Daily Check-In 08/03/2018

Friday, August 3rd and the weekend.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

The Manafort Trial

Day 4 began with Manafort’s tax preparer Phillip Ayliff returning to the stand to state that Paul Manafort did not disclose any foreign bank accounts on his taxes.  He then discussed a suspicious loan that Gates and Manafort, at Manafort’s instruction, said shouldn’t be considered income.  Phillip asked for proof, but was given the flimsiest definition of proof.  It mostly consisted of a letter from a company that Manafort is accused of owning.  They then covered his “rental properties”, which are basically This is carryover from Daily Check-In 08/02/2018.

Manafort’s defense team made the brilliant defense of “if he intended to break the law, why would he leave this information lying around?”  He said this of the man accused of witness tampering by backing up his encrypted WhatsApp messages to his iCloud account AFTER the feds had a warrant to monitor that account. (Daily Check-In 06/04/2018Daily Check-In 06/05/2018Daily Check-In 06/06/2018)

Following the preparer was Cindy Laporta, the first of five witnesses granted immunity in exchange for their testimony.  (Daily Check-In 07/23/2018)  Cindy was Paul Manafort’s accountant, and took over for Philip after he retired.  She testified that she didn’t believe them on their claim of the loan either, but went along with it because she was afraid to confront Manafort.  She also testified that later on she falsified documents at the behest of Manafort and Gates to allow Manafort’s company DMP (Davis Manafort Partners) to qualify for more loans.  By doing so, she opened herself up to legal ramifications of felony wire fraud and other tax avoidance crimes.  This is why she was granted immunity for her testimony.

 

Alleged Russian spy Mariia Butina talked openly about her contacts with Russian intelligence officials when she got drunk, CNN reported Thursday.

According to people who knew her at American University where she attended graduate school, on at least two occasions Butina bragged about her Russian government connections after she had imbibed and even said the Russian government was connected to her Moscow gun rights group. According to CNN, classmates were unnerved by her comments and reported her to law enforcement twice.

Other classmates told CNN that in classes she was a constant defender of Vladimir Putin and claimed that she was a middleman between President Trump’s campaign and the Russian government.

Why can’t we get a better quality of spy in this story?  It’s like they sent the Cleveland Browns of spycraft to attack the United States.

Not only do we have Maria Butina getting drunk and bragging about being a middleman for Putin and the GOP, but she did it enough times that her classmates as American University called the cops.  Repeatedly.

Remember the timing on this, too.  She didn’t start school until getting her student visa in 2016, but was in the U.S. before that.  And, don’t forget, but she met with Donnie Jr. at the NRA convention back in May 2016. (Daily Check-In 07/18/2018).

Gee, I really hope Donnie Jr. doesn’t have more bad news coming at him from this weekend.

SPOILER ALERT: IT GETS WORSE, SEE NEXT BOLD SECTION.

This might be the strangest part of the Russian Investigation so far, but as I’ve said before, it’s only going to get weirder from here. (Daily Check-In 07/20/2018).

How weird?  Does a tweet from Tom Arnold saying that Roger Stone was crashing on the Madam’s couch while Al Franken was being attacked sound weird enough?  Maybe not as weird as Steven Segal becoming a diplomatic envoy for Russia weird, but still pretty damn weird.

 

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Sunday that a Trump Tower meeting between top campaign aides and a Kremlin-connected lawyer was designed to “get information on an opponent” — the starkest acknowledgment yet that a statement he dictated last year about the encounter was misleading.

Mr. Trump made the comment in a tweet on Sunday morning that was intended to be a defense of the June 2016 meeting and the role his son Donald Trump Jr. played in hosting it. The president claimed that it was “totally legal” and of the sort “done all the time in politics.”

But the tweet also served as an admission that the Trump team had not been forthright when Donald Trump Jr. issued a statement in July 2017 saying that the meeting had been primarily about the adoption of Russian children.

That statement is being scrutinized by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who is examining a broad array of Mr. Trump’s tweets and public statements to determine whether he made them as part of an effort to deceive investigators.

Yep.  That just happened.  The President of the United States, after years of saying that there was “no collusion” from his campaign with Russia, just admitted to it on Twitter.

The goalposts have moved.  We’ve gone from “No contact with Russians” to “No one that was on the campaign talked with the Russians” to “People contacted the Russians but it wasn’t collusion” to “Collusion isn’t illegal, but it still didn’t happen” to “No senior members of the campaign colluded” to “My son met with the Russians, but it wasn’t illegal” in a little over a year and a half.  I think the next steps are below:

  • Senior members colluded, but it wasn’t illegal.
  • Trump didn’t know about the collusion until after it happened, but it still wasn’t illegal.
  • Ok, it might have been a little illegal, but only in a technical sense.
  • It was illegal, but the campaign did it to stop the evil HRC.
  • There was only bad collusion that one one time.
  • Trump only knew about it the day before and thought it was a joke.
  • Trump knew about it but didn’t call in to the June 9th meeting.
  • Trump called in, but wasn’t an active participant.
  • Trump called in, but only asked a couple questions.
  • Trump called in, but was only involved in this episode of collusion.
  • Trump didn’t know about the NRA work, the RNC work, the Mayflower Meeting, the December meetings in Trump Tower, the meetings in the Seychelles, or any other meeting that hasn’t been discussed yet.
  • Trump was involved, so what?

I don’t like to talk about Trump’s tweets here because most of the time it’s a distraction from the real news, but every so often he wakes up in a panic in the middle of the night and unloads his narcissistic projections on the world, simultaneously accusing his enemies of his crimes while trying to play the victim card.  In this case, he managed to not only destroy each and every talking point that his team has used for the last year, but also threw Donnie Jr. under the bus.

Correction.  He didn’t throw his son under the bus.  He dug a whole, hit Donnie over the head with a shovel, threw the body in the whole, covered it up, hired a road crew to lay asphalt over the whole, painted lines on the fresh asphalt, chartered a bus, then drove the bus over the fresh road.

After studying narcissistic personality disorder for a while, the sense of self, I’m not surprised by this one bit.  Trump only cares about himself.  If he cares about his children at all, it’s about how their actions affect him.  They exist to him as tools and resources, not as individuals.  His mentality never progressed to the point where sense of self can coexist with the idea of others.

By the way, getting dirt on an opposing political candidate isn’t illegal, it’s how one comes across it that determines the legality.  Getting it from the Intelligence Services of a foreign nation is illegal.  Having someone hack into their computers is illegal.  Getting that information from a foreign government pretending to be a hacker from another country is illegal.

 

 

 

COHEN

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Hope Hicks is back in the news, this time it looks like potential witness tampering.  Hope left the White House as the Communications Director earlier this year (Daily Check-In 02/28/2018), after interviewing Mueller’s team about her role in various activities, including the cover-up of the June 9th meeting.

At best, this just looks bad.  At worst, this is a blatant attempt at witness tampering.  Hope is a witness and participant to the investigation that Trump is a subject of.

I’m waiting for all of the Republicans that bitched about Loretta Lynch meeting with Bill Clinton on board his plane to scream from the rooftops any time now over how this is inapporpriate.

Anyone?  Anyone?

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

ATTACKS ON THE VOTING SYSTEM

Here’s the thing when it comes to voter fraud: it doesn’t happen, at least not the way that it’s portrayed.  The way that most **coughwhitecough** people think voter fraud occurs is that buses full of dark-skinned people get shipped from one polling place to another, show up at the polls, then vote as people who didn’t bother to show up.  Never mind that the logistics of this are completely bonkers and raise more questions like “How could thousands or millions of people being paid to vote keep their mouths shut?” or “Who paid for the buses?” or “Who has such a pathetically weak ego that the only way they can justify losing is to blame non-existent Hispanics?”

The reality of the matter is that this kind of Voter Fraud is damn near non-existent.  What does happen is that the bogeyman of voter fraud is used as a justification for making restrictive voter ID laws that target minorities, poor, young, and other groups that typically vote Democratic.  Every state that has implemented Voter ID laws saw a spike in the Republican polls on the next election after they were implemented.  I’ve covered ad nauseum how the vote difference in Wisconsin was reportedly less than the number of voters prevented from voting.

The sole purpose of the Voter Fraud panel was to make a report that would be used to recommend to every state to enact their own forms of Voter ID laws, and would use states like Wisconsin and North Carolina as the template.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

Either the NRA is losing money hand over fist, or they lied under oath.  If they lied, screw’em, they deserve whatever punishment befalls them.  If they are bleeding money, I’ll send them thoughts and prayers.  You know, the same actions they take each time a bunch of innocent children are murdered because they want to oppose every kind of gun control.

Fun Fact: The NRA supported a ban on open carrying firearms back in 1967 when the Black Panthers “invaded” the state capitol.

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

DISTRACTION TIME: TRUMP INSULTS LEBRON JAMES, DON LEMON

 

HATE RALLY IN PORTLAND AND NAZIS

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

SCOTUS

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CHRISTIAN FASCISM

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

Claude Taylor on Matt Gaetz:

Call me old fashioned but dicking around with the intern when you’re a 36 year old member of Congress used to be frowned upon. Have things changed ?

Can we talk about ? He has his own live in “Intern-with-benefits”. Yep…brace yourself…the intern IS A GIRL!!! That’s cool right? She’s 21. So what if the US Taxpayer pays to fly her around, right? It’s 2018 and this is more convenient than the married Minister…

I don’t care who is getting it from. I don’t care if it’s an intern. I don’t care if she’s 21-22. I don’t care if they live together. I just want to know if any taxpayer funds have been used in support of this relationship. I also want to know if her folks know.

 

 

That’s it for Friday and the weekend.  Once again, I have plans on doing some maintenance on the site, and once again crazy stuff happens on the weekend.  I’d like to clean up the intro section, the Russian Hypothesis, and the Cast of Characters.  Also, I want to write a post about how the Trump team keeps moving the goalposts.

Monday should be interesting.  Rand Paul is in Russia, and Rick Gates could be called to testify against Paul Manafort.  And my third favorite Doctor tells Trump to fuck off.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

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