Daily Check-In 10/09/2018

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

The office of Russia’s infamous troll factory believed to be at the vanguard of Russia’s information war has been set on fire in St. Petersburg overnight.

An investigation revealed last year that the secretive troll factory had rebranded itself as a media conglomerate with 16 news websites generating more than 30 million pageviews every month. Its operational hub, a website called FAN (Federal News Agency), is based a stone’s throw from the troll farm’s original location in northern St. Petersburg.

The Fontanka.ru news website cited police as saying that an unknown suspect broke the agency’s ground-floor window and threw a Molotov cocktail inside at around 3 a.m. on Tuesday.

Surveillance footage published by FAN showed flames erupting at one of the empty workstations and a female staffer stationed on the opposite end quickly exiting the office.

“I believe this is tied to FAN’s activities,” its chief editor Yevgeny Zubarev said. “We’re most often attacked online, but these types of attacks have already taken place offline.”

FAN said its office came under another arson attack on the eve of the 2018 presidential elections in March.

The troll farm is believed to be run by billionaire restaurateur Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as President Vladimir Putin’s “cook.” A U.S. special counsel indicted Prigozhin and 12 other Russians this year on charges of defrauding the U.S. government by interfering with its political process.

St. Petersburg police told the RBC news website that they were looking for the culprit and planned to launch criminal proceedings.

Not suspicious at all.  In the same few days as a couple reporters disappear (Daily Check-In 10/08/2018), and a Senior Lawyer for the Russian Government dies in a helicopter crash (Daily Check-In 10/04/2018), this is a perfectly normal series of events, right?

Right?

The troll farm was the target of arson by method of a Molotov Cocktail.  At this point, I’m not sure if this is staged from Putin’s goons trying to clean up their mess, or angry protesters fed up with his shit.

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

Forget all the noise. Trump’s true story is simple and clear and not disputed by Trump, himself. – His father created a company built on decades of tax fraud: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/10/02/us/politics/donald-trump-tax-schemes-fred-trump.html …1/

– After dad died, Trump kept the same people, running the same kinds of schemes: https://www.newyorker.com/news/swamp-chronicles/allen-weisselberg-the-man-who-knows-donald-trumps-financial-secrets-has-agreed-to-become-a-cooperating-witness …– Trump’s major addition to the family business was to expand the business to suspect figures around the world: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/13/donald-trumps-worst-deal …2/

– Trump used the same techniques of his father–secret shell companies, accounting irregularities–to protect himself politically as candidate and president: https://www.newyorker.com/news/swamp-chronicles/the-president-has-been-implicated-in-a-criminal-conspiracy …3/

– Colluding with the Russians would have been entirely in keeping with Trump’s practices. But even if we never prove that he did, he is the head of what appears to be a multi-generational criminal enterprise. 4/

– If Democrats take the House and/or several key state AG races, they will use subpoena power to reveal much more about the workings of this company. – At every step, the truth has shocked even those (like me) who thought they were prepared for the worst. 5/

– Six months from now, I predict, the whole operation will be laid bare and will truly shock. – Yes. Maybe, the GOP will do nothing. That’s what everyone tells me. But I still believe that there will be some moment when something is revealed that forces all to see the truth. 6/

– There is profound legal risk for the Trump family. They could lose much of their money and some could go to jail. – The incentive for non-Trumps to flip will only increase, while the value of flipping will decrease, forcing something of a rush. 7/

– Trump’s response will likely be ever-more aggressive and crazy. – In short, 2019 promises to be many times more insane, terrifying, high-stakes, than anything we’ve seen so far. – My gut tells me there will be a breaking point, even for GOP sycophants. 8/

– But I know that the GOP turning on Trump, even at the very worse, is far from certain. – If they back him, all the way down, I fear for what will be left of our nation. – We ain’t seen nothing yet. 9/end

I’ve been saying for a while that the news is going to get a lot worse.  Trump Towers have been a laundromat for Russian Mafia.  Don’t think about the romantic version of gangsters from Martin Scorsese movies.  These monsters are just that: monsters.  Drug running, murders, rapes, kidnappings, sex trafficking, tearing the tags off of mattresses, they’re in all of it.  And Trump helped them clean up their blood money.

