More to ignore, Book 59........

Lion8286

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Even ultra liberal CNN admits Biden has got to go ASAP, Marbles. Told you Biden is a disaster.

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Back in D.C., ‘People’s Convoy’ plan to ambush downtown with evening occupation gets a flat
David Neiwert

You may have heard that the D.C. truckers convoy, having made it all the way out to the Pacific Northwest only to turn around and head back East, made it back to Washington this week. But if you live in the D.C. area, you’d be excused if this was news to you, since the whole operation seems to have just fizzled out.

The truckers were planning to sneak into downtown Washington the evening of the 19th, according to Zachary Petrizzo of the Daily Beast, but apparently couldn’t get their act together. Instead, they wound up simply brawling with each other around their campsites at the raceway in Hagerstown, Maryland, which has served as their base of operations.

The instructions for the planned invasion of D.C. came from David Riddell, aka “Santa,” the Ohio trucker who has fashioned himself into the de facto leader of the People’s Convoy, Petrizzo reports. It started with a heads-up on Wednesday evening: “Get ready to move in about 15-20 minutes when I tell you to,” Riddell told the convoy participants at the Hagerstown encampment, where they returned earlier this week. “Be back here at four o’clock in the afternoon [on Thursday] and be ready to roll at a moment’s notice.”

He added: “You guys are the new minutemen. When we roll out of here at night, [there] will be complete and total radio silence. There will be five people that know what we’re doing and know the route we are taking.”

On Thursday, however, nothing happened—probably because their plan had been publicized. Most of the convoy’s livestreamers spent the day Thursday complaining that the convoy’s operations shouldn’t be so transparent that they could be so easily exposed. Then, as everyone remained in their campsites that evening, quarrels began breaking out, as Petrizzo reported on Twitter:

Back in Hagerstown, a fight among convoy members has broken out, with one woman claiming a man punched her husband in the face. “Get the **** out of our campsite,” the woman further yelled.


Some of the fighting made it onto a livestream



Residents of the D.C. area breathed a sigh of relief when the convoy—which attempted to create problems for Beltway traffic, and did, but their efforts were difficult to distinguish from the city’s everyday congested roadways—trundled back to California, where it originated, in late March after fruitlessly circling the city and managing at best a few photo ops with Ted Cruz. They filed a lawsuit against the city claiming their First Amendment rights were trampled by transportation officials who blocked off their access to downtown exits.

Then, after being pelted with eggs while trying to intimidate legislators in California, they continued on up to the Northwest, where they greeted protesters by firing off rounds at freeway overpasses. Once in Olympia, “Santa” declared that they would be returning to D.C., and this time they were pissed off.



You made fun of us, you placated us with cute little words, and you came out and had your little photo op meetings with us, that’s going to happen no more.
When we go back to D.C., we are not the same convoy that went there the first time. We are not the same convoy that left there. We are coming back with teeth and a backbone! That’s all there is to it! We are going there and we will be heard!
I don’t think they understand the sincerity and the hearts of American Patriots today! We are totally fed up with tyranny!

It’s never been clear exactly what their demands are or what they are protesting, particularly since the original cause of the Canadian truck convoy that the “People’s Convoy” set out to imitate—to protest COVID-19-related health mandates—has largely been ameliorated.

What’s been clear all along, in fact, is that all of these convoys really are old-fashioned far-right agitprop intended to give the True Believers a cause to rally around while peddling their conspiracist propaganda.

“Santa” also indicated, in his speech to the convoy on Wednesday, that they have a plan to occupy D.C. inside the city limits and not to come out at all—one that could still be operable. He claimed he had performed “covert” reconnaissance ahead of the operation: “This is the day we waited for,” he added.

Asked by one supporter on Wednesday evening whether the convoy has an exit plan out of D.C. proper, Riddell said he has no desire to leave the area once the trucker crew is inside city limits.
“We are going to stay,” he confidently replied. “We don’t have no exit plan.”

However, as the Washington Post reported this week, the money to finance all this protesting may be about to run out. The right-wing operation funding the convoy, the American Foundation for Civil Liberties and Freedom (AFCLF)—an operation overseen by a man who pleaded guilty to fraud—says it collected $1.89 million for the protests, with small donors providing most of the donations, though not necessarily most of the money. But that money is about to run out.

