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Observations about Bolivia's socialist blowout

candidate Luis Arce
© paginasiete.bo
Bolivian Movement for Socialism presidential candidate Luis Arce
Bolivia's Socialist Blowout

The political consequences of last year's coup against former Bolivian President Morales have been reversed following reports that his Movement for Socialism (MAS by its Spanish abbreviation) party's candidate Luis Arce trounced his opponents in the first election since that successful regime change operation. Several observations can be made about the country's socialist blowout, both in terms of why this development happened in the first place and what it means for the country's future. What follows is a list of summarized points accompanied by a concise explanation of their significance. The purpose is to better understand this democratic reversal of Bolivia's pro-US regime change in the hopes that it might inspire similar successes elsewhere across the world:

Comment: Bolivia seems to have dodged a political bullet in defiance of regime change patterns and influence, as shown in this election's process and outcome:
After midnight on Sunday, Bolivian authorities allowed the results of the exit polls to be known. The Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) presidential candidate Luis Arce obtained 52.4 percent of the votes, the Citizen Community (CC) candidate Carlos Mesa got 31.5 percent, and the "We Believe Alliance" candidate Luis Fernando Camacho reached 14.1 percent of the votes.

Bolivia's president-elect Arce thanked the people for their support and for their peaceful participation in the electoral process. "We have recovered democracy and hope. We ratify our commitment to work with social organizations. We are going to build a national unity government."

The Bolivian Socialists' message was categorical and clear: "we call on the community to avoid provocations... let's end this nightmare we have been living for a year."

A few minutes before the official information was issued, former President Evo Morales, who remains a political asylee in Argentina, recalled that millions of Bolivians cast their vote peacefully and demanded that the coup-born regime led by Jeanine Añez respect the results.

"Yesterday we denounced that the authorities suspended the presentation of the results of the exit poll companies. That was suspicious. Everything indicates that the MAS has won the elections and won a majority of seats in both chambers."
Former President Evo Morales has announced his intention to return to Bolivia:
Speaking during a press conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Monday, Morales said he would be glad to return to his home country.

"Sooner or later we are going to return to Bolivia, that is not in debate," Morales said, without giving any timeframe for his potential return.

"My great desire is to return to Bolivia and enter my region. It is a matter of time."

Arrow Up

China's economy plows on as world's only major growth engine

china currency
© unknown
China's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic continued in the third quarter and showed signs of broadening in September as consumer spending accelerated, keeping the economy on track to be the world's only major growth engine this year.

Gross domestic product expanded 4.9% in the third quarter from a year ago, missing economists' forecast for a 5.5% expansion. Both retail sales and industrial production gained momentum in September, reassuring markets that the recovery is on track.
Mixed bag chart
The numbers show China's early and aggressive containment of the coronavirus has set the economy up for a faster rebound than any of its peers. That's a rare positive for a world economy still clawing its way out of its worst slump since the Great Depression -- a revival further complicated by the resurgent virus in Europe and the U.S.

"It's an encouraging and hopeful message for the rest of the world," said Rob Subbaraman, global head of macro research at Nomura Holdings Inc. in Singapore. "If you successfully handle the health crisis, your economy can recover."

Arrow Down

Democrats fail to block Amy Coney Barrett's SCOTUS nomination as proposal to shut down Senate falls through

US Capitol
© Reuters/Erin Scott
US Capitol building, Washington DC, USA
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tried to adjourn the Senate until after the election, in order to stop the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court - and a Covid-19 relief bill remains nowhere in sight.
Schumer's proposal failed, with the Senate voting 48 to 42 to "table" the motion - that is, not consider it any further - on Monday evening.

Comment: Without a wedge to stop this nomination, the Dems are looking for any narratives to snag this election from the Republicans. They would rather 'go big and crazy' hoping no one will notice the desperation underlying their partisan attacks.

See also:


Hunter Biden's flipped business partner provided 26K emails

Hunter Biden
© DNC/YouTube screenshot
DNC Hunter Biden Aug. 18, 2020
The business partner of Hunter Biden who flipped on the Biden family from prison provided access to 26,000 emails, Breitbart News senior contributor Peter Schweizer said in a Saturday morning radio appearance.

Schweizer, appearing on Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel, said that former Hunter Biden business partner Bevan Cooney provided 26,000 emails to him — the first of which were published late last week in a Breitbart News exclusive investigation by Schweizer and author Seamus Bruner. Cooney is currently serving a sentence in federal prison due to his conviction over financial deals he made connected to Hunter Biden and his other partner Devon Archer. Archer, who was also convicted by a jury in federal court, saw his conviction vacated by a federal judge. That conviction was later — just a couple weeks ago — reinstated by an appellate court, which overruled the lower court judge's decision to vacate it. Archer awaits sentencing.

In the meantime, however, Cooney — who is serving his sentence in federal prison — reached out to Schweizer via conservative journalist Matthew Tyrmand and provided written authorization to access his Gmail account. He provided the password and username, and written authorization to publish emails because Schweizer says he believes he was the "fall guy" for the Biden family's corruption and that he believes the public needs to know what really happened in Hunter Biden's universe.

Comment: Hunter and his various partners/relatives had a long run at scheming and scamming, advantaged by VP Biden. Both of HB's cohorts are now the recipients of jail sentences, but Hunter - their core partner and connector - is still roaming free. And, so is Joe until he outlives his usefulness.

See also:


US envoy warns 'distressingly high' level of violence in Afghanistan could derail peace process

Khalizad/bombed car
© Rafig Maqbool/AP/Twitter/fhzadran/KJN
US Envoy Zalmay Khalitzad/Suicide car bombing
U.S. envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad warned on October 18 after a car bomb killed 14 people in Ghor in central Afghanistan that continued high levels of violence in the country could threaten the peace process.

Khalilzad said in a series of tweets that violence has "stalked" Afghans for far too long and the "tragedy" in Ghor, where the car bomb was set off outside a police headquarters, is the most recent example. Khalilzad said on Twitter:
"The belief that says violence must escalate to win concessions at the negotiating table is very risky. Such an approach can undermine the peace process and repeats past miscalculations by Afghan leaders.

"We must adhere to the letter and spirit of what was negotiated and the recent understanding. They provide a path to minimizing Afghan loss of life and protecting an historic opportunity for peace which must not be missed. I urge strict adherence to all articles of the U.S.-Taliban Agreement and U.S.-Afghanistan Joint Declaration. Sides should not neglect the commitment to gradually reduce violence."
Khalilzad said violence remains "distressingly high" despite the recent reaffirmation of the need for substantial reduction.

Comment: The blame game continues without pause as accusations fly:
Taliban accuses Washington of breaching peace deal after US military conducts 'defensive' airstrikes on militants. The Pentagon, however, claimed the strikes came in response to a new Taliban offensive. Taliban spokesman Qari Muhammad Yousuf Ahmadi said in a statement:
"American forces have violated the Doha agreement in various forms by carrying out excessive airstrikes following the new developments in Helmand province. Responsibility and consequences from continuation of such actions shall fall squarely on the shoulders of the American side."
Earlier this week, the Taliban launched a major offensive against Afghan government forces in the southern province of Helmand in an apparent attempt to capture its capital. The offensive invoked a response from the US-led coalition forces who launched airstrikes against the Taliban militants in an attempt to help the country's government troops.

Despite the angry rhetoric of the Taliban, the US military did not seem to be ready to back down. Responding to the group's complaints, spokesman for the US forces Colonel Sonny Leggett claimed the airstrikes did not actually breach the Doha agreement and are "consistent" with it.

"US airstrikes in Helmand and Farah have been and continue to be solely in defense of the ANDSF as they are being attacked by the Taliban," Leggett tweeted, urging all the sides of the decades-long war to "reduce violence."

Bizarro Earth

'Just crazy': Trump compares claims Hunter Biden emails are Russian plot to Clinton's branding of Tulsi Gabbard as 'Russian asset'

Trump Gabbard
© Getty Images/Drew Angerer; REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Donald Trump has compared Rep. Adam Schiff's claim that Hunter Biden's alleged leaked emails are part of a Russian disinformation plot to Hillary Clinton calling Democrat Tulsi Gabbard a "Russian asset" similarly without evidence.

During a Tuesday Fox News interview, Trump addressed Schiff's evidence-free claim that the Hunter Biden email leaks, which detail his alleged dealings in Ukraine and China, were coming "from the Kremlin." The leaks were published by the New York Post last week.

"It's just crazy," Trump said of the theory, referring to the Democratic congressman as "Shifty Schiff" and a "sick" man, who was purposefully obfuscating the issue.

Bad Guys

Trump labels Fauci a 'disaster' on campaign call to staff, reporters

© Reuters/Leah Mills
US President Donald Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci
President Trump derided Anthony Fauci as a "disaster" and claimed that Americans have tired of the novel coronavirus during a call with campaign staff on Monday.

"People are tired of COVID. Yup, there's going to be spikes, there's going to be no spikes, there's going to be vaccines. With or without vaccines, people are tired of COVID," Trump said on the private call, according to audio obtained by The Hill. "I have the biggest rallies I have ever had and we have COVID. People are saying whatever, just leave us alone. They're tired of it."

Trump then accused Fauci, the top U.S. infectious diseases expert, of providing inconsistent advice about the coronavirus pandemic and claimed baselessly that if he had followed all of Fauci's advice the United States would have "700,000 to 800,000 deaths right now."

Comment: Trump just gave the Dems their latest laser pointer dot to chase:

Trump's tweets are just a small part of his Monday criticisms against Fauci. He also blasted the doctor in a campaign call reporters were invited to listen to, and then again while speaking to reporters in Phoenix, Arizona.

While Fauci has been frequently criticized by conservatives for his support of lockdowns to battle Covid-19, his popularity with Democrats has been growing. Presidential candidate Joe Biden has said he would give Fauci the opportunity to continue working with the White House on the pandemic if he won the election.

Thus, Democrats have not taken Trump's latest criticisms of the doctor all that well with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and others targeting the president on social media.

Biden also released a statement condemning Trump's Fauci comments and claiming he is waving the "white flag" on the pandemic.

Many conservatives, however, have celebrated Trump so openly targeting and trolling Fauci.

Fauci was not the only one coming in for Trump's scorn on Covid, singling out CNN:
President Donald Trump has called CNN "dumb bastards" for focusing news coverage on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump made the remarks during a campaign rally in Prescott, Arizona on Monday. The president's supporters cheered when he said that the public was tiring of the pandemic, while insulting the news network and claiming it is attempting to dissuade voters from participating in the election.

The president has long targeted CNN at his rallies and elsewhere, calling it "fake news" for including unfavorable coverage of him. In a particularly colorful July 2017 tweet sharing a doctored video of his 2007 WWE professional wrestling appearance, Trump appeared to be physically tackling and attacking a man with the CNN logo superimposed onto his head.


Former OPCW director defends Douma whistleblowers as 'extremely competent', slams media for creating 'wall of silence'

© Reuters / Jamil Bittar
Bustani at a hearing amid US efforts to remove him from his post as director-general of OPCW
The former head of the OPCW has defended the whistleblowers who alleged that it engaged in a cover-up of exonerating evidence in Douma, arguing efforts to silence him prove the dissenters right.

Jose Bustani, the OPCW's founding director general, has fiercely defended the inspectors who braved political pressure from their own organization along with the US and its allies to expose the apparent cover-up of evidence countering Washington's hole-filled narrative that Syrian President Bashar Assad's government used chemical weapons in Douma in April 2018.

In an interview with the Grayzone, Bustani lamented the political co-option of the body he helped establish by the US, which - together with its allies, including Britain and France - barred him from testifying before the UN Security Council earlier this month, using the bizarre excuse that he lacked the expertise to speak about the operations of the organization he once led.

Not only are the Douma whistleblowers "extremely competent...extremely professional and extremely reliable" - trusted colleagues from his early days at the OPCW - but the group's very reluctance to hear them out signaled it lacked confidence in its own revised conclusions of Syrian guilt in the Douma attack, Bustani told the outlet. The body's insistence Assad had used chemical weapons was held up after the fact to justify US airstrikes on Damascus.


Israel and Bahrain formalise relations at ceremony in Manama

Abdullatif al-Zayani
© Ronen Zvulun/AP Photo
Bahrain's foreign minister Abdullatif al-Zayani delivers a statement upon the arrival of an Israeli delegation accompanied by the US treasury secretary, in Muharraq, Bahrain
Bahrain and Israel have signed a joint communique to formalise ties during a visit by an Israeli and US delegation to Manama to broaden cooperation that Washington has promoted as an anti-Iran bulwark and potential economic boom.

Bahrain followed the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in agreeing last month to normalise ties with Israel in US-brokered deals, stunning Palestinians who had demanded statehood before any such regional rapprochement.

The UAE and Bahrain became the third and fourth Arab states to agree to normalise ties with Israel, following Egypt's peace deal with Israel in 1979 and a 1994 pact with Jordan.

For the US allies, it is a chance to close ranks on Iran more overtly.

The Israeli delegation, which flew on an El Al Israel Airlines charter flight from Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, was accompanied by US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin.


Macron addresses killing of 'beheaded' French teacher, an 'Islamist terrorist attack' - UPDATES

President Emmanuel Macron called the attack an "assassination"
A teacher beheaded on a street near Paris on Friday afternoon has been named as Samuel Paty by French Education MinisterJean-Michel Blanquer.

The suspected killer, who was armed with a knife and a plastic pellet gun, was later shot dead by officers in a nearby town, police said.

French authorities have launched an anti-terror investigation.

President Emmanuel Macron called it an "assassination" and an "Islamist terrorist attack".

Here's what we know about the attack so far:

Who was the victim?

Paty, a 47-year-old history and geography teacher, was decapitated near the school in the commune of Conflans Saint-Honorine, northwest of the French capital, at around 5 pm local time.

Police told the AFP news agency that he had hosted a class discussion with secondary school students about cartoons of Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

Comment: Police also apprehended those believed to be connected to the killer:
French police have detained four people, including a minor, in connection with the brutal slaying of a schoolteacher in Conflans-Saint-Honorine near Paris, which was described by President Emmanuel Macron as Islamist terrorism.

Five more people were taken into custody after the raid, according to unconfirmed French media reports. Among them is the suspect's father and several people who were involved in a row with the victim, a school teacher, which allegedly triggered the crime.
Charlie Hebdo magazine is organizing a rally in response to the gruesome murder:
The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which was targeted by Islamists for publishing cartoons of Islam's Prophet Mohammed, has called for a public rally in the wake of what is seen as a copycat killing of a schoolteacher.

The publication, known for its no-holds-barred approach to satirical cartoons, has called on the French people to show up on Sunday in the iconic Paris Place de la Republique square. The protest is being organized in league with the French teachers' union and freedom groups, Charlie Hebdo said.
UPDATE (10/19): Abdoulakh Anzorov reportedly tweeted an image of Mr. Paty's head after the murder. Some of Paty's students may have seen the image, which included this message: "From Abdullah, the servant of Allah, to Macron, the leader of the infidels, I executed one of your hell dogs who dared to belittle Muhammad." Paty had been doxxed online after he showed the image of a naked Mohammed cartoon. Any angry father whose daughter was in the class called on Muslims to take action against the teacher. After that, Paty's personal information showed up online.

Russian authorities say they have no powers to open up their own investigation into Anzorov, but will keep in touch with French officials. They added that he had been radicalized in France (he lived there since he was six), so there's not much they can do.

Meanwhile France intends to strengthen their control over Islamist group funding. And French police have made a number of arrests in operations against Islamist radicals:
The authorities have launched more than 80 probes into the spread of hate online, [the interior minister] said.
Never has the government mobilized so many resources to fight Islamism on social media.
Darmanin said that around 50 Muslim groups will be inspected by the authorities this week. "Several of them, as per my proposal according to the president's request, will be dissolved by the Council of Ministers."

One of the groups in the crosshairs is the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), a human rights NGO chronicling attacks on Muslims, according to its website. Darmanin linked the group to the parent who had "launched a 'fatwa' against the teacher."
A certain number of elements allow us to believe that [this group] is an enemy of the Republic.
The minister said he will also ask for another Muslim NGO, BarakaCity, to be dissolved. Its founder, Idriss Sihamedi, was detained last week following an online harassment complaint by a media columnist.
Journalist Zineb El Rhazoui accused the CCIF of participating in a "harassment campaign" against the slain teacher, and similar allegations were made by lawmaker Aurore Berge. The CCIF rejected these allegations as "false," denying any ties to the case.

BarakaCity head Sihamedi, meanwhile, said that the dissolution of the group cannot happen "in the snap of a finger," and would be "illegal," because Darmanin is "not a king in an absolute monarchy."
UPDATE (10/20): The French mosque responsible for sharing a video online thought to have provoked the murder (though it didn't include Paty's name or any calls for violence) expressed regret for doing so. But the French interior ministry has now demanded the mosque be closed down for six months.

The father who initially called for action to be taken against the teacher online allegedly issued a fatwa against the teacher, according to Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin. Before the murder, he was in contact with Anzorov, the young Chechen who ended up beheading Paty:
The news contradicted earlier reports claiming the killer had no contact with, or knowledge of, Paty or the school where he taught - despite allegedly having asked specifically for the 47-year-old history and geography teacher's whereabouts upon arriving at the school on Friday. ...

The father and several of his relatives have since been arrested in a crackdown on "Islamic terrorism" following Paty's killing, as the French government acknowledged it had not done enough to police extremist organizations. Five students have also reportedly been arrested for allegedly helping Anzorov identify Paty in exchange for money.
France's L'Express magazine reprinted Mohammed cartoons, some of which were reportedly those shown by Paty in class.