The Evening Blues - 1-27-22



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Earl King

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues songwriter and guitarist from New Orleans, Earl King. Enjoy!

Earl King - The Things That I Used To Do

“How vast those Orbs must be, and how inconsiderable this Earth, the Theatre upon which all our mighty Designs, all our Navigations, and all our Wars are transacted, is when compared to them. A very fit consideration, and matter of Reflection, for those Kings and Princes who sacrifice the Lives of so many People, only to flatter their Ambition in being Masters of some pitiful corner of this small Spot.”

-- Christiaan Huygens


News and Opinion

Stephen Breyer to retire from supreme court, giving Biden chance to pick liberal judge

Justice Stephen Breyer will retire from the supreme court, according to widespread media reporting on Wednesday, which, if confirmed by the court, will provide Joe Biden with the opportunity to fulfill a campaign pledge by nominating the first Black woman judge to the bench.

Such a choice would be a milestone and bolster the liberal wing of the bench, even as it weathers a dominant conservative super-majority achieved under the Trump administration.

Breyer, 83, had been under pressure from progressives eager to give the new president the chance to fill a seat on the court while the Democrats hold power in the White House and Congress, including a wafer-thin margin in the Senate, which would have to confirm Biden’s nominee. ...

As news of Breyer’s retirement came in, the White House distanced itself from the development in an apparent attempt to signal that Biden had not pressured the justice. Biden, meeting private sector CEOs at the White House to talk about his legislative agenda, declined to comment on the retirement per se, saying: “There have been no announcements from Justice Breyer.”

Stephen Breyer to Retire, Giving Biden Chance to Nominate First Black Woman Supreme Court Justice

Will Biden DITCH Kamala By Tapping Her For SCOTUS?

US holds firm on Ukraine’s right to join Nato in its response to Russian demands

The US has presented its written response to Russian demands on Ukraine, but made clear that it did not change Washington’s support for Ukraine’s right to pursue Nato membership, the most contentious issue in relations with Moscow. The reply, which was delivered to the Russian foreign ministry by the US ambassador in Moscow, John Sullivan, repeats the US offer to negotiate with Russia over some aspects of European security, but the secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said the issue of eventual Ukrainian membership of the alliance was one of principle.

Blinken was speaking hours after his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, threatened “retaliatory measures” if the US response did not satisfy the Kremlin. “Without going to the specifics of the document, I can tell you that it reiterates what we said publicly for many weeks, and in a sense for many, many years. That we will uphold the principle of Nato’s open door,” Blinken said, adding: “There is no change. There will be no change.” He said the US document would not be made public because “we think diplomacy has the best chance to succeed if we provide space for confidential talks”.

Nato delivered its own response to Moscow on Wednesday with the same message on Ukrainian membership. ...
The Biden administration delivered its message to Moscow as Ukrainian and Russian representatives were meeting in Paris, together with French and German officials, in the latest diplomatic effort to slow the momentum towards a new war in Europe. The talks brought together the Kremlin’s top official on Ukraine, Dmitry Kozak, and Andriy Yermak, the chief of staff to Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

At the end of the meeting, the four countries issued a joint statement supporting “unconditional observance of the ceasefire” and agreed to meet again in two weeks’ time in Berlin.

Russia says US failing on Ukraine but more talks possible

Why are Germany and France at odds with the Anglosphere over how to handle Russia?

Can the western alliance against Russia over its buildup of troops on the Ukrainian border hold together? It is a question that politicians and diplomats are increasingly grappling with amid fears that Germany and, to a lesser extent, France are in danger of dividing from the US and the UK, not only over how to respond to any future Russian act of aggression in Ukraine, but also in their assessment of the imminence of the threat.

Every effort is being made to minimise the differences within the Nato alliance, including through regular calls such as the one led by Joe Biden on Monday, but they may be impossible to avoid since they reflect not just different short-term assessments on intelligence, but a deep fissure going back decades about what Germany and France, as opposed to the Anglosphere, regard as the best way to handle Russia.

France, looking at the same intelligence provided by the CIA, does not see an imminent invasion, or a gathering of forces equipped to invade in the next three weeks – an assessment shared by the best Ukrainian defence analysts.

In Britain, the foreign secretary, Liz Truss, has been openly critical of Germany for leaving itself so dependent on Russia for energy, and Berlin’s recent refusal to allow Estonia to send German-manufactured arms to Ukraine. The idea of Germany providing weapons to be used against Russia for the first time since the second world war is anathema. Speaking in Berlin on Tuesday, the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, defended the decision, saying it was rooted “in the whole development of the past years and decades”. In Poland, the prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, said in a Facebook post that he remained concerned by the block on Estonia.

In the US, the German question is increasingly riling Republicans, leading to commentary in the Wall Street Journal with the headline “Is Germany a Reliable American Ally? Nein.”

BIPARTISANSHIP : Pelosi, McConnell PUSH Ukraine Escalation

Kim Iversen: WAR W/ Russia To Distract From DUMPSTER FIRE Presidency? Why Biden Might Take The Bait

Jayapal, Lee Demand Diplomacy on Ukraine

Democratic Reps. Pramila Jayapal and Barbara Lee, two top members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, implored the Biden administration on Wednesday to urgently pursue a diplomatic outcome in Ukraine, warning that "there is no military solution" to surging tensions with Russia.

"Diplomacy needs to be the focus," Jayapal (D-Wash.), the chair of the CPC, and Lee (D-Calif.), the head of the caucus' Peace and Security Taskforce, said in a statement.

While voicing support for the Biden administration's efforts to "extend and deepen the dialogue" with Russia amid fears of a disastrous war involving two nuclear-armed nations, the two progressive lawmakers raised alarm over the flow of U.S. arms into Ukraine and the prospect of American troops being deployed to Eastern Europe.

"We have significant concerns that new troop deployments... and a flood of hundreds of lethal weapons will only raise tensions and increase the chance of miscalculation," Jayapal and Lee said as their party's leadership planned to fast-track legislation authorizing $500 million in U.S. military aid to Ukraine.

The pair also warned against imposing "sweeping and indiscriminate sanctions" on Russia, arguing such a tactic would do more harm than good.

"In past crises, where events are moving quickly and intelligence is unclear, vigorous, delicate diplomacy is essential to de-escalation," the lawmakers said. "We call upon our colleagues to allow the administration to find a diplomatic way out of this crisis."

Ukraine leader praises 'constructive' Paris talks with Russia

Ukrainian leaders: Stay calm, Russian invasion not imminent

Ukraine’s leaders sought Tuesday to reassure the nation that an invasion from neighboring Russia was not imminent, even as they acknowledged the threat is real and received a shipment of U.S. military equipment to shore up their defenses. ...

The U.S. State Department has ordered the families of all American personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv to leave the country, and it said that nonessential embassy staff could leave. Britain said it, too, was withdrawing some diplomats and dependents from its embassy, and families of Canadian diplomatic staff also have been told to leave.

Ukrainian authorities, however, have sought to project calm. Speaking in the second televised speech to the nation in as many days, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged Ukrainians not to panic.

“We are strong enough to keep everything under control and derail any attempts at destabilization,” he said. ...

Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov told parliament that “as of today, there are no grounds to believe” Russia will invade imminently, noting that its troops have not formed what he called a battle group to force its way over the border.

“Don’t worry, sleep well,” he said. “No need to have your bags packed.”

Israel said holding talks with Russia over Syria standoff, may limit air campaign

Israeli military officials are reportedly holding talks with Russian army officers to calm tensions after Moscow’s Defense Ministry said Monday that it held a joint jet patrol with Syria along the latter’s borders, including in the Golan Heights area.

According to the Ynet news site, Israeli officials are struggling to understand why Russia has apparently changed its policy toward Israel, after it announced such joint patrols are expected to be a regular occurrence moving forward.

The report claimed, without citing a source, that Israel may limit its air campaign in Syria as a result of Russia’s move, even after discussions end.

"The Lords of Easy Money": How the Federal Reserve Enriched Wall Street & Broke the U.S. Economy

US Federal Reserve indicates increase in interest rates as inflation rises

The Federal Reserve is preparing to raise rates in March for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic struck the US as it attempts to curb rising prices. After its latest two-day meeting the central bank announced that it would leave interest rates close to zero for now but signaled it was preparing to raise them at its next meeting.

At a press conference, the Fed chair, Jerome Powell, said the central bank would continue to monitor the course of the pandemic, inflation and unemployment but gave his clearest signal yet that the US’s historically low interest rates would start to rise soon.

“I would say the committee is of a mind to raise the federal funds rate at the March meeting assuming that conditions are appropriate for doing so,” said Powell. “The economy no longer needs sustained monetary policy support,” he said.

The central bank cut rates to close to zero when the coronavirus pandemic hit the US in March 2020 and began pumping money into the economy by buying financial assets in order to stave off a potential financial collapse. At this week’s meeting, the Fed committee approved one final round of asset purchases, which will bring that stimulus program to a conclusion by March.

Terry Pratchett estate backs Jack Monroe’s idea for ‘Vimes Boots’ poverty index

Terry Pratchett’s estate has authorised Jack Monroe to use the “Vimes Boots Index” as the name of her new price index, which is intended to document the “insidiously creeping prices” of basic food products.

The author’s daughter, writer Rhianna Pratchett, said her father would have been proud to see his work used in this way by the anti-poverty campaigner. Monroe was prompted to create her index after inflation jumped to 5.4% last week, and she found herself “infuriate[d]” that the index (the consumer price index or CPI) used for this calculation “grossly underestimates the real cost of inflation as it happens to people with the least”. She laid out how the prices of “value” product ranges in supermarkets had soared over the last decade – rice in her local supermarket had increased in price from 45p for a kilogram bag last year, to £1 for 500g, a 344% increase – and how the number of value products has shrunk. She was soon working with economists, charities and analysts to compile her own index. “One,” she wrote in the Observer, “that will document the disappearance of the budget lines and the insidiously creeping prices of the most basic versions of essential items at the supermarket” and “serve as an irrefutable snapshot of the reality experienced by millions of people”. ...

The index, Monroe said, is named in honour of Pratchett’s creation Sam Vimes, who in the Discworld novel Men at Arms lays out the “Sam Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socio-economic unfairness”.

“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money,” wrote Pratchett. “Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of okay for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles. But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while a poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.”

Rights Groups Demand Hearings on the 'Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act'

More than four dozen consumer advocacy, media justice, and privacy rights groups on Wednesday urged the Senate and House Judiciary Committees to hold hearings on the Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act—a bill meant to curb warrantless mass surveillance—as soon as possible.

Introduced in April 2021, the Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act aims to close major loopholes in federal privacy laws—including the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act—to protect U.S. residents from unlawful searches and seizures, one of the key civil liberties spelled out in the Bill of Rights. If passed, the legislation would require government authorities to obtain a court order before accessing data through third-party brokers.

For years, federal agencies have exploited legal loopholes to purchase massive amounts of personal information sold by data merchants who harvest sensitive material from cellphone and internet users—enabling them to conduct digital searches without congressional or judicial authorization.

"There's no reason information scavenged by data brokers should be treated differently under the Fourth Amendment," Free Press Action's Nora Benavidez said in a statement.

The Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act, Benavidez added, "ensures that law enforcement and intelligence agencies can't do an end run around the Constitution to get to your data. Enacting this legislation would stop this flagrant abuse of our privacy and shut down a clandestine business sector that trades away our essential rights for profit."

In a letter sent to the committee leaders—Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Reps. Jerry Nadler (N.Y.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)—the coalition that includes the ACLU, the Brennan Center for Justice, Demand Progress, and Free Press Action argued that "this legislation enjoys bipartisan support in both chambers for a good reason—what the government is doing is alarming."

California city requires gun owners to carry liability insurance in first measure of its kind

A California city has voted to require gun owners to carry liability insurance in what’s believed to be the first measure of its kind in the United States. The San Jose city council on Tuesday night overwhelmingly approved the measure despite opposition from gun owners who said it would violate their second amendment rights and promised to sue.

The Silicon Valley city of about 1 million followed a trend of other Democratic-led cities that have sought to rein in violence through stricter rules. But while similar laws have been proposed, San Jose is the first city to pass one, according to Brady United, a national non-profit that advocates against gun violence.

Council members, including several who had lost friends to gun violence, said it was a step toward dealing with gun violence that Councilman Sergio Jimenez called “a scourge on our society”.

Having liability insurance would encourage people in the 55,000 households in San Jose who legally own at least one registered gun to have gun safes, install trigger locks and take gun safety classes, Mayor Sam Liccardo said.

The liability insurance would cover losses or damages resulting from any accidental use of the firearm, including death, injury or property damage, according to the ordinance. If a gun is stolen or lost, the owner of the firearm would be considered liable until the theft or loss is reported to authorities.



the horse race



US prosecutors investigate Republicans who sent fake Trump electors to Congress

Federal prosecutors have launched an investigation into the attempt by Republicans in seven presidential battleground states won by Joe Biden in 2020 to subvert the election result by sending bogus slates of Donald Trump electors to Congress.

The ploy was one of the central tactics used by Trump loyalists as part of the “big lie” that he had defeated his Democratic challenger. The fake slates of electors were forwarded to congressional leaders, who then came under pressure to delay certification of Biden’s victory on 6 January 2021, the day of the Capitol insurrection.

In an interview on CNN, the deputy attorney general, Lisa Monaco, revealed that the justice department has begun an investigation into what she called the “fraudulent elector certifications”. She said the department had received referrals on the matter and “our prosecutors are looking at those”. Monaco added: “We are going to follow the facts and the law wherever they lead to address conduct of any kind and at any level that is part of an assault on our democracy.”

Fake slates of Trump electors were sent to Congress from seven states in fact won by Biden – Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Of those, two – New Mexico and Pennsylvania – added the caveat that the Trump electors should only be counted in the event of a disputed election. The other five states sent signed statements to Washington giving the appearance that Trump had won despite clear and verified counts placing Biden on top.

ADIOS Sinema? Arizona's 'Voto Latino' Launches 6-Figure Campaign To Send Sen. Kyrsten Sinema PACKING



the evening greens


Biden administration revokes Trump-approved Minnesota mining lease

The Biden administration on Wednesday canceled a move by former president Donald Trump to renew mineral rights leases for a proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine in north-eastern Minnesota.

Trump had signed an order a month before the 2020 presidential election declaring a national emergency over the country’s reliance on imported metals used to manufacture computers, smartphones, batteries for electric cars and other items.

The reversal by Biden on the two leases follows an October decision to move forward with a study that could lead to a 20-year ban on mining upstream from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Twin Metals said in a statement that the decision was political and the company will not let it kill the project.

“The federal government’s reversal of its position on the mineral leases that Twin Metals Minnesota and its predecessor companies have held for more than 50 years is disappointing, but not surprising given the series of actions the administration has taken to try and shut the door on copper-nickel mining in northeast Minnesota,” the company said.

Los Angeles city council votes to ban new urban oil and gas drilling in historic move

Though better known as the homeland of Hollywood, Los Angeles was built on oil. More than 5,200 oil and gas wells sprawl across the city, making it one of the largest urban oilfields in the country. But on Wednesday, the Los Angeles city council voted unanimously to phase out drilling in the city, a move environmental justice advocates have been working toward for years.

The city will now move forward with drafting an ordinance to ban new drilling and evaluate how to shut down operating wells across the city. Officials will also initiate an analysis of the economic and job impacts and how to transition oil industry workers to clean energy jobs. In order to decommission existing oil operations, an amortization study must be also done on how oil companies can make back their investments if they have not already done so.

“From Wilmington to the San Fernando Valley, gas, drilling and and oilwells have disproportionately affected the health of our working-class neighborhoods,” said the council president, Nury Martinez. “This is yet another example of how frontline communities disproportionately bear the impacts of pollution and climate change.”

Fish growth slowed by high temperatures and plastic chemical BPA, research finds

Fish grow slower when exposed to higher temperatures and a common chemical in plastic, according to new research. It suggests that a combination of plastic pollution and global heating could have a concerning impact on marine populations. Scientists at the University of Sydney have found that fish exposed to the industrial chemical bisphenol A – commonly known as BPA – require more energy to grow in high-temperature waters.

BPA is a common chemical used in plastics manufacturing and is known to disrupt hormone signalling, with impacts in marine animals on metabolism and growth. In humans, it has also been linked to reproductive and developmental dysfunction. Millions of tonnes of the compound are produced globally each year. ...

The study’s corresponding author, Frank Seebacher, a professor of biology at the University of Sydney, said BPA was released into the marine environment from manufacturing effluent as well as from plastics breaking down. “Wherever you have lots of manufacturing plants, lots of plastic pollution, you will find reasonably high levels of BPA,” he said, estimating such concentrations to be four to five times higher than the level used in their study.

The researchers also modelled the risk of warming and plastic pollution in coastal areas in combination with current fishing intensity. Their analysis predicted that south-east Asia had the highest risk of decreased fish biomass as a result of warming and pollution. “Southern North America and northern South America [are also] going to be really affected,” Seebacher said.

‘He’s a villain’: Joe Manchin attracts global anger over climate crisis

Within the brutal machinations of US politics, Joe Manchin has been elevated to a status of supreme decision-maker, the man who could make or break Joe Biden’s presidency. Internationally, however, the Democratic senator’s new fame has been received with puzzlement and growing bitterness, as countries already ravaged by the climate crisis brace themselves for the US – history’s largest ever emitter of planet-heating gases – again failing to pass major climate legislation. ...

“He’s a villain, he’s a threat to the globe,” said Saleemul Huq, director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development, based in Bangladesh. “If you talk to the average citizen in Dhaka, they will know who Joe Manchin is. The level of knowledge of American politics here is absolutely amazing, we know about the filibuster and the Senate and so on. “What the Americans do or don’t do on climate will impact the world and it’s incredible that this one coal lobbyist is holding things up. It will cause very bad consequences for us in Bangladesh, unfortunately.”

The often tortuous negotiations between Manchin, the White House and Democratic leaders appeared doomed on 19 December when the West Virginia senator said he could not support the $1.75tn bill, citing concerns over inflation and the national debt. The latest twist caused anguish to those who see their futures being decided by a previously obscure politician located thousands of miles away.

“I’ve been following the situation closely,” said Tina Stege, climate envoy for the Marshall Islands, a low-lying Pacific nation that risks being wiped out by rising sea levels. “We have to halve emissions in this decade and can’t do it without strong, immediate action by the US.” Stege said the Marshall Islands was already suffering the impacts of the climate crisis and if the US doesn’t slash its emissions “the outcomes for countries like mine are unthinkable.”

Even America’s closest allies have looked on in dismay as a single lawmaker from Biden’s own party has stalled what would be the biggest – and arguably first – piece of climate legislation in the US’s plodding, and often rancorous, history of dealing with escalating global heating.


Also of Interest

Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.

When a NATO Foreign Minister Accused the Alliance of ‘War-Mongering’ Against Russia

Ukraine and U.S. War Propaganda

Venezuela’s Guaido Tries to Leverage US Sanctions for Talks With Maduro

Shocker: Workers Score Rare Win Over Wall Street

Another Supreme Court Corporatist Would Be A Disaster

80+ Dems Tell Biden to Release Secret Memo on Student Debt Authority

Seattle’s concrete workers strike over low wages and unfair labor practices

Gun-Maker Slammed for 'Children's Assault Rifles' Based on AR-15

Nearly 100 ‘potential human burials’ discovered at British Columbia school

US to hold surprise plant inspections targeting pollution in Louisiana’s Cancer Alley

New Analysis Exposes 'Bogus' Job-Creation Claims of Fossil Fuel Industry

Frog regrows amputated leg after drug treatment

Intel, GM Invest BILLIONS In Ohio, Michigan

Amazon Effort To BRAINWASH Highschool Children

Johann Hari: INSIDE Big Tech Effort To STEAL Your Attention

Pelosi, Dems Pitch HUGE Spending Bill Amid Russia-Ukraine Tensions. Are Americans Game For MORE War?


A Little Night Music

Earl King - Come On

Earl King - Trick Bag

Earl King - Is Everything Alright

Earl King - Always A First Time

Earl King - Eating & Sleeping

Earl King - You'll Remember Me

Earl King - Street Parade

Earl King And The Meters - Mama And Papa

Earl King - Big Foot

Earl King - Let's Make A Better World

Earl King and Roomful of Blues


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Comments

QMS's picture

Biden's promises notwithstanding
Just my guess.

Thanks for the Earl King!

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12 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@QMS

heh, it kind of doesn't matter. biden could put ralph nader on the court (not that he would) and it would just mean that the decisions would be 8-1. the only good thing about it would be that ralph's dissents would be amusing reading.

oh well.

have a great evening!

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8 users have voted.
mimi's picture

In the US, the German question is increasingly riling Republicans, leading to commentary in the Wall Street Journal with the headline “Is Germany a Reliable American Ally? Nein.”

Correct.

Good Eveming and thank you for the EB, Joe. It is very disturbing weather up there in the North East in your backs of the wood. I wish all of you that you can stay warm and dry. Did you look at the scnow pictures in Greece? I don"t think I have ever seen that in my lifetime. We have rain, more rain, a little sunshine and grey skies most of the time. Tomorros the sun is supposedly coming out, Bingo!

Have all a good one and thanks for all your persistent engagement in all things that matter.

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8 users have voted.

mimi

joe shikspack's picture

@mimi

heh, thanks to your country for not being entirely swept along by the madness of the u.s. ruling class.

yep, we are preparing for the snowpocalypse here. the weatherman can't really decide whether we here are going to get a dusting or a dumping. i guess i'll find out when it happens, but my guess is that i will not be deterred from going out to the rib shack tomorrow evening.

heh, yeah, i saw some pictures of the snow in greece and turkey. i enjoyed the video of greeks dancing in the snow. Smile

i hope that you stay warm, dry and happy. have a great evening!

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4 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Russia & Ukraine find common ground

Russian and Ukrainian negotiators have agreed that a permanent ceasefire in Ukraine’s war-torn Donbass region must be observed “unconditionally,” following talks held as part of the Normandy Format, which also includes France and Germany.

The group met in Paris on Wednesday to discuss de-escalation in the region amid an ongoing standoff between Russia and Western nations, who have accused Moscow of planning an imminent invasion of Ukraine, which the Kremlin denies. The meeting lasted for over eight hours.

After discussions concluded, Moscow’s chief negotiator Dmitry Kozak said that talks had “not been simple,” but “despite all the differences in interpretations, we agreed that the cease-fire must be maintained by all the parties in line with the accords.”

Heh…China bitch slaps Blinken.

China’s response to America’s call to back it over Russia’s Ukraine ‘aggression’ is telling

On Wednesday evening, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken phoned his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, and lectured him on what he described as “Russian aggression” on Ukraine. The move was an obvious diplomatic stunt from Washington to try and isolate Moscow by appealing to Beijing, seemingly fearful of the growing strategic partnership between the two countries. But Wang wasn't impressed by this insincere cry for help.

Instead, Chinese media reports on the call stated that Wang urged Ukraine to follow the Minsk Protocol, indirectly stated opposition to NATO expansion, and lashed out at the US on a number of issues, accusing it of “interference” in China’s internal affairs, deliberately undermining the Winter Olympics, and demanding that it comply with the One China policy on Taiwan.

Most strikingly of all, Wang said that the US had not changed its China policy at all from that of the Trump administration, accusing Washington of continuing to undermine the bilateral relationship through hostility. In summary, the call was a cold rebuke of American demands.

The Biden administration is attempting to ‘have their cake and eat it too’ in its relationship with China. It wages relentless hostility towards Beijing in a destructive manner, but when a geopolitical issue arises where Washington needs China’s support and dialogue, Washington expects cooperation in good faith, dismissive of the fact that its own behavior makes this impossible. It somehow believes that some shorthand lip service on matters such as Taiwan are sufficient to secure China's assistance, which their policy moves later tend to show the opposite anyway.

The US cannot have its cake and eat it too – it can’t get cooperation from China on issues like Ukraine while also aggressively confronting it at the same time. Beijing is making it clear that this kind of relationship is no longer viable. If the US wants to engage with China, Beijing is setting a very high price for it, and the Ukraine saga is an illustration of that.

Russia is suggesting more allianceswith Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua

Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed with the leaders of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua to develop partnerships in a range of areas, including stepping up military collaboration, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has announced.

Speaking on Wednesday in an appearance in front of the Duma – Russia’s parliament – Lavrov reported that Putin had talked recently with the leaders of the three Central American countries, and that they had agreed to work together to strengthen their strategic cooperation.

“President Putin held recent telephone conversations with his colleagues from these three governments, with whom we are very close and friendly, and they agreed to look at further ways to deepen our strategic partnership in all areas, with no exceptions,” Lavrov stated. He noted that Russia already has close relations with these countries in many spheres, “including military and military-technical.”

Putin loves to saber rattle? Seriously? Exactly what has he done to warrant that accusation? Both of them should listen to Kim instead of making stuff up.

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13 users have voted.

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

thanks for all of the "chickens coming home to roost" news. i hope the chickens leave enough egg for all of the faces that so richly deserve it. Smile

have a great evening!

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6 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

Caitlin.

What’s ours is ours and we tell you what can be yours. American exceptionalism at its finest.

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9 users have voted.

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

what's ours is ours and what's yours is ours. any more questions from the peanut gallery?

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8 users have voted.

effort bites the dust.

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2022/01/belarus-ryanair.html

ICAO Report - Ryanair Plane That Landed in Minsk Was NOT Forced Down

On May 23 2021 anonymous emails were sent to several airports warning that a Ryanair passenger plane on its way from Athens to Vilnius had a bomb on board.

The plane was crossing the airspace of Belarus when it was informed of the bomb threat by the Belarusian air controller. The air controller recommended to land the plane in Minsk. After some back and force to gain more information the pilot declared an emergency and decided to land in Minsk.

After the plane had landed the passengers de-boarded, were searched and went into the airport building and through passport control. Two of them, Roman Protasevich and his girl friend Sofia Sapega, had outstanding arrest warrants against them. They were part of a group which had previously attempted to launch a color revolution in Minsk. The two were arrested.

The plane and all luggage was searched but no bomb was found. The passengers, except the two arrested and three who had Minsk as their final destination, boarded again and safely reached their destination.

The case led to accusations that the Belarusian security forces had created the threat against the plane and had forced it to land for the purposes of arresting the two people. There is however no evidence for that. Despite that several countries sanctioned Belarus and its national air carrier Belavia.

he ICAO report was recently finished and given to all members. Politico.eu had gained access to it and published it. The official results will be discussed with ICAO members at the end of this months.

The president of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko seems to be happy about the report:

According to the head of state, the ICAO admitted that there was no interception, forced landing or rerouting of Ryanair aircraft by Belarus. The president called the ICAO investigators heroic people: “They deserve some praise. Despite all the pressure (this is a UN organization and you know that we are on our own there) they had to admit that Lukashenko did not open fire at the aircraft, did not scramble a MiG fighter jet to force it to land. They are heroes by just stating these facts.”
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, this fact itself is already important for Belarus. The country does not expect anything more from the investigation for the time being. "If they are willing to prove otherwise, then they should present evidence. There is no evidence, and we see this. Now all ICAO member countries see this. You know who's calling the shots there. The best thing for them is to soft-pedal this thing, not to go any farther. Because the farther it goes, the messier it gets. Therefore, they'd better not do it. Nothing good will come out of this," the head of state emphasized.

Most important is that the false claim about a military fighter jet making the Ryanair plane land has been fully debunked:

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12 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@humphrey

heh, i am shocked, shocked to find out that western media has been full of propaganda. Smile

have a great evening!

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6 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

Thanks for the EB's Joe, getting ready here for another small cold snap....sigh

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9 users have voted.

Yes the DHS’s Ministry of Truth is headed by a weird ridiculous person. Please don’t let that distract from the vastly more significant fact that the DHS has a Ministry of Truth.

Caitlin

@ggersh

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9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@ggersh

heh, i ran across this a little while ago. apparently the white house is denying now that it told zelensky that a russian attack was about to happen:

i suppose that this leads to the question of just who is manipulating the media. i suspect the usual suspects, most of them with 3 letters. (heh, nbc, abc, cia, cnn...)

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7 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

Are the "Democrats" the party of war ?
Democrats Are Rushing Through a Massive Ukraine Defense Bill
Gilbert Doctorow: The pro-detente position of Willy Brandt’s ‘Ostpolitik” still is alive and finding its voice in Germany today
The NED and the NGOs, Thailand has figured it out.

Today's earworm:

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12 users have voted.

We wanted decent healthcare, a living wage and free college.
The Democrats gave us Biden and war instead.

enhydra lutris's picture

@Azazello @Azazello

be well and have a good one

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9 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Azazello's picture

@enhydra lutris
when he posted that video: Adios Enema.

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5 users have voted.

We wanted decent healthcare, a living wage and free college.
The Democrats gave us Biden and war instead.

joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

thanks for the links, videos and the tune. glad to hear that there is a movement in thailand to kick out ned and the other cia fronts. i hope that they are successful, we could be spending the money better here.

have a great evening!

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7 users have voted.
Sima's picture

@Azazello
I love the Texas Tornados Smile

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4 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

enhydra lutris's picture

A wierd conflation of headlines and ideas tonight:

Stephen Breyer to retire from supreme court, giving Biden chance to pick liberal judge

FWIW, is that liberal or "liberal" and when does the betting start?

BUT

Will Biden DITCH Kamala By Tapping Her For SCOTUS?

Well, that's interesting. Kamala is a liberal? Hokay; compared to folks like Trujillo I guess.

So, a black, female, corporatist judge, or lawyer. Anybody come to mind?

be well and have a good one.

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7 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

heh, c'mon, we all know that biden will pick a "liberal" judge. that's a foregone conclusion.

now, i think that biden ought to piss off the conservatives by appointing anita hill. that ought to make news from the scrotus interesting for a while.

have a great evening!

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7 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@joe shikspack

be well and have a good one

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5 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@joe shikspack

I agree with enhydra! You are a genius. Anita Hill on the Supreme Court with Clarence Thomas! Biden's revenge! Seriously! I love it.

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5 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Linda Wood

thank you both for the kind words, it appears to me that anita hill has all of the qualifications that biden requires and then some. Smile

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3 users have voted.

Probably wasn't the best idea I've ever had, but I did it anyway. In fact, it was the waste of time that you would imagine it would be.

banned.PNG

So anyway, I posted a detailed historical record titled "Crimea never wanted to be part of Ukraine". It went over like a lead balloon. Even in r/antiwar it was 50/50.
Let me share a few with everyone.

effu.PNG

techn.PNG

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7 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@gjohnsit

heh, reminds me of the great orange satan comment threads some time ago before i left.

have a great evening!

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7 users have voted.

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10 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2022/01/a-parthogenetic-conflict-there-is-...

The pictures that were supposed to show a 'new Russian military buildup' only showed units in their regular barracks were they have been stationed for years.

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2022/01/a-war-in-ukraine-is-tactics-putin-...

Nothing has happened since but there has been no letup:

The sheer size and scope of the Western information operations right now regarding Ukraine and Russia in my opinion dwarfs what was done in the lead up to the second invasion of Iraq.

Even in unimportant Australia, the commercial and public broadcasters feature daily stories about the plucky Ukrainians getting ready for an imminent Russian invasion and the print media feature think-pieces about Putin trying to recreate the glory days of Catherine the Great and a new Russian empire, etc. Then there are the stories of gallant NATO members rushing to assist little Ukraine. I am now completely unnerved by the scope and obvious imbalance of this coverage. The media is totally on board the war train.

Most of the propaganda is just crap. Today we hear about a recall of U.S. and British diplomat families from Kiev, additional weapon and money promises to Kiev, the repositioning of NATO forces and so on. None of this would have any effect in the case of war. But everything is done to keep this item at the top of the news. This is without doubt a CIA/MI6 run campaign.

There is only one thing missing and that is a Russian interest in invading the Ukraine.

Here they go again lying us into war. These evil bastards need to be stopped. Is there a way?

Thanks for the music to soothe the way to the abyss.

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9 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

joe shikspack's picture

@Lookout

heh:

Here they go again lying us into war. These evil bastards need to be stopped. Is there a way?

i think that the way that the adults in the room (currently russia and china) play their cards will be the key to maintaining peace.

it strikes me that putin is doing a great job of driving the neocons into a savage frenzy and making the u.s. look like a bunch of fools on the world stage. even european allies seem bewildered by the u.s. "strategery" and seem to be slowly backing away while giving lip service to u.s. "leadership."

have a great evening!

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10 users have voted.

@joe shikspack

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6 users have voted.

NYCVG