2017 Retrospective

Hello there, it’s been a while. December has been a very rough month for me. I’ve had maybe 3 days this month where I haven’t been sick, and 2 of those were spent fighting a broken furnace.

But it’s that time of the year when everyone and their mother throws together a compilation list of the best and worst stuff that happened in the past 365ish days, then go on vacation for the rest of the year.

I hate those posts.

I don’t like nostalgia for nostalgia sake, and 2017 doesn’t deserve a “best of” send off.

I hate it when people talk about the “good old days” and wax poetically about a memory of a time that was a hell of a lot worse than their rose-tinted glasses made appear.

Instead, I want to talk about what changed in 2017, what stayed the same, what was learned, and why it’s worth fighting.

While this is mostly concerned with what has happened in the News, I’m also including personal change as well. I’m hesitant to call it growth, but change is accurate.

WHAT CHANGED IN 2017?

For anyone reading this after waking up from a coma that started the last week of October 2016, I’ve got some bad news. Trump won the Presidential election. But, as we’ve come to learn, he didn’t do it alone. He had a lot of help from his friends in Russia, and there were more than enough Americans that helped him as well.

2017 started off weird, as the Obama Administration has just instituted several major new sanctions on Russia. Trump didn’t seem to want to do anything to Russia, and evidence was still coming in about what happened in November. The MSM was still hoping that Trump, a 70 year old misogynistic, racist, ignorant fool would somehow not embarrass the country in front of the world, and that if we gave him a chance, he might actually not suck.

That hope lasted all of about two days.

After a small inauguration event, Trump’s team went into full-on propaganda mode by distributing false photos of the event where they photoshopped a much larger crowd, while going after anyone who spread the real photos. At the same time, his Administration went after the Parks Service, trying to erase any mention of climate change from Government sites.

That’s when the Resistance started.

The Women’s March. The Alt accounts. The March for Science. The Airport Protests. The March for Reason. More people had marched against Trump by April of 2017 than against Cancer all year long.

It’s also the first whispers that something wasn’t right in the White House. In between trying to undo everything Obama did and implement his Muslim Ban, word came around that Mike Flynn was in some serious legal jeopardy. (SPOILER ALERT: He’s now a convicted felon.) Trump’s team was told in late January by Acting Attorney General Sally Yates that Flynn had lied to the FBI. She was fired the next day. Flynn resigned 18 days later.

This is just up to February.

A couple things changed in February for me.

First, I found PostimusMaximus on Reddit, and read a lot of his posts. I assume it’s a him, but I could be wrong. Reading his work was eye opening, but insane. I saw many of the markers of old school conspiracy theories, but there was something different with his work. Instead of citing places like Coast to Coast, he cited real sources like the Washington Post and New York Times. I decided to keep an eye on him.

Next, I rejoined Twitter and started following a few people. Claude Taylor, Louise Mensch, and John Schindler. Eventually I followed a lot more people like Countercheckist, Tea Pain, Eric Garland, Rick Wilson, and more politicians, lawyers, and spooks than exist outside of D.C.

There was a weird feeling following these people on Twitter. It was sort of like joining a conversation halfway through and only catching small slivers, and then realizing that the slivers are in a different language. They were talking about indictments and grand juries and investigations by the FBI, the Steele Dossier, SIGINT from the Mayflower Hotel, while the rest of the world was still stuck on Trump and Twitter.

In March, that’s when Russia came roaring in to the picture. During a late night rage tweet, Trump said Obama had tapped his phones. Even though this was a horseshit claim, the House Intelligence Committee decided to hold a hearing about it and invited FBI Director James Comey to testify.

The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations confirmed, under oath, that the Trump Campaign was under a counterintelligence investigation that started in July 2016, and that grand juries had been impaneled to deal with that investigation.

Hole. Lee. Shit.

This confirmed that at least part of what the Rumor Mill was saying was true, and that it was worth looking into the rest of their chatter, if just to see if it was a case of a broken clock being right twice a day, or if there was something to this group fighting for Democracy.

Over the next few months, I noticed a few other changes. I stopped viewing the CIA and FBI as “the enemy.” I questioned the source of my news more often. I viewed what other people took as gospel and investigated it myself. I became more politically active. I started sounding like a complete nutter when I tried to describe what I was seeing and hearing about Trump and Russia. I was becoming more and more outspoken in my criticisms.

I also realized that these were historic times, and I should write down what happened so one day my kids could ask me “What The Fuck, Dad?”

I toyed with the idea of doing this blog back in May when Trump fired Comey and Robert Mueller was named the Special Counselor. I was looking into it when news of the June 9 meeting broke, and Donnie Jr proved to be the Dumbest Mother Fucker in the history of Dumb Mother Fuckers. I eventually got around to it in July, and I’ve been here since.

WHAT STAYED THE SAME IN 2017?

This is still the United States of America, a country of laws, not men, or wealth, or personalities.

WHAT DID WE LEARN?

I learned not to take the press for granted.

There are quite a few people willing to sacrifice the future for small gains now, and those people must be dealt with. Unfortunately, there are quite a few more of them than I originally thought, and a lot of them have too much money. That doesn’t mean they’re invincible, it means the battle will be that much harder.

Sometimes conspiracies do exist.

A conspiracy is only as strong as the weakest person involved. It’s been 5 months since George Papadopoulos turned States Evidence against the Trump Campaign, and less than a month since Mike Flynn was convicted and flipped. George is a young man who doesn’t want to grow old in jail, and Mike Flynn just became a granddad.

There’s still a lot we don’t know about Trump and Russia, but the evidence at this point leads to a conspiracy between them to steal the election in Trump’s favor. Nearly every member of his campaign and transition team either had contact with Russians, or knew about it.

Trump is a micromanaging asshole. No one in his circle does anything without his approval.

Donald Trump is unable or unwilling to change his ways.

The Trump Family is a crime family.

Some laws are easier to convince a jury about than others.

IS THIS WORTH FIGHTING FOR?

Absofuckinglutely. The moment we give in is the moment that everything this country was built on dies.

This is America. Churchill said it best when he said that we will always do the right thing, we’ll just try everything else first.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I want my kids to grow up in a world where the United States is still that shinning city on the hill where dreams can and do come true, where everyone is equal under the law, and a persons worth isn’t measured by their bank account, but the content of their character.

That’s it for today. I hope to be back up and writing on a normal schedule soon. Stuff did happen over the past couple weeks, including a confirmation of sorts that the RNC knew about the Trump Campaign colluding with the Russians, and that they actively took part in targeting specific zip codes, using information gained by Russians.

Thank you, and have a good one.

Daily Check-In 12/22/2017

Once again, I’ve been under the weather for the last few days.  But, aren’t we all under the weather?  Unless you’re in orbit on the International Space Station or in a plane, everyone on planet Earth is under the weather.

Anyway, I’ve been sick for the last few days.  Plus, things have been a little hectic.

That being said, I wanted to write about a few stories that came out in the last couple days about the Russian Investigation.  Most of them center around one main aspect that has come to light in the last week since Trump signaled he was thinking on his Hail Mary play.

The Obstruction of Justice by key members of Congress on behalf of Donald J. Trump, President of the United States.

One of the things I pointed out in Daily Check-In 12/13/2017 was that when people get desperate, they do stupid things, and leave nothing to the imagination about what side they’re on.

Politico reported earlier this week that Dipshit Cowpoke was working with a few members of the House Intelligence Committee to covertly investigate the FBI and DOJ for an “apparent bias on behalf of Clinton.”  Then, on Tuesday and again yesterday, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe testified before them for a combined total of 15 hours.  All of this is part of their campaign to smear the FBI and Justice Department.

Think about it for a second…

The FBI, one of the most conservative organizations in the world, where the vast majority of their staff around the country are registered Republicans, is biased in favor of Hilary Clinton, even though James Comey announced that her investigation was being reopened just days before the election, and was seen as the largest turning point (aside from all of the treason with Russia) as to why she lost.  Then, after Trump fired Comey as head of the FBI, and used the opinion of one of his appointees, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as the official reason, Trump then admits to the nation in a televised interview that he fired Comey over the “Russia thing.”  THEN, we’re supposed to believe that Rod Rosenstein, a Trump appointee and lifelong Republican, appointed another lifelong Republican and former FBI Director Robert Mueller to lead an investigation into Trump’s connections with Russia, which has so far netted 4 arrests and 2 guilty pleas, but everyone involved with this is completely and totally biased in favor or Democrats.

That’s what they want you to believe, and they’re pumping their friends at Fox News and across Right Wing Media to make the case for them.

Of course, it has no basis in reality, and is a thinly veiled attempt at trying to discredit the investigation before it gets too close to them.

By them, I mean the members of Congress working with Trump to bury the investigation.

As more and more evidence of the White House cover-up comes out, the behavior of certain members of the House and Senate will seem unusual, erratic, or downright crazy.  Like, why would Trey Gowdy, head of the House Ethics Committee, say that it doesn’t make monetary sense to investigate Trump’s White House, but thinks that Hilary Clinton’s email server deserves another look?  Or, why would Devin Nunes, the recused head of the House Intelligence Committee, leak the bank records of Fusion GPS to the press? Or, why does Bob Goodlatte, the head of the House Judiciary Committee, keep asking for a second Special Counselor to investigate the Uranium One deal, but won’t life a finger to look into Flynn’s work with the Russians to set up nuclear reactors in the Middle East?

These aren’t the actions of innocent people looking for the truth, or even partisans trying to weather a political storm.  No, these are the actions of guilty, complicit individuals actively taking place in a cover-up.

It’s time to name some names.

Trey Gowdy and Devin Nunes were members of the Trump Transition Team, and as it was released last week, all of their email conversations have been in the hands of the Mueller team since September. Combine that with their co-worker Mike Flynn flipping like a pancake, they’re boned.

Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, and Ron DeSantis have been in regular communication with the White House concerning strategy, and Matt and Ron recently traveled on Air Force One with Trump.

Bob Goodlatte’s retiring at the end of 2018, and is just one of many Republicans leaving the House.  This supposedly also includes Speaker Paul Ryan, who has been rumored to have been caught on SIGINT discussing details of getting Russian Money into the Republican National Committee.  Here’s a little walkthrough on what’s known so far.

So, we’re now at the point that the Republicans in Congress, an equal branch of the government, are playing henchmen to the wannabe dictator, and are actively trying to block any chance of doing their duty to the Constitution or the people of this country.  And this is before the next round of indictments come raining down.

Which leads us to, who’s next?

Reports are circulating on the Rumor Mill that McGahn, Preibs, and Spicer are each in some deep shit, and at least two of them are working on plea deals.  Jared and Ivanka have been extremely quiet recently, as have the rest of the lucky sperm club.  Bannon and Corey have been requested to testify before the House Intel Committee in January.  And, now that Trump has signed the Tax Bill, there’s some debate about whether or not he has outlived his usefulness to the GOP.  They might protect him out of self-defense like I mentioned above, but they know that, as things stand right now, 2018 will be a bloodbath at the polls.  If they don’t dump Trump before too long, they’ll go down with him.

 

That’s it for right now.  I’m not sure when I’ll be back to writing on a normal schedule.  It might be as soon as next week.  Like I said, I have a couple stories I want to write before the end of the year that are more meta than anything else.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

“Without Jounralists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Check-in 12/19/2017

It’s not exactly a daily update at this point, but just as I thought I was feeling better, I got hit with another bout of the cold.  That, combined with trying to get everything done for the holidays and working a crazy shift this month, has really been kicking my butt lately.

That being said, I wanted to talk about four stories that came out over the last few days, and how they tie to Russia.

MUELLER OBTAINS TENS OF THOUSANDS OF EMAILS FROM TRUMP TRANSITION TEAM THROUGH THE GSA.

The big story that came out this weekend was a report from Axios where they reported that Mueller’s team had gained access to the Trump Transition Team emails back in September from the GSA, the General Services Administration.  This came after a lot of chatter about Trump was looking for ways to fire Mueller.  In response, Jared’s new lawyer/PR firm sent a letter to Congress saying that what Mueller did was wrong, that they get to claim a bunch of privileges that don’t apply, and asking them to make a law to protect the Trump family.

This was a warning shot from Mueller’s team.  It says “If you try anything, you’re done.  We will destroy you and everything you know and love.”

First, a little background…

The Presidential Transition Team, or PTT, is a government functionary that works to ensure a smooth transition of power from one executive to the next, and the PTT works to help the incoming President set up their cabinet, choose appointments, set up offices, and do a bunch of other logistical stuff.

To accomplish these tasks, the PTT is given a series of government emails with the @ptt.gov domain range.  These emails, like almost all government emails accounts, are maintained by the GSA.

When logging in to a federal computer, there’s a big, obnoxious warning screen that says this is a government computer, anything done on this is public property, and don’t expect even a modicum of privacy, because the GSA will comply with any and all requests for information from law enforcement because if you’re stupid enough to do something illegal here, you deserve to get caught.

Ok, that last part was hyperbole, but it might as well say it.  There is no expectation of privacy or privilege on these machines, or with these accounts.

So, when Trump appointed an attorney from his transition team, Richard Beckler, as the GSA General Counsel, people thought it was a little fishy.  Turns out, it was White fin Tuna…really fishy.  Beckler, a partner with Rudy Giuliani’s law firm,  was appointed to stop any attempts by Law Enforcement from getting Trump’s emails, by employing whatever move he could to keep those mails from getting out.

And he would have succeeded, too, if it wasn’t for this little thing called Death.  He died of Pancreatic Cancer in late September, and left his post for a medical leave in August.

One thing he didn’t do before that was completely lock down the @ptt.gov emails.  So, when Mueller’s team rolled in to the GSA on September 1st with the proper paperwork, they handed over about 60,000 mails from at least 13 accounts related to the leadership.

Look at the date…September 1st.  This story came out December 15th.  For 3 and a half months, the Special Counselor’s office had the emails of the Presidential Transition Team, and interviewed many members of that team, using their emails against them.

Also, the response letter was laughable.  They tried to claim multiple types of privileges that counteracted each other, and that weren’t in place at the time anyway.  Plus, it was sent to Congress.  Not to the DOJ, not to the courts, but to Congress.

Finally, the last piece of irony from this story…

The same people that were cheering on the Russians and Wikileaks for releasing the stolen emails of the Democratic National Convention are now crying foul that the Special Counselor’s office used legal means to obtain emails located in the public domain.

It’s almost like they don’t want Law Enforcement to do their job.

 

FBI WARNED TRUMP TEAM THAT RUSSIANS WOULD TRY TO INFILTRATE HIS TEAM

Speaking of Law Enforcement doing their jobs, the FBI warned both the Trump and Clinton campaigns back in July 2016 that foreign adversaries, especially Russians, would try to reach out to both campaigns and try to infiltrate them.  If any Russians do contact them, they should tell the FBI immediately.

That was the message from July 2016.  Around the same time that the FBI began a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump Campaign, and their connections to Russia.

They were warned, they were informed, and they were told to disclose all of their contacts up that point, but they didn’t.  Instead, they went further into the rabbit hole.

This blows away any chance they had of saying “we didn’t know we couldn’t do that.”  The FBI told them they can’t.

And yet they persisted…

 

JILL STEIN UNDER INVESTIGATION BY SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE

Ohboyohboyohboyohboyohboyohboyohboy.

Jill Stein has been a very naughty lady.

First, there’s the whole Russian Asset thing where she participated in a debate on their channel and has accepted payment from RT to appear at one of their celebratory dinners and SAT AT THE SAME TABLE WITH VLADIMIR PUTIN.

Next, there’s the weird strategy she employed in her campaign.  Instead of focusing on large metropolitan areas where Progressives congregate like New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco, she instead took to the road in the swing states that were toss-ups between Trump and Clinton, like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan.  All she would do in those states would be to take votes from Clinton, not Trump.

Then, she’s been VERY friendly when talking about Russia over the past couple years.  Almost as friendly as Trump is to Putin.

Finally, there’s the vote tally audit/recount debacle.  Remember who it was after the election that took up the call to lead a recount in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania?  It wasn’t Hilary Clinton, but Jill Stein.

Jill Stein raised more than $10 million in donations to pursue the legal challenges in those states to institute a recount.  But things went sideways.

Not only did she find new and interesting ways to screw up the recount, including stopping payment halfway through the process, but she started questioning the authenticity of the whole process.

This CF lasted long enough so that no one else could have raised a challenge if they wanted to.

She cockblocked the recount, and made off with most of the money.

I wonder if anyone else will try that…

 

HOUSE REPUBLICANS READY TO END RUSSIA INVESTIGATION

Why am I not surprised?

The House Intelligence Committee Republicans, lead by “Dipshit Cowpoke” Devin Nunes, and other members of the PTT (whose emails are in the possession of the Special Counselor) have stopped scheduling witnesses for the committee to interview.

It’s pretty obvious at this point that some of these people are covering their own asses.  They thought that they could get away with their crimes, but they can’t.  So, their next best attempt will be to end the investigation early.

They’re using the excuse of the end of the year as a chance to end things on their own terms, but all this is doing is signalling to Mueller that there’s some co-conspirators over in the House.

The Russian Investigation has so far produced 4 people being indicted, and 2 people being convicted of felonies.  Yet, somehow, the Republican members of the HIC can’t seem to find evidence of a crime.

 

WRAP-UP

That’s it for now.  Hopefully, I’ll be back to normal before too long.

There’s a few rumors floating around right now which caught my attention.

The first, and biggest, is the continuous talk about Trump looking to get rid of Mueller, and how he’s been throwing Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein under the bus recently to prepare the battlefield for his attempt to fire him.  There’s a chance that it could happen this Friday, the 22nd, using the Christmas Holiday to hide it.  If it does happen, expect a world of shit to unfurl.

The second rumor isn’t anything new, but a semi-confirmation of a previous rumor.  A few months ago, Louise Mensch reported that Fox News was under investigation, as an entity and several individual members, for their role in spreading Russian propaganda.  John Schindler (@20Committee) tweeted that multiple outlets were under investigation, not just Fox News.  It’s still not enough to expect WaPo to run with a story about it tomorrow, but don’t be surprised if by May we start seeing this in the news.

I have a few stories I want to write before the end of the year, including how screwed up 2017 has been, and all of the things I’ve done this year that I never thought I’d do.  I’m not a fan of clip shows or rehash posts, so don’t expect a “Best Of”, but I also want to update the Russian Hypothesis article as well with updated information.  Also on the queue is why I think that Bill Browder is a great man who will inevitably lead the world into war with Russia.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 12/14/2017

Thursday’s events.  It was a bit of a busy day.

 

WAPO DROPS BOMBSHELL REPORT ON TRUMP’S RELUCTANCE TO ADDRESS RUSSIAN HACKING

This story was lost in the noise of the FCC clusterfuck, but the Washington Post dropped one hell of a story detailing the last year of Trump’s reticence when it comes to Russia.  It’s long, but worth a read.

The story details conversations that the heads of the FBI, CIA, and NSA had with Trump prior to the inauguration, through the White House’s attempts to remove Russian sanctions, and to the recent past.

The story that White House insiders try to paint is that Trump’s ego is so shattered by the claims that the Russians helped him, that he can’t even come to recognize that it could have happened without completely delegitimizing his presidency.

I’d buy that for a dollar.  For two bucks, I’ll throw in that his yes-men followed his orders to work with the Russians after Putin’s people showed that they’d be willing to help him.

Two parts of the story that struck me are the description of the meeting with Team Trump and the four heads of the largest Intelligence agencies in the United States, and how much Trump has pushed back against acting on Russia, even when his own staff recommended he do something.

presentingtheintel

The Directors of the FBI, CIA, NSA, and the Director of National Intelligence met with Trump, Reince Preibus, Mike Pompeo, Michael Flynn, and Mike Pence.

It’s not that they had this meeting, but how Trump acted at the accusations.  They expected him to lose his shit, get mad, or something else in line with how a person would react when the leaders of the IC said “We know that the Russians helped you win the election.”  Instead, he was calm, courteous, and complimentary.  It wasn’t until after that meeting, when James Comey talked with him one-on-one about the Steele Dossier and the salacious accusations inside of it that Trump lost his shit.

Trump was cool with the Russian accusations, but the hooker golden shower tape was the point where he panicked.  Trump was willing to throw anyone else under the bus to save his skin, and became obsessed with this tape.  The next morning, he tweeted about the Dossier for the first time, calling it a leak from the IC.

The only time Trump got defensive was when potential evidence was introduced.  When he was accused of taking part in the pee tape, it became an obsession with him.  This meant that not only was Russia not going away anytime soon, but that it would only get bigger.

Finally, he hasn’t had even a single cabinet meeting about Russia?  Not one?  He’s had more meetings about giving him praise than about Russia.

He’s actively avoiding Russia.  Like, if he doesn’t mention it, it’ll disappear.  Innocent people don’t act like this.

 

FORMER HIGH LEVEL INTELLIGENCE LEADERS FILE AMICUS BRIEF IN LAWSUIT AGAINST TRUMP CAMPAIGN

In a very unusual move, fourteen Intelligence professionals, including some of the people mentioned above, filed an Amicus Brief, or Friend of the Court statement, in regards to a lawsuit against Donald Trump and the Trump Campaign in regards to their collusion with Russia.

The lawsuit was brought forth by a couple people who had their personal information released when the Russians hacked the DNC, and they contend that the Trump Campaign not only partook but benefited from this illegal activity, and in doing so, damaged these people’s lives.

What makes this strange is that this is the first time that high level Intelligence officials have entered anything like this in court.  They are going on the record in court saying that yes, Trump did this and benefited from it.

 

MUELLER TEAM GOT EMAILS AND DATA FROM CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA BACK IN THE FALL

I should make a new category of stories called Rumor Confirmation.

This was rumored a few months ago, and I’m pretty sure I wrote about this earlier, but the Wall Street Journal has confirmed that the Mueller Investigation received emails and information from Cambridge Analytica, the data mining company behind the 2016 microtargeting of propaganda to voters, and potentially involved in the modification of voter rolls across the country.

The company, funded by Robert Mercer, worked with Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway during the election, and had signed on Mike Flynn to work with them if he hadn’t accepted work in the White House.

This was rumored back in September and October, and lines up with Mercer leaving his hedge fund and putting distance between himself, Bannon, and Milo.

UPDATE:  According to The Independent, they also requested information on Brexit.  Shit’s ’bout to get real, yo.

 

FCC VOTED TO REPEAL NET NEUTRALITY RULES

Fuck Ajit Pai.  We’ll see your ass in court, mother fucker.

I apologize for the vulgarity, but that’s the nicest I can say about him.

 

KREMLIN-LINKED SLUSH FUNDS FUNNELING MONEY TO PAY FOR CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN SYRIA

BuzzFeed is doing a series on FMBE Bank out of Cyprus, and they discovered that the money they’re laundering from Putin and his oligarch buddies is being funneled to Assad and Syria, who then used it to buy chemical weapons which he used on his own people.

Don’t be surprised.  Look at every villain around the world, and a Russian isn’t too far behind.

 

PAUL RYAN MAY NOT SEEK REELECTION IN 2018

Could it be that he knows the Blue Wave is a tsunami, and he might not even win his own reelection race, or could it be he knows that the Russian Investigation is getting close to him, and he’s getting out of town before he ends up in prison?

Could it be a little from Column A, a little from Column B?

 

BLAKE FARENTHOLD WILL NOT SEEK REELECTION IN 2018

If the trend holds up, he’ll resign his seat within the next few weeks.  The pattern so far has been:

  • Deny allegations
  • Have proof of wrongdoing leaked to the press
  • Announce reforms in behavior
  • Public outcry
  • Colleagues ask for your resignation
  • Announce that you won’t seek reelection
  • Louder cries for resignation
  • Resign

 

DISNEY TO BUY FOX, BUT NOT FOX NEWS

Disney is buying Fox, but not Fox News.  That’ll stay with Rupert Murdoch.

What does this mean?

Aside from getting Deadpool to show up in the MCU, or finally getting a complete super box set of everything Star Wars, Disney will now own pretty much everything, except Fox News.  That was left out of the deal.

 

BITCOIN BEING USED BY RUSSIANS FOR MONEY LAUNDERING AND TO BYPASS SANCTIONS

As I’ve been saying for a while, Bitcoins are an easy way to launder money, bypass sanctions, and avoid taxes.

Bill Browder agrees.  And he’s testifying in front of the Helsinki Commission about it.

Here’s how it works…

Let’s say Viktor has millions of rubles he wants to get out of Russia, but can’t use the banks, for fear of having his assets seized.  Instead of going to a bank, he’ll go online and purchase some Bitcoins.  As much as he can afford.  Then, he’ll sell them, and link that sale to a bank account outside of Russia, like in Cyprus or Panama.  The money in that account came from the sale of Bitcoins, not from anything illegal like Viktor normally does, so the money is somewhat clean.  A few more moves here and there, and he’s laundered his money.  He’ll repeat the process again later.

 

That’s it for Thursday from the news.  The Rumor Mill was all atwitter on Twitter.  Nobody would go on the record, but everyone from Countercheckist to Louise to Eric Garland and John Schneider and the Alt accounts is buzzing about something big coming down on Friday.

If someone gets arrested, don’t be surprised.

The most likely name is Jared Kushner, for lying to the FBI and multiple counts of perjury, but Roger Stone, Donnie Jr., and K.T. McFarland are also names to keep an eye on.

If Kushner goes down, Trump will have no choice but to try something drastic.  Kushner was at the center of everything.  He knows everyone involved, and what they did. He is, in my opinion, the highest ranked person worth flipping, and has the greatest motivation to work with the Special Counselor.  The only people above him are the rest of the Trump family, Trump himself, and Pence.  Kushner is looking at a long time in prison, just for all of the times he’s lied on his security clearance.  He doesn’t want to end up in prison like his dad, and he has young children that he won’t get to raise from behind bars.

As soon as some information comes along, I’ll post it.

Thank you, and have a good one.

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 12/13/2017

Wednesday, even though I’m writing this on Thursday.

Let’s get to the big story from Tuesday and Wednesday…

 

DOUG JONES WINS ALABAMA SENATE RACE

Even with many reports of voter suppression in black communities which included people being ejected from voter rolls, police intimidation, and polling places changing at the last minute, Doug Jones defeated Roy Moore.

There are several takeaways from this event.

First, for the first time since the 90’s, a Democrat won a Senate seat in Alabama.  Alabama is the biggest example of One-Party politics in the country, where Republicans have run roughshod for over twenty years.  In that time, the reputation and standard of living of the state has gotten worse and worse.  The U.N. declared Alabama to have the worst poverty in the industrialized world, while their infant mortality rate is higher than many third world countries.

Second, Doug Jones was running against an alleged child molester in Roy Moore.  This is an embarrassment for everyone.  Roy Moore should have never gotten this far to begin with.  Even with the child molestation accusations, over 620,000 people still voted for Roy Moore.

Third, the Republicans dodged a bullet.  Roy Moore would have been a Pyrrhic Victory at best.  Every press conference, or debate, or campaign stop over the next year, each and every Republican running for a national seat would have to answer questions about Roy Moore.

Fourth, the fight for the GOP is on.  Steve Bannon’s hand picked winner in Alabama lost, and instead of shrinking into the corners, he’s going to come out swinging even harder, and across more districts in the country.  His candidates, the nationalists and racists, will go up against the slightly more moderate members of the Republican Party in the Primary races.  They’re going to eat themselves in 2018.

Finally, this sets the stage for the Blue Wave in 2018.  In every election in 2017, Democrats outperformed expectations, and won in places like Virginia, New Jersey, and Oklahoma.  They’re mad, young, and enthused.  For the first time in 25 years, every House race in Texas is an actual race.  Even in deeply gerrymandered districts, Democrats are running, with our without support from the DNC.  And they have a fighting chance.

 

OMAROSA FIRED FROM WHITE HOUSE

I’m not even sure who she is, why she was there, what she did, but White House Chief of Staff John Kelly fired her Wednesday.

Omarosa Manigault Newman had the title of “Assistant to the President”, was in charge of his black outreach campaign, and was one of Trump’s long time supporters.  She rose to fame by appearing on Trump’s show “The Apprentice”, where she was fired from that show as well.  She has been a long time Trump sycophant, and has been jokingly referred to as “Trump’s black friend.”

Supposedly, she made such a scene that security had to remove her from the White House.

 

TEXTS BETWEEN FBI AGENT AND LAWYER TAKE CENTER STAGE AT DAG ROSENSTEIN HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HEARING

So, this is a weird one.

Remember a while back when I talked about a story of a high level FBI Agent named Peter Strozk getting transferred from the Mueller team to HR, and how this story coming out right after Chris Wray was named head of the FBI was a little suspicious?

Well, it turns out it’s a bit weirder than that.

Strozk was removed from his position in July 2017, but the reason wasn’t known, until recently.  Looks like he and a lawyer working with the FBI named Lisa Page were having an affair, and in March of 2016, they talked about the election.  Since both of them were registered Republicans, they discussed the GOP Primary and how it came down to Cruz and Trump.  They called Trump an idiot.

Notice the date, March 2016.  This was before the FBI began their Counterintelligence investigation into the Trump Campaign.  This was before the DNC hacked mails were released by Wikileaks, and a month before the Mayflower meeting.

Fast forward to July 2017.  The FBI has been investigating Team Trump for a year, the FBI Director was fired for the “Russia Thing”, and a Special Counselor was appointed by the Deputy Attorney General after Attorney General Sessions had to recuse himself from anything related to the campaign.  Strozk, the head of the CI unit in the FBI, was assigned to the case.  At some point, these texts between Strozk and Page were obtained, and Mueller found out about them.  Even though these were private conversations from over a year prior, and well before any investigation began, Robert Mueller removed him from the case.  Not because his work was shoddy, or he was abusing his power in the investigation, but just due to how it could look if one of the senior agents on an investigation into the President had even an inkling of prejudice against him.

Skip ahead to present day.  The investigation is rolling along, 4 people have been arrested and charged with felonies, and Mueller is dangerously close to Trump.  Trump wants to, no, needs to end this investigation immediately.  The only way that Trump sees to end this investigation is to remove the entire team, not just Mueller.  He needs to fire Mueller, and there’s only two ways to do that.  He has to either appoint a new Attorney General, but he can’t do that without turning Jeff Sessions against him, or he can fire enough people down the chain until he finds someone willing to fire Mueller.  The only way that they can even pretend to build a case for that is to make it look like this is a partisan attack against Trump, and that everyone investigating him was biased from the outset.

So, what do they do?

The White House, in conjunction with the Department of Justice, invites a handful of reporters over and gives them 375 selected texts from the Strozk-Page conversations, and tell them that if these reporters don’t write stories about it, they’ll leak these to the press.  Later in the day, Fox News claims to have 10,000 of these texts.

They time this for the morning of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s scheduled testimony before the House Judicial Committee.  The Republicans in the committee proceed to use this entire time to attack Rosenstein and Mueller as partisan hacks, and that the investigation should be ended immediately because of this.

Think about this for a second…

The same committee members, who spent millions of dollars investigating Hillary Clinton over Benghazi, and defended the FBI Agents involved her email scandal for sending anti-HRC texts to their friends and loved ones, are condemning the exact same actions because…

Why are they so willing to carry Trump’s water on this?  That’s the part that doesn’t make sense.  That’s what confuses me.  This kind of attack goes far beyond normal politics, and every member of the committee has to know that.  They’ve seen what happened in Alabama, Virginia, and New Jersey with the string of Democratic victories.  Everyone that Trump has endorsed has lost, and he’s so thoroughly unpopular that anyone even remotely related to Trump is under attack.  Some of these people are also in the House Intelligence Committee, so they must have seen some of the classified intelligence.  Plus, they have their own subpoena power, so they can request these documents if they want.

Maybe they just don’t want that information?

Maybe they just want to make this whole exercise go away?

But why?  I can’t think of a single good reason why they would want to do Trump’s bidding, except out of fear for losing their jobs, or fear for having their crimes exposed.  And since they can’t be fired by Trump,  the firing angle is a little different.  Sure, he could convince the RNC to withhold campaign funds from representatives that speak out against him, or back their opponents, but that threat only goes so far.

That only leaves one option…

Some of these people are complicit.

Either before the Russian Affair began, during the conspiracy, or after to cover it up, some of these people are involved.

Whether they jumped on board willingly, begrudgingly, or unknowingly, that remains to be seen.

Also, a few last things about this.

First, it’s not illegal to hold personal opinions of a person, and work on an investigation against them, as long as those personal feelings don’t cloud or sway the judgement of the investigator.

Second, it is illegal to ask the political affiliation of an investigator before assigning them to a case.

Next, how did these private texts end up in the hands of the Department of Justice?  I’d like to think that a jilted spouse did this, but something seems suspiciously fishy about this.

And why did Fox News report that they have over 10,000 texts when the rest of the press only has 375?

Finally, this is Trump’s Hail Mary.

His only chance, in his mind, to make this investigation “go away” is to attack the credibility of Mueller and everyone involved.  They’ve been beating this drum for months, and have now resorted to a move that reeks of complete desperation.  The only way that this works, and doesn’t end in protests and riots in the streets, is if there were actual, legitimate cause to believe that the entire investigation was a fraud.  Considering that 4 people have already been arrested, and two pleaded guilty to felonies related to lying to the FBI about Russian contacts, the likelihood of a fraud drops dramatically.  The last person arrested, Mike Flynn, can hand deliver Trump, Pence, and the entire administration to the FBI on a silver platter.

A Hail Mary in Football is when the Offense, with no time left, far away from the end zone, sends all of the receivers to the extreme end of the Quaterback’s throwing range, gathered at one spot all together, and the QB throws the ball as hard as he can, creating a situation where everyone on the field, Offense and Defense alike, jumps for the ball.  This play rarely works, and usually ends with either the Defense knocking the ball down or intercepting it.  The reason it’s called a Hail Mary goes back to the 1970’s, when the Dallas Cowboys beat the Minnesota Vikings with this play.  Roger Staubach, the Quarterback for the Cowboys, said in an interview after the game that before he threw the ball, he muttered the Hail Mary prayer to himself, since he felt it would take divine intervention to pull this off.

A funny thing happens with desperation plays is they have a tendency to ellicit stupid behavior from those that do them, and eliminate any ambiguity about who’s side one is on.  People will do stupid things, like out themselves with leaks when they were the only person with information or try to attack opponents with forgeries.  With this play, we’ll see who’s on Team Treason, and who are Patriots.

 

REPUBLICAN NUNES LEAKED FUSION GPS BANK RECORDS IN RETALIATION TO STEELE DOSSIER CHARGES

What did I just say?

Dipshit Cowpoke is at it again.  Representative Devin Nunes of the House Intelligence Committee, after semi-recusing himself from the Russian Investigation following his Midnight Ride to the White House to view SIGINT in which he was likely unmasked, subpoenaed the bank records for Fusion GPS, the firm behind the Steele Dossier.

The committee didn’t subpoena the bank records, he did.  And his bank complied.

Shortly thereafter, those bank records get leaked out.  The only people who had access to this was Nunes and his staffers.

 

CERNOVICH AND JOHNSON IMPLICATED IN SCHUMER SEX SCANDAL FORGERIES

JFC.  So, here’s the short version…

Mike Cernovich and Chuck Johnson, Alt-Right trolls that are neck-deep in the Russian Affair, shared a bunch of documents with the press that claim that Senator Schumer from New York was implicated in a Sexual Assault.  When the MSM didn’t run with the story, they spread it all over their webpages and Twitter feeds.

One slight problem, though…

The work they spread was a complete forgery.

They copypastad it from a document about John Conyers and one his Sexual Harassment settlements.  They also used dates where both Schumer and the supposed claimant weren’t even in the country, and pasted forged signatures onto this document.

The Senator and the supposed claimant had already given the information to the Police and FBI.

This level of forgery carries with it a 10 year prison sentence.

Cernovich and Johnson both claim that they didn’t know it was a fake, but their history of spreading propaganda like the Pizzagate story shoots their excuse making down.

 

MATT GAETZ: THE GO-BETWEEN

Florida GOP Representative Matt Gaetz is supposedly being reported as the go-between for Roger Stone and the Trump Administration in their attempts to end the Mueller Investigation.

This isn’t being reported other places, but is coming from Pesach Pace, a former Secret Service agent who still has people on the inside.  Take this with a grain of salt for the time being.

But, it does explain Gaetz’s motion earlier this year to call for the Mueller Investigation to be shut down immediately.  The timing lines up with a fundraiser he was at with Roger Stone.

 

ROGER STONE’S GO-BETWEEN WITH WIKILEAKS TAKES THE FIFTH

Randy Credico, a radio host and comedian who is friends with Roger Stone, will not be showing up before Congress on Friday, as his lawyer advised him to take the Fifth Amendment to protect himself from self-incrimination.

Credico is the media personality that Roger Stone claims introduced him to Julian Assange.

 

THE FIGHT FOR NET NEUTRALITY IS ON

18 state AG’s are asking the FCC to delay it’s vote on repealing Net Neutrality laws.  Meanwhile, New York AG Schneidermann is asking why the FCC is not cooperating with an investigation into why more than 2 million comments in favor of repealing the rules that protect the internet came from stolen identities, many of which were dead people.

 

DONNIE JR APPEARS BEFORE SENATE INTEL COMMITTEE

More than 7 hours.  That’s how long he was behind closed doors testifying before the SIC.  Hopefully, we’ll get the transcripts soon.

 

I think that’s it for Wednesday.  I’m not sure what else is coming this week, but if Trump is trying to fire Mueller’s team now, it’s because someone very close to him is in trouble.  My money is on Jared being indicted before Christmas, or striking a deal at or around the New Year.

In my opinion, any attempt to fire Mueller ends bad for Trump.  Mueller has to have a dead man switch embedded into the investigation to prevent Trump and his cronies from getting away with Treason.  State charges, leaks to the press, and sealed indictments ready for release are likely the response we’ll see if the Dotard tries anything stupid.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 12/12/2017

It’s been a few days since I posted. Things have been a little hectic.

Good news is that I’m mostly over the cold that beat my ass last week.

Bad news is that a day after I start feeling slightly better, my furnace died. Which means that the only way my home has any heat right now is with a half dozen space heaters strategically located throughout.

This is the fifth time in eight years the furnace has died, and any maintenance at this point is just patching it until the next failure, so we’re getting it replaced.

But, just because I’m cold, the news doesn’t stop. Here’s a couple of the bigger stories of the last few days.

Mueller Looking for Information on 18 Crucial Days

Trump sexual Assault Accusers Unite, Demand Congressional Action

Yates Interviewed Mueller in July

HRC FBI Agent Pushing Conspiracy Theory was Paid by Flynn

Dutch Branch of Alfa Bank Raided in Money Laundering Investigation

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Suspected of Insider Trading by European Parliament

Carl Bernstein Thinks Fox News is Culpable in Covering for Trump Russian Collusion

Donnie to Testify Before Senate Intelligence Committee

Two stories from the news I am not linking to are the Alabama Senate race, and Mueller turning his attention to Steve Bannon. I’ll have more to say about those another day.

One piece I will talk about is there is a lot of chatter in the Rumor Mill about something big dropping soon. Proof that Trump ordered the Russian Collusion, or at least its coverup, is supposedly on deck for Friday, and a few more indictments and arrests are planned before Christmas. Expect some low-level staffers, but chatter is picking up that Jared Kushner will be arrested by the end of the year.

If Jared goes down, Trump might try to fire Mueller. If he tries it, expect the mother lode. Leaks, SIGINT, protests, video of Trump asking the Russians for help, phone calls with Pence, all of it.

That’s it for today. Hopefully I’ll be back to a normal writing schedule soon.

Thank you, and have a good one.

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 12/08/2017

It’s Friday, and I’m still fighting this cold.  And the cold.  But, the world doesn’t stop because I’m sick.  So, time to take a shot of DayQuil, and time to get to brass tacks.

Let’s get ready for the NEWS DUMP!

RUSSIAN MIDEAST NUCLEAR PROJECT BRINGS COLLUSION AND TREASON INTO FOCUS

Part of removing sanctions on Russia was a proposed project of building many nuclear reactors in the Middle East.

Russian companies would build the reactors, and the United States would use the military to secure the locations.

This project would be the first step in the recolonization of the Middle East.

Nuclear reactors are VERY expensive. Several billion dollars per reactor, and they can generate many times their worth in revenue over their lives.

This is a Trillion Dollar Deal. Sounds like a lot of motivation for some people to sell out their country.

AL FRANKEN TO RESIGN FROM SENATE

This hurts. I like Al, and he’s been one hell of a fighter against Trump.

The good side of this story is that it means that the Democrats are the party of Integrity. They have the moral high ground, and will make each and every Republican answer questions about Trump and Moore.

He may be the first, but he won’t be the last. GOP Representative Trent Franks is resigning immediately over sexual harassment claims, and there are rumors that many more are under fire.

MORE THAN 70 PERCENT OF STEELE DOSSIER IS ACCURATE

Yep. The Dossier is Human Intelligence, which can be a little shaky. Think of it like the first draft of a screenplay. The basic plot points are there, but details need worked out.

TRUMP NAMES JERUSALEM ISRAELI CAPITAL, VIOLENCE BREAKS OUT

MATTIS, TILLERSON OPPOSED JERUSALEM MOVE

These two are related. Trump wants to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, against the wishes of EVERYONE WITH A BRAIN.

MORE UNDISCLOSED RUSSIAN EMAILS TO AND FROM DONNIE JR

Donnie’s about to have a really bad holiday, what with lying to Congress and the FBI.

WIKILEAKS UNDER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

In other news, water is wet. But it’s nice to hear it in the MSM.

RUSSIAN SOCIAL MEDIA EXECUTIVE WANTED TO HELP TRUMP IN 2016 ON RUSSIAN SOCIAL MEDIA

Think about this for a moment. Who does this benefit?

EVEN MORE ALL-TIME LOW POLLING NUMBERS

32 percent job approval. Some forms of Cancer have higher approval rates.

Nixon left office at 27 percent.

GP’S FIANCEE SAW MAILS WITH FLYNN, BANNON

Two big takeaways from this story.

George Papadopoulos is punching WAY above his weight class. She is out of his league by quite a bit.

She has seen emails between George Papadopoulos, Mike Flynn, and Steve Bannon.

FBI APPROACHED HOPE HICKS ABOUT RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE ATTEMPTS TO CONTACT TRUMP

Way to bury the lede there, Me.

Hope Hicks, the former model and PA for Trump, now serving as White House Communications Director, interviewed with Mueller’s team for two days recently.

One of the subjects covered was the FBI repeatedly talking to Hope about Russian Intelligence contacts reaching out to Trump and the Campaign/Transition Team.

Notice how I said she was his PA? Personal Assistants often do many crap jobs, including reading and replying to emails. She was the one relaying Trump’s messages and doing the typing for him.

These mails were under surveillance in one way or another, so the FBI knows if she replied, what she replied with, and to whom.

They know. Is she smart enough to save herself, or is she so loyal to Trump that she’s willing to go to prison for him?

That’s it for today. If you get a chance, check out Rachel Maddow’s special on the Steele Dossier.

Thank you, and have a good one.

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

-Katy Tur