—–ON THE AGENDA—–
TRUMP’S OLD ENFORCER TO TESTIFY TO HOUSE INTEL COMMITTEE
POLITICO reports, Keith Schiller, “Trump’s longtime aide de camp and ‘head of Oval Office operations,’ who left the White House in September, has been around ‘the Boss,’ as he still refers to the president, longer than anyone else in Trump’s current circle. The former NYPD cop became head of security at Trump Tower in 2005. On Tuesday, the former aide is due back in Washington, a city other aides said the lifelong New Yorker never liked or understood, to appear before the House Intelligence Committee for an interview as part of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.” Citing a report in The Washington Post, POLITICO notes, “Schiller is expected to be grilled about Trump’s 2013 trip to Moscow — and the infamous 35-page dossier of compromising information about Trump’s behavior during a trip to visit the Miss Universe pageant”. Oh hell yeah.
CENTENARY OF THE BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION: A CENTURY OF LIES + HORROR
The Guardian reports, “Russians, and their captive nations, suffered a century of almost inconceivable pain. Tens of millions perished in the revolution and civil war, in the forced collectivisation of farming, the terror of the 1930s, and the second world war. Then came the postwar repressions, and finally the tumult of the end of communism and the bewildering attempts to introduce capitalism and democracy. Russians should be forgiven for being traumatised by their recent history,” but their state is run by a bunch of mafiosi criminal thieves and murderers who have decided on a different path than one of reconciliation. The result of the Bolshevik Revolution was of course the state’s adaptation of the glorious lie of socialism and the total ideological control of the Soviet bureaucratic autocracy and its command economy “turned out to be barely controlled chaos, further muddled by everyday corruption and sheer bloody-mindedness.” Of course not everyone submitted ideologically to the will of the mindless, mind-numbing official lies of the state, rather “The intelligentsia’s response to totalitarianism was ‘internal emigration’. In this world free thinking was actually stimulated by the lack of official freedom.” Then “The working classes had their own way of shunning the state, summed up in the words: ‘They pretend to pay us, we pretend to work.’” Another popular idiom lifted verbatim from Orwell’s Animal Farm: “All men are created equal, but some are created more equal,” to describe the party apparatchiks, the so-called red bourgeoisie was popular across the former Eastern bloc nations. Meanwhile in Moscow today, celebrations will be decidedly low key and deliberately deflect from the significance of the anniversary, The Washington Post reports. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Supporters of Russia’s Communist Party (KPRF) are set to march and rally in downtown Moscow to mark the centennial of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.” Oh the irony of receiving that little bit of news from that source as opposed to say the Russian mafia state press organs.
TRUMPISTAN WATCH’s shero Anne Applebaum writes in The Washington Post, “At the beginning of 1917, on the eve of the Russian revolution, most of the men who would become known to the world as the Bolsheviks had very little to show for their lives. They had been in and out of prison, constantly under police surveillance, rarely employed. Vladimir Lenin spent most of the decade preceding the revolution drifting between Krakow, Zurich and London. Joseph Stalin spent those years in the Caucasus, running protection rackets and robbing banks. Leon Trotsky had escaped from Siberian exile was to be found in Viennese coffee shops; when the revolution broke out, he was showing off his glittering brilliance at socialist meeting halls in New York.” However, Applebaum notes, “None of them played a major role in the February revolution, the first of the two revolutions of 1917, when hungry workers and mutinous soldiers occupied the streets of Petrograd, as St. Petersburg was then called, and forced the czar to abdicate.” Applebaum recalls, “At that moment, Alexander Kerensky, who was to become the Provisional Government’s liberal leader, enjoyed widespread support.” Of course, “Seven months later the Bolsheviks were in charge,” in “a Bolshevik coup d’etat,” Applebaum writes. Here is the trouble: “in 1917, the fairy tales told by Lenin, Trotsky, and the others won the day.” Lenin and Trotsky realized they did not require “the Petrograd Soviet or the other socialist parties” but rather “a fanatical and devoted minority, one that would kill for the cause.” Applebaum notes, “in the political chaos that followed the czar’s abdication, in a city that was paralyzed by food shortages, distracted by rumors and haunted by an unpopular war, a fanatical and devoted minority proved sufficient.” And “Within two decades of October 1917, the Revolution had devoured not only its children, but also its founders — the men and women who had been motivated by such passion for destruction. It created not a beautiful new civilization but an angry, unhappy, and embittered society, one that squandered its resources, built ugly, inhuman cities, and broke new ground in atrocity and mass murder.” Read Applebaum’s entire meditation as it brings 1917 to life and connects the events of a century ago with this precise political moment in the U.S. and Europe.
From The Washington Post.
MATTIS MEETS NORTHERN EUROPEAN DEFENSE MINITERS IN HELSINKI
Reuters reports the defense ministers of Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden “will meet in Helsinki on Tuesday with a Northern Group that includes Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland and the Baltic states. U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis will also join the meeting.”
ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS – OR RUBLES? — NOT THE FREE REPUBLIC
POLITICO reports, “A top adviser to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross served on the board of Navigator Holdings, a shipping company whose clients include a Russian energy company with Kremlin ties, while she was working in the Trump administration.” Oh hello! From the crowd that crows about all the malfeasance in so-called “Clinton Cash,” they bring you, “Wendy Teramoto,” who “retained her seat on Navigator’s board after joining Commerce in mid-March as a part-time adviser to Ross, one of the most influential voices in President Donald Trump’s ear on global trade and economic policy. She also continued to serve as an executive of Ross’s private equity firm WL Ross & Co. after becoming a government employee.” According to POLITICO, “Teramoto didn’t resign her seat on Navigator’s board until July 17, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. She left WL Ross that same month. On Aug. 1, she was formally named Ross’s chief of staff.” To the journalists digging around the Paradise Papers: make special note of this name. Of course, “The overlap between Teramoto’s board tenure and her time at the Commerce Department could be problematic because it’s yet another point of connection between Russian financial interests and the Trump administration, even if no government violations occurred,” POLITICO notes.
WHERE IS MY PAGE? SINGING TO THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE
Business Insider reports, “The House Intelligence Committee released a transcript of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page’s testimony before the panel last week. Some of the testimony corroborates details contained in what’s become known as the Steele dossier. Page revealed that he had met with Russian government officials and a top official at a state-owned oil giant during a 2016 trip to Moscow.” Business Insider notes, “Page revealed during his testimony that he met with both members of Russia’s presidential administration and with the head of investor relations at the state-owned Russian oil giant Rosneft during his trip to Moscow last July.” Additionally, “He also congratulated members of the Trump campaign’s foreign policy team on July 14 congratulating them for their ‘excellent work’ on the ‘Ukraine amendment,’” Business Insider reports. Recall, “Former British spy Christopher Steele wrote in the dossier that an ‘official close to Presidential Administration Head, S. IVANOV, confided in a compatriot that a senior colleague in the Internal Political Department of the PA, DIVYEKIN (nfd) also had met secretly with PAGE on his recent visit.’” The dossier asserts “Diveykin told Page that the Kremlin had a dossier of kompromat on Hillary Clinton that they wanted to give to the Trump campaign,” Business Insider notes. “Page denied meeting with Diveykin,” however, but Business Insider reports he “said the ‘senior members of the presidential administration’ that he had referred to in his email was actually just ‘a brief, less-than-10-second chat with [deputy Prime Minister] Arkadiy Dvorkovich,’” if you believe that. Similarly Page denied meeting with Igor Sechin but suggested it was possible he met with the head of investor relations at Rosneft, Andrei Baranov. The Washington Examiner adds, “Carter Page told the House Intelligence Committee last week he sought permission from Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to visit Russia in June 2016 and also informed current White House communications director Hope Hicks.”
VOLKER: RUSSIA HAS TWO OPTIONS ON UKRAINE
Unian Information Agency cites Voice of America in reporting Kurt Volker’s words from Washington. “I think it’s a binary choice for Russia. Would it like to create another frozen conflict, occupied territory, like Abkhazia or South Ossetia or Transnistria, which as I said carries with it very high costs but it’s doable. If they want to, they will, but it’s a very high-cost enterprise,” Volker said, adding, “the alternative is for Russia to withdraw and facilitate a deployment of a UN peacekeeping force which creates peace for everybody and allows Minsk implementation to go forward.” As if Russia wants peace instead of chaos and restored imperial glory (spoiler: it doesn’t).
From Unian Information Agency.
NORDIC COUNTRIES STEP UP DEFENSE COOPERATION TO COUNTER RUSSIA
Reuters reports, “Nordic countries agreed on Monday to step up defence cooperation and exchange more air surveillance information because they are worried about Russia’s increasing military activity.” Reuters reports Finnish Defence Minister Jussi Niinisto said at a news conference, “We aim at strengthening our national defence and finding cooperation to better address security concerns”. His statement “followed a meeting with his Swedish, Danish and Norwegian counterparts and a representative from Iceland.” Reuters notes, “The countries also agreed to cooperate on procurement and said they planned to use a common Nordic combat uniform.” Reuters adds, “Norway, Denmark and Iceland are NATO members, while Sweden and Finland – which shares an 833 mile (1,340 km) border with Russia – have remained militarily non-aligned.” That could change.
BALTIC STATES CREAT PAN-BALTIC COMMON CAPITAL MARKET
Reuters reports, “The three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will create a pan-Baltic capital market to boost liquidity and investment, they said on Monday. The small economies are all part of the euro zone but lack the size for a well-functioning capital market on their own. In a bid to overcome this, their finance ministers have signed a memorandum of understanding to harmonize capital market regulations, dismantle investment barriers and create new market infrastructure.”
ESTONIANS ARREST SUSPECT FSB AGENT
The AP reports, “Estonia’s top prosecutors say authorities have detained a Russian citizen suspected of working as an agent of the Russia’s top domestic security agency. They say the man was suspected of preparing a computer-related crime, among others.”
From the AP.
—–INDICTMENT ROCK CITY—–
I BELIEVE I CAN FLY
Talking Points Memo reports, “Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates will remain under house arrest for at least a few more days while their attorneys work out an agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team on a bond package that would permit their release.” Excuse moi? Both are pretty massive flight risks. It must be very hard for them not to at the very least be free to move between the homes they purchased with dirty Russian and other foreign dictators’ money. Le sigh. The struggle is all too real for these two. MAGA = Manafort And Gates Arrested!
From Talking Points Memo.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
CNN reports, “Donald Trump’s approval rating stands at its lowest point in CNN’s polling as concerns about contacts between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian operatives have grown sharply in the wake of the first indictments from the special counsel investigating Russian meddling in the US election.” No wonder Trump charges CNN is fake news; the network reminds him of what a colossal failure he is when it take real polls. CNN notes, “Overall, just 36% say they approve of the way Trump is handling his job as president,” while, “Disapproval has also reached a new high at 58%.” That is still far too many people sucked into the death cult of Trump.
ANTISOCIAL NETWORKS: NEW FAKTS + FIGURES IN THE WAR ON TRUTH
Defense One reports, “”3.3 million Americans directly followed one of the Russian Facebook pages.” Because hybrid war operates in the realm of plausible deniability and ambiguity, despite that, “it would be impossible to say that the campaign swung the election.” Notably, “None of the platforms were dealing with the specific Russian electoral-disinformation campaign before the election and the ensuing intelligence-community report.” No in fact, Twitter just gave known Kremlin cut out Julian Assange 280 characters to pontificate endlessly about whatever he feels like propagandizing. Of note, “In at least one instance, Russian groups created dueling events that led to a real-life confrontation, in this case at an Islamic center in Houston,” Defense One adds. The antisocial networks may be lying about their lack of technical prowess to inform those targeted and on the recipient end of Russian propaganda. Of course nothing ends with an election – or a coup as it was – as Defense One reports, “Russian trolls have continued to post content, including items related to postelection demonstrations, the Electoral College, the NFL kneeling dispute, more-general racial issues, and immigration.” The trolls are a thousand racist grandpas with a split personality that happens to be a hot Black feminist activist who maybe converted to Islam, don’t you know? And most horrifyingly to TRUMPISTAN WATCH, which can at least kowtow to the almighty greenback on occasion, “The Russian campaign ads were all paid for in rubles,” Defense One notes. And that is everything Defense One learned from Congressional testimony by corporate lawyers from the antisocial networks last week. Imagine how many hours this took in real time.
From Defense One.
BUZZFEED SUBPOENAS THE DNC IN EFFORT TO FEND OFF LIBEL SUIT
Foreign Policy reports, “BuzzFeed has subpoenaed the Democratic National Committee for information related to the Democratic hack — its latest salvo in the media company’s efforts to defend itself against an ongoing libel suit connected to its publication of the infamous Steele dossier.” Recall, “Aleksej Gubarev, a Russian technology executive, has sued BuzzFeed for libel for its decision to publish a series of memos authored by the former British spy Christopher Steele,” which “include claims strongly denied by Gubarev that his companies were recruited by the Kremlin’s security organs to break into Democratic Party computer systems ahead of the 2016 election,” as part of a body of work that became known as the Steele dossier. Foreign Policy notes, “BuzzFeed is trying to figure out if the allegations relating to its libel suit are true as part of its defense strategy that could end up revealing details of the dossier and the DNC hack that have not been made public.”
From Foreign Policy.
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
LESS YOU EVER THINK RUSSIA IS BETTER THAN AMERICA
The Washington Post reports, “As the blast range from Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault scandal continues to radiate in the United States, in Russia one prominent Kremlin media personality is throwing his support behind the beleaguered Hollywood mogul.” That’s right, The Washington Post adds, “Dmitry Kiselyov is the head of the state-run Rossiya Segodnya and a powerful TV commentator whose message is often synced with the inner chambers of President Vladimir Putin’s government. He used his talk show last Sunday evening to criticize the chain reaction of public outcry now spreading from Weinstein to other powerful media and business players.” Why is that? According to Kiselyov and in turn Putin’s government, “The whole controversy, Kiselyov argued, has drained sex out of American life, turning the country into a bunch of uptight prigs.” Kiselyov said, “There’s no sex in America . . . the sexual revolution is a thing of the past,” adding, “Now everything can be seen as dirty harassment.” So now we know their aims for this scandal: to remind women their lives are a battleground and of their subservience and hope it makes men wildly insecure about the fact that they cannot just “grab them by the pussy,” to use the crass vernacular favored by our Russian puppet president. You see it is not for nothing TRUMPISTAN WATCH makes liberal and frequent use of the term Kremlin scum. Anything to polarize and demoralize American society is fair game for our great new friends, rather overlords, the Russians.
From The Washington Post.
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