A Song on the End of the World




On the day the world ends

A bee circles a clover,

A fisherman mends a glimmering net.

Happy porpoises jump in the sea,

By the rainspout young sparrows are playing

And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.


On the day the world ends

Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,

A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,

Vegetable peddlers shout in the street

And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,

The voice of a violin lasts in the air

And leads into a starry night.


And those who expected lightning and thunder

Are disappointed.

And those who expected signs and archangels’ trumps

Do not believe it is happening now.

As long as the sun and the moon are above,

As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,

As long as rosy infants are born

No one believes it is happening now.


Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet

Yet is not a prophet, for he’s much too busy,

Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:

There will be no other end of the world,

There will be no other end of the world.


Warsaw, 1944






The Guardian reports, “The information commissioner will have to wait until at least Friday to enter the offices of Cambridge Analytica after a high court judge adjourned the hearing into her application for a warrant.” The Guardian notes, “The commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, announced on Monday that she planned to request an urgent warrant to enter the company’s London offices, after it was revealed that it had been given information from 50m Facebook profiles without users’ permission.” The Guardian adds, “The information commissioner’s office (ICO) began the application process on Tuesday, but on Thursday it disclosed that it still did not have a warrant. In a statement on its website, it said: ‘A high court judge has adjourned the ICO’s application for a warrant relating to Cambridge Analytica until Friday.’”

From The Guardian.





The New York Times reports, “President Trump named John R. Bolton, a hard-line former American ambassador to the United Nations, as his third national security adviser on Thursday, continuing a shake-up that creates one of the most hawkish national security teams of any White House in recent history.” The New York Times notes, “Mr. Bolton will replace Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the battle-tested Army officer who was tapped as Mr. Trump’s second national security adviser last year to stabilize a turbulent foreign policy operation. But General McMaster never developed a comfortable relationship with the president.” Well he was not beholden to Russia so that was a massive strike against him. The New York Times adds, “The president replaced Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson last week with the C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo, a former Army officer and Tea Party congressman who has spoken about regime change in Pyongyang and about ripping up the Iran nuclear deal,” and denied Russia’s role in getting his boss, our fake Russian bullshit president, elected because the truth means nothing to these belligerent fools. Just as T Rex was fired by tweet, Bolton was appointed to kill us all via Tweet, which for some bizarre reason of hagiographic desires The New York Times now labels a “presidential tweet,” which might seem like small bones to pick at now that the world is ending. The New York Times notes, “General McMaster will retire from the military, ending a career that included senior commands in Iraq and Afghanistan. He had discussed his departure with Mr. Trump for several weeks, White House officials said, but decided to speed up his departure because questions about his status were casting a shadow over his exchanges with foreign officials. Mr. Trump, the officials said, also wanted to fill out his national security team before his meeting with Mr. Kim, which is scheduled to occur by the end of May.” Dear Lord. In typical reality trash fashion, “The news of the appointment competed with an exclusive interview on CNN of a former Playboy model, Karen McDougal, who described to Anderson Cooper what she said was a nine-month sexual relationship with Mr. Trump in 2006.” Where are the baby boomers now to complain Curtis LeMay was worse than anything so far?

From The New York Times.



POLITICO reports, “House Intelligence Committee Republicans voted Thursday to end their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, declaring that a string of contacts between Donald Trump’s associates and Russian government affiliates fell short of collusion and recommending dramatic new steps to crack down on intelligence leaks.” POLITICO notes the House intelligence committee’s whitewash came, “In a summary of their findings,” as, “committee Republicans cataloged a string of meetings between Trump associates — from Donald Trump Jr.’s run-in with a Russian government official at a 2016 National Rifle Association event to what the report called ‘possible’ attempts by Moscow to set up a back channel with Trump’s transition team after the election.” Perhaps most egregiously, POLITICO notes, “the report said Trump associates had ‘ill-advised’ contacts with WikiLeaks,” an entity the intelligence community has stated is a front for a hostile foreign power, namely Russia. POLTICO adds, “The report also accuses former Obama administration intelligence director James Clapper of providing ‘inconsistent testimony’ about his contacts with the media. And it recommends a crackdown on leaks, including administering ‘mandatory polygraphs’ to some administration officials with top secret security clearances and stiffening legal penalties for ‘unauthorized disclosures of classified information.’” Shameful! POLITICO notes, “‘It really is a fundamentally flawed document and there’s not much that can rescue it,’ Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said after the vote Thursday.” Like the moral cowards they are, “Republicans exiting the meeting Thursday declined to discuss their decision,” POLITICO adds. Most shamefully however, “Among the recommendations was a proposal to repeal the Logan Act, an obscure 18th century statute that criminalizes efforts by private citizens to interfere in U.S. foreign policy. The law was cited by Trump administration critics as questions arose about former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s pre-inauguration contact with Russia’s ambassador,” POLITICO adds. This is some bullshit as Friday morning, POLITICO notes, “President Donald Trump on Friday celebrated the House Intelligence Committee’s decision to end its Russia investigation, highlighting the committee’s findings of no collusion”. On Twitter, our fake Russian bullshit president wrote, “House Intelligence Committee votes to release final report. FINDINGS: (1) No evidence provided of Collusion between Trump Campaign & Russia. (2) The Obama Administrations Post election response was insufficient. (3) Clapper provided inconsistent testimony on media contacts”. There once was a country…




POLITICO reports, “John Dowd resigned Thursday as President Donald Trump’s lead lawyer for the Russia investigation amid a wider shakeup of Trump’s legal team that raised new questions about Trump’s strategy for dealing with special counsel Robert Mueller.” POLITICO adds, “Dowd stepped down just days after he issued a statement calling for Mueller’s probe to be shuttered, which he first attributed with his title as the president’s lawyer and then backtracked to say he was speaking only for himself.” Just like his doomed and failing administration, POLITICO notes, “Trump’s legal team has seen remarkable flux”.




The Daily Beast reports, “Guccifer 2.0, the ‘lone hacker’ who took credit for providing WikiLeaks with stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee, was in fact an officer of Russia’s military intelligence directorate (GRU).” The Daily Beast notes, “It’s an attribution that resulted from a fleeting but critical slip-up in GRU tradecraft. That forensic determination has substantial implications for the criminal probe into potential collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia.” The Daily Beast notes that the outlet “has learned that the special counsel in that investigation, Robert Mueller, has taken over the probe into Guccifer and brought the FBI agents who worked to track the persona onto his team.” The Daily Beast notes, “Trump’s longtime political adviser Roger Stone admitted being in touch with Guccifer over Twitter’s direct messaging service. And in August 2016, Stone published an article on the pro-Trump-friendly Breitbart News calling on his political opponents to ‘Stop Blaming Russia for the hack. ‘I have some news for Hillary and Democrats—I think I’ve got the real culprit,’ he wrote. ‘It doesn’t seem to be the Russians that hacked the DNC, but instead a hacker who goes by the name of Guccifer 2.0.’” The Daily Beast reports that while Guccifer used an anonymizing VPN, “on one occasion” at least, “Guccifer failed to activate the VPN client before logging on. As a result, he left a real, Moscow-based Internet Protocol address in the server logs of an American social media company”. From there, “Working off the IP address, U.S. investigators identified Guccifer 2.0 as a particular GRU officer working out of the agency’s headquarters on Grizodubovoy Street in Moscow.”

From The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast reports, “In the weeks before the Republican National Convention in 2016, then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort told Cambridge Analytica he wasn’t interested in its services—and, in the process, angered a very powerful Republican mega-donor.” The Daily Beast adds, “Manafort had joined the Trump’s campaign to help the then-nominee gear up for the convention, and he became the campaign’s chairman (deposing Corey Lewandowski) on May 29. After taking the helm, Alexander Nix—Cambridge’s now-suspended CEO—met with Manafort in person to pitch him on his firm’s data services”. The Daily Beast notes, “The company has long been enmeshed with powerful Republican circles. According to an email sent by a Cambridge Analytica staffer and reviewed by The Daily Beast, the company licensed data from DataTrust, which manages Republican National Committee’s voter dataAd Age described DataTrust in 2016 as ‘the RNC’s exclusive data provider.’” The Daily Beast adds, “After hearing the pitch and the price for Cambridge’s services, Manafort communicated to Nix that he wasn’t interested”. POLITICO notes, “Manafort also communicated to associates that he had a low opinion of the firm’s offerings. He wasn’t alone in this view; numerous campaign operatives who have worked with Cambridge have told The Daily Beast over the years that they found its offerings sub-par, overstated, and disappointing.” However, “Rebekah Mercer wasn’t happy about Manafort’s rejection of the company,” as “She was (and still is) a member of the company’s board, and her father—billionaire hedge fund savant Robert Mercer—has investments in the company.” Of course, “Mercer finally got her way: On July 29, 2016, the campaign paid $100,000 to the company—its first payment to Cambridge—for ‘data management services,’” and now we all live in their horrible, racist human garbage strewn world now.

From The Daily Beast.



CBS News reports, “Former chief Trump strategist Steve Bannon spoke publicly for the first time Thursday about the data analytics company that is now under fire for allegedly exploiting the personal data of roughly 50 million Facebook users. Bannon once helped run the data firm Cambridge Analytica, which President Trump’s campaign worked with during the 2016 presidential campaign.” CBS News adds, “Asked about suspended Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix at the Financial Times’ Future of News conference in New York Thursday, Bannon declined to comment. ‘I’d rather not comment,’ Bannon said. But he was happy to talk about Facebook’s role in acquiring people’s data.” CBS News notes Bannon said, “That data’s out there, there’s a marketplace for your data. It’s bought and sold every day.” According to CBS News, “Bannon claimed he ‘didn’t even know about the Facebook mining.’” Bullshit.

From CBS News.



The Guardian reports, “Before Facebook suspended Aleksandr Kogan from its platform for the data harvesting ‘scam’ at the centre of the unfolding Cambridge Analytica scandal, the social media company enjoyed a close enough relationship with the researcher that it provided him with an anonymised, aggregate dataset of 57bn Facebook friendships.” Surprise! As promised by TRUMPISTAN WATCH, the size, depth and nature of this so-called breach were bound to be greater than initially reported, as is always the case with FARAbook. FARAbook is not sorry any of this happened, FARAbook is only sorry it got caught. The Guardian adds, “Facebook provided the dataset of ‘every friendship formed in 2011 in every country in the world at the national aggregate level’ to Kogan’s University of Cambridge laboratory for a study on international friendships published in Personality and Individual Differences in 2015. Two Facebook employees were named as co-authors of the study, alongside researchers from Cambridge, Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley. Kogan was publishing under the name Aleksandr Spectre at the time.” Now Lubyanka quite possibly has all of that data and there are no do-overs or getting it back. The Guardian notes, “A University of Cambridge press release on the study’s publication noted that the paper was ‘the first output of ongoing research collaborations between Spectre’s lab in Cambridge and Facebook’. Facebook did not respond to queries about whether any other collaborations occurred.”

From The Guardian.



The Financial Times reports, “Cambridge Analytica said it took legal action two years ago against the research company run by Aleksandr Kogan, an academic who allegedly broke rules by passing it information from up to 50m Facebook users. Mr Kogan disputed the claims”. The Financial Times adds, “The British data analytics group on Thursday night released a timeline of events claiming it had taken legal action against Global Science Research, the company through which Mr Kogan harvested Facebook data for research purposes, in August 2016, for ‘licensing us illegally acquired data’. The timeline said the two companies reached a settlement three months later.” The Financial Times notes, “Dr Kogan hit back at the claims, which he said were inaccurate. In a statement to the Financial Times he said he and Cambridge Analytica ‘never reached any settlement’. ‘And they didn’t even take legal action. Nothing was filed. We just had some conversations,’ he said.” The Financial Times adds, “academics at the University of Cambridge, where Mr Kogan is employed as a professor in the psychology department, raised concerns four years ago about his plans to use data in work with Cambridge Analytica. He has argued that their concerns were inaccurate and unfounded.”

From The Financial Times.



Reuters reports, “A U.S. Senate subcommittee on Thursday sought information from a Cambridge University researcher about how the personal data of 50 million Facebook users landed in the hands of a political consulting firm that worked for U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign. The letter, from Republican Senator Jerry Moran and Democrat Richard Blumenthal called on Aleksandr Kogan to explain how the data was provided to Cambridge Analytica and how the firm used it.”

From Reuters.



Russian state-run Sputnik kvells, “US Senator Rand Paul had a productive meeting with Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov on topics ranging from fighting terrorism to containing North Korea”. More like the Russian mafia state continues to encroach on our sovereignty, but whatever. Recall Senator John McCain said Paul works for Putin on the floor of the Senate last year.

From Russian state-run Sputnik.



POLITICO reports, “Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee voted down a Democratic proposal to hold a hearing with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and other tech CEOs, according to the panel’s ranking member, Adam Schiff.” POLITICO notes, “Schiff, however, said House Intel Democrats are finalizing plans for an interview with Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower in the Cambridge Analytica case.”




The Washington Post reports, “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appealed to State Department employees on Thursday to maintain their integrity and to be kind in a ‘mean-spirited town’ as he bid farewell to the staff he led for barely a year.” The Washington Post notes, “Tillerson urged a few hundred employees gathered in the main lobby of the Harry S. Truman Building to show respect for each other and to undertake one act of kindness a day. He drew sustained applause when he added: ‘This can be a very mean-spirited town. But you don’t have to choose to participate in that. Each of us get to choose the person we want to be, and the way we want to be treated, and the way we will treat others.’” The Washington Post recalls, “Tillerson, 66, was fired by President Trump on March 13. He officially learned of his dismissal through a Trump tweet saying that CIA Director Mike Pompeo would be his replacement.” The Washington Post adds, “In his speech, Tillerson did not mention Trump by name but invoked the values of respect, integrity, honesty and accountability, all core attributes he cited at meet-and-greet gatherings with embassy employees around the world. ‘Never lose sight of your most valuable asset, the most valuable asset you possess: your personal integrity,’ Tillerson said. ‘Only you can relinquish it or allow it to be compromised. Once you’ve done so, it is very, very hard to regain it.’” He would know about that.

From The Washington Post.


reports, “The Kremlin said on Friday it regretted a decision by European Union leaders to recall the bloc’s envoy to Moscow in a symbolic protest over a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter in England.” Reuters notes, “When asked about the EU’s decision to recall its envoy, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call: ‘We regret that.’”

From Reuters.



Russian state-run Tass reports, “Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency have been maintaining rather active dialogue, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov said on Thursday.” Russian state-run Tass adds, “He pointed out that in October 2017, FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov had chaired a conference on counterterrorism, which involved senior officials from the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the CIA and the State Department.”

From Russian state-run Tass.



Russian state-run RT reports, “A Russian equivalent of SWIFT was tested by Rosneft in December, Gazprombank Vice-President Andrey Korolyov told TASS news agency. It is the first time that the Russian SWIFT analogue has been used by a huge corporation since its introduction in 2014.”

From Russian state-run RT.





NBC News reports, “A former Playboy model apologized to first lady Melania Trump for a 10-month affair she claims she had with President Donald Trump that started with him offering her money after the first time they had sex. During an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper that aired Thursday night, Karen McDougal said Trump tried to pay her after their first sexual tryst at a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2006.” NBC News notes, “She cried on the way home and didn’t think she would see him again, but agreed to go on other dates with him after he called her back, she said. McDougal repeatedly described Trump as ‘very charming’ and ‘sweet.’ McDougal said she continued the relationship with Trump for about 10 months and broke it off in April 2007 because she felt guilty. She recalled traveling to meet Trump at his properties in New York and New Jersey and said she had sex with him ‘many dozens of times.’ McDougal said they also spent time at a resort at Lake Tahoe in California, where adult film actress Stormy Daniels has said she met Trump.” CBS News adds, “Dougal said she was ‘in love’ with Mr. Trump.” Additionally, “McDougal showed Cooper a journal she kept at the time, where she said she referred to Mr. Trump as ‘DT’ or ‘T,’” CBS News notes, and, “McDougal said she met first lady Melania Trump once at a party at the Playboy Mansion. Another time, she passed by Melania Trump’s room at Trump Tower. She said she met some of his children.” You can watch Anderson Cooper’s full interview on CNN.

From NBC News and CBS News.


Curbed LA
reports, “Jeffrey Yohai, a real estate investor and Paul Manafort’s former son-in-law, has been ordered to stop using his Bel Air pad for parties. Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Craig Karlan issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday barring Yohai from ‘advertising or promoting’ his Stradella Road property as a ‘party house, and from offering to rent it for such purposes.’” Curbed LA notes, “Bel Air residents say the home attracted partiers who hosted ‘all-night ragers’ with guests who ‘clogged streets, damaged property, and blast[ed] music until the early mornings.’” Curbed LA adds, “A company controlled by Yohai has owned the property since March 2016. It paid $8.5 million for the home, then filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection nine months later. Bankruptcy court records show that Manafort, who briefly served as Donald Trump’s campaign manager, loaned $2.7 million for the property; Manafort is listed as one of the creditors.”

From Curbed LA.



The Daily Beast reports, “Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) is taking heat for some possible campaign-finance violations.” The Daily Beast adds, “The Federal Election Commission on Wednesday sent a letter to Nunes’ campaign committee, raising red flags about some particular contributions received in 2017. The letter, sent to Nunes’ campaign treasurer and mother Toni Dian Nunes, requested ‘information essential to full public disclosure’ about three potentially illegal contributions.” The Daily Beast adds, “A total of $3,000 was contributed to Nunes’ campaign fund by Harris Lee Cohen, whose FEC contribution information lists him as the manager of ‘SIFI,’ or Setton International Foods, Inc. in Terra Bella, CA. According to their website, Cohen is the general manager of Setton Pistachio. Cohen contributed $1,500 in July 2017, and again in November. FEC reports also show that Joshua Setton, listed as the President/CEO of Setton Farms in Terra Bella, contributed a total of $16,700 towards Nunes’ campaign committee and victory fund. $3,000 was also contributed to Nunes from Jeffrey J. Kimbell, president of a Washington lobbying firm”. The Daily Beast notes, “Both Kimbell’s and Cohen’s contributions violate FEC limits, prohibiting ‘an individual…[from making] contribution(s) to a candidate for federal office in excess of $2,700 per election.’” Hence super PACs and dark money.

From The Daily Beast.


The Verge
reports, “Twitter’s chief information security officer is leaving the company”. The Verge adds, “Michael Coates, who joined the company in January 2015, is quitting to start his own company, sources said. Coates announced the move internally about three weeks ago, sources said, but had not announced the move externally.” The Verge continues, “News of Coates’ departure comes on the same day that Michael Zalewski, director of information security engineering at Google, announced his departure from that company after 11 years. (Zalewski was a high-ranking security executive at Google but not its chief security officer; that role belongs to Gerhard Eschelbeck, vice president of security engineering.) And it comes two days after reports that Alex Stamos, Facebook’s chief security officer, plans to leave the company in August. The departures come at a time when tech companies are under mounting pressure to prevent their platforms from being misused by foreign governments and other bad actors ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.”

From The Verge.





CNN reports, “A number of independent Russian media outlets have boycotted the State Duma, the country’s lower chamber of parliament, amid a sex scandal involving a senior lawmaker. The Duma’s ethics committee on Wednesday cleared Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the State Duma’s committee on foreign affairs, of multiple allegations of sexual harassment.” CNN notes, “Three female journalists have accused Slutsky of behaving inappropriately toward them, saying he tried to grope and kiss them against their will. They’ve come forward in a climate in which sexual harassment is widespread, and the #MeToo movement is roundly mocked by members of parliament.” CNN adds, “The decision to exonerate Slutsky has sparked outrage among Russian media, with a number of outlets pulling their reporters from the lower house of parliament. Moscow-based radio station Ekho Moskvy announced on Thursday that it would stop sending its journalists to the Duma, as they deemed it an unsafe place to work. The station was joined by news agency RBCTV Rain and RTVI channel in recalling reporters entirely. Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin responded in kind by revoking their accreditation. Both Kommersant newspaper and Lenta.ru website said in company statements that they were breaking off all ties with Slutsky. The newspaper Vedomosti said its reporters won’t work with Slutsky or any of the members of Duma’s Ethics Committee in the future.”

From CNN.


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