“Donald Trump has not given a dime to his reelection campaign, opting instead to fund the entire effort with his donors’ money. His business, meanwhile, has continued to charge the campaign for things like food, lodging and rent. The result is that $2.2 million of contributions from other people has turned into $2.2 million of revenue for Trump.”
“And that’s just counting the money flowing directly through the president’s campaign. His reelection apparatus also includes two joint fundraising committees, which work with the Republican Party to raise money for Trump. Since he took office, those entities—named Trump Victory and the Trump Make America Great Again Committee—have funneled another $2.3 million into the president’s private business, according to a review of Federal Election Commission records. Then there’s the Republican National Committee, which has spent an additional $2.4 million at Trump properties. Add it all up, and the president, working in concert with the party he leads, has helped push $6.9 million into his businesses since taking office.”
The British government and intelligence agencies failed to conduct a proper assessment of Kremlin attempts to interfere with the 2016 Brexit referendum, according to a long-delayed Russia report.
The contents of the report indicate that the government and intelligence agencies failed to investigate Russian interference because they didn’t want to know, and that they delayed a report until after the election that would have revealed the fact.
Stewart Hosie, a Scottish National party MP who sits on the cross-party committee that issued the report stated:
“The UK Government have actively avoided looking for evidence that Russia interfered. We were told that they hadn’t seen any evidence, but that is meaningless if they hadn’t looked for it.”
Britain has become “a favourable destination for Russian oligarchs and their money”, observed the committee.
Citing no names, the committee also warned that it was “notable that a number of members of the House of Lords have business interests linked to Russia, or work directly for major Russian companies linked to the Russian state.”
So, Britain as well as the United States is awash with Russian money and corruption and this is more evidence that those in authority will not move to uncover it or stop it.
The following link is to a series of articles that appeared in Buzzfeed in 2018 about Russian assassinations in Britain.
And, just to add the final touch to the day, Trump wished Maxwell well today in his public appearance.
The Slouch Toward Authoritarianism
Armed federal agents, dressed in combat gear, have been sent into the streets of Portland, Oregon against the wishes of local authorities. These agents display no identifying information and are taking citizens off the streets in unmarked cars to undisclosed locations. The agents are reporting to the Department of Homeland Security.
In a strong stand against such unbridled intervention, the House Appropriations Committee just approved a new Homeland Security Funding Bill.
The Oregon Attorney General has sued over the deployment of the federal agents and asked for a restraining order. The Trump administration is expressing disdain over the objections of local officials and publicity threatened to send more anonymous police into other Demcratic-led cities.
According to an interview on MSNBC (7/20/20) with Ryan Haas, Oregon Public Broadcasting:
- Protestors are sometimes not even near federal property.
- People are being taken in for questioning inside the federal courthouse.
- Charges range from pointing something at federal officers, assault of federal officer, and defacing property.
The administration dismissed warnings of local officials that the actions of the federal agents is making the situation worse. In fact, that is likely exactly what they want. They are being sent into Democratic-run cities, generating conflict and confrontation with protestors, in order to scare the suburbs into thinking that violence is widespread and escalating.
DHS, therefore, has been transformed into a political arm for the Republican candidate.
The use of secret police is common in authoritarian governments, but again, as with all the moves toward authoritarian control in this country, the corporate media fails to sound the alarm and normalizes the activities. While they spend hours and hours talking about Trump’s psychology and dysfunctional family history, they have no commentators talking about the implications of using the federal government as instruments of political power. In addition, CNN, is blurring out the faces of the federal agents so that they can’t be recognized.
In another move common, indeed essential, to authoritarian leaders, Trump is installing loyalists to senior roles at the Pentagon. These toadies are being put in place as “acting” officials, thus skirting a Senate confirmation process. The administration just announced that they are assigning a 33-year-old White House chief technology officer to be the head of the research and engineering for the entire Department of Defense.
The man has a bachelor’s degree in political science and is replacing a man with a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering.
The Trump administration is discussing installing a “Fox News regular” to be the Pentagon’s top policy official.
The assurance of loyalty and the elimination of expertise is essential to establishing authoritarian rule. We have seen this play out during the Trump administration in the State Department, the CDC, and now the Pentagon.
Brian Kemp is using the money of the people of Georgia to sue the Atlanta Mayor to prevent a mask mandate in the middle of a pandemic. This man stole an election already. Drag his sorry ass out of office.
Oh, and in case you need more…the prosecutor’s office in Savannah recommended community service for a prosecutor who tried to exchange a sentence for sex. COMMUNITY SERVICE.
And just to top off everything…The Glynn County Commission (county where Ahmaud Arbery was killed) is threatening to sue the state to prevent the citizens of Glynn County from being able to vote on dissolving the Glynn County Police Department. The department is not only responsible for not arresting the men who killed Arbery. They also have had their Narcotics Task Force eliminated due to corruption. The former chief of the County Police has been indicted. They are going to create a $150,000 a year job for him since he can’t be police chief anymore.
If you aren’t mad, you are oblivious.
Glynn County, Georgia is where three men chased down Ahmaud Arbery, shot and killed him in the middle of the afternoon for jogging through their neighborhood.
It is also the county where the scandal-ridden Glynn County Police declined to arrest the three men. The County Commission (which includes a man who narrowly escaped being prosecuted for insurance fraud by letting his wife plead to the charges) is trying to protect the Glynn County Police by blaming the County Prosecutor. The County Prosecutor recused herself because one of the men who killed Arbery had worked for the police department and also was a recently retired investigator for the prosecutor’s office.
The local newspaper, The Brunswick News, just won an award from the Georgia Press Association, but this newspaper is one of the worst local newspapers. It publishes nothing but right-wing articles and editorials, evidently has no mechanism for spell checking its headlines, and actively contributes to the culture which produced the Arbery killing.
Richard Yarborough is called a “humor columnist.” But, a few months after the arrest of the three men who killed Arbery, the Brunswick News published a “humorous” article in which Yarborough mocks the removal of obviously racist branding.
The hysterically funny joke is that bottles in the supermarket are talking to him. He says that other bottles on the shelf in the grocery store are “feeling threatened by what is happening.”
According to Mrs. Butterworth, “A group of people dressed like wennies came into the store dragging a statue of some old dude on a horse behind them. Before we knew it, they had snatched Aunt Jemima right off the shelf! And when Uncle Ben started to protest, they grabbed him too, saying that he should be ashamed of himself for being a symbol of racial inequality by promoting he white race.”
Yarborough goes on to blame “the politically correct police.”
Mrs. Butterworth explains that they are after her because “they can’t decide if I am Black or White.”
Then Quaker Man “he is like, uh, very Caucasian.” “That’s not a plus these days. And then there is his religion…now we are into the question if separation of church and state. The ACLU will be all over this…”
Yarborough concludes: “It seems that the inmates are running the asylum these days.”
This is how seriously the local newspaper is taking the issue of race.
“Talking political correctness with a bottle of syrup.” By firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a fascinating and heartbreaking podcast about two of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell’s victims. The choice of these two victims in particular illustrates the class nature of the exploitation.
The stories also illustrate another crucial point about the media coverage of the Epstein case. Journalists are presenting the Epstein/Maxwell story as if it exists outside of the context of the international political blackmail scheme of which it was a part. The host of the podcast even talks about Epstein’s “pathology” as if this is a story about mental illness.
The Epstein/Maxwell story is not only about sexual exploitation, it is about political power. It seems to me to be perfectly obvious that Bill Barr’s father, himself with a history of clandestine activity, saw early on the potential Epstein had to advance the goals of compromising political enemies.
What Epstein and Maxwell ran was a ruthless systematic, methodical recruiting, grooming, and utilizing business. They recruited, groomed, educated and placed the right young women in strategic places to compromise and secure the complicity of important people for political purposes.
To discuss this operation as the raging mental illness of one man, or a man and a woman is to completely distort the nature and purpose of this operation.
The stories of two victims are talked about in this podcast – Melissa, a talented cellist and Michelle, a high school student in Palm Beach. Michelle fits the profile of the hundreds of girls the pair lured into Epstein’s property, abused and then discarded. Melissa is an example of a young woman who was recruited, groomed over a period of years and then discarded partly due to her own lack of willingness to comply. Even though a substantial amount of time and money was spent on the long-term grooming of Melissa, she was never sexually assaulted.
The host of the podcast explains the long-term investment in Melissa as an example of Epstein’s “pathology” of power. She argues that Melissa illustrates Epstein’s obsession, indeed “addiction” to power games.
The host, however, completely ignores what is the more obvious explanation for Melissa’s experience. Epstein and Maxwell were not just sexually exploiting young women for their own sexual gratification. They were methodically grooming young women and placing them in strategic positions to compromise political targets. You don’t just send a lower class little girl into a high society environment and expect her to seduce Prince Andrew. You groom, make beholden, and place a Julliard cellist in the room with Prince Andrew and then use that young woman to compromise the target.
That is exactly what they tried to do with Melissa. They spent years supporting her financially, working her into a pseudo-family situation with them and then even demanding that she attend the higher status school, Julliard, to make her a more attractive lure. Epstein’s “pathology” didn’t prevent him from spending years cultivating this girl. But, the journalist here, doesn’t even discuss this. Instead she launches off on a discussion of Epstein’s supposed power mad psychology.
The issue here is not psychology. That’s not even what’s interesting or significant about the case. But, the corporate media will turn the story into a lurid tabloid narrative to avoid talking about this massive, international kompromat ring. That is not only a shame. It is yet another example of the corporate media distorting reality, maintaining a delusion which protects powerful people who are aggressively pursuing an authoritarian agenda.
This is a podcast well worth listening to.
Broken: Jeffrey Epstein
Season 1 Episode 5 “An Outsider’s Way In.”
This is a fascinating story about the reporter Julie Brown and her history of digging in the Epstein case. It makes an important point about journalism. Brown’s history was much like that of the girls who were exploited by Epstein. She was not a child of privilege and connections like most of the corporate press today. Chris Cuomo, the white haired guy on CNN. I like to think of this group as the “Bonfire of the Mediocre.”
Someone recently said that the music industry doesn’t look for talent anymore. They look, she said, for a certain loon and a compliant personality. That just about sums up the corporate media. It’s a waste of time.
There are two documentaries out about Jeffrey Epstein. One, “Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein?” is part of a series by Investigation Discovery. The other is a Netflix release “Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich” based on a book by James Patterson.
But, as Elizabeth Vos points out in an article in the Consortium News (6/18/20), neither covers Epstein’s place in a larger political narrative. In treating Epstein’s activities as separated from their political context, they turn Epstein into a sexual predator, committing crimes that float free of their political context.
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell were part of an international scheme to compromise and then blackmail influential people. There is evidence that this operation was part of the compromising of the Republican party long before Trump became the nominee.
Even though Epstein’s death in prison is widely accepted and indeed repeatedly reported as a “suicide” no thinking person can accept that narrative on face value. There is so much that is suspicious about the death and there is a plethora of evidence of the interests of powerful and rich people in his silence. Epstein knew the secrets of a lot of powerful people and his death was essential to protect those people. The refusal of the media to question that death is just part and parcel of their subservient status with regard to those in power.
Ghislanie Maxwell, who had finally been arrested in New Hampshire on July 2, 2020, is the daughter of Robert Maxwell, the former owner of the New York Daily News and The Mirror. He was given what Vos describes as a “state funeral” in Israel after his mysterious death in 1991. Maxwell “fell off” his yacht in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, much like enemies of the Russian state repeatedly “fall” out of windows.
Israeli sources say that Epstein worked for Israeli military intelligence. Ari Ben-Menache, a former Israeli intelligence officer, told Consortium News that Robert Maxwell introduced his daughter and Epstein to Israeli intelligence after they engaged in a blackmail operation for Israel.
According to Ben-Measche’s book “Epstein: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” “[Epstein] was taking photos of politicians f**king fourteen-year-old girls — if you want to get it straight. They [Epstein and Maxwell] would just blackmail people, they would just blackmail people like that,” he says in the book.