Welcome to Sott.net
Thu, 23 Mar 2023
The World for People who Think

Puppet Masters

Mr. Potato

Mendacity: Biden claims high school gay marriage 'epiphany' despite voting record

biden interview daily show gay marraige
© The Daily Show
President Biden says he had an “epiphany” about gay marriage in high school, but his voting record as a senator suggests otherwise.
President Biden has said he experienced an "epiphany" while in high school that led him to support gay marriage — but his voting record as a senator and remarks made over the following decades suggest otherwise. ​

Biden, 80, was asked during an interview Monday by​The Daily Show host Kal Penn about his evolving views on same-sex marriage and how the federal government could protect LGBTQ Americans.

The president answered Penn, "I can remember exactly where my epiphany was" before launching into a story about his father dropping him off when he was a high school senior.

"I remember about to get out of the car and I look to my right and two well-dressed men in suits kissed each other. ​... And I'll never forget it, I turned and looked at my dad and he said, 'Joey, it's simple. They love each other​,'​" Biden recalled.

Comment: A life-long liar doesn't even recognize his own lies any more. Creepy Joe re-writes his life as needed.

The excerpt from Biden's 2006 interview:
MR. RUSSERT: The president used his radio address yesterday, and tomorrow in the Rose Garden, to talk about a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

SEN. BIDEN: You know, think about this. The world's going to Hades in a handbasket. We are desperately concerned about the circumstance relating to avian flu — we don't have enough vaccines, we don't have enough police officers — and we're going to debate, the next three weeks, I'm told, gay marriage, a flag amendment, and God only knows what else.

I can't believe the American people can't see through this. We already have a law, the Defense of Marriage Act. We've all voted — not, where I've voted, and others have said, look, marriage is between a man and a woman and states must respect that. Nobody's violated that law, there's been no challenge to that law. Why do we need a constitutional amendment? Marriage is between a man and a woman. What's the game going on here? And now we're going to also vote, right after that, about desecration of the flag. If you can't...


Kremlin spokeswoman Maria Zakharova: US blackmailing 'neutral' European state

Maria Zakharova
© Sputnik / Russian Foreign Ministry
Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova
Washington is attempting to make Switzerland drop its arms re-export ban, foreign ministry has warned

The US ambassador to Switzerland appeared to blackmail the Swiss government when he asserted in a recent interview that Bern is in no position to maintain neutrality over the conflict in Ukraine, a senior Russian diplomat has insisted.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was commenting on recent remarks made by US envoy Scott Miller, and connecting them with this week's fall in the share price of Credit Suisse, a leading Swiss financial institution.

"Considering that the second-largest Swiss bank plunged right after three American banks went bust, such a statement looks like direct blackmail," Zakharova said Thursday on social media.


Star of David

Israel explains reluctance to arm Ukraine - bound by 'certain agreements' with Russia

Benjamin Netanyahu
© AP Photo / Atef Safadi
Israel is not supplying Ukraine with any weapons because it is bound by certain agreements with Russia over neighboring Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday.

Speaking at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, Netanyahu was asked whether Israel would continue to refrain from sending arms to Kiev. The prime minister admitted that when it comes to this issue, Israel had found itself "in a complex situation."

"Israeli pilots and Russian pilots are flying within spitting distance of each other over the skies of Syria," he said, adding that several years ago he had decided to stop Iran, Israel's arch enemy, from creating a "third front" against the Jewish state on its northern border.

Israel has repeatedly warned Syria against sheltering Hezbollah militia members, an organization it has designated as terrorist and deems to be linked to Iran. Syrian officials have on numerous occasions accused Israel of conducting deadly strikes on the nation's territory.

"To prevent that [the third front], we used air power... To do that, we had an arrangement struck with the Russian government and with the Russian Air Force, and the Russian Army in Syria that we do not shoot down each other's planes," he noted, adding that no other European country supporting Ukraine had similar circumstance in its relations with Moscow.


Label 'unfriendly countries' more apropos to elites than countries per se — Putin

The Russian president lamented the fact that the political systems in many countries "often bring people to prominence who have a rather low level of education and general cultural awareness.

Pres Putin
© Mikhail Metzel/POOL/TASS
MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin has termed the phrase 'unfriendly countries' inexact and incorrect, because it is not so much the countries themselves but rather their elites or leaders that are unfriendly.

"The phrase 'unfriendly countries' has entered the public consciousness and into common usage here. But, it does not accurately reflect existing realities. You could say that it doesn't reflect the reality at all, because what we have are unfriendly elites in a certain number of countries, unfriendly rulers," Putin stated at the congress of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) on Thursday.

He lamented the fact that the political systems in many countries "often bring people to prominence who have a rather low level of education and general cultural awareness; at times they do not understand what they say and do." "The result, as is well known, is clear for all to see. Their activities are detrimental to their own people and to their own businesses," the president stressed.


Drone incident confirms US involvement in Ukraine conflict - Russia

MQ-9 Reaper drone
© Getty Images / John Moore
An MQ-9 Reaper drone with US Customs and Border Protection
Moscow will attempt to recover the wreckage of the American MQ-9 Reaper drone that fell into the Black Sea on Tuesday, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, has announced.

Speaking live on federal broadcaster Rossiya 1 on Wednesday, the official admitted that he doesn't know if it will be possible to reach to the remains of the UAV but stressed that it was important to make an effort to find and study the wreckage.

Patrushev also added that "Americans keep saying that they are not participating in the hostilities" in Ukraine and that this latest incident with the drone is "yet another confirmation that [the US] are directly involved" in the ongoing military conflict.

The secretary's statement comes after Washington's European Command (EUCOM) reported that one of its MQ-9 Reaper drones was brought down over the Black Sea on Tuesday morning as a result of "unsafe and unprofessional" actions by two Russian Su-27 fighter jets. The Pentagon insists that one of the Russian interceptors had "struck the propeller" of the drone while it was conducting a reconnaissance mission in international airspace.

Comment: Naturally, the US finds a reason to incite more conflict:
Via RT

Russia's ambassador to the US has accused Senator Lindsey Graham of trying to provoke a "dangerous escalation" between the two countries, after the senior lawmaker urged the Pentagon to fire on Russian fighter jets.

Asked about Graham's comments on Wednesday, Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said the senator's call to shoot down Russian aircraft went "far beyond common sense" and risked all-out war between the world's largest nuclear powers.


Graham appeared on Fox News earlier on Wednesday to discuss a recent close encounter between Russian fighter jets and a US MQ-9 Reaper drone near Crimea, calling for a tough response from President Joe Biden after the UAV was sent plunging into the Black Sea.

"What would Ronald Reagan do right now? He would start shooting Russian planes down, if they were threatening our assets," Graham told the outlet, referring to the US leader who served at the height of Cold War brinkmanship with the Soviet Union.


Washington has flown drones and surveillance craft near the Russian border on a near-constant basis over the last year, providing intelligence - along with weapons, ammunition and money - to the Ukrainian government even as it insists it is not a party to the conflict. The exact location of this week's drone encounter was not confirmed by either government, though Russian news outlets have reported that the Reaper's last location was about 60 kilometers (37 miles) southwest of the Crimean port of Sevastopol.
Despite violating airspace, the US will continue to do whatever it wants:
Via RT

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reached out to his Russian counterpart, Sergey Shoigu, on Wednesday, for the first time in months, to discuss the incident in which an American spy drone went down in the Black Sea waters off Crimea.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Shoigu told Austin that the incident was caused by the Americans violating the airspace restriction declared by Russia, with all the proper international notifications in place. Shoigu called US drone flights off the Russian coast "provocative in nature" and risked an escalation of tensions in the Black Sea.

While Russia does not desire such a development, it will "continue to respond proportionately to all provocations," Shoigu said. He added that the two nuclear powers "must act as responsibly as possible," which includes keeping a military channel open to discuss any crisis.

Speaking at a Pentagon press briefing, Austin confirmed that he made the call, and said it was "important that great powers be models of transparency and communication." However, he insisted the US would "continue to fly and to operate wherever international law allows."
... and wherever international law does not allow.


Armenia raises fears of Azerbaijan escalation in area overseen by Russian peacekeepers with Putin

© Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via
FILE PHOTO: Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan speaks during a news conference following a meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev to discuss the implementation of the ceasefire over Nagorno-Karabakh reached on November 9 and measures to solve problems in the region, in Moscow, Russia January 11, 2021.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said Tuesday he had complained to President Vladimir Putin about "problems" with Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh, warning of an escalation in the restive Caucasus region.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought two wars for control of the Armenian-majority region and the latest conflict in 2020 ended with the deployment of Moscow's forces.

