kiev’s terms. Russian Ambassador to Switzerland Sergey Garmonin told local media in January 2024 that a peace summit without Russian participation would be “doomed to fail.” Moscow maintains that it is open to negotiations but on acceptable terms. According to the South China Morning Post, Chinese envoy Li told his EU counterparts that Moscow had two preconditions for talks – ending Western arms deliveries to Ukraine and the revocation of Zelensky’s 2022 decree that states negotiations with Putin are “impossible.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1766184754456506811

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If Russia wanted Zelensky dead, he would be. And they sure wouldn’t kill a Greek PM as well, too messy.

“Do not betray… the memory of the Greek Resistance,” Zakharova urged Mitsotakis..”

We Will Not Be Intimidated By The Kremlin – Greek PM (RT)

The EU will not be intimidated by Russia and will continue to support Ukraine for “as long as it takes,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said. Mitsotakis made the comment during his speech at the European People’s Party (EPP) conference in Romania’s capital, Bucharest, on Thursday, a day after his visit to the Ukrainian city of Odessa. During that trip, a Russian missile reportedly hit the port of Odessa 800 meters away from the motorcade in which Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and the Greek PM were traveling. “I was in Odessa yesterday with President Zelensky when a Russian ballistic missile hit the port during our visit to the facility and I think we all have a message for the Kremlin: We shall not be intimidated,” Mitsotakis vowed.

He described the conflict between Russia and Ukraine as “Europe’s darkest hour,” claiming that the EU’s determination to back Kiev and place sanctions on Moscow was “maybe unexpected for some of our enemies.” Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova responded to Mitsotakis’ statements in a post on Telegram on Thursday, insisting that “we [Moscow] never intimidated and aren’t intimidating anybody, including Greece.” She pointed out that Europe was not always the same throughout its history. “The Third Reich was also Europe. And for such a ‘Nazi Europe,’ we will always be an enemy,” the spokeswoman stressed. Zakharova recalled how during music lessons at her Russian school she used to study the works of Mikis Theodorakis, a legendary Greek composer most famous for Sirtaki dance music. “He, too, was an enemy of Europe, Nazi Europe,” she said.

Theodorakis was once a symbol of the resistance to the right-wing military dictatorship known as the Regime of the Colonels, which ruled Greece in the late 1960s and early 1970s. During that time, his music was banned; the composer was imprisoned for five months and eventually forced into exile. “Do not betray… the memory of the Greek Resistance,” Zakharova urged Mitsotakis. The EU has given Ukraine around 88 billion euros ($96.2 billion) since the start of the conflict in February 2022. Russian officials have repeatedly warned that the foreign aid provided to Kiev will not prevent Moscow from achieving the goals of its military operation, and will only prolong the fighting and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.

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“If you knew that your power, status and legitimacy emanated from supranational interests, to whom would it be natural to show your loyalty? To the people?”

Europe Is in Danger of Falling Asleep in Peace and Waking Up in War (Dinisio)

No wonder, then, that Ursula herself is so fervently anti-Russian and Atlanticist. Of course, between 1992 and 1996 she lived at Stanford (again Stanford) in California, where she studied economics. Poland’s own Donald Tusk was part of an Independent Students’ Association set up in 1980, financed by the same people as before, which aimed to subvert Poland’s then socialist regime from within the academy. Later, it was members of this truly “independent” “association” who, on the ground, supported the organization of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine. In other words, what we see in Ukraine today is the result of a wide-ranging project to break up and submit Europe to the neoliberal, hegemonic and imperial interests of the USA. This European “shield”, as we can see, is built by a group that functions almost like a secret society, endowed with deep internal cohesion, based on the narcissistic feeling of election, exclusivity and belonging to an elite group, trained to lead, trained to manage the supranational interests of the monopolist state par excellence, the USA.

Now, imagine yourself in a group of people who, in addition to the fact that many belong to the wealthiest classes or the political aristocracy, are also inculcated, through the countless institutional resources at their disposal, with the idea that they are part of a restricted group, placed above the common man, destined to decide on behalf of the monopoly interests that hire them. Imagine that, belonging to such an elite, the common mistake, which normally costs a career, honor and even life, for these people is nothing more than a setback on the way to the top. Put in a position like this, how would they behave? With a sense of responsibility? Or with a total sense of impunity? If you knew that your power, status and legitimacy emanated from supranational interests, to whom would it be natural to show your loyalty? To the people?

The way in which the U.S., and the monopoly interests that make up its system of power, have subverted any idea of strategic autonomy for the EU, throwing us all onto a front line that is not designed to protect our interests, but their own, has consisted of handing over high politics, not to the most experienced statesmen, the most emerging leaders of the masses, or the most capable and competent public officials, but instead to a socially isolated Spartan strain (only in terms of organization, not customs), made up of careerists, incapable of distinguishing between public and private, national or international interests. For them, the interests of public affairs are confused with their own, and their own with those of their sponsors. They are one and the same, in a vicious cycle in which who wins and who loses is determined from the outset.

And if the actions of this privileged, elitist, segregationist and exclusivist group in terms of the European economy have the results in plain sight, when it comes to foreign policy, their actions also show what project their loyalties are expressed for. Victoria Nuland came to Europe to demand a show of support and received it in the form of a Macron who, summoning all the European leaders to the Elysée Palace, tried to discuss the possibility of sending European troops to Ukraine. If it weren’t for Robert Fico, who apparently doesn’t see himself in this select group of yuppies, we wouldn’t know that the leaders in whom the people of Europe are supposed to trust are discussing, behind closed doors and behind the backs of the very democracy with which they fill their mouths, something like the fuse that could ignite a third world war. In other words, they are discussing among themselves the use of Europe as a shield for the American sword, with total contempt for those they claim to govern.

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“Western political leaders are only digging a deeper hole for their eventual collapse..”

Fearful Electioneering Turbo Charges Western Warmongering (SCF)

Western states are facing an acute political crisis whereby their established governing parties and leaders are fighting for survival amid a grave loss in legitimacy in the eyes of their electorates. In the United States, incumbent President Joe Biden is vying for reelection in November with historically lowest poll numbers ever for an occupant of the White House. Meanwhile, across the European Union, governing parties and leaders are braced for a drubbing from parliamentary elections in June. The roots of this unprecedented loss of legitimacy among Western political establishments are manifold. But surely one cause is the rank hypocrisy of Western leaders that has now been laid bare. How can political figures expect to have any moral authority when they are seen to be inveterate liars and shamelessly corrupt? Western governments and their servile media lecture about “democracy”, “human rights” and upholding “law and order”. They claim to be motivated by such principles in their support of Ukraine against alleged Russian aggression.

Yet these same governments are complicit in the genocide of Palestinians in Gaza through their unwavering support for the Israeli regime. Western leaders have been fatally exposed and compromised by the conflict in Ukraine and Gaza. The contradiction is terminal. That’s not just because of the blatant double standards and duplicity. Western voters are increasingly disgusted by the relentless financial and military support funneled into Ukraine to prop up a scamming regime comprised of NeoNazi ideologues. Under Joe Biden and the incumbent European politicians, the West has flooded Ukraine with weapons and hundreds of billions of dollars in what is the biggest war racket ever. This is while Western populations, workers, farmers, and businesses are hard-pressed with numerous social and economic burdens. Western governing parties are rightly seen as elitist and serving powerful minority oligarchic interests such as the military-industrial-corporate-financial nexus. Their declared vows about democracy are a contemptible joke.

The war in Ukraine is increasingly understood by voters to be a disastrous proxy war of choice that was pushed by U.S. and Western imperial objectives to confront Russia. Despite the squandering of public money to propagate the war, the U.S.-led NATO axis has lost its “great game”. The proxy war has devastated Ukraine, causing up to 500,000 military deaths in two years, as well as destabilizing the rest of Europe from increased migration, fiscal impact, deindustrialization, and the shattering of agricultural industries. Western populations are furious with their political leaders for having inflicted such chaos and waste of resources – as well as wantonly provoking tensions in international relations with Russia. Western politicians have pushed the world to the brink of an all-out war between nuclear powers. All this crazed folly is based on utter lies and deception – as the horror of Gaza and Western complicity illustrates. In this cauldron of electoral revolt, Western political leaders are only digging a deeper hole for their eventual collapse.

American President Joe Biden in his State of the Union address this week made a disingenuous pitch to voters. He portrayed the world as facing an existential crisis from Russian “tyranny” and simultaneously claimed the fate of US democracy was under threat from his election rival Donald Trump. In a dangerous and desperate move, Biden is conflating Trump with alleged Russian aggression. The Democrat president is fighting for political survival against Republican presumptive nominee Trump primarily because Biden is so deeply unpopular among American citizens. To boost his election prospects, Biden is making out that the country is facing an “inflection point” that requires rejection of Trump because he is “bowing down” to Russia. Trump and many within the Republican Party are opposed to continuing the proxy war in Ukraine, recognizing that it is futile.

Biden and the Democrats, who are more aligned with the U.S. foreign policy establishment, are therefore trying to make the election about an existential “defense of world democracy and peace”. Biden claimed in his State of the Union address that if the U.S. does not supply Ukraine with another $60 billion more in military aid then Russia will overrun the rest of Europe. Biden even invoked the memory of Roosevelt supposedly facing down Nazi Germany in 1941.

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“..Israel has the green light from this White House to commit the worst and most flagrant genocide since the Second World War..”

Biden Parachutes TV Dinners Into Gaza. Sounds Absurd? It Is (SCF)

It’s a classic American public relations stunt. All show and drama signifying nothing else. President Joe Biden ordered U.S. military transport planes to airdrop food aid into Gaza purportedly to save starving people. Well, they’re starving to death because the United States is supporting the genocidal siege by the Israeli regime of 2.3 million people for nearly five months. The situation is unprecedented, invoking the worst crimes of Nazi Germany. Babies dying in hospitals from lack of food and water. And all due to American support for the Israeli regime carrying out this genocide. But, hey, come on, drop those food parcels. It sort of looks good. The C-130 cargo planes throw bails of ready-made dinners into the sky, which slowly descend on parachutes to the desperate masses on the ground. It’s the kind of Hollywood narcissistic depiction of American greatness always riding to the rescue. Pass the popcorn and soda.

Only when you think about it, the whole airdrop mission is absurdly inadequate. The U.S. Air Force has parachuted in 38,000 dinners to Gaza so far, and more are reportedly on the way. That’s only crumbs for millions of people who are starving to death because the U.S.-backed Israeli regime has blocked the hundreds of food aid trucks that should be entering Gaza daily. When a trickle of aid deliveries are permitted on the ground, the Israeli military has opened deadly fire on hungry Palestinians clambering for relief. International aid agencies have slammed the airdropped relief supplies as an inefficient way to meet the dire humanitarian needs in Gaza. Besides, the real target of the Biden administration’s relief effort is the American people who are disgusted by the complicity of Washington in genocide.

The public relations exercise of parachuting food into Gaza is meant to appease the growing criticism of Biden’s White House. As Joe Biden squares up to Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election this November, the incumbent Democrat is in real danger of losing. Biden’s poll ratings have been flagging anyway, and especially over the horrendous disaster in Gaza. Younger voters and Muslim Americans who would normally vote Democrat are alienated by Biden’s craven complicity in the Israeli siege of Gaza. For months, Biden has refused to call on the Israeli regime of Benjamin Netanyahu to implement a ceasefire and let humanitarian aid into Gaza. The U.S. has blocked three UN Security Council resolutions demanding a cessation of military operations. In recent days, however, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris finally voiced support for a ceasefire. And then we see the American Air Force dropping off food supplies.

The belated moves are as cynical as they can get. They’re only motivated by Biden’s political need to bolster his electoral campaign. This week, it was reported that the Biden administration has secretly overseen over 100 separate weapons supply deals to Israel since it began its offensive on Gaza in October. Those sales amount to thousands of munitions including bunker-buster bombs, artillery shells, and other types of lethal ordnance. The transfers have been deliberately kept quiet by Biden owing to the potential public outcry. President Biden and his senior aides like Secretary of State Antony Blinken have refused to impose any conditions on Israel for the use of American weapons. Thus, Israel has the green light from this White House to commit the worst and most flagrant genocide since the Second World War. Not only merely permission but actual material support to enable the horror that has killed over 30,000 people – 70 percent of whom are women and children.

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They’re now saying he was campaigning on Jan 6, so no immunity.

DC Court Greenlights Flurry of Jan. 6 Lawsuits Against Trump (ET)

A federal appeals court in the District of Columbia has issued an order allowing three Jan. 6 lawsuits to proceed against former President Donald Trump after a court rejected his assertion of presidential immunity. A three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an order on March 8, allowing the three consolidated appeals to be “removed from abeyance” and approving motions for summary affirmance, meaning removing a temporary hold on the cases and allowing them to proceed. The lawsuits that are now allowed to proceed are Moore v. Trump, Kirkland v. Trump, and Tabron v. Trump. In all three civil suits, law enforcement officers are seeking damages based on the premise that President Trump incited a mob to storm the Capitol, leading to a violent incident in which they sustained various injuries and suffered harm, including emotional distress.

President Trump has denied calling for violence on Jan. 6, pointing to remarks he made encouraging his supporters to demonstrate “peacefully and patriotically.” The judges noted in their March 8 order that the merits of the three parties’ positions “are so clear as to warrant summary action,” and that the cases can proceed based on a Dec. 1 appeals court decision in Blassingame v. Trump that President Trump is not immune to lawsuits over the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol. In Blassingame v. Trump, the former president’s attorneys had argued that he should be granted immunity because his alleged actions around Jan. 6 amounted to official speech on “matters of public concern.” The judges’ reasoning in that case was that the former president’s actions leading up to and on Jan. 6 were part of his campaign for a second term in the White House and not an official presidential act.

“In arguing that he is entitled to official-act immunity in the cases before us, President Trump does not dispute that he engaged in his alleged actions up to and on January 6 in his capacity as a candidate. But he thinks that does not matter,” U.S. Circuit Judge Sri Srinivasan, appointed under President Barack Obama, wrote in the Dec. 1 ruling. “Rather, in his view, a president’s speech on matters of public concern is invariably an official function, and he was engaged in that function when he spoke at the January 6 rally and in the leadup to that day. We cannot accept that rationale.”

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$91 million just to have the right to appeal a ludicrous case.

Trump Coughs Up $91 Million Bond, Appeals E. Jean Carroll Defamation Suit (ZH)

Former President Trump posted a bond of $91.6 million on Friday while appealing the recent verdict in advice columnist E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit. “President Trump respectfully requests that this Court recognize the supersedeas bond obtained by President Trump in the sum of $91,630,000.00 and approve it as adequate and sufficient to stay the enforcement of the Judgment, to the extent that the Judgment awards damages, pending the ultimate disposition of President Trump’s appeal,” Trump attorney Alina Habba wrote in court filings. In January, Trump was ordered to pay Carroll $83.3 million for defaming her in 2019, when he denied sexually assaulting her three decades earlier. The decision came after a separate jury ruled that Trump was liable for sexually abusing Carroll, which led to him paying her $5.5 million in cash – which he’ll get back also if he wins on appeal.

Carroll, 80, testified that Trump’s lies destroyed her reputation for telling he truth. “I am here because Donald Trump assaulted me, and when I wrote about it, he said it never happened,” Carroll said, adding “He lied, and it shattered my reputation.” During Trump’s trial, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan and the former president got into frequent verbal altercations – with Kaplan at one point threatening to toss the former president out of the courtroom if he wouldn’t keep his mouth shut. Kaplan also told Habba to “sit down” after she requested an adjournment tomorrow so Trump could attend his mother-in-law’s funeral – a request Kaplan had previously denied. And once Carroll ‘won’ the $83.3 million, she went on a disgusting ‘price is right’ diatribe over how she’ll spend her ‘winnings.’

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“President Trump did in fact offer 10,000 National Guard troops to secure the U.S. Capitol, which was turned down..”

Jan 6 Comm. Hid Exonerating Evidence Of Trump’s Push For National Guard (Fed.)

Former Rep. Liz Cheney’s January 6 Committee suppressed evidence that President Donald Trump pushed for 10,000 National Guard troops to protect the nation’s capital, a previously hidden transcript obtained by The Federalist shows. Cheney and her committee falsely claimed they had “no evidence” to support Trump officials’ claims the White House had communicated its desire for 10,000 National Guard troops. In fact, an early transcribed interview conducted by the committee included precisely that evidence from a key source. The interview, which Cheney attended and personally participated in, was suppressed from public release until now. Deputy Chief of Staff Anthony Ornato’s first transcribed interview with the committee was conducted on January 28, 2022. In it, he told Cheney and her investigators that he overheard White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows push Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to request as many National Guard troops as she needed to protect the city.

He also testified President Trump had suggested 10,000 would be needed to keep the peace at the public rallies and protests scheduled for January 6, 2021. Ornato also described White House frustration with Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller’s slow deployment of assistance on the afternoon of January 6, 2021. Not only did the committee not accurately characterize the interview, they suppressed the transcript from public review. On top of that, committee allies began publishing critical stories and even conspiracy theories about Ornato ahead of follow-up interviews with him. Ornato was a career Secret Service official who had been detailed to the security position in the White House. Cheney frequently points skeptics of her investigation to the Government Publishing Office website that posted, she said, “transcripts, documents, exhibits & our meticulously sourced 800+ page final report.” That website provides “supporting documents” to the claims made by Cheney and fellow anti-Trump enthusiasts.

However, transcripts of fewer than half of the 1,000 interviews the committee claims it conducted are posted on that site. It is unclear how many of the hidden transcripts include exonerating information suppressed by the committee. Those documents support the committee’s narrative rather than the truth of the events leading up to January 6, 2021, said Rep. Barry Loudermilk, chairman of the House Administration’s Subcommittee on Oversight. “The former J6 Select Committee apparently withheld Mr. Ornato’s critical witness testimony from the American people because it contradicted their pre-determined narrative. Mr. Ornato’s testimony proves what Mr. Meadows has said all along: President Trump did in fact offer 10,000 National Guard troops to secure the U.S. Capitol, which was turned down,” said the Georgia Republican.

His subcommittee is reviewing the work of the January 6 committee, which has been accused of other unethical behavior at the expense of accuracy, as well as collusion with other Democrat efforts to prosecute political opponents. “This is just one example of important information the former Select Committee hid from the public because it contradicted what they wanted the American people to believe,” Loudermilk said. “And this is exactly why my investigation is committed to uncovering all the facts, no matter the outcome.”

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Rothschild

 

 

Mother horse letting the kids play
https://twitter.com/i/status/1765841061853933747

 

 

Porcupine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1765839839973290316

 

 

Eagles
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766114575017971852

 

 

 

 

Pigcasso

 

 

Jaguar Puma

 

 

Kittens

 

 


Found in the Pirin Mountains of southwestern Bulgaria

 

 

Knife-billed puffin..
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766170916298301740

 

 

Hold this

 

 

Helping

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 182024
 


Jean-Léon Gérôme Slave market 1866

 

World Wants More US Intervention – Blinken (RT)
World on ‘Escalation Spiral’ Towards War (Sp.)
BRICS and Global South Challenge ‘Globalist Elites’ With Multipolar World (Sp.)
Reviving ISIS: A US weapon Against The Resistance Axis (Cradle)
UK Working To Prevent Peace – Zakharova (RT)
Britons Mock Warmongering Lecture by UK Defense Secretary (Sp.)
West Cannot Let Russia Win – Macron (RT)
Germany To Double Defense Aid For Ukraine This Year (RT)
How US Coerces France & Germany to Fund Zelensky’s Failing Conflict (Sp.)
Poland’s Decision To Host German Troops Will Not Go Unanswered – Moscow (RT)
Brussels Starts ‘Screening’ Ukrainian Laws (RT)
Judges Smack Down Jack Smith for Violating Trump’s Executive Privilege (PB)
A Gun Pouch Covered In Cocaine Shows Hunter’s Defense Is Ridiculous (Turley)
Supreme Court to Hear Potentially Historic Chevron Case (Turley)
Trump Vows To “Never Allow” A Central Bank Digital Currency (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Michael Moore must see

 

 

Meister
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747336776614564316

 

 

Vivek Trump

 

 

Tucker

 

 

Tucker Haley

 

 

Watters

 

 

ICJ

 

 

 

 

How crazy is that? “I’m hearing from virtually every country: They want the United States..”

World Wants More US Intervention – Blinken (RT)

Geopolitical turmoil and conflict around the globe have made the world’s nations hungrier than ever for diplomatic intervention from Washington to help deal with their crises, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has claimed. “There’s a greater premium than there’s ever been on our engagement, on our leadership, in partnership with others,” Blinken told an audience on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He added that Washington needs to “reimagine” its geopolitical partnerships to resolve global challenges, such as the Israel-Hamas war. The top US diplomat made his comments as Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip triggers escalating tensions in the Middle East and the Russia-Ukraine conflict nears its 24th month. He claimed that many governments see Washington as key to finding solutions.

“I’m hearing from virtually every country: They want the United States,” Blinken said. “They want us present, they want us at the table, they want us leading.” When Washington fails to tackle a major issue, he added, it is either handled by another nation – probably to the detriment of US interests – or no one else takes the lead. When other nations see the domestic investments that US President Joe Biden is making, such as funding of major infrastructure projects and “climate technology,” they realize that “we’re actually serious about ourselves, despite some of the dysfunction that may be seen on the front pages,” Blinken said. Biden also has pressed for re-engagement with US allies and the building of new coalitions to address specific challenges, he added.

“On some of the really big issues of the day – whether it’s how to deal with China, how to deal with Russia – we have more convergence than we’ve had at any time in recent memory between us, key partners throughout Europe, throughout Asia, and even in other parts of the world, about how to manage these problems,” the secretary said. The Israel-Hamas war has reportedly left more than 24,000 people dead in the Palestinian enclave. The conflict began on October 7, when Hamas militants killed more than 1,100 people – mostly civilians – in southern Israeli villages and took hundreds of hostages back to Gaza. Asked about the disparity in casualties, Blinken denied that the US places a higher value on Jewish lives than Palestinian lives. “What we’re seeing every single day in Gaza is gut-wrenching,” the diplomat said. “And the suffering we’re seeing among innocent men, women and children breaks my heart.”

He claimed that US engagement in the crisis had helped to minimize civilian casualties and get more humanitarian aid into the enclave. Blinken said he sees no near-term prospects for a negotiated settlement to end the bloodshed in Ukraine. He argued that peace talks can only go forward when Russian leaders are willing to negotiate “in good faith,” respecting Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Russian officials have accused Western leaders of derailing a potential peace deal in April 2022 and prolonging the conflict by providing massive military aid to Kiev. Moscow also has claimed that US insistence on a negotiated settlement being based on Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s demands, which it calls detached from reality, leaves no chance for a ceasefire in 2024.

Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747606360458412185

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“Foreign policy in the Middle East will become hostage to American domestic politics, which is very dangerous..”

World on ‘Escalation Spiral’ Towards War (Sp.)

The likelihood of global military confrontation is increasing according to analyst Yezid Sayigh, a senior fellow at the Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center. Sayigh made the assessment during an interview with Chinese media that touched on Israel, the crisis in the Red Sea, and the United States’ so-called “pivot to Asia” policy. Commenting on tensions between Israel and its neighbors in the Middle East, Sayigh offered sobering insight on the potential for events to escalate beyond world leaders’ control. “I think the risk of a wider war is obviously increasing,” said Sayigh. “However, at the same time, I think that the key parties will not go beyond a certain point into direct confrontation. At the same time, they have already started what we call an escalation spiral.”

“The US is in a very risky situation, and it increasingly looks as though it is entering the war on the side of Israel as well,” the analyst noted. “[Biden] has already, in a way, signaled military deterrence that encouraged Iran to use military deterrence. Biden, in a way, started this escalation spiral from the beginning with his immediate deployment of military assets to the Mediterranean.” Sayigh employed the metaphor of World War I to explain how events could lead towards war even without world leaders consciously seeking to initiate conflict. World War I was famously set into motion by the murder of Austro-Hungarian heir apparent Archduke Franz Ferdinand. But Sayigh argued the key factor in the war’s outbreak was not the killing itself, but rather the greater zeitgeist of global tension created by previous events.

“By 1914, the world was ready for war,” said the historian. “Global tensions had reached a point where it was the assassination that was the trigger, but it might have been something else. It could have been sinking a boat at sea. It could have been anything.” Part of what makes the current moment so perilous are the set of incentives created by domestic politics, Sayigh argued. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces corruption charges, as well as an Israeli public likely to hold the longtime leader accountable for Hamas’ October 7 attack. Netanyahu has an interest in the continuation of military conflict to prevent either of those things threatening his political career. But domestic politics also alters the calculations of US President Joe Biden, the analyst argued. Previously Biden showed signs of returning to former President Barack Obama’s policy of detente with Iran, resisting many neoconservatives’ call for war on the Middle Eastern country. Now, domestic support for Israel makes it harder for Biden to pursue reconciliation with the country’s fierce enemy.

“It [the Biden administration] no longer calculates foreign policy purely on the basis of strategic and global stability, as it was previously doing by improving relations with Iran or at least defusing tensions with Iran,” Sayigh explained. “That was when it was thinking globally. However, now the administration has to consider domestic politics, and the calculation there is different.” “Foreign policy in the Middle East will become hostage to American domestic politics, which is very dangerous,” he warned.

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“..it is a process made of deconstruction and chaos, of divide and control, an illusion of democracy so they can ultimately control absolutely everything..”

BRICS and Global South Challenge ‘Globalist Elites’ With Multipolar World (Sp.)

BRICS and the Global South are offering “a new world order” to the “Western-centric”, Angelo Giuliano, a Hong Kong-based political and financial analyst, told Sputnik. The vision is “strong opposition” to that of the Western-dominated World Economic Forum, suggested the analyst.”The rest of the world, BRICS and the Global South… is opposing the values of a Western-centric world controlled by the very few, the old powerful families and the likes of Blackjacks and other banksters,” Giuliano noted. “What the rest of the world is offering is an option of a multipolar world where differences of cultures and values are respected, an idea of coexistence, of live and let live, respect of sovereignty. Seeking mutual prosperity, mutual respect and maybe also putting the human being at the center of the preoccupation. A world of purpose as opposed to a world of profit,” he stated.

The West, however, takes its directions from multinational corporations, underscored the pundit. “Globalist elites are the real ones in charge in the West. The same globalist elites select Western leaders and give the directions that they want the world to take, it is a process made of deconstruction and chaos, of divide and control, an illusion of democracy so they can ultimately control absolutely everything, for a central digital currency, to ownership, privacy and ultimately to people’s minds,” said the Hong Kong-based political analyst. Earlier, speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan offered up the Biden administration’s vision for the era ahead.

“Major powers are vastly more interdependent than at any time during the Cold War. But we’re also in stiff competition about the type of world we want to build,” Sullivan said in his remarks. “We are moving into a new era, the post-Cold War era has come to a close. We are at the start of something new, we have the capacity to shape what that looks like, and at the heart of it will be many of the core principles, core institutions of the existing order, adapted for the challenges we face today,” he added later, talking with Børge Brende, president of the World Economic Forum and former minister of foreign affairs of Norway.

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“.. fresh blood, money, and weapons are being pumped into the ISIS organization’s arteries again..”

Reviving ISIS: A US weapon Against The Resistance Axis (Cradle)

According to intelligence reports reviewed by The Cradle, at its height, ISIS consisted of more than 35,000 fighters in Iraq – 25,000 of these were killed, while more than 10,000 simply “disappeared.” As an officer of one Iraqi intelligence agency recounts to The Cradle: “Hundreds of ISIS fighters fled to Turkey and Syria at the end of 2017. After the appointment of Abdullah Qardash as the leader of ISIS in 2019, following the death of Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the new Caliph began to restructure the organization, and ordered his followers to return to Iraq. The organization exploited the long border with Syria, the security disturbances, and the diversity of forces on both sides of the border to infiltrate the Iraqi territory again.” Imprisoned ISIS officials admit that infiltrating that border is not an easy task, because of the strict control imposed by the Iraqi Border Guards and the use of modern technologies, such as thermal cameras.

