More to ignore, Book 81.......

Ten Thousan Marbles

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FYn94KKXEAEoyO_
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Following a Tuesday night bombshell report from the Washington Post that the Department of Justice has opened a massive criminal probe into Donald Trump's attempt to steal the 2020 presidential election, the former president went on an early morning muti-post tirade on Truth Social.

As expected, after the Post reported that aides to Mike Pence have been providing investigators with insider information about the former president's fake elector plot, Trump began a social media campaign that mainly consisted of pointing fingers all over the place while also pleading, "I was just doing my job as President."

Trump kicked off his morning by writing, "Just more disinformation by the Democrats, like the Russia, Russia, Russia Scam, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, the long running Mueller Report, which ended in No Collusion, and so much more. Now that we have found the answers to these crooked, election changing events, why is the Justice Department not prosecuting those responsible? Plenty of time left!"....



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FYrfYm0XEAM8usO


FYrfYm7WYAY7U9Y
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Failure to Act When There is a Legal Duty to Act Could Be What Gets Trump Indicted
Dan K

First-year law students are often taught what might be called the lifeguard analogy: If you happen to see a person drowning and do nothing, even though you could just, say, throw him a rope with no risk to yourself, you would be morally culpable, but not legally so. On the other hand, if you are a lifeguard with a duty to act and you do nothing, there is definitely a legal liability issue.

As the commander-in-chief, Trump was, in effect, our lifeguard, and had a duty to act to stop the insurrection on January 6. His failure to do so creates a legal liability, and, importantly, one that does
not depend on his state of mind. In other words, it doesn’t matter if he truly believed the election was stolen. That defense might work against a charge of seditious conspiracy, but not against a dereliction of duty.

(The “state of mind” defense also doesn’t work against a charge of setting up fake electors, but the prosecution would have to show that Trump was personally involved and approved it. That’ s what makes the Georgia case so dangerous for Trump — the DA has the tapes showing Trump personally solicited a crime.)

This observation is courtesy of a New Yorker story:
Will “Dereliction of Duty” Be What Finally Gets Donald Trump Indicted?

Thursday’s hearing hewed to this theory of liability, with members of the panel emphasizing Trump’s “dereliction of duty”—that is, his special duty to act paired with his firm refusal to act—when his supporters, whom he had previously summoned to Washington, D.C., and then directed to march to the Capitol and to “fight like hell,” proceeded to invade the building, assault police officers, causing injury and death, and seek to harm Vice-President Mike Pence and members of Congress as they fled. The evidence showed that Trump watched the siege conducted in his name on live television, fully aware of the violence that his armed supporters were unleashing, and that he refused to do anything to try to stop it, for more than three hours.

“Dereliction of duty” is not specifically a crime. But failing to act when one has a duty to act means that one can be held criminally liable for the consequences of that failure. The lifeguard who, while on duty, saw someone drowning and did nothing can be charged with some degree of homicide (I never finished law school, so I can’t say which degree). So, as the New Yorker story says,

[T]he concept is important as a possible path for establishing Trump’s criminal responsibility for the harm that he caused, precisely by not acting when he had a duty to try to stop his supporters. And this route may offer more promise than the other possible criminal charges that have been widely discussed in past months.

Simply put, it doesn’t matter what he (may have honestly) believed about the election being stolen. When violence erupted in the nation’s capital, Trump, in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the nation’s armed forces, had a duty to act to stop it.

Trump’s false view about the election, whether he believed it or not, was irrelevant to his duty to attempt to stop the violence at the Capitol. Quite apart from his role as the Chief Executive and the Commander-in-Chief, Trump knew that his armed supporters were marauding, assaulting, and even seeking to kill, in his name. His instructions to them placed the armed mob at the Capitol, and put people inside the building in harm’s way. That gave Trump a legal duty, as a person responsible for creating physical danger to those in the Capitol, to help stop his supporters once he saw that they had become violent. It is indisputable that he did nothing to stop them for more than three hours, and, if anything, spurred them on with his angry tweets about Pence. Potential charges, then, could include assault and homicide.

The article concludes:

[L]ast Thursday’s [J6 Committee] hearing revealed how the simple fact of Trump’s inaction exposed him to liability, under basic criminal-law principles, for more ordinary wrongs, such as destruction of property and assault with a deadly weapon—crimes for which hundreds of his supporters have already been charged or convicted.