Pashinyan's comments are the latest sign that Armenia, which relies on Russia as a security guarantor, is growing frustrated with the Kremlin whose attention is focused on Ukraine and confrontation with the West.

Comment: See also: Jewel of the Caucasus: Why Armenia and Azerbaijan continue to fight over Nagorno-Karabakh

Cardboard Box

Bail outs: Credit Suisse 'borrows' $54 billion, major US banks rescue First Republic with $30 billion 'injection'

Credit Suisse
© REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
A man walks near Credit Suisse bank headquarters in New York City, U.S., March 15, 2023.
Large U.S. banks injected $30 billion in deposits into First Republic Bank (FRC.N) on Thursday, swooping in to rescue the lender caught up in a widening crisis triggered by the collapse of two other mid-size U.S. lenders over the past week.

Banking stocks globally have been battered since Silicon Valley Bank collapsed last week due to bond-related losses that piled up when interest rates surged last year, raising questions about what else might be lurking in the wider banking system.

Within days, the market turmoil had ensnared Swiss lender Credit Suisse (CSGN.S), forcing it to borrow up to $54 billion from Switzerland's central bank to shore up liquidity.

Bizarro Earth

US banking crisis poses global threat, former Treasury official tells RT

© Logicno/Alexandra Citrin-Safadi/Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/KJN
Paul Craig Roberts
Contagion could spread to Europe and beyond, Paul Craig Roberts warns...

The policies of the US Federal Reserve are responsible for the unfolding banking crisis and could lead to more failures in the sector, Chairman of the Institute for Political Economy Paul Craig Roberts believes.

The official, who served in the US Treasury in the 1980s, talked to RT about the recent high-profile bank failures that have rattled the US financial system and the potential fallout of those events.
"For many years, the Federal Reserve kept the rates very low, so the interest on the financial assets that the banks have on their balance sheet is low. When the rates start rising, the values of their portfolios fall, but their liabilities don't.

"The Fed's policy of high interest rates pushes the banks into insolvency. And this is the cause of the problem. If the Fed continues raising interest rates, there will be more failures."

Comment: We can thank lynchpin Powell for creating the crisis, who now solely determines the financial future of the USA and a potential rollout of global repercussions.

See also:


Seymour Hersh warns of potential US plan B in Ukraine

Uk Soldiers
© Anatolii Stepanov/AFP
Ukrainian soldiers sit on a armoured personnel carrier on their way to the frontline on September 21, 2022.
Washington could clash with Moscow's forces if Kiev starts to lose, the veteran journalist argues...

The US could get directly involved in the Ukraine conflict if it sees that Kiev's forces are on the back foot, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersh suggested on Tuesday.

Speaking at an event in Washington, DC hosted by the Committee for the Republic, a non-profit organization, Hersh noted that the US "did stupid things" during the Vietnam War, and suggested that Washington could "start doing something else" in the Ukraine conflict.

"I don't know what happens if it goes bad for Ukraine, you have all this manpower," he said, pointing out that the US has dispatched units of its 82nd and 101st elite airborne divisions close to the Ukrainian border, while "a lot of weapons and arms are coming" to Europe.
"I'm told the game is going to be: this is NATO, we are supporting NATO in offensive operations against the Russians, which is not going to fool the world... It's us fighting Russia."

Comment: See also:


Credit Suisse sheds nearly 25%, key backer says no more money

© Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss central bank Credit Suisse
Saudi lender acquired a stake of almost 10% in Credit Suisse last year...

Credit Suisse lost almost a quarter of its value on Wednesday, dropping to a new record low after its largest investor said it could not provide the Swiss bank with more financial assistance.

"We cannot, because we would go above 10%. It's a regulatory issue," Saudi National Bank chairman Ammar Al Khudairy said on Wednesday.

The Saudi lender acquired a stake of almost 10% last year after taking part in Credit Suisse's capital raising and committed to investing up to 1.5 billion Swiss francs ($1.5 billion).

Comment: 'Trending': A financial pandemic