—–ON THE AGENDA—–
IF GATES PLEA DEAL IN THE WORKS, MANAFORT + TRUMP ARE SCREWED
The Washington Post reports, “Lawyers for former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s co-defendant, Rick Gates, are asking a federal judge to leave the case in a motion set to be heard in a sealed hearing in Washington on Wednesday.” This could set the stage for a much rumored plea deal, which if true means Manafort and Trump are very screwed, so giddyup! The Washington Post notes, “U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the District set the 10:30 a.m. hearing behind closed doors to preserve the secrecy of attorney-client communications. Gates’s attorneys Shanlon Wu of Washington and Walter Mack and Annemarie McAvoy of New York on Thursday moved to withdraw as counsel in a shake-up in the pending prosecution by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. The shift could leave Gates, 45, with his third set of defense lawyers”. The Washington Post adds, “CNN reported Jan. 23 that Gates had added prominent white-collar lawyer Thomas C. Green of Sidley Austin in Washington to his defense team after Green was spotted at Mueller’s office, fueling speculation about ongoing negotiations with prosecutors.”
From The Washington Post.
FULL TRUMPISTAN: TRUMP WANTS A MILITARY PARADE
The Washington Post reports, “President Trump’s vision of soldiers marching and tanks rolling down the boulevards of Washington is moving closer to reality in the Pentagon and White House, where officials say they have begun to plan a grand military parade later this year showcasing the might of America’s armed forces. Trump has long mused publicly and privately about wanting such a parade, but a Jan. 18 meeting between Trump and top generals in the Pentagon’s tank — a room reserved for top-secret discussions — marked a tipping point”. Full Trumpistan! We already have air and water shows across the nation and tanks seriously destroy roads, but never mind, give us some goose stepping children too, please, let’s bring this one to being near totally like North Korea or the Soviet Union. This is also a man who had five deferments during Vietnam due to his alleged “bone spurs” and never served a day – although he did go to a military high school, where they obviously failed badly to educate him. The Washington Post notes, “Surrounded by the military’s highest-ranking officials, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., Trump’s seemingly abstract desire for a parade was suddenly heard as a presidential directive”. We can all thank French President Emmanuel Macron for having him as a guest during the Bastille Day military parade last year for not only the inspiration, but also the justification. The Washington Post notes, “Even before he was sworn in as president, Trump was dreaming of America’s war machine on display for the country and the world in front of the White House or Capitol.” It is all sort of unnecessary when you have the best military in the world. As a favorite Twitter account @iAmTheWarax notes, “This is the ultimate expression of Donald Trump’s relationship with the military: we are nothing more than props to him.”
From The Washington Post.
WHITES ONLY HAUS IS SUDDENLY DEFERENTIAL TO FBI, DOJ
CNN reports, “White House officials and others close to President Donald Trump insist he will rely on the input of law enforcement and intelligence agencies as he decides whether to declassify a memo from Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.” That is richly ironic because of course he completely ignored the advice coming from both the FBI and the Department of Justice regarding fellow Kremlin puppet DARKNSS AT NUNES’ stupid memo. With lies dripping from their mouths, “White House officials and a source close to the process insist the document will face the same level of scrutiny and undergo the same interagency review as the Republican memo did last week.” Does that mean it will face no serious scrutiny and no interagency review as the DARKNESS AT NUNES’ memo that Russian trolls and bots helped push to the forefront of the political and media agendas last week did? Of course, “The comparison, though, is raising eyebrows as last week’s memo publication came over FBI objections, which warned it had ‘grave concerns’ about the incomplete picture the GOP memo painted”. In case you have total amnesia however, “Trump’s allies are eager to point to the government process as a buffer to Trump’s views.” CNN adds, “Chief of staff John Kelly said the White House is reviewing a Democratic memo on the investigation into a Trump campaign associate and he has ordered authorities to give their recommendations on how to handle it by Thursday, after which the President will make his final decision on whether to release the memo and whether to redact it.”
WHAT’S IN THE DEMS REBUTTAL TO DARKNESS AT NUNES MEMO?
The Washington Post reports, “based on public Democratic rebuttals over the past few days,” we can expect to see Democrats in their memo to put forth several arguments. First, that then FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told Congress that the Steele dossier “was essential to getting [the FISA] court approval to spy on Page,” while Democrats are likely to point out that “Page has been a person of interest to the FBI since 2013.” The Washington Post notes, “If Democrats find a way to underscore this point, they can undermine the Republicans’ central argument that the FBI erred when it spied on Page by relying on a dossier published three years later, in 2016.” Then there is the fact that “the Republicans’ own memo confirms that the probe was set in motion after former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos bragged to Australian diplomats that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton.” Of course, “Papadopoulos has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his Russia contacts, a sign legal experts say that the FBI is using him to get more information.” Then “The GOP memo alleges that the FBI didn’t reveal that the dossier had been funded by Democrats to a federal court when getting approval to spy on Page,” but, “reporting has since undermined that, showing that a footnote in the FISA application”. Additionally Steele might not have known about the Democratic source of funding in the later stages of making the dossier and lastly, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appears to have little to do with the FISA application for Page.
From The Washington Post.
PRIVATE RUSSIAN SESSIONS WANTS “FRESH START” AT FBI
CNN reports, “Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he believes the FBI needs a ‘fresh start’ following FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s decision to step down.” Because you should not trust Private Russian Sessions you should probably not trust those he heaps praise on as CNN quotes Private Russian Sessions, “I used the words, ‘fresh start,’ and the FBI director is Chris Wray, a very talented, smart, capable leader”. This is from an interview to The Washington Examiner, a reliably pro-Trump rag, that was published Tuesday. Private Russian Sessions got to his most Orwellian moment yet when he felt compelled to justify his attacks on our institutions by treating us like we are stupid and telling us, “Everything we do is based on law and facts. And, whether we like it or not, there’s been erosion in some of the confidence of the American people at the FBI and Department of Justice.” In fact, none of this is based on law and facts; Trump and Sessions are most responsible for this “erosion in some confidence”.
BANNON AND THE INVESTIGATIONS
ABC News reports, “A highly anticipated House Intelligence Committee interview with Stephen Bannon has been postponed until next week, the committee said on Tuesday, as negotiations continue over the terms of his appearance. Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, was expected to skip his scheduled appearance Tuesday before the House Intelligence Committee, according to sources familiar with his plans. The move sets the stage for a showdown with lawmakers who had issued a bipartisan subpoena for his testimony.” PBS NewsHour reports, “Steve Bannon, the former chief strategist to President Donald Trump, is scheduled to speak with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators next week as they probe possible obstruction of justice by the president.”
WHERE IS MY PAGE? DOING A ROUND OF MEDIA INTERVIEWS
The Washington Post reports, “Page sat with Laura Ingraham on Monday night for his first interview since the release of the Nunes memo, and Ingraham pressed him on a Time magazine story over the weekend about how he had claimed in 2013 to be an “informal advisor” to the Russian government.” The Washington Post notes, “The best explanation Page could muster Monday was essentially that it was a massive case of résumé inflation and an effort to beat back an overzealous editor.” ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos interviewed Carter Page on “Good Morning America” and the result is no less batshit than any of the previous interviews Page has given. This man is the living embodiment of covfefe. In the interview, he makes a host of claims which include he never spoke to Donald Trump in his life and the group advising the Kremlin on the G20 met in Paris, Geneva and at the New York Stock Exchange and included individuals from the U.K. and Australia. He does not explain though why, in his own words, he described himself as “an informal advisor to the Kremlin,” in a letter to an editor in 2013 that was published last weekend. Nor does he explain how and why he ended up working on Trump’s campaign as a foreign policy advisor. As one CNN headline puts it, “Carter Page struggles to explain how he could advise both Kremlin and Trump team”. As CNN’s Michael Weiss noted on Twitter, “He didn’t think there was a difference.”
TREY GOWDY IMPLIES OLD CLINTON HAND A STEELE DOSSIER SOURCE
POLITICO reports, “Rep. Trey Gowdy implied Tuesday that information provided by longtime Clinton friend Sidney Blumenthal was used by former British spy Christopher Steele.” This is part of an effort, based on no facts, to pin the dossier on the State Department, despite the fact that, as POLITICO notes, “Blumenthal, a longtime Clinton friend, confidant and adviser, never worked at the State Department under President Barack Obama. He worked in the White House of President Bill Clinton and for the Clinton Foundation during Obama’s tenure.” Perhaps Gowdy and those keen on concocting various conspiracies — or simply those keen on learning the truth, heaven forbid! — should revisit the handy, “The making of the Steele Dossier” timeline created by The Washington Post.
JULIAN ASSWIPE LOSES BID TO HAVE ARREST WARRANT DROPPED
Deutsche Welle reports, “A British judge has upheld an arrest warrant for Julian Assange.” Sad! The judge, Emma Arbuthnot, told the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, “I’m not persuaded that the warrant should be withdrawn”. Deutsche Welle notes, “Lawyers representing Assange argued the warrant should be scrapped because he is no longer wanted for questioning in Sweden. Swedish prosecutors had been investigating the Wikileaks founder after two women accused him of sexual assault and rape in 2010 — charges Assange denies. The 46-year-old sought refuge in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy in 2012 to escape extradition to Sweden. The case against him was dropped last May, but British authorities say Assange is still wanted for skipping bail when he fled to the embassy over five years ago.” Deutsche Welle adds, “The Australian-born hacker has previously said that he feared Sweden would hand him over to the United States to face prosecution for publishing a massive trove of classified military documents on the Wikileaks website.”
From Deutsche Welle.
UKRAINE POWER COMPANY PLANS $20 MILLION CYBER DEFENSE SYSTEM
Reuters reports, “Ukraine’s state-run power distributor Ukrenergo, a leading target for cyber attacks in the past two years, will invest up to $20 million in a new cyber defense system, its chief executive said on Tuesday. Vsevolod Kovalchuk told a new briefing that UKrenergo and international consultants had identified about 20 threats, all of which would be neutralized with the new system.” To be determined. Also as you neutralize one threat, new ones materialize. Reuters notes, “He added the defense would come into force in 2020 and include new software, as well as what he called administrative actions.” Reuters notes, “In December 2015, a first-of-its-kind cyber attack cut the lights to 225,000 people in western Ukraine, with hackers also sabotaging power distribution equipment, complicating attempts to restore power. A year later, a cyber attack caused a power blackout in Ukraine’s capital Kiev. In June 2017 Ukrenergo appeared to be an early victim of a cyber attack that began in Ukraine and spread around the world, knocking out thousands of machines, shutting down ports, factories and offices in around 60 countries.” Coming soon to Trumpistan!
KSENIA SOBCHAK COMES TO WASHINGTON
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Ksenia Sobchak, the Russian TV celebrity, socialite, and daughter of President Vladimir Putin’s political mentor, brought her long-shot campaign for the presidency to Washington, saying that her political ambitions were genuine and long-term.” Remember: no real opposition is allowed anywhere near Russia’s fake elections next month. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty notes, “Sobchak’s visit to the United States, coming just six weeks before the Russian election, has raised eyebrows among liberals, opposition activists, and political observers, and fueled questions about whether the Kremlin was using her candidacy to boost turnout and help Putin’s bid for another six-year term.” And there is reason to be suspicious! Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty adds, “Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on February 6, Sobchak indicated that, among other things, she planned to meet with administration officials about U.S. economic sanctions imposed on Russia in recent years.” For its part, Russian state-run RT offered breathless coverage of, “Russian opposition presidential hopeful Kseniya Sobchak,” in “Washington DC, advertising her political program and sharing insights on the future of Russia and its relations with the West.” So the fake opposition deserves real Russian propaganda? Suspicious yet? Go home girl, shill for Putin to your own people, we get enough of him here these days without Ksenia coming to America.
WASHINGTON RENAMES STREET OUTSIDE RUSSIAN EMBASSY FOR NEMTSOV
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “The city council of Washington, D.C., has renamed the street where Russia’s embassy is located to honor the memory of slain Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in a move that Moscow has complained about. Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr., the chairman of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation For Freedom, said on February 6 that an official ceremony to rename the block of Wisconsin Avenue as Boris Nemtsov Plaza is scheduled for February 27, the third anniversary of Nemtsov’s assassination.”
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER: “ALT-RIGHT IS KILLING PEOPLE”
In a new report, the aptly titled, “The Alt-Right Is Killing People,” the Southern Poverty Law Center tackles the far right movement that has resulted in the death or injury over 100 already, resulting in dozens of deaths, and helped bring a cabal of Russian puppets, white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other deranged types into the Whites Only Haus while spreading a message of hate far and wide. The first “alt-right” killing “— that morbid milestone belongs to Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old who in 2014 killed six in Isla Vista, California, after uploading a sprawling manifesto filled with hatred of young women and interracial couples”. The Southern Poverty Law Center adds, “Including Rodger’s murderous rampage there have been at least 13 alt-right related fatal episodes, leaving 43 dead. And more than 60 injured in these incidents”. The Southern Poverty Law Center adds, “Nine of the 12 incidents counted here occurred in 2017 alone, making last year the most violent year for the movement.” Of note, “these perpetrators were all male and, with the exception of three men, all under the age of 30 at the time they are alleged to have killed. The average age of the alt-right killers is 26. The youngest was 17. One, Alexandre Bissonnette, is Canadian, but the rest are American.” Southern Poverty Law Center notes, “FBI crime data suggests that ages 16 to 24 are peak time for violent crime.”
MAJORITY OF AMERICANS SEE TRUMP OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE
The Hill reports, “A majority of Americans say President Trump has tried to derail or obstruct special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s election interference, according to a new poll.” That’s right, despite the constant covfefe, the majority of the American people are not stupid. But do not get too excited, as The Hill qualifies this by noting, “A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday finds that just over half of likely voters, 53 percent, believe the president has tried to obstruct or derail the federal probe, compared to 41 percent who say Trump has not interfered.” Recall one of Russia’s goals in their America operation is to sow discord and divide the population. The Hill adds, “Views over whether Mueller’s probe is legitimate are deeply divided along partisan lines, the poll finds. Half of voters, 50 percent, say the probe is legitimate, compared to 42 percent who called it a ‘political witch hunt,’ a description Trump has used. But among Republicans alone, 77 percent view it as a witch hunt, while 78 percent of Democrats view the investigation as legitimate.”
From The Hill.
TRUMP CHANGING GOP INTO A DEATH CULT FROM A POLITICAL PARTY
CNN reports, “The real message of the memo released last week by Rep. Devin Nunes assailing the FBI and Department of Justice is that Donald Trump is changing the Republican Party far more than it is changing him.” Note: wherever you read Trump, read Putin. CNN adds, “The most telling aspect of the document was that it was compiled and released at all — to the delight of Trump and over the heated opposition of the FBI and other federal law enforcement and intelligence officials.” That’s right our fake puppet president is carrying out attacks on our state on behalf of a foreign adversary and the Republican Party is like, meh, let’s go along for the ride! Less anyone believe this is some sort of accident, CNN recalls, “Trump has helped Republicans achieve long-standing goals of cutting taxes, regulation and spending, and confirming onto the federal courts deeply conservative judges. It was such accomplishments that led Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last week to declare, ‘2017 was the best year for conservatives in the 30 years that I’ve been here. The best year on all fronts.’” No accident or aberration, rather full complicity with the destruction of the American way of life. They are living their dreams! And drinking the Kool Aid is no hardship for them – as there is no cyanide (or polonium as the Kremlin prefers) in it yet. “As a result,” of their obedience to the death cult leader Trump/Putin, “Republicans have maneuvered themselves into positions that few could have imagined two years ago: impeding a serious investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, defending or downplaying Trump language that inflames racial tensions, excusing his efforts to demand personal loyalty from top law enforcement officials, and now openly attacking federal law enforcement agencies”. CNN observes, “The cumulative impact of these choices may be to more deeply fuse the GOP’s political identity with Trump’s,” sort of like a cult does as it rallies around its leader.
MEMORY LANE: A REMINDER OF WHO CHRISTOPHER STEELE IS
The Washington Post reports, “the British former spy had been working to alert the Americans to what he believed were disturbing ties Trump had to Russia. He had grown so worried about what he had learned from his Russia network about the Kremlin’s plans that he told colleagues it was like ‘sitting on a nuclear weapon.’” The Washington Post adds, “The Russians had damaging information about Trump’s personal behavior and finances that could be used to pressure the GOP nominee. What’s more, the Kremlin was now carrying out an operation with the Trump campaign’s help to tilt the U.S. election — a plot Steele had been told was ordered by President Vladimir Putin. The FBI investigators treated Steele as a peer, a Russia expert so well-trusted that he had assisted the Justice Department on past cases and provided briefing material for British prime ministers and at least one U.S. president.” The Washington Post notes, “He had left the famed Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6, seven years earlier and was now working on behalf of Fusion GPS, a private Washington research firm whose work at the time was funded by Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, and the Democratic Party.” The Washington Post notes, “Among those who have continued to seek his expertise is Steele’s former boss Richard Dearlove, who headed MI6 from 1999 to 2004. In an interview, Dearlove said Steele became the ‘go-to person on Russia in the commercial sector’ following his retirement from the Secret Intelligence Service. He described the reputations of Steele and his business partner, fellow intelligence veteran Christopher Burrows, as ‘superb.’”
From The Washington Post.
PERFORM YOUR PROFESSIONAL DUTIES IN LUBYANKA, NOT LANGLEY
Russian state-run Sputnik reports, “Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service Head Sergei Naryshkin said Tuesday that he was performing his professional duties as the intelligence service chief during his recent visit to the United States.” Do that in Lubyanka, not in Langley, asshole. Or you could believe our fake Russian puppet president that this is all a hoax (this is not a drill, this is all very real). Now wait for it. Naryshkin told reporters, “I performed my professional duties as the head of the Russian intelligence service in the United States”. So what’s our Reichstag fire they are planning? A redo of the Moscow and Ryazan apartment building bombings?
AMERICA OPERATION WAS LUCRATIVE + THE WEST IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS
The Telegraph reports, “MI6 has raised concerns after a Russian oligarch with links to military hardware production was able to use the London Stock Exchange to raise an estimated £1 billion.” TRUMPISTAN WATCH remembers it well! And it is no ordinary oligarch but, “Oleg Deripaska, one of Russia’s wealthiest men who is closely linked to Vladimir Putin,” also linked to Paul Manafort through “business” the two did in Ukraine. The Telegraph adds, “Security sources have raised questions over how EN+, an energy company, came to be floated in London last November without the intelligence services being properly consulted.” The Telegraph adds, “The company also owns half of Rusal, a giant Russian aluminium company which until recently said on its website that a fine metal powder it produced was used ‘in the production of military equipment’. The Telegraph understands that the same type of powder was used in the production of a Russian-built Buk missile that Dutch investigators said downed Flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014, killing 298 people.” Many Western banks helped clear the transactions involved in that IPO, too. Additionally, Reuters reports, “Russia’s second-biggest lender, VTB, posted a net profit last year of more than 100 billion roubles ($1.74 billion), Chief Executive Andrey Kostin told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.” The America operation was very lucrative; only the American people, our allies around the world, and as always the Russian people feel pain.
RUSSIAN OLIGARCHS FACE SOME SCRUTINY BUT NO REAL PAIN
Bloomberg reports, “Russia’s billionaire oligarchs are beginning to face additional scrutiny on at least some financial transactions following U.S. publication of a list of wealthy Russians identified as allies of President Vladimir Putin.” Bloomberg spoke anonymously to one who “said he’s worried a deal with foreign partners expected to close in the next few months may collapse.” Oh, poor baby! Bloomberg adds, “Another said his reputation has been seriously damaged since the Treasury Department released a congressionally mandated report last week naming 210 Russian billionaires and top government officials.” Still not enough! Bloomberg notes, “The Financial Integrity Network, a Washington-based firm that advises banks and other businesses on illicit finance threats, urged clients to scrutinize transactions involving anyone on the list. The firm suggested treating them as ‘politically exposed persons,’ a regulatory classification for people who pose higher risk of involvement in bribery or corruption due to their position and influence.” Again, not enough! They deserve to feel all the pain they have inflicted on the American people – and the Russian people too for that matter.
MEET THE NRA’S RUSSIAN FRIENDS!
Talking Points Memo reports, “A Russian pro-gun group with ties to the National Rifle Association boasted an ‘honorary members’ list that’s a who’s-who of far-right and nationalist Russian political figures. The group, The Right To Bear Arms, is run by Alexander Torshin, the Russian central bank official and Putin ally at the center of an FBI investigation into whether the NRA received illegal Russian money to boost Donald Trump in 2016.” Talking Points Memo notes, “The NRA has denied being contacted by the FBI about anything related to Russia, but has said almost nothing about the reported probe. The NRA spent more dark money in the 2016 election than any other political organization.” Talking Points Memo reports, “As recently as 2016, Right to Bear Arms listed 22 ‘honorary members’ on its website, according to an archived version of the site,” and, “Many of those listed work alongside Torshin in the Russian parliament.” Additionally, “One name on the list, Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, is a longtime ally of Putin, who he has called ‘the tsar,’” who hosted a champagne toast in Trump’s honor when he was declared the winner of the 2016 election. Former CIA agent in Moscow John Sipher described Zhirinovsky on Twitter (prior to this story coming out) as, “dangerous, deranged and a favorite tool of the Kremlin. I recall him burning holes with his cigarette in a world map describing what Russia would do to its enemies.” Zhirinovsky recalls Trump told him Russians are “even better than the Americans” in a separate Washington Post story. Here’s a flavor of what Sipher means, courtesy Talking Points Memo: “He has blamed Jews for starting the Second World War and provoking the Holocaust, and he played a key role in helping the intelligence officer suspected of poisoning defector Alexandr Litvinenko get elected to Russia’s parliament. A 2002 video shows a drunken Zhirinovsky threatening Condoleezza Rice, then the U.S. National Security Adviser, with gang rape. In October 2016, Zhirinovsky threatened ‘Hiroshimas and Nagasakis everywhere’ if Americans voted for Hillary Clinton.” Talking Points Memo adds, “other names on the Right to Bear Arms list: Ilya Drozdov, the deputy head of LDPR, who has called for Ukraine to be ‘wiped off the map;’ as well as at least three other LDPR members. Alexei Zhuravlev, also on the list, is a high-ranking member of the Russian parliament and the head of the Rodina party, which, like LDPR, opposes the pro-Western government in Ukraine. Zhuravelv has publicly supported the head of the Donetsk Separatists”.
From Talking Points Memo.
MELANIA HATES HER HUSBAND MORE THAN TRUMPISTAN WATCH
Allure reports, “Another day, another installment in the saga of First Lady Melania Trump and her efforts to avoid holding her husband’s hand.” Allure continues, “In this week’s episode of the ongoing saga, Melania showed us just how much PDA-thwarting skills can improve in the span of eight months.” Allure observes, “you can see Donald’s hand begin its descent and swerve toward the bottom of Melania’s right sleeve. But he is unsuccessful, grasping nothing but air. Melania, meanwhile, has not moved. Following this rejection, Donald then crosses to his wife’s left. At this point, Melania reaches out a hand to fix her hair from inside her coat, revealing her right sleeve never contained her arm at all.” Of course there is video. Check it out! She is a ninja.
“JUST KIDDING” IS NOT A GOOD EXCUSE FOR APPALLING COMMENTS
The Washington Post reports, “The White House on Tuesday offered a familiar explanation for President Trump’s suggestion that it was ‘treasonous’ for Democrats not to stand and applaud certain lines in his State of the Union address: He was just kidding.” So it goes, “Comedy Central’s ‘Daily Show’ satirized the response on Twitter by imagining future headlines about other offensive things that Trump’s team might try to dismiss as wisecracks. In the most provocative tweet, the show envisioned a scenario in which Trump will have pushed political boundaries so far that by 2020, counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway will defend his use of the n-word as ‘clearly in jest.’” Yes, that is right, the original fake news show (with emphasis on “news” not “fake”) is once again doing a finer job in pointing out the absurdities and fallacies of our time than he so-called real news shows, just as it once was during the Iraq War. While The Washington Post calls it “an extreme scenario,” is it? Trump is known to have used the word while taping “The Apprentice,” albeit Snopes says the claim in “unproven”.
From The Washington Post.
AMERICA’S EX-SPIES MORE OPPOSED TO AUTHORITARIANISM THAN MEDIA
POLITICO has a bizarre story on spies turning to television news shows to get their message across that we are on the brink of authoritarian rule. This is so bizarre because after the requisite purges to weed out small d democrats, the intelligence services could gain mightily from the status quo of an authoritarian Trumpistani state whereas the media would lose everything. Yet the media cheerleads and the spies furrow the brows over their thousand-yard stares. So it goes POLITICO reports, “Former CIA Director James Brennan (2012-2017) is the latest super-spook to be reborn as a TV newsie. He just cashed in at NBC News as a ‘senior national security and intelligence analyst’ and served his first expert views on last Sunday’s edition of Meet the Press. The Brennan acquisition seeks to elevate NBC to spook parity with CNN, which employs former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director Michael Hayden in a similar capacity.” Why are the spies suddenly on television whereas they never really were before? This is just not a question POLITICO cares to dabble in or even seems capable of entertaining given the tenor of this sophomoric article and the use of the deprecating slur “spook”. Most ridiculously POLITICO writes, “Their first loyalty—and this is no slam—is to the agency from which they hail.” No asshole, their first duty is to the nation, which is on the brink of falling to a foreign adversary. If only we could say the same of the journalists, who seem to have some other first loyalty in mind – but what? No one really knows because the truth is out the window in many instances, or simply overlooked and not pursued.
FAKE NEWS FOR A FAKE PRESIDENT
Mother Jones reports, “Trump supporters are among the most prolific social media users spreading fake news and conspiracy content, according to new research out from Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Research Project, which has been studying disinformation campaigns globally since 2014. The group’s new findings are based on study of more than 13,000 Twitter accounts representing politically diverse viewpoints, including just under 2,000 pro-Trump accounts—which were identified by terms like #MAGA included on their Twitter profiles and explicitly pro-Trump content they have shared.” Unclear is how they check that these are U.S. as opposed to Russian-based accounts operated by real humans as opposed to bots. Mother Jones adds, “The Oxford researchers found that those pro-Trump accounts, though comprising less than a sixth of the total accounts, were responsible for 55 percent of the ‘junk news’ tweeted out from all 13,000 accounts, studied during the period of Oct. 20, 2017 to Jan. 18, 2018. The researchers also studied content from more than 47,000 public Facebook pages during the same 90-day period; they determined that about 60 percent of the total ‘junk news’ links were posted by users that appeared to be aligned with the political far-right.”
From Mother Jones.
DELETE YOUR FAKEBOOK
Fortune reports actor and comedian Jim “Carrey posted messages on Twitter and Facebook on Tuesday afternoon in which he announced his intention to both delete his Facebook page and sell off his stock in the company. (Carrey did not disclose how many Facebook shares he owned, or their value.) Carrey also encouraged other Facebook investors to follow his lead with the hashtag ‘#unfriendfacebook.’” Carrey wrote, “I’m dumping my @facebook stock and deleting my page because @facebook profited from Russian interference in our elections and they’re still not doing enough to stop it. I encourage all other investors who care about our future to do the same. #unfriendfacebook”
FAR RIGHT FIGURES BLAME “DEEP STATE” FOR STOCK DROP
Media Matters for America reports far right media figures are placing blame for Monday’s “historic drop in the stock market is part of a deep state plot to destroy Trump and that Trump is ‘hitting back.’” So here goes the round-up of the crazies, courtesy of Media Matters for America: “The claim began with conspiracy theorist radio host Michael Savage, who said on his show,” Monday, “that the deep state is ‘taking the market down’ following Trump’s State of the Union (SOTU) address because it is trying to ‘destroy [Trump] where he is strongest.’ Infowars then pushed Savage’s conspiracy theory, comparing it with with Alex Jones’ conspiracy theory from 2017 in which he claimed that ‘globalists’ would cause a stock market crash and blame it on Trump. The Gateway Pundit also promoted Savage’s claims in an article that the website’s founder Jim Hoft tweeted. Rebel TV’s John Cardillo also claimed that the Federal Reserve was ‘purposefully tanking the markets,’ and Alex Jones suggested the drop could be ‘a false flag by the big banks.’ Infowars’ Jerome Corsi tweeted an article from Zero Hedge, a website known for publishing conspiracy theories, about Trump’s legal team’s support for a second special counsel to ‘probe’ FBI and the Justice Department, to claim that Trump was hitting back against the deep state which had crashed the stock markets. Corsi put the hashtag #QAnon in his tweet, a reference to the fringe conspiracy theory ‘The Storm.’” So we have deep state, false flags, someone give us a Susurluk!
