Daily Check-In 08/09/2018

Thursday, August 9th



The Manafort Trial

The trial started with the Judge apologizing for making a mistake earlier in the week by yelling at prosecutors for letting an expert witness watch the trial.  Jude Ellis allowed it, then said he didn’t.  He admitted his mistake Thursday morning.

The first witness was Melinda James, a loan officer from Citizens Bank.  She testified that Manafort lied about his SoHo apartment to obtain a loan for it.  He claimed that this rental property was a second home, since the bank would allow him to borrow more on a second home than on a rental.  She also testified that he lied about a loan he had on another property in Brooklyn.

The next witness was Darin Evenson, an executive from Airbnb.  He testified that the SoHo apartment that Manafort claimed as a second home was listed on the rental site for 1,125 nights, the maximum allowed on the site.  He also said that the listing was removed twice.  The second time was during the loan application process for the aforementioned loan.

Next was Peggy Miceli, a VP at Citizens Bank.  She explained that the loan amounts available are lower for rental properties as opposed to second homes, and they have higher interest rates as well.  This could have motivated Manafort to claim that the SoHo apartment was a second home and not a rental.  A second home loan also allowed Manafort to take that money directly from his bank account, which is not allowed for rental properties.

Following her was Taryn Rodriguez, an Assistant Loan Officer at Citizens Bank.  She testified that he applied for a $5.5 million loan on a property on Union Street in Brooklyn just 30 to 45 days after the SoHo loan was approved.  Several loans in a short period of time is a major red flag for bank fraud.

The last witness of the day was Gary Seferian, a VP at Banc of California.  He testified that Manafort applied for a $5 million loan to flip houses with his son-in-law Jeffrey Yohai (The Indicted). but received only $1 million after falsifying records for his loan application.  Gary also said that if DMP’s income was $400,000 and not the $4,400,000 that the loan application claimed, his bank would have not likely approved the loan.


Maria Butina, the Russian national accused of infiltrating the NRA and Republican political circles, received funding for her American activities from a Moscow billionaire. That’s according to U.S. prosecutors in their indictment of Butina.

But what the prosecutors didn’t say was that when Butina needed money from the oligarch, Konstantin Nikolaev, she went to a Kremlin-linked public relations power player named Igor Pisarsky for the cash. That’s according to two sources familiar with her activities, speaking to The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity.

Pisarsky was Butina’s point of contact for the Nikolaev money, according to these sources—the face of the financing. According to one of the sources, he essentially acted like he was distributing grant money.

This information, previously unreported, highlights the breadth of Butina’s support network; she had friends in a wide variety of high places. In Paul Erickson, she had a longtime Republican insider with close ties to the right’s most powerful groups. In Alexander Torshin, she had a Kremlin ally who was deeply involved in Russia’s banking sector. In Konstantin Nikolaev, she had an oligarch willing to help bankroll her undertakings. And now, in Igor Pisarsky, she had a worldly, sophisticated public relations professional whose firm boasts having worked for a host of Kremlin entities, as well as Vladimir Putin’s political party. Pisarsky’s firm also has worked for two banks whose CEOs have faced U.S. sanctions, according to its website and reports.

Butina’s attorney declined to comment for this story. Pisarsky also declined to comment.

His friend Svetlana Bolshakova, an orchestra musician and editor of the musical radio broadcaster Orpheus, told The Daily Beast that Pisarsky is currently traveling in South America.

“Igor is far from both politics and politicians. He is all about a good party, a good trip, or a good meal,” Bolshakova said. “Last time I saw him was about a month ago in a crowd of Moscow’s hip elite. I don’t think he ever hangs out with any government people, at least I’ve never seen him around any officials. He is an independent person, a co-owner of two hip restaurants. He adores cooking.”

Pisarsky and Butina are Facebook friends, and she has liked several of his pictures. She also wrote about him on her blog: An entry on March 12, 2015, describes Pisarsky as a “good friend” and says she attended his birthday party.


Randy Credico.  You might remember this radio host and comedian from such memorable days in the news like Daily Check-In 12/13/2017 , Daily Check-In 04/12/2018, and Unfinished Business.

So far we’ve learned that Mueller’s team has subpoenaed and/or interviewed Roger Stone’s protege (Sam Nunbert), his Social Media assistant (Andrew Miller), his Madam (Krisin Davis), and his old friend (Randy Credico).


Can we just stop listening to Rudy?  His job is just to lie for Trump to the Fox News crowd.  Everything that comes out of his mouth is either a blatant lie or the ramblings of someone with dementia.  Usually both.





Space Force

Space Force.  Just in case the Vulcans arrive and get a little uppity with their logic and pointy ears…

Here’s the hypocrisy of Republicans in a nut shell.  Pence said that starting the Space Force would cost $8 billion over the next 5 years.  But, they can’t afford $1.6 billion in funds for Veterans Affairs (Daily Check-In 07/19/2018).  The money they want to spend on making sure Space is safe could instead be spent on the VA.  But, fuck the veterans.  Until the GOP needs to use them as props for some parade or to shout down any sign of dissent or disapproval with the state of the country.

Devin Nunes


Chris Collins


At President Trump’s rally in Tampa last week, a familiar face made it back in the national news. Maurice Symonette, also known as Michael the Black Man, was front and center in a crowd hurling invective at CNN reporter Jim Acosta, waving a “Blacks for Trump” sign. Symonette has been a regular at Trump rallies all over Florida and as far away as Arizona. Just last month, he popped up at the U.S. border to appear in a video with disgraced sheriff-turned-pardoned-Senate-candidate Joe Arpaio.

All that national exposure raises an obvious question: Who is paying the bills for Symonette, a former member of Miami’s murderous Yahweh ben Yahweh cult, to represent “Blacks for Trump” at Trump rallies?  Since Blacks for Trump isn’t a registered political organization with the Florida Division of Elections or the Federal Election Commission, there are no public records of any donations funding the group’s operations.

It seems unlikely Symonette is fronting the cash for his travel himself because he filed for bankruptcy this past May. In federal court records, he reports that he’s unemployed, generates no income, and has $0 in the bank. He also says four banks have staked claims on $2.9 million worth of property around Dade County.

So how is he getting to Arizona and Tampa to stand behind Trump on national TV?  Reached on his cell phone, Symonette declined to discuss his group’s financing. “You guys are horrible racists,” he said. “You are lawbreakers and you’re mean… God is going to punish you horribly.”

Throughout the ’80s, Symonette — then known as Maurice Woodside — was a devoted follower of Yahweh ben Yahweh, a charismatic preacher who wore white robes and called himself the Messiah. Federal prosecutors later accused Yahweh, whose real name was Hulon Mitchell Jr., of ordering his followers to murder at least 14 people, including random white vagrants who were massacred as an initiation rite.

Symonette was charged in federal court along with Mitchell and 15 other followers in 1990; while the cult’s leader was later convicted of 14 charges of murder conspiracy and served nearly two decades in prison, Symonette and six other cult members were acquitted.

Symonette filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on May 16, listing Washington Mutual, Homecomings Financial, HSBC Bank, and Indymac Bank as his creditors; each institution laid claim to one of four houses. Three are in North Miami-Dade County, and one is near Kendall.

In his bankruptcy case, he’s repeated those allegations about the banking system being crooked to Judge Laurel M. Isicoff. He’s also repeatedly sought to change hearings that overlapped with Trump events. Symonette suggested the scheduling conflicts are a sinister plot to keep him away from the spotlight at Trump rallies.

“Creditors know that I have a rally in Arizona on July 25 and deliberately set the hearing on that date to cause me and my musical band to miss the performance and the rally with the bus we rented,” he wrote in a motion filed the same morning as the Phoenix rally. “The creditors overheard that at the house we are disputing… and set that hearing on the same date just to harm me.”

That motion was denied, as was another he filed on July 30, just before Trump’s Tampa rally. “As founder of Blacks for Trump, (I) have rented vans to go to Trump’s rally. We need to make the country aware how the banks (FOREIGNERS FROM THE EAST) are illegally taking WHITE AND BLACK PEOPLE’S houses away.”

I’m shocked.  Not that the “Blacks for Trump” guy is nuts, but that he’s former-member-of-a-death-cult crazy.  There’s not much room above death cult crazy in the Cray Cray Pyramid.

Here’s some free advice for Beto O’Rouke…

Use this request in attack ads on Ted Cruz.  Show clips of Trump attacking Ted, his wife, and his father.  Cut it together with news of this request.  Include a Voice Over (VO) saying “If Ted Cruz won’t protect his own family, what makes you think he’ll protect Texas?”











Laura Ingraham


InfoWars/Alex Jones


Tribune/Sinclair Merger












So this is where we are. The Republican Party can’t win using ordinary methods. On the process side, they can win only by inflating the white vote via gerrymandering, cracked-and-packed districts, and ruthless black voter suppression. On the policy side, they can win only with heavy dollops of strident and outright bigotry against Mexicans, Muslims, blacks, Hispanics, Chinese, and anyone else who comes along. Even Canadians will do in a pinch.

Today, the Republican Party exists for one and only one purpose: to pass tax cuts for the rich and regulatory rollbacks for corporations. They accomplish this using one and only method: unapologetically racist appeals to win the votes of the heartland riff-raff they otherwise treat as mere money machines for their endless mail-order cons.

Like it or not, this is the modern Republican Party. It no longer serves any legitimate purpose. It needs to be crushed and the earth salted behind it, while a new conservative party rises to take its place. This new party should be conservative; brash; ruthless when it needs to be; as simpleminded as any major party usually is; and absolutely dedicated to making Democrats look like idiots. There should be no holds barred except for one: no appeals to racism. None. Not loud ones, not subtle ones. Whatever else it is, it should be a conservative party genuinely open to any person of any color.

When that happens, I will change my mind about how we should fight the Republican Party. Until then, no, I don’t think Brett Kavanaugh deserves any help from Democrats and I don’t think liberals should waste any time tut-tutting over Twitter mockery from 2013 that all of us know perfectly well doesn’t represent any genuine anti-white sentiment.

Nos victi Reipublicae. That’s it. Whatever works best, I’m in.











That’s it for Thursday.  Friday is going to be a weird one. As I’m wrapping this post up, Andrew Miller is in contempt of court, the Manafort Trial started the day on a different foot, and Omarosa’s getting attacked by the dumbest White House in


Thank you, and have a good one.


“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

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