Daily Check-In 07/10/2018

Tuesday, July 10th.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

 

COHEN

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

TRADE WAR

 

SCOTUS

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

JIM JORDAN

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

RACISM

 

NAME AND SHAME

 

TRUMP HATES WOMEN

 

AND HIS DRIVER, TOO…

 

ELECTION 2018

 

DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

 

That’s it for Tuesday.  I’m posting this on Wednesday morning, because that’s when I got to it.

Mike Flynn has a court date, Paul Manafort gets transferred to a new jail, the BBC talks about Trump’s rapey past, and CNN is finally going after Rudy’s foreign ties.  It’s about damn time.

I’m not sure how this week is going to unfold, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see an uptick in stories about Trump metaphorically slobbering all over Putin’s dick while he’s in Europe for the NATO summit.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Check-In 07/09/2018

Monday, July 9th.  I’m back.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Yeah, the Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed what I’ve been saying for a year; that the Russians interfered in the 2016 election on behalf of Donald Trump.

 

COHEN

Michael D. Cohen, the former personal lawyer to President Trump who is under investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, has hired Lanny J. Davis, the Washington lawyer and public relations consultant best known for serving in the Clinton White House, to represent him.

The pairing is unusual. Mr. Davis has tried to position himself as a key defender of Bill and Hillary Clinton — particularly Mrs. Clinton, whom Mr. Trump defeated in the 2016 presidential election and continues to attack as “totally crooked.” Mr. Cohen was once a fierce defender of Mr. Trump.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

STORMYGATE/BROIDY CROSSOVER

A sealed legal complaint against GOP mega donor Elliott Broidy by his former mistress contains “troublesome claims that he wouldn’t want to become public,” a source with knowledge of the situation told The Daily Beast.

Broidy is being sued by former Playboy Playmate Shera Bechard, who became pregnant with his child before having an abortion. Bechard sued Broidy on Friday, alleging he violated their non-disclosure agreement when he stopped paying her installments totaling $1.6 million earlier this month. A source close to Broidy told The Daily Beast, “a cursory review of the lawsuit indicates it is full of falsehoods.”

On Tuesday, Michael Avenatti will ask a Los Angeles court to unseal the complaint that he said names him.

“You don’t sue someone and refuse to give them a copy of the complaint, unless you are playing a game,” Avenatti told The Daily Beast.

He currently represents porn actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against Michael Cohen, who negotiated her non-disclosure agreement to keep quiet an alleged affair with Donald Trump. Cohen also negotiated Bechard’s NDA.

On April 12, Avenatti tweeted: “In last 18 mos, Mr. Cohen negotiated yet another hush NDA, this time on behalf of a prominent GOP donor who had a relationship with a LA woman, impregnated her and then made sure she had an abortion. The deal provided for multiple payments across many months.”

 

TRUMP ORG CORRUPTION

Donald Trump’s flagship Scottish resort received thousands of pounds in US taxpayers’ money to host VIP visits by officials from his administration, an investigation by The Scotsman can reveal. The US president’s resort at Turnberry received more than £5,600 in federal funds to provide accommodation for the trip earlier this year.

According to a source at the South Ayrshire hotel and golf course, the stay was in connection with Mr Trump’s official visit to the UK scheduled for this July, which is expected to include Scotland in the itinerary. The payment, sanctioned last month by the US State Department, represents the first time one of Mr Trump’s Scottish businesses has received direct federal funding from his own government.

 

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

BREXIT

 

SCOTUS

By the way, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement a couple weeks ago.  The very next day, it comes out that his son Justin underwrote a billion dollar loan for Trump Organization in 2009 while working at Deutsche Bank.  DB has been caught laundering money from Russian Oligarchs, and no one in their right mind would loan money to Trump under normal circumstances in a good economy.  2009 was the height of the housing bubble, Trump Org had the corporate equivalent of a 350 credit score, and Eric Trump was already on the record talking about how they got all the funding they needed from Russia.

I’ll cover that in more detail over the next week or so.

 

TRUMP HATES WOMEN, PART 792: ATTACKS ON BREASTFEEDING

 

TRUMP THE SEX OFFENDER

A few days before President Trump heads to the U.K. to meet the queen and the prime minister, a BBC investigative program has revealed fresh allegations of sexually inappropriate actions by Trump during the 1980s and 1990s, comparing him to a “predator” at parties with girls as young as 14.

The report featured Monday on the BBC Panorama investigative documentary series, entitled “Trump: Is the president a sex pest?” included testimony from two women who said they encountered Trump at parties during his time as a real estate magnate and operator of beauty pageants.

Trump’s behavior toward younger women was described by a man who attended the same parties as like that of a “predator.”

One of the women, Barbara Pilling, said she met Trump at a party in New York in the late 1980s while she was a young model. She alleged that then-businessman Trump asked her how old she was and approved when she said she was 17, allegedly responding: “Oh, great. So you’re not too old and not too young. That’s just great.”

Pilling said she was not the youngest girl at the party, claiming there were girls as young as 14 attending. “I felt I was in the presence of a shark,” Pilling said, describing Trump.

Another woman, Heather Braden, told Panorama that she saw Trump at a party in Miami in the 1990s attended by only four men and 50 female models.

“I felt like a piece of meat in a market,” Braden said. “I could have been auctioned off in some sort of a sex slave ring.”

One anonymous male source speaking to the show claimed to have been at many of the same events as Trump during the same time frame and described drug- and alcohol-fueled parties attended by older men and younger women.

Trump, in particular, was “notorious” for his behavior toward younger women, the man said.

“This guy was like a predator in action. The next day or days after we would hear about it, he would brag about it to his friends and it would get around that he scored. Maybe one or two girls at a time, which is what he loved to do.”

 

 

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

NAME AND SHAME

 

WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

Oh, by the way, Scott Pruitt is gone.  I’ll cover that soon.

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

This is another story I need to cover that broke recently.  Rep. Jim Jordan was a former wrestling coach at Ohio State University in the 80’s and 90’s.  At the same time, they had a very handsy and rapey doctor who molested the members of the wrestling team.  This doctor had a locker right next to Jim, and Jim’s team told him about the handsy doc.  Jim denied ever knowing anything about the alleged abuse.  Since his denial, 7 of his former wrestlers, including UFC Champion Mark Coleman, have come forward calling bullshit on Jim.

I hope they go full JoePa on his ass.

 

COLLEGE

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

The state’s high court issued an order Friday saying it would hear oral arguments on the contentious case July 18. The fiercely contested measure pits the group, Voters Not Politicians, which supports redistricting reform, against a Republican and business-backed group challenging the validity of the measure.

At issue is whether the redistricting petition merely seeks to amend the state’s constitution or instead is a far broader revision to the constitution, which can only be made through a more formal constitutional convention?

 

ECONOMY

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

 

RUMOR MILL

The unfolding of the Russia scandal has been like walking into a dark cavern. Every step reveals that the cave runs deeper than we thought, and after each one, as we wonder how far it goes, our imaginations are circumscribed by the steps we have already taken. The cavern might go just a little farther, we presume, but probably not much farther. And since trying to discern the size and shape of the scandal is an exercise in uncertainty, we focus our attention on the most likely outcome, which is that the story goes a little deeper than what we have already discovered. Say, that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort told their candidate about the meeting they held at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer after they were promised dirt on Hillary Clinton; and that Trump and Kushner have some shady Russian investments; and that some of Trump’s advisers made some promises about lifting sanctions.

But what if that’s wrong? What if we’re still standing closer to the mouth of the cave than the end?

Welcome to the party, pal!  We’ve been spelunking this traitorous cave for a year, and we’re just getting started.

 

Seriously, take the time to read this article.  It looks at the whole Trump/Russia conundrum from a skeptical point of view, yet doesn’t discount the coincidences as “conspiracy theories” or “kooky.”

 

That’s it for today.  I’m working on a “What’d I Miss” post covering the major events from June 23 to July 8.  There was a lot of big stories that happened in that time, and I wanted to cover them, but needed to get back to daily posts.  I figure it will take at least a couple days to get caught up, but if I worked on that first, I’d fall behind further.  This way, I can get caught up faster.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

 

 

 

Two Little Sentences

This post is a departure from my normal writing, and the main purpose of this site.  It is much more personal than normal, but it’s something I need to get off of my chest.

The names of the living have been changed or obfuscated. Most of the dead, too.

Last week, my Uncle Dave died.  I did not attend his funeral.  I have no intention of ever speaking to my aunt again without using the words fuck, bitch or cunt directed towards her. When she dies, I will not attend her funeral, nor will I give my condolences.  When her children ask why I’m such a dick, I’ll tell them how no one from my family or any of my cousin’s familes were invited to the “private ceremony” they had.  Then, I’ll send them the screenshot Dave’s obituary.  The one that Lonely Aunt wrote that left out two of Dave’s siblings.  The obituary that erased my mother from his life.

You read that right.  Lonely Aunt not only denied Dave’s family a chance to say goodbye, but tried to act like none of us existed.

A little bit of backstory…

My mom (Mother) was the second of four siblings, all born in the 1940’s.  She had one older brother (The Widower), and two younger brothers (Dave and Car Guy).  They grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh on a farm until their teenage years, when the farm was purchased by a land developer and turned into suburban sprawl.  The family used the money from the purchase to start several businesses, and the four kids all grew up, got married, and bought houses in this sprawl where they initially raised their families.  At least I think so.

Before I go further, I have to admit something; I never felt like I was truly close to my family, both immediate and extended.  I’m the youngest of my generation, by several years.  From both sides of the family, I’m the only one of the 14 cousins still in their 30’s.  All of the rest of them are in their 40’s or 50’s.  A few of them even have grandkids older than mine.  As I was growing up, there was always a generational gap.  When I was playing with toys in grade school, they were in high school.  When I was in high school, they were getting married and having kids.  When I was getting married, they were getting divorced and their kids were growing up.  It’s taken a while, but that difference is starting to fade away.

That’s one reason.  Another reason was distance.  When I was a small kid, all of the family members lived within a few miles of each other in the same development that rose from the ashes of the family farm.  Everyone was within a few miles of each other.  It was a quick bike ride, walk, or car ride to hang out at with family.  But that didn’t last. As I grew up, the families moved out, but they still stayed in contact with Mother.  All of them, that is, except Dave’s family on both counts.  Not only didn’t they move until later, but they were always… difficult to keep in contact with.

Finally, I always felt out of place, mostly because of my own inadequacies and lack of things in common.  Eventually, that went away with most of my family.

Except Dave’s family.  That weirdness never went away.  After nearly four decades on this planet, I still need reminders as to the names of all of my cousins in that branch, and if it wasn’t for social media, I don’t think I’d be able to pick them out of a lineup.  The last time I saw them was at Mother’s funeral, over a decade ago.

So, back to present day.  Last week, I get a text from my brother (Bro) that Dave died in his sleep.  Over the next couple days, he tells me that he heard this from Car Guy’s daughter (Biker Mom) that Dave had lung cancer for a while. This was a surprise to me, but not completely unexpected.  Dave smoked for the better part of 50 years.  Instead of milk at school, they gave out Pall Mall’s and Camel’s.  Dave quit like 10 or 15 years ago, but the damage was done.  Plus, he wasn’t exactly the model of health.  I never heard of him going on a walk or running a 5k, or anything like that.

The next few days are spent waiting for information on a viewing, ceremony, or anything else like that.  His family moved out to the sticks a long time back, and like I said in Irregular Posts, I’ve got a newborn, so the logistics of making that trip are now much more complicated.  Not only is this a chance to say goodbye to Uncle Dave, but also a chance to reconnect with family, and patch up any problems that existed.  Eventually, on Saturday, Bro tells me through Biker Mom that there is no viewing or funeral.  They’re just going straight to cremation.  It sounds weird to me, but I’m like “Ok.”  Maybe they fell on hard times and couldn’t afford a viewing or funeral.  Plus, Dave was the stereotypical Uncle Dave.  Gruff, emotionally detached, didn’t want to make a fuss, and was just generally miserable about life.  Thinking back, I don’t recall him smiling much.  Not even smirking.

The next night, I get a text from Bro telling me to check out the private obituary section of a certain funeral home.  What I read pissed me off.

In addition to his parents, David was preceded in death by his brother, [The Widower].

David is survived by [Lonely Aunt], children [lists four kids, none of their spouses], grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.

At David’s request, al services are private…

I’d like to apologize to those in my presence when I read this for my outburst of language at the time.  Screaming “Fuck him in his dead fucking ass” and “Fuck that miserable fucking cunt with a fucking cactus” is not appropriate language to yell out in front of small children or a breastfeeding mother.

After calming down a little bit, I tried to think of the best reaction.  Should I stalk them on social media and spam them with pics of my mom and them?  Should I harass them at work? Should I order a stripper to show up to the cremation?  Should I park a car in front of Lonely Aunt’s house and play  gangsta rap at 0300 every day for the next few months?

Instead I decided to send flowers.

From the families of [Mother] and [Car Guy], loving siblings of David.

I regret to inform those reading that I did not pull the trigger on this transaction.  I had the credit card in hand, but talked to Bro first, since my action would likely escalate this pettiness into a full-blown feud.  Bro talked me off the ledge.  Instead, I’m writing about it.

I’ve had a week to think about this, and I’m still pissed off.  I’ve spent too much time trying to answer a simple question.

How fucking petty does someone have to be to hold a grudge against a woman who has been dead for 10 years?

The answer, as I’ve come to figure out, is pretty fucking petty.  But as I’ve looked back on everything involving her, she’s pretty fucking petty.

As I found out this past week, I was the only member of the family who didn’t dislike her or flat-out hate her for actions she caused.  And, all of the grudges against Lonely Aunt were because of actions she took.

When I was growing up, Car Guy and Dave hadn’t spoken for years.  I never knew the reasons, and I still don’t, but Lonely Aunt kept the feud going for decades.  It wasn’t until The Widower’s funeral that I saw the two of them in the same room at the same time.

Dave lived less than 2 miles from us when I was growing up, but his family would only come over on special occasions.  Car Guy’s kids visited frequently, and The Widower’s daughters came over at least once a week.

When Dave moved to the sticks, he took his annual 4th of July party with him.  Of course, we didn’t know it was an annual thing until after they moved.  We just weren’t invited to the previous ones.  Apparently my dad said Mother’s food tasted better within earshot of Lonely Aunt and we were persona non-grata at their old house for years.

One year, Widower’s youngest daughter (Trey) was invited to a party, but couldn’t make it at the last minute due to an actual emergency.  Lonely Aunt refused to invite her or her sister to any parties again.  Lonely Aunt said she “didn’t think she’d want to travel the long distance.” Trey lived two streets over.

The last time my dad was invited to one of their parties, he declined as he was busy taking care of Mother, who was suffering from late stage Alzheimer’s.  Lonely Aunt never invited him to anything again.

I can list even more perceived slights and non-politic interactions that Lonely Aunt felt translated into a lifelong vendetta, but fuck it and fuck her. She’s not worth any more time or effort.  She wasn’t worth the 1700-2000 words I’m writing about this.  Her bitchslapping my mother’s memory and shitting over my uncle’s family is definitely worth it.

So, this is the legacy of Uncle Dave and Lonely Aunt.  A miserable man and a petty woman.  I wonder if he was miserable because she was petty.  Then again, I don’t think I need to wonder.

You know what the fucked up thing is?  All of this was because Lonely Aunt omitted two sentences from a private obituary.  Not even two whole sentences, but two sentence fragments.  Simply mentioning Dave’s sister and living brother would have pulled the family together, and we’d be there for them in their time of need.  Instead, this petty shit has pushed us away.  As Bro said, “All this means is I’ll save $1.88 on stamps for Christmas cards.”

Bro and Biker Mom decided to take the high road in all of this.  Recently, my philosophy has been “When they go low, step on their fucking throat.”  With that, to Lonely Aunt, I say Fuck you, you miserable fucking petty cunt.  How dare you show ill will to a woman who did everything she could to fix your petty blow-ups, who bent over backwards to help you with your disabled child by showing you what she went through.  Your food sucked.  The only thing palatable at those parties was the fried chicken you ordered from Giant Eagle.  My children will find out about you when they have to do family trees at school, and when they ask “Did I ever meet my Great Aunt?” I’ll tell them “No, we don’t talk to her.  She was mean to your Grandma and Grandpa.”

 

That’s it for Lonely Aunt.  If she’s dies tomorrow, inshallah.  I have much more important people to care about and love, and the only purpose she can serve now is as an example of how not to treat others.

 

I’ll be back next week to my regularly scheduled programming.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

Irregular Posts

This post is a bit different than normal, but I feel I should explain what’s going on.  It will be a little more personal than normal, but I still refuse to divulge any names.

I’m going to be very busy for the next few months.  Busier than normal, anyway.

Last Friday, I decided to not stay up and finish Daily Check-In 06/22/2018.  Normally, I stay up to finish these posts, but as I was extremely tired and my wife was miserable beyond words, we went to bed.

Ok, let me step back a moment.  My wife, one of the most amazing women on the planet, was justifiably miserable.  She was very, Very, VERY pregnant.  Like, due date within a week pregnant.

Yinz can see where this is going, right?

Saturday morning, the original plan was to wake up, drink some coffee, work out a bit, and finish writing Friday’s post.  Instead, I wake up to my wife wincing in pain.

In my grogginess, I ask what’s wrong.  She tells me that she’s having contractions, and that they were strong and ten minutes apart.  “That’s great,” I thought.  10 minutes apart means things are just starting, and that we still have a few hours before things get crazy.  I get up, and casually get dressed.  About 30 seconds later, she finished what she was saying.

“That was at 3am.  They’re 5 minutes apart now.”

Oh fuck.

Most obstetricians tell patients to get to the hospital when contractions are that short apart, because that means she is in labor, and is going to push a tiny human out of her in a relatively short period of time.

How short of a time?  We left at 07:30, and arrived at the hospital by 08:15.  By 09:00, she was going through triage and they were moving her to a delivery room.  By 10:00, the epidural was in.  By 10:50, she was halfway dilated.  At 12:51, the doc checked her one last time, and said that my wife was “ready to go, I feel a head.”  After one quick push, the doc saw the baby crown.  As nonchalant as possible, the doc said “Ok, I’m going to take a moment to get suited up and get everyone in here, cause you’re going to have a baby in a few minutes.”

The doc wasn’t kidding about a few minutes.  That first push ended at 12:55.  by 12:58, the doc was suited up for work and a platoon of nurses and staff arrived.  At 12:59, the next push got the baby out to her ears.  By 13:01, her head was out.  At 13:03, our daughter was born.

So, in less time than it takes to work a shift at work, we arrived at the hospital and delivered.  In less time than it takes to order and eat lunch, my wife pushed a tiny human out of her.

That was Saturday.  It’s been a whirlwind since then, with multiple trips to the hospital and back, making sure everyone in the family is taken care of, and playing pack mule.  The wife is doing better, the baby is great, and the oldest is adjusting well to being a big brother.

All that craziness at home means that I might not have time this week to post every day.  My goal is to try to get one or two posts covering what I missed, and see how things work from there.

I’m still in the fight, and I’m still gathering stories every day.  Just now, I’m changing diapers while doing it, and I’ve got another great reason to fight for.

 

15-atay-15

 

By the way, don’t expect a bunch of baby pictures here.  I try to keep my family off of here as much as possible, but I felt that I owed something to those that read this every day.

 

Thanks.

Daily Check-In 06/22/2018

Friday, June 22nd

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is seeking to prevent the defense for Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, from arguing to jurors that he was targeted for prosecution because of his role in Donald Trump’s presidential bid.

In a court filing on Friday, prosecutors asked a federal judge in Alexandria, Virginia, to bar any selective prosecution claims during Manafort’s looming trial on tax evasion, bank fraud and other charges.

“Manafort should … be precluded from arguing that he has been singled out for prosecution because of his position in the campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump, or otherwise asserting that he has been selectively prosecuted by the Special Counsel’s Office,” Mueller’s team wrote.

Prosecutors noted that Manafort never filed a legal motion asking for the case to be dismissed on selective-prosecution grounds.

“Courts have consistently held that claims of selective (or vindictive) prosecution must be presented to the court before trial and cannot be argued to the jury,” the government filing said. “The government’s reasons for initiating a prosecution have nothing to do with whether the evidence at trial proves the elements of the charged offenses, which is the sole question that the jury must answer.”

 

COHEN

Comedian Tom Arnold said Friday that he and President Trump’s former, longtime personal lawyer are teaming up to “take down” the president.

Arnold tweeted a photo with Michael Cohen on Thursday with the caption, “I Love New York,” which Cohen retweeted without comment.

Arnold then told NBC News that he met with Cohen as part of a show he is working on for Vice, in which he searches for incriminating videos of the president.

“This dude has all the tapesthis dude has everything,” Arnold told NBC News. “I say to Michael, ‘Guess what? We’re taking Trump down together,’ and he’s so tired he’s like, ‘OK,’ and his wife is like, ‘OK, f— Trump.’”

