Daily Check-In 03/11/2019

Monday, March 11, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

As I reported yesterday (Daily Check-In 03/08/2019), Erik Prince tried to blame the transcript.  I was curious about how that would work and how the transcripts were made, and I was lucky enough to stumble along a Reddit comment thread  with user /u/horseandeggshells.  The posts here and here highlight how ridiculously difficult it would be to forget an entire sentence.

So, about that transcript. There was one person there stenoing, one person offsite doing something called “scoping,” i.e., basically going over the transcript and fixing any errors and cleaning up code.

It would then go to production, where a third person would look for any mistakes (without audio, except where necessary).

But here’s the best part: It then goes to GPO, who go over it again.

And sometimes, a proofist, or “beta,” is used to listen to the whole thing again, start to finish. This would occur before the production phase.

The possibility of something that significant being missing from the transcript is impossible.

EDIT: It is also possible that attorneys involved in the case would be given a chance to review the transcript, as well, and would provide an errata sheet. If everyone agrees, the fixes are put into the transcript; if not, it can either be ignored or placed as an addendum Exhibit if one party protests enough.

This is where I counted up the people involved.

So, before it would ever gets released, it goes through 3 or 4 congressional employees, a member of the GPO, and the lawyers involved for all parties to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

I was corrected on one of my points.

Members, plural. At least two: one to do the full listen and proof, one to do word count to pay the stenographer (and perform similar functions to the production process) and properly mark and insert all exhibits that were entered into the record during the hearing.

And I’m not sure if this is the case with this Committee, but every Committee I am familiar with removes contractions. In other words, “I’m” will be changed to “I am.”

Now, I’m going by memory on this, but I’m pretty sure it dates back to back when the telephone industry got broken up. A “can” got through the proofing process, when it should have been “can’t.” This had significant ramifications to the policy being written.

I’m not saying that, even with all this due diligence, that something like “the the” won’t pop up every once in a while. What I am saying is there is literally no way a full sentence could be omitted.

If every possible thing went wrong, i.e. GPO accidentally deleted a line right before final submission, it would still get caught because the contracted production team always matches its word count to that of the GPO, using the same calculation software. The count would be off and GPO would have to start over.

I’ve worked in an ancillary position to the Senate for 15 years and I am not aware of that ever happening, and it is something I would almost certainly have direct knowledge of.

The GPO, the U.S. Government Publishing Office, has multiple sets of eyes on these transcripts, so it’s not just Congress handling these.  By the time a transcript gets released, it has to go through a stenographer, a person doing scoping, a third person in production looking for mistakes, at least two people in the GPO, a proofist to verify accuracy, then likely the legal teams of everyone involved in the hearing.  By the time the transcript is official, at least 7 people have gone over it, and at least one of them represents the witness.

7 people sign off on the transcript before it becomes official.  So either 7 people who do this for a living all made the exact same mistake, or Erik Prince is full of shit.  The simplest explanation is the latter.  Of course, that won’t stop the MAGA crowd from screaming “the transcripts are bad” from their parents basement or their motorized scooters on their way to Walmart.  This will be the next ‘Deep State’ controversy, but I want to kill it before it grows.

 

 

CONGRESS

1/ Pelosi is doing absolutely the right thing viz impeachment. It’s the right politics and it’s the right policy.

2/ The symbolism of impeaching in the House is meaningless unless the Senate convicts. It’s not going to happen.

3/ so why not use the investigation process if it was meant: to hold Trump accountable across-the-board. All the benefits, none of the inoculation.

4/ Set a fire that burns and burns and burns until his empire of shit is reduced to ashes. Don’t give him one fight of impeachment/not impeachment.

As of right now, she knows it can’t lead to a conviction with Senate.

Alright, let’s all calm the fuck down.  Deep breath, deep breath.

No, I’m not going to do an all caps rant.  I think this might be the best move for now.  Here’s why…

As far as Impeachment goes, there are four main crowds.  The first is the group that wants Trump out of office yesterday for the crimes that he’s committed both before and during his time in office.  This is where I’m at.  The next group are those that want to impeach him because they don’t like him.  The third are those that are holding judgement until ‘hard evidence’ comes in of actual crimes.  The fourth doesn’t want anything to do with impeachment.  Most Republicans in the Senate fall into the third and fourth categories, and they’re needed for removal from office.

Nancy’s statement is designed to kill the idea of a political impeachment.  We’ll get one shot at this, and we don’t need a repeat of the Bill Clinton debacle.  Also, this buys time for the committees to do their work.  Not to say the fourth crowd will shut the fuck up, but at least there’s this statement.

This will piss off the first and second groups, but we’ll be here when the shoes drop from the centipede and Impeachment becomes necessary.

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

You don’t say…

The New York attorney general’s office late on Monday issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank for records relating to the financing of four major Trump Organization projects and a failed effort to buy the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League in 2014, according to a person briefed on the subpoenas.

The inquiry opens a new front in the scrutiny of Deutsche Bank, one of the few lenders willing to do business with Donald J. Trump in recent years. The bank is already the subject of two congressional investigations and was examined last year by New York banking regulators, who took no action.

The new inquiry, by the office of the attorney general, Letitia James, was prompted by the congressional testimony last month of Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, the person briefed on the subpoenas said. Mr. Cohen testified under oath that Mr. Trump had inflated his assets in financial statements, and Mr. Cohen provided copies of statements he said had been submitted to Deutsche Bank.

The inquiry by Ms. James’s office is a civil investigation, not a criminal one, although its focus and scope were unclear. The attorney general has broad authority under state law to investigate fraud and can fine — or in extreme cases, go to court to try to dissolve — a business that is found to have engaged in repeated illegality.

The state of New York is working double time to give Tangerine Tojo a heart attack.  Last week, the Financial Regulatory Board asked Trump’s insurance brokers for financial documents to investigate cases of fraud.  Now, the state attorney general is going after bank records from Deutsche Bank for some refinancing projects and his attempt to buy the Buffalo Bills.

During Cohen’s testimony (Daily Check-In 02/27/2019), he described a common practice of Trump over valuing his assets to qualify for loans and get better insurance premiums, and then under valuing them for tax purposes.  Cohen provided evidence of this to the Oversight committee.  Now the state AG is investigating.

Remember, state crimes and lawsuits are outside of pardon range.

 

Stormy Daniels

 

This story is less than a day old, and I’m afraid that it’s already out of date.  It’s like they’re trying to fill up a punch card.  “Get investigated 20 times, get a free steak dinner.”

 

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

Budget

Yes, this looks like doom and gloom, and it is.  Fortunately, this has as much chance of getting off the ground as a model airplane made of cement.

The President can suggest a budget, but it is up to the House to craft the budget.  They don’t have to listen to a god damned thing Dotard says.  This is designed for the Fox News  viewers and Donors to eat up.  At least, until they realize it will hurt them directly.

 

“Tim Apple”

 

Excessive Costs

 

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

EMERGENCIES, SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

RACISM, RIGHT WING TERRORISM, & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Florida Sex Rings

Mob.  Sex rings = Mob.  Whether it’s La Cosa Nostra, Vor, Triad, Yakuza, Cartels, or a combination of all of the above, they’re all organized crime.  The separation between Epstein and Mogilevich is 1-2 degrees.  Epstein’s girlfriend/friend/madame and recruiter was the Brainy Don’s business partner’s daughter.  That’s not far enough away to even pretend that they didn’t know.  Plus, it’s never been disclosed whose money Epstein is managing.  I’m not saying it’s mob, but it makes sense.

As far as the documents go, I’m looking forward to it.  I assume there will be a ton of redactions for the names, or they’ll be changed to things like Person 1 and Shitbag 3, but it won’t take too long to piece things together.  Especially if the descriptions include things like “Shitbag 3 was a lawyer representing the defendant and worked as a professor at Harvard”.  That’s Alan Dershowitz.

Something I didn’t catch with the  Chinese Parlor ring was that some of these women would visit clubs like Mar-a-Lago to work for the day, and this has been going on for a while.  Think about that.  Trafficked women were being sent to a club owned by the President.  And it’s not the only sex ring connected to the club.  Many of the girls recruited by Epstein’s crew were working at Trump’s club at the time, or were recruited from the grounds of the club over a long time.  The only way that management wouldn’t hear about this was either blatant incompetence or willful ignorance.

 

It’s a funny segment, but Pete made a good point and brought up an even better idea.  It is possible to separate the art from the artist, but if we’re going to continue listening to their music or watching movies starring Kevin Spacey or produced by Harvey Weinstein, then we should give money to charities that support sexual abuse survivors.

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

Tucker Carlson

 

 

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, AND ECONOMY

 

STUDENT ISSUES

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTIONS

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Monday.  It’s been a crazy week so far and it just started.  Mainly because I didn’t get a day to relax over the weekend.  I went to two expos this week, and the longest time I sat down was in a tattoo booth.

Yes, I got a new tattoo.  It’s not my first, and won’t be my last.  I was already designing my next one while waiting for this one.  But I got to thinking about how much time and energy I’ve spent on this project, and if I would ever get any tattoos related to this stuff?  I want to say no, but that’s only because we’re neck deep in the shit right now.  If/when we come out of this in one piece, and if those responsible get the punishments they deserve, I thought about getting the docket number of their case with ‘Sic Semper Tryannis’ underneath.  ‘Thus always to tyrants.’  Hopefully, I’ll have better ideas over the years.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 03/08/2019

Friday, March 8, 2019 and the weekend.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

South Florida Sex Rings

Okay, this might seem like it doesn’t belong in the top section.  And at first glance, it doesn’t.  This is where we get to play the most corrupt version of 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

Cindy Yang, founder of the massage parlor that got busted on Daily Check-In 02/22/2019, is neck deep in the upper echelons of the Republican Party.  She’s using her access to Trump to help Chinese businesspeople get direct access to Trump, bypassing all official channels.  These businesspeople almost certainly are working at the behest of the Chinese government.  The Chinese are bribing the Trump Family.

I’ll explain this in detail in the #MeToo section.

 

Erik Prince

Erik Prince, the former CEO of the controversial security firm Blackwater, has admitted in an Al Jazeera interview to attending an August 2016 campaign meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr.

The New York Times had reported last year that Prince arranged and attended a meeting with an adviser to the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, who then told Trump Jr. that the UAE and Saudi Arabia wanted to help Trump win the election. But this is the first time Prince has admitted that he was at the meeting and the discussion was about Iran policy. This revelation is more proof that Prince may have lied to Congress during his testimony to the House Intelligence Committee.

Sometimes all it takes to unravel a bullshit cover story is one good interview.  Richard Nixon had David Frost.  Lance Armstrong had Oprah Winfrey.  Erik Prince had Medir Hasan.

Mr. Hasan was able to get Erik Prince to admit on the record that he took part in the August 3rd meeting in Trump Tower where Donnie Jr. met with Erik Prince and George Nader to get help to win the election from the Saudis in exchange for blowing up the Iran Nuclear Deal. (Daily Check-In 05/21/2018 and Daily Check-In 05/18/2018)  Keep in mind, Erik did not tell Congress about this when he testified before them.

 

 

Manafort

 

Manning

 

Clearance

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

Pardon Talk

 

 

Stormy Daniels

 

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

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

CONGRESS

 

EMERGENCIES, SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

RACISM, RIGHT WING TERRORISM, & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Florida Sex Rings

Li “Cindy” Yang owns a chain of Chinese Massage Parlors that are under investigation for human trafficking.  $20 says she has ties to organized Chinese crime.  How else do these women get shipped across the border and through checkpoints?

