MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's central bank on Thursday said it was increasing the capital of affiliated reinsurance firm AO RNPK, which specialises in providing protection against international sanctions, to 300 billion roubles ($3.08 billion) from 71 billion roubles. ($1 = 97.4990 roubles) (Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Christopher Cushing)
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If there is one prominent through-line connecting the two most corrupt presidents in U.S. history, Richard Nixon and Donald Trump, it would have to be the person of Roger Stone. The man has been at the heart of every election scandal for the past 50 years and he's still at it, even today. It's quite a legacy for the guy who has Richard Nixon's face tattooed on his back. It's lucky he left his chest clear for his last great cause, Donald Trump. Stone's work on Trump's behalf provides the perfect coda to a legendary career as a political dirty trickster and world-class black-ops conspiracy-monger.
Stone has had his fingerprints on every nefarious deed the Republicans have pulled in the last half-century, starting when he was a kid working on Nixon's re-election campaign in 1972, and given the job of spying on rival campaigns and finding devious ways to embarrass them in the press. He has said that during the day he was a scheduler but at night, he was "trafficking in the black arts."
In 1977, at age 24, Stone was elected president of the Young Republicans with the help of his buddy Paul Manafort, after they had reportedly compiled "whip books," or files of personal information, on all 800 delegates to the convention. He went on to work on all of Ronald Reagan's presidential campaigns doing what he does best. Stone has claimed, for example, that he served as a go-between when Roy Cohn — the infamous mob lawyer and mentor to Donald Trump — got liberal Republican John Anderson on the New York general election ballot as a third-party candidate in 1980, splitting the vote and allowing Reagan to win the state. Stone has hinted that he delivered a suitcase full of money to a lawyer to make that happen.
Stone then teamed up with Manafort, Charlie Black and the infamous Lee Atwater to form a lobbying and consulting firm that became known as "The Torturer's Lobby" for its willingness to represent the world's most infamous dictators, along with such right-wing luminaries as Rupert Murdoch. He worked with Trump for years, as an adviser and lobbyist for his gambling interests and later as manager of Trump's brief campaign for the Reform Party's presidential nomination in 2000.
Yes, Stone was deeply involved in the 2000 Florida recount, taking credit for the famous "Brooks Brothers riot" that delayed the vote count long enough for the Supreme Court to intervene (others have disputed that he was actually behind that). Throughout the 2000s he perpetrated underhanded dirty tricks in various campaigns, including the formation of an anti-Hillary Clinton group in 2008 called Citizens United Not Timid, purely for the fun of using the crude acronym to own the libs. By 2015 he was egging on his old pal Donald Trump to run for president again, for real this time. He worked for the Trump campaign, at first in an official capacity and then off the books to practice his "dark arts."
Hurricane Ian has forced postponement of the Jan. 6 committee's next hearing. But it looks like the storm is coming for Roger Stone.
You may recall that in 2019 Stone was convicted on charges relating to his alleged coordination with WikiLeaks aimed at sabotaging Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign. But Attorney General Bill Barr rode to his rescue, overruling the career prosecutors and recommending a light sentence, which Trump then commuted. All four prosecutors withdrew from the case in protest. That was the closest call of Stone's career, and the only time anyone has ever seriously tried to hold him liable for his toxic influence on American politics. (Trump eventually pardoned him, which Stone no doubt knew would happen. He knows where all the Trump bodies are buried.)
The Jan. 6 House select committee had to postpone Wednesday's scheduled public hearing, with a major hurricane descending on Florida and dominating the news. But as with previous hearings, the committee teased some of its revelations earlier this week, and we know that Stone's involvement in the Trump coup plot and the Jan. 6 insurrection will feature heavily in their presentation. Some incriminating clips from an unreleased documentary about Stone shot during the 2020 election campaign and its aftermath have already been released.
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In an interview with CNN, the Danish filmmakers have said that committee lawyers had flown to Copenhagen to see what they had regarding interactions between Stone, the Trump White House, the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers. Reportedly they identified around eight minutes of relevant footage. Even what we've seen so far is startling. In July 2020, the documentary crew captured Roger Stone saying:
What they're assuming is the election will be normal. The election will not be normal. "These are the California results." Sorry. We're not accepting them. We're challenging them in court. If the electors show up at the — at the Electoral College, armed guards will throw them out. "Fuck you. I'm the president. Fuck you. You're not stealing Florida. You're not stealing. I'm challenging all of it."
And the judges we're going to. Our judges. "I appointed you. Fuck you. You're not stealing the election." That's what — that basically what Bush did to Gore.
So, you know, if they want to run a bunch of fake ballots, we'll have an investigation. We'll say, "These ballots are fake. Your results are invalidated. Goodbye." That's the way it's going to have to look. It's going to be really nasty. But you cannot count on, we're not going to get an honest election.
