—–ON THE AGENDA—–
HAPPY RUSSIA DAY PROTESTERS!
While protests in Moscow and across Russia are ongoing, BBC reported earlier that Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained at the entrance to his building, according to his wife. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Police in Moscow used megaphones to order anticorruption protesters to disperse as several hundred people began marching down Tverskaya Street, a central thoroughfare. There was a heavy police presence throughout the area, and RFE/RL correspondents saw at least five people being detained. Russian media reported that at least 50 people had been detained at an unsanctioned demonstration in the northern city of St. Petersburg.” CNN reports “hundreds detained” across Russia, which is likely still low. Navalny called for the Russian National Day protests against corruption but authorities have thrown up various obstacles and barrier through both legal and extrajudicial means, including arrest, partial blinding with antiseptic, denial of permits and attacks on the protesters at previous rallies, including efforts to seize children from parents who attended. Russia, it is a criminal mafia state that is deathly afraid of anything that smells of the will of the people. Hint: If Russia wants respect in the West, this is not the way to get it.
TRAITOR TRUMP SAYS ARTICLE FIVE AFTER FAILING TO
POLITICO reports just two weeks after making a total and complete ass of himself to all our significant allies during a NATO meeting in Brussels, traitor trash Trump finally said the words Article V after failing to do so has already cost us dearly. This is not a government; this is a regime plain and simple. According to POLITICO, Trump trash moved his lips known as “Putin’s cock holster” to mutter pathetically: “Well, I’m committing the United States, and have committed, but I’m committing the United States to Article 5,” in response to a question from a Romanian reporter. “Yes, absolutely I’d be committed to Article 5.” Then why did he not say it when he should have? Instead, Trump made a big show of grandstanding like a child spoiled rotten, who, despite having all the toys in the world wants everyone else’s toys because no one should have such nice toys as the spoiled child has. The AP put out one of its most succinct news briefs ever over the matter: “Trump commits US to NATO’s collective defense principles after declining to say so during foreign trip.” No points for this, he does not get any points, no take backs or do overs, the damage is done, and TRUMPISTAN WATCH quoted the opening line of Camus’ The Stranger over this because there is no other “Mother” as far as geopolitical security is concerned in the 21st century that means a damn in the West other than nukes. So, prepare for the peaceful nuclear exchange.
MORE DETAILS ON TRAITOR TRASH TRUMP’S NATO DEBACLE
Foreign Policy reports, “After a public showing on May 25 in which Trump refused to endorse NATO’s collective defense clause and famously shoved the Montenegrin leader out of the way, leaders of the 29-member alliance retired to a closed-door dinner,” with multiple sources reporting allies were “appalled.” Dear our allies, so are the American people. According to Foreign Policy, “During the dinner, Trump went off-script to criticize allies again for not spending enough on defense,” but, “Several sources briefed extensively on the dinner say he said 2 percent wasn’t enough and allies should spend 3 percent of GDP on defense, and he even threatened to cut back U.S. defense spending and have Europeans dole out ‘back pay’ to make up for their low defense spending if they didn’t pony up quickly enough. Two sources say Trump didn’t mention Russia once during the dinner.” What Russian scum. One Foreign Policy source called it “a total shitshow.” A former senior U.S. official reportedly said, “The dinner was far worse than the speech,” adding, “It was a train wreck. It was awful.”
From Foreign Policy.
FIRED US ATTORNEY IN NY CALLS TRUMP A LIAR, REFUSED CALL
Reuters reports, “Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara revealed on Sunday that he received a handful of ‘unusual’ phone calls from Donald Trump after the November election that made him feel uncomfortable, and said he was fired after declining to take the third call.” Jesus, he refused the president’s call, that’s mega-Captain Courageous. During Bharara’s “first televised interview since Trump fired him in March as the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, Bharara said he believed Trump’s calls to him violated the usual boundaries between the executive branch and independent criminal investigators,” Reuters reports. Whereas Obama never called him directly, Bharara said on ABC News “This Week” that “It’s a very weird and peculiar thing for a one-on-one conversation without the attorney general, without warning between the president and me or any United States attorney who has been asked to investigate various things and is in a position hypothetically to investigate business interests and associates of the president”. It is a democratic system Bharara is referring to, he luckily did not get the memo about the whole conversion to a third world banana republic where adoration for The Great Sublime Leader triumphs gestures such as the one he is making now and made before he was fired. In such places, Bharara would be asking for certain imprisonment and possibly torture and death. Let’s call such places Russia.
PRIVATE RUSSIAN SESSIONS ON THE HILL TUESDAY
The AP reports, “Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential campaign has sparked questions, agreed Saturday to appear before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence as it investigates alleged Russian meddling in the election.” Last week, on Comey Day, we learned, “Former FBI Director James Comey raised additional questions at a hearing on Thursday, saying that the FBI expected Sessions to recuse himself weeks before he actually did. Comey declined to elaborate in an open setting.” Also reported Friday according to CNN, “Former FBI Director James Comey told senators in a closed hearing Thursday afternoon that Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have had a third interaction with Russia’s ambassador to the US, according to people familiar with the briefing.”
UDAY DID NOT GET THE COMEY DAY MEMO
The Washington Post reports, “Donald Trump Jr. — the president’s eldest son — seemed to confirm Comey’s version of events in a Saturday interview on Fox News as he tried to emphasize the fact that his father did not directly order Comey to stop investigating Flynn.” Or maybe he did get the memo but he did not read it? Uday seems kind of slow. Uday, an expert on all things masculine and being a man, said on faux news Fox, “When he tells you to do something, guess what? There’s no ambiguity in it, there’s no, ‘Hey, I’m hoping,'” Trump Jr. said. “You and I are friends: ‘Hey, I hope this happens, but you’ve got to do your job.’ That’s what he told Comey. And for this guy, as a politician, to then go back and write a memo: ‘Oh, I felt threatened.’ He felt so threatened — but he didn’t do anything.” Doubtful Uday even watched or listened to the testimony, which was sort of all about how Comey’s actions led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel. But if you choose to believe the Trump family’s lies and hagiography, then yes, Uday is captain courageous and ladies you should prepare your exits if this is the alpha because common sense dictates this leads to cowardly acts by fraudulent and cowardly “men”.
From The Washington Post.
TRUMP’S PERSONAL LAWYER FOR RUSSIA PROBE’S RUSSIA TIES
The Washington Post reports, “The hard-charging New York lawyer President Trump chose to represent him in the Russia investigation has prominent clients with ties to the Kremlin, a striking pick for a president trying to escape the persistent cloud that has trailed his administration.” Gee, you do not say! Would it be Trumpworld without Kremlin and Russian criminal world ties? Doubtful. Make American great again by riding the murderous, larcenous, fraudulent coat tails of a foreign mafia, anyone? Turns out “Marc E. Kasowitz’s clients include Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who is close to President Vladimir Putin and has done business with Trump’s former campaign manager. Kasowitz also represents Sberbank, Russia’s largest state-owned bank, U.S. court records show.” So this is basically the height of insanity. It is not possible to lift the cloud when the regime leader’s castle appears to rest on it.
From The Washington Post.
MICHAEL COHEN’S ADVENTURES IN THE UKRAINIAN UNDERWORLD
BuzzFeed reports, “Before he became President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen worked on behalf of a company controlled by another wealthy and well-connected man: Viktor Topolov, a politician whose associates are members of the Russian and Ukrainian underworld.” Topolov was “The leader of Ukraine’s coal ministry and a personal friend of that country’s president, Topolov had been a board member at a state-run bank, the top executive at a construction company, and the president of a professional football club. But beyond his official titles, Topolov has also been investigated twice for money laundering and embezzlement, and the FBI has said his associates are ‘well known’ members of the Russian mafia.” Just like everyone in Trump’s orbit! Well, “Back in 2006, he co-owned an ethanol company with his longtime business partner, Alex Oronov. The two men wanted to build a factory in Ukraine, so Oronov tapped his son-in-law, Bryan Cohen, along with his brother, Michael Cohen, to pitch the deal to American investors from Morgan Stanley. Both Cohen brothers today insist they knew nothing about Topolov when they tried to raise money for his company.” Oronov died earlier this year tipping off a wave of internet rumors and speculation that he was part of the now well labeled “trail of dead Russians,” but such claims were unproven. Like most things Russian criminal underworld and/or Trump, this one leads to Semion Mogilevich and associates. This being the Russian criminal underworld, the mafia names are as colorful as anything in Chicago, so there are also Brothers Karamazov involved. Recall, Mogilevich is “a powerful boss in Russian organized crime,” and also “a Russian who is one of the most wanted men in the world,” according to BuzzFeed. Worth the read.
RUSSIA TRIES THREATENING U.S. BECAUSE ITS PUPPET SUCKS
Reuters reports, “Russia may seize U.S. diplomatic property in Moscow and complicate life for an Anglo-American school unless Washington hands back two diplomatic compounds in the United States before July, the daily Kommersant newspaper reported on Friday,” citing unnamed Russian diplomatic sources. Recall, “In December, then U.S. president Barack Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russians over what he said was their involvement in hacking last year’s U.S. presidential election, allegations Moscow flatly denies,” which means it must be true. Never believe anything until the Kremlin denies it (TM @DarthPutinKGB on Twitter). TRUMPISTAN WATCH would love to see Trump try since our citizens are ready and prepared to step up the acts of civil disobedience to maintain sovereignty. Does the Russian government and more importantly, does Trump really want that spectacle? He just cancelled a state visit to London over fear of protests so it works!
TWO RUSSIANS INDICTED IN MONTENEGRO COUP ATTEMPT
ABC News reports, “Montenegro’s higher court on Thursday confirmed prosecution indictments against 14 people, including two Russians charged with masterminding a coup attempt aimed at preventing Montenegro from joining NATO.” The two Russians are Eduard Shishmakov and Vladimir Popov and they “have been indicted with various criminal offenses, terrorism and acts against the constitutional order of Montenegro,” according to a court statement cited by ABC News. From neighboring Serbia, “two alleged members of Russia’s military security agency had reportedly operated,” but “They have returned to Russia and are beyond the reach of Montenegro’s judiciary.” Shishmakov had previously served as a deputy defense attaché at the Russian Embassy in Warsaw but was declared persona non grata and accused of spying in 2014. According to ABC News, “The other 12 suspects, mostly Serbs, allegedly planned on the election day in October to take over parliament in the capital of Podgorica and kill then-Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic.” Also “Among the indicted suspects are two top Montenegrin opposition officials who have made frequent visits to Moscow before and after the alleged coup attempt.”
From ABC News.
JUNCKER CALLS ON EUROPEANS TO RAISE DEFENSE SPENDING
The AP reports, “European Union leaders urged the EU on Friday to lift its defense spending for its own sake, not because of pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump or Britain’s looming departure from the bloc.” Well that should wake the people of Europe up from their deep slumber of 70 plus years under an American security blanket – or not. Only those who have lost people to gulags, wars, or more recent Russian state terror seem to be immune to European indifference. According to AP, “In a speech during a conference on EU security and defense in Prague on Friday, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the way ahead ‘starts with making sure we spend what is needed on our defense.’” He did get one thing right, “It’s no longer a question of national sovereignty,” Juncker said. “It’s a question of European sovereignty.” Europe does not have a positive track record when its populations are militarized and it turns out, neither does the U.S. after what has happened now after 15 years of the war on terror. The average European, much like the average American, will not notice until sadly they are tragically impacted by hate, bigotry or terror. Then the shock will be total and empathy will be in high demand because it is no longer some other; or worse, consent will be given to hate and terrorize the others and then we are all really screwed.
From the AP.
CANADIANS TROOPS ARRIVE IN LATVIA TO COMPLETE CONTINGENT
The CBC reports, “Canadian soldiers have landed in Latvia as part of Operation Reassurance — a multinational NATO mission aimed not at starting a conflict, but at discouraging Russian aggression in the region.” According to the CBC, “in total, Canada is deploying 450 troops to lead a battlegroup comprised of soldiers from five other NATO countries: Italy, Spain, Poland, Slovenia and Albania. Those countries will contribute 1,200-1,500 soldiers to the battlegroup in an effort to send a powerful message of deterrence to Russia.”
From the CBC.
AMERICA REDUCES EVERYTHING TO REALITY TV + “TAPES”
Where does one start on this one? With our fake 45th president writing with his baby hands “Check out sex tape” on Twitter concerning a Venezuelan beauty queen who became a U.S. citizen last year and campaigned for Hillary after Trump’s early 1990s fat shaming of her was revived by Hillary during a presidential debate? Perhaps the “Grab them by the pussy” Access Hollywood tape, co-starring Billy Bush? Or is it with the Steele dossier and the allegations of a now infamous pee pee tape? Or perhaps it is with the Comey tapes Trump once alleged on Twitter? Yes, that’s it. POLITICO reports, “Leaders of the House Intelligence Committee are asking the White House to produce any tapes that might exist of President Donald Trump’s conversations with ousted FBI director James Comey.” This decision came “less than two hours after President Donald Trump, in a Rose Garden news conference, refused to answer questions about whether such tapes exist.” Of course, “Trump first raised the prospect of tapes in a May 12 tweet, just three days after he fired Comey, who was leading an investigation into potential collusion between Trump associates and Russia to influence the 2016 election,” POLITICO reminds us. On May 12, Trump tweeted, “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” The latest tape America is fixated on because tapes are SO much easier than understanding Russia. Hilariously, Putin wanted attention and the ridiculousness of this route ensures Russia will not be taken seriously any time soon. He is like a real housewife holding a bad sex tape of a co-star no one wants to see for blackmail purposes now. So victory!?! Or perhaps our nation has been reduced from “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz,” to “Lordy, I hope there are tapes!” Declining societal expectations indeed.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
WHERE WE STAND AFTER COMEY: HI RUSSIA IS STILL THE PROBLEM
Molly McKew writing in POLITICO Magazine is spot on, “Missing from the investigation of the supposed Russia scandal is any real discussion of Russia.” Welcome to America, you see, where all of the horrible treason, racism and trauma of a coup based on an active measures campaign that a significant portion of the public on both the left and right refuses to see as such, has been turned into… oh you know it… a reality show! McKew is also correct that “The conversion of America’s political arena into a hybrid sporting event/reality show,” around the Comey Day spectacular, also known as the season finale before the summer silly season of reruns, has obscured all meaningful dialogue concerning Russia, both with our own countrymen and our partners who are left completely baffled or in some degree of denial over what terrible fate has just fallen our country and all who rely on it for security and leadership. Fucked up times at the White House nursery, which is a horrible insult to toddlers for which TRUMPISTAN WATCH does apologize profusely. So what are we missing? Oh, Putin is getting the America he seeks where “Paid advertising is defaming private American citizens viewed as opponents of the president, while political ads praise our glorious leader.” The government’s “factionalization mirrors a deep and deepening public divide,” which is “accelerated by a war on truth.” Also it is a little more than disturbing how “Meanwhile, no one seems to be watching what Russia is still doing to us. No one is systematically speaking about the tactics of Russian hybrid warfare, and that these go beyond ‘fake news’ and ‘hacking’ into far-reaching intelligence operations and initiatives to destabilize Western countries, economies and societies.” Number two is very simple but utterly significant: “Russia has altered American policies, our relationships with our allies and our view of our place in the world.” Number three: “It will happen again; it is still happening now.” Let us let McKew sum up the catastrophe: “So this is where we are, six months after first taking stock of what Russia did to America. We are paralyzed and divided, watching a salacious sideshow of an investigation while Russian initiatives are underway in countless places, completely unchecked. The American president, eager to be rid of this ‘cloud,’ has equated dismissing Russia’s global imperialist insurgency with loyalty to him.” Ultimately, “There is only one question that we should be asking: What are we going to do to protect the American people from Russian acts of war — and why doesn’t the president want to talk about it?” MUST READ.
From POLITICO Magazine.
ACTIVE MEASURES WATCH: U.S. MILITARY SERVICE PERSONNEL
POLITICO reports, “In the fall of 2013, Veterans Today, a fringe American news site that also offers former service members help finding jobs and paying medical bills, struck up a new partnership. It began posting content from New Eastern Outlook, a geopolitical journal published by the government-chartered Russian Academy of Sciences, and running headlines like ‘Ukraine’s Ku Klux Klan – NATO’s New Ally.’ As the United States confronted Russian ally Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons against Syrian children this spring, the site trumpeted, ‘Proof: Turkey Did 2013 Sarin Attack and Did This One Too’ and ‘Exclusive: Trump Apologized to Russia for Syria Attack.’” Uh, fake news much!? Additionally, “Russian state actors are friending service members on Facebook while posing as attractive young women to gather intelligence and targeting the Twitter accounts of Defense Department employees with highly customized ‘phishing’ attacks. The same Russian military hacking group that breached the Democratic National Committee, ‘Fancy Bear,’ was also responsible for publicly posting stolen Army data online while posing as supporters of the Islamic State in 2015, according to the findings of one cybersecurity firm. And the hacking group’s most common target for phishing attacks in the West has been military personnel, with service members’ spouses making up another prominent target demographic, according to another cybersecurity firm,” POLITICO reports. POLITICO describes this as a campaign of “heightened intensity” even as service members have long been attractive targets of foreign interests. POLITICO reports it is “a new kind of low-intensity or ‘hybrid’ warfare that Western governments are still struggling to effectively counter.”
ISIS (RUSSIA) LOOKING TO DESTABILIZE THE BALKANS
By now it should be old news that ISIS is Assad’s baby, which Syrian intelligence helped create and of course Syria’s largest backer is Russia. Now having created this wonderfully violent and homicidal tool of distraction to promote fascism in media, instability around Europe and the globe, and encourage reactionary tendencies in the West, sights have turned to the Balkans. Balkan Insight reports the terror group’s Bosnian edition of the ISIS glossy Rumiyah printed “an article entitled ‘The Balkans – Blood for Enemies, and Honey for Friends’, the terror group makes direct threats to Serbs and Croats over their roles in the Balkan wars, as well as to Muslim ‘traitors’ to the Islamic faith.” Now who might benefit from stoking instability in the Balkans, especially in Bosnia, a divided nation with a tri-partite parliament and rotating presidency where half the country, the Republika Srpska entity, turns to Russia? Recall: the West declared victory after Dayton Accords were signed, but the Bosnians were just gaining the battlefield advantage at that time. If Russia’s strategy is divide and conquer a non-functioning state for the last 22 years is a pretty sweet result, one that lays fallow until bizarre historical moments like this occur and opportunities can be seized. Europe, sorry, your beautiful blissful cocoon of privilege is not over or near over, but some things might happen to disturb the very foundations of society as every Balkan war ever has.
From Balkan Insight.
MAJORITY OF RUSSIAN SPEAKING ESTONIANS AGAINST NATO
Estonian Public Broadcasting reports, “While 89 percent of the Estonian-speaking population support the presence of allied forces and only 6 percent are against it, just 27 percent of the Russian-speaking residents support the presence while 57 percent are against it.”
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
“AND THEN THEY CAME FOR ME,” RUSSIAN MIDDLE CLASS EDITION
The Washington Post reports, “Plans to relocate 1.6 million Muscovites turns middle class Russian into protesters”. Such is the arrogance of the Russian authorities that after ensuring complacency from the population – keep your head down, stay out of politics, you may be upwardly mobile and acquire some capital then – guess what! Not even indifference to politics ensures politics will not concern you! It is true that many in Russia like to think this way and it is true many in the West do too. But they are wrong and then upset when it gets to the “And then they came for me” stage and realize just as they were there for nobody, nobody is there for them but those in the same predicament. So such is what is occurring in Moscow these days with Putin’s massive so-called redevelopment plan. “The apartment owners’ protest is the latest in a wave of upheaval not seen in Russia since 2012. In recent months, a nationwide demonstration against corruption drew tens of thousands, long distance truckers have been protesting daily”. Then there is the fraud in the fact that “Many of the five-story buildings slated for demolition are made of brick, which Muscovites see as better-quality construction than the massive concrete block structures being built to replace them.” As for giving up one’s voice: Moscow “is allowing residents to vote on whether their buildings will be torn down, but the voting will end Thursday, just one day after the Duma is slated to give its final approval to the law.” In the words of one of the effected residents, Irina Spiridonova, “It’s like they’ve already decided and our voice doesn’t matter”.
From The Washington Post.
MAYBE JULIAN + PAMELA IS A WORKING RELATIONSHIP?
The Daily Mail reports, “Pamela Anderson found herself clutching onto the arm of another man as she left Avenue Nightclub in Hollywood looking a little worse for wear on Friday night,” but it was not Julian Assange’s arm because he is still holding himself captive to feed his persecution complex at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. So who is Pamela’s other man? The Daily Mail, which of course has pictures, calls him “her mystery companion”. In the pictures she looks rather blitzed compared to those staid and vaguely serious ones of her exiting Assange’s Ecuadorean Embassy garret. Perhaps, we can ask, is her’s and Julian’s relationship is a working one? And might Russia be footing the bill?
From The Daily Mail.
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