It therefore became necessary for the terror group to identify intermediaries capable of breaking through or bypassing these fortifications to transport its fighters across borders. An Iraqi security source, insisting on anonymity, tells The Cradle that the US plays a vital role in enabling these border violations: “[There are] several incidents that confirm the American assistance in securing the crossing route for ISIS members – mainly, by shelling Iraqi units on the border, especially the Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs), to create gaps that allow ISIS fighters to cross the border.”

[..] In a speech on 5 January, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah warned that the US was supporting an ISIS revival in the region. The Cradle obtained security information monitoring the new activity of extremists in Lebanon, communications between these elements and their counterparts in Iraq and Syria, and suspicious money transfer activities among them. Lebanese Army Intelligence also recently arrested a group of Lebanese and Syrians who were preparing to carry out security operations. Importantly, this surge in terror activities comes at a time when the Lebanese resistance is engaged in a security and military battle with Israel, which may expand at any moment into open war. It is also notable that renewed ISIS activity is concentrated in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Iran; that is, in the countries that support the Palestinian resistance politically, militarily, and logistically.

On 4 January, ISIS officially claimed responsibility for two bombings in the Iranian city of Kerman that targeted memorial processions on the anniversary of the assassination of Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani by US forces. The dual explosions killed around 90 people and injured dozens, in an unprecedented attack targeting the biggest US-Israeli adversary in West Asia – just one day after Tel Aviv killed top Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut. Before that, on 5 October 2023, ISIS drone-attacked an officers graduation ceremony at the Military College in the Syrian city of Homs, killing about 100 people. These attacks, and others in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Africa, indicate that fresh blood, money, and weapons are being pumped into the ISIS organization’s arteries again.

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“Ukraine is literally being stripped of any chance to get out of the conflict through negotiations.”

Sunak gives Zelensky a few billion, on the condition that he’ll never talk peace. US and UK want the war to continue. Germany and France follow their lead.

These are also the countries, not coincidentally, that will not criticize Israel.

In the UK, Germany and France, also not coincidentally, governments are about to be voted out. (US?!)

UK Working To Prevent Peace – Zakharova (RT)

A security agreement signed last week is further proof that London is maintaining a firm grip on the Kiev government and is working to prevent any prospect of peace, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.On Friday, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a £2.5 billion ($3.2 billion) military assistance package for Ukraine – Britain’s largest to date. The two sides also signed a ten-year security guarantee, with the UK pledging “swift and sustained” aid for Ukraine in the event of a Russian attack in future. Kiev also promised to come to Britain’s defense in the event of Russian “aggression” against the country. Speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday, Zakharova suggested that the deal was an indication that “Ukraine is literally being stripped of any chance to get out of the conflict through negotiations.”

As a result, Kiev is being turned into “a bargaining chip in the reckless ventures of the Anglo-Saxons,” she added, claiming that the UK wants to keep the country in conflict with Russia. She also ridiculed Ukraine’s commitment to defend the UK. “No sane person would believe that. The regime of [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky is crying in every corner that, if not one more dollar … is transferred to it, Ukraine will cease to exist. And under these conditions, Ukraine undertakes to help Britain in the event of a military threat to the kingdom.” Russia has never closed the door on peace negotiations with Kiev despite Zelensky barring talks with the current leadership in Moscow in the autumn of 2022. This was made law after four former Ukrainian regions overwhelmingly voted to become part of Russia.

Meanwhile, both Russian and Ukrainian officials have confirmed that Moscow and Kiev were close to settling the conflict in the spring of 2022, but the process was derailed by then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who convinced Ukraine to keep fighting. One of Russia’s key demands was that Ukraine stay neutral and refrain from joining military alliances. Last week – months after the first reports of his role in the talks emerged – Johnson dismissed the allegations that he had sabotaged a peace deal as “total nonsense and Russian propaganda.” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Kiev could have ended the conflict if it had ignored Johnson. Now, “Ukrainian statehood could be dealt an irreparable and very serious blow… if things carry on this way,” he warned, noting that Russian troops had regained the initiative on the battlefield after Kiev’s failed counteroffensive.

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“Wars happen when the government tells you who your enemy is. Revolution happens when you work it out for yourself.”

Britons Mock Warmongering Lecture by UK Defense Secretary (Sp.)

The United Kingdom’s Defense Secretary Grant Shapps warned of potential war with Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea within the next five years in a widely mocked speech in London this week. Shapps delivered the address to promote greater investment in military spending in the UK and its European allies. “The era of the peace dividend is over,” said Shapps in remarks he also shared on his profile on the X social media platform. The so-called “peace dividend” was a proposed reinvestment of government finances toward domestic concerns after the end of the Cold War. The comment may leave many Britons wondering when exactly they enjoyed a peace dividend, as the British government has imposed a policy of economic austerity for a number of years.

The UK was also perhaps the US’ strongest ally in the so-called “War on Terror,” which led to the deaths of more than 4.5 million people across the Middle East according to some estimates. The comments come as European media is reporting on supposed “leaked documents” that allege Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning to launch an attack on Germany and other NATO members in the near future. The claims were dismissed as “fake news” by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Britons greeted Shapps’ remarks with ridicule, with multiple posts by the defense minister being “ratioed” on the X platform, meaning they received more comments than likes as users piled on to jeer the jingoistic speech.

“Obviously, the best way to deter enemies and lead allies is by pouring billions of pounds into the military industrial complex,” responded one user sarcastically. “You do know we were involved in bloody and unsuccessful wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?” added another. “Can you explain how British soldiers killed in Helmand or in Basra were at all beneficiaries of this so-called era of the peace dividend?” “The people need to prepare for a new era of conflict with you bastards,” wrote user John Wight, expressing widespread antipathy towards governing elites in the West. “Wars happen when the government tells you who your enemy is. Revolution happens when you work it out for yourself.”

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“According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, France has provided Kiev with €500 million ($540 million) in military aid – less than Slovakia has..”

West Cannot Let Russia Win – Macron (RT)

French president Emmanuel Macron has announced new deliveries of long-range missiles and bombs to Kiev, while insisting the West “cannot let Russia win” the conflict with Ukraine. He added that he will visit the country next month. Speaking at a press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Tuesday, the French leader reiterated that his country will continue to assist Ukraine. Amid criticism that France has not been doing enough to help Kiev, Macron said Paris would send 40 SCALP air-launched cruise missiles, which have a range of more than 250km, as well as “hundreds of bombs.” Local media, citing French officials, reported that the president was referring to munitions equipped with the AASM, or HAMMER module, which transforms ordinary bombs into precision-guided weapons with a range of up to 70km. Russia has repeatedly accused Kiev of using Western-supplied long-range weapons to target civilian infrastructure.

Macron added that he would visit Ukraine in February to finalize a bilateral security agreement with Kiev, similar to the one the country recently signed with the UK. The ten-year deal between the two, which was announced last week, guarantees Britain’s “swift and sustained security assistance” to Ukraine in the event of a future Russian attack, while outlining numerous other support measures. Some of France’s NATO allies, notably Poland, have criticized it for not pulling its weight in assisting Ukraine despite being one of Europe’s most powerful economies. According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, France has provided Kiev with €500 million ($540 million) in military aid – less than Slovakia has. However, lawmakers in Paris have insisted that the true scale of the assistance was actually larger, blaming flawed methodology.

