By Vladimir Soldatkin MOSCOW (Reuters) -A pipeline normally bringing Russian gas into western Europe flowed in reverse for a seventh day on Monday, a situation Moscow blames on German speculation, despite surging European heating costs. President Vladimir Putin said last week that Germany was reselling Russian gas to Poland and Ukraine rather than relieving an overheated market, pointing the finger at German gas importers for the reversal and rocketing prices. European power prices have risen due to a dramatic increase this year in the cost of gas, which is used to generate electricity as well...
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Trump believed the military 'swore an oath to him' and could be ordered to do any illegal act he wanted: Navy vet
On Friday, writing for The Bulwark, Navy veteran and Brennan Center for Justice fellow Theodore Johnson argued that former President Donald Trump believed that just because he was the commander-in-chief, the military "swore an oath to him personally," and could be ordered to do whatever he wanted, regardless of whether it was legal or constitutional.
This was thrown into sharp relief, Johnson wrote, by two major recent news stories: the release of Gen. Mark Milley's draft resignation letter that he never sent to the former president accusing him of politicizing the military, and Trump's hoarding of highly classified information, potentially including nuclear weapons secrets, that led the FBI to execute a search warrant at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
"These historic occurrences speak to just how deeply Trump believed the military not to be an instrument of national power but an apparatus for personal use," wrote Johnson. "Milley composed his resignation draft after being asked to participate in Trump’s ego-stroke theater — first by conducting a military show of force against Americans upset about George Floyd’s killing days earlier and then being unwittingly drafted into Trump’s infamous march across Lafayette Square after it was forcibly cleared of protesters. Regarding the classified material squirreled away in Mar-a-Lago, the underlying explanation from Trump and his supporters appears to amount to little more than that it was his to do with as he pleased without any regard to the potential damage to our national security interests."
"These occurrences bring to the fore a troubling issue usually lurking in the background of civil-military relations: When a president believes his interests supersede the nation’s — or, worse, that his interests become the nation’s — the democratic principle of 'civilian control of the military' exposes the armed services to co-option as a partisan tool for domestic politics," wrote Johnson.
This comes after a number of other reports about Trump's desire to abuse military power, including a book by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender that alleged Trump wanted the military to come in during the George Floyd protests at the White House and "crack skulls" to put it down.
"Civil-military relations mostly held during the Trump presidency, a testament to the resilience of the institution and to our democracy. But dangers remain," concluded Johnson. "If our country’s toxic polarization, hyperpartisanship, and intentional stoking of social tensions for political ends are not sufficiently addressed, we may find ourselves dangerously close to the precipice once more—and if Trump or someone following the Trump model comes to power again, we may well tumble over the edge."
You can read more here.
In 2016, Trump announced his presidential campaign after riding down a golden escalator at his home in Trump Tower. He filed a form announcing his re-election the day he moved into the White House. And he may announce a third campaign from his home, this time his opulent Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
"The day after federal agents searched Mar-a-Lago, former President Donald Trump told a group of conservative lawmakers that 'being president was hell,' according to three people at the meeting. But to some he sounded ready to have the job again," Marc Caputo, Carol Lee, Peter Nicholas, and Courtney Kube reported Friday for NBC News.
Since the raid, Trump has reportedly been considering the logistics and timing of a 2024 announcement.
"Taken together, it’s reoriented Trump’s thinking about whether he should announce a presidential campaign before or after the midterm elections, according to those who have spoken with him over the past two weeks. They said Trump feels less pressure to announce early because viable challengers who might otherwise force his hand have faded into the background," NBC reported. "Trump is now inclined to launch his candidacy after the November elections, in part to avoid blame should an early announcement undermine the GOP’s effort to win control of Congress, said one person close to him, speaking on condition of anonymity to talk more freely. A post-midterm announcement would suit Republican leaders who’ve been urging Trump to hold off so that he doesn’t overshadow the party’s candidates."
Even though Mar-a-Lago is now notorious for allegedly being a depository for highly classified material, Trump is reportedly considering it as a kick-off location to send a message to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is considered his top rivals in polls.
"Whenever Trump does announce his 2024 plans, one of his properties could wind up being the backdrop. Some venues that have been under discussion include Mar-a-Lago and the Trump National Doral golf club near Miami, according to people familiar with the matter," NBC reported. "An advantage of both is that they would send DeSantis a message: that Trump is unafraid to challenge the sitting Florida governor on his own turf. Staging the announcement at Mar-a-Lago would be “a direct shot at Ron DeSantis,” the first person close to him said."
Read the full report.
The fallout from Donald Trump's "big lie" of election fraud has landed another one of his supporters in legal jeopardy after allegedly threatening a public official in a different state.
"A school district leader from southern Missouri is facing potential prison time for threatening an Arizona election worker, according to a federal indictment released this week," KMBC-TV reported Friday. "Walter Lee Hoornstra, 50, of Tecumseh, is charged with one count of communicating an interstate threat and one count of making a threatening phone call in the Western District of Missouri."
Hoornstra is the technology director for the Gainsville R-5 School District.
Stephen Richer, the Maricopa County recorder in Arizona, identified himself of the recipient of a voicemail sent in May of 2021.
Hoonstra allegedly said, "So I see you're for fair and competent elections, that's what it says here on your homepage for your recorder position you're trying to fly here. But you call things unhinged and insane lies when there's a forensic audit going on. You need to check yourself. You need to do your [expletive] job right because other people from other states are watching your ass. You [expletive] renege on this deal or give them any more troubles, your ass will never make it to your next little board meeting."
Joseph S. Passanise, Hoornstra's attorney, released a statement following his client's arrest.
""He is a technology professional, husband, father, and grandfather who is also a disabled combat veteran who defended his country during Operation Desert Storm," Passanise said. "He is truly embarrassed and humbled by the attention this has brought him and his family. The sheer awesome power of the federal government can be incredibly intimidating to any citizen once charged. Today, Mr. Hoornstra entered a plea of not guilty and was released on his own recognizance. We look forward to reviewing the government’s case moving forward."
Hoornstra is facing up to seven years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
Watch below or at this link.
Walter Hoornstra www.youtube.com