EUGENE KASPERSKY AGREES TO TESTIFY BEFORE CONGRESS
Reuters reports, “Eugene Kaspersky, the co-founder and chief executive of Moscow-based anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab, said on Thursday he accepted an invitation to testify to U.S. lawmakers later this month over the security of his company’s products, but that he needed an expedited visa in order to do so.” Reuters notes, “The invitation came a day after the Trump administration told U.S. government agencies to remove Kaspersky Lab products from their networks, saying it was concerned the company was vulnerable to Russian government influence and that using its anti-virus software could jeopardize national security.” Reuters reports, “The committee said it invited Kaspersky to testify on Sept. 27. U.S. government and private-sector cyber experts were also invited.”
T REX + LAVROV GABFEST OVER SYRIA
Reuters reports, “Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held a phone call on the Syria crisis with his American counterpart Rex Tillerson, the ministry said in a statement on Friday.” Supposedly they “discussed cooperation in their attempts to resolve the Syrian crisis with an emphasis on de-escalation zones”.
TURKEY’S PURCHASE OF RUSSIAN MISSILES MAY TRIGGER SANCTIONS
POLITICO reports, Senator Ben Cardin sent a letter to Trump administration officials including T Rex and Treasury Secretary/government jet frequent flyer Steve Mnuchin that said, “Turkey’s recent purchase of an advanced Russian anti-air weapons system may have violated a U.S. law that would require an automatic imposition of sanctions on the NATO member”. Cardin wrote, “The legislation imposes sanctions ‘on any person that conducts a significant transaction with the Russian Federation’s defense or intelligence sectors’”. POLITICO notes, “The State Department said the purchase would not meet NATO standards of having interoperable equipment among allies but stopped short of discussing potential repercussions,” adding, “The Pentagon also expressed concern over the purchase.”
EU PROLONGS SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA + NEW AMBASSADOR TO U.S.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “ The European Union has prolonged its asset freezes and travel bans on Russian officials and Moscow-backed separatists in Ukraine for another six months, with Russia’s new ambassador to the United States remaining on the list”. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty adds, “Interior ministers from the 28 EU member states decided to renew the restrictive measures until March 2018 at a meeting on September 14 in Brussels — one day before they were due to expire.” Note, “The EU diplomats said that Russia’s new ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, remains on the EU sanctions list as no country asked for his removal,” according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
ATTENDING NAVALNY MEETING WILL INVITE FSB SCRUTINY IN MURMANSK
The Independent Barents Observer reports that according to a message Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny posted on his website from a local supporter in Murmansk, “the school teachers of the local School No 1 have on the request of the local government announced that students who attend tomorrow’s planned visit of opposition politician Aleksey Navalny will have to register on lists which will be submitted to the FSB.” That should do nothing to encourage attendance – which is, of course, precisely the point. According to The Independent Barents Observer, “Better not attend this meeting if you are planning to continue your studies in higher government education, the note says.” The Independent Barents Observer reports, “Navalny is due to arrive in Murmansk on Friday and has planned a public meeting on the downtown Leningradsky Square at 6 pm.”
ROGER STONE TO APPEAR BEFORE HOUSE INTEL COMMITTEE SEPT 26
CNN reports, “Roger Stone, a one-time adviser and frequent confidante of President Donald Trump, said Thursday he will testify before the House intelligence committee on September 26.” According to CNN, “Stone said in a statement that he would testify in a closed session, though he had requested a public hearing.”
MANAFORT’S LAWYERS NOT RETURNING SENATE’S CALLS
Bloomberg reports, “Former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort may be subpoenaed because his lawyers aren’t returning the Senate Judiciary Committee’s phone calls, panel Chairman Chuck Grassley said Thursday.” Could it be the FBI is keeping him under wraps or is he just working out a way to take the money and run?
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF PAINFULLY OBVIOUS TRUTHS
The Atlantic reports on the fact that the man who projected his reputation as a consummate dealmaker has never sealed one for Trump-branded real estate in Russia. In fact, so conspicuous is the absence of any known Trump real estate in Russia that it is a “revealing reflection of the disconnect between the image Trump projects and the reputation he and his surrogates have established in Russia.” One person asked the very simple question, “Trump wants a fee for branding and doesn’t put money in, so most developers’ in Moscow responses are ‘so what the fuck do we need him for?’” Another said, “Donald doesn’t write checks, he takes checks.” One Western investor spelled it out in plain English in a way that extends well beyond real estate investing in Russia, “If you want everything from the Russians, they’re not going to give it to you. Trump’s way of negotiating is to ask for every fucking thing. The Russians have a different philosophy of negotiation: He who asks is the weak party.” It’s true, Russia only respects strength.
From The Atlantic.
PENTAGON STILL PREPARING FOR CLIMATE CHANGE, IGNORING HOAX POTUS
The Military Times reports, “The Pentagon has continued to take steps to defend its military bases against extreme weather despite direction from President Donald Trump to stop preparing for climate change.” This is yet another indication that the Pentagon can distinguish between Trump and god, bullshit lies and factual truths. The Military Times recalls, “In March, President Donald Trump rescinded all climate-related federal agency actions directed by President Barack Obama.” All of this is to say, Trump can declare anything he wishes to a hoax but that does not make it so, just as his inauguration and White House residence does not make him a real legitimate president elected by the American people alone.
From The Military Times.
DEEP STATE DEPARTMENT ELEGY
Defense One has a long piece by former Bush administration official Eliot Cohen that is quite excellent on all the damage and world of hurt Donald Trump’s pompous, clueless foreign policy royale is setting us up for in the future. Read every word because this is a rare stellar articulation of the problem of a decimated State Department, the crisis of confidence in the U.S. and Western democracy with the elevation of Trump to the highest office in the land has caused. Ironically, this was always the one area where the neocons excelled, dissecting the problems of democracy in declining states. It is such a pity and real tragedy to watch these skills be used on analyzing the decimated diplomatic landscape in Trumpistan. The conclusion sums up the problem beautifully: “Hearing him bully and brag, boast and bluster, threaten and lie, one feels a kind of dizziness, a sensation that underneath the throbbing pulse of routine scandal lies the potential for much worse. The kind of sensation, in fact, that accompanies dangerously high blood pressure, just before a sudden, excruciating pain.” Yes, we are headed to a crisis and the longer this goes on for the longer and more protracted that pain will be.
From Defense One.
COMPARING THE COST OF PROPAGANDA
Meduza has a fascinating infographic that “compares the U.S. government’s international news media to [Russian state-run] RT and Sputnik, to get a better sense of just how big these operations are, relative to each other.” Keep in mind this requires the use of Russian facts and figures, which often fall into the realm of “alternative facts,” for our great new friends, the Russian mafia state, as in things might be grossly understated here to make it seem more cost effective than it is on their part. Additionally, on both parts these are only including budget for key networks, not less overt forms.
GREETINGS FROM VELES, MACEDONIA!
CNN Money reports from Veles, Macedonia, a farm or factory of fake news stories during the 2016 election. CNN Money reports fake news creators can take in in a day what Macedonians can’t make in a month and many were able to afford luxuries such as cars and even education for family members on their earnings. CNN Money spoke with a clickbait coach who encouraged students to “find a legit story that’s already trending in the U.S., and then to ‘make it even more sensational.’” The mayor of Veles for his part says he is proud the industry put him on the map, even if it is in part the result of high unemployment and the lack of other industries at which to make a living. After Hillary’s loss, CNN Money reports Obama spent a day talking with advisors “almost obsessively” about the fake news factories of Veles. According to CNN Money, “Three fake news producers in Veles said their Google ad accounts were suspended in recent months, and their Facebook fan pages have been blocked. Several others said they knew people who had experienced the same.”
From CNN Money.
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
PUTIN LONGEST SERVING LEADER OF RUSSIA SINCE STALIN
The Washington Post reports, “On Sept. 12, Vladimir Putin quietly passed a landmark date: He had spent 6,602 days as the top leader of Russia. Although not widely acknowledged, this figure meant that Putin had spent more time in office than Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, who ruled for 18 years and one month between 1964 and 1982 (6,601 days).” Cool! Like all true Democrats of our postwar, postcolonial, and post-Cold War times. According to The Washington Post, “It also means that Putin is now the longest-serving Russian leader since Joseph Stalin, who led the Soviet Union for almost three decades between 1924 and 1953 — 10,636 days in total.” Putin must be so thrilled there is real occasion to put his name in the same breath as Stalin’s. Some Soviets wanted to see Lenin and meet with those who had, we never heard again from those who saw Stalin.
From The Washington Post.
BAKU-TBILISI-CEYHAN OIL PIPELINE DEAL EXTENDED TO 2050
Reuters reports, “BP and Azerbaijan agreed on Thursday to extend into 2050 a contract to develop the ex-Soviet state’s biggest oilfield cluster, a deal dubbed ‘the contract of the century’ when first signed in 1994.” The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline was the first pipeline to deliver oil from a former Soviet republic to the West completely bypassing Russia.
ANTI-DOPING AGENCIES WANT RUSSIA BANNED FROM OLYMPICS AGAIN
The Guardian reports, “The world’s leading anti-doping agencies have come together to demand Russia be banned from the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang next year”. The Guardian notes, “the organisations also warned the IOC that its continuing reluctance to hold Russia to account for what it called ‘one of the biggest scandals in sports history’”. Russia was banned from competing in the Rio games and has a history of doping in Olympic sports that goes back to the 1970s, at least, and has included cooperation from the highest levels of the Russian state in athletic doping. All so losing Russia can win, or rather fake win. Sad!
From The Guardian.
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