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Tue, 07 Feb 2023
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Snakes in Suits

CEO of America's second-largest bank is 'preparing for possible US debt default'

Brian Moynihan

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan
Congress is once again bickering about raising the debt ceiling, the amount of money the US government can borrow to pay its bills on time. And that means that Corporate America has to be ready for the worst.

The CEO of Bank of America (BAC), America's second-largest bank, told CNN he hopes lawmakers resolve their issues, because the market and economy love stability. Yet defaulting on the country's debt remains a possibility that cannot be ignored.

"We have to be prepared for that, not only in this country but in other countries around the world," Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan told Poppy Harlow on "CNN This Morning" Monday. "You hope it doesn't happen, but hope is not a strategy — so you prepare for it."

Comment: Regardless of whether the debt ceiling gets raised on time - and it usually does - with soaring inflation, most Western economies are already in recession, and the outlook is unsurprisingly bleak:


Arrow Up

Zelenskyy's Neoliberal Fire Sale

Prewar Ukraine was considered a laboratory for "ideal-world experimentation" of neoliberal policies.
Fire Sale
© Kurt Nimmo on Geopolitics
Vultures are circling over Ukraine.

Vasily Prozorov, a former member of Ukraine's SBU secret police and currently head of UKR LEAKS on Telegram and Twitter, writes today the Zelenskyy regime is in the process of selling off national assets.

"The Ukrainian government, trying to somehow pay off the West for the weapons and ammunition provided to them," Prozorov writes, "puts up for sale objects of national property that are significant for the country's economy. At the end of last year, the state enterprise 'Amber of Ukraine' [amber mining in the Rivne Oblast] and the seaport of Ust-Dunaysk [on the Black Sea] was auctioned off for a symbolic price."

In 2020, the former Canadian ambassador to Ukraine said during a lecture that following the violent 2014 coup in Kyiv, the "country had become a laboratory for ideal-world experimentation" of practices not yet acceptable in Western nations.

The "privatization" of public assets in Ukraine began after the USG-orchestrated coup brought down the elected president, Viktor Yanukovych. After he fled the country in fear for his life, the installed coup regime turned West with open arms. The regime entered into a deal with the IMF and World Bank, the latter providing $3.5 billion to the notoriously corrupt and oligarch-dominated nation.

Handcuffs

Theater of the absurd in J6 courtrooms

puppets
© unknown
Courtroom Puppets
The Department of Justice carefully crafted The Dramatic Moment in court.

A federal prosecutor handed an enclosed paper bag to an FBI agent responsible for investigating members of the Proud Boys, now on trial for seditious conspiracy related to their participation in the events of January 6. The bag contained "evidence of the unlawful entry of the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021 and evidence of the disruption to the certification of the 2020 presidential election," FBI Special Agent Elizabeth D'Angelo told assistant U.S. Attorney Nadia Moore on Wednesday.

D'Angelo cautiously pulled the evidence out of the bag to present to the jury.

Spectators in D.C. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly's courtroom were on the edge of their seats. What would the mystery bag reveal?

Would it disclose the group's intricate but failed plot to overthrow the government? A detailed list of weapons the "seditionists" planned to use in service of their dastardly deed? Names of targeted officials?

A nervous hush fell over the room; sweat beads formed on furrowed brows.

Finally, the big moment arrived.


It was — a set of challenge coins.

Comment: The DC circus continues unabated. Who should be on trial? Those who make a travesty of justice.


Arrow Down

Liz Truss exclusive: 'I assumed upon entering Downing Street my mandate would be respected. How wrong I was'

Truss
© Geoff Pugh/The Telegraph
Liz Truss
One year ago this week, I went to Moscow as foreign secretary to warn my Russian counterpart of the grave consequences that would result from any invasion of Ukraine. Had anyone told me then that, 12 months later, I would be a backbench MP following a 49-day term as prime minister, I would not have believed it.

Since my departure from Downing Street just over 100 days ago, I've spent many hours reflecting on what happened during my time there, what went wrong and what I might have done differently. This soul-searching has not been easy.

Now I want to set out, from my perspective, what happened and what I have learned.

Comment: Whether it is hindsight, perception management or vindication, it doesn't matter. She quit.


Treasure Chest

US announces first transfer of seized Russian assets to Kiev

Garland
© Drew Angerer/AFP/Getty Images North America
US Attorney General Merrick Garland (2nd from left)
Money confiscated from a Russian businessman will be made available to 'support the people of Ukraine'

US Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Friday the first transfer of assets, confiscated as part of anti-Russia sanctions, [will go] to Ukraine to pay for the country's reconstruction.

The measure affects $5.4 million expropriated from Russian businessman Konstantin Malofeyev on charges of sanctions evasion, according to the top official.
"With my authorization today, forfeited funds will next be transferred to the State Department to support the people of Ukraine."
Garland added that the funds were confiscated following an indictment against Malofeyev, issued last April.

Comment: Instances of ongoing forfeitures of private Russian assets:
The United States has already been working with allies and partners to track down assets all over the world:
  • In March, the U.S., led by the Department of the Treasury and Department of Justice, launched the Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs Task Force with international partners to coordinate the freezing and seizing of Russian assets around the world.
  • So far, member states in the European Union have reported freezing over $30 billion in assets, including almost $7 billion in boats, helicopters, real estate, and artwork.
  • Dozens of yachts have been seized by REPO Task Force member countries. The U.S. Treasury has sanctioned and blocked vessels and aircraft worth over $1 billion, as well as frozen hundreds of millions of dollars of assets belonging to Russian elites in U.S. bank accounts.
  • Last week, in the wake of criminal charges, Treasury designated a global sanctions evasion network associated with Konstantin Malofeyev, crack downing on the movement of illicit assets.
  • Earlier this month, the Department of Justice announced that Spain seized a 255-foot, $90 million yacht of sanctioned Russian Oligarch Viktor Vekselberg at the request of United States.



Black Magic

Ukraine army discipline crackdown sparks fear and fury at the front

zelensky ukraine forces
© Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP via Getty Images
Among Kyiv’s forces, made up largely of fresh recruits lacking previous military experience or training, some are struggling to cope with the ongoing war effort
Critics say new legislation that punishes deserters and rule-breakers more harshly contravenes human rights and demotivates military personnel.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy refused to veto a new law that strengthens punishment for wayward military personnel on Thursday, rejecting a petition signed by over 25,000 Ukrainians who argue it's too harsh.

"The key to the combat capability of military units and ultimately of Ukraine's victory, is compliance with military discipline," Zelenskyy said in his written response to the petition.

Ukrainian soldiers have stunned the world with their resilience and battlefield successes, withstanding a year-long onslaught from Russian troops. But among Kyiv's forces, made up largely of fresh recruits lacking previous military experience or training, some are struggling to cope. There are those who have rebelled against commanders' orders, gotten drunk or misbehaved; others, running low on ammunition and morale, have fled for their lives, abandoning their positions.

Crusader

Ukraine: Constructing the Fourth Reich "White Europe is Our Goal"

Azov Battalion
A brief overview of the Nazism on display in Ukraine as presented by the Western press

One of the largest fictions of the Western press after the Russian Federation launched their Special Military Operation in February 2022 is that claims of Nazis in Ukraine are exaggerated by the Russian Federation.

Press Nazis Ukraine

Screenshots of Washington Post, Politico, NPR, and MSNBC headlines

Footprints

Irish civil service predicts 180,000 refugees in Ireland by year end

refugees ireland

Ukrainian refugees at the Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin
Up to 180,000 people could be seeking refuge here by the end of the year, according to a document compiled by senior civil servants.

The figure is contained in briefing material for Government Chief Whip Hildegarde Naughton, which was released following a Freedom of Information request.

The Chief Whip, who is also a Minister of State at the Department of Health, was advised by officials in December that funding healthcare for Ukrainian and international protection refugees was a matter that required attention.

Comment: How long before native Irish start complaining that the newcomers are being treated better than them?


Attention

STUNNING ADMISSION: Democrat minority leader Hakeem Jeffries says resolution condemning socialist tyrants "undermines" House Democrats' agenda

hakeem jeffries
House Republicans brought forth legislation on Thursday condemning socialism and violent socialist dictators.

Democrats didn't know what to do.

Minority leader Hakeem Jeffries argued the vote against the horrors of socialism undermined the House Democrats' agenda.
Wow!

Putin

Setting the Record Straight; Stuff You Should Know About Ukraine

Putin
On February 16, 2022, a full week before Putin sent combat troops into Ukraine, the Ukrainian Army began the heavy bombardment of the area (in east Ukraine) occupied by mainly ethnic Russians. Officials from the Observer Mission of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) were located in the vicinity at the time and kept a record of the shelling as it took place. What the OSCE discovered was that the bombardment dramatically intensified as the week went on until it reached a peak on February 19, when a total of 2,026 artillery strikes were recorded. Keep in mind, the Ukrainian Army was, in fact, shelling civilian areas along the Line of Contact that were occupied by other Ukrainians.

We want to emphasize that the officials from the OSCE were operating in their professional capacity gathering first-hand evidence of shelling in the area. What their data shows is that Ukrainian Forces were bombing and killing their own people. This has all been documented and has not been challenged.

So, the question we must all ask ourselves is this: Is the bombardment and slaughter of one's own people an 'act of war'?