- Widespread protests continue in Belarus. Protests have been happening in the major city of Khabarovsk for weeks after Putin “removed a popularly elected governor and replaced him with a hand-selected loyalist. Putin is now in the position of allowing Lukashenko to flee to Russia (as he did with Yanukovych in Ukraine) and gobbling up parts of Balarus, or does he modulate his interference. https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/08/15/putin-lukashenko-belarus-russia/
- The Department of inJustice: The case against a company charged with conspiring to defraud the government by orchestrating a social media campaign to interfere with the 2016 election was dropped in March by the Barr Justice Department. This was a prosecution that had been pursued for two-years and was dropped weeks before the case was to come to trial. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/04/08/foreign-hackers-have-made-it-harder-us-prosecute-them
- David Plouffe, along with others stress that the destruction of the effectiveness of the Post Office, is an emergency (see also Jesse Eisinger). He recommends prime-time hearings, now; subpoenas to Trump WH and other officials. “This is a RICO case,” says Plouffe. Twitter From the Democrats, silence, strongly worded letters.
- Lest we Forget: Don McGahn is the nephew of mafia attorney, Pat McGahn, who brokered the AC Taj Mahal land deal between Donald Trump and mob boss, Little Nicky Scarfo.
- Jesse Eisinger’s book “The Chickenshit Club” is one of the most important books in understanding what is happening with the Republican party and the Trump administration. Tweet (8/16/20) “…cutting government and then pointing to a crippled government as proof that government doesn’t work has been a Republican strategy for 40 years.” Republicans who are surprised at the inaction of the federal government in the pandemic and at the dismantling of the post office have not been paying attention to the policies of the Republican party they have been voting for.
- Fascism not only “can happen here” it “has happened here.” There have been other fascist movements in the United States. Also, the Republicans are using flaws in the system to establish this Christian Nationalist authoritarian state. Hint: Trump didn’t think of these flaws himself. https://www.alternet.org/2020/08/expert-explains-how-trump-has-exploited-our-legal-infrastructure-to-advance-true-fascism-in-america/
- Biden is already caving on health care for Americans. Democratic operatives tell “The Hill” that the most likely strategy is to “fix” Obamacare without providing a public option. This is just one example of what a Biden/Harris administration will be like. There will be repeated caving to corporate interests and the abandoning of the people they are begging to vote for them now. “Powerful health care industry groups, ranging from drug companies to health insurers to hospitals, are strongly opposed to a public option, worried about its impact on their bottom line, and would fight any legislative push on the subject next year. The industry is instead pushing the idea of a more modest ObamaCare fix that does not include a public option.”
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.
Hiding in Plain Sight: The Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America
“To millionaire elites, many of whom already had an apocalyptic bent, a depopulated world is not a tragedy but an opportunity—…”
“American exceptionalism—the widespread belief that America is unique among nations and impervious to autocracy—is the delusion that paved Trump’s path to victory.”
“Oligarchs and government officials have a synergistic relationship aimed at streamlining state corruption and facilitating white-collar crime.”
“Deutsche Bank—is notorious for facilitating Russian money-laundering.”
Harry “Reid wrote that Russian operatives sought to falsify election results and begged Comey to give the American people the full story before they went to the polls.”
“Comey refused, and refused again after Reid wrote a follow-up letter in October.”
“Once an autocrat gets into office, it is very hard to get them out. They will disregard term limits, they will purge the agencies that enforce accountability, they will rewrite the law so that they are no longer breaking it. They will take your money, they will steal your freedom, and if they are clever, they will eliminate any structural protections you had before the majority realizes the extent of the damage….That is why it is important to act early…”
“Trump is part of a complex illicit network including individuals from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the United Kingdom, the United States, and more—some of whom do not have loyalty to any particular country. Their loyalty is to themselves and their money. Many are criminals without borders who have moved from hijacking businesses to hijacking nations. Some call them fascists; I avoid this term because being a fascist requires an allegiance to the state. To these operatives, the state is just something to sell.:
“This elite criminal network has been building for decades. It is linked to other groups: right-wing Republican extremists, apocalyptic religious movements of varied faiths, social media corporations, advocacy groups like the National Rifle Association, and parts of the mainstream media.”
“But over the course of decades, disparate parties have joined together to destroy democracy.”
“Naomi Klein phrases it, “disaster capitalists” who see opportunity in a dying planet, and who will spare no expense in pursuit of their own preservation.”
“His rise was made possible by a coterie of criminals who do not want to be punished but delight in being caught. Flaunting their criminal impunity is part of the thrill.”
“Their belief that they would never be held accountable is logical since they had never faced serious consequences despite spending decades committing illegal acts. In fact, they had reaped ample rewards. Now, finally, they had the greatest reward of all: the power to rewrite law itself.”
“…vulnerable people waited for responsible officials to intervene. They are still waiting.”
“Pundits and politicians like to say that “No one saw it coming,” but what they mean is that they consider the people who saw it coming to be no one.”
“February 2014, he went on Fox News to defend Russia. Why a reality TV host was on Fox News defending Russia is its own story, but here is what he said about his desired outcome for the United States: “You know what solves it? When the economy crashes, when the country goes to total hell and everything is a disaster. Then you’ll have a [chuckles], you know, you’ll have riots to go back to where we used to be when we were great.”
“Public leverage is disappearing along with the concept of the public good as a priority of the powerful.”
“What they’re trying to do is establish power: they are lying to flaunt power. They are saying to us: ‘We know that you know that this is a lie, and we don’t care, because there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.’”
Deep State Radio Podcast
Interview with Sarah Kenzior about her new book “Hiding in Plain Sight.”
Notes from the interview:
- The Mueller investigation was deeply problematic in that Mueller completely avoided investigating Trump’s finances and the close connection with the Russian Mafia. Mueller also refused to indict or even interview key people like Jared Kushner.
- Mueller made useless deals with people like Michael Flint that yielded nothing.
- Mueller was lionized by the corporate media and assumed to be doing a real investigation. But, he virtually defined out of the investigation certain crucial areas like Trump’s finances.
- The Republicans have no illusions that this will be a free and fair election in 2020. They have no intentions of trying to ensure it is. This should have been investigated from the very beginning. It was not.
- The Trump administration is a continuation of “streamlined corruption.” It is a continuation of a philosophy of government – began decades ago – to make government so small and powerless you could “drown it in a bathtub.”
- Crises make it easier to push authoritarian policies.
- 911 made it easy to carry out extra-legal surveillance activities.
- The economic downturn helped solidify income rampant inequality.
- There is a grave danger that the Coronavirus pandemic will help justify the use of advanced tracking technology that will further invade individual privacy.
- Kenzior discusses the problems already in China with technology that such as facial recognition and social crediting which records purchases and activities. For some people it is a branding system. If you don’t have the right authorization, you can’t get a job, for example. (Note: There is a documentary about this on the Wiegers.)
- Kenzior also is concerned about health data being weaponized, there being classes of people who can and can’t get tested or classes of people identified as “infectious groups.”
All you have to do is read this book to see how Robert Mueller was either a Chickenshit (See book by Eisinger) or part of the project to cover up the Trump/Russia collusion. Neither alternative is a good one.
“A …report by the Justice Department’s inspector general is expected to sharply criticize lower-level F.B.I. officials as well as bureau leaders involved in the early stages of the Trump-Russia investigation, but to absolve the top ranks of abusing their powers out of bias against President Trump…”
As Nick Confessori (NYT) pointed out this morning, the very investigation of FBI “spying” or wrongdoing in the investigation of the Trump campaign, is a victory for Trump.
Donald Trump made a wild accusation at a campaign rally, based on nothing, and the Justice Department devoted time and resources investigating it. So, even though they now say that there was nothing untoward in the investigation we have devoted serious attention to a wild accusation.
This is exactly what the corporate press does every day. A substantial part of “Meet The Press” on Sunday was handed over to John Kennedy to propagate Russian propaganda, arguing that the “earth is flat” and that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election in the same way as did the Russians (who have been indicted). Everyone knows that’s fiction, propaganda, so why does Chuck Todd book this liar and give him a platform?
The world is moving toward authoritarianism, and corporate media darlings like Nicolle Wallace laugh and joke and just have a wonderful time talking about the minutiae of Trump’s intentions and mind.
