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 04/30/2018

Monday April 30th and the weekend.  This was supposed to be a shorter post,

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION: NYT HAS THE QUESTIONS MUELLER WANTS TO ASK TRUMP

The New York Times got their hands on a series of questions that Mueller’s team wants to ask Donald Trump in their interview, and it’s likely that Jon Dowd, or someone from his office, gave these questions to the press.

Back in March, Jon Dowd was Trump’s lead lawyer, but fought hard against his client’s desire to interview Robert Mueller. (Daily Check-In 03/22/2018).  He knew, like every sane person, that Trump would lie his ass off and incriminate himself in a matter of seconds.

Let’s take a look at the questions.  The following is from Reddit /u/McIgglyTuffMuffin

What did you know about phone calls that Mr. Flynn made with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, in late December 2016?

What was your reaction to news reports on Jan. 12, 2017, and Feb. 8-9, 2017?

What did you know about Sally Yates’s meetings about Mr. Flynn?

How was the decision made to fire Mr. Flynn on Feb. 13, 2017?

After the resignations, what efforts were made to reach out to Mr. Flynn about seeking immunity or possible pardon?

What was your opinion of Mr. Comey during the transition?

What did you think about Mr. Comey’s intelligence briefing on Jan. 6, 2017, about Russian election interference?

What was your reaction to Mr. Comey’s briefing that day about other intelligence matters?

What was the purpose of your Jan. 27, 2017, dinner with Mr. Comey, and what was said?

What was the purpose of your Feb. 14, 2017, meeting with Mr. Comey, and what was said?

What did you know about the F.B.I.’s investigation into Mr. Flynn and Russia in the days leading up to Mr. Comey’s testimony on March 20, 2017?

What did you do in reaction to the March 20 testimony? Describe your contacts with intelligence officials.

What did you think and do in reaction to the news that the special counsel was speaking to Mr. Rogers, Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Coats?

What was the purpose of your calls to Mr. Comey on March 30 and April 11, 2017?

What was the purpose of your April 11, 2017, statement to Maria Bartiromo?

What did you think and do about Mr. Comey’s May 3, 2017, testimony?

Regarding the decision to fire Mr. Comey: When was it made? Why? Who played a role?

What did you mean when you told Russian diplomats on May 10, 2017, that firing Mr. Comey had taken the pressure off?

What did you mean in your interview with Lester Holt about Mr. Comey and Russia?

What was the purpose of your May 12, 2017, tweet?

What did you think about Mr. Comey’s June 8, 2017, testimony regarding Mr. Flynn, and what did you do about it?

What was the purpose of the September and October 2017 statements, including tweets, regarding an investigation of Mr. Comey?

What is the reason for your continued criticism of Mr. Comey and his former deputy, Andrew G. McCabe?

What did you think and do regarding the recusal of Mr. Sessions?

What efforts did you make to try to get him to change his mind?

Did you discuss whether Mr. Sessions would protect you, and reference past attorneys general?

What did you think and what did you do in reaction to the news of the appointment of the special counsel?

Why did you hold Mr. Sessions’s resignation until May 31, 2017, and with whom did you discuss it?

What discussions did you have with Reince Priebus in July 2017 about obtaining the Sessions resignation? With whom did you discuss it?

What discussions did you have regarding terminating the special counsel, and what did you do when that consideration was reported in January 2018?

What was the purpose of your July 2017 criticism of Mr. Sessions?

When did you become aware of the Trump Tower meeting?

What involvement did you have in the communication strategy, including the release of Donald Trump Jr.’s emails?

During a 2013 trip to Russia, what communication and relationships did you have with the Agalarovs and Russian government officials?

What communication did you have with Michael D. Cohen, Felix Sater and others, including foreign nationals, about Russian real estate developments during the campaign?

What discussions did you have during the campaign regarding any meeting with Mr. Putin? Did you discuss it with others?

What discussions did you have during the campaign regarding Russian sanctions?

What involvement did you have concerning platform changes regarding arming Ukraine?

During the campaign, what did you know about Russian hacking, use of social media or other acts aimed at the campaign?

What knowledge did you have of any outreach by your campaign, including by Paul Manafort, to Russia about potential assistance to the campaign?

What did you know about communication between Roger Stone, his associates, Julian Assange or WikiLeaks?

What did you know during the transition about an attempt to establish back-channel communication to Russia, and Jared Kushner’s efforts?

What do you know about a 2017 meeting in Seychelles involving Erik Prince?

What do you know about a Ukrainian peace proposal provided to Mr. Cohen in 2017?

edited to include questions in case someone can’t access the article for any reason

There’s about 4 dozen questions here, and I’d put real money down that Mueller’s team has the answers to all of them.  A good prosecutor doesn’t ask a question in an interview they don’t already know the answer to.  And we’re talking about The Justice League.

Need more proof that they know the answers?  Look at Cooperating Witnesses.  More than half of those questions involve people on that list.  The rest involve law enforcement officials like James Comey, Sally Yates, and Andrew McCabe, who were cooperating with Robert Mueller from Day 1.  (Daily Check-In 9/8/2017Daily Check-In 03/19/2018)

COHEN:  FBI MET WITH RUSSIAN MMA STAR

The FBI has interviewed a Russian mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter with ties to President Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, The Associated Press reported on Sunday.

Affliction Entertainment  was an MMA company started by the Affliction clothing brand.  The UFC banned their equipment when they learned that Affliction was starting up their own company.

Affliction partnered with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.  Their primary shareholder was Donald Trump, and their COO was none other than Michael Cohen.

The fighter, Fedor Emelianenko, is a multi-time MMA champion who also happens to be one of Vladimir Putin’s favorite fighters.  Affliction made Emelianenko their star attraction.

Affliction had two pay per views in 2008.  Their third was cancelled less than two weeks beforehand due to one of the fighters popping a piss test for steroids, and they couldn’t find a replacement for the main event in time.

Trump demands the spotlight everywhere he goes, and all of his business ventures look more like efforts at Money Laundering than actual business ventures.  What makes this look even more ridiculous is what we’ve learned in the past couple years about Trump’s business ties, his desires to work in Russia, and the general shadiness and corruption surrounding sports.

There are so many ways to launder, lose, and find money in sports, it should be criminal.  Actually, many of them are.  For example, fixing fights, outsourcing the fight promotion to a subsidiary of the parent company, or throwing VIP Only parties that hide and mix the cash flow can all be used as methods of cleaning dirty money through sports.  And I haven’t even talked about endorsements, sponsorships, or media access rights yet.

So, we have a known Russophile and alleged money launderer, and his fixer, running a sports business that had deep ties to the betting community (read: organized crime), who’s star attraction has ties to the head of the country he’s been trying to work with since the 1980’s.  And, it’s an interesting enough connection that the FBI thought it was worth looking into.

This is gonna get interesting.

$20 says that the FBI found incriminating evidence against AMI, the parent company of the National Enquirer.

STORMYGATE

WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS DINNER: SWINE CLUTCHING AT PEARLS, A SPECIAL TWIST ON “THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE”

Hey mags! All these jokes were about her despicable behavior. Sounds like you have some thoughts about her looks though?

I’m not going to fan the flames on this one.  This is another case of faux outrage by the same people that enable Trump and his ilk to attack democracy and decency every day.  It’s like accusing someone of being bigoted against bigots.  “How dare you be mean about the meanest person alive?  How dare you say a known liar and racist is a liar and a racist?  That makes you just as hate-filled as them”. Fuck those people and that line of thought.  One group is enabling a liar, thief, racist, and rapist.  The other is calling out the enablers.

MEANWHILE, IN MICHIGAN HIDING FROM MEAN COMEDIANS…

Seriously.  That just fucking happened.  Donald Trump admitted that the Russian Lawyer was working for the Russian Government, and he said it’s coming out now because Putin was afraid of how tough he was.

Sometimes, I can’t even.

#NEVERAGAIN

Wait, the NRA won’t let guns in the hall for the Vice President’s speech?  After all that bullshit they cried about how only good guys with guns can stop bad guys with guns, and we need more guns for safety, they want to ban guns from their convention.

Fuck the NRA.

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

CARL ICAHN

Carl Icahn is a corrupt asshole.  Daily Check-In 8/18/2017 described his efforts to set up these exemptions, and Daily Check-In 03/02/2018 show him engaging in insider trading.

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA AND FACEBOOK

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

COLD WAR 2.0

PARIS (AP) — The French president’s office says there’s nothing mysterious about the disappearance of an oak tree he planted on the White House lawn.

It was put in quarantine, like other plants or animals brought into U.S. territory.

The sapling was a gift from French President Emmanuel Macron for his state visit to U.S. President Donald Trump last week.

