More to ignore, Book 48..........

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Dmitry Muratov, the editor of the pro-democracy Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, was doused in red paint while traveling on a train to the Russian city of Samara, he said in a Thursday statement. The paint was apparently laced with the solvent acetone and caused his eyes to burn, he said. While it’s not clear who attacked him, he said he heard his assailant shout, “This is for our boys!” Muratov shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Filipino-American journalist Maria Ressa in 2021 for “their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.” His newspaper has often exposed corruption and human rights violations by the Putin regime, and it was forced to stop publishing last month as Russia introduced laws to punish anyone spreading anti-war content.



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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Disturbing details emerge about the two men arrested for posing as federal agents
Jen Hayden

On Wednesday, FBI agents arrested Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Ali, 36, for impersonating federal agents. Prosecutors said the men passed themselves off as agents of a phony Homeland Security department and offered gifts to U.S. Secret Service officers, including iPhones, surveillance equipment, drones, a penthouse apartment, and more. The Associated Press reports one of the agents who was offered gifts worked on Dr. Jill Biden’s security detail.

Today, prosecutors are releasing additional information about what was discovered in a search of the suspects’ residence—and it is nothing short of shocking. This case is about to get much, much bigger.

The Washington Post reports one of the men told investigators he has ties to Pakistani intelligence and both men have visas showing travel to Iran and Pakistan.


Federal prosecutors detailed the new findings from their residence, and it would seem that a massive plot was underway.




Stay tuned for details as they become available. It seems there is much more to this story.



 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Idaho judge scolds Ammon Bundy before jail sentence, saying he needs to be 'held accountable'
Jen Hayden

Ammon Bundy is headed off to Ada County jail after he thoroughly ticked off an Idaho judge. Bundy was convicted in March for an April 2020 trespassing charge at the Idaho Capitol Building. He was given community service, one year of probation, and a $3,315 fine.

But Bundy had to Bundy. He submitted to the court that he had fulfilled his 40 hours of public service—by working on his own campaign for Idaho governor.

According to KTVB, Judge Annie McDevitt said, "The whole point of public service is to give back to the community in ways that do not serve yourself.”

Ada County Prosecutor Whitney Welsh called the Capitol protest "our own little mini January 6" and showed a video of Bundy threatening two law enforcement officers, telling them he will find out where they live, saying, “I’ll come after you, each one of you personally.”








 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Rachel Maddow plans to return from her MSNBC hiatus on April 11.

Maddow has been absent from her nightly The Rachel Maddow Show since early February, when she said that she was taking a break to work on a movie version of her Bag Man podcast and other projects. She said that there “may eventually be another hiatus again sometime in my future, but for now we’re just taking it one step at a time.”

Maddow signed a multi-year agreement with NBCUniversal and MSNBC last year, but there have been reports that she plans to scale back her nightly schedule. Nothing official has been announced, but that would leave a big gap in the network’s primetime schedule.....
 

Lion8286

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What do you think about this whole Hunter Biden thing and Biden's brother too?? I told you the Biden's were a crime family, Marbles.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Washington Post provides a vivid picture of Trump, sitting at Mar-a-Lago and lying. But why?
Laura Clawson

Donald Trump’s influence is fading in the Republican Party and everyone outside of his die-hard supporters realizes that nothing he says can be trusted or believed, but The Washington Post is trumpeting an exclusive interview with him, giving Trump space to lie some more. Apparently it’s really newsworthy to hear that Trump still blames everyone else for his supporters attacking the U.S Capitol and still insists he didn’t lose fair and square in 2020.

The Post does offer context for some of what Trump lied about and omitted from his accounts, and notes that he “meandered during the interview and stonewalled questions with long answers.” But nothing here is newsworthy. “Liar continues to lie. Man who never admits error continues to insist he was right about everything.”
........
Trump’s nonsense included insisting that he was just waiting for Speaker Nancy Pelosi to put a stop to the attack on the Capitol by a mob of thousands of his supporters: “I thought it was a shame, and I kept asking why isn’t she doing something about it? Why isn’t Nancy Pelosi doing something about it? And the mayor of D.C. also. The mayor of D.C. and Nancy Pelosi are in charge,” he told the Post. “I hated seeing it. I hated seeing it. And I said, ‘It’s got to be taken care of,’ and I assumed they were taking care of it.”

While the Post notes that responsibility for the Capitol does not lie solely with the speaker of the House and that the Washington, D.C., mayor’s office repeatedly tried and failed to get through to Trump during the attack, it doesn’t mention the phone call that afternoon in which Trump responded to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s plea for Trump to tell the mob to stop attacking by saying, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”

Trump also told the Post he really had wanted to march to the Capitol himself on January 6, but was prevented by the Secret Service. That would have been something else—a violent attack on Congress that the sitting president didn’t just incite through words but physically led to the scene. Of course, since Trump lies, it remains equally likely that he had no desire to do anything more strenuous than he had already done and preferred to go relax at the White House while watching what he’d unleashed from a comfortable seat in a heated room.

He bragged at some length about the size of the crowd at the rally on the Ellipse—the crowd from which the mob of attackers peeled off beginning while he was speaking. “The crowd was far bigger than I even thought. I believe it was the largest crowd I’ve ever spoken to. I don’t know what that means, but you see very few pictures. They don’t want to show pictures, the fake news doesn’t want to show pictures.”

A bigger crowd even than the “million, million and a half people” at the 2017 inauguration? Big, if true.

It was a “tremendous crowd” which he really wanted to lead straight to the Capitol, but once it arrived there, someone else should have stopped it from battering down the doors and windows and assaulting the police officers defending the building and the Congress inside.

On the subject of the 2020 election, which the mob was attempting to overturn on January 6, Trump continues to insist that he was robbed by massive voter fraud. (Again, this is news?) In a masterpiece of admitting something in the midst of denying it, he said of Rep. Mo Brooks’ allegations that he has asked Brooks to help him overturn the election since the inauguration of President Joe Biden, “I didn’t ask [Brooks] to do it. He’s in no position to do it. I certainly didn’t ask him to do it. But I believe when you see massive election fraud, I can’t imagine that somebody who won the election based on fraud, that something doesn’t happen? How has it not happened? If you are a bank robber, or you’re a jewelry store robber, and you go into Tiffany’s and you steal their diamonds and get caught, you have to give the diamonds back.”

I didn’t ask him to do a perfectly reasonable, even just, thing that someone should definitely do. Uh huh.

Nothing about Donald Trump has changed over the past 15 months except his position in the world. And his current position means that the media should not be trotting down to Mar-a-Lago to seek out more lies from him. When he speaks at a rally or endorses a candidate? Sure, that’s news—as much as we might look forward to the day when basically nothing he does is worth our attention. But Trump, sitting at Mar-a-Lago drinking a Diet Coke? Let that guy tell his lies to the people wandering the grounds eager for the chance to suck up to him. Let him rant to the guests of weddings held at the property. It’s not worth making an effort to hear what he has to say.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Sixty-three House Republicans voted earlier this week against a resolution expressing support for NATO. That might sound extreme, but a subsequent vote last night exposed a smaller and even more hard-core faction: Six Republicans voted against a bill simply calling on the president to document evidence of Russian war crimes.

This bill does not commit the United States to war with Russia over its war crimes. It does not propose any retaliatory sanctions. It merely requires a report. That even this modest step goes too far reveals the full extent of the far right’s functional support for Russian atrocities.

Before the war, Russia commanded widespread admiration on the American right. Donald Trump repeatedly praised Vladimir Putin as a “strong” leader, social conservatives praised his advocacy of Christian values, and even traditional Republican hawks like Ted Cruz expressed envy for the manly appearance of the Russian army in contrast to the “woke, emasculated” U.S. military.

The war has, at least temporarily, tamped down open expressions of Russophilia. But the sentiment has instead been channeled into anti-anti-Russian rhetoric. Rather than openly endorsing Putin’s war aims, they focus their criticism on Putin’s targets: NATO, military aid for Ukraine, or the legitimacy of Ukraine’s government itself. Some right-wingers, most notably Tucker Carlson, have spread Russian propaganda about Ukrainian biolabs as a supposed weapons threat.

The deeper source of their animus against Ukraine is the fact the war has brought to the surface a conflict between authoritarianism and democracy. Putin’s goals in destroying Ukrainian sovereignty include destroying a democratic government on his border that might create a counterexample his own people can look to. The invasion has spurred an upsurge in pro-democracy sentiment in the West.

Representative Warren Davidson, an Ohio Republican, cited that very idea this week as the reason he opposed the pro-NATO resolution. His objection, he explained, was to the parts of the resolution highlighting the alliance’s commitment to “democratic principles” and strengthening “democratic institutions.”


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This provision would “use NATO to interfere in one another’s domestic politics,” he complained. But Davidson seems to have deeper objections to the resistance to Putin. He has also voted against the war-crimes report, joining Representatives Tom Massie, Scott Perry, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Andy Biggs, and Paul Gosar.

The anti-anti-Russia wing has multiple justifications for its stance. Will Saletan chronicles the arguments, which range from disdain for “socialist” allies to fear of escalation to an association between Ukraine and Joe Biden and the Democratic Party. What connects these disparate beliefs is an animus — sympathy for Russia and contempt for its victims — rather than a coherent agenda.

The war-crimes report is an issue that effectively strips away all those pretexts and reduces the question to a simple desire to record Russian atrocities. The refusal to accept even this step shows how deep the far right’s resentment of the resistance to Putin runs. They don’t merely oppose any steps to contain Russia’s war of aggression. They oppose even stating the truth about it.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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A couple of weeks ago, Pink Floyd’s guitarist and singer David Gilmour was asked if he’d seen the Instagram feed of Andriy Khlyvnyuk, frontman of Ukrainian rock band BoomBox. Gilmour had performed live with BoomBox in 2015, at a London benefit gig for the Belarus Free Theatre – they played a brief, endearingly raw set of Pink Floyd songs and Gilmour solo tracks – but events had moved on dramatically since then: at the end of Feburary, Khlyvnyuk had abandoned BoomBox’s US tour in order to fight against the Russian invasion.

On his Instagram, Gilmour found a video of the singer in military fatigues, a rifle slung over his shoulder, standing outside Kyiv’s St Sofia Cathedral, belting out an unaccompanied version of Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow, a 1914 protest song written in honour of the Sich Riflemen who fought both in the first world war and the Ukrainian war of independence. “I thought: that is pretty magical and maybe I can do something with this,” says Gilmour. “I’ve got a big platform that [Pink Floyd] have worked on for all these years. It’s a really difficult and frustrating thing to see this extraordinarily crazy, unjust attack by a major power on an independent, peaceful, democratic nation. The frustration of seeing that and thinking ‘what the **** can I do?’ is sort of unbearable.”

The result is Hey Hey, Rise Up!, a new single by Pink Floyd that samples Khlyvnyuk’s performance, to be released at midnight on Friday with proceeds going to Ukrainian humanitarian relief.

Most observers assumed Pink Floyd were long defunct. They last released original new music 28 years ago, although in 2014 Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason reconvened to turn outtakes from their 1994 album The Division Bell into the largely instrumental The Endless River, as a tribute to the band’s late keyboard player Rick Wright. At the time, Gilmour was insistent that was the finale for a band that began in 1965 and sold more than 250m albums. Pink Floyd couldn’t tour without Wright, who died of cancer in 2008, and there was to be no more music: “It’s a shame,” he told the BBC, “but this is the end.”

The invasion of Ukraine changed Gilmour’s mind. “I hate it when people say things like ‘As a parent, I …’, but the practicalities of having an extended Ukrainian family is part of this. My grandchildren are half-Ukrainian, my daughter-in-law Janina is Ukrainian – her grandmother was in Kharkiv until three weeks ago. She’s very old, disabled, in a wheelchair and has a carer, and Janina and her family managed to get her all the way across Ukraine to the Polish border and now they’ve managed to get her to Sweden, literally last week.”

After “finding the chords for what Andriy was singing and writing another section that I could be” – Gilmour rolls his eyes – “the rock god guitar player on”, he hastily convened a recording session last week with Mason, Pink Floyd’s longstanding bassist Guy Pratt, and musician, producer and composer Nitin Sawhney on keyboards, layering their music with Khlyvnyuk’s sampled voice; Rick Wright’s daughter Gala also attended. They also shot a video for the song, with Mason playing a set of drums decorated with a painting by Ukrainian artist Maria Primachenko (the fate of her paintings remains unknown following the bombing of a museum in Ivankiv).

“I rang Nick up and said: ‘listen, I want to do this thing for Ukraine. I’d be really happy if you played on it and I’d also be really happy if you’d agree to us putting it out as Pink Floyd.’ And he was absolutely on for that.

“It’s Pink Floyd if it’s me and Nick, and that is the biggest promotional vehicle; that is, as I said, the platform that I’ve been working on for my whole adult life, since I was 21. I wouldn’t do this with many more things, but it’s so vitally, vitally important that people understand what’s going on there and do everything within their power to change that situation. And the thought, also, that mine and Pink Floyd’s support of the Ukrainians could help boost morale in those areas: they need to know the whole world supports them.

“When I spoke to Andriy, he was telling me about the things he’d seen, and I said to him, ‘you know this has been on the BBC here in England, and on television around the world? Everyone is seeing these terrible things that are happening.’ And he said, ‘Oh really? I didn’t know.’ I don’t think that most people there have got such great communication and they don’t really understand that actually, the things they are going through are being shown to the world.”

Gilmour says it took some time for him to track Khlyvnyuk down, trawling Instagram and trying phone numbers. Eventually he found an email address. “He wanted to speak on FaceTime – I think he wanted to be sure it was me. The next time I saw him, he was in hospital, having been injured by a mortar. He showed me this tiny quarter-inch piece of shrapnel that had embedded itself in his cheek. He’d kept it in a plastic bag. But you can imagine, if those kind of things are going off, it could just as easily have been a piece over an inch across, which would have taken his head off.”

Prior to the band’s unexpected reconvening, Pink Floyd’s post-1987 output – and the solo work of their late founder, Syd Barrett – was removed from streaming services in Russia and Belarus as part of a cultural boycott. Their most famous work, from the 1960s and 70s, was not removed, leading to rumours that moves to do so had been blocked by former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters, whose relations with his former bandmates are legendarily strained. A week before Russia invaded Ukraine, Waters told an interviewer on Russia Today that talk of a Russian invasion was “bullshit ... anybody with an IQ above room temperature knows [an invasion] is nonsense”; he has subsequently condemned the invasion calling it “the act of a gangster”, while also condemning “propaganda to demonise Russia”. It’s a subject on which Gilmour won’t be drawn. “Let’s just say I was disappointed and let’s move on. Read into that what you will.”

Gilmour last spoke to Khlyvnyuk on Tuesday. “He said he had the most hellish day you could imagine, going out and picking up bodies of Ukrainians, Ukrainian children, helping with the clearing up. You know, our little problems become so pathetic and tiny in the context of what you see him doing.”

Nevertheless, Gilmour sent him the song and was “pleased and relieved that he liked it. I can tell you what he said,” he nods, fumbling for his mobile phone and reading out Khlyvnyuk’s message. “Thank you, it’s fabulous. One day we’ll play it together and have a good stout afterwards, on me.” He smiles. “I said, ‘yes, let’s do that’.”



 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine update: Russia's next moves; how we got to this point
Hunter

Russia continues to shift already-battered forces toward Eastern Ukraine and has made new moves around Kherson, but there's still no clear picture of what Russia's actual next plans might be. There are hints that Russian leaders are focused on capturing a broad section of the country centered around Kramatorsk, which would allow Russian troops to fully encircle deeply dug-in Ukrainian defenders who have long held back separatist aims in the Donbas—but outside observers are skeptical that Russia could pull off such an ambitious operation. Each of the logistical problems that plagued Russia in its Kyiv assaults—from lack of coordination to lack of communication to long supply lines that were relentlessly (and very successfully) hounded by Ukrainian territorial defenders—would only be doubled; the battalions Russia is sending have already seen hard fighting and heavy losses.

Russian leaders, however, might be so desperate for something that can be portrayed as victory that they are willing to throw as many troops as is necessary at Ukrainian defenses. We've circled from pre-war predictions—most positing that Russia would tear through Ukraine's defenses like steel through paper—to experts struggling to come up with a scenario in which Russia cobbles together any military victory at all.

That does not mean it is not possible. It also doesn't mean Russia will not continue to inflict horrific violence on Ukrainian civilians—the only Russian military skill that appears to have survived Putin's purge of competence.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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At least 30 killed in railway station missile strike as civilians try to flee Russian onslaught

Russian strike left the Kramatorsk train station "shelled" and "broken," head of railway company says

World leaders condemn Kramatorsk railway strike

Volodymyr Zelensky says "about 30 killed and 300 wounded as of this moment' in Kramatorsk

Russian Ministry of Defense calls Kramatorsk strike a "provocation"



 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine update: 'This is an evil that has no limits'
Mark Sumner

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Ukrainian soldiers clear away bodies at the Kramatorsk train station. April 8, 2022.

On Thursday evening, Ukrainian officials announced that, in anticipation of major battle in the area, they were evacuating a broad swatch of eastern Ukraine. Residents in a number of cities and towns were urged to show up at bus stops and train stations. From there, they would be taken out of the conflict zone and delivered to Kyiv or other locations where they would be safe.

On Friday morning, Russia bombed the train stations in at least four locations. At least 35 people, gathered with a handful of their belongings, seeking to escape the invasion, were killed on the station platform at Kramatorsk. How many have died in other locations is still unknown.

Informed of this latest tragedy, Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy replied in a way that captured the whole nature of the last 43 days of this invasion: “Lacking the strength and courage to stand up to us on the battlefield,” said Zelenskyy, “they are cynically destroying the civilian population. This is an evil that has no limits.”

It was Ian Fleming's arch-villain Auric Goldfinger who uttered one of the most memorable lines in fiction, “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action.” When it comes to missiles and bombs directed at civilian targets, Russia is far past those bounds. What they’re doing is something that goes beyond even the terrible label of war crime. It is war crimes as a strategy. It blows past depraved indifference into the realm of cold and calculated malevolence.

While the bombing of the maternity hospital in Mariupol might have been the most visible instance, there are multiple towns and cities where Russia has bombed or shelled every hospital and medical facility. They’ve fired missiles directly into schools and kindergartens. They’ve targeted water plants and electrical supplies. As Russia has done in so many places before, they relentlessly targeted civilian homes. Perhaps most odious of all, they deliberately sought out locations marked as shelters, those places where frightened people huddled together when the air raid sirens sounded, and struck those locations with bombs and missiles.

Terrible things happened in World War II, where governments—including, and perhaps even especially, the United States—resorted to widescale bombing of cities in an effort to reduce an enemy’s ability to continue the war. Millions of dumb munitions were dropped in places like Dresden in the hopes that some would find their targets, and the knowledge that many would end human lives. This isn’t World War II, and that’s not what this is about.

This is directed artillery fire and precision-guided munitions that have been deliberately targeted to cause the most pain, the most death, the most ongoing harm, to civilians. It’s a strategy to deprive people of their homes, of their health, and where if fails to take away their lives, of anything that might make those lives tolerable. What makes it far more terrible is that if Russian forces were actually seeking to limit their strikes to military targets, and to hit civilian areas only when they were intermingled with military equipment, they could. The Russian military didn’t just choose not to do that, they chose to do the opposite. They chose to preferentially attack civilians and civilian infrastructure.

It is a malignant strategy. A despicable strategy. One for which sufficiently vile adjectives do not exist. It’s little wonder Russian soldiers are engaged in horrendous crimes as individuals when their leadership is showing them that causing pain and suffering is the goal.

Yes, it’s war. Terrible things happen in war. Etc. Etc. That doesn’t make Russia’s actions any more tolerable or acceptable. What is clear is that any end to this invasion that doesn’t see the Russian military and civilian leadership, as a whole and as individuals, answering for these crimes, is unacceptable.

...........
Friday, Apr 8, 2022 · 9:06:54 AM EDT · Mark Sumner
How horrific can an image be without showing any bodies? This horrific. (Hopefully Twitter will put a filter over this, but I can’t guarantee). Every item on these bricks tells an awful story. A story of frightened families looking to get away, and of a malevolent force that destroyed them for no reason.


 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Friday, Apr 8, 2022 · 9:20:33 AM EDT · Mark Sumner
At least one S-300 system has been delivered by Slovakia. It was seen traveling along rail lines in Ukraine yesterday, but reporters who spotted it kept quiet. Just in case.

These are older, but still capable, systems, somewhat on par with the Patriot missile batteries familiar during the Gulf War. They’re a bit less capable of taking down missiles than the Patriot, but they have a greater range and they’re familiar to Ukrainian operators and technicians.

A quick look at the radar tower that goes with this system may make it seem that they’re somewhat less mobile than other systems, but the S-300 can supposedly be ready to go at a new location in as little as 6 minutes.




 
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