Daily Check-In 08/06/2018

Monday, August 6th.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Day 5 of the trial began in the late afternoon with Cindy Laporta being cross examined.  The basis of the defense came down to two main points.

  1. Rick Gates did all of the bad and intentional stuff.
  2. Paul Manafort wasn’t criminally evil, he was disorganized and procrastinated, and that’s why documentation always came in at the last minute.

Both of these are pretty flimsy points, and don’t look like they provide enough benefit of the doubt in Manafort’s behavior.  Blaming the assistant is one thing, but saying that someone forgot they had a bunch of foreign bank accounts and owned companies because it’s tax day is a bit too much.

Following Cindy on the witness stand was Paula Liss of FinCEN.  She testified that neitehr Manafort nor his wife did not file any reports of foreign bank accounts from 2011 to 2014.  The defense tried to muddy the waters, but the prosecution cleared them up on redirect.

Last up for the day is the star of the show, Rick Gates.  He took the stand, and described his relationship with Paul Manafort (employee/employer), how long he’s known him (since the 90’s), why he’s testifying against him (he cut a plea deal and hopes not to go to jail), and did he commit any crimes with him (Hell Yeah), and whether or not he committed these crimes at Paul Manafort’s request (Hell Yeah).

By the way, he also admitted to embezzling a couple hundred thousand dollars from Paul over the years.

While that might seem like the big news of the day, here’s the piece I took away as the bombshell: Gates met with investigators 20 times during his plea deal process.

20 meetings.  That’s a lot of time spent talking about tax forms.  Too much time, in my opinion.

Let’s do some math.  Assume that these meetings last, on average, 2 hours a piece.  I think that’s pretty low, but let’s run with that.  That’s 40 hours, or one work week, Rick Gates spent in interviews with Mueller’s team, telling them everything he knows.  40 hours seems like a lot of time to spend verifying that Manafort and his wife didn’t check a box on a tax form.

I think Rick Gates gave up a lot more than just Paul Manafort.  Remember, Rick was Tom Barrack’s Chief of Staff on the Trump Inaugural Committee (Cooperating Witnesses) and was the Deputy Campaign Manager under Paul Manafort.  Everything that Paul was involved in, Rick was involved in, and Rick stayed on after Paul was fired in August 2016.

 

Gee, what a surprise, the Russians helped Jill Stein.  It’s not like she had any ties to Russia or Putin, or spouted off Russian propaganda during and after the campaign.

That above paragraph was sarcasm.  Here’s how deep in this she is…

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Like I said yesterday (Daily Check-In 08/03/2018), Trump will absolutely throw Donnie Jr. under the bus to save his own ass.

 

INFOWARS BANNED

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!  Fuck you, Alex!!!

Alex Jones isn’t just a monster making money on spreading lies and filth about murdered children, but he’s also a traitor to the United States of America, and deserves the fate reserved for them.  InfoWars has long been a tool for Russian propaganda, where they have shared and rehosted well over a thousand stories that originated from Sputnik and Russia Today / RT (Daily Check-In 11/08/2017), not to mention spouting countless Kremlin talking points like the Seth Rich Conspiracy, their love of Wikileaks, and countless crazy attacks against the government over the years.

As much as he deserves to lose his media business, his livelihood, family, and freedom, I feel that I do need to defend one point and that is his right of free speech.

Yes, he has the right to say whatever crazy horseshit he can come up with in his twisted mind.  He can scream it from the rooftops, from the streetcorner, or from his own website.  That right does not, however, mean that the rest of us have to listen to it or have to broadcast it.  It also doesn’t mean that other people have to amplify it for him.  Content providers are no under no legal obligation to distribute everything that’s created, especially hate speech.

Apple is under no legal obligation to host content they don’t agree with.  Neither is Google, FaceBook, Spotify, or any other company.  If WordPress decided to yank my website for repeated violations of the Terms of Service, that’s my problem, not theirs.  They are responsible for what they share.

Besides, from what I’ve seen in the Rumor Mill over the past year plus, this could be the best consequence to happen to Alex Jones.  I hope for far, far worse.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

I’m curious.  How much of Rand Paul’s stance is based off of kompromat they have on him, how much is based off of kompromat they have on his father, and how much is him willingly going along with this.  Remember, in all of those 98-1 votes and 97-2 votes on sanctions against Russia, he’s always on the wrong side of that vote count.

 

FIGHTING BACK

What makes QAnon different from other right-wing conspiracy theories, University of Miami professor Joseph Uscinski told The Daily Beast, is that it was born at a time when Republicans are already in control.

“Normally you don’t expect the winning party to use them, except when they’re in trouble,” Uscinski said.

In a new twist, BuzzFeed News published a look into whether the theory was actually invented in an attempt to trick right-wing, conspiracy theory–pushing Internet users, particularly of the Baby Boomer generation.

In screenshots of forums published in BuzzFeed’s piece, one user writes, “Q is just a huge prank on boomers.” Another wrote, “…look how many normies and boomers got sucked into our lulz chaos. Good job anons, looking forward to our next big prank.”

Some believe the QAnon conspiracy theory was invented by leftists or anarchists as a way of proving the alt-right’s gullibility, or, as BuzzFeed reported, “to make the far-right look deranged.” In fact, BuzzFeed noted, there are similarities between the theory and the plot of the Italian novel Q (yes, really).

Q (the novel, not the possible prank) is thought by many to be a manifesto for activists looking to disrupt society. Its authors told BuzzFeed, “We often described it as ‘playbook,’ an ‘operations manual’ for cultural disruption.”

Elaborate “gotcha” or not, there are people who truly believe the QAnon theory. And it’s having real-world consequences beyond computer screens.

 

Former “Doctor Who” actor David Tennant slammed President Trump “on behalf of the Scottish nation” over the weekend.

“When he was over here and he was talking about England and he was saying ‘I’m going out to Scotland for my golf course in Scotland cause people in London are protesting but obviously [in] Scotland they really like me, ‘ ” Tennant said on a British TV show, “can I say on behalf of the Scottish nation, we f—ing don’t?”

My third favorite Doctor basically telling Trump to fuck off.  Ok, third favorite sounds bad, but there have been 12 Doctors, 13 if you count John Hurt’s War Doctor.  Being third on this list is like asking what is my third favorite movie or third favorite Penguins Stanley Cup Championship.

For the record, first is the 9th Doctor, Christoper Eccleston.  He was the first one of the reboot series and I loved the dark optimism that he showed.  Second is the 11th Doctor, Matt Smith.  I enjoyed his whimsy, and he was my son’s favorite for a long time. Third was the 10th Doctor, David Tennant.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

SCOTUS

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CALIFORNIA FIRES

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

 

 

That’s it for today.  Tuesday will have Rick Gates continuing his testimony, and a breaking story about Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross being accused of stealing $120 million.

Let’s see how this plays out.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

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