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Fri, 28 Jan 2022
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Soros pours $125M into super PAC ahead of midterms

Soros
© Getty Images
George Soros is seeding a super PAC with $125M for 2022 election cycle.
Billionaire mega-donor George Soros is seeding a super PAC with $125 million, an enormous investment that will aid Democratic groups and candidates for the 2022 election cycle and beyond.

The group, Democracy PAC, has served as Soros' campaign spending vehicle since 2019, channeling more than $80 million to other Democratic groups and candidates during the 2020 election cycle. The new, nine-figure investment from Soros is aimed at supporting
"pro-democracy causes and candidates, regardless of political party" who are invested in "strengthening the infrastructure of American democracy: voting rights and civic participation, civil rights and liberties, and the rule of law,"
Soros said in a statement shared first with POLITICO.

Soros added that the donation to the super PAC is a "long-term investment," intended to support political work beyond this year.

Comment: See also:


Footprints

BLM's millions unaccounted for after leaders quietly jumped ship

BLM logo
© BLM/KJN
No one appears to have been in charge at Black Lives Matter for months. The address it lists on tax forms is wrong, and the charity's two board members won't say who controls its $60 million bankroll, a Washington Examiner investigation has found.

BLM's shocking lack of transparency surrounding its finances and operations raises major legal and ethical red flags, multiple charity experts told the Washington Examiner. CharityWatch Executive Director Laurie Styron said of BLM:
"Like a giant ghost ship full of treasure drifting in the night with no captain, no discernible crew, and no clear direction."
BLACK LIVES MATTER FOUNDATION RAISED MORE THAN $90M IN 2020

BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors appointed two activists to serve as the group's senior directors following her resignation in May amid scrutiny over her personal finances. But both quietly announced in September that they never took the jobs due to disagreements with BLM. They told the Washington Examiner they don't know who now leads the nation's most influential social justice organization.

Comment: It appears only certain black lives really matter. Non-profit rules and regulations are in place for the purpose of protecting the public against fraud and mismanagement - both of which look to be the case.


Snakes in Suits

Poland ready to make deal with Russia

soldier missile system
© Sputnik/Igor Zarembo
Warsaw is willing to let Russia inspect US air defense facilities if Polish inspectors are allowed to enter Kaliningrad.

With Moscow looking to come to an agreement with NATO over security guarantees in Europe, bloc member Poland has expressed willingness to allow Russian inspectors into its country to check US air defense facilities, it was reported on Wednesday.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which cited unnamed Polish officials, Warsaw would be willing to come to a reciprocal deal with Moscow. In return, Poland wants its inspectors to be allowed to check missile locations in Kaliningrad.

The idea to let Russians into American sites in Poland was initially proposed by Moscow, according to US officials. The Kremlin has repeatedly opposed the placement of foreign missiles on European territory and has suggested that air defense facilities could be used to fire ballistics at Russian territory.

Comment: Poland steps up in an unexpected moment of reason.


Attention

Biden visits site of Pittsburgh bridge collapse before speech on infrastructure

bridge collapse Biden
© Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
Biden visits bridge collapse in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
President Joe Biden made an unscheduled visit to the site of a bridge collapse in Pittsburgh on Friday afternoon, during a trip in which Biden planned to promote his legislative agenda — including the landmark infrastructure law he signed last year.

Pittsburgh Public Safety confirmed the collapse on Twitter before 7 a.m. ET, urging people to avoid the area around Forbes and Braddock avenues near Frick Park.

Three people have been hospitalized with nonlife-threatening injuries, while authorities have been deployed to "ensure there are no victims under the collapsed bridge," the city tweeted in an update later Friday morning. Ten people have been checked or treated for minor injuries, including first responders, the city said in a press release.

The site of the collapse is just a few miles from Carnegie Mellon University at Mill 19, where Biden was set to deliver remarks around 2 p.m.

Comment: Scenes from the collapse:
bridge collapse
© AP/Gene J. Puskar
Emergency vehicles are parked at the edge of a bridge that collapsed, Friday Jan. 28, 2022 in Pittsburgh’s East End.



Attention

Biden spits on Putin's request for security

Eagle & the Bear
© Katehon.com/2016
"The main issue is our clear position on the unacceptability of further NATO expansion to the East and the deployment of highly-destructive weapons that could threaten the territory of the Russian Federation." Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
Washington delivered a slap in the face to Moscow on Wednesday when U.S. ambassador John Sullivan provided a written response to Russia's proposals for security guarantees. The missive was given to Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko who did not reveal the contents but passed them on to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for analysis. Lavrov, in turn, issued a statement on Thursday morning confirming our worst suspicions that the Biden administration has shrugged off Russia's reasonable demands choosing instead to intensify the provocations that are likely to trigger a war between the world's two nuclear superpowers. This is an excerpt from an article at Tass News Agency:
"The United States and NATO don't seem to have taken Russia's concerns on security guarantees into account when drawing up responses to Moscow's proposals, nor did they demonstrate any willingness to do so, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

"The numerous statements that our colleagues made yesterday make it clear that as for the major aspects of the draft agreements that we earlier presented to other parties, we can't say that they took our concerns into account or showed any readiness to take our concerns into consideration." (Tass News Agency)
Peskov is right, on the core issues the US either issued no clear response or refused to comply. In effect, the US response was designed to look like Washington was honestly negotiating when in fact, they were merely reinforcing their original position. The US response is essentially a defense of Washington's commitment to rule the world by force and to ignore the legitimate demands of weaker states to provide even minimal security for their people. If the US and NATO are allowed to pursue their present course of action, Russian cities and towns will be within 7 to 10 minutes of nuclear missiles located in nearby Romania and Poland. Russia's are being asked to live with a nuclear dagger pointed at their throats. This is Biden's idea of global security. Is it any wonder why Putin does not agree? Here's part of what Lavrov said on Thursday:
"There is no positive reaction on the main issue in this document. The main issue is our clear position that further NATO expansion to the east and the deployment of strike weapons that could threaten the territory of the Russian Federation are unacceptable."

Syringe

EU watchdog accuses Ursula von der Leyen of 'maladministration'; hand over secret texts sent to Pfizer's CEO to buy 1.8B Covid jabs

Von Leden/Bourla
© Reuters/VT News Networks/Reuters
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen • Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla
An official EU watchdog has slammed Ursula von der Leyen for keeping secret text messages with Pfizer's CEO about purchasing Covid vaccine doses, saying it 'constituted maladministration'.

The EU ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, issued a formal recommendation telling von der Leyen's office to search for and hand over the texts under a freedom of information request lodged by a journalist.

In April last year, the New York Times revealed that EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla had exchanged text messages and calls about vaccine procurements for EU countries.

The European Commission chief used 'personal diplomacy' to secure the deal for 1.8billion Pfizer vaccines via texts with the CEO, the paper revealed.

Journalist Alexander Fanta of news site netzpolitik.org then asked the Commission for access to the text messages and other documents, but the executive branch did not provide them.

The commission rebuffed the freedom-of-information request, refusing to say whether the texts existed - even though von der Leyen had referred to them herself in a media interview.

Bullseye

Scott Ritter: America couldn't defend Ukraine even if it wanted to

us troops soldiers saudi arabia iraq war
© David Turnley / Corbis / VCG via Getty Images
United States military personnel with an M16 rifle, guarding prisoners of war near the 5th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, during the Gulf War, at King Abdulaziz Air Base in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 1991.
The Pentagon is in the process of preparing options for President Joe Biden regarding the deployment of US forces into NATO's eastern flank to seek to deter Russia from acting against Ukraine, or threatening NATO's easternmost members of Poland, Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania.

Some 8,500 US troops have been put on standby to be prepared to deploy to Europe on short notice. These are the US contingent of the NATO Response Force, a multinational, 40,000-troop unit tasked with responding to aggression against member countries.

If the US wanted to do more, it could deploy a few squadrons of US Air Force fighters, along with another heavy armored brigade, whose equipment is prepositioned in Poland, and some support troops. It could also send 3,000 troops from the 82nd Airborne Division, which is tasked to "respond to crisis contingencies anywhere in the world within 18 hours."

Star of David

Worms turning? PM Bennett says Netanyahu threatened to sic his 'army' on me for forming government without him

israel bennett netanyahu
© Emmanuel Dunand / AFP
Defeated prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu walks away after briefly shaking hands with new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, after the Knesset voted confidence in Bennett's coalition by 60-59 votes, June 13, 2021
In a series of media interviews released on Thursday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett lambasted opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, touted his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and credited himself with saving the nation from "falling into the abyss."

Speaking with the Haaretz daily, Bennett recalled a meeting he held with Netanyahu last May, a month before the current coalition took office, saying the longtime prime minister began issuing wild threats against him once it became clear that Bennett would be joining his rivals in forming a government, pushing the longtime premier from power.

"You should know that I'll send my whole machinery against you, the army," Bennett quoted Netanyahu as telling him, adding that the Likud leader made a dive bomber motion with his arm. "I'll send the UAVs after you, and we'll see."

Bad Guys

Ukraine asks Western media to tone down 'panic'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky zelenski zelenskii
© InTime
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has criticized the "slightly imbalanced" coverage of the situation surrounding his country exhibited by some Western politicians and media. He was speaking to foreign reporters during a major press conference on Friday.

The former entertainer particularly emphasised his concerns about press coverage, and political statements, concerning an alleged Russian military build up near his country's frontier.

"Today we are not seeing any greater escalation than it has been before. Yes, the number of servicemen has increased, but I spoke about that at the beginning of 2021 when they talked about the military exercises of the Russian Federation," Zelensky stated.

Comment: Business Insider reports on Biden's 'botched phone call' with Zelensky:
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told President Joe Biden to "calm down the messaging" about the threat of a Russian invasion because it was stirring panic, CNN reported, citing an unnamed Ukrainian official.

Biden and Zelensky spoke by phone Thursday amid rising tensions between Russia — which is amassing tens of thousands of troops at Ukraine's border — Ukraine, the US, and NATO.

Biden told Zelensky on Thursday that a Russian invasion could happen as soon as February, when the ground freezes over, tweeted Emily Horne, White House National Security Council spokesperson.

However, Zelensky told Biden in the call that Ukraine did not agree with the US assessment, and that it was bringing panic that could later bring economic hardship to Ukraine, CNN reported, citing a senior Ukrainian official.

Zelensky also told Biden to "calm down the messaging," CNN reported, citing the official.

The official White House readout of Biden's call did not mention Zelensky's reported concern.
Rather arrogant of the White House, wouldn't one say? BI also punts the propaganda of the 'massing' Russian troops, who in fact, are simply deployed to their usual bases in their usual rotations.

Moon of Alabama gives some background:
During a press conference in late December Ukraine's President Zelensky rejected plans to retake Donbas by force (machine translation):
Zelensky's direct speech: "The probability of escalation (at the border and in the ORDLO on the part of Russia - ed.)

I think that those political forces that say that we need to go (in the offensive - UE), go to war, it seems, do not imagine and do not think... More precisely, do not think about our army.

We will not go anywhere now. I believe that people come first. We cannot lose our entire army. She is powerful, she will take more than... But... It is impossible today. I think that's wrong today."
The White House however is urging Zelensky to launch a war. That he is pushing against that became obvious when the anti-Russia agitator Julia Ioffe was sent out to trash him:

From Ioffe's smear piece:
As strongly as the Biden administration has been backing Ukraine, the White House as well as its Democratic allies have just about had it with president Zelensky. According to three sources in the administration and on Capitol Hill whom I've spoken to in the last couple months, the Ukrainian president is by turns annoying, infuriating, and downright counterproductive.
...
There's a sense that Zelensky isn't very good at navigating American politics and is stepping on all the wrong feet. Perhaps it's because he is frantically trying to save his own country; perhaps it's because the former TV star had no preparation for, or education in, geopolitics. It is also, unfortunately, the plight of a country that is caught between two behemoths fighting over its fate. Supplicating while maintaining your dignity is hard enough; doing so while not pissing off your geopolitical backer is harder still.
The U.S. talk of war in Ukraine is destroying its economy. Zelensky is trying to calm down any talk of war even while the U.S. is pushing it. Here is another sign that Zelensky is not willing to do what the U.S. is demanding from him:
A call between US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday "did not go well," a senior Ukrainian official told CNN, amid disagreements over the "risk levels" of a Russian attack.
...
Zelensky urged his American counterpart to "calm down the messaging," warning of the economic impact of panic, according to the official. He also said Ukrainian intelligence sees the threat differently.

The Ukrainian leader pointed to a recent breakthrough in negotiations with Russia in Paris, saying that he hoped a ceasefire agreement with rebels in eastern Ukraine would be maintained. He also said the talks between the US, Russia and NATO still had some distance to run before diplomatic efforts had been exhausted, the official said.
As Zelensky is not willing to do Washington's bidding he must be pushed out.

Zelensky is in a weak position. His poll numbers are way down. The U.S. has him by the balls over his offshore accounts and money laundering. His attempt to arrest former president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, who recently returned to the Ukraine, was stopped by the U.S. embassy. That the U.S. wanted Poroshenko back in the Ukraine in the first place may point to a replacement strategy.



Gold Coins

Biden administration to regulate Bitcoin, NFTs and cryptocurrencies as matter of 'national security' within weeks

biden bitcoin
The Biden administration has expressed its intent to develop a cohesive set of policies to regulate Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as current legislation and enforcement are too scattered across the board - arguing that the move is a matter of national security.

According to Bloomberg, the White House will release an executive order in the coming weeks to task federal agencies with assessing the risks and opportunities posed by cryptocurrency. The publication reports that senior officials of the Biden administration held multiple meetings on developing the plan, with a full directive coming down from President Biden in a few weeks.

It's set to come under the umbrella of national security efforts as the administration wants to analyze cryptocurrencies and employ a "cohesive regulatory framework" that would cover Bitcoin, alt-coins, stablecoins, and even NFTs, Barron's reported.

Comment: We are likely witnessing the dissolving of the libertarian dream of a government-free, regulation-free currency. It was nice while it lasted. Note that this was likely the plan from the get-go, with the ultimate goal being the world-wide adoption of a digital currency (which is likely why we're seeing Russia and China resisting existing cryptocurrency adoption). Anyone thinking they're a step ahead of the controllers is generally suffering from wishful thinking.

See also: