—–ON THE AGENDA—–
YAHOO! KAZAKH CANADIAN HACKER KARIM BARATOV IN COURT
The Toronto Star reports, “A Canadian man accused in a massive hack of Yahoo emails is set to appear in court Tuesday in San Francisco. Court records show Karim Baratov is scheduled to attend a change of plea hearing in the afternoon.” Recall, “He was arrested in Hamilton in March under the Extradition Act after U.S. authorities indicted him and three others — two of them allegedly officers of Russia’s Federal Security Service — for computer hacking, economic espionage and other crimes.” The Toronto Star notes, “Baratov is accused of hacking 80 Yahoo accounts and faces 20 years in prison in the U.S. if convicted.”
From The Toronto Star.
EX-CIA DIRECTOR JAMES WOOLSEY DINED WITH TRUMP AT MAR-A-LAGO
Business Insider reports, “Former CIA Director James Woolsey dined with President Donald Trump last weekend at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida — where, a report said, they had a ‘lengthy conversation’ at the main dining table surrounded by several of Trump’s friends, associates, and political allies”. Ah the ol’ decision room, such a throwback to the early days of the regime when Bannon and Flynn were still around and the North Korea maps were out besides the iceberg wedges. Business Insider notes, “A tipster told Politico’s Playbook about the conversation, which raised eyebrows given Woolsey’s centrality to the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser.” Business Insider adds, “Woolsey, who served on the board of Flynn’s lobbying firm, Flynn Intel Group, was at a meeting on September 19, 2016, with Flynn and Turkish government ministers in which they discussed removing the controversial Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen from US soil, Woolsey has said.” He let Joe Biden know of that conversation through intermediaries out of concerns of legality. Woolsey’s spokesman Jonathan Franks “confirmed late last month that Mueller’s team had interviewed Woolsey about the meeting.”
From Business Insider.
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST, SOON: TRUMP PANAMA
Newsweek reports, “Trump International Hotel owners in Panama want to rid the 70-story waterfront building of President Donald Trump’s name as well as his family’s hotel management company, which operates it.” Newsweek notes, “the Trump Organization believes the property owners—who previously paid at least $32 million to be associated with Trump’s brand—are acting in violation of their contract.” Because treasonous trash is not so synonymous with luxury, “Panama hotel owners said that occupancy at their units was so low they could not cover maintenance costs,” Newsweek reports.
WHITE HOUSE ETHICS LAWYER RESIGNED LAST WEEK
Amazing there even was one, no? POLITICO reports, “After almost a year in the White House counsel’s office tackling a raft of ethics and financial disclosure issues, James Schultz resigned last week and is returning to private practice at the Philadelphia-based law firm where he previously worked, Cozen O’Connor.”
FLYNN’S LAWYER MET SPECIAL COUNSEL MUELLER’S TEAM
ABC News reports, “The lawyer for President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn met Monday morning with members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team — the latest indication that both sides are discussing a possible plea deal”. ABC News adds, “Trump’s legal team confirmed late last week that Flynn’s attorney Robert Kelner alerted the team that he could no longer engage in privileged discussions about defense strategy in the case — a sign Flynn is preparing to negotiate with prosecutors over a deal that could include his testimony against the president or senior White House officials.” According to ABC News, “the retired lieutenant general has felt increased pressure since prosecutors began focusing attention on his son, Michael G. Flynn, who worked as part of the Flynn Intel Group”. Also isn’t a proper junior supposed to have the same middle name and initial as well?
From ABC News.
MANAFORT BANKERS + ASSOCIATES SUMMONED TO MANHATTAN DA
Bloomberg reports, “Manhattan prosecutors investigating Paul Manafort’s New York business activities are scheduling interviews with 10 to 20 of his work associates and lenders, including Stephen Calk, whose Chicago-based bank provided millions of dollars in loans on Manafort family properties.” According to Bloomberg, “The district attorney’s office wants to know how deeply Calk was involved in loans made by Federal Savings Bank, where he is chief executive officer, for Manafort’s benefit”. Bloomberg notes, “Calk’s bank, with $342 million in assets, focuses on loans for military members, veterans and first-time home buyers,” adding, “It made three loans that benefited Manafort totaling $16 million. One went to a company affiliated with Manafort in late 2016 and two went to Manafort and his wife in early 2017.” Bloomberg reports, “The head of investigations for the Manhattan district attorney, Michael Sachs, is leading the probe and focusing on the business dealings of Jeffrey Yohai, the former husband of Manafort’s daughter, Jessica. Manafort and his family invested in property with Yohai in California and New York. The California investments may result in a $4 million lossfor the Manaforts.”
UDAY IS A FREE DUMB WHORE
Mother Jones reports, “Donald Trump Jr. seemed flummoxed by a direct message he received from the WikiLeaks Twitter account on September 20, 2016. After the group contacted him, Trump emailed several senior Trump campaign officials to say he had received ‘a weird twitter,’ according to a person familiar with the email. ‘Not sure if this is anything,’ Trump Jr. wrote in the message, which has not previously been reported.” Nonetheless, “the email, along with his interactions with the WikiLeaks account over the following weeks, also shows how eager Donald Trump’s eldest son was to collaborate with the group led by Julian Assange,” Mother Jones notes.
From Mother Jones.
PRINCELING JARED’S MONDAY DEADLINE FOR EMAILS WAS FLEXIBLE
POLITICO reports, “The Senate Judiciary Committee won’t hold Jared Kushner to a Monday deadline the panel initially set for President Donald Trump’s son-in-law to turn over documents for its investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.” Everyone in politics and business is failing the American people right now. We know it, we feel it, it will either destroy democracy or those who are doing it. If they destroy democracy it will destroy the American people; we will become Soviet shells of our former selves. POLITICO notes, “A [Senator Dianne] Feinstein aide said the discussions between the committee and [princeling Jared lawyer Abbe] Lowell are ongoing.”
ACTIVE MEASURES WATCH: CAPTURE THE STATE
Newsweek reports, “A senior figure brought on by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to radically re-organize the State Department has quit after just three months on the job. Maliz Beams was brought on as Counselor to the Department of State at the end of August to execute Tillerson’s plan to totally overhaul the department, which he has described as his legacy.” That legacy, by the way, is one of helping Russia execute active measures to take down our foreign service and destroy American diplomacy, so instead of saying good job, TRUMPISTAN WATCH will say fuck you. Newsweek notes, “Beams’s departure prompted former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, to speculate that Tillerson could be remembered as the worst ever Secretary of State.”
GERMAN SPY AGENCY CHIEF ATTACKS FAKEBOOK
Agence France Presse reports, “The head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has accused US tech giants such as Facebook of failing to take enough responsibility for content on their sites, undermining democracy by not distinguishing between fact and opinion.” According to Agence France Presse, “‘Today we are discovering a ‘fifth estate’ that makes claims but up until now does not want to take any social responsibility,’ Hans-Georg Maassen told a conference on cybersecurity organised by Germany’s Handelsblatt daily.” Agence France Presse adds, “Maassen said it was significant that Facebook had admitted that millions of users had seen politically divisive ads on the site that it said were purchased in Russia before and after last year’s US presidential election.” In a cautionary note that TRUMPISTAN WATCH wishes all Americans, with their precious opinions, should hear, Maasen said, “Democratic pluralism loses its foundations if it is no longer based on facts and reality is reduced to opinions”. Just remember: your knee jerk reaction to anything is the least considered thing about you.
From Agence France Presse.
REMEMBER RUSSIA ONLY RESPECTS STRENGTH, GOOGLE EDITION
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Google says that it will not change the way its ranks websites after Moscow expressed concerns the search engine might discriminate against Russian media.” Fucking pathetic. Ridiculously, “The request by Roskomnadzor came after Eric Schmidt, the president of Google’s parent company Alphabet, was asked at a conference earlier in November about Sputnik articles.” Boy so hard to sway Google to enemy camps. Maybe there is either dirt or money there or maybe both because what the hell is this?
TWITTER, THIS IS WHAT IT MEANS TO BE OWNED BY RUSSIA, EPISODE 1
Business Insider reports, “Russia’s communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said on Monday it would check next year if Twitter has complied with the law requiring all companies to store personal data of Russian citizens on Russian soil.”
From Business Insider.
RUSSIA’S UNSAFE INTERCEPT OF US NAVY AIRCRAFT OVER BLACK SEA
CNN reports, “ Russian Su-30 fighter jet made an ‘unsafe’ intercept of a US P-8A Poseidon aircraft Saturday while it was flying over the Black Sea,” according to the Pentagon Monday.
LATVIA’S DEFENSE SPENDING WILL REACH 2% OF GDP IN 2018
IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly reports, “Latvia has for the first time increased its defence spending in line with the NATO-mandated 2% of gross domestic product (GDP), committing an additional EUR126.8 million (USD151.2 million) year-on-year into its 2018 budget.”
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
AMBASSADOR KISLYAK’S FATHER WAS A KGB MAJOR GENERAL
Luke Harding writes for The Huffington Post, “When I was writing my new book on Trump and Russia – Collusion – something in Kislyak’s biography struck me as odd. There was no mention of his parents. Merely a line that he came from a Soviet ‘Ukrainian family’. Who were they? I made inquiries. Sources – in Ukraine and elsewhere – reported back. Missing from Kislyak’s CV was a sensitive detail. Kislyak’s his father, Ivan Petrovich Kislyak was a legendary spy and KGB officer. He retired from intelligence work as a KGB major general.” Harding adds, “In the 1940s, Ivan Petrovich took part in operations against Ukrainian nationalists fighting the Red Army. After the war, he joined the MGB, the forerunner to the KGB. In 1949 he was assigned to the personal bodyguard of Lavrenti Beria, Stalin’s brutal and depraved security chief. Sergey Kislyak was born in Moscow a year later.” According to Harding, “The KGB later sent Kislyak to western and southern Europe: to Greece, Portugal, France, and Spain. His codename was Maisky. (This was the name of Stalin’s famous ambassador to London, Ivan Maisky”. Furthermore, “Between 1972 and 1977, Ivan Petrovich served as the KGB’s station chief in Paris. He presided over a large number of secret agents—including a cipher clerk working deep inside the French foreign ministry. He co-ordinated ‘active measures’ to ramp up US–French tensions. His KGB residency even claimed to have steered the editorial pages of Le Monde.”
From The Huffington Post.
U.S. ENVOY TO UKRAINE KURT VOLKER SPEAKS
Kurt Volker, the US special envoy to Ukraine, spoke with Susan Glasser of “The Global Politico,” a POLITICO podcast. Volker said, “prospects for peace are so dim he reckons it’s very likely that active fighting will continue a year from now in Ukraine”. Glasser notes, “To spend time with Volker is to confront the essential schizophrenia of the Trump administration’s Russia policy. His version is what just about any U.S. administration’s view of Russia and the Ukraine conflict would have been. And it’s pretty much consistent with that of others inside the Trump administration with whom I’ve spoken recently: deeply critical of Putin and certainly not swayed by him”. According to Politico, “Volker said Trump himself is now on board with this version of his Russia policy, if only because Putin’s moves have been so confrontational.” Super naively of our fake Russian President, Volker said, “the president always says: We would like to get along with Russia. But what Russia is doing makes it really hard.” We Americans must always reinvent the wheel. Glasser adds, “When we spoke, Volker had just returned the previous week from a face-to-face meeting in Belgrade with a top Putin adviser, Vladislav Surkov. The session was their third, but Volker was blunt about what it accomplished: nothing.”
LESSONS FROM ESTONIA’S MILITARY INTEL CHIF KAUPO ROSIN
Defense News features an interview with Kaupo Rosin, Estonia’s military intelligence chief. Rosin notes, “The Arctic is always part of the European war theater, first; and second, we know that Russians are very much investing in modern military logistics there, opening bases. The Russians want to test their plans in the north and get ready to exercise their troops, exercise the command and control in the Nordic.” Rosin adds, “that an electronic field is both a challenge for them and a possibility, since Western militaries are very dependent on different electronic communications, reach back and so on.” Consequently, “You have to learn how to command your military with a paper map. So they did that, and I think they are definitely ahead of us [there],” Rosin tells Defense News. During Zapad, Rosin notes, “The amount of jamming of their own troops surprised me. It was at a level we haven’t seen. And they did it in the different branches, so land force, Air Force. That definitely surprised us. The threat of the Russians is that if they are jammed, they can fall back into a civilian infrastructure on their own land, which gives them an advantage in operating in the vicinity of Russia.” He adds, “They tested [their own troops] to learn how to switch into their own cable network and not to emanate anymore, but to deal with the problem.” Rosin observes the changing battlefield as, “NATO’s operated in Afghanistan and Iraq [for] more than 10 years, so we are used to having, I would say, pretty good communications. The Taliban or whoever didn’t have such capabilities, so it was not a problem to be worried about. So now it is a problem, definitely.” From a Baltic perspective, “in Syria the most interesting piece is the use of so-called security companies, which is not official military but, let’s say, structures which are officially outside of the military system but which are conducting military operations.”
From Defense News.
IF YOU STILL DO NAZI THIS COMING, WAKE THE FUCK UP
Think Progress reports, “A Breitbart contributor has been revealed to be an administrator of a secret Facebook group where users regularly post virulently racist, sexist, and anti-Semitic content, as well as support for far-right groups.” Yes, surprise, the racist white nationalists are really racist white nationalists. According to Think Progress, “Jack Hadfield, a third-year politics student at the University of Warwick in the U.K., has written more than 150 articles for Breitbart News, mainly focusing on technology. But in his spare time he runs the Facebook group Young Right Society (YRS), which has over 200 members”. TRUMPISTAN WATCH could inform of all the hateful, racist content but just know it is swastika and distasteful if you are not a raging bigot heavy. Think Progress notes, “As one of YRS’ four administrators, Jack Hadfield had the power to moderate some of the more guttural content on YRS and allow the self-described moderates to be the primary voice of the group. Instead he permitted racist, fascist and anti-Semitic posts to flourish.”
From Think Progress.
—–TOWARDS A PEACEFUL NUCLEAR EXCHANGE—–
EX-CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS MULLEN WARNS ON NUCLEAR WAR
Axios reports, “Retired Adm. Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said on ABC’S ‘This Week’ that nuclear war has become ‘more probable than it used to be. And it scares me to death, quite frankly.’” Axios adds, “Mullen also said he has concerns about the fact that generals have taken such high-ranking and high-profile roles in the Trump administration, and that he was disappointed that John Kelly has shown he’ll be ‘supportive of the president no matter what.’”
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