Daily Check-In 06/19/2018

Tuesday June 19th.

 

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

$109 million for approximately 80 properties, all in cash deals and through LLC’s to hide the true owner.  Smells like Money Laundering

I’m not buying it yet.  Every word out of his mouth is a half-truth or outright lie.  His idea of “cooperating” is not actively getting in the way.  The same way one “helps” the paramedics at the scene of an accident by pulling over to let the ambulance pass.

Like I said yesterday in Daily Check-In 06/18/2018, Rudy’s past connections to FBI agents leaking to him will come out.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, interrupted Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, on Tuesday as he questioned Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz in doing so accused House Republicans of conspiring to “fire” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein by the end of the week.

“Well, is it not appropriate to raise the question as to what is the germaneness of the gentleman’s line of questioning and whether or not we’re dealing with the report of Mr. Horowitz or whether we’re dealing with the Republicans’ attempt to undermine the Mueller investigation as well as fire Deputy Attoney General Rosenstein, which you are planning to do on Friday?” Lee shot back.

Lee appeared to be referring to Gowdy’s claim on Sunday that House Speaker Paul Ryan warned top Justice Department and FBI officials during a meeting they would face the House’s “full arsenal of constitutional weapons to gain compliance” on outstanding subpoenas if they didn’t do so by Friday.

While lawmakers cannot “fire” Rosenstein, they can find him in contempt of Congress or may introduce impeachment proceedings.

 

COHEN

Cohen’s got a new lawyer, and taking bids on whether to flip or have the RNC pay his legal bills again.

Forcing a person to pay for a good or service against their will or betterment for fear of retribution or release of damaging information.  Sounds a lot like extortion.

 

CHARITY CASE

 

IMMIGRATION

6,000

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) tweeted the answer after touring the facility in Brownsville, but he explained in more detail when we spoke by phone on Tuesday.

“There are separate facilities for younger children, there are separate facilities for girls,” Pocan says he was told. Because Brownsville and McAllen have been the focus of attention, only boys have been depicted. In a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, HHS officials pledged to releasephotos of detained girls and toddlers “within the next two days.”

In some cases, the same facility holds both boys and girls, though in separate areas. Our reporter noted in his article that “detainees had been sorted into groups — unaccompanied boys 17 and under; unaccompanied girls 17 and under; male heads of household with their families; and female heads of household with their families.”

 

Trump Started It

 

States Fighting Back

States that have pulled their National Guard troops and/or declined to deploy:

  • Rhode Island
  • Connecticut
  • Maryland
  • Virginia
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Colorado
  • Massachusettes
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Deleware
  • New Hampshire

 

Lawsuit

This is big.  This is the first lawsuit challenging the legality of this policy, and will likely cause a judge to strike down the child separation policy.

 

Fighting Back

June 30th.  I’ll update this site with more details and locations as they come out.

 

Business Leaders

 

Religion

I don’t know if the Methodists have excommunication, but if they do, Sessions has earned it.

 

Defending the Indefensible

 

Sick Pieces of Shit

I had an unnatural, overwhelming hatred of Corey Lewandowski, even before this.  Now, I’ve gone from “not pissing on him if he were on fire” to “wouldn’t even call for an ambulance if he got hit by a truck walking across the street.”  Fuck him.

 

Fact Checks

 

Internment Camps

 

Literal Nazis

 

 

COLD WAR 2.0

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A sophisticated hacking campaign launched from computers in China burrowed deeply into satellite operators, defense contractors and telecommunications companies in the United States and southeast Asia, security researchers at Symantec Corp said on Tuesday.

 

#NEVERAGAIN

[–]SmallGerbilColorado [score hidden] 

For anyone seeking a TL;DR – these are the companies so far:

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

SAY GOODBYE TO THE ECONOMY

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

I’m not addicted, I can quit any time I want…

Y’all got any more of them space

 

RUMOR MILL

 

 

That’s it for Tuesday.  Let’s see how Wednesday goes.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 06/18/2018

The weekend and Monday, June 18th.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Roger Stone’s Undisclosed Meeting

Michael Caputo sent Roger Stone to have a meeting with a Russian who claimed to have dirt on Hilary Clinton in May 2016.  Roger attended this meeting with a Russian and a Ukrainian.  The Ukrainian claimed to have emails from the Democrats and HRC.  The Russian was a former FBI informant.

Roger, who completely forgot about this meeting until the press reminded him of it, said that nothing came of it.  Then that nothing happened.  After hearing that the Russian was a former FBI informant, he then claims it was a sting operation against him.

Caputo, who also completely forgot about this meeting in testimony to Congress and likely the FBI, recited the same tired excuses.

 

Mitch vs. Decency

Mitch McConnell is turtleneck deep in this shit.  Remember his wife Elaine Chao is a member of Trump’s Cabinet.

 

Paul Manafort is in Jail

This morning, Paul Manafort woke up and stared a grey concrete ceiling.  Just as he will for every day for the rest of his life, until he dies or flips.

 

How Many Russian Contacts?

I’m going to make an article about all of the people that had contacts with Russians and other foreigners during the campaign.  It might be 87 parts long by the time I’m done with it.

 

The Nunes-Giuliani-NY FBI Leak

I’ve talked about this for a while, but the New York FBI Office was feeding Rudy intel during the 2016 campaign.  Several members of that office hated Clinton, and Rudy exploited his old ties with them to get information he shouldn’t have.

Those FBI agents helped put Trump in office.  Whether they were knowing participants in the conspiracy is another matter.  I want to give the benefit of the doubt, but I’m fresh out of doubt at this point.

 

Senate Testimony

This is what Trump is afraid of; having his secrets exposed and the abuse that Strzok endured aired for the world to see.

 

CHARITY CASE

The Trump Foundation being sued by New York should be much bigger news in a normal universe.

 

IMMIGRATION

Detention Centers, Tent Cities, and Concentration Camps

 

Hearing the Cries

 

Whistlblowers

 

Dems Fight Back

 

R’s Do Nothing

 

National Guard

 

Former First Ladies React

 

Stephen Miller

 

DHS

 

Avenatti

 

Trump and Staff:  The Planning

 

Trump and Staff:  The Handling

 

Religious Leaders Speaking Out

 

World Reaction

 

Medical Experts Weigh In

 

Echoes from the Past

 

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

GERRYMANDERING CASES

The 9-0 ruling authored by Chief Justice John Roberts in a Wisconsin case is a blow to Democrats who argued the Republican-drawn maps prevented fair and effective representation by diluting voters’ influence and penalizing voters based on their political beliefs

While the ruling will let the maps be used, the justices dodged the question of whether they are legal. The Supreme Court has a standard limiting the over-reliance on race in map-drawing, except under the most limited circumstances. The court has not been successful in developing a test concerning the over-reliance on politics.

Democrats had won a challenge in a lower court, but the Supreme Court’s decision Monday would limit who can bring such cases in the future.

The second case was out of Maryland, where Republicans challenged a district map drawn by Democrats. The justices said that a lower court did not act improperly in leaving the map in place.

 

SPACE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

ELECTION 2018

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Monday.  Finally.  Yesterday was emotionally draining and taxing.  Tuesday and Wednesday will likely be either combined into one post, late on both days, or only contain the top stories.  Most likely, they’ll be late.

Make no mistake about it, we are approaching the a crescendo, an end of an act or season.  All of this screams of desperation and distraction.  As much as I hate to say it, these are meant to anger and disgust people so much that they don’t see the rest of the story.

Trump’s people are using children as hostages in a negotiation to get their border wall, and just like any other terrorist, they are not to be trusted.  There’s no guarantee they won’t do this again, and if they get what they want, they’ll use these tactics again.

My message to the to Democrats in Congress is this: Do not negotiate with terrorists.

As far as everyone else, keep focused on everything else going on.  One thing Trump is good at is distraction, and nothing is more distracting than suffering children.

One of my upcoming articles for the Cast of Characters will be a listing of all of the members of Trump’s team that have had known Russian contacts.  That might take a while to put together.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 06/15/2018

Friday, June 15th.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION: MANAFORT GOES TO PRISON

Prosecutors made the Manafort detention request on June 4, when they argued in court papers that he tried to tamper with two witnesses after he was indicted in Washington for a second time on Feb. 23. Four days later, a grand jury indicted Manafort anew, accusing him and an associate of witness tampering. Manafort has pleaded not guilty.

Jackson said she had no way to stop Manafort from contacting people while he’s out on bail.

“This is not middle school,” she told lawyers. “I can’t take his cellphone.”

Paul Manafort is in jail.  That feels good to say.

Paul Manafort, former Campaign Manager for the President of the United States, is in jail.

Paul Manafort, liaison to Oleg Deripaska, unregistered lobbyist for the Hapsburg Group and adviser to Viktor Yanukovitch, is in jail.

I wonder how long it will take Paul to look around his cell and say “Jr., Pence, Jared, and Donald should be here with me.”

“We had a suspect,” said Clapper. “I don’t know whether the suspicions we had at the time were conveyed [to Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller] or whether they were validated.” U.S. intelligence officials were “pretty confident at the time but not sufficient enough to publicize it,” he said.

The precise means by which DNC emails that had been hacked by Russian intelligence made their way to WikiLeaks for public consumption has never been publicly revealed by the U.S. intelligence community. Nor has it ever been clear that U.S. officials had figured it out. That gap in the story of the Russian attack on the U.S. election has fueled conspiracy theories that the hackers were not in fact Russian state-sponsored hackers — as the intelligence community has firmly concluded. Instead, the conspiracy theorists have claimed, the emails were given to WikiLeaks by a disgruntled Democratic party “insider” or even a spy planted inside the party.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange himself has given credence to such theories, repeatedly insisting that he did not get the DNC emails from Russian intelligence. (“Our source is not the Russian government,” he told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.) At one point, Assange inexplicably offered a reward for information about the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich, who, according to Washington, D.C., police, was likely killed in a botched robbery with no connection to the DNC hack

But Clapper told “Skullduggery” that the WikiLeaks transfer “cut-out” was selected by the Russians for a reason — so that Assange could tell the world he did not get the DNC emails from Russian intelligence. “The real point was it was an attempt to ensure [Assange] plausible deniability,” Clapper said.

Clapper was responding to questions about a little-noticed passage in his new book, “Facts and Fears: Hard Truths From a Life in Intelligence.” In the book, Clapper recounts how the U.S. intelligence community concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian leadership had publicly dumped the DNC emails after they decided in March 2016 that “it was worth the risk of diplomatic blowback if they were caught” hacking the DNC. This gave the green light to Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, to go “on the offense, exfiltrating emails and large volumes of data.”

Then, Clapper added: “In April, Russia used a third party ‘cut-out’ to send more than 19,000 DNC emails and more than 8,000 documents to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, attempting to cover its tracks and to give WikiLeaks some degree of deniability in knowing the source of the leaks.”

WASHINGTON (AP) — A company run by former officials at Cambridge Analytica, the political consulting firm brought down by a scandal over how it obtained Facebook users’ private data, has quietly been working for President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election effort, The Associated Press has learned.

The AP confirmed that at least four former Cambridge Analytica employees are affiliated with Data Propria, a new company specializing in voter and consumer targeting work similar to Cambridge Analytica’s efforts before its collapse. The company’s former head of product, Matt Oczkowski, leads the new firm, which also includes Cambridge Analytica’s former chief data scientist.

Data Propria.  Keep that name in mind.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. District Court judge ruled on Friday that a Russian company charged with meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election is not entitled to review grand jury materials and gave the two sides 10 days to agree on rules for sharing evidence.

Lawyers for the Russian company, Concord Management and Consulting LLC, had last month asked the judge for permission to review the instructions provided to the grand jury, arguing the case was flawed because there was no evidence the company knowingly and “willfully” violated American laws.

District Judge Dabney Friedrich denied that request, saying it was not clear the issue would be critical to the defense, which has indicated it plans to file a motion to dismiss the case, and that she considered it an unjustified step.

“Breaching the secrecy of the grand jury is not an easy thing to do,” Friedrich said at the hearing.

“Unfair.”  Unfair?  Know what’s unfair, thousands of children crying themselves to sleep in cages because a heartless government ripped them away from their parents.  Getting thrown in jail for breaking the law while on bail is justice.

 

COHEN

Cohen’s next court date is scheduled for June 25th.  That’s 10 days for him to go through the shredded documents and encrypted texts to see if any of those fall under attorney-client privilege (Spoiler Alert: They won’t) and work out the beginning steps of a plea deal.

 

TRUMP CHARITIES

NYAG Underwood sent a criminal referral to the IRC CI.  IRS’s Criminal Investigation unit, also known as the Seal Team Six of Taxes, will make a determination on whether and when they should conduct a criminal investigation against the Trump family and the donors to the foundation.

Notice I said donors? The list of foundation donors include many of Trump’s political donors, and unlike donating to a PAC, charitable donations are tax-deductible.  Not only did Trump not pay taxes on the incoming donations, but his donors may have claimed a deduction on an illegal contribution.

Vinnie Mac might want to talk to his tax man.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

SAY GOODBYE TO THE ECONOMY

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

Meeting extreme injustices with polite banter plays right into the hands of this administration, because it paints their outrageous actions as just being on one side of a well-meaning debate. They’re not. This is not about disagreement, or political discourse. This is about fighting for what’s right over what is clearly and demonstrably evil.

Being spittlingly angry will not drive more people to Trump and will not diminish us – the high road is about morals, not a few curse words.

The Obama’s famously said years ago “When they go low, we go high.”  That refers to morals, not language.  Anyone who has read this site for a couple days can see that I’m not afraid of dropping an F-bomb on a story like it’s the fire bombing of Dresden.  I’ve lost count of how many times over the last three years I’ve seen Trump Supporters attack people for getting offended and showing offense at blatantly obvious misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, and racist language, only to express their own gelotophobia.  That’s a fear of being laughed at or ridiculed.

The same people that called Hilary Clinton a cunt and the Obama children monkeys get their panties in a twist when a professional comedian called Ivanka Trump a vapid, feckless cunt.  The same people that cheered when Donald Trump screamed at a journalist to go fuck himself feign shock and horror when Robert DeNiro says “Fuck You Trump” during the Tony Awards.  The same people that hooted and hollered for Trump making fun of a disabled man at a campaign rally cry crocodile tears when Alec Baldwin portrays him Saturday Night Live.  The same people that support locking children up in cages…well, I question the humanity of those mother fuckers.

The Snowflake Generation.  I think that’s what I’m going to call Trump Supporters from now on.  The same people that insisted their kids get trophies just for participating are the same ones calling those same kids sheltered.  The same people that laughed at “libtard tearz” over racism and sexism are the same ones trying to hold us to a higher standard than themselves.

Fuck that, fuck them, and fuck anyone who thinks like that.

I’ve got a new slogan: When they go low, step on their fucking neck.

Call the shit what it is.  Make them uncomfortable as fuck.

They talk about how bad immigration is, show them pictures of toddlers crying in cages.

They talk about Ivanka being treated unfairly, talk about her laundering money for terrorists and child rapists.

They talk about Trump being an “alpha male”, talk about him being a coward that doesn’t have the balls to say shit to people’s faces.

Don’t talk about his omissions of fact or mistruths.  Talk about his lies and his bullshitting.

Don’t talk about Trump’s Sexual Assaults.  Talk about his Rapes.

 

ROB ROGERS FIRED

Rob Rogers, the longtime editorial cartoonist for my hometown paper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, was fired for submitting the following cartoon.

RogersLastCartoon

In the last few months, the PG hired a new editor named John Block, a Right-Wing cheerleader with ties to the paper’s new conservative owners.  In the span of a couple months, Rob had more cartoons spiked than he had in the past decade combined.  All of the spiked cartoons were critical of Trump and the Right Wing.

John Block is trying to turn the Post-Gazette into a Right-Wing paper.  It won’t work. Pittsburgh is one of the most Liberal cities in the country.  We had a right-wing paper in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.  It failed.  It failed because Pittsburgh is a vibrant, diverse, and educated city.  Those three attributes are the antithesis of modern conservatism.

Claude Taylor talked about putting this picture up as a billboard across from the Post-Gazette’s headquarters if they can get matching funds from around Pittsburgh.  It would cost about $3-4k for a week.

I wish I still had my subscription to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, just so I could cancel it.

 

PRUITT

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

#METOO

 

ELECTION 2018

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Friday.  One story I didn’t cover, because I have a little rule about it, was Trump’s impromptu “crash” of Fox & Friends on the White House lawn at the same time that Paul Manafort was getting reprimanded by the judge and remanded to jail.  It was nothing more than a distraction, like dangling keys in front of a baby.  In this case, the MSM is the baby.

I don’t expect to do much work on this website this weekend.  Real life has some plans for me, and I have a lot of things to do in a short time.  I might have some time on Sunday night.  At the least, I want to do some organization around here.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 06/14/2018

Thursday, June 14th.

 

NEW YORK SUES TRUMP OVER CHARITY FRAUD

The New York attorney general on Thursday filed suit against President Trump and his three eldest children alleging “persistently illegal conduct” at the president’s personal charity, saying Trump repeatedly misused the nonprofit — to pay off his businesses’ creditors, to decorate one of his golf clubs and to stage a multimillion dollar giveaway at his 2016 campaign events.

In the suit, filed Thursday morning, attorney general Barbara Underwood asked a state judge to dissolve the Donald J. Trump Foundation. She asked that its remaining $1 million in assets be distributed to other charities and that Trump be forced to pay at least $2.8 million in restitution and penalties.

Underwood also asks that Trump be banned from leading any other New York nonprofit for 10 years — seeking to apply a penalty usually reserved for the operators of small-time charity frauds to the president of the United States.

The Trump Foundation is a slush fund, not a charity.  Trump set it up using the legal framework as a charity, but used it as a slush fund, to pay for everything from personal and business legal costs to purchasing gaudy artwork to paying campaign vendors.  All of this to avoid taxes and use other people’s money to pay for things.

And all of it is illegal.

Self-dealing is the illegal and unethical behavior of a trustee or company officer acting in their own self-interest instead of that of the company, and taking advantage of that position by using the company for their own personal gains.

Every state in the country, including New York, has specific laws against using funds from a charity for anything other than a charitable purpose, such as donations to non-profits, paying expenses of the charity, or conducting work that is specifically related to the charity.  Sometimes, that line can get a little fuzzy, like “why does a charity need access to a private plane?” or “why is a charity that promotes childhood literacy need to pay a $4000 bar tab?”, but those usually have at least a semi-legitimate reason.  Maybe the charity needed access to the private plane to wine and dine a high rolling donor, or the dog charity hosted a fundraiser.

In the case of the Trump Foundation, there was no fuzziness.  This was straight up self-dealing, and many people were in on it.

The Trump Organization (the parent company directed by the Trump family), namely Donald Trump, used the Trump Foundation (charity) as a slush fund.  Think of a slush fund as a piggy bank used for illegal or inappropriate activity, usually for another person or group whose finances are under close scrutiny.  Nixon’s Committee to Re-Elect the President, or CREEP, kept a slush fund on hand to pay for illicit activities like the Watergate break-in and cover-up.  This is how the break-in was ultimately tied back to the White House and Nixon.  Once the slush fund was discovered, it was just a matter of time until it was discovered who had access to it.  From there, it was a simple matter of finding out who made the authorizations, and on whose orders.

With Trump, they used the charity as a slush fund for paying off legal settlements against Mar-A-Lago, used the funds to pay for various company purchases, and used the funds to pay campaign expenses.

That’s right.  Trump Organization used Trump Foundation to pay expenses for Trump 2016.  The company paid campaign vendors and made political investments (read bribes) using charity money.  About the only charity money that actually went to charity were the funds moved from the foundation to the charities of the Trump children, like Curetivity, Jr’s charity which used to hold annual fundraisers for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

What’s even more screwed up is that most of the money donated to Trump Foundation doesn’t come from Trump, but his friends, vendors, and other organizations.  The largest donor to the foundation in 2007 was Vince and Linda McMahon, owners of the WWE.  So, Trump used money donated to his charity by his friends to pay for expenses to his campaign.  By the way, Linda McMahon is Head of the Small Business Administration, a cabinet-level position.

NYAG Barbara Underwood not only sued Trump for double the amount spent plus penalties, but sent a criminal referral to the IRS and Federal Election Commission.  It’s also not out of the realm of possibility to think that this civil lawsuit could easily lead to criminal charges in New York, and state charges in other locations.  Remember, Corey Lewandowski was on the ground in Iowa when he asked for foundation funds to be disbursed to pay vendors and staff there.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

A new filing from the special counsel Robert Mueller unsealed on Wednesday identifies two former journalists and the content of messages former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and a Russian associate sent them in February, just two days after a superseding indictment against Manafort.

The 21-page document also names members of the so-called “Hapsburg group” – described by Mueller in the February superseding indictment of Manafort as “a group of former senior European politicians to take positions favorable to Ukraine, including by lobbying in the United States.”

According to the document, some of the key participants of the Hapsburg group are former Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer, former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, Belgian Judge Jean-Paul Moerman, head of the German Federal Chancellory Bodo Hombach and former Spanish NATO head Javier Solana.

The exhibit containing the names of Alan Friedman, Eckart Sager, Konstantin Kliminck, and Hapsburg group members, was filed by the clerk in an unredacted form on Wednesday afternoon but was re-filed a short time later in a redacted form with those names hidden.

Manafort’s hearing is scheduled for early Friday morning.  Mueller’s team has asked that his bail be revoked and that Manafort be remanded to prison.

 

COHEN

It’s almost certain that Cohen will flip at this point.  When he does, he can take down the entire Trump Criminal Empire, and most of the Russian Mafia in the United States.

 

IMMIGRATION

I’m at a level of angry about this that I haven’t been in a while over the actions of these psuedo-nazis.  Taking children away from their parents is wrong.  End of discussion.  There is no justification for this.  The people perpetrating this atrocity, from Trump who gave the go-ahead to Jeff Sessions, to the individual guards and vendors supplying these camps should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  These are crimes against humanity.

Especially the guards.

The level of hypocrisy needed to wake up, say goodbye to ones family, go to work, and rip children from their mothers and fathers, only to go home and ask their children how their day was is incredible.  They are committing gross violations of state, federal, and international law, and they get to home at the end of the day?  Bullshit.  They should be brought up on charges, prosecuted, and if found guilty thrown in jail.

And don’t give me the Nuremberg Defense.  “I was just following orders” does not stand in a court of law.  Executing an illegal, immoral, or unethical order does not absolve one from guilt.

Finally, to the asshats using the Bible as a justification for this cruelty.  Last time I checked, the entire New Testament was built around the story of a migrant mother fleeing from a tyrannical ruler trying to take her baby from her.

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

I was proud because I believed Republican policies were better for people, yes. But I was mostly proud because we were the “party of ideas.”

Liberty, limited government, low taxes, fewer regulations, law and order, family first, national security — from Reagan on, we were the party of ideas, and Democrats were the party of identity politics.

When the great ideas are gone, or when the leader of the party has neither affection nor use for them, all that’s left behind is rank demagoguery. When you can no longer elucidate the ideas, or when they are too damaging to openly acknowledge, all you can do is simply make threats, demand loyalty.

With Republicans all too eager to table their principles for this president, here’s what we know they WILL support, either directly or through tacit silence:

If this is the “agenda” Ms. McDaniel insists I support, the answer is of course no. The question is, why would any Republican?

 

ELECTION 2018

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

SUMMER ZERVOS

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

SAY GOODBYE TO THE ECONOMY

 

INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT

The Justice Department inspector general on Thursday castigated former FBI Director James B. Comey for his actions during the Hillary Clinton email investigation and found that other senior bureau officials showed a “willingness to take official action” to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president.

The 500-page report, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, documents major missteps in one of the most politically charged cases in the FBI’s history. It also provides the most exhaustive account to date of bureau and Justice Department decision-making throughout the investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server, particularly in the months just before she would lose the presidency to Trump.

Though the inspector general condemned individual FBI officials, the report fell significantly short in supporting the assertion by the president and his allies that the investigation was rigged in favor of Clinton. The inspector general found “no evidence that the conclusions by department prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations.” The report acknowledged that certain emails appeared to contain classified information, but investigators determined the FBI’s conclusion that Clinton did not intend to expose classified information was legitimate.

Here’s a link to the report: A Review of the Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election

Once again, the facts of the report support the conclusion that Jim Comey’s actions helped Trump and hurt Clinton, and that Comey was wrong in how he handled the Clinton Email saga.  In other news, water is wet.

From looking at everything about this over the past year, along with reading Comey’s book, he was in uncharted waters.  One nominee was under investigation, and the campaign of the other was as well.  The first found no intentional wrongdoing that met the high standards for criminal charges.  The second was just getting off of the ground, and at the time it looked like the Trump Campaign were victims of Russian attacks, not co-conspirators.  As time progressed, things changed, and the late September discovery of mails changed everything.

Comey was in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t position that he backed himself into with his promise to update Congress if anything changed.  By October, it was pretty obvious that members of Trump’s team were working with the Russians.  It also became apparent that some members of the FBI New York office were helping Trump through his connection with Rudy Giuliani, so any events that took place there involving Clinton would leak quickly.  If Comey sat on it, Trump’s team would release the cover-up of the hidden emails and claim the FBI was trying to get Clinton elected.  If Comey announced this new development, Clinton would take a hit in the polls and vote tallies.  If Comey announced that there was new evidence, but also announced that Trump’s Campaign was under investigation, not only would both of the above problems happen, but the criminals would go to ground.  Comey made the best of a terrible situation.

Over the next couple days, expect the Right Wing Media to try to spin this as “proof” of a fix against Trump, while ignoring almost every fact in the report.

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Thursday.  Like I’ve said a few times already, this is going to be a crazy week.

I’m trying a new thing on the page with posting articles to multiple sections.  There are some stories which fall into multiple categories, and with how things are converging, a story crosses over.  For example, the NRA sleeping with the Russians is both part of the Mueller Investigation and #NeverAgain movement, while Cohen’s impending flip on Trump will impact everything.

I’m starting Friday’s post later than I have the past few weeks, as I’m not posting this one until Friday morning.  I’d like to get an article written this weekend, but with as crazy as things have been recently, I make no promises on that front.  I will let everyone in on the secret when the craziness hits a crescendo.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.
“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Check-In 06/13/2018

Wednesday, June 13th.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

In a public court filing, Mueller’s team released two memos from 2013 detailing Manafort’s involvement in efforts to influence debate in Congress and in the U.S. press about the imprisonment of Yanukovych’s main political rival, Yulia Tymoshenko.

In what appears to be an incomplete, draft memo titled “US Consultants — Quarterly Report” and addressed to Yanukovych, Manafort wrote that he had “organized and leveraged the visits of” two Hapsburg group members “to make critical in-roads in how policymakers view Ukraine.”

The memo is dated April 22, 2013. Romano Prodi, a former Italian prime minister and a member of the Hapsburg group, had visited Washington and met with Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and congressional staffers the month before.

“The strategy for the first quarter of 2013 was to heavily engage with the UGS [sic] and US Congress, using a strategy I built called ‘Engage Ukraine’ which focused the dialogue on positive key issues, and away from” Tymoshenko, Manafort wrote in the memo. “One of the most critical goals that we have achieved during this quarter is to prevent the application of any sanctions against the GoU or its officials. We have been able to accomplish this by implementing key messages from the ‘Engage Ukraine’ strategy, many of which resonate with key U.S. officials.”

The memo, which is clearly written with a desire to play up the impact of Manafort’s work for Ukraine in the U.S., goes on to boast about placing op-eds in American publications like the Hill and the Christian Science Monitor and about “pitching our narrative and messaging to key reporters and editors at the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and New York Times.”

Manafort is manaucked.  Friday’s the day he either strikes a deal or goes to prison.

The special counsel Robert Mueller’s office filed a protective order Tuesday to limit evidence sharing in the case against the 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities indicted in February as part of the Russia investigation.

They were charged with conspiring to interfere in the 2016 US election by mounting a social-media disinformation campaign to sway voter opinions during the presidential campaign.

In its motion on Tuesday, Mueller’s office cited the risk of revealing to Russian intelligence the identities of “uncharged individuals and entities” believed to be “continuing to engage in interference operations” in the US.

“The evidence in this case will also include numerous reports and affidavits filed in connection with this investigation that describe investigative steps, identify uncharged co-conspirators, and disclose various law enforcement and intelligence collection techniques,” the document said.

Do not be shocked if more indictments against Russians, especially the hackers that did the deeds.

National security adviser John Bolton was paid $115,000 in the past year to participate in two panel discussions sponsored by the foundation of an Ukrainian steel magnate — including one in Kiev last September, during which Bolton reassured the audience that President Trump would not radically change U.S. foreign policy.

Bolton’s appearances at the Kiev event and at another event in Munich this February were paid for by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, according a financial disclosure form released Monday by the White House.

A spokeswoman for Pinchuk, Natalia Vovk, said the group invited Bolton to speak as part of an effort to “attract the best speakers who represent different points of view from the political spectrum of their countries.”

The payment from the Pinchuk foundation was the largest single speaking fee Bolton received in the past year, according to his disclosure. In all, Bolton reported making $747,000 in speaking fees and $2.2 million in total income, including $569,000 from Fox News, for which he was a paid contributor.

Pinchuk has donated more than $10 million to the family foundation of former president Bill Clinton and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. In 2011, Pinchuk met with one of Clinton’s aides at the State Department to relay a message from Ukraine’s president at the time, Viktor Yanukovych. The meeting was described in Clinton emails later released by the State Department.

In 2015, when Donald Trump was a leading Republican candidate for president, Pinchuk’s foundation donated $150,000 to Trump’s personal charity. The payment was for a 20-minute speech to the Yalta European Strategy group’s 2015 meeting in Kiev, made by video conference. The New York Times later reported that Michael Cohen — Trump’s personal attorney — was involved in arranging the payment.

John Bolton accepted money from a Ukrainian oligarch, and the payment was arranged by Michael Cohen.

During the Trump campaign, Mr. Barrack was a top fund-raiser and trusted gatekeeper who opened communications with the Emiratis and Saudis, recommended that the candidate bring on Paul Manafort as campaign manager — and then tried to arrange a secret meeting between Mr. Manafort and the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Mr. Barrack was later named chairman of Mr. Trump’s inaugural committee.

But Mr. Manafort has since been indicted by the special prosecutorinvestigating Russian meddling in the presidential election. The same inquiry is examining whether the Emiratis and Saudis helped sway the election in Mr. Trump’s favor — potentially in coordination with the Russians, according to people familiar with the matter. Investigators have also asked witnesses about specific contributions and expenses related to the inauguration, according to people familiar with those interviews.

Tom Barrack was the head of the inauguration committee.  Rick Gates was his chief of staff.  Barrack worked with George Nader on setting up the meeting with the Saudis.  Both of those men are Cooperating Witnesses.

COHEN

There could be a completely innocuous reason why Michael Cohen is getting a new legal team and telling all of his friends that SDNY was getting the paperwork ready to arrest his ass.

Most likely, Cohen flips.  If he flips, he has to cooperate with any and all cases in any jurisdiction.  That means Mueller’s work as well.

 

IMMIGRATION

What can we do?

Whatever you do, don’t click on the tweet above.  If you do, please don’t look up the nearest location and collect supplies like baby formula, diapers, books, and clothes.  And don’t tell others about it, either.  It would be a shame if thousands of people showed up at each and every detention center. /s.

For those unaware, the /s indicates that the previous statement was sarcastic.

 

COLD WAR 2.0

How in the Crystal Pepsi flavored fuck did we end up in the timeline where the President of the United States is threatening Canada, but praising North Korea?

Oh, that’s right. Trump is a traitorous piece of shit doing the bidding of China and Russia.

Yes, I put soccer shit in the Cold War section.  With the amount of corruption associated to the previous couple choices, I’d be surprised if there wasn’t some grift involved.

 

#NEVERAGAIN

I can’t wait for the NRA to attack the American Medical Association.  No, really.  I want to see this shitstorm.

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

The media is the enemy?

Ok, you narcissistic, parasitic, daughter fucking, racist, rapist, traitorous piece of shit.

I see it as my solemn duty as an American, a believer in Democracy, Decency, and the Rule of Law to stand up against you and your ilk.

I have tried for more than two years to find one redeeming quality about you, and I can’t find anything.  Not one piece of information, not one story, not one anecdote that even implies that you have even the slightest shred of humanity, integrity, humility, or decency.

Everyone else, even the criminals you surround yourself with, have something going for them.  Mike Flynn is a devoted father.  Paul Manafort is organized.  Michael Cohen is hard working.  Steve Bannon was devoted to his cause.

You… You have nothing.  You are duller than a 15 watt light bulb, thinner skinned than a piñata, a complete failure as a businessman and without a shred of creativity.

Either Democracy survives or you stay in power.

I look forward to your perp walk.  I may name my next kid after the person that puts you in handcuffs.

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

Rep. David Valadao, R-California, confirmed Tuesday his family was no longer operating their dairy farm after the Los Angeles Times reported a bank seized the property following his failure to resolve more than $8 million in loans that have not been repaid.

 

PUERTO RICO

 

ELECTION 2018

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

THE ENVIRONMENT

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

SAY GOODBYE TO THE ECONOMY

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

Each star represent an American member of the CIA lost in the field in the line of duty.  Their actions, and even their names, are classified.  Odd are we’ll never know who they were, or what they were doing.

This is a thoroughly stupid idea with its roots in Russian propaganda.  The groups behind this push get their online support from the Russian Troll Farm.

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for today.  This week is building to some pretty big stuff.  Friday, both Cohen and Manafort have a day in court, and at least one of them is going to flip to avoid a harsher sentence.

UPDATE:  This from Business Insider just came out with the names of the witnesses that Manafort tried to tamper with.

The individuals are Alan Friedman and Eckart Sager, both former journalists based in Europe. Friedman and Sager spearheaded efforts by the Hapsburg Group — a lobbying group consisting of former European leaders — to lobby on behalf of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych in Europe and the US.

They wrote a story about the Hapsburg Group, saying that they worked in the US and Europe.  Manafort contacted Friedman and Kilimnik reached out to Sager to tell them to change their story and their tune in that the Hapsburg Group only worked in Europe.  The journalists contacted Mueller’s team with this information.

The next couple days are gonna be crazy.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 06/12/2018

Tuesday, June 12th.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller warned that Russian intelligence services have active “interference operations” in the U.S. and asked a judge to limit the pretrial evidence provided to a Russian firm indicted over meddling in the 2016 election.

Mueller asked a federal judge in Washington for an order that would protect the handover of voluminous evidence to lawyers for Concord Management and Consulting LLC, one of three companies and 13 Russian nationals charged in a February indictment. They are accused of producing propaganda, posing as U.S. activists and posting political content on social media as so-called trolls to encourage strife in the U.S.

The threat of public or unauthorized disclosure of evidence would help foreign intelligence services, particularly in Russia, in “future operations against the United States,” Mueller’s prosecutors wrote in a filing Tuesday.

A federal judge has ordered special counsel Robert Mueller to identify by Friday all the individuals and organizations involved in former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s alleged scheme to lobby on behalf of Ukraine without registering as a foreign agent under U.S. law.

Among the people Mueller will be required to identify to the defense are top European former politicians who took part in the influence campaign, as well as others whose testimony Manafort has been accused of trying to influence in recent months. Manafort’s alleged effort to shape the accounts of those people led to two new felony obstruction of justice charges last week.

The ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson Tuesday represents a rare courtroom win for Manafort’s defense, which is battling Mueller’s prosecutors in two different federal courts and faces two looming jury trials.

Prosecutors resisted the defense motion, but the judge’s decision is not likely to be significant since many of the names are well known to the defense and have been reported in the media.

For instance, former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi and former Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer have acknowledged some involvement in paid lobbying work for Ukraine. However, they have said they were not paid by Manafort.

Several prominent Russians, some in President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle or high in the Russian Orthodox Church, now have been identified as having contact with National Rifle Association officials during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, according to photographs and an NRA source.

The contacts have emerged amid a deepening Justice Department investigation into whether Russian banker and lifetime NRA member Alexander Torshin illegally channeled money through the gun rights group to add financial firepower to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential bid.

Justice Department officials dispute the recounting of the closed-door meeting detailed in the story, and Rosenstein now plans to “request that the House general counsel conduct an internal investigation of these Congressional staffers’ conduct” when he returns from a foreign trip this week, a Justice Department official said.
“The Deputy Attorney General never threatened anyone in the room with a criminal investigation,” the official said. “The FBI Director, the senior career ethics adviser for the Department, and the Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs who were all present at this meeting are all quite clear that the characterization of events laid out here is false.
“The Deputy Attorney General was making the point — after being threatened with contempt — that as an American citizen charged with the offense of contempt of Congress, he would have the right to defend himself, including requesting production of relevant emails and text messages and calling them as witnesses to demonstrate that their allegations are false,” the official added. “That is why he put them on notice to retain relevant emails and text messages, and he hopes they did so.”

 

COHEN

 

IMMIGRATION

 

BREXIT

A British public interest group has filed a lawsuit in a Mississippi court against two companies controlled by Arron Banks, the pro-Brexit donor, following allegations that the firms may have violated UK data protection rules in an attempt to sway the 2016 vote to leave the EU.

Fair Vote Project, a British activist group that is campaigning for changes to UK election rules, has launched the legal action against Eldon Insurance and a Bristol-based software development group, Big Data Dolphins. Fair Vote has asked a judge to permanently bar the firms from destroying any data that they might be holding in Mississippi.

At the heart of the complaint is an allegation that the companies may have used data that had been mined in the UK and combined it with information that had been collected from Eldon Insurance, which sells car insurance in the UK.

The suit further alleges that the data may have been brought to the University of Mississippi, where the companies sought to create their own version of Cambridge Analytica, the controversial firm that used data mined from social media networks to try to sway voters’ behaviour.

Fair Vote and the lead plaintiff in the case, a British resident called Kyle Taylor, have said in court filings that they want to determine whether any UK data was illegally transferred to Mississippi as part of the groups’ plans.

 

G7 FALLOUT

 

SINGAPORE SUMMIT

“Nuclear nonproliferation is a pillar of America’s national security.   We respect any serious and real diplomatic efforts to achieve that goal on the Korean peninsula.  Apparently, the President handed Kim Jong-un concessions in exchange for vague promises that do not approach a clear and comprehensive pathway to denuclearization and non-proliferation.

“In his haste to reach an agreement, President Trump elevated North Korea to the level of the United States while preserving the regime’s status quo.  The millions of families currently living in fear of nuclear weapons in the region deserve strong and smart leadership built on diplomacy and engagement with our regional partners and allies.

“The President’s marginalization of the vast expertise of the State Department and his habitual disparaging of our allies as demonstrated at the G7 Forum hinders a lasting, stable pathway to peace.”

”Honestly, I think he’s going to do these things. I may be wrong,” Trump said. “I may stand before you in six months and say, ‘hey, I was wrong.’ I don’t know that I’ll admit that but I’ll find some kind of an excuse.”

 

COLD WAR 2.0

The South Korean military issued a statement to NBC News saying: “Regarding President Trump’s comment regarding ending of the combined military drills..We need to find out the exact meaning or intention behind his comments at this point.”

Historically, the US has asserted that the bilateral, planned, and transparent military drills are legal while North Korea’s nuclear program is not, so it would be blackmail to suspend them for Pyongyang.

 

OTHER TRUMP CRIMES

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

PUERTO RICO

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

This month, the state attorney general in Pennsylvania is expected to release an 884-page report that will detail decades of clerical sexual abuse and cover-ups by the Roman Catholic church in six of Pennsylvania’s eight Catholic dioceses. The report has not yet been made public, but has been shared with the bishops in the six dioceses: Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton.

 

GOP

The truth of the matter is that anyone who willingly declares themselves a Republican is aligning themselves with an administration whose official policy is to torment minorities, to empty the public purse both for private gain and for sheer cruel parsimony, to strip away healthcare from the afflicted and to comfort the wealthy.

It is high time, when you find yourself next at a dinner party with someone who has gone Trump, to smash your glass to shards and leave. It is time to push yourself away from the table. It is time to cease to behave with subservient politesse towards those who embrace barbarity with unfettered glee.

Politics have always been about the fates of others; it is the height of privilege to pretend that they are merely a game, or a supplement to identity. To be a Trumpist should mean earning the total condemnation of your peers. The counterrevolution against cruelty will not be accomplished through appeasement. There is no other way to proceed but to fight.

Read more: https://forward.com/opinion/402990/no-we-dont-have-to-be-friends-with-trump-supporters/

 

ELECTION 2018

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

That’s it for Tuesday.

Expect more information about the investigation on Wednesday.  Several stories came out over night that could have future importance.

I didn’t post this last night, even though I was 90% done early in the day.  As I said on Monday, we had to put our cat to sleep, and to be honest, I was in no mood to do anything but sulk and cry.  Wednesday, I’m back in the lineup.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

 

 

 

Daily Check-In 06/11/2018

The weekend to Monday, June 11th.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

The Observer and Sunday Times of London obtained the some 40,000 emails sent by millionaire businessman Arron Banks, the chief financial backer of U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage’s Leave.EU campaign, and Andy Wigmore, Leave.EU’s director of communications.

The emails show show that Banks had previously undisclosed meetings with Russia’s U.K. ambassador (which were set up by an alleged Russian spy), and had made a previously undisclosed visit to Moscow at the peak of the Brexit campaign. Banks and Wigmore were also offered, at one point, a business deal involving several Russian goldmines that could have been worth a fortune for the men, according to the documents. There is a Trump connection, as the Sunday Times reports that Banks admitted that, months after the Brexit referendum, “he handed over phone numbers for members of Trump’s transition team to Russian officials” — though it’s not yet clear whose info he handed over, or what became of it.

WHY SHOULD MUELLER CARE?

Nigel Farage is already believed to be a “person of interest” to Mueller’s team, and his links to Banks could excite some interest in the businessman by the special counsel, especially the relationship with Yakovenko.

One of Banks’ meetings with Yakovenko took place on August 19, 201[6] — the day Steve Bannon became Trump’s campaign manager and just days before Banks, Wigmore and Farage traveled to Mississippi for a Trump rally, where Farage was introduced to the crowd as “Mr. Brexit.”

The fact that Banks was in Trump Tower with Wigmore and Farage just days after Trump’s surprise victory could also raise suspicion, especially given that Banks met with his Russian contacts on his return to the U.K. after that trip.

While a lot of attention has been given to Banks passing at least one phone number of the Trump transition team to the Russians, given that Mueller’s investigation is probing deep ties between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin it is unclear why Banks would have to pass on such small details.

Why would Banks pass on the transition teams digits to the Russians?  Think of this from the Intelligence or Mafia perspective.

Every player has a specific job, with specific duties.  The low-level guy doesn’t need to know what the boss knows.  They don’t need to know what the other guy next to them is doing, they only need to know their part.

From the IC perspective, getting these numbers gives the Russians both another backchannel connection, as well as kompromat.

From the Mafioso point of view, this shows Trump’s team that Banks thinks the Russians are goodfellas.  They’re people with a joint interest.

Several prominent Russians, some in President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle or high in the Russian Orthodox Church, now have been identified as having contact with National Rifle Association officials during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, according to photographs and an NRA source.

The contacts have emerged amid a deepening Justice Department investigation into whether Russian banker and lifetime NRA member Alexander Torshin illegally channeled money through the gun rights group to add financial firepower to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential bid.

Other influential Russians who met with NRA representatives during the campaign include Dmitry Rogozin, who until last month served as a deputy prime minister overseeing Russia’s defense industry, and Sergei Rudov, head of one of Russia’s largest philanthropies, the St. Basil the Great Charitable Foundation. The foundation was launched by an ultra-nationalist ally of Russian President Putin.

The Russians talked and dined with NRA representatives, mainly in Moscow, as U.S. presidential candidates vied for the White House. Now U.S. investigators want to know if relationships between the Russian leaders and the nation’s largest gun rights group went beyond vodka toasts and gun factory tours, evolving into another facet of the Kremlin’s broad election-interference operation.

Wow, even MORE Russian contacts by the NRA! Daily Check-In 01/18/2018 was where I mentioned one of these meetings in Moscow.

Designated Entities and Individuals

Today’s action includes the designation of five Russian entities and three Russian individuals pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, as well as a concurrent designation pursuant to Section 224 of CAATSA.

Digital Security was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for providing material and technological support to the FSB.  As of 2015, Digital Security worked on a project that would increase Russia’s offensive cyber capabilities for the Russian Intelligence Services, to include the FSB.

ERPScan was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for being owned or controlled by Digital Security.  As of August 2016, ERPScan was a subsidiary of Digital Security.

Embedi was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended.  As of May 2017, Embedi was owned or controlled by Digital Security.

Kvant Scientific Research Institute (Kvant) was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, and Section 224 of CAATSA for being owned or controlled by the FSB.  In August 2010, the Russian government issued a decree that identified Kvant as a federal state unitary enterprise that would be supervised by the FSB.

Kvant was also designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for providing material and technological support to the FSB.  As of August 2015, Kvant was a research institute with extensive ties to the FSB.  Furthermore, as of April 2017, Kvant was the prime contractor on a project for which the FSB was the end user.

Divetechnoservices was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for providing material and technological support to the FSB.  Since 2007, Divetechnoservices has procured a variety of underwater equipment and diving systems for Russian government agencies, to include the FSB.  Further, in 2011, Divetechnoservices was awarded a contract to procure a submersible craft valued at $1.5 million for the FSB.

Aleksandr Lvovich Tribun (Tribun) was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for acting for or on behalf of Divetechnoservices.  As of December 2017, Tribun was Divetechnoservices’ General Director.

Oleg Sergeyevich Chirikov (Chirikov) was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for acting for or on behalf of Divetechnoservices.  As of March 2018, Chirikov was Divetechnoservices’ Program Manager.

Vladimir Yakovlevich Kaganskiy (Kaganskiy) was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for acting for or on behalf of Divetechnoservices.  As of December 2017, Kaganskiy was Divetechnoservices’ owner.  Previously, Kaganskiy also served as Divetechnoservices’ General Director.

 

 

IMMIGRATION

 

G7

 

COLD WAR 2.0

The husband and wife team produced and showed a documentary about Sergei Magnitsky, putting them in Putin’s crosshairs.

 

COHEN

 

OTHER CRIMES COMMITTED BY TRUMP

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

The weakest point in the White House, however, might be Trump himself. The president is reportedly refusing to upgrade his iPhones, issued by White House IT agencies to make them more secure, calling the process “too inconvenient.” As of last month, he hadn’t had them checked by security experts for at least five months. To make matters worse, lawmakers have concerns about fake cell towers around the White House that could eavesdrop on smartphone calls.

 

VOTER PURGE

 

#NEVERAGAIN

As video game creators prepare for E3, the annual gaming trade show and public exhibition, the head of the industry’s trade group is squaring off against the National Rifle Association over that group’s continued suggestion that video game violence is a factor in recent real world school shootings.

“We know the NRA makes those arguments,” he said. “We also know they’re going to bear the burden of history. We will continue to be successful with policy makers as the industry continues to grow.”

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

The 47 people who were arrested so far in 2018 were approached by undercover officers posing as buyers. They were all charged with felonies. Some were put in diversion programs, according to the news site, while some were convicted. At least one man went to prison. And the amount they were selling can only be described as minuscule at best.

“Almost all of those cases involve a sale of 1-2 grams of marijuana for a total of $10-$20,” Assistant County Public Defender Jess Braverman wrote in a May 31 court document.

 

SAY GOODBYE TO THE ECONOMY

 

GOP

 

ELECTION 2018

 

#METOO

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL: FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS EDITION

This is part two of their series, where they interviewed Carter Page.Here’s the link to the Australian Documentary.

Carole, a reporter for The Guardian, live-tweeted a call-in show hosted by Nigel Farage.  Nigel had Aaron Banks call in, who admitted to some “low-level collusion”.  I can’t help but think of that Arrested Development clip.

After that, Carole calls in, and Nigel loses his cool.  Apparently, the two of them have a history.

Louise was one of the first reporters to break the NRA accepting and laundering money for the Russians.  This story is a week old, but I just saw it on Twitter.

 

That’s it for today.  If I don’t see you tomorrow, it’s because I couldn’t focus after going to the vet.  If I do, it’s because I needed to distract myself.

One of my cats is severely ill. She has a large, cancerous growth on her paw which has caused her pain, discomfort, and caused her to lose about 10 pounds.  She was a REALLY fat cat before the cancer.  A few months ago, we were given a prognosis of a few weeks to a month.

We decided to make her as comfortable as possible, but that’s no longer an option.  As a last resort, we asked the vet for an estimate on amputating the paw.  It was around $2,500.  That’s a lot of money for a 12 year old cat that lost half her body weight in a few months.

Earlier today I scheduled an appointment to have her put to sleep Tuesday night.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur