Daily Check-In 08/01/2018

Wednesday, August 1st

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

The Manafort Trial

The trial continued with the prosecution talking about Manafort’s lavish lifestyle and outrageous expenses, and how he paid for those goods using wire transfers from multiple offshore accounts from various shell companies.  Among those purchases included nearly a million dollars in suits from Alan Couture, even more suits from House of Bijan, real estate purchases for him and his family, multiple renovations, and luxury cars.  All of those were paid by wire transfers from offshore accounts, and in each instance the recipients described it as either unique or unusual for their businesses to accept that form of payment.

One interesting development is that the prosecution said they may or may not have Rick Gates testify, depending on how their case is going.

Check out Kara’s tweet if you want to see a crime against fashion.  That jacket officially belongs in the “Why the fuck would anyone buy that?” category.

 

Butina and Russian Spies

The Senate approved the release of the transcripts to the DOJ and the FBI, not for the public.  We’ll have to get those the old fashioned way, through some leaks.

 

Lobbyists

Like I’ve stated the last couple days, Daily Check-In 07/31/2018Daily Check-In 07/30/2018, these cases are getting farmed out to other offices around the country for two main reasons.

First, this spreads out the work across the department in case there’s a move against Mueller.

Second, it frees up Mueller’s team to focus on other things.  What other things?

 

Interview with an Idiot

Here we go again.  We were here a few months ago (Daily Check-In 03/22/2018Daily Check-In 04/10/2018) and we’re back again.  This has dragged out long enough, but here’s where I think this is going…

Mueller wants to interview Trump for two main reasons.  He wants his “side of the story”, and wants to remove the argument that when the Obstruction Report comes out, since Trump didn’t interview Mueller it shouldn’t count and doesn’t represent a full picture.

It’s time to end that argument right here and now.

Mueller has more than enough information at this point to nail Trump’s fat ass to the wall for Obstruction of Justice, Witness Tampering, and at least a dozen other Federal statutes just related to the cover-up of his crimes.

Trump’s lawyers are afraid that he’ll outright lie during the interview.  Hell, Trump can’t even keep his story straight in a single tweet.  How’s he going to last against Robert Mueller’s team for a couple hours?  Trump is a walking perjury trap, and somehow they’re using that as their defense against meeting Mueller.

Think about that for a second.  Then, after your brain stops hurting at the sheer ridiculousness of the whole affair, give it another thought.

Trump’s legal team is trying to keep the President of the United States from interviewing with prosecutors and investigators working on a case of whether or not he interfered or attempted to interfere in another ongoing investigation, in which he is the subject of said cover-up investigation, because they know that he can’t be trusted to tell the truth, and they know that if he told the truth, he’d implicate himself.

Trump has pushed this interview off for months, claiming that he was too busy to meet with Mueller, that his lawyers said no, that the timing only worked when Mueller wasn’t available, or that something came up, or his time’s too valuable but he’d love to meet with him, or some other lame excuse.  Meanwhile, since news of this attempted interview has broken out, Trump has cried from the rooftops about ending this investigation, including today.  (It’s the lead of the next section.)

Based off of what I’ve seen, heard, and surmised, the Obstruction Report is about 99% ready.  The only parts missing are Trump’s words.  And it’s nigh infinitesimal that whatever Trump says would change the view that he has tried to obstruct.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

Friends don’t let friends tweet and obstruct

What did I just fucking say?

 

This one’s rich.  Trump, who has known Paul Manafort since the early 80’s, blames the FBI for not telling him that Paul Manafort was under investigation when he hired him out of the blue to lead his campaign.

I’ve been involved in hiring decisions before, so I know what’s it like to hire someone who is completely inexperienced in the field that I’m pursuing, but has vast criminal connections around the world with various mobsters, oligarchs, and generally terrible people, then get surprised when that person I hired turned out to be the target of several criminal and counterintelligence investigations, including possible espionage and treason cases.

Oh, sorry.  I meant “I don’t know” because I’m not a fucking mobbed-up narcissistic criminal who views law enforcement as my mortal enemy.  Whenever I’ve had to hire someone, I check their references and make sure they’re not mobbed-up.

 

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

QAnon

The Russia investigation is a sham. It’s actually a cover story for special counsel Robert Mueller and Donald Trump working together to expose thousands of pedophiles hidden in plain sight — including Hillary Clinton (and Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama), who will soon be under arrest. (Or perhaps already have been and are on their way to Guantanamo Bay.)

The GOP lost the Alabama special election for Jeff Sessions’s Senate seat on purpose — a plan devised years ago to reveal the use of fraudulent voting machines and, ultimately, take down none other than George Soros. Or the Rothschilds. Or the Illuminati.

And there’s no White House chaos at all; in fact, despite legal scandals and special counsel investigations and bile-laden tweets, everything, absolutely everything, is going just as Donald Trump intended it.

Welcome to QAnon, sometimes referred to as “the Storm.” It’s a conspiracy theory that’s swept social media and is starting to break into the mainstream, with Trump rally attendees in Florida on July 31 holding signs and wearing T-shirts emblazoned with “We are Q” and the conspiracy theory’s main catchphrase, “Where we go one, we go all.”

Roseanne Barr, formerly the star of the No. 1 show on network television, is just one of Q’s biggest supporters. And the conspiracy theory is being pushed by some of the far right’s biggest voices, including Alex Jones and Sean Hannity. Still others are winking and nodding at it, retweeting #QAnon references while pretending to be none the wiser.

And it has one overarching — and, if you’re a Trump supporter, hopeful — message: Donald Trump is in complete control. Of everything.

Conspiracy theories create order out of chaos, attempting to make sense of events that don’t make sense. And researchers have found that fact-based arguments against them only serve to reinforce them in the minds of believers. That’s what makes QAnon or Sandy Hook trutherism or any other conspiracy theory so difficult to combat: Because conspiracy theories aren’t based on facts, conspiracy theorists aren’t receptive to them either.

So if the first year and a half of the Trump administration has been enmeshed in confusion and chaos, QAnon is the conspiratorial response: Everything is fine. As a popular saying among Q adherents proclaims, believers must only “trust the plan.”

I really, really hate conspiracy theorists.  And yes, I know the irony of me, the author of a site tracking conspiracies as they occur, talking about how much they hate conspiracies.  The worse the conspiracy, the worse the mental gymnastics needed to make it work, and the harder it is to “disprove.”

QAnon is up there with Moon Landing Hoaxers and 9/11 Truthers.  Possibly worse.

I’ve dealt with conspiracy theorists my whole life.  Hell, I used to be one, until I studied logic and critical thinking.  Instead of following the cute, crazy “theories”, I learned how to analyze evidence and followed the evidence to its conclusion, not force the evidence to meet a predetermined conclusion.

Nothing pisses me off quite like a person digging through piles of evidence and information looking for that one tiny piece that supports their claims while simultaneously discarding the mountain they dug through to get it.  I also despise the goal-post moving that occurs when part of their argument is defeated.

For example, let’s use the 9/11 Truther’s classic statement of “Jet fuel can’t melt steel beams.”  This is based off of the fact that the ignition temperature of jet fuel is less than the melting point of steel.  This also ignores that steel doesn’t have to melt to be weakened enough to bend, which anyone who has ever used a welding torch can attest to.  Jet fuel burns more than hot enough to weaken steel.  When the truther is encountered with this evidence, they’ll curtly discard it or talk about controlled explosions or time travelling ninjas, or whatever it takes to make their theory work.  The worst is the “that’s what they want you to think.”

Fuck them.  As soon as someone pulls that bullshit response, I hit them with Hitchen’s Razor.  That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

And let’s be clear about something, QAnon isn’t some vast group full of millions of people, or representing the entire Republican Party…well, not yet on the second part.  There isn’t much of a Republican Party left at this point.

Personally, I’ve learned to question the validity of any post made by an anonymous comment made on social media by anyone who claims to be a member of the government.  And yes, I know I post things from Twitter and Reddit in the Rumor Mill.  At least most of those sources either have a good batting average or qualified it somehow.  Plus, it’s “Rumor Mill,” not “Absolute Fact Mill.”

 

 

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

IMMIGRATION

As soon as I first heard about the forced separation, it was just a matter of time until this headline came out.  A child died because of this.  This is a completely preventable death.  This whole thing is crazy.

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

SCOTUS

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

“THE” OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY ABUSE SCANDALS

 

ELECTION 2018

 

THE CASE FOR CHANGE

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

Honestly, I could use a laugh.

 

RUMOR MILL

 

 

That’s it for Wednesday.  Let’s see how Thursday goes.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

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