No One Plans The Cover-Up

“The Cover-up is Worse than the Crime.”

We’ve all heard that cliche at least once in our lives.  It’s always comes after someone gets caught after committing a crime, and they seemingly got away with it.

And it’s complete and total horseshit.

Lying to the cops isn’t worse than murder, or rape, or robbery, or espionage.  Not even close.  Not on any possible metric.

So, why do we hear this cliche each time someone gets caught after the crime?  Why does someone always mutter this cliche each and every time?

Because the cover-up gets little to no planning ahead of the actual crime.  The cover-up is an afterthought.  The original crime gets all of the planning, but getting away with it is merely an afterthought.

Think back to every heist movie and television series that has come out in the last 20-30 years.  They mostly follow the same pattern…

  • Normal person facing extraordinary stress makes choice to commit a crime to get out of their problems.
  • Every detail of the crime is planned, from the tiniest detail to the second by second execution of the crime itself.
  • Person performs the crime, but something goes wrong after the crime.  Usually, a coconspirator does something stupid.
  • Crazy things happen because they didn’t plan getting away with the crime.
  • The better movies have the person getting caught, or losing more than they gained.  The bad ones have the person living happily ever after.

Every fucking time.  EVERY. FUCKING. TIME.  Now, what do bad movie tropes have to do with Trump-Russia?  Why does it feel like we’re in the middle of a heist movie?

Because like every heist movie, the criminals didn’t plan the getaway.  They’re winging it.  They didn’t think they would win in the first place, so why plan on getting away with it?  The bad guys planned on losing the election and creating a media outlet to spread their message afterward.  Now, they have to govern, and they’re winging it.

Winging it is how they get caught.

So, it’s not that the cover-up is worse than the crime, but the execution of the cover-up is worse than the execution of the crime.

Daily Check-in 02/16/2018

Friday, February 16, 2018.

13 RUSSIANS, 3 COMPANIES INDICTED BY SPECIAL COUNSELOR MUELLER

Special Counselor Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russians and 3 Russian entities for their actions in to influence the 2016 Presidential Election.

This indictment lays out the who, how, where, what, when, and why of the Russian Influence Operation.  It describes how they started this op back in 2014, which coincides with the Ukrainian Revolution.

The Russians used stolen identities to bypass security measures in PayPal, and used those accounts to pay for advertisements on Facebook and other social media sites.  They also paid for expenses for the Trump Campaign, even at low-level like parades.

Here are some excerpts from the indictments.  They can be found Here, at justice.gov.

Defendants’ operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump (“Trump Campaign”) and disparaging Hillary Clinton. Defendants made various expenditures to carry out those activities, including buying political advertisements on social media in the names of U.S. persons and entities. Defendants also staged political rallies inside the United States, and while posing as U.S. grassroots entities and U.S. persons, and without revealing their Russian identities and ORGANIZATION affiliation, solicited and compensated real U.S. persons to promote or disparage candidates. Some Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities.

There has been a lot of talk about the Russians organizing opposing rallies, and using friendly sources in the U.S. as feet on the ground.  This confirms it.

In order to carry out their activities to interfere in U.S. political and electoral processes without detection of their Russian affiliation, Defendants conspired to obstruct the lawful functions of the United States government through fraud and deceit, including by making expenditures in connection with the 2016 U.S. presidential election without proper regulatory disclosure; failing to register as foreign agents carrying out political activities within the United States; and obtaining visas through false and fraudulent statements.

So, we have Russians giving money to the Trump Campaign, and several FARA violations as well.  Not to mention, lying on an entry visa.

Defendants and their co-conspirators used their fictitious online personas to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. They engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump.

Yes.  Attack everyone except Trump. and Bernie.  I mentioned in Trump vs. Bernie how this was Putin’s goal for the U.S. Presidential Election.

On or about February 10, 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators internally circulated an outline of themes for future content to be posted to ORGANIZATION-controlled social media accounts. Specialists were instructed to post content that focused on “politics in the USA” and to “use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump–we support them).”

That quote is interesting.  That sounds like a direct quote from an internal email or some other type of surveillance.  Remember, The Dutch Had Eyes on Cozy Bear.

 From at least April 2016 through November 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators, while concealing their Russian identities and ORGANIZATION affiliation through false personas, began to produce, purchase, and post advertisements on U.S. social media and other online sites expressly advocating for the election of then-candidate Trump or expressly opposing Clinton. Defendants and their co-conspirators did not report their expenditures to the Federal Election Commission, or register as foreign agents with the U.S. Department of Justice. The political advertisements included the following:

  • April 6, 2016 “You know, a great number of black people support us saying that #HillaryClintonlsNotMyPresident”
  • April 7, 2016 “I say no to Hillary Clinton / I say no to manipulation”
  • April 19, 2016 “JOIN our #HillaryClintonForPrison2016”
  • May 10, 2016 “Donald wants to defeat terrorism … Hillary wants to sponsor it”
  • May 19, 2016 “Vote Republican, vote Trump, and support the Second Amendment!”
  • May 24, 2016 “Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote”
  • June 7, 2016 “Trump is our only hope for a better future!”
  • June 30, 2016 “#Never Hillary #Hillary F orPrison #Hillary4 Prison #HillaryForPrison2016 #Trump2016 #Trump #Trump4President”
  • July 20, 2016 “Ohio Wants Hillary 4 Prison”
  • August 4, 2016 “Hillary Clinton has already committed voter fraud during the Democrat Iowa Caucus.”
  • August 10, 2016 “We cannot trust Hillary to take care of our veterans!”
  • October 14, 2016 “Among all the candidates Donald Trump is the one and only who can defend the police from terrorists.”
  • October 19, 2016 “Hillary is a Satan, and her crimes and lies had proved just how evil she is.”

I have personally seen several of those ads on Facebook.  Plus, this mentions that coconspirators helped pay for these ads.  The Russians had help.

To pay for the political advertisements, Defendants and their co-conspirators established various Russian bank accounts and credit cards, often registered in the names of fictitious U.S. personas created and used by the ORGANIZATION on social media. Defendants and their coconspirators also paid for other political advertisements using PayPal accounts.

PayPal.  This is the first time I’ve talked about PayPal, but it won’t be the last.  EBay announced that they’ll be cutting ties with PayPal in 2020.  Not only that, but PayPal co-founder and Trump enabler Peter Theil is leaving Silicon Valley.

Beginning in at least 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators used, without lawful authority, the social security numbers, home addresses, and birth dates of real U.S. persons without their knowledge or consent. Using these means of stolen identification, Defendants and their coconspirators opened accounts at a federally insured U.S. financial institution (“Bank I”)

Louise Mensch reported last may about Silicon Valley Bank, a subsidiary of Alfa Bank, being under FISA investigation.  They could have used any bank in the United States, but there’s this little thing called the Patriot Act.  Part of it requires that all new bank accounts created require proof of human beingness and a physical presence. This prevents rampant fraud and money laundering.  The Russians would need feet on the ground to pull this off, and there’s just enough here to make me think SVB was used to set up the American Accounts.

Defendants and their co-conspirators purchased credit card and bank account numbers from online sellers for the unlawful purpose of evading security measures at PayPal, which used account numbers to verify a user’s identity. Many of the bank account numbers purchased by Defendants and their co-conspirators were created using the stolen identities of real U.S. persons. After purchasing the accounts, Defendants and their co-conspirators submitted these bank account numbers to PayPal.

See “California Man” below.

On or about August 18, 2016, the real “Florida for Trump” Facebook account responded to
the false U.S. persona “Matt Skiber” account with instructions to contact a member of the Trump
Campaign (“Campaign Official l “) involved in the campaign’s Florida operations and provided Campaign Official 1’s email address at the campaign domain donaldtrump.com. On approximately the same day, Defendants and their co-conspirators used the email address of a false U.S. persona, joshmilton024@gmail.com, to send an email to Campaign Official 1 at that donaldtrump.com email account, which read in part:

“Hello [Campaign Official l], [w]e are organizing a state-wide event in Florida on August, 20 to support Mr. Trump. Let us introduce ourselves first. “Being Patriotic” is a grassroots conservative online movement trying to unite people offline. . . . [W]e gained a huge lot of followers and decided to somehow help Mr. Trump get elected. You know, simple yelling on the Internet is not enough. There should be real action. We organized rallies in New York before. Now we’re focusing on purple states such as Florida.” The email also identified thirteen “confirmed locations” in Florida for the rallies and requested the campaign provide “assistance in each location.”

