Daily Check-In 10/30/2018

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

 

Ratfucking Gone Sideways

Remember yesterday (Daily Check-In 10/29/2018) how I mentioned that there were some weird rumors floating around about how someone was trying to smear Robert Mueller with a sex assault claim.  Less than an hour after I posted, all hell broke loose.

What started with a story about a woman emailing a reporter and disappearing soon turned into a dozen reporters all receiving the same information, a GOP conspiracy theorist named Jack Burkman claiming that he had a woman ready to go public with claims, another woman coming forward saying that she was approached and offered money to lie in an affidavit that Robert Mueller assaulted her, and the press uncovering that this was all orchestrated by one troll shitgibbon named Jacob Wohl.

I’ve only mentioned him  briefly once before, last week on Daily Check-In 10/26/2018.  He was one of the Right Wing people that claimed that the MAGABomber was a false flag attack.  I’ve run into him a few times on Twitter, and he’s always getting his ass handed to him.  He’s a troll, plain and simple.

He also writes for the Gateway Pundit and is the youngest hedge fund manager to ever be banned for life from the financial industry. His events in that escapade should have landed him in jail.  Now, he’s fucked six ways to Sunday.

Jacob Wohl set up a fake company called SureFire Intelligence and worked with Jack Burkman to entice women to make false claims against Robert Mueller in an attempt to scuttle the Russian Investigation.  They offered to pay at least two women to make these claims.  Wohl then published this story on Gateway Pundit, where he works as a writer, claiming that he had “inside information.”

From those couple paragraphs, we’ve got Conspiracy, Obstruction of Justice, Wire Fraud, Subornation of Perjury, Fraud, and probably a few dozen computer crimes.  And that’s just from what broke in the news.

The only reason I’m not blazing mad with this blatant attempt by a troll to try to sideline the investigation is that I’m laughing at how amazingly bad he executed his plan.

The company website was registered using his email from his banned hedge fund company.  The website’s phone number directs to his mom’s voicemail.  The employees are stock photos and celebrities.  The people he contacted immediately reached out to the press and to the Special Counselor’s office.

Yes, Robert Mueller knows.  And they immediately forwarded this to the FBI for further investigation.

Below are the Twitter threads that illustrate all of the work that the nearly dozen journalists working this story.

 

I wasn’t going to report on this, but I think my fears are coming true. Based on information that I am privy to, I believe false accusations will be spread about Mueller in order to discredit him and possibly the journalists who are preparing this story.

Scott Stedman added,

Jacob WohlVerified account@JacobAWohl

Several media sources tell me that a scandalous story about Mueller is breaking tomorrow. Should be interesting. Stay tuned!

Two weeks ago, I was contacted by a woman who claimed to be a former associate of Mueller who said that she got a phone call from a man working on behalf of a GOP operative who was paying women to come forward to make up sexual assault allegations.

I worked on this story and chased down leads, but found the woman to be very unreliable. She wouldn’t get on the phone, she lied about journalists she was working with, etc. Furthermore, I got in contact with the man who allegedly was offering the money….

He was extremely willing to confirm that he was indeed paying women to tell stories about Mueller. I concluded that this was an effort to discredit journalists working on the Trump-Russia story by planting a false story and see who would print it.

I still don’t know what to make of the entire situation, but I fear that this is a scheme to discredit those who are reporting on the Russia investigation. If the story coming out tomorrow matches the story I heard, I will post more details.

I know that some journalists who were contacted by the woman* are becoming increasingly worried that something sketchy is afoot here. *we have no idea who this person is

IMPORTANT: If you see a story tomorrow or anytime in the future of former colleagues of Mueller coming forward with sexual assault claims then please check in with my feed. I have receipts.

I was super hesitant to post this thread because I didn’t want to give these people any attention or put this out to the public. However based on Wohl’s tweet and some rumblings behind the scenes, I think it’s necessary to give a heads up.

Wohl just told me his info is coming from a GOP lobbyist, which makes me increasingly worried. I fear that someone covering Mueller has fallen for a fake story.

The creeps behind whatever scheme this is don’t deserve name recognition UNLESS the story about Mueller gets printed. I won’t be saying anything else on this topic if/when something develops further.

 

.@Jack_Burkmanis behind a GOP scheme to offer women money to make up stories about Robert Mueller’s alleged sexual harassment. The Special Counsel’s office has referred the matter to the FBI. I was privy to this scheme. This thread will detail my experience.

2 weeks ago, I, along with other journalists were set an email from a woman who alleged that she was a former colleague of Mueller. She said that Jack Burkman, via an intermediary, offered her tens of thousands to make up sexual assault claims against Mueller.

I found the woman to be unreliable, she wouldn’t get on the phone, she wouldn’t give me any other contact information. She did however give me the phone number of the intermediary who allegedly offered this money on behalf of Burkman.

The intermediary, in messages to me (see attached) confirmed the story. I don’t know the true identity of this person OR the person who sent the original email.

I discussed this with other journalists, mainly @NatashaBertrand, but I concluded that this was an effort to discredit the media. However, it appears now that Burkman is trying to move forward with these claims. The Special Counsel’s office has referred the matter to the FBI.

I don’t know what to make of what has transpired. I didn’t find the woman reliable. I found that the intermediary was oddly eager to share details. I came public with this story because Jacob Wohl teased that this was coming. He appears involved in the campaign as well.

I faced a huge internal struggle here. I didn’t want to give these people any credence, but when I learned that Burkman and Wohl were going through with this, I felt the need to speak up.

Scott Stedman Retweeted Scott Stedman

Scott Stedman added,

Scott Stedman @ScottMStedman

I want to make this entirely clear: There is ZERO evidence that a woman actually exists in this story. The only people known to be involved are Wohl and Burkman.

 

Today: A woman alleges that she was offered roughly $20,000 by a GOP activist named Jack Burkman “to make accusations of sexual misconduct & workplace harassment against Robert Mueller.” Feb 2018: Burkman offered $25,000 for proof of wrongdoing at FBI ()

This is Jack Burkman, the GOP operative who reportedly offered a woman $20,000 to make false allegations of sexual misconduct & harassment against special counsel Mueller. Two hours ago, he was announcing plans for a news conference to parade the woman in front of the media. 1/

And here is Jack Burkman’s Facebook announcement where he talks about his plans to bring forward allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment against special counsel Robert Mueller. He hasn’t canceled it yet, but I assume he will. 2/

Then there’s a private intelligence company called SureFire Intelligence. – A few days ago it posted about a media request from the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, who often reports on sexual assault. -This afternoon it posted about a “flurry of press inquiries.” hmm, wonder why? 3/

My little Jacob Wohl story: August 2016, we’re sitting around the trading turrets at my office on a bored to tears slow day. Our receptionist said someone was here for his 2pm appointment. None of us had an appointment on schedule. Who is it? we ask? Some guy named Jacob Wohl 1/

Jacob Wohl, for those out of loop, gained quite a bit of notoriety for becoming the youngest guy to ever get himself barred for life from the financial industry. Now he’s waiting in our lobby to pitch something. We’re a large merchant bank. 2/

Send him in, we said. In walks young Jacob asking to be seeded with $25mm to start a new hedge fund in exchange for an ownership stake in it. Oh, & he needs an office. And a Bloomberg station. And needs to borrow staff until he can hire some guys. And he needs a leased car… 3/

And he needs an answer today. Right now. Because there’s a competing offer from Izzy Englander’s firm Millenium (we know those guys well). We fight the urge to literally start laughing, but do ask him…hey, you the same guy who got banned by regulators? He didn’t even flinch 4/

He went on about that being untrue & handed over a letter he said was from his lawyer who had confirmed he was not barred, had been vindicated but it ‘just wasn’t in the system yet at the SEC, CFTC’…whatever that means. 5/

One of my colleagues politely told Jacob that we don’t usually do seed deals & when we do it’s only after someone works here as a PM for a few years, so no. Take the deal with Izzy, kid. We ended the meeting right there. 6/

The attorney letter was on obviously forged letterhead for Davis Polk (including a wrong address). Less than an hour later we get a call from someone we know at Millenium asking who the hell this kid using our name to get a meeting is. We had a laugh. Hey, the kid tried. /fin

 

Update on the plot against Mueller: I can vouch for @jentauband @NatashaBertrand‘s story. On Oct. 22, Jen sent me a screenshot of this email offering to pay her for information (dirt) on Mueller, long before anyone had mentioned “Surefire Intelligence”… (i.e., @JacobAWohl)

Jed Shugerman Vote 11/6 added,

Natasha BertrandVerified account @NatashaBertrand

NEW: Another woman, @jentaub, was contacted on October 22 by a man claiming to work for Surefire Intelligence, who offered to pay her to discuss her “past encounters” with Mueller. (She’s never met Mueller.) Story has been updated: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/10/special-counsel-refers-scheme-targeting-mueller-to-fbi/574411/ …

Jed Shugerman Vote 11/6 Retweeted Yashar Ali  🐘

2/ See also:

Jed Shugerman Vote 11/6 added,

Yashar Ali  🐘Verified account @yashar

13 days ago I received this tip alleging an attempt to pay off women to make up accusations of sexual misconduct against Special Counsel Bob Mueller. Other reporters received the same email. Now the Special Counsel’s…

Jed Shugerman Vote 11/6 Retweeted Jane Mayer

3/ From @JaneMayerNYer: @JacobAWohl, surefire criminal mastermind.

Jed Shugerman Vote 11/6 added,

Jane MayerVerified account @JaneMayerNYer

Odd. Jacob Wohl says he doesn’t know nuttin’ about Surefire Intelligence, the firm tied to the bizarre Mueller allegations. Take a look at the photos below of Mathhew Cohen, head of ‘Surefire,’ and of Jacob Wohl.

4/ Backfire Intelligence, amirite?

5/ @Mimirocah1at @MSNBCalso received this same email from @jentaubon Oct. 22d, eight days before Surefire Intelligence was in the news.

6/ To those claiming @Jack_Burkman& @JacobAWohlwere merely punking the media: I have the email to @jentaub& it debunks your theory. They were intending to pay a real woman to frame Mueller. Even a conspiracy that is too stupid to succeed is still a criminal conspiracy.

7/ Just to clarify: the email doesn’t say, “We’ll pay you to lie.” But the email shows that Surefire was looking to pay a real person for dirt. This wasn’t just a little prank to show media bias, as the Wohl defenders have asserted.

 

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM

 

IMMIGRATION

 

White Nationalism

Too much commentary on how the birthright thing is unconstitutional and not enough about how it is white nationalism.

What folks forget is how the premise works. First they get rid of birthright citizenship. “It only counts if one of your parents is a citizen” they will claim.

Then once they’ve done that, they will go after the people who do have a parent that is a citizen, and they will attack the basis of that citizenship.

Dear Media, here is the clear truth: Donald Trump is explicitly seeking to turn America into a white Ethnostate. He is following an openly racist plan, crafted by open racists. If you report this story any other way you are not reporting the facts or being objective. 1/

If you think this is an extreme position or an opinion, you haven’t read enough about the white nationalist movement, Stephen Miller, Bannon, Sessions, etc. Eliminating birthright citizenship is a central plank in a well-articulated, coherent movement to make America whiter. 2/

Blaming Soros is a central tool. It is part of a (crazy, wrong, but internally coherent) theory of the case: – By nature, people can only form society with their closer kin. – Yadda Yadda (the arguments are terrible) White people have certain values that non-whites don’t. 3/

(continuing the white power explanation) – All whites, by nature, would know they only want a white society. – An outside group–hint, it’s the Jews!–is tricking them into going against their nature (white nationalists think they know a lot about core human nature). 4/

(continuing views I hate to explain them) – There is an existential race to save America. By 2046, it will become majority minority and then (in this fevered nonsensical view) there will be a civil war because unlike people can’t form stable societies. 5/

(more stuff I despise, so others understand) – The solution (in their minds) is twofold: 1. Slow down minority growth through expulsion, denial of citizenship, closing borders to non-whites. 2. Awakening/uniting white identity by scaring them about brown people. 6/

The white nationalists have an open debate about the Jewish Question (they just call it “JQ”), which boils down to some think Jews are white and others think Jews are the cause of the de-whitification of America. 7/

Every reporter covering Trump should know this argument, its vocabulary and key points. You will no longer have any questions about what Trump is up to. You will no longer be able to cover this story as a case of two sides with extremists, or as a tentative debate. 8/

You will be able to cover Trump properly, objectively, truthfully. You will not see him as a nutjob who spouts off like Archie Bunker. He is a grifter con man who wants to make money and hide his ill-gotten gains and is also deeply racist. 9/

He has learned–as so many awful leaders have before–that your corruption will go unchecked if you embrace the ugliest form of nationalism. He found a coherent movement with a thickly drawn ideology and game plan, hired their proponents and applied their language. 10/

Journalists covering Trump: Please, please, please, for the sake of the country, go read, go study. Understand: – JQ – 2046 – why (wrongly) WP folks think evolutionary kinship preferences can only be racial in the modern age. It’s ugly work, but it’s your job. END

One last thing: hey @andrewmarantzcan you draw up some kind of reading list, podcast listening list for people to learn that world? I hate to promote such things but people gotta learn what’s out there.

 

 

 

KHASHOGGI & SAUDI ARABIA

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

#METOO

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

STUDENT LOANS

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

Whitey Bulger Gets Whacked

 

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

As someone who has suffered with concussions in the past, I know how bad this can be.  My worst one came when I fractured one of the bones in my neck.  I had a third degree concussion.  I usually have a great memory, but I don’t recall much of those few days.  I was sensitive to light for months, and had to wear a horse collar for a while.  It took about 3 years before I could raise my head to look up for more than a minute at a time without having to spend hours in pain.

The problem with a concussion is that there is no linear path to recovery.  It’s not like a broken bone or torn ligament which has a set rehab schedule.  One day, you could be real, the next feel like the world’s worst hangover.  And it can be this way for months, if not years.

 

ELECTION 2018

 

RUMOR MILL

 

 

That’s it for Tuesday.  I might not post anything for Wednesday, since it’s Halloween.  I might combine it into Thursday’s post.  However, I did see an interesting story from Politico where they ask if Mueller has subpoenaed Trump, and they analyze a lot of small information that points to that conclusion.

Also, sorry about all of the threads.  I’ll try not to include so many next time a troll decides to rat fuck the Special Counselor.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

 

Daily Check-In 10/29/2018

Monday, October 29, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

In The Guardian today, Luke Harding explains that Czechoslovak intelligence, a junior partner of the KGB, seems to have been rather close to Donald Trump as far back as the late 1970s. During the Cold War, Prague’s State Security or StB cultivated Western rising stars (including current British Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn) as possible spies. They had high interest in Donald Trump, given his bright future in New York and beyond.

Trump came to the StB’s attention due to his relationship with his first wife Ivana (née Zelníčková), a Czech model he was married to from 1977 to 1992. When Ivana moved to America to live with her new husband, the StB kept tabs on her and her family, as has been known for some time. Her father, Miloš Zelníček, collaborated with the StB, sharing information on his daughter and her new life.

This was normal in the East Bloc during the Cold War, when the Communist state security apparatus had enormous power and citizens with relatives living in the West had little choice but to collaborate if they wished to stay in touch with loved ones abroad. Most of what Zelníček shared with the StB about his daughter and son-in-law appears mundane, of interest only because decades later Trump became the American president.

Many StB foreign intelligence operations focused on monitoring citizens living abroad like Ivana, keeping tabs while trying to leverage them for espionage purposes. Although existing StB files don’t indicate that Donald Trump himself was ever recruited by the StB, the November 1979 report includes a tantalizing fact, namely that among the StB organizations copied on it for distribution was the service’s 1st Directorate, the foreign intelligence arm. Specifically, its 23rd Department was copied on the report.

The highly secretive 23rd Department was no ordinary StB office, but part of the elite Illegals sub-directorate. Illegals were the StB’s crème de la crème, hand-selected deep-cover spies dispatched to the West, without the benefit of diplomatic protection; if caught, they were on their own. They posed as ordinary people, often immigrants, but they reported to the StB. The 23rd Department had the demanding job of selecting, training, and managing Illegals in the field. There was no more sensitive office in the service.

Why was the super-secret 23rd Department copied on a mundane information report about the Trump family? To those versed in the ways of Soviet bloc espionage, there can only be one answer: Because the StB either had (or was planning to have) an Illegal close to the Trump family. The service’s effort to keep tabs on Ivana Trump and her husband in America, mainly through her father, was not the real secret here.

I’ve mentioned once or twice before that Ivana’s father had some ties to Soviet Intelligence, and we’ve talked at length about Donald Trump’s connections to Russia going back to 1987. (Daily Check-In 11/20/2017)  That Russia trip was thought by many to be the first attempts at trying to cultivate him as a Russian Asset, but according to this news, the efforts likely started at least 10 years earlier.

Plus, John’s analysis brings up another important find, and that’s the 23rd Department.  Their job was managing Illegals.  In spycraft, Illegals, also known as Sleepers or Sleeper Agents, are the top wrung of spies, the best of the best.  They go deep undercover, and are offered no protection from their government like a diplomatic post or passport.  They are on their own, and they infiltrate where no one else can get to them.  The fact that tiny details like how many nannies a little boy has, or what their ethnicities are, is pretty interesting.

The Czechs and the Soviets had their eyes on Trump for years.  Many years.  At least 40 years at this point.

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

The allegations take aim at the heart of Mr. Trump’s personal narrative that he is a successful deal-maker who built a durable business, charging he and his family lent their name to a series of scams.

The 160-page complaint alleges that Mr. Trump and his family received secret payments from three business entities in exchange for promoting them as legitimate opportunities, when in reality they were get-rich-quick schemes that harmed investors, many of whom were unsophisticated and struggling financially.

Those business entities were ACN, a telecommunications marketing company that paid Mr. Trump millions of dollars to endorse its products; the Trump Network, a vitamin marketing enterprise; and the Trump Institute, which the suit said offered “extravagantly priced multiday training seminars” on Mr. Trump’s real estate “secrets.”

The four plaintiffs, who were identified only with pseudonyms like Jane Doe, depict the Trump Organization as a racketeering enterprise that defrauded thousands of people for years as the president turned from construction to licensing his name for profit. The suit also names Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump as defendants.

But the new suit alleges “a pattern of racketeering activity” involving three other organizations. Roberta A. Kaplan and Andrew G. Celli Jr., two lawyers for the plaintiffs, said in a statement that they were not aware of “any prior case against the Trumps alleging consumer fraud on this scale.”

“This case connects the dots at the Trump Organization and involves systematic fraud that spanned more than a decade, involved multiple Trump businesses and caused tremendous harm to thousands of hardworking Americans,” the statement said.

The four plaintiffs each invested in ACN after watching promotional videos featuring Mr. Trump.

According to the lawsuit, ACN required investors to pay $499 to sign up to sell its products, like a videophone and other services, with the promise of additional profits if they recruited others to join.

Mr. Trump described the phone in an ACN news release as “amazing” but failed to disclose he was being “paid lavishly for his endorsement,” the suit says.

One plaintiff, a hospice worker from California identified as “Jane Doe,” decided to join ACN in 2014 after attending a recruitment meeting at a Los Angeles hotel where she listened to speakers and watched Mr. Trump on video extol the investment opportunity.

For her, the video was the “turning point,” the lawsuit said.

“Doe believed that Trump had her best interests at heart,” the suit said.

Jane Doe then signed up for a larger ACN meeting in Palm Springs, Calif., which cost almost $1,500, and she later spent thousands more traveling to conventions in Cleveland and Detroit, according to the suit.

In the end, she earned $38 — the only income she would ever receive from the company, the suit said.

Something that’s been missing from the world of Trump corruption lawsuits was an MLM scam.  If you had that on your bingo card, now’s the time to cover that square.

For those of you out there fortunate enough to not know what an MLM is, it’s Multi-Level-Marketing.  This is a kind of business where people try to sell products and the business itself.  Those that get their associates to join their business are also promised a percentage of sales from those people they signed up, and so on and so on.

If this sounds shady AF, that’s because it is.  The MLM phrase is used to describe a slightly legal Pyramid Scheme.  They cannot promise guaranteed revenue streams, and they must focus at least half of their efforts on selling the product and not expanding the business.  I ran across a couple of these in my younger and dumber days.  They can be great opportunities for people getting in on the ground floor, at the very beginning, but are a money pit and scam for everyone else.

So, let’s take multiple pyramid schemes, and licensing deals with a family that will slap their names on anything that had a price tag with it, and what do you get?

Trump Vitamins.  This is like an Onion article that’s writing itself.

They’re also getting sued for running another MLM scam with ACN, a company that sold videoconference tech right as Skype and Smartphones were coming along, and the Trump Institute, an overpriced seminar ploy to teach the “secrets” that Trump has used in the real estate world.

Trump Institute is not to be confused with Trump University, which did THE EXACT SAME FUCKING THING!  Christ, they’re not even original in their scams.

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM

 

KHASHOGGI & SAUDI ARABIA

 

SCOTUS 

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

BIGOTRY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

POLLS

 

ELECTION 2018

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Monday.  If it seems like there’s less content here than recent days, that’s because there is.  I got wrapped up in a home repair project that went a little sideways.  It was supposed to take me 10 minutes to replace a ceiling fan with a light fixture.  3 and a half hours later, I completed this 10 minute job.  That also meant that I spent hours working on a project instead of gathering more information for this site.  Which is actually kind of a good thing, since this site can get pretty unwieldy from time to time.

One thing I don’t have in this story is anything on Mueller.  It’s been quiet on that front, with the election coming up next week.  I did see a rumor that some GOP operatives were trying to plant a hit piece on Mueller.  The gist of it is a sexual harassment/assault story that’s being fished out to multiple news outlets, but so far no reputable place is biting.  Sources are flaking, the women involved are saying they’re being paid.  Keep an eye out for this story, and if it does come, be skeptical of the source.  Always ask “what’s the motivation behind the story?”

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 10/26/2018

Friday, October 26, 2018 and the weekend.

 

StrongerThanHate

Yeah, this weekend sucked.  At first, I was only going to have a post covering Friday, then include the weekend with Monday’s.  That was before Saturday morning.  That was before I saw the unmarked police car on a Code 3 alert blasting through the Liberty Tunnels.  That was before I saw the SWAT team van driving at full speed down the Parkway.  That was before I saw a few other police cars heading to the city at breakneck speed.

As I’ve said before, I’m from Pittsburgh.  So this shit hits home.  I’ve worked in Squirrel Hill, shopped there, ate there. Hell, I’ve worked at the Tree of Life Synagogue years ago on a service call.  I don’t think I knew anyone involved, but this is way too fucking close for comfort.

This was supposed to be a post talking about domestic terrorism and how a tragedy was narrowly avoided, but that we need to stay vigilant to avert disaster in the future, and how crazy things can get going forward.  Instead, it’s already crazy.  We need to keep focused, and get through the next few days, organize, and vote like our lives depend on it.  Because, for a lot of people, they might.

Also, that image at the top of this page is about the most Yinzer way of showing solidarity possible.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Ukrainian oligarch and Paul Manafort associate Dmytro Firtash is one step closer to seeing the inside of a U.S. courtroom.

The European Union Court of Justice issued a ruling on Wednesday denying the possibility for Firtash to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

The ruling removes a final hurdle to Firtash’s extradition to the United States, leaving it up to Austria’s Supreme Court to decide on the oligarch’s deportation.

Firtash’s attorneys wrote in a letter this month that the European court ruling would allow the oligarch’s case to be “quickly” decided.

“Mr. Firtash’s lawyers believe that the Austrian Supreme Court will move quickly and Mr. Firtash could face extradition in a short time frame following the decision by the Court of Justice,” wrote Firtash lawyer Dan Webb in an Oct. 9 letter to Chicago Federal Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer.

Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch known alternately for acting as middleman in a scheme to jack up gas prices for European customers and for ordering Manafort to scout out an $850 million New York City real estate opportunity, has been awaiting extradition to federal court in Chicago since his arrest in Austria in March 2014.

Firtash, who prosecutors have alleged is “an upper-echelon” member of Russian organized crime, was indicted on foreign bribery charges relating to a scheme to gain rights to mine titanium in India for use in Boeing’s supply chain.

Vice President Pence told NBC News Saturday that he has not been interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller‘s team as part of its investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The comment comes more than a month after Pence said he would be “more than willing” to sit down with the special counsel.

“Have you been interviewed by the special counsel’s office?” NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard asked Pence during a wide-ranging interview aired on Sunday.

“I have not,” Pence replied.

 

MAGABOMBER

Good thread by fmr. GOP strategist and McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt:

Whether Cesar Sayoc is sick or evil or maybe a bit of both will become clearer in the days ahead. Certainly he was a loser. A loser who latched onto Trump’s cult of personality and virtuous victimhood. His failures could be explained by the conspiracies and minorities who were stealing his entitlement. He fell in line behind his avenger, a dime store Mussolini who assaults the institutions of our country, divides the American people, demagogues every issue, emboldens white supremacists and lies thousands of times a year. They were not lies though. Objective reality crumbled in his mind. What was true was what his leader believed or said. That was enough. It was he that the billion dollar anger and propaganda industry was targeting. When Gingrich smirked into the camera that it was all about Kavanaugh and the Caravan it was the Sayocs of the world he was talking to. Trump ignited a passion in him to serve. He decided to be a soldier and a terrorist and strike back against the enemies, criminals and saboteurs who were stealing America. They were Trumps enemies. And so they were his. He would strike at the traitors, the enemies of the people. Trump winked at the violence. He knew Trump was right. There were good people on both sides in Charlottesville. The country was soon to be invaded by the Caravan. He decided to become an assasin. He would do what had to be done to enemies of the people. He would kill them by mailing bombs to them. All of them. All of Trumps enemies. He launched a massive assassination plot and tried to kill 2 former Presidents and many more. It was not enough for him to drive around in his van festooned with images of Trump anymore. He heard the message. Trump incites and inflames. He is a tribal chief at war. He is as illiberal as he is vile, corrupt and inept. He created the dystopian alternate reality where this loser lived. This is reality.

 

TREE OF LIFE SHOOTING

 

KHASHOGGI & SAUDI ARABIA

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

SCOTUS 

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Fuck that, and fuck you Pence.  You homophobic, bigoted piece of goat excrement.  You are the worst kind of Christian.  You hide behind your religion as a shield for all of your hatreds, claiming that it’s “God’s will” that others not like you should suffer.

Oh, and Mueller hasn’t talked to you yet because you are a fucking suspect in a treason investigation.  Traitor.

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

BIGOTRY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTION 2018

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

 

 

That’s it for the last few days.  It’s been rough.  Monday’s post will be shorter.  I didn’t spend a lot of time researching it.  Plus, I spent a lot of time laughing at NFL news.  The Browns fired Hue Jackson and Todd Haley.  I spent more time than I should have laughing at that.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 10/25/2018

Thursday, October 25, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Why yes, yes he did. (Daily Check-In 02/26/2018Daily Check-In 12/08/2017)

Part of me is trying to figure out if George Papadopoulos is just a dumb mother fucker by himself, or if that “Italian” wife of his is telling him to say these things.

 

MAGABOMBER

As I mentioned yesterday (Daily Check-In 10/24/2018 ), more devices were found.  This time sent to Robert DeNiro and Joe Biden.

I hope they catch this guy soon.

SPOILER ALERT: They caught him on Friday.

 

KHASHOGGI & SAUDI ARABIA

Following the WWE’s announcement that they are continuing with the show in Saudi Arabia, I have cancelled my WWE Network membership.  It was set to renew automatically on November 1.  From now on, the WWE has entered the realm of “I’ll only pay for months with a good show, and I have to REALLY be in the mood to watch.”  I’ve kept the account active for three and a half years straight, and signed up for it on launch day, with the on-and-off-again payments for a year or so.  Now, with this show, I’ve moved WWE from my first tier of entertainment payments like Netflix to the second tier like CBS All Access, where I only pay when there is something I feel the need to watch.

I know I’m a bit of a hypocrite, but I pick my battles when I can.  Not giving them money the day they put on this show is one of those battles that I can win.

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

That just leaves me smiling :).

SCOTUS 

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

The non-partisan Pew Research Center surveyed 5,000 people, presenting them with 10 statements — five of which were factual, and five mere opinion – asking them to identify each. Across the board, people age 49 and under more accurately separated fact from pretense of fact. Or to put it less politely, those 50 and older were decidedly more gullible.

The reason, researchers speculate, is that younger people are more digitally savvy, and thus have more finely tuned bullshit meters. They’re also considerably more educated and less likely to identify with a specific party, meaning they’re less prone to confuse doctrine for truth.

This presents a problem for Republicans. As a general rule, the older you are, the more conservative you’re likely to be. Which leads us to a second study by Britain’s famed Oxford University.

Researchers there monitored 47,000 U.S. Facebook pages and 13,500 Twitter accounts, tracking who was mostly likely to read or peddle “junk news,” defined as sites that “deliberately publish misleading, deceptive or incorrect information.”

Their findings: “Hard-right” conservatives shared more fake news stories than all other groups combined. Despite their protestations, they’re also the largest consumers of fake news.

Combine the two studies, and one might conclude that conservatives aren’t propagating fraud on purpose. They simply can’t tell the difference. And that’s reflected in their choice of news outlets.

When Fairleigh Dickinson University researchers tried to equate civic knowledge with various news sources, it asked people basic questions like, “Which party has the most seats in the House of Representatives?”

Viewers of Fox News, the televised arm of the GOP, scored at the bottom of 30 popular news sources. In fact, the survey found that viewers of Fox were less informed than people who followed no news at all.

So, dear reader, the next time you see online commenters talk of “crisis actors,” the “deep state,” or migrant gangs coming to take Minnesota’s lake homes, show some mercy. They know not what they speak.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that there are a lot people out there who don’t know how to think critically about what they’re being told.  They don’t know how to analyze evidence, or investigate stories and head to the source, or ask “Am I being bullshitted to?”

50 is an interesting age for this study.  People that are 50 or older didn’t grow up with the Internet.  They likely didn’t grow up with computers at all.  I was a teenager when the Internet came to houses for the first time in any real push.  I was the first person on my street on the Internet.  I was 16, and this was the mid-90’s.  Google didn’t exist, Yahoo! was just launched, so finding a website was difficult.  I had to dive through forums just to find primitive internet porn.  And downloading low-quality JPEG’s with a 14.4k modem was all we had.

I grew up in the Wild West of the Internet.  I knew that the person wanting to cyber with me claiming to be a teen girl was likely some 38 year old guy pushing 300 pounds. I learned to be cautious of every claim someone made online, and not to trust anyone.  I grew up with blogs and biased websites claiming to be news sites that pushed their narrative and agenda.  I grew up with social media, and learned pretty quickly that if someone sent me a friend request with a beautiful woman on the profile pic, it was almost always a scam artist or some bot wanting me to sign up for their cam show.

I also grew up in the Post-Fairness Doctrine world, where media companies no longer had to provide “both sides” of a political story and could spout one side’s opinion as “news.”  I grew up with Cable News, where Fox News slowly disintegrated actual news and replaced it with opinion news.  I grew up in a world where the entire “News Talk” radio world was filled with Right Wing talking heads like Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, and the rest.  I listened as shock jocks gave way to “freedom fighters on the airwaves” that were suspiciously silent on crimes in the White House when a Republican was in the White House.

I grew up with this shit.  Older people didn’t.  They didn’t have a reason to question their media.  They grew up in a sheltered world with only a few channels, trusted newsmen, and people that genuinely seemed interested in informing them.  They didn’t pay attention as the world they grew up in slipped away, and was replaced with the modern world.  They didn’t grow up with the Nigerian Prince asking them to help with a money transfer or a Twitter bot asking them to sign up for their cam show.  They didn’t have to slog through the recesses of the Internet talking to people making crazy claims without proof.  They didn’t have to question “Why is this person or outlet telling me this story, but the other place is telling me something different?”

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

I’ve heard this argument many times before, and it carries less water than a pasta strainer, but it revolves completely around misinformation and obfuscation.

First, the number of scientists that “can’t agree” is tiny.  Between 97-99% percent of climate scientists agree that climate change is real, it’s being accelerated by people, and it’s bad.  That 1-3% is THE FUCKING MARGIN OF ERROR.  Take a room of 50 people and ask them if they like to eat dog food.  There will be that one guy in the room that will raise his hands.  THAT’S THE GUY THAT DOESN’T AGREE WITH THE OTHER SCIENTISTS.

Second, the level of disagreement is small.  Real fucking small.  Much smaller than shown in the media.  The scientists that are arguing the degree of difference, not whether or not there is a difference.  It’s like walking into a sports bar and hearing two football fans arguing about what is the best defense to call against a Run Pass Option offense, and coming to the conclusion that football isn’t real.

 

ELECTION 2018

 

RUMOR MILL

 

 

That’s it for Thursday.  Like I said earlier, at the time of this writing, the MAGABomber has been caught, and… he’s everything that was expected.  A 56-year old from Florida who drove around in a white van festooned with hundreds of Pro-Trump stickers, including several with what can best be described as a manifesto.

Hopefully I’ll have Friday’s post up late Friday night or Saturday.  That being said, expect it Sunday or Monday.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

 

 

Daily Check-In 10/24/2018

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

We’ve talked about this a while back, and it was a running joke in Rick Wilson’s book, but Trump uses an old, unsecured iPhone to talk to his “friends” like Sean Hannity.  What are the odds that a foreign government figured out how to listen in on those conversations?

About 100 fucking percent.  Now, we have proof.

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller pushed back against a company owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch known as “Putin’s chef,” telling a federal judge that the charges filed against the firm — conspiracy to defraud the U.S. — aren’t dependent on proving that election interference is a crime.

The company, Concord Management and Consulting, and 13 Russian nationals, including Prigozhin, were charged in February with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. by mounting social media campaigns in 2016 designed to help the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, and hurt his competitor, Hillary Clinton, a Democrat. The indictment also included charges of wire fraud and identity theft, as the Russians allegedly adopted American identities as part of their effort to influence the election.

Neither Prigozhin nor the other Russian nationals have responded to the charges, but Concord Management has fought back. The company’s lawyer, Eric Dubelier of Reed Smith, has argued that Concord’s failure to register as a foreign agent or report campaign-related expenditures doesn’t constitute a crime.

Last week, the federal judge overseeing the case asked Mueller’s team to respond to that claim.

Michael Dreeben of the special counsel’s office replied that prosecutors only need to show that Concord and its co-conspirators agreed to engage in conduct that violated their duties to register as foreign agents and report campaign expenditures. “The government is not required to prove that the conspirators actually violated” federal election and campaign finance laws, he wrote.

The February charges described a wide range of coordinated conduct designed to influence voters’ attitudes toward the U.S. presidential candidates.

“The indictment alleges that a purpose of these manifold acts of deception was to frustrate the lawful government functions of the United States,” Dreeben wrote. “Those allegations are sufficient to support the charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States regardless of whether the defendants agreed to engage in conduct that violated” the election and campaign finance laws.

 

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM: THE MAGABOMBER

There’s too much here to break down into sections in a timely manner while keeping my sanity, so here’s the short, short version.

Following the attempt on George Soros’s life in the last couple days (Daily Check-In 10/22/2018Daily Check-In 10/23/2018), several other bombs, bomb-like items, and suspicious packages have been sent to several enemies of Trump.  Pipe bombs were sent to Bill and Hilary Clinton’s home, the home of Barack Obama, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and John Brennan at CNN Headquarters.  Furthermore, suspicious packages were gathered at the San Diego Union-Tribune building where Senator Kamala Harris has an office, and to Representative Maxine Walters.  At the time of this writing on Thursday, three more identical packages were delivered to Joe Biden, Robert DeNiro, and Rachel Maddow.  Another package was sent to Eric Holder, but was instead delivered to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the former head of the DNC.  Her office in Sunrise, Florida was the return address for each of these packages.

All of the targets that received these packages had the same return address, the same typos, the same font used on the labels, the same design, and the same paraphernalia.  So far, the bombs have all been duds or fakes, and they’ve been packed with fake ISIS flags that became popular on fringe Right Wing sites, where some of the members thought it was a real ISIS flag, and others thought it looked real enough to scare people.

See below in Spicy’s thread for pics of the CNN bomb and packaging.

Something interesting with the packages in New York, they were hand delivered by couriers, and the stamps were not cancelled.  That means they didn’t go through the normal package routing process, which means no tracking numbers.  It also tells me that this bomber likely has to be close to New York, or has an accomplice close enough to hand deliver them.

The San Diego threat was also interesting.  5 priority mail boxes were dropped off very early in the morning, under the cover of night.  Later on, when someone noticed them, they were examined by the bomb squad.  They were all filled with random junk.  If this was an innocent accident, why drop these boxes off in the middle of the night?

The talking heads on the Right Wing immediately called this whole thing a false flag operation, saying either it was a coordinated hoax or that the Democrats sent themselves bombs.  Funny, they usually blame Muslims first.

I’m hoping the MAGABomber is one lone idiot.  Most of the evidence that I’ve seen points to this, but it’s still early in the investigation.  All of the typos, errors, and “owning the libz” mentality of these attacks SCREAMS a single red hat, but this San Diego connection has me worried.  It’s possible that the MAGABomber talked a friend into staging those packages to scare people and distract them, or they just thought it would be funny.

And let’s be clear, these were not random people, but people Trump has attacked many times before.  His rhetoric, talking about violence, is becoming real.  As much as people will want to trip over their dicks to praise whatever half-hearted call for unity he’ll spout, that Orange Shit-Gibbon will blame the media for these attacks.

What, really? Oh, FOR FUCK’S SAKE!!!

This shit ain’t funny anymore.  Someone is going to get killed because one of his low-IQ deplorables believes everything the Cult of Trump tells him.

 

 

Trump has stoked a cold civil war in this Country. His rallies brim with menace and he has labeled journalists as enemies of the people. That someone would seek to kill their political enemies is not aberrational but rather the inevitable consequence of Trumps incitement.

The targets are political not coincidental. Trump, the greatest demagogue in American history has celebrated violence over and over again. It looks like someone finally took Trump both literally and seriously. The WH will feign outrage when this obvious point is made.

No journalist or commentator should be intimidated from making this point. The stoking of hatred and sundering of the American people was always going to lead to terrible consequences. Chief amongst them would be the initiation of partisan or sectarian violence within our country

 

 

A downtown San Diego building that houses the San Diego Union-Tribune and other businesses was briefly evacuated Wednesday morning after a stack of suspicious looking packages was spotted near the front doors, San Diego police said.

A bystander flagged down a San Diego police lieutenant after spotting five boxes on a table in front of 600 B Street about 8:15 a.m., police said. The building houses law firms, co-working, media and technology companies. Sen. Kamala Harris and the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department also have offices at the address.

The discovery quickly prompted the closure of several busy blocks. But about an hour later, with aid from an X-ray, police determined the packages were filled with everyday items.

San Diego police Lt. Kevin Wadhams said the unaddressed boxes contained: one shoe, two children’s books, one football, one empty bag of chips and one hat. A red air pump was located behind the packages.

 

 

 

 

 

KHASHOGGI & SAUDI ARABIA

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

SCOTUS 

 

#METOO

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

BLATANT BIGOTRY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTION 2018

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Wednesday.  For a moment, I thought it was going to be a quiet day.  That didn’t last.

I probably won’t have as much for Thursday.  I’m operating on fumes, and need a few hours of sleep.  That might cut into my research, writing, and hypothesizing time.  Sorry about that.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 10/23/2018

Monday, October 22, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

 

KHASHOGGI & SAUDI ARABIA

 

SCOTUS 

THEN YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE VOTED FOR HIM, YOU SPINELESS SHIT!!!

 

#METOO

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

Nationalism

 

TRAITOR TOTS

So, John Bolton, a man with known ties to a Russian Honeypot (Daily Check-In 07/18/2018) had a meeting with Putin and is helping Trump exit out of a treaty that limits the amount of nuclear weapons in the world?  This whole thing stinks like his drooping ball-bag after he had unsatisfying sex with Maria Butina.

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

BLATANT BIGOTRY

 

PRIESTS

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTION 2018

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

Here’s hoping that Roman has a speedy recovery, and can beat leukemia back for good.  Or, at least keep it in remission for the long haul.

I’ve mentioned many times before that I’m a big fan of wrestling, but I usually keep my opinions about specific wrestlers out of these pages.  Personally, I think Roman Reigns is one of the best performers in the business, but he’s been given a lousy story that doesn’t fit his character, and because of that he was unjustly booed.  I put him in the same tier of wrestlers as The Rock or John Cena.  He’s good, and will pull a good match out of most people, but is saddled with his character’s limitations and limited moveset once he became “The Man.”  Put him in a match with a better wrestler, and he’ll have a great match, but the endings to his bouts are telegraphed from a mile away.  He’s no Bret Hart, Kenny Omega, or Seth Rollins, but he can work with them and put on a great match and tell a great story.

I knew something was wrong when Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe, two of the biggest heels in WWE, were saying nice things about Roman Reigns.  They rarely break character, but both of them being nice was a big red flag that something was wrong.

Hopefully he can get healthy and come back.  His first, most important thing is to get healthy.  Returning to the ring is a secondary goal.

 

RUMOR MILL

 

Remember the US housing market meltdown of ~2008? Same basic thing will happen with the online advertising industry once corporations realize that “engagements”, “click-throughs”, “impressions”, and other related metrics are inflated to bejeezus and back by bots and clickfarms.

I’m sure there are some legitimate advertisers out there (maybe), but the reality of today’s internet advertising ecosystem is driven by lies, hype, deceit, and more lies. Someday the executives (i.e. suckers) paying those advertising invoices are going to wise up.

Wise executives will realize that people (i.e. potential customers) often get angry at online ads. When anger is caused, attribution is often given to that anger. So why the fuck are you nitwits throwing your company’s logo in front of a person whose anger was just activated??

Did none of these advertising geniuses consider the Pavlovian consequences (you know, Pavlov, the guy with the dogs and the bells). You are consistently re-enforcing a response of anger to logo. Therefore, people that see your logo are going to associate it with bad things.

[read between the lines for a glimpse at what is coming]

 

That’s it for Tuesday.

Something that’s bothering me, and a lot of other people, is that this whole Migrant Caravan issue seems a little too…organized.  Not that I think all of these refugees were sitting around waiting for a message to start marching at once, but there’s too many things that are just a little too coincidental for me.

First, the timing.  We’re less than a month out from the biggest midterm elections in American history, where the fate of the western world hangs in the balance, and possibly the only remaining issue that could motivate the MAGA base starts and gets plastered over the Main Stream Media like it’s the slowest invasion against America.  Walking 2,000 miles takes a long time.  I haven’t done the math yet, but why do I have a feeling that if they keep up their current pace, they’ll arrive at the U.S. border just in time for the election?

Second, the motivation.  Not the whole “trying to make a better life” or “running from gangs of drugs dealers and killers”, but what convinced a couple thousand people who just lost everything they owned and are fleeing for their lives to suddenly head north all at once?  How did all of this violence, destruction, and crime get organized at once?

Crime.  Organized.  Wait a second…

Here’s my crazy hypothesis.  The Trump Team and/or GOP, seeing that they’re about to get pounded in the polls and are likely to lose at least the House, and possibly the Senate, are pulling out every trick.  The Russians are helping him with propaganda, the GOP tried talking about how great their tax cut is, but that went over like a fart in church, so now they’re forced to claim that they want to protect parts of the ACA that they’ve voted to kill more than 70 times, suppress the vote where they can, and play the race card.  Since Trump is up to his fourth chin deep in the mob, someone proposed the idea of creating a flood of brown people fleeing violence and the drug cartels in Central America, and use their suffering to get the base out to the polls, because nothing scares his white people more than brown people looking for help.  His mob ties organized some violence, and pushed these people to march.  They then got Fox News and other friendly media outlets, or at least those with other mob ties, and are covering this like some kind of existential threat to white people, and not covering it like the humanitarian crisis or criminal conspiracy that it is.

If this sounds nutty or like some tin-foil hat, I don’t disagree.  This sounds crazy even as I type it.  The thing is, we’re in crazy times.  A criminal is in the White House, and he’s willing to do anything to save his own ass, even if that means burning everything down around him.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 10/22/2018

Monday, October 22, 2018 and the weekend

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

 

KHASHOGGI & SAUDI ARABIA

There’s no longer any dispute that Saudi Arabian officials killed Jamal Khashoggi. The US, UK, and Canada must immediately apply the Magnitsky Act to those who participated in, ordered and covered up the killing. All countries who don’t have a Magnitsky Act should pass one ASAP

For those unfamiliar with the Magnitsky Act, it freezes assets and bans visa of people involved in torture, extrajudicial killing and other gross human rights abuses. It would have a dramatic effect of wealthy Saudi princes

Applying the Magnitsky Act to the people who ordered Khashoggi’s murder would also send a chilling message to other tin pot dictators that there will be grave consequences for these types of atrocities

And for what it’s worth, the ludicrous Saudi “explanation” of what happened to Khashoggi should expand the list of officials sanctioned to those who have been involved in the cover up. That’s what happened in Russia in the Magnitsky case and should happen here as well

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

SCOTUS 

 

#METOO

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

SOROS

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

Houston Rally

 

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

BLATANT BIGOTRY

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS

Well…, there is another way, but technically it involves either ex-communication or desecrating a holy wafer after it’s been blessed.  Due to that whole transubstantiation thing where a piece of bread or wafer literally becomes JC’s flesh, not eating that flesh is considered a mortal sin of the highest regard.  And unlike child rape, this is their “Go Straight To Hell” sin that only the Pope can forgive.

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

Probably because kids are expensive, and young people are poor.

Seriously, think about it for a second.  Younger people make less comparatively than their parents did.  They also have fewer chances at better jobs, are priced out of the housing market, and are either unable to get a decent job because they don’t have a college degree, or they can’t afford to do anything because of student loans.  Assuming they can even get into a long-term relationship, the prospect of kids is daunting.  Child care costs are prohibitive.  $1200-$1500 for day care a month is not uncommon.  That’s before diapers, wipes, formula, baby clothes, car seats, and everything else.

I have a single friend who owns his own race car.  He can afford his race car by simply not paying for day care.  The amount of money he would have spent on a baby went to make a race car from scratch.

When I hear reports about experts wondering why people aren’t having kids, I think back to a few years ago when my oldest was in day care, and before I consolidated by student loans.  My mortgage was the third biggest bill each month behind those two.

 

ELECTION 2018

People were camping out overnight to vote?  In Texas?  I’ve seen people camp out for concert tickets, sporting events, and iPhones, but never to vote.  This is different.

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

 

 

 

That’s it for the last few days.  It’s been crazy the last few days, and things feel shitty right now, but there is always reason to hope.  There is always reason to see that things will get better.

Right now, millions of Americans are waking up for the first time to the corruption around them and fighting back.  They’re voting, their advocating, and they’re organizing.

Right now, there are at least a half a dozen separate investigations going on involving the Trump family alone.  That doesn’t include all of their associates, their lackeys, or their co-conspirators.

Right now, an entire generation of students are registering to vote for the first time, and the way they start now will likely shape their views for the next 20-40 years.

Right now, someone in the White House is trying to come up with something, anything, that will motivate Trump’s base to vote for him, and they’re literally throwing everything against the wall at this point.

Right now, someone who has never organized so much as a birthday party is out knocking on doors, trying to get their neighbors to vote.

Right now, someone who has never donated to help a campaign or work an election is signing up for Lyft or Uber just so they can shuttle people to the polls on election day.

Right now, someone is sifting through over 54 hours of interviews with Paul Manafort, categorizing each and every claim he made, and lining them up against the evidence they have on file and with the testimony of other witnesses.

Right now, at least a half a dozen people in the White House are panicking, wondering if their actions rise to the level of criminality needed to press charges against them.

Right now, a powerful man in this country is scared shitless at the thought that his actions from 30 years ago will come back to haunt him.

Right now, a parent is making a protest sign with their child.

Right now, a family is coming together for the first time in years, as the long-time Republican in the family has finally had enough of Trump’s and McConnell’s bullshit.

Right now, people are pissed, yet hopeful.  They’re pissed at the way their country is going, but hopeful for where it can go.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur