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BoJo, Lebedev and the Russia Report Kept Secret

by Oui Sun Dec 22nd, 2019 at 08:25:49 PM EST

Johnson visit to Lebedev party after victory odd move for 'people's PM' | The Guardian |

It was the equivalent of a V-sign cheerfully flashed at his critics. The day after his landslide election victory, Boris Johnson and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds dropped into a caviar-fuelled Christmas party in London hosted by former KGB agent Alexander Lebedev and his son Evgeny.

During the campaign Johnson had stubbornly refused to publish the Russia report, written by the last parliament's intelligence and security committee.

More below the fold ...

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Israel Strategy anti-BDS Ministry 4IL

by Oui Fri Dec 20th, 2019 at 11:08:21 AM EST

More below the fold ...

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Labour's North South Dilemma Unsolved

by Oui Thu Dec 19th, 2019 at 03:19:07 PM EST

Most Labour MPs broadly in the news after the Big Defeat don't realize they are part of the problem, not the solution to rebuild party unity.

One MP in particular who caught my attention was Mrs Emily Thornberry of a Remain constituency in London. She too was one of many Labour MPs who had warned of the coming election disaster. I begin to understand the mission impossible of Labour and its leader Corbyn to attain an election surprise against all odds.

A much better story I read about Labour's North and their anguish over decades. They put all hope in leaving the European Union hoping the attention in London would finally turn to the mining and manufacturing communities that had been Labour's power base.

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EU-EP to Farage & Co: 'You Won't Be Missed'

by Oui Wed Dec 18th, 2019 at 06:50:11 PM EST

Cliff-edge Brexit will hurt UK more than EU, days Von der Leyen

Von der Leyen, said she would not miss the Brexit MEPs, as they heckled her speech, but she offered her condolence to those parties who had campaigned for the UK to stay in the EU.

"If I look at our very brave Remain MEPs I can only say, I'm sorry, we will miss you. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for having been at our side. We will never miss those who scream and yell."

Charles Michel, president of the European Council, said the next stage of the negotiations would be guided by ensuring
the UK could not undercut EU standaards after Brexit.

"The idea of a level playing field will be our guide over the next stage of negotiations," he said, referring to the need for the UK to sign up to EU rules on state aid, tax and the environment.

Hung Parliament: Exit From the Green Benches

by Oui Tue Dec 17th, 2019 at 10:14:27 AM EST

For me the day after is as a hangover ... I see the world in a blurr and not quite ready to grasp reality. Certainly am not in a state to watch and see the faces that will ru(i)n the UK in the next 5 years ... quite hopeless. Some tidbits what the make-over means for many ...

The experience of working in the palace of Westminster ...

"It's a horrible place to work actually," says Dent Goad. "It's really brutal, misogynistic, and unkind ... I've worked in very male-dominated environments before but that was the most horrible place I've worked as a woman."

Goodbye to all that: losing MPs face brutal exit  from Westminster | The Guardian |

The changes speaker Bercow made during his ten year tenure in the House of Commons:

Legacy of speaker Bercow: Report making Parliament more welcoming to women and minorities

WEF UK sinks to 26th place on UN Gender equality list ...

WEF: Gender parity will not be attained for 99.5 years

UK falls six places in gender equality rankings, Japan retreats to 121st place, behind the UAE and The Netherlands plummets to 38th spot

Related reading:

(Former) Labour leader Corbyn facing angry MPs on Tuesday ...

Corbyn to face angry Labour MPs on Tuesday evening

Fall in rape convictions `due to justice system at breaking point'

A turn towards misogyny, racism and fascism

Comments >> (2 comments)

Stop Blaming Outside Forces For Our Ills

by Oui Fri Dec 13th, 2019 at 12:46:12 PM EST

Perhaps I'm just from an older generation who experienced the Cold War rhetoric and propaganda and misinformation of all sides. The fall of the Iron Wall (ehh .. Curtain 😉) separating East and West gave many hope. The turn of events spurned by 9/11 brought war across the globe and a new role for NATO. That wasn't change for good. An expansive NATO brought US a New Cold War with the Russian Federal Republic.

The advances in Internet technology and the role of social media brings intrusion into our private lives, manipulation and political propaganda. The principles of Democracy and the U.S. Constitution have been undermined. The role of the United Nations to bring peace has been minimized.

To read this article in the Washington Monthly I fail to grasp its meaning. Has Russia become a preoccupation in policy of the Democratic Party ever since Election 2016? Have the pundits not moved on with their lives?

During the Cold War era, the CIA overrated the might of the Soviet Union in terms of its economy and military power. This was not unintentional as U.S. Congress kept funds growing for the Intelligence community and the military leadership in the Pentagon.

Recent reports released after FOIA requests makes clear nothing has changed in the American 21st Century.

Afghanistan Papers reveal US public were misled about unwinnable war

What's Behind the GOPs Misinformation Machine?

Believe me, it's an Inside Job of the Right-wing machine funded by the very rich Americans, a policy rooted in the days of Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater. Don't put blame on Russia, Ukraine or Vladimir Putin.

Comments >> (52 comments)

It's Tory Austerity Stupid!

by Oui Mon Dec 9th, 2019 at 10:31:12 AM EST

Simple election slogans is quite often the clue to an election victory. PR and personality Trumps policy and honesty. Examples: "It's the economy stupid" - "Make America Great Again" - "Let's Get Brexit Done". Labour and Jeremy Corbyn are too often on the defensive which is a poor campaign strategy.

What's Corbyn's catchy campaign slogan which doesn't start with: "We are not ....".

The election is NOT about Brexit but about a decade of austerity for the masses after Tory failure and bailout of the banks.

Contrary to the 2017 election, in today's poll it's not Labour closing the gap, but the Tories widening their margin by two points. Will harsh and wet weather be Corbyn's biggest asset on Wednesday ... a very poor performance.

Britain's austerity program saw dramatic cuts to welfare spending and public services

Remember: it's austerity, not Europe, that broke Britain | The Guardian Opinion |

It's hard to credit Johnson's appeal to left-behind voters when it was the party that chose to leave them behind

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Leave UK <dot> DT

by Oui Wed Dec 4th, 2019 at 06:03:30 PM EST

I'm on the road in the City of London ... I had to share this as I had posted about Trump and NATO yesterday ... don't miss the fun!

Leave UK <dot> dt

Trump called Trudeau two-faced ...

Trump cuts short NATO summit after fellow leaders' hot mic

Related: Celebration 70 years NATO

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Netanyahu Faces Indictment on 3 Counts

by Oui Thu Nov 21st, 2019 at 07:47:57 PM EST

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is one of many rightwing leaders to face accusation or charges of corruption. Some of his close political friends Israel relies on ...

Donald Trump, U.S. President
Vladimir Putin, President Russia
Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine (also close to Pereshenko}
Andrzej Duda, Poland
Viktor Orbán, Hungary
Mohammad Salman, Crown-prince Saudi Arabia
Narendra Modi, India
Paul Kagame, President Rwanda

A-G Manderbilt: It is my duty by law to indict Benjamin Netanyahu | JPost |

Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit announced his final indictment on Thursday against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, making him the first prime minister in Israeli history to be indicted while still in office.
Bezeq and Walla! owner Shaul Elovitch and his wife, Iris, were also indicted for bribery and obstruction of justice. In addition, the owner of Yediot Ahronot, Arnon Nuni Mozes, was indicted for bribery.

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The Arctic Melt: EU to End Fossil Fuel Subsidies

by Oui Fri Nov 15th, 2019 at 02:14:52 PM EST

Aligning Monetary Policy with the EU's Climate Targets

Detailed analysis of the Corporate Sector Purchase Programme (CSPP) of the European Central Bank  (ECB)  reveals  a  deep  misalignment  between  ECBs  policy  interventions  and  European Union's climate policy objectives. Whereas  EU climate  policies  try  actively  to  transform  the European  economy  to  make  it  more  sustainable, the  CSPP  merely  reproduces  the  current state of the corporate bond market. The ECB therefore mirrors investment choices made by financial  markets,  even  though  financial  markets  seem  misaligned  with  a  mitigation  path limiting the global warming to 1,5°.  The weight of the most carbon intensive sectors within the CSPP  portfolio  is  in  line  with  the  market  neutrality  principle  claimed  by  the  ECB,  yet  is profoundly  troubling  from  the  point  of  view  of  the  ecological  transition,  as  it  maintains  low capital costs and easy debt issuance conditions for the most polluting companies, without any assurance  that  these  financial  conditions  serve  the  purpose  of  adjusting  the  underlying business and industrial models.

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Twitter's Warning to Leftist Leaning Parties

by Oui Wed Nov 13th, 2019 at 02:41:25 PM EST

The Internet is for Western propaganda only ...

Germany needs to ban Hezbollah, US Ambassador Grenell says | DW |

Hezbollah TV channel says Twitter accounts suspended | AFP |

The television station of Lebanon's powerful Shiite movement Hezbollah protested Saturday that most of its Twitter accounts had been suspended.

Al-Manar accused the US-based social media platform of giving in to "political pressures".

"Account suspended," one such Arabic-language account, @almanarnews, read late Saturday.

"There is no place on Twitter for illegal terrorist organisations and violent extremist groups," a Twitter spokesperson told AFP.

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Poland Spinning the Shoah - Anti-semitism

by Oui Tue Nov 12th, 2019 at 02:38:55 PM EST

Poland asks Netflix to make changes to Nazi documentary

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Pompeo On Tour Sowing Division

by Oui Fri Nov 8th, 2019 at 03:58:15 PM EST

Just like his boss, Mike Pompeo is a loyal executioner of extreme rightwing policy. Pompeo has dismantled the art of diplomacy in the State Department and is converting foreign policy to Trump's bullying tactics ..

    It was Mr. Pompeo who helped Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani oust the respected American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch, in April. Both Michael McKinley, a senior adviser to Mr. Pompeo and a four-time ambassador, and Philip T. Reeker, the acting assistant secretary for Europe, testified that they asked State Department leadership to defend Ms. Yovanovitch from false accusations, only to be rejected.

h/t Bernard

Macron referred to NATO as experiencing 'brain death' and the Atlanticist world goes apeshit crazy. Not that anyone has declared NATO obsolete before.

    I hope Macron's remarks do not lead to repair work in NATO HQ.  

    In the 1990s NATO was a walking dead man ... was saved by Article 5 plea from the USA after 9/11 ... fighting a full blown war and never ending "War on Terror" ... NATO regrouped to become proxy to fight wars for American Capitalism and expansion ... creating adversaries to increase weaponry and spending ... not heeding Eisenhower's Cold War warning of the military establishment. Time to rethink priorities to save the planet ... not increasing capacity to destroy our planet. Fortunately nr. 1 world power USA is exposing itself by electing a mad man as president ... the planet on precipice of destruction .. time to rethink European defense and Europe's interest. 😖🍀😄

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Trust In Government Big Loser By Disinformation

by Oui Mon Nov 4th, 2019 at 07:44:15 PM EST

Creating chaos in the world is a planner's delight to mould civilization in one's image. What we have seen and experienced during the last four decades, the expansion of capitalism to solve the ills of our world. The designers of this policy have flunked in my perception how the world has changed.

The fact that Western Democracy needs Disinformation to fight "evil" of adversaries we ourselves have fostered, is the ultimate proof of failure.

The armed forces investigate the use of disinformation | Time24 |

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American Cyber Security Cowboys

by Oui Tue Oct 29th, 2019 at 12:06:11 PM EST

Came across this article today ...

    Tiversa dominated an emerging online market
    --before it was accused of fraud, extortion, and
    manipulating the federal government.

A Cybersecurity Firm's Sharp Rise and Stunning Collapse | The New Yorker - Nov. 4, 2019 |

Boback is a storyteller. Words pour out of him in cascades that, depending on the listener, can register as beguiling, slick, questionable, or bullshit. One colleague described him as "very confident, sometimes bordering on cocky." Another told me, "He was a master manipulator. Watching him was like watching van Gogh use oils."

As Boback began marketing his system, he landed a big meeting with lawyers representing the Recording Industry Association of America, but the lawyers said they already had a strategy to combat file sharing: sue the problem into oblivion. Undeterred, he and Hopkins flew to Los Angeles, where they met with Darcy Antonellis, the head of anti-piracy efforts at Warner Bros.

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US Iraq Asset Killed In Idlib

by Oui Sun Oct 27th, 2019 at 09:34:52 AM EST

Baghdadi became a leader while imprisoned during US occupation of Iraq.

His jihadist militia were part of a four-pronged attack on the sovereign state of Syria under cover of the so-called insurgency started in Daraa in 2011, just north of the border from Jordan on the road to Damascus. The southern city of Daraa was called the "Cradle of the Revolution".

Turkey allowed foreign fighters to cross its border at Jisr al-Shughur into Syria, supplied by weapons transported from the Libyan tragedy and funded by ally nation Qatar of the Muslim Brotherhood. This crossing was an important trade route into the Euphrates valley.

Sunni fighters from Lebanon crossed into Syria from the West, indoctrinated by Wahhabism from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for decades. Hariri the son and the Elder were Saudi citizens and proxies for the Sunni cause in a fractured Lebanon.

King Hussein of Jordan joined the cause of Saddam Hussein in 1990 and Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The control of all of the Hashemite's kingdom was his ambition. Jordan wasn't in a position to make such a miscalculation again and Abdullah II permitted the US and British special forces to set up jihadist trainings camps in Northern Jordan. Once Hama and Daraa would fall into the hands of the insurgents, a foothold will make expansion easier.

Once the foreign insurgency was well underway, US and Turkey's NATO partners chipped in with political and military aid from all sides: intelligence, weapons, training, and especially weaponized propaganda.

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Flynn Hires New Attorney for Get-out of Jail Card

by Oui Fri Oct 25th, 2019 at 08:20:44 PM EST

A new attorney as Mike Flynn tries to limit his sentencing before judge Emmit Sullivan. Multiple views on the procedure, need to wait to see how this turns out.

Dallas Attorney Sidney Powell Takes Over Michael Flynn Defense | Texas Lawyer - June 12, 2019 |

    Sidney Powell is author of the new book "Licensed to Lie, Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice." The book's description reads, "Licensed to Lie reveals the strong-arm, illegal, and unethical tactics used by headline-grabbing federal prosecutors in their narcissistic pursuit of power to the highest halls of our government" and focuses on the conduct of the Justice Department during the Enron investigation in the mid-2000s. [Source: The Hill]

Michael Flynn's Deep State Strategy Is Failing in Court. He May Not Care | Mother Jones - Sept. 10, 2019 |

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My Take A Short Extension, No Election [Update]

by Oui Thu Oct 24th, 2019 at 06:45:23 PM EST

[Update-1]

Long Extension, December Election

"quite a turn-around as Jeremy Corbyn meets obligation of promise made"

[END OF UPDATE]

I have no clue what the EU-27 will decide on Friday, but to extend three months will NOT solve the domestic problems of a dysfunctional House of Commons in a twist with Downing Street 10 and the Boris Brexiteers.

Europe needs to get Brexit done, after long negotiations with Theresa May, her deal blocked by the ERG Group, it's time to get a deal done and start the most difficult trade negotiations. Time for a general election has gone, whatever the outcome, little will change and worst case the UK gets out with no-deal after all.

EU to decide on Brexit extension -- but then what? | DW |

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is waiting on word from the other 27 EU heads of state and government on whether the October 31 Brexit date can be delayed.

"Alas we cannot now know what the EU will do in response to the request from Parliament -- I stress it wasn't my request -- to ask for a delay," Johnson told the House of Commons.

Option 1: Extension, no election, try to finalize deal

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In the Footsteps of Witness Bill Taylor

by Oui Wed Oct 23rd, 2019 at 06:02:05 PM EST

A visual timeline of the events that led up to Trump's fateful phone call | USA Today - Sept. 27, 2019 |

See my first diary - Impeachment: Key Witness Envoy Kurt Volker Resigns - Aug. 28, 2019.

Read the full declassified text of the Trump whistleblower complaint

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Brexit Deal On Cliff Edge - DUP Says No

by Oui Tue Oct 15th, 2019 at 07:06:28 AM EST

Title change: “EU Michel Barnier: Brexit Deal Possible This Week!!”

[Update-3]

Boris Johnson news – live: PM's Brexit deal with EU shot down by DUP just moments after triumphal announcement | The Independent |

[Update-2]

Boris Woke Up with a 'Splitting' Headache

DUP says it cannot support customs terms in Boris Johnson's deal

[Update-1]

Boris Johnson 'on brink of Brexit deal' after border concessions | The Guardian |

UK and EU closing in on a deal, as negotiating teams work on legal text | Telegraph |

[End update]

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says a deal with Britain is still possible this week | AP |

Brexit deal 'still possible this week', says EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier | Sky News |

The EU's chief negotiator believes a Brexit deal is "still possible this week" as he returned to "intense" discussions with UK officials.

Speaking on his arrival at a gathering of EU ministers in Luxembourg, where Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay will also be present, EU negotiator Michel Barnier told reporters: "Our team are working hard."

More to follow ...

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News and Views

 December 2019

by Colman - Dec 11, 422 comments

Your take on this month's news

 End of Year (and possibly times) thread

by Colman - Dec 11, 79 comments

What could possibly go wrong?

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