TRUMP WHITE HOUSE REFUSES TO TURN OVER FLYNN DOCUMENTS
The Chairman of the House oversight committee Jason Chaffetz said Tuesday that “White House officials have refused to turn over documents related to the hiring and firing of Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s first national security adviser,” according to The New York Times. Chaffetz said, “As a former military officer, you simply cannot take money from Russia, Turkey or anybody else,” adding, “it appears as if he did take that money. It was inappropriate, and there are repercussions for a violation of law.”
From The New York Times.
FLYNN DID NOT DISCLOSE RUSSIA PAYMENTS, LIKELY BROKE LAW
POLITICO reports, “Former national security adviser Michael Flynn did not disclose payments for a 2015 speech in Moscow in his application to renew his security clearance in 2016, the leaders of the House Oversight Committee told reporters Tuesday,” who also said, “The omission likely broke the law”. “Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the panel’s top Democrat, noted that knowingly falsifying or concealing information on a security clearance application form, called an SF-86, is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.” Lock him up! Lock him up!
US AIRCRAFT ARRIVE IN ESTONIA
Defense News reports, “Two F-35As, accompanied by about 20 supporting airmen, arrived at Ämari Air Base, Estonia, on Tuesday for familiarization training in the region,” according to the U.S. Air Force in Europe. A U.S. Air Force in Europe spokeswoman told Defense News, “the deployed F-35s will not take part in Baltic-based NATO air-policing missions,” under existing plans, which could presumably change with increasingly aggressive behavior on the part of Russia, the only reason for the aircraft’s presence. The U.S. Air Force would not confirm previous reports about the jets from Estonia’s state broadcaster until the aircraft landed in country, Defense News reports. The buzz word “interoperability” also makes a cameo in this report as it has ever since Crimea as the word for demonstrating strength to Russia without stating explicitly that this is all a response to Russia’s bellicose behavior towards Ukraine and Western democracies. The aircraft are in Estonia as part of the much broader European Reassurance Initiative, which has the sole goal of getting Russia stand down. Defense News reports, “The F-35’s trip to Estonia came as a surprise to the public, and possibly to Russia as well.”
From Defense News.
—–APOCALYPSE WATCH: FRENCH ELECTIONS SPECIAL—–
THE KREMLIN IS THE MESSAGE
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has a look at Kremlin messaging around the French elections. Reduced to its most basic, simplified, even an American can understand it message is, possible leaders of “the Fifth Republic ain’t what they used to be.” Wow, that’s such an unfamiliar nationalist appeal! That “fifth” before republic in there should be a reminder to all Americans that we still have so many chances at destroying ourselves as most European countries are on their third to fifth republics, so long as we don’t destroy everything with nuclear weapons, we can do it all over again some day! Maybe for the grand kids, like the so-called greatest generation did for us to make everything great again. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “In the run-up to and aftermath of the April 23 first-round vote, Kremlin-loyal media outlets joined in remarkable unison to declare the candidates unworthy of comparison to former French leaders such as Charles de Gaulle, Francois Mitterrand, and Jacques Chirac. In what resembles a coordinated messaging campaign, television personalities and political analysts have been delivering variants of the same thought and phrasing.”
ROSENSTEIN CONFIRMED BY THE SENATE TO DEPUTY AG ROLE
NBC News reports “The Senate on Tuesday easily confirmed Rod Rosenstein as deputy attorney general and the new head of the Department of Justice investigation into ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia” in a 94-6 vote. God help us let’s hope he is up to the task or prepare to step up the fight or forever acquiesce on your freedoms and civil liberties. Also, prepare to lose a generation of friends and colleagues to the collective crimes ahead and the madness this will bring on among some peers you once esteemed as sounding boards of rational thought. No pressure!
From NBC News.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
MORE RUSSIAN MILITARY PLANE INTERCEPTS SINCE END OF COLD WAR
The Independent has a headline that tells you almost everything you need to know, namely that, “Nato intercepting highest number of Russian military planes since the Cold War as 780 incidents recorded in 2016”. In comparison to 410 in 2015, it is quite the jump in activity less you ever thought TRUMPISTAN WATCH was hyperbolic about World War III, the machinery of war, death and destruction, you can be assured this is not the case that the situation America continues to sleepwalk itself in is beyond dire and people need to wake up. According to The Independent, “Russian planes are not known to have violated international regulations or entered any EU nation’s sovereign airspace, flying instead into ‘identification zones’ in international airspace that are monitored for security.” Wake up! Wake up!
From The Independent.
“ONCE UPON A TIME, THERE WAS A DICTATOR WHO HAD A DAUGHTER”
Journalist and Uzbekistan scholar Sarah Kendzior has a fine, fine piece on The Correspondent about “The dictator, who came to power vowing to make his country great, enacted a series of repressive policies under the guise of nationalism. He persecuted the media and the opposition, used ‘war on terror’ rhetoric to justify a clampdown on civil rights, maintained a close but complicated relationship with Russia, and built a kleptocracy that ensured the country’s riches lined his pockets.” However, “The daughter seemed different – or at least, she wanted to be seen that way. She was an Ivy League-educated cosmopolitan socialite who married into a powerful business family before making her mark as a fashion designer and businesswoman. Like her father, she encouraged an avid personality cult; and like her father, she hid her own brutal practices under the pretext of a soft ‘feminism’, claiming to represent the ideal modern woman of her country.” Who could this possibly be? No not Donald and Ivanka, silly, but so close! Uzbekistan president Islam Karimov and his daughter Gulnara Karimova, of course! Never heard of them? Well you should by now because we are reenacting their dysfunctional state in our time in these lands! Yes we are not like a full-blown –stan, we are one! Like a carpet Kendzior lays out all the nice little teas and trinkets that are being used to distract us and destroy us and convert us into accepting of our newfound status of full blown stan! Must read.
From The Correspondent.
IVANKA DOESN’T THINK IT’S PRODUCTIVE TO LABEL HER AN ACCOMPLICE
So everyone must call Aryan princess Ivanka an accomplice to Daddy’s enormous crimes against our constitution, state, and presumably, probably financial (we have to hedge for legal reasons, mind you!) as a German paper has done! Danke Deutschland! When NBC’s Today show asked her about being called Daddy’s accomplice, nepotism Barbie shrugged it off, “I don’t know that that’s productive,” she said. Well, it is truthful. Just think if she is capable of denial on this level what other forms of denial she will be capable of in the future. She also posted a picture of herself at the Holocaust memorial in Berlin with a super sad look on her face because aw, Aryan princess is trying to gloss over how damn complicit she will be in future mass atrocities should this continue for very much longer. Besides nothing says sympathy for the dead and feelings of acute loss and grief quite like social media self-promotion. Also no one should forget denial is the final stage of genocide. So Aryan princess is getting lots of good practice in now!
From New York Magazine.
KARZAI MEETS LAVROV + SENDS BOLD MESSAGE: I CAN STILL BE BOUGHT
The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who the U.S. and Iran worked together to install following the ouster of the Taliban in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, is back in the game, this time for Russia. TOLO News, a popular Afghan TV station, reports that Karzai was in Moscow to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the heels of U.S. accusations that Russia has been arming the Taliban and stepped up its involvement in Afghanistan considerably over the last 18 months. Bold move, Karzai, bold move!
From TOLO News.
THE VISUAL BANALITY OF EVIL: RED CAPS HAVE NO SENSE OF AESTHETIC
For those of us who like pretty things and have a penchant for aesthetics, part of the brutality of Trump is the violent, neo-fascist aesthetic of absolute kitsch of his campaign transitioning into the very low grade violent, neo-fascist aesthetic of absolute kitsch of his first 100 days. Milan Kundera said kitsch is the natural aesthetic of all politicians, and while true, Orwell reminds us in Animal Farm, that everyone is created equal but some are created more equal. Columbia Journalism Review takes a look at how much the Trump administration has failed in its use of photography from a bizarre propaganda video posted to Trump’s Instagram account after Aya Hijazi, an Egyptian-American aid worker, was released last week to Kellyanne Conway’s totally white trash “couch-gate” moment. Ultimately the Columbia Journalism Review article is an illustrative of why the Nazis and perhaps the Soviets too were far superior violent nationalists at least in the realm of aesthetics. Trump cannot figure out how to wear a suit like a gent but the Nazis had Hugo Boss, never forget and never again it seems.
RACHEL MADDOW IS WINNING RATINGS RACE OVER FOX NEWS
While the sycophants at Fox News work to clean up the slop and scrape the bottom so we can hear their knocking from below, Rachel Maddow has slowly begun to edge out Fox News in the ratings race according to CNN’s Brian Stelter. According to Stelter, “lately MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has been challenging Fox at 9 p.m.,” and is “on track to win again in April” after surpassing “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox in March. This is very good news because it means Americans are seeking help parsing “all the confusion coming out of Washington” concerning Trump’s Russia ties. She has even been the subject of attacks from seemingly Kremlin conduit Glenn Greenwald who thinks its just outrageous that she spends so much time on her show wading through all the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia instead of focusing on taking down America’s intelligence capabilities and helping Russia as Greenwald seemingly has.
BREITBART DENIED LEGITIMACY BY THE SENATE PRESS GALLERY
The Standing Committee of Correspondents, bless that name, of the Senate Press Gallery has denied disinformation propaganda outlet with a racist, hateful, xenophobic misogynist slant garbage site Breitbart News credentials. Hurrah! Like Russian state-run RT being denied by the Macron campaign we can only applaud the denial of legitimacy because they are only looking to exploit our strategic vulnerabilities and pollute, rather than contribute, to the infosphere. CNN reports the Standing Committee cited concerns about financing from Republican heiress Rebekah Mercer in particular. Enjoy the good news, there is precious little of it. CNN reports, “Breitbart’s temporary credentials expire on May 31.” Never let them or any Russians back in the building! And hide the good china! POLITICO, which will seemingly normalize whatever horrors unfold in Washington, has a piece making the case for further normalization of hateful propaganda organ Breitbart News that, like Fox News, because white male resentment will always have a seat at the table.
SHIT DMITRY PESKOV SAYS
Lyin’ Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesman, is at it again, lying like the lying liar he is. What now? Oh the latest reports from Emmanuel Macron’s campaign that Russian state hackers known as Apt28 or Fancy Bear tried to visit France and En Marche party in particular. How do they spin their culpability into the ether now? Oh in fantastic fashion but it’s all very retro. According to Russian state-run TASS, “When commenting on data released by a group conducting research into cyberattacks, Peskov said that ‘we would be very grateful if this group forwarded this information to us so that we could assess it.’” Goddamn it Dmitry that is not a very good or even plausible response!
From Russian state-run TASS.
—–TOWARDS A PEACEFUL NUCLEAR EXCHANGE—–
2 MINUTES 30 SECONDS TO MIDNIGHT, NINE MONTHS TO SAVE THE REPUBLIC
If you listen to the experts, which you should not fail to do because the idiots and the propaganda does not have much useful information to offer, then we are two and a half minutes until midnight on the doomsday clock with nine months left to save the republic. So, not much time! In every waking moment he can muster, Clinton’s Defense Secretary from 1994-1997, William J. Perry pops up these days to scream about how much more real the dangers are than they ever were during the Cold War to a deaf nation. To be awake now in the provinces is to live in a sea of ignorance! What cause does Perry have to make some comfort and innocence-disrupting claims? (Note: no one likes this form of disruption in America.) Oh only that “The relations between the United States and Russia are as hostile as they were during the Cold War. Russia has dropped its long-term policy of ‘No First Use’ of nuclear weapons and is rebuilding its nuclear arsenal. It is threatening its neighbors with these deadly weapons and indirectly threatening the U.S.” But isn’t “The Bachelor” or Kardashians on soon? “Have we simply forgotten the immense dangers of the Cold War?” Perry asks, innocently enough. Of course we have. Too much adulting!
From The Hill.
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
NOT THAT REICHSTAG FIRE
Late Monday and early Tuesday, word trickled through the Western press that Russia had done something fairly demented but long scheduled on Sunday and recreated its 1945 storming of the Nazi German Reichstag in order to promote nationalism and bellicosity domestically. The Guardian reports, “Nearly 2,000 people have taken part in a re-enactment of the 1945 storming of the Reichstag by the Red Army in a ‘military Disneyland’ on the outskirts of Moscow,” called Patriot Park for 5,000 spectators including Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Curiously, “Eyebrows were raised on Sunday because the mock-up appeared to have been modeled [sic] on the contemporary building, which has a glass dome designed by the British architect Norman Foster and is home to the German federal parliament, the Bundestag.” British tabloid Daily Star has all the requisite photos and Russian state-run RT posted propaganda video should you wish to indulge or induce an aneurysm.
RUSSIA LOVING MILWAUKEE SHERIFF TREATS INMATES SOVIET STYLE
Sheriff David Clarke, a notable black American Trumper and Russia lover who has visited the motherland, has foregone the proscribed judicial and carceral procedures of the homeland in favor of pure Soviet tactics. He must love Russia because criminal acts against prisoners can be carried out with total impunity there whereas here there is the media and reputational stain that comes with very active civil society around issues of mass incarceration. The American system is highly imperfect and outright disturbing on more occasions than is comfortable, but when a detainee is deprived of water for seven days and happens to be disabled and then dies, well at least there will be bad press, for now. And enough of a cascade of bad press and civil society outrage could lead to big changes, cover-ups, exposés, criminal convictions and ultimately, likely a slap on the wrist – but the reputational stain can endure! So The Washington Post reports, “Just a few hours into Terrill Thomas’s eighth day in solitary confinement at the Milwaukee County Jail last year, correction officers found the 38-year-old man on the ground and not moving. He was dead. Thomas had spent his final days begging for water, inmates later told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, because jail staff had shut off the flow to the pipes in his cell as punishment for bad behavior.” The cause of death was “profound dehydration”. Fascinating because the preferred method of torture in Stalinist times was known as “sweating” which involved stress positions in heat and lead to something short of this ultimate result, when desired, when not, death. For now, impunity is holding here as a year later there are no charges.
From The Washington Post.