An official in Macron’s office said Monday that Trump insisted on holding a symbolic planting ceremony alongside Macron despite the quarantine requirement. The official said both sides knew all along that the tree would go later into quarantine.

A pale patch of grass now covers the spot.

The oak originally sprouted at the World War I Battle of Belleau Wood in northern France, where about 2,000 U.S. troops died fighting a German offensive.

For once, nothing nefarious happened.

SAY GOODBYE TO THE ECONOMY

BLUE WAVE

TRUMP ORG AND CORRUPTION, FROM THE WATER IS WET DEPARTMENT

SCIENCE, BITCHES

RUMOR MILL

Look forward to this when I eventually bend space and time, and get around to writing my piece on Maggie Haberman.

That’s it for today.  Remember on Daily Check-In 04/27/2018 I said I was going to write about the House Intel Report?  Well, I did.  I spent 5 hours working on that Sunday night. Then another hour with tech support trying to recover the post that magically disappeared.  2800 words disappeared into the ether.  More than 50 links, gone.  All that work, just…

Was I upset?  Yeah.  But this ain’t my first rodeo.  I’ve lost work before, and it’ll happen again.  I adjust my workflow to avoid a catastrophic failure, and move on.  Shit happens, it’s how we deal with it when the Poop Parade comes to town.

I’m going to redo that piece, work on it over the next several days, and republish it.

Thank you, and have a good one.

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

The Ultimate Heel

Tonight is April 9th, 2018.  For most people, this is just another Sunday night.  But for fans of professional wrestling, this is Wrestlemania weekend.  It’s as close as we get to a holy weekend.  No matter what flavor of wrestling and/or sports entertainment one prefers, this is the best weekend for it.  Imagine the Super Bowl and San Diego Comic Con got together and invited Game of Thrones over for a 3-way.  That’s what it’s like for wrestling fans.

Full disclosure, I am a HUGE fan of professional wrestling.  It is my favorite form of live theater, and one of my favorite forms of storytelling.  I have watched wrestling since I was a little kid, I have written many stories about wrestling in various forums and locations, and I’ve been to several shows in my life.  Hell, I’ve even wrestled a couple matches and booked a few matches for a local backyard organization.  I have a unique appreciation for the physicality, mentality, and discipline needed to perform in the squared circle.

Yes, I called it live theater.  Because that’s what professional wrestling is; it’s closer to ballet than boxing, figure skating than cage fighting. Miss Saigon than Muay Thai.  So, calling it fake, aside from being an insult to the men and women who risk their bodies and lives doing this day in and out, completely misses the point of professional wrestling and sports entertainment.  Here’s a video from Max Landis that helps illustrate the point.

Wrestling runs the gambit from physical battles between two sets of skilled performers to some of the craziest, funniest, and weirdest storytelling available.  Like this match between a Demi-god and a Reincarnated agent of the Seven Deities.  Seriously, there’s a section where one of them decides whether to run the other over with a wheel char (“Chair of Wheels”) or a riding mower (“Mower of Lawns”).  That wasn’t even the weirdest part of the match.

So, what does this wrestling have to do with politics?  Let’s start with WWE Hall of Fame Inductee Donald Trump.  Yes, that’s right.  Not only does the WWE have it’s own Hall of Fame, but Donald Trump is an inductee into their Celebrity Wing.  He’s worked with WWE’s principal owners Vince and Linda McMahon for more than 30 years, hosting multiple Wrestlemania’s at Trump properties, and has been involved in multiple storylines over the years.  Linda McMahon was named by Trump to run the Small Business Administration.

But while I could probably go into the various rumors of Trump’s ties to the McMahon’s, I want to have some fun instead.   I’m going to book Trump’s rise to the Presidency as if it were a wrestling story., and how Donald J. Trump is the Ultimate Heel, or bad guy.

Before I begin, I’ll be using a lot wrestling-specific terms.  Please see the Terms and Definitions section.

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

Back in 2008, a young upstart named Barack Obama defeated HRC in a  2 out of 3 falls match for the Democratic Championship.  The Barack would go on to beat “The Old Warhorse” John McCain in a Title vs. Title match to win the American Presidential Championship.

The Barack creates a stable consisting of himself, HRC, “The OG AG” Eric Holder, and Uncle Joe Biden.  They call themselves “The 44th”.  Together, they fight various groups led by “The Turtle” Mitch McConnell, The Brothers Koch, and Wall Street, one of the most formidable stables in history.  But the ugliest feud is with AQ, and their leader Osama bin Laden.  Osama, also called UBL, fought against The Barack in a Loser Leaves Town match.  The Barack defeats UBL with a new finisher, Seal Team Six.

While The 44th feuds with AQ, a new heel stable comes around called The Birthers.  They   are a group of racist wrestlers, most of them old and angry that The Barack, the first black American Presidential Champion, is more successful than they are, so they continuously attack the legitimacy of his title run.  One of the members of The Birthers is “The Billion Dollar Man” Donald Trump, a charismatic but unathletic performer who got over with his promos against The Barack.  The only time they met directly in the ring, The Barack, wiped the floor with him in a warm-up match before his fight against UBL.

After an 8 year reign, it was time for The Barack to step aside as American Presidential Champion.  The next champion would be decided after two tournaments are held for Democratic and Republican Championships.  The winners of those tournaments would face off against each other in a Title vs. Title match.

The Democratic Championship should have been easy for Uncle Joe, but due to a family disaster, he had to withdraw from the championship match against HRC.  Instead, HRC fought against the Indie Darling “Socialist” Bernie Sanders.  Their feud lasted for months, and HRC carried him to a good match, but in the championship post-match promo, Sanders no-sold HRC, claiming that the ref was on the take and the match was rigged against him.

The Republican Championship battle was a clusterfuck.  Everyone and their mother wanted a shot at the Republican strap.  Since there were so many people fighting, there were a series of 3 battle royals, and the winners of those battle royals would face each other in a ladder match for the title.

By this time “The Billion Dollar Man” had formed a new stable called Trump Org with the old members of The Birthers, his “family”, and some new blood like “Mad Dog” Roger Stone, General Mike Flynn, “The Ukrainian Fixers” Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, “The Foreign Policy Team” of Dr. Carter Page, Georgie P, and “Wham Bam” Sam Clovis.  Along with Gory Corey and Hope in Trump’s corner calling the shots, Trump won one of the battle royals.  The other two were won by “The Cruz Missile” Ted Cruz and Marco.

The three winners faced off in a Ladder Match.  While Cruz and Marco beat the ever loving hell out of each other, Trump stepped back and let Trump Org do all of his dirty work.  Even by cheating, he couldn’t win outright.  Trump was so badly out of shape that all he had to do was climb a ladder, and he had to have his crew carry him up the ladder.  His VP, Reverend Pence, held the ladder for him.

After winning the Republican Championship, Trump attacked HRC on the mic something fierce, and broke every rule to get an advantage.  This included getting outside help from The Brothers Koch, Old Man Rupert, Hobo Steve, and some unknown assailants.

In the buildup to their match, a secret tag team called The Bears, Cozy and Fancy, attacked HRC and her team.  Mad Dog said he was working with The Bears and their manager, G2.

With all of that interference, and rumors of the ref being bribed, Trump beat HRC in a very ugly match with some of the worst ring work and no-selling in any match in a long time.

But something was off with that.  In the promo work before the match, Trump bragged about how easy it was to pay off a referee, and because of that if he didn’t win, it was proof that HRC paid off the ref.  He also bragged about how much we wanted to work with a rival wrestling federation, the Russian Wrestling Federation.  That wouldn’t normally be a problem, but the rules for the American Presidential Championship ship specify that only members of the USA Wrestling Organization can take part in any way, shape, or form in the title match.

After Trump won the title, he started working with a new stable, FRWL, From Russia With Love.  FRWL worked with Trump Org on a lot of matches, and went out of their way to interfere on their behalf.

Things went too far when Trump defeated Comey The Giant in a match and then fired Comey for joining Trump Org.  After that, and Sally Yates losing a Loser Leaves Town match to Mike Flynn’s cheating, a new stable was formed by DAG, the Justice League.  And leading that was none other than Comey’s old Mentor, Bobby Three Sticks.

Bobby Three Sticks is a former FBI Champion, winner of the Super Justice Cup, and a specialist when it comes to fighting the corrupt.

Problem is, when he was last wrestling, he was the biggest heel at the time.  What changed?

Trump changed things.  By Trump drawing so much heat as a heel, anyone facing against him would get over as a face.  Hell, even Trump Org’s own Keebler Nazi got face cheers the couple times he spoke out against Trump.  But with a talent as skilled as Bobby Three Sticks, the crowd stared looking forward to each and every match, as the details come out about how much FRWL worked with Trump Org to attack HRC and steal the Presidential Championship.

Now, “The Billion Dollar Man” Donald Trump is looking to face Bobby Three Sticks in a cage match.  Inside of a cage match, Trump Org can’t help their boss.  It will be just Trump and Bobby.  One on One.

 

TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

Kayfabe: the contained reality in which wrestling exists and where it’s real.  At least, where it takes itself seriously.

Match:  A contest between two or more parties, with or without various stipulations, such as a change of venue, use of weapons, or number of pinfalls.  A standard match has one fall, or round, but a common stipulation is to have a best 2 out of 3 falls match.

Heel:  Bad guy.

Face:  Good guy, short for Babyface.

Angle:  Storyline.

Feud:  A long-term storyline between two parties, typically resulting in a blow-off match.

Blow-Off Match:  The culmination of a feud, often times in a match with high stakes, such as a title on the line or a stipulation.

Gimmick:  Aspect of a character’s personality that makes them stand apart from other competitors.

Battle Royal:  A match where multiple individual participants compete where people are eliminated by being thrown out of the ring, over the top rope and land on the floor.  The last one left in the ring wins.

Tag Team:  Two wrestlers fighting as a team, where one person is a legal competitor and the other stands on the side of the ring.  The legal person changes when the people touch, or “tag” each other to change who is in the ring.

Stable:  A group of wrestlers working together for a common goal.

Championship:  A prop used to determine the best wrestler in a certain class.  Almost always in the shape of a thick leather belt with decorative plates and jewels.  Also known as a Title, Belt, or Strap.

Booking:  The writing or scripting of a match or angle.

Spot:  A series or sequence of moves or actions in a match.

Going Over:  Winning a match.

Getting Over:  Becoming popular with the crowd.

Drawing Heat:  Having the crowd hate you.

Doing the job:  Losing a match.  Also known as Doing the Honors.

Referee:  In Kayfabe, person who enforces the rules during a match.  Outside of Kayfabe, they serve as a director, coordinating the actions of the wrestlers, and moving the story forward from one sequence to the next.

Disqualification:  Breaking the rules by either ignoring the referee’s instructions or a blatant violation of rules and norms.

Working Stiff:  Hitting an opponent with more strength.  Not pulling a punch as much.

Lucha Libre:  The Mexican style of Professional Wrestling, symbolized by the use of ceremonial masks to hide one’s identity and high-flying aerial maneuvers.

Strong Style:  The Japanese style of wrestling symbolized by a combination of martial arts moves, working stiff, and aerial attacks.

Foreign Objects:  External items, such as chairs, tables, fire extinguishers, or any other props.  Unless specified, the use of such objects is prohibited.

Ladder Match:  A type of wrestling contest in which the contestants compete for an item of importance, such as a title, a monetary reward, or a promise for a future opportunity.  The only way to reach this item is to climb a ladder.  During this kind of match, foreign objects are legal.

Sell:  The act of making a move or attack look more devastating than it actually is.

No Sell:  Refusing to make a move look effective.

Pin:  Holding an opponent’s shoulders flat on the mat.  Also known as a pinfall.

Cage Match:  A match contested inside of a cage where victory conditions include pinfall, submission, or escaping the cage before the opponent.

Loser Leaves Town:  A match stipulation in which the loser of the match has to leave the wrestling organization.  This was common during the older days of wrestling when wrestlers would travel across regional territories, or if it was necessary to write a character out due to contract reasons.

Title versus Title:  A match stipulation in which two champions fight against each other, with both parties putting their titles on the line.  Winner takes both titles.

Submission:  Making one’s opponent give up.  Also known as Tapping Out, the motion of smacking something repeatedly.  This is how a submission is communicated if the recipient of the move is unable to tell the referee that they quit.

Finisher:  A move typically used by a wrestler to end a match.

Entrance Music:  The music that plays to accompany a wrestler to the ring.  This sometimes includes pyrotechnics.

Promo:  Promotional speech.  Also called Mic Work, this is a wrestler talking about their opponent, their current angle, or an upcoming match.

Indie Darling:  A fan favorite wrestler from the independent circuit.

Botch:  A mistake.

 

Daily Check-In 03/19/2018

From the weekend and Monday, March 19.

 

CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA

Late Friday Night, Facebook announced that they were suspending Cambridge Analytica for not deleting user data.  At first, that sounded bad, but more like a flimsy excuse.

Turns out it was a whole hell of a lot worse.  Cambridge Analytica did a lot worse than just not delete data.  They stole user data, used it to manipulate voters, and have attacked  Democracy around the world, and the Brits are telling everyone about it.

It started Saturday when a whistleblower named Christopher Wylie, a former Director of Research at Cambridge Analytica, dropped a bombshell when he went on the record about CA’s data practices, and how they acquired their data from a quiz app that scrubbed users for not just their data, but everyone on their friends list as well that didn’t put their accounts on security lockdown.  They averaged 300 profile grabs per use of the quiz.  This led to over 50 MILLION USER PROFILES ending up in CA’s hands.

Let me say that again.  50 MILLION USER PROFILES.

They then took that data and plugged that into their algorithms to see how people think, what they like, how they thing, what motivates them, what they support, what they don’t like, what their friends like, how politically active they are, and who they’re likely to vote for.

With that data, they could use micro target ads with hyper accuracy for maximum effect.  They would run two ads against two different people, even in the same household.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the same channel in Britain, Channel 4, ran an undercover exposé showing some of the dirty tricks that CA would use in elections around the world.  Honeypots, entrapment, fake news, they did it all.

Tomorrow, Channel 4 is running another segment, where Cambridge Analytica brags about getting Donald Trump elected.

That much sounds terrible, but it gets worse.

Dr. Alexander Nix, the CEO of Cambridge Analytica, testified before British Parliament that he has never worked with the Russians, but that was not true.  Nix’s company Cambridge Analytica and their parent company SCL worked with Lukoil, a Russian oil giant.  This started back around 2014 or 2015.  SCL and CA often swapped employees back and forth, depending on the job at hand.  Lukoil was asking about political data in the United States.

Why was a Russian oil company interested in voting demographics for the United States back in 2014 and 2015?

Facebook, meanwhile, is trying to play this like they’re innocent and just found out about this.  Bullshit.  They knew about CA having this data back in 2015, and didn’t check that the data was deleted in 2016.  By that time CA had made multiple copies of the user data.

And yes, it gets even worse.

Cambridge Analytica was approached by Corey Lewandowski back in 2015 to work for the Trump Campaign, but they were already working with Ted Cruz.  Remember how Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekha didn’t join the Trump Campaign until later on? That’s because they were pushing Ted Cruz, but once Trump won the nomination and Paul Manafort was on the way out, they joined him, and put their resources in the fight as well.  Those resources included Kellyanne Conway and VP of Cambridge Analytica, Steve Bannon.

As bad as this is, keep in mind that this is only one piece of the puzzle.  This is just part of the targeting mechanism.  They pointed out who to target with propaganda, and what would work best.  Someone else **cough**Russia**cough** made the propaganda, and worked to find out who couldn’t be swayed, and how to stop them from voting.

Daily Check-In 11/06/2017 shed some light on Facebook’s investment.  Because of the Paradise Papers, we know that Yuri Milner was a cut-out for Putin and his banks.  They own Facebook.

 

TRUMP VS MUELLER

Saturday morning, Trump started attacking Robert Mueller directly, and one of his lawyers said that the probe should end and that Mueller should be fired.  When I saw this, my first reaction was “Golly Gee Willickers, did Cheeto Mussolini get some bad news?”

Turns out yes, not only did I say Golly Gee Willickers, but it turns out that Mueller’s team had sent Trump’s lawyers a list of topics that will be brought up when they interview.

Not if.  When.

The questions that Mueller’s team sent Trump seem to focus on Obstruction of Justice.

Axios has learned that special counsel Robert Mueller has focused on events since the election — not during the campaign — in his conversations with President Trump’s lawyers. The top two topics that Mueller has expressed interest in so far: the firings of FBI director James Comey and national security adviser Michael Flynn.

This is interesting for two reasons.

First, if Mueller’s asking about the firing of these two men, he has more than enough information to nail Trump for Obstruction of Justice, and wants to see what Trump and his legal team say or do.  Remember, Bobby Three Sticks ain’t asking a question he doesn’t already have the answers to.  He wants to see what Trump leaves out.

Second, by focusing the interview on Obstruction of Justice, he’ll lull Trump into a false sense of security.  Mueller has enough evidence on every possible front, but Obstruction of Justice is the low-hanging fruit, and possibly the easiest to prove.

 

TRUMP ORG AND KUSHNER CORRUPTION

Also over the weekend, we started getting leaks about the depth of the corruption of the Trump and Kushner companies.

We got confirmation of Kushner Companies meeting with Qatari officials, Trump’s Indian partner being accused of a $147 million fraud, and the wife of the Israeli Prime Minister being indicted for lying about spending more than $100,000 on takeout food.

But the most fun story from the weekend is Jared Kushner’s companies being investigated in New York for failing to properly file Rent Control paperwork for thousands of tenants.  Then, after not filing this paperwork, Jared’s companies jacked up the rent, forcing these tenants out.

Ok, Rent Control is legislation in New York City that prevents landlords from raising rent on certain properties and leases past a certain amount, if at all.

These are state and local crimes, and he’s under investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Remember, from GTKYG-Pardon Limitations, State crimes cannot be pardoned by the President.

 

#NEVERAGAIN

The March For Our Lives is this Saturday, at multiple sites across the world.  One of the kids confirmed that they’re working with local groups to set up Voter Registration drives at the marches.

 

COLD WAR 2.0

For those not familiar, Jeremy Corbyn is the leader of the Labour Party, one of Britain’s major political parties.  He’s also got his tongue so far up Putin’s ass he can taste what he had for breakfast.

He is just as compromised as Trump.

 

McCABE

It’ll be interesting to see how crazy things get.  I wonder if the Intelligence Community will release some incriminating information.

 

FIRING FALLOUT

All of these came out over the weekend.  Aside from the Leahy Letter, let’s look at these stories.

Jeff Sessions is called a liar with multiple witnesses verifying.

Ivanka is tied into the investigation by her connections to the corruption at Trump Org.

Paul Ryan is tied to insider trading.

This is the IC’s way of saying “We know, and soon will everyone.”

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

STORMYWATCH, FROM THE STORMCENTER 6000 METEOROPORNOLOGICAL CENTER

As much as I hate saying it, there are dick pics.

 

IN OTHER NEWS

Three members of the Congressional Black Caucus have called for the bombings in Austin, Texas, to be classified as ongoing terrorist attacks. They also called for officials to determine whether the bombings are “ideologically or racially motivated.”

 

RUMOR MILL:  THE BRITS ARE ON FIRE AND PISSING OFF THE DEEP STATE

I noticed a couple things this weekend.

First, either the British are done waiting for things to finish up in America, or they got the go-ahead to unleash Hell upon the Russians those that supported them.  Notice how many links there are in this post from British places, like Channel 4 or The Guardian?  And a lot of those deal with Americans, not Brits.

I’ve got a hypothesis on this.

They had these stories ready to go for a while, but for one reason or another, they were sat on. Some person from MI5 or MI6 told them not to run these stories until they got the word.  Saturday morning GMT time, they get a weird text, “The Bird Is The Word”.  They finish up their tea, then make a couple calls, and tell them to unleash the first wave of stories.

Either that, or some “Deep State” people got pissed and talked to the Press.

By the way, I hate the term Deep State, but I’m using it here to describe the professional men and women that have spent their lives serving the United States of America, doing the ugly work.  They just want to keep their heads down, do their job, and retire, while hopefully making the world a little better in the process.

So, imagine how pissed they are hearing about Andrew McCabe getting fired two days before retiring with a full pension.

They’re pissed.  They know the system better than the Trump’s, and they know how to make their lives a living hell.  And they’ll do it.

Finally, Louise Mensch says get ready for CA’s links to Russian Propaganda.  We’ll be hearing about that soon.

 

That’s it for today.  Cambridge Analytica is the first smoking gun.  This is where the narrative changes from “Did they?” to “How did they?”

Cambridge Analytica ties to the IRA and the troll farms.  The troll farms made the propaganda, and CA helped figure out who to show it to.  I’ve described many times the use of the hacked voter rolls and the RNC database, Spectrum Health, and Alfa Bank.  Combine this with Lukoil working with CA, and this puzzle makes more sense.

But here’s the scary part…

The NRA has their own database of their members.  They were targeted by CA.  Heavily targeted by CA.  But why?  Was it just for voting for Trump, or something else?

Did the Russians and Trump try to radicalize some Americans through the use of propaganda?

I hope not, but I don’t put it past them for trying.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur