Thursday, January 18, 2018

A COINCIDENTAL ENCOUNTER

Recently, yer old pal Jerky picked up his copy of fin-de-sciecle decadent author Joris-Karl Huysmans' late 19th century novel of Parisian Satanism, La-Bas, and was delighted to find, smack dab in the middle of an extended meditation on the evils of money, a word that has recently gained some notoriety on the international stage. You'll know it when you see it! - Jerky
The rules of money are precise and invariable. Money attracts money, money seeks to accumulate in the same places, money is naturally attracted to scoundrels and those who are entirely bereft of any talent. When, by an exception which proves the rule, money finds its way into the hands of a man who, though wealthy, is neither a miser nor has any murderous proclivities, it stands idle, incapable of creating a force for good, incapable of even making its way into charitable hands who would know how to employ it. One might almost say that it takes revenge for its misdirection, that it undergoes a voluntary paralysis whenever it enters into the possession of someone who is neither a born swindler nor a complete and utter dotard
When, by some extraordinary chance, it strays into the home of a poor man, money behaves even more inexplicably. It defiles immediately what was clean, transforms even the chastest pauper into a monster of unbridled lust and, acting simultaneously on the body and the soul, instils in its possessor a base egoism, not to mention an overweening pride, which insists that he spends every penny on himself alone; it makes even the humblest arrogant, and turns the generous person into a skinflint. In one second, it changes every habit, upsets ever idea, transforms the most deep-seated passions. 
Money is the greatest nutrient imaginable for sins of the worst kind, which in a sense it aids and abets. If one of the custodians of wealth so forgets himself as to bestow a boon or make a donation, it immediately gives rise to hatred in the breast of its recipient; by replacing avarice with ingratitude, the equilibrium is established again: a new sin is commissioned by every good deed which is committed. 
But the real height of monstrosity is attained when money, hiding the splendour of its name under the dark veil of the word, calls itself capital. At that moment its action is no longer limited to individual incitations to theft and murder, but extends across the entire human race. With a single word capital grants monopolies, erects banks, corners markets, changes people’s lives, is capable of causing millions to starve to death. 
And all the while that it does this, money is feeding on itself, growing fat and breeding in a bank vault; and the Two Worlds worship it on bended knee, melting with desire before it, as before a God.
Excerpt from La-Bas, by J.-K. Huysmans 
(translated into English as The Damned), 
Chapter 1, pp. 12/13

Friday, January 12, 2018

WHEN PAULY SHORE IS SCORING 3 POINTERS ON YOUR ADMINISTRATION...

...it's probably a sign your days are numbered. Kudos to Mr Shore, by the way. I didn't know he had it in him! I'll definitely be more receptive to any new work coming from him from hereon out.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

MUST READ ARTICLES OF THE MOMENT

I've been somewhat busy of late with contract work and other distractions, not to mention my New Year's resolution to not allow myself to get overly upset by things over which I have zero power to affect any change. Nevertheless, I've been trying to keep up with the latest news, and after reading a spate of excellent overviews describing the current American realpolitik, I figured I might as well update the old Daily Dirt Diaspora blog and share the wealth of excellent journalism. So why not bookmark the following four articles to read later... or heck, read them now if you've got an hour to burn! You won't regret it.



First up, Michael Wolff's incredible chronicle of the first year of Trump's purloined presidency, entitled "Donald Trump Didn't Want to be President", which (after a brief introduction) begins:
From the start, the leitmotif for Trump about his own campaign was how crappy it was, and how everybody involved in it was a loser. In August, when he was trailing Hillary Clinton by more than 12 points, he couldn’t conjure even a far-fetched scenario for achieving an electoral victory. He was baffled when the right-wing billionaire Robert Mercer, a Ted Cruz backer whom Trump barely knew, offered him an infusion of $5 million. When Mercer and his daughter Rebekah presented their plan to take over the campaign and install their lieutenants, Steve Bannon and Conway, Trump didn’t resist. He only expressed vast incomprehension about why anyone would want to do that. “This thing,” he told the Mercers, “is so fucked up.” 
Bannon, who became chief executive of Trump’s team in mid-August, called it “the broke-dick campaign.” Almost immediately, he saw that it was hampered by an even deeper structural flaw: The candidate who billed himself as a billionaire — ten times over — refused to invest his own money in it. Bannon told Kushner that, after the first debate in September, they would need another $50 million to cover them until Election Day. 
“No way we’ll get 50 million unless we can guarantee him victory,” said a clear-eyed Kushner.
“Twenty-five million?” prodded Bannon.
“If we can say victory is more than likely.” 
In the end, the best Trump would do is to loan the campaign $10 million, provided he got it back as soon as they could raise other money. Steve Mnuchin, the campaign’s finance chairman, came to collect the loan with the wire instructions ready to go so Trump couldn’t conveniently forget to send the money. 
Most presidential candidates spend their entire careers, if not their lives from adolescence, preparing for the role. They rise up the ladder of elected offices, perfect a public face, and prepare themselves to win and to govern. The Trump calculation, quite a conscious one, was different. The candidate and his top lieutenants believed they could get all the benefits of almost becoming president without having to change their behavior or their worldview one whit. Almost everybody on the Trump team, in fact, came with the kind of messy conflicts bound to bite a president once he was in office. Michael Flynn, the retired general who served as Trump’s opening act at campaign rallies, had been told by his friends that it had not been a good idea to take $45,000 from the Russians for a speech. “Well, it would only be a problem if we won,” ­Flynn assured them. 
Not only did Trump disregard the potential conflicts of his own business deals and real-estate holdings, he audaciously refused to release his tax returns. Why should he? Once he lost, Trump would be both insanely famous and a martyr to Crooked Hillary. His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared would be international celebrities. Steve Bannon would become the de facto head of the tea-party movement. Kellyanne Conway would be a cable-news star. Melania Trump, who had been assured by her husband that he wouldn’t become president, could return to inconspicuously lunching. Losing would work out for everybody. Losing was winning. 
Shortly after 8 p.m. on Election Night, when the unexpected trend — Trump might actually win — seemed confirmed, Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania was in tears — and not of joy.
There was, in the space of little more than an hour, in Steve Bannon’s not unamused observation, a befuddled Trump morphing into a disbelieving Trump and then into a horrified Trump. But still to come was the final transformation: Suddenly, Donald Trump became a man who believed that he deserved to be, and was wholly capable of being, the president of the United States.
Taken from Wolff's upcoming book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, (Amazon link takes you to the book) this article paints a shocking portrait of incompetence and hubris at the highest levels of earthly power, and should serve as a bracing wake up call to the Establishment that the time is more than ripe for taking desperate steps to correct the course of the Ship of State. Every American (and everyone else) needs to read it.

***


Next up, at the New Yorker, we have Evan Osnos' chilling explanation as to how, despite all the bellicose rhetoric to the contrary, the Trump regime is Making China Great Again. After an intriguing introduction about the rise in nationalist themes in Chinese popular cinema, it reads in part:
China has never seen such a moment, when its pursuit of a larger role in the world coincides with America’s pursuit of a smaller one. Ever since the Second World War, the United States has advocated an international order based on a free press and judiciary, human rights, free trade, and protection of the environment. It planted those ideas in the rebuilding of Germany and Japan, and spread them with alliances around the world. In March, 1959, President Eisenhower argued that America’s authority could not rest on military power alone. “We could be the wealthiest and the most mighty nation and still lose the battle of the world if we do not help our world neighbors protect their freedom and advance their social and economic progress,” he said. “It is not the goal of the American people that the United States should be the richest nation in the graveyard of history.”

Under the banner of “America First,” President Trump is reducing U.S. commitments abroad. On his third day in office, he withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a twelve-nation trade deal designed by the United States as a counterweight to a rising China. To allies in Asia, the withdrawal damaged America’s credibility. “You won’t be able to see that overnight,” Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of Singapore, told me, at an event in Washington. “It’s like when you draw a red line and then you don’t take it seriously. Was there pain? You didn’t see it, but I’m quite sure there’s an impact.”
In a speech to Communist Party officials last January 20th, Major General Jin Yinan, a strategist at China’s National Defense University, celebrated America’s pullout from the trade deal. “We are quiet about it,” he said. “We repeatedly state that Trump ‘harms China.’ We want to keep it that way. In fact, he has given China a huge gift. That is the American withdrawal from T.P.P.” Jin, whose remarks later circulated, told his audience, “As the U.S. retreats globally, China shows up.” 
For years, China’s leaders predicted that a time would come—perhaps midway through this century—when it could project its own values abroad. In the age of “America First,” that time has come far sooner than expected.
At the link, the New Yorker thoughtfully offers an audio link so you can listen, instead of read.

***


And, finally on the Trump front, Politico's Susan Glasser reports on how the rest of the world is reacting to Trump's Year of Living Dangerously. Scoop? They're none too pleased.
When President Donald Trump sat down for dinner on September 18 in New York with leaders of four Latin American countries on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly, anxieties were already running high. 
There was the matter of Mexico and his promise to build that “big, beautiful wall,” presumably to keep not just Mexicans but all of their citizens out of the United States too. And the threat to blow up the North American Free Trade Agreement. And then, a month earlier, seemingly out of nowhere, Trump had volunteered that he was considering a “military option” in Venezuela as that country’s last vestiges of democracy disappeared. Amid the international furor over his vow to rain down “fire and fury” on North Korea in the same golf-course press conference, the news that the president of the United States was apparently considering going to war with its third-largest oil supplier had gotten relatively little attention. But the leaders from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Panama invited to the dinner remembered it well. 
So, it turned out, did Trump. After the photo op was over and the cameras had left the room, Trump dominated the long table. His vice president, Mike Pence, was to his right; Pence had just spent nearly a week on a conciliatory, well-received tour of the region, the first by a high-ranking administration official since Trump’s inauguration. To Trump’s left was his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson. “Rex tells me you don’t want me to use the military option in Venezuela,” the president told the gathered Latin American leaders, according to an account offered by an attendee soon after the dinner. “Is that right? Are you sure?” Everyone said they were sure. But they were rattled. War with Venezuela, as absurd as that seemed, was clearly still on Trump’s mind. 
By the time the dinner was over, the leaders were in shock, and not just over the idle talk of armed conflict. No matter how prepared they were, eight months into an American presidency like no other, this was somehow not what they expected. A former senior U.S. official with whom I spoke was briefed by ministers from three of the four countries that attended the dinner. “Without fail, they just had wide eyes about the entire engagement,” the former official told me. Even if few took his martial bluster about Venezuela seriously, Trump struck them as uninformed about their issues and dangerously unpredictable, asking them to expend political capital on behalf of a U.S. that no longer seemed a reliable partner. “The word they all used was: ‘This guy is insane.’”

And so, in the words of this article's author: “I’ve come to believe that when it comes to Trump and the world, it’s not better than you think. It’s worse.”

***

And finally, if you didn't already think the Democrats fucked up big time by forcing Al Franken to give up his Senatorial seat over FUCKING GODDAMN NOTHING, then this Daily Beast article by Michael Tomasky should set you straight. It begins:
Sometime today, Al Franken will resign his Senate seat. The Democrats are hoping for a banner year, and from all indicators it looks like they’ll have one, and I hope they do—if they take back one house, this horrid Trump/GOP agenda is done for. 
But the Democrats’ 2018 is sure getting off to a dubious start. Franken should not be going. When he announced his resignation on December 7, I wrote a column saying that Democrats would come to regret what they’d done to him. Nevertheless, I wrote, his resignation was probably the right and necessary thing under the circumstances. 
The Twitter response to the piece was huge—about four or five times the normal response I get. And it was, as near as I can remember, literally unanimously in defense of Franken. This made me start rethinking things. Yes, I still think the Democrats will regret this. But was his resignation really the right and necessary thing? 
For three weeks, I've been sitting around wondering why no pollster was asking Minnesota's voters. It was astonishing to me that no one bothered. That was apparently that, and we’d so easily moved on. But now, someone has polled it, and the PPP survey of 671 Minnesotans taken the two days after Christmas says precisely what I and a lot of other people expected it to say.
And that's all for today. More soon, if I can get to it.

Friday, December 22, 2017

KOCH SCION TO "EARN" BUNDLE$ THANKS TO GOP TAX SCAM

If you haven't heard of Wyatt IngraHAM Koch yet, then you obviously weren't perusing much social media over the last couple days. Check out this 3 minute video from MSNBC and learn everything you could ever possibly need to know about this sweaty ginger porkerand his bullshit "shirt business". 


Gonna level with you, folks... it's difficult for me to even begin to fathom how people like this can actually exist. So I decided to make a "funny graphic" in his honor. Can YOU name all the cultural references that I've snuck into this image? 


Thursday, December 14, 2017

FOR ANY IDIOTS STILL SAYING THERE'S "NO PROOF" OF A TRUMP/RUSSIA CONSPIRACY

Yet another must-read, must-understand, must-share Tweetstorm from the indispensable Seth Abramson, this time a response to all those alt-right morons who say there's "no evidence" of a conspiracy between the Trump organization and Russian government and criminal elements, and the alt-left tankies who agree with them, because they, too, secretly believe that America belongs on the ash-heap of history, even though they're too chickenshit to say it out loud. - Jerky



(THREAD) From Russian payments to Trump advisors to failing to register as foreign agents working for Putin allies—from perjury to illegal solicitation of campaign donations from the Kremlin—here's a non-exhaustive summary of known Trump-Russia ties. Hope you'll read and share.

#1: In March of 2016, Papadopoulos reveals to Trump—face-to-face—he's a Kremlin intermediary sent to establish a Trump-Putin backchannel (he says Putin is favorably disposed to Trump's candidacy). Trump then and there orders Gordon to coordinate a pro-Kremlin GOP platform change.

#2: In June 2016, Don Jr. knowingly attends a meeting with—and set up by—Kremlin agents. He asks the Kremlin for what he has reason to believe is illegally acquired Clinton material. Afterwards, he (allegedly) tells no one. When caught, he lies about every aspect of the meeting.

#3: In April, July and September of 2016 Sessions meets Russian Ambassador Kislyak in settings in which Russian sanctions are discussed. He holds the latter two meetings *after* it's known Russia is cyber-attacking America. He lies about these contacts under oath before Congress.

#4: Kislyak egregiously violates longstanding diplomatic protocol to attend—as a guest of the Trump campaign—a major Trump foreign policy speech. Having been invited to the speech as a VIP, Kislyak sits in the front row as Trump promises Putin's Russia "a good deal" on sanctions.

#5: Flynn—aided and abetted by Kushner and the full Presidential Transition Team—illegally conducts sanctions and resolution negotiations with Russia during the 2016 transition. When asked about it by the FBI, he lies. When the lies are published, no one on the PTT corrects them.

#6: Carter Page travels to Moscow under the guise of an academic conference—in fact, he meets with top Kremlin officials and top Rosneft executives, speaking with both about Russian sanctions just as the Steele Dossier alleges. When questioned about his activities, he lies on TV.

#7: Trump campaign manager Manafort and Sessions aide Gordon aggressively push to change the GOP platform to benefit Putin under direct orders from Trump. When asked about Trump's involvement, they lie to the media; when asked about their own involvement, they lie to the media.

#8: Shortly after the inauguration, it's revealed that Trump has been holding onto a secret plan to unilaterally drop all sanctions against Russia for months—a plan he's never before revealed, which would *reward* Russia for cyber-attacking America during a presidential election.

#9: When Trump learns the FBI Director plans to indict his ex-National Security Advisor, he fires him—first lying about his reason for doing so, then eventually admitting he did it due to "the Russia thing." Later—in an Oval Office conversation with Russians—he repeats the claim.

#10: In an Oval Office meeting into which no U.S. media are allowed (foreshadowing a meeting with Putin in which no U.S. translators would be allowed), Trump deliberately leaks classified Israeli intelligence to the Russians, who are allies of Israel's (and America's) enemy—Iran.

#11: In late 2016, Kushner and Flynn smuggle Kislyak into Trump Tower to secretly discuss the creation of a clandestine—Kremlin-controlled—Trump-Putin backchannel only a few principals would know about. The men don't disclose the meeting or plan, which would constitute espionage.

#12: In May 2016, Trump NatSec advisor Papadopoulos makes secret trips to Athens to make contact with Kremlin allies. During the second trip, Putin's also there—to discuss sanctions. It's his only trip to an EU nation during the campaign. Papadopoulos meets the same men as Putin.

#13: In 2013, Trump and Putin's developer sign a letter-of-intent to build Trump Tower Moscow—a deal requiring Putin's blessing that only goes forward when Putin dispatches to Trump his permits man and banker. Trump and principals lie about the deal—and events at the Ritz Moscow.

#14: Just before Trump's inauguration, Trump's lawyer Cohen and ex-Russian mobster Sater secretly meet with a pro-Russia Ukrainian politician to help ferry a secret Kremlin-backed "peace deal" to Flynn, Trump's National Security Advisor. All involved then lie about their actions.

#15: After it's publicly revealed Russia is waging cyberwar on America, Trump publicly and in all seriousness invites the Kremlin to continue cyber-attacking America if doing so will result in the theft and release of his opponent's private emails. He never retracts the request.

#16: Trump advisors Bannon, Prince, Flynn, Don Jr., Giuliani and Pirro are involved—to varying degrees—in leaking, sourcing, disseminating, and legitimizing a false "True Pundit" story that seeks to use fraud to blackmail the FBI into indicting Clinton. Russian bots pump it also.

#17: Trump's top advisors—including Manafort, Sessions, Flynn, Clovis, Page, Papadopoulos, Cohen, Sater, Don Jr, Kushner, Prince, Dearborn, Gordon, Gates, Stone and others—lie about or fail to disclose Russia contacts or key conversations on Russian efforts to collude with Trump.

#18: For many months after Trump begins his run, he is secretly working under a letter-of-intent with Russian developers to build Trump Tower Moscow. The deal—brokered by Cohen and Sater—allegedly falls apart only when Putin's top aide won't return an email from Trump's attorney.

#19: In 2008, Don Jr. privately tells investors that "a disproportionate percentage" of the Trump Organization's money comes from Russia—a fact later confirmed by Eric Trump. Trump Sr. then becomes the first presidential candidate in decades to refuse to release his tax returns.

#20: Though he's fully briefed on Russia's cyberwar against America in August 2016, Trump publicly denies it—calling the U.S. intel community Nazis—while accepting Putin's denials he's done anything wrong and proposing the U.S. create a cybersecurity task force with the Kremlin.

BONUS: Though he knows by August 2016 that Russia is committing crimes against America, Trump still lets his top NatSec advisor, Sessions, negotiate sanctions with Kislyak—presumably Trump's plan for a unilateral dropping of sanctions. This is Aiding and Abetting Computer Crimes.

BONUS: During the transition, Trump's son-in-law Kushner secretly meets with Putin's banker—after which discussion the two men disagree wildly as to what they discussed, suggesting that whatever the topic was, it was clandestine. Kushner won't reveal the meeting for many months.

BONUS: Advisors to the Trump campaign, including Trump Jr. and Stone, have contacts with WikiLeaks and/or Russian hackers—the timeline of which conversations dovetails perfectly with consequential changes in behavior by one or both of the parties (including Trump's stump speech).

BONUS: When Acting AG Yates warns Trump that Flynn—his National Security Advisor—has been compromised by Russia, Trump fires her and keeps Flynn on board for 18 days. Either he lies to Pence about what he knows on this or both Trump and Pence lie to America about their knowledge.

PS: People have long asked me for a one-link summary of what we know—which is only a fraction of what Mueller knows—in the Trump-Russia probe. My pinned thread, viewable with a button-click, aims to be that. If you know *anyone* confused by the probe, please share it with them.

***
And here's Part Two, with even more evidence of a coordinated conspiracy. - Jerky

#1: Below is a link to Part 1 of the series, which itemizes 24 discrete Trump-Russia ties. Remember: the ties detailed here are a fraction of what Special Counsel Mueller knows; we mustn't pretend the damning evidence we have is *all* the damning evidence.

(see above)

#2: Trump NatSec advisor Erik Prince secretly traveled to UAE at the command of the UAE's Royal Family so he could have a clandestine meeting *on Russia sanctions* with a top Putin ally—the Russian Direct Investment Fund manager. Prince lied to Congress about all aspects of this.

#3: Trump NatSec advisor Flynn secretly worked with Trump pal Thomas Barrack and Iran-Contra criminal Robert "Bud" McFarlane to lobby Trump to drop Russia sanctions—the better to make money off a deal to bring nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia via Russian-built nuclear reactors.

#4: In 2002, Trump tried to rig the Miss Universe pageant—by leaning illegally on judges—to award the title to Miss Russia, whose two boyfriends at the time were a) one of the top real estate developers in Saint Petersburg, a market Trump wanted access to, and b) Vladimir Putin.

#5: In 2003, Trump was saved from bankruptcy by the sudden, miraculous appearance of Russian mobster Felix Sater in his orbit. Sater found Trump new partners and tenants—often, Russians—and they helped make Trump rich again. Trump then perjured himself over whether he knew Sater.

#6: Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort was secretly contacting Putin ally Oleg Deripaska during the 2016 presidential campaign, at one point promising him special access to the Trump campaign—and to Trump's thinking on Russia policy—via clandestine "briefings" on those topics.

#7: After it was revealed Don Jr. met Kremlin agents at Trump's house—Trump Tower—at a time Trump was in the building and meeting with Don, Jared, and Manafort on the same topics they met the Kremlin agents to discuss, Trump witness-tampered by writing his son's false statement.

#8: Trump's campaign hired Bannon/Mercer-run Cambridge Analytica to target voters via "psychographics." There's evidence Cambridge Analytica leaked its data to the Kremlin to aid its massive propaganda campaign. Emails *from Cambridge Analytica to WikiLeaks* have been discovered.

#9: *After* it was known Trump's NatSec team had met to talk Russia policy and receive orders from Trump on sanctions, Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied—from the White House—on how many times the team met. She said once—it was three times, plus innumerable group calls and email chains.

#10: Trump National Security Advisor Flynn dined with Putin in Moscow during the presidential campaign—*while he was advising Trump*. He admits they discussed Russia policy. The chances he didn't brief the man he was advising on what Putin said—and what Flynn said back—are *nil*.

#11: Trump selected as Secretary of State a man who didn't want the job, wasn't qualified, and has revealed himself to be as bad at it as anticipated. But Tillerson had one qualification—he's not just a Putin pal, but had received the *Russian Order of Friendship Medal* from him.

#12: During the presidential campaign—while he was a Trump NatSec advisor—Trump's future National Security Advisor Mike Flynn received tens of thousands of dollars directly from Kremlin propaganda network RT. He then lied about it on TV and failed to disclose it on federal forms.

#13: Months ago, both houses of Congress voted overwhelmingly—517 to 5—to impose new sanctions on Russia for its massive election interference campaign (correctly classified as "cyber-war") on the United States. Trump is now protecting Putin by refusing to impose those sanctions.

#14: Three of Trump's top NatSec advisors—Schmitz, Gordon, Page—went to Budapest in 2016. Budapest is the European HQ for Russia's FSB. It was Gordon's sixth trip to the tiny EU nation in recent years; Page admits meeting an unnamed Russian; *no one knows* what Schmitz was doing.

#15: In 2013, the Trumps developed close business and personal ties with the Agalarovs—a Kremlin-linked family of oligarchs who've acted as Putin agents before (including delivering gifts to Trump from Putin). Trump stayed in touch with them throughout the presidential campaign.

#16: Alexander Torshin—a Putin-linked Russian banker and "long-time Trump acquaintance"—met Trump at an NRA conference weeks before Trump announced his run, then tried to set up a secret Putin-Trump meet in May 2016. He then tried to secretly meet Trump at an event this February.

#17: At a time it was *widely known* that the way to reach Trump was to send an email to Hope Hicks—Trump doesn't use email—Russian intelligence did so several times, suggesting they felt Hicks and Trump would be amenable to the contacts. The FBI had to warn Hicks not to respond.

#18: In 2004, Trump bought a Miami mansion no one wanted for $40 million. After making no improvements to either the land or the property and failing to sell it for *four years*, in 2008 Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev—facing no competing offers—gave him $95 million for it.

#19: In 2014, Eric Trump told reporter James Dodson his father got "all the funding he needed" for his golf courses—a big part of his financial portfolio—from Russian banks. Dodson had no reason to lie, but Eric denied it vehemently—underscoring how dangerous that truth would be.

#20: Trump made his Campaign Manager a man who'd been out of politics for years and is known largely not just for working on behalf of Putin allies in Ukraine but having angled for years to do direct propaganda work for the Kremlin itself—outreach which has since been documented.

BONUS: Fears that the Kremlin recorded "kompromat"—blackmail—on Trump at the Ritz Moscow in November 2013 have been stoked by Trump's repeated lies about his trip, his bodyguard's confession it could've happened, and as many as eight witnesses found by the BBC and intel agencies.

BONUS: After Trump's son Don began engaging in a back-and-forth correspondence with Russian front-operation WikiLeaks in September 2016, the Trump campaign responded to WikiLeaks' pro-Trump overtures by inserting praise of WikiLeaks into then-candidate Trump's daily stump speech.

BONUS: The 4 ambassadors Trump invited to the VIP event before his first foreign policy speech (Mayflower Hotel, 4/27/16)—that'd be 4 of a possible 195—all *breached diplomatic protocol to attend* and were all from nations involved in Russia's sanctions-impacted Rosneft oil deal.

BONUS: Trump has repeatedly angled—almost *desperately*—for private meetings with Putin, including orchestrating pretenses for them. Each time they've met, they've exceeded the allotted time for such a meeting by 300% and breached protocol in how the meetings have been conducted.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

MIRROR: SETH ABRAMSON'S INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT TWEET-STORM RE: TRUMP TREASON

If we are fortunate enough to come through the current civilizational crisis unscathed and with our faculties intact, and future historians take it upon themselves to try and piece together precisely how the interlocking network of treasonous conspirators that I have dubbed the New Fascist International could so swiftly and easily hijack the commanding heights of American power, I believe they will find the contributions of Twitter All-Star Seth Abramson to be of paramount importance to their work. I humbly beg you all to read every word of Seth's recent research, to really try and grapple with the full implications of it, even if that means re-considering some of your previous beliefs. I also urge you to share this information with your friends and family. - Jerky
***

(THREAD) It's time to tell the biggest untold story of the 2016 election: how a cadre of pro-Trump FBI agents and intel officers—some active, some retired—conspired to swing the election to Trump. The story involves Flynn, Prince, Giuliani, and others. Hope you'll read and share.



1/ True Pundit is a pro-Trump fake news site that began publishing on June 9, 2016—the day that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort met with Kremlin agents in Trump Tower to discuss the Kremlin's provision to the Trump campaign of incriminating material on Clinton.

2/ True Pundit would quickly reveal itself as having the same agenda Trump Jr. had when he met with Kremlin agents on the day True Pundit launched: its mission would be to destroy Clinton's candidacy by uncovering incriminating material about her—particularly via her emails.

3/ All articles on True Pundit are published anonymously. The only person publicly associated with the website operates under a pseudonym—"Thomas Paine." (Thomas Paine, a Founding Father of the United States, was instrumental in convincing the colonies to rebel against Britain.)

4/ From June 9, 2016 to June 12, 2016, it seemed clear True Pundit had been started up in a hurry—it published dozens of stories but no original reporting. More than 95% of stories were simply links to other sources, while True Pundit "originals" were two-sentence news summaries.

5/ Many of True Pundit's early news sources were predictable: Breitbart, The Daily Caller, InfoWars, The New York Post, The Washington Examiner, The Washington Free Beacon, Fox News, and The Daily Beast. Breitbart was far and away the most commonly linked-to website at the time.

6/ But True Pundit also, in its first three days, occasionally linked to mainstream news sources like The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, NBC, ESPN, Reuters, The Guardian (UK), The Telegraph (UK), and The Independent (UK).

7/ That said, in its first 72 hours True Pundit also linked to two Russian news sources—RT and Sputnik—an intelligence-oriented site called "Intel News," and several fringe-right publications. A typical link assured readers Clinton would destroy America:

link

8/ Then, on June 12th, 2016, the Orlando nightclub shooting occurred—and it seemed a switch had been turned on. True Pundit had its story. The site meticulously covered Omar Mateen, the 29 year-old from a moderate Muslim family who killed 49 people at an LGBT club called "Pulse."

9/ It's important to know that of the site's first several dozen stories pre-June 12, only one was both a) not a link to another source, and b) more than two sentences. This story—about the July DNC—claimed True Pundit (just 3 days old) had "police" and "security expert" sources.


10/ It must've seemed odd to any readers of True Pundit in those first 72 hours of operation to read that the Philly publication already had *multiple* sources in the Philadelphia Police Department and *multiple* Philly-based "recognized security expert" sources—but so they said.

11/ But Mateen changed everything. Suddenly True Pundit was publishing what it said were original ("exclusive") stories, all of which relied—or claimed to—on FBI sources. Not just one source, but multiple—and not just random sources, but sources close to the Pulse investigation.


12/ The mystery of this was dispelled almost immediately, when True Pundit wrote the following in an "exclusive" on Mateen after the shooting: "True Pundit has folks who worked for the FBI and other agencies on staff." It then claimed to have "unique insight" into FBI operations.


13/ Whether or not True Pundit really had ex-FBI staff, no reader could possibly know. But what was clear was that True Pundit was obsessed with the FBI, had—at a minimum—some basic knowledge of criminal investigation, and was very, very, angry at the current state of the Bureau:


14/ Two things must be noted here: first, that the complaint True Pundit has about the FBI—that it radically underestimates the threat of Islamist terrorism and values HUMINT too little in fighting terrorism—are exactly the anti-terror complaints Mike Flynn has widely publicized.

15/ Second, if True Pundit had told the truth about itself, it meant (a) the very purpose of the website was to give ex-FBI agents an opportunity to complain about the Bureau, and (b) the site's M.O. in doing so would be to use as sources current FBI agents upset with the Bureau.

16/ Keep in mind that, by June 2016, the FBI had already been investigating Hillary Clinton's emails for eleven months—since July of 2015. Indeed, the FBI's investigation into Clinton's emails had begun at almost exactly the same time Donald Trump announced his presidential run.

17/ Keep in mind, too, that True Pundit was launched less than a month before then-FBI Director James Comey announced—on July 5, 2016—that the Bureau was not going to bring charges against Clinton. By mid-June, current FBI agents would've just learned no charges were forthcoming.

18/ Rudy Giuliani would later describe the anti-Clinton elements at the FBI as being, during Summer/Fall 2016, not just "angry" but "boiling," and not just "boiling" but on the brink of "revolution."

True Pundit appears to have been an outgrowth of that.


19/ So this is where I point out that there was one *other* story—besides the Omar Mateen story—that True Pundit was positively obsessed with (and doing "exclusive" reporting on, using FBI sources) during its first week: Hillary Clinton's emails and the FBI investigation thereof.

20/ Just 96 hours into its existence, True Pundit was running a *multi-part* "exclusive" on an FBI probe the site's authors' friends in the Bureau were conducting. The reports cited "intelligence sources" with extensive knowledge of the FBI investigation.


22/ You have to understand the level of access to current FBI agents True Pundit was then claiming to have: the site, which had started up *less than 100 hours prior*, was claiming to have *exclusive* knowledge of *prior FBI contacts* with the nation's then-most infamous killer.


23/ By June 13, 2016, it was clear that True Pundit was a political outfit: it had quoted from and linked to a Trump press release, and had mercilessly attacked the Democratic candidate for president. Any active FBI agent speaking to True Pundit was—already—a Hatch Act violation.

24/ Here's all the info you need on the Hatch Act.

It applies to the FBI and—while not a criminal statute—a violation of the Hatch Act is a violation of federal law and would get you fired from federal employment immediately (assuming a serious breach).

25/ So here's where things get complicated. Beginning in mid-June 2016, True Pundit switches to all original "reporting" and begins publishing longer stories. It is relentlessly right-wing: anti-immigration, pro-Second Amendment, pro-Trump, virulently anti-Clinton and anti-Obama.

26/ It also takes a hard turn into anti-Clinton fake news within its first week—as the story below demonstrates.

27/ But here's what you *really* need to understand: the FBI quickly became aware of this website—at the highest levels—and *acknowledged*, internally, that the people behind True Pundit had access to intel from *current* FBI agents.

Even *James Comey* was aware of True Pundit.

28/ And it *matters* that James Comey was (a) aware of True Pundit, and (b) believed they had sources within the FBI.

Moreover, it *matters* that he knew—and he did—that True Pundit was angling for sources *inside* the Clinton probe, and that Comey's deputy thought he had them.

29/ Documents acquired via FOIA requests by (of all organizations) Judicial Watch reveal that Andrew McCabe, Comey's deputy, believed that True Pundit had "heavyweight" sources within the FBI. While Comey was skeptical, he *acknowledged* the sources were *definitely* FBI sources.

30/ When McCabe forwarded a True Pundit story to Comey on October 24, 2016, calling its source on Clinton "heavyweight," Comey demurred, saying "This still reads to me like someone not involved in the investigation at all, maybe somebody who heard rumors."

31/ The date here matters, as does Comey's response. This was the week Comey ultimately decided to go to Congress with his decision to reopen the Clinton case—and in using the word "still," we hear Comey's anxiety about the possibility details of the Clinton FBI probe would leak.

32/ It's clear from this email that True Pundit was a source McCabe thought active FBI agents on the Clinton case might consider leaking to, and Comey by no means dismissed that possibility. Why does it matter? Because it was *this* fear of a leak that *led* to The Comey Letter.

33/ The New York Times has written that Comey reopened the Clinton investigation—which decision FiveThirtyEight polling appears to confirm cost Clinton the election—because he felt news of "new" Clinton emails (from Anthony Wiener's PC) was "sure to leak."

34/ So, to recap: on October 24, 2016, Andrew McCabe warns his boss Jim Comey that True Pundit has access to "heavyweight" FBI sources—clearly implying *sources within the Clinton probe*. 72 hours later, Comey writes the "Comey Letter" because he's "sure" probe details will leak.

35/ Things are about to get confusing, so let me just step back and say that from mid-June 2016 to October 2016 True Pundit had become a big deal—they were getting regularly retweeted and discussed by right-wing media outlets. Including—by the way—WikiLeaks. (More on that later.)

36/ So while the fact that True Pundit had routinely published fake news was widely known by October 2016, so was the fact that it was run by men who purported to be ex-FBI and who credibly claimed to have FBI sources. The few times they were *right* were when they had FBI intel.

37/ But understand something else: within 60 days of its creation, True Pundit had become a "darling" of the 600 Russian Twitter accounts that routinely pushed anti-Clinton propaganda as part of the Kremlin's interference campaign. And True Pundit knew it.

38/ USA Today: "[Thomas Paine] did not deny playing a part in the Russian network's information operation....'we are flattered to be accused of participating in disinformation campaigns for government because as a startup that's the exact time-tested model we've been emulating.'"

39/ While USA Today wouldn't write about True Pundit until August 2017, the time-period of True Pundit's influence they're discussing—Summer/Fall 2016—is when Paine was proudly "participating in a [Russian] disinformation campaign" but *also* causing the FBI real fear over leaks.

40/ So I think this is a good time for you to hear Thomas Paine's voice. Here's a lengthy interview he gave (of course not giving his name or allowing his likeness to be visible, as he knew—and we'll discuss this more shortly—his operations were illicit).



41/ Paine: "We started True Pundit as a way of doing something—instead of sitting around and complaining—when Clinton was running for president. We figured we would get some of the guys from the old band together—[unintelligible]-type guys and some intel guys we all worked with."

42/ So what these ex-FBI and intel guys did is libel Clinton for the 150 days leading up to the 2016 election. What they specialized in was falsely accusing her of crimes. On October 2, 2016, it was that Clinton had tried to order Julian Assange's murder.

43/ On September 29, 2016, True Pundit's false claim—immediately echoed, like many True Pundit stories, by RT, the Kremlin-backed TV station—was that there was a criminal conspiracy between Clinton and Facebook (ironic now, I know) to steal the election.

44/ In early September 2016, True Pundit claimed, falsely citing NYPD sources—as it often would (and this fact will become important)—that Clinton was wearing an invisible earpiece during a live "town hall" on NBC.
link

45/ As the election approached, the fake news coming from True Pundit often focused on false claims that Clinton had a major medical condition she was hiding. Again, these claims got spread from True Pundit to Russian media—and True Pundit *knew* about it.
link

46/ The same day True Pundit launched its fake news about a Clinton-ordered drone strike on the founder of WikiLeaks, the New York field office of the FBI took possession of Anthony Wiener's computer from NYPD—this was October 2, 2016. Comey knew the FBI was getting the computer.

47/ Unfortunately, the same FBI field office that had been occasionally leaking to True Pundit about the Clinton email investigation over the summer was the one now in possession of Wiener's computer—so when Comey instructed them to see if it had any new emails, they ignored him.

48/ Here's where I have to incorporate the entirety of an article I wrote last December for The Huffington Post about what the pro-Trump agents in "Trumplandia" (the New York field office of the FBI) did when Comey told them to work on the Wiener computer.

link

49/ We now know that Wiener's computer had only duplicate Clinton emails on it. But at the time Comey didn't know that. In fact, that's what he wanted his agents to find out—and IT experts will tell you that it wouldn't have taken long to get a sense that that was the situation.

50/ Instead, Comey's agents *sat* on the computer, doing no meaningful work on it—certainly nothing that would confirm or deny whether it had any *new* (let alone inculpatory) evidence on it. Comey didn't find out his agents had done nothing he'd asked them to until late October.

51/ What the New York field office of the FBI *did* do during that period, along with NYPD, was issue threats—via True Pundit—that it would "leak" the *content* of the emails on Wiener's computer (which content wasn't known, of course, as they had no search warrant to search it).

52/ Comey assumed his agents would do one of the following:

(1) Get metadata from the PC to confirm the emails were duplicates;
(2) ask Abedin or Wiener—both cooperating witnesses—if the FBI could view the emails; or
(3) get a warrant for the emails.

They did *none of these*.

53/ The result was neither NYPD nor the FBI had read the emails on Wiener's PC, but were—according to True Pundit, at least—simultaneously leaking false information to True Pundit about what the content was. They wanted Comey to fear such leaks of false information—and it worked.

54/ On November 2, 2016—a week before the 2016 presidential election—True Pundit published the article below, which is the biggest pile of steaming bullshit dropped on America at any point during the 2016 election season. Every single word of it was false.
link

55/ Immediately—*same day*—Trump's top national security advisor, Mike Flynn, retweeted the article.

Recall that Flynn was receiving undisclosed—*illegally* undisclosed—monies from Russia while advising Trump in the fall of 2015, and dined with Putin in Moscow in December 2015.


56/ Within 48 hours (in other words, as quickly as he could schedule a radio interview) Erik Prince, another Trump national security advisor—who's since admitted to having contact with Mike Flynn during the presidential campaign—spread the fake news via Steve Bannon's Breitbart.

57/ Prince is friends with Bannon—who was then the CEO of Trump's campaign—and just told Congress under oath Bannon was his contact with the campaign before and after the election. Here's audio of Prince spreading the Trumplandia-via-True Pundit fake news:



58/ But the reason you have to *read* the article itself—as odious as it is—is that it contains *explicit threats against Comey* should he not *immediately* indict Clinton:


59/ If you've been following along, you'll see there are two problems here—one, the article was published 6 days after Comey wrote the "Comey Letter"; two, the damaging emails True Pundit and/or NYPD and/or pro-Trump elements at the FBI were threatening to release *didn't exist*.

60/ As to the latter point, it's easily addressed: Jim Comey had *no idea* what was in the emails—on October 27, 2016 *or* November 2, 2016—because the very agents then threatening him via True Pundit *hadn't acquired a search warrant or gotten permission to search the computer*.

61/ The better question is how Comey would've *known* to be afraid of disclosures about the emails being published in True Pundit before the election. And the answer is (a) the McCabe email Judicial Watch uncovered, and (b) statements made by Trump advisors—particularly Giuliani.

62/ But first, understand that that True Pundit article is *exactly*—I mean *exactly*—what Comey was afraid of. Not knowing the content of the emails—because his men had deliberately not done the work to find it—*anyone* could claim NYPD/FBI sources and then lie about the emails.

63/ Comey believed such lies would (a) spread over right-wing media (they did); (b) be amplified by Trump aides (they were); and (c) appear in venues with enough credible connection to the FBI people would believe them and—worse still—he wouldn't know the truth to correct them.

64/ And (d) those lies would then swing a U.S. presidential election, and he'd be blamed for it. And if the FBI "leaks" turned out to be lies—which they were—the FBI would be disgraced and would be blamed for throwing the election to Trump.

So he did the only thing he could do.

65/ The only option pro-Trump traitors within the FBI had left Comey was to (a) re-open the investigate publicly, then (b) promise to get to the truth of the emails on Wiener's PC so swiftly that no one would have time to leak or publish or disseminate *lies* about those emails.

66/ Reports at the time said Comey probably wouldn't be able to check all the new emails before the election—in part because of their number, in part because he had to go through the warrant process—which is why True Pundit, Flynn and Prince all felt clear to go public with lies.

67/ And it's why the CEO of the Trump campaign, Steve Bannon, felt clear to publish those lies via Breitbart.

Then Comey surprised them all by doing the work in one week he'd earlier given an entire team of his agents three and a half weeks (from October 2 to October 27) to do.

68/ Okay, now watch this (especially the last few seconds) and check the date:


69/ 2 days *before* the Comey Letter was sent (so, October 26) Giuliani knew something big was coming—after spending the preceding days saying he had access to *active* FBI agents *and* retired FBI agents (like True Pundit's) who were incensed at Clinton.



70/ First Giuliani said he had access to "active" agents, then he denied it; he said a "big surprise" was coming, then he claimed he was only talking about a new ad campaign. No one believed it—especially given he kept referencing the FBI's anger at Comey.




71/ But now that we know all Trump's most nefarious men—Bannon, Flynn, and Prince, who were all meeting with one another during the campaign—were reading True Pundit, Giuliani's "I heard it from active agents" while *also* claiming "I heard it from retired agents" makes sense.

72/ It makes sense because True Pundit was made up of retired FBI agents speaking to—or claiming to have spoken to—active FBI agents, and the big surprise Giuliani predicted was likely the "news" True Pundit posted and that Giuliani's compatriots then spread throughout the media.

73/ Keep in mind, Giuliani hadn't seen the emails either—no one had, including the NYPD and FBI agents claiming to have seen them—so all he needed to know was that True Pundit, a site he followed and which likely included some retired FBI agents he knew, would be running a story.

74/ And given that *both* McCabe and Comey were aware of TruePundit—who it was comprised of, who they claimed to have access to, and what they were trying to do—the idea those "ex-intel guys" would have communicated their plans to Flynn and/or Prince and/or Giualiani makes sense.

75/ But the key is this: the NYT said Comey re-opened the investigation publicly because he was "sure" information about the new emails would leak. And the reason he thought that information would leak is because he knew about True Pundit and (via McCabe) FBI leaks made to them.

76/ All those leaks were illegal—as Flynn, Prince and Giuliani well knew given their backgrounds. And they equally knew that True Pundit stories were regularly being repeated on Russia media. And Flynn and Prince knew by November 2nd that in fact no one had seen those emails yet.

77/ What all this suggests is coordination between True Pundit, the FBI, NYPD, and members of the Trump campaign to stall the Clinton email investigation just long enough to either (a) force Comey to re-open it, or (b) be able to claim whatever they wanted about the "new" emails.

78/ Remember how I said Bannon's Breitbart was the chief retweeter of and source for True Pundit—along with Russian bots. Remember how I said that Bannon, Flynn and Prince all met during the campaign, and all jumped on the True Pundit story the *second* it came out on November 2.

79/ This has all the hallmarks of a domestic criminal conspiracy—"criminal" because it involves fraud and obstruction of justice. And it involves the Trump campaign and Russian bots and pro-Trump elements in the FBI and NYPD working in concert. So why isn't it being investigated?

80/ Inspector General Horowitz is looking at it, we're told. That's not good enough—not when Trump is stacking the deck by claiming the FBI had a *pro-Clinton* bias, even as he knows it was working in concert with his men. Enough. Let's starting discussing this as a nation. {end}

PS/ There are up to twenty more tweets in this thread. I stopped because I needed to sleep, but there are few more items of great note that I need to add. They're forthcoming shortly. (Hope you'll share the first tweet in this thread in the meantime.)

PS2/ So I wrote about what was happening on the Trump campaign and FBI side of things after True Pundit published its false story about the Clinton emails on November 2nd, 2016. I didn't talk about what True Pundit did at that point—and frankly it's even more alarming to recount.

PS3/ To obscure the fact that its very existence, operations, sourcing, and disinformation dissemination was evidence of a pro-Trump conspiracy between current and former FBI agents, True Pundit did *exactly* what Trump is doing now: alleged a *pro-Clinton* conspiracy at the FBI.

PS4/ And it didn't wait to do this until there was a statement from the FBI or other indication of blowback from its November 2nd article, as of course there wasn't any—not against True Pundit, at least—and the goal of alleging a *pro-Clinton* conspiracy at the FBI was political.

PS5/ So what True Pundit did, in the 4 days before the election, was put on a play of sorts about—if you can believe it—its authors being hunted by pro-Clinton FBI agents. Yes—seriously—hunted. It was a ploy for attention and to falsely underscore the "truth" of its "reporting."

PS6/ Check out these tweets by "Thomas Paine" alleging that his and his compatriots' courage in posting the "real" story of Clinton's emails—again, every single piece of which was false—had led to the whole True Pundit team being hunted like dogs by pro-Clinton forces at the FBI.


PS7/ Not only do these tweets falsely suggest the True Pundit team had to go into hiding pre-election, they also implied an anticipated fake-news coordination with WikiLeaks and that the "truth" of the Clinton emails was *worse* than the fake news True Pundit had already put out.

PS8/ This performance art-like component to True Pundit's November 2nd, 2016 fake-news "bombshell" about Clinton—immediately disseminated via Trump-campaign and Trump-affiliated channels—suggests a level of premeditation to the timing and roll-out of its threats against the FBI.

PS9/ It suggests too that the fake news we're seeing from Trump right now—the idea pro-Clinton FBI agents are secretly maneuvering to suppress the truth about Clinton—is the same one True Pundit was selling (and Trump aides promoting) in the midst of a *pro-Trump* FBI conspiracy.

PS10/ But it gets worse. And it gets worse because Trump won, which fact taught True Pundit that not *only* was its fake-news dissemination via Russian, far-right, and Trump-campaign channels effective, it *also* would continue to have success—specifically—in threatening the FBI.

PS11/ In March 2017, just 48 hours before it was revealed that Mike Flynn had been illegally working as a Turkish agent prior to election day—a revelation that *substantially* ramped up his chances of getting charged by Jim Comey—True Pundit posted a harrowing message on Twitter:


PS12/ Stunning. True Pundit is using the *same* threat (revelation of Clinton emails that don't actually exist) to the *same* purpose (thwarting the administration of justice by Jim Comey) that it used *before* the election—with Trump campaign help—to swing the election to Trump.

PS13/ Note that what "Thomas Paine" is doing is illegal *whether or not his NYPD sources exist*. Just as it was illegal to do the same thing 96 hours pre-election. Just as it was illegal if Flynn, Prince, and/or Bannon know anyone from True Pundit and were coordinating with them.

PS14/ Either Thomas Paine was obstructing justice by issuing credible threats against the FBI if the FBI didn't accede to his demands—and indeed, this probably rises to a level beyond Obstruction of Justice—*or* he was part of a *conspiracy* with NYPD and FBI elements to do this.

PS15/ This is where I remind everyone a) that the animating principles behind True Pundit match those of Flynn and Flynn retweeted True Pundit's November "bombshell" ASAP; b) the nature and timing of Rudy Giuliani's statements suggest a possible connection to True Pundit; and...

PS16/ c) Bannon and Prince coordinated immediately following publication of this "bombshell" to disseminate it via Breitbart. Prince can claim he wasn't a Trump advisor (though he was), but Flynn definitely was, Giuliani definitely was, and Bannon was the *CEO of the campaign*.

PS17/ More broadly, this March 2017 tweet suggests an *ongoing plot*—and ongoing MO—at True Pundit to influence the FBI in a very specific way: to hinder the Russia investigation; to help Mike Flynn; to allege a pro-Clinton conspiracy at the FBI; to distract via Clinton "crimes."

PS18/ Remember: a) Paine won't give his name or let his face be seen—confirming that, as ex-FBI, he knows what he's doing is *illegal*—and b) he's told the media that he was *proud* to have True Pundit be part of a Russian disinformation campaign, and was aware of it at the time.

PS19/ There's no evidence to support Paine's claim he was being hunted by the FBI pre-election, but he certainly *should* be getting hunted by authorities now.

And Flynn, Prince, Bannon, Giuliani, and any other Trump aides who passed on True Pundit stories should be questioned.

PS20/ I want to emphasize that I have only *scratched the surface* of the True Pundit story here. But there's more than enough here to tell any investigator (Horowitz, Mueller, or Congressional) that the timing and coordination of all of this suggests something much larger. {end}

NOTE/ The first step is to check every Paine tweet/True Pundit story against a) events in the Russia scandal/probe, b) public RTs by Trump aides. Don't forget True Pundit was registered as Manafort came on-board (March 2016) and began the day of the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting.

NOTE2/ The second step is to find and question Jason Goodman—see earlier tweet in which Goodman interviews Paine—as it appears possible Goodman knows who "Thomas Paine" is (recall that "Paine" references early in his interview having "private" off-air conversations with Goodman).

NOTE3/ The third step is to get RUDY GIULIANI under oath and ask him questions about his reading of True Pundit and knowledge of *anyone* associated with it. He should also be asked about *any* October 2016 contacts with Flynn, Prince, or Bannon—as well as contacts *before* then.

NOTE4/ The fourth step is to get in contact with McCabe and Comey and ask about True Pundit's stories and threats *or* any stories or threats coming from associated websites or individuals that may have contributed to Comey being "sure" (false) info on Wiener's emails would leak.

NOTE5/ The fifth step is for Mueller to ask his now-cooperating witness Michael Flynn about *all* of this—as Flynn may well be cooperating on certain aspects of the Russia case *without* implicating others in the *domestic* end of the conspiracy that gave Trump the 2016 election.

CONCLUSION/ This is, again, just a scratching of the surface of the story of True Pundit. In the long run, extremely superficial—but enough to get the ball rolling. People have wrongly assumed this end of the story to be disconnected to the Russia probe. It is not. It is central.

DOCS/ Guess what the pro-Trump ex-FBI/IC agents at True Pundit are working on now, America—that's right, *getting Mueller fired and ending the Trump-Russia probe*.

You can be reasonably certainly the president himself has True Pundit bookmarked—as this looks like hand-in-glove.


DOC2/ "Thomas Paine" is now having a meltdown, folks. Largely—it appears—in response to this thread, as he keeps on referencing me and has already accused me of (wait for it) secret Deep State connections.

Yeah, maybe Google me first.

Pay attention, Horowitz, Mueller, Congress.


DOC3/ Here's the FiveThirtyEight analysis suggesting that what this thread is talking about is no more or less than something that was/is a *sufficient* basis for Clinton to lose the 2016 election, if not (not by any means) the *only* reason that happened.

link

DOC4/ Here's an exemplar of how right-wing pubs like InfoWars—the owner of this account is Jones' partner there—publicly associated True Pundit with WikiLeaks in a symbiotic way (i.e. WikiLeaks' RTs of True Pundit bolstered it, even as True Pundit bolstered WikiLeaks narratives):




DOC5/ This Newsline excerpt discusses Judicial Watch's McCabe-Comey emails. Note Comey clearly acknowledges that True Pundit has access to FBI agents—maybe "lower-level" agents spreading "rumors" to True Pundit.

But then—2 days later—Giuliani issued his public warnings/threats.


DOC5-II/ Note the word "still"—implying not only *isn't* this the first October conversation Comey's had with with McCabe about the risk of leaks from the NYC office, but McCabe *clearly* has expressed concerns Comey wants to disbelieve.

Giuliani's threats may have changed that.

DOCS5-III/
10/24: McCabe thinks big leak coming; Comey admits leaks but not in Clinton probe—yet.
10/26: Giuliani widely teases FBI-related October surprise that will swing election to Trump.
10/27: Comey learns his agents betrayed him.
10/28: Comey writes his letter to Congress.

***
Believe it or not, Seth's got a Part Two ready to go already. Keep watching this space for updates! - Jerky

I CAN'T HELP BUT WONDER HOW MANY PEOPLE OUT THERE...

...understand exactly how effed up the American political situation is right now.

Folks, the United States are on the brink of a disaster unlike anything that has happened to it since the Civil War. What's coming is going to make the 70's look like the 50's in comparison.

The unthinkable is fast approaching. The factions of the New Fascist International have been all been put into place, and now the plan is being put into motion.

They're broadcasting their intentions on FOX News as you read this. Go check it out. It's unbelievable.

The time is fast approaching for all true patriots to live up to their beliefs. Soon, anyone left working at FOX News should be considered a de facto part of the conspiracy to destroy American democracy.

For background, see Seth Abramson's recent tweets re: Giuliani and the New York bureau of the FBI.

More soon.

Monday, December 4, 2017

MOX NOX ~ SEQUENTIAL ILLUSTRATED SURREALISM FOR GROWN-UPS


Monoglots, rejoice! You don't have to be able to read Spanish to enjoy Joan Cornella's beautifully painted, multi-panel, single page comic strips. That's because this Spanish artist has chosen to leave her work wordless, a decision that ends up making just as much artistic sense as it does from a marketing standpoint. 

Mute as they are, Cornella's little stories practically scream for attention. Paradoxical in every conceivable way, these delicately savage non-allegories often achieve a near transcendent level of surrealism, displaying a paradoxically violent beauty via Cornella's delicately simple representation.

The gags don't always land, but they certainly do often enough to warrant giving each and every one of them the benefit of the doubt. And even the pages that fall flat often still contain something that makes them worthwhile... a strikingly beautiful design element, for instance, or a never-before-seen juxtaposition that stays with you, like an odd passing glance from a stranger on the street.

The book itself is also a thing of beauty. Bibliophiles will marvel at the design work that Cornella's North American publishers, Fantagraphics, have put into this product. Producing adult-oriented content with the colorful sturdiness and rugged durability of the best in children's publishing is a brilliant idea, and it's one that I hope more publishers will consider copying.

Ultimately, what we have here is a traditional European style "funny book" that can also easily be considered a collection of postmodernist sequential paintings that builds on the surrealist traditions of Dali and Bunuel. Fantagraphics is to be commended for helping to spread this artist's work beyond her home continent of Europe, and for making MOX NOX such a ridiculously low-priced bargain.
If you're thinking about purchasing MOX NOX via Amazon.com, please consider doing so through the links provided here. Much obliged!


MEDIAVORE ~ GRAPHIC NOVEL EXPLORES WW II'S FORGOTTEN ASTRAL FRONT


Noted "ideas man" and branding expert Douglas Rushkoff, perhaps best known for writing multiple bestsellers in which he coined the terms "viral media" and "social capital", is a man of many interests and talents. Among his interests are the Western esoteric tradition, and among his talents, storytelling.

Rushkoff's latest graphic novel is Aleister & Adolf, and it is competently rendered in occasionally impressive chiaroscuro by Michael Avon Oeming. It synthesizes the author's interests in a brief and breezy time-and-globe-hopping neo-noir mystery that centers on the secret symbolism of a venerable corporate logo. This is territory Rushkoff knows well.

By the time all is revealed, our reluctant investigator (and his mid-century counterpart) will have stumbled across the existence of World War II's forgotten battlefield, where Astral war was waged by crazy old men in esoteric brotherhoods wielding their ceremonially amplified wills like magickal WMD.

All in all, this book makes for fun stuff, particularly if you're intrigued by the Third Reich's obsession with occult artifacts and other such Theosophical nonsense. The fact that much of this story is based on historical fact makes it all the more compelling.

Aleister & Adolf is published by Dark Horse, and is available both in a sweet-looking hardcover edition or as an e-book over at Amazon.com. If you're gonna buy the thing, use the link I just provided, please!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

KEITH OLBERMANN'S FINAL RESISTANCE VIDEO!

Thank you so much for your great work and your searing, uncompromising honesty, Keith. History will look kindly back upon your work here.