"Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great staffs, both of the old parties have ganged aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare they have become the tools of corrupt interests which use them in martialling [sic] to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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Lawyers for Julian Assange and officials of the U.S. Justice Department are engaged in talks for a possible plea deal that could see Assange walk out of Belmarsh Prison in London as a free man, according to a report Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper said the DOJ was considering whether to allow Assange to “plead guilty to a reduced charge of mishandling classified information,” which is a misdemeanor. He is currently charged with felonies for allegedly violating the U.S. Espionage Act and for conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, charges that carry as much as 175 years in prison. 

A deal to accept guilt for mishandling classified information could see Assange “eventually” walk free if the five years he has already spent in London’s Belmarsh Prison is counted as time served, the newspaper said. 

“Justice Department officials and Assange’s lawyers have had preliminary discussions in recent months about what a plea deal could look like to end the lengthy legal drama, according to people familiar with the matter, a potential softening in a standoff filled with political and legal complexities,” the Journal reported.

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Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com,

As a way to create jobs, EC President Charles Michel promotes a war economy.

Where that would lead is obvious. I suggest putting Michel on the front line with Senator Lindsey Graham.

Michel’s Rosy War Economy

Eurointelligence discusses Michel’s Rosy War Economy

What Michel wants concretely is EU targets to buy twice as much weapons from European defence producers by 2030; to use the profits from Russian frozen assets to finance weapons purchases for Ukraine; to facilitate financial access for European defence industry, including by issuing a European defence bond and getting the European Investment Bank to add defence purposes to its lending criteria. Michel sells it to us as a way to create jobs and growth. It is to provide more clarity to companies with multi-annual defence contracts to increase their capacities. And by investing in defence industry, the EU is boosting its technology and innovation, a confident Michel reassures us.

What Michel talks about is not a European Union we recognise any more – nor one that would work in practice. Perhaps that will be Vladimir Putin’s greatest triumph that he changed the DNA of our union. 

The attempt to base economic integration and economic stimulus on defence creates precedents. If we build up a defence industry, we need conflicts to feed them. Beyond Ukraine, will we do the same for Georgia? Would we want our economy to depend on wars in Africa to prop up our GDP growth data? If the US decides to retreat, does that mean we need to pick up where the US left?

Michel wants a geopolitical Europe, and finishes his letter with the familiar cold war phrase that if you want peace you need to prepare for war. This is not a cold war but a hot war in Ukraine. Are those weapons in Michel’s war economy to speak for our failures in diplomacy? What is our historic contribution to this conflict? Should we not start from there?

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Authored by Alice Giordano via The Epoch Times 

A member of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah was caught entering the country illegally at the Texas border, where he told agents he was plotting to make a bomb once settled in the country, according to a March 19 federal court document.

A group of more than 1,000 illegal immigrants walks toward a U.S. Border Patrol field processing center after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Dec. 18, 2023. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Basel Bassel Ebbadi, a Lebanese national, told a Texas border agent that he was “here to make a bomb” and that he spent several years training with the Hizballah terrorist group, an alternate name for Hezbollah, and he “was taught to kill people who were not Muslim.”

The group’s main operations are in Lebanon, Mr. Ebbadi’s native country.

Mr. Ebbadi, who is listed as being 22 years old, was transferred to the El Paso Sectors Human Intelligence Unit for further questioning, according to the criminal complaint filed by Border Patrol agent Jose L. Benitez-Medina in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.

Mr. Benitez-Medina wrote in his complaint that Mr. Ebbadi entered the United States on March 9 by crossing the Rio Grande in an area of Texas that is not a designated port of entry for migrants.

Instead, he crossed into the United States about four miles from the Bridge of The Americas Port of Entry in El Paso. According the court document, the border agent indicated that Mr. Ebbadi volunteered his ties to Hezbollah and was initially processed for entry.

Mr. Ebbadi is currently being held at the El Paso Hardened Facility.

Past Terror Against US

As part of his court complaint, the border patrol agent noted that on Oct. 8, 1997, the United States designated Hezbollah a foreign terrorist organization and that in 2017, officials added “Lebanese Hizballah” as an alias for Hezbollah. He also listed several other aliases for Hezbollah, including Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine, Islamic Jihad, Organization of Right Against Wrong, Followers of the Prophet Muhammad, and the Revolutionary Justice Organization.

The terrorist group has been found responsible for a number of large-scale terrorist attacks against the United States, including the deadly 1983 suicide truck bombings of the American Embassy and U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut. It has also planted bombs on buses and hijacked passenger airplanes around the world

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The Islamic Resistance in Iraq has said its fighters attacked Ben Gurion Airport twice in one week using drones.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Iraqi Resistance confirmed the attack against Israel which waged a genocidal war against the people of Gaza.

“The fighters of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, at dawn today, Tuesday, 20-3-2024, targeted Ben-Gurion airport in the Zionist depth using drones,” the resistance statement said.  

The resistance also affirmed its commitment to strike the enemies' strongholds, as part of the second phase of operations in support of the Palestinian people in Gaza.

In response to the Israeli massacres against innocent Palestinian civilians, the second phase of the Resistance's operations has started which include the enforcement of a blockade on Israeli maritime navigation in the Mediterranean and putting Israeli ports out of service.

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Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has enacted a law effectively prohibiting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in public educational institutions and state agencies.

This move is part of a broader trend of Republican-led legislation aimed at curbing diversity efforts.

The legislation, designated as SB129, imposes limitations on eight "divisive concepts." These include attributing "fault, blame, or bias" to any race, religion, gender, or color, and discussions on whether "slavery and racism align with the founding principles of the United States." The law empowers state agencies to "discipline or terminate employees or contractors who violate this act."

Webmaster addition: The political pendulum is starting to swing back the other way. Hopefully, it will not swing too hard and we can all get along together!

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In a significant development in November 2022, Rep. Janel Brandtjen, who was then the Chair of the Assembly on Campaigns and Elections, issued an alert concerning election fraud.

This was triggered by the receipt of three military ballots at her residence, addressed to a certain "Holly," a woman who has never resided there. Brandtjen was of the opinion that this was a part of a larger plot to manipulate votes in Wisconsin.

The Gateway Pundit, a conservative news outlet, has extensively covered this alleged voter fraud scheme from the 2020 election. The scheme was reportedly prevalent in several battleground states, including Michigan, Arizona, and Georgia, where military ballots were overwhelmingly cast in favor of Joe Biden.

In a related development, Wisconsin radio host Dan O’Donnell revealed that Kimberly Zapata, the deputy director of the City of Milwaukee Election Commission, was dismissed on charges of election fraud. Claire Woodall-Vogg, the Director of the Milwaukee Elections Commission, who has been scrutinized by The Gateway Pundit for her dubious actions, expressed her belief that Zapata was trying to demonstrate how military ballots could be requested and dispatched without requiring a photo ID or voter registration.

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The Russian military has launched one of its most powerful waves of air and missile strikes on Ukrainian energy infrastructure in recent weeks, officials in Kiev have claimed. The Defense Ministry in Moscow has yet to comment on the claims.

In a post on Facebook on Friday, Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko alleged that Russia’s goal was “not only to damage, but to try again, like last year, to cause a large-scale failure of the country’s energy system.”

“Unfortunately, there are hits and damage to power generation facilities, transmission and distribution systems in various regions,” he wrote, noting that one of the power lines linked to Russia’s Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant had been severed. Zaporozhye Region joined Russia in a referendum in the fall of 2022.

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Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has turned into full-fledged war after the West became a participant in the conflict, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with national media published on Friday.

Moscow will continue to pursue its goal of ensuring that the Ukrainian military cannot pose a threat to Russian citizens or territory, the spokesman told the Argumenti i Fakty newspaper, noting that the country now has four new federal subjects which must be protected and fully liberated from Kiev’s forces.

Peskov stressed that Russia cannot allow the existence on its borders of a state that publicly claims it will seize the Crimean Peninsula as well as Russia’s new territories, referring to the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and Zaporozhye and Kherson regions.

“We are at war,” Peskov stated, explaining that while the conflict began as a special military operation, as soon as “the collective West became a participant in this on the side of Ukraine, for us it became a war.”

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This is the moment when TX National Guard became overrun by migrants rioting to get across the border here in El Paso today We were there and saw it all happen. Absolute chaos here.

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The director of the Bill and Hillary Clinton Airport in Arkansas was being investigated for illegal gun dealing when he was fatally injured in a shootout with federal agents serving a search warrant at his home.

Bryan Malinowski, 53, died in the hospital at noon on Thursday, two days after the confrontation with ATF agents at his home in west Little Rock.

The search warrant revealed that he was suspected of trading more than 150 firearms between May 2021 and February of this year, six of which were later used in crimes, and one of which ended up with a 15-year-old gang member in California.

'Even if the allegations in the affidavit are true, they don’t begin to justify what happened,' his family said in the statement this evening.

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The United Kingdom has seen the biggest rise in “absolute poverty” in 30 years, according to new data published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

In Britain “relative poverty” refers to the citizens whose income is 40 percent below the national average, and “absolute poverty” measures the number of people who cannot afford a set standard of living.

UK Treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney said, “This is a devastating rise and behind these numbers will be stories of children going hungry and families unable to heat their homes.”

Meanwhile, shadow employment and social security minister Alison McGovern commented that the “Conservative government crashed the economy and unleashed a cost of living crisis, pushing families across the country into poverty and a million children into destitution.”

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The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) continues to face fierce resistance from Palestinian armed factions in the Gaza Strip, despite escalating strikes on the besieged enclave.

On March 20, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Gaza’s ruling Hamas Movement, released a video showing its fighters targeting several main battle tanks of the IDF with rocket-propelled grenades close to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City in the northern part of the Strip. Israeli troops have been operating in the medical complex for the last few days. Dozens of Palestinains have been killed and at least 200 others captured there, so far.

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Remember the Euro migrant crisis from 2014 to 2016? Well, compared to what's happening now, it almost seems like a walk in the park. Millions of migrants are pouring in, and under the current administration, that number might just hit a staggering 10 million.

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Israel’s air strikes on targets in Syria violate the fundamental rules of international law, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said.

"We are particularly concerned about Israel’s intensifying air strikes on civilian facilities in Syria, particularly from the Blue Line area. Such irresponsible actions are creating a risk that Syria, as well as a number of its neighboring countries, will be dragged into a full-scale regional confrontation. We strongly condemn such attacks on Syria and see them as a blatant violation of the country’s sovereignty and the fundamental rules of international law," he pointed out at a UN Security Council meeting.

"We have also taken note of the fact that Israeli strikes are leading to serious humanitarian consequences that UN institutions should react to. That said, the silence of our Western colleagues looks hypocritical because they surely realize the risks stemming from what is happening now," the Russian diplomat stressed.

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Visiting Kiev on Wednesday, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan called on his Ukrainian hosts “not to give up on the US”. He promised the US Congress would eventually unblock the $60-billion package of military aid for Kiev in a "bipartisan" Congress funding bill.

That pledge added little to Sullivan’s statement during his joint visit with Biden to Kiev thirteen months ago – when he promised the House of Representatives would unblock the package “eventually” – and definitely not worth a wait of more than a year.

Sullivan was much more generous with words than with money.

“You should believe in the United States,” he told his hosts in Kiev. “We have provided enormous support and we continue to do so every day and every way we know how.”

Webmaster addition: Time to stop pouring good money after bad. Ukraine cannot win even if Biden bankrupts this nation to support them.

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Negotiations on resolving the conflict in Ukraine could have started months ago, but US authorities threatened Vladimir Zelensky with withdrawal of non-military funding, US journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh said in an article on Substack.

"We were on the verge of a reasonable negotiation several months ago before Putin's re-election and Zelensky's military degradation. The US leaders got wind of the possibility and gave Zelensky the ultimatum-'No negotiations or settlement or we won't support your government with the $45 billion in non-military funds [that Ukraine is now receiving annually],'" the source told the journalist.

According to Hersh's information, US intelligence community recognizes that "Ukraine has little chance of winning..."

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On Saturday, the Niger's military leadership told the United States, which has three bases in the country, including one controlled by the CIA, that it is no longer welcome in Niger. On Monday, US officials insisted that they wanted to continue their “partnership” with Niger and confirmed that troops remain in the bases.

The United States’ “grand plan” with its drone base in Niger is to “reoccupy” Africa with “its vassal friends” like France, Koffi Kouakou, an African analyst and senior research fellow at the Center for Africa-China Studies at the University of Johannesburg told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Thursday.

“The US [isn't] going to leave easily. The US is not going to cut and run because there's this big ego at play [in] geopolitics [and] geoeconomics, but also hegemony,” Kouakou explained. “Those who haven’t been paying attention should pay attention.”

“The key issue is [the] US’s grand plan to get [Africa] back, with its vassal friends to reoccupy this place.”

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