TRUMP IS READY TO GIVE RUSSIANS BACK THEIR SPY DEN AS BIG THANKS
The Washington Post reports, “The Trump administration is moving toward handing back to Russia two diplomatic compounds, near New York City and on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, that its officials were ejected from in late December as punishment for Moscow’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.” If he does so, it will be so clear to the world, as clear as it was last week at the NATO and G7 mini-summits (mini like his attention span and baby hands), that he is Putin’s puppet. The confiscation of the compounds is the closest thing Russians have suffered for their sustained interference in our democracy to help elect the puppet and keep him in place. The Washington Post reminds us, “President Barack Obama said Dec. 29 that the compounds were being ‘used by Russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes’ and gave Russia 24 hours to vacate them.” House intelligence committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff “urged President Trump not to return two diplomatic compounds,” to his Russian masters, according to The Hill. Schiff tweeted Wednesday, “.@POTUS should not return properties Russians used for espionage that were shuttered after they interfered in our election. Why reward them?” Because they helped Trump so much even though people are stupid and racist enough to vote for him without the Russians anyways. Talk about insecurity!
EXTRA PRIVATE RUSSIAN SESSIONS?
CNN reports, “Congressional investigators are examining whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions had an additional private meeting with Russia’s Ambassador during the presidential campaign,” citing Congressional and intelligence sources. An extra private Russian Sessions?! According to CNN, “They are focusing on whether such a meeting took place April 27, 2016, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, where then-candidate Donald Trump was delivering his first major foreign policy address.” “Prior to the speech,” both men “attended a small VIP reception with organizers, diplomats and others.” In this case, VIP stands for Very Important Puppet. Of course, Russian Ambassador Sergey “Kislyak listened to the speech from the front row.” NOT NORMAL! Not at all.
DARKNESS AT NUNES: INTERFERENCE BY SUBPOENA
POLITICO reports, “The House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday approved subpoenas for former national security adviser Michael Flynn and President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, as part of the panel’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the presidential election.” To avoid the Flynn kerfuffle and back and forth where he lies, waivers and takes the Fifth, which protects one against self-incrimination, the House intelligence committee “is also issuing subpoenas to businesses owned by the two men,” as businesses do not have the same rights as private citizens, even as corporations are people. Citing a Congressional source, POLITICO reports, “The subpoenas to Flynn and Cohen were among seven subpoenas issued by the House committee on Wednesday”. Only “Four of the subpoenas were related to the Russia probe,” while “three others were related to the issue of ‘unmasking,’” Trump and company’s distraction issue that plays to the far right and the far left, led by the voice of the anti-anti-Trump resistance Glenn Greenwald on the left and on the right by Sean “Make Russia Great Again” Hannity, both with messages that suspiciously overlap with the Kremlin’s these days. Witch hunt! Witch hunt! Of course these special “subpoenas related to the ‘unmasking’ issue would have been sent by Chairman Devin Nunes acting separately from the committee’s Russia investigation.” So look who else is still running interference: DARKNESS AT NUNES, the abysmal bastard. That one needs to take the ultimate journey into the whirlwind already!
SENATORS FOR SANCTIONS
Bloomberg reports, “Bipartisan leaders of the Senate Banking Committee announced a plan Wednesday to strengthen sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine and Syria, as well as internet intrusions in the U.S.” Yaaay! According to Bloomberg, “Panel Chairman Mike Crapo of Idaho and top Democrat Sherrod Brown of Ohio said their bill would authorize ‘broad’ new sanctions targeting sectors of Russia’s economy including mining, metals and railways.” Senator Lindsey Graham is also seeking more sanctions, “who has said he would try to attach such a measure to bipartisan Iran sanctions legislation expected to be sent to the Senate floor.” Bring it on and bring it on home!
RUSSIA IS BIG, MIGHTY + CAN BE DESTROYED BY ITS YOUNG PEOPLE
Just like a real superpower, Russia is great and powerful and can be destroyed by politically engaged youth! Ergo, the Kremlin must go hard after opposition leader Alexey Navalny, and it will do so using the only guidebook Putin knows, the ancient Soviet KGB one! First, The Telegraph reports, the “Russian opposition leader has been ordered to delete a Youtube video that inspired anti-government protests after a Moscow court ruled it defamed one of the country’s richest men,” Alsiher Usmanov, who is a co-owner in U.K. football club Arsenal and Putin’s chosen proxy for suing Navalny into oblivion. Defiant, “Navalny said he would refuse to comply with the order.” Next: intimidation of those associated, however loosely, with Navalny’s efforts. The Moscow Times reports, “An armed gang has violently beaten a man in Siberia after his family rented office space to the presidential campaign of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.” Leave no doubt this is a mafia state as, “The victim, the son of the campaign’s landlord in the city of Irkutsk, had been discussing repair work with the men before they began to beat him with baseball bats.” Last, treat the work of opposition, anti-statist (or, more accurately, in Soviet times, party, or not-so-modern Russia, Putin) forces like pornography. The Daily Mail reports, “Adult video site PornHub has uploaded a documentary criticizing Russian officials after the film’s creator, anti-corruption blogger Alexey Navalny, was told to take the film down by a Russian court.” PornHub retitled the video, “Russian Corrupted Politician F***** Hard,” which also deemed the video “hardcore” and “professional,” according to The Daily Mail. Now what are the chances this was done by the Russian state or actors on its behalf to contain the damage to Medvedev, who could be forced out soon or at least before the 2018 sham election and then all will be right with Russia again, in the eyes of the clueless Kremlin and state-run propaganda?
THIS COUNSEL IS VERY SPECIAL
Reuters reports on the appearance of conflicts of interests galore in the FBI’s special counsel’s team led by former WilmerHale partner and ex-FBI Director Robert Mueller, whose appointment was praised across the political spectrum. Reuters reports, “The two ex-Wilmer partners who have joined Mueller’s special counsel team, Aaron Zebley and James Quarles, were also [princeling Jared] Kushner’s lawyers. And they and Mueller represented former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, too, when they were Wilmer partners.” Are there no lawyers among the millions of lawyers in America who are detached from the Russia crew associated with this White House? As special counsel and company, “under the auspices of the Justice Department, Mueller, Zebley and Quarles will be examining interactions between Russian officials and their former clients Manafort and Kushner. And if the facts warrant it, they have the authority to prosecute their former client.” But would they and will they? Or as Reuters asks, “Is that ethical?” According to Reuters, “Under the Washington, D.C. bar’s rules of professional conduct, Mueller and the other former Wilmer partners on his team are free to investigate and even prosecute Manafort and Kushner – as long as the onetime Wilmer lawyers did not acquire confidential information about the firm’s clients.” That answers a legal question, but not quite the same as the ethical one. More complicated is “whether Wilmer would have been wise to have asked Kushner and Manafort to waive any potential Mueller conflict.” What can anyone do about this? Nothing. Reuters is right, “Predicting the path of a special counsel investigation is a sucker’s game. But unless someone can show Mueller and his deputies had more to do with the Kushner and Manafort representations than they and Wilmer have said, attempting to taint the investigation as conflicted seems to be a dead end.” The fate of the republic is in their hands and not even efforts by the White House, which “has already proposed undermining Mueller by citing conflicts,” as the White House “would almost certainly lose a challenge to Mueller’s appointment based on his supposed conflicts with Manafort and Kushner. Third parties like the president don’t have legal standing to seek disqualification based on someone else’s client relationship, the experts said, so judges generally disregard third party conflict allegations,” according to Reuters. However, the limits of our system though are being tested daily and one thing that has demonstrated itself over time is how much of our system is based on custom and with customs being shredded daily on the path to authoritarianism, it’s a fool’s game indeed.
AFTER THE COVFEFE: CRAZY CARTER PAGE
The Washington Post reports, “President Trump came to the defense of Carter Page — a former campaign adviser whose interactions with Russia are under investigation — in two tweets early Wednesday morning,” after Trump tried to erase the covfefe from our lives while not respecting that the covfefe is a part of us now, it lives in each of us and nothing and no one can kill the covfefe. Page was one of Trump’s foreign policy advisors with years spent in Russia and with Russians working for Merrill Lynch. The FBI request a FISA warrant a few years back after he was caught communicating with a known Russian spy who was passing himself off as an official with Vnesheconombank in New York. Whereas Trump and his crazy corrupt batch of Kremlin cronies can cry, “Witch hunt!” all they wish, unlike them, mere mortals, the covfefe is now eternal. s
From The Washington Post.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
MILITARIZATION OF THE ARCTIC: RUSSIAN R+D CENTERS TO OPEN
IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly reports, “The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is to establish an Arctic Research Centre this year to develop and test weapons systems for use and operation in extremely low temperatures, Lieutenant General Igor Makushev, chairman of the Russian Armed Forces Military-Scientific Committee, announced on 29 May.” At Putin’s behest, the research and development centers will open in “Arkhangelsk on the White Sea; Priozersk, 180 km north of St Petersburg on the northwest shore of Lake Ladoga; and in St Petersburg itself,” according to IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly.
RUSSIAN MAFIA STATE WITHOUT LIMITS
Russia Beyond the Headlines reports, “A scandal has erupted in Russia around cutlery and blankets worth five million rubles ($88,850) that the state-owned Rosneft oil company wanted to buy for its helicopter.” Last week, de facto opposition leader Alexey Navalny began criticizing Rosneft after “the Rosneft site had posted a document about the purchase of ‘interior items’ for their subsidiary RN-Aerocraft”. According to Russia Beyond the Headlines, “Navalny slammed the mentioned items as unreasonably expensive.” Navalny said, “They’ve gone mad with this luxury,” after itemized expenses posted by Rosneft included “vodka shot glasses that cost 11,000 rubles ($195) each, as well as blankets that cost 124,000 rubles ($2,203),” when the national average monthly salary in Russia is… wait for it… about “9,889 rubles ($175) per month.” Russia Beyond the Headlines reports, “Rosneft Press Secretary Mikhail Leontiev explained that the purchase is also needed to maintain the company image. ‘Making billion-dollar deals while serving food on ordinary plates is not very decorous,’ he said.” Can you imagine? Oligarchs’ and officials’ children frolick in Cannes (like Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov’s daughter Liza), Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and his guests dine in luxury in helicopters, and Russian people drink cheap bath lotion to get drunk. What a horror show of inhumanity. It’s like medieval times there. But of course those tasked with defending the horrific status quo like Rosneft spokesperson Leontiev lash out at Navalny for exposing them, whining “that it’s unlikely that Navalny ‘eats with his hands and wipes his mouth with his sleeve,’” according to Russia Beyond the Headlines. Other expenses include 1.6 million rubles of $28,000 for toilet repairs and three million rubles ($53,310) for regional officials in Novosibirsk to have catered feasts.
THE OLIGARCHS OF LONDONISTAN
With the average monthly salary of $175 per month in mind, Russia Beyond the Headlines cites a Kommersant report that “From January to April 2017 the number of applications from Russians interested in buying both residential and commercial property in London increased by 30 percent compared to the same period last year”. Where is this dirty money coming from if the average Russian makes $175 and business conditions in Russia are what one might call sub-ideal in polite company? Goodness! How can normal Russian people afford such a feat? (Answer: they cannot, these purchases are being made by corrupt officials and oligarchs and their children and others associated with the mafia state.) According to Russia Beyond the Headlines, “The most popular districts among Russians are central London,” are of course the fanciest, “including Chelsea, Westminster, Kensington and Mayfair,” but not Belgravia? Kensington is such a cliché! Compared to the British old money sensibility of if you have money you flaunt it in the most subtle ways, there is nothing subtle about blinged out new money Russians.
WASHINGTON POST TIMELINE OF PUTIN PUPPET V. REALITY
The Washington Post has an excellent timeline of “all the developments in the Trump-Russia controversy that Trump has blamed on Democrats” going back to May 2016 when James Clapper, then the Director of National Intelligence, “said his agency had seen indiciations of attempted cyberattacks on the campaigns.” Who else does this? Oh, Putin.
From The Washington Post.
THE GREAT LEADER IS A THOUSAND POINTS OF COVFEFE
The Washington Post reports, “White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks issued a statement about President Trump on Monday that is so disconnected from reality that it reads like a parody — like something ‘Saturday Night Live’ cooked up to mimic propaganda.” No joke, the statement came after The Washington Post reported “on Trump’s habit of cutting down staffers with insults.” Ready for it? This is some banana republic, third-rate dictator shit. In full, know that the dear leader “has a magnetic personality and exudes positive energy, which is infectious to those around him. He has an unparalleled ability to communicate with people, whether he is speaking to a room of three or an arena of 30,000. He has built great relationships throughout his life and treats everyone with respect. He is brilliant with a great sense of humor … and an amazing ability to make people feel special and aspire to be more than even they thought possible.” Doesn’t that sound like a cult leader? In Trumpistan, the febrile lunatic being praised by his own staff in prepared statements that read like hostage testimonies is already a reality! In places more accustomed to such things, sensible citizens might respond by stockpiling dried goods or running to the bank to withdraw large sums of cash.
From The Washington Post.
CLINTON: OF COVFEFE AND RUSSIA
After midnight yesterday, the magnetic personality who exudes positive energy infected those around him with Twitter covfefe. Hillary Clinton, the woman he defeated at the electoral college — but with three million fewer votes — taunted Trump over the covfefe a few different ways Wednesday. At Recode’s Code Conference, a Silicon Valley thing in California, POLITICO reports Clinton said of the covfefe, “I thought it was a hidden message to the Russians”. She added, “the Russian government wanted to spread disinformation about her. But she added they ‘could not have known how best to weaponize that information unless they had been guided,’” as in, “Guided by Americans and guided by people who have polling and data,” Clinton said, according to Reuters. Clinton told the techies gathered at the conference that Trump’s team is fomenting and manufacturing red herrings and wild accusations “To divert attention. It’s like ‘covfefe’ — trending worldwide. Maybe for a minute you’ll forget the latest accusations about them conspiring with Russia or their trillion-dollar mathematical mistake in their budget or depriving 23 million people of health care. You know, it’s the circus, right?” Wisely she noted: “it’s what a classic authoritarian does.” She also wisely advised Trump on Twitter, “People in covfefe houses shouldn’t throw covfefe.” Snap, snap, suck on that covfefe!
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