This is the way a country moves into authoritarianism without realizing it. If there was something serious going on, wouldn’t the news anchors be talking about it as if it were a serious matter? That’s what most people think, whether consciously or unconsciously. When they see Nicolle Wallace having a high old time and Chris Hayes turning the news into a comedy show, they are relieved that they don’t have to take what is a move to a one-party authoritarian state seriously.
The corporate media repeatedly presents “both sides” and allows the right to vomit up endless streams of propaganda, treating it as if it were a reasonable narrative.
Just as the corporate media presents “both sides” the rational and the bat- shit crazy, Mueller and now the Justice Department Inspector General create a world of legal “bothsidesism.”
“The early accounts of the (Inspector General’s) report suggest that it is likely to stoke the debate over the investigation without definitively resolving it (Sound like Mueller?), by offering both sides different conclusions they can point to as vindication for their rival worldviews.”
We can’t let them get away with this.
Quotes from NYT article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/22/us/politics/russia-investigation-inspector-general-report.html
Rachael Maddow said tonight that she feels there is something different going on; that a corner has been turned. I feel the same way although I can’t explain why.
I have watched many Trump rallies, all the way through and taken notes, but tonight, I watched a murderous thug of a moron scream lies at other morons who were wildly cheering the lies he was screaming at them. The man, the moron, has been allowed to displace 160,000 human beings and provoke the murder of countless men and women who used to be our allies.
This must be the way it felt in Germany to stand and watch and listen to obscenity, unbelievable obscenity being swallowed whole by people who could be your neighbors. It must be what it was like watching lunacy gathering steam, plowing ahead, taking over.
It is like being in an earthquake. The thing you depend on, the ground, is moving underneath you and you are completely disoriented. In this case, the thing that I value and depend on most in the world, logic, reason, truth is moving underneath me. The culture is being taken over by lies and deception, sham truth, blatant illogic and the people who have assumed authority are saying “get used to it.”
Sinclair Lewis wrote a novel entitled “It Can’t Happen Here.” Well, it is happening here, but the Democratic leadership is saying: “It’s not happening here.” “We must be prayerful.” “It’s not happening here.” They keep repeating it over and over thinking that it will become the truth if they say it enough times.
They abide by the norms, act with politeness, come to work every day (when they are not on recess) raise money, admonish the Trump administration, chat up donors, help fellow Republicans get unqualified judges appointed to the courts because their fellow Republicans helped them. They talk about a return to normalcy when normalcy is what go us here. It is mass delusion.
The leadership of the Democratic Party, the corporate media, and the moneyed elite want to pretend this country has not been taken over by a Russian asset and his enablers who are involved in varying degrees with an international crime syndicate and allied with a radical religious quest for power.
People like Bill Barr and Mitch McConnell have been waiting for, planning for a Donald Trump for decades. They have their man and they are not going to give up. They have cast their lot with Trump and they will tear the country apart to maintain and expand their power.
Meanwhile, nice people, good people, like Joyce Vance will continue to tell everyone that our institutions will hold, that dedicated professionals in government will assure that justice vanquishes all.
The time to be nice is over. Those who don’t want to fight, who don’t understand that it is essential to fight, need to get out of the way.
- Ihor Kolomoisky and Zelensky
- Sylvie Kauffmann, the editorial director of Le Monde, writes (NYT) that for Europeans the most embarrassing revelation in the July 25 conversation was Ukrainian President Zelensky’s “servility.” The attempt to ingratiate himself to Trump, revealed in the “transcript” released by the White House, was truly disappointing.
- In addition, Zelensky told Trump that the new prosecutor general would be “100 percent my person.” We are left to wonder what in the hell that means. Zelensky also happily joined Trump in the Euro-bashing. So, the promising reformer, at least if you can believe the Trump version of the conversation, turned servile politician. It’s not a pretty sight.
- To add to the questions about Zelensky, prominent in the circle of people surrounding him is one Ihor Kolomoisky, whose PrivatBank was nationalized three years ago after financial regulators found that $5.5 billion was missing from its accounts.
- Kolomoisky returned from self-imposed exile just after Zelensky took office. He is now appealing to the government for $2 billion in “compensation” for the loss of PrivatBank. For foreign experts, whether the government gives in will be a test of President Zelensky’s political strength.
- Anti-corruption activist, Daria Kaleniuk: “The U.S. push for good governance in Ukraine is seriously undermined. What America was selling to the world used to be the rule of law.”