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January 30, 2023 4:39 pm

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Alastair Campbell’s Diary: Liz Truss is bringing about her own downfall

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So the power in the land has moved from Winchester boy Dishy Rishi Sunak to Old Etonian KamiKwasi Kwarteng. And as Sunak leaves the frontbench frontline to spend more time with his millions, Kwarteng delivers a mega-mini-budget so brazenly designed for the pound-shorting hedge-funders and the Tory Party donor-sphere it makes you wonder whether Liz Truss is a very high-profile undercover agent for the BBB campaign.

That’s BBB as in Bring Back Boris, whose founder and campaign director, Boris Johnson, is currently getting his mates to call round Red Wall MPs asking whether they miss having someone who at least pretended to be there for the many, not the few, and talked the talk about levelling up. This new version of the 12-year-old Tory virus doesn’t even bother with the pretence. As the Institute for Fiscal Studies pointed out – in the absence of any factual, non-gaslighting government assessment – earn less than £155,000 a year, and you’re worse off. Earn more and you’re way better off, with poorer people helping you out.

As Truss sat watching the backside of the close friend and now economic bedfellow she appointed as chancellor, as he stood erect at the Dispatch Box tossing out goodies to his old school pals, the message could not have been clearer – oh, she does love to be “very clear about this”: “We’re a bunch of smug, cruel, arrogant, know-it-all ideologues who wrote a book a while back about slashing taxes for the rich, shredding regulations for the corporates and smashing rights for idle British workers, called Britannia Unchained, and we have gone from being remaindered to becoming Masters of the Universe, so fuck the lot of you, we’re giving it a go. And if it all goes tits up, the pound-shorters will look after us, so it’s win-win even if we lose to Labour.”

One despairing northern Tory even suggested to me that the only logic he could see in KamiKwasi’s strategy was that it was aimed less at winning an election than winning riches for the mates of the Masters of the Universe, and letting Labour in with an economic landscape so reduced to rubble they would never be able to sort it in time for the election after next.

I’m not sure I buy that. I have the feeling Truss believes this can be a winning strategy. The Thatcher trickle-down tribute band act won her the leadership election, and she reckons it can win her a general election, too. Policy “shock and awe” was necessary to try to get away for the third time in six years with the con that a new PM means a new government, and that despite being a minister with Cameron, May and Johnson, the failings of a wasted decade have nothing to do with her. This is made easier by those media outlets propagandising for her as readily as they did for her predecessors. “At last a true Tory budget” rejoiced Lord Dacre of Pyongyang’s Daily Mail, without reference to the fawning headlines over those of KamiKwasi’s predecessors.

As for the Express, how many Tory PMs do we have to have before their readers realise the paper is literally churning out cut-and-paste bullshit for all of them, on their amazing abilities to deliver on endlessly repeated promises to get the economy roaring, show the world what a success Brexit is, fix the NHS, fix social care, and all the other stuff they have all spectacularly failed to do?

Far more important than anything the papers said, mind you, were the strong statements by the RSPB and the National Trust against what they see as the massive threat to wildlife posed by 38 new low-regulation “investment zones”. If I were Lizzie Twarteng, I would not fancy taking on a radicalised RSPB. I joined today.

Two huge stories last week that barely figured on most of the media’s radar yet which, had they happened under Labour, would have sent the press into meltdown.

First, the shorting of the pound I mentioned above. When George Soros made millions betting against sterling ahead of Black Wednesday 30 years ago, he was making a judgment based on hard-headed economic and political analysis. Last week’s mega-mini-budget pound-shorters seem to have had access to decision-makers and decisions ahead of time. Sounds like insider trading to me. If it had been under Labour, I’m sure Yates of the Yard would have been all over it.

The second story concerns Mark Fullbrook, Truss’s chief of staff, whose salary is being paid not by the government but by his lobbying company. This is the same Fullbrook who had been quizzed by the FBI about his role in an overseas political funding scandal, another real news story that sank without trace.

“It is not unusual for a special adviser or civil servant to join government on secondment,” said No 10 in defence of the Fullbrook arrangement. Come again? We are not talking about someone helping manage a new IT system at the Department of Paperclips. We are talking about the chief of staff to the prime minister.

There were questions raised about whether this bizarre arrangement was so Fullbrook could avoid paying tax, which, given the nature of this government, would not be a surprise. Tax, like the law, is for the little people. But it misses the point. The arrangement represents a clear conflict of interest. I hate that old phrase “it wouldn’t have happened in my day,” but, well, it wouldn’t, and if it had, my God you would have heard of it by now. Lord Dacre of Pyongyang would have gone full Starmerbeergate mode by now.

I hope some of you caught, and enjoyed, the first episode of Make Me Prime Minister on Tuesday, the new Channel 4 series in which Tory peer Sayeeda Warsi and I are on the hunt for an alternative PM. Twelve contestants – 11 now that we have had the first elimination after the battle to find a good education policy – are competing to show they have what it takes.

Sunday Times journalist Tim Shipman, one of the media figures occasionally putting our candidates through their paces, accurately pointed out that there was a greater rigour to our process than the one that saw the Tories choose between Truss and Sunak (neither of whom would have made our final!).

I was also thrilled to see him write that he felt confident, having seen some of the episodes, that as well as being good telly, the series should be good for politics, too. Let’s hope so. My God, we need new blood, and if you stick with the series, I think you will see that several of the candidates are easily as good as some of the politicians we regularly see on the news.

It was great fun working with Sayeeda Warsi, who may be a Tory, but she is northern, warm, loves a good laugh, and loathes what her party has become and is doing to the country almost as much as I do. She also has a very good habit of saying what she thinks. So when we were interviewed by the Times magazine, I loved that she wasn’t buying into the idea that Liz Truss putting people of colour into top jobs in government somehow gave her or the government a free pass on racism. Sayeeda, remember, was at the forefront of the campaign to get her party to take Islamophobia seriously.

“Just because somebody is female or black or brown, if they’ve got nasty ideas, they’re still nasty people,” she said. I heard enough over the weeks we spent filming together to know who she meant. Clue? We saw a lot of them during the leadership election, and are seeing plenty of them on the front bench now.

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Michael Novakhov - SharedNewsLinks℠

Grani.Ru: Button of no return


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from Грани.Ру // Статьи.

105467


In a few days, the dictator of Nazi Russia will announce the annexation of four regions of Ukraine.
He cannot cancel the decision he has already publicly announced. And the point is not that such a retreat from the declared positions can bring down the political structure of Putin’s dictatorship. It seems very likely that Russian society is ready to dutifully put up with any zigzags of power. But much more than “internal threats”, the Kremlin rat is afraid to show weakness in front of external opponents.


The minimum immediate goal of Putin’s Nazi regime is the entry of Russian-fascist invaders to the administrative borders of the annexed regions and forcing Ukraine to publicly renounce the armed struggle for these territories.
This means a temporary “freezing of the conflict” acceptable to the Kremlin. Failure to achieve this goal will be unequivocally perceived both inside and outside Russia as a demonstration of the same weakness.


The Kremlin has no conventional military forces to achieve this goal.
Even in order to stop, although slowed down, but still the ongoing counter-offensive of Ukraine. Everything prepared and combat-ready that could be scraped out of Russia without completely exposing the critically important military infrastructure has already been thrown to the Ukrainian front and a significant part of it has been knocked out. A quick transfer to the front of large masses of mobilized cannon fodder is also impossible. It will be gradual.However, the build-up of Russian military resources at the front will cause a proportional build-up of Western military assistance to Ukraine.


By embarking on yet another round of escalation, Putin has inflated the price of concessions rather than resistance for his opponents.
Freezing the actual front line, followed by endless negotiations over “disputed territories” would suit many in the West. But Putin himself cuts off the path to this, announcing the official and final annexation. Negotiations on “disputed territories” are becoming impossible for the Kremlin in the first place.


On the other hand, the leaders of the West, too, simply cannot afford to confine themselves to verbal non-recognition of the annexation.
Any acquisition holding by the Kremlin of control even over a part of the territory, the annexation of which it will announce, turns the annexation from a single precedent into a daily norm of modern international reality. And this, in turn, turns the entire system of international institutions, alliances and agreements into a bank that has lost credit credibility and has burst.

No one after that will be able to contain the rising tide of international violence in various parts of the planet. Putin simply left Western leaders no choice but to defend themselves in an attempt to prevent this from happening. And the only means by which he can somehow hope to force them to capitulate (in particular, to refuse military assistance to Ukraine) is nuclear blackmail.


In his existential struggle for a new world order based on the arbitrariness of a predator, Putin will sooner or later have to put forward his nuclear ultimatum.
Not so much to Ukraine as to the leaders of the West. And sooner or later he will have to reinforce verbal threats with a demonstration of determination to actually use nuclear weapons. No one knows if the “fool-proof” Russian nuclear arsenal will work. But the danger that it will not work exists and is quite large.

