Daily Check-In 10/11/2018

Thursday, October 11, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

According to reports, Mueller’s team is letting Trump’s lawyers answer questions about collusion and conspiracy in writing, but still want an in-person interview with him about Obstruction.

I don’t know what to make of this, except it makes me think of a section from Bob Woodward’s “Fear”.  In it, there’s a description of Jon Dowd talking with Bob Mueller, and Mueller said that he wants to talk to Trump to determine whether or not he had corrupt intent when he did, well… everything.  Even though it looks to the rest of the world that everything was done with a corrupt intent, he wants to hear it from The Dotard’s mouth.

Some weirdness could be in store next week regarding Manafort’s sentencing hearing.  Judge Ellis wants to wrap everything up with him, but Manafort is currently cooperating with Mueller.  This could throw a wrench in the works.

 

KHASHOGGI

Khashoggi was supposedly working on a story that tied Jared Kushner, MBS, and the Qataris together in a deal to refinance 666 Fifth Avenue.  Kushner gave US Intel to MBS help him overthrow his family and rise to power, then he would use that power to pressure Qatar into getting financing for that albatross of a mortgage hanging around his neck.

There’s more to it, but that’s the basic story.

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

Fed watchers now worry that Trump is trying to strong-arm the Fed into reversing its policy of gradually raising interest rates, after a decade of radically easy monetary policy. But Trump is probably thinking of something else completely: lining up a convenient villain he can point to if and when markets turn negative and the economy slumps. It fits perfectly with Trump’s modus operandi.

Trump, for instance, has been relentlessly bashing the Robert Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Mueller, so far, has had precisely nothing to say about Trump himself. So there’s been no need at all for Trump to defend himself against Mueller, up till now. But by repeatedly calling the probe a “witch hunt,” Trump is preparing for the eventuality that Mueller will some day impugn him. Trump is trying to preemptively invalidate the probe, in the mind of the public, by the time it actually touches him.

Trump, in fact, is something of an expert on scapegoating. He blames immigrants and China for the falling living standards of working-class Americans. He blames companies such as Harley-Davidson and Amazon for rational responses to his own harmful economic policies. And of course he blames Democrats for illegal immigration and many other national problems.

There’s another piece of this puzzle at play.  Trump’s terrible credit score.  The Trump Organization has a Business Credit Score of 19.  Out of 100.  In other words, it’s shit.  As anyone who’s had credit problems know, when the score is low, getting financing for anything is a pain in the ass.  Assuming one doesn’t get turned down outright for everything, all loans would require cosigners, massive collateral, crazy down payments, or interest rates that make loan sharks blush.  In business, it’s no exception.

Loan interest rates are usually shown one of two ways.  They’re either a straight percentage, or a Prime+ rate.  A straight percentage rate, also called a fixed rate, stays the same and is shown with a number like 5.45% or 3.64% or 23.89%.  A Prime+ rate is a variable rate, where the interest rate changes based on the prime rate set by the Federal Reserve.  If the rate is Prime+2%, then it might be at 4% one day, but go up to 5% if the rate increases.

How do those things tie together?  Trump has shit credit, no one will sign for him, he has little to no collateral, and won’t put down any of his own money for a project.  That only leaves lenders with one option: crazy ass rates.  Mortgage rates like 23% or Prime +15%.  The kind of rates that most people would laugh at and say “HAHAHAHAHA No.”  Trump doesn’t have that option.  He’s broke AF, and welches on his debts.  The only way the bank will see a penny from him is if they make it all on the interest payments.

Trump has multiple loans in the Prime + 10 to Prime + 20 range.  Each time the prime rate goes up, his payments go up.  That’s a big part of why he wants them low.

 

 

Donnie Jr.’s birthday is New Year’s Eve.  He’ll spend it under a known indictment.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

Kanye

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

 

ELECTION 2018

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

Jared Kushner was in the oval office for that Kanye spectacle. Smiling big, with the press pool all around him. Did any reporter question Jared about MBS & Khashoggi? ANY ONE? Any questions about the reports that MBS claimed Jared is “in my pocket,”?!

I’m not f*cking done with this. Hey WH PRESS POOL! Did any one of you think to ask Jared if he gave US intel to his murdering buddy, MBS, in exchange for pressuring the Qataris (via joint UAE blockade) to bail our his 666 5th Ave real estate debacle? No? Too complex? Okay…

How about just asking him & Trump whether or not they sat on intel about MBS’ threat on Khashoggi’s life? You remember him, right? The journalist who was reportedly murdered inside the embassy in Turkey. No? Still too hard for you? Kanye was that important – that distracting?

How many of you gave Kanye a hug after the spectacle? Because I saw one for certain. Is this what it’s all about? Celebrity access? Soaking up the limelight? Getting in to that inner circle? Well, maybe there’s a book deal in there for you. Or better yet, a mobligarch’s yacht.

Your colleagues are being murdered. Do your damn job.

 

Peter Smith’s method of “suicide” was a bag over his head and a canister of helium blasting into the bag.  His note said he was in poor health, and that he was killing himself to cash in on an expiring life insurance policy.

That doesn’t make any sense.

First, I’m not familiar with any life insurance policies in the U.S. that pay out on suicide.  Sure, this could be some rich guy thing, but as a former insurance agent, I’m pretty sure that nearly every policy has a clause that cancels payment in the case of suicide.

Next, the method.  Here’s a rich guy with a clean record and access to a lot of things, including doctors and medications.  Suffocation isn’t the most common method that a guy would use to kill themselves.

Finally, there are reports that Peter was making plans for after his suicide.  Even as early as that morning, he was making plans with people for later on.  That kind of behavior doesn’t sound like someone who was planning on killing themselves.  Either suffocating himself was a plan he pulled together at the last minute (which doesn’t add up since the receipt for the helium tank was from the day before), or this was a murder designed to look like a suicide.

 

That’s it for Thursday.  Hopefully I’ll get Friday’s update out late Friday or early Saturday.

I think I’m going to start another series, the None of this is Normal Book Club.  I’ll talk about the books I’ve been reading and listening to that deal with the Russian Investigation.  Hopefully, I’ll start that this weekend while “Fear” is still fresh in my mind.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

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