—–ON THE AGENDA—–
KREMLIN NERVOUS ABOUT OPPOSITION, SO MAFIA STATE LASHES OUT
Russian state-run TASS reports, “Any attempts to hold unauthorized rallies in Moscow on April 29 will bring about a legal response of the authorities, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.” Who wants to live in a country with no freedoms? Tea partiers, ladies and scientists protest, the left protests, even the fascists like a good march even if they mistake it for a massive brawl, and the Russians like to protest too because the crowds were big at the last big rally organized by Alexey Navalny. Saturday’s opposition protest is organized by Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s now blacklisted Open Russia, which “announced plans to hold a 10,000-strong rally on Saturday across Slavyanskaya Square, Staraya Square and Ilyinka Street, in the heart of Moscow, and hand over petitions to the presidential administration.” The Russian authorities offered an alternate venue which organizers balked at because everyone knows the Kremlin is threatened by the voices of the real Russian people and, in the words of Timothy Snyder, “nothing is real that does not end in the streets.” The AP reported Open Russia had its offices raided by the authorities too on Thursday, just to be extra safe. And just to be super safe, “Also on Thursday, unknown attackers doused opposition leader Alexei Navalny with green antiseptic outside a conference venue in Moscow, his spokeswoman said. Navalny later wrote on his website that he was taken to a hospital where he was diagnosed with a chemical burn to his eye,” according to The AP. According to the BBC, Navalny tweeted, “It looks funny but it hurts like hell.” Note the stark differences in the Kremlin’s message versus free world news agency reports! It seems the façade of law and order is just that. It’s springtime in Russia! To the barricades!
MONTENEGRO TO APPROVE NATO ACCESSION
BBC reports, “Montenegro is set to approve accession to Nato on Friday in the face of Russian disapproval.” The parliament will ratify the decision later but in the meanwhile Moscow has decided to ban Montenegrin wine imports. The country is a gorgeous vacation spot very, very popular with Russians and Serbs, especially the beach areas around Budva and nearby Sveti Stefan where Tito once hosted the American actress Elizabeth Taylor. So for now, at least it’s not a travel embargo like the one that did so much damage to Turkey.
PENTAGON TOLD FLYNN DON’T TAKE FOREIGN FUNDS
CNN reports, “Former national security adviser Michael Flynn was warned by the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014 against accepting foreign payments as he entered retirement,” citing documents obtained by the House oversight committee. The Department of Defense has also begun investigating Flynn “according to an April 11 letter released by the oversight committee Thursday.” The Washington Post reports the letter sent by Defense Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine “will try to determine whether Flynn ‘failed to obtain required approval prior to receiving’ the payments”. The top Democrat on the oversight committee Rep. Elijah Cummings said, “These documents raise grave questions about why General Flynn concealed the payments he received from foreign sources after he was warned explicitly by the Pentagon”.
—–APOCALYPSE WATCH: FRENCH ELECTIONS SPECIAL—–
MACRON BANS RUSSIAN DISINFO OUTELTS, RUSSIA WHINES UNFAIR
Russia, the eternal victim of its own bad policies who like Trump is incapable of self-reflection or culpability, is lashing out at the campaign of Emmanuel Macron for banning propagandists it has mislabeled journalists or correspondents. Reuters reports, “Russia accused French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign team of discriminating against its media,” as if what they do is credible as opposed to disinformation. The Macron campaign countered “that the Russian state-funded Sputnik news agency and RT TV channel had been barred from having media access to him, describing them as a ‘two-headed entity’ which issued Russian state propaganda and fake news.” Correct. Of course Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, who, of course has dropped the pretense of these outlets being independent of Putin’s propaganda machine, called it “outrageous,” because she is prone to fits of near hysteria whenever Russia gets shut out of things for its miscreant antics.
BACK ON THE HILL: CLINT “FOLLOW THE TRAIL OF DEAD RUSSIANS” WATTS
The Daily Beast published what appears to be Clint Watts testimony on the Hill yesterday in its near entirety. In it, the former FBI agent focused on counter-terror efforts who said last time he was on the Hill “active measures came to me,” and perhaps more famously that the investigations should “follow the trail of dead Russians,” outlines the contours of Russian disinfo operations into five broad areas: create, push, share, discuss and challenge. “Americans obsessed with social media” (and their mass media, TRUMPISTAN WATCH would add), are vulnerable and broadly fit into three categories as targets: useful idiots, fellow travelers or ideologically aligned due to pre-existing biases, and agent provocateurs. This last category probably has general overlap with the sort of people who are vulnerable to violent suggestions of FBI informants or agents or otherwise prone to lashing out. Critically to the Russian effort, they recruited top talent, “Actual humans, not artificial intelligence, achieved Russia’s recent success in information warfare.” America is inclined to treat this as a tech problem because technological hopeful evangelism has blinded people to the sorts of dangers we have experienced as a result of active measures. Do not be fooled that we don’t need actual humans with actual ideas, especially as the world is at a point of an ideological vacuum and any ideas could sweep the hearts and minds of humanity, simply by appearing in a vacuum, not on their worth or merit alone. Of our own efforts, Watts could not be more clear that it bears printing in full: “Over more than a decade, I’ve repeatedly observed the U.S. buying technology tools in the cyber- influence space for problems they don’t fully understand. These tech tool purchases have excessively focused on social media analytical packages producing an incomprehensible array of charts depicting connected dots with different colored lines. Many of these technology products represent nothing more than modern snake oil for the digital age.”
From The Daily Beast.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
ACTIVE MEASURES WATCH: REX TILLERSON
The New York Times reports 200 State Department posts remain unfilled and Russian Order of Friendship medal recipient Rex Tillerson, a walking, talking, breathing active measure, does not give a damn because LOL he is just moonlighting as a Secretary of State while waiting for his big ExxonMobil stock options payout and likely whatever other dirty money business he has cooked up. There is just simply no way this guy is working for America or for the American people. We would not even know which president he would answer to because Trump is a puppet and Mattis and McMaster are actually in charge of foreign policy it seems. There could be others, how well informed is anyone just reading press accounts or even on the inside of this disastrous administration? The government is simply too big and there is too much that is unknowable. The Russian Embassy probably knows more than most any other sources. Tillerson will take time to pretend to look busy on a listening tour while leaving most jobs unfilled, The New York Times reports. He will not appoint people until he dawdles some more in an effort to stretch the by-design of active measures vacancies into 2018 because of the Senate confirmation process. Also because that’s the name of the game when the Russians capture your state: wear down the people, force an exodus of competent people, purge, outlast the initial energy of civil society and then loot, damage, destroy and subvert. So whose mission is Rex fulfilling? America’s or Russia’s? If actions speak louder than words, it is surely not hard to answer that question. Memo to the dinosaur fucking up the future: the next generation would like a chance at a free and democratic future like you had to build your fortunes. Just sayin’.
From The New York Times.
RUSSIA IS HOPELESS + DRUNK YELTSIN WAS THEIR BEST LEADER EVER
Russian state-run Sputnik writes that the independent Levada Center has named three politicians Russians trust with Putin receiving an 82 percent approval rating. It might be even higher if not for the fact that too much higher and that might seem even more fake than it already is. After Putin, Russians approve of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Fifty four percent of respondents were dissatisfied with Dmitry Medvedev, but only 18 percent disapprove of Putin. If that’s real, then it is not just the American people who are without any sense and people everywhere are stupid.
FACEBOOK AND FAKE NEWS – IT’S A FAKT!
According to CNBC, “Facebook says some groups tried to use its platform to sway the outcome of the U.S. presidential election,” and its own internal investigation does not contradict the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) assessment of January 6. CNBC reports, Facebook said it “found several instances of ‘information operations,’ its term for governments and organizations who attempt to sway political opinion”. What does this mean? It means the company found “malicious accounts making people aware of stolen information from sources like email accounts, with the intent the data could be used to tarnish specific political figures.” Now the bigger problem: Facebook “detected fake accounts created to share this private information, as well as pages to further propagate news accounts sharing the stolen content. Because of the boost in attention, other real accounts began to share the private information as well,” which is everything you have been warned about by TRUMPISTAN WATCH. Recall: the left is no more innocent of this than the right. There is disinformation and misinformation out there now targeting each of us based on all the data we have already surrendered willingly because the tech gods said trust us — and no one should have. Stop giving away your private lives on social media, now it is being used against you! Have a private life to guard against encroaching authoritarianism!
SHIT SERGEY LAVROV SAYS: REBRANDING ATTEMPT OF “POST-WEST WORLD”
Recall when earlier this year Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov went to the Munich Security Conference and gave a declaration of a post-West world as part of Russia’s victory dance for their America operations but instead it came on the heels of General Michael Flynn’s ouster? Yeah we are stretching way back into season one, because every month now is at least a year. In essence, Lavrov hoped to declare victory for Moscow by proclaiming a “post-West world” but instead the signs were obvious that the military was clawing back the state from a bunch of Russian foreign operatives squatting in the White House. As one can imagine in slightly better times, Lavrov’s words fell like a dud. Well now at a Moscow Conference on International Security covered by Voice of America, Lavrov spoke of “a polycentric world order,” which is a very neutered and watered down version of his far catchier Munich phrase that failed to do much more than point out Russia’s impotence.
From Voice of America.
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
THE SIMPSONS TAKES ON TRUMP’S FIRST 100 DAYS
You did not think TRUMPISTAN WATCH would leave you alone without some humor for a kicker before everyone goes on suicide watch over Trump’s first 100 days in office, did you? Fun fact: at the March for Science, TRUMPISTAN WATCH ran into a certain high school physics teacher whose class occurred during the greatest physics lesson of our lives, namely September 11. When the topic of Trump’s first 100 days came up, the teacher who was able to turn the TV off after Tower One was hit replied earnestly, “Has it been that long already?” Indeed. So, “The Simpsons” took it on and it is brilliant and well worth your time. Russia gets a nod when Ivanka is named to the Supreme Court and her robe is for sale with the price is mentioned in rubles. It ends with grandpa being taken away to where he came from and when Marge asks where that is, as he is being dragged off David Dao on United Airlines style he shouts, “I don’t remember.” The layers are always something “The Simpsons” excelled at. This may be the crown jewel on that cultural crown of shining achievements.
From “The Simpsons”.
RESISITANCE ADVICE: SURVIVING 100 DAYS
AMERICA ON COLLECTIVE SUICIDE WATCH
Suicide Prevention Hotline (in America): 1-800-273-8255
This is included in case anyone feels the need to talk to someone this weekend. Know you are not alone and millions of Americans are having trouble sleeping and mental health issues as a result of this presidency. If you are afraid for your family, know that again, millions share your concerns. But we need you to survive alive. And know that TRUMPISTAN WATCH shares your concerns and also understands some things are above our nonexistent at the moment pay grade.