There is an opinion that Putin will not use nuclear weapons before he uses up the cannon fodder he is mobilizing.However, the conservation for any long period of the current situation at the front after the official registration of the annexation is not only unacceptable for the West, but also extremely humiliating for the Kremlin. How is it – we have already declared this territory ours, but nothing changes. One of the important features of the totalitarian, Nazi regime of Putin is the huge role of show-offs in the system of maintaining power.

It is very likely that a nuclear ultimatum will be issued in a few days – right after the puppet Russian “parliament” stamps the annexation. And if Western intelligence gets credible information about the imminence of a Russian nuclear attack in the near future, this may force Western leaders to launch a preemptive disarming strike.

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Грани.Ру: Кнопка невозврата

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105467 Через несколько дней диктатор нацистской России объявит об аннексии четырех областей Украины. Отменить уже анонсированное им публично решение он не может. И дело не в том, что подобное отступление с заявленных позиций может обрушить политическую конструкцию путинской диктатуры. Очень похоже, что российское общество готово покорно смириться с любыми зигзагами власти. Но куда больше, чем “внутренних угроз”, кремлевская крыса боится выказать слабость перед внешними противниками. Минимальной ближайшей целью нацистского режима Путина является выход российско-фашистских захватчиков на административные границы аннексируемых областей и принуждение Украины к публичному отказу от вооруженной борьбы за эти территории. Это и означает приемлемое для Кремля временное “замораживание конфликта”. Неспособность достичь этой цели будет однозначно воспринята и внутри, и вне России как демонстрация все той же слабости. Конвенциональных военных сил для достижения этой цели у Кремля нет. Даже для того чтобы остановить хотя и замедлившееся, но все же продолжающееся контрнаступление Украины. Все подготовленное и боеспособное, что можно было выскрести из России, не оголяя полностью критически важную военную инфраструктуру, уже брошено на украинский фронт и в значительной своей части выбито. Быстрая переброска на фронт больших масс мобилизованного пушечного мяса также невозможна. Она будет постепенной. Однако наращивание российских военных ресурсов на фронте будет вызывать пропорциональное наращивание западной военной помощи Украине. Пойдя на очередной виток эскалации, Путин взвинтил для своих противников цену не столько сопротивления, сколько уступок. Замораживание фактической линии фронта с последующими бесконечными переговорами о “спорных территориях” устроило бы многих на Западе. Но путь к этому отрезает сам Путин, объявляя об официальной и окончательной аннексии. Переговоры о “спорных территориях” становятся невозможны в первую очередь для Кремля. С другой стороны, лидеры Запада тоже уже просто не могут себе позволить ограничиться словесным непризнанием аннексии. Сколько-нибудь длительное удержание Кремлем контроля даже над частью территории, об аннексии которой он объявит, превращает аннексию из единичного прецедента в повседневную норму современной международной реальности. А это, в свою очередь, превращает всю систему международных институтов, союзов и договоров в потерявший кредитное доверие и лопнувший банк. Никто после этого не сможет сдержать нарастающую волну международного насилия в самых разных частях планеты. Путин просто не оставил лидерам Запада иного выхода, кроме как защищаться в попытке не допустить этого. И единственным средством, с помощью которого он может хоть как-то надеяться принудить их к капитуляции (в частности – к отказу от военной помощи Украине), является ядерный шантаж. В своей экзистенциальной борьбе за новый мировой порядок, основанный на произволе хищника, Путин рано или поздно должен будет выдвинуть свой ядерный ультиматум. Не столько Украине, сколько лидерам Запада. И рано или поздно он должен будет подкрепить словесные угрозы демонстрацией решимости ядерное оружие реально использовать. Никто не знает, сработает ли “защита от дурака” российского ядерного арсенала. Но опасность того, что она не сработает, существует и достаточно велика. Существует мнение, что Путин не применит ядерное оружие до того, как он израсходует мобилизуемое им пушечное мясо. Однако консервация на сколько-нибудь длительный период сложившегося на сегодня положения на фронте после официального оформления аннексии не только неприемлема для Запада, но и крайне унизительна для Кремля. Как это так – мы уже объявили эту территорию своей, а ничего не меняется Одна из важных особенностей тоталитарного, нацистского режима Путина – огромная роль понтов в системе поддержания власти.

Весьма вероятно, что ядерный ультиматум будет выдвинут уже через несколько дней – сразу после того, как марионеточный российский “парламент” проштампует аннексию. И если западные разведки получат достоверные сведения о неизбежности российской ядерной атаки в ближайшее время, это может поставить западных лидеров перед необходимостью нанесения упреждающего обезоруживающего удара.

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В Минобороны перечислили задачи мобилизованных граждан РФ

После слаживания они приступят к контролю и обороне освобожденных территорий.

The post В Минобороны перечислили задачи мобилизованных граждан РФ first appeared on The Brooklyn Guide.

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As AG, Cortez Masto Left Thousands of Rape Kits Untested. Laxalt Helped Clear the Backlog—And Arrests Followed. – Washington Free Beacon

As AG, Cortez Masto Left Thousands of Rape Kits Untested. Laxalt Helped Clear the Backlog—And Arrests Followed.  Washington Free Beacon

The post As AG, Cortez Masto Left Thousands of Rape Kits Untested. Laxalt Helped Clear the Backlog—And Arrests Followed. – Washington Free Beacon first appeared on The Brooklyn Guide.

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Елизавета II скончалась по естественным причинам

Она умерла 8 сентября в 15:10 по местному времени.

The post Елизавета II скончалась по естественным причинам first appeared on The Brooklyn Guide.

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В ДНР появился билборд с Байденом и подписью «Спасибо деду Zа нашу победу»

На плакате также отмечено количество граждан ДНР, которые приняли участие в референдуме.

The post В ДНР появился билборд с Байденом и подписью «Спасибо деду Zа нашу победу» first appeared on The Brooklyn Guide.

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Michael Novakhov - SharedNewsLinks℠

30 ex-FBI agents stand up to support whistleblower who exposed bias


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from Miranda Devine | New York Post.

Thirty former FBI agents, including a retired deputy assistant director, head of counterterrorism and five SWAT team members, have spoken out publicly in support of suspended FBI whistleblower Stephen Friend.

Their heartfelt messages, obtained exclusively by The Post, show a deep and widespread anguish about the politicization of the FBI.

“It’s time to stop the FBI from being the enforcer of a political party’s ideology,” says Ernie Tibaldi, a retired agent from San Francisco. “We need to re-establish the FBI as the apolitical and independent law enforcement entity that it always was.”

He expressed gratitude to Friend “for having the courage to stand up to the corruption that has taken over the leadership of the FBI.”

Many former agents hailed Friend, a SWAT team member in Florida, as a “hero” after he was punished for refusing to participate in what he regarded as unnecessarily heavy-handed SWAT raids over Jan. 6 misdemeanors. 

In his whistleblower complaint to the Department of Justice inspector general, Friend alleged that the FBI has been manipulating case-file management in order to falsely inflate the threat of domestic terrorism, and using unconstitutional excessive force against political dissenters.

‘Moral courage’

Terry Turchie, former deputy assistant director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, describes Friend as “a model example of what FBI agents nationwide should be.”

“Moral courage, leadership in the face of pressure, and true to the Oath of Office FBI agents take to defend the United States Constitution and protect America and its citizens.

“I am beyond proud to offer him my support in the decisions he had to make.”

Turchie, who led the Unabomber task force, says he didn’t even use a SWAT team in 1996 to arrest Theodore Kaczynski, a violent domestic terrorist who had killed three people and injured 23 others.

“No real FBI agent would defend the position of using SWAT teams to arrest non-violent senior citizens and others with political opinions not currently tolerated by this administration, compounded by the idea that many of these cases involve misdemeanor criminal charges.

“This activity actually generates tension in communities and increases the potential for tragic results and injuries to FBI agents and citizens.” 

Five former SWAT team members in Friend’s support group agree that raiding a nonviolent person on a misdemeanor offense was wrong and potentially dangerous.

“I was involved in numerous arrests where we never used any SWAT teams,” says retired Special Agent David Baldovin, who served from 1969 to 2000, including 25 years in SWAT.

“The current use — or should I say abuse — of bureau SWAT teams has been outrageous.”

Baldovin expressed thanks to Friend “for having the courage to say ‘hell, no’ to the current bunch of FBI bureaucrats and tyrants.”

“They do not exemplify Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity, but you, sir, certainly do … 

“The SWAT colleagues of yours who agree to participate in these police state tactics are doing the same thing as those in Germany who participated in war crimes. ‘Only following orders,’ right?”

Another SWAT member, retired Special Agent Bob Fricke, who served from 1987 to 2008, says: “When I see the FBI using extreme SWAT tactics on elderly and other citizens who pose no physical threat, it makes me sick. It has to be purely political …

“I participated in many searches authorized by legally obtained search warrants … [All] included serious felonies. The only time I recall participating in a pre-dawn raid in which we all wore body armor and needed SWAT team … assistance involved an extremely violent motorcycle gang …

“I believe Special Agent Friend is an American hero. He is a shining example of what I attempt to inculcate in my students, honor above self. 

“Our founding fathers wanted people of high moral character to serve the American people. It is good to know that people such as Special Agent Friend still exist. May God protect him and his family.”

Former Special Agent Brian Shepard, who also served in SWAT, had this message for Friend: “I highly commend your courage! I am standing with you all the way.”

In a 30-year career in law enforcement, SWAT team member Greg Dillon served in the FBI just five years to 1990, before he, too, was forced to become a whistleblower. His book, “The Thin Blue Lie: An Honest Cop vs The FBI,” is a searing account of falsified affidavits, corruption, cover-ups and retaliation.

‘A brave stand’

“I served on SWAT teams in the Alexandria Division and the Washington Field Office. In state service, I served as a supervisor in a Fugitive Unit and later in a Gang Unit. Rarely were SWAT teams used to effect an arrest; those rare circumstances were reserved for career criminals with a history of violence, those known to resist arrest, or suspected of being heavily armed.

“I applaud Steven Friend for adhering to his moral compass and taking a brave stand few are willing to make. Hopefully, his courage will inspire other colleagues to step forward in support.”

Gary Karns, another former SWAT team member, said Friend’s actions were “an act of patriotism. To stand by your principles during these times is the honorable and right thing to do. God Bless you.”

Former Special Agent Dewanna Jackolski was damning about the current state of the bureau: “FBI Agents pledged to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. [We] did not pledge unquestioning loyalty to any supervisor, director, president or political party. 

“The oath does not state that we are to obey orders if those orders are being used to persecute individuals who disagree with the actions and policies of the politicians in power. There comes a time and place where our conscience, morality and humanity demand that we speak out and condemn the actions of this FBI.”

Urey Patrick, a supervisory special agent who served in the FBI from 1973 to 1996, says: “The FBI has mutated over the years. [When I joined, it] was an independent investigative agency essentially devoid of political partisanship, subordinate to but not subservient to the DOJ … Since then, it has inexorably devolved into just another supplicant agency doing the bidding of whatever political regime is in control of the DOJ. 

“I don’t know if that is irreparable or not, but I do know that, if there is to be a restoration of FBI integrity, honor and calling to duty, it will be only because of men and women like you [Friend]. For what it is worth, I am with you … in any way I can be — as are countless others.”

Retired FBI agent Steve Nash kept it short and sweet: “If no one speaks up, evil wins. I support the truth.”

‘A police force for the Dems’

Terry Turchie, the FBI’s first head of counterterrorism, and a retired front-line agent of almost 30 years, feels it is his moral duty to support Friend, and has been contacted by dozens of current and former agents wanting to help.

Serving agents with whom he has been in contact “believe the FBI is wrong to be doing these things, but simply are fearful of speaking up for now.”

Turchie points out that the FBI has a long tradition of whistleblowers. In the past, FBI agents of integrity “did attempt to fight back” to stop the bureau abusing its powers.

After 9/11, for instance, FBI employees, including the management of the New York Field Office, sounded the alarm over the abuse of national security surveillance powers, warning then-Director Robert Mueller that the bureau “should not be opening counterterrorism investigations based solely and exclusively on National Security Agency intercepts of conversations of US citizens,” says Turchie.

“Mueller rejected that advice.”

In 2013, when Mueller retired, hundreds of FBI employees signed a letter to incoming Director James Comey, warning him about “political bias and political compromise of the FBI,” and saying that Mueller had led the bureau in the “wrong direction … as a result of its transformation from a law enforcement to an intelligence organization.”

Comey did not even acknowledge that he had received the letter and the FBI has continued down the same ill-fated path to this day, with current Director Christopher Wray “doubling down on that course.”

“The FBI has been collapsed into nothing more than a police agency for the Democratic Party,” says Turchie. “Many of us feel that over the decades [we have seen] the complete compromise of the bureau.”

More than 20 FBI whistleblowers have come forward to Republican members of Congress in recent months, and Turchie says those numbers will grow.

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Jan. 6 panel delays hearing as Hurricane Ian aims at Florida – NBC12

6 attack on the U.S. Capitol announced Tuesday that it had postponed a hearing scheduled for Wednesday as a hurricane hurtled toward the Florida coast …
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Ukraine Situation Report: Another 18 HIMARS Launchers For Ukraine – The War Zone

Ukraine Situation Report: Another 18 HIMARS Launchers For Ukraine  The War Zone