More to ignore, Book 84.......

Ten Thousan Marbles

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TTM note: # 83 seems to have mysteriously disappeared. So, let's move on..........

Alex Jones sideswiped by exposure of his own texts in Sandy Hook trial
Brandi Buchman

Conspiracy theory peddler Alex Jones admitted in court Wednesday that the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was real, citing his newfound belief after a day of brutal testimony offered in court by the parents of one of the children who was murdered.

Jones is trying to fend off a $150 million defamation lawsuit from the parents of Jesse Lewis, a 6-year-old boy who was shot and killed in the 2012 attack at a school in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty students and six teachers died.

The victims have said Jones’ hoax claims on his Infowars website have turned their lives into a living nightmare where threats, abuse, and harassment plague them daily. Jones, meanwhile, has portrayed himself as a victim of the press, who he argues are hellbent on typecasting him as a loon.

But the press doesn’t need to lift a finger to make Jones look bad.

NBC News reported that in court on Wednesday, Mark Bankston, a lawyer for the parents of the late Jesse Lewis, revealed Jones’ attorney had mistakenly sent a copy of every text Jones has sent for years directly to them. Bankston said he received this 12 days ago.

This prompted the day’s million-dollar question for Jones.

“You know what perjury is?” Bankston asked...........









 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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During a contentious cross-examination, Infowars host Alex Jones’ claim that he was sucked into lying about the Sandy Hook shooting was undercut and he conceded that the massacre was “100% real.”

Jones, who has repeatedly suggested that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, said Wednesday that he was “baited” several times into speaking about the incident and tried to correct himself and apologize to the victims, but his words were twisted by what he called “corporate media.” He said he now believes the attack happened.

“Especially since I’ve met the parents," he said Wednesday. "It’s 100% real.”

The conspiracy theorist, whose trial is being held in Austin where his media company is based, said he has been “caught in this situation where I’ve been basically typecast as someone that runs around talking about Sandy Hook, who made money off Sandy Hook, who was obsessed with Sandy Hook when it was less than 1/10 percent, over those six years, of what we covered.”

“It was frustrating then,” Jones said of the years following the Sandy Hook shooting. “It’s infinitely now.”.....

 

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President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order to help ensure access to abortion in light of the Supreme Court's decision earlier this summer to eliminate the constitutional right to the procedure.

The President said the order helps women travel out of state to receive abortions, ensures health care providers comply with federal law so women aren't delayed in getting care and advances research and data collection "to evaluate the impact that this reproductive health crisis is having on maternal health and other health conditions and outcomes."

Biden spoke of the "chaos and uncertainty" that has ensued in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision and said, "Women's health and lives are on the line."

"Emergency medical care being denied to women experiencing miscarriages, doctors uncertain about what they can do to provide for their patients, pharmacists unsure whether they can fill prescriptions that they've always filled before, a tragic case of rape survivors, including a 10-year-old girl forced to travel to another state for care," Biden said before signing the order.

The order comes the day after Kansas voters handed abortion-rights advocates a massive victory and defeating a measure that would have allowed the GOP-led legislature to impose new restrictions. It was a vote that Biden celebrated at the White House.

"In a decisive victory, voters made it clear that politicians should not interfere with the fundamental rights of women. And the voters of Kansas sent a powerful signal that this fall the American people will vote to preserve and protect the right and refuse to let them be ripped away by politicians," Biden said at the event. "And my administration has their back."

Biden signed the executive order during the inaugural meeting of the administration's recently established Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access, which is comprised of representatives from multiple departments across the federal government. Cabinet members briefed the President on steps their respective agencies have taken to defend reproductive rights.

The order directs Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to consider "all appropriate actions to ensure health care providers comply with federal non-discrimination laws so that women receive medically necessary care without delay," including steps to provide health care providers with technical and legal guidance amid the patchwork of state legal restrictions on abortion care following the Supreme Court's decision........
 

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Arizona's Republican voters spoke clearly last night: More hoaxes, more racism, and more fascism
Hunter

Well, the results are mostly in from the hellscape of the Arizona Republican primaries and we now have our answer. Arizona Republican voters want fascism, and they want it bad. The unbelievably odious Blake Masters—a Peter Thiel-funded racist conspiracy peddler who's gone all-in on "great replacement" theories that claim immigration is a plot to weaken the power of white people, a man who said after recent mass murders that gun violence was caused by "Black people," a pro-insurrection turd of a person with no redeeming qualities whatsoever—will challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly.

The good news is that this probably animates non-delusional, non-fascist Arizonians to get to the polls to vote in November rather than abide having a Tucker Carlson clone represent them in the Senate. The bad news is that Arizona Republican voters really had an unambiguous vote here, a vote for or against an anti-American, pro-insurrection election hoax promoter with views you'd normally hear only from your most racist uncle—and they went for the fascist. Of course they did.

Nobody in so-called conservatism gets to say, "Oh, the conspiracy-addled racism is an outlier position." Republicans keep campaigning on it, and the base keeps voting for it. State Attorney General Mark Brnovich, running against Masters, couldn't muster even 20% of the vote. Brnovich was punished by the state's fascist base for not helping Donald Trump spread election hoaxes used to justify a coup attempt. He was punished for not assisting in an act of sedition.

That was a theme for Arizona Republicans. Republican Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers testified to the House committee investigating Trump's coup, again making it clear that Trump and his allies were simply lying about an election he lost. For refusing to support a treasonous conspiracy, Republican voters booted him from office, because Arizona Republican voters are ... pro-sedition.

They weren't "confused." They weren't taken in. They backed Team Sedition, they still back Team Sedition, and they're still purging the party of anyone who isn't a democracy-contemptuous fascist.

White nationalist Rep. Paul Gosar walked away with two-thirds of the vote in his own primary. Gosar's congressional behavior has been so odious that he's been stripped of committee assignments and, at this point, has been reduced to ever-blabbering congressional paperweight. But his voters find the "white nationalist" part more important than the "functionally useless" part.

Were voters confused on what Gosar stands for? Not even a little. Arizona Republicans want the conspiracy theories, the performative cruelty, and the fascism-laced, militia-adjacent white supremacy. That's the Republican base now.

It keeps going. Supporter of All Possible Election Hoaxes Kari Lake appears to be squeaking out a win against Republican primary opponent Karrin Taylor Robson in the race to take on Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs. Lake has made a name for herself, as with the others, by propping up Donald Trump's treasonous election hoaxes. Lake spent her campaign promising that she'd respond to those hoaxes by eliminating mail voting, by throwing out all the tabulation machines—basically, by making it difficult to cast a vote and nearly impossible to count them.

Lake spent recent days vowing that if she didn't win her election, that just meant that "fraud" happened yet again, which she said "we" were "already detecting," thanks to her "cyber folks." Lake was also losing in the early results last evening before overtaking her opponent in later counts.

What's this? The votes flipped during the night? Does that mean Kari Lake is the beneficiary of fraud?

She's not confessing to that, of course, because she's just a dime-a-dozen conspiracy crank who lies for a living. She already said that she'd call "fraud" if she didn't win and wouldn't make a peep if she did, so there you go. Again: Arizona conservatives voted for this. The more someone lies, the more they like 'em. The more laws someone promises to do away with in order to achieve a Great Trumpian Future, the more Arizona Republicans purr with pleasure.

That brings us to the last act of brazen fascism of the desert evening. That bozo. You know the one. The fake-ass Arizona pseudo-cowboy who fled to the state after he botched everything in his life it was possible to botch back in Michigan.

Oh, Mark Finchem. I suppose a state that would willingly send Paul Gosar back to the House despite Gosar's family repeatedly pleading with voters to stop voting for the crank would have no problem with the almost cartoonishly hollow Finchem. Finchem is an election conspiracy theorist and ... not much else. He will now be the Republican nominee for secretary of state, after running on promises very similar to Lake's because there's basically no election conspiracy you can throw at him that he won't nod his head to and champion from that day forward. (He also seems the most likely candidate to end up in a federal prison if he wins in November and actually starts making good on his promises. Just a hunch.)

If elected, both Lake and Finchem have expressed a willingness to overturn elections in the manner Donald Trump attempted. Trump wanted state Republicans to simply declare that the election results were invalid because unspecified, invisible "fraud" happened and therefore, state Republican officials would simply declare that the Republican won.

The Arizona Republican base loves that idea. A seditious conspiracy to topple America is what most animated them in each of these races. It wasn't a minor part of a candidate's platform that Republican voters begrudgingly overlooked; in race after race, they voted for those promising to do the most damage to American elections in service of reining in "immigrants" and "Black people" and other enemies.

This is the part where nearly any national news report would bend over backwards to portray the Republican base that voted for these crooks and conspiracy promoters as Good People, despite having no evidence that any of them are Good People and a lot of evidence that they are sedition-backing hoax-loving racist bags of spite who know what each candidate stands for, go to the polls, and vote for the people promising to hurt or overturn elections that don't go the Republican way.

There is no need for this. It is selling a hoax. The evidence that Arizona Republicans do not want fascism is as anecdotal as the Trump camp's claims of ballots being smuggled into election centers in pizza boxes or repairmen's trucks. That does not mean that the whole state is irredeemable—most Arizona residents didn't vote for these people. But the Republicans who came out to vote were unambiguous in voting for the hoax promoters and the people promising they would refuse to acknowledge future Republican election losses if they could invent a reason not to.

The Arizona Republican Party has, like the Republican parties in many other states, been so captured by anti-democracy hacks and hoaxers that there is no room for anyone not on Team Sedition. It cannot be fixed, but the Americans who back it need to be humiliated into oblivion. Believing lies for the sake of a mail-order meat salesman you once saw on television, or backing a white nationalist who tells you that non-white immigrants are coming into the country due to a plot by global elites to dilute good American whiteness: This is a failure of a movement. It is simply cowardice, lashing out. It is a fascist movement inventing enemies to justify cruelties that they have been itching to do for decades, and now see as tantalizingly close.

In Arizona, that turns November into a referendum. There's no reasoning with people who don't care whether their politicians lie to them about matters as big as democracy itself. They can only be beaten. It's up to all the voters in the state who cannot stomach America's fascist turn to reject the Republican base's choices, as Kansas voters rejected Republican theocratic whims there. The only way to stop this movement of fascist hoax-promoters is to tear the movement to pieces in the voting booths so there're no scraps large enough to be recovered.
 

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Pennsylvania's mail-in voting law has been upheld by the state's Supreme Court, allowing all voters in the key swing state to cast ballots by mail in November and for other future elections.

In a 5-2 decision released Tuesday, the Democratic-majority court overturned a lower court's ruling from January that found Pennsylvania's Act 77 to be in violation of the state's constitution.

"We find no restriction in our Constitution on the General Assembly's ability to create universal mail-in voting," Justice Christine Donohue wrote in the majority opinion.......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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What were once vices are now habi…well, they’re still vices, but they do become pretty damn habitual. From the Washington Post:

Court records published on the website of the watchdog group American Oversight indicate that the Pentagon “wiped” the government-issued phones of senior Defense Department and Army officials who were in charge of mobilizing the National Guard to respond to the Capitol attack, including then-acting defense secretary Christopher C. Miller and then-Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy. The erasing apparently was done in keeping with Defense Department and Army policy for departing employees, according to filings that state: “the text messages were not preserved.”
…[It] also makes the Defense Department the latest known part of the federal government, including the Secret Service and other parts of the Department of Homeland Security, to have deleted records that could have helped investigators piece together what happened on Jan. 6 — and the degree to which President Donald Trump was responsible for delays in responding.

I mean, come on, people. Give us a little credit. Try a little harder. Lean into the cover-up. The Watergate crooks had Tony Ulasewicz, running from one phone booth to another, a trolley conductor’s coin dispenser on his belt, delivering the hush money to the burglars. The Iran-Contra scoundrels had Fawn Hall, smuggling incriminating documents out of Ollie North’s office in her lingerie and, in her own words, “going beyond the written law.” Those were bag persons with style. What we have here, at best, is a bunch of apparatchiks, from several government agencies, all simply waiting for their phones to get wiped. At worst, we have the most boringly obvious obstruction of justice in American political history.

On Tuesday, the group’s executive director, Heather Sawyer, appealed in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland to open an investigation into “DOD’s failure to preserve the text messages of several high-ranking officials on or surrounding the day of the Jan. 6 attack.”
“The apparent deletion of records from Jan. 6 by multiple agencies bolsters the need for a cross-agency investigation into the possible destruction of federal records,” the letter continued. Last week, Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) sent a similar request to Garland, asking him to investigate the missing text messages from the Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security.

Yeah, good luck with that. The dog has eaten all the homework and those oh-so-material text messages have been ozone’d by people who know how. It’s time to bring in the real experts.

The key to unraveling this whole business probably can be found In a small bedroom out there in the wilds of America where an enterprising 14-year old has found a way to recover all the porn his parents thought they’d deleted from his phone two weeks ago. The spirit of American innovation will never die.


 

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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Is the end of Value Them Both the start of something much bigger? Time will tell.

What do you even write when the most powerful lobbying force in your state not only loses a pivotal election, but gets their heads handed to them? The immediate reaction is shock. The secondary reaction is that something may be changing; that we could be seeing a generational shift where the pressure politics of the past don’t work anymore.......
........
I didn’t cover the Value Them Both election watch. Like almost all serious journalists in the state, I was banned by the campaign from attending.

So all I can tell you about their thinking is that they blamed — you guessed it — the mainstream media.

According to their written statement, the media “propelled the left’s false narrative, contributing to the confusion that misled Kansans about the amendment.”

That’s not what happened at all.

I can only speak for myself, but I never believed their infinitely repeated protestations that they didn’t want to ban abortion, just make reasonable regulations about it.

I didn’t believe it because they didn’t even believe it themselves.


Apparently, about six out of 10 voters didn’t believe them either. ......
 

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......The vote was much watched by abortion rights proponents and opponents alike. It also wasn’t exactly a fair fight: One conservative group sent out text messages on Monday, the day of the vote, warning, “Women in KS are losing their choice on reproductive rights. Voting YES on the Amendment will give women a choice. Vote YES to protect women’s health.”

Voting “yes” on the Amendment was actually a vote against abortion rights. Abortion opponents, though, were clearly worried enough that Kansas voters cared about women’s rights, and so they resorted to playing dirty.

They still lost, which makes this victory even sweeter.......
 

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They said Dobbs didn't matter ... they were wrong
Laura Clawson

A lot of pundits have some rethinking to do after the abortion rights victory in Kansas on Tuesday. Ever since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, they’ve been telling us it wasn’t going to matter in November. And then Kansas voters turned out in huge numbers for a primary to protect abortion rights. Kansas. In what the Republicans who scheduled the vote chose to be a low-turnout primary election that would favor their side.

A narrow loss for abortion rights would have looked like a win. Instead, there was a resounding win with perhaps 20% of Republican primary voters opposing the effort to end abortion in the state. So it’s going to be interesting to hear from all the people who confidently predicted that pro-choice voters would not be motivated by the Supreme Court’s decision and state after state slammed bans into place.

National Review editor Rich Lowry, in Politico, July 14: "Polls Show Americans Don’t Care that Much about Dobbs — and Won’t Base Their Vote on it." Subhed: “Sorry, Samuel Alito isn’t handing Democrats the election.” Choice passage: “Then there’s the fact that most people aren’t passionate about abortion one way or another. The number of people saying it is a top-of-mind concern has increased, although not exponentially and the effect may fade with time.”

In Kansas, more than 168,000 voters turned out just to vote on this one issue, not voting in either primary.

Matt Lewis, in The Daily Beast, June 28: "Will Raging Liberals Cause an Anti-Democrat Backlash?" Subhed: “Dems hope the end of Roe v. Wade will energize their base this November. But you can expect progressive overreach to alienate everyone else—again.”

Lewis’ party was in the process of putting laws in place that would within weeks force a 10-year-old rape victim to cross state lines to get an abortion and produce horrifying stories about women’s health being damaged when doctors were forced to delay miscarriage care until the life of the mother was sufficiently at risk, and he was talking about “progressive overreach.”

Douglas Schoen, in The Orange County Register, July 1: "Will the overturning of Roe really help Democrats in the midterms?" To give you a hint as to Schoen’s answer, the alternate headline as it appears in Nexis: “Midterm Dobbs ruling won’t be enough for Dems.”

A lot of polling coverage also pointed to minimal effects on voting decisions.

To be fair, we don’t know what will happen in the midterm elections. Kansas showed that everyone who said that voters wouldn’t be motivated to turn out to defend abortion rights was dead wrong. It showed that Democrats should hammer this issue and not be fearful. It showed that this election cycle is not a foregone conclusion. It didn’t show what would happen when voters were weighing one candidate against another, taking all issues into account, so it’s not like the Kansas vote guarantees a Democratic landslide in November. But “most people aren’t passionate about abortion one way or another”? “You can expect progressive overreach to alienate everyone else”? Yeah, some people are looking very wrong the morning after Kansas.

 

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DeAnn Hupe Seib is a fiscally conservative, churchgoing Republican from rural Kansas. When faced with a ballot question about whether abortion rights ought to be removed from her state’s constitution, she voted no. So did her home, Jefferson County, which favored Donald J. Trump by a 32-point margin in 2020.

“I was old enough that I remember stories of women who could not get abortions or had to defy their church in order to get in and get an abortion in order to save their lives,” said Ms. Hupe Seib, 63, a lawyer. “So it’s a very real issue to me, and I know it can be again.”

The sweeping victory for abortion rights in Kansas on Tuesday — the country’s first post-Roe vote on the issue — relied on a broad coalition of voters who turned out in huge numbers and crashed through party and geographic lines to maintain abortion access in the state. The result was an election with a stunning 18-point margin that is shaking up national politics ahead of the midterm elections.......
 

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.....It has been a source of frustration to those eager to return our public debates to ones rooted in reality that lies that have built a certain right-wing personality cannot be punctured because of the constant sowing of confusion around them. Part of why the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol has been so effective is that it has carefully built a story out of verifiable facts. Because House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) withdrew the pro-Trump Republicans from the committee, we have not had to deal with the muddying of the water by people like Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH), who specializes in bullying and hectoring to get sound bites that later turn up in on right-wing channels in a narrative that mischaracterizes what actually happened.

But today something happened that makes puncturing the bubble of disinformation personal. In the damages trial, the lawyer for the Sandy Hook parents, Mark Bankston, revealed that Jones’s attorney accidentally shared a digital copy of two years’ worth of the texts and emails on Jones’s phone and, when alerted to the error, didn’t declare it privileged. Thus Bankston is reviewing the material and has said that Jones lied under oath. This material includes both texts and financial reports that Jones apparently said didn’t exist.

This is a big deal for the trial, of course—perjury is a crime—and it is a bigger deal for those who have believed InfoWars, since it reveals how profitable the lies have been. Bankston revealed that for all of Jones’s claims of low income, in 2018 InfoWars made between $100,000 and $200,000 a day, and some days they made $800,000. But there is more. People calculating the math will note that if indeed there are two years of records on that phone, the messages will include the weeks around the events of January 6, 2021......
 

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Ukraine (and China) Update: Boss Pelosi stares down China
kos

GettyImages-1412592656.jpg

Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen after arriving at the president's office on August 03, 2022 in Taipei

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan amidst all-out Chinese hysteria. While many questioned the wisdom of the trip amidst high global tensions, the post-visit reviews of her trip have been spectacular. Fox News gave her a strong review. Bloomberg said she “nailed the optics” of her visit.


The optics of the speaker’s meeting with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen were loaded with symbolism. Pelosi paid tribute to Tsai, saying, “We are so proud of your leadership, a woman president in one of the freest societies in the world.” The unspoken contrast was with the all-male leadership of the People’s Republic of China, where no woman has ascended to the Politburo Standing Committee, the highest political body, since its foundation in 1949. The understated presence and language of Taiwan’s popularly elected leader also stand in sharp relief to the bellicose rhetoric emanating from Beijing, which again repeated its warning that those who play with fire “will perish by it.”

The National Review editorial board—yes, that National Review, said Pelosi was “courageous.”

[F]ar too many people have accepted the premise that the House speaker is responsible for heightening tensions in the region, rather than placing blame squarely where it belongs — on Beijing. While there was, prior to her arrival in Taipei, a legitimate debate about the timing of her trip, that window has since closed. Only Beijing is at fault for a gross overreaction to an American lawmaker exercising her prerogative to travel as she sees fit to a country where she is more than welcome.

This might’ve been the first, and likely the last time that publication will have kind things to say about Pelosi. But the praise spans the political spectrum and was particularly salient given the current events in Ukraine—the free world must more forcefully advocate for democracies threatened by authoritarian regimes. Pelosi’s visit will likely spur other world leaders to visit the island, further highlighting China’s belligerence and odious human rights record.

Meanwhile, China and its propagandists now realizes that maybe, just maybe, they should have shown some restraint rather than issue threats it could never act on.

Ahead of Pelosi’s arrival on Tuesday, China warned repeatedly that the US would pay a heavy price for the visit, with President Xi Jinping telling Joe Biden that “whoever plays with fire will get burned.” Hu Xijin, the prominent former editor-in-chief of the Global Times, suggested in a now-deleted tweet that Chinese warplanes could “forcibly dispel Pelosi’s plane.”
After Pelosi touched down, Hu acknowledged in a post on China’s Twitter-like Weibo that the official response didn’t live up to public expectations.

Chinese leaders and their mouthpieces are now begging people for “patience” to cover for their inability to stop Pelosi’s visit.

In roughly 24 hours, Chinese officials and propagandists went from warning of a possible war to pleading for patience as Beijing struggled to articulate a cohesive response to Nancy Pelosi’s landmark trip to Taiwan.

It was the worst possible outcome for China—Pelosi demonstrated just how impotent China was to stop her visit, and she used the intense attention China’s histrionics generated to further shine a light on its despotic shortcomings. And after priming its public for action, the government looked weak in the face of what they declared to be Western provocation.
------------------
In Ukraine, a Russian offensive on the southeastern Donbas front is creeping forward.


Russia is trying to approach Bakhmut from three locations, while also pushing toward Pisky and Avdiivka down near Donetsk—two towns that have resisted Russian advances from the regional capital (and Russian stronghold) of Donetsk city for eight years. On that northern advance, Ukraine has established a solid defensive line from Bakhmut to Sivers’k. Russia hasn’t even gotten to that line, as Ukraine makes Russia pay for every meter it advances. Unlike Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, both isolated in a deep salient from Ukrainian artillery support, this line is well covered on the Ukrainian side.

Meanwhile, the southern approach is so nonsensical, that war criminal Igor Girkin, who commanded the Donbas forces in the 2014 war, nearly lost his head over it.


So, the Russian military thinking was marked by another genius military decision – while the ukrops are trying to achieve success on Kherson direction (where a breakthrough of a frontline in theory promises a deep penetration or at least an operational success), our military geniuses again decided to directly assault Avdiivka [...]
Naturally, I wish our fighters maximum success. But even in the most favourable case (that is when after fierce street battles and fights inside the depths of the enemy’s prepared defences, our forces will take Avdiivka etc), the frontline will only be moved to the next defensive line of the enemy – that is the same Sloviansk – Kramatorsk – Druzhovka – Konstantinovka – Kurakhovo line. Hardly any deeper. Although for me personally such success does not seem to be guaranteed at all (knowing the state of the DPR and RF Armed Forces infantry).

Head-on assaults of this nature won’t get Russia far. They simply don’t have the man- and firepower to make it happen. This is patently futile. With Ukraine advancing in the Kherson area, perhaps Russian generals are feeling new pressure for action?

This is an amazing statistic:



That’s 63 square miles, the equivalent of taking a piece of land 10 miles deep, six miles wide. June even includes the Russian capture of Lysychansk! I did some quick checks, and here is the furthest Russia has been able to extend from its three major Donbas victories:

Izyum: (captured April 1)
15 kilometers south (to Dovhen’ke)


Popasna: (captured May 7)
22 kilometers north (to Lysychansk)
24 kilometers south (closed small salient)
16 kilometers west (toward Bakhmut)

Lysychansk: (captured July 3)
10 kilometers (maybe, likely less)


Very few of those gains happened in July, obviously, and what little they got was mostly offset by Ukrainian’s own modest gains west of Izyum, in southern Donbas, and around Kherson.

That Izyum approach hasn’t budged since Dovhen’ke fell on June 11. With the battle of Bohorodychne now over, Russia is actually moving backwards.
..........
By all indications, Russia is shifting a huge number of their forces to Kherson where they are ripe for being cut off. Supplies and access to the Kherson region run through just three easy-to-cut railroads and a handful of bridges. You know how in some stupid movie, you see the heroes headed into a trap and you scream at the screen, because it’s so obvious it’s a trap?


Yeah, that.

But Russia doesn’t have a choice. This is the comeuppance of their under-resourced and now-decimated assault on Ukraine—they don’t have the forces to defend what they have. So they have to reinforce the one regional capital they managed to capture, and one that matters a great deal to Vladimir Putin’s Novorossiya (New Russia) fantasy—connecting Russia, Donbas, the entire Black Sea coast to Odesa, and into Moldova’s Transnistria region. If Russia loses Kherson, it hands Ukraine the biggest propaganda victory of the war since winning the Battle of Kyiv, and relegates Russia to the Donbas front, another humiliation for a supposed global superpower. Oh, and Crimea once again loses its water. Never underestimate the power of water.

Yesterday I wrote about the train Ukraine hit with HIMARS. Here’s more video of the strike:

 

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‘I’ve waited 874 days for this’: DOJ announces charges in Breonna Taylor case
Aysha Qamar

Breonna-Taylor.jpg


Charges are finally being filed in the case of Breonna Taylor, an unarmed Black woman who was fatally shot in her home by law enforcement officials in U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday that the Department of Justice has filed charges against four former and current Louisville police officers in connection with the case. The charges include civil rights offenses, unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force, and obstruction offenses.

"The federal charges announced today allege that members of a Police Investigations Unit falsified the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant of Ms. Taylor's home, and that this act violated federal civil rights laws, and that those violations resulted in Ms. Taylor's death," Garland said in a news conference.

Two years ago, Taylor was killed when police raided her home executing a no-knock warrant on Mar. 13, 2020, in Louisville, Kentucky. A 26-year-old emergency medical technician, Taylor was sleeping when officers came through her door. Later it was revealed that she was not the subject of the warrant.

Despite the national outcry, not a single officer was charged, including the former Louisville police officer who was responsible for her death. Brett Hankison, the officer who shot into Taylor’s home 10 times, was fired. While he was initially the only officer charged in the case, he was acquitted earlier this year of all charges related to Taylor's death.

The new charges are against all the Louisville Metro Police officers who were involved in Taylor’s death, including Hankison as well as Joshua Jaynes, Kelly Goodlett, and Kyle Meany. All face multiple felony charges, including various civil rights violations, use of excessive force, and conspiracy charges related to the falsification of reports.



Hankison has been charged on two counts of deprivation of rights. According to the DOJ, Hankison allegedly used unconstitutional excessive force during the raid when he fired 10 shots through a window and sliding glass door in Taylor's home that was covered in blinds and curtains after there was no longer a "lawful objective justifying the use of deadly force."

According to ABC News, the federal charges against detective Joshua Jaynes, former Louisville detective Kelly Goodlett, and sergeant Kyle Meany allege they violated Taylor's Fourth Amendment rights when they sought a warrant to search her home while knowing they lacked probable cause.

"Among other things, the affidavit falsely claimed that officers had verified that the target of the alleged drug trafficking operation had received packages at Ms. Taylor's address. In fact, defendants Jaynes and Goodlett knew that was not true," Garland said.

Garland added that Jaynes and Goodlett seemed to know armed officers will be carrying out the raid at Taylor's home and that conducting the search could create "a dangerous situation for anyone who happened to be in Ms. Taylor's home."

Jaynes was accused of lying about verifying information on the warrant affidavit used to search Taylor’s home. As a result, he was fired from the department in January 2021 but was never criminally charged until now. Jaynes had appealed the decision but lost that argument before the department’s merit board.



Garland also said he spoke with Taylor's family earlier Thursday and informed them of the charges.

"We share, but we cannot fully imagine, the grief felt by Breonna Taylor's loved ones and all of those affected by the events of March 13, 2020. Breonna Taylor should be alive today," Garland said.

“I’ve waited 874 days for this,” Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, said. She met with family and supporters at Jefferson Square Park Thursday, where protests went on for months after Taylor’s death in March 2020.
“This is a day when Black women saw equal justice in America,” lawyer Benjamin Crump said.