Thursday, November 30, 2017

Speaking of Whitefish, Montana...

This from Feburary 2017:
Gradually, Montana became home to the highest concentration of hate groups in the nation. In the Flathead — which includes Kalispell (more industrial, more sprawling, population 22,000), Whitefish (a quaint grid of a resort town, population 7,000), and Columbia Falls (a former timber town, now filling with those priced out of Whitefish, population 5,000) — they mostly keep to themselves. Sometimes there’ll be a piece of Nazi propaganda slipped between pairs of expensive jeans in clothing boutiques; other times there’ll be flyers for “A Nature-Based, Race-Centered Religion for White People” folded in children’s books at the local bookstore. “Every place in town has a story like that,” one business owner told me.

But some things can’t be ignored. Like in 2010, when April Gaede — better known as the “Nazi stage mom” to twin girl group Prussian Blue and a member of Pioneer Little Europe, an organization of whites-only intentional communities — began showing Holocaust denial films at the Whitefish library. Or this past December, when a neo-Nazi site, the Daily Stormer, launched a campaign to troll local Jews as revenge for perceived attacks on the mother of “academic racist” (and Whitefish resident) Richard Spencer.

I did not know Richard Spencer was from Whitefish...home of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
Spencer maintained a relatively low profile in Whitefish, at least until 2013. While riding a chairlift at Whitefish Mountain, Spencer started a fight with a conservative lobbyist, berating him for believing in “this whole democracy BS.” After some back-and-forth, the lobbyist forced the exclusive Big Mountain Club they both belonged to to decide: this racist, or me. The club initially chose Spencer — and the story got picked up by the national press. (Spencer was later asked to resign his membership.)


The Flathead Valley represents the “convergence” of two strains of Pacific Northwest extremism: antigovernment “Patriots” (distinguished by extreme prepping, weapons caching, and, oftentimes, a belief that they live outside the law) and white supremacists. It’s difficult to know just how many neo-Nazis, fascists, and adherents to other designated hate groups live in the Flathead Valley — there are dozens of names associated with just as many movements.
There'd be more white supremacist organizations where I live in mid-Missouri if the people weren't too lazy to organize.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

So very like McNasty Trump

Which would just add to the humiliation, would it not?  But, yeah.  I don't see Rex walking away without a specific termination letter from Trump.  He's said as much more than once.  Now, whether Trump will give him that letter before February 1, we'll just have to see.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Par for the course

Another worthless Congressional investigation.
The House Intelligence Committee spent 10 months trying to conduct a bipartisan probe of Russian meddling in the U.S. election, but repeated bursts of political skirmishing have left Republican and Democratic panel leaders preparing competing findings.


A Republican “majority” report will assert there’s no evidence of Russian collusion with Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign based on what the committee has learned so far, according to two of the officials. Democrats are likely to counter with a minority report asserting there’s plenty of substantive evidence pointing to collusion, while saying they weren’t given enough time to investigate it, the officials said.

It also raises questions about whether the parallel probes being conducted by the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees will do any better at producing unified conclusions.

Anybody placing bets?
More interviews are set to occur this week, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions scheduled to appear behind closed doors on Thursday morning. Former Trump adviser Erik Prince, who founded the military services contractor Blackwater, is to appear later that day for an interview with a transcript to be released later.
Why? Why are they wasting the time if they've already decided? I don't even know why they set the thing up in the first place. There's a Senate investigation and a Judiciary Committee investigation. And, of course, the Mueller investigation. The House hearings were a joke.

Jesus wept.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

What next?

If you'd had time to think about it, you would have figured it out.
The White House and CIA have been considering a package of secret proposals to allow former US intelligence officers to run privatized covert actions, intelligence gathering, and propaganda missions, according to three sources who’ve been briefed on or have direct knowledge of the proposals.

Because the CIA isn't already unaccountable enough?  I very much doubt if it's the White House and "the CIA."  It may be the head of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, who was appointed by Trump.
One of the proposals would involve hiring a private company, Amyntor Group, for millions of dollars to set up a large intelligence network and run counter terrorist propaganda efforts, according to the sources.


Amyntor declined to discuss the proposals, but a lawyer for the company said in a statement to BuzzFeed News that the type of contract being contemplated would be legal “with direction and control by the proper government authority.”
Also to be appointed by Trump.
Another proposal presented to US officials would allow individuals affiliated with the company to help capture wanted terrorists on behalf of the United States. In keeping with that proposal, people close to the company are tracking two specific suspects in a Middle Eastern country, the sources said, for possible “rendition” to the United States.

A source speaking on behalf of the company stressed that while Amyntor officials are aware of and involved in the rendition plan, the company itself would not be involved.
The CIA declined to comment, but a US government official downplayed the proposals' significance. “The idea they are pitching is absurd on its face,” he said, “and it is not going anywhere.”
Don't bet your house on it, dude.
A spokesperson for the National Security Council said that Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Trump's national security adviser, and other officials were not aware of the proposals.
Fucking amazing.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo has publicly promised that the agency would become “much more vicious” and aggressive. He said in one speech that the administration “is prepared to engage in activities that are different from what America has been doing these past few years.”
Jesus christ.  How much more vicious can you get than what the CIA has been?  Perhaps we are about to find out.
Amyntor Group is a reclusive company headquartered in Whitefish, Montana, ...
Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Whitefish?
...a town of 6,500 residents that recently gained notoriety after a company based there won, then lost, a $300 million contract to rebuild Puerto Rico’s electrical grid. There is no known relationship between the two companies.
Bullshit. It's a town of 6,500 people, ffs. You know what the relationship is. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, hometown: Whitefish, Montana.

But wait! It gets better. (It always does with this pack of hyenas.)
Among the management of Amyntor is John Maguire, a former CIA case officer who reportedly led a US effort to provoke Saddam Hussein into war before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Amyntor appears to be an offshoot of a one-time DoD funded private operation called "The Eclipse Group" which was run by a former Iran-Contra figure, Duane Clarridge, who organized the Contras to overthrow the Sandanista government in Nicaragua and was indicted in that scandal, along with his associates Caspar Weinberger and Elliott Abrams, but all were pardoned by George Bush, Sr. before their trial could begin.  Clarridge died last year.
One source saw the plan presented in a PowerPoint. He says it appeared that the pitches coincided with a widely publicized effort by Erik Prince — the private security official, founder of Blackwater, and brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos — to privatize the war in Afghanistan.


Asked about Amyntor’s proposal and the rendition plan, one former senior intelligence official said, “All the institutional structures exist to prevent things from going off the rails. Is this an attempt to circumvent oversight?”
You think?

We were already off the rails. We have gone so far off the rails we'll never find our way out.

And I thought the plan to move Tom Cotton to CIA and Pompeo to State was bad, which it was.

Speaking of Whitefish, Montana...I didn't realize it was a hotbed of white supremacists.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Jesus, this woman

That's every bit as disturbing as the fact that he retweets white supremacist shit.

Jesus wept.  I hope Mueller's got some shit on this piece of garbage, too.

Tillerson should be happy to be fired.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

In the meantime, in the New York AG office...

Back before Trump was a politician, [Eric] Schneiderman, the attorney general of New York, sued Trump University for fraud in 2014 [ultimately winning] a $25 million settlement.


Schneiderman is still at it—investigating aspects of the president's dealings that fall outside the purview of the much-ballyhooed Mueller probe and the various Congressional investigations of Russian election-meddling. Schneiderman is quietly examining things like the president’s personal foundation (and that of Eric Trump), as well as Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.


[ES] people are now witnessing, states are [...] the first line of defense when the federal government mounts attacks on our civil liberties, healthcare, or economic prosperity. I think state A.G.s on the left and right always appreciated that fact, but now we’re seeing more journalists and members of the public recognize that reality too.


We have a number of critical fights ahead. We pledged to sue over the first and second healthcare bills that sought to repeal the Affordable Care Act, slash Medicaid, and undermine women’s rights. We’ll continue to monitor the threat of a disastrous healthcare bill.


Our fight to protect Dreamers is a very important case right now.


We’re also very active on the environmental front, where we’ve seen the Trump administration mount attacks on public health on a weekly basis. Whether its undermining state-led efforts to move to renewable energy sources or rolling back regulations on toxic pesticides or methane, this administration consistently chooses polluters’ interests over the public’s. We’ve put a team of very talented attorneys in place to scrutinize each and every one of these dangerous policies—and policy reversals—coming out of the E.P.A.


[W]e just earned the support of a bipartisan group of A.G.s to push back on members of the student loan industry who are trying to take enforcement powers away from attorneys general. We’ve worked hard across party lines to hold that industry accountable, protect students, and return money to people who’ve been defrauded. We’re also working with a very large, bipartisan coalition to investigate the manufacturers and distributors of opioids to examine their role in the opioid epidemic across the country.


This is a president who doesn’t like checks on his power. I got a front row seat to that when I investigated him for fraud in the Trump University case. Now we see it in his executive orders, several of which we’ve fought successfully to overturn.


If we can’t get checks on the presidency from Congress, my office won’t hesitate to fill the space. I’m willing to bet on the rule of law.

Good luck, sir.

Oooooh, Elfman, no way out?


No.  His inner German is too strong.  Just look at this next one.

Sure.  I like analysis without facts, too.

He's at an alll-time high, making the rest of us are low and glum.  I've got a "great number" for you: 25th amendment.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Rex Tillerson: You're FIRED

Not that I would be sorry to see him go.
The White House has developed a plan to force out Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, whose relationship with President Trump has been strained, and replace him with Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director, perhaps within the next several weeks, senior administration officials said on Thursday.

Mr. Pompeo would be replaced at the C.I.A. by Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas who has been a key ally of the president on national security matters, according to the White House plan. Mr. Cotton has signaled that he would accept the job if offered, said the officials, who insisted on anonymity to discuss sensitive deliberations before decisions are announced.


John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, developed the transition plan and has discussed it with other officials.


Mr. Pompeo, a former three-term member of Congress, has impressed Mr. Trump during daily intelligence briefings and become a trusted policy adviser even on issues far beyond the C.I.A.’s normal mandate, like health care.

Bobble-throated slapdick Tom Cotton? (h/t Charles P Pierce) What does he know about running the CIA? Nothing? Oh, okay.
IN MANY WAYS, Cotton is the GOP foreign policy equivalent of House Speaker Paul Ryan: disingenuous, ignorant, and out of his depth, yet feted by the D.C. press corps as a Very Serious Person — a resume and a vocabulary as a substitute for seriousness.


The hawkish Republican senator and former U.S. Army captain has never hidden his relentless obsession with confronting Iran. He has led the charge on Capitol Hill to dismantle the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic while constantly banging the drum for tougher sanctions and even airstrikes against Iranian nuclear facilities.


“One thing I learned in the Army is that when your opponent is on his knees, you drive him to the ground and choke him out,” later adding, “If they’re on their knees in surrender, then you accept their surrender.”


You might call Cotton [...] the “Trump whisperer.” In fact, according to the Weekly Standard, in a recent meeting with his top national security and foreign policy advisers, “having failed to receive the decertification option from his own team, Trump called Senator Tom Cotton and put him on speakerphone. The president asked Cotton to make the case for decertifying the Iran deal.


Got that? The reality TV star who now occupies the Oval Office defied the advice of his own inner circle, including Defense Secretary James Mattis; ignored the pleas of America’s closest allies; and dismissed the evidence offered by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran is in compliance with the terms of the deal. Instead, he decided to go with the advice of a 40-year-old freshman senator from Arkansas, who has zero expertise in Middle East diplomacy and none in the field of nuclear proliferation.


Lest we forget, this is the same Cotton who was accused of “treachery” and “mutiny” after penning a 2015 “open letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” in which he asked them effectively to ignore the foreign policy of the president of the United States [Obama], because the next one might undo it.


This is the same Cotton who compared the Iran nuclear negotiations to the “appeasement” of Nazi Germany in the 1930s; [...] the same Cotton who once said his only objection to Guantánamo Bay was that “there are too many empty beds”; the same Cotton who claims to enjoy eating birthday cake every day of the week. (OK, admittedly, this last point is not relevant to his knee-jerk hawkishness, but it’s still worth noting. What kind of maniac eats birthday cake every single day?)

  The Intercept, October 18, 2017
I wonder if Cotton might be someone Mueller's team should be looking at. He'll be ready for the Twinkie defense.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.


What a fun way for Trump to do him a dirty.

UPDATE 9/30/18:

Cotton wasn't offered the job.  Gina Haspel, torture central, was, and she took it.

Don't excuse his behavior by "mental illness"

That's an insult to the mentally ill, and he was ALWAYS this way.
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said on Thursday that people close to President Trump told him during the campaign that Trump has early stages of dementia.

During MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Scarborough said Trump is "completely detached from reality."

"You have somebody inside the White House that the New York Daily News says is mentally unfit," Scarborough said.

  The Hill
ony Schwartz, the co-author of President Trump's book "The Art of the Deal" claimed Wednesday that some people who work in the White House are concerned about Trump's mental health.

During an interview on MSNBC, Schwartz — a frequent Trump critic — said Trump is a "man who is deeply mentally ill."

"I know that two different people from the White House, or at least saying they were from the White House and that turned out to be a White House number, have called somebody I know in the last several weeks to say, we are deeply concerned about his mental health," he said during the interview.

  The Hill
Somebody? Joe Scarborough?

Of course, if Congress wants to use that as their reason to get rid of him, I'll allow it. We can redeem mental illness afterward.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Here it comes, Geraldo

"Unseemly."  That's putting it mildly, Bette!

From April this year:
Here's a video clip from a Fox & Friends newscast where they are playing a C&W song over top of footage of the "Mother of All Bombs" we just dropped on Afghanistan.


Then, the dipshit Fox lady host says, "That video is black and white, but that is what freedom looks like. That's the red, white and blue." Then Geraldo Rivera says that one of his favorite things in the sixteen years he's been at Fox News is "watching bombs drop on bad guys.
We're gonna enjoy that, too, pal.

More on Kushner-Flynn

Attorney and professor Seth Abramson has a thread on what he thinks Kushner's recent appearance before Mueller's team means.  Check it out.

I wouldn't doubt it.  And, if so, at what point does Abbe Lowell - the only smart attorney anyone in the Trump cabal has - realizes he's being lied to and drops Kushner?

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Dear god

ANYone in the Middle East could eat Perry alive.  What can he possibly do there?  It can't be in the US interest.  Is he going to try to wrangle some oil deal for his personal benefit?  I don't think he could even do that.

Perhaps he's carrying a secret message.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Flynn indictment coming

Or is it?
[P]rosecutors working for Mueller postponed grand jury testimony related to Flynn’s private business dealings.

The reason for the postponement was not immediately clear, but it comes one week after attorneys for Flynn alerted Trump’s legal team that they could no longer share information about the case.

Postponed or cancelled outright?
The details of Kushner’s questioning and the postponement of the grand jury testimony were confirmed by people familiar with Mueller’s investigation. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to publicly discuss the ongoing investigation.
I'm guessing Kushner or Flynn's people. Or maybe court people. Mueller's are tight-lipped, as they should be. It could be they've got a line on more information suddenly. Or, it could be somebody had a scheduling conflict. Or it could be something else. If it's dropped altogether - and I have no reason to believe it has - I suppose that would be a clear indication Flynn made some serious deals, and the only serious deals I can think of would involve giving over information on Trump and/or Kushner. It has come out in this postponement that Mueller's team had questioned Kushner before Flynn's team quit sharing information with Trump's. For whatever that information is worth.
An October 2016 meeting that was expected to be the subject of the grand jury testimony has been described as a bait-and-switch carried out on behalf of Flynn’s firm.


As the AP reported in March , Flynn’s business partner, Bijan Kian , invited a representative of the House Homeland Security committee to Flynn Intel’s offices in Alexandria, Virginia, to discuss secure communications products. But after discussing the products, the session quickly turned into a lobbying pitch that mirrored Turkish government talking points [about Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose kidnapping and rendering is said to have been conspired including Flynn].
What an incredible web of sleazery and criminality Mueller's team has to unravel.



Attorney and professor Seth Abramson has a thread on what he thinks Kushner's recent appearance before Mueller's team means.  Check it out.

UPDATE 12/1:


He will handle it



And...what did the New York Times do now?

Must be the German blood.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Dear God, these people!

And take Roger Stone with you

If he told the lie in March, why is he apologizing now, in November?

You guessed it.

Fucked it up again

How embarrassing.

He forgot to check to make sure the Theresa May he was tweeting at was the right one. 

The poor woman is going to get a bit of a shock next time she checks in to see what the fuck blew up her Twitter account.  Trumpettes jumped on the wrong band wagon along with the Idiot in Chief.  And there were 20 minutes of tweet after tweet either backing up Trump's post or calling him out for being an idiot.  Don't expect him to apologize to her.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

That's gonna show up in a court case

Shroedinger's Trump

Will they get it done?

I don't think it's spine he lacks.  I think it's empathy.  After all, he's leaving.  He doesn't have to make a choice to appease anyone.

I also read that Collins may well vote yes.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Tip of the iceberg, I tell ya

We're not done yet.

I wonder if all these men will get together and form a corporation.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

American Airlines in the headlines this time

Don't be foolish.  Get together and hold out for 3x, then split 2:1 - 2x for those who go to work, and 1x for those who don't.  Come on.  You've got the power!

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Let me guess: Geraldo Rivera is worried about his own future

"News is a flirty business"??

"May be criminalizing courtship"??  What Matt Lauer was doing was courting these women?  For one thing, that is some fucked up courting.  What woman was ever won by those actions?  And for another, he was fucking married already, asshat.

And, what about Garrison Keillor?

Oh yeah.  He's sweating.  As for the contemporaneous corroboration, I believe that's exactly what I keep seeing in every reported case.  Haven't seen it yet for Garrison Keillor, but his response makes me think it's there.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

UPDATE (1 hour later):

Oh, my.

UPDATE 11/30:

"Unseemly."  That's putting it mildly, Bette!

Matt Lauer isn't the only one who needs to lose his job at NBC

You probably already know the disgusting details of Matt Lauer's reign of terror, but just to be clear, there are some executives who need to lose their jobs, too:
Several women told Variety they complained to executives at the network about Lauer’s behavior, which fell on deaf ears given the lucrative advertising surrounding “Today.” NBC declined to comment. For most of Lauer’s tenure at “Today,” the morning news show was No. 1 in the ratings, and executives were eager to keep him happy.

They were paying the fiend $25,000,000 a year.
Now, against a series of questions about the future of “Today,” a troubling portrait has emerged of Lauer. In front of the camera, for more than two decades, Lauer had positioned himself as America’s squeaky-clean dad. But behind the scenes, Lauer was a different person.
Aided and abetted by NBC executives.

Hopefully his wife divorces him and takes everything he's got.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

NOW it makes sense, eh?

Noqw I KNOW Alan Dershowitz is a nutball

He made a NOTE!

Jesus, God.  He couldn't remember that?

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

It's the pressure of the Mueller investigation

As are all his diseases.


DID your 2-year-old ask that?  If so, don't you find that a bit odd?

And, does your 2-year-old go to school?

This whole family is mentally syphallitic.


And now Trump should be charged

Stop trying to rehabilitate W's image

The man should be in prison for war crimes.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.


And I need some good weed or a Flynn indictment.

On the way to Hell

It's like the end of a game of Monopoly when the last two people are the one with all the property and the one left holding a handful of one-dollar bills or Risk when one has armies in all the countries on the board save Madagascar.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.