Give Me A Minute – In Case You Missed It

Keeping up with all the news is difficult. In case you’ve been busy, here are some of the things going on at present. I’m not taking the time to list the sources for these quotes, but each is from a recent article.

  • Zelensky rules much like his adversary, the universally denounced Putin, does. 
  • Putin announced Tuesday he is suspending Moscow’s participation in New START, a strategic nuclear arms reduction treaty, the last remaining nuclear arms reduction deal between the U.S. and Russia. It limits each side to 1,550 long-range nuclear warheads.
  • Zelensky shut down all opposition media in Ukraine, then banned opposition political parties. He declared that Russia would have to kill every single citizen of Kyiv to get to him.
  • CBS shared that “much of the billions of dollars of military aid that the U.S. is sending to Ukraine doesn’t make it to the front lines.” 
  • CBS quoted an on-the-ground operative who disclosed the reality of America’s generosity: “like 30 percent of it reaches its final destination.”
  • American taxpayers borrow tens of billions of dollars their country does not have, to send fortunes to the unaccountable leader of a corrupt country, all to escalate a war in which America has no vital national interest, during a recession with runaway inflation at home.
  • Putin is a thug and Zelensky is a corrupt autocrat. Their battle involves no vital U.S. national interest. 
  • Biden’s intervention harms America and worsens the plight of the Ukrainian people, who have become pawns in a battle of Black Sea oligarchs. 
  • America should insist on dialogue, negotiation, and de-escalation. If the parties refuse, then it’s time for an American approach of realism and restraint, because this is simply not our fight, and Zelensky sure as hell is not our fighter.
  • President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree allowing the National Security and Defense Council to apply sanctions against clergy members of Russian-affiliated religious organizations. The primary target of these measures is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church- Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), an affiliate of the Russian Orthodox Church which has been subject to multiple raids of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) since Nov. 23.
  • The list of individuals subject to economic and other restrictions will be published later, according to Zelensky. In his evening address to the nation on Dec. 1, Zelensky announced that the Security Council also proposed a bill completely banning the activities of the Moscow Patriarchate churches in Ukraine.
  • The SBU reported on Dec. 2 that it was conducting searches at churches and monasteries of the UOC-MP in Zhytomyr, Rivne, and Zakarpattia oblasts. The security measures aim to counter the subversive activities of the Russian special services in Ukraine, prevent the use of religious communities as a center of the so-called “Russian world,” and protect the population from provocations and terrorist acts, according to the SBU.
  • On his current trip to Kyiv and Poland, “I (Joe Biden) will announce another delivery of critical equipment, including artillery ammunition, anti-armor systems, and air surveillance radars to help protect the Ukrainian people from aerial bombardments.
  • “Later this week, we (the United States) will announce additional sanctions against elites and companies that are trying to evade or backfill Russia’s war machine.”
  • China has become an increasingly important trading partner for Russia as it seeks to soften the impact of economic sanctions imposed by some countries in response to its invasion of Ukraine.
  • The United States now says Beijing is considering supplying weapons and ammunition to Russia, allegations which China strongly denies.
  • “The concern that we have now is, based on information we have, that they’re considering providing lethal support,” Blinken told CBS’s Face the Nation shortly after he met with (China’s top diplomat) Wang Yi. “And we’ve made very clear to them that that could cause a serious problem for us and in our relationship.”
  • Blinken told NBC’s Meet the Press that China has not yet crossed the line of providing lethal assistance but he would be putting out evidence soon to show how Beijing was seriously considering providing Russia with equipment including weapons.
  • “It is the U.S., not China, that has been pouring weapons into the battlefield,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin said. “The U.S. is in no position to tell China what to do. We would never stand for finger-pointing, or even coercion and pressurizing from the U.S. on our relations with Russia.”
  • Two years into Joe Biden’s presidency, the United States now faces simultaneous diplomatic and national security crises with its 20th-century superpower rival Moscow and its top 21st-century adversary China.
  • Every advanced weapon in the U.S. arsenal—from Tomahawk missiles to the F-35 fighter jet to Aegis-equipped destroyers and cruisers and everything in between—is absolutely reliant on components made using rare-earth elements, including critical items such as permanent magnets and specialized alloys that are almost exclusively made in China. 
  • Perhaps more worrisome is that the long-term U.S. supply of smart bombs and guided munitions that would have to be replenished in a hurry in the event of U.S. conflict in Syria, Iran, or elsewhere are essentially reliant on China’s acquiescence in their continued production.
  • As American wages fall further behind inflation, the Biden administration is delivering a one-two punch to inflict additional pain with more reckless immigration policies.
    • First, the White House is seeking to open new extralegal pathways enabling foreign guest workers to gain permanent residence in this country.
    • Second, and just as irresponsibly, the administration has no plans to stop bottom-feeding employers from using temporary work visas to keep chipping away at Americans’ paychecks and job opportunities.

Not much good news to report. I predict it will only get worse.

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