Ukraine has been asking for more Western aid since the start of the conflict in February 2022, recently expressing concerns about gridlock in the US Congress over approval for additional funding. On Monday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba called on the West to do more in this regard, vowing that Ukrainians “would fight with shovels” once they run out of weapons. France first provided Ukraine with 50 SCALP missiles last year, following the lead of the UK, which sent similar weapons – Storm Shadows. Russia has since accused Kiev of using Western-supplied long-range missiles to target residential areas, causing numerous civilian casualties.

Zel

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Well, we’ve seen the farmers protest exactly this.

Germany To Double Defense Aid For Ukraine This Year (RT)

Germany will shell out more than €7 billion ($7.6 billion) on military aid for Ukraine this year, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said. Late last year, Bild reported that Berlin was going to double its initial figure of €4 billion, with Defense Minister Boris Pistorius understood to have demanded a bigger contribution. Speaking at a joint press conference with Luxembourg Prime Minister Luc Frieden in Berlin last Monday, the German chancellor mentioned the €7 billion contribution for Kiev in 2024. He also called on the country’s “allies in the European Union to strengthen their efforts,” lamenting that some member states had been tight-fisted in their backing of Ukraine. In a phone call with US President Joe Biden on Tuesday, Scholz said “Germany will support Ukraine with more than €7 billion worth of military goods in 2024,” as quoted by the chancellery.

Back in November, Bild, citing unnamed sources in the defense ministry, claimed that Germany’s original budget for 2024 had provided €4 billion in defense aid for Ukraine. According to the article, most of that sum covered projects that had already been agreed, with little resources left for any further commitments. Pistorius took issue with this, and insisted that the figure be doubled to €8 billion, the media outlet reported at the time. Berlin provided Kiev with nearly $23 billion in aid between February 2022 and November 2023, according to the Kiel Institute for World Economy (IfW), making Germany the second-largest contributor after the US. Washington confirmed last week that its assistance had “ground to a halt” due to weeks of political bickering between Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

Late last year, the Biden administration asked representatives to give the green light to more than $60 billion worth of weapons and military equipment for Kiev. However, the GOP has been blocking the package, demanding that President Biden and the Democrats first agree to their plan to tighten security at the border with Mexico. Since Kiev’s summer counteroffensive fizzled out with no major gains and heavy losses, top Ukrainian officials have increasingly been pressuring their Western backers for yet more weaponry. Russia has consistently criticized Western arms shipments to Ukraine, arguing that these prolong the bloodshed unnecessarily without changing the outcome of the conflict.

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“We will put you in this situation that you will not be able to easily get out of the conflict because we have another fish to fry on the horizon..”

How US Coerces France & Germany to Fund Zelensky’s Failing Conflict (Sp.)

France and Germany announced recently they’d commit to continued support for Ukraine in 2024. As US aid has ground to a halt amidst political infighting, Washington has increasingly leaned on European powers to help make up the difference. But after the failure of Kiev’s 2023 counteroffensive, the writing is on the wall regarding the country’s slim chance of success in European capitals as well, with some savvy leaders riding to power on promises to end weapons shipments. How then is the United States managing to keep some of Western Europe’s largest economies on board for the effort? Sputnik spoke with two international affairs experts for insight. “Germany is a very interesting country,” said London-based analyst Adriel Kasonta. “Americans have a huge influence in Germany after the Second World War. And when the Americans set up their bases in Germany and decided to somehow, in one way or another, occupy Germany to stay there in order to make sure that Germany will not emerge as a superpower on the continent, they exercised a very huge influence over this country.”

“In order to meet their commitments towards the western hegemon, the United States, Germany [has] to do or show an extra effort in whatever European countries are doing,” explained the former chairman of the International Affairs Committee at the Bow Group think tank. “So if, for instance, the United States is objecting [to] the charges against Israel brought by South Africa, Germany has to be the first country to object after the United States.”“If the United States is saying that Russia is an enemy, then Germany has to be the first country in Europe to beat the same drum and beat the drum of war and to sustain the supply,” he said. Kasonta also claimed Germany benefits from the influx of Ukrainian migrants caused by the conflict, calling the country “the migrant economy.” Cheap labor from throughout the continent is crucial to Germany’s economic strength, especially as Western sanctions on Russia backfire by driving up energy costs. However, the policy does not come without consequences in the form of rising domestic opposition from the German public.

Russian affairs analyst Gilbert Doctorow also points out that the loss of Russian gas has had a “very damaging impact on the [competitiveness] of German industry and on investment in new production.”The international relations expert noted that France has a different relationship with the United States than Germany but nevertheless has its own reasons for continued support for Ukraine’s military effort.“Both are heavily invested in the Ukraine cause and in ensuring there is no Russian victory, which would be a major disaster for NATO and for the entire existing concept of European security that these countries share,” he explained. “Their control of their own domestic politics will be greatly compromised if they turn their back on the Ukraine propaganda narrative they have been promoting for the past two years,” Doctorow added. “With Europe wide parliamentary elections coming in June, they could be heavily punished at the ballot box.”

Along with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron has so thoroughly committed himself to the narrative of the conflict in the Donbass as an existential battle for Europe that he would have difficulty in suddenly backing away from his country’s support. Kasonta claimed that the emergence of hostilities with Ukraine has been bad for the continent as a whole because it prevents Russia from uniting with the rest of the continent and forming a truly counter-hegemonic force.“We will use you by putting you in trouble with your closest neighbor, which is Russia,” he said, summarizing the thinking of US policymakers. “We will put you in this situation that you will not be able to easily get out of the conflict because we have another fish to fry on the horizon. And this fish to fry on the horizon is the conflict with China.”

[..] “The international community and especially people in Western Europe formed their own opinion about what is happening,” he added. “They formed the opinion about their own governments. They felt betrayed by their governments for a long time before the conflict in Ukraine started. But I think that the conflict in Ukraine is the final nail in the coffin of the current neoliberal establishment in the West.” “As I’ve said, either way, the governments in the West have failed.”

Putin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747423612309553489

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How much longer does Duda have?

Poland’s Decision To Host German Troops Will Not Go Unanswered – Moscow (RT)

Warsaw’s announcement that it is prepared to invite German military units, in addition to already existing NATO forces in the country, demonstrates the West’s anti-russian agenda and desire to increase tensions in Europe and will not go unanswered, said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. Her comments come after Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Szejn stated on Monday that Warsaw was willing to host German troops on its territory for the first time since World War II in order to further strengthen NATO’s eastern flank. It’s unclear if Germany has any actual plans for such deployments. During a press briefing on Wednesday, Zakharova recalled that there are currently about 10,000 US troops already stationed in Poland, as well as a multinational NATO combat tactical group which includes military personnel from the US, the UK, Romania and Croatia.

The spokeswoman pointed out that calls to deploy even more foreign forces to Poland were “not necessary if these countries are peace-oriented,” and can only be interpreted as a desire to further escalate tensions in Europe and prolong the collapse of pan-European security, which she said has been completely undermined by NATO. Zakharova also recalled that late last year, Germany had signed an agreement with Lithuania to increase the size of the Bundeswehr contingent in the Baltic republic to a brigade, and suggested that Polish leaders were trying not to “lag behind their neighbors in demonstrating loyalty to their older brothers from Berlin and Washington.”

“The increased activity and the strengthening of NATO’s military capabilities near the borders of Russia and the Union State of Russia and Belarus is provocative and is leading to the complete degradation of the European security architecture,” Zakharova said, stressing that “such steps will, of course, not be left without an appropriate response from the Russian side.” The spokeswoman also pondered how Poland intended to finance the potential deployment of German troops on its territory and whether it would seek compensation from Berlin, given the fact that Warsaw is already demanding $1.3 trillion in WW2 reparations from Germany. The reparations demands were put forward under the former PiS government which was ousted from power last month. Poland’s new government, led by former European Council President Donald Tusk, has stated that it will continue to seek these compensations from Berlin, but would work with Germany to find “a favorable and fair solution.”

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US coerces EU towards provoking Russia.

Brussels Starts ‘Screening’ Ukrainian Laws (RT)

Brussels has announced launching a “screening process and putting together the negotiating framework” as part of negotiations with Ukraine on its ambition to join the EU. Some member states previously said Kiev was years away from achieving its goal. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen mentioned the new phase during a Wednesday speech before the European Parliament. Von der Leyen mentioned the new phase during a speech before MEPs. She mused that when the formal accession process was launched last year, “hearts of millions of Ukrainians were filled with hope and joy” and claimed that Ukrainian lawmakers had made strides in adopting required reforms.

Earlier this week, von der Leyen met Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. His office said the screening of national legislation was discussed there and will move Ukraine towards full membership. The EU leadership resorted to unusual political maneuvering when it pushed the start of accession talks through the Council of Europe in December. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a vocal critic of Brussels’ approach to Kiev, left the meeting when the vote was cast. This allowed the EU requirement for unanimous approval to be technically met without him explicitly supporting the decision. Both Kiev and von der Leyen urged member states to ensure continued funding of the Ukrainian government with European taxpayers’ money. During the same session of the Council, Orban vetoed a Commission proposal to allocate €50 billion ($54 billion) over four years to support Kiev. Budapest wants any funding to be done on an annual basis pending review and be done outside of the joint EU budget.

EU leaders will discuss both issues during an extraordinary summit on February 1. Longterm “stable and substantial financing to Ukraine” is needed to “support the daily functioning of the state, to stabilize the economy, and to bring it closer to our Union,” the Commission head said in her address. Hungary is not alone in its skepticism about Ukraine’s candidacy. French President Emmanuel Macron, for instance, told domestic media that the EU was “very far” from accepting it as a new member, commenting on the outcome of the December summit. Meanwhile, the new government in Slovakia has sided with Hungary in its attitude towards Ukraine. Prime Minister Robert Fico called Budapest’s conditions for funding Kiev “rational and sensible” during a visit to Hungary on Tuesday.

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There seems to be a rat in here somewhere.

Judges Smack Down Jack Smith for Violating Trump’s Executive Privilege (PB)

Special Counsel Jack Smith has been excoriated by a panel of four appellate court judges for his unprecedented search of a former president’s private communications. The judges condemned Smith’s violation of executive privilege by searching former President Donald Trump’s Twitter files. “Holy sh*t: 4 judges on DC appellate court just delivered a scorching smack down of Special Counsel Jack Smith, Judge Beryl Howell, and Judge Florence Pan for search of Trump’s Twitter file,” reported Julie Kelly. “The Special Counsel’s approach obscured and bypassed any assertion of executive privilege and dodged the careful balance Congress struck in the Presidential Records Act,” she added while citing a user named @FamilyManAndrew.

The court document states: “This case turned on the First Amendment rights of a social media company, but looming in the background are consequential and novel questions about executive privilege and the balance of power between the President, Congress, and the courts.” “Seeking access to former President Donald Trump’s Twitter/X account, Special Counsel Jack Smith directed a search warrant at Twitter and obtained a nondisclosure order that prevented Twitter from informing President Trump about the search,” the judges added. “The Special Counsel’s approach obscured and dodged the careful balance Congress struck in the Presidential Records Act. The district court and this court permitted the arrangement without any consideration of the consequential executive privilege issues raised by this unprecedented search.”

“We should not have endorsed this gambit,” the judges added. “‘Any court completely in the dark as to what Presidential files contain is duty bound to respect the singularly unique role under Art. II of a President’s communications and activities’ by affording such communications a presumptive privilege,” the judges added, citing the legal precedent in United States v. Haldeman. Julie Kelly provided additional commentary on the case. “This by Judge Naomi Rao is a withering condemnation of Judge Howell (district court) and Judge Pan (*this court*) about their decisions to brazenly circumvent normal exec privilege litigation process to give Jack Smith what he demanded,” Kelly reported. “Rao continues her thrashing of former chief judge Howell—even noting Howell’s snarky comment to Twitter’s lawyer during sealed hearing as to why Twitter fought nondisclosure order,” she added. “Keep in mind, Howell and Smith also suggested Trump was a “flight risk” as reason to keep search warrant concealed from Trump.”

“And Florence Pan, who upheld Howell’s order, is the idiot who brought up ‘Seal Team Six’ hypothetical last week in appellate hearing on presidential immunity,” Kelly remarked. The Daily Mail, however, reported that the court nonetheless rejected Twitter’s appeal to have the case reheard, but the case is now free to move to the Supreme Court. “A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Special Counsel Jack Smith can have access to former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account, as he investigates the former president for 2020 election interference,” the report noted. “The full U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C., rejected a petition from Twitter to rehear the case after a three-judge panel ruled against the social media company in July,” it continued. The Daily Mail noted more gripes from the appellate court.

“Without a presumption for executive privilege, new questions will invariably arise, particularly because nothing in the panel’s opinion is limited to a former President,” the judges said. “What if, in the course of a criminal investigation, a special counsel sought a warrant for the incumbent President’s communications from a private email or phone provider? Under this court’s decision, executive privilege isn’t even on the table, so long as the special counsel makes a showing that a warrant and nondisclosure order are necessary to the prosecution,” they continued. “And following the Special Counsel’s roadmap, what would prevent a state prosecutor from using a search warrant and nondisclosure order to obtain presidential communications from a third-party messaging application?” the judges went on. “And how might Congress benefit from this precedent when it seeks to subpoena presidential materials from third parties in an investigation or impeachment inquiry?” Rao and the other judges asked.

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“..It’s not the government portraying Hunter as Tony Montana from “Scarface,” it’s Hunter himself. He’ll have a tough time changing that story now..”

A Gun Pouch Covered In Cocaine Shows Hunter’s Defense Is Ridiculous (Turley)

Hunter Biden’s counsel Abbe Lowell has faced a series of legal blows in his defense of Hunter Biden, but not quite as literal or lethal as what came this week in his client’s gun prosecution. After Lowell sought to dismiss the federal indictment as a trumped-up political prosecution, the Justice Department lowered the boom and revealed that Hunter’s gun was found in a pouch covered in cocaine. The disclosure is devastating for a defense that Lowell just rolled out late last year. In October, Lowell argued that Hunter had not lied on ATF Form 4473 that he was not an unlawful user of, or addicted to, narcotics. “At the time that he purchased this gun, I don’t think there’s evidence that that’s when he was suffering,” he said. It was a curious shift, since Hunter, the President, and the media have repeatedly used his addiction to forgive everything from corruption to influence peddling.

Hunter released a book that had laid the foundation of that defense and “Beautiful Things” was heralded by many in the press. Reviews gushed about “an astonishingly candid and brave book about loss, human frailty, wayward souls, and hard-fought redemption.” The image of a clear, redemptive soul is strikingly out of sync with a gun pouch that the officers who found it said was covered in coke. In the Special Counsel’s filing, the court was informed that “an FBI chemist subsequently analyzed the residue and determined that it was cocaine. To be clear, “investigators literally found drugs on the pouch where the defendant had kept his gun.” Hunter bought and possessed the Colt Cobra 38SPL revolver for 11 days between Oct. 12 and Oct. 23, 2018. That possession ended when his sister-in-law Hallie Biden was tossed into a dumpster in Wilmington, Delaware.

Hallie, the widow of Hunter’s deceased brother, had begun a sexual relationship with him and she apparently became concerned about what he might do with the gun. According to Hunter’s own memoir, that would make the window of sobriety a mere blink in time for a defense. The defense will likely challenge the admissibility of police testing due to the gun being tossed into the dumpster. Of course, Lowell can now argue that Wilmington dumpsters are so saturated with cocaine that any item would come out covered in coke. It is more likely that they will cite the break in the chain of custody as making the test unreliable and prejudicial.

What is clear is that the sobriety defense seems not so much risky as implausible. The government could argue that it should be able to use the testing as circumstantial evidence to rebut the claim or even impeach Hunter if he takes the stand (which seems unlikely). Hunter wrote about being a crack addict and alcoholic throughout this period, writing in his book that at some points he was “drinking a quart of vodka a day by yourself in a room is absolutely, completely debilitating” as was “smoking crack around the clock.” It’s not the government portraying Hunter as Tony Montana from “Scarface,” it’s Hunter himself. He’ll have a tough time changing that story now.

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Chevron Case: The 1984 Supreme Court ruled “that judges should defer to the reasonable interpretation of agencies in administering ambiguous federal laws.”

Dereliction of duty by 1984 SCOTUS. The results were easy to see comimg.

Supreme Court to Hear Potentially Historic Chevron Case (Turley)

Today, the Supreme Court will hear two of the most important cases of the term. At issue is the continued meaning (or even viability) of the Chevron doctrine, the 40-year-old doctrine granting deference to federal agencies in regulations carrying out federal laws. This massive doctrine, blamed for the dominance of the administrative state, could be brought down by the diminutive herring. The cases are Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce. In 1984, the Supreme Court ruled in Chevron U.S.A. v. Natural Resources Defense Council that judges should defer to the reasonable interpretation of agencies in administering ambiguous federal laws. That deference continued to grow in later years to the point that some of us have warned of the emergence of a type of fourth branch of government.

The court went even further in Arlington v. FCC in giving deference to agencies even in defining their own jurisdiction. In dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts warned: “It would be a bit much to describe the result as ‘the very definition of tyranny,’ but the danger posed by the growing power of the administrative state cannot be dismissed.” When I testified at the confirmation hearing of Neil Gorsuch, I noted that Chervon would likely be part of his legacy given his opposition to its use. Justice Gorsuch wrote in a 2022 dissent from denial of certiorari in Buffington v. McDonough that what he called “the aggressive reading of Chevron has more or less fallen into desuetude.” He added:

“At this late hour, the whole project deserves a tombstone no one can miss. We should acknowledge forthrightly that Chevron did not undo, and could not have undone, the judicial duty to provide an independent judgment of the law’s meaning in the cases that come before the Nation’s courts.” The cases today concern federal requirements that commercial fishermen pay for at-sea monitors. Herring fishermen in New Jersey and Rhode Island are challenging the law in a case with a long list of amicus filings on both sides from groups, politicians, and businesses. The fishermen say that the monitors could put them out of business, costing up to 20 percent of their annual revenues in a business that is already marginal for profits. They argue that the government wants monitors (which they do not necessarily oppose) but lacked the funds.

The decision was made to shift the costs to the fishermen and then citing Chevron to curtail judicial review. One of the lead counsel is my friend and former colleague Columbia professor Philip Hamburger, a brilliant academic who believes that the doctrine has fundamentally distorted our tripartite constitutional system. In both lower court cases, Chevron carried the day for the agency. In addition to the New Jersey case, the court added the second, nearly identical one from Rhode Island to its calendar — presumably because Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was recused in the New Jersey matter after serving on the appeals court panel that initially reviewed it before her elevation to the Supreme Court.

Chevron

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A big task: “130 countries – representing over 98% of global gross domestic product – are exploring or developing CBDCs..”

Trump Vows To “Never Allow” A Central Bank Digital Currency (ZH)

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday vowed to never allow the use of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), as it would “give the government absolute control over your money.” “This would be a dangerous threat to freedom – and I will stop it from coming to America. We are also going to put in place strong protections to stop banks and regulators from trying to de-bank you for your political beliefs. That will never happen while I am your president,” Trump told a crowd in Portsmouth, New Hampshire – as first reported by The National Pulse. Trump’s comments come hours after Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) revealed that federal agencies have been flagging financial transactions using politically sensitive words such as “MAGA” and “Trump” in yet another egregious example of the establishment targeting political rivals.

As we’ve reported for years, CBDCs – touted by globalists such as French Central Bank deputy governor Denis Beau as “the catalyst for improving cross-border payments by enabling the build-up of a new international monetary system” – are in fact the ultimate tools of oppression. Even Fed Governors know ‘this way lies danger’: “In thinking about the implications of CBDC and privacy, we must also consider the central role that money plays in our daily lives, and the risk that a CBDC would provide not only a window into, but potentially an impediment to, the freedom Americans enjoy in choosing how money and resources are used and invested,” Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman told a Harvard Law School Program on International Financial Systems last year.

Central bank digital currencies are part of a broader “war on cash.” A cashless society is sold on the promise of providing a safe, convenient, and more secure alternative to physical cash. We’re also told it will help stop dangerous criminals who like the intractability of cash. But there is a darker side – the promise of control.The elimination of cash creates the potential for the government to track and control consumer spending. Digital economies would also make it even easier for central banks to engage in manipulative monetary policies such as negative interest rates. But they seem to be an inevitability, as according to data from the Atlantic Council CBDC Tracker, 130 countries – representing over 98% of global gross domestic product – are exploring or developing CBDCs, marking an outsized increase from just a few years ago.

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GVB Vaccines will be banned from medicine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747421038860808465

 

 

Milei
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747635083521998960

 

 

Balloon

 

 

 

 

Best friends

 

 

Bald eagle
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747562077831512236

 

 

 

 

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