More to ignore, Book 78.......

Ten Thousan Marbles

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.....But focussing on Biden’s tactics obscures one central and overwhelming fact. For the past eighteen months, he has effectively been leading a minority government, with Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema acting as enthusiastic wreckers of his progressive proposals. Although the Senate is nominally divided fifty-fifty, the real tally is fifty, forty-eight, and two. The Manchinema Party holds the balance of power, and it has used this position to sabotage the policy agenda that Biden was elected on.

Manchin, in particular, has revelled in his role as tormentor of progressives and defender of fossil fuels. Time and again, he has suggested he might agree to a certain set of policies, only to derail their passage. Last year, he insisted on the elimination of a central element of Biden’s plan to slash carbon emissions: a set of financial incentives for power utilities to convert most of the nation’s electricity grid to clean energy over the next ten years. After the White House reluctantly agreed to strip out this proposal, which would have particularly affected coal-burning power plants, Manchin could have declared victory. Instead, he switched his attention to other bits of the package that he didn’t like, including a range of tax incentives for green energy. [...]

As negotiations got going, according to a Capitol Hill source, Manchin indicated his agreement to a climate and energy package worth three hundred and seventy-five billion dollars over ten years, but he continued to object to two specific proposals: tax credits for the purchase of electric vehicles and direct payments to green-energy producers. In the interest of reaching an agreement, Schumer ultimately withdrew these two elements—a concession that enraged environmental groups—but even that wasn’t enough for Manchin. On Thursday, he scuttled the entire climate-change package.....
 

LionDeNittany

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DFW, TX

.....But focussing on Biden’s tactics obscures one central and overwhelming fact. For the past eighteen months, he has effectively been leading a minority government, with Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema acting as enthusiastic wreckers of his progressive proposals. Although the Senate is nominally divided fifty-fifty, the real tally is fifty, forty-eight, and two. The Manchinema Party holds the balance of power, and it has used this position to sabotage the policy agenda that Biden was elected on.

Manchin, in particular, has revelled in his role as tormentor of progressives and defender of fossil fuels. Time and again, he has suggested he might agree to a certain set of policies, only to derail their passage. Last year, he insisted on the elimination of a central element of Biden’s plan to slash carbon emissions: a set of financial incentives for power utilities to convert most of the nation’s electricity grid to clean energy over the next ten years. After the White House reluctantly agreed to strip out this proposal, which would have particularly affected coal-burning power plants, Manchin could have declared victory. Instead, he switched his attention to other bits of the package that he didn’t like, including a range of tax incentives for green energy. [...]

As negotiations got going, according to a Capitol Hill source, Manchin indicated his agreement to a climate and energy package worth three hundred and seventy-five billion dollars over ten years, but he continued to object to two specific proposals: tax credits for the purchase of electric vehicles and direct payments to green-energy producers. In the interest of reaching an agreement, Schumer ultimately withdrew these two elements—a concession that enraged environmental groups—but even that wasn’t enough for Manchin. On Thursday, he scuttled the entire climate-change package.....

You're a clown
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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1.
Voters have good reasons to disapprove of Biden without wanting Republicans in Congress

When your approval rating has fallen into the 30s, you’ve not only lost the confidence of most swing voters but also some members of your own party. The Siena/New York Times poll, for instance, showed Biden with only a 70 percent approval rating even among Democrats. However, 90 percent of Democrats in that same poll prefer Democratic control of Congress, compared to just 4 percent who want the GOP in charge.

One concern for Democrats is that those disaffected voters won’t turn out. Still, there’s no particular reason to expect them to vote Republican if they do. A lot of them think Biden is too old — a concern also shared by many independent voters — but that’s more a factor for 2024 than in congressional preferences for 2022.

And on many issues — from abortion to LGBTQ rights to the integrity of the 2020 vote — Republicans are adopting highly right-wing, partisan positions that have little appeal to swing voters and might even motivate otherwise disaffected Democrats to turn out. Parties generally pay a penalty for ideological extremism. In other words, although Democrats have also adopted unpopular left-wing positions on many issues, Republicans aren’t as poised to capitalize on a high inflation and poor electoral environment for Democrats as a more moderate, less Trumpian version of the party would be......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Confusion post-Roe spurs delays, denials for some lifesaving pregnancy care​

....In the three weeks of turmoil since the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion, many physicians and patients have been navigating a new reality in which the standard of care for incomplete miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies and other common complications is being scrutinized, delayed — even denied — jeopardizing maternal health, according to the accounts of doctors in multiple states where new laws have gone into effect.

While state abortion bans typically carve out exceptions when a woman’s life is endangered, the laws can be murky, prompting some obstetricians to consult lawyers and hospital ethics committees on decisions around routine care.

“People are running scared,” said Mae Winchester, a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine in Ohio who, days after the state’s new restrictions went into effect, sought legal advice before she performed an abortion on a pregnant woman with a uterine infection. “There’s a lot of unknowns still left out there.”

The need to intervene in a pregnancy with the same medication or surgical procedure used in elective abortions is not unusual....
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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.....In the U.K., an emergency Cabinet meeting was called Saturday to discuss Britain’s first-ever “Extreme Red” heat warning. In France, one lawmaker described the sweltering weather as “hell.” In Portugal, the prime minister is monitoring dangerous forest fires.

With temperatures in Western Europe set to soar beyond 40 degrees Celsius next week, Southern Europe is already fighting the effects of more blistering summer heat, which scientists say is a result of the world’s changing climate.

Across the Mediterranean, firefighters have struggled to contain blazes, rivers have run dry and thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes. So far, more than 230 people have died from heat-related effects in Spain and 238 in Portugal, according to local media reports.

The temperatures — the result of a slow-moving high-pressure area, bringing scorching air up from North Africa — are expected to continue this week and move north and eastward toward France, Germany, Belgium and the U.K.

Here are five countries which are feeling the effects of Europe’s heat wave......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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FX02xd8UEAAC-QM
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine Update: Add Bilohorivka to the pantheon of Ukraine hero cities
kos

FXn4TFvXkAQ177W.jpeg

A destroyed Russian tank, somewhere in the eastern Donbas front

The last time territory publicly changed hands in Ukraine was July 9, and before that, July 6. Both times, they were tiny settlements in the Donbas, as Russia continues its bloody crawl toward Sivers’k—a town Russia should’ve taken a long time ago.


FXQ3EQDXgAQd1j5.jpeg

Russia is stuck, once again

While not as isolated as Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, Sivers’k puts Ukrainian defenders in a bind—bring up artillery to help suppress Russian batteries, and they are vulnerable to counter-battery fire from three sides. Defending a tougher salient cost Ukraine at least 4 precious M777 howitzers in Lysychansk, and while the map isn’t as dire this time around, it’s still not an ideal defense. Yet Russia is stalled, pretending it is undertaking an “operational pause.” In reality, Russia is 1) exhausted from the effort, 2) still unable to cross the Donetsk river north of Sivers’k, 3) having to extend its supply lines, something they suck at doing, and 4) dealing with HIMARS’ systematic destruction of supply depots, dramatically exacerbating those supply problems.

Meanwhile, even Russian assessed gains over the past few weeks might be overstated. While the map above has Bilohorivka under Russian command, we saw this on Saturday:



Hryhorivka is also supposedly under Russian control, yet last night’s operational update from Ukraine’s General Staff said this:

In the Slovyansk direction, the enemy shelled civil and military infrastructure near Zakitny, Hryhorivka, Tetyanivka, Zvanivka, Minkivka, Raigorodka and others with barrel and jet artillery.

Russia doesn’t shell towns under its control, and Ukraine doesn’t lie about the location of Russian shelling. All it takes is mastering their code. “Enemy shelled X” or “The enemy fired at our positions in X” means Ukraine controls X.

“Enemy tried to advance in the direction of X” means all the towns behind X are in Russian hands. Ukraine’s General Staff will never actually announce the loss of a town, they’ll just report Russia’s new advances beyond that town.

Sometimes, they’ll be purposefully vague like this, from last night’s report: “Ukrainian soldiers competently repelled another reconnaissance attempt with a battle near Berestove and Bilohorivka.” So … where exactly is “near”? Who controls Berestove and Bilohorivka? If it’s Russia, Ukraine is not quite ready to concede it.

As for Ukrainian offensive operations, forget it. Ukrainian General Staff only announces liberated towns if their forces are well beyond the town in question. They don’t like to be embarrassed by announcing the liberation of a town, only to lose it a few days later.

Anyway, that was a digression. We were discussing …. Bilohorivka. Twitter OSINT expert Def Mon, who always brings receipts, has decided to place Bilohorivka back under Ukrainian control based on geolocated combat videos.



We were also discussing Sivers’k and Russia’s inability to capture it. This isn’t a big town like Severodonetsk or Lysychansk. It’s a village, pre-war population 11,000. Yet for whatever reason, Russia is stuck. But don’t worry, they now have an excuse:

FXzs8g9UcAMPR2e


The Russian Telegram account Operation Z: Military commissars of the Russian Spring, with nearly 900,000 subscribers, claims Russia has given up on a direct assault on Sivers’k, opting instead to “create another cauldron for Ukrainian militants. There is still a lot of work to complete the encirclement, but already there is a strong artillery preparation in order to close the cauldron around the city.”

“Another cauldron”? This is hilarious. Russia keeps announcing cauldrons that will allow the capture of thousands of Ukrainian defenders, and Russian Telegram and Twitter dutiful trumpet fake successes in doing so. Yet if they couldn’t close cauldrons with far better conditions north of Popasna, Severodonetsk, and Lysychansk, what makes them think they can do it here? Let’s zoom in:

bilo.png

Any attempt to surround Sivers’k … has a long way to go. And Ukrainian defenders could easy retreat anytime

Remember, there’s a very good chance Russia doesn’t even have control of Bilohorivka and Hryhorivka. But even if they do, surrounding Sivers’k will … it’ll take a long f’n time given Russia’s glacial pace of advance. Their inability to cross the Donetsk river to the north compounds their misery. That Telegram post betrays Russian failure—they simply can’t storm this dinky town.

Now, Russia will almost assuredly take Slovians’k at some point in the future, but with Ukraine nipping at Russia’s southern front, the invaders have tough choices to make over the deployment of their limited troops. And the longer Slovians’k (and Bakhmut to the south) hold, the better it is for the Sloviansk/Kramatorsk defense.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Sunday, Jul 17, 2022 · 11:29:33 AM EDT · kos



So a dirty secret about war is that a seriously injured soldier, one that can’t return to battle, is even more catastrophic to the war effort than a dead one. The injured soldier requires resources to evacuate, treat, and rehabilitate, and remains a festering reminder to a nation of the ongoing war.

Ralph Peters, a retired colonel and Fox News personality (he’s a winger) wrote a book back in the early 1990s called The War in 2020 which has, as a central thesis, a devastating weapon that severs a body’s motor control from its brain, leaving soldiers fully paralyzed from the neck down. From a military standpoint, this is far worse than a weapon of mass destruction that could kill those same soldiers.

All that to say, 50,000 dead
and wounded is a devastating number, regardless the ratio between the two.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Sunday, Jul 17, 2022 · 1:02:02 PM EDT · kos
Russia is a shithole, where 30% of the population doesn’t even have internal plumbing, so they’ve been really leaning into their repressive brand of religion to justify their superiority over a clearly more prosperous West, with their fancy McDonalds and shit. Lately, their anti-LGBTQ rhetoric is really amping up.

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Texas House of Representatives Sunday Report Implies That Uvalde "Good Guys" With Guns Were Cowards
Mark Karlin


 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has dismissed two important figures in his government, questioning their leadership qualities and accusing many of their subordinates of treason and collaborating with Russia.

"Today I made a decision to remove the Prosecutor General from office and to dismiss the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine," Zelensky said in his nightly video address.

The two officials dismissed are Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova and State Security Service (SBU) head Ivan Bakanov, a long-time associate of the president.

Zelensky said many officials within both departments were suspected of treason.

"As of today, 651 criminal proceedings have been registered regarding treason and collaboration activities of employees of prosecutor's offices, pretrial investigation bodies, and other law enforcement agencies," he said.

"In particular, more than 60 employees of the prosecutor's office and the Security Service of Ukraine remained in the occupied territory and are working against our state."

Explaining his decision to remove Venediktova and Bakanov, Zelensky said: "Such an array of crimes against the foundations of the national security of the state and the connections detected between the employees of the security forces of Ukraine and the special services of Russia pose very serious questions to the relevant leadership. Each of these questions will receive a proper answer."

The former head of the Main Directorate of the Security Service in Crimea has also been detained on suspicion of treason, he said.

"Everyone who together with him was part of a criminal group that worked in the interests of the Russian Federation will also be held accountable. It is about the transfer of secret information to the enemy and other facts of cooperation with the Russian special services."

Senior officials in the SBU in southern Ukraine have been blamed for the ease with which Russian forces were able to capture large areas of the south within a week of the invasion.

Zelensky indicated there would be further action.

"The specific actions and any inaction of each official in the security sector and in law enforcement agencies will be evaluated. The corresponding inspection of law enforcement agencies has already yielded the first results and will be continued."

Zelensky also said the Prime Minister would be tasked with intensifying the search for a new head of the National Anticorruption Bureau.
 

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