TRUMP LASHES OUT AT FBI BECAUSE TRUTH WILL NOT SET HIM FREE
CNN reports, “President Donald Trump again took to Twitter to criticize the FBI, this time singling out two FBI officials Saturday afternoon. ‘How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?’ Trump wrote in one tweet. In another tweet, Trump said McCabe ‘is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!’ CNN adds, “On Twitter Saturday, Trump also took aim at FBI general counsel James Baker, who is being reassigned,” adding, “‘Wow, “FBI lawyer James reassigned…,”’” Trump tweeted. The attacks on James Baker come in the wake of a POLITICO hit job on him accusing him of leaking to Mother Jones’ David Corn as “Corn was the first to report the existence of the dossier on Oct. 31 and that it was compiled by a former high-level western spy.” Trump’s words and those of others in his death cult party prompted a rebuke and defense of Baker by fired FBI Director James Comey on Twitter, The Daily Beast reports, noting, “Former FBI director James Comey has accused the agency’s current leadership of breaking under political pressure with its recent reassignment of the top FBI lawyer.”
MERRY CHRISTMAS IS MOST DEFINITELY UP YOURS WHEN IT’S FROM TRUMP
The Washington Post reports, “President Trump on Christmas Eve retweeted a doctored image with the CNN logo imposed on a bloodlike splatter under his shoe, prompting an outcry — with critics deeming the picture and its timing offensive. The image had originated from a Twitter account named ‘oregon4TRUMP,’ as a reply to one of Trump’s tweets boasting about his first-year achievements.”
From The Washington Post.
TRUMP IS NO ORDINARY RACIST, HE IS NOW A POWERFUL MEGA-RACIST
The New York Times reports, “so many foreigners had flooded into the country since January, he vented to his national security team, that it was making a mockery of his pledge. Friends were calling to say he looked like a fool, Mr. Trump said.” Who are these “friends”? According to The New York Times and “six officials who attended or were briefed about the meeting, Mr. Trump then began reading aloud from the document, which his domestic policy adviser, Stephen Miller, had given him just before the meeting. The document listed how many immigrants had received visas to enter the United States in 2017. More than 2,500 were from Afghanistan, a terrorist haven, the president complained. Haiti had sent 15,000 people. They ‘all have AIDS,’ he grumbled, according to one person who attended the meeting and another person who was briefed about it,” which makes him no ordinary racist, but an extraordinary one working off decades old myths. Furthermore, “Forty thousand had come from Nigeria, Mr. Trump added. Once they had seen the United States, they would never ‘go back to their huts’ in Africa”. Of course, ‘Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, denied on Saturday morning that Mr. Trump had made derogatory statements about immigrants during the meeting,” because he would never harm a fly. According to The New York Times, this blatant, in your face, outdated, antiquated and appalling racism is a “visceral approach”. (See more in: KNOW YOUR ENEMY.)
From The New York Times.
EMOLUMENTS LAWSUIT AGAINST TRUMP DISMISSED
The Hill reports, “A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit from a liberal watchdog organization arguing President Trump is violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution by paying foreign governments.” The Hill adds, “Judge George Daniels dismissed the case on ‘lack of standing,’ agreeing with Trump’s lawyers’ argument that the claims do not fall within the interests of the Emoluments Clause, and should be resolved through the ‘political process,’ according to the ruling.” Recall, “Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a lawsuit earlier this year claiming that because Trump has not fully divested from his businesses, he is receiving ‘cash and favors from foreign governments, through guests and events at his hotels, leases in his buildings, and valuable real estate deals abroad.’” CREW hoped to argue, “Trump was in violation of the Emoluments Clause, which prevents elected officials from receiving gifts or benefits from foreign governments without Congress’s approval.”
From The Hill.
NOW WE FINALLY KNOW WHY IVANKA’$ JEWELRY LINE EXI$T$
GQ reports on “an overlooked filing made in federal court this past summer,” that shows, “In late June, the Commercial Bank of Dubai sought—and later received—permission to subpoena Ivanka Trump’s now-defunct fine jewelry line, claiming its diamonds were used in a massive scheme to hide roughly $100 million that was owed to the bank, according to filings at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.” GQ reports, “Ivanka Trump launched Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry roughly a decade ago, partnering with a young real estate and diamond heir named Moshe Lax. It was her first independent business venture. She licensed her name for use by Madison Avenue Diamonds, which did business under Trump’s name in exchange for royalties. Trump also owned an equity stake in the business for an unspecified period. Around the time they were going into business together, Lax introduced Trump to Jared Kushner, the man who would become her husband, at a luncheon for real estate heirs he convened in Midtown Manhattan.” So this is also how she met the future princeling Jared. GQ adds, “Trump and Lax set up a flagship boutique on Madison Avenue and publicly showered praise on each other, but the partnership eventually soured. Lax has been accused of all kinds of wrongdoing, from stiffing creditors to extortion, in numerous lawsuits, some of them related to Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry and some of them unrelated.” While “Trump terminated her relationship with Lax late last year, and according to the Trump Organization, Lax still owed her money as of August,” it happens, “the defunct diamond line is getting dragged into court proceedings like this latest Dubai case, which alleges a plot by the family of prominent Emirati oil traders named the Al-Saris. A decade ago, the high-flying Al-Saris controlled a multibillion-dollar oil-trading empire, but then hit a rough patch, reportedly becoming mired in legal battles over unpaid bills and sanctions imposed in 2012 on the family’s firm, FAL Oil, for selling oil to Iran.” Then, “strapped for cash, the Al-Saris are alleged to have borrowed over a $100 million from the Commercial Bank of Dubai. They defaulted on the debt and, according to court documents, proceeded to hide their assets in a network of shell companies, through which they bought diamonds and Las Vegas real estate.”
MUELLER TIME: PRINCELING JARED’S DIRTY DEUTSCHE BANK ACCOUNTS
The New York Times reports, “Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have sought bank records about entities associated with the family company of Jared Kushner”. Giddyup! Hope you all had a merry Christmas because that’s Trumpian for up yours and intended to encourage anti-Semitism as much as princeling Jared’s presence is on this scene. Well, look around the white trash carnival and observe it takes all kinds. Anyways! Back to our German friends… “In recent weeks, prosecutors from the United States attorney’s office in the Eastern District of New York subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank,” because the bank, “has lent hundreds of millions of dollars to the Kushner family real estate business.” Surely the Germans have never seen this movie before. Are we who know history totally uncomfortable yet? Good! Now imagine how Jared feels, as you can only imagine! Now think about what you are delighting in, really. While The New York Times notes, “It is not clear which records were sought by prosecutors, what they are seeking to learn from them or to what degree, if any, they directly involve Mr. Kushner,” it is highly unlikely this is just a red herring because money is the only thing that matters to these Trumpistani elites, an ecumenical conglomerate of trash, fakers, haters, losers, rabid racists and anti-Semites, salt of the earth and plutocrats, Kremlin scum and mafiosi. Remember, money does not care who owns it nearly as much as its owners do.
From The New York Times.
MUELLER TIME: FBI WANTS INFO ON FAILED CYPRIOT BANK FBME
The Guardian reports, “The FBI has asked officials in Cyprus for financial information about a defunct bank that was used by wealthy Russians with political connections and has been accused by the US government of money laundering. The request for information about FBME Bank comes as Cyprus has emerged as a key area of interest for Robert Mueller”. The Guardian adds, “federal investigators and the US Treasury approached the Central Bank of Cyprus in November seeking detailed information about FBME”. The Guardian notes, “it appeared to be connected to Mueller’s ongoing examination of Paul Manafort”. Of note, “FBME, previously known as the Federal Bank of the Middle East, was based in Tanzania but about 90% of its banking was conducted in Cyprus. A report by the US Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in 2014 said the bank was an institution of ‘primary money laundering concern’.”
From The Guardian.
MUELLER TIME: 40 U.S. ATTORNEYS, GOP OFFICIALS STAND UP FOR MUELLER
The AP reports, “More than 40 former U.S. attorneys and Republican and conservative officials are pushing back against efforts to discredit the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. In a pair of letters, the groups say Robert Mueller and his team must be allowed to continue their work, unimpeded.” According to the AP, “The 22 former U.S. attorneys, who served under presidents from Richard Nixon through Barack Obama, say it is ‘critical’ to the ‘interests of justice and public trust to ensure that those charged with conducting complex investigations are allowed to do their jobs free from interference or fear of reprisal.’” Additionally, “Another letter signed by 22 Republican and conservative former members of Congress and other top U.S. officials says efforts to discredit Mueller’s work ‘undermine the institutions that protect the rule of law and so our nation,’” the AP adds.
From the AP.
WHITE HOUSE DEPARTURES: RICK DEARBORN
CNN reports, “Deputy White House Chief of Staff Rick Dearborn will leave the administration early next year, CNN has learned, and is expected to pursue work in the private sector.” CNN notes, “Dearborn had a wide portfolio in the White House and oversaw its political operation, public outreach and legislative affairs. He saw the passage of the sweeping Republican tax bill as his time to leave”. CNN adds, “Dearborn’s departure also highlights how Jeff Sessions’ influence has dwindled in the White House. Before he was named attorney general, several of Sessions’ top aides, including Dearborn, left his Senate office to go work for the Trump campaign, and eventually the White House.”
FBI DEPARTURES: DEPUTY DIRECTOR McCABE PLANS RETIREMENT
The Washington Post reports, “Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s deputy director who has been the target of Republican critics for more than a year, plans to retire in a few months when he becomes fully eligible for pension benefits”. The Washington Post notes, “McCabe spent hours in Congress this past week, facing questions behind closed doors from members of three committees. Republicans said they were dissatisfied with his answers; Democrats called it a partisan hounding.” In a new not normal normal, “Word of McCabe’s plans drew a response Saturday from Trump, who in a Twitter post characterized the move as “racing the clock to retire with full benefits,’” The Washington Post adds, a clear intimidation tactic against a man who has the job once held by Watergate’s “Deep Throat,” W. Mark Felt. The Washington Post adds, “Republicans attacked him after reports that his wife, a Democratic candidate for a Virginia Senate seat in 2015, had received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from the political action committee led by a close ally of the Clintons.”
From The Washington Post.
FAKEBOOK’S NEW FAKE TOOL FOR DETECTING DISINFO
TechCrunch reports, “This fall saw ever-rising estimates of the number of people reached by Russian-backed troll accounts — just shy of 150 million at last count . Now the [anti]social network,” Fakebook, “has at last released the tool it promised last month allowing users to see if they liked or followed one of the many pages or pieces of content put online during the sketchy attempt at mass manipulation.” Not included: whether you were exposed by Fakebook friends or Fakebook advertising which is well within their capability to do but you know, transparency is hard when your company is a fraudulent enterprise built like a house of cards on youthful arrogance and Kremlin dirty money. Also: too bad it does not work on an iPhone or laptop in the heartland of America, Chicago, with and without a VPN. Of note, “Far from shouting the availability of this tool from the rooftops, Facebook waited until the Friday before Christmas, a traditional dumping-ground for items companies would rather go unnoticed, and then stuck the tool deep in the help pages. Nice try,” Fakebook! If Ajit Pai is the new Martin Shkreli, who is Mark Zuckerberg?
RUSSIAN HACKERS TARGETED AMERICAN JOURNALISTS BECAUSE DUH
The AP finally, finally, finally reports, “at least 200 journalists, publishers and bloggers targeted by the group,” Fancy Bear, a Russian intelligence entity, “as early as mid-2014 and as recently as a few months ago.” The AP reports, “The AP identified journalists as the third-largest group on a hacking hit list obtained from cybersecurity firm Secureworks, after diplomatic personnel and U.S. Democrats. About 50 of the journalists worked at The New York Times. Another 50 were either foreign correspondents based in Moscow or Russian reporters”. Of note, “Others were prominent media figures in Ukraine, Moldova, the Baltics or Washington.” One of them was yours truly, a crossover of many of the above? About a week after the election/coup came the first suspicious text. In the fall of 2016, strange things were added to Google Calendar and in January, a message came from what appeared to be a GRU account on Twitter. It was followed a week later by a similar message to a colleague. And this is just the transition period. Since the regime was installed, much, much more. The AP reports, “Other U.S.-based journalists targeted include Josh Rogin, a Washington Post columnist, and Shane Harris, who was covering the intelligence community for The Daily Beast in 2015. Harris said he dodged the phishing attempt, forwarding the email to a source in the security industry who told him almost immediately that Fancy Bear was involved.” Additionally, “Investigative reporter Roman Shleynov noted that the Gmail hackers targeted was the one he used while working on the Panama Papers, the expose of international tax avoidance that implicated members of Putin’s inner circle.” Because our friends in the east are the incubator, “Fancy Bear also pursued more than 30 media targets in Ukraine, including many journalists at the Kyiv Post and others who have reported from the front lines of the Russia-backed war in the country’s east.” The AP adds, “Nataliya Gumenyuk, co-founder of Ukrainian internet news site Hromadske, said the hackers were hunting for compromising information.” Also, “The hackers also tried to break into the personal Gmail account of Ellen Barry, The New York Times’ former Moscow bureau chief. Her newspaper appears to have been a favorite target.” The AP notes, “Some journalists saw their presence on the hackers’ hit list as vindication. Among them were CNN security analyst Michael Weiss and Brookings Institution visiting fellow Jamie Kirchick, who took the news as a badge of honor.” They are not wrong.
From the AP.
RUSSIANS CREATED AMERICAN FREELANCE JOURNALISTS BECAUSE DUH
The Washington Post reports, “The first email arrived in the inbox of CounterPunch, a left-leaning American news and opinion website, at 3:26 a.m. — the middle of the day in Moscow,” from Alice Donovan, a made up freelance journalist concocted by Moscow. The Washington Post adds, “The FBI was tracking Donovan as part of a months-long counterintelligence operation code-named ‘NorthernNight.’ Internal bureau reports described her as a pseudonymous foot soldier in an army of Kremlin-led trolls”. The Washington Post notes, “As the 2016 presidential election heated up, Donovan’s message shifted. Increasingly, she seemed to be doing the Kremlin’s bidding by stoking discontent toward Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and touting WikiLeaks”. The Washington Post reports, “for U.S. officials, the real wake-up call came in early 2014 when the Russians annexed Crimea and backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. An intercepted Russian military intelligence report dated February 2014 documented how Moscow created fake personas to spread disinformation on social media to buttress its broader military campaign.” The Washington Post notes, “Officials in the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence branch, drafted the document as part of an effort to convince Kremlin higher-ups of the campaign’s effectiveness. Officials boasted of creating a fake Facebook account they used to send death threats to 14 politicians in southeastern Ukraine. Five days into the campaign, the GRU said, its fake accounts were garnering 200,000 views a day.” In the White House, Obama was pitched “on creating several global channels — in Russian, Mandarin and other languages — that would compete with RT. The proposed American versions would mix entertainment with news programing and pro-Western propaganda. The president brushed aside the idea as politically impractical.” And yet, “More than a year after the FBI first identified Alice Donovan as a probable Russian troll, she’s still pitching stories to U.S. publications.”
From The Washington Post.
MARINE CORPS COMMANDANT: “BIGASS FIGHT” TO COME
The Washington Post reports, “The Marine Corps commandant told about 300 Marines in Norway this week that they should be prepared for a ‘bigass fight’ to come, remarks his spokesman later said were not in reference to any specific adversary but rather intended to inspire the troops.” Citing a report in Military.com, General Robert Neller told Marines Thursday, “I hope I’m wrong, but there’s a war coming”. TRUMPISTAN WATCH would argue it’s here, it is just an information war at this stage, not yet a shooting war. The comments came as “Neller was visiting a Marine rotational force near Trondheim, about 300 miles north of Oslo.”
From The Washington Post.
EX-ACTING DIRECTOR OF CIA, HOUSE INTEL CHAIR: ATTACKS ONGOING
Writing in The Washington Post, Michael Morell, the former Acting Director of the CIA, and Mike Rogers, a former Republican Congressman from Michigan and House intelligence committee chairman, note, “the United States has failed to establish deterrence in the aftermath of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. We know we failed because Russia continues to aggressively employ the most significant aspect of its 2016 tool kit: the use of social media as a platform to disseminate propaganda designed to weaken our nation.” As Morell and Rogers note, “Russia’s information operations in the United States continued after the election and they continue to this day.” The pair concludes, “The sanctions that the Obama administration and Congress put in place in the aftermath of the 2016 election are steps in the right direction, but they were not significant enough to check Russian President Vladimir Putin. True deterrence requires policies that prevent adversaries from achieving their objectives while imposing significant costs on their regimes. So far, we have done neither.”
From The Washington Post.
U.S. GIVING UKRAINE ANTI-TANK WEAPONS AS FRONTLINE OF CIVILIZATION
CNN reports, “The US is going to provide anti-tank weapons to Ukraine”. About goddamn time as this is the frontline of civilization. CNN repeats, “The State Department officially announced Friday evening that the US was going to provide Ukraine with ‘enhanced defensive capabilities as part of our effort to help Ukraine build its long-term defense capacity, to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to deter further aggression,’ but the statement from spokeswoman Heather Nauert said it was not going to give any further details.” Russia is unhappy which is such a fucking pity, but are they ever not unhappy? Too damn bad.
RUSSIAN SUBS TROWLING NEAR “VITAL UNDERSEAS CABLES”
The Washington Post reports, “Russian submarines have dramatically stepped up activity around undersea data cables in the North Atlantic, part of a more aggressive naval posture that has driven NATO to revive a Cold War-era command, according to senior military officials.” The Washington Post notes, “The apparent Russian focus on the cables, which provide Internet and other communications connections to North America and Europe, could give the Kremlin the power to sever or tap into vital data lines”. The Washington Post adds, “The Russian Defense Ministry did not respond to a request for comment about the cables.” The Washington Post reports, “The activity has forced a revival of Western sub-hunting skills that lay largely dormant since the end of the Cold War.” As such, “Russia’s foes need vast resources to track a single undersea craft, making the submarines’ cost-to-mischief ratio attractive.”
From The Washington Post.
UK ESCORTS RUSSIAN WARSHIP NEAR TERRITORIAL WATERS
The AP reports, “Britain’s Royal Navy has escorted one of Russia’s warships through the North Sea near U.K. waters, officials said Tuesday, amid increasing tensions between the two countries.” The AP adds, “The HMS St. Albans with 190 sailors on board was used to escort the Russian Admiral Gorshkov frigate on Monday through what British officials called ‘areas of national interest’ on Christmas Day. In addition, a Royal Navy helicopter was used to track other Russian vessels in the area.”
From the AP.
SBERBANK’S HERMAN GREF FREAKING OVER SANCTIONS
The Financial Times reports, “Russia’s top banker says potentially far-ranging new US sanctions would ‘make the Cold War look like child’s play’ if implemented early next year. Herman Gref, chief executive of Sberbank, told the FT in an interview that possible US sanctions against oligarchs and state-owned corporations would be ‘irrational’ if they went as far as excluding state banks from the Swift payment system.”
From The Financial Times.
NAVALNY MOVES TO GET HIS NAME ON THE BALLOT…
The Guardian reports, “Alexei Navalny, seen as the only Russian opposition leader who stands a fighting chance of challenging Vladimir Putin, has attempted to get his name on the ballot for a March presidential election, with supporters gathering across Russia to endorse the move. More than 15,000 people who back him met in 20 Russian cities on Sunday to formally nominate his candidacy in the presence of electoral officials in an attempt to boost his chances of making the vote.” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty adds, “Russian anticorruption activist and opposition politician Aleksei Navalny has submitted documents needed to be registered as a presidential candidate to the country’s Central Election Commission.”
… AND IS BARRED FROM RUNNING BY RUSSIAN MAFIA STATE
POLITICO reports, “Russia’s central election commission decided Monday to formally bar opposition leader Alexei Navalny from running in the presidential election next year.” Surprise! The little guy in the Kremlin can only handle fake opposition because he knows how weak he truly is after stealing from the Russian people for nearly two decades. POLITICO adds, “In response to the election commission decision, Navalny called on his supporters to boycott the vote.”
—–INDICTMENT ROCK CITY—–
Bloomberg reports, “Rick Gates, the indicted former campaign aide to Donald Trump, must explain to a judge why a video of him shown at a fundraiser and comments by a supporter didn’t violate a court order requiring Gates to refrain from discussing his criminal case in the news media.” Bloomberg adds, “The video was shown to journalists and disseminated on social media, according to the judge’s order. [Judge] Jackson gave Gates five days to explain why the video didn’t violate her earlier order forbidding him from discussing the case publicly.”
HOUSE INTEL COMMITTEE WANTS TRUMP CAMPAIGN’S CHIEF FUCKTARDS IN
Bloomberg reports, “President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon and his former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski have been asked to testify to House lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.” According to Bloomberg, “Both men were sent letters this week by the House Intelligence Committee asking them to testify in early January”. They are being hauled in for a “voluntary interview” at the moment, without a subpoena, but there may be one behind the request should they not voluntarily appear. Bannon has ties to Cambridge Analytica’s Alexander Nix who already testified this month and Lewandowski was in contact with a cooperating witness charged by the FBI already, George Papadopoulos, when he was in charge of running the treason trash Trump trainwreck.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
IS THIS A “NEW COLD WAR”?
POLITICO looks at the totally trite phraseology of “new Cold War” and basically defines the arguments around it. POLITICO’s Susan Glasser writes, “even those who promote the idea have usually adhered to the view that today’s Cold War is less deadly than the original: it may be dangerous, but it could never lead to actual war. This view combines alarm with reassurance. I must confess that, these days, it looks to me like a state of denial,” which it so obviously is. Then there is the view that TRUMPISTAN WATCH subscribes to “that the new Cold War is not like the original Cold War because it lacks an ideological dimension.” In this variation, “the current tension between the United States and Russia is a Seinfeldian fight about nothing: Putin has no ideological goal beyond the elevation of the Russian state, ruled by him and his clan; he is not seeking adherents in the West, and therefore has brought about no great contest between two systems.” TRUMPISTAN WATCH would argue this is a mischaracterization on three fronts. First, as the Cold War coalesced around ideologies, this new hybrid war does not, thereby rendering “the new Cold War” label moot. Second, because ideology is removed does not mean there is no competing cynicism. Third, who said he is “not seeking adherents in the West”? What is Trump? Who are all the other proxies, agents, sycophants, shills and propaganda allies? In other words, live free or die versus live free and die, at least on the inside at the hands of the Russian mafia state and police state apparatus. Then, as if distinct from the second, “there is also another school of thought, according to which today’s Cold War may be even worse than the original,” which is also a view TRUMPISTAN WATCH subscribes too and finds wholly compatible with the second option of absent ideologies. It is more dangerous not only “because it could end in nuclear annihilation, but because the world in which we now live is more dangerously interconnected, increasing the risks of crisis between the two powers and multiplying the possible fields of confrontation. It is certainly the case that our technological environment has created massive new vulnerabilities, and new possibilities for mischief and accident.”
EFFORT TO DISCREDIT MUELLER A REAL VAST RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY
The Washington Post reports, “For months, efforts to discredit special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign flickered at the fringes of political debate. Now, the allegation that FBI and Justice Department officials are part of a broad conspiracy against President Trump is suddenly center stage, amplified by conservative activists, GOP lawmakers, right-leaning media and the president himself. The clamor has become a sustained backdrop”. The result is that you have losers and traitors like DARKNESS AT NUNES and “congressional committees grilling a parade of law enforcement officials in recent days.” The Washington Post adds, “Tom Fitton, whose conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch has helped drive the charges by unearthing internal Justice Department documents,” has worked with Congressional lackeys like Rep. Jim Jordan who sounded like a lunatic ranting at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein during one hearing. Of course what real vast right wing conspiracy is complete without the Clintons? As such, The Washington Post reports, “Fitton’s Judicial Watch group, too, has a long history of investigating the Clintons, having filed numerous lawsuits against the administration of President Bill Clinton. During the 2016 campaign, the organization obtained thousands of emails written by Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state.” Also key to the gin of Republican conspiracies around Mueller are the attacks on the FBI and in particular, “Republicans have also raised questions about the FBI’s handling of a dossier produced by Christopher Steele”. The Washington Post notes, “Senate Intelligence Committee investigators on Thursday interviewed Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official whose wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS in 2016.” Finally rounding out the trinity of Republican charges that really have nothing to do with Mueller, “pro-Clinton texts that Strzok exchanged with another senior FBI official, Lisa Page, while they were having an affair and managing sensitive political investigations of those candidates.” And Mueller is responsible for removed lower level officials pillow talk political texts how and this is relevant to anything why?
From The Washington Post.
ACTIVE MEASURES WATCH: THE PENTAGON
The Washington Post reports, “The Defense Department will restructure its sprawling bureaucracy and implement a new National Defense Strategy next year, separate efforts that are intended to make lasting change in the Pentagon, its No. 2 official said Thursday.” The Washington Post adds, “Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan predicted that the restructuring will be ‘great fodder for stories next year because you’ll probably hear screaming and yelling’ among critics of the changes it spawns. It will be led by the Pentagon’s first chief management officer and will focus on centralizing functions, including human resources, information technology and financial management, Shanahan told a group of reporters at the Pentagon.” Where have we seen this movie before? Maybe over at the State Department, which has been gutted by T Rex and a consultancy that makes word clouds and destroys everything else called Insigniam? Recall the goal of active measures is to capture the state: foreign policy, defense and the economy. Don’t rest assured this will be handled by competent hands as, “The management officer will be John H. ‘Jay’ Gibson II, who was initially appointed by President Trump as deputy chief management officer. Gibson previously served as the chief executive at XCOR Aerospace, a start-up rocket-engine company that filed for bankruptcy last month after failing to find new investors.”
From The Washington Post.
DEPORTATION BY THE NUMBERS
Apropos Trump’s extraordinary racism, let us break down by the numbers this year in deportations since we are supposed to treat “the others” as such in Trumpistan as opposed to actual human beings. According to The New York Times, “By year’s end, the chaos and disorganization that marked Mr. Trump’s earliest actions on immigration had given way to a more disciplined approach that yielded concrete results, steered in large part by Mr. Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general. As secretary of homeland security, he had helped unleash immigration officers who felt constrained under Mr. Obama. They arrested 143,000 people in 2017, a sharp uptick, and deported more than 225,000.” Emphasis is due there on “felt constrained”. If you count people the way you do livestock, this is a victory of some sort. The New York Times notes, “as White House chief of staff, Mr. Kelly quietly persuaded the president to drop his talk of Mexico paying for the wall,” but, “he has advocated on behalf of the president’s restrictionist vision, defying his reputation as a moderator of Mr. Trump’s hard-line instincts.”
From The New York Times.
FAKEBOOK DIDN’T ACCEPT REALITY WINNER’S LEGAL NAME + MORE
New York Magazine has an excellent profile of Reality Winner, the NSA leaker who sent Krem’Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill proof that they are full of shit. It reaffirms that “If your definition of ‘deep state’ cannot accommodate an idealistic 25-year-old CrossFit fanatic with unmatched socks, you’ve underestimated both the reach and scope of American surveillance.” As we now know, “Reality listened to a podcast called Intercepted, hosted by the left-wing anti-security-state website the Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill and featuring its public face, Glenn Greenwald, and listened intensely enough to email the hosts and ask for a transcript of an episode.” New York Magazine is beyond generous in describing how “Scahill and Greenwald had been, and continue to be, cautious about accusations of Russian election meddling, which they foresee being used as a pretext for justifying U.S. militarism.” With their so-called pet cause of “anti-security-state” they have embraced an even greater one, namely Russia’s mafia police state and lure other gullible leftists who do not understand that one is being pulled over them. Now here is how we know they burned her: “When the envelope first arrived at the Intercept, there was considerable doubt that the document within it was real. The reporters decided, per standard journalistic practice, to contact someone who could verify its authenticity. What is less standard — what Thomas Drake calls ‘abhorrent’ and Tim Shorrock calls ‘just shameful’ and investigative journalist Barton Gellman called ‘egregious’ — is for a reporter to provide a copy of the document itself, which could help reveal precisely who had provided it. On May 30, according to court filings, an unnamed reporter sent pictures of the document to a contractor for the U.S. government and told the contractor that they’d been postmarked in Augusta,” New York Magazine reports. It is like they wanted to destroy her. In other words, she trusted the worst people.
From New York Magazine.
WHERE IS MY PAGE? TRUMP’S FOREIGN POLICY ADVISOR TWICE FAILED PHD
The Guardian reports, “Carter Page, Donald Trump’s former foreign policy adviser, accused his British examiners of ‘anti-Russian bias’ after they took the highly unusual step of failing his ‘verbose’ and ‘vague’ PhD thesis, not once but twice.” Delicious. The Guardian notes how, “Page was a little-known oil consultant who lived and worked in Moscow when he joined Trump’s campaign in March 2016,” when “The then-candidate named Page as one of five foreign policy advisers, calling him ‘Carter Page PhD’ in a meeting with the Washington Post’s editorial board.” However, The Guardian now reports, “In fact, Page took three attempts to gain his doctorate from the University of London, finally succeeding in 2011.” Bizarrely, “In emails seen by the Guardian, Page compares his decade-long struggle to get a postgraduate qualification to the ordeal suffered by Mikhail Khodorkovsy [sic] – the Russian oligarch sent to a Siberian prison by Vladimir Putin.” This one is a lot of fun to read, especially if you find yourself in the trenches of academia.
From The Guardian.
SCIENTISTS SAY SCIENCE WON’T TOLERATE TRUMPIAN BULLSHIT
The New York Times and ProPublica report, “More than 700 people have left the Environmental Protection Agency since President Trump took office, a wave of departures that puts the administration nearly a quarter of the way toward its goal of shrinking the agency to levels last seen during the Reagan administration.” The NYT/ProPublica adds, “Of the employees who have quit, retired or taken a buyout package since the beginning of the year, more than 200 are scientists. An additional 96 are environmental protection specialists, a broad category that includes scientists as well as others experienced in investigating and analyzing pollution levels. Nine department directors have departed the agency as well as dozens of attorneys and program managers. Most of the employees who have left are not being replaced.”
ON WHY CELEBRATING THE CHEKA MATTERS TO PUTIN 2018
The Moscow Times runs an op-ed by Prague-based Mark Galeotti, an expert on criminal networks and Russian ones in particular. Galeotti notes, “Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin may have been reticent to celebrate the centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution, but it had no qualms about celebrating a hundred years since the founding of the Cheka, Lenin’s political police, on Dec. 20.” In part this is because “Appealing to largely-mythical claims of foreign subversion performs two useful functions. First of all, it plays to this fantasy that the Motherland is in danger. At such a time, the Kremlin’s line will be: it is foolish, dangerous, even unpatriotic to consider changing the helmsman. Safety first is likely to be a key message of Putin’s re-election campaign.”
From The Moscow Times.
ORWELLIAN À L’ORANGE
The Washington Post reports, “The Trump administration is waging a linguistic battle across official Washington, seeking to shift public perception of key policies by changing the way the federal government talks about climate change, scientific evidence and disadvantaged communities.” The Washington Post adds, “Climate change, for example, has for months presented a linguistic minefield; multiple references to it have been purged repeatedly at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department. And in late summer, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention issued a ‘language guidance’ document to employees and contractors bearing a column of words and phrases to be avoided, alongside a column of acceptable alternatives.” Ready for these? The Washington Post reports, “The one-page document recommends using ‘all youth’ instead of ‘underserved youth,’ referring to crime as a ‘public issue/public concern’ rather than a ‘public health issue/public health concern’ and describing young people who commit crimes as ‘offenders’ rather than ‘system-involved or justice-involved youths’.”
From The Washington Post.
TRUMP TOWER CHICAGO TO BEAM CONSPIRACY LIES TO PUBLIC
The Chicago Tribune reports, “Prominent conspiracy theorist and Sandy Hook denier Alex Jones will soon be broadcast on FM radio from downtown Chicago, according to a radio station owner who has won FCC approval to place a transmitter on the roof of Trump Tower. WCKG station owner Matt Dubiel went on the Texan’s ‘Infowars’ show on Monday to announce his plans to install an FM transmitter at Trump Tower in January. ‘We’ve worked out an arrangement with the Trump Tower,’ to lease space on the top of the tower, Dubiel told Jones, praising the Trump Organization for ‘having their act together.’” That’s not what TRUMPISTAN WATCH would call it. The Chicago Tribune notes, “The Trump Organization did not respond to questions about any deal with Dubiel on Thursday, but public records show Dubiel received FCC approval in July to move his FM translator — a transmitter that allows him to simultaneously broadcast an AM show on FM — to the Trump Tower. Most Chicago FM broadcasters use the older Willis and Hancock towers, and Dubiel told Inc. on Thursday that he believes he has the first English language station to broadcast from Trump Tower.”
From The Chicago Tribune.
INSTALL IF YOU ARE DEMENTED + LOVE THE KGB THAT FUCKING MUCH
Wired “reports,” e.g. pens Kremlin friendly bullshit, “The world’s most sensitive users of technology, like dissidents, activists, or journalists in repressive regimes, have to fear not just hacking and online surveillance, but the reality that police, intelligence agents, or other intruders can simply break into your home, office, or hotel room. They can tamper with your computers, steal them, or bodily detain you until you cough up passwords or other secrets.” Right now wait for it, “On Friday, the Freedom of the Press Foundation and its president, famed NSA leaker Edward Snowden, launched Haven, an app designed to transform any Android phone into a kind of all-purpose sensor for detecting intrusions.” They describe him as some sort of privacy activist instead of an FSB prostitute but whatever, details. It only works on super insecure Androids and is basically like having a hyper-competent KGB officer breathing down your neck and logging your every move for all time and any purpose in the future. Basically it’s going to fuck with the heads of the dumb leftists who would download it, as they are a new incubator for some future KGB experiments. Unless you are writing a magazine article and using a burner iPhone because your publication is insanely wealthy or you are working for Them, don’t. Just don’t. Why would you? Have you gone mental? As former CIA Station Chief in Moscow John Sipher notes on Twitter, “Snowden could not do this without the knowledge and approval of the Russian intelligence services. Russian law requires it.” Indeed, Russian state-run RT is all in for it, as is Krem’Glenn Greenwald, that the propaganda outlet alleges it is possible to be “schooled” for calling shenanigans on this as opposed to the proper nomenclature, which is brainwashed by Kremlin scum like Greenwald and Snowden.
JULIAN ASSWIPE’S TWITTER BRIEFLY DISAPPEARS
The Hill reports, “WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s official Twitter account briefly disappeared from the platform before returning Monday morning.” The Hill notes, “It is not clear why the account, @JulianAssange, appeared to briefly disappear from the platform.”
From The Hill.
INSTAGRAM SUSPENDS CHECHEN LEADER RAMZAN KADYROV
The Guardian reports, “The Russian internet watchdog has demanded an explanation from Facebook and Instagram over the blocking of social media accounts belonging to the controversial Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov.” Recall, “The US imposed travel and financial sanctions on Kadyrov last week over numerous allegations of human rights abuses.”
From The Guardian.
RUSSIA FIRES SHOT OVER THE BOW AT GOOGLE’S ERIC SCHMIDT
Russian state-run Sputnik has a hit job on Google CEO Eric Schmidt that reeks of classic intimidation tactics. Based on an interview with some tech has been/Kremlin conspiracy propagator by the name of Trent Lapinski, Russian state-run Sputnik taunts Eric Schmidt by describing him as a “womanizer” in these times. Most ludicrously, “despite being married to Wendy Schmidt, he openly had relationships with numerous other women. The Schmidts are reported to have an open marriage,” so not only is his wife aware and unconcerned, Russian state-run Sputnik plops this info into the public realm for what purpose and to what end? Russian state-run Sputnik tries also to insinuate a connection between sanctions vis-à-vis this Lapinski proxy of theirs, stating, “According to Lapinski, it is notable that Schmidt’s resignation was announced mere hours after US President Donald Trump issued an executive order that blocks transactions of the property of persons involved in human rights abuses, human trafficking and corruption.” That executive order punished Russians like the Prosecutor General’s son Artem Chaika and other corrupt officials worldwide, not Eric Schmidt. This is a case of turning fact into fiction and attempting to intimidate but for what purpose and to what end?
JUST BECAUSE YOU BELIEVE SOMETHING IS FAKE NEWS DOESN’T MAKE IT SO
The Washington Post reports, “A Dutch journalist just asked new U.S. Ambassador Pete Hoekstra why he said there are ‘no go’ areas in the Netherlands, where radical Muslims are setting cars and politicians on fire. Hoekstra denied it, and called the claim ‘fake news.’” Of course that itself is “fake news” as, “The report cut to a video clip of Hoekstra at a 2015 conference hosted by the David Horowitz Freedom Center saying: ‘The Islamic movement has now gotten to a point where they have put Europe into chaos. Chaos in the Netherlands, there are cars being burned, there are politicians that are being burned.’” He added, “And yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands”. The Washington Post adds, “Then things got extremely weird. When the reporter pressed, Hoekstra denied using the term ‘fake news,’ which he’d uttered moments before. ‘I didn’t call that fake news,’ he said. ‘I didn’t use the words today. I don’t think I did.’”
From The Washington Post.
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
MONEY, THAT’S WHAT TRUMP WANTS
The Washington Post reports, “For two decades, the commander in chief has doled out distinguished-looking coins as personal mementos. Now, the presidential ‘challenge coin’ has undergone a Trumpian transformation.” No, it’s not an inflatable love doll that you could easily mistake for a “penis home”! But you are so damn close! Ready for it: “The presidential seal has been replaced by an eagle bearing President Trump’s signature. The eagle’s head faces right, not left, as on the seal. The 13 arrows representing the original states have disappeared. And the national motto, ‘E pluribus unum’ — a Latin phrase that means ‘Out of many, one’ — is gone. Instead, both sides of the coin feature Trump’s campaign slogan, ‘Make America Great Again.’” Of course it comes with the usual bogus assertion that “Trump was personally involved in redesigning the coin,” but unlike not normal normal times, you can maybe believe it this time. In other words, it is the most genuine fake thing about the whole regime. While this is very funny and such, “Some ethics experts questioned the unprecedented decision to include a campaign slogan on the coins, which are often distributed to members of the military,” because the guns are actually serious in other places where civilians do not have so many and maybe are here if you peel away the bullshit slogans and civilian indifference, maybe.
From The Washington Post.
STEVE MANURE-CHIN’S GIFT FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
The Washington Post reports, “It was one of those gag cards you can buy in a drugstore. ‘Merry Catsmess!’ read the caption. And in a personal touch, as if for emphasis, Robby Strong had enclosed a box of horse manure. ‘To Stevie,’ he wrote on the envelope, meaning Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, for whose doorstep the manure was bound. ‘We’re returning the ‘gift’ of the Christmas tax bill. It’s bulls‑‑‑.’ Strong wrote on the card. ‘Warmest Wishes, The American People.’” Every nation is nothing more and nothing less than the sum of its people. As The Washington Post reports, “On Saturday, Strong hand-delivered the manure to two Los Angeles homes he believed belong to Mnuchin — one in Beverly Hills, and one a mansion in Bel Air that consequently got a visit from Secret Service agents and a bomb squad.” The Washington Post adds, “Strong works as a psychologist for Los Angeles County, he told 89.3 KPCC, and expects that delivering animal feces to the man in charge of the U.S. Treasury Department could jeopardize his job. But Strong doesn’t sound as if he regrets it.” The Washington Post notes, “As proof of his commitment, he posted photos of himself — shovel in hand, serene smile beneath his beard — loading manure into a box the size of a mini-fridge.” The Washington Post reports, “His escapade earned him a visit from Secret Service agents Sunday,” and, “the agency confirmed to The Washington Post that it interviewed the manure’s self-declared sender.” Strong was not arrested for his deed.
From The Washington Post.
IOC BANS 11 RUSSIAN ATHLETES FOR LIFE
Reuters reports, “The International Olympic Committee said on Friday it had banned 11 Russian athletes for life after they committed doping offences at the 2014 Sochi winter games. Among them are speed skaters Ivan Skobrev, a two-time medalist at the Vancouver 2010 Games, and Artem Kuznetcov. Along with lugers Tatyana Ivanova and Albert Demchenko, who both won silver medals in Sochi, cross-country skiers Nikita Kryukov, Alexander Bessmertnykh –both silver medallists– and Natalia Matveeva, bobsledders Liudmila Udobkina and Maxim Belugin, and ice hockey players Tatiana Burina and Anna Shchukina, they were disqualified from the events they took part in.”
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