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Permit to buy handgun no longer required in North Carolina
March 29, 2023 GMT
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FILE - North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore speaks in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Dec. 7, 2022. North Carolina legislators repealed on Wednesday, March 29, 2023, the state’s requirement that someone obtain a permit from a local sheriff before buying a pistol, as the Republican-controlled legislature overrode successfully one of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes for the first time since 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina residents can now buy a handgun without getting a permit from a local sheriff, after the Republican-controlled legislature on Wednesday overrode the Democratic governor’s veto — a first since 2018.

The House voted 71-46 to enact the bill, which eliminates the longstanding permit system requiring sheriffs to perform character evaluations and criminal history checks of pistol applicants. The Senate overrode Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto in a party-line vote on Tuesday.

The permit repeal takes effect immediately. Cooper and Democratic lawmakers warned it allows a greater number of dangerous people to obtain weapons through private sales, which do not require a background check, and limits law enforcement’s ability to prevent them from committing violent crimes.

Those who purchase pistols from a gun store or a federally licensed dealer are still subject to a national background check, and concealed weapons permits are still required.

Bill supporters say the sheriff screening process for handguns was no longer necessary in light of significant updates to the national background check system. They also argue the permit system wasn’t very effective at preventing criminals from obtaining guns.

The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association supports the repeal in light of national system updates, but its current president does not.

Although Republican seat gains in the midterm elections gave them veto-proof margins in the Senate, they were one seat shy of a similar majority in the House.

Wednesday’s House vote tally showed three Democrats — Reps. Tricia Cotham of Mecklenburg County, Cecil Brockman of Guilford County and Michael Wray of Northampton County — failed to vote on the override, creating enough of a margin to meet the constitutional requirement. Republicans needed at least one Democratic member to join them, or as few as two Democrats not to vote.

Brockman was in urgent care Wednesday morning, according to a statement released by his office. Cotham said in a statement that she was receiving scheduled hospital treatment and had informed both parties that she would be absent. She said she does not support the permit repeal.

A phone message left at Wray’s legislative office wasn’t immediately returned Wednesday. Republicans gave Wray and Cotham key committee chairmanships this year — a rarity for the majority party in power.

A liberal-leaning group called Carolina Forward put out a fundraising tweet soon after the vote targeting the three representatives, vowing to “hold them accountable.”

House Speaker Tim Moore, a Cleveland County Republican presiding over the chamber during the override vote, said the provisions contained within the bill “have been long-standing goals of Second Amendment advocates in our state, and we have finally brought this legislation over the finish line.”

Moore used parliamentary maneuvers Wednesday to block floor debate before the vote, causing frustration among Democrats.

Cooper, who is term-limited from seeking reelection next year, criticized the the move by House leadership, saying in a tweet that arguments to uphold his veto would have been “too compelling for them to hear.”

Before the Senate vote Tuesday, some Democrats urged against loosening gun access in the immediate aftermath of Monday’s mass shooting at a private Christian school in Nashville, despite Republicans’ insistence that lawmakers refrain from politicizing the shooting.

“For us to come in this tone deaf about what happened in Nashville and to pretend that it doesn’t matter, to pretend that that might not be an issue that we’ve got to bring up, is disturbing — with a bunch of kids sitting up here,” said House Minority Leader Robert Reives, referring to the school group watching from the gallery.

While Reives said he asked all Democratic caucus members to be present, he refused to criticize those who were absent or didn’t vote. The Chatham County Democrat told reporters the permit repeal could allow domestic abusers and mentally ill people at risk of suicide to obtain guns.

The enacted bill also will allow guns on some school properties where religious services are held, effective Dec. 1. The new law also creates and funds a two-year awareness campaign on the safe storage of firearms, which will distribute free gun locks.

In 2021, Cooper successfully blocked standalone versions of the pistol permit repeal and another provision allowing people with concealed weapons permits to carry openly or under clothing at houses of worship where private or charter schools also meet. At the time, Democrats had enough seats to block any override attempt if they stayed united.

Guns will not be permitted on campus during school hours or when students are present for extracurricular activities, and houses of worship can opt out by posting signs.

Gun-rights advocates celebrated the override after trying for years to pass the pistol permit repeal.

“Second Amendment supporters made history today,” said Paul Valone, executive director of Grass Roots North Carolina, which campaigned last year for candidates so that Republican majorities could override Cooper’s gun-related vetoes.

Gun-control advocates lamented the override, saying the handgun permit elimination would imperil more people’s lives in the nation’s ninth-largest state.

“We will wake up five or 10 years from now and see that our gun homicide and gun suicide rates have risen,” Becky Ceartas with North Carolinians Against Gun Violence said in a news release.


Hannah Schoenbaum is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.


Associated Press writer Gary Robertson contributed from Raleigh.

Politics & Religion / The hidden part of the Chips Act
« on: March 29, 2023, 07:22:53 AM »
Gina Raimondo, Social Policy Planner
Her effort to defend the strings on Chips Act funding is hilarious.
By The Editorial BoardFollow
March 28, 2023 6:55 pm ET


Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has one heck of a deadpan. Semiconductor companies that want federal funds under the Chips Act are being told to follow mandates from the Biden Administration on everything from child care to union pay for construction workers. Ms. Raimondo is insisting with a straight face that this is only about helping chip makers be successful.

“There is zero ‘social policy’ that we’re trying to achieve here,” she told the Journal in an interview. “We want them to show us a workforce plan, including how they think about child care, not because we have a social agenda but because we know [that] they’re struggling to hire workers.” You’re trying too hard, Madam Secretary.

When the Commerce Department began rolling out the rules in February, news reports noted President Biden’s grand ambitions to subsidize child care. Once it became clear those ideas would fail on Capitol Hill, as the New York Times reported, “Ms. Raimondo gathered aides around a conference table. She told them, she said, that ‘if Congress wasn’t going to do what they should have done, we’re going to do it in implementation’ of the bills that did pass.”

The rules are even framed in a way that puts social policy at the top. “Child care is critical to expanding employment opportunity for economically disadvantaged individuals, including economically disadvantaged women,” reads one of the notices from Ms. Raimondo’s bureaucracy. “The Department requires that any applicant requesting CHIPS Direct Funding over $150 million provide a plan for access to child care for facility and construction workers.”

Ms. Raimondo is not really so daft as to think private companies can’t handle their workforces without the feds ordering them to offer certain benefits in their own interest. But telling the truth won’t get her a promotion to Treasury Secretary.

Politics & Religion / Re: 2024
« on: March 29, 2023, 07:06:31 AM »
Well, IMHO he is right that Putin would not have invaded , , ,

Politics & Religion / GPF: India's Emerging Foreign Policy
« on: March 29, 2023, 07:05:26 AM »
March 29, 2023
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India's Emerging Foreign Policy
The South Asian powerhouse will not content itself with being merely an ally of the West.
By: Kamran Bokhari

India’s economic rise has validated its historical efforts to maintain a diverse set of foreign relations. Russia’s war in Ukraine is both an opportunity and a challenge for New Delhi’s foreign policy approach. While managing pressures from Western governments to help isolate Moscow, the Indians have also been trying to assert themselves on the world stage. The South Asian powerhouse will not content itself with being merely an ally of the West and instead will maintain its policy independence, with implications for the U.S.-Chinese rivalry.

New Delhi’s G-20 summit negotiator, Amitabh Kant, said on March 15 that the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine has diverted the world from more pressing global issues. Speaking to reporters, Kant said: "Europe cannot bring growth, poverty, global debt, all developmental issues to a standstill across the world. Can that one war bring the entire world to a standstill?” The Indian official called on the global community to “move on” and for Europe to “find a solution to its challenges.” These unusually strong remarks come on the heels of similar comments from Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who said Europe needed to get out of the mindset that its problems are the world’s problems while the issues plaguing the international community are not of concern to the Europeans.

This is some extraordinarily tough language from India, particularly considering that it has avoided condemning the Russians for invading Ukraine. New Delhi has also sharply increased its oil imports from Moscow since the war began a little over a year ago. However, it is unclear why the world’s soon-to-be most populous nation chose to be so harshly critical of the Europeans.

Indian Imports of Russian Oil
(click to enlarge)

One explanation for this unusual behavior is that India is pushing back on the growing criticism over its reluctance to join Western-led international efforts to isolate Russia. But resisting such pressures does not require the Indians to go on the diplomatic offensive against the Europeans. After all, moderation and balance have historically been the defining tenets of New Delhi’s foreign policy doctrine. Even during the Cold War, India emphasized its nonaligned status even though it was an ally of the Soviet Union.

In the three decades since the Cold War, India has become closer to the West, particularly the United States. More recently, New Delhi has become a key U.S. ally and an important component of Washington’s efforts to counter China, as is evident from its membership in the Quad security alliance. Meanwhile, there is growing strategic collaboration between the United States and India, particularly on the economy, defense and technology. This would explain why the Indians avoided criticizing Washington and instead chose to focus on its European allies.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that Washington is the one spearheading the global efforts to support Ukraine against Russian aggression. The Europeans are secondary actors in what is a U.S. strategic imperative; not to mention that many within the continental bloc have been reluctant to confront Russia because of the economic cost. New Delhi is also well aware that if Moscow were to succeed in weakening Ukraine, that could render European security more vulnerable.

