TWITLER ATTACKS DEMOCRATIC SENATOR ON JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
The Washington Post reports, “President Trump on Monday launched a renewed attack on Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), calling him ‘a phony Vietnam con artist’ on Twitter after the senator appeared on television.” This is coming from a president with a number of deferments who once compared Vietnam service to avoiding STDs. The Washington Post notes, “Trump’s tweets came after Blumenthal voiced support on CNN for continuing the investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s election and expressed concern about the Justice Department’s increased focus on rooting out administration officials who leak information damaging to Trump.” The Washington Post notes, “Trump was referencing a 2010 controversy over Blumenthal’s military service. During his Senate campaign, Blumenthal came under sharp criticism for repeated remarks over the years that he had ‘served’ in Vietnam, even though he did his full Marine service in the United States.” So to this end Twitler’s ramblings had a purpose in so far as they remind the public via the press of a campaign pressure point of an adversary. Nonetheless, on all things military versus grandstanding, Trump is on pretty weak ground.
From The Washington Post.
CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA CLAIMS FLYNN ADVISORY ROLE DIDN’T HAPPEN
The AP reports that Cambridge Analytica, “A firm connected to a data mining and analysis company that worked on President Donald Trump’s campaign said Monday that former national security adviser Michael Flynn was in talks about taking an advisory role less than a week before Election Day. But the company says the position never materialized.” In the past, the firm has claimed to have no role in Brexit, a claim disproved by an investigative series in The Observer, so keep this latest claim of theirs in light of Flynn’s disclosure in context. The AP notes, “The statement came just days after Flynn disclosed his interactions with the firm in an amended public financial disclosure filed with the White House.” However, the AP adds, “In the statement, SCL Group confirmed it didn’t pay Flynn, and he didn’t perform any work. It said Flynn signed the statement of work but ‘no contract agreement was signed’ and the advisory role was never formalized. In response to questions, SCL Group declined to say the nature of the planned advisory role or share the signed statement of work.” The AP reports, “Flynn’s filing of his amended financial disclosure came as special counsel Robert Mueller and congressional committees are scrutinizing Flynn’s business deals and foreign connections.” Curious.
From the AP.
A DARKNESS AT NUNES IMPRIMATEUR: FINDING CHRISTOPHER STEELE
The Guardian reports, “Two US congressional staffers who travelled to London in July and tried to contact former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, were sent by a longstanding aide to Devin Nunes,” aka DARKNESS AT NUNES, he of the phony “unmasking” scandal. The Guardian notes, “The trip has brought back to the surface a continuing struggle for control of the committee’s investigation into Moscow’s role in the 2016 US election.” The Guardian recalls a Friday POLITICO report cited in yesterday’s TRUMPISTAN WATCH that “The two staffers turned up unannounced at Steele’s lawyers’ offices while the former MI6 officer was in the building”. Neither committee co-chairs since DARKNESS AT NUNES was forced to recuse from his role as committee chairman, Democrat Adam Schiff and Republic Mike Conaway, were aware of the planned trip. An ex-CIA official John Sipher highlighted how bad this is and how inappropriate in context. DARKNESS AT NUNES will not quit running interference on behalf of the White House and Trump’s great friends in Moscow.
From The Guardian.
ROHRABACHER DEFENDS RUSSIA ON RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA OUTLET
Russian state-run Sputnik features a propaganda piece entitled, “Anti-Russia Hysteria in the US Derails Fight Against Terrorism – Congressman”. So you should know very well that Congressman is Dana Rohrabacher, Putin’s favorite Congressman! Russian state-run Sputnik features a couple of verbatim from Russian propaganda block quotes from the Kremlin shill in Congress, noting, “According to the [very useful idiot] congressman, the only power that intentionally wants to harm the United States are Islamic terrorists, not countries like Russia.” Sorry if you believe that, you are a moron, as both Russia and China aggressively spy on the U.S. and anti-Americanism flares up worldwide from time to time and now is one such time, albeit our enemies are cheering our self-destruction in the form of a huge blob of orange inhumanity named Donald Trump. Russian state-run Sputnik adds, “The Democratic Party, including the ‘political powers’ on Capitol Hill, are manipulating the power structure, and especially the media, in Washington to craft a false narrative for the US public,” citing Rohrabacher, who might as well go live in Russia if he loves his friends in Moscow so much as to repeat what they say in such ways. Consider this a Kremlin commercial instead of actual news
From Russian state-run Sputnik.
RUBLES FOR RUSSIAN RUBES?
Reuters reports, “Russia will speed up work on reducing dependency on U.S. payment systems and the dollar as a settling currency,” according to a Russian state-run RIA Novosti report citing Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Rybakov. Reuters notes, “It is a response to the new sanctions against Russia reluctantly signed into law last week by U.S. President Donald Trump”. Rybakov is quoted, “We will of course intensify work related to import substitution, reduction of dependence on U.S. payment systems, on the dollar as a settling currency and so on”. Reuters reports, “Russia has already introduced a new national payment system to cut reliance on Western systems, such as Visa and MasterCard,” adding, “The Russian payment system is called Mir, which translates as ‘World’ or ‘Peace’.” However, “To date, more than 13.9 million Mir cards have been issued in Russia,” or about 10 percent of the population. A report over the weekend in The Daily Beast noted Putin “signaled an official volte-face on the issue of cryptocurrencies, digital financial instruments such as bitcoin.”
US MILITARY EXERCISES IN FINLAND + THE BALTIC STATES
IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly reports citing the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) that, “US forces including 10 A-10 Thunderbolt II ‘Warthog’ close air-support aircraft, an MC-130J Commando II, and some 270 personnel began a 16-day deployment to Ämari air force base and Jägala army base in Estonia on 4 August”. IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, “The A-10s will train in Finland with Finnish Air Force F/A-18C Hornets, with Spanish Air Force EF-18A Hornets from NATO’s Baltic air policing mission in Estonia, and in Latvia with multinational joint terminal attack controllers, within each of the nations’ airspace and in international airspace”.
ZAPAD WATCH: US SENDS 173rd AIRBORNE BRIGADE COMPANY TO ESTONIA
Estonian Public Broadcasting reports, “The U.S. is to send a company of the 173rd Airborne Brigade to Estonia for the duration of the large-scale joint Russian-Belarusian military exercie Zapad in September.” The company “based in Vicenza, Italy, is to arrive in Estonia at the end of August”. Estonian Public Broadcasting notes, “The unit will consist of approximately 150 soldiers.” Recall, the Russian military exercise Zapad is “scheduled to be held from Sept. 14-20 this year” in Belarus and Russia, on the European Union’s eastern border.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
COSMOPOLITAN: THE RED CAP BOURGEOISIE
Recall last week, Goebbels look alike Stephen Miller insulted a reporter by calling him “cosmopolitan”. In turn, POLITICO Magazine insulted its readers who know their Stalinist history and know this term, especially when preceded by the word “rootless,” to be a very thinly veiled anti-Semitic insult. Now The Washington Post asks, “what’s that expression about people in glass houses?” as it brings a most delightful update on Stephen Miller’s cosmopolitanism! Of course Miller “calls home a nearly $1 million condo in CityCenter, one of Washington’s poshest addresses”. “With high-end international retailers such as Hermès and Gucci on the street level alongside fancy Italian, Asian and French eateries, the building is billed as ‘the new ideal for sophisticated, modern, urban living,’” a marketing tagline that when contrasted with Miller makes you realize all the more that money does not care who owns it and most marketing is hogwash. All signs also indicate that Miller’s California-based Daddy helped him pay for it too. Shall we call this the red cap bourgeoisie? Yes we should. TRUMPISTAN WATCH’s only regret is that it waited for Stalinist insults to come into the fore before introducing the term “red cap bourgeoisie”.
From The Washington Post.
PROFILING ALEXEY NAVALNY FOR THE AMERICAN PUBLIC
CBS News profiled Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny on Monday night. It marks a refreshing break from all the Putin hagiographies that have populated American television of late, whether Oliver Stone’s boring four hours of Putin that caused even the subject to admit to falling asleep while watching or Megyn Kelly’s equally snoozy interview. Navalny told CBS News, “It’s obvious for everyone that this low level of life. This poor quality of life is connected with the corruption. Everyone in the country understands it, but I am saying it publicly.” “Low level of life,” remember that whenever anyone talks about how great Russia is. CBS News notes, “When asked about the challenges of being an opposition figure in Russia, Navalny was stark about his odds: ‘50% I would be killed or I won’t be killed.’” CBS News notes the challenges of campaigning for president when the Kremlin has made every effort to marginalize and render illegal the effort. “Navalny has spent much of this year opening campaign offices across Russia,” CBS News reports. “His pitch is simple: the salaries of most Russians are low, while those with connections to the government enrich themselves through corruption. His campaign rallies would be familiar to western voters, but they are a novelty in Russia,” which is fundamentally antidemocratic and authoritarian. Navalny told CBS News that he continues despite the state’s work against him, “Because I believe that Russia can have a better life”. At the end of the day though, Russia is still Russia, so sad.
From CBS News.
BATTLEFIELD EASTERN EUROPE: ADAPTING TO NEW TERRAIN
The New York Times reports on the challenges confronting the 30,000 troops the U.S. now has stationed in Europe since the Russian invasion of Crimea. During the height of the Cold War, there were 300,000 but the new terrain and logistics challenges are vastly different from the post-September 11 wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. The New York Times notes, “The adjustments to the new threats are wide ranging. Hundreds of desert-tan battle tanks and armored fighting vehicles must be repainted dark green to blend into European terrain. Soldiers accustomed to operating from large, secure bases in Iraq and Afghanistan must now practice using camouflage netting to disguise their positions and dispersing into smaller groups to avoid sophisticated surveillance drones that could direct rocket or missile attacks against personnel or command posts.” Additionally, “American troops no longer have unfettered right of way in the air or priority access on the ground, as they did across Iraqi river valleys and Afghan mountain ranges. In today’s Europe, borders count in all matters military. On a recent Friday, an American Army supply convoy rushing ammunition from Germany to Romania was held up at the Austrian border until the next Monday by restrictions on military convoys during busy summer vacation travel periods.” The New York Times adds, “The commanders are training a younger force that has mainly faced shadowy terrorist foes in the Middle East and Southwest Asia since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.” In a bit of déjà vu, The New York Times reports, “Young American Army officers are once again using flash cards — or the digital equivalent — to study the structure and abilities of Russian Army units, just as American officers did with earlier generations of Russian forces and weaponry in the 1970s and 1980s.” Most noticeably, as one colonel told The New York Times, “We know when we wake up every morning who the threat is,” adding, “We’re very focused on the Russian threat.” This is a sea change from even a few years ago when it was unusual to hear officers address Russian aggression specifically or if they did so, it was very off the record.
From The New York Times.
FULL TRUMPISTAN: DAUGHTER-IN-LAW RUNNING TRUMPT TV
The Daily Beast reports, “President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law is ‘running the show’ at his Trump TV project funded by his reelection campaign”. Full Trumpistan! The Daily Beast notes, “Lara Trump, wife of Eric,” “Qusay” Trump, is in charge of “the Trump campaign’s newest advertising product,” which eerily resembles third world state-run news outlets that bask in the accomplishments – real or imagined – of a noble and omnipotent leader. According to The Daily Beast, “Lara has played a larger role in campaign activities of late, speaking at the president’s campaign rallies and starring in the inaugural edition of the Trump-boosting ‘Real News,’ an emerging series of digital ads designed to look like news broadcasts.” The Daily Beast notes, “Lara isn’t just a campaign surrogate,” she is rather “deeply involved in the mechanics of the president’s reelection effort through her role for its top vendor, consulting firm Giles-Parscale,” which is “co-owned by former Trump campaign digital director Brad Parscale”. The Daily Beast reports, “Since Trump took office, Parscale has stepped back from day-to-day operations at Giles-Parscale and its Trump campaign operations,” rather, “Parscale is focusing most of his efforts on his newer consulting firm, Parscale Strategies, and its work for America First Policies, a dark-money nonprofit group that supports the Trump policy agenda.” The Daily Beast adds, “Giles-Parscale hired Lara in late March. Since then, she has taken over its Trump campaign work, practically replacing Parscale on that front in all respects but his official campaign title.” What would you think if you heard about such things as the daughter-in-law of a politicians running a propaganda channel elsewhere outside of Trumpistan? Yes, correct: the stuff of banana republics and tin pot dictatorships.
From The Daily Beast.
FROM CNN TO TRUMP TV + THE RNC: WHICH IS THE FAKE NEWS NOW?
CNN reports, “Kayleigh McEnany, the former CNN commentator who over the weekend appeared in a video trumpeting President Trump’s accomplishments, has been named as the new spokesperson for the Republican National Committee.” So the fake news gave her legitimacy to transition to propaganda. When will CNN be more careful about what sort of fascist human garbage they put on air? Answer: never because journalism and personal responsibility is just not a thing any more when you have outrage cycles and ratings to look after. CNN notes, “McEnany had announced via Twitter on Saturday that she was leaving CNN, ending her role as one of the pro-Trump pundits the network calls upon to provide commentary.” CNN adds, “on Sunday she appeared in a video posted on Trump’s Facebook page. The minute-and-a-half long video featured McEnany, reporting from Trump Tower in New York City, rattling off a series of positive news stories and crediting the administration with the achievements.” CNN reports, “More than a few critics compared it to the propaganda disseminated by state-run media outlets; McEnany called it ‘the real news.’” Michael McFaul, formerly the U.S. Ambassador to Russia under Obama, tweeted, “Feels eerily like so many state-owned channels I’ve watched in other countries.” POLITICO adds, “McEnany is expected be a major presence on television for the GOP.” What a terrible thing we have done to our country. And just think without CNN’s role in this she would have no legitimacy, or pseudo-legitimacy, if you will.
RUSSIAN BOTS TARGET REPUBLICAN PARTY
Newsweek reports, “Russian-linked bots and trolls have caused a surge in use of the hashtag #ResignPaulRyan on Twitter over the last 48 hours, just as the Republican speaker of the House was returning to his home state of Wisconsin for a month-long respite from Washington, D.C.” Now recall, first Russia installs who it wants then it goes after them to invoke fear and confusion in a divided population which it then conquers. So as far as Russian MOs go, this is pretty standard fare. It is hard now to feel sympathy for Russia Party Republicans who allowed this dystopia to be unleashed on our once semi-decent country, however it is important to recall we do not Russia in any way involved in our domestic affairs. Newsweek cites the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy Hamilton 68 dashboard in its report. Newsweek notes, “It hasn’t been a common occurrence for the Alliance’s dashboard to pick up on Russian bot activity targeting members of the GOP since the site was launched last week by former FBI special agent Clint Watts.” However, Newsweek adds, “Ryan wasn’t the only member of Trump’s party to face countless bots demanding his removal. A campaign calling on the president to fire National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster received widespread support from bots and trolls over the last several days using the hashtag #FireMcMaster”. Newsweek reports, “Twitter bots linked to Russia and other foreign adversaries have typically fueled support of Trump’s agenda on social media, with nearly half of the president’s followers appearing to be fake or spam accounts”.
DECONSTRUCTING FAR LEFT FAVORITE GLENN GREENWALD
New York Magazine has a fantastic headline that places one of the left’s favorites, The Intercept founder and editor and Snowden hagiographer Glenn Greenwald where he belongs, “The Alt-Right and Glenn Greenwald Versus H.R. McMaster”. Which is to say, there are con artists, and there are patriots and TRUMPISTAN WATCH thinks we ought know to which camp Greenwald belongs. New York Magazine notes, “Greenwald has depicted the conflict, much like the nationalists themselves have, as the machinations of the deep state to prevent the authentic, democratically legitimate populist representatives of Trumpism from exerting their rightful authority,” this despite the fact that Russia meddled mightily and Trump lost the popular vote. Basically Trump just reaffirms all the anti-government and anti-establishment thoughts the left already is predisposed to thinking – and he does it for Russia, not for freedom. Because Greenwald appears to work for Russia or is at least a very useful idiot (TRUMPISTAN WATCH is of the opinion that Greenwald is a sophisticated operator who knows exactly what he is doing and is likely handsomely rewarded for it), “The foundation of Greenwald’s worldview — on this issue and nearly everything else — is that the United States and its national-security apparatus is the greatest force for evil in the world.” Gee, who else has that worldview? Russia. Without irony, New York Magazine notes, “‘Who has brought more death, and suffering, and tyranny to the world over the last six decades,’ he [Greenwald] writes, ‘than the U.S. National Security State?’ (This six-decade period of time includes Mao’s regime in China, which killed 45 to 75 million people, as well as the Khmer Rouge and several decades of the Soviet Union.)” Yeah, oops he is also terribly historically inaccurate and covering for the crimes of an adversary and those supported by said adversary. As New York Magazine notes another “point of overlap between Greenwald and the nationalists is their relatively sympathetic view of Russia.” Greenwald “has reflexively discounted evidence of Russian intervention in the election.” New York Magazine rightfully notes, “As evidence of Russian intervention piled up, Greenwald’s line of defense has continued to retreat.” Also there is a beautiful screenshot of Greenwald on faux news Fox News Tucker Carlson’s show. So unless your end game is crypto-fascist far right Russian troll, those of you on the left who love this guy for exposing the military-industrial complex and echoing the lines of criticism you are pre-disposed to accept, knock it off, please.
From New York Magazine.
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
The Moscow Times reports, “A woman living in the Finnish city of Oulu accidentally received a police email with a detailed itinerary of Vladimir Putin’s visit to the country last month,” citing a report that originated in the Finnish newspaper Iltalehti. The Iltalehti report noted, “The details of Putin’s movements in Finland were part of an exchange between Finnish police officers which found their way to the woman’s inbox while Putin was on an official visit to the country on July 27”. According to The Moscow Times, “The emails contained the exact time Putin’s helicopter arrived at the Savonlinna Airport and information on the Finnish president’s movements.” The Moscow Times adds, “Finnish police confirmed the leak on Monday, adding that it was harmless since the email was sent long after Putin arrived in the country,” noting that “At the time of the leak, the presidents were watching an opera in Olavinlinna”.
From The Moscow Times.
PROJECTED: PUTIN ON PROPERTY OF TRUMP
Business Insider reports, “Trump SoHo New York, one of the Trump Organization’s luxury hotels in lower Manhattan, appeared to be vandalized with a projection of Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.” Business Insider adds, “An image of Putin was emblazoned on a wall above the hotel’s signage. It showed Putin standing in front of a Russian flag and giving a thumbs-up with the phrases, ‘HAPPY TO HELP, BRO,’ ‘FOLLOW THE MONEY,’ and ‘LAUNDERING SERVICES AVAILABLE’ projected onto the building.” Additionally, “Actors wearing military-like uniforms appeared to be standing at attention in front of the hotel. One of them was holding a Russian flag,” Business Insider reports. Like a previous action of the sort in May at the Trump Hotel in DC, “Robin Bell, a video journalist based in Washington, D.C., was responsible for the display,” Business Insider reports.
From Business Insider.
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