Daily Check-In 12/21/2018

Friday, December 21, 2018 and the weekend.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Jill Stein

And now, the obligatory picture of Jill Stein…

img_5419

 

Flynn

 

Whitaker

So, after the Cohen guilty plea came out, Trump lost his shit on Whitaker and asked him why he didn’t stop the attorneys in SDNY from naming him as an unindicted co-conspirator.

Obstruction of Justice exhibit #4,398, 209.

 

Reality Check

 

Working During the Shutdown

 

Mystery Subpoena Case

Assuming that SCOTUS hears the case, they’ve never taken one on before that was sealed this tight the whole way up.  That we know of.

 

 

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

Here’s the thing with this newest shutdown: Nobody wins in the United States.  If the Democrats cave and give in to the wall, they lose their high ground and will screw themselves in the future with the next shutdown when Trump says he wants more money, which he will.  The only reason he won’t is if he’s gone by February, and that feels a little soon for his ouster.

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

ISIS, Syria, Turkey, Mattis, Et. Al.

As much as I hate saying it, everything is connected.

Erdogan wants three things following the Jamal Khashoggi murder.

  1. Mohammed Bone Saw to face charges in the murder.
  2. Gulen sent to him for other crimes.
  3. The U.S. out of Syria.

Since Trump, Kushner, and Pompeo are accessories to murder after the fact, Option 1 isn’t happening.  And as much as Trump want to send Gulen to Turkey, we have this thing called Due Process, so Option 2 is out.  That leaves Option 3.  Trump will order the U.S. out of Syria to cover up his crimes.

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET A.K.A. INDIVIDUAL-1

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

IMMIGRATION

GoFundMe, GoFuckYourself

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

CONGRESS

 

ELECTIONS

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for the last few days.  This post is very light on the explanations and editorializing because, quite frankly, I’m running out of time.  I’m posting this on Christmas Eve, and I have about 6 hours of cleaning to do in about 2 hours.  It’s not impossible, it’s just a pain in the ass.

I’ll be back in a couple days.  I’ll cover the Christmas holiday and Boxing Day on one post.  I’ll also try to get a couple essays done this week.

Happy Holidays everyone.

To those who Christmas is your thing, Merry Christmas.  If you prefer to celebrate the Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Saturnalia, Mithras, Yule, Kwanza, Diwali, or Sir Isaac Newton’s Birthday, then enjoy your thing.

Yes, I know that Ramadan moves based off of the Lunar calendar and is currently in the Summer and Diwali is in October.  Screw it, I’m putting them in the list in case I missed anyone.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

 

 

 

 

Daily Check-In 12/20/2018

Thursday, December 20, 2018.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Fuckery at the Treasury

This is bad.  Real bad.  There are four stories rolled into this bombshell from BuzzFeed News.

  1. The Russians were able to convince people in the Treasury Department to hand over sensitive financial documents to anonymous Gmail and Hotmail accounts.
  2. There are people in the Treasury that are at best idiots and criminally negligent, and at worst spies for Russia.
  3. There is an interoffice battle between all of the various investigative groups inside and outside of the Treasury that has devolved into a pissing contest.
  4. Things are so fucked that career officials feel the need to go to the press with their concerns because no one they work for or with gives a fuck.

Remember the FinCEN official that leaked Paul Manafort’s SAR to a BuzzFeed reporter after it disappeared from the official system?  (Daily Check-In 10/17/2018)  The following section speaks to Point 4.

The report indicates that there is some turmoil behind closed doors at FinCEN:

At least 10 FinCEN employees have filed formal whistleblower complaints about the department. The whistleblowers say they tried multiple times to raise concerns about issues they believed threatened national security, but that they faced retaliation instead of being heeded. Some of FinCEN’s top officials quit in anger. One senior adviser has been arrested and accused of releasing financial records to a journalist.

The arrested and accused adviser referred to in that last line was Edwards. Remarkably, Edwards is said to have raised her concerns about Russian efforts to access confidential bank records of Hillary Clinton supporters in the Summer of 2016, months before the election.

Edwards reportedly spoke with “six different congressional committee staffers to air her concerns.” Then, in July and August 2018, she purportedly met with “staffers of one of the Senate committees investigating Russian interference during the presidential campaign.” It was then that she claimed that FinCEN “withheld documents revealing suspicious financial transactions of Trump associates that the committee had requested.” Edwards and an unnamed colleague reportedly had “lawful documented evidential disclosures of violations of law, rule, and regulations, gross mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority, and substantial and specific danger to public safety.”

Holy fuck on a fuck fig newton, this is bad.  She went to her boss, her boss’s boss, HR, the Inspector General, the Office of Special Counsel (Different from Mueller), several Congressional staffers and at least one Senate staffer, and NOTHING?  Are you fucking kidding me?  Everyone either ignored her, blew her off, were covering shit up, or too worried about how things would look for them if the news got out that people at FinCEN sent financial records for Hilary Clinton supporters and enemies of the Kremlin to anonymous email addresses associated with Russia instead of the secured system they’re supposed to use.

Wait, what the actual fuck?

US Treasury Department officials used a Gmail back channel with the Russian government as the Kremlin sought sensitive financial information on its enemies in America and across the globe, according to documents reviewed by BuzzFeed News.

The extraordinary unofficial line of communication arose in the final year of the Obama administration — in the midst of what multiple US intelligence agencies have said was a secret campaign by the Kremlin to interfere in the US election. Russian agents ostensibly trying to track ISIS instead pressed their American counterparts for private financial documents on at least two dozen dissidents, academics, private investigators, and American citizens.

Yeah, it gets worse.  Much, much worse.

The first chapter in this extraordinary chain of communications began in late 2015, when a unit of the Treasury Department called the Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes entered into an agreement, named the ISIL Project, that called for Russia and the US to share information on financial institutions in the Middle East suspected of supporting ISIS.

Even more concerning: Documents show senior officials within the Terrorist Financing unit were communicating with Hotmail and Gmail accounts set up by the Russians, rather than using the standard secure channels.

When she found out, FinCEN’s chief of staff was stunned.

“They sent this to a GMAIL account? Is that normal?” she asked in an email to a half dozen colleagues on Nov. 28, 2016.

The chief of staff was responding to Treasury colleagues who were discussing with Rosfinmonitoring the outlines of their agreement to track terrorism financiers.

“Unfortunately, Rosfin does prefer throwaway gmail accounts as their preferred method to communicate,” a FinCEN intelligence official responded.

This is some absolutely terrible OpSec.  FinCEN has a secured communication line that everyone in the world uses to keep the documents secure.  If Jordan wants a copy of a report, they log in to the system and request it from FinCEN.  They get what they need, and that’s it.  The information stays in the system.

Email is not secure.  Even a “secured” email is very weak.  And sending an attachment to an email guarantees that no one will have control over it from that point on.  Once an email is sent, the recipient can do with it what they want.  We normally trust people to not be dicks with that mail, but every so often someone does something dickish.

The Russians are the definition of being dicks with email.  Just ask the DNC, John Podesta, the RNC, and Westinghouse.

In reference to the second point, there are some ridiculously naive people working in the Treasury Department, and that’s a best case scenario.  In a worst case scenario, they’re actively committing espionage against the United States of America.

But don’t worry, it gets worse.

Most startlingly, Russia requested sensitive documents on Dirk, Edward, and Daniel Ziff, billionaire investors who had run afoul of the Kremlin. That request was made weeks before a Russian lawyer showed up at Trump Tower offering top campaign aides “dirt” on Hillary Clinton — including her supposed connection to the Ziff brothers.

Let me break this down to show how absolutely fucked up this scenario is.

A few weeks before the June 9 Trump Tower meeting between Team Trump and Natalia Veselnitskaya’s team Rosnefmonitoring asked for and likely received sensitive financial documents for investors tied to HRC.  Around this time, Aras Agalarov hears about this from the Russian equivalent of the Attorney General, who wants to pass along this information to their asset in the United States, Donald Trump.  Aras calls Emin who contacts Rob Goldstone who emails Donnie Jr. who says “If it’s what you say it is, I love it.  Especially later in the summer.”

What am I saying?  I’m saying that it’s highly possible that someone at FinCEN or another Treasury Department team sent the Russians the “dirt” they claimed they had on HRC for their meeting with Team Trump.

That covers points 1 & 2.  For point 3, well…

In May 2017, a bomb exploded at an Ariana Grande concert in northwest England and killed 23 people. The following month, knife-wielding terrorists attacked pedestrians near London Bridge.

Because the US has access to the largest set of financial records in the world, the British turned to the Americans for help. In the first frantic moments following an attack, FinCEN’s financial databases can reveal important information about the killers, others in their network, or whether another plot is imminent.

FinCEN analysts sprang into action, racing to their headquarters in Northern Virginia to begin searching for clues on a Saturday night. But when they arrived, they discovered that everyone on duty had been locked out of the classified networks that they depended upon. They couldn’t open links from the FBI about the suspected terrorists they were supposed to be chasing and they couldn’t trace the suspects’ funding.

That night, two dozen FinCEN employees learned that the digital keys they needed to unlock classified data had expired without warning. The suspects remained on the run in London, but FinCEN was unable to help track them.

The office that administered those security keys was OIA, FinCEN’s rival department.

Staffers were furious.

“We have escalated the critical problem to key individuals,” one of the whistleblowers wrote in an email, “and we still DO NOT have the ability to complete our mission or fully protect the American people.”

OIA blamed the FinCEN employees for forgetting to update their permissions. But more than a dozen FinCEN officials said they saw the incident as retaliation for their earlier power struggle. OIA had sent its own staffers an email weeks earlier reminding them to apply for new keys, but had not sent that same email to anyone at FinCEN. OIA officials blamed that oversight on “time” and “resource restraints.”

The divide grew, and made its way to Congress, where Republican Steve Pearce, chair of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance, demanded answers. The Treasury Department’s inspector general stepped in again to investigate, and concludedthat OIA had done nothing wrong — though he did acknowledge the strained relationship between OIA and FinCEN.

The whistleblowers told BuzzFeed News they have largely given up on seeing anyone at FinCEN, OIA, and TFFC held accountable for the chaos that they say has torn the Treasury apart over the past two years.

“It is very hard to measure the sum total of the damage done,” said one of the whistleblowers, a senior FinCEN official. “We are treading water right now.”

I know I’m bouncing around, but so does this article.  This final point is that the Treasury Department is an interdepartmental clusterfuck manned by a handful of petty dicks getting into a pissing contest with each other, and this pettiness and desire to not look like complete and total fuckups creates the atmosphere that everything is a clusterfuck.

There’s one good side of this article.  The authors of this piece, Leopold and Cormier, are in contact with Mueller’s team and wouldn’t release this piece unless they got the go-ahead.  If this is making the press, something big is about to drop like a Hamilton Mix-Tape.

 

Whitaker’s Refusal of Recusal

Here’s the short, short version; Matt Whitaker asked the DOJ Ethics Advisors if he should recuse from the Mueller Investigation.  They said “Recuse.” He didn’t like that answer, so he kept bouncing around until he found someone that said yes.  He then took that yes, ran to reporters and said “See, I can haz Mueller.”  It took a couple hours for the news to come out to straighten this out.

 

Barr Should Be Barred

Looks like we’ll have to relive this mess in a few months.

 

Roger’s Testimony

I talked about this yesterday (Daily Check-In 12/19/2018), and I’m honestly surprised they did this.  I was expecting things to go downhill faster than an alpine skier losing an edge.

 

 

COLD WAR 2.0

Syria, Afghanisatan, and Mattis

This is bad.  The only person in the United States that thinks this is a good move is Tangerine Tojo.

Gee, I wonder how this can get worse.

Oh, fuck.

Fuck.

FUCK.

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!

Defense Secretary James Mattis has resigned. Here’s the letter:

This might be the most “Fuck you and the horse you rode in on” letter I’ve seen in quite a while.

I’ll talk more about Mad Dog’s “Retirement” in the Coda.

 

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET A.K.A. INDIVIDUAL-1

Shutdown

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

IMMIGRATION

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

CONGRESS

 

ELECTIONS

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Thursday.  Fuck.  I’m not sure how to react with Mattis’s firing.  He was the last adult in the room.  At least, the last one who isn’t a complete sycophant.  He’s kept an air of normalcy around the White House.  No matter how nutty things got with Trump, at least Mattis was there to keep things under control.  But abandoning Syria was a bridge too far for him, and he resigned.  His letter skipped all of the “It was an honor to serve for you” and the similar platitudes.  The nicest part in that letter was “Dear Mr. President.”

On one hand, I’m worried about what will happen.  On the other hand, this might be the final straw.  If putting up with Trump is too much for a guy named “Mad Dog” then expect some pushback from the establishment Republicans.  At least those that aren’t completely compromised.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 12/19/2018

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Deripaska Sanctions

 

Syria Withdrawl

“It is premature for the President to declare a sweeping victory against ISIS when, just a few weeks ago, our military led more than 250 coalition-conducted airstrikes against targets in Iraq and Syria.  All Americans should be concerned that this hasty announcement was made on the day after sentencing in criminal proceedings began against the President’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who admitted that he was a registered foreign agent for a country with clear interests in the Syrian conflict.

“We must also ask why the President did not make this decision in the context of advancing peace negotiations.  The deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Syria remains a stain on the conscience of the world.  Syrian families caught in the middle of this conflict continue to endure heartbreaking horrors every day.

“When we take the gavel, our Democratic Majority will uphold the Congress’ constitutional oversight responsibilities to ensure that the President’s decisions advance our national security interests, not his personal or political objectives.  The American people deserve a smart, strong and strategic Syria policy that keeps America safe, protects our interests and advances peace in the region.”

A day after a judge asks prosecutors whether or not Michael Flynn committed treason, Donald Trump’s administration pulls two crazy stunts that independently make no sense but when combined point to one outcome.

Trump is compromised and working for Russia.

Pulling out of Syria in a hurry only benefits one party: Putin’s Russia.  It creates chaos among our allies, strengthens our enemies, and leaves the region in chaos.

As far as removing sanctions on Rusal and Deripaska…

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!!

This mother fucker is intimately tied into an attack on America, and instead of punishing him, his companies, his family, and everyone who’s ever looked at him, we’re letting him do business in this country?

Oleg should be on the receiving end of asset forfeiture procedures and a loooooooooooong prison sentence, not getting allowed back into the American business world.

 

As I mentioned yesterday, the letter of intent helps illustrate how deep Trump is involved personally.  (Daily Check-In 12/18/2018)  This letter surfacing showing that he intended to work with VTB, who is part of the Rusal Shell Game mentioned above, only paints the picture to the world that Trump knew and the Russians have him in their pocket.

The Trump campaign funneled money to ad buyers alleged to have facilitated illegal coordination between the campaign and the NRA by routing funds through a secretive LLC that appears to be little more than a shell company, an investigation by the Center for Responsive Politics has found.

While the Trump campaign stopped reporting payments to ad buyers alleged to have facilitated illegal coordination between the campaign and the NRA after the 2016 election cycle, Trump’s 2020 campaign has continued to deploy the same individuals working for the firms at the center of the controversy through payments to Harris Sikes Media LLC — a low-profile limited-liability company operating with no website or public-facing facade whatsoever.

Facing the illegal coordination allegations are National Media, Red Eagle Media Group and American Media & Advocacy Group (AMAG), closely tied consultancies that share staff, resources and adjacent storefronts in Alexandria, Va.

CRP’s analysis of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) records found that Trump campaign political ad disclosures on file with stations across the country have continued to include signatures and names of individuals working for National Media, despite no mention of National Media or its known affiliates on any FCC or Federal Election Commission (FEC) disclosures. Those individual ad buyers’ names have simultaneously continued to be included in ad documents for the National Rifle Association (NRA) and America First, but with the ad buyers’ affiliation listed as National Media or one of its affiliates.

Jesus fucking Christ on a cracker, could the corruption be any more blatant?  We talked about this two weeks ago on Daily Check-In 12/06/2018.  Now, it looks like the Trump 2020 campaign is doing the EXACT SAME ILLEGAL SHIT WITH THE EXACT SAME PEOPLE.

This pisses me off.  I could use some good news.

 

There’s some good news.  And this puts Devin Nunes in a losing position.

If  the Intel Committee votes against releasing the testimony to Mueller now, it will only be along partisan lines, and will be reversed in a couple weeks when the Democrats take over the House.  If they vote for releasing the testimony, they draw the ire of the TrumpFox crowd.  Either way, Mueller will get his hands on that testimony, whether it be now or a couple weeks from now.

 

 

 

WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a defamation lawsuit against BuzzFeed News over the publication of a dossier in January 2017 that alleged several years of links between Russia and then–president-elect Donald Trump.

A Cypriot businessman, Aleksej Gubarev, was named in the dossier, and his name wasn’t redacted in the version originally published by BuzzFeed. Gubarev sued shortly after the article came out, claiming he was defamed by having his name included.

US District Judge Ursula Ungaro in Florida found that BuzzFeed News was shieldedagainst defamation claims because the dossier was the subject of official proceedings — both Trump and then-president Barack Obama had been briefed on it, according to reporting at the time, and the FBI investigated allegations in the documents. The judge concluded that BuzzFeed News was protected by what’s known as the “fair report” privilege.

Ungaro also found that the BuzzFeed News article was “fair and true” because it just reproduced the dossier — it didn’t express any opinions about it.

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET A.K.A. INDIVIDUAL-1

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

KHASHOGGI & SAUDI ARABIA

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

CONGRESS

 

ELECTIONS

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

 

That’s it for Wednesday.  It’s a little light on the content.  I need at least one night a week with more than 4 hours of sleep to recharge.  I was completely exhausted from everything going on this time of year, and needed a few hours to recuperate.

Speaking of time off, this Holiday season I’m cutting down on the Daily posts next week.  I’ll make a post for this Friday and the weekend, but Monday through Wednesday will be in one post.  Depending on what happens, I might change that plan.  I would like to do some essays during that time if possible.  I have a few ideas floating around.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 12/18/2018

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Trump Signed Moscow Project Letter

(CNN)A newly obtained document shows President Donald Trump signed a letter of intent to move forward with negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Russia, despite his attorney Rudy Giuliani claiming on Sunday the document was never signed.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo obtained a copy of the signed letter of intent that set the stage for negotiations for Trump condominiums, a hotel and commercial property in the heart of Moscow. The letter is dated October 28, 2015, and bears the President’s signature.

When asked on Sunday about the letter, Giuliani incorrectly told CNN’s Dana Bash that it had not been signed.

“It was a real estate project. There was a letter of intent to go forward, but no one signed it,” Giuliani told Bash.

The non-binding document is also signed by Andrey Rozov, owner of I.C. Expert Investment Co., the Russian firm that would have been responsible for developing the property.

This story came in late Tuesday, after everything else was planned for this post.  But this could be pretty damn big for one of two reasons.

First, if this is accurate, it shows that Trump is directly implicated in the cover-up of collusion and lying to the American people.

Second, if this isn’t accurate, it pretty much blows up CNN and their reporting from here on out.

I’m waiting for confirmation on either front, but I’m leaning towards the first.  CNN has broken a lot of stuff, and this is likely from Cohen’s team directly or some inside source at SDNY.

The funniest part about this is his signature is easily proven.  Trump writes with a Sharpie.  That’s like a pair of house robbers leaving a “calling card” of flooding the house.  Easy to trace and stupid as shit.

 

Flynn Sentencing

Now, here’s what should be the biggest story of the month, in any normal universe.  The former National Security Advisor to the President of the United States shows up for sentencing on a guilty plea. His lawyers ask for no jail time, the prosecutors ask for no jail time, and everything goes to shit.

After the stunt Flynn’s lawyers pulled last week with his “But I was entrapped” scheme (Daily Check-In 12/14/2018) and Mueller’s team releasing the sort-of-full 302 form (Daily Check-In 12/17/2018), the judge wasn’t hearing any of it.  Judge Sullivan tore Flynn a new asshole.  He laid into him like Flynn owed him money, then proceeded to ask the prosecutors what other crimes they were thought about charging him with.  Things went off the rails when the judge asked “Could he have been charged with treason?”

Damn, son.  Everyone in the courtroom was caught off guard, and more than a few people’s heartbeats spiked on that point.  One of them was Brandon Van Grack.  He hesitated, hemmed and hawed, then answered with a non-answer.  While nearly everyone is freaking out about the question, it’s the answer that made me lose my shit in a glorious, uproarious laughter.

Why?  Because lawyers are not allowed to lie in court, he didn’t have an answer for this question at the ready, and was trying to pull together an answer at the last second that tried to push this away.  He didn’t say yes, but he also didn’t say no. That is huge.

Mueller’s team won’t show their whole hand, but if they hadn’t discussed charging Flynn for treason, all they would have had to say was “No, your honor”, and leave it at that.  The judge would have asked another question, and that would be that.  But he didn’t deny it.  Van Grack can’t say yes without tipping off everyone that treason is on the menu, but he can’t lie, so he’s looking for a non-answer answer.

It’s sort of like this; Yesterday I gave an example of burying the lede in a story in which one spouse was accused of burning down their workplace.  Let’s say that couple is back, and the husband asks the wife questions like “Did you set the fire? Did the building burn? Was there anyone in there?” and as she’s expecting those answers, he asks her an unexpected question like “I mean, it’s not like your boss was running a drug smuggling operation out of the basement, right?” And the wife pauses because her boss was running drugs out of the basement, but no one outside of the office knew.  The husband stumbled on a completely unknown fact that changes EVERYTHING.

That’s what happened with Flynn.  After a short recess, and the judge basically telling Flynn that he was so pissed that he was going to send his ass to jail if he didn’t ask for an extension, Flynn asked for an extension.  They’ll be back on March 13th.

Also, the judge completely shredded Flynn’s argument like it was made of tissue paper.

 

Unknown vs Mueller

We’ve got new information on the secret case.  Turns out it wasn’t a person fighting a subpoena, but a company.  And said company argued that complying with this subpoena would violate the laws of their home country, which also owns the company.  The court said tough shit, pony up.

Instead of guessing who the person was, let’s guess the company.  Turns out, this is a lot harder than it sounds.

We’re dealing with a company owned by a country, and they’re involved in the Mueller Investigation.  The most obvious suspects are either Russian companies like Rosneft, Alfa Bank, or RT, or Qatari like the Qatar Investment Authority.  But if we’re casting a wide net, it could be any of a couple dozen companies from countries like Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Netherlands, Panama, Venezuela, Zaire, Thailand, and The Philippines.

It’s beyond fucked that that this hypercorrupt Rube Goldberg machine has so many moving parts that I’m having a hard time picking a continent, let alone a company.

 

Disinformation Campaign

It’s “uncanny” how Team Trump and Russia use the exact same methods, tools, messages, people, equipment, and bots.  Funny how that works.

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

Trump Foundation Go Bye-Bye!

The Trump Foundation is being forcibly dissolved by the state of New York, and it’s few assets are being disbursed.

Tell me again which candidate had the charity they used as a slush fund?

 

“Enquiring” Minds Want To Know

Most likely the criminal behavior includes taking foreign money, bribery, and other white collar fraud.  But, there’s a part of me that hopes that it’s REALLY nasty.  Like ******************** with a *************** while a ***************** and ****************.  That would be fucked up.

 

Incoming

I’ll talk about this a little in the Coda.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET A.K.A. INDIVIDUAL-1

 

Shutdown

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

 

 

Dershowitz

 

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

I am obsessed with the ever-shifting conspiracy theory being created in real time to discredit the Mueller investigation, by Nunes, Meadows, K Strassel, Mollie Hemingway, et al. 1) What’s the theory called? (eg, “QAnon.”) 2) Who’s got a good rundown of the state of play?

Like all conspiracy theories, it:

A) Seeks evidence to prove an unshakeable point of faith (in this case, NO COLLUSION!)

B) Ignores/dismisses all contrary evidence

C) Makes ample use of “poisoned trees.” If one element can be discredited, then the whole thing is invalid.

D) If any contrary witness makes a minor mistake of fact or ethics, then anything from that person is discredited.

E) Anybody attacking the conspiracy theory is part of the conspiracy (Cabal of FBI/CIA/Dems/Liberal Media!)

F) Memory-holes any prior claims if discredited

I have been fascinated by conspiracy theories since researching/writing a play about Holocaust denial, which is a prime example of all the above. The irony here is that these conspiracy theories are protecting an actual conspiracy.

As if in answer to my plea, Ben Weingarten of the Federalist provides a nifty little primer. Doesn’t hit all the points – no “dirty dossier” — but lots of them.

 

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

STUDENT ISSUES

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

CONGRESS

 

ELECTIONS

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

Penny Marshall

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Tuesday.  Also known as “What the fuck just happened?” Day.

Over the last couple days, I’ve heard a rumblings about a possible soft landing for Trump et. al.  It goes along the lines of Trump’s team and Mueller’s team striking a deal where Trump gets to resign and Mueller doesn’t go after him or his family, and they get to keep their assets.  Think less Nixon and more Spiro T. Agnew.

Agnew was Nixon’s VP until late 1973 when he abruptly resigned and pleaded guilty to tax evasion charges to avoid jail time.  Agnew was caught up in a bribery and extortion racket that swallowed up Maryland politics.  While Watergate was going full speed ahead, Agnew was looking at hard time for accepting bribes while in office as Baltimore Mayor, Maryland Governor, and even in the White House.  The AG made a deal with Agnew’s team; resign in 24 hours with a guilty plea to a felony, and they won’t come after him for restitution or jail time.

I’m not buying it.  Not for a second.

First, it doesn’t match with any of the previous information that I’ve heard or seen over the past two years.  While quitting when the going gets tough matches Trump’s personality, the only way a deal helps him is if there’s absolutely no way that anyone comes after him.  If he thinks for a moment that New York will come for his ass on Enterprise Corruption charges (they most likely will), any deal he strikes with Mueller only helps him with one jurisdiction.

Second, Trump isn’t Agnew.  Trump isn’t Nixon.  Not even close.  They were criminals, but they didn’t coordinate with a foreign government to swing an election.  Ok, maybe Nixon with Vietnam, but that’s another story.  Nixon didn’t work with the VC for over a year as part of a quid pro quo.  Nixon didn’t commit enough crimes to fill a Felony A Day Daily Calendar.  Trump is a traitor to the United States, and doesn’t deserve a soft landing.

Finally, I’m not buying it where it’s in the best interest of the country to let a traitor and his traitorous friends and family walk away. There needs to be an example set.  One that will last hundreds of years, that some favors come with too high a cost.  He needs to stand trial for his crimes.  And so do his accomplices.  Letting a traitor walk away from justice sends a message to the future that the laws don’t matter if you’re rich.

That is the wrong message to send to our children, grandchildren, and progeny.  We must tell them that the fundamental truth of a democratic society still stands, and will stand.

No one is above the law.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur