Daily Check-In 8/22/2017

Another day in the tumble dryer.

The noise from the MSM early in the day focused on the wife of Steve Mnunchin attacking a woman on Instagram, and whether Trump would pardon recently convicted Sheriff Joseph Arpaio. The White House just announced that he wouldn’t, but Trump has a tendency to go off script.

Today, there are 3 big stories that need some focus.

First, The co-founder of Fusion-GPS met with the Senate Judiciary Committee for several hours. This is big. Remember The Steele Dossier? Well, the FBI remembers. Quick refresher, the Steele Dossier was originally an opponent research commissioned by one of Trump’s GOP opponents *cough*Jeb Bush*cough* to look into Trump’s dirty past. Christopher Steele, a former British spy, was digging up some truly dirty stuff on Trump when his patron dropped from the race. At that point, the Democrats picked up the bill. Steele worked with the FBI on his findings, which included several meetings between Trump and the Russians, traces of money laundering, and accusations of sexual kompromat. Not only did Glenn Simpson meet with the committee for several hours, but he also shared 40,000 documents supporting the dossier.

Next, front page of the New York Times, Trump and Mitch McConnell are in the middle of a Cold War. There is no love lost between the two. Mitch has been quiet in public regarding Trump’s antics and speaking recently, but behind the scenes he is fuming. On August 9, they had a profanity laced phone call where Trump accused of not doing enough to get health care reform passed or stopping the Russian investigations. Further, he threatened other senators who refused to do his bidding.

Notice that part in bold? Trump’s blaming Mitch for not stopping the Russian Investigations. Considering that Trump has already asked the FBI Director, the CIA Director, and the NSA Director to all stop this investigation, plus all of the shenanigans pulled by Devin Nunes, and his threatening Sally Yates during her Senate testimony, it is well within the realm of possibility that Trump asked Mitch to bury the investigation. This is yet another Obstruction of Justice charge. One more and he can fill out his punch card.

This will not end well for Trump. The true power in the United States government lies in the Senate. If an impeachment resolution passes the House, the trial is held in the Senate. 67 votes are needed to remove an official from their position. Currently, there are 48 Democrats and 52 Republicans. As of today, maybe 7 or 8 Republican senators might join the Democrats, but they’re still a dozen short. Mitch controls the largest voting block in the Senate. If Mitch supports removing Trump from office, he might as well pack his bags.

Of course, we wouldn’t be in this mess if He had put Country before Party while the Russians were attacking the United States.

Finally, this one I picked up from Twitter where The U.S. Navy is looking into whether their ships were hacked leading to two fatal collisions this summer. Four collisions have taken place in the past year, which is a little too coincidental. This Article shows that GPS spoofing has occurred in the Black Sea, and it’s not completely unimaginable that it could happen on a larger scale. The way it works is by confusing the GPS receiver, sending it a fake signal. I’m wondering how this could work without the radar picking up the other ships. This is worth keeping an eye on.

Daily Check-In 8/21/2017

It’s Eclipse Day in America. Sure, a total solar eclipse happens about once every two years, but it’s America dammit. This is special.

This is going to be a short one today.

The Secret Service is broke. They’ve blown through their budget for the year because Donald Trump has a massive family of scumbags, and he’s constantly on vacation.

Stories are coming out of the White House about how they treat Trump like a toddler. Maybe because his mental development stunted before then? He is incapable of learning new things, doesn’t weigh options, and is a general embarrassment.

On the same page, another report claims that White House staffers are killing more stories than the public thought possible about Trump. They range from temper tantrums, conspiracy theory stuff, being openly racist and sexist behind closed doors, and just being a general dick.

It’s still too early to see what Steve Bannon will do now that he was fired from the White House, but reports from Breitbart staff indicate that he’s taking aim at Jared Kushner and preparing his staff for a fight against Donald Trump.

Ten sailors went missing following a collision between the USS John S. McCain and a Japanese cargo ship. Trump’s response was “That’s too bad.”

Don’t let the fact that it’s been relatively quiet about Russia the past few weeks be confused for being wrapped up with nothing found. I saw a meme over the weekend talking about the “panic of the week” coming from liberals about Trump. Russia, North Korea, Venezuela, Nazis.

Here’s something to think about…

We have a President who is unable to execute the duties and responsibilities of the office, who has violated his oath to protect the Constitution many times, who worked with Russia to steal the election, who used nuclear war to distract from his personal legal troubles, and last week came out in support of the Klan and Nazis.

And you want to make memes cause “librul tearz, ‘Merica”?

I wrote and deleted several responses here, all of which were vulgar, offensive, and some that may not be anatomically possible. I do have restraint after all.

Expect the next week or so to have some scathing articles coming from Breitbart and the Right Wing Media. Some of these will bring into question Trump’s fitness. The case for the 25th Amendment will start to be made on the Republican side of the aisle. There’s been no news from Mueller’s team, which is par for the course. His team is very quiet. All of the info gathered to this point has come from the defense team.

I’m calling it a night. Trump is supposed to have a speech about increasing troop levels in Afghanistan, but I’ve got a bad feeling it’ll go south, and I’ll cover it tomorrow.

Have a good one.

GTKYG – The Federal System

HOW THE FEDERAL SYSTEM CAME INTO EXISTENCE

When the United States was created, it was very unique for its time. A country without a monarch, made up of states, none of which had a monarch or aristocracy of their own. Each group was made up of people selected by their own peers. This, the American Experiment was born.

The United States of America, at its inception, was a loosely organized collection of colonies, that only had two things in common: a feeling of alienation from England and a distrust of a central government. This is why, when the government was first formed, the Articles of Confederation left the central government of the United States very weak, and put most of the power in the hands of the states.

The Articles were introduced in November 1777, and were ratified by all of the states in 1781. It was clear almost from the onset that the Articles were flawed. The Federal government was very weak, unable to pass any law without 9 states agreeing, couldn’t regulate trade and commerce between the states, and was essentially economically neutered. That’s why the Federalist Convention, later called the Constitutional Convention, was called in May 1787.

A SEPARATION OF POWER

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Nobody wanted a situation with one person or body having all of the power in a strong central government. The states didn’t want a strong central government telling them what to do. The first of many compromises was reached, where the United States would have jurisdiction over interstate issues like military actions, treaties, commerce, and the like, while the states would retain control over events inside of their own borders. This is how the balance of power between the states and the federal government was created.

A TON OF COMPROMISES

My favorite definition of compromise is an agreement where both parties are equally dissatisfied. The only way to get the states to agree to anything on how the federal government was structured was a series of compromises. Our bicameral legislature was a compromise between the small and large states on voting rights. The Electoral College was a compromise between free and slave states for electing the president. The four year presidential term was a compromise between those that wanted an election for executive every year, and those that wanted one appointed for life.

But by far the largest compromise was the Bill of Rights. The Constitution covered many aspects and elements of how the federal government would work, but it didn’t guarantee the rights and freedoms of the citizens. The states refused to ratify the Constitution without these guarantees.

JUDICIAL PROTECTIONS

Most people know about the Bill of Rights, but like most things in politics, they don’t know the details. Sure, they’ll cry about freedom of speech or carrying guns, but ask them which amendment protects from cruel and unusual punishment (Eighth) or which prevents soldiers from taking quarter in their house without permission (Third), and they’ll look flummoxed.

What’s amazing is how important judicial protections are in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. 5 of the 10 amendments deal specifically with legal protections for the individual from the federal government. Little things that we take for granted like bail commensurate with the crime, a right to a quick and speedy trial, and trial are guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

HOW DOES THIS WORK IN PRACTICE

The separation of jurisdictions between the states and federal courts creates the possibility that an act is legal under one set of laws, but not the other. For example, smoking weed is legal in Colorado, but it is still illegal in the eyes of the Federal government. To quote Jules from Pulp Fiction, “it’s legal, but it ain’t a hundred percent legal.” The reverse happens as well. While there are many laws on the federal books about how to properly transport firearms, some states go above and beyond those.

This also creates the scenario where an act is illegal on both the federal and state levels at the same time. Because laws were violated in different jurisdictions at the same time, both, or all depending on how many states are involved, could each press charges.

Here’s an example. Let’s say a real estate developer from New York laundered money from Russian Oligarchs using banks in New York, real estate in Florida, and moved these funds to California, using shell companies in Maryland. Who can come after him?

Answer: All of them. At the same time.

Federal law prohibits the accepting of money from Russian Oligarchs per the Magnitsky Act. New York, California, and Florida each have laws against using banks located in their states to laundering money, and Maryland would consider creating a company for the sole purpose of laundering money illegal. There’s likely some fraud in there as well.

So, that’s the Federal System of law in a nutshell. One question that I feel should get its own article, and will soon, is “What about a pardon?” There are limits to those, the biggest being that it can only be used on Federal laws, not state. So, in the above example, if the real estate developer was pardoned federally, they’ll still have New York, California, Florida, and Maryland to deal with.

Daily Check-In 8/18/2017

Friday is here! Nothing happens on a Friday.

Oh, what was that?

BANNON IS OUT AS WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST!

Steve Bannon is one evil fuck. And a traitor to the Republic. He was, and is going back to, Breitbart, a Right Wing Media outlet that pushes a nationalistic and white supremacist agenda. They are one of the largest and most influential voices of the Alt-Right.

And now he’s officially out of the White House. At least officially.  It’s kind of weird how things are working out, and how the chips are falling, but anyone who’s watched the past 2 years with Corey Lewandowski, Paul Manafort, Mike Flynn, and everyone else Trump has separated himself from, there’s still some contact.

This puts Steve Bannon in a dangerous position.  He’s back at Breitbart, with Mercer money, and Trump fame, to spread his message of hate.  Assuming that’s what he wants to do.

That assumes he’s interested in it.  He might just want to attack Trump for leaving him twist in the wind.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this falls.  Bannon’s past is one gigantic pile of pain.  Nothing good comes from him.  He’s been accused of domestic abuse, committed voter fraud, used a meth den as a permanent address, and no one really knows why he had a bathtub full of acid.  He’s had a hand in many evil practices, from Gamergate to Russia, and that doesn’t even include the racist or sexist stuff.

I’ll go into more detail on Bannon later, since that sick bastard deserves several write-ups, and I need to get to a couple other things today.

Everyone’s most hated Vulture Capitalist, Carl Icahn, quit as Trump’s special economic advisor.  Moments later, the New Yorker released This Story about whether he was in the position to improve the country, or line his pockets.  My guess, based on past behavior, was that his actions were as American as Vodka in the morning.  I think he used Trump’s racist behavior as a cover to escape when he did.

Several other groups and people resigned today.  Kal Penn, along with 15 others resigned from the President’s Committee on Arts and the Humanities. One of the best trolling moments of this mass resignation, is that the paragraph’s starting letters spell RESIST.  The White House’s response was childish at best.  Trump’s answer: I was going to terminate the council anyway.  This is three times in as many days that councils disbanded, and he pulled the “You can’t quit because I’m firing you” routine.  The Unemployment Board must love him.

There was a big pow-wow at Camp David today, where Eric Prince was supposed to pitch to the Joint Chiefs a proposal for having him run the Afghan war for $10 Billion a year using a private army, reporting to him as a Viceroy of Afghanistan.  Fortunately, with Bannon’s firing, H.R. McMaster prevented Prince from entering the meeting.  Eric Prince is the human excrement behind Blackwater in Iraq and the mercenary armies in Libya.  He’s also Betsy DeVos’s brother, and was the go-between in the Seychelles Islands backchannel meeting in December 2016.  Not only would his plan make him a very wealthy man, but would essentially set him up as a…, well, a Prince.

On the Mueller front, rumor has it that he’s looking to interview a bunch of people in the West Wing, current and former staffers.  This could explain some of the erratic behavior.  He’s close to Trump.

I’m not sure what the next week will hold.  Hell, I’m not sure what tonight holds.  Bannon’s firing puts a lot of things in motion.  The Mercer’s, SCA, and Breitbart on the playing field, but we don’t know what side they’re on.  If they’re even on a side in the first place.  Trump’s support is very low, and the official poll numbers won’t come out until early next week.  Impeachment talk is becoming louder from the Democrats and Independents, and even the Republicans are using the word.

We’ll just have to  keep our mind in the middle while our butt spins round and round. Cause there sure as hell ain’t no clown on this bull ride.

Daily Check-In 8/17/2017

Thursday, Thursday.  I’ll try to make this shorter today, as I just finished up an article about Fox & Friends – 10 Minutes Is Enough

Donald Trump took to Twitter this morning and… Does this sentence ever end well?  If I make this a multiple choice question, can you guess at this point?

Donald Trump took to Twitter this morning and…

  1. Talked about how beautiful the statues to Traitors to the United States are.
  2. Directly compared Robert E. Lee and George Washington.
  3. Attacked the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee for not standing by him as he defended Nazis in public.
  4. Advised our military leaders to perform war crimes and crimes against humanity, based on a debunked story.
  5. Engaged in secessionist rhetoric with his base, hoping to scare anyone looking to remove him from office.
  6. ALL OF THE ABOVE

Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

Having a hard time with today’s question?  I’ll give you a hint.  It’s Donald Fucking Trump.

That’s rigth, 6.  All of the above.

After studying Trump for the last couple years, when Orange Julius goes off like this, shit’s about to hit the fan.

What could that be?

First, Congressman Steve Cohen promises to introduce Articles of Impeachment.  He doesn’t say what charges specifically, but at this point, there’s enough to go around.

Steve Bannon had  this interview where he proposed a trade war with China, smeared Trump on North Korea, proposed raising taxes on the rich, and about some of the infighting.  Here’s a summary on Axios.

Speaking of Bannon, over the last few days, a couple rumors have been floating around about Bannon’s connections to Gamergate, World of Warcraft, and Russia.  I need to find more details on it, but the short version is that Bannon and the Alt-Right stoke the hate that occurred in Gamergate, especially the Anti-Feminism, Anti-Women stuff, to a bunch of men that have been getting real good at doing some low-level coding to mine in WoW and other games.  With a little bit of proper encouragement, these men were pushed to some hacker forums on the dark web, where they were likely frequenting anyway, and urged a few of them to take on work outside of gaming, making malware and other stuff.  Eventually, they were radicalized, and started working with state-sponsored hacking groups like Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear.

Speaking of Fancy Bear, they’re still at work.  Remember when Diaper Donny released his mails to the world showing that he wasn’t colluding with the Russians when the email chain said flat out he was?  Well, around that time, the White House started pushing a story about the “Real Collusion Story” between HRC and Ukraine?  The White House started talking about this on July 10.  Fox News picked it up on July 12, referencing a website from some group called Cyber Berkut.  Who are they?  Fancy Bear.  That site went up on July 12, claiming to have emails between HRC and Ukraine.

Yesterday, Chuck Todd and Shepard Smith both reached out to any and all Republicans they could, looking for anyone to defend Donald Trump.  No one agreed to come on their shows.

Newt Gingrich said that there are no very fine people that are Nazis on Fox News.

The Dow Jones fell 150 points today over fears that as long as Trump is in office, Republicans won’t get their tax cuts.

Republicans across the country are doing the slow dance away from Donald Trump, but not fast enough or hard enough.  When more than a couple openly ask for him to step down, call it a game for Donald Trump.

That’s it for today’s update, unless something big happens between 18:20 and 22:00.  I’m going to work on a couple of the GTKYG series, starting with the Federal System, The Branches, Impeachment, and Pardons.  I’ve got a feeling they’re going to be in the news quite a bit coming up.

Fox & Friends – 10 Minutes Is Enough

This morning I had to watch Fox News for a few minutes while getting the car repaired, and I think I understand where the one third support for Trump comes from.  Fox News was straight up propaganda.  It was Fox & Friends in the morning, which is ostensibly a news show, but it was full-blown, Dear Leader levels of propaganda.  In the ten minutes, there were four stories.

A truck full of “illegals” was pulled over somewhere down South.  Not illegal immigrants, but “illegals.”  Dropping immigrant humanizes them.

An Australian PM wore a burka into session.  The PM (think Aussie Congresswoman) was buried, and the story opened with “A WOMAN wearing a Burka walked in, and no one knew who she was.”  Here, we have inciting fear in the unknown.

Jeff Sessions scores a win against Sanctuary Cities.  YAY LAW AND ORDER! There was no discussion about what Sanctuary Cities are, or whether the actions of the government are just, or legal, or even necessary, but the only defense they had was “they were breaking the law.”  This is called an Appeal to the Law.  

Final story, before I felt that I’d seen enough, was a ham-fisted attempt at trying to draw a comparison between Donald Trump’s support of the Nazis and Ronald Regan once being called a racist.  They pulled some whataboutism and false equivalency out of their collective asses, blamed the “Main Stream Media”, as if Fox News isn’t one of the largest News Cable Channels in existence, while also completely avoiding what Trump did to draw everyone’s ire.

So, they avoided the problem, reframed the problem as something different, gave a comparison to something that wasn’t a big deal, the managed to blame everyone else for overreacting to the problem they designed, not the actual problem at hand.

Let me give an example.  Let’s say back when the Jerry Sandusky   mess took place, that one of the news channels decided that, instead of airing the story as it happened (arrested for child rape), it was described as a simple misunderstanding about how Jerry was caught rough housing with a kid on campus, and the coach who caught him had some problems of his own, and then it was compared to some famous person being accused of regular child abuse.  If delivered the right way, that story would sound like Jerry was being set up.

That’s what Fox News does for Donald Trump.  They’re setting him up as the “good guy” in the story.

Don’t be fooled.  This is Not News.  This is Propaganda.  This is how propaganda works.

In marketing, there’s this term called Spin.  Spinning a story to make is just right for a client.  Sometimes it’s called “crafting a narrative.”  When it’s done for politics, it’s called propaganda.

But what makes Fox News so scary is that they portray themselves as an actual source of news.

They have journalists with name recognition.  They have sets and graphics.  They have a lower third scrolling all the time.  They have all of the appearances of a news organization, but none of the intent to be one.

They say that only they can be trusted to deliver your news.  They then attack anyone who disagrees with them, creating the mentality that if it doesn’t come from Fox News, it isn’t real news.  The viewers of Fox News have been trained to attack the source of the story, especially those from “liberal” sources, like the Washington Post or the New York Times, or even the Wall Street Journal, which is also owned by Rupert Murdoch.

I reported recently on a report about Sean Hannity being some serious trouble with the FBI over the Seth Rich Story, and also his role in disseminating Russian propaganda.  That’s still unfolding, from what I hear.  I’ll keep this blog updated when I hear more.

Fox News wants to be the kingmaker.  They claim to be the only one that can be trusted.  That’s like Littlefinger telling Sansa that only he can be trusted.  But what happens when Fox News can taste the throne for themselves, or realizes they can get their agenda passed with someone else in command?  Or, what if Donald Trump becomes so vile, even they can’t save him?

I’ve said before that the Right Wing Media helped get Trump elected.  They also keep in him office.  If Fox News decides to abandon Trump, it’s game over for the Orange One.  But what would it take for them to give up support?  Would they still carry his water if the worst rumors of the pee tape were true?  What about the allegations surrounding Trump Modeling?  If Trump were facing human trafficking charges, would Fox News still defend him?

Daily Check-In 8/16/2017

Holy Shit, It’s Only Wednesday!

Fallout from the most racist political speech of the 21st century continues. The Joint Chiefs of Staff all repudiated Trump’s comments about Nazis, as did almost everyone with a pulse, except the Republicans in the House of Representatives. Some did, but not many.

That list of repudiations included more CEO’s from Trump’s two business councils. This afternoon, both councils voted to disband. As the manufacturing council was wrapping up their conference call, Trump announced on Twitter he was disbanding them.

Trump rage quit his own ceremonial advisory councils. I guess the tutorial level of POTUS 45 was too hard.

Vice President Mike Pence cut his European trip short and is heading home. Not sure why, but it could be that Trump is circling the wagons. Talk about 25th’ing Trump has intensified.

Of course Pence “stands by Trump.” Closer to put the knife in his back.

Everyone clamorous for Pence, realize he is straight up evil AND competent. And complicit.

Yesterday I reported about a rumor about Mueller issuing two subpoenas to Trump, one as an individual, the other as the CEO of Trump Org. I’m still vetting that source, but supposedly he’s ex-Secret Service. If I hear more, I’ll say more.

One weird story from an hour ago, FBI Agent Peter Strzok was reassigned from Mueller’s team to the HR department. That’s a weird move. It’s not uncommon for people under investigation, awaiting a new assignment, or on someone’s shit list to get assigned this way, but this move sounds a little too peculiar. Especially since a move this high profile would require sign-off from the new FBI Director, Chris Wray. Let’s see what happens.

A big story broke from the NYT from Ukraine. There is a witness that ties the Russians to the DNC hacking. Who is this witness?

Profexor. The hacker who wrote the tools that did the job.

He sold the scripting tool to a hacker associated with Fancy Bear, one of the main GRU teams, along with Cozy Bear. They used the tool to hack the DNC.

When Profexor heard that his tool was used to hack the United States, he turned himself in to Ukraine Police back in January. They made him available to the FBI for interviews. At the same time, an FBI Special Agent who is an expert on Cyber Security. I’m sure it was a complete coincidence …

Russia’s favorite Representative, Dana Rohrbacher, has met with Julian Assange. No Russian collusion there. Just a random politician with a Pro-Russian stance meeting in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London with the head of Wikileaks, a supposed front for releasing intelligence gathered by the Russians through illicit means. Nothing to see here…

According to Claude, Deutchebank and their connections with Trump are under investigation by Mueller.

How in the fuck does a President have their worst week ever while on vacation?