Saturday, June 18, 2022

Today's News: A tangled ball of string

The LA Times has a major article describing the gang of third-raters, rubes, grifters and gullibles who were trying to overturn Biden's election. 
First, it's all just one big tangled ball of string -- the same bunch of fellow travellers keep turning up through all sorts of Trump Administration scandals. For example: 
...Some of the key players in the group were already working together in New York City before the election to crack the laptop of Hunter Biden, son of the Democratic nominee, said former Chief Executive Patrick Byrne, who was a major funder of the effort ...[and] was in an intimate relationship with Russian agent Maria Butina, who was convicted in the U.S. in connection with Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. 
Yes, there's Russia again -- if you look into anything connected to the Trump administration, Russia always seems to show up, like a cat sneaking in through any opened door.
Second, they actually did have a strategy to try to overturn Biden's election -- to prove the voting machines of key counties were corrupt, and to convince state lawmakers the election results were so tainted that they needed to reject state results: 
...they planned weeks of lawsuits, attempts to access voting machines and ways to persuade lawmakers to reject key state election results, driven by a frantic mission whose goal was to keep then-President Trump in office after an election he lost. .
..Some said they believed Trump’s months of claims that he could only lose if the election was stolen, others cared less about politics and were already convinced that fraud tainted all American elections.
Ultimately, they produced a report that supposedly wrapped it all up, with the goal of convincing Republicans in Congress on Jan 6 to either return the election results to the states, or to themselves accept alternate slates of Trump electors.  
The final Hail Mary was to get the presumably Trump-supporting Supreme Court to end the Jan 6 certification - a plan that did not succeed when Nancy Pelosi carried on immediately after the riot, and the Republican senators were unable to delay the vote. 
Also, and I believe this was key, Antifa DIDN'T SHOW UP so there were no bloody clashes in the streets which would have justified Trump declaring martial law and shutting down the certification. The goal on that day was to delay the certification and throw everything into chaos:

Moving to the latest from Ukraine: 
Here we find more tangles from the ball of string, this time with a Ukraine twist. 
I think there now appears to be a Grand Unified Theory (GUT) that turns Putin into a good guy and which, of course, also includes Hunter Biden and Covid. 
Justin Ling writes about it today -- the theory originated with a Q'Anon follower, that the U.S. created COVID-19 in a Chinese lab, that the American government runs a global network of biowarfare labs, that these include labs in the cities of Ukraine, and that therefore the war is really because Putin is trying to prevent another pandemic. 
Now, Ling writes, the Russian Ministry of Defense is adding to the theory:
...alleging involvement from Hunter Biden, tying a supposed bioweapons attack against Cuba, and accusing the United States of experimenting on mentally ill people in their quest to perfect these bioweapons.
...the Kremlin is alleging that all yellow fever outbreaks in Africa can be tied back to Washington.
...Russia is actively leaning on Westerns to advance these crazytown claims. 
American John Mark Dougan made an appearance at an official Russian government hearing in recently to offer his own spin on the conspiracy theory. (I have a little cameo!) 
German Thomas Roper followed up, managing to link this secret bioweapons project with the World Economic Forum. (In case you’re playing conspiracy bingo at home.)
Is this effective? 
Who’s to say. 
 It looks increasingly likely that this is not an effort by Russia to launch any kind of biological or chemical weapon attack (thankfully) it has been a very successful effort by Moscow to get its unhinged propaganda into the hands of Western disinformation agents, who deliver the bullshit in their native tongues. 

Some military analysts like Phillips OBrien are questioning Ukraine's statements about casualties, seeing it as a manouever to increase weapons deliveries but it risks making Ukraine look weaker: Some good news -- in May, AP reported on a Ukrainian medic Taria who had been taken prisoner by Russia. She has now been released and is back home in Ukraine. 
More good news -- the European Commission voted to accept Ukraine's application for candidate status to become a member of the European Union. So the world will be watching: Hungary may be a problem. We will also be watching the applications of Finland and Sweden to join NATO -- and Turkey may be a problem with that. Putin will be piling the pressure onto Orban (Hungary) and Ergodan (Turkey) to vote No, while Biden, Trudeau and the rest of Europe will be pressuring these leaders to vote yes.

Back here in Canada, this is one thing I had been wondering about -- Conservatives have been tweeting about the CBC "redacting" a story (I think they mean "retracted" anyway). But I couldn't figure out what they were talking about. The Cons keep insisting Canada didn't really need the Emergencies Act at all: In other news today, here are a few stray observations:
 Finally, I saw Jimmy Carter trending on Twitter so I had to check right away -- and this is what it was all about!

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