Here’s more proof that the Russians were trying to coordinate their events with Trump’s campaign. The group asked Florida for Trump for help in location scouting.

On or about August 24, 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators updated an internal ORGANIZATION list of over 100 real U.S. persons contacted through ORGANIZATION controlled false U.S. persona accounts and tracked to monitor recruitment efforts and requests. The list included contact information for the U.S. persons, a summary of their political views, and activities they had been asked to perform by Defendants and their co-conspirators.

If some random person in the Summer of 2016 reached out from Heart of Texas, Blacktivists, or one of the other groups mentioned, and asked you to recruit for their cause, congratulations.  You’ve been had by the Russians.  And, you’re probably under surveillance by the USIC as well.

 Use of U.S. Computer Infrastructure

To hide their Russian identities and ORGANIZATION affiliation, Defendants and their co- conspirators—particularly POLOZOV and the ORGANIZATION’s IT department—purchased space on computer servers located inside the United States in order to set up virtual private networks (“VPNs”). Defendants and their co-conspirators connected from Russia to the U.S.-based infrastructure by way of these VPNs and conducted activity inside the United States— including accessing online social media accounts, opening new accounts, and communicating with real U.S. persons—while masking the Russian origin and control of the activity.

Defendants and their co-conspirators also registered and controlled hundreds of web-based email accounts hosted by U.S. email providers under false names so as to appear to be U.S. persons and groups. From these accounts, Defendants and their co-conspirators registered or linked to online social media accounts in order to monitor them; posed as U.S. persons when requesting assistance from real U.S. persons; contacted media outlets in order to promote activities inside the United States; and conducted other operations, such as those set forth below.

Now we get to the IT side of things.  The Russians, with help here in the United States, purchased server space here, as well as a VPN connection that terminates in this country.  My guess is that these servers were located out west, like Arizona or California.  I’ve seen quite a few suspicious “news” sites on Facebook that Whois’ed to the same server farms out there.  They looked identical to sites from St. Petersburg, Moscow, or Crimea.  On top of this, they also used email services based in the United States to make these social media platforms.

Destruction of Evidence

In order to avoid detection and impede investigation by U.S. authorities of Defendants’ operations, Defendants and their co-conspirators deleted and destroyed data, including emails, social media accounts, and other evidence of their activities.

  1. Beginning in or around June 2014, and continuing into June 2015, public reporting began to identify operations conducted by the ORGANIZATION in the United States. In response, Defendants and their co-conspirators deleted email accounts used to conduct their operations.
  2. Beginning in or around September 2017, U.S. social media companies, starting with Facebook, publicly reported that they had identified Russian expenditures on their platforms to fund political and social advertisements. Facebook’s initial disclosure of the Russian purchases occurred on or about September 6, 2017, and included a statement that Facebook had “shared [its] findings with US authorities investigating these issues.”
  3. Media reporting on or about the same day as Facebook’s disclosure referred to Facebook working with investigators for the Special Counsel’s Office of the U.S. Department of Justice, which had been charged with investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
  4. Defendants and their co-conspirators thereafter destroyed evidence for the purpose of impeding the investigation. On or about September 13, 2017, KAVERZINA wrote in an email to a family member: “We had a slight crisis here at work: the FBI busted our activity (not a joke). So, I got preoccupied with covering tracks together with the colleagues.” KAVERZINA further wrote, “I created all these pictures and posts, and the Americans believed that it was written by their people.”

As soon as Facebook shared their findings on the activity came out, they were literally destroying the evidence of their activities when one of them emailed a family member saying that she was busy with that.  That also says that we somehow had eyes on them.

Daily Check-In 10/17/2017 has a write-up of the boss of the Internet Research Agency.  He’s been called “Putin’s Chef”, so the use of Concord Catering in the indictment kind of makes sense now.

These indictments are important for several reasons.

  • They establish specific crimes against the United States performed by Russian nationals.
  • This shows directly that the Russians wanted Trump to win the election.
  • It shows that Americans helped in this matter.
  • Any action taken against the Special Counselor or Rod Rosenstein will be seen as helping Russia AND Obstruction of Justice.
  • The timing comes right after the IC heads told Congress that Russia attacked us and will attack us again.
  • It gives Congress time to either put election reforms and protections in place, or show their true colors.

Are these Russians going to get extradited to the United States?  Not unless they leave Russia.  Remember a few weeks ago when a a Russian hacker was captured on vacation in Spain and sent here?  If any of them try to leave Russia, they stand a good chance of getting stopped, detained, and shipped here to face trial.

Now, the Americans that helped them are a different story.

 

“CALIFORNIA MAN” RICHARD PINEDO PLEADS GUILTY

About an hour after the indictments dropped and the Trump supporters twisted themselves into knots saying “See, no Americans were involved!”, Mueller busts out a guilty plea for Richard Pinedo.

Richard ran a company called Auction Essentials, where he would sell bank account numbers on the dark web to anyone who had the money.  He would either set up the accounts himself, or buy them from someone else.  Richard would sell these accounts, and ask no questions.

It turns out that he sold some of these bank accounts to the Russians in the indictment, and they were used to bypass the PayPal verification system.  Anyone can set up an account with them, but to have it listed in the U.S., they require it being linked to a U.S. bank account.

I’ve never liked PayPal, and never will.  It’s too easy to scam people with it by reversing charges without proof, and the fraud protection sucked.  But they were the first “Internet Currency”, and without them, Elon Musk wouldn’t have launched an electric car into space.

There is a Richard Pinedo, of Ventura County, California that belongs to the Ventura County Tea Party.  I do not know yet if this is the same person or not, but I would not be surprised in the slightest at this point.

 

HOW TRUMP USED INTERMEDIARIES TO PAY OFF HIS AFFAIRS

Now that I’ve spent a lot of time talking about Russia fucking America, let me talk about Trump fucking young women.  More to the point, how his friends covered it up.

Ronan Farrow of the New Yorker broke one hell of a story about a young woman in the Adult Entertainment Industry that allegedly had an affair with Donald Trump just a few months after his wife gave birth to their son Barron, and how about a decade later, this woman was paid into silence.

No, it’s not Stormy Daniels.

It’s former Playmate of the Year Karen McDougall.

Their stories are almost the exact same.  They fucked Trump, he offered to pay them, they said no, it went on for a while, then they split up.  Years later, right before the election, a surrogate for Trump offers to pay the women if they’ll keep their mouth shut.

For Karen, that surrogate is David Pecker, owner of American Media, which owns the National Enquirer.  He bought her story for $150,000, promised her a platform for articles, and a couple other things.

Instead of publishing, Pecker buried the story.

Karen told her story, even at the risk of legal action, because she doesn’t want other women to go through what she’s gone through.

If you’re wondering who Ronan Farrow is, Ask Harvey Weinstein.

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

FCC CHAIRMAN AJIT PAI UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR POSSIBLY COLLUDING WITH SINCLAIR BROADCASTING

FACEBOOK TAKES DOWN NALVANY VIDEO

SCHIFF: HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE HAS PROOF OF RUSSIAN COLLUSION

 

RUMOR MILL: THE MEDIA CONSPIRACY

While most of Twitter and Reddit are talking about what’s going on today, I ran across a very interesting thread by Lincoln’s Bible.  He’s the one who mentioned a few weeks back about a lot of Anti-Trump movies in the pipeline in Hollywood.  This came out earlier in the day, right after the Ronan Farrow story broke.  It answered a question I had  a while back during the election.

We know that Trump is an asshole, a misogynist and a racist.  The Billy Bush Pussygate tape showed the first two definitively, and there are strong rumors of the last from several people that worked on The Apprentice.  Among these include Tom Arnold and George Takei.  Before the election, there was a large outcry for the behind-the-scenes tapes to leak out showing Trump dropping the N-word.  But the owner of that show, Mark Burnett, refused to release anything.

Why?  Why would he not do what was being seen as a patriotic duty and release information vital to the fate of the country?

Lincoln’s Bible answered that question…they be mobbed up.

Burnett and Pecker hold power over Trump, and are both fond of Vladimir Putin.  They hold undue leverage over Trump, and others in society.  Burnett made half the country think Donald Trump was what a good boss should be, and Pecker has been running Pro-Trump or Anti-Democrat stories on his tabloid rag for about two years.

I’m not sure where this is leading, but it’ll be interesting.  Not necessarily good, but interesting.

 

That’s it for today, I think.

So, what happens now?  I don’t know.  I still haven’t heard a confirmation that Rick Gates has signed his flipping paperwork, but that’ll probably happen Tuesday when the courts open.  There’s a reason the Russian Indictments came out today.  As I said, this makes it nearly impossible to fire Robert Mueller before he lays out Obstruction of Justice charges.  The end game is not Obstruction, but it will be the low-hanging fruit that gets Trump and Pence out of office.  Once they’re out, the Mueller can go for the kill.

Corruption.  Abuse of Power.  RICO.  Human Trafficking.  Money Laundering.  Espionage.  Treason.

I don’t how fast things will go from here on out.  I think these just bought several months, but I think things will accelerate from here on out.

Why?  I don’t know, I just got a feeling that things will go on a little faster from here on out, until we get to indictments against Trump for Obstruction of Justice.

Also, I’ve learned over the past couple years to always bet on stupid when Trump is involved.  Rule 45:  Out of all possible outcomes, pick the dumbest one available.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 02/15/2018

Thursday, February 15.

STEVE BANNON SPOKE TO SPECIAL COUNSELOR MUELLER’S TEAM FOR 20 HOURS LAST WEEK

20 hours.  That’s 2 and a half 8 hour days.  Half a workweek.  In other words, it’s a long ass time to spend talking to an investigator.

Steve Bannon, former Trump Campaign Manager and Chief Strategist in the White House, was fired by Donald Trump back in August 2017.

Steve connects the dots between Trump, the Mercers, the Racists and Nazis, and big data firms.  I’ve talked about Steve having to sing like a bird to avoid the gallows, and it sounds like he did just that.

In contrast, he only answered a couple dozen pre-arranged questions from the House Intelligence Committee.  Not a question or comment more.  It’s almost like he knows that there’s a mole in the HIC that reports direct to Trump **cough**Nunes**cough**.

 

RICK GATES PLEA DEAL INCOMING

Last time we received reports like this, it was right before Mike Flynn pleaded guilty and turned States Evidence.

Rick Gates, Paul Manafort’s business partner and the Chief of Staff to the Trump Inaugural Committee Chairman Tom Barrack, had a Queen for a day interview.

Yes, I had to Google that, too.  And no, I don’t think he was wearing a tiara and waving at crowds of passers by.

A Queen for a day interview is also known as a Proffer Interview.  During this, the perp tells the prosecutors EVERYTHING.  They answer any question asked, and they have to be truthful.  In return, the prosecutor will not use what they found out against the perp, and the perp gets a plea deal.

Rick Gates can deliver EVERYONE connected to the money.

 

RUSSIANS USED MAINSTREAM MEDIA TO INFLUENCE ELECTION

From the “No shit, Sherlock” department…

After a study of the Russian Social Media activity, it turns out that the Russians used a lot of Main Stream Media to further their agenda.

The timing is the interesting part.

The bots and trolls would jump on a story they liked immediately.  Like, it was just published, and already trending.

It’s almost like this was coordinated.  More on that in the Rumor Mill.

 

FLORIDA SHOOTER WAS RED HAT WEARING MAGA WHITE SUPREMACIST

I refuse to speak his name.  Speaking the name of a monster gives power to the monster.

According to reports, he was expelled from school and joined a group of White Supremacists who trained him to use an AR-15 and other weapons.  He also took video of himself training wearing his MAGA Redcap.

I look forward to the time when I’m old hear tales of horror as the grandchildren of Trump Supporters find MAGA hats buried in the attic or the closet.  The Redcap will earn its place in history next to the white hood and the swastika.

 

ONE YEAR AGO: TRUMP ENDED RULE THAT COULD HAVE PREVENTED MASS SHOOTING IN FLORIDA

This whole thing could have been avoided.

 

GUN LOBBY CONTRIBUTED NEARLY $6 MILLION TO GOP IN 2016, JUST OVER $100K TO DEMOCRATS

If you’re sick and tired of “Thoughts and Prayers”, vote out the Republicans.

 

NRA, TRUMP, AND RUSSIA

Fuck the NRA.  May those traitorous shits get the fate reserved for the worst of the sinners.

 

$26 MILLION FROM INAUGURAL FUND TO MELANIA’S FRIEND

In the middle of this tragedy, the Trump Inauguration Committee released their tax forms today.  There were some pretty interesting answers to the question “Where did the money go?”

Well, looks like $26 million of that went to her friend.

One of the companies, WIS Media Partners of Marina del Rey, California, was created by a longtime friend of Mrs. Trump, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, according to a person familiar with the firm. Records show that the firm was created in December 2016, but otherwise there is very little information available about it.

Also reaping payments for event production services was Hargrove, Inc., of Lanham, Md., a company that plans trade shows and other events, which was paid $25 million. David Monn of New York, who also is known for orchestrating society events and planned a state dinner for former President Barack Obama, was paid $3.7 million, and a company called Production Resource Group of New Windsor, N.Y., was paid $2.7 million, according to the tax return.

Other expenses for which the committee paid directly included ticketing, on which it spent $4.1 million, and promotional gifts, on which it spent $560,000.

It also spent heavily on payroll and administrative expenses, including spending $9.4 million on travel, $4.6 million on salaries and benefits for its 208 employees, $500,000 on legal fees and $237,000 on fund-raising.

Out of $107 million, nearly half of that went to two “event planners”, one of them being a company belonging to Melania’s friend that was started about a month before the inauguration.

This is a textbook case of embezzlement.

The friend, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, was also paid $1.6 million on top of the $25 million.  She now has an unpaid position in the White House, working for the First Lady.

So, I’m going follow up on my pledge that I recently made and blame evil white women.  Let’s stop pretending that Melania is innocent in this whole ordeal.  She may not be “Traitor to the Country” evil, but is at least “Let’s take the money and run” evil.

 

TRUMP TRAVEL BAN UNCONSTITUTIONAL

I know this seems like a repeat, and it is.  Each and every travel ban, and each iteration of it has been struck down by the courts.  It might have something to do with the obvious racist overtones…

Who the fuck am I kidding?

Trump flat out called for banning all Muslims from coming into the country, and wanted to kick out the ones already here.

This time, the ban was ruled unconstitutional because of the undue burdens it put on families of immigrants from countries on the ban by preventing Aunts and Uncles from visiting or gaining legal status.

Every American is an immigrant or descendants of immigrants.  Whether it’s 1 generation, 2 generations, 10, or 10,000, we are all immigrants.

 

PRIEBUS ON CHAOS IN TRUMP WHITE HOUSE: ‘TAKE EVERYTHING YOU’VE HEARD AND MULTIPLY IT BY 50’

A new book is coming out talking about how the White House Chief of Staff shapes a presidency.  Reince Preibus was interviewed regarding his time in the clusterfuck known as the Trump Presidency.  He described it as, well, a clusterfuck.

Below is an excerpt from the book.

Priebus, who left the White House last summer, said Attorney General Jeff Sessions twice tried to resign, but he convinced Sessions otherwise, according to excerpts published by The Associated Press.

“I said, ‘You cannot resign. It’s not possible. We are going to talk about this right now,’” Priebus recalled telling Sessions.

The attorney general, who has faced periodic criticism from President Trump, later offered his resignation, but Priebus urged Trump not to accept it, the former chief of staff said.

Priebus also said he didn’t support Trump picking a fight over the crowd size at his inauguration, which was smaller than former President Obama’s. However, Priebus ultimately relented, saying it wasn’t worth “going to go to war over” with Trump

So, in some roundabout way, Preibus is the reason that Jeff Sessions is still the Attorney General.

 

STORMY WATCH: SHE HAS A DRESS

Remember Monica Lewinsky and the Blue Dress?  If you don’t recall, here’s the short version…

Monica blew Bill Clinton and he came a little on her dress.  Instead of taking it to the cleaners, she kept it.  At some point, the news came out that this dress existed.

Well, it looks like Stormy Daniels has her own…dress?

Somehow, she has proof.  I don’t want to know.

 

RUMOR MILL:  TIP OF THE ICEBERG

Circling back to the WaPo story about Russia using the MSM to push their stories, Countercheckist and Louise Mensch had some things to say about that.  I linked to the Twitter thread right above, but here’s what’s going on…

I’ve described before how Louise said that the FBI is investigating Fox News as a company and Sean Hannity individually for pushing Russian propaganda.  We’ve also seen how Julian Assange is getting information to him, and how the White House and Fox News orchestrated the Seth Rich story to distract from Robert Mueller being named the Special Counselor to investigate Russia.  There’s a litany of other on-air personalities across multiple networks and journalists across the industry that were hacked by Russians.

Whether through blackmail or coercion, these people pushed the Russian agenda, often at the insistence and timing of Russia.  They were compensated for their actions in Bitcoin. When a story favorable to the Russians would drop, they would target it with their bots and trolls to increase the noise level.

How would they get these stories to the journalists?  Two ways.

First, semi-organically through Social Media.  An anonymous post on 4Chan, 8Chan, or Reddit would get picked up by the bots on Twitter, and those bots would get enough traction so that sites like Breitbart (who has Yandex search engine optimization code on their site to the time of this post) or Daily Caller would write a story about the Twitter trend. A site on the left would write a counter piece, and eventually Fox News and MSNBC would pick up the counterpoints.

The other method was through lobbyists.  These lobbyists, like Adam Waldman, would hire journalists and outlets to hire puff pieces on behalf of their clients, like Oleg Deripaska.  These pieces would end up getting picked up by the bots, then the cycle begins anew.

I first mentioned Adam Waldman last week in Daily Check-In 02/09/2018  after his texts ended up on Fox News.  If he was the contact between Deripaska and the media, Waldman should be very careful about where he gets his dinner for the next couple months.

Because of the Bitcoin usage, there will be a lot of tax stuff and money laundering charges coming down the pipe, but that is the least of the problems these people face.

Knowingly and willingly spreading propaganda of a hostile foreign power is Espionage at the least, Treason at the worst.  Both are Capital crimes in the United States.  That means the Death Penalty is an option.

On a brighter note, the Ex-President of Guatemala was arrested.  He’s looking at corruption charges.  This is the second Head of State in the last few days to face possible charges.  Israeli Police recommend bribery charges against Benjamin Netenyahu.  Netenyahu is deeply tied to Jared Kushner’s real estate empire, and was the recipient of bribes that came from money laundered through Kushner’s real estate.

When the Heads of State start falling, some serious shit is coming down the pipeline.

 

That’s it for today.  Nothing extra witty, but I was thinking about all of the scandals that Trump faces right now, and their unprecedented breadth and speed at which they’re coming down.  At first it was just a Watergate Speed Run, but now we’ve got the Lewinsky Speed Run, the Whitewater Speed Run, the Teapot Dome Speed Run, and probably a couple others as well.  This is what happens when a career criminal gets thrust into the most scrutinized position in the world.  Every single thing he’s done will come to light, and we’ve barely seen the tip of the iceberg.

 

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 02/14/2018

Wednesday.  Valentine’s Day.  It’s a day for lovers to show each other how much they care  for and appreciate each other.  It’s about the Story of Love.

TRUMP’S LONGTIME LAWYER MICHAEL COHEN SAYS HE PAID STORMY DANIELS OUT OF HIS OWN POCKET

The Story of Love.  When a man cheats on his nursing wife with a porn star, then the man’s lawyer pays off said porn star, then admits to it a month after the story makes the news.

That’s love.  Love is in the air…

Although in this case, love sounds a hell of a lot like several ethical and legal violations, and possible criminal liability for the President.

So, we know that Stormy Daniels, an Adult Film Star from last decade, had an alleged affair with Donald Trump while Melania was at home with their infant son Barron.  We also know that she was shopping her story around several media outlets when she suddenly disappeared.  We also know that Michael Cohen opened an LLC that had one expense; a payment to “Peggy Patterson” for $130,000.  Peggy turned out to be Stormy Daniels.

We know all of this because Michael Cohen is a fucking idiot.

Today, he upped the stupid game by admitting to paying Stormy.  He says that he paid her off, all by himself with his own money.

“Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly,” Mr. Cohen said in a statement to The New York Times. “The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.”

Michael Cohen just admitted to paying her off.

At the minimum, he just admitted to paying a woman to keep quiet about his client, and paid her with his money.  This is a serious ethical violation for a lawyer.  This is disbarment territory.  He could lose his license to practice law.  And that’s assuming the least of his legal problems.

DV97T6qVAAAUEms.jpg-large

At the minimum, he just admitted to paying a woman to keep quiet about his client, and paid her with his money.  This is a serious ethical violation for a lawyer.  This is disbarment territory.  He could lose his license to practice law.  And that’s assuming the least of his legal problems.

What’s more likely is that Cohen violated FEC laws and campaign contribution laws.  Even if the money didn’t come from the campaign, other donors, or any other source, by paying her when he did, Cohen made an in-kind contribution which could have saved the election for Trump.  Imagine if Stormy’s story came out a week or two before the election, on the heels of the Pussygate tape.

But, what if he paid her and was then reimbursed by the campaign?

If Cohen paid for this out of his own pocket, and was later reimbursed by the campaign, everyone involved is in a world of hurt.  Cohen, the finance director, the person who signed off on this, and anyone who knew about it.  That is especially true for Donald Trump.

What would that reimbursement look like?  Maybe like this…

DV983AXWkAAfekN.jpg-large

In late December 2016, the Trump Campaign paid Trump Properties $130,888.33 in rent.  Trump the candidate paid Trump the landlord rent.  But, the payment is a little suspect.

First, it doesn’t match the pattern of the rest of the rent payments.  The amount is different, the time of the month is different, and the amount is a made up amount.

Second, these amounts are all made up.  Look at the cents in every entry.  Notice something peculiar?  They are all perfect fractions, either 1/2, 1/3, or 1/6.  This is a dead giveaway for cooking the books.  Especially making up rent values.

Rent is determined by several ways, but one way is to determine the value per square feet, and divide by 12.  Doing that with some of these costs gives a value of  $1516.66 for square foot from July 2016 onward through November.  In the early months, the value was… hold on, let me do the math.

425490

30 14183.  30 13 1091.   30 13 33 33&1/12.  Those numbers make sense to me.

So, the first office was about 280 square feet.  They added 296 square feet in May for 576, then expanded to 876 square feet in June 2016.  That’s when the value of 1516/sq.ft. was cemented.  That value is the market value for property in New York City.

The office expanded again to 1342 square feet in June or July, and stayed there until November.  For November, they more than doubled the space to 2244 square feet.  Primes are 12,11,17, so my guess is the campaign HQ was something 44×51 or 33×68.  That’s also the square footage of a good sized suburban home.

After the campaign, they apparently downgraded to a 1036 square foot room.  Or 28×37.

Now, that could explain these rent payments as just rent.  Of course, is literally taking campaign funds to pay himself rent that he owes himself.  And all of these are manufactured values.

So here’s the theory going around…

Trump the Candidate paid Trump the Landlord this sum, which was then used to reimburse the lawyer for Trump the Philanderer to pay off the porn star to keep quiet so that Trump the Candidate could become Trump the President.

Was it this obvious?  Not likely, but I’d be interested to see Cohen’s legal bills and other financials for the last year or two.

Was makes this whole thing even dumber is that Stormy is ready to tell he story.  How can she do that?  Because numbnutz Cohen told about the payoff, and her and her lawyer feel that he violated the terms of the NDA.

Also, I hate writing about Stormy news.  If I have to, I try to put it at the end of the story.  Stormy is a shiny bauble meant to distract from the real crimes being performed.  However, there were two reasons this gets the top story of the day.

Number 1, it’s Valentine’s Day, and nothing says love like having an affair blow up in his bloated, orange face.

Number 2, Cohen volunteered this information to the press.  He’s trying to head something off, and hoping that by jumping in front the of the story, it’ll go away.  There are lots of rumors that proof of campaign contribution violations are incoming, and they’re bad enough that they could destroy Trump.  Of course, I’ve heard that before.  But, if after it’s all said and done, Trump is removed from office for paying a porn star to not talk about their sexcapades, I’ll take it.

Stormy, real name Stephanie Clifford, has been in the media the last few weeks, striking while the iron is hot.  This week she appears in a strip club across the street from the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach.

 

KUSHNER DEBTS GO UP IN 2017

Not just a little bit, but by several million dollars. Both him and Ivanka have a lot more debt to their names.

Why is this important?

Jared can’t get a permanent security clearance with all of this debt, yet sees the Presidential Daily Briefing each day.  Someone in as much debt as they have can be easily leveraged.

By the way, at least 100 employees in the Executive Branch have been working under an interim clearance since November 2017.

That was also the same time that the White House stopped offering new interim clearances.  It’s almost like something happened, like the FBI informing the White House that several of their employees would never be granted a permanent clearance and that they were a threat to national security.

 

NBC COMPILES A DATABASE OF DELETED RUSSIAN TWEETS

NBC pulled these lists together.

I recommend checking out the spreadsheets, and see if you’re in them.  After a cursory search, I’m not mentioned in there, but then again, I didn’t get back into Twitter until February or March 2017.

 

MIKE PENCE IS A LYING SACK OF SHIT

Pence could say that it’s sunny on a raining day.  He’s either completely delusional, a habitual liar, or both.

EVERY. SINGLE. INTELLIGENCE. HEAD. SAID. RUSSIA. ATTACKED. US.

Yet, the only two people in the Government who refuse to recognize it as a possibility are the President and Vice President.

Remember, Pence was Paul Manafort’s choice for Vice President.

 

VETERANS AFFAIRS SECRETARY IN TRAVEL SCANDAL

Shulkin is one of five current and former Trump administration Cabinet members under investigation by agency inspectors general over their travel expenses, an issue that forced Tom Price to resign as Health and Human Services secretary in the fall. Shulkin and other Cabinet officials have said their travel, often on private and military planes or to speak at political events, was approved by agency ethics officials.

There is so much corruption in this administration, it’s systematic.  Shulkin’s Chief of Staff changed emails to make it sound like he was receiving an award in the Netherlands to justify bringing his wife on a trip to Europe, which also involved tickets to the Women’s Championship at Wimbledon.

This is ridiculous.

 

That’s all I’m covering for today.  There was another mass shooting in a school today.  17 dead.  Yet the monsters in the GOP will give their “thoughts and prayers” and say “now isn’t the time to discuss gun control.”

Fuck that, and fuck them.

Fuck the NRA.  Fuck the politicians who refuse to protect people at the expense of the gun manufacturers.

And fuck the NRA for their treasonous role in selling out the United States of America by funneling Russian money into the GOP.  I hope that whoever authorized this op gets the traitors death they deserve.

 

Thank you, and have a good one

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 02/13/2018

Tuesday, February 13, 2018.

FBI CHIEF: TRUMP HASN’T DIRECTED ME TO STOP RUSSIAN MEDDLING IN MIDTERMS

Earlier today, the heads of the FBI, CIA, NSA, DIA, and a couple other organizations testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee to describe the threats that America currently faces.  It was an interesting day.

    “We’re taking a lot of specific efforts to blunt Russian efforts,” Wray said when Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) asked if he’d been directed by Trump to do so.
    “As directed by the president?” Reed interjected.
    “Not as specifically directed by the president,” Wray responded.
So, we’re solidly at the point that the President of the United States is a puppet for the Russian Government, and isn’t even instructing the heads of the Intelligence and Law Enforcement communities to do their job.
“What I can tell you is that the FBI submitted a partial report on the investigation in question in March, and then a completed background investigation in late July,” he said, noting that the FBI “followed the established protocol” with Porter.
“Soon thereafter we received requests for follow-up inquiry and we did the follow-up and provided that information in November. And then we administratively closed the file in January,” he continued. “And then earlier this month we received some additional information and we passed that on as well.”
Russian hackers are already scanning American electoral systems, intelligence officials have said, and using bot armies to promote partisan causes on social media. Russia also appears eager to spread information — real and fake — that deepens political divisions, including purported evidence that ties Mr. Trump to Russia, and its efforts to influence the 2016 election.
“We expect Russia to continue using propaganda, social media, false-flag personas, sympathetic spokespeople, and other means of influence to try to exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States,” Mr. Coats said.
The White House has completely broken the whole idea of a security clearance.
How it should work:  Person gets interviewed for a job, then hired.  They submit an application to the FBI to handle important and classified information.  This check is slightly more invasive than a colonoscopy. While they do their check, you get an Interim Clearance.  If the FBI finds some shit in your background that would prevent you from getting a permanent clearance, then the White House, or whatever organization, would give you the chance to resign of your own accord and find a job outside of government.
How Trump does it:  After the FBI says that half the staff can’t pass a background check, ignore the FBI and let the people who shouldn’t be trusted with classified information keep handling classified information, even if, or because of, their susceptibility to being blackmailed.
Speaking of people who can’t get a security clearance…
Republicans who were so concerned about leaks of classified information during the last year are now pushing for the release of top secret information to the public, cherry-picked to undermine agencies for which they are meant to be stewards. From this point forward, the House Intelligence Committee’s assessment of the intelligence community should be met with skepticism by the public and Congress alike. When we look back on this administration in a few years, we believe this incident will be marked as one of the worst cases of politicization of intelligence in modern American history.
Special Counselor Robert Mueller has been all up in Facebook like “What now?  I can haz subpoena dox.”
Ok, I don’t meme well.
This is something we’ve known for a while, but Mueller has subpoenaed documents and information relating to Russia’s activities using Facebook during the election.
According to this report, a lot of employees were pissed at how much the Russians got away with and tried.  They wanted to speak out against it, but didn’t want to appear partisan.
So, we’re at the point that stopping a foreign power from committing an act of war is being too partisan.  Got it.
After telling her friends that she wouldn’t vote for Trump again “in a million years,” she expressed even more fear and apprehension for Mike Pence.
    “As bad as ya’ll think Trump is, you would be worried about Pence,” she said. “So everybody that’s wishing for impeachment might want to reconsider their lives. We would be begging for days of Trump back if Pence became president.”
    Why?
    “He’s extreme,” Omarosa said of the vice president. “I’m Christian. I love Jesus. But he thinks Jesus tells him to say things. I’m like, ‘Jesus ain’t say that.’ ” (In addition to being a “reality legend” Omarosa is an ordained minister.)
No matter how corrupt or crazy he is, remember… he’s a clogged artery away from having the Nuclear Football.
Buzzfeed is being sued by a Russian Oligarch and Michael Cohen for defamation of character.  Even though they are both public figures, and the bar for defamation is rather high in those cases, the easiest way to fight a defamation lawsuit is to prove the veracity of the claims.
No better way to shut up Michael Cohen than to show him his own travel records and expense reports.
Yesterday, the PA GOP submitted a “new” map.  This one was even more gerrymandered than the original.  So, naturally, Tom Wolf said “Fuck your map, and any maps that look like it.  I’ll make my own.”  Which is what he’s doing.  It’ll be up to the PA Supreme Court to either approve that one, or choose a map developed by a computer algorithm.
Personally, I want the computer to win.
RUMOR MILL:  WHERE’S RUDY?
Someone asked on Reddit today “Where’s Rudy?”  I couldn’t help but have fun with the answer.  I present to you “A Giuliani Carol.”
Rudy Giuliani has gone to ground.  He’s disappeared from the public spotlight.  Shortly after the Russian Investigation began, Rudy vanished.
Rumor has it he was one of the first ones visited by the Ghost of Crimesmas.  The ghost of Elliot Spitzer told him he would be visited by three spirits throughout the night.
The first spirit, a jolly firefighter covered in soot showed him his past as a prosecutor, the Mayor of NYC during 9/11, and his bid for President, when he lost the nomination to John McCain, after John sold out to the religious right.
The second spirit, a fat man in a beach chair, showed Rudy his recent past and present, talking with his friend Donald and cavorting with FBI Agents in New York, as they snicker and snort about an “October Surprise” involving some mails and a big wiener.
Though Rudy was defiant after the first two spirits, the third filled him with dread.  It was a tall man, wearing a dark suit, a pale complexion, and a thousand yard stare.  He said nothing, and made no sudden moves.  The tall, white-haired figure, walked slowly from room to room, with each room changing into a different image.  Each image shown to Rudy rocked him to his core.
The first showed his friends in the FBI being led into a room where they were arrested.  One of them pulled a gun, hoping to shoot his way out, but was killed by the other agents.
The next was a familiar building, tall and gilded, having the doors locked and equipment seized from it.  A large sign was placed on the door, saying that the building was now the property of the State of New York covered the front door.
The next room showed his friends, Don, JB, and Jared, being led into a paddy wagon by another old friend, Chris.
“My god.  What happened to Tiny Chris?  This isn’t like him at all.”
The spirit kept walking, not even recognizing that Rudy talked.
“Wait, where am I in all of this?  What happens to me?  WHAT HAPPENS TO ME!”
The spirit walks to another room.  This room has rows of chairs, looking at a smaller room with windows.  Inside the room is a table, a medical table with straps and one arm extended out.  A tray of equipment and chemicals stand to the side.  A man in doctor in scrubs, accompanied by two nurses, look up at a clock.  One nurse checks for a pulse.  Another doctor, and a man in a suit, stand off to the side of the room.  An older man lies motionless on the table.
“No pulse, no reps.”  says the nurse, matter of factly.
“Call it,” says the doctor along the side of the room.
The doctor in scrubs looks at the clock on the wall above him.  “Time of death, 12:01 AM.”
The staff walks out of the inner room.  The outer room, mostly empty save for a couple uninterested witnesses, starts to empty as well.
“WHY DID YOU SHOW ME THIS?!  PLEASE, ANSWER ME!  WHY DID YOU SHOW ME THIS?!”
The spirit methodically points his finger at the table, and Rudy takes a long, hard look.  He looks on at horror at the face of the man on the table.  That face, at first unrecognizable, yet instantly unmistakable.  A face that looks worn, tired, and haggard.  A face…
His face.  It’s Rudy’s face!  Rudy’s face is on the man on the table.  Rudy jumps away in horror at the scene he sees.  Rudy’s heartbeat quickens, his palms sweat, his vision blurs.  Everything around him becomes black.  The room disappears as Rudy falls back, and falls.  And falls.  And falls.
“NOOOO!”  Rudy shoots up in his bed in his New York apartment.  He’s home.  He’s safe.  He’s ALIVE!
“There’s still time.  There’s still time to change things.”  Rudy jumps out of bed, and runs over to his desk.
“Where is it?  Where is it?”  Rudy rips through his papers and business cards like a man possessed.  He knows the card he’s looking for.  A man from Washington gave him this card just the other day after they spoke.  The man said if he needed to talk about anything to give him a call.  Rudy’s eyes go round like saucer plates when he sees the card he was looking for.
“AH HA!  THERE YOU ARE!”  Without a moments hesitation, Rudy grabs his trusty flip phone from his his nightstand, and dials the number.  The phone rings twice before Rudy blurts out in excitement, “Yes, Special Counselor’s Office?  It’s Rudy.  I’d like to to talk to Robert, please. Mr. Mueller.”
That’s it for today.
Thank you, and have a good one.
“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”
– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 02/12/2018

Monday, February 12, 2018

FORMER NSA DIRECTOR SUSAN RICE EMAILED HERSELF AN ACCOUNT OF A MEETING ABOUT TRUMP AND RUSSIA

Jesus fucking tap-dancing Christ, just read this…

RiceEmail

The next paragraph was completely redacted.  The ending said that President Obama asked to be updated in the next couple weeks if there was any reason why things might change.  Comey said sure.

Let’s put this in perspective…

January 5th, 2017 was a few days after the Obama Administration dropped the sanction hammer on Russia, and instead of a response, the Russians held back.  This confused and surprised them, so they tried to find out why.  That’s when they discovered that Mike Flynn had talked to Ambassador Kysliak and told him to hold off until Trump is in office, then they’ll take care of the sanctions and make everything right.

They had evidence that there was a spy and a traitor on their way into the White House.  FBI Director James Comey would brief Trump on the Steele Dossier the very next day.  After that, he would update the group on what happened.

Fast forward to January 20th.  Trump is just sworn in, Susan Rice is out of a job as soon as she leaves the office, and her replacement Mike Flynn is busy texting about setting up deals in the Middle East.  Susan emailed herself a record of this meeting to create a paper  trail, to prevent this from being swept under the rug and forgotten.

Earlier today, Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsay Graham sent a letter to Susan Rice, asking her why she sent this “unusual email” to herself.

 

DEVIN NUNES WORKED WITH MIKE FLYNN

If anyone’s been wondering why Devin Nunes has been so hardcore about obstructing the investigation, it’s because he’s ear-deep in criminal shit.

NunesFlynn

So, that’s where we’re at.  Devin Nunes, a senior member of the Trump Transition Team, often served as a stand-in for Mike Flynn.  Mike Flynn, who accepted a charge of lying to the FBI in a plea deal for illegal shit he did during the Transition period.

If foreign leaders wanted to talk to Flynn but couldn’t reach him, they’d contact Devin Nunes.  The odds of him not being involved in some seriously criminal shit are smaller than my chances of a threesome with Marylin Monroe and Joan of Arc.

 

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL BRAND LEAVES PARTLY OVER FEAR SHE MIGHT BE ASKED OVERSEE RUSSIA PROBE

From the article…

Should Rosenstein be fired, Brand would be next in line to oversee Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, thrusting her into a political spotlight that Brand told friends she did not want to enter.

She has seen how Rosenstein has been treated, dragged through the mud, and abused over the past year.  If he’s fired, she’s next up, and doesn’t want to go through that.

So, she can either deal with a world of shit, or take a 7 figure payout from Walmart.  Hell, a greeters job might look preferable to running the investigation under Trump.

 

PENNSYLVANIA TO PUSH REPLACING OLDER VOTING MACHINES WITH ONES THAT LEAVE A PAPER TRAIL

While it’s not a full-blown order that all older voting machines must be replaced, it’s a step in the right direction.  Funds need to be approved for the budget, and at $3,000 per machine and 20,000 voting machines throughout the state, it’ll cost the state $60,000,000 to replace all of them.  Granted, not all of them need replacing, but that figure represents the largest amount it should cost to do this.

 

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S BUDGET WOULD ADD $7.2 TRILLION IN FEDERAL DEFICITS OVER 10 YEARS

Here’s the thing with Presidential Budgets, they’re a lot like Christmas Wish Lists.  They have a whole ton of crazy things like a pony, a quad, and parents who love and cherish their kid, but in reality they’ll be lucky to get a My Little Pony doll, a Hot Wheels car, and for their parents to remember their name.

This budget calls for cuts to every social program like Medicaid, SNAP, and PBS, increased spending on the Military, selling off roads and airports to raise capital, and doubling funding for Trump’s wall.

By the way, it blows up the deficit at a rate unseen since… the last Republican President.  Funny how Republicans only care about growing the deficit when it’s a Democratic President that proposes tax cuts and spending increases.

As it is, I’m highly doubtful that this will ever see the light of day. Why? To get this through both the House and Senate, it needs to have enough support to get a majority and a cloture majority, respectively.

Getting through the House is possible without any Democrats joining, but will require getting the Freedom Caucus on board.  They are the most obnoxious, odious, and offensive gaggle of Tea Partiers that have ever existed.  Two things they hate are helping poor people in any way shape and form, and increasing the deficit.  They might hate the poor more than they hate debt.

As far as the Senate goes, it will require at least 9 Democrats to pass, if not more.  While there are 5 Democratic Senators running for re-election in solid Red states, that still leaves at least 4 needed.  None of them will vote to cut Medicaid or PBS, or allocate $7.5 Billion for the wall.

There will have to be a compromise between the two houses of Congress, and agreement on what that will contain.

That said, join the fight at Protect My Public Media.  https://protectmypublicmedia.org

 

RUMOR MILL: NOT ALL RESISTORS ARE REAL, INFRASTRUCTURE WEEK, AND DONNIE JR’S WIFE GETS POWDERED

There were a couple stories from Twitter the last few days that were of interest.

First, more members of the Resistance are catching on to the fact that they’re being infiltrated by bots and trolls.  Hell, even I have gotten a few bots following me.  It’s good to see that others are catching on, and realizing that this is a setup for a future battle.  When the fecal matter strikes the mechanical air circulation device, expect these bots to go on the attack.  They will swarm and report the voices of the Resistance en masse.  That’s part of the reason why I do this blog.  When things go sideways, I have a record.

Also, once again it’s Infrastructure Week.  At least, that’s how it starts.  The last few times we saw this, gigantic developments in the Russian story occurred.  If the trend continues, expect something big, like finding out that Obama told the FBI Director that everything must be done “by the book.”  Oh, wait…

Finally, there was a story earlier today about Donnie Jr.’s wife getting rushed to the hospital after opening an envelope filled with a white powder.  Immediately after, Julian Assange claims the same thing happened to him last week from an envelope with an American stamp.  A few things don’t make sense with this story.  Donnie Jr. and his wife are both under United States Secret Service (USSS) protection.  Part of their standard operating procedure is to check incoming mail and packages for threats, weapons, and chemicals.  So, either this fell through the cracks, the USSS isn’t doing their job, or it’s a hoax/false flag.  As soon as J-Ass opened his mouth, I’m convinced it’s a false flag.  Expect to see a Twitter rant about this shit in the morning from the Dotard.

 

That’s it for today.  I’ve done quite a bit today on this blog, but there’s always more to do.  That’s one of the things I like and don’t like.  I can always find a new story idea.  I’m not sure what the new next one is, but I’ve wanted to write about Mueller’s Gameplan.  I think I can see where this is going, but there’s still quite a lot of unknowns involved.  Also, I’d like to expand on my alternate universe war gaming.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Voter Rolls – The Easy Target

One element of the Russian Investigation that has drawn a lot of attention is what the Russians hacked and why.

We know they hacked email accounts from the Democratic National Committee, and we’ve heard reports that they hacked the Republican National Committee as well.  They were hacked for compromising information.We know that they have hacked the emails of several journalists, and  they exploited Social Engineering techniques to manipulate people on FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media sites.  We’ve seen reports about how the state voter rolls were compromised, and how chaos was created at the polling places through DDoS’s and other methods.

But one thing we haven’t heard any reports about were the voting totals themselves. There have been rumors, reports, and analyses from the edges of the spectrum, but no reports from any official, semi-official, or under-the-table sources.

Why is that?

The fringes will say that this is because the real evidence of the scope of the corruption is being hidden and obfuscated from the public, because this would cause a complete and total collapse in the fabric of democratic society.  The official sources say that there was no evidence of vote totals being changed.  Then the fringes will say that the totals were changed without a trail, and talk about how easy it is to hack a voting machine, the official sources say that this isn’t how it works, then they start arguing with each other and calling each other names.

So, two groups people argue about whether or not the vote totals themselves were changed, while completely ignoring everything else that took place.

What do I think?

From what I’ve seen, there is not enough evidence to suggest that vote totals were changed.  Not only that, but they wouldn’t need to be changed, and the amount of effort needed to change them wouldn’t be worth the return on investment.  Instead, hacking the voter rolls would be more effective, require minimal effort, and would slide under the radar, not being detected until someone went digging.

 

THE HACKER MENTALITY

Before I go into details about how the American Voting System works, let me describe how a hacking a little bit, and what a hacker thinks.

When most people think of hackers, they think of some neckbeard sitting behind a keyboard punching out obscure code to bring down a secure server while sipping energy drinks and talking about how corruption of “The Man”.  Okay, that’s part of it, but there’s more to hacking than bad hygiene and a caffeine addiction.

Hacking is about exploring a system, finding the weakness inherit in the system. That weakness could be a code exploit, a network weakness, or a PEBKAC* weakness.  What they do with that information depends on the hacker.  Good hackers, or White Hats, will inform the system owner of the exploit and seek to get it fixed.  Evil hackers, or Black Hats, will use that information for nefarious means.  The morally ambiguous Grey Hats fall somewhere in the middle.

How do I know so much about this?  I’ve been in IT most of my life, and, when I was younger, many years ago, may or may not…

Look, I’m pretty sure EVERYTHING I might have done is beyond the Statute of Limitations, but I’m still not going to go into details.  Just in case.  Needless to say, I know the hacker mentality.

 

FINDING THE EXPLOIT

Any system designed by man or used by man can be defeated or compromised by man.  Whether it’s a security system, a computer network, or the mail server at a Fortune 500 company, anything can be broken into.

The questions that a hacker asks are “What is the end goal?”, “Is it worth the effort?”, “What’s the risk?”, and “Is there an easier way into the system?”

What is the end goal?

Most hackers go into a system with an end goal in mind.  It could be exploration, curiosity, trying to find incriminating evidence, grabbing information for personal gain, or getting access for future use.  Sometimes, it’s just to say “I did it.”

Is it worth the effort?

This part varies from hacker to hacker.  Sometimes, it’s an easy job, like a brute-force attack* to get into an email account when most of the password is known.  Other times, the hack could require months of work and weeks of meticulous planning, but the reward is amazing.

What’s the risk?

Once again, this varies from hacker to hacker, and job to job.  Getting access to a secured laptop containing a rival company’s secrets might carry some significant legal risk if caught, but is nothing compared to trying to get into the NSA’s database from the outside.  The biggest reason I greatly scaled down when I did was the penalties involved jumped up from a couple weeks in Juvi to several years in Federal prison.

Is there an easier way into the system?

This is a question that every decent hacker asks.  Is there an easier way to get what I need than what’s given.  Is there an easier way into the database than trying to hack it from an outside connection?  Can I get into the mail server from any computer in the company, or only some of them?  Could I get someone else to get me in to the building by pretending that I’m lost and on my way to an interview or presentation?

This is called finding the exploit.  Finding and researching the easiest way into the system.  IT Professionals, Disaster Recovery Specialists, Security Specialists, Mechanics, and Engineers do this all of the time.  They’ll study all of the aspects of a system, whether it’s a computer network, a data center, a shopping mall, a car, or a bridge, and look for ways to break it.  They’ll go out of their way to find new and exciting ways of destroying things, then redesign them to stand up to that weakness.

Hackers do the same thing.  They study a system, and look for the weakest part of it.  They’ll find the easiest way to do the most amount of work, or damage.  Sometimes, that easiest part is an open wireless network, or a known code exploit, or it’s person who doesn’t know how to use their computer.

 

DOING THE JOB

Now that the hacker has studied the system for an exploit, they have to find a way to pull it off.  An exploit can have multiple ways of being, well, exploited.

Let’s say that a hacker wants access to a corporate mail server so that they can read the mail of the board members, and while researching the system found that there’s a code exploit that allows for a program to sit on the server, hidden from the world, and silently forward all mail sent to selected people and groups to a dummy mailbox for future collection.  Anything that gets sent to Bill@Microsoft.com would get forwarded to some random and obscure mail account hosted in Azerbaijan.

But how does the hacker get the program on the server?

There’s a few different ways they could do this.  They could go phishing* for an employee or contractor to get them to run the program.  Similarly, they could go spear-phishing* to one of the board members directly, and get their login information so then the hacker could login as the board member and install the code themselves.  They could set the program up in some other file to run as a trojan* once it gets downloaded onto a computer.  They could execute a bit of social engineering* and get their way into the building with direct physical access to the computers.  They could set up a man-in-the-middle attack and pretend to be the help desk, after causing someone to call in a help ticket.  Or, they could brute force* their way in with Systems Administrator credentials.

How they go about doing the hack is up to their own personal interest and skills.  It only matters that it works.

 

WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH VOTER ROLLS?

Let’s say you’re Hacker Hackovsky, the famous Eastern European hacker, and you’ve been approached by a shady Mr. NOT-RUSSIAN speaking with a terrible American accent, to find a way to influence the American Presidential Election.  At first, you say no, but Mr. NOT-RUSSISAN drive a truckload of bitcoin up to your house, and says “We don’t need a win, we need chaos.  A win for our guy would be good, but chaos is better.”  After doing the math and realizing that this much bitcoin could be turned into real money somewhere, you accept the job.

You have a month to do research before deciding on the methods and targets.  During this month, you discover the following:

  • The American Voting System is ugly.  The voting machines change from state to state, and county by county.
  • Some machines are brand new with a paper trail, while others are more than 15 years old, and not connected to any network.
  • Vote totals are meticulously scrutinized.  A deviation of a couple votes in a polling place out of 1,000 could trigger a full-scale investigation.
  • Most towns and communities have individual polling places.
  • Several states have laws that require new voters to show ID before voting.
  • American Media is ugly, with multiple “sides” reporting the same story to the delight of their audiences.
  • The higher the population density, the more likely the populace is liberal.
  • Older white people love “our guy”, but the young and minorities don’t.
  • Social Media allows people to share ideas, regardless of the truth behind the claims.
  • There are a lot of Americans who do not use critical thinking skills, and therefore don’t ask if the person on the other side is even a person, let alone where they come from.
  • While each county has control over their individual voting machines, the states have control over the voter rolls, the list of who gets to vote where.
  • This list is stored on government databases maintained by each state.
  • While some states have caught up to modern times with security features and real-time change tracking, most of them are on old systems with no change tracking at all.
  • The couple months before the election are the busiest time for these voter rolls to be changed, and there’s little to no way to slow down access to them.
  • “Our Guy” has access to multiple national databases, including a health care company that can access all Americans based on address.  One of these databases includes all voters in America.
  • “Our Guy” also has access to a data analysis firm that can crunch all of this down to specific areas of the country to minimize the amount of work needed, allowing for microtargeting of people.
  • “Our Guy” is very divisive.  Violent extremists and racists love him.
  • “Our Guy” is running against “Her”, a woman that will make life miserable for your benefactor, should she be elected.
  • Two other minor candidates are running, and one of them, “The Other Woman”, is an asset and ally of the cause, and friendly to your benefactor.
  • “Our Guy” is a sore loser, and likely to whine about his loss for years.
  • You also have access to one of the most sophisticated propaganda machines in the world, and several friendly Americans that are willing to spread it, whether they know it or not.

Give the above, what’s the best course of action to cause chaos, and possibly get “Our Guy” elected?

Changing the vote totals at the machine level is out.  There are too many machines, and many of them require physical access.  That means having someone walk into a polling place, knowing the machine ahead of time, plug a USB drive in to the machine or connect an even older peripheral to it, and upload data to corrupt the vote totals.  All while standing in wide view of dozens of people, without drawing any attention.  Then, having to do this for multiple machines, per polling precinct, across the country.  Let’s say there’s 100,000 places to vote in the United States, and an average of 6 machines.  To affect half, this would require 300,000 people with direct access to the voting machines.  Then, those 300,000 would have to stay silent and execute the job perfectly.  Not gonna happen.

Changing the vote totals at the county or state levels are out, too.  There’s a very short window in which to operate, and these systems will be protected, monitored, checked, and double checked throughout the night.  The results have to be hand delivered to the county office under police guard, and once they’re certified, that paper trail will be used to show what it’s supposed to be.

So if you can’t change the vote totals, you can change who votes and how they vote.

How?  Alter the voter rolls, and target specific groups with the propaganda you want.

The voter rolls are different from state to state, but all have basic information like name, date of birth, address, precinct, party, and how often or last time they voted.  They likely also have a social security number, which is used as an ID number in a lot of systems, even though it shouldn’t be used that way.

What else uses SSN’s in their database?  Health care databases.  You could take data from the voter roll database, search for a matching SSN, then see if the information is up to date.  If it’s not, no need to worry, the person doesn’t live there and won’t vote.  If it does match, you could take that data, then see what their party is, how often they vote, and compare that to any active social media profiles that match, and compare that to known demographics and stats, like the likelihood that a Democrat who votes every year and follows progressive causes on FaceBook would vote for Trump.

Once this data is collected, you could determine whether propaganda or voter suppression is the best weapon for certain areas.

The propagandists can craft the messages that will get the best outcome to the right location.  You could buy advertising on Social Media to target largely white areas of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio with ads that show “Her” supporting the boogeyman of the day, whether it’s Muslims, Blacks, or Mexicans.  You could also have the propagandists craft a message showing “Her” attacking minorities and have it run in inner cities.  You could have them buy ads promoting “The Other Woman” as a protest vote, knowing that it would not affect “Our Guy.”

Meanwhile, you edit the voter rolls in states and cities where your work will have the greatest impact.  Choose states that require active checking of the voter rolls, like Texas, or have new Voter ID laws like Wisconsin or North Carolina.  Change some entries on the voter rolls, like middle initials, or street addresses, or zip codes.  Add or remove a Jr. suffix in the database.  Flip party affiliations.  Change the spelling of the last name.  Something small, innocuous, but devastating.  Remember, if the information on the ID doesn’t match what the voter rolls say it should be, they can’t vote.

One of these by themselves will create chaos, but all of it together has a small chance of electing “Our Guy”, but only if everything and everyone works.  It’s a stretch, but can be done with the resources available.  Meanwhile, changing the vote totals would require a small army and/or time travel to pull off, and if your plan requires time travel, it’s a bad plan.

 

THE HOUSE WITHOUT LOCKS

Any system made by man can be defeated by man.

When it comes to breaking into a house, or a computer, or a system, it’s not always about whether or not security is used, but whether the security is worth the hassle.

Think of a burglar looking for a house to rob.  They look at the security that each house has in place.  One has a fence, another an alarm system, another several REALLY BIG FUCKING DOGS, and another has absolutely nothing.  No deadbolt, no locks, no “Beware of Dog” sign, no alarm, no random gun crap lying around, nothing.  Each house has about the same stuff, but this one has no security.

Were the vote totals changed?  Highly unlikely.  The amount of time, effort, energy, and resources needed to pull that off would be astronomical, and would be outed faster closeted Bible-thumping politician.  The vote totals are the house with 10 locks, big dogs, and an alarm with camera controlled machine guns.

The voter rolls, on the other hand, are relatively unsecured.  They were easy to access, easy to change, and easy to manipulate.  They were the house with no locks, the windows are open, and the big screen TV is visible from the street.

So, that’s why there are no credible reports about the vote totals being hacked, but several confirmed reports of voter rolls being attacked.  Why change the vote totals themselves when suppressing those who can vote can be done for 1/100th the cost?

 

TERMINOLOGY

PEBKAC: Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair.  An IT acronym used to describe the location of an error.  Also called a PBKC error, it is used by IT technicians to describe a problem or issue created by a user.  If you’re IT person ever says this you, they’re a dick.

Brute Force Attack:  Repeatedly attempting to force ones way into a system, usually by attempting different passwords over and over again.  This is very effective on older systems without failed user login lockouts on a few attempts, or if most of the name and/or password are known.

Phishing:  A method of gaining access to a system by sending out bait and getting the user give over the required information, all while pretending to be a legitimate source.

Spear Phishing:  A focused phishing attack, targeting one member or small group, often including personalized information in the attack.

Trojan:  A piece of software, usually malware*, hidden in another piece of software to get it past security.

Man In The Middle:  A type of hacker attack where the user is tricked into communicating with a malicious third party, often while trying to contact a legitimate person.

Social Engineering:  The art of hacking people, businesses, and society.  Exploiting people and their weaknesses for personal benefit.  This could be done through researching the target and/or taking advantage of existing societal norms.

Malware:  Malicious Software.