More to ignore, Book 72.......

Ten Thousan Marbles

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....A woman’s ability to time childbirth and plan her number of children is inextricably bound to her economic status and that of her family. Some assert that women with resources or those with “privilege” will be fine — they will just have to fork over more money for out-of-state abortions or pay illegal providers in the state where they live.

But it's a lot more complicated, according to experts I spoke with.

The high cost of needed abortions in states with restrictions and bans, Barnard College economics professor Elizabeth Ananat told me, can “blow a middle-class family’s savings.”.....
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine update: Low on troops, Russia plays whack-a-mole with frisky Ukrainians
kos

Russia managed to move 20 kilometers from Popasna to the southern outskirts of Lysychansk in six weeks. It managed that task by massing its artillery ahead of its lines of advance, then sending its best infantry (VDV airborne remnants and Wagner mercenaries) back and forth between Severodonetsk and the Popasna advance once artillery had reduced the next objective to rubble.

If Russia wanted to destroy Ukraine’s war-fighting capacity, it would try to surround Ukrainian defenses, choking off avenues of retreat. But earlier efforts to do just that failed, so now, Russia is happy to just push Ukrainian forces out of the way. Pulverizing the ground ahead of their advance has proven effective way to motivate Ukrainian defenders to pull back.

But it is slow going. Slooooow. Russia isn’t winning any war advancing an average of three kilometers a week, 400 meters per day. Manpower shortages are becoming more acute—Russia just approved a law allowing 17-year-olds to go straight from school to the front lines. Equipment is a serious problem, with obsolete T-62s being issued to front line units, and Russia begging Belarus for ammunition.

And even these meager advances have been greatly aided by being directly adjacent to long-held Russian proxy territory.



The push from Popasna toward Bakhmut, moving Russian forces away from their supply depots, hasn’t budged in this time. Russia still can’t extend far from its logistical hubs.


The scope of this small advance looks more impressive if you zoom in on a map, less so if you pull back. Meanwhile, look to the south, and Ukraine has picked up in a few days almost as much territory as Russia took around Popasna over the last six weeks.

ukr.png


We’ve mostly ignored this souther Donbas front all war, as it hasn’t budged much since the first two weeks or so of the war. This heat map of Russian troop concentrations gives us an idea how much Russia has neglected things down here:

FVahBOdX0AEWvSi


Here’s another visualization:



Each one of those tank icons is a BTG or individual Russian unit, as both these accounts (collaboratively) track the presence of individual Russian units on the front line, offering the best (educated) guess as to what is where. (No one, however, can give us each unit’s combat effectiveness, as many, if not most, are severely understrength.)


You can see Russia has committed the bulk of its forces, over half, to the northern Donbas front (Izyum, Severodonetsk, and Popasna). Localized Ukrainian counteroffensives have forced Russia to reinforce Kherson and Kharkiv, leaving little left over for the southern Donbas. So Ukraine is pouncing:

pol.png

Ukraine counteroffensive in southern Donbas pushing in two directions

The western advance is headed toward Polohy (pre-war population, 18,000), which has been getting get hit hard by Ukrainian artillery. Russia digging in to defend it. Both sides have decided this town is worth fighting for. Me, I’d use this offensive combat power to either push on Kherson or reinforce the Popasna advance. Ukraine disagrees, so let’s speculate why.

First, we can assume this is a target of opportunity. Fully defended, none of this would be happening.

To the right of Polohy, you see a Russian salient forming as Ukrainian forces simultaneously push down to the right of it. That approach is sparsely populated, so hard to say exactly where they’re trying to go. Maybe Volovakha?

The western prong is clearly headed toward Polohy, a key rail depot supplying a big part of this chunk of land. Earlier this month, Ukraine smashed a major ammo depot in town, proving its logistical importance to Russian forces in the area.



(The bottom video is well produced, and shows the dramatic scale of destruction of that depot.)


Capturing Polohy would clearly complicate Russian resupply efforts and expose the flanks of that Russian salient to its east. Those are nice tactical reasons to push down. But what is the strategic goal? Let’s look at the map again, pulling back a bit:

mel.png


Berdiansk, Mariupol, and Melitopol are three of the four biggest priorities (along with Kherson) on Ukraine’s liberation tour. Polohy is still about 100-125 kilometers to all three of these cities, but liberation needs a first step, and Russia’s inability to cover all fronts with the necessary manpower has given Ukraine a chance to take that first step.

Russia will certainly feel the pressure and need to reinforce this corner of the map. But where will those troops come from? The Izyum grouping hasn’t budged in a month, and it’s being threatened to its west by Ukraine. Still, Russia needs it if it has any hope of threatening Sloviansk and Kramatorsk—the gateway to the rest of Ukrainian-held Donbas. The Popasna grouping is focused on Lysychansk—Vladimir Putin needs his propaganda victory. Russia can’t pull from Kherson without weakening its defense. Pulling back from northern Kharkiv would put key Russian supply lines (and the Russian city of Belgorod) within range of MLRS/HIMARS rockets.

I may question Ukraine’s refusal to focus on a single avenue of counterattack, but the tactic is clearly creating serious difficulties for Russia. It must now decide where it is most comfortable losing ground.


This is Russia’s precious “land bridge” to Crimea. It will be loathe to see it at risk. So what front will Russia weaken as a result? Because if Russia moves enough troops to stop Ukrainian advances here, that just means Ukraine will get new opportunities somewhere else.
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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A Russian missile strike has hit a crowded shopping centre in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk, killing at least two people and wounding 20, senior Ukrainian officials have said.

Footage circulating on social media showed fire raging and smoke billowing from the entirety of the shopping centre, with fire trucks parked nearby.

The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, wrote on Telegram that more than 1,000 civilians were inside the shopping centre in Kremenchuk and that the number of victims was “unimaginable”.

He said: “The occupiers fired missiles at the shopping centre, where there were more than a thousand civilians. The mall is on fire, rescuers are extinguishing the fire, the number of victims is unimaginable.

“Russia continues to take out its impotence on ordinary citizens. It is useless to hope for decency and humanity from Russia.”

A rescue operation was under way and nine of the wounded were in a serious condition, said Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the presidential office.

Dmitry Lunin, the governor of the Poltava region, gave no details of the attack or the casualties. “Unfortunately, there are victims. More details later,” he said.


Kremenchuk is the site of Ukraine’s biggest oil refinery and stands on the banks of the Dnieper River. The city serves as the administrative centre of the Kremenchuk district in Poltava oblast......

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Jan. 6 probe announces public hearing for June 28
Brandi Buchman

The Jan. 6 committee announced on Monday that it will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, June 28 at 1 PM ET. The announcement comes as the committee only last week announced that it would wrap hearings for this month and hold additional sessions throughout July.

A committee spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment to Daily Kos on Monday.

A link to the committee’s live stream will be available here at Daily Kos on Tuesday. To catch up on what the committee unpacked during its most recent hearing, check out the related link below.

This story is developing.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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The committee investigating the Capitol Hill insurrection on January 6, 2021, has added a previously unexpected public hearing for Tuesday afternoon, the committee announced Monday.

The panel has not revealed the hearing's topic.

The announcement came as a surprise to many as the committee had said it was not going to resume its hearings until mid-July. Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the committee's chairman, told reporters last week that the panel needed more time to go through the new documentary footage it received from documentarian Alex Holder, who possesses never-before-seen footage of Trump and his family, new information from the National Archives, and new tips coming in through the panel's tip line since the hearings started in order to move forward with its hearings

The committee did not reveal the witness list or topic but said it would "present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony."

Tuesday's hearing starts at 1 p.m. ET. It will be the panel's sixth hearing this month.

In its first five hearings, the committee laid out how former President Donald Trump knew he lost the 2020 presidential election but pressured former Vice President Mike Pence, state officials, and the Department of Justice to work to keep him in office anyway. Members on the committee previously laid out that its final two hearings would focus on the role domestic extremist groups played in attacking the Capitol on January 6 and would fill in the gaps of what Trump was doing as the violence at the Capitol unfolded.

Holder's "Unprecedented" three-part docuseries about the 2020 election will be released on Discovery Plus, which is owned by CNN's parent company, later this summer. The documentary includes never-before-seen footage of the Trump family on the campaign trail and their reactions to the outcome of the election.

This story has been updated with additional developments Monday.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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The Jan. 6 select committee, in a surprise announcement with about 24 hours’ notice, scheduled a Tuesday hearing “to present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony.”

It was not immediately clear whom the panel was calling to testify, nor what new evidence was being presented. But the sudden schedule change intensified intrigue in Washington, where the panel has mounted a carefully choreographed set of hearings about former President Donald Trump’s effort to subvert the 2020 election.

The shift was particularly jarring after the panel had foreshadowed a two-week hiatus to assess and analyze a flood of new evidence. The committee’s chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), told reporters last week that investigators were poring over new documentary footage from a British filmmaker who had access to Trump and his family before and after Jan. 6. The panel was also anticipating a new tranche of documents from the National Archives, due to arrive on July 8.

The committee had been planning at least two additional hearings in mid-July; one would be focused on the nexus between Trump’s orbit and domestic extremists like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, with the other zeroing in on Trump’s 187 minutes of inaction as violent supporters ransacked the Capitol and threatened the lives of lawmakers and then-Vice President Mike Pence.

The panel had originally intended to hold roughly a half-dozen public hearings in June to present its findings, though investigators had cautioned the schedule was subject to change as new evidence emerged. The select panel has maintained its investigative work even as it ramped up its pace of hearings.

The Tuesday hearing plan quickly set Capitol Hill abuzz, even though details were sparse. Committee aides and members were tight-lipped about the substance of the hearing but were clear that it was scheduled with extreme urgency, interrupting what many of them had planned to be a quieter-than-usual week.

Documentary filmmaker Alex Holder, who had extensive access to the Trump family, met with investigators last Thursday morning after getting subpoenaed by the select panel for his recordings and testimony. And the panel also sent a letter to Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas also known as Ginni, seeking her testimony after evidence emerged she had exchanged emails with Trump-allied attorney John Eastman.

A Holder spokesperson declined to comment.

The committee is also battling dozens of active lawsuits from Trump allies and other witnesses, including several with key filing dates in the coming weeks. The House is currently out of session until mid-July, though committees are still meeting this week.

The select committee, until now, has focused its hearings squarely on Trump. Its first hearing laid out what the panel described as a seven-part effort by the former president to overturn the 2020 election.

Subsequent hearings have focused on elements of the plot it’s seeking to portray: how the Justice Department and Trump campaign debunked false voter fraud claims even as the then-president kept repeating them; how Trump built a campaign around pressuring Pence to single-handedly overturn the 2020 election on Jan. 6; how Trump leaned on state and local election officials to appoint alternative electors; and how Trump pressured his DOJ to legitimize the effort.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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FBI Seizes Eastman’s Phone
ericlewis0


The FBI seized the phone of former President Donald Trump’s election attorney John Eastman last week, according to a new court filing from the lawyer.

Eastman disclosed the search and seizure in federal court in a lawsuit that he filed in New Mexico on Monday, calling it improper.

About six federal investigators approached the right-wing lawyer in New Mexico when he was exiting a restaurant after dinner with his wife and a friend, according to the court filings. Agents were able to get access to Eastman’s email accounts on his iPhone 12 Pro, the filings said.....
 

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Israel on Monday eased its regulations on abortion access in what the country’s health minister said was a response to last week’s “sad” U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.

The new rules, approved by a parliamentary committee, grant women access to abortion pills through the country’s universal health system and remove a longstanding requirement that women appear physically before a special committee before they are permitted to terminate a pregnancy.

The decision came after the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday stripped away women’s constitutional protections for abortion, a fundamental and deeply personal change for Americans’ lives after nearly a half-century under Roe v. Wade. The decision has triggered protests across the U.S. and set the stage for a wave of litigation.

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, who heads the small liberal Meretz party, said the U.S. decision had turned back the clock for women’s rights........
 

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The witness who will testify at a hastily scheduled Jan. 6 hearing on Tuesday is Cassidy Hutchinson, who was an aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows during the insurrection, Punchbowl News reported. Hutchinson has reportedly told the committee in closed sessions that Trump approved of “Hang Mike Pence” chants from his supporters storming the Capitol in the hopes of stopping the election of Joe Biden from being certified, CNN reported earlier this month. The committee last week also presented videotaped testimony from Hutchinson discussing how Reps. Mo Brooks (R-AL) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL) wanted blanket pardons for members of Congress who tried to subvert the election. The committee was not expected to convene another hearing until July, but on Monday made the surprise announcement of a new date “to present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony.”





End Book 72