Cindy has ties to everyone in the Republican Party.  And I mean EVERYONE.  She had more selfies floating around with her and well to do people in the party than Maria Butina.  If they’re a Republican that’s been to Florida, she has a pic of them up on her Facebook feed.

She used her access to Trump to set up a communication chain between Chinese business people and Trump.  In other words, a backchannel to China.

This is the second sex ring that Trump is connected to in Southern Florida.  Though it’s not as direct as his ties to Jeffrey Epstein, this sure is beyond coincidental.

 

R. Kelly

 

Michael Jackson

 

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, AND ECONOMY

 

STUDENT ISSUES

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTIONS

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

Remember yesterday (Daily Check-In 03/07/2019) we talked about rumors that something might be incoming?  Well, that didn’t happen.  According to the rumor’s source, the reason for this was a disagreement at DOJ HQ between Barr and Mueller about indicting Trump.

I suggest we take this with a HUGE grain of salt.  I’ll supply my own salt, produced by being a bitter fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  After years of avoiding buying a home jersey of an active player, I finally pulled the trigger last season on an Antonio Brown jersey.  Here was a player who wasn’t failing drug tests, a crazy monster, or an accused rapist.  He’s exciting, entertaining, and brilliant on the field.

Then he goes full diva.  Never go full diva.

 

 

 

That’s it for the last few days.  It would be nice to get some time to relax this week.  I was completely booked this past week.  I’m going to try to take things easy this week, but we know how that works.

I’ve started on the Grand Theory pages.  I’m breaking it down into the various aspects of it.  There’s a phrase I heard a while back about conspiracies.  People assume incorrectly that everyone involved in the conspiracy has to have the same goal.  That’s not the case.  Here’s an example…

Let’s say Bill and Katie are dating.  John wants to date Katie, Lisa wants to date Bill, and Sally doesn’t like that her best friend is spending less time with her.  Lisa, John, and Sally don’t have the same motives, but they have the same goal.  This is how conspiracies work in the real world.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 03/07/2019

Thursday, March 7, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Manafort Sentenced to 47 Months

Okay, let me take a deep breath and calm down.  Breathe, breathe…

WHAT IN THE CRYSTAL PEPSI FLAVORED FUCK IS GOING?!!! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!! SERIOUSLY, 4 FUCKING YEARS FOR THIS SHIT?  AN 80 PERCENT REDUCTION?  I KNOW PEOPLE IN JAIL FOR DRUGS THAT HAVE LONGER SENTENCES.

FUCK.

Okay, let’s look on the bright side.

First, Manafort is the first head of a presidential campaign to be convicted and sent to prison during the tenure of that president.

Second, this is for the 8 counts he was found guilty of last summer in EDVA.

Third, he has another sentencing in DC next week.

Fourth, he now has even more problems from state crimes and other charges that could be brought against him.

Finally, he’s old and in bad health.  Even a few years could kill him.

Yes, I’m pissed off that he isn’t guaranteed to die of old age in prison from this sentence.  With all of the shit he’s done in his life, he’s more than deserves to suffer from a Russian Heart Attack.  Dying of old age in a concrete box is a fucking mercy for this shit.

 

Roger Stone

 

Kushner & Ivanka

 

Brandon Van Grack

This came up quickly yesterday Daily Check-In 03/06/2019, but I didn’t have time to give it more than a cursory look. Brandon Van Grack, a member of the The Justice League.  He’s going to take over FARA enforcement, with an emphasis on Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Good times, good times.

 

Pardon Talk

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

Cohen Sues Trump for Legal Fees

Ah….  Um… Ah…

Okay, what the fucking fuck is this shit?  This might be the most 2019 moment I’ve seen so far, and it is both insane and brilliant.

Michael Cohen, convicted felon and former Deputy Finance Chair of the Republican Party sued his former client Donald Trump for failing to pay his legal bills after May 2018.  According to Cohen, Trump promised to cover all legal fees for his fight, but stopped paying in May after Cohen floated the idea of “telling the truth” to his family and friends.  He’s suing for $1.9 million in legal fees.

There’s so much whatthefuck to unpack here, I’m not sure where to begin.

We’ve got Trump covering Michael Cohen’s legal fees in April, but cutting payment in May 2018 after he heard that Cohen was thinking about cooperating.  Not that he actually cooperated by that point, but was thinking about it.  At this point, they were still working on the Special Master’s work, deciding what was and wasn’t covered under attorney-client privilege.  That took until the summer to sort out, with only a few pieces considered under privilege.  Even then, Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani waived it when those two schmucks blabbed about the Karen McDougal recording, which was protected until they talked.

This puts a few things in perspective.

Remember over the last couple days we talked about Cohen searching for a pardon? (Daily Check-In 03/05/2019,Daily Check-In 03/05/2019)  Two lawyers that weren’t working for Cohen talked to Rudy about a pardon.  I wonder if they were told that they were hired by someone associated to Trump to operate as a stand-in.  Sounds nuts, but think about it like this; here’s some attorneys that thought they were working for Cohen, told they were working for him, did work for him, and when it came time to send the bill, they were told to bill Cohen, but Cohen never hired them, Trump’s team did.  It’s starting to fit a little better.

It also helps to explain the shift in tone over the summer, how Cohen went from being loved like a son to persona non grata.

Also, I want to point out the greatest of ironies, if this story is true.  Cohen was Trump’s fixer for years and was as loyal as they come.  When it came time for Trump to repay that loyalty, he let him twist in the wind.  By not paying Cohen’s legal fees, Trump left Cohen with only one play: cooperate with the feds.

Trump’s downfall will be because he was too cheap to pay his lawyer’s bills.

 

 

 

 

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

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

CONGRESS

 

EMERGENCIES, SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

RACISM, RIGHT WING TERRORISM, & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTIONS

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

I don’t put much stock in these rumors at this point.  I recommend taking this with a HUGE grain of salt.  I’m talking a lot of salt.  Almost as much salty as I’ll be after the Steelers trade Antonio Brown.  I FINALLY get a home jersey, and he goes full diva.  Never go full diva.

 

That’s it for Thursday.  I’m trying to be very busy this weekend, so therefore something crazy will happen.  I can almost guarantee it.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 03/06/2019

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Cohen’s Evidence

I’ll cover this more in the Cohen section.  The next part, too.

Pardon me, while I burst into flames

 

Security Clearances

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

Well, this got interesting.

First, the hearing.  Cohen visited the House Intel Committee to drop off documents.  Him and his legal team walked in with 3 suitcases.  3.  2 carryons and a bag large enough to be checked at the airport.  That’s more luggage than my family took on our last vacation.  According to reports, one of the things he handed over was the hand written edits to his statement to Congress.  You know, the statement that got his ass thrown in jail.  The edits were made by Trump’s lawyers, Jay Sekulow and Abbe Lowell.

Speaking of shady lawyers, we’re getting more on the dangling of pardons.  At some point, a conversation took place between Cohen’s early legal team that wasn’t his legal team and Trump’s legal team with Colludy Rudy.  The reason for the confusion is which liar do you want to believe?

According to Trump’s team, two lawyers that represented Cohen approached them and asked about Trump issuing a pardon for Cohen after his shit got raided.  Two of the three said no, but Rudy said “Ask again later.”

According to Cohen’s team, two lawyers that were not representing him approached Trump’s lawyers before the raid and asked about a pardon.  Two of the three said no, but Rudy said “Ask again later.”

The things the two stories have in common are that the two lawyers asked about a pardon, and Rudy said “Ask again later” while the others said no.  This is where the hair will be split.  And makes perfect sense.  Technically, they weren’t Cohen’s lawyers, so he wasn’t committing perjury when he testified that he didn’t ask for a pardon.  That would be like my wife asking my boss for the day off.

 

 

Undocumented Workers

 

CONGRESS

 

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

 

Grades

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Epstein

Proceedings begin in about 5 minutes.

julie k. brownVerified account @jkbjournalist

The Miami Herald, supported by 32 news organizations, including the NYT and Washington Post, will argue in federal court in NY on Wednesday to unseal Epstein documents. #PerversionofJusticehttps://www.miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/article226922729.html …

Service advisory: No live tweet, but I’ll give an update later.

Hearing’s over. The 2nd Circuit panel seemed quite inclined, without ruling, to unseal much of the record. “You can’t possibly be serious,” Judge Cabranes told an attorney for Maxwell, who wanted the entire record to remain sealed. Plus claims against Alan Dershowitz. More TK

Note: Those claims were the ones by Virginia Roberts Giuffre (previously reported). Dershowitz and Giuffre now want the records unsealed; only Maxwell opposes.

Another party in the mix: Mike @Cernovich, whom Giuffre’s attorney Paul Cassell described as a professional “slut-shamer” and Dershowitz “proxy” who acts as his “cat’s paw.” Cernovich also wants the documents released.

Story TK. Long story short: No ruling yet, nor probably much mystery about what the ruling will be. #Sunlight

One more thing for now: At an impromptu post-hearing press scrum, Dershowitz vehemently denied allegations that Epstein, via Maxwell, trafficked Giuffre to him.

The Miami Herald’s attorney summarized Dershowitz’s position, favoring unsealing, this way: “If you put the whole record out, his name is cleared. If you don’t, he’s smeared.” (Guiffre’s attorney Cassell denies this, but all now want docs out.)

“There is a presumption of openness with virtually every document.” – @MiamiHerald and @JKBJournalist‘s attorney, on Epstein trove. Without ruling, a three-judge panel seemed to agree. Some 167 files may see (redacted) sunlight. My story @CourthouseNews:

Note: The Second Circuit releases audio of all oral arguments on its website. Today’s hearing is not yet available, and my quick write-up gives just a flavor of the proceedings. Much more on this to come, after the ruling and sound file go live.

 

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

EMERGENCIES, SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

RACISM, RIGHT WING TERRORISM, & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTIONS

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

What is some shitty fucking news?  I’ll take “Thing to Ruin Your Day” for $400, Alex.

 

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Wednesday.  I’m not sure how much I’ll get done this weekend.  We’ve got plans to do things, so I might take a couple days off.  Or at least take it easy.

Paul Manafort gets sentenced on Thursday.  I look forward to him dying in prison of old age.  I’d prefer he died a little quicker, maybe with a chemical shot in the arm at 12:01 AM, but old age will do.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 03/05/2019

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Schiff Hires a Mob Prosecutor

Representative Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, has hired a veteran prosecutor with experience fighting Russian organized crime to lead his investigation of the Trump Administration. Last month, according to a committee source, Daniel Goldman, who served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York from 2007 to 2017, joined the committee’s staff as a senior adviser and the director of investigations.

Dan Goodman has extensive experience taking down the mob, and Adam Schiff thinks he’s the perfect man to investigate Donald Trump.

Think about that, for just a second.

The head of the House Intelligence Committee, who has access to tons of classified info and was forced to sit on the sideline for two years, hired a prosecutor who has experience in investigating and attacking organized crime from SDNY.  He didn’t go with a national security expert or an expert on tax law, he went with a mob buster.

For a long ass time, I’ve posted stories and tweets from Twitter personalities like Lincoln’s Bible and Greg Olear where they hammer home Trump’s long time mob connections, going back to Fred Trump and Fred’s daddy.  They were tied to the Genovese crime family since before Donald was born.  When the feds broke the backs of La Cosa Nostra back in the 90’s, the remnants of the five major families were sucked up by the Vor, or Russian Mafia.  That’s who has owned Trump for the better part of two decades.

Here’s an example that’s slid under the radar for a long time.  Roy Cohn.  Imagine if a gay Alan Dershowitz had the moral compass of Michael Cohen circa 2016 and the likability of pancreatic cancer.  That was Roy Cohn.  The only reason I bring up the gay part was that he spent the 50’s working with Joe McCarthy hunting down and persecuting gays by accusing them of being Communists during the Red Scare, yet he was a ‘confirmed bachelor’ who died of AIDS in the early 80’s when the vast majority of early AIDS patients were gay men.  I’m not religious, but if I were I’d rest easy with the knowledge that this scumbag was burning in Hell.

He was the shadiest of shady lawyers in the 1970’s, representing every major gangster in New York.  John Gotti, Carlos Gambino, Tony Salerno, Carmine Galante.  And Fred and Donald Trump.  Roy represented actual mob bosses, and Trump.  Hell, Trump viewed Roy as a mentor until his AIDS became better known.

Roy was eventually disbarred after being caught perjuring himself multiple times, tampering with evidence and threatening and/or bribing witnesses.  He eventually was disbarred.

He was the definition of a mob lawyer, and he worked for Trump.  And that’s why Goldman’s experience in going after the mob is needed for going after Trump.

 

Roger Stone

 

Manafort

 

Ty Cobb

 

Digital Ops

 

Kushner Criminal Referral

 

Security Clearances

The following is from a comment I made on Reddit:

A POTUS can recommend an exception to the normal security process be granted for an individual, but it also depends on the level of access.

There are three main security access levels at play.  Secret, Top Secret, and Sensitive/Compartmentalized or SCI.  I’ll go with SCIF for the last, since that’s the physical location where the information can be read.  Anyone going for a security access of any level has to submit to a background check.

Normally, anyone who can’t get past that, or thinks it’s too hard or too much of a hassle wouldn’t proceed.  If they pass the eval for Secret access, then they can go through the FBI check for Top Secret access and CIA for SCIF access.

A POTUS has the authority to grant a temporary access on a need-to-know basis to any level, and they can also declassify intelligence.  However, that temporary access usually only lasts for a short time.  For example, let’s say a diplomat had conversations with an espionage target.  They might be read in on this case to provide insight on the target, or become an asset to flip the spy.  They wouldn’t know anything about other projects, but they would have access for this mission.

The difference in the Kushner case is that Trump wants to give Kushner and Ivanka a SCIF access without a time limit.  The FBI said no way before their guy Kline pushed through the Top Secret access.  The CIA won’t approve the SCIF access because they know they’re dirtier than Pig Pen.

 

Fox News

 

 

CONGRESS

Judicial Committee

I said yesterday Daily Check-In 03/04/2019 that I’d have this list.  Okay, here we go…

  1. Rinat Akhmetshin, present at the June 9 meeting.
  2. American Media Inc., parent company of National Enquirer.
  3. Julian Assange, head of Wikileaks.
  4. Christopher Bancroft Burnham, member of Trump Transition Team. Named to a board position in a company owned by Oleg Deripaska the day after sanctions were lifted.
  5. Steve Bannon, former advisor to Trump and Campaign head.
  6. Tom Barrack, head of Trump Transition Team.
  7. Tom Bossert, KT McFarland’s former boss and first point of contact after talking to Mike Flynn.
  8. Matthew Calamari, long time Trump Org member.
  9. Cambridge Analytica, Big Data company that microtargeted political ads.
  10. Michael Caputo, Trump confidant and advisor.
  11. Michael Cohen, former RNC Deputy Fincance Chairman and long time personal attorney to Trump.
  12. Columbus Nova, A U.S. investment firm linked to a Russian company called Renova Group, which is owned by the oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.
  13. Concord Management and Consulting, Russian company paying for the Internet Research Agency (Troll farm).
  14. Mark Corallo, former Trump spokesman.
  15. Jerome Corsi, involved in the Roger Stone/Wikileaks/GRU debacle.
  16. Randy Credico, involved in the Roger Stone/Wikileaks/GRU debacle.
  17. Keith Davidson, original lawyer for Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal, and Shera Bechard.
  18. Sherri Dillon, former Trump attorney accused of making false statements to the Office of Government Ethics.
  19. Annie Donaldson, former Chief of Staff to White House counsel Don McGahn.
  20. Paul Erickson, boyfriend of Maria Butina and GOP operative.
  21. Tony Fabrizio, pollster who worked for Paul Manafort.
  22. FBI.
  23. Michael Flynn, former National Security Advisor.
  24. Michael Flynn, Jr., member of Trump Campaign, Transition team, and Flynn Intel Group.
  25. Flynn Intel Group, company owned by Michael Flynn that worked with Turkish officials as unregistered foreign agents.
  26. Frontier Services Group, a company created and led by Blackwater founder Erik Prince.
  27. Alan Garten, Chief Legal Officer for Trump Organization.
  28. Rick Gates, Paul Manafort’s right hand man, Deputy Campaign Chairman, and Chief of Staff of Trump Inaugural Committee.  The longest serving of the Cooperating Witnesses.
  29. General Services Administration, the government entity that maintains all emails and similar stuff.
  30. Rob Goldstone, present at the June 9 meeting.
  31. J.D. Gordon, member of the Trump Foreign Policy Team.
  32. Rhona Graff, Trump’s secretary.
  33. Hope Hicks, former White House Communications Director and member of campaign.  Suggested the false statement to cover up the June 9 meeting.
  34. Dylan Howard, editor for the National Enquirer.
  35. Trump Inaugural Committee.
  36. Andrew Intrater, founder of Columbus Nova.
  37. Department of Justice.
  38. Brittany Kaiser, member of Cambridge Analytica’s team that worked for Trump.
  39. Irakly Kavelade, the U.S. representative of the Crocus Group, the company owned by Aras Agalarov.
  40. Jared Kushner.
  41. Kushner Companies.
  42. Corey Lewandowski, former Trump Campaign Chairman.
  43. Ronald Leiberman, Vice president of management and development at the Trump Organization.
  44. Ted Malloch, conservative writer in Britain who was used as a go-between for Stone/Trump and Wikileaks.  Also has unusual ties to Russia and Brexit.
  45. Jason Maloni, Manafort’s spokesman.
  46. Paul Manafort.
  47. K.T. McFarland, Michael Flynn’s right hand woman on the Transition Team.  Nominated for Ambassador to Singapore.
  48. Don McGahn, former Trump lawyer and White House Counsel.
  49. George Nader, former Trump advisor, worked closely with Erik Prince, and has myriad connections in the Middle East.
  50. National Rifle Assocation, lobbying organization and launderer of Russian money.
  51. Alexander Nix, former CEO of Cambridge Analytica.
  52. Sam Nunberg, involved in the Roger Stone/Wikileaks/GRU debacle.
  53. Carter Page, member of the Trump Foreign Policy Team.
  54. George Papadopoulos, member of the Trump Foreign Policy Team.
  55. Brad Parscale, head of Trump’s digital work in 2016.
  56. Stefan Passantino, former deputy White House counsel in charge of ethics.
  57. David Pecker, head of the National Enquirer.
  58. Reince Preibus, former head of Republican National Committee and White House Chief of Staff.
  59. Erik Prince, head of Xi (formerly Blackwater), backchannel between Trump and Russia, brother of Betsy DeVos, involved with health insurance company involved with the Alfa Bank/Trump Server situation.
  60. Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
  61. Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust, the ‘blind trust’ that should be running the Trump businesses.
  62. Anatoli Samochornov, translator that was present at the June 9 meeting.
  63. Felix Sater, owner of Bayrock, worked on Trump Tower Moscow project.
  64. SCL Limited Group, parent group of Cambridge Analytica.
  65. Jay Sekulow, Trump attorney.
  66. Jeff Sessions, former Attorney General.
  67. Estate of Peter Smith, the man who attempted to get Hilary Clinton’s emails from Russians on the dark web.
  68. Sean Spicer, former White House Press Secretary.
  69. Roger Stone, Ratfucker.
  70. John Szoboscan, partner of Peter Smith.
  71. Matt Tait, a former British spy who was among the first to connect Russia to material stolen from the DNC.
  72. Eric Trump, son of Donald Trump.
  73. The Trump Campaign.
  74. Donald Trump, Jr., son of Donald Trump, and the dumbest mother fucker in the history of dumb mother fuckers.
  75. Trump Foundation, their charity.
  76. Trump Organization, their businesses.
  77. Trump Transition Team.
  78. Viktor Vekselberg, Russian oligarch who owned Columbus Nova.
  79. Allen Weisselberg, Trump Org Chief Financial Officer.
  80. Julian David Whetland, Cambridge Analytica’s CEO until its dissolution and the chairman of SCL Group, the predecessor to Cambridge.
  81. White House.
  82. Wikileaks, front for Russian Intelligence.

Somehow I ended up with 82 names, but I’m not sure why.  For those of you that have followed this site for a long time, I’ve talked about almost every name on this list repeatedly.  It’s been a while for some of them, and a few of them confused me or didn’t jog my memory.

 

 

Oversight

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

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

 

Grades

 

Saudi Arabia

 

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

EMERGENCIES, SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

RACISM, RIGHT WING TERRORISM, & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTIONS

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Tuesday.  Damn, that’s a long list.  And it’s not even a complete list.  Ivanka’s not on it, Matthew Whitaker’s not on it, Sam Clovis isn’t on it, and several more.  Nadler says that this is the first wave, so they’ll probably get letters around the time the first wave of subpoenas come out for those refusing to cooperate.

Wednesday brings Cohen back to testify behind closed doors to the House Intel Committee.  His team brought three suitcases with them.  Could be interesting.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 03/04/2019

Monday, March 4, 2019.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

House Judiciary Wants All The Things…

The House Judiciary Committee sent requests out for information to 81 people and entities tied to Trump, Russia, the GOP, and the rest of the giant spiderweb of fuckery.  This is a bit more than the 60 that was rumored on Friday (Daily Check-In 03/01/2019), and isn’t a comprehensive list.  I hope to have a full list tomorrow.

I don’t want to jump on a right wing talking point, but this is what an Impeachment procedure looks like in its infancy.

 

Fox News

When Shine assumed command at Fox, the 2016 campaign was nearing its end, and Trump and Clinton were all but tied. That fall, a FoxNews.com reporter had a story that put the network’s journalistic integrity to the test. Diana Falzone, who often covered the entertainment industry, hadobtained proof that Trump had engaged in a sexual relationship in 2006 with a pornographic film actress calling herself Stormy Daniels. Falzone had worked on the story since March, and by October she had confirmed it with Daniels through her manager at the time, Gina Rodriguez, and with Daniels’s former husband, Mike Moz, who described multiple calls from Trump. Falzone had also amassed e-mails between Daniels’s attorney and Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen, detailing a proposed cash settlement, accompanied by a nondisclosure agreement. Falzone had even seen the contract.

But Falzone’s story didn’t run—it kept being passed off from one editor to the next. After getting one noncommittal answer after another from her editors, Falzone at last heard from LaCorte, who was then the head of FoxNews.com. Falzone told colleagues that LaCorte said to her, “Good reporting, kiddo. But Rupert wants Donald Trump to win. So just let it go.” LaCorte denies telling Falzone this, but one of Falzone’s colleagues confirms having heard her account at the time.

Despite the discouragement, Falzone kept investigating, and discovered that the National Enquirer, in partnership with Trump, had made a “catch and kill” deal with Daniels—buying the exclusive rights to her story in order to bury it. Falzone pitched this story to Fox, too, but it went nowhere. News of Trump’s payoffs to silence Daniels, and Cohen’s criminal attempts to conceal them as legal fees, remained unknown to the public until the Wall Street Journal broke the story, a year after Trump became President.

In January, 2017, Fox demoted Falzone without explanation. That May, she sued the network. Her attorney, Nancy Erika Smith, declined to comment but acknowledged that a settlement has been reached; it includes a nondisclosure agreement that bars Falzone from talking about her work at Fox.

After the Journal story broke, Oliver Darcy, a senior media reporter for CNN, published a piece revealing that Fox had killed a Stormy Daniels story. LaCorte, who by then had left Fox but was still being paid by the company, told Mediaite that he’d made the call without talking to superiors. The story simply hadn’t “passed muster,” he claimed, adding, “I didn’t do it to protect Donald Trump.” Nik Richie, a blogger who had broken the first story about Daniels, tweeted, “This is complete bullshit. Ken you are such a LIAR. This story got killed by @FoxNews at the highest level. I know, because I was one of your sources.”

Richie told me, “Fox News was culpable. I voted for Trump, and I like Fox, but they did their own ‘catch and kill’ on the story to protect him.” He said that he’d worked closely with Falzone on the article, and that “she did her homework—she had it.” He says he warned her that Fox would never run it, but “when they killed it she was devastated.” Richie believes that the story “would have swayed the election.”

Fox News played a major role in getting Trump elected, but the fact that they spiked the Stormy Daniels story just days before the election now implicates the individuals and the company in Campaign Finance violations.  Spiking the Stormy Daniels story just before the election could be considered an in-kind campaign donation.  Wonder how that’s a crime?  Ask Michael Cohen.

That’s not even the most screwed up thing from this report.  We’ve got Rupert Murdoch and his cronies pulling the strings on our democracy by controlling the media that a third of the country watches.

Plus, because Tangering Tojo didn’t like something that CNN said, he tried to get the Department of Justice to break up a proposed merger between Time Warner and AT&T.  Granted, there’s a hundred reasons why they shouldn’t merge, but that is the stupidest one.

Kusher

 

Manafort

Manafort asking for a reduced sentence is like a kid asking for less time in time out because they were already in time out yesterday.  Fucker, you get more until you learn your lesson.

Roger Stone

Roger Stone might not even last two whole weeks out in the world with his gag order before going to prison.  How hard is it to not post something on Instagram?  Seriously, the only people that should have that problem are teen girls and food writers.

 

Corsi

So, let’s rewind a moment…

Jerome Corsi and Alex Jones helped spread the ‘Seth Rich was killed by the DNC’ story pushed by Roger Stone.  Roger got this from Russia and Wikileaks.  This story then made its way over to Fox News where several of their anchors, including Sean Hannity, repeated it ad nausuem.

Now, after Roger Stone was indicted and evidence that the plot originated with Russia, we get Jerome Corsi trying to walk this back.  It’s almost like he knows that he committed a crime.

What’s the crime that a person commits when they push propaganda from a hostile state?  It rhymes with Breason.

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

WSJ reports that a lawyer for Michael Cohen reached out to President Trump’s attorneys to inquire about the possibility of a pardon after his home and office were raided by the FBI. But in testimony before Congress last week, Cohen said he had never asked for a pardon from Trump.

An attorney for Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, raised the possibility of a pardon with attorneys for the president after federal agents raided Mr. Cohen’s properties in April, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Conversations among those parties are now being probed by congressional investigators, according to document requests issued Monday by the House Judiciary Committee to dozens of Trump associates, including one of the president’s current lawyers and Mr. Cohen.

This story came in pretty late Monday night.  Right when I was thinking “Damn, there’s a ton of shit here, I don’t think that anything else could possibly drop between now and midnight.”  Then the Wall Street Journal throws this story up behind their paywall.  I’m waiting for more information on details and sourcing.  Until we get more, take this story with a grain of salt.  It sounds and smells like a possible hit piece

Cohen’s attorney at the time, Stephen Ryan, discussed the possibility of a pardon with lawyers for Trump in the weeks after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Cohen’s home, office and hotel room, the people said. The pardon discussions occurred while Ryan was working alongside lawyers for Trump to review files seized from Cohen’s premises by the FBI to determine whether they were protected by attorney-client privilege.

The president’s lawyers, including Jay Sekulow, Rudy Giuliani and Joanna Hendon, dismissed the idea of a pardon at the time, these people said. But at least one of them, Giuliani, left open the possibility that the president could grant Cohen one in the future, they said. Ryan left the impression that if Cohen couldn’t rely on a pardon, he might cooperate with prosecutors from the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office investigating Cohen, the people said.

I’m still waiting for more information, but it sounds like a couple things are going on here.  Either this was a hit piece meant to destroy Cohen’s character, paint him as a liar, or show that pardon discussions did take place.  The likely twist from RWM will be that Cohen must have directed the lawyers to talk about pardons to Sekulow, Hendon, and Giuliani, so therefore Cohen is a liar.  My guess is that the conversations did take place, but were more low-key, like asking someone to pass the salt.  The fact that Rudy leaves the door open for talks about it in the future sounds fishy.

Like I said, until I hear otherwise, this sounds like it might be a hit piece.  Rupert Murdoch now owns the Wall Street Journal

 

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

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Whitaker Quits

Maybe he can go back to screwing over inventors in Iowa.

 

Gaetz

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

CONGRESS

 

EMERGENCIES, SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

RACISM, RIGHT WING TERRORISM, & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTIONS

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Monday.  Fuck.

I should have a list of the 81 letter targets on Tuesday.  Also, it looks like some of the targets are already responding.  Also, there’s a possible criminal referral for Kushner’s 8,541 SF-86 edits.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 03/01/2019

Friday, March 1, 2019 and the weekend.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Taxes

The House Ways and Means Committee has begun the process of acquiring the tax returns for Donald Trump and his businesses.  While they were going to originally wait until the Mueller Report was released, everything that disclosed on Wednesday (Daily Check-In 02/27/2019), they decided to start this process.

Get ready for Tangering Tojo to lose his shit on Monday.

 

Roger Stone

I’d almost feel bad about Roger facing jail time for not keeping his mouth shut, but he really deserves it.

 

Paul Manafort

 

Security Clearances

In any normal universe, this would be the greatest scandal of any administration.  Here, it’s just Friday.

 

Hannity

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

Cohen

He’s the guy with the thick mustache in the top right corner.

 

Ex VP

 

UK and Scotland

Why was the Scotland course on his mind?

 

CONGRESS

 

The following are a list of House and Senate committees that made significant traction in their investigations against Trump.

Oversight

 

Ways and Means

 

Finance

 

Judiciary

 

House Intelligence

 

Senate Intelligence

That’s 6 investigations all making moves on one day.  Damn.

 

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

North Korea

 

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Epstein

 

Gaetz

 

Pence

 

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

EMERGENCIES, SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

RACISM, RIGHT WING TERRORISM, & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, AND ECONOMY

Full article for anyone who can’t get past the pay wall.

Is Ben Bernanke the father of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Not in the literal sense, obviously, but in the philosophical and political sense. As we mark the 10th anniversary of the bull market, it is worth considering whether the efforts of the US Federal Reserve, under Mr Bernanke’s leadership, to avoid 1930s-style debt deflation ended up spawning a new generation of socialists, such as the freshman Congresswoman Ms Ocasio-Cortez, in the home of global capitalism. Mr Bernanke’s unorthodox “cash for trash” scheme, otherwise known as quantitative easing, drove up asset prices and bailed out baby boomers at the profound political cost of pricing out millennials from that most divisive of asset markets, property. This has left the former comfortable, but the latter with a fragile stake in the society they are supposed to build. As we look towards the 2020 US presidential election, could Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s leftwing politics become the anthem of choice for America’s millennials? But before we look forward, it is worth going back a bit. The 2008 crash itself didn’t destroy wealth, but rather revealed how much wealth had already been destroyed by poor decisions taken in the boom. This underscored the truism that the worst of investments are often taken in the best of times.

Mr Bernanke, a keen student of the 1930s, understood that a “balance sheet recession” must be combated by reflating assets. By exchanging old bad loans on the banks’ balance sheets with good new money, underpinned by negative interest rates, the Fed drove asset prices skywards. Higher valuations fixed balance sheets and ultimately coaxed more spending and investment. However, such “hyper-trickle-down” economics also meant that wealth inequality was not the unintended consequence, but the objective, of policy. Soaring asset prices, particularly property prices, drive a wedge between those who depend on wages for their income and those who depend on rents and dividends. This wages versus rents-and-dividends game plays out generationally, because the young tend to be asset-poor and the old and the middle-aged tend to be asset-rich. Unorthodox monetary policy, therefore, penalises the young and subsidises the old. When asset prices rise much faster than wages, the average person falls further behind. Their stake in society weakens. The faster this new asset-fuelled economy grows, the greater the gap between the insiders with a stake and outsiders without. This threatens a social contract based on the notion that the faster the economy grows, the better off everyone becomes. What then? Well, politics shifts.

Notwithstanding Winston Churchill’s observation about a 20-year-old who isn’t a socialist not having a heart, and a 40-year-old who isn’t a capitalist having no head, polling indicates a significant shift in attitudes compared with prior generations. According to the Pew Research Center, American millennials (defined as those born between 1981 and 1996) are the only generation in which a majority (57 per cent) hold “mostly/consistently liberal” political views, with a mere 12 per cent holding more conservative beliefs. Fifty-eight per cent of millennials express a clear preference for big government. Seventy-nine per cent of millennials believe immigrants strengthen the US, compared to just 56 per cent of baby boomers. On foreign policy, millennials (77 per cent) are far more likely than boomers (52 per cent) to believe that peace is best ensured by good diplomacy rather than military strength. Sixty-seven per cent want the state to provide universal healthcare, and 57 per cent want higher public spending and the provision of more public services, compared with 43 per cent of baby boomers. Sixty-six per cent of millennials believe that the system unfairly favours powerful interests.

One battle ground for the new politics is the urban property market. While average hourly earnings have risen in the US by just 22 per cent over the past 9 years, property prices have surged across US metropolitan areas. Prices have risen by 34 per cent in Boston, 55 per cent in Houston, 67 per cent in Los Angeles and a whopping 96 per cent in San Francisco. The young are locked out. Similar developments in the UK have produced comparable political generational divides. If only the votes of the under-25s were counted in the last UK general election, not a single Conservative would have won a seat. Ten years ago, faced with the real prospect of another Great Depression, Mr Bernanke launched QE to avoid mass default. Implicitly, he was underwriting the wealth of his own generation, the baby boomers.

Now the division of that wealth has become a key battleground for the next election with people such as Ms Ocasio-Cortez arguing that very high incomes should be taxed at 70 per cent. For the purist, capitalism without default is a bit like Catholicism without hell. But we have confession for a reason. Everyone needs absolution. QE was capitalism’s confessional. But what if the day of reckoning was only postponed? What if a policy designed to protect the balance sheets of the wealthy has unleashed forces that may lead to the mass appropriation of those assets in the years ahead?

 

STUDENT ISSUES

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

CPAC

 

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTIONS

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for the last few days.  It’s been crazy, and it’s gonna get crazier from here on out.  Monday will bring new action from the Judiciary committee, and some amazing reporting about Fox News knowing about the Stormy Daniels affair before the election.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur