More to ignore, Book 55........

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Former Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf changed and delayed an intelligence report detailing Russian interference in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, according to a new review by the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) top watchdog.

The decision to deviate from DHS standard review procedures "rais[ed] objectivity concerns," according to the report, and led to the perception that unorthodox interference by a top DHS official was intended to help Donald Trump's reelection bid.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at DHS, through its Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A), released the redacted results of its investigation into Russian interference in the election — "DHS Actions Related to an I&A Intelligence Product Deviated from Standard Procedures" — on Tuesday.

"We found that DHS did not adequately follow its internal processes and comply with applicable [intelligence community] policy standards and requirements when editing and disseminating an I&A intelligence product regarding Russian interference with the 2020 U.S. Presidential election," the DHS OIG report states, in part.

"The acting secretary participated in the review process multiple times despite lacking any formal role in reviewing the product, resulting in the delay of its dissemination on at least one occasion," the DHS inspector general report continued. "The delays and deviation from I & A standard process and requirements put [them] at risk of creating a perception of politicization.".......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Susan Collins whines about completely predictable SCOTUS abortion flip.
Witgren

Susan Collins is apparently upset about missing the complete bloody obvious, i.e., that packing the court with a bunch of right wing ideologues would result in them trying to overturn Roe v Wade.

Gosh, Senator, I wonder who could have predicted such an outcome? Hmm. The answer, of course is (checks notes), umm, pretty damned much EVERYBODY who hasn’t been in a coma in a deep cave located in a remote jungle since, oh, pre-1973.

Anyway, Senator Collins is totally flabbergasted, stunned, and no doubt concerned that according to her, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh lied (gasp!) to her about their intentions vis a vis Roe v Wade if they were to be appointed to SCOTUS.

"If this leaked draft opinion is the final decision and this reporting is accurate, it would be completely inconsistent with what Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office," Collins said in a statement. "Obviously, we won't know each Justice's decision and reasoning until the Supreme Court officially announces its opinion in this case."

Huh. Imagine expecting a guy credibly accused of raping a woman as a young man lying about something in order to get his sociopathic ass implanted firmly onto a seat on the most powerful court in the country. Funny old world, innit, Senator?

I expect next week we’ll be seeing headlines that Senator Collins is surprised to discover that water is, indeed, wet.

 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Trump-endorsed rich guy J.D. Vance wins massively expensive Ohio Senate primary
Jeff Singer

The Republican primary for Ohio's open Senate seat—which weighed in at nearly $75 million—finally concluded on Tuesday with a win for Trump's endorsed candidate, venture capitalist J.D. Vance. Vance, the Hillbilly Elegy author and one-time vociferous Trump critic, reinvented himself as a MAGA diehard and defeated former state Treasurer Josh Mandel 31-25 for the nod to succeed retiring Sen. Rob Portman. Vance will take on Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, who won his own primary 71-17 against former Treasury official Morgan Harper, in a longtime swing state that has lurched hard to the right in recent years.

Just a few months ago, Vance's allies at Protect Ohio Values, a super PAC funded by megadonor Peter Thiel, warned that the candidate's poll numbers were in "precipitous decline." The group highlighted the previous fall’s assault by the Club for Growth, which supported Mandel and had run a barrage of ads using 2016 footage of Vance saying, "I'm a Never Trump guy," an offensive that persuaded many voters that Vance could not be trusted.

Thiel's group responded with new advertisements that rebranded Vance as a Trump loyalist, a maneuver that seems to have at least kept him in contention. Vance was also able to keep going because none of his four major rivals were able to establish a meaningful lead—either in the polls or in the contest to win Trump's endorsement. (Only state Sen. Matt Dolan, who criticized Trump as recently as last year, didn't seek it.) The financier also had a powerful ally in Fox News host Tucker Carlson, whom Rolling Stone reported played a key role in winning Trump over to Vance's side.

Carlson reportedly not only made the case that Vance's anti-Trump days were long behind him, he also argued that Mandel's main benefactor, Club president David McIntosh, was untrustworthy because of what the story calls an "an embarrassing and 'chronic' personal sexual habit." The magazine refused to provide any details about this salacious claim, but it relayed that Trump "spent a notable amount of time gossiping and laughing about the prominent Republican's penis." (Can't believe you just had to read that sentence? We can't believe we had to write it, either.)

No matter what ultimately convinced Trump, though, he went on to give his stamp of approval to Vance less than three weeks ahead of the primary. Trump excused Vance's past disloyalty at a recent rally, saying that while his new favorite had indeed "said some bad shit about me," each of his rivals "did also."

The Club hoped that voters wouldn't be so forgiving, and it even ran a commercial questioning Trump's judgment—a shocking gambit given the GOP's obeisance to its supreme master. Even Trump himself managed to give Vance a humiliating round of headlines just two days before Election Day when he told an audience, "We've endorsed—JP, right? JD Mandel, and he's doing great." But while Trump couldn't remember Vance's name, enough Republican primary voters could.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine Update: Russia vowed to refocus its war effort, but it's as scattered as ever
kos

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Ukrainian fighter, somewhere on the eastern Donbas front.

Mark Sumner wrote earlier today about the incredible shrinking Russian army. It’s an important read, as it explains why Russia is stuck on all fronts in Ukraine despite having a seemingly overwhelming numerical and equipment advantage. The bottom line, as it turns out, is that Russia doesn’t have a numerical and equipment advantage.


Russia didn’t gain any ground today, anywhere. They are stuck stuck. Meanwhile, Ukraine finally confirmed the capture of the strategic city of Staryi Saltiv, which actually took place over the weekend. Those Ukrainian gains around Kharkiv now allow utter destruction of supply convoys anywhere near that city. No wonder the Donbas front is stymied.



Meanwhile, Russia is still doing what it claimed to be fixing after the Battle of Kyiv—spreading its forces too thin, along too wide of a front, unable to mass its forces for a decisive punch through Ukrainian defensive lines, all the while its long supply lines are decimated by Ukrainian forces.


Except this time, Russia can’t attempt a do-over like it did after Kyiv. It’s do or die, and mostly, it’s the dying part.