Therefore, it is clear that India was criticizing U.S. strategy, even if obliquely. And this is despite the fact that Washington has looked the other way while New Delhi has increased trade with Moscow and even though India’s business dealings with Russia are helping President Vladimir Putin bypass sanctions. Furthermore, the Biden White House, which one would expect to be more critical of India’s drift toward illiberal democracy under the Modi government, has been rather muted. Therefore, there isn’t much pressure on India that could explain New Delhi’s criticism of the Western focus on Ukraine.

India and Russia's Growing Trade Relationship
(click to enlarge)

India is clearly asserting itself on the world stage, and understandably so. Only six months ago, it replaced former colonial power the United Kingdom as the world’s fifth-largest economy. In mid-February, India’s largest airline, Air India, purchased almost 500 commercial jets at a price tag of $132 billion, the largest deal in aviation history. Then last week, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida traveled to New Delhi, where he unveiled a new Indo-Pacific initiative aimed at countering China’s influence in the region.

New Delhi’s emergence as a global player comes at a time of great strategic churn. The conflict in Ukraine has accelerated the decline of Russian influence. China’s rise has reached an inflection point, though it will remain the principal competitor to the United States for the foreseeable future. The United States itself is facing major challenges, especially on the home front, which will consume the better part of the next decade.

The Indians will be navigating this highly fluid global environment as they continue to trek toward shaping global events. It would be a mistake for the United States to see India as an ally along the lines of Japan or Germany. India’s domestic political evolution, with the rise of right-wing Hindu nationalism, will complicate its relations with the United States and arrest New Delhi’s efforts to project international influence. More importantly, U.S. and Indian interests will not always align, as is evident from India's current dealings with Russia.

That said, as the international system evolves it will have a major effect on India’s foreign policy. Currently, New Delhi is heavily reliant on Moscow for its defense needs, but the war in Ukraine has disrupted that supply chain. Last week, the Indian Air Force said that Russia is unable to fulfill its commitment and that a “major delivery” that was expected this year would not be coming, forcing the air force to slash its modernization expenditure by a third compared with last year. Though in the short term it is difficult for India to diversify away from Russian military platforms, it is likely to gradually turn to the United States for its defense needs.

Similarly, China is a major point of U.S.-Indian convergence, even as India does not want to be a mere junior partner in U.S. efforts to counter China. But here again India faces constraints, especially those shaped by geography. The Indians are increasingly dealing with Chinese assertiveness on their shared Himalayan frontier. According to a March 21 U.S. News & World Report story, last December Washington provided real-time intelligence to the Indian military on Chinese positions and force strength ahead of a Chinese army incursion in India’s northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Ultimately, India will rely on the United States for its national security needs. The degree to which New Delhi will lean on Washington remains to be seen, especially as the Indian economy continues to grow. There is a reason that the two sides in late January launched the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies, a collaboration involving the two governments, the private sector, research laboratories and academia intended to strengthen their partnership in quantum communications, semiconductor development, defense, commercial space and more. India’s relationship with the United States, and by extension the country’s role on the world stage, will be a unique one.

There was such a person at my daughter's job at Starbuck's and this is what happened.

Politics & Religion / What the US can do to prepare for war with China
« on: March 28, 2023, 06:19:40 PM »
What the U.S. Can Do to Prepare for a War With China
The military’s problem isn’t technological. It’s a strategy designed only for low-intensity conflict.
By Seth Cropsey
March 28, 2023 6:23 pm ET

The U.S. is unprepared for an impending great-power conflict. That’s widely understood, but most commentary on American military preparedness misses three critical points: the time horizon for a conflict with China, the logistical challenges of building and sustaining American military power, and the industrial difficulties of replenishing and expanding current stockpiles. A war with Beijing wouldn’t be decided primarily with high-end weapons systems but with the traditional elements of military power.

The threats to global stability and the US homeland are growing. How will the war in Ukraine end? Can China and the US develop a less combative relationship? Join historian and Journal columnist Walter Russell Mead and editorial page editor Paul Gigot for an interactive conversation on the threats to US security.

A new cold war has begun. At its heart is a fundamental disagreement between the U.S. and China over the structure of Asian security considerations. The original Cold War’s antagonism stemmed from Soviet insistence that Washington remove itself from Europe and Eurasia more broadly. China’s strategic effort to deny U.S. forces access to international waters where a naval conflict could occur, its increasing numbers of military bases around the world, and its growing ability to interrupt logistic communications with America’s Indo-Pacific allies demonstrate that Beijing has the same ambition today. Just as Soviet Russia sought to destroy the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and thereby eliminate U.S. political engagement in Western Europe, communist China now seeks to capture Taiwan and to fragment the U.S. alliance system in Asia.

China has something against which to measure its policy that the Soviets never had: history. Beijing has studied Moscow’s Cold War mistakes, notably the tendency among Soviet strategists to wait patiently until their military power exceeded that of the U.S. This never occurred, primarily because the West engaged in a massive military expansion in the 1980s that nullified Soviet gains over the preceding two decades.

The Chinese aren’t going to wait patiently. They are prepared to capitalize on an apparent shift in their favor. China enjoys a growing advantage in geographic position, fleet size and missile numbers. In Xi Jinping, it also has a leader willing to use force to achieve political objectives. China stands a better chance now than it ever has of defeating the U.S. and its allies in a major war. The U.S. should expect an attack on Taiwan within this decade, perhaps as soon as 2025.

The imminence of conflict means the U.S. must consider how it would fight with the military as currently constituted. In some cases that would mean repurposing equipment and hardware for new uses. In others it would require reconceiving the service branches’ approaches to war fighting. The legacy systems of the U.S. military—fighter planes, heavy bombers, destroyers and aircraft carriers—would be crucial in a major Indo-Pacific war. The immediate question isn’t how to replace these platforms, but rather how to amplify their effectiveness.

America’s traditional forces aren’t particularly vulnerable or outdated, at least intrinsically. The aircraft carrier has always fought as a system—it needs fighter and strike aircraft that can reach targets without exposing the ship to attack, and an escort screen of smaller ships that can shoot down enemy missiles. The American surface fleet, if used for strike operations, needs long-range missiles to hit the infrastructure that supports the Chinese military.

But the nuts and bolts of American military power are lacking. Most glaring, the U.S. has no logistical capacity to support a major-power war. The military cargo fleet is designed for limited contingencies. According to the Government Accountability Office, ships in the reserve fleet are on average more than 40 years old and in poor repair. According to a 2020 Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments analysis, there simply wouldn’t be enough merchant mariners to crew American ships in a major logistical effort. Even during the Gulf and Iraq wars, the U.S. contracted for significant added merchant capacity. Most ships that call at U.S. ports are foreign-flagged or foreign-crewed, if not both. This means that once a conflict begins, Washington can’t rely on them. Without an effective link between American forces in the Indo-Pacific and materiel depots in the continental U.S., a fight will be hard to sustain.

Some commentators have claimed that aid to Ukraine has run down American stockpiles for the defense of Taiwan. That isn’t right. What we’ve been sending to Ukraine is radically different from what would be required in a war over Taiwan and, critically, is built in entirely different locations and with entirely different processes. The real problem stems from Washington’s decision to “rationalize” the defense industrial base after the Cold War, allowing a healthy ecosystem of defense producers to shrink to a handful of corporations. These companies operate far better than their predecessors bureaucratically but can’t deliver results rapidly. Unless the U.S. can scale up production of the weapons it will need in the Indo-Pacific—hypersonics, cruise and ballistic missiles, and short-range antiship weapons—it would lose a fight for Taiwan in weeks.

This is the core issue. The U.S. military isn’t behind the curve in some grand transformation in warfare. It simply can’t employ the combat tools it has so carefully cultivated over the past 30 to 50 years because it has spent that time preparing to fight low-intensity wars, not a major strategic contest with a peer. If stagnation continues, deterrence will fail. So will the prospects for American victory in any major-power conflict.

Mr. Cropsey is founder and president of the Yorktown Institute. He served as a naval officer and as deputy undersecretary of the Navy and is author of “Mayday” and “Seablindness.”

Politics & Religion / WSJ: So nonsensical, it isn't even wrong.
« on: March 28, 2023, 03:05:42 PM »

What Congress Should Ask Regulators in SVB’s Aftermath
Some lawmakers blame a bipartisan 2018 reform law for the bank’s collapse. That’s so nonsensical, it isn’t even wrong.
By Randal K. Quarles
March 27, 2023 6:21 pm ET

Congress will hold hearings this week on lessons from the failure of Silicon Valley Bank. Some lawmakers are calling for the financial stampede that brought down SVB to be followed by a political stampede of new, restrictive laws and regulations. That would be a mistake. We can learn much from this episode, but not if we move heedlessly in reaction to the loudest, most partisan voices.

First, note what the crisis doesn’t teach. Several politicians have called for rolling back the carefully calibrated regulatory changes stemming from the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act of 2018—a banking-reform law enacted by strong bipartisan majorities. As Wolfgang Pauli once said of a fellow physicist’s hypothesis, that’s so nonsensical, it isn’t even wrong.

SVB’s failure wasn’t related to regulatory changes. Rather, it was a “textbook case of mismanagement,” as Michael Barr, the Federal Reserve’s Vice Chairman for Supervision, said Monday. The bank failed as the public began to focus on changes in the value of securities in the bank’s “held to maturity” account. The 2018 law didn’t change the capital treatment of such securities. SVB didn’t have a capital shortage—it remained solvent. Instead, it succumbed to a bank run. Thus the focus of any critique should be on liquidity, not capital.

But even applying to SVB the full-strength liquidity rules governing our largest banks wouldn’t have changed its fate. Those rules, first established in 2014 as mandated by Dodd-Frank, impose the toughest restrictions on banks with large amounts of short-term wholesale funding and treat banks funded with deposits from their customers—even uninsured deposits—as being reasonably resistant to runs. That treatment was crafted by the Obama-era regulators and hasn’t been amended.

Another misconception is that the changes in stress testing might have blinded the bank and its examiners to problems. That, too, isn’t right. Banks of all sizes are subject to a range of stress tests, not merely one. Most of these weren’t affected by the 2018 changes—and the longstanding requirement for banks to run tough internal stress tests on their interest-rate-risks remained untouched.

As it has gradually become clear that changes to law, regulation and stress testing weren’t relevant to SVB’s collapse, some critics want to blame changes in the supervisory instructions given by the banking agencies to their field examiners. Yet the only concrete change they point to has been the “guidance on guidance” issued in 2018 and codified in 2021.

This claim is decidedly odd. That project—which was supported and voted for by Martin Gruenberg and Lael Brainard, respectively chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and director of the White House National Economic Council—doesn’t limit any action an agency wants to take. It simply clarifies which actions will be accomplished through regulatory measures and which through supervisory measures. It continues to allow any unsound practice to be reined in by examiners and merely firms up the justifications for the written record. In a world where courts are increasingly ready to invalidate agency action that doesn’t comply with the Administrative Procedure Act, this clarification strengthens bank supervision rather than weakens it.

If the Obama-era regulation didn’t prevent SVB’s failure, the 2018 adjustments didn’t cause it, and the instructions to supervisors continued not only to be strong but focused on the right risks, then what can be done? Must we simply throw up our hands and insure all deposits of any size with the attendant moral hazard—or worse, devise even more unfocused and restrictive regulation, increasing the cost of capital and further slowing economic growth?

I don’t think so. There are some clear lessons, if we filter out the noise and focus on essential questions. Here is what I would ask the bank regulators:

Why didn’t uninsured depositors behave consistent with historical expectations? Many have commented on the concentrated nature of SVB’s customer base in a single industry—the venture-capital and tech sector—and on its susceptibility to fads, enthusiasms and herd behavior. But others have noted that thanks to modern social media and bank technology, we are awash in the perfect flow of imperfect information and can act instantaneously on it. Is the right answer to focus on diversifying banks’ deposit bases, as we have long focused on diversifying their assets? Or do we need to reconsider the longstanding treatment of uninsured customer deposits in both the regulation and supervision of liquidity?

Second, why didn’t the FDIC arrange for a stronger bank to buy SVB the night before it failed? The swift transfer of a failed institution into the hands of a strong buyer usually restores calm without extraordinary regulatory actions, which inevitably confuse incentives and create moral hazard. Were some potential purchasers ruled out at the beginning? Did the FDIC provide enough incentive for an acquisition early on? The system is designed to absorb the failure of a $100 billion bank, but not if the FDIC ties one hand behind its back.

Finally, we should review the lessons of fiscal policy. I cut my teeth on the savings-and-loan crisis 40 years ago, and I see strong similarities in the genesis and development of that debacle. Excessive fiscal stimulus from the Johnson and Nixon administrations baked inflation into the economy. The resulting mismatch of rising short-term liability costs and falling long-term asset values, which accelerated when the Fed began the necessary interest-rate rises to bring inflation under control, doomed the S&Ls. The SVB incident is isolated to a handful of banks, but it is fair to ask the regulators where we might see more pressure in the financial system from the inflation that mismanaged fiscal policy has engendered.

If cool heads and expert analysis had prevailed three weeks ago, SVB’s customers wouldn’t have run from the bank. If cool heads and expert analysis prevail in Congress and at the banking agencies, we can avoid the political stampede to a destructive regulatory response that would do much more damage.

Mr. Quarles is chairman of the Cynosure Group. He served as the Federal Reserve’s vice chairman for supervision, 2017-21.

Politics & Religion / WSJ: First Citizens get SVB.
« on: March 28, 2023, 02:45:22 PM »
It’s good to be a banker at the remainder counter, especially when the feds are helping with the purchase. First Citizens BancShares on Sunday night was the lucky winner of the bidding to buy the assets of Silicon Valley Bank, and what a deal it is. Rather than minimize the cost to the deposit insurance fund as required by law, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seems to have chosen the best political match.

North Carolina-based First Citizens will acquire all of SVB’s deposits, loans and branches but leave $90 billion in securities and other assets with the FDIC. First Citizens will buy SVB’s $72 billion in loans at a sizable $16.5 billion discount and share future losses or gains with the FDIC. How sweet it is for First Citizens, whose shares rose 45.5% Monday.

The FDIC loss-share agreement is a tacit recognition that SVB’s large book of loans to unprofitable startups carries substantial credit risk. SVB’s business model involved extending low-cost credit to tech startups, many with no revenue, and getting repaid when they were acquired by larger companies, raised more private funds or floated shares publicly.

Problem is, rising interest rates have caused venture funding and the market for initial public offerings to dry up. Market valuations for startups have slumped. Bigger companies aren’t in the market to buy startups with large amounts of debt relative to revenue. That means big loan losses could be coming.

Hedge funds might have been interested in buying SVB’s loans, but the FDIC ruled them out for political reasons. Progressives dislike hedgies, and Silicon Valley venture investors worried they would be less forgiving of startups that couldn’t repay their debt. SVB often accommodated struggling startups at the request of their venture-capital financiers.

The FDIC says the deal will “minimize disruptions” for SVB borrowers. First Citizens stressed it is “committed to building on and preserving the strong relationships” with venture and private equity firms. CEO Frank Holding Jr. added that “together, with the legacy SVB team, we are well positioned to understand the unique financial needs of [the tech] sector.”

They sure are thanks to FDIC assistance, but all this suggests that the FDIC hardly minimized its own risks and costs. In addition to the loss-share agreement, the FDIC will finance the deal with a five-year $35 billion loan plus a $70 billion line of credit to cover potential deposit flight. This is a government match made in heaven.

After the deal closes, First Citizens will have $219 billion in assets—double what it had at the end of last year. This would make it among the 25 largest banks in the U.S. and puts it on the cusp of being classified as too-big-to-fail. The losers in this sweetheart deal will be other banks (and their customers) that will have to pick up the estimated $20 billion cost to replenish the deposit insurance fund. That’s about 15% of the entire fund. By comparison, the 214 bank failures between 2011 and 2022 cost the fund $12.4 billion.

The FDIC might have been able to shut down and sell SVB at a smaller loss had it accepted offers that we were told were floated over the first weekend after its collapse. But Chairman Martin Gruenberg rejected them out of hostility to consolidation as per the warnings from Sen. Elizabeth Warren and her protege on the FDIC board, Rohit Chopra. Now we end up with consolidation anyway at a greater cost to the deposit-insurance fund.

The FDIC is supposed to be an apolitical regulator that makes judgments based on the best interests of taxpayers and insured depositors. The SVB transaction raises questions about whether political ideology is compromising basic financial competence at the FDIC. This isn’t the right message to send in a bank panic.

Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness
« on: March 28, 2023, 02:17:15 PM »
And whose VP was it that grifted with his son as the bag man while allowing China to build psuedo-islands and then militarize them?

Politics & Religion / Re: Ukraine
« on: March 28, 2023, 02:15:05 PM »
OTOH if what I reported the other day about China sending lots of drones to Russia some time next month is born our, THAT likely would be a real game changer.

PS:  IMHO the Abrams tank promise was both weak (given under threat from the Germans that they would not send Leopold's otherwise) and stupid (very complex piece of equipment- tricky to keep running and lots of training is required, requires jet fuel for the engines, etc.)


Politics & Religion / Re: Ukraine
« on: March 28, 2023, 12:42:29 PM »
Hoisted on our globalist petard , , ,

Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy & Geopolitics
« on: March 28, 2023, 08:47:23 AM »
Thank you.

Politics & Religion / NRO: In defense of FOX in the Dominion Suit
« on: March 28, 2023, 08:14:25 AM »
Why the Legal Case against Fox News Might Fail

On the menu today: An in-depth interview with Paul Clement, the former solicitor general representing Fox News in the defamation lawsuits filed by Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic.

Inside Fox News’ Defense against the Defamation Claims

Over in that other Washington publication I write for, I have a column built around an interview with Paul Clement, the former solicitor general under George W. Bush and the lawyer representing Fox News in the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems Corporation and a similar $2.3 billion defamation lawsuit filed by Smartmatic.

At issue in the Dominion and Smartmatic cases is not whether you like Fox News, or whether you liked or disliked how they covered former president Donald Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was stolen, or whether all the emails and text messages released in the discovery process are embarrassing to the network. (Make no mistake: They are.)

The case hinges upon the voting-machine companies’ proving that something Fox News said or did during the post-election period was not covered by the First Amendment’s protections as they relate to defamation. One of the first points in Fox News’ defense is that Dominion and Smartmatic may have legitimate defamation claims against President Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, or any number of other Trump-campaign surrogates who made false claims about the voting systems. In an early filing in this legal battle, Clement wrote: “If those surrogates fabricated evidence or told lies with actual malice, then a defamation action may lie against them, but not against the media that covered their allegations and allowed [the guests] to try to substantiate them.”

Clement and Fox News are arguing that journalists cannot and should not be held financially and legally liable for the answers of their guests after they ask a question.

“From the Fox perspective, the principle here is incredibly important,” Clement told me. “This isn’t going to be the last story where there are allegations that are newsworthy, and they’re newsworthy because the president is making them, or a governor is making them, or a presidential candidate is making them.”

Both cases are filed in New York State court, and New York law governs the substantive-defamation issues in each. In a 1995 case, Brian v. Richardson, the New York Court of Appeals held — in the context of allegations of election interference printed on the op-ed page of the New York Times in 1991 — that a reasonable viewer, when considering a statement in the “over-all context in which the assertions were made,” would understand the statement “as mere allegations to be investigated rather than as facts.” In other words, reporting an allegation does not, by itself, meet the legal threshold for defamation.

In Brian v. Richardson, one of the key points was that the claims appeared on the op-ed page and thus were sufficiently labeled as opinion. Clement argues that this is comparable to the claims on programs like that of Lou Dobbs.

Dobbs was one of the Fox News hosts who most ardently and enthusiastically embraced the claims that the election was stolen, and that sinister machinations had altered the vote totals. On November 30, 2020, Dobbs thundered, “This president has to take, I believe, drastic action, dramatic action, to make certain that the integrity of this election is understood, or lack of it, the crimes that have been committed against him and the American people.” Dobbs had his program canceled in February 2021.

But Clement argues those are expressions of opinion protected by the First Amendment; many cases have established the precedent that an opinion is not a statement of fact and is not defamatory, as it expresses the speaker’s subjective views.

“A lot of [Dobbs’] statements that come the closest to supporting what Giuliani or Powell said, those statements themselves are protected opinion,” Clement told me. “The broader nature of the Lou Dobbs show is important context for trying to figure out whether that’s opinion or not. . . . These are the statements that come closest to pure opinion, which is independently protected under the First Amendment.”

Jeanine Pirro concluded an interview with Powell on November 18, 2020, and said, “Sidney Powell, good luck on your mission.” Some will contend that statement goes beyond reporting what Powell is claiming and represents a de facto endorsement of Powell and her unproven conspiratorial allegations. But Clement contends that’s reading too much into Pirro’s words.

“If you’re going to say things like, ‘good luck’ or ‘thanks for coming in,’ and you’re going to interview sympathetically, maybe one network is going to get a guest to come on that another network isn’t going to get,” Clement told me. “But that’s all got to be protected, because that’s the freedom of the press in action, as far as I’m concerned. . . . The law can’t be that you’re protected if you report the allegations skeptically, but you’re not protected if you report the same allegations sympathetically. That’s how we get to the truth in some of these situations.”

Clement contends that there’s a curious omission from the Dominion lawsuits against Fox News: Maria Bartiromo’s interview with Donald Trump November 29, 2020 — his first television interview after the election — in which the president ranted:

You have leaders of countries that call me, say, that’s the most messed-up election we have ever seen. You start with these machines that have been suspect, not allowed to be used in Texas, the Dominion machines, where tremendous reports have been put out. We have affidavits on — from many people talking about what went on with machines. They had glitches. You know what a glitch is. That’s — a glitch is supposed to be when a machine breaks down. Well, no, we had glitches where they moved thousands of votes from my account to Biden’s account. So, they’re not glitches. They’re theft. They’re fraud, absolute fraud. And there were many of them, but, obviously, most of them tremendous amounts, got by without us catching.

If any statement after the election qualifies as defamation of Dominion, Trump’s would be it. But it’s not cited in the Dominion suit, likely because no one in their right mind would dispute that the fact that the sitting president was making such claims was legitimate news.

“If you take a step back and think what statements and by whom would have most moved the needle on people’s perceptions of Dominion, it has to be President Trump saying it moves the needle more than Sidney Powell saying it,” Clement said Friday. “It’s the most newsworthy thing imaginable.”

With the release of all the embarrassing texts and emails, Dominion may well be winning the fight in the court of public opinion.

“Does it make the job a little more difficult or a little more challenging? Sure,” Clement admits. “But I think everybody in the legal process is or should be used to this, and so I think we will be able to focus in on the relevant questions.”

“My job is to focus on what I can control and what’s inside the courtroom,” Clement told me. “I’m not surprised that Dominion has played it the way that they have. Have they had fun in the discovery process? Sure. But ultimately what’s going to matter in the trial court and in the courts of appeals is the broader First Amendment principles that are at stake here.”

Clement points out that the law’s definition of actual malice focuses entirely upon the speaker, and that the views of other figures in the institution are immaterial. “Under the First Amendment, it doesn’t and shouldn’t matter that somebody else in the Fox corporate chain had a different view of these allegations than Lou Dobbs or Maria or Jeanine Pirro . . . in a court of law, those kinds of distinctions matter a great deal, and all that really matters is the intent of the speaker at the time of the speech.”

Clement laid out how this case will have far-reaching ramifications for conservative media, or any media organization that goes against the grain of the coverage of other news organizations.

“It is pretty obvious, given where we are right now, when there are allegations or denials, Fox is going to report them differently than they’re going to be reported in a lot of the mainstream press,” Clement told me. “In order for the First Amendment principles to work here, they have to be neutral. Conservative media faces a built-in challenge in these libel and defamation cases. If the New York Times gets sued, it’s going to be able to point to a dozen other mainstream-media household-name media companies that reported the same thing in a same way. It’s like they have a built-in defense. Given the way the media works, in the balance of reporting, the conservative media, or somebody like Fox, is in a much more vulnerable position. If they report it, and the underlying allegations aren’t true, they’re much more out there on an island.”

From my perspective, Fox News earned a lot of fair criticism for the way it handled the nonsensical conspiracy theories put forth by Trump and unhinged acolytes such as Giuliani and Powell. But the country, and all its news organizations, were in uncharted waters. We’ve never had a president whose legal advisers made up stories about Venezuelan hackers or the CIA director having been injured in Germany while trying to seize an election-related computer server. Individuals who were in traditionally powerful positions — the president and his private legal team — were utterly deranged. Sidney Powell later contended in a filing in federal court that “no reasonable person would conclude that [her] statements were truly statements of fact.”

But there’s a wide gap between the questions, “Is this good and responsible journalism?” or “Did Pirro, Dobbs, and the rest handle these cockamamie conspiracy theories with the appropriate level of skepticism while on camera?” and the question, “Is this the kind of decision that makes a company liable for a collective $4 billion in damages?” And it’s very tough for a court to impose sanctions upon Fox News without inflicting collateral damage on the current First Amendment protections of journalists.

Politics & Religion / Re: The War with Medical Fascism
« on: March 27, 2023, 06:51:52 PM »

".Great Barrington Declaration"

I don't remember this
it may have been a good place to start
was before vaccines


I don't take a stand on vaccines
I was for them and people getting them
as for being mandatory - no

MARC:  Good answer.  I was opposed FOR ME because of my natural antibodies.  I was, and am, deeply angry at the suppression of data about natural antibodies.   If I did not have natural antibodies, at my age I have no idea what I would have done-- but I sure would have been angry had compulsion been tried.

I was never clear it made sense for those at low risk to get

MARC:  Agree

they were not approved till later for those 12 - 18
and then younger after that but the benefit was essentially zero for children

MARC:  FWIW my sense of things is that the various approvals as time went on were quite dishonest.

So to give it to them to protect older was wrong


to give to get to some goal of population immunity was dubious to me
as Fauci and co. were pushing



but I understand some who advocated for. them if one wants to ride subway fly planes or keep our military prepared it was not unreasonable

MARC:  In the early days of the vaxx, this was plausible but as time went on there was a lot of cognitive dissonance.  If the vaxx worked, then why care if others were not?

could one say maybe only those at high risk should be encouraged to get ? sure


can I be dismissed from the witness stand?

MARC:  Apologies if I came across like I was grilling you.  Just honing in to determine areas of agreement and disagreement and in so doing it is revealed that you and I are in substantial agreement  8-) 8-) 8-)

am I guilty ?

Politics & Religion / WSJ: Haun: How US regulators are choking crypto
« on: March 27, 2023, 04:13:34 PM »
How U.S. Regulators Are Choking Crypto
The effort would stifle American innovation and competition—and that seems to be the objective.
By Katie Haun
March 27, 2023 1:03 pm ET

Some financial regulators appear to have seized on a series of high-profile meltdowns to go around Congress and try to freeze an entire industry out of banking services.

I spent more than a decade as a federal prosecutor on some of the worst threats our country faces—organized crime, the opioid epidemic, political corruption and terrorism. In my final years at the Justice Department, I shifted to cases involving emerging technology, including the then-nascent crypto category, from the Mt. Gox hack to the corrupt Silk Road agents. Years later, the space continues to attract crime and fraud, but it has also drawn some of the brightest engineering talent in the world. Public blockchains, the foundational technology of the ecosystem, are an important set of tools that reflect breakthroughs in cryptography and distributed computing. In addition to early financial-use cases, this sector provides new ways to develop, monetize and govern all kinds of software.

Unfortunately, members of this computing vanguard are being lumped in with the bad actors as part of a coordinated regulatory campaign to stymie progress in the sector. While other countries are putting in place laws and regulations, in the U.S. unelected officials are making major policy decisions about whether or not America should have a crypto industry. These efforts are misguided, reckless and potentially unconstitutional. Most important, they put America on the dangerous path of closing off the banking system to those disfavored by a particular administration.

In January, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Federal Reserve issued a statement notifying financial institutions to be on alert for customers operating in the space, saying decentralized networks are “highly likely to be inconsistent with safe and sound banking practices.” This ominous statement, coupled with seeming behind-the-scenes discouragement by their regulators, has led many banks to begin steering clear of almost any business touching blockchain technologies. In subsequent weeks, numerous banks shut their doors to this emerging sector, and regulators reportedly are conditioning sales of distressed banks on severing ties with the industry.

A decade ago, in an effort called Operation Choke Point, the Justice Department, the Comptroller of the Currency and the FDIC tried to circumvent Congress using similar tactics—pressuring banks to cease business with specific industries, citing fraud prevention. Today, we are again seeing backroom tactics as a substitute for legislation, process and public regulation. Regardless of one’s position on the underlying issue, these significant policy decisions should be made in an open and transparent way.

This extralegal crackdown initially might not concern observers whose impressions of crypto are rooted in headlines about bad actors and outright criminals. But as four senators pointed out in a recent letter to the Fed, the FDIC and the OCC: “When the Bernie Madoff fraud was uncovered, regulators did not pressure banks to cut off access to other asset managers.”

The teams my firm works with are developing applications beyond financial services. One CEO is a former Green Beret whose company is building products to keep personal data safe using cryptography. Others include a serial entrepreneur creating developer tools for decentralized technologies, and a team building tax and compliance software for digital assets. Several Coinbase alumni are building products that help creators monetize digital content outside TikTok and Meta-owned Instagram. These aren’t scofflaws in cargo shorts committing theft.

Whatever one believes about crypto (I realize many smart and reasonable people don’t yet see the potential or need), major U.S. policy decisions should be made by Congress and state legislatures, not by unelected officials. If financial regulators are concerned about specific risks and believe new rules are appropriate, then they should follow procedures, including public notice and comment. If legislation is needed, that’s up to Congress, but unelected officials shouldn’t try to destroy an industry by freezing it out of the banking system.

Imagine if more than a century ago regulators had cut Ford and General Motors off from banking services because they considered automobiles too risky, or too competitive with trains and horses. In 1980, Massachusetts securities regulators barred citizens from buying stock in Apple’s IPO on the grounds that it was too “risky.” In the future, what if financial regulators were to warn banks against taking artificial-intelligence or alternative-energy customers because they’re too risky? And because of semiconductors we now know what happens when America fails to keep key industries onshore.

Meanwhile, other countries are working on regulating digital assets through a public process. Just this month, the U.K. reaffirmed its commitment to provide a framework for consultation to regulate digital assets, and the EU recently introduced a harmonized set of rules for all 27 member countries. Singapore, Dubai and Japan are all establishing rules to provide clarity to the industry. Hong Kong is developing a crypto-licensing regime, with the apparent blessing of Beijing. If American lawmakers don’t provide a framework for decentralized technologies, then a major frontier of technological innovation will begin to move to more hospitable economies.

America has long been a global leader in technology. Our regulators have risen to the occasion—not stifling innovation but embracing technological advances while maintaining a fair, honest and trusted playing field. But the expedient political view threatens to choke off innovation and punish legitimate actors. Every lawful business should have access to the banking system. Government censorship as a backdoor substitute for the legislative process has no place in finance—or any industry.

Ms. Haun is CEO and founder of Haun Ventures, an investment firm specializing in decentralized technologies. She is a director of Coinbase and a former federal prosecutor.

Politics & Religion / Towards a new taxonomy of pronouns
« on: March 27, 2023, 04:06:29 PM »
Born XY chromosomes (penis, testicles, etc) acting as a girl/woman.  This person is a "shehe" and the possessive pronoun form is "herhis".

Born with XX chromosomes (vagina, uterus, breasts, etc) acting as a boy/man.  This person is a "heshe" and the possessive pronoun form is 'hisher".

Politics & Religion / Re: The War with Medical Fascism
« on: March 27, 2023, 04:02:06 PM »
I'm going to disagree with that.

The Great Barrington Declaration, which DeSantis tended to follow, very much was a distinct, and superior, approach.

There is also the question of where on the timeline of it all we are focused.  In the beginning, I agree with you-- but as the saying goes, when the facts change we need to change our mind.  Instead, facts and different points of view were viciously suppressed, and compulsory vaxxes were expanded to less and less suitable age groups.

Question for you:  Where do you stand on compulsory vaxxes for civilians?

Politics & Religion / Chinese drones coming next month?
« on: March 27, 2023, 03:57:05 PM »
The Real Reason China is Arming Russia in Ukraine
by Con Coughlin  •  March 26, 2023 at 5:00 am

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Just as Iran has used Ukraine's brutal war to test the effectiveness of its drone and missile technology, so China's emerging industrial-military complex is reportedly looking for opportunities to conduct a rigorous evaluation of its new weapons systems; Chinese arms manufacturers are reportedly keen to test the effectiveness of their new weapons systems in Ukraine.

Chinese drones, which reports say are due to be delivered to the Russian Defence Ministry next month, would enable the Russians to deliver warheads weighing between 35 and 50 kilograms.

Politics & Religion / Re: The War with Medical Fascism
« on: March 27, 2023, 02:34:55 PM »
The argument that the Army has the POWER to compel here is sound, but it is a distinct question whether it have exercised that power.

To lose super young fit tip of the spear warriors (the SEALs, others) who were quite unlikely to get seriously sick was a destructive act of bullying by the bureaucracy in the Pentagon; yet again backing the fukkery of the Progs.

The play here was a particularly destructive cost of the dishonesty in suppressing inconvenient truths; a tremendous display of truculent obstinacy of holding on to this coercion long after plausible claims of "following the science" should have expired.  No different than the teachers unions fighting to coerce vaxxing of children so that they could stay out of work longer.

Politics & Religion / AG: McConnell's exhilarating insurrection
« on: March 27, 2023, 02:25:00 PM »

Cited in that article is this article:

By Julie Kelly
April 28, 2022
Adirty little secret about January 6—one of many—is that Democrats and establishment Republicans, not Trump supporters, wanted to shut down the official proceedings of that day.

Just as the first wave of protesters breached the building shortly after 2 p.m., congressional Republicans were poised to present evidence of rampant voting fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Ten incumbent and four newly-elected Republican senators planned to work with their House colleagues to demand the formation of an audit commission to investigate election “irregularities” in the 2020 election. Absent an audit, the group of senators, including Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) pledged to reject the Electoral College results from the disputed states.

The Hail Mary effort was doomed to fail; yet the American people would have heard hours of debate related to provable election fraud over the course of the day.

And no one opposed the effort more than ex-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

During a conference call on December 31, 2020, McConnell urged his Republican Senate colleagues to abandon plans to object to the certification, insisting his vote to certify the 2020 election results would be “the most consequential I have ever cast” in his 36-year Senate career.

From the Senate floor on the afternoon of January 6, McConnell gave a dramatic speech warning of the dire consequences to the country should Republicans succeed in delaying the vote. He downplayed examples of voting fraud and even mocked the fact that Trump-appointed judges rejected election lawsuits.

“The voters, the courts, and the States have all spoken,” McConnell insisted. “If we overrule them, it would damage our Republic forever. If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral.”

Roughly six hours later, McConnell got his way. Cowed by the crowd of largely peaceful Americans allowed into the building by Capitol police, most Republican senators backed off the audit proposal. McConnell, echoing hyperbolic talking points about an “insurrection” seeded earlier in the day by Democratic lawmakers and the news media, gloated. “They tried to disrupt our democracy,” he declared on the Senate floor after Congress reconvened around 8 p.m. “This failed attempt to obstruct Congress, this failed insurrection, only underscores how crucial the task before us is for our Republic.”

Congress officially certified the Electoral College results early the next day.

While he projected a sober tone to the American public, McConnell privately was ecstatic, a new book about the 2020 election reveals. “I feel exhilarated by the fact that this fellow finally, totally discredited himself,” McConnell told New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin late on January 6, 2021 about Trump. Martin is the co-author of This Will Not Pass, of which excerpts were published in the Washington Post this week. Martin in the book recounts his midnight conversation with McConnell.

Trump, McConnell claimed, “put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger,” Martin writes. He then asked the reporter what he had heard about members plotting to invoke the 25th Amendment. Calling Trump a “despicable person,” McConnell reportedly bragged how he “crushed the sons of bitches” on January 6 and promised to do the same to them in the 2022 primaries.

Now, that seems like an oddly celebratory demeanor for someone who just survived an “attack on our democracy” and an alleged attempt to “overthrow” the seat of government power, doesn’t it? And why was McConnell so certain the four-hour disturbance would spell the end for Donald Trump?

Further—and more importantly—why did McConnell’s office fail to protect the Capitol on January 6?

His Sergeant at Arms at the time served on the U.S. Capitol police board, a four-man body that manages security at the sprawling Capitol complex. McConnell appointed Michael Stenger in 2018 to serve in that role; Stenger, in addition to his House counterpart, Paul Irving, rejected multiple requests by the Capitol Police chief for extra help in advance of January 6.

Steven Sund, a Capitol Police captain, said he spoke with Stenger on January 4, 2021 to ask for National Guardsmen. “Instead of approving the use of the National Guard, however, Mr. Stenger suggested I ask them how quickly we could get support if needed and to ‘lean forward’ in case we had to request assistance on January 6.”

He spoke with Stenger again on January 5; the board still refused to advance his plan for extra guardsmen.

As the chaos unfolded right as the joint session of Congress convened on January 6, Sund said he “notified the two Sergeant at Arms by 1:09 p.m. that I urgently needed support and asked them to declare a State of Emergency and authorize the National Guard.” Stenger and Irving, who were together that afternoon, said he was waiting for “authorization” by congressional leadership.

That approval came an hour later, but with a caveat: Sund also needed the Pentagon’s authorization.

“Almost two hours later, we had still not received authorization from the Pentagon to activate the National Guard,” Sund testified in February 2021. “Mr. Stenger offered to have Senator McConnell call the Secretary of the Army to expedite the request. I agreed that this would be a good idea. I followed up approximately 20 minutes later to check on the call and express the need for leadership to call to assist in expediting the request.”

Guardsmen did not arrive until 5:40 p.m., four-and-a-half hours after Sund’s first dispatch and after the protest had ended.

McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser—the three leaders responsible for protecting the Capitol on January 6—still have not explained their failure to do so. Not only did McConnell’s top law enforcement officials purportedly overlook the potential for violence on January 6, he denied requests for more officers days before and delayed sending guardsmen to Capitol Hill that afternoon.

And it will be nearly impossible to find out why: Stegner, along with Irving and Sund, all resigned on January 7, 2021.

So, perhaps there is a darker explanation for McConnell’s  giddiness on January 6. What unfolded that day on McConnell’s watch ended Republican demands for an election audit; criminalized criticism of the 2020 election, which McConnell still describes as “fair” and legitimate; vilified Republican lawmakers; and prompted Trump’s second impeachment. McConnell also believed the protest would spell the end of the Trump movement, something the Beltway crony long attempted to quash.

Like the Biden regime, congressional Democrats, and the national news media, the aftermath of the Capitol protest achieved all sorts of political ends for Mitch McConnell.

And when it comes to January 6, there are no coincidences.

Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of January 6: How Democrats Used the Capitol Protest to Launch a War on Terror Against the Political Right and Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―And Failed―To Take Down the President. Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and Genetic Literacy Project. She is the co-host of the “Happy Hour Podcast with Julie and Liz.” She is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and lives in suburban Chicago with her husband and two daughters.

Photo: Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer stand back to back in the House Chamber during a joint session of Congress on January 06, 2021. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law; the Deep State
« on: March 27, 2023, 02:23:02 PM »
In case the Goolag memory holes that URL, here is the article:

The Parliamentary Motive Behind the J6 Fedsurrection
March 12, 2023 | Sundance | 1,678 Comments
The Ring of Truth – “I am too well accustomed to the taking of evidence not to detect the ring of truth.” 1908, Edith Wharton

Much has been made of the events of January 6, 2021, and with the latest broadcast of CCTV video from inside the Capitol Hill complex, more questions have been raised.

Within the questions: the FBI and government apparatus had advanced knowledge of the scale of the J6 mall assembly yet doing nothing?  Why were the Capitol Hill police never informed of the FBI concerns?  Why didn’t House Speaker Nancy Pelosi secure the Capitol Hill complex, and why did she deny the request by President Trump to call up the national guard for security support?  Why did the FBI have agent provocateurs in the crowd, seemingly stimulating rage within a peaceful crowd to enter the Capitol building?  There have always been these nagging questions around ‘why’?

Long time CTH reader “Regitiger” has spent a great deal of time reviewing the entire process, looking at the granular timeline and then overlaying the bigger picture of the constitutional and parliamentary process itself.  What follows below is a brilliant analysis of the federal government motive to create a J6 crisis that permitted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to trigger an emergency session and avoid the 2020 election certification challenges.

Those congressional floor challenges, known and anticipated well in advance of the morning of January 6, 2021, would have formed a legal and constitutional basis for ‘standing’ in judicial challenges that would have eventually reached the Supreme Court.  The certification during “emergency session” eliminated the problem for Washington DC.

Regitiger explains below, only edited by me for clarity and context:

I think most, not all, but a large number of people, are totally missing what happened; and why this happened on Jan 6th.  I am going to try my best to outline the events that day, blast past the commonly held assumptions and get right down to the core corruption.

I will present this as a series of questions and answers.

♦ Q1: How do you prevent congress from delaying the certification of state electoral votes?

A: It requires a crisis. A crisis that creates an “emergency” …An “emergency” that invokes special house rules.

FACTS: Remember carefully, focus please. Just moments, literally 3 minutes before two representatives issued a vote for motions to suspend the certification, the House members were “informed” by capitol police and other “agents” that a protest was about to breach the chambers. It was at this time that key people: Pence, Pelosi, Schumer, Mcconnell can be seen being walked out and escorted from the chamber. This effectively halted the Entire Chamber Process.

♦ Q2: Why was it necessary to halt the chamber process?

A: The crisis was created to eliminate the motion challenges to halt the certification and to begin voting to look into voting irregularities and fraud

FACTS: The two motions were completely legal and constitutional under at least two constitutionally recognized procedures… procedures that would REQUIRE the house to pause the certification and then vote to determine whether the motions of suspend could move forward.

♦ Q3: What was so important to refuse this motion and the subsequent votes to suspend the electoral certification?

A: It was important to remove that process entirely and continue the fraud and certify the fraud with no detractors on record. This effectively gives no standing for a SCOTUS ruling appeal!  Understand this.  If those two motions, even just one had successfully been voted EVEN IF THE MOTIONS were DENIED IN VOTE, this gives those who presented them with STANDING FOR A CONSTITUTIONAL LEGAL ARGUMENT BEFORE SCOTUS.

♦ Q4: Could this have been done some other way other than creating a crisis/protest?

A: Unlikely. In order to prevent those two motions, requires that speaker of the house, minority leaders, and the president of the congress (vice president of the United States: Pence), to NOT BE PRESENT IN THE CHAMBERS.

Once the capitol police and other “law enforcements agents” informed the speaker and these three other individuals, Pelosi UNILATERALLY UNDER EMERGENCY RULES, suspended the business of the congress. This protest was necessary. The crisis was created because there is no other way to suspend the business of certification UNILATERALLY. By creating a crisis invokes emergency procedures. No other circumstances other than war or mass simultaneous explosive diarrhea can create such unilateral speaker delivered suspension of the certification.

♦ Q5: Why did the motions, once that the speaker RECONVENED congress, move forward back again to the floor for votes? Why were members disallowed to even consider putting forward ANY motions to the floor in when the chamber business was reopened?

A: The Speaker initiated the NEW sessions under special emergency rules. These rules abandon and make it clear that the ONLY purpose of the new session was to EXPEDITE the certification and dismiss all prior regular session procedural rules. This is why those two motions to table votes to consider a debate and pause to the certifications of state vote electors never happened later that evening when the house business was reconvened!

♦ Q6: Other than new rules, emergency rules, what other peculiar things occurred when the speaker reconvened?

A: Members were allowed to “vote” in proxy, remotely, not being present.  You can use your imagination about what conditions were placed on ALL members during this time to prevent anyone from “getting out of line”.

Also clearly, it was at THIS NEW SESSION that VP Pence, President of Congress, would also have no ability to even consider pausing the electoral certification, because there were no motions of disagreements on the matter. So, in a technical legal claim, he is correct that he had no constitutional authority to address any issues of fraud or doubts about electoral irregularities. But this completely dismisses the FACT that congress created rules in this crisis/emergency that never allowed them to be floored!

Understand what happened in Jan 6, 2021.  Don’t get hung up on Viking impostors, stolen Pelosi computers, podium heists, and complicit capitol police. Understand the process and what happened and what WAS NOT ALLOWED TO HAPPEN.

This was a coup….it was a very organized and carefully planned coup. VP Pence without a doubt as well as most members of the house were quite aware of how the certification was going to be MANAGED.  It would require new rules to prevent the debate clause from occurring!  New rules that ONLY AN EMERGENCY CRISIS COULD CREATE! So, they created an emergency.

•NOTED: I understand why many people have great interest in debunking the j6 event. I get that. I think it is important to dissect and examine the events of that day but please, step back and understand WHY these things happened. Examine the chain of events in congress.  Why those two motions that would have at least paused the certification THAT WOULD GIVE VP PENCE THE CONSTITUTIONALLY RECOGNIZED POWER TO MOVE TO SUSPEND THE ELECTORAL CERTIFICATION AND THEN EXAMINE THE IRREGULARITIES AND CLAIMS OF FRAUD!

At the very center of this coup stands Mike Pence, the same individual who also spoiled President Trump’s first opportunities in the earlies hours of his Presidency just 4 years prior, when he created and facilitated the removal of Lt General Michael Flynn. I will not spend much time on this thread explaining why Lt Gen Flynn was so important to President Trump and why the IC was so afraid he would have advisory power to the President. That I will leave for another day, another time. But understand this clearly: MIKE PENCE WAS AND IS WORKING FOR THE MOST CORRUPT CRIMINAL TREASONOUS PEOPLE IN GOVERNMENT.

•PRO TIP: If you really want to get a true understanding of this matter videos of protesters walking in the capitol is not going to address them. Actual video and timeline records of events and the specific actions taken by the speaker just moments before TWO MAJOR ELECTORAL ALTERING MOTIONS WERE ABOUT TO BE FLOORED.

This crisis was developed just in time with a precise coordination to prevent those two motions to be entered into the chamber record. The two motions do not exist. The emergency powers established in the new session made sure they never could be entered. The emergency powers could never happen without a crisis.

God Bless America!”


Note from Author: “I started this effort years ago.  To date, no one and I mean no one has replied.  It’s as if everyone that can expose it that has a larger platform is either disinterested, or suspiciously withdrawn from the issue.  I made several comments about this over the years right here at CTH, on article threads that are relevant to the topic.

I was watching the certification live that day. I recorded it ALL on every channel. I was doing this because no matter what happened that day, I KNEW IT WOULD BE A PROFOUND AND SIGNIFICANT EVENT TO REMEMBER. I never in my wildest imagination (and I have a pretty vivid imagination, always have), expected to see the unmistakable perfectly timed “coincidences” that occurred.

One member raises a motion (with another in waiting for his turn) those two motions were well known and advertised. These were motions to vote for a pause in the certification to examine electoral vote fraud and irregularities. I can’t speak to the veracity and substance of those motions. They were never allowed to even be floored. it was at that exact moment that the house chambers were suspended and 4 of the key members, Pence, Pelosi, Schumer and McConnell were escorted OUT right after initiating the end of the session.

Effectively, this resulted in that motion never being floored at all.  Then, when reconvened under special emergency rules, inexplicably those two motions (and perhaps more – we will never know – or will we?) were not even attempted to be motioned. That was not just peculiar to me.

It all started to make more sense when I did some study on constitutional law AND THE HISTORY of specific special authorities given to president of the congress, Pence in this case. Not only did he have the authority and power to suspend the certification, but the duty to address the motion in the same sense that it becomes vital to the debate clause.

There really is no higher significance of weight given to the debate clause than the certification of the votes. This was more than odd to me the way that the media and pence framed their narrative: Pence would not have the constitutional power to suspend certification.  Then it hit me, like the obvious clue that was there all the time. He was right. But the reason he is right, is because there WAS NO MOTION ON THE FLOOR TO CAUSE HIM TO SUSPEND!

Understanding this, happened for me about 4 or 5 months after this Jan 6 day.  I took me this long to examine the facts, look at the video again, compare it to the arguments made by several leading constitutional academics, and again, inexplicably even some that I respect seemed to dodge that central reality.  The motions were never allowed to be floored in the re-convened house rules later that evening. Most would not even venture to address the exotically coincidence that the moment those two members would stand to place the motion before the house, that the House Speaker Pelosi AND Pence ended the session, effectively blocking the motions from being heard in normal house rules.

It’s been a journey for me. A journey that was initiated because I am just a simple but curious person. Perhaps even to a point where I get obsessive in those efforts. Many days and nights combing over the details. praying and trying to make sense of what makes little sense. With over 6 states having serious well known and obvious defects in the voting process, some more credible to believe – some less, but one would not expect the house would be so deliberate in marching past the motions that were definitely going to be present to slow this process down and take the time to get it right. Even IF the claims never reached an intersection that would change the outcome.

There are two possibilities: Millions of people, against all the odds, hitting all-time records even past Obama and Clinton, voted for a naval gazing ambulatory pathological racist moron. And chose Joe Malarkey as their leader.  Or this was a coup, a conspiracy, and a treasonous manipulation regime change because President Trump could not be controlled by the deep state and globalists who OWN AND OPERATE WASHINGTON DC.


The only way for THE PEOPLE to gain power in this country is to force the transfer of it.  If truth isn’t the fuel and vehicle, we will just be replacing deck chairs and hitting the next series of expected ice bergs.

Knowing the truth is not enough; however, it is truth that makes it a righteous cause.

God Bless America!”

~ Regitiger

Sundance provides an addendum in support:

Julie Kelly – […] Just as the first wave of protesters breached the building shortly after 2 p.m., congressional Republicans were poised to present evidence of rampant voting fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Ten incumbent and four newly-elected Republican senators planned to work with their House colleagues to demand the formation of an audit commission to investigate election “irregularities” in the 2020 election. Absent an audit, the group of senators, including Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) pledged to reject the Electoral College results from the disputed states.

The Hail Mary effort was doomed to fail; yet the American people would have heard hours of debate related to provable election fraud over the course of the day.

And no one opposed the effort more than ex-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

During a conference call on December 31, 2020, McConnell urged his Republican Senate colleagues to abandon plans to object to the certification, insisting his vote to certify the 2020 election results would be “the most consequential I have ever cast” in his 36-year Senate career.

From the Senate floor on the afternoon of January 6, McConnell gave a dramatic speech warning of the dire consequences to the country should Republicans succeed in delaying the vote. He downplayed examples of voting fraud and even mocked the fact that Trump-appointed judges rejected election lawsuits.

“The voters, the courts, and the States have all spoken,” McConnell insisted. “If we overrule them, it would damage our Republic forever. If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral.”

Roughly six hours later, McConnell got his way. Cowed by the crowd of largely peaceful Americans allowed into the building by Capitol police, most Republican senators backed off the audit proposal. McConnell, echoing hyperbolic talking points about an “insurrection” seeded earlier in the day by Democratic lawmakers and the news media, gloated. “They tried to disrupt our democracy,” he declared on the Senate floor after Congress reconvened around 8 p.m. “This failed attempt to obstruct Congress, this failed insurrection, only underscores how crucial the task before us is for our Republic.”

Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law; the Deep State
« on: March 27, 2023, 07:27:00 AM »

Politics & Religion / Re: The War with Medical Fascism
« on: March 27, 2023, 07:26:37 AM »
"The medical establishment did not handle this well.  The CDC clearly bungled it early on, but we meant well."

Readily granted that in the initial chaos, it was only natural that what hindsight would reveal to be errors would be made.

OTOH "meant well" does not cover the suppression of contrary data, the cancellation of serious people with serious resumes in the area, and firing vaxx resistors, and keeping unvaxxed children out of school.  These were outright malicious, frequently corrupt, and thoroughly unAmerican.

Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law; the Deep State
« on: March 27, 2023, 07:11:22 AM »
Very good to see this footage escaping from the Memory Hole!

GM, can you go to the source material and post URLs of it directly?  I want to save it so as to protect if from being deleted again by the Goolag.

Politics & Religion / Re: WW3
« on: March 27, 2023, 07:08:11 AM »
Gen Keane concurs on the status of our Navy, especially in the the South China Sea.

Politics & Religion / Re: The War with Medical Fascism
« on: March 27, 2023, 07:04:20 AM »
Thank you for the thoughtful posts CCP.

Politics & Religion / RANE: China mediating Saudi Arabia and Syria
« on: March 27, 2023, 06:42:42 AM »
Syria, Saudi Arabia, Russia: Moscow Mediating Talks to Restore Saudi-Syria Ties
2 MIN READMar 24, 2023 | 19:52 GMT

What Happened: Russia is mediating talks to restore Saudi Arabia's diplomatic ties with Syria after over a decade of strained relations between the two Middle Eastern countries, The Wall Street Journal reported March 23, citing Saudi and Syrian officials ''familiar with the discussions.'' Saudi state TV has since confirmed the talks, which are reportedly focused on trying to reopen the Saudi embassy in Damascus by the end of Ramadan.

Why It Matters: Saudi Arabia is considering resuming diplomatic ties with Syria as Riyadh looks for alternative partners to secure its interests in the wake of the United States' growing disinterest in the region. The kingdom is also laying the groundwork for a vote on restoring Syria's membership in the Arab League during the regional bloc's meeting in May, which Saudi Arabia is hosting. Russia's push to facilitate Saudi-Syria normalization, meanwhile, follows China's recent success in brokering the March 10 Saudi-Iran normalization deal that ended the Persian Gulf neighbors' seven-year rift — further highlighting both Moscow and Beijing's growing ability to mediate global conflicts where Washington is either unwilling or unable to do so.

Background: Relations between Saudi Arabia and Syria have been severed since the early years of the latter's civil war due to the former's support for the rebels fighting against the Syrian regime. But with the defeat of these rebels, Saudi Arabia has begun to shift its view of Syria, while other Arab states — led by Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt — began to reopen embassies and/or push for Syria to be brought back into the Arab League, from which it was suspended in 2011.

Politics & Religion / Re: Western Civilization
« on: March 26, 2023, 07:09:19 PM »
Unclear on your point?

Are you suggesting that race/ethnicity mixing is the problem here?  If the students were more uniformly of one group or another, that the behavior on display would be less?

Or is what we see simply the fascistic authoritarian impulse of the Progs in the thralls of collective militant enthusiasm?

Me?  I'm seeing a University at could be the beginnings of showing some spine.

Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe and pre-emptive dhimmitude
« on: March 26, 2023, 07:02:12 PM »
What is that?

Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy & Geopolitics
« on: March 26, 2023, 06:58:07 PM »
Eyeballing that at a 30% decline from the peak , , ,

There is someone I would like to share that with.  May I ask for the URL?

Politics & Religion / It ain't gonna be painless
« on: March 26, 2023, 06:35:13 PM »
A couple of weeks ago I quoted some comments from Thomas Hoenig, a former president of the Kansas City Fed. They date from a few years ago:

“An entire economic system. Around a zero rate. Not only in the U.S. but globally. It’s massive. Now, think of the adjustment process to a new equilibrium at a higher rate. Do you think it’s costless? Do you think that no one will suffer? Do you think there won’t be winners and losers? No way. You have taken your economy and your economic system, and you’ve moved it to an artificially low zero rate. You’ve had people making investments on that basis, people not making investments on that basis, people speculating in new activities, people speculating on derivatives around that, and now you’re going to adjust it back? Well, good luck. It isn’t going to be costless.”

Mispricing money comes with consequences. And the longer that money is mispriced the more uncomfortable those consequences will be. We are now seeing what look to be the early stages of a long, painful period of readjustment.

This is contributing to the tough times now facing commercial real estate (specifically office buildings) a sector that, if things really go south, will be faced with consequences ranging from unknown unknowns, known unknowns, to known knowns. Few of the repercussions will be agreeable, as banks, non-banks, a number of major cities, and who knows who else are likely to discover.

Making matters worse is (or will be) the effect of Covid-19 — and the catastrophic response to it

Politics & Religion / RANE: Yemen's intractable civil war
« on: March 24, 2023, 05:16:50 PM »
March 23, 2023
View On Website
Open as PDF

Yemen’s Intractable Civil War
Iran will not abandon the Houthis to improve its relationship with Saudi Arabia.
By: Hilal Khashan
The civil war in Yemen began in 2014 with the Houthi rebels taking over the country’s north, including the capital, the international airport and the port of Hodeidah. The conflict escalated a year later to become a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which led an Arab coalition that intervened to support the internationally recognized government and retake territory seized by the Iran-backed Houthis. In 2020, the separatist Southern Transitional Council, an umbrella group of militants backed by the UAE, declared control over the southern city of Aden. It became increasingly clear to the Saudis that they were unable to change the course of the war, which has had a massive impact on the local population. Since 2015, more than 400,000 Yemenis have lost their lives due to violence, hunger and disease. The World Health Organization reports that about half of Yemeni children suffer from stunting due to starvation and malnutrition, threatening their mental and physical development.

Some observers believed that a deal signed by Saudi Arabia and Iran in Beijing earlier this month to restore diplomatic relations would help end the crisis in Yemen. But the reality on the ground suggests otherwise. The main weakness of the Saudi-Iran rapprochement is that it’s an agreement of necessity, not conviction, driven by domestic issues and the international community’s preoccupation with the war in Ukraine. Neither Iran nor Saudi Arabia can afford to lose the war because whoever controls Yemen can secure the entire Arabian Peninsula.

Saudi Focus

Saudi Arabia has always viewed Yemen as a threat to its territorial integrity and has tried to derail Yemen’s development. The Saudis won a war against Yemen in 1934 and annexed Jizan and Najran. In 1948, Riyadh backed Imam Yahya against a constitutional revolution, and in 1962, it helped Imam Muhammad al-Badr attempt to reclaim his rule after a coup overthrew the monarchy. The Saudis intervened in local Yemeni affairs and bribed its tribes to prevent the country from uniting. They also supported the southern separatists in the 1994 civil war and intervened to stop the 2011 uprising, turning it into a political crisis that ultimately led Yemen to what it is today.

Yemen differs from other countries on the Arabian Peninsula in at least two respects. First, it’s a republic, while the other countries in the region are kingdoms or emirates. Second, it enjoys relatively democratic attributes compared to its neighbors. For Saudi Arabia, this makes Yemen a threat. It’s no coincidence that Yemen isn’t a member of the Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes other countries in the peninsula.

When the United Nations brokered a general cease-fire last April, Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi announced, under Saudi pressure, that he was resigning and delegating his powers to the Presidential Leadership Council – the executive body of the internationally recognized government – which was then authorized to reach a comprehensive political solution. Even with the recent agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the council faces serious challenges, such as bridging the divide between the warring factions and remaining united amid the ongoing crises facing the country. Unsurprisingly, it’s made little progress toward a settlement and improving the quality of services for the Yemeni people.

For most Yemenis, the unconstitutional practices of the parties that make up the council are a cause for concern. When Hadi was appointed president in 2012, the parties didn’t question him about the country’s rampant corruption, on the pretext that they could resolve problems after the resignation of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. They still lack transparency today. Seven of the eight council members reside abroad, citing security concerns. The members have been busy splitting the spoils of war among themselves and making patronage appointments but have contributed little to putting Yemen on the track to resolving the conflict that devastated its economy. The Yemeni people have become increasingly frustrated with the council’s performance, and more broadly, the country’s ruling political elite has no base of national support. It’s bereft of the expertise needed to manage domestic affairs and international relations. It also lacks a sense of patriotism, evidenced by the fact that it did not object to regional countries meddling in Yemen’s affairs.

Houthi Victory

By 2022, the Houthis had taken control of northern Yemen, except for the oil-rich Marib governorate. They exploited anti-Saudi sentiments within Yemeni society, focusing on how the kingdom’s security measures have harmed the Yemeni people, especially those living in the border areas, and Riyadh’s expulsion of thousands of Yemeni workers from Saudi Arabia. The Houthis also invoked the injustices suffered by Yemenis due to King ibn Saud’s occupation of large chunks of territory that were historically part of Yemen.

Territorial Control in Yemen
(click to enlarge)

In early 2022, government forces, backed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, launched massive ground operations in Marib and Shabwa. The Houthis answered the offensive with unprecedented drone and missile attacks, launching Operation Yemen Hurricane III against the UAE and Operation Break Siege II against Saudi Arabia. Both countries were shocked by the response from the Houthis, who offered to open peace talks at the end of March. Saudi Arabia responded by announcing the cessation of its military operations two days before the United Nations representative to Yemen announced a cease-fire on April 2.

But Saudi Arabia continued to stall peace talks for several months after the truce went into effect. The situation remained stagnant. It appeared that Riyadh preferred to freeze the conflict, as the world’s major powers became preoccupied with Russia’s war on Ukraine, in the hope that it could reactivate the war under better international conditions. However, the Saudis eventually realized that the Houthis’ military capabilities had developed and that, without U.S. support, Saudi infrastructure, particularly its oil facilities, was in grave danger. Indeed, Saudi Arabia’s actions in the war, including blocking the flow of food and medical supplies, weakened the resolve of Western countries – specifically the United States, which, under congressional pressure, decided to reconsider its security relations with Riyadh.

Meanwhile, the Houthis have been busy imposing social changes in the areas of Yemen they control. They are radically revising the school curriculum, especially regarding religious and social subjects and history. They emphasize the role of summer camps involved in ideological indoctrination, aiming to re-socialize society, especially the youth, using tactics similar to those employed by the Soviet Union and China in the past and North Korea today.

It’s a mistake to believe that Iran will abandon the Houthis or its other regional allies to improve its relationship with Saudi Arabia. For Tehran, this would undermine a key tenet of the Iranian revolution – i.e., exporting its principles throughout the region – and the Islamic Republic itself. Iran will not give the Saudis what it refused to give the U.S. in the stalled Vienna talks.

Limits of the Saudi-Iran Deal

Saudi Arabia has yet to take a clear stance on the future of the conflict, unconvinced by the proposals put forward by Omani meditators in its negotiations with the Houthis. The Omanis urged Saudi officials to build confidence by addressing humanitarian matters, such as the food blockade, and exchanging prisoners. Saudi Arabia has decided to withdraw militarily from the war, consolidate its military relations with its local allies in Marib and Shabwa, and intensify its efforts to separate southern Saudi Arabia from the Saada mountains, the Houthis’ formidable bastion.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE want to break up Yemen and divide it into cantons. In 2017, UAE allies established the Southern Transitional Council from the governorates that constituted the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (1967-1990) to create a political entity equal to the north. But competition over the country’s hydrocarbon riches has been a significant obstacle to realizing this project. The deal with Iran – which the Saudis claim has secret articles, including a commitment by Tehran to suspend weapons shipments to the Houthis – could encourage both countries to accept an agreement to end the war. (Tehran hasn’t admitted that it sends weapons to the Houthis, so it can’t commit to stopping.)

Each party to the normalization deal entered talks with its own interests in mind. China, which helped broker the agreement, wants to cement its relationship with two major oil suppliers and stabilize relations between the two countries, both of which are facing significant challenges at home. Iran is still grappling with the effects of severe Western sanctions and years of international and regional isolation. It needs friendly relations with Saudi Arabia, given that its access to the Arab world goes through Riyadh. Similarly, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman wants to see his country transition from oil dependence into a modern economy, which requires a vision and a conflict-free environment to attract foreign investment.

But the Saudi-Iran deal won’t end the fighting in Yemen. It’s also unlikely to last, and its eventual failure could drag the two countries into conflict again.

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