But it goes beyond mere inaction. The tweet at 2:24 PM about Pence not having the “courage” to overturn a lawful election was active incitement. To return to the lifeguard analogy, it would be like the lifeguard throwing the drowning person an anchor or a live shark.

Trump might just end up drowning in his own bile.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Jury to settle Alex Jones’ debt to defamed Sandy Hook parents, while Greenwald comes to his defense
David Neiwert
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Bridge over the River Dnipro: Key bridge still intact but impossible for Russian forces to use
Charles Jay

Ukrainian officials say the strategic Antonivskyi Bridge over the Dnipro River near the temporarily occupied port city of Kherson remains standing but is impossible for Russian forces to use.

Dmytro Butriy, acting head of the Kherson Oblast State administration, put out a post on Telegram on Wednesday morning in which he said: "The bridge hasn’t been destroyed but it has been damaged to an extent that makes it impossible to move across it. In making the attack on the bridge, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have ruined the occupiers’ logistic and transport routes."

Butriy advised Russian occupiers to leave Kherson now because “Soon there will be no such opportunity.” He gave assurances that after Ukraine’s victory, transport connections across the bridge will be reestablished.

As Kos and Mark Sumner have mentioned, Ukraine has been intensifying military preparations for a major counter-offensive in the southeast by using its recently acquired HIMARS and other long-range weapons to strike targets behind Russian lines—including supply and fuel deports, command centers, and the bridges near Kherson.

Ukrainian forces have been recapturing nearby towns and villages, gradually advancing closer to Kherson itself. “I think there’s real concern among the Russians that they may end up with some strategic losses in the south,” William Alberque, director of the arms control program at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, told The Moscow Times, an independent Russian news outlet now operating out of Amsterdam due to censorship. "This is a matter of how many forces Ukraine can throw forward.”

On a Wednesday TV newscast, a Ukrainian Defense Forces spokesperson Natalia Humeniuk confirmed that Ukrainian forces had conducted high-precision missile strikes Tuesday night on the bridge. She said Ukraine has the firepower to control the logistical and transportation routes into Kherson to prevent the Russians from replenishing their supplies. “We are not destroying infrastructure, we are destroying the enemy’s plans,” she said. She added the artillery strikes are also aimed at demoralizing the Russian troops.

It was the third attack on the bridge in the past week—the two previous attacks were on July 19 and 20. Russian forces in Kherson rely on three major bridges to bring in men, equipment, and supplies—and all three have been damaged by Ukrainian strikes in the past two weeks, The Moscow Times reported.

Photos posted Sunday on Facebook by Kherson region official Yuriy Sobolevsky showed engineers repairing the Nova Kakhovka Bridge east of Kherson, while at least seven holes were blown in the Daryivka Bridge across the Inhulets River in a Ukrainian attack Saturday.

Mykhailo Podolyak, the adviser to the head of the president's office, put out the following tweet saying Russian occupiers should either leave Kherson or learn to swim across the Dnipro.

Podolyak trolled the Russians: "We can, of course, call the Antonivka bridge a means of Russian air defense that intercepts Ukrainian missiles, but you can’t escape from reality: the occupiers should learn to swim across the Dnipro. Or leave Kherson while they can. There may not be a third warning."

Podolyak’s remarks are mocking the official Russian news media reports which claim that Russia’s air defenses are intercepting most of the incoming Ukrainian missiles.

Here is what Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency was reporting Wednesday morning:

The authorities of the Kherson region blocked traffic on the Antonovsky bridge after a missile attack by Ukrainian troops, Deputy Head of the Regional Administration Kirill Stremousov told RIA Novosti.
He clarified that the Armed Forces of Ukraine fired more than ten shells from various artillery systems, most of which were reflected by the air defense system.
The shelling of the Antonovsky bridge may slightly complicate the life of the civilian population of the region, but "it will not affect the outcome of hostilities in any way," Stremousov continued. He stressed that the military has already built several ferry crossings and pontoons, food will be delivered on time.

This is classic propaganda—traffic is blocked but most of the Ukrainian missiles were intercepted; the shelling will complicate the lives of civilians but not military operations.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine update: Antonivskyi Bridge is out, and now Russia awaits Ukraine's next move
Mark Sumner

Ding dong, the bridge is dead. The Antonivskyi Bridge east of Kherson was hit by a fresh volley of rockets overnight, and while the previous shots on the bridge were spaced out in a neat pattern to demonstrate to Russia just how much precision Ukrainian forces had when hitting that critical link, this time Ukraine took a very different approach. They picked one point and cut straight across. While the shots didn’t bring down a span of the bridge, they have certainly made it impassable without major repairs.

Since Ukraine first reached out and touched these bridges last week, the whole tenor of the war in Kherson Oblast has taken a radical shift. By demonstrating that they could cut off Russia’s access to resupply and reinforcement at any time, Ukraine sent a strong signal that if Russia wanted its forces to leave Kherson anywhere near intact, it was time to move. Since then, Ukraine has liberated several villages on the fringe of Russian control in the area and began a series of attacks against other bridges along the Inhulets River with the intention of further isolating Russian forces.

The overnight strike on the Antonivskyi Bridge cuts off the major line of supply for Russian forces which have occupied the city of Kherson since the second week of the invasion. There is another bridge over the wide Dnipro River, the Kakhovka Bridge west of Nova Kakhovka, but Ukraine has hit bridges on the Inhulets River between Kherson and Nova Kakhovka. It’s not clear at the moment whether supplies brought through Nova Kakhovka can reach Kherson. And the Kakhovka Bridge is already carrying its own set of pockmarks, a reminder that it could also be closed at any moment. There is also a railroad bridge across the dam at Kakhovka, but Ukraine has so far restricted their actions to a single blast taking out the tracks. Neither side wants to see that dam go down … but Ukraine is making it clear this is also a possibility.

Whatever forces Russia still has in Kherson are likely to be what they’re going to have. And now they have no choice but to wait as Ukraine drives its counteroffensive toward the city.

A close up look at some of the damage on the bridge shows that this is not going to be remedied quickly with a little patching. There is daylight visible through these holes. It is still possible to move foot traffic across the bridge, and may be possible to guide light vehicles across carefully, but it’s certainly not a path that allows heavy equipment. Also … there’s no guarantee that Ukraine won’t send along another pod of missiles if there are signs Russia is still able to make use of this bridge.

There are already reports of some serious panic going on among the Russian forces left in the city, with rumors that Ukrainian forces are already coming their way are leading to some extremely serious nerves. And there are reports of the kind of mistakes soldiers make when they are waiting, and terrified.



For some days now, the FIRMS data in the areas surrounding the city of Kherson have been wild enough that it’s hard to say just how much artillery is being lobbed into the area. It’s clearly a lot. On Wednesday, explosions are reportedly being felt in the suburb of Chornobaivka, just two kilometers west of the city, where a Russian command post was previously taken out using HIMARS.



Some videos of the area show shots striking what appears to be the M14 highway, which circles around the city of Kherson, and which Russian forces have been using for deployment. Ukraine seems to be preparing for their assault by pinning down Russian troops, limiting their abilities to move, and making it difficult for Russia to shift forces around the battlefield.

Some sources have taken the precision of the shots being made on Wednesday to indicate that Ukraine now feels confident enough about their control of the area to use the HIMARS system during the day. However, the location of the shots is well within range of what could be M777 or other precision artillery fire. HIMARS has become the Russian boogeyman.

The big question for the moment is … what is Russia doing? On Monday, there were multiple reports of units leaving the area of Melitopol and heading west in the direction of Kherson Oblast. However there doesn’t seem to be a clear sighting of those forces moving into the city or across the bridge at Nova Kakhovka. Russia has also attempted to replace some of the bridges over the Inhulets River with hastily erected pontoon bridges, but at least one of these seems incapable of carrying heavy trucks or armor and any of these bridges is subject to rapid reduction by artillery. The most critical position, at Daryivka, appears to still be closed to any movement of armor or supply trucks, though the pontoon bridge there is being used by civilian cars and soldiers on foot. Russia was working on this bridge again on Wednesday.

Inside Kherson, attacks on Russian collaborators are reported to be increasing. Not just in the form of bullets coming out of the darkness, but of bombs.



It’s unclear just how many Russian forces are on the west bank of the Dnipro River at the moment, but it could be as high as 15,000 including the forces occupying Kherson and those scattered across the front. Many of these entered the oblast only in the last three weeks as Russia took recruits from the Donbas region and sent them to bolster the ranks in Kherson. What was called an “endless convoy” carried conscripts from the east through Melitopol to Kherson on July 13.

If more forces are coming in now, they’re having to cross the Kakhovka Bridge, and may find it difficult to make their way down to Kherson. It’s that stretch of highway, between the two bridges, rather than the city itself, that many analysts expect Ukraine to target as it begins an attempt to retake Kherson.



Ukraine may lay siege to the city, trapping Russian forces between the Ukrainian military knocking them off from the outside (and dropping nightly missiles into any place they try to make into a base) and a hostile populace inside the city that outnumbers the Russian forces 25 to 1. Like Stalingrad … if everyone in Stalingrad hated the soldiers.

What may be most astounding about what’s happening now in Kherson isn’t the precision of those HIMARS strikes or any of the villages Ukraine has freed from Russian occupation. It’s just how quickly Ukraine has reversed the narrative. They are in control of what happens next in Kherson. Russia can only react. As the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense says …



Right now, Russian forces could still turn east and march out of the city across that pockmarked bridge. They may even be able to get some equipment out.

Neither of these things is guaranteed for tomorrow.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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After months of internal debate, the Biden administration has offered to exchange Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms trafficker serving a 25-year US prison sentence, as part of a potential deal to secure the release of two Americans held by Russia, Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, according to people briefed on the matter.

These sources told CNN that the plan to trade Bout for Whelan and Griner received the backing of President Joe Biden after being under discussion since earlier this year. Biden’s support for the swap overrides opposition from the Department of Justice, which is generally against prisoner trades.

“We communicated a substantial offer that we believe could be successful based on a history of conversations with the Russians,” a senior administration official told CNN Wednesday. “We communicated that a number of weeks ago, in June.”

The official declined to comment on the specifics of the “substantial offer.” They said it was in Russia’s “court to be responsive to it, yet at the same time that does not leave us passive, as we continue to communicate the offer at very senior levels.”

“It takes two to tango. We start all negotiations to bring home Americans held hostage or wrongfully detained with a bad actor on the other side. We start all of these with somebody who has taken a human being American and treated them as a bargaining chip,” the official said. “So in some ways, it’s not surprising, even if it’s disheartening, when those same actors don’t necessarily respond directly to our offers, don’t engage constructively in negotiations.”....
 

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Republican leaders who worry that Donald Trump could hurt their midterm chances by announcing a presidential run too soon are hoping he'll be dissuaded from doing so by the prospect of losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal payments, according to an RNC official.

Since October 2021, the Republican National Committee has paid nearly $2 million to law firms representing Trump as part of his defense against personal litigation and government investigations.

But an RNC official told ABC News that as soon as Trump would announce he is running for president, the payments would stop because the party has a "neutrality policy" that prohibits it from taking sides in the presidential primary......
 

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Online fund-raising has slowed across much of the Republican Party in recent months, an unusual pullback of small donors that has set off a mad rush among Republican political operatives to understand why — and reverse the sudden decline before it damages the party’s chances this fall.

Small-dollar donations typically increase as an election nears. But just the opposite has happened in recent months across a wide range of Republican entities, including every major party committee and former President Donald J. Trump’s political operation.

The total amount donated online fell by more than 12 percent across all federal Republican campaigns and committees in the second quarter compared with the first quarter, according to an analysis of federal records from WinRed, the main online Republican donation-processing portal.

More alarming for Republicans: Democratic contributions surged at the same time. Total federal donations on ActBlue, the Democratic counterpart, jumped by more than 21 percent......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Garland says the DOJ will go after 'everyone, anyone' as new warrant goes out to
Mark Sumner

Earlier on Wednesday, Brandi Buchman reported on a Washington Post story revealing that the Department of Justice is investigating Donald Trump as part of a criminal probe into efforts to overturn the 2020 election. That investigation has involved questions put to false electors brought before a federal grand jury for questioning, and questioning of top aides to Mike Pence recently seen strolling out of the Washington, D.C., federal courthouse.

But one detail of the story in that report is something that a number of outlets seem to have overlooked, and which has considerable implications: While the questioning of these witnesses before the grand jury may be a recent occurrence, the investigation itself is not.

The original Post story mentions that the Justice Department (DOJ) was looking into the phone records of “key officials and aides in the Trump administration” back in April. Including records of former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. This indicates that, rather than following in the footsteps of the House select committee on Jan. 6, the DOJ has actually been paralleling their effort all along, if not actually getting in front. The way in which some of these questions are being framed also suggests that the investigation may be broader than just the specifics of the Jan. 6 plot.

The DOJ has been building its case against Trump and other White House officials well before the first public hearing of the House committee, and it’s continuing to flesh out that case with witness testimony. The fact that witnesses like former Pence chief of staff Marc Short are being called before that jury could indicate that the DOJ is well along in their investigation—and the fact that those witnesses are being asked specifically about statements and intentions from Trump—gives a good indication of the investigation’s direction.

.......
On Wednesday, federal prosecutor Thomas Windom revealed a new warrant for Trump attorney John Eastman. Connected with this is something that was seen in a “manual screen capture” of Eastman’s phone, obtained by an “agent not associated with the investigation team.” What this means is puzzling, but it’s enough to have Eastman’s phone, and a copy of that screen capture, locked up in Virginia for an examination.

Politico indicates that this is a precursor for a search of Eastman’s phone that will be done using a “filter protocol” so that only those messages associated with keywords or phrases are viewed by agents.

Eastman was the primary author of the legal pretense behind the Jan. 6 scheme, but some of those questioned by the grand jury, including some false electors, were also involved in earlier versions of Trump’s attempted overthrow of the 2020 election. The investigation may also be looking into those parts of the plot that involved efforts to sabotage the certification of electors in December, as well as efforts to spread false information to state and federal courts.

The violence on Jan. 6 is the visible portion of what was a much more extensive plan, and Jan. 6 was itself just one of several efforts that Trump and his team made to overturn the election. Many of these plans were started well before Trump lost the 2020 election.

That the only visible portion of the DOJ investigation until recently has been the tip of the iceberg is certainly frustrating. And Attorney General Merrick Garland apparently was aware of that feeling when, as NBC News reports, Garland “spoke more expansively” about the DOJ activities on Tuesday evening than he has in the past. He also didn’t shy away from a direct comparison to the work being done by the House committee.

“Look,” said Garland, “the Justice Department has been doing the most wide-ranging investigation in its history. And the committee is doing an enormously wide-ranging investigation, as well. It is inevitable that there will be things that they find before we have found them. And it’s inevitable that there will be things we find that they haven’t found. That’s what happens when you have two wide-ranging investigations going on at the same time.”

And honestly … that’s hugely relieving. Nothing that Garland said seemed to contain the kind of narrowly focused, blinders-firmly-in-place language we’ve heard in the past.


But of course Garland’s statements were reassuring, especially when NBC’s Lester Holt did everything possible to frame the situation in the worst way possible.

Holt: “The indictment of a former president, and perhaps a candidate for president, would arguably tear the country apart. Is that your concern as you make your decision down the road here, do you have to think about things like that?”
Garland: “We intend to hold everyone, anyone who was criminally responsible for the events surrounding Jan. 6, for any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another, accountable. That’s what we do. We don’t pay any attention to other issues with respect to that.”

Really, that’s all we needed to hear. It’s a shame we’re only hearing it now.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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https://www.forbes.com/sites/nichol...ssing-his-voter-fraud-claims/?sh=50282aba1add

Trump Threatens To Sue CNN And Other Outlets For Dismissing His Voter Fraud Claims​


Former President Donald Trump said Wednesday he intends to sue CNN and "other media outlets" that reported he was wrong to suggest there was widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election, despite repeatedly losing cases in the past concerning his false claims of election fraud.

Trump released a 282-page letter that his attorney, Jim Trusty, sent last week to CNN CEO Chris Licht demanding the network "immediately take down the false and defamatory publications" and issue retraction statements.

Trusty argued in the letter that CNN rushed to label Trump a liar for his unproven voter fraud allegations and "consistently fed a narrative that denounced President Trump's legitimacy and competency," among other claims he said constitute defamation.

The letter also claimed that CNN treated Trump worse than other public figures found to be dishonest, naming actor Jussie Smollett, who falsely claimed he was the victim of a hate crime, as an example.

Trump said in a Wednesday statement he will be taking legal action against media outlets that "defrauded the public regarding the overwhelming evidence of fraud," though the former president has thus far failed to provide evidence to back up his assertion.


CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Russian media still ♥s Trump: 'He was destroying the leadership of the United States in the world'
Aldous J Pennyfarthing

To this day, it remains utterly gobsmacking that Donald Trump got even one vote for president of the United States, much less tens of millions. He had no relevant experience in politics or, from the looks of it, business. And as humans go, he was a pretty below-average tapeworm.

And yet, somehow, the wheel of cosmically unlikely events slid right past “Zombie Gandhi gnaws your nips off” and landed squarely on “Donald Trump is president.” It was like creating a profile on Tinder with a photo of Martin Skhreli’s taint and the headline “Trust Me, You WILL Get Gonorrhea,” and suddenly getting hundreds of fervent marriage proposals.

But one guy always believed in our first Claymation president’s potential—so much so that he bet big on it (twice) before Joe Biden ultimately transformed both puppet and puppeteer into colossal losers. And that wacky fool is none other than Vladimir Putin.
........
Putin and his cronies got all they bargained for from Trump—and more. But with the Russian army currently doing a spot-on impression of a drunk Disney World Goofy with a bumblebee loose in his costume, Putin’s filthy mouthpieces are pining for the good old days.

In a new dispatch from the phantasmagorical world of Russian state TV, Russia media monitor Julia Davis observes that Putin’s peeps have rarely been so frothy in their fervor for the former guy.

Gee, it’s almost as if one of our staunchest geopolitical foes wants the biggest ****up on the planet to lead our country again for some reason.

The Daily Beast:

Andrey Sidorov, deputy dean of world politics at Moscow State University, explained why he considered Trump’s presidency to have been particularly useful to Russia: “From my point of view, Trump was engaged in a very positive endeavor: He was destroying the leadership of the United States in the world. He questioned the very structure of global relationships built by his predecessors, along with their partners and allies… He wanted to turn those into commercial relationships and Europe didn’t like it at all.”



Gee, I sure hope someone at the Democratic National Committee is archiving these shockingly frank admissions—because that one’s a doozy. Want a world where the U.S. withdraws from its security obligations in Europe and elsewhere, leaving a yawning vacuum for venal autocrats to fill? Then Trump’s your guy, goddammit!

Sidorov opined that “a total internal breakdown,” in the United States was needed to overcome an otherwise incredibly strong system of government. Solovyov expressed hope that Trump was exactly the kind of person who could deliver such a shock to the nation: “When a person rolls in like an elephant in a china shop—like Trump—he tears down and aggravates the situation… He consolidates the opponents and supporters, prompting a confrontation.”
Military expert Alexander Artamonov concluded: “The worse, the better. It’s beneficial for us… We’ll put an end to the existence of the old world and start a new era, a new phase—headed by Russia, in my opinion.” Concurring, [show host Vladimir] Solovyov recited a partial verse from Alexander Blok’s poem, “The Twelve,” ominously predicting: “We’ll set the world on fire.”

Want more chaos, war, global tumult, and an ascendant autocracy on the doorstep of the free world? Then Donald Trump’s your guy!

As Solovyov giddily noted at one point during the discussion: “[Trump] said, ‘I don’t need NATO, I won’t rush to your defense if you don’t pay enough.’”

So there you have it. More evidence that Putin is waiting for weaker (i.e., Republican) leaders to retake the levers of government. If that happens, he might actually win the bet he placed back in February, when he likely figured it was only a matter of time before the West tired of the downsides of sanctions and welcomed these brutal butchers back into the global community with open arms.

Oh, and in case you needed more convincing, consider this quote from Solovyov about Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz: “Simply put, those are our guys.”


Yeah, Russian media lies a lot, but sometimes the truth slips out. The question is, what will American voters do about it?
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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We know about the Central Park Five, but six were wrongfully accused—and one just got exonerated
Lauren Sue

Steven_Lopez.jpg

Steven Lopez arrives for court proceedings related to the Central Park Five case at the New York State Supreme Court on July 25.

Thanks to the 2019 release of the Netflix drama series When They See Us, many already know the story of the Central Park Five. The name refers to five Black and Latino men wrongfully convicted (when they were still children) of beating and raping a white jogger in 1989 in Central Park. But few know the story of Steven Lopez, the sixth defendant in the case, who was a 15-year-old boy when convicted.

Lopez, who was indicted on rape and attempted murder charges, had his sentence vacated and indictment dismissed “on the grounds of lack of evidence” Monday, the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr. announced in a news release. Although he faced more severe charges initially, Lopez ended up serving nearly four years in prison after taking a plea deal related to robbery charges in the case, according to attorney Eric Renfroe, who worked with Bragg on the exoneration. Lopez getting his sentence vacated comes almost 20 years after the convictions of the Central Park Five were thrown out. Their names are Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise, and despite their innocence they remained targets of the GOP over the years.

Former President Donald Trump took out a full-page ad in The New York Times and three other city newspapers calling for their deaths in 1989. “I want to hate these muggers and murderers,” he said in the ad. “They should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes. They must serve as examples for their crimes. They must serve as examples so that others will think long and hard before committing a crime or an act of violence."



What's worse than his initial remarks is that Trump refused to apologize in June 2019. “You have people on both sides of that,” he said at the White House in remarks the Times covered. “They admitted their guilt.”

“If you look at Linda Fairstein and if you look at some of the prosecutors, they think that the city never should have settled that case — so we’ll leave it at that,” the former president added, referring to the prosecutor in the case.

We most definitely will not leave it at that.


Bragg stated the following in court while making the case for Lopez’s exoneration:

“Good afternoon, Your Honor. Alvin Bragg for the People. The People move to vacate the conviction and dismiss the indictment of Steven Lopez.
“Mr. Lopez was charged and pleaded guilty in the face of false statements, unreliable forensic analysis and immense external pressure.
“The People’s reinvestigation was completed by our Post-Conviction Justice Unit in collaboration with Mr. Lopez and his counsel.
“Your Honor has our written motion. I would respectfully highlight here two key issues. First, the People concluded that the hair sample comparisons used at the time of the incident were unreliable. Therefore, there remains no physical evidence connecting Mr. Lopez to the charged conduct.
“Second, the statements by the other young men at the time linking Mr. Lopez to the crime have since been recanted. Statements by some of these witnesses previously led to other vacated convictions arising from the same indictment.
“All of the factors taken together – as set forth in our motion papers – show what the people believe are unique circumstances, combined with Mr. Lopez’s youth, made his plea involuntary – and therefore unconstitutional.
“A conviction based on an unconstitutional plea cannot stand.
“Accordingly, the People of the State of New York, together with Mr. Lopez – through his counsel Mr. Renfroe – jointly move to vacate this conviction and to dismiss indictment number 4762/1989 against him.

“Thank you, Your Honor.”

 

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Ukraine Update: Ukraine advances around Izyum and Kherson, Russia launches new Donbas offensive
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Another bonus update, as holy crap things are happening on the ground. Just in the last 24 hours, I wrote about weird stuff happening in Izyum and bridges around Kherson getting blasted, and Mark followed up with Russia’s suddenly precarious position in that region. Things haven’t let up today.

To recap, after months of throwing their best Wagner mercenaries at a power plant in Vuhlehirs'ka, Russia finally closed a Ukrainian salient southeast of Bakhmut, in southeastern Donbas:



That was Russia’s sole advance in three weeks. They’re like so proud!

Now let’s see what Ukraine has been up to. Let’s start up around Izyum, where yesterday I marveled at confirmation that Russia had pulled its forces from a key supply river crossing (Studenok and Yaremivka) supporting offensive operations in the approach toward the twin fortress cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.

Today we find out that Russia hasn’t just retreated, but Ukraine has moved its forces right up to the river at Pasika, next door to Yaremivka.



Now, General Staff never announced the recapture of Pasika. You have to crack the code. We’ve discussed Ukraine’s code before:

“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.

Saying “In the area of the settlement of Pasika, a reconnaissance group tried to expose the positions of our troops” is actually far more clear than their usual announcements. Ukrainian troops are currently in Pasika. Now check this out:

pas.png


Russia has been beating its head against Bohorodychne for months. As recently as Monday, Ukraine announced it had repelled an assault on the village. Yet now we know that Ukrainian forces are behind Bohorodychne, and sitting on its now-severed supply lines.

That means map drawers will have to reconfigure that entire front line back around 5-8 kilometers, and we don’t know how wide that penetration is. Did Ukraine push up from Bohorodychne itself, or did they come from the direction of Dovhen’ke? In fact, what’s going on in Dovhen’ke? Would be hilarious if Russia lost that plot of land that cost them untold lives and equipment to capture.

So already, right there, Ukraine has captured more
land in 1-2 days than Russia did in three weeks. Of course, none of this is of particular strategic value, which lends me to believe that this is not so much a counteroffensive, as it is Ukraine walking into territory that Russia has abandoned. By all reports, from all sides, Russian forces looted Studenok and Yaremivka before hauling off with their goods. They weren’t pushed out. It seems unlikely that somehow Russian forces stuck around in Pasika as well. The whole approach has probably been abandoned.

But are we talking just this river crossing approach? Or is Russia rethinking the whole Izyum approach? Rumors are that Russia is hollowing out Izyum to reinforce Kherson, but zero actual evidence.

Today, Russia launched a direct assault on the Ukrainian stronghold city of Adviika in southeastern Donbas. This smoldering wreckage of a town is adjacent to Donetsk city, which Russia has occupied since 2014, and has resisted everything Russia has thrown at it for
eight years. War criminal Igor Girkin, the guy who led the Donbas forces in 2014 and is now a fierce critic of Russia’s war (from the nationalist side, not from a peace-living side) is livid.



To summarize, he believes Ukraine is making real inroads in Kherson, so why would Russia bash their heads against the Avdiivka brick wall, which has multiple lines of defense. Regardless Russia’s wisdom or lack thereof, the town and its defenses are currently getting pounded hard (see here and here). If Russia is experiencing a shortage of artillery shells, they’ve decided to concentrate them all here. For Avdiivka, this is nothing new. Here we are in 2020:



So maybe Izyum-based forces are being rushed here, or maybe down to Kherson, or maybe nowhere at all! The fog of war sure is fun.

Speaking of Kherson, Ukraine is pairing bridge-busting with new territorial advances, expanding their bridgehead on the Russian side of the Inhulets river at Andriyivka and Lozove. It’s only two settlements, but given that this bridgehead was considered dead a few weeks ago, the fact that it’s still there and expanding (thus well-supplied) is a good sign.

Russia is in a bind. With the Antonovsky bridge near Kherson now out of commission, supplies will have to be routed around Nova Kakhovka, a 90 km round trip, but bridges into Kherson from that direction have already been targeted and damaged, and will be cut if they haven’t been already. DefMon did some calculations on how much Russian forces in Kherson consume. Assuming 15 full-strength Russian BTGs, his calculations arrived at either 225 trucks per day, or four barges.

At around 1 kilometer wide, the Dnipro can’t be bridged with pontoons, so Russia is running a ferry service using those four large barges.

FYsuUarWIAArduP


As you can see above, those barges won't be around long, and in any case, are a terrible way to resupply Kherson. Queue lines on both sides will present yummy HIMARS and Excalibur long-range precision guided 155 mm munition targets. And when Russia’s artillery guns run out of ammo, that’s their entire game. They’ve got nothing else left.

If those Izyum forces are being repositioned to Kherson, well, they’re too late. Nova Kakhovka would make more sense, as Russia will want to guard its precious water supply to Crimea. But … that just makes my “cut off that whole chunk of territory off” scenario even more attractive. Melitopol-Nova Kakhovka are easy to isolate from both Crimea and the east. Any Russian forces rushing to that region may end up finding themselves in a trap.

Over the weekend, one OSINT guy on Twitter posted rumors that Russian Rosgvardia (Putin’s personal national guard) were abandoning the city and its checkpoints, posting several pictures of the supposedly abandoned posts.




Today, we’re seeing pictures of Russian troops heading south in Crimea. And not just any troops. Despite what the caption says, those are “elite” VDV paratroopers, which we know were manning the Kherson defense. (Ignore him saying it’s Rosgvardia, he was subsequently corrected. They are VDV.)



Maybe they’re getting the hell out of dodge before they’re fully surrounded, leaving sucker cannon fodder from Donbas to man Kherson’s defense. Or maybe they’re moving as part of a regular troop rotation. So many unanswered questions!

In any case, things are starting to pick up as Ukraine telegraphs urgency in retaking Kherson—publicly because of weather (fall rains are coming), but really because few trust Europeans to hold the line when the weather turns cold and Russia uses gas to blackmail the continent.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
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President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has confirmed that Ukraine struck the Antonivka bridge in Kherson in order to prevent Russian occupying forces from transferring troops to Kherson Oblast.

Source
: Zelenskyy’s evening address

Quote from Zelenskyy: "Regarding the Antonivka bridge in Kherson and other crossings in the [Kherson] Oblast. Of course, they will all be rebuilt, and it will be us who will do it. We are doing everything we can to ensure that the occupiers’ logistical operations on our land are thwarted. Whatever their plans are, we will prevent their realisation."

Details
: President Zelenskyy stressed that Ukraine will liberate its territory "with military, diplomatic and every other tool at its disposal" – until all territory within its state borders has been liberated.

Earlier:

  • The Antonivka road bridge was first struck on 19 and 20 July.
  • On the evening of 26 July, Kherson Telegram channels reported explosions in the occupied city, with Antonivka Road Bridge being allegedly hit.
  • Subsequently, Natalia Humeniuk, head of the joint coordination press centre for the Ukrainian Defence Forces, confirmed that Ukrainian forces have conducted high-precision missile strikes on the Antonivka Road Bridge in Kherson.
  • On 27 July, Kyrylo Stremousov, a collaborator with the occupiers in Kherson Oblast, said that the Antonivka Road Bridge over the river Dnipro in Kherson was damaged after an overnight attack by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.