AND THIS LITTLE NEO-NAZI JUST WON’T GO AWAY
Right Wing Watch reports, “Sebastian Gorka, who once served as a White House aide to President Trump, has launched a new show with Canadian far-right news outlet The Rebel called ‘The Gorka Briefing.’” Right Wing Watch adds, “Gorka has found a home at The Rebel, which as LobeLog reports, has previously hosted extreme far-right content such as a video in which former Rebel contributor Gavin McInnes, who now works at CRTV, defended Holocaust deniers and made a satirical video called ‘Ten Things I Hate About Jews.’ Other Rebel contributors have been revealed to hold extremist views.” The Daily Beast adds, “Former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka was paid $40,000 late last year by a political group founded by right-wing conspiracy theorists. Newly filed Federal Election Commission records show that the MAGA Coalition paid Gorka’s company, the Threat Knowledge Group, in monthly installments of $20,000 to advise the group after being let go from his White House position. The first two installments came in September and October. A third the following month was refunded a few days later, around the time that Gorka left the group. He signed on initially despite the MAGA Coalition’s founders’ dabbling in conspiracy theories surrounding the 2016 murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, and a theory known as ‘Pizzagate,’ which holds that Hillary Clinton and other high-level Democrats ran a child sex trafficking ring out of the basement of a Washington, D.C. pizzeria. Gorka is now a Fox News contributor and also recently signed on with The Rebel”. You know what TRUMPISTAN WATCH could do with $40,000? But no one is offering because all of the money these days is going to the death cult GOP and the far right propagandists keen on destroying liberal Western democracies. And yet TRUMPISTAN WATCH persists! As for Gorka, get him out of here!
AN ALL SYSTEMS ATTACK ALL DAY EVERY DAY ON SOCIAL MEDIA
POLITICO reports, “After the success of the viral #ReleaseTheMemo campaign, Russian-influenced Twitter accounts are test-running other hashtags designed to stoke anger, particularly among supporters of President Donald Trump, against ‘deep state’ forces, according to analysts at Hamilton 68, a website that tracks Russian-influenced Twitter accounts. Last weekend, a host of new hashtags trended in the network of accounts monitored by Hamilton 68, including #fisagate, #obamadeepstate, #wethepeopledemandjustice, #thememorevealsthecoup and even #obamaslegacyisobamagate.” As POLITICO notes, “None of those have taken hold, but the flurry of new efforts indicated to Bret Schafer, an analyst for the Alliance for Security Democracy, which runs Hamilton 68, that the Russians would continue to push issues related to the ‘deep state.’”
—–TOWARDS A PEACEFUL NUCLEAR EXCHANGE—–
RUSSIAN REBUTTAL AFTER THE NEW NUCLEAR POSTURE REVIEW
The AP reports, “Russia challenged U.S. compliance with a key nuclear arms control treaty Monday and warned that the Trump administration’s new nuclear strategy lowers the threshold for using atomic weapons.” Remember rule number one: accuse your opponent of that which you yourself are guilty. The AP adds, “The dire assessment came as Moscow said it has met its own requirements under the New START agreement that was signed in 2010 and entered into force a year later. It restricts both the U.S. and Russia to 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads on a maximum of 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles and strategic bombers. The deadline to verify both countries’ compliance was Monday.” According to the AP, “The Russian Foreign Ministry said it now has 527 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles and strategic bombers. It gave a tally of 1,444 strategic nuclear warheads. The U.S. reported it has been in compliance with the limits since August.” Despite the catchy lede and headline, “Russia acknowledged the U.S. position on meeting the targets, but voiced concern about the U.S. reconfiguring some submarines and bombers to carry conventional weapons.” And, “The U.S. State Department insisted America was fully adhering to the deal.” Remember Obama’s “Nuclear Zero”? Forget it, that level of naïveté is costing us dearly now on every level. Nice idea but not for this world. Any country that has surrendered nuclear capabilities has faced attacks on its sovereignty as a consequence: first Libya, then Ukraine, and now our beautiful United States of America.
From the AP.
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