So, let's say that Trump is a little behind right now, which he probably is. That doesn't bother me. But even if he wins an honest election, we're not going to have an honest election. They're going to steal it. They're stealing this blindfolded right now. So, you know, it's not the first time it's happened in this country and it happens around the world.
So, he's going to have to — he's going to have to fight for the presidency in the courts. Our next election will be decided in the courts. Because they cheat and we don't cheat. We've never cheated.
Setting aside the unbelievable fatuousness of Stone's proclamation that "we've never cheated," which is deeply absurd coming from him, this pretty well lays out the conspiracy to overturn the election, three months before it was executed. He knew Trump was behind and likely to lose. The question before the House committee now is whether or not Roger Stone and Donald Trump were plotting this together and whether Stone was colluding with the violent extremists with whom he associated to start the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021.
If there is anyone in American politics who's capable of doing such a thing, it's Roger Stone. It would be the ultimate dirty trick of all time, the crowning achievement of a storied rat-fucking career.
A federal judge in the District of Columbia dismissed a counterclaim filed by Sidney Powell against Dominion Voting Systems.
The voting tech company is suing Powell, a former Donald Trump campaign lawyer, in a $1.3 billion defamation complaint over false claims she made about its equipment following the 2020 election, but a judge ruled Wednesday that Dominion had not abused the legal process to “to punish and make an example” out of her.
"Powell must allege that Dominion, after filing its suit, performed some act that perverted the judicial process," wrote District Court judge Carl Nichols. "But Powell’s complaint fails to link her abuse-of-process claim to any act that Dominion has taken other than filing and pursuing its lawsuit. She has thus failed to state a claim for abuse of process."
The attorney complained that Dominion sent a letter and a copy of its complaint to another individual demanding he retract his defamatory statements, and Powell alleges the company has publicly threatened to file similar lawsuits, but the judge said both actions were standard legal practice.
"Powell claims that both acts support a finding that Dominion is using its lawsuit to suppress public criticism," Nichols wrote. "But neither of these acts is improper, and both fall 'far short of the usual case of abuse of process where there is an attempt at extortion in a manner collateral to the litigation.'"
U. S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is furious at the entire news industry, and especially HuffPost, after it published a report highlighting her latest stunt: a video portraying her as some kind of lighting-powered superhero with a helicopter and an AR-15 shooting a feral pig and criticizing Democrats.
In the video, posted to Facebook, she claims there is "skyrocketing inflation, high diesel fuel, and America last policies."
"Democrats aren't the only ones destroying farmers' ability to put food on the table. We've got wild hogs destroying farmers' fields," says Greene, who has nearly no responsibilities as a Member of Congress. "So we decided to go hog hunting."
Greene takes a large AR-15-styled assault weapon into a helicopter so she can shoot and kill a feral hog from the air. She later poses with the dead carcass on the ground.
Her stunt does nothing to help farmers, but it does help her image with the pro-gun right and serves as a fundraising stunt -- she uses the video to announce a contest for supporters to join her in a helicopter hog-shooting trip.
Wednesday morning HuffPost published a story titled, "Marjorie Taylor Greene Likens Dems To Hogs, Wants Help Shooting Them Dead."
The report notes Greene had "been stripped of her House committee assignments over her use of violent rhetoric, including toward Democrats," and says the "extremist Republican's announcement of a competition to hunt feral pigs did not go over well."
Greene was outraged.
In a seven-part Twitter thread directed at HuffPost she writes, "I demand you change this headline and your lies about me immediately. Your freedom of press is not freedom to lie about me. I NEVER said anything like this and did NOT call for violence on Democrats."
She calls for the reporter and editor to be fired, and then goes off on the entire news media.
"You don’t get to lie about me and many of my colleagues calling us Nazis, fascists, and any other nasty label you type up and get away with it," she tweeted.
"There is not one single Republican that has ever aligned with Nazism, fascism, Marxism, socialism, communism, or any other awful political ideology," she says in carefully-chosen rhetoric.
There are Republicans today exhibiting fascistic behaviors and promoting fascistic ideology. President Joe Biden has clearly criticized the ideology of "MAGA Republicans" as "semi-fascism."
In late August the White House singled out Greene to defend President Biden's "semi-fascism" criticism, saying: “Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green has publicly expressed support for shooting prominent democratic elected officials and suggesting physically assaulting transgender school officials.”
Greene this week celebrated Italy's election of a new neo-fascist prime minister.
On Wednesday, in her indictment of the entire news media, across all points of view including the right, she asks: "Does America have any journalist of such high character and moral ethics that can resist the powerful temptation to lie, abusing their power of freedom of the press, in order to serve their political party?"
"Tragically, we do not," she concludes.
Watch Greene's video below or at this link: