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—–ON THE AGENDA—–

 

TRUMP LAWYER + CAMP DIGITAL DIRECTOR TO HOUSE INTEL COMMITTEE

The AP reports, “President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer,” Michael Cohen, “is scheduled to speak Tuesday with investigators for the House probe into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” The AP notes, “Cohen will talk with House investigators just a few hours before former Trump campaign digital director Brad Parscale meets with them.”

From the AP.

 

—–BREAKING—–

 

TRUMP IS NOT IMPLEMENTING SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA

The Daily Beast reports, “The administration has since blown past an October 1 deadline to implement the sanctions. Lawmakers are now searching for answers as to whether the president is even planning to follow the law that they passed and he signed.” So who is Trump beholden to as Putin’s puppet? On Monday, Senator John McCain told The Daily Beast, “If they don’t cooperate, then further actions need to be taken”. The Daily Beast notes, “aside from procedural tactics, Congress is essentially powerless in compelling the executive branch to follow through on the law it forced them to sign.” The Daily Beast adds, “the Trump administration was engaged in active efforts to weaken a core part of the sanctions bill: that Congress would have the authority to review any attempts by the executive branch to unilaterally roll back or ramp up the sanctions. Despite those reservations and the attempts to water down the bill, support for the measure was veto-proof, and Trump signed the bill into law on August 2.” Only Senators Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul voted against the sanctions bill. The Daily Beast reports, “McCain and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) sensed that the administration might try to delay the implementation of the sanctions, and preemptively wrote Trump in an attempt to ensure that he would implement the law. Nearly two weeks after the deadline passed, the senators issued a joint statement calling ‘into question the Trump administration’s commitment to the sanctions bill.’” How about his commitment, or lack thereof, to the American people and U.S. national sovereignty? Also flimsy.

From The Daily Beast.

 

COURT BATTLE FOR FUSION GPS FINANCIAL RECORDS CONTINUES

Bloomberg reports, “A private firm,” Fusion GPS, “that produced an opposition-research dossier about President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia,” known as the Steele dossier after its lead author Christopher Steele, “asked a federal court to prevent the House Intelligence Committee from obtaining its financial records.” Bloomberg notes, “Fusion GPS’s lawyer, Joshua Levy, filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Washington on Friday to stop its bank from complying with a congressional subpoena seeking two years of bank records. The firm said the subpoena from committee chairman Devin Nunes violates its First Amendment rights and various laws. In response, the committee said Saturday in court papers that it has the constitutional right to subpoena that information and that the committee will file more documents to support that argument.” So, “On Monday, the Intelligence Committee’s general counsel, Mark Stewart, further defended the legal legitimacy of the subpoenas for the bank’s records in a new filing with the court. He said the information would be protected from public disclosure ‘absent a full vote’ of the committee,” according to Bloomberg. This is how DARKNESS AT NUNES runs interference and delegitimizes an investigation on behalf of Trump and, TRUMPISTAN WATCH suspects Russia as well, because it is all just a bit too much to their taste.

From Bloomberg.

 

LONG ISLAND IP

The Daily Beast reports, “A company owned by a man on Staten Island, New York, provided internet infrastructure services to DoNotShoot.Us, a Kremlin propaganda site that pretended to be a voice for victims of police shootings”. The Daily Beast notes, “Every website needs to be ‘hosted’”—given an Internet Protocol address and space on a physical computer—in order to be publicly viewed. DoNotShoot.Us is a website run out of the Kremlin-backed ‘Russian troll farm,’” that “was hosted on a server with the IP address 107.181.161.172. That IP address was owned by Greenfloid LLC, a company registered to New Yorker Sergey Kashyrin and two others. Other Russian propaganda sites, like BlackMattersUs.com, were also hosted on servers with IP addresses owned by Greenfloid.” The Daily Beast adds, “The web services company owns under 250 IP addresses, some of which resolve to Russian propaganda sites and other fake news operations. Others are sites that could not be hosted at other providers, like ‘xxxrape.net.’ There’s also a Russian trinket site called ‘soviet-power.com.’ (The IP address that pointed to DoNotShoot.Us now resolves to a botnet and phishing operation, and is currently owned by Total Server Solutions LLC.)” The Daily Beast notes, “While hosted in America, content for the sites was generated by paid staffers in St. Petersburg.” Of course, “Reached by phone, Kashyrin gave a string of answers, many of them contradictory,” because agents of the Russian state lie so much they forget their lies and the lies reveal further lies. The Daily Beast reports, “Greenfloid is listed on the site of its Kharkiv, Ukraine-based parent company ITL as its North American division, and a number listed for Greenfloid dials into a Russian-language menu for ITL,” adding, “This isn’t the first time ITL has been called out over allegations its servers were used to host sites run by the Russian troll factory.” Think Progress reports it “reached ITL’s Dmitry Deineka, whose LinkedIn lists him as ITL’s CEO, via email. Deineka declined to answer ThinkProgress’s questions, writing that ‘we do not give any information about our customers.’” ThinkProgress adds, “Another site, BlacktoLive.org, shares many of the trappings of other sites revealed to be Russian, like BlackMattersUS.com,” and “is also owned by ‘Greenfloid Llc.’”