 

SCOTUS & #METOO

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 Haley

This is interesting.  Nikki Haley announced her resignation as Ambassador to the United Nations, effective at the end of the year.  I’ve seen a few different hypothesis as to why.

  1. She’s getting out while the getting’s good and she can still have a career.
  2. She quit over Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
  3.  She plans to run for POTUS in 2020.
  4. There is some convoluted plan for Trump to fire Jeff Sessions, replace him with Lindsey Graham, and have Nikki Haley take over Graham’s Senate seat.
  5. She’s about to be under a massive ethics investigation.

Considering she’s been around since the beginning of the Trump Administration, she’s infected with a case of #ETTD (Everything Trump Touches Dies), so if she has a career left after this, it won’t be much of one.  She didn’t speak out over Brett Kavanaugh, but might have been biding her time.  I don’t buy it, though.  She’s so staunchly Right Wing that she’d have no problem towing the party line, and this excuse gives her too much credit for having empathy, decency, and/or a soul.  A run in 2020 has riled up the RWM, but I wouldn’t expect anything to be announced from that until early next year.  If Trump is out of the picture, or about to be out of the picture, she might try.  The convoluted plan requires Lindsey Graham to give up an almost guaranteed Senate leadership position for the next 20 years to take a job that might only last 2 years, and would almost require him to open himself up to several crimes.

The reason I’m leaning toward is the last one, that she’s about to go under an ethics investigation that could ruin her career and possibly put her in prison.  She’s proven to be reckless with taxpayer money (Daily Check-In 09/14/2018) when she dropped over $50,000 on new curtains for her apartment in New York.  If she’s willing to spend that much on taxpayer money, accepting flights on luxury jets and accepting tickets to sporting events isn’t far off.

 

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

The Party of Trump has proved itself keen to propagate any conspiracy theory, no matter how ridiculous or racist.

Well, almost any conspiracy theory.

There were the microwave ovens that surveil your every move. There were those fake jobs numbers, crafted to make President Barack Obama look good (though today, oddly, those same jobs numbers somehow make Obama look bad, according to Republicans). There were autism-causing vaccines, 3 million illegal votesalleged murders, a pizza-parlor child-sex-slavery ring, the convoluted nonsense of QAnon.

Then Friday, Trumpkins revived a conspiracy theory that long predates our current president and has remained popular with far-right political regimes around the world: that of the International Jew.

Thousands of protesters had shown up to voice their anger over Brett M. Kavanaugh’s imminent ascension to the country’s highest court. They were, understandably, mad about Kavanaugh’s record — on reproductive rights, campaign finance, executive power and other key policy concerns.

They were also mad about Kavanaugh’s personal conduct — not only high-profile allegations of sexual misconduct but also his nasty, partisan attacks on Democratic senators, his claims of a vast Clintonian left-wing conspiracy and his statements under oath whose veracity has been disputed even by his friends.

But perhaps most of all, they were mad at the Republican Party.

After all, the GOP had stolen a Supreme Court seat from Obama, taken away the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees so they could push through a pick without 60 votes, and arranged for a sham FBI investigation when their pick was credibly accused of sexual assault. Some of them even mocked a woman who said she had been sexually assaulted.

Despite all this, Republican leadership somehow couldn’t fathom why legions of Americans might be genuinely, grievously upset. Instead, several Republicans suggested, all those Kavanaugh protesters — just like those phony Women’s Marchers last year — must be mercenaries. That is, they were only pretending to be mad, because they were being paid to be mad.

Not merely paid: paid by an evil, rich, foreign-born Jew.

Trump’s tweet echoed a comment from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), who told a Fox Business Network host that he thought the protesters were probably paid by Soros.

Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani amplified the conspiracy theory, retweeting a comment calling Soros “the anti-Christ” and urging that his assets be frozen. Other Republican pundits also called for the survivor of Nazi-occupied Hungary to be jailed and his wealth seized.

This was not merely an attempt to scapegoat someone, anyone, for Republicans’ deeply unpopular actions. It was a call for tinfoil-hatters to revive the blood libel. Soros has inherited the archetype of the International Jew who haunted the fevered dreams of Henry Ford, one of the original America Firsters. Soros has apparently shapeshifted out of “Jud Süss”  and Mayer Rothschild and Shylock before him — a rootless, ruthless villain supposedly conspiring to undermine the rightful gentile order.

In any other presidency, such a dog whistle might have pierced news coverage for weeks. Instead, Republicans’ anti-Semitic conspiracy-theorizing dominated headlines for barely a day.

And in fairness, why should such bigotry shock anyone at this point? Despite the Jewish faith of his daughter and son-in-law, Trump has suggested that a horde of torch-toting neo-Nazis included some “very fine people.” He tweeted an anti-Semitic meme during the 2016 campaign and closed it with a TV ad pairing images of famous Jews (including Soros) with a pledge to destroy the “global power structure.”

Moreover, Trump launched his political career with a bigoted conspiracy theory: that our first black president was secretly born in Kenya and was therefore illegitimate.

His paranoid crackpottery has been almost parody-defying. But these days it’s not just the Alex Jones aficionados or QAnon breadcrumb-gatherers who buy into Trump’s conspiracy theories. Mainstream Republicans such as Grassley do, too. Carefully reported debunking, including by The Post’s own fact-checking team, seems unable to shake some sense into them.

One puzzle remains, however.

Despite Republicans’ willful credulity over Soros and microwaves, the one conspiracy theory they dismiss outright is the one we actually do have mounting evidence for: the conspiracy against the United States led by the Russia government, possibly with the Trump campaign’s consent.

And no number of previously undisclosed contacts between Trump officials and Russian operatives, emails from Donald Trump Jr. or special-counsel indictments could convince the party faithful otherwise.

For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin says Republicans are right to be skeptical. Whom has he blamed instead for U.S. election meddling?

Why, the Jews, of course.

This is where we’re at.  We’re at the point of the story where it is easier and more acceptable for Republican politicians and spokespeople to blame Jews for organizing a protest against them than to recognize or admit that large swaths of the population hate their actions.  Better yet, they distract from the actual problems they cause, and their propaganda machine is more than willing to run with crazy conspiracy theories, instead of addressing the problems at hand.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PUFF PUFF PASS

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

When you have eyes directly on the RU-backed propaganda machine, you can predict that which seems unpredictable at the time. I watched them weaponize this organic movement. The emotional terrorism inflicted on our nation by @GOParound Dr. Ford/ Kavanaugh was inevitable. /1

2/ For new followers, and many older ones, there may still be some confusion over the seemingly disparate subjects covered by this twitter account. They are not separate topics. They are all related, because I’m metaphorically standing in the money pot underneath it all.

3/ If you stand there with me and look up, here is what you’ll see: – The Alt-Right media machine. Coordinating with both conservative PR firms (many of which are registered foreign agents in the FARA database), and Hill Staffers.

4/ – Corruption in our corporate lifeblood, incl. media companies & silicon valley.

5/ – A global corruption scandal unfolding across nation states.

6/ And when you look down, you see the whole framework. How it was built. Who built it. And every tentacle that was born out of it, including the one named @realDonaldTrump.

7/ So stay close. You’ll see it all. We’re going to keep showing it to you. This is about the dark money pot. It’s always been about that. And you know what? The more of you who put your eyes on it – the more exposure it gets…

8/ … the less power it wields. Someday, it’ll all be ours.

9/ The fight is against corruption. Against that money and all that it controls. And the tool we need to fight it is not only awareness & exposure, but our justice system. This is the institution that has always been in Trump’s sights.

10/ No matter what that dark money pot kicks up to outrage you, stay focused on it instead. Focus on the money. Focus on the corruption. VOTE.

11/ And let those of us who dig down in that pot send up the flares. We’ll alert what’s coming – to the best of our ability. We’ll do what we can, slinging away against Nazis & dirty players in the trenches. It’s an honor, truthfully. Happy to do it. LB

 

 

That’s it for Tuesday.  Wednesday’s looking like it could be interesting.  Christopher Steele makes a return to the news, and the server story is finally getting some traction.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

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