TRUMP BEST NOT OUT NORTH KOREA NORTH KOREA
POLITICO reports, “President Donald Trump’s warning Tuesday that North Korea ‘will be met with fire and fury’ if it continues its saber rattling sparked new fears that the standoff over the regime’s advancing nuclear and missile programs could devolve into a shooting war.” Please, it would be a nuclear war which is as hot as it gets, but not in that cute but cheap and proto-fascist generic American blond propagandist on Trump TV way. Although you can watch her dubbed with North Korea propaganda audio because as long as we stand on this end of the eve of destruction, you should laugh. Or you can watch Trump make the actual threat with Melania in baptismal white beside him at his golf club. Note: he uses the imperfect futureless present continuous, as signified by “best not”. You can also take the @dataandpolitics quiz and “Guess whether the following quotes are from Kim Jong-Il’s guidance to journalists Or a White House statement”. Meanwhile, TRUMPISTAN WATCH says nuclear war with threats of fire and fury, from Trump of all lunatics, best not interrupt the likes of which is the preferred August scandal: the dad body of Denmark’s future king, killer of princess dreams of little girls for sure. Come on, it’s summer, Washington and Trump, quit falling for this failing dictator scare tactics playbook stuff even though, as POLITICO correctly notes, “The seemingly off-the-cuff broadside also reignited concerns raised during the presidential campaign that Trump’s tough rhetoric, including his previous calls to build up the American nuclear arsenal, could be dangerously destabilizing.” Of course, “The statement was not vetted through State Department channels, one official said, but Trump has asked an increasing number of questions about North Korea,” which begs the question: does he listen to the answers? Does he even care to hear the answers? And North Korea’s response? According to The New York Times, “North Korea warned several hours later that it was considering a strike that would create ‘an enveloping fire’ around Guam, the western Pacific island where the United States operates a critical Air Force base.” As for the Pentagon, let’s close with a little dark humor courtesy of reporter Nancy Youssef’s “Overheard at the Pentagon” series, “Don’t worry, DoD took away the codes. The briefcase is empty.” That’s the only part of this news brief TRUMPISTAN WATCH hopes is true.
TRUMP’S CAMPAIGN STARTS HANDING OVER DOCUMENTS
Bloomberg reports, “Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, his son Donald Trump Jr. and former campaign manager Paul Manafort have started turning over documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of the panel’s expanded investigation of Russian election-meddling.” Bloomberg adds, “The Trump campaign turned over about 20,000 pages of documents on Aug. 2, committee spokesman George Hartmann said Tuesday. Manafort provided about 400 pages on Aug. 2, including his foreign-advocacy filing, while Trump Jr. gave about 250 pages on Aug. 4, Hartmann said. The committee had asked them last month to start producing the documents by Aug. 2.” Also of note, the company behind the Steele dossier, “Fusion GPS, and its chief executive officer, Glenn Simpson, have yet to turn over any requested documents, Hartmann said.”
EVERYTHING THE KREMLIN DOES TO INJURE ITSELF IS BROWDER’S FAULT
Russian state-run Sputnik carries news of an interview that aired on Russian state-run RT with Natalia Veselnitskaya, the fascist lawyer proxy behind the Kremlin’s assault on our electoral system via an orchestrated meeting at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016 and efforts to discredit the Magnitsky Act. Surprise! Everything is Bill Browder’s fault. Browder was the largest foreign investor in Russia before Russian authorities seized his earnings and funneled it into a tax scam linked to Manhattan property using a shell company called Prevezon. And it’s all Browder’s fault since he hired a lawyer, Sergey Magnitsky, and then the Kremlin killed his lawyer through torture in a notorious Moscow jail. Yes, the brutality and thievery of Russians is all Browder’s fault. No one else questioned it until he came along, not the Russian people and certainly not Washington or London. Russian state-run Sputnik stops short of accusing him of conspiring with the Illuminati aboard the mothership and shows profound constraint in not lobbing the customary accusations of Russophobia.
A $6 BILLION SINKHOLE: VENEZUELA ASPECT OF AMERICA OPERATION
Reuters reports, “Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft said on Tuesday it had made around $6 billion in pre-payments to Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and had no immediate plans to make any further advance payments soon.” Meanwhile in Russia, Alexey Navalny told American television audiences Monday corruption is killing their country and Russians are left with “this low level of life”. Of course, “OPEC member Venezuela is struggling to pay back creditors as its economy endures triple-digit inflation and chronic shortages of food and medicine,” Reuters notes, a dilemma familiar no doubt to an older generation of Russians who lost their youth to the great socialist experiment of Soviet times. But it was worth it! According to Reuters, “Rosneft Chief Executive Igor Sechin said earlier this year his company, the world’s top listed oil firm by output, would continue to work in Venezuela and would never leave the country.” It’s that sort of determination in the face of factual reality that killed communism and the Soviet Union. Reuters reports, “Rosneft’s pre-payments to PDVSA have totaled around $6 billion, Rosneft said on a conference call with investors. This includes principal of $5.7 billion and interest of $245 million”. Just think of how much Russia’s little big America obsession is costing them and how much it has cost them in the past! It’s not as if they ever lost a big showdown with the West before by bankrupting themselves trying to stay competitive.
ZAPAD WATCH: THE PRE-GAME SHOW IN BATTLEFIELD BELARUS
The Belarusian Telegraph Agency reports, “Belarusian reconnaissance troops will upgrade their fieldcraft during the final stage of the preparations for the Belarusian-Russian strategic army exercise Zapad 2017,” citing the Belarusian Defense Ministry. In typical state news in the post-Soviet sphere fashion, we learn, “Tactical and special exercise of armed forces and reconnaissance units will be held at training grounds in the area of responsibility of the Western Operational Command on 9-10 August in accordance with the command’s training plan,” with as little additional detail as possible given by the Belarusian Telegraph Agency.
From Belarusian Telegraph Agency.
NAVALNY WALKS BACK “50% CHANCE I WOULD BE KILLED” COMMENTS
The Moscow Times reports, “In an interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio station on Monday, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said he had been ‘joking’ when he said in earlier comments that there was a 50 percent chance he would killed by the Russian authorities for his political activism.” The comments were made to CBS News which Navalny noted, “took it so seriously and put it in the title, which comes across as very frightening”.
From The Moscow Times.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
The Washington Post reports, “A CNN poll and an Investor’s Business Daily poll, both released late Monday, show somewhat different pictures of Trump’s overall approval. The CNN poll pegs it at 38 percent — around where it has been in other polling for a while — while the IBD poll shows it at a painfully low 32 percent.” The Washington Post notes, “That’s the lowest of any high-quality poll in Trump’s entire presidency.” As The Washington Post notes, taken together, “both polls actually reinforce the idea that Trump’s support among the base is in decline.” Who does not love the brink of nuclear destruction, collusion with a foreign adversary and the red cap bourgeoisie belittling all but the impotent white men it reveres and holds up as alphas? Don’t you just feel so alive on the precipice of the uncertain death of democracy and civilization? The IBD poll “shows Trump’s decline even more acutely, with 71 percent of Republicans approving of him. That’s down from 83 percent just a month ago.” What a pity. Notably, “The IBD poll shows Trump’s biggest decline coming among those making between $30,000 and $50,000 per year; 40 percent of this group approved of Trump last month, but it’s down to 27 percent today,” The Washington Post reports. Let it bleed.
From The Washington Post.
ONE EX-CIA MOSCOW STATION CHIEF’S INTERPRETATION OF EVENTS
Many outside the world of intelligence imagine the CIA is a monolith that concocts conspiracies but few understand that there is considerable internal debate and much disagreement between agents, analysts, bosses and ultimately the consumer of intelligence, namely the executive and legislative branches. To this end, NPR speaks with Daniel Hoffman, a recently retired former CIA agent in operations and three-time station chief who disagrees on some points with former colleagues such as Steven Hall and John Sipher, specifically on the topic of collusion. Hoffman, “who spent a total of five years in Moscow,” notes “the upcoming expulsions won’t have much impact on U.S. spy efforts — because the U.S. gets to decide who leaves.” NPR reports, “The greater impact, says Hoffman, may be on Russia’s spies, including the FSB, the successor agency to the KGB. Because it’ll mostly be local, Russian staff that gets cut.” Russia shoot itself in the foot in an effort to sabotage America? That’s so unlike them! NPR notes, “Hoffman’s long experience observing Russian spies at work leads to a surprising conclusion about one of the most sensational revelations from last year’s election: that Trump Tower meeting in June 2016.” Hoffman said, “it pointed to a discoverable influence operation rather than some effort to establish a clandestine channel for collusion.” Russia wanted to be discovered for reasons of national pride; the goal was confusion. TRUMPISTAN WATCH would argue there is also evidence to suggest there was collusion among members of the Trump campaign likely involved as well. As for the Steele dossier, Hoffman correctly assesses, “they fed not only true information — but untrue information as well. Which is their regular modus operandi for covert influence operations.” Hoffman also told NPR there are “no sign Russian spy efforts are slowing. Every American official is a target,” and some non-officials as well.
MOSCOW MISCALCULATION LEAVES ROOM FOR FURTHER MISCALCULATIONS
The most dangerous thing about Russian meddling in the 2016 election and ever since is not Donald Trump; rather, it is Moscow’s potential for further miscalculations. Reuters reports, “The soap opera of White House personnel changes, intrigue and investigations has alarmed a part of the American public and shocked some foreign governments, yet Russian officials have found their own way of responding. With a shrug.” That’s because, “Russia’s elite celebrated when Donald Trump was elected president because it expected a thaw in relations, but expectations since then have plummeted so far that in Moscow, signs of dysfunction in the administration barely register.” Reuters recalls, “when Trump’s election victory was announced in the lower house of Russia’s parliament, the lawmakers broke into spontaneous applause.” Now that their hopes of a thaw and thieving without consequence are dashed, Moscow realizes that “whoever Trump brings into his White House is unlikely to change the course of U.S.-Russian relations.” This is dangerous because whoever was responsible for gaming this situation internally in the Kremlin and the Ministries of Foregn Affairs and Defense bungled it badly, as did Putin. Imagine what else they could miscalculate and get wrong.
NOT A VERY CHRISTIAN CRUSADE: THE FAR RIGHT + RUSSIA
Business Insider reports, “The far right’s crusade against national security adviser H.R. McMaster reached new heights last week,” noting, conspiracy theorist and “Infowars founder Alex Jones invited an ultranationalist Russian political philosopher on his radio show to discuss ‘globalist’ threats to US President Donald Trump’s agenda.” The [Aleksandr] Dugin interview/propaganda piece was “part of a segment attacking McMaster,” Business Insider relays, since the line goes, “‘Globalists’ like McMaster have made Russia ‘enemy No. 1,’” because in the face of real enemies and battlefield, shadowboxing domestic minorities is not really McMaster’s thing. Nor is selling out to Russia as others like Jones have done. One thing “Dugin’s interview with Jones highlighted the extent to which the US’s far right had found a natural ally in Russia’s current zeitgeist, which perceives the US as an imperialist power working on behalf of liberal elites to destroy traditional Christian values,” Business Insider reports, adding, “The campaign to oust McMaster has had help from Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence operations.” Among the Twitter accounts promoting a #FireMcMaster hashtag domestically is Lee Stranahan, a Russian propaganda host on Russian state-run Sputnik and far right commentator. All that is to say, losers like Lee Stranahan would not have much of a career if not for Russia. Luckily unlike these losers, McMaster is battle-tested. One step out of the far right info-sphere and these losers get crushed by common sense.
From Business Insider.
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
IF THIS HAPPENED IN AMERICA, THERE WOULD BE RIOTS
An old aphorism goes, if you take away the inalienable rights of Americans, so free porn and reality TV, there would be riots in the streets. Ok, so the aphorism is only so old as Trump’s political ascent and these other forms of mass media, but critically they erase all history before them while keeping the masses occupied. Year zero is now the advent of copious amounts of free internet porn. Are you scared yet? Well you should be because Riga-based Meduza via Russian state-run RIA Novosti is reporting, “Russian State Duma deputy Vitaly Milonov has appealed to Nikolai Nikiforov, the head of the Mass Media and Communications Ministry, suggesting a ban on free pornography websites.” Stockpile now! Horror among horrors, “Milonov also wants to cut off Russians’ access all porn websites, until the creation of effective age-verification measures.” They do not seem to have thought this through: what are adolescent boys to do with all that extra time and energy? Said adolescent boys may be well into their thirties or what is nominally termed “adulthood,” even as every American knows adulting is hard. A nation without porn is like porn without a nation, adrift in a sea of meaningful dialogue, non-objectified intercourse, and other forms of self-discovery. To the Russian people, Americans stand with you.
RESISTANCE ADVICE: SEE CHICKEN DON ON THE WASHINGTON MALL TODAY
In the TRUMPISTAN WATCH inbox comes this call to action: “Donald Trump is a chicken. Chicken Don. He’s too afraid to release his tax returns and too afraid to stand up to Putin, yet he wants a military parade in Washington D.C.” You can join the crowd behind this spring’s tax marches today at 10 a.m. if you are in Washington as they inflate a 30-foot “Chicken Don” on the mall that “squints at the White House”. Chicken Don!
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