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

Daily Check-In 12/06/2017

It’s Wednesday, and I’ve been under the weather the past few days.  Hell, I’m still sick as a dog, so this week will be light on updates, but that doesn’t mean that the world stops.

Here’s a few of the bigger events from the past weekend, and up to today.

GOP PASSES TAX BILL

TRUMP ADMITS TO OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE ON TWITTER, THEN HIS LAWYER TRIES TO SAY IT WAS HIM WHO WROTE IT FROM TRUMP’S ACCOUNT ON A SATURDAY MORNING.

LATER, JOHN DOWD (LAWYER FROM ABOVE) SAYS THAT A PRESIDENT CAN’T OBSTRUCT JUSTICE.

EMAILS SHOW THAT FLYNN DID NOT ACT ALONE

KREMLIN TRIED TO CREATE BACKCHANNEL TIES TO TRUMP CAMPAIGN THROUGH NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION

TRUMP DIRECTED RNC TO CHANGE UKRAINE POLICIES

TRUMP BENEFITED FROM PENTAGON RENTING APARTMENT IN TRUMP TOWER

MANAFORT COULD HAVE BAIL REVOKED AFTER WRITING OP-ED WITH KNOWN RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE AGENT

HERE’S A LINK TO THE OP-ED

MIKE PENCE IS NOT TO BE TRUSTED

MUELLER SUBPOENAED DEUTSCHE BANK FOR TRUMP FINANCIAL RECORDS

RUSSIAN ANTI-DOPING HEAD DIES OF “RUSSIAN HEART ATTACK” FOLLOWING THEIR OLYMPIC BAN

REZA ZARRAB MIGHT BE PUT IN WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM

MUELLER’S TEAM WORKING HARD TO GET RICK GATES TO FLIP ON PAUL MANAFORT, MAY USE SUPERSEDING INDICTMENTS ON HIM

THE STORY OF GP’S ARREST.

TIME PERSON OF YEAR: THE SILENCE BREAKERS

TRUMP ENDORSES ROY MOORE

WHISTLEBLOWER APPROACHED MUELLER IN JUNE WITH FLYNN TEXT MESSAGES AND WARNINGS ABOUT NUCLEAR REACTOR PROJECT

FIRST ATTEMPT AT AN IMPEACHMENT VOTE

 

That’s what happened over the last few days.   At least, that’s what I’ve got so far.  Hopefully, I’ll be back to semi-normal in the next couple days.  But, out of everything, the biggest takeaway from the weekend is this…

Donald Trump’s legal team has changed the narrative again.  They are no longer arguing that he didn’t obstruct justice or collude with Russia, but that they aren’t crimes.

Aside from being completely laughable, this argument tacitly implies that Donald Trump and his team did those things.  They’re not saying “He didn’t obstruct justice, and it isn’t a crime.”  They’re saying “A President can’t obstruct justice.”  Those are two different arguments.

The next biggest thing to happen is the acknowledgement that Mueller has Trump’s financial records from Deutsche Bank.  That bank recently was hit with nearly half a billion dollars in fines for laundering Russian money for many years, and it’s interesting to note that they continue to do business with Donald Trump, even after he sued the bank after defaulting on a loan.  No one else will work with Trump, but DBank keeps giving him money.  Could it be that DBank is receiving matching funds from VEB, VTB, or other Russian banks, and Deutsche Bank is merely the front-facing company in the loan?

Finally, there was an interesting spike in Mike Pence stories in the last few days.  He’s been flying under the radar the last few months, apparently trying to keep his neck clean.  But I noticed something about the stories that were floating around about him.  A general theme.

Pence ratted out his fraternity brothers for having a beer keg in the house.  Pence offered to take over the top spot on the ticket for the RNC on a ticket with him and Condeleeza Rice.  Pence’s wife hates Trump.  Pence sees himself as destined by God to become the President.  Pence continuously made false statements about Mike Flynn’s role in the Transition Team.

There’s a theme, and that is that Mike Pence can’t be trusted.  At least, Trump can’t trust Pence.

This creates a problem for Trump, who is already paranoid AF.  Pence is the one person he can’t fire in the Executive Branch.  There is no statute, provision, or policy on the books which allows for a VP to be removed from office, except by resignation or the impeachment process.  With Trump’s increasing paranoia, these stories build to two possible conclusions.

Pence is angling for Trump’s job, and the only way that Trump can protect himself is to attack Pence.

If I were to wargame this out, Trump attacking Pence on Twitter has a strong likelihood of bringing down the Republican Party as we see it, and creating the split into two parties that I’ve alluded to in The Multi-Party System.

Still, it’s pretty unlikely, but this is 2017, the Hold-My-Beer year.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.