ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT INTRODUCED, AGAIN
CNN reports, “House Democrats introduced articles of impeachment Wednesday against President Donald Trump, though they acknowledged their efforts have no chance of success while Republicans control both houses of Congress.” According to CNN, “Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee, introduced five articles of impeachment that include obstruction of justice for Trump’s decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey, two emoluments clause violations, undermining the independence of the federal judiciary and undermining the freedom of the press.”
STEELE BELIEVES HIS DOSSIER IS 70-90% ACCURATE
The Guardian reports, “Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who compiled an explosive dossier of allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, believes it to be 70% to 90% accurate”. According to The Guardian, “Collusion: How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win, by the Guardian journalist Luke Harding, quotes Steele as telling friends that he believes his reports – based on sources cultivated over three decades of intelligence work – will be vindicated as the US special counsel investigation digs deeper into contacts between Trump, his associates and Moscow.” Steele is quoted, “I’ve been dealing with this country for 30 years. Why would I invent this stuff?” For real. As many of us are today, “Steele was shocked by the extent of collusion his sources were reporting.” Steele flew to Rome “ in September to meet a full FBI team of investigators. He described their response as ‘shock and horror,’” but “as the weeks went by leading up to the 8 November election, the FBI told him it could not go public with material involving a presidential candidate, and then his FBI contacts went silent altogether.”
From The Guardian.
FUSION GPS CO-FOUNDER SAYS STEELE DID NOT PAY SOURCES
CNN reports Christopher Steele, “The ex-British intelligence agent who authored the opposition research dossier on President Donald Trump and Russia did not pay the sources he used to compile the document, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson testified to congressional Russia investigators”. What this means, if true, is that his sources were well established contacts who felt they could trust him or trust him with disinformation they were trying to plant, if providing false information.
GOOGLE CALLS FOR BAN ON FOREIGN ELECTION ADS
The Telegraph reports, “Google has called for America to ban foreign governments from posting election adverts after a backlash over Russian ‘fake news’.” The Telegraph adds, “The internet giant told the US election watchdog that a current ban on proxies for foreign governments handing out election material should be extended to include online posts.”
From The Telegraph.
EX-KGB AGENT’S FIRM TO GUARD U.S. EMBASSY NOW
TRUMPISTAN WATCH treats the news that “Washington has hired a private Russian company that grew out of a security business co-founded by Mr. Putin’s former K.G.B. boss, an 82-year-old veteran spy who spent 25 years planting agents in Western security services and hunting down their operatives,” in The New York Times as pro forma. In other words, all it means as they move closer to the perimeter and can maybe have lunch with their friends working the inside of the embassy from time to time. So it is with little fanfare TRUMPISTAN WATCH notes The New York Times is reporting that, “Under a $2.8 million no-bid contract awarded by the Office of Acquisitions in Washington, security guards at the American Embassy in Moscow and at consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok will be provided by Elite Security Holdings, a company closely linked to the former top K.G.B. figure, Viktor G. Budanov, a retired general who rose through the ranks to become head of Soviet counterintelligence.” What this means in practical terms is that, “Marines will continue to guard American diplomatic missions, but tasks previously handled by local guards hired directly by the embassy in Moscow, like screening visitors, will be taken over by Elite Security employees.”
From The New York Times.
SENATORS SCREAM SAVE THE STATE DEPARTMENT!
The Washington Post reports, “Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday to lift a hiring freeze and promote experienced Foreign Service officers, requesting in a letter more details about Tillerson’s reorganization plan.” The horrific details of said plan – comparisons to Market Garden (“A Bridge Too Far”) are in order – are as follows: “The Office of Management and Budget has directed the State Department to slash its almost 76,000 employees by 8 percent. To meet that goal beyond normal attrition, the State Department is offering buyouts and early retirement incentives of $25,000 — before taxes — to the first 641 eligible people who sign up by April 30. The buyouts are being directed by the White House, not the seventh floor of the Harry S. Truman Building where Tillerson sits.” Again, if you work for the State Department: do not take the buyout! We the American people need you to hold on and hold on tight and remain in place to prevent future catastrophe and terror down the road. (PLUG: You can also now shop the SAVE THE STATE DEPARTMENT collection on the TW merch site.)