From The Daily Beast and Think Progress.

 

LAWMAKERS QUESTION WHY BILL BROWDER’S VISA WAS REVOKED

CBS News reports, “Republicans and Democrats on Monday demanded answers from the U.S. government after British-American financier William Browder, who lobbied heavily for a law targeting Russian officials over human rights, said his visa was revoked.” According to CBS News, “After the situation received widespread attention Monday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a statement saying that it had ‘manually approved’ Browder’s application on Oct. 18, ‘clearing him for travel to the United States.’” CBS News adds, “Browder tweeted Sunday that his name had been added to an Interpol travel list and his U.S. visa had been revoked. In an interview with The Associated Press on Monday, Browder said he was checking in to a flight to the United States on Sunday when he discovered his visa had been revoked.” Browder said, “When I looked in to it, the reason I discovered that the U.S had cancelled my travel privileges was that I had been added to the Interpol list by Russia,” CBS News reports, adding, “Browder told the Associated Press he believes his visa was revoked by ‘an automatic process’ in the U.S., and he doesn’t think this was an active attempt by President Donald Trump’s administration to bar him from entering.”

From CBS News.

 

PUSSY RIOT PROTEST AT TRUMP TOWER

The Telegraph reports, “Trump Tower was shut down by Russian activists Pussy Riot as they occupied the hotel in a protest,” adding, “the tower was shut down for half an hour yesterday as the punk band, which has previously sparked the wrath of President Putin with its provocative material, hung banners from the tower.” They said while Americans focus on everyday sexism, they want the focus to be on political prisoners in Russia. The Telegraph adds Pussy Riot activists “hung a banner, saying ‘Free Senstov’ inside the hotel, referring to Ukranian filmmaker Oleg Senstov who is currently in prison in Russia. He was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment over terrorism charges, however, his lawyers and other supporters have said the charges were trumped-up to silence the director, who was critical of Russia’s military actions in Crimea.”

From The Telegraph.

 

POLAND TO INCREASE ARMY SIZE BY 50 PERCENT

Which is fascinating considering how Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz and his Deputy Bartosz Kownacki have ties to Russia! Nonetheless, “Poland’s army will increase the size of its army and introduce a 50,000-strong volunteer militia as fears grow of a military resurgence in neighboring Russia under Vladimir Putin.” According to Newsweek, “Polish President Andrzej Duda signed off a bill that will increase defense spending and up the size of the army by 50,000 from the current 100,000.” Newsweek notes, “The bill, which is a rare piece of legislation to enjoy cross-party support in Poland, envisions a defense budget increase of up to 2.5 percent of Poland’s GDP by 2030.” Newsweek adds, “Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has pledged that his country would never attack a NATO ally and risk war. However, trust in Russian foreign policy statements among Western governments is at a post-Cold War low.”

From Newsweek.

 

—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–

 

THE VOTER FRAUD COMMISSION CAN ONLY LEAD TO MORE FRAUD

ProPublica reports, “The voter-fraud-checking program championed by the head of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity suffers from data security flaws that could imperil the safety of millions of peoples’ records, according to experts.” According to ProPublica, “Indivisible Chicago, a progressive advocacy group in Illinois, filed a public-records request with Illinois and Florida for information on the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program. Crosscheck was created and run by the Kansas secretary of state’s office and is often cited by Kris Kobach, Kansas’ secretary of state, as a way to identify voters casting ballots in more than one state. Indivisible Chicago then posted emails and other documents it received, including messages exchanged between elections officials in Illinois and Florida and Crosscheck.” The result? “The emails and records revealed numerous security weaknesses. Crosscheck’s files are hosted on an insecure server, according to its own information. Usernames and passwords were regularly shared by email, making them vulnerable to snooping. And passwords were overly simplistic and only irregularly changed,” ProPublica reports. Additionally, “Crosscheck’s data is stored on an FTP server run by the Arkansas Office of the Secretary of State. FTP servers are unencrypted, leaving passwords and downloads readable by electronic spies. It is standard across the industry to instead use SFTP,” ProPublica notes.

From ProPublica.

 

BRITISH LAWMAKERS WANT FACEBOOK DATA ON RUSSIAN ROLE IN BREXIT

CNN reports, “British lawmakers have asked the company to provide information on any ads purchased by Russian-linked Facebook accounts around June’s general election and last year’s Brexit referendum. Damian Collins, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, has requested details including how much money was spent on ads, how many times they were viewed and which Facebook users were targeted.”

From CNN.

 

SOVIET SCIENCE REINFORCES AN IDEOLOGY INDIFFERENT TO SCIENCE

The Washington Post reports, “The Environmental Protection Agency has instructed two of its scientists and one contractor not to speak as planned at a scientific conference Monday in Providence, R.I., sparking criticism from some academics and congressional Democrats. EPA officials confirmed Sunday that its researchers would not present at the State of Narragansett Bay and Its Watershed program but did not offer an explanation for the decision.” One of the panels that the three (which includes two women) were two speak on was entitled, “The Present and Future Biological Implications of Climate Change.” Obviously things happening in real life abut the White House’s ill-constructed sense of “reality” in a television sense and of course ideology — how totally Soviet.

From The Washington Post.

 

—–DISINFO WARS—–

 

RUSSIAN STATE-RUN RT POWERED BY GOOGLE

The New York Times reports, “When the state-backed Russian news channel RT became the first news organization to surpass one billion views on YouTube in 2013, it marked the achievement with a retrospective of its most popular videos and a special guest — one of the Google-owned site’s senior executives,” Robert Kyncl, who “joined an RT anchor in a studio, where he praised RT for bonding with viewers by providing ‘authentic’ content instead of ‘agendas or propaganda.’” Horrible. Of course now “the once-cozy relationship between RT and YouTube is drawing closer scrutiny.” The New York Times notes, “YouTube — the world’s most-visited video site, owned by one of the most powerful and influential corporations in America — played a crucial role in helping build and expand RT”. The New York Times reports, “RT’s reach on YouTube — 2.2 million subscribers, just slightly behind CNN — stemmed from a long and mutually beneficial relationship between the news channel and the video site, according to current and former RT employees and technology industry analysts.” Bret Schafer, an official at the Alliance for Securing Democracy, told The New York Times, “People come for the click-bait material,” but, “eventually land on videos that the Kremlin wants them to see.” The New York Times notes, “Until recently, RT was also among a select group of news organizations included in Google’s ‘preferred’ news lineup,” and only dropped them last month.

From The New York Times.

 

HOW THE PROPAGANDA SPREAD: LIKE BUTTER ON FAKE NEWS TOAST

Media Matters for America reports, “Fake news purveyors have repeatedly promoted tweets from a Twitter account that was run by Russian operatives, often framing their articles directly around the account.” Media Matters notes, “In October, one of the Russian Twitter accounts was identified as @TEN_GOP, which had claimed to speak for the Tennessee Republican Party. The account previously had been repeatedly cited by media outletscelebrities, and figures in Trump’s orbit. Websites known to purvey fake news also regularly cited the account, sometimes to push the same themes that Russian-affiliated accounts did on Facebook.” Surprise! Yes, the domestic disinformation messaging is heavily coordinated and appears simultaneously with Russian efforts. According to Media Matters, “For example, multiple fake news purveyors in February wrote pieces about ‘angry filthy Muslims tak[ing] over streets of NYC,’ citing a video posted by @TEN_GOP that claimed to show ‘Muslims taking over streets in NYC.’ One of the fake news purveyors was The New York Evening, which is based in Macedonia, a major hub for fake news writers. One of those articles drew more than 23,000 Facebook engagements, according to social media analytics website BuzzSumo.” Media Matters adds, “Fake news purveyors also wrote articles about tweets from @TEN_GOP,” which included, “Hyped supposed voter fraud,” a “supposed riot in France,” “Hyped and criticized the group antifa and said protests made Berkeley, CA, ‘look[] like the Middle East,”Promoted Trump and his administration, such as claiming big crowds and enthusiastic receptions,” all while attacking “perceived enemies of Trumpincluding Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), a staunch critic of Trump; former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHouse Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (one of the Pelosi articles was later promoted by prominent preacher Rodney Howard-Browne); and former FBI Director James Comey.” Media Matters notes, “These fake news purveyors’ articles that cited @TEN_GOP combined had at least 330,000 Facebook engagements, according to BuzzSumo.”

From Media Matters for America.

 

—–TOWARDS A PEACEFUL NUCLEAR EXCHANGE—–

 

B52 BOMBERS PREPARE FOR 24-HOUR ALERT

Defense One reports, “The U.S. Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers back on 24-hour ready alert, a status not seen since the Cold War ended in 1991.” Gen. David “Goldfein and other senior defense officials stressed that the alert order had not been given, but that preparations were under way in anticipation that it might come. That decision would be made by Gen. John Hyten, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command, or Gen. Lori Robinson, the head of U.S. Northern Command.”

From Defense One.

 

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