Wednesday, February 21.
For the third court day in a row, Special Counselor Robert Mueller and his team have filed new charges in their investigation. This time, I have no clue what the charges are. No one outside of Mueller’s team and the clerk have a clue. And possibly Rick Gates.
Odds are they’re additional charges against Paul Manafort for bank fraud. The details about that in 3, 2, 1…
The day that Paul Manafort was fired from the Trump Campaign, he started a company named Sunbreeze LLC. That company then took out a loan against one of his homes. By the end of 2016, Paul had taken out $16 million in loans, all of them signed off on by Stephen Calk.
So, who is Stephen Calk? He was an economic advisor to the Trump Transition Team, and a manager at Federal Savings Bank in Chicago, Illinois. FSB is a smaller bank that usually offers mortgages to veterans.
And he approved loans that totaled more than 25% of his bank’s assets in mortgages to one person.
Why would he approve such a risk for his bank, over the objections of his staff? He reportedly did this for a position in the White House.
This is a simple and elegant solution to a weird problem. How was a little bank in Chicago wrapped up in this mess? Turns out, Manafort played on his desire for power and/or service.
I like simple and elegant solutions.
All across the nations, students left class today to protest against the inaction of our leadership in this country.
They’re taking the lead. I like it.
These children grew up in a world after 9/11, where the U.S. has been at war their whole lives. They grew up on Harry Potter and Hunger Games and Marvel movies believing that one person can make a difference, and now they’re facing down the inept government.
They are an entire generation of Potter’s and Everdeen’s. They are not going away.
Multiple Russians have gone on the record describing the size and scope of the Internet Research Agency, and the accuracy of Mueller’s indictments.
They are spot on.
It’s almost like someone had high level intelligence and access to the IRA.
Trump’s former body guard Keith Schiller is getting paid $15k a month by the GOP as a “Security Consultant” for the 2020 campaign.
That’s $180,000 a year.
Keith has been by Trump’s side since the 1990’s, and has often been the one to do Trump’s dirty work, like organizing hookers, threatening litigants, or harassing journalists.
Keith was involved in James Comey’s firing, personally delivering the termination letter to his office in D.C. Of course, Comey was visiting the L.A. field office. Rumor has it that Schiller tried to take Comey’s office computer.
I covered this before, but Dipshit Cowpoke Devin Nunes actively engaged trolls and bots to push the #Releasethememo hashtag on Twitter.
This doesn’t look good for the head of the House Intelligence Committee.
He’s one of the few people in the world who should have known the scope and extent of Russian activity on Twitter. The Intelligence Community has been on this for a while. Yet, he still engaged with them.
I can only think of three explanations. Either he didn’t know the extent of their activities, he ignored the information, or he was counting on their actions. None of them look good for a member of the GOP Leadership Committee.
A funny thing happened on Twitter over the last 24 hours. They decided to purge another set of users that were associated with specific Russian IP addresses which were traced back to Russian Bot and Troll activity.
Alright, real quick about IP addresses…
An IP address, or Internet Protocol address, is a numeric value that corresponds to a specific internet connection. Each and every device on the internet uses them to connect to each other. It makes up the backbone of how the internet works. It’s how you can make a request on a laptop in your house to a website halfway across the world, and have it end up on your laptop, and not your neighbor’s computer.
We generally use IPv4, which uses a format of xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx, where the numbers range from 0-255. Those are the values that a byte can produce. 256 values, or 2^8th power, for each group (called an octet), and four octets.
One thing with IP’s is that they’re region specific. IP’s in the United States start with 10. Asia in the 110’s, Latin America in 180’s. Russia’s in the 80’s and 90’s. These IP addresses are easy to find and trace.
What Twitter did was trace back a large number of troll accounts to a specific set of IP’s, and blocked them.
5,000 accounts and IP’s were blocked. They were controlling millions of bots. Those bots make up a lot of followers for people like Trump or the Alt-Right. Many members of the GOP lost thousands, if not millions of followers.
I only lost 4 followers this time. Most of the robots following me are good old ‘Merican Porn Bots.
Of course, that means I might be on their radar. If anything, I’m a tiny blip. Still, we are in an information war, and information is power.
That’s it for today. I do have a correction to make, though I’m not sure if I said it here.
Alex Vad Der Zwaan pleaded guilty yesterday, and I assumed that he was cooperating with Mueller. According to the court transcripts, he did not enter into a cooperating agreement. That doesn’t he’s not giving them information, but he’s either not doing it willingly, or there is no formal agreement. He could also be keeping quiet.
At some point in the last 24 hours, I said he was cooperating. My bad.
Thank you, and have a good one.
“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”
– Katy Tur