The AFCLF’s president told the Post that the foundation had stepped away from assisting the convoy with advocacy about a month ago and will be ceasing its financial work with the group sometime this week. He added that “not much funding remains from what was raised.”
....
....

People's Convoy civil war ensues after defeat.
jqjacobs
 
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Lion8286

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It's the economy STUPID.

And, no, it's not the Ukranian economy Marbles.

Told you Biden is a disaster.
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine Update: Russia's advance stalls again, and a new Ukrainian tank brigade enters the fight
kos

FSjdRZZXsAgT3p9.jpeg

Ukrainian reservists training on donated Polish tanks on May 9. That unit is now fully operational, with 100 Polish tanks and Dutch armored personnel carriers.

Yesterday, we discussed the hyperventilation over Russia’s Popasna advance, the one place on the entire Texas-sized country of Ukraine in which they’ve had some recent success. Today? “There have been no notable changes to control since the last update.” I expect that advance to stall, but already?

This account tracks pro-Russian telegram accounts:



Here’s the Institute for the Study of War:






One relatively quiet day doesn’t mean the front is stalled like in the Izyum salient, where early Russian gains petered out at around 25 miles from town. But I will keep saying it until Russia proves everyone otherwise—that’s about the distance limit of Russia’s rickety supply system to support any offensive actions. So no, I don’t expect Russia to complete the encirclement unless they can make something happen crossing the Donets near Severodonetsk, which would be the northern end of this pincer movement.

sat.png


I highlighted the Donets River with a dark red dotted line, which Russia has struggled to cross under intense Ukrainian artillery and ground resistance. In fact, there were reports today of a fourth failed crossing. Looking forward to drone footage confirmation in the coming days.

Remember, Russia’s clear goals after taking Izyum on April 1 was a sweeping pincer maneuverer to capture the entire Donbas region (comprised of Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts). That was hilariously impossible, and their ambitions have gradually scaled down over the last seven weeks. Today, they’re trying to surround one tiny corner of it, the city of Severodonetsk, way out on an exposed Ukrainian salient. If successful, Russia would take just 5-10% of the Donbas territory still in Ukrainian hands, and look at how much it’s struggling to make it happen.


FSnrTQYakAAZV_X-2.jpeg


It’s a wonder Severodonetsk has survived this long in Ukrainian hands, adjacent to pre-war Russian-held territory, surrounded on three sides by hostile forces, and under relentless bombardment for months. A competent army would’ve taken it long ago. Now, it’s become Ground Zero for the war not because of any particular strategic value, but because Russia desperately needs the propaganda victory.

Still, I’ll never understand Russian strategy.




Russia needs those bridges to cross the Donets and attack Lysychansk. It also needs to capture Severodonetsk. So even if you assume Ukraine would blow the bridge eventually, why make it harder for the city’s defenders to leave? At most, there are a couple thousands Ukrainians defending the city (assuming they haven’t all mostly retreated already). Why not facilitate their exit so Russia can trumpet its glorious victory? And you never know—Kherson is in Russia’s hands because of Ukraine’s failure to blow a key bridge. Even a 1% chance the bridge might stay up would be worth taking. And even if Russia wiped out a couple hundred or even thousand defenders, it would hardly make a dent to Ukraine’s war effort, with now over 700,000 men and women under arms, and a mobilization effort boosting that to 1 million over the next several months.

Ukraine’s problem isn’t recruiting soldiers. It’s equipping them. And whatever is left in Severodonetsk ain’t likely much. But every day those defenders hold out—a timeline Russia just extended by cutting off retreat routes—is a day when all that foreign military aid gets put into service. Like this:




Recent pictures have shown those Polish tanks with updated armor and optics. The YPR-765 is a modified M-113 armored personnel carrier. The Dutch never announced how many they were sending to Ukraine, but they had 500 decommissioned in deep storage since 2012. Hopefully they sent them all. When the United States announced it was sending M113s to Ukraine, I noted they would be perfect for a southern advance on Kherson—the open fields make unprotected infantry approaches vulnerable to artillery fire, and a stalemate has ensued in the region, with neither side able to hold territory under enemy artillery barrage. M113s, and its Dutch variant, won’t protect against direct tank or heavy cannon fire, but it’ll do nicely against artillery shrapnel.

100 tanks and 400-500 YPR-765s would be the equivalent of around 10 Russian full-strength battalion tactical groups, and maybe 20 actual real-life chronically under-strength BTGs. Russia has around three BTGs camped south of Kryvyi Rih in a stupid under-resourced attempt to push north out of Kherson, and another six or so in Kherson and its immediate surroundings. (And none are likely anywhere near full strength.) It’ll be interesting to see if Ukraine deploys this new tank brigade south in a serious bid to liberate Kherson, or if they’ll send it east to the Donbas to try and deliver a mortal blow to Russian forces massed around Izyum.

Finally, remember a few days ago Russia claimed it had retaken territory on its border north of Kharkiv, in Ternova and Kharkiv Oblast’s Rubizne?




Reports that a Russian counter-offensive had rolled back Ukrainian gains in the region were never proven. Pro-Russian sources have a bad habit of declaring towns defeated when they reach the outskirts. Meanwhile, Ukraine claimed the liberation of another small settlement north of Kharkiv. Seems like the good guys are still slowly clawing back Russian territory in the area, even as Russia intensifies its activities in response.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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.....Scott Boston, a former U.S. Army officer who studies the Ukraine war for Rand Corp., said it appears there are massive morale problems within the Russian military, undermining Moscow’s goals. He cited the refusal of some units to carry out orders, as well as Russia’s failure to adequately equip and feed its forces.

“Once it has been abundantly demonstrated that they don’t give a crap about their people, they get it,” Boston said of Russian soldiers. “It’s hard not to notice.”

Russia has seized only a couple kilometers per day in Donbas in recent weeks, according to the Pentagon. At that rate, Boston surmised, the offensive could continue for a year and “there will still be a lot of Ukraine left,” even as Russian military fatalities continue to mount.

“That’s just not a serious proposition,” Boston said.

Russian leaders may realize their military campaign is floundering but still reluctant to acknowledge they are losing the war, he added.

Earlier this month, dozens of Russian combat vehicles were destroyed by Ukrainian forces as the Russians attempted to cross the Siverskyi Donets River in Donbas. The attack is believed to have killed hundreds of Russian troops, and appeared to highlight their continued failings to carry out basic combat maneuvers.

Rob Lee, a Russian military expert and a senior fellow with the Foreign Policy Research Institute, said Russian troops have been bedeviled both by their own tactical blunders and the Ukrainian’s potent capabilities that have contributed to routs like the deadly crossing near Severodonetsk.

River crossings require favorable terrain and construction of pontoon bridges by military engineers. They are inherently dangerous, Lee said, and the Ukrainian military probably anticipated likely crossing points and logged their coordinates for future attacks. Their surveillance drones allowed artillery units to observe where rounds were falling and then guided them onto Russian personnel.

A grave mistake, Lee said, was the failure of Russian commanders to send smaller numbers of troops across the river. Instead, they bunched them together. The mistake cost the 74th Motorized Rifle Brigade dearly, according to an analysis from the Institute of the Study of War, with an estimated 485 casualties and the loss of 80 pieces of equipment.

“It’s an indication there are leadership problems still,” Lee said of the botched attempt to encircle Ukrainian forces nearby.

It’s hard to say how long Russia may keep its offensive going, said Boston, the Rand Corp. analyst. Even after the deaths of thousands of Russian soldiers, he said, Russia could continue to lob artillery rounds from a distance for some time.

Still, the trajectory of the conflict perplexes him. Russia defeated Georgian forces in a five-day war in 2008, but the conflict exposed failures within the Russian military, including an inability to quickly adapt when something goes wrong. Moscow set out to reform its military after that conflict, Boston said, and demonstrated improvement in others.

“You just get this feeling like they’ve abandoned everything they’ve tried to learn over the last 10 years and reverted to an older style that they’re more comfortable with,” Boston said. “Frankly, the Red Army in 1944 was more capable of fire and maneuver than a lot of what we’ve seen from this Russian military, and I don’t understand why.”
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Sunday, May 22, 2022 · 2:12:46 AM EDT · kos
Here’s video of that new failed Russian crossing, though we’re not seeing anywhere near a BTG worth of equipment (10 tanks, 40 infantry fighting vehicles, plus air deference, artillery, and support vehicles).



Still, Russian BTGs are so undermanned at this point, this very well could’ve been one
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Sunday, May 22, 2022 · 2:23:00 AM EDT · kos

Alexey Vlasenko in comments corrects my Ukrainian brigade math:

If it’s a tank brigade, then the armored fighting vehicles would comprise about 100 tanks in three tank battalions, and 50 APCs in the mechanized battalion (plus a handful more APCs with the brigade headquarters, the recon company, the air defense battery, etc., so maybe 70 APCs total). Under most conditions, a tank brigade fights with three reinforced tank battalions, each with three tank companies and one reinforcing mechanized company taken from the mechanized battalion.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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....Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence, warned the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that the next few months may be volatile. The conflict between Ukraine and Russia could take “a more unpredictable and potentially escalatory trajectory,” she said, with the increased likelihood that Russia could threaten to use nuclear weapons.

These are extraordinary costs and serious dangers, and yet there are many questions that President Biden has yet to answer for the American public with regard to the continued involvement of the United States in this conflict.

In March, this board argued that the message from the United States and its allies to Ukrainians and Russians alike must be: No matter how long it takes, Ukraine will be free. Ukraine deserves support against Russia’s unprovoked aggression, and the United States must lead its NATO allies in demonstrating to Vladimir Putin that the Atlantic alliance is willing and able to resist his revanchist ambitions.

That goal cannot shift, but in the end, it is still not in America’s best interest to plunge into an all-out war with Russia, even if a negotiated peace may require Ukraine to make some hard decisions. And the U.S. aims and strategy in this war have become harder to discern, as the parameters of the mission appear to have changed.

Is the United States, for example, trying to help bring an end to this conflict, through a settlement that would allow for a sovereign Ukraine and some kind of relationship between the United States and Russia? Or is the United States now trying to weaken Russia permanently? Has the administration’s goal shifted to destabilizing Vladimir Putin or having him removed? Does the United States intend to hold Mr. Putin accountable as a war criminal? Or is the goal to try to avoid a wider war — and if so, how does crowing about providing U.S. intelligence to kill Russians and sink one of their ships achieve this?
[...]
But as the war continues, Mr. Biden should also make clear to President Volodymyr Zelensky and his people that there is a limit to how far the United States and NATO will go to confront Russia, and limits to the arms, money and political support they can muster. It is imperative that the Ukrainian government’s decisions be based on a realistic assessment of its means and how much more destruction Ukraine can sustain.


Confronting this reality may be painful, but it is not appeasement. This is what governments are duty bound to do, not chase after an illusory “win.” Russia will be feeling the pain of isolation and debilitating economic sanctions for years to come, and Mr. Putin will go down in history as a butcher. The challenge now is to shake off the euphoria, stop the taunting and focus on defining and completing the mission. America’s support for Ukraine is a test of its place in the world in the 21st century, and Mr. Biden has an opportunity and an obligation to help define what that will be.







 

Lion8286

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Here's a tweet you must have missed (lol). No wonder all your tweets are about Ukraine and Russia as Biden is destroying the US economy, Marbles. Told you Biden would be a disaster.

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Pennsylvania is revealing Republicans to be nothing but opportunistic, seditious liars
Dartagnan

So we’re knee deep in potential recount territory here in the Commonwealth of PA. On one side we have a TV huckster named Mehmet Oz, on the other, a former hedge fund vulture named Dave McCormick. It seems that Republican voters despised both of these clowns about equally (even in spite of Trump’s endorsement of Oz, a fellow erstwhile Hollywood It-boy) so much that both of them bled support to a right-wing, apparent bigot named Kathy Barnette. And as a result, the winner of the Republican primary for U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania remains unresolved, with both Oz and McCormick hoping that mail-in ballots provide them their coveted margin of victory.

All of this somehow brings to mind the 2020 Presidential campaign, one that curiously involved the same type of scanned ballots and the same mail-in forms, delivered by the same U.S. Postal Service or dropped in the same ballot boxes as those votes Messrs. Oz and McCormick are so fixated on right now. They’re probably even being tabulated by the very same people in the very same places.

But unlike 2020 we’re not hearing a peep about “election fraud.” We’re not seeing Republican thugs like Corey Lewandowski and Pam Bondi boldly marching to Philadelphia to try and stop the vote count. We haven’t seen lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit wasting Pennsylvania’s judicial resources on bogus claims trying to invalidate those mail-in votes.

Why aren’t we seeing these things? Oh yes, because this is a
Republican race.
.......

Jona
than Tamari and Jonathan Lai, writing for the Philadelphia Inquirer, have also noticed the remarkable change in attitude towards mail-in votes between this particular race and one involving Donald Trump.

Neither of the Republicans in the Pennsylvania Senate primary are decrying the vote count, or the mail ballots involved, as fraudulent, a sharp contrast to the way former President Donald Trump and his allies smeared the process in 2020 with a string of lies and unfounded claims (votes shipped in from Camden!).

The tally in Philadelphia in particular is a case in point. As Tamari and Lai observe, “[W]hile Trump specifically attacked Philadelphia’s vote in 2020, his endorsed candidate, Oz, now stands to benefit from votes counted after election day in the city, since Oz has run stronger there than McCormick.”

Miraculously, now it seems that vote counts in the City of Brotherly Love are no longer automatically tainted because they happen to have been cast by mostly “those” people. At least that’s the attitude of one of Oz’s biggest cheerleaders, Pennsylvania Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, described by Tamari and Lai as an Oz “surrogate.”

Reschenthaler, who cast doubts on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election and voted in Congress to throw out Pennsylvania’s results, didn’t raise concerns about the legitimacy of the vote this time, saying that there are real logistical reasons for why it takes time to count mail ballots and determine a winner in such a close race.

So when Donald Trump lost Pennsylvania the result was somehow “fraudulent,” enough for Reschenthaler and his seditious cronies back in Washington to try to disenfranchise every Democratic voter in the state. But now, hey, we’re just following the law like good little citizens. In fact, it’s “just not realistic” to expect anything else, in such a close, close race.

Even Reschenthaler, though, isn’t clueless enough not to see the the contradiction between his own prior behavior and the position of the Oz campaign. In fact he admits as much, criticizing McCormick for being as fixated on the mail-in vote count as Oz obviously is:

Reschenthaler said, given McCormick’s reliance on mail ballots, their push to have as many counted as legally possible “could very possibly start to reinforce and champion what up to date has been the Democratic position, the liberal position.”

Let’s take that statement apart for a minute: So the push to have as many votes counted as legally possible is “the Democratic position, the liberal position?” OK, then, what exactly is the Republican position? Could anything possibly illustrate the utter moral bankruptcy of the Republican Party better than that statement?

And it gets worse. McCormick has also hired an attorney named Mike Roman, the fellow who spearheaded Trump’s failed effort to invalidate the Pennsylvania election in 2020. This is the guy who Tweeted over and over in 2020 about just how awful Philadelphia was being to Trump, railing about “stuffed ballot boxes” and Republican poll watchers being turned away. Twitter flagged his posts and Philadelphia’s D.A. called them “deliberately deceptive.”

As Tamari and Lai illustrate, what makes this brand of Republican hypocrisy even more noxious is that both Oz and McCormick premised their campaigns on Trump’s Big Lie of election fraud, with Oz bloviating about the mail-in ballot process and McCormick complaining about the “security” of drop boxes. Strangely, neither is making these criticisms now, when their own elections are at stake.

What the Oz/McCormick debacle now unfolding in Pennsylvania reveals is that all of the seditious nonsense spewed by Republicans about “election integrity” only applies when they’re losing to a Democrat. That Trump’s entire “Big Lie” shtick is and was nothing more than a fig leaf for a naked power grab by Republicans who only view themselves as legitimate. And that the integrity and security of our elections are just fine for Republicans, as long as they happen to be the winners.
 

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