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—–ON THE AGENDA—–

 

GAME OVER? PLEASE SAY YES PLEASE SAY YES

The Washington Examiner, the Lynn Sweet of the Trump era, reports Trump and Putin will speak by phone today at 12:30pm EST. “After the call, Trump will talk with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.” So the White House dad will talk to him and hopefully punish him for being such a dumb, treasonous loser. If not tomorrow then some day soon, please.

From The Washington Examiner.

 

MERKEL + PUTIN BY THE SEASHORES OF SOCHI

The Russian and German leaders are meeting in Sochi today, Merkel’s first trip to Russia in two years. The two are set to discuss the usual: Ukraine, Syria, terrorism and likely a side of election interference and hybrid warfare. Russian state-run TASS reports, “The formal reason for the chancellor’s visit to Russia after a two-year hiatus is preparations for the G20 summit to be held in Hamburg in July.” Oh and they will discuss Libya and “prospects for bilateral relations”. The amount of attention Russian state-run TASS lends this event suggests Putin is really eager for the legitimacy of the real leader of the free world. However as much as Putin might like the rest of the world to look passed his antics, Deutsche Welle begins its disposition on the Merkel-Putin visit by reminding readers that the same hacking entity, “Fancy Bear” or Apt28 that hacked the U.S. elections hacked the German parliament, the Bundestag, at the end of April 2015. Good on the Germans for having a sense of historical memory.

From Russian state-run TASS and Deutsche Welle.

 

—–BREAKING—–

 

“PUTIN CHUCKLED IN RESPONSE.”

USA Today reports Oliver Stone got to ask Putin, “Why did Russia hack the election?” in his forthcoming work of propaganda about the Russian leader. “Putin chuckled in response.” You can now watch the teaser trailer before it appears on Showtime next month because corporate mass media has learned nothing because now it has food. Boycott!

From USA Today.

 

TRUMP WON’T STAND BY HIS OWN BOGUS WIRETAP CLAIM NOW

Remember DARKNESS AT NUNES? The whole alleged wiretap scandal where Trump tweeted after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Obama had him wiretapped illegally but he had no evidence to substantiate any such claim because he does not understand how any of this works? The White House doubled down on Trump’s vague allegation for days and weeks as a way to deflect attention from the burgeoning scandal into the numerous and dubious ties his regime maintains to Russia? They even dragged Susan Rice into it. The chairman of the House intelligence committee Rep. Devin Nunes (hence, DARKNESS AT NUNES) recused himself from the investigation then fell under an ethics investigation himself. There was an aborted, cover of darkness Uber ride that led Nunes to the White House to review some mysterious documents the White House will never flash again alongside political kommissar assigned to the National Security Council Ezra Cohen-Watnick. Remember all that? It is part of, sort of why the mass media, with the attention span of a gnat fly, is not talking about Russia any more. When it fizzled, Trump (or the military) escalated to escalations in proxy wars and ratcheted up rhetoric around North Korea. Remember? Do not forget! Milan Kundera reminds us the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting. Now Trump does not stand by any of his loose middle of the night accusations on Twitter. He told CBS News’ John Dickerson, “I don’t stand by anything.” Isn’t that who you want ostensibly controlling nuclear weapons? The military? The nation? Trump behaved just as he did when BBC Panorama asked him about Felix Sater, in fact he even made the same fat ugly pursed lips face, and ended the interview early with Dickerson just as he had with BBC.

From BuzzFeed.

 

“ANYTIME IS A GOOD TIME” TO SANCTION RUSSIA, HOWEVER…

POLITICO reports the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will not be moving forward with further sanctions against Russia that would have been included in a round of sanctions against Iran. Senator Bob Corker struck a deal with Democrats on the committee and ranking Democrat Senator Ben Cardin, a human rights hawk. They “have agreed to move forward on a measure to counter Russian influence in Eastern Europe without using sanctions as well as an Iran sanctions bill.” Senator Marco Rubio, who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, was displeased (as is TRUMPISTAN WATCH for the same damn reason), “I think anytime is a good time for Russia sanctions given everything they’ve done”. Night time, day time, spring time, winter time, any time.

From POLITICO.

 

T REX + LAVROV, A PERFECT MATCH

Reuters reports Russian Order of Friendship medal recipient and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Monday regarding Syria talks scheduled to begin in Astana May 3-4 and “They also agreed to hold talks during an Arctic Council event in Fairbanks, Alaska, on May 10-11,” Reuters reports. Peas in a pod.

From Reuters.

 

U.S. COURT DISMISSES CLAIM AGAINST VENEZUELA’S STATE OIL COMPANY

As part of a much larger saga involving Rosneft giving a bailout to the Venezuelan government via the state oil company Petroleros de Venezuela S.A., known by the acronym PDVSA, a Canadian mining firm, Crystallex, had sued in U.S. court in a move that appeared to protect PDVSA’s shares in U.S. oil company Citgo falling into Rosneft’s hands. Get all that? It’s like the oil company equivalent of a reality TV love triangle involving Rosneft, Venezuela’s state oil company and Citgo. PDVSA’s shares combined with Rosneft’s existing shares in Citgo would give Rosneft a controlling stake should PDVSA or the Venezuelan government default, which it has not — yet. Now Law360 reports, “A federal judge dismissed Venezuela’s state-owned oil company from Canadian mining company Crystallex’s lawsuit seeking to stop it from shifting assets away out of U.S. subsidiaries to evade a $1.4 billion arbitral award, finding the court lacked personal jurisdiction over the South American company.” According to Law360, PDVSA had “argued Crystallex’s complaint failed to establish an exemption from the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.” Stay tuned as this one got flagged by American mass media and Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, where several Citgo refineries are located.

From Law360.

 

FOUR MORE SECRET DETENTION + TORTURE FACILITIES IN CHECHNYA

The Ukrainian paper Hromadske’s English edition online published an excerpt from a new Novaya Gazeta exposé on the abuse and detention of homosexual men in Chechnya. Recall, Chechnya is a part of Russia, not some separate entity. In its report excerpted by Hromadske, Novaya Gazeta reports, “All these testimonies are similar even to the smallest detail, including the nature and manner of their torture, the room with the so-called ‘electric chair’, the degradation, and the hierarchy within the prison.”   Consistency in torture reports is often a sign of accuracy as it is hard to coordinate disparate and traumatized victims, it is also in the words of one Chicago police torture victim, because “the pain stays in your head.” “At the moment, ‘Novaya Gazeta’ knows about at least six secret prisons in Chechnya, which illegally (without due process) keep hundreds of citizens locked up, including those suspected of being homosexual.” That’s insane. And sick. And sad. And not how we want to live in America because we have come too far to go back. And the kicker? The region’s strongman Ramzan Kadyrov seems to be very well informed of the situation, despite all the official denials.

From Hromadske.

 

NAVALNY SUPPORTERS TRACK DOWN HIS ATTACKERS, HE ACCUSES KREMLIN

The Moscow Times reports that following the airing of footage of last week’s green antiseptic attack on Alexey Navalany on REN TV over the weekend, his supporters have used the footage to track down his attackers. Navalny supporter Eugene Bryzgalin realized “Ren-TV’s website actually contained another three versions of the same video clip, including one version that revealed the face of the second man in the footage.” So mystery man! The Moscow Times reports, “Bloggers later identified the second man as Alexei Kulakov, a member of the radical pro-Kremlin movement ‘SERB.’ The newspaper Novaya Gazeta contacted Kulakov, who first denied but soon admitted to being present at the attack, though he says he didn’t know what would happen, and now condemns the act. Meanwhile an anonymous Twitter user speculated on the identity of the main attacker and believes “the man who attacked Navalny is most likely Alexander Petrunko, the SERB activist who infamously splashed a bottle of urine at photographs by Jock Sturges at a controversial exhibition in Moscow last September.” Last year in February, “Petrunko smashed a pie into Navalny’s face outside the Moscow office of the Anti-Corruption Foundation – the same place Navalny was attacked with antiseptic last week.” It does not help that other photos on social media of Petrunko show he has the same body type and clothing nor that “Petrunko openly threatened Navalny on Facebook, commenting on a BBC story about Navalny’s protest activities, ‘We’re preparing a bucket of zelyonka [antiseptic] — personally for that dickhead, crooked, parasitic cardshark thief NavaLIESny [sic].’” Navalny formally accused the Kremlin in involvement in the attack on the heels of these reports, according to The Telegraph. See, the thugs are not so clever; it is why they must be thugs.

From The Moscow Times and The Telegraph.

 

—–APOCALYPSE WATCH: FRENCH ELECTIONS SPECIAL—–

 

MACRON COMPARES MOSCOW MARINE TO HER OWNER

POLITICO reports the French elections are finally delivering some fine Russia-related theater, “French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron compared his opponent [Moscow] Marine Le Pen Monday to Russian President Vladimir Putin and said that if she wins, her policies will bring ‘economic war’ to France.” Bravo. A fine political strike by Macron, also entirely accurate and with some fine rhetorical and theatrical flourishes. Macron was “Addressing an audience at a May Day rally in Paris,” perhaps his first occasion doing so as he was formerly in finance but no matter, when he said Moscow Marine’s National Front’s “program of protectionism, isolationism and nationalism leads to economic war, misery and war in general.” Politics is about two things: theater and results. We like this theater and hope for good results Sunday. Vive la France!

From POLITICO.

 

—–INVESTIGATIONS, INVESTIGATIONS—–

 

MATERIAL INCONSISTENCIES IN A MATERIAL WORLD

BuzzFeed reports, “Senate Judiciary Committee chair Chuck Grassley has asked the FBI to answer for apparent ‘material inconsistencies’ in information it has presented him regarding the unverified dossier alleging that Russia was in a position to blackmail President Donald Trump.” This is the Steele dossier. While reports first appeared in the press Monday, Senator Grassley sent the letter to FBI Director James Comey April 28.   Grassley wrote in this letter, “Whether those inconsistencies were honest mistakes or an attempt to downplay the actual extent of the FBI’s relationship with [the author of the dossier] Mr. [Christopher] Steele, it is essential that the FBI fully answer all of the questions”. While Grassley was mum citing classified documents, he did have issues concerning the “‘startling lack of responsiveness from the FBI’ with regards to the committee’s request for information surrounding the resignation of former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn”. Wow. Ongoing investigation?

From BuzzFeed.

 

—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–

 

MEMOIRS OF TRUMP TRASH

Ivanka has a book out! She probably did not write a word of it, as such celebrity affairs are usually trite ghostwritten rubbish, but nonetheless let’s pretend as if it is a variation of her authentic self. The Guardian headline sums it up, “I’m a working mom who can’t always get a massage”. A CNN headline is more generous, as our press has always been to the Aryan princess, treating her with kid gloves, “I’ve thrown work-life balance out the window”. Oh poor princess, she works so hard at debasing America so she can suck at everything in her life. Evidently that forces Aryan princess into “survival mode”. God help us. At one point she evidently writes, “Becoming comfortable authentically expressing myself,” which is perhaps the most authentic expression in and of itself. Evidently one must work at being so authentically contrived.

From The Guardian and CNN.