The idea for the Vice program followed the leak of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape during the 2016 campaign, in which Trump bragged about grabbing women “by the p—-.” The show will feature Arnold’s hunt for other unflattering video and audio footage of the president.

During the presidential campaign, National Enquirer executives sent digital copies of the tabloid’s articles and cover images related to Donald Trump and his political opponents to Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen in advance of publication, according to three people with knowledge of the matter — an unusual practice that speaks to the close relationship between Trump and David Pecker, chief executive of American Media Inc., the Enquirer’s parent company.

Although the company strongly denies ever sharing such material before publication, these three individuals say the sharing of material continued after Trump took office.

“Since Trump’s become president and even before, [Pecker] openly just has been willing to turn the magazine and the cover over to the Trump machine,” said one of the people with knowledge of the practice.

During the campaign, “if it was a story specifically about Trump, then it was sent over to Michael, and as long as there were no objections from him, the story could be published,” this person added.

WASHINGTON — When the National Enquirerreported without proof in March 2016 that Sen. Ted Cruz had been caught cheating with five mistresses, Cruz blamed the “tabloid smear” on “Donald Trump and his henchmen.”

When the supermarket tabloid asserted two months later that Cruz’s dad took part in a conspiracy to assassinate John F. Kennedy — based on an exceedingly creative interpretation of a decades-old photo of a man who vaguely looked like the elder Cruz handing out pamphlets with Lee Harvey Oswald — Trump gleefully spread the claim to discredit his GOP presidential rival.

On Friday, The Washington Post reported that throughout the 2016 campaign, executives from the Enquirer sent copies of its articles about Trump and his opponents — including Cruz — to Trump attorney Michael Cohen for approval before publication.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

ANTWON ROSE

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

George Will, a longtime political commentator and staunch defender of the conservative movement, made a dramatic exit from the Republican Party Friday, citing the party’s support for Donald Trump in the upcoming 2020 presidential election.

In a speech at a luncheon held by the Federalist Society, Will urged other conservatives not to support Trump as the GOP nominee. “This is not my party,” Will said the speech, noting that while it’s a little too late to find a replacement for him on the ticket, conservatives can “grit their teeth for four years” after making sure that Trump loses.

Will mentioned that he had switched his voter registration from Republican to “unaffiliated” in the state of Maryland. He told the Washington Post, where he writes a column, that he made the change several weeks ago, after House Speaker Paul Ryan endorsed Trump for the 2020 election.

 

SCOTUS DECISIONS

 

U.N. POVERTY REPORT

 

ECONOMY

 

ELECTION 2018 AND BEYOND

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

 

That’s it for Friday.  Yes, I know it’s Tuesday when I posted this, and that I added absolutely zero wit, snark, or depth to any stories.  I’m going to post an update in a few minutes explaining why, and why I won’t be as regular with my updates for the next couple weeks.

It’s a good reason.  I’ll also explain why I’ve been so cagey recently.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 06/21/2018

Thursday, June 21st.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (CN) – Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Thursday asked a federal judge to use a special questionnaire to select jurors for the upcoming trial of Paul Manafort, arguing in a court filing that intense media coverage of the case is jeopardizing the former Trump campaign chairman’s ability to get a fair trial.

In the 28-page filing, Mueller’s team says “the Manafort investigation … has been the subject of extensive media coverage. A Westlaw search of major newspapers for the terms ‘Manafort’ near ‘trial’ or ‘investigation’ yielded over 3,500 results.

“Similarly, the same search of transcripts of television and radio broadcasts returned over 1,300 hits, including in major news outlets, such as all major television networks and newspapers, but exclusive of social media like Twitter feeds,” the filing says.

The ‘Western intelligence community’ — a nebulous group encompassing Steele, his associates, the US intelligence agencies and many experts in Britain — believe the Kremlin is directing operations to try to shake public faith in democracy across Europe and the US. They think Russia has the same aim as the Soviet Union once did: to break up Nato and the EU, and dominate a continent of weak nations. They view Russia as a criminal state, where the state and the mafia are two faces of the same predatory beast. If that is right, then for the government the choice over whether to back Mueller — and the rule of law — should be no choice at all.

The delegation will arrive in St. Petersburg on June 30 and spend time there before heading to the country’s capital on July 3 and 4th for meetings with lawmakers, Russian news agency Interfax reported, citing an unnamed official.

A group of Republican senators had been planning a visit to the country after an invitation from U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman, the Washington Post reported last week.

Those reportedly part of the group included Richard Shelby of Alabama, John Neely Kennedy of Louisiana and North Dakota’s John Hoeven, though those members have not announced any plans.

Shelby, Kennedy and Hoeven are on neither the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee or on the Senate Intelligence Committee that issued a report last month saying Russia tried to influence the 2016 election.

 

COHEN

 

IMMIGRATION

Movements Toward End?

 

Stories of Abuse

A 16-year-old boy who said he had lived in Texas with his mother since he was an infant ended up at Shenandoah in September after a police officer pulled over a car he was riding in and asked for ID, which he couldn’t provide. As one of the few Latino kids who is fluent in English, the teen would translate for other detainees the taunts and names the staff members were calling them. He said that angered the guards, resulting in his losing such modest privileges as attending art classes.

“If you are behaving bad, resisting the staff when they try to remove you from the program, they will take everything in your room away — your mattress, blanket, everything,” he said. “They will also take your clothes. Then they will leave you locked in there for a while. This has happened to me, and I know it has happened to other kids, too.”

The immigrant detainees said they were largely segregated from the mostly white juveniles being held on criminal charges, but they could see that the other housing units had amenities that included plush chairs and video gaming consoles not available in the Spartan pods housing the Latinos.

In their sworn statements, the teens reported spending the bulk of their days locked alone in their cells, with a few hours set aside for classroom instruction, recreation and meals. Some said they had never been allowed outdoors, while the U.S.-born children were afforded a spacious recreation yard.

 

Melania’s Trip

 

Fighting Back

 

Protests and Reactions

 

Avenatti

”We are now representing whistleblowers within ICE, outside contractors, etc. They have reached out to us to provide us with info as to what is really going on. We are going to blow this wide open and take the info to the American people so they can decide what happens next.”

 

Immigration Bill

 

Sick Pieces of Shit

Miller himself is reportedly happy with how things are going, which led one fellow staffer to equate his behavior to that of the Nazi SS, Vanity Fair reported Wednesday.

“Stephen actually enjoys seeing those pictures at the border,” an outside White House adviser said. “He’s a twisted guy, the way he was raised and picked on. There’s always been a way he’s gone about this. He’s Waffen-SS.”

 

Yes, It Is Racist

 

Who’s Benefiting?

 

Defending the Indefensile

 

Some Good News

 

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

PROJECTION

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

The White House on Thursday will propose merging the Education and Labor departments into one federal agency, the centerpiece of a plan to remake a bureaucracy that President Trump and his supporters consider too big and bloated, according to an administration official familiar with the plan.

The long-awaited proposal to reorganize federal agencies would shrink some and augment the missions of others. It is the result of a directive that Mick Mulvaney, head of the Office of Management and Budget, issued to federal leaders 14 months ago. He urged them to find ways to merge overlapping, duplicative offices and programs and eliminate those the administration views as unnecessary.

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

ECONOMY

 

SCOTUS DECISION

A divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday that states may require online retailers to collect billions of dollars of sales tax revenue owed to them.

The decision was 5 to 4.

More than 40 states and the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to overturn its 1992 decision in Quill v. North Dakota that restricts states from collecting sales tax from retailers without a physical presence in those states. They said a decision in a case involving mail-order catalogues is obsolete in an era of e-commerce.

 

ATTACKS ON THE CLIMATE

 

BLATANT RACISM

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

A LITTLE EARLY TO TALK ABOUT 2020

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

With how horrible and disgusting the act of ripping families apart is, there’s bound to be some truly sick shit buried deep.

 

That’s it for Thursday.  I hope to have more details for Friday’s post, but it might not be up until sometime Saturday.  Assuming I get to it this weekend.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 06/20/2018

Wednesday, June 20th

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

A longtime US lobbyist for the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska visited Julian Assange nine times at the Ecuadorian embassy in London last year, according to visitor logs seen by the Guardian.

Adam Waldman, who has worked as a Washington lobbyist for the metals tycoon since 2009, had more meetings with Assange in 2017 than almost anyone else, the records show.

It is not clear why Waldman went to the WikiLeaks founder or whether the meetings had any connection to the Russian billionaire, who is now subject to US sanctions. But the disclosure is likely to raise further questions about the extent and nature of Assange’s alleged ties to Russia.

US intelligence agencies concluded with “high confidence” last year, in an unclassified intelligence assessment, that the Kremlin shared hacked emails with WikiLeaks that undermined Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as part of its effort to sway the 2016 election in favour of Donald Trump.

I’ve mentioned Andrew Waldman on Daily Check-In 02/09/2018 and Daily Check-In 02/15/2018.  He was the lobbyist who was in contact with Senator Mark Warner, and had his conversations, which were classified and privileged, leaked to Sean Hannity via Julian Assange.

This tells me a few things.

First, Waldman was a go-between between Oleg working for Putin and Wikileaks.  He was one of, if not the main cut-out.

Second, there is now a new way that JAss got the messages between Waldman and Warner.  Waldman could have given them to Assange directly.  I personally doubt this happened, since the timing of the leak to Hannity went something like this…

  1. Warner and Waldman text.
  2. House Intel wants a copy of the conversation for “their investigation.”
  3. Months pass.
  4. Senate Intel gives House Intel copies of the conversation.
  5. Minutes pass.
  6. Something happens.
  7. Sean Hannity gets banned from Twitter (Daily Check-In 01/30/2018).  A parody account is created, and is so lifelike, Julian Assange messages the parody, offering dirt on Mark Warner.
  8. About a week later, Hannity does the dumbest thing possible and runs with a story AFTER proof of him working with Julian Assange comes to light.

Finaly, this proves the rumor I heard a while back about foreigners using lobbyists to get favorable stories to the press.  A good deal of Waldman’s work was communicating with journalists to set up stories favorable to Deripaska, Russia, and their interests.

Get ready to hear his name more in the coming months.

 

COHEN

I’m not sure what’s more incredible, the fact that Michael Cohen was STILL a senior member of the Republican party WHILE UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR DOZENS, IF NOT HUNDREDS OF CRIMES, or that he quit because of the child separation policy.

“As the son of a Polish holocaust survivor, the images and sounds of this family separation policy is heart wrenching,” Cohen wrote in an email to RNC chair Ronna McDaniel, per ABC. “While I strongly support measures that will secure our porous borders, children should never be used as bargaining chips.”

Whoever had on their Bingo card “Cohen shows he’s not a complete monster”, raise your hand.  You just won a prize.

 

TRUMP FOUNDATION

It’s not unique in that the transgressions were tiny, or minuscule, but that they were so blatant, over the top, long running, and ridiculous.

People will go to jail for this.  And I’ll laugh.

 

IMMIGRATION

Tender Age Facilities

 

Rescinding the Policy

Though President Trump declared that the executive order he signed Wednesday would “solve” the problem of family separation while parents are prosecuted for illegal border crossing, the order is really only good for 20 days, CBS News’ Paula Reid reports, citing a source familiar with the drafting of the order. The order does not override the 1993 Flores v. Reno Supreme Court case, which says that detained migrant children cannot be held in government detention facilities for more than 20 days.

Essentially, this means that after the 20-day mark, children may still be separated from their parents.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) currently separates most families when they are apprehended for illegal border crossing, Reid notes. But now, with the executive order, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will take custody of the entire family. However, at the 20-day mark, under the Flores consent decree, the department will have to release the children from custody.

Nothing in the executive order stops the government from releasing the whole family, Reid says, but under Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ zero-tolerance policy, which states that the U.S. will prosecute all who cross the border illegally, releasing the family is unlikely.

 

Sick Pieces of Shit

 

Shame

 

Political Fight

 

Citizens Fight

 

Kids May Not See Their Parents Again

 

Planned from the Beginning

 

Indefensible

 

Not Cheaper

 

Reactions

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

RUMOR MILL

Yeah, he’s on SIGINT.  Probably used “encrypted texts” from WhatsApp to talk to Julian and Oleg, among others.

 

That’s it for Wednesday.  Thursday and Friday might be combined into a post, depending on what happens.

I’ve been cagey for a while, but I don’t think it’s finally time I talk about why I’m so elusive about getting things finished, and why I’m not talking as much as I’d like to about the immigration stuff.  Soon.  Very soon.  Likely by the weekend soon.  Trust me, it’ll be worth it.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

Observer

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