Daily Check-In 06/15/2018

Friday, June 15th.



Prosecutors made the Manafort detention request on June 4, when they argued in court papers that he tried to tamper with two witnesses after he was indicted in Washington for a second time on Feb. 23. Four days later, a grand jury indicted Manafort anew, accusing him and an associate of witness tampering. Manafort has pleaded not guilty.

Jackson said she had no way to stop Manafort from contacting people while he’s out on bail.

“This is not middle school,” she told lawyers. “I can’t take his cellphone.”

Paul Manafort is in jail.  That feels good to say.

Paul Manafort, former Campaign Manager for the President of the United States, is in jail.

Paul Manafort, liaison to Oleg Deripaska, unregistered lobbyist for the Hapsburg Group and adviser to Viktor Yanukovitch, is in jail.

I wonder how long it will take Paul to look around his cell and say “Jr., Pence, Jared, and Donald should be here with me.”

“We had a suspect,” said Clapper. “I don’t know whether the suspicions we had at the time were conveyed [to Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller] or whether they were validated.” U.S. intelligence officials were “pretty confident at the time but not sufficient enough to publicize it,” he said.

The precise means by which DNC emails that had been hacked by Russian intelligence made their way to WikiLeaks for public consumption has never been publicly revealed by the U.S. intelligence community. Nor has it ever been clear that U.S. officials had figured it out. That gap in the story of the Russian attack on the U.S. election has fueled conspiracy theories that the hackers were not in fact Russian state-sponsored hackers — as the intelligence community has firmly concluded. Instead, the conspiracy theorists have claimed, the emails were given to WikiLeaks by a disgruntled Democratic party “insider” or even a spy planted inside the party.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange himself has given credence to such theories, repeatedly insisting that he did not get the DNC emails from Russian intelligence. (“Our source is not the Russian government,” he told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.) At one point, Assange inexplicably offered a reward for information about the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich, who, according to Washington, D.C., police, was likely killed in a botched robbery with no connection to the DNC hack

But Clapper told “Skullduggery” that the WikiLeaks transfer “cut-out” was selected by the Russians for a reason — so that Assange could tell the world he did not get the DNC emails from Russian intelligence. “The real point was it was an attempt to ensure [Assange] plausible deniability,” Clapper said.

Clapper was responding to questions about a little-noticed passage in his new book, “Facts and Fears: Hard Truths From a Life in Intelligence.” In the book, Clapper recounts how the U.S. intelligence community concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian leadership had publicly dumped the DNC emails after they decided in March 2016 that “it was worth the risk of diplomatic blowback if they were caught” hacking the DNC. This gave the green light to Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, to go “on the offense, exfiltrating emails and large volumes of data.”

Then, Clapper added: “In April, Russia used a third party ‘cut-out’ to send more than 19,000 DNC emails and more than 8,000 documents to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, attempting to cover its tracks and to give WikiLeaks some degree of deniability in knowing the source of the leaks.”

WASHINGTON (AP) — A company run by former officials at Cambridge Analytica, the political consulting firm brought down by a scandal over how it obtained Facebook users’ private data, has quietly been working for President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election effort, The Associated Press has learned.

The AP confirmed that at least four former Cambridge Analytica employees are affiliated with Data Propria, a new company specializing in voter and consumer targeting work similar to Cambridge Analytica’s efforts before its collapse. The company’s former head of product, Matt Oczkowski, leads the new firm, which also includes Cambridge Analytica’s former chief data scientist.

Data Propria.  Keep that name in mind.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. District Court judge ruled on Friday that a Russian company charged with meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election is not entitled to review grand jury materials and gave the two sides 10 days to agree on rules for sharing evidence.

Lawyers for the Russian company, Concord Management and Consulting LLC, had last month asked the judge for permission to review the instructions provided to the grand jury, arguing the case was flawed because there was no evidence the company knowingly and “willfully” violated American laws.

District Judge Dabney Friedrich denied that request, saying it was not clear the issue would be critical to the defense, which has indicated it plans to file a motion to dismiss the case, and that she considered it an unjustified step.

“Breaching the secrecy of the grand jury is not an easy thing to do,” Friedrich said at the hearing.

“Unfair.”  Unfair?  Know what’s unfair, thousands of children crying themselves to sleep in cages because a heartless government ripped them away from their parents.  Getting thrown in jail for breaking the law while on bail is justice.



Cohen’s next court date is scheduled for June 25th.  That’s 10 days for him to go through the shredded documents and encrypted texts to see if any of those fall under attorney-client privilege (Spoiler Alert: They won’t) and work out the beginning steps of a plea deal.



NYAG Underwood sent a criminal referral to the IRC CI.  IRS’s Criminal Investigation unit, also known as the Seal Team Six of Taxes, will make a determination on whether and when they should conduct a criminal investigation against the Trump family and the donors to the foundation.

Notice I said donors? The list of foundation donors include many of Trump’s political donors, and unlike donating to a PAC, charitable donations are tax-deductible.  Not only did Trump not pay taxes on the incoming donations, but his donors may have claimed a deduction on an illegal contribution.

Vinnie Mac might want to talk to his tax man.













Meeting extreme injustices with polite banter plays right into the hands of this administration, because it paints their outrageous actions as just being on one side of a well-meaning debate. They’re not. This is not about disagreement, or political discourse. This is about fighting for what’s right over what is clearly and demonstrably evil.

Being spittlingly angry will not drive more people to Trump and will not diminish us – the high road is about morals, not a few curse words.

The Obama’s famously said years ago “When they go low, we go high.”  That refers to morals, not language.  Anyone who has read this site for a couple days can see that I’m not afraid of dropping an F-bomb on a story like it’s the fire bombing of Dresden.  I’ve lost count of how many times over the last three years I’ve seen Trump Supporters attack people for getting offended and showing offense at blatantly obvious misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, and racist language, only to express their own gelotophobia.  That’s a fear of being laughed at or ridiculed.

The same people that called Hilary Clinton a cunt and the Obama children monkeys get their panties in a twist when a professional comedian called Ivanka Trump a vapid, feckless cunt.  The same people that cheered when Donald Trump screamed at a journalist to go fuck himself feign shock and horror when Robert DeNiro says “Fuck You Trump” during the Tony Awards.  The same people that hooted and hollered for Trump making fun of a disabled man at a campaign rally cry crocodile tears when Alec Baldwin portrays him Saturday Night Live.  The same people that support locking children up in cages…well, I question the humanity of those mother fuckers.

The Snowflake Generation.  I think that’s what I’m going to call Trump Supporters from now on.  The same people that insisted their kids get trophies just for participating are the same ones calling those same kids sheltered.  The same people that laughed at “libtard tearz” over racism and sexism are the same ones trying to hold us to a higher standard than themselves.

Fuck that, fuck them, and fuck anyone who thinks like that.

I’ve got a new slogan: When they go low, step on their fucking neck.

Call the shit what it is.  Make them uncomfortable as fuck.

They talk about how bad immigration is, show them pictures of toddlers crying in cages.

They talk about Ivanka being treated unfairly, talk about her laundering money for terrorists and child rapists.

They talk about Trump being an “alpha male”, talk about him being a coward that doesn’t have the balls to say shit to people’s faces.

Don’t talk about his omissions of fact or mistruths.  Talk about his lies and his bullshitting.

Don’t talk about Trump’s Sexual Assaults.  Talk about his Rapes.



Rob Rogers, the longtime editorial cartoonist for my hometown paper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, was fired for submitting the following cartoon.


In the last few months, the PG hired a new editor named John Block, a Right-Wing cheerleader with ties to the paper’s new conservative owners.  In the span of a couple months, Rob had more cartoons spiked than he had in the past decade combined.  All of the spiked cartoons were critical of Trump and the Right Wing.

John Block is trying to turn the Post-Gazette into a Right-Wing paper.  It won’t work. Pittsburgh is one of the most Liberal cities in the country.  We had a right-wing paper in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.  It failed.  It failed because Pittsburgh is a vibrant, diverse, and educated city.  Those three attributes are the antithesis of modern conservatism.

Claude Taylor talked about putting this picture up as a billboard across from the Post-Gazette’s headquarters if they can get matching funds from around Pittsburgh.  It would cost about $3-4k for a week.

I wish I still had my subscription to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, just so I could cancel it.






















That’s it for Friday.  One story I didn’t cover, because I have a little rule about it, was Trump’s impromptu “crash” of Fox & Friends on the White House lawn at the same time that Paul Manafort was getting reprimanded by the judge and remanded to jail.  It was nothing more than a distraction, like dangling keys in front of a baby.  In this case, the MSM is the baby.

I don’t expect to do much work on this website this weekend.  Real life has some plans for me, and I have a lot of things to do in a short time.  I might have some time on Sunday night.  At the least, I want to do some organization around here.


Thank you, and have a good one.


“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

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