Daily Check-In 02/13/2018

Tuesday, February 13, 2018.


Earlier today, the heads of the FBI, CIA, NSA, DIA, and a couple other organizations testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee to describe the threats that America currently faces.  It was an interesting day.

    “We’re taking a lot of specific efforts to blunt Russian efforts,” Wray said when Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) asked if he’d been directed by Trump to do so.
    “As directed by the president?” Reed interjected.
    “Not as specifically directed by the president,” Wray responded.
So, we’re solidly at the point that the President of the United States is a puppet for the Russian Government, and isn’t even instructing the heads of the Intelligence and Law Enforcement communities to do their job.
“What I can tell you is that the FBI submitted a partial report on the investigation in question in March, and then a completed background investigation in late July,” he said, noting that the FBI “followed the established protocol” with Porter.
“Soon thereafter we received requests for follow-up inquiry and we did the follow-up and provided that information in November. And then we administratively closed the file in January,” he continued. “And then earlier this month we received some additional information and we passed that on as well.”
Russian hackers are already scanning American electoral systems, intelligence officials have said, and using bot armies to promote partisan causes on social media. Russia also appears eager to spread information — real and fake — that deepens political divisions, including purported evidence that ties Mr. Trump to Russia, and its efforts to influence the 2016 election.
“We expect Russia to continue using propaganda, social media, false-flag personas, sympathetic spokespeople, and other means of influence to try to exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States,” Mr. Coats said.
The White House has completely broken the whole idea of a security clearance.
How it should work:  Person gets interviewed for a job, then hired.  They submit an application to the FBI to handle important and classified information.  This check is slightly more invasive than a colonoscopy. While they do their check, you get an Interim Clearance.  If the FBI finds some shit in your background that would prevent you from getting a permanent clearance, then the White House, or whatever organization, would give you the chance to resign of your own accord and find a job outside of government.
How Trump does it:  After the FBI says that half the staff can’t pass a background check, ignore the FBI and let the people who shouldn’t be trusted with classified information keep handling classified information, even if, or because of, their susceptibility to being blackmailed.
Speaking of people who can’t get a security clearance…
Republicans who were so concerned about leaks of classified information during the last year are now pushing for the release of top secret information to the public, cherry-picked to undermine agencies for which they are meant to be stewards. From this point forward, the House Intelligence Committee’s assessment of the intelligence community should be met with skepticism by the public and Congress alike. When we look back on this administration in a few years, we believe this incident will be marked as one of the worst cases of politicization of intelligence in modern American history.
Special Counselor Robert Mueller has been all up in Facebook like “What now?  I can haz subpoena dox.”
Ok, I don’t meme well.
This is something we’ve known for a while, but Mueller has subpoenaed documents and information relating to Russia’s activities using Facebook during the election.
According to this report, a lot of employees were pissed at how much the Russians got away with and tried.  They wanted to speak out against it, but didn’t want to appear partisan.
So, we’re at the point that stopping a foreign power from committing an act of war is being too partisan.  Got it.
After telling her friends that she wouldn’t vote for Trump again “in a million years,” she expressed even more fear and apprehension for Mike Pence.
    “As bad as ya’ll think Trump is, you would be worried about Pence,” she said. “So everybody that’s wishing for impeachment might want to reconsider their lives. We would be begging for days of Trump back if Pence became president.”
    “He’s extreme,” Omarosa said of the vice president. “I’m Christian. I love Jesus. But he thinks Jesus tells him to say things. I’m like, ‘Jesus ain’t say that.’ ” (In addition to being a “reality legend” Omarosa is an ordained minister.)
No matter how corrupt or crazy he is, remember… he’s a clogged artery away from having the Nuclear Football.
Buzzfeed is being sued by a Russian Oligarch and Michael Cohen for defamation of character.  Even though they are both public figures, and the bar for defamation is rather high in those cases, the easiest way to fight a defamation lawsuit is to prove the veracity of the claims.
No better way to shut up Michael Cohen than to show him his own travel records and expense reports.
Yesterday, the PA GOP submitted a “new” map.  This one was even more gerrymandered than the original.  So, naturally, Tom Wolf said “Fuck your map, and any maps that look like it.  I’ll make my own.”  Which is what he’s doing.  It’ll be up to the PA Supreme Court to either approve that one, or choose a map developed by a computer algorithm.
Personally, I want the computer to win.
Someone asked on Reddit today “Where’s Rudy?”  I couldn’t help but have fun with the answer.  I present to you “A Giuliani Carol.”
Rudy Giuliani has gone to ground.  He’s disappeared from the public spotlight.  Shortly after the Russian Investigation began, Rudy vanished.
Rumor has it he was one of the first ones visited by the Ghost of Crimesmas.  The ghost of Elliot Spitzer told him he would be visited by three spirits throughout the night.
The first spirit, a jolly firefighter covered in soot showed him his past as a prosecutor, the Mayor of NYC during 9/11, and his bid for President, when he lost the nomination to John McCain, after John sold out to the religious right.
The second spirit, a fat man in a beach chair, showed Rudy his recent past and present, talking with his friend Donald and cavorting with FBI Agents in New York, as they snicker and snort about an “October Surprise” involving some mails and a big wiener.
Though Rudy was defiant after the first two spirits, the third filled him with dread.  It was a tall man, wearing a dark suit, a pale complexion, and a thousand yard stare.  He said nothing, and made no sudden moves.  The tall, white-haired figure, walked slowly from room to room, with each room changing into a different image.  Each image shown to Rudy rocked him to his core.
The first showed his friends in the FBI being led into a room where they were arrested.  One of them pulled a gun, hoping to shoot his way out, but was killed by the other agents.
The next was a familiar building, tall and gilded, having the doors locked and equipment seized from it.  A large sign was placed on the door, saying that the building was now the property of the State of New York covered the front door.
The next room showed his friends, Don, JB, and Jared, being led into a paddy wagon by another old friend, Chris.
“My god.  What happened to Tiny Chris?  This isn’t like him at all.”
The spirit kept walking, not even recognizing that Rudy talked.
“Wait, where am I in all of this?  What happens to me?  WHAT HAPPENS TO ME!”
The spirit walks to another room.  This room has rows of chairs, looking at a smaller room with windows.  Inside the room is a table, a medical table with straps and one arm extended out.  A tray of equipment and chemicals stand to the side.  A man in doctor in scrubs, accompanied by two nurses, look up at a clock.  One nurse checks for a pulse.  Another doctor, and a man in a suit, stand off to the side of the room.  An older man lies motionless on the table.
“No pulse, no reps.”  says the nurse, matter of factly.
“Call it,” says the doctor along the side of the room.
The doctor in scrubs looks at the clock on the wall above him.  “Time of death, 12:01 AM.”
The staff walks out of the inner room.  The outer room, mostly empty save for a couple uninterested witnesses, starts to empty as well.
The spirit methodically points his finger at the table, and Rudy takes a long, hard look.  He looks on at horror at the face of the man on the table.  That face, at first unrecognizable, yet instantly unmistakable.  A face that looks worn, tired, and haggard.  A face…
His face.  It’s Rudy’s face!  Rudy’s face is on the man on the table.  Rudy jumps away in horror at the scene he sees.  Rudy’s heartbeat quickens, his palms sweat, his vision blurs.  Everything around him becomes black.  The room disappears as Rudy falls back, and falls.  And falls.  And falls.
“NOOOO!”  Rudy shoots up in his bed in his New York apartment.  He’s home.  He’s safe.  He’s ALIVE!
“There’s still time.  There’s still time to change things.”  Rudy jumps out of bed, and runs over to his desk.
“Where is it?  Where is it?”  Rudy rips through his papers and business cards like a man possessed.  He knows the card he’s looking for.  A man from Washington gave him this card just the other day after they spoke.  The man said if he needed to talk about anything to give him a call.  Rudy’s eyes go round like saucer plates when he sees the card he was looking for.
“AH HA!  THERE YOU ARE!”  Without a moments hesitation, Rudy grabs his trusty flip phone from his his nightstand, and dials the number.  The phone rings twice before Rudy blurts out in excitement, “Yes, Special Counselor’s Office?  It’s Rudy.  I’d like to to talk to Robert, please. Mr. Mueller.”
That’s it for today.
Thank you, and have a good one.
“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”
– Katy Tur

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