On Saturday, thousands protested across Russia. Reuters reports, “One of hundreds shepherded into a queue behind metal barriers by police before handing over their petitions one-by- one, Anna, a 16-year-old Moscow schoolgirl, said she hoped Putin would get the message and not run again.” Anna told Reuters, “Nothing positive has happened in our country on his watch and I have the sense that things are getting worse, and that the main problem is the fact that those in power are the same”. It’s like Russia’s youth and America’s youth desire a future or something resembling it absent a nuclear cloud! How dare they! Activists disputed the turnout figures as per standard operating procedure, with Moscow authorities suggesting 250 showed and Open Russia claiming 500 handed their petitions for better governance over to the authorities. Compared to the protests organized by Alexey Navalny, these latest protests were smaller. Reuters also notes the day before the march, “On Friday, REN TV, a Russian TV channel, broadcast a documentary about Open Russia activists, some of whom it accused of having criminal records, of being drug addicts, and of cultivating close links with the U.S. government.” This is a Soviet KGB tactic pro forma. The more things change…

From Reuters.



Saturday night, the nominal president of the United States held a rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to commemorate 100 days in office in lieu of attending the White House Correspondents Association dinner, as per tradition, where he was lightly roasted in his absence (see: RADIO MOSCOW at the end). Besides saying a bunch of horrifically anti-democratic and inflammatory things about the media and immigrants and reading “a poem” called “The Snake,” in which he likens a pet snake that bites its caretaker to Syrian refugees. In the middle of this complete shitshow, Mashable reports, “as he was speaking, someone tossed a bunch of tiny Russian flags, confetti-style, in front of the cameras streaming his speech to news networks.” Unpresidented!

From Mashable.



The AP reports, “A Washington lobbying firm that worked under the direction of Paul Manafort’s firm registered Friday with the Justice Department as a foreign agent — the same day a spokesman for Manafort backed off his previous statement that Manafort had decided to register” as a foreign agent. According to the AP, “As of Friday, two of the lobbying firms involved in the influence campaign on behalf of Ukrainian interests have acknowledged that their work should have been disclosed to the Justice Department.” On Friday, Mercury LLC registered as a foreign agent and “disclosed that Manafort was involved in its lobbying work, attending meetings with Mercury managing partner Vin Weber. Weber had previously told the AP that Manafort played no role in Mercury’s work.” Why the lie to cover something up? And why the reversal now? AP reports Manafort’s spokesman, “downplayed Manafort’s involvement as it was detailed in Mercury’s filing,” telling the news wire, “One meeting with one lawmaker connected to this topic in a two-year period looks like incidental contact to fair-minded Americans.” That “fair-minded” is a bit much! But then consider it refers to Rep. Dana “Russia apologist” Rohrbacher, and well, it is clear the spokesman meant “like-minded”. POLITICO reports the other meetings Manafort attended involved former Arizona Republican Congressman Jim Kolbe of the International Republican Institute; Paula Dobriansky of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government; and Nadia Diuk of the National Endowment for Democracy,” and that “The lobbying effort was on behalf of a Brussels-based think tank that supported Ukraine’s Party of Regions, headed at the time by former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, a Manafort client.” Oh, hello! This meeting was one of four attended by Manafort in the latest reveal. Excuse us, filing.

From The AP and POLITICO.



Dana Boente has been named acting Attorney General for National Security, “on the heels of his most recent high-profile task: serving as the acting deputy attorney general,” POLITICO reports. On Wednesday, Rod Rosenstein was sworn in as Deputy Attorney General, making Boente available for the new job. If the Russians were not interested in him and his office already, they will be now 100 percent as, “Boente will continue to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, a post to which he was confirmed under President Barack Obama in 2015. The office has jurisdiction over the Pentagon, the CIA and other security agencies in Northern Virginia, so it often handles high-profile espionage, leak and terrorism cases — the same kinds of cases overseen by Justice’s National Security Division.” Earlier this year, after acting Attorney General Sally Yates was fired for refusing to enforce Trump’s Muslim travel ban, Boente was briefly promoted and “said he would defend the order.” He has worked at the Department of Justice since 1984.




Thank you German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel! The American people know Angela speaks to us without saying a word, but Gabriel has spoken directly to us with words and we are grateful! The Telegraph reports, “Mr Gabriel made clear his disdain in an unusually outspoken interview with several German regional papers,” telling them, “It always bothers me when members of a family, who have never been elected, show up suddenly as official state representatives and are treated almost as if they were members of a royal family”. TRUMPISTAN WATCH too! First world nations do not have royal families in the modern era. Obviously if Aryan princess Ivanka had an iota of self-awareness she would never have sat on a stage with Merkel, IMF Chief Christine Lagarde and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland because she does not belong in such company as merely the daughter or some bogus unpaid advisor who knows nothing of international relations besides how to front a shady deal as a mafia bride.

From The Telegraph.



The person TRUMPISTAN WATCH imagines serving the role closest to that of the one previously served by the president as far as setting policy from the White House (at the very least helpful for inducing sleep for even a few hours at night), National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, was again on Fox News Sunday. Trump might have the formal role of president, but McMaster is the adult in charge and the only person in the White House who seems to have respect from the U.S. government beyond the White House walls. He also has agent of Ivanka, Dina Powell, as a deputy, which is enormously useful as far as public relations. It is also an indication McMaster is going to war with the army he has, not necessarily the one he desires, but then who wanted a Russian coup? In any event, McMaster, as such, is leading us in this war against the Russian cancer on our state, telling Fox News Sunday that Putin is “acting against the Russian people’s interest,” which is way more than one could ever expect from the orange lunatic. McMaster also said there needs to be “a change in behavior,” from Russia before relations could improve which is fabulous because that’s something you say to a little boy to scold him. Recall, Putin is just a scared little boy who likely feels abandoned by his mother and is therefore desperate for attention.

From Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.



If there was any indication Russian Order of Friendship medal recipient and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson were actually working on behalf of the American people, 2,300 jobs being cut at State would look like nothing more than the corporate sector shedding of humans they no longer deem useful. Well, given everything we do not know about Tillerson’s loyalties and the fact that his now gutted State Department is no longer guiding foreign policy but the military is, there is much room to wonder why now, why these jobs and what good will it do at a time we need to rebuild our foreign policy and have a Secretary of State whose loyalties we, the American people, do not have to question.   Bloomberg reports 1,700 of the cuts will come through attrition with 600 through buyouts. T Rex and the administration he serves must really want the next generation to not have a future.

From Bloomberg.



The Daily Beast reports the White House “Weighs” removing idiot lunatic neo-Nazi nationalist with no credentials and the ego of a child Sebastian Gorka, as if there is really any other possibility at this point. The Washington Examiner follows it up by saying Gorka will be reassigned outside the White House in a role that will deal with the “war of ideas,” which is not good either. Allegedly his White House role on Steve Bannon’s bogus “Strategic Initiatives Group” that was supposed to politicize national security “was always meant to be temporary,” but that is like when someone loses their job but always wanted to be “in consulting”. It’s become clear he really has no clue what he is doing, is a racist, anti-Semitic xenophobe with a deep history among Hungary’s far right, no legitimacy to demand he be called Doctor and his father seems to have some curious ties to British intelligence. In recent days, his Hungarian Nazi-related party past has been called into question as has his doctorate and his day-to-day activities in the White House in such publications as The Washington Post, Buzz Feed, and the little ethnic press that started it all, The Forward. Someone also trolled through his Twitter follows and lil’ Seb follows a lot of accounts about knives, The New York Observer reports. Recall that paper is now in the hands of a Kushner Family Trust.

From The Daily Beast and The New York Observer.



The Forward, the Jewish American paper responsible for breaking the story of Trump’s counterterrorism advisor Sebastian Gorka’s ties to Hungarian neo-Nazis, reports, “President Donald Trump’s bulldog lawyer Michael Cohen will serve as a deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee”. Recall Cohen also was present when Felix Sater brokered a meeting with pro-Russian Ukrainian MP Andrii Artemenko as a back channel to then National Security Advisor Michael Flynn to just give Russia everything it wants in Ukraine. Why whose money might he help bring in to bankroll the Russia Party? Is it dirty or was it laundered? No matter, it will all be naughty and possibly illegal if anyone ever gets around to issues indictments some day, maybe, we hope, please. Curiously, “In its announcement, the RNC listed Cohen as among a group of ‘longtime friends of the Party.’ But Cohen has only been a member of the Republican Party since March 9, according to his Twitter feed.”

From The Forward.





Is anyone surprised to hear that those who support the lunatic and see him as a benign paternal figure overseeing the republic like a plantation owner would continue to stand by their man? What good is paternalism if there are no hostages, slaves and women to beat about? Violence is grand. And his daughter is hot — remember? POLITICO reports, “Donald Trump is languishing in the polls as he approaches the 100-day mark in the White House, but a new survey released Thursday shows the president’s voters are still firmly in his corner,” so they will do whatever the Russians want. The presence of neo-Nazis and foreign agents does not perturb them. The University of Virginia Center for Politics poll shows 93 percent of Trump voters approve of the job being done by the reality TV show star/Twitter blogger as president. That’s insane. Let that sink in. They are really enjoying the show. On BBC Hard Talk last week, Niklas Frank, the son of occupied Poland’s war-time Nazi leader Hans Frank, said his father loved Hitler more than he did his family. For this level of collective delusion over one man to hold, we must assume some have grown an attachment that runs deeper than familial bonds as the essential appeal is a paternal figure striking a posture of success who will make all things happen and better with the snap of a finger. They hold onto this delusion despite all signs indicating the contrary because Fox News is beaming a bunch of beautiful lies about the effectiveness of this lunatic, or they have simply tuned out at a point they found agreeable.




Guess which leftist blowhard given to hagiographies that favor Moscow’s world view in his old age has a new documentary about Putin coming out!? If you guessed Oliver Stone, good, you win nothing! But we all lose much respect for Stone, together. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Stone interviewed the Russian dictator four times and came out with a favorable impression of course. According to propagandist Stone, Putin “talks pretty straight” and just wants to “prevent continued misunderstanding.” Ok, Oliver Stone, WAKE UP WAKE UP! The man caused a coup here, installed a bunch of Nazis, racists and fascists, several of whom have registered retroactively as foreign agents, and this is Stone’s creative response to the present turmoil? Good grief. His past non-achievements of the genre of Russian state propaganda include a work portraying the mass murder of innocent Ukrainian civilians in Maidan from a viewpoint favorable to Moscow, so legitimizing the slaughter of innocents. What a long way Stone has fallen in his old age. There is no climbing back from an abyss this deep.

From The Hollywood Reporter.



The Guardian’s Moscow correspondent Shawn Walker profiled Alexey Navalny. The head of the Anti-Corruption Foundation and Kremlin critic running for president of Russia next year in what is seemingly a symbolic act of protest that could grow into more. Navalny speaks of life inside Russia from his peculiar prism of opposition leader. He lives in an unassuming suburb of Moscow in an ordinary flat with his wife Yulia and their two kids. Every time he is arrested, he said the police tell him good work but Putin’s foreign policy is great. Russians will suffer if they believe the empire is checking American imperialism, as if they have a choice in the matter. Of Navalny’s most recent video attacking Medvedev, “Everyone already thought Medvedev was pathetic and pointless, but it turns out he’s pathetic, pointless and a billionaire.” Navalny is absolutely right in his conclusion, “all autocratic regimes come to an end.” Well worth the read, most of all for the insight into how cynical the Russians are after a century of various forms and degrees of terror. It is a level of cynicism that is beyond even for TRUMPISTAN WATCH.

From The Guardian.



While privileged civilians are buttering their popcorn for the front room political reality show lacking a sex scandal to date, Stars and Stripes reports thousands of U.S. troops will be deployed to Europe and Afghanistan this summer. “About 5,700 U.S. soldiers will deploy later this year to Afghanistan and Europe on regular troop rotations, the Army announced Thursday,” according to Stars and Stripes. The new rotations will not increase the size of the American presence in either Europe or Afghanistan, the Pentagon said. The White House has abandoned control over troop levels due to an absence of leadership and an abundance of Russian agents running around. The struggle to get the military back under civilian control will come to define the lives of those of us who live long enough. For now, though, it’s Mattis deciding the FMLs and ordering department reviews of the FMLs. Recall, that’s Force Management Levels – did you imagine otherwise?

From Stars and Stripes.


So when a RAND Corporation study comes out discussing how one might “neutralize” a Russian enclave on the Baltic where nuclear weapons and an increased Russian military presence are developments of just the last few years, don’t expect Switzerland. The Rand study interviewed experts from several Baltic nations and synthesized their fears into a single outward semi-bellicose statement that reflects real regional security desires, as there is literally no other country engaging in this level of errant antics. Hint: the only thing that will become Switzerland is the banking system.

From The National Interest.




Yes you read that right, as no one has provided a proper explainer yet on how this one is different from jihadis who flash one finger (ostensibly to symbolize a monotheistic god, Allah) or gangs in Chicago making symbolic hand gestures. The Russian mafia state’s paid trolls which certainly includes a woman named Cassandra Fairbanks, now a correspondent for Russian state-run RT, previously a disinformation operation run by Denis Klimentov of RusInfoService who was last seen providing quotes to The New York Times and CNN on behalf of the New Economic School in Moscow with regards to Carter Page’s speech (looks like he got recalled to Moscow; his probable progeny or relative appears to run social media for The Atlantic, so more where that came from!). Mike Cernovich, who was involved in perpetuating Trump’s bogus wiretap allegation which led Donald “Uday” Jr. to declare he should get a Pulitzer, and the loony pizza-gate conspiracy, may just be an ideologically aligned fellow traveler or on the Kremlin’s payroll, we do not know at this stage. What we do know is that the two, Fairbanks and Cernovich, appeared in the White House press briefing room for some reason for a photo and made a hand gesture that has become associated with the far right and is ultimately indicative of some sort of hate speech. If you grew up in Chicago, you know a gang sign when you see it, as such let’s call a spade as such. Let’s take out the trash soon, America.

From The Independent.



Quartz reports on an interview Katie Couric did for Yahoo! News with Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova where Couric asks Zakharova point blank about reports of gay Chechens being tortured and disappearing in Russia. (Chechnya is NOT a separate country, it is part of modern Russia.) Zakharova becomes very flustered and tries to shut down the topic, many times declaring herself “not an expert” in things she would rather ignore so she can go on living a comfortable life at the expense of justifying the brutal, vicious acts of the war criminals and murderers in her own ministry and the Kremlin. This should get as much attention as possible so do watch over and over again and share over and over again on social media, it is the first true sign we have of the shame that befalls the human condition when employed by the Russian mafia state, assuming one is capable. Should we congratulate Zakharova on retaining some of the attributes of humanity through it all?

From Quartz.



If only it were possible to believe a word out of the mouths of Russian officials, it would be a positive thing when Reuters reports “Moscow is ready to cooperate with the United States on settling the Syrian crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday,” citing Russian news agencies, e.g. official organs of the state. Of course terrorism and the global war against it is the canard being offered because the rhetoric unites despots against whoever they deem undesirable, which is not a defense of terror of any kind, merely an inoculation against efforts of state-backed sort. “Russian authorities reiterate periodically that they stand ready to renew cooperation with Washington on Syria and, more globally, on fighting terrorism,” Reuters notes. Reuters also cites a Russian state-run Interfax report that, “Lavrov’s deputy Mikhail Bogdanov also said on Saturday that Russian authorities hope that Syrian armed opposition will take part in Syria peace talks in Kazakhstan’s Astana on May 3-4”. Why do the Russians want out just when America is really ready to let them bleed out? Let’s not pretend this is about morality or extremism or red lines anymore, shall we?

From Reuters.





Next year’s congressional midterm elections in 2018 are not such a long way away. Reporters are now tracking candidates’ financial ties to Russia, especially if they defend Trump. The Guardian tracks one Greg Gianforte running in Montana who “has financial ties to a number of Russian companies that have been sanctioned by the US,” including “just under $250,000 in shares in two index funds that are invested in the Russian economy to match its overall performance.” According to The Guardian, “the Montana tech mogul owns almost $150,000 worth of shares in VanEck Vectors Russia ETF and $92,400 in the IShares MSCF Russia ETF fund. Both are indexed to the Russian equities market and have significant holdings in companies such as Gazprom and Rosneft that came under US sanctions in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of the Crimea.” The assets represent a small part of his estimated $65-315 million fortune, most of which was attained by “starting a software company which was later sold to Oracle”. Gianforte is the Republican candidate in a May 25 special election since Ryan Zinke resigned to collaborate with the Trump administration as Secretary of the Interior.

From The Guardian.



Voice of America writes with Soviet tinges of the list of approved United Russia May Day slogans “distributed to its regional branches a list of 36 slogans that party activists should use during party activities next week marking the annual May Day holiday.” What could be more of the people than that? The slogans of course! They include, “Putin is for the People, He is Leading Russia to Success!” and the perennial classic, “Praise Honesty, Jail Bribe-takers!” Given how cynical the Russians are, one has to wonder who these slogans exist for? Presumably for the corrupt official who is in need of morale boosting legitimacy when not thieving and hustling.

From Voice of America.



This year’s White House Correspondents Association dinner was more meaningful than it has been since the year Stephen Colbert eviscerated then President George W. Bush as Bush sat beside him and took it. Hasan Minhaj more than sent the ball flying out of the park and despite, it seems being asked not to roast the administration in its absence, got some fine uppercuts in. He also danced and dueled with the media in a way that demonstrated pure class. And he made some jokes about the Russian coup that hit the mark. “We gotta address the elephant that’s not in the room. The leader of our country is not here,” Minhaj said, “And that’s because he lives in Moscow, it is a very long flight. It’d be hard for Vlad to make it. Vlad can’t just make it on a Saturday! As for the other guy, I think he’s in Pennsylvania because he can’t take a joke.” He also noted that the Trump’s sober 3 a.m. tweets are “because that’s 10 a.m. in Russia, those are business hours.” Worth watching the whole thing because it really is a celebration of the meaning of America and we can all use a reminder right about now.

From The Washington Post and BuzzFeed.