Russia continues to make things TENSE at the U.N. General Assembly, and Republicans won't condemn a (different) fascist strongman
Thursday, September 22, 2022
BY JULIA CLAIRE & CROOKED MEDIA
- Disgraced former president Trump ([link removed]) telling Sean Hannity he still does not understand how declassification works.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to do his usual strongman song and dance, but it just isn’t hitting his countrymen the way it used to.
* Russian authorities have made more than 1,300 protest-related arrests in the past 24 hours ([link removed]) as thousands demonstrated against Putin’s decision to call up military reservists into the country’s armed forces. Verified video footage shows Russian police officers arresting protesters by pushing them onto the ground or stuffing them into buses and vans. The crackdown on anti-war protests, plus Putin’s need to call up reserves in the first place, suggests broad Russian dissatisfaction with the conflict, or at least poses a major challenge to the “widespread national support” for the war that Russian state media portrays.
* The violence and protests illustrate just how hot the national temperature has become in Russia following Putin’s Tuesday mobilization announcement, which went into effect immediately. Just this morning, hundreds of thousands of Russian sons and husbands were forced to leave their homes and head to training before potentially being deployed. Some draft-age Russians rushed to the border today ([link removed]) to escape the country’s biggest conscriptive drive since World War II. Prices for flights out of Moscow soared above $5,000 for one-way tickets to the nearest foreign locations, with most completely sold out for days to come. Traffic also surged at border crossings with Finland and Georgia.
* A spokesperson for the Kremlin called reports of draft-age men fleeing “false information” ([link removed]) (we know a “fake news!” accusation when we see it) and Russian state media reported today that 10,000 people had volunteered to fight even before the call-up papers had arrived. Forgive us, it’s just kind of hard to believe those statistics, or anything Russian state media reports, when the government controls it. And other factors point to the state media’s counter-claims being false as well. Finland said today that it was considering barring most Russians from entering the country as traffic across the shared border has “intensified” ([link removed]) since Putin’s directive.
All of this has made for a pretty awkward(!!) United Nations General Assembly this week.
* One day after Ukrainian president Vlodymyr Zelenskyy made an impassioned case against Russia’s invasion at the 77th United Nations general assembly, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on every United Nations Security Council member to “send a clear message” to Russia that it must cease the use of nuclear threats ([link removed]) in its war on Ukraine. Blinken used a council session today during the General Assembly gathering to implore other countries to join the United States’s forceful condemnations of Russia, listing alleged atrocities committed by the country’s military, and said there would be more to come. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov responded with lies, claiming that Ukraine has been the oppressor. At one point during a speech enumerating Russia’s wrongdoings, Lavrov walked out. Yikes!
* Russia and Ukraine carried out an unexpected prisoner swap yesterday ([link removed]) , the largest since the war began, involving almost 300 people. Ten of those prisoners released by Russia were foreigners, including two Britons and a Moroccan who had been sentenced to death in June after being captured fighting for Ukraine. Also freed were three other Britons, two Americans, a Croatian, and a Swedish national. The arrangement was brokered by the notoriously chill Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Zelensky seemed pleased with the swap, which he said had been in the works for some time. War hawks in Russia, on the other hand, were furious, because the exchange freed commanders from Ukraine’s controversial Azov Regiment.
Putin’s strategic options are diminishing, as evidenced by his increasingly rash and perilous decisions. With his threats of nuclear war very much in the air, his unchecked egomania could lead to unthinkable devastation. Happy Thursday!
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For weeks, our boy Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has searched in vain for a Republican colleague to cosponsor the resolution he drafted warning that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro might mount a coup if he loses his bid for re-election ([link removed]) . A Republican is sorely needed (boy do we hate when that happens) to send a bipartisan message from the Senate that the United States would reject any attempt by the fascist-curious Bolsonaro to overturn his defeat. But he’s come up empty-handed. Sanders tried to employ a centrist secret weapon and member of the Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), but even with GOP-friendly Kaine on board, no dice. Could it be because Bolsonaro and Donald Trump are staunch allies? And that Bolsonaro is contemplating the same kind of self-coup that Trump attempted? Yes, obviously that’s it. The resolution declares that the United States will reevaluate its
relationship with any government that assumes power undemocratically or illegally, including via military coup, suggesting this could imperil future U.S. aid. This is the latest and perhaps one of the most pathetic examples of the lengths to which Republicans will go (not condemning a potential coup) in order to avoid upsetting their god, the disgraced former president.
My Pillow, Inc., CEO and longtime Trump ally Mike Lindell is under federal investigation for identity theft and conspiring to damage a protected computer ([link removed]) connected to a suspected voting-equipment security breach in Colorado.
At least nine people have died in clashes between Iranian security forces and protesters following the death of a 22 year-old woman at the hands of the Iranian “morality police.” ([link removed])
Tesla recalled nearly 1.1 million cars in the United States today ([link removed]) due to a software error that puts drivers at risk of injury, the company’s 14th recall this year ([link removed]) . Maybe if enough people keep claiming that Elon Musk is really smart, it will come true someday!
Canada’s Atlantic provinces may see the strongest storm on record for the region as Hurricane Fiona continues through the North Atlantic ([link removed]) . In typical fashion, Nova Scotia locals are planning to politely ask the hurricane to leave.
Senate Republicans blocked legislation today that would have required super PACs and other groups to disclose donors who give $10,000 or more ([link removed]) during an election cycle. Boy do those guys LOVE dark money! Can’t imagine why.
At the Virginia congressional delegation’s bipartisan monthly meeting on Monday, a heated exchange reportedly took place between Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) ([link removed]) over Gov. Glenn Younkin (R-VA), whose cruel new policies curtail the rights of transgender students in public schools.
Judge Raymond Dearie, the special master in the Mar-a-Lago case, told Trump’s lawyers that they have to say once and for all whether they really believe the FBI “planted evidence” during its search ([link removed]) , as Trump continues to allege publicly.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed today that the House will consider a stop-gap government spending bill ([link removed]) next week as soon as it passes in the Senate.
A new report found that Israeli forces were indeed responsible for Abu Akleh’s killing, and would have been able to see her press identifications before shooting ([link removed]) , confirming the findings of more than half a dozen earlier independent reviews.
Members from the progressive and centrist wings of the House Democratic caucus have reached an agreement on a long-sought policing and public-safety package ([link removed]) that will be brought to the House floor in the weeks leading up to midterm elections.
Former Mississippi Department of Human Services Director John Davis pleaded guilty to five counts of conspiracy and 13 counts of fraud against the government in court Thursday ([link removed]) . Davis is a key figure in Mississippi’s massive welfare fraud scandal. Presiding judge Adrienne Wooten sentenced him to 32 years in state prison, and ordered him to pay restitution. Davis was accused in 2020 of giving grant money to New Summit School founder Nancy New and her son Zach, both of whom have already pleaded guilty for directing $40,000 a month to a Malibu rehab facility for treating retired professional wrestler Brett DiBiase. (This whole thing just keeps getting weirder.) Ms. New has been cooperating with prosecutors as part of her plea deal, and handed over text messages between herself, NFL Hall of Fame player Brett Favre, and former Gov. Phil Bryant (R-MS)
([link removed]) , which show Bryant pushing to get millions in federal welfare dollars to construct a volleyball stadium, which Favre wanted at his alma mater, the University of Southern Mississippi. So to recap: a group of rich people defrauded the poorest state in the whole goddamn country out of millions of dollars meant for poor Mississippians for their own selfish gain. Glad we’re all up to speed.
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A Georgia county has validated 15,000-20,000 registered voters whose status was challenged by Trump allies and Republican officials ([link removed]) ahead of the midterm elections.
Unemployment data shows that job growth remains solid ([link removed]) despite the Federal Reserve’s best efforts to change that.
The United States announced over $170 million in humanitarian aid for Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims ([link removed]) as the refugee crisis there continues.
A record number of indigenous leaders, most of them women, are running for federal office in Brazil ([link removed]) , in a backlash against the autocratic policies of Jair Bolsonaro.
An Indiana judge blocked the state from enforcing its new law banning most abortions today ([link removed]) while Planned Parenthood and other health-care providers continue to challenge it in court, saying that the “significant restriction of personal autonomy” violates the state constitution.
Pharma giant Pfizer announced today that it will supply six-million courses of its Covid-19 antiviral treatments to low-and-middle-income countries ([link removed]) .