Daily Check-In 08/10/2018

Friday, August 10th and the weekend

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

The Manafort Trial

Day 9 of the Manafort Tax Trial started off a little weird.  The first few hours were spent with the lawyers and judge in meetings, and the judge giving a couple warnings to the jury.

The testimony didn’t start until 2:25 PM with Dennis Raico (Daily Check-In 07/23/2018) of Federal Savings Bank taking the stand.  Raico, a Senior Vice President at the bank, testified that Manafort received $16 million in two separate loans that the bank was originally going to reject because Manafort kept screwing around with the paperwork and changing the terms of the loan.  The loans were approved when the CEO of the bank, Steve Calk, personally intervened on Manafort’s behalf.  Raico testified under immunity protection.

Raico also testified that Manafort disputed a $200,000 charge on his AmEx card by saying that Rick Gates purchased Yankees season tickets with the card.  This was further disputed by the next witness, Irfan Kirimca, Senior Director for the New York Yankees.  Irfan testified that Manafort was a season ticket holder from 2010 to 2017.  Manafort purchased $226,800 worth of tickets for 2017.  $700 per seat for 81 home games for 4 people.  If $700 per ticket sounds crazy, they are.  That is front row seats, right along the dugout.  Any closer and you’d have to wear pinstripes.

The final witness of the day was Andrew Chojnowski, lending officer at FSB.  He testified that Paul Manafort signed the loan documents attesting that he had disclosed all of his debts.

The prosecution will call it’s final witness on Monday.  James Brennan  (Daily Check-In 07/23/2018) is an employee of FSB and will be testifying under immunity protection.

 

Peter Smith

The FBI, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office and Senate Intelligence Committee investigators are all scrutinizing the cash transactions of GOP activist Peter W. Smith, who sought Hillary Clinton’s emails from hackers. BuzzFeed News reports that Smith transferred $9,500 from a bank account dedicated to his email-finding efforts to his personal account, then took about $6,100 in cash out in three separate withdrawals. Both the FBI and Senate Intel are now trying to find out if “Smith paid anyone connected with the Russian government,” and Mueller’s office has reportedly “interviewed people who Smith tried to recruit” for his operation. The FBI has reportedly gathered information about how Russian hackers were discussing passing the Clinton emails to Gen. Michael Flynn “through a cutout.” Mueller’s team is also allegedly pursuing the Flynn angle, with their office trying to determine if “Flynn assisted Smith” in his effort to obtain Clinton’s emails during the 2016 campaign. Smith, who told the Wall Street Journal last year that he never intended to pay any of the hackers who gave him what they said were sample emails, committed suicide ten days after the paper’s story was published.

This story just gets crazier and crazier.  Peter Smith (Daily Check-In 10/17/2017,Daily Check-in 10/25/2017) withdrew large amounts of cash while on the hunt for HRC’s emails.

Here’s a question.  Why would the Russian hackers, who we know by now were GRU, want paid for the work they did when they’re already doing it for Russian Intelligence and the Trump Campaign?

Because it would give them financial Kompromat over other people.  Think how useful it could be to hold leverage over some wealthy mark like Peter Smith.

 

Rudy

There is no rule saying that an investigation has to wrap up before September to keep from interfering in the election.  Just ask Hilary about Comey’s October Surprise.  Hell, ask Rudy, he knew about it before anyone else did.

 

Roger Stone

Friends of Roger

Andrew Miller is under Civil Contempt of Court.  It hasn’t reached a criminal complaint, but I’m pretty sure we’re in Bench Warrant territory.  Miller, currently working as a house painter in St. Louis, just fought an extensive legal battle challenging the legality of the Mueller Investigation.

What the fuck is a house painter doing with high-rolling attorneys?

 

An investment company based in Las Vegas, with oil and gas interests in the Middle East claimed that they received a commitment of more than three hundred million dollars from Carter Page’s Global Energy Capital after Page’s involvement in the Trump campaign.

The investment company, RD Heritage Group, claimed on their website that they they secured a capital commitment of hundreds of millions of dollars from Page and his company:

“$350MM capital commitment by Global Energy Capital … an investment management and advisory firm focused on the energy sector primarily in emerging markets. Global Energy Capital was founded by Carter Page, CFA. Carter has spent 7 years as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch in London, Moscow and New York…Carter was also a foreign policy advisor to Presidential candidate Donald Trump.”

It is unclear if Page ever actually followed through with his commitment. The exact timing of the alleged partnership between RD Heritage and Global Energy Capital is unknown, though it happened after Carter Page’s involvement with the Trump campaign.

Take this with a grain of salt, but there could be something here that links the Sheldon Cooper of Treason to the Rosneft sale brokerage.  Also would explain how he’s able to travel the world with no discernible income stream.

 

Mobbed Up

When Manafort’s turncoat lieutenant Rick Gates took the stand to detail their alleged conspiracies, I was transported to the day back in 1992 when Gotti’s underboss Sammy Gravano began singing at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn. Gotti’s lawyers attacked Sammy the Bull by demanding to know how many people he’d whacked. Manafort’s team asked Gates how many affairs he’s had.

If it seems harsh to compare Manafort to a mobster, take it up with President Trump, who got the ball rolling with a tweet before the trial began. “Looking back at history, who was treated worse, [Al] Capone, legendary mob boss . . . or Paul Manafort?” Trump mused.

And the president ought to know: He has spent plenty of time in mobbed-up milieus. As many journalists have documented — the late Wayne Barrettand decorated investigator David Cay Johnston most deeply — Trump’s trail was blazed through one business after another notorious for corruption by organized crime.

New York construction, for starters. In 1988, Vincent “the Fish” Cafaro of the Genovese crime family testified before a U.S. Senate committee concerning the Mafia’s control of building projects in New York. Construction unions and concrete contractors were deeply dirty, Cafaro confirmed, and four of the city’s five crime families worked cooperatively to keep it that way.

This would not have been news to Trump, whose early political mentor and personal lawyer was Roy Cohn, consigliere to such dons as Fat Tony Salerno and Carmine Galante. After Cohn guided the brash young developer through the gutters of city politics to win permits for Trump Plaza and Trump Tower, it happened that Trump elected to build primarily with concrete rather than steel. He bought the mud at inflated prices from S&A; Concrete, co-owned by Cohn’s client Salerno and Paul Castellano, boss of the Gambino family.

Coincidence? Fuhgeddaboudit.

Trump moved next into the New Jersey casino business, which was every bit as clean as it sounds. State officials merely shrugged when Trump bought a piece of land from associates of Philadelphia mob boss “Little Nicky” Scarfo for roughly $500,000 more than it was worth. However, this and other ties persuaded police in Australia to block Trump’s bidto build a casino in Sydney in 1987, citing Trump’s “Mafia connections.”

His gambling interests led him into the world of boxing promotion, where Trump became chums with fight impresario Don King, a former Cleveland numbers runner. (Trump once told me that he owes his remarkable coiffure to King, who advised the future president, from personal experience, that outlandish hair is great PR.) King hasn’t been convicted since the 1960s, when he did time for stomping a man to death. But investigators at the FBI and U.S. Senate concluded that his Mafia ties ran from Cleveland to New York, Las Vegas to Atlantic City. Mobsters “were looking to launder illicit cash,” wrote one sleuth. “Boxing, of all the sports, was perhaps the most accommodating laundromat, what with its international subculture of unsavory characters who play by their own rules.”

But an even more accommodating laundromat came along: luxury real estate — yet another mob-adjacent field in which the Trump name has loomed large. Because buyers of high-end properties often hide their identities, it’s impossible to say how many Russian Mafia oligarchs own Trump-branded condos. Donald Trump Jr. gave a hint in 2008: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.”

For instance: In 2013, federal prosecutors indicted Russian mob boss Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov and 33 others on charges related to a gambling ring operating from two Trump Tower condos that allegedly laundered more than $100 million. A few months later, the same Mr. Tokhtakhounov, a fugitive from U.S. justice, was seen on the red carpet at Trump’s Miss Universe pageant in Moscow.

Obviously, not everyone in these industries is corrupt, and if Donald Trump spent four decades rubbing elbows with wiseguys and never got dirty, he has nothing to worry about from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. But does he look unworried to you?

Sorry for the wall of text, but I’ve been waiting for the MSM to pick up on Trump’s mob ties for a long time.  Trump’s family has been involved with the mob since before he was a gleam in a bottle of bourbon.  If it’s not that obvious by this point, here’s a nice, easy equation:

Trump = Mob.

As I said before many times, such as in Money Laundering, Trump is the laundromat for various mob groups, allowing them to spend their money wherever they please.  His deals, many of which “fail”, are the perfect vehicle for moving large sums of money.

And get the romantic, Mario Puzo-inspired schlock or Scorsese-directed films out of your head involving gentlemen Italians looking out for the little guy in the neighborhood or the Wiseguys playing footsie with the cops.  These people are criminals that make truckloads of money off of human suffering.  Gambling, drug dealing, prostitution, sex trafficking, murder, extortion, blackmail, slavery, ripping tags off of mattresses, they have their hands in it all.  If it helps, know that the Russians are in charge now, and no one has made any movies turning the Russian Mafia into folk heroes.

 

COHEN

A court-appointed special master who since April has been poring over a trove of documents and electronic files seized this spring from Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former fixer and personal lawyer, said on Thursday that she had finished her review.

In her sixth and final report to the Manhattan federal judge who is overseeing Mr. Cohen’s case, the special master, Barbara S. Jones, echoed what she said in her previous reports: Only a tiny fraction of the nearly four million files federal agents seized when they raided Mr. Cohen’s office, apartment and hotel room were protected by attorney-client privilege.

That means prosecutors can use the vast majority of the files in their wide-ranging inquiry into Mr. Cohen’s business dealings, including hush-money payments he helped arrange for women who say they had affairs with Mr. Trump.

The end of the laborious review marked a milestone in the investigation and brings the prosecutors from the public corruption unit of the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan one step closer to deciding whether to file charges against Mr. Cohen or, perhaps, to seek his cooperation in other inquiries, including one being led by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, into potential ties between Russia and Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Out of the millions of pieces of evidence the FBI seized from the raid on Cohen’s everything (Daily Check-In 04/09/2018), only a tiny portion was deemed by the Special Master to be protected by Attorney-Client privilege.  Out of that, some of it has already been leaked to the press (McDougal Tape, Daily Check-In 07/20/2018).

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Imagine that U.S. military leaders spent most of 1941 warning President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his Democratic Party of a coming Pearl Harbor attack. Then imagine history’s harsh judgment against FDR’s party had it ignored those concerns, voted against efforts to fortify the Pacific fleet and plotted the firing of generals who were working to expose the looming Japanese threat. Historians would have rightly savaged these politicians as traitors to their country.

Seventy-seven years later, President Trump and his Republican Party are showing a disturbing ambivalence toward Russia’s attacks on U.S. democracy. What exactly are we to make of their disturbing behavior? Even after Trump’s intelligence chiefs handed Republicans incontrovertible evidence of Russian malevolence, Trump dismissed the warnings as a hoax, the GOP House Intelligence Committee chairman secretly plotted against those leading the Russia investigation and Senate Republicans voted in lock step against a Democratic bill providing a stronger defense against future Russian attacks.

So now is the time to ask again why Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani is demanding a speedy end to the damning Russia investigation, when the Whitewater probe of the Clintons lasted much longer. And why did Vice President Pence spend months denying the Trump team’s contacts with Russian officials, only to pivot this past year to calling for a quick end to the investigation?

Will Pence’s future presidential primary challengers remember that Americans would have never uncovered the scope and scale of Putin’s plot against Western democracies if Pence had had his way? Do House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes’s constituents in California understand that their representative is trying to use his chairmanship to destroy the careers of officials overseeing the Russia investigation? Let us hope the answer is yes.

One thing is certain: Republicans can no longer plead ignorance when it comes to Putin. Our country’s national security community has sounded the alarm. Congress has been warned that our democracy is under attack by the Russians. How GOP leaders respond to this threat will determine not only the legacy of their political party but also the resilience of a political system they have carelessly ceded to a buffoon. Unless Republican leaders begin putting country ahead of party, history’s judgment against them all will be harsh.

We’ve long since passed the moment when the Republican Party should have abandoned Trump en masse.  Right now, an entire political party is defending one man at the cost of the country.  One man who knows no loyalty to others, who will do anything to save his own skin, and who openly attacks anyone and anything he sees as a threat.

There are four groups of Republicans that are supporting Trump.  The believers, the cowards, the enablers, and the complicit.  History will not be kind when details of the deals they made with the Russians come out.  (Scandal Speed Run)

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

IMMIGRATION

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

SCOTUS

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

Omarosa

In early 2017, Manigault Newman says she walked Michael Cohen, then Trump’s personal lawyer, into the Oval Office for a meeting with Trump — and saw the president chewing up a piece of paper while Cohen was leaving the office. Another White House official confirmed that Manigault Newman brought Cohen into the White House and was later rebuked for it. The two remain in contact, according to people familiar with the relationship.

“I saw him put a note in his mouth. Since Trump was ever the germophobe, I was shocked he appeared to be chewing and swallowing the paper. It must have been something very, very sensitive,” she writes in her book.

I’d like to say this is the most shocking thing I’ve read this weekend, but it’s not even in the Top 5.  I’ve seen two reasons for the paper eating and tearing.

First is that Trump is deteriorating mentally and that this is a sign of dementia.

Second is that he’s mob, and ate a note to keep it from being seen by anyone else.

I say “Why not both?”

I mean, it’s not like anything else coming from the White House is shocking, right?

She recorded everything, including stuff from the Situation Room?  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA HOW IN THE CRYSTAL PEPSI FLAVORED FUCK DID THEY NOT SEE THIS COMING!!???!?!

Ok, ok, ok.  Maybe it was some clubhouse and they told her it was the Situation Room so that she wouldn’t go in there.

No, it was the actual goddamned SITROOM?  Fuck.

Remember that scene from Casino, where where the Feds bugged a deli and the owner talked about everything that happened, right in the open?  This is a whole hell of a lot worse.

How much worse? Let’s assume for a moment that this was her personal phone, and not an NSA or USSS approved device.  If any bad actors had that number, it wouldn’t take too much to hack it and get ALL of the recordings off of it.  Every meeting, comment, side conversation, everything.

I’ve got $20 that says she uses an iPhone, backed it up to her iCloud account, and the password is something like Donny4Ever!.  I hope I’m wrong.

The above is the actual NDA they sent her for her “work” on the Trump Campaign for President in 2020.  I’m not a lawyer, but after giving it a brief look, here’s a couple things that stick out as likely illegal and/or unenforceable.

Section 1, Paragraph e: Person cannot hand over information, documents, or assist with an investigation or legal request for documents without first informing the Trump Campaign, and only cooperate to the extent that Trump’s lawyers say you should.

Section 2: No disparagement of Team Trump, ever, in any way, shape, or form.  And it would outlast the life of the contract.

Section 6, Paragraph a: Any and all financial information is confidential.  All of it, even though as a public servant, it should all be public anyway.

Section 10: The terms will survive the end of the contract with no end date.

The rest of this is pretty onerous, even for an NDA.  In exchange for keeping her mouth shut for the rest of time, the Trump Campaign would pay Omarosa $15,000 a month each month until the end of 2018 to work as an Independent Contractor on the campaign.  Less than $180,000, and she still has to pay her own health care.  To stay quiet forever.

Fuck that shit.

My guess is that Omarosa saw what and how much they were offering, weighed that with all of the shit that she put up with, saw that there was a good chance that if she joined up with the campaign that she’d spend more in legal fees than she’d make, then decided to say “fuck that shit”, then decided to write a book.  She’ll likely make more money from the book than she would have from this agreement.  Plus, she knows she has negative credibility.  Each and every claim she makes has to be backed up with evidence.  If she said that Jared once ate food, she would need to prove it.  If she’s got the receipts, which it sounds like she does, we could be in for an ugly fight between the White House and Trump’s Black Friend.

 

THAT’S RACIST

 

Unite The Right

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

CALIFORNIA

 

ELECTION 2018

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL: DEATH IN TRUMP TOWER EDITION

 

That’s it for the last few days.  The Manafort Tax Trial continues Monday, and there’s bound to be some fallout from Trump’s Black Friend.  Also, it’s Monday, which means Sacha Baron Cohen will be up to some crazy shit, “tricking” GOP members into some crazy stuff.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 08/09/2018

Thursday, August 9th

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

The Manafort Trial

The trial started with the Judge apologizing for making a mistake earlier in the week by yelling at prosecutors for letting an expert witness watch the trial.  Jude Ellis allowed it, then said he didn’t.  He admitted his mistake Thursday morning.

The first witness was Melinda James, a loan officer from Citizens Bank.  She testified that Manafort lied about his SoHo apartment to obtain a loan for it.  He claimed that this rental property was a second home, since the bank would allow him to borrow more on a second home than on a rental.  She also testified that he lied about a loan he had on another property in Brooklyn.

The next witness was Darin Evenson, an executive from Airbnb.  He testified that the SoHo apartment that Manafort claimed as a second home was listed on the rental site for 1,125 nights, the maximum allowed on the site.  He also said that the listing was removed twice.  The second time was during the loan application process for the aforementioned loan.

Next was Peggy Miceli, a VP at Citizens Bank.  She explained that the loan amounts available are lower for rental properties as opposed to second homes, and they have higher interest rates as well.  This could have motivated Manafort to claim that the SoHo apartment was a second home and not a rental.  A second home loan also allowed Manafort to take that money directly from his bank account, which is not allowed for rental properties.

Following her was Taryn Rodriguez, an Assistant Loan Officer at Citizens Bank.  She testified that he applied for a $5.5 million loan on a property on Union Street in Brooklyn just 30 to 45 days after the SoHo loan was approved.  Several loans in a short period of time is a major red flag for bank fraud.

The last witness of the day was Gary Seferian, a VP at Banc of California.  He testified that Manafort applied for a $5 million loan to flip houses with his son-in-law Jeffrey Yohai (The Indicted). but received only $1 million after falsifying records for his loan application.  Gary also said that if DMP’s income was $400,000 and not the $4,400,000 that the loan application claimed, his bank would have not likely approved the loan.

 

Maria Butina, the Russian national accused of infiltrating the NRA and Republican political circles, received funding for her American activities from a Moscow billionaire. That’s according to U.S. prosecutors in their indictment of Butina.

But what the prosecutors didn’t say was that when Butina needed money from the oligarch, Konstantin Nikolaev, she went to a Kremlin-linked public relations power player named Igor Pisarsky for the cash. That’s according to two sources familiar with her activities, speaking to The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity.

Pisarsky was Butina’s point of contact for the Nikolaev money, according to these sources—the face of the financing. According to one of the sources, he essentially acted like he was distributing grant money.

This information, previously unreported, highlights the breadth of Butina’s support network; she had friends in a wide variety of high places. In Paul Erickson, she had a longtime Republican insider with close ties to the right’s most powerful groups. In Alexander Torshin, she had a Kremlin ally who was deeply involved in Russia’s banking sector. In Konstantin Nikolaev, she had an oligarch willing to help bankroll her undertakings. And now, in Igor Pisarsky, she had a worldly, sophisticated public relations professional whose firm boasts having worked for a host of Kremlin entities, as well as Vladimir Putin’s political party. Pisarsky’s firm also has worked for two banks whose CEOs have faced U.S. sanctions, according to its website and reports.

Butina’s attorney declined to comment for this story. Pisarsky also declined to comment.

His friend Svetlana Bolshakova, an orchestra musician and editor of the musical radio broadcaster Orpheus, told The Daily Beast that Pisarsky is currently traveling in South America.

“Igor is far from both politics and politicians. He is all about a good party, a good trip, or a good meal,” Bolshakova said. “Last time I saw him was about a month ago in a crowd of Moscow’s hip elite. I don’t think he ever hangs out with any government people, at least I’ve never seen him around any officials. He is an independent person, a co-owner of two hip restaurants. He adores cooking.”

Pisarsky and Butina are Facebook friends, and she has liked several of his pictures. She also wrote about him on her blog: An entry on March 12, 2015, describes Pisarsky as a “good friend” and says she attended his birthday party.

 

Randy Credico.  You might remember this radio host and comedian from such memorable days in the news like Daily Check-In 12/13/2017 , Daily Check-In 04/12/2018, and Unfinished Business.

So far we’ve learned that Mueller’s team has subpoenaed and/or interviewed Roger Stone’s protege (Sam Nunbert), his Social Media assistant (Andrew Miller), his Madam (Krisin Davis), and his old friend (Randy Credico).

 

Can we just stop listening to Rudy?  His job is just to lie for Trump to the Fox News crowd.  Everything that comes out of his mouth is either a blatant lie or the ramblings of someone with dementia.  Usually both.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Space Force

Space Force.  Just in case the Vulcans arrive and get a little uppity with their logic and pointy ears…

Here’s the hypocrisy of Republicans in a nut shell.  Pence said that starting the Space Force would cost $8 billion over the next 5 years.  But, they can’t afford $1.6 billion in funds for Veterans Affairs (Daily Check-In 07/19/2018).  The money they want to spend on making sure Space is safe could instead be spent on the VA.  But, fuck the veterans.  Until the GOP needs to use them as props for some parade or to shout down any sign of dissent or disapproval with the state of the country.

Devin Nunes

 

Chris Collins

 

At President Trump’s rally in Tampa last week, a familiar face made it back in the national news. Maurice Symonette, also known as Michael the Black Man, was front and center in a crowd hurling invective at CNN reporter Jim Acosta, waving a “Blacks for Trump” sign. Symonette has been a regular at Trump rallies all over Florida and as far away as Arizona. Just last month, he popped up at the U.S. border to appear in a video with disgraced sheriff-turned-pardoned-Senate-candidate Joe Arpaio.

All that national exposure raises an obvious question: Who is paying the bills for Symonette, a former member of Miami’s murderous Yahweh ben Yahweh cult, to represent “Blacks for Trump” at Trump rallies?  Since Blacks for Trump isn’t a registered political organization with the Florida Division of Elections or the Federal Election Commission, there are no public records of any donations funding the group’s operations.

It seems unlikely Symonette is fronting the cash for his travel himself because he filed for bankruptcy this past May. In federal court records, he reports that he’s unemployed, generates no income, and has $0 in the bank. He also says four banks have staked claims on $2.9 million worth of property around Dade County.

So how is he getting to Arizona and Tampa to stand behind Trump on national TV?  Reached on his cell phone, Symonette declined to discuss his group’s financing. “You guys are horrible racists,” he said. “You are lawbreakers and you’re mean… God is going to punish you horribly.”

Throughout the ’80s, Symonette — then known as Maurice Woodside — was a devoted follower of Yahweh ben Yahweh, a charismatic preacher who wore white robes and called himself the Messiah. Federal prosecutors later accused Yahweh, whose real name was Hulon Mitchell Jr., of ordering his followers to murder at least 14 people, including random white vagrants who were massacred as an initiation rite.

Symonette was charged in federal court along with Mitchell and 15 other followers in 1990; while the cult’s leader was later convicted of 14 charges of murder conspiracy and served nearly two decades in prison, Symonette and six other cult members were acquitted.

Symonette filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on May 16, listing Washington Mutual, Homecomings Financial, HSBC Bank, and Indymac Bank as his creditors; each institution laid claim to one of four houses. Three are in North Miami-Dade County, and one is near Kendall.

In his bankruptcy case, he’s repeated those allegations about the banking system being crooked to Judge Laurel M. Isicoff. He’s also repeatedly sought to change hearings that overlapped with Trump events. Symonette suggested the scheduling conflicts are a sinister plot to keep him away from the spotlight at Trump rallies.

“Creditors know that I have a rally in Arizona on July 25 and deliberately set the hearing on that date to cause me and my musical band to miss the performance and the rally with the bus we rented,” he wrote in a motion filed the same morning as the Phoenix rally. “The creditors overheard that at the house we are disputing… and set that hearing on the same date just to harm me.”

That motion was denied, as was another he filed on July 30, just before Trump’s Tampa rally. “As founder of Blacks for Trump, (I) have rented vans to go to Trump’s rally. We need to make the country aware how the banks (FOREIGNERS FROM THE EAST) are illegally taking WHITE AND BLACK PEOPLE’S houses away.”

I’m shocked.  Not that the “Blacks for Trump” guy is nuts, but that he’s former-member-of-a-death-cult crazy.  There’s not much room above death cult crazy in the Cray Cray Pyramid.

Here’s some free advice for Beto O’Rouke…

Use this request in attack ads on Ted Cruz.  Show clips of Trump attacking Ted, his wife, and his father.  Cut it together with news of this request.  Include a Voice Over (VO) saying “If Ted Cruz won’t protect his own family, what makes you think he’ll protect Texas?”

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

Laura Ingraham

 

InfoWars/Alex Jones

 

Tribune/Sinclair Merger

 

 

SCOTUS

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

PUERTO RICO

 

ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

So this is where we are. The Republican Party can’t win using ordinary methods. On the process side, they can win only by inflating the white vote via gerrymandering, cracked-and-packed districts, and ruthless black voter suppression. On the policy side, they can win only with heavy dollops of strident and outright bigotry against Mexicans, Muslims, blacks, Hispanics, Chinese, and anyone else who comes along. Even Canadians will do in a pinch.

Today, the Republican Party exists for one and only one purpose: to pass tax cuts for the rich and regulatory rollbacks for corporations. They accomplish this using one and only method: unapologetically racist appeals to win the votes of the heartland riff-raff they otherwise treat as mere money machines for their endless mail-order cons.

Like it or not, this is the modern Republican Party. It no longer serves any legitimate purpose. It needs to be crushed and the earth salted behind it, while a new conservative party rises to take its place. This new party should be conservative; brash; ruthless when it needs to be; as simpleminded as any major party usually is; and absolutely dedicated to making Democrats look like idiots. There should be no holds barred except for one: no appeals to racism. None. Not loud ones, not subtle ones. Whatever else it is, it should be a conservative party genuinely open to any person of any color.

When that happens, I will change my mind about how we should fight the Republican Party. Until then, no, I don’t think Brett Kavanaugh deserves any help from Democrats and I don’t think liberals should waste any time tut-tutting over Twitter mockery from 2013 that all of us know perfectly well doesn’t represent any genuine anti-white sentiment.

Nos victi Reipublicae. That’s it. Whatever works best, I’m in.

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

 

 

That’s it for Thursday.  Friday is going to be a weird one. As I’m wrapping this post up, Andrew Miller is in contempt of court, the Manafort Trial started the day on a different foot, and Omarosa’s getting attacked by the dumbest White House in

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 08/08/2018

Wednesday, August 8th

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

The Manafort Trial, Day 7

Day 7 of the Manafort Tax Evasion trial began with Rick Gates in cross-examination.  The defense tried to blow up his credibility even more by alleging that he had multiple affairs and lied about it.  During rebuttal questioning, he outlined that if he lied, the Special Counselor’s office would destroy their plea offer and recommend that he serve every charge against him consecutively, not concurrently.  In that case, he’s looking at over 100 years in jail.

The next witness was Forensic Accountant Morgan Magionos.  He testified about how he was able to trace offshore bank accounts back to Paul Manafort. That included tracing wire transfers from the accounts to high-end luxury vendors.

After that came Michael Welch from the IRS.  He testified that Manafort didn’t pay taxes on at least $16.4 million in unreported income.

Remember, this is a tax evasion and money laundering case.

Counteroffers?  This isn’t a fucking house purchase, this is a goddamned investigation.

The longer this shit drags out, the more I’m convinced that not only will there not be an interview, but that Mueller wouldn’t interview him anyway since Trump is a target, not a subject.

Here’s the thing with the report…

The moment that it hits the House and Senate leadership, it’s up to them whether or not to release it all, release a redacted version, or keep it under wraps.  It’s not a consensus choice, but if even one of them wants to release it, they can release it.  If all but one of them says keep it up under wraps, but one says “fuck that, fuck you, and fuck anyone who looks like you, I’m posting this shit on Twitter now”, they can do that.

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Chris Collins

Chris Collins, a Republican congressman from upstate New York, surrendered to the FBI on Wednesday morning on securities fraud-related charges, prosecutors said.

Collins, 68, faces insider trading charges along with his son, Cameron Collins, and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron Collins’ fiancée, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York.

The case is related to Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotech company, on which the elder Collins served on the board.

Collins, one of Donald Trump’s early supporters in his bid for president, is expected to appear in federal court later Wednesday in Manhattan.

Wow.  Here’s a link to the indictment.  Chris Collins is a Republican from New York, and was a leading member of the Trump Transition Team.

This sounds like a pump and dump scheme.  The way it works is that a group hypes a company up, selling them as the best thing since the invention of the wheel, puts stock out there, sells a bunch of it to a bunch of marks, then right before bad news hits, all of the principal parties sell their stock at a high price, leaving everyone else with now worthless stock.

Chris Collins telling the world that we should leave Trump’s taxes alone while he was lying to investigators.

AdamParkhomenko: Womp, womp Chris

Here’s Chris Collins at the White House at the time the email was sent.  Here’s a tweet to the actual picture from the call mentioned in the indictment.

Yeah, that happened.  Part of the indictment indicates that Chris called his son at 7:16 PM on the night in question.  The call lasted a little more than 6 minutes.  At 7:17 PM, he was seen walking out of the White House while on the phone.

 

Four other members of Congress, not including the former Secretary or Health and Human Services Tom Price invested in this company at a discounted stock price after talking to Chris Collins.  At best, he stole their money and cost them a small fortune.  At worst, they’re accomplices.

 

Rand Paul

All of them are Republicans.  ALL OF THEM.  Not a single one of those senators was a Democrat.

 

3336

Gee, I wonder how it is that the Russians got their hands on a United States Senate bill that hasn’t been made public yet, that only members of the Senate and their staff would have access to.

I mean, it’s not like a certain Senator from Kentucky with a long history of always taking Russia’s side delivered anything to Vladimir Putin.  Oh, wait…

 

Devin

Going for the Trifecta of Fuckery today is Devin Fucking Nunes.  I’m not surprised that he spoke freely in a room without the press, or that he openly admits to obstructing the Russian Investigation or serving as a firewall for the traitor known as Donald Trump, and not even that even he has his problems with Trump’s tweets and stupid comments.  The only thing I’m surprised about is that someone thought bringing him in to help fund raise was a good idea.

 

Omarosa

Oh, FFS.  The day when 7th or 8th craziest story of the day is that Omarosa wrote a book is truly a screwed up day.  Ok, enough with the joke about her being able to read and write.  I’m surprised that half the people working for Trump are not functionally illiterate.  What’s really shocking is that she worked at the White House for almost a year, constantly recorded meetings on her phone, and NO ONE CAUGHT HER OR STOPPED HER.

 

RUSSIAN ATTACK 2018

I’ve got a bad feeling we’re going to hear more stories like this heading into the election.  This isn’t “meddling”, this is an Act of War.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

FCC

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

Sanctions over Skripal Poisoning

I’m not a betting man, but I’d put good money that this was done without Trump’s approval, sign-off, or input, and that he’ll lose his shit and go all “Putin’s a good guy” like the traitorous shit he is.

 

TRADE WAR

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

SCOTUS

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…

 

RUMOR MILL

From Claude’s tweet about the Iran Deal, $20 says that the adult children include Jared Kushner.  From yesterday’s post (Daily Check-In 08/07/2018), Kushner’s family sold 666 Fifth Avenue to Brookfield for enough money to get out from underneath their upside down loan.  Brookfield is owned by the Emiratis.  Half of $3.6 billion is $1.8 billion, which is how much Kushner’s family owed on their loan.

 

That’s it for Wednesday.  The Manafort Tax Trial continues on Thursday, and there’s an update on the Sinclair-Tribune sale.  Also, Space Force.  I’m trying to not laugh while typing that shit.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 08/07/2018

Tuesday, August 8th.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

The Manafort Trial

Day 6 continued with Rick Gates testifying all day.  The first few hours were spent with him guiding the prosecution through everything from how the bank accounts were set up to the use of shell companies to hide payments to corroborating the evidence of other witnesses like the accountant and bookkeeper.  The bank accounts and companies were purchased “off the shelf” by their Ukranian partners, and were set up by their lawyer in Cyprus.  The Ukranian Oligarchs would pay one shell company, then that company would pay Manafort’s shell company in Cyprus, then Manafort would pay himself from the shell companies.  Over time, there was a crackdown on Cyprus bank accounts, so they set up accounts in The Grenadines to use as a stopover.

Rick Gates also explained the fake invoices.

Rick Gates explained several apparently fake invoices from vendors who did work for Paul Manafort: He created those for banks in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

When Manafort moved his banking from Cyprus to the Grenadines, Gates explained, they required more documentation. “They asked for invoices” that had the name of the companies Manafort was using on them, Gates said. So at Manafort’s direction, he would make a “modified invoice.”

“The payment was legitimate,” he said. But “it had to have the name of the company itself” — and the vendors hadn’t provided those.

He said he took the information on the invoices from Manafort — suggesting any typos were his boss’s fault. The vendors never actually saw those invoices.

So they created fake invoices from real companies for real dollar amounts to give to their new bank to justify the withdraw of large amounts of money.  The invoices never made their way to the vendors, so when they were shown them on the witness stand, it was the first time they’ve seen these fakes.

The cross examination was tense.  Rick admitted that he committed crimes with Paul Manafort, and stole from him as well.  He also admitted that it’s possible he may have stolen from the Trump Campaign and the Trump Inauguration Committee by submitting false or exaggerated expense reimbursements.  Not really surprising, considering he stole from a mobbed-up criminal like Manafort.

Also, we finally heard about Federal Savings Bank and Steve Calk.  We’ve talked about Steve before (Daily Check-In 02/21/2018Daily Check-In 02/22/2018Daily Check-In 02/23/2018Daily Check-In 07/23/2018) but for a brief refresher, he’s the head of Federal Savings Bank in Chicago, a bank that mostly offers mortgages to veterans.  I say mostly because FSB also approved a loan for Paul Manafort.  An illegal loan, that was a complete farce, as has already been entered into evidence.  It’s been rumored that this loan was part of a pay for play scheme involving Steve Calk becoming the Secretary of the Army in exchange for giving Manafort this loan.  Rick Gates just admitted it was under oath.

One thing that will likely further back up this claim is that two of the witnesses granted immunity in this trial are employees of FSB.  Steve Calk does not appear on the witness list.  He’s probably getting ready for his own date with the FBI.

 

 

COHEN

I just made this joke the other day (Daily Check-In 08/02/2018), but once again the neglectful parent of the Russian Investigation is back, this time with a gift card for his kids after he forgot to pick them up from a school dance and they had to get an Uber home.

According to several reports, Investigators are looking into Cohen’s taxes for possible, fuck it, likely illegalities.  They’re doing this with the help of Cohen’s old business partner the “Taxi King” Evgeny Freidman (Cooperating Witnesses).  Freidman pleaded guilty to Tax Evasion.  Freidman and Cohen used the same accountant.

 

ROSS

Wilbur Ross could be “among the biggest grifters in American history,” according to Forbes magazine, amid new allegations that he may have wrongly siphoned off more than $120 million from business associates. An investigation, citing 21 people who have worked with the man who is now President Trump’s commerce secretary, claims Ross stole “a few million here and a few million there” from various companies. Forbes reports: “All told, these allegations—which sparked lawsuits, reimbursements, and a Securities and Exchange Commission fine—come to more than $120 million.” Ross’ former colleagues offer very unkind words about him. “He’ll push the edge of truthfulness and use whatever power he has to grab assets,” said New York financier Asher Edelman, while another of Ross’ former colleagues said: “He’s a pathological liar.” They say he is obsessed with money, with two former colleagues recounting that he took handfuls of Sweet’ N Low packets from a restaurant near his office, so he didn’t have to go out and buy some for himself. (A Ross spokesman disputed that claim—and denied that he sweetens his coffee.)

Each time I hear about Wilbur Ross, he sounds like a bigger thief.  There was his appearance in the Paradise Papers that linked him to Putin’s son-in-law (Daily Check-In 11/06/2017).  Then there was the insider trading (Daily Check-In 12/12/2017).  Then there was him not selling his stakes in a company co-owned by the Chinese government while serving on the Cabinet ( Daily Check-In 06/18/2018). Now, we get another report of him not just being a cheapskate, skinflint, and thief, but a petty one at that.

Really, $120 million?  That’s twice the amount that Manafort laundered for Deripaska over the years.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Here’s the pic, in case it disappears from Twitter

RU Allies

For those of you that don’t read Russian, neither do I.  But I recognize the faces and can decipher symbols.

Top Row, Left to Right:

  • Dennis Kucinich (D)
  • Dana Rohrabacher (R)
  • Ron Paul (R)

Bottom Row, Left to Right:

  • Bernie Sanders (Independent but one time Democrat)
  • Michael Flynn (R)
  • Rand Paul (R)

All of them have historically defended Russia to a fault.  Mike Flynn was indicted for lying to the FBI about his ties to Russia, and I’ve talked more than once about his affinity for Putin.

The other five are all examples of Horseshoe Theory.  Dennis and Bernie have always been on the edge of the left wing for years, having long been the faces of the Progressive Socialist movement.  Rand and his father Ron are the faces of the Libertarian movement.  Dana is the most normal out of these five, and even then most of his colleagues think he’s a Russian stooge.

 

While financial terms were not disclosed in the announcement, theWall Street Journal reported that the Kushner Companies will use the money from the Brookfield lease to buy out Vornado, according to the Journal. Brookfield will also pay the entire 99-year rent up front in order to allow Kushner Companies to deal with the debt, typically 99-year lease structures include an annual ground rent according to the Journal.

Brookfield agreed to an investment in the building early in the year, but the sale of the 99-year lease is a much larger deal than originally expected. According to the Journal, the sale will ensure that the company is able to repay the debt from the building, but it’s not clear if it would net any profit.

Jared Kushner, the president’s adviser and husband to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, helped run the Kushner Companies at the time of 666 Fifth Avenue’s purchase. Kushner’s real estate interests were placed in a trust controlled by other members of his family when he joined the White House.

Originally, the Kushner Companies planned to use $7.5 billion in capital from Chinese insurance giant Anbang to remodel the aging tower into a mixed-use retail, condo, and hotel space. The deal eventually fell through.

Brookfield will sink $600 million into renovations for the building according to the Journal.

 

FIGHTING BACK

Regrets

There are a lot of people out there who are coming around to acknowledge what they did and how terrible Trump is.

Welcome them to the party, there’s punch and pie in the back.

 

INFOWARS

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

#NEVERAGAIN

During the presidential campaign, Everytown for Gun Safety took note of Pence’s role in the gun pipeline that threatens cities like Chicago: “Rather than strengthening public safety laws—even as Indiana continued to supply crime guns to cities around the country—Governor Pence has parroted the gun lobby’s talking points and promoted their extremist agenda of pushing guns everywhere, for everyone, no questions asked.”

Pence received NRA endorsements in all of his elections between 2002 and 2012, and received an “A” grade for opposing gun safety legislation during that time as well.

As governor, Pence signed legislation increasing immunity from liability for gun manufacturers and repeatedly signed bills that increased the variety of guns that could be used in Indiana.

In its most recent survey of gun flows, Indiana was by far the biggest source of guns to Illinois. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), 1,366 guns recovered in Illinois could be traced to Indiana. The next closest for a neighboring state was Missouri, with 434.

Conservatives have often cited Chicago’s problem with gun crime as an argument against gun laws, but ignore the role of lax gun laws in allowing the flow of firearms.

Chicago is also often invoked by the Right due to its large black population. But as the protests after the shootings show, that populace has often spoke out in favor of action — it’s just a series of actions that the NRA and Republicans oppose.

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

FCC

The reason for the supposed DDoS attack was John Oliver telling all of his viewers to contact the FCC and tell them how they felt about Net Neutrality.  The turnout was so great that the FCC comment website went down.  Instead of acknowledging the outpouring of support, that worthless fuckstick Ajit Pai claimed that the site was hacked and under attack, because there was no way that many people could comment about Net Neutrality.

Fuck Ajit Pai.

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

SCOTUS

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

CALIFORNIA FIRES

 

ELECTION 2018

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

Deep in the thread above is a piece of RUMINT (Rumored Intelligence, or high-level gossip) that I didn’t catch about Jared Kushner flipping and cooperating for the last few months.

Looks like things are heating up.  That’s the second time in less than a week I’ve talked about FEATHERS.  Keep an eye out.

 

That’s it for Tuesday.  Wednesday has some fun stuff on the agenda.  The Manafort Trial enters it’s seventh day, results from some elections are coming in, I have yet another reason to hate the Green Party, and a Congressman gets arrested for Insider Trading.

In the Rumor Mill section, there’s a tweet in there about how Jared Kushner might have flipped after December and has been cooperating ever since.  I personally don’t buy it yet.  If this is the case, it’s an extremely well-kept secret.  Not that I’m the end-all be-all on secrets, but this isn’t even floating around the normal parts of the mill.  Jared is an extremely high-ranked target, and there’s enough out in the press to nail him for tons of financial crimes, conspiracy, espionage, and treason.  The only two people above him in this cavalcade of fuckery are Trump and Pence.  The only way that he gets a deal and accepts it is if he personally delivers Trump on the worst of the accusations.  While that is possible, I still doubt that it’s happening.  If I hear more that he is cooperating, I’ll post it here.

 

That’s it for today.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 08/06/2018

Monday, August 6th.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Day 5 of the trial began in the late afternoon with Cindy Laporta being cross examined.  The basis of the defense came down to two main points.

  1. Rick Gates did all of the bad and intentional stuff.
  2. Paul Manafort wasn’t criminally evil, he was disorganized and procrastinated, and that’s why documentation always came in at the last minute.

Both of these are pretty flimsy points, and don’t look like they provide enough benefit of the doubt in Manafort’s behavior.  Blaming the assistant is one thing, but saying that someone forgot they had a bunch of foreign bank accounts and owned companies because it’s tax day is a bit too much.

Following Cindy on the witness stand was Paula Liss of FinCEN.  She testified that neitehr Manafort nor his wife did not file any reports of foreign bank accounts from 2011 to 2014.  The defense tried to muddy the waters, but the prosecution cleared them up on redirect.

Last up for the day is the star of the show, Rick Gates.  He took the stand, and described his relationship with Paul Manafort (employee/employer), how long he’s known him (since the 90’s), why he’s testifying against him (he cut a plea deal and hopes not to go to jail), and did he commit any crimes with him (Hell Yeah), and whether or not he committed these crimes at Paul Manafort’s request (Hell Yeah).

By the way, he also admitted to embezzling a couple hundred thousand dollars from Paul over the years.

While that might seem like the big news of the day, here’s the piece I took away as the bombshell: Gates met with investigators 20 times during his plea deal process.

20 meetings.  That’s a lot of time spent talking about tax forms.  Too much time, in my opinion.

Let’s do some math.  Assume that these meetings last, on average, 2 hours a piece.  I think that’s pretty low, but let’s run with that.  That’s 40 hours, or one work week, Rick Gates spent in interviews with Mueller’s team, telling them everything he knows.  40 hours seems like a lot of time to spend verifying that Manafort and his wife didn’t check a box on a tax form.

I think Rick Gates gave up a lot more than just Paul Manafort.  Remember, Rick was Tom Barrack’s Chief of Staff on the Trump Inaugural Committee (Cooperating Witnesses) and was the Deputy Campaign Manager under Paul Manafort.  Everything that Paul was involved in, Rick was involved in, and Rick stayed on after Paul was fired in August 2016.

 

Gee, what a surprise, the Russians helped Jill Stein.  It’s not like she had any ties to Russia or Putin, or spouted off Russian propaganda during and after the campaign.

That above paragraph was sarcasm.  Here’s how deep in this she is…

img_5419

Like I said yesterday (Daily Check-In 08/03/2018), Trump will absolutely throw Donnie Jr. under the bus to save his own ass.

 

INFOWARS BANNED

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!  Fuck you, Alex!!!

Alex Jones isn’t just a monster making money on spreading lies and filth about murdered children, but he’s also a traitor to the United States of America, and deserves the fate reserved for them.  InfoWars has long been a tool for Russian propaganda, where they have shared and rehosted well over a thousand stories that originated from Sputnik and Russia Today / RT (Daily Check-In 11/08/2017), not to mention spouting countless Kremlin talking points like the Seth Rich Conspiracy, their love of Wikileaks, and countless crazy attacks against the government over the years.

As much as he deserves to lose his media business, his livelihood, family, and freedom, I feel that I do need to defend one point and that is his right of free speech.

Yes, he has the right to say whatever crazy horseshit he can come up with in his twisted mind.  He can scream it from the rooftops, from the streetcorner, or from his own website.  That right does not, however, mean that the rest of us have to listen to it or have to broadcast it.  It also doesn’t mean that other people have to amplify it for him.  Content providers are no under no legal obligation to distribute everything that’s created, especially hate speech.

Apple is under no legal obligation to host content they don’t agree with.  Neither is Google, FaceBook, Spotify, or any other company.  If WordPress decided to yank my website for repeated violations of the Terms of Service, that’s my problem, not theirs.  They are responsible for what they share.

Besides, from what I’ve seen in the Rumor Mill over the past year plus, this could be the best consequence to happen to Alex Jones.  I hope for far, far worse.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

I’m curious.  How much of Rand Paul’s stance is based off of kompromat they have on him, how much is based off of kompromat they have on his father, and how much is him willingly going along with this.  Remember, in all of those 98-1 votes and 97-2 votes on sanctions against Russia, he’s always on the wrong side of that vote count.

 

FIGHTING BACK

What makes QAnon different from other right-wing conspiracy theories, University of Miami professor Joseph Uscinski told The Daily Beast, is that it was born at a time when Republicans are already in control.

“Normally you don’t expect the winning party to use them, except when they’re in trouble,” Uscinski said.

In a new twist, BuzzFeed News published a look into whether the theory was actually invented in an attempt to trick right-wing, conspiracy theory–pushing Internet users, particularly of the Baby Boomer generation.

In screenshots of forums published in BuzzFeed’s piece, one user writes, “Q is just a huge prank on boomers.” Another wrote, “…look how many normies and boomers got sucked into our lulz chaos. Good job anons, looking forward to our next big prank.”

Some believe the QAnon conspiracy theory was invented by leftists or anarchists as a way of proving the alt-right’s gullibility, or, as BuzzFeed reported, “to make the far-right look deranged.” In fact, BuzzFeed noted, there are similarities between the theory and the plot of the Italian novel Q (yes, really).

Q (the novel, not the possible prank) is thought by many to be a manifesto for activists looking to disrupt society. Its authors told BuzzFeed, “We often described it as ‘playbook,’ an ‘operations manual’ for cultural disruption.”

Elaborate “gotcha” or not, there are people who truly believe the QAnon theory. And it’s having real-world consequences beyond computer screens.

 

Former “Doctor Who” actor David Tennant slammed President Trump “on behalf of the Scottish nation” over the weekend.

“When he was over here and he was talking about England and he was saying ‘I’m going out to Scotland for my golf course in Scotland cause people in London are protesting but obviously [in] Scotland they really like me, ‘ ” Tennant said on a British TV show, “can I say on behalf of the Scottish nation, we f—ing don’t?”

My third favorite Doctor basically telling Trump to fuck off.  Ok, third favorite sounds bad, but there have been 12 Doctors, 13 if you count John Hurt’s War Doctor.  Being third on this list is like asking what is my third favorite movie or third favorite Penguins Stanley Cup Championship.

For the record, first is the 9th Doctor, Christoper Eccleston.  He was the first one of the reboot series and I loved the dark optimism that he showed.  Second is the 11th Doctor, Matt Smith.  I enjoyed his whimsy, and he was my son’s favorite for a long time. Third was the 10th Doctor, David Tennant.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

SCOTUS

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CALIFORNIA FIRES

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

 

 

That’s it for today.  Tuesday will have Rick Gates continuing his testimony, and a breaking story about Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross being accused of stealing $120 million.

Let’s see how this plays out.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 08/03/2018

Friday, August 3rd and the weekend.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

The Manafort Trial

Day 4 began with Manafort’s tax preparer Phillip Ayliff returning to the stand to state that Paul Manafort did not disclose any foreign bank accounts on his taxes.  He then discussed a suspicious loan that Gates and Manafort, at Manafort’s instruction, said shouldn’t be considered income.  Phillip asked for proof, but was given the flimsiest definition of proof.  It mostly consisted of a letter from a company that Manafort is accused of owning.  They then covered his “rental properties”, which are basically This is carryover from Daily Check-In 08/02/2018.

Manafort’s defense team made the brilliant defense of “if he intended to break the law, why would he leave this information lying around?”  He said this of the man accused of witness tampering by backing up his encrypted WhatsApp messages to his iCloud account AFTER the feds had a warrant to monitor that account. (Daily Check-In 06/04/2018Daily Check-In 06/05/2018Daily Check-In 06/06/2018)

Following the preparer was Cindy Laporta, the first of five witnesses granted immunity in exchange for their testimony.  (Daily Check-In 07/23/2018)  Cindy was Paul Manafort’s accountant, and took over for Philip after he retired.  She testified that she didn’t believe them on their claim of the loan either, but went along with it because she was afraid to confront Manafort.  She also testified that later on she falsified documents at the behest of Manafort and Gates to allow Manafort’s company DMP (Davis Manafort Partners) to qualify for more loans.  By doing so, she opened herself up to legal ramifications of felony wire fraud and other tax avoidance crimes.  This is why she was granted immunity for her testimony.

 

Alleged Russian spy Mariia Butina talked openly about her contacts with Russian intelligence officials when she got drunk, CNN reported Thursday.

According to people who knew her at American University where she attended graduate school, on at least two occasions Butina bragged about her Russian government connections after she had imbibed and even said the Russian government was connected to her Moscow gun rights group. According to CNN, classmates were unnerved by her comments and reported her to law enforcement twice.

Other classmates told CNN that in classes she was a constant defender of Vladimir Putin and claimed that she was a middleman between President Trump’s campaign and the Russian government.

Why can’t we get a better quality of spy in this story?  It’s like they sent the Cleveland Browns of spycraft to attack the United States.

Not only do we have Maria Butina getting drunk and bragging about being a middleman for Putin and the GOP, but she did it enough times that her classmates as American University called the cops.  Repeatedly.

Remember the timing on this, too.  She didn’t start school until getting her student visa in 2016, but was in the U.S. before that.  And, don’t forget, but she met with Donnie Jr. at the NRA convention back in May 2016. (Daily Check-In 07/18/2018).

Gee, I really hope Donnie Jr. doesn’t have more bad news coming at him from this weekend.

SPOILER ALERT: IT GETS WORSE, SEE NEXT BOLD SECTION.

This might be the strangest part of the Russian Investigation so far, but as I’ve said before, it’s only going to get weirder from here. (Daily Check-In 07/20/2018).

How weird?  Does a tweet from Tom Arnold saying that Roger Stone was crashing on the Madam’s couch while Al Franken was being attacked sound weird enough?  Maybe not as weird as Steven Segal becoming a diplomatic envoy for Russia weird, but still pretty damn weird.

 

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Sunday that a Trump Tower meeting between top campaign aides and a Kremlin-connected lawyer was designed to “get information on an opponent” — the starkest acknowledgment yet that a statement he dictated last year about the encounter was misleading.

Mr. Trump made the comment in a tweet on Sunday morning that was intended to be a defense of the June 2016 meeting and the role his son Donald Trump Jr. played in hosting it. The president claimed that it was “totally legal” and of the sort “done all the time in politics.”

But the tweet also served as an admission that the Trump team had not been forthright when Donald Trump Jr. issued a statement in July 2017 saying that the meeting had been primarily about the adoption of Russian children.

That statement is being scrutinized by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who is examining a broad array of Mr. Trump’s tweets and public statements to determine whether he made them as part of an effort to deceive investigators.

Yep.  That just happened.  The President of the United States, after years of saying that there was “no collusion” from his campaign with Russia, just admitted to it on Twitter.

The goalposts have moved.  We’ve gone from “No contact with Russians” to “No one that was on the campaign talked with the Russians” to “People contacted the Russians but it wasn’t collusion” to “Collusion isn’t illegal, but it still didn’t happen” to “No senior members of the campaign colluded” to “My son met with the Russians, but it wasn’t illegal” in a little over a year and a half.  I think the next steps are below:

  • Senior members colluded, but it wasn’t illegal.
  • Trump didn’t know about the collusion until after it happened, but it still wasn’t illegal.
  • Ok, it might have been a little illegal, but only in a technical sense.
  • It was illegal, but the campaign did it to stop the evil HRC.
  • There was only bad collusion that one one time.
  • Trump only knew about it the day before and thought it was a joke.
  • Trump knew about it but didn’t call in to the June 9th meeting.
  • Trump called in, but wasn’t an active participant.
  • Trump called in, but only asked a couple questions.
  • Trump called in, but was only involved in this episode of collusion.
  • Trump didn’t know about the NRA work, the RNC work, the Mayflower Meeting, the December meetings in Trump Tower, the meetings in the Seychelles, or any other meeting that hasn’t been discussed yet.
  • Trump was involved, so what?

I don’t like to talk about Trump’s tweets here because most of the time it’s a distraction from the real news, but every so often he wakes up in a panic in the middle of the night and unloads his narcissistic projections on the world, simultaneously accusing his enemies of his crimes while trying to play the victim card.  In this case, he managed to not only destroy each and every talking point that his team has used for the last year, but also threw Donnie Jr. under the bus.

Correction.  He didn’t throw his son under the bus.  He dug a whole, hit Donnie over the head with a shovel, threw the body in the whole, covered it up, hired a road crew to lay asphalt over the whole, painted lines on the fresh asphalt, chartered a bus, then drove the bus over the fresh road.

After studying narcissistic personality disorder for a while, the sense of self, I’m not surprised by this one bit.  Trump only cares about himself.  If he cares about his children at all, it’s about how their actions affect him.  They exist to him as tools and resources, not as individuals.  His mentality never progressed to the point where sense of self can coexist with the idea of others.

By the way, getting dirt on an opposing political candidate isn’t illegal, it’s how one comes across it that determines the legality.  Getting it from the Intelligence Services of a foreign nation is illegal.  Having someone hack into their computers is illegal.  Getting that information from a foreign government pretending to be a hacker from another country is illegal.

 

 

 

COHEN

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Hope Hicks is back in the news, this time it looks like potential witness tampering.  Hope left the White House as the Communications Director earlier this year (Daily Check-In 02/28/2018), after interviewing Mueller’s team about her role in various activities, including the cover-up of the June 9th meeting.

At best, this just looks bad.  At worst, this is a blatant attempt at witness tampering.  Hope is a witness and participant to the investigation that Trump is a subject of.

I’m waiting for all of the Republicans that bitched about Loretta Lynch meeting with Bill Clinton on board his plane to scream from the rooftops any time now over how this is inapporpriate.

Anyone?  Anyone?

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

ATTACKS ON THE VOTING SYSTEM

Here’s the thing when it comes to voter fraud: it doesn’t happen, at least not the way that it’s portrayed.  The way that most **coughwhitecough** people think voter fraud occurs is that buses full of dark-skinned people get shipped from one polling place to another, show up at the polls, then vote as people who didn’t bother to show up.  Never mind that the logistics of this are completely bonkers and raise more questions like “How could thousands or millions of people being paid to vote keep their mouths shut?” or “Who paid for the buses?” or “Who has such a pathetically weak ego that the only way they can justify losing is to blame non-existent Hispanics?”

The reality of the matter is that this kind of Voter Fraud is damn near non-existent.  What does happen is that the bogeyman of voter fraud is used as a justification for making restrictive voter ID laws that target minorities, poor, young, and other groups that typically vote Democratic.  Every state that has implemented Voter ID laws saw a spike in the Republican polls on the next election after they were implemented.  I’ve covered ad nauseum how the vote difference in Wisconsin was reportedly less than the number of voters prevented from voting.

The sole purpose of the Voter Fraud panel was to make a report that would be used to recommend to every state to enact their own forms of Voter ID laws, and would use states like Wisconsin and North Carolina as the template.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

Either the NRA is losing money hand over fist, or they lied under oath.  If they lied, screw’em, they deserve whatever punishment befalls them.  If they are bleeding money, I’ll send them thoughts and prayers.  You know, the same actions they take each time a bunch of innocent children are murdered because they want to oppose every kind of gun control.

Fun Fact: The NRA supported a ban on open carrying firearms back in 1967 when the Black Panthers “invaded” the state capitol.

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

DISTRACTION TIME: TRUMP INSULTS LEBRON JAMES, DON LEMON

 

HATE RALLY IN PORTLAND AND NAZIS

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

SCOTUS

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CHRISTIAN FASCISM

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

Claude Taylor on Matt Gaetz:

Call me old fashioned but dicking around with the intern when you’re a 36 year old member of Congress used to be frowned upon. Have things changed ?

Can we talk about ? He has his own live in “Intern-with-benefits”. Yep…brace yourself…the intern IS A GIRL!!! That’s cool right? She’s 21. So what if the US Taxpayer pays to fly her around, right? It’s 2018 and this is more convenient than the married Minister…

I don’t care who is getting it from. I don’t care if it’s an intern. I don’t care if she’s 21-22. I don’t care if they live together. I just want to know if any taxpayer funds have been used in support of this relationship. I also want to know if her folks know.

 

 

That’s it for Friday and the weekend.  Once again, I have plans on doing some maintenance on the site, and once again crazy stuff happens on the weekend.  I’d like to clean up the intro section, the Russian Hypothesis, and the Cast of Characters.  Also, I want to write a post about how the Trump team keeps moving the goalposts.

Monday should be interesting.  Rand Paul is in Russia, and Rick Gates could be called to testify against Paul Manafort.  And my third favorite Doctor tells Trump to fuck off.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 08/02/2018

Thursday, August 2nd

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

The Manafort Trial: Day 3

The third day of the Manafort trial started with more vendors talking about Paul Manafort’s lavish expenses and unusual methods of payment.  They all also included each of them being shown a fake invoice from their company.  What that’s establishing yet is unknown, but it’s building to something.  My guess is that it will establish a pattern of falsified business statements to cover the source of payments and to make it look like Manafort’s money comes from somewhere other than offshore.  Or, it could be part of his money laundering attempts.  If he used the fake invoices to justify moving money from one account to another, that could show that he deliberately falsified business records to pay less money on taxes.

After a while, his bookkeeper Heather Washkuhn took the stand for two hours and discussed how she worked for Paul, how he was in charge of how every penny was spent, and how Rick Gates worked with him, but Paul ultimately made the decisions.  She also testified that she had no knowledge of the offshore bank accounts that Paul used for purchases.

The day ended with Philip Ayliff, Manafort’s tax accountant , taking the stand.  He discussed the details of their working relationship in which Gates was his right hand man, but didn’t hide anything from him as Paul made the decisions.  He’ll take the stand Friday morning and go over the tax forms.

 

A former aide to longtime President Trump confidant Roger Stone must testify before the special counsel’s grand jury, a federal judge in Washington ruled Thursday.

The judge rejected a challenge from Andrew Miller, a former assistant to Stone who tried to block subpoenas from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The redacted opinion from U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell affirming the legal legitimacy of the special counsel’s appointment does not identify Miller by name, but his attorney confirmed that the ruling is in response to Miller’s request.

Howell’s ruling orders Miller to “appear before the grand jury to provide testimony at the earliest date available” and to provide subpoenaed records.

“We’re disappointed with the court’s ruling,” Miller’s attorney, Paul Kamenar, said in an interview. “But the judge obviously took our challenge to Mueller’s constitutionality seriously, as evidenced by the 93-page opinion.”

 

COHEN

I’m noticing a pattern with Michael Cohen in the news.  Something happens for a few days, then he disappears for a day or two.  After he disappears, he comes back with a vengeance, like a neglectful parent trying to make up for missing his little girl’s soccer game by taking her on a shopping trip to the Disney Store, or to the stables to rent a pony.

Today’s attempt at making up for not being in the news yesterday is him accepting a bribe to help get a $5 billion loan secured to build a nuclear plant in Alabama.

I should be pissed about the audacity of this move, but I’m honestly impressed.  $10 million as a finders fee for a $5 billion loan is a pretty small return on investment.  That’s like paying $1,000 to get a $500,000 mortgage.  People would kill for that kind of closing costs.

They’re all criminal shits, but I’ve got to give credit where credit is due.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

I’d like to say I’m surprised by Trump bitching about the “hoax” of Russian interference just a couple hours after his OWN FUCKING STAFF SAID IT’S HAPPENING, but I can’t.  Now, it’s almost like a game.  How many hours after his staff does something until he counters it?  Remember how he said he agreed with the Intelligence Community’s assessment on Russia only to say he didn’t less than 24 hours later? (Daily Check-In 07/17/2018Daily Check-In 07/18/2018)

 

This is the battle I’ve been waiting for.  Who will the rank and file Republicans back?  Will they side with the donors that bankroll their entire campaign, or with the demagogue who’s voting base could make or break their chances at reelection?

 

One advantage of Trump being as big of a narcissist as he is: he’s too self-absorbed to realize that he can’t out think the best lawyers in the world.  He also thinks he’s smarter than everyone telling him it’s a bad idea, and is driven completely by ego.

Tell him that Obama didn’t have the guts to sit down with Mueller.  Trump will schedule the interview right after Fox & Friends.

 

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Two words.  Merrick Fucking Garland.

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

Harvey Weinstein‘s lawyer plans to ask a New York judge to toss the sprawling sex assault case against him on the grounds an accuser supposedly sent the disgraced movie mogul “exculpatory” emails, new court filings reveal.

The revelation came Wednesday in Delaware bankruptcy court filings involving Weinstein’s former movie company.

The lawyers representing Weinstein in the bankruptcy matter are asking a judge to let his criminal defense team file emails revealed in the company’s Chapter 11 case as exhibits in defense motions that are due Friday.

The emails are now under wraps because of a protective order.

 

ELECTION 2018

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

WOOPSIE

 

RUMOR MILL

This doesn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who has ever done media work or been around a campaign.  Everything is planned from the tiniest detail.  All of the crowd fillers, the signs, the banners, the questions, the people asking the questions, and the cute little photo ops are all screened and planned ahead of time.

This is a great thing to remember when we look back and see that Maria Butina asked Donald Trump a question about Russian sanctions at a campaign rally in July 2015. (Daily Check-In 03/09/2018)

 

That’s it for Thursday.  The trial continues on Friday, as the accountant will likely talk about how he didn’t know about Manafort’s offshore accounts.  Also, it looks like Maria Butina would brag about being a spy when drunk.

This is how I know this is real life.  If someone were making a movie about this and said that one of the villains would get shitfaced at a party and brag about their illegal deeds, it would get thrown out for being too ridiculous.

Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur