More to ignore, Book 58........

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
103,348
18,479
1

aux-head-1651746179-20220505_vsu_360.jpg


The Ukrainian special forces liberated one more settlement.

The KRAKEN Ukrainian special unit liberated the village of Pitomnik in the Kharkiv region with the support of other units.

"One more settlement is under the control of Ukraine. Our army continues to liberate Ukrainian land,” writes "Ostanniy Blokpost" (The Last Checkpoint).
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
103,348
18,479
1

A video of Ukrainian forces firing ground-launched Brimstone missiles has begun to circulate on social media. To our knowledge, the clip is the first recorded footage of a ground-based Brimstone launch in Ukraine, as well as the first video of a Brimstone missile being fired from an improvised launcher installed in the back of a truck.

While the circumstances surrounding the recorded launch are unclear, there is speculation pointing to a possible training exercise at an undisclosed location. The video serves as a particularly fascinating first look at the improvised ground launcher platform being used by Ukraine for the advanced missiles that were gifted to it by the United Kingdom.

The UK confirmed that it would be delivering Brimstone precision-guided missiles to Ukraine in late April, meaning the overall development and donation took mere days to carry out. Despite British officials originally hinting at the potential of a truck mount, the video of it in action gives us a better idea of how this was pulled off.


The Brimstone family of missiles, produced by European missile consortium MBDA, are ground, surface, and air-launched weapons clocking in at a little under 6 feet long and 110 pounds. Most importantly, it has a range of between 5 and 12 miles, with the lower end of that spectrum being most likely for land and surface-launched applications, the latter of which goes by the name Sea Spear. Its guidance system is designed to be all-weather, day-and-night capable through the use of an active millimetric-wave radar seeker. Brimstone is capable of salvo attacks and autonomously finding targets once it reaches a designated target area. This makes it ideal for taking out armor, artillery, and boat formations........
.......

Short-range missile systems have been a pivotal part of Ukrainian defensive operations, with ground-launched buggy and truck-mounted systems recently taking on greater prominence. These improvised arrangements not only make these systems considerably more maneuverable, but the likeness they share to civilian vehicles and/or small overall visual signature bolsters their survivability.

These Brimstone missiles on wheels could quickly become major domain-spanning threats for Russian forces, plinking armor in the east and threatening Russian ships approaching the country's shoreline in the south. The U.K. has the ability to keep the supply flowing, as well, and there is no shortage of platforms that can field the system in an improvised manner.

In other words, Ukraine is now fielding one of the most advanced weapons it has ever taken possession of and it can deploy it pretty much anywhere and any way it imagines.
 
Last edited:

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
103,348
18,479
1

Crane-at-snake-island.jpg


New satellite imagery of Ukraine's Zmiinyi Island, or Snake Island, which Russia currently occupies, shows what appears to be a Russian Navy Project 02690 self-propelled crane barge moored at its small dock. This comes around a week after Ukrainian TB2 armed drones sunk one of Russia's Project 11770 Serna class landing craft that looked to be preparing to offload a Tor-series surface-to-missile system onto the island. After that, a daring raid by Ukrainian Su-27 Flanker combat jets significant damage to facilities ashore.

The crane barge in the image, which The War Zone obtained from Planet Labs and was taken on May 12, is almost certainly SPK-46150. That particular example is assigned to Russia's Black Sea Fleet, which is currently headquartered in Sevastopol on the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula.

Why SPK-46150 is now docked at Snake Island is unclear, but it could well be linked to the sunken Serna class landing craft. The wreck of that vessel is also visible in the Planet Labs image resting underwater in the shallows near a boat ramp close to the main dock.

The plan could be to use the crane barge to recover what's left of the landing craft and remove it as a potential obstacle, or at least retrieve the Tor system. At the same time, another Serna is present in the image at the boat ramp, appearing to have sailed right over its sunken cousin. A third example of one of these landing craft is seen sailing just north of the island in the imagery, as well.......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
103,348
18,479
1

The US justice department secretly issued a subpoena to gain access to details of the phone account of a Guardian reporter as part of an aggressive leak investigation into media stories about an official inquiry into the Trump administration’s child separation policy at the southern border.

Leak investigators issued the subpoena to obtain the phone number of Stephanie Kirchgaessner, the Guardian’s investigations correspondent in Washington. The move was carried out without notifying the newspaper or its reporter, as part of an attempt to ferret out the source of media articles about a review into family separation conducted by the Department of Justice’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz.


It is highly unusual for US government officials to obtain a journalist’s phone details in this way, especially when no national security or classified information is involved. The move was all the more surprising in that it came from the DoJ’s inspector general’s office – the watchdog responsible for ethical oversight and whistleblower protections......

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
103,348
18,479
1

The Department of Justice has opened a grand jury investigation related to former President Donald Trump's alleged mishandling of classified documents, following the revelation in February that he had brought boxes of documents home to his Mar-a-Lago estate when he left the White House.

At least one subpoena has been issued to the National Archives, and interview requests have been made to some former aides who were with Trump during his last days in office, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

The news was first reported by the New York Times.

"President Trump consistently handled all documents in accordance with applicable law and regulations," a spokesperson for Trump said in a statement following news of the probe. "Belated attempts to second-guess that clear fact are politically motivated and misguided."

Officials with the Department of Justice declined to comment on the matter..........

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
103,348
18,479
1
Working-class champion Lauren Boebert is a horrible boss, say ex-employees
Aldous J Pennyfarthing

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Lauren Boebert is a real person instead of, say, a bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato, or—perhaps more appropriately—a gaping, alcohol-related head wound with an ayahuasca ‘n’ bath salts poultice.

But she’s real. Oh, is she ever. She’s real, and she’s spectacular-ly awful.

The latest evidence? This deep dive from Mother Jones into the phantasmagorical Candy Land of circus peanuts and lint-spangled Werther’s Originals that is the freshman Colorado congresswoman. It won’t necessarily change your opinion of her, but it will almost certainly provide additional grist for your personal, perpetually churning hate-mill.


Fair use—which in this case means you can use Boebert snippets right up to the point of dry-heaving and sepsis—prohibits me from painting the entire garish picture, but suffice to say, many of the ex-employees of this supposed working-class champion, who operates Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado, are less than impressed with her.


Mother Jones:

Indeed, like Trump, Boebert pitches herself as a bootstrapping political outsider. On her website, in her speeches, and on the campaign trail, she touts herself as a Chamber of Commerce champion of the working class. “I’m a mom, I’m a business owner, I’m an ordinary average citizen just like all of you,” she said upon winning the congressional seat in 2020, “and we’re tired of politicians.” Boebert has said her rise to Congress is tantamount to “living the American dream,” an uplift that will “keep radical socialists out of government so that people can be empowered to lift themselves out of poverty.”
But a close look at Boebert’s past reveals cracks in the narrative she’s built. And for several people who worked at her restaurant and know her personally, Boebert’s American dream has been more like a “nightmare.”

Oh, now that sounds interesting. Tell me more, disgruntled Shooters employees!

In fact, five former Shooters employees tell me that Boebert frequently failed to pay her employees on time. (Two of the former workers wished to remain anonymous because they feared retaliation; another did not want to be named and publicly associated with Boebert.) “The second the restaurant blew up, her head blew up, and it became something entirely different,” one former waitress says. “And I got to meet a new version of her that is a monster.”

You mean beta Boebert wasn’t yet a monster? Couldn’t they find an Abby Normal brain that fit inside that head?

“Multiple” employees also told Mother Jones that they were paid in cash, without any taxes being deducted, and that she was often nowhere to be found—unless news crews happened to be on the scene.

She could also be a selfish and mean boss. While many of her employees struggled financially, Boebert allegedly spent “exorbitant sums” on breast implants, private school tuition for her kids, and a new Cadillac Escalade. She also reportedly flashed an imperious side that belied her woman-of-the-people image.

According to one former employee, “If she would come into the restaurant, everyone just knew we were just gonna have a bad day, because she would just walk around and nitpick.”

And while Boebert has always touted responsible gun ownership, one employee noted that even the emphasis she placed on gun safety was B.S. The employee told Mother Jones that Boebert once pointed a loaded gun at him when he said he would have voted for President Obama in 2016 if he’d been eligible to run. “She would tell it like a joke,” he said. “She thought it was hilarious.”


Meanwhile, some of Boebert’s employees remain just as perplexed by her electoral success as the rest of us.

“It blows my mind she was able to get elected,” one worker said. “I’m just disillusioned with the entire system.”

And Josh Boyington, a former cook at Shooters, flat out said she shouldn’t be in Congress.

“She’s an easy person to love if you don’t know her,” he said. “It’s just, once you get to know her, you just don’t love her.”

You mean she’s actually worse than she appears from a distance? Sweet Tina Yothers, that is vexing. I might even say it’s beyond the pale, but as we all know, nothing on God’s green globule is whiter than Lauren Boebert.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
103,348
18,479
1
Ukraine update: Severodonetsk faces the storm
Mark Sumner

According to statements that Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials have made on state-run media, there are three goals for the “special military action” in Ukraine.

One is to secure all of Donetsk and Luhansk oblast and bring them into Russia. The idea that either will be an independent “people’s republic,” or that there might be some kind of referendum to determine their fate is now old hat. They’ll just be part of Russia. And like it.

The second is to secure a land bridge between the Donbas and Russian-occupied Crimea. Mariupol still sits in the middle of this space like a big middle finger to Putin’s ambitions, but except for the resistance still striking out from Azovstal, this is the one part of Putin’s plan that is more or less going to plan.

The third goal is … denazification … or demilitarization … or something like that. Which Putin seems free to redefine at every speech. At the moment, it seems to be simply an excuse to kill anyone who opposes being ruled by Russia. Which is a number roughly equal to everyone.

Of course, those goals have only the loosest connection to what Russia is actually doing in Ukraine. Fighting is going on far outside the Donbas, and Russia now appears to have decided that Kherson is an independent republic. Strike that. Russian protectorate. Strike that. Russian colony. Putin is also continuing to fling missiles everywhere in Ukraine, almost all of them at civilian targets. When the first “hypersonic” missile was launched into Ukraine, it was a big deal. Now Russia has launched somewhere around a dozen, mostly into Lviv, Odesa, and other cities in the west. These seem to have no objective other than causing death and destruction. He’s killing people, because he can.

The U.S. Department of Defense assesses that Putin’s plans have not changed from the beginning. Sure, he lost the Battle of Kyiv, but that was just a setback. Yes, capturing the Donbas and a land bridge to Crimea is the bare minimum that Putin can call a “victory.” But there’s absolutely no reason to think Putin will stop there if those goals are achieved.

In fact there is no red line, neither in the sense of goals achieved, or materiel losses, that will cause Putin to call a stop. He won’t stop if 50,000 Russian soldiers are dead. He certainly won’t stop if his forces enjoy enough success to achieve goals one and two. Putin will stop when he is made to stop. When it becomes clear that every day the invasion continues things are going to get worse for both Russia and the Russian military, and most importantly, that they’re going to get worse for Vladimir Putin.
........
Another day, another attempted bridge crossing. And once again, the tally of Russian losses is simply amazing.



FSkeNuHXsAA6-O4


From the images just along the riverbank, it was hard to tell just what a devastating defeat Russia suffered in that thwarted attempt on Wednesday, but with a chance to review additional images, it’s clear that the losses were even greater than thought.



Translations from Russian sources actually put the number of vehicles lost at 78.
.............
The M777 howitzers sent by the U.S. have gotten most of the attention, but there are other systems that have been provided to Ukraine that could also make a huge difference. Among them are M113 APCs. We last saw them in Georgia, being lined up for shipment.



Now they are actually rolling through the mud in eastern Ukraine, and it looks like some Ukrainian troops are enjoying the ride.



.........

As with Popasna, Rubizhne is one of those locations where Ukrainian forces have repelled one advance after another during weeks of heavy fighting. The city has gone down almost street by street, but in the last few days it was clear that remaining troops were being forced to step back to the south, especially after Russian forces captured the village of Vojevodivka, which guarded the road connecting Rubizhne and Severodonetsk.



Capturing Severodonetsk is a major goal for Russia, as it is now the only large Ukrainian holding on the east bank of that ubiquitous Siverskyi Donets River. With forces pushing up from the breakthrough at Popasna, and Severodonetsk under attack from three sides, Ukraine has to be considering pulling back from these easternmost areas under its control. Reports indicate that Russian troops are now pushing into the city from both north and south.

Progress out of the Izyum salient continues to be all but nonexistent, and the fast action of Ukrainian forces north of Kharkiv has caused Russia to shift some tactical groups north to protect against a possible breach of their supply lines. But in this one area, Russia seems to be grinding out yardage, and it’s not clear that Ukraine is capable of holding this last position east of the river. Ukrainian commanders on the ground at Severodonetsk say they expect an “all out ground assault” by Russian forces within the next day.

Pulling surprises out of their helmet seems to be a Ukrainian specialty. They need a big one in Severodonetsk.
........

MilitaryLand.net’s daily analysis for day 78…



  • Ukrainian forces have retreated from Rubizhne towards Severodonetsk and Pryvillia. Along the way, Ukrainian troops blew up a bridge connecting Rubizhne and Severodonetsk, though based on images, this was a small bridge and shouldn’t be expected to form a major obstacle to Russia’s advance.
  • Russian troops attempted to break through Ukrainian lines near Novoselivka, “but the attack was repulsed.” Read that as Russia losing more men and equipment.
  • Ukraine has moved some forces that were still up around Sumy to support the eastern area.
  • Russian forces failed in an attack on Zelene Pole, and in an attack on Marinka, and in an attack on Avdiivka. Again, read each of those failures as having a cost.
  • The two ends of the line — around Kherson and Kharkiv — had no significant changes of positions on Thursday.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
103,348
18,479
1

Key Takeaways

  • Russian forces made marginal gains to the north of Severodonetsk and have likely captured Rubizhne and Voevodivka.
  • Russian forces fired intensively on Ukrainian positions in northern Kharkiv to stop the ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive around Kharkiv City. The artillery focus on Ukrainian positions has likely diverted the Russian artillery that remains in range of Kharkiv to the more urgent task of stopping the Ukrainian advance.
  • Russian forces are strengthening their position on Snake Island in an effort to block Ukrainian maritime communications and capabilities in the northwestern Black Sea on the approaches to Odesa.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
103,348
18,479
1
Rand Paul delays Senate passage of critical $40B aid bill for Ukraine, upsetting Schumer, McConnell
Charles Jay

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has blocked quick passage of a critical $40 billion package needed to keep military and humanitarian aid flowing to Ukraine amid an escalating Russian onslaught in the Donbas region, CNN and other news outlets reported..

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell rarely agree on fast-tracking legislation through the Senate. But both agreed on Thursday to request unanimous consent in order to bypass procedural hurdles so the Ukraine aid package could quickly be approved.......
........
"The package is ready to go," Schumer said. "The vast majority of senators on both sides of the aisle want it. There's now only one thing holding us back the junior senator from Kentucky is preventing swift passage of Ukraine aid because he wants to add at the last minute his own changes directly into the bill. His change is strongly opposed by many members of both parties."

McConnell said: “Ukraine is not asking us to fight this war. They’re only asking for the resources they need to defend themselves against this deranged invasion. And they need this help right now.”..........


 
  • Like
Reactions: tgar

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
103,348
18,479
1

Influential Republicans in Washington and among the nationwide party elite are having a belated "oh s--t" moment over the previously unimaginable prospect that Kathy Barnette could win their party's nomination for the open Senate seat in Pennsylvania.

Why it matters:
In Barnette, who's been soaring in the polls ahead of Tuesday's primary, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would be dealing with a general election candidate who'd be an opposition researcher's dream — potentially endangering the GOP effort to take back the Senate.

  • McConnell has been fixated on ensuring the 2022 midterms are not a repeat of the 2012 or 2010 cycles.
  • The Kentuckian said Republicans missed good chances to win the majority in those years because they nominated candidates who talked about things like "legitimate rape" or had to publicly assure voters they weren't witches.
  • Barnette’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
..............

FSmKHeAX0AA2NZp
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
103,348
18,479
1
An openly pro-coup Trumpist could become Pennsylvania’s next governor

......This basic situation is reflected in some media coverage of Mastriano’s surge. But there’s something more nefarious about Mastriano than those basic facts convey when it comes to the true threat to democracy he poses.

Mastriano didn’t just try to help Trump overturn the election. At the time, he also essentially declared his support for the notion that the popular vote can be treated as non-binding when it comes to the certification of presidential electors.......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
103,348
18,479
1
McConnell declares fall of Roe a 'wash' in the midterms as abortion upends political landscape
Kerry Eleveld

GOP Minority Leader Mitch McConnell isn’t in the habit of saying much unless he thinks he has to. So the fact that he sat down with NPR to defend the Supreme Court's radical draft decision on Roe v. Wade and downplay its effect on the midterm is telling.

"I think it will be certainly heavily debated in state legislative and governor's races because the court will have, in effect, returned this issue to the political process," McConnell said, trying to cordon off the state-level impacts from Congress. "My guess is in terms of the impact on federal races, I think it's probably going to be a wash."

Nice try. The notion that key Senate contests will somehow be hermetically sealed from gubernatorial races where abortion rights loom especially large—particularly in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Georgia, and Arizona—is preposterous.

Meanwhile, Axios is reporting that Republicans were "shaken" by the leak after they thought they could go on autopilot for the rest of the cycle and cruise into the majority.
.................
An adviser to House GOP leaders says their polling shows voters aren't "hip to this kind of seismic change," particularly in the battleground districts where the majorities will be decided.

Huh. Turns out voters just aren’t that into “seismic change” on a deeply personal issue that had been settled law for half a century. The reason we can be assured Republicans have a problem on their hands is the fact that McConnell went on record declaring the issue a "wash."

In the meantime, Axios has another report on the districts and races where the abortion upheaval is likely to matter most.

House of Representatives

New York: State maps aren't final yet, but two Republican seats in Long Island in the 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts could prove problematic.

California: Orange County Republican incumbent Reps. Young Kim and Michelle Steel are potentially vulnerable.

Beyond those four GOP seats, Axios homes in on districts in and around college towns, including North Carolina's 13th District, where incumbent GOP Rep. Ted Budd is making a Senate bid, Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio in Oregon's 4th District, and Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin in Michigan's 7th District.

As Slotkin spokesperson Austin Cook noted, "It's not theoretical for Michiganders — the moment Roe is overturned, the law snaps back into effect and the consequences will be immediate.”

But the damage in terms of Senate races could be even more catastrophic.

Senate

In Pennsylvania, a key pickup target for Senate Democrats, Republicans have spent the final week of their primary explaining to voters how each candidate was best suited to consign abortion rights to the dustbin of history.

Army veteran and author Kathy Barnette, who is suddenly giving her two male rivals a run for their money, revealed during a debate that she was born to a mother who had been raped at 11 years old.

"I was not just a lump of cells," Barnette said, pointedly challenging the pro-life cred of TV huckster Mehmet Oz, whom Trump endorsed, and former hedge fund manager David McCormick.

After the exchange, Oz underwent a "life begins at conception" conversion.

McCormick, who supports an abortion ban with a limited exception for the life of the mother, then attacked Oz for putting forward "phony" positions.

The same is true in Georgia, where all six candidates vying for the GOP nomination have backed total bans without exceptions, according to Time.

In Ohio, GOP Senate nominee J.D. Vance famously called abortion "inconvenient" and opposes exceptions for rape and incest.

And in Wisconsin, incumbent GOP Sen. Ron Johnson, an eager backer of abortion bans, has just begun shoving foot into mouth on the fall of Roe.

“It might be a little messy for some people, but abortion is not going away,” Johnson said, before offering the pitch-perfect insight that Wisconsinites could still drive across state lines to Illinois. “I just don’t think this is going to be the big political issue everybody thinks it is, because it’s not going to be that big a change.”

So sure, McConnell can say whatever he wants on the record. But in Michigan State House District 74, Democrat Carol Glanville defeated Republican Robert Regan last week by 8 points in a seat Republicans had won in 2020 by a 26-point margin.

Glanville scored that upset on the same night Politico broke news of the leaked draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade. Her victory was forged when Regan said during a livestream, "Having three daughters, I tell my daughters, well, 'If rape is inevitable, you should just lie back and enjoy it.'"

The entire episode had Todd Akin 2012 written all over it. Rest assured: More of those GOP witticisms on abortion are coming down the pike at a moment when America's women are reeling. How that will ultimately play in November remains to be seen, but it is undoubtedly a net-plus for Democrats and McConnell damn well knows it.