From The Washington Post.
NATO ALLIES STAGE MOCK BATTLE IN GERMANY
Stars and Stripes reports from an “eastern Germany training area transformed into an imaginary battleground where Lithuanian soldiers have led an effort to stave off a fictional enemy force.” According to Stars and Stripes, “Exercise Allied Spirit, began Nov. 11, and will continue until Saturday. It involves about 4,000 soldiers from 13 NATO allies and partner nations fighting a defensive battle in a hilly forest.”
From Stars and Stripes.
GERMAN FOREIGN INTEL BOSS WARNS OF RUSSIAN MILITARY AMBITION
Deutsche Welle reports, “The president of Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the BND, has delivered his starkest warning yet about Russia’s growing power. Speaking at the Hanns Seidel political foundation in Munich on Monday, Bruno Kahl outlined Russia’s growing ambitions and questioned whether the European Union’s defense capabilities are adequate.” According to Deutsche Welle, “Kahl said the BND had observed ‘unsettling’ modernization and troop distribution on the part of Russia’s army during the recent Zapad training exercises along the borders of the Baltic EU member countries.”
From Deutsche Welle.
UK CYBER DEFENSE INTEL CHIEF ACCUSES RUSSIA OF HACKING GCHQ
BBC News reports, “One of the UK’s cyber-defence chiefs has accused Russia of having attacked Britain’s media, telecommunications and energy sectors over the past year.” According to the BBC, “Ciaran Martin, chief executive of GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), added that Russia was ‘seeking to undermine the international system’.”
From the BBC.
ESTONIA HAS EVIDENCE AGAINST ACCUSED FSB AGENT IT ARRESTED
Estonian Public Broadcasting reports, “Estonian authorities have evidence which proves that the 20-year-old Russian citizen arrested at the Narva border checkpoint earlier this month on suspicions of espionage has ties to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB),” according to the Interior Ministry. Estonian Public Broadcasting adds, “The biggest value of detaining the agent of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), Alexei Vasilyev, who is suspected of preparing for a computer-related crime is that his ties to FSB were proven”.
KREMLIN SPEAKS WITH MOSCOW-BACKED SEPARATISTS IN UKRAINE
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Russian President Vladimir Putin has told leaders of Moscow-backed separatists in Ukraine’s eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk that he favors a plan for a prisoner swap with Kyiv, in a rare acknowledgement of direct contact with the separatist forces.” According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, “Russian state-run news agency TASS on November 15 quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying Putin spoke by phone with separatist leaders Aleksandr Zakharchenko of the Donetsk region and Igor Plotnitsky of Luhansk.” Worth noting, “If Putin does speak to the Russia-backed separatist leaders, it would be a rare public acknowledgment of such direct contacts,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports.
KREMLIN DISMISSES REPORT OF UN PEACEKEEPERS IN UKRAINE
Russian state-run TASS reports, “Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has dismissed foreign media speculations the possibility is being considered of deploying up to 20,000 UN peacekeepers in Donbass.” The foreign media report Peskov is referring to appeared in The Wall Street Journal. According to Russian state-run TASS, “The daily said US and Western diplomats believed such a mission might operate under the auspices of the OSCE, and not the United Nations.”
From Russian state-run TASS.
RUSSIA CAN’T APOLOGIZE FOR VIDEO GAME FAKE AS CONCEDES A PROBLEM
Meduza reports, “Russia’s Defense Ministry says it is investigating the publication of a videogame screenshot presented as evidence of American collusion with ISIS in Syria.” They cannot do so because to do so would be to concede that there is a much wider problem. Now keep in mind as you read this that Donald Trump, the man acting as the American President, cannot bring himself to say anything bad about Russia and its leader, even as Russian “Defense officials still assert, however, that the U.S. military in Syria is aiding terrorists.” These are really great friends Donald has! In a preview of what comes next in this propaganda effort, Meduza reports, “Russia’s Defense Ministry says the U.S. military refused to attack ISIS forces on November 9 outside the city of Abu Kamal in Syria. Moscow maintains that this decision by the Americans is ‘an objective fact, recorded in transcripts of the talks.’” Remember the Victoria Nuland “fuck the EU” call? Well, what is to come will be a rerun.
RUSSIA AGREES TO RESTRUCTURE VENEZUELA’S DEBT
The Financial Times reports, “Russia has come to the aid of Venezuela with a deal to restructure $3.15bn of sovereign debt, allowing Caracas to meet obligations to other creditors and underlining Moscow’s role as the crisis-hit country’s main foreign backer.” It was reported yesterday that, “Rating agencies this week declared Venezuela in default on several of its international bonds, worth more than $60bn in total. The country has said it will have to restructure the debt as part of what is set to be one of the largest sovereign defaults in history.” Reuters adds, “Funds borrowed from Russia by Venezuelan firms, including oil producer PDVSA, are not part of a debt restructuring deal agreed between Moscow and Caracas on Wednesday,” citing Economy and Finance Minister Simon Zerpa.
OLEG NAVALNY LAUNCHES PRISON ART INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT
Meduza reports, “Oleg Navalny, the brother of Russia’s famed opposition politician, is currently serving out a 3.5-year prison sentence for allegedly embezzling money from a subsidiary of the cosmetics company Yves Rocher. This week, Oleg launched his own Instagram account, which publishes his sketches from prison.” Navalny explained the rules that dictate his art: “According to prison rules, we can only draw with pencils, pens, or charcoal. Only in gray and black! You’re only allowed to use other colors after two years”.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
TRUMP LIES A FUCK TON, BITCH LOAD, THEN LIES ABOUT A CHERRY ON TOP
The Washington Post reports, “our year-long project analyzing, categorizing and tracking every false or misleading claim by President Trump had seemed like quite a burden in the past month,” as “In the past 35 days, Trump has averaged an astonishing nine claims a day.” That is it? His whole existence as president is a lie from start to finish — so does that count only as one big lie? According to The Washington Post, “The total now stands at 1,628 claims in 298 days, or an average of 5.5 claims a day.”
From The Washington Post.
DESPITE TRUMP TWEETS, DOD PAYS FOR GENDER REASSIGNMENT SURGERY
NBC News reports, “An active-duty service member underwent gender transition surgery Tuesday in the first such procedure approved under a waiver allowing the Pentagon to pay for the operation.” NBC News reports, “The patient is an infantry soldier who identifies as a woman, according to a source close to the service member. She got her Combat Infantry Badge in Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan in 2003”. After the initial NBC News report went out, the Pentagon put out a statement, which read, in part, “This afternoon, an active-duty military member received a sex-reassignment surgery. Military hospitals do not have the surgical expertise to perform this type of surgery, therefore it was conducted in a private hospital”. Recall, “In August, President Donald Trump signed a memo to halt future funding for sex-reassignment surgery and also bar the Pentagon from accepting transgender recruits.” He preceded this by firing off a bunch of tweets calling for an immediate ban on transgenders in the military, which the Pentagon, caught off guard, promptly ignored and pushed back against. Trump’s Twatter was also widely condemned by sane politicians on both sides of the political aisle.
From NBC News.
DOUBLE BARREL CHAMBER CONGRESS PLAYS RUSSIAN ROULETTE
Vox reminds us of what Congress is supposed to do and how it is failing us and promoting Trump’s authoritarianism. Vox writes, “Congress is supposed to be a powerful check on President Trump’s undeniably authoritarian instincts. But a letter from the Justice Department to the House Judiciary Committee suggests that the opposite is happening — that Congress is actually encouraging Trump to investigate and prosecute his political enemies, something that typically only happens in authoritarian countries.” Vox adds, “It’s strikingly unusual for the DOJ to send prosecutors to even begin looking into trumped-up charges against the president’s vanquished general election opponent. Were they to actually do it, we’d be in the type of territory typically reserved for regimes where the law is twisted to punish dissent — Russia under Putin, for example.”
IVANKA: ONLY DADDY CAN GRAB THEM BY THE PUSSY
CBS News reports Aryan princess “Ivanka Trump told the Associated Press she believes the women who have accused Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of pursuing them as teenagers, saying there’s a ‘special place in hell for people who prey on children.’” Recall her father is accused of walking into dressing rooms with underage beauty pageant contestants and that he will not criticize Putin, another accused pedo, to say nothing of the Trump trash klan’s ties to the little guy in the Kremlin. So to be clear, Daddy can “grab them by the pussy,” but that activity is reserved for him and his world leader buddies and is just not one Roy Moore can and should indulge in? Note: CBS News mentions none of this and let’s Ivanka’s comments stand uncontested.
From CBS News.
YOU WERE DUMB ENOUGH TO MAKE THE PASSWORD PUTINTRUMP
Mother Jones reports at the start of the week, “The Atlantic published private messages from September 2016 in which WikiLeaks gave Donald Trump Jr. the password to a forthcoming site documenting his father’s ties to Russia. But there was more to the story of WikiLeaks’ apparent effort to conspire with the Trump campaign against PutinTrump.org—and I had a front-row seat to it, as editorial director of the site.” Still, making the password “putintrump” for the press on the eve of the site’s drop does not mean one deserves, “a wave of online harassment, email bombs, and personal threats against people behind the site,” after WikiLeaks’ Julian Asswipe published it. According to Mother Jones, “Our site was soon hit with a surge of traffic and spam while it was still password-protected and meant to be out of public view—and that was just the beginning. Within hours, people involved with launching the site were doxxed and personally targeted on Twitter, an attack that quickly spread to Reddit and to alt-right and pro-Trump news sites.” Welcome to the newly unfree cancelled republic of America, you all live under Russian occupation in Trumpistan now. This is not an isolated incident — by the way, all who oppose the regime and refuse the lie face elements of this or other forms of attack. Note, “Their cellphone numbers, home addresses, and other information about them and their family members were publicized, alongside calls to go after them,” and, “Their email accounts were hit with a spambot attack”. This is not a joke in a country with this many guns among the civilian population. Interesting. And they are not alone.
From Mother Jones.
TWITTER BLOCKING OUTSIDE RESEARCH INTO TROLLS
The Guardian reports on researchers’ frustrations in trying to access account information such as profile and tweets in now outed and blocked accounts of Russian trolls. Consequently, researchers quest to uncover the potential number of users impacted by Russian disinformation and messaging are “hampered further by Twitter’s unwillingness to work with researchers.” According to The Guardian, “The company does not allow anyone except a few select corporate partners access to the ‘firehose’ – the raw stream of public tweets in realtime – and no one outside the company can look at the full historical database.” And they sold us out for how many rubles again?
From The Guardian.
PROFESSOR STEPHEN COHEN, CHAIR OF PUTIN APOLOGY STUDIES
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on NYU Professor Stephen Cohen who made his name on the back of his “1973 biography of the Soviet founding father Nikolai Bukharin. Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution,” which, “didn’t just suggest a new understanding of the Russian Revolution when it was released in the middle of the Cold War — it profoundly affected the course of that war.” His admirers included Mikhail Gorbachev who “turned a lowly scholar of the Russian Revolution into an intellectual VIP who sat in meetings with heads of state.” However, “these days, Cohen is better known for his views on a different Russian leader.” On CNN, Cohen stated the falsehood that, “Putin is not a thug,” The Chronicle of Higher Education notes, adding he also told Fox News, “of Trump’s ties to Russia: ‘There is no evidence there was any wrongdoing.’” As a result of all of Cohen’s propagandizing for the Russian mafia state, “Staffers at The Nation are openly revolting against the magazine’